Other stories of the week….

Osborne pledge comes back to haunt him
I recall, back when I was a student, not long after Blair brought in fees, being told by some Tory drone how the Tories were anti-tuition fees. In fact they’d signed pledges to repeal them once elected. Now at the time I thought, ya sure, were those printed on loo roll?

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Needless to say it was obviously a desperate tactic the Tories used to try and avoid total wipe out in some constituencies during the Blair years. Once they stood a chance of actually being elected they quietly forgot about these pledges.

However a student, going through her old things has managed to find one of these fabled Tory “no tuition fee” pledges with Osborne’s signature on it. Here’s a link to the incriminating document.

You may recall all the hostility directed at the lib dems for them signing pledges against tuition fees, only for them to break those pledges once in coalition. Indeed, the lib dems would point out, tuition fee rises weren’t there idea, that would be the Tories….notably Osborne himself! Although I would note that documents do suggest that it might not have been that clear cut.

But if anything we have Osborne caught doing something far worse. He clearly and knowingly signed pledges which he had no intention of following through on if he got into power. Beware the naive person (such as the lib dems!) who believes anything the Tories say.

No more mortarboards
And speaking of uni’s, the elf n’safety killjoy’s campaign to suck the joy out of life continues. East Anglia university has now banned its students from throwing mortar boards in the air after graduation on the grounds that “they might cause injury”. But don’t worry, we’ll photoshop them in!

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Quite frankly any student who is so dumb enough to throw a mortar board in the air, then forget about how gravity works and gets injured by it, well clearly they didn’t learn a lot in uni!

Referendum gets nastier
Now while I will agree that Cameron and the stay camp are perhaps hamming it up in their case for staying in the EU, something Sturgeon drew attention to today. However, their position is based on facts, although they are perhaps taking the most negative version of those facts. But the position of the leave camp is based on BS, outright liespetty racism and xenophobia.

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Take the latest one regarding Turkey. The leave camp claim that we can’t stop the Turks joining the EU and swarms of Turk’s streaming across the channel. Well actually, no. All the nations of the EU will have a veto and its likely Greece and Cyprus will object unless Turkey changes its stance towards the situation in Northern Cyprus. There’s a big long list of other issues that Turkey needs to agree too. And nobody can see that happening any time soon.

Furthermore, like any new entrant to the EU, there would be some temporary restrictions on immigration of Turkish workers, as had applied to other states who recently joined the EU such as Romania, Bulgaria and Poland (the UK chose to wave the restrictions on Polish migration under Tony Blair as the UK had a shortage of labour at the time given the then economic boom).

To say the leave camp’s statement is far from the truth doesn’t even cut it. Either the leave camp are grossly misinformed and need to fire their advisers (that will be the ones in the KKK get up!). Or they are openly and quite deliberately lying (same as they’ve still got that BS about the EU costing us £350 million emblazoned on their battle bus, even thought this was debunked weeks ago, yet they keep repeating it) because somehow they think its for the greater good that they lie about this one.

Antibiotic resistance rates growing
And again we have worrying long term projections about a possible future without antibiotics. Already several bacteria resistant to all known antibiotics have surfaced. This report warns that by 2050, we could see someone die from a superbug related strain every 3 seconds.

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The report does suggest a number of radical measures. Notably, a requirement that pharmaceutical companies are forced to either spend money on antibiotic research, or to pay some sort of tax on their profits which will be fed into such research. The report also recommends a strict no antibiotic prescriptions policy to doctors, unless they’ve first done tests to confirm it will actually help.

Of course, I would argue the problem needs to be tackled at source. In many parts of the world, antibiotics are routinely fed to farm animals, even ones who are not in the least bit ill. Studies have shown this is a very likely source of any future superbug outbreak, given that several of these superbugs have been found in farm animals. A ban on such practices (a ban on any meat produced this way, with testing of animal carcasses for traces of antibiotics) would go a long way. Yes it will mean more animals dying, which in turn will make meat much more expensive, but it’s the most sensible way to resolve the problem.

Still standing
Despite the fact that all the twits on twitter have been chirping it for months it would seem this PJS/YMA super-injunction is still standing. This is thanks to the Judge (known as SS for Senior Sentencer) doesn’t want to be made a fool of by being proved wrong, so he’s acting like a little kid, in the face of the internet’s attempts at blowing it out like a candle in the wind. I mean seriously, just put “pjs” into google followed by a space and see which is the first name the auto complete comes up with. Already newspapers beyond the UK have named them. A classic proof of the Streisand effect, although I think its going to be a long, long time before the SS, PJS and YMA are furnished with the knowledge about how foolish this is making them look.

More importantly however is that what is going on here is judges and lawyers making up new laws without anything being passed in parliament. While the human rights act does play a role in this, keep in mind other EU countries don’t have the same issue, even in Russia (which also subject to the same human rights act, hence why Putin is currently being sued over MH17). The fault lies with the nature of the UK justice system and a lack of a UK constitution.

Egypt Air flight
There’s a lot of speculation, about this Egypt air plane missing over the Mediterranean. Many are assuming, or all but concluding it was terrorism, however I’m not so sure.

One has to be very careful about reading too much into any facts that filter out during an air crash investigation until all the evidence is in. Because it could turn out to be significant, or it might not matter.

For example, the plane executed a 90 degree and then a 360 degree turn. This could mean some sort of pilot action, either as an attempt to recover from some mechanical failure, or perhaps someone trying to crash the plane (perhaps a cockpit intrusion). However, equally it could just be the result of an out of control plane with a jammed stabiliser.

However the day afterwards, the media were certain it was terrorism. The Sun had it on good authority from some “aviation expert” (I assume that means some bloke down the pub who thinks he was in the RAF durin the war) that the plane was brought down by a cockpit fight with hijackers.

But revelations from the final ACARS messages (web updates the plane sends back to manufacturers relating to possible system problems) reveals smoke in the avionics bay and/or lavatory a few minutes prior to the crash. This tends to suggest that what happened to the plane was more gradual and tends to suggest a fire. That said, any sort of malfunction could lead to false ACARS signals, so we still can’t rule out some sort of terrorist action. Its just a fire (possibly someone having a fag in the toilet, or an electrical fire) does seem the more likely cause. But even so, better to wait until all the facts are in.

That said, I won’t hold my breath and wait for the Egyptians to produce a report, as they have a pretty awful reputation when it comes to air crash investigations. The loss of Egypt Air 990 was almost certainly caused by a suicidal pilot, something everyone, except the Egyptians, now accepts. They instead blame a “technical fault” that has never been seen before and never seen since then.

And the Metrojet flight brought down over the Sinai, is now widely accepted to be a bomb. But again the Egyptians will not admit this, instead concocting theory after theory to explain it away without them having to take the blame. So I won’t hold your breath and think the truth will eventually come out.

Stoned Sheep on the rampage
Finally, we have the story of stoned sheep on the rampage in a small Welsh town. They had eaten cannabis abandoned by the side of a road and went on a psychedelic, drug fuelled rampage through the local village. Now that’s what I call a Baaad trip!

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