Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Cameron in danger of opening the gates (and wedging them open).

Cameron's proposals will enlarge government, not shrink it, I suspect.

It is one thing being lorded over by 646* professional morons , but even worse is being lorded over by 64,600 amateur morons...on your doorstep.

I do suspect that Cameron will be an unwitting stooge (if he is benign) or an out and out traitor (if willing) in handing over more authority to the Regions. Wait for it, for his army of dim-bulb no-nothing "useful idiots" will be persuaded by some Federast to move power to the Regions and let them sort it out.

He will NOT, I repeat NOT be able to relocate ANY powers WHATSOEVER from the EU machine back to the UK UNLESS he leaves the EU. He will not, so any talk is pointless.

So, Cameron is going to move power from Westminster to the Regions (I suspect), who are EU lickspittles and beholden to the Brussels coin while not moving ANY powers back to Westminster.

It will be hollowed out.

Once the process begins, the call for each region to match the Scottish, NI and Welsh Regoinal Assemblies will become incessant - all funded, look you, with OUR money! OUR money used to fund the theft of OUR sovereignty and more of OUR money.

School For Scoundrels, in fact.

What should happen first and foremost is a mass repeal of needless and/or illiberal legislation. This would include the European Communities Act, so bringing back full sovereignty to the UK. Cameron does not promise this.

In parallel, the Regional Development Agencies - Regional Government In Waiting - must be dismantled. Nobody asked for them, nobody voted them in, but local politicians love them because they provide great "career" prospects, sinecures, comfy buggins-turn posts and more committees, biscuits, junkets and unaccountable power - a metaphorical ball-pit the size of Wembley Stadium for them to play in. They will not be able to throw their toys out of the pram because we would have taken all their toys and sent the pram back to the shop. Cameron does not promise this.

Any "devolving of power" should, in the first instance, be delivered to the Individual, NOT to local councils. Cameron does not promise this.

Remember we will be removing Education and much of healthcare from their remit. Their role is mostly parks, pavements and the lighting thereof. Libraries, that sort of caper. Oh, and something very very important - care of those who are not in a position to fully exercise informed consent - the Elderly and Mentally Ill. Kids, in general, have their guardians to do that for them, btw, and that will be restored too.

Cameron has not really promised power to the people, he has just made it more likely that more people - local politicians - will have more power and so people will experience this power and at closer quarters. I am in no doubt that the vast majority of people will not like it one bit.

For all his talk of reforming Parliament, until he gets us out of the EU, that is like talking about reforming a Steam Train factory during a nationwide electrification programme outside his control.

Put the kettle on, Dave, there is a good chap.

If you want to see the restoration of Sovereignty, the re-assertion of the Rule of Law with the reduction in coercion and the increase in consent that this brings, there is only one choice - The Libertarian Party, UK.

* give or take one or two genuine sharp tools.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Sadiq Khan: A fool or a traitor?

Sadiq Khan, Minister for Community Cohesion travels to a city where only one religious group are "permitted" to enter - Mecca.

Before I go further, how Saudi Arabia is run internally is really, ultimately, the business of the Saudi people as long as it does not affect the UK or its citizens. If it wants to bar everyone but Muslims from Mecca, then that is their decision and they have responsibility for that. If the authorities want to oppress women, then they must be answerable to the eventual outcome of that oppression for, mark my words, it will not endure. If they wish to follow and promote their brand of Sunni Islam that is almost certainly intolerant of other branches, again, they must ultimately be responsible. They must also take the consequences of their actions in terms of how people regard them and speak about them.

As a Libertarian, though I reject religious control in government, social and business affairs, have contempt for the ban on everyone but Muslims going to Mecca, contempt for their treatment of Women which has turned practical advice in a dangerous environment into absolutism backed by swift and harsh enforcement, I am not a Saudi National and so I have no "rights" to control or alter that Nation, its culture, its religious practices just as Saudis and other foreign nationals have no say, no rights to control or alter my country or my behaviour. They have no rights to demand anyone support or respect their ways, either.

Sadiq Khan - cohesion, remember - is going to one of the most divisive places on Earth. Gender, religion, race, lineage. It is all there in Saudi Arabia. Writ large. He should be going to see how NOT to do things, but he is going to learn and it appears he is going there to IMPORT some of their techniques:

Speaking following the meeting, he said: "The work the (Saudi) ministry of Islamic affairs has done with mosques and imams in Saudi Arabia was revealing.

"It is interesting how the ministry team is devolving responsibility for regulation and supervision for over 70,000 mosques and ensuring that imams have a high standard of training and practice.

"We discussed how the ministry and its scholars can work with British scholars in potentially exciting ways."

Well, the US redeveloped downtown Hiroshima in "exiting ways" but I am not sure I want to have anything to do with that.

The Saudi brand of Islam has many problems for a Libertarian, not least its intent to dominate, coerce and to oppress. It is not pluralistic in the slightest. Our "Minister for Cohesion" wants to learn from THAT? Do you really think that only issues of administration or logistics will be learnt or have an influence? Is anyone THAT naive?

Sadiq Khan is opening the gates.

Man is either a traitor or a fool. Those who sent him or permitted is travelling are bigger fools and bigger traitors.

Friday, 15 May 2009

MP's Expenses: All. Bets. Are. Off.

Just a gratuitous excuse to show one of my favourite clips.

"...it's a fa'k't."

It appears now that numerous MPs have no idea about right and wrong, even when the rules are clear. They are happy to blag and bluff for personal advantage.

These MPs are meant to be our representatives, meant to create, amend or repeal our laws. To do that they need to KNOW what is right in the absence of laws or rules so that the right laws and rules can then be created. Justice and the Rule of Law should be in the very fibre of their being, written through them top to tail like Brighton Rock.

And we have reports of Shahid Malik, Justice Minister*, claiming the absolute maximum second home allowance on his constituency home. For. Three. Years. Running. Are we meant to believe that all these purchases are essential for him to perform his duties? He even used his expenses to pay his fine. Justice? It is an alien concept to him.

This man is supposed to understand what is right and what is wrong. He has proven himself to be incompetent - and that is a very polite term in this case. If he survives the day in office, it is further proof of Labour's utter contempt. Not surprised, really, considering they are chock full of Trots, Marxists and Fabians.

BTW, we now know the cost of filling a trough with food: £400pcm per snout.

* "you couldn't make it up" (sm) N. Farage.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

What if Labour voters vote Green in the EU Elections?

Just imagine if the EU suddenly had many more "Green" - a.k.a. enforced collectivist, anti-tech, anti-industry, anti-progress, anti-logic - MEPs because of the feelings of Labour supporters.

I hope the numbers are balanced by Tories voting UKIP.

If this happens, please, Nigel Farage, do not get seduced by "the dark side" you have been fighting all these years. Keep away from the teat.

Monday, 11 May 2009

"Smart" Meters: The monopolistic and Authoritarian mind of the State writ large

It is coming - the "smart" meter.

They will cost £7-10 billion and save the consumer £1bln they say. Already the argument gets dragged into if the consumer should pay or not, just as the ID card argument does*, so let us be frank here - if there is a net cost, the consumer WILL pay one way or another. They will pay by higher charges or charges that rise sooner or fall later.**

It is a sensible thing to have meters that automatically report usage to the supplier. It is about time too. Singapore was doing this when I left in 1999, a decade ago. The fact that we have devices needing to be read manually is a bit quaint. It is a bit like having a man come out to your house for your Road Tax, writing down the registration on the disc.

That aspect is not in question here. What I wish to highlight is the implementation of the additional pieces of kit and how is shows the monopolistic mindset at work, aided and abetted by a Government that only understands monopoly, coercion and Corporatism.

The intended, monopolistic path:

The energy suppliers upgrade the meters as is their want to make their operations more cost effective. Their meters have the ability to communicate with an external monitoring device using an interface that could well be proprietary. Every house will be supplied with an energy monitoring unit, regardless of if the household will pay any attention to it or not. Everyone will have to pay for it. Private companies will have responded to the tender and it is highly likely the energy companies will have signed a contract to a single supplier, or at best a very small subset of providers. The people ultimately paying for it (taxpaying energy consumers) will have no opt-out or freedom to use any alternative device or mechanism instead. At best they will have to pay twice, first for the compulsory unit and then for the unit they will actually use. If you are old enough to remember, think "GPO telephones".

What should happen in a more Libertarian world:

The energy suppliers upgrade the meters as is their want to make their operations more cost effective. Their meters have the ability to communicate with an external monitoring device using an open, fully documented interface. Private companies create dedicated monitoring units, interfaces to PCs (e.g. USB or bluetooth connections) or whatever they wish. New innovations can reach the market as soon as someone can produce it without having to convince the Energy suppliers to alter their purchasing arrangements. All these companies sell their monitoring units via the normal retail outlets creating competition between units and retailers. Cost is kept down. New innovations can appear rapidly. Each individual makes a choice on how much information they wish to see and in the form they wish to consume it. An example of how it can work is the "chip and pin" market. We have many providers all competing on price and functionality for in-store card readers. Imagine if all the banks made it a closed system and you had to take the unit made by the company that "won" the contract...

Make no mistake - most of the "brains" needed will be in the monitoring unit, not the meter itself, which only needs to have the ability to store a timeline of consumption and transmit it when requested. Such an ability will cost pennies.

The pubic is not served with the "business" model we are being presented with, just as we will not be served by up and coming ID card infrastructure, "road pricing" or other such "initiatives" that present a closed system procured centrally.

Yes, ensure standards are in place to prevent captive markets being formed and to promote transparency, but little else is needed. So with Smart Metering, so with ID cards, road pricing gizmos, education, healthcare. The list is endless but the model is roughly the same. Dismantle unnecessary monopolies. Ensure transparency and openness. Remove barriers for a plurality of providers to enter the market and compete for our custom and cash.

While we continue to have the existing LibLabCon "consensus", we will continue to be presented with a conveyor belt of monopolistic fait accompli. Money taken up front. Choice ignored and abuse of a captive market. We need to end this coercion and bring back consent. The only party that is committed to reducing coercion and promoting consent is The Libertarian Party, UK.

* personally I think Labour intends for the ID card to be funded out of general taxation. It "may as well", because the Govt. will end up letting off all those on welfare - and taxpayers have to pay those on welfare the cash to pay for the card in the first place. Why do they have the charge now? Well, one reason could be deeply psychological - making the condemned pay the executioner, a means to ram home the obedience and submission. It is also a convenient way to focus and crystallise dissent on something that will be conceded anyway. Get everyone worked up about the ID card including the charge, let the anger blow and puff, then retreat on something that is not even a true concession (see above how it will make no real difference) and take the wind out of the opposition's sails, so undermining and weakening the campaign. If you had 5million people against ID cards and 2.5m leave the campaign once charges are "dropped"***, that does an enormous amount of damage to the morale vs. a campaign that had and retained 1m supporters because the issue was never about the charge.

** This, I suspect, is not really about "climate change", though some might say it is the main visible pestering force behind it. I actually think that underneath all the posturing about "the environment" the real worry is domestic generating capacity and the ability to keep the lights on. I think energy efficiency is a good thing as it saves money and helps keep wealth inside our domestic economy, as long as it is done with individual choice and consent and does not mutate into a form of bullying by the government, e.g. letters to warn you of changes in or "excessive" usage, nagging alerts from the device itself or other such. Smart metering just opens up a whole new way for people to be pestered, monitored, tracked and controlled. Unless we have a mindset of Minarchism - achieving a small state with the view that the State is either an unnecessary evil unless each aspect can be proven to be a necessary evil - make no mistake, the State will be poised to exploit any new avenue for control and expansion that presents itself.

*** As we know but most people are constantly told not so, even by the very broadcaster who is there for OUR benefit, Joe Public, i.e. you and I, ALWAYS has to pay in the end.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Expenses: The difference between "Should" and "Could"

As we see more revelations about expenses, the world's smallest violin is hired by MPs to plead their case, how it was "within the rules" or other such excuses. Some genuine mistakes will have happened, there is no doubt about that, but the issue here is not about those genuine mistakes if they were corrected before the universal publication process began. It is about the mindset of those who claimed.

A government can do many things - it can declare war, it can decide to detain for 42 days, it can take money discovered in a search without just cause, it can arrest people using badly drafted legislation intended - if one is charitable - for entirely different purposes.

That is not the point of Government. A Government is not about what it can or could do, but what it should do.

MPs claiming their expenses are expected to only claim what they should, not what they could. Being "within the rules" does not cut it just as a Government saying that such an arrest or fine is "within the rules". We are talking beyond statutes and mere legislation, back to what is lawful, what is just. Claiming expenses for fixtures to improve the value of private property is, lets face it, theft - for right now second homes are often the MP's private property. Juggling nominal residency to enable significant claims to be made to private property is something that could be done (and was), but it should NOT have been done. It is especially damning when the status of that property is not reflected in other declarations that would otherwise have a negative impact in terms of taxation.

We have a Cabinet and a House full of MPs who cannot tell the difference between what they could do and what they should do. And they think they are worthy and capable of representing us?

We need a Government that focuses on what it should be doing - upholding Rule of Law and defending our borders. It could take from the poor so it can hand it back to the poor, but what it should be doing is not taxing the poor in the first place. A Government could aim to monitor all our communications and movements, but what it should be doing is focusing on probable cause and using warrants gained by explaining their reasons to a judge, an historic limitation upon the power of the State. A Government could seize control of almost every Hospital and School in the land and force people to pay for their upkeep under threat of imprisonment, but then it should release them to be run themselves so people can choose and experts can advise those who wish to use them.

We need a Government that knows the difference between should and could. We need a Government that knows the difference between consent and coercion. That Government is a Libertarian Party Government, the Government of Consent.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Papieren! The ID Card system draws nearer.

The trial begins in Manchester. Thankfully, a few useful idiots aside, most people do not like the idea.

Some moan about the cost and I suspect the price will be waived later to give the impression that the public are being listened to and to buy off the dim-witted.

There is a good site explaining how we have been salami-sliced and frog-boiled into this situation. Old Holborn recommends we apply for multiple ID cards and pollute the database with false information.

In a way I would rather we, as in an NGO, set up a private ID card system to maintain our identity. The database shall not be accessible without a warrant, so all those prod-nosed Council bods who are bunged a wad of tenners by some scumbag will not have access. Break the Government monopoly, that is what we should do.

I'd rather trust a company openly competing in the market for IDs, where I "lend" my data for safe keeping so it is NOT owned and cannot be a) retained if I leave the service, b) be passed on or used without my permission. The Government is convinced that we are its chattel, its property, either as a dependent voter farm or as revenue milk cows to feed the voter farms.

By setting up a parallel service, we expose the bloated cost of the State alternative and the Government agenda while not being "against" all the "uses" they openly talk about. Of course it is not the open uses, but the hidden ones that they are after. By providing a system outside their control, not procured by them, funded by revenue that does not pass through their sticky fingers and holding information not immediately available to their bureaucrats, yet still providing all the benefits to the population of an easy to carry verifiable identification card, we can out-flank them. All that will be left will be the Autocracy and surveillance.

I am quite certain that it will be almost impossible to clone or steal the ID on our system. I bet the biggest theft will be by the State!

Remember - Making OUR lives more convenient is not their game - making THEIR lives more convenient most certainly is.

All Your Identity Are Belong To Us

Jacqui Smith: Hypocrisy and Conflation

Jacqui Smith is a hypocrite. Further to her blatant display of parasitism, she now goes on to say:
"Coming to the UK is a privilege and I refuse to extend that privilege to individuals who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life. Therefore, I will not hesitate to name and shame those who foster extremist views as I want them to know that they are not welcome here.
Well, Jacqui, your fiddling and disingenuous and mealy-mouthed self-justification via the letter and not spirit of the regulations is abusing our standards and values, and undermines our way of life. Coming from a Home Secretary is obscene to start with. This is why when you pontificate as above, you just make yourself out to be a ridiculous hypocrite. Life is about what you SHOULD do, Jacqui, not what you CAN.

Jacqui then goes on to conflate "extremism", which is rather a nebulous opinion, with presumption of guilt and throws in erosion of the freedom of speech, to boot:
"The Government opposes extremism in all its forms and I am determined to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country. This is the driving force behind tighter rules on exclusions for unacceptable behaviour".
I consider New Labour's Authoritarianism as "extreme" and unacceptable behaviour, so by that definition, it needs to be excluded, no? Only when it impinges on my life must it be curbed in my view, and right now it needs to be curbed, but not "excluded" from the country. No, let them rave on, so that others may know them mad.

If these people actually commit crimes of incitement, then they need to come here first, surely? If these were murderers or rapists or actually proven guilty of conspiracy to commit outrages then I might understand their being excluded, but "potential thought crimes" are another matter.

Bigots and rabble-rousers need to be exposed, ridiculed and confronted with rational argument.

One day Jacqui or her successor may refuse the return of a UK citizen because they are an Anti-Statist "extremist", or an anti-EU "extremist". If and only if we do not bring in a Libertarian Party government, I suspect this will happen at some stage.

Alan Milburn: A keystone in Gordon's Downfall

The Spectator Coffeehouse raises the spectre of Alan Milburn.

I have long thought that Alan Milburn will be a major figure in a leadership challenge (see my comments at Iain Dale's, passim). My timing was off, as I thought he would appear when Blair stepped down, but then again it appears nobody could stomach the prospect of having a brooding Brown sitting dog-in-the-manger at the Treasury and on reflection they were probably right.

No, the Brown boil had to be lanced and the only way was to allow that big bag of pus to come to the surface. Leave it festering below the skin at the Treasury and it would just build up pressure, spread, cause untold pain and end up poisoning the blood, risking death for Labour.

Brown is now exposed and the pus is being drawn systematically to the surface. Everyone can see the huge glistening boil that is the mind of the Son of the Manse. It begs to be lanced. It NEEDS to be lanced. Gordon WANTS it to be lanced.

Brown is like Colonel Kurtz. Mad. Executing Socialism and its Authoritarian and spendthrift ways without any common decency or restraint, but begging to be put out of his misery. We need a young Captain to float up the Thames and act to terminate Gordon's command with extreme prejudice.

Clarke may be the one to get clearance for the mission, but will Milburn be the one to carry it out?

I think I will go look for a German dubbed clip of Apocalypse Now.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Guido Outlines a rescue plan for The Independent

An interesting piece over at Order Order.

Though aimed at showing what the Independent could do to keep afloat, the article contains many valid points about the state of play re national newspapers.

The newspaper industry is a dead industry walking. It is not a twenty-first century business model: slaughter half a forest of trees, pay NUJ rates for news gathering, sub-editing, laying out, employing friend’s children, transferring ink onto aforesaid trees, then pay people to work all night sending the slices of dead trees around the country in the dark on lorries. Finally when you get to the point of collecting some money, split the sales revenue with the people who take the money.

The problem with newspapers, as in the once-a-day snapshot vehicle is they blend news and opinion, they are a heavy pre-filter. Not true intermediary, but masticator and PARTIAL regurgitator.

Reuters, Hansard, Court Circular and various news release aggregators now provide the source material which is available pretty much to anyone with little up-front investment.

Blogs will provide plenty of the masticator-regurgitator-opinion function and tools are out there to collect your own "Opinion" section. You may decide who will be the very short list to offer an Editorial.

What we will see is a re-intermediation of news. The newspapers are ending as the intermediary of choice IMHO. Organisations, parties and others already form their own content aggregation websites to put forward what they see as their take, so even news ".com" sites lose their edge to some extent. I can see a scrap over copyright for a while, but it might just end up that people will begin to value the commentary, pure and simple.

One thing I do like about sites like The Devil's Kitchen and I sometimes try to do here, is the inclusion of the original piece and opinion is then expressed about it. The clear distinction between source and commentary. Newspapers currently do not make it clear where the divide is. I think it would be very nice to see raw briefing content given and an opinion expressed about it. The Web really does allow for that to be done, whereas on newsprint it would get bulky. Transparency is a good thing. Sunlight is nature's disinfectant. The more we see the raw content and the opinion, the more people can value good interpretation and see fisking of the disingenuous spin.

p.s. On a delivery note - once pixel-based e-ink sheets are available, we could well have our own A3 sized "newspapers" to read in a similar way without the small screens and other encumbrances of laptops, Kindles, eBooks etc.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Education: Anything but the obvious

Our Dear Leader is about to pronounce on education.

"Where there is significant parental dissatisfaction with the pattern of local secondary school provision and where standards across an area are too low, the local authority will be required to act. Action could mean either federation of underperforming schools with excellent schools, expansion of good schools and in some cases entirely new schools."
One would have thought that Local Authorities were always "required to act", in fact they should not even need parents to tell them, but to KNOW that their schools are patchy and many mediocre. One suspects that LEAs have had a tin ear for a very long time. Labour solution - more law, targets, monitoring instead of the simple, highly effective, self-regulating mechanism of the market, i.e stop preventing schools from being established.

By removing the barriers, new schools can be formed in areas where people feel there is a need for good schools, so bringing competition and surplus places. Surplus places will allow a bad school to be abandoned. In reality, if evidence from Sweden is to be used, bad schools shape up rather than ship out. The constant surplus of places - a concept that the State systemically cannot cope with - keeps everyone on their toes, for each knows that if they slide, they will end up with empty classrooms, no income from vouchers and a search for a new job. It also allows people to move house without the constant panic of where their kids will be go. If we have generally good or outstanding schools with surplus capacity, that concern will be significantly reduced. Right now it is a nightmare.

The Tories give the impression they want to go down this route, but they still wish to have central control. Instead of the LPUK mechanism of removing barriers, the Tories stick to their Authoritarian roots and wish for LEAs to "ask" if they can be "permitted" to open new schools and that the Tories wish to "bring in big business". The former will not work if you a) are unlucky enough to have an LEA Trotskyite Soviet and/or an LEA that realises they will lose power, control and an excuse for their massive bureaucracy or b) if the Tories decide your case is not good enough. This and the latter are both ripe for corruption and influence peddling. Damnable stuff and should be avoided like the plague.

Gordon is having none of the freedoms the LPUK wish to bring (back) in.

But Mr Brown will say that while there is a role for parents running schools where they wish to, the vast majority of parents do not want the burden of running their own school. They want world class teachers and school providers to do it for them, he will say.
OK, so because some don't want to run schools, NOBODY except the LEA is going to be permitted to do so. Where is the logic in that? It is totally non-sequitur, a three card trick. Don't waste your time trying to apply logic and reason to Gordon's stance - it is pure, unadulterated, steaming dogma. I also do not believe for one moment that "parents running schools where they wish to" will ever be permitted under Labour. I think the Daily Telegraph has misunderstood or been very kind. Lets see what the speech actually says later today.

The Prime Minister will say parent power does need strengthening in other ways. Where there is significant parental dissatisfaction with the pattern of local secondary school provision and where standards across an area are too low, the local authority will be required to act, he will tell teachers.
All this management would not be needed if you just left schools alone. Good, oversubscribed, schools would tend to push to expand themselves naturally. Under-performing schools would federate or link up to learn how to improve or, possibly, be taken over by neighbouring schools. Stop preventing new schools from being founded and they will be founded. It does NOT need the LEA or "some pronouncement by Him" to "make it so". Control, insecurity, vanity. It is all there.

This fumbling, unresponsive, decades late realisation of what to do about our schools is a classic example of why the State should not be in the job of education provision. This move seems to have the sole purpose of trying to lance the boil of dissatisfaction without dealing with the underlying causes. No delivery except to reduce the attractiveness of voting Tory - or is that "not voting Labour". The latter, methinks. It is pure politics, cynical.

The Tories and Labour do not have the right answers. They are both too Authoritarian and appear incapable of trusting the professionals in the Teaching profession - mainly Heads - or the common sense and "bush telegraph" of parents to sniff out the good and the bad.

The LPUK alone in understands that Heads and parents are the best agents in forming a world-class educational system. It is irrational to think one can form a perfect system with no errors or gaps by central control, tendering out or a GOSPLAN. Such a system will be slow to respond, subject to political dogma, open to corruption and highly likely to be wrong on far too many occasions, with no easy way out for parents. In contrast, the LPUK proposals will enable parents to have a good opportunity to bypass any localised flaws, for there is no compulsion, no monopoly and no central point of failure.

DECLARATION OF INTEREST: I am a parent. I am looking for a good school. Good schools are like hen's teeth. I have considered Surrey over the last few weeks and so I did a survey of all the primary schools in Surrey and went through all the OFSTED reports. Some excellent schools but, depressingly, far too many "satisfactory" schools, where you can see the only reason they are so is that nothing was seen to warrant unsatisfactory. That, to me, is not good enough. Not even CLOSE.

In pretty much every case of an outstanding school, the Head was the bedrock, the well from which the culture was drawn. This to me this is clear evidence that the LEA is not really critical in the quality of the school. If Surrey has a bad LEA, why as many outstanding schools? If Surrey has a good LEA, why so many mediocre schools? No, the LEA is not the deciding factor, so why should it have the A, as in "Authority" in its name?

LEAs might consider becoming LEDs - Local Education Departments - to advise schools should the schools wish to make use of their services. The LED should be entirely funded by those schools who wish to use its services while other companies or voluntary school collectives/mutuals should not be prevented from setting up and providing central administration or other functions if they wish. If the LED is doing a good job and providing value, then great. If it is not, then either shape up or ship out. If the LEA better consider it long and hard under the LPUK, for the alternative is oblivion.

Karen Matthews: I only miss shopping and sex

Roger suspects that SM has access to Sky. 24/7.