Friday, 6 September 2013

BBC bosses must do jail time

Chris Patten lied to Parliament, says former BBC boss Mark Thompson, who has given the members of Parliament's Public Accounts Committee a detailed dossier of Pattens lies when last he gave evidence before the committee. The BBC Trust has responded that Patten may well have lied but he didn't make the payments - a big boy did. All the illegal overpayments were made during the chairmanship of Sir Michael Lyons, who claims he knows nothing about anything and no-one even told him what the letters 'BBC' stood for or what the organisation did. Lyons claims he took the job for the good lunches and short hours and says he just had to sign stuff and was only hired because he owned his own fountain pen and had an Alpha-plus signature with swirls. 

MPs will have to try to get both sense and truth out of a series of BBC ex-and current bosses next week - concepts largely unfamiliar to anyone who works at senior level at the State propaganda ministry. BBC bosses will lie through their pants to Parliament basically because they think they're better than MPs and have the moral right to do so.

In return, Parliament must ensure that some of them do jail time. Three years each for Chris Patten and Michael Lyons should do the trick, with eighteen months for Thompson and Entwistle (Who he?).

Why not?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Silence of the Damned

What have crack-whore abuser Hugh Grant, mendacious rag The Guardian and TV-tax thieves the BBC got in common? Apart from a mutual loathing of Rupert Murdoch, all will keep absolutely silent this week as Parliament has forced SOCA to release the identities of the banks, city law firms and big corporates who have used criminal methods of phone hacking, burglary, theft and criminal trespass to gain competitive advantage. Stephen Glover in the Mail has the full story.

The stinking injustice of jailing journalists for phone hacking but letting lawyers and bankers go free cloys the nostrils with the putrescent ordure of establishment cover up and self interest. Even little Austria can manage to jail bent bankers, but this mother of democracies, with an electoral system now so corrupt and so far beyond civilised standards that Michael Pinto-Duschinsky has described it as third-world, can't put a single pin-striped miscreant behind bars.   

We should hang our heads in shame before the world.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Lobbying Bill; Raedwald unscathed

It seems that the Raedwald blog will not have to register as a political party after all, and can continue to lecture the miscreants of the Political Class without further interference from the Electoral Commission.

Which is a pity, really. I was rather looking forward to encouraging 44,600,000 voters (the UK electorate less the 400,000 who are members of the big 3) each to start their own party with one member and all register with the Electoral Commission and submit the wad of forms and returns required ....

Actually, the poor Electoral Commission have already said they won't even be able to cope with the limited restrictions already made. That's a shame.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Nazis

The silly season is never complete without a few Nazi stories and this Summer has been no different. Apart from the revelatory sort of stories carried by the redtops - that the Archbishop of Canterbury's uncle was an SS Colonel for example, or that Kate Middleton's great aunt was Himmler's mistress* - are those more serious stories that continue to pose moral questions. 

The first is what Germany should do about the crumbling Nuremberg stadium, background to Leni Riefenstahl's 1934 'Triumph of the Will', a film still banned in Germany, by the way, though presumably Germans may watch it as freely as we can on Youtube. Stripped of its swastikas after the war, the stadium continues to serve as a useful large public space, but no-one has been brave enough to maintain the Nazi-era stonework. Now they're agonising over whether government money should be spent to preserve it.

Secondly is the row around a German pulp magazine entitled Der Landser, or roughly 'The Squaddie'. Published since 1957, the mag carries stories of Wehrmacht battles, fights and general soldiering from the ranks, showing the rough humour, kameraderie and essential humanity of members of the Heer, Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine as members of the international brotherhood of coarse soldiery, but without overtly glorifying Nazism or risking a breach of Germany's draconian anti-Nazi laws. The mag's owner, the Bauer Media Group, which also publishes Kerrang!, Bella and Take a Break, is in the process of taking over Absolute radio - formerly Virgin radio - but an appeal has been made to Ofcom from Bruce Fireman (and unidentified backers?) to halt the takeover whilst Der Landser is published.  

Thirdly is a row about this September's 'Homecoming' remembrance ceremony held by Austrian former Wehrmacht members in a ruined church on the Ulrichsberg in K√§rnten. The site is isolated, the roads are poor and the old boys aren't quite as quick on their feet as they were in '39 - '45, and so in years past the Austrian Army has laid on transport and assistance, provided a band and some uniformed senior officers, whilst the local Councils have provided grant funding to the organisers, the Ulrichsberggemeinschaft. In 2012 the organisers invited a former Waffen-SS member to speak, the first time the ceremony had been opened to this organisation banned as 'criminal' by the Nuremberg court. As a result, this year the funding has been withdrawn and the Bundesheer instructed not to assist. The blow falls hardest on those old Landser, much diminished in number, who don't have that many more remembrance days left. From 1957 Germany allowed the wearing of '39 - '45 military gallantry and bravery awards as long as the swastikas were removed, and these old chaps wear their iron crosses, combat infantry clasps and wound badges with pride.   

Not easy, is it?
* Neither true, as far as I know

Sunday, 1 September 2013

KFC heir attacks Brits

Kentucky Fried Chicken heir and New York resident Andrew Roberts has taken time out from his busy schedule to lambast the UK in a piece for the Mail. Roberts, a Blair adorer who said "for Churchill, apotheosis came in 1940; for Tony Blair, it will come when Iraq is successfully invaded and hundreds of weapons of mass destruction are unearthed from where they have been hidden by Saddam's henchmen", displays an equivalent quality of judgement on Syria.

"And nothing qualifies as worse oppression than having at least 1,429 innocents slaughtered – 400 of those children" writes Roberts, perhaps unaware that this is about the monthly total of innocent civilians killed by sectarian car bombs in Iraq for each month since Blair's invasion, but perhaps Roberts doesn't count dead Iraqis. 

Roberts rather disingenuously continues "The only people to have used this monstrous weapon since then have been Benito Mussolini against the Ethiopians in the 1930s, Adolf Hitler in his war against the Jews in the 1940s, and Saddam Hussein in his massacre of the Kurds in the 1980s. In each case Britain was in the van of nations that led to their downfall", suggesting that in each case the use of poison gas played some part in  Britain's motivation for war. It did not. In any of the three cases. Roberts goes on, after declaring the British to be a nation of moral relativists, to write "I seriously doubt whether, if the Argentinians invaded the Falklands tomorrow or Spain invaded Gibraltar, the British people would clamour for the military action needed to liberate either of those places." demonstrating an ignorance of British public opinion so profound and so complete as to be worthy of a New York cab driver. 

All in all, Roberts' piece is an embarrassing, cringe-making and simply bad piece of writing that aspires to polemic but lacks the Viagra needed to rise from the dull and prone. Perhaps he should have consulted a historian before submitting it.