Saturday, March 31, 2007

The defining characteristic

of the egregious toe-rags who constitute our governing class is their unquestioning belief that they are more capable of running your life than you are.

I do find these people so appalling that it is difficult to remember that this blog is supposed only to have occasional swearing. Fabian privately reminded me that politicians and the MSM will use any excuse to deride and ignore non-conventional sources of information. As far as UK politics is concerned, the blogsphere is clearly not yet mainstream enough and, as I am still wearing training wheels as a "foaming-at-the-mouth" nutter, I will try to keep this reasonably polite. I will probably fail.

In their time in office, New Labour, believing (honestly, even, for some small fraction of them) in that all power for good flows from the bosom of the state, have consistently ratcheted up the state's ability to interfere in your life. From smoking bans to drug czars, CCTV to the National Identity Register, Government access to Crypto Keys in RIPA Part III to "conscription by another name", these cretins want to monitor your life, private and public, and the minute you even think about deviating from their ideas of how you should behave, it's Room 101 for you.

I believe it is necessary for the government to do somethings: defence, policing and justice (not that we haven't seen an inexorable rise in private "security patrols" over the last few years, as all the police are indoors at desks filling out diversity awareness questionnaires) and a basic welfare state. (Okay - the definition of "basic", in this context, is one of these questions that removes political discussion from the list of approved dinner-table conversation topics. My opinion is that we need a less generous system than we have at moment but, far more importantly, we must minimise the combined marginal rates of taxation & benefit claw-back to provide proper incentives for people to earn more at work.) Everything else, they should keep their noses out.

There are few examples, even of bad situations, where political interference cannot be guaranteed to make things worse, at massive cost to the tax-paying public. For an apposite example see here, and this blog for endless examples of simple waste.

We have two choices - live as sheep, dependent on the benevolence of Gordon and his successors, or get rid of them and try to find another bunch who believe in minimal government. Unfortunately, I don't believe she'll be running again.

S-E

Vote, all of you, vote

Hat-tip to Tim - if you are a British citizen and have removed your domicile to somewhere not run by egregious statist cretins, you can help us who remain in this benighted land. Go here. We need your assistance.

S-E

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Behind the meme, again

This post was originally going to be called "Rise up and be a Nation again" till I realised that nearly everybody else had beaten me to much of my point. (Here, here and here, if you must know.)

Here are your orders for the 3rd of May (if you are British):
  1. Vote. It's only half an hour. People all over the world have died fighting for the right to vote - it won't kill you. And if it reduces day-time telly viewing figures a bit, so much the better.
  2. If you are not a moronic, homophobic, corrupt, faux-socialist scumbag, hold your nose (if you must - I promise you I will need to) and vote for whoever is most likely to beat these mendacious statist cretins. Even if you are somewhere where no-one sensible has a chance, vote against them - we must send them a message.
  3. As a minor exception to the point above (unless you actually are a vicious racist fuckwit), if the party you consider most likely to beat Nu-Lab are this bunch of pond-life, then consider exactly what message you are going to send and try to pick another box to cross.
  4. Wait for results
  5. Drink, shout, laugh and cheer.
Anybody but Labour. Do your bit for your country. Get rid of these shits.

S-E

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

By the Grace of Gordon

In the car with Mrs S-E at the weekend and the conversation got to the mendacious statist cunt that is likely to be our next Prime Minister. This is normally not desperately safe, as she is a far more reasonable person than I am.

However, we got to talking about his smile.



Not the honest smirk he shows when he has knifed Tony in the back again or ripped us off for another couple of billion, but the hideous grin he now puts on to try vainly to convince us that he isn't a member of the Trotskyite wing of the Presbyterian fun-police.


She had two things to say:
  • It's less believable than Michael Jackson's plastic surgery.
  • The only explanation for what it looks like is that Hazel did a Skinner test and had him wired to the mains by his testicles until he could perform on command.

If I keep encouraging her, she'll be on TerryWatch soon :)

S-E

Friday, March 23, 2007

The rule of law (or not)

The whole Baha Musa case makes me furious. Not because a man was killed. Not because the Army Prosecuting Authority brought the case to Court Martial. Not because of the seriousness of the charges. (Not even because the APA have never heard of pdfs.) Not because Corporal Payne pleaded guilty to inhumane treatment. Those all make me seeth. This makes me furious.

My apologies to NotSaussure, who blogged about it here. I did try to write this posting as a comment but I had thought I had fallen foul of Wordpress but I see my comment is up now.

Some anonymous genius wrote ( :) ):
The relevant convention is the 4th Geneva convention - Bahar Musa was a civilian not a known combatant (who would have been protected under the 1st or 3rd Conventions or, if considered outwith those, should have been handed over to the civilian legal authorities.) The enabling UK law is the International Criminal Court Act 2001 and Courts Martial can try cases under civil law in accordance with Section 70 of the Army Act 1955.

Advice, from the chain of command, that conduct contrary to (any of) the Geneva Conventions is also likely to be criminal under Article 8 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court, which specifically mentions “when committed as part of a plan or policy” and this would probably fall under 8(a)(iii). If a soldier commits such an act off their own bat, it is a crime (and can be tried and punished under the Army Act) - if there is a plan to do it, it is also a war crime. We wait to see.

So, we have waited a bit. Nothing here or here. Okay.

We, the despised British public, have been told of evidence in Court that the Army chain of command approved the illegal treatment. If the Army, or the Crown Prosecution Service, will not bring Majors Robinson and Clifton into a public forum to account for the "advice" they gave, then maybe this is a matter for the ICC? Or maybe not.

You see the Battle Group is subordinate to the Brigade, who are under the command of "Multi-National Division (South East)" - with a British commander - who are under the command of the Americans. Who are responsible for this and this and are not a State Party to the Rome Statute of the ICC.

What bets that the senior legal officer who signed off on the treatment by British troops is an un-prosecutable Yank? Wouldn't give you odds, myself.

S-E

I've lost something ...

Oh fuck. Blogging. Err, yes, used to do that, didn't I.

Bugger. Excuses ...

Work, yes, oh and "Real Life (TM)".

Back shortly (and apols to the one or two of you who haven't completely given up on me. Thanks.)

S-E

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bad fraudsters; Evil politicians

Heard vaguely on the wife's radio about the latest premium rate number fraud - people receiving SMS messages saying that they have been spotted, by the police, using their phone while driving. So they call the number, even if only to say "but I can't drive", and the fraudsters are making whoopee.

First thought was "good one, if not quite new". (Possibly driven by the fact that banks are now offering SMS services, such as balance notifications, and are also sending SMS messages to get the recalcitrant to contact their "debt management" "help"lines, the phishing gangs have been doing this, at a small scale, for some time. Premium rate pays and as a "brucie-bonus" you get their online banking authentication details. It's not too common because, even in bulk, SMS messages cost and even with VOIP and voice or dial-pad based automation, it simply doesn't scale as well as email / web scams.) Hopefully ICSTIS will get the numbers shut down shortly.

But then the second thought - with the National Identity Register, this would be entirely possible. You(r car) are caught on CCTV, the Congestion Charge monitoring cameras, a GATSO or a traffic light camera. (Or by a new variant of the "empowered citizen" or snooping bureaucrat increasingly common.) Whether or not you were the target of the picture, you are now guilty of a motoring offence. DVLA records give you up, NIR gives your contact details (including your mobile number.) With a bit of minor illiberal tinkering with the law, something this bunch of mendacious statist cretins are clearly capable of doing, the mere sending of the SMS can slam the £60 fine onto your phone bill (actually, the receipt of the SMS at your mobile service provider) and it wouldn't even take that for the 3 points to automagically appear on your licence.

I'll go to work and think happy thoughts now.

S-E

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Not quite a failure ...

I have been trying to post something rational and detailed regarding the "replacing Trident" debate, as I promised, and have been failing miserably. However, I spotted Timmy's post regarding one of the earlier (and, it must be said, more honourable) attempts of the Catholic Church to interfere in UK politics (Ed notes: I must say, it must be a terrible disappointment for the good Bishop to be just one petty vowel away from the perfect surname for a vicar!) and read this in the Scotsman.

A lot of honest moral and economic objection but I really loved this particular quote:

Osama Saeed: Scottish spokesman of the Muslim Association of Britain
"I do not trust the Prime Minister. He says Trident will be outdated in 17 years, but expert physicists say it should last 100 years. He says we need to take a decision now to develop a new system by 2024, but we're led to believe Iran could build one that would imperil us imminently."
Now, I don't trust the Prime Minister but if Osama and his "expert physicists" would like to go to sea (for a 3 month patrol) in a 100-year old submarine - I will pay for his trip down to the RN Submarine Museum and he can go out in Holland One. Okay, it is a 105 years old but the closest I could find.

In addition, he can take with him (though I'll be nowhere near it) 50 tons (1 Trident D5 worth) of 100 year old solid rocket fuel and he can pay to maintain 100 year old (built, so probably 110 year old designed computers.) Of course, this has been so cheap and easy, and that is only 64 years old. And I am sure that, although this doesn't necessarily require a new system, 100-year-old thermonuclear bombs will work just fine too (1/2 life of tritium = 12 years + the unpredictability of all of that explosive which must work timed to "shakes".)

Never mind the petty confusion between "imminent" - to project, threaten - and "immediate". Why didn't he just say that he believes the only reason for having Trident was to kill Muslims and stop inventing things?

S-E

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

A question about Iranian fanatics

Does anybody know why USA, Russia and the UK are various sizes of "Satan" in Iranian political bile? I thought that the name for the fallen Lucifer equivalent in Islamic theology was "Iblis". Or is this right and Iblis / Azazil and Satan / al-Shairan are different?

Nice to see that Allah (in what I assume was C41 BC) had the same idea as C18 Britain and sent his convicts to Australia, though. Hmm, I can see the similarity (apologies to sheilas and larrikins who live in the more hospitable parts of Down Under than the "never never" or Woop Woop.) Makes this even more amusing.

S-E

Monday, March 12, 2007

Shock News: Scots Tories are smug useless gits

It may come as a bit of a shock to denizens of this benighted socialist worker's paradise of Caledonia but there are Tories amongst you. I am one (head above parapet) and there are others about. There is even, supposedly, one representing us at Westminster but nobody has seen him for years.

Actually, that is demeaning our august presence in the (cough) glory fucking expensive waste of your and my money that is the Scottish Parliament. There are 17 amongst the vermin infesting the Holyrood debacle who, according to their website:
work for their constituents and hold the Executive to account, arguing for change and reform to our public services and standing up for Scotland.
Bollocks. What a bunch of utter (and soapless) tit-wank. These people are the biggest waste of political energy since Arthur (and don't I thank Larry and Sergey for that link.)

We also have a couple of poltroons at Brussels, Strasbourg or whichever Michelin-starred restaurant is currently being patronised. They clearly are orbiting nowhere near Planet Cameron because they claim to:
fight to bring some powers back to Scotland and Britain, arguing for a new Europe of freely trading sovereign nations.
Then show some fucking spine for once in your pathetic lives and join up here. It's the only way it is going to happen. And once it's happened, you can go and get a real job.

(Interestingly, the index page on their website is explicitly titled "Untitled Document", which says a lot about Scottish representation at the Eurocratic Federation. I am not kidding - I thought they had just failed to set the title attribute, but look at this:
< !-- InstanceBeginEditable name="doctitle" -->
<>Untitled Document< / title>
< !-- InstanceEndEditable -->
I don't presume that you write your own web-sites - you are politicians therefore you clearly haven't got real world skills - so get more competent staff. Smug euro-federalist cunts.)

Well, back to the point. Despite having fewer voting members than that other well-known bunch of weasels in a sack, the Scots Tories have fallen out with each other. On the face of it, this one called the rest of them a bunch of useless tossers (why this was news, I don't know - hardly required lengthy investigation and profound insight. Politician writes divisive memo, subsequently leaked to press ain't news either.)

If we are ever going to get these cunts out, without letting either of these two members of the Presbyterian fun-police in, the Tories are going to have to do some fairly difficult but basic things.
  • Get some sensible policies backed by hard evidence and economic fact.
  • Convince the electoral sheep that the hard lessons of the 1980's were necessary, otherwise our economy would look like this (right down to the bit about fishing.)
  • If you can't get on, keep it to yourselves. Crap like this is a gift to the Nu-Lab spin-meisters.
Remember, it is about getting people out to vote for you so you can form the next government and undo the looming economic disaster that is the legacy of Bliar (not to neglect Prudence herself), not scoring petty points off each other. You utter bunch of useless twats.

S-E

Friday, March 09, 2007

Another day, another media "disaster"

Well, yet another Tory racist. What a beautiful gift to the Trots.

Patrick Mercer's downfall has been blogged about fairly endlessly. From the political point of view, it is clear this is on a par with a typical Donald Findlay karaoke moment and he had to go. The media would have just crucified Cameron. Hopefully, DC has had a quiet chat with Patrick and said something along the lines of "Look, we know what you said was honest and not intended as racist. You are going to have to go but the media have the attention span of a gnat on acid and you are an asset to the party. You will be an asset to the next, Tory, government. Mandy came back twice, and he was a crook!"

Let me look at the realities of the situation, however. The fact is that everybody in the military, at some point in their career, gets the piss taken out of them (more on Rachel's blog.) This is generally not the witty repartee of a polite dinner party - more the snap-back gratuitous vileness of the playground or, say, Terry. Now, the overt insult can be about many things - it can be about a fuck-up you have just made, about the hideous bird you pulled last night, or about something you can do nothing about.

"Effing short-arse git", or "speccy twat" is a lot easier to deal with than "You fucking moron, you do something that effing stupid again" ... I, and I am not the tallest person in town and I wear glasses, can do nothing about either of those - therefore I, at least, find that sort of mindless insult easier to take. Often it is about whatever makes you stand out from the rest: place of birth (especially, Geordie, Scouse, Welsh, Scots, or anything seen as "posh" amongst the troops), hair-colour, as Mr Mercer pointed out or, especially with their lack of representation, ethnic origin.

There is direct racism in the military, as there is in every large organisation - political parties (of whatever hue) not excepted. This needs to be actively discouraged and, where detected, punished. Drill sergeants or training staff yelling nearly-random insults is not direct racism.

Not promoting a soldier to Company Sergeant Major because of his ethnic origin would be direct racism - but this appears to have been something that Mr Mercer was clearly not guilty of.

On a slight tangent - the "British Commonwealth Soldiers' Union". I am sure that there is direct discrimination against servicemen of foreign origin - just look at the way our government treats the gurkhas. There will also be some direct racism - the KKK incident, if true, is despicable. I suspect, however, that most of the course selection and promotion issues would be the same for, say, a foreigner serving of European ethnicity (along the "not really one of us" lines) - needs to be stamped out, certainly - but not "just cause you is black." Also, I would have pointed them here, or here or here. I seem to remember there is a harassment and bullying help-line as well, there usually is, now-a-days.

Update: Actually, there seem to be at least 3 relevant helplines (a search on "helpline bully" on www.army.mod.uk revealed) - Equal Opportunities Helpline (0800 731 4880), The Confidential Support Line (0800 731 4880) and the Army Welfare Information Service (01722 436569 or email).

S-E

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Not news in the Scotsman

Page 18 of today's 'Jock-man' has an article (not yet on web, link will be provided) "More is spent on jail fare than on army food." According to them, spend is now £1.51 per day, as opposed to £1.57 in the Scottish Prison Service and another 30p more in English jails.

This is not news. The old forces' joke about prison was "Better food, better accommodation & time off for good behaviour." Now the thing that really used to piss me and my mates off was that the MOD Police allowance for food per guard dog was also more than the Daily Messing Rate.

S-E

2-Factor Security for UK Online Banking

A wee birdy tells me that a major UK bank is nearly ready to begin (I know, lots of hedging in there - maybe it was a dunnock) rolling out its EMV card-based 2-factor solution for online banking.

This will provide strong cryptographic security that a person with the customer's card and knowledge of their password was involved in authorising the transaction - so preventing session hijacking. I got a small play with the beta version (as part of a customer usability trial) and it seemed to work reasonably well at providing you with enough information to prevent transaction hijacking (one of the difficulties here as compared to traditional challenge - response systems.) Hopefully, you will at least be given the option to use this for log-on (I do not believe that you will be required to do that.)

Of course, this provides no protection against data leakage from transactions proxied through a man-in-the-middle site or recorded by malware infection of the workstation you are using but it is a damn good start.

More when I get my kit, assuming I am in one of the "early-adopter" pools.

S-E

Truth, Justice and the "Listening Government"

Folks,

This is going to be a bit of a rambling post and will, almost certainly, be amended a number of times during the day.

First, hat-tip to Chicken Yogurt, read this and, if you think it appropriate (please), sign this.

I had been working on a post entitled "Why do they pretend to listen", about the RIPA Part III Code of Practice, since 25th Feb, but was distracted both by TerryWatch and by real work. I am fascinated by a government that spends so much time and effort on focus groups, polling (rewarded with a peerage, probably without cash changing hands :) and gimmicks, and never, ever listens to anything anybody says.



S-E

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Silence is (a rather tarnished) brass

Have been rather busy with Terry Watch and aligning a rather convoluted security policy to ISO 27001. Abnormal service will be resumed as soon as practical.

BTW - did everybody see the total lunar eclipse last night - spectacular. Mind you, reliable reports say that cloud cover (i.e. monsoon level driving rain) rather spoilt it for Glasgow & many points west.

S-E

Friday, March 02, 2007

Terry Watch

Be part of the most sarcastic political movement since the founding of "Private Eye".

Capture in one place the true glory of the "Sage of Baronscourt".

Be incisive, be bold, be plain fucking rude.

Have your comments published immediately, rather than waiting for days ...

Join the team - your country needs you.

S-E

Available in China

Let us see:

Councillor Terry Kelly - Yes
Terrywatch - Yes
Right for Scotland - Yes
Mr Eugenides - Yes
Devil's Kitchen - Censored
Me - Censored

Given the wide and varied company, and that the little Greek boy and RfS are at least as far to the right of Ghenghis as me, the question is are DK and I doing something wrong or doing something right?

S-E

This Blog is

Censored in China ... Unlike Terry.

Try yours.

So it isn't just 'cause I is hosted on Blogspot? Haven't had any Chinese readers so probably either the title or the world-wide conspiracy of Trots and fellow travellers :)

Hat tip to Tim.

S-E
 
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