January 14th, 2014

SKETCH: Bottom-up Free School Policy in Front of PAC

Time and again Mr Wormall (sic) told the Public Accounts committee: Free Schools is a bottom up policy.

I’m old school but that seemed a little – what’s the word they use – regressive. It must explain why Free School discipline is better than in the maintained sector. Minutely-specified uniforms, strict grammar, masters of Latin prowling the aisles between the desks with their long ferrules, bottoms up on their barked command.

Unless it’s a bottom-up policy which means that discipline is rather worse around Free Schools. The local initiatives, the inspirational factors, odd conditions, the innovations – they all add to a creative ferment in which centrally-dictated targets and systems have no large place. Or so the civil servants maintained. There are no hard and fast systems. There is no algorithm, one said. That’s what happens in a bottom-up situation.

Top down bad, bottom up good. Though in my experience, the one – enough.

What a gruelling session. And so long! There were useful facts, good arguments, but it was all over the place and the Guardian revelations about payments were hardly discussed except in an appendix at the end.


Here’s one piece of evidence.

There was an application for a school that started in Slough and finished up in Stoke Poges. Big project for 850 pupils but only eight turned up for school. The local opposition: enormous. It was a Sikh faith school.

In summary it’s startling, but more startling was how the information came out in dribs and drabs. The civil servants responsible were saying, “Can I put that in context” and “Can I write to you about that?” and “We will reflect on your views”, and “I don’t have the answer to that”.

The committee’s information came out piecemeal. Uncoordinated. Bits from newspapers, reports, local anecdote, text messages from their researchers, no doubt.

The financial civil servant was asked of the scandal-hit King’s Science school that was given £10m for its premises. “Who owns the building?”

Pause. Mr Lauener, Mr Finance answered: “The Trust?” Another pause. “Gosh, I wonder if I ought to check that.”

That’s an idea. Do check that.

Ian Swales said the school buildings had been bought with money provided by this civil servant and then passed into the ownership of a company owned by the chair of the Governors. And after the characteristic fumbling and faffing, Mrs Hodge observed that “the school Trust will be paying rent to that company!”

Very shocking but in the Guardian. We weren’t any further ahead.

Free Schools create a lot of bottom-up emotion. We could do with a fact book about them – there were 191 cases of fraud from maintained schools, for instance. Property in in Bradford can be had for £2.50 a square foot rather than £15. How many Free Schools are in special measures compared with LEA schools. If you know of one succinct source for this please send a link.

The statistics can be argued either way by clever statisticians but Stewart Jackson put it best by putting it in perspective.

“People are looking at it down the wrong end of the telescope. There are thousands of LEA schools guilty of inappropriate conduct, corruption and very poor results.” These scandals, he said of the three or four schools in trouble, “didn’t start with Free Schools.”

This committee needs more money, more personnel, more research, more briefing power, more clerking, more structure. They work outrageously hard, that is clearly a fact. The cost of this sort of politics needs to go up.


169 Comments

  1. 1
    Podiceps says:

    Bottoms up! [hic]

  2. 2
    retardEd Miliband says:

    Firtht!

  3. 3
    retardEd Miliband says:

    Thit.

  4. 4
    Tin foil top hat says:

    Anything to get the education system out of the grasp of the left wing machine.

  5. 5
    Ms Beckett aged 17 3/4 says:

    Benefits st about to start and I almost cried. I want all TV remotes dead

  6. 6
    Millibenefits st says:

    Thod it

  7. 7
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    It’s quite simple Parents who care about education send their children to Free schools. There will be hiccups and failures due to the human condition, but free schools are free in that the sclerotic grip of education x 3 and the teaching gestapo have little sway in them. Free schools are the future.

  8. 8
    Millibenefits st says:

    Benefits st announced as a programme that the contents of which some viewers may find offensive.

    Like Owen jones, Beckett bimbo and the entire left wing who want it hidden. Its their voting base innit

  9. 9
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    + millions

  10. 10
    Grumpy Old Man says:

    And there’s a Labour luvvie producing it. Priceless.

  11. 11
    Labour's supporters are worthless retarded subhuman filth says:

    “the contents of which some viewers may find offensive”

    By ‘contents’, I think they mean the worthless retarded subhuman filth who feature on it.

  12. 12
    auntie DUGGAN says:

    White D the epitome of English motherhood!

  13. 13
    Al Madinah says:

    Not for us…

  14. 14
    Ian Smith says:

    Universal Credit will be delivered on time and on budget.

  15. 15
    BOOOORING !!! says:

    BOOOORING !!!

  16. 16
    dai itchilly says:

    a bottom up policy?

    that’s how one develops a wormalls problem

  17. 17
    Mr Potato Head says:

    Immigrants who pay their taxes in their own country ansds edn money home benefit the UK.

    The UK credit crisis and 7.5%% recession had nothing to do with Gordon Brown or Labour.

    “I would like to pay tribute to the contribution you and your company make to the prosperity of Britain,” Mr Brown told Lehman bankers in London’s Canary Wharf . “During its 150 year history, Lehman Brothers has always been an innovator, financing new ideas and inventions before many others even began to realize their potential.”

  18. 18
    FFS says:

    Hmm, so I’m guessing that the last episode in the series will be all about how more taxpayer money is needed to solve problems like Benefits Street and then the viewers will realise they’ve been sucked in.

  19. 19

    His basso profundo with timbre so rare
    He rendered quite often, with power to spare.
    But his great work of art,
    His fortissimo fart,
    He saved for the Marche Militaire.

  20. 20
    Gordon McFuckwit Bust says:

    I saved the world you know

  21. 21
    Martin Luther (and am I fucking pissed off) says:

    Pope Francis baptises baby of unmarried couple in Sistine Chapel in Vatican.

    Ninety-Five Fucking Theses and we end up with this, FFS?

  22. 22
    Mr Potato Head says:

    ‘Benefits Street’ or ‘The grass is always greener in another country’.

  23. 23
    Fuck the EU says:

    So how many more European sacks of shit are going to try telling the UK what to do before UKIP get in ?

    One of the reasons why union with those bastards is not going to happen.

  24. 24
    Lehman Bros says:

    It started in America

  25. 25
    patriot says:

    They are simply demonstrating that they don’t understand the people of these islands and are unqualified to rule us.

  26. 26
    trying to reset my rose coloured glasses to Liebour mode. says:

    Watched that street programme on tv, Liebour put up a mirror and the mirror shows how they have cracked and splintered our society, no wonder they didn’t want it shown, if you vote Liebour you get the same cracked and splintered mirror, this country needs more than God’s help.

  27. 27
    Jack Ketch says:

    Have to make a choice between sugar or toilet paper. Fortunately I have a copy of the Guardian–makes the coffee taste odd though.

  28. 28
    bildaburger says:

    burger is king with all the sizzle. is the promise of anticipated delivery authentic. after mecca comes burger,hing. beatles sing.
    FFs. still no proper buger in sit, wipe those tears. if frozen then tim for a fryup.

  29. 29
    Fuck the EU says:

    And they are also demonstrating that they are losing control as they are resorting to threat and intimidation.

    They have similar problems over the Channel which perhaps they should pay attention to rather than irritating the UK.

  30. 30
    RED ED - SON OF BROWN says:

    THE DREAM TEAM: ME, ED BALLS, CALAMITY CLEGG & VINCE CABLE…

  31. 31
    The Beer Hall says:

    Why should they worry? No harm has ever come of alienating the good folk in Bavaria, after all.

  32. 32

    It is: Chris Wormald, Permanent Secretary, Department for Education
    Location: Room 15, Palace of Westminster

    I hope you have not been drinking, Simon. I have not. Deferably. Hic.

  33. 33
    Blue Peter Goldfish says:

  34. 34
    Band of Liars says:

    Such an alliance will destroy what little is left of the credibility of both parties

  35. 35
    Joseph Pujol says:

    ‘Allo ‘Allo?

  36. 36
    albacore says:

    Very similar, then, to Downing Street
    Though the villainy there is less discreet
    They try so hard to leave you in no doubt
    About how they’re selling the country out

  37. 37
    Where am i says:

    Where do I come from, urr, Aardman Animations. which is where, Southville Bristol. So what do they do at Southville Primary School. That will be it.

  38. 38
    RED LEN says:

  39. 39
    The British Public says:

    You are millionaire who has never worked a single productive day in your entire life.

    Fuck off.

  40. 40
    The Great British Public says:

    Hahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  41. 41
    No Death Threats. Just a Boycott. That'll Teach them. says:

  42. 42
    The Great British Public says:

    Hear hear!

  43. 43
    The Great British Public says:

    Fuck off Jas you whinging lefty mong

  44. 44
    The Moderate says:

    We all watched the sponging hoons so go fuck yaself

  45. 45
    David Cameron's favourite pair of underpants says:

    Thanks Jas. Cheque is in the post.

  46. 46
    Alan Retentive. says:

    It’s a cognitive dissonance thing. Happens to us all now and again.

  47. 47
    Podiceps says:

    SC: trying to answer your question of 9.15 on last thread. However, 37 French words for the, um, organ of generation have not gone down well with the modbot. Anyway, the specific answer is yes.

  48. 48
    the wizz says:

    ‘K-off’

  49. 49
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    As a socialist you are committed to destroying the middle class.

    Has Ed Miliband finally gone full Schizo – or is he just lying for votes ?

  50. 50
    Great British Public says:

    Hmmmmmm.

  51. 51
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    Good work on the sketch. This brightened my day.

    Not the content – that is awful stuff to report on, but the quality of writing is a welcome relief and a joy to digest.

    +1

  52. 52
    Sid says:

    Mrs Harrison often wears a bicycle under her left instep.

  53. 53
    Diane Flabbutt says:

    Portrait of the fartist as a young politician

    £250,000 to you mate.

  54. 54
    the wizz says:

    What are you on? Do a powder, preferably something laxative; ohh wait out.

  55. 55
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    Somewhere in this world there is a greasy pole.

    At the bottom of that pole is a pit.

    In that pit are some hungry Tigers, who only have access to Tobasco toilet paper.

    That pole is for Al Campbell to hold on to.

  56. 56
    We're truly fucked as a country says:

    You bunch of fuckwits on here.

    You berate the likes of Owen Jones

    He hasn’t a fuckin clue.

    The immigrant problem is real and now and its affecting every working class person today.

    It’s out of control

  57. 57
    My Perception says:

    He gets his votes from envelope stuffing and personation.

    The lies are just a habit.

  58. 58
    the wizz says:

    problem, we have nothing to bite their bums with. No Navy, Army or Airforce, Governments have shot us in the back.

  59. 59
    Permanent Firsts says:

    But he always gets the late shift. About time young H@rry did a few late ones rather than propping up a bar.

  60. 60
    the wizz says:

    Funny, I thought Wormtongue was a fictional character in ‘The Lord of The Rings’?

  61. 61
    FFS says:

    Well if you are going to tell a lie, make it a big one

  62. 62
    The British media are cunts says:

    Fuck me, the BBC are STILL banging on about how it’s evil to cut the public sector. They really don’t get it do they? The two Ed’s gave up on that line of attack ages ago.

    Had the Tories seriously cut public spending and not just slowed slightly the rate of growth we’d have had a booming economy a long time ago.

  63. 63
    Fed up Taxpayer says:

    Boycotted the great Mandela mournings as I hope many of the sensible people did. Didn’t read any of the mawkish tweets pumped out by the Loony Left either.

  64. 64
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    With H’arry isn’t it more about beauty sleep and sheep enumeration ?

  65. 65
    the wizz says:

    Are you, Vote UKIP? Hope so!

  66. 66
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    The EU are projecting EU concerns.

    The EU ‘public sector’ is about to get a very hefty pruning methinks.

  67. 67
    the wizz says:

    Absolutely right, and we would have left the EUSSR in our wake.

  68. 68
    Taxpayer says:

    Quite astonishing that anyone even asks Campbell to write an article

    A congenital liar with blood on his hands and a wrecked country to his credit withe Blair etc

    But I suppose the criminal Murdoch still likes him

    Birds of a feather and all that

    Vomit

  69. 69
    Taxpayer says:

    How many hundreds of millions does this man have to pay out fraudulently before he is charged?

  70. 70
    Historian says:

    War criminal Blair praising Mass Murderer Sharon

    Rather appropriate

  71. 71
    FFS says:

    I have a feeling we’re going to do that anyway, without even really trying…..

  72. 72
    Anonymous says:

    Love how Romanians shown as hard workers ” we don’t want benefits, we just want to work”…

    Yes but that was in Sept 13 when you couldn’t get
    benefits.

    It’s Jan 2014 and now they do qualify for benefits and they will soon be living in council houses and receive full benefits so will be able to afford sky tv, flat screen tv, iPhone , ps3, fags and booze, just like the rest of the indigenous benefits street residents.

    The programme makers didn’t think to correct that propaganda lie did they.

  73. 73
    Dirty ole Bugger says:

    Ever tried bukkake, Jizz?

  74. 74
    Deterence says:

    Nothing that a hundred or so nukes won’t solve

  75. 75
    south of the M4 says:

    If you are in a pit with a hungry tiger and Alistair Campbell – and you have a gun with two bullets – what do you do? Shoot Campbell, twice to make sure.

  76. 76
    Member of the European Empire says:

    Historian repeats himself.

  77. 77
    Ed Moribund says:

    Help ed balls is trying to topple me! And he has McCluskey on his side after I made a mess of Falkirk. Help!

  78. 78
    Bill Quango MP8 says:

    The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is its inefficiency.

  79. 79
    Bi says:

    The price of glue is up 2p since February 1999.

    Vote labour to end the cost of sticking crisis

  80. 80
    Lampshade says:

    Horrid man

  81. 81
    Tristram Khunt distorterion says:

    I am the new darling of the left. Little Owen is green with envy!

  82. 82
    burbaray says:

    burberry refuses to go away, all knowledge comes from the mother. but mother needs screaming when she refuses to weok.
    no work, no mother,
    alternatively scream at her to get her to work.
    endless laughter sia sizzler .

  83. 83
    Taxpayer says:

    It is not a price worth paying for

  84. 84
    scream, rest or work. says:

    imake work a play.

  85. 85
    Fish says:

    The people might topple you but please hang on until the election…Labour lead down to 3%

    DUEMA

  86. 86
    One Man One Vote says:

    You were not legitimately elected. Fuck off.

  87. 87
    crusshe says:

    who said all c*nts wore green.

  88. 88
    The British Public says:

    Ditch the green crap

  89. 89
    whose fridgefreezer is it? says:

    forget the Huntry. question is who will have the frozen duck.

  90. 90
    alipped bannana says:

    ample coverage available.

  91. 91
    Recycled Has-Been Watch says:

    Not really. The Labour talent pool is very shallow indeed.

  92. 92
    Point of Information says:

    Germany is a non nuclear armed country, apparently.

    Why not nuke the bastards ?

    They can’t exactly fight back.

    After that we may be interested in hearing an apology.

  93. 93
    before the games begin says:

    poliwh.

  94. 94
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    You missed out the fun of pistol whipping him first :-)

  95. 95
    God says:

    did anyone ring?
    i am on direct dial now.
    thankyou.

  96. 96
    altruism in industry says:

    what I puzzle over is we can find umpteen billions to give to the bankers but we have to give the fracking rights to Johnny Foreigner and not a UK company.

  97. 97
    vision express says:

    germany is a point of view.

  98. 98
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    UK should put some investment into local firms for this. There are plenty of grunts on benefits who could do with some real work.

  99. 99
    Follow the money says:

    The French bought them off

  100. 100
    Attack the Kipper! says:

  101. 101
    Tacitus says:

    Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.

  102. 102
    cZcL says:

    all fun is casual.

  103. 103
    u kip? says:

    thoroughly.

  104. 104
    owl shit says:

    duck.

  105. 105
    oh well. says:

    only the vulcha can see how dry the well is.

  106. 106
    owl eyes says:

    how dare al, speak.

    rd i,s in pain.
    pin prick attack is precise, so says slow eyes.

  107. 107
    Podiceps says:

    Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset.
                                                       Tacitus, Agricola 1.21

  108. 108

    @Pody

    If there were to be one person amongst Guido’s vast readership who could have found la mot juste without a puffin’, I would have put money on it being you.

    However, shortly before that, I had at 7:00 pm and also at 7:02 pm, been struggling for another suitable word which would have described the lost garments that would otherwise protect this treasured organ and had to settle instead for one that meant sense. I was thinking of a comic mispronunciation, à la Inspector Clouseau, of pants but there was not the space to develop it without complete reconstruction.

    Perhaps your truly Flaubertian forensic skills in the fields of linguistics and particularly morphology might have something to offer in this respect too?

    I shall await the morning’s fallout with some interest and hope.

  109. 109
    NE Frontiersman says:

    30: So he’s admitting this early that they won’t win outright, even against a government that’s generally hated?
    Presumably he had the Lib Dems’ consent to say this?

  110. 110

    Though we (mostly!) enjoy here
    …rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet – Histories 1.1

  111. 111

    Two words with just one letter’s difference.

    Entanglement…

  112. 112

    That is being over-generous.

  113. 113

    Civil servants only interpret how existing policy should be applied.

    The ultimate Get Out Of Jail Free card.

  114. 114
    Podiceps says:

    This is what I can find with a quick search.
    Standard French terms for underpants: caleçon (for men), culotte (for women) slip (for both), all singular.
    French argot: calcif, calecif, calbar, calbut, calfouette, all singular.
    Quebec argot: ginche, gonche, gitche, gotchée, singular; bobettes, plural.
    None of them much use for a rhyme. I’d have brazened it out and said ‘pants’, in italics as a foreign word.

  115. 115
    Jimmy says:

    Let’s face it, if you had the choice between doing this in someone else’s country or on your own doorstep which would you choose?

  116. 116
    Vladimir Ahmed O'Goldstein says:

    Where de white women at?

  117. 117
    Ma­qbo­ul says:

    Boycotted?! She and the other effete lefty wannabes have given more publicity to this programme than the C4 producers could ever have dreamed of.

    Your cheque’s in the post, Jaz.

  118. 118
    Ma­qbo­ul says:

    I suppose that’s why BP drills for oil in America.

    *rolls eyes*

  119. 119
    Jimmy says:

    Namque absentia legati remoto metu Britanni agitare inter se mala servitutis, conferre iniurias et interpretando accendere

  120. 120

    We must be crazy!

    One can get stuck on something like this as a challenge. Then find that, by moving on, something else develops.

    But other times we just dig our heels in and insist that we will find it if it kills us.

    Sometimes I find what I am seeking years later and wonder what I was trying to do with it…

  121. 121
    Milliband the liar and the coward says:

    Ed backs off showdown with unions: Miliband accused of watering down attempts to weaken stranglehold on party
    Labour leader billed March meeting with union barons as ‘historic’
    Thought ‘weakened’ spring showdown will only last two hours
    Plans to make members ‘opt in’ if they want to hand over part of subscription will take five years to implement, party has admitted
    Labour’s lead in the polls has plunged according to a new ICM poll

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538910/Ed-backs-showdown-unions-Miliband-accused-watering-attempts-weaken-stranglehold-party.html#ixzz2qLiLFso4
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  122. 122
    Hahahahahahah says:

    Labour’s lead in the polls has plunged according to a new ICM poll for the Guardian. Ed Miliband’s party has dropped two points to 35per cent, just three points ahead of the Conservatives on 32 per cent. Labour’s lead is down from five per cent last month and eight points in November.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538910/Ed-backs-showdown-unions-Miliband-accused-watering-attempts-weaken-stranglehold-party.html#ixzz2qLinSWWT
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

  123. 123
    Non taxable pikey says:

    BP is not a British company.

  124. 124
    broerick crawfordd says:

    OFF TOPIC BUT INTERESTING SAYS

    news last night that dutch coalition are proposing legislation that all prisoners be charged 16 euros per night spent in detention for a max of the first two years of sentence.

    under age prisoners would have the c harge billed to their closest surviving family relative .

    law could be operative by 2015 …… but prisoners organisations already up in arms claiming it is against european legislation and …… ewmannnn rights .

  125. 125
    Mr Potato Head says:

    Middle class families are facing a “crisis of confidence” over falling living standards, Labour leader Ed Miliband says in a newspaper article.

    Aha! First to spot the latest Ed Miliband crisis.

  126. 126
    Mr Potato Head says:

    Doesn’t all this talk of a crisis here and a crisis there undermine it when a real crisis comes along, like for instance if Labour were to win the next election?

  127. 127
    Milliprat says:

    “Wooolth!”

  128. 128
    Mr Potato Head says:

    Since when did a moderate want TV producers dead?

  129. 129
    Grant Shapps says:

    “The only way to ensure a better and more financially secure future for hard working people and for their children is to vote Labour in 2015 – reducing the deficit, creating jobs, cutting taxes, giving young people the skills they need to get on and fixing the welfare system so that it pays to work

    LABOUR IS THE PARTY OF THE WORKERS AND THE TORIES ARE THE PARTY OF THE SKIRKERS !

  130. 130
    Michael Gove says:

    Children will be taught that grammar and spelling is subjective and depends on how they feel that day.

  131. 131
    Mong the Miliband says:

    Which translates roughly as :

    Labour have no policies, clue or respect for the law

    Vote UKIP for a better Britain.

  132. 132
    Tristram Hunt says:

    Well Done You ;-)

  133. 133
    Labour first ruined the pensions sector and then the country says:

    With latest ICM poll showing Labour lead down to 3% I suspect that Miliband has an even bigger crisis….the electorate think he’s a twat

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/13/support-labour-shrinks-economic-recovery-icm-poll

  134. 134
    Mr Potato Head says:

    And my Aunt Fanny is the Queen of Eqypt.

  135. 135
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    Pool being defined as the p!ss puddle in front of a public toilet that itself it full of shit from previous occupants – yes – that is the pool Labour chose Campbell from.

  136. 136
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    The lefties were speaking of dropping rudeness and rac!sm expressed over the R’omanian and B’ulgarian immigration fiasco.

    But didn’t push the point (edited out ?)

    Perhaps the fact that these policies are not British and the fact that the lefties have been working overtime to destroy British values is why such hostility is now openly expressed towards the east Euro filth that is polluting these shores.

    No wonder the Baby Banging Corp decided to edit that out ;-)

    vote UKIP

  137. 137
    albacore says:

    Ego; mei; mihi; me
    Lots of Latin – very gay
    Not much cop, though, here, today
    Folks can’t figure what you say

  138. 138
    Igas Fracking corp Whitney Oxfordshire says:

    What is wrong with you people ?
    don’t you want to make rich people richer ?

  139. 139
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    The Whigs have it.

  140. 140
    Ian Smith says:

    Universal Credit will be delivered on time and on budget

  141. 141
    Wait - what! says:

    Dennis Skinner defends his portrait painting as the painter would have been out of work otherwise….

    http://www.itv.com/news/update/2014-01-13/backbench-mp-defends-commons-very-cheap-portrait/

  142. 142
    Mrs Machinery says:

    6725.78 FTSE
    Down
    -31.37 -0.46%

    Welcome to “Black Tuesday”

  143. 143
    RED LEN says:

  144. 144
    BOOOORING !!! says:

    BOOOORING !!!

  145. 145
    Education, Edyerkayshun, Eddyookaashun says:

    SKIRKERS ???

  146. 146
    Billy B*wden says:

    A signalling problem at London Waterloo is now causing delays of up to 30 minutes.

  147. 147
    Prime Minister David Cameron says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    As indeed are all of inane comments P.M.

  148. 148
    In defence of the left says:

    He could hardly argue that the portrait stopped public money from being sent abroad or frittered on civil service bonus’ etc.

    Is Rolf Harris going to be doing Cameron’s portrait ?

  149. 149
    Rickytshirt says:

    Vzzzsfostesdf sdfsdie!

  150. 150
    Ian Smith says:

    But I believe it.

  151. 151
    Fuck the EU says:

    R’oma on the line ?

  152. 152
    non taxable pikey says:

    The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons on October 31 announced that all of Syria’s 1290 tons of declared chemical weapons had been placed under tamper proof seal.

    Meanwhile Al Jazeera reports today that three people were killed by “shelling with poison gas” overnight in Daraya, a town southeast of the embattled Syrian capital with 12 more injured.

    I know, Syria is not our problem.

  153. 153
    Jack Ketch says:

    1/. (n)SKIRKERS–The Inhabitants of Skirkland; historically, notable for their enormous Skirks.

    2/. (n) Skirker–One who Skirks. (A Skirk (v)–a silent or very quiet incidence of flatulence released in a lift, aircraft or railway carriage.)

    3/.(n) Skirking–The act of adopting a smug, innocence appearance after releasing an anonymous skirk in a public place.

  154. 154
    Dirty ole Bugger says:

    Al Jazeera – owned by the Qatari government that just happens to be funding the so-called rebels in Syria.

  155. 155
    Airey Belvoir says:

    ‘Fat Dee’ is having a good documentary, acting out the ‘mother of the street’ thing and being shown as warm and caring. No mention of her record, a convicted criminal who stole £17,000 of council money. Her child benefit is clearly going on fags, as well.

  156. 156
    John Bellingham says:

    Al Jazeera seems to have far more balanced coverage of news from the Middle East and Africa than the Bumboys Broadcasting Corp. Significantly, the main source of accusations of Qatari government interference in Al Jazeera editorial content is—–The Guardian Newspaper! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Jazeera#Editorial_independence)

  157. 157
    Offenders Rehabilitation Officer says:

    No, just the kids.

  158. 158
    Roget says:

    I do wish someone would help Simon with his grammar and general readability problem.

  159. 159
    Shekel counter says:

    You were supplied with one ending from a viewer. Return to see. Do not pass go; do not collect 200 ecobulbs.

  160. 160
    Shekel counter says:

    QED

  161. 161
    Shekel counter says:

    Good idea. Confiscation of ill gotten gains etc. Don’t do the crime – don’t do the time.

  162. 162
    Earwig O'Again says:

    Shirley ! grammar and spelling ARE subjective etc

  163. 163
    Earwig O'Again says:

    Yes, they’ve nicked the copper wire bits

  164. 164
    Earwig O'Again says:

    Maybe, but for one of the world’s most blatantly capitalist countries, their tv coverage has an increasing socialist stance. Perhaps they want to give all their cash away to the Pally refugee ‘victims’.

  165. 165
    CYNICAL OLD GIT says:

    The danger in giving these cretins so much publicity is that they may soon become in the old style entertainment vernacular ” Box Office ” in the same manner as the likes of that Jane Goody,or much worse that evil cretin Philpot who first rose to infamy on the Jeremy Kyle Show .

  166. 166
    CYNICAL OLD GIT says:

    The Dutch Government are doing the same as our own ,talking tough in the full knowledge that the European court will never allow it.

  167. 167
    Alessandro, Lower Volta says:

    I can arrange that, no charge.

  168. 168
    THE PHEASANT PLUCKER FROM PETES BOROUGH says:

    You are in serious trouble Guido…. @SJacksonMP of #mpsexpenses infamy is retweeting the link to this post

  169. 169
    THE PHEASANT PLUCKER FROM PETES BOROUGH says:

    OOOOOOOOH NOOOOOOO!

    Stewart Jackson MP @SJacksonMP
    Irreverent look at the #PAC hearing on Free Schools yesterday
    order-order.com/2014/01/14/ske…

    SKETCH: Bottom-up Free School Policy in Front of PAC

    Time and again Mr Wormall (sic) told the Public Accounts committee: Free Schools is a bottom up policy. I’m old school but that seemed a little – what’s the word they use – regressive. It must expl…

    Guido Fawkes @GuidoFawkes


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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists. They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them. They are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort — which of course is no comfort.”


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