Sunday, 16 December 2012

Time to grow up and stop killing each other America.

While the USA does not have a monopoly on mass murder, it does, as a nation have its head buried deeply in the sand and refuses to tackle the problem. 
A lot of Americans believe in various innate rules, rights and responsibilities these manifest themselves in books like the bible and in the beliefs of the "Freemen of the Land". Fail to live up to any of these and you deserve what you get, whether it be a long prison sentence visited on you by the state or a mass killing visited on you by god.
The American saying "Kill them all and let god sort them out" absolves the killers of any responsibility as those that were killed and where good will bask in a heavenly afterlife and those that were bad will be punished. Life is just preparation for the examination that comes when you are dead. It allows not only barbarism against your neighbours but against people all over the world. It is the trap that Al Qaeda has fallen into, it is the trap of rules defining good and bad, it's the trap of subservience and thoughtlessness. It is the trap of the party that believes in the golden age of the past.
The post life examination is about whether you followed the rules correctly no matter how screwed up they seemed to you. You are absolved of any and all responsibility to do right.
The US constitution is great in many ways brief, succinct and eloquent it is not however perfect and the people who created it knew this and put within it a mechanism by which it could be changed. They put it in for several reasons and in doing so admitted that they could be wrong and that times would change. When it comes to weaponry they have changed dramatically from the mussel loader to the Uzi, from when guns were expensive, as was lead and powder to now when they are cheap. These mass shootings by one or two people simply were not possible in 1777. If they had of been they would have happened.
The Americans are cursed by their addiction to rules and that addiction is lead by religion, a religion that the writers of the constitution did not share. So here is a thought Americans, use the rule that allows you to change the rules, live up to your responsibilities, be the true heirs of the giants who wrote the constitution, stand on their shoulders and see further. Stop hiding behind the rules.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

How to Embarrass an Ex.

For anyone who reads this blog who's mother "knew" the author, my one bit of advised for looking for fashion faux pas would be to have a look at Uncle Mark's Wedding photos, from September 1985, in case he has had more than 1.
Your mother is the one next to the place where your Dad's head has been crudely pasted  on.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

What the driver-less car means for windscreen washer salesmen.

The development of the driver-less car and presumably other vehicles is coming along apace. Though very little thought seems to have been given to what the consequences will be.
In the long term there is going to be a complete end to the HGV driving business the only reason to carry someone on a delivery vehicle will be to help load or unload.
I imagine though that seat belt will stop being mandatory after a while and if you don't need to watch where you're going  why have a windscreen or sit confined in two rows. You family conveyance will become a drawing room on wheels capable of transporting you anywhere in the habitable world and even Canada.
For a holiday just hire a unit which drives to pick you up when everyone is home on the Friday night. You load it up and then sit down a watch TV in it while it drives you down the road and gets it loaded onto a train, where you're whisked through the night at 200+mph to a warmer/colder/historic part of the world, where it offloads itself in the small hours and drives to your holiday site, so when you wake up on Saturday morning you are there. The train will not have needed a driver and will need even less brains than a car and be able to use lines at a far higher density than today's trains. Splinting and joining at speed to make the most efficient journey possible.
The shape of cars will change quite radically and be as different from the today's cars as  the Model T is, there need by no front or back, aerodynamic sleekness will be the ruling factor.
Why even own a car? A journey for one can be called for an a 1 person vehicle drive itself to your door. It will not mean waiting for a driver to finish his lunch or even walk out to the car, the vehicle will have parked it self up where the hire system predicts there will be a need for a car soon.
The roads would have no parked cars lining the street as they would only turn up and stop for the briefest periods to pick people up and drop them off. There will be far less street furniture, no speed signs, stop signs or traffic lights.
For those that insist on driving the older cars a small unit can be attached to the vehicle and give in cab signals to the driver or by using an augmented reality headset place synthetic road signs in the correct places.
It would be hard on traffic wardens, windscreen washers and Hollywood film directors, who would have to find new dramatic devices. Taking a car on a reckless drive across town would involve hacking into the car's systems and you would have to bring your own steering wheel.
A world where cars trains and planes guide them selves will be a quieter more economical, more efficient world with greater convenience and less intrusion from transport but with less hardware tied up in the system. It will be a world in which the average speed of travel is higher than today but the peek speed lower, as the predictabilities of the system keep everything moving at the best speed.
I for one will be acquiring a self driving bed room, where I can go to sleep at night and wake up in the morning a convenient distance from the office.
Whoever it will still be a world in which somehow Feu Orange  car fresheners are still made and installed but no one knows where or who by.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sailing the Quantum Sea on a silicon wafer.

 The voyager has finally poked its nose into interstellar space having finally pierced the Helio sheath it not quite out of the Solar system yet but it is out of the sun's atmosphere and it's electromagnetic influence the probe is still affected by the sun's gravity which stretches out at least as far as the Oort cloud.

It is a contender for man's greatest achievement, to date, the process which led to Voyager 1 started with the harnessing of fire, works through the Bronze and Iron age

The major obstacle to going on for longer is the Radio Thermal Generators, that power current probes. The current generation use Plutonium Oxide, with a change of source it may be possible to increase the life span from 25 years to a couple of hundred or more, that isn't going to get a probe to the stars or even to the Oort cloud. The features of interstellar space are vast in may be the other than the frozen rocks no meaning full science will left to be done to the atmosphere of another star is reached.

A vehicle that is going to make a sensible dent on deep space investigation is going to either have to live a long time or go very very fast. The current fastest object sent out from the sun is New Horizons which is on its way to Pluto and beyond, after its last engine burn it was at 58,536 km/h (36,373 mph) the nearest star is 39,900,000,000,000 KM away. That is 681631816 hours or 77761 years. So something launched in 77549 BC would be getting there about now. At that time Moden Humans had been around about 13,000 years and had migrated as far as Indian perhaps a bit further but not Europe or the Americas. This is the time of the Toba event, which nearly wiped out humanity. It was a very very very long time ago to travel a cosmologically insignificant distance.

To get the journey down to something a probe could do in 1000 years we means to go 70 times quicker. That is 4097520 km/h and assuming you can reach that speed very quickly but at 1g acceleration it would take, 116142 seconds or 1.34 days. Doesn't seem to bad till you realize that requires an enormous amount of energy and by any known method of propulsion an awful lot of reaction mass to throw away.

That is still 1000 years which isn't a practicable time scale, but if we cannot do better, then it maybe what we have to try. Though if we can accelerate for over a day at 1g, it likely we could keep on accelerating for the entire journey. We would quite quickly get into the speed region where relativistic affects begin to have a serious effect. The most obvious effect would be the that the probe would never reach the speed of light, the other that the subject time for the probe would be reduced meaning that what looked like a 5 year journey looking from Earth would appear to be a much shorter journey for the crew.

The closest star is Proxima Centauri at 4.24 Light years and assuming the probe was going to stop there rather than fly through the journey would take about 7 years viewed from earth whilst the probe would only experience just over 3.6 years. That based on numbers I got from The Relativistic Rocket which shows the calculation, which are considerably simpler than you might imagine.

However, as the site notes, to use a rocket to provide such an acceleration is in practice impossible. There are however several possibilities which do not involve any fanciful Physics. I'm not saying they are possible but nothing in current physics rules them out.

There are lots of different techniques which have been seriously looking at by NASA in its Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program
Most of these explore some fairly radical physics ideas, which cannot be actively ruled out at the moment.  Some of them allow the speed of light to be bypassed as is done in Star Trek with a Warp drive, others just allow for constant acceleration in one case using a chunk of matter with negative mass.

For the more conservative system the speed of light is going to be the limit but we have already run robotic missions far longer then is needed to get to the nearest star if 1g can be achieved. Even within a single human lifetime it should be possible due to the time dilation effect to dispatch colony ships. Were some of the original crew will still be alive on arrival, even if their peers who stayed at home will not.

Failing all these it's going to be a very slow slog out to the start using generation ships, which is going to be very big, IMHO an asteroid of any size would be the base on which the ship was built. The nightmare for such colonists is to set off on a long journey only to arrive and find that a new technology was invented after they left, which allowed a faster journey and their target already has a colony, though it might be possible to call at the first ship on the way break the bad news to them and shuttle them to the target or improve their drive. May save a lot of time if they have already gone a significant way with significant resources. Though why tell them why not just be the first space pirates?

The one thing that we can be sue will not work is cryogenics, it will never be cold enough to stop the gradual breakdown of chemicals after a prolonged time the stored system will break down. The next possible would be to take copies of our genome and grow new bodies at the far end then implant them with stored copies of our minds, that would take only two new technologies. We could simplify it by producing babies and letting humanoid robots raise them this would mean storing all the data digitally where it can be copied and rewritten to stop it decaying and while it is currently not possible to build a custom genome and an egg from the component chemicals or grow that egg to a kind of birth, it is a technology we are starting to work towards for other purposes. Such as preserving endangered species. When can even take a very large chunk of Earth's biota with us.

We are still going to need a power supply to keep that digital data in tact but here the random Quantum noise that would play havoc with stored biology may come to our aid with the Casimir Effect which can produce energy from the quantum vacuum and may be one source of propulsion.

If we have to do it this way, which is the best candidate at the moment, it is going to take a very long time to get to the nearest start and the distance across our galaxy is 25,000 times as great so that is a long time multiplies by a big number, in other words a long long long time. That is just across our galaxy our nearest neighbour is about 25  times further than that and we are still only next door. Some of the lower estimates for the number of galaxies in our universe is 125,000,000,000 even Star Trek never planned on getting to the next galaxy.

It is a big big universe and the reason nobody has come to say "hello", does not that there aren't millions of intelligent species in this galaxy alone, the chances is are they are a long way away

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Leveson guess work.

The Leveson report is due to be released at 13:30 on the 29th of December, already the interested parties are having their say. The various fractions of the press have been laying in for weeks, it started with claims that Celebrities had hijacked the inquiry away from other less well no victims of press intrusion and criminality. The Celebrities hijacked the process via media coverage.  In the end, as several people have pointed out what the inquiry was looking at where already criminal acts and so cannot really be made illegal again. The problem is that this kind of thing doesn't go on in isolation, people knew and said nothing and if they had said anything it would have been to the management not to the police. If the members of the press aren't prepared to investigate themselves are they fit to investigate anyone else? How dare they hold others to account while burying their colleagues dirt!  

Cheque Cheque and double Cheque.  

The press has also claimed that they often go to great lengths to validate a story, if that's the case every story that was published, based on this illegally gained information, must have been checked by editors and lawyers who would have known that illegal methods were used, which makes them conspirator after the fact.  
There is of course the legitimate public interest defence, which can be used, this is valuable to us all in a wide set of circumstances, but to test it the Police and CPS have to have first charged you, you then have to go through the trial process where your defence is tested and 12 people get to decide whether or not what you do was in the public interest and was needed. The members of the Press seem to think that this is beneath their dignity, that want a predefined list, they want an absolute guarantee they can't be found guilty. None of us is getting that but doing the right thing is not without risk but it seems journalists want it to be. You have to wonder how many of the UK's journalists would dare to say boo in countries where nosey journalists turn up dead on a regular basis.  
It says something about the attitude to arrest, charge and trial that they want to avoid it at all cost. They have spent so much time ignoring the concept of innocent until proven guilty, when applied to others, that they know they will be tarred with the brush that they created. For most people this would be a cause for introspection, not very likely though. In fact the current actions of journalists seem more akin to a child throwing its toys, from its pram, in a fit of pique.

Court for all 

There are civil remedies to libel by papers but to access them you have to be well off or have such a clear cut case that you can persuade a lawyer to do no fix no fee. Even when a result is achieved the damages are likely to be so small that the paper may still make a profit if the defaming article sold enough extra copies, which is unacceptable. The cost to a paper of libel should at the very very least wipe out any profit made from the story.  
The Press is composed of corporate entities, they do not have rights only people have rights, any rights that the Press seems to enjoy are actually privileges given to it by HMG, which is the same organisation which granted them the right to incorporate in the first place. The license, under which all corporations operate, is granted solely for Consequentialist reasons, there is no deontological right for any company to exist.

 Triumph of style over content.  

One thing has become clear to me whilst looking at this, journalists are obsessed with the “quality of the writing”, it seems at the expensive of everything else, their main reason for going into journalism doesn't seem to be for the public good but simply to get their pros printed and distributed to as many people as possible. That they have to check facts and contain content which gives more than a grammatically correct sentence, seems to be more of an inconvenience than the heart and soul of journalism, as it should be.

People obsessed with grammar and spelling have been brainwashed by their education, into believing that spelling, grammar etc. are the be all and end all of language. This is due to the fact that that is what teachers give marks for. Never in the history of mankind has an English teacher on reading a story that was grammatically perfect and with evidence of use of a thesaurus ever, pointed out that they had asked for an interesting story.  

It is not what you know but who you know.  

Even the most reviled papers have on occasions done good, for instance there was the risk taken by the Daily Mail and its campaign to bring the killers of Stephen Lawrence to justice. A good case of powerful public interest motives. Well perhaps. As Stephens dad says the paper ignored the issue until Paul Dare found out that he knew Stephen and his dad and had worked painting and decorating Dacre's home. This was very lucky for the inquiry but how many of us can be lucky enough to have a connection to someone in an editorial position at a national paper. Is it reasonable to rely on a chance meeting to reveal the “institutional racism” of a police force?
Some of the failings of the press cannot be fixed by legislation in all cases simply because that failings of the press are down to the lack of interest and therefore lack of financial payback for the corporations which run papers. Making money is the primary goal of all companies and if you going to get them to make less mistakes by forcing them to make more checks the only way to do it is by hitting them in the wallet, which is what the papers care about, publishing a libelous story has to be so expensive that the papers will make a far greater effort to detect them and avoid them. No voluntary scheme will do this, they will always set the penalty as one that can be afforded. What that means is that the punishment cannot be dished out or set anywhere other than by a government and court.

Some organisations will opt out of any voluntary organisation as several opt out of the PCC, how to deal with them? Only by allowing the government to make the regulations devised by a voluntary body mandatory and providing a mechanism for assessing alleged breached by these non compliant papers.

Are Journalists Professionals?

What is a professional journalist or more importantly what did they profess to do? Doctors traditional professed the hypocratic oath and it is this kind of oath that used to define all professions, it is a term that has become sadly misused now, to where professional means “wears a suit”, what it used to mean was that they put the oath before the interests of their employer and their own personal interest, I do not the journalists have ever done that.  
The GMC is used to regulate doctors and that is deemed independent of government why can't such a model be used in journalism? If the General Journalist Council regulated who could be a journalist would they have struck of Paul Mullen before the story broke, would other journalists have grassed him up for bringing the profession into disrepute.  

So what do I propose?  

The introduction of criminal corporate libel, which would have punitive levels of damages. 

That the editor should be criminally responsible if stories are run with illegally gathered information, because they either knew or were derelict in their supervision. 

That a body similar to the GMC is set up to regulate who can be a journalist and have their work appear corporate papers, whilst allowing anyone to publish themselves for money.

For something sensible about what Freedom of The press actually means and why it has nothing to do with papers please read David Allen Green in the New Statesmen me being able to say this here is an example of it, several journalist have cut my comments, in a similar vein, on their august journalist.

Keep in mind that for every Woodward and Bernstein there are 20 Kelvin MacKenzie and while we want to keep and encourage the former we need less of the latter because they just abuse a valuable freedom. #JFT96

Friday, 23 November 2012

The dangers of a fixed phase relationship.

By Iridescent
While I was walking home today, I notice that 2 cars were parked with their hazard warning lights flashing away and they had a fixed phase relationship. What that means is that the second flashed at the same amount of time after the first every time. This was between vehicles of two different marques.
Now while this might not seem a big point it is very new. In the past electromechanical system were used and this had a lot of varied depending on the actual specification of the devices, plus the the voltage and current from the battery and the temperature, on top of this was the different designs used by different manufacturers.
While it's unlikely that the lack of natural variation in indicator lights will cause any big problems, it is indicative of the grown synchronisation of all things. Somewhere, buried deep in the car, was a crystal whose vibrations were being counted and that crystal was very very predictable, it and its ilk are buried in good everywhere from Quartz Watches, to computers and washing machines. All counting time in very accurate nanoseconds.
Soon we will all these devices will be networked and to make things simple that will all be synchronised via the Network Time Protocol to one of a few Stratum 0 time servers which are calibrated by state of the art atomic clocks and synced with each other. Since the 60s they have been keeping Coordinated Universal Time, which is as near as damn it good old GMT, or as NASA refers to it "Zulu time".
So what harm could this possibly do?
Already the national grid has to predict when everyone will switch the kettle on during major TV events, what happens when all the kettles switch themselves on, not just over 5 minutes but over 5 microseconds. The cumulative surge voltage would be amazing put an enormous spike in the power demands of the county.
The world we live in is becoming more and more synchronised with finer and finer precision and that may cause problems, in the same way as people walking over London Millennium Footbridge did.
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge had a not unrelated problem once it started swinging at it resonate frequency, the oscillation just got bigger and bigger till the bridge destroyed itself.
A world of lots of interconnected devices has the potential to form a similar system causing power spike or message storms that become more and more synchronised and bigger and bigger till something blows up.
It is possible to stop this happening with the bridges but it is also possible for a new mode of excitation and reinforcement to come into play as happened with the London Millennium Bridge or one that the designers forgot to take into account, in that case synchronous lateral excitement. Bridges are have always been designed even when man was using rules of thumb they were created could be observed and if need a new rule added. The Internet has no such designer and no such design. Is it possible to test a whole global system for positive feedback between previous unrelated events and involving lots of different devices. I doubt it, we can avoid the problem by not syncing things that do not need syncing or by adding a bit of random noise to those devices which don't need timings to the millisecond. It will annoy the hell out of me and my fellow borderline OCD Geeks that our kettles doesn't switch on at the time we specify, down to the millisecond but it might just be worth it.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

A Moon with a view.

One of the main reasons that nobody has returned to the Moon is the lack of things to do there beyond studying the Moon. It was for the most part easier to do investigations from Earth or from orbit. However this is not without its problems, while the lack of gravity has it uses it also has it's handicaps. In the case of manned vehicles it means that they are very noisy as no gravity means no convention to move the hot exhaled air away from your mouth, so if you lay asleep you would literally suffocate on your own exhaled breath.
Being in a hard vacuum makes cooling things down very difficult as the vacuum of space has the same effect as the vacuum in a Thermos flask, only it is a far harder vacuum.
In orbit you are moving very fast as are lots of other things, often in different directions, so it is perfectly possible if not likely you will hit these things on a regular basis, plus if you want to give a patch of sky a good hard stare then you have to slew then you have to make sure the Earth doesn't get in the way.
For radio astronomers there is the neighbourhood it is very noisy with signals from mobile phones and WiFi to radars popping up all the time, from earth.
The moon however provides a good place to look from, sure it moves, but not as fast as a Low earth Orbit Satellite. The moon rotates slowly once every 28 days meaning that for 10+ days in a row and a particular point in the Sky is visible. Though you have to cope with a 14 day lunar night so you need some pretty big batteries or other regenerate power source.
The weather is the same day in and day out, with the odd burst of brain melting radiation from the occasional Coronal Mass Ejection or Solar Proton Event, which do not have to be handled if you in LEO as you're still protected by the Earth's magnetic field.
With a firm base to anchor to heat can be dumped into the ground far quicker than being radiated into space and there there are no consumables that can run out as you do not need any reaction rockets, you also do not need flywheels to maintain your orientation.
The reason for holding back was there was no rocket big enough to get a lander and telescope there. Well hopefully NASA new system called the Space Launch System will solve that problem.
With the various private crew launch vehicles being built, it really does not need to be man rated but what it does need is the design of a specific lunar transfer module, the speed out there is not important so you transfer can be with ion motors, though something a bit meatier will be needed for landing but it could be done and it should be done.
With a decent telescope you could even do some nice earth observation on the near side whilst on the far side yours as shielded from Earth with its noise as you can be. Then all you need is an orbiting communications satellite to store and forward data.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Something in the air

Bell Eagle Eye
Some of you may remember when Merseyside Police crashed their UAV/Drone into the Mersey and on collecting the insurance, decided not to buy another, citing amongst other things the lack of all-weather capabilities and the expense of needing trained operators on any job. The drone in question was a small Quadrotor, similar to this Aeryon Scout.
First I'll clear up the difference between a remote control aircraft and a UAV. In a remote control system, the pilot operates with direct control of the systems, if they push the stick left then the flaps on the wing move in the direction indicated and in direct proportion to the user's movement of the stick. The pilot observers the aircraft from a distance and adjusts to what they see.
In a UAV the vehicle is flown by an autopilot and the human tells the autopilot what to do. The human operator gets their situational awareness from a display on a control panel, which is driven by signals sent from instruments on the UAV. This often includes the traditional pilot's view from either a camera mounted in the nose or produced synthetically from data sent back by the UAV.
Some people get very uptight about UAVs in a way that they do not get uptight about the police helicopter. In part, this is because as the UAV is unmanned they believe there is no one to stop it crashing if the communications links go down. The reality is that most crashes of Helicopters are caused by pilot error, something which a UAV is far less likely to suffer from. The vehicles are smaller and lighter so in the event of a crash they do less damage. There is also less to go wrong, which translates into less crashes. Yes they will inevitably crash but probably at a lower rate than crewed helicopters.
The bad weather issues can be dealt with by using bigger vehicles Like the Schiebel Camcopter S-100, which is a tenth of a price of the price of the EC135 that is the current Merseyside Police Helicopter. In my opinion, UAVs in the UK will be acquired to serve Fire/Police/SAR in a common pool carrying a sensor suite similar to the EC135, with a common control room that would operate all of a region's UAV assets on a priority basis. There would be pilots and dedicated observer staff in the control room, who will interact with the people on the ground, as the current airborne observers do. Additionally the ability to forward video to mobile devices like pads and will allow someone, at the scene, control of the optical systems.
A tilt rotor or compound helicopter will be needed for fast transit, from one job to the next. Something like Bell Eagle Eye would be more useful if it hadn't been cancelled.
The price of small microdrones is likely to drop perhaps to such a level that individual police cars and fire engines can carry small/micro drones and call on the services of the flight control centres to pilot them remotely, reducing the need for special training for those carrying the devices.
Beyond these Camera drones, the police may end up using Stratellites for communications but then so may the rest of us.

Also, see

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


I have a love hate relationship with snow. I love to slide across it on Skis but haven't done that for 20+ years but my Ski boots still travel with me. I love the way it looks, especially the non UK variety which is cleaner and lasts for months.  In a country that is prepared for snow and doesn't grind to a halt.
There is nothing better than to look out from a Hotel room on to a world which is white and feel the warmth of the sun, the most glorious feeling is to stand in a T-Shirt in the Sun at -2C and feel warm. It has a crisp dryness which the UK weather doesn't have.
Those that hate snow have never seen it in all its majesty coating a mountain, it is a sight and a feeling that modern fabrics have made delightful, even to just sit at an Austrian bar in the Beir Garden or near the top of an Alp and drink a cold beer is so strange as to be new, more different than a visit to the Costas.
UK snow is horrible it is thrown about indiscriminately by little kids and makes me angry. It blocks roads it turns into a hideous dark mass which just sit around, and look like a pile of shit.
Once it even stole my girlfriend, it allowed itself to be written in outside her house in Stafford and while it may have taken 2 years the msg got through and in the end she married the man that the snow had prostituted itself too. For years I could not look at snow without feeling anger and pain, I had loved it and it had betrayed me.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Tea Time

I decided to go wild and push the boat out and risk 27p to evaluate Tesco Everyday Tea. Now normally there is only one type of Tea worth drinking and that is Typhoo, no ifs, no buts. However giving it a close run is Tesco Premium Blend, the problem is that I can get Typhoo at 99p per 80 bags in Home Bargain.
It is also very good, so much so, that it fails in its main purpose of keeping my caffeine level correct, while at the same time forcing me to grit my teeth every time, so I remember to go out and buy Typhoo. I could obviously get Quick Brew or Tetley but then I could boil water and add milk and sweetener.
The Everyday Value variety is a decent cup of  tea, provided you let it brew a bit longer. I fear it may be too good for the purpose I have for it. I will have to drink the remaining 79 bags to test.

Thursday, 18 October 2012


I've just finished an Exam, T325 if you are interested. It is my equivalent of the Olympics and I've now done it, I should be feeling good but I don't.
Part of me feels that some deep part of me is trying to send my conscious self a message but I don't know what part of me or what message. This is roughly in line with my ability to understand other people. I don't know when I became so uncertain or whether it is justified. Is it that over time I have realised how bad my intuition is or is it an innate part of me.
In life, you're given very little education on how to deal with yourself especially if your parents have the same problem. There was no attempt in my education to grow me as a person there was simply the assumption that telling me off would somehow teach me.
There is no use providing a plaster in the form of citizenship class in the hope that people can so the light.
If society problem is that it is producing people who cannot function it should try and understand why but it doesn't. It creates phrases like NEET to describe the results and assumes that the problem is the lack of education or training when that is just a symptom.
What is the point of having schools which fail to educate people on how to live a life but tries to give people qualifications which they do not use? If their current crop of NEETs hadn't been let down by both parents, schools and society in general when it comes to helping them grow in fully functional human beings. If those that were to become NEETs have instead of not being trained to get GCSE but had been trained in life skills and how to understand themselves they may not have any great qualifications at the end but they would be better human beings able to contribute to society none the less, and capable of obtaining education and qualifications later in life.
But as you cannot get an O'level in self-confidence or an A'level in making friends there is not intensive to teach them.
The first and most important lesson schools should teach is how to live life well and be a functional societal human being but that would be difficult to mark, to measure and to test so we use an inappropriate measure and damn people who do not measure up to this even though their major failing is not their lack of long division skills but their lack of people skills.
Ah I hear you say but that is the parent's job, well if they aren't doing it then schools must as a priority above and beyond the 3Rs.

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
  They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
  And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
  By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
  And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
  It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
  And don't have any kids yourself. 

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Alzheimer's disease

I appear to have developed Alzheimer's disease, there can be no other reasonable explanation, it seems however that I am getting wonderful treatment. This treatment consist of having things from my childhood and early youth being shown to me, apparently it allows me to reconnect with long stored memories and induce a comfortable warm feeling in my addled mind. This is somewhat compromised by the fact that I hated my childhood only sightless than I hate adult life, it is not that my childhood was very bad just that I am very awkward.
In 1976 my mum bought me and my brother new bikes, which is good, she had done it with the money she got from my dad's life insurance which is bad. So seeing a Rally Europa is something of a mixed thing for me it brings back lots of memories, like breaking my collar bone on it by dropping a bag down the front forks, I remember vividly the last time I saw it was at Hayes House in Stone, that day I lost my bike, a Girl Friend and somewhere to live, plus a certain amount of dignity in the process.
It does make me wonder how much the therapy is affecting other dementia sufferers, are those old ladies genuinely happy to see what the carer has just shown them or are the acting out what the carer wants to believe, while inside screaming. The WW2 Gas mask bag may bring back nice memories for some, of their youth but for me and perhaps those who lived through WW2 the memories may not be so fond. The WW2 survives may be badly traumatized by the sudden recollection of Mr Jones from next door's head being blown through the window by a stray blast bomb while I just remember peddling like hell to escape from Michael Thomas.
I would therefore like to apologize to those Dementia suffers in the late 70s and early 80s who I disturbed by using one as my school and Polytechnic bag. You see no good memories at all.
Do not get me started on Adidas bags and Parkers. Though I am tempted by a duffel coat, I had one in the 60s.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A Republic, Not a Democracy

The American right has decided that they cannot win the argument, so they have decided to change the language. The US Constitution mentions the word Republic far more that it does Democracy. So the NeoCons have decided that they can change the meaning of the word republic, from what it means in the dictionary, for something completely different, and strangely exactly what they and in particular the Tea party  claim to stand for. It also happens to be the name of the party which they happen to want to hijack to get into power.
Their definition is rather nonsensical and has no root in history but they seem as keen to do it as they are to brand the Nazi as Socialist. The right in US politics have always sort to claim the founding father as their guide. While at the same time ignoring them completely. The people who signed the constitution were not religious zealots, a large number were deist, not Christians.
The pilgrim fathers were not the first group or the most influential in early North America or in the united states. The persecution that they fled was one that stopped them persecuting others, when they got the chance in America, they very quickly had blood on their hands. Amongst other things the executed a woman for being a Quaker.
Nowhere do the NeoCons look at what the likes of Benjamin Franklin thought a republic was and no where does Franklin claim to have a view which is different from the generally perceived view of his age, which is the a republic conducts its politics and decision making in public and doesn't have a hereditary leader.
The US constitution does not spend a great amount of time outlining how the US will maintain it's republic where as in the first few years they went to great lengths to define how they would fore-fill the democratic requirements.
The US right is the most intellectually bankrupt political groups in the world. They have no theory to back them up just an innate belief in their own right to power and will do whatever it takes to obtain that power. They are prepared to deny people the vote by fair and foul means to win, they cannot win on the arguments so they have decided to win by rigging the system.
The Republicans are the inheritors of the Pilgrim Fathers but not of those who wrote the constitution.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Past his sell by date.

Yesterday on Twitter I had the temerity to suggest that the churches where exploiting the disappearance of April Jones and who should come whining to their defence but Peter Price.

For those of you that are lucky enough never to have heard of Price, he is a loud mouthed, rabble rousing gob shite, who appears on Radio City in Liverpool and in the Echo. He likes the sound of his own voice and glories in is own self righteousness, he shouts down the or cuts off anyone who disagrees with him.

His Echo articles are some the few on which readers are not allowed to comment, because long ago the vast majority of people subject to his thoughts realised he was a dangerously self deluded man. He is your arch conservative in his outlook, keen to jump on any bandwagon, he trusts his first instincts and has never let reason over turn his bigotry. You would be a fool to take him on, on his own show because he would cut you off. Part of the reason he has never succeeded anywhere outside Liverpool is they can see right through him.

The reason he gets so angry when he reads something which doesn't deal with what he sees, as the only acceptable topic in the situation, which is with some mawkish self flagellation and crocodile tears, but ask some other questions which require a more considered approach that Price has ever given to anything.

So back to the original question, do Churches exploit tragedy, and do the media let them get away with it. The example of Yesterday clergy talking on all channels about the local community and how it felt would lead an outsider to believe that the Church was the very center of life, if it is, it is the only place in the UK where that is true. So how did it come about, well it is what clergy are trained to do, if someone from say Coke was to start staging meetings with counselors and saying that Coke was the centre of town life there would be an outcry, same is true if it was a political party, but if you a church then off you go, you can use any tragedy as a recruiting wagon and no one censures you.

The two GMP Officers killed had even more church involvement, we don't know whether or not the 2 officers ever attended or even if they were christened, but the church was there to maximize it publicity. This is what they do and it is wrong.

It is difficult for Price as he is a simple in a complex world, he shouldn't be given a platform to shout out his idiocy.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Due Process

The ongoing search for April Jones' is currently providing various elements of the media with an opportunity to jeopardize the due process of law and make a trial impossible, and opportunity that they seem to want to grasp with both hands.
Sky news' Kay Burley, while not risking due process has decided to go for a sensational story by interviewing a person under arrests son, who doesn't know his father, setting a new low that even Sky's sibling Fox will have difficultly descending too.
Then there is the normal bunch of string them up idiots who will quite happily see a man hanged before he has even been charged, never mind put before a court. In most cases without taking the into account what happens if it their son or daughter accused and lynched, then found guilty? Where would they stand then? Well some it seems are happy to volunteer that if they come under suspicion then the thumbscrews are OK by them, I hope the various police forces have seen this and see it as consent.
It is not an unreasonable to ask, "If by compromising Due Process in such a way that made the trial impossible but did not have any effect on the accused, but would save a life should it be done?" Is the right to life of an individual above the rights of society to justice? It is a very hard decision to make and not one I would like to have to take. It is not just that the guilty would go free but that in the future all someone would have to do was arrange for a repeat situation to ensure that they were never prosecuted. It would be an encouragement to those who are only just restrained by the rule of law, that they had a bigger chance of getting away with it. It would risk more lives and injuries than it would save. Due Process must be preserved for the benefit of future victims. Though I hope the question never has to be answered in the real world.
Lynching of Jesse Washington
If any of you think a Lynching is a good idea, this is what one looks like, this even appalled Texans.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Formula 1 Fridge.

Refrigerating plant, Canada Coldstore by Chris Allen
During the Malaysian Grand Prix where we're told many many times that the heat in the cockpit was such that it was the equivalent of being in a sauna just before you could not take it any more. That their core temperature could be 40C or more, which is well above normal. In the two hour race they can lose 3 litre of water, neither of which is good and are likely to impair judgement to a certain extent, presumable making mistakes and therefore accidents, more likely.
One of the main themes of F1 over the few years is modification to make it safer, which has usually meant slower, but at the same time increase the amount of overtaking. The 2 techniques to slow the cars down has been to make the engines and other parts have to last more than one race, this means you cannot stress them as much.
To get the increase overtaking they introduce KERS to recover energy during braking and allow it to be reused later. The other was the introduction of DRS allowing the cars to reduce drag at certain times.
It is not like there needs to be some great technological advance to reduce the temperature in the cockpit, air conditioning has been around for a while now and insulation for an even longer time. Wouldn't it be simpler to specify a maximum cockpit temperature of 20C as the added weight, power consumption and aerodynamic changes would slow the cars down. Doesn't have to reduce driving power as presumably the system can run of a KERS type energy recover system.
There is a balance needed between insulation, refrigeration and airflow, which makes it a difficult task to get right. Which would make it a bit more interesting.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

The Polydox

If you look at the world as seen on TV, you might think that there are only 2 sides to every story and that the same people will be on the same side of every argument, discussion or debate. Classically one side will be the Orthodox side and the other the Heterodox. The Heterodox may well call themselves sceptics but in reality the only thing they question is the orthodox view, for them to agree with a single view held by "the man" is anathema.
In reality any sane person would know that each side is right some of the time. You can think that what Bradley Manning and Wikileaks did were good things and that Julian Assange and what Wikileaks are doing now is a bad thing. Some of the vitriol coming out the Assangists camp and aimed at the like of David Allen Green, is as appalling, as it is idiotic.
One thing that the Wikileaks claimed to have wanted for years is that governments stop break both domestic and international law, now however they want governments in the UK and Sweden to break their own laws because it is convenient for them, this is rank hypocrisy. It shows that the Assangists are exactly the same as the people they claim to oppose, that in them is manifest an arrogant self belief which allows them to do what they want because they know they are right, that belief is shared by their opposition as well. I know I'm right as does every other person on the planet, know that they are right, we don't go around saying things we know to be wrong.
The flaw in institutions like parliament is that there are two sides and they fight each other and winnings all that's important because each side believes it is right. Even if members of each side doubt the correctness of their side on an individual point, they will toe the line as their side is right in general and it is for the greater good, if they just ignore their conscience this 1 time, the collective total of them being in power is good.
In a civilized society debate is among a group that believes one set of arguments and one or more other groups who believe different arguments. The debate is won by arguments on the subject not name calling and bludgeoning the other side in filibusters. If no conclusion can be reached a plan is devised to get more information to allow a determination to be made. If you lose the argument you conceded as soon as you realise and move on to other subjects. You don't fight on because being seen to be wrong on any point is not good, only the sophist and the bully think that not losing is the point of debate.
In most arguments the decision about who had won should not be taken by a vote of the arguers but by a neutral audience which will listen to the arguments. Such things are called juries but one of the important things about juries as that you don't get to choose to be on them and you don't get to choose not to be on them. In order to be a working system in Greek times I imagine it was just peer pressure that made the turn up at the Agora, and of course the wonderfully free Greek electorate had slaves to do all the actual work.
There is an argument that says the current government has no mandate as it is a coalition in reality it has exactly the same strength of mandate as any other government that can get people to vote for it in the commons. The people that don't have a mandate are those who vote in the interest of their party rather than their constituents, who don't vote based on the arguments but on some vague manifesto promise.
I used to say that "1 is the only bad number of political parties", I was wrong 1 is worse than n where n>1, however n>1 is worse than 0.
Political parties kill debate, and without debate we have no way of deciding what is true, what is good. We need to forget the Orthodox but also the Heterodox and embrace the Polydox, forming ourselves into gangs is not the answer, whether those gangs are the Bloods or Crypts or Labour or Conservative,

Wednesday, 22 August 2012



1. Julian Assange peripatetic Australian.

Verb (used without object)

2. To make a mess of when starting from an advantageous position.


3. Exclamation made when you realise you have transformed gold into shit.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Crunchie the real health food bar.

Crunchie by Adambro
I've always believed that honesty was the best policy this is of course for totally moral reasons and nothing to do with the fact that I have a shit memory.  Though I'm not really surprised by stories like "Cereal bars: Healthy image a myth - Which?" however I am quite often taken in by them.
I have wasted a ridiculous amount of time and money buying the light alternative and the snack you can eat between meals without losing your appetite, as part of my diet. When it turns out the beloved Crunchie has less Calories and is cheaper.
Your standard Crunchie bar is composed almost entirely of sugar and milk chocolate. There is not a single nutritional thing in it, but it only contains 185 calories.
Two part foam by Cottontails
The centre of a Crunchie looks like a chunk of two part foam or several failed chemistry experiments from my youth though neither are as tasty as the Crunchie, which is made of cinder toffee which is easy to make without the aid of a chemistry set, apparently you can even do it in a kitchen, see Here, without a white coat and safety glasses but personally, I do not think it would be the same if you did not wear them.
It is an example of how modern marketing works, first take something that has been around for centuries, give it a name, stick it in a shiny wrapper and people will almost forget the origins. Lord Leverhulme would have been proud. It is perhaps the best example of adding value by adding nothing. Having said that I'm off to buy one, but surely someone can produce an Unbranded version.
Cinder toffee by Londonsista

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Julian Assange inventor of AntiGravitas

I had thought that I possessed the greatest amount of Anti-Gravitas in the world but Julian beats me by a parsec or two. My own abilities to start off on the moral high ground and jump off it are legendary but to be honest the ground has never been that high, Mr Assange seem to have somehow got himself in a position where he could have done a great deal of good but has sacrificed it all out of sheer arrogance.
By one means or another he acquired, seemingly legally, a large quantity of documents which would expose the detail of what went on in diplomatic circles, though again it is what diplomats always knew and the rest always suspected, there has been just a small possibility that it could have been used to alter the system to make it a bit more honest.
His first problem came with his lack of concern for some of the small people who would be exposed as informants in dangerous parts of the world. Next he decides to take advantage of his popularity to get his end away, well who wouldn't, I definitely would but there are not just honey traps set up by the CIA, but gold diggers, blackmailers, people with axes to grind and media whores out there who would look on Assange as a meal ticket. If you going to put your self in a delicate situation play it a little cautious you have a brand to protect Julian but he didn't.
Exactly what, if anything he is guilty of being a matter for the courts, his own admissions make that clear there is a case to answer but there are some quiet obvious answers to the questions which put him on the right side of the law, I know of at least one person who liked the idea of being woken by an orgasm, though I would have insisted on having it in writing, if it was someone I'd only just met or I wouldn't go for it.
He is not going to be accepted as a diplomat by the UK whatever Ecuador does, so as soon as he leaves he will be arrested, if he doesn't leave time in a Swedish gaol may seem preferable. The only thing he is doing now is making himself look increasingly foolish and destroying whatever Kudos he had earned.
Sooner or later he will just be a fool he started off with lofty ambitions for what he could do, and while he may never have been able to achieve them he has squandered what difference he could make, at every turn he has acted to make himself look petty. I doubt the Swedes would give him to the US, even if they did it would be with a no execution agreement. So he either has to face life in the Ecuadorian embassy or walk out and take the chances with the Swedes, and I think the chances are in his favour, but the more time he spends in Ecuador the more guilty he looks and the more time he like to face for being in breach of his bail conditions.
The way he is acting reminds me of a minor UK pressure group know as the "Freemen of the Land", who are to say the least deluded.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Only the trivial is difficult

Once, a long time ago, whilst a student, I lived with a beautiful and erudite woman. This came as a big surprise to me as I'd never really expected it, being a grade A geek and grade B human-being I had not planned for a romantic life at all. People I just didn't get.
Her family didn't seem to like me even though they had never met me, sometime after we split up I heard that her mother had told her something about me, which was strange as, at that time, I'd never met her and we lived 200 miles apart, still to this day it is the one thing that bugs me beyond all others about the relationship.
To be honest the relationship wasn't going to work out, we wanted very different things from life.
I may have seen her several years later and not recognised her, or it could have been some other random angry woman, who had found that under this Adonis like outer shell, lies Beaker, from the Muppets, not ever Dr Bunsen Honeydew.
It's clarification of these facts that bugs the hell out of me today, from what I know she is happy and has a family, I am genuinely happy for her, though I do still miss her.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

British Unconstitution Group

It seems that Roger Hayes is back behind bars, this time for non payment of council tax, thou the various "Freemen of the Land" would have it slight differently. See here.
I contacted the relevant Magistrates court and got this from the court manager.

"Dear Sir

Further to your request for information regarding Roger Hayes please note,

On 26th June 2012 a warrant was issued by Wirral Magistrates’ Court for the arrest of Roger Hayes for non-payment of Council Tax. Roger Hayes was arrested and on 2nd July 2012 appeared before District Judge Abelson at the Wirral Magistrates’ Court who heard an application (made on behalf of Wirral Council) for him to committed to prison for unpaid Council Tax. At the hearing, which was in public and to which the press had access, the Judge found that Roger Hayes had wilfully refused to pay the Council Tax and that he should be committed to prison for 21 days or until he paid the outstanding Council Tax.

Proceedings for the recovery of unpaid Council Tax are brought under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and the Council Tax (Administration & Enforcement) Regulation 1992. An application for committal to prison for unpaid council tax can only be made to a Magistrates’ Court.

I am not able to provide any further information

Yours faithfully Operations Manager
Liverpool Knowsley and Wirral Magistrates' Courts"

Hayes had been ordered to pay the tax last year at Liverpool Crown Court and has refused on several occasions to turn up at court.
Now the FMOTL are quite good at claiming that all they want is the common law enforced, so what does that say about not turning up and ignoring court orders? "In English common law, an outlaw was a person who had defied the laws of the realm, by such acts as ignoring a summons to court, or fleeing instead of appearing to plead when charged with a crime."[ref].

Seems Roger is getting off pretty lightly by the standards common law would set. At least one FMOTL of the land has told me that the facts are that it was a secret court etc. etc. When asked how they know this no answer comes forth. While I may not be the greatest lawyer in the world, I do know that my mate say's is not a guarantee of the truth, it may be what they believe but that is a totally different matter.
The FMOTL seem to be a group of people ignorant of the law, history, the enlightenment etc. These are New Agers by a different title, lost in dreams of a golden age that never was.
"Mostly Harmless but potentially a good floor show".

To reassure people who are worried because they cannot pay "You can be sent to prison only if the magistrates believe that you 'won't pay' rather than 'can't pay' your debts". See

Thursday, 7 June 2012

What I miss about the Cold War

Kids today, make that anyone under 30, what are they like? Anyone over that age is likely at some point to have stood on a hill and seen a mushroom shaped cloud and no matter how fleetingly thought, oh shit they have pressed the button. Followed quickly by thoughts of how the living would envy the dead.

This usually induced some late night worries about whether a survivalist future, would in fact be more fun than the current hum drum existence and whether it was really a good idea to stock up on more pasta and tinned goods, or perhaps dig a shelter in the back garden just in case. After a while these thoughts would peter out and life would return to normal until the next misshapen cumulonimbus. In those days we were all at least metaphorically on the front life for a few days a year.

Then came the fall of the Iron Curtain and the talk was of peace dividends, however the reality of that is that the economy is Keynesian so less spending on arms meant less building arms, which meant less jobs and which meant less research. The IRA was still killing civvies and squaddies to some extent, but it wasn't really the same.

In a moment of reflection, I realized that what had gone before WW2 was not peace and tranquillity but British and other troops engaged in actions all over the world maintaining empire etc. And that while the empire was no more there was a lot of pent up anger and desire sloshing around that had been kept from exploding by super power rivalry and was armed to the teeth, by the same super powers. The dictatorship of European powers in far away places had gone in the 50s and 60s largely to be replaced by the dictatorship of a minority group. The first requirement of any new middle eastern proto despot was to be from a minority group with an axe to grind. On the rare occasion the democracy took root we dug it up and put in place a dictator.

It might not have been peaceful, but it was predictable. What I want now is a ring tone based on Cold War alerts, something that tells me randomly "Bikini State is Red" or screams out in the middle of a meeting "Chrome Dome is go repeat Chrome dome is go" just to look at the faces of the youngsters when us 30+ start deciding if we want to live or die.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

London the real self pity city.

The National media and our regional media are happy to portray "Liverpool as self pity city", those of us forced to listen to the endless  line of whining from the Capital are getting well and truly sick of it. The latest whinge seems to be that the Olympics is going to cause some traffic problems. That somehow between £15 and £20 billion pounds of investment and infrastructure and the PR junket in history and they are unhappy about 2-4 weeks of problematic traffic.
It's just a pity they don't have the vast interconnecting underground rail system that every other city in the UK has or share in the vast Cross Rail, Thames Link and HS2 bonanzas that every other UK city is having.
What about the massive BBC PR orgy going on at the moment in which every single City other than London get a multi-strand economic and cultural history broadcast to the world.
London get's the health treatment of a Premiership Footballer, every groan, every twinge is probed and prodded by Dr Sir this and Dr Lady that. The corporate body is given the finest all over naked massage by the most beautiful and oiled masseurs of whichever sex is to the player preference. Even when the greatest skill they possess is akin to diving in the box.
London sits like a fat spoiled child at the centre of national life, self indulgently gorging on an array of the finest chocolates, that a doting granny has told it to share with the family. While only throwing the difficult to chew hard toffee casually over its shoulder to its pet dog Manchester.
Though it has been doing this for so long now it's teeth are rotten and its breath stinks of decay, it has Type II diabetes, liver failure and advanced coronary art disease. I think we can can expect another raid from the Cockney organ thieves, soon.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Tony Mulhearne

The elections for Liverpool mayor have come and gone and TUSCs candidate Tony Mulhearne lost his deposit. The only person really surprised by this was Tony Mulhearne. He and his comrades had swaggered all through the election on how Liverpool would show there was an alternative. On the Echo's Liver Blog they were full of themselves. How true Scousers wouldn't be told what to do and how would all rebel. In the end, they did Rebel against the meat head views of Tony Mulhearne & Co. Scousers will not be told what to do by anyone including Mulhearne. Surely this must be the time they wake up and realise that as Militant they did steal power in Liverpool, they didn't represent labour voters and as soon as the people got the chance to tell the to get stuffed for pulling the wool over our eyes they did.
Can we wave them goodbye from Liverpool politics? I doubt it they never were interested in democracy or Liverpool they were only ever interested in using it as a pawn in a wider game. Alan Bleasdale was right in G.B.H Liverpool has been a pawn in the games of both sides perhaps we can now get on with rebelling against not just TPTB but also the image that Scallies like Mulhearne would like to portray.
True independence can never be had when you always do what someone says and it can never be had when you always do the opposite of what someone says.

Monday, 30 April 2012

My Train set

As a Kid I had a train set, it was in my opinion far too small in both size and scale. I have now sought to rectify this by building a new one or more accurately expanding Merseyrail. Apparently crowd sourcing is all the rage these days. So I'm starting a crowding source push for the £1 Billion pounds that my railway will cost. Don't worry it is not just for me you can all ride on it if you pay the fare.
In return for your help funding your name will be immortalised on one of the sleepers.
The full description is here

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A dose of the trots.

Well so much for an open an honest debate about who is going to be Liverpool's first elected lord mayor but a bunch of children have decided to have the debates scrapped, and they are happy about it. Disrupting the political process for your own ends is a very Fascists way to do it. Though it is only one set of fascists they object to  and that is the Fascists of the right. Tony Mulhearn is OK by them despite the fact he is every bit as undemocratic as he demonstrated in his days as militant by subverting the Labour party to his own ends.

So who are these people? Well meet university students Andrew Sharwood and Ruth Brewer
It looks like they have pretty much fallen for the Trotskite/Lennists Vanguard group idea. Where we, the working class cannot be trusted to work stuff out for ourselves but have to be led, having our hands held by these "intellectuals". We can't be trusted to ignore the Fascists Right we need to be looked after by these beneficent masters.
The arrogance of this position is unbelievable and it has failed every time it has tried. The same person who brought you 1984 also wrote animal farm, and while I'm sure these two are well versed in a Police state etc. It's amazing how easily they have become the pigs of Animal Farm.
If you see them in the street cross to the other side.
They don't want a debate because we can't be trusted to agree with them. They are not Marxists as they seem to have forgotten all the bits about when the revolution will come and who will lead it, they are Marx's worst nightmare.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Not in my name

The Police bloggers are off again complaining that the various suspensions of officers accused of racism is basically a witch hunt. The idea seems to be that there are racists everywhere so why label the Police racists because of one or two officers.
Firstly people don't get up one morning and become racist, just for the day. They will have a history of it and their mates will know, so why do we have to wait until the the officers get caught by a member of the public and with an overwhelming amount of evidence.
Secondly if someone from Tesco's is caught being racists then I can go to Sainsbury's and while the consequences of racist shop staff cannot be underestimated the chances of them being extremely violent or go unpunished a quite small. See here.
Finally there is the little matter of who's paying the salaries of the people doing the abusing, they represent you and me, they represent Parliament and the Law and when you abuse your office you bring disrespect on not just yourself, not just your fellow officers but to the public that fund you and support the laws that give you power.
So Officers You're not being picked on especially, you decided to represent us, it is our police force not yours and you colleagues bad behaviour reflects on us and you should deal with them before they become a problem.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The stiletto imperative.

It not even the deadline yet for candidates for the elected mayor of Liverpool and already 2 candidates have dropped out. One citing theatres of find skeletons in his cupboard. The other announced it in a comment on a David Bartletts blog, giving the URL he has always used but now this URL is no longer registered. The site may still be up but the URL no longer points to it, that's a very quick removal, it is therefore going to be difficult to find out why he left.
Who would befit from these dirty tricks? This isn't you normal first past the post election, it has a limited AV element. In theory all these independents could steal some of the big boys 1st preference. Which could have some interesting effects. The victory that the candidates want is 50%+ on first preference. If no one gets that then the top 2 run off, this means that the 2nd pref of everyone who didn't vote for the top 2 are added up and if the 2nd preferences are for the top 2 they are added. The Upper second victory here is 50+% however if neither of the top 2 gets 50% then the one with the highest vote wins. This is a lower Second.
But it's important to note you have to be in the top 2 to go into the second round if you come 3rd you out and in theory you could win from third if 4th and down picked you as 2nd pref. This makes protest votes very dangerous.
Now it is perfectly possible that in the process of sending a message to perhaps Joe the voters could drop him to a 3rd.
Part of the problem is that the political classes hate AV as it would take away there right to pick the candidates, so they deliberately hobble the system, in this case by restricting it to the top 2. Almost guaranteed to cause upset and allow them to show who bad AV is.
So who would Joe go for in order to come up with a strategy to minimise the risk? Alistair Campbell or Malcolm Kennedy.
Watch out for more dirty tricks as Joe doesn't want a 3rd.