Friday, 27 January 2012


Just a thought:

Who, in their right mind, would come up with a pair of 'mascots' for the Olympic and Paralympic Games which were stub-legged, short-armed and one-eyed?

The one on the right looks as though he's wet himself.

Not, surely, the image one is trying to project.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Oh No It Won't

"The last sigh of liberty will be heaved by an Englishman"

Montesquieu, in 1749

Janice Mason owns a house in Walthamstow, East London, which had been her childhood home and she was about to sell. She suddenly discovers that it is occupied by a family of Moldovan squatters — four adults and four children — who have changed the locks.
The police say they are powerless to intervene, because squatting is a civil, not a criminal matter.
Mrs Mason therefore faces a huge bill for securing these people’s eviction.
Yet any of us can see the injustice of her being obliged to pay a penny to get back her own property.

Mr Mason took this picture as police quizzed the squatters in the £250,000 three-bedroom house, but they say there is nothing they can do to force them out
In a properly ordered society, the Moldovans would be summarily removed by the police as soon as it is plain they have no legal title.
Beyond that, since the squatters have breached the code of behaviour we should expect to be observed by all newcomers here, they should be marched smartly aboard a plane back to Moldova. However, nothing of the kind will happen, of course.
Mrs Mason will pay one set of lawyers to get her unwelcome interlopers removed, if she is lucky. Another set, who parade themselves as crusaders, will leap to the Moldovans’ defence, their fees paid by us.
(Max Hastings, Mail Online)

For a moment, Idle imagines himself as Prime Minister:
PM Idle (for it is HE): This should be against the law.
SPAD: It is, Sir (!), but it's civil, not criminal.
PM Idle (to staffer): Hargreaves, find out what the usual lefty liberal objections are to making squatting a criminal offence.
Hargreaves: Yes Sir.
PM Idle (to SPAD): You have a month - then I want to see draft legislation to deal with this.
SPAD: The BBC will hate this.
PM Idle: Hmmm. Patten, Thompson, Humphrys, those 'comedians' from Radio 4...... round them up. Then kill them.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

One-Way Ticket on the Oblivion Express

HS2 train
I read over at the estimable that the rough cost of creating a new $35,000 pa job in America (via the endless trillions of stimulus) is $235,000. The economics of the madhouse? Not necessarily; economic growth is about optimism more than anything and if the US is now back onto a sustainable growth path, so be it.

For a real madhouse decision, stay closer to home, and prepare for it next week. Cameron, despite being a classic home counties squire by upbringing, is going to give the go ahead for an unfeasibly expensive railway line to Birmingham, cutting through fine English countryside, making hundreds of square miles of it un-huntable. And for what? Jobs? Not many. GDP? Minimal impact. Crucial infrastructure development? Hardly. Time-saving necessity? 20 minutes, at HUGE cost per minute per punter; so huge, in fact, that the minimum ticket price for a one-way ticket on the Great White Elephant Line (trademark, Idle) looks like being £80 (in today's money) when the thing finally gets rolling. This is, in other words, a line for people travelling on expenses - businessmen and public servants. Or the carelessly rich. All of whom, obviously, have smartphones and tablets at their disposal to work in transit. The pro-HS2 lobby, unsurprisingly, provide their cost/benefit analysis on the basis that time spent on a train is time wasted. This isn't so much stupid as plainly dishonest. As for improving the Midlands and Northern economies.... how? High speed trains don't build cars or widgets or train hairdressers or teach Mandarin. All they do is allow professional types to whizz up from London a few minutes quicker. It may even be actively harmful to Midlands service industries.

We are talking £30bn here. And who amongst us doesn't believe it will be subject to MASSIVE cost overruns and delays? The mind boggles. I'd even wager that the majority of the ditchdiggers and line layers will be foreign workers, thankful for work from the bottomless pocket of the dear old UK taxpayer.

If Cameron wants to spend £30bn-£50bn on trains, let him take the mainline services back into public ownership, provide more trains and better signalling, and above all subsidise ticket prices so that mass railway travel takes more cars off the road. Railway travel for ALL, in other words, rather than this idiotic grand projet which will benefit few and hang around his neck like an albatross until the day he dies.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


Paul Edward ADAMSON
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, E!Sharp, Brussels. For services to promoting the European Union
I don't mean to be personal; for all I know Mr Adamson is a top man, kind to others, self-effacing and charitably minded. But what in the name of all that is holy is the world coming to when we award gongs to people doing this kind of 'work'?
All I can say is that he's not exactly hitting the bulls eye with this, is he? The EU is less popular than ever before in this country, and if he is being honoured by the British government for promoting the EU to the Europeans...... why? Let the scoundrels in Brussels strike a medal and pay for the insignia and scrolls out of their slush funds, rather than asking the poor bloody UK tax payer to cough.
Oh, and further to my last post, did you see a nice little dividend being paid up front to the Olympic panjandrums? TWO knighthoods, if you don't mind. One to someone called Allen and another to a poor fellow called Armitt. I know what we would have called HIM at prep school.
Thanks to the loyal commenters on the last post. I'll keep you posted on Somerset trips, Lil & Elby.