Sage advice

To the Manor Reborn (BBC1, Thursday) is undoubtedly one of the most brilliant programmes in the history of television.

But then I’m biased for the Rat is in it, and what a splendid, handsome and talented young fellow he has turned out to be. If you looked very carefully about halfway through episode one, you’ll have caught him standing facing interior designer Russell Sage, holding a sheet of wallpaper or something. And then later, you’ll have caught him again being told by Sage to remember something he’d forgotten. Superb! The boy is a natural, he’ll go far, and as his proud stepfather I shall accept nothing less than the highest offers for his services. If, say, you’re a trillionaire Turkmenistani homosexual and you want a hunky catamite for your harem, don’t even think of calling me with an offer of less than two million (not incl. transfer fee).

(to read more, click here)

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  4. ‘Climate Change’: there just aren’t enough bullets


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Good news! Sea levels aren’t rising dangerously

This week’s Spectator cover star Nils-Axel Mörner . . .

. . . brings some good news to a world otherwise mired in misery: sea levels are not rising dangerously – and haven’t been for at least 300 years. To many readers this may come as a surprise. After all, are not rising sea levels – caused, we are given to understand, by melting glaciers and shrinking polar ice – one of the main planks of the IPCC’s argument that we need to act now to ‘combat climate change’?

(to read more, click here)

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  4. Pope Catholic; night follows day; IPCC found telling pack of lies about sea level rises

14 thoughts on “Good news! Sea levels aren’t rising dangerously”

  1. Brian Rose says:8th December 2011 at 10:57 am


  2. Nigel Cook says:8th December 2011 at 12:15 pm

    Between 8000 and 7000 years ago, sea levels rose 11.5 metres (1150 cm), or 1.15 cm/year, without killing life on earth. The current rate of rise is 0.2 to 0.4 cm/year, depending on which measurements you use. Sea levels were 120 metres lower some 18,000 years ago, at the height of the last ice age. 450 million years ago, sea levels were 400 metres higher than today. That’s natural variability for you. Those who try to artificially keep nature in status quo don’t understand that it doesn’t exist. Change is the basis for everything. There is no balance of nature, and no natural stability other than negative feedback from cloud cover which cancels out CO2. The ecofascists have no baseline marker to call “natural” because the world is ever changing.

  3. Brian Rose says:8th December 2011 at 1:12 pm“Those who try to artificially keep nature in status quo don’t understand that it doesn’t exist. ”

    Who are “those”? No-one with half a brain would ever think that nature would remain static. All the more reason to rely on proper research, not loonies like Morner who believes in dowsing (and looked a proper berk when challenged to prove it), and that he has discovered “the Hong Kong of the Greeks” in Sweden.

    1. Nigel Cook says:8th December 2011 at 3:28 pm“Who are “those”? No-one with half a brain would ever think that nature would remain static.” – Brian Rose

      Michael Mann’s hockey stick curve was faked to show constant temperature until CO2 began rising. IPCC/NASA gurus on the Horizon BBC2 “Science under Attack” propaganda film claimed that humanity emits 7 times more CO2 than nature, when in fact natural sources of CO2 emit 30 times more (even the IPCC 4th assessment report lists in its un-hyped small print that humanity’s emission is 29 Gt of CO2 from all fossil fuels etc, compared to 771 Gt from all natural land and ocean emissions). It’s well within the natural climate fluctuations of CO2, and the scare-propaganda relies entirely on censoring out the evidence of natural variability by tricks like switching temperature proxies at 1960 and 1980 so as to try to produce a hockey stick curve.

      Before 1960 they use tree rings as the major proxy, which is false because tree growth is sensitive to cloud cover and rainfall, not particularly CO2 levels. From 1960-80 they used temperature station records near expanding “heat islands” like industrial factories and cities. After 1980 they used satellites which can’t tell the temperature under the cloud cover where all negative-feedback from cloud cover actually occurs. No prizes for guessing that the satellite “temperature data” didn’t properly include negative feedback from the extra cloud cover resulting from the extra evaporation of water due to rising CO2. They’re complete fanatics, who don’t donate a single brain cell to objectivity, let alone half a brain!

      1. Gordonrear says:9th December 2011 at 6:56 amNige, did you copy and paste every debunked and/or scientific conspiracy argument found on the internet into your reply?
        1. Anonymous says:9th December 2011 at 7:39 amWe dont have to invent stories about conspiracies – they’re all in Climategate, in plain view. Only an idiot or a fanatic can fail to see how damning the evidence against the climate community is.

          Take this gem for example – the WWF brokering a deal between Climategate Scientists and the Australian CSIRO on how much they should lie about the risk of extreme weather.

          I’m sure you will get some comments direct from Mike Rae in WWF Australia, but I wanted to pass on the gist of what they’ve said to me so far.

          They are worried that this may present a slightly more conservative
          approach to the risks than they are hearing from CSIRO. In particular, they would like to see the section on variability and extreme events beefed up if possible.

          1. Nigel Cook says:9th December 2011 at 1:31 pm“… [Dr Andy] Dessler has … used models which DO NOT ALLOW cloud changes to affect temperature, in order to support his case that cloud changes do not affect temperature!”

            – Dr Roy Spencer, ex-NASA climatologist,

            All of cheats, liars and charlatans ALWAYS start talking about intelligent design or religion to avoid the science using ad hominem attacks, and when you point out that this led to the holocaust, they ALWAYS then claim they are not attacking people’s beliefs, they are just conflating one thing with another in an ad hominem smear campaign of racial hatred disguised as objectivity:

            “Ad hominem attacks on people’s religious views are not science. Eugenicists like Medical Nobel Laureate Alexis Carrel (the first to propose gas chambers for “ethnic cleansing” in his 1935 bestseller, “Man the Unknown”) dismissed critics for being Jews. Making ad hominem attacks doesn’t count, I’m very sorry to tell you dear.”

            These ad hominem attackers know nothing of science, but dominate the media and politics scene.

            We need to censor out those who avoid the science and try to reject criticisms on the basis of conflating “science credentials” with personal preferences concerning irrelevant issues like religion or the best filling in a doughnut.

        2. Nigel Cook says:9th December 2011 at 8:46 amAGW is debunked by Dr Roy Spencer: negative feedback from H2O and how it is being censored out by circular arguments, you guys will be as popular as eugenicists, so watch out. If you warm the ocean surface a bit (which covers 71% of the globe, unlike a greenhouse) the evaporated water forms extra clouds which cool the altitudes below the clouds and due to convective rising of warm air there is no mechanism for vertical mixing so the surface stays cool. In a “greenhouse” this can’t happen due to a glass ceiling, which all IPCC models implicitly assume. You eugenicists just want to profit from the green carbon credits, admit it! Actually the climate is always varying so there is 50% chance of rising temperatures, 50% of falling temperatures. This reduces the statistical value of correlations of CO2 and temperature when you take account of the fact that there is a 50% chance of an apparent “correlation”. It’s complete bullshit, and always has been:

          “… [Dr Andy] Dessler has … used models which DO NOT ALLOW cloud changes to affect temperature, in order to support his case that cloud changes do not affect temperature!”

          – Dr Roy Spencer, ex-NASA climatologist,

          1. Brian Rose says:9th December 2011 at 12:06 pmOh dear. That would be the same Roy Spencer who is an advisor to the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation and a signatory to “An Evangelical Declaration on Global Warming”, which tells us

            “We believe Earth and its ecosystems — created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence — are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory. Earth’s climate system is no exception.”

            Incidentally the junk science that is Intelligent Design has been criticised by, among others, Ian Plimer, who needs no introduction here I am sure.

            Even accepting that the AGW supporters like Mann or Jones are charlatans does not redeem equal (or rather greater) charlatans like Morner; surely Nige you don’t believe in dowsing? Or intelligent design? Of course they might simply be right about AGW and wrong about dowsing etc (indeed, I would maintain Plimer was right about intelligent design, but rather shoddy when it comes to AGW – deliberately reversing findings of papers, relying on discredited sources etc – again this is not fatal to the anti-AGW thesis but nor does it help it) but it’s not much of an advertisement for Morner’s scientific credentials, is it?

          2. Nigel Cook says:9th December 2011 at 12:40 pmAd hominem attacks on people’s religious views are not science. Eugenicists like Medical Nobel Laureate Alexis Carrel (the first to propose gas chambers for “ethnic cleansing” in his 1935 bestseller, “Man the Unknown”) dismissed critics for being Jews. Making ad hominem attacks doesn’t count, I’m very sorry to tell you dear.
          3. Brian Rose says:9th December 2011 at 12:58 pmYour Alexis Carrel reference should win a prize for the most irrelevant comment in any comment thread anywhere in the history of the internet. I have no problem with anyone’s religious views. I do have a problem when they try and pass them off as science, such as intelligent design, which has as much scientific basis as the flying spaghetti monster, or “intelligent falling” (the deliberate parody of ID). The fact that Spencer advances such nonsense does not speak well of his credentials as a scientist, any more than Morner’s belief in Dowsing advances his.

            I can just imagine what you would say about a pro-AGW “scientist” who supported ID or dowsing – why the double standard for the sceptics?

          4. Nigel Cook says:9th December 2011 at 1:06 pm“Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.” – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four, Chancellor Press, London, 1984, p. 225.
          5. Brian Rose says:10th December 2011 at 8:17 pmThat about sums up Nils Morner, and anyone who takes him seriously.
  4. Nigel Rogers says:21st December 2011 at 4:30 pmdamn those sea levels!

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Et tu, Hugh?

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall thinks it’s time we all went veggie (River Cottage Veg; Channel 4, Sunday).

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall thinks it’s time we all went veggie (River Cottage Veg; Channel 4, Sunday). Coming from a man whose favourite dish is human placenta marinaded in fruit-bat extract, who slaughters his own pigs with a pocket knife and dances naked in their gore as he turns them into 2,058 varieties of artisanal black pudding, and who recently confessed he wouldn’t mind eating the odd puppy if push came to shove, I suppose this is something we should take quite seriously.

Personally, I feel betrayed. As betrayed as I felt all those years ago when my most heavy-duty smoking friend Ewen gave up fags, which was so unfair because I’d been relying on him to die of lung cancer, not me. ‘Et tu, Hugh?’ it made me think. Because I like my meat, an awful lot. Not only does it taste good but it’s also the thing that has made us great. If it hadn’t been for meat, we would probably never have discovered fire. And it was that fire/meat combo which gave us the brainpower to become the dominant species we are today. Otherwise just imagine what might have happened: maybe we’d now be governed by sheep or lemmings or other similarly brain-dead herbivores. Imagine!

Anyway, Hugh’s vegetarian adventure started off quite poorly, I thought. He has many fine qualities, does Hugh, but his tendency to pontificate in that mannered, up-and-down trademark TV voice of his is not one of them. Pontification is not in and of itself a bad thing: I do it all the time. But for it not to be off-putting, there needs to be at least a hint of a suspicion that the pontificator is slyly, engagingly aware of his own fallibility and absurdity. Success has killed that in Hugh, as of course it does in everyone.

Consider the bacon sandwich stunt. Hugh bids his farewell to meat — his carnevale — by frying some of his best home-cured bacon and putting it between two slabs of fantastic-looking sourdough bread, slathered with Riverside Cottage (TM) organic über-butter, hand-churned at dawn by nubile Dorset maidens with accents just like the sexy rabbit in the Cadbury’s Caramel ad.

You think he’s going to eat it. But then he changes his mind and gives it to his gardeners instead. If he’s going to go veggie, he should do so in a positive frame of mind rather than dwelling miserably on what he’s about to lose, he declares. But though I can see that trope working, just about, in print, on film it looked stagey, portentous and a bit pompous. . . .


(to read more, click here)

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2 thoughts on “Et tu, Hugh?”

  1. Velocity says:29th October 2011 at 10:52 amWhy doesn’t Hugh just eat himself?Seems like the only ‘humane’ thing to do… afterall how many plants is he going to murder and torture to keep himself alive?Do it Hugh, top yourself mate, do us all a friggin favour and push up the daisies you bleeting retard
  2. NC says:31st October 2011 at 1:47 pmThe veggie idea scientifically is that it’s more efficient to eat vegetables than to feed them to animals to make protein. However, that’s a terribly flawed argument. I first got into trouble with science dogmas when trying to make sense of the calorie measurement of food. The theory is too simple: you dry and burn food in a special metal can called a calorimeter, and measure the temperature rise. Every 1 degree C temperature rise in a gram of water indicates the release of of 1 calorie of energy. Hence, you measure the calorie output from the temperature rise when burning food. Foolproof?No so. When you eat vegetables, you don’t convert it into energy it with the efficiency of a fire. Obviously the fibre which passes through the gut isn’t broken down. Cows can’t directly break down grass, they use bacteria in the rumen to do so for them. It’s not just indigestible cellulose fibres that’s wasted when we eat veg. Suppose you eat “high protein” beans. A lot of it is still bound to the fibre and only gets broken down in the gut, releasing methane gas (CH_4).So all Hugh is suggesting is a massive greenhouse gas emission by turning everyone veggie. It’s highly efficient if you fiddle your accountancy and pretend that eating vegetables is good for you. Sure, some fibre helps give avoid getting bunged up, but only because it passes through the gut undigested, keeping things moving. Sure, you get vitamin C and minerals from fresh veg and fruit, especially if they’re dirty (you can get loads more minerals by eating soil). But you don’t need to eat veg, a few fruit each day gives you what you need. It makes more sense to eat concentrated protein in the form of fish and meat, and leave the lower forms of life to eat vegetables. Hugh should start trying to convert animal carnivores into vegetarians as a clinical trial, before moving on to humans. If he succeeds in getting polar bears to survive on lettuce, I’ll admit I’m wrong and give up meat.

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When the world ends, will I know how to cook our cat?

‘Oh God, you realise if it gets really bad we might have to end up eating that,’ I said, meaning our fat cat Runty.

The Fawn started making upset noises. She’s very fond of Runty. My problem wouldn’t be so much the sentimental aspect as the practical one. Just how do you go about skinning and cooking a cat, when the power’s most likely to be gone and you’re long since out of barbecue charcoal? Which bits are safe to eat? Does it taste like chicken?

‘Don’t be ridiculous. It’s never going to get that bad,’ she said.

‘How do you know?’ I said.

‘Well London would need to be under siege for that to happen.’

‘Not necessarily. They ate cat in France during the War. Lapin sans tête.’

‘There’s not going to be a war.’

‘How do you know?’ I said.

I expect that all over Britain there are couples having similar conversations. All over the world, in fact, because it’s not as though they’re any better off in the US or Greece or even China. Armageddon is coming and it’s no longer a question of ‘What if?’ but ‘Just how bad will it be?’ and ‘Exactly what form of particular vileness will it take?’

Not, I would concede, that this is the majority view at the moment. Or at least the acknowledged majority view. I rang my uncle the other day. I said: ‘Do you realise how stuffed we are and have you made plans?’

He said: ‘Oh, I can’t be bothered with all that.

If it happens it happens.’ Our lawyer friends down the road take a similar line. But then they belong to that class which has grown so rich off the fat of the state that they’ve long been cushioned from economic reality.

Mark Steyn has the number of this parasite class in his brilliant and magnificently depressing new book, After America. He deconstructs a letter quoted by President Obama in his first State of the Union address, from a schoolgirl named Ty’Sheoma Bethea.

‘We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world, ‘ it said, in between begging for more federal aid for her run-down school.

Why, Steyn wonders, should such a missive should be cited as any kind of model?

For one thing, instead of trying to change the world, shouldn’t this girl trying to concentrate on more practical, realisable issues like trying to improve her crummy school and rundown town? (As P.

J. O’Rourke once put it: ‘Everybody wants to save the earth. Nobody wants to help Mom do the dishes.’) And for another, what’s with this lawyer/ doctor/congressman stuff? ‘Is there no one in Miss Bethea’s school who’d like to be an entrepreneur, an inventor, a salesman, a generator of wealth? Someone’s got to make the dough the government’s already spent.’

This is a problem, perhaps the great problem of our times: the increasing gulf between those who actually create value and those who merely leech off their backs.

What makes it so intractable is that so few in our heavily socialised post-war entitlement culture are even aware that it’s a problem. We’re beginning dimly to become aware of at least some of the unwelcome passengers our economy is carrying: the union officials we pay £68 ­million to devise new ways to charge us more for public services; all those people off work with ‘back trouble’ splurging their welfare on green fees and gym club membership; local councillors and their expenses. But these are just the tip of the iceberg.

The figures quoted by Steyn from the US are terrifying enough: in 2009, the average civilian employee of the United States government earned $81,258 in salary, plus $41,791 in benefits. Total: $123,049. The average American employed in the private sector earned $50,462 in salary plus $10,589 in benefits. Total: $61,051. So you can imagine how things worse are in Europe, where the size of the economy taken up by the state is a good 10 per cent higher.

Is this sustainable? Well it might be in its more commonly used Marxist redistributionist sense of the word, as in ‘sustainable development’. But in its original sense, no it’s not. Obviously it’s not. You can’t have an ever larger unproductive sector of an economy crippling the productive sector. Not even if that unproductive sector are really nice people like my lovely lawyer friends down the road who work in ‘compliance’ and are only trying to ensure that the myriad wondrous new rules protecting ourselves from doing anything we might want to do are laboriously policed and expensively billed.

Steyn again: ‘By 2005, the costs of federal regulatory compliance alone (that is, not including state or local red tape) were up to $1.13 trillion — or approaching 10 per cent of GDP. In much of America, it takes far more paperwork to start a business than to go on welfare.’

There’s going to be a reckoning. It’ll be ugly. Perhaps in a future column, I might find time to fantasise on what possible happy outcomes might emerge. Not in this one, though. In this, I can offer nothing but despair.

Working out how to skin a cat, it seems to me, is going to be the least of our worries. In Britain, I foresee power shortages caused by our suicidal drive for ‘renewable energy’; I see further riots — made worse by pusillanimous policing — followed by a still nastier, compensatory backlash of fascistic martial law; I see punitive tax rates as the government — still in a state of denial — tries to shore up its discredited model; I see an economy heading towards Soviet levels of stagnation and waste. And until then, I foresee an awful lot of arguments with the Fawn.

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2 thoughts on “When the world ends, will I know how to cook our cat?”

  1. julied says:14th October 2011 at 12:09 pmI would have thought skinning a cat is much like skinning a rabbit.
  2. Shevva October 13th, 2011 9:57am Once the cat’s run out do we move onto dog’s then horse’s and finally civil servant’s or can we just jump to the main course?
  3. john east October 13th, 2011 4:21pm I must be a very weird person. I remember, as long ago as the 1960’s when in my teens, seeing some of my friends living romantic, bohemian lives as hippies and drop outs, and desparately envying their free sex and happy lifestyles. However, I knew then that they were no better than parasites, and that their lives were unsustainable so I kept my head down continued studying for my engineering degree.

Then in the 70’s and 80’s I was puzzled by how my neighbours could continue living large on credit, new cars, expensive holidays etc., and thinking that if there was such a thing as natural justice, then there must surely come a day of reconning for them.

Well, now in my 60’s that day is here.

Perhaps I should be gloating that being debt free and with plenty of savings and other hard assets my efforts have finally paid off, but I suspect when armaggedon finally unfolds my chances of emerging unscathed are not much better than anyone elses.

So I’ll settle for just being a little smug instead.

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How to Behave

‘I don’t suppose the war will leave any of us alone by the time it’s done,’ prophesied one of the characters in the new series of Downton Abbey. Oh, dear, I’m sure she’s right. So I wonder which will be the character who comes back with shellshock, which one with no legs, and which one a hero.

For the last, I’m guessing Matthew Crawley, the worthy but slightly dull heir to the worthy but slightly dull Earldom of Grantham. That would be nice: then, after many travails and obstacles, cold, aloof (but really quite hot) Lady Mary will get to realise in the final episode that, yes, of course, he was the man for her all along. At the big wedding the redoubtable Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) will say something very funny and acerbic. And everyone will laugh through their tears of joy and say how Sunday nights just won’t be the same without Downton.

In an alternative, bolder universe, it’s possible they’re showing a Downton which works out differently. Perhaps Crawley gets his penis shot off at Passchendaele, creating serious issues over the inheritance, till the handsome Irish chauffeur offers to stand in for his Lordship on the wedding night, causing serious ructions with Lady Sybil shortly before her hideous and moving death from a fever contracted from one of her patients. But not in this universe, I don’t think. And you can’t really blame Julian Fellowes for this. Comfort and predictability is what people want from their Sunday evening dramas.

Comfort and predictability is what they’re going to get — as you could tell from, say, the Somme scene where the stretcher-bearer is standing taking a breather and talking about how, if there’s a bullet with your name on it, there’s nothing you can do. ‘Oh, dear,’ you think. ‘Any second now he’s going to get shot in the —’ And bang, he’s just been shot through the head.

That particular black joke (repeated countless times in real combat, I’m sure) was done rather better by Spielberg in Saving Private Ryan where a GI removes his helmet to stare in amazement and gratitude at the hole made by the bullet which should have killed him but didn’t. Then gets shot dead by a more successful one.

He has got a lot to answer for, Steven Spielberg — raising the bar for on-screen combat scenes so high that almost everything thereafter (unless it’s one of his own series: Band of Brothers or Pacific) looks pallid and unconvincing. This was certainly the case with the war scenes in Downton. It just looks like a film set with actors scurrying around with mud on their face. There was never any real sense that this was hell on earth. It felt more like a slightly more eventful extension of Downton Abbey: ‘Mister Crawley will be taking tea in the Brown Explosion Room.’ ‘Very good, Carson.’

OK, so Spielberg had lots of money to spend.

(to read more, click here)

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Meet Finland’s Answer to Vaclav Klaus

‘Finland, Finland, Finland — the country where I want to be. Po-ny trek-king or camp-ing. Or simply watching TV.’ But Monty Python got it wrong. Finland is more than just a cold, comedic nowheresville near to Russia. Not only is it the land of Nokia, bear pâté, the Moomintroll, and one of the few countries in the eurozone still doing business (one of only seven with an AAA credit rating) — but it may also save the world from the approaching euro armageddon.

For this last, we must thank an implausible hero named Timo Soini: implacable Eurosceptic, leader of Finland’s fastest-growing political party (the True Finns) and a diehard fan of Millwall Football Club. We meet in Eastbourne, shortly after he has given a rapturously received address to the Ukip conference.

Here are some of the lines that so delighted the punters.

‘You are so lucky to have the pound. You are so lucky — keep the pound!’

On the illegality of the bailouts.

‘This crisis has turned us into criminals. Who will respect politicians anymore after this? Who will trust the law if the law is not obeyed by us? We should be governed by the rule of law and by the members of the parliaments who we have ourselves chosen.’

‘These bailouts are immoral. We are pouring our money to the bad guys: to the governments that cheated us and to the bankers that made huge profits by taking reckless risks… It’s outrageous. I say, it’s outrageous!’

Yes, of course this is the sort of thing his mate Nigel Farage does very well too. But there are several key advantages Farage is lacking. He’s not built like a 1,500lb grizzly bear; he doesn’t have bull walrus jowls, stubble that makes Desperate Dan look like a L’Oréal ad and a Reg Varney quiff; he doesn’t support Europe’s roughest, lairiest football team. Timo Soini does and I’m sure it’s a huge part of his appeal: he can talk about abstruse economic issues without sounding a ponce; he has the aura of the grizzled, battle-scarred, tough but fair sergeant you’d follow to hell and back; he looks like a real man, rather than just another bloody politician.

(to read more, click here)

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When You Really, Really Need the State, Will It Still Be Able to Save You?

At my uncle’s holiday apartment in Salcombe, Devon, is a tiny service lift so cramped and claustrophobic that you only use it in extremis: when you have heavy bags to carry up from the car, say, or a pile of sodden wetsuits which need drying on the balcony. Otherwise, it’s best avoided. Even the 40 seconds or so it takes to get from the bottom floor to the top are enough to give you the heebie-jeebies. You find yourself glancing at the emergency phone next to the floor buttons and thinking: ‘Jesus, I hope that works. Imagine if this thing ever broke down. It would be like the Black Hole of Calcutta.’

So we’re back from a day’s surfing at Bantham beach, the Fawn, Boy, Girl and I, and we’ve bought our cream tea, which we’ve got just enough time to eat before heading off to Kingsbridge to watch Super 8. Everything has gone smoothly, like a pre-Basra military operation. We’re squashed into the lift, wetsuits, heavy shopping, family of four, we’re whirring slowly upwards, when ‘Clunk!’, the lift stops.

‘Oh really,’ says the Fawn, mildly irritated, to the kids. ‘Did one of you knock a button?’ But I can see that they didn’t and that the button lights have all gone out. ‘No, I think it’s broken,’ I say, trying to keep the dread out of my voice and grabbing for the phone.

I dial the number. It is a recorded message, clearly designed for lift service engineers. It isn’t interested in the predicament of people like us, trapped in lifts. All it wants to know is the engineer’s job number or fault code or some such blithering irrelevance. Great. It’s like crash-landing in the sea and suddenly discovering that there isn’t, after all, a life vest under your seat.

(to read more, click here)

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Edge of Darkness

I’ve got this idea for a book, when I get the time, called Everything You Know Is Wrong. Its job will be to attack all the idiot received ideas of our age — what my father-in-law calls ‘notions’. High on the list of candidates, most definitely, is the commonly held belief (especially among stand-up comics) that Bill Hicks was the greatest comedian who ever lived.

Would people be saying this if Hicks hadn’t died of pancreatic cancer at 32? Probably not. Dead young people are so much easier to project your fantasies of unimpeachable greatness on to than people who are alive and fat and ageing and part of the establishment and just not as funny as they used to be. ‘He never sold out,’ say all his fans. Well, sure. He never had the time.

(to read more, click here)

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Dave, you’re a disappointment – but there’s still time to change that | James Delingpole

August 23, 2011

Dear Dave,

There are few things more annoying than when an old friend writes to tell you what a hash you’re making of your life. Especially when the friend is a squitty hack/blogger and you’re a leader of the free world. God, how impertinent is that?

But there are things that old friends can see that newer friends wouldn’t dare tell you even if they were capable of noticing. Yeah, you’re Prime Minister and I’m not, but I’m really not jealous. I don’t judge friends’ success by the titles or positions they’ve accumulated, or by how rolling in money they are or how powerful they’ve become. What I ask myself is: ‘Given the advantages they’ve had and the opportunities they’ve been given, have they achieved their full potential?’ And in your case the answer is no. Or at best, a very feeble ‘Not yet’.

(to read more, click here)

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2 thoughts on “Dave, you’re a disappointment – but there’s still time to change that”

  1. Staceey says:23rd August 2011 at 12:32 pmJames

    This is off topic.

    Newsnight yesterday, the introduction was England had just one the test series, then the rest of the slot was taken up bemoaning the state of asian cricket in the uk. Poor grounds poor facilities, not enough Asians playing for England etc.

    My point is that on the day that England one the series magnificently, all the BBC could do is be negative and attack English cricket?

  2. Staceey says:23rd August 2011 at 12:38 pmSorry won the series? and please feel free to delete the post when you have considered.

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We’re destroying our countryside – and for what? | James Delingpole

August 16, 2011

By the time you read this I’ll be in the place that makes me happier than anywhere else in the world: a section of the Wye valley in beautiful mid-Wales, where I’ll spend every day paddling in streams and plunging in mill ponds and playing cockie-ollie in the bracken and wandering across the sunlit uplands, drinking in perhaps the finest view God ever created — the one across the Golden Valley towards the Black Mountains, and beyond that to the Brecon Beacons.

And each time I do so I wonder sadly whether this will be the last time I get to witness such perfection. No, I’m not dying, I don’t think. But the country I love is.

(to read more, click here)

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