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.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Marlborough College, voted the most socially desirable place to study by Tatler, is trying to expel a deadbeat.
Posted by pommygranate at 12:22 AM
Monday, August 22, 2005
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 ."
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???
Posted by pommygranate at 9:33 PM
Sunday, August 21, 2005
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".
Posted by pommygranate at 1:25 AM
Friday, August 19, 2005
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..
Posted by pommygranate at 6:38 PM
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.
Posted by pommygranate at 5:19 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
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?
Posted by pommygranate at 12:07 AM
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
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.
Posted by pommygranate at 6:59 PM
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
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.
Posted by pommygranate at 9:59 PM
Excellent summary of what the Conservative party should be saying (but isn't), courtesy of the Adam Smith Institute.
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.
Posted by pommygranate at 7:16 PM
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.
Posted by pommygranate at 6:34 PM
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?
Posted by pommygranate at 12:58 AM
Monday, August 15, 2005
"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.
Posted by pommygranate at 11:10 PM
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?
Posted by pommygranate at 8:34 PM
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...
Posted by pommygranate at 7:58 PM
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?
Posted by pommygranate at 7:26 PM
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.
Posted by pommygranate at 7:05 PM
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.
Posted by pommygranate at 6:33 PM