The Baroness, The Cark Park and The Smell of Burning Pants

I started this blog back in May. Prior to that, although I enjoyed reading other people’s blogs, I had never seriously considered bothering to do one myself.

Then one day, something came along which was so utterly stupid I felt like I needed to tell the world. The country’s finances were in a big mess, we were about to go through a general election and no party standing for election had told us what they were going to cut in order to sort this out.

In all of this the thing which really got my goat, the thing which frustrated me into setting up a free WordPress account and typing – actually typing, was the Conservative policy on raising the inheritance tax threshold. In the circumstances probably the most mind-numbingly stupid thing that could conceivably have been conceived.

You can read that first post here but to summarise it, the ONS had published very clear figures showing the state of the nation’s finances. The IFS had published a very clear paper showing that each of the three main parties required significant, unidentified spending cuts in order to make their sums add up and despite this, the Conservative party were advocating a tax cut which would only benefit very rich people and, in order to pursue their agenda of lower public spending would have to be funded by even more cuts elsewhere.

The IFS’s paper showed that the Conservative Party, in their manifesto, had identified a mere 17.7% of the spending cuts they would actually need to make to in order for their figures to balance. This was well known, clearly calculated and in the public domain.

Now, before I continue, I want to make something absolutely clear. I did not hack into a top secret government server to get this information. I did not take it off a laptop I found on a train, I just downloaded some reports from the websites of the two most bloody obvious places to look for it.

Fast-forward to Thursday last week and that evening’s episode of Question Time on which, representing the Conservative Party, was Baroness Warsi.

“Why didn’t you tell the public you were going to cut Child Benefit?” she was asked.

Pop Quiz, assholes. Was her answer:

  • Well, we had no idea how bad the financial mess that Labour left behind would be.
  • We didn’t want to tell anyone before the election in case they didn’t vote for us but it’s too late for that now! We won! Ha Ha!

Sadly, she went with a). This is very strange though because everyone else did know very accurately how bad the financial mess was and furthermore, I seem to recall a certain political party making it the major point of their election campaign.

If Baroness Warsi says she didn’t realise our finances were a big mess then I conclude that either:

  • She is not taking her job very seriously.
  • Her pants are on fire.

Judging by the audience’s reaction they were opting for answer b).

Later, Baroness Warsi got onto the subject of Big Society. Big Society is the coalition’s spoon full of sugar to help the cuts go down and if you don’t think too hard about it, it has a lot going for it. The idea is that the state will motivate society into taking responsibility for their own lives and get involved in building and improving the community. Such will be the Utopia that we create that no one will even remember spending cuts. It does have a fairly big down side though – no one will actually bother to do it.

Warsi was asked what the Big Society initiative would actually achieve. She recounted a charming tale of some people who had once cleaned up a car park. The next step for Big Society, she said, would be reforming our educational system, our police force and our health service.

Hmmm…..

That does seem like rather a big next step. Just because the average group of people possesses the skills to clean up a car park does not mean that the average group of people knows how to set up and run a school or a hospital. In fact, I would go as far as to say these things are in no way related.

If you didn’t see the episode and think I am misrepresenting things, I urge you to have a look at it on iPlayer. This bizarre extrapolation really was done.

When Labour came to power in 1997 they enjoyed a long “Honeymoon” period. Judging by Baroness Warsi’s performance, the coalition’s is over as quickly as it began. I actually don’t believe the government could possibly be as incompetent as you’d believe from watching her but they do seem to put her on TV a lot so their judgment at least is fairly awful.

Her claim regarding the economy, essentially ‘we didn’t know what we were getting in to’, is frankly no better than Bob Crow using the fact that tube drivers have to work underground a lot of the time as one of the reasons that they should be paid more. Call me a cynic but I’m pretty sure they knew that when they applied for the job and probably they thought the hugely inflated salary, minimal working hours and generous holiday allowance made up for it. Or maybe they really didn’t already know this when they applied for the job of tube driver on the London Underground.

In truth the state of the nation’s finances were well known by everybody. Any party seeking election knew exactly what they were taking on and as such the elected government should be able to stand behind their policies, not hide behind a lie.

The claim that these cuts weren’t expected and are just the result of not realising that our economy is weak, is frankly insulting because it is so easily shown to be false. The current government will no doubt have more, as yet, unidentified cuts ahead. If they have even the tiniest amount of respect for their electorate then they will learn to be accountable for their policies. If they think their electorate is a bunch of idiots then we have this excuse to look forward to for the next four and a half years.

This all sounds hugely depressing but I assure you – it’s not all bad. Somewhere, wherever it may be, we have a clean car park.

RedEaredRabbit

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Homo Perfectus

I am an atheist. I believe in evolution. Some people aren’t atheists. Some people believe in something called “intelligent design”. Well I take issue with this theory. God or no God, there is nothing remotely intelligent about human design. The design of humans is crap. Look, here comes one now.

Homo Sapien

Hardly inspiring, is it? If I were God I would have designed something far better and I will now show you exactly what. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Homo Perfectus. Homo Perfectus is like Homo Sapien but with the following improvements:

Arms

Two arms is not enough. What about all those times when you need to carry three things? Homo Perfectus has four arms. In this way he or she can carry three things and still have an arm spare for mischief and petty crime.

Extra arms for carrying three or four things

Extra arms for carrying three or four things

Hands

With four arms comes four hands. The digits on the two new hands would be utility digits – each finger would perform its own special function, like the tools on a Swiss Army knife:

Left Hand

  • Fork
  • Corkscrew
  • Saw
  • Can opener

Right Hand

  • Knife
  • Bottle Opener
  • Fish Scaler
  • Screw Driver

(NB Homo Perfectus will never actually use the fish scaler.)

Utility fingers

Utility fingers

One of Homo Sapien’s most fundamental flaws becomes apparent when wanting to push a button which is more than four inches away from the end of their arm. Homo Perfectus would therefore have a metre long index finger on the upper left hand.

Extra long finger for pushing distant buttons

Extra long finger for pushing distant buttons

Feet

Homo Perfectus would have feet three times as long and five times as wide as Homo Sapien so that he or she could walk on snow without sinking into it.

Big feet to allow easy traversing of snowy ground

Eyes

Homo Perfectus can shoot powerful laser beams from his or her eyes and uses this ability for cooking food and shooting cats and dogs for recreational purposes.

Laser eyes for shooting cats and dogs

Laser eyes for shooting cats and dogs

Ears

Homo Sapien’s ears are useless for eavesdropping. Homo Perfectus solves this problem by having ears on the end of extendable tentracles, a bit like Mr. Tickle’s arms. The tentracles can be controlled such that if a private conversation is occurring across the room, Homo Perfectus would simply extend one or both tentracles until the ear(s) are within a few centimetres of the conversation, thus catching all the juicy details while the eavesdroppees are none the wiser.

Ears on tentracles for easy eavesdropping

Ears on tentracles for easy eavesdropping

Nose

Homo Perfectus has an elephant’s nose as elephants have the best noses.

Elephants clearly have the best noses

Elephants clearly have the best noses

Hair

Homo Sapien has hair in all of the wrong places. How often do you hear one say, “Brrrr, my armpit is cold!” Never!! But Homo Sapien continually suffers with cold ears, nose, fingers and toes. Homo Perfectus has hair on all of these, but nowhere else.

Hair in all the right places

Hair in all the right places

Wings

Homo Perfectus has wings on its head, thus making aeroplanes obsolete and thereby solving global warming problems.

Homo Perfectus takes to the skies

Homo Perfectus solves global warming

Miscellaneous

Lastly, Homo Perfectus is blue so he or she is camouflaged from sharks when swimming in the sea.

Homo Perfectus

Homo Perfectus

Conclusion

This thought experiment is more important than it first seems. If Homo Sapien is the design masterpiece of the greatest intellect in the universe then how did I improve upon it with such ease? It blows the whole intelligent design theory out of the water! I have disproved intelligent design! What a moment in our existence!

Oh wait. That’s been done a billion times already.

RedEaredRabbit

P.S. If you have other suggestions for the design of Homo Perfectus, I would love to hear them.