web analytics

Time Bandits

By ATWadmin On January 27th, 2007 at 8:24 am

You’ll recall the woman last year in Derby who refused to pay her Council Tax because her street was in such an appalling state of disrepair.  She was sent to prison and was only released when someone offered to pay the outstanding amount on her behalf.  In those circumstances it would not have mattered how full our prison system was.  If incarceration had necessitated her sharing a cell with three sweaty Village People lookalikes, that is what she would have endured.  For here in the UK we have a strange set of laws pertaining to non-payment of Council Tax.  Not only is a refusal to pay an automatic entry to one of HM Prisons, it is also a crime without any possibility of sentence reduction.  Thus, you can commit murder and get time off for good behaviour; you cannot expect the same for withholding, say, £800 from your local authority.

Had Derek Williams of Blaenau Ffestiniog refused to pay his Council Tax to Gwynedd County Council, he would have gone to jail.  No ‘ifs’ or ‘buts’.  However, he did not do anything so disgusting as hanging on to his loot as council jobsworths lay in wait.  In the eyes of the law he committed a more trivial offence (what else can you deduce from his lack of imprisonment on the grounds of overcrowding?) by downloading child pornography off the Internet.

Picture the scene.  You are a mother/father of two young children living in the middle of a three-terraced row.  On your right you have a middle-aged bloke with the sickest of sexual morals and voyeuristic perversion.  On the other, you have a 85-year old biddy who’s said she will not pay her Council Tax until the broken paving stone outside her front door (which she has tripped over on numerous occasions) is repaired or replaced.  Which one would give you the greatest unease everytime your offspring wanted to play outside in the street?  Exactly!  Yet, under the appalling system presided over by our increasingly dysfunctional Home Office, the biddy is the only one destined to hear the clanking of a cell door in the very near future.

Our prisons are too full of bloody foreigners, women who could not pay their TV Licence fees, and those who stood by their principles on Council Tax payments.  In the meantime our streets are polluted by scum such as Williams, as well as those convicted of crimes such as wounding, mugging and ABH.  Is that really a symbolic symptom of a Home Office we should have confidence in?

Saturday’s Marx Quote – 27.01.07

By ATWadmin On January 27th, 2007 at 8:16 am

‘If I cannot smoke in heaven, then I shall not go.’

On This Day…27.01

By ATWadmin On January 27th, 2007 at 8:11 am

1606 – In London the trial of Guy Fawkes begins – following his capture during the Gunpowder Plot the previous November.

1822 – Formal proclamation of Greek independence.

1926 – John Logie Baird, the Scottish inventor, gives the first public demonstration of a pictorial-transmission machine he calls a televisor. Baird’s invention used mechanical rotating disks to scan moving images into electronic impulses.

1943 – American bombers carry out the first major air raid on Germany – a daylight attack on Wilhelmshaven.

1967 – Round the world solo yachtsman Francis Chichester is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at Greenwich, London using a sword which once belonged to Sir Francis Drake.

1992 – Former American world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson goes on trial charged with raping an 18 year old contender in the 1991 Miss Black America contest.


By ATWadmin On January 26th, 2007 at 5:58 pm

And now a song better perhaps better known the OTHER side of the pond….this version strips it RIGHT down to the glorious basics. It was written by the dynamic duo Rodgers and Hart way back in 1934, and has been recorded by many famous singers since then. I loath the popular doo-wop version – but I love the slow flame romance of the slowed down version.

Did you know it was originally written for a young Jean Harlow, then because the original lyrics weren’t considred so great, it was re-written (reluctantly) by Lorenz Hart and those famous lines appeared

"…Blue moon/you saw me standing alone/without a dream in my heart/without a love of my own" .



By ATWadmin On January 26th, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Here’s a more modern little tune (by my standards!) by Mr Paul Heaton’s Beautiful South. The lyrics are crystal sharp, and the vocal performance (and acting) by the lovely Jacqui Abbott is excellent, and YES -I am aware there is a much ruder version on this song on the album from which this comes but I think the crudity distracts from what is otherwise a fine song! Hope you like this one…not sure if our American readers will be familiar with this band, but I’m a big fan!

Beer and Sandwiches

By ATWadmin On January 26th, 2007 at 11:31 am

As far as I am aware (correct me if I’m wrong) the British Labour Party in the only socialist movement in Europe that is directly funded by trade unions.  In fact the trade unions were instrumental in establishing the Labour Party.  On the other hand we were told by Tony Blair that, under his stewardship, the unions would receive ‘fairness, not favours’.  As far as the great majority of the UK populace was concerned, there would be no repeat of the likes of Jack Jones, Hughie Scanlon and Joe Gormley traipsing in to Number 10 to be cosseted by a Labour leader in hoc to their demands and their party contributions.

A problem we now have is that Tone made his promise in the days when Labour had a large membership and could, therefore, rely on individual contributions from rapacious young Lefties.  Fast forward to 2007; with a membership now some 100,000 less than Cameron’s ‘Conservatives‘ – and still in freefall; and you begin to see how Labour, under jaw-dropping Gordon, could again revive its subservient position to the worst excesses of trade union philosophy.

I was always under the impression that ‘New Labour’ was an artificial construct tailored to a strategy to win elections under the specific leadership of Tony Blair.  It would not outlast either Blair, or the point when the party could not win comfortably in a given General Election.  Those phenomena, both in play today – and in the context of a rapidly declining membership, means inevitably that union considerations will feature far more prominently.  Firstly because their influence will be organically linked to the financial survival of Labour.  Secondly because Brown will not have the same ideological aversion to trade unions held by the present Prime Ministerial incumbent.

Thatcher took years to tame the unions.  Is Brown going to resurrect the sort of arrogance we currently see in Tony Woodley, as he supports British Airways staff in their pledge to disrupt the holiday plans of thousands, across the spectrum of the trade union movement?  They were booted out of office for doing the same in the 1970s.  You’d think they would learn from their past mistakes.


By ATWadmin On January 26th, 2007 at 10:25 am

Wonder what you make of the news that police stations have been closing at the rate of more than one a week since Labour came to power? Figures show that 582 local stations have shut since Labour’s 1997 election victory. The closures have been partly counterbalanced by the opening of stations in the same period. Overall, there were 2,059 police stations in 1997 but by 2005 this had fallen to 1,791 – a net loss of 268. Many of the new ‘stations’ are actually smaller offices far removed from the traditional, centrally-located buildings they replaced.

It strike me that when you review Labour’s period in power – which I hope will be coming to an end soon – it become apparent that despite all the carefully crafted rhetoric about being "tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime", the reality has been the EXACT opposite!

Labour has closed police stations, tied up the police in red tape, created legions of pointless offences to ensure that resources are stretched to beyond breaking point. Then, when anyone is actually convicted of an offence, they are given either a light rap on the knuckles – (with all due diligence to the Human Rights Act) – and let off, or send to prison where they enjoy plush conditions and can walk free if they take the notion! Some justice.

The leftists in NuLabour have proven by their actions that they will not deal effectively with crime.

Closing our Police Stations is but one symbolic example of their failure.


By ATWadmin On January 26th, 2007 at 10:01 am

nhs23bt.gifYes, of course the idea of "free" Health Care for everybody is noble. It is also supremely unrealistic – a utopian notion that can never be achieved, and worse still  is well on its way to being a living hell for some.

I was shocked to read about a female patient in a packed NHS ward who was left stunned after she returned from the lavatory to find another woman had been put in her bed. Pat Roberts, 59, was forced to sit in her wheelchair for four hours before nurses could find another space for her.

Her shocked husband Ron Roberts, 71, said she had only been away from her bed for a few minutes while he took her to the toilet. It gets worse! To add insult to injury Mr Roberts says he was then told his wife did not need the bed because she had a wheelchair. Oh – the luxury of it. Just how cosy is a wheel-chair?

Government interference is killing the NHS. All the billions that Brown has poured in have not dealt with the systemic problems that afflict this socialist construct. It has a demotivated workforce, many of its hospitals are filthy, and the approach to patient care – as this case vividly illustrates – is shocking at times.

My father was in hospital over the Christmas Period. On one of my visits to his ward, I observed staff set up a TV room solely for their use, with soft drinks, newspapers and crisps for themselves whilst on-duty – and they then proceeded to ignore the small number of very ill patients in that ward for the rest of that Christmas afternoon. Angels????

The NHS is doomed as it is currently constituted. I think that virtually any change that reduces the role of politicians within this structure would be welcome. I believe that all of us have to take responsibility for our own Health Care – I don’t WANT Government providing this for me – and sooner rather than later, the NHS will collapse under its vast bureaucratic weight. At that point, it will be the most frail and most needy who suffer the most. I’m not sure how far we are from that point, but when a female patient is told that she doesn’t need a bed because she has wheel-chair, I figure it can’t be far away!


By ATWadmin On January 26th, 2007 at 9:44 am

Isn’t it wonderful to work for a quango in the public sector? I mean, you get to spend tax-payers money as you wish and nobody can really stop you.

Comes the news from David Gordon over at the Belfast Telegraph that RUC/Special Branch is facing a second Police Ombudsman investigation into officers’ collusion with UVF killer Mark Haddock. The follow-up probe is centring on suspected links between Haddock and two UVF murder bids on a north Belfast man in the 1990s.

OK – here’s my take. If ANY member of Special Branch colluded in protecting a known UVF killer, then any moral advantage in running such an informer, is obviated by his repellent actions. Thus evidence of Special Branch complicity must be uncovered and prosecutions brought in court. Simple.

But I’m curious about another aspect of collusion which no-one seems to want to discuss. Did Special Branch also know the identity of the IRA leadership during the past 35 years? If so, why did it let such thugs remain free? It has been said in the House of Commons that Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness occupied very senior positions in this terrorist cabal. During this time THOUSANDS were murdered. Why were these IRA leaders allowed to remain free? Did any politicians intervene to ensure that these godfathers remained untouchable? When, and why, was the decision taken to leave the IRA leadership alone? Who concluded it was best to leave the terrorist leadership intact so it could direct thousands of terror attacks? Shouldn’t we be getting at this truth also?

And as for the UVF, a terror group ATW consistently castigates, can someone tell me why, despite the fact that it has never decommissioned or disarmed or ceased its violence, it’s leadership remains at large? Does the PSNI not know who commands this gang of thugs? Who has decided not to move against them?

The thing about collusion is that any form of it is reprehensible. I get the feeling that those working the loudest noises about Special Branch wish to remain mute on the broader aspects of it. Did the Irish Government collude to set up the PIRA? Did the Garda collude with the Provos? Mmmmm….a wide web of collusion indeed.


By ATWadmin On January 26th, 2007 at 9:24 am

question203.jpgDid you watch "Question Time" on BBC1 last evening?

It featured a marginally less demented audience than usual, and the panel appeared quite interesting.

Poor Geoff Hoon was there to try and defend Government policy. His role was akin to that of a coconut shy at a fairground. He got belted.

Then there was Matthew Parris, witty, interesting and a tad too liberal for my liking. He’s always worth a listen and his measured opinions should not be instantly dismissed.

Deborah Bull – a former BBC Governor and Ballet dancer (Now THERE’S  a combination for you) seemed a bit airy-fairy to me, waffled a lot, and said nothing. A metropolitan nobody.

Ann Atkins, someone who I have had hitherto some time for, was a huge disappointment. She was easily the most leftist of all the panelists – at one point seeking to IMPOSE minimum prices on food! Socialism alert!

Nicholas Soames, Churchill’s grandson, was excellent. He have good answers, skewered the Government’s ineptitude on a range of issues, and seemed to speak pretty honestly. Most impressed. I’ve heard him before but thought his performance last night was very good indeed. I thought he dealt with the issue of Blair’s no-show in the Commons the other day very well, contrasting that with the behaviour of his grandfather – who made a point of keeping the Commons informed personally in the dark days of WW2.