We all scream for…

If, by this time next week, Gordon Brown is not willing or able to stand on his head and juggle ice cream, he needs to provide a bloody good reason why.

(waits)








Posted in Tony 'King Blair | 1 Comment

OK, let’s have it

Times – Channel 4 in row over mosque film

Transcripts, please. Raw footage. All I’m seeing on Channel 4 right now is Krishnan Guru-Murthy acting like Iain Dale.

UPDATE – AHAHAHAHAHA! At the close, Krishnan made a point of mentioning that the police had chosen not to speak to them (*gasp*)… but failed to mention that the other party in the matter – i.e. Channel 4 – somehow failed to come forward publicly with the raw footage that could clear this up in a jiffy. FFS, they had the commissioning editor, who pretty much paid for it, right there in the chair, minus a tape (that he pretty much paid for), and the poor dear was reduced to assuring us that the footage that he could not show us ‘spoke for itself’.








Posted in Old Media | 4 Comments

Iraqi interpreters: the government responds in its own special way

I can’t possibly improve on Justin’s piece, but I would like to add that he’s spot-on about the strategic assault on support from the Daily Mail camp. To see how easy this is to undermine with a big, scary number, check the comments under this article.

UPDATE – Britain employs 600 Iraqis who might need asylum, not 20,000. Up yours, Des Browne, you fear-mongering half-wit.








Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely! | Comments Off

The 2005 Labour Party Campaign Return

Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for Clive, please…

[applause]

And now, a tense silence as we (finally) welcome to Teh Interwebs… a digital copy of the 2005 Labour Party Campaign return!

[fanfare]

This is version 1.0; it includes the bulk of the main return, but is missing some invoice data from roughly 10% of Head Office expenditure and all invoice data relating to regional expenditure.

We have in our possession a copy of the entire submitted return, so to complete the process for this return we need some capable and reliable people to help us with some basic data entry.

I’ve done the bulk of the data entry myself so far and I can assure you that it is dull, time-consuming and potentially soul-destroying work… so I’m sure there will be a long line of volunteers.

;o)

(Clive, Justin and I would also like to see digital versions of the returns for the Tories, the Lib-Dems and all of these other jokers.. so please get in touch if you’re interested in helping to make this happen.)








Posted in National Service | 2 Comments

High Court: “Down with this sort of thing” (x2)

Independent – Joy for protesters as Heathrow is denied ‘mother of all injunctions’: Environmental campaigners seeking to stage a protest at Heathrow airport this summer claimed a huge and symbolic victory yesterday after a High Court judge massively scaled back the terms of an injunction sought against them.

BBC – Haw protest restrictions unlawful: Restrictions placed on anti-Iraq war protestor Brian Haw by police over his six-year peace vigil have been ruled unlawful by the High Court.

Despite this dual victory, you need to remain wary of the climate and conditions under which the bastards of this world think they can get away with stuff like this. Take a look at BAA playing the ‘security’ card, just as the Met did when they made the absurd claim that terrorists could hide behind Brian Haw’s placards.

It’s not enough for Brown to simply take a new approach to security issues; he needs to work to undo the damage done by Blair… and he’ll want to snap to it if he means what he says leaks about restoring the right to protest; a revision of SOCPA in particular needs to pass through Parliament ASAP or he runs the risk of passing this tidy bit of dissent-ending kit to the Tories.

(Caution before confidence, Brownie old boy.)








Posted in The War on Stupid | 2 Comments

Iraqi interpreters update

Dan has asked that bloggers supporting Iraqi interpreters publish any reply from their MP.

I meant to update my previous post on this, but have slackening on the blogging front recently. Here’s that reply in full from my suddenly-quite-communicative MP (dated 24 July, received 28 July):

Dear Tim,

Thank you for your e-mail that I received today regarding the plight of Iraqi translators who have been refused asylum in the UK.

I have written to the Government asking them to address this issue as a matter of urgency. As soon as I receive a reply, I will write to you again.

Best Wishes

Anne Milton

I would wager that, after she gets back from the holiday that was so rudely interrupted by foot and mouth, she’ll read a reply that’s not too far from the already-published response that’s been refuted by John Barrett.

The current government line is that asylum applications are considered on ‘an individual basis’. In other words, the UK has taken the same position as Australia on this; no ‘special treatment’ for Iraqi interpreters (regardless of our role in their exceptional circumstances). There’s also noise about verification of identity leading to delays, but surely there’s already paperwork that verifies their identity… it’s not as if we’ve bombed Iraq into the stone-a*…

Hang on, let me start that bit again…

If, at the very least, the estimate of those who worked for us is 700 and the number of people claiming asylum on the basis that they worked for us [*bang*] is 699, then it’s fair to say [*boom*] that those 698 people are likely to have a valid claim. So why not make special arrangements [*rat-at-at-at*] for these 697 individuals and their families immediately and take things from there? Or are we waiting for a more manageable number [*kaboom*] to present itself?

Speaking of manageable numbers…

The Americans, bless ‘em, introduced a Special Translator Immigration Program to deal with this problem. As you may have guessed, they employed many more translators and/or interpreters than we did…. but before you click this link, see if you can guess what the upper limit is for visas issued per fiscal year for applicants under this scheme from Iraq and Afghanistan. Is it..

a) 2500
b) 500
c) 50

PS – Sign here, please. Then pass it on.

UPDATE – Times – Abandoned – the 91 Iraqis who risked all: The Times has learnt that the Government has ignored personal appeals from senior army officers in Basra to relax asylum regulations and make special arrangements for Iraqis whose loyal services have put their lives at risk. One interpreter, who has worked with the Army since 2004 and wanted to start a new life in Britain after British Forces pull out was told by Downing Street that he would receive no special favours and to read a government website. (via)








Posted in It's War! It's Legal! It's Lovely! | 3 Comments

Surrey foot and mouth outbreak

Animals on a farm in Elstead (for everyone else in the country, that’s ‘near Guildford’) have tested positive for foot and mouth disease.

Elstead is about 6 miles from here… and please stop looking at me like that.

UPDATE (11:42pm) – Well, there’s a bloody tragedy… Iain Dale missed out on a Newsnight appearance as a result. Diddums.

[I’d say something about old cows here, but there are rules.]

UPDATE (4 Aug) – Morning. We’re not the happiest village going, but things are civilised and safely squared away so far. Oh, and despite what the earlier Surrey Ad article might have suggested, the outbreak was not in Elstead, but in Normandy… which is about 6 miles from here.

UPDATE – The Cranleigh Show is still going ahead… minus the livestock (but including horses).

UPDATE (5 Aug) – Finally, some much-needed assistance… for those who are struggling to make this Gordon Brown’s fault:

Independent – Countryside in crisis: Outbreak linked to leak from foot and mouth laboratory: The outbreak of foot and mouth disease that was yesterday devastating the British livestock industry for a second time in a decade seems to have been a spectacular “own goal” by the animal health industry. Last night, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said that the strain of foot and mouth disease found on a farm in southern England was identical to one used at a nearby laboratory. This raised the prospect of the outbreak being caused by a leak from one of the facilities most concerned with trying to defeat the disease. The only two laboratories licensed in this country to work with live foot and mouth disease virus are at Pirbright, Surrey, within three miles of the infected farm.

UPDATE (6 Aug) – Of course, only a hardened cynic would mention lessons learned during the recent flooding

BBC – Livestock missing as show goes on: With no cattle, sheep or pigs making themselves heard around the showground, the secretary of the 2007 Cranleigh Show, in Surrey, said it had been a “very quiet” affair this year… Conservative leader David Cameron was attending the event alongside Tory MP Anne Milton, whose Guildford constituency covers Cranleigh.








Posted in Updates | 2 Comments

Busy








Posted in Updates | Comments Off

Down with this sort of thing

Independent – Heathrow puts up legal barricades to keep away protesters: If you’re a member of the National Trust, the RSPB, the Woodland Trust or Friends of the Earth, then you could be banned from Britain’s biggest airport. And the Piccadilly line. And parts of Paddington station. And sections of the M4. All because the authorities want to halt a protest against climate change…

This is what breeds when you let the little outrages slip past you, folks. See how cheeky they get?

UPDATE – See also; Guardian and BBC








Posted in The War on Stupid | 1 Comment

Alastair Campbell update

Please check the relevant page for an important update as we come to the end of Alastair Campbell Can Go F**k Himself Fortnight.








Posted in Tony 'King Blair | Comments Off