Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas Party

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 4th November 2005
RE: Christmas Party
I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23rd, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing traditional carols...please feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if the MD shows up dressed as Santa Claus! A Christmas tree will be lit at 1.00p.m.. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift should be over £10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! The MD will make a special announcement at the Party.Merry Christmas to you and your Family. Pauline---------------------------------------------------------------------------

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 5th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party
In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We recognise that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our 'Holiday Party'. The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians. There will be no Christmas tree or Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment. Happy now? Happy Holidays to you and your family,Pauline.-----------------------------------------------------------------

FROM; Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 6th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party
Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate this request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, "AA Only", you wouldn't be anonymous anymore!!!! How am I supposed to handle this? Somebody? Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchange allowed now since the Union Officials feel that £10.00 is too much money and Management believe £10.00 is a little cheap. NO GIFT EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED. Pauline.------------------

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: 7th November 2005
RE: Holiday Party
What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20th begins the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs, perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party or else package everything up for you to take home in alittle foil doggy bag. Will that work?Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the toilets, Gays are allowed to sit with each other, Lesbians do not have to sit with gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower arrangements for the gay men's table too. To the person asking permission to cross dress - no cross dressing allowed. We will have booster seats for short people. Low fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food: we suggest those people with high blood pressure taste the food first.. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for Diabetics; the restaurant cannot supply "No Sugar" desserts. Sorry! Did I miss anything?!?!?!?!?!Pauline.-----------------------------------------------------------------

FROM: Pauline Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All F****** Employees
DATE: 8 November 2005
RE: The F******** Holiday Party.Vegetarian pricks. I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the "grill of death", as you so quaintly put it, you'll get your f****** salad bar, including organic tomatoes, but you know tomatoes have feelings too, they scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW!! I hope you all have a rotten holiday, drink, drive and die.The Bitch from HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!----------------------------------------------------------------------------

FROM: John Bishop - Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: 9th November 2005
RE: Pauline Lewis and Holiday Party
I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Pauline Lewis a speedy recovery, and I'll continue to forward your cards to her. In the meantime, the Management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and instead, give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd December off with full pay.


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Parent sues school

Marlborough College, voted the most socially desirable place to study by Tatler, is trying to expel a deadbeat.

Dad claims he's an angel (actually he doesn't) and deserves to stay.

His statement contains the following gems

"I am very concerned that the college is seeking to increase its standing in league tables by removing the less academically talented children.

Correct. Parents are not going to shell out £21,900 a year to have the likes of Rhys slow down their offspring.

"The college say they have almost complete power to remove pupils at their say so"


"I had certainly not realised the relationship between the college and myself was so one-sided"

Well now you do.

The case begins tomorrow in the High Court.

We look forward to seeing whether the rights of a lazy rich kid override the rights of the rest of the pupils.


Monday, August 22, 2005

With friends like these...

One of the seven members of the Home Office task force with responsibilities for tackling extremism among young Muslims is Inayat Bunglawala, the media secretary for the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB).

The Telegraph today has highlighted some of Inayat's finer moments, such as this

"The chairman of Carlton Communications is Michael Green of the Tribe of Judah. He has joined an elite club whose members include fellow Jews Michael Grade and Alan Yentob ."

and this

In January 1993, Mr Bunglawala wrote a letter to Private Eye in which he called the blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman "courageous" - just a month before he bombed the World Trade Center in New York.

Mr. Bunglawala had this to say about his previous comments.

"Those comments were made some 12 or 13 years ago. All of us may hold opinions which are objectionable, but they change over time. I certainly would not defend those comments today."

Fair enough. I once used to think that socialism made sense.

But last week he made the utterly incredulous accusation that the BBC is pursuing "a pro-Israeli agenda".

When asked by Carolyn Quinn to "condemn in the Middle East what you have now condemend in London", he replied

"We condemn the killing of all innocent people, wherever they are. Human lives everywhere are of equal value, whether they are British, American, Iraqi or Palestinian"

and err, what about the major targets of Middle Eastern Terrorism - the Jews?

Carolyn - why didnt you ask him to confirm this???


Sunday, August 21, 2005

No taxes, no vote

Fascinating piece in the Spectator this week from Theodore Dalrymple on the dangers of a bureaucracy out of control.

Dalrymple argues that bureaucracies are easily constructed and nearly impossible to dismantle. The reason is that they end up existing for reasons completely different to those for which they were originally set up. The vested interests of those employed by the bureaucracy prevent rational debate.

Five million of Britain's workforce (and rising rapidly) are now in the pay of the government and hence funded by the taxpayer. Gordon Brown, realising the financial implications of his massive increase in the bureaucracy (not to mention the crippling liability endowed to our children when their pensions are drawn), promised to slash over 80,00 jobs (a hardly punitive 2%) at the last budget. Progress to date, is err, an increase of 40,000. Lies or incompetence?

Some libertarians smell a conspiracy, whereby the more the people depend on the government for their livelihood, the more they will have to vote for whichever party promises to safeguard these jobs.

Dalrymple's solution is simple and innovative. Those who work for the government (whether Tory or Labour) are understandably biased and must not be allowed to vote.

"No taxation without representation demanded the Amercian colonists...and those who live off taxes should not have representation".


Friday, August 19, 2005

Football fans are idiots

Says the Guardian, as they lament the "Thatcherite greed", the "win-at-all-cost mentality", the "player contempt for the fans", bla bla.

For once, i agree.

Football has become boring, the players unappealing and the results predictable. Maybe its time the Competition Commission got involved?

Now for real excitement, tune into the Ashes Part IV next Thursday..


Cambridge Uni; world's 2nd best

In the latest University rankings carried out by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Institute, Cambridge moves up to second place, whilst Oxford slips to 10th.

The US has 18 of the world's Top 20 universities.

The UK has 5 in the Top 50. Given the current funding crisis, i wonder how many will be left in 10 years.


Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dumbing down Oxford

With the 'A' level pass rate at an all time record, the government is telling Oxford Admissions Tutors "not to assume too much knowledge on the part of the (state school) candidate."

Did i miss something?

Also included in this practical piece of advice is a warning not to cause religious offence, for instance by shaking hands with a Muslim girl who has not offered her hand first.

The report doesnt, however, offer advice on how dons should greet Muslim girls.
Perhaps a high 5?, a Freddie Flintoff double high 5?, a media-luvvy air kiss?


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Biggs contracts MRSA

Blair promises to get tough on criminals. If the prisons are full, the new chilling policy appears to be to send them to the local NHS hospital instead.


Useless Jobs I

Your taxes are paying for this


Cricket must never return to the BBC

Ashes fever...

Channel 4's innovative coverage of cricket neatly demonstrates why the private sector will always do things better than the public sector.

Amidst this (wonderful) renewed interest in cricket, the idiots urging the BBC to bid for the next contract need to shut up.

Having seen the way Sky has transformed football, i cant wait to see what they will do with their latest £220mm investment.


Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Why do we hate America so?

Clive Davis ponders our ambivalent relationship to the US

Anti-American views are endemic in this country, even fashionable.

The truth is that our society is flourishing under the umbrella of US protection. We are mad to bite the hand that feeds us.

Middle class liberals look down their noses at the US in the same way as old money views the nouveaux riche or a Big Brother winner. There is something a little gauche about their stunning success.


Quote for the day

'You cannot be equivocal about innocent people. An innocent person in Tel Aviv is the same as an innocent person in Baghdad or London.'

Abdul-Rehman Malik, of Muslim magazine Q-News.


3 cheers for this Guardian reader

Sanity returns to the Guardian letters page


Who needs Tony-Lite when you can have the real thing?

Excellent summary of what the Conservative party should be saying (but isn't), courtesy of the Adam Smith Institute.

In summary,

i) small state
ii) give people more responsibility for their own lives. e.g. to sort out health and education for themselves
iii) lower taxes and flat taxes
iv) tolerance to others wihlst ensuring the welfare system does not subsidise intolerance in others
v) opposition to ID cards
vi) repeal of the Human Rights Act
vii) deportation of extrmists who preach hatred and violence

Seems so much like common sense that it is hard to remember that there are people violently opposed to these beliefs.


A levels; not like in our day

In fact it isn't, says a new study by the Reform group.

Getting an A grade this weekend is equivalent to a D in 1988.


BBC - A Femocracy?

BBC newspresenter, Michael Buerke, has waded into the recent row over dumb presenters ("lame brains") by adding a new twist. The Times reports that Buerke now bemoans women's creeping dominance in the workplace and warns of a future where men are merely "sperm donors". He warns of a growing "femocracy", adding that "these are the people who decide what we see and hear".

I always thought the BBC was full of girlie-men.


More links between Respect and the Islamofascists

A prominent London-based Saudi dissident, Muhammed al-Massari, is running a website that features a guide to urban warfare for potential terrorists.
It features footage of an Arab instructor who recommends would-be holy warriors to invest in a knife for self-defence, saying: “Of course, this knife is mainly for stabbing and is not suitable or good for beheadings.”
I'll make a note of that for future reference, then.

Referring to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq whose followers murdered the British hostage Ken Bigley by slitting his throat, the instructor adds: “As far as beheadings are concerned, we ask our brothers to seek Abu Musab’s advice on this issue as he has more experience in this.”
Al-Massari previously helped Osama Bin Laden open a UK office in the mid-Nineties and now claims it is legitimate for Muslims to assassinate the Prime Minister.

Guess who ran the 'Massari Must Stay Campaign' against an attempt to deport him in the 1990's?



Met Police photo

read the small print..


Monday, August 15, 2005

Quote for the day

"How come," I asked Andy, "whenever something upsets the Left, you see immediate marches and parades and rallies with signs already printed and rhyming slogans already composed, whereas whenever something upsets the Right, you see two members of the Young Americans for Freedom waving a six-inch American flag?"
"We have jobs" he replied.

Two Americans overheard chatting in a pub.


Roy Hattersley on multiculti

Roy Hattersley shares his 'thoughts' with us on multiculturalism.
There are more holes in this piece than in a Tetley tea-bag.
The man is an utter baffoon.


England newspapers in frenzy over Ashes!

..reports the Sydney Morning Herald. What a match!

The people's team, says the Melbourne Age


BBC accused of pro-Israel bias

It almost beggars belief but the Observer has apparently obtained a letter from the MCB (Muslim Council of Britain) complaining about the BBC's "pro-Israel lobby"

The Guardian wins the prize for statement of the bleeding obvious with "The BBC has not been known for its pro-Israeli stance".

The result is closer scrutiny for the highly shadowy MCB.

What must they be thinking in Hampstead?


Nick Cohen leaves the Left

Nick Cohen rips into middle class liberals. Wonderful reading...


Women drivers

Studies presented by Saudi universities and local traffic departments reveal that women cause around 50% of traffic accidents, despite not being allowed to drive.

Asharq Alawsat reports that common female misdemeanours include "opening the car door without paying attention to oncoming traffic and marital disputes".

Perhaps our societies have more in common than we thought...


It's all our fault

A curious consensus between the far left and the authoritarian right seems to be emerging over the London bombings. Six Conservative MPs have written to The Spectator claiming that Muslims who criticise the decadent nature of British society are right.

Inayat Bunglawala, media representative for the Muslim Council of Britain, said that "many Mulsim parents are worried for their children by a culture which often seems to justify instant gratification, such as binge-drinking and promiscuity".

Is this how we should punish promiscuity, Inayat?


Government failing small businesses

A BBC report highlights the failure of the government to help small businesses, despite assurances to the contrary.
Of the government targets, four have not been met, it said. These are building an enterprise culture; encouraging entrepreneurs in disadvantaged areas and among under-represented groups; improving regulation; and creating a positive environment for small-business growth.
But it does give the government credit for meeting three targets: improving access to funding, making it easier to start a business and making government more accessible and helpful.

The rest makes depressing reading. Instead of rising to 14%, the number going into business has fallen from 12 to 11%, and fewer adults would now consider starting a business. The report shows red tape has increased in the past five years and small businesses are increasingly reluctant to take on staff. While the number of small firms has grown from 3.7m to 4.1m since 1999, those employing staff has dropped from 1.35m to 1.23m.

CBI head Sir Digby Jones says the government presides over "stifling red tape, a discredited planning regime and a society that becomes more politically correct and risk-averse by the day."
One solution might be to create a category of small businesses to which most of the rules and regulations devised for large firms would not apply. Entrepreneurs are the key to the economy.


Niger needs capitalism not charity

The Washington Post is clear where the blame lies for Niger's food crisis.
"vendor profiteering, a government policy shift toward a free market, and a decline in the traditional culture of generosity".

Niger's problem is in fact the exact opposite. It is virtually impossible to do business in this country. Some facts -

i) It costs nearly four years' income to pay the fees required to set up a limited liability company in Niger; entrepreneurs also have to deposit minimum capital of over seven years' income.
ii) Niger has the most rigid employment laws in the world.
iii) If you want to get a loan, it costs nine months' income to set up some kind of collateral.
iv) Coverage by credit registries is almost nonexistent.- Trying to collect an unpaid invoice by going through the courts will take nearly a year and cost over 40% of the invoice's value.


Monday, May 23, 2005

The Tories; fashion victims no more?

Ian Duncan Smith writes in the Sunday Times of his astonishment that 58% of the population would never even consider voting Tory at the next election.

He reasons that Labour's "monopoly on compassion" and voter guilt for supporting a "heartless" party are the causes for this alarming statistic.

The actual reason is rather simpler. The Conservatives are the political equivalent of wearing Grandma knitted V-neck jumpers, listening to Dire Straits, plane spotting, or supporting Manchester United from your 3-bed semi in Tunbridge Wells . They are desperately unfashionable.

However, good news is on the horizon for the hapless Tories. One of the most unfashionable aspects of modern life is success; nothing is cooler than failure. After three thumpings at the polls, it can only be a matter of time before the North London trendsetters declare their allegiance to a new, caring Conservative movement. Long live the new Tories.


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Britain's defeated middle classes

So having assured them that a third Labour government would not hurt them financially, barely three weeks have passed before two new tax raising ideas are floated aimed squarley at Middle England; raising the retirement age to 70 for those with a University education, and an increase in National Insurance taking the income tax rate to 51% for earnings above £32,000.

Just what does it take for Britain’s middle classes to care once again about their plight; to stop the relentless erosion of their standard of living; in short, to regain their pride?

Once rightly known as the backbone of the country, their standing and self-esteem has sunk to such depths that this collection of teachers, doctors, social workers, accountants, clerks, middle managers etc now deserve everything they get.

Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the recent jailing of special needs teacher, Linda Walker. Provoked by no fewer than fifteen acts of aggression against her and her son, and a police force unwilling to help, she finally snapped and had the temerity to shoot an air pistol into the ground next to the group of youths responsible for her living hell. This very un-middle class proactive action was quickly followed by the most remarkable self-denunciation, more akin to Stalin’s Russia. “I acted like a madwoman possessed,” she cried, “I don’t know what came over me.” How typical of the middle classes. I know what came over you, Linda. You were provoked by the violent and intimidating actions of a feral group of youths, and even worse by the shocking complacency and incompetence of the local police force. However, rather than follow up your wonderful act of defiance by proclaiming on the court steps that “next time it’ll be their knee caps,” you were overcome by self-loathing, self-pity and guilt. Yes, guilt - the curse of today’s middle classes.

The middle classes are under attack from all sides. To say this government hates them may be a little strong, but whilst the spin doctors try to hide Ministers’ loathing and contempt, their true colours occasionally sneak out. Witness Health Secretary Dr. Reid’s outburst on Newsnight about “West London wankers” or John Prescott’s single-handed attempts to concrete over the entire South East of England, the natural home of the middle classes.

Whilst pinpointing an exact definition for middle class in 2005 is impossible, a good working assumption would be “anyone earning between £20,000 and £100,000 with high educational aspirations for their children”. Whilst the middle classes have never before constituted such a large percentage of the population, it is ironic that in these democratic times, their standard of living has been so rapidly eroded. In order to fund 2.7 million sickness benefit and 600,000 unemployment benefit claimants (1.1 million of which are the notorious NEETS - Not in Education, Employment or Training), and 11 million state pensioners, the working middle classes are being viciously squeezed by a government that views them as a soft target.

They never complain. No matter what you do them, they take it. Not a murmur, not a raised eyebrow, never mind a rally or a demonstration. Why? Guilt. How often do you hear at a dull suburban dinner party, “Yes the commute is getting Rupert down, and it is so difficult to afford a decent house in little Tommy’s school’s catchment area, but one mustn’t complain eh? It could be worse. We really are so lucky.” Lucky? Don’t be so hard on yourselves. Most of you were not born into money, worked hard at school and University and are now breaking your backs to send little Tommy to that nice prep school.

Oh yes, that’s another government corker isn’t it. Having selflessly sacrificed a decent standard of living to fund two or even three sets of private school fees (about £50,00 pre-tax), you then are told by Tommy’s preferred University that, er, sorry but due to the government’s drive to increase the number of state school educated children at University, and our chronic shortage of funds, we have no room for your vastly better qualified son. Try an American University…that’s what the rich do.

Britain in 2005 has four social classes; NEETS (parasitic - lack social and work skills and motivation), the working class (skilled tradespeople and unskilled workers, also the majority of first generation immigrants); middle class (the professions and middle management)and the wealthy (those earning over £100,000 annually or with £1mm in net assets).

Tony Blair’s Britain is a wonderful place to be a NEET or to be wealthy. It is crippling to be working or middle class. The wealthy can hire fancy lawyers to reduce their tax burden, send their kids to fancy private schools to avoid the awful state alternatives and foreign Universities to avoid the increasingly dumbed down British versions. You only have to look at the most recently published Sunday Times Rich List to see how rapid has been the growth in wealth of Britain’s richest people. Likewise, NEETS can live life to the full by relying on a combination of state handouts, cash-in-hand work and alcohol fuelled highs. The consequences for bad behaviour are negligible. Over 40% of ASBO recipients completely disregard them as there are no penalties for non-compliance. (Less than 1% of those who failed to comply with the terms of their ASBOs have been punished.) The tax code is so punitive to low earners (due to Council Tax and VAT disproportionately hurting the poor) that the financial incentive to work is only apparent for those earning around £20,000 or more.

Contrast their feeble reaction to the ever increasing encroachments on their way of life, with the vigorous response of the aristocracy to the one (and I suspect last) time the government dared take them on; foxhunting. I had always found this much-loved pastime of the rural upper classes a slightly odd, if cruel sport. In this politically correct animal loving age, its time was clearly up. Yet the rearguard action currently being waged by the Countryside Alliance is a sight to behold. Defiant gestures, toffs prepared to go to jail, break-ins at the Houses of Parliament by nouveau-toffs, but most importantly the almost incredible feat of converting most of Britain into, if not foxhunting fans, then at least neutrals. In short, the whole episode has been a monumental embarrassment for the government. Countryside Alliance Chief Executive, Simon Hart, defiantly boasts on their website that “over 800 foxes have been killed since the ban came into force” and refers to the ban as “temporary”.

So will Middle England’s decline and fall continue or will a pocket of resistance turn into rioting in the streets and widespread civil disobedience? J.G Ballard’s tale of a middle class revolt in his latest novel, Millennium People, may offer a glimpse into the future. It is an intriguing tale of a community (the fictional Chelsea Marina) pushed too far; London’s middle classes are portrayed in violent rebellion against the temple of middle class worship – the BBC, The Tate Modern, the National Film theatre. “The middle classes are the new proletariat” is the war cry of the book.

It seems so long ago that the middle classes joined the anarchists, socialists and anti-globalisation crowd in removing Margaret Thatcher as a result of the anti-Poll Tax riots. This stunning success, now more than fifteen years old, proved how effective the middle classes can be once sufficiently antagonized into action. Now there are very few obvious places to look. Fathers for Justice are too much of a single issue protest group, however worthy. The Countryside Alliance is more promising but has so far failed to appeal to the more populous suburban Middle England. Opposition always arises from unseen places. But whilst Middle England continues to drift in a guilt-ridden coma, you can’t help feeling it deserves everything it gets.