Seeing Through Windows Vista

How hard is it to see through Windows. Or to put it another way, what part of not fit for purpose do Microsoft not understand.

Having just been forced to go XP on a new laptop (but sticking with linux on my proper computer, I find myself hating my new OS more every day.

And Vista is worse. If you have not upgraded yet read why you shouldn’t at ZDnet Blogs

Rats and Sinking Ships

Former future Prime Minister Michael Portillo this week claimed that three months ago asked the rhetorical question “Can the Tories ever win another election?”
We remind you, only in the interests of accuracy because you know how Machiavelli hates blowing his own trumpet, that a year ago we asked that very question. Ahead of the pack again you see.
It is not just the defection of Quentin wossisname (did he used to be Jeremy Clarkson’s sidekick on top gear?) that tells us HM Opposition are once more in total disarray and another hopeless leader is being edged towards the door marked exit, but the very persistent rumours that another, very senior Tory is about to jump ship. Of course we cannot reveal who that might be, but do you notice a Patten here?

If Your House Is Flooded, Thank Thatcher

A couple of weeks ago I had a full and frank exchange of views with a Maggie Thatcher worshipper (yes, there are still a few out there)
In response to my witty and incisive analysis this superannuated Toryboy called me rude names and suggested I must be stupid if I did not see he was right but did not actually make a point to back up his assertion that “Maggie did a great job for this country.”
Well one of the great things Maggie did was bulldoze through laws dismantling the planning controls that stopped speculative builders putting housing and industrial estates on the flood plains of rivers.
Environmental scientists and civil engineers warned against this, but common sense was never allowed to stand in the way of quick profits and the builders moved in.
With its escape route obstructed, floodwater backs up with devastating consequences after any period of unusually heavy rainfall. We have seen the consequenses this week in Sheffield (my daughter was stranded in the office on Monday night – she said they all got drunk and it was quite fun) and around the country and in recent years in Nottingham, Carlisle, York, the Medway Towns in Kent and along the Severn Valley.
kudos to Maggie though, true to her image she has never admited she was wrong. That’s the kind of strong leadership that still blinds so many people to the social and economic disaters her half – wit policies caused.

Like A Bambi To The Slaughter.

Well that embarrassing display of grovelling known as the Yo Blair! moment has paid off and St. Tony finaly gets to go to the middle east in an official capacity.
With Palestine sliding into civil war and tensions rising in Lebanon once more the Eastern Mediterranean has become a no go area for Americans and so the job of sorting out the mess has been handed to Tony(Wonder if Paddy Ashdown refused this one too?)
“Prime Minister Blair is highly respected among the Arab political elites,” a White House spokesperson said as President Bush stepped back to admire the target he had been painting on his ally’s back.
You would think even Blair ought to have the nous to know its not the Arab political elite who will be hiding in burned out buildings aiming AK47s.

Taking a few days break

I have struggled long enough to recover the 75% of my traffic lost after the latest Google algorithm changes. Its time to take a few days break and study in depth what has happened. Its something to do with supplemental links I’m sure, so I may have to revisit all the sites that link into me and direct them to a specific URI (Permalink) rather than letting them point to the url.

Down and Out In The Olympic Village

Stung by criticism of the inept and profligate ways of the team he heads, “Lord” Seb Coe, the man respoinsible for delivering the 2012 Olympic Schlockfest has hit back angrily (ooooooh!) at accusations that progress reports coming out of the Olympic p[roject press office are “pure bunkum” and the Games are just a firey pit into which steroid enhanced stokers clad in leather harness and gimp masks are shovelling huge piles of taxpayers money.
The games, he says, are bringing regeneration to a rundown part of London. It will, he claims, lead to the creation of job opportunities and the building of new homes.
Now who is going to buy these new homes we wonder? Not the low paid service secor workers who will fill the new jobs, nor the displaced council tenants (of whom between 10 and 15% are classed as disabled or vulnerable) who are mostly earning well below the national average income.
You can bet your life savings on that.

Olympic Gold for Rachmanism?

In response to criticism of the heavy handed, bullying way “Lord” Seb Coe’s Olympic project is hounding lifelong London residents out of their homes to make way for The Great White Elephant Of The Self Aggrandising Elite, the ignoble Lord has rebutted suggestions that his team are misbehaving and telling porkies.
“It bis ludicrous tyo claim the Olympics will lead to displacement and poverty,” he whined.
Well of course it is. As most of the people to be evicted are old, vulnerable and/or economically disadvantaged they are already victims of poverty.
Their evictions will therefore lead to homelessness, despair and suicide.


Zap The Cathedral? Not on my watch.

Manchester Cathedral is not as old as Ely or Durham, nor in such a spectacular setting as York or Salisbury but it is beautiful, loved and ours.
There are no religious sensibilities at play in my sense of outrage that Sony have used images of the fifteenth century cathedral in their latest zap the alien computer game but I have visited the building several times to admire the architectural features and the ornate wood carvings in the interior. Like all Cathedrals it is more than just religious memorabilia, it is a work of art containing many subsidiary works of art.
People have many reasons for using Cathedrals of course, to pray or take part in communal worship, to soak up that atmosphere of peace and calm generated within (its a trick of light and proportion, you’re not really in the presence of a higher being – sorry folks,) to admire the architecture and craftsmanship, to grab a bit of quiet solitude. Such buildings are expensive to keep up and most people who go in are happy to contribute what they can afford either by dropping a few coins in the box or buying an overpriced souvenir guide. After all we are preserving part of our history.
I am not saying the image of the buildings interior should not be used, what gets up my nose is the sheer bad manners. Sony should have offered a royalty or flat payment at least but what really grates with me is that they did not even ask permission.
Can you imagine the reaction if anybody used in a profit making venture an image belonging to Sony without making a deal to cut them a share of the revenue?
Big Business should be taught this lesson: SAME RULES APPLY.

Thatcher Revisited

The Guardian TV reviewer Lucy Mangan, writing about Andrew Marr’s History of Modern Britain programme on The Thatcher Years picked up on Marr’s description of The Iron Lady as a “one woman revolution.
Lucy commented that she had been brought up to believe Maggie was a one – woman hell on earth. Lucy is a true profession however; she says “I popped a few pills and did my best, despite the fact that her voice, that self – aggrandising, cloying, patronising agonised and agonising voice oozing out the vicious, dead – eyed face still paralyses me with fear and loathing…”
Do you know folks, I never had the lovely Ms. Mangan down for such a big fan of Maggie.

Smile For Me, My Diane.

It was twenty years ago today (no, its not a Sergeant Pepper thing) that lovely, bubbly, smiling Diane Abbott became a Member of Parliament. She was the first Black woman to enter Parliament and, an even greater distinction, the first woman MP to be deemed “hot” by a majority of the male population.
We should celebrate today Diane’s being a first class MP, a truly widely respected politician and somebody who makes most people happy (when I say most people, there will always be a few like the projectile vomit lady in Little Britain but I have never known anyone who does not like or respect Diane.
The same cannot be said for the Political Correctness Police who have marked the anniversary by whining that since June 11, 1987 only two other black women and no Asians have made it into the House of Commons.
This comes with the usual demands that The Government do more to get women from ethnic minorities elected. Does it never occur to them that perhaps women from ethnic minorities are just not that interested?
While they ponder that let’s hope Diane Abbott keeps smiling for us and being an excellent MP for her constituency for another twenty years. Its not the skin colour we need more of, its the qualities.

Burn The Witches (education)

A Primary School classroom assistant will learn in the next few days if she is to be reinstated to the job from which she was suspended after refusing to allow a pupil to read from a Harry Potter book. The woman, a Born – Again Christian claimed the books glorify witchcraft. The girl who wanted to read Harry Potter for one on one session is an advanced reader for her age group and complained to her parents that the alternatives she was offered were too simple.
After the case of the Muslim classroom assistant and the full veil last year we have to conclude it is not witchcraft and magic that causes problems in schools but the religious sensibilities of classroom assistants (although I’m sure most are diligent, open – minded and highly committed). Is it time the courts acted to remove religion from schools altogether, after all apart from glorifying magic and superstition more than all the children’s books in the world, if it stops people doing their job properly then they should not be in the job.
Since my children were at school I had had the impression that the decline in reading skills was largely due to the boring, politically correct, patronising literature that was on offer. I know both ignored school readers. Gabby preferred to read mine and Teri’s old Enid Blyton, Jennings and animal fiction and David gravitated towards my war and boy’s adventure books. There would horrify the political correctness police of course, yet both children turned out to be excellent readers.

NHS Financial surplus.

So the NHS has made a profit.

And they have achieved this by sitting on budgets that were underspent while turning away people with health problems who needed urgent treatment simply because some budgets were spent up.

Little Nicky is getting quite bored with saying “told you so” this week but if you check tags like health, NHS, hospitals, and similar you’ll find we have been warning all year that this scam was being operated.

Machiavelli is thinking of approaching Shaz the Prole, sallyontour and a few other to talk about forming a new political part, The Really Awkward Bastards.

Stop and Question

In his latest attempt to secure himself a legacy Blair, aided and abetted by Crusher Reid is proposing to revive disastrous and divisive “stop and search” policy thinly disguised as “stop and question. It seems the only legacy option still open is to turn Britain into a totalitarian and fascist society.

Under the proposals police will be able to stop and question anybody they think is breathing in a suspicious manner, looking a bit swathy or walking along with their hands in their pockets.
Refusal to answer questions will constitute a crime.

It reminds me of a story that circulated in the Thatcher era. A copper in Liverpool stopped a man who was carrying a parcel and say “hey you, what have you got under your arm.”
“Hairs,” said the scouser.

Renewal of the Cold War Is Just A Rumour : Bush

Reports that George Bush has reignited the Cold War (now there’s an oxymoron for you – not Bush, he’s just a moron; “reignited the Cold War”) by provoking Russian leaders to point their weapons at Europe’s back door have been denied by The White House.
“The Cold War is over…the missiles America plans to put in Poland and The Czech Republic are only intended to shoot down nuclear missiles fired at the East Coast from North Korea, Mr Bush claimed.
Now we know the average American cannot find Mexico or Canada on the world map (and I would not bet on them being able to find their homeland) but this story seems to confirm what Machiavelli and Boggart Blog have said many times. The President cannot find his own arse with both hands (fortunately he has Blair to wipe it for him).
If North Korea wanted to fire their one missile at a target in the USA why would they go three quarters of the way round the globe to New York or Washington when they are so close to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Credit Where Its Due, Blair Has Blair Has A Brass Neck

You have to hand it to Blair sometimes. The bastard’s got more bottle than Thresher’s. Channel hopping today I caught footage of a speech he gave in which he was saying how unfair we were in putting his foreign policy decisions (all those decisions to do exactly what Bush told him) into a religious context.
It was, was it not, Blair himself who candidly revealed that the decision to go to war was taken not on advice from senior diplomats or military chiefs, nor even after full and frank consultation with the elected members of Parliament (you may recall the true contents of the UN report was withheld during and after the debate) but on the basis of advice the Prime Minister received during a one on one conversation with God.
And he says it is his critics who brought religion into it.
Either he is the most hard faced liar ever, or he is developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Every Day In Every Way Tyranny Creeps A Little Closer

Some stories this week ought to remind us that freedom and democracy (or freeman moxy if you are American) is being eroded by creeping fascism.
First story concerns the fatigued firefighters of Bury. They were in trouble over sleeping while on shift. Now everyone knows fire brigade staff are allowed a kip on the watch so that they will be fresh and alert when called to action. It was not the actual sleeping that caused the problem but the blatant breaches of regulations involved. Special regulation chairs had been provided, tired firefighters for the use of. Bury’s finest however were using their own sleeping bags and kipping on the floor because having tried the special rexclining chairs the crews decided they were not fit for purpose. “You can’t bloody sleep in those,” one officer said.
It turned out the crews could not sleep properly in the chairs because they had not been trained in the proper use of the special sleeping furniture. The chairs should not even have been sat on by untrained personnel.
So now you know that if you are troubled with insomnia its probably because you have not been trained properly in sleeping.
Next is the woman whose hip replacement operation was cancelled because she was six pounds overweight. This is part of the NHS initiative to encourage anorexia by witholding treatments from those who are obese. Only a bureaucrat working for a fascist regime could possible make a thick line on a spreadshhet and say “OK, above the line they don’t get treatment because they are anorexic and their problems are sdelf inflicted, below the line they don’t get treatment because they are fat bastards and their problems are self inflicted. And if they are exactly on the line they are so tratment will be witheld until they tell us what we want to hear..
The person whose op was cancelled did get some help and support from her sympathetic GP who gave her laxatives hoping the resultant diarreah would get the numbers right for the spreadsheet.
Next we go to our old favourite the education system. There is an idea being pushed in the Education Department that asking children to put up their hands in class to answer questions should be banned as “it causes the quieter, less demanding children to be overlooked and fall behind.” Well the two Primary teachers I know both tell me that the noisier, more demanding children don’t answer questions to get praise, they are more interested in being disruptive to make their mates laugh. Then there are the noisy little victims of pushy parenting who wave their hands frantically and yell, “me sir, me sir, me me me,” hoping to earn a housepoint to report to the pushy parents because they have been told “if you don’t get straight As Mummy and Daddy will not love you anymore because you have not lived up to our expectations. Can the “educationalists” not see that the quiet, thoughful kids who don’t answer questions are actually taking stuff in and thinking about it?
And then there are the clever little shits who sit picking their fingernails as the teacher seeks a correct answer. They are thinking, ” I know this but I can’t be arsed answering. I’m nobody’s poodle. One who fitted this description is sitting not a million miles from the keyboard this artyicle is being typed on.
Do you see the thrust of all this?
So many of the little things that happen almost unnoticed are driving us towards becoming a society of obedient conformists conditioned to blindly follow rules and procedures and to never, never ever question authority.