Friday, 26 February 2010

Bad Broadcasting Continues

News today that the BBC is going to cease most of its “yoof” TV and radio broadcasting. All the programmes that have had millions spent on them in the past 5-10 years are deemed to have failed and will be closed. No news on whether the execs that green-lighted these doomed experiments will also be axed, but knowing government departments, of which the Beeb is one, they will be moved onto different projects where they can continue to waste our money.

How about trimming fat from BBC1 and 2, by reducing the reliance on "reality" TV and cookery programmes? How about rationalising the ridiculous amount of news broadcasting that happens simultaneously across TV and radio channels, but with different presenters, crew and studios?

The report also states that the BBC will spend only a fixed percentage of the licence fee on sports programmes. This is a coded message to say that they Beeb won’t be bidding to broadcast popular sports any time soon, but will continue to waste money on non-sports, such as darts and snooker, which are pastimes you partake in whilst supping beer, not athletic spectacles.

More importantly, can the licence fee be reduced in line with the reduction in services?

Thursday, 25 February 2010

The changing face of Climate Change

The backlash against the Great Global Warming Swindle grows with the news that the data that underpins the warmists’ theories is to be independently reviewed.

Whilst this is good news, I seriously doubt that the review will be very independent, and will probably follow the same line that has been previously adopted whereby someone else from the inner circle of the ecomentalists is wheeled in to “review” the data and draw the same conclusion.

The review is not due to be released until 2013 or 2014. In the meantime, can all the policies and taxes that have been dreamed up in the name of “fighting climate change” be put on the scrapheap? The EU’s Emissions Trading Scam, sorry, Scheme, springs to mind. As does the Labour government’s obsession with raising fuel and motoring duties in line with CO2 emissions. The UK should also stop subsidising alternative energy supplies until they are proven to produce electricity at the same rate and for the same cost as traditional energy sources.

None of this will happen of course: even though the game is up for the climate change proponents, politicians at all levels and in all territories are in such thrall to their nonsense non-science that nothing will be done to reduce the tax-raising opportunities presented by CO2 emissions.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Once, twice, three times a bailout

The Tories’ latest attempt at making them the least popular government in waiting is to sell us back shares in the banks that were bailed out in 2008 and 2009.

We saved and invested in these banks all our lives; through Brown and Darling’s largesse and our tax, these same banks have been given billions to keep the banking system afloat; and now George Osborne would like to offer us shares in the identical institutions that we already own via Labour’s desperate attempt to resuscitate the economy.

Whilst ducking a mobile phone slung by his grumpy boss, Lord Mandlespin predictably announced that the Tory plan was “incoherent”. I wouldn’t call it that, but if Osborne does manage to persuade anyone to take up his offer, he should get himself a job as Director of Sand Sales, Middle East division.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Gordon – get a grip

Another government minister has weighed into the row over John Terry, England’s former Wendyball captain and alleged philanderer. This time, Mike O’Brien, taking time out from wasting £20bn of our tax on the 2012 Olympics, has called on the England Wendyball manager, Fabio Madeupnamio, to rethink his “crass” decision to sack the skipper.

Labour is totally split over this issue: first we have Gerry "Expenses" Sutcliffe calling for Terry's head; now the Sports minister is demanding the opposite.

Gordon Brown needs to show some leadership in the Commons to correctly communicate the government's policy on footballers' private lives. Forget the Tories’ indecision over tax breaks for married couples or whether to cut public services this year or next. The UK is rudderless on this crucial subject and needs direction.

The PM must do this as a matter of urgency, as it is obviously a much bigger issue than £178bn of public debt, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, a creaking transport system, inadequate health and education systems and 4m unemployed citizens.

Cash for snow

My favourite raiser of blood pressure, the London Evening Standard, today carries the news that £20m of damage has been caused to the roads by the recent cold snap. I wondered how soon it would be before the taxpayer was landed for the bill for the snow.

We have been paying billions in fuel duty and carbon taxes for the past 20 years. This was all done in the name of saving the planet from CO2 emissions. Since this myth has now been dispelled, there should be plenty of money in the coffers to deal with a real climate threat, rather than one inferred from a dodgy computer simulation.

Except there isn't. Because it's all been spent on subsidising wind farms, paying carbon credits to the EU and employing thousands of civil servants to “manage” government’s fight against “climate change”.

Well, here you go: the climate has changed. It’s got nothing to do with CO2, and the predicted rise in temperature has actually seen a gradual drop over the past twelve years. Spend what we've already given you in green taxes on a genuine weather threat. Any attempt by politicians to strong-arm more money out of us to pay for the weather should be met with appropriate resistance.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Stop pulling our leg(g)s

Sir Thomas Legg’s review of the MPs expenses system was unleashed on a mostly disinterested world this morning. This is the 3rd review into MPs expenses, after the ineffective one by the former disgraced speaker and the expensive KPMG one.

Between them, some MPs are being asked to repay just over a £1m in wrongly-claimed expenses. But I still don't see any MPs being charged for fraud, for that is what they are guilty of in a lot of cases. And I also don't see any change of the rules that will prevent them from nosebagging their way through the next parliament.

I also spend 4 or 5 days away from home, which is my choice. I get back in expenses only what I spend. I do not get a flat at my employer's expense; I do not get a free plasma telly; I do not get my garden at home tended to while I am away; and I don't get free porn, unlike Jacqui Smith's husband.

The whole system needs to be brought up to date and come under the scrutiny of the taxman, who would not tolerate any of the exaggerated claims we have seen in the past 18 months.
Despite what the denizens of SW1 think, MPs are not special. They have proven that consistently during this episode.