An Englishman's Castle <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Saturday, October 4

Colorado Conservative: Here's the Reuters story on French Missles in Iraq 

Didn't spot this on the BBC about our old friends across the channel supplying missiles made this year to Iraq!
Colorado Conservative: Here's the Reuters story on French Missles in Iraq

Friday, October 3

The Edge of England's Sword: The Knight's Move 

Excellent article on the current World Climate Conference in Russia - Thanks to The Brazos de Dios Cantina for pointing it out to me.

The Edge of England's Sword: The Knight's Move: "the head of the Russian Academy of Scientists (not a fringe scientist, by any means, although I'm sure the ad hominem attacks will start) saying that the only people who would be affected by the abandonment of Kyoto "would be several thousand people who make a living attending conferences on global warming" .... Go read.

Good sense from Judges - for once. 

TCS: Tech Central Station - 'The Protection of the Foolhardy or Reckless Few'?: "'It is not, and never should be, the policy of the law to require the protection of the foolhardy or reckless few (and therefore) to deprive, or interfere with, the enjoyment by the remainder of society of the liberties and amenities to which they are right entitled,' the Appellate Committee from the House of Lords opined."

Thanks to Judicious Asininity for bringing this to my attention.

Poor guy ignored a DO NOT SWIM sign - did - hurt himself - sued - case chucked out eventually with those stirring words. Whilst I'm sorry for the guy being all smashed up this is good news.

The Price of freedom 

I noted this travel article about a little Dorset village -
Telegraph | Travel | The village that died - it happens we went there this summer and it is as described. I live near Imber. As I walk the dog this morning I will go past a Pill Box / gun emplacement where a few locals were prepared to stay and slow down the invasion for a couple of hours or so. If I could walk ten miles south I am in a military training zone - Salisbury Plain. Random notes maybe, but protecting this "homeland" (as the Americans would say) is part of the warp and weft of where I live and who I am.

Thursday, October 2

Hallmarking Gold and Silver 

For 700 years - let me repeat that for 700 years we have had a system for hallmarking precious metals. It works.

The bloody Italians in charge of the EU this week want to change it because :

The Precious Metals Directive had been shelved for more than a decade, but under the presidency of the EU by the Italians - the Continent's largest jewellery manufacturers - it was reinstated.

The original directive maintained that the variations in testing and marking items of gold, silver and platinum from country to country distorted European trade laws.

It claimed that the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, France and Spain should relax their tradition of compulsory third party testing in favour of a Europe-wide option of self-marking.
For more see: ic Birmingham - Fingerprint of quality lost

So the Italians are going to tell us about honest trading, and destroy part of our heritage on a fanciful whim - oh and guess who are the biggest jewellery manufacturers in the Eu , and who haven't got hallmarks - the fucking Italians.

There is a wider point Universal Darwinism applies to laws and customs of a country - if it has stood the test of time - it probably bloody works. If you want to bring in a new system , bring it in alongside and let them compete. Currency, units of measure, etc this all applies. When you see a shrill demand to BAN the old you know the new isn't going to win on its merits.

Obey the suit 

Obey the suit day at the office (if only!)

Lib-Dem World 

Lib-Dem World has now gone in to action - I'll miss the old bugger on CIX but I will be a regular here (oh and he is less of a lib-dem than I am) guaranteed to offend everyone.

Of Cabbages and Kings 

So Rupert Murdoch the great republican has suddenly discovered the benefits of hereditary succession:

"City analysts have expressed deep concerns at the prospect of Rupert Murdoch's younger son, James, taking over as chief executive of BSkyB, branding him the wrong man for the job.
They are worried he lacks experience to take over the publicly listed company and claim the move is damagingly 'nepotistic'. "

One day I'm going to write the definitive article on the advantages of having an element of hereditary governance. Simply, elected rulers spend their time and our money on ensuring their re-election and the wellbeing of their families (for natural reasons). "For life" appointments such as Judges show how this can grant independence from the day-to-day desire for re-election. Hereditary rulers are even freer because they do not have to consider how to help their offspring up the greasy pole. Their removal only comes if they prove disastrous in the long term, not just in the run up to Polling day; or if they prove too troublesome or uncool. There is also an element of the old Greek idea of random choice of legislator and how no-one who wants to be a ruler should be allowed to.

Hip op ruling: Freedom to travel? 

The best news I have heard about the NHS for a long time - a bit of competition creeping in. Lets hope this breaks open the floodgates of demand.

BBC NEWS | Health | Hip op ruling: Freedom to travel?: "Hip op ruling: Freedom to travel?

A High Court judge says that, in principle, at least, if you have suffered 'undue delay' waiting for your NHS operation, you can go to Europe, have surgery - and leave the NHS to pick up the bill. "

Worth going to the BBC site for the full story and try and pick out the truth from the bias.

Tuesday, September 30

Crown appeals baby rape sentence 

I don't know which one should be strung up first the rapist or the Judge - Lord Reed - who thought a five year sentence was appropriate. My blood runs cold at the this, I'm sure you could think of a more appropriate judgement.

ic Berkshire - Crown appeals baby rape sentence: "The prosecution service in Scotland has lodged an appeal against the sentence imposed on a man who raped a 13-month-old baby girl.
In a brief statement the Crown Office said it was appealing against the five-year sentence handed down to James Taylor, a 43-year-old from Stirlingshire, who pleaded guilty to a number of charges, including raping the baby.
Scotland's most senior legal officer also asked for a report into whether the sentence given to Taylor was 'unduly lenient'.
Lord Reed sentenced Taylor to five years for the sex attack on a 13-month-old baby when he appeared at the High Court in Dunfermline on September 3."

The Tony is not for Turning 

News 30 September 2003
An uncompromisingTony Blair today told his party conference: "I can only go one way. I've not got a reverse gear."

As the great Andrew Rawnsley once said:

"One of the legacies of Margaret Thatcher was the blackening of the idea that a politician should be allowed to change his or her mind. 'You turn if you want to, the lady is not for turning,' she boasted. John Major's weak government gave U-turns an even worse name. Tony Blair has played up to the image, misleading though it is, that he is unyieldingly Thatcheresque. 'Back bone, not back down,' he once told his party conference when he was trying to imitate the Iron Lady.
I appreciate why Ministers are so coy about conceding that they have done the U thing. They fear that it will be taken as evidence of either blithering incompetence or terminal feebleness - and sometimes it is. But I reckon there's something to be said in favour of the U-turn. "

Suck and blow game. 

Probably the most fun you can have with a hoover Dyson - without risk of personal injury!Dyson Telescope


The Girlies have cured my site 

[the girlie matters] tips and tricks: ie6 table centering bug

"One day, I viewed my blog from work - where I have IE6 - and found that all my table content was centered! I found the solution at - eliminate the URI portion of the doctype declaration.

Instead of:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "">

Use this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
So I did and it cured the sidebar width problem ( I think) - does it look all right to you?

Fuel protester calls for stoppage 

BBC NEWS | England | Fuel protester calls for stoppage: "Motorists across Britain are being asked to 'stop for one minute' in a protest against increases in the cost of fuel duty. "

Just one minute? - I was stopped for bloody twenty minutes trying to drive into Newbury yesterday because of the appalling road system.

For my American friends there are 3.78 litres in an American Gallon ( 4.54 in an Imperial Gallon) - 80 pence per litre = $5 a Gallon and what are you paying? The difference is TAX

I cant do a full analysis but a rough calculation shows that based on International and Domestic Petrol and Diesel Price Comparisons in Singapore you can buy Petrol for 10 pence a litre before Tax..

Oh for the heady days in 2000 when we had a real fuel protest - maybe it will happen again.

Monday, September 29

Four Right Wing Wackos 

Great stuff, I especially like the first piece I read about Forest Management for several reasons, firstly I have an MA Oxon in Forest Management so I know a bit about it (oh and agree completely with what you are saying) but to have it so well researched and referenced is wonderful . Secondly apart from my home my favourite (that's how we spell it) place is up in Colorado and I saw the battle between the beetles, the econazis and the foresters going on. And thirdly I live near Salisbury Plain Military Training Area - so apart from big bangs and the gentle chatter of machine guns also has the best natural chalk downland in the world. And in a dry summer like this one a lot of it burns. And no one goes to put it out, partly because would you want to when there is a lot of ordnance lying about and secondly it is the best way to manage grassland. And fourthly I look forward to going through the rest of the site.
Just added a search button - which includes searching the blogs I read. Clever stuff. Adding a 'Blogs I Read' Search to Your Site
Joy! High heels may prevent arthritis: Study

No more excuses for them not to be worn.

Let's ban sensible shoes as being bad for health - well, I know there is nothing like watching a pair of unsensible ones to make me feel better (As long as I don't have to wear them; though the Missus appreciates it when I wear the cowboy boots!)

I suppose I'm living up to a stereotype :)
In these shoes?:
"Then I met an Englishman
'Oh' he said
'Won't you walk up and down my spine,
It makes me feel strangely alive.'
I said 'In these shoes?
I doubt you'd survive.'
I said 'Honey, let's do it.
Let's stay right here.'"
BBC gets all touchy because a TV programme is a tiny bit critical of Blair

Well thats a surprise - I saw programme, I thought it was unfair as well because it was too bloody kind to Blair!

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Reviews | The Deal proves unfair to Blair: "Namely that Mr Blair was, on arrival in Westminster, an irritating, fresh-faced little squirt who had to be brought into line by a dour intellectual Scot rooted in Labour lore.
As a result, Michael Sheen at first plays Blair in the style of Spitting Image's David Steel puppet: bounding along next to his far superior colleague like an over-eager puppy.
The actor later transforms Blair into something more sinister and cynical - cruelly betraying the man who did so much for him with swept back hair and a glint in his eye. Think Rik Mayall's Alan B'stard.

The deal sees Tony Blair portrayed as a 'flighty careerist'
Indeed, much of the film is deeply unfair to Blair.
It underplays his own rise through the Labour ranks, insinuating that any success he had was all down to Brown anyway.
It credits him with almost no intellectual rigour of his own and is often deeply simplistic. "