Come one, come all

February 27th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

The Croydonian spotted someting in the Lords Hansard that could be filed under ‘Whoa! I wouldn’t have said that’…

“Baroness Warsi: To ask Her Majesty’s Government which religions and faiths are officially recognised by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Royall of Blaisdon): The Equality and Human Rights Commission recognises all religions and faiths“.

Hmm. Let us say that I decide to subscribe to the First Presleytarian Church of Elvis the Divine or define myself as a Jedi Knight, should I then be able to avail myself of the full panoply of protections etc under equality law? Equally well, should the same apply to any ethical / moral system that I cook up which owes nothing to the divine?

As he says, an answer like that leaves you open to a whole world of trouble.

The Sun: Shining brightly

February 27th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Good grief. The Sun is on the shortlist for the Press Gazette British Press awards.

So, what awards are they up for? First off there’s Gordon Smart for Showbiz Reporter of the Year. Yes, apprently he’s a really good reporter. It must be true, it’s in the Sun!
Also shortlisted is another showbiz reporter of the Suns’, Richard White. Who?

Next is Tom Newton-Dunn, the Defence editor, who is on the list for Best Specialist Journalist. Again, the words ‘Could do better‘ spring to mind.

Best website and Dickie Pelham for best photographer are next. No comment one way or another on those two.

Our monumental Baby P petition has also been included in the Campaign of the Year shortlist.

I suppose it is worthy of an award, although rather than Campaign of the Year I would’ve thought the Baby P campaign would have sat better in the Best Use of a Lynch Mob catagory.

For the Cudlipp Award, there are two nominees. The Millies and Panoramic Posters. The Millies has failed to impress who they were honouring, namely the ordinary guys and girls in the army and the Panoramic Posters, well I haven’t a clue what that is as the only mention of it with a search on Google is in this page detailing the awards shortlist.

The final two awards are for Scoop of the Year. The first is “Ashley Cheats on Cheyl”, which is really worthy of an award, the private life of a footballer, cheating on his popstar wife. Great.
The second is of a bit better quality, and probably the only one that should be on the list is “Starberks”, about how the Coffee company keep a time running all day wasting a huge amount of water.

The standard of journalism must be pretty low if this is the standard on the shortlist [unfortunatley, I can’t see who else is on it as I am on my work computer and the Press Gazette site does work on it for some reason. I’m not at home later either, to update. Oh well.]

LibDems on freedom

February 27th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

The LibDems have launched a bill, The Freedom Bill, to repeal a load of laws that have steadily eroded our freedoms and civil liberties.
At the moment they have twenty thing to look at…

Our first draft of the Freedom Bill contains twenty measures to restore the fundamental rights that have been stripped away in recent years. We would:

  1. Scrap ID cards for everyone, including foreign nationals.
  2. Ensure that there are no restrictions in the right to trial by jury for serious offences including fraud.
  3. Restore the right to protest in Parliament Square, at the heart of our democracy.
  4. Abolish the flawed control orders regime.
  5. Renegotiate the unfair extradition treaty with the United States.
  6. Restore the right to public assembly for more than two people.
  7. Scrap the ContactPoint database of all children in Britain.
  8. Strengthen freedom of information by giving greater powers to the
  9. Information Commissioner and reducing exemptions.
  10. Stop criminalising trespass.
  11. Restore the public interest defence for whistleblowers.
  12. Prevent allegations of ‘bad character’ from being used in court.
  13. Restore the right to silence when accused in court.
  14. Prevent bailiffs from using force.
  15. Restrict the use of surveillance powers to the investigation of serious crimes and stop councils snooping.
  16. Restore the principle of double jeopardy in UK law.
  17. Remove innocent people from the DNA database.
  18. Reduce the maximum period of pre-charge detention to 14 days.
  19. Scrap the ministerial veto which allowed the Government to block the release of Cabinet minutes relating to the Iraq war.
  20. Require explicit parental consent for biometric information to be taken from children.
  21. Regulate CCTV following a Royal Commission on cameras.

It looks good to me so I’ve added my name to the petition.


The Daily Mail redefine being British*

February 26th, 2009 § 5 comments § permalink

Do you remember Gordon Browns’ Britishness ‘thing’ he had a while ago? Where we would all walk around being British and proud of it. But no-one could really define what being British was about. Every one had different ideas about being and to be British.

Well, the daily mail have had a fantastic wheeze and have come up with a very simple definition

According to the new statistics, published yesterday, foreign-born people make up one in nine of the population of the UK as a whole.

However although the figures from the Government’s Office for National Statistics show an increase in numbers of foreign born people they still fail to record the true impact of immigration because they record their children as British rather than second or third generation immigrants.

See? Easy isn’t it? If you are fresh into the country, with your new passport in hand, you’re not British. If you were born in Britain, but one or both of your parents were born outside this country, your not British. If you were born here in this green and pleasant (ha!) land but one or both of you grandparents weren’t, you’re not British.

Some nice clean straight forward rules, with no grey areas to confuse things. It helps to identify us from them and keep them them for a few generations to come so we have a nice underclass for all the horrible low paid jobs no one wants to do and someone to blame when the shit hits the fan.

Well, I have a better, simpler idea that would even the knuckledraggers of the BNP could understand, although would not like, but who cares, huh?

Anyone with a British passport is British.

What? You want more rules? Well, that’s it. Maybe for immigration figures the amount of new passports issued could be counted, but when a baby is born to British passport holders, that baby is British. Why would it be anything else? I hasn’t gone anywhere. It may have a Pakistani or Nigerian or Polish background in it’s upbringing, but what’s the problem with that? Seriously I’d like someone to explain in a way that doesn’t either make me want to laugh or punch them in the face.

I don’t know why, but it amazes me that after 70 years and 11 editors after the Mail sympathised with the Fascist that they would still be sitting on the same side of the fence, pushing the same agenda of hate and bile.


An open letter to Paul Dacre, the editor of the Daily Mail, from Sunder Katwala:

Dear Mr Dacre,

I was disappointed to read reported in today’s Daily Mail that the newspaper regards it as a mistake to consider that the children or grandchildren of immigrants are British, but rather would classify us as “second or third generation immigrants”.

although the figures from the Government’s Office for National Statistics show an increase in numbers of foreign born people they still fail to record the true impact of immigration because they record their children as British rather than second or third generation immigrants.

I hope that your proposed reclassification of Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry as not British, as second and third generation immigrants descended from the foreign-born Phillip, will not distress them too much.

But it does seem most ungrateful, when Winston Churchill was voted ‘greatest Briton’, to now strip him of that status because he had an American mother. (However strongly your newspaper disagreed with Churchill’s criticisms of appeasement in the 1930s, isn’t it now time to let bygones be bygones?)

Perhaps you could let us know who the Daily Mail thinks is truly British. I can see you probably think it is too late for my children – as “third generation immigrants”, currently aged under 3 – but perhaps there might be a tip or two they could pass on to their descendants.

So, given our shared interests in integration and citizenship, it would be terribly kind if you might let us know whether there is anything that those of us who were born here as British citizens could ever do so as to become British in your eyes.

Yours sincerely,

Sunder Katwala

So, my wife and childrens’ passports and birth certificates are lying then, eh?

Via Tygerland

*Subtitled: The Daily Mail are cunts

Get over it

February 26th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Who is this twat Richard Beeston? Should I know him from anywhere?

He sound like a bit of a git to me. Get this

Of all the parochial, navel-gazing, non-issues surrounding the Iraq war, the endless debate about the lead-up to it has wasted more time and energy than any other.

Some key participants are out of power and writing their memoirs (George Bush, Tony Blair, Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schröder). Some have died (Saddam Hussein, Robin Cook). The only man left standing is the improbable figure of Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister. Dozens of books have been written and films made on the subject. At least one public inquiry has been held. It is tempting to think that anyone left in any doubt about what transpired is not really trying very hard. Jack Straw’s decision to keep pre-invasion Cabinet minutes secret is of little consequence to anyone outside Westminster. All this happened six years ago. Get over it.

‘Get over it’?

What has happened since the invasion, the way troops have been equiped, the planning of the whole post invasion thing, the, basically, slaughter of Iraqi civlians and the behaviour of the troops, when under orders and when using their own initiative, does need debating and investigating. I don’t deny that at all.

But to dismiss the whole reason why we’re there with a ‘get over it’ when the architects of the illegal invasion have not been, at least, brought to trial is, just, well, shit. He should be ashamed of himself.

Just because the key warmongers are out of power, doesn’t mean they can’t be tried.

I do not have time to look up this turds views on the war during the build up, but it’s fairly obvious that he was in favour of it and now instead of admitting he was wrong or anything like that, he just wants to sweep it under the carpet.

Just to dismiss the reasons for the war are a smack in the mouth for everyone.

Dr David Kelly. British soldiers that have died or been injured, the thousands of Iraqis that have died needlesly (pdf), and to a lesser extent the country as a whole in our reputation.

To put this chicken-shits argument in a way that is easily understood, what he is saying is, if the police doesn’t catch a rapist in 6 years, or the victim cannot report it in that time for whatever reason then, tough. Get over it.

Number Twos’

February 25th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

A big number two at number two, beaten by a man who was a number two and had two (cont. p. 94)


background 1, 2.

The money shot

February 23rd, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

You remember I decided to join Tim in spreading some lurve on Youtube?

Well, it’s been 6 days (sooner than I expected to be honest) and we have a result with Patrick Holford

I think I might have to wait a tad bit longer for Iain Dale

Lets see how long this one takes then, eh…?
Tanya Byron

Who? Us?

February 20th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

jdc325 – Hypocritical morons:

The Daily Fail are calling people who failed to protect their children by getting them inoculated “morons” and characterising them as “middle-class twits”? Really? After everything they printed about not trusting MMR, or Blair, or the scientists who spoke in defence of MMR? After everything they wrote about Saint Andy being a brave, charismatic doctor determined to ferret out the truth? After all the references to a conspiracy of silence surrounding MMR? It appears the trend now is for papers to criticise those who failed to have their children protected against measles, mumps, and rubella with nary a mention of the sustained campaign by the mainstream media (including themselves) to cast doubt on the safety of MMR.

“We will start with the perfect omelet…”

February 20th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

I cannot cook. Or at least that is the conventional wisdom so far.
Slowly, a little reluctantly, that is changing.

I can do bacon & eggs and beans on toast, they’re easy, but in the last couple of weeks have learnt how to make a risotto. That is about it. The sum total of my culinary skills.

Until tonight. Tonight omelette joined that very short list. And bloody good it was too.

Here is my recipe for beef and cheese omelette with waffles and peas…

The ingredients:
I wanted to make a mushroom omelette but didn’t have any mushroom, so then I thought I’d throw some hame in it. But I didn’t have any of that either so had to make do with some Tesco sandwich beef. Here, shredded ready to go in along with some grated cheese…cheese_beef
potato waffles…waffles_1
and the peas…peas_1

The method:
eggs_2First of all, Tim Almond suggested separating the yokes and the whites and doing a ‘souffle’ omelette. So I got the waffles going under the grill and separated the eggs. Piece of cake so far. See? …

As the waffles were going nicely I (intended) to whisk the egg whites until it formed foam peaks. I got a bit bored with the whisking and the waffles were doing a little quicker than expected so I gave up on that and chucked in some salt and pepper. Salt seems to go into everything and I dunno if it actually does anything so you may leave it out.
Here a picture of my (not very) foamy peaks…
It’d probably look better if I’d carried on a bit longer, but as I say, I the waffles were nearly done and my arm ached.

Around about this time I’d got me peas going.peas_microwave
I was canny and had prepared them earlier by pouring them into a cup covering them with water and then placed them in the microwave ready to be nuked. And I nuked ’em.

Here, I was going to take a picture of the big blob of margerine (margerine is underated. And I didn’t have any butter) but I dropped the camera right into the hot frying pan, which then bounced up, knocking the pan off the burner letting the camera land right on the gentle inferno of burning gas.

Once the camera was rescued, with no loss of life or injury I’m happy to report, I dropped the butter marg into the frying pan.marg_hot
I think I may have had the pan a little too hot as it melted really quick and gave me no chance to fold the egg yolk in to my foamy egg whites before burning to the bottom of the frying pan.

I knew I was half way there. My waffles were nearly done on the second side, the peas were spinning gayely on their merry-go-round as the egg went into the pan. Hurriedly I dropped the beef (it says so on the packet so I am allowed to call it that) on to the omelette which was already starting to solidify.
Mmm. Nice…

It all started to pick up pace now as the waffles started to burn. The microwave dinged a ‘ding’ that gave no clue as to the flood of biblical proportions that had occurred inside. I don’t know how long they had been cooking, but I presumed they were done.
All I could concentrate on was not letting the omelette burn to the insanely-hotter-than-need-be frying pan as I eased the edges away with my trusty wooden spatula thing. At this point my heart started to sink as it looked like I would be having only waffles and peas for tea. The underbelly of the thing wasn’t looking too healthy.

omlette_3 But I pressed ahead. I sprinkled the cheese over the omelette trying to get a nice even coverage.
At this point, the waffles were done. Just right. So out of the grill and on to the plate they went and into the grill on full whack went the yellow lump of goo.

With my waffles going cold on the plate and the omelette finishing in the grill, the peas got drained. Fortunately I started with a large amount so I was comfortable about losing a few of the little fellas down the sink.

I then checked on the omelette. It was done! At last. I tilted the pan and delicately slide the omelette half on to the plate and then folded the second half over. It smelt pretty good.

I then finished dressing the plate.

The end result:
It looked a little, well, you can see for yourself what it looked like. Not too appealing for some reason. But it tasted beautiful. With a lovely texture too. The strips of beef were a waste of time, didn’t even know they were there. Maybe some bits of steak next time.

On the whole, not a bad first effort. Apart from the cold waffles.

Thanx to Tim, BigDaddyMerk and Hackneye for the tips and Mrs -O for putting me in a position of necessarty.

Small change

February 18th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

It’s been around for ages, putting a price per quantity on the little price tags on the shelf in supermarkets. It helps people compare items and it is A Good Thing.

Now, look at the the two pictures here…
I know it’s not advanced mathematics, you know, multiplying 67 x 10, but what is the thinking behind it? What’s wrong with putting them both in per/kg or per/100g? It’s not like the items are even different brands.

Some git has actually thought about it and decided to make life that little more awkward for some people. I know it sounds like a coincidence but today, I actually had some one ask me how many grams there are in a kilogram. It was an elderly chap, and probably still struggling with decimalisation, but it could’ve just as easily been someone with learning difficulties.

Why? What’s the point? Why make life more difficult than it need be?

Where am I?

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