The Language Of Tyranny

Argh, is probably the best word. In between playing Command Crisis and watching “9” today I have been keeping an eye on Sky News, and one of the recurring headlines has been the The Lib Dumb Conference. The language used by both the shower of shite on the stage has been stimulating intellectually, as well as provoking howls of rage from deep within.

Number One. – What “they” owe.

In a speech at the party’s Birmingham conference, Mr Alexander said: “My message to the small minority who don’t pay what they owe is simple.

Nobody actually “owes” the Exchequer anything, except the variously bailed-out banks, who actually vicariously owe you and me, the taxpayers. The money that people earn, even “the rich,” , isn’t actually owed to anybody -least of all the government- unless they have borrowed it. People don’t owe just by virtue of having earned, and to suppose that they do is actually well on the road to believing that all money is rightfully the property of the state, who will decide what pocket money we are allowed to have. It’s not just a nonsense, it’s tyrannical.

Number Two. - “Fair”

“I agree with the Chancellor – we will find you and your money and you will pay your fair share.” (Still Mr. Alexander)

Strictly speaking, if taxes were to be a “fair share” then 1/60,000,000th of the costs of the government is correct. Even with a flat tax higher earners would be paying more than their “fair share” and going as far as the “Lib” Dems propose is actually about as far from “fair” as you could get, as well as being counterproductive.

Number Three - Many a true word.

So, well done – you all got past security clearance!

Incidentally I’m very grateful to the police, they’ve now provided me with all the detailed personal information on party members that I need in order to conduct a Stalinist purge.

Basically anyone who actually passed security clearance without sign of being a subversive will be erased. (Tim Farron’s Speech)

Very poor taste, considering that they are allegedly a Liberal party, but also quite illuminating of these people’s mindset.

Number Four – Tax Avoidance is WRONG

The super rich don’t need to go down Ealing high street nicking tellies in order to demonstrate their contempt for society. They demonstrate their contempt by not paying taxes. (Tim Farron again)

Not content only with conflating tax avoidance and tax evasion, now apparently tax avoidance is akin to looting televisions! Ayn Rand must be rolling in her grave.

Number Five - All your child are belong to us

Extra individual tuition

Parent support advisors.

Out of school clubs. (Sara Teather’s Speech)

Doubling the amount of cash (cash we don’t have) available to further interfere in family life and take children away from the family home for more hours each day. Reducing further the responsibility parents have for their children. Because that’s worked so well already.

I could go on, but I feel sick…

Oh, Dick. Oh!

One half of Dick Cleggerton was on BBC Breakfast this morning attempting to hype up their Great Repeal Bill and it’s associated website. All was going swimmingly until Bill Turnbull asked him:
“So if everybody said for example, ‘get out of Europe,’ the Government would have to do it, right?”
Dick’s answer? “No.”

So what exactly is the point? Apart from the fact that some of the public clearly don’t understand the concept of reducing regulation, so brainwashed are they by the steady drip-drip of increasing State interference (one respondent wanted to get rid of football!) the government have just flat-out admitted on national television they will ignore any suggestions they don’t approve of, so you can forget suggesting they repeal the firearms acts, the European Communities Act or the smoking ban. The concessions you might get included something about grey squirrels and assorted other unimportant things. Oh, and he managed to squeeze in that the Bill was important to “send a message” too.

Now where have we heard those words before?

I Was With Him Till He Mentioned Gordon

This morning the news was all about the frankly hilarious Papal Visit Memo story, and tonight it hasn’t been mentioned once. What a difference a day makes!
Instead, we are once again being treated to the horror story (and a horror movie!) of what terrible things will be in store for us us if we, the Great British Electorate, give the wrong answer on Polling Day: not exclusively giving one of the three wise monkeys the keys to the door and the family silver.
George Osborne was quoted as saying:

“A vote for the Hung Parliament party is a vote for politics behind closed doors; indecision and weak government; a paralysed economy; yet another election; and very possibly, waking up on the 7th of May to find out that Gordon Brown is still in Downing Street”.

Politics behind closed doors. And we don’t have that now?

Indecision and a weak government. Yes please! I think we can safely say that the government we have at present is making far too many strong decisions.

A paralysed economy: See ‘politics behind closed doors.’ Besides which, I hardly see how the economy can do anything but improve without a bunch of prodnoses in Downing Street moving the goalposts every five minutes.

Yet another election: Why? Keep them all arguing over who’s in charge as long as possible. Hell, lock em in! As a taxpayer I’d be happy to pay for that.

Waking up on the 7th of May to find out that Gordon Brown is still in Downing Street.

Ah.

Cuts

If the red, blue and yellow wings of our political party were hoping to avoid talk of cuts in public spending until after the election those hopes were dashed today as a BBC survey revealed that cuts to local government spending will mean the loss of up to 25,000 public sector jobs across the country.

So far so good. After all, perhaps they have finally realised that paying for all those Diversity Smoking Outreach 5-A-Day Planning Coordinators hefty salaries to interfere in people’s lives is a bit of a waste of money? Think again:

Roads, libraries, the arts and leisure appear most at risk of cutbacks. Children’s social services, services for the homeless and planning appear to be safest.

Hang on. The arts I can agree on, but aren’t road maintenance, libraries and leisure centres the things we are supposed to agree on paying the council to provide? Well, so far as we want to pay the state to do anything, that is..? In my more wildly An-Cap moment s I’d argue that all those things are beyond the purview of the state to provide, but we are where we are, and as we’re compelled to cough up anyway, they should at least concentrate on those ‘traditional’ services that we all expect, right?
Heh. Might as well petition the Mafia to run a creche in exchange for your protection money.

The child-snatching SS look safe too, despite being overly-keen to take children from the bosom of families they simply don’t approve of and happy to leave children who are in danger to their fate… But that’s a whole issue all by itself.

So, we all agree that cuts are needed in public spending, but what could the reasoning be behind these decisions (plural: each council has come to their own conclusion here) to ignore the guaranteed vote-winning option of cutting back on the interfering, nannying Righteous, and instead concentrate on a surely vote-losing strategy of potholes, closed libraries and skanky swimming pools?

Dave Prentis, general secretary of the union Unison, said big job losses could cause “social disharmony” in inner cities and conflict between councils and workers.

He said: “The government has spent vast amounts bailing out the banks.

“We always feared that, to offset the cost, they would come for public service jobs. We will not allow our members to pay the price.”

Ah.

Robbing Hood

The BBC are pushing the idea of a ‘Robin Hood Tax‘ this morning, in order to “fight poverty, protect public services and tackle climate change (perhaps to pay someone to put the wheels back on!).”
Curiously enough, there doesn’t seem to be much mention of it on the BBC’s website although they had gone to the trouble of making a nice-looking arrow-styled graphic which lead to my original belief that this will be something they will re-visit in order to build consent for such a thing.

Regardless of what the tax will be used for (although there is plenty just in those three aims to disagree with), who is “calling for” it (Charities! Unions! Aid Agencies!), and from whom it will be raised (evil bankers!) the thing that really piqued my interest was what they didn’t say.

“To work,” they said, “this tax will need to be levied in ALL tax jurisdictions.” A global tax then? “If we did it alone it would just make the UK less competitive.”

“Of course, the main problem then would be that there is no international body to administer and collect such a tax.”

They didn’t tell us that what we really, really need to fight poverty, protect public services and tackle climate change is a global government. They want you to think it -like Windows 7- is YOUR idea.

Nice.

Wrong Answer

The story about the biology exam that ‘didn’t ask what the students had learned’ doesn’t really seem to have been taken up much, but it is perhaps a worthwhile story. At first, it seemed another cock-up story: kids get taught one thing, exam asks different thing. We could all be forgiven for thinking that considering all the other establishment cock-ups of recent times.

Once I’d seen the two bods from the exam board on Breakfast yesterday morning however, it seemed that something altogether different was the case. Apparently, they said, the paper tested on the principles the students were supposed to have learned but required them to apply those principles to cases they hadn’t seen before (shrews). Casts an altogether different light on it, doesn’t it?

[The AQA] said the new exam focussed more on the application of science following criticism that previous papers had failed to stretch pupils’ scientific knowledge enough.

These were A-Level exam papers. When I left school back in the far-off days of 1996, that was what my GCSE papers did. I didn’t stay on for A-Level but I can only assume that was what those papers did too. I certainly wouldn’t have been phased if I’d learned about the principles of population in, say, rats, and my exam had given me a few facts about moles and then expected me to apply those principles to mole populations. We had to do something that’s probably seen as quite old-fashioned nowadays: thinking.

So it would seem that this is quite an indictment on modern teaching methods, or more specifically ‘Teach To The Test’ as thousands of students, once confronted with something unfamiliar (and yet using the same principles as the examples used in their lessons) couldn’t answer the questions. The exam board was responding to criticism, remember, so you’d now expect lessons to be learned, right? These unfortunate students haven’t been taught properly, and for once an exam has highlighted this so we are in for a review of teaching methods to ensure future students can apply their knowledge properly, right?

Wrong:

The exams watchdog has stepped into the row over an A-level biology paper which led to thousands of students launching a Facebook protest against the exam board AQA for setting questions they felt were unfair.

Ofqual, the newly created independent exams regulator, has ordered the exam board to submit a report on the controversy.

Hmmm… Maybe the new QUANGO will demand that teaching methods return to imparting knowledge and reasoning to students in future so that they can pass these kinds of exams again. Or maybe they will demand that these kinds of exams don’t see the light of day again, to keep the tractor stats looking good. We’ll just have to wait and see…

How Embarrassing

Mr. Exile, you’ll be over there —->
just as soon as I can get in front of a proper computer. (Update: All Done) I’m on his whatsit and I didn’t even have him on my regular blogroll. Sorry mate.

Still, onto other matters. I winged my way over there to see where the traffic came from, and what should I see but this post regarding matters warming. It really hits the nail on the head as far as I’m concerned. The reason, the Real Reason I don’t accept Global Warming, man-made or otherwise, is purely anecdotal. The science is not settled for definite, but I’m no scientist. The CRU emails are damning and the code maybe more so, but I’m no coder and in any case I was convinced long before that. The language and tactics coming out of the Climate Scientologist lobby (I saw that on Samizdata today- love it!) led me to smell a rat long ago but that’s not the reason.

No, the reason I don’t believe is that from my own experience it is colder every year.
I work outside most of the time, and three or four years ago I was quite comfortable working in a short-sleeved body warmer even in the depths of winter. I preferred it, in fact as I find sleeves get in the way when I’m working. Last winter I had to wear a coat about half the time, and this year it’s been nearly every day. I well remember being outside doing a conga line up and down the street on new years eve 1999/2000 in a t-shirt and not feeling cold in the least. This year I was out in a thick winter coat (with snow falling!) and was so cold I just wanted to curl up into a little ball and go to sleep.
Summers too, far from getting hotter and drier every year, have actually got wetter and cooler. Remember that “hottest day on record” five or six years ago? It nearly reached 40C (sorry, farenheit fans I’ve no idea what that is in the old money) and we were all assured that that was a glimpse of the future. It WAS hot that summer, I actually had heat exhaustion one day that summer, although not that day. It’s never really got that hot again though, not even close. In fact, since then every summer seems to have been a little cooler and a little chillier.

None of this proves anything, of course. Especially comparing new years eves as the temperature changes every day, but as far as I’m concerned I am experiencing a trend of colder conditions every year for the past five or six years, with it warming before that.

It’s probably a natural cycle of some sort.

Dangerous Dogs

I have just seen something harrowing, on the television. On one of those police state propaganda programs (more of which at a later date) on Bravo to do with Animal Cops or somesuch, I just witnessed a puppy being dragged away from its loving owner in the park because it was “believed” to be some sort of banned breed of dog. When the visibly distraught owner tried to undo the dog’s lead and let it run loose the demeanour of the police suddenly became threatening. While the van was taking the dog away to be “assessed” and (presumably) destroyed, the voiceover reeled off some statistics about dog attacks.

Now I know that some dogs obviously more dangerous than others, but banning certain breeds makes about as much sense as as forbidding people from growing certain types of plants (think about it). It’s the owners of the dog that makes it dangerous. Properly trained and properly treated, any dog can be a loyal and trustworthy companion and conversely, any poorly trained and mis-treated dog can be a danger.

To tear away dogs from their loving owners and put them to death because of the actions of a few feckless individuals is barbaric.