The Love Labour's Lost

A big falling out of lovers last night - The Sun no longer loves Labour. After 12 years of adoration from the best-selling tabloid in Britain, Gordon Brown is out in the cold. He's dumped.

And, like many splits, it's acrimonious. Now that the rose-tinted spec's are off, the many, many faults in the former sweetheart are glaringly obvious. And they're gonna get told.

The Sun's "Dear John" letter to Gordo' doesn't just dump him: it kicks him in the nuts and cuts up all his suits, stamps on his glass eye and shits on his sofa.

Even the timing was deliberate - puncture Gordon's bubble just as he's finished inflating it. Nip the 'fightback' in the bud.

But why dump him? Here's wot the Sun says:

Britain feels broken . . . and the Government is out of excuses.

FAILED on law and order ... Knife murders are soaring. Smirking criminals routinely walk free in the name of political correctness, while decent people live in a virtual police state of snooping cameras and petty officials empowered to spy and to punish.

FAILED on schools .. four in 10 kids ... still unable to read, write or add up properly. ... every year "grade inflation" ensures record GCSE and A-level passes to fuel Government propaganda.

FAILED on health - spending billions on clipboard-ticking target managers instead of on frontline care.

FAILED our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving them to die through chronic under-funding and the shambolic leadership of dismal Defence Secretaries like Bob Ainsworth.

Billions more spent, insanely, making benefits more lucrative than a pay cheque - creating a huge, idle underclass for whom work is a dirty word.

And then, the Sun's view on why Gordon and Labour did all this:

And all along the Government has had one overriding concern: Itself.

Labour's driving ambition has not been to improve Britain. It has been to retain power at all costs - with no lie judged too great in its ruthless and relentless self-promotion.

That is a fact Gordon Brown cannot escape, for all his rhetoric yesterday - his rewriting of history, his absurd caricature of the "heartless" Tories, his tired promises to solve problems he has had 12 years to solve.

That's told 'em, eh? It's a safe bet that McBroon will be choking on his cornflakes this morning.


Prescott admires a pair of Twitterers #lab09

Now that Gordon's much awaited speech has been delivered, and fallen to earth with a sickening squelch, the Labour faithful can relax. Rub some cream into those hands, sore from all the mandatory frenzied applause; massage the cheeks, sore from all that rictus grinning, and paaaaaaarrrrrrrrty.

It's a once-a-year chance for the lowly activists to mix with the big beasts. For the major players to thank those who've worked to promote them, often in the face of all real evidence.

John Prescott, famous for his late-onset Twittering (well, allegedly - we all know its his son, really) has been able to meet with his most avid sycophants already.

His new online besties are @bevaniteelllie and @kerryMP, two of the most tediously frequent pro-Labour 'tweeters' on the planet. Kerry has even been awarded the post of 'Twitter Csar' for Labour, and Ellie has 'Twittered' over 6,500 times, telling us all how wonderful all things left 'n' Labour are, and how #welovetheNHS, and how evil those kitten-strangling Tories will be.

Here's Two Jags, thanking them personally at t' conference (or #lab09, as twitterers call it):

How lovely. Old and young, united by their common love of New Labour and the New Technology.

But, Kerry and Ellie, beware. Old Uncle Prezza might not just be after a quick look at your Tweets. He may be interested in more than just your laptop.

Ask Tricia McDaid, former press officer at Labour party headquarters. She recalls the then deputy prime minister “jumped” on her at parties and once turned up uninvited at her home, hoping for sexual favours.

“He just leapt on me at one party and his tongue was halfway down my throat.”

Nice. Such was Prescott’s reputation that Tricia resorted to wearing trouser suits "to avoid his wandering hands in the lifts" at his Westminster office.

And, girls, look what happened to Linda MacDougal , in the hallway of her own house, a few years ago:

"I opened the door to Prescott and showed him in. It was the first time I’d met him. As he came through the door, he pushed me quite forcefully against the wall and put his hand up my skirt  ... He was just trying it on. ... I just rebuffed him politely. He shrugged and winked and we all carried on"

Super. Quite the ladies' man, is old Johnny P.

So, not too many Barcardi Breezers, eh, ladies? Keep a tight hold of your own room keys too.

And watch where he puts his hands...


Why not try "Sorry", Gordon?

Gordon Brown will haul his woeful, flabby, exhausted arse onto the stage in Brighton later today, to make yet another last chance, turn-things-around, fightback "speech of his life".

Doubtless, whatever he says, he will be greeted with thunderous applause, standing ovations and tearfully grateful headlines in certain sections of the press.

Speechwriters will have crafted his words very carefully, and we can expect all the usual tired cliches; "hard working families", "do-nothing Tories", "Labour investments" to be hammered into our skulls in McBroon's droning monotone.

But there's one word that definitely won't appear. A word that does not seem to be in Brown's vocabulary. The simple word, "Sorry".

Why not try it Gordon? Go on. Say "Sorry".

Say sorry to your fellow MP's: most of them are going to lose their jobs soon, and many of them will never, ever be MP's again. The party you lead, Gordon, faces decades in the wilderness. You've made a party - a party that won by a landslide 12 years ago - completely unelectable.

Say sorry to the Labour activists, your grass roots, whose best efforts have been wasted, desperately trying to defend the indefensible.  There's not a lot you can say on the doorstep, or on your pro-Labour blog, or on Twitter, when faced with a set of massive fuck-ups of these proportions, is there?

Be especially sorry to @bevaniteellie, supposedly the most followed, most influential pro-Labour 'twitterer' in the country, who has wasted months of her life - over 6,500 'tweets' - desperately trying to influence others to vote Labour, but has had to do it almost enitirely with lies and smears about the Tories, because there's nothing good to say about the Labour party, even for the most blinkered and naive like her.

Say sorry to the nation, Gordon: you've made us a laughing stock around the world. When Americans think of Britain, they don't think of a vital partner in a Special Relationship, they think of a declining power, a country with a leader that no-one voted for and no-one wants. They don't see you as a powerful ally, they see you, our Prime Minister, as a weak man, making a fool of himself with his pathetic attempts to touch the hem of their leader. A man who allowed a terrorist to be set free while he was on holiday. That makes us all look a bit silly, doesn't it?

You should say sorry to all of those who have lost their jobs, thanks to your bungled economic policies.  And sorry to all those who are going to lose their jobs when the vast, bloated public sector is slashed, and all of the thousand of non-jobs disappear. Yes, all those Outreach Co-ordinators, Diversity Managers, Community Space Challenger Co-ordinators and Enviro-Crime Enforcement Officers are going to be unemployed - and unemployable - next year. Say sorry to them.

Say you're sorry to those who were tricked by the endless "no more bust" boasting and socially-engineered easy credit into over-extending themselves, and are now in negative equity, or struggling to clear huge debts.

Say sorry to all the students who couldn't find a place in University this year, because there just aren't enough, regardless of the 'targets' your government set.

Say sorry to the next generation, who are going to be paying more in tax than they should do for their whole working lives, not to pay for national infrastructure and services, but to pay for the debts that you ran up, in your vast 10 year spending spree, which was all about making you and your government look good, and all about securing your place in history, and not much about making our lives better.

Yes, Gordon, there a lot of people who deserve an apology.

And this is your last chance.


Polly knows what to say

That Polly Toynbee, eh? She thinks - like most of the country - that Gordon Brown should step down. There she is, putting words into Gordon Brown's oddly-shaped mouth; imagining what his resignation speech might sound like. The cheeky bitch.

But actually, she hasn't totally deserted Gordo: she want him to go out in a blaze of glory, reminding the nation of all  the absolutely fantastic things that Broon and the Labour party have done for us.

And it looks like she's got the hang of what makes a typically great Brownian speech. Or any 'great' Labour speech. There are, as we all know by now, some key areas, which must be covered in every speech:

1) attack what the Tories would (not might, would) do;
2) make some empty boasts about achievements of the Labour Government;
3) attack what the Tories might do;
4) .. er ..

There are 11 paragraphs in Polly's pretendy speech. So how does she do, against the template?

Paragraph 1: "I believe I have helped save this country from a depression as bad or worse than the 1930s. I have contributed to the global rescue of banks whose domino collapse threatened a terrifying meltdown".    Yep, that's item 2: Empty boasts about Labour achievements;

Paragraph 2: "Make no mistake, had David Cameron and George Osborne been in power to do what they proposed, the catastrophe doesn't bear thinking about". And yes, item 1 there: attack what the Tories might do; She's going well, isn't she?

Paragraph 3: "Yet Cameron and Osborne are bent on doing just that, turning their 'Broken Britain' fallacy into a horrible reality". There it is again: attack what the Tories might do;

Paragraph 4: "I cannot stand by and let the Conservatives do it again – same blueprint, same economic errors". And again, attack what the Tories might do;

Paragraph 5: "I have done my utmost. I am proud of so much that Labour has done, money well spent after decades of neglect". The Tories get a (partial) break, for some empty boasts about Labour achievements;

Paragraph 6: "..the battle to keep the Conservatives from power", but not for long: we're back on those Tories. Yes, attack them Tories;

Paragraph 7: "Our party is fortunate. In my cabinet I have an abundance of talent, younger and older". Over halfway now, so another short burst of empty boasts about Labour;

Paragraph 8: "..had we followed the Conservatives' persistent demands to deregulate everything, how much worse the crisis would have been". And back on the attack. Yes, attack what the Tories might do;

Paragraph 9: " not inflict on yourselves and the nation a government ideologically intent on harming so many of the services you depend on". And again, attack what the Tories might do;

Paragraph 10: "Don't let all these good public things descend again into the petty squalor of the 1980s and 1990s for the sake of a few more pounds in your pocket. The small state is the squalid state, penny-pinching, mean-spirited.."    And one more time, attack what the Tories might do;

Paragraph 11: "I am glad to have played my part in helping rebuild Britain's public realm", aaaaannndd, to finish, empty boasts about Labour achievements.

So, 11 paragraphs of this Polly-proposed speech for Brown. Four of which contain empty, unsubstantiated boasts about Labour achievements, and an astonishing seven of which focus on what the Tories, the opposition, might do if they get into power.

Well done, Polly. You clearly know exactly what makes a good, standard Labour speech.

You should get in touch with Peter Mandelson; ask him if you can use your position as a political commentator to perpetually praise the Labour Party and endlessly denigrate the evil Tories, without ever bothering to stoop to any 'real' political analysis.

Oh, wait...


65 Ways to Fix Broken Britain

There's a lot wrong with this country. Many of the problems could be fixed, if there was the will to do so. Keith Gilmour has emailed this list, his '65 Ways to Fix Broken Britain', which CF is happy to reproduce here.

CF doesn't necessarily agree with every idea on the list, but at least there is a list. Something to debate. A starting point.  If only our hopeless politicians, or woeful political parties, would come up with some practical, understandable ideas, rather than flinging shit at each other, and lying about each other all day.

Here's the list:

Recruit (and reward) whistleblowers to expose waste and inefficiency in public services

Curtail the out-of-control 'I trip, therefore I sue' compensation culture

Ditto the offence industry

Encourage everyone to spring clean their possessions and give to charity
shops anything they don't want or need

Do more government advertising on the cheap via competitions (as when members of the public submitted to the BBC homemade 'London 2012' Olympics logos far superior to the one that cost us £400,000)

Cut the bureaucratic overkill that puts many people off volunteering

Scrap extraneous new database schemes

Scrap quangos that duplicate – or invent – unnecessary work

Scrap mindlessly excessive health and safety bureaucracies

Educate the badly-behaved teen and preteen minority separately (and
more appropriately), thereby making it far easier to improve standards in
our deterrent-free schools

Stop giving aid money to corrupt, despotic regimes and give it, instead, directly to the charities that work in countries currently suffering under
such regimes

Encourage overseas aid agencies and charities to distribute charity pledge
dog tags and wristbands reminding recipients of some very basic facts –
e.g. 'Condoms Prevent AIDS; Raping Virgins Doesn't'

Wherever possible, send troops to oust brutal despots

Ditto parts of the world where species are being poached to the verge of extinction

Start charging obese adults for all healthcare (other than gastric bands)

End the wasteful and counterproductive War on Drugs that forces addicts
into open-ended crime sprees, makes the drugs more dangerous (and easier
for under-eighteens to access) and which funds other organised crime

Reduce teenage pregnancies by not rewarding them with state handouts

Scrap anti-euthanasia laws that keep terminally ill people, who no longer
wish to live, alive and in pain against their wills

Save money on surveillance programs by deporting extremists who insist
they hate us and despise our values

Avoid wasting money on monitoring and supervision programs (whilst reducing their chances of ever re-offending to zero) by never releasing
from prison people who've raped toddlers

Create a gang members register similar to the sex offenders register

Ditto a heroin-users register

Encourage prisoners guilty of particularly sickening crimes to commit
suicide, or else create for them much simpler and cheaper accommodation (that doesn't cost us £30,000 a year per inmate)

Allow homeowners to use 'any means necessary' to defend their families, their property and their possessions

Protect prostitutes from robbery and violence – and others from being trafficked and enslaved – by regulating this aspect of the sex industry

Provide supervised accommodation for the mentally ill and homeless

Tax junk food manufacturers to help cover the costs of obesity

Tax chewing gum manufacturers to cover the costs of removing it from pavements

Either stop importing foreigners to do 'the jobs we don't want to do' or
stop paying benefit addicts to do nothing

Offer experimental drugs to any seriously ill person willing to risk trying them, thereby speeding up the development of new treatments

Make it easier for infertile women (or those who'd simply prefer to skip
nine months of pregnancy) to adopt orphans from overseas

Change the organ donation system from 'opt in' to 'opt out'

Set traps to catch thugs targeting fire crews with projectiles

Ban burkas and niqabs from British streets

Build more nuclear power stations

Reverse the closure of care homes, post offices and pubs

Create more allotments to allow people without gardens to grow their
own food

Encourage micro-generation of electricity by increasing grants to

Compel takeaways to put health information/warnings on their food cartons

Provide more public drinking fountains to discourage the purchase of
bottled water

Make it cheaper and easier for would-be entrepreneurs to start up new businesses

Head off an obesity epidemic by offering young people free, healthy school meals and subsidised gym memberships

Build massive, underground water tanks near areas prone to flooding

Name, shame and penalise 'jobsworth' and 'not my job' types depressingly prevalent in the public sector

Increase street lighting and police patrols in problem neighbourhoods

Stop relying on unpaid volunteers to set up and staff youth clubs and cafes intended to prevent young people in problem areas from drifting into crime

Stop paying incapacity benefit to people who aren't actually incapacitated

Put school pupils found to be well-nigh devoid of empathy on 'watch lists' before they leave

Offer to hide tiny cameras in the homes of women fearing domestic violence

Automatically reject Islamist asylum seekers

Publicly praise philanthropists as examples to follow or better

Extend parenting classes to anyone who can be encouraged to participate

Take back the millions of pounds madly dished out to prisoners who had to empty their own bedpans every morning – and don't give them any more

Recruit teams of 'fixers' to seek out and repair potholes in roads across
Britain (instead of waiting for motorists, belatedly, to report them)

Ditto litter and graffiti – and road signs obscured by bushes or grime

Commission colourful and inspirational murals for big, blank walls

Send teams of advisers door-to-door to help homeowners make their properties more energy efficient

Identify and eradicate unnecessary paperwork currently hampering
teachers, nurses and police officers

Refurbish derelict buildings (or demolish them and return the land to

Save money on art for government offices and embassies by instead requesting donations from secondary school art departments

Increase screening programs for earlier detection of serious diseases

Use non-violent prisoners as unpaid labour on a massive scale

Reduce the number of management consultants in the public sector

Insist the Common Agricultural Policy be scrapped

Sell advertising space on money

CF is off for lunch at his mummy's house now; your task is to debate these ideas, fully and frankly. in the comments. Off you go.


How was it for you?

As Gordon Brown struggled to get up close 'n' personal with Barack Obama last week, chasing him around the corridors of power, eventually cornering him in the kitchen, he must have been aware of a strange sensation.

As he gazed longingly at Obama from the back row, he may have felt another pair of eyes, boring into the back of his neck. The heat of an impassioned gaze.  A worshipper for the worshipper.

Yes, Nick Robinson, BBC Reporter, Labour Lickspittle and Brown worshipper, had gone along for the ride.

Blogging about it here, under the breathless title "No ordinary week for the Prime Minister", Robinson was quite moist with excitement. It was a week..

"in which decisions loomed on how to combat climate change, to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, to win the fight with al-Qaeda and to revive the economies of the world"

Just an ordinary week for Saviour Brown then, eh? All the things he does best.

And, as an added bonus, Gordo could do all that showing off in front of the man he loves most in all the world. The man, according to Nick, who

"he sees as a friend, ally and political soulmate - Barack Obama".

Yes! Saving the world and holding hands with One-Term Barry. And, according the the BBC's chief political correspondant, it all went swimmingly:

"if you listen to both men's speeches to the UN it's clear they are in political lock step. Gordon Brown has long dreamed of an American President who would give a speech like the one Obama gave"
"What's more, by week's end prime minister and president were standing shoulder to shoulder not in preparation for war - as their predecessors had - but in an effort to avoid one by turning the diplomatic screw on Iran."

Ahhhhhh. In't that nice? Shoulder to shoulder, eh? Thank heaven you were there to see it all, and tell us poor huddled masses how lucky we are to have such a man at the helm.

And, Nick goes on to tell us:

"Obama's support for what Gordon Brown calls "a growth strategy" .. is a political boost on the eve of his party conference."

Now, at this point, CF begins to wonder if we're actually talking about the same Gordon Brown and the same Barack Obama?

CF had somehow formed the impression that the trip wasn't quite that awe inspring. That it was in fact yet another in the Prime Ministers' seemingly endless series of clumsy minor disasters. A further humiliation for the UK on the international stage.

Wasn't this the trip where Barry refused, not once, not twice, but five times to meet with our monocular moron?

Ah, yes, Robinson belatedly admits, his idol was

"furious with what he regards as the media's childish games and disinterest in issues and results"

How naughty of the media. Nick frowns at them all. He thinks its just terrible that the media narrative

"lazily states that he's politically doomed and seizes on any evidence to confirm it."

Oh, those lazy media types. And worse, there's another media line..

"advocated by his enemies on the right [which] insists that Britain is now in decline diplomatically, militarily and economically"

Who could say such wicked things? With our successes last week in that kitchen, our tremendous victories in Afghanistan, and our booming economy?

But Nick knows the truth. And he's not afraid to tell it. Those are just wicked right wing lies and spin. The real story is the glorious triumph that he, Nick Robinson, was there to witness and relay to us.
"the President repeatedly clapped him on the back and tightly held the hand of his wife Sarah. Thus, the special relationship was, once again, put back on track"

Lovely. A happy ending. Well done Gordon, and well done Nick.

Or should we say, Sir Nick. After all, the Resignation Honours can't be too far away now, can they?


Flogging a dead horse? No, a book

There was a rumble in the blogosphere last night. A big story was breaking.

Bloggers vastly more influential than CF, such as Mike Smithson over at Political Betting, were texted and called, alerting them to the breaking news.

Excitement grew as it was revealed that the news was about MP's expenses. Oooh! Oooh! Bring it on!

And then, the story.  What does it tell us? Not much more than fuck all, really. It's just the Telegraph, flogging that dead horse; the former steeplechase champion, and winner of the Daily Telegraph Circulation Gold Cup, 'MP's expenses'.

Oh, but there are new 'revelations'. Apparently - and you'd never have guessed this - the 'mole' who passed the files to the Torygraph did so because he and his colleagues, processing those expenses, were angry about the wasted money.

Apparently, some staff became so angry, they had to - wait for it - "be told by managers to calm down". Imagine that, if you can. That angry, eh?. Must've been terrifying to behold.

The detail previously unrevealed was that the staff processing the expenses became angry having .. err ... discussed them with some soldiers.

But why is all this, frankly rather trivial, detail being revealed now?

"The man behind the leak - who is a civilian - has broken cover to tell his story for the first time, in the hope that it will shame the Government into finally supplying the right equipment for soldiers risking their lives in Afghanistan"

Well, that's no bad thing. Worth trying, although sadly, if this government could be 'shamed' into anything, they'd have all resigned (and committed suicide in some cases) a long time ago. That approach doesn't really work on the utterly, terminally, shameless scum currently mis-running the country.

Anyway, it's a commendable idea and .. oh, wait ... what's that? ... there's more? ...

"His account appears in No Expenses Spared, a book which is published on Friday and which discloses the full inside story of what Gordon Brown described as “the biggest Parliamentary scandal for two centuries”.

No Expenses Spared, written by two members of the Telegraph’s investigation team, describes how.."

Ah! All of a sudden, everything becomes clear.

This is not about the expenses scandal at all, is it? And it's not really about getting more money for the military either, is it? Although presumably, the mole will have handed the 110 thousand pounds he received straight to a military charity, of course. (Yeah, right)

This is about flogging some fucking opportunistic bloody book, knocked out by a couple of Telegraph hacks to cash in on the scandal. And, with a bit of luck for the Telegraph, boosting its circulation for a couple of days by reviving a months'-old story.

Well done everybody. You must be so fucking proud.


That's probably enough, Gordon

There comes a time at every party when people begin to realise that there's someone there - usually a bloke - who's overstayed their welcome, who's been there just a bit too long. Oh dear. Look at him.

The party looks on aghast as the poor befuddled fool sways, belches, bumps into things, swears inappropriately, and repeats himself, increasingly tediously. Totally unaware of the disapproval surrounding him, he gets louder and louder, waving his hands and treading on people's toes.
He may have arrived full of promise, and been quite interesting, even entertaining, for a short time. But then he just overdid things, and now it’s late, and he's clearly over-tired and over-refreshed.

Before anyone can stop him, the grinning idiot will stagger up to the most attractive person in the room - the one he spilt red wine on two hours ago - and, forgetting he spoke to them earlier, pathetically attempt to chat them up."Hellllllloo! Wha's your name, then?"

When politely rebuffed, he will be baffled and annoyed "Why don' you wanna talk to me? Eh? Eh? Wha's the madder? Not good enough for you? Eh? Stug up bish".

Any minute now, he's going to get aggressive, pick a fight with the biggest bloke in the room, and get pushed into a table of drinks. Then fall asleep on a sofa. Then piss himself.

He's embarrassing himself, and he's embarrassing everyone else at the party. People stare at the floor, or into their drinks, and just wish this idiot would go away.
Gordon Brown? That's you, that is.

Do you have any idea how most people in Britain feel, to see you pathetically trying to chat up that bloke you seem infatuated with? Just when we thought we couldn't be embarrassed on the international stage any more.

Gordon, Obama is very nice, we agree. We know you like him, yes. But he doesn't want to talk to you now. You're a bit tired, and you're not making a lot of sense. And he's still a bit cross about what you did earlier. Come away. Perhaps you can talk to him another time. No, no, come away.

Do you not feel very well? Oh dear. Why don't you go and have a nice, long lie down, eh? You'll feel so much better.

And so will we. Has he gone? Phew.


Slow Children?

On the daily trip to the railway station, to start his long, expensive and tedious commute, Constantly Furious drives past a large school.

Naturally, given the overwhelming urge the State feels to 'invest' in the protection of the chiiiiiilllldren from the rest of us, it is near impossible to navigate that short stretch of road, owing to plethora of speed bumps, road narrowing and flashing electronic signs that infest it.

Gadgets, doubtless costing thousands of pounds, measure your speed and then - because an old fashioned speed limit sign is clearly no longer good enough - flash at you sternly to slow down even more.

CF would be impressed if even Lewis fucking Hamilton could pick his way through the rats' nest of jutting kerbs, central islands and white paint at more than 30mph, but Nanny knows best, eh?

And all this, even though the school is set well back behind a grassed area and a car park, a good hundred yards from the road. And the vast majority of kids are delivered by bus, to the doorstep, so they don't miss out on that popular clinical obesity trend the young people seem to enjoy. And there's nothing but fields on the other side of the road, so any 'student' crossing the road would only do so if they had a sudden inexplicable urge to stand in a fucking ploughed field.

Passing this morning, CF noticed the ubiquitous yellow fluorescent jacket of a man-with-a-clipboard. Then another. And another. There's another. In all there were seven people standing beside the road, amid the forest of road signs. Two of them had speed guns, pointing at CF's car.  The speed was noted on the clipboards, probably along with the cars registration, CF's ethnic group and any other 'useful' observations to feed the State's enormous database. CF is surprised he wasn't pulled over to give a fucking DNA sample as well.

So what were they doing, these employees of the state? Why are we paying for seven seemingly healthy working-age adults to don the traditional yellow vest of public sector wages and stand by the road in this small Cambridgeshire village?

CF didn't really have the time or the inclination to stop and chat – later, clipboard monkeys! - but their purpose was obvious.

They were carrying out a little survey, the seven of them, to make sure that we were all obeying the speed signs. To make sure that nobody was roaring past the school and endangering any of the kiddie-winks. Presumably, they will gather later today and collate their results, then pass them to another committee, who will then colllate all-the-teams-across-the-lands' results, then pass them to another commitee to review them. All to ensure that we are all continuing to obey their instructions.

Perhaps, if naughty people are still going too fast, even more road signs will be put up. Perhaps the road could be made even narrower. Perhaps it should be dug up altogether, and replaced with a layer of broken glass and rusty nails, that we really can't drive over at all.

Oh, but we need be absolutely sure, says Nanny, that no-one, no-one, is driving past this school in a way that we think might put the children, the poor, innocent children over there in the distance, in any danger as they make their way to school.

There was only one tiny, tiny, flaw in their plan. One teensy oversight.  One thing that meant these poor fools were wasting their time and, naturally, wasting our money.

It was six fucking thirty in the morning. 

Why, you may wonder, could they not do their survey at 8:30, when the precious children are actually arriving? Or at 4 in the afternoon, when little dears are leaving? Simple: because by then, of course, the road is completely log-jammed, clogged with buses, 4x4’s and teachers’ mopeds. No-one’s breaking any speed limits then.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Nanny State in action. Give me strength.


Who are you?

Bad news for Nick Clegg, eh? Apparently more than a third of this once-great Nation don't have a clue who he is. Whether these same people have any idea what 'The Liberal Democrats' are is unreported.

The dwindling section of the public that is still interested in politics has been watching with incredulity as a series of bizarre, unconnected, almost random policy announcements drip-drip-drip from Cleggy's Lib Dem Conference.

It seems that Lib Dem policy-makers gathered last week round some crisps and agreeable wines, and then suffered a massive collective case of writers block, staring at each other, stricken, over the Chardonnay.

There can be no other explanation for the dogs' dinner of policies presented to an incredulous world.

And non-policies. The Lib Dems seem to have adopted the tired and irritating Labour approach of rubbishing the evil Tories as an alternative to espousing new ideas. Its certainly a lot easier, isn't it, Cleggy? "Conservative. Con". See what he did there?

And of course, there's the parallel Brownian technique of misrepresenting - well, lying about - the Tories policies. "The Tories would put VAT up to 25%". Would they? Did they say that? Well, no, but they probably would: they're evil, see?

Great policies, Lib Dems! Your policy on Indirect taxation? "The Tories would..." Yes, yes, we heard.

Other policies have clearly been lifted wholesale from 'Old' Labour. There's the classic Class War, envy politics, soak-the-rich nonsense that is Vince Cable's ridiculous Mansion Tax. For fucks sake. A tax on all houses worth more than a million quid? This raises many questions:  Valued by whom? How is it collected? What have you been drinking? Are you insane?

Not all policies are Old Labour - some are achingly, tediously, 'New' Labour. Like the preposterous proposed air-brush law. When Lib Dems rule the world, there'll be no more Photoshop. It's OK to scour the country and pay ridiculous amounts for the services of perfectly proportioned lingerie models; it's OK to photograph them in the artificial environments of a photo studio. It's just not OK - in fact, it'll be illegal - to use a computer program to remove a stray hair, a mole, or a little wrinkle. Wimmin, rejoice!

But enough with these ridiculous policies, Cleggy. It's all bloody irrelevant anyway. We all know that, in the increasingly unlikely event of a hung Parliament, all of these policies would be quietly slipped into the nearest wastepaper bin.

Think not? The worthy-but-dull Lib Dem Voice ran a poll, asking over 1000 party members where they should hang their hats in the event of a hung Parliament. Here’s what the party members said:

25% – No negotiations or coalition with Labour or Conservatives
5% – Negotiate only with Labour
6% – Negotiate only with the Conservatives
61% – Negotiate with either Labour or the Conservatives

So, a quarter wouldn't want to negotiate with either party, thereby throwing away the only chance the LD's have of even getting a toe in government. A mere 11% actually have a view on one or other of the big two, saying negotiations should be exclusive.

And a massive majority of cat-owners-who-expressed-a-preference, more than 3 in 5, really don't care one way or the other.  Either they don't see any significant ideological or policy differences between Brown's Labour and CallMeDave's Tories (what?) or they really don't mind who they get into bed with as long as Vince gets a turn at being Chancellor. Or Cleggy gets the Foreign Office.

As they chant at the football matches, Lib Dems, "Oo are yer? Oo are yer?"


On your bike

In what we can only hope are the final months of this corrupt and incompetent government strange, even bizarre, things are going on.

With almost nothing left to lose, Labour have apparently decided to let anyone, everyone, have a go at governing, and even at coming up with new laws. The lunatics are being given a chance to run the asylum. "My turn, my turn, I've got one".

What is the government doing about the disastrous war in Afghanistan? About the recession, which seems to have ended everywhere but here? About that Libyan bomber? About the expenses scandal? About the broken education system?

Who knows?

But what they are doing, according to the Sunday Times, is planning to change the law, making

..motorists legally responsible for accidents involving cyclists or pedestrians, even if they are not at fault

What? What? Is this a fucking joke?  Dear God; can this really be true? Oh yes.

Government advisers are pushing for changes in the civil law that will make the most powerful vehicle involved in a collision automatically liable for insurance and compensation purposes

Why? Why in the name of fuck would you want to do that?

"to encourage greater take-up of environmentally friendly modes of transport"

Ah. There we are. If you want to get what you want, be it access to public funds, grants for 'research' or the laws changed just for you, the magic word is no longer 'Abracadabra'. It's certainly not 'Please' anymore. No ,the magic word is now 'Green'.

Yes, 'Green' is the trump card. Overriding everything, even common sense. 'Green' is so important that we must change the very laws of the land - even if it makes them utterly, utterly, Alice-in-Wonderland, Toynbee-on-acid, nonsensical - to herd the sheeple in the right direction.

Doubtless some hand-wringing tree-hugger could come up with some tolerable reasons to get more of the population onto bicycles, but is it really necessary to acheive this by offering them the sort of blanket legal indemnity that would make a Libyan terrorist blush and mutter "no, no, this is too much, really".

Of course it fucking isn't. This smacks of good old fashioned special-interest lobbying.

Aaaannnndddd ... yes. Here he is. Phillip Darnton, chief executive of 'Cycling England', an "agency funded by the Department for Transport" - so, a fucking Quango funded by us - to promote cycling, said

“I would like to see the legal onus placed on motorists when there are accidents"

Yes, well, you probably fucking would. CF would like a Ferrari and a mud-wrestle with Megan Fox, but let's be realistic here. Surely this taxpayer-funded, woefully misguided, incredibly inappropriate lunacy can't be taken seriously?

No. too late. It's started already:

'the government is spending £100m on building cycle routes in 18 pilot towns.'

One hundred million? Brilliant. Delightful. So CF recently paid over 400 fucking quid for the privilege of using the pot-holed roads for another year, some of which was doubtless used to fund these fucking toy-town roads for bicycles.

CF has ranted about cyclists before, and his fury at their complete inability to obey any of the rules of the road, or the pavement, or wherever they choose to go. And their weekend races, held on major roads that we pay increasingly ridiculous amounts of 'road tax' to build and maintain, and that they consider to be a playground provided free of charge for their delight.

If this law ever makes to the statute books - and, given the stupidity of the current government and the power of the word 'Green', it probably bloody will, then it'll be time for the people to rise up and take action.

The law says that the 'most powerful' vehicle is to blame. So bikes always beat cars in this game. But similarly, pedestrians beat bikes. Same rules. The next steps are obvious.

Throw yourselves under the wheels of bicycles at every opportunity. Jump out in front of them from behind lampposts. Fling yourselves at them from between parked cars.

Yes they'll go clattering to the ground. Their 500 quid carbon-fibre toys might get broken. Their fluorescent spandex might get torn. Their silly little mushroom helmets might get scratched. They might be hurt and angry, but you must remind them of the law - it's their fucking fault.


The Childrens' Nanny

Back in the good ol' days, only children born the very wealthiest and most privileged families would have a Nanny. Someone to look after them, because their Mummy or Daddy either couldn't or wouldn't.

Now, you lucky children, every single one of has you a nanny. The same nanny. Nanny State.

Nanny State, dears, will look after all of you, all the time. Even when you're a grown-up, Nanny will look after you, but the ones Nanny loves best are you, you little scamps.

And Nanny State knows best. Always.

Nanny says you must be protected at all times, from the naughty grown-ups. Especially those who might not be nice, and who might want to do horrid things. And that could be anybody, boys and girls

So, my dears, you're going to have to stop going to play rugby on Saturdays. Yes, you might well love rugby. But to get there, you have to have a lift from Mr. Smith, who lives down the road.

And Mr Smith, for all Nanny knows, might well be the sort of man who - instead of driving you the sports field, like he does every week - will suddenly decide to stop his Volvo in a lay-by and show you his winky.

And you, sweetheart, can't have any more tennis lessons. Nanny's sorry, but you really can't. That lovely Mr Brown has been teaching little girls tennis for years and years, but Nanny thinks that, given half a chance, Mr Brown might like to take some pictures of you when you're getting changed. So best you don't see him any more.

Do you remember how you used to like it when grown-ups came to your school assemblies and told you interesting things? So much better than the boring old teachers, wasn't it? People that wrote books, people that painted pictures, people that had done interesting things, would come and talk to you about it.

Nanny's got to stop that too. Sorry. But there were just too many of them to investigate, and some of them might really have wanted to come to yoit school not to talk about the animals they photographed in Kenya, but to put their horrid hands inside your clothes.

So, just in case, Nanny's going to make it a lot harder for them to get anywhere near you. So hard, that a lot of them won't bother, and you won't see them anymore. Isn't that good?

And this week, kiddies, Nanny's got some more bad news for you.

Remember how you used to like going to the farm? To see the sheep and the pigs and the cows and the chickens and the funny old donkey? Remember how you always had to wash your hands afterwards, in case any yucky germs got on them?

Well, dears, Nanny thinks that some Mummies and Daddies might not remember to remind you. Then you might get a sorely tummy.

So, just in case, Nanny thinks it best if you don't go to see the animals any more. Yes, the sheep will be sad too. But we don't want any more sore tummies, do we?

What's that? What can you do? Well .. well ... How about some more things not to do?

You'd better not play on your PlayStation, because you might get naughty ideas about guns.

Best if you don't play with those nasty conkers this autumn either. Someone might hurt their knuckles, or get something in their eye, so Nanny thinks no-one should have conkers.

You'd better not watch television, because you might get 'obese'. Who knows what 'obese' means? That's right. It means 'fat'. Fat like a little boy or girl who never plays any sport, and never goes for a nice walk around the fields, and never really goes out at all. We don't want that, do we?

What? You want to know what you can do? Oh, Nanny doesn't know. Best leave Nanny alone now dear: she's thinking. Thinking of some more rules to keep you safe, dear.

Run along.


They're a lot of cuts, aren't they Darling?

Oh Darling, you're going to have a busy week.

Now that his deranged, gibbering boss has finally been pushed onto the stage to admit that, yes, hmmm, aye, well, there might have to be some cuts after all, poor Alastair Darling has got to run from Government department to department, giving out the bad news, making sure that each Minister doesn't use the "everyone else, just not me" approach to budgetary restraint.

The whole exercise is pretty fucking futile anyway. Unless Madeleine McCann is discovered in a hidden cellar under CallMeDave's house on Christmas Day, these idiots aren't going to be calling the shots much longer. The only budgets most of these gimps will have to worry about in 2010 will be their own household budgets, sorely depleted by the loss of all that expenses gravy. Time to sell the flats we bought you, boys.

But anyway, let's fill in the time 'til next year by planning and budgeting. We might be able to staunch the raging torrents of money pouring down the toilet - every little helps. So, let's get cutting!

According to Nick Robinson, who's usually accurate -  not least because he takes his orders directly from My Lord High Mandelson - the Government are considering the idea that:

"the cabinet as a whole should agree where the spending axe should fall so that, as a previous chancellor once graphically put it, all get to dip their hands in the blood"

Blood? Jesus, are we being softened up here. A few days ago, there were no cuts. Only the Tories were making cuts. No Labour cuts. Now the Government, via the BBC, is leading us - slowly, gently - toward the truth: there's going to be 'blood'. The "axe begins to swing" says Robinson. These cuts will be savage. Who'd have thought? Who even knew there'd be cuts? Oh:

"This political process of identifying areas for cuts follows an exercise carried out by Treasury officials over the summer. What is called the public value programme examined the scope for savings in areas covering around a half of total government expenditure."

So, all summer long, while the 'Mr 10%' and the fucking ridiculous #weLoveTheNHS  campaigns were boring us to tears, people who really knew what was going on were planning real cuts.

Obviously Gordo' was completely, totally unaware of these presumably top-secret Treasury meetings, and was surprised as any of us to learn that he'd been lying through his fucking teeth. Imagine his disappointment on learning that he'd been totally misleading Parliament and the public for months.

But then, toward the end of Lickspittle Robinson's piece, we come to the real point of this exercise. Cutting to save money? Nah. Cutting because Labour think that..

"it is only when Labour has set out its spending priorities that the Conservatives will come under real pressure to spell out theirs"

Dear God. Give me fucking strength. You cannot leave it alone, Labour, can you? Nothing, but nothing, is worth doing in your tiny minds unless it somehow damages, discomfits or "pressures" the Tories.

McBroon and his acolytes are absolutely fucking obsessed. Rather than a Government, the Labour party have become the Opposition's Opposition.  Got any policies, Gordon? "Never mind that - would you just look at those evil Tories".

For fuck's sake. You've pissed all of our money - and more - up every available wall for years, as Labour governments inevitably do. The cupboard is bare, the pot is empty and the debt collector doesn't want any more blowjobs.  It's time to stop spending vast sums left, left and centre.

That's why you need to make cuts, you morons. Cuts to save our money, not cuts to spoil CallMeDave's breakfast.


Vodafone, you fascists

Constantly Furious recently became the owner of a brand spankin' new Netbook. While it has the processing power of a ZX Spectrum, and a screen slightly smaller than a postage stamp , it is very handy for email and surfin' the internet.  This can even be done 'on the move' as they say in the ads, since the beast has a tiny SIM card somewhere deep in its guts, courtesy of Vodafone.

However, even when on the road, wind in the hair, it's seldom possible to stray too far from Nanny. After all, we're all a little bit silly, aren't we? We don't really know the difference between right and wrong, do we?

When clicking on a bookmark for a site CF visits regularly, he was astonished and infuriated to be presented with this:

What? What the fuck? "Content Control is in place"? The little Vodafone SIM card has decided that certain sites cannot be accessed? Censorship by a tiny piece of electronic circuitry?

Let’s get this straight: Vodafone have sat down and come up with a big list of sites that - tut, tut - we really shouldn't be visiting. Then they have programmed their systems so that - because we can't be trusted, because we're so very naughty - we can't access these sites.

Dear God.

CF doesn't work for you, you corporate cretins. You're not CF's mummy either. You are being paid to provide a fucking service here, not to nanny us round the internet.

What next, Vodafone? Will you prevent us from ringing certain 'phone numbers? The ones for people you don't approve of? Will you not pass on text messages that you don't think are quite decent?

Oh, but we can remove the censorship, says the screen. All (all?) we have to do to get this bar, this massively fucking impudent intrusion, lifted is to ring Vodafone up (assuming we're over "18 or over" of course - got to protect the chiiiiiildrennn).

Have you ever, Vodafone, in an idle moment, tried to ring one of your own help lines? Just as an experiment? If you had, you would realise that it is an ordeal of fucking gigantic proportions. Sitting in some fucking queue, listening to some infuriating pop music, interspersed with assurances that "Your call is important". Yes, it fucking is. To the poor bloody caller. Just not to you, apparently, you bastards.

CF really can't see a time, in his busy diary, when he'll have either the time or the patience to sit listening to Enya over a tinny phone line for 45 minutes. So the internet will have to remain locked.

But what the hell, you're asking, was CF trying to access? Was he trying to illegally download music, even though Mandy says that's naughty? Was he perusing the sort of vile porn would make even Obo' the Clown feel ill? Was he going to visit an extremist 'hate' site? Just what was it that Vodafone was saving him from?

It was Paddy Power, the online betting site. Go on, click the link. Unless you too are connecting via Vodafone, in which case, don't you dare click the link. Vodafone don't want you going there - you might end up .. betting. Ugh! What do you think you are? An adult? No, best you toddle over to the BBC website, see what's going on with Strictly Come Dancing.

How has this come to pass, for fuck's sake? CF was using his own browser, on his own laptop, over a connection that he was fucking well paying for, and these jumped up fuckwits decided he couldn't be permitted to see a mainstream website.

What the fuck have we come to?


Hypocritical God Botherers

The Archbishop of Canterbury has got his big bearded face on telly yet again, and this time has taken the chance to condemn the wicked banks and their evil bonuses.

 Waffling away in the way these pious bloody people do, he says:

"People [are] saying "well actually, no, we got it wrong and the whole fundamental principle on which we worked was unreal, was empty" ..  I worry. I feel that's precisely what I call the 'lack of closure' coming home to roost. It's a failure to name what was wrong. To name that, what I called last year 'idolatry', that projecting [of] reality and substance onto things that don't have them."

One question leaps immediately to mind here: what the holy fuck has it got to do with you?

Given that you believe you work for a big angry man with a beard who lives in the sky, why the fuck would you think we want or need your opinion on the remuneration policies of global businesses?

Did your imaginary friend tell you this in a dream? Did an angel appear at the end of your bed? "sorrrrt ouuuuut the baaaaanks, my chiiiilllld"

Is it written somewhere in your special old book?  Joshua III, : "the moneylenders shall not be incentivised on a performance basis"

You seem to have misunderstood your role, Bishy; you're supposed to go to one of the big old buildings with a spire and give your sermon to the collection of spinsters, scarily-smiling young men and pensioners you'll find there, not trot along to the BBC and deliver pious fucking sermons to the whole uncaring nation.

Oh, and what's that smell? Is it the musty odour of old hymn books? No, its the rank stench of fucking hypocrisy

The Church of England, your church, your employer, is an incredibly wealthy organisation. One of the largest landowners in the UK. You and your mates live in buildings so fucking grand, they're called 'palaces'.

And they fucking are palaces, too. Way, way bigger than the mansions of most top bankers. Your mate the Bishop of Durham's Auckland Castle has 50 fucking rooms, along with a banqueting hall and 30 acres of parkland.

As you doubtless know, you hairy hypocrite, last year you and the other 113 Bishops spent £23.5 million on yourselves, and £5.7 million on your 'palaces' and cathedrals. Those evil bankers can only look on in envy.

And yet, in spite of all this vulgar wealth, the poor sods in CF's village have spent literally years selling old paperbacks and jam to each other, to raise a couple of grand to prevent the village church falling down.

And that after earlier years desperately saving up for some heating, so that the poor old dears who still totter along of a Sunday don't actually die of fucking hypothermia during the endless sermons.

Do you ever 'worry' about that, as you lie in your gigantic four poster bed, Rowan?

The Arch-hypocrite also had the fucking brass neck to add, in concluding his sermon, that the financial crisis was a lesson (there's always a fucking lesson) that "economics is too important to be left to economists".

What the fuck? So we should let the god-botherers have a go at economics, should we? Listen, beardie, economists don't come round your place and re-arrange the hassocks, or tell you to have 3 hymns instead of 4, do they? So why do you think the economy would benefit from your help?

Do you know the only thing we want you to do for our poor ruined, fucked-up economy, Archbishop?

Pray for it. In the name of God, pray for it.


An honour

Constantly Furious is pleased and flattered to have, in his first 4 months of blogging, stormed into the Top 100 Political Blogs. Number 93, baby. As with any good social event, CF finds himself underneath, and in a few cases on top of, some pretty respectable people.

And this comes hard on the heels of another recent triumph:  a couple of weeks ago, this blog was highly flattered to have been placed in the list of the top 20 Libertarian blogs in the Total Politics poll.

As CF has said before, appearing in these lists is especially pleasing, as the ranking is based on real votes, from real people, rather than complex reverse triple back-linking algorithms bullshit.

Very many thanks to all who voted for CF.


Lehman Brothers - unhappy anniversary

It's exactly one year since the media gleefully informed us that one of those big, naughty banks had got its just desserts and 'been allowed' to collapse.

Yes, as of 15/9/2008, Lehman Brothers no longer existed.

There was panic in the streets, and even more on the BBC; the end of the world?!?? What about our money?!!?

Pull yourself together, public: Lehman didn't have any of 'our' money. They weren't 'in' retail banking. They didn't have the bit where you stand impatiently behind some old dear, paying in the weeks takings from her sweet shop in coppers. They didn't offer garish plastic piggy banks to tempt young savers or overdrafts to keep students in beer for three years.

So, there were no poor old ladies and impoverished single parents who lost out due to the 'greed' of those gambling bankers, with their 'obscene' bonuses.

No, the losers were those greedy, greedy bankers. Well, some of 'em.

The only employees who came out of the collapse relatively unscathed were, ironically, those tearful evictees who appeared on television, clutching cardboard boxes of all their worldly goods (actually, mostly stolen stationary and branded souvenirs).

They were, almost without exception, junior staff, graduates and trainees. They'll all have found something else pretty pronto, with their 2.1's in Economics, and they'll have learnt that, at that stage in your career in Investment Banking, you're really just cannon fodder. Better to have lost your job through a minor historical event than as collateral damage in some budget turf war between two 'Managing Directors'.

And what of those Managing Directors? They fucking coined it, yeah? They lost all the .. er .. not-our-money .. and walked away, their expensive trousers bulging with cash, right?

Yes, they'd been awarded bonuses, and yes, some bonuses were valued at a substantial amount. On paper. In reality, the bonuses were largely in stock: shares in Lehman Brothers, 'locked-in' for years - five or ten years in most cases.

Unlike most industries, your salary doesn't go up much as you climb the greasy pole - your bonus does. Even top investment bankers don't have a salary much higher than a cabinet minister, or a senior manager in the public sector. They're in it for the end-of-year bonanza.

So, your boss tells you your bonus. So as not to upset any of the more delicate readers, let's say you earn 120 pounds a year, 10 pounds a month, and you've had a pretty bloody spectacular year, so your bonus is exactly 100 pounds.

Lovely! 100 pounds! Nearly your years' salary, all in one lump! Champagne!

Well no, actually. Look at the paperwork a bit more carefully. Of that 100 pounds, only 10 pounds is coming to you in real cash, in your next pay packet. The other 90, dear boy, has been used to buy something you didn't even know you wanted: Lehman Brothers shares.

And guess what? If you carry on in this job for another 5 years, they'll be yours to keep. Isn't that great?

So now, you can tell everybody at home that you got a huge bonus: 100 pounds! Wow! Don't forget though, that the amount dropping into your bank account is, after various deductions to Messrs Brown and Darling, just over a fiver. About the same as you bring home every month. Better than a kick in the teeth, but not quite as good as the Euromillions lottery winning levels the media like to describe.

And next year, if you're good, we'll do the same again. In fact, if you're promoted, you might get a bigger bonus: 150 pounds, even. You'll still only actually get about a fiver to spend, but your imaginary pot, up there in the sky, will be even fuller.

Most Investment Banks do this: it's a way of tying staff in, making sure they work there for ever. But what if there is no forever? What if the bank, and its shares, vanish?

And what if, because you only really got a 5 pound bonus every year and weren't very patient, you'd gone to another bank, shown them your paperwork and borrowed, oh, lets say 200 pounds, using your future shares as security? After all, you've got more than that coming to you in a few years' time, haven't you?

Well, no. As of that morning a year ago, according to Robert Peston and John Humphreys, you haven't. Not any more.

When Lehman collapsed, all that imaginary money disappeared. The bulk of all the bonuses 'paid' over the preceding five years never was. The millions the bankers were accused of taking never will be.

No need to shed any tears for the Lehman bankers, folks, but don't believe the media and the Left hype either: they didn't get their hands on 'our' money either.


Labour: Twits.

Even though they know they can't possibly win it, Labour have stated their intention to fight the next election on every front. Every front, including the Internet, Facebook and Twitter.

Those who are really in touch with the zeitgeist, and 'down with the kids', like John Prescott, know that Twitter is an easy way of getting your message out the thousands, with minimal effort.

Kerry McCarthy - or '@KerryMP', as she must now be known - has been selected as the Labour Twitter Csar, reigning over a vast army of twitterers. And, fucking hell, are they flogging it. Labour MP's, Labour councillors and fucking hundreds of Labour activists have really stepped up their game in recent weeks.

The #weLoveTheNHS campaign was just a sample of what is to come . It was, as CF pointed out at the time, entirely cynical political opportunism, but it grabbed the headlines - on the net and in the the dead tree press - all the same.

None of these useful idiots seem to have jobs, or indeed any occupation at all which might prevent them from endlessly 'tweeting' pro-Labour or - much, much more frequently, anti-Tory - soundbites from dawn 'til dusk. If one of them tweets a particularly pithy phrase, the rest all slavishly 'retweet' it. Some even re-Tweet the replies to their previous tweets. An exponential growth in the amount of complete, utter bollocks soon drowns out everything else.

This weekend, we saw popular LibDem blogger Mark 'Reckons' Thompson get jumped all over in Twitterland for his remarks about the nonsensical 'Paedo until proven otherwise' legislation. He was subject to a sustained attack, with all the characteristic nasty New Labour smears, distortion and if-you're-not-with-us-you're-evil ("why do you want peodophiles to remain undetected?") bullshit that we've come to expect in other channels.

The aggression, the blinkered views, the cynical twisting and the constant anti-Tory negativity in place of pro-Labour positivity are slowly filling the airwaves. Every event in the real world, and every statement in the media, is swiftly adopted as yet more fucking proof that Gordon Brown is a hero, or that evil Tories will rape your kittens.

This is a battle that can't be won. Labour will soon take over the Twitter political arena in the UK. They have hordes of online activists, some doing this for the love of Labour, some doubtless funded by taxpayers money. They'll just keep going. The best thing to do is to keep well away from Twitter, and the fucking idiots who are now taking it over. That's the only way to keep your blood pressure down.

On the other hand, if you want to join CF in a world of blind, eyeball-popping, heart-pounding fury, just pop over to Twitter; start 'follow'ing @bevaniteEllie, @JohnPrescott, @tugsandtost, @kerryMP; follow anyone they approve of, agree with or retweet.

Within a few short minutes, you too will be virtually incoherent with rage.


End of the summer? Not for everyone

The air is getting cooler, the nights are drawing in. Autumn is replacing Summer.

The kids have gone back to school, and over the next few days, virtually everyone in the country aged between 18 and 22 will be heading to University, for their almost mandatory further-further education.

Commuter trains are filling up again, and the roads are busier too, as those lucky enough to still have a job head to it, their holiday allowance almost completely used up by their summer break.

A summer break that's now just a distant memory, a couple of photos on the PC or a bottle of undrinkable wine in the cupboard.

There are, however, 646 lucky people who are still enjoying their summer recess. They haven't been to their main place of employment since the 21st of July, nearly two months ago. And they're not due at that place for another month. The 12th of October still seems a long way away for these lucky bastards.

Our MP's - our MP's, who work for us - are just two thirds of the way through their3 month recess. They haven't got anything as vulgar as a holiday allowance to worry about; no need to go back early to keep a couple of days spare for Christmas, like the rest of us.

And they haven't had to worry about losing any income - the salary, and the expenses, keep on rolling in, all through the summer, as they relax in the garden of their second home - the one we pay for.

Nice work if you can get it. Good job they haven't got anything really important to do, eh?


eBay - even worse than PC World

When CF ranted about his utterly hideous (but entirely true) treatment at the hands of PC World, there were many sympathetic comments.

Leg-Iron was among the crowds who have suffered similar indignities, and Mr Eugenides was sympathetic too.

Many commenters suggested going elsewhere, but CF was particularly surprised to see the normally level-headed Old Holborn suggest that the best alternative was eBay: "eBay is your friend".

eBay? Fucking eBay? You're joking, right?

CF would almost (almost) sooner go back to PC World than take his chances on eBay, the online equivalent of the dodgiest pikey-run car boot sale you ever stumbled across.Crowds of idiots selling broken crap and fake shit to each other.

You might not have to get off your fat arse to buy something, but in every other way its the most unpleasant shopping experiene possible.

You wait five fucking days, having bid on something that's probably fake anyway, only to find some fucking moron has put on twelve separate bids, one after the other, each for some reason exactly 74p more than the last, and pushed the price up to exactly a pound more than you'd have paid in the fucking shops.

Plus the extortionate 8.99 'P & P' that you have to pay, for an old box wrapped in duct tape and a quid's worth of stamps.

And that's if some fucking imbecile doesn't 'snipe' you at the last second, willingly paying even more for something they don't want, just for the sad pleasure of 'winning'. Winning something, anything, for the first time in their sorry, empty lives.

And god forbid it goes wrong, and the crap doesn't appear: the judge and jury is ebay itself, who will take another 5 days to send you a standard email saying that unfortunately "in this case" they can't help you. In this case? You haven't even looked at 'this case', you idle, inept bunch of bastards.

Oh and they'll also inform you that the amount you've just been swindled out of is exactly 5p below the Paypal compensation threshold, so you can fuck off with that too.

So, no, eBay is not my fucking friend.


A special relationship?

Gordon Brown is never happier than when he's able to turn his back on Britain, and all the problems and abuse we bring him, and have a good, long, grovel to his real friends in the U S of A.

So imagine his delight when the Saviour of us all, the second coming, Su-Su-Su-Suuuuperman, Bollocks Obama, kindly agreed to accept a call from the Unelected Head of the U of K.

A chance to rebuild bridges, a chance to put all those silly misunderstandings behind us. A new dawn. A brave frontier, that men and women may ... sorry ... the Obama Oratory bullshit technique can easily take over the normal thought patterns. Where were we? Oh yes, that call.

So, how did it go, Gordo?

"The call lasted 40 minutes and was warm and substantive"

Yeah? Well that's a first for McBroon. Warm, eh? So, what did you guys talk about?

"The two leaders concluded that the special relationship was as strong as ever..."

Really? As strong as when Reagan and Thatch' took on the Argies? Or as strong as when Tony Blair stuck his head so far up Bush's arse he could peer out of his oddly shaped mouth? Oh, goody.

"The special relationship shone through,"

.. a 'senior number 10 official' apparently told the monkeys over at Sky, doubtless dabbing tears of joy from his face.

Now, in the old, pre-Brown days, that would have been that. We'd have all gone off to bed happy. But in these new cynical times, we've all concluded that the best way to tell when Gordon Brown is telling one of his naughty fibs is to look at his lips. If they're moving, he's lying.

So, let's get a second opinion. Let's ask the damn Yankees how it all went. How did it go, baseball-boys?

"The President expressed his disappointment over the .. decision to release convicted Pan Am 103 Bomber al-Megrahi back to Libya,"

Oh. Oh. Hang on. Well, we'd heard they weren't exactly happy, over the pond. We saw the "Brown the betrayer" headlines. Those of us who don't love Gordo' did chuckle a bit when he was described as "cowardly, unprincipled, amoral and duplicitous" by the papers in America.

So what did Gordie do when he was confronted with these home truths by the home boys? Did he 'push back', as they say in America? Did he tell Saint Obama to "butt out"? Nah. The Downing Street statement says it all:

"The two leaders exchanged views about the release and the PM made clear the decision had been a matter for Holyrood"

Oh, well done Gordon, you fucking moron. Just when we thought our standing in the world couldn't get any lower, you lumber onto the scene and prove us wrong: "It wasnae me; a Scottish boy did it, an' ran away"

What was it the US papers said?

"cowardly, unprincipled, amoral and duplicitous".

Yes, sireee....


En-ger-land, En-ger-land? Please, no...

Last night, a bunch of ridiculously over-paid sportsman put down their glasses of Krug, hung up the keys to their Lamborghinis, took some time out from spit-roasting semi-conscious teenage girls, and achieved a mighty triumph.

What did they do? Why, they kicked a leather sphere between some wooden posts more times than some Eastern Europeans managed to.

Well, hoo-fucking-ray.

The cretinous tabloid press has predictably gone fucking berserk. Apparently, now that particular leather-kicking exercise is completed, England are the best team in the whole wide world, and therefore certain to win the World Cup. According to The Star, the match performance was “As Good As It Gets”. Does that mean we can stop watching then? Can’t they just be given the cup now?

The foreign chap who chooses which players will kick the leather sphere confirms that they are “one of the best teams in the world”. He probably hopes he’s right – if his boys can do the ‘between wooden posts’ thing more than some Brazilians and some Italians, he’ll get a - doubtless entirely deserved – 5 million pounds. Five million fucking quid. Good job he’s not a banker – Brown and Darling would take it all back.

And if they don’t win, does he have to pay five million quid? No. He just has to have a photo of his head digitally altered to look like a root vegetable and printed on the back of every tabloid. Then hold a press conference at which he accepts 5 million different quids for being sacked.

The worst aspect of this whole tedious affair is going to be the ‘build up’. We’ve got to endure nearly 9 more months of this fucking hysteria. Like toddlers watching a magician, we’ll be encouraged to shout louder and louder (“I can’t heeeeaaarrr yooouuuu...”) until we’re all hot and over-excited, and have totally forgotten what bollocks the whole thing is.

But it can’t be stopped. Any minute now, car aerials will start sprouting fucking little plastic England flags.

We’ll be treated to endless fucking press speculation as to where it is the WAG’s will be getting their hair done next summer.

Then the one that looks like Shrek will fall down the stairs in some brothel and break a tiny bone in his foot, and the nation will go into prolonged mourning.

CF is not sure he has to strength to face all of that endless shit.

Scotland, have you got a spare room available for a few weeks next summer?


Tough on crime? No, tough on YOU

Yet another nannying group of cretins has decided that we, the public, really don't know how to behave, and we need to be taught, to make us better citizens.

'Witness Confident' is a charity (well, of course it fucking well is) dedicated to

"addressing the dilemma as to how to get people to speak up when the interests of others (rather than their own) are at stake"

Yeah, that's what we all need. No moral fibre, most of us. Selfish and self-centred. Tut, tut, tut.

One thing we're apparently a bit naughty about is helping others when they're victims of street crime. Lord knows why, when we hear a bit of shouting on the High Street, we just won't make a snap judgment and wade on in.

Perhaps we foolishly listened to the Police, who have always firmly discouraged the "have a go hero" mentality, leading as it often does to extra victims.

But Witness Confident think we damn well should be diving in, getting involved. They want to

"challenge a "walk-on-by" culture to street crime."

Because they think (and, remember, Nanny always knows best):

"individuals should take greater steps to act if they witness a crime, particularly street violence."

Do you remember the pack of fucking lies that was the Labour 1997 manifesto? "Tough on Crime and tough on the causes of Crime". What the fuck happened to that then?

Instead of being tough on the causes of crime, it appears that we need to be tough on witnesses of crime, re-educating the cowardly public so that we can all help Plod to catch the muggers, bag-snatchers and ne'er do wells that infest our streets. So they can all be given a slapped wrist or a pointless ASBO.

So guess what Witless Confident are going to do? Oh, do give up, you never will. They're going to stage 'Mock muggings' across the UK,

"to test the public's willingness to aid victims and report crimes"

Oh, for fucks' sake. Mock fucking muggings? What could possibly go wrong there?

So, WC, you're going to get a couple of not-too-bright (and heavily insured) actors to mime a little street crime are you? Just so you can 'test' us? See how brave and altruistic we are?

And when the act has concluded, and the actors are congratulating each other - "no, no, you were marvellous, luvvie, simply marvellous" - and you have revealed the trick to the admiring onlookers?

What will you do then? Call the whole High Street together for feedback? Give us marks out of 10 for heroism? And what if we did "walk on by"? What then? Will you make us stay behind after shopping and write lines? Send a note to our parents, saying that we "could do better"?

Listen, you drivelling do-gooders; we don't need to be patronised, or shown how we 'should' behave. We don't need to be tricked into examining our motives. We don't need to be made into 'better citizens'. We need to be left the fuck alone.


Winning votes, the Labour way

Ever since Gordon Brown decided it was "my turn, my turn, myyyyyyyyy turn" to be Prime Minister, the Labour party have been slipping in the polls. In spite of Gordon's charm and charisma, and in spite of the fact that he single-handedly saved the world from that nasty recession (remember it? Glad that's over), the fickle public are probably going to vote for 'anyone but Labour' in droves.

A huge number of vote-winning initiatives - mostly to do with smearing the opposition - have been tried, but most have ended in failure, and often in ignominy, sackings and complete humiliation for all concerned.

But acording to this story, in the London Evening Standard, Labour may have finally cracked it. That's right, a sure fire technique for increasing the Labour votes come election day.

In a leaked email, Anisur Rahman, the Labour branch secretary of Bethnal Green South ward, describes the technique, to be used when postal voting is underway.

Pay attention, as Claudia Schiffer says; here comes the science part:

"..people from my ward BGS and some from different ward called me to ask about postal voting system after getting ballot.

"I helped and I also visited few house [sic] to do it. I know it is a secret matter but if someone request [sic], as a comrade
we need to help for the benefit of the party.

"So I am requesting all ward coordinators, cllr's, branch secretaries to do such work in their own ward now."

Setting aside the fact that this particular Labour activist seems to have the language skills of a six year old, lets delve into that bit more, shall we?

What Mr Rahman is saying here is that he 'helped' local people to complete their postal votes and that this was for "the benefit of the party" (as opposed to, say, the benefit of democracy). Not only that, but this is such a fucking excellent idea that he thinks everybody should do it.

What Mr Rahman appears to be blissfully igorant of (other than spelling and grammar) is that this is - funnily enough - against the fucking law.

That's right, Anisur: any activist, candidate or party official caught interfering with postal votes can receive up to a two-year prison term and/or an unlimited fine, and can be barred from standing in elected office for up to five years.

One of the people addressed in the email was Rushanara Ali, who will become Britain's first Bangladeshi MP if she is elected in Bethnal Green and Bow. And she couldn't distance herself quick enough:

"[Mr Rahman] is a Labour activist. He is not a member of my staff. There are about 1,800 members now in the Labour party in Tower Hamlets"

Nothing to do with you then, Rusha'?

"I will take action if I see any irregularities or inappropriate behaviour by members or activists, because it's very important that people follow the procedures.

Oh, so, nothing to do with you, but you will 'take action' if he does it again. Or at least, if he's dumb enough to get caught again.

A unnamed Labour party spokesman - probably not Gordon Brown, he doesn't say much - said:

"We take the procedures related to postal voting very seriously."

Well of course you do: your new procedures are the best way to get a whole shitload of votes, without any of the tiresome canvassing. Brilliant!


What's wrong with this picture?

These fishermen and sailors are very concerned about the danger to the oceans from fossil fuel emissions. And why wouldn't they be? You don't want to turn up one morning, all ready to rape the ocean bed, only to find someone else has got there before you, do you? Not much fun trawling up every single fish for miles around if they're all dead, is it?

So, to bring the world's attention to their sorry plight, they took to sea and - get this, oooh, clever - wrote the letters S O S in the sea, using only their boats.

Only their boats. Only their fucking great diesel-powered fuel-glugging boats. Boats with engines bigger than the biggest truck or 4x4. Boats with tanks holding not hundreds but fucking thousands of litres of 'fossil fuel'. Even the boats equipped with fucking sails haven't bothered to raise them, as they chug around in their sanctimonious little circles.

And then, so that the whole world could see how very concerned they were about all the terrible and profligate burning of fossil fuels, they sent someone up in an aeroplane, a fucking aeroplane, just to get a photograph of their cleverness.

You fuckwits.


They hate us too

CF posted yesterday about the imbeciles at PC World, and the total impossibility of getting anything like decent service from those egregious fuckwits.

Judging by the many comments on the post, many others have suffered similar indignities; ill-informed staff, blatant pushing of unecessary extra warranties and a total refusal to repair anything, even if it went wrong on the way back to the fucking car park.

Coincidentally, on the very same day, this story appeared on The Metro website.

Apparently, the slack-jawed cretins in the nasty polo shirts dislike us as much as we dislike them and their employer.

"Customers at Currys and PC World have been branded 'retards' and 't****' on the internet by disgruntled workers.

The insults were posted by past and present staff on Facebook groups called 'A******* customers!' 'Really Stupid Customers!' and 'Some customers are really really stupid'.

Posters also claimed some customers deserved to be punched and asked if they should be allowed to use 'cattle prods'."

Well that explains a lot, doesn't it? When they stare at you will dull-eyed contempt, don't think that they're thinking about the answer to the simple technical question you just posed .. no .. they're wondering if they can get away with smacking you in the mouth.

The shops' parent company, DSGi, is believed to be 'investigating' some staff - who were, suprise, suprise, dimwitted enough to use their real names - in the wake of their comments.

They wheeled out an unfortunate PR junior to whimper

"Delivering excellent customer service is at the forefront of everything we do, and so we are very disappointed a small number of our colleagues have made these comments on a social-networking website"

Is it? Are you? Bollocks.

Thanks to JuliaM for pointing out the story

Where in the world? Not PC World

PC World has reported grim times in their gaudily lit tat outlets. Sales fell 15% in the UK, apparently due to - who'd have thought? - " significantly lower sales". That'd do it, every fucking time.

How on earth has this happened? After all, PC World offer a range of shiny PC's and laptops. Everybody wants a laptop. You can just pop in, grab a new laptop and off you go, can't you?

Err, no. There are laptops aplenty on display, but none you can take to the till. The laptop you want to take away is securely stored around the back somewhere.

Someone has to fetch it for you. So you have to wait, and wait, and fucking wait, for that someone to be free. To stop answering inane questions from the elderly couple who just want to send email but are being upsold to a massive quad-CPU system with a 24 inch monitor.

And when the 13 year old Asian boy (actually, thats not fair: sometimes its a 19 year old Polish girl) is finally ready, can you have your laptop?

No, not yet. First you'll have to suffer a lengthy monologue about the importance of virus checking software and the happy co-incidence that PC World happens to have the worst product on the market available to you for 29.99.

Then you have to use all of your rhetorical skills to avoid being persuaded to pay 10 pounds a month for the privilege - one you thought you already had - of having your computer repaired if it goes wrong next week.

Then, and only then, will you be given the box containing the computer you came in 40 fucking minutes ago to buy.

But it's not just about the goods. PC World also offer a number of helpful services.

Among them is a repair and upgrade service. If you're too old, dense or idle to install a new hard disk, or if your computer has suddenly ceased to function after you shared your wine with it, take the box down to PC World, they'll sort it for you!

No they fucking won't. They'll cheerfully tell you, as you stand there sweating from the effort of lugging in a big box from the far end of the car park, a box that has been lurching about on the back seat of your car all fucking day, specifically so you could bring it in, that you need "a ticket".

A ticket? A fucking ticket? Yes. You can't just turn up with your computer and have it repaired you know. Oh no. Even though most of the staff are either picking their noses, downloading porn or playing on the consoles, they can't be expected to just drop everything and repair stuff at the drop of a hat.

What you have to do, mate, is lug that box back to your car, go home, look up PC world on the Internet (on your fucking dead computer) then ring the number given there.

After you've listened to a couple of hours of Enya, you'll be given a ticket number, which will entitle you to bring that box - that one there, on the counter - all the way back here, at which point one of the lads will stop picking his nose and start trawling your disk for pictures of your wife in a bikini.

Another advantage of buying new from a real, physical shop is that you can go back there when - inevitably - your new purchase makes a hideous grinding noise and stops working. They'll give you a new one, won't they?

Again, no. No. Not with PC fucking World. Although they sold that laptop 12 days ago, they want nothing to do with it. They don't even recognise it. They don't want to touch it. Ugh. Take it away, takeitaway!!

No, what you've gotta do, chum, is take that laptop, with all the boxes and packing material you dug out of the bin, back to your car, and go home.

Then you've got to look up PC World on the Internet (on your dead laptop) and 'phone the number given.

Will they help? No they won't. They will take you through a fucking immense labyrinth of menu options and computer generated voices, asking you to type in every serial number on every item in your entire fucking house, before eventually deducing, like a moronic Miss Marples, that your computer was made by Advent (yes, it was; it says it on the fucking lid) and warmly recommending that you call them.

PC world, you've utterly fucked up. In your ceaseless drive to minimise what you actually do, and your endless quest to have fewer staff, each with less ability, you've actually sunk well below the minimal standard of service that any half-normal person would tolerate.

CF would like to tell you all that in person, but he's never going to set foot in one of your stores again.