Tuesday, 30 June 2009

85 Sharia courts in Britain? Unsurprisingly, bullshit!

Civitas has released a report which warns of the creeping influence of Sharia law in Britain. According to the Daily Telegraph:
A study by the thinktank found that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, many operating in mosques.

It led to claims of a "creeping" acceptance of sharia principles in British law, but the Muslim Council of Britain dismissed the report as "scaremongering". (1)

Normally, I'd go and dig out the original report, and read what it says, but I've learned from previous experience that Civitas and the Daily telegraph are pretty much doppelgangers in ideology and relationship tot he truth. Civitas publish crap, and I've wasted hours reading it to arrive at the conclusion that it is crap. So I'll limit myslef to what the Telegraph says the report says, as it will probably be accurate enough.

Here's the stinger. These's 85 Sharia 'courts'? This is what they really are:
... Civitas estimates that the real number of Islamic "courts" operating in Britain is at least 85, as a result of scores of unofficial courts sitting in mosques in which imams make judgments on day-to-day disputes. (2)
So the iman at the mosque says, "This is what we're expected to do as Muslims," just like a vicar might say "This is what the Bible tells us to do," and suddenly it's a Sharia Court?

Civitas has always been utterly shite in a poncey, Daily-Mail-trying-to-be-clever sort of way, but this is a belter, even by their standards.
1 - "At least 85 sharia 'courts' operating in Britain, says Civitas report," by John Bingham, published in The Daily Telegraph, 29th of June, 2009. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/5675166/At-least-85-sharia-courts-operating-in-Britain-says-Civitas-report.html)
2 -
ibid.

Polar Bearshit

Christopher Booker has contributed another rant somewhat dressed up as reasoned commentary to the 'debate' about climate change (1).

As usual, Booker mixes up specious reasoning, sleight of hand and a bit of rhetoric. His theme is the meeting of the Polar Bear Specialist Group in Copenhagen. He claims the purpose of this meeting is "will be the need to produce a suitably scary report on how polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming," a remarkable assertion and a direct attack on the objectivity and honesty of all the members of the PBSG, which he makes without providing any evidence to back it up (2).

Without back up, it is just flim-flam, an exagerated, disingenuous claim without any grounding in fact - which is exactly what he accuses the "global warmists" of the PBSG of doing.

The scaremongering continues in the next paragraph, where Booker claims the meeting "is one of a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN's major conference on climate change in Copenhagen next December" (3).

Again, this is scaremongering by Booker. What evidence does he provide of the conspiracy he implies is afoot? None. Setting aside the Protocols of Zionesque paranoia about a vast conspiracy that has crept into his column - and we're only into the second paragraph - can he provide some evidence that the meeting of the PBSG is intended to "stoke up alarm"? As opposed to people meeting to discuss things they think are important? Of course he can't. But that won't stop him putting the suggestion out there, to delude the gullible or ideologically inclined to reject science in favour of balderdash.

And, for what it is worth, "a steady drizzle of events planned to stoke up alarm in the run-up to the UN's major conference" is an apalling example of metaphor mangling. A drizzle is a light shower of rain. But you "stoke up" a fire. So how the two can work together is beyond me. Even bettter, this remarkable fire that burns more readily when stoked with rainfall is burning in an athletics stadium, which is where you would expect to see people taking a "run up." Booker's science might be lousy, but at least it is better than his journalism.

Booker's complaint is that an expert on Polar Bears, Dr Mitchell Taylor, has been refused permission to attend the conference. This is attributed to his views on climate change:
Dr Taylor agrees that the Arctic has been warming over the last 30 years. But he ascribes this not to rising levels of CO2 – as is dictated by the computer models of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and believed by his PBSG colleagues – but to currents bringing warm water into the Arctic from the Pacific and the effect of winds blowing in from the Bering Sea. (4)
This is a bit of intellectual smoke and mirrors. Booker, or Taylor, is not being entirely straight with us. What he is describing as a cause of Arctic ice melt - the changing currents bringing in warm water which is melting the ice - is actually no such thing because it doesn't actually indicate what is causing the changing oceanic conditions. Unless it is an Act of God, he needs to identify a mechanism which explains why this is happening as the situation he describes is begging the question - why is the ice melting? Because of the changing oceanic conditions. Why are the oceanic conditions changing? Because of ... um ... climate change, perhaps?

This is all by-the-by, because Booker is more interested in one of his favour themes - the sensationalism and pseudo-science that he claims is being forced on the world by pro-AGW lobby, through their willing stodges in the media, befuddling the dim and gullible public:
He has also observed, however, how the melting of Arctic ice, supposedly threatening the survival of the bears, has rocketed to the top of the warmists' agenda as their most iconic single cause. The famous photograph of two bears standing forlornly on a melting iceberg was produced thousands of times by Al Gore, the WWF and others as an emblem of how the bears faced extinction – until last year the photographer, Amanda Byrd, revealed that the bears, just off the Alaska coast, were in no danger. Her picture had nothing to do with global warming and was only taken because the wind-sculpted ice they were standing on made such a striking image. (5)
Yeah, so?

I'd like to have cited examples of when Gore and the WWF used the image, as opposed to pig ignorant sensationalist journos.

And, anyway, what's wrong with using it as an 'emblem'? It carries a strong symbolic message about the shrinking habitats of wild animals. A Christian might wear a cross - guess what, Chris? It isn't actually the one that Jesus got nailed to.

As for the main meat of the article, the alleged banning of Taylor for heretical views on climate change, I refuse to accept Booker's word for it, based on the selective quoting from an email he claims to have received from an unidentified source. He's been too unreliable in the past - making stuff up, withdrawing it when challenged and the repeating it - for him to be taken on trust now.

It is also worth noting that Taylor is not actually a member of the PBSG - Booker suggests he is ("his PBSG colleagues") but he isn't (6). Given that they invite several experts to address their conferences, and they have limited time, why the scandal that one has been refused? I imagine they refused several applications to speak. I also suspect that a lot of these applications were made in the expectation of being declined, so a follow-up fuss about 'censorship' could be generated. Drummed up faux persecution, a la Nick griffin and the BNP, typical of the self important wannabes on the fringes.
1 - "Polar bear expert barred by global warmists," by Christopher Booker, published in The Daily Telegraph, 27th of June, 2009. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/5664069/Polar-bear-expert-barred-by-global-warmists.html)
2 - ibid.
3 - ibid.
4 - ibid.
5 - ibid.
6 - A list of the current members of the Polar Bear Specialist Group, viewed on the 30th of June, 2009. (http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/members/index.html)

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Lurgee's Paradigm VI: "They can't even get the weather right ..."

I wasn't actually going to bother with this non-argument, because I thought it was so bloody witless that there was no point. But on Thursday, Garth George appeared on the the panel segement of Jim Morra's Afternoon show on National Radio, and loudly announced, after a few vague comments about climate change and how it was bollocks, "After all Jim, they can't even get the weather right for tommorrow, far less for ten years or twenty years down the track."

Um ... that isn't their job, Garth. Day to day weather is difficult to predict. Seasonal trends, however, are more obvious - it gets colder in winter, right, and warmer in summer. With me so far, Garth? The same applies on an even longer scale. We can say, with some confidence, that this year will be warmer han that year - basing our suppositions on cylces like sunspots, el nino and la nina. And, of course, the biggie, we can calculate the likely effect of X amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, on top of all the other myriad factors.

So as soon as someone starts banging on about how 'climate change scientists can't tell us what the weather right for tommorrow,' you know you're in the presence of denial. And denial of a particularly stupid sort, as this is the most feeble of all arguments put forward by deniers.

Michael Jackson

You'll note that I haven't given this post the usual 'Respect is Due' heading for noteable stiffs.

That is because michael Jackson did not merit my respect. He lived his life in petulant splendour and turned his children's existance into a freakshow. He made a few good-ish songs and a lot more really bad ones. He was monumentally up his own arse. No-one deserves to die young, but he doesn't deserve the outpouring of faux sympathy he'll receive for having indulged his weird fantasies his entire life.

I certainly was not surprised, far less shocked at his death. It might not have been predictable, exactly, or even expected, but that someone who lead a warped life died suddenly while still quite young is not surprising. The howling and gnashing of teeth that will accompany his passing says a lot about us, little about him or his legacy. The emptiness - practical and metaphysical - of the lives of people who can just stop their worlds to indulge in public displays of grief for irrelevant nonentities, amazes me.

I despised thse man for his child like behaviour, the hideous freakshow he made of his children's lives and the undignified spectacle he made of his own. This was a man who had the means to do what most of us can't - live on his terms. The fact that he failed to set any terms other than the most garish consumption is disgusting, the fact it obviously brought him no happiness, pathetic.

And I hated his music. The handful of half decent songs he made were ruined by the irritating 'Eee-heh!" squeals he specialised in. And the videos, with his gurning, jerking, crotch grabbing and their ludicrously inflated, show-off visuals (isn't it meant to be about the music?) just served to alienate me even more.

Setting my person pique aside, I think the man's influence on music is greatly over estimated. He made a couple of decent albums, over twenty years ago. Other people contributed to their success. Artist of a generation? Maybe of half a decade. If by artist you mean successful pop star. He was, bluntly, a bit of an Uncle Tom, appealing to mainstream audiences outside the Race Music soul / R&B ghetto, taking all that soul and funk that was a bit too strong for white boys and girls and turning into squeaky pop that was just bland enough to sell by the ton. So he was a perfect pop pagkage, but ultimately, just the Britney Spears of his time.

With regards the child abuse allegations that dogged Jackson, I do find it strange that knuckle dragging neanderthal twits people who immediately scream 'Hang/castrate him" when someone is accused of paedohilia are willing to reverse their position and claim Jackson MUST have been innocent, simply because they liked his music. Similarly, those who normally call for restraint, or at least due process, are willing to brand him a pervert. Perhaps money is the deciding factor - rich people are ALWAYS guilty, aren't they? - and the fact he paid so many millions to buy justice doesn't help him. I don't think the "paedophile" comments are justified, but I can see why people might be prompted to make them. And I find myself so repelled by the man that I can't bring myself to argue against the accusations - though at least this time there isn't a lack of people willing to do so, however inarticulately.

So I'll limit myself to repeating - Michael Jackson was a wildly over-rated pop star, who embraced a freakshow life style, warped his own children so they have no chance of growing up normal. A pitiable wreck of a man, at best.

And those who gave him unthinking adulation, bought his records, attended his concerts, contributed to his bizarre, freakshow lifestyle and the of his children. I bet they're the sort of sickos who don't just rubberneck at car crashes, but stop to get out of their cars to have a good look, and maybe get snap shots taken of them standing by the wreck.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Mekong dolphin on the verge of extinction

After the eradication of the dolphin population in the Yangtze river (1) in 2007, the Irrawaddy dolphins of the Mekong face a similar fate. There are about 80 left, according to WWF estimates:

Only 64 to 76 Irrawaddy dolphins remain in the Mekong, it says, and calls for a cross-border plan to help the dolphins.

Toxic levels of pesticides, mercury and other pollutants have been found in more than 50 calves that have died since 2003.

The Mekong flows from China through Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam.

"These pollutants are widely distributed in the environment and so the source of this pollution may involve several countries through which the Mekong river flows," said WWF veterinary surgeon Verne Dove in a press statement. (2)

The problem is that calves are dying int he toxic water of the Mekong. The reason it is toxic is, of course, because of China's supercharged effort to become industrialised, which is in turn driven by the west's insatiable hunger for cheap consumer goods, without too many awkward questions.

We could make the Chinese abide by stringent environmental standards, just like we could make then treat their workers with a modicum of decency. But that would cost too much, and would defeat the purpose in shipping our manufacturing base off to the third world.
1 - As described previously on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2007/08/yangtze-river-dolphin-extinct.html
2 - "Mekong dolphins 'almost extinct'," unattributed BBC atticle, published 18th of June, 2009. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8106323.stm)

Friday, 12 June 2009

Sympathy for Little Nicky?

Nick Griffin, leader of the BNP, has been very busy blowing his trumpet over the 'success' of his party in the Euro elections.

(Note to Nicky - two seats is not success, particulalry when you were claiming you might get eight.)

His bluster serves to distract from one point worth consideration. Griffin was not the first on the BNP list. That spot went to and ex-member of the National Socialist Network (An organisation founded on the anniversary of Hitler's birthday, though I'm sure that, lik the coincidence of nomenclature with Hitler's party, is entirely coincidental) and former National Front chairman, Andrew Brons.

Why is this interesting? Because it suggests that a shift has orccured in the BNP. What party puts its official leader second on the list? One that doesn't really think he is the leader anymore.

Griffin has worked hard to shift the BNP away from the National Front 'racist lout' image. He's been partly successful, but it looks like that success is his undoing. The old guard of the far right - Brons is very much one of them - seem to have been attracted to the BNP as the best means to electoral success. A post on the neo-Nazi webste suggests that the National Front are trying t colonise their more politically acceptable sibling. A member of Stormfront identifying him/herself as 'Candidate,' posted:
... speaking to AB a few weeks ago he said that at the moment the BNP was the only viable option (2)
Which is interesting.

So it looks like Nick Griffin's 'victory' will prove to have been Pyhrric. He might have gained a 'breakthrough' and garnered some headlines, but it looks like he's lost control of his party to the old school, less media savvy racists.

I predict that Brons will sideline Griffin. Possibly he will split entirely, announcing that the BNP has "lost its way" or some such. Or maybe Griffin will mount a counter insurgency and try to drive out the National Front elements that have infiltrated his party. Because the far right, like the far left, likes nothing more than a good schism.

Or perhaps Little Nicky will accept what happens and accept his role in the Brons BNP. Perhaps Avuncular ANdrew will find his a position with true weight - maybe giving him the responsibility for promoting the BNP's stated policy of retaining Britain's "traditional weights and measures" (3).

n.b. The headline of this post is disingenous. I feel no sympathy for Little Nicky. He's a fat, slimy, racist turd-in-a-suit.
1 - As described previosuly on lefthandpalm: http://lefthandpalm.blogspot.com/2009/06/very-good-article.html.
2 Posted by Candidate on Stormfront, in a disccusion titled, "BNP PPB," dated 27th of May, 2009. (http://www.stormfront.org/forum/showthread.php?p=6889289)
3 - From the BNP's manifesto, viewed 12th of June, 2009. (http://bnp.org.uk/policies/)

Thursday, 11 June 2009

In Britian the recession is over - almost official

According to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, the ression is over and growth - albeit weak and and timid - is starting again:

The recession is over, according to one of the nation's most respected economic think-tanks.

The UK's surprising resilience is confirmed by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), an independent body with an enviable record for accuracy. It says that the economy hit rock bottom in as early as March and returned to growth, albeit modestly, in April and May.

The institute says that the economy grew by about 0.2 per cent in April and by 0.1 per cent last month. Although hardly a return to the boom conditions that prevailed before the credit crunch, these figures mark the end of more than a year of stagnation and recession, and stand in stark contrast to the grimmest predictions of a 1930s-style slump. Ray Barrell, director of forecasting at the institute, said that "the evidence from the last few months is that we may well have reached the bottom of the depression".

The Bank of England's radical cuts in interest rates and its programme of "quantitative easing" – injecting cash directly into the economy – were singled out by the NIESR as major reasons for the turnaround. According to the institute, if the recovery is sustained then the current downturn will have been less severe than those of the 1930s and the 1980s, although still more grievous than the one the economy went through in the early 1990s.
Well maybe. The Credit Crunch has had more than a whiff os Swine Flu and the Millenoum Bug about it from the start. No-one buys newspapers to read good news after all.

I quoite like the idea of the recession being over, because it sucks that people are losing their jobs and their homes. On the otherhand, there's no reason to think that we won't immediately start making the same mistakes again as the economy picks up. And, bluntly, environmentally, we can't afford to start growing again. The slowing economy has slowed CO2 emmissions (2). That'll be reversed as soon as growth starts and with it, dem=mand for oil increases again.

Of course, the analysts might be wrong. The Great Depression was frequently decalred over but it carried on quite happily, the rumours of its demise greatly exaggerated. JK Galbraith relates this anecdote about the supposed end of the Depression:
... in June 1930, things were bad and getting much worse. A delegation called on President Hoover to ask for a public works relief program. He said: "Gentlemen, you have come sixty days too late. The depression is over." (3)
One thing is certain - the columists who foretold The End Of The World a few weeks ago wil immediately foreget that they ever did so, and hail the Bright New Day. Apart from the ones who are trying to destroy Brown and his government, who will continue to pronounce A Winter Of Discontent ain the face of any evidence to the contrary.
1 - "Analysts: The recession has ended," by Sean O'Grady in The Independent, 11th of June, 2009. (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/analysts-the-recession-has-ended-1702147.html)
2 - "Oil Report Shows Global Carbon Emissions May Fall in 2009," by Dennis Markatos, publsihed on The Huffington Post, 10th of April, 2009. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dennis-markatos/oil-report-shows-global-c_b_185633.html)
3 - The Age of Uncertainty, by JK Galbraith, published by BBC/Andre Deutsch Ltd, 1977. The quote is from page 211.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

A very good article

This analysis, from Labour MP Jon Cruddas, and Nick Lowles, is pretty much spot on. Reproduced in full (almost) from The Guardian:

First, some facts. The BNP polled 948,598 votes across the country, a 6.2% share. In Yorkshire it received 9.8% and in the North West 8.0%, both enough to secure seats. In other areas they did equally well without getting elected. In the East Midlands they polled 8.7% and in West Midlands 8.6%.

Yet it could have been far worse, much worse. At the outset of the campaign the BNP confidently predicted six or seven seats; or even 12 when hyperventilating about how their perfect political storm had emerged. Economic anxiety, job insecurity and hostility to migrant workers combined as the credit crunch kicked in. The long term legacy of "Middle England" politics, free market economics, mass immigration and a housing crisis all helped create this sense of inevitable electoral success. The absence of local elections meant turnout was always going to be low. Throw in the expenses scandal and the implosion of the Labour party – even before anyone had voted – and they thought their time had come.

Before we see this as a watershed, and again ensure that the liberal press play right into their hands, let's retain some perspective. Put simply, the BNP's support hardly increased. Its 6.2% share of the vote is only slightly up on the 4.9% it gained in the good times of 2004. In the North West Nick Griffin only increased his vote from 6.4% to 8.0%. It was the collapse in support for the Labour party that allowed the BNP in.

Their failure to exploit these unique circumstances was in no small part due the mass mobilisation of opposition to them on the ground; a new politics of "Hope not Hate" forged beyond the Westminster beltway with unions, churches, voluntary groups, students and sometimes local political parties. The volume of literature distributed outstripped that of the main parties. Local "Hope not Hate" groups distributed 3,400,000 newspapers and leaflets; 1.6 million being hand-delivered in the North West alone, 850,000 leaflets in Yorkshire and Humber. On one day, 48 hours before the election, we held 180 simultaneous activities and hand-delivered 500,000 leaflets.

Over 50,000 people volunteered for our online campaign and 1,500 people donated. We placed anti-BNP articles in the national newspapers on a daily basis and our eve-of-poll email was sent to 600,000 people, the biggest single email in British domestic political history. We estimate that 5,000 people took part in the on-the-ground campaigns around the country, many for the first time in their lives.

The campaign made a difference; they gained seats but nothing compared to what they expected and it almost stopped Griffin scraping in by just 1,200 votes. The fightback has already started. In the early hours of Monday morning we launched a "Not in our name" petition. Over 25,000 people have already signed it, a testament to the anger that has followed the BNP successes.

Yet the campaign cannot build houses and reduce waiting lists; it cannot prevent undercutting and the abuse of migrant workers. Local anti-fascist movements cannot get resources into communities, often the poorest, dealing with extraordinary levels of migration. Without such resources access to public services is racialised and politics becomes more tribal. The "Hope not Hate" campaign cannot reduce health inequalities or enduring poverty and immobility. It cannot overcome political disenfranchisement and alienation from interchangeable Westminster politicians. In short, it cannot substitute for what a radical Labour government should be doing and a language that it should be using that could inspire hope. (1)

If you want to add your name to the petition mentioned, it can be done online (2).
1 - "The myth of the BNP 'protest' vote," by Jon Cruddas, and Nick Lowles, published in The Guardian, 8th of June, 2009. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jun/08/bnp-protest-vote-success)
2 - The website is: http://www.hopenothate.org.uk/.

When did Britain become so stupid?

Almost a million Britons voted fro the BNP in the recent European elections, sending two of their candidates - avuncular neo-Nazi and right former National Front chairman Andrew Brons, and the repugnant Nick Griffin - to Brussels to serve as Euro MPs.

When did Briton become so stupid, and so moiserable, that voting for the BNP - a miserable bunch of fascists-in-suits - seems like a reasonable course of action?

Ian Birrel provides some basic analysis in The Independent:

Some would argue that the reason is simple: there is too much immigration, upsetting the delicate balance of society, and our politicians talk too little about a core concern. They are wrong. The problem is not that there has been too much discussion, but that it is unashamedly hostile to newcomers. Just as it is little wonder support for the European Union is wilting when it is never publicly defended, so it is little surprise that a racist party can rise when there seems to be only hostility to immigrants and asylum-seekers.

By talking of schools being "swamped" by immigrants, or demanding "British jobs for British workers", or even by constantly trying to define "Britishness", politicians like David Blunkett and Gordon Brown – in tandem with elements of the populist press, the net and radio talkshows – have coarsened the public discourse. Instead of cool discussion of an incendiary issue, such loose talk has sanctioned race-based politics, contributing to a situation in which politicans are terrified of tackling urban myths on issues such as housing and education.

The result is that, on the same day as Britain elected two racist MEPs, a revelatory report was published by the Red Cross, which showed how skewed British perceptions are on asylum-seekers. It revealed, for example, that people believed the UK is home to one in four of the world's asylum-seekers; the true figure is about one in 33. In such a climate, is it any wonder that sections of a confused electorate, angry with its politicians, turn to a party based on race hatred? (1)

I think that is half right, but no more.

If it was just an issue of immigration, London would be a BNP stronghold, run by a BNP mayor. It isn'tThe other reson people turned to the BNP is because Labour no longer seemed to represent them. The BNP's vote was strongest in areas which have been traditionally Labour, and which have been taken for granted for too long.

The BNP suceeded in the North of England because the Labour party didn't think it needed to do anything to maintain its vote - falling into the old trap that because the BNP is a far right party, its supporters would be disillusioned Tories. The BNP, of course, advocates a Hitlerian combination of racial supremacy, cultural chauvanism and a veneer of bargain basic socialist populism. Which worked for Hitler, and worked - to a rather meagre, but still concerning extent - for Griffin and his knuckle dragging cohorts.

So it is understandable that the British working class - seeing 'their' party acting just like the TOries - would be susecptible to the slimy advances of the fascists. It's symptomatic of the lazy self-centredness that afflicts Britain (I blame Thatcher) - "I feel unhappy, it must be the fault of the effi' immies, taking the jobs and the good houses and getting preferential treatment all the time, I'm not going to stand for this, I'm proud to be British, I'm voting BNP."

Understandable, but still stupid.
1 - "How our politicians failed to stop the rise of the far right," bu Ian Birrel, published in The Independent, 9th of June, 2009. (http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/ian-birrell-how-our-politicians-failed-to-stop-the-rise-of-the-far-right-1700206.html)

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Telegraph shows its true colours - and they are yellow

The Telegraph has shown, once again, it's claims to have been doing an important public service by publishing the details of MP's expenses were, bluntly, bollocks.

It has been using the episode to further its own agendum, by focusing attention on details relating to Labour, and particularly Gordon Brown, while deflecting attention from David 'Wisteria' Cameron.

Latest installment:

Mr Brown, who "flipped" the designation of his second home before moving into Downing Street, submitted an estimated electricity bill for his home in Fife which partly covered a period when his London flat was his designated second home.

He also claimed for council tax and service charge bills for his London flat which included periods when his second home was in Scotland. (1)

Sotto voce, it admits that the amounts involved are trivial, just £512.

But it isn't until after it has stated several times that Brown had over-charged, and detailed how this will "will further weaken his position" and described it as a "a humiliating blow for the Prime Minister" - all hyperbole, and opinion rather than reportage - and applied the odious and charged label of 'flipper' to him, that the Telegraph actually axplains what happened:

One bill was for £382.39 and covered the period from July 3 2006 to September 28 2006, a period of 88 days.

Mr Brown had only switched his designated second home from London to Scotland on September 18, meaning the first 77 days of the bill related to a period when his London flat was his designated second home.

If the bill is divided into equal amounts for each day, Mr Brown had claimed for £334.59 of electricity when Fife was not his designated second home.

This is pathetic yellow journalism.

Of course Brown changed his nominated second home, because he had been claiming, legitimately, for his flat in London. Once he moved into Downing Street on becoming leader, he discontinued the claim for the London flat, and transfered it to the Glenrothes house. This was perfectly legitimate and straightforward. But the opportunity to apply the label of 'flipper' - associating Brown with the likes of Margaret Moran - is too good for the Telegraph to miss.

And think about the timing. Why now? Why is this story coming out now, immediately after the elections. It seems pretty likely they've been sitting on this, waiting to deliver it at the time when it will cause most adamage, politicallly. Which shows what a load of sh*t their claims about doing a public service were, if they were honest about that they'd have given us the story at once. Instead, their playing (clumsy) politics with it. So how can we trust them to be unbiased about Cameron's expenses?

As for the alleged over-claims ... bollocks, frankly. He submitted a couple of bills that charged for periods that included days when the property in question was not his allocated second home. Pathetic. It would hardly mention a paragraph. Instead it gets a whole story, surprisingly appearing just after the councl elections and the reshuffle and the resignations.

Disinterested journalism by the Telegraph? Steaming, moist bullshit, it is.

Astonishingly, it took four journalists to produce this piece of crap.
1 - "MPs' expenses: Gordon Brown billed taxpayer for two second homes," by Gordon Rayner, Holly Watt, Robert Winnett and Christopher Hope, published in The Telegraph, 5th of June, 2009. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5456789/mps-expenses-Gordon-Brown-billed-taxpayer-for-two-second-homes.html)

Prediction

There's nothing stupider on the internet than putting down your thoughts in an indisputable form.  So that, of course is what I am going...