Archive for May, 2008

Well I’ll be damned!

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Originally uploaded by
ANZ Cluster Munition Coalition

Ministry of Defence, which wanted to retain two types of cluster munitions in the British armoury, against Downing Street and the Foreign Office, which want to honour Gordon Brown’s pledge last year “to work internationally for a ban” on those weapons that cause unacceptable harm to civilians.

“The types of cluster munitions we intend to retain are legitimate weapons with significant military value which, as a result of mitigating features, is not outweighed by humanitarian factors.”
Defence Secretary Des Browne

However, after hearing evidence from those maimed by the weapons in statement from Downing Street Gordon Brown said:

I am delighted that the negotiations in Dublin have come to a successful conclusion and congratulate the Irish Government and all those involved.

I am confident that this agreement is in line with British interests and values, and makes the world a safer place.

The main producers and users of cluster bombs, the United States, Israel, China, Russia, India and Pakistan, have said they would not support the convention. So, it is unclear what effect it will have once it comes into power.

Hybrid Embryo Research

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008


The Commons overwhelmingly passes the bill allowing for hybrid embryo research(336 to 176). Actually, despite opposition, it looks like it was game set and match for science these last two days, with MPs leaving alone the time limit on abortions (304 votes to 233), and allowing for ‘Saviour siblings’ (342 votes to 163).

A Q&A on the bill can be found on the BBC website which includes information on why scientist say that the research is needed to further understand complex diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Motor Neurone Disease.

With the Reverend Blair out of the way, the leaders of all major UK parties gave their backing to the bill. Predictably the main opposition came from the Catholic church, the main spokesperson in amongst the MPs saying:

“We do not believe that regulation is enough. We believe this is a step too far and therefore should be banned.

“In embryos, we do have the genetic make up of a complete human being and we could not and should not be spliced together with the animal kingdom.”

being a conservative lawyer Edward Leigh is in the perfect position to know.

Rat head by ChinchillaVilla used under a BY-NC Creative Commons License

Cyclone Nargis

Friday, May 16th, 2008

UK aid being unloaded in Rangoon, Burma

Originally uploaded by Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Today is two weeks after Cyclone Nargis hit Burma and the miltary junta are still pissing about over whether aide should be allowed into the country and who should distribute it.

What a bunch of arseholes!

The official death toll for Burma’s cyclone disaster has jumped to almost 78,000 people, with nearly 56,000 missing, according to state TV.

Whilst a small amount of aide is trickling into the country most of it is being taken by the military, hardly any is reaching those affected.

Some Governments are just more wrong than others.

Anyway congratulations to the Burmese Government on being the first winners of the Shit of the Week Award.

Lib Dems pledge to regulate City

Monday, May 12th, 2008

From the BBC:

Liberal Democrat leader “No Shit Sherlock” has pledged to tackle “bad practice” in the City of London as he outlined plans for a better system of regulation.

The current turmoil is due to thieving by the financial institutions, at the moment we are focussing on the write downs that the banks are announcing, but in the end they will mostly recoup these ‘losses’ by selling the repossessed properties. In reality the losers are the poor in the USA who were duped into signing mortgage agreements. This whole fiasco is the largest transfer of equity from African Americans to City Financiers since the ending of slavery.

This isn’t the first time that financial institutions have been caught either. There was miss selling of pensions on the 1980s, miss selling of endowment mortgages in the 1990s, and now these sub-prime mortgages which sounds remarkably like Savings & Loans mk2.

You’ll hear the pundits, politicians, and industry apologists excuse the behaviour, they’ll tell you that no one could have foreseen it, and that extra regulation isn’t the answer. Well may be it isn’t, what we should do is pick ten or twenty of the leading bankers and chop their thieving fucking hands off.

No jabs, no school says Labour MP

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Children who have not received all their vaccinations should not be allowed to start school, a Labour MP has suggested.

Speaking in the left-wing Fabian Society magazine, Mary Creagh said the move would increase the uptake of the controversial MMR vaccine.

In the same article however Dr Hamish Meldrum British Medical Association chairman, said “A Stalinist approach like this would be likely to backfire on an unprecedented scale and increase opposition to vaccinations”.

Unfortunately he may be right. These anti-vaccine groups like creationists will stop at nothing to promulgate their ignorance of science. Any whiff of compulsion about vaccinations will only give rise to accusations of conspiracy.

These people need to be confronted wherever they appear and given a good slap. A good debunking site is The Millenium Project, clicking on the image in this post will take you to more images.

The image itself comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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