Monday, 30 April 2007

Blue Labour?

Over at Samizdata, Perry de Havilland writes of his scepticism about David Cameron's commitment to a smaller state.

The fact the regulatory state is incredibly corrosive to civil society (in every sense of the phrase) should be self-evident to anyone claiming to be a conservative, but as Dave Cameron is not a conservative, in spite of leading a party called the Conservatives, I would not automatically assume he actually believes that. So you would think I would be pleased to finally see him saying something along these lines. In truth I burst out laughing when I read that article, not because I do not agree but because I do not believe him.

He has previously spent so much time telling us he can be trusted not to 'do a Thatcher' and how he intends to regulate our lives just as much as Blair's Labour party, only 'better', why should his sudden enthusiasm for less regulation be believable? Simply put, he is not actually promising any such thing, not really.
He's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't promise a smaller state. I don't take the view that he's being dishonest - in fact he's risked schism in the conservative movement to avoid making promises he cannot keep. He's finally got the commies in the broadcast media to like and trust him to the point they don't question his more liberal assertions and no longer equate tax cuts with the slaughter of the innocents. He even got away with being posh.

It's just that, having been in opposition for so long, libertarians/liberals/Conservatives have got used to it. This causes people to throw off the responsibility of Government and so, for the first time since the corn laws and we are indulging in arguments about idealogical purity rather than getting things done. That is why the Labour party are such cunts. Their activists grew up using words like "Dialectic" at university, whilst starting every sentence with "Actually" and working out which branch of Marxism would lead quickest to the proletarian revolution as they squeezed their spots.

Tories have always represented a broad church of essentially practical people. Let's not get idealogical. Politics is the Art of the possible, people. The art of the possible. Dave is doing a good job.

Why UKIP should vote Tory.

I am bored of commentators and bloggers lazily trotting out the line that "the boy Dave is just another Tony Blair and we might as well go and vote UKIP", just because he refuses to promise Tax-cuts, and has worked out that making people like you makes them more likely to vote for you. The Line that "Europe makes most of our laws ERGO Westminster is irrelevant therefore we must vote UKIP" is just as dull. This is just as silly as "It's all about oil". Any comment using the phrase "Blu Labour" will be deleted - it's pathetic.

There is more to policy than tax-cuts and Europe, and no-one can get everything they want out of a Party, if they're prepared make the compromises necessary to be part of a Governing movement. If you're prepared to look like ridiculous lefties (revolutionary Trotskyite alliance, Socialist Peoples' party, Communist Party of Great Britain, Socialist Workers party etc... ad infinitum) each with their own religious belief in their solution to societies ills, then go ahead. Stick to your principles to the letter. Or you can grow up.

Dave is not the same as Tony. Yes he's a moderate - radical reformers do not do well when everyone's doing basically OK (by basically OK, I mean "Has a job"), but his instincts are against state intervention, and pro individual responsibility. He will cut taxes, eventually (Thatcher took her time too). He will reduce regulation, a bit. He will be better at standing up to Brussels than Tony. Individual policies may not be much cop, but add them up and there's a world of difference between Cameron and his party and the largely unreconstructed Dave and Dierdre Sparts led by a power-grubbing one-eyed thief and a spivvy ambulance-chasing lawyer who currently "govern" us. We've had one day shy of 10 years of this nonsense and it's time for it to end. The local government elections are an opportunity to thrust a knife into Blair, Brown and all the other bastards who have comprehensively ruined this country's once elegant constitution and once powerful economy.

If you're right of centre, and you want a new government, vote Conservative on Thursday.

If you're a swivel-eyed monomaniac with adolescent fantasies of self-importance, vote UKIP especially if you want 5 years of Gordon Brown (hey, at least he's Eurosceptic). If there's no UKIP standing, you can always vote BNP.

Update: Reaction
I'm Fisked by Trixy
And the Nameless one disagrees too
The Devils Kitchen has a Bash
And Finally...
Matthew Sinclair thinks I'm talking sense.
And so does the Conservative Party Reptile

Friday, 27 April 2007

Gordon Brown, Economic Genius (Part VI)

No two economists agree on how the economy is doing, the relative importance of measures such as Money supply, RPI, CPI, RPIX, corporate profitability and unemployment or whether interest rates are too high, too low or just right. Then you have measures such as GDP, GDP per capita and disposable income after tax to consider. Unemployment - even when you consider the distorting effects of educational conscription, disability, long term disability and the uncounted "economically inactive" this government has been doing rather well.

Perhaps we are too harsh on Gordon? after all, unemployment is by far the most important measure by which a government is measured by the electorate, Indeed the Tories are still being punished, rhetorically at least, for the Thatcher years. Years which are seen by many as tough but necessary medicine, but seen by those whose livelihoods were destroyed in places like South Wales and Liverpool as a piece of spiteful economic vandalism.

Whilst this view is easy to understand, Thatcher's reforms were necessary. like a patient whose chemotherapy was successful, the British economy has surged forward since. The 90's were the decade that consolidated the Thatcher legacy, despite a recession, the last of the convulsions caused by the retreat from full-scale socialism, Brown inherited an economy in rude health. Low and falling unemployment, low and falling inflation, falling interest rates - all the measures that Gordon crows about can be attributed directly to Tory policies. The UK economy is no longer The "sick man" of Europe. Even the most chauvinist Gaullist will concede that French exceptionalism has failed and the "Anglo-Saxon" model is a better way to run an economy.

However the Cancer patient is smoking again.

State spending and interference in industry is what led Britain into the malaise of the 1970's. And that is what Gordon Brown is doing now. He's buying the low unemployment rate by paying state sector workers, and turning a blind eye to abuse of the disability benefit system. He's buying their votes by giving public-sector workers inflation-busting pay deals and he's slowing down and crowding out the real motor of wealth creation, private enterprise, to do it. Private business cannot cope much longer. Tax and regulation and the minimum wage (increases in which go straight back to the chancellor) mean that employment in the private sector is not growing at all.

Social policies mean that there are more single parent families, which adds to uncontrolled immigration to fuel a housing price bubble. Young people cannot get onto the housing ladder without parental help. After tax and housing costs, people are poorer. That's the measure people feel. Their personal exchequer does not tally with what they are being told - "how come if GDP is growing so strongly, I'm not seeing any of it?" they ask.

The answer is finally dawning on the electorate that they've been conned for the last eight years. The policies that have been followed by this government since they abandoned the Tory spending plans in 1999/2000 have led to where we are now: Falling employment in the private sector, the state cannot take on any more without bankrupting the country so unemployment will (and has possibly begun to) rise. Inflation is rising because housing costs have been ignored in setting interest rates, as has money supply. Taxes creep up inorexably - council taxes meaning that inflation for pensioners is over 8%. people have less to spend, which will hit corporate profitability, as the high street starts a recession. Because of inflation, interest rates are up and rising. This has a uniquely powerful effect on the British economy because of our high rates of home ownership, further curtailing people's ability to spend. Furthermore, these high interest rates lead to a strong pound, which hurts British Industry.

Gordon Brown had an opportunity to deliver great prosperity to the Citizens of the UK, and in the 10 years he's had, there have been no major economic shocks around the world. The one-eyed wanker has enjoyed an easy ride, but in the measure of personal wealth, GDP per head and disposable income after tax, we're falling down the league tables. All this as a direct result of the abandonment of fiscal prudence and a return to Tax n' Spend. We need to control inflation, cut state spending (even at the cost of increased unemployment) and balance the books right now to avoid a recession. There's no chance of a Labour administration in hock to the public sector unions, knowing its already lost the next election, following such a path.

When the wheel falls off, in a couple of year's time a Conservative administration will have to deal with these issues. Interest rates will be higher, we will be struggling to keep inflation under control and the economy will be shrinking, the Labour party will try to say that it was better under them. Don't fall for it. The first recession under the Tories will be unmistakably Gordon Brown's fault, and the mess he's left will take years to sort out. This is before we mention the wrecking ball, that this government has swung through the constitution - that, I fear is, permanent damage.

History will Judge these cunts very harshly indeed.

Part V

Alcohol Concern

Anyone who listened with horror to some grey misery from "Alcohol Concern" on the Today programme should go and read this over at Raedwald

So you will understand why the news this morning that an organisation calling itself Alcohol Concern, no doubt comprised of characters formed from the rancid grey scum that rises from the bubbling cauldron of joyless interference in other people's lives, declares that parents who allow under 15s to taste life's nectar should be jailed, I am less than enthusiastic. The French would snort, the Spanish giggle and the Italians shrug. Even the Germans would blow a little Teutonic toot through pursed lips.

And now another thought has flicked through my mind. If the meddling witch from Alcohol Concern who spoke on R4's 'Today' earlier was mashed, fermented and distilled, aged in an oak cask with wormwood and scorpion tails, and bottled, what would the taste be? Bitter, no doubt. A hidden spiteful sting, perhaps not unpleasant if well diluted. A few drops then, in a Paris goblet, well swilled round to coat the glass, before half a gill of good Plymouth Gin is added. That would be perfect.

Go read the whole thing

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

A Very British Dude

You know you want it.

There is going to be* a first come first served, not to be repeated opportunity to buy* a limited edition, collectors coffee Mug complete with the Stylish, classy AVBD Logo, based on John Singleton Copley's work, The Death of Major Pearson.

However this is not just any mug. Oh No! Upon pouring in hot tea (or coffee for the uncivilised), the mug will change from blue to red to reveal the Legend.

I Read
Because Gordon Brown is a Cunt

You thought you were just getting a picture, but no - you can swear at our elected representatives during your tea break, with no extra effort.

All this wit and technology can be yours for just £8 + p&p*.

But what's that? You all want one! Well you'll just have to keep an eye on the sidebar until the link appears - then they will be available for purchase. To secure one* - they are sure to sell out fast - a comment to that effect below will suffice. An ideal gift for lovers, Girlfriends, Prime Ministers, and even Liberal Democrats. Discounts are available for bulk orders*.

*unless no-one wants one, in which case I shan't be getting them made.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

24 Things about me.

I have been tagged bythe fragrant Momentary Acacademic to answer these 24 questions, so here goes. Anything for a lady...

A- Available or Single?

B- Best Friend: The dudes

C- Cake or Pie: Pie - Steak and Kidney.

D- Drink of Choice: Everard's Tiger

E- Essential Items: Wallet Keys Phone. Everything else is a detail

F- Favorite Color: Green.

G- Gummi Bears or Worms? Neither. Jelly Babies

H- Hometown: Northampton.

I- Indulgence: Fine tailoring

J- January or February: January. I have just bought a fabulous overcoat, so I'm looking forward to it being cold enough to wear it.

K- Kids: couldn't eat a whole one

L- Life is incomplete without: Bacon.

M- Marriage Date: Don't give her any ideas....

N- Number of Siblings: One. Bomb Doctor.

O- Oranges or Apples? Oranges

P- Phobias/Fears. Children+Airports=Advanced misery.

Q- Favorite Quote: "Some people are worried about the difference between right and wrong. I'm worried about the difference between wrong and fun. " PJ O'Rourke.


Lady Astor: "Winston, if I were your wife I'd put poison in your coffee."
Winston Churchill: "Nancy, if I were your husband I'd drink it."

R- Reasons to smile: Farting, Beer and Rugby

S- Season: Spring

T- Tag Three: Jessica, Keatonmask, The Nameless one

U- Unknown Fact About Me: I don't wash my hair.

V – Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? Vegetarianism is an eating disorder.

W- Worst Habits: Farting. Definitely farting

X – X-rays or Ultrasounds? X-rays. This means you have a broken leg and aren't about to be a father!

Y- Your Favorite Foods. Steak, Curry and my Thermonuclear five bean chilli!

Z- Zodiac: Aries

What's in it for me?

A magnificent twice divorced pub-bore of my acquaintance once said "if ever I think about getting married, I think about finding a woman I don't like and buying her a house".

I see economics as the study of incentives. I am also a biologist by training - evolutionary genetics, parasitology and zoology are my disciplines. There's a lot of similarity between evolutionary genetics and the economy - they're just selection favouring the most effective use of scarce resources. Animals do what evolution tells them to do - they are selected by behaviour that maximises returns measured in offspring reaching sexual maturity, just as companies are selected by profits.

Some animals (and that includes humans) pair up to raise offspring because its better to have two parents' resources to feed the offspring and that is especially true of offspring that take years to bring to adulthood. Basically each human female gets a handful of chances to breed, so she seeks to maximise returns on her mate, both genetically and in resources. Males on the other hand have a biological imperative to impregnate as many females as possible. And this is at the root of the battle of the sexes.

In human and higher primate society, the Male's status is key to determining how likely he is to mate. The higher up the pecking order, the more likely he is to pair off with the highest status female and also get matings with other females on the side. High status females get high status males to help bring in food and to ward off threats. It's the same for Bonobos as it is for us.

At the bottom of the food chain in western society, is the underclass, where men are not providers. The state takes that function from them, so a Male's status is reduced to that of sperm donor and provider of sexual satisfaction. Men are freed from the responsibility of bringing up children by the welfare state, and women have no incentive to keep a man around - they lose benefits. This frees women to get on with being single mothers, the post-industrial worlds equivalent of the subsistence farmer for sheer drudgery and misery. Men are free to seek status in their society by being top of a violent pecking order and secure lots of matings with women who have no need or desire to keep them around. Neither is happy. This explanation of what the welfare state has done to what used to be called the working class is best documented by Theodore Darymple in "life at the Bottom".

For the rest of us, marriage remains common, despite what politicians have done to the incentives. Politicians of the left believe (still) that marriage is oppressive and that to support it through the tax and benefit system is "discriminatory" against "other lifestyle choices". Politicians of the right seem to conflate marriage with morality and for the religious loons marriage has become a Gay rights issue. It isn't. Only for the most bigoted religious extremest is giving two homosexual people the chance to be happy a threat to the institution of marriage.

It's about the state offering incentives to people to do the right thing by society. We should support marriage because married people are happier, healthier and better off in every way than singles. (this includes homosexual couples) Most people can see this, despite the brute economic disincentives to get married. At the bottom of society, where brute economic realities are felt more keenly, marriage has been destroyed by Government policy relating to benefits and housing. More than that, it has removed men's raison d'etre and consequently their happiness too.

Children brought up by single parents are more likely to be excluded from school, be imprisoned and fare worse on almost any measure you chose: Social mobility, income and mortality, morbidity. Single parent households harm society in other ways too. The explosion of single person households is part of the reason for the housing shortage. The poverty statistics are dominated by single parent households, and this gives pinkos another excuse to tax us.

We need to give people back the incentives to get together and stay together and this is not just about the tax and benefit system, it is about society (meaning the collection of individuals and families, not the state) making marriage a sensible lifestyle choice.

Why the fuck would any man with a job get married these days? Women are much better off in a marriage as soon as children come along, but frankly, I like the sound of life at the bottom. Utterly feckless and responsibility-free existence. Why marry a career woman, who's just going to be as exhausted as you when you get home? She's going to nag you to do the dishes, whitter about the mess and make you cook 3 times a week. When you get fed up with her, she'll take your fucking house and stop you seeing your children.

Whilst married men are happier, live longer and demonstrate lower morbidity, look at what happens to divorced men. The risk to a man's health, happiness and wealth of divorce is too great, and the upside of marriage is too small to make economic sense. I'm afraid I cannot see any future for the long-term 2 income family.

Parturition is at the root of the glass ceiling. Most women take a couple of years out to breed and this leaves men, by their nature more competitive, to get on with beating each other up over rungs on the corporate ladder. Married men, freed from washing up and the school run have more energy to expend on their jobs. You're a team. One and a half incomes is about as good as it gets. Ladies, you can either have a career or a successful marriage. Not both. Men, you need a successful career to have a successful marriage - women aren't interested in losers. It's a hard world. Get over it. And politicians, that means that forcing women back into the workplace after child birth is counter-productive. It's not about free child-care, it's about people keeping what they earn to spend as they wish. Why don't you tax people less so they can get by on less than two full incomes. Or is that too simple?

The author has not yet married.

Monday, 23 April 2007

Free Country?

Via Tim Worstall I came across this report detailing the 266 state agencies who have the power to enter your home.

The conclusion is that the system is too complicated, and that the homeowner, when confronted with a state official wishing to gain entry is unsure, unless he is a lawyer, just how much notice he is to get, and what the penalty for resistance is. There are inadequate safeguards concerning entry by state agencies. The powers taken individually are perhaps reasonable. Taken as a whole, they are draconian and oppressive. Petty and Arbitrary power is at best frustrating and can be deeply dangerous to freedom.

No-one would suggest that the police should be forced to give notice in an investigation or in protection of life and limb - and as a result their powers of entry are well regulated. It is everyone else that are the problem - especially if you're a farmer! Defra is particularly abusive of its powers. Inspectors are protected by law, able to use force, have to give no notice and "obstruction" is punishable by draconian fines or even prison. This isn't new. HM Revenue and Customs' use of writs of assistance allowing Customs officers to break into just about any home and seize goods which are liable to forfeit to the revenue, without warrant. There are 196 currently in place. This is in part what provoked the American War of Independence. It was only suggested under the reforms of 2000 that "normally" a Warrant from a Justice of the Peace be secured, unless the "Danger" is so great that the officer can go in without asking. Remember, no issues of life and limb are in question here, this is essentially tax-evasion. Discretion on "Danger" rests with the officer. HMRC does not even think it important enough to collect statistics on how often and under what authority they break into peoples homes using this power.

The powers of entry are each granted under a specific act of parliament, a principle which should continue, but the form of these powers should be harmonised. Simplicity and courtesy would make the situation better for the people subject to inspections.

The problem may not be new, but its scope is growing exponentially. 185 new statutory powers of entry have come into force since the 1970's (just 12 at the behest of the EU). In effect we aren't free any more, we're subject to arbitrary power of the state and our property is not our own.

The paper suggests that

  • A New act harmonising the penalties and notice/permission requirements should update the existing regulation rather than provide a blanket approval for state agencies to require entry onto private property.
  • Permission should be sought where possible. The exceptions being immediate danger to life and limb, and in the investigation of serious crime.
  • The requirement that Notice be given should be replaced with a requirement that permission be sought. Instead of the state informing you that they're coming, you should be asked permission.
  • Without permission, a warrant should be necessary. Householders should be informed that a warrant is being sought in order that they may put their side of the issue to a JP, if they have previously refused permission.
  • Proper records should be kept.
This seems the absolute minimum that any incoming administration could do to address the situation. But what is needed is a return to the principles of private property. Without privacy there is no point to property. Without property rights, there is no freedom. An over mighty bureaucracy is there fore inimical to this freedom we cherish. Property does not flow from the state, we subcontract the state to do things we cannot do ourselves, like defence from external threat; exactly the opposite to the way socialists think. State apparatchiks need to realise therefore that they are servants, not masters. We should have the right to tell the state to fuck off. With less power to intrude against our will, state agents would have to be more polite to get their work done, making the country a better place to live, work and do business.

Legislate with that in mind and everyone should be happier, except fat unionised public sector jobsworths in hi-vis vests who delight in the exercise of petty and arbitrary power. They should be boiled down and turned into soap - the only use I can think of for such people.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Holocaust Denial - A Right, or a Wrong?

DK asked me to blog about the EU's new idea to criminalise Holocaust denial across the EU. I'm not sure I can add to the excellent posts written by others on this subject.

The aim of this Europe-Wide law is to outlaw “violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin”. So far and reasonable. I would be slightly more easy going. One should be allowed to incite hatred, but not incite violence. For example to say

"[insert ethnic/religious/national group here] are vicious and stupid and should be prevented from entering the country or deported"
should be legal (but isn't). To add
"And should be killed"
should be, and is, criminal. (maybe apart from that perfectly sensible law that says you're allowed to kill Welshmen with a crossbow if you see one in Chester after dark). It is the holocaust denial bit that worries me, and I think others too. According to the FT,
[EU Member States] will also have to criminalise “publicly condoning, denying or grossly trivialising crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes” when such statements incite hatred or violence against minorities.

Diplomats stressed the provision had been carefully worded to include only denial of the Holocaust – the Nazi mass murder of Jews during the second world war – and the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

It is interesting that the Balts and Poles are pressing for "Stalinist crimes" to be included in these measures. This is being resisted by Brussels. Genocide measured in demographic terms was perpetrated against the Balts and Poles by Stalin's (and Lenin and all the others) regime. It appears that for the social democratic consensus of Western Europe, there really are no enemies to the left. Communists - openly running for the French presidency with no fewer than 4 Candidates - are expected to poll 10% or more. And our own representatives on the moonbat left feel no problem in endorsing mass murder when committed in the name of proletarian revolution.

Why is Communism is still acceptable to those who have not lived under its yoke? And why have the French passed a law criminalising the denial of the Armenian genocide? (To keep Turkey out of the EU is the answer for those who don't know). So if Holocaust (both Jewish and Armenian) denial is first what's next?
  • Criticism of the EU? (Already Happened - Bernard Conolly author of "The Rotten Heart of Europe" was nearly prosecuted for blasphemy following the opinion of the European court of Justice (C-274/99).
  • Opposition to the Social Chapter?
  • Suggesting that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is nonsense?
  • Advocacy of withdrawal from the EU?
  • Being anti welfare state?
Free speech is not an absolute right. But it is fundamental to functioning democracy. Any limits to free speech must therefore be on liberal grounds to protect individuals and property from harm. Which is why I am unwilling to countenance laws against hate speech - there is no right to live unoffended, but happy to endorse laws against incitement to violence. Denying the holocaust is stupid and nasty, but doesn't fall into this category.

Denying the Holocaust is shorthand for a vicious anti-semitism. It's a ridiculous idea, popular on the European far-right and the nuttier bits of political Islam. The problem is that outlawing an opinion will not make it go away. You can't legislate against opinions people hold. So you have to argue against it. Or ignore it, and hope it goes away. Giving people a trial (David Irving anyone) gives a platform and a persecution complex that actually reinforces the idea the law was supposed to eradicate.

It is not the only ridiculous idea which has caused harm to millions, which is still held dear to some streams of political opinion. "Nationalised industries operate for the public good" is one laughable canard. "The welfare state helps people" is another. "Man is perfectible" - the root of socialism and all associated ills is perhaps even more dangerous than "the holocaust didn't happen".

The problem is that DK and others are frothing at the mouth because this is an EU thing. The British government crossed the Rubicon in 1986 with the race hate laws. This banning of holocaust denial isn't the end of free speech - that happened a long time ago.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Amazing Grace

The script writers took gross liberties with history to make cheap political points. Little context - the war with France for example - was given to set the historical scene. In reality, almost everything political was seen in the context of beating the French. The film depicted applause in the commons (not allowed in the house, until the Labour illiterates of 1997 were elected - the mother of Parliaments is not a fucking theatre). No mention was made of major port towns like Belfast that would have nothing to do with the slave ships (which is why Peter Hain's recent apology on their behalf went down with Northern Irish people like a shit sandwich).

It was suggested early on by the love interest, miss Spooner, played poutingly by Romola Garai, that she should

"find a Tory for Wilberforce to bait"
Because obviously in the world-view of pinko media wankers, all Tories are vicious racist scum.

William Wilberforce was a Tory.

I couldn't really take the film seriously after that. Verdict: Sanctimonious drivel.

Improbable Google Serch Term of the Day

Somebody put "Donkey fucking a man" into google and got here

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

The Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation

The BBC is a tax-funded state-run monolith that crowds out the private sector. It is guilty of persistent and insidious statist, liberal bias and more direct political bias in favour of European integration and multi-culturalism. It is persistently pro Arab and anti-Israeli. It has done this despite being aware of the controversial nature of these issues and a substantial body of opinion which does not agree with the world-view as pedaled by the BBC. The bias is insidious and all-pervasive.

Despite this, I am a supporter not only of the BBC, but of the licence fee too. And are you going to tell me that the BBC is in the Governments pocket? OK, they may only attack from the left - but at least there's no overt party political bias. In time and with focus, I think they might just balance their political reportage, and there are signs that they are waking up to the problem. The trick is to take the time to complain every time you notice a biased programme and report. Eventually they'll get the message.

Think what bits of the BBC's output you consume. For me its Radio 4, Top Gear and Test Match Special. If I listened to or watched nothing else, this would still be worth the licence fee. The bits I like are that good. And there's something for everyone. It's cheap! And as taxes go, the telly-tax is an example of the fairest type - not a flat rate tax, but a flat tax. How goose-stepping "devil take the hindmost" right-wing is that!

Look at Top Gear, a liberal-free-zone: a show which couldn't exist in a world financed by corporate sponsors. Would Nissan advertise on a show which described a Nissan Sunny as a "the worst car ever made" thus:

"...Hateful, Hateful car, that had the gall, the audacity to be called the "Sunny". It should have been called the Nissan Drizzle. The Nissan Overcast with rain later..."
Of course they wouldn't. There are no adverts (and how blissful is that?). If I could subscribe to TV, pay and have no adverts, I would. I can't, so the BBC will have to do.

They can produce quality drama which may or may not be commercially successful. What about big documentaries? The Blue Planet, Life on Earth, The Private life of Plants. Investment in projects that take huge sums of money and are probably not commercially viable. There is better quality investigative journalism on the BBC than any other channel, because of its public sector remit and they can have journalists covering every hot spot on the globe. They don't need to worry what advertisers think viewers might find interesting. And they have done a good enough job in Zimbabwe to be banned by Zanu PF.

In short, Auntie doesn't have to chase viewers amongst the Grockles with its entire output.

Furthermore critics of the BBC are UK based (because we pay for it). It is, however a very powerful international diplomatic tool. I'm not suggesting for a minute that it be used as propaganda - that would throw the baby out with the bath water - it can be relied upon to present something approaching the truth, at least in its English language services. It provides a positive view of the British the world over and it is trusted as impartial.

The BBC website is one of the top destinations on the Web. It is my home page. Its the worlds top news site by some margin. It's the 3rd most popular news site in the US (CNN and NY Times if you're interested), and the top one almost everywhere else - at least in English language.

Rumours in India are spread with the words "the BBC said" meaning "gospel truth". You can't buy that reputation. Removing the unique way the BBC is funded would be an act of vandalism that would destroy something that this country has created we can be uniquely proud of. Let's keep up the pressure to make them better. If they can address the leftist bias, then they will surely remain the best and most respected media organisations in the world. And let's face it - it's only a problem to the highly tuned ears of British right-wing political anoraks. It's never going to be a popular cause. I think we should therefore resist the temptation to campaign against the licence fee. Doing so smacks of spite.

I rarely read Biased BBC because I think their agenda would destroy something worthwhile, and I think they stray just over the line into tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist territory... Besides, I think we all secretly like shouting at the radio in the mornings as "Today" manages to offend our delicate right wing sensibilities again and again and again....

Anyone agree?

Monday, 16 April 2007

Walter Tull.

The Telegraph today describes Walter Tull as a "forgotten" British Army hero, who died leading his men over the top on the Somme in 1918. He's not forgotten in Northampton, where he is remembered in the names of a number of public buildings and by Cobblers fans in annual match and the Walter Tull Memorial Garden near the club's sixfields ground. A movie is being made about his life.

I agree a statue of him would be a good thing. never mind the white cliffs though - what about the vacant plinth on Trafalgar square to commemorate a man who overcame a number of odds - including racism when it actually existed in this country, to become a town's favourite adopted son, decorated officer and much loved leader of men - three men died trying to recover him from no-mans land when he was lying wounded.

He's one of the first black British footballers having signed to Northampton town in 1910, where he played 110 times before the outbreak of war. He joined the Footballer's pals Battalion 5th Middlesex Regiment as a private in 1914, reaching Sergeant in 1916 and Gaining a commission in 1917, the first black person to do so - despite an official bar. He gained a Mention in Dispatches in Italy before he met his end in front of a German machine gun near the Somme in 1918. His body was never found; his name can be found on the Arras memorial.

He's a better role model than any footballer currently playing (and in funkier shorts too)

Friday, 13 April 2007

Songun Blog

Appropriately enough, I found this via Terry Kelly's website. No doubt our favourite blubbery socialist thinks it isn't satire, and AmeriKKKans are actually all, in truth facists, and Juche thought is a sensible and moderate take on the works of Marx from a Korean perspective, though he would use shorter words, less punctuation and I suspect that he's not actually heard of the Dear leader's system of thought.

Terry, you see has limited intelligence. Information such as how other countries actually govern themselves is not as important to Terry as hating AmeriKKKa, loving the mass murdering Fidel Castro. Even the woman-torturing Islamofacists are preferable to (and their pronouncements on current affairs more believable than) America and her allies in Terry's world-view.

Terry ploughs on, regardless of 20 or 30 comments on every post calling him an illiterate idiot, a buffoon, a racist, bigoted fool. 90% of comments are either patronising or insulting or pointing out logical and factual absurdities, yet he ploughs on, head down, without ever admitting fault. It's actually rather heroic, if you think about it.

Anyway is this post about Terry, or about an amusing blog I found?

Go have a look at the Mouthpiece of the Democratic Peoples' Republic of North Korea that is Songun Blog

Incompetence on a Heroic Scale

When I first read that the Navy 15 were to be allowed to sell their stories, I thought "OK, the MoD wants to get some propaganda out of this". I was - being an optimist prepared to believe that this government of spin junkies could stuff the mullahs in the press.

When it turned out that the "mistreatment" meted out by the Iranians was pretty mild by middle-eastern standards and didn't include mock executions or any actual beatings (chaps playing with guns or using a hammer nearby doesn't count) and it became obvious that some of our servicemen and women conducted themselves without dignity or courage, It became increasingly obvious that no thought at all was given to the press war.

Surely the default state should be "No, you can't sell your story - not if you want to remain in the Navy" and any deviation from this line must come from on high and be properly thought out? What actually transpired was a piece of Gut-wrenching incompetence, and a slovenly abrogation of leadership that leaves me staggered that Des "oxygen thief" Browne could even think about keeping his job.

In fact I'm so open mouthed with amazement at the serial mismanagement of the tribe of useless wastes of space that make up this Government that I don't know what to say.

  • Single Farm Payments
  • Tax Credit overpayment
  • University admissions
  • NHS Finance
  • Military Overstretch (without adequately funding the forces)
  • EU Budget rebate surrender
  • The Fox-Hunting ban
  • Public Sector inflation
  • The biggest rise in taxation in British peace-time history
  • Increase in the "Economically inactive"
  • Decrease in social mobility
  • 90% marginal tax rates for the low-paid
  • Pension Funding
  • politicisation of the police and civil service
  • NHS database debacle
And these are just the few that I can think of without conducting any research, (Iraq isn't on the list because I think it is unfair to blame the government. It would have been a disaster whoever was in charge. Like wise Northern Ireland cannot be claimed as a credit as most of the Groundwork was done by John Major).

Never in the field of human history has any group got the levers of power in a grown-up state with the advantages of a strong economy and low and falling unemployment and so spectacularly failed to achieve any positive results at all. Can anyone ANYONE think of anything since the 1997 election campaign, conducted by the Labour Party that has been anything other than a total 8-girl 5-man Mongolian clusterfuck?

Answers on a postage stamp.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Want to See a Posh Bloke Call Gordon Brown a Cunt?

OK! Own up....

Who found me using the Google search Term "Very Small Boys Cock"?

Fight the Police?

PC Copperfeild asks "Why would anyone fight the police?"

Read the comments. You'll see that the police like fighting. I liked fighting when I was in the army doing "Operations Other than War" training, or more commonly known as FISHing (Fighting In Someone's House). Gumshield, Sheild, Big Stick.... CHAAAAARGE!

I still occasionally take a swing on the Rugby Pitch (only if the miscreant really deserves it - hands in the ruck will do...), and I'm quite partial to kicking the shit out of a chav if I feel I can get away with doing so without getting into trouble with the law. There's nothing more satisfying than justifiable violence. The trick, you see is to get them to hit you first, preferably in full view of a CCTV camera, but a reliable witness will do.

The Fact is VIOLENCE IS FUN. Fighting the police is a challenge, Sure, and I'm not denying you'll lose, but the underlying motivation for fighting is the same for an officer of the riot squad as for the football hooligan. The only difference is society's reaction.

The Big Lebowski

For those of you who don't know who peed on The Dude's rug or why, here's a short synopis of the film. (NSFW)

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Why are there no Council Candidates?

Iain Dale laments the failure of people to stand for local councils. Well I stood, and I enjoyed it. I like elections, and I liked voting for a candidate (me) whose views I feel I can endorse.

However, I found my name being put to policies I would go into politics to defeat. CCTV: local Daily (hate) Mail Readers want more of this, and they are wrong about it. Just as they were wrong about the "hooligans" on this street. "What? those polite kids I just passed...." The Local parties offer more speed cameras, speed humps restrictive planning and CCTV to the kind of scared, vindictive old people who vote in these elections. Young professionals don't by and large vote, so you're getting a warped electorate.

There's nothing to offer. My local party refused to offer a tax-cut with the head of the county council saying that "people could afford 4%". I fucking can't. Yes it's the combination of the block grant and more demands on services, but that's admitting weakness, and my name isn't Chamberlain.

If you let the Government hold the conservative voting shires to ransom, delivering tax cuts to their heartland in the process and you haven't the fucking guts to campaign on this on the doorstep, then you're a political coward. If you listen to silly old biddies in their demand for more CCTV in the most over-policed and safe towns in the country, you're a political coward.
If you deliver everything the Government demands and acquiesce to a small grant - without saying "fuck you" we'll cut benefits to your voters rather than tax everyone else first, you're a political coward. If you deliver pointless speed bumps to the detriment of everyone who doesn't actually live on that street, against the evidence of research, you're in league with the Nimbys. If for example you accept the nit-picking money that falls down from central government to pet projects like traffic calming, with no money in the budget to actually maintain the roads, leading to deep potholes, which kill cyclists, the justification that you have to spend what you're given just doesn't cut the mustard.

You aren't doing right by the political philosophy that made you a Conservative. You are being used by New labour, whose assault on local accountability by micro-managing money prevents "joined up government". Tory councils, doing their best to manage services well, whilst not to blame, are not taking the action which could make this country better. By surrendering to this government's assaults on local democracy, you're a Quisling who might as well wear a red rosette.

It's pointless being a councillor. There are lots of good, committed people doing their bit for the people, but I for one refused. We Conservatives should take to the hills, not beg for gold stars from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. That's one humiliation I couldn't bear.

English rugby's doing fine.

The Heineken cup is no more, at least in its present form - certainly not without the French and English clubs, who provide the bulk of teams, players and money for the competition. Sure the format may continue for a while as a inter-celtic championship for the new regional teams created at the behest of the IRB - pressure that the clubs have resisted south of the Border and east of the Severn.

The IRB takes the view that Rugby's soul are the Great international matches between test-playing nations and the quadrennial world cup imperial jamboree, and that a strong regional championship - like the super 14 is necessary to ensure this. It isn't. The IRB have never liked clubs as they are too independently minded. I couldn't care less about whether England play three internationals next September against Southern-Hemisphere giants, next to the fact that tens of thousands of Englishmen (and women) turn out every Saturday from September to April to knock lumps out of each other on some muddy bit of Albion. Me included (injury permitting)

Sport is not about spectators.

Football has totally lost sight of this. And the IRB is pulling us that way. They have lost sight of the purpose of sport, and that is to teach people certain truths relating to teamwork and discipline. To inure players to physical discomfort and pain. That mastery of ones emotions (something I have finally managed, having not been sent off for 2 seasons) is valuable, as is the camaraderie of playing and treating vanquished and victorious foes with the same decency in the bar afterwards.

This is not to say that the Premiership Clubs are not avaricious bastards. They are - their attempts to remove the threat of relegation (and I speak as a Saints supporter about to face the drop) is a betrayal, not least to the likes of Worcester,Bedford and the Cornish pirates - clubs who offer every club, no matter how humble, hope that one day they may make it to the top. The elite clubs however have a closer eye to the grass roots of the game, putting out as they do seconds, thirds and U21s every Saturday alongside their professional first teams. And therefore I am happier to entrust the development of the game to them than an organisation focused entirely on internationals.

The clubs are run as businesses, but they depend upon volunteers for all except the top squad. They need the depth of feeling to survive - and Franklins Gardens, just like the Stoop a few seasons ago will continue to sell out even if the Saints are playing Bedford* in the league rather than Leicester. Can a faceless regional side offer the same level of loyal support? (Probably if you're Irish - but have the loss of great names Like Neath and Hawick really improved the game in Scotland and Wales?)

Clubs who find, develop and pay players cannot be expected to lose their best to "Club England" for half the season, at which relegation tussles and vital cup ties are decided, and like it. Nor can they be expected to field teams in competitions where they generate the money and see none of it - at the risk of losing players to overwork and injury.

Yes there's too much rugby being played, but meaningless internationals - the autumn internationals being the most egregious - are there to pay for twickenham, and are not about the development of the game. Development which in England and France is going very well, thank you; despite what our lamentable national team would have you believe, and it's all down to clubs. Let's face it, an English or French club win the Heineken cup most years. Who cares if the Celtic regional teams don't participate in the competition. I'm sure a "final" could be worked out between the winners of the Anglo-French club cup and the celtic regions' championship, but let's face it. Sale, Leicester, Wasps, Stade Francias (whose away strip can only be described as "unacceptable") Biarritz and co represent the paymasters of Northern-Hemisphere rugby. They are free businesses and I don't want a planned economy.

Let's not let the internationals and silverware become too important next to a healthy domestic club game and enthusiastic amateurs as the real barometer of a successful sport. (I do want England to win once in a while, though)

*(the oldest continuously played fixture in Rugby)

Thursday, 5 April 2007

The Four Yorkshiremen

Because it is my Birthday, I think it is time for something different.

Here's the original sketch....

The Iran 15

Are certainly no advert for Iranian Tailoring. I'll keep going to Mr Golding in St Albans, thanks.

And deeply as it pains me to admit, Whatever Horse-face Beckett & Co did behind the scenes, it worked. Congratulations all round for a difficult situation de-fused skillfully. The British Government has not backed down from its stated position that they were in Iraqi waters, and the Iranians have handed them back, more or less unharmed and quickly, without an apology from us. The full extent of the ordeal will become clear over the next few days.

I suspect the leadership in Tehran was as surprised as the 15 Sailors about the capture, and some Republican Guard commander might catch a sly bullet over this fiasco. I can't immagine that Tehran was deliberatley "testing the water" of British resolve. Which Wasn't found wanting. What is likley is that the Republican Guard were testing moderates' resolve in Tehran.

There have been suggestions all over the media that the sailors should have "Fought Back" when captured.

Why? The rules of engangement were deliberately de-escalatory, and it would have been suicide. Most of the sailors lasted the doctrinally mandated 3 days before folding and co-operating publically. After all, it's not worth getting your teeth pulled for intelligence of no benefit to anyone, whatever Col Ralph Peters suggests.

The correct response to the seizure of 15 British military hostages - if not released promptly - would've been to hit 15 Revolutionary Guards facilities or vessels along the Iranian coast, then threaten to hit 30 deeper inland the next day.
Well, Ralph that would have united world and especially middle-Eastern opinion in favour of the Iranians, triggered war and led to a disaster in Iraq. The Iranians would have then been immune to diplomatic pressure over their Nuclear Programme. That kind of thinking leads to nowhere, sunshine and I want no part of it. I can see why you didn't get stars on your collar. You aren't bright, or political enough.

The reason that we succeed at operations other than war, and Americans fail, is that our servicemen are not Gung-ho arseholes. They think long-term and big picture even at very junior command, whereas corporals in the US military are still bellowing "Sir, yes Sir!" and can't tie their boots without a direct order from a Captain. It's called the doctrine of the strategic corporal.

That said - Faye Turney should have lasted a bit longer before coughing.

Lt Carman RM Summed it up nicely:
"To the Iranian people: I can understand why you were insulted by our apparent intrusion into your waters. I hope this experience will help to build the relationship between our countries."
Quite: Sufficiently mealy mouthed, and no admission of wrong doing there, but at least he's home, and no-one else's home is a smoking ruin unnecessarily. Let's just call it a mis-understanding.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

The Most Hated Family in America

Amazing what some people will do in the name of God.

Read what Lois Throux Actually thought of these people here.

Shall I tell him, or Shan't I?

I shall let my readers decide..... He doesn't appear to allow comments, by the way.

I thank him for his pointing out the error on the flag ('twas upsidedown - a symbol of defeat so perhaps apt whilst this evil government is in power, but not what I meant). I have flipped the image and it now graces my profile once more....

Respect: A Party that deserves none.

I have often gone over to the Respect supporters blog (under "blogs by idiots" to the right) to have a look and I have often debated giving something a really good fisking.

These people live in a paranoid fantasy land of double think, which the even the Independent only occasionally manages to reach in its most tin-foil hatted loony days. Basically any action by British or American Militaries is "Illegal" and any action against those militaries is Justified by "Oppression", whether or not it is in clear breach of the Law of armed conflict and condemned by the United Nations. These rules, naturally, only apply to us. There is no attempt to suggest, as there is in the reasonable anti-war camp, that the real problem is with the political leadership of Tony and George and the Boys are just doing their best, as duty demands. No These evil trots actually rejoice in British casualties.

Here is their latest missive on the subject*. It is nothing but a tissue of innuendo and lies.

Simon Basketter exposes how special British units in Iraq are run by the same man who commanded death squads in Northern Ireland. Two of Britain’s most secret military units operating in Iraq are run by a man who ran death squads in Northern Ireland.

British covert military unit the Joint Support Group (JSG) works alongside US covert forces in the aptly named “Task Force Black”.
The Americans like glamorous sounding nick-names. So what?
Earlier this year the JSG was lauded in the Sunday Telegraph for its role in running dozens of double agents in Iraq, many of who had infiltrated the various insurgent groups and militias. The Telegraph claimed the regiment is “one of the coalition’s most effective and deadly weapons in the fight against terror”.
The other unit is the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR). At its creation in 2005, suitably anonymous “military sources” told the media, “We want to place electronic ‘bugs’ close to terrorist leaders such as Osama bin Laden and have agents within the ranks of global terrorist groups.
There's nothing illegal, immoral or fattening about this. Hell it doesn't even give you cancer.
“We got very good at doing this in Northern Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s, and now we want to transfer this capability to the global war on terrorism.” In July 2005, the SRR was involved in the surveillance operation which led to the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station in London.
Um. No it wasn't
SRR officers were apparently engaged in “low-level intelligence behind the scenes” when Jean Charles was shot. According to the “military sources”, this was the first time the new regiment had been engaged in an operation.
This "low-level intelligence, behind the scenes" is just a policeman ringing a soldier and asking "hey, Pete. Do you know anything about this chap we're watching?"... "Sure, Dave. I'll send what we've got over." It certainly isn't "active involvement" whatever that means or SAS hit-squads roaming London shooting plumbers. That's the police's job and they guard it jealously.
In December that year two British soldiers in the SRR were arrested by police in Iraq. Who were the two men and what were they doing when they were seized outside al-Jamiat police station in Basra?
SRR chaps doing their job perhaps?
What prompted British soldiers to smash down the wall of the station and demolish several buildings inside the compound in the operation to snatch them back?
The operation to get them back, perchance?

At the request of the MoD, the British media obscured the faces of the two captured men (pictured above). They had been sitting in a car outside the police station in Arabic dress. They were heavily armed and had an impressive array of surveillance equipment with them. It was claimed at the time that the two undercover men had opened fire when they were stopped at a police roadblock, killing at least one police officer. They were part of the Britain’s undercover war in Iraq.
Sounds like they were doing a difficult and dangerous job. I'm glad we have men like these two serving our country. The Iraqi police are in the pocket of several nasty, violent millennial militias. Happy neighbourhood bobbies they certainly are not. In fact the Iraqi police have been implicated in a number of kidnappings and extra-judicial murders. Naturally when these murders are discussed by the anti-war media they are by "British-Trained". In this piece of pinko nonsense, as they are victims of "Illegal aggeression" they are "Dixon of dock-green" in a shemagh.
Both the JSG and the SRR are run by Brigadier Gordon Kerr.
So What?
Kerr’s career has taken him to troublespots all over the world. An officer in the Gordon Highlanders, he served briefly in Cyprus before his first posting in Northern Ireland in 1972.
Tony Blair appointed Kerr to head up military intelligence in Iraq in 2003 – just two weeks after an inquiry into collusion with paramilitaries in Northern Ireland sent a file about Kerr to the director of public prosecutions.
With nothing proved against him.
Kerr is the most senior serving intelligence officer in the army and has been rewarded with both an OBE and the queen’s gallantry medal.
My word, he sounds like a good chap to have in a scrap...
In Iraq Kerr applies the “methods developed on the mean streets of Ulster during the Troubles”, as the Sunday Telegraph excitedly relates. The government has repeatedly claimed that Northern Ireland provides the blueprint for the British army’s operations in Iraq.
Yup. The British Military never stops learning. Unlike socialists who have been spewing the same bile for a century and a half and what has it got them (apart from bloody hands from 100,000,000 deaths that is?)
From the late 1970s, various British governments backed a secret unit of the army, the Force Research Unit (FRU), which, along with the special branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, supplied names, addresses and photographs of Catholic targets to Loyalist paramilitaries. The FRU was led by Gordon Kerr. When Kerr became the FRU’s commander in 1986, the 100-strong squad adopted a more aggressive approach to the running of informers. The key person supplying information was British army agent Brian Nelson. He infiltrated the Ulster Defence Association (UDA), the biggest Loyalist paramilitary group. His information was responsible for the murder of at least 30 Catholics. These included many who had no connection to the IRA, including the Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane who was murdered in 1989 by the UDA’s death squad, the Ulster Freedom Fighters.
The FRU also obtained “restriction orders” from other British security and military units whereby the FRU would withdraw from an area to allow Kerr’s UDA agents to get in and out without hindrance. Drawing on his sources in British intelligence, Nelson passed on the names and addresses of apparent IRA activists to the UDA, whose gunmen would promptly go out and “execute” the suspects. Nelson’s activities were regularly discussed at London meetings of the. Joint Intelligence Committee. This was chaired by then Tory prime minister Margaret Thatcher. In January 1992 Nelson agreed to plead guilty to five conspiracies to murder, and at least four sectarian murder charges against him were dropped.
This appears broadly true. There appears to have been collusion - with operatives in the IRA too. Mostly to protect sources, especially steak-knife. For a more balanced view the BBC have covered this case, and if you're really interested, the Stevens inquiry is here Much of the operations against the IRA were conducted in a legal Grey Area, but I for one am glad that there were people prepared to risk all to try and defeat the great terrorist threat of the day. Unfortunately sometimes soldiers and policemen stepped over the line of what is acceptable. People have been punished for transgressions. If the media, crawling all over that little war can only come up with this, then I would say with confidence that "British forces, for the most part acted within the law", just as for the most part they are acting within the law in Iraq at present.

Recent developments in Ulster appear to point to the view that democracy and the rule of Law won in the end, because of, not despite robust action by the security services. Where wrong-doing has been proved, then let the courts decide who's in the right: as they did.
In a bizarre court case lasting less than a day, Nelson’s real role was effectively covered up. After a moving tribute to his sterling work for the British army from an anonymous colonel, Nelson got ten years. Speaking from behind a security screen the colonel stressed the lives Nelson had allegedly “saved”. Nelson was released after serving less than half his sentence, and spent the rest of his life under a false identity. The anonymous colonel was Gordon Kerr. Beyond Gordon Kerr, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment includes at least 100 other veterans of Britain’s dirty war in Northern Ireland.
Just as the Troubles have excused a number of IRA killers their crimes, so the other side gets an easy ride of the justice train, all in the name of letting bygones be bygones. It's called a peace process. The Troubles in Ulster are now (mostly) history, and there is little to be gained by muck-raking. Are you surprised that the soldiers involved are now serving elsewhere in Britain's overstretched little army?
How much does Tony Blair know about what they are up to?
Probably quite a lot more than you, Neil, you commie prick

I think what's at issue here is that Innuendo about ancient history is being used to suggest that British Troops are doing anything illegal by conducting surveillance against organisations (the Iraqi Police, insurgent groups) who are less than friendly to British operations in Iraq. Operations which I hasten to add, at the risk of repeating myself, that are being conducted at the behest and direct request of the legitimately and democratically elected Government of Iraq, (a government elected by a far higher turnout than our own) and often in support of the Iraqi army, following operations conducted to support and implement a number of UN Resolutions.

You may think that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. That is a reasonable, if to my mind incorrect, position to hold. It does not follow that British troops are, by their presence, war criminals. Unless of course you think that all British troops are war criminals, in which case you're laughable and beneath contempt.

But we already knew that about "Respect", didn't we?

*Everything in red is © Copyright Socialist Worker (unless otherwise stated). You may republish if you include an active link to the original and leave this notice in place.

Liberalism and Conservatism. A Tag Team against Socialism

This article by Matthew Sinclair, very eloquently describes how Liberalism and Conservtism, (two points of my British Political Triangle) can form a coherent 'right wing' against the forces of Big Politics and state intervention.

First, libertarians and conservatives need to recognise that their movements are quite compatible and be understanding when we frustrate each other. When libertarians cry "faster" or conservatives "slow down" we should understand that sometimes it is necessary that we not get what we want
To my mind, the lib-con coalition is within the Tory Party. UKIP would seek to make that division explicit to the detriment of both strands of thought. Our ends, in broad terms are compatible (again 'Europe' aside, for the time being) - the strategies are streets apart. The end is that we right wingers look to the voter like the Judean Popular Front (or is that the PFJ? Splitters!) as we argue amonst ourselves, when we should be knocking lumps out of this evil administration.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Right Hidden, Left Open. Why?

Are Left-Wing Bloggers more likely to Blog under their own names than right wing bloggers? Bob Piper and our Friend Terry are bloggers by dint of their position of Councillors, and the mouth of New Labour, Neil Harding blogs on a very parochial level. He might as well be a councillor. They therefore actively promote their identities.

On the right of the Blogosphere, Guido (Paul Stains, for any newsnight viewers) certainly gave all the appearances of being a cunt so, one could understand why he would want to hide his identity. DK swears a lot an I can understand why he would want to blog under a moniker. I have always been "Jackart" to a number of my friends, but I've been burned early on because I made it too easy for people to work out who I was and, more importantly, where I work. The Nameless one is just that and there's Prague Tory and Tom Paine who jealously guard their names for professional reasons. We certainly aren't ashamed of our opinions.

But then there's the ministry of truth and chicken yogurt who conceal their identities and are lefties (as far as I can make out) so while it is not a hard and fast rule, right wingers conceal their identity to some extent and left-wing bloggers don't.

I think it is because most of the right wing blogosphere like to think openly and a pseudonym to some extent frees them from the consequences of what they say. We are more likely to offend the potentially violent amongst jihadists and animal-rights loonies. There are PC eggshells to be walked on around the issue of race which can easily cost you a job. That may be part of it.

There is also an insufferable smugness at the heart of leftist and socialist opinion which means that those on the left are really proud that they hold the view that "the rich should pay more" with "the rich" being defined as anyone who earns more than them. They love the fact that they're for the NHS, the Working man (whatever that means) and the welfare state. They also do not have a commitment to free speech and often regard the right-wing as "Dangerous" and will quite happily try to have him shut up, a course of action which wouldn't occur to me.

The leftist is so sure of the obviousness of his rhetoric that he's never thought about it, and can't see any way of thinking otherwise. It's just self evident that increasing benefits helps the poor, that the state should run health care, that selective education hurts working-class children, that he's safe in the knowledge his opinions are not going to cost him anything. Left is safe. He's not going to be "Exposed" as having "Extreme" views, no matter how extreme his views, so there's no need to hide.

The arch libertarian, an anarchic little shitehawk on the other hand, and is definitely subversive. We aim to smash the state, so it appeals to our vanity to be sneaking around like some enlightenment pamphleteer, trying to get the civil service fired, Gordon Brown lynched and Iran Nuked, so we're more likely to be borderline illegal, given this government's commitment to the principle of free speech. Hence the subterfuge...

Does anyone else have any ideas?

Monday, 2 April 2007

Transport, (or why Labour (and Ken) wants your business to fail)

Basically this country is habitable, on the proviso that you do not try to go anywhere within it. As soon as the answer is "take the A1...." or "Get on the 11:52 to Crewe", you're asking the wrong question. In London, this is all Ken Livingstone's faut. Overstating my case?

Last night I left Greenwich at about 7pm. The Blackwall tunnel was down and there was gridlock all through Greenwich, so by the time I found this out, turning round and trying any of the bridges to the west was out of the question. In any case, I hear it was also gridlock around Tower Bridge because of an "unscheduled raising". So I attempted to go east - along the Thames' south bank until I hit the M25. But there were roadworks all the way and all the people who had abandoned the Blackwall Tunnel had the same Idea. 1.5 miles in 2 hours.

And, of course, following the signs to the M25 was hopeless because the A206 was shut. Why? No-one knows. Eventually we reached the dardford crossing, 50 miles out of the way. A journey that should have taken 80 minutes or so ended up taking 3 1/2 hours.

All because the left wing (I would put Labour, but I want to include Ken in this too) councils refuse to invest in roads, so there's perpetual roadworks as maintenance is of the stopgap type, rather than proper maintenance that will last. All the major schemes were traffic-calming in nature rather than making the traffic flow smoother, and by God do empty buses get in the way, when you're down to one lane in temporary traffic lights! Furthermore under this government, the number of agencies entitled to dig up the roads has mushroomed and there's no obligation to repair the hole properly.

If the Blackwall tunnel goes down, then the whole of south-east England gets snarled up, even on a Sunday night. There needs to be another crossing of the Thames between Woolwich Ferry and Dartford Crossing, where the price for the toll booth was only visible as you reach the machine, leaving you fumbling for change. But would Ken sanction such a car friendly scheme?

Not on your Nelly. Why? Because he, like all commies hates cars, and by extension anyone who owns one. Why? because they are in the control of someone other than him! The car owner is not behoden upon him, and his beloved buses. The fact that he's a total arse is beside the point, but Ken Livingstone is the only man that I could possibly say that I would like to make suffer more horribly and for longer than Gordon Brown. It's a tough call, and the one-eyed Presbyterian thief probably just pips it to the "Most hated by AVBD" crown by the dint that the Dude does not live or work in London. But do not let that fool you into thinking that Red Ken Livingstone is not a total pig-headed trot of the first water. Because he is. And if you're reading this, he hates you too. He hates anyone who isn't an islamist terrorist apologistt, highly paid alcoholic work-dodging public transport guru or a other enemy of the people, lining their pockets at the public expense while you and I suffer third world infrastructure.

Not Kens fault? Go west into Tory London, and the roads get smoother, safer for cyclists and motorists and there's room for buses too. In fact better all round. It's not just money, it's a question of priorities - because these councils delivered tax-cuts and received a less than generous state hand-out. So whilst the Tories are delivering what the voter wants, Labour is delivering SWP/Guardian inspired spite. The poorer and more miserable the a bit of the world is, the riper it is for socialist "logic". The socialist has no interest therefore in improving the environment (small "e") or the economy. The worse it is, the poorer the people, the more secure the state apparatchik's or left-wing politician's job. It's all about incentives and the left-wing politician thrives on despair. Ken knows this.

Say no to Ken.

Northampton Saints - Hurrah at last.

Northampton 7-6 Biarritz.

I couldn't give a damn what happened on any other sporting field. That has made a miserable season better, as did the fact that I played for the first time in months on saturday (badly as it turned out - one of the tries conceeded by my team was as a direct result of a crappy pass from me) and my arm did not fall off!

For those of you who think that watching overpaid pansies kick a round ball about randomly before rolling around on the floor asking for a penalty following the merest brush with an opponent, and kissing each other whern they get it, is an acceptable diversion (and shame on you for that), this is like Watford (funnily enough the only soccer team I have seen play live - I can't remember their opponents) beating Real Madrid in the Quarter finals of the champions league.

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