Friday, 30 October 2009


There really does seem to be a growing groundswell of anger, real anger at what New Labour have done to this country.

Take a look at this item over at CH - and especially the comments. I don't remember such a huge response before, and I can't spot a dissenting voice there. It really is time that action was taken to repair our society.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Spiralling down the plughole

..this government, at least.

It occurred to me this morning that the confluence of news stories often reveal so much more than the individual items.

Yesterday, one of the main news pieces told of the fact that in the years since 2001, the number of middle-aged first offenders in the criminal justice system has increased by almost 50%. Bad enough, and hardly surprising, given the petty and vindictive nature of many new laws and regulations this shower have introduced.

Then there was the other story, first aired a month ago, but which is now in force, about changes to the legal system such that motorists and many others who win their case in court will still have to pay the majority of court and legal costs. Again, looked at in isolation, it's bad enough, and seems grossly unfair.

Today, I heard on the radio news (I can't find an online link for this yet) that large numbers of serious offenders are being let off with a "slap on the wrist" or a caution, due to resource issues.

Often, these stories can seem to be contradictory.

Look at them all together..... and it seems to me that this government cannot afford to continue with the policies they've burdened us with. They've run out of money.

A minor example, perhaps, but it seemed interesting to me.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

More analysis worth reading....

Pub Philosopher has written what to me is a thought-provoking piece with another angle on the abuse of immigration and corruption of our constitutional and legislative systems.

The scary thing for me, and I'm surprised it hasn't really occurred to me earlier, is that so many of our young people, possibly including those in their early twenties, will have no real memory of things being different.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Tee hee!

Look here - especially at the vote results.

Stop Press......New Labour succeed in their plan to destroy Britain

I'm normally scathing of conspiracy theorists. However, observation of the mess we're in, and two recent posts - one at both OH and DK, discussing how immigration policy has been blatently and recklessly directed at achieving a leftie political agenda, and delibreately to "rub the right's nose in diversity", and the other, again at DK, discussing how they planned to change the consitutional working of the country irreversibly.

It just all adds up too neatly and plausibly. I feel shocked at the irresponsibility of the "New Labour Project" playing deadly games with our country an our culture for the sake of their twisted student political games. If this is true, it surely adds up to a series of criminal acts - treason, even.

Though I'm sure the legislative system or other mechanisms have been carefully sabotaged to protect them.

Depressing, eh?

Addendum: An original article is worth reading. It's scary, and tells me that "something must be done". But what?

Friday, 23 October 2009

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Immigration matters

It does.

On the day that Nick Griffin will be on QT, there is a lot of disturbing information that lends credibility to his odious party.

Like.... I was gobsmacked to learn that the number of immigrants in the UK has almost doubled in the last 12 years. I mean.... we had kind of nice immigration since the 50's 60's, when people came from the Caribbean and then the Ugandan asians, and then more...

I know that they often were treated badly, and some parts of our society were disgustingly bad in their attitudes and actions. But it worked, in its way.

But you do have to say, it seems to be in danger of getting out of hand. The projections of the growth in our population in the near future, likely to be fuelled purely by immigration causes me concern.

While the main parties don't pick this up and deal with it, people like the BNP will be given undeserved legimacy. I was surprised to see a joint press article by Frank Field and Nicholas Soames on this subject today.

It's an issue, it really is.

Here, look here...... vote no!

Rab says stand up for common sense!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Where's DK gone?

The blog of Devil's Kitchen has gone! Have they caught up with him?

Addendum: seems it was tecchie messiness, not assassination!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Targets, SLAs and Tractor Stats

There was an interesting phone-in on fivelive this morning, about the target "culture". It was prompted by news items on how prison inspections were innefective because the prisons prepare for them by transferring problem prisoners, and other tactics (two senior prison managers have been suspended for this trick).

It quickly spread to school and hospital inspections and targets in general. There were many callers able to give examples of how being measured solely by targets is entirely counterproductive. A number of NHS trusts, for example, employ managers in A&E to ensure targets are met, where the money could have been used for more medical staff to actually make a difference. People are admitted to hospital, using a bed, rather than break the 4 hour limit, where the reason for the delay can be entirely reasonable, and for clinical reasons.

A teacher described how he left the profession because he was so burdened by meeting all the requirements pushed down from the government that he couldn't plan his lessons in the way he knew was really beneficial to the students.

They just don't work for the benfit of the consumer.

And then, like a flash bulb going off, I saw the analogy - or well, an example where I know they don't work.

I worked in and around IT services - from both sides - providing services and receiving them from a service provider.

SLAs - Service Level Agreements. Targets. Key performance indicators. Don't work. Well, at least very rarely.

You see, when two parties contract, one to purchase, and one to provide a service, and the quality of that service is quantified by numbers, and the meeting of those figures determines payment, or compliance with the contract (and compliance or non-compliance has a critical effect on managers and staff within the service provider), the focus is on the figures. It's incredibly hard to get numbers to really determine the quality of a service accurately and fully.

The service provider's first priority is to meet the targets, by hook, or very often, by crook. It means things that can really make a difference, but provide little benefit to the provider, suffer, get put on the back burner.

Targets allow those responsible for providing a service, and those responsible for procuring a service, to look squeaky clean and great at their jobs. While reality can be very very different.

Performance measurement has a very important place in this arena, but theyshould be used intelligently, and as a guide to where improvements can be made. They should be used flexibly and co-operatively, to ensure a finite resource is used to best effect.

It's stating the bleeding obvious, but this government is not interested in taking responsibility. Targets aren't to make services better, but for them to be able to raise their hands and claim it isn't their fault.

Monday, 19 October 2009

This government and legislation

One of the things to really get me steamed up lately is the way this useless government uses legislation as another way of avoiding responsibility.

Have you noticed how they never take responsibility themselves for anything? If there is inadequate performance in the NHS, it's failing trusts that are responsible, and have been told to "improve, or else". Schools must improve, or else. It's never the government's fault. Never.

It's the reason for most of the legislation. They think they can demonstrate that they have addressed issues simply by forcing a new piece of law through parliament. All this nonsense that is the ISA - all of it poorly drafted, and hurriedly pushed through.

A few years ago, when I worked in industry, I was part of an "expert group" helping to advise the DTI (as was) team who were responsible for the detail of a new bill, which had technology implications quite fundamental to the way industry works, and which would put new, very serious requirements on industry which if breached, could (and have) result in multi-million pound fines, and even jail sentences. The DTI "team", which numbered three at most, had no experience in the field in which the act would operate, and failed to address the real issues adequately. In the end, the act was passed with serious vagueness about exactly what was required in order to comply. There was a danger that people could get in serious trouble through different interpretations of the provisions. In the end, as far as I can see, essentially lip service is being paid to compliance, and the real intent of parts of the act has never really been dealt with.

How many other pieces of legislation are like that, I wonder? At the very least, a great waste of time and money, and a cluttering up of the legislative system

And then, today, I heard Peter Hain on radio, telling us that Nick Griffin shouldn't be allowed on Question Time this week because the BNP is "an illegal organisation" - by which he meant that they were not legally constituted, as ruled recently. Jack Straw said the same thing on QT last week. Idiots. It's a sad day when people run out of real cases to argue and result to that kind of attitude. I've no time for the BNP, but censorship, and that's all it would be, is entirely the wrong way to deal with them. Where would it end?

And then - such irony - you hear MPs (unfortunately on all sides) claiming that the Legg letters are against the law. Idiots, idiots, idiots! Are they really that far out of touch that they don't realise that whether it's against the law or not is not the point (though as so many others have pointed out, it can't be against the law, since the expenses rules said any claims had to be for costs incurred solely for the purpose of fulfilling their MP duties).

Bottom line, for me, is that the law sets a framework, and is mainly a safety net, a last resort. People should do their jobs, behave decently, give and earn respect. Individual responsibility and accountability.


Saturday, 17 October 2009

Government brainwashing of children

I've mentioned before, I think, how I think it's dangerous, malicious and devious to manipulate the belief system of children through the national curriculum.

A few days ago, Prodicus made me aware of even worse offences like this by them. He's passed on a request for people to sign this petition in protest.

If anyone's reading this, please take a minute or two to sign the petition.

Case proved


Dangerous idiots.

Where will the jobs come from?

Since I've had more time recently to read and think, and especially since "discovering" the blogosphere, I've surprised myself by becoming better informed about the current political and economic situation (mess). Also, more appalled at what is going on around us, and especially how the public are being deceived and manipulated, from the national curriculum to the utterings of politicians.

One thing has been really bugging me lately. That is, where are the jobs going to come from to satisfy the demand of the growing ranks of the unemployed?

The recovery from the last recession was supported to no small extent by the explosion of the financial sector. It's hard to see many jobs being created in that area in the foreseeable future - indeed jobs are still being lost there (example: announcement yesterday by LTSB of 460 jobs as discussed by John Redwood here) and it seems likely many more are still to go. Apart from very specialised niches, it's hard to see how much in the way of manufacturing industry is feasible, until and unless costs in the far east and India rise sufficiently to erode the competitiveness gap. We all know that the official unemployment figures understate the number who want to work, and the number who can and should work. While the government proudly discuss the hundreds of jobs they are "creating" through things like apprenticeships (and I wonder how many of those will turn into long term, permanent and full time jobs), it's merely scratching the surface, and to be honest, hardly worth doing.

I know Cameron plans to improve the climate for private enterprises to be created and succeed more easily, by reducing business taxes and red tape (which is very important and long overdue) but I find it hard to see how a real surge in the creation of jobs is going to happen. I'd love to hear someone address this properly - it seems to be possibly the biggest issue facing us, especially as we ought to add to the unemployed numbers the number of people that will have to move from the public sector to the private sector. Personally, I'll be looking for ways to stand on my own two feet, rather than expect to be employed by others for the rest of my working life (however long that happens to be).

Apologies for my rambling writing style - hopefully it will improve if I can keep my blog going.

Any ideas or reassurance?

Friday, 16 October 2009

My first ever blog post!

I don't want to sound like a boring old fart (and I promise, you, I'm not), but to start my blog, I want to set down some, possibly unstructured and rambling, thoughts, which may go someway to explain the way I feel about things. Bear with me, please.

I've seen astonishing changes through my life.

I went to school in the 60's and 70's. Through higher education from '75 to '79 - an abortive first year at university, then a second, successful degree course at a "technical college", resulting in a 2:1 honours degree in electronics engineering, and a choice of several job offers.

Computer technology burst into real life during my degree course. I'd done some BASIC programming in the last year or so at school - which meant trips to a local computer centre, and sitting at a Creed teleprinter, typing my program onto punched tape and leaving it to be run for me, and collecting the printed results on the next visit. We never saw the computer itself. I learned machine code programming on a DEC PDP-8 at college, entering the program via toggle switches on the front of the machine. The first microprocessors (such as the Intel 4040 and 8080 and Motorola 6800) came out during my degree, and I learnt more with them - all very basic facilities and technically limited. The first IBM PC came out after I'd been at work a few years. Look where we are now!

I mention this, because in those years, when I was becoming a young adult, the popular view (think back to "Tomorrow's World" on TV) was that we were entering a bold and exciting new age, where automation and computers would increase productivity so much, that in the future, everybody would not have to work long hours, and that leisure time would be abundant for all. I kid you not, if you don't remember those days.

Obviously, the opposite has happened. In those years, even not that long ago, whether a couple both worked was usually a matter of choice - it was possible for a family to get by on one income. Now, life is often a struggle, especially for younger people and new families. I embarked on my career with no debts, and a wide choices of jobs. Now, our children leave university (and HE educational establishments are all Universities now, aren't they?) with typically £10 - £15K of debt, and often little or no choice of an appropriate job. They find it hard if not impossible to get on the housing ladder, and if they do, it's with dangerous mortgages (I remember my first mortgage - I had to be a saver with the Building Society for a year, then join a waiting list for available funds, pay a deposit, and be able to borrow 3X salary max) and now in a volatile housing market. So many people in negative equity - and to me, the current climate appears much worse than the early '90's when the last recession hit.

It seems to me that although there have been countless changes, innovations etc that do enhance life, the quality of life, and general happiness "with our lot" is not better. I find myself repeatedly exasperated at the rubbish that is spewed into our lives in the way of nannying, outright bullying, stupid rules and legislation, just all the intrusion into our lives by government, especially this deceitful, corrupt excuse for a government that New Labour is.

There seems to be no room for common sense or individual responsibility and accountability any more.

Is it just me, or is it all rubbish?