THE CUTTING EDGE
6th June 2014
It’s a while since I posted anything. As I have said before, fundamentally there is little to say that I didn’t say some 10, 15 20 years ago. But I will say that little.
He is posturing and promoting himself for a Conservative leadership contest in due course. I must say I don’t see him as leader. He has an even more boring voice than does David Cameron; also he is equally prone to talking drivel as he demonstrated well enough on a recent TODAY program on BBC Radio 4. Zero points pour le petit garcon.
UKIP – AND WHERE TO NOW ?
UKIP performed well in the European and local elections, as also in the Newark by-election. I am delighted, I support them unreservedly. And yet I ask myself where they go to now.
The coming year, until the next general election will be held, will be the most important period in this party’s history. Yes, they gained quite a momentum, and one cannot ignore them in the media, they are everywhere; but this will subside in the coming weeks.
Their stated aim is to concentrate their efforts, and limited financial resources, on those areas where they did well in the council elections. This is sound strategy. I personally believe they can do a lot better than most commentators suggest, more than they even believe in themselves. I can see them gaining a number of seats in next year’s general election, perhaps as many as 60, but that presupposes a number of things.
First their organisation is very poor, Oh, I know it has improved over the past year and more, but it is still quite simply unprofessional. You cannot afford to be that in today’s politics. They need to get a grip of this and quickly.
Second, the revelations made about Nigel Farage and some councillors and candidates of recent have damaged their appeal. They may pooh pooh this, but I have no doubt that it has. Candidates for councillors simply are not vetted properly, too many former radical members of the BNP have joined UKIP. Further damaging revelations will do UKIP no good at all. Nigel Farage himself will have to be on his ‘best behaviour’, the media and opponents are scrutinising his every move, his every action and utterance.
Most importantly, UKIP has not yet managed to bring to the electorate the third of people, or any significant number among them, who don’t vote. That apart, I read with interest a survey that shows that Farage appeals more to men than women; I can understand that. However, he needs to do something about this, perhaps punt Diane James more, an excellent politician by the way.
I would also point out that one can get too much coverage, whereby the electorate gets rather fed up with hearing about UKIP
The worst thing that has been muted is a pact with the Conservative party. I don’t care in what shape or form this pact can be construed, it is a vote loser. Perhaps Farage believes that tactically it can give him an advantage in certain seats, perhaps he believes former Tories will vote for him, but no, believe me, that idea should not be entertained. Were it to happen UKIP have lost my vote. My loathing for David Cameron is too great, it can never be overcome. We have some interesting political times ahead.
It is extraordinary how the results of this enquiry have not yet been published, all due to Tony Blair not wishing certain private correspondence between him and Bush to be published. Well, perhaps it’s not all down to him, I am certain the US State Department and the Bush family are also putting pressure on our Government. Blair is a criminal, and quite frankly to protect such criminals is obscene. I have little doubt that dirty tricks and blackmail are being employed to keep this under wraps for as long as possible, and at the best to expunge the correspondence that is causing such embarrassment. I hope all will out in due course. It was amusing to see the old liar in the news this evening claiming he had nothing to do with the delay, and that he wanted to see the report published. Of course you do Mr Blair.
Mullocks are probably the leading auctioneers in the UK as far as Nazi ephemera is concerned. It is part of history yes, but I do find it offensive when auctioned alongside Judaica, some of it making pathetic reading. Furthermore, it makes me wonder just how many paintings Hitler did paint; a lot apparently, but to have had them all come up for auction over a considerable period of time was curious. And then there was the etching of Hitler playing chess with Lenin. The auctioneer told me some time ago most of the material came from the descendants of a senior SS officer. I’m not sure whether I buy into that. It is all rather distasteful.
Royal mail shares were sold too cheaply. That was blindingly obvious at the time, yet no one raised any serious objections. Why raise this matter now?
FISH, CHIPS AND WINE WITH NICK BOLES AND PRITI PATEL
I went along to this event some weeks ago. The fish and chips were excellent, and the wine potable.
The tory devout were there and after both Priti and Nick had given a speech one had a sort of mini question time. I resisted the temptation to ask awkward question, it is just not worth it.
NIck Boles is MP for the Stamford and Spalding constituency, as also a junior housing minister, or is it foir planning? His guest Priti Patel, is MP for Witham, Essex. Both are very bright people, Priti a particularly good speaker. Nick I found a little ponderous, he tries to be all things to all people, which does not come off, for me at least. Of course, the audience were for the most part older, devout Tories, who had the irritating habit of asking exceedingly boring and inane questions, but I managed to stay awake.
CORRUPTION IN THE METROPOLITAN POLICE
Ever more revelations are coming to light relating tothe Lawrence murder enquiry that took place some time ago. It is not the Met that is corrupt, but a significant number of police officers within it, as I know to my own cost. But then again, this has been known since the 1950s.
THE VANISHING COMMA
Punctuation, or the lack or misuse of it, is often in the news, and so it was with the humble comma recently. It was suggested we can do away with it. What arrant nonsense! Punctuation gives meaning to what is written, and no punctuation mark is arguably more important than the comma. Many good books have been written about punctuation, not just recently, but going back some centuries.
Although very much a layman, I have nevertheless read many thousands of letters of the 17th, 18th, 19th and indeed 20th centuries and have therefore formed my own opinion on the matter. In the 17th and 18th centuries hyphens were used a great deal, usually instead of a comma. They have made a comeback of recent. I use them quite often instead of a comma, or to add something as an afterthought. However, by the end of the 18th century the comma had gained predominance. For me its most important asset is to demonstrate in writing how what you are saying is spoken, that is with pauses.
There were exception to this. You will rarely find a legal document such as a conveyance with any punctuation marks in it, other than full stops, at least not until the latter part of the 19th century. Lawyers realized that a misplaced comma could invalidate a document, or at the best make its meaning ambiguous.
Of course, texting is more than anything responsible for the decline in both spelling and punctuation, but we have to live with that. Nevertheless, let’s stick with the comma and put these dullards who propose its abandonment in their place.