Monday, 28 December 2009
Though the opinion polls seem to reflect the same old political duopoly, the stats are taken from a shrinking base of those 'certain to vote' at the election. With turnout bumping along at about 60% for the most recent elections, I would not be surprised to see it fall to near 50% in 2010 - which would mean around 22.5m voters effectively boycotting our failed politics. No government could truly claim democratic legitimacy from a turnout of under 50%, yet this too is a possibility that cannot be discounted.
The combined membership of the three main parties is now below 1% of the nation's 45m electorate. No longer mass membership parties tied strongly to local communities, but national consumer brands dependent on foreign governments and a wealthy semi-domestic oligarchy for their funding, the rift between the parties and the people has never been greater. The sleaze and corruption of the Rotten Parliament is in every way bound up with the failure and collapse of the political parties.
There are echoes of Tacitus in all of the above; an inevitability, a slow-motion car crash. We can see the rift, document and enumerate the disconnect between the political class and the people, and know that it's all heading in only one direction - towards a corrective social and political upheaval. So far we have only moved the cattle temporarily out of the Augean stables; we have not yet diverted the rivers that will scour the filth from our Parliament and our politics. And yet I am fearful lest the powers of those mighty rivers undermine the stanchions and columns themselves of our democracy; we need a strong and legitimate Parliament more than ever, but in our zeal to cleanse the filth and corruption within we must take great care not to scour away the very pillars of our democracy.
Saturday, 26 December 2009
Animals are always safe territory for Socialists. Saving dolphins from capitalism, Orang-Utans from greedy loggers, tigers from superstitious primitives, donkeys from Spaniards and cats from the Greeks is not only virtue in itself but has the advantage that the recipients of such care don't answer back. Unlike people. And saving animals gives Socialists the opportunity they love most of all things; lecturing their fellow man on his moral shortcomings, whether for abusing the ickle animals or not speaking up against the abuse.
So it's no surprise to see Young Lord Benn, son of the erstwhile Viscount Stansgate, standing up for animals - foxes, in this case. He doesn't care for the lives and families that would be cast into penury without hunting, he doesn't care for the communities of people struggling to keep their identity in the face of a ruthless Statism, he doesn't care for the mortar that binds the blocks of many people's lives and has done so for centuries. Real people - the blacksmith, the property developer, the farmer, the water engineer and the housewife - who ride with and follow the hunt aren't important, or at least aren't as important as foxes.
And that's the true barbarity. People like Benn who love animals more than their fellow humans. It's perverse, it's delinquent and saddest of all, to a Socialist it makes perfect sense.
Wednesday, 23 December 2009
For many undergraduates, their first year these days is taken up with bringing them up to the old 'A' level standards. Under Mandelson's proposals, this would restrict degree-level teaching to just a year before graduation. For the bulk of students, this seems fine to me; a bachelor's degree is regarded in industry these days as about the equivalent of the old 'A' levels, students would suffer only two years of debt rather than three and we would reap the benefits of the most mediocre of our higher learning institutions slimming down as a result.
For exceptional students, and for good schools and sixth-form colleges, this could also offer substantial advantages. Imagine if good students could complete three good 'A' levels in a year, and that their schools or sixth form colleges were newly empowered to confer bachelors' degrees after a further two years study. Costs would be low, students could in many cases continue to live at home, and at nineteen would have their first degree. Those who then wanted to work could do so a year early unencumbered by debt, whilst those with a taste for academe could then enrol at proper universities for their Masters' or other higher degree.
The Conservatives should adopt Mandelson's initiative immediately.
Monday, 21 December 2009
As the law stands, if I wake in the night to find an intruder inside my dark home, and he confronts me rather than flees, and if I'm in genuine fear of my life, I can strike him dead with whatever weapon comes to hand and do so quite justly and legally, even if when I switch the lights on the knife or screwdriver I thought he was holding turns out to be a TV remote. The existing law covers this. If, on the other hand, I return home in daylight to find a scrawny teen unplugging my video in circumstances where there was no threat, real or perceived, to my life and I kill him it would not be legal or just.
It was not reasonable for Tony Martin to shoot his burglar in the back as he was running away. It was not reasonable for Munir Hussain to beat his burglar half to death when the threat has passed; had Hussain killed him when the burglar was holding him at knife point, a time at which he may have felt his life was in danger, he would have had just reason.
I know from your comments below that many of you will disagree with me on this but I ask you to consider that what you are defending is not the right of self-defence, but the right of retribution. And if so, whether you really really want to remove the right of retribution from the courts to the aggrieved party?
If you sell me a car so dodgy it amounts to criminal fraud, do you also uphold my right to come around with a couple of the lads and hack-off your left hand in retribution? If you give me a forged tenner in my change, can I slit your nostrils open there and then?
Anyway, blogging from now on will be light. Many thanks and good wishes to all those who have commented throughout the year (even the weird Japanese dialogue) and may you all have a peaceful Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
Saturday, 19 December 2009
Fast Forward to 2009. Boy M, from a practising Jewish family, was denied admission to the Jewish Free School for not being Jewish. Or Jewish enough, rather. Because of the past Jewish lobbying to be included in the 1976 Act, the courts had no option but to find that this was racial discrimination, rather than faith discrimination. Now British Jews are crying 'foul', and Charles Moore in the Telegraph is claiming that ' The court is effectively saying that a religion's way of defining its own membership, practised over 3,500 years, is illegal.'
No, Charles. Not a religion's way of defining its membership, but a race's way of defining its membership - and that race was adamant that it was a race and not a religion. You can't have it both ways.
The only way out as far as I can see is for the Jews to abdicate their claim to be a race, and to have our laws amended to recognise Jewishness as just another faith.
This is a situation of the Jews own making - nobody is imposing anything them that they haven't lobbied hard for themselves. The solution is now also in their hands.
Have I been convinced by the AGW 'evidence'? have I developed a planetary conscience? Do I need to save £125 a year in gas bills? Well, actually, no to all of these.
My existing boiler was old when I bought this place back in 1995; it is distinctly late '80s, badged as an 'RS turbo' after the Ford Escorts of the time. Every year I have it serviced by the same bloke, and from time to time something breaks. Parts became unavailable through the service networks some years ago, and for the past few years I've been collecting spares through eBay. Two years ago the overheat stat broke, and we just pulled it out and discarded it until I find a new one on eBay for my serviceman to fit, but so far no luck. I just have to warn guests that after the heating's been running for a few hours, the hot water will emerge from the tap at about 90deg. Fine for me.
So I'm one of those who would have been replacing their boilers anyway who will take advantage of Gordon's boiler scrappage scheme. And here's the nub. So will most other beneficiaries of the scheme.
It was Edmunds.com that developed the methodology for evaluating scrappage schemes. You calculate how many additional units have been sold overall during the scheme, and divide the total scheme cost by this figure to get the true tax cost per additional unit sold. For the US cash for clunkers scheme, the figure is about $24,000 per car. Likewise, I expect the incremental sales of new boilers to be marginal - all the rest would have been bought anyway. And if the ratio is the same as for cash for clunkers, each additional low-energy boiler will cost the UK taxpayer something like £4,800.
Friday, 18 December 2009
Disappointing November retail sales - at a time when retailers were expecting punters to bring expenditure forward in advance of the return of the old VAT rate - will lead, I think, to disappointing Christmas sales, despite the attempts of the retailers to talk the market up over the past week or so.
And the Harpex is still bumping along a new low. With gilt prices set to become the issue as soon as the current round of QE ends, and soaring financing costs to maintain the price, and no sign of a retail stimulus, things look gloomy indeed. Consumer confidence will only start to return once Brown and his corrupt cabal are out of office; every day he clings to power costs our economy, and ourselves, dear.
What I don't expect and won't stand for is another single whinging bleat from any of those odious scum at Legg's measured and reasonable claims on our behalf on their fat purses and wallets.
Pay up. Shut up. Piss off.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
A woman begs for mercy in Guatemala City after being doused with petrol. She was part of an armed gang that tried to rob bus passengers, who caught, beat and stripped her before setting her alight. Police put out the flames and arrested her. Her three companions escaped.
Munir Hussein may have used reasonable force to apprehend his robber. But after having done so, rather than hand the robber over to police custody, he beat him with a cricket bat until it broke. In jailing Hussein for 30 months, Judge Reddihough said 'If persons were permitted to … inflict their own instant and violent punishment on an apprehended offender rather than letting justice take its course, then the rule of law and our system of criminal justice, which are the hallmarks of a civilised society, would collapse.'
And I have to say, looking at the photo of the woman about to be ignited by the mob in Guatemala above, I'm more inclined to agree with the Judge on this one.
He said that he would be able to "shout louder" about his suggestion for a 50p minimum price for alcohol - rejected by Prime Minister Gordon Brown - after he steps down next year.Perhaps Donaldson could kit himself out with the Protein Man's sandwich boards and position himself outside the Murdoch works in Wapping. Or perhaps take up residence in a scrappy tent opposite Parliament. Or perhaps he could do us all a favour and throw himself under the hooves of the Queen's horse at Aintree.
You see, I'll bet that 20m middle class parents know better how to raise their children than some wild-eyed mentalist who's been given a government job by mistake. In the US the beer is so weak that it resembles nothing more than the 'small beer' that, until a couple of centuries ago, everyone in England from infants to crones used to drink instead of water, and US youngsters aren't even allowed to drink that until they're 21. It's impossible to binge drink in the US; human organs explode in a fizzy welter of weak beer long before intoxication sets in. So the septics must be incredibly healthy and long-lived, no?
No. The Economist recently illustrated an article that showed that although the US spends 16% of GDP on health compared with the UK's 7%, our respective life expectancies at 65 are almost exactly the same. And they don't drink. One could almost hypothesise that our superior level of alcohol intake confers health benefits worth 9% of GDP.
The one consolation with cranks like Donaldson is that they can quickly take up novel obsessions; perhaps convincing the French that eating cheese is bad, or advocating the health benefits of the German habit of walking about naked once you reach forty years of age. Perhaps all of these together; a shrill, naked little man prancing about opposite Parliament waving a 'No cheese, No wine' placard. That will get you taken seriously, Liam.
Tuesday, 15 December 2009
Could be useful viral advertising for minority parties here in the UK, I'm thinking ....
Stern is quoted as saying "Being drunk is voluntary and people who become drunk are responsible for their actions."
But only, of course, if they are men. For Lady Stern, women who become drunk are not responsible for their actions - they are victims.
In years past, our old neighbour Jessie displayed a green and sustainable AGW countermeasure years ahead of her time by castrating cockerels. Without their gonads, they would not burn off energy constantly hankering for female company or strutting around eachother, and grew tame and sleek and fat as footballs. A Sussex White capon for Christmas provided the substance as it were that a shoebox of a goose lacked. A capon was always the Christmas feast years before the first foreign turkey entered our shores. Until recently, when castrating cocks was made illegal.
You might imagine this to have been another piece of EU lunacy, but not so; it was a peculiarly British piece of lunacy, inspired by the 'fish are people, too' folk who didn't object to hatching eggs to grow into meat but insisted it did so with a full complement of testicles.
So throughout Europe as our cousins feast on roast capon, the British table is restricted to the products of Bernard Matthews' vast Norfolk sheds. Or not. Those nice people at French Click (no interest, just a satisfied customer) will deliver you a fresh 3kg capon this week but at a price - about £40. Old Jessie would have been horrified.
Monday, 14 December 2009
So alongside Coca-Cola's Santa Claus we grew up with the Krampuli and the Perchten. These were St Nicholas' assistants, the inquisitors of Christmas. They had fearful animal faces, all horns and fangs, and matted fur and were hung around with chains. In the darkest nights of midwinter, they would visit each isolated farmhouse around the valley, no bolted door or barricade an obstacle, to bring gift or punishment to us children. If we'd been good, a small silver coin and a bundle of birch twigs would be left - the birch twigs a reminder of punishment. If we'd been really bad, the Krampuli would slit our bellies open, remove our stomach and guts and stuff the cavity with straw and stones. Clearly the pagan message was acceptable enough to the Church for the tradition to be allowed to survive, and even now in that remote valley, just as Sidcup man dons Santa outfit and beard, one of my relatives will be dusting off his mask and chains to do the rounds of the valley after dark to scare the shit out of everyone under 30.
Merry Christmas, all.
Iraq's chaos for the past six years has allowed Iran to abandon wasteful expenditure on tank divisions and motorised infantry corps and concentrate its resources on building nuclear missiles with which to attack Israel; a fruitcake theocracy waiting for the occultation and the arrival of the Mahdi in an apocalyptic conclusion will not regard MAD as a deterrent stand-off but as a necessary precondition. There can be little doubt that Iran's weapon programme is a real and imminent danger to Israel.
That Israel will be forced into a strike against Iran seems inevitable. That this strike will be backed by the UN seems remote. The fall-out from Blair's crying wolf over Iraq's WMDs is that the UK won't stick its neck out again in the absence of a UN decision - and this perhaps is the sole good thing to come from all Blair's omissions, distortions and misrepresentations. Israel will have to go it alone, with US backing in some form or other.
I'm no great friend of Israel's, but defend absolutely the right of the legal State of Israel - the bit within the pre-1967 borders, that is - to exist. It is paradoxical that Blair's scramble to prove himself as America's bitch in 2003 now deprives Israel of the chance of British support at perhaps the most critical stage in its history.
Sunday, 13 December 2009
This false candour, I suspect, will work with more than a few people. The reality of course is that Blair is lying again; the leopard can't change his spots. His contention that he would have 'deployed different arguments' to remove Saddam had anyone been able to prove he made-up the WMDs at the time is specious.
In the absence of WMDs military action would have been unlawful. The Attorney General would have had to say so. The CGS would have refused to deploy. Blair's back benchers would have deserted him during a crucial vote and the UK would not have gone to war. The US, unencumbered by the recognition of international law, would have acted alone.
In other words, the outcome Blair wanted - the removal of Saddam - would have happened anyway without his having to lie about WMDs, and without the UK's involvement. To this extent Blair does indeed have blood on his hands - blood shed, it now seems certain, not for the UK but for the benefit of the USA, Blair's adopted home, and at his mendacious connivance.
If Chilcot makes only one thing clear, it should be this.
Saturday, 12 December 2009
It has come to my attention that a British subject could potentially be giving false information to the US Department of State in relation to a non-immigrant visa. In particular, in answer to the question "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty or other similar legal action? Have you ever unlawfully distributed or sold a controlled substance(drug), or been a prostitute or procurer for prostitutes?"
The subject, Nazir Ahmed (Baron Ahmed), born 1958, an IC4 male, was reported by the Guido Fawkes blog as having said 'I spent two weeks in prison which the judge overturned. So legally I’ve never been in prison.'
Ahmed was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison in 2008 for dangerous driving. The sentence was suspended for 12 months on appeal after Ahmed had served 16 days in prison.
Ahmed achieved fame in his youth through the possession of an unusually commodious rectum, which he claimed could accommodate up to 500g of gold or jewellery. In a party trick, he would collect the watches, rings and bracelets of fellow guests in a plastic bag and secrete this on his person before inviting those present to search him.
I just thought you should know the above.
Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Yesterday the Conservatives lit up Battersea Power Station to much the same effect (H/T and pic from the Speccie) - but using gobos rather than canvas banners. The advantage of a gobo is that the plate can be easily updated without the town clerk risking her life and her £200k salary on the rooftop. They are readily available.
So c'mon Boris, Stephen Greenhalgh and the rest of you - why isn't every Tory town hall in London illuminated at night with the borough's share of Brown's debt?
And pleeease don't tell me about either (a) advertising consent or (b) Maggie's outlawing of council funds for party politics. If Lewisham can spend squillions on a glossy mag that's nothing but a thinly disguised encomium for the Labour mayor I'm sure Hammersmith can run to a gobo.
A tightly regulated retail banking sector, with deposits guaranteed by government, would not have a bonus problem. Normal profits would regulate both shareholder returns and HR reward structures. These 'boring banks' would offer the citizen and taxpayer a rock-solid national banking system.
Allowing the investment bankers to do exactly as they liked, with absolute freedom, on the other hand, would reap a rich reward for the Treasury (and us) from successful buccaneers - and no costs at all from those that fail, for just as their reward and bonus schemes would be beyond government interference, so would their losses be beyond bailout. Bankers would not flee abroad, and Darling would not be faced with destroying the city's risk culture by inappropriate regulation.
Now that Myners, Shitty Vadera and the rest are creeping away from Brown, their job done, he faces the ignominy of having thrown public money at the banks with as much zeal as his 1970s foreparts ever did to British Leyland or British Steel and with as little effect.
Brown's utter fiscal ineptitude must now be clear for all to see; why the nation ever permitted this greasy-haired Scots technical college lecturer to meddle with the nation's finances will be a puzzle future generations will not comprehend.
Tuesday, 8 December 2009
Personally, I'd confine the small screen's paid opinion-givers to their primary trade -when they wander into the realm of the academic they rarely do us justice. This applies to Snow and his boy as well as to Marr. Leave history to the historians.
Monday, 7 December 2009
With dripping sarcasm he one wrote for the Speccie "Incidentally, many Somalis have come to Britain as immigrants recently, where they are widely admired for their strong work ethic, respect for the law and keen, piercing, intelligence" and earned his first shrill scream of 'racist'.
Now he's in trouble for a Speccie blog entry commenting on the just-sentenced teen rappers jailed for attempting to murder a 15 year old girl;
It could be an anomaly, of course. But it isn’t. The overwhelming majority of street crime, knife crime, gun crime, robbery and crimes of sexual violence in London is carried out by young men from the African-Caribbean community. Of course, in return, we have rap music, goat curry and a far more vibrant and diverse understanding of cultures which were once alien to us. For which, many thanks.Predictably, the cultural-apologists have gone into overdrive. The teeth-jarring Bonnie Greer commented to the Standard "My response would be to say that the overwhelming majority of paedophiles, murderers, war-mongers and football hooligans are white males and all we got in return was beans on toast and Top Gear."
Any copper worth his salt will know the current cultural crime specialities; Albanians do prostitution, trafficking and protection, Romanians are organised pickpockets and bag thieves, Turks have cornered the heroin market, Nigerians stick with fraud, the Vietnamese dominate the home-grown Skunk business, Russians are contract killers, Jihadists have taken the terrorism top spot and Africans and Afro-Caribs dominate street crime.
This isn't to say these are racial characteristics; just the latest chapter in London's long history of immigrant crime. In my youth it was the Maltese who ran prostitution and porn, the Irish who did terrorism, Ugandan Asians who did the fraud and Sardinians who snatched handbags. I can't recall the ethnic cuisine that the Malts and the Sardis brought with them - unless it was the Trattoria food of the '70s - but whatever it was, like Rod, I'd say many thanks.
Commissioners for the Infrastructure Planning Commission - £450 per day
Commissioners are required to act as decision–makers, either singly or sitting on panels to
NEW Non-executive Director (private property development) Covent Garden Market Authority - £9,831 pa for 15 days, plus claret and limo allowances
We now need another vote on the board in favour of selling-off the successful Nine Elms horticultural wholesale market site for private development. An understanding of claret and the ability to undertake complex lunching would be an advantage. People not called 'Sir' are unlikely to be successful.
Up to 15 Board Members of The Young People's Learning Agency - £4,000 per annum, maybe meet twice a year if we can be arsed.
Do you want to make a real difference in the delivery of education and training provision for the nation’s young people and help to secure the country's economic future? Need something impressive on your CV? Losing your seat in Parliament and still want to feel important? Applications are welcomed from suitable skilled and experienced members of the Labour Party who, from April 2010, will work with the Government and local authorities to help develop and deliver our exciting vision for young people’s learning - which is basically that it would be a good idea. Falafel and beansprouts provided.
Directors - Sustainable Development Commission - £230 per diem plus business-class airfares or private-hire car expenses and free lunches
To be frank, we haven't a clue what this Quango actually does, except genetically-modified non-farting cows were mentioned. To be on the safe side, Directors should have the ability to undertake long lunches overlaid with social concern, the ability to feign a belief in MMGW, and an appreciation of decent 'second' clarets such as Pichon Lalande. Candidates lacking the required extent of broken nose-veins are unlikely to be invited to interview.
Sunday, 6 December 2009
So as we beg the top dogs for financial scraps, Osborn will spend his term as Chancellor along with nonentity finance ministers from all the world's second-rate economies excluded from the top table, pushed out of the limo parade and off the red carpet round to the back entrance. To such have Labour brought this nation.
The economy that Labour inherited in 1997 was vigorous and in surplus; with prudent management, reserves would have been maintained to buffer the country in the downturn. But no. Brown's moronic fiscal grasp and the lunacy of escalating stealth redistribution and the flooding the public sector with a tsunami of cash way beyond our means destroyed the asset he was handed.
That Labour's leadership should escape not only unpunished but with devalued honours from this debacle stinks like rotten mackerel. Such malfeasance in public office is deserving of more than censure; when the implications of their destruction of the national finances become more widely understood, I think the people will demand their pound of flesh from Brown and his corrupt cabal.
Labour's desperate clutching at the straw of Class War in its death-spasm is a telling return to the womb for a party rooted in the evils of greed and envy. Making an utter mockery of the equalities agenda, throwing the concept of inciting hatred against any part of our society out of the window, Labour has shown its true roots - as a party of racists, bigots and thugs. In the party's dying months, it's placed itself head-to-head with the BNP in a struggle to attract the votes of the envious have-nots.
Can't get your child into a school where at least half the pupils speak English as a first language? It's the toffs' fault. Maternity wards full of Nigerian village girls and you can't get a decent midwife? It's the toffs' fault. Can't get a seat on the bus for the harem of Niqab-clad pushchair shovers? It's the toffs' fault. Can't get a Council flat for your twenty-something boy and his girlfriend? It's the toffs' fault.
Labour's choices to lessen the kicking that the country is ready to give them over immigration are limited. They can put their hands up and say "OK, fair cop. We totally buggered up on immigration"; they can deflect the voters' anger against the immigrants themselves, or they can try to deflect the voters' anger against a third party. They've chosen the last option.
In the London Assembly, Richard Barnbrook typifies the type of voter Labour are so desperately trying to woo back; cerebrally challenged, chippy, covetous, bigoted and deeply resentful of the meritocratic achievements of others.
How telling that Labour have abandoned any attempt to fight for the votes of Britain's majority middle class any more. The ABCs are lost to them - they're scrabbling in the filth for the DEs.
Friday, 4 December 2009
Thursday, 3 December 2009
We can't blame Thatcher for losing her way. As more pressing issues - dealing with the unions and the militant left in the Town Halls - forced her into increasing centralisation and a Big State, so the ideas of the IEA, and Ralph and Arthur's influence, fell into desuetude. 1979 was the start of neoliberalism, and saw over a million local members leave the party. To look at the roots of Old Toryism, we need to look back beyond the 1945 - 1979 period of consensus Keynesianism. As Blond wrote in Prospect:
Conservatives who believe in value, culture and truth should therefore think twice before calling themselves liberal. Liberalism can only be a virtue when linked to a politics of the common good, a problem which the best liberals—Mill, Adam Smith and Gladstone—recognised but could never resolve. A vision of the good life cannot come from liberal principles. Unlimited liberalism produces atomised relativism and state absolutism. Insofar as both the Tories and Labour have been contaminated by liberalism, the true left-right legacy of the postwar period is, unsurprisingly, a centralised authoritarian state and a fragmented and disassociative society.Now those of you who have read Ralph Harris will know he always described himself as a 'liberal' rather than a conservative - but an implaccable enemy of the authoritarian State;
Alas, you need government, but big government is subject to such flaws, incorrigible flaws. Big government is irresponsible government because they can’t know all the circumstances of the nation, the society, the families that they are administering. Big government leads to all kinds of deals, backstage deals about policies, and all the time they are governed not by the public interest, but by the self-interest of the politicians to maintain their power. You need politicians, but the more you can contain politicians to the central tasks they have to do, the less you tempt them into this vote-grabbing, this corruption and deceit which is inseparable from modern, mass, undiscriminating democratic politics.Harris advocated Burkean solutions, the answers being with the Little Platoons; mutuals and co-operatives, friendly societies and sixpence-a-week insurance policies. As does Blond.
Labels are confusing, aren't they?
Labour is a party of two-nations; one to be robbed, and one to be bought. This is as far as Brown's distinctly third-rate intellect will take him. Cameron remains the sole advocate of a one-nation Britain, in which we all move forward together. He hasn't accepted it yet, but Localism is the one approach that will kill Labour for ever and cement us as one Britain, one people. As Philip Blond had it in Prospect:
The next step for conservatism is to reverse the old politics of class, by restoring capital to labour. Cameron should reject the Marxist narrative that paints Tories as wedded to a disenfranchised proletariat. On the contrary: conservatives believe in the extension of wealth and prosperity to all. Yet the great disaster of the last 30 years is the destruction of the capital, assets and savings of the poor: in Britain, the share of wealth (excluding property) enjoyed by the bottom 50 per cent of the population fell from 12 per cent in 1976 to just 1 per cent in 2003. A radical communitarian civic conservatism must be committed to reversing this trend. This requires a considered rejection of social mobility, meritocracy and the statist and neoliberal language of opportunity, education and choice. Why? Because this language says that unless you are in the golden circle of the top 10 to 15 per cent of top-rate taxpayers you are essentially insecure, unsuccessful and without merit or value. The Tories should leave this bankrupt ideology to New Labour and embrace instead an organic communitarianism that graces every level of society with merit, security, wealth and worth.I think it is a complete misnomer to call Blond a 'red Tory'. Cameron is a red Tory. Eric Pickles is a red Tory. Why? Because red Tories believe in a central State, in a Federal Europe, in a metropolitan concentration of power, in political patronage and the primacy of central party apparatchiks, in over-riding personal freedoms 'for your own good'. Cameron's Socialist Conservatives are only a whisker away from Brown's Blue Labour party. Blond is off the scale, on a fourth axis, espousing a manifesto that is wholly Old Tory.
Brown has moved forward, and left his goal completely open. This is Cameron's final chance.
Wednesday, 2 December 2009
Germany, like the UK at time, had the death penalty on the statute book, and throughout the war undertook the judicial murder (by Guillotine) of German citizens just as we did here (by Hanging). Putting people to death per se was not seen as wrong, unjust or illegal in either Germany or the UK. Statutes defined capital offences, courts passed judgement and those at the bottom end of the criminal justice system, the policemen and prison guards, carried out the confinements and executions.
Indeed, all societies with law enforcement agencies depend on a certain kind of person to fill the ranks; those with a respect for authority, those who find it easy to defend the supremacy of Law, those who don't question too deeply the moral legitimacy of their orders and instructions. In a free and democratic society, with local rather than State control over law enforcement agencies, such human qualities are not a bad thing, and recruiting such people, as we do now, into the ranks of the police and prison services puts the most suitable sort of people into the job. But only because they have others standing over them who do scrutinise, question and poke at the morality and legitimacy of the legal framework within which they operate.
Franz Stangle, Commandant at Sobibor extermination camp where Demjanjuk worked, started life as an ordinary Austrian policeman. After Anschluss, a law was passed allowing the compulsory euthanasia of the severely mentally and physically handicapped without hope of recovery. The law required the signatures of two doctors and a court order, and the subjects were (at first) 'humanely' killed by lethal injection. This was the T-4 programme, and Stangl was put in charge of carrying out the judicial killings.
Now this was the point at which we expect a law enforcement official to cavil; we can see the difference between guillotining a rapist and euthanising a paraplegic in a permanent coma, why couldn't Stangl? Was it because he was inherently evil (as Finkelstein would have it) or was it because he was, as just an ordinary policeman, too overwhelmed by central State authority and legitimacy to question? And when the method of euthanasia changed from medically-administered lethal injection to Carbon Monoxide gas why didn't he question then? Many policemen did - after their first T-4 killings they requested return to normal duties, and were not penalised or persecuted.
Finkelstein has the answer, I think, in the Milgram experiments. Some subjects turned the voltage knobs right up to 'lethal' - not brainwashed Nazis, but preppy American college kids. Some individuals are just programmed to accord a legitimacy to authority that others are not. Are they evil? Or victims, their 'flaw' misused and exploited by those in authority above them?
This isn't an obscure debate about the events of sixty years ago, but the most cogent and compelling reason to take great care of the way in which we design and develop our own system of justice and law enforcement. It is the reason I am unequivocally opposed to judicial murder, particularly if imposed and determined by a remote central State. Once you let them start killing, once the initial hurdle is cleared, then broadening the 'offences' of those to be killed becomes much easier. It may start with paedophiles but could rapidly include those caught with illegal firearms. Once the process and apparatus of judicial murder is in place, once the executioner has tasted his first legal blood, then it becomes so much easier to expand the process.
It's also the reason I'm unequivocally opposed to a national police force under central State control. As much as we need those individuals with character traits that make them suitable for law enforcement work, we need also to keep them under close control and not to allow others to exploit those traits against our own interests. If Demjanjuk represents evil, it is a banal and unremarkable evil, an ordinary human evil. And it's everywhere amongst us.
Tuesday, 1 December 2009
HAVING REGARD to the duty of EU citizens to at all times promote the Greater State of Europe
The Commission of the European Union herewith utilises powers conferred by Directive 5567/08 to redress imbalances apparent on this media vehicle and to make changes in conformity with European Law.
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Commission of the European Union
Somewhere in the Sundays over the weekend was a story that surfaces from time to time, of the desire for an equalities counter-reformation. All the things that should have liberated women into a new equal world - the pill, employment rights, the outlawing of taste discrimination - have actually left women worse off, the piece stated, and for every ladette happy to fight their way up the career ladder there was a potential housewife happy to care for home and children, but the latter lifestyle choice had become increasingly difficult.
And of course our tax and benefits system must support not just the best evidential relationship structure for our children, but the most moral also - for without a common morality our laws, our social structure, our respect for the rights of others are nought but dross.
The next government will still have to deal with the underclass, with the street cohort of violent, illiterate young men dealing drugs and murdering each other for the pettiest of reasons, young men whose life expectancy doesn't stretch much beyond their forties, and half of that spent in prisons, care homes or young offenders institutions. These street rats are Ed Balls' bastards; they are the product of Labour's 'any lifestyle choice is good' policy that eschewed fatherhood for State co-parenting. And Balls, like all men who get bastards and flee, will leave it to everyone else to pay to solve his problem.
Monday, 30 November 2009
... members of the European Parliament, who up to now have been “representatives of the peoples of the States brought together in the Community” (Art.189 TEC), become “representatives of the Union’s citizens” (Art.14 TEU).OK, let's make this clear. I'm a British subject. I'm not an EU citizen. I hereby renounce, disown, repudiate, spurn, decline and abdicate any unwanted and unasked for status as an EU citizen. I declare I will fight the EU and its institutions and spurious antidemocratic bodies in every way I can; I will block, obstruct, sabotage, disobey and wilfully subvert any exercise of jurisdiction that unelected traitors in Brussels try to impose on me. I'm not one of your citizen slaves, comrades; I'm a free-born Briton.
From tomorrow I'm your enemy.
It's absurd to compare Britain in the twenty-first century with Britain in the nineteenth. Unlike Victorian London, our London doesn't have a prostitute for every twelve adult males (prostitution being the pre-welfare option for many women) nor do large numbers of children go about in bare feet, Chinese trainers being available for 99p a pair. Nor do we all die by 45, nor do we have rickets or scurvy or diptheria, nor do two out of five of our children die. Poverty today is not absolute but relative; being poor today is simply not having as much bling as Joe Potato next door. The Fabians of course have a solution to this - take some of Joe Potato's things away and give them to other people. They imagine a Utopia in which we all have exactly the same.
The fact is of course that we're not all equal, and it's simply wicked to pretend that we are. Some are pretty enough to be models, and some of us are not gifted with beauty. Some have superlative football skills, and some can't catch a beach ball at six feet. Some can understand String Theory, and some can't add up a grocery bill. Some can shift sixteen tonnes a day, and some get exhausted just lifting a shovel. Depending on how we, as a society, value various skills and abilities, so rewards vary. Thus a healthy meritocracy encourages those with ability to exploit it, and all society gains. Those without skill or ability even for a manual trade must learn their place in the spectrum, too; a labouring job, or sweeping the street, or working in MacDonalds are callings as necessary as all those better rewarded. The dignity of work alone confers a belonging worth rubies, even if the pay is rhinestones.
That Socialism is an evil was confirmed by Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum;
It is surely undeniable that, when a man engages in remunerative labor, the impelling reason and motive of his work is to obtain property, and thereafter to hold it as his very own. If one man hires out to another his strength or skill, he does so for the purpose of receiving in return what is necessary for the satisfaction of his needs; he therefore expressly intends to acquire a right full and real, not only to the remuneration, but also to the disposal of such remuneration, just as he pleases. Thus, if he lives sparingly, saves money, and, for greater security, invests his savings in land, the land, in such case, is only his wages under another form; and, consequently, a working man's little estate thus purchased should be as completely at his full disposal as are the wages he receives for his labor. But it is precisely in such power of disposal that ownership obtains, whether the property consist of land or chattels. Socialists, therefore, by endeavoring to transfer the possessions of individuals to the community at large, strike at the interests of every wage-earner, since they would deprive him of the liberty of disposing of his wages, and thereby of all hope and possibility of increasing his resources and of bettering his condition in life.The Fabians argue that Brown's stealth redistribution hasn't gone far enough - but isn't it about time we dismissed the whole nonsense about relative poverty and went back to talking instead of absolute poverty? We all recognise that we must freely and willingly give of our wealth to shoe and clothe the desperate, to ensure that none go hungry, none go without warmth and shelter and the sick receive succour. A Welfare system that is a disincentive to work for 5m of our citizens is morally wrong and repugnant; it excludes them from the dignity of work, however humble, from full belonging and from the hope of betterment, and imprisons them in a cruel State slavery more hopeless and despairing than the Slough of Despond. Socialism is an evil. We must fight it's effects with every breath we have.
Sunday, 29 November 2009
It's a comfortable self-delusion, no doubt. So much easier than having to face the fact that 57% of the Swissies aren't far right nutters but decent, ordinary people for whom the Islamisation of their public space was a step too far.
Islam remains an alien and fearsome heresy for many Christian Europeans. We may tolerate Muslims in our midst as long as they assimilate, become invisible, integrate into the mainstream, but are unwilling to accept the provocation of minarets and Niqabs. This, I think, is right and justified. In the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland and France democracy is working - creaking and groaning, opposed by the race, rights and equalities industry, but working.
It's an overdue adjustment that needs to be made across Europe - made peacefully and democratically, without violence or pogroms or persecution or displacement. We are a Europe of the Light; we face adherents of the Dark. The Light must win; the Light always must win.
I'm all for this. Scotland is an ancient nation with its own laws and legal system, and its own Parliament. Our union at the level of the Realm - with a common defence and foreign affairs structure - doesn't mean that we should seek homogeneity in everything else. And whilst the number of Scots MPs sitting at Westminster should undoubtedly decrease substantially, this should be balanced by a flowering of a particularly Scots culture of politics in which there is a gaping vacuum for a right of centre party divorced from Thatcher's memory.
Likewise in the province of Northern Ireland. I've never agreed with the 'Unionist' part of the Conservative Party; in less time than we may imagine, a popular majority in the Province will return it to the Republic. My dearest wish is that Ireland will then join the Commonwealth in recognition of the strong bonds between us. There is no place in a Tory party for a faction that will seek to cling to the Province against the wishes of a majority of its people.
And why then not a separate but affiliated Tory Party for Anglia? If the Turnip Taliban and Suffolk Swedes are more popular locally than Cameron's metrosexuals with the region's 3m population why not a separate party?
We are truly entering a time of radical change in British politics - a time in which almost anything is possible. To imagine that the hollow and dying incumbent parties can continue in their present forms is truly naive. The three incumbent parties have a combined membership of less than 1% of the electorate, and rely on corrupt finance from foreign governments to stay in power. The lesson the Conservatives must learn is clear
Decentralise or Die.
Saturday, 28 November 2009
His loathing for the political class - foolish tools of Ahriman - his enthusiasm for Localism, his detestation of the EU and his conviction that we have wounded ourselves grievously with Labour's lunatic multiculturalism place my own views firmly alongside Pearson's.
Cameron's supporters will be quick with their stilettos - in Pearson UKIP have a more formidable leader than Nigel Farage, and they know it.
Friday, 27 November 2009
So it's with a certain pleasure that I read of Dubai's current financial problems. Even though Dubai owns a fifth of the Stock Exchange, P&O and Travelodge. And even though its unlikely to become a ghost town, with the waters of the gulf and the sands of the desert reclaiming, covering and purifying all that ghastly vulgarity, it doesn't stop me imagining the fate of these American towns that grew overnight on the back of the silver rush, with opera house but no sewers.
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Labour hopes that by dispersing the State's functionaries, the degree of power held by the State will be less apparent.
Um, it won't work, Liam. You see, people judge the intrusion of the State into their lives by its effects, not its town of origin. Choke-off the powers of the central State, and the machinery of the State will wither on the vine. Wherever it's located.
The answers to these questions lie not in the hands of the Brussels bureaucrats but in the Kremlin. Just suppose the FSB decided that now was the time to make public details of the funding channelled by Soviet bloc nations to seditious Western networks such as Comrade Ashton's CND? Or just suppose they decided to hold the evidence back until they needed to gain an advantage? Can the EU really ratify the appointment of a woman now so open to blackmail from Russia?
There is little doubt that Soviet money was channelled to CND; if not from Russia then from East Germany, the Czechs, the Hungarians or others. Comrade Ashton's future lies in Russia's hands.
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
I've said before that a healthy democracy needs both a strong Parliament and a strong government, and that strong government and weak Parliament over the past decades have been disastrous for the interests of the British people.
Yet one of the most significant Parliamentary reports of the past ten years has gone almost unremarked by both the MSM and the blogosphere; the Reform Select Committee's report.
It's measures can be implemented by the House immediately. It will radically curtail the powers of the whips and boost the powers of backbenchers. It will transfer power from the Executive to Parliament and redress the present imbalance. The Commons will become stronger and more independent. MPs will become less reliant on central party structures and more responsive to their constituencies.
And for all these reasons it probably doesn't stand a chance in Hell of being supported by Brown, Cameron or the Squeaker. Shame on you all.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
There is one figure that these seditious conspirators refuse to provide, and it is this; how many convictions have resulted primarily from the DNA records of unconvicted persons? The true answer must be negligible - even infinitesimal - otherwise they would trumpet it. That police officers choose to ignore evidence when it doesn't suit them will be no news to many, but that they do so on an issue of fundamental liberty for tens of thousands of citizens is almost criminal.
We really must grasp this monster firmly and slice off its head.
Monday, 23 November 2009
Iain will no doubt deliver another homily on the importance of 'discipline' on the right, but if Dave continues along a manifesto path that many of us can barely distinguish from Labour's, how long can this last?
The leaking over the weekend of detailed evidence from senior military officers and others that directly contradicts the mendacious assurances given by Blair to the Commons are damaging beyond doubt. And there will be more of the same to come.
I've just read Robert Harris' 'The Ghost' in which Blair - Adam Lang in the novel - faces war crimes charges from the International Criminal Court; the Jack Straw / Peter Hain character who eventually leaked the killer document demands remorsefully;
'Name me one decision Adam Lang took that wasn't in the interests of the US' .. He held up his thumb. 'One: Deployment of British troops to the Middle East, against the advice of just about every senior commander in our armed forces and all of our ambassadors who know the region. Two' - up went his right index finger - ' complete failure to demand any kind of quid pro quo from the White House in terms of reconstruction contracts for British firms or anything else. Three: Unwavering support for US policy in the Middle East, even when it's patently crazy for us to set ourselves against the entire Arab world. Four: The stationing of an American missile defence system on British soil that does absolutely nothing for our security - in fact the complete opposite: it makes us a more obvious target for a first strike - and can only provide protection for the US. Five: The purchase for fifty billion dollars of an American nuclear missile system that we call independent but which we wouldn't even be able to fire without US approval, thus binding his successors to another twenty years of subservience to Washington over defence policy. Six: A treaty that alows the US to extradite our citizens to America, but doesn't allow us to do the same to theirs. Seven: Collusion in the illegal kidnapping, torture, imprisonment and even murder of our own citizens. Eight: A consistent record of sacking any minister - I speak with experience here - who is less than one hundred per cent supportive of the alliance with the United States ..'In the novel Blair faces exile in the US, one of the few nations that hasn't signed up to the ICC and its extradition arrangements. I won't give any more away - except that Harris captures with absolute accuracy Blair's reaction on the news of the ICC charges. Well worth a read.
With no EU post to protect him, and his co-conspirators facing losing power next year, with no diminution of the British public's appetite for a trial to bring 'closure' to this disastrous episode, and with evidence increasingly emerging, Blair has every reason to feel nervous.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Hugh, my dear; our nation is a democracy. That means that the people have control. We will not sede power to an unaccountable cabal of State police bosses. So go.
My own preference is for the return of local Watch Committees, mostly directly elected but with local magistrates co-opted, that directly employ and direct local forces for bread-and-butter policing. Cameron's plans are flawed, I think, but even they are better than the current arrangements. I want to see local communities 100% behind their police, to see the police back living in those communities, and beat officers free of the cloying Blairite micromanagement from old monsters such as Orde and his Home Office puppetmasters. This will never happen if Orde and his ACPO cabal get their way.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
For hundreds of MPs this will have been their last State Opening; this Rotten Parliament already consigned to the obloquy of history. Next Autumn, next State Opening, offers the chance for a new age for Parliament - if Cameron finds qualities in himself that have not so far been apparent.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
When Robert Peel established the Metropolitan Police in 1829 he defined nine principles of operation, of which the most important was “the police are the public and the public are the police”.
The police have not always lived up to this precept. Only 3 per cent of crimes now end in a conviction. We spend more on the police in this country than any developed nation and yet detection rates are not improving. The chances of being a victim of crime are at the lowest level for two decades but three quarters of the British public believe that crime is going up. The police force is the only service in which public confidence declines on contact with serving officers, from 57 to 41 per cent. Something is amiss in policing.
Hugh Orde's presciption, featured elsewhere in the same edition, is for fewer and larger forces under central command and control, a new 'general staff' replacing the unaccountable and shadowy ACPO.
It takes some chutzpah for one of the men responsible for creating a police force remote from the people it serves and which has lost their confidence to recommend more of the same as the solution. And it's risible nonsense in every way.
Yes to a Royal Commission - but Orde will find the way forward is smaller forces under local control carrying out 90% of policing, with specialist squads at national or regional level, reporting to the Home Secretary or London Mayor, leading on terrorism and organised crime. The needs of these niche law and order challenges cannot drive the organisation of the vast bulk of day to day policing - which must be local. The police are the public, and the public are the police.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
Firstly, the candidate taken in adultery. Miss Truss broke one of the ten commandments that underlie our bedrock of social morality. Local associations are quite within their rights to expect both morality and probity from their candidates; if Miss Truss were a practising adulteress, I could not fault them with rejecting her. As it is, it seems, she went and sinned no more; the stones of the Turnip Taliban under those circumstances fell to the ground un-thrown and she continues as her local PPC. Good. We can count this both a victory for common sense, Christian morality rather than Squirearchical Sharia and the primacy of local associations.
Secondly, Peter Oborne's measured and restrained 'Dispatches' on C4 last night on the Conservative Friends of Israel and the influence of the shekel in determining Conservative thinking. I won't repeat the evidence he presented, but I think it's fair to say he established that the Jewish lobby has an unrepresentative influence on Conservative policy.
One of the consequences of the ruthless centralisation of party power that started under Margaret Thatcher in 1979, and has since seen over a million members leave the Conservative party, is that the rump local associations remaining are quite often not only unrepresentative of local Conservative consensus, but the lack of challenge and scrutiny at local level allows corruption and nepotism to flourish. In the Truss case, the usual four-members-and-a-labrador local quorum was overturned by the exhausted body of the local association rising from its sick-bed to vote.
The change of both Labour and Conservative parties from mass-membership organisations to centralised national commercial 'brands' has brought with it the danger of the parties being hijacked by small groups of significant donors. Money is drawn to power, and power to money. Better perhaps that Israel buys British political power rather than Russian oligarchs or Chinese generals, but without a mass membership our national parties have no alternative but to open themselves to such influence.
Local associations allege, with some justification, that Eric Pickles and CCHQ have too much power, even with open primaries. CCHQ privately excuses its interference, with some justification, on the grounds that local associations are neanderthal and can't be trusted.
The stark choice facing both Labour and Conservative leaders is that the only cure to this corrosive corruption of our democratic institutions is mass popular involvement at local level; State power must be wrested from Whitehall and devolved to local level, with power will come public involvement and a million local party subscriptions, with money will come the pre-eminent role of local associations in formulating policy and pushing it upwards, crowding-out the corruption of bought influence, whether Israeli or otherwise. You know it's true.