Tuesday, 27 April 2010
OK, you lot, fancy having some fun next week?
How about we send 6 top fashion models somewhere for a day. In just their underwear.
I'm not happy that UK airports think they can see me, my children and everyone else nude and scan me before I am allowed to travel just because it "might" stop one person setting fire to his shoe.
So the plan is to invite every tabloid and every TV crew in the land to watch 6 fashion models strip to their skimpies at the airport, get on a cheap flight and then fly back again in a day.
I reckon I'll need about £100 a girl to cover the flight and lingerie and I've already spoken to them. They're up for it (no, you cannot have their telephone numbers.)
It isn't illegal, no one is going to get arrested, it will raise the profile of my campaign in Cambridge and embarass our glorious leader and his government with just a few days left before a general election. In every national newspaper and every TV station.
Dig deep, guys, this could be fun. £600 to make Gordon look the proper authoritarian bastard that we know and love in his dying days.
Posted by The Network at 22:15
Personal Identity technology (ID-tech) is the complex of devices and techniques by which the identity of individuals is established and/or verified. It largely consists of biometric systems, that is, automated technical systems that measure physical human characteristics, some of them dynamically and in real time. The biometric device matches the input sample against a stored template, in order to include or exclude an individual from some action or activity. It is used for verifying who you are (with smart card, username or ID number) or identifying who you are. The data so collected could be used for purposes other than those initially intended.
Fingerprint biometrics were first used at the 2004 Olympic Summer Games, Athens. In the USA, Australia, UK, EU and other countries biometrics are being introduced into passport and visa control. For example, citizens of Brazil have their signature, photo, and 10 rolled fingerprints collected by passport requests. There is a very wide variety of uses e.g. in immigration, customs, ATMs, retail, schools, policing, and intelligence.
Posted by The Network at 21:50
My silence since mid-February has not meant that I have taken my eye off the climate-change scene. Far from it, although I have to confess that I have become increasingly wearied and bored by the fatuous lack of reality exhibited on this topic by many UK politicians. It is so glaringly obvious that, since the debacle in Copenhagen, ‘global warming’ is dying as a major political trope that I find it less and less exercising as an issue. Indeed, I do not want to waste too much energy in flogging a fundamentally dead corpse.
This last week, however, the nails in the global warming coffin have been driven in so thick and so fast that I thought it might be worth bringing attention once again to what is happening around the world - “You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Global Warming is as dead as a door-nail,” although I suspect that the Global Warming Ghost will hang around moaning and wailing for quite a while yet.
Posted by The Network at 21:08
Click image for full graphic. The percentage of people of working age with no qualifications 2005 parliamentary constituencies. Conducted by the lecturers' union UCU, the research finds that the proportion of those with degrees or equivalent varies hugely across the country - from 62.3% in Kensington and Chelsea to just 9.91% in Birmingham Hodge Hill. Find out how your constituency does. Graphic: Jenny Ridley
Education in the UK has been transformed dramatically. Just over 20 years ago, the national curriculum was introduced as part of the Education Reform Act of 1988, and as recently as 1997 we had universal free higher education.
Many will say that one of the greatest changes has been an obsession with targets which dates back to 1997, when Labour came into power with the mantra of "education, education, education". This substantially shifted power, as Margaret Thatcher's education secretary Kenneth Baker put it, "from the hub to the rim of the wheel".
Posted by Corrugated Soundbite at 21:01
John Brockman's Edge site has lots of short essay-lets on what the ash cloud episode means. Maybe because of the way it was reported in the USA, remarkably few of the commentaries seem to get that it was a huge buearucratic over-reaction to a theoretical model and based on a zero-tolerance approach to ash that makes no sense. And it caused real economic and emtoional pain.
Posted by Corrugated Soundbite at 20:57
BP said on Tuesday that profits hit £3.6 billion ($US5.6 billion) in the first three months of 2010 - more than double the level last year.
The 135 per cent profits rise comes after the price of crude oil was pushed higher by recovery hopes for the global economy and due to market speculation.
Posted by Corrugated Soundbite at 20:49
We've been warned of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) being planned to fly over Britain for monitoring antisocial motorists, protesters, agricultural thieves and fly-tippers.
We've had remote-controlled, flying CCTV cameras used by the police that break privacy laws by flying without permission over residential areas.
Now the Mail on Sunday reports that MI5 and GCHQ are set to buy up a series of £23million Global Hawk drones to 'search for terror cells' in the UK:
Posted by The Network at 20:01
Children were breathalysed on the door of a village disco to ensure there was no anti-social behaviour from underage drunks inside, it was revealed today.
Teenagers as young as 14 were barred from a the village hall disco after failing the police breath tests.
The worst of the under-age offenders was found to have 65mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood - almost double the legal drink-drive limit of 35mg
Posted by The Network at 15:02
Back in January last year, David Bond packed a rucksack, kissed his pregnant wife Katie and toddler Ivy, climbed into his Toyota Prius and drove away from home. Nobody knew where he was going – he didn’t even know himself. One thing he was sure about was this: “I’m going to leave my life behind and disappear,” he said.
A 38-year-old Oxford graduate with a solid if unspectacular career in media, Bond wasn’t your typical runaway. But then, you might have said the same about Will Smith in Enemy of the State, or Robert Donat in The 39 Steps – two of Bond’s favourite films. For Katie, left alone with a toddler, his disappearance could not have come at a worse time. “I had to juggle the childcare and work,” she says, “and I was seven and a half months pregnant.”
Bond might never have thought of running away if he’d not received a letter, some months earlier, informing him that his daughter was among 25 million Britons whose records had been lost by the Child Benefit Office, along with bank details and other private information.
Posted by The Network at 14:35
One of the Federal Government's top infrastructure advisers is warning of an oil crunch that could send the global economy spiralling back toward recession.
Curtin University Professor Peter Newman sits on the Government's Infrastructure Australia Council and says peak oil - when demand outstrips dwindling supply - has already hit but that the global downturn has kept prices low.
Professor Newman even blames oil for causing the global recession in the first place, and he is not alone.
It is an issue being taken seriously by some local councils which have drawn up peak oil contingencies.
Posted by The Network at 14:33
Investors are treating Portugal as the next Greece as the sovereign debt crisis spreads through the Mediterranean.
Portuguese bonds slumped again Tuesday as bond holders took the view that the country’s credit quality is deteriorating, even though its deficit and debt ratios are not as dire as Greece’s.
Posted by The Network at 14:31
The Liberal Democrat leader refused to rule out forming a government with other leading figures in Labour - such as Alan Johnson or David Miliband - or the Conservatives if no party wins an overall majority at the election.
He joked that he would even see “a man from the moon” as an acceptable partner in a coalition administration if it meant his cherished reforms to voting, taxes, education and banking were driven through
Posted by The Network at 14:27
The theme for Thursday's final leaders' debate is the economy. If the campaign so far is anything to go by, it will offer meagre pickings. The budget deficit presents the greatest threat to our economic wellbeing in 80 years, yet it has barely featured as a issue. At this perilous moment in our national fortunes, the politicians appear to have taken a collective vow of omerta on the one subject that should obsess them. It means the voters are being asked to make a fundamental choice about the direction of this country blindfolded
Posted by The Network at 14:25
Mass Third World immigration into Britain only benefits the super rich and is utterly destructive to ordinary Britons and immigrants alike, argues Maid of Kent in this thought-provoking article.
The news that the fortunes of the super rich in the UK have staged an astonishing recovery over the last 12 months, and that the collective wealth of Britain’s 1,000 richest people has increased by 30 percent in the last year, will enrage ordinary British people suffering from the adverse effects of the recession.
The combined wealth of these 1000 super rich rose by a staggering £77 billion to £333.5 billion in just 12 months, reflecting the biggest annual rise of the last 22 years.
Posted by The Network at 14:16
Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas said the economic impact of the weeklong crisis had caused losses of estimated at between €1.5-2.5 billion.
The closure of a large chunk of European airspace due to the volcanic eruption in southern Iceland caused the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights, and left 10 million passengers stranded.
Posted by The Network at 13:38
A police officer was probably responsible for the death of anti-racism activist Blair Peach but the killing was covered up, a Scotland Yard report revealed today - 31 years after the notorious incident.
Police officers conspired to conceal the circumstances surrounding the death of the 33-year-old New Zealand teacher during a demonstration against the National Front in Southall west London in 1979.
Mr Peach was struck on the head in the protest and members of the Metropolitan police riot squad, the Special Patrol Group, were suspected of dealing the fatal blow.
Posted by The Network at 13:36
A FORMER minister yesterday called for Alan Johnson to replace Gordon Brown as Labour leader as party feuding erupted into the open.
Former Home Office frontbencher Fiona Mactaggart said the Home Secretary was among contenders ready to take over after the election.
Lord Mandelson and his allies are understood to be backing Foreign Secretary David Miliband as the party’s next leader.
Posted by The Network at 11:12
Labour was forced to suspend another candidate today after he boasted about his sex life and made offensive comments on the internet.
John Cowan, who was fighting for a seat in South East Cambridgeshire, made a series of inappropriate comments in chatrooms.
As well as talking about sex, Mr Cowan, a former manager of glamour models, posted adverts asking for people to pose nude for his photographic portfolio
Posted by The Network at 11:09
More than 160,000 companies are experiencing "significant" or "critical" financial distress and between them owe in excess of £55bn, according to Begbies Traynor.
In its latest Red Flag update, which highlights troubled businesses, the professional services group found a 14pc jump in the number of distressed companies. There were 161,601 red flagged companies in the first quarter of this year compared with the final quarter of 2009.
Posted by The Network at 11:05
Class solidarity was such a good idea. It really was. Obviously, most of the people who need solidarity are in the world’s laboring classes. After all, the rich have more than enough solidarity already, as was recently demonstrated by their successful execution of the greatest global financial heist in history. Oh sure, we’ll see some state sponsored mock show trials of a few of them – they always throw a few of their own out of the sleigh to the wolves during their escapes. The big heist was big news. Working Americans will be applying Preparation H to their keisters for a long time to come.
But the ultimate accomplishment of the already rich, the newly rich and the corporate rich, has been their global solidarity on the corporate/financial front. It’s been a long run up to globalism, but the rich have great patience.
Posted by The Network at 08:42
Commenting on the latest GDP figures showing 0.2% growth between January and March this year, Vince Cable said:
“These figures show that the promised recovery is barely visible. There is a real danger of the UK going into a double dip recession. As people deal with their own debts and as the banks continue to strangle good British businesses by starving them of credit the recovery will remain fragile.
Posted by The Network at 08:15
Although I am still quite concerned about the effect of underworld connections on the Oxburgh inquiry into Climategate, a bigger problem has obviously surfaced in the illegal use and exploitation of funds intended to finance green initiatives. (BTW, during research for this article I discovered many reports of theft of solar panels--if you've got 'em, keep an eye on 'em.)
Some of it is organised crime, as we reported yesterday and Friday. Some of it is just local initiative, taking advantage of lax monitoring procedures. Some of it is by indigenous people who consider it money being tossed around for no good reason that they are just as entitled to as the next person.
Read more ...
Posted by The Network at 08:12
CHOICE is a luxury that is no longer on offer to British voters. The identical programmes of the three main political parties have effectively created a one-party state. It is the great irony of this general election that the expansion of the traditional two-horse race into a three-horse contest has brought not the slightest philosophical broadening of the electoral landscape
Posted by The Network at 07:49
The comments raise huge question-marks over the Lib Dems' commitment to such a cherished institution as the NHS.
They contrast with the course taken by David Cameron, who has made support for the NHS a key plank of his campaign.
The interview is another serious embarrassment for Mr Clegg as he prepares to face nurses at the Royal College of Nursing conference today.
Posted by The Network at 07:47
FURIOUS mums have slammed Liberal Democrat plans to let 16-year-olds watch and star in PORN films.
The controversial policy has faced blistering criticism in the chatrooms of Mumsnet, a popular website for mothers.
Under the Lib Dems, the legal age for viewing or appearing in adult movies will be cut from 18 to 16.
But the policy - overwhelmingly passed at the party's conference in 2004 - has now been savaged on the internet by women who claim it is "essentially legalisation of child porn".
Posted by The Network at 07:46
Airplane crashes have historically been a favorite method of political assassinations, with Ron Brown and John F. Kennedy Jr. being two recent examples. Can we now add Polish President Lech Kaczynski and nearly his entire government to the list? Although motive doesn’t need to be proved in a murder trial, plenty of motives certainly exist if we examine one primary set of culprits: those who head the European Union.
Posted by The Network at 07:44
AIR travellers face devastating price rises as airlines struggle to recoup their losses from disruption caused by the volcanic ash cloud and soaring fuel bills.
A report out yesterday revealed that last week’s flight ban cost airlines £1.3billion and, combined with a recent surge in oil prices, many of them face a battle to survive.
As a result they are expected to put up fares by 5.2 per cent this year, costing travellers a total of £1.8billion or £48 per passenger. By 2012, prices are expected to have risen by 11.5 per cent.
Posted by The Network at 07:41
I’ve always suspected this. There can be only one logical conclusion to the anthropogenic global warming campaign: eliminate human beings. Or, at least, reduce to a minimum their number on the planet.
Have you had the sneaking suspicion that climate change activists were seeking to suppress every possible life-enhancing human activity from a long hot bath to a long-haul flight to an exotic destination? Have you ever had the sense that they would actually prefer it if you just ceased to occupy space on the earth, using up – as you do – its precious resources to facilitate your own pestilential selfish existence? That, if they could, they would at least manage to deter you from reproducing? Well, here it is: this report from the LSE says it all.
Posted by The Network at 07:40
There go the Russians: Oligarchs (and their bling) 'set to flee Britain because of Labour's tax policies'
Wealthy Russians will leave Britain or remove money from the City of London because of Labour's high tax policies, according to a leading investment guru.
Alexei Golubovich, chairman of Arbat Capital investment advisers, said the trend would cost the British economy hundreds of millions of pounds.
His warning of a capital flight comes after a decade which has seen affluent Reds-to-Riches billionaires buying up property, investing their vast fortunes, and using London as their gateway to the West.
Posted by The Network at 07:38
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