Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Sidebar blogroll updated; I can heartily recommend all of them, especially Rhetorically Speaking, Free Market Fairy Tales, Kaptain Kobold (lovely chap) and Emerald Bile (most definitely NOT safe for work, or kids. Very sweary).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


An Early Day Motion tabled for Parliament:


Jackson, Stewart

That this House notes that senior members of the Labour Party including hon. Members and Government Ministers attended a party fundraising event last week at the Arts Club in Mayfair; further notes that a copy of the official report by Lord Hutton into the death of Government scientist Dr David Kelly, signed by Ms Cherie Booth QC, was auctioned for party funds raising £400; believes this conduct to be in appalling bad taste, arrogant and crassly insensitive in seeking to make money, albeit indirectly, through hawking, as a novelty item, an official Government report into the death of a public servant; regrets the distress caused to the family and friends of the late Dr Kelly; calls on the Labour Party to apologise for such tasteless and offensive conduct and to donate the money raised to an appropriate charity; and deprecates such conduct by hon. Members.

Via The Vented Spleen, originating with Iain Dale - hat-tip to that man.

This needs publicising, double-quick.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A country is born

Or in this case, reborn - Montenegro. Interestingly, part of the reason for seceding is that 'an independent Montenegro would have a stronger economy and be a better candidate for admission into the European Union.' All around the world new countries are forming and ethnic groups are asserting their individuality, while here in Europe we seem to be flying in the face of history, in our movement towards ever greater union with our neighbours. No doubt Montenegro's desire to join Europe is more about economic considerations than a desire for ever-closer political union. Other examples of groups seeking independence and new nations forming here, here, and here, and of course here; the tide of history does not seem to favour the EU!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Getting normal people to vote Tory

If Call-me-Dave Cameron went on the warpath about this, he could score some serious points - not fluffy, PR-stunt 'I love baby seals' points, but solid, reliable votes on a vital policy matter. So why doesn't he pull his thumb out of his a*se and do it? It's a perfect core Conservative policy matter - all about personal liberty, a presumption of innocence, freedom from state molestation, and preservation of the smallest government possible.

So where is the war-cry, Dave?

Can anyone think of other policy areas the Tories are ignoring to their detriment? In a similar vein, there is this....

RIP, Alan Clark.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Travel in style

One of the joys of blogging is that it allows you to get up on your soapbox and advocate whatever cause takes your fancy. So, here is one of my odder ranty causes.

I love odd cars. Old cars (here), cars imported from odd countries (here), ones built from bits of other cars (here), I love them all. I had an early start; my grandfather, an otherwise extraordinarily frugal man who will straighten out a rusty bent nail and who keeps thirty-year-old scaffolding planks 'just in case', has one financial weak spot, and I appear to have inherited it. He has owned Armstrong-Siddeleys, Rovers, ex-Army Humber staff cars, MGS, Daimler V12s, and (most wonderfully) Rolls Royces. I intend to follow this glorious example. There is something wonderful about the scent and feel of an old car and I defy anyone with a soul not to turn their head and smile when a sedate fifties Jag glides away.

Far too many people drive boring cars and are chucking money away on depreciation (see here). Once I have finally cleared my debts it is dead cert that I will buy something thoroughly impractical. eBay is particularly dangerous in this regard. Someone recently posted, and quickly sold, a Marlin Roadster (here) with a Rover V8 in it. This rocket-powered rollerskate would get to 60mph in under 7 seconds, looked wonderful and went for £3500. £3500. That is secondhand Fiesta money.

So, why not buy something interesting? Common objections are:

Old cars break down all the time! What a load of crap. Until Ken eliminated them for dubious accessibility reasons, most of London's Routemaster fleet was around forty years old, running all day every day in appalling, engine-shredding conditions. The original winding gear in Tower Bridge was in use for over eighty years (here). Any piece of machinery that is well maintained and used within its performance envelope will keep going. Anyone who has travelled in the developing world will have seen how old cars can be kept in regular, punishing use on horrible roads by enterprising owners. See here for the record.

What about the environment?
Many old cars will run on lead-free petrol. Nearly all others can be converted to run on it. And in the meantime, you can use lead replacement additive. The more important point here is re-use of an existing resource. Building new cars is a very toxic process, involving a lot of metal extraction, plastic use and heavy metal run-off - re-use an existing one and you are doing the soil a favour. See this article.

Are they safe?
All cars have to pass a yearly MOT. All kitcars must pass an SVA. UK road safety rules are stringent. Next!

But they're expensive!
Oh, please. Let's compare some prices:
£2000: a second hand Renault Clio. Or, a mint condition Seventies mini.
£3000: a second hand Peugeot 306. Or, a seventies Jag.
£5000: a second hand Ford Focus. Or, a Porsche 944! Or, a Tatra 603, or mint condition Triumph Spitfire
£10,000: a recent Ford Mondeo (oh, the excitement!) Or, a pukka Ferrari.....

Insurance can be dead cheap in some many because the insurers recognise that people who care about their car are unlikely to be doing doughnuts in council estate car parks. You can also get agreed mileage packages for 'weekend use only' cars, and get a discount via an owners club. Parts and maintenance are often cheaper than comparable moderns, due to the lack of electronic gubbins on pre-eighties machinery.

I need to commute!
See the reliability question above.... most of these cars were designed for commuter use! Here are some good examples of excellent, fun daily drivers here, here, and here.

So, stop filling the roads with boring, overpriced crap, and be nice to yourself. Make the roads a more interesting place, and make old people and small children smile as you glide by. Buy something interesting!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Blair's on his way out.

No, not that one, this one. I particularly like this quote:
He added that an ''ever-growing arm'' of community safety officers had replaced police and were walking the streets like ''gaggles of lost shoppers''.

Genuine free stuff on the web: of more use to Seppo readers, but still, there's some stuff on there.

The Yorkshire dialect for medics. Genius. Especially the menstruation synonyms.

The Moai's Tips For The Day:

If you wish to top yourself, do not do it by chucking yourself in front of a rush-hour Jubilee line train. We all know what 'passenger action' means on the Underground announcements, and thousands of people will be cursing your departed soul. Slit your wrists or something.

Nutters! Your perpetual motion machine will not and can not work. The UK Patent Office will agree with me. Now leave me alone.

Anyone who uses the word 'commercial' twice or more in a sentence is a) talking corporate crap, and/or b) trying to shaft you.

My firm have broached calling in some human resources consultants to 'improve human resources provision.' I have the horrible feeling it might be these people.

Friday, May 12, 2006


The Nameless Tory brings this list to my attention.

I am stunned, utterly stunned.

Rock Heroes? I knew NME was pretentious crap, but they call this a list of great rock heroes? Thom Yorke writes ear-bleeding whines for miserable middle-class teenagers, Ian Brown has done nothing of substance since the Stone Roses, Morrissey lost it years ago and who the f*ck is Carl Barat?

Where the f*ck is Keith Richards? And Jimi Hendrix?

Any list of rock heroes that does not include any members of the Doors, Led Zep, the Who, or the Beatles is utterly redundant. Get some perspective, lads.

Won't argue with Kurt though.

The contract

A lot of people are getting very aerated about the case of this unfortunate lady.

I have a question. A brief one.

Why does she not have travel insurance with health cover?

I visited Sri Lanka recently, and before I went, I took out travel insurance, with a genrous health cover, so that, if I did fall ill, the costs of treating me would be covered. Sri Lanka's free, universal health service has no obligation to treat me free of charge. Why should it? I have never contributed to it, and it has its own people to deal with. I was a tourist, a guest. It was my responsibility to ensure I had this cover, and it was made clear to me I should have it by HM's Foreign Office.

The cost of this cover was not onerous, especially in comparison with the cost of the airfare.

This issue goes to the heart of the contract between the taxpayer and the Government. We contribute, so that we might later benefit if we are in need. This lady has never contributed, and it seems did not take out any cover, despite (presumably) knowing she was pregnant in an alien country. Why does she not have insurance? The seriousness of her condition, the astronomical cost of treating her, and the fact that at least one other person on the waiting list else *will* die if she is given one of the finite supply of hearts, are all almost irrelevant.

Why does she have the right to be treated when she has not, and never will, contribute? I say again. She was an adult, travelling to a foreign country, with the means to pay for her travel, with responsibilities both for herself and her unborn children. I know this sounds incredibly callous, but, why does she not have insurance?

Moai Day

Today I woke up, opened my BIRTHDAY cards, had a BIRTHDAY shower and shave so I would look nice for the BIRTHDAY dinner that la belle Mademoiselle Moai is taking me for, and then turned my phone on and got a BIRTHDAY text.

You'll never guess what day it is today.

I am sure Homer Simpson, Burt Bacharach and Jonah Lomu are also celebrating.

Thursday, May 11, 2006


Wearing red enhances sporting performance, apparently.

I wonder of the recent performance of Wales has been taken into account?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Simple, really

A lot of people are scratching their heads as to why John Prescott has been retained as Deputy PM, with all the trappings of office, while having been stripped of his department and portfolio.

The reason is simple.

If Prescott was sacked as DPM, under Labour rules, there would have to be an election for the job. And right now, Tony knows the Party will not pick any of his favourite people for the job. They will inflict on him someone who will make his life a lefty living hell. Imagine a Deputy Prime Minister Jackson. Or DPM Skinner....

UK Democratic Forum updated, with a related topic.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bits & pieces

Proof that the NHS has finally succumbed to total idiocy. (via the excellent Dr Crippen.)

And, from Down Under, proof that some people are effectively immortal. Keef reminds me of my roleplaying days - some daemons had the words 'cannot be killed by conventional weapons' in their description, and it would appear he's the same. Long may he defy all medical expectation!

Friday, May 05, 2006


The sun is shining, it's Friday and the fat sweaty baboon is GONE!

YEEEESSS!!! Ahahahahahaaaaa!

Happy weekend, one and all.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

X vs Y

Before I went on holiday the Nameless Tory and I spent a fruitful afternoon debating one of the most important questions of our age - namely, who would win in a fight between Doctor Who and Judge Dredd.

I am putting my cards on the table and saying that, as much as I love Doctor Who, the winner here has to be Judge Dredd. I am not the only blogger who's a big fan. LargeTrousers also advocated MegaCity One's finest, citing his sheer bloody-mindedness and track record against celebrities, and ScaryDuck is obviously a fan too.

The NT was on the side of the Gallifreyan. The NT conducted a straw poll amongst his co-workers and, with Mugabesque psephology and vote manipulation, found for the Doctor. However, he also got some votes for the Terminator and a crocodile. Which shows that some people shouldn't be allowed to vote. But, I digress.

So, I am throwing this open to the blogosphere. What do you think? LawMaster or TARDIS? Sonic screwdriver or Lawgiver? Billie or Walter The Wobot? (actually, that is no contest.) The man who travels to the end of time, or the man who beat Death himself? They can both reincarnate.... Seems an even match, so it would come down to sheer grit. Therefore, Dredd, by a nose.

Next week: Yoda v Gandalf.


Not yet

Reports of The Moai's demise are greatly exaggerated; I have spent the last two weeks in Sri Lanka with my beloved, and have *not* been shot at by the Tamil Tigers. At all. Previous holidays have involved being in New York the first time Osama Bin Laden tried to blow it up, and getting caught up in an armed police chase in Havana. It would seem that I attract this sort of thing.

Normal service to resume shortly.