Friday, March 05, 2010

Beeb Boss Gets Tucker Treatment

Beeb boss Thompson's Paxo stuffing over 'cuts' was hilarious. Now a bright spark with a wicked sense of humour has cut in clips from The Thick Of It. Like watching a lion rape a sheep.

Even the camera crew burst into fits of giggles as Newsnight's Paxo tore apart the director general over the BBC's sham of an axe. Well and truly Paxoed trying to throw a few digital scraps to the Tories to keep them sweet.

Thanks to CowbagTV for giving Thompson the Tucker treatment.


Met Office Gives Up On Weather

After years duping the public with dodgy forecasts, the Met Office is giving up on the wrong kind of weather, scrapping long-term forecasts which left short-term misery.

Salad days of a scorching 'barbecue' summer turning into downpours and a 'mild' winter turning out to be the coldest and snowiest in decades are over.

The Met Office is to stop publishing seasonal forecasts after coming in for some stick for failing to predict, er, the weather. Now it's going to be cold in winter, warm in summer and a bit iffy in between.

Quarterly 'long-range' forecasts, will be replaced by monthly predictions after years of gazing into crystal balls and missing cold winters, wet summers and the odd fishy hurricane.

According to the Met Office: "By their nature, forecasts become less accurate the further out we look." Well slap me on the bum with a wet Weather Weekly.

After a string of embarrassing gaffes, the Met Office now admits: "Although we can identify general patterns of weather, the science does not exist to allow an exact forecast beyond five days, or to absolutely promise a certain type of weather."

Which begs the question - why have they been at it for so long?

Duping the public to stay at home with a scorcher dangled in front of them to prop up the dire economy?

A mild winter ahead to fuel the "good news" PR spin and push the politics of false hope?

Discredited global warming zealots pushing the man-made climate change con which has given science such a bad name?

A panicked state-owned multi-million pounds weather industry set to be sold off in a fire sale?

The Met Office, with an annual budget of around £82.3 million, is keen to blow its own trumpet over the "contribution to the UK economy" with the familiar dollop of Brown sauce.

The public "values the Met Office’s services at £353.2 million," according to VFM spinners. Shurley shome mishtake?

The Exeter-based Met Office, added that it would "work towards developing the 'science' of long-range forecasting." More dodgy computer models with a £30 million big boys' computer toy. It's that kind of pseudo-science babble which demonised science in the first place.

It's a sure sign of storm clouds ahead when the government-owned Met Office is forced to change its tune and admit the game is up. For the Met Office the outlook is "changeable".


Brown Wipes Blood Off Hands For Chilcot

Penny-pinching Brown comes under the starry-eyed gaze of the Iraq stitch-up as families demand to know why loved ones were sent to their deaths without proper equipment. Brown is set to snuggle up to Chilcot pals with denial written on his face and blood on his hands.

Warmongering Blair faced stage-managed Chilcot sham trials with smiles and "no regrets". No-one is taken in by Brown's grin after stitching up Chilcot with his placemen.

But families hoping the Chilcot whitewash will grill Brown are set to be disappointed. The canny politician is a dab hand at ducking responsibility, droning on with denials and reeling off meaningless tractor stats to fudge the facts.

Bunkered Brown has been forced to come out of hiding gambling he's nothing to lose this side of the election. Families expecting a last chance to hear the truth about the worst foreign policy disaster in recent times will be faced with a dodgy attempt to rewrite history.

But Brown cannot escape being a top member of Blair's war cabinet who helped push through the war. Going along with the plan to dupe parliament and people over an illegal war on the back of a pack of lies. And as chancellor he held the purse strings, holding back vital cash for equipment and kit for a war which happened on his treasury watch.

Whilst Blair was busy preparing to join pal Bush in Iraq, Brown was busy slashing the defence budget and starving the armed forces of funds.

Chilcot witnesses, including ex-defence secretary, Hoon, have accused the treasury of 'penny-pinching' over the Iraq war. Ex-top MoD civil servant, Tebbit, told how Brown "guillotined" military spending six months after the invasion.

Equipment shortages forced on the military as well as useless kit, such as the Snatch Land Rover dubbed “mobile coffins”, were a direct result of budget cuts. Troops were sent to war without enough transport helicopters, driven around in Land Rovers vulnerable to roadside bombs and suicide bomb attacks.

Time and again inquests have heard the sorry plight of troops sent to their deaths with a woeful lack of kit and equipment. This week an inquest into the deaths in a Snatch heard how troops believed vehicles were unsuitable but were told to make do.

The Times and Telegraph make a splash with ex-army chiefs gunning for Brown. Ex-defence chief, Guthrie, tells The Times a failure to properly fund the armed forces while Brown was chancellor has "undoubtedly cost the lives of soldiers."

The Telegraph reveals former special forces chief, Lamb, has warned the SAS are inadequately equipped with only basic equipment due to underfunding.

Thirty-six servicemen and one servicewoman were killed while on patrol in Snatch Land Rovers. Now families of troops killed in poorly protected Land Rovers are urging the Iraq inquiry to challenge Brown on his funding.

Why did Brown jeopardise soldiers’ lives by cutting funding and forcing them to travel in the unsuitable vehicles? Why were frontline soldiers' complaints not acted on?

Hand-picked Chilcot stooges, working to a tight Downing Street remit with plenty of wiggle room, say that the purpose of the inquiry is 'not to apportion blame'. But the more deception, lies, incompetence and dishonesty is revealed, the clearer it becomes that someone must be held accountable for the tragic number of avoidable deaths.

Sickening photo-ops of Brown PR stunts with troops are hard to stomach. Families deserve better than the sham of a Chilcot whitewash and the weasel words of a penny-pinching chancellor. It was Brown who supported the illegal war with one bloody hand while slashing the defence budget with the other.

The families of the dead have a right to the truth about an illegal war fought in their name. It is the verdict of those families on Brown's performance which will be most telling.

The deaths of all soldiers and civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan is as much on the conscience of Brown as it is on Blair. Both are left with blood on their hands. Voters will now decide whether to back Brown's morally criminal government which put cheap politics above the safety of the armed forces.


Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blair's Joke Book Journey To Nowhere

Serious but with the hint of a smile. Smart yet informal. A pretty straight kind of guy with a touch of two-faced shallowness. A date has finally been announced for the release of disgraced Blair's long-awaited vanity 'memoirs' kept under wraps until after the election. Nice tan - shame about the cold devil eyes.

Jokes for Blair's joke book are already coming thick and fast. Is it to be filed under Fiction or Non-Fiction?

The contrived cover title 'Journey' so beloved of media luvvies and reality TV contestants, says it all. Slick, shallow untrustworthy and unpopular - just some of the reviews readers won't see on the back cover.

Blair's book blows out of the water the rule that you cannot judge a book by looking at the cover. A photograph, design and title more suited to the latest celebrity puff 'bestseller' destined for the Poundshop.

The book will probably go down a bomb in the States used to being duped by a slick snake-oil salesman. But over here at £25 a pop? Is Brand Blair registered in the UK for tax purposes or has he joined the long list of dodgy non-doms?

Still suffering from writer's cramp, the ex-PM went to great pains to point out he wrote the book all by himself. “I have really enjoyed the writing of the book. … Most of all I want readers to have as much pleasure reading it as I had writing it,” said sincere Blair.

The Orange Party is confused. Wasn't it ghost written? Or was that just a figment of Robert Harris's imagination?

The old showman made a big song and dance of not spilling the Brown beans until after the election so as not to spoil bitter Brown's big day.

“His book is frank, open, revealing and written in an intimate and accessible style," said his vanity publisher. Has anyone told arch-rival Brown or will Blair suffer from writer's block.

Or does a September launch show Blair thinks the struggling Supreme Leader is on a loser. Blair has nothing to lose except for the royalties from book sales and serialisation rights.

Passed over for his life-long quest to head up a New World Order as EU El Presidente, war-mongering Blair is left to wander the world on his lonesome with only his ill-gotten gains, blood on his hands, guilt on his shoulders and murky memoirs to flog.

Raking in thousands of pounds from a City hedge fund which raked in fat profits from the banking crisis, cashing in on his war contacts and raking in a few million more from the publisher's advance book deal.

Juggling globe-trotting a joke role as 'Middle East peace envoy' one day and the odd book signing at WH Smith the next.

Washed-up Blair is set to sink to the depths of a soap star has-been, plugging a new book on TV chat shows. How the once high and mighty have fallen.

Bottom picture: Private Eye


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Election Call Will Make Brown Impotent

General election fever is focused on the date of the general election. But the Orange Party believes the announcement when Bottling Brown names the day, is a key event. At last the struggling Supreme Leader becomes impotent. Clues have been hidden but the call has to come sooner rather than later.

All dates are now critical. No one breaks wind without an election rumour in the air. But dates on the election trail are hard to find. Team Brown has an election to win, draw or lose depending on which push poll and newspaper is believed.

Weary voters have had enough. How many more PMQs can Bunkered Brown duck out of with lame excuses, leaving Hattie to be pulverised by Hague?

Money markets are waking up in a cold sweat having Brown nightmares. A stage-managed TV debate, neatly styled "a prime ministerial debate" to stuff Salmond's SNP, roughly pencilled in for April 15, 22 and 28, is set to bore the pants of voters.

The Orange Party has said before - New Labour is useless at running the country but a dab hand at running dirty election campaigns. Team Brown will take no prisoners and take no chances.

Spinners will want the shortest possible campaign proper. Strategist will not take the risk of poster boy Dave up against a grisly old has-been for too long, no matter what the spinners and fishy polls say.

Cash-strapped New Labour doesn't have the funds to fight a lengthy formal campaign. The Ashcroft non-dom row was sour grapes, as cash-rich Tories make inroads in marginals with Cashcroft cash.

Mike Smithson over at politicalbetting makes the point today that leadership perceptions are important no matter what the dodgy push polls say. So who will break out into a sweat?

Tories swooning over freshly scrubbed up Dave's polished performance. Tribal New Labour trying to talk up a lamentable leader to make a silk purse out of haggard Brown. LibDems left wondering whatever happened to Wonderboy Clegg.

The key is Brown's last roll of the dice on budget day, with March 24 a likely suspect. But setting the date now would give the game away over the date of the election.

Skimming through the Political Guide for Geeks, the 2008 budget was delivered on March 12, announced on February 1, 39 days ahead. Last year Darling's budget was delivered on April 22, announced on February 12, 69 days ahead of time.

But the budget date is still under wraps with only a vague "sometime in March" for Darling Mandy to pull a fast one on Brown Balls.

Bully-Boy Brown has lost its legs. Dodgy non-dom spinners are flogging a dead horse. Brown's BBC has thrown Tories a few digital bones to try to keep them sweet. Brown is set for a chat with Chilcot pals denying a war even took place on his watch. Fishy push polls with dodgy weightings are a joke. Will strategists wait until the next 'event, old chap' rears its ugly head.

Anyone who thinks the economy will spin itself into a remarkable recovery is living in cloud cuckoo land. With unemployment the lagging indicator of a dire economy set to get worse, the sooner the election is called for New Labour the better.

The cat and mouse election call game in the gift of a prime minister is set to continue.

But the Electoral Commission states quite clearly: "The current Parliament ... will cease to exist at midnight on Monday 10 May 2010. A general election to elect the new Parliament must be held by no later than Thursday 3 June 2010."

Parliament can be dissolved at any time with a prerogative act of the Crown. Dissolution can occur even in the recess. At a stroke, business is suspended until parliament is summoned again.

The Palace of Westminster becomes a wilderness. All politicians and hangers-on are booted out. A no-go area for party politicking to curry favour.

Strict broadcasting rules kick in with the broadcast media forced to stick to strict impartiality guidelines. The BBC will be forced to give equal coverage to opposition parties, marking the end of Brown's BBC. 'Toenails' Robinson will be out in the cold after all the hard work put in to keep pals in power.

Civil servants will keep a beady eye on any minister who tries to sneak in a bit on the political side with party puffs dressed up as "government information".

MPs up for election become mere mortals as PPCs. The country will be run by an unelected prime minister who isn't even an MP.

The current election flavour of the month is May 6, just 28 days before the deadline set by law. But May 6 means parliament would be either proroged or dissolved at least 24 days earlier, by April 12, just after the Easter hols. Yet strangely, the parliament website is keeping tight-lipped over the date of the Easter Recess.

Bottling Brown may wait until after the Easter hols to cling on until the bitter end and bugger the consequences. Why not announce the election around the last day of the parliamentary spring term, just after budget day, around Thursday March 25, or use the Easter Recess to announce the date?

The bogeyman is Glorious St George's Day, April 23, with crucial GDP growth figures out for Q1. Will spinners gamble on the "good news" of another rigged recovery or risk the country slipping back into recession depression? An election on April 22 would wipe out that risk.

April 22. May 6. June 3. Whatever. It's the announcement date which is important and that has to happen sooner rather than later.

Angry? Frustrated? Tired and Emotional? You bet. The Orange Party is waiting to book a regular trip to Cuba before Castro pops his clogs and the US hurricane sweeps in, to meet up with the odd rightie and old leftie ...

Foot Note: Time to raise a glass to left-wing old timer and tireless CND campaigner with a true sense of social justice, Michael Foot who died today. And listen to the bullshit hypocrisy of New Labour paying tribute to a passionate supporter of state ownership and pulling out of EEC membership who belonged to a long lost Labour Party which finally died with John Smith.

Foot did not wear a 'Donkey Jacket' at the Cenotaph. Someone was taking the Michael. It was a rather natty duffle coat to keep out the bitter cold. All part of the 1981 spin.

Mid picture: Private Eye cover


Monday, March 01, 2010

Dog Eat Dog In Dodgy Non-Dom Land

Attack dogs have been unleashed in the dog eat dog world of dodgy non-doms, fighting it out like ferrets in a sack after 'Cashcroft' finally came clean. Filthy rich figures bankrolling political parties while hiding behind dodgy non-dom tax status. What's new? But blistering attacks could backfire with both parties to blame and in the firing line.

The feeding frenzy over Ashcroft's tax status and the 'non-dom' attack line is so blatant it is almost laughable. New Labour had found a chink in the Tory armour, flogging rich Ashcroft for all he's worth. Tories mounted a forlorn fight-back claiming non-dom Paul is bankrolling New Labour.

New Labour had a field day taking the Michael out of Tory Ashcroft while getting away with its own dirty little secrets, including 'Garbagegate' steel magnate Lakashmi Mittal and Brown's bunging pal, Swarj Paul.

The pressure is relentless and the stakes are high. The issue of a 'non-dom' - any non-dom - bankrolling a political party - any political party - is a disgrace which has to be stamped out.

Ashcroft today came clean about his non-dom status after promising to "strike back at smears" with a letter giving the BBC's Robinson a chance to milk it for all it's worth.

But 'Cashcroft's' non-dom admission gave Tories a chance to hit back with Paul and Mittal. Paul? Ashcroft? Bores the pants off voters. All as bad as each other. Maybe they will cancel out and fizzle out as electioneering attack lines.

Last year the Observer revealed New Labour "quietly postponed a law to stop wealthy tax exiles bankrolling political parties until after a general election."

That prompted accusations the government has "nobbled" parliament. Now the law is finally due to change to make life difficult for non-doms to grease the palm and election pots of their favourite party? How convenient.

After thirteen years in power and weeks from a general election, the government is to finally close the sable door after the horses have bolted to Belize.

Key New Labour donors such as Paul and Mittal as well as Tory donor Ashcroft will have been able to pump millions of pounds into the election campaign.

The Orange Party is bemused. Squirrelling away wads of cash in the Caymans to trip up the taxman is a disgrace. But Lords a-leaping into bed with a political party is nothing new.

Brown's pal and leadership campaign bankroller, Paul, is no stranger to Sunday Times readers, reported to have handed over £400,000 to the Party.

Last year The Times exposed the legal loophole of Paul's non-dom status for tax purposes allowing him to avoid most UK taxes. And Paul was forced to stand down as deputy Lords speaker while officials rummaged through his expenses claims.

Wealthy tax exile Mittal, one of the richest people on the planet at the centre of the 'cash for influence' Garbagegate scandal during the Blair years, has donated more than £2m to New Labour coffers.

Not to be outdone, even LibDems have been bankrolled by non-dom Choudhrie brothers. Bless.

Helping to keep the Tory ship afloat, Ashcroft, has come under the spotlight of that Labour-loving organ the Telegraph, as well the Guardian, Indy, et Big Al. But donating around £4m to 'Cameron's conservatives' out of a cash-rich Tory warchest of around £90m is kinda peanuts coming in at 4.6 percent.

Earlier this month the Orange Party asked why parties were so prickly about 'Paul Ashcroft', wondering whether the day would ever come when the parties would fight it out below the belt and above the fold with headline grabbing 'Ashcroft in tax scandal' in one newspaper and 'Paul in tax scandal' in another.

Even Bunkered Brown is joining the dodgy non-doms, skiving off school again with a lame excuse, dodging democracy and a commons PMQs grilling.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

What's Behind The Dodgy Push Poll?

A dodgy push poll with fishy weightings has left New Labour all in a lather fuelling the spin the lamentable leader could make it back to No 10 after all. You can't make it up - but someone did. Behind the foggy figures and heady headlines lies a fishy poll and a telling Sunday story.

If it's too good to be true, it probably is. Even with a scant glance at the latest opinion poll, hacks would be hard pressed to come up with a headline: "Brown on course to win election", but not on The Sunday Times.

It seems a new Sunday Times poll reveals New Labour is just two points behind Tories. "The YouGov survey places David Cameron’s Conservatives on 37%, as against 35% for Labour — the closest gap between the parties in more than two years."

Five or six per cent maybe but two? Does anyone believe the Tory lead has shrunk to a mere two percent, as suggested by the poll? Not the bookies. But maybe the money markets waking up in a cold sweat after a night of Brown nightmares.

The rogue poll is clearly an outlier. The Orange Party is deeply sceptical about commissioned push polls, particularly when they show such sharp spin and take no account of the battleground of the key marginals.

Wise Wells at UKPR warns: ”Until we see some more polls that support or contradict the further narrowing of the polls – be wary.”

But the real question is - was it is real?

As Wells notes, the changes from the previous poll are well within the margin of error: "YouGov’s polls this week have been very consistent in showing a 6 point lead, and these figures are actually within the margins of error of a true position of CON 38%-39%, LAB 32%-33%."

Now that's more like it.

Push polls are only as good as dodgy weightings, skewed sample and questions asked - or not asked. The outcome relies on spurious uniform swings.

The actual tables show a different picture. The left column shows an unweighted Tory six percent lead, the bold one to the right, actual weighted numbers, has two percent.

So how are they "weighted"? The views of 'Labour IDs' on the poll sample will have to be scaled up in order to meet the 'quota' for each poll. Polling pundits point out this is something that they have not had to do in the past to the same extent. So why is it happening now?

A quick look at the method reveals YouGov "interviewed a sample of 1,436 adults online across Britain on Feb 25-26."

Do ordinary folk actually sign up for opinion poll panels? How much credence can be placed on a sample taken online rather than in face-to-face interviews? A tinyYouGov 'panel' made up of faceless online people is hardly representative of the whole country.

When asked the question "Do you think Gordon Brown is doing well or badly as PM", both the weighted and unweighted samples show the same result.

A staggering 58 percent in total reckon Brown is behaving Badly.

Very little differences in the view of a pathetic PM between weighted and unweighted. But miraculously a significant difference between the two for the headline-grabbing poll. Enough to send New Labour jumping up and down with glee. Now that's odd.

The Orange Party suspects a very different agenda at work and play here.

A Murdoch inspired wake up call to Dave. A poll which may tip the struggling Supreme Leader over the edge to name the day. A headline grabbing story after being eclipsed by the Observer and Rawnsley's Bullygate revelations.

The poll came on the day of Dave's big speech to the party faithful in Brighton at a time when he is under increasing pressure to come out of the closet with clear, realistic policies and stop wobbling around. "Now we'll see if the Tories have the mettle" thunders Murdoch's Sunday Times.

Speculation that Bunkered Brown may name the day any day soon is intense. But Bottling Brown has form. A poll showing victory is within his grasp may just be enough to swing the balance.

The two point lead is the smallest YouGov has recorded since Bottling Brown's election-that-never-was back in 2007. Then the Tories went on to peak in May 2008 with a 26 point lead. The message is in the Sunday Times bottle. Bottling Brown beware.

Meanwhile in the real world of fantasy school league tables and dumbed down exams...

Thousands of school pupils had their GCSE results secretly downgraded last summer to avoid the embarrassment of too big a jump in the numbers achieving top grades, reports The Sunday Times.

Exam chiefs ordered boards to raise the bar and move the goalposts to cut the number of pupils receiving A* to C grades in Mickey Mouse exams to avoid more egg on their faces over rigged grade inflation.

Push poll opinion polls and dumbed down school exams. You can't make it up. But some will have a damn good try, until they're caught out.

Top picture: Scarfe, Sunday Times. Mid graphics: YouGov/Sunday Times survey results (click images to enlarge)