Monday, January 31, 2011

Comrades, Laurie Penny and fake outrage

As regular readers will be aware, your Reaper does occasionally resort to using the C-word on his blog. This is normally done out of sheer exasperation of the subject at hand. For example, if discussing the subject of Ed Balls and his comments on Mervyn King not really believing that the austerity package is correct, one can assume fairly safely that Ed Balls is an arrogant, presumptuous cunt who thinks he has the right to tell everyone what to think.

Not everyone likes it when I use the word, and I try to keep its use down to a minimum, simply because I think it loses its impact if it appears too frequently. Although people are welcome to use it as many times as they want in the comments section - especially if your Reaper agrees that the person in question is a cunning stunt. Now, I've been told many times that, by calling someone a cunt, I am making an offensive, derogatory statement towards women. Bollocks. It's no more offensive than calling someone a prick.

I'm pleased to see that socialist of the moment, Laurie Penny, doesn't agree and is rather a fan of the word. I'm also pleased to see her calling someone at The Third Estate a cunt at some sort of event, and then seeing the complete over-reaction to it. The comments thread is like watching two over-grown children crying and arguing over who gets ice cream. It all feels so fake. It's almost as if the outrage isn't quite genuine. I don't see other bloggers posting long, pointless missives each time they get called something they don't like, do you?

It's alright for the Left to abuse as many people as they want, but you can't abuse the Left back and the Left can't abuse one another. That seems to be their rule regarding the C-word. There's a best-selling game in this, I reckon. Although I'm fucked if you want me to try and work out the rules to this fun game of victimhood.

By the way, have you found a researcher yet, Laurie? Your blog has yet to be updated after it was revealed you were going to be paying your researcher less than the minimum wage for 85 hours work. Do tell us who the poor sod who got the job is.

Back To Teh Old Skool - 3 from 1999

Time for another edition of Back To Teh Old Skool. Just three tunes in this installment from 1999.

Harry "Choo Choo" Romero Feat. Inaya Day
Just Can't Get Enough
Robbie Rivera's Bangin' Dub Part 2
Released on AM:PM Records

When you take several artists who know how to produce a club hit, this is the result. Harry "Choo Choo" Romero? He's been around for goodness knows how many years and at the time this came out, he was heavily involved with Subliminal Records, a label which released hit after hit back in the day. Inaya Day? She'd had her vocals on countless records.

Robbie Rivera? Ever since he first emerged in 1996, this man has turned into probably one of the best dance music producers of all time, and possibly one of the most under-rated. In the late 1990s, he was nicknamed the "King of the Filters" by several dance publications, and I absolutely loved Robbie Rivera's productions in the late 1990s. There was just something about that filtered house sound of his which was simply so irrestistible at the time, and still is. If only he producing more stuff like this today...

Sexy? Indeedy.

ATFC Presents Onephatdeeva
In And Out Of My Life
Olav Basoski Remix
Released on Defected Records.

Here's another one of those producers who has been around almost since the beginning of dance music itself. Olav Basoski started out under the Sil arias with DJ Erick E and his since branched out on his own, with countless tracks and remixes of his own since 1997. This is one of his more memorable remixes for me, of a tune which kicked off Aydin The Funky Chile's career. The only downside of it is that the original Fatboy Slim sample of "Right Here, Right Now" doesn't seem to appear at all here.

Joey Negro vs Taka Boom
Must Be The Music
DJ Antoine vs Mad Mark Remix
Released on Incentive Records

This one sampled a 1978 tune by Sticky Fingers called "Wastin' My Love" and did well enough at the time. Here's a mix of the tune that was rarely heard on radio at the time, despite probably being one of the better ones. Oh, and if the track starts playing up at 2:46 or so, don't worry - that's how it's meant to sound.

Gwastraff mwy o arian ar S4C? Na, dim diolch!

Perhaps your Reaper should explain something before I continue. I can speak Welsh. I lived in the country for most of my life. Hence why the following story caught my eye, and also the title. So, the first person to translate the title of this post correctly in the comments section - and not using the heavily mangled translation that most web translator services churn out - gets a prize*. Yes, I'm serious. You'll get a prize* for your efforts. As ever, the Editor's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The Grim Reaper simply isn't interested.

A few months ago, S4C was complaining that the 40% budget cuts it was facing was threatening its very existence. You see, S4C is a Welsh language channel based in Cardiff and is funded by a combination of advertising revenue and also by a fixed annual grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It received £94million in its 2007 grant. In the past, the reason S4C survived was mainly because it spent most of its time showing Channel 4's programmes and only had to put out a few hours of Welsh programming per day. Channel 4 was not available in Wales until digital television came along in the late 1990s, you see. Now that analogue television is history, they've got an entire day to fill - no longer can they piggy-back onto the output of another station.

From 2013, the way S4C is funded is being changed. Its DCMS grant is being reduced by 94%, and the BBC will take over the funding of the channel. Perhaps I'm missing something, but it doesn't seem that radical a change to me. It's still going to be funded by the public - only where from the public sector it comes from is changing. The only real change is their spending is being cut. Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg aren't happy about this, and are trotting out the usual line that it's all the fault of the bloody English. Well, that's what it sounds like to me.

They're holding a sit-in protest at BBC Wales HQ in Cardiff today, thinking that this will somehow persuade those big, bad BBC bosses to change their minds and to leave their precious S4C alone. The precious S4C that nobody ever watches. The precious S4C that pulls in fewer than 10,000 viewers on most of its programmes, meaning they get zero ratings, yet we're somehow expected to accept the subsidisation of this channel. In this multi-channel age, it simply can't be justified why we should have to pay for it. It probably never was justified in the first place.

If there is as much support in Wales for S4C as Cymdeithas yr Iaith believe there is, why don't they put their money where their mouth is? Privatise the station. Let it depend on advertising for its income, in much the same way other stations have to. If enough people out there truly believe that the Welsh language should be allowed to thrive, people will tune in in their droves.

Oh wait a minute... you know that there ISN'T enough support out there in Wales for the station, don't you? Why do you never ask yourselves why it is that only 18% of people living in Wales actually speak Welsh? Think about it - that's a lot of people who could learn the language, but choose not to. Ask yourselves why not. That's the real issue here.

Admittedly, I have seen some of S4C's output and most of it is utterly dismal. There is the on-going soap Pobol y Cwm which is exactly the bloody same as every other soap on telly. There is the true spectacle that is Dai Jones, a man who has been hosting Cefn Gwlad for the best part of 900 years to my certain knowledge. There's nothing particularly distinctive on the channel which could be argued is worth the cost of subsidy. They have produced some brilliant children's programming in the past, but in the television industry, you can't just live on your past glories. You've got to keep making good programmes that people will watch. Otherwise, you end up with a channel that nobody wants to watch.

Or S4C, as they increasingly call it.

*Prize not included.

Ed Miliband gets the Organ treatment

What is it about Piers Organ and his GQ interviews? Back in 2008, Nick Clegg was being interviewed for the very same publication where he started boasting about the fact he had slept with "no more" than 30 women in his lifetime. Curiously, not one of the 30 women came forward afterwards to tell the tabloids that Clegg has a tiny cock. A shame, as Clegg could do with being embarrassed a little more often.

Anyway, Ed Miliband has accepted the invitation to be interviewed by Organ and he's been quoted as saying "She's [Justine Thornton] not my wife. Thank God for that, probably.". Reportedly, this hasn't gone down well with Ed's missus.

Personally, I'm not going to criticise him too much for this. Whether Ed and Justine get married is entirely a matter for them. I can't stand the way that this issue is being made into the bat that is being used to knock the piñata which is Ed Miliband. I also refuse to have a pop at him for admitting he was bullied at school. Perhaps that's because your Reaper was as well, I don't know. Either way, it isn't pleasant stuff for any child to have to go through. Attempts to have a go at him on the grounds of things in his private life, provided they don't interfere with his public life, are rather tedious and boring.

Although Piers Organ certainly lived up to his name in this interview, judging by the amount of publicity this one is now getting. He's got a talent for that, if nothing else.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Have a go at the man because he's a crap leader who is going to lead Labour into another electoral defeat - or praise him for that very reason, in your Reaper's case. Have a go at the man becaus he has shit policies which he hasn't thought through and has mostly inherited from the previous leader. Don't have a go at him simply because of his marital status. You're demeaning yourselves when you do so. Which is something that Ed, given a bit of time, will be perfectly capable of doing for himself. Save your energy.

What's Stonewall got to say about this?

Melanie Phillips may be an alleged homophobe in the eyes of some - your Reaper isn't included in that list, before anyone asks - but here's an instance of what happens when REAL homophobia rules.

This one started in October last year. A Ugandan newspaper called the Rolling Stone decided to start a campaign against homosexuality. This kind of thing happens quite frequently in Uganda, according to your Reaper's sources on this one. They published the front page on the right, with the headline "100 Pictures of Uganda's Top Homos Leaked". It called for a gay rights activist in the country, David Kato, to be hanged and made numerous ridiculous claims that the gay movement was going to "recruit 100,000 innocent kids by 2012".

Really? I never knew that coming out as gay was a similar process to signing onto the dole? Do your applications to become homosexuals now have to be approved by a committee? Fucking hell...

Anyway, an injunction was obtained against the newspaper in early November, preventing them from publishing the names and addressed of people they claimed were gay. The injunction also demanded the newspaper was shut down. No matter, though - intimidation of homosexuals has been taking place on quite a scale since, and last week, it led to David Kato being murdered. Though the police are insisting that his sexuality had nothing to do with it, bizarrely. What planet are they on?

Now, the people who ran this tabloid are clearly attention-seeking cunts. When you visit Wikipedia, you find out one reason why. The paper was first "printed on the anniversary of the introduction of a bill against homosexuality, which itself followed a visit by conservative U.S. evangelical Christian leaders promoting therapy to make homosexuals heterosexual.". Frankly, I'm surprised we don't have Lefties out there trying to argue that Kato's death is partly the fault of the Americans. Better not give them any ideas...

I can't help but notice, though, just how little fuss is being made about this. This is an example of real homophobia and hatred which I believe should be spoken out against. Yet what do we get from the major gay rights organisations in this country when confronted with this? Erm... nothing. I've just looked at the Stonewall website, and no results are returned by searching for David Kato. You couldn't move for their deafening shouts of homophobia towards the likes of Peter and Hazelmary Bull, nor could you get away from their yelling over the Jan Moir column. And yet when it comes to something they really should be getting worked up about, silence. Why is that?

Oh yes, and whilst I'm on this subject, here's a more political question. First of all, this question is for Gordon Brown. Why did you give Uganda nearly £70million in aid during the years of 2009 to 2010? The last time I checked, you Labour people didn't especially like homophobia, yet here you are pissing money towards a nation which genuinely practices it. Oh, and to Call Me Dave and to Nick Clegg - when are you going to switch the tap off here? I'm asking before 3pm, so Clegg might just respond to it.

By the way, if someone from Stonewall comes across this, and you DO have a comment to make, feel free to get in touch and I'll publish it in its entirety.

Other People's Grim Reading

1. Twenty Major's thoughts on the forthcoming General Election in Ireland.
2. Ambush Predator chronicles the tale of one rather dim mother.
3. Dioclese chops off the balls of Ed Balls. Sorry, couldn't resist the balls pun.
4. Captain Ranty looks at the events in Egypt from a historical context.
5. Witterings From Witney observes William Hague's Egypt comments.
6. Tory Perspective reveals Hitler is upset his Egyptian holiday has been cancelled.
7. Obnoxio The Clown doesn't entirely hate the NHS.
8. The Quiet Man with a post about Asian men grooming young white girls.
9. Mark Wadsworth wonders if his plant will make a comeback this year.
10. The Appalling Strangeness on the topic of public libraries.
As ever, The Grim Reaper is not responsible for the content of third-party websites, and the views expressed in the blog posts linked to above are those of the bloggers in question and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Grim Reaper. Capiche?

You know you've lost the argument when... can make Melanie Phillips look good. Last week, she wrote a piece for the Daily Mail where she said some of the more militant gay people were in danger of turning into the new McCarthyites, such is the viciousness of their demonising and attempts to silence those who don't agree with the increasingly aggresstive gay rights agenda. Not every fact in her original column was entirely accurate. For example, she referred to a story claiming that so-called gay references were going to be compulsorily included with a number of subjects, such as maths and science. Wrong - the guidance was entirely voluntary and it has since been withdrawn in any case. Rightly so - maths lessons should be about maths, not about forcing people to like homosexuals.

All hell ensued - inevitably - on Twitter, although not quite to the same extent as when Jan Moir wrote her infamous piece declaring that Stephen Gately's death was a bit sleazy. She's written again about it today, and claims to have seen tweets with what she calls "hideous" language aimed in her direction. One included "your homo­phobic rant equals that which comes out of a dog's rectum. Kill yourself you cunt". And an email sent to her stated "people like you should be silenced as you insight (sic) bigotry and fear. Go and suck a tail pipe, get cancer, GET RAN OVER BY A TRAIN. I hope your fucking house burns down".


First thing's first. Looking through some of the tweets in question last week, I couldn't help but notice how many of them had been written by people who couldn't spell to save their fucking lives. When the baying mob comes along, they never bother turning up with a spell checker at hand, I've noticed. They don't seem able to argue sensibly about why they think she is wrong, either. Instead of saying "okay, let's explain to Melanie why she's wrong on this" or perhaps asking "has Melanie actually got a point here?", most of the responses were either abuse, or simply self-appointed tossers going "OMG, WE MUST ALL COMPLAIN TO TEH OFCOM LOLZ!!!!!1!". Much as expected, really.

However, what the baying mob fails to see is that they're shooting themselves in the foot by resorting to such tactics. Let's face it, Melanie Phillips is a writer who writes some questionable stuff at the best of times. It wouldn't be too hard to come up with some arguments towards why she's wrong, or to try and ask whether she may have a valid point in the original piece somewhere. As usual though, the line appears to be "agree with us, or we'll harm you". Some of these people are clearly taking their guidance from the Taliban.

You're not going to win any more support for the gay rights agenda by doing that, you know. You're just going to piss a lot of people off. And I'll have probably pissed off Melanie Phillips by writing this piece, peppered in the "hideous" and "obscene" language that it is.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Perhaps Asshat isn't so bad after all

Your Reaper was sent in this image via email. It was uncredited, so if you do know whose work it is, please let me know and I will credit them accordingly. I suppose, thinking about it, Julian Asshat does at least have one redeeming feature.

Normal blogging will be resumed tomorrow. I've had a busy enough weekend, and can't be arsed catching up on the news right now. Though if there's anything juicy you'd like my opinion on, feel free to make suggestions in the comments. If they allow me an excuse to show attractive ladies wearing very little, all the better...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Jacqui Smith's Porn Again - A Promotional Trailer

It looks like the BBC won't need to prepare one, now that Max Farquar has done the job for them. Your Reaper isn't easily pleased when it comes to videos, but this one was pretty damn funny.

If you could take just one item onto an island...

It's a Saturday night, and your Reaper can't be bothered with posting about anything too serious. So here's something a bit odd that I came across earlier. Take a look at the image on the right.

Bit strange? It's a baby grand piano on a tiny sandbar in Miami's Biscayne Bay. For days, no one has been too sure how on earth it got there. No, it was nothing to do with UFOs, as the tin foil hat wearers out there have suggested. No, it turns out it was just a prank by a teenager. Well, if you've played a prank which has managed to get the world's media paying attention, I'd say you've not done a bad job of it.
A crying shame the US authorities don't agree - Florida officials say his parents could face charges if the piano isn't removed. I'd like to take those Florida officials and throw the piano at them...

Gypsies and a few questions on culture

Your Reaper has been, like many others, enjoying Channel 4's programme My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. The show goes out on Tuesdays at 9pm and centres on what life is like for gypsies and travellers. There's a considerable focus on the extravagant weddings that many have. The women marry very young and are often dressed up in what they consider beautiful dresses. At least that's what the billing is.

My opinion is that their definition of beautiful is my definition of stupid, impractical and covered with slap. I especially had an issue with footage on Tuesday night of a six-year old child being spray-tanned before her first communion. Apparently, she looked great afterwards. Really? I couldn't see it.

Okay, let's get my views on gypsies and travellers here. As a libertarian, I think people are entitled to do whatever they want provided it doesn't affect others adversely. Therefore, people are welcome to live in caravans and on camp sites. I've never understood the appeal of living in a caravan instead of a house, but each to their own. However, how many times have we heard of stories of travellers coming onto land which they don't even own, building a site and then when they're eventually evicted, leaving the place looking like a rubbish tip? If travellers want to live their way of life, fine. They can do that, and I have no problem with that, but they can't behave like that and expect me to be okay with it.

The example provided on the previous show was one where a family who owned some land went ahead and built something without planning permission. It got to the stage where they were evicted. Now, I happen to think that is wrong. My view is that if you own land, you should be able to build just about whatever you want on it - unless you want to build a castle or a mansion or something huge like that. If they didn't own the land, the council would be justified in evicting them, but I don't see how it's justified if they do own the land.

Much is being made of the fact that the previous Tory government increased police powers to evict people who are camping illegally, and also repealed the duty of local authorities to provide camping areas for travellers. Rightly so. Government owes travellers absolutely nothing. Many travellers in the programme boast about the fact they are self-sufficient communities, which implies they pay little or no tax. You can't expect the Government to give you something for free, you know. It also mocks the idea that travellers are a proud people. What, so proud that you just demand a handout? If travellers are as self-sufficient as they likes to make out, they can easily pool their resources together and buy some land for their families. At that point, behave yourselves and I'll have absolutely no problem with you.

Besides, I've never been able to work out why liberal middle-class sorts (yes, I'm looking at you, Libby Brooks) get so excited when it comes to travellers. From what I have seen of the programme, traveller culture is horrendously misogynistic. I am surprised that the traveller dating ritual of "grabbing", which shows men literally pinning down girls who then have to accept or reject their advances, does not receive more criticism. If I went into the street and just pinned down the nearest piece of totty that caught my eye, I would probably end up in a police cell. Or, if I wasn't so lucky, getting a good beating from her boyfriend or husband. And rightly so. Why's it okay for one group but not another?
I am surprised that the traveller culture, which doesn't like the idea of women being educated, doesn't attract more stick. Most of the women in the programme marry at the ages of 16 and 17. One, who was getting married at the age of 21, was considered very old for a bride in the programme. This deeply dysfunctional culture also opposes the idea of women being allowed to work. Most of the women featured in the programme, once married, will go on to be housewives for the rest of their lives. I've nothing against housewives, as long as they're housewives by choice. They clearly aren't in traveller world.

I am surprised that the traveller culture, which fails to offer children the opportunities they need to better themselves and leaves them more susceptible to a life of crime and alcohol abuse, isn't scrutinised more. Oh wait... I've just realised why. It's because, as Libby Brooks implies in her article's headine, with the "deep South" phrase, I must be a racist!

Have I won the mystery prize?

Criticism by merit, not by background

Your Reaper somehow missed this one, and only came across it last night whilst watching The Million Pound Drop. Apparently, James Blunt's mother contacted the BBC yesterday after the Today Programme featured a report on the increase in the number of pop stars who are privately educated. Examples cited included Lily Allen and Chris Martin, member of the most boring pop band in the history of the world, Coldplay.

Blunt wasn't actually named, but that didn't stop his mummy from getting in touch. Not that it should, of course. Everyone's entitled to their freedom of speech. In the email, she said:

"I was most interested to hear Pete Waterman's thoughts on public school rock stars. His attitude is reflected by most of the critics in the UK. My son James Blunt, who is hugely appreciated worldwide, receives harsh criticism here and we have, rather sadly, been aware that it is because of his background. We are relieved that on the whole James's fanbase take no notice of the critics."

No, James Blunt isn't criticised because he was a public school boy. He's criticised because he's an irritating, tedious cunt who is responsible for releasing some of the worst songs of the last decade. Frankly, your Reaper would rather be subject to three months of constant waterboarding than have to endure listening to "You're Beautiful" once more in his lifetime. This, remember, is a man who previously polled in 2006 as being more annoying than traffic wardens, tailgaters, loud mobile phone users and being left on hold.

Oh yes, and let's not forget that this is the man who thinks he prevented World War Three. I'm sure his revelation of that had nothing to do with the fact his album had just been released...

The internet - it's as full as British jails

This is a story that your Reaper came across a few days ago, and has been mulling over. Let's get onto that first. According to a report in the Telegraph, the internet is due to run out of IP addresses.

As I understand it, the internet now is run almost entirely on a protocol which is called IPv4. This provides 4.3billion web addresses, which was considered more than enough at the time it was introduced in 1981. However, the increase in the number of objects which have online capabilities means those numbers have almost run out.

The only way to resolve the problem is to switch over to the IPv6 system, which provides trillions of addresses. The difficulty is that IPv4 and IPv6 are incompatible and aren't able to interact with each other. Well, not without a intermediary gateway - think of it as being a middle man.

It sounds pretty bad, but it doesn't appear like it will cause too many problems. At least not if I've understood this correctly. As far as I can see, most of the changes that are going to take place will be able to happen in the form of software and hardware upgrades. Newer computers will be better able to cope with it than older ones, by the sounds of it. Which has pretty much always been the way when you think about it. If you go back to the early 1990s, it was considered a luxury if a computer had 16MB of memory in it. Nowadays, most modern software would soon turn that memory into mush - it wouldn't stand a chance of being able to run increasingly greedy computer software.

What will happen here is similar enough to what happened at the time DVDs came about. For a little while, movies were being released on VHS and on DVD. After that, they stopped releasing them on VHS. In this case, newer objects introduced to the internet will only be available on the IPv6 system and not on IPv4, whereas most stuff on IPv4 will quickly enough be made available on the new system. It means that eventually, IPv4 will be the equivalent of the VHS casette. Only without the black tape.

This appears to be the first of a number of challenges for the internet in the next few years. More worrying in my eyes are developments to try and restrict internet neutrality and also attempts by governments to block access to the online world. The events in Egypt over the last few days are testament to the fact that governments everywhere hate the internet and, if pushed, are capable of doing this much. In Egypt, a number of protests against the Government were being arranged via the likes of Twitter and Facebook. Both are excellent tools for getting a message out quickly and to the right people, which worries those in authority. The message can't be controlled anymore, and they don't like it.

Freedom of speech on the internet is already being tested, and that test is going to get a lot more... testing in the next few years. It's vital that it passes the test with flying colours, otherwise we're going to be all the poorer for it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ex-Porn Secretary to make porn documentary?!

One of the movies that Timney saw?
Image taken from here.
Your Reaper admits he isn't the most easily surprised of persons. However, this one threw me completely. I had to read it twice to make sure I wasn't being tricked, but no, it's true. Jacqui Smith is going to present a one-hour documentary for BBC Radio 5 Live entitled "Porn Again". This must-not-see programme will go out on March 3rd. Quite why it's going out on Radio Bloke and not BBC Radio 4 is anyone's guess.

Admittedly, Jacqui is correct when she says we know next to nothing about what it's like to work in the pornographic industry. Namely because shows that purport to be documentaries which explain how the industry works devote most of their time to showing lots of heavily censored sex scenes. Just why we need regulations that prevents us from seeing a cock entering a vagina on television is anyone's guess.

I don't think she's an inappropriate choice of person for the documentary, far from it. Though it is a rather dubious use of licence fee money that isn't my main gripe with it either. I just wonder whether she enjoys being ritually humiliated. When husband Richard Timney he wasn't writing favourable letters praising the then-Home Secretary to local newspapers without declaring the fact he was her husband back in 2008, he was watching two pornographic movies that his wiife mistakenly tried to claim the cost for on expenses. She forced her husband to make a public apology and she was incredibly embarrassed about it, by her own admission.

Judging by her agreement to do this documentary however, it appears she isn't embarrassed about it any more. Say what you like about the woman who swindled £116k from taxpayers in expenses, but she clearly has skin as thick as a rhino.

Still, she could enligthen on us on one thing. Just WHAT were those two movies that Dick watched?

Back To Teh Old Skool - 6 from 1995

Okay, here's your latest selection of classics from the world of dance music. Six from 1995 for today...

1. Kenny Dope Presents The Bucketheads - The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) (Original Mix)
We'll start off today with possibly one of the most recognisable dance tracks of all time. The Bucketheads was one of Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez's numerous projects over the years. Although it's now seen as a classic, it proved quite expensive at the time due to the uncleared sample lyric on the track of "street sounds swilling in my mind". It reportedly cost $30,000 to Kenny personally. The original version lasts 15 minutes altogether, although Armand Van Helden produced a more manageable 8-minute edit. Unfortunately, your Reaper can't find either in their entirety on YouTube, so here's 10 minutes of the original...

2. Junior Vasquez - Get Your Hands Off My Man! (Nush Chocolate Factory Mix)
Mr Vasquez was a hit-making machine back in his day. Just about every track he released or every remix he did went on to do well, and most of his stuff appealed to the gay clubs, who probably have more influence on dance music than anyone would like to admit. This first came out in 1994 and got a re-release the following year. The Sound Factory Mix of this is probably the toughest of the lot, but my favourite of the time had to be the remix by Nush. Like a fair few tunes in the 1990s, it slows down half-way through and suddenly becomes a piano anthem. No wonder Boy George was all over this one back in the day!

3. Nush - U Girls (Look So Sexy) (Junior Vasquez Sound Factory Mix)
Yes, yes, your Reaper knows that this was cheesy as hell, which is partly why it's here. Aside from the sentiment of the track being one that often couldn't be disagreed with, it was bloody catchy if you heard it back in the day. I've opted for a darker mix of this by Junior Vasquez. Like pretty much all of his remixes, it comes up to over 12 minutes long, so the full version of it has yet to end up on YouTube. Hence why this one feels like it ends prematurely, sadly...

4. Judy Cheeks - As Long As You're Good To Me (Love To Infinity's Classic Paradise Club Mix)
This selection is dreadfully camp so far, and that situation shows no sign of changing with the appearance of yet another handbag house record. Love To Infinity have countless remixes to their name, though their older ones are probably best. This one is my favourite ever from the duo. Piano and lots of vocals guarantee a happy Grim Reaper, I can assure you.

5. Chrissy Ward - Right And Exact (StoneBridge Club Mix)
StoneBridge (aka Sten Hallström) is one of those producers who has been around pretty much since dance music came around and is still churning out hits to this day. He's always stuck to what he's known and never deviates too far away from what he does, but his stuff somehow manages to still sound fresh. Like two of the above, there's plenty of piano on this one and plenty of vocals. Why don't they make them like this anymore?

6. Blunt Funkers - God's An Astronaut (StoneBridge & Nick Nice's Monday Bar Full On Mix)
Here's something a bit darker to finish this selection off. There's a slight electro tinge to this one around 10 years ahead of its time, but goodness knows where the sentiment has come from. I know nothing about it, other than the fact I heard it some time during 1995 and have only just recently found out who on earth had made it.

Who let that stinker out?

The UK government may have more than its fair share of problems at the moment, but your Reaper believes there is a country out there which has an even greater mountain of problems to fix than we do. Well, it's one specific problem. It's affecting Malawi, and it's a problem which has got so bad that the Government has been left with no choice but to legislate against it.

Soon, it will be illegal for anyone in Malawi to fart.

I could go on about how this is a completely unpractical law that will be almost impossible to enforce, or on how grossly illiberal it is to try and ban people from farting wherever they want, but it would be hard to get taken seriously over all the noise. Not to mention the smell.

It can only be a matter of time before someone announces, as a way of making their objections to this plan from the Malawi government, that there's going to be a World Farting Day. Everyone in the world who wants to take part will emit a large, loud fart at exactly the same time as everyone else.

The green loonies out there will all hate the idea, which is why I'd be all in favour of seeing it happen. Although I would recommend investing in a peg first. Who's with me?

Has your Reaper found a blog mascot at last?

Katie Hopkins - where has your Reaper heard that name before? Ah yes, I remember now. She was the woman who appeared on The Apprentice, started dating a fellow contestant called Paul Callaghan and was later pictured having sex with him in a field. Very eloquent.

Since then, she's made a name for herself as a woman who doesn't hold back when it comes to making comment. During her time on The Apprentice, she referred to one of the female contestants as "a dog" and wished that another male contestant would get run over by a car. Doesn't sound too bad so far, in my eyes. I like a woman who tells it like it is.

Anyway, the self-styled business operator and social commentator last night did something that the morons everywhere who think Andy Gray was sacked because of sexist comments thought was unacceptable. In truth, he was thrown out following a stitch-up by Rupert Murdoch's minions, (see here and here) but let's not allow the truth to get in the way of a good story, eh?

Asked about the subject, she said:

"I think Sky Sports has completely lost its sense of humour. I think as a nation potentially, we have lost our collective sense of humour. I think people like Karren Brady, who have appointed herself patron saint of all things equal, does not speak on behalf of all of the sisterhood. I think women actually don't want equal treatment, they couldn't handle it if they got it, quite a number of them. It's a tough world out there."

Can you hear that noise in the background? People complaining because the truth hurts, that's what I can hear. This is good. What else you got, Katie?

"What a lot of women are actually asking for - and you can look aghast at this - is special treatment. If you look at all female shortlists for positions, is that equal treatment or is that special treatment? I think what women need to realise is that you have to toughen up, we can't ask for equal pay, you have to be paid on performance and the results you deliver. It's a tough world out there and I don't think Karren Brady or any others are doing us any favours by putting this sort of debate out there. I think we have to just compete in what is a tough world.

And finally, I think the art of banter is something we should be proud of as a nation. I worked for a while in the military and our forces, the best in the world, in my opinion, they survive in banter. I think we need to keep that, we need to look after it. Do we want a world which is completely void of colour? Do we want everything to be magnolia? No we don't. I think we need banter and I think those poor guys really died on their swords and have been stabbed in the back by people like Karren Brady.".

Suddenly, I have a lot more respect for Hopkins. None of the other voices around the table were able to counter the argument at all, though in fairness, they didn't even try. Labour MP Chuka Umunna's best effort - the laughable claim that Gray's comments don't have a place in society - was utter arse-gravy. Go to any workplace in the country and you'll hear comments like this. The difference is most women know how to deal with it. One or two jokes back at the men usually shuts us up, not that a humourless droid like Umunna would know, of course. Will Self has always been a boring, tedious cunt and Chris Huhne isn't worth the time of day either, so doubtless they said much the same.

All I can say, though, about Edwina Currie is that this is the woman who had an affair with John Major. And that she's almost certainly being a fucking hypocrite of the highest order. Did you object when a certain John Major was making banter in your direction when he fancied a Currie, Edwina?

No, thought not.

About THAT premiership footballer's orgy

Your Reaper notices that two more footballers have been caught being naughty boys. As ever in these cases, we're not allowed to know, although this is NOT the same person as I was referring to in this post, which remains rather popular with the search engines. Therefore, this footballer shall be referred to as Mr S.

According to the account from The Sun, Mr S is "a star Premier League footballer [who] has been caught on video taking part in an orgy with two brunettes and an international team-mate". Mr S happens to play for the same team as Mr M, whereas the international team-mate plays abroad. It appears that the two men take turns to have sex with a brunette and 47 minutes of footage from the bonkathon was taken on a mobile phone.

Lovely stuff, as I'm sure you'll agree. And now for the obligatory appearance of Teh Injunction Kitteh...

Thank you very much, Miss Kitteh.

Anyway, much like the last time, the pattern of events here is similar enough. I can't quite establish from The Sun's report whether there's an injunction in place over this or not, but the fact the players in question cannot be named for legal reasons implies that there is. Therefore, your Reaper has to remind his reader that there are very stringent libel laws in this country and that I don't want to risk either publishing the wrong names, or breaking any contempt of court laws.

So I won't be publishing any names here and no one else will either. There is one sporting forum with a fairly prominent thread for those trying to guess the names, so head over there if you want. One Google search is all it takes.
Now, I have no problem with these footballers deciding to randomly shag a brunette outside of their working hours. I don't pay their enormous wages, so what they spend their money on is entirely a matter for them. However, yet again, I find myself asking - why on earth do they film these things? Footage of such events has got out time and time again, so why take the risk of it happening to you? If there's no evidence that the orgy took place, there's a lot less for any tabloid newspaper journalist on the look-out for a story to go on, meaning the chance of details about your private life emerging are reduced.

Do no privacy lawyers out there understand that point?
Or do they prefer the current state of play, which means they make a lot more money from going to court to obtain injunctions? It makes me wonder...

A conundrum for my reader

In March 2010, Gordon Brown said the following to the Chilcot Inquiry:

"At any point, commanders were able to ask for equipment that they needed and I know of no occasion when they were turned down."

Yesterday, Admiral Lord Boyce said the following to the Chilcot Inquiry:

"I know [Blair] says that [you can have whatever equipment you want] but actually getting it delivered is quite a different matter altogether. Particularly on the money side. 'Don't worry, you can have everything you want. Go and see the chancellor.' Brick wall there."

Which one is lying?

PMQs, the economy and a dose of arrogance

This may well surprise the people who read this blog, but your Reaper doesn't keep as close an eye on politics as a lot of other bloggers. Whereas many of them absolutely love the likes of Prime Minister's Questions, I generally don't give a shit. I don't watch it, and I rarely have done in the past. The main reason is the event doesn't hold the Prime Minister to account like it's supposed to. It's basically just the PM being asked a series of planted questions allowing him to boast about how brilliant his government is, alongside the odd critical question.

Worst still is the downright hypocrisy of the current PM who is questioned every Wednesday whilst the Commons is sitting at noon. Whilst in opposition, Cameron used to rightly complain that Brown never answered the question that was put to him and just went on to reel off meaningless, often untrue tractor statistics to bamboozle his opponent. From what I've seen, Cameron never answers the question put to him either, so until that changes, I won't be wasting my time tuning in.

It's taken me a while, therefore, to spot what Ed said to Dave at PMQs on Wednesday. The previous day, statistics had emerged of the economy shrinking during the month of December, and Miliband seized on this, claiming that the deficit reduction plan - the one that's yet to be put into force, remember - is "hurting, but it's not working". He's also claimed that Cameron should "put his arrogance aside" and admit that government cuts - the same ones that are yet to be implemented - are failing to secure growth in the economy.

Well, Ed is undoubtedly right when he points to David Cameron being an arrogant bastard. One has to remember at all times when looking at Call Me Dave that this is the man who models himself on Tony Blair. He may well have said since that he regrets using the phrase "heir to Blair", but I suspect that's only because it's closer to the truth than he would like to admit. Like Blair, Cameron is an incredibly arrogant man who is always convinced that he is right. However, the charge - for the moment - is mostly unfair. The Government has inherited a massive deficit and that needs to be dealt with. We cannot keep piling up the debts, otherwise the country will eventually go bankrupt. Ed doesn't see that, and neither does his new chancellor.

Mind you, I can't help but think there may be something in this claim that the only idea the Government has got is simply to slash its own spending, and that there is no focus on creating jobs. What we need is to create more work in the private sector. Far too many people work in the public sector, so the new jobs do not need to be in there. All the Government can do is make it as easy as possible to create new jobs. Make it as easy as possible to hire people. Reduce the amount of paperwork and bureaucracy involved in taking on new workers. Reduce taxes all round, as that will benefit everyone. Business gets to keep more of its money, workers get to keep more of their money. Government also benefits in the long-term, as those people have more money to spend.

The only thing I'd have an issue with was if the minimum wage was tampered with. Libertarians generally believe that there should be no restrictions on wages and that the minimum wage is an artifical barrier which prices certain people out of the workplace. I can understand that argument, but this is my main problem. If the minimum wage was scrapped, you would almost certainly find some people being paid a lot less afterwards. Is £2 per hour really an acceptable wage to give someone? I'd find it very hard to defend that.

Answers, please, in the comments section.

They've been stupid, but now leave them alone

Your Reaper has been reading up about the latest on Peter and Hazelmary Bull. In case the names don't sound familiar, let me remind you. In September 2008, Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who are gay and in a civil partnership, tried to book a room at the Bull's hotel in Cornwall. They refused to allow them to stay there. Hall and Preddy sued, and won £1,800 in damages each from the bigoted old pair. Writing at the time, I said that the judgement was essentially correct, but that the law in question was unnecessary.

As ever in the age of teh interwebz, nothing can be done quietly. Some people clearly can't just say "okay, they've been tried in court and found to have broken the law, now let's just leave them alone to get on with their lives", oh no. Righteous cunts everywhere still feel the need to take offence on behalf of everyone else, so the couple must continue to suffer. Nothing short of a Damascean conversion will do for this lot. If Peter and Hazelmary Bull announced they were renouncing Christianity and said that they were both closet homosexuals, there would still be nutters out there who weren't happy and demanded more be done.

The couple claim to have received numerous abusive phone calls since the judgement, something which is grossly inappropriate. They have also been subject to false reviews being posted on the influential TripAdvisor website. Yes, the couple's attitude towards homosexuality is highly questionable - I certainly wouldn't consider their actions to be very Christian in their nature. However, they've made a mistake and they've now got to live with that. There's no need to try and destroy the couple and their business in the process. The Bulls may well be considered a pair of nasty old bigots, but those people who are engaged in such disgusting activity against them are the real bigots on this occasion.

Oh yes, and where is gay rights organisation Stonewall amidst all this? After the trial, you couldn't hear anyone over the deafening noises they were making. Now that this couple are getting vicious abuse, I'm still waiting to hear them condemn this outright. If the story had only just emerged an hour or two ago, that might be understandable. However, this has been in the news for almost three days and they still haven't spoken out. Why not?

To the haters who seem determined to destroy the couple, leave them alone to get on with their lives in peace. Seriously. You're doing yourselves no favours and you're definitely not helping to improve the image of the power-hungry gay rights brigade.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Gerry Adams. Now he's an MP, now he isn't an MP.

Nobody quite know whether Gerry Adams is still a Member of Parliament tonight or not. He insists that he isn't, but depending on who you ask in Parliament, he might still be the MP for West Belfast, but he might also not be the MP for West Belfast. Call Me Dave yesterday said he'd accepted a Crown title, before being forced to admit that he hadn't, and having to say sorry to Gerry Adams in the process.

The Squeaker John Bercow is now saying that he HAS accepted such an honour, even though Gerry Adams insists he hasn't, though Bercow hasn't said sorry to Gerry Adams for this.

Am I the only one who's struggling to keep up with this?

Apparently, an MP cannot simply resign from their post. According to antique rules in the Commons, they have to accept a crown office in order to be "disqualified" from being an MP. The only other way to get rid of an MP is to vote them out at a general election. In other words, their jobs are completely safe for 4 or 5 years or until the next election.

Which makes me wonder about one Eric Illsley. Yes, the very same Illsley who is a sitting MP and also one who's due to be sent to prison for claiming false expenses. If he gets a sentence of less than 12 months, he gets to remain an MP. However, he's said he's going to resign as an MP before going into jail. Except under these rules, he CAN'T resign. Meaning that, under the very same rules, he has to be given a crown office before being locked up.

Am I interpreting that right? And if I am, isn't this an utterly mad state of affairs?

George Osborne "considered" to be a fucking idiot

Apologies for the lack of blogging today. Your Reaper has had a number of other matters to deal with, as I'm sure his reader can understand. Anyway, let's try and get something written down here. I notice that the phone-hacking scandal is rumbling on loudly, but I'll start by asking a somewhat impertinent question.

Why exactly is the fact that George Osborne is considering cancelling the fuel duty increase forthcoming in April being treated as real news?

I'm linking to the Beeb's report here, but several other media sources are guilty of it. The Budget isn't due until March 23rd this year, but already, Gideon is telling us that "We can over-ride it. We are looking at that.". However, that's precisely all it is. Simply LOOKING into it. And I'm not convinced that George was saying that from a position of sincerity either. Chances are that this increase will go ahead exactly as planned. The pressures on the public purse will no doubt be cited as the reason why we should continue to be ripped off every time that we have to fill up our cars.

Politics. Changing things, and always for the negative.
* Picture borrowed from the Daily Mirror's website.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Back To Teh Old Skool - 5 tracks from 2005

The first installment of this series was last Saturday and it seems to have gone down well amongst some of my readership, some of whom appeared to be rather drunk on the night in question. Well, why not, eh? Here's another five tunes from the archives of dance music hand-picked by your Grim Reaper. Everyone might be a bit more sober this time round. This time, we're going back to 2005.

1. Freemasons Feat. Amanda Wilson - Love On My Mind (King Unique Remix)
Your Reaper first heard this one in late summer 2004 on a mix set he'd downloaded from somewhere or other. The mix itself wasn't much, to be honest, but the first white label version of this was on it. It sampled "This Time Baby" by Jackie Moore, meaning the track had to be re-recorded before being released on Loaded Records the following year. Freemasons consists of Russell Small, who was one half of Phats & Small of "Turn Around" fame, and James Wiltshire, who'd previously been part of Chris & James in the 1990s, so it's no wonder they knew how to create a hit. I'm opting for the King Unique Remix here, a bit different to all the others.

2. Supafly vs. Fishbowl - Let's Get Down (Warren Clarke Main Mix)
The Full Intention mix of this one was the version that got all the attention at the time of release. Supafly Inc are a DJ duo consisting of Panos Liassi and Andrew Tumi and I have no idea who Fishbowl are. Back in 2005, your Reaper was working in a shop. It was a Saturday night and we had closed up for the night. I was responsible for mopping up after closing, something which was made considerably more enjoyable by hearing this remix booming out of the hi-fi.

3. D.O.N.S. Feat. Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam (Kurd Maverick Crowd Is Jumping Remix)
Technotronic's original "Pump Up The Jam" came out in 1989 and has been reworked countless times since. Only last year, a new version emerged from Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and 1996 saw remixes of this from Sequential One, Tin Tin Out and Dancing Divaz. Kurd Maverick's rework of this from 2005 was hugely in-demand from the moment the first white labels started turning up. It takes a little while for this one to get going, but it's worth the wait.

4. Kaskade - Steppin' Out (Soul Avengerz Club Mix)
If your Reaper had to describe this tune in just one word, that word would have to be hypnotic. This one seems to have just pulled me in at the very first listen. Kaskade is a DJ called Ryan Raddon and has been around for about 10 years now. Soul Avengerz are Paul Gardner & Wayne O'Connell, and they remixed this one. The vocals are by Bret Garner - why that isn't publicised with a voice this good, God only knows.

5. Poker Pets Feat. Nate James - Lovin' You (Raul Rincon Remix)
This was a quirky little number from a few years ago, sampling "Tiger Baby" by Silver Convention. It was bound to be picked up by one of the majors and indeed, Positiva signed and released it. Raul Rincon's mix is probably my favourite of the lot, though ATFC's came close. Enjoy!

The phone-hacking stuff - just sort it!

Just what IS going on inside the Murdoch empire tonight? Frankly, it's absolutely baffling trying to make sense of it all.

First of all, let's deal with the more minor matter of Richard Keys resigning from Sky Sports this afternoon. I'm being seen as a tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorist by no lesser a source than the Daily Mail, so perhaps I should just assume that Keys has also been thrown out in order to ensure that conspiracy theorists like myself who are saying that Murdoch's minions engineered the sacking of Andy Gray are able to be exposed as the conspiracy theorists that we are. Yep.

It's very curious, however, that Keys was told by Sky he wasn't being allowed to apologise on the air. It only gives more ammunition to persons such as myself who think that there's something very odd going on here. However, by far the bigger issue right now is the news that Scotland Yard has re-opened its investigation into phone-hacking at the News of the World. The reason is that the newspaper themselves have handed "significant new information" on the matter to the police. The other development in the scandal is that Ian Edmondson, the newspaper's assistant editor of news has been sacked. This is following the NotW's own internal investigation into this same scandal. Once again, the fact that media mogul Rupert Murdoch himself is currently in London is no coincidence.

These allegations have been doing the rounds for the best part of two-and-a-half years now. For all that time, the News of the World has stuck to the line that it was solely the work of one rogue reporter at the paper. Mysteriously, the line has now changed. I detect that the hands of lawyers are all over this one, and not just those at the tabloid. There are countless celebrities attempting to sue them on the grounds they suspect they've had their calls hacked into, and altogether, it's an almighty bloody mess. Perhaps Murdoch himself has only started banging heads together now and that the organisation has had a confused and divided approach to the issue so far. It's entirely possible some people simply weren't taking these allegations very seriously. We don't know, though - News International are saying next to nothing about this.

Suggestions are also doing the rounds that this scandal could be more widespread than at one paper. Your Reaper thinks this is likely enough, hence why the rest of the media are generally being very careful how much they say about this. Either way, this is a scandal which needs to be resolved quickly. We need to find out just how much of this has gone on, once and for all. By holding out for so long, not only have the News of the World done immense damage to its own reputation - something that will be difficult for such a proud paper to handle - but they've also heavily eroded trust in the rest of the press, which people already struggle to trust.

Ultimately, a media that is widely regarded as untrustworthy is going to be incredibly damaging for our democracy. There's no point pretending that bloggers such as myself would be able to do their job for them and that they're redundant in this day and age. This argument is simply nonsense. Big media organisations have the resources and money necessary to invest in journalism and root out the truth. They also have the resources available to defend themselves from litigious lawyers when things go wrong. Bloggers simply don't have that. Which is why, as much as we may loathe the MSM sometimes, we need them. And we need to be able to trust them. Sort it out.

Isn't that Paul Dacre a lovely, lovely man?

Before everyone starts wondering whether your Reaper is losing it in his young age, allow me to elaborate. Yesterday, I wrote a post called "Rupert Murdoch, phone-tapping and revenge against Gray?", which you can read HERE if you'd want. I generally pay little attention to my blog statistics, but I had a quick look this afternoon out of curiousity. I was absolutely astonished by what I saw. At the time of writing, that post has got roughly 20 times as many readers in the last 24 hours than anything else, according to Blogger's own statistics. Google Analytics didn't provide quite the same numbers, but it was definitely getting a huge number of hits, and far more than any other post.

Surprised, and slightly startled by this, I decided to try and find out what was going on. I was getting a number of hits from the search term "rupert murdoch, phone-tapping and revenge against gray" on Google, and couldn't understand why. When I typed it in, my blog is the first thing to come up. After searching the first couple of posts, I discovered this:

It's taken from HERE. Someone from the Daily Mail has been sniffing around my blog.

I'm not sure whether I should be pleased or whether I should just feel dirty.

Still, I now think this is a conspiracy. Where's my tin foil hat?

So there WILL be a new Downing Street cat...

A few days ago, your Reaper got much amusement from blogging about the rats spotted in Downing Street. On Monday, David Cameron was insisting that there were no plans whatsoever to buy a cat in order to deal with this problem. Less than 24 hours later however, he'd changed his mind on the matter, although the spokesweasel insisted that "We have not yet been to Battersea cats and dogs home". How wonderful it is to have such a decisive Prime Minister on the big issues of the day.

There have been at least three Downing Street cats in the past. The most recent was Sybil, a cat who moved from Ediburgh with the then Chancellor Alistair Darling, who died in July 2009. She didn't settle very well, and ended up going back to Scotland. It's also claimed that Gordon Brown didn't like her, though it would be entirely understandable if the cat didn't want to be in the same company as the one-eyed Scottish idiot. Between 1973 and 1987, the original Downing Street cat served, called Wilberforce. He served under four different Prime Ministers in his time and once made a guest appearance on the BBC's Election night coverage of the 1983 General Election.

Probably the most famous cat, however, was Humphrey. the moggy who served from 1989 to 1997. According to documents disclosed under the Freedom of Information act, Humphrey only cost the public purse £100 per year. Isn't it typical that the most useful government employee happens to earn the least? It tells you a thing or two about the world we live in that Humphrey, Sybil and the original moggy that was Wilberforce have their own Wikipedia pages.

Presumably, it'll be Nick Clegg who's sent out to look for a suitable cat, although how any feline would react to the prospect of having to go home with a greasy snake is anyone's guess.

Still, the cat will have a great life. Before you know it, a trade union out there will want to sign up the moggy, and campaign for it to have better working conditions and nicer food each day. They'll also demand that Downing Street's newest employee will have the best bed in the house. It'll most probably have its own Facebook page, its own prominent space on the Number 10 website and its own Twitter feed. It's also destined to become one of most legendary cats that Teh Interwebz will have ever known.

Unfortunately, there are downsides to a cat coming along in this day and age. If the cat is receiving bonuses each year and failing to reach government-imposed targets on the number of mice it must catch each year, we'll soon see Sunny Hundal complaining that light-touch regulation of the cat isn't working and that we need to be tougher on the cat. The cat will also have to endure endless speculation on the Guido Fawkes website that the cat is secretly gay. A quango will probably be set up to keep an eye on the activities of the cat. A quango will probably then be set up to keep an eye on the activities of the quango that keeps an eye on the activities of the cat.

Come to think of it, the cat that accepts this job could well end up being the cat that didn't get the cream.

Why thieving Lords should NOT be jailed

On January 11th this year, your Reaper wrote about why he believed jailing thieving MPs was not a good idea. I cited the cases of David Chaytor - the man now doing 18 months at Her Majesty's Pleasure after admitting to claiming false parliamentary expenses, and Eric Illsley is due to be jailed after he admitted falsely claiming more than £14,000 of our money. Incidentally, you might wish to know that Illsley is still an MP and will remain so provided he doesn't resign or his imminent prison sentence is less than 12 months long. Curiously though, he makes no mention of his latest troubles on his website. I wonder why.

Now, Illsley and Chaytor have got more company coming to join them, in the form of Lord Taylor of Warwick. He's been convicted in Southwark Crown Court of swindling taxpayers out of £11,000 in false claims. And once again, I find myself thinking that I don't believe he should be jailed. Despite the fact he hasn't paid back a penny. Before the 1-star ratings and comment abuse come along, I had better explain myself.

To do so, I shall quote from my previous post, the original of which you can see here, with one or two minor tweaks to the text:

"At this point, you're either going to have spat out a load of coffee right over your keyboards in disgust at my statement, or you might be inclined to believe that Polly Toynbee has kidnapped The Grim Reaper and tied me up. She will now be writing this entry on my behalf whilst George Moonbat and Charlie Brooker now pour petrol around me whilst both doing a strange voodoo dance. But neither of those is true. Allow me to explain what my objections to a prison sentence for any [thieving Lords] are.

I don't doubt the seriousness of the offences. Conning the taxpayers out of their own money is a crime which must be punished. There's no doubt about that, and I happen to think several other [Lords] should be hauled before the courts to explain themselves... However, I think that in the circumstances, a prison sentence just doesn't fully convey the true level of anger that the public feel towards these criminals. I think that ultimately, they're being let off easy. They can go into prison for a year, two years or however much time they end up getting and then they can quietly come out afterwards to re-build their lives, having learnt precisely nothing about what they did wrong.

So I'm going to suggest an alternative. This is a solution which would free up room in our prisons and would also be much cheaper. It's quite expensive keeping people at Her Majesty's pleasure, after all. This solution would also allow work to be done and would show to the public beyond doubt that the people in question were being punished. My solution is that they should quite simply have to do hard labour. Breaking rocks, helping out with community projects, building work, that sort of thing.

And lots and lots of it. Every pound stolen should be worth one hour of hard labour, I believe. The likes of [Taylor] could, under my scheme, be liable to have to do over 11,000 hours of hard labour. This will not only allow the public to see that they are being punished - and also complete the humiliation of the disgraced - but it would also force them to put something back into the society which they have taken so much out of. I think it's a brilliant solution, though I say so myself."

Oh, and they can also re-pay all the money they've stolen as well as doing the hard labour. Once all that has been complete, I'll leave them alone and let them get on with the rest of their lives in peace.