Archive for Idiots

Another Wickerman Volunteer

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, Rantings, The Wicker Man list with tags , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2011 by awickerman

So a Labour MP manages to irritate me and neatly explain why I will never vote for the current version of the Labour Party and think less of anyone who does. Her particular words of wisdom;

An MP has backed calls for the DNA screening of all men in Bristol as part of the hunt for the murderer of Jo Yeates.

That MP being Kerry McCarthy who, quite aside from anything else, is in favour of ID cards, against a proper inquiry into Iraq and felt she was worth £175,000 in expense last year making her the joint 35th greediest MP which, given the intense competition among the money grabbing rat bastards in Westminster, is quite an achievement.

But back to the point, she now wants to DNA test 150,000 men (420,000 people in Bristol city, half are men, 30% of those are either very young or very old). As she herself says;

“Quite how the police would organise this I don’t know,” she added.

Which tells you all you need to know about the Labour way of thinking, it’s the announcement and the press statement that matter. ‘Sending a message’ and all that jazz not actually getting anything done, unless of course it’s raising taxes, pissing money against the wall or starting wars in foreign countries, in which case go for it.

I don’t really need to list out all the problems with this monumentally bad idea, but I will because what the hell?

  • Does the killer live in Bristol City or the outskirts? What if he’s just outside the catchment? What if he’s in Greater Bristol (pop 1million)? or Bath? Despite the best efforts of many governments, petrol is still affordable and despite Network Rail’s work to the contrary there are still trains in the South West.
  • How the hell do you actually arrange testing that many people in anything like a sensible time frame? Do you stop every single other DNA test in the country or accept the wait and take months. Also how do you pay for this, sure the testing will be relatively cheap (assuming you get a bulk discount) but the manpower of door to door swab testing 150,000 people is terrifying.
  • How do you handle those who refuse? I know I would on principle and there would be others. As far as I can tell the standard police line from past mass trawls is ‘We treat them all as suspects, investigate them and then arrest them’. That’s a hell of a lot of extra work and manhours and you’ve just spent the entire police budget on DNA testing. Plus it is just begging for an Independent Police Complaints investigation and alot of wrongful arrest suits. Hell they’re already facing one from the landlord, do they really want more?
  • Related point, what if the killer isn’t stupid enough to hand over their DNA? There will be others and surely you can’t treat all of them as suspects. Actually scratch that, she was one of the Labour MPs in favour of 90 days without trial so she probably would lock everyone up.
  • Finally (though I’m sure there are others) are you sure on the suspect? What if he is over 70 or under 16, it’s not unknown and you’ve just added a few thousand more targets, plus terrified half the tabloids with ‘Police DNA testing 13 year old boy!’ headlines, which will go down well. And you are sure the killer is a man aren’t you? After all the reports say there wasn’t a sexual element, so how are jumping to the conclusion the suspect is a man again?

Now to be fair the idea has worked in the past, the article mentions the murder of Louise Smith where the killer was indeed stupid enough to give his DNA despite moving to South Africa. But that was back in 1998 (1995 for the crime) so why such an old example? I know why the BBC mentioned it (Beeb supporting Labour idea non-shocker) but why such an old one, surely it must have been tried since?

And of course it has, it just hasn’t worked. Here’s one of the more recent goes from only last year, the case of Michelle Samaraweera who got a blaze of publicity and a big DNA sweep but to no effect. Hence why they relaunched the murder enquiry a few weeks back. There are of course others and as far as I can tell none successful, perhaps why the poor BBC article writer had to go back over a decade in order to find something positive to say about the idea.

For all my many, many, many doubts about the current mob in government it’s incidents like this that remind me to thankful that we don’t have to have idiots like Kerry McCarthy in power any more. Because truly the Wicker Man would be too good for them.


Property Puns

Posted in Engineering, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , on January 5, 2011 by awickerman

Further to the last post on puns in the world of large London towers I present this beauty from Property Week. Commenting on the Shard tower poking further up into London, and on Simon Jenkins making an even bigger tit of himself than usual, this wonderful headline emerged;

No need for Shard-enfreude

There is nothing more that need be said

A Gift I Think Will Keep On Giving

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Engineering, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, The Idiocy and Ignorance of Gilligan, The Underground, Tunnels with tags , , , , , , on December 20, 2010 by awickerman

While it’s too early to be sure I think pointing and laughing at Andrew Gilligan is going to be a gold mine of lazy posts. Here is a gem from a couple of days ago;

Another interesting thing, though, is that several of the delays weren’t snow-related, but due to signal failures, train breakdowns and the like.

Without any information either way the options are either the signalling system and trains failed due to the extreme cold and snow OR all suffered unrelated failures at exactly the same time. Honestly which is more likely, not that I’m saying TfL have an excuse for being surprised by snow, but I think we can safely say pretty much all the problems were snow and cold related. But then what can you expect from an idiot who says things like this;

substantial proportion of its network is protected from snow by being underground (including about 95% of the Circle Line, which nonetheless still manages to suffer “severe delays.”)

What could possibly cause that problem? Let’s have a quick quiz, could it be;

  1. That the Circle Line, like all London Underground Lines is run at pretty much peak capacity so delays on the 5% above ground would quickly ripple through the entire system?
  2. That the Circle Line shares track with the Hammersmith & City Line, District Line and Metropolitan Line and so suffers knock on delays whenever they fail?
  3. That the Circle Line uses 1960s vintage ‘C’ stock trains that, barring the Metropolitan and Victoria Line stock that is being replaced at present, is the oldest and least reliable on the network?
  4. That it’s well established LUL procedure that the Circle Line gets knocked out first and suffers the biggest problem as it’s least-critical (i.e. doesn’t go anywhere other lines don’t also service).
  5. All of the above, hence why the Circle Line is historically the least reliable of all
  6. Something else

If you said anything from 1-4, you scored 5 points, well done. If you said 5,  you score 10 point, well done. If you said 7, you were doing a different quiz, well done.

However if you said 6 then I’m afraid you score no points. You’ve managed to stoop down to Gilligan’s level and can probably fake brain activity low enough to write his blog for him. Commiserations.

Making Yourself Look Stupid

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, Engineering, Rantings, The Idiocy and Ignorance of Gilligan, Tunnels with tags , , , , , on December 19, 2010 by awickerman

Let us say you are a journalist who’s got an axe to grind about High Speed  2. You want to knock of a blog post damning the project, do you do a very,very brief bit of research on the subject or do you just make something up that suits your prejudice?

If you chose the later option well done, there may well be a job at the Telegraph for you. Certainly they let Andrew Gilligan get away with making himself look an idiot by making things up;

And tens of thousands of Londoners in Primrose Hill, Swiss Cottage, Kilburn, Queens Park and Kensal Green are also at risk of vibration from tunnels under or near their homes.

No-one has ever suffered vibration from trains in tunnels 20m below ground level. Hell no-one suffers vibrations from tunnels a couple of meters below ground level, it is quite possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen written about a train tunnel, and given some of the spectacuarly dense people I’ve dealt with over the years that is saying something.

The worst thing is if he’d wanted to do a blatantly unfair hatchet job on the scheme there were countless legitimate scare stories he could have used, problems that are actually possible and don’t make him look like a feckless idiot.

Looking at his other transport related posts I feel a series coming on – “The On-Going Dribblings of the Lazy and/or Ignorant Fool Gilligan”. It may need a snappier title.

Hello, I am an extreme Libertarian

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , on December 4, 2010 by awickerman

While reading an article from the Indy this morning this did rather leap out at me;

On the other hand, only the extreme libertarians say that people should be free to wreck their lives if they choose.

As I do think people should be free to whatever they want to their own lives (other people’s lives are a different matter, as is having a wrecked life due to having no choice at all or due to other people’s choices) then clearly I am an extreme libertarian.  You learn something every day hey?

That or Martin Hickman is a big government knows best retard. Honestly I’m leaning towards the latter, but what do I know? I’m an extremist…

Professions that have never seen Star Wars #1

Posted in Alas the Mystery Remains Holmes, Engineering, Rantings, Tenuous Link of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2010 by awickerman

The latest exciting skyscraper/big building in London to return from recession induced delay is Walbrook Square, four moderately tall buildings with large green houses on top and some grass. However if you really squint (and have only second hand descriptions of the films to go on) you might conclude it looks like Darth Vaders helmet;


No it really isn't Darth Vader's Helmet. Trust me on this.


Given that the critics of the scheme were mainly architects, and they’re the ones who came up with the Darth Vader’s helmet tag, we can reasonably conclude that almost no-one in that profession has actually seen the films. They probably weren’t pretentiously art house enough for them, in my experience architects generally prefer 5hr long films in subtitled French about the existential bleakness of a cold baguette.

Anyway the nickname stuck, despite being almost entirely incorrect, due to the lure of the headlines. Whenever the project was going well there was a ‘Force is strong‘ type headline, whenever it was delayed it was a ‘Powers are weak’ based one. Thankfully it’s now going ahead so they might shut up, however I fear there may be ‘Now I am the master’ type headlines when the rents are announced and it shoots to the top of the ‘price per m²’ rankings. It’s just a cross I will have to bear I suppose.

Extra bonus fact; the basement of the development will contain a restored temple to Mithra, the ancient Persian/Roman god who is basically Jesus a completely different deity from Jesus. Except for a few coincidences like the same birthday. And the whole virgin birth thing. And an identical death, 3 day wait and resurrection. And the baptism and other similar ceremonies. And they did both have 12 disciples. But apart from those a few hundred other trifling similarities they are completely different, and if you say otherwise the Pope will be very upset.

Thinking Fail of the Week

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Rantings, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , on September 24, 2010 by awickerman

From this article. A handful of Frenchmen (and a few others) have been kidnapped from a Uranium mine in Niger, probably by some nasty terrorist types. To deal with this the French defence minister says;

“For the time being, our concern is to be able to enter into contact with al-Qaeda, to have some demands… which we do not have,”

Later in the same article the French national police chief says;

“We’re now facing a peak threat that can’t be doubted. There is a specific threat against French interests.”

Could the fact French interests are being specifically targeted have anything to do with the fact that the French government is so keen to surrender that they actively chase the terrorists for their demands?

An instructive comparison could be the British government’s approach of never paying a ransom, sure some people get stranded (but then if you insist on yachting past Somalia you damned well deserve it) but kidnappers get the point and go after softer targets and governments who just give in, targets such as Frenchmen.

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