Friday, 19 December 2014

Last Christmas

It’s not always easy for everybody, the festive season. While many of you are winding down and descending that drunken spiral into mince pie-fuelled Olympic-strength sloth, many will continue to work right up until Wednesday and some will have no break at all. Consider those who work in A&E; while most industries slacken the pace over Christmas, the health business has to notch up a gear to cope with the entirely preventable afflictions resulting from the latent stupidity that lurks just beneath the pale, waxy skin of much of the population.

And what of the service industries? Also the delivery drivers, the hospitality trade and everybody who works in what we once called ‘a shop’ but is now known as ‘retail’. But who among you have ever spared a thought for the brewers? Think about it – after a frenzied month of domestic booze buying and stocking up, all the producers are hard pressed to replenish their stock. Add to that the vintners, supermarkets, public houses and hotels and far from taking a break, the vineyards, distilleries and the combined might of the workers of Burton-on-Trent are flat out all during December to ensure that the new year doesn’t start dry.

And of course there is stretch; as productivity hits the roof it is only to be expected that health and safety takes a back seat as grapes are trod, ethanol distilled and hops mashed to kingdom come to bring forth their sweet, sweet intoxicants. All of which brings to mind an incident just a few short years ago that has become a byword for the callous indifference of employers to the safety needs of the their workers in the brewing trade. The tragic outcome was both regrettable and avoidable and had profit not come before production, Hamish McPlaid might still be alive today.

At the inquest convened to investigate the tragic drowning of Hamish the central piece of evidence for The Crown versus GlenFiddle was the lengthy CCTV footage from the Pot Still Room. The coroner and jury looked on aghast as they watched the late Scotsman’s last two hours on earth. Unaccompanied he patrolled the giant vessels, taking samples, examining them and making meticulous notes on the clipboard he carried. On occasion he imbibed a sampled from the odd batch and as the footage clocked forward he became visibly overcome by the liquor and the heady fumes. With no co-worker to intercede, his sampling rate increased and finally, stretching over the copper lip of one of the vast containers, he lost his balance and tumbled in.

The court gasped as they saw his struggles and had to force themselves to watch as he took a full ninety minutes to drown. In the summing up the judge emphasized to the jury how, had there been another employee present, Hamish would almost certainly have survived his ordeal and that a charge of negligence should surely be the verdict against the GlenFiddle Distillery. The jury nodded and made notes, then turned to hear the response from the legal representative of the company.

Safety first!

“My Lord,” he began, “ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I feel I should point out that the deceased must surely bear some of the blame for his own demise.” The jury turned hostile and began to barrack the lawyer until the coroner silenced them to insist they heard him out. “Yes,” he agreed, “Mr McPlaid was unaccompanied and yes a companion would undoubtedly have averted this tragic outcome. But having watched the same tape of events as you all have I am astonished that in heaping all of the blame on my company you did not once take into consideration a major self-inflicted contributory factor.” The jury fell silent as counsel continued. “Did not a single one of you notice the reason he took so long to drown was that he climbed out three times to go to the toilet?”

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Going Nativity

And lo, a star rose in the east and when the three magi saw it as one they proclaimed, “Fuck that; Mecca’s that way and they’re a right bunch of nutters!” And so it came to pass that the three wise scholars turned their backs on the east, headed west and set out to see what was up. Many days and nights did they wander onwards, their procession lit by starry nights but with no fixed direction. “Follow the moon!” said one and for three nights they travelled in a bizarre series of arcs. “Follow the North Star!” cried a second, but that brief interlude came to an end as they reached the Syrian border where, as the bible has it, “Everything was well kicking off!”

In the end they decided to rely on the donkey for directions and so, with Vince the unwilling ass leading the way, Ed Melchior Miliband, Dave Caspar Cameron and Nick Balthazar Clegg finally made meagre progress away from that portentous star. At Alexandria they boarded a creaking vessel full of Somali cultural enrichment advisors and set out on the perilous sea towards Italy where, they were assured, a warm welcome awaited them. But they managed to give the slip to the mobs of coastal dwellers who greeted them with burning brands, chanting slogans and they made their way north and into the vast European desert where, for forty days and nights they pushed on, ever westward, yet without succour in that hostile land.

Until they came upon the vast fortress of Calais. “You may not enter!” spaketh the burghers of that besieged Babel. “But we are following yonder thtar!” sayeth Melchior Miliband. The citizens, as one, pointed to the sky and asked, “What, the one behind you?” The magi paused but for a second before chorusing, “Yes!” oblivious to the ridicule that thereafter befell them. “On your bike!” spake the mayor of Calais and the great gates were closed as the natives ululated and threw bricks, as was their ancient custom. Thus it was that the three unwise men entered the kingdom of Albion clinging to the chassis of a transcontinental truck, which was more than a little tricky for the donkey.

Soon however, the companions grew cold and hungry. What was this place where unsmiling people hurried about their business and ignored their neighbours? How was it that a society so vast and bustling could survive when all harboured such suspicion of each other? The three wise men had no answers. In desperation they went in search of food and found themselves at the great temple of Tesco wherein lay wonders beyond comprehension which they set about with earnest greed.

At the checkout the stony-faced acolyte called the High Priest who arrived with two attendant security guards and wearing a badge which proclaimed ‘Manger’, for spelling was not his forte. “They haven’t any money,” the spotty youth intoned, “they’ve just got this load of crap…” at which the magi stepped forward. “I bring gold!” spake Caspar Cameron. But Melchior diggeth him in the rib and sayeth under his breath “Gordon sold all the gold! That’s just the wrapping paper from the chocolates.” He then stepped forward, “But I bring myrrh!” Not to be outdone, Balthazar Clegg also stepped up “And I bring Frankincense!”

It's traditional, innit?

The manger looked coldly at the trio, raised his arm and pointed to the doors. “Get the fuck out of my store, you crackheads!” he cried. And without ceremony, the bouncers bundled the unwise men back out into the cold. For many hours they tarried and shuffled and huddled together until finally they found themselves in the company of a sorry band of freaks. The three unwise men joined the cast of lobsters, spacemen, sheep, leeks, pixies, goblins, elves and elvises… and thus the legend of the nativity was born.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Explosive Topic

Another twenty-four hours go by and what do we get? More angry islam. Everywhere you look around the world the religion of blown to millions of tiny pieces is enriching and enlightening followers and non-followers alike. It’s not even a war really, mass-killing their own with the same alacrity as when beheading the infidel. Suddenly equality doesn’t seem such an ideal to strive for.

And yet, once again the response of soft-bellied politicians and bleeding heart ‘progressives’ is to paint islam and all its adherents as the real victims. As the cries of ‘islamophobia’ rise from behind the gnashing teeth the survivors and the families of the actual victims are left to somehow deal with their grief without denouncing the perverse ideology which brought about their hurt. If we don’t fight this fire with equally determined fire it will burn down all our houses, so what is it about this primitive, barbaric doctrine that makes it a crime to criticise?

Forget the ‘moderate islam’ nonsense; according to the islamic state crusade what they demand and what they follow is islam in its purest form. If so then this cult has run its course and if it ever served a useful, peaceful purpose (for which I see no evidence at all) that time is long gone. It’s not just here and it’s not just a reaction of western muslims to injustice, real or perceived, against the east. This is actual world-wide jihad, it is apparently sanctioned by leaders of the faith and it simply isn’t being challenged in any meaningful way.

How long before something is done to stop this wave of terror in its tracks? Or will we wait until the only thing we can do is sharpen their blades and hold our neighbour’s head steady to make the end smoother, quicker, somehow more dignified? Words won’t work against an enemy who abhors our very existence and whose frequently attested intent is to dominate the whole world. And if the creed has such a hold on its followers that they dare not turn their back on it then there really is only one solution; you don’t negotiate with cancer, you cut it out.

This medieval madness has nothing to offer the modern world except to drag it back to the barren wastelands of its origins in the fevered mind of a madman, or as is more likely, the fevered minds of a succession of warped control freak, small-testicled inadequates with a deep hatred of women. If muslims will not denounce so-called extremism and render islam the equivalent of the toothless Anglican church, whereby not fully believing is practically a virtue in itself, then islam has no place in the west.

There is nothing funny about islam. We keel you!

Even mosque architecture is offensive; ugly, inhuman edifices wrought with primitive, repetitive, non-representative ‘art’ that burns with no passion, no joy. Given that islam actually means submission it is fitting that its temples look like prisons for the soul. So, moderate muslims, if you exist you do have a choice. It might be painful, it might be hard to overcome a lifetime of being chained to an unforgiving wheel but if you really want to help, turn your back on allah and simply walk away.

(Note for newcomers: I habitually do not capitalise any islam-related terminology except in error. I just don't recognise any of these words as proper nouns.)

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Coming Clubbing?

Remember singing “If you like a lot of chocolate on your biscuit join our club.” Or, if you prefer, “I’m in with the in crowd”. It doesn’t matter whether or not Groucho Marx said “I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member” we all really want to belong to something. Whether it’s a family, a church, a cult, an exclusive private members organisation, the jet set, the golf club, even just comfortably fitting into an age group - the justified and ancient – being part of something seems to be a fundamental human desire. Even the Sydney siege-artist appeared to want to be part of something, albeit a murderous, barbarous something which would see the rest of us dead. My club’s better than your club, perhaps?

Clubs have rules and generally you have to abide by them to become a member and continue to abide by them to remain a member. Most people have no problem with this. The more desirable a club, the more stringently it can vet its applicants and the greater the rewards for those who make the grade. As your club’s success becomes visible and unless you actively enforce uniformity, diversity will ensue. Successful companies attract diverse workforces from the cream of the world’s talent; mistaking diversity for the cause of their success is just a trap the left willingly fall for. Over and over again.

They do a lot of that, the left, conflating, concatenating and coming to crap conclusions. And so yesterday, just after the leaking of the ‘don’t talk about immigration’ strategy, Ed Miliband launched his ‘let’s talk about immigration’ pledge. It seems Ed may not even be a part of the inner circle of the club he was elected to lead. And as for his latest offering, criminalising employers for… what, exactly? The Labour spokesthing was crucified by John Humphrys on the Today programme, unable to answer whether a prosecution could be brought for pay discrimination against an immigrant worker paid above the minimum wage. Fag packet politics again, Labour? Come on; you must have one coherent policy at least?

The sudden rush to recognise uncontrolled mass immigration as an issue after years of denial, of trying to paint it pretty, after years of denouncing as racist anybody who dared point out the obvious is pitiful. How about this for a policy: People are dying – quite literally – trying to get into our little exclusive island club; we must be doing something right. So, why can’t we control our membership? This just doesn’t seem like such a tricky principle to grasp; we have something people want, but not enough of it to go around. It strikes me that raising the bar to entry is a no-brainer; funnily enough it seems exactly that amount of brain has been exercised in debating the issue to date.

Can you tell..?
New club memberships available!

And if the EU will not allow us to do just that, doesn’t that tell us everything we need to know about the subjugation of our sovereignty to unelected foreign rule? Why should we give a fig about staying in the EU club when it is quite clearly Europe’s citizens who appear to be queueing up to join ours? I don’t know how much chocolate you prefer, but making that decision for you without your consent would surely be taking the biscuit? 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Political Piles

To get to the top of the political pile it is not enough just to have talent, drive, ambition and an influential sponsor or three, you must primarily have faith. In traditional Tory circles the correct belief always was that people should stand largely on their own two feet… or daddy’s broad shoulders. On the left the followers of the doctrine must believe unequivocally that they know better than everybody else what is good for the little people; those poor, downtrodden human cattle who are simply incapable of escaping their moribund destinies without the over-zealous assistance of the card-carrying faithful.

It comes from a place of unrequited love, this conviction; a passion to right the wrongs and slay the dragons of oppression, cut free the chains of enslavement to uncaring masters and deliver the wretches to the sunny uplands of equality, fraternity and liberty. In the gospels of the church of Labour the horny handed sons of toil will roister with their comrades, singing gallant songs of derring-do, of the struggle joined and overcome. The reality, sadly, is one of killing with kindness.

Singing Onward Comrade Soldiers has led us to a nation of state-dependent zombies suckling from the teat of welfare in its many forms. Instead of people making a living, they are given one without a commitment in return. Housing Benefit, Child Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Tax Credits should be entirely unnecessary, but people are so wedded to the idea that the state must provide that they can’t understand how their lives would be so much better if these crutches were the exception rather than the rule.

To maintain the addictions the left like to toy with the language, bandying around words like cruelty, poverty, inequality, need, entitlement, deprivation and so on and shouting racist or homophobe at anybody who dissents. Labour even deployed adverts a decade ago, telling people to claim their tax credits as a right! It’s free! It’s yours! Nobody has to pay for it except those who have too much already! Language is everything in this arena and in the war of words the devil has the best weapons. The language of self-esteem beats the language of self-reliance every time – who doesn’t want the illusion of heaven on earth?

To succeed as a Labour politician you also have to be capable of denying what you see with your own eyes – progressively lower wages, visibly increased and uncomfortable immigration, the stretching of services and the lowering of standards of both living and behaviour. And just in case anybody with a functioning memory should try to air a recollection you must master the rewriting of history, conveniently airbrushing out the appalling squalor wrought by your own policies every single time you've held power. The cognitive dissonance must scream like tinnitus in all but the most indoctrinated of brains.

In Labourspeak borrowing is now called investment and increasing the national debt beyond any hope of repayment in a lifetime is referred to as balancing the books. Hampering teaching by the need for multiple language interpreters is enrichment. Foreign criminals are all endangered asylum seekers and the mass importation of unskilled, criminally low-paid workers from the poorest parts of the European Union is celebrated as the triumph of diversity.

One political arse looks much like another

This week, fearing an outbreak of clear vision and unclouded minds, some on the left have been trying to claim that race should be kept out of politics. Race is a proxy here for any discussion about immigration in what is euphemised as ‘unhelpful’ terms. That is, if you see a problem then have the audacity to point to it you are a heretic. It's like dealing with haemorrhoids - the more you scratch the itchier they get. And red or blue, those piles are really irritating. Maybe it’s about time we all denounced our faiths and became political apostates. And bollocks to the lot of them.