Monday, 26 July 2010

An Invitation to Jeremy Hunt, MP: Boil Your Own Head

Via The Telegraph, I read these words by Jeremy Hunt, MP in regard to an "idea" to apply the license fee to those watching the BBC via their PC:

"What we have said very clearly is that we accept the principle of the licence fee which is the idea, if you like, of a household tax to fund public service broadcasting that is ring-fenced."
No, Mr Hunt, you are trying to establish a "household tax" and for that reason, I must request you go boil your own head.

If you want to remove limits preventing the BBC from establishing a charging mechanism linking a purchased TV license to the consumption of those programmes via devices other than a TV, then fine, but to use it to bootstrap in the concept of a "Household Tax"? No. No. No.

I would also say that in the interests of not appearing like a covert control freak Authoritarian, if such a license exists, it needs to not be used to identify the PC in terms of other surfing or activities. Otherwise the BBC database would be far to tempting a resource by those wishing to find out officially or unofficially who is doing what when those wishing to find out have no authority, right or warrant to do so.

An invitation to US Senator Robert Menendez; Boil Your Own Head


Dear US Senator Robert Menendez,

In light of your request that Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, Jack Straw, MP, former Justice Secretary, and Scottish Justice Secretary MacAskill, attend a US Senate hearing, I request and demand that you go boil your own head with immediate effect*.

The UK and Scotland are not answerable to your office, position, president, judiciary or nation. Should you wish to speak to our politicians on matters concerning the UK or Scotland, it is normally performed via Diplomatic Channels or, failing that, a request to visit the UK and speak directly with the offices concerned.

Your behaviour exhibits gross arrogance, unwarranted entitlement, extraterritorality and Authoritarianism. You are in the Democrat Party, so one should not be at all surprised.

* Should you not possess a pot of sufficient girth in which to boil your head, leave a comment and we can see if something might be fabricated should Harland and Wolff be willing and have a spare month or so.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Drug Decriminalisation shock response - more heads recommended for self-boiling

Nicholas Green QC, the chairman of the Bar Council for England and Wales, said it was “rational” to consider “decriminalising personal drug use”.

Quite right. Locking up an addict is going to solve what exactly? Rehab? Yes. Incarceration in an establishment with EVEN GREATER access to drugs? FAIL.

But wait!

Keith Vaz MP, chairman of the Commons' Home Affairs Committee, said: “I am shocked by the suggestion that drugs should be decriminalised for personal use.
"The legalisation of drugs would simply create the mistaken impression that these substances are not harmful, when in fact this is far from the truth.”
“The answer to the issue of drug abuse is not to merely decriminalise it. This is not the best solution for the wider public or the police.”
Shocked, I tell you! Vaz decides the public are (as) stupid (as him?) and decides to support the criminalisation of people on that basis. But never passing up the chance to keep one buttock on each side of the fence, he ends it with an arse-covering soundbite so he can later jump back on the bandwagon.
James Clappison MP, a former member of the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee, said the remarks were “not entirely a helpful contribution to the debate”.
He said: “There seems to be a very strong link between recreational drug use, leading to drug addiction leading to crime fuelled by drug addiction. I would have thought the chairman of the Bar Council would have seen that for himself.”
I suspect James Clappison, MP, thinks only words in agreement with the consensus are "helpful to the debate". Clappison forgets the far higher street cost of drugs while they are illegal, which often requires criminal activity to fund. Clappison should have seen that for himself.
Philip Davies, Conservative MP for Shipley, added: “It is a ludicrous argument to say let’s legalise drugs to take pressure off the police and the courts. That is an argument to legalise everything.”
FAIL. Philip Davies, MP is expected to legislate and revise laws on our behalf and yet he displays the critical reasoning of a wasp.
Debra Bell, a mother whose son developed severe personality changes after smoking cannabis from the age of 14 with his friends, said: “What is talking about? This will send out the wrong message to youngsters.
“There are children as young as 10 getting involved in drug use. Recreational drugs are addictive – that is why there are controlled"
Ms Bell, who now runs the “Talking About Cannabis” advice website, added: “For some adults it might not be a problem, but that is not the case for children and adolescents. It divides families.”
So alcohol being legal is "the wrong message to youngsters"? Decriminalising does not mean "please take it". In fact, while it is illegal and highly lucrative, there is a vast army of scumbags out there doing just that - pushing it onto kids. Making it legal DOES mean making it controlled. Right now, drugs are out of control the very reason being they are outlawed.

Yet again a dismal display from our elected representatives. And we allow them to VOTE on our behalf?

Burqa Ban

Simply put, a law introduced to control what women wear so as to stop others controlling what women wear is absurd and irrational.

If there is a problem with coercion, deal with it. Yet again we see the punishment of all to try and deal with the few for administrative convenience and forced collectivism. It is plainly wrongheaded, vindictive and a reaction of fear that will be counter-productive.

That said, a person is free to wear what they want, but must accept that others are free to respond (non-violently) to that wearing. If you set up a barrier, display overt separateness, then others might decide do the same in response, such as refuse to serve or refuse to interact. That is as much a free choice as is wearing a niqab or burqa. Should an employee of a company take unilateral action against the wishes of the proprietor, e.g. a barman not serving* when the Landlord has no issue, then that is a matter of contract law, not criminal law.

The only exception would be in situations where the State enforces a monopoly service under law and in such situations commonsensical arrangements should be put in place to enable access thereof.

* I know, I know.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Will the Eric Pickles Local Liberation be a Soviet One?

And by that I mean liberation from one form of dictatorship to be replaced by another.

There are some interesting words spoken by Eric Pickles in regards the change in culture in regards to Local Councils*, though his imagery of his substantial bulk coming to the rescue of people "chained to the radiator by red tape" is a bit creepy. Nightmares and cold sweats for a few, I suspect*.

The problem is it all gets rather Communitarian. Devolving power from an elected centre is good if and only if it goes to the individual or, if truly unworkable, to some form of elected local body.

"By taking powers away from bureaucrats and quangos and from me. And restoring powers to communities and elected officials." - Eric Pickles

Who are these "communities"? Who gives them authority? Who vets them? Are they elected? Who can throw them out? Is there plurality?

If you restore powers, you restore them to Individuals, who are, in truth, the "community". In fact there is no "community" unless you think of individuals. Power to the community should mean power to individuals who then decide how they, each and for their own reasons, organise by consent.

You might get two groups in a community. "Would that not cause chaos?", say some. Well, what is the alternative? A form of monopoly? That is what the State is comfortable with. Plurality seems to scare the bejeebus out of it. So is it going to be the Local Authority handing over power to its pet Community Group? One might think Central Govt would not want to be making such decisions, but this would not surprise me, for they are doing the vetting for Schools centrally, aren't they?

But wait...

"And new local housing trusts, with backing from the community, will be able to develop new homes, shops, and businesses themselves.

Really? Backing from the community? How will that happen? What if there is less than unanimous support? What if there are competing projects? I do believe we will have some form of arbiter and who is that going to be? If it is the Local Council, then nothing changes, frankly. Same old mates, "regeneration" and diversion of public money into private projects.

But I will move on an upbeat note. Eric did go on to talk about reduction in red tape and needless regulations. We do, however, need to ensure that PEPOLE are the ones who's interest is to be served by ending regulations. The last thing we want is for local councils to suggest rules and regulations that protect the community from their machinations, but in general it is a sensible and long overdue initiative. I am far more confident about that than the earlier Communitarian guff which I find, frankly, quite dangerous.

One final point I noticed:

"Putting jobs on the web - in a format anyone can re-use or re-publish - not only shows local people where their money is going.
The key here is "in a format anyone can re-use". This means there is absolutely NO REASON to build some over-priced, under-performing, wheezing website, but just a repository and an existing industry-standard API for retrieving the data. No, we do not want a new standard. No, we do not want a new protocol. Just publish as others do so aggregators can put those jobs out to the wider world.

We will then see the Guardian exposed to the realities of life, not sucking on the teat of the State via its monopoly on state sector job advertising.

Of course, we know that the Guardian believes in this sector, so it is quite at liberty to continue to publish the jobs online or in print if it wishes. Maybe it should become a true recruitment site so those who apply via the Guardian gain that publication a finders fee. I have no problems with that as long as the fee is the same for all republishers.

P.S. One final bit of disingenuous Sovereignty gap-covering from Eric:

"The HIPs which tied up the housing market.
And what about the Energy Certificate, dictated by the EU, Eric? We still need to wait for a clipboarder to perform that farcical blessing ceremony to the Great Green God. What do they think it is, Feng Shui?

* and one or two hot sweats in there for good measure, I'd wager. Each to his/her own.