web analytics

On This Day…21.02

By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 4:47 pm

1848 – The Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx with the assistance of Friedrich Engels, is published in London on February 21, 1848. Karl Marx was born in Prussia in 1818–the son of a Jewish lawyer who converted to Lutheranism.

1858 – Edwin Holmes of Boston, USA installs the first electric burglar alarm.

1910 – Birth of British World War II fighter pilot Sir Douglas Bader.

1952 – Identity cards abolished in Britain.

1965 – American black Muslim leader Malcom X is shot dead whilst addressing a meeting in New York.

1988 – In London, workmen discover the grave of Queen Boadicea underneath Platform 8 at Kings Cross Station.



One for the “in-crowd”

By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 3:27 pm

tangled pub.JPGAlways happy to please our regulars, the virtual pub is open for business.


Directions: turn right at “The Straw Man”


“Happy Birthday, Mr President …”

By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 11:59 am

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is 83 today. The UN appears set to join in the celebrations by awarding Zimbabwe the vice-presidency of the World Food Programme. Truly, you could not make it up! Or maybe you can. This is the organisation which appointed Lybia to chair the UNHCR and regularly hosts ‘anti-racist’ summits in order to condemn the Jews, after all.

So having brought Marxist ruin to his country, committed torture and mass murder and reduced Zimbaweans to starvation, the UN is to bestow respectibilty on the tyrant. Maybe Ban Ki-moon would like to deliver the invite personally, at Mugabe’s £600,000 birthday party on Saturday, towards which Zimbabweans were invited to donate.

“ask, and you probably won’t receive!”

By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 10:49 am


As I, along with 1794948 other hopefuls, placed our electronic signatures supporting the e-petition regarding Vehicle tracking and Road Pricing, I never realised or dared hope that I would be favoured by a personal reply from our own version of the ‘Dear Leader’!

After reading this absurd document to the end, I can honestly state that my own e-mail set-up, which performs various sorting techniques flawlessy, had already recgnised this transmission for what it was, and had sharply placed it into the ‘JUNK’ basket!



(Pete got in before me, but decided to post anyway!)

A Message From On High

By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 9:28 am

HOW exciting, the Prime Minister has emailed me! He says:

Re. the "Scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy" e-petition which you signed. Know your place, pleb. We’re not listening, we don’t care what you think, pay more taxes. The next time we ask for your opinion, keep it to yourself.

Well, he didn’t quite say that, but the message is the same. You may like to see the email, over which He laboured for us:

Thank you for taking the time to register your views about road pricing on the Downing Street website.

This petition was posted shortly before we published the Eddington Study, an independent review of Britain’s transport network. This study set out long-term challenges and options for our transport network.

It made clear that congestion is a major problem to which there is no easy answer. One aspect of the study was highlighting how road pricing could provide a solution to these problems and that advances in technology put these plans within our reach. Of course it would be ten years or more before any national scheme was technologically, never mind politically, feasible.

That is the backdrop to this issue. As my response makes clear, this is not about imposing "stealth taxes" or introducing "Big Brother" surveillance. This is a complex subject, which cannot be resolved without a thorough investigation of all the options, combined with a full and frank debate about the choices we face at a local and national level. That’s why I hope this detailed response will address your concerns and set out how we intend to take this issue forward. I see this email as the beginning, not the end of the debate, and the links below provide an opportunity for you to take it further.

But let me be clear straight away: we have not made any decision about national road pricing. Indeed we are simply not yet in a position to do so. We are, for now, working with some local authorities that are interested in establishing local schemes to help address local congestion problems. Pricing is not being forced on any area, but any schemes would teach us more about how road pricing would work and inform decisions on a national scheme. And funds raised from these local schemes will be used to improve transport in those areas.

One thing I suspect we can all agree is that congestion is bad. It’s bad for business because it disrupts the delivery of goods and services. It affects people’s quality of life. And it is bad for the environment. That is why tackling congestion is a key priority for any Government.

Congestion is predicted to increase by 25% by 2015. This is being driven by economic prosperity. There are 6 million more vehicles on the road now than in 1997, and predictions are that this trend will continue.

Part of the solution is to improve public transport, and to make the most of the existing road network. We have more than doubled investment since 1997, spending £2.5 billion this year on buses and over £4 billion on trains – helping to explain why more people are using them than for decades. And we’re committed to sustaining this investment, with over £140 billion of investment planned between now and 2015. We’re also putting a great deal of effort into improving traffic flows – for example, over 1000 Highways Agency Traffic Officers now help to keep motorway traffic moving.

But all the evidence shows that improving public transport and tackling traffic bottlenecks will not by themselves prevent congestion getting worse. So we have a difficult choice to make about how we tackle the expected increase in congestion. This is a challenge that all political leaders have to face up to, and not just in the UK. For example, road pricing schemes are already in operation in Italy, Norway and Singapore, and others, such as the Netherlands, are developing schemes. Towns and cities across the world are looking at road pricing as a means of addressing congestion.

One option would be to allow congestion to grow unchecked. Given the forecast growth in traffic, doing nothing would mean that journeys within and between cities would take longer, and be less reliable. I think that would be bad for businesses, individuals and the environment. And the costs on us all will be real – congestion could cost an extra £22 billion in wasted time in England by 2025, of which £10-12 billion would be the direct cost on businesses.

A second option would be to try to build our way out of congestion. We could, of course, add new lanes to our motorways, widen roads in our congested city centres, and build new routes across the countryside. Certainly in some places new capacity will be part of the story. That is why we are widening the M25, M1 and M62. But I think people agree that we cannot simply build more and more roads, particularly when the evidence suggests that traffic quickly grows to fill any new capacity.

Tackling congestion in this way would also be extremely costly, requiring substantial sums to be diverted from other services such as education and health, or increases in taxes. If I tell you that one mile of new motorway costs as much as £30m, you’ll have an idea of the sums this approach would entail.

That is why I believe that at least we need to explore the contribution road pricing can make to tackling congestion. It would not be in anyone’s interests, especially those of motorists, to slam the door shut on road pricing without exploring it further.

It has been calculated that a national scheme – as part of a wider package of measures – could cut congestion significantly through small changes in our overall travel patterns. But any technology used would have to give definite guarantees about privacy being protected – as it should be. Existing technologies, such as mobile phones and pay-as-you-drive insurance schemes, may well be able to play a role here, by ensuring that the Government doesn’t hold information about where vehicles have been. But there may also be opportunities presented by developments in new technology. Just as new medical technology is changing the NHS, so there will be changes in the transport sector. Our aim is to relieve traffic jams, not create a "Big Brother" society.

I know many people’s biggest worry about road pricing is that it will be a "stealth tax" on motorists. It won’t. Road pricing is about tackling congestion.

Clearly if we decided to move towards a system of national road pricing, there could be a case for moving away from the current system of motoring taxation. This could mean that those who use their car less, or can travel at less congested times, in less congested areas, for example in rural areas, would benefit from lower motoring costs overall. Those who travel longer distances at peak times and in more congested areas would pay more. But those are decisions for the future. At this stage, when no firm decision has been taken as to whether we will move towards a national scheme, stories about possible costs are simply not credible, since they depend on so many variables yet to be investigated, never mind decided.

Before we take any decisions about a national pricing scheme, we know that we have to have a system that works. A system that respects our privacy as individuals. A system that is fair. I fully accept that we don’t have all the answers yet. That is why we are not rushing headlong into a national road pricing scheme. Before we take any decisions there would be further consultations. T
he public will, of course, have their say, as will Parliament.

We want to continue this debate, so that we can build a consensus around the best way to reduce congestion, protect the environment and support our businesses. If you want to find out more, please visit the attached links to more detailed information, and which also give opportunities to engage in further debate.

Yours sincerely,
Tony Blair

In short, they can’t impose it just yet because the EU’s Galileo GPS system, which we are paying for in the same way that tyrants make their victims pay for the rounds used to kill them, still has some gremlins.


By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 7:41 am

I managed to catch some TV pictures of UK Unionist Leader Robert McCartney encountering Dr Ian Paisley and his entourage in Lisburn market yesterday.

Bob asked Paisley "Whatever happened to No, No, No?" The DUP entourage replied by shouting that Bob was a "maverick" and – gasp – worst of all – "a vote splitter"!

Seeing as how the DUP have split the Unionist vote for decades, I thought that comment a bit rich. Also, if one follows DUP logic, no one would ever stand against them. Isn’t that — ahem – a totalitarian mindset? Surely not?

I think the best way to ascertain who speaks for Unionism is for Paisley, McCartney and Empey to have a wrestling match a la WWE – a rumble in the market, if you like. Paisley could be The Undertaker (of the Union)


By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 7:33 am

What GROTESQUE hypocrites!

London Mayor Red Ken Livingstone’s regime at  City Hall has spent more than £80,000 on trips to attend 16 conferences on tackling climate change and improving the environment.

Politicians and officials have flown to destinations including New York, Nairobi, San Francisco and Toronto in the past two and a half years.  Mmm – nice destinations…nice carbon footprints!

The figures, obtained by the London Assembly Conservatives, show that deputy mayor Nicky Gavron has made 13 trips, while the Mayor’s climate change adviser Mark Watts has made six. It has led critics to dub Ms Gavron “the member for Heathrow Central” and question how the amount of foreign travel fits in with Mayor Ken Livingstone’s commitment to tackle climate change. Brian Coleman, Tory chairman of the London Assembly, said: “I think there are a lot of questions to be asked.

“It’s amazing that for a Mayor who is so concerned about climate change there are so many flights to discuss climate change. What were people doing in Melbourne and Nairobi? Scunthorpe and Stoke-on-Trent never seem to get a mention.”  Today’s figures reveal for the first time the total amount spent by the Mayor and his officials on foreign travel. Since March 2004, 279 trips have been made at a cost of £369,564.

All this proves in my mind is that those on the political hard-left such as Ken Livingstone are two-faced hypocrites who believe that there is one rule for them, and another for the “little people.” They remind me of the Soviet elite sweeping past in their limo’s even as the poor people huddled on the pavements. Come to think of it – with all those bus-lanes Ken has put in place which can ALSO be availed of by politicians…. 


By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 7:26 am

Did you see those amazing images of one of the alleged 21/7 bombers fleeing the scene dressed as a woman in full Burqa gear?  

Yassin Oman allegedly fled London dressed as a Muslim woman after failing to blow up an Underground train.

Omar donned the disguise the day after launching an alleged suicide bomb attack at Warren Street Tube station in Central London on July 21, 2005, a court was told yesterday. The pictures show him walking down the pavement towards Golders Green Bus station, in North London, not far from his home. A series of different cameras followed his movements across a busy road and into the station to catch a National Express coach to Birmingham at 6.21pm. Prosecutor Max Hill told jurors: “The handbag is over the left arm of Mr Omar. On walking over the crossing toward the coach stop, Omar appears to stop at the coach stop.”

How camp can you get? Good to see that the Burqa, that quintessential Islamic garb, has some use after all – apart from oppressing women that is. It’s the on-the-run Jihadists dress of choice!


By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 7:16 am

hulk.jpgMmmm..I wonder if Hillary Clinton is getting a little anxious about her long planned chances of gaining the Democrat nomination to run for the Presidency when one of her hitherto key constituencies seems to be lining up to support young glamorous Obama? I’m talking about the Hollywoodenheads, of course.

Cheques from Hollywood’s A-list stars such as George Clooney, Eddie Murphy and Barbra Streisand added up to a one-night take of $1.3 million for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Obama spoke to a star-studded audience at a closed-door fundraiser in Beverly Hills arranged by three of the industry’s biggest names _ DreamWorks studio founders Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. 


He told an audience that included Spielberg, Oscar nominee Eddie Murphy, actress Jennifer Anniston and singer Jackson Browne that they have "enormous power" (Ha, I don’t think so, enormous amounts of cash though for aspirational politicians, eh? DV!) that comes with "enormous responsibility" because of their impact on American culture.


Hey Obama is paraphrasing Spiderman! But will Hillary be quoting the Hulk when she sees her Hollywoodenheads lining Obama’s campaign slush fund…"Don’t make me angry….you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry"


By ATWadmin On February 21st, 2007 at 7:12 am

I liked this summation of the Blair era by Simon Heffer writing in the Daily Cameron…

It is the middle of February, and some NHS hospitals are telling their staff to unscrew the lightbulbs to conserve money until a new financial year begins in six weeks’ time. Some women may soon have to travel 80 miles to give birth. Even in built-up areas, people may have to travel for more than an hour at peak times, with heaven only knows what injuries or ailments, to reach their nearest A&E department.


I have not even mentioned the huge increase in the burden of taxation on productive members of society, the robbing of their pension funds, or the litany of scandals that may now culminate in criminal charges for trafficking in honours, because I simply wanted to illustrate how Labour, in its dishonesty and incompetence, has made life harder for the have-nots: for what it used to call "our people". They have no choice but to use state schools and public hospitals. They can’t afford to install burglar alarms, or move to "nice" areas where they won’t be mugged on their doorstep. When old, they don’t have a supportive social network. They are the most vulnerable, and they have been royally and monumentally stuffed.


Most of us don’t mind paying to make life better for such people. But the extra taxes we have paid have been wasted, not least in putting 700,000 socially unproductive people on the public payroll, where they can gratefully vote for Gordon Brown in perpetuity. They, Mrs Blair, the Irish Republican Army and those for whom the most important thing in life is to be allowed to sodomise 16-year-old boys are the only ones I can think of who have done well out of the past 10 years. I suspect if Labour had told us that in 1997, we might even have voted for John Major