13th January 2015
The invective displayed by some Germans, especially those of the liberal elite, towards PEGIDA is amusing; it does not surprise me one iota. After all, one does not want to see ordinary people express their opinions, particularly if one disagrees with them, far from it. And yes, perhaps such dissidents should be arrested and imprisoned. However, there is not enough capacity in prisons for them, so wouldn’t it be a good idea to build camps in which to house them, pending trial for subversion at some undetermined time in the future of course. Haven’t they been there before?
MEDICINS SANS FRONTIERES
What a splendid job these people do, in all parts of the world, under the most dangerous and trying conditions. I have the greatest of admiration for them.
7th January 2015
THE PARIS KILLINGS
It is distressing to see what has happened here, my heart goes out to the relatives of those murdered. Such attacks cannot be prevented and we should prepare ourselves for more, not just in France. And yet the outpouring of grief has turned into mass hysteria in the social media, which I find quite appalling. ‘Je Sui Charlie’ slogans abound, and quite frankly I find these absurd, they won’t make a blind bit of difference. Charlie Hebdo was a satirical magazine of which few outside of France had ever heard of. Those within France would appear not to have given it much support either, as they were financially in difficulties. I await the next catastrophe into which the Bookfaces et al can sink their teeth into.
PRINCE ALI OF JORDAN
The Prince is indeed an unusual choice of a candidate to succeed Sepp Blatter. I think he was put up to it by the Blatter camp to act as a spoiler, to further split the anti vote; in fact, they welcome his challenge. I would like to see England, Scotland and Wales take a more active role in garnering support for countries to leave FIFA and only re-join once Blatter has gone. How such a corrupt regime has been allowed to continue for so long beggars belief.
I have always admired the Queen for carrying out her job, and that under very trying circumstances for much of the time. However, I have scant regard for most of the minor Royals. I have no respect for Prince Andrew, and await with interest where the various accusations levied at him will lead to. I have to say nothing would surprise me as far as he is concerned. At least Edward has had the sense to keep a low profile over many years.
This insidious organisation needs to lose its charter. It is something I have advocated for some considerable time. Its power is too great, its influence all too pervasive.
It is the individuals within the organisation, for the most part at senior and middle management, that set the agenda of the BBC, and far too many have their own agenda, ignoring the fact that the BBC should be considered a public broadcasting organisation that should report objectively.
If I had any doubts about why ALDI is doing so well in our market, these were dispelled after hearing an interview with a former joint chief executive of the group here the UK, Roman Heini. Here for the first time I heard precise and well articulated reasons why they are doing well. Heini is an astute operator who has an unparalleled knowledge of the UK retail market; eat your heart out Sir Terry Leahy. Well, he of course knew when it was advisable to quit Tesco in good time.
1st January 2015
THE TORY ELECTION POSTER
I find this an odd choice for an election poster. I realize where they got the image from; it’s from the video of the Talking Heads song ‘Road to Nowhere’. I understand David Cameron is going to re-record the song under the pseudonym Talking off his Head.
The Tories are doing their best to play the only card they have, namely that they are the only party that can be trusted with the economy. Nothing can be further from the truth, as the UK’s economy is not doing well, but they will pepper their election campaign with blatant lies to persuade the electorate that it is. They will have some success in this. Those poor, deluded people who have always voted Conservative for totally irrational reasons, many out of a sense of voting for their peer, or in most instances, their reference group, will no doubt continue to do so. Had I not a UKIP candidate standing in my constituency, I would still vote, but spoil my paper. I suggest that those who cannot bring themselves to vote for any of the parties do the same. At least it is a positive action that sends a message to our politicians.
I support UKIP – let me get that out of the way; they have my vote. That is not to say that I support them blindly and will not offer criticism where I think it is appropriate, and it is becoming ever more necessary to do so.
After UKIP’s success in the European elections, it was inevitable that their popularity would wane somewhat, after all, for many this was a protest vote. However, this has not been helped by UKIP’s main failing, and that is their lack of organisation and, quite frankly, leadership.
If the potential voter in the street were asked what the party’s policies are, they would not have a clue, as indeed I do not, other than they want to leave the EU and take a firm line on immigration. That is not good enough. Out of the two immigration is the more pressing and important issue, although it is argued, and quite rightly so, that control of immigration cannot be exercised whilst we are still members of the EU. Actually it can be, but no one has the stomach to flout EU laws, the more is the pity.
I recall sending a personal tweet to Nigel Farage some two years ago advising him that as far as the electorate is concerned, immigration is the main issue , and why was UKIP not making an issue of this. His reply was: ‘I thought we were.’
The party runs the risk of imploding quite frankly, if they do not get their act together. The ever increasing bad publicity surrounding UKIP candidates and existing councillors is highly damaging, and so unnecessary. One can gloss over it by saying that every party has its lunatic fringe, but that is not good enough.
I also believe they will, if they do not already do so, rue the day that Douglas Carswell was accepted into the party. His views are not those of the majority of UKIP voters, and I fear he may prove to be divisive. I believe he also regrets his decision to join UKIP.
UKIP is indeed a people’s party, drawing support from the entire political spectrum. It can, in my opinion, do very well in next year’s general election, yet it needs a cohesive strategy and control over its more flaky members.
The new phenomenon that is ISIS is arguably the most dangerous we have seen in the Middle East for a long time. No other radical organisation has made such headway in such a short space of time as they have. Now in control of significant swathes of Iraq and Syria their power shows little signs of abating.
Their tactical use of terror and brutality has proved to be successful, their enemies completely routed and intimidated. Yet such methods can only work in the short term, as history amply demonstrates. Ultimately the conquered populations will reject this, but we have not reached that stage.
It says a great deal about their opposition, particularly in Iraq, whose troops after all we were meant to have trained to defend their country. How hollow a promise that has been is self evident. Yet ISIS are not a professional army, in fact they are a rag bag of terrorists and others malcontents from many parts of the world. Arguably they are rank amateurs, but they have been led by former officers of the Iraqi army and others with military experience, and of course they have been very well equipped. Not only that, but they have captured so much equipment that they now present a credible force. Most importantly they have faith, a rather distorted version of the Islamic faith, on their side, and that lends them great strength, something we in the West have never understood.
They have to be constrained and defeated. I don’t believe that this is within the capabilities of the Iraqi armed forces, not for one moment, and any amount of training by US and UK forces being sent there is going to change that.
Without a doubt airstrikes by allied forces have done great damage to ISIS and no doubt will continue to do so. It is however only boots on the ground that can defeat them, nothing else. I am not keen to see our troops, or any from the West, again committed to what will be a long and bloody conflict, so by all means let us carry on a war by proxy. The much vaunted and debated entry of Iran or Turkey into the fray, at least in any meaningful terms, is fraught with difficulties. Both countries have their axes to grind, their own agendas, and they are poles apart in their ideological and religious thinking, the one Sunni, the other Shia.
We cannot stand idly by and see minorities, especially our own Christian minority, being decimated by these Kafurs. There already are Western mercenaries fighting in both Syria and Iraq; perhaps these can be encouraged and financed without the seal of approval from any government.