Tag Archives: UK politics

Is the Met. Office facing relegation ?

Snow at Heathrow

Is it possible that everything we do is dwarfed by the moods of the star that gives life to the world?  The Sun is incomparably vaster and more powerful than any work of man.

Well, folks, it’s tea-time on Sunday and for anyone involved in keeping people moving it has been a hell of a weekend.  Thousands have had their journeys wrecked, tens of thousands have been delayed getting away for Christmas; and for those Londoners who feel aggrieved by the performance of any part of our transport services, I can only say that we are doing our level best.

Almost the entire Tube system was running yesterday and we would have done even better if it had not been for a suicide on the Northern Line, and the temporary stoppage that these tragedies entail.  Of London’s 700 bus services, only 50 were on diversion, mainly in the hillier areas.  On Saturday, we managed to keep the West End plentifully supplied with customers, and retailers reported excellent takings on what is one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

We have kept the Transport for London road network open throughout all this.  We have about 90,000 tons of grit in stock, and the gritters were out all night to deal with this morning’s rush.  And yet we have to face the reality of the position across the country.

Continue reading Is the Met. Office facing relegation ?

Snooty Europhiles should eat dirt

The Bank of England

The continent is a collection of different languages and labour-market traditions and individual approaches to deficits and inflation. … Angela Merkel is plainly facing significant unrest from a growing constituency who see no reason to pay ever more in their taxes to finance … the periphery of Europe.

I think we deserve an apology.  By “we” I mean all the Euro-sceptics, Euro-pragmatists, Euro-realists and Euro-hysterics who were alarmed by some of the optimism that surrounded the birth of the single currency.  Do you remember the disdain with which we were treated?  We were told that we were boss-eyed Little Englanders.  They used to say we were a bunch of xenophobic, garlic-hating defenders of the pint and the yard and the good old bread-filled British banger.

Whenever we protested about any detail of the plan for monetary union, we were told that we were in danger of stopping the great European train, boat, bus, bicycle or whatever it was.  We were a blimpish embarrassment to our country, a bunch of idiot children who had to be shooshed while the grown-ups got on with their magnificent plans.

So it gives me a tingling pleasure to report that everywhere you look on the map of Europe we have been proved resoundingly and crushingly right.

Continue reading Snooty Europhiles should eat dirt

Boris Johnson to run for Mayor in 2012

To-day’s announcement by Boris Johnson of his intention to seek a second term as Mayor of London will be welcomed by many Londoners and come as a huge relief to the current leaders of the Conservative Party.  A recent discussion of the question “Should Boris return to Parliament ?” prompts a well-wisher to offer —

Some Suggestions

Background

For some time a popular, although little organized, movement has been proposing the adoption of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, as leader of Conserv­atism in the u.k.  Let us first consider the reality of the situation.

David Cameron, smilingSome years ago David Cameron, either off his own bat or at Mr. Johnson’s suggestion, stood for election to leadership of the Conserv­ative Party (c.p.) ;  his period as leader of H.M. Opposition was reasonably successful and, as 2009 drew to a close with a general election just six months away, the c.p. looked set to take power, after thirteen years, by a margin that brought to mind the days of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Mr. Cameron however, although enjoying general popularity, espoused many ideas decisively unpopular not only with swing voters but even with the core supporters of the c.p. :  most of all the subjugation of the British parliament to the profligate and unaccountable European Union (e.u.) and — in line with the vast majority of the scientifically illiterate body politic — the supranational anthropogenic-global-warming fraud.

On May 7, when the votes had been counted, the consequences were clear :  as the electorate had come to realize just how close these critical policies of the c.p. were to those of not only the Liberal-Democrats but even the retiring Labour administration, the vital marginal support the c.p. had enjoyed at the turn of the year had evaporated

The beneficiaries ?  The U.K. Independence Party ;  perhaps the British National Party ;  in all likelihood, however, the greatest winner of the lost ballots was the ‘none of the above’ party.  I suspect even the Liberal-Democrats benefited from the fact that there was nothing to choose between them and the c.p. in the two most important matters before the British people.  (“The Conservatives are no different from the Liberals :  might as well let the Liberals have a go.  They can’t do any worse, can they ?”)

Labour, despite having presided over the most disastrous phase of British history since the Civil War, managed to turn its own vote out ;  despite their strenuous efforts, c.p. workers — under the burden of the product they were having to sell — could not match their opponents’ performance.

Continue reading Boris Johnson to run for Mayor in 2012

With cat-like tread the revenue we steal

[The Chorus of Labour M.P.s]
With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;
Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal.
Of the truth
    We never speak a word ;
And Sterling’s fall
    can be distinctly heard.

[The Chorus of Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
Taxi ! Tara !

[Labour M.P.s]
So stealthily the tax-men creep
    While all across the country sleep.

Come, friends
    who used to be
Leaders of the nation
    (At a higher station),
Let’s add mendacity
    To our daylight robbery.

Gold reserves
    There used to be :
Backing for the nation ;
    Protection from inflation.
Gordon sold the lot, you seeee ;
    Now we’re up a royal gum tree.

[Geoff Samuel]
Tell them you’re a show-off
    — For so can you deny it.

Were I a keen observer …
    But no, I’m just a git !
There are some catches
    In our dark prince’s sleaze ;
Take our files
    And be sure to shred them, please !

[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
[Labour M.P.s]
With catlike tread
[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
[Labour M.P.s]
    The price of bread

With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;
Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal.
Of the truth
    We never speak a word ;
And Sterling’s fall
    can be distinctly heard.

[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara ! &c.

[Labour M.P.s]
Come, friends
    who used to be
Leaders of the nation
    (At a higher station),
Let’s add mendaciteeee
    To our daylight robberee.

With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;

Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal !

My thanks again to the
University of Iowa Summer Opera
ΠΞ

A ‘scientist’ — engaged in his employment …

A ‘scientist’ — engaged in his employment
            his employment
    And maturing his felonious little plans
            little plans
’Though he likes to interfere with your enjoyment,
            your enjoyment
    Wants a pension just like any honest man’s.
            honest man’s

Our data we with difficulty smother,
            -culty smother
    When F.O.I.* reports are to be done ;
            to be done
Ah, take one consideration with another :
            with another
    A fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.

Ah-ah …….

When F.O.I. reports are to be done, to be done,
    A fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.
            happy one

When the A.C.C.† alarmist’s not a-warming —
            not a-warming
    The carbon market closed just for the time
            for the time
He just loves to blame humanity for storming
            -ty for storming
    And listen to the cash register chime.
            -gister chime

When the fraudster’s busy fiddling the data,
            -ling the data
    He ignores the very function of the sun ;
            of the sun
But his e-mail will be found a little later,
            little later
    So the fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.

Ah-ah …….

When F.O.I. reports are to be done, to be done,
    A fraudster’s lot is not a happy one.
            happy one

* F.O.I. :  a reference to requests under the Freedom of Information Act, 2000, as amended
† Anthropogenic Climate Change (chosen to fit the metre)

My thanks to the University of Iowa Summer Opera with Jon Meadows as the Sergeant of Police — ΠΞ

Rage against Ed Balls MP and Latin in the Classroom

The demand for Latin is huge and it is growing, and I don’t just mean that the public is fascinated with the ancient world – though that is obviously true, and demonstrated, for instance, by the success of Robert Harris’s Cicero novels. There is a hunger for the language itself and, thanks to the efforts of a small number of organisations and volunteers, Latin is fighting its way back on to the curriculum

Being an even-tempered fellow, and given that we have already put up with so much nonsense from the Labour Government, I find there are very few ministerial pronouncements that make me wild with anger. We have learnt to be phlegmatic about the mistakes of a government that has banned 4,300 courses of human conduct, plunged this country into the deepest recession in memory, and so skewed the economy that 70 per cent of the Newcastle workforce is in the pay of the state. But there are times when a minister says something so maddening, so death-defyingly stupid, that I am glad not to be in the same room in case I should reach out, grab his tie, and end what is left of my political career with one almighty head-butt.

Such were my feelings on reading Mr Ed Balls on the subject of teaching Latin in schools. Speaking on the radio, Spheroids dismissed the idea that Latin could inspire or motivate pupils he said that headteachers often took him to see the benefits of dance, technology or sport but added:

 “No one has ever taken me to a Latin lesson to make the same point. Very few parents are pushing for it, very few pupils want to study it.”

It is nothing short of a disaster that this man is still nominally in charge of education, science, scholarship and learning in this country. He is in danger of undoing the excellent work of his predecessor, Andrew Adonis, and he is just wrong. Of course he doesn’t get taken round many Latin classes in the state sector. That is because only 15 per cent of maintained schools offer the subject, against 60 per cent of fee-paying schools. But to say that “very few” want to study the subject, to say that there is no demand for Latin – it makes me want to weep with rage. The demand is huge and it is growing, and I don’t just mean that the public is fascinated with the ancient world – though that is obviously true, and demonstrated, for instance, by the success of Robert Harris’s Cicero novels.

There is a hunger for the language itself and, thanks to the efforts of a small number of organisations and volunteers, Latin is fighting its way back on to the curriculum. The Cambridge Classics Project did a 2008 study that found that no fewer than 500 secondary schools had started teaching Latin in the past eight years. That is a fantastic thing. Those schools deserve support.

Continue reading Rage against Ed Balls MP and Latin in the Classroom

Billy Bragg to withhold taxes in bank bonus row

Singer-songwriter and political activist says he is ‘no longer prepared to fund the excessive bonuses of RBS investment bankers’.  Read the story here.

Boris quote on the tax on bank bonuses:  “The Government is doing nothing more than fast-tracking the departure of this talent pool out of Britain”.

Here, with a satirical twist, is Dungeekin with his take on the situation – check him out @dungeekin

Continue reading Billy Bragg to withhold taxes in bank bonus row

The Future of Cadbury’s Chocolate

Ever since the Aztecs first worshipped the cocoa bean, mankind has experimented with various ratios of solids, fats, sugar and milk, and Cadbury has got it right.

The chocolate bar-barians at the gate are Americans.

If the Americans can afford to buy Cadbury, then let them.  Sentimentality over an undoubtedly great bar of chocolate can’t stop market forces, says Boris Johnson.

There comes a time when the Brits can be pushed around no more. We may have sold Rolls-Royce to the Germans. We may have lost Land Rover to the Indians. We have yielded to the French more control of our energy and water supplies than ever envisaged in the wildest fantasies of Bonaparte. But when it comes to protecting our chocolate – the taste of British childhood – then we turn and fight.

Across the land, across the political spectrum, the forces are gathering to repel the foe. As of yesterday, a Sunday newspaper had secured the signatures of 11,307 outraged readers in a “hands off our chocs” campaign.

Antony Worrall Thompson, the Top TV chef, has said that the unique taste of British chocolate is indispensable to his key dishes. Lynne Jones, the Birmingham MP, is demanding assurances for the future of her chocolate-making constituents. Will Hutton, the leading Leftist thinker, has argued that chocolate is a key strategic industry, and that if the last great British chocolate maker were to fall into foreign hands we would see a surge of support for the BNP. Why, oh, why, asks the Guardian‘s business pages, can we not stick up for our chocolate industry when the French are so good at protecting their yogurt makers?

Continue reading The Future of Cadbury’s Chocolate

Boris promotes Scotland’s interests

A healthy, wealthy London is the best medicine for Scotland’s ills
The capital is the powerhouse for the rest of the United Kingdom. It deserves better, says Boris Johnson

You know, I think we are reaching the limits of Jock-bashing. It is time that we called a halt to this casual anti-Scottish prejudice, before it gets out of control.

I have lost count of the number of times I have heard someone joke that the Scots subsist on a diet of smack and deep-fried Mars Bars. I have heard it said in London that we send them our taxes, and they send us their prime ministers – and chancellors, and the whole stream of gabbling Edinburgh lawyer MPs who make up the Tartan mafia.

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Sir Christopher Kelly Report

 Our favourite satirist, Dungeekin, back in the ring with The (Grace) Kelly Report

The (Grace) Kelly Report

So, Dear Reader, today will see Doctor Kelly lance the festering boil that is the MP’s expenses scandal. In his honour, and with the enjoyable spectacle of MPs losing their gravy train ahead, I thought we should have a little song.

[spoken]
I wanna talk to you!
The last time we talked Mr. Kelly you reduced my John Lewis list!
I promise you that won’t happen again!

You tried to redact them,
Tried to conceal them behind spin and lies,
Dishonest and dirty,
Grasping and greedy,
Now it’s you we despise,
The totals are awesome,
Really it’s loathsome,
How you milked us dry!
Why were you greedy?
Living the high life on the cash we supply?

It’s time for the verdict of Kelly, (Oooo)
He says your expenses were bad, (Aaaagh)
The size of your claims were just silly, (Mmmmm)
Your sense of entitlement’s mad!

We paid for your house,
Paid for your booze,
For you to watch porn on Sky!
You were deceitful,
You were just venal,
Claiming for anything you like!
Don’t wanna be mean,
But you were obscene,
Claiming for bath plugs and more!
Why were you greedy?
Why were you greedy?
Why keep on claiming for more?