Today Tony Blair will defend his record on the NHS. The great improvements he uses to justify his record will actually be the usual farrago of lies and misrepresentations.
Consider for example the “thousands of new nurses” recruited.
I spoke to my friend who runs a key nursing department for a mid – sized NHS Trust. She told me “A few years ago we had to fight to get a new nursing position allocated. Now there are many positions allocated but the recruitment process is so long winded and bureaucratic most applicants have lost interest by the time we can make them an offer. When we get turned down we have to go through the whole loop again. I have just filled a position after two years trying to recruit.”
Blair will proclaim as another great advance the empowerment of patients through choice.
Patients are not empowered by choice of course because we are not equipped with the medical knowledge to make the choices. We rely on the advice of NHS professionals. Given a real choice I think most of us would prefer that advice to come from doctors and nurses rather than accounting professionals.
Improvements in efficiency wil be backed up with the usual barrage of statistics but has efficiency really improved or is it just more smoke and mirrors. Do you improve service provision by hamstringing the service providers? Check out this screwball accountancy.
An NHS unit that overspends its budget in a financial year will have its budget for the following year cut by the amount it has overspent. Nobody looks for causes of the overspend, a surge in demand maybe, or repairs to property and replacement of equipment. Only the bottom line is looked at.
The introduction of an internal market in the NHS by the Thatcher government was a disaster but that has been exacerbated by the introduction of privatisation by stealth and Labours ingrained control freakery.
When the lunatics were running the asylum things were bad but they are ten times worse now the bean counters are in charge.
After Blair’s confession that his policies to deal with anti – social behaviour have failed comes another example of stupidity beyond reason.
A replica ?Viking longhouse at Penwortham near Preston has been torn down and burned by vandals who went to considerable lengths to break into the site.
The Longhouse, used by schools in the area was built and maintained by volunteers, ordinary people who gave time and money. So the destruction was not in any way a rebellion against authority but simply an example of yobbish misanthropy.
To eradicate this attitude will take more than Blair’s dubious contrition. We need an abandonment of the poolitics of self interest which have governed us for almost three decades and a new commitment to the ideals of public service.
There will always be a moron element in society but we can marginalise that kind of mentality.
Alcohol Concern, a charity that could also go by the name of imbeciles anonymous has come up with a plan to penalise parents of children who drink booze while under fifteen.
Do they suppose parents can follow their eleven to fourteen year olds around all the time to make sure they don’t get their hands on alcopops.
As usual it is commdercial interests and do – gooders that are to blame, commercial interests for allowing advertizing aimed at the young and do – gooders for giving alcohol a veneer of glamour by demonising it.
We can’t stop people from being young but we can stop nthe brainwashing of young people.
Parents who have an enlightened attitude to alcohol can instil into their children an immunity to peer pressure but that is all too easily undone by media campaigns.
It is becoming obvious the behind-the-scenes operators of the The National Socialist Party of Great Britain aka New Labour will go to any lengths to prevent there being a leadership contest. Gordon Brown will succeed Tony Blair as Prime Minister by proclamation.
So the party that has broken laws, attacked civil liberties and abandoned ethics in its enthusiasm for bringing competition to areas of public service such as education, health and prisons is not quite so keen on competition in its own backyard.
Could this be because the “competition” between PFI contractors is rigged to achieve the results Labour’s Corporate paymasters want wheras attempts to manipulate events where an intelligent and politically aware grassroots movement is involved cannot promise a guaranteed outcome.
The reign of Emperor Blair draws to a close.
This blog has been far from alone in suggesting that our two main political parties share a fear and loathing of the democratic process and hold the electorate in utter contempt.
Blair has of course gone further than any previous Prime Minister in his efforts to undermine the authority of Paliament and to bypass the democratic process. But he is still determined to go one step further in making us all slaves to a faceless bureaucracy.
Do you remember the European Constitution that was so emphatically rejected by the French and Dutch, saving us the expense of a referendum which would have certainly gone overwhelmingly against the “Yes” camp?
Well the EU Constitution is back on the agenda and Blair, in league with other neo – fascists is trying to sneak it through without the member states needing to seek the approval of their electorates.
Constitution – lite is being pushed by Blair and “authoroty id everything” freak Merkel and will be supported by the eugenics enthusiast Sarkozy, should he manage to hoodwink the French electorate into voting for a man who makes Genghis Kahn look like a fluffy liberal.
One of the things they plan to leave out Constitution – lite is the clause containing a Europe wide charter of fundamental rights.
But then in common with their heroes Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and Ivan the Terrible the right never have been keen on rights.
An article published today highlighted the similarities between the Bush administration and Hitler’s nazis.
10 Steps To Fascism
Its well worth reading
It makes scary reading.
The weather warms up, the clothes become more revealing. The moral majority crawl out of the woodwork to air their usual prejudices.
Rape, assault, verbal harrassment. Do women bring it on themselves?
Feminist blogger Sheelzebub has a very interesting (and funny) take on this at Pandangon
Some American fundie takes on the Virginia campus killings.
Yet another example of how looney creationists are at Pandangon
A recent news report suggested that should Tony Blair visit any of a number of popular tourist destinations (including Spain) he may be arrested and charged with war crimes.
This reminded me of the chatter last summer about an attempt by British M.Ps. to impeach Blair.
Unfortunately this plan was scuppered by lily – livered Labour M.Ps. who, presented with irrefutable evidence that Blair lied in order to secure their support for his illegal and disastrous war, could not muster enough anger to demand that their duplicitous leader justify his actions before an independent enquiry.
Not only does this make a telliung comment on our parliamentary democracy, it also reminds anyone who had doubts that Labour are a party of liars, hypocrites and cowards.
But don’t forget, the Conservatives supported the war too.
You mortgage owners will suffer over the next few monthe, years maybe. The truth of our “most successful chancellor since WW2” and his mismanagement of the economy is starting to bite.
Interest rates, held artificially low by squeezing wage settlements in the public sector and promoting a debt based economy, are set to rise several times. This first increase will come just after the local elections and will drive into poverty people who stretched themselves to take on massive mortgages, behind the interest rate monster will come others, uspeakable horrors that could come from the pages of an H.P. Lovecraft story. Credit Squeeze, unemployment and negative equity. But most fearsome of all, The Truth Monster cannot be containded much longer.
The chancellors success is a lie. The economy, far from being successful under Brown has been driven into deep poo.
Inflation has not been under control, the books have been cooked, first by switching the quoted measure from the Retail Price Index the the Consumer Price Index which always gives a lower rate. When that ploy ran out of steam, thev simple expedient of excluding the most inflationary items, housing and fuel costs, from the calculation was used.
So when we hear of the Bank of England getting a snottogram from the Chancellor because the inflation rate had gone to 1% above target and now stands at 3% we all think “oh that’s pretty good really.”
But the real figure, when all those nasties Mr Broon does not bother to count are factored in is a savings eating 6%
To exclude such major and essential costs as housing and fuel from the figures is fraudulent. But fraud and mendacity are the hallmarks of this shoddy government and nothing will change once Blair is gone.
An AP report in the Jerusalem Post and elsewhere on Sunday said that Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported Russian intelligence sources as saying the US has devised a plan to attack several targets in Iran, and an assault could be carried out by launching missiles from fighter jets and warships stationed in the Persian Gulf.
Elsewhere in the press you can find (if you look hard enough) confirmation that American and British special forces are operating inside Iran and that right wing terror groups funded from Washington and London are intensifying their terror campaigns with the aim of bringing about regime change.
All of which conforms what Little Nicky Machiavelli was saying back in January.
It’ll all end in tears we predict.
While strolling in a local park over the weekend I passed a World War One memorial, statue of a soldier, head bowed, leaning on his rifle. On the plinth, above the names of the men from that town who died were the words Lest We Forget.
As more and more people start to talk of another Conservative government in the foreseeable future perhaps in local parks around the nation we should erect another statue, a group sculpture. On their knees and blindfold an old person and a young mother and next to them, also blindfold and in a wheelchair a disabled person. And behind them, eyes staring maniacally as she raises an executioners axe, Margaret Thatcher.
Lest We Forget it was she who launched the attack by the state on public services, created the culture of selfishness, made vindictiveness a virtue and marginalised the weak and vulnerable.
Lest We Forget it was she who determinedly undermined the print unions, handing control of the media to a fascist bully boy. (Sue me Rupe; youve got the lawyers, bring em on.) and then spread the attract to organised labour in general because for reasons well known she resented the workers claiming their right to a decent wage.
Lest We Forget it was she who boasted of the way her father cheated his own staff, paying them not in currency but in goods to the value at marked prices of their earnings, having bought those goods wholesale himself. In a speech ~I was unfortunate enough to have to sit through she praised old man Roberts Christian values, saying that he had done his staff a favour because had they been given money they would have only wasted it. Yet she had no problem giving tax cuts to the affluent on the grounds that people should be allowed to do as they please with their own money.
Lest We Forget it was Margaret Thatcher, the hero of the Conservatives, who made hypocrisy and dishonest respectable, even virtuous.
Remember these things when you decide to whom you will give your vote next month.
Don Imus is not a name that would have meant anything to the average Briton until last week. Imus has been presenter of a morning radio show in America for 30 years and his rather rabid right wing views on everything have earned him a reputation way beyond what his talent deserved. Not as amusing as Rush Limbaugh not as witty as Anne Coulter, Imus traded on sheer nastiness. And for a long time he got away with it as he directed his projectile vomit of toxic bile at liberals, gays, humanists, pro – choice campaigners, women and anyone who did not subscribe to the John Wayne / Dick Cheney vision of what it is to be American.
Then he made an ill advised remark about a womens basketball team of which most members were black. He referred to them as nappy headed hos.
I have known of Imus for a while due to the blog wars between his foul mouthed (or rather foul fingered) fans and the liberal writers who operate sites such as Pandangon. So I know that in America you can call a black woman more or less anything you like except ho or bitch. Only black men, it seems are licenced to use those terms.
There is something deeply wrong with a society that will not object to incitement to murder staff of abortion clinics, accuse gay men of deliberately spreading AIDS in the heterosexual community (it takes two – know what I mean,) and say that liberals should not be allowed to vote as they hate America on grounds that to complain who infringe somebodys right to free speech but demand a shockjock be sacked for crudity. Imus has always been racist; is racism acceptable when framed in euphemism.
America needs a new understanding of free speech, which is not licence to say what you like but the right to express ideas that challenge the views endorsed by the establishment. In other words its aim is to promote intelligent debate, not protect bullies and thugs. Once we forget decent manners we forfeit our right to free speech.
Carbon offset, carbon footprint, green taxes, wind turbines in your hat; its all bollocks of course, the language may be getting greener but the world is getting browner.
In Indonesia thousands of square miles of mature tropical rain forest are scheduled to be cleared to make way for Palm Oil plantations.
In Central Africa thousands of square miles of mature tropical rain forest are being sold off to rapacious corporations based in the industrialised world. There is no long term thinking here, not even the wrong headed sort. The buyers want the timber, they dont give a damn what happens to the land afterwards.
The tropical rainforests are the biggest and most efficient carbon sinks the world has. Without them we are doomed.
Planting a few trees on waste ground in the industrialised world will make no difference at all. Forestation in the temperate zone is carbon neutral. Only tropical rainforest, because of its intensive growth and year round growing season absorbs carbon efficiently.
So why do we keep electing business friendly politicians who continue to permit exploitation of this vital environmental resource for short term gain?
The answer to the African part of the project is simple. Logging companies operating in Central Africa are seeking to extract rare hardwoods such as teak for use in the manufacture of luxury furniture.
At some stage this hardwood has to enter the wealthy nations where the market exists. So why not whack a prohibitive tax on all rare hardwoods, say 10,000% on timber, 2,500% on finished goods (point of sale tax to be added on top of this).
People would quickly discover that pine and beech makes excellent tables and chairs.
Stripping land to create acreage for Palm Oil production is even worse. The logging rights are won on the promise of money to be made from biofuels for the cars of America and Europe.
This is just more empty lies told by get rich quick merchants hoping to jump on the green bandwagon.
The theory behind the push for biofuels of course is that they will replace polluting fossil fuels with carbon neutral (because they only emit carbon absorbed in the previous growing season) fuels. This is fine in theory but it is remarkable how the people who constantly remind us that evolution is only a theory are ready to swallow this pseudo scientific bunkum undiluted.
Cars cannot run on biofuel, only on a mix. So the actual polluting fuel is only reduced by a small percentage.
To produce a gallon of useable biofuel requires several gallons of fossil fuel, so by adopting the biofuel solution we will create far more pollution than we save.
The real reason behind the sudden enthusiasm for biofuel is the belief that it will preserve the wealth of the elite and the economic power of the oil and automotive companies.
These are the green lies that make to rhetoric of politicians meaningless. To shift blame from the corporate world to the consumer as they are doing is hypocritical and dishonest.
In truth, the politicians, not daring to confront their corporate paymasters about crimes against the environment, do not have a clue how to tackle the biggest challenge to face civilisation since The Black Death.
And so they offer us empty words.
Freeze on Biofuels
Environmental Impact of Biofuel use
Wikipedia – Biodiesel
In another small but significant erosion of personal freedom a bunch of Bureaucrats at DEFRA (Department of Eejits, Fools, Rat-finks & Arseholes) have come up with a plan to preserve Britains fishing grounds from the depredations of industrial fishing fleets. They are aiming to take away the right of British people to fish with rod and line from the shore.
The right of British citizens to catch fish from the shore goes back to… well, since before there were such things as laws or British citizens. We know that Bronze Age (3500 – 750 BC) humans used to fish from the beaches so as it is not a right that was conferred by Kings or Courts, Machiavelli does not see how it can be revoked by little people wearing cheap suits from Matalan. But it is true, they plan to regulate shore fishing to help preserve our fish stocks.
How much harm do shore fishermen with their rods and lines, buckets of bait and thermos flasks of hot Bovril do? Well nobody knows but it is my guess that all of them, in a good year will not take as many fish as a single factory trawler will catch in one haul.
The true idiocy is that because of bureaucratically imposed quotas most of the fish caught by the factory ships cannot be landed and have to be thrown back. After being dragged a few miles in a net of course the fish are dead and serve only as snacks for seagulls. So on top of one pointless and self defeating set of regulations we are now set to impose another.
The factory trawlers are not the worst offenders of course. High tech fishing now involves sucking up everything from a chunk of the seabed thus destroying environments vital to the marine food chain. But the big food companies whose subsidiaries own such ships and nobody at the Department of Eejits, Fools, Rat-finks & Arseholes seems quite as anxious to bully them as to push Joe Bloggs around for simply taking half a dozen herring home for his tea once in a while.
You get the picture?
This plan is the latest example of gesture politics. Oh shit, weve fucked the fishing industry. Quick lets announce a plan so we look as if we are doing something. In the end of course it comes down to the same old thing. Big business must not be constrained in any way.
Refreshed by a well earned break Little Nicky is back and ready (well more or less) for the rough and tumble.
The issue dominating the news over the weekend has been the story of Faye Turney, the Roal Navy survival specialist taken prisoner and held in Iran and the way she was treated by the Iranians.
This should not raise any issues regarding the attitude of Iran to human rights, after all we all knew what the score was there. But it does raise questions around decisions made by western government, on grounds of political correctness, to put women in front line situations during conflicts abroad.
In an earlier incarnation Little Nicky once made himself very unpopular by suggesting that in forty years, all feminism had achieved was to get women back in coal mines and boxing rings.
Sexist pig, are you suggesting that women are not as able as men in those situations? came the comments. Pretty much as anticipated, they missed the point.
Coal mining and boxing are professions that in the past have been known to brutalise people who earn a living from them. What Little Nicky was asking was is it appropriate to be fighting battles for the right of women to do these things when we should be fighting battles for everybody not to.
Boxing is not necessary to the advancement of human civilisation and coal mining, though necessary, could have been mechanised a lot sooner, freeing miners from backbreaking labour in truly awful conditions.
Women traditionally work for lower pay than men and so the restoration of the right of women to work in mines was a gift to exploitative mine owners.
The decision to put women in the military services into the front line again showed that political correctness induces myopia. This blog would not dream of suggesting that Faye Turney is any less capable at her specialist role than a male officer would be, not that any of the British, American, Canadian or Australian soldiers, sailors and aircrew involved in the current conflicts are not capable of doing their job.
When equality in the military services was granted though, what was overlooked was that in somewhat more than half the world women are still regarded as something less than fully human.
People like Faye Turney and Jessica Lynch are not going to be help by people who will respect them as equals and soldiers but will dismiss them as disobedient and immodest women who refuse to stay at home and obey their husbands or fathers. This would apply not just in the Islamic world but in China too, (and India – though India is not likely to ever be an enemy of the West.) Once women are held captive in a culture in which such attitudes prevail we cannot demand they be treated with due respect. They will simply not be regarded as the equals of their male colleagues.
No matter how wrong this is, it is sadly the reality of the world. And Machiavelli was always a realist.
What it does show however is the absolute folly of our wars and those who got us into them. How can any force be expected to fight an enemy their leaders have not tried to understand?
OK, serious face on, this is no joking matter. Machiavelli may have a track record for ridiculing the governments inept and incoherent approach to managing its wars but we find nothing in the least amusing in the news that – snuffle, snigger chuckle, tee hee, sorry! – I repeat we find nothing amusing in the news that 25% of the budget – hohohohaahaahaar – allocated for sustaining the operation is being spent on – snarf, arf, snigger, hurrum – on hiring private security firms to protect our military bases waaahoohohohahahaa Blairs legacy my arse.
But really it is NOT FUNNY. Our troops deserve better and if we cant support them properly in doing the job they have been asked to do then we should bring them home now and apologise for betraying the trust they put in their nation.
(And if any rabid Nazi, like the three that commented last time I ridiculed this illegal war, tries to tell me I am wrong and the war is a glorious triumph, you will bring down upon yourself such withering sarcasm that you will be reduced to a pool of slimy brown liquid. Got that?)
Who let the buggers in?