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27 March, 2008

Points from the News. Seal cull. French President.

There are two stories in the news today that are really good for a laugh.

The first is the visit to the UK by a rather mad president of France. If you could believe a word he says then it would be a really nice world. But you can't so it isn't. But yesterday he said something in his patronising speech in the UK that had me laughing as I worked out in the gym.
He said something along the lines of "the UK government was a shining example of democracy at work". Oh help. Demo-crazy (think french accent) maybe, but how can a government led by a simpleton 99% of the people in the country have never voted for, and who micro manages every aspect of life from the amount of salt you eat, the c.c. of your car engine to the number of glasses of wine you have a week ever be described as democracy.

The second set of things in the news that had me confused were two stories back to back. The first how all our plastic, especially bags (see below) is killing unfortunate birds and animals all over the planet. It went on to tell me that we have to ban plastic bags and disposable lighters, ever plastic tooth brushes can kill. Crikey! Then came the next piece of news, 250,000 seals are being killed for their fur, skin, oil etc. Maybe I am missing the point here, who decides that a bird is more important than a seal.

Either we keep our plastic or we stop killing seals. You can't have it both ways.

Save the planet. Why bother - Lets Trash it!

If another person says ECO to me I swear I will do something they will regret.

Everywhere you go people are on about ECO this and Green that. Why doesn't everyone just come clean with the fact they have found a new way to make money by saying ECO.
The trouble is no one will actually tell you the truth, and that is that there is nothing we can do that is going to save the planet. It is too late.

For example did you realise that there are underground coal fires burning in China and America that are giving off more CO2 than all the cars in the USA. Interesting isn't it and some of these have been burning over 40 years. Also forest fires around the world add millions of tonnes of CO2 every year and there is nothing that can be done about either of these things.

The point is as I have said before CO2 is not causing global warming. And any failed US presidential candidate who tells you otherwise is simply making it up.

So what can be done to save this mess. Nothing! That's right nothing, not a single thing that we tiny humans do will make a scrap of difference.
Depressed? Well don't be its great news. It means that we can have one last party and trash the planet big time. Like the rock bands who worked themselves up into a frenzy and smashed up the stage the only thing left for us to do is go out in style. It may take us a hundred years or so but if everyone works together we should be able to do it big time.

So sod the consequences, treat yourself to that petrol drinking car and take a few long haul flights. Leave the lights on when you go out and always use the tumble drier.

Go for it . You know you want to.

15 March, 2008

Council Tax Rip Off

Today my council tax bill arrived. It said it was posted to me on 25th Feb so its not bad that it arrived in only 19 days, the Royal Mail are getting better, but this blog is not about them.

My council tax has, like everything gone up way above the 2.4% we are expected to believe is the rate of inflation. In actual fact the bill says that I have to pay a staggering extra 5% this year to Essex Police, which is really taking the mickey as I live on the police free Island of Mersea. There was once a copper spotted on the island but he was apparently just lost.

Still this blog is not even about the total lack of policing it is about why we pay three councils for what must be the same service, or lack of.
My bill shows that I pay Essex County Council, Colchester Borough and then Mersea Town Council. But hold on one minute the other week when I phoned Colchester Borough the woman there went to great length to tell me that council tax is nothing to do with the services they provide ( or don't). I told her she was wrong and this bill proves it.

What the heck am I paying Essex County Council for that Colchester doesn't provide and there is no need at all for the Town Council who, as far as I can see, provide diddly squat for my money.

Here on Mersea Island we are about to have a Tesco store open, we already have a Spar and a Co-op so here is an idea. When you shop at Tesco remember to also go and pay for the items at the Co-op and the Spar. Well it makes about as much sense as paying three councils.

09 March, 2008


You can't help but notice that over the last few years more and more ways of keeping track of us have been springing up. For example, when you drive into Tesco's car park your number plate is read, when you drive along hundreds of roads the same thing happens and you can't walk anywhere these days without being on numerous CCTV systems.
Who is monitoring these fixed number plate readers and why.
If you so much as dare question all this surveillance you will eventually come upon someone telling you "If you have nothing to hide then what are you worried about".
I have commented on this before but recently I read an article in which the writer was quite adamant than any of us who thought we had a right to drive along a road and not be tracked, or to walk through the high street and not have someone follow us with a camera should be arrested because we must have something to hide.
This is a worrying trend and with people like this about there will be only one logical conclusion. There must be a camera in every room in every building throughout the UK. That includes your lounge, dining and bedrooms and yes of course one over your bath.
What, you don't like the idea of that. You obviously have something to hide then do you?

ID Cards

The Home Secretary is trying to tell us all how wonderful ID cards will be in the UK and being the out of touch person that she is has given details of how they will now be introduced.
The first people who will need them, she says, are those that work air side at airports. Funny but it strikes me as these are the last people who will need them because they have already had security checks and carry their own form of ID card.
Next students will be getting them, her reasoning behind this is that once students have them their parents will see how useful they are and say "hey my son has an ID card I would really like one too". Probably in the same way as a parent sees their child with spots and says "gee I must get some" or a student loan they stand no chance of ever being free of.

There are now suggestion that if you don't have an ID card you will be able to use you new style passport as identification. Hold on a minute, identification for what?
I carry my passport when as the name implies I am going to pass through a port and leave the country. I don't as a matter of routine carry it when I say, go for a walk into town or shop in Sainsburys.
Are there proposals to make me carry some form of government issued ID all the time.
Jacqui Smith is on a different planet than reality and we can only hope in time she will be moved to a more appropriate role of making coffee maybe, but I can't help but wonder how long it will be before she announces new legislation allowing police to stop me in the street and demand "VERE ARE YOUR PAPERS" and bundling me into a black van when I don't produce my passport within 10 seconds.

02 March, 2008

Anti-depressants Don't Work

We are in trouble this week, research has found that anti-depressants don't work and if that is not depressing enough there is another Labour Party conference. Just the time when about 50% of the nation need an anti-depressant.

Anti-depressants could never work, they are based on a misconception that by popping a drug, which makes chemicals in the brain do strange things, you are going to go dancing about saying how wonderful the world is, when the real problem is that something in your life has depressed the hell out of you and popping the drugs has not done diddly squat about that.

These drugs are less effective than a large glass of whiskey twice a day but are probably far more dangerous. The reason that so many people are on them is that Doctors are told they work by large companies who make fantastically huge sums of money selling them.

There is always the chance that the doctor telling you "hey these will make you feel better" might actually cheer you up, its called the placebo effect, but the actual drugs do nothing but leave the taker in a fuzzy world.

But hang on you say, there is a whole load of research (by the manufacturers) saying that these drugs do work.
Yes and there is also a conference centre full of the Labour Party politicians this week telling us how they are making the country a better place, I suppose you expect me to believe them too.

01 March, 2008

Political Sketch- More on Plastic Bags

Ok I know I have a thing about this plastic bag issue, I mean Gordon the gom is threatening to make new legislation if shops do not voluntarily stop giving out plastic bags.
This is surely a law too far even for this government.
I have to wonder what on earth he is thinking writing and saying this sort of thing on such a strange issue.

Luckily I have managed to get a small portion of the transcript of Hansards:-

Mr Speaker (MS) - The member for Croggington
Member for Croggington (MC)- Thank you, I wonder if the Prime Minister could tell the house when he thinks it will be right to withdraw our troops from being massacred for no reason in Afghanistan.
(general hurumph from the house)
MS - Order Order, The Prime Minister
P.M. - Today I have been attending meetings and in addition to my duties in the house will be seeking to draw up some more laws for the country.
MS - Prime minister we have done that bit would you like to address the issue raised but the right honorable member from Crogginton
PM - Yes, I have written to the Daily Mail and clearly shown that I see the issue of plastic bags as one of great importance to the global fight against climate change.
MC - Thank you PM but can you answer my question about Afghanistan.
PM - The issue is not about when we will withdraw from Afghanistan but rather when our troops do withdraw do they really want to come home to a country full of plastic bags. I suggest that the member for Crogginton would do better to go back and tell his constituents that the government supports M&S and will in due course force all stores to charge for plastic bags.
(General turmoil in the chamber)
MS- Prime Minister while I have to ask you to answer the question by the member from Croggington, I would like to ask one thing first. Does the PM see that charges for carrier bags will be reclaimable on expenses by members of this house and by members of their families in the due course of shopping of an official nature.
PM - Mr Speaker I can assure member of this house that any charges made for plastic carrier bags will of course be reclaimable on expenses in the same was as we propose to allow members to reclaim charges about to be implemented for rubbish collection.
MS - Thank you Prime Minister. Does the PM foresee that black bin bags will also be subject to the new carrier bag tax.
PM - In due course all plastic bags of whatever nature will be subject to this charge.
Alistair Darling - Prime Minister can you tell the house, well and me, is this new plastic bag tax to be subject to VAT and if so at what rate.
PM - In due course this new plastic bag tax will be subject to VAT at the standard rate.
MC - Prime minster, fascinating as plastic bags may be for you, could I ask you to return to the question of our troops in Afghanistan.
PM - I think that I have made my position on that matter clear, our troops want to return to a plastic bag free country.
Alistair Darling - Prime Minister I am confused, are you supporting a tax on plastic bags or their eradication.
PM - In due course I will be announcing a review of this matter.