Thursday, January 08, 2009
Bank of England cuts interest rates to lowest in more than 300 years
When will it dawn on our "leaders" that a reduction of 0.5% in the nominal rate of interest will have no discernable effect on the economy and its inexorable descent. The issue is not one of affordability - it is an issue of availability.
Only by following the Conservative's proposals by backing a government guarantee of all bank loans will market conditions improve - but then the government didn't come up with the idea. Labour understands that the adoption of a Conservative policy would be an admittal that the PBR was a colossal faliure and, by association, immediately torpedo their clocal untruth that the Conservatives are the "do nothing party".
As the Telegraph states this morning: "It is time the Government threw itself at the downturn aggressively, and that means adopting good ideas, whatever their provenance. This is not the time for petty politics."
Labour would rather we all suffered - whilst its substantial client state remains insulated - than admit its policy failings.
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The Boy Who Cried Wolf, reporting back for duty...
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Thursday, August 03, 2006
By Matthias Gebauer in Israel
Propaganda is part of every war, just like bombs and soldiers. Still, it's remarkable how professionally Israel deals with foreign journalists, catering conscientiously to all their needs. Lunch included.
The mother of Israeli soldier Seargeant Shimon Dahan at her son's funeral on Thursday.
The phone rings at 9 a.m. -- right on time. "Hello, this is the Government Press Office," pipes a woman's voice. "What are you planning to do today? Do you need an idea?" And then the suggestions just keep coming -- interview partners; a tour to the houses in Haifa that were struck by Katyusha rockets, complete with victim interviews. An expert will come along too, one who explains the nature of the rockets -- "in clean sound bites, if you want."
There's more on the plate. "The highlight is still to come," says the lady from Israel's press office, the GPO. "We can offer an interview in Naharya with the parents of the kidnapped soldiers," she says. She explains that the parents of Ehud Goldwasser, who has been held by Hezbollah since July 12, are waiting in a hotel. An interpreter? No need. "They speak good English, don't worry."
Many journalists come along, most of them by GPO bus. About 15 camera teams have set up their equipment. Twenty radio and print journalists are enjoying their coffee and the specially prepared sandwiches. Then the parents arrive. The father self-consciously steps up to the microphone. The desk in front of him bristles with microphones -- as if a politician were giving a press conference. He's sweating slightly; the veins on his forehead are bulging.
Shlomo Goldwasser doesn't have much to say -- not much more than the banal phrases security officials often teach parents so they stay on message. "They, my son's kidnappers, are responsible for Ehud's safety," Goldwasser says. "They are also responsible for returning him to us soon -- and unscathed." He says he can't think of anything else to tell us. He's a father, he says, not a politician.
Goldwasser has barely finished speaking when a journalistic scrum erupts and cameramen start to shout. "Mr. Goldwasser, over here," one of them calls. "Please don't smile." Others want to hear childhood stories -- "It tugs on the viewers' heartstrings." Elsewhere, the man's wife has to leaf repeatedly through the family photo album. She responds to the orders given her like a robot and would presumably even start crying if she were told to do so. Fortunately no one makes such a request.
The disgraceful spectacle goes on for 90 minutes. The parents say they've got nothing to do with politics, nor with the war. They've been told appearances in public could save their son. And it's all organized and choreographed by the Israeli government's press office -- organized for foreign journalists, so that one of the reasons for the current war, the suffering of parents and civilians, receives the public attention it is due. But the parents, in this story, somehow come off only as extras.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Hick Crosses off Another Landmark
If only all of Hick's Test matches were played at Worcester's serene New Road. There would of course still be the small matter of Raymond Illingworth to contend with though. Such an evil man.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Amnesty plan for 500,000 illegal migrants
There is a pellucid reason why the Government would wish to naturalise an incoprehesnible number of illegal immigrants: a perceieved increase in taxation revenues; an increase in its controlling fetish; and eventual labour voting tendencies.
An amnesty is useless until Britain's borders are once again managed efficently.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Every week, there is an example of a law-abiding citizen who is murdered by someone who has either been let out of prison early, or not sent there at all, but instead given a sentence of "supervision in the community". One of Mr Hart's killers had been given a "community sentence order" for theft just two days before he broke into Mr Hart's house.
The rights of criminals seem to have become a national fetish.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
"The number of immigrants granted British citizenship has more than quadrupled since Labour came to power, latest figures show.
The number of successful applications for citizenship rose by 15pc last year to 161,780 - an increase of 337pc on the 1997 figure of 37,010."
Is it any wonder that the Labour Government doesn't want a debate on the positive effect of managed immigration. Its current policy of extemporisation actively encourages obsquious immigrants to vote Labour. The Labour Government may lose votes where competition for resources is at its acutest, but why worry when you can import voters from abroad to replace this loss.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
British Values Classes Considered
What sort of British values will be taught? Tolerance of intolerance? The right to legal aid? Welfare dependency? The right not to be offended?
Instead of teaching meaningless generalisations, we should be actively teaching British history in its broadest sense. But why should we expect immigrants to integrate into our society when we actively denegrate and dismiss our own history? Without a shared history a cohesive society is unobtainable. The ineluctable result is the further balkanisation of Great Britain.
Southern Cash Buys Northern Votes
"A widening North-South divide has been exposed by a YouGov poll for The Daily Telegraph that shows the Tories are piling up votes in London and the Home Counties while failing to make any significant inroads north of the Trent. The result of a north-south divide with the Tories controlling the South and Labour the North could have servere constituional consequences."
The reason for this electoral dispartity is the contrasting attitudes to taxation and public spending in different regions:
"Public spending in parts of the North accounts for almost 60 per cent of the economy - a level of intervention as high as in some old communist states - compared to just 30 per cent in the South."
Labour's vote is then cemented in areas where the economy depends on high public spending, whereas the Tories are supported in areas that pay more in taxes but feel they get less back from central government. As I have stated before, this is a systematic attempt by the Labour party to create an effective client state that will ensure it remains in power for the foreseeable future.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Saturday, April 29, 2006
So advanced was the 6th Dreadnought that her name became the generic term for the modern battleship. Exactly 100 years after her launch, the retirement of the Royal Navy sea harriers has left Britain lacking the maritime ability to act independently without coalition assistance - for the first time since the 16th century.
A once unrivalled institution; intrinsically intertwined with the nation's fortunes and subconsciosuly embedded in the Brtish soul, it is now emaciated, another victim of social democracy and the drive for abstract human rights.
Brown vows £8.5bn in crusade to educate world's poor
The Telegraph - fairly recently- succinctly expressed the idiocy of Gordon Brown's prodigious efforts to educate (indoctrinate) the world's poor in three concise points:
1) It will encourage the fallacious belief that a good education is chiefly a question of state spending.
2) The subsidies will confirm the view of many Africans that they should look to the outside world, rather than to themselves, for better government.
3) As well as infantilising Africans, they infantalise British taxpayers.
Gordon Brown is by no means an evil man. However, when you have someone who eminently believes that the nation's wealth belongs to the state; who has undoubted immense altruistic instincts, you know the taxpayer is in for a fun time.
Should taxpayers' money be used to alleviate the world's alleged education deficit? I don't think so. What annoyed me even more though was the impassive exhibition Gordon Brown produced when he announced that £8 thousand millions (£ 8 billions if you come from North America) was to be parceled out to the deserving poor. We know why he was so casual about it; they'll always be more.
I perhaps wouldn't mind so much if the money was spent wisely. But, like most government initiatives, it just isn't. If only politicians would address the real causes of the problem rather than the resultant symptoms. Instead I have to put up with a priapic Gordon Brown displaying his philanthropic credentials across Africa - something a genuine philanthropist wouldn't be caught dead doing.
As the Daily Telegraph leader states:
The beauty of Africa, for a British politician, is that it is about mood, not results. Mr Brown will be able to pose for photographs with laughing children. Everyone will feel slightly better at the sight. He will have demonstrated his benign motives, and will then be able to move on, happy in the knowledge that no one will ever hold him to account.
There is a simple reason why the global community continually fails Africa: all solutions have been expressed through state intervention or the redistribution of private wealth. Any charity, public or private, can make anyone richer - for a temporary time. However, hand-outs won't eliminate poverty, they will actually mask the causes of it; more importantly they will help to entrench the habits that perpetuate poverty.
Poverty may be used to justify these international programmes, but the aid is almost always given in the form of government-to-government transfers. This very inherent bias towards state control and the politicisation of the actual process stifles, rather than encourages reform and anabiosis. Foreign aid then inevitably augments and encourages the resources of government compared to the private sector. Once the aid is then in the hands of a nepotistic bureaucracy the state uses the aid for purposes conducive to the ruling regime’s own desires. One only has to look at the examples of Sudan and Zimbabwe.
Even when aid does finally does reach the consumer it has the same debilitating effect as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). It is typically forgotten that most of the recipient countries have local industries and farms. How are they expected to survive the influx of free goods? It is no different to the dumping of subsidised European produce in African markets. In practice, the developed world's short-term solutions eventually manifest themselves in the the protracted difficulties of the future. Aid acutely destroys the possibility for sustained economic growth by driving local producers, especially farmers, out of business.
This is why taxapayers' should not support Gordon Brown's massive redistribution policies. For a start, it is their money, and by association they will be giving open-ended support to the pathologically corrupt regimes which propagate the poverty.
Capitalism and globalistion are then not responsible - despite the BBC's insistence - for the existing inequalities in the world. They have in fact done more to increase wealth and lower prices then any other mechanism in history. Lasting and protracted poverty has it roots firmly entrenched in an abyss of cultural and political corruption. For instance, if capitalism is so destructive and encourages inequality, why do foreign companies based in Africa provide the best education and healthcare services for their employers? It doesn't help that the United Nations fails to even recognise private schools in their calculations for how many children fail to receive any formal primary education.
Central to the question of foreign aid is the belief that formal education and health services can only be provided by state funding. It is simply a fallacy. What existed before the inception of the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom? Ask anyone now and they believe - it is subliminally taught at state schools - that there wasn't any discernable health care system in operation. Where do they think the infrastructure came from? If one did exist they are probably told it involved the poisoning of working class children. Either that, or they were complict in some naughty eugenics programme in Scandinavia.
Africa's problems stem from irrationalism and collectivism - all throw-backs to the aftermath of colonial rule. Some of this blame can be apportioned on the developed world. That blame is not exploitation or the systematic rape of a continent though. I'm not sure how you can even rape a country of its resources when it doesn't have the capacity to utilise them. Without Western technology I doubt even the Middle East could extract its oil. The developed world's real crime is to have burdened African nations with a failed socialist ideology. A combination of misgovernment, the heaviest regulated markets in the world and endemic corruption that would shame an Italian politician (or is it Brtish now?) has transformed these countries from moderately prosperous enclaves into the apotheosis of the most miserable and pathetic place imaginable. The continent itself is still rich in resources, but the incentive to produce has been destroyed by government policy; the real cause of Africa's enervation.
Why are these acts of recidivism being allowed to continue and in such a profligate demeanour?
The blame can be wholly attributed to the lack of moral fortitude exhibited by the liberal-right. The Left didn't even have to resort to irredentist behaviour to plant the Red Flag. This is because ever since the 60s the Right has actively vacated issues on foreign aid and development. This has then left the authoritarian-left with a completely unchallenged monopoly on how Africa's plight is addressed. A moral case must then be made: that the Left must no longer command a cartel on third-world issues.
A start can be made by acknowledging that the world's impoverished nations are poor for a reason: they have nothing to do with free and liberal markets. Africa's autocratic leaders are corrupt, intrusive, and actively restrict political and economic freedom. The real inequality then is that the political culture of Africa is illiberal, whilst most of the developed world has a semblance of freedom to acquire and posses wealth. The question that needs to be asked is: not what makes someone poor, but what makes them wealthy?
It is for this reason that British taxpayers' do not owe the third world an apology for their relative wealth. Their wealth has been earned through their own enterprise and productivity; they are not parasites who prey on the poor around the globe by stealing their natural resources. Consequently, they are not responsible for the tragic problems that afflict that 'vast, beautiful [and] pitiful continent.' The poverty that exists in Africa is a terrible shame, but that shame should not be thrown on to the British taxpayer through the Chancellor's guilt-ridden self-loathing. Africa's decline can only be reversed through the active support of democratic institutions, responsible private charity and unflinching support for the individual. Only then can a renascent Africa emerge after almost 40 years of decline.
Africa's problems are self-inflicted. Only when we acknowledge that fact and treat these nations on the same moral basis as all other governments will reform and development finally be possible. Bob Geldoff can then at last retire from public life, or campaign in support of male victims of domestic abuse, and Bono can go back to writing his music. Actually, on second thoughts, please continue showering Africa with foreign aid.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Charles Clarke insists 'I will not quit'
More than 1,000 convicted foreign criminals, including killers, rapists and child abusers, have been freed from prison without being considered for deportation and hundreds are missing, Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, admitted yesterday.
There was once a noble time when an extra-marital affair would have led to a resignation. When exactly is your impropriety beyond doubt in this government?
Friday, April 21, 2006
Bristol shuns slave trade name
Once again, another vocal minority group is caught lasciviously seeking any perceived offence and then wallowing in present-day victimhood. I am offended that they are offended.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
The amphigoric Mr. Derek Simpson, leader of the union Amicus, read out a statement headed: "Ten reasons why it is harder to sack a French worker than a British one." Almost every one of those 10 was true.
Had his political perspective been different, however, Mr Simpson could have listed his 10 points, with equal truth, under the conspectus: "Ten reasons why multinational companies would rather employ workers in Britain than in France."
Friday, April 14, 2006
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Chirac abandons youth job law after weeks of rioting
Can anyone explain why French students were protesting over something that has no discernable effect on them in any way? I mean...it's not as if they hold any jobs that they can be dismissed from.
The empirical evidence is there as well. I'm not usually one to shout about the state of the UK economy, but it seems that it is eminently possible to adduce the respective condition of the French and British economies by the fact that 300,000 French citizens are desperately seeking employment in Britain, whilst 3 British subjects try their luck amongst the burnt-out car ridden banlieues.
L'Oreal, Total, and the 300,000 all seem to have grasped that globalisation will not wait for a society frightened of losing a sheltered dirigiste arrangement it can no longer afford. Not for the first time though, French politicians, at the first sign of mob rule have displayed their lack of personal political volition and comprehensively failed to persuade a society of that truth. Will the 5th Republic go the same way as its predecessors? I suspect so. History suggests the French establishment never acts until it is too late.
CPS "is crazy" to take play-time insults to court
It is about time that a judge suggested that both the "Criminal Protection Service" (CPS) and the police acted responsibly and stopped pursuing perceived, rather than actual crimes.
As Judge Finestein was able to point out:
"This is how stupid the system is getting. There are major crimes out there and the police don't bother to prosecute. If you get your car stolen it doesn't matter, but you get two kids falling out because of racist comments - this is nonsense."
Simon Heffer managed to go even further by suggesting what should in future be official government policy:
"Since neither the CPS nor the police have anything better to do, perhaps I could suggest an extension of this policy, starting with abandoning the minimum age of criminality. It is obvious that all primary schools and, indeed, nurseries should be regularly inspected for signs of racist tots, with exemplary prosecutions where necessary. And don't forget maternity wards - you can't catch them too young, and heaven knows what harm is being done to our nation by bigoted babies."
The whole process is absolute nonsense - I still have no idea how it even got to the stage of being adjourned for reconsideration. Aside from that, what happens to be just as disturbing, is the childish behaviour displayed by the teaching unions in verbally assaulting the presiding judge. All that Judge Finestein had suggested, and at his perspicuous best, was that "in the old days the headmaster would have given them a good clouting." Personally, I would rather the teaching unions worry about the disgraceful education system that they currently preside over and are complicit in encouraging. I suppose there is something to be said that they are at least considering the children over themselves for a change - which isn't something that can be said about the police in this incident.
Firstly, in relation to the police and their neuralgic reaction, we need to understand they have over the passage of time developed an inverted belief of their role in society. This stems from the underlying problem that the higher echelons of the service have a desire to be politicians rather than policemen. Sir Iain Blair, Commissioner of the Metropolis, is the case exemplar. Oxford educated, which doesn't necessarily mean anything these days apart from a competence to regurgitate facts, he is the self-professed intellectual at the vanguard of attempts to transform the relationship between the service and the citizen.
His recent Dimbleby lecture, in which he asked for a debate on the seemingly reciprocal question "what sort of police force do we want?" is a case in point. He meant it as a serious question though. For the police service no longer believes its role is, or should be, confined to the enforcement of law and the maintenance of order. They believe they should, in tandem with the government, create an all-powerful duumvirate to promote and enforce the prevailing social values and attitudes of the present government.
Despite the police service's profound assumptions, just because you happen to be ordained with a 2:1 in sociology - or in Sir Ian's case a 2:2 in English - it doesn't mean your legitimate remit extends beyond your job title. They simply fail to realise that their job is not to interpret the law, or even to debate the law, but to implement it. Quite simply, if they want to enter politics, they can either stand for election at a general election; or, as the Tories have suggested, support the implementation of accountability in the form of elected chief constables and commissioners in the localities. If they then want to spend their time chasing fox-hunters across Gloucestershire, instead of pursuing some bad prat who has just kicked your grandmother's teeth in for her pension, they can put their record to the voter. However, I am quite sure that if this was the case, Richard Brunstorm, Chief Constable and Mad Mullah of the North Wales Traffic Taliban, wouldn't be quite so rigorous in his persecution of motorists - actually he is that arrogant. I do suspect though that accountability isn't something that would sit comfortably with some elected officials, especially if it involved surveillance, a tube station and an electrician.
Central to the vexatious nature of this case is the sense that justice is not being seen to be done in everyday existence. This particular case isn't really about race or the legal age of criminality; it is about proportion and context. There is a deep-seated belief that real crimes are not being prevented or even being given serious thought, that when attempts are make by private individuals to enforce the law, that attempt is punished more severely than the original offence. There is a real perception, whatever the truth, that the judicial system is weighted in favour of the criminal. The irascible nature of it all is further eroused by the police's puritanical pursuit of individuals or groups who happen to hold egregious tendencies not entirely in keeping with government orthodoxy. The police service is then perceived as representing the government's provisional wing, exculpating itself of its foundational responsibilities to the citizen and consciously implementing an authoritarian doctrine.
Why is there then this perception that the police seemingly and assiduously assail softer-targets? I can only think that it is less time-consuming and simpler to prosecute generally law-abiding members of society than it is hardened criminals. For a start, soft-targets like motorists who speed 5mph over the national speed limit; and pensioners who refuse to pay their council tax, are significantly easier to find than the hardened drug dealer on a crime-ridden estate. Also, not only do the law-abiding not take to kindly to the stigma of having a jail sentence, but more importantly, they provide a steady source of income to pay for the cultural awareness and diversity training programmes that officers are religiously coerced to undertake. The natural result is that when officers are investigating a Muslim residence suspected of a misdemeanor, enquiries are first made as to whether the female occupants are suitably covered up and that dogs are strictly prohibited from entering the house - only then can they smash the front-door of its hinges. Oh well, the offending article may well have have been absconded, but at least we didn't cause any hypothetical offence.
This is the problem with the police service. It fails to understand that the prevention of crime is its primary goal, and if that isn't being fulfilled, well, equality targets and cultural sensibilities will have to take a back-seat. The police service isn't some great social experiment.
The Greater Manchester Police statement over the issue of the charging of the 10-year-old boy clarifies fully this cultural fetish that predominates. The official spokesman went on to say that the force took all reports of crime seriously, but went to great lengths to state that the force vehemently opposed any racism in whatever form. Who was suggesting otherwise? I would agree with the officer's summation - to an extent, for this is a 10-year-old boy. The only conclusion you can make is that the police has been emotionally traumatised by accusations of "institutionalised" and "unwitting" racism and, as a consequence, that the police seem to be addressing certain crimes more zealously than others.
As Minette Marrin of the Sunday Times articulated:
"Racism is, of course, a real evil but the current guilt-ridden obsession with it, so clearly expressed in this case, only serves to inflame it and actually to further the cause of racist politics - the reverse of what the politically correct protagonists intended. "
Aside from the alleged criminal nature of this particular court case, and the subsequent actions taken by the respective authorities, this case happens to represent the entrenched symptoms of a greater problem: the lack of moral authority in our state schools to punish and reprimand children. Unable to deal sufficiently with the 10 year-old-boy, the school in question felt it had no alternative recourse but to pass on the complaint to the police, who I am sure with great pleasure presented it to the CPS. If the teaching profession still had the ability to apply discipline, and subsequently derive respect, this internecine court case would never have got this far. Finally, the ultimate losers in this ridiculous case are the police service, who can ill-afford to continue to terminally lose the support and trust of the citizen.
Monday, April 10, 2006
I’m 25, it’s a weekend night and I’ve stayed in. After the initial bout of depression, lasting all of 20 minutes, the thought of a Saturday night in alone swiftly becomes a rather pleasant one. With the sky beginning to bruise and with the house to myself, there was only ever one thing I was going to do, on my own, all night…watch television.
After consulting the TV listings, my initial, and on reflection foolish hopes of a healthy selection of decent programmes to organise into some kind of timetable were dashed beyond repair. Without dwelling on the whole tacky and frankly embarrassing affair I will just run through a few of the cultural gems that were on offer. I sat through the first of a double bill of Strictly Dance Fever, yet another re-hash of the zero to hero to zero formula, this time with sequins and jazz hands, but as ever, performed by delusional, over-weight and under paid members of the Great British public. The complete and utter creative exhaustion of the genre and the sheer complacency of the souls who produce this glop is now obvious. One member of ‘the herd’ turned up under the impression he was to be paired with a ‘celebrity partner’ and turned into Doncaster’s answer to Ricky Martin, when in fact the show is ‘all about the public’, no celebs, apart from the panel (which includes Wayne Sleep), are involved. This poor old sod had completely misunderstood the format; unlike his act, this mistake is totally forgivable when you belong to a society that has come to expect anything but creative or innovative popular television. And they call it the return of VARIETY! Nevertheless the aged baffoon plodded on, dutifully making a complete pillark of himself in the process.
It seems in certain factions failure is regarded as the new success, or at least the very next best thing. No contestant on one of these televised talent shows can anymore claim to be ‘oblivious to the system’, yet tens of thousands still flock to the auditions, desperate to flaunt their physical, emotional and psychological shortcomings on national television. What ever happened to dignity, self respect and for that matter, friends and family who say “you’re shit, don’t do it”? The allures of fame and fortune have forever been apparent, but it seems to be the realisation that they are now attainable overnight, with little or no talent, that compels thousands of hopeless hopefuls to trade every last ounce of self respect for ridicule and inevitable upset, so long as the medium is sufficiently mass.
Other delights on offer tonight were a Celebrity Chef Special Weakest Link, wacky jumper wearing ‘king of gunge’ Noel Edmonds, manufacturing suspense in Deal or No Deal, Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes, artist’s included Neil ‘razor’ Ruddock and ah what’s this The British book awards on Channel Four, should be good… or perhaps not. Hosted by world-renowned literary critic’s Richard and Judy and with a little help from wordsmiths such as Chantelle (of Celebrity Big Bro fame) and Kelly Osbourne, it was clear from outset that, as my turf accountant had kindly informed me earlier in the day, though this time with reference to ‘Glorious Goodwood’…the going could be heavy. There were obviously the awards won by er… writers, which one would expect and my congratulations go out to them, but that’s what should be happening at The British Book Awards; people who write books being awarded prizes for doing so.
The ceremony became an absolute farce, not when Chantelle skipped out, that was bearable, but when Sharon Osborne won the Best Biography category, now don’t get me wrong I’m sure it’s a thrilling read, but I find it hard to believe she carried manuscripts around in a satchel for 2 years in fear of loosing them. Or indeed ever spent the wee hours locked in a candle lit room, just her, herself and her black dog, bent over a desk, implement in hand, stripped to the waist, gushing forth on to the page (well perhaps). In fact I find it hard to believe she even put pen to paper after signing the contract, if she did I apologise, but she didn’t did she.
The wretchedly sycophantic affair was in full flow as Jamie ‘pukka’ Oliver collected his well deserved ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for services to that most revered of forms, the cook book and perhaps the cheekiness of chappies from Essex, I don’t know. By the time Andrew Flintoff and JK Rowling picked up their “Oscars of the British Book industry” for Best Sports Book and Best Book (it’s a fucking kids book) respectively I felt numb, anything was possible. One could have been mistaken for thinking they were now televising The Mutual Appreciation Society Annual Gala Dinner and Dance. All we needed was Chris ‘Geldof ‘ Martin, Madonna, and a Q & A with Shirley Bassy. Add to that a few under privilege, black, disabled, lesbian, single mothers being paraded around in front of the cameras whilst the celebs, now tipsy from the free bar and ‘feeling the pain’, shout revolutionary cliché’s and throw things around, and we would have been there.
If this is what the nation’s major information providing medium has to offer, presumably to adults, on a Saturday night, the end is nigh. It’s no wonder there’s a growing sense of apathy towards anything which people might now term ‘serious’, or to put it bluntly, anything that doesn’t involve the lives of complete strangers buying a house, selling the contents of their dead uncles shed, or some slack mouth shouting, screaming writhing or wriggling about in front of a celebrity panel. Adorno would have moaned on about social implications of these ‘Tools of Distraction’ and I for one in this instance would have no qualms with him.
There are obviously those who champion programmes such as Strictly Dance Fever for ‘what it stands for’ (usually TV producers), don’t give me any crap about reality TV representing the democratisation of the mass media. Any supposed social ‘empowerment’ offered through ‘ordinary folk’ on television is of the pseudo variety, as someone who is careful to remain unseen is pulling all the strings. The contestants may say what they please, but someone else will decide who, if anyone can hear it. And the fact that ghost written celeb biogs can now win literary awards doesn’t represent some kind of invasion of high culture by the low, it may be post-modern in theory, but it is far from progressive.
All these programmes stand for is the distancing of the masses from what 60+ years ago people might have been able to call ‘reality’. As we wallow around in media saturated squalor, caring and knowing an awful lot more about what’s happening in Coronation Street than Downing Street, is there any way back to some kind of old fashioned (in terms of the concept) ‘reality’? I’m not claiming to have a solution, I’m not even sure where the real problems lie, but I do know that Orwell was very wrong, because if indeed there is any hope, from what I can see, it certainly does not lie in the prols.
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Gordon Brown and David Cameron had better take note of the statistics coming from across the Atlantic. We all know that Britain's unemployment and job creation statistics happen to be erroneous. Its true nature is masked by the proliferation of public sector non-jobs and the siphoning off of the unemployable on to incapacity benefit - all 2.7 million of them.
There is no greater incentive then allowing a private individual to spend his own money. You cannot take risks unless you have fiscal responsiblity; they are two sides of the same coin. Until Brown and Cameron realise this, our fortunes will forever be bound to multi-national companies based in the UK.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Amar Hassain, 23, a security guard from Manchester, said: "I think it's wrong that we have allowed Condoleezza Rice to come here.
"We are against the invasion of Iraq. It was a criminal offence."
We? I had no idea Amar Hassian was the collective moral authority on national issues.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I Know What Reagan Would Have Done
British Workers Rekindle Spirit of 1926
I can think of nothing more selfish and self-indulgent than the acts of turpitude committed by council workers in striking over their future pension provision - this to say nothing of that fact that the strikes inevitably adversely impress upon the most disadvantaged in society. When will these recalcitrant limpets learn?
What right have these "key-workers" to retire at 60 and expect someone else to pay for it? Spare a thought for the private sector worker who will have to work like a Japanese prisoner of war until they are 70 to pay for that luxury. And for what? To spend 1/4th (or 1/12th if you live in Scotland) of their life slumped in a sofa with a doltish countenance on their face. I can think of nothing more self-conceited. It just so happens that the real - and growing - division in society is public vs private sector workers.
I have been pejoratively referred to as a rational misanthropist, but this act of fratricide is surely that accusation manifest in all its glory. The European Social Model must be the most self-serving institution in history, insouciant to all those who do not share their supercilious ideals. Far from supporting the weak and deserving, it has actively encouraged a client state for the proletariat; embodying the egregious present, whilst contemptuous of the past and oblivious to the realities of the future.
There is a delusional belief that the future of society is not their problem; they have earned the right to retire at 60 and someone else will have to pay for it - even if it means confining their own children to indigence. Well, if nobody is going to be around when they are eligible for their pension, who exactly is going to finance it? With birth rates plummeting, and the only uxorious males doing their bit being Muslim men, I can't imagine anyone who would want to to work in the legitimate job market. When the tax rates inevitably reach such exponential proportions - because of the decline in the national tax base and an increase in welfare obligations - there just won't be any incentive to live in Britain anymore: unless you have a gold-plated pension or have paid for a peerage. Not even the incentive of knowing that someone has to support your parents' pleasure and profligacy will stop you from emigrating. I am all for atomism, but not when it is some hideous mutation that harms everyone except yourself.
There are no extenuating circumstances for this kind of behaviour. If further strikes are scurrilously threatened, the immediate response must be to threaten to liberalise the market and allow the private sector to compete on equal terms. It would result in no more half-day public-sector working practices - the end to inefficient producer driven institutions - as well as having the added benefit of driving up productivity and lowering prices for the consumer. And if the public sector workers do not find that an amiable situation, perhaps they had better take a look across towards Continental Europe. Hopefully, they might then have a cathartic experience and consider themselves fortuitous enough that they actually have jobs - for the moment.
Finally, I wouldn't bet your pension on there being a Thatcher or Reagan to resolve this protracted impasse either; my money is on government capitulation, again.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Taxes Hit All-Time High
"An analysis by the accountants Ernst & Young, based on the Treasury’s own figures, shows the chancellor will match the record high for the tax burden this year [37.6%)] and rise above it next year [37.8%].
That means it will be higher than in the 1970s under Denis Healey, when the top rate of income tax was 83%, and the early 1980s, when it was 60%.
Treasury figures show tax revenues will total £490 billion this year, up from £271 billion when Brown took office. The £219 billion rise is equivalent to £9,000 for every household in Britain."
Didn't we learn the lessons of the past?
I have come to believe, aside from the obvious benefits of low taxation and limited state interefence, that the Tory Party only exists because there happens to be a Labour Party. This is the Tories raison d'etre; to correct the damage that the Left continually inflicts on Britain when it is in power - or so it used to be.
The empirical evidence suggests that the Tories always have the unforgivable task of presiding over Britain when it is clinically fed-up, and almost always this period of painful convalescence is followed by a desire by the electorate to excogitate over social democracy. Oblivious to the tergiversations of the Left, the British throw themselves with alacrity back into the arms of social democracy. After an initial period of consolidation, the Left becomes unable to restrain its inherent primal instincts and begins to engage in its favourite past-time of apocrypha and larceny; continuing the atavstic impulse to redistribute and interfere. The inevitable climax of this process is that of economic and social degeneration.
As a consequence, Britain will continue to mutate into the worst aspects of EUtopia. This means embracing French public-service ethics, Belgian foreign policy, Italian birth rates, Swedish tax rates and Greek state pension liabilities. And this is to say nothing of Britain's numerous afflictions.
Until a cogitative case is made for substantial tax cuts, and an assault on the iconoclastic adherence to state involvement in society, Britain, like the European Union, will continue to experience a slow and painful suicide. Only this time there seems to to be no pathology to correct Britain's malaise; there is no discernable Thatcher on the horizon, only a consensus to manage Britain's decline amongst the political establishment.
As Withnail once enunciated presciently: we are indeed drifting into the arena of the unwell.
Monday, March 20, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Friday, March 10, 2006
The British government's announcement, at the behest of Gordon Brown, that it is to financially award British yoofs [sic] for good behaviour is yet another cynical bribe. It is quite simply an attempt to increase the government's client state, indoctrinating misguided and impressionable teenagers to believe that they cannot survive without the state's guidance.
Aside from that initial thought, and after some cerebral activity which didn't involve being hit over the head with a stick, I came to the conclusion that these "reward-cards", the concoction of some half-wit, were also ethically erroneous. Mr. Brown states that he is attempting to reward individuals who behave in a civilised and conventionally correct manner; but, surely we should be encouraging the ideal that individuals should be brought up to believe that respect, tolerance and deference are ends in themselves, not a means to achieve financial reward.
As Mark Steyn states:
"Respect is a two-way street, and two-way streets are increasingly rare in British town centres. The idea that the national government can legislate respect is a large part of the reason why there isn't any. Almost every act of the social democratic state says: don't worry, you're not responsible, leave it to us, we know best. The social democratic state is, in that sense, profoundly anti-social and ultimately anti-democratic".
If that is the case, and I am inclined to agree, how does the state expect us to respect each other when it doesn't even trust us to make the right decision in our own lives? The straight forward answer is that they don't.
Apart then from being an attempt to secure more Labour votes, the "reward-card" seems part of a systematic and coherent policy. That policy is to undermine the institution of the family, and to supplant that parental authority with the coercive instincts of the state - and never mind that the taxpayer is subsidising it.
Why would Labour wish to achieve this? The reason is that real Socialists are not only committed to equality of opportunity, but also to equality of outcome. Promoting equality, like most of the hard things in life, has been won over a sustained period of time and with great difficulty - it is inherently a soporific activity. Labour though has realised that lowering standards, rather than raising them, is an easier way to achieve a semblance of equality of outcome. The inevitable result is that children, who through no fault of their own happen to attend a grammar school or reside in a loving stable family, are penalised to make up for the short-comings of less fortunate individuals. Rather than taking away these advantages, these virtues should be actively encouraged and extended to as many children as possible. Labour wishes to lower everything to the lowest common denominator: if one child can't go to a grammar school, then no child shall have the opportunity.
Having then seemingly given up on providing our children with an adequate education, the government wishes to interfere in the domain of the family, whereby they are able to properly monitor, regulate, equalise, and teach thoughts that are consummate with government orthodoxy.
For those of a Burkean persuasion human society is something rooted and organic; and to try to mould and shape it according to the plans of an ideologue, however well-meaning, is to invite unforeseen disaster. "Nothing can be more absurd and dangerous," wrote Edmund Burke in 1761, "than to tamper with the natural foundations of society, in hopes of keeping it up by artificial contrivances."
It just so happens that the Left's unremitting policies and prejudices have successively degraded these organic institutions - most notably marriage - that sustain a respectable social order. We must wake up to the fact that apart from being mere "coercive gimmicks", as the Tories suggest, these "reward-cards" have a far greater deep-seated purpose: the nationalisation of childhood.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
Why black sheep are barred and Humpty can't be cracked
Police seize golliwogs from shop after racism claim
Remember to be careful what you think; moreover, be careful what others believe you might think.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
The Urban Legend
Heseltine to design Tory urban revivial
If the Tories are unable to capture what should be eminently winnable seats like Cheltenham, Solihull or Winchester, then what chance have they got in Reading or Swindon? And that is to say nothing of Birmingham, Liverpool or Manchester.
The paucity of any gains at the 2005 election in Labour's northern fiefdoms is attributable to the fact that much of northern England, and in particular Scotland, resembles Georgia under Communist rule. Economic activity derives from one source: public money.
As long as voters are reliant on Labour's sycophantic activities for subsistence, culminating in an effective client state for the Labour Party, the Tories have little chance of reversing their retreat from Britain's urban heartlands.
Why on earth would you vote your employer out of office?
Friday, March 03, 2006
The Scotsman, a paper I am rarely inclined to take any notice of, last Sunday reported that "an increasingly anxious UK government is closely monitoring a build-up of Argentinian military strength". My first thoughts were that it wasn't really a surprise. The UK's armed forces have for quite some time been going through a period of "reorganisation" - a government euphemism for cuts. As a consequence there is bound to be a relative depreciation in comparison with Argentina.
Apart from the Argentinian military build-up, it would also appear that the heightened sense of the threat to the Malvinas islands - as they are known in South America and probably the EU - has been gathering for several months as President Nestor Kirchner seeks to further consolidate more power in his own hands.
It is alleged that several Argentinian aircraft have over-flown island airspace in a bid to test RAF defences and a number of Falkland vessels have been seized in waters close to Argentina. This already tense situation has been further exacerbated by the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, a Kirchner ally, who responded to criticism from Prime Minister Blair this month by telling him to "return the Malvinas to Argentina".
Apparently high-ranking officials in the Foreign Office, as well as the Ministry of Defence - which is historically ignored - have confessed to concerns that the changing political situation in Argentina and Latin America, as well as Britain's growing military commitments around the world, are conspiring to undermine the security of the Falkland Islands.
A senior Ministry of Defence source states that:
"This could be termed as sabre-rattling, but when our forces are deployed in so many locations, its potential for causing mischief is magnified. We've been watching a steady build-up of the Argentine air force over the past year. Frankly, they have no need for such a large fighting force, and there is concern in Whitehall as to what this is all about".
I would have thought it was obvious what their intentions were, a defence of their perceived national interests, which is something the present UK Government has a rather poor record on: Gibraltar et al.
The source then added:
"The Argentine air force is at least twice the size of that we fought during the Falklands War and the question has to be asked: how many more aircraft do they need"?
A rather succinct conclusion; the Argentinian's don't actually need that many aircraft to engage in irredentist activities against the British. I also doubt whether the British have the political volition, let alone the military capability, to re-capture the Islands.
I have always believed that the lesson of the original Falklands conflict should have been to remind the British nation of its maritime legacy. For a short period it did inculcate this belief, with the immediate reversal of the Conservative government's misguided 1981 Strategic Defence Review, which would have severely ameliorated Britain's maritime capability. The Falkland Islands conflict didn't only just come to the rescue of Margaret Thatcher and her administration.
Unfortunately nothing has been learnt, and the British nation is still not about to embrace her special peculiarity; the sea, and is seemingly bent on dismissing it. Britain still seems to have lost touch with its instructive past.
Ever since the end of the First World War British governments - Conservative and Labour - have held views and actions that are antithetical to the interests of Britain. The government of the day has believed that foreign relations are best managed through liberal means. It has consistently rejected the idea that a military deterrence and a constant mutual readiness for war were needed to keep prospective aggressors from challenging Britain's world-wide interests. Just because the world is no longer pink, and the Union Jack no longer flies in Hong Kong, it doesn't mean everything has changed. Britain's interests are still inherently global.
Britain still remains a significant maritime power, against the wishes of europhilles, but that fact depends on its sea power and the ability to protect its essential trade routes and communication lines. It is this that holds together Britain's vast maritime empire, and which ultimately ensures its prosperity and survival. The guarantor of that survival, the Royal Navy; however, has been allowed to diminish to a level of strength incommensurate with Britain's global interests.
The virtual atrophy that the Royal Navy has experienced since the end of the Second World War has its roots in the prevelance of welfarism in the 20th century, and the state's illegitimate infringement into daily-life. With the expansion of the British state and its usurpation of the provision of services, which were once provided by private and voluntary organisations, the three Armed Forces have had to compete against not only each other, but other seemingly more worthy causes.
It's an incorrigible fact that the current procurement of a new generation of aircraft carries, which the present Labour government is attempting to achieve with great difficulty, is not only a nuisance to the altruistic Chancellor of the Exchequer, but also to a voter on incapacity benefit. This is especially pertinent if it means a concerted effort by government to cut spurious claimants. You can't really blame them for thinking like that; they are merely products of their own special circumstances. The Chancellor believes that the state can provide the solution to all social inequalities, and the incapacity claimant, having had every independent atavistic trait hermetically destroyed, now believes state support is a right which cannot be repudiated.
It also didn't help that Europe's dependence upon American armed forces during the Cold War only further extenuated the circumstances. American forces effectively allowed Europe - including Britain - to divorce itself of its fundemental responsibilites to its citziens, and to divert resources away from defence to expensive welfare programmes. It is I suppose a moot point to add that it is these welfare programmes that have left Europe so susceptible to vigorous ideologies like Islam, and which threaten the very fabric of European society.
The salient point is that both Britain and the Royal Navy's destiny are intrinsically bound together. The Royal Navy is organic, a mere extension of the state's imperative, it cannot be artificially transformed or rebuilt. For that reason the essential foundation of sea power is a government willing to nourish the state's maritime resources in peacetime. Unfortunately we are in years of relative neglect.
The Government has a peacetime policy, but it goes against all sense of reality: not to prepare for war. At the most generous it could be termed a policy of extemporisation. British Government's must understand that peace is a relatively modern invention, and that war is not a pathology that with proper hygiene and treatment can be wholly prevented; every war-free period is actually an inter-war period.
There now then needs to be a vital awareness as to the importance of sea power in Britain's past, its role in the political, military, diplomatic and economic history of Britain, and the dissemination of that maritime knowledge into the public consciousness.
It was Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond, one of the leading intellectual exponents of the British maritime paradigm, who stated that without a conscious appreciation of what and who we are, then "Demos is at the mercy of false leaders and fallacies".
As for the Falkland Islands - they are a prisoner to fortune.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Must Goats Always be One Night Stands?
A Sudanese man has been caught perpetrating prurient acts upon a solitary defenceless goat.
The goat's owner, Mr. Alifi, surprised the not so surreptitious man with his goat on the 13th February after hearing a climactic cacophony at around midnight. Upon discovering the amorous couple, he took the perpetrator to a council of village elders, where he was then ordered to pay a dowry of 15,000 Sudanese dinars ($50) for the goat's hoof in marriage.
According to Mr Alifi:
"We have given him the goat, and as far as we know they are still together. When I asked him: What are you doing there?, he fell off the back of the goat, so I captured [him] and tied him up. They said I should not take him to the police, but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife".
In light of my earlier experiences with Islam, I thought the "female" goat might have incurred the displeasure of being brought before a Sharia Court and sentenced to a public stoning. A persual of the inner monologues of Ayatolloah Khomeini served to clarify this tenebrous issue. As well as seemingly endorsing the legitimate courting of mammals, there also exists Islamic guidelines in relation to this concupiscent activity.
"A man can have sex with sheep, cows and camels and so on. However, he should kill the animal after he has his orgasm".
The assertion that the helpless beast - rather than the perverted individual who initiated the paroxysm of sexual abuse - is contaminated and worthy of death, instead of enduring a period of convalescence, is wonderfully Islamic. It would appear that achieving a state of obloquy within your community becomes a mere extenuating circumstance if you silence the object of your impulsive and shameful behaviour. I suppose it could be argued that a goat is asking for trouble if it continues to wander around alone at night on the equivalent of Clapham Common.
As for Ayatollah Khomeini, he isn't finished:
"He should not sell the meat to the people in his own village; however, selling the meat to the next door village should be fine".
What? Doesn't the buyer even deserve a discount on used goods?
Oh, and finally, I suppose I would have to settle for a sheep, as a camel would require a ladder and a great deal of difficulty.
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Whilst frequenting various Oxford hostelries of ill-repute, whilst in the prescence of the respective dulcet tones of Brian Blessed and Edward Fox, I happened to stumble upon the supposedly deceased general paractioner Dr. Harold Shipman.
Seated in a green leather chair, afflicted by senescence, the Doctor imperceptibly smoked a saccharine blend of Cavendish tobacco with a felictious demenour that would disarm an old age pensioner.
It was to be an ephemeral occasion, as the Doctor had to visit the local building society to open another account, but not before he had accepted a pint of the local ale.