Friday, 27 February 2009
Ingrid Betancourt, the freed politician and former prisoner of the FARC guerillas was 'worse than guards', claim fellow hostages who were held prisoner with her in Colombia. She kept food for herself and even put her fellow prisoners’ lives at risk by saying they were CIA spies.
This is understandable. The FARC are a only bunch of illiterate peasant drug dealers who have been force-fed Marxist Boloxology. This is combined with the arrogance and egotism of knowing they have the power of life and death over people thanks to their drug bought AK-47’s. They are trained to take what they want without considering the suffering they cause, and treat the “people” they supposedly represent with a haughty distain.
Ingrid Betancourt is French.
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
There have been two examples today of good people doing the right thing. The first is David Cameron and his Wife caring for a son that required 24 Hour care. I was actually impressed that Politicians behaved with dignity today. I’m sure our thoughts are with Mr Cameron and all parents who have to bury their children before their time.
The second is the genuine victims of Northern Ireland; who despite probably needing the money offered by the State, rejected it because the payments would also go to the Families of Terrorists killed whilst carrying out their foul deeds. It takes Moral courage to fight dirty money being waved under your nose. My thanks go to the relatives of the genuine victims of this conflict who refused to have the names of their loved ones sullied by including their names with the names of murderers in return for a bit of Government cash.
Sir David Omond, one of the Governments former national security strategy advisors has warned that “more intrusive methods of surveillance” are needed to tackle the threat by modern terrorists. To which I reply – utter rot. Firstly with the Echelon system at GCHQ in conjunction with the NSA you have the ability to monitor this information, but just that right now this information gathering has governmental oversight. If you want phone records, you go to a Judge and ask for a warrant to obtain them, you just have to justify why you need them to the Judge in question. Secondly we’ve seen where this intelligence gathering with a blank check leads, it leads to councils snooping on whether I separate my paper from my plastics, not whether I’m making Soman or Tabun in my kitchen. And besides, with the calibre of public sector drones that work for the civil service, you tend to have a habit of leaving the information on trains.
He claims "This is a hard choice that goes against current calls to curb the so-called surveillance society, but it is greatly preferable to tinkering with the rule of law, or derogating from fundamental human rights”. With your 42 day detention and a new law a day Labour government you’ve done both already. So don’t pretend this is a minor issue.
As Benjamin Franklin said… “Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither”. I’m not arguing that when we catch a terrorist that we don’t stamp on the little wankstain in question hard. But the government keeps their nose out of the business of the innocent. If you can’t find a way for the intelligence community to do its job without checking which island in the Caribbean I go on holiday to, or my text messages to my girlfriend, then you have failed. And you don’t deserve your no doubt well paid post at the Institute of Public Policy. In short Sir David you should piss off and find somebody that can.
Tuesday, 24 February 2009
It seems President Obama has decided that he wishes to cancel an agreement with the Anglo-Italian Helicopter manufacturer AugustaWestland to replace the Presidential Helicopter. Now he’s perfectly within his rights to do this of course. It could be easily argued that there is a better use of Military cash than to spend it on a flying limousine for a politician. However the Democratic controlled congress is starting to set a pattern. They threw out the winning bid for their air refuelling contract because the winning bid was using European aircraft, and despite the fact that the other contract bidder was caught bribing Air Force officers to win and having an inferior aircraft, they are back in the running because they are “all American”. I’ll bet if it was a US contractor that had won the helicopter order they wouldn’t be cancelling it. Indeed with all the Pork flying around the US at the moment with the Stimulus bill – they’d probably triple the order.
Now the Americans have always stacked the deck when it came to matters aeronautical. When we were both working on breaking the sound barrier they asked that we share our technical data. The British, like good Allies duly shipped ours off to the Bell Aircraft Company, and then the US State department says that their data was secret and that we weren’t allowed to look at it (this is in the middle of the Second World War btw). The Miles M52 Aircraft was mysteriously scrapped. A similar fate befell the TSR-2 which was scrapped on the orders of the Yanks (True to form the Labour government was crawling to the IMF, and the Americans threatened to put the kibosh on the money unless we scrapped the superior TSR-2 threat to the F-111). There are other examples.
Both the Europeans and the Americans subsidise their Air Industry. The Europeans do it with fairly blatant subsidy towards development costs. The Americans do it with the subsidy of the closed Military contract and tax relief. But despite both sides engaging in subsidy, they have at least given their hard worked taxpayers a break by getting the best product for their military – up till now. But Obamas’ actions are symbolic of two things, firstly there’s a new Sherriff in town, and he doesn’t give two hoots about free trade. And secondly he doesn’t care very much about America’s allies (we’re not the only ones – Colombia should be very afraid), he’s too busy trying to shake hands with her enemies. Obama says he will live up to his treaty obligations as regards free trade, and has been kissing ass to the Canadians regarding this issue. However I doubt he’ll be cutting us Brits the same slack.
Obama has recently sent back a statue of Churchill that George Bush Jr had as pride of place in the Oval Office. It may seem irrelevant what the US President chooses in interior décor, but the simple fact is he could have done it in a more diplomatic way. Had Winston been moved to the Presidential out house as a door prop to release lingering odours we could have ignored the gesture. But he sent Mr Churchill back to us - which is a rather carefully crafted diplomatic point. He kept on no friend of Britain - Robert Gates - who is the US defence secretary. Gates is a famous whiner regarding all things Limey – complaining that we need help regarding Helicopter and Air support in Afghanistan. The fact that we’re in the most Mountainous, Drug producing and Pro-Taliban province in Afghanistan is something he chooses to ignore. Obama has also appointed a non-entity to be Ambassador to the Court of St James. Again this is not that unusual per say, as it was only Ronnie and George Sr that appointed a career diplomat to the post – Raymond Seitz. But since Obama has been making the point that it was not business as usual, again us Brits can only infer that he considers us no different to a banana republic. I suppose we should be thankful Obama didn't send a Kennedy.
The simple fact is Obama dislikes Britain when it suits him, or when he’s writing about us in his books; but would we mind awfully sending more troops to Afghanistan? Of course he alone is not to blame, our incompetent joke of a Prime Minister is going round like a broken record saying the economic collapse “Started in America”. This is hardly guaranteed to get us in America’s good books. Furthermore thanks to Zanu-Labour, Britain is in an enervated state, hardly inspiring economic confidence in our allies. Our currency is in the khazi, so contact between ordinary Brits on Holiday and their US counterparts will be fewer over the next few years.
We still have our plus points in regards to Anglo-American relations over say Anglo-French relations, the average Brit gets on well with the average American. We have culture, language, history and (with the exception of sneering Guardian reading lefties) a mutual respect. Our military and intelligence services will still co-operate because we like each other and because we have to. Nevertheless I very much believe we have to deal with an apathetic or anti-British President. The UK needs to adjust its foreign policy accordingly to deal with this new era of diplomatic relations. Whilst I doubt this new US foreign policy will be deliberately designed to screw us in the same way that the French, Germans or EU foreign policy is, we nevertheless need to batten down the hatches. Under Blair, Major and Thatcher we gave America help without asking for much in return because it was the right thing to do. Our next government should start getting quid pro quo in our dealings with this current administration.
Monday, 23 February 2009
Well its over, the industry circle jerk that is the Oscars has handed out its gongs, and everybody outside the Luvvies sphere of influence says a big “So what”. In case you care the Oscars went to Slumdog Millionaire, Kate Winslett and Sean Bloody Penn. At least now the humourless dictator supporting tosspot has won the damned award we will hopefully be spared another desperate attempt at Oscar glory playing another afflicted minority/moron. As usual the awards went to the same sort of film – crushingly “Liberal” polemics about retarded men trying to get their daughters back, a white woman getting inner city kids in Harlem to play the violin, or the ultimate way to win a statuette – play it gay. And now that the mutual backslapping season is over we will hopefully get some quality back into the cinema – i.e. Anything with Bruce Willis or Jason Statham – instead of the dreary Academy Award bait that infests the multiplex between December and February.
Unfortunately the signs are not good, we have Tarantino coming up but I feel his films are a bit too vulgar. They probably won’t make another Batman until they can work out how stop Christian Bale having an epileptic fit every time the Best Boy Grip scratches his nads. So up till now Ironman II is probably the only thing that would stop me from vomiting into my popcorn. But there is hope for the future, and it comes in the unlikely form of the Kingdom of Norway. It seems that the Norwegian film industry has had the capital idea of making a film that involves nubile young things locked in a cabin being attacked by Nazi Zombies. I’ll run that by you again, Nazi Zombies! (slap head; think “of course, why didn’t I think of that before*”… Pure Genius). Now I speak a fair bit of Norwegian, and can tell you that usually Norway produces the sort of film that is about isolation in some godforsaken part of the Lofoten Islands – beautifully shot but incredibly dull. Throw in isolation, a girl who gets her top off in the outside privy and an Un-dead SS Oberstgruppenfuhrer you have the recipe for cinema dynamite.
The Film is called Død Snø which translates as Dead Snow. If this film is not released in the UK we should consider breaking off diplomatic relations with the Kingdom of Norway immediately.
Oh, and the Tagline for the Movie Død Snø. “Ein, Zwei, Die” – Perfect!
* Of course it has been thought of before. The film was called Outpost. However they sent a bunch of ugly veteran soldiers to fight the un-dead Nazis, not nubile Blonde Scandinavians in figure hugging sweaters. It's a rookie director mistake, a schoolboy error of the highest order; you just hate to see it.
Friday, 20 February 2009
Regarding the current leadership battle in Zanu-Labour, does anybody think that if Gordon Brown is being forced out he will take it lying down? Does he look like the kind of bloke who will do what’s best for anybody but himself? Right now he’s plotting his victory at the next general election with phantom Labour voting Battalions being moved round
Berlin the UK. The man is deluded, he’ll keep muttering “the do nothing party, started in America” like a Hare Krishna brainwashing chant until they drag him off to his padded room in the cuff-less white coat.
I suspect that if he is told that the Jig is up; that he’s been found out by the general public as the lying incompetent fuckwitt he is Gordon will spring into action. Stopped from hobnobbing with “The One” at the G-20 summit and basking in his role as “Saviour of the world by the “backstabbers” of ZNL he will go for the Nuclear Option. Go to the electorate knowing full well the party will have to rally round him and he will stay in power until after the canapés and photo opportunities of the G-20. This is the Brown moment you see, it’s his time, and nobody – but nobody - is going to take it away from him! Never, never, never! Just you wait until that photo with Obama, the people will see, I am a genius.
Obviously this coincides with what’s best for the Tories. Either hope Brown goes to the electorate and loses, being replaced by Harridan Harperson which should give the Tories another 25 years or so to fix the problem. Alternatively Harridan Harperson takes over when he calls the election, looses. And then she says she hasn’t had enough time to reform the party, and the loss wasn’t her fault – it was Gordons and fights the following election – which should give the Tories another 35 years or so to fix the problem. Obviously, if Yvette (Mrs “So What” Balls) Cooper takes over then the Tories might have 20 years before they have to fight a tough general election. The Holy Grail so to speak for the Tories is Lord Mandelson of Rio taking over, the Conservatives will be in power until we all bugger off to colonise Mars.
Thursday, 19 February 2009
It will come as no surprise that Britain's railways are the most expensive in Europe, and this has been getting worse since the Government has been preventing investment in longer platforms and more frequent services, the train operating companies have been seeing their grants cut and allowed fares to rise to compensate.
The fact is that Network rail, since it was forcibly nationalised from shareholders of Railtrack has been a disaster, sucking in more subsidy and yet delivering less investment. Capacity has not improved along with passenger numbers, so passengers endure annually escalating prices without any improvement in service.
But it is not the cost which so irritates passengers but the manifest unjustness of the pricing system. You pay extortionate prices for flexibility - an open return costs 3 or 4 times as much as the cheapest super advance ticket. A season ticket costs the same as a small car, or four times the average on the continent. If you buy a cheap advance fare and miss the one train you booked three months earlier, then you are forced to pay the full fare. Of course there is no doubt that the staff on the railways are gut-wrenchingly awful too. Officious unionised slugs who delight in catching people out on honest mistakes, are wilfully inflexible, who go on strike the moment one of their members is fired for throwing a sickie.
The Devils Kitchen has an interesting post on how the Government has destroyed the railways. Whatever the economics of the 1840s, the fact is that no railway system operates without public subsidy anywhere in the world, and though we'd all be better off just scrapping this useless system entirely "making the trains run on time" is one simple metric voters use to
excuse fascism judge the competence of Government. An interesting aside is that though there is no trade-off between liberty and security, there is between liberty and rail punctuality, with New Labour alone amongst authoritarian Governments failing to make the railways work. The reason is the same as all New Labour failure. They are too fond of "eye-catching initiatives", wasting money on consultants and worthless apparatchiks enforcing "diversity" rather than investing time and energy in delivery of service. Expanding capacity is hard. Raping the commuter is easy.
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
putting a disproportionate percentage of the population on the state payroll produces the same results as in the Soviet UnionHe's talking about Hugo Chavez's Venezueala, rapidly heading into Zimbabwe territory, but he could be talking about our incompetent socialist luntaic running the UK
At least the Chavista has won an election, however flawed.
A Very British Dude is getting a makeover, Which is I am sure you agree, long overdue.
Hopefully It will be clearer which of the ranting nutters is writing each piece, and the layout is going to be vastly improved.
Finally the header is going to contain a striking image, which I hope you will take in the manner it is intended: to reclaim the Union Jack for non-racist but unashamedly patriotic people. The Ignorant, knuckle dragging socialists of the BNP do not represent the nation which produced the likes of, Darwin, Newton, Smith, Hume, and later gave refuge to the likes of Isiah Berlin who fled racist tyranny. Our love of freedom is not racially exlusive and predates the political accident of the Union: Tacitus admired the Ancient Britons' freedom. Later our national bard said "England, in seeking to conquer others, hath made a shameful conquest of herself", so the Idea that Britain as a home of Liberty is older than Britain, and predates even England harking back to when Britain was called... um Britain. This nation was the first country to outlaw slavery, in 1102 in England with the international trade outlawed in 1807 and the institution abolished in 1834, since when many slaves found their freedom thanks to the Royal Navy over the following century following the famous dictum that The air of England is too pure for a Slave to Breathe. It is this nation of which I am proud.
The design is being done by the lovely Blogbunnie, If you like what you see, her rates can be found here.
Unfortunately it means that A Very British Dude may not be available for a few hours as the template is installed. Normal service will resume shortly.
Monday, 16 February 2009
I met a Labour voter at the weekend, and I was extremely rude to him. He trotted out the "do nothing" and "global crisis" claptrap which Labour people use as the 'fingers-in-the-ears La La La I'm-not-listening' argument. I asked him whether Gordon Brown had to personally go round and kick him in the nuts, eat his dinner, shag his missus and piss on his curtains before Cyclops would lose the vote of this deluded fool. "Who else is there?" he asked. Who else indeed.
Anyway... that is what the core Labour vote is. Tribally loyal to an extent not felt by any other party, and psychotically blind to the flaws in the Government. But they're a small component of New Labour's election juggernaut. Long Before Brown's collapse mk. 1, I predicted that Brown would be the death of the Labour movement as an electoral force, because however devastated the Conservatives were after 1997, they faced no opposition on the centre right. They had a decade to sort themselves out because centre right-thinking people have nowhere else to go. The Labour party do not have that luxury. The Labour coalition contained some of the hard left, trades unionists, the liberal intelligensia and social democrats. Tony Blair brought the middle classes too, and won loads of elections despite wrecking the country. Since his accession, Gordon Brown has told middle england to 'fuck off', the Liberal intelligensia are deserting in droves, a few to Cameron's Conservatives and some to the Liberal democrats. Few 'Social Democrats' remain loyal but most have already jumped to Cleggover's party. This leaves a rump Labour movement which cannot win an election.
Which brings us to the polling: On Saturday a ComRes poll suggested the Liberal democrats were just three points behind the Labour party, who had fallen to just 25%. Whilst this Lib surge is an outlier, not backed up by a subsequent YouGov survey, it confirms that the Tories are comfortably in the winning 40-45% area and the centre left is split. It is this LAB/LD that is volatile.This is the Fairburn-Sykes commando dagger, and it is a weapon just such as this that the Liberal Democrats must wield if they are to move from third party mediocrity to opposition and eventual Government. Their enemy is not now the Conservatives, but their fellow-travellers on the left, the Labour party. They must gain seats at the expense of Labour, because it is likely that they will suffer at the hands of the Tories, and in doing so they must seek to do as much damage to Brown and his party as possible. Once Clegg is in opposition, facing a Conservative prime-minister across the Dispatch box, rather than sniping from the wings, he can go after the Tories, not before. That is if the Liberal Democrats want the compromises of Government and official opposition, rather than the freedom to say anything to anyone currently afforded by their current status.
The Liberal Democrats are tactical masters - they are ruthless and hard-working at the local level. They work out what needs to be done in each seat. In fighting over the scraps they have become blind to the strategic picture and have no direction or narrative which will propel them into a dominant position on the centre left. Their great strategic error was to be co-opted into the Project, as Paddy Pantsdown, Charlie Kennedy and Later Sir Ming thought that they could help Labour kill off the Tories, leaving the UK with perpetual centre-left Government. That died because of overwhelming Labour victories leaving the party with no need of their erstwhile friends. Now the Labour party could do with some support, it ain't forthcoming. What the Liberal party needs is to take the ruthlessness their grass-roots show in the trenches of local politics and see what needs to be done and present a national message that the Labour party has had its day, and serially failed to deliver anything worthwhile. The Liberals can become the natural party of the Centre left.
Liberal activists need to see beyond their view that the Tories are "awful" and understand that democracies work because of opposing views, not despite them. A centre right vs a centre left politics is better than a choice between a centre left authoritarian party and a centre left liberal party. Liberals need to decide whether they want to be the opposition or the Guarantor that the Conservatives are the natural party of Government.
To get to Government in the next two decades they need to stab their friends in the Labour party right in the back by focussing the party's limited resources at winnable Lab-Lib marginals when Labour is weak. This will guarantee a Cameron Landslide in 2010 inevitable under any circumstances, but surely anyone calling themselves 'Liberal' will welcome the demise of the Labour government of Databases, Suveillance, Id Cards, and 42 Day detention. If they dispatch Labour, then when the Tories drop the ball, the Liberals can say "only we can win", and do so this time with honesty.
And it they drop PR and Federasty, they may even get my vote.
Saturday, 14 February 2009
At Long Last Here's my effort from the bus slogan generator, which allows internet geeks to come up with a slogan to go on a bus in the style of the Atheist bus campaign. which read "there probably is not God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life". The original campaign is here.
Naturally there were earlier drafts which looked like something Mr E or DK would say, but I finally came up with this
The Guardian CiF competition
Friday, 13 February 2009
On the newswires...
at 10.11 hrs Gordon Brown is reported to have said "Bank shares will recover in time".
At 14:00 hrs Lloyds banking group announce a £10bn loss in HBOS, which is worse than analyst expectations.
Who do you think the market believed?
Yup. Lloyds banking group shares down over 40% at 2pm.
What do clearing snow, a helicopter crash and the Banking crisis all have in common? The response of the powers that be, and the media are all evidence of the most insidious threat to Western civilisation: Credentialism. That is the need to prove competence, not by demonstration of experience, but by producing bits of paper.
A farmer is clearly competent to use a snow-plough attached to his tractor - he needed to clear the tracks on his dairy farm to allow the milk to be collected. Thus there was still milk for your corn-flakes despite the snow. Being a decent chap, he decided to help out the local community by clearing the roads in the village and was criticised for doing so because he did not have the relevant paperwork. This will be presented as an Health & Safety issue, but in reality it's a council employee protecting his turf.
Colin Macrae, a world champion rally driver famed for courage in a rally car and an experienced helicopter pilot crashed in high winds near his house, killing his son, and two family friends. He owned the aircraft and was flying near his home. Helicopters are absurdly dangerous things but no-one argued that he was anything but a competent pilot. It subsequently turned out that he let the licence renewal slip. This was presented on the news as evidence of recklessness, and you could detect a frisson of purse-lipped satisfaction from the media in the idea that if he had kept his paperwork in order the fatal crash might not have happened, and recklessness has got its comeuppance.
The Treasury Select committee, when grilling the heads of RBS and HBOS elicided that none of these "masters of the universe" had any "formal banking qualifications". This is being taken as evidence of regulatory failure. I'm not sure what qualifications are suitable for running such large and complex institutions, and none were presented. These individuals are not unqualified however as all have either relevant qualifications in finance and business management or experience at board level: Andy Hornby has an MBA from Harvard, Sir Fred 'the shred' Goodwin has accountancy qualifications and a post-graduate diploma in Law. He also oversaw the liquidation of BCCI. These two seem to be qualified for running a large bank, and these had the Executive roles. Of the non-executives, Sir Tom Mckillop has a PHd in Chemistry, and has experience at board level at ICI and Astrazeneca, which is suitable for a chairmanship of a board. Dennis Stevenson, the man most feted by New Labour in his pomp, and raised to the peerage by Tony Blair, seems to have by far the least impressive CV of the four.
I will ask the question again? Who is going the write the exam which qualifies someone to run a vast, multinational PLC? Would a PhD chemist have any trouble in swotting up to pass that exam? Does any exam demonstrate anything other than an ability to pass that exam? Is it therefore just another exersise in pointless box-ticking? Why does renewing paperwork make flying safer? Why can't a farmer help out his local community when local Government is stretched? Credentialism prevents people acting on initiative, and promotes dull technocratic time servers over innovators.
You may argue that dull, technocratic time servers are just what the banking sector needs. But you would have missed out on 20 years of economic growth in order to prevent what will be just another recession, albeit a severe one. There is no doubt that pilots and snow plough drivers need to demonstrate competence for all our safety, but do not mistake the qualification for skill.
With the Government's ludicrous target to get 50% of young people through University, the implication will be that those with out the degree are 'the bottom 50%'. Like Sir Alan Sugar, Michael Dell, Sir Richard Branson (who also had the handicap of attending Stowe which despite the magnificent buildings, is good only for teaching you to run), and thousands of other businessmen who eschewed formal qualifications to get 'experience'. There are still routes to the top without a degree, but if you want to get on in a large company now, you get on the "graduate" trainee programme. It doesn't matter that your degree is in organic yurt weaving from the university of not the town's name, that piece of paper and £20,000 black hole in your bank account is considered better than three years' hard work.
With every profession and trade now throwing up a trade body which sets exams, everyone must have a ticket. The legal status of unqualification means however competent you may be insurance will be easier to obtain if you toe the line and take the test. Job interviews are not about you, but about the boxes you can tick - equality legislation sees to it that employers cannot take the less qualified candidate if they "like" them. All this means that experience and personality is being pushed aside by dry academic learning, which often bears no relation to the job you're doing, and ensures dull, incompetent people are doing jobs for which they might be qualified on paper, but not character, or skill. It favours dreary box-tickers over people of flair. It stifles innovation - because an exam will most often be set by passed over mediocrities and the sylabus will always be the status-quo.
But it's more important than that. Ancient China for example set enormous store on the passing of the civil service exams which were little more than tests in regurgitating the sayings of Confucious. With this as the principle path to wealth for what we would call today "the middle class", Chinese society ossified and any entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit it may have possesed was hollowed out. When the western powers arrived, they found a shell of a society which collapsed at the first push.
If we are to survive and prosper, then we must make a place for the poeple who have ideas and want to implement them without bothering to take a pointless test first. I have no idea how to combat this insidious cultural trend, but telling highly qualified, but otherwise incompetent people to "fuck off" seems to be a good start.
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Guido asks the pertinent question: Why does Cameron not Mention Jacqui Smith's expense fiddles?
And I answer it. Very simply there's nothing in it for him or his party to do so.
People like the centre for Open Government, and Iain Dale are trying to get rid of Jacqui Boots and these efforts with the Commmissioner for Standards are supported by the Conservative party for sure, but not led by them. It may yet come to pass that the savagely illiberal home secretary gets her comeuppance for her flagrant abuse of the taxpayer. In which case Cameron gets to rub it in. They are however far enough away that should she survive, and with the uncompromising support of the Prime Mentalist who cannot afford to lose her, she will probably survive, Cameron is not seen to have lost a battle.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, most people remember Conway et al. The Conservatives are not whiter than white and by monstering Ms Smith for her fiddle, he leaves himself, and the Conservatives open to allegations of sleaze. The voters do not yet trust the Tories. Expense fiddles have become an "anti-politician" issue and by refusing the make this a party political issue (unlike the 1990s) the voters merely say "they're all at it". And this is true - there are probably plenty of Tories on the make. Cameron can argue that he sacked Derek Conway, but the blogoshpere would respond with his support for Caroline Spelman. Why would Cameron make such a rod for his own back, when there's such massive incompetence elsewhere for him to aim at?
People respond to incentives. Politicians are no different. If the press, blogosphere and voters will not support the official opposition when exposing ministerial wrong-doing (and can you immagine Humphries failing to mention Conway if Cameron made a big issue of the Two Home Secretary?) can you blame the political class for closing ranks?
This is one issue where the electorate must divide and conquer - support the opposition and give them an incentive to break up the political circle of wagons.
I was going to write about Geert Wilders, but the Heresiarch has rendered any attempt to do so tautological.
It's not that the government wants to stifle free speech: it's simply not something they care enough about to want to make a stand.Go Read the whole thing.
The Spectator has been covering the damage done to Gordon Brown by the Conservatives in the PMQ’s. Despite Titiangate the Conservatives landed numerous blows and the Spectator is claiming HMS Brown is sinking. I particularly enjoyed the analogy from Hawkeye “The Germans and French have already buried a few torpedoes into HMS Brown, but what we really need is a good dose of "friendly fire" from the USS Obama”. Nevertheless there are those who are claiming that Brown will shortly be a footnote of history.
I vehemently disagree, Gordon should not be allowed to slink into the history books. I am reminded of Henry V Act 4 Scene 2 “This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, from this day to the ending of the world”. This story needs to be told and re-told. The man ruined our economy; and combined with his predecessor ruined our nation. This man has no chance of sneaking into the ignominy of a Trivial Pursuit question, or Encyclopaedia Britannica footnote, and nor should we let him. Gordon Brown must be “remembered” as a useless incompetent dangleberry as long as history books continue to be written. Quite frankly Brown’s stain on the office of Prime Minister will be held up by future generations on how not to run the offices of state.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Professor Nutt. Clue's in the name. No... Not 'Nutt' as one tedious prat from the Conservative benches joked but professor. The guy knows what he's talking about. Let's summarise his comments: Tens of thousands of people ride horses, which are no longer needed for transport, so they are doing so for pleasure. Pleasure is caused by chemical receptors in the brain being stimulated. This kills 100 or so people a year, through falls. Likewise tens of thousands of people take Ecstasy, E, MDMA, disco biscuits or what ever you want to call them. They do so to stimulate the pleasure receptors in their brain, and probably get felt up in a night club by a grinning, sweating Manc into the bargain. Whilst the motivation for popping pills and riding horses is ultimately the same, e kills far fewer people than riding horses. Professor Nutt merely pointed out that it's strange that society accepts one risk, indeed rewards it with Olympic honours, royal patronage and tax-breaks for gambling, and rewards the other, safer one with lengthy gaol terms. He was attempting to put the risks into perspective.
I have a rule of thumb that there is no case for anything to be illegal on grounds of safety that is less dangerous than riding a motorcycle. That leaves bull fighting, base-jumping, free climbing and Auto-erotic asphyxiation in the banned list (some of which are still legal), and all major drugs in the legalised list. But no-one listens to me. They won't even listen to the UK's foremost professor of Psychopharmacology.
Naturally professor Nutt's comments are 'unacceptable' and 'send completely the wrong message to young people'. Of course they are 'insulting' to the 'victims' of extasy and their sainted families, who can be relied upon to opine that the good professor 'doesn't know what he's talking about'. He has of course been forced to apologise.
I do not need to rehearse the libertarian arguments about Drug policy. Law is there to ensure that everyone knows the acceptable bounds of behaviour, not to "send a message". Anyone who looks at the policy from scratch with an open mind will conclude that prohibition is futile at best, and wildly counterproductive at worst. It ensures that chemicals of dubious quality are widely available to anyone, with no control of access, or indeed tax revenue. Prohibition makes drugs more toxic and more harmful. It ensures a stigma, which prevents problem users seeking help. It ensures that a vast criminal enterprise seeks to increase its market through a highly efficient pyramid marketing scheme. The vast profits available to criminal gangs mean violence is inevitable as territories are defended. It therefore distorts policing priorities, sucking resources from effective policing of other areas, and makes criminals of Tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding people. For the vast, vast majority of occasional users, illegal drugs have no effect on their membership of 'society', as evidenced by the Home secretary and shadow Chancellor who are both on record as having "experimented" with illegal substances.
Professor Nutt's comments are not unacceptable. What is unacceptable is the idea that everyone knows what the right thing to do is: Legalise drugs and medicalise addiction. But the Law enforcement agencies, international co-operation on the issue and the civil service have simply too much invested in the current approach. This is legislative capture of the most egregious kind. 'Drugs are bad and must be illegal' is such a Shibboleth that once in any position of influence, it is impossible to say anything approaching sense on the subject without getting slapped down. Despite being the Government's chief drugs advisor, Professor Nutt's advice is being willfully ignored. He opposed the upgrading of Cannabis from class C to class B. He has advised that LSD and Ecstasy be downgraded from A to B. Naturally this is opposed by politicians eager to appease the Daily Mail and The Sun, and will be opposed or subsequently reversed by any politician wishing to appear "tough on crime".
The wild, offensive hypocrisy of Smith, a former pot smoker, decreeing higher penalties for possession of marijuana should not be lost on anyone, nor should the tawdry, dishonest reasons for the position she takes: "I ban your pleasure for political gain, knowing it's the wrong thing to do". As ever it's down to a Liberal Democrat to speak sense on the subject: Evan Harris said Prof Nutt was a "distinguished scientist" and asked whether it was "right to criticise him here when he cannot answer back for what is set out in a scientific publication...What's the future for scientific independence if she asks that scientists apologise for their views?" As a woolly in between, he can make such dangerous comments simply because as they won't ever form a Government, Liberal Democrats are free to.
On the Polar Opposite we have a bunch of miserable harridans bitching about Virgin Atlantic and their 1980’s ad. It seems various boots have been bitching that the ad is sexist and insulting. Now I’m no fan of Beardy Airways, it will be a cold day in hell before I give ZNL supporting Branson a brass farthing. Nevertheless I find the advert both funny and clever. Have the women who complained ever thought that I find their face like a warthogs arse scowling visages offensive, yet I have managed to resist the urge to write and complain to somebody. Perhaps they should follow suit and save those postage stamp costs for some Rhinoplasty?
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Yvette Cooper's dildo suggested that, despite Gordon saving the world, we are going to have the worst depression, like, ever. He then said this would cause War, Apocalypse and Death. It is gratifying to see him get slapped down - the official government
guess forecast is for the economy to pull out of recession 120 days from now. (No, really... that's what Darling actually said at the end of last year) and Ed's admission that things are very much worse than the Government likes to admit is embarrassing to the one-eyed Hobgoblin and his Badger-faced sock puppet. Balls may by right about the economic situation - he's certainly more right than the Chancellor and Gordon "best-placed" Brown - but the idea that an economic depression will lead to the rise of the "far right" is way off the mark however...
Isn't the ludicrous frog eyed Mr Cooper-Balls about 12 years late when he says that he fears the rise of Fascism? Surely the debasement of parliament, databases, thought police, untrammelled powers of arrest, extrajudicial murders, state expropriation of property from innocent people, oppressive surveillance of citizens, enforced identification papers, obsessive secrecy, paranoid political decision-making and military adventurism are already here, and Labour achieved it during a period of relative prosperity. What does he think they will do when there's a recession or (heaven forbid) another terrorist outrage to generate an excuse to further enslave us?
"I will not be lectured on the morality of Remuneration policies when using tax-payers money, by a Government which still contains Jacqui Smith. If there is a problem with a bonus culture, and the jury remains out on whether this contributed to the crisis in any meaningful way, it pales into insignificance next to the sense of entitlement shown by our elected representatives when snouting at the trough"
Today the bankers who, according the the media narrative are "to blame" for the crisis, are going to the commons in order to eat humble pie in front of the Politicians of the Treasury Select Committee, on live television.
Who is to blame for the banking crisis? The bankers for sure. Fred the Shred was certainly reckless in so stretching RBS's balance sheet to buy ABN Amro in 2007 - I remember thinking the deal was 'exciting', which is bull-market speak for 'risky'. Likewise, anyone running a low-quality mortgage book insufficiently backed by capital, like Dennis Stevenson was at HBOS, is also culpable.
But if they're reckless, so too are the politicians who created the regulatory regime which ensured that boxes were ticked by advisors during the sales process, but which failed to keep an eye on their Bank's capital adequacy, which is surely the main function. Removing oversight of the banks capital adequacy from the Old Lady was a catastrophic mistake. But it's not just the legislation: What about political pressure to encourage "access" to credit, which applauded "innovative" products which allowed poor people to "get on the housing ladder"; surely didn't that have something to do with "irresponsible lending"? True, we did not go as far as the 1977 Community reinvestment act and the extensions to it under Clinton and Bush, but the FSA allowed lending backed by assets created under it...
The politicians are compounding their errors: in order to get out of this crisis, the banks have to rebuild their balance sheets, and that means curtailing lending to all but the best credit risks. To demand lending at 2007 levels, as ignorant politicians are currently doing, is also surely reckless?
What is going on is that politicains, as a class, have found a people in bankers who are even less popular than they are, onto whom all the people's righteous anger and indignation can be loaded. The Labour members, for whom 'bankers' and 'tories' are synonymous, are doubly gleeful. The people, some of whom realise that they too were reckless in taking loans they were going to struggle to repay, are deligted to be able to blame someone else too.
The sturctural failures of the banking system and the regulatory environment will be ignored in a petty, spiteful and envious squabble over bonuses, most of which will be going not to "spivs" or "fat-cats" many of whom have already forgone theirs, but the ordinary employees of the banks, who bear little blame for the crisis, and should not be punished.
The truth is that today's performace in the committee room is nothing more than political theatre where scapegoats are dragged through the streets in sack-cloth and ashes to have rotten fruit thrown at them by the mob, in order to do penitence for all of us. I hope they have the spine to stand up for themselves and speak some truth to power.
They won't of course.
Monday, 9 February 2009
Just spoken to one of my work colleagues who is back from Dubai. He lived there for about 4 years so I think he knows of which he speaks. Basically he says the place is buggered – not to put too fine a point on it. The expats are leaving in droves, abandoning their Ferraris and Porsches at the airport car park with the keys left in the ignition. The reason they are doing this is twofold, the economy is screwed and they’ve lost their jobs. And secondly if they can’t make their car payments they get thrown in jail, so they’re doing the sensible thing and notifying the bank once they’re in German airspace and past the Point of No Return. Furthermore, the leader of the place, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum hasn’t been seen for a month apparently. People are speculating what has happened to him, since the papers are all run by the government nobody believes them when they say he is peachy.
The Dubai sovereign funds bought anything the west was willing to sell them. Unfortunately they bought at the top of the market. This is mostly due to the Arab “pissing contest” mentality of owning something shinier and more flash than your neighbour. So they piled into the banks, the ports and the airlines, as well as the more obvious Luxury goods. Now the companies they as Sovereign funds bought are not doing too well, and as their investments were highly geared the managers of the funds are now under house arrest. Dubai also owes lots of money to its fellow UAE neighbour Abu Dhabi – the one with the oil. Previously Abu Dhabi wouldn’t let Dubai collapse as the entire UAE is one big quarrel with borders. They let one Emirate fail, then the lot go running to their gold leaf houses for their bejewelled Swarovski crystal and titanium limited edition AK-47s with mother of pearl trigger guard– and all before the sun sets on the same day. Now however with West Texas Crude at $40 a barrel and a bunch of sovereign funds of their own that spent money they didn’t have on stuff that looked good, they will probably not be as generous with their neighbours.
Obviously this matters. I’m not saying that they are Iceland with sand, but their shopping spree was of a similar vein – buying lots of luxury stuff that looks good on the letterhead that you can’t shift during a recession. Now we can laugh at the fact that the Arabs won’t be buying as many matching gold khazis and bidet sets to sit on (tragic loss to the interior design world) but the UAE is our hope for the future. The world needs an educated and rich Arab nation (despite their dreadful Nouveau Riche taste in furniture and fittings): they are an example to all in the region that if you drop the guns and the Semtex vests, you can actually have a pretty good life.
51 all out.
The last time the England 'Cricket' 'team' were skittled out for such a low total was 1994. Back then, Ather's boys were facing arguably the greatest fast bowling attack ever in Ambrose (from whom I have received a few overs in the nets as a schoolboy, and it ranks amongst the most terrifying experiences of my life) and Walsh. England's 46 all out in 1994 was pathetic even against two giants (physically and talent) of the game. This year's 51 is just laughable, or would be if it wasn't so deeply pathetic.
This time, I turned over in disgust to the Rugby (which was little better) once England reached 47 for 7. They scored just 4 more whilst I was watching another sub-par England team in another sport. This time they did not have the excuse that the England teams of '94 and 1887 had - that of a great attack and uncovered wickets respectively. Jerome Taylor may yet develop into a great bowler, but it was simple line and length which did for England, who surrenderd meekly. This time the excuse was that there is too much infighting in the team and players are focussing on 'ishoos' rather than stopping the ball hitting the stumps. That is they were not concentrating. The West Indies cricket team is broke, thanks to criminal negligence by the world-wide administrators of the game, yet they managed to pull together.
England are paid by the ECB as centrally contracted players. The least they can do is forget everything for the two or three minutes (if they are lucky) they are actually at the crease, and think instead about hitting the fucking ball, and that goes for Pietersen and Flintoff too. Squandering talent on petty squabbles is a greater crime than lack of it. Useless, useless, embarassing bastards.
The French have shipped over the old Carrier Le Clemenceau to Hartlepool to be broken up. This I guess is payback for the day when the dim-witted folk of this town hanged a monkey during the Napoleonic wars. They suspected it was a French Spy. The simple fact is that the pet monkey in question was dressed in Full French uniform, and therefore unlikely to blend into the English population even had the poor ship-wrecked and half drowned creature in question NOT BEEN A BLOODY MONKEY. To compound their well known reputation for idiocy they then elected Lord Mandelson of Rio to represent them. It seems that the strong tradition of this being a town full of retards is going great guns as, during a major recession they want to refuse a piece of work that will employ them for a long period of time.
Granted, the ship has toxic materials on board, but that’s why they need a highly skilled ship breaker and a huge dry dock to do the job. You have that facility in Hartlepool, and even the eco-weenies say that the company will do a good job. The letter Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace sent the ship breaker – Able UK - is as close as it gets to praise for industry not involved in the manufacture of “Dream Catchers” from an environmental organisation. And the 200 jobs being created aren’t a temporary thing. The sea is full of hundreds of single hulled VLCC and ULCC ships at the end of their lifespan that could be broken up here in the UK – or they could be torn apart by children in Bangladesh. We have gas masks and great big vacuum cleaners to suck up the asbestos fibres, the Bangladeshi 9 year old with a lump hammer has a handkerchief- maybe. Where would you rather the specialist jobs go Hartlepool?
On a related matter, this Toxic carrier has been shipped – pun intended – from port to port. I don’t understand why the French didn’t save themselves a few bob by arranging a Rainbow Warrior accident to befall the ship. As soon as it crossed the first continental shelf it came across the Vichy could have arranged for a great big hole to be instantly created in the bottom of it. After all, most of the French Navy is underwater anyway – we put them there – so one more French Ship confined to Davy Jones' is hardly going to affect French Naval Morale.
Friday, 6 February 2009
Jeremy Clarkson has called Gordon Brown a “One-eyed Scottish Idiot”. Let “A Very British Dude” analyse the controversial aspects of this statement in detail…
Rumours of this affliction that has affected the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP have been voiced by a Mr G. Clarkson Esq. of Chipping Norton. I would wish to argue the Philosophical merits of this point in order to discover their veracity.
Obviously this statement can mean one of three different things. The first is a physical affliction meaning the loss of an eye or retinal detachment. The second.- One Eyed - being blind to ones own faults yet seeing all the faults of others could be another very rational explanation. I have ruled out the third possibility “one eyed” trouser snake AKA Cock as calling Rt Hon G Brown MP. a Cock would be redundant, and as Jeremy Clarkson is a journalist I would expect that his professional training would be above the stating of such an obvious truth.
The loss of one eye is a fairly easy point to prove as Gordon Lost the sight of one eye in a Rugby Injury. And as he hasn’t yet started to wear an eye patch to try and tap into the popularity of the Disney motion picture “Pirates of the Caribbean” we can assume this is a genuine injury. This is down to Gall’s Law of Inverse Political statement which says “The quieter a politician wants to keep something, the more likely it is to be true”. Regarding the second possibility – that the Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP is “One Eyed” to his own faults in relation to others we can refer ourselves to Prime Ministers Question Time when the Prime Minister stuck his fingers in his ears and yelled “La La La , Not Listening, Not telling” when asked a question from the Rt Hon David Cameron MP on the following occasions… 5th Feb 2009, 29th Jan 2009, 22nd Jan 2009, 15th Jan 2009, Parliamentary recess, 11th Dec 2008 , 4th Dec 2008, 27th Nov 2008, 20th Nov 2008, 13th Nov 2008, 6th Nov 2008 etc etc.
Rumours of this affliction that have affected Gordon Brown have been voiced by a Mr G. Clarkson of Chipping Norton. I would wish to argue the Philosophical merits of this point in order to discover their veracity.
We can of course ask ourselves the existential question – what is the meaning of being Scottish. Is it a state of mind, such as Professor Mel Gibson and his romanticised yet highly inaccurate picture of Scottish History running through his mind despite his Antipodeans’ Background. Is it a physical longing for the Lochs, Peat, Heather and Deep Fried Mars Bars that transcends all medical explanation and manifests itself in a physical pain when separated from this mythical homeland? Or is it a retired actor living in the Bahamas doing a Party Political for the SNP. I believe it was Jean Paul Sartre who said “Home is an overflowing ashtray of Gauloises”, does the fact that Gordon Brown is a miserable Presbyterian joy vortex who doesn’t smoke preclude him from having any home whatsoever?
In the end I go to the Merriam Webster dictionary for the definition of nationality
1) a native land or Fatherland.
2)a state or area set aside to be a state for a people of a particular national, cultural, or racial origin.
We can assume that Gordon Brown isn’t a “Pod Person” from another planet. Whilst the lack of Charisma and emotionless replica made popular by the film “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” bears a strong resemblance to Gordon; we can rule this eventuality out. It is logically impossible that an alien species who were able to develop faster than light travel would replace a human being with somebody so incompetent he would draw attention to their planned takeover of planet earth. Therefore we can conclude that IF Gordon Brown has a father who is Scottish and was born on that piece of Land we can prove the veracity of the Second Part of the controversial Clarkson statement. Wikipedia states that Gordon Brown was born in Govan, Glasgow, Scotland and his father was a minister in the Church of Scotland. As being a minister requires you to be understood and understand by your congregation, we can conclude that the Father must have been a native of Scotland in order to decipher and communicate in the strange tongue known as Glaswegian.
As you can see I have only answered the controversial parts of the Statement “One Eyed Scottish Idiot”.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
The Sri Lankan government has stuck two fingers up to the international community over their calls for a ceasefire just as they are on the verge of victory. Quite how an army that tips up to battle huddled under an umbrella wins a war is a mystery, but nevertheless they have the Tamil Tigers all but defeated. On one side you have the national government who have treated the Hindu and Christian Tamils like crap ever since independence. The majority Sinhalese banned the Tamils language, massacred them and took the citizenship from a huge swathe of the Tamil population. This is because the Sinhalese had a post-colonial hissy fit over the fact that the Tamils spoke English and had the best jobs. And the Sri Lankan governments commitment to the accurate delivery of munitions is something that would shock Hamas so much they would immediately issue a press release congratulating the Israeli Defence Force for their restraint.
On the other hand you have the Tamils themselves who have literally managed to piss pretty much everybody off from whole religions to First Choice Holidays. Their “Blowing yourself up – 101” courses were run by the PLO, which annoyed the Americans. They then annoyed the Muslims who trained them by expelling and massacring Muslim Tamils in their AO. They managed to annoy the Indians who were air dropping food to them whilst they were attacked by the Sri Lankan government (and sending them weapons) by encouraging Indian Tamils to declare Independence. They upset the otherwise placid Scandinavians by walking out of their Peace talks all the time. They pissed the Western Governments off by being Virulently Marxist, and with their tactics of shooting people waving white flags even managed to offend the sympathies of Western Leftists who would normally be expected to swoon at English speaking non-white Communists carrying out massacres.
I think we can agree that both sides are not exactly pleasant in this conflict. But quite frankly the “International Community” calling for ceasefires at this point is both stupid (as if the winning side is going to listen) and dangerous. Wars are fought for the win, allowing a no-score draw merely perpetuates the hatred and bloodshed for future generations. Usually in a war one side wins, it stamps up and down on the heads of the losers for a year or so* and then a status quo is reached. When the “International Community” stops the bout before one side is allowed to finish the job you end up with North Vs South Korea, Israel V Palestine, Iraq V the West, O J Simpson Vs the American Legal system. You get Round II, followed by Rounds III, IV and V. What should of course happen during a war is that Bomber Harris pays a visit, the losing leaders all get shot; and then you concentrate on selling high performance but dull executive saloons to the winners.
*Of course if the victory is seen to be too unfair on the looser it usually sparks round two.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
There’s been lots of carping about the fact that the transport in London ground to a halt yesterday. Can I just state that I’m not one of them. I had a very enjoyable day making anatomically correct snowmen on the Heath, and generally messing about throwing snowballs at my girlfriend. She’s from Dorset – bless - and as such hasn’t seen snow except during her bi-annual “It’s a Wonderful Life” Christmas film viewing. I’m from God’s County, where the snow had to reach the PE teachers gonads before they cancelled Cross Country running. They only shut the school when it reached the first floor window sills.
Back to the point. This “Weather Event” happens once every twenty years people! Yes it’s embarrassing that the Swedes laugh at you, but their only contribution to the world comes out of a flat pack box. I’m proud that our nation is unprepared; I revel in our lack of planning. Don’t you realise this means that councils throughout the country have yet to hire a “Snow and Slush Co-ordinator”? It’s one less State pay check that is coming out off my pocket. One fewer useless piece of government junk that is only used every Halley’s Comet passing. One fewer item bought after a closed bidding process - won co-incidentally by the bloke that happened to give money to the Councillors re-election and Royal Ascot week hospitality fund.
Just for once in this nanny state driven world you get to choose whether you go outside without the government deciding for you. You get to stick two fingers up at their weather warnings and make your own choice. You have to rely on your own brains to remember where you buried those snow chains you bought from the special offer bin off Halfords ten years ago. You get to take your skis last used two weeks after you were inspired by Sarajevo 84 and go down a hill without insurance or a helmet. You get to savour the mental reward as you wiz past the Tofu powered Toyota Prius in your Range Rover, and all because YOU made the conscious decision not to go for the easy lay with women who had “Nuclear Power, No thanks” badges at University. Enjoy this time, treasure it; because the Health Nazis will be back with their gritted roads and “Danger Ice” signs by the end of the week.
William Hague has said that it would be a good idea if the British Commonwealth be expanded to include more nations. I agree in so much that we need a large multi-national government body that hasn’t been corrupted by the venality that is the UN. Anybody who knows anything about this loathsome collection of dictators, gobshites, religious whack jobs and criminals knows this… The day of the UN being of use for anything other than delivering vaccines ended the day North Korea walked across the 38th Parallel sometime in the 1950’s. It would be great if there was a replacement democrats club of countries that were willing to risk blood and treasure in the growth of democracy. It would be even more ideal if that same club excluded those who are the protectors of dictators if there’s a Euro to be made in the bargain- France, Germany etc.
Unfortunately Mr Hague has ignored the fact that they have to have been colonised by Great Britain. Now the British Empire covered a quarter of the world’s surface at one time or another, we kept the best bits and if it wasn’t nice we simply gave it back. We weren’t like the Greeks - who kept going until Bucephalus was only fit for the glue factory, and then went back home. We were methodical. The best bits of the British Empire gained independence once the requisite number of Airports and Golf Courses had been built; and grew into useful places like Australia, India and America. The shit we threw away ended up as a member of the Non-Aligned movement, run by a succession of chaps in Military Uniforms with a suspiciously large amount of Gold Braid on the lapels.
With the exception of the Americans, the Commonwealth has all the democrats it needs and a few dictators it doesn’t need. And the Yanks won’t join as they have the rather quaint, strange and outdated notion that a Politician (you’re not going to believe this!) makes a better choice for being head of state than it being left to the pure chance of Prince Philip’s testicles. At least with Phil’s Balls you stand a 99.999% chance of the child in question choosing not to be a Politician. The Child is therefore infinitely more likely to be a more decent and honourable person and Q.E.D. a better Head of State. Anyhow, the Americans don't understand this so they can't join.
As the British have vanquished nations across the globe you could fiddle the rules and say that they simply had to have a British Army stationed on them at some point. This would bring in nice countries like Denmark (the Parachute Regiment liberated the Carlsberg Brewery and the rest of the nation as well in 1945) and Norway whose troops don’t lack cojones; strategically unimportant nations like the Faroe Islands; and the odd rock with a nice beach in the Caribbean. Unfortunately it would also allow membership to include Germany and France who have enjoyed regular British troop movements across their territory. If we decided that membership would be open to only those that play Cricket or Rugby - in come the Dutch and Americans – out goes Singapore and Malta. Polo and in come the Argentineans whining about the Falklands and pinching the arse of every girl within reach, out goes all of Africa bar the Yarpies. A membership on strict Tea and/or Pink Gin drinking criteria gets the Canadians out and nobody of use in.
Bill, as a fellow Yorkshireman; I’m shocked and appalled you haven’t thought this one through a bit more.