Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Why Baroness Scotland did Nothing Wrong, and Why She Should Therefore Resign

For this post, I want to leave aside the letter of immigration law for a moment, together with the possibility that Lady Scotland is lying in order to conceal her breach of those laws, and look at what she actually did.

She needed someone to clean her house. Fair enough; she is busy and doesn't have time to do it herself. Someone offered their services for the job, and she offered the job at a rate above the minimum wage (not much above, but still above). She says that she did not know that her new cleaner was an illegal immigrant and did not have the right to work here, and we have no reason to disbelieve that.

If we take a moral view of this, rather than a legal one, I would suggest that there is nothing wrong in what she did. Yes, the worker was an illegal immigrant that should not have been working here, but that reflects on the worker not the employer and, in the absence of knowledge or some other form of abetting, this does not per se reflect on the employer. So why is she in trouble?

The reason is, I think, quite simple. I have before now criticised both Labour's style of drafting laws and the mechanical manner in which they are enforced. In short, my argument in the "drafting" post was that Labour enacts laws which easily and clearly catch those doing something wrong, but also catch a wide range of others as well. Whether Labour do this because they are intellectually deficient or because they want prosecutions to be straightforward, uncomplicated by nuances of proof, available defences, and other "inconvenient" aspects of justice, is something only an insider could answer. In the enforcement post, I looked specifically at speed enforcement and concluded that enforcement without discretion, without remembering what the law was put in place for, brought the law into contempt.

These laws are all too common, and range from the serious to the minor. Some examples -

  • In the case of Lady Scotland, an employer is punished for the offences of an employee; this is clearly right when the employer is a sweatshop, complicit in the import of illegal workers in order to profit from the exploitation of those workers, but surely was not intended to punish someone who unwittingly hired a single cleaner?
  • Two female police officers cannot share their childcare needs, because each will then be operating an illegal childminding service for the other
  • Any professional is now potentially criminally liable for a money-laundering client if the professional does not spot the laundering and report it.
  • Photographers break the law by taking a photograph, if that photograph could be used by someone else for terrorism-related purposes
  • An employer is automatically at fault in an Employment Tribunal if there was no staff grievance policy, even if the complaint relates to a staff grievance that is without merit
  • An employer breaches Healt & Safety regulations even if the workplace is entirely safe, if there has not been a formal inspection that establishes that it is in fact safe.
  • Not spotting that the DVLA has failed to act on your notification to them of a change of ownership opens you to a fine because the new owner has not taxed the vehicle.

And so on. I see these laws as imposing not a punishment for a crime, but a punishment for "not being clearly non-criminal enough". Lady Scotland is, I believe, in trouble because she has been caught by one of these laws, one that was drafted with Labour's usual strictness and then enforced mechanically. I suspect that the reaction is motivated by a gut feeling that at last, one of these laws has turned round and bitten one of its makers.

And that is why she should resign; her infringement of the law proves that she is complicit in the passing of laws that are, quite simply, an incompetent exercise of government power.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

The Scottish Play

.. for the ongoing saga of our Attorney General is indeed beginning to resemble a Shakesperean tragdey.

Now, we hear that the illegal cleaner claims that Lady Scotland did not see her passport, that her interview was no more than ten minutes, and that it consisted of (roughly) "when do you want to start". Lady Scotland, on the other hand, claims that she saw a stamped passport, a P45, and a letter from the Home Office.

Ask yourself, please, who you prima facie believe here. Then note that, on the one hand, we have a Queen's Counsel, a Minister of the Crown, a senior government legal officer, a member of the House of Lords, whilst on the other hand we have a confessed criminal. If, like most people, you were instinctively suspicious of Lady Scotland, ask yourself what that tells you about what Labour have done to the public life of this country after 12 years of rule.

Then think back to 1997, to an end to sleaze and Blair's "whiter than white" speech.

(Or, if you believe the Baroness, pop over to Guido for an explanation of why her claims stretch the bounds of credibility).

Friday, 25 September 2009

Clark on Brown

No, not Charles Clarke, Alan Clark.

I was looking for something amusing to read last night and picked up my copy of Clark's Diaries. It fell open at page 64, in which he sets out the view that Thatcher should have her own office. He tries to get this off the ground by writing a letter to Ian Gow on 15 January 1984, in which he says:

"I start with the premise that the Prime Minister is everything: what dimishes or threatens her diminishes or threatens the country - just as the country is itself enhanced by whatever does so for her authority and freedom" (AC's own emphasis)
The parallels are obvious. I think it is fair to say that with Dubya as President, America lost some of the respect it once commanded. That is returning with Obama, not (particularly) because he is an especially good President - how could he be in the time so far - but because he is widely respected.

The recent news surrounding Gordon Brown brings this into sharp relief, however. He is being diminshed and threatened daily by others in his party. He is being (rightly) ridiculed across the country for his inability to make the right decision at the right time - so often waiting until too late, then geting it wrong. He has neither support in his party nor in the country. Letters from a Tory shows the effects of this; no-one was listening to him at the UN.

This is not a party political rant, either. Blair was a respected PM; I have blogged before as to how, despite my disagreement with his policies, I accept that he made a good PM. He had an elusive quality of PM-ness about him that Brown singularly lacks.

Brown is an embarrassment of a PM, and it is steadily harming this country. Time to go, Gordon.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Truth will out

After all the spin, all the press releases, all the proud announcements in the House that he saved the world, the truth finally hits home.

A private conference between the two of them? No chance.

A public press briefing, Obama and Brown side by side? Don't make the White House laugh.

Obama will only talk to Gordon in passing, in a kitchen - after being cornered, no doubt. That is what Brown has reduced this country to. Economically crippled, diplomatically ignored, militarily overstretched.

Constantly Furious puts it wonderfully - Gordon is the sad old bloke in the corner who no-one wants to talk to.

Get out, Gordon. You're embarrassing us.

(Update - The Daily Mash has a very good angle on the story, too)

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Not Good Enough

Sorry, this is pathetic. Baroness Scotland is still in place, and all we get is:
"The government takes seriously breaches of this important protection against illegal immigration and as a result Baroness Scotland has made the fullest of apologies and paid the fine.
This misses the point entirely.

New Labour have spent 12 years issuing regulations that we all have to adhere to. I understand that Baroness Scotland herself piloted the regulation that caught her onto our statute books. This can only mean one of three things:
  • Baroness Scotland does not understand the laws she is responsible for creating.
  • Baroness Scotland has spent her time in the job passing laws that a reasonable person in the street is not able to comply with
  • Baroness Scotland believes that she is above the laws that apply to the rest of us.

Either way, her position as the highest-ranking legal officer in the Government is not tenable. The episode reveals her to be either incompetent or venal. I find it upsetting that we are ruled by a Government that includes a law officer without the basic personal principles that would cause her to realise that she must stand down, and a Prime Minister without the guts to sack her.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tax, Incentives, and Common Sense

Mrs P works in a field that is feeling the chill wind of official regulation sweeping over it. Like other professions before it, hers is realising that the Government does not believe that they are "in it" for anything other than their own naked self-interest and therefore must be watched over sternly. Concepts such as professional care for one's clients; the detached approach of advising the client according to their needs not the advisor's, once the basic characterising feature of a profession, are simply not believed. The reason is as simple as it is obvious - that our current leaders cannot conceive of such an attitude, cannot understand it, and therefore do not believe that anyone else can. Of course, the effect will be to eradicate that concept, slowly but surely, and thereby eventually prove them right.

But that is not my point today; I digress. She is at a level in her field that means she might not reach the magic experience level in time to meet the official test for qualification. Those before her will, easily, and those after her will have learnt their craft on academic courses largely similar to hers, but which were officially blessed and which therefore allow swift qualification. Left in the middle, Mrs P will have to choose between paying for another course to learn what she already knows and gain a new certificate to sit alongside her existing one, or leave. In short, professional regulation is going to have its usual effect; impose costs, and achieve little.

My accountant is also pointing out to me that the new 50% tax band is going to hit me hard. On the current 40% rate, the combined effect of NI, cashflow, HMRC's "creative" definitions of income, and so on means that I kiss goodbye to about 65% of my income, so I can expect that to jump to about 70%. Yes, I'll readily admit that I'm still quite comfy, but this is in fact a 15% drop in my income. On top of the 30% (or so) drop that Gordon's recession has already imposed on me, that is not going to be fun.

Meanwhile, I have just received a bill from DVLA for the issuance of a little disc which, if displayed, gives me the right to drive my car off my drive. The bill is much bigger this year because my car is, to use a technical term, "not rubbish".

These three, combined, show that there is a major intellectual fault at the heart of New Labour. One that perhaps explains the title of this most excellent book. My point might not be obvious yet, so I'll explain further.

New Labour tell us that regulation of Mrs P's profession will raise standards and make everything better for her clients and potential clients. This is because, they say, it will raise the standards of her profession and give clients confidence. The additional burdens and costs will (apparently) not drive her, her colleagues, and her potential future colleagues away - thereby leaving clients with fewer professionals to choose from, in turn reducing competition and actually reducing standards, pushing up prices, and making it harder to actually find someone. No, says New Labour, standards will rise and the members of the profession will simply accept the new regulations and their associated costs.

Likewise, the 50% tax rate will simply be paid by people like me. We won't just leave the country. We won't just give up and do something much less stressful and only marginally less financially rewarding instead. We won't try to rearrange our affairs so that our HMRC-defined income drops below £150k - arrangements that would long outlast New Labour. We'll just pay up, with no effect on our behaviour. Laffer curve? New Labour merely laffs at it*.

The increase in my road fund licence, however, works to a completely different logic. This time, the increase in tax will, I am told, motivate me to abandon my thirsty but powerful Bavarian steed and propel me into the arms of a new Fiat, maybe, or one of those little French cars, or maybe even Satan's very own environmental wolf in sheep's clothing**. Because of course, when buying a car worth many tens of thousands of pounds, I'm going to be dissuaded by the fact that its annual tax is £175. If I keep the car for five years, as I hope to, that will add up to nearly nine hundred pounds! Gosh, cancel the order! That makes all the difference!

The same applies to all environmental taxes, and to the long-established "sin taxes" on alcohol, tobacco, and the like. These are meant to adjust our behaviour to confirm to officially-sanctioned norms, whereas the taxes aimed at raising cash (and the regulations aimed at creating something to do for all the bureaucrats bought with that cash) are all assumed to leave us unaffected.

This is rubbish, pure and simple. It is simply ludicrous to expect people to believe that a £100 rise in my car tax will change my behaviour, but a £5,000 or 10,000 rise in income tax will not.

And that is yet another reason why Gordon is a Moron.

*sorry. I should probably be shot for that one.
**whose name may not be mentioned in this blog

Friday, 18 September 2009

Education, Education, Education

Master Patently is now in Year 6 (top juniors, in old money). This being the Autumn term, it means that it is time to think about transfer to secondary school. Time, therefore, to go round lots of local secondary school open evenings. We have six to check - two private, two grammars, and two uppers. Or, two that I don't think I can afford, two that we're not sure he can get into, and two that we're a bit nervous of.

The most recent was one that we were a bit nervous of. After all, googling the local papers does bring up quite a few references to a past stabbing incident there. On the positive side, a new Head has been appointed and a lot seems to have changed since then. Mind you, it would have had to...

I'll start with the good points, of which there were several. The pastoral care offered by the school seems to be excellent; anti-bullying policies seemed to be based on sound ideas that will work in practice, and were not mere platitudes. The children were smart, polite and well-spoken. The premises were excellent and well equipped. Staff seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic and committed to the education and care of the children; several children independently attested to the time that the staff were willing to devote to them above and beyond lesson time, to help them understand the lessons and keep them up to the standard expected.

The provision for Arts, be they graphic, musical, or performance, was very good. The standard of the output was similar. We were serenaded on arrival by the Music department, who acquitted themselves creditably. The Art department had been able to cover their walls with students' output, and the general standard in several different exercises and genres was frankly excellent; far better than I would or could dream of producing myself.

This was reflected in the Ofsted assessment, that it was a good school with outstanding features. The Head and the staff were justifiably proud of this.

And so we turn to the less impressive features. Naturally, these are more easily remembered after the event, and easier to remember in detail. That said, there was a distinct theme.

The Mathematics department did not actually seem to be teaching any mathematics. All the exercises that I saw were mere arithmetic. Now, I will readily agree that arithmetical skills are very useful, but arithmetics is not the same as mathematics. The general level of "maths" expected was also perhaps illustrated by the demonstration that was provided for the visiting children to try - it was a Tower of Hanoi puzzle, with 3 layers to transfer from one side to the other. All very nice, but I spent a while showing Master P a Tower of Hanoi solution in the grammar school a few days ago - their example had 7 layers.

The History department clearly worked hard to capture the children's attention. Sadly, they did this by using BBC costume dramas as their historical source. Ooops.

The Science department had a busy and well-attended demonstration going on in their lobby. This would have been great, if the demonstration had been a science experiment. It was not; it was cookery. And no, I am not joking. A brief scan around the labs showed well-equipped areas in which not much science seemed to happen - mainly the preparation of pretty posters in which mysterious things were given names. But science is not about naming things; it is about understanding them.

Top marks, however, go to the RE department. I shall merely say that one of the exercises (reported to us with pride by a student) was to learn about the Church of England by comparing and contrasting Songs of Praise with, err, the Vicar of Dibley. Mrs P could not look at me at that point, and I knew why; she was stifling the urge to burst out laughing.

We ended the tour in a Beauty suite, where students could learn towards a BTEC qualification. And there, the theme of these negative points hit me - they are not educating these students, they are preparing them for a life as a hairdresser. A hairdresser who dreams of artistic recognition, but a hairdresser nonetheless.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Great GP Catchment Area Question...

...can be answered in one easy step. Ask yourself:

If I want to be looked after by Dr A instead of Dr B, and Dr A wants to look after me, why should a civil servant in Whitehall be able to say no?
Seriously, who do the civil servants think they are?

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Mr 9.3%

Here he is:

Not just incompetent. A hypocritical liar, too.

Get out. Now.

Sneak Preview of the Election Campaign

Not surprising to see what the Conservatives consider to be their main election asset; his face or name appear in almost every frame.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Howls of derisive laughter?

Gordon Brown, in discussion with Robert Peston:
I've never been someone who myself has been interested in running up personal debts or borrowing huge amounts of money.
Of course not, Gordon. You've got us to pay for it all. £23k each, last I checked.

(Title inspired by the Python team's Bruces sketch)

Monday, 14 September 2009

You can't lie forever

Eventually, the lies will catch up with you. They always do. Lying is all about the creation of a false reality; the trick to being "successful" (if you can call it that) is in ensuring that your false reality meshes perfectly with the real one at the observable edges.

The problem with lying (well, the practical problem) is that over time, reality develops and the observable edge is pushed back. You then need to keep developing your false reality to keep up. Eventually you reach the point where there is an irreconcilable difference or (more commonly) you forget some aspect of the false reality that you invented a while back and utter a new lie that contradicts it.

Mandelson has now fallen into that latter trap. And it is, for someone who has viscerally hated his techniques for the last 12 years, deeply satisfying. On the Today programme this morning, Mandy defended Labour's new line that cuts will be made where possible and prudent without harming services. He denied that this was a change of approach by Labour, saying:

“You know, I did ask [Nick Robinson] recently when exactly the prime minister had defined this simply and crudely as Labour investment versus Tory cuts, and Nick was unable to [put] his finger on such a quote.”
Oh Dear. Big mistake. Not only does half the population distinctly remember Gordon defining the difference as Labour investment versus Tory cuts, Nick Robinson had no difficulty in listing plenty of them. Let's quickly check:

On 17 June 2009:

Prime Minister: "The first thing we are absolutely sure of is that, regardless of economic circumstances, employment, investment and inflation, the Conservatives will cut expenditure by 10%. The right hon. gentleman said it himself last week - Tory cuts versus Labour investment."
And again:

Prime Minister: "The issue is that the Conservatives will cut current expenditure in real and cash terms. It is exactly what I said - Tory cuts, Labour investment."
This, of course, is not enough for the liars. They claim that Gordon was quoting Cameron (believe that if you will). So Nick goes on; also on 17 June was the quote:

"His is the party of cuts; we are the party of investment"
As Nick Robinson points out, this doesn't sound like a quote from the Tory leader. Brown also said:

"We are investing to get ourselves out of the recession; the Opposition would cut, and they would make the recession last longer. That would lead to higher debts and higher deficits that would have to be spent for. As for spending beyond 2011, the right hon. Gentleman knows the truth: he wants to spend less - 10% less in most Departments - whereas we want to spend more."
No use of the magic words, but the meaning "Tory cuts versus Labour investment" could not be clearer.

This, it seems, is all that is left for Labour. Their only hope; lies.

Update: Channel 4 FactCheck says that on a scale of 0 (largely checks out) to 5 (absolutely no basis in fact), Labour are at 4.5...

(with thanks to the Spectator for Mandy's quote and the link to Nick Robinson)

Friday, 11 September 2009


Lunch today was just me & David Cameron. (Oh, and about 250 other businesspeople from the locality!) David spoke, and (I have to say) I was impressed. He actually has opinions, and is willing to express them. I also found myself agreeing with everything he said, not because it was a stream of platitudes (which it wasn't) - beacuse he actually spoke sense.

My notes, hastily typed onto an iPhone and edited this afternoon, as are follows:

  • He will cut public expenditure. The Government needs to accept that "the money has run out" (his words), and the culture needs to change to one more akin to a business. We in the private sector have all had to learn to do the same for less money. Cutting the cost of Westminster politics is about leadership, and allows him to cut Civil Service costs. The "Quangocracy" is overpaid & too large. He will review civil service numbers, their pay, and their pension arrangements; there are too many civil servants and their terms are too generous. Whitehall is, overall, too large.

  • Taxes are too high, especially for SMEs. He cannot and will not make specific tax promises, but the 50% rate was pure politics and will not work. It forms "part of the queue" of taxes that he will cut, although NI will probably be first as this bears down hardest on some around the £19k pa mark who cannot afford it. Tax rates at their current level are scaring people away from the UK.

  • MPs had got "out of touch" with regard to their expenses, and had begun to see them as part of their salary - this was wrong. "It was within the rules" was not a good enough response to questions; any claim must be objectively reasonable as well as being with the letter of the rules. He wants the transparency that he has introduced to Conservative MPs to be extended to the whole of the public sector - that includes Whitehall, local councils, quangos, the BBC,the lot - and it extends to all purchases. His aim is to allow SMEs to supply 25% of government purchasing, and this is a way for them to look at what a department is doing and say to it "we can do that cheaper".

  • The Chinooks that are still in a hangar in Hampshire after 8 years are a scandal.

  • The fact that we have still not had a defence review following 9/11 is "crazy".
After he had left, the (brand new) chair he had sat on was given away by its supplier to a randomly chosen attendee. She promptly offered it for charity auction; yours truly stopped bidding at £700 (don't tell Mrs P!) and it went for £750 .

He also left his notes behind; these were auctioned for charity and fetched £400.

Presumed Weird until Certified Otherwise

The other Today discussion that caught my interest this morning was that concerning the Independent Safeguarding Authority and (in particular) its edict that people who regularly drive children to clubs will need to be vetted. Now, I drive Master Patently to a cricket club that is also attended by the lad next door, so sometime we share lifts. So I was worried; either I need to undergo this check (prompting the response "why the **** should I?") or I will be in line for a fine, or (more likely) the lad next door will have to make his own way there.

But no; it was clarified that the check is only needed if the club asks me to do the driving, not the parent. So now I see the system not as an intrusion, but as idiotic and unworkable.

Idiotic because in what way does it make it impossible that I will fiddle with the lad next door simply because his parents ask me to drop him off, as opposed to the club? Indeed, as acknowledged in the interview, it is the adults who know or are close to the child who are most likely to abuse them. So in fact, the system misses out the group most likely to need vetting and draws an entirely artificial distinction that is inversely related to the actual risk!

It is also unworkable. Let us say, for example, that one week there is a family crisis next door, during cricket club. So they pop next door to ask us to collect, but we are out. So they phone the club to ask them to pass on the message - could I bring him home please? Now, that is ok because it is a one-off.

Next week, there is a further crisis, and I am once again out buying the Sunday paper. But the lad's parents cannot this week ask the club to ask me to bring him home, because it could then be seen as a regular weekly trip done at the request of the club. I would need to be vetted; without an ISA certificate for me, I and the club are at risk of a heavy fine. Or, to put it differently, last week there was no risk of me abusing him, but this week there is (unless I have paid a £64 extra tax).

This is not just my invention of an artificially difficult case, either. It was my immediate thought on listening to the article; how could I carry him to and from from cricket club? I concluded that, certainly, 99% of the time there would be no risk of prosecution. But given that there is no way on earth that I will risk being branded a kiddie fiddler, this means that I will not risk contravening these regulations.

Which means no lifts. Full stop. Sorry.

I do hope the ISA does stop a lot of perverts - because it is going to do a lot of harm, and if there is no benefit then it will have been a terrible mistake to have made.

(Of course, the Daily Mash has explained it all far better that I could ever)


Two Radio 4 Today discussions caught my ears this morning. Here's the first.

In a discussion on public spending, the IoD and the TPA put forward the view that £50billion of government spending could be cut without hurting services. This was resisted by Tony Dolphin, of the Institute for Public Policy Research, on the grounds that now was not the time - it would amount to a cut in spending of 3% of GDP, or 6-7% of overall public spending. This, he said, would be disastrous at the present moment, taking a huge amount of money out of the economy and thereby deepening the recession.

It strikes me that this is utter, utter rubbish. It assumes that if Government does not spend the money, all the cash somehow disappears, never to be spent again. It entirely misses the fact that if the Government does not take the money from us as tax - forcibly if necessary - then it remains in our pockets for us to spend.

It is, of course, a truism that when money spent privately, it achieves a lot more than when spent publicly. So, in fact, it could even be better (as a way out of the recession) for Government to not spend this money. Especilly, I have to say, where it has already been concluded that the money is being wasted.

Now, supporters of big government will no doubt say that because the Government can borrow at good rates, it can raise money during difficult periods that we do not have, and would not be able to spend. This may be true, although we may be reaching the limits of this. But to argue this is to conflate the manner in which Government raises money with the manner in which it spends it. If Government can raise money in this way safely at time like this, then it should. But that does not mean it should waste it, nor does it mean that it must necessarily increase spending. It could, for example, use the "new" money for essential spending and reduce (or not increase) taxes thereby also leaving money in our pockets.

This offhand comment reveals, to my mind, the inherent mindset of the socialist; first, that taxes can be raised at the stroke of a pen and that the money thereby raised appears magically in the Government's coffers with no harm to the private sector, and second that only public spending can ever help an economy.

It is difficult to be more wrong, and more dangerously wrong.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Common Sense? How does that work?

JuliaM at Ambush Predator has said the unsayable in respect of the Edlington children.

Specifically, she points out that if you want people to grow up and act in a moral way, you have to:
  • decide what your moral standards are,
  • encourage adherence to those standards, and
  • discourage transgression of those standards
An approach that might be summarised as "common sense". Well said, JuliaM; it is about time someone pointed this out.

Of course, this runs entirely contrary to the basic tenets of modern multicultural client-centred social work. Don't expect it to be adopted anytime soon.

Academic Standards? What Academic Standards?

Yes, we all know that academic standards have been dropping like a stone for longer than we can remember. But I really don't need to be reminded over breakfast:

Monday, 7 September 2009

I'm back!

Oddly, things don't look much better despite my week off. We've had the quite appalling Al-Megrahi affair; when someone like the son of Libya's leader describes your government as "disgusting and immoral" and you find yourself agreeing, you know things are bad. (Oddly, the BBC missed out that criticism of New Labour in their report on the same statement...)

Labour can't even agree a line on what they had previously wanted for Al-Megrahi - apparently, they didn't want to release him, but nor did they want him to die in jail. Perhaps Labour have found the elixir of life? As I commented at the original post, it's almost as if they are making this up as they go along - which is odd as we are talking about the past; surely if one were being truthful, then there would be no uncertainty about what you had previously wanted?

Anyway, they have now announced the Autumn fightback plan, in which they will reduce overall spending. These are not cuts, of course - that may be what we need, but "cuts" are what you call it when Tories reduce spending. No, they will be "revisiting the original New Labour approach of public service reform", by ... errr ... reducing spending. Presumably, when Labour reduce spending, they do it in a nicer way? Do they say "please" and "thank you"?

But either way, there you have it; New Labour's approach to reform is .... to wait 12 years, then get spending down to only a bit more than it was when they took office by eliminating the wasteful spending that they initiated. Go Gordon!

Actually, on second thoughts, I'll rephrase that. Gordon; Go.