Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Parliamentary Churn

'Churn' for all of you in business means staff turnover. Common sense suggests that extremes of churn are not good - one no more wants a wholly ossified, but highly happy workforce than a young, new but dissatisfied one. So just how much churn is good for Parliament? The Chartists for example wanted one-year terms for MPs with members standing only once, in an attempt to make the Commons a representative assembly rather than a private members club. 

Peter Oborne is delighted that 9 out of the 147 Tory intake of 2010 are quitting after 5 years, but says it should be more. And so it should - but not, perhaps, all 147. For there are those so valuable and useful to Parliament, fishes in water, orators and selfless persons, those loving their nation over their purse, that to rob Parliament of their contribution by limiting them to a single term would do us no justice. 100% churn is not healthy, but neither is the death, illness or incapacity grounds of most Parliamentary vacancies. 

I'd suggest therefore that any reform that limits MPs' terms of office must allow for a number of MPs to return for a second or subsequent term - perhaps as many as a quarter of them. And those permitted to stand again should be selected by fellow MPs, by secret ballot, towards the end of each Parliament. The Speaker should not be immune from the process.   

Such a scheme would rid Parliament of the asinine idea that politics is a profession, give far more activists a crack at a term in the House and ensure that MPs are people with jobs who are taking five years out for public service rather than thieves, liggers and deadbeats.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

So how about BAOV?

A piece by Nick Drew at the weekend on C@W prompted a flood of BAOR nostalgia; Güttersloh, Sennelager and Rheindalen were names as familiar to generations of service families as Camberley, Colchester or Tidworth. Wives formed social circles to learn German, drink taste wine or hike, and 'Imbiss' and 'Bratties' were added to the working vocabulary of the British Army. Housing half the army in cut-price bases in Germany rather than in the Home Counties also saved the taxpayer a few bob - as did using the German countryside to drive our tanks about in, rather than Surrey. 

With NATO feeling obliged to show it's still here, how about a new army of the Vistula, based in NATO's most eastern satellite? It may take the men a while to learn that Shemesh is written Przemyśl and that glasses are not clinked, but cheap bases, lots of play space for the armoured boys and pretty girls - what else could a modern army want for?

Monday, 1 September 2014

You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

It's a sign of age that random song lyrics from decades ago keep popping up in my mind as I read the online news. However, just sometimes, instead of this being random mental noise it means something. Or so I'd like to think. 

And so reading Boris' appeal for for a Thames estuary airport, those lines from Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi popped up. I know those bleak, uninhabited waters well, between Medway and London. Thousands of acres of glutinous, stinking mud where only little islands of grass as tough as Kevlar can live, littered with the rusting hulks of dead ships, and the collapsing skeletal remains of piers and jetties where man has failed to establish life on those hostile, cold and desolate shores. Even the first Thames shelter - Gravesend - is locked behind twisting, treacherous mudbanks and offers scant welcome. It's the land of the dead, of secret murders, will-o-the-wisps and nameless evils, where no decent person would moor after dark. So perfect then, for a new London airport, you'd think.

Except that once it's built, we'll wax rhapsodic about Europe's last unspoilt wilderness, now lost; the beauty of the quiet marshes where only the haunting cry of the curlew moved the air, the joy of a sail from the little Hobbiton shire town of Leigh-on-Sea across the sunlit waters to a deserted eyot for a Summer's picnic, then back for the blazing inglenook of an ancient pub. We'll mourn the loss of such an extensive area of natural beauty so close to London, the vast skies kissing a flat horizon, and discover tiny bright flowers and viridian mosses that have been lost. The ancient wood of dead ships is smooth and silver and somehow living, and even the rough pitted chestnut-brown of rusted hull plates sparkling in the Sun offers a vivid chromacity in contrast to the colours of earth and sky. We will have desecrated something irreplaceable. 

Such of course was the case with Dungerness marshes - as bleak, hostile and ugly as above until Derek Jarman found a beauty and a value there, and today his little cottage stands sentinel over a much-loved landscape.

Just saying. 


Saturday, 30 August 2014

Most serious threat? Not exploding Jihadists, but EU Warhawks

As Ashton, Van Rompuy, Reding and the rest of the despicable Brussels rats now run for cover in the Eurosewers clutching their six-figure pension pots, their stupidity and adventurism have left the rest of us with a massive problem in Ukraine. The arrogance, hubris and sheer wilful imbecility of planting the revolting rag of an EU flag on Russia's front lawn defied belief; it is an act that has already cost two thousand lives, so that the sourness of Ashton's twisted features are now sauced with the haematic taste of blood. 

Whilst they scuttle away from the daylight with their loot, we are faced with Putin and a Russia unwilling to so easily surrender a historic part of Russia's home soil for centuries. He is not acting alone - he is supported by his people, who would endure half-rations and privation in the short term to retain at least the Eastern half of Ukraine. Neither the Germans or any other people in Europe are happy to do likewise - particularly as there exists much sympathy for the Russian position across Europe.  

The EU are purblind idiots in talking up a casus belli. We won't fight for Ukraine, and Putin knows it. Poland maybe, but Ukraine - home of car thieves, fascists and Europe's most skilled prostitutes - no. What's more, this must be made absolutely clear to the new crew of appointed, unelected EU officials now taking their turn at the trough.  

For the real danger we face, the most serious threat for decades, is not from exploding Jihadists but from the war-crazed carpet-chewing moon-howling lunatics in Brussels.  

Friday, 29 August 2014

Carswell - A bit of a mess

Oh dear Oh dear. Where to start. Mr Carswell.

1. He's undoubtedly right in believing that Cameron will flunk any reform negotiations - Dave has all the negotiating ability of a collapsed soufflé and about as much real commitment to fundamental reform as a nun writing a condom ad. Many Tories are exhibiting the triumph of hope over experience on this, convincing themselves that Dave will somehow behave completely differently to the way he has for the last ten years. There's no hope I'm afraid - he will flunk it, and be wholly humiliated, and will then flunk the Brexit referendum, leaving the UK as weak losers. 

2. A minor but nonetheless niggling point - he's stolen Nigel's thunder as the first elected UKIP MP (or will do if he succeeds in the by election). While the gain to UKIP outweighs the stolen prize, it's a bit caddish.  

3. Carswell is an unlikely hero. Committed to the privileges of the political class, he led moves to make the home addresses of MPs secret on election applications. Neither was his Localism book (with Dan Hannan) entirely original, owing much to both Simon Jenkins and Helena Kennedy, sometimes without attribution. If I met him in the pub, I wouldn't like him. 

4. However, at least few care personally what happens to him. His move is useful in gaining UKIP air-time and in forcing Tory MPs to realise that Cameron's emollient charms are unsuited to the job in hand. It also brings back into discussion a Tory - UKIP election pact for 2015; if a worried party forces Cameron into this, Carswell's actions will be justified.   

Thursday, 28 August 2014

The answer is not 'More State'

The answer to the child-rape habit amongst Pakistani communities is not 'More State'. Children's Services provision has become a bit like the trenches of the Western Front - throw another ten thousand social workers into battle to secure two pubescent girls from gang rape. This is largely because all those social workers spend much of their time laying down paper trails to prove they're not guilty of anything however badly they screw up. It's just the way the Big State works - or rather, doesn't work. As Douglas Murray writes in the Speccie
Anyhow – if you care to study these two excruciating pieces of evidence for any future prosecution of contemporary Britain you will notice several things.  Firstly both of these highly paid dolts are kind enough to issue an apology for not stopping the incessant gang-rape of children.  Secondly you will notice that although they are willing to issue an apology for not stopping the habitual gang-rape of children, they do not think that it was their job to stop it or think it was partly their job but that it wasn’t their fault that they didn’t stop it.  Thirdly, naturally, they are very clear that they are not going to resign.  Fourthly comes the happy ending which is – yes, that’s right – the fact that ‘lessons have been learnt.’  Such a relief.  One might have worried that point four in the pro-forma ‘English council gang-rape apology advice handbook’ would be: ‘Say “nothing has been learnt and that the kids deserved it”.’
The extent to which English working class communities were self-sufficient - that is, self regulating and self policing as well as enabling mutualist welfare provision - is well told by the late Ralph Harris and Arthur Seldon. This independence was wilfully and deliberately destroyed by a young Labour party infected with Sovietism - they had no place for a class not dependent on the State. The result of a process that started with the 1911 National Insurance Act is the gang-rape of alienated, vulnerable girls by Pakistani gangs. 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The Blair Years - Blood, Lies and the Sexual Exploitation of Children

Being a poor kid during the Blair years was distinctly hazardous. They either risked death, dismemberment and destruction from Blair's unlawful adventurist wars abroad or degradation and sexual exploitation akin to slavery at the hands of an alien fifth-column imported into Britain by Blair to destroy community cohesion. Having presided over the ruin and despoilation of so many young lives, it surely can't be long before the UN or the Nobel Prize Committee bestow an award for Humanity upon him. 

Between 1997 and 2013 Blair's Pakistanis did exactly what they were brought here to do - use their teflon legal status to undermine, subvert and irrevocably corrode the bonds, ties and responsibilities that tie together traditional working class communities in England. What they were doing was no wrong in the light of their perverse beliefs - their own Prophet (a hundred molecules in every pint of ale) himself sexually abused a nine year-old girl. Whilst police officers were keen and eager to pounce on every minor word or gesture that may have offended the Friday People, fear prevented them from intervening to protect the young, the weak, the vulnerable, the friendless, the alone and the powerless. Every one of those police officers gave the lie to the oath they took upon their appointment as constables - to exercise 'without fear or favour' their powers under the law. No wonder. They were - and are - Blair's Boys, as committed to mendacity, obfuscation, control, coercion and the undermining of social cohesion as is the blood-stained old pisspuddle himself. 

They should hang their heads in shame.