Friday 23 December 2011

This actually happened.

I live for headlines like this:

Man misses mouse and shoots roommate, revealing child rapist

A Utah man who was trying to kill a mouse ended up shooting one roommate and getting another arrested for child rape, while a fourth roommate slept through the whole thing.

There's a lot of it about.

I'm ready to believe in karma now.

I note with interest that CNN don't care if you commit libel, don't care if you commit treason, don't care if you clearly demonstrate both brazen mendacity and a total lack of conscience about it — whatever, they'll hire you. But listening to Heather Mills's voicemail? What are you, a monster?

It really does do the heart good to see Piers Morgan being bitten so hard in the arse by his own low character. After being sacked as editor of The Mirror for knowingly publishing fake photos on the front page, committing both libel and treason while he was about it — action that should have made him unemployable in the news media and, come to that, everywhere else — he somehow managed to parlay that into an inexplicably successful media career, eventually getting one of the highest-profile current affairs jobs on the planet, all the while telling anyone who asked that he was sacked for opposing the Iraq War — as if a British newspaper editor could possibly lose their job for that.

Well, CNN have belatedly noticed what the man is actually like. He may yet weasel his way out of his own written confession, but it does look a lot like his career is quite wonderfully screwed. Hey, he might even end up in prison. It's a Christmas miracle!

It says a lot about Bush Derangement Syndrome that the public was happy to forgive this man for libelling British troops to further the cause of the enemy but draw the line at his eavesdropping on one of the most unpopular women in the country. People are odd, but hey, they're finally right.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

When all you have is a hammer.

This is an amazing and alarming video of a helicopter crash.

The pilot, who walked away with minor injuries, was helping to put up a Christmas tree in Auckland, New Zealand when the chopper’s blades clipped a wire and it spun out of control.

OK, surviving this is amazing, but I do wonder exactly who managed to have this conversation —

"We're going to put up a Christmas tree."
"I'll get the helicopter."

— without anyone saying "Er... hang on."

Give 'em a Chanel suit and they think they're Hitler.

Mary Portas:

We need a more sophisticated understanding of what is a good deal for consumers looking beyond price.


I want to drive up prices for everyone in the country in order to force them to fund my preferred lifestyle.

It must be lovely to have all that spare time on your hands to wander up and down a street buying all your veg and meat and bread and things in separate shops. I imagine it was very pleasant for women in the days before they had to go to work.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Another letter to Mark Steyn.

Mark Steyn's latest Happy Warrior column is utter tripe. He appears to be under the impression that no engineering or invention worth mentioning has happened since the 1950s.

Their first car is no different from my first car. Which was no different from my grandfather's first car. To be sure, they've dispensed with the hand crank and rumble seat and installed a GPS and iPod dock, but essentially it runs on the same technology as a century back. Which are the faster-moving times? The age that invents the internal-combustion engine? Or the age that plugs a Justin Bieber download into it?


Imagine that Vermont class a century ago, the summer of 1911. The Model T had just gone into production a couple of years earlier, the age of manned flight had gotten off the ground. And they had their version of Justin Bieber downloads, too ... There were so many inventions for singers to sing about, they had no time left to sing about the novelties of their own industry, in which the wax cylinder was about to be superseded by the 78-rpm phonograph record. In the years that that Vermont Class of 1911 had been in college, the Nickelodeon had led to a boom in what we would soon call motion pictures. And yet, what with all the other things going on — with electrification and the internal-combustion engine enabling man to conquer both night and distance, time and space, and other footling stuff — these exciting showbiz novelties were generally regarded as peripheral to progress. Instead of the be-all and end-all of it. In the second decade of the 21st century, technological innovation means we're thrilled if Apple invents a device for downloading Katy Perry that's an eighth of an inch slimmer than the previous model. So today, instead of songs for the age of invention, we have inventions for an age of songs.

So I just had to write to him again.

Dear Mr Steyn,

Speaking as someone who generally agrees with you (apart from your reliably wrong film reviews), I was very disappointed to read your laughably inept "Gliding On Empty" piece.

You claim that the first half of the Twentieth Century was the bit where all the invention happened, because that's when inventors concentrated on vehicles Mark Steyn can travel in, while no engineering worth mentioning has happened since around 1950, because cars and civilian planes haven't changed all that much in that time and computer technology doesn't count because it is possible to use computers to listen to Justin Bieber records.

Can anyone play this game? Let me have a go. Just as Ipods are useless because they don't get us from New Hampshire to Mongolia any quicker, the automobile was a crap invention because I can't use it to peel oranges. And just as modern computers are essentially trivial because we can listen to Katy Perry on them, so the aeroplane is an evil invention because it was used by Stalin.

It will be news to every mechanic in the world that modern cars are "no different" to the cars of a century ago. "essentially it runs on the same technology as a century back" you claim. Yet most mechanics under the age of thirty don't even know how to deal with a carburettor, because they've never seen one — because the modern car engine, while still operating essentially on the principle of internal combustion driving pistons, has been continuously refined and improved beyond all recognition. And I like the way you dismissively mention in passing that they've "installed a GPS", as if building and maintaining a network of satellites orbitting the Earth that enables a small handheld device to pinpoint its exact position to within centimetres is a trivial exercise.

Of course, the modern technology you dismiss can be used for some things other than the ones you mention. Mobile phones not only allow us to listen to music but have also enabled billions of people to get connected to the global communications network without the prohibitively expensive building of old-fashioned cable-based networks. Since communication is the key to human progress, that's rather a big thing. Computers can be used not only to listen to records but to control power stations, compose symphonies, maintain life-support systems, and perform some truly astonishing feats for the military — including the control of the modern fighter jets you ignore. "Air travel went from Wilbur and Orville to biplanes to flying boats to transatlantic jetliners in its first 50 years, and then for the next 50 it just sat there," you write. But it wasn't air travel that progressed in this way; it was aeroplanes; commuter travel is merely one way of using them. And what happened with planes is that they continued to become more and more advanced, progressing far past the speed and acceleration and comfort that any mere passenger would be willing to put up with while drinking G&T and watching a film, so the latest planes, which are inconceivably amazing compared to planes from the 1950s, aren't used for commuter travel. Mind you, Burt Rutan flew a plane into space a couple of years back, and has now teamed up with Richard Branson to found Virgin Galactic, who have every intention and reasonable expectation of selling tickets for spacerides to us plebs. Of course, they might play music during the flight, so presumably it's not real progress, then.

You say "In the second decade of the 21st century, technological innovation means we're thrilled if Apple invents a device for downloading Katy Perry that's an eighth of an inch slimmer than the previous model." Yet the reason computers keep getting smaller is that teams of engineers keep figuring out ways to make subatomic particles do what they're told in increasingly complex and innovative ways. The quantum ratchet is a truly impressive invention, even if you can't ride in it.

I can put an entire university library in my pocket. Or I can put a record label's entire output in my pocket. The fact that you don't much like the latter doesn't make the former unimpressive.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Kynaston Reeves

OK, that's quite enough writing to Mark Steyn. I'll figure out something else to blog about now.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Still not quite right.

Kellogg's have angered the God of Nominative Irony.

Thursday 11 August 2011

Protesters, rioters, and nimbys.

While it's nice to see the BBC and The Guardian outraged by violent criminality for once, a word.

For many years, The Guardian and their pet broadcasters at the Beeb have been unable to report on rioting and thuggery without tripping over their own nuance. As long as the danger was elsewhere — Manchester, Belfast, Liverpool, Tel Aviv, Tony Martin's front room — it was an inevitable part of BBC reporting that we have to understand the thugs' grievances, their sense of frustration, why they feel "forced" to act in this way by [insert this week's pet cause here]... the hallowed root causes. Some observers might even have mistaken this stance for some sort of principle.

We now see that it is not.

Put looting and barbarism somewhere where the journalists of the BBC and The Guardian like to have lunch, put riots in the streets where they live, let the thugs damage that wonderful little Italian bistro that does those simply darling pistacchio biscotti, and suddenly root causes are about as popular as the Tories. They can't blame the bastards quickly enough.

Does anyone think we'd be seeing even remotely similar reporting if the riots were in Northern Ireland? Or would that just be Ian Paisley and Margaret Thatcher's fault?

Sunday 7 August 2011


I would like to thank everyone who is emailing me in response to my now-famousish letter to Mark Steyn. I'm going to answer some of your points here.

So far only one correspondent, Gerry from Western Australia, has managed not to miss at least some of my point, brilliantly summarising my problem thus:

utility is just not good enough.

Thanks for that, Gerry: that's what I really should have titled the post.

I would like to advise Rich, who summarised my question to Steyn as "Is belief in a revealed religion a necessary basis to a moral society?" that no, that's really not what I said. First of all, I didn't ask Steyn any question at all, beyond the implicit "Would you be so kind as to write a considered reply to this even though you're probably rather busy promoting your new book?" Secondly, I'm talking about society's resilience and lengevity, not its morality. And finally, I didn't ask, I stated that religious societies tend to be stronger and more resilient than secular ones, and I further pointed out that this is not because religion is a necessary basis for a strong society; it is because atheists are too bloody stupid to keep the baby when they chuck out the bathwater. Or vice versa, probably.

Whilst I appreciate the kind and surprisingly personal emails from Christians — unlike most atheists, I do understand that you believe that I am going to suffer horribly if I don't convert and that you are therefore engaged in a quite genuine act of kindness when you try and persuade me that your God exists, so I don't respond rudely, though neither do I pay a whole lot of attention because I really have heard it all before — it is still (a) not going to work unless you perform a miracle, 'cause that's what I'm like, and (b) completely missing my point. Please read the post again, and note that I did not ask whether God exists. And then think about it a bit and try to realise that, in this context, whether God exists doesn't even matter.

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that God exists, that it's the Christian God, and that all us atheists are wrong. Well, so what? The Christian God has opted, in recent years, to go down the no-proof-offered path because faith is apparently what matters to him and evidence would spoil all that. Fine, no problem, I get that. But what that means is that the existence of atheism in society isn't going to go away because some Christians talk earnestly to some atheists. We are, as Douglas Adams put it, not convinced, and evidence is what convinces us. In requiring you to convert us without it, your God is giving you an impossible task. You might well make some headway — people do convert, all the time — but, absent proof, this is going to take you, at the very least, a couple of centuries. Tough break.

So secularism is here to stay. And while I understand that our American Christian friends (who are emailing me), with their long history of absolute freedom of religion, might not see the benefits of secularism, I would politely like to remind them that every one of us in Europe lives in a country with a history of brutal religious wars and that secularism is therefore very welcome here. We don't want our governments to be religious. It doesn't end well. Which is part of what I was getting at in my earlier post.

Secularism is here to stay. Arguably, it is weak and prone to take-over and/or defeat by any strong culture. Arguably, that is already happening. Arguably, a strong religious streak through society would make that more difficult and less likely. Even if it's not already happening, it would still be good to take steps to ensure it doesn't happen in the future, as our society is pretty excellent and worth preserving. But, given that many millions of us simply are not religious and are highly unlikely to become so any time soon, just how useful is it to point out that Christianity is an effective solution? I agree that it is.

But utility is just not good enough.

Another effect of the market crash.

Last night, I dreamt that I was trying to pay for some shopping at the supermarket, but was having trouble because the money in my pocket turned out to be a Kuwaiti 34-riyal note. Yes, I know that Kuwait uses the dinar; in my dream, it was the riyal. And 34? Seriously? That hadn't rung any alarm bells at all when some bastard had managed to palm the thing off onto me?

When I was young, I used to dream I could fly. Now, I dream I'm skint and thick as pigshit.

Thursday 4 August 2011

Pissing on the parade.

If someone is about to go on holiday and looking forward to it, telling them it's going to be shit is considered rude. Telling children that Father Christmas does not exist — especially in December — is the mark of a true bastard. And telling people how The Sixth Sense ends is enough to get you rejected from polite society and roundly slapped.

Yet for some reason it is not only considered OK but is in fact the norm to tell expectant parents that having a child is going to be utter hell.

What I always say to any expectant first-time parents I know is that no-one ever tells the story of things going right — not just about parenthood, but about everything in life. No-one will ever feel an urge to tell you how they had a plan and it all went smoothly. It's things going wrong that makes for an interesting story.

My niece is eight. She is terrified of having children because it's going to be so unbearably painful. Why are people telling eight-year-olds about the pain of childbirth? Why is this considered a socially acceptable thing to do?

I'm never going to do it myself, obviously, but, talking to various mothers, and reading others' accounts, and talking to doctors and midwives, I have discovered that childbirth varies in painfulness from "Actually not too bad" through to "I would rather be on fire". But the accounts of mothers who have an easy time of it are not the dominant stories in our culture: no-one's interested in hearing about a lack of adversity. It's only the extreme pain that is recounted, and recounted again, and emphasised, until we have the absurd situation that first-time mothers are opting to have major abdominal surgery because they are convinced that natural childbirth must always be more painful than having their bellies sliced open with knives.

We live in a country with a below-replacement birth-rate. This is otherwise known as "dying out". Yet all anyone can tell you about parenthood is that it starts by hurting you so much you'll wish you were dead and continues by "destroying" your "life", by which people seem to mean you won't be able to go out clubbing, take a handful of Es, have sex with anonymous strangers, and wake up two days later in a pool of your own vomit more than once a fortnight.

I'm sick to bloody death of this.

Having kids is fantastic. Daisy and Poppy are the two most amazing and wonderful things that have ever happened — not just to me, but in the whole of history. I hardly ever go out any more; I wait for DVD releases rather than going to the cinema; I don't go to restaurants very much; I rarely get drunk: my life revolves around the looking-after of children. That's not the "end" of my life. It's a new phase. And it could not be more welcome. It's more rewarding than a non-parent could possibly imagine.

Yes, even the bits that involve being covered in vomit.

An open letter to Mark Steyn.

Dear Mr Steyn,

One topic you've come back to a lot over the last few years is that of Christianity and whether a post-Christian society can survive without it. You raise a lot of good points, but I find it interesting that you have discussed the benefits and advantages of believing in God so thoroughly without ever touching on the matter of whether God exists.

I agree with you that the problem with Islam isn't Islam: it's the fact that Western cultures have abandoned their self-belief, leaving the door open for any strong culture to replace them, because people want to be part of strong self-confident cultures. If Islam hadn't highlighted this problem, something else would have. I agree that Judeo-Christian culture provides an excellent moral underpinning for strong free societies. I don't agree that atheism necessarily doesn't, but the sad fact is that most atheists are so damn stupid that they insist on rejecting everything any religion has ever done, including the foundations of the society that allows them the freedom to be openly atheist in the first place. I agree that a strongly Christian society would avoid a lot of the ills facing European post-Christian societies, especially the endemic self-absorption.

But here's the problem.

As it happens, I'm an atheist. This isn't some political stand; I just don't believe that God exists. Neither do a lot of our leaders (and I don't just mean the politicians).

Now, you certainly could argue — and I think you have — that religion provides the most effective means of ordering a functioning civilisation. You could argue further that our leaders therefore have a duty to promote religion over atheism, to the extent of hiding their own beliefs and going to church and pretending to be religious for the good of the nation. There is a strong case to be made that a civilisation led by people who actively promote Christianity would be a more successful and longer-lasting civilisation than the one we currently have, in which there is no dominant belief system to tie people together and indeed the very idea of common values is considered rather gauche.

Now, if I were an authoritarian, that would be a fine idea. But I'm not. I object — as do you — to having our cultural elites foist their ideas onto the rest of us. Most of the time, they do this with ideas they really believe in, and that's bad enough. I can't see that having them cynically promote what they regard as fairy tales for the masses would be an improvement. What they should be doing is leaving us the hell alone to get on with our lives. I'm not going to promote Christianity for the sake of convenience when I am sure that its key metaphysical claims are false. I suspect Oriana Fallaci faced a similar conundrum: in the end, she may have begun to see the point of Christianity from a strategic point of view, but I very much doubt she suddenly changed her mind about the existence of God.

I suspect that you have had a similar train of thought and that that is why you've never addressed the matter of whether Christianity is actually right, rather than merely good. But there are a lot of us atheists out here who want to see Western civilisation last forever, and we need a better solution than being asked to proselytize something we believe to be false.

I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this.

Yours sincerely,

Joseph Kynaston Reeves

I will of course be letting you all know if he replies.


Mark Steyn has very graciously placed a link to this letter on his very front page, implying, I hope, that he intends to reply at some point, which would be nice.

In the meantime, I have responded to some of your responses here.

Wednesday 18 May 2011

Branding and regret.

You can't call it that and then change the recipe.

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Compare and contrast.

Having just lived through eight years of people who think they're nicer than me eagerly and vocally wishing George W Bush dead, it's interesting to see that the same people have such mixed feelings about the death of Osama bin Laden. The mangled Martin Luther King misquote doing the rounds — "I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy" — is telling when you remember the huge cheer that went up during James's gig at the SECC — that's a lefty band playing a socialist city — for the proposal that George Bush die. That and a thousand other little events just like it.

They celebrated Reagan's death, they condemned Reagan's attempt to kill Gaddafi, they spent most of a decade shouting for the death of Bush, they were awfully pleased about Fortuyn's murder, they mourned Arafat, they never fucking shut up about looking forward to the big party when Thatcher dies, and now they're awfully upset that people might be pleased about the death of bin Laden. What I really don't understand is why they get so angry when we point out they're not on our side. They clearly don't want to be.

Monday 28 March 2011

Taxi drivers.

So I'm driving home the other night about three in the morning on pitch-black unlit roads in heavy fog. Real proper fog that stops you using your full-beam headlights 'cause they just bounce off the fog straight back into your eyes and it's like driving into a wall. Fog such that, even though I've done this drive a hundred times and know the road intimately, I regularly have no idea where I am.

And then I overtake this taxi. And the guy immediately starts flashing his headlights at me in a highly irritating way, so much that I begin to wonder if it's not a taxi after all but the police trying to pull me over. He's flashing so much in my mirrors I'm having trouble seeing. And then the guy floors it and overtakes and pointedly flashes his rear foglights at me. The message was clear: "Turn your foglights off, you moron."

In heavy fog.

What the hell is it with taxi drivers?

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Don't panic.

When you want proper coverage of physics-related news, written by people who actually understand physics and engineering, turn to The Register.

Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now!

Japan's nuclear powerplants have performed magnificently in the face of a disaster hugely greater than they were designed to withstand, remaining entirely safe throughout and sustaining only minor damage. The unfolding Fukushima story has enormously strengthened the case for advanced nations – including Japan – to build more nuclear powerplants, in the knowledge that no imaginable disaster can result in serious problems.


all plants are now well on their way to a cold shutdown. At no time have their operators come even close to running out of options. No core has melted down and come up against the final defensive barriers: the safety systems did not come even close to failing, despite being tested far beyond what they had been designed to take. One person has sustained a small dose of radiation which need cause him no concern.

The whole sequence of events is a ringing endorsement for nuclear power safety. If this – basically nothing – is what happens when decades-old systems are pushed five times and then some beyond their design limits, new plants much safer yet would be able to resist an asteroid strike without problems.

But you wouldn't know that from looking at the mainstream media. Ignorant fools are suggesting on every hand that Japan's problems actually mean fresh obstacles in the way of new nuclear plants here in the UK, Europe and the US.

That can only be true if an unbelievable level of public ignorance of the real facts, born of truly dreadful news reporting over the weekend, is allowed to persist.

Spread the word. And if you doubt us on any of this, please read this excellent early description of the events, or follow the reports from the IAEA and World Nuclear News. Very few other channels of information are much use at the moment.

Fukushima update: No chance cooling fuel can breach vessels

Thus far there are no reports at all of anyone receiving a radiation dose with measurable health consequences as a result of the Fukushima damage. The IAEA previously reported that one plant worker had sustained a dose equivalent to about a month's normal background radiation: the US Navy has also said that personnel returning aboard ship from relief work on the quake-stricken coast had sustained similar doses. The Japanese government has carried out a massive programme of radiation checks among evacuees and WNN has reported that so far nine people have been found to have sustained measurable levels of exposure.

Iodine pills intended to prevent radioisotopic iodine from being taken up by the thyroid gland have been distributed to centres in the area. However the pills have not been administered so far as there is no indication of a need to do so.


Damage to the Fukushima reactors and possible health consequences from that certainly appear to be totally insignificant to the other effects of the disaster in Japan. One provincial governor has predicted a death toll of 10,000 in his region alone. The lesson to learn here is that life is not made more dangerous by having nuclear reactors, not even in quake- and tsunami-prone Japan.

Nonetheless the reactor situation in most cases continues to lead the international media coverage, nuclear firms have taken stockmarket hits and it is being widely speculated that nuclear build programmes worldwide could be affected.

A lot of the ridiculous scaremongering is trying to paint this event as nearly as bad as Chernobyl — history's second-worst nuclear disaster, they're saying. It is worth bearing in mind when reading such reports that, contrary to what you may have heard from your friendly local Greenpeace activist, Chernobyl caused fifty-six deaths and zero birth defects. Second-worst after that really ain't so bad.

Like The Register says, spread the word. The last thing the Japanese need right now is the worry of worse to come, based on nowt but ignorant fiction.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Irish road signs, again.

When you drive over the border from Ireland into Northern Ireland, there's a big sign warning you that speed limits are now in miles per hour. When you drive from Northern Ireland into Ireland, there's a big sign in English, French, and German warning you to drive on the left.

I can't figure out whether this is an incredibly subtle and clever put-down or just the stupidest damn thing on the planet.

Of course, there is the possibility that the road planners of Ireland actually run a competition for Stupidest Road Sign Ever — it would explain a lot — and this is the winner.

Sunday 27 February 2011

Complexity and intention.

Damien makes a case against voting "reform" rather succinctly:

I am opposed to the adoption of AV. One of the main reasons I am opposed is that most of the people who will use it (including many of those who support its introduction) don’t understand the system; whereas nearly everyone on Earth understands FPTP. Call me “a conservative Right-winger who hates any form of change”, but I think that it is fundamental to the legitimacy of a democratic system that its voters know what their votes mean.

Predictably, commenters are ridiculing this, on the grounds that how you vote in AV is really very simple. This misses the point.

AV's defenders tend to misunderstand the "complexity" complaint. The problem isn't that it's too complex to understand how to vote. The problem is that the relationship between the vote and the result is complex enough to allow people who've studied the system to make their votes count more than other people's. And that's fundamentally antidemocratic.

Plus there's an instinct problem. Give people a list of candidates and tell them to list them in order of preference, and they'll put a number next to every name. People don't like leaving blanks. This is why Facebook do so well: stick a form on the site for "favourite music" and users will list all their favourite bands, despite the fact that it's a completely pointless thing to do. AV by the nature of its design abuses this fact of human psychology to give large numbers of votes to candidates no-one actually wants. And it is deeply counterintuitive: putting a candidate twelfth out of twelve is understood by everyone to mean "Worst — do not elect", but AV treats it as a positive vote to be counted in that candidate's favour. Which comes back to my first point: the few politics junkies who study the system will know this, enabling them to make their votes more valuable than everyone else's.

That AV's voting instructions are so simple to follow is the very problem: the system is so simple to use that its complexity isn't apparent to users — and, if people don't know the complexity's there, they won't try to find out about it. A system that was more obviously complex would actually be an improvement: it would be honest.

Saturday 12 February 2011

So farewell, then, Hosni.

Perhaps the most helpful change we can make is to change in our own thinking. In the West, there's been a certain skepticism about the capacity or even the desire of Middle Eastern peoples for self-government. We're told that Islam is somehow inconsistent with a democratic culture. Yet more than half of the world's Muslims are today contributing citizens in democratic societies. It is suggested that the poor, in their daily struggles, care little for self-government. Yet the poor, especially, need the power of democracy to defend themselves against corrupt elites.

Peoples of the Middle East share a high civilization, a religion of personal responsibility, and a need for freedom as deep as our own. It is not realism to suppose that one-fifth of humanity is unsuited to liberty; it is pessimism and condescension, and we should have none of it.

We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East. Your nation and mine, in the past, have been willing to make a bargain, to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability. Longstanding ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites. Yet this bargain did not bring stability or make us safe. It merely bought time, while problems festered and ideologies of violence took hold.

As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims, and our great democracies should oppose tyranny wherever it is found.

  — George "Dubya" Bush

Interesting that the man was famous for being ineloquent, yet I couldn't put it better myself. I'm not sure anyone ever has.

Sunday 9 January 2011

A man in need of some punctuation.

There's an estate agent round my way by the name of Peter Rogers. He puts signs up outside people's houses which say

Peter Rogers
Estate Agents

This pleases me.

Friday 7 January 2011


Voters of Derby, take note. This is what your elected representative thinks of your rights:

Of course, the police can get a court order but what a waste of public money in order to do that.

Yes, Tory MP Heather Wheeler thinks that for the police to obey the law — specifically, law designed to protect us from tyranny — is a waste of public money. If she's consistent in her principles (assuming she has any), then she must think the same about having to get a warrant to search your house. That, or she actually has no idea what she's talking about and is disastrously unqualified for her job. Tough call.

As I may have mentioned before, the problem with the Tories is that they're authoritarian bastards.