Friday, 24 July 2009

Please do not adjust your browsers... there will now be a temporary intermission while I go on holiday.

I have (literally) no idea what degree of Internet access will be available to me in the rural backwater of the poor benighted country that I shall be visiting, so service for the next week is likely to be sporadic.

My photo site is loaded up with scheduled posts, so do drop by for a peek. There are some there that I particularly like; I hope you will, too.

And remember, please, no-one is to do anything newsworthy until I am back in the country. I'd hate to miss the excitement.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Helpful Advice from Nanny

With the July deadline for payment of income tax under Self-Assessment fast approaching, a helpful member of staff has put up a poster advising how we should respond if an HMRC inspector should arrive:

(Guess who didn't enjoy writing a cheque this morning...?)

A Child Could See Through Labour...

I'm going to be very naughty and post the entirety of a story straight from Dan Hannan's blog. My only excuse is that the story is just wonderful.

Here you go:

I recently asked my friend’s little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be Prime Minister some day. Both of her parents, Labour supporters, were standing there, so I asked her, "If you were Prime Minister what would be the first thing you would do?"

She replied, "I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people." Her parents beamed.

"Splendid: what a worthy goal." I told her "But you don’t have to wait until you're Prime Minister to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you £50. Then I’ll take you over to the supermarket where that homeless fellow hangs out, and you can give him the £50 to use toward food and a new house."

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked: "Why doesn’t the homeless man come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the £50?"

I said, "Welcome to the Conservative Party."

Her parents still aren’t speaking to me.

Monday, 20 July 2009


A colleague of mine has reported that his wife woke up with a headache and nausea on Saturday morning.

After some investigation, he decided that she had contracted "wine flu".

A Very Modern Dilemma

Dick Pudlecote has thought up an entirely fictional dilemma of the sort that only the last 12 years of reform could have given us.

In short, he posits the situation of an owner of a transport company who discovers that one of his drivers is illliterate. The DVLA seemingly felt the need to provide every assistance to overcome this "disability" and grant him a driving licence. He, meanwhile, is conscious that sacking the driver will expose him to a claim for unfair dismissal, severe dyslexia being one of the conditions specifically covered by the Disability Discrimination Act.

The dilemma is completed, of course, by the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, which makes him responsible for an accident caused by the driver's inability to read a road sign.

How perfect. How completely perfect. The Government, through one arm, grants the necessary documents for someone to do a job for which they are clearly unsuited. A different arm of the State, operating under rules set down by the Government, then bars him from dismissing the employee. Finally, a further arm of Government makes him personally liable for the employee's accidents.

There is a message here for all putative employers: Don't.

Friday, 17 July 2009


Apparently there is some kind of poll going on about political blogs? The odd blog here and there mentions it. Some kind of link to Iain Dale is involved?

Well, my votes have gone in. I'm not going to say who I voted for, partly because Iain asks us not to, but mainly because I'm very shy and like to keep these things quiet.

Suffice to say, while there more than ten blogs that I think are good enough to read regularly, only ten or so are good enough for me to bother commenting on. So you know who you all are!

Good luck to all of you.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Blinkered Incompetence

Letters from a Tory and I were both disgusted at Brown's attitude to the Afghan war. After yesterday's exchanges, I still am. It was pure, undiluted Brown at his evasive worst.

Asked why helicopters had not been provided, he proudly told us all that he was spending a huge amount of money to provide them. No, Gordon, we want to know why you didn't plan ahead and get them in place before. You have, after all, had 8 years of war so far - which ought to have given you enough notice.

Of course, in the fantasy world of our Prime Minister, spending £1.4bn several years ago, which would have given us the helicopters we need, when we need them, is much worse than spending £6bn now, even if that means we get them too late. He really does seem to think that the more he spends "invests" the better. The outcome is irrelevant; it is the amount of cash thrown away that matters.

I'll leave it to the Daily Mash's made up vox-pops, who are (as usual) perfect:

Bill McKay, from Doncaster, said: "When it comes to wars and stuff I'm inclined to go with generals and admirals, rather than some bloke called 'Bob Ainsworth' who spent 20 years as a shop steward in Coventry before deciding to sit around on his fat arse all day spending my money."
Emma Bradford, from Stevenage, said: "The problem seems to be bombs at the side of the road. [...] "I'm no scientist, but it would appear that the only available option would therefore be some sort of flying machine."
Tom Logan, from Finsbury Park, added: "Do we want a state of the art Olympic velodrome so we can maintain our global dominance at riding a bike, or do we want more live soldiers? It's a tricky one isn't it?"

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

New Blog!

Over the year and a bit that I've been running this blog, from time to time I've posted a few of the photographs that I've taken, if I was particularly pleased with them.

That is something that I'd like to do more of; photography has been a hobby of mine for quite some time - not quite "short trousers" territory, but close to it. The tone of such posts is rather different to the rest of this blog, though, so I've set up a second blog to host those at:

The aim is that Patently Rubbish will be (mainly) words and Patently Photographic will be (mainly) pictures.

Do take a look, if you have time. To start it off, I'm posting fresh copies of the photos that have already graced the pages of this blog, together with brief notes about their content. I plan to try and keep a steady stream of both old and new photos flowing. Ideally, I'd like there to be a fresh photo each morning, but we'll have to see if that works out!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Today's funny post

I thought is was amusing enough that a (male) midwife had spoken in public against the use of painkillers during birth. Having watched two births I've learnt a lot; specifically that the best option while discussing the subject when women are in earshot is to shut up. The Daily Mash, however, has (as usual) hit the nail on the head.

Dr Denis Walsh will be dragged from his office and taken to a paddling pool in the car park where three strong women will hold him down while another two take a seven-foot, solid pine hat-stand with six large curved coat hooks and put it in him.
They'll have to be quite strong, I think.

Emma Bradford, a pregnant lady from Peterborough, said: "No painkillers, no epidurals, we want him to be able to bond with the hat-stand.
He will, of course, have the next 18 years with which to come to terms with his responsibilities to the hat-stand.

Letters from a Tory is right

Letters from a Tory comments on the Afghan war:

last month, the military were denied the extra manpower that they needed to keep our troops and Afghan civilians safe because the Treasury has run out of money. Why has the Treasury run out of money? The answer is very simple – Gordon Brown. His arrogance and failures have not only left this country with over one trillion pounds worth of debt (and rising), he is leaving our troops for dead in a war zone because they do not have the equipment and support they need.
This is the real human cost of Brown's financial incompetence over the last 12 years

There are no words to express how angry I am. There really aren’t.
You an me both, LFAT.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Not Settled?

The Spectator has an interview with Professor Ian Plimer, author of a new book on Global Warming. The Professor takes the view that if the Earth is indeed warming, then this is a natural phenomenon - not one that we are driving.

As James Delingpole puts it;

Reading Plimer’s Heaven And Earth is at once an enlightening and terrifying experience. Enlightening because, after 500 pages of heavily annotated prose (the fruit of five years’ research), you are left in no doubt that man’s contribution to the thing they now call ‘climate change’ was, is and probably always will be negligible. Terrifying, because you cannot but be appalled by how much money has been wasted, how much unnecessary regulation drafted because of a ‘problem’ that doesn’t actually exist.
My pre-order is in place ... hopefully Amazon won't take too long to get hold of it.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Labour: failures on every score

Anyone of a non-socialist nature will inevitably regard Labour's governments as failures, for reasons that I have been repeatedly banging on about for over a year now.

However, Fraser Nelson has written a piece for the Spectator in which he assesses Labour according to its own definition of success or failure - i.e. has it helped the poor? Like him, I would be willing to grant Labour some credit if, despite screwing up the country for the rest of us, they had managed to lift some deserving people from suffering. However, his analysis shows that they have not only failed to do so, they have actually made things worse. Unsurprisingly, this process of hurting the poor has accelerated under our Dear Leader The Appointed One.

Just take one of his graphs, that showing "inequality" by Labour's preferred definition, the Gini index:

Yes, there is inequality, rising dramatically under Thatcher, staying steady under Major, and then continuing to rise from 1997 onwards - particularly during Brown's years as PM.

So, even on their own figures, marked against their own score-card, Labour are failures. Utter failures.

Time, I think, to return to capitalism. I've never claimed that it is a perfect system, but as a method of lifting people out of poverty, it offers more help to more of the poor than any other method. Why is why my contempt for socialism is so deep, and so visceral.

Mrs P - possibly younger than I thought

Today is my wedding anniversary. (Happy anniversary, Mrs P!)

I bought a card for her, of course. Well, A&E is not the best place to start the day. On the front, it uses phrases such as "To my Wife" and "Wedding Anniversary". There were also some pretty bits stuck on to make a nice pattern. So far, no surprises.

What did surprise me, a little, was what was written on the back:

DANGER - Small parts. Not suitable for children under 3
Now, I know kids these days do stuff at ever younger ages, but I had no idea that they were getting married at 2.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Two words

There is a theory doing the rounds that says Gordon could delay an election until 2013. It rests on the discovery that whilst the current Parliament must expire after 5 years, there is nothing to say that he has to call a General Election immediately. The only (legal) limit is that he has to do so within 3 years. Political Betting found it, and it has been picked up by the Spectator and by Mark Reckons.

I think I can sum up my reaction to that possibility in two words - "Riots", and "Streets"

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

It didn't take long....

In my inbox today:

Attn: Beneficiary

My Name Is Barr. James Blair Legal Anttorney to Michael Jackson. We were working on a charity tour when he had cardiac arrest . We have $57Million which we would want to be transferred to your account please contact me with your personal details for more information

It is my wish to see that this money is invested in any organization of your choice and distributed each year among the charity organization, the poor and the motherless baby's home I want your good humanitarian,to also use this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows around.

As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank in United States MIDFLORIDA BANK in Florida . I will also issue a letter of authority to the bank, which will prove that you are the new beneficiary of Michael Jackson funds.Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here in.Hope to hear from you soonest.

I await your reply on this my Dearest faithfully friend.


My Regards To You And Your Family.

Barr. James Blair

Just as I suspected...!

Charlotte is wondering who in their right mind would come here. She has also linked to the official citizenship practice test, which I thought I'd take. The result?

You have failed the practice citizenship test.
Questions answered correctly: 17 out of 24 (71%)
I guess that means Labour would like me to leave?

Saturday, 4 July 2009


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

Master Patently, our first child, turned 10 a short while back.

And then one day you find ten years have got behind you

Ouch - where did those years go?

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it's sinking
And racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Yes, I've commented on that before. Time to get a move on; Time to hug those I love and ignore those I don't.

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time has gone, the song is over,
thought I'd something more to say

Home, home again
I like to be here when I can
When I come home cold and tired
It's good to warm my bones beside the fire
Far away across the field
The tolling of the iron bell
Calls the faithful to their knees
To hear the softly spoken magic spells

Thursday, 2 July 2009


The Spectator Coffee House has a post on the Tories' plan to improve education. Amongst other suggestions is the desire to improve the quality of future teachers. The Spectator comments:

Under a Conservative government, those in state-run teacher training would not be allowed to retake the literacy and numeracy tests multipile times.
I can't decide whether the penultimate word is accidental or deliberate. It reminds me of the sign that is currently plastered on various roads in South Bucks. For a brief period, the sign advertised that summer activity classes for children would be held in the nearby "Royal Grammer School".

Enough said

I've just read Young Mr Brown's link to Tom Paine's blog. This can be summarised with just two brief quotes:

Analysis of figures from the European Commission showed a 77 per cent increase in murders, robberies, assaults and sexual offences in the UK since Labour came to power.
(Yes, you read correctly, 77%)


Every Labour Home Secretary has announced that crime figures are stable or falling.
Eonough said, I think.