Greetings from Worth in West Sussex. The church is 5 minutes from our house. Pic taken by Mrs P in 2010
David Cameron & Nicky Morgan’s Plan To Unleash Legions Of Ofsted Snoopers To Spy On Your Children’s Clubs & Groups
Yep-those UK Jewish/Mormon/Hindu/Christian/Sikh/Buddhist youth groups are all “radicalising” young terrorists….
Ofsted inspectors could be sent into Sunday schools, church youth groups, Scout troops and even bell ringing circles to search for signs of children being “radicalised” under new counter-extremism plans, church leaders and voluntary groups fear. The proposals, backed by David Cameron, could lead to thousands of “out-of-school education settings” having to be formally registered for the first time and facing inspections to judge whether they are promoting so-called “British values”.
That’s right – David Cameron and Secretary of Education Nicky Morgan are both pimping this grand plan to recruit legions of snoopers to sit in on your daughter’s ballet class or your son’s football squad training in case they are being given lessons to construct a clock bomb or a suicide vest;
It’s the current buzzword on the lips of the great and the good. In walks a perfectly normal teenager, ears glued to ipod with that global look of adolescent sullenness. Teacher/coach/instructor mouths a few magic word, waves a wand and same teenager straightens up, dons a burka or bomb vest and is ready to hit the street to kill and maim a posse of non believers – then up stands Mr/Ms Ofsted Snooper, shoves a list of “British Values” in the teenagers face and – bingo – he/she reverts back into obnoxious acne scarred youthdom.
Well, that’s what Nicky Morgan thinks will work…
Before 1933 Germany was a nation full of clubs and groups for young and old…hobbyists, athletes, petlovers, drinkers, the lot. Within two years the Nazis had subsumed them all under the NSDAP umbrella. Nazi eyes and ears made certain that every one of those groups conformed to Hitler’s worldview and the individualistic and the eccentric were smothered under a blanket of brown mediocrity. The same happened in the old Soviet Union and those counti
These Cameron/Morgan proposals are exactly the same. Because our rulers are so terrified of focusing on the one community where a minority of fanatics are eager to recruit new agents to break our bones and bodies in order to bend us to their will they have to go through this charade of tarring us all with the same brush.
And they have the nerve to call Trump a fascist?
Give me strength….
Can’t connect to a Wi-Fi network from Amazon Fire TV device even though you have entered your network code fifteen times and you are about to take out the Firestick and flush it down the toilet?
Make yourself a large gin & tonic with plenty of ice
Take a few sips and relax……
Pick up the firestick remote
Press SELECT and PLAY at the same time and hold down for at least five seconds
Enjoy the show as you seamlessly connect……
It was one of those free seminars organised in a hotel by a pair of spivs financial advisors who desperately wanted us to invest our spare cash and mortgage our future via a crap financial product (aka “golden opportunity”) that gave minimal return but carried eye watering charges. Still there was free wine and a few nibbles so what the hell…
As the pinstripe suited spivs droned on the combined effect of central heating and generous helpings of cheap plonk began to drift me towards the arms of Lethe. As my eyelids drooped I caught the phrase “diversify your portfolio” wafting over me from spiv #2 – then woke with a start at the sound of a different voice
It was Mr Geezer. That was not his real name…. he was Mick…or was it Vic…or maybe Rick? Anyway, before the meeting began he told the rest of us he was “something in Door Furniture” and could obviously solve all our hinge or letterbox problems with one sweep of a cordless drill and a few screws in conjunction with his loud Croydon accent and full frontal verbal assault.
“Yeah – diversify. That’s what I’m gonna do when I’ve saturated the Coulsdon/Purley door furniture market…leaving the boy to deal with that while I build up Garden Lighting”
By now spiv #2 was eager to get back into once in a lifetime investment plans but the global ambitions of Mr Geezer sparked our interest – probably in the same way as King Ferdinand’s attention was caught in the middle of Christopher Columbus’s pitch about the westward route to the Spice Islands.
“But isn’t Garden Lighting a bit of a jump from Door Furniture” inquired some timid soul (clearly frightened of falling off the edge of the world)
“Nah” said Mr G with a note of contempt “if Richard Branson can make a fortune in pickle and then set up an airline what’s to worry about?”
None of us had the heart….
439,478 British citizens recently signed a petition asking David Cameron and his government to “stop all immigration and close the UK borders until ISIS is defeated”
This was the government’s response….
The UK government will not close Britain’s borders. It will ensure access for legitimate travellers and trade whilst operating its borders securely to protect the public from the threat of terrorism.
The UK government has no intention of closing Britain’s borders, as this would create more problems than it would solve. The UK remains ‘open for business’ for legitimate travellers and trade. However, we continue to operate our borders securely and to enforce our immigration laws. This includes carrying out 100% checks on arriving passengers in order to identify any criminal, security and immigration concerns. Given recent events in Paris, Border Force has intensified checks on people, goods and vehicles entering the UK from the near continent and elsewhere, undertaking additional and targeted security checks against passengers and vehicles travelling to France via both maritime and rail ports and a number of airports across the country.
Phew…that’s a relief….makes it sound as if our borders are like this
But then you read this
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimate that in 2014, 8.3 million people living in the UK were born abroad, around 13% of the total population of the UK. Of these, 3 million were from countries now in the European Union and 5.3 million were from non-EU countries.
…and you realise our borders are really like this…
Lin Homer, Chief Executive of HMRC since 2012, is back in the news. It appears that we, her employers, are being unreasonable in expecting good customer service.
The boss of crisis-hit HMRC has urged taxpayers to contact them online rather than by phone to avoid huge waits.
Lin Homer apologised for her department’s ‘poor service’, but said she would respond failures by telling people to go online instead of boosting the number of call centre staff so people can get through by telephone.
It follows the admission that just half of calls to HM Revenue & Customs were answered between April and June, with some having to wait three quarters of an hour.
But then since 2005 Mrs Homer has frequently been accused of alleged incompetence in a variety of taxpayer funded roles
Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council 2002-2005
In 2005, Homer was criticised by the Election Commissioner for failings in her role as returning officer during a postal vote-rigging scandal in Birmingham in 2005
The petitioners also accused the city’s returning officer and chief executive Lin Homer of failing to discharge her duties in accordance with electoral law.
Judge Mawrey said that Ms Homer “threw the rule book out of the window” to deal with overwhelming numbers of postal vote application forms received.
He also said fraud in the city ‘would have disgraced a banana republic’. He described Mrs Homer’s decision to allow postal ballot papers to be transported to the count in shopping bags as ‘the direst folly’.
Head of Immigration Service 2005-2011
She was then chosen by the Home Office to run what was then called the Immigration and Nationality Directorate – this time on £200,000, plus bonuses.
Already in chaos, it was on her watch in 2006 that we learned of the mistaken release of 1,000 foreign criminals. It later emerged some 450,000 asylum cases had not been dealt with but left in boxes at the Home Office. The new UKBA was meant to clear up the mess, and Mrs Homer became its first chief executive, on an astonishing £208,000 a year. But among a fresh run of scandals was the revelation that nearly 400 of the 1,000 foreign prisoners were told they could stay in Britain and dozens remained untraced.
2011 Chief of Dept for Transport
Mrs Homer was the Permanent Secretary at the DfT throughout 2011 when details of the new rail franchise business model were being thrashed out.
She was named by Sir Richard Branson last month as one of a handful of officials at the department whom his Virgin Rail team met during 2011 to voice concerns over the bid process.
Those concerns were ignored, said the rail boss whose warnings proved correct last week when the Government U-turned on its decision to award the lucrative franchise to his rival First Group due to an alleged catastrophic business model error.
The mistake is estimated to cost taxpayers £100million and the DfT has now been labelled “not fit for purpose”.
Her record of apparently gliding through disaster after disaster with immunity has not gone unobserved
Douglas Carswell MP (UKIP) “We seem to be governed by a clique of mandarins who bounce from one highly remunerated job in Whitehall to another and there doesn’t seem to be any proper democratic scrutiny as to whether they’ve done a good job in one role before they get the next one.”
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance “The public bodies for which Lin Homer has worked all appear to have been plagued by problems and left taxpayers paying the price of failure.
You’ve missed the point, gentlemen. In 21st century Britain if you are in government or politics, unlike almost any other aspect of life, incompetence is rewarded.
After all, it’s only taxpayers money, isn’t it….and at the moment Lin Homer is collecting it….
Pic h/t: This Is Money
Wow – such a storm over a woman crossing and uncrossing her legs during a TV interview…
A woman politician has created a storm of anger for describing a new government official as a ‘cocky little £93k madam crossing her legs Sharon Stone-style’. Former mayoress Ruth Price, 56, hit out watching deputy police and crime commissioner Sophie Howe giving a TV interview
Ruth Price’s remarks cause the sort of twitterstorm so beloved of the Daily Mail because itmeans some cheap hack can stay in the office and cut and paste tweets without having to expend any shoeleather. But, oddly enough, nobody seemed to be too bothered about her new job – funded by the taxpayer at a rate of £93,000 per annum.
Ms Howe, 38, was on a programme talking about her new government role as the future generations commissioner for Wales.
Apparently the role of the Future Generations Commissioner is to make sure ministers’ actions are made with sustainability and the long-term interests of Wales in mind because, apparently “Planning for future generations requires a real capacity for making things happen across a wide range of policy areas, agencies and institutions”
There has been some concern that Ms Howe is a bit of a Labour Party insider and might therefore be unwilling to criticise a Welsh Labour government
She was a Labour political appointee to the role of deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and also previously worked as a Special Advisor to a Minister as well as being a failed Labour parliamentary candidate. In fact, if you look at her biography it is clear that she has followed the classical modern route of working as a political hack since leaving university.
Sounds just the ideal person to take over a taxpayer funded non job paying £93k which will mainly involve shuffling bits of paper, sending out meaningless memos and fancy declarations while sitting on platforms crossing and uncrossing her legs.
Just fancy – we thought the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was just a figment of someone’s colourful imagination…but then he wasn’t paid from money taken out of our pockets by the government….
Well the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Britain certainly provided an opportunity for some stern finger wagging by a bunch of people who sometimes gave the impression that the sun has not yet set on the British Empire. They were determined to imply that there were still one or two things that Johnny Foreigner could learn so that he could become a decent chap.
….for too many in the UK, our burgeoning relationship with China is not an economic opportunity. It’s a moralising opportunity, a chance to spruce up Britain’s long-faded sense of imperial superiority, a chance to puff their pigeon chests out and reprimand China with a ‘look here, old boy, this human-rights stuff is just not on’. The political and media focus has not been on the benefits – economic and, yes, non-economic – of China’s largesse; it’s been on Britain’s sense of itself, its role in the world, its do-gooding obligations.
Jeremy Corbyn got in on the act, of course, needing to tell the President, face to face, that things in China were still, simply not good enough. Rather strange for someone of Corbyn’s age and political lineage to follow that path, however, since it was his generation on the late 60s and 70s who were waving little red books and wearing Mao suits. They watched Felix Greene’s rosy hued documentaries describing a workers paradise and wanted the same thing here and now in Britain (conveniently ignoring the mass murders, the labour camps and engineered famines and the sheer bloody incompetence of the communist regime.)
So what changed to turn China into a pariah state for the left?
The party retained its political grip on government – but the economy was privatised. Wages rose, standards of living improved by leaps and bounds and China became…prosperous and therefore, in the eyes of the left, a bit dirty….
Hence the need for a few lectures to President Xi Jinping which seemed to me a tad tiresome. I was beginning to believe that I was the only one who thought that all this China bashing was just the standard moralising cant beloved of those who get a buzz from gesture politics. How dare the Chinese transform themselves from economic basket case to business super power in just one generation without the aid of Bob Geldof and a whole regiment of concerned bleeding heart NGOs.
But then I read this
“But the problem with using a ‘distasteful foreign regime’, and endlessly citing China’s ‘appalling human-rights record’, in order to demonstrate and claw back some ersatz moral superiority, some specious sense of national, global purpose, is that it necessarily entails demonising China. It rests on the creation of an evil-doing other, a China that needs to be corrected by its moral betters. Today’s China-bashers pay lip service to the development that has dragged nearly half-a-billion Chinese out of poverty, that has transformed billions of lives, that has laid the foundations for an increasingly prosperous future. But it’s just that – lip service. Their main concern is to use China to boost Britain’s long-flagging sense of purpose, to affirm some vague moral role that Britain supposedly plays on the world stage.”
Good stuff indeed from Tim Black at Spiked! Yet there is something else about all this fuss which I find jarring. The more one thinks about it isn’t there a tinge of racism in all this… posturing? Fu Manchu. the “Yellow Peril” and all that? Anger that even the saintly Jeremy was forced to wear a white tie and hobnob with a bunch of “feudal relics” in order to pleasure a latter day Genghis Khan….and his wife!!!! For once the readers of the Telegraph and the Guardian were spluttering with rage into their porridge/muesli over this humiliation.
It’s as if the inscrutable Chinese have changed the script. Non Europeans have a place in the chattering class scheme of things. They must be seen as “victims” who showbiz celebs tell us we need to help by digging deep into our pockets. But the Chinese have turned the table. They are coming to us with money to invest.
They have made the biggest mistake of all.
They have become…..uppity….
Celebs pimping their latest book, film, album, play or tour on TV chat shows….
It’s as inevitable as a starving public sector worker sobbing over Tory “cuts” in a BBCQT audience – or the presence of some unfunny left wing privately educated “comedian” on HIGNFY.
The reasoning is quite straightforward, of course. It’s a relatively cheap format and certainly not labour intensive. Most of the preparatory planning is driven by publicists, agents and PR drones hustling for a bit of action. The set, once constructed, can be wheeled out time and time again and you can bet your boots that there will be zero tension filled moments. The stage will be swirling with ersatz bonhomie, fixed smiles and false laughter and the celeb will be treated as a veritable genius of comedy or music or whatever.
It’s Polyfilla TV, padding out premium broadcasting space and making life simpler for the schedulers..hence the ubiquitous presence of chat shows on every channel….but especially the BBC.
And it’s the Beeb which must provide us with a particular problem. Over the weeks the celebs tramp though BBC Breakfast, The One Show, Graham Norton and several others all with something to sell. Tickets, books – they are marketing a product, they are ADVERTISING…..
Such a dirty word on the advert free Beeb – yet their publicist or the studio or the record company or the publisher are plumping these celebs in front of the cameras and onto our screens to make money. What’s more, with their appearance fees the celebs are being paid to encourage us to buy more stuff – paid out of the poll tax levy taken out of our pockets and pursed via the TV licence fee.
No wonder they’re all grinning like imbeciles and slapping each other on the back – it’s trebles all round courtesy of the taxpayer.
So here’s a suggestion to balance the scales just a little. From the moment the chat show airs all payments to the celeb from sales of tickets, records, book etc. should be taxed at, say, 5% and, at the end of the financial year, the total should be re-distributed to TV licence payers as a bonus for putting up with these self-important grinning morons for another year….
The kids will keep the Red Flag flying….
Mr Corbyn will thrive, his supporters say, thanks to new support from disaffected young people, and non-voters. “What we have is a huge number of young people, very enthusiastic and brimming with ideas,” he told the BBC during Labour’s leadership campaign.
Here we go again – the perennial myth of millions of “young people” on fire with radical leftie ideas, suddenly leaping into the streets inspired by a superannuated beardie from a wealthy family who has never had a real job in his life.
Corbyn is the most recent of a line of PR puffed celebs who have been proclaimed heroes of “yoof” by a bunch of 40 something media hacks who still like to think they are down in the street with the kids….or should it be kidz?
Billy Bragg was the classic example. A marginally successful folk/rock leftie in the 80s he was for years adopted as a mascot by the Beeb, often the first port of call for a “yoof” soundbite.
Naturally these quotes were almost always fierce denunciations of the “Thatcher Regime”, grist to the mill for the Oxbridge middle class radish revolutionaries who filled the BBC corridors and studios, imagining it to be a reincarnation of the battleship Potemkin.
The tirades kept on coming and the demos marched down the streets with camera friendly placards – and the Tories kept on winning elections.
Fact is Bragg and the other “yoof” voices only ever spoke for a small segment of the art college/student union gesture politics brigade. They certainly had zilch impact on the kids in the bog standard comps where I taught in the 70s/80s/90s. Indeed, digging down into the world view of the those young people the majority were very conservative in their views. For all their surface bluster they tended to be big on family, recognised the value of getting a job, had fairly harsh views on what should be done to criminals and were modestly patriotic.
More recently the rather farcical “Occupy” manifestation, oddly described as a “movement” by a slow news day media, was essentially a piece of performing art casted by a coalition of postgrad students, charity interns/professionals and benefit financed fulltime protesters. The voices were almost all middle class and there were few, if any, who appeared to be from the ranks of the proletariat (too busy working, maybe?)
“Yoof” protest stories are almost always classic examples of over egging the pudding by media hacks who need to pad out a few square inches to justify their expenses and the “Young Corbynista” is yet another chimera produced by thei fevered imaginations.