12th February 2011
MUSHARRAF IN A BIT OF BOTHER
I am somewhat surprised that an arrest warrant has been issued for former President Musharraf, wanted for questioning into the assassination of former President Benazir Bhutto. Who knows whether there is any substance to this, but the hand of the present regime is in play here, as it will neuter him in his aim to return to Pakistan and stand for the Presidency again. At least that has been his objective as stated on Facebook, for example, although I think he was flying but a kite. There will be many more fundamental changes taking place in Pakistan which will offer no place for people like Musharraf tainted as he is with the past.
TURMOIL IN THE ARAB WORLD
So all the excitement about events in Egypt is subsiding somewhat. But their troubles have only just begun. What happens in the next week or two is paramount. The void that exists needs to be filled rapidly. Will the army announce a definite return to true democratic elections? If so, will this be accepted by the people in Egypt or will they not accept military rule, even if in the short term?
Mubarak has proved very useful to the USA and other western allies all these years, there’s nothing wrong with the USA supporting such dictators, it is an old established policy and one that overall has worked. The USA has so far astutely switched its support to the other side. Which side however? It is not yet clear who will stand for parliament or who is the favourite to win. The Muslim Brotherhood have also cleverly kept an incredibly low profile. They knew full well had they not it would have been a good reason for Mubarak to resist demands for him to step down and tip the allegiance of the army his way, although the allegiance of the conscripts in my view was ever doubtful.
I have no doubt that security services in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Algeria, Jordan, Libya and elsewhere are working overtime to suppress any potential revolt via copycat protests. They will be assisted, as in the case of Saudi Arabia, by the USA in this. They will not all succeed, but it begs the question whether this is in the West’s interests. It’s all very nice saying we should like other peoples to share in the democracy we enjoy (although it is arguable that we in fact know democracy in this country), but are our interests served?
I do believe this will be a godsend to Islamic fundamentalists. I mean, will they be excluded from elections? I doubt it very much. This will make the Middle East a more dangerous place, not as some would have us believe a safer one. Then there is Israel, who also sensible been very quiet, but I suspect latent hatred of the Jewish state is in existence in Egypt. That is precisely why Mubarak fulfilled a useful function.
As for Mubarak himself, he overstayed his welcome and should have realised this; but then such autocratic rulers rarely do. Had he nipped the revolt in the bud in its earliest stages, by force, things may possibly have turned out otherwise, but then I suspect have only been deferred. Then there is the fact he was grooming his son to take over from him. This was foolish, but inevitable. As to the money he has stolen from the country, there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this is a significant amount, courtesy in part to the US tax payer.
FREE VOTE IN PARLIAMENT
What a good idea to let parliament have a free vote on an issue that flies in the face of EU law. But what a silly issue with which to do this. Votes for prisoners? I cannot think of any issue that is such an irrelevance. How about a free vote on the EU itself, or immigration, or…. much else. Of course that won’t happen. This hapless Government!
I am not surprised that EMI is no longer, at least not as we knew it, a sound, creative British company. I do blame Guy Hands full and square. I said at the time he had paid too much for the company and, as it turned out, knew nothing about running such a business, a view shared by many in the company. I had a couple of friends in very senior positions there, both were sadly made redundant some time ago. That’s a shame as they were experienced people. Whether Hands was hoodwinked by Citibank or not is another question. Let us see what the courts have to say on the matter.
ON LINE CONFESSIONS
This can become a hackers heaven! Imagine you have access to confessions of those rather foolish people who post their ‘sins’ on-line! OK, it’s a wheeze for the Catholic Church in that they charge a small fee, but hey, this country is full of gullible sinners so the money raked in should be substantial. I wonder whether Tony Blair will use the site. I mean, he’s trotting around the world much of the time, in places where there will be no confessor. Perhaps we will get at the truth about Iraq, or is he in denial even before his God? The site is no good to me of course. First I am not a Catholic and second I don’t sin!
24th January 2011
I really don’t need Peter Sissons to tell me the BBC has a left wing bias. Why is he only coming out with such a statement now? It has been the case for 15 years and more. Then we had Sir David Attenborough telling us the organisation has become too large, it needs to be scaled down; how right he is, but again, why only now? Is it because we no oonger have a Labour government protecting the Beeb’s interests?
Both BBC television and BBC Radio have a left wing bias, particularly BBC Radio. This has been encouraged by Controllers of the various stations, BBC 1, 2, 4 and 5, especially the latter. But the main culprits are the producers of the various programs on offer. They have too great a freedom of programming, not enough control having been exercised by those at the top. These people patently have their own political agenda to exercise, and that quite simply should not be allowed with a public broadcaster financed by the public purse.
It has been the drip drip propaganda that has been so insidious. I have no wish to hear day in day out about minorities such as Hindis, Muslims, or the plight of Palestinians and many in Africa, nor do I wish to hear the insufferable whining whingeing reports about single mothers, gays, lesbians and any number of other minorities. There are channels and stations that cater for these. I am interested in hearing about the very same in small doses, for sure, but that’s as far as it goes.
The buck of course stops with Mark Thompson Director General of the BBC. But what does he do when we have a change of government? He crawled to No 10 Downing Street with proposals for down-sizing the BBC. I doubt that would have happened had there not been a change of government. And as for the BBC’s online presence, it is ridiculous, a farce. I was on line last year looking for information on a particular aspect of legal history and lo and behold what do I find, the BBC have something to say about it. That is totally beyond their remit. The article could have been written by any A level student, OK it could have been 15 years ago, but there are any number of sites that offer better information, even Wikipedia. This is an utter misuse of public funds.
I should like the BBC to lose its charter. Then by all means re-establish it along much slimmed down lines. BBC Enterprises should be privatized. This government won’t of course go down that route. Instead I hear talk of license fees being reduced. That’s a good second best. And as for the silly salaries paid to staff and stars…. let them go without. There is enough new talent out there if only they have the wit to spot it.
I read on Amazon that Ray Dorset’s book is not yet published. It will shortly be a year behind schedule. I guess it is a matter of getting in enough advance orders to warrant publication. I cancelled mine some time ago, so that’s it, it will never see the light of day.
As for his dispute with Eliot Cohen, that is going nowhere from what I can read on his website. The video criticizing Cohen, so very thinly disguised, was pulled and substituted. I am given to understand that it was deemed to be anti-semitic. I am further given to understand that there are many Jews in the music business and …..
I also found another video on U-Tube, done by another purported creditor of Cohen. I must say I found it rather tacky and all I would say is ‘those in glass houses….’
SEXIST FOOTBALL JIBES
One hears that the two reporters may face the sack from SKY TV. How ridiculous! I don’t personally agree with their comments, but similar sexist jokes or comments are the order of the day on most playing fields, at games, in pubs, clubs etc etc. Why all the fuss for God’s sake? Who has been offended apart from a handful of political correct activists? And what about women? Listen in on girls talking, which I do occasionally, and you will hear sexist comments directed at men. Do we care? Of course we don’t. Their only mistake was that they were recorded, and for that they should get a sound bollocking along the lines of ‘take more care next time not to be recorded’.
I wonder what the final cost for the 1012 Olympics will be, being already ridiculously over budget. Tony Blair has a lot to answer for initially setting the cost of holding the Olympics too low, solely in order to make that aspect of the games more palatable to the British public.
20th January 2011
BLAIR NOT NAILED
I was looking forward to hearing what Tony Blair had to say when interviewed for the second time by the Chilcot committee; but as ever he managed to keep a cool head. The problem was that no pertinent questions were asked of him. Those on the committee simply have not the competence to carry out their task. It has been said that one or more barristers should have been appointed to the committee – and so they should. I should have loved to have seen Michael Mansfield on this committee. Blair, who was handed to them on a plate, given the recent revelations by Jack Straw, Lord Goldsmith and others, and most importantly the ‘private’ correspondence from Blair to Bush (which the committee members have seen, but which is not being made public) escaped lightly. In fact he sounded decidedly nervous on occasions, and they should have honed in on him with some ruthless questions; they did not. I fear this is another whitewash, as of course was the toothless Butler enquiry, of which Sir John Chilcot was a member. It should also be remembered that those on the committee were appointed by Gordon Brown and that initially the enquiry was to be held in camera. One could have hoped that Brown would have loved to get even with Tony Blair, but he blew it, perhaps with the reputation of the Labour Party in mind and indeed under pressure from others within the Labour movement.
A LOAD OF BALLS
So an economic illiterate has been replaced by an economic semi-literate! Ed Balls is Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. He was destined for this job from day one. And yet the man is an animal, the kind of man who gives failures a bad name. A Tory spokesman quite rightly said that Gordon Brown and he were responsible for our economic disaster, but they will not be able to make that point stick. Yet he will make poor little Georgie’s life hell I fear.
WHO IS THIS MAN?
Many of our daily newspaper enjoy playing this game, so I thought I would give it a go. Who is this man in….perhaps 10 or 15 years time? It is of course our beloved Fuehrer David Cameron. I fear the good life, the good food and wine, are taking their toll, and the hair line is receding, indeed has been doing so for some years. You saw it here first.
GOOGLE LIVE SEARCH
The new Google Live Search has much to be said for it. It is a lot faster and its predictive qualities are good. If there is one downside it is that when typing in my search term the screen flashes continuously moving from one possible hit to another, which is somewhat irritating. Actually, live search is nothing new. If you follow this link you will find an outfit that got there first, but who’s heard of them.
He has done the descent thing, he has married his partner, the daughter of a good friend of mine. Someone ought to tell their child that it can come out now; it, for they don’t know its sex, has stubbornly refused to do so, being now 10 days overdue. Coooy!!
MINIMUM ALCOHOL PRICE
This is nonsense. It will not to any significant degree reduce alcohol abuse. It also begs the question who is getting the money raised. I am not clear on this. Will the Government via a hike in the duty paid, or will the retailer/manufacturer? It has to be the Government surely and how then will the money be applied? It would be wishful thinking to believe it would be used to treat those affected by alcoholism and its side effects; no, it is more likely to go into the general revenue pot.
I read recently that Gamu signed a record deal. That does not interest me in the slightest. What does interest me is that given she came here illegally, why has she not been deported?
SOUND OF DRILLS
Apparently the sound of the dentist’s drill can now be neutralised, or cancelled out, by digitalising the sound from the drill and creating an inverted sound wave to cancel out the original sound. That is brilliant news for some people, who have an irrational fear of dental treatment. But why not apply the principle to sound proofing generally. Can not the noise coming from pubs, clubs, bars etc be neutralised? There has to be a way surely. Of course, the sounds may be neutralised, but the sound waves are still there, and if too loud will still cause damage to one’s hearing.
IT’S A BIG ISSUE
Over the past year or so Big Issue sellers have appeared on the high street of the market town where I live. I have nothing against Big Issue sellers, indeed I wish them well. I have my regulars in London from whom I often buy a copy. However, the ones here are to my knowledge from East Europe, I suspect Romania or Bulgaria. It has come to something when even the job of selling the Big Issue is taken over by foreigners. A cursory search on the internet will reveal that gangs from both countries are trying to take over this market in the UK. Many major cities in the UK have clamped down on their activities, but not here of course. Sitting outside the cafe I regularly frequent I often hear nothing but the bleating of ‘Big Issue’… etc – ad nauseam. I don’t want to be disturbed in this way, nor do the majority of customers.
Andy Coulson’s resignation comes as no surprise to me. It has been inevitable from the start, as I wrote some months ago. I await further revelations. Ed Milliband calls David Cameron’s lack of judgement into question; he is quite right to do so.
As to whether Coulson knew what was happening at the News of the World? I cannot believe he did not. To phone tap if you want dirt on celebrities, and salacious disclosures are what sell the News of the World, was and is the logical thing to do, if you want a ground-breaking news story. In the same way it is the logical thing to do to bug their emails. Much worse goes on in the name of journalism. Can any of this be condoned simply because it is a logical thing to do? Of course not.
6th January 2011
A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
At last – something positive to come out of Benito Coglioni’s Italy! Plastic carrier bags are to be banned there, to be replaced with biodegradable ones. These have of course been around for well over a decade, and should have been introduced in the rest of Europe some considerable time ago. They cost at present a little more to produce, but no matter. Some retailers already charge for bags in this country; in Germany it is, and has been common place for many years to charge 10 cents typically per bag at the supermarket counter. But how much better to charge for biodegradable bags which will certainly have a positive effect on our environment.
This was announced not long ago, and what a silly piece of PR it is, every bit as daft as the concept of a ‘Big Society’. Who dreams up this nonsense in the Tory party? Which Tory think tank is responsible? Actually, a Tory Think Tank? That is an oxymoron.
They are all now looking for exits from Afghanistan, the military and politicians alike. It’s a bit late I suggest. To win battles has not proven to be difficult, given the overwhelming fire-power the Allies have, but to win the war was never a possibility, at least not with the strategies and tactics adopted, devoid of any political adjuncts. Once again it is the USA that is at the root of this problem. Ever since the end of WWII it has been the naivety of the USA in its foreign policy that has shaped the world’s misfortunes. However, this whole fiasco was aided, abetted and fuelled by Tony Blair, whom I should like to see arraigned before Parliament for his crimes against the British people. It is, of course, not going to happen. Perhaps terrorists may yet get to him first. That would be a just solution. He knows that well and that is why he is at all times heavily guarded.
PRISON RIOTS WELCOME
Those who are unhappy with Ken Clarke’s stance on prison reform will be delighted at the riot that has just taken pace at Ford open prison. It will give them much ammunition to spike his guns for prison reform. Ford prison does not sound too bad either. Women smuggled in, booze, drugs…. your own room, TV, the internet… three square meals a day… and it’s free! Having said that, I will forgo the pleasure.
So Arnie is out of office. For once – He won’t be back! Thank God for that. How Californians could ever elect an Austrian body builder cum actor as their Governor is beyond me. Well, perhaps not, they are Californians after all. I don’t think Austrians should be elected for high office anywhere other than in Austria. Their track record is not good.
A NEW MODERN TORY PARTY
We were promised much by David Cameron in the run-up to the last election, a new modern Tory party, a kind, caring Tory party, yet one that would initiate radical reform. We are back, however, to the bad old days under Blair. There is no radical thinking, just tinkering with old, discredited policies. Of course, on the one hand a coalition government does constrict ones action and flexibility, but it has in essence done more than that; it has neutered this government. In the name of compromise nothing is being achieved, indecision rules.
I very much welcomed the idea of a new modernized Tory party, so much heralded by Cameron and his cronies. After almost 8 months of being in power, this government has flown many kites, which have all been blown away by the wind of craven cowardice, inaction and opportunism; government by sound byte abounds. Here Cameron is truly Blair’s heir. There has been much tinkering on the borders of policy making, but the most essential, fundamental issues have not been and are unlikely to be addressed. As much as I have written about this before it needs to be restated.
There are a number of policy issues that are central and most important to the electorate. They are the Health Service, Housing, Europe, Security and Immigration. It is the last named that is central and pivotal to any of the other concerns.
There is no immigration policy. There has not been one since John Major’s day, when the rot set in. Arguably there was not one before that, as there was no great need for one. Under successive Labour administrations immigration into this country increased unremittingly. I even recall a junior Labour minister stating publicly that we need 1 million immigrants a year over 10 years to this country. I cannot recall her name, but it is on record. Much is made of net immigration. This is facile. Those people who left the UK to emigrate to countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Europe and elsewhere, did not for the most part do it willingly. They were hounded out of this country, they fled the country, they fled a Britain being reconstructed by Labour on ideological grounds, a kind of ideological cleansing. They were to an extent people this country could ill afford to lose. They were not solely retired folk looking to enjoy the sunny Costa del Sol; no, many were skilled people this country could ill afford to lose.
I wish to see a radical, yet caring approach to immigration, caring as far as both parties, the people of this country, as also the immigrants, are concerned. Those who came to this country since 1995 should be placed under scrutiny. For me the cut-off date is 1995, but it might just as well be earlier. Many who came to this country in the 50s, 60s and 70s have contributed greatly to this country. Yet the new immigrants are first and foremost to a significant degree here illegally. Not only that, but they have not, and this is the crux of the matter, assimilated themselves in to our culture. The country is full of ghettoes, London epitomizing this. What happens in London first, as ever over the centuries, permeates through to other cities and towns eventually. These are ghettoes in many instances where English people are not even made welcome. This cannot be permitted to continue. What have these people to seek here? Nothing. What value are they to this country? Of little or none.
The fact is that too many of our schools now have a majority of pupils who speak any number of languages, few English. I am fed up seeing Government leaflets written in a diversity of languages. I find it quite offensive to hear that social service departments employ interpreters in any number of languages. I was myself once asked whether I would be available as one such. Needless to say I will not give you my response to that request.
Illegal immigrants must be considered for repatriation. The majority should then, when it has been demonstrated that they came into this country illegally, which is not difficult to do, be repatriated, without any appeal whatsoever. If they have settled here, had children here, bought a house here – no matter. They should not suffer financial loss for any property bought, indeed this should be reimbursed at market or historical value, whichever is the greater.
I have no doubt whatsoever that eventually there will be strive between these modern day colonists and the indigenous British population. The longer it is left to fester, the more likely that it will end in terrible bloodshed. I well remember Enoch Powell given is ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. I was shocked at the time; I found it unbelievable. And yet in many respects he was right. It is a caring approach therefore to send them back at the earliest opportunity. Better they are top of the pile in their own countries of origin than bottom of the pile here. Will there be international outrage? Of course there will – initially. But a number of European countries will follow suit. Will their countries of origin refuse to accept them? Some will no doubt, but they will eventually knuckle down and accept the status quo. For those that do not initially, migrants can be shipped to other African or Middle Eastern destinations where we yet have influence. That is to say, we control parts of Afghanistan and Iraq, for example.
What are the benefits for this country in enforcing laws relating to immigration. For a start there will be less of a need to build new housing. Several hundred thousand properties will be freed, both rented and freehold, especially social housing where British people have lost out time and time again to freshly arrived immigrants and their families, let no one tell you otherwise.
Many school places will be made available, especially in primary schools where we are now told there is a great shortfall. Why? By the admittance of most councils because of children of immigrants, who incidentally have a significantly higher birth rate.
We are also told we are an ageing population, we need immigrants with the right skills, usually with a minimum of skills, coming to this country, to do jobs British people do not wish to do. This nonsense has been spread around by Labour ever since they were elected. An ageing population we are, but to import labour is nothing but a short term measure. What all governments have failed to do is to make it financially worthwhile for families to have children. Furthermore, ageism has not been corrected in this country, it has been talked about for sure, but once again nothing has been done. To raise the retirement age for men to 70 is a necessary measure. For Heaven’s sake, most of us live a great deal longer than we did 60 years ago, and this has to be reflected in the age at which we retire. That apart there are many middle aged people who have much to offer our economy, indeed, more than far too many of the younger generation, relatively ill educated as they are. Again, one of Blair’s legacies.
Much has been made of the suggestion that the NHS will suffer, and other services because so many immigrants are employed in these. Perhaps in the short term there will have to be a readjustment, but only in the short term. We will not need as many doctors and nurses in the NHS, given that immigrants take up a disproportionate amount of NHS time. With a re-structuring of management within the NHS many British nurses and doctors may be persuaded to return to the NHS. Let us not forget that over the past three decades many left the NHS either to retire, go into private practise or work abroad. This has been well documented by reports from their various professional bodies.
Then of course there is security. We have been fighting wars in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and for what I ask. Yes, Sadam Hussein was an evil despot, but so what at the end of the day. It did not impact upon Britain. Real Politik must rule. There are many such people still in power in other countries around the world and nothing is or has been done to remove them. It was ill judged to go to war against Iraq. That more than anything else has fuelled terrorism worldwide, most of which is directed against the West.
Afghanistan was another matter. Given the attack on the twin towers I fully understand the reasons for taking action against the country. But it is of course Pakistan that is the problem, as I have been saying for some 8 years and more. But that is another matter. All I will say, once again, is that it is utter madness to let immigrants from Pakistan, India, Somalia, Sudan… the list is endless, come to this country, indeed encourage them to come here as has been done. We have sown the seeds for discontent and terrorism within our own ranks. Furthermore, to support them financially is for me highly offensive.
I should like to see our army deployed in Britain to rout out these elements and send them back to their own countries. The police are simply not up to the job, they have been totally emasculated by the Blair administrations.
Finally there is the matter of the Islamification of this country, something that must, and I am sure will ultimately eresisted at all costs. There is nothing more to say than that we are a secular Christian society, reflected in its culture. What Muslims get up to in their own countries should be of no concern to us.
Any accusation of racism in the foregoing must be immediately refuted. I abhor racism and loathe racists. Yet this accusation will be made by simple-minded libertarians who have no idea, no concept, no experience whatsoever of what is happening in this country. They need to enter the real world.
NEW YEARS HONOURS
It’s that time of the year again. The latest New Year’s Honours List was published, and it gets sillier by the year. The whole system has been debased. To be fair, it started to be debased many years ago, and arguably it always was corrupt. An MBE and OBE are really not worth accepting. Even a CBE is tainted and knighthoods and peerages of course are purchased, by donations to a political party or in kind. The only thing that can be said in favour of the lowest orders is that often potential recipients are put forward by members of the public, the highest orders being political appointments. The absolute nonsense of an MBE was brought home to me on the last occasion of honours being awarded. The Nigerian BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Dotun Adebayo was given one. The man is a complete idiot, as anyone who has listened to his show must surely have realised. He was given the MBE for his service to the arts. The arts? My God, I do believe the man can read, but for services to the arts?
I don’t see what all the fuss is about. The despot Laurent Gbagbo is doing what is en vogue nowadays. You hold an election, and if you lose, you ignore the result. The prime example of this was in Zimbabwe. We did nothing there, and set a precedent for such further action. Let them get on with it. Let the French resolve the problem. What, other than Cocoa, can they offer us. Gbagbo is playing the same game Mugabe played. I would not be surprised if Mugabe has not given him advice in this matter.
The dim-witted camp Jewish comedian is going to change the labour party, so he tells us. He already has. We have a comedy workshop filled by the talentless Labour front bench. As comedians they are very funny indeed, but as politicians they give failure a bad name. What Ed says is of absolutely no importance, but it is important that he continues to say a lot more of it.
RISE IN VAT
I do not see what the fuss is about. The increase is small and should not significantly increase expenditure for the average household. Price will of course be hiked up by producers, manufacturers and retailers et al by larger amounts than the actual VAT increase. That is another matter.
I only learned about Joseph Wright a couple of weeks ago. He was born in 1855 at Idle, near Bradford. To a large extent an autodidact he was born into a poor family, a dour, no drink, no card playing, no dancing and theatre going family. When as a young man he brought home a copy of Shaklespeare’s plays, his mother threw it into the street. He started work at the age of 6, leading a donkey cart from the nearby stone quarry with tools to the smithy for sharpening.
By the age of 15 he had taught himself to read. He then embarked on French, German and Latin at night school, as also mathematics and Pitman’s shorthand. In 1882 he passed the London University BA degree.
He subsequently published many works on grammar in a number of languages. His magnum opus was his Dialect Dictionary which preserved some wonderful gems such as ‘blubber-gudgeon’ a simpleton, or how about ‘codnopper’ a foolish fellow, or ‘Farrantly’, meaning good looking, handsome, good health. He is much to be admired.
(Feature article by Chris Sladen (Christ Church 1953) in Oxford Today, Trinity issue 2010 p21).