Laying it on Thickly


Were I a senior Labour politician this weekend, much of the shame I\’d feel would be because people in my party had behaved like crooks; but a little, secret bit of it would be because they\’ve proved such incompetent crooks. We\’re not talking the Old Bailey here; not even Crown Court. We\’re talking Woking Magistrates\’ Court on a wet winter Tuesday; a shuffling line of dysfunctional miscreants in soiled shell-suits, struggling to read the oath, let alone to understand the charges against them.

Well, Quite

If we want democratic political parties, democracy should pay for them.

Absolutely so. And there\’s nothing quite so democratic as asking someone directly to open their wallet for you. If they don\’t wish to do so you don\’t get the money and you can bugger off.

We\’re Ruled By The Insane!

Britain\’s biggest retailers are planning to ask the Government to extend opening times by four hours on the last Sunday before Christmas.

Shops – except for the very smallest – are allowed to open their tills for no more than six hours on a Sunday, a law which came into force in 1994 after a long struggle by the business community.

What in fuck is the government of 60 million people doing interfering in something as minor as shop opening hours for? We can handle that ourselves.

Friday Music Competition

What is the connection between this absolutely stunning piece of political propaganda*:


And this pop classic:

??? *No, not an endorsement of the point being made, nor a rejection of it. But you\’ve got to admit it\’s a bloody good way to make the point.

Aiding an Exile

So, err, what was this programme then?

It must have been in the mid seventies, 74-77 ish. There was a kid’s drama, it must have been BBC – we were a beeb house, not an ITV house, oh, yes, there was a big difference – and I think it was a series.

It was set in industrial England, the midlands or Manc or somewhere. And something apocolyptic had happened, but it wasn’t obvious… something to do with the electricity… pylons were heavily featured… something in the same vain as the Triffids where nothing really looked different at first, except for the mad blind people all stumbling around the place and a few big pot plants.

And there was a kid who was trying to get home.

And he/she joined a group of Sikhs (at least the men in the group were eastern, bearded and be-turbanned) who were either also trying to get somewhere or trying to leave somewhere and they walked across England trying to get… there. And that’s all I remember now.

Religious Insults Competition

Media Watch is having a little competition as to who can insult religion the best. So far the winner is their own introduction to the competition:

The religion in question which has so exercised the slow-witted mullahs of Sudan is known as “Islam”, a 7th century personality cult invented by an illiterate camel trader with a penchant for warfare and pre-pubescent girls. Think of L Ron Hubbard in a tent.

State Funding of Parties

Lord McAlpine:

As for state funding of political parties, however you frame this the effect will be like pouring petrol in a living room fireplace where the fire is burning merrily. For in politics, the more money that parties have, the more money those parties will need.

That Uranium Seizure

You what?

Tests proved the powder-like substance to be 98.6 per cent uranium 235, a highly fissile isotope, indicating that it was highly processed and intended for use in a bomb.

That\’s a bit of a surprise. I wasn\’t aware that anyone ever processed material up to that isotopic purity. I would guess (and it is very much a guess) that this didn\’t in fact come from a bomb plant at all. 80% HEU is more normal for that. I would think this came from a scientific institute instead, from people actually studying the isotope.

As fo this bit:

Smugglers arrested in Slovakia this week had enough weapons-grade uranium on them to make a "dirty" bomb.

The half-kilo of material taken in raids near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday was a processed form of uranium used in nuclear weapons.

"It was enriched enough to be used in various ways for terrorist attacks," said Michal Kopcik, the vice-head of Slovak police.

Well, yes, but you don\’t actually need enriched uranium to make a dirty bomb. You don\’t need uranium at all in fact, plenty of other more easily available radioactive isotopes would do. But take a few pounds of regular uranium, not even the metal, just yellowcake, blow it up with gunpowder and you\’ll create all of the panic and concern that any other dirty bomb would create. Because that is of course what a dirty bomb would do: create panic, not in fact be directly life threatening other than the explosion itself.