Saturday, 31 October 2009

Labour Manifesto by Goat Entrails Shocker

There was a time when Heliocentricity was punishable by death, suggesting that the Monarch wasn't divine would see your head separated from your shoulders whether or not you had dandruff and the Witchfinder Pursuivant roamed the country looking for witches to drown. Okay, I admit that I got that last one from Black Adder but you know the score.

We look back at previous generations and laugh at their foolishness at believing supersticious nonsense. We justify our ridicule of the Dark Ages with the widespread acceptance that fact based rationale is probably the best way to make sense of the world.

But maybe we have not progressed as far as our smugness lets us believe.

The Home Secretary says that he has lost confidence in a Professor who has simply done his job as a scientist and that is to state the evidence and produce findings based on the evidence.

When a fact based opinion is given to politicians and their first reaction is to wonder what the Daily Mail would think we are getting into dangerous territory. If we'd followed that practice in the 1930s we'd all be speaking German.

Instead it should be the Home Secretary that people should lose confidence in. The Labour Government is persuing policy based on nothing more substantial than the magic of the Wookey Hole Witch. The Prince of Darkness is probably grasping his planchette in his left hand as he consults his ouija board before giving Adam Crozier his daily set of instructions.

Even now I suspect Gordon Brown is thumbing through to the astrology page in the Daily Mail for advice on when to call the election. I await the next Government initiative to vet asylum seekers. Chuck them in the Serpentine and if they drown they can stay. Oops. Maybe in the current climate I shouldn't be floating ideas like that?

For all Gordon Brown's alleged high IQ, he and his cabinet have only proved themselves to be more and more intellectually bankrupt as the days tick by.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Up

The excitement over Balloon Boy doesn't say so much about his family as it does about the lack of critical faculties in the general population, the quality of science teaching and decided dearth of quality of journalism.
  • An average 6 year old weights 20Kg.
  • It would take 18m3 of helium to lift him.
  • The balloon (approximating from a cylinder and cone) could only contain about 11m3 of helium.
Conclusion the balloon with a 6 year old stowaway would have stayed firmly anchored to the ground with a suffocated kid in it. The US has the press it deserves, but the FOXification of the UK media is well underway over here given the amount of time the UK news outlets including the BBC have dedicated to this obvious hoax.

...but I think I may have found a use for that helium bottle I haven't taken back yet!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Milk and Alcohol

Reading Borough Council and Reading Buses have announced the end to their great experiment of fleecing the council tax payer for political purposes.

This was a poorly thought out election gimmick by the local Labour party settled upon in 2007 to get a green scheme up and running for the 2008 local elections. I was told this over a year ago by someone who at the time of the decision was a Labour Party insider.

It wasn't cheap. Reading Borough Council paid about a £50,000 premium per bus and over £200,000 for the refuelling depot. Labour didn't even have the decency to declare it on their election expenses.

To see Tony Page, a former Chair of Reading Buses, non-Executive director at the time of the decision and a cabinet member bleat he knew nothing and was completely in the dark really does beggar belief. Is he incompetent or simply refusing to give us the full story?

The supreme irony is that it was Labour's fuel taxes that killed it.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Superman Dead

Yep. The UK's very own caped crusader has finally shown himself up to be complete charlatan. The self-styled pair of safe hands is going to flog the whole country off to balance the enormous deficit he helped create in the first place with with his genius policy for maintaining a soft touch on bankers.

This is economic vanadalism at its worst from the man who sold off Britain's gold reserves when they were at their lowest level and destroyed the pension provision of the UK in a way that even Margaret Thatcher's "Greed is Good" philosphy couldn't quite manage. I guess he thinks that if he sells it all off now at the bottom of the market then the other parties will have nothing to work with when he gets kicked out on his arse.

All we need now is for him to appoint some management consultants to oversee the sales and fleece us even more.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Pension Potty

The fruits of having an amateur in charge of their fiscal policy is beginning to come home to roost for the Tories. The nasty party still relies on hiding behind their public veneer as any conversation with their activists quickly reveals.

"Vote for Cameron. He's not Gordon Brown!" only has a certain reach and as we get closer to the election, they are having to reveal more of their manifesto and on this evidence there is not much sawdust between George Osbourne's ears.

The latest plans from their financial genius (sic) involves asking people reaching the age of 65 to hand over £8,000 for "guaranteed" long term health care.

This idea really does expose the fundamental problem with the Conservatives. They are fully geared to give to those who already have, paid for from those who have very little.

There are a major problems with the Tories' big announcement.

This is effectively a tax on retirement. It is why for decades the backbone of our welfare system has been to bank entitlements throughout one's working life as it's the time you are most likely to be able to afford to pay, ready for the times when you cannot. Duh!

Unless you already have a few shekels to rub together, this £8,000 is most likely to come out of a lump sum taken on retirement. £8,000 on current figures reduces your income from an annuity by £45 per month. Maybe not much to a Tory voter, but a hell of a lot if you are a pensioner with a meagre top up pension.

Then of course, we can see from Tory Wokingham exactly what they view as being long term health care provision as they slash services to the legal minimum.

And in terms of the real cost of health care, £8,000 is pissing in the wind. Research by Saga has revealed that the average cost of a four-year stay in a care home is currently £112,312. So who is actually going to pay to top up this guaranteed insurance for the well healed? Yep, the lower end tax payer who already shoulders an uneven burden.

Gordon Brown's legacy will be as the person who finally destroyed the pensions of millions of citizens but the Tories look to continue exactly where they left off and cannot be trusted.

There needs to be an honest debate about pensions and long term care funding, but Tory fag packet policies are not the way forward.