Archive for the ‘whingey book’ Category

Scientists and Epidemiologists use statistics but that doesn’t mean Epidemiologists are Scientists

June 11, 2017

“Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”

10 left-handers and 10 right-handers play “heads or tails”.
Left-handers win 60% of games.
Players say Left-handers have been lucky.
Scientists say there is no proven link.
Statisticians say there is a 0.2 correlation between being left-handed and the ability to foresee the toss of a coin.
Epidemiologists will publish paper claiming that evidence indicates that Left-handers may have degree of prescience.
Newspapers will report the paper with the headline “Scientists prove Left-handers can predict the future”.
On the basis of the report the Epidemiologists are appointed by Minister of Education to design courses to promote Left-handedness amongst school-children.

#brexit @leave.eu I filched this from the fuller-money newsletter. Shows what the money men think of the EU

May 3, 2017
On a baking hot day in July 2015 Greece’s radical-Left Syriza government won a spectacular mandate to defy the austerity regime of the EU-IMF Troika.

Against all expectations, 61pc of the Greek people voted in a referendum to reject the Carthaginian terms of their latest bail-out deal, a scorched-earth ‘Memorandum’ described by a young French economy minister named Emmanuel Macron as a “modern day version of the Versailles Treaty”.

It seemed as if the long-running showdown between Athens and the EU authorities had reached an explosive juncture. Markets were braced for the ejection of Greece from the euro in short order. Monetary union was on the verge of break-up.

Yet the rebel victory instantly and inexplicably metamorphosed into surrender, and with it died the final hopes of the European Left. Premier Alexis Tsipras stunned his own people and the world by announcing that there would be no rupture with the Troika after all, and furthermore that he would join hands with the conservative cadres of Greece’s ancien regime.

The extraordinary developments are recounted by Yanis Varoufakis in his deeply unsettling account, ‘Adults In The Room, My Battle With Europe’s Deep Establishment’, published in extracts in the Telegraph. What the former finance minister reveals is that leaders of the Syriza government were seriously worried about dark forces in the shadows. They were frightened.

Vested interests with huge sums at stake – within Greece, and implicitly across the eurozone – were prepared to defend the existing financial order by any means necessary. The prime minister feared a military coup.

His warnings to Mr Varoufakis in soul-searching talks that night certainly raise eyebrows, all vividly narrated in a subchapter entitled ‘the overthrowing of a people’.

The final days of the referendum were surreal. Unbeknownst to the Greek people, Alexis Tsipras had called the snap-vote expecting to lose. Most of the Syriza leaders did not campaign. What they wanted was an “emergency exit”, calculating that a respectable defeat would give them a way out after boxing themselves into a corner.

But humiliated and long-suffering Greeks instead seized on the chance to express their defiance, rising to a “gigantic celebration of freedom from fear” in the final intoxicating rally at Syntagma Square.

And:

As the scale of the victory became clear on election day Mr Varoufakis penned a triumphant piece. “In 1967, foreign powers, in cahoots with local stooges, used tanks to overthrow Greek democracy. In 2015 foreign powers tried to do the same by using the banks. But they came up against an insanely brave people who refused to submit to fear.”

He then went to join the victory party at the prime minister’s Maximos Mansion, only to discover that the betrayal of the vote was already under way. “As I walked in, Maximos felt as cold as a morgue, as joyful as a cemetery. The ministers and functionaries I encountered looked numb, uncomfortable in my presence, as if they had just suffered a major electoral defeat,” he said.

Only he and his wife Danae were wearing jeans, once de rigueur in Syriza circles. “Sitting there, I began noticing things about the people around me that had previously escaped me. The men resembled accountants. The women were dressed as if for a state gala,” he said. They were like the pigs on two legs, drinking with men, glimpsed through the window in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Mr Varoufakis told the prime minister that it was his duty to honour the referendum, that he should seize on the thundering expression of popular will to escalate Greece’s war of resistance, and to present the ECB and Berlin with a stark choice. It was wasted breath. The decision to accept what he calls “unconditional surrender” had already been taken, and a new finance minister willing to go along with this volte face had already been picked.

David Fuller’s view

The EU has been a costly mistake since the launch of the single currency in 1999, without a Federal State to deal with the inevitable inequities between individual states (formerly independent countries) which would arise.  EU bureaucrats knew that they did not have the votes for a Federal Union.  Nevertheless, they undermined democracies in the region and also their economic prosperity by launching the Euro in an environment which several centuries of previous history showed was bound to fail.

Subsequently, unofficially centralised governance within the EU resembles a left-wing mafia rather than a healthy democracy.  That is what Prime Minister Theresa May faces, despite her best efforts to sincerely promote an agreement in the mutual interests of both a departing UK and also the EU. Fortunately, she now realises this, as do a sufficient proportion of the UK electorate to give her a significant majority.  That may not influence the EU but it will help the UK to first deal with turbulence following a hasty exit from the EU before fulfilling its potential in the global economy.

Big campaign on mobile phones won’t last. There’s more cuts on the way.

March 7, 2017

Letter ( a bit ranty) to the Daily Mirror, editted.

27/1/2017
Raising the fines for motorists using a mobile phone won’t work.
Many consider it essential to their employment and that being caught is an acceptable risk.
The only way to change their behaviour is to increase the frequency of being caught.
This means more cops (LOL), some new technology, or access to phone records.
The last would have to be coupled with CCTV along Motorways etc.
The real problem is that it would be another intrusion into privacy and would probably be handled by someone like G4S.
Personally I can’t see it being stopped, especially as pressure on prisons is likely to make killing someone, whilst driving and phoning, is likely to incur a smaller fine.

#The only way to change the behaviour of mobile users is to increase the possibility of being caught. This means more police, new technology and access to mobile phone records.
Personally, I can’t see it being stopped.

It is immoral that we are helpless to prevent the party in power from deceitfully & deliberately reversing a manifesto pledge e.g. #NHS

March 7, 2017

This was a letter to the Daily Mirror , published but with a hard edit

22/2/17
With what’s happening to our NHS, it’s unbelievable, for me, that we are helpless to prevent it.
There was no mention of this destruction in any pre-election speeches.
In fact we were assured that the NHS was “safe” in Tory hands.
In normal circumstances, one can understand the need for Governments to have the stability of a five year term of office but the Sovereignty of Parliament becomes a farce, when the wishes of the Population are ignored as an irrelevance, even in times of War.
There needs to be a means for the population to demand a General Election, or, at least, a referendum on issues, which directly affect the whole population

#|t’s unbelievable what’s happening to our NHS and it has left me feeling helpless. There was no mention of plans to shut hospitals in any pre-election speeches. In fact, we were assured that the NHS was safe
in Tory hands. There must be a means for people to demand a referendum on huge issues.

some TV producers need to tune down the “atmosphere” and let us hear the dialogue

March 7, 2017

A letter to the Daily Mirror with minimal editting
22/2/17
Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TV’s.
I don’t believe this is the case.
As someone with poor hearing, I use radio headphones to listen to TV.
More often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts, the “atmosphere” is tuned out.
The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well give up and go for a pie.

WON’T LISTEN TO EXCUSE
#Sound recordist Simon Clark is reported as putting the blame for poor sound quality on flat screen TVs (Mirror, February 22). I don’t believe this.
As someone with poor hearing I use radio headphones to listen to the TV and more often the problem is “atmosphere”.
Trying to distinguish what is being said in noisy offices, restaurants, dance halls is too realistic.
It doesn’t happen in old Hollywood films, where the “atmosphere” is set as the stars walk into a noisy room, then once the dialogue starts it is tuned out. The same complaint applies to football matches, where the commentators might as well go for a pie.

Various blogs 6

January 11, 2017

11/1/17
Why do the rail operators want to get rid of guards?
The likeliest answer is to save money for improved share dividends.
The unlikeliest answer is that savings will go to improved facilities, or fare cuts.

The service to the public is reduced and made yet more impersonal.
The Public also loses, because of reduced tax revenue and an increase in benefits payments to the now unemployed guards.

It is in the interests of the Government to increase employment, so why are they not supporting the strikers against the money-grubbing of the operators?

As always, Tories are pennywise and pound foolish, blinded by the dogma of keeping the peasants in line and toadying to the money men.

Giving Billions to those behind HS2, whilst saving a few million by severely cutting hospital beds

5/1/17
Has Defence Minister Harriet Baldwin latched onto a new form of Laser?
Back when President Reagan hit on his own Star Wars defence systems, they quickly realised that shiny metal missiles reflect light.
They also move incredibly fast, making them hard to target.
I’m sure the Pentagon spent a lot more than £30 million trying to overcome these problems but they had to concede defeat, as did the Russians, who invested in a ground based Maser.
Swapping one Americanism for another, I expect that Harriet Baldwin will find herself not ahead of the curve but behind the eight ball.
30/12/16
Whilst focus is rightly on “Anna” in the Secret Slave case, it disturbing that the story of the other women in the house is being ignored.
The original report says that these other women colluded in keeping “Anna” enslaved, because they were also subject to intimidation and beatings.
Why are they not also being defended?
Why is there not talk of taking action to prevent their abuse?
Socialism is about treating everyone equally.
This has led to the creed of respecting cultural diversity but in doing so, we have committed ourselves to protecting behaviours, which have legitimised the actions of “Malik” and other’s like him.
Such men could never be described as Socialist, Christian, or, I presume, Islamic.

28/12/16
The Tory plan to demand photo ID is annoying in a number of ways.
Initially, because it’s smacks of an attempt to, once more, enforce the national ID card.
It is also resonant of the way that many poorer voters (mostly black) in the Southern States of America have been denied a vote, because of the cost and the bureaucratic hurdles put in place.
Then there’s the core issue of the validity of photo ID as a means of security.
The two photo’s of the Tunisian assassin, recently shown throughout the Media, are so different that I wonder if they are the same man.
Such photo’s are, often, so unlike the person presenting them that few photo ID’s are given more than a passing glance.
Apparently, the Tunisian assassin found it easy to procure three legitimate (?) passports in different names.
They are neither secure, nor feasible, when dealing with even local elections, which often rely on volunteers working in adverse, makeshift conditions.

17/12/16
A 101 yr old paedophile, sent to prison, was reported to show no remorse.
It strikes me that he may have shown gratitude.
What other person of that age can be guaranteed immediate access to medical aid, should he need it.
Free heating, regular hot meals and constant care.
Outside prison, he would have to fend for himself, risk losing his home and while away many hours in solitude.
It’s another Wonderful Life story for Brian Reade

14/12/16

This was from Twitter. Nothing on TV.
It’s the sort of thing that is more relevant (to those affected) than who’s won Strictly, or X-factor.
http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information/traffic-information-services/highways-england-post-incident-bulletin/january-2016-post-incident-bulletins/december-2016-post-incident-bulletins/m6-closure-northbound-lancashire-monday-12-tuesday-13-december-2016/

14/12/16

The report on the lives of the children in North Korea is so depressing and so hard to deal with.
As individuals we can do nothing and we look to politicians to act on our behalf.
The UN seems totally incapable of anything other than passing votes condemning such regimes. Although in this case a demand of all nations to totally ostracise North Korea and expulsion of its representatives might have an effect.
There will be calls for further action but what?
For instance, Paddy Ashdown has called for action on Aleppo but I fail to see how a few more bombs in that region of The World helps.
Nothing will change in these places, in India’s sweatshops, Brazil’s favela’s, China’s industrialised regions, Africa’s desert regions etc. until politicians slough off their reliance on the rich and end exploitation of the vulnerable.
We won’t see it in our lifetimes and we won’t even see it in our own country whilst we have a political system that can cut taxes on the rich and care services to the poor.
Happy Xmas, to all
11/12/16
Sunday morning BBC1; I’m watching Fern Briton telling Michael Gove that homework is counterproductive and I’m loving it.
As a teacher, I was compelled to set homework, whether, or not, it was helpful.
I was compelled to mark, grade and record it in a particular way and then punish pupils for not completing it, regardless of their ability, home circumstances, or any other consideration.
Consequent discipline problems, alienation and disaffection made attempts to interest pupils in my subject grow less possible, even amongst pupils with an aptitude for it.
Before Blunkett set down rules on homework, I could set homework when and where it would help.
Some homeworks would merely need a tick of approval, some would need chasing, some would need detailed examination but it was as I judged suitable for each pupil.
It would be nice if politicians could lose interest in Education and left school’s, teacher’s, parent’s and those with an investment in it, to get on with it.

“it was alright in the 70’s” is so sanctimonious.

December 10, 2016

I’m watching “it was alright in the 70’s” and I’m amazed at the prudish attitude of the present generation.
I suppose it’s our fault; It was our generation, who encouraged this puritan attitude, as part of our “everyone has rights” and should stand up for them.

It’s become a culture of “look for offence and condemn it, unconditionally”.

In the 70’s, I was in my late 20’s. We had entered a period, where we no longer went from children to responsible adults at 21. We were liberated young adults, who could define our own boundaries.
The key was that the contraceptive pill had become available.

Previously, any man forcing himself on a woman, was a potential rapist and would not be tolerated. Any girl, who became pregnant was “no better than she ought to be”.

Now women could have sex without fear of pregnancy. Combine that with the surge of post-war feminism, Germaine Greer’s “female Eunuch”,”burn your bra” and the Summer of Love, suddenly it was OK for men to be more aggressive and for women to be more approachable. Newspapers reported pubescent girls fighting to have sex with rock stars. It was a period where new boundaries were being set and, to an extent, it’s still settling in with ladettes, Ibiza and same sex marriage.
Perhaps in another 30 years, the next generation will be perplexed by the sanctimony oozing out of this TV series.
It’s also worth pointing out that we had only recently got 4 terrestrial TV channels, which not everybody could receive, and we did not have PC’s or Google. A phone call to the USA cost £’s per second. We were not as sophisticated as we are now. Anything we knew of other cultures, came to us third hand. As for racial stereotypes, even ultra-sophisticated Hollywood still used white actors faking Asiatics(Charlie Chan, Flash Gordon). It was still possible for the BBC to cast public school actors as Scouser’s using cod Brummie accents. For the Public School types it was on par with actors holding masks in Greek theatre and we accepted it ( although I admit to a slight aggravation at the Brummie accent)

@DailyMirror publishes first puff piece in Blair’s campaign against populism

November 25, 2016

Tony Blair has begun his campaign to destroy #brexit,  with a puff piece in the Daily Mirror.

He begins by saying:

“When I say ‘let’s just keep our options open’, it’s condemned as treason”.

Straight in, with two lies in one sentence.

He uses his favourite impression  of “I’m just a nice, reasonable guy”

First lie is that he merely wants us to keep our options open, when he’s pushing  “The remain” option, as the one he’s wants to sell us.

M r. reasonable guy lays the ground for his second lie,  that this reasonable view has seen him condemned as treasonous.

No-one has condemned as treasonous for  wanting to keep our options open.

He’s been condemned as treasonous for the illegal Iraq war.

He’s also been condemned as anti-democratic in announcing that he’ll use his money and influence to try and overthrow the referendum vote.

This could be regarded as treason, depending on how he goes about it.

You have to look closely at everything he says.

That two-lie sentence wasn’t an off-the-cuff line.

It will have been carefully crafted, with the aid of his wordsmith, Alistair Campbell.

He’s announced that Labour has lurched to the Left and Tory’s to the Right, thus leaving the middle ground for him to step into and speak up for all those floating voters., who’ll buy what he’s selling.

It’s untrue that the Centre ground is vacant.

Corbyn and McDonnell may be old Left but they are heavily constrained by MP’s, who were raised to eminence under Blairite policies and who still occupy the centrist seat

(It wasn’t Socialists, who voted to bomb Syria).

For me , as a supporter of Corbyn, the mis-named centrist position isn’t a midway position, so much as a right of centre position and Tony Blair is a Tory in disguise.

Look at who he’s teamed up with.

Richard Branson isn’t a cavalier/hippy entertainments guy.

He’s the banker who’s buying up much of our NHS and is pushing to buy up more.

That’s why he’s linked up with Blair, who made his millions bringing “peace” to the Middle East and brokering deals for Haliburton and other US companies, eager to “help” in that region.

Listen to Blair but learn to recognise phrases that he repeats word for word, because they’re the one’s, which are selling the biggest lies

why keep crumbling buildings and outmoded traditions, when we plebs have to accept modernisation

November 20, 2016

If Republicans really believe our constitutional Monarchy needs updating, then lets clean house with Parliament first.
The pomp and circumstance of present Parliamentary traditions are a ridiculous relic of a period when the Rich turfed the peasantry off their land, so why keep it?
All State functions are being sold off in the name of efficiency, yet we still have MP’s voting by walking through lobbies.
We have the speaker elected and carried to his chair in a manner redolent of public school “high jinks”.
When there, he then spends most of his time calling for these same honourable members to come to “order, order, order”.
Black rod and the Queen’s speech are an unnecessary nonsense and would go, if we abandoned the Monarchy, anyway.

Either we keep these crumbling Palaces, institutions and farcical traditions, or we modernise, like any other rational nation.
If it’s felt that these places are important for tourism, we could keep just the facades that the tourists only ever see, as many our other cities have had to do.

@BBCNews still suggesting #brexit is causing problems

November 17, 2016

BBC breakfast had a piece, this morning, on how #brexit will affect business.

It’s based around a sugar refining business, which confesses that it will benefit from the reduction on import taxes (EU tariff charges) for the sugar.

One of the managers agreed that there will be other aspects that will need to be considered.

He said things like the paper wrapping is imported from EU countries.

We’re left to assume that this is a worry, for us, when it isn’t.

It’s a worry for the EU, because Other countries can supply paper more cheaply, once EU import taxes are removed.
They mentioned Health and Safety legislation and Worker Protection legislation.

Again we’re left to assume that this is a problem for us, when it isn’t.

Apart from the fact that all such legislation has been enacted into UK Law, most of it came from UK law.
The CE standards mark has merely replaced the British Standards kite mark and, apart from some weakening of electrical insulation standards, it was a direct steal from the British Standards legislation. Again, worker’s rights etc. in the EU are just a watered down copy of what we already had. (remember we went in under our last Socialist PM., Harold Wilson, so we would hardly have agreed to any weakening.)

This is black propaganda, using the omission of facts and leaving the younger generation to infer that we will be worse off after brexit

Note: Harold Wilson beat George Brown to the leadership, because Main Stream Media said Brwn was more Left Wing.