Monday, December 31, 2007

the £45 million bonus

So, so wrong.

punkscience goes surfing !

Its forecast to be 5.5ft at Gwithian so there's a real chance that me and my softee might never make it back to the beach. Just a quick warning in case anyone wonders why I've stopped ranting over the next few days. (Gulp!)

I am invincible!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

British public divided over Nu Labour's greenwank

Unsurprisingly, the Nu Labour Greenwank seems to be the root cause of public antipathy to green issues. Sending mixed messages to the public, such as "we are leading the world in reducing carbon emissions" and then declaring their intention to build a new runway at Heathrow, has been exactly as counterproductive to ongoing efforts to secure grassroots support for climate change mitigation as most intelligent analysts have always said.

Its not only Labour's environmental policy which is all fucked up: The Independent on Sunday reports that Nu-Lab's obsession with stuffing a bunch of completely unnecessary and uneconomical new nuclear builds down our throats is developing further into the ultimate political debacle. Why this should be happening is utterly beyond me. Greenpeace did a magnificent job of pulling the covers off the government's first effort to rig the consultation process and they are about to do exactly the same for this one. The government has wasted millions of pounds contriving corrupt and unscientific grounds to justify new nuclear builds and they simply don't seem to get the message that we're not going to stand for it. But that's Nu-Lab all over, isn't it? Ploughing ahead with the process of anointing a predetermined decision with the oil of pseudo-democracy.

As Australian technology professor Ian Lowe has said: "If nuclear power is the answer, it must have been a pretty stupid question".

Vote for a future: Vote Green!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Nu-Speak has taken the place of genuine debate in Westminister

I loved this dissection of Nu-Labour Nu-Speak. The closing paragraph is portentous. However, I doubt anything will come of it as the moment anyone stands up and tries to say anything in plain-speak then you get pilloried by the Murdoch press for your position and drowned beneath waves of pseudo-analysis and misinterpretation. The Spinwatch website maintains a record of such conceptual sabotage.

Welcome to the UK! We hope you enjoy your stay amidst our pseudo-democratic plutocracy.

On another Nu-Labour-bashing note we find a torrent of boiling vitriol spewed in the direction of The Chief Deputy Assistant Secretary for Cockweasels, Hazel Blears. Its most satisfying to see these words reprinted a million times over:

I have been in the House long enough to see the coming and going of many inadequate personalities. I have seen those on both sides of the House who have been promoted for various reasons. I have seen the crawlers. I have seen those who have used sex— [ Interruption. ] Oh, there are so many it would take too long to name them. I have seen those whose sexual preferences were of interest to others. I have seen those who demonstrated a great commitment to their own interests, irrespective of the political parties that they were supposed to represent.

“But I have rarely seen a decision such as this, taken with such cynicism and with so little respect for the interests of the average voter. When the Secretary of State was seeking office as the deputy leader of the Labour party, she said that people frequently become disaffected with their own Government because they 
feel that no one is listening to them. Wherever could they have got that idea from? She also made it clear - she told us constantly - that she would listen.

"Let me make it very plain: this decision will affect everything in my constituency - every practical purpose that I am pursuing at the moment. Three new health centres, a new school, which is desperately needed in one of the most deprived areas, and a new railway station: all those things will be scuppered by this decision, which will make my local government fundamentally uncertain not only in economic terms, but in its political control.

Hazel Blears sucks donkey balls.

Gwyneth Dunwoody, on the other hand, rules.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

in memory of Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto has been killed, along with 20 others, in a joint shooting and suicide bombing in Pakistan. This is truly a dark day as Pakistan's only moderate voice and the only woman ever to lead a Muslim Nation is lost to us. The precariously balanced, nuclear state that she leaves behind- still run by the US puppet Musharraf (our "ally" in the war on terror)- has little hope for any progression from the sky-pixie fundamentalists that hold sway in the rural regions of the country and still less from those who pull the strings in Washington and London.

Responsibility for her murder has already been placed at the feet of the sky-pixie's acolytes and Musharraf's government. Personally, I believe it is too early to lay the blame and await more details. Sadly, the identity of the culprits are irrelevant: The damage has been done.


Robert Fisk, whose opinions I trust implicitly, has concluded that the culprits were elements in the Pakistani intelligence service.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"sky-pixie told me to kill unveiled women"

Some whackjob in Iran came up with this shit. I know a couple of Iranian women. They think this is complete bollocks. They don't wear veils in this country. The US has a lot to answer for, having engineered the ascension of this theocracy.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


This sounds unpleasantly familiar. The language might be crap and it needs a thorough rewrite but the salient points are there.

Merry Christmas, monkeys!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

"we used to own our slaves, now we just rent them"

This is so appalling and shocking I can't summon the necessary vitriol to do it justice. I will have to come back to this later.

Gordon Brown does something right - (NOT SARCASM ! ! )

This is wonderful! As the article implies, it suggest that the new runway at Heathrow and a plethora of road building schemes- as well as the insane prospect of resurrecting coal fired power stations- might be put back into the Fucking Stupid Idea box.

What I can't understand is the continued references in the article to new nuclear build in the light of carbon emissions. A reason for this might be that the article is penned by the Guardian's political Editor- Patrick Wintour- who obviously knows fuck all about the total emissions resulting from conventional nuclear power. Greenpeace produces just one of many websites rubbishing the idea that nuclear is at all eco-friendly. Even Business Week published an article questioning nuclear's green credentials!


In another remarkably uncritical article from the Guardian we have a plan supported by the government's Chief Climate Change Denier, Sir David "Trust Me- I'm a Scientist" King, to turn Britain's nuclear waste stockpile into fuel for a new generation of reactors. The plan will require two new £1 billion plants; one to recover usable plutnoium and uranium from the waste and another to turn them into fuel pellets and rods. There's also new reactors to be constructed. Unfortunately, private industry won't touch this shit with a barge pole because nuclear is such a bad financial investment. The risks are huge and the government have been forced by concerned parties to demand upfront payments to cover the enormous costs of decommissioning future obsolete plants. This is because provate industry typically run the projects into the ground, extarct all the value froma company leaving a shell and then leave it to spiral into fiscal collapse. The mess is then left to the government to clear up. BNFL is the model case for this.

Addition to the addition:

There is another version of the same story about nuclear waste on the Guardian's environmental pages. This version contains more detail and less spin. So much for editorial consistency.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Tony Blair forced Goldsmith to abandon BAE investigation

In a turn of events that is surprising solely for the awesome success achieved by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade and Cornerhouse human rights campaign groups in forcing hugely confidential material to be made public, it was revealed in court today that Tony Blair wrote personal and highly coercive letters to The Chief Cockweasel and High Sanctioner of Genocides, Lord Goldsmith, to persuade him to drop the corruption investigation into BAE's payments to the Saudi government. In a ironic turn of phrase, Blair actually tried to convince Goldsmith that the Saudis "would cut off the flow of intelligence about al-Qaida terrorists" if a prosecution was successful.

That would be the flow of intelligence that lead to the events of 11th September 2001 and 7th July 2005, yes? Both of which were inspired by- or carried out by- Saudi money, Saudi philosophy (Wahhabism, duh!) or Saudi nationals.

I wonder if they (Blair, Goldsmith, et al) can be tried for misgovernment? Or gross incompetence? Or conspiracy to pervert the course of justice? Or fucking anything that might present the victims of the Iraqi genocide and the July 7th attrocities with something that could be considered justice. Conspiracy to cause genocide would be an ending worthy of Walt Disney. With lashings of illegal arms distribution.

Ruth Kelly is a fucking idiot - the sequel

Another CiF piece today targets one of my favourite Nu-Labour whipping-boys (geddit? -plus she looks like a bloke). It gave me a chance to revisit one of the best New Statesman articles I've ever read. I linked to it in the comments.

Mexican popular resistance fears brutal repression

In a topical coincidence this just appeared on CiF. Scary, scary stuff. I commented as thesimpletruth.


Lots more ugly tales of bloody murder from this CounterPunch article. CounterPunch rules.

Bush's imperial ambitions focus upon Cuba

A Znet article relates how the US is up to its old tricks under a Republican administration of funding "democracy efforts" (i.e. terrorism) in another state.

I recently finished reading an awesome book, called "David and Goliath: Washington's War Against Nicaragua", about the Nicaraguan revolution and counterrevolution, as funded by Reagan. This essentially involved dishing out millions upon millions of dollars in direct aid to the remnants of the ousted Somocista dictatorship as well as putting the considerable resources of the CIA at their behest. The US campaign to topple a democratically elected government (after the free and fair elections of 1984, to which the US- unlike other Western nations- sent no election monitors, but still felt informed enough to damn as grossly unfair) was characterised by appalling war crimes and tactics. Eg.

  • The CIA encouraged the Contras to rape women and kill children- "a coordinated policy of the destabilisation program", according to former CIA Agent John Stockwell
  • The CIA supplied the Contras with C4 explosive which was to be "packaged" in children's lunchboxes and in flashlights. The bombs were to be exploded in supermarkets, movie theatres and buses on New Year's Eve.
  • The US Military conducted direct attacks on Nicaraguan territory- two US T-28 aircraft from a warship off the Nicaraguan Pacific coast attacked the town of Corinto, Nicaragua's principal commercial and petroleum port. Navy SEALS also attacked Corinto in an armoured speedboat, using rockets and machine guns they ignited a 1.6 million gallon diesel storage tank. A Contra counterrevolutionary group claimed responsibility for both attacks.
  • When a power struggle broke out amongst their Contra vassals, the CIA hired a Libyan professional terrorist to plant a bomb at a press conference gathered at a Contra base in Northern Costa Rica which missed its target but killed eight and wounded another twenty eight.
  • The CIA prescribed a policy of blackmail to the Contras to coerce peasants into cooperation with the counterrevolution. For example, forcing peasants to kill prisoners to seal their complicity.
  • After the Nicaraguan government initiated a military draft the Contras began actively aiding draft dodgers to leave the country. They were then forced to enlist with the Contras instead. Those who refused were tortured and sometimes murdered.
  • Women and children refugees from the conflict living in camps over the border in Honduras were frequently press-ganged into forced labour crews by the Contras. Men were forced to undergo military training by the CIA and other US agencies and were then made to fight for the Contras.
  • The Contras frequently kidnapped entire Nicaraguan villages and marched them across the border to swell their human resources.
  • Honduran soldiers dressed as Nicaraguans attacked Honduran border villages in a flagrant attempt to turn the Honduran population against the Sandinistas.
  • The CIA frequently fabricated evidence and media stories to try and justify US intervention in the war and generate support for continued funding- so called "black propaganda".
  • The US lobbied the Catholic Church to condemn the revolution and to advocate counterrevolution as a religious proscription. The Church was so intimately involved in internal resistance that one of its priests, Amado Pena, was caught on video by Nicaraguan State Security, together with a leading Contra, Pedro Ernesto Sanchez, discussing tactics to foment social disturbances resulting in civilian deaths:
    • "Go to the market, we will be there. God wants these sons of bitches to stop messing with us. The most important thing is that there are deaths, I don't care how. We need to light the fuse here. After the first few deaths, the horror will begin."

So we see the US version of "democracy" that is being exported across the globe to this day to such places as Afghanistan, Iraq and now- it seems- Cuba.

"Low-intensity conflict is described as a strategy to counter terrorism. However, terrorism and repression are key components in its strategy of warfare against the poor. The United States terrorized civilians as part of its war effort in Vietnam. The methods of spreading terror ranged from indiscriminate bombings to targeted campaigns such as the Phoenix program through which more than 30,000 civilians thought to be sympathetic to the enemy were assassinated.

Low-intensity-conflict planners promote the use of terrorism in defense of perceived U.S. interests."

(From here; yes- I know its from a god-botherer but if you ignore the sky-pixie references the truth remains.)

Sorry, who are the terrorists again?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bali bullshit

This Znet article details exactly how big a pile of greenwank the Bali summit turned out to be, all thanks to certain developed nations' reticence to act for the benefit of all mankind.

"As far as global climate policy is concerned, the US is clearly a rogue state. But even governments that are not subsidiaries of the oil industry tend to be staffed by people with a vested interest in the economic status quo."

BTW- I'm rather proud of the term "greenwank".

a model example of Greenwash

Anyone who is at all aware of the practicalities of various "green" technologies will find this risible.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Media Lens vs George Monbiot

Although I worship George he is not without his faults, as the Media Lens posse have elucidated.

The Media Lens boys extensively detail sources who have reported that Iraqis are manufacturing their own IED devices, known as Explosively Formed Penetrators, or EFPs. The US claims that these are, in fact, being supplied by the Iranians is cast as the nonsense that it is (they, actually had substantial evidence that the technology was transferred from Hezbollah, NOT Iranian sources). The British Army knows that Shia militias are making their own and other iraqi machine shops have also been doing so for years. George didn't know this, apparently.

The closing paragraphs are particularly powerful:

"And so, while the media continue to capitalise on any excuse to promote a “clash of civilisations” between the West and “militant Islam”, it remains a remarkable fact that the ‘threats’ faced are mostly invented. Much of the actual violence against the West has been, and will continue to be, in retaliation for grave Western crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and elsewhere consuming literally millions of lives.

The simplest way for the West to bring its “war on terror” to a successful conclusion would be for it to stop waging war and to renounce terrorism."

American Exceptionalism

This was on youtube. Its not a joke, its actually part of this guy's campaign broadcast. Its fucking scary the way he claims America is the greatest nation in history over and over again.

I often wonder how these people justify their belief that they are truly better than you or I mere non-Americans. This really is the most abhorrent form of demagoguery: Appealing to the idiot conviction of a minority of yeehas in the bible belt who are convinced they have been chosen by the spirit of some bloke who died 2000 years to rule the world as they see fit. The worrying thing isn't that this minority exist, its the fact that far more cynical and manipulative characters are prepared to pay lip service to this creed for the simple benefits of the mass support it will garner them at the ballot box from those same rednecks.

George Monbiot: "Al Gore's a twat"

Its a gross bit of paraphrasing, but that's essentially the gist of George's position.

So, climate change is upon us. Millions of people are going to die in my lifetime, coral reefs are going to be virtually wiped out, food prices are going to explode and the oil is going to run out without any viable alternative being available to replace it. All because politicians are greedy, self-serving little shits and the corporations which obstruct political progress to line the pockets of multi-millionaire shareholders do so with their blessing.

This isn't going to be one of my open-ended rants. I'd like to propose a course of action to remedy the situation. If you printed half a dozen powerful polemics- and we're certainly not short of those- and posted them through the letterboxes of a hundred people together with a request for the recipients to print them again and forward the same information, I wonder how far it would get.

Not bloody very is my gut feeling. Because people don't care. The morality of the Western world has been so sabotaged by mass media and political disenfranchisement that people wouldn't imagine for one second that the matters discussed here are of any importance to their lives. The winner of X-factor or the latest soap drama or whichever footballer has recently been caught raping some innocent / had an obscene pay rise / knocked someone out in a drunken brawl / been caught sniffing coke / etc.

Anyone out there still at all uncertain about why I'm so angry?

Its like murder but more drawn out and callous.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

was the world saved in Bali?

After the sensible compromise of getting the US to at least sign up to an international agreement, with or without an agreed figure for future emissions reductions, can we now sleep peacefully in our eco-warrior beds?

No. Don't be so fucking naive you twat. As George Monbiot has observed, the necessary cuts in carbon emissions are more like 100%, as opposed to 25-40%. And even those measly figures gave the Bush administration an apoplectic fit! It is time for people to realise that the political machinery of our world is incapable of achieving the global action necessary to prevent gigadeaths in the coming decades. This places culpability onto all of our heads. You can either change the politics with your vote, or be held responsible by your children and all ensuing generations for causing millions of people to starve or drown or be made into refugees or slaughtered in resource wars. The decision is yours.


On reflection I think it would be a worthy effort to record exactly how the population of this and other countries votes so that appropriate action can be taken by future generations against those who vote for political parties who refuse to take action on the matter. That way when our children are struggling to produce enough energy to read by and breathing through respirators they have all the evidence needed to track down the people whose fault it is and exact revenge upon them. Just as everyone is quite prepared to bask in the relative luxury of our current lifestyle, so they should shoulder responsibility for denying it to future generations, besides denying a great number of future generations any chance at life in the first place by killing their parents. That's what I call accountability.

Pope calls for dogma to be eclipsed by evidence-based decision making ! ! !

This doesn't really warrant the three exclamation marks above as its based upon a Daily Heil article of obligatory dubiousness (won't do them the honour of linking to it- its easy enough to google).

However inaccurate the Heil's interpretation of the pontiff's words, The Pope- the head of the catholic church, that is- has called for policies in response to climate change to be devised with "prudence". This from the man who insists he drinks the blood of some dead bloke on a daily basis, insists he is in regular contact with one sky pixie and believes contraception to be the work of another sky pixie. Forgive me if I fail to take his opinions seriously.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

EU negotiators grow a pair of balls in Bali

Stavors Dimas, the EU Commissioner for the Environment actually called for other countries to "wake up" and respond to the threat of climate change. The obvious target of this comment, the US, hasn't replied but it is assumed that any subsequent response will contain outrage at EU "hostility", threats that the US will not be "held to ransom by eco-cultists" and that carbon dioxide is actually food for plants and therefore we should be paying them for all the valuable plant food they're producing.

How to save the world without recycling

This has got to be brief because I've only just started writing the presentation I've to give on Monday (DOH!).

Anyhow, recycling contributes relatively little to reducing your carbon footprint, as detailed by Chris Goodall.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

tax the products and services of nations refusing to reduce climate emissions

Why should this not be done? I can't think of a reason why those countries which refuse to commit to reduce their carbon emissions shouldn't be effectively taxed on any and all products and services they trade internationally. The revenue would be used to reduce emissions unilaterally by the climate-change-preventing nations. I know there are trade barriers to such things and the WTO will have an apoplectic fit at the prospect but then fuck them.

I thought this was such a great idea that I emailed Caroline Lucas to share it with her. She rules. Literally, she does! She's an MEP!

Monday, December 10, 2007

government scientist's: We can't do anything about climate change

This from Professors David King and John Schellnhuber who both sadly passed away shortly after the report was published after announcing also that "life was just too challenging" and they "couldn't be bothered with the effort of breathing any more". They will be missed.

Yeah. Right.

This is such weak, politically motivated arse wank. I can't believe that, after years of research into the impacts of climate change and technology that can reduce emissions, these morons turn around and say "Erm, actually, none of that will work".

Why the fuck not?

Where's your evidence?

How did you reach that conclusion?

Is this not such an enormous subject that such pronouncements should come with a little more substance to their apocalyptic claims than the thin words of politically appointed cockweasels? Apparently not. This surreptitious hinting at an unpleasant future smacks of the political and psychological warfare campaigns of the US prior to the invasion of Iraq and, recently, the attempts to build public antipathy towards an attack on Iran. Simply, the prospect unsavoury action being taken is raised by the mass media so often that the public becomes immune to the prospect of it so that, when it actually occurs, public outrage is greatly diminished.

What is slightly damning is that the US's Senior Climate Change Denialist in Bali announced at the same time that the US would not approve a draft agreement on binding carbon emission reductions (surprise! surprise!). So a two-pronged assault upon climate change prevention emerges from the equally corrupt and corporate-dominated governments of the US and the UK. On one tine we have the denial that climate change can be resisted; on the other the outright refusal to even try to do anything substantial to prevent. This is despite the eminent credibility of proposals a la Monbiot et al to convert the global economy to zero carbon by 2050.

On a different, but related topic, the UK government have been caught red-handed cooking the carbon books. What a surprise! The Nu Labour project has been caught knocking out shoddy figures so often that the credibility of any Downing Street PR release is now actually less than that of the Monster Raving Loony Party's annual "what the aliens are up to" bulletin (I made that up, BTW- couldn't think of any other suitably outrageous simile).

Sunday, December 09, 2007

A Tory government would be worse than hell on earth

Johann has the goods. In agreement with him I would like to observe that the current government are a bunch of mincing cockweasels but the tories, oh god! Thousands of people will die if they are voted in. That is all you have to remember.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

US intelligence agencies confess: "Iran is not a nuclear threat"

Its funny, you know, because its the IAEA have been saying this for years but the US refused to acknowledge it and even concocted outright lies (surprise! surprise!) to create antipathy towards Iran. It looks like they've finally run out of ideas for scare stories.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Israeli torturer and murderer calls off UK visit after he is refused immunity from prosecution for war crimes

I mentioned this earlier. Apparently the torturer can't come to the UK for fear of being prosecuted as a war criminal. Its nice to actually praise the UK system for once. I suppose even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the UK rail service sucks big, floppy donkey dicks

So, I have to catch a train every day to Exeter and back. Its an arse. I hate it. I would move to Exeter for the convenience, let alone for my eco-warrior credentials. However, I have 9 months left of my PhD, my wife and I have a house in Plymouth and there simply isn't any point when there's little or no guarantee I'll have a job there in 9 months time.

So I get the train. Every day. For an hour each way. Plus a 10 minute walk Exeter-side and a at least 15 minutes (more like 45 out of rush hour) on the bus the other- or 15 minutes if my lovely wife comes and gets me.

So, do you get the impression that I hate travelling? Well you're wrong. I fucking LOATHE IT!!!!!

Put it this way, when I was at uni (for ~ 7 years), I never lived more than 7 minutes walk from campus. Several years consecutively I lived less than 60 seconds jog from the concrete of the univeristy campus. I believe in living in the same neighbourhood as your job. I really do!

So. I hate travelling. Which is why, after I ran for the train from Exeter tonight- after checking the departure time via National Rail Enquiries as I normally do and judging that I had a ~90 second window on the 11 minute walk to Exeter St Davids, as I normally do- I was fucking irate to watch the guard blow the 2nd whistle as I tripled-stepped the stairs to the platform. The 1st whistle shuts the doors, the 2nd is the departure signal. What happened? My system has been flawless for the last 2 months, so why did it fail me this evening?

As would be expected from these pages, I was keen to register my displeasure. I ranted at the guard. I even swore in his presence. (He pointed out that he was not happy with people swearing in front of him. I pointed out that I was fine with it). I went to the station manager and asked why the train had left early ( the train departed bang on 18:45- the time that was given on the departure boards and the time that was given on the NRE real time website. He couldn't understand my frustration and tried to argue that the train had left on time so I demanded an address to write to, ignored his protestations and stormed out. I went to the pub and drank beer until the next train arrived 50 minutes later.

My wife observed when she picked a slightly drunk, tired me up from Plymouth train station some time later that the "expected" times that are given on the departure board are the "expected" departure times, just as the "expected" times on the arrivals board are the "expected" arrival times. I thought this was totally whack! Why have two different points of reference? I thought that most people would solely be interested in the arrival times of the trains. Why would you want to know the departure time of the train you're rushing to get when aiming to get there for the arrival time gives you a comfortable 2 minute window? More to the point, why confuse the shit out of poor dumbasses like me by supplying more than one point of reference?!?! AAAAAAAARARARARARARGAGAGRARAHGARHGRHGGHHGGHGHHG!!

I can't believe I have lived my life and rarely, if ever missed a train, without distinguishing between these two. I'm boring you now, I know. (In fact, if you're still reading this- fuck off and do something more productive you fuckwit mincer! There are people starving and dying out there!)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Monbiot: Combatting climate change requires completely decarbonising the economy

George rules.

US plays down Iranian nuclear threat

Could the voices of sanity have prevailed in Washington? Possibly.

I'm not gonna throw my hands in the air and pray to the twin gods of beer and masturbation just yet, though. Remember that Bush and Cheney are in the White House for a while yet.


Monday, December 03, 2007

The Best Democracy Money Can Buy - The Brown Years


Sooooooooo, we see yet more evidence of the plutocratic nature of our little pseudo-democracy hitting the headlines today with news that senior labour figures, including arch-cockweasel Hazel Blears, new all about the £650,000 of "anonymous" donations.

Gordon Brown must be crying into his pillow tonight because, after that little shit Blair got caught with his pants down over cash for access, he still managed to secure another two elections as Prime Minister. This episode, in contrast, looks sure to put the nail in Gordon's political coffin and allow the dirty Tories into power for the first time in 12 years. I might have to go and be physically sick after thinking about that . . . . .


I have been reading up on Greg Palast's sordid experiences with the big UK lobbying organisations. I have decided that Greg totally rules. His stories of the astonishing chutzpah of Brown and Blair- of their manipulation of industry sources to generate popular press reviews for the policies they were literally bribed to put in place by industry figures via the lobbyists- is simply breathtaking. It is the ultimate fly-on-the-wall view into how big business operates in Whitehall. Palast relates how one lobbyist, when challenged to prove his claims to the ears of people in power, stood up and read off a list of messages from his pager from various cabinet figures pleading for a moment of his time. Then came this little section:

"The lobbyist was in a cheery mood. His walking the CEO of the Builders’ Federation into Downing Street the week before was already paying dividends.

Blair’s adviser Geoff Norris agreed to resurrect the Builders’ plans to dig up several greenbelt areas for houses. “Just a bloody bunch of mud tracts at the edge of town,” as [LabourList's Derek] Draper described the lands at issue, despite the claims of local councils.

Such favors must be returned. “Tony needed ten environmental gimmicks” for a news release to support the government’s green image. Draper rapidly provided a list, “electric cars, silly things like that”. Draper rolled his eyes. “They loved it.”"

Reading it is actually making me feel sick again . . . . . . . and again- and every time i revisit this page.