Double standard anyone?

Some may remember that, in February last year, the then Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, banned the egregious Fred Phelps and his equally repugnant daughter, Shirley Phelps-Roper, from entering the United Kingdom. (For those that don’t already know, Fred is the “pastor” of Westboro Baptist Church, about 90 strong and largely members of his own family. He preaches that all the world’s ills stem directly from toleration of homosexuality. He is a man with deeply unsavoury views and a very murky and violent history.) As far as I am aware that ban remains in place.

On 16 September this year the United Kingdom will host a full state visit to another religious leader. This one heads an organisation that:

  • opposes the distribution of condoms, thereby increasing large families in poor countries and the spread of AIDS
  • promotes segregated education
  • denies abortion rights to even the most vulnerable women
  • opposes equal rights for lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender people
  • fails to address the many cases of abuse of children within its own organisation.
  • rehabilitated the holocaust denier bishop Richard Williamson and the appeaser of Hitler, the war-time Pope, Pius XII.

That organisation has an even murkier and more violent history. (Fred might have beaten seven bells out of his wife and kids, but I’m not aware that he has yet launched a tide of torture, inquisition, crusade and “holy” war onto the world.)

Fred’s nasty views can stay at home, but Joe’s can come to the (taxpayer-funded) party.

Milking Milton

The Spanish philosopher Geroge Santayana once wrote “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

You would think that any reasonably sentient Tory politician would remember Thatcher the Snatcher and her infamous cost-cutting exercises when she was at MiniED. Not so La Milton, the tatty-haired MP for Guildford, who recently advised my GP to call me a fatty.

Her latest foray was to propose the scrapping of free school milk for under fives. Now, my recollection of free school milk, drunk by a straw from a third pint bottle that had stood in the corner of a hot classroom all morning, is pretty revolting, so some of the little ankle-biters might not be too upset.

However, I digress, and that’s not the point – which is that we have now had two fairly major wrong-footers from the Cuckfield-Cockupartist in as many weeks. At least Cameron has some appreciation of history and slapped her down as soon as he got wind of it.

The question is “Do we have another Edwina-Bloody-Currie on our hands”?

All this and more for £1.94

Oh – the joy of Ebay. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

From: Buyer
To: Vendor
Subject: Buyer has sent a question about item that ended on 14-Jul-10 18:45:19 BST – Freddy vs Jason – DVD
Sent Date: 14-Jul-10 19:45:41 BST

Dear Vendor,

hello i am really sorry but my daughter has gone on my account and been bidding on a few films … i do not wish to buy this film please can you cancel this please thank you
– Buyer

From: Vendor
To: Buyer
Sent Date: 14-Jul-10 20:10:07 BST

Dear Buyer,

I’m afraid I rather think that is your problem, not mine. Whoever was using your account bid twice on this and I could have sold it to a genuine seller. As it is I now have a final value fee on my account.

I am open to suggestions, but I am not prepared to cancel the item without some recompense.

– Vendor

From: Buyer Continue reading All this and more for £1.94

Much Wringing of Hands

It’s very sad that we’ve had two highly disturbed loons go crazy with a gun in such a short space of time. Already the “pundits” have appeared again with the “we must learn from this” and “never again” quotes. Fair enough, let’s try! But let’s get something real and in proportion here.

Last night we watched a programme about Derrick Bird. In the last twenty minutes a well-meaning, but very deluded, woman was espousing the virtue of greater gun control. She made the valid observation that countries where guns are more freely available suffer these type of events more than those, like ours, where they are more controlled. Rather misses the point, though!

Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

I’m sure I’m not alone in knowing someone who owns some impressive firepower. In my case I know several, including a very responsible gun owner. I know where he keeps them, what security they’re under and can take a decent guess about when he will be away from home!

The hand wringer also wants gun licences reviewed annually instead of five-yearly. “A lot can happen in five years to change that person.” she said. News for you there as well, my dear. A lot can happen in five MONTHS to change that person. Take that to it’s logical conclusion and we’d be checking every day – no, every ten minutes in case Mr Firepower comes home and finds his significant other in flagrente with a third party.

Missed point number three? Any seriously disturbed individual could challenge Derrick Bird’s body count with a 4×4 and a crowded bus queue.

Stricter gun control will NEVER prevent another Hungerford/Dunblane/Cumbria.

Ms Hand-Wringer says we should try. Give it a go, but you will fail.

The REAL outrage …

Whatever the final result – and at this time of the morning it’s still unclear who will end up in Number 10 – there are real issues coming out of this election.

First is a sense of real joy that the repugnant views of the BNP have been so roundly rejected. The result in Barking and Dagenham was a high spot of the night where Margaret Hodge (for whom I don’t have that much time) humiliated Nick Griffin (for whom I have absolutely none).

Second is the “locking out” of voters. No! We don’t need an enquiry into this and it isn’t down to massive failures of the process and it isn’t undemocratic. All those people who turned up late in the evening? You could have got a postal vote – it’s only a tick on a form! The polling stations were open for fifteen hours! Get your lives together and stop blaming others for your own failures.

Most important, though, is the state of our electoral system. Continue reading The REAL outrage …

Before you vote tomorrow …

… remember a few things.

Remember the Winter of Discontent, the Three Day Week and the Miners’ Strike. Remember the Poll Tax, the banking failure and the inner city riots.

Remember that since the Second World War we have seesawed between two political forces who only have their own vested interests at heart – who shout and scream at each other like playground bullies – who mislead and dissemble purely to make us believe that they have a monopoly on truth and wisdom – that only THEY can deliver us from evil into the kingdom that runs with milk and honey. THEY will then throw all their promises out of the window and spend the next five years exercising absolute power.

Remember that, for sixty-five long and tortuous years, this model has NOT WORKED.

Remember that the two main parties will try to frighten you into believing that the sky will split asunder and rain blood unless there’s a decisive victory for THEM.

Tomorrow, I beg you, think for a moment and then vote tactically for a hung parliament.

Maybe only then will THEY stop lobbing brickbats at each other and start talking about the problems that WE need to be solved.

The “Third” Party

Our electoral system has always been something of a sick joke. First past the post rarely, if ever, produces anything apart from government by the largest minority – sometimes not even that. And that’s the way the Labservatives like it.

They’re quite happy to have a two-horse system whereby we switch and swap every decade or so. They’re quite happy to have absolute power, with its concomitant corruption. They don’t want anyone else jumping on the seesaw and disturbing their little game. Meanwhile, like piggy in the middle, we listen to their empty promises, their weasel words and we suffer their excesses.

The great stumbling block to the leaders’ debates in the past has always been whether or not the “third” party leader should be included. The fallout from Thursday shows just why the Labservatives have always run scared of giving the “third man” an equal footing. Continue reading The “Third” Party

Oh – Woot, Yay!

The first real bribe of the election campaign has been announced.

To the accompaniment of fanfares and hurrahs the boy David and his pre-pubescent would-be Chancellor (Baby George) have unveiled their plan to support marriage through a “tax break”. (It also, apparently, applies to we partnered poofs!).

We’re in line for £150 a year – or £2.88 per week – but ONLY where one partner does not use their full personal allowance, i.e. earns less than £6,475 per year.

Ooo – quick, I’m off to write my resignation and apply for a part time job at Lidl.

The Institute of Fiscal Studies has said “The incentives to marry – or not to divorce – provided by a policy whose maximum benefit is £150 a year must surely be weak relative to the other costs and benefits involved”. I’d go further and say “It’s pants”!

Conservative sources have said that “the tax break was designed to be a symbol and message – in other words a gesture. There are a few of them I’d like to make in your direction, lads, if that’s the best you can come up with!

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