Posted in February 2007

Lies, damn lies, and the Congestion Charge

There’s an article in today’s Times. about the Congestion Charge.

The key facts in the body of the article are:

1) “The number of vehicles entering the zone fell slightly last year and is now 20 per cent below the level in 2002.”

2) “The fall in vehicles has failed to produce a lasting reduction in congestion because the capacity of the road network has fallen over the past four years”

3) “The duration of works by all utilities tripled between 2004 and 2006, largely due to the replacement of leaking Victorian water mains. The Mayor admitted that the introduction of new bus lanes and sets of traffic lights had also reduced the capacity of the network, although he claimed that the effects of these were small compared with the delays caused by road works.”

In other words, the Congestion Charge has worked admirably and would be a good model to follow, freeing up space for road works, bus lanes and pedestrians while reducing carbon emissions. Result! However, that isn’t the way the introductory paragraphs of the article have been spun:

Congestion in central London is almost as bad as it was before the daily charge was introduced four years ago, according to official figures.

The loss of most of the benefits of congestion charging is causing concern in other cities that have been considering whether to follow London’s lead.

Whoever wrote those lead paragraphs is a dishonest cunt and should have pokers thrust in their eyes. Also, it’s time to prepare for an onslaught of ignorant car-loving Ken-hating buffoons claiming that the CC has failed on the basis of this ‘evidence’…

George Osborne is a filthy scumbag

It’s rather poor news, although slightly questionable, that the UK has come bottom among developed countries in a UNICEF survey into child welfare. The survey doesn’t appear to be on the UNICEF website, so I’ll hold off detailed comments just yet.

However, it is clearly the case that George Osborne is a cunt: “After 10 years of his [Gordon Brown's] welfare and education policies, our children today have the lowest well-being in the developed world“, he opines.

#1: welfare and education were Tony’s sphere; #2: I would happily stake my life on most of the fall in child welfare having happened between 1979 and 1997, and would also stake a sizeable sum of money on Labour having done something (not very much and certainly not enough, but something) to reverse it.

“I told you no-one would mind about Tony Blair” (*)

I can understand people wanting to kill Tony Blair.

Generally, I’d expect said impulse to come from someone who’d been bombed, maimed and seen their families killed in the pursuit of his silly war, or people who’ve been falsely accused of terrorism, or who’ve been deported to murderous regimes on his say-so. In fact, it it seems to have cropped up in a pair of provincial fuckwits who’re grumpy about seeing black faces and having to pay an extra thruppence in tax, but still – I can understand why someone might want to kill Tony Blair.

It’s when they shift the focus to avuncular Liberal peers, that I feel they’ve gone too far:

A former candidate for the British National party stockpiled bomb-making chemicals and talked about wanting to gun down the prime minister, a court heard today. Robert Cottage, 49, also discussed his desire to shoot the Liberal Democrat peer, Lord Greaves, the jury at Manchester crown court was told.

(*) Title purloined from old joke

Make your sodding minds up

I don’t understand what right-wingers like Mr Euginides actually want for the NHS, aside from painfully murdering the annoying Patricia Hewitt (which would be fun, but wouldn’t achieve much).

Governments achieve a certain, not especially high level of efficiency in everything they do; any attempts to change this will certainly fail; and anyone who believes it is possible to significantly raise (or, indeed, lower) the efficiency with whichgovernment operates is a deluded loony.

So there is an obvious equation when it comes to government health spending: the more of it there is, the better the health service is – but also the more money is wasted. Similarly, if government health spending is cut, less money will be wasted, but the health service will become less good.
There is a useful policy question about how much money should be spent on the health service – or, in tabloid speak, how much Horrible Government Waste we can tolerate in order to Save Pensioners’ Lives. Persionally, I think we should spend much less – chiefly by providing people who have less than a 50% chance of surviving the next 12 months with cheap opiate-based painkillers instead of expensive, painful and most likely pointless treatment.
But the people on the right criticise the NHS both for making money-saving efforts and for being overfunded – so Mr E is railing against hospital closures, even though they will save the money that he believes is being wasted. Presumably if they spend more on not closing hospitals, he will rail against that…
So aside from suicide or resignation, what should Patricia Hewitt do? Remember, if you say “improve efficiency”, that means you’re a complete joker with no understanding of the alternatives available.

Or you could, y’know, catch some criminals

During the recent snow epidemic, Cambridge student John Knowles built a four-foot snowwilly. To anyone vaguely sane, this is the kind of act that would warrant a brief smile, perhaps followed with a jibe about Mr Knowles having too much time on his hands.

However, following in the tradition of his Oxford colleagues, one overzealous policeman saw matters rather differently. The cunt, whose name has sadly not been published, issued Mr Knowles with a fixed penalty notice for his trouble.

It is a reasonable assumption that at least one policeman is certain to get murdered over the next year. I beg the gods of probability to ensure that the murderers pick this cunt, rather than someone who hasn’t manifestly demonstrated the fact that they don’t deserve to live.

Via.

Guido in “Nazi” shock

Sunny has found an old Guardian article saying that Paul Staines, who now blogs as Guido Fawkes, plotted an alliance with the BNP to intimidate lefties when he was in the Federation of Conservative Students.

Mr Staines and his sockpuppets have infested the comments, claiming that the Guardian retracted the story (which is doubtless why the article, and not the retraction, is still available on Lexis-Nexis). But even if it’s false, it remains entirely clear that Mr Staines was a member of the incredibly-right-wing-and-mad FCS, and therefore should be eviscerated and have his corpse pissed on anyway.

The ‘orphan’ defence to parricide

The Telegraph has a thoroughly necessary opinion piece about the unaccountable cuntishness of airport and airline staff (did you know that insulting a member of an aeroplane’s crew, even if done without menace, threats, shouting or disorder – say, pointing out to a hopelessly incompetent buffoon that they’re a hopelessly incompetent buffoon – is a criminal offence?)

The suggestion that this is in any way essential in order to maintain air safety is obviously bollocks. Post-September 11, there should be no way for any member of the public to access the cockpit. The doors are designed so that the cabin’s pressurisation holds them shut and would require 25 tons [*] of force to open. Unless you’ve smuggled a high-calibre gun on board, your chances of endangering the aircraft are zero. In short, you are presenting no more and no less threat than someone in a sandwich bar – so only a daft cunt could possibly believe restrictions should be tighter.
Anyway. The Telegraph comments thread contains lots of comments from people who are equally pissed off by the aviation industry’s utter shitness, and a few self-justifying moans from airline cunts. My favourite one of the latter is:

When you are on board an aircraft then the crew take on an official role that is quite unlike any role a civilian has on the ground. They have very broad authority, for one good reason.

They are solely responsible for your safety, and are thoroughly trained [for five minutes, after their hairdressing course - PDF] to ensure that safety. The average passenger does not know when he threatens that safety. Ask the passengers of an Air France Airbus 340 that left the runway in Canada and then burned why cabin crew need authority and respect. Every one of them lived to answer that question, thanks to the crew.

The argument is spurious bullshit, because if the plane is not in the process for crashing, it is impossible for you to endanger its safety. But I’m mostly impressed by the chutzpah of his example: the reason Air France Flight 358 caught fire in the first place was because the pilot fucked up and landed on the wrong bit of the runway. So effectively, the point is “you should obey us, because we’re incompetent idiots and we’ll probably kill you by mistake if you don’t”.

With that attitude, maybe the relevant commenter should join the security forces…
[*] For pedants, 250 kilonewtons. Also, fuck you.

The sad thing is, they didn’t even recognise the irony

Tony Judt is a British Jewish writer and historian. He believes that Israel as a racially-founded state is morally unsustainable, and that it would be desirable to convert “Israel from a Jewish state to a binational one”, with equal rights for all Jews and Arabs living in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Because many defenders of Israel are mendacious conniving bastards who view criticism of Israel as equivalent to antisemitism, Mr Judt has been punished for his views. He was fired from the New Republic, and more recently had a speech cancelled in New York.

On October 4, 2006, Judt’s scheduled New York talk before the organization Network 20/20 was abruptly cancelled after Polish Consul Krzysztof Kasprzyk suddenly withdrew his offer of a venue following telephone calls from the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committe.

I wonder if you can guess what the speech was going to be about?

Judt, who had planned to argue that the Israel lobby in the US often stifled honest debate, called the implications of the cancellation “serious and frightening.”

Special message for idiots

Are you the kind of cunt who likes to spout lying racist nonsense about ‘bogus’ asylum seekers? Does the government cravenly pander to your stupid views?

If so, you are personally responsible for the death of Abdullah Tokhi. Nice one, you.