Tuesday, 30 November 2010

It's time...

To all ladies and gentlemen of a small government persuasion:

This blog requests your presence back on the blogs. Wipe your monitors, dust down your keyboards and express yourself for Harry and St George.

We've seen the electorate do the decent thing of booting out the last bunch of ne'er do wells, a high spending group of bansturbators keen to raise the police state and control your lives. We have since that day rested easily, content that this lot wouldn't be as bad.

I put it to you ladies and gentlemen that while not as bad as the last lot, this lot are now showing themselves to be almost as bad as the last lot. We have recently seen Cameron agree to shovel large amounts of cash at the EU and at Ireland, but the tipping point, what has brought this call to blog is Andrew Lansley new White Paper.

For while the Conservatives are talking society, they are walking in the same footprints as the previous government. We are to see the government introduce minimum pricing for alcohol, the pointless blank labelling of cigarette packets and introduce rules on business to provide time, space and fridges for breastfeeding mothers (like small businesses really need some extra regulatory burden). Apparantly, this will be up to 2 hours a day.

What do these fucking chumps think they're up to? Do they think I'm going to hire someone in this country and risk getting a woman who could take a year off work, who I then have to keep a job open for, only to then have them taking an hour and a half out of their day to express milk, to get some office space just so they can do that and pay for refrigeration? Fuck, no. I'm going to hire a Mahir or a Ranjita in Hyderabad who's going to not only work for a fraction of the price, but is going to be working when I pay them (yes, I expect a little goofing, but not 25% of the day).

These are not our friends. They're barely going to be less bad than the last lot. It's time to awaken from your slumber and get angry at them.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Claire Perry on Internet Porn

From This is Wiltshire

We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, high street hoardings and newsagent shelves.
“Why should the internet be any different? British internet service providers should share the responsibility to keep our children safe, so I am calling for ISPs to offer an ‘opt-in’ system that uses age verification to access pornographic material.”
Trouble is that's not actually a very good solution.

An adult might want to be allowed to visit some gambling or violent movie sites while keeping their children away from them. So, a blanket setting on an ISP account won't support that.

But we already have a solution to this problem: separate family member accounts. If you don't have this already then you should, and not just to keep your kids away from unsuitable material. It also means that your kids can keep their documents and favourites away from yours and that they can't go installing dodgy software because they don't have the rights.

It's been in Windows since Vista and in Mac (but I'm not sure which version). Setting it up takes a matter of minutes, and requires no government to pass a whole load of hideous, expensive and useless Think Of The Children legislation.

I don't expect the government to be full of ubergeeks, but it would be nice to have people who are at least a little computer literate running the show, especially if they're going to comment on it.

The No to AV Campaign

If Labour and Conservative parties are so keen on FPTP, why do they use other electoral systems to elect their leaders? (Labour is quite close to AV, the Conservatives use a system that's quite similar to the X Factor).

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Plan to Get the Feckless Back Into Work

Some strange stuff from Iain Duncan-Smith:-

From the Telegraph:-
"This is what he is trying to achieve from a 21st century perspective. When he brought in the welfare system, work was a much simpler system. You were pretty much in work full-time or you were out of work.
"It was pretty much men who were in work and it was dominated by a huge amount of manual hard graft labour. Society has changed dramatically since then."
From Sky:-
Long-term dole claimants thought to need "experience of the habits and routines of working life" could be put on month-long unpaid placements of 30 hours a week doing jobs such as clearing litter and gardening.
So, despite the fact that IDS admits that society has shifted from a huge amount of manual hard graft labour, the work that they're going to get people to do is in... manual... hard graft... labour.
He said: "One thing we can do is pull people in to do one or two weeks' manual work - turn up at 9am and leave at 5pm, to give people a sense of work, but also when we think they're doing other work.
Oh, and presenteeism too, despite the fact that many companies are starting to recognise how absurd that is as a way to measuring people's output.

I'm pretty suspicious about the whole idea of dragging people into a job for a couple of weeks and expecting it to change very much. You'll have the same sort of 3rd party private consultants running them, making sure that the right boxes get ticked that show that the claimant turned up because that's what everyone below the minister down will want to see. Most of the people getting them in will be councils because they're the sort of people who need people to pick up litter, and most of the people managing them will see them as a burden, so as long as they don't bother anyone, they'll tick some boxes.

I guess IDS thinks people like private sector firms will hire people being effectively paid £1/hour who aren't going to be there for more than a few weeks. Well, guess again. The odds of someone coming in and pinching the computers is pretty high, and anyway, you can't get someone up to speed on office work within a few weeks.

I've seen some comparisons with what some states in the US did, and they just ain't the same. Those schemes cut benefits if you didn't take a job from an employer. Not some Potemkin activity clearing rubbish, but actual useful work that needed doing, and properly paid.

You want to know how to solve this? Citizen's income and get rid of most employment law.Make it cheap and easy for employers to hire (or fire) people and they'll actually hire a lot more people. And try to get young people doing stuff that they might be interested in.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Page 3 News

Someone at The Sun has turned the lovely byline into a parody:-
RHIAN was glad to see Miriam O’Reilly taking a stand against ageism and sexism after being dropped from BBC show Countryfile. She said: “It reminds me of the American playwright Clare Boothe Luce who said, ‘Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed’.”
I'm sure they'll be one of them turning up on Tim Worstall's blog to debate Pigovian taxes.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The US Elections

The Guardian are absolutely going to shit a brick if Tea Party candidates win. Because if it happens there, it's going to happen here...

XKCD Spot On

Of course, there's always some argument like "ah, but big pharma can't make as much money out of homeopathy" which forgets that someone would make money out of it..