Sunday, 30 May 2010

Doing an Obo.

I have to get this work finished. I could leave some until tomorrow since nobody is going to read any of it until Tuesday anyway, but tomorrow (assuming no monsoon) would be a good day to paint a fence that's in desperate need of painting. It's only a four-foot fence and generally involves beer with the neighbour on that side.

The other side, where the arse lives, has a six-foot fence. I painted that one last year. This year I plan to fill in the gaps between the boards. Then I can spray-paint it. Although if he's standing there, spray-painting it with gaps could be fun.

So I'm doing an Obo.

Back tomorrow, unless I get bored tonight.

Pennies and Pogo sticks.

No smoky-drinky. Still frantically writing. I have an advantage in that the Bank Holiday means nobody's going to want anything until Tuesday (other than a certain American who isn't going to be on holiday).

Even so, I have to take a break once in a while. I'm almost human, you know.

The news is puzzling. In Italy, hordes of public sector workers are rampaging through the streets demanding to keep their jobs. It'll happen more and more in the coming weeks. Meanwhile the staff of British Airways are doing their best to destroy the company that employs them, thereby ensuring that their own jobs cease to exist. The only ones in either group who can be sure of continued employment are the union officials stirring it all up. It's no skin off their nose if their members are all made redundant. I know, from personal experience, that they will try to convince those members to stay members after redundancy. Union members - all they want is your money. Then they'll use you to score political points and if you lose your job as a result, well, that's too bad. Keep paying.

If you had a factory making pogo sticks, there was a time when you'd have done well. Pogo sticks were all the rage once (I didn't have one). They'd sell like hot cakes. You'd make money and take on more staff, maybe buy an extra lorry-load of springs...

Then, suddenly, nobody wants pogo sticks any more. Sales plummet, there's no income, and you have no option but to lay off staff until all you're left with is the guy who sweeps the floor and a big box of springs. You might consider a foray into Zebedee puppets but really, it's over. The money has run out, it's time to sell up and move on.

That's so simple it doesn't even deserve the term 'economics'. The economist answer might be different and more complicated but really, the simple truth is that if you make things nobody wants to buy, you'll go bust.

The socialist answer is to borrow more and more money so you can keep paying staff to do something nobody wants done. There will be no income as a result of their work, there will only be borrowed money to pay their wages. Eventually, those you have been borrowing from will notice that you are spending it all on idiotic products and they'll stop lending. Worse, they will start to demand that borrowed money back. And you don't have any.

That's pretty much where most of Europe seems to be now. Hordes of people paid to do non-productive things, in many cases things that nobody wants done. In some cases, things that everyone would prefer weren't done at all. Nobody wants bin inspectors or duck-feeder vigilantes or diversity outreach multiculti political correctness Newspeak banana-straightening operatives. Nobody wants to be spied on and ordered around.

We need an operating police force, a health service (a proper one, not the New-Labour one), fire service, army, navy, air force and so on. We don't need offices full of people whose only job is to say 'No' to anyone who phones up asking for anything. All those layers of management, all those park keepers with the powers of Judge Dredd, all those form-fillers and petty-rule-enforcers and all the rest, we don't need. We never did.

They were a luxury that a rich country could afford to waste money on. We are not a rich country. Hardly anyone in the West could claim that title now. We are broke and we can't afford the essentials, never mind the frills. When you can't afford to heat your house, are you really going to pay someone to paint it?

Most of what the government is doing, it shouldn't be doing anyway. Consider the NHS. If it all shut down, what would happen? Thousands of unemployed doctors and nurses? Not for long.

Private healthcare companies would soon snap them up, on better pay and conditions. Private healthcare costs would decline because they'd be competing for sixty million customers. The government could set up a much smaller NHS for those who really can't afford any healthcare insurance and that would not include anyone with a job. Anyone working is paying National Insurance and with no NHS, there's no longer a justification for this extra tax. Therefore, everyone working can afford to go private, leaving the new, smaller NHS to do what it was supposed to do - look after those who can't afford private medicine.

There would be few doctors and nurses left on the dole. There would be a hell of a lot of administrators, managers, five-a-day co-ordinators (we still have those even though 'five-a-day' has been proven to be based on nothing) and so on, queuing up with their UB40's. This would not result in the collapse of healthcare. It would result in a massive improvement.

Imagine being able to choose your healthcare provider. Imagine being able to choose the one that won't nag you about smoking, drinking, salt and fat and will instead get to the business of fixing whatever is wrong with you. Just like in the old days.

The fire service could be privatised because its activity is local. I'd pay a subscription to the service and if my house caught fire I could then call them out. Naturally, if I was staying at a hotel somewhere else, I'd check they subscribed to their local fire service before booking in. It's something everyone would pay for so the cost per person would be low. Even with exemptions for those below a set income level, the cost wouldn't be much because again, it would mean taking less tax.

Some things can't be privatised. The military, for example. We can't have a lot of private armies going around. That's dangerous. The police, also. On a local level, a privatised police force could work but what if you were mugged in a different town? Would the local police help if you're not a subscriber to their service?

The police need to be national so you can rely on them wherever you might be. I'd prefer the police were funded from taxation because that means they are (or should be) all following the same laws and aren't pandering to local preferences. Imagine passing through a posh part of town and being arrested and fined for not wearing a properly ironed suit. With privatised police, such absurdities could happen.

The fact remains, much of the infrastructure built up under socialist rule is not only unnecessary, it is completely worthless. So many jobs that achieve or produce nothing at all. If you're in one of those jobs, well, I'm afraid we can't afford you any more. There is no spare cash for fripperies.

Shouting in the street will achieve nothing. The government, your employer, is sitting in a room looking at a big box of springs. They cannot give you any more money because they have none. They cannot borrow more because the lenders have said 'No'. They could try taxing the rich more, but as Michael Caine once said, 'You can't tax anyone who can afford the air fare'. He was right. Crank up the tax on people with loads of money and they will sell up and move abroad.

Socialists will cheer at the exodus, because they are insane. Those rich people are the ones who run businesses. The ones who pay massive amounts into the tax system.

The ones who employ people.

When they leave, the taxes and the jobs go with them. Then there is even less to pay all those public sector jobs. What next? Tax all workers harder? More private sector workers will go because the tax they now pay is crippling.

Eventually all you have is public sector, producing nothing, paying its own wages out of taxation and demanding higher wages while the tax rate rises in a futile attempt to reach parity with the costs, which can never happen.

The public sector will lose a lot of jobs. It has to happen. It was always going to happen because paying out more than you take in is not a sustainable business model. It was all a big Brown illusion.

So parade if you like, shout if it makes you feel better but it is not going to change a thing. There is no more money. None.

Game over.

Saturday, 29 May 2010


It's Friday night and normal people are out enjoying themselves. I'm writing science sales pitch for new projects, cranking up the hype on a method for a new client (first samples at discount for hooking purposes - I learned that one from the banks) and generally smoking and drinking too much just because it annoys the Righteous that I can do all these things at once. I hope to get enough done to leave time to visit Smoky-Drinky tomorrow night. I missed last week's.

So, instead of a rant, here's a bit of wisdom from Hamster Girl.

If you haven't seen that film, be aware it's way beyond 'weird'. I mean, it's over-the-horizon stuff even for David Lynch.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

ID or not ID, that is the question.

The new Cleggeron government have decided to scrap ID cards as both halves of the Cleggeron promised. They cost the country a fortune and serve no purpose. Along with the cards, they plan to destroy its associated database. Sounds good to me. They still won't help out the smokers and they are still going to hit the drinkers and chubbies next, so don't cheer to loudly or they might notice you too.

They aren't scrapped yet, but they have promised to do it within 100 days. There is a time limit on this promise and if they fail, it's not going to look good.

Those who supported this ridiculous scheme by paying £30 for a card are not going to get their money back. Good. Let that be a lesson to them all. Don't be so quick to support insane restrictive laws in the future. Keep that card to remind you.

That's what's happening around the front. Round the back, in Scotland, plans are afoot to make sure everyone has ID on them all the time or they'll get no fizzy beer. That's right, even Granny with her bottle of sherry will have it confiscated at the checkout if she doesn't have her passport with her.

All this 'check anyone who looks under 25' nonsense has an obvious aim. To acclimatise everyone to the idea that nobody under 25 should be buying alcohol. Then, when the age limit is raised, everyone will say 'Oh? I thought it was already 25.'

It won't affect me until they raise it to 51 but it won't stop at 25 and we all know it. I'll then be hanging around outside the supermarket until a 52-year-old comes along who can be bribed into buying a bottle for me. Just like all the kids do now, and will continue to do no matter how high that age limit goes.

So, while the Cleggeron are scrapping ID cards, the Oily Fish is in cahoots with the Scottish Layabout Party to make it essential to carry ID.

One way or another, we'll be presenting our papers to the Stasi in the future.

One picture, a thousand words.

A talented photographer shares photos on a blog. Some particularly excellent ones too.

This one image captures the effect of the smoking ban on real people very effectively. Some commenters don't see it. All they see is their current favourite whipping boy and they're oiling up their whips.

They don't see smokers as human and in taking that stance, they forfeit their own claim to humanity. They will never realise that.

If you visit, don't mess up the photographer's blog by fighting the antis there. Follow them home instead.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010


In all the fuss and bother of salvaging my rickety shed and arranging a space for a greenhouse, one thing hadn't occurred to me.

Okay, I had to buy the felt, glue and nails for the shed, I'll have to buy the greenhouse, but I have no skill at all in putting these things together. If I had tried to put that felt on the roof myself I can guarantee I would now be hairless as a result of having to scrape a couple of litres of glue off me and would probably be wearing a permanent felt hat. The roof would look like something Frankenstein designed. Instead of paying for someone to do it, I have friends and acquaintances who'll do it for fun and whisky. These are not people I've known all my life. There are few of those and none of them live nearby.

These are people I have met through Smoky-Drinky evenings. In the past, I would have met them in the pub.

Frank Davis has often written about the effects of the smoking ban, not just on the hospitality trade but on the social lives of those who used to make regular use of pubs and clubs. It's not merely socialising, not just having a friendly chat over a beer and a smoke. If I had not bothered with Smoky-Drinky, if I had, like many, retired into the hermit existence with supermarket booze and TV, I wouldn't know anyone who knows how to fix felt to a roof or who knows about automatic vent-opening things for greenhouses, and how to make the glass stay in, and what it should be standing on.

People used to do more than drink and smoke in pubs. They used to get to know each other. They'd trade tips on gardening, decorating, cars, everything. They'd help each other out.

I've fixed computers for other Smoky-Drinkers. I've transferred their old VHS home videos onto DVD for them. We all have something to trade. The pub was where we made those trades.

Now, people are so isolated that someone can die in the street and people will step over the body. A girl can crash her bike into a barbed wire fence, stagger around with multiple lacerations and people just pass by. That is the world now. A world where ambulance drivers know less about the area they work in than the local taxi firms. A world in which doctors can decide whether you have surgery, and you can't.

It's not all because of the smoking ban, but that is a large part of it. We don't meet up any more. As a smoker, a lot of you out there wouldn't come near me because you're afraid you'll get cancer even though I don't have it and it's not a communicable disease. A lot of you certainly wouldn't trust me with transferring your videos to DVD. I might smoke while I'm doing it (actually, it's inevitable. All I do is set the things going and there's nothing else to trouble me until it's done - so I will certainly have a coffee and a smoke). Then you'd be scared to take them back in case the people in those videos turn out all lumpy.

It's also because of the culture of paedophiles and offense. You cannot speak to someone of a different race in case you say one word out of place and get arrested. You cannot approach a crying child in case you are assumed to be an abductor and arrested. There was once a saying, 'No man is an island, unless his name is Madagascar'. Okay, a comedian added that last bit. Can't remember who.

Now, everyone is an island. A fortress island. You cannot approach, you cannot relax in the presence of others because you have forgotten how. It's something that used to happen in pubs and clubs. They are disappearing because let's face it, if you're scared about a minimal risk to your lungs, you're not likely to chance it with your liver. Antismokers rarely visit pubs and unlike smokers, they don't buy much while they're in there. Beer and tobacco were the relaxation of choice for many. Take one away and there's little point in the other.

So the pubs die, the clubs die, and all those social links die. Smoky-Drinky keeps some alive, but it's not as wide ranging because Smoky-Drinky places cannot be open to the general public. You can't just walk in. If we allowed that we would be a public place and bang - no smoking. These places also cannot be run for profit of any kind. No money can change hands in there. If that happened, they would become places of work and bang - no smoking. Even though they are entirely private premises. Like pubs.

Next, the price of drink will become unaffordable for many. Then it won't be only the smokers who don't visit the pubs any more. Smoky-Drinky will expand. We'll move into brewing our own beer and maybe even growing our own tobacco. Illegal, perhaps, but those greenhouse guys know how to make the contents of a greenhouse invisible. And besides, when we are made outlaws, why would we trouble ourselves with the law any more? Current outlaws don't and never have. That's why we have shootings and stabbings in a country where guns and knives are banned.

I came back from being penniless and homeless via the underground economy with no recourse to benefits of any kind at all. I know how it works and I know how to work it. Now I am one of those decent. law-abiding taxpayers who gets fleeced by the government because we are such an easy target. I have no undeclared income. As far as I am concerned, I have never done deliberate harm to anyone who wasn't trying to harm me, so I have always been law-abiding. If I had been Puritanical, I would still be homeless.

Nobody will care. If a neighbour finds out about Smoky-Drinky future stills, tobacco sources or homebrew then they will no doubt be incensed and report it. But how will they? I have neighbours on one side who would quickly become involved in such activities. I have neighbours on the other side I have not spoken to in over ten years because they are Righteous to the core and generally disgusting people. It will not occur to them that tobacco growth is even possible. They wouldn't recognise a still if I battered them insensible with it although it's worth getting one just to try.

None of this is happening at Smoky-Drinky as yet, but if things continue as they are, these things will come to pass. If we still had the old pubs full of all walks of life, with gossip and chatter and smokers and non-smokers mingling without being wary of each other, none of it would be possible. Anyone with an illegal still would be found within days. Not any more. People don't trust each other now. The still owner is not going to say anything and he's not going to be drunk in the pub so he won't let it slip. There could be one next door to you.

Laws were never enforced by the police. Laws were enforced by the people who called the police to report illegal activity. Once you reach the point where nobody cares about anyone, a point we have almost reached now, the police are tied up with reports of 'he called me a bad name' and 'I don't like the look of that one' and other such nonsense. Meanwhile, gangs have guns and knives and nobody reports it because nobody really cares. It does not affect them anywhere near as much as the neighbour who parks an inch too close to their driveway or the teenage party that goes on past 11 pm. That's what gets reported. So little Damien next door has a new Uzi? How sweet. As long as he doesn't fire it while Daryl is trying to sleep for night shift, no problem.

In this world of chaos, does anyone imagine it would be at all difficult for someone above a 100 IQ to hide a beer production unit, a tobacco plantation or a still? Come on. Those cannabis growers use UV light which is dead easy to find at night using a digital camera - and not a fancy enhanced one either. It's also very easy to block from the windows. They only find the stupid ones. Most drug chemistry uses the contents of an average kitchen. I could produce anthrax using my kitchen if I was terminally insane, which, thankfully, I'm not. It's easy but very, very dangerous. Even if you do know what you're doing.

This new world of isolation will not curtail smoking or drinking or salt or fat or anything. It will make all of it more prevalent, just as the bans on guns and knives have increased their use by the lawless.

If this new government really want to decrease lawlessness, they cannot depend on the police - because the police depend on the public. If the public have the police tied up with noisy neighbours and street photographers and things that aren't really crimes, while not reporting the guns and knives and drug-dealers and so on, then the police are effectively neutered. The criminals know it.

Once the public are a set of isolated individuals, each with their own idea of what should be illegal, no police force can function and no laws matter.

The Righteous have not brought the rule of law. They have brought anarchy.

Give us back our pubs, stop setting us one against another, stop setting up scapegoats, and people will police themselves.

If you prefer the other route, well, I can work with that. If I have to.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A night off.

No rant from me tonight. I am shattered.

Across the road lives a joiner. I asked him for a bit of advice on my tatty old shed - should I get a new roof? He said no, the thing has another five years to go, maximum, and then I'd be left with a good roof on top of a pile of rotten wood. Best to patch it up for now and replace the whole thing in a couple of years - before it falls down.

So I bought some roofing felt, felt-glue and clout nails and a bottle of whisky to bribe a Smoky-Drinker into putting it on the shed. Me and ladders have never been good friends.

Well, here's the thing. If you're the one on the ground, passing stuff up to the one fixing the roof, the thing to remember is that felt-glue is thick and black and very, very sticky and prone to dripping on you and on everything else. Everyone involved ends up covered in it. You can't even roll a cigarette because your fingers are coated in super-strong glue.

It took about three hours to re-cover the shed roof in new felt. It took at least another hour to reduce the coating of glue on my hands to the point where I could pick something up and be confident of putting it down again. I still have patches.

So I'm off to soak in a bath of white spirit. If I don't come back tomorrow, it'll be because I forgot where I was and lit a cigarette.

The shed, however, is waterproof again and I don't have to clean it out this year. Result!

Monday, 24 May 2010

The dangers of Electrofag.

The Dreadful Arnott and her band of zealots insist that Electrofag is dangerous, because it contains nicotine and they declare that the only safe alternative to smoking is the patches and gum sold by their Pharma friends - which contain nicotine.

If nicotine is so deadly that even getting a couple of molecules up your nose will kill you, then insisting that people use gum and patches containing far higher concentrations must surely be attempted murder?

Nicotine, if you take too much at once, can be a poison. Exactly the same rule applies to caffeine. And pretty much everything else. People have died from voluntarily drinking far too much water. Anything in great excess is going to be bad for you - nicotine is not special in this respect.

Further, nicotine does not cause cancer. Not at all. Not one whiff of evidence exists to show that nicotine causes cancer or any other disease of any kind at all unless it is taken in ludicrous concentrations. You'd better believe ASH have tried to prove a link and tried very hard - and failed. They have resorted to their usual tactic because of this - lies and reference to some unspecified 'harm'. There is none.

The other components of cigarette smoke - tars and resins - well, there is evidence that excessive exposure can cause cancer but even so, excessive exposure is hard to achieve if you are actively smoking, because the small amount of leaves in a cigarette doesn't contain very much of these highly-proclaimed substances. It is especially difficult to reach 'excessive' nowadays when you can't smoke anywhere.

It's impossible to achieve 'excessive exposure' by second hand smoke - it was impossible before the ban and it's orders of magnitude more impossible now. You simply cannot be trapped in a publically-accessible enclosed area with someone who is smoking. You simply cannot be affected by smoke at all. So if you would finally stop complaining about it, it would be appreciated.

I have an Electrofag. Since the company I bought it from did a CAMRA by trying to side with ASH (idiots) I have not bought any more spares or materials from them, but I already had a lot of stock so it's still going. No need to look for a new source yet.

Electrofag looks and feels like smoking. It's not the same but it's pretty good. Patches and gum will never work because they don't have that 'smoking action' which is a big part of the deal. A bigger part than the nicotine, in fact. Sitting with a pint and a pack of gum, or pouring a whisky and sticking a patch on yourself is never going to cut it because it's not the nicotine we are after. It's the action of smoking. Electrofag has room for improvement but it does have that 'feel' and most of all, you can watch the smoke curl into the air. That is a huge part of the relaxation of smoking.

The nicotine, then, is no danger to anyone. Never was. If ASH want to claim it is, then anyone using patches and gum should band together and form a class-action suit against those who are deliberately selling them concentrated poison, and call ASH to declare in court that the nicotine in those things is a poison.

So, where is the danger in Electrofag? The flavourings? All are food grade flavourings, if a little unusual in some cases. There probably isn't much call for cigar flavoured cookies or tobacco flavoured cupcakes. However, they are made to the same standard as coffee or apple flavourings (also available for Electrofag) and are as safe as any food grade flavouring. Not a trace of danger here.

So far, no danger from the nicotine or the flavouring. What's left? Only the smoke.

Except it isn't smoke. It's steam, held together with propylene glycol. Aha! At last, a scary chemical name to terrify the idiot masses. A chemical with a name that long must surely be very dangerous. It's longer than arsenic or strychnine or asbestos, it must be utterly deadly.

There are entire sites devoted to propylene glycol, not because it is dangerous but because it is widely used. In food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It is widely used because it is an excellent inert carrier and thickening agent and breaks down into lactic acid in the body.

What's that? Is lactic acid scary? It depends. Not on whether you are sensitive to it - nobody is - but on whether you have any idea of how cheese, yoghourt, sauerkraut, salami and many other things are made.

Lactic acid is the preservative, formed by fermentation, that makes all those things possible. You can metabolise it for energy. As chemicals go, it's as safe as it gets. Propylene glycol is absolutely safe. Absolutely.

Right. Having gone through the entire list of contents of an Electrofag vapour, can anyone spot the danger? Smell? The vapour dissipates in moments and contains no particulates at all. It cannot stick to your clothes because it contains nothing that can form a residue. So no, not even smell.

The only danger posed by Electrofag is to ASH. It makes their funding pals' patches and gum look even sillier than they did before. Worse, it lets people 'smoke' indoors which destroys the main point of the smoking ban - controlling the population.

There is no scientific reason for banning Electrofag. There is no valid health reason for banning Electrofag. Even that old canard 'I don't like the smell' won't wash here. As for asthmatics, it contains far fewer chemicals than your inhaler. Not one reason exists for banning this little battery powered pseudosmoke generator.

ASH want it banned anyway. It cannot succeed because if it does, their Pharma friends won't be happy and they might stop paying ASH to ban things. If it succeeds, the sight of smoking in pubs and clubs will return and that will eventually break the Great Ban.

If you smoke Electrofag, there is no risk at all.

If you are in a room with someone smoking Electrofag, there is no risk to you at all. Not even if you are in an iron lung.

The only danger posed by Electrofag is to those who have made a living by demonising an entire section of the population for no valid reason.

The thing is, most of that also applies to tobacco. The only 'danger' to non-smokers is that they might smell something they don't like. That is really the only basis for support of the ban. That is it, all of it, the sum total. Nobody even tries to mention health any more because there has been no improvement in nonsmokers' health - because there was no effect on their health in the first place. The only thing left is the smell. For the sake of that inconvenience we cannot have one smoking carriage on a ten-carriage train, we cannot have ten square feet of smoking area in an entire airport, we cannot have a smoking room in the pub and we cannot even set up a smokers-only club. Because someone who wouldn't go to any of those places doesn't like the smell.

And if they use the pub toilets on a busy night, they should be used to a bit of a pong anyway.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The mis-appliance of science.

In the comments here, Mr. Wallis asked for evidence that passive smoking was not dangerous. My response was along the lines of 'it is not possible to prove that anything is not dangerous. What has not been proved is that it is dangerous'.

Thinking on it further, it is not necessary to prove anything either way concerning passive smoking in order to show that the smoking ban is simply a spite-filled oppressive bullying piece of thuggery implemented, enforced and supported by vicious filth who love nothing more than to watch someone else suffer.

The smoking ban, you see, is not about passive smoking. It's not about health. It is not even about smoking.

It is about control.

You still think it's about protecting you from smokers? Have a look at this and explain to me how that judge's decision protects anyone from smoke. Explain why it is not simply about making smokers suffer.

There is no proven threat from passive smoking, other than the threat to businesses. None. On the basis of this non-threat, smokers are villified and non-smokers are terrified. They believe the lunatic assertion that smoke can travel through walls from the flat next door because 'an expert says so'. They believe the insanity that a single particle of tobacco smoke is more likely to cause cancer than their children's glow-in-the-dark toys. Apple will not service warranty claims on their products if they are bought by smokers, because there might be a molecule of nicotine on them. As a smoker, I will never buy an Apple product because the warranty is void as soon as I touch it.

Last week's New Scientist bemoaned the 'denier culture'. Why won't people just believe what we scientists say, they cried. Then they conflated 'climate heretic' and 'smoking ban opponent' with 'holocaust denier'. Yet they cannot see why people won't believe what they say.

The whole climate change thing (remember when it used to be 'global warming'? Remember before that when it was 'The Ice Age Cometh'?) has been beset with demonstrable lies, faked and cherry-picked data, ludicrous scare stories and general smug 'if you don't believe, you must be a flat-earther' put-downs. Why would anyone with half a brain simply 'believe' in this? Every religion on the planet is more credible than this so-called 'science' at the moment and what do they do? Do they take a step back and think 'Right. We have some screwups in our work. Sort those out, double-check the data and present it correctly this time'.

No. They think 'They are not under control. Force them to comply'.

If there is real global warming happening, I'm afraid nobody is going to just 'believe' on the basis of 'an expert says'. You're going to have to prove it, and you'll need more proof now than if you had simply been honest in the first place - because now, you start from the position of a proven liar.

Yet we are to become reliant on wind power even though there has been not a breath of wind here for well over a week. The air is thick and humid and opening a window achieves nothing because the air doesn't move. We are to pay more and more for all forms of fuel, we are to use mercury-loaded dimlights instead of filament bulbs, we are to pay green taxes to support green jobs and all based on a lie. Question it, and what do you hear? Do you hear proof to back up these measures imposed on us?

No, you hear 'Well, if you're so sure, prove it isn't happening'. Prove a negative. Can't be done. We should not be expected to try because those of us who do not accept the lies are not trying to impose anything on anyone. Those who are forcing their control measures on us should be the ones to prove their case.

They don't. They make statements as if they are facts and then challenge us to prove the negative.

So it is with the smoking ban. There is no evidence at all for passive smoking. It is less dangerous than using a mobile phone and that has been scientifically proven. So why is smoking banned and mobile phone use encouraged?

They can't track a signal from your tobacco.

The smoking ban is not about passive smoking and never was. It is a Witchfinder distraction. Its purpose is to force people to do and think as they are told. Does anyone now believe that the witches killed during the English Civil War were really witches? Does anyone really believe they flew on brooms and sailed in sieves? Does anyone really believe they were making cattle barren and making crops fail? The people of the time believed it absolutely. A Expert said it was true and so they believed.

Now it is the smokers who are making your pets wheeze and your children develop asthma and you believe it, just as you would have been at the front of the mob surrounding the old lady and her herb garden. There was no requirement to prove that she was a witch, you know. She had to prove she wasn't. Which is impossible.

Are you still beating your wife? Answer yes or no.

There is no way out of a question phrased in that way. There never has been. It is the same technique.

You don't need evidence to support a witch hunt. All you need do is switch the burden of proof onto the witch. State that she is a witch and when she denies it, shout 'Prove it!' State that man-made global warming is happening and if anyone suggests otherwise, shout 'Prove it!' State that people die of passive smoking and when someone points out that nobody has been shown to even become mildly ill as a result of it, shout 'Prove it!'

Minimum pricing on alcohol will save lives. You say otherwise? Prove it! Salt is deadly. Don't agree? Prove it! Oh, the Righteous don't need to prove that their prohibition will do anything other than allow them to sit back and enjoy their spite. They have decided what's best for you and if you don't agree you have to prove the negative. You can't so they will set the mob on you unless you conform.

Except... they don't really care what is best for you. They just want to see the puppets dance. They want you to do as you are told because once you are trained to do as you are told, you will do anything you are told.

That is the true goal of the smoking ban and of any kind of ban. Not for your benefit. For theirs.

I believe it was Longrider who mentioned compulsory motorbike helmets. Not being equipped for motorbiking, I've never driven one but the point of the motorbike helmet is that it 'saves lives'.

Whose? If I am hit by a motorbike and the rider piles into me, he is going to do me a lot more damage if he has a hard hat on. So the helmet is of no benefit to me. It might be of benefit to the rider but that should be the rider's choice. They know the risks and should be free to choose whether to wear a helmet or not. That decision has absolutely no effect whatsoever on anyone else.

Compulsory seat belt wearing (with a fine of course) benefits only those in the car - unless the car turns over and they are trapped by the belt while the roof caves in. Making it a legal requirement made no difference to the pedestrian.

These rules were not brought in for your benefit. They were brought in to make you do as you are told.

So was the smoking ban. So is the new Cleggeron drink-price controls (incidentally, illegal under EU law. They've missed that part). None of these rules really benefit anyone and were never intended to.

You're being housetrained. Sit. Roll over. Beg.

There's a smoker. Get him, boy.

Good pet.

Civil Service Sieve Sensation.

Try saying that five times quickly - but don't do it while looking into a mirror or you'll call the Brown Gorgon and his Nosegoblins back from the nether regions. They will take all your money and disappear down the Pointless-Waste-R-Us shop with it.

Mrs. Queen is to make a speech. We know this because the Telegraph has a complete transcript of it and has seen fit to publish its contents. The Grauniad is incensed, presumably because they didn't get a copy.

I'd like to see Mrs. Queen get up into the big chair, open her bag, hand out copies of the Telegraph and then have a nice cup of tea while the MPs read the speech everyone else has already read. She might as well save her voice and it would show, very graphically, just how ridiculous the civil service has become.

The Cameroid and the Clegginator have inherited a civil service that cannot be trusted with even the most important of documents. Sure, Labour corrupted them, but they remain corrupt even now and the only way the new boys are going to sort it out is to blast that civil service apart.

If they can find the person responsible for the leak, might I humbly suggest threatening them with treason charges? Certainly, instant dismissal and some form of criminal prosecution must follow, and not just a slap on the wrist.

Remember, this civil service is the one that leaves databases on trains, leaks budgets ahead of schedule, and loses personal details, including bank details, of large numbers of people. It has to be stopped and that is not going to be achieved by little backroom chats with Sir Humphrey and a promise that it won't happen again if it's just hushed up this time. It will happen again. There are so many civil servants now that it is statistically inevitable that there are seriously dodgy people in there.

Cameroid, Clegginator, you have to get very nasty indeed with your suited minions because if you don't, the next leak might be the names and locations of secret service agents stationed in dangerous places, or the travel and school details of every member of every MP's family.

That civil service is a sieve. You cannot plug a sieve one hole at a time. If you don't want stuff leaking through it, there's only one solution.

Ditch the sieve. Entirely. Then replace it with a bowl.

A much smaller one.

The Labour NHS in action.

Felling a bit ill? Perhaps you should call your GP - oh wait, no, Labour put a stop to all that GP overtime and ensured they all get their beauty sleep every single night, untroubled by outbreaks of swine flu or leprosy. Instead you can call the helpline, outsourced to Patagonia where helpful advisors will dispense wisdom such as how to prepare a mouldy bread poultice for meningitis or the best way to slaughter a goat to cure scabies.

Well, then, how about an ambulance? Hard luck. Labour wrecked your chances there as one of their final acts of spite, and kept it quiet so the blame would fall on the new lot. Instead of cutting back layers of empty suits, they allowed the empty suits to keep their deep-pile offices and Lexus luxury while cutting back on actual medical professionals instead. So, no ambulance for you unless you are one of the Worthy. Everyone else gets a bloke in a van with a toolkit. You'd be better off with the AA.

Even if you manage to drag yourself to the hospital, you'd better be really seriously ill. If you're only 74 and only have cancer, that's not good enough. They want you properly sick so they'll give you Clostridium difficile. Labour made its use widespread, remember. So now you're 74, cancerous, and can shit through the eye of a needle. Sick enough? Ha! Have a dose of Legionnaire's disease on top. Now it might be worth spending some money on drugs for you. Better yet, think of the money those Lexus-driving suits would save if you died really fast rather than lingering on with something like cancer that takes ages to kill you.

Labour's version of healthcare. It remains to be seen whether the ToryDems can fix it but if they can, it's not going to be overnight. They will have to storm the admin offices with the SAS to get the wasters out.

In the meantime, what's wrong? Don't you want to go on the cart?

Your taxes paid for it.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Smoked child.

Something the newspapers do a lot of these days is to tell a story as if it's happening locally, when in fact it's on the other side of the planet and affects the UK... not in the slightest.

One such story concerns a two-year-old who has been smoking since he was 18 months old and now has a tantrum if he's not allowed a cigarette. Where is this? Birmingham? Brighton? Kirkcudbright? Lower Piddle? Livarot?

Nope. Indonesia.

It's an antismoking rant based on the lifestyle choices of a different culture in a different country. Our British rules, our preferences, do not apply there.

In some European countries, the legal age for sex is 13. We can all go 'Oh, it's disgusting that they let them play hide-the-sausage at that age'. In some American states, it's 21. Is it okay if they say the same thing about us, who let our young play the pokey game five years earlier? Or are they 'restrictive'?

In the UK it would be illegal to let a child that age have a cigarette. In Indonesia, it apparently is not.

And yet the commenters include:

so is the father being arrested for child abuse? He caused a baby to have an addiction.

No he is not being arrested, because he isn't doing it in the UK where it would be illegal. As for the 'addiction', I still dispute that. We smokers have to believe we are addicted so that Nicorette can sell us nicotine in another form. We can't possibly just stop, just like that - even though every ex-smoker I know has stopped just like that. Everyone I know who tried the gum and patches, without exception, is still smoking.

Those who stopped, stopped for one reason. They weren't enjoying it any more. Like someone who once lived for skateboarding but then decided it wasn't interesting any more. They simply decided not to bother, so they stopped.

Those who believe they are addicted to nicotine, when provided with patches and gum containing nicotine, are still 'addicted'. To nicotine, in an equally expensive but non-enjoyable form. The patches and gum will never work and they are not supposed to work. If they worked, smokers would quit and stop buying patches and gum. That is not, and has never been, the business model of Big Pharma.

You must believe you are addicted. if you don't believe that, Big Pharma can't make money out of you.

The child has a tantrum when he is refused a cigarette for exactly the same reason any toddler anywhere has a tantrum when refused any form of treat. It is not that he is addicted. It is that he is spoiled. A tantrum gets him his way, so he uses it time and again.

Another comment:

This absolutley horrified me, god knows what other drugs this child will turn to in the future if at 2 years old he is already addicted to cigarettes.

How sad, such a waste

I've been smoking tobacco for around 30 years. I have never taken any illegal drugs. My father has smoked for around 60 years and has never even considered hard drugs. Is tobacco now a 'gateway' to illegal hard drugs? When did that come about? What kind of cretin believes this nonsense?

So an Indonesian child smokes, which isn't illegal in Indonesia, and the Righteous are out in force to demand they fit in with Righteous teachings.

For the record, I don't think children should be allowed to smoke or drink. The developing body is much more susceptible to damage than the adult. On the other hand, I consider the child to be the sole responsibility of the parents. If you want to feed your children on arsenic and asbestos, you're an idiot but it's up to you. It's your DNA line that will be wiped out and if you really think arsenic and asbestos are food groups, that's probably for the best.

More from the comments -

The oft-criticised smoking ban (nanny state or what?) used to greatly help me before I retired from teaching. When I caught a young pupil would-be smoker I'd remonstrate, "So, Darren, the whole country is quitting - and you start.

The whole country is not quitting, no more than the Cambodian academics committed mass suicide or the German Jews took a sudden fancy to gas showers. Smokers are not 'quitting', they are being forced out of everywhere for no reason beyond 'I don't like it so you can't have it'.

And yes, it is the nanny state at work. We are being ordered into compliance. We are not relieved that we can finally free ourselves of an addiction. We are incensed that we are being ordered to stop doing something that might or might not harm us, but won't harm anyone else. Passive smoking is a lie. Not a mistake, not a misreading of data. A lie.

It is all based on those patches and gum. If the likes of the Dreadful Arnott and her ASH cohorts cared a damn about stopping smoking, they would be trumpeting the Electrofag because it is the only thing that will ever work. Instead, they want that banned too. Why? To sell more patches and gum that aren't intended to work. You can smoke an Electrofag with zero nicotine and it feels like smoking. The nicotine is the buzz but it's not the habit. The habit is the relaxation that comes with watching smoke curl into the air and that can be achieved with a zero-nicotine Electrofag that produces no harmful chemicals of any kind at all.

There is no addiction. We smoke because we like it. When we don't like it any more, we stop.

Just like that.

Belief in addiction is as strong as real addiction. You can develop a real alcohol dependency because it changes the metabolism of your liver. Stopping alcohol intake 'cold turkey' can cause such disruption that it kills you. You need to wean yourself off.

With smoking, you can just stop. Yes, you can. If you're smoking and not enjoying it, take the advice of a friend of mine who stopped.

"Giving up smoking is easy. Just stop putting fags in your mouth and lighting them."

Don't waste money on patches and gum that are only there to keep you paying. If you believe you are addicted to nicotine, how can you expect to get away from that by taking nicotine in another form? They want you addicted. To their patches.

If you don't enjoy it, stop doing it.

And if you want to impose British culture on other countries, start by demanding the US drop the legal age for sex to 16 and for drinking to 18, and see how far you get.

Benefits for all! Except the proles.

There is much bleating in the House of Sheep about their expenses. Now, I know a thing or two about expenses. Nobody gives me any. If I want to claim back a proportion (not all) of money spent in the course of running my business, I have to have a receipt. No receipt, no tax relief.

I also have to keep those receipts for at least five years in case the Government want to check up on me. I am not allowed to check up on them, even though I give them money and they give me none. If I owe them money, I have to pay it right now or face prosecution. If they owe me money, they might or might not pay it at a time when they feel like it and there is nothing I can do about it.

When I have a receipt, I cannot claim the amount on the receipt. Only the tax portion. Nothing, not one thing, is repayable in full, ever.

I cannot claim a single penny of the cost of travelling to the lab because that's my place of work. I rent it, I pay the rent, it's mine. Therefore I can't reclaim anything for going there and back. If I have to go from there to somewhere else, I can reclaim the tax on the cost but not the cost itself.

If someone else paid the rent and I did some work there, I could be a visiting worker and reclaim the tax portion of the travel costs. Not the whole cost.

Our MPs don't like having these same rules applied to them. Even now, even with the scandal still burning in the public mind, even with MPs in court on charges of fiddling their employer, they still believe they are Entitled. More to the point, some of them think they are still Entitled when they've been jackbooted out of Parliament altogether.

Entitled to reclaim the cost of a taxi before 11 pm, when public transport is available. That same public transport they claim is wonderful and must be protected from cuts, but it's for the proles not the elite. That same taxi that nobody could claim on any real business expense form because they had access to public transport.

They are not talking about reclaiming the tax on essential business expenditure, which is what the rest of us are allowed. They want it all. They don't want to bother with the rreceipts that get the rest of us a portion of that expenditure back, they want it all repaid with no proof they've spent it.

Now they want their party politics funded from the public purse too.

Oh, they learned something from that expenses scandal all right. They learned that they can behave like Mafia dons and still get voted back into office.

There's only one way to get rid of a Mafia don. If those MPs want that lifestyle, they have to accept all of it, not just the good parts.

Power up the Clegginator!

The Daily Tremble is a-buzz with what it calls 'Clegg's Power Grab'. No, it's not one of those funfair things, full of stuff nobody needs with the little crane that never catches a damn thing anyway. The Tremble is incensed that the Clegginator now has more authority than Count Mandelstein used to have.

They seem to have missed a detail or two.

The Clegginator is half of the Cleggeron. The left half. He and the Cameroid (the other left half) operate as independent beings except at full moon, when they combine, Transformer-like, into a ghastly multi-limbed creature that has the EU flag tattooed on its forehead. Sometimes, for variety, they turn into a truck instead. Biodiesel, naturally.

As the leader of the smaller half of the coalition, and as the Deputy Prime Monster, the Clegginator is supposed to be in on the workings of Government. It is, after all, his job.

Most of all, the one detail the Tremble glosses over in the interests of cheap sensationalist headlines... the Clegginator was elected.

Count Mandelstein was not only unelected, he was fired from Government three times and was still in charge. So I think it only right that the Clegginator exerts greater authority than Count Mandelstein ever did.

In a truly just world, the tea-boy would have had more authority than a thrice-disgraced nightspawn with the morals of Vlad the Impaler and the looks of a B-movie vampire. We haven't been living in a just world. I hope we are approaching one but I'll just have to wait and see.

I'm not holding my breath. Makes it hard to smoke.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Tick that box. Tick it, I say!

If black people are 'coloured', does that mean we white people are just outlines? In which case, colour me baffled.

In the last few days there have been increasingly strident calls, more than usual, for 'more women' and 'more ethnics' and 'more of that other thing as long as they don't smoke or drink' in Parliament. No calls for 'more people who know what the hell they are doing and never mind their colour, sexual preference, gender, religion or whether they have dirty habits in private'. These calls come, of course, from the party that tried it and were royally crushed as a result.

Diane Abbott, a highly polished Labour MP, is now joining the race for the leader of the Labour party. She faces competition solely from white heterosexual male human beings and Ed Balls. Maybe she would make a great leader, I don't know. If she wins, will she win because she's the least bad (actually likely to be true) or because she is a black woman and therefore ticks the boxes? Will you be able to tell? I won't. Labour's agenda of ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, religion and everything-but-smokers quotas means that whenever a woman gets a position, it's seen as 'bah, that's just the quotas'. Even if it's a black lesbian ex-convict drug-addled alcoholic with fifteen children by nineteen fathers who actually happens to be the best choice for the job. As long as she doesn't smoke.

It's not about the job any more. It's about the applicant. I fully expect to be visited by the PC police any day because my one-man business is entirely white male heterosexual and not a prayer room in sight. I'm ready for them. I'll claim I'm a lesbian trapped in a man's body and demand compensation for my inability to bear children. The weird part is, I'd probably get it too.

Shiny Abbott speaks:

Abbott said Labour needed the "broadest possible" contest as it debated the future of the party after this month's general election defeat. "We can't go forward with a leadership debate where there is no woman," she said.

Why not? Hideous Harman and Why Vet Cooper have a good call on the contest and neither are standing. Nor is Jacq the Ripper. Oh, that's right, Jacq lost her seat to the Tories. Poor Jacq. I'd sympathise if I cared. But if no woman applies, why force the issue? Now it appears that Gleaming Abbott is applying only to tick the box as the 'Free Of Balls' candidate. And the 'Not an outline in a colouring book' candidate. Not forgetting the 'Brasso advert' candidate.

If there is a candidate who is right for the job, why does it matter whether that candidate is male, female, black, white, yellow, Muslim, Christian, Hindu, Pagan, or prefers to sleep with the other gender, their own gender, or baboons in Lycra? In the days of reality, long ago, what mattered was the job. That came first. The job was defined and you'd look for someone who could do it. What they did with themselves outside the job was of no relevance. What they looked like was of no relevance (unless it's catwalk model. Apparently I don't have what it takes, or so they keep telling me every time I apply. Not much call, it seems, for a blob on stilts. Discrimination!). Who they slept with was of no relevance. As long as the job was done, and done well, the employer didn't care if your skin was green and you had antlers and your preferred mating technique was trout-style.

Not any more. Under Labour's Reign of Absurdity, every group (except smokers) must be represented in the workplace, whether they can do the job or not. I'm going to have to black half of myself up. I'll black up the bottom half to impress the ladies. I'll also have to have one boob implant and become a Christhindulim for the sake of equality. Then I'll have to sack myself for being a smoker. Unless I lie to myself about smoking and hope I don't demand I take a blood test for the presence of potato metabolites.

That's what thirteen years of Labour have done. True story - in my previous rented lab, I had to fill out risk assessments for every technique I used even though I was the only one doing the jobs. I had to sign the risk assessments as 'manager' and then sign them again to prove I had read what I had written! Their safety idiot actually checked! I had to sign them again every two years to prove I had read what I had written about techniques I have used for decades and which nobody in my employ uses because there isn't anyone. Now I rent a lab where they don't check. I flash my personal indemnity insurance and they sensibly say 'You don't work for us, your health and safety is your problem'.

So, should the Torydems follow the Absurdity party's example and employ more women, whether they are any use or not? I mean, it worked so well for Labour. Hideous Harman, Jacq the Ripper, Why Vet Cooper, the Motorbike Midget, Madge Bucket...

Have the Tories done better? They have Nadine Dorries but we'll excuse that. Every act needs a warm-up comedian. They also have that rejected model from Aardman Animations, Caroline 'Wallace' Spelman who has dropped them in it once again today.

It does not mean that women are not good politicians. I've known some who could run rings around PMQ's and leave the opposition on their knees, begging for logic. The way it is done nowadays is not to let the woman take her chances in the race, but to bias the race with all-women shortlists. So it's not about the best prospective candidate any more. It's about the least bad of a small subgroup of the available candidates.

Before you ladies get your handbags loaded with bricks and start swinging, I would make exactly the same comment about an all-male shortlist or an all-white shortlist... if they had ever existed.

Basing employment, at any level, on the candidate rather than the job is a recipe for disaster. We have had those disasters over and over again. Have 'lessons been learned' yet?

Work out what the job is and what needs to be done.

Find the best person to do it.

Does it really need to be any more complicated than that?

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Sympathy for the Hurricane.

I used to watch the snooker now and then, for characters like 'Hurricane' Higgins and 'Interesting' Steve Davies more than the game. It's a bit like cricket, there are long periods where they just knock their balls around interspersed with bouts of frantic activity. I've lost interest as I get older, not just in watching snooker but in watching TV. There are better things to do. Once you pass 50 as a smoker, drinker and dietary advice ignorer, you don't know how much time you have left and I am not going to waste it on mind-rot.

When I saw this photo of Hurricane Higgins, I couldn't believe it was him. Even comparing it to the older photos below it's still a shock. He has had throat cancer, multiple operations, and radiotherapy that made all his teeth fall out. He's in a bad way.

Sure, he drank and smoked a lot but throat cancer can come from other things too. In fact, the Righteous have been linking throat cancer more to alcohol than smoking these days. That actually makes a sort of sense, in that if you continually pummel a specific part of your body with a chemical, it's going to irritate. It might become an allergic reaction, it might turn to inflammation, it might just hurt for a while, it might be so damaged it's left open to infection, or it might trigger a cancer. Or you might drink bottle after bottle of that Polish vodka that forces your eyes to swivel right round so you can see what you've done to your brain, and never suffer any ill effects at all. It's mostly down to luck.

Because it's mostly down to luck, you could spend your days totally free of the merest hint of tobacco or alcohol and get throat - or some other type of - cancer anyway. That's the thing about cancer. Sometimes it just happens. It does not always have an external cause.

I don't understand why he is still toothless. The article says his pals are raising the money to get him some implanted teeth so he can eat again. His current frail state is mostly due to his inability to eat very much. The cancer, it seems, is gone and he is suffering more from the treatment than the illness at the moment. Then again, if it hadn't been for the treatment, he might not be here to suffer at all.

My grandmother had plastic teeth. On the NHS. My brother was knocked over in the playground when young, lost his two front teeth in a very messy way and still has plastic ones. On the NHS.

Why is the Hurricane excluded from the NHS plastic teeth? Could it be connected to the destruction of the NHS dentist, and the private-dentist insistence that only implanted ones will do? Or is there a medical reason? Anyone know?

Of course, even though there has been no definite link between this cancer and smoking (if there had been, it would have been trumpeted and we all know it), the Mail can't resist:

He currently lives in sheltered housing on the Donegall Road in Belfast and has suffered long-term problems with alcohol and smoking since winning the world snooker titles.

Alcohol problems are real. People do get addicted, or at least they believe they do which amounts to the same thing as far as the individual is concerned. Excessive and uncontrolled alcohol intake has immediate and obvious effects on someone's life. Very bad ones.

But... 'long term smoking problems'? What is that , exactly? If you turn up for work having smoked a cigarette, does it affect your ability to do the job? Do you see smokers in the gutter, gibbering over a pack of Dunhill in a brown paper bag? Do smokers come rolling home at 3 am after a night on the Capstan, with no memory of where they've been? Actually, I once tried a Capstan. A whole pack could probably do that.

I don't touch the whisky when I'm working. I know that my typing ability will suffer, I won't be able to consider multiple permutations of the results simultaneously, I'll miss something and the report will be a heap of crap and I'll have to do it all again. I can smoke while typing with no detectable effect whatsoever.

I don't drink when working in the lab, and I stay off the booze the night before a big sample set. Being hungover is actually dangerous in a very immediate sense in my line of work. I do not nip outside once in a while for a double Macallan or even a shandy. I do take smoke breaks and before any of you antismokers start - I'm self employed so I'm not costing you anything. Besides, if I have 36 samples to do, I can't go home until they are done no matter how long it takes. If I add a few five-minute smoke breaks to that, that's nobody else's problem. Even when I worked as an employee, it was nobody else's problem. Nobody else would be late home if I chose to take a smoke break. It didn't stop them moaning, of course, but nothing does.

If I was drunk at work, that would be a problem. A big, big one. Especially as my personal indemnity insurance would be voided if anything happened and I was under the influence. So if I let something loose and infected someone else I'd be cleaned out. Drink can be a problem if taken to excess.

Smoking is not the same thing at all. If I go out for a smoke break I wash my hands because I'll be putting something in my mouth and I don't want to chance it. The risk of the smoke break lies in contaminating the cigarette with work, not in affecting my work with the cigarette. The latter is no risk at all. No problem.

This is the same as conflating climate heretics with holocaust deniers, something New Scientist has now joined in with. Smoking is not alcoholism. Not even close, but it's going to be classed as the same thing anyway.

Poor Alex Higgins is set to become the next Roy Castle. Let us all hope he lives long and prospers because once he dies, here come the lies.

Roy Castle did not die of passive smoking. Nobody has. Alex Higgins has survived excessive first-hand smoking and drinking, albeit not very well but I wonder...

If his frail state is due to radiotherapy destroying his teeth (not smoking or drinking, radiotherapy) why has he not been provided with falsies?

Is there a true reason, or is someone, somewhere, just trying to make a point?

Hurricane, keep blowing. Snooker has become astoundingly dull since your day.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Giving up virginity.

It's much harder than giving up smoking, where politics is concerned.

Both Obnoxio and Al-jahom reckon that joining the Labour party and then voting for 'Sweaty' Balls as leader would ensure that Labour drop into the Bog of Eternal Stench forever.

They are right. It is a good idea.

But - I can't. I've never joined a political party before and the first time, for me, cannot be Labour. It would be like submitting your virginity to Prescott the Hut, soon to be Lord Prescott of Bulimia and Chins.

I'd just feel so... dirty.

I agree with Mrs Rigby on this. It is a good idea but self-sacrifice can only go so far.

If you're made of sterner stuff, go for it.

As for me, I'm saving myself for a party that's a little more serious about the future.

Clan MacGregor.

I saw this one in Tesco at £10.48 a bottle. That is definitely 'redeye' price. It's cheaper than Bells, and Bells is worse than Toilet Duck. You heard it here first - whisky is cheaper than toilet cleaner. Yes, it's an outright lie, but so is 'alcohol is cheaper than water' (bottled water is 15p for 2 litres, find me any sort of booze cheaper than that and you're my friend for life). and 'passive smoking is real'. I expect the Mail will soon headline 'Whisky cheaper than toilet cleaner' - although the Mirror might get it first. They've visited.

At that price I thought I'd give it a go. It's a cheap blend so it won't come close to the Ardbeg or the Singleton or their like. It's not bad though. It doesn't have the 'burn' of Bells and it's really quite pleasant.

I'd put it alongside Black Bottle, Whyte and MacKay and Grant's Ale Cask. If you fancy a tipple and don't want to lash out on the ever-increasing prices of the malts, Clan MacGregor is pretty good.

Work, and spooky non-voting.

Another report done. In the absence of Big Jobs (the ones where I can take a month off afterwards) I'm doing lots of Little Jobs to keep the pennies rolling my way. It's a recession thing, I suppose. Nobody wants to fork out for a Big Job at the moment but they don't balk at anything below four figures - or even in the low four figures - and I can get through a few of those a week. The trouble is, it means lots of short reports and I can't invoice without a report so it's busy here.

I also need spare money for a greenhouse. Not a Tesco one, a proper one. Cheap ones just don't cut it, I don't want one that will fall apart in a few years and/or need constant maintenance. So I need to do a bit of extra accumulating. Which means I'll be sporadic unless I get lucky with a Big Job.

That said, time to go look for something to raise my ailing blood pressure. I can say one thing for Labour, they were the perfect daily treatment for low blood pressure. No pills, no doctors, all you needed was the news feed.

I see Spooky Madcow kept his job without a vote. Her Madness, the Princess of Dorries, is outraged (yawn. Again). I think he would have won the vote anyway but I still think they should have had a vote.

Winning a vote would give him credibility. Even if he only won by one, he would have been voted into the position.

As it is, he is now open to attacks of 'We didn't vote for you' from all sides. He's going to have to put up with that more and more. If he had won through a vote, it couldn't happen, the matter would be closed.

I think it was a big mistake not putting it to a vote. He would have won anyway, but he'd have won more than the vote. He'd have won some respect and legitimacy. He would also have no concerns about accusations of 'unelected'.

Well, it's too late now.

Not enough. I'm getting drowsy. There must be something out there.

Monday, 17 May 2010

Ming the Meaningless.

The arch-enemy of Flush Gordon, Ming the Meaningless, wants the Speaker's job. It's hardly surprising. He's a Lib Dem and they all want to be Speaker because the Speaker isn't allowed to make a decision on policy. It's the Lib Dem dream job - all the money, all the prestige, no decisions.

Spooky Madcow has apparently launched a PR campaign to avoid being voted out of the Big Brother House and to keep his job. That's it. PR. It's all they are about now, any of them. Why bother with all those reality TV shows? The Houses of Parliament contain things that are even more bizarre than having to climb a mountain of blancmange or eating kangaroo testicles.

Everyone I speak to says they'd never watch 'Prime Monster's Question-dodging Time' because it's dull. Really? It's top-level TV these days, right up there with Big Brother and Australian Jungle Has-been Torment Fun and the Simon Cowell Humiliate-an-Idiot show. It leaves Constipation Street, the cul-de-sac in Liverpool where nobody with any sense would buy a house and that farm thing that used to have someone called Seth in it right out in the cold.

No wonder the Brown Gorgon was such a big fan of 'X factor'. It's how government is run these days. Form over function, every time.

I look forward to the Cameroid facing down the next Labour party frontman with 'I will answer his question if he eats this spider'. Although if it turns out to be Ed Balls it wouldn't be much fun. He has tarantulas for breakfast. Prescott the Hut wouldn't have batted an eyelid (he can't, his eyes are too fat).

You know, that might even get the viewing figures up. 'Would the Prime Monster like to choose between a vote on a referendum on the EU, or eating this live slug?'

We complain about the BBC licence fee but really, the BBC could produce a show like this for far less cost than we currently pay for it. It would probably do far less harm to the economy, too.

In this week's episode, Ming the Meaningless beams his deadly Indecision Ray at London in order to take control, while Busted Flush Gordon is incapacitated and forced to sit on a bench at the back and mutter incoherently. Ming's robot henchman, the Clegginator, has snared the deadly Cameroid and is ready to unleash that left-leaning monstrosity on the world at Ming's command.

Does that sound like a cheesy Sixties science fiction show? It does, doesn't it?

It's modern British politics. Come on, BBC, try to keep up.

Politicians complain that we don't take politics seriously. They really can't understand why.

Right is the new left.

Late at the lab tonight, it was a last-bus night and that's dodgy on Sundays. With double the expected sample load this week I have to make up extra media.

Something else occurred to me also. I need to sort out what I'm likely to need over the next few months and buy it now before the tax-cutting Tories boost VAT. It's not easy with perishables but with a lot of stuff, I can stock up. I can't reclaim VAT because I'm not registered and am staying below the threshold for registration because I can't be bothered with it. It's a tax on turnover, not profit, and I pay quite enough tax as it is. I have looked into it and it won't benefit me at all, because what I sell is thought, not a tangible product. I can't apply VAT to the reports because they can be classed as books. So VAT would be a pointless expense.

All of which means I will be limited in my babblings for a few days while I work out what I can safely stock up with and what is likely to hit its expiry date before I use it.

Anyway, that's my problem, not yours.

What is my, yours and everyone's problem is whether the Cameroid-Clegg-Collective is still operating on the same basis as every single official for the last 13 years. Spite.

Tiny Blur didn't win by appealing to the 'working man'. In fact, the Absurdist party he created has spent most of its time in office turning the 'working man' into a pariah. No, the Blur kept winning by appealing to the aspirational middle classes. They turned to New Labour for those tax credits and so on. Those traditional Tory voters saw something more Tory in Blur than in the Tory party.

Early indications are that they were right to vote left, because under the Cameroid, the the right are more left than the left have ever been. So far left that an alliance with the Lib Dems is not only possible, but has happened.

Now, the Cameroid-Clegg Collective have been told by their own Tax Guru that they are hitting 'middle class voters' too hard. Why would they do that? Revenge on them for voting for Tiny Blur's grin? Is it, could it be, that same old spite we've grown so used to over the last decade? Is it really that leftie spiteful vengeance, now applied by a party we thought were on the 'right'?

Cameroid has declared himself a leftie. No wonder Barry O'Blimey likes him so much.

We have not climbed out of the frying pan to land in the fire.

We're still in the pan.

Sunday, 16 May 2010


Back from smoky-drinky and browsing the blogs but too tired to write much of anything.

I note the EU is gearing up to take over at an accelerating rate, the IMF think we can 'afford a bit more fuel duty' (which tax will be taxed at the new rate of VAT on top) and Brussels believe they should control the UK budget even though we are not in the Euro. Why has the Cameroid not yet put up a big sign over Dover saying 'Just fuck off'? I would have, and I'd have put it up there as soon as Mrs. Queen said 'We appoint you, you hideous little freak, as Primary Monster, and would you mind not eating any more of the corgis and stop telling the ladies-in-waiting that what they've been waiting for has arrived?'

An MP was stabbed. Hideous Harman demands to know what measures parliament will take to protect MPs since this is the second such incident in only nine years (as opposed to similar incidents among London youth which are separated by much larger timescales, sometimes even hours. We're talking relative-importance time here, remember).

I have an idea to protect all our MPs. It's called "646 second homes on Rockall with one-way travel".

They wouldn't be small homes. They would be compact and bijou. With perhaps just a touch of rising damp.

But at least there are no knives or lampposts. So they'll be safe.

News from Smoky-Drinky - the stolen child is in the land of Kafka. His foster parents are ill so he is now with foster foster parents until his real foster parents are well enough to take him back. His real real parents have no chance even though there has been not so much as a suggestion of abuse or neglect mentioned in this case. By the time he gets home - if he ever does - he'll have Traveller status and will be able to tarmac your front garden while you're on holiday and claim residency. He will also be one seriously screwed up individual.

The kid has muscular dystrophy. His life expectancy is no more than 15. Will the council invite his parents to his funeral, I wonder? Will they even bother to tell them when or where he dies?

They are not trying for another child. What would be the point?

This is LibDem/SNP-controlled territory and has been for some considerable time. They can't blame Labour for this.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Real life is a time-sapper.

Lots to do. I have 36 samples coming next week when I was expecting 18, I have a brand new lab freezer for free because I have to store the Stuff for the next hospital trial on C. difficile (and precious little space to put it into) and I have to get this blasted report out of the way before next week hits. No time for serious swipes at politics tonight. I have to be compos mentis for lab work tomorrow and I hope to get enough done to have time for a smoky-drinky tomorrow night. So it's a quickie with references to other people's posts.

The Great Repeal Bill is coming. When it arrives, will it reduce the constant torment of the smoker? Will it hell. I had the Jovial Witnesses at my door today and guess what the current comic is all about? 'How to quit smoking'. Even the JWs are at it now. I had immense difficulty persuading them that some of us don't quit not because of some demonic possession thing or terrible addiction. We don't quit for the same reason we don't stop drinking tea and coffee. We do it because we like it.

They were a little confused by Electrofag. I gave them some copies of New Scientist in exchange for their comics and sent them off to think about it.

The Odd Couple will do nothing to reduce the onslaught against smokers. Frank Davis has an excellent analysis of why. I think it might be worse than just the smug revenge of the born-again non-smoker. I think it might be that they are also finding it useful to have whole classes of whipping boys to distract people from their schemes.

Drinkers - do you think they will realise that the 'minimum pricing' idea is a load of rubbish? I think they already know it is but will do it anyway.

The green issues - now that we are midway through May and still getting snow and hard frosts, do you think they will question the Church of Climatology at all? Nope. Not even when all those volcanoes go pop, fill the air with dust, cool the planet... and we won't have any power stations.

This new administration looks like keeping the blogworld buzzing. They just need a few days to get themselves sorted out and then the proper lunacy can begin. The EU is already at it with demands to vet the UK budget even though we have proper money rather than their Euro nonsense.

Boatang and Demetriou say we should not relax for a moment but the removal of the Brown Gorgon and his gangster cabinet leaves me feeling as if an especially strong headclamp has been relaxed at last.

The next lot will turn the screw soon enough. For the moment, I intend to take full advantage of the lull while the warring factions gear up, replenish my energies and reload the sarcasm gun with blue and yellow bullets.

I'd better hang on to a few red ones too. They haven't finished bleating yet.

Friday, 14 May 2010

True colours.

''We lost the election in England, not elsewhere, amongst so-called decent hard-working families who felt, especially working-class people, disconnected from the Labour Party."

One of the champions of the 'decent hard-working family', earlier.

They don't like you any more, you so-called decent hard-working families.

Well, to be honest, they never really did.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

It's not dead yet. Keep flogging.


A whole day in power and none of the new lot have done anything unutterably stupid yet. Not one. I could rely on Labour for at least one cock-up a day and sometimes a dozen or more.

They're still at it, too. The Strawman has made clear to any English voters who hadn't already realised it that his party doesn't consider them worth bothering about. Even though England contains most of the UK population, he insists that proper people wanted Labour.

Actually, Strawman, there are only two reasons for anyone to vote Labour. One, they are clinically insane or two, you bribed them with benefits or a non-job.

Mrs. Bucket has spoken up to insist that the Cameroid and the Clegginator install ministers on the basis of gender, race, and religion rather than on any ability to do the job. Because that's worked so well over the last thirteen years, hasn't it?

Prescott the Hut has been bragging about the number of civil service non-jobs Labour created because the layers of fat around his brain have caused it to overheat. He genuinely thinks it was a good thing to wreck the private sector and still make them pay for bin inspectors and duckpond police. Fortunately the current government plan to make some very deep cuts in the parasitic sector.

It's a good thing some of them are still around because this new lot seem to be taking the job seriously. They aren't likely to produce a lot of blog material for a while yet. I'll be watching, because they are antismokers so I don't like them.

Still, while they settle in, we will be able to amuse ourselves with Labour's leadership contest. So far it looks like it'll be between Moribund, Moribund the Younger, Cruddy and 'Sweaty' Balls, although Balls hasn't decided whether to try yet. Silly little socialists are already calling for a quick end to Tory rule. Not yet, benefits boys. First the pain, then the slow death.

So if the Cameroid does get the fixed-term parliament idea through, then the only way to shift him is with a vote of no confidence and that will need 55% support. Silly little socialists are already crying 'That's not fair' because they think we haven't noticed something.

The Scottish parliament needs 66% support for a vote of no confidence. Who set that level?

Why, it was the Liberal/Labour coalition that ran the place before Al the Oily Fish took over.

Careful now, DaNi. That idea rebounded on Scottish Labour. They can't now get Al's lot out. Set that figure too high and it could rebound on you in the future.

Oh, and if you could get someone to do something stupid but preferably harmless, it would be nice. Is Nadine busy at the moment?

I mean, you don't even have any really odd-looking ones and no easily twisted names apart from Vinnie the Wire. Give me something to work with here.

If they relaxed the smoking ban, you know, I'd be pretty much silenced. They won't though.

Even so, it's going to be hard to reach the heights of contempt inspired by the Brown Gorgon and his nosegoblins when the CCTV cameras start coming down, the databases are scrapped and the unaccountable start finding that they aren't any more.

They'll do something stupid soon. I have faith.

They are, after all, politicians.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Crying Wolf.

It's only fair to let the Toriator and the Libdeminatrix settle in before letting loose at them so I'll take the night off. I hope they're still there in the morning. This lot don't have such fun names to play with so there'll be some experimentation over the coming weeks. They'll have to earn their new titles. I'll probably stick with Cameroid because as Prime Monster, he's certain to be a pain in the arse.

Some Lib Dem MPs are muttering about wrecking the coalition at their next party conference. They are idiots. There are now six Lib Dem Ministers and their party has a say in what the Government does. Would they rather go back to the irrelevancy the Clegginator has just hauled them from? Cameroid has the PM job now so if the Lib Dems try to take their ball and go home, they lose six Ministers, they lose all say in policy decisions and the Tories will be in government. Minority administration, sure, but the Oily Fish has run one of those in Scotland and he's made it work. Only the Lib Dems lose - and they'll lose a lot - if the party forces Clegg to pull out.

A coalition with Labour and a rag-tag band of little parties would have lasted all of five minutes and would have precipitated another election at which all the Rainbow Warriors would have suffered badly. Even Count Mandelstein knew that which is why he has let the Rainbow Coalition slip quietly under the water.

The SNP and Plaid Cymru, even by hinting they were going to bend over and take it from Labour, have already caused a collective sharp intake of breath across Wales and Scotland and we don't like doing that here. It's too damn cold.

Besides, do the Lib Dems really believe they would be better off with Labour? The Gorgon wasn't interested in what his own ministers thought and would smear and discredit anyone who so much as disagreed. How do the Lib Dems imagine they would have been regarded? Now the Gorgon has gone but Count Mandelstein remains, as does Darth Campbell and all the rest of them. The Gorgon was not the worst of them, only the most public.

I'll give them a little while. I might wait hours and hours, we'll see. They will need to show they can resist Righteous lies and made-up statistics, which the Righteous have set about proclaiming already. It's the same old stuff. It's still not true and it's obviously not true and that is what makes it dangerous.

The ludicrous assertions on smoking, drinking, salt, fat and so on are so utterly absurd now that people are laughing at them. They are also laughing at other advice, such as 'do not drink' on a bottle of bleach. In the average person's mind, all experts are now proven liars so none of their advice is worth a damn. Looking straight at the sun can damage your eyes? Nah. Yes, people, it can. That particular bit of advice is sound. But how can you tell?

Put yourself in the average working man's place, the man who has not had a life of learning and in most cases, doesn't want it. That is not a disparaging remark. The trouble with 'equality' is that it assumes everyone wants the same things. Some people just want to earn enough to be able to live a pleasant and quiet life. In fact, that's all I want. I'm no use at physical work so I do it using my brain. It's not really different in the end, I just use a different method to get the same result as a bricklayer or a plumber.

A side-effect of being a bricklayer is that you can tell, just by looking, whether a wall is going to stand up or fall down. I can't. A side-effect of what I do is that I can tell which health advice is good and which is not. Bricklayers can't. So when it reaches the utterly absurd and the blatant and easily-proven lie, which it has, they have no option but to regard all such advice as junk.

I used to work with probiotics, now I work more with prebiotics for reasons too dull and uninteresting to relate. In the early 1990's there were loads of products sold as 'probiotics' and some of them were good. Most of them were junk and did nothing at all, they were just 'bandwagon' products from people who didn't give a damn about proving anything, they just wanted a quick buck. Because of that, the whole probiotic industry and research into it became associated with junk science and scammers. There were some that worked, some based on sound research and careful development, but among the many that were junk or outright fraudulent, they were lost. Nobody other than those of us who worked with them could tell which was which.

The same is happening with health advice now. There are so many absolutely absurd pronouncements that people are starting to ignore all advice. The experts are lying to them. So they believe none of it.

If anyone in a position of power ever finds this backwater and has the attention span to get this far, listen up. All those fakecharities and insane control freaks are not mere inconveniences for smokers, drinkers and foodies. They are very, very dangerous. They hide serious advice under a mountain of their petty personal prejudices and that means the serious advice is ignored along with their blatant lies.

Go into Tesco. Find a 500 ml can of own-brand lager. Cheap, isn't it? Find a two litre bottle of own brand water. That two litres of water is not only cheaper than four cans of beer, it is cheaper than one can of beer.

Alcohol cheaper than water? Every single person in this country can walk into Tesco and see that is a lie. Absolutely everyone. Then they see that a GP apparently cannot understand simple arithmetic. Respect for the medical profession? Those oafs can't even compare prices! So when they start going on about other health issues, nobody believes a word of it. Even the ones that are true.

So don't be surprised when you tell them an Ebola pandemic is coming, and they don't believe you.

There was a story when I was a child about The Boy Who Cried Wolf.

I bet they don't tell kids about that any more.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for someone to read it out in the next Parliament. If they can get rid of their fake charities and stop listening to the Righteous, it would do more than increase civil liberties.

It would save lives.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Selling legal products gets you a life sentence.

Only in Ireland.

The Irish government have not banned the 'legal high' drugs. Instead, they will arrest and imprison anyone using them, and arrest and imprison for life anyone selling them. The drugs are still not illegal in themselves. Good, eh?

With tobacco, it's legal to buy it and carry it around but illegal to smoke it. This is only one step further. The substance is not banned as such, but possession and sale are crimes.

At the end of the article is an interesting line:

"The righteous fuming over these products is never applied in the same way to the products sold in the local pub which are just as lethal and dangerous when misused and abused," Irish Times journalist Jim Carroll said on the newspaper's blog, referring to the consumption of alcohol in bars.

Typical of the attitude of people nowadays. Not 'It is outrageous - these are legal products, you can't ban them'. Instead we hear - always - 'if you're banning my stuff, why don't you ban his stuff too?' As if that is going to help. It's children's logic, not adult logic. It applies to the child who is powerless to prevent confiscation of his toy so resorts to the only revenge he can get - demand that another child's toy is confiscated too. The child cannot fight for himself. Adults used to be able to.

If I get punched in the face, it does not lessen my pain to know that you will also be punched in the face. Unless you're one of the Brown Gorgon's goblins. Or the Brown Gorgon himself, for whom I would accept a few whacks as part of a deal.

However, Irish enraged child Jim Carroll has missed something.

Under the new legislation, the sale or supply of substances that do not specifically fall under existing drugs legislation, but which have "psychoactive effects" will land users with up to 7 years in prison and suppliers with a maximum life sentence.

The legislation does not name the drugs. It merely refers to 'psychoactive effects'.

Others are questioning how the group of substances with "psychoactive effects" would be defined.

Why, that's easy. They will be defined as any substance that has an effect on the workings of the mind.

Such as tobacco.

And even more so, alcohol.

You have your tantrum-derived wish, Jim Carroll. That legislation can now be expanded to arrest and prosecute tobacconists and pub landlords. The wording of it makes its extension easy. It will get support because it's about 'drugs' but once it's in place and set into the law books, the Puritan State takes Ireland.

Watch the Cameroids for signs of this sort of thing. It's no good doing a CAMRA and shouting 'Do it to them instead'.

This time, they will 'do it to them' as well.

Parasites Lost.


It's been like watching attempts to resuscitate a run-over cat whose spine is smashed. Even Labour MPs and ministers have said 'Oh, just give it up and put us all out of our misery'. Blunkety-Blunk and the Strawman have openly said that the Gorgon's 'Rainbow Coalition' could not work.

In a way, it's a pity. If there was one thing guaranteed to wake up the English, it would be to see the party they voted overwhelmingly into power still in opposition, while everyone they didn't vote for takes control. As CF says, the party that won the election would then be the only party to have no place in Government.

The Scots, Irish and Welsh wouldn't rise up because of this. The parties they voted for would all have more power than they ever dreamed possible. Even that Green MP, the Snow Queen (thanks to JuliaM in the comments for that one), would have more say in government than Dai Cameroid. That was never going to sit well with all those Tory voters. Nor with the non-Tory voters who voted Tory to get rid of that sack of spanners tied up ugly who still squats and drools in the seat of power.

So there will be much discussion on the idea of voting reform over the next few weeks. I note that none of this 'electoral reform' mentions anything about postal vote fraud. That is easy to fix. Just stop allowing it for all and sundry. I could have had one even though I don't need one. Anyone wanting a postal vote would have to give a damn good reason for it, or preferably turn up in person at a council office, cast the vote, seal it in an envelope and put it into a locked ballot box. Then their name is crossed off the register. That way, if you're going to be out of the constituency on polling day, you can still vote and nobody can use your name while you're away.

I have a feeling postal voting might still be around for the next election. So will Count Mandelstein. The Gorgon, too, is staying on as an MP but his curse now only extends to the borders of Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath. You voted for him, he's all yours now.

It's time for a bit of relaxation and perhaps another one of these. Since the wrangling is over for the moment I can also get back to ranting about smoking. Standing in the next election is under consideration, I hear both 'go for it' and 'don't do it, it's a lot of work for no gain' voices. A lot to consider.

I'll give the Cameroids and the Cleggies a few days to settle in before letting loose. Although I see the maniac Dorries is already causing problems. Tut-tut, Nadine, you are taking advantage here. You know Dai can't sack you with the numbers he has.

The voters, however, might. That next election is a lot less than five years away.

Oh and a note to the Green MP. It's snowing again. When are you going to do that global warming thing you've been promising?