United Kingdom

Want to know who will win an election? Ask a bookie

We have iPredict but it isn’t really betting in the true sense…In the UK however they do have bookies and they are allowed to bet on elections.

It turns out that betting is a more accurate predictor of an election process than polling.

[W]here should we be looking for our best estimate of what is actually going to happen, to the polls or to the markets? It’s a question that we have been considering in the UK for nearly 30 years.

We can trace the question to July 4 1985, the day that the political betting markets finally came of age in this country. A by-election was taking place in a semi-rural corner of Wales, with Labour and Liberals the key contenders. Ladbrokes made the Liberals odds-on favourite. But on the very morning of the election a poll by Mori gave Labour a commanding 18 percentage point lead. Ladbrokes kept the Liberal candidate as the solid odds-on favourite. And who won? The Liberal — and anyone who ignored the pollster and followed the money.    Read more »

Hacking fallout

When unethical so called’ journalists ‘ hack members of the public or work closely with hackers in order to gain such information the human cost is often forgotten.

Nicky Hager-Dirty Politics

Nicky Hager

 

I guess we should be grateful that Nicky Hager was so ‘ honest ‘ about where he obtained his information as at least it spared Cameron and I the grief that this poor couple were put through. The hacking of their phone conversations cost them their relationship and hurt their careers because as the media bit by bit revealed their private information they blamed each other for the leaks, as only the two of them knew the information. Additionally at work no one would trust them as they believed that they were blabbing work related information to the press.

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Photo Of The Day

Immigration poster

New Zealand was not known to Europeans until 1642. Over 150 years later, settlers started to arrive from England, Scotland, and Ireland. The journey was long, arduous, and uncomfortable, but they came in the hope of a better life.

In the 1850s Auckland province offered 40 acres (16 hectares) for any immigrant to the province who was likely to become a ‘useful colonist’, plus another 20 acres (8 hectares) for any child aged five to 18. Such immigration advertising helped to establish the idea that New Zealand was a pastoral paradise where there was abundant fertile land for farming.

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The Greens are nuts the world over

If you think our Green party is looney, then check out the Greens in the UK.

The Greens are gathering in Liverpool for their annual conference. It’s their largest yet – so the council will have to find extra parking spaces for all the broomsticks

We’re told that Britain is riding high on a Green tide, and that 2015 could be the year that this unlikely alliance of Trotskyites and Druids wins a clutch of seats in Parliament. But the more the public knows about them, the less it’s likely to want to vote for them.

It’s true that Green Party membership doubled last year (finally giving them enough people to form that coven they’ve always wanted) and that they’re generating lots of support among the flower children on campus. But mummy and daddy are rather more concerned about the details expected to appear in their Looney Tunes manifesto. For the borders it’s “open sesame”; drugs, brothels and membership of terrorist groups will all be decriminalised; and Britain will become a “zero growth economy” – which, at the very least, will be easy to achieve. I’m told by party insiders that if the economy should dip into recession in 2016, they’ll get things moving again by sacrificing a goat to Sheba the Moon Goddess.

The more that the Greens get media attention, the more it’ll become obvious that they don’t really deserve it. For those of us with experience of actually living under a Green council, the case against them is overwhelming.

Since they took over Brighton in 2010, we’ve had proposals for gender-neutral toilets and the option of identifying oneself as Mr, Mrs or Mx on council forms. They’ve tried to hike taxes by an eye-watering 4.75 per cent. Moreover, for a supposedly Green party they are remarkably bad for the environment. Shortly after taking over there was a bin strike that led to rubbish collecting in the streets. They’ve signed-off on the construction of a monstrous tower on the front that looks suspiciously like a phallic totem pole. New windfarms promise to despoil the view out to sea. And, most ironically of all, Brighton has plummeted down the recycling tables: it now ranks 302nd out of 326 councils.

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Weed-onomics

I see from the Herald today that there is a weed shortage in the South Island, which has driven up prices, classic supply/demand economics.

The Telegraph in the UK had a recent article about the economics of legalising cannabis.

How much is cannabis worth these days? According to the Institute for Economic and Research, up to £900m could be raised annually through taxation of regulated cannabis market.

Meanwhile £361 million is currently spent every year on policing and treating users of illegally traded and consumed cannabis.

It seems a lot to spend on punishing people for an activity most of us barely believe should be a crime any more. And that’s even before one factors in the potential benefit legalisation and regulation of cannabis could have for the UK exchequer.

Then, there is the job creation potential. In Colorado, which legalised marijuana at the beginning of 2014, 10,000 now work in the marijuana industry: growing and harvesting crops, working in dispensaries, and making and selling equipment. Crime has fallen: in the first three months after legalisation in Denver, the city experienced a 14.6 per cent drop in crime and specifically violent crime is down 2.4 per cent. Assaults were down by 3.7 per cent.

This reduction led to further savings and allowing stretched police forces to concentrate on more serious issues. Meanwhile, cannabis use by young people actually decreased, an uncomfortable fact for prohibitionists who argue that legalisation would simply encourage more teens to take up cannabis.

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Does welfare create jihadis?

It would appear that welfare creates jihadis.

The UK paid Jihadi John’s family more than £400k in welfare, which appears to have turned this guy into a head hacking, murdering scumbag such was his deprived up-bringing suckling on the tit of the state.

Jihadi John and his asylum-seeking family have milked the British benefits system for 20 years, the Mail can reveal today.

Housing the Islamic State executioner and his relatives in affluent parts of London has cost taxpayers up to £400,000.

One landlord said Mohammed Emwazi’s family were ‘parasites’ and ‘tenants from hell’. Incredibly, they are still believed to be pocketing £40,000 a year in handouts despite there being no sign of them in Britain.

Emwazi’s father Jasem, who has six children, is back in his native Kuwait – the country he claimed he fled fearing for his life.

Westminster City Council is still paying the rent on the family’s £600,000 flat even though the rules say housing benefit should normally be stopped after 13 weeks.

MPs said they were horrified that the child of a family given refugee status, citizenship and benefits had returned the favour by orchestrating the murder of two of its citizens.

‘They are abusing our hospitality,’ said Philip Hollobone. ‘The rules are quite clear. If there has been any abuse of the system here, money should be paid back.

‘Mohammed Emwazi’s offences are worse than murder or terrorism. They are an assault on the British way of life.’

David Davies, a fellow Tory MP, said: ‘This is an absolute outrage and a disgrace. We should stop their housing benefit immediately. Mr Emwazi clearly doesn’t need asylum in this country.’    Read more »

Is spying wrong?

Is spying wrong?

Well not when it is the left-wing doing it to political opponents, and using criminals to enable it.

But widely, no it is not. I almost never agree with Michael Field, especially over Fiji, but this may well be a watershed moment for both of us because I happen to agree with his column the other day about the spying revelation of Nicky Hager.

It is not paradise out there in the South Pacific and while our friendly neighbourhood might be democratic and understand rugby’s off-side rule, corruption, self-interest and idiocy stalks their capitals.

And dangerously surprising things like coups, civil war and mutinies happen, and they have a real and direct impact on New Zealand.

The Snowden Papers suggest spying in the South Pacific is something new, but the reality is that we have been spying on Pacific countries for decades.

Back in 1914 London asked New Zealand soldiers to invade German Samoa. We said yes, but asked if they could give us some details of German defences. London replied we would look it up in an encyclopaedia.

These days acting like that is not on.

Time-shift to today and pick a Pacific country that suddenly finds itself with people being killed, buildings on fire and assorted bad people breaking into police armouries – as happened in the Solomon Islands.

New Zealand’s Special Air Service was on the way to save lives – what are they expected to do for useful intelligence, Google it?

As open as Pacific states can seem to be, it takes specialist knowledge and focus to know who the real players are.

Mobile phone metadata does not provide that.

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Face of the day

 Erna Solberg

Erna Solberg

Erna Solberg  has been leader of the conservative party in Norway since 2004 and became Prime Minister in 2013 making her the second female Prime Minister of Norway.

Solberg has served as a member of the Storting since 1989 and served as Minister of Local Government and Regional Development in Bondevik’s Second Cabinet from 2001 to 2005. In her term as minister, she oversaw the tightening of immigration policy

-wiki

Interestingly Solberg was not as tough on immigration as she had been portayed as being back then in the media. She was called ” Jern-Erna ” or Iron Erna when she served as the Minister of local government and regional development 2001-2005 because of her alleged tough policies including a firm stance on asylum policy. However according to wiki the numbers show that her government actually let in thousands more asylum seekers than the subsequent centre-left red-Green government.

Even worse in 2003 She proposed introducing Islamic Sharia councils in Norway after she heard of their existence in the United Kingdom.

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Face of the day

Sqn Ldr Charlotte 'Charlie' Thomson-Edgar (left) previously Staff Officer 1 of the Medical Emergency Response Team in Afghanistan, with a colleague. She has criticised MOD failings in the conduct of the war  Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2973909/RAF-hero-Charlotte-Thompson-Edgar-saved-600-wounded-troops-attacks-shocking-MOD-planning-cost-lives.html#ixzz3TFgNvgOr Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Sqn Ldr Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Thomson-Edgar (left) previously Staff Officer 1 of the Medical Emergency Response Team in Afghanistan, with a colleague. She has criticised MOD failings in the conduct of the war 

If we are going to send our soldiers into battle it is the very least we can do to provide them with the very best medical support. Squadron Leader Charlotte Thompson-Edgar has highlighted the totally unacceptable way that the British Government under resourced and under prepared the medical teams. I can’t help but compare this shocking situation with the millions of pounds being put into building Mosques in Britain. They build places where Muslims can spread their ideology that is anti democracy, freedom of speech and Infidels while British citizens fighting to protect others rights overseas did not even have blood and plasma available to them on board British helicopters when they were injured.

A senior RAF nurse awarded one of Britain’s highest medals for nursing on the front line has hit out at military leaders, saying they were woefully unprepared for the consequences of fighting in Afghanistan.

Squadron Leader Charlotte Thompson-Edgar spoke movingly about the bravery of the 600 soldiers she brought back from the brink of death after fierce battles against the Taliban.

But at a ceremony last week to mark the latest Operational Honours and Awards for Britain’s Armed Forces, Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar – who was awarded the Royal Red Cross 2nd Class – said she believed the Ministry of Defence failed to plan or prepare for the fighting, during which 453 troops lost their lives.
In an interview with the Mail on Sunday the 40-year-old revealed:

  • Senior officers failed to anticipate the scale and severity of casualties the Taliban could inflict;
  • She received no job training;
  • For two years, British helicopters flew without any blood or plasma on board to give to wounded soldiers – a policy that cost them their lives;
  • Overworked medics suffered ‘burnout’ and quit their jobs after working 24-hour shifts for ten days without any rest.
  • From 2007 to 2013, Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar, from Peterborough, commanded a medical response unit that flew by helicopter to the battlefield, braving Taliban gunfire, to rescue injured soldiers.

Speaking about her ‘horrific’ experiences in the war zone, she said: ‘There was no training for the job whatsoever and I’d never done any pre-hospital care.

263046E400000578-2973909-image-a-16_1425168112271

+6 Sqn Ldr Thomson-Edgar (left) working onboard a Chinook helicopter with a colleague on Operation Herrick: the codename under which all British operations in Afghanistan have been conducted. She said she was a ‘complete mess’ on returning to Britain after her first tour

‘I was used to working in a nice emergency room in a safe environment with kit and with everyone on standby.

‘Suddenly I was in a Chinook helicopter, unable to hear myself think, treating guys with horrific injuries and being shot at. I was not prepared to see these injuries but then the military was not expecting to see them either.

‘I pulled 600 patients from the battlefield – about 80 per cent of them had limbs missing or gunshot wounds. Quite a lot died, especially those with gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

‘We also saw guys were dying because they were losing too much blood.’

 

…However, leading so many missions commanding the Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) soon took its toll.

Sqn Ldr Thompson-Edgar said: ‘Every time the red phone rang to signal another MERT mission I would think, “Is today going to be the day?”

‘And when I came back to Britain after that first tour, I’ll be honest, I was a complete mess.

‘So I said right, we’ve got to prepare our people better because I hadn’t been prepared and didn’t want somebody else to go through it.’
Once home, she played a key role in setting up a MERT training programme, which used amputees in Britain to act as injured soldiers to help medics train before they were deployed to Afghanistan.

As a result of recommendations from senior medical staff, blood and plasma started to be carried aboard MERT helicopters in 2008.

But as the campaign continued, the Taliban changed their tactics – leading to injuries becoming even more horrific and the experiences of UK medics more traumatic.

She said: ‘Originally they just wanted to hurt as many soldiers as possible in order to dent morale and get the public up in arms.

‘Then they decided that if they maimed somebody really, really badly that’s going to affect people more and affect the minds of the soldiers on the ground.

‘So the blasts got bigger and the amputations started getting higher up the soldiers’ legs. This made our jobs a lot harder, especially when someone was bleeding from the groin because it is very difficult to stop that sort of bleeding.

…She added: ‘The past seven years have been very difficult and I know my family have been concerned.

‘I got through it for a reason – because of the guys on the ground, the soldiers, who deserved the best. 

‘Their bravery was my reason for going back to the war zone so many times.’

-mailonline
To read the article in full

Norway makes one step forward and two steps back

Today I read about how the government of Norway( despite public opposition to their decision) deported 824 Muslims. According to many different reports on the internet this resulted in a 30-31% decrease in violent crime. Reading this made me think that if such an unpopular decision had such measurable and pleasing results that it would enable the Government to make more sensible non politically correct decisions to protect its country.

Unfortunately they are not consistent in their decisions as a man I would consider public enemy number one in Norway was not deported back to Iraq because he risks the death penalty there.

Mullah Krekar (original name: Najmeddine Faraj Ahmad) is a Kurd who moved from Iraq to Norway in 1991

Mullah Krekar (original name: Najmeddine Faraj Ahmad) is a Kurd who moved from Iraq to Norway in 1991

This is a man who has spoken at length about how he and Islam supports murdering anyone who burns a Koran or draws a cartoon of Muhammad. This is a man who in 2012 was sentenced to 5 years in prison for making repeated death threats against Norwegian politicians and kurds if they pursued certain civil actions against him. This is a man who ..

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