No-one thinks Mugabe won says Brown

BBC NEWS | Politics | No-one thinks Mugabe won – Brown – I’m quite frankly astonished at the sheer bare-faced cheek of this, and New Labour has to try really fucking hard to astonish me these days:

“No one thinks, having seen the result at the polling stations, that President Mugabe has won this election.

“A stolen election would not be an election at all. The credibility of the democratic process depends on there being a legitimate government.

Gordon Brown

I’m sorry, but aren’t you an un-elected Prime Minister who ascended to the position without an election or electoral mandate and without any opposition from within your own party? I’m pretty fucking sure that you are. Mugabe is a horrible, horrible man, I’ll not dispute that, but you, Great Leader Brown, are the last fucking person on this planet to pass judgement on his election credentials.

You can fuck right off with your holier-than-thou speeches on democracy, frankly. What a load of old horseshit.


Record £14m fine for rail company

BBC NEWS | UK | Record £14m fine for rail company – I’m sorry, but I must’ve missed something here. Are you actually trying to tell me that a government-funded agency has fined a government-funded firm £14 million quid? Where the fuck do they expect they will get the money from to pay it? Who funds the government that funds this government-funded company, in addition to paying a portion of their rail fares directly to this government-funded company? That’s right. Most people are at least one of taxpayer and rail passenger, many are both.

There will be no penalty that might actually mean something to those responsible. Network Rail directors will not only keep their jobs but they’ll likely keep their bonuses too, safe in the knowledge that someone else will clear up their mess and bail them out of their incompetence. The entire board should be fired. That would hit them where it hurts.

I also notice that no form of compensation has been awarded to the affected passengers, who now face a £14m fine for their trouble. It’s just pointless money recycling, with suitably inflated administrative fees being creamed off where it’s deemed appropriate. Stupidity and shortsightedness compounded on top of stupidity and shortsightedness. I’ve come to expect little else from 11 years of the New Labour regime, which seems to prioritise some sort of war on common sense. The scary thing is that it’s winning it, hands-down.


New Labour lose benefit records in the post

There’s no need to post BBC News links about this, everyone already knows about it. This “data protection” government have lost the benefit records of 25,000,000 people (nearly half the population) in the post, because someone at HMRC burnt them onto a CD-ROM and sent them in the mail, unrecorded and unregistered. They’ve now gone missing and could be absolutely anywhere.

Despite the obvious stupidity of this “blunder”, Alistair Darling has made some fucking stupid statements that, in my opinion, further highlight just how much he’s in over his head with his job:

“The police tell me that they have no reason to believe that this data has found its way into the wrong hands.”

Yes, Darling, but you (they) also conversely do not have a shred of evidence to suggest that they haven’t fallen into “the wrong hands” (an ironic term when used by the government that lost the records in the first place), due to their quite obvious and undeniable “lost” status. You can’t hope that people will find that reassuring when you still don’t know where they fucking are.

Mr Darling said people should monitor their accounts “for any unusual activity”.

What, that’s your official fraud prevention measure following on from this monumental, awesome fuckup? Keep an eye on our bank statements? I’m sure glad we’ve got someone as sensible and as clued up as you in charge of our economy! Still I don’t suppose you can be any worse than your wretched fucking predecessor.

As it’s been pointed out over and over again over the past couple of days, this is the same government that wants to introduce super secure ID cards for everyone to protect us from the nasty terrorists. Who apparently will be able to just download our information off Bittorrent.

More people need to lose their jobs over this. Having some no-name in HMRC resign simply isn’t enough, no matter how senior he is. The government also need to put their house in order regarding data protection laws. The private sector face very stiff penalties if they violate the Data Protection Act, with the most serious offences potentially leading to company directors being imprisoned. I don’t imagine Alistair Darling or any of his wretched New Labour cronies visiting Strangeways any time soon. One rule for them, another for the rest of us.

I’m just glad I don’t claim any benefit (for once).


What the CWU doesn’t want you to know

_46586910_008154934-1This wretched postal strike pissed me off even before it started; my feelings on strikes and unions and all the associated irrelevant and redundant attitudes are well known. The posties are claiming the usual shit – they demand absolute and guaranteed job security and a nice fat pension, two things which the vast majority of people in this country haven’t a cat in hell’s chance of enjoying in a modern economy. But oh no, Royal Mail workers are special, just like the train drivers, and public sector workers. They deserve better!

Except they don’t. Today Royal Mail did the dirty on them (via The Daily Telegraph) and told everyone just what sort of unreasonable shit their workers demand of them on a daily basis. Ninety two points were made in total, the twelve most notable of which are as follows:

  1. Two or three hour minimum daily overtime – so if 30 minutes of actual work is required and completed, then between two and three hours’ payment is demanded.
  2. An additional allowance claimed for using particular vehicles – regardless of whether the individual has actually driven the vehicle.
  3. Automatic overtime if mail volumes reach a certain level – regardless of how many ordinary working hours remain that day.
  4. If a delivery round is finished before the end of the paid shift, the employee expects to be able to go straight home. But if it takes 10 minutes longer two to three hours’ over time is claimed.
  5. Set overtime level is claimed at Christmas, even if there is no need for any additional hours and no extra hours are worked.
  6. An additional two hour payment on Easter Saturday – regardless of whether any work required.
  7. No flexibility between different parts of the same sorting office – if an employee sorts letters for a particular postcode, they will not sort for the adjacent postcode, even though both activities are often in the same room.
  8. Signing in and out for a shift on arrival – so that no record of actual hours worked exists.
  9. Collection drivers expect overtime pay for doing collections outside usual route – even if it is done within usual working hours.
  10. Overtime to cover for an absent colleague – a full day is claimed, even if only half day needed and worked.
  11. Ban on any cross functional working, even of similar tasks under the same roof.
  12. Additional meal and grace breaks as custom and practice.

If you felt sorry for them before then I don’t see how you can now. Royal Mail, now a private company fighting for survival since it lost its cushy monopoly, should at this point be firing those on strike in blocks of 100 and rehiring from the pool of migrant workers who are only too happy to work twice as hard and for half as much. Want job security? Don’t fuck over your employer then. How is it difficult to see the logic in that?


Crossrail gets the green signal

BBC NEWS | England | London | Crossrail gets the green signal – oh look, Gordon Brown has announced funding for a major public transport project the day before the weekend that he’s tipped to decide whether or not to hold a general election, his party having previously announced it on the eves of both the 2001 and 2005 general elections. Imagine that.

Crossrail, although undoubtedly needed, is however a bit of a red herring. Most of the new route has already been built and has been in use for many decades. For the most part, the new trains will run on existing lines. The part that needs to be built, that will use up most of the £16bn, and will undoubtedly go over time and budget as all the usual suspects (consultants, New Labour cronies, etc.) jump on the gravy train is the tunnel under the centre of London. It really isn’t like they’re building a brand new east to west rail route through London, so the £16bn price tag and the planned timescale (over a decade from now) does seem a bit hefty. One has to wonder how far £16bn would go towards building one of the many shelved proposals to improve the urban motorway network in London, political correctness over climate change notwithstanding.

In any case it isn’t right that a new public transport project, which the commuting public cries out for every day of their lives as they are packed onto their sardine tins on a railway network that hasn’t seen any significant expansion since the second world war, is used as a shiny election badge. New Labour have had ten years to do something about the railway network in this country and they’ve fucked it up at every opportunity, except of course when it suits them.


School uniform ‘competition’ call

BBC NEWS | Education | School uniform ‘competition’ call – I don’t understand the problem here. Let’s remind ourselves of some basic facts regarding children, school and uniform:

  1. All children have to go to school once aged 5.
  2. Schools have compulsory school uniforms.
  3. School uniforms have to be bought and paid for by parents.

None of these three facts are new. They haven’t just been sprung upon parents by a greedy government or corporation who haven’t allowed them enough time to prepare and budget for a school uniform. Just what is the problem here? Is five years not enough to set aside some of the child benefit that’s received for each child since birth to pay for a set of clothes that is actually in real terms very cheap since the child will be wearing it for seven hours a day, five days a week? That’s what child benefit is for! It isn’t for you to spend on lottery tickets and fags, it’s for your child, since it is child benefit.

Anyone would think that today’s parents are the first generation of humans that have had to raise children. If you can’t afford to have children then don’t fucking have them. I actually completely disagree with child benefit and I think it should be abolished, indeed I think that the third and subsequent children in a family should attract a tax in order to stop rampant baby factories from dumping useless copies of themselves onto the welfare state, which is seen as a lifestyle choice these days rather than the safety net it was designed to be.

Yes, I think that schools could be a little more reasonable about where they allow school uniforms to be bought, because they really are as cheap as chips in supermarkets and I see no reason why schools should be snooty about supermarket school uniforms. Part of the point of school uniform is that it removes snobbery and competition between pupils regarding the clothes they wear to school. But that aside, school uniform has always been relatively expensive but it’s also always been something that parents plan and budget for each year. I know my parents did.


What’s so special about Madeleine?

Putting aside the enormous elephant-in-the-room questions regarding the McCanns’ failure to take adequate care of their children or ensure that a satisfactory childcare service was employed to look after them, the abduction of young Madeline McCann is obviously a terrible thing and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. But after three weeks of media saturation I’m starting to become a little weary about the whole thing after sanctimoniously being asked over and over again to “pray” for her by politicians and celebrities, especially since the odds of her actually being alive any more are slim and get slimmer by the day. What’s needed here is some perspective.

77,000 children (yes, that’s seventy-seven thousand) go missing in the UK every year (source). That’s 210 children per day and nearly nine per hour. Why has Madeleine McCann been singled out for three weeks of media saturation? What makes her special? I’m not saying that she doesn’t deserve as much attention as possible in order to maximise the chances of finding her, but why am I not seing the faces of the other 4,410 children that have gone missing in the three weeks since Madeline vanished on all front of all the newspapers and on the nightly news? Why do they not deserve the country’s support? Why isn’t David Beckham pleading with us to find them?

I’ll wager that a fair proportion of them are any number of combinations of black, poor, criminal, immigrant, orphaned, from broken homes or working class. Not nice pretty little white girls from families who can afford to go on holiday in expensive resorts in the Algarve. We must look critically at ourselves when so much money, time and effort is spent on one case at the expense of the other 76,999 this year alone.

I hope they find her, I really do. But it’s unlikely and putting her face up on big screens at football matches “to raise awareness” (as if it were even possible not to be aware of it by now) isn’t going to make it any more likely.


United they lose

BBC SPORT | Football | United they lose – quite right too, finally someone stands up and actually says “no, actually, they’re wrong”, because I am frankly sick of this country treating footballers like gods, no matter how petulant or arrogant they become.

Rio Ferdinand failed to take a drugs test, his problem, the England does NOT have the right to hold the national team hostage in order to bail him out. Playing for the national team is a privilege and most certainly not a right and yet they treat it like it’s their birthright, manipulating it however they see fit. It’s apalling.

As the author states, it may be a cynical question, but would Ferdinand have been quite so absent-minded if his appointment was for a fashion shoot or a lucrative newspaper interview? The same would probably apply to each and every member of the England squad. Actually playing football seems to be an ever diminishing part of the average day of a “professional” footballer.

Let’s just look at today’s news to see exactly what these “professionals” and “celebrities”, that get so much attention from the media and the public, actually get up to. I think you’ll agree with me when I question exactly why we should be worshipping these people on a daily basis:

Now, can someone please tell me why this “sport” is held in such high regard in this country? If you ask me, it needs to be banned, thus killing about 100 birds with the same stone. That’d give footballers something to complain about.

It is however refreshing to learn that I’m not alone in my opinions on this.

Oh, and please BBC, let’s not have another day when Rio Ferdinand’s ugly mugshot dominates the front of your news site for the WHOLE DAY. Good god, with all that’s going on in the world, all you can think of is getting maximum exposure for pictures of $CELEBRITY.

o_|/ Football.

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