Friday, June 27, 2008

Brown out, or Brownout ..?

Some of us didn't need 12 months to realise Gordon Brown was going to be really bad at the job. There is no example in modern history of a Chancellor ever doing any good as a PM - just as precious few over-promoted accountants ever manage to lead dynamic businesses through testing times. Maybe it has something to do with those obsessed by numbers and precision being acutely aware of the downside to everything, and upside of nothing?

As with all the creaking infrastructure in this overpopulated land, energy planning has been shambolic. We are now about to run out of power in the UK; so yet more fantasy-land policy is dreamed up, and this time it concerns the questionable £100bn investment in unpredictable performance wind turbines - mostly, it seems, in order to obey EU rules and regulations.

Guess who controls the industry for wind turbine manufacturing? Correct! The Germans.

But for a lot less cash we could build nuclear reactors. Oops - did I see "we"? We sold our run-down world pioneering nuclear industry some time ago, so any building is likely to be done by the French, who get 80% of their electricity from modern nuclear sources now. Or maybe we can contract Iran or North Korea to build it for us?

No wonder the Franco-Prussian empire, aka the EU, is so keen to force the carbon agenda on other EU states. While Blair, aided and abetted by Brown, spent ten years smoozing anyone and anything to do with vacuous celebrity and financial speculation, other countries were still trying to make things that create wealth, rather than just worship or manipulate it.

The Boy Cameron might find it tricky to lead with a policy of getting UK out of the EU, but he could safely promote the notion that the EU now needs to hold a referendum across the entire EU to get the people's mandate on a range of topics that have clearly become contentious.

The campaigning around such an event might actually do more to raise awareness - and even appreciation - of the core issues facing the people of the EU. Opinion polls suggest a vast majority in favour of free trade, but hardly anyone wants anything more, especially the ceaseless stream of ever more invasive social engineering initiatives.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Harridan Harperson strikes again

Just when the various sections of Gordon Brown's pantomime horse looked like it was starting to regroup for some sort of banal summer lull, off charges one of Brown's most irksome harpies and opens a new front for the terminally absurd.

As if the task of being an employer under Zanu-NewLabour hasn't got tough enough in the past 11 years, now the new proposal is that companies are told to favour female and ethnic minorities candidates for a job vacancy.

Would an employer be obliged to hire the dreaful Harriet Harperson since she is plainly "disadvantaged" in the common sense dept..?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

David Davis touches a raw nerve

Apart from deserving free life membership of TMP, David Davis has struck chords with the people that the introspective Westminster Village appears to have misheard.

The initial reaction of the febrile BBC reporters and their pet New Labour Svengalis was that DD had saved Labour by setting up a diversion was ever so slightly contradicted when the BBC's have your say News discussion site failed to produce a single message criticising DD under the "Readers' Recommended" tab.

Virtually the entire scattering of negative messages concentrated a personal attack on Davis, and not the issue. Personal abuse is a habit that Labour's paid squad of online snipers seems hard to drop, despite the Crewe election experience.

Top message is (at the time of writing):

RESPECT!

(I have never voted Tory so this is unbiased opinion.)

Mr Davies shows a high-minded, principled, self-sacrificing attitude in complete contrast to the grubby self-serving MP’s who voted yesterday to save their own skins at the price of our historic laws.


And there are many, many more in the same vein. We can only hope that the pampered occupants of that "Modern Versailles" in Westminster will notice the tumbrels gathering?

The next news to hope for would be that a brave Labour MP with a vast majority decides to "do a Davis" and resign his/her seat on a point of principle concerning Labour's cheating over the EU treaty referendum, and stand again as a Tory committed to letting the people voice their opinions. Such an outbreak of integrity, honesty and principle would spell the end of life as many of Westminster's woefully isolated occupants presently know it - and the people would love to feel that they are being taken seriously once again.

Get that knitting pattern ready.

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Don't tell him your name, Pikey!

F1 commentator Martin Brundle is in hot water with the TV thought-police for an off-the-cuff witticism concerning the association of a certain element of the itinerant community with road surfacing activities. Naturally, all manner of indignant champions of minorities are being wheeled out (mostly by the BBC, surprise) to wail and gnash their teeth at the inhumanity of it all. All in all, a handy opportunity for the chattering classes for yet more sanctimonious time wasting in the sacred name of inclusivity.

There is a reason why these terms arise in language. They tend to become a shorthand to identify a specific element of the community that the majority of the population regard as less than desirable in some way. As the term becomes recognised as pejorative or derogatory, so those so tagged are then sent a message and urged to reconsider their image, and thus encouraged back to conformity with the expectations of "normal citizens".

Some terms are considered more sinister than others, generally because they touch on a real populist nerve that the populous immediately recognise as an issue that the chattering classes pretend does not exist. Some are considered wholly innocuous and come under the heading of "banter" - for example, anyone who doesn't sound like a refugee straight from the set of East Enders or Corrie can be called a "toff" with impunity.

Now - it is precisely because we all know that we will be traced and harangued that we generally do as we are told.

The current method employed our legislators when dealing with those who choose to defy the laws that the rest of us (mostly) obey, is to allow these "less conventional" but equally important and culturally important sectors of the community, to exist outside the scope of normal identity, and assume that they can have immunity from the usual social and community responsibilities that beset the rest of us.

But there comes a point when those who value the benefits of conformity, and are weary that the police cannot be bothered with the paperwork involved when trying to charge someone with no tax, insurance, license, MOT, road fund tax, fixed abode or bank account to freeze.

The fact these folks and their apologists instantly recognise who is being identified from the use of the naughty p-word suggests that they all know precisely what it is that the rest of society thinks about their position at the less desirable and accountable fringes of that society. Is that really such a bad thing if we want to send the message that we would prefer that they did pay their dues, and accept the same standards of social responsibility as the rest of us.

Mind how you go - and remember to lock up your lawn mower!

42 days - another click on the ratchet?

Once again, a large chunk of hard won British liberty goes west in the name of anti-terror legislation.

We have seen many examples of the misuse of recently introduced draconian powers intended for "state security" now being zealously applied by the men in beards at your local council to such issues as access to your phone calls, emails, premises - and the content of your dustbin.

However, TMP must recognise that the people at large appear largely indifferent since they believe this is about banging up the suicide bombers. Would that it were: please do not confuse this 42 day rule with a firm hand on the issues of detecting and convicting terrorists.

If New Labour had not been so eagerly instrumental in creating what the rest of world derisively described as "Londonistahn", then we might not be queuing up for hours at the airport shoe inspectors, or watching the steady stream of body bags arrive at Brize Norton because we have no EU "allies" assisting in what is fast becoming our war on our terror.

Wake up and smell that bucket in the corner of your cell; and listen for the next click of the ratchet.

A real apprentice for Arkwright

The clue is in the name. The search is for an Apprentice, not a fully rounded and opinionated business executive, polished and equipped with the latest in corporate BS, ready to run Glaxo or BP. Or even for that matter, neither is it a search for an entrepreneur busting to rush out and set up a mobile sushi delivery service with a fleet of girls on roller blades.

A business victim of Sir Alan Sugar once described his management style as akin to Ronnie Barker's misanthropic Arkwright, of "Open all hours" fame. Sugar is indeed the epitome of all-seeing shop keeper with the sole concern of selling something for more than it costs, preferably before its sell-by date. And if you reckon that know him well enough after four series, that you suspect that he might be capable of turning a blind eye to one of his Apprentices "adjusting" a sell-by date if it "became necessary", then shame on you for thinking such a thing!

It is therefore probably entirely appropriate that these "robust" standards are offered to the masses who aspire to start up and operate a business in a country where such an ambition has become progressively less achievable thanks to mountains of legislation and legions of enforcers that do nothing whatever to help anyone help themselves. The harsh fact is that unless you can win the lottery, you can no longer start a business and continue to own it without cutting a few corners. And if you don't understand that, then you are indeed better off applying for one of the zillions of unproductive jobs created over the past 10 years on the public payroll as one of Gordon Brown's loyal Bin storm troopers, a CSO - or if you are really daring, maybe a HIPS evaluator.

TMP is not the least surprised that "business leaders" regularly stand up to express despair at The Apprentice for sending out the wrong messages. Yet these are the business leaders that have formed unholy alliances with New labour where mostly irrelevant legislative impositions have flooded the process of managing a business in such a way that only the big companies can afford the fleet of unproductive staff to administer the various (mostly EU inspired) rules and regulations that apply to every aspect of employment, trading and accounting.

Unlike Sir A., these business leaders are generally so far removed from the "sharp" end of their businesses that they wouldn't realise if it stabbed them in the arse. Those who object at the exposure of the prevailing corporate culture of "blame storming" and general duplicity in the workplace that most candidates bring to Sir A's boardroom would do well to consider what the various "deals" between big business and government have done to the fabric and culture of enterprise in the UK over the past 10 years. It's been just as corrosive and unhelpful as anything Harold Wilson cooked up with his beer and sandwich sessions with the Unions.

Yet in Lee McQueen we have a diamond geezer in the same mould as the original winner, Tim Campbell. McQueen is widely appreciated by those who have worked with him, and he exemplifies the "determined doer" that never made the boardroom showdown once in the series. In fact, listen to Tim and Lee and you might wonder at the remarkable similarity in their voices. (Can we please see Lee and Tim in the same room together?)

There was one grating moment in the series that TMP objected to - Sir Alan's choice of interviewers leaves a lot to be desired. If they (and their glittering array of gas guzzlers) are examples of people who have "made it" then there is no hope for nice guys. The quite extraordinarily and unnecessarily unpleasant Paul Kemsley asked McQueen to do his pterodactyl impression, and then slated him for doing as he asked. What a complete c*nt.

The best bloke won.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

At last ! It's about the economy, stupid

While those of us who had spotted the problems with the Blair/Brown vision of Britain in 1997 began to come out and declare the emperor and his chancellor to be stark buck naked, many of the glitterati and chattering classes still clung grimly on to the view that the mirage of a touchy-feely multicultural, diversity-tolerant, welfare-everywhere Britain was all we needed to go forth in an increasingly nasty, unfair, intolerant, competitive and brutal world. Never mind that just about all our innate advantages but one was being steadily overturned or overtaken: no more "free" oil/gas; agriculture and fishing industries neutered by the EU; barmy military crusades; barmy immigration tactics; hopeless housing policies; the near-destruction of parliamentary politics.

Blair has broken every toy he inherited and wasted virtually every tax he (and Broon) raised with almost nothing to show for any of it other than a vastly fatter public sector, with many pointless jobs for the boys and girls. He probably deserves to be impeached and locked up for many of his more wilfully stupid acts; however, marrying Cherie was a life sentence, so perhaps he is already suffering enough.

Perhaps top of the list of impeachable stupidity is the total neglect of power generation capacity that is at last being appreciated for the potential catastrophe that it truly is; but as long as there was that talismanic "chicken in the pot", naive voters were quite prepared to ignore the basics and leave Brown free to fritter away all (and more) of the benefits of John Major and Ken Clark's remarkable but completely forgotten last 3 years of financial recovery.

The feel good factor remained afloat on a sea of credit while inflation was suppressed by the transparency of markets as a result of the Internet and communications revolution.

All most doom mongers have ever wanted to do was to be able to drag the debate back to the core issues around the economy before it was too - but while that pot remains chicken-bearing, no one wanted to listen. It is astonishing how deaf the normally sensible British population has become as a result of the growing indifference to politics.

Perhaps we will start to hear less of the "I don't vote, I can't change anything" nonsense that has typified the Blair years. With the chickenless pot a reality, the fear is no longer one of change, but fear of no change, since the bloke in charge of the empty pot has clearly and so comprehensively lost the plot. Indeed, it becomes clearer by the day that he never actually had it; he just got very lucky indeed.

The frustration of being forced to watch the cabal of Blair's ruling minorities being allowed and encouraged to exercise their various irrelevant dogmatic prejudices while Rome burned, has been excruciating. Nicely exemplified by the bearded legions of local council Nazis and their love of the bin Gestapo.

This is no time for gentle adjustments. What we need now is a government willing to take on the big issues; David Cameron seems to be winning trust as the genuine family guy and ready to dare to say that youth crime and single parent families and working mothers might actually be connected in some way. Let's also hope he is surrounded by the necessary brutes that are needed to take apart 10 years of socialist faux-utopia, and replace it with sustainable policies and tactics - including ways to remind everyone in the UK and EU that it was the Common Market that we voted for - which was a very different thing to the Franco-German empire we now have.

Common sense is the cornerstone of the Majority Party: it should be an essential part of every policy - yet it is astonishing just how far old-fashioned common sense has been replaced by the common nonsense of the politically correct. The news that Ken Livingstone has more time to spend with his newts might have marked that tide's turn at last.

Oh yes, and that one innate advantage even Brown cannot completely squander (although he is doing his best) is the fact that we invented the English language and still have a great deal of creativity to provide within it just as the rest of the world has decided it is the de facto global lingua franca. (Please try and forget the cash being squandered to ensure that your council tax bill can be provided in Welsh, Gallic, Hindustani and 27 dialects of Arabic...)

Bring on the election before the lights go out, and stay out. Those chickens are coming home to roost anywhere but in that pot on the table.

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