Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Today in Afghanistan, three more British servicemen...

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier OF the Queen!

Rudyard Kipling

Three Four of our soldiers from 1st Battalion The Rifles were killed in Afghanistan today. If they're lucky, the PM will nod his condolences to their families saying, as he did today, they have "given" their lives. Wrong, Gordon. Nobody is that generous. They were taken from them in the dubious name of your War on Terror.

Their deaths bring the total of British fatalities to 148 - a total exceeded only by the USA with 660 losses and (proportionate to population) Canada with 108 and little Denmark's 21.

The combined total for the rest of our Western European 'allies' is 110:

France 24

Germany 28

Italy 13

Spain 25

Netherlands 18

Portugal 2

Is this war worth fighting - or not? If it is... for God's sake Brown, tell them to stop shirking their duty and do their share of the dirty work or we're coming out.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Theatre News

"Fucking Frogs! My grandfather didn’t die in the English Civil War so’s half the population of France could come over here and live off the soup!" from England People Very Nice, at the Olivier.

As a fairly frequent theatregoer, albeit seldom to anything more controversial than commercial musicals about men in frocks, I can't help chortling over the goings on south of the river where the National Theatre (subsidy £20m) is staging a play about immigration. The blurb says it's, "Written with scurrilous bravura. Richard Bean’s great sweep of a comedy follows a pair of star-crossed lovers amid cutters’ mobs, Papists, Jewish anarchists and radical Islamists across four tempestuous centuries."

But a member of one particular group is offended. Guess which. Correct.

Hussain Ismail writes an article for the Guardian saying, "Though it's billed as a comedy, (it) didn't make me laugh. It just made me angry. Racism often hides behind humour... blah, blah, etc." and has demanded (and received) a meeting with the director to air his complaints. To be fair, most of those commenting disagree with him. In general, they feel that the play uses comedy well to make a good point about the hostility felt by successive waves of immigrants. But here's what I wonder....

When a sophisticated metropolitan Guardianista hears a joke like, "Irish and Jewish, that's the worst mix. You end up with a family of pissed-up burglars run by a clever accountant." and laughs at it - is he only laughing in an ironic, counter-intuitive, post-modern structuralist way? I bet he thinks he is. The average NT goer wouldn't find the same gag funny at all if cracked by, say, Jim Davidson. Oh no.

Either way... The play might be offensive, it might be misguided. But I'm glad it's on. Every attempt must be made to resist repression by people who want to control our thoughts and means of expression - especially supporters of such a repressive ideology as Islam.

Hussain Ismael is organising a demo. Just him and a few Sparts, so far. Lord Ahmed would have gone but he's a bit tied up at the moment.

Meanwhile, over at the Globe, producers of that well-known slasher play, Romeo and Juliet, are in talks with Scotland Yard. Katharine Grice, a spokesman for Globe Education, said the director did not believe his production of Romeo and Juliet would fuel knife crime, but that he did want to conduct "responsible" research into how best to present it to a modern day, teenage audience. "It is about taking responsibility and having awareness that knife crime touches on the lives of so many teenagers in London," she said. "These scenes must not be seen to glamorise it." Watch out for hoodies in doublet and hose, it'll be the latest rage, mark my words.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Opposition? What Opposition?

Now that the Prime Minister is coming under fire for his role in the HBOS/LloydsTSB merger, the Tories should really be able to stick it to him. Should be an open goal, surely?

Oh wait.... "David Cameron, the Conservative leader, said that while he had supported it at the time, the merger is "now looking like a bad decision."


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marx: "Owners of capital, etc." Fake quote.

"Owners of capital will stimulate the working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks, which will have to be nationalized, and the State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism."

You can hardly read a blog or a comments column on an online newspaper without seeing this from Marx, right on the money. Did he really say that? Really see it all coming? No he didn't. Well, maybe Groucho or Zeppo could have... But it's quoted everywhere to justify arguments about the current credit crisis (11000 google hits for the whole para) so.... But it's cobblers. It isn't written anywhere in his writings. Everyone quoting everyone else. An internet myth.

What it does show is that people will even look at a discredited ideology, so disenchanted are they by corruption and ineptitude that they even want to damn our system by comparison to the horrors of Communism.

It won't be lost on Brown and Co., either, that people will suspend their critical faculties and believe pretty much anything they're told if they hear it often enough.

Loose screws

Here we go again:

Ed Balls, the children’s secretary, said: “It’s not right – it looks so terrible. It has got to be sorted out. I want us to do everything we can as a society to make sure we keep teenage pregnancies down.”

However, David Laws, the Liberal Democrat spokesman for children said: “Because of their poor backgrounds we have a significant segment brought up in chaotic and unloving situations. Unsurprisingly, they often become chaotic and unloving themselves.”

Tony Kerridge, of the sexual health group Marie Stopes International, said sex education, or the lack of it, was to blame for situations such as that of Alfie and Chantelle. "Who can blame young kids when they get it wrong when sex education is so poor in this country?”

East Sussex Social Services say, "We shall be offering substantial support to these youngsters."

Back in the Dark Ages, when I was a youngster in what was (although we didn't know it) a deprived Inner City slum, a thorough sex education was freely available from the big boys whilst having a smoke behind the bike sheds. And contraception was rudimentary, but 100% successful, through the simple but frustratingly effective method of girls keeping their knees clamped firmly together during sex because their mothers would kill them if they didn't.

Looking at those involved in the latest of many consequences of modern, more enlightened, ways of empowering the feckless into taking responsibility for their lives - I can't help wondering whether, frankly, they are mentally up to it. And whether, until there's some evidence that they can handle their freedom to do as they like without making life worse for themselves and society as a whole, an element of restraint should be placed upon them.

So, without much hope of a likelihood of any of these things being done - here's the Goodnight Spilsby guide to helping Babyfather and his brood.

(a) Prosecute as many of the adults as possible for aiding and abetting under-age sex.

(b) Remove the latest baby from its parents and place it for adoption with one of the thousands of decent couples desperate for a child but unable to conceive.

(c) Make it clear that any payments received from newspapers for selling the story will be deducted from benefits.

One in twenty-five British girls between the ages of 15 and 17 is conceiving. Genital warts, chlamydia and gonorrhoea is rife among British teenagers. I would bet good money that the lower down the social scale you go, the higher these figures rise - until they are at their most commonplace in the underclass. It looks to me as if the evidence shows that these people aren't up to making responsible decisions about the conduct of their lives - certainly not while the comfort blanket of unlimited state benefits is available to shield them from the consequences of their actions.

Time we stopped listening to the liberals, then. When all is said and done, "morality" means nothing unless there's some sort of consequence - and the consequence here is damage to lives and society as a whole. Time to put our foot down. Some hope.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wilders - Tories have no clue

"We have consistently called on the Government to tackle extremists. If Geert Wilders has expressed views that represent a threat to public security, then we support the ban. But people like Ibrahim Moussawi, a spokesman for the terrorist organisation Hizbollah, have not been banned. The Government must apply the criteria governing entry into the UK consistently." Chris Grayling.

Well, well, well. That's a Press Release from the Shadow Home Secretary. What a coincidence - it's identical to a reply to an email from me asking him for the Conservative take on the Wilders thing.

So the best the Tories can come up with, is that they think Jacqui might be inconsistent, then. "If Geert Wilders has expressed views..." they say. 'If'? What do they mean, "If"? Do they think he has, or do they think he hasn't? And what do they think about Moussawi? Would a Tory Home Sec. have let him in him.. or not? Are they accusing Smith of favouring Islamists? If so, why not say it? Does freedom of speech come anywhere into this, in the Tories view?

Impossible to say, because the statement is just weasel words. Pusillanimous drivel from a party that has lost the will to say what it thinks for fear of offending anyone - even the feckless, the militant or the corrupt. It has its poll-lead handed on a plate through Brown's economic stupidity. It represents nobody but itself and deserves absolutely nothing, and this limp-wristed statement from the anonymous Grayling proves it.

Like Labour, the Conservatives capitulated to the threat of violence if this film was shown - they appeased militant Islamists and, in doing so, succumbed to the threat that is destroying the West while we look kindly on. Cameron and his sycophants disgust me almost as much as Labour.

Non-jobs News

There's no wonder we can't get anything done in this country.

I complained to National Express about the lack of disabled parking bays at Grantham station. The reply came back today from their Customer Relations Dept. saying, "I can confirm that we are working closely with the SRA, the Rail Passenger's Council and Network Rail to improve station facilities for disabled passengers. I have forwarded a copy of your feedback onto the relevant managers so we can use your comments in our future planning sessions."

Three bloody public bodies to deal with a request for a someone to say either "yes" or "no" to sending a bloke out to the car-park with a pot of yellow paint.

The Rail Passengers Council (actually now renamed in Labour newspeak as 'Passenger Focus') alone has a board of 14 quangocrats and a staff of 40.

God knows how we ever ran an Empire.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

British Jobs for British Workers!

From the Times: "On the day that figures showed the number of people unemployed at a 12-year high, the Office for National Statistics chose to reveal that the number of foreign workers increased by 175,000 to 2.4 million last year while the number of British workers fell by 234,000 to 27 million."

Ministers are said to be "fizzing" with anger at the release of the figures, believing they should have been kept hidden in case.. err... in case... well in case the PM is rumbled, actually.

And Keith Vaz intends to raise concerns about them being made public with the Prime Minister, “The danger is that such information could be misconstrued or misused by those who do not support the view that Britain should be a diverse and multicultural society”, he said.

No, we can't have that, can we. For Gawds sake, don't tell them the truth. I can't help wondering what other 'misconstrueable' evidences of the effects of immigration are being withheld, though - on similarly sensitive grounds.

Labour Heavyweight

Interesting that Labour peer Lord Ahmed (currently on bail awaiting sentence for dangerous driving on the M1) was just now interviewed on the BBC regarding Jacqui's banning of Dutch MP Geert Wilders from entering Britain. For Ahmed it was, in 2005, who hosted a book launch in the House of Lords for anti-Zionist author Israel Shamir.

Shamir's views include urging Jews to drop Judaism and convert to Christianity, belief in the Jewish blood libel, Jewish involvement in recent massacres, that there is a Jewish conspiracy to control the press and, reportedly, also suggested that the large Muslim population in Britain was important to turn the tide of 'Judaic Values' in Britain.

Ahmed claims his intervention over Wilders is, "a victory for the Muslim community". I think he's quite right. Whether free speech is the loser is another matter. There seems to be one rule for him - and another rule for him, too.

What's the Shadow Home Secretary's opinion on all this, I wonder. Zero, I guess... this is just another one of those pesky 'little' issues that nobody really wants to deal with - while all the time, liberties ebb away in the name of appeasing extremists maintaining community coherence.

Ordure, Ordure

Listening to PMQs today was like standing on a crumbling bridge and overhearing a couple of particle physicists arguing over the nature of its matter instead of getting proper engineers in to mend the fucking thing.

I've deleted three blog posts this week... all of which concerned some gripe or other of my own about current affairs. The reason being that I've put up links over on the left to people either working in the public sectors blighted by this incompetent Government or who have the time and more talent than I do, to brilliantly highlight the dangers to our way of life in this country brought about by its corrupt and self-serving attitude.

Nothing I can say, from my own somewhat fortunate and detached situation, can add to the sense of anger contained in their posts. Worse, I sense hopelessness caused by having no focus of opposition due, in my opinion, to the total absence of conviction and lack of clear direction in the Conservative Party.

This morning for example, on BBC FiveLive, Employment Secretary Tony McNulty made mincemeat of his Tory opponent, Theresa May. Yes, even at the start of the deepest recession for 100 years, with unemployment rising to record levels and the economy utterly bust, the doozy couldn't land a blow on Labour. Why? Because just like yesterday's show-trial of the bankers, politicians have become so remote from day-to-day life that theyr'e intent only on their petty Westminster games rather than addressing actual, real-life, down to earth issues.

What exactly is anyone going to do about the abuses of the welfare system, the prison system, the immigration and asylum system, the MPs expenses system, the curbs on free speech and assembly, the filthy and understaffed hospitals, the failing education system, the neutered basic policing? OK then. How many people will lose their jobs in the next two, five, or even ten years and how might this be different under the Tories? I've no idea. None. I take more than the usual interest in politics but I can't hear anyone saying anything that will specifically address specific concerns. Just noise.

The Conservatives in Government is to be wished for, certainly, on the basis that nothing could be worse than Labour. But that's about it. Nobody is representing the basic aspirations of decent people in this country any more. Britain will retain its position in the league for its violent, ill-educated, feckless, shag-happy, obese and clap-ridden TV addicts for as long as they have a vote to be fought over by Parties pandering to them.

We won't improve either economically or socially until we stop taking lofty overviews and start fixing the basics, one by one. It can be done, if the guts are there to do it. I know this for a fact.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Nothing ain't for nothing

I saw the famous accommodation barge last time we went up to the once-thriving, now near-abandoned, fish-docks to stock up (scallops from Chile, prawns from Bangladesh) and thought it was just the mother-ship for the Skegness wind-farm. Hideous thing. What none of us know.. well I don't, is whether these Italian tradesmen are being preferred because they do indeed have specialist skills not available locally or:

(a) work cheap


(b) possess a work-ethic lacking in the local workforce.*

What we do know is that in a free market, workers will travel from low-wage to high-wage economies and not the other way round, as surely as water always flows downhill. And that nobody would live in a rotting hulk moored in snow-blasted Grimsby harbour if they could get the same work for the same money back in Italy. "No discrimination" my arse. Something smells fishy, and it's not just the breeze wafting across the Humber from Hull.

Meanwhile, down here in the Fen end of Lincolnshire... nobody seems to want to strike for the right to freeze their balls off working bent double in a field - no protests from the English in Boston about the loss of cabbage-picking and carrot-sorting jobs to Europeans. Over 20,000 foreigners now live in the town giving it the highest proportion of any in Britain. Coincidentally, it's also the fattest place in Britain with a third of its residents being classed as clinically obese - most of these being those displaced from their traditional manual work and now assisting the local economy by claiming sick benefits.

This next bit is anecdotal-(ish): Each successive wave of immigrants - Portuguese, Poles, Latvians..., when they've been here long enough to qualify, can claim benefits when it gets pushed off the land by the latest arrivals. So effectively, we're paying double the cost of picking the crops... Once in the price of the goods at the shop... then again through taxes. Brilliant.

No wonder the unions are worried. Cold comfort for them from Mandy, who can afford to believe in all this stuff - it all made perfect sense to him when he did his bit for freedom of movement and went to work in Europe at £180,000 pa. Roll on the backlash. Let's hope pet projects like the Olympics site (37% foreign workers) don't get targeted. Oh no.

probably (b)