Showing posts with label MPs expenses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MPs expenses. Show all posts

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Back to the gravy train: In or In?: Accidental outlaw: The Falcon and the Black widow: Flying cars: and Dundee they ain’t.


Massive amounts of wind and wet stuff at the Castle this morn-and the weather isn’t much better, did the Crimbo shopping yestermorn-one Crimbo dinner in a box, six mince pies and some custard, and I posted all the Crimbo cards-sorted.

There are still plenty of piss poor number crunchers in the study and his Maj thinks he is invisible.





A parliamentary committee is demanding changes to the way MPs' expenses are handled, saying the current independent method was "untenable".
According to the slimy, lying, money grabbing useless gits:
"We believe the status quo is untenable, for the following reasons: the administration of the system does not provide value for money; MPs are being hindered in carrying out their parliamentary duties and deterred from making legitimate claims, to the detriment of their constituents and the democratic process."
Instead they want to go back to the former system of paper receipts which operated at the time of the expenses scandal, with Ipsa official inputting the details into computer systems rather than MPs and their staff doing it.


I like the status quo, even if they can only play two chords....



He ruled out a referendum on British membership of the EU and said that membership brought significant economic and diplomatic benefits. “Britain remains a full member of the European Union,” the Prime Monster told the Commons. “The events of the last week do nothing to change that.”
He said membership was “vital to our national interest”, and the single market helped secure trade, investment and jobs.

Nice one knobhead; trade, investment and jobs are really getting better, and your “decision” made sure that there will be no referendum.


Apparently;


Potential crimes can include defamation in a Tweet or Facebook status, such as accusing someone of something they didn’t do or ruining their reputation without evidence.

Downloading music and movies illegally is another common pitfall while even simply changing the status on Facebook of a friend or family member without their permission is against the law.

The top five areas of concern found by the research were:

1) Uploading copyrighted content such as photos or song lyrics to a personal website or social network with just a 33% average pass rate.
2) Using copyrighted material on blogs (35%)
3) Discussing or publishing details of a super injunction (38%)
4) Defamation of other people through social media (42%)
5) Uploading and downloading of music illegally (44%)


Naughty, naughty.....



Mechanics stripping down a classic car imported from America were startled to find two deadly black widow spiders nesting inside.
One was discovered under the fuel tank while the other was lurking behind the dashboard of the 1964 Ford Falcon.
The car was imported into the UK to Damax, a motorsport company in Bicester, Oxfordshire, last January, but work only started on it last week.
Manager Robin Ward said after they found the first spider they put it in a plastic container before identifying it on the internet.
He admitted: “I had quite a shock when we first suspected it could be a black widow. We continued stripping the car with a great deal of caution, and couldn’t believe it when we found a second spider under the dashboard.” He added: “We would have never found either of the spiders had we not completely stripped the car but we’re certain there are no more.”
 

Yeah right....
 


 Latvian airline airBaltic announced Monday it was branching out into another business, claiming to be the world's first carrier to sell cars during its flights.
From Friday, passengers on all airBaltic flights will be able to buy a Mini Cooper R56 -- provided they have a spare 24,699 Euros ($33,048).
They will be asked to make a 50 euro ($67) down payment while in the air and complete the purchase once they land.


They should be done under the trades description act-it isn’t a Mini Cooper, it’s a bleedin BMW box.
 

And finally:



Two fishermen in far northern Australia are lucky to be alive after a crocodile tried to eat them for dinner.
The 10-foot (three-metre) saltwater croc lunged at the men but could not get at them because spindly mangroves were in the way at the creek on the outskirts of Darwin.
The men clambered up small trees to escape. But one of them slipped and plunged into the water.
Senior Sergeant Greg Pusterla said the angler got out of the creek and back up the tree in record time. One of the men had a cell phone and called police.
Officers raced to the scene and saw the croc lurking nearby. They rang Parks and Wildlife rangers who shot the animal because it was aggressive.


Of course it was aggressive it was a Croc-Darwin Numptys...




And today’s thought:





Angus

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

PFI goes South: No risks with NHS: MPs refunds: Blind faith: King’s Lynn ‘bus’ lane: Hanging out in Essex: and Sandy sculptures.

Decent-ish meteorology at the Castle this morn, sunny, calm but a touch of nippy-ness around the ankles, the kitchen is filling up nicely with broken laptops and desktops, and I hoovered out and dusted the Rover yesterday. Aftermorn I took a walk up the road and down the lane and had a bit of a stroll along what is left of the Roman road past “Caesar’s Camp” didn’t find a horde of gold coins but there were quite a few beer cans and other detritus to take home and put in the “recycling bin”.


A £256m Hampshire hospital which opened 18 months ago has cut 700 jobs and shut wards, the BBC has learned.
The Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham was rebuilt using private finance and opened in July 2009.
The hospital, run by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, confirmed the job losses and the closure of 100 beds.
Finance director Robert Toole admitted the situation was "challenging" but said the hospital was on course to save £29m this financial year.
However the hospital was still likely to be facing a deficit of about £6m in an overall budget of £430m even with the savings.

Never liked the “Private Finance Initiative” now I know why.

Meanwhile:


Has said that the government will not take risks with the NHS in England, PPP Dave joined what’s his name deputy PM and knobhead Andrew Lansley to try to present a united front amid widespread criticism.
Speaking at -Grimly Dark (Frimley Park), hospital PPP Dave said change was necessary because of rising demands on the health service from factors such as the ageing population.
He added: "I'm in politics not to take risks with the NHS but to safeguard and improve the NHS for today and future generations.

And sacking Nurses and closing wards is going to do that, while the vastly overpaid, under worked “senior management” keep their jobs and pensions?


Above is a snippet of the Money taken out of the NHS by the Frimley Park “management” last year, click on the photo for a better look.


And:



From the Torygraph-The particular expense for which they received a refund is given where known
Roger Berry £635.25 refund for furniture
Chris Bryant £1,303.74 for mortgage and water rates
Sir John Butterfill £15,114.30 for servants’ quarters
Liam Byrne £1,349.41 for mobile phone and rent
Jon Cruddas £319.94
John Cummings £2,727.06 for cleaning
Paul Flynn £440.87 for life insurance
Cheryl Gillan £4.47 for dog food
Geoff Hoon £245.47 for TV licence and insurance
Stewart Jackson £876 for maintenance
Sally Keeble £3737.74 for mortgage overpayments
Alan Keen £976.85 for claiming for second home which was uninhabitable while repairs being carried out
Ann Keen £976.86 for claiming for second home which was uninhabitable while repairs being carried out
Andrew Lansley £138.80 for repairs and decorations to Tudor cottage shortly before selling.
Rob Marris £3,283.39
Christine McCafferty £2,086.75 for mortgage overpayments and fitted wardrobe
William McCrea £878.79 for furniture
Bill Olner £660.97 for cleaning
Lembit Opik £40 for court summons for late payment of council tax
Baroness Quin £1,504 for repair of broken shower
John Reid £4,604.63 for “overlapping” claims between renting and leasing properties
Iris Robinson £299.83
Jim Sheriden £379.41
Joan Walley £1,303 for furniture
Wayne David £189.98
Richard Younger-Ross £3,170.92 for furniture

I give up.


A blind man set a new world distance record for an hour’s blindfolded water skiing at the weekend... but still stuck to the rules and covered his eyes.

Steve Thiele, 45, blinded in an accident at eight, smashed the old 20-mile record by 3.85 miles.

Mr Thiele, of Audley, Staffs, achieved the feat off Anglesey for Cancer Research UK and Ghana Outlook and said: “I used to water ski for Britain.”

Bigger gonads than I have.




King’s Lynn council is under fire for spending £1.5 million ($2.5 million) on a bus lane, only for drivers to find it is not wide enough for buses.
Residents of King's Lynn in Norfolk, eastern England, branded the project "farcical" after drivers discovered they have to navigate the route at walking pace because it is so narrow, Lynn News reported.
The road has not been used since it was unveiled earlier this month because the drivers will need special training to use it, and there is no one available to train them.
Brian Lake, 63, cycles along the route each morning. He said, "It's a farce. It took a driver and someone standing in the foot well to see the driver through the pinch point on the trial run. There are tyre marks on the kerb where it has squeezed through."
The Norfolk County Council project engineer behind the venture, Quentin Brogdale, apologised for the state of the road. He reasoned that the project had to be finished this month or there was a risk the government could retract funding for it.

Norfolk Numpty.




Shoppers turned heads at an Essex shopping centre by turning up wearing only their undies and high heels.
The promotion at the Lakeside Shopping Centre, in Thurrock, was staged to launch the centre's spring fashion range.
The first 100 girls who turned up wearing only their underwear and a pair of high heels won a £100 gift card.
All entrants had to be over the age of 18 and had to have their photo taken as part of Lakeside's 'flash of fashion'.
The shopping centre promised entrants the chance to arrive in their underwear and "leave fully clothed in a fabulous new look for the new season".


I did think about attending as I need a new suit but decided discretion was the better part of not scaring the horses.


And finally:



Ten sand artists have spent days carving and shaping maritime-themed sculptures for the inaugural Sandworld event in Weymouth which opens to the public later this month.








Clever.


And today’s thought: With computers, every morning is the dawn of a new error.


Angus

Friday, 25 March 2011

Up MP’s expenses: Taking the piss in the EU: Electric gonads: MG-42 in the post: Hazardous children: Insurance rip-off: and Artificial clouds.

Bright, sunny and warm-ish at the Castle this morn, the kitchen is filling up with non-computers which are apparently “only asleep”, the garden has gone berserk and things are growing at a rate of knots and the butler is out feeding the excess fat teenagers to the crocs in the moat.

Engineers have managed to rig power cables to all six reactors at the Fukushima complex, and restarted a water pump that will help reverse the overheating that triggered the world's worst nuclear crisis in 25 years.
Better late than never…..

It seems that NATO has agreed to take command of enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya from the US.
But Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen made clear that other aspects of the operation would remain in the hands of the current coalition for now.

Nice to get an agreement on who kills who…..



More MPs will be able to claim extra expenses for children and accommodation under relaxed rules launched today.
Changes to the scheme, introduced last year, follow MPs' complaints that it was too bureaucratic and "anti-family".
An extra 31 "commuter belt" MPs will be able to claim for hotels or rent, and those with children up to 18 will be able to claim extra for travel.
It could add "a few million" to the bill but expenses boss Sir Ian Kennedy said £18m had been saved already.
Sir Ian, chairman of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), also said the new system had also come in £30m under its projected budget and had "put an end to the expenses scandal that shocked us so much in 2009".
It means an extra 31 MPs, representing seats in Guildford, Milton Keynes, among others, will be able to request the allowance - up to a maximum of £19,900 a year for those claiming London rent.
Currently MPs with children up to the age of five can claim an extra £2,425 per child for accommodation - and could claim for up to 30 journeys they make between London and the constituency.
Under the revised scheme, they will be able to make the same claims for children aged up to 16 - or 18 if they are in full time education - and for journeys by spouses or partners accompanying the child.
MPs' staffing budget will increase from a maximum of £109,548 to £115,000.


Yeah right……hands up all those whose employer pays to take your kids to London…..


A disgraced former Tory MEP faces criminal charges unless he pays back over £345,000 in "misused" staffing expenses paid to a family company in a European Union case that has dwarfed similar Westminster scandals.
Den Dover was the Conservative European whip until a scandal over his use of expenses emerged from an investigation in The Daily Telegraph three years ago.
He was expelled from the Tories in Nov 2008 after the European Parliament attempted to recover money that should have funded staff salaries but instead had been put towards family expenses.
Mr Dover, 72, stepped down as an MEP in May 2009 and remains entitled to two publicly funded pensions worth over £35,000 a year for a decade of service in the EU assembly.
After refusing to pay back the money and a two year legal battle, EU judges on Thursday ruled that the European Parliament was right to act over Mr Dover's "significant and serious misuse" of expenses.
The former North West Conservative MEP now faces an investigation by Olaf, the EU's anti-fraud agency and calls for him to be arrested by British police.

When is the referendum on Blighty and the EU?



According to a new lawsuit filed by an officer in the tiny U.S.-Mexican border town of Nogales, Arizona, on Feb. 8, 2010, Sgt. Sergio Bon allegedly pushed a clipboard at Pedro Molera. When Molera placed the clipboard on Bon's desk, Bon allegedly unholstered his Taser and pointed it at Molera.
According to a report in the Arizona Daily Star, Molera responded "Are you going to use it? Go ahead." At that point, Bon is said to have placed the Taser on Molera's penis, over top of his clothes, and squeezed the trigger for up to two seconds.
Molera said that there was excessive redness following the electric shock and went home in emotional distress.
Bon, an 18-year-veteran, has resigned as a result of the allegations. Molera is seeking unspecified damages from Bon and the police department for a lack of training of superior officers and for failing to take appropriate training and supervision measures.
Jeffrey Kirkham, the town's chief of police, told the Arizona Daily Star that Bon likely would have been fired had he not resigned.

Be careful what you ask for……



Lithuanian customs and postal officials say they have found a fully functional machine gun dating from World War II, complete with ammunition, in a package at Vilnius International Airport.
Officials said Tuesday that the German-made MG-42 machine gun was found after scanning a suspicious 20-kg package posted in Lithuania and bound for Germany. Customs spokeswoman Asta Mikeleviciute says it was the first time that authorities had ever uncovered such a parcel and an investigation has been launched.
No evacuation of the capital's airport was ordered, but authorities were placed on alert. More than 65 years after the war, Lithuania and other East European countries continue to uncover large amounts of weaponry and unexploded ordnance.
And I thought I was a bit of a hoarder.




An Australian town has declared war on sidewalk chalk. At first, the town's council called it a violation of municipal graffiti laws, but then declared the children who use the chalk are safety hazards.
In what some residents are calling a bureaucracy gone mad, children in Whitehorse, Australia, are being told to put down the sidewalk chalk.
"The children burst into tears when we told them," one cafe owner told the Daily Herald newspaper. "A council inspector visited us and said there had been a complaint and we had to stop."
The council says sidewalk chalk is a violation of the state graffiti laws.
The other option, according to local officials, would be to issue a permit that would allow the students to play with sidewalk chalk.
But that's apparently out of the question, too.


"The mayor told us they would like to issue us a permit but can't because it raises health and safety issues, in case somebody fell over a child on the footpath or into the street," the cafe owner said.
Anger in the town is now mounting and more than 200 people have signed a petition to let the children play with sidewalk chalk.

Chalky Elfandsafety Jobsworths.



Teenager Jake Redshaw thought he’d pay a bit over the odds to get his second-hand motor insured fully comp.

But his hopes of getting mobile came to a screeching halt when he was quoted nearly £33,000 to cover his £3,000 pride and joy.

Jake, 17, bought a six-year-old Vauxhall Corsa after passing his test this month and expected to have to pay a couple of thousand pounds.

But he was stunned when the AA quoted him £32,819 on price comparison site Confused.com.

The second most expensive was £21,000, while the cheapest fully-comprehensive quote was almost £6,000 – twice the car’s value. Jake, of Eccles, Greater Manchester, said: “It’s not as if I was trying to insure a high-powered sports car. I was gob smacked. I thought passing my test would be the hardest part about getting my own wheels.

The AA said premiums rose by 33% last year, the biggest leap ever, and by 58% for young drivers.

An AA spokesman apologised and said: “The quote is clearly ridiculous and should not have happened.”
He added: “Some insurers quote very high premiums because they don’t want the business.”

So know we know, they make it up as they go along.

And finally:




Scientists at Qatar University claim to have developed artificial clouds to provide shade for stadia and training grounds at the 2022 World Cup.
The fierce summer heat in the Gulf has led to concerns about conditions for players and fans at the tournament.
Temperatures in June and July can reach up to 50C.
Qatar were announced as hosts in December, and Fifa president Sepp Blatter initially said he expected the 2022 competition to be moved to winter.
But Blatter has since stated that he feels the tournament will go ahead as planned in the summer months.
Qatar plan to air condition their World Cup stadia via solar power and now scientists have designed the 'clouds', which can be produced at a cost of $500,000 (about £310,000) each.
Saud Abdul Ghani, head of the mechanical and industrial engineering department at the university, said the 'clouds' are made from a lightweight carbon structure, and carry a giant envelope of material containing helium gas.

Spiffing idea, cheap at half the price.


And today’s thought: Lead me not into temptation . . . I can find my own way there.

Angus

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Saturday Snippets

Bonking Brits; Bouncing Baby: Camel Cash: Cash Compensation; and No Tongues




Not a good start to the day, the cat managed to miss her dirt tray and crapped on the floor, after I cleaned it up and fed her she decided to show who was boss and threw up in the same place, anyone want an incontinent bulimic cat?









Not a good day for certain MPs either, HM Customs is apparently ‘investigating’ 27 of them.

A spokeswoman said: "Inquiries are an integral part of HMRC's work, ensuring that everyone pays the right tax."

She added: "An inquiry does not necessarily mean that there is a problem. Most inquiries are quickly closed".

But, just to help them out Here is a link they can use.

I’m tired of all this aren’t you?










And the CWU General secretary Bill Hayes is hinting that there may be more postal strikes after the two that are planned before Christmas.

Mr Hayes also suggested that he was in a stronger position than former miners' leader Arthur Scargill in the 1980s.

The 24-hour strikes will begin on 22 October. On the first day, mail centre staff and drivers will strike. The next day it will be delivery and collection staff.

Well Bill, it’s not the Gov you need to worry about it’s the public, farting about with OUR mail is guaranteed to turn you and your members into the equivalent of Thatcher the milk snatcher.

But there is some good news:


First up:






Researchers in Holland measured the sexual performance of nearly 500 men from five countries against the clock.

They found that British men had sex for 10 minutes on average before reaching an orgasm.

American men came second with an average performance of eight minutes, followed by the Dutch with a 6.5-minute innings.

Spaniards were fourth, giving their lovers 4.9 minutes of pleasure; while Turks trailed in last, clocking up an average 4.4 minutes.

One man, whose nationality was not identified, lasted just six seconds, the study by experts at Utrecht University in the Netherlands found.

However, another participant in the research put in a 52-minute performance before peaking.

A spokesman told The Sun: "The UK had the longest time. We found no major difference in those who used condoms. But men who drank alcohol before sex tended to last longer."


Keep it up chaps.








From OZ: - A 6-month-old baby had a miracle escape after his pram rolled onto the tracks and into the path of an oncoming train at a railway station in Melbourne.

Security video footage released on Friday shows the baby's mother looking away for a moment as the pram suddenly rolls off the edge of a station platform and onto the tracks at Ashburton station.

The mother looks back and panics as she watches the oncoming train hit the pram, dragging it about 130 feet along the track as the desperate driver tried to stop the train.

Miraculously, the baby boy survived with only minor injuries, including a bump to his head.

"The baby received a bump to his head and was distressed when we arrived. Luckily he was strapped into his pram at the time, which probably saved his life," Mr Wright said.

Michael Ferwerda, the Victoria state police sergeant, called Thursday's incident a "lucky escape" and said people should be cautious in train stations.

Maybe making the platform level might help.








The owner of a camel that was a beauty pageant contestant has demanded £160,000 in compensation from a Saudi Arabian oil company over the animal's death, according to reports.

The three-year-old black camel was grazing in a desert pasture about 150 miles west of Ahsa when it fell into a large hole dug to store crude oil.

Now the owner, Abdullah al-Saiari, is suing the oil giant Saudi Aramco for £160,000 in compensation for his prized camel.

Mr Saiari told the Saudi Gazette: "She was part of the Camel Beauty Contest."

The court had already contacted the beauty pageant's administrators to assess the value of the animal. A panel of camel experts set the beast's value at SR1 million, or £160,000.


Whatever floats your boat I suppose.







Dog owner Bruce Goulborn has won £450 compensation after his pet spaniel Benny chewed a parcel containing historic £5 notes which should not have been put through his letterbox.

Mr Goulborn, who should have signed for the package, wasn't in, and it fell into the jaws of his dog after the postman asked a neighbour to sign.

On Thursday, a court ordered Royal Mail to pay Bruce, from Rhyl, £450 compensation as the damaged notes are now only worth £350.

Last night the collector said Benny, 11, "thought it was his birthday" when he sunk his teeth into the parcel "like a chew toy".

The dog's teeth pierced two pristine 1937 white fivers from the Liverpool branch of the Bank of England which were being returned to him by a client who had paid for the registered delivery, Rhyl county court heard.

Royal Mail promise to cover losses under their special delivery services, but they argued Mr Goulborn could not "adequately prove" how much he paid for the notes.

But he produced a handwritten invoice showing the customer had stumped up £800, which he'd later refunded - leaving him out of pocket.

The postal service said compensation is based on actual loss - the amount it costs to acquire, purchase or manufacture the item, and not what it is worth at retail price.

Special deliveries are meant to be signed for only by the household the package is intended for. If the addressee isn't home, a card should be posted through the door saying they can collect it from a sorting office.

Awarding Mr Goulborn £450 compensation and £95 costs yesterday, district judge John Thomas said it was an "unusual scenario."

"Mr Goulborn is experienced in this field and has proved himself a credible and honest witness.

"This is an issue of fairness and Royal Mail do have a compensation scheme in place for customers who have problems with loss or damage to mail.

A Royal Mail spokesman said: "We will now have to consider the court judgement and respond accordingly.

"However, Royal Mail's position on payment of compensation for lost items remains unchanged and is based on actual loss."


Well done Royal Mail.




And finally:







The coach of the Bosnia-Herzegovina national football team has ordered players to kiss each other on the lips in order to create a special bond between team mates.

Miroslav Ciro Blazevic - who has Portsmouth star Asmir Begovic in his squad - said: "I take two of my players and tell them, 'Love him! Kiss him!' and he kisses him."

He claimed the unorthodox morale-boosting exercise has already proven successful: Mr Blazevic has taken the squad further than ever before in the World Cup.

“I tell them they have to kiss each other straight to the lips," the coach wrote in his column in Croatian news website net.hr.

"The secret of my success is in a unity of a squad. You can't do anything without an atmosphere in a team," he explained.
His revelation came after Vincenzo Santoruvo, the Italian striker, amazed fans by planting a kiss on a team mate's lips after scoring for Serie B club Frosinone.

Always had my doubts about football.



Angus

AnglishLit

Angus Dei-NHS-THE OTHER SIDE

Angus Dei politico

Sunday, 30 August 2009

The Sunday Section

Baarmy price for sheep, Two screen laptops, intersexuality, “victim” MPs and what is a Numpty?

All change for today, some “proper” news (well sort of), and as I use the word ‘Numpty’ a fair amount I thought you would like to know the definition.

First up:
A sheep has sold for a world record £231,000 at a Scottish livestock auction.

Deveronvale Perfection, right, a Texel breed admired by his new owner for his "great body and strong loin", will be used for breeding.

Experts are predicting the tup, the farming term for an uncastrated sheep, will prove a bargain over the long term for his new owner.

"It comes down to genetics," British Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said on the society's website.

"Breeders are looking at the decades of sheep that this bloodline can produce."

Graham Morrison, the former owner, said the price surpassed his wildest dreams.

Farmer Jimmy Douglas, from Cairness, Scotland, who forked out the record amount, was quoted as saying Perfection was the best he had ever seen, with great strength and an "incredibly chunky stature".

The price achieved at the sale at Lanark market surprised onlookers, "but when breeders see the 'perfect' ram, they will stop at nothing", Yates said.


Who said farmers were poor nowadays.
The pioneering PC, known as the Spacebook, is the brainchild of Alaska-based technology firm gScreen.

While growing numbers of office workers – especially in the financial industries – use several desktop monitors to track many programmes and information sources at the same time, no manufacturer has yet released a portable equivalent.

The gScreen Spacebook will boast two 15.4 in screens which can slide away to fill the space of a single screen when the laptop is being stored or transported.

The first photos of the pioneering gadget have been obtained by Gizmodo, the US technology website.

Gordon Stewart, the founder of gScreen, told the website that the first Spacebooks should be available on Amazon by December this year, once final modifications are complete.

"We designed this knowing that many may not need the extra screen at all times," he said.

The dual-screen laptop is aimed at professional video editors, photographers and designers who need to flick between different applications to carry out their work.

But anyone willing to meet the expected $3,000 (£1,835) price tag should be warned that the double screen is likely to push the weight of the Spacebook significantly above standard laptops.
The energy demands of running two monitors will also prove a drain on the computer's batteries.

Other technology firms have produced laptops with smaller bolt-on second screens, but this is believed to be the first model with twin monitors of equal size.

Why?



The row about South African athlete Caster Semenya has sparked worldwide interest following reports that she will be tested by sporting officials to determine whether she is male or female is staggering on.

The 18-year-old won gold in the 800 meters race Wednesday but she may be forced to return the medal if she fails a gender-verification test imposed by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

According to media reports, the IAAF are testing to see whether Semenya has a rare genetic disorder that means she has female genitalia but male chromosomes.

This condition, known as intersex, is commonly referred to as hermaphroditism. (Some support groups say that the term "hermaphroditism" can be inaccurate and offensive, as it implies that someone is both fully male and fully female, which is a physiologic impossibility.)

According to the Intersex Society of North America, (ISNA) intersex is a "general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male."

"For example, a person might be born appearing to be female on the outside, but having mostly male-typical anatomy on the inside," a statement on the society's Web site says.

Some people are born with both male and female reproductive organs, while others like intersex activist Hida Viloria are born biologically female yet possess masculine-looking genitalia.

Others have a form known as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) where the person is totally insensitive to any male hormones known as androgens.

Dr. Peter Bowen-Simpkins of the UK's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists told CNN: "Intersexuality is incredibly rare, the one I've seen most commonly and one which affects 1 in 13,000 people worldwide is AIS."

Some people are born with both male and female reproductive organs, while others like intersex activist Hida Viloria are born biologically female yet possess masculine-looking genitalia.

Others have a form known as Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (AIS) where the person is totally insensitive to any male hormones known as androgens.

Dr. Peter Bowen-Simpkins of the UK's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists told CNN: "Intersexuality is incredibly rare, the one I've seen most commonly and one which affects 1 in 13,000 people worldwide is AIS."

Why all the fuss, does the IAAF have a monopoly on sex? Their own eligibility rules states “An athlete is eligible to compete if HE agrees to abide by the rules and has not been declared ineligible”, after all how important is running around?

And after all it isn't as if she did it on purpose.





Members of Parliament whose controversial claims for accommodation costs, food and furniture were exposed during the expenses scandal are using an official inquiry to claim they were victims rather than offenders.

Several politicians revealed by The Telegraph to be taking advantage of their parliamentary remuneration have attempted to justify their behaviour to the Committee on Standards in Public Life.

Across hundreds of pages of submissions to Sir Christopher Kelly, the committee's chairman, MPs:

• Expressed continued resentment at the public's anger over the abuse of expenses.
• Accused Commons officials and Government ministers of encouraging them to "milk" the system.

• Continued to argue that they should be allowed to sell taxpayer-subsidised homes at a profit.
• Insisted they should be allowed to employ family members.

• One backbencher said he should not even be required to submit receipts for expenditure and claimed: "This makes MPs into petty accounting clerks."

Among those who made submissions were Adrian Bailey, the Labour MP for West Bromwich West, who claimed 77p for a light bulb and £1.65 for shampoo. He wrote: "Even the most legitimate and necessary items of expenditure are now represented as some sort of outrageous claim on the public purse."

Eric Illsley, Labour MP for Barnsley Central, who claimed the maximum £400 a month for groceries, said: "It cannot be right to maintain that MPs should not have claimed this money after being encouraged to do so by the Fees Office."

Alan Simpson, the Labour MP for Nottingham South, who claimed the maximum second home allowance, blamed ministers, stating: "It was the Government that began to use MPs' allowances as a form of back-door pay." The submissions are likely to provoke renewed anger in the run-up to the party conference season.


Poor little souls, there is an alternative for these “victimised” men and women of course-RESIGN




Numpty

Deriving most probably from a combination of an abbreviation of the word numb (meaning deprived of feeling), numskull or numbskull.

A Numpty is a person who is, by their own actions or statements, demonstrably preoccupied, forgetful, naive or stupid in some regard. It is perfectly possible to be highly skilled or educated to a greater degree yet a complete Numpty when it comes to certain aspects of one's life.
The term is at the lesser end of insults and may generally be used amongst friends without causing too great an offence, especially if the recipient of the term has already shown the deservedness of its attribution.

A Numpty may otherwise be known as an - Idiot - Idjeet (Scottish) - Halfwit - Numbskull - Dumbass - Moron - Bozo - Twit – Spaceman

Numpty examples

Internet Numpty - one who actually believes the 419 scam - otherwise known as a gullible and greedy Numpty, resulting in a large exodus of cash from their bank account

Family Numpty - one who forgets a reasonably close relative's birthday, with various results dependent upon the age and mental stability of the one who has been forgotten

Driving Numpty - one who spasmodically changes their mind and lane repeatedly when approaching a roundabout, resulting in hasty defensive action from those alongside or following

Cookery Numpty - one who leaves the food in the oven for twice as long as they should, thus reducing it to inedible goo and causing a hasty visit to the takeaway

Drinking Numpty - one who manages to completely miss their mouth, resulting in wasted liquid and a giveaway stain down the front of their clothing

Smoking Numpty - one who manages to attempt to light up the wrong end of a cigarette, resulting in a wasted tab and aura of burnt filter

Blogging Numpty-one who is known as Angus Dei

Political Numpty-one who thinks that having to justify excessive expenses turns them into a victim

Computer Numpty-one who thinks that deleting “windows” will make their computer run faster
Eating Numpty-one who orders steak and has forgotten to put their teeth in

Shopping Numpty-one who is at the front of a long queue in a store and says “oh dear I can’t remember my pin number”

Media Numpty-one who thinks they have a job that is worthwhile


I am sure you will be able to think of more.


Angus
















Saturday, 20 June 2009

Saturday Snippets

For those of you that are into it the Telegraph has published the sideboard’s Cabinet’s expenses in full.

Enjoy!



This Tika masala sauce is a bit lumpy, that’s because there is a dead mouse in it, Cate Barrett, from St Austell, bought the jar of Extra Special Tika Masala sauce from a local Asda store.

She discovered the rodent after she emptied the jar and noticed that the sauce was "a bit lumpy".

She discovered it was a mouse after she "got out a spoon and decided to give it a poke".

She said: "I felt sick to be honest.

"I'm not particularly squeamish; I'm a single mum who works in a children's nursery, so if you can cope with kids, you can cope with most things. But it put us off our dinner, that's for sure."

Yum Yum!


Draconian or what?

A judge has condemned a "grotesque" waste of taxpayers' money spent on prosecuting teenager Larissa Wilkinson for allowing her 18 month-old niece to drop a sweet wrapper.

Miss Wilkinson, 19, was charged with depositing controlled waste after toddler Lila Henderson dropped a mint wrapper out of her car window as she was driving in Huddersfield, West Yorks.
After three appearances at a magistrates' court, and one at a crown court, Judge Roger Scott stepped in to prevent the case going before a jury at an estimated cost of £10,000.
The judge said: "It's the most inappropriate set of proceedings I've personally ever, ever seen and it's a fantastic waste of community charge payers' money.

"This was a grotesque misuse of the powers of the authorities to proceed on indictment for dropping a sweet wrapper."

Miss Wilkinson, an art student, was prosecuted by Kirklees Council in a case which has taken 15 months to process through the courts.

The judge, who told the defendant to sit in the witness box rather than the dock at Bradford Crown Court, asked prosecutors: "Can you explain to me why this charge was ever brought against this lady - she has dropped a single sweet wrapper?

"Is it controlled waste? I've looked it up and I don't see how you could possibly argue that it was controlled waste.

"I cannot for the life of me see it's appropriate."

After handing Miss Wilkinson a caution, which she accepted, the judge added: "I hope you've enjoyed your day in court.

"I had previously had three appearances at the magistrates' court and this one appearance at crown before anybody realised how daft it was."

A spokesman for Kirklees Council said that the judge's words had "been noted" but stood by the decision to prosecute.

"There can be no doubt that rubbish thrown from vehicles contributes greatly to the defacement of our streets and is a problem local authorities need to address," the spokesman said.

"Miss Wilkinson was charged with an offence because by virtue of Section 33 (5) the person in control of a vehicle is liable for waste thrown from that vehicle whether they threw the waste out or not.

"It was always the intention of the local authority that this matter would be dealt with in the magistrates' court.


A cupid stunt award goes to Kirklees Council for being so anal.

If you go down to the Dungeon today:

Take or a mattress to fall on or a bucket because Warwick Castle's dungeon attraction has made 15 people faint and one person vomit.

And the cause of all this angst? “Visitors to the medieval dungeon are greeted by fake blood and life-size models of victims on the rack. Guides demonstrate how prisoners used to have their tongues ripped out.”

An official commented: "If there are many more incidents like these then the dungeon will have to be toned down."
Publicity for the dungeon attraction refers to "decaying bodies, chanting monks, torture implements and execution."

Nice day out.



No knickers in Ho Chi Minh City, the authorities in the Vietnamese capital have banned window dummies displaying underwear, “The models must no longer be visible from shop fronts under the rule controlling various forms of advertising in southern Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, the Phap Luat Ho Chi Minh City newspaper said on its website.

"Putting the mannequin somewhere that people in the streets cannot see it is OK," the report quoted local official Le Quang Vinh as saying.”

Shame that, window shopping used to be interesting.
And finally:






Pirates were democrats Pirates have been long maligned and cursed as thieves and sea dogs, but according to one economist they formed vanguard capitalist democracies, with constitutions, elections and healthcare plans.

The economics professor at George Mason University outside the US capital says he has found evidence that some 18th century pirates wrote down rules and principles which foreshadowed the US Constitution by decades.
"We have three or four surviving accounts of pirate constitutions," Leeson said.

It seems that the Somali pirates are may be starting to replicate the system that made yesteryear's Caribbean pirates among the most successful criminals in history.

"They are starting to develop some private systems of governance that are similar to what early 18th century pirates had," said Leeson.

"They now have a travelling pirate court for example; they have created some rules to prevent theft and violence. You have enough members of the modern Somali pirate community to really make a society, an outlaw society."


Oh well that’s all right then if they have rules about hijacking ships and crews.




Angus

NHS Behind the headlines

Angus Dei politico

Angus Dei-NHS-THE OTHER SIDE




Thursday, 18 June 2009

IT’S ALL GOING ON TODAY

Busy day for news today, I suppose the most interesting items are the resignation of yet another Minister over expenses who “didn’t do anything wrong” and the 1 million pages of MPs expenses published on line but don’t expect the nitty-gritty that has all been redacted.

Iran is still in turmoil over the elections, which is down to a Scotsman who doesn’t like his food-ochmedinnersbad.






But the good old UK still keeps its sense of humour:

WIIs can be dangerous especially for the fairer sex: Women exercising indoors have caused up to £1.3 billion in accidental damage in the last year, as they increasingly give up gym memberships and used games consoles such as the Nintendo Wii.

It seems that Ladies (glass of wine, a fruit based drink) are deserting Gyms in droves in favour of the above mentioned games console.

An estimated 13 million women now exercise at home, either in front of a television or computer monitor, or using basic weights and home gym equipment, according to a research by an insurance company.

According to a survey, conducted for Sheilas' Wheels home insurance, a fifth of women have had an accident in the past year while exercising or being active in the home - perhaps unsurprising as the average living area contains just two metres of free space.

Last year researchers at Leeds Teaching Hospital identified an injury they called "Wii knee".
Osteopaths have also reported they saw an increase in back patients after Christmas, blaming the trend on fathers trying to keep up with their children on the machines.

Maybe it’s the glass of wine (fruit based drink).

Apparently you are not even safe if you are a witch because the Catholic Church is being accused of religious persecution by banning Crystal Cauldron group in Stockport, Greater Manchester from holding a haloween gathering because the pagan group was not considered to be compatible with the church's "ethos".


Sandra Davis, the "high priestess" hoped to attract up to 150 people to the social evening offering a buffet dinner and music from an Abba tribute band and selected the hall because it had disabled access.

But when she went to pay for the booking she was told by the manager that the Diocese of Shrewsbury, which owns the centre, had refused permission for the group to use it.
"It makes you think that there is still a little bit of that attitude from the past of the Catholics wanting to burn witches," she said.

"I thought we had made progress, that we could accept other people's religious paths."
Mrs Davis, who has 11 grandchildren, gave up her former job in a forklift truck company to set up the Crystal Cauldron, where she is known as "Amethyst Selmeselene".

Based in a former post office, the 30-strong group runs a new age bookshop and sells cloaks, jewellery and medieval costumes on the internet as well as organising a children's group called "Little Crystals".

The Reverend John Joyce, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic diocese of Shrewsbury, said that it was out of the question for a pagan group to use its facilities.

"Parish centres under our auspices let their premises on the understanding users and their organisations are compatible with the ethos and teachings of the Catholic church," he said.

"In this instance, we aren't satisfied such requirements are met."


Ah for the good old days when covens would gather in a wood and do their thing.



Affordable housing is hard to come by, especially in Brighton. An eco-warrior has been evicted from the cave he lives in on his allotment patch in Brighton, East Sussex, because it doesn't have a fire exit.

Hilaire Purbrick, 45, has inhabited the seven-foot cave he dug on his plot and dined off the land for the past 16 years.

But after having the dwelling checked by the fire brigade, Brighton and Hove City Council decided it did not have enough exits and sought an injunction banning him from entering it.

Mr Purbrick ignored the order and continued to live in the cave, but was pulled back into court on Tuesday when a judge granted the council a possession order which will allow him to be formally evicted and banned indefinitely from the site.

Granting the possession order at Brighton County Court, Judge Jonathan Simpkiss said there were legitimate health and safety concerns that the cave could collapse.

Mr Purbrick now plans to take his fight to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming his right to a private life and freedom has been breached by the order.

Methinks Mr Purbrick has been pulling the Councils chain for too long.



And now something that really annoys me. Women “grunters” at Wimbledon.

Michelle Larcher de Brito, just 16, made such a din with her on-court screaming at the French Open that her opponent complained to the umpire, condemning the Portuguese girl's repeated noise-making as "unpleasant".

Now the International Tennis Federation is believed to be considering outlawing such distractions as "noise hindrance" under its code of conduct.

And quite bloody right too, it is distracting to the other player, and it is unfair, Nine-time Wimbledon champion Martina Navratilova believes the scream queens are gaining an unfair advantage.

"Grunting, screeching, shrieking - I call it cheating and it’s got to stop," she said.

The only other worse noise at Wimbledon is when “Sir” bleedin Cliff gets up to sing, it was worth the millions for the roof over centre court just to stop that.


And finally:




High-speed commuter train sets off late, the test run of the new super-duper javelin took place this morning and has been hailed as a revolution, that is of course as long as there isn’t the wrong type of snow, rain, leaves or lack of staff.