Archive for February, 2011



Open Thread

The idea of an open thread hasn’t been tried on this blog before.  The weekends tend to be quieter on AM, so it’s over to you dear reader.  Feel free to discuss or share your views on any subject that interests you – or throw out any questions for people to answer.  If it works well we will do this again.

Overheating Britain revisited

It was nearly three years ago that the global warming hype was running riot in the Independent. The Environment Editor, Michael McCarthy published a piece in April 2007 that began:

The possibility is growing that Britain in 2007 may experience a summer of unheard-of high temperatures, with the thermometer even reaching 40C, or 104F,a level never recorded in history.

Adding to the hype, inevitably, was the Met Office and Climategate central – the University of East Anglia’s CRU.  McCarthy reminded readers at the time:

The Met Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in a joint forecast with the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has already suggested that 2007 will be the hottest year ever recorded globally.

A year after McCarthy’s breathless article and with poorer weather evident a now sleeping blog, The Daily Brute, wondered what had become of McCarthy’s speculation.  It seems rarely does a year go by when the Met Office and the propagandists at CRU are not declaring that we could experience the warmest year on record.  Indeed, they have already declared that 2010 (12th coldest year in the UK in the last 100 years) was a statistical tie with 2005 as the warmest year globally even though a substantial percentage of the globe does not have surface temperature stations.

The obvious thing to conclude here is that while Britain’s lower temperature must have played some part in dragging global temperatures down in 2010, freak conditions such as the intense heatwave in Russia must have had the effect of dragging them up. So it’s a misnomer to conclude that ‘global’ temperatures have risen.  The UK is part of the globe and the temperature here has fallen.  Indeed in many places temperatures were lower and in others warmer.  But the impression given by the climate hysterics is a uniform increase the world over, which is nonsense.

Despite this we can expect more McCarthyesque idiocy in the media fuelled by the money grubbers at CRU and the Met Office as their fixation with CO2 blinds them to the more powerful drivers such as oceanic behaviour and solar influence.

The Guardian’s rank hypocrisy on tax avoidance

Following two major articles on the ‘front page’ of the Guardian’s website – ‘Barclays bank forced to admit it paid just £113m in corporation tax in 2009’ [link] and ‘How the Guardian was gagged from revealing Barclays tax secrets’ [link] – the 2.74% Guardian has also published an editorial titled ‘Corporate tax avoidance: Impoverishing the public’, which you can read here.

Many may feel angered that Barclays managed to use tax avoidance measures (perfectly legal, as opposed to tax evasion which is not) to pay only £113m Corporation Tax to the UK Exchequer.  But that is the way the system is set up and it is worth remembering that even with such a miniscule effective tax rate on their earnings (a mere 1%) Barclays provides employment for thousands of people and loans to businesses and individuals.  So despite their focus on generating returns for shareholders, Barclays still provides something to the UK.

But the focus of this post is not to condemn Barclays for their actions, plenty of other people will do that perfectly adequately. After all, who in all honesty would not use legal means to reduce their tax liability if they could?  Even the sanctimonious champagne socialists who own the Guardian do the same. The socialist scribes at their little organ, with its 2.74% share of the national newspaper market, churn out stuff like this:

It is a simple equation, and may not be an easy one for Whitehall to implement. But the Guardian’s Tax Gap series meticulously documented squillions of pounds in avoidance, establishing beyond doubt that the seepage of revenue was on a scale that constituted a pressing public concern. Fixing the leaks may not save every last swimming pool, but it could make a big difference. Barclays is an iconic case for making the point, seeing as bankers’ determination to minimise their contribution to public funds is matched by the lavishness of the benefits they have enjoyed at public expense.

but their employer is no better. Let the Tweets of blogger Guido Fawkes explain all (no doubt more on this will follow on his Twitter feed):

Ah, you might say. The Guardian is a newspaper and therefore not being underwritten with the guarantees provided to the banking sector with our money, it does not benefit from public funds.  Wrong.

The Guardian is bolstered by its stranglehold on public sector job adverts for government, local authorities and its incestuous partner at the BBC. It also earns money from its education propaganda tool Learn Premium (more to come on that at a later date), which sold to schools seeks to indoctrinate our school children with leftist texts and media.  Our tax pounds are poured into the Guardian to pay for these ads and tools, so the paper benefits financially at our expense.

Having lavished our tax pounds on this newspaper – just as we have with the banking sector – we find exactly the same corporate tax avoidance games being played.  The Guardian’s hypocrisy on this subject stinks.

  • Where does their ‘Tax Gap’ series mention Guardian Media Group’s own behaviour?
  • Where are the stories from their own journalists about GMG’s tax avoidance?
  • Where is their righteous indignation at the behaviour of their owners?

Alan Rusbridger’s silence and that of his journalists on the Guardian owners’ own behaviour, is deafening.  Hypocrites.

Climate idiocy and money grubbing continues

The EurActiv website leads with a story that ‘Flood studies bring climate change lawsuits a step closer’:

A leading climate professor says that new evidence which further reinforces the connection between global warming and extreme rainfalls is “extremely important” in setting out a methodology which could one day be used to sue fossil fuel companies for climate damage.

So we have this latest piece of alarmism about the floods in the UK in 2000, despite climate scientists who believe in AGW admitting after the floods in 2007 that there is no established link at all – and they said so in the British house journal of climate propaganda.

This is nothing more than a continuation of ‘computer model’ games.  If the model doesn’t give you the result you want, then you simply change the parameters and make adjustments until it does. Hey presto you then declare that the model ‘proves’ the finding you set out to achieve.  Then as your bandwagon trundles along people like Professor Carlo Jaeger of the Potsdam University for Climate Impact Research, whose funding depends on the existence of a problem to tackle, leaps aboard and provides media with scare story momentum. There’s nothing quite like vested interest, is there?

If as Nature magazine, home of the false claim that 40% of the Amazon was at risk of climate change in the Amazongate saga, contends:

There is no doubt that humans are altering the climate

perhaps they will be kind enough to provide the irrefutable evidence that no climate scientist possesses, that converts the man made global warming theory into a concrete certainty.  Maybe they should fairly reflect their propagandist behaviour by renaming themselves Climate Pravda.

The disproportionate influence of the Guardian at the BBC

Last week saw the release of the Audit Bureau of Circulations figures for national newspapers for January, reported in the Press Gazette. For those who don’t tend to keep an eye on newspaper circulation the audit throws up an interesting picture (including some poor proofing of the figures).

It also poses a question for the BBC’s management about its relationship with the Guardian.

(The Up/Down figure is the year-on-year percentage rise or fall in circulation)

When you look at these figures it is easy to see why the BBC should account for the disproportionate number of television and radio appearances by journalists from the Guardian. When given a choice of a national newspaper we can see that out of an average 10,197,331 copies sold each day during January 2011 (including bulk buys) less than 280,000 copies in the UK were the Guardian. That represents just under 2.74% of national circulation.

That puts the Guardian’s popularity, or lack thereof, in its proper context.  So why is it hardly a day goes by where a Guardian journalist is not rolled out onto the BBC airwaves to promote their opinion and analysis to the viewing and listening audience?  One only has to watch BBC TV or listen to BBC radio to see that no other newspaper’s journalists feature so frequently.

The figures show the Guardian’s news and comment is overwhelmingly rejected by those who choose to part with their money to take national newspapers.  Yet the BBC is determined to push the Guardian’s views on the public via the airwaves, something we are forced to pay for under pain of fine or imprisonment.  There is also crossover with BBC personalities publishing their comments in Guardian columns.  How is this balanced or impartial?  We wait in vain for an answer.

What this also puts into context is the BBC’s indefensible bias in only trawling a very narrow and self professed left wing pool when only using the Guardian to advertise vacancies.  It is a measure of the naked political bias inherent in our national public service broadcaster, which proves it is nothing more than a self serving broadcaster.

Bile, hatred, moronic comments and the apologists of the Guardian

This could be a long one. Sometimes events occur that stir feelings and reactions in oneself that lead to a tipping point where frustration or annoyance spills over into genuine rage and the loss of self control. That has happened this afternoon.

I’m not given to writing profanity, but on this occasion perhaps it is understandable. Forgive me. Or don’t. At this moment in time I really don’t care. I’ll try to write in a lucid way but if the words make no sense try to understand I’m in a temper and writing this is an attempt to regain control.

The events in question put the puerile bollockspeak of a showboating moronic wanker like David Cameron into its proper context. Readers may recall Cameron’s grandstanding to the audience and his wooden theatrics when he declared that:

it makes me physically ill to contemplate giving the vote to prisoners.

Really?  We are to supposed to believe that Cameron felt the physical sensation of nausea in reaction to the prospect of prisoners getting the vote? Oh fuck right off. If you believe that bullshit there’s no hope for you. If something like that made Cameron feel ‘physically ill’ then no one should provide him with the details of what happened in Cairo to CBS television reporter Lara Logan. He will probably puke up all over this bloody Downing Street cat that seems to be the political story of the week. God knows, the details have made me feel physically ill. And unlike that useless sack of shit I’m not saying that for bloody effect.

For a couple of days the news has been circulating that Logan is recovering in hospital in the US after she was beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob while covering the Egyptian protests.  The words beaten and sexually assaulted covers a wide range of injuries and completely sanitises the extent of what happened.  Read on if you’ve got the stomach for it:

“60 Minutes” correspondent Lara Logan was repeatedly sexually assaulted by thugs yelling, “Jew! Jew!” as she covered the chaotic fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo’s main square Friday, CBS and sources said yesterday.

The TV crew with Logan, who is also the network’s chief foreign correspondent, had its cameras rolling moments before she was dragged off — and caught her on tape looking tense and trying to head away from a crowd of men behind her in Tahrir Square.

“Logan was covering the jubilation . . . when she and her team and their security were surrounded by a dangerous element amidst the celebration,” CBS said in a statement. “It was a mob of more than 200 people whipped into a frenzy.

“In the crush of the mob, [Logan] was separated from her crew. She was surrounded and suffered a brutal and sustained sexual assault and beating before being saved by a group of women and an estimated 20 Egyptian soldiers.

“She reconnected with the CBS team, returned to her hotel and returned to the United States on the first flight the next morning,” the network added. “She is currently in the hospital recovering.”

A network source told The Post that her attackers were screaming, “Jew! Jew!” during the assault. And the day before, Logan had told Esquire.com that Egyptian soldiers hassling her and her crew had accused them of “being Israeli spies.” Logan is not Jewish.

In Friday’s attack, she was separated from her colleagues and attacked for between 20 to 30 minutes, The Wall Street Journal said.

Her injuries were described to The Post as “serious.”

If these details are accurate, she was dragged away, terrified, by a hate filled mob in full view of the public, she was mercilessly beaten as they screamed ‘Jew’ at her and she was brutally raped time and again during that 20-30 minutes.  This is the the sort of story that makes someone feel physically ill.  We cannot begin to imagine what that poor woman went through, the fear, the pain, the violation, the loss of her dignity, the not knowing whether she would even survive.

But the revulsion I feel has been compounded by an American journalist darling of the left called Nir Rosen.  This self important bastard took to his Twitter account to indulge his desire to spew his bile and demonstrate what a free thinker he is, without knowing the facts.  This is a sample of what he is reported to have said:

The initial tweet by Rosen stated, “Lara Logan had to outdo Anderson [CNN journalist Anderson Cooper, who had recently been roughed up and threatened with beheading by a similar Egyptian mob]. Where was her buddy McCrystal.” From this tweet he went further, writing that he would have been amused if Anderson Cooper had also been sexually assaulted.

“Yes yes its wrong what happened to her. Of course. I don’t support that. But, it would have been funny if it happened to Anderson too,” wrote Rosen.

The two comments gave way to more. Rosen called Logan a “war monger” and expressed doubt that she was actually assaulted.

“Jesus Christ, at a moment when she is going to become a martyr and glorified we should at least remember her role as a major war monger” wrote Rosen

He carried on, probably after being cautioned by other Tweeters:

“Look, she was probably groped like thousands of other women, which is still wrong, but if it was worse than [sic] I’m sorry.”

Rosen clarified his initial reference to former American commander in Afghanistan Stanley McChrystal, writing that the assault should serve as a reminder of Logan’s “role glorifying war and condemning Rolling Stone’s Hastings while defending McChrystal.”

Then came a quasi-apology by Rosen: “ah fuck it, I apologize for being insensitive, it’s always wrong, that’s obvious, but I’m rolling my eyes at all the attention she will get.”

Oh yes, he’s sorry now, after that grudging and mealy mouthed excuse for an apology.  He wouldn’t have said it if he had realised how serious it was apparently.  Maybe he shouldn’t have said it in the first place.  Attention seeking wanker.  What a sick bastard he is, only thinking about his jealousy at the likely attention Logan would receive.  He clearly has some kind of mental issue. Needless to say this vicious and arrogant smear of shit has subsequently lost his job as fellow at the New York University Center on Law and Security.  Quite right too.  His comments are utterly indefensible.

At least I would have thought they were.  But no.  In my ignorance of the depth of camaraderie among left wing journalists I hadn’t reckoned on some other self important left wing blowhard acting as an apologist for Rosen and spewing forth in an attempt to deflect attention from Rosen on to someone else by way of an attack on a vicious and spiteful right wing blogger, Debbie Schlussel, for her own equally sick diatribe at Logan.

Step forward apologist in chief Michael Tomasky of the Guardian.  Quelle fucking surprise.  What is it about the people that work at that bloody paper?  It is a cesspool of disaffected, self satisfied hubris furthering its insipid agenda with a level of spite that exceeds human comprehension.

I expected you’ve heard the hideous news that Lara Logan of CBS News, above, was sexually assaulted in Cairo. And I expect you’ve heard that Nir Rosen, the left-leaning journalist who is like Logan a war correspondent, distastefully joked about it on Twitter. You’re probably less likely to have heard about Debbie Schlussel’s comments, more on which later.

Yeah that’s right. What Tomasky is saying is Rosen is evil, but look, I’ve found a right winger who is even worse. So you can’t be too hard on my fellow traveller.  He dribbles on:

Rosen, who has written for Rolling Stone, the New Yorker and various other publications, lost a prestigious fellowship at the New York University Center for Law and Security because of his tweets. He has been issuing apologies left and right, most notably in this interview with Media Bistro, where he went far beyond the usual bromides:

Oh stop, he was clearly so wonderful and all this is so unfair and you’re breaking my fucking heart. No one forced him to open his gobshite mouth.

There’s a great deal more in that vein. A great deal.

Rosen has some controversial views, but he is a reporter who goes into war zones.

You are fucking kidding me, right?  He goes into war zones?  So this gives him some kind of free pass to make the vicious, spiteful and contemptuous comments he did about Lara Logan?  Onto the Guardianista moral equivalence then:

Schlussel is a right-wing blogger whose specialty is fulmination, I believe from Michigan, about the subhuman qualities of Arabs.

And this lessens the sheer depth of bile Rosen doled out on Twitter does it?  Only a Guardian based conceited apologist wanker could have the brass neck to offer this up:

Rosen (whom I know very slightly, and ran into in the BBC Washington office not long ago) said some deeply unconscionable things and deserves a healthy stretch in the penalty box. But at least he’s remorseful about what he said. Schlussel is plainly an egomaniac and in an update to her original post just laid it on even more thickly.

So that’s alright then.  You ran into him at the BBC – where else would left wing tossers like you be? – so you’re qualified to act as his PR.  Both deserve equal condemnation, but the moral equivalence here is digusting.  And to defend him you have to draw parallels with a hate filled woman?  Doesn’t that tell you something?  No, you’re probably so far up your own arse you can’t rationalise that.  That’s why you have to resort to bullshit like this to defend your pal while attacking a competitor of the Guardian, a competitor of the BBC and a competitor of the New York Times, you opportunist bastard:

We live in an age in which every instant thought can be sent out into the world. Some people try to learn from it. Others take advantage of it for the purpose of spreading their name. What odds should I lay down that Murdoch properties Fox News or the New York Post, where Schlussel appears, will make her submit to any penalty?

Rosen is incapable of controlling himself but you try to defend him.  This is the kind of stuff that makes one feel physically ill.  Not one word of concern for Lara Logan from Tomasky, just a biased agenda to pursue.  I’m still feeling the nausea now. If there is a hell I hope the scum like Rosen, Schlussel and Tomasky end up there. Cameron can go there too for his pathetic exaggerations that cheapen the impact of stories of real suffering.

My thoughts and best wishes are with Lara after the appalling trauma she has suffered.  I hope that when her body has healed the psychological pain will be the least it possibly can be.

Why DECC is running interference for the Met Office

Two days ago this blog published a post arguing that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is engaged a disgraceful manipulation of information about the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, for which the only possible purpose is to protect the Met Office from scrutiny for the fundamental failings in its seasonal forecasting.

While it will not be news to those who are well informed, the Met Office itself has kindly provided a clear ‘follow the money’ rationale for DECC’s spin and distortion in its Ministerial answers to questions from MPs about the winter forecast.  The rationale can be found in a Met Office news story about the wholly unsubstantiated claim by Dr Pardeep Pall at Oxford University that CO2 emissions contributed to the floods in Worcester in the autumn of 2000:

Developing the science
The Met Office Hadley Centre has been commissioned by DECC, Defra and DfID to work with international partners as part of the Attribution of Climate-related Events Group. The group is developing the science of attribution of extreme weather that will be needed to provide regular and scientifically robust assessments of how the odds of these phenomena are changing.

This demonstrates there is DECC credibility, money and resource at stake. It would explain why DECC is throwing a protective shield around the Met Office, rather than serving the public interest and addressing the failings of the department.  It all boils down to vested self interest.  Further, it shows the public cannot have confidence in government departments because their own narrow interests do not match our own.

This is a scandal. Or at least it would be if anyone was watching and the media had the integrity to report it.

 

>> The whole saga in posts from its beginning in December 2010 <<

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Political posturing and who is master in Hungary

Readers may be familiar with Hungary’s vicious assault on press freedom and the ability of citizen journalists to share their views.

The media would be neutered because if the ruling elite did not like what was reported, they could claim ‘offence’ and use a raft of measures to effectively shut down the paper or station carrying it. In addition, bloggers would have to register with the state and any videos, personal posts or tweets would be subject to a ‘balanced information’ requirement which enabled a newly formed Media Council to issue heavy fines for anyone expressing a subjective opinion.

Despite the internal outcry and the European Union’s insistance that Hungary follows EU law on media freedom, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said earlier this week:

‘The government has beaten back this attack,’ (in reference to criticism from the EU commission). ‘We do not accept any countries or country groupings as our superiors. Brussels is not Moscow,’ (in reference to the Soviet era).

It was a strong and unambiguous statement. Could it be that an elected national government, however dictatorial and wrongheaded, was daring to tell the EU to stay out of its affairs?  Was this a sign of growing rebelliousness among member states?  The challenge to Brussels was clear.

In the event it may as well have been David Cameron making that comment instead of Viktor Orlan.  For just several dozen hours on, we learn that Hungary has backed down.  Bloggers will no longer have to register and the ‘balanced information’ requirement has been dropped. And the provision restricting media content on the basis of not ‘causing offence’ to individuals, minorities or majorities is being narrowed down to not ‘discriminating’ against any group or not inciting to hatred.

Hungarians have just been given a clear demonstration of who holds power and governs their country – and it isn’t the Orlan administration or anyone they voted for.

For all the tough words and anger at the interference of Brussels (all be it on the subject of a dangerous attempt to stifle free speech and dissent) the elected government in Budapest has bowed before their EU master. For Orlan, read Cameron.  Once the theatric posturing has been acted out and the tough talk has been delivered to the domestic audience to give the impression of strength, the outcome is always an EU victory.  This is because these national leaders are Europhile lackeys.

And so it will continue to be until a national government holds itself completely sovereign, says ‘no’ to the EU  and refuses to accept any and all instruction, coercion or strong arming from Brussels. Power needs to be taken because it is never freely relinquished by a person or entity that wishes to retain it.

5 Star Blogging

A (usually) daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Ockham’s Razor on NHS Euthanasia

2. Longrider on Blunkett Doesn’t Know When To Stop

3. Ian PJ on ECHR & British Bill Of Rights – A Smokescreen

4. Honest Reporting on Iranian Warships En Route To Suez, Israel Threatens Action

5. Norman Tebbit on Don’t Look Left for the Answers

Not education, propaganda

Since Mind Jr arrived home from school this afternoon I have been stewing with barely concealed anger.  For within minutes of getting in, a very earnest Junior sat down Mrs Mind and myself and solemnly announced that we would no longer eat red meat in our household.

The inevitable question ‘why?’ resulted in a detailed explanation concerning today’s Geography lesson.  It was there Junior was informed that red meat should not be eaten any more than once per week, we were told, because any frequency beyond that will kill us all with strokes or heart attacks – and in any case it contributes to global warming.

Conscious of the need to help develop Junior’s critical thinking capability, I asked her why she thought this message had been shared in the lesson.  She opined that the class had been taught this because it is good for us.  And right there was the heart of the matter.  No discussion about it in class, no contrary view presented, no balance to the message, just a binary condition of good v bad and that we must listen to what the ‘experts’ say.  So what we have is a curriculum item check box, duly ticked, relying on an appeal to authority with theory presented as fact and a class of 13-14-yr-olds duly brainwashed with the partial and biased opinions of the political class that formed the syllabus.

In Geography this week and in Science last week, the class had been fed the party line on global warming and health.  I probed further to see just how much they had been taught.

  • Which greenhouse gas is present in the atmosphere in highest concentration?  Methane.  Wrong, I explained. Had she been told about water vapour?  There had been no mention of it.
  • How much CO2 is there in the atmosphere?  That wasn’t covered either, so I explained it was 385 parts per million.  She was stunned.
  • How much atmospheric CO2 is produced by humans and how much by nature?  Most of it from humans she said.  No, only around 5% with the rest coming from nature.  Now she was bewildered.  Her next comment summed everything up when she said, cutting out red meat won’t make much difference then.

As for the dietry aspects, had there been any discussion of the effects of sugary carbohydrates, the benefits of the complex carbs and the relatively benign influence of proteins such as meat?  Clearly that was too much to hope for, nothing of the sort had been covered.

It is simply unacceptable that our children are being plied with propaganda in this way.  This is not an education, it is an indoctrination constructed by special interest groups.  Rarely have the lyrics of Pink Floyd been more appropriate, leave them kids alone.

New Gaza blockade but no media outcry

‘In all seriousness, the way that this story is handled in Western political and media circles is going to tell us something very significant indeed,’ explains Robin Shepherd.  And as uncomfortable as that might be for many people, he’s right.

What story, you ask?  The one the media has so far ignored.  Now why could that be?

Nine months after Israel began relaxing restrictions on exports to the Gaza strip Hamas has re-imposed them. The blockade will apply to all goods that can’t be produced locally or obtained from elsewhere. The reason for the move is partly that like all Islamo-fascist outfits Hamas does not look kindly on things that bear the fingerprint of the dreaded Jew — or as the Jerusalem Post reported it, they’d rather do business with the Arabs — but also it’s because, now that imports are flowing in from Israel, the terror group’s extortion rackets from the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt are yielding a good deal less in revenue than they used to.

Surely our fearless and impartial media doesn’t have a biased agenda, does it?

The possible flaw in Harrabin’s BBC ‘Weather Test’

Regular readers will be familiar with the Weather Test project that BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin is trying to construct.  This blog has previously speculated on the Weather Test and asked how likely it is to be impartial when the key players behind it have commercial and academic partnerships with each other.

But there is another question to ask about the Weather Test, and that is how likely it is to provide any value.  After discussions with some meteorologists a scenario has emerged that has the capacity to render the whole project worthless.

In the UK there are typically around four or five major weather events per year.  The problem with a project like Weather Test (if it ever sees the light of day) is how to weight the forecasts appropriately.  If a competing forecaster was able to produce a forecast accuracy rate for, say, 75% of the days in the test period when there are no major weather events, but completely miss major events, how would that be weighted to demonstrate that when it comes to forecasts that really matter their accuracy was found wanting?

Such weighting before any such test commenced would by definition be arbitrary – a bit like the adjustments and smoothing applied to temperature readings that always seem to increase the recorded temperature.  So what is the real value of such a project?

Perhaps a more effective guide to comparing the accuracy of forecasters would be to turn our eyes to the commercial sector and see who retains business because of their accuracy and who loses business for inability to pinpoint in good time what really matters – namely those major events that have the most bearing on commercial customers.  Is there really any value to Harrabin’s little endeavour?

5 Star Blogging

A (usually) daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. Biased BBC on BBC Geert Wilders Hit Job

2. Cranmer on Niall Ferguson Tells It Like It Is On Egypt And Muslim Brotherhood

3. ASI on Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

4. Real Science on ORNL Scientist Tells The Truth About Global Warming

5. Musings on Interesting Things on Food Security And Sustainability

Mehdi Hasan – what an unpleasant piece of work

Watching Mehdi Hasan on television has long given me a sense of the man’s intolerance for anyone who disagrees with him.

But that intolerance has previously manifested itself in a different way, something I was unaware of.  The clip below demonstrates Hasan’s casual bigotry and disdain for non Muslims, and his misplaced sense of moral superiority.  What a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

He may use his frequent BBC appearances spout the usual buzz words such as ‘equality’, ‘diversity’, ‘multi-culturalism’ and ‘Islamophobia’ but we can now see what exists behind the carefully moderated public face. No wonder he is the pride of the New Stateman.

(Hat tip: commenter in another thread)

Did Brigstocke offset his carbon emissions?

There is a superb, laugh out loud post on Biased BBC about the insufferable antidote to comedy, Marcus Brigstocke.  The lack of self awareness of such pontificating buffoons like Brigstocke is staggering.  I had to lift it in its entirety for full effect, but do visit the original posts and enjoy the comments…

My Life in Travel: Marcus Brigstocke, comedian

Best holiday?
I went to the Maldives the year before last… I’ve also had some of my happiest holidays in Mallorca with family and friends. It’s a very beautiful island. We stay in great place called Camp de Mar near Andratx. So it’s a toss-up between the opulent, unforgettable paradise of the Maldives and calamari by the beach, waterskiing and nightclubbing in Mallorca

What have you learnt from your travels?
I have learnt that I am incapable of packing the right amount of clothing, probably because I start 10 minutes before I’m supposed to leave; and that I truly hate airports. I rarely fly, for environmental reasons more than anything else.

Where has seduced you?
I went to China for a brief working visit and I thought that Shanghai was interesting, but Beijing totally grabbed me

Worst travel experience?
My son, sister, niece and I were sea kayaking in Mexico and got caught in a rip tide

Worst hotel?
A resort hotel in Varadero, Cuba.

Dream trip?
I have never been to India.

Favourite city?
New York. It has great restaurants and is a part of the US that you can enjoy as a liberal Brit.

Marcus Brigstocke will be performing at Altitude at Volvo Snowbombing from 4-9 April in Mayrhofen, Austria

Perhaps he is merely in search of an audience that finds him funny?

The dead hand of government

After 13 years of Labour government, the United Kingdom received its report card in the form of a 2010-11 report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

13 years of legislative hyperactivity, billions upon billions of pounds taxed, borrowed and spent and an era of divisive social engineering later, and the WEF ranks the UK 72nd (worse than Ethiopia and Tajikistan) on government wastefulness, and 89th (behind those paragons of good governance, Nigeria and Zimbabwe!) on the ‘burden of government regulation’ on business (Hat tip: Terry Smith).

As to the biggest stumbling blocks to our economic competitiveness in the global market, click on the image below to see how badly the UK has been served:

There are few clearer snapshots that reveal the dead hand of government more effectively than this. And with David Cameron and his faux conservatives ‘nudgers‘ occupying Downing Street and desperately trying to maintain a political consensus, things are not going to improve much.

How to defeat Mehdi Hasan

After his bombastic performance on Question Time last week and his ill-tempered Twitter exchange with Archbishop Cranmer, it seems there is a way to shut up Mehdi Hasan, the  Senior Editor (Politics) at the New Statesman magazine.

You just need to counter with facts that which he casually denies when he lets ideological fervour over take him.  It was laughable that in my exchange with him on Twitter earlier today he said it was ‘not true’ that Barclays bank sought private money instead of a taxpayer funded bailout during the banking crisis…

Notice how Hasan tries to move the goalposts after his fallacy is exposed?  The fact is it’s true that Barclays took funding from the Middle East – at quite a rate of interest I might add – rather than take money from the government on Gordon Brown’s terms.

But while the banks that took taxpayers’ money should pay it back without delay, it is arguable that as a private company Barclays should alter its bonus arrangements for employees when it has no debt to repay the taxpayer.

As for the indirect benefits of the bailout of other banks, it was not just the banking sector that benefited. So should other private companies that have benefited from the recapitalisation of the banks also stop paying bonuses?  Hasan doesn’t say – but then, he wouldn’t as his attempt at political point scoring doesn’t lead him to think in such depth.  If you read tweets perhaps you might like to…

DECC deliberately misleading MPs over Met Office forecast

Following on from this post about recent Parliamentary answers on the subject of the Met Office winter forecast for 2010-11, the very next day saw the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) at it again:

Nuance is one thing.  But constructing answers that distort the forecast advice from the Met Office is something else altogether. To say the information being shared in the answer by Gregory Barker on behalf of DECC is selective is an understatement.  The Parliamentary written answer supplied to Peter Lilley on 10th February deliberately excludes information the Met Office included in the forecast and thus distorts the context.

Let us just remind ourselves of the advice from the Cabinet Office to the rest of Whitehall, approved by the Met Office.  Note the elements of the forecast that have been omitted by DECC:

This is a disgraceful manipulation of the information, for which the only possible purpose is to protect the Met Office from scrutiny for the fundamental failings in its seasonal forecasting.  The Met Office did not forecast an extremely cold early winter.  While saying there was a 70% chance of an average or colder winter, it caveated this by saying there was a 60% chance of an average or warmer winter.

The summary clearly states there was ‘a slightly increased risk for a cold and wintry start to the winter season’ – something DECC refuses to concede in its answers to MPs.  When a department is allowed to get away with deception of this type it is undermining the parliamentary process and perpetrating a fraud against the public.  It is outrageous.

5 Star Blogging

A (usually) daily selection of five blog posts recommended to you for being thought provoking, insightful, covering interesting subjects or comprising quality writing…

1. No Frakking Consensus on How Do You Say ‘Independent’ In Australian?

2. 13th Spitfire on Ruled By Retards

3. The Gray Monk’s Scriptorium on Marxist Britain?

4. EU Referendum on Sad, Bad and Dangerous

5. Looking For A Voice on The Threat Of A Court Order

And a bonus post for those people who savour glaring examples of rank hypocrisy among government appointees…

6. Bishop Hill on Beddington On Warpath

Is art the climate change equaliser?

A story headline in the New York Times last Friday saw Jeremy Lovell report that ‘Climate Change Skeptics Out-Dramatize Believers in London’. The article opens thus:

LONDON — Two plays about climate change hit the London stage this month, one airing the views of the convinced and the other, those of the skeptical. Both treat their subject in completely different dramatic ways, but one succeeds, while the other fails dismally.

There then follows a short summary of the warmist hectoring production ‘Greenland’ showing at the National Theatre, and the AGW sceptic drama ‘The Heretic’ showing at the Royal Court Theatre in Chelsea.  It’s a surprising piece that suggests the sceptical message in ‘The Heretic’ bridges the gap between real life and art and succeeds where ‘Greenland’ fails.

In the absence of media balance on the subject of climate change it is interesting that performance art seems to be playing a role in levelling the playing field and getting the sceptic narrative past the warmist groupthink.


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