Monday, 30 June 2014

Made in the EU

I am a Little Englander. There, I said it. I want my monoculture back. I don’t mind immigrants, I never have. But I resent being told that our identity must be sacrificed so theirs can flourish. So when David Cameron says that Westminster is too white he reveals that he really is the heir to Blair. For a while I was applauding what looked like a valiant standing up for principle when he opposed Jean-Claude ‘drunker’ Juncker’s coronation on the European throne but today I begin to wonder if that was merely a staged event to woo back Eurosceptics to the Tory fold.

Toothless, friendless and despised, the formerly independent country of the United Kingdom will soon become a mere region of communism’s grandest scheme yet – to subjugate half a billion people to the whim of a dictator figure chosen by a process about as legitimate as musical chairs. The EU will become ever more federal, presidents will be appointed – like Juncker – without concern for the workings of any recognisable form of democracy and today’s levels of profligacy and corruption will look like models of propriety to future eyes.

In short, we are pretty much fucked if we stay in. Forget the brain drain from Britain to Europe; as ever fewer high earners realise they are paying an increasingly large proportion of the welfare bill to keep ever more grunts in low-paid grunt jobs, subsidised by state handouts to remain low-skilled and dependent, the evacuation of talent is already extending beyond Europe itself. Yes, you heard it here first; watch as in a few generations the Chinese and Indians and Malaysians will joke about European sweatshops and cheap, shoddy goods ‘Made in the EU'.

And for what? I have always suspected it but just like everybody else I have never had the means to quantify the harm it has done to Britain to be part of the whole rotten edifice. On Saturday Ed Miliband repeated the same tired, fourteen-year old lie, beloved of Nick Clegg but repeatedly refuted by the report’s original authors, that three million UK jobs ‘depend’ on the EU. I can only hope that the latest finding by cross-party think tank Civitas, that far from benefitting the UK, EU membership has done little or nothing at all for our prosperity. Indeed, in some respects it may even have hindered us; it has certainly made it almost impossible for us to retain any semblance of self-government.

I’m just sick of it. Sick of being lied to, sick of being taken for a compliant cash cow, sick of being robbed by imperious governments pursuing lofty socialist ideals. I’m sick of being derided and called racist for wanting to be British, sick of being made to feel ashamed of being white, middle-class, male, in work and daring to hold opinions contrary to the liberal metrosexmopolitan effete. I'm sick to my back teeth, just like my ailing country.

EU Macht Frei
Heil Juncker! (*hic*)

For decades Britain has been in a coma, but just as Michael Schumacher appears to be finally showing signs of consciousness maybe there is hope for us yet. It might not be easy – although I believe it will be much easier than the useful idiots want us to believe – but not only will we cope, detached from the placebo of EU life support, we will thrive. I hope I live to see the day when my country can once again hold her head high as the brains drain back in our direction from the pitiful, impoverished, United Gulags of Europe.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Hard work pays!

I recently travelled to Southampton on business and hearing the Queen Mary 2 was in her home berth I drove down to Town Quay to see if I could catch a glimpse. I need have had no doubt; docked alongside the road named for her owners, Cunard’s flagship rose imperiously, like a floating city, high above the dockyard skyline. Eleven years ago, at her launch, QM2's 148,528 tonnes made her the largest ocean liner built and she is still the only one plying the high seas between Southampton and New York.

The sun glinted off the mighty, snow-white flanks and I confess to feeling the prickle of a tear in my eye as I remembered my own sea-faring days in the ships’ companies of several of Her Majesty’s sleek grey messengers of death. Eventually, nostalgia trip completed I decided to head for home and as I drove towards Ocean Village the mighty vessel dominated my rear view for a while before receding into the distance. One last stop for fuel and I would be headed back up the M3.

The queue for the fuel station was unexpectedly heavy as people topped up for the forecast sunny weekend ahead, although for the life of me I have never understood what urges people to hit the roads in the summer heat when a shady garden, a good book, some mellow tunes, an al fresco salad and a few bottles of chilled Vino Collapso contain within their simplicity the very essence of heaven on earth. Still, I had a good few miles to go, so as I couldn’t afford to risk setting off without a fill I opted to wait.

I wound down my windows as the temperature gauge started to climb, to let in some cooling air. It also let in the sounds and smells of the busy forecourt and I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation taking place between the owners of two cars being re-fuelled just ahead of me. The lady owner of a shabby old diesel Renault Kangoo was admiring the brand new metallic blue Range Rover of her parallel neighbour, both having parked so that their filler caps were on the offsides relative to the pumps.

The Rover lady was keen to oblige by offering up her vital statistics for scrutiny. “Oh yes, she said, I only just bought it. This is the first time I’ve had to fill up, actually.” She continued, “It’s the five litre V8. A bit thirsty but my, how she handles; like a sports car, really. All leather seats – antelope hide, with multi-zone seat and spinal heating, all computer controlled. And it can give you a back massage while you are idling in traffic.” The Renault lady was in awe and tentatively offered the view that if must have cost a pretty penny.


“Well,” said the driver in an accent like cut glass, “my husband does work for Cunard, you know.” She instinctively nodded in the general direction of the docks where the distant funnels of the QM2 were just visible in the haze. The Renault driver looked a little put out. She thought for a second and then replied, huffily, “Well, my husband could never afford a car like that no matter HOW fucking hard he works!”

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Opposites Day

The job of Her Majesty’s official Opposition is to oppose the government of the day. Ordinarily the way to achieve this is to ridicule the policy and competence of the incumbents while presenting credible alternatives. A certain amount of hyperbole is to be expected but in resorting to the texts of Ancient Greece, Ed Milband’s New-but, Old-but Labour is stretching to breaking point the aphorisms about learning from history. Transcripts have come to light of Shadow Cabinet strategy meetings…

Ed: Our job is to oppose, so that’s what we’ll do. Whatever they say, we’ll say the opposite. On Opposites Day black will be white, up will be down and left will become right.

Shadow Cabinet: Didn’t Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell already do that? And we all know how that ended.

Ed M: Okay, so forget the left-right thing. But we know David Cameron must have a chink in his armour, an Achilles heel. We just have to find that.

Ed Balls: How about the flatlining economy?

SC: To be fair, Ballsy, you can take naysaying too far sometimes. It IS a flat line… it’s just  an upwardly sloping one.

Ed M: How about we attack them on their employment record?

SC: Really, Ed? You really want to go there? Have you seen the figures?

Ed M: But the Prime Minister just doesn’t get it, does he? With this cost of living crisis eroding everybody’s lifestyle. We can keep stabbing away at him with that and eventually we’ll break him down.

*silence*

Ed M: What?

SC: Have you not seen the papers lately? More in work than ever before, cost of living the lowest it’s been for half a decade, housing market healthy and new-build starts higher than we ever managed… And that mild winter didn’t help one bit. Nobody ran out of heat, nobody starved, too few old people died. We’re telling you Ed, this situation is desperate.

Ed M: They have utterly failed to get a grip on immigration. 200,000 a year are coming here, taking our jobs, claiming our benefits…

SC: We let in over 3 million…

Ed B: ...that we know about.

Ed M: I know, let’s try and say he brought a criminal into Downing Street. He’ll go down in history as the first politician ever to employ a criminal! And trying to get into bed with Murdoch - can you imagine how the public will react to that?

Harman: Have you really forgotten everything about the Blair years? And did you ever hear of Robert Maxwell? You can attack Cameron's character Ed, but at least he has one to attack. Sometimes I think he looks quite the statesman while you're banging on with your puny sound bites. We're fed up of having to come to your defence all the time.

[Ed Miliband’s lower lip begins to tremble and he looks - as he so often does – as if he is about to cry. He stamps his foot and raises his voice a notch in both volume and pitch.]

Ed M: But I am the leader! And I have done my homework. He hasn’t done the right thing! He has brought disgrace on his office! He hasn’t learned the lessons of history! He HAS got a weak heel and I will keep on stabbing at it until he is on his upper class, blue-bloody knees.

Harman: But Ed, if you had done your homework you would realise that a) The general public forgot all about Leveson a year ago, b) Your carping on about him being out of touch is exactly what everybody accuses you of being, c) Your constant ‘intellectual’ politicking has been called out for the bullshit it is, d) Achilles isn’t history, it’s a myth, and e) Compared to you he doesn’t look like Achilles so much as Hercules.

Intellectual Ed
Wait! I've got an idea!

Ed M: So you're saying we should stop with the personal attacks, come up with some truly ground-breaking new policies, fight for a better Britain and present the voting public with a proper, viable alternative to government as normal? But we're the official opposition, right? So let's stick with our winning formula and just do exactly the opposite.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Blank Slate

I’m sometimes asked how I come up with ideas for the blog. Well, occasionally there is a story I have been wanting to tell and something triggers an opportunity to do so. More often than not the germ of an idea comes while driving and listening to the radio news. Usually a chance remark, a sound bite or a profoundly stupid political reaction can bring inspiration and every now and then, like today, I just start with a blank slate and let the words pour out to fill it. Spoiled for choice, I was:

How about the news that 84 state schools in England have not one single white, British pupil, with the majority of their non-white contingent having English as their second language, even when they have been born here? In this nasty, clearly racist and extremely offensive story, entirely dreamed up by imaginary neo-Nazis the obviously fictional issue of white flight rears its ugly head. How very DARE those white bastards leave the poor ex desert dwellers to dismantle a thousand years of civilisation all by themselves!? You’d think they would be grateful for all that multicultural enrichment.

Or the story that estimates that almost 50,000 (You can almost certainly double or quadruple this figure) ‘visitors’ have fraudulently obtained visas following wholesale cheating in English language tests on a near industrial scale. Mind you, it’s not as if people near to the whole corrupt system knew anything about it and had been blowing that whistle with all their puff, year after year after year… but they were just more racists, obviously. I mean next thing you know they’ll be suggesting there is corruption in the administration of the islamic republic of Tower Hamlets. The very thought!

But then I heard the news about the phone hacking trial and the suspicion formed that Rupert Murdoch clearly favoured Rebekah-kah-kah-kah over Andy Coulson. Realising the baying mob of the Leveson loons needed some scraps it’s not a huge leap to surmise that while there is still a chance that Cameron's old school mate Charlie Brooks may in time re-forge a link to the PM it was Andy C who had to be fed to the dogs. Now I really couldn’t give a shit about the whole Leveson showdown, but what caught my ear was Labour’s response to the verdict.

That response was straight out of the textbook chapter on how to make political capital while wearing the mask of innocence and outrage on behalf of a population you have already royally shafted and would seek to shaft again. If they thought they could get away with it, Labour would do exactly as the Tories did and recruit somebody on the inside of big media. After all, Tony Bair was elected by Sun readers after its editors told them to ditch John Major. Oh and, anybody remember Alistair Campbell? 

Ed Miliband and Chris Bryant merrily poured on the scorn from mouths in which it seemed all the butter had yet to melt. While Cameron delivered the long-rehearsed apology Ed said “This taints Cameron's government.” But of course it doesn’t, not really. Most people care as much as I do about Leveson; most have forgotten what it was all about anyway. As I heard Chris Bryant take his turn to say all the same things Ed had said my attention began to fade as I realised just how far disconnected the political twonks are from the concerns of ordinary people.

There was nothing sincere in any of it. The investigation process is certainly flawed, the apology was a sham, the condemnations mere political reaction in a game that long since lost most of its spectators. It is little wonder that next year’s crucial election – it will decide the minor niggles such as the choice between prosperity or Labour, and whether we stay with or ditch the millstone of the EU – will be settled by a dwindling band of real believers on both sides and a desperate last-cynical-gasp bid for votes based on bribery. The majority of voters will still stay at home.

Politicians respond to the concerns of the public

So, if you ever wonder how I come up with ideas for the blog, I just take my cue from the politicians - I start  off with a blank slate and fill it full of cynical, opportunistic, sound-bitey bollocks.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

A Call to Imams

Generally speaking we British don’t subscribe to the notion “If you’re not with us, you’re against us.” Live and let live, that’s our motto. Yes, we’re none too keen on having our noses rubbed in it – thank you New Labour – but provided you mean us no harm we’ve been mostly content to rub along. Naturally where there’s rubbing there’s bound to be a bit of friction and occasionally a bit of heat but once we’ve worked out how, we seem to get along well enough in the end. Integration, assimilation, absorption… before long you’re British too. But enough is enough.

While there is rising concern and hardening attitudes amongst ‘real’ citizens – as opposed to closeted elites – towards immigration as a whole, there is a very real and immediate anxiety now about returning jihadis. Whatever ISIS or ISIL (or whatever they are calling themselves today) are up to in Iraq, the Home Office has announced it is unable to adequately monitor nominally British citizens who are returning to this island with the last vestiges of any allegiance to the UK brainwashed out of them by their exposure to islamic bloodlust. I say ‘nominally’ because these people have effectively rejected their citizenship.

Despite the ‘faith’ of multiculturalism, foisted upon us by New Labour, lefty liberals and deluded loons everywhere, there is another doctrine in competition with it. No, not the Church of England, nor Catholicism, nor any band of concerned Little Englanders. The one faith that will never accept multiculturalism is islam. But did governments listen to the warnings as parts of Britain became ghettoised and rendered medieval? No, they called us racist. If you go to a predominantly muslim area – and these now exist in profusion – you will see an unrecognisable, different country and a palpable hostility to the host culture. Into these badlands the jihadis will disappear and spread their poison and their deadly training. Trojan Horse? We dragged it inside the city walls long ago.

There are said to be moderate muslims, but they are almost as despised amongst the islamists as the kaffir they want to obliterate and will not speak out openly; because islam does NOT mean peace, it means submission. They will do nothing to counter the spread of the caliphate and as indigenous Brits are driven into white flight we will soon have neighbouring towns that speak languages and practice customs that are foreign  to each other and eventually there will be strife the like of which we haven’t seen in four centuries. We should probably call it civil war but no doubt we’ll be compelled to coin some innocuous phrase that seeks to play down the atrocity and not cause offence.

True islam
The religion of peace and tolerance?

But sod it; we are already at war. So here’s your chance, moderate muslims (if you do exist) to choose. Once upon a time certain christians believed in hell fire and damnation and put to torture and death those who disbelieved. Outside of Dan Brown novels that type of christian ceased to exist many, many years ago. The relative youth of the insanity called islam is no excuse; it is time to Anglicise your church. If you’re not with us there is plenty enough evidence that you are indeed against us. Unless you assist the authorities in apprehending the mindless thugs that you say despoil your faith then the end of the world as we know it is surely coming to a town near you. 

Monday, 23 June 2014

How now, Brown cow?

And so, as it was written, it has come to pass. What was once divine is now malign and comedy is a tool of hatred as dark and malevolent as a punch in the throat.  “But words can never harm me,” goes the old saw. No more. The barbarians are not merely at the gate, they are climbing over the walls and language is no longer at siege but at all-out, bloody war. There will be casualties, there may be fatalities, but the freedom and liberty of expression we once enjoyed has already been surrendered to a culture incapable of nuance.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown describes herself as a writer, yet it is she who leads the latest charge to limit the use of our language. Not surprising, really because she also describes herself as a feminist muslim, so the urge to make normality illegal runs deep in her intolerant psyche and her crusade to eliminate the freedoms of the white man is her own personal jihad against the country that harboured her family while Idi Amin did to hers what she seems to want to do to ours. Hypocrisy is a blunt instrument, but most effective in the war against words.

In the west we have a long tradition of diplomacy and reason, using words – often for years – exhausting all avenues for debate before finally and reluctantly turning to actual physical violence. And one of our major contributions to world peace has been the identifiably British technique of making light of dark circumstances. “Mustn’t grumble!” said Tommy Atkins in the stinking trenches, striking his last Lucifer and lighting up his fag. “Smile boy, that’s the style.” Then over the top for a quick game of footie with Fritz.

Ali Baba, on the other hand saw only an opportunity to further her offence-whore career and with a bit of back-up maybe end the career of Michael Fabricant simply because he tweeted a milder version of what everybody else was thinking. In an earlier age she would have been strapped into the ducking stool and introduced to the pond life, but in the age of the internet it is child’s play to conjure up an army of brain-dead supporters incapable of reason but all too ready to hurl brickbats.. Everybody and his dog has written about the ensuing debacle over the weekend but there is one player I particularly want to take to task.

Nobody has really sought to criticise David Cameron’s intervention, in fact Dan Hodges took much the same line as Alibhai-Brown herself, calling for Fabricant’s sacking. What utter juvenile whining tosh. Cameron should have taken no official stance whatsoever; this had nothing to do with his government and a dignified silence would have been the only sane reaction. All he has managed to do now is have every Tory MP confirm their suspicion that he is not one of them at all. Yeah, yeah, politicians have to be careful what they say, but to validate the Brown idiot’s bleating is unnecessarily playing to a gallery you will never win over. In fact, kow-towing to the likes of her is a guaranteed Tory vote loser.

Scold's Bridle
No need to resort to a punch in the throat...

We had something, we British. We had stature and gravitas and once held the world in our hands. We ruled the biggest empire Earth has ever seen and despite some rewriting of this history, on balance we have, beyond any possible doubt, been responsible for much of what is good on this planet. Yet even as powerful as we were we never let it go to our heads and have always shrugged off plaudits with a self-deprecating joke. “Not bad” we might have said, asked to evaluate our achievements. But that world is gone and in the mad drive to destroy Britishness forever the last thing we need is a prime Minister who actively assists that process. If we are no longer allowed to deploy words to make light of a situation, how long before it becomes the first resort to settle an argument with a punch in the throat? 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Well owl be!

Poor old Ed. Yesterday I wrote about his ‘spad’-gun politics – short range, poorly targeted and makes everybody look like a twat – then, real life trumped even that with the owl incident. “Everybody should have their own owl” tweeted  @labourpress. They later claiming they’d been hacked, but not before social media did what it does so well and had extracted several tankers’ worth of hot, steaming piss out of the hapless opposition party.

But in yet another fact-stranger-than-fiction turn of events who would have guessed for one moment that large birds were, indeed, on Labour’s ‘re-connecting with the people’ agenda. At first Ed was unconvinced but reluctantly agreed to go along with the project after focus groups generally responded with a “Yeah, all right then” verdict; the closest Labour has had to a hit policy on its hands since Gordon Brown gifted tax credits to everybody using their own money.

The scheme, it emerges, goes like this: Ed on his own in interviews, or in front of a crowd at conference, or on his soap box mingling with ‘the ordinaries’ is a gangling, gurning public relations atrocity requiring the spinning skills of a dozen Campbells to even make him look vaguely human. The bright idea? Ed was to be trained to handle a colourful talking parrot – what’s not to like? The photos would look great, the kids would all love it and whenever Ed’s self-confident intellectualism started to lose the crowd, Polly could spring into action and squawk a couple of well-worn slogans.

Anyway, the Labour politburo decided it should be trialled on friendly territory, so earlier in the week Ed was secretly flown up to the most rigidly entrenched sector of his constituency in the Doncaster Gulag. On the scabby patch of what used to be grass at the heart of a sink estate of welfare dependents, Ed appeared, parrot on his arm, to pow-wow with his people. A small crowd gathered and stared at Ed as he cleared his throat, put his notes away and addressed the crowd in his most down-to-earth way. “When I learned dialectical materialism at my father’s knee…” he began, whereupon the crowd, unused to lasting for many syllables without the punctuation of profanity began to get restless. “Gerroff!” shouted a scrawny youth in a tracksuit.

For a moment Ed was floored and struggled to regain his composure but Polly, trained to pick up the pause screeched “Double yer benefits! Double yer benefits!” at which the crowd cheered as if with one voice. When the approving noises calmed down, Ed began once more. “Our One Nation Britain must do the right thing for hard working people,” he explained, but the crowd’s mood had already shifted down a gear. Once again though, Ed’s colourful companion ruffled up her plumage and recited, “Dole not coal! Dole not coal!” and once again the throng vocally approved.

Now they had the measure of the thing the assembly quietened down to hear what would come next. Ed began, “We have to tackle the cost-of-living crisis” he said, “it’s the right thing to do and Britain can do better than this!” Before any dissent could be expressesd the parrot sprang to Ed’s defence, “Free scratch cards! Free scratch cards!” she sang out, “Every one’s a winner!” at which the crowd positively erupted in jubilation. Spontaneous dancing broke out and amid the ensuing carnival atmosphere Ed allowed himself a wry smile. At last he had found the popular touch.

They love me! I'm an EAGLE!
I'm an eagle!

Raising and lowering his outstretched hands he managed to get them to quieten down and in what was for him an inspired ad lib he asked if there were any questions. A voice from the back shouted out, “That’s fucking brilliant! Where did you get it?” Before Ed had a chance to gather his thoughts Polly squawked back “Westminster. They’ve got hundreds of ‘em!” 

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Spud Gun

We live in a highly regulated world of standards and rules. You can’t get a job digging holes until you’ve jumped through the hoops of health and safety and gained – often at great expense – the requisite certificate that informs your employer’s insurers that you tick all the essential boxes to indemnify them against claims due to any shortfalls in your ability to actually dig holes. In fact, the more pre-eminent and pervasive the health, safety, diversity, inclusivity and equality agenda, the further down the hierarchy of priorities is pushed an ability to actually do the job.

I train electricians for a living and just as in every other industry there is a nagging suspicion that each successive intake is given more leeway than the last and there is little doubt that every decade sees a lowering of actual technical and academic standards, concomitant with a raising of the bar to entry of inconsequential hurdles such as site safety cards, registration with a plethora of upstart controlling bodies and a host of qualifications taught to the test, with little regard by the men in black in the awarding bodies for whether or not they contribute to or detract from getting the right men in the job.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, say the French, ever ready with the mots justes for just these occasions. Same old same old, same old shit. But after all, it’s how we like it. The latest British Social Attitudes Survey reveals – surprise surprise – that we preferred it when we were all a bit more the same than we are now. We pretend to tolerate difference but really we want to be sure of what we’re getting. Which is the main reason why tons of Jersey Royal potatoes are being left to rot; despite being perfectly decent pommes de terre they fall outside the size limits set by supermarket buyers on behalf of their customers. Better in their eyes that we pay a bit more for uniformity than have agricultural efficiency driven by a demand for cheaper food.

What is wrong with us? An entire generation has grown up with nary a sight of Esther Rantzen’s misshapen home-growns. Which brings me to poor old Ed Miliband; Labour is falling out of love with its very own odd-shaped vegetable. Sunny Hundal wrote on Labour List’s website about why, in his view, Ed still matters: but once the buyers are dead set on having the right shaped legume it’s a hard task selling a mutant variant. Ed’s Old Labour rhetoric is far too earthy; from the days when you had to roll up your sleeves and clean your veg yourself. Voters today, the few that are left, want nice uniform, sanitised and predictable varieties of politician with just the right amount of cultured blandness. Or so they think.

Westminster used to be full of colourful and popular mavericks but as fewer and fewer Members of Parliament have ever lived outside of politics is it any wonder that almost none of them seem to know what their constituents really care about? Had they been given the chance, Jersey’s potato piles could have found buyers among the less squeamish public who only wanted mash anyway; sod that Tesco only wanted to sell them what they decided was right. Which brings us back to Ed.

Ed Lightyear
Ed Lightyear: To oblivion... and beyond!

The scourge of governments in recent years has been the rise of the Special Adviser. They, the fresh produce of politics spring fully grown from their PPE degrees and run amuck through the corridors of power, whispering their clever-clever ideological thoughts into the willing, wet-behind ears of baby-faced ministers-in-waiting. But if Ed had been born in the north, as is traditional for Labour MPs, he would have realised that his inability to connect with the electorate stemmed from a simple misunderstanding of his Oxford-educated accent. You see, just like big John Prescott, instead of hiring SpAds, he’s all along been taking his advice from spuds.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Talking 'bout Your Generation

I grew up in a Britain which, having expended its last gasp in defending the free world from Nazi totalitarianism seemed to slump and give itself up to Soviet totalitarianism. The unions called the shots and gave the working man – a man who formerly had to fend for himself – the impression that he and his comrades held the keys to the country. They did, but only in the sense that they turned the lock at the beck and call of their shop steward masters. Collectivism turned out to be a powerful voting bloc but did little to truly improve the lot of those with only their labour to sell.

Fortunately, for a while, their labour was in high demand, until uncompetitive practices eroded what was left of Britain’s manufacturing base, business owners sold up, packed up and took their savings away from hideously punitive taxation and for the best and brightest of our scientists and entrepreneurs the lure of the swirling maelstrom of the brain drain proved too powerful a pull. By the seventies Britain was dead in the water but by then the lumpen proletariat was seduced into believing that it was the responsibility of the state, not the individual to make everything better. So much for the blitz spirit.

Until the brief respite from the maudlin, state-teat suckling mind-set brought about by the inspired and principled leadership of one strong woman Britain was heading in only one direction. The eighties saw the bitter struggle to wrest back individualism from the morass of mediocrity that insisted for every aspect of life ‘the government must do something’. You still hear that cry tday, but thankfully Gordon Brown’s little dalliance with Old Labour was brought to an abrupt end when once again Labour left us bankrupt. Even if it had the will the government no longer has the means. “Can we fix it?” asks Bob the builder. No, we can’t.

So it was with both pleasure and surprise that I listened to Monday night’s radio programme “Generation Right” which posed the question: Are the political views of young people shifting away from tedious lefty expectation? Surely, you might think, this is the selfish ‘me’ generation - Thatcher’s children? But no; aged between18 and 30 their views and for some, almost their entire lives, have been shaped during new Labour’s bizarre mix of Thatcherism-lite, multiculturalism and spend-spend-spend. Defining themselves differently from their parents’ generation these hip and happening kids appear to have fallen out of love with the welfare state.

Less tolerant of entitlement culture, they want to make something of themselves and have an individualised outlook on life and a firm belief in personal responsibility. Some of those interviewed were even perfectly happy with university tuition fees yet they still hold liberal views on many social issues and are not entirely selfish. It’s not that they don’t care about others but their whole lives have been lived witnessing state intervention getting precisely nowhere. A generation that doesn’t trust the government to solve their problems is a step in the right direction.

You're on your own, Owen
You're on your own, Owen

Meanwhile the Labour Party’s schtick has centred for four long years around the statement that the out-of-touch government just doesn’t get it, praying all the while for economic disaster to deliver the cold and hungry vote back into their sticky, crime-red hands. The welcome news that the cost of living is now the lowest it has been since 2009 must have come as a bitter blow to Red Ed and his motley crew. Yet still they chant their empty slogans and offer up sound-bite solutions to non-existent problems. As Owen Jones andhis People's Assembly demand, “No more austerity!” the rest of his generation open their eyes and ask “What austerity?” Good for you, young folk, spread the word; there’s hope for you yet.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

You jihadst to do it...

Put aside your opinions as to what percentage of the blame can be borne personally by Tony Blair for the current crisis in Iraq – and Ed Miliband might want to note that unlike the cost-of-living campaign this really IS a crisis – and consider that Mad Tony is almost certainly correct in his assertion that only extreme force could have any real impact on ISIS. As for the jihadists themselves they are treading a well-worn and brutal path, in keeping with primitive warrior sects throughout the ages.

It is rumoured that after taking Samarkand, eight hundred years ago, Genghis Khan ordered a pyramid be erected in his honour constructed entirely from the severed heads of conquered civilians, including children. In the fifteenth century, Vlad III, Prince of Wallachia of the House of Drăculești, became most famous for the forests of impaled victims he left as a reminder to those who dared challenge him. Idi Amin brutally massacred anywhere between 100,000 and half a million of his own citizens, the corruption and chaos of his regime being largely responsible for the ultimately unknowable final death toll.

Whether through madness or cold calculation people like this are to be excoriated and condemned, but most of all they should be feared precisely because they do not fear us. Having left our own brutal, bloodthirsty past far behind, opting for an ‘all must come home’ model of warfare, wherever possible fought at arm’s length and through oily back room diplomacy, ISIS are correct in their assessment that by the time we do anything it will be far too late. And far too feeble.

Satellite surveillance, drone strikes, sanctions… against a ruthless and fearless enemy that glories in killing – close up, bloody killing - we are at a disadvantage so profound we might be better to just lay down our arms altogether and employ our superior technology instead on doing our best to identify the dead and dying whose names will otherwise be lost to history. Is this where the west ends up, as accountants and scorekeepers for a world ruled by a profoundly brutal medievalism?

Ignoring the dangers of unchecked islam for so many years has put the jihadists in the driving seat – region after region has fallen to the extremists and western observers have been fooled by the lying mask of ‘moderate islam’. There is no such thing, or else if there is, where ARE the noisy demonstrations calling for the kaffir NOT to be beheaded? Where are the burning korans and the stamping into the dirt of islamic flags? Western civilisation has been busy this half-century, burning its own flag… and taking its eye off the prize it created. We have already given our countries away and now we wring our hands in despair as our values are looted, desecrated and burned in front of our eyes.

Yesterday I heard of talks designed to limit Iran’s access to nuclear weapons. The very thought should chill all our bones because unlike in the civilised world – in which Iran once played a part before the rule of the Ayatollahs – nuclear missiles would not be used, as they have been for decades, as a deterrent. They would be tactical weapons of holy fury to be unleashed on a west whose main crime is to be ashamed of its own genuine moral superiority.

Does my bomb look big in this?

The talk in the west is about the options open to us to do… to do what? What do we hope to achieve? To intervene or not to intervene? To fight or to merely mop up the blood stains? But discussions about the choices open to us are mostly futile; when the time comes, islam will give us no choices.

Monday, 16 June 2014

Textually Explicit

On Radio 4’s Today programme the other day was a textbook example of the sort of misleading claptrap promulgated by that eccentric breed of outsiders, The Expert. On a depressingly regular basis, experts tell us that what we have known for years is wrong. Gravity is a push, not a pull, the sun rises at night and sets in the morning and drinking thirty cups of strong sugary coffee every day before breakfast will vastly reduce the incidence of dementia… mostly because it will likely kill you before senility has a chance.

It has become fashionable to produce expensively funded ‘studies’ and ‘research’ which reveal that the counter-intuitive conclusion is now always the correct one. Thus enforced multiculturalism, far from being a recipe for strife, can only ever be a force for good and if it isn’t working in your part of the country that is only because you haven’t yet had enough multiculturalism. And dear old Tony Blair, as we are discovering, is rapidly demonstrating his true expertise as he seeks to put his theories about harmony in the Middle East into practice by assisting in the genocide peace process.

But sod the warring factions of a sunni disposition, we have a far graver ‘expert’ crisis on our own doorstep, nay inside our very homes, for ‘research has shown’ that texting may actually improve children’s spelling and grammar. Yes, you read that crekly: Txtspk, fr frm being a modern scRg is 2 B encRged… also leaving out punctuation and capitals can be shown to contribute to the positive development of childrens spelling and grammar skills according to the study by coventry university and the university of tasmania of course not everybody will be happy with the findings because of how very annoying it is especially when you have to wade through whole swathes of dense unpunctuated type several times like this here in order to discern the meaning i find it exhausting even typing without using punctuation and if i had to read everything in text speak i think I would have to resort to a killing spree…

What utter, unadulterated claptrap. This displays not only a total ignorance of cognitive and linguistic development and the difference between cause and correlation, it also show the naïveté of asking children – or psychologists as they like to call themselves - to comment on childhood phenomena. There may be a dozen things going on here, but proof that lazy spelling and no-existent grammar engenders better performance later in life is simply not one of them.

This is simply self-justifying tosh; the same sort of enquiry into developmental psychology that brought about the disastrous and destructive decades of child-centred learning and the notion that the kiddie-winks would become Nobel Prize winning physicists if only the teachers would become mere facilitators and leave them to get on with it. The kind of thinking that led to the ‘all must have prizes’ school of non-competition that causes many British kids to become unemployable after thirteen years of full-time education.

The Intertext - Answers on a postcard...

But hey, maybe I’m being too judgemental and reactionary here. Maybe I should lighten up, take a progressive view and get with the programme. After all, there may be funding available. Coming up: my research into how sitting on your big fat arse every day will help you live longer more fulfilling lives and how you are statistically more likely to win the lottery if you never buy a ticket. Ground-breaking research? Bollocks, more like.


Saturday, 14 June 2014

Find a Job for Ed?

News just in that beleaguered Labour Leader Odd Miliband is resorting to desperate measures in order to reach out to ordinary people. Acting lessons, Ed? Surely the jig is up when you have to consciously NOT be yourself just to get people to listen to you? Behind the scenes Ed’s ‘intellectual self-confidence’ may have been an asset but nobody – I mean NOBODY – can seriously imagine Miliband in a photo line-up at a world leaders’ summit.  Or if they can, there is something way out of whack with their judgement.

So toxic now is Ed’s image, especially after the Sun newspaper misjudgement and subsequent fallout, that even as a backstage scene-shifter nobody would be associated with him, covered as he is with the imaginary bruises of a hundred metaphorical bargepoles. So what awaits Mr Ed outside the world of Westminster? Join me folks, as today we launch the quest to find a new job for Ed

Waiter in a tea shop?

Personal Trainer?

Stage Hypnotist?

Prince Tribute act?

Relationship Counsellor?

Sex Therapist - Blow Job Specialist?

There must be a thousand jobs out there that a Miliband could do without him ever having to get anywhere near the access codes for Britain's nuclear deterrent. Come on Twitter, do your stuff! #FindaJobForEd




Friday, 13 June 2014

The Proverbials

"Many hands make light work!” chuckled George as he formed The Proverbials into a chain to ferry the rucksacks, hand to hand, from various car boots and into the back of the waiting minibus. “Steady away,” he reminded them: “More haste less speed and all that!” The team laughed heartily, joshing with each other as they swiftly transferred their day packs into the transport then trooped back into the Scout Hut kitchen to have a coffee and listen to the brief.

Seated in a loose semi-circle, the rambling club gazed upon a map Blu-tacked  to the wall as George outlined the routes and the programme for the day. Grid references were duly noted as were the locations of public telephones and villages with police stations. Emergency procedures were checked, mobile phone numbers were exchanged, team leaders appointed and first-aiders assigned. No possibility was left to chance as they planned their annual orienteering competition, concluding with their trademark slogan, ‘The Seven Pees’.

“Proper prior preparation…” said George, inviting the assembled throng to recite the response: “Prevents piss-poor performance!” They all replied, ending with a round of applause. Not for nothing were they known as The Proverbials among the rambling community. Shouting “All for one and one for all!” the aphorism-addicted companions piled into the transport and headed for the hills.

The weather was dreary and overcast, a pall of hill fog blanketing them as they drove higher into the Pennines before they finally arriving at the rendezvous point where they met the other teams and listened to the final site brief before disappearing off into the mist to complete their circuits against the clock. Even though the sun shone above them, all that penetrated the gloom was an eerie sodium-yellow gloom. The absence of shadows and boggy ground underfoot made getting ones bearings tricky and frequent route deviations compounded the sense of isolation.

Eventually, George’s five man team encountered another and with a few minute’s discussion both teams concluded they were lost. With no mobile phone signal and with GPS contact lost the leaders gathered round the map and consulted their two compasses. They were forty-five degrees different. After a moment’s panic among the group George took charge, “faint heart never won fair lady," he reminded them, adding, “and he who hesitates is lost.” The walkers murmured assent and duly fell into file behind him as he led the way.

Eventually they came to swampy ground in which George quickly became mired up to his knees. Bidding them to halt he struggled back to the tussocky dry grass and held a conference. “We could try and go round,” he said, “but it’s starting to get dark. I think we should risk it and carry on straight across.” After a brief discussion of who should go first they decided that if the lightest of the group could make it, they could assist progressively heavier members to beat the bog.

A groan was heard from the back of the party as “Five-foot-one Yvonne” heard the sound of her card being marked. Passing her rucksack to one of the others she gingerly stepped out onto the boggy ground and cautiously made her way out into the wet. After about ten steps, she turned round and grinned. With a big thumbs-up and declaring it safe to proceed she turned back, took another bold step forward… and promptly disappeared without trace into the bog. 

Rambling on...
Rambling on...

Shocked, the rest of the group sombrely skirted the edge of the morass and eventually found a firm gravel track along which they made their way to the safety. Search parties subsequently failed to recover Yvonne's body despite the insistence that it would probably be in the last place they looked. The local newspaper later recorded her noble sacrifice in the only way she would have wanted, with the headline: “A titch in slime saves nine.”

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Diagnosis Murder

Whatever you may think of the medical profession – saints or sinners – it is, undoubtedly, a profession; we pay for it. And as with any market when everybody owns a widget or a smart-widget or an ersatz widget the search is on to replace widgets with gizmos and create a new demand, more business, more profit. Diversify to thrive. The pedlars of quack cures for consumption and ague have long since gone to the big surgery in the sky and the relentless quest for the latest, on-trend, disease du jour continues. Whatever happened to Yuppie Flu?

Nobody wants to cure the faux epidemic, of course; the real money is in diagnosing it and treating it. Statins, anybody? And a little know perverse reality is that those much-lauded drug trials are skewed to favour the likes of GSK’s latest potion against yesterday’s miracle salve. Dare I say ‘side effects’? The reason they keep on tinkering with your old dad’s combination of meds is because those trials continue long after the medicine is licensed and nobody fully knows how any particular drug regime recipe is going to affect any individual in advance.

The real drug of choice for most people should simply be less. Less meat, less dairy, less alcohol, less nicotine, less fat, less salt, less sugar, less… more ‘less’. But less is difficult and we are so accustomed to having what we crave when we crave it that the idea of temperance is a bitter pill to swallow. Oh, if only they would invent that pinnacle of self-medication the fix-everything, after-everything pill. Until then we have to make do with deadly concoctions of dodgy chemicals and trust that our pushers – the GPs – are independently wealthy enough to resist the inducements to prescribe the latest silver bullet.

With the exception of unconscionably large amounts of alcohol and the occasional paracetamol (although rarely for hangovers – I generally don’t get hangovers) my only regular weakness is gluttony. So, I’m definitely not going to the doctors because I’ve just learned that the latest on-trend diagnosis is ‘Pre-diabetic’. I believe we used to call it ‘being a bit overweight’, but my god what have we come to when in order to line its pockets the medi-scare industry has to stoop to crystal ball gazing?


Still, if this recent report into shortfalls on state pensionentitlement is true we might not all be able to afford any actual, proper, old-age diseases in the future at all. The greatest insult and irony, of course, is that it is the very people who have generally used the NHS the least while they worked most of their lives to pay into the system that may end up getting the least out. Meanwhile, those who have never worked and will have freely availed themselves of every medical trend on offer, if only as a way of passing the time, will have a ‘full stamp’ and ease seamlessly from working age benefits to a pension with barely a glitch.

Working to death!
Hey, I'm working to death here!

But hey, it has fuck-all to do with me. When the time comes I’d rather dress in a bin bag, hop in a skip and pop a cyanide pill than endure a slow demise as a lab rat for the drug companies. My 100% accurate terminal diagnosis was made at birth. Forget pre-diabetes, or even pre-pre-diabets; when you face up to it, we’re all suffering from pre-death anyway.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Spiked

Come on in pal, make yourself at home. The booze cabinet is always open and there’s ice in the freezer. I’m just nipping down the corner shop – do you want anything? There’s the paper, the telly remote, a bowl of peanuts and some hot snacks by the microwave… The car keys are on the hook by the front door if you need them and please do help yourself to the wife. This, I am imagining, is the logical conclusion to the whiny war on private property forever waged by certain elements of society who have never owned very much but have often not had to pay for a lot of it either.

The Guardian reports a flood of complaints about so-called ‘homeless spikes’ despite the fact that such defensive architecture has been in use for decades wherever unwanted intrusion is to be deterred. Pigeon spikes, razor wire atop perimeter fences and walls, anti-vandal paint and the like are all there for a purpose. And usually they only appear once a persistent problem has been identified and has resisted more benign campaigns to find resolution.

Really, The Guardian, a flood of complaints? Or just the usual suspects with nothing else to get outraged about today, mobilising their workshy mates to sign a totally pointless petition demanding that property owners be denied the exclusive use of what they have worked and are paying for. I’d be mighty pissed off to buy an expensive flat only to find that I had to step over a ringworm infested drug-addled drunk, smelling of vomit, piss and faeces just to get into my own home. And so would you. Oh yes you would.

The funniest thing, to my mind, were the numbers of tweeters taking to the ether to complain about how this ‘inhumane’ practice would do nothing to help solve the problem of homelessness. Well of course not, stupid… who even thinks for one moment that most people really give a toss? But it does help solve the problem of the location of the homeless themselves and if it drives them away from those who despise them and into the welcoming arms of those saints who would give up the shirts from their own back, surely that’s a good thing? Matching product to market is a lot more humane than driving them off with pitchforks and burning tar.

If all the people who moaned about more successful people being more successful were instead to emulate some of their zeal and tenacity they too would be able to experience the thrill of home ownership. Then together they could all spike up the place good and proper and the only place left for the genuinely and involuntarily homeless would be the hostels where they might get the very real help they might need. All paid for by the taxes this larger pool of happy, successful people would contribute and not by some self-indulgent war on ambition and good fortune. 

Fakir
Oi, hop it! You cheeky fakir!

So, next time you see a piece of urban sculpture designed to dissuade the drifters, don’t get the hump, don’t be a prick but try to see the point of it. Sharpen up your thinking, pin down your concerns and take my tip: have a stab at seeing it from the other side of the palin fence. Seen from this boundary perspective tramp spikes are a palpable force for good in a sea of moral turpitude. Yes, I called them ‘tramp spikes’; no need to get all prickly about it.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

I, Robot

The press were delighted over the weekend to announce that finally a computer has passed the Turing Test. The test, devised by Alan Turing in 1950 is a measure of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behaviour indistinguishable from that of a human. If the human participant in a conversation between man and machine cannot reliably tell that he is not talking to another human being, the machine is said to have passed the test. And now a programme called Eugene has managed to convince a third of its human subjects that (while not necessarily representing humanity as we know it) they were conversing with a thirteen year old boy.

I don’t see what all the fuss is about. For a start, half the perverts on teenage internet chat rooms have been posing as thirteen-year-olds for years. But also it has come to my attention that such research has already gone way beyond a mere five-minute keyboard-based ‘chat’. I have recently been made aware of the findings of a Cambridge robotics laboratory’s work in producing a life-sized, human-emulating android. The robot has been involved in field trials under controlled conditions for a number of years now.

The following are quotations from the papers I have been privileged to have access to and summarise some of the group’s findings:

“25/09/2010: Android first trialled on unsuspecting public. General reaction was muted acceptance, although the jerky and sometimes spasmodic physical articulation soon gave away non-human core and more work is needed to model a more realistic and believable head. Speech somewhat stilted and the lack of fluency and focus needs to be tweaked. Conclusion of observers: Not human.”

“30/06/2011: New, smoother voice software installed and physical movement toned down. It was decided to reduce emotion facsimile to a minimum and have the machine sitting down and stable while answering a series of questions. First responses good, but on entering a verbal feedback loop it became impossible to exit; the robot began to repeat answers and very quickly its interviewer expressed doubts about dealing with an autonomously cognitive entity. Some difficulty in switching off and terminating the experiment. Still need more work on facial prosthetics? Conclusion: Not human.”

“17/04/2013: Tried exhibiting machine on small dais in Cambridge market, using a scripted speech with crowd-interactive opportunities. Robot successfully engaged small gathering for several minutes with detached monologue but was not so convincing when attempting to respond to questions in a human manner. Some odd answers resulted, often unconnected to actual queries, so experiment was terminated as crowd drifted away. Some educationally challenged participants and juveniles were taken in for a while but a number of parents complained about the strange grimaces and nasal whine frightening small children. Conclusion: Not human.”

I robot
One of these humanoids isn't really human...

“21/05/2014: After much work on physical presentation, movements are still somewhat spasmodic and unconvincing. However, determined to push on, we embarked on a last ditch nationwide tour, in order to try and fool as many people as we could by only allowing brief exposure to the latest prototype and limiting its speech to meaningless sound bites. Robot lasted less than twenty-four hours before the frankly embarrassing bacon sandwich incident, after which the team is seriously considering ‘recycling’ it or melting it down for scrap. Conclusion: Project Ed Miliband is unlikely to ever fool anybody.”

Monday, 9 June 2014

A whiter shade of pale

It was really only a matter of time. When you examine how Britain has been deliberately changed over the last few decades it can come as little surprise that in the very week we are remembering the sacrifices made for freedom seventy years ago the Daily Mail reports that a school in Devon has been downgraded by Ofsted for being too white. I would just LOVE to be a fly on the wall when the same inspectorate tells an exclusively Pakistani state school in Birmingham that they are ‘too brown’. Fuck me, but there’d be some lefty liberal outrage to behold.

Diane Abbott and Lee Jasper rail against whitey, while simultaneously contending that blacks can’t be racist, and the astonishing Ugandan agitator Yasmin Alibhai Brown openly longs for the death of the white race yet frequently also denigrates those with darker skin than hers - so what is the correct shade, Yasmin? Must we mingle until we are all mocha?

And what is the response to the Trojan Horse affair and the sense that finally, too little too late, the authorities are opening their eyes to the threat of a deliberate infiltration and islamification of our institutions, long warned about by ordinary ‘bigots’? Why, it’s a call to 'do more for ethnic minorities'. That, by the way, is code for making white people feel ever more ashamed of their heritage. In future history lessons will Winston Churchill be a Jamaican and Michael Faraday a Moor, or will all our past achievements simply be overwritten by a multicultural mélange of mediocrity?

On the Sunday Politics yesterday Maajid Nawaz co-founder of Quilliam pulled no punches in confirming the truth of the islamic mission in Europe and the French warned us long ago that all this would come to pass. The liberty and tolerance that we enjoy thanks to men like Bernard Jordan has been systematically used against us for years as calls for integration into British society fell on deaf ears; no, they said, it is we who must accommodate them. Even David Cameron, to his shame, recently called for greater and greater insertion of islam into Britain’s governing structures.

So, what are the Devon schoolchildren going to learn? How will they be made to feel? Inferior for their skin colour, is that the plan? Intolerant for a lack of ‘diversity’ they have had no hand in bringing about? Will they return ‘enriched’ by the vibrant cultural heritage of islamic civilisation and the many colourful shades of grey it wears? Will the girls be made to don burkas and will they all be ‘invited’ to learn koranic verses and bow to the bingo hall, so they can debase their kafir origins?  None of this would surprise me.

Black faces all round
The ideal school?

While I am a reasonably gregarious person and have no great difficulty in meeting new people I have always resisted being forced to do so. Unless you have common interests, values, views, etc, it can be a great chore. It’s one thing gritting your teeth and doing it as an adult, but it’s quite another – and quite a trial – to be a child shoved into an alien environment. I hope they learn from this visit and adopt the practices of their host school, returning home with all their natural prejudices reinforced and resolving to keep Devon as monocultural as they possibly can.

Racist? Hell yes; who wouldn't be in the black face of all this?

Friday, 6 June 2014

Plain Sailing

Bryan has lived a long and comfortable life with Marjory and now in retirement with their two children long since flown the nest there is little to break their familiar old routines except the occasional patter and chatter of grandchildren on their infrequent but always welcome visits. Marjory is happy in the kitchen while Bryan potters around the garden or down in his shed and lately he has taken to leaving Marjory to her soap operas while he has a regular pint or two at the village square pub.

On one of these convivial evenings he regaled the assembled revellers with risqué tales from his courting days; quite the rake was old Bryan in his youth, with many anecdotes about escape from the nearby girls’ boarding school dormitories after lights out and later, during his time in the army, as the Don Juan of Aldershot. Soon his Wednesday night revelations became quite a fixture down the Crown & Anchor, especially as he began to spice up his narrative with more than a sprinkling of erotic detail and advice for adventurous couples.

One night the pub landlady asked him if he would address the next meeting of the Women’s Institute the following Wednesday night, as a guest speaker and so flattered was he to be invited he accepted without stopping for a moment to consider how he would explain this appearance to Marjory. Marjory, you see, had long ago given up having any interests in the bedroom department beyond duvet covers and fitted sheets.

For a few days he prevaricated but he knew that if he didn’t tell her, sooner or later one of the village ladies would let slip and he doubted very much that Marjory would see the funny side. Instead he told her that he had been asked to deliver a lecture about the joys of sailing the Norfolk Broads, as he and Marjory had done on a couple of occasions early in their married life. It sounded a suitably staid and safe topic. Meanwhile, down in his shed, Bryan carefully polished off some of his best old memories and embellished them for effect, come the big night.

Well the village hall was packed and nobody left unsatisfied. In a perfectly pitched talk he brought the house down with gasps at his daring, giggles at his cheeky asides, plenty of nodding and taking of mental notes at his nuggets of marital advice and uproarious laughter at his well-timed punchlines. The meeting finally broke up and the ladies went home in gaggles, laughing and joking and nudging each other with provocative cackles as they went. More than a few married men about the borough were pleasantly surprised at the up-tick in conjugal activity over the next few days.

Even Marjory intuited that something was up. As she went about the village she sensed an air of intrigue and she was sure she heard, on more than one occasion, a stifled snigger, quickly cut short, as she walked into the newsagents or the greengrocer. It was all most unusual. Then, one morning as she took her little dog for a walk, she found the Crown landlady matching her pace and sidling up to her. “Your Bryan is a dark horse, isn’t he?” she said, “Who would have known we had such an expert in our midst?”

Surf's up!
Surf's up!

Marjory was taken aback. “Whatever do you mean?” she asked, whereupon the landlady heaped praise on Bryan’s eloquence and all-round grasp of his subject, making plain her envy for Marjory’s good fortune in having married him. “Well that’s odd,” said Marjory, “As I recall, he’s only done it twice. The first time he was sick and the second time his hat blew off! “

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Ho ho ho, it's magic!

Today’s hilarious yet hideous reality is the unedifying Queen’s speech in which the coalition promised to do loads of stuff they will never do and Ed Miliband’s response tried to suggest he had the first clue about the disaffection of the voters with politics and politicians. He used all the right words, most of them in the right order, then destroyed the illusion of temporary sanity by neatly listing Labour’s ersatz, listening-to-the-people response. A housing bill, an immigration bill a minimum wage bill… a bill for this, a bill for that, an energy bill, a lack-of-energy bill, a duck bill, a platypus bill, a bill for bloody everything.

For pity’s sake Ed, we are drowning in bills; for some of us our entire life is spent either working to pay our own bills or to pay the tax to pay you lot to dream up ‘those’ bills. We may as well just burn most of our wages for all the good they bring us. But I don’t expect Ed or his ilk to ever understand this; Justine probably does the paperwork in their household anyway, or maybe they have an accountant; doesn’t everybody? Tony Blair may have holed Labour's empty vessel with the outright lie of unfulfilled ‘education, education, education’ but the millipede wants to go further still and brave the stormy seas on a raft of legislation, legislation, legislation!

Fortunately, yer Uncle Batsby has his spies out and about with their ears to the ground and I can reveal that, like the BBC, ‘I have learned’ the following important rumours: Worried about your weight? Worry no more, because Labour’s new Gravity Bill will reset the dysfunctional ‘mass’ market. By capping the kilograms nobody need weigh any more than their ideal weight ever again. The obesity crisis solved by a waft of His Celestial Majesty’s magic philanthropy stick. But why stop with simply altering the laws of physics?

Replace the tedious and convoluted legal system, so tortuous and verbose that all it does is make rich men of the worst lawyers, with a law and order bill containing a statement banning all crime. I wonder that nobody thought about it before. Starving? Make starving illegal; job done. Similarly, why declare war on want when you can just pass a bill declaring want a crime in itself? Legislate for longevity, life, love and loveliness and all will be well, says Magic Ed… from his lofty perch atop the magic toadstool, waggling his limp little wand, down among the faeries in the bosky glades of Dingley Dell.

What is wrong with these people, who pretend to feel our pain even as they recline on soft, downy cushions, the powerful opiates of the money-morphine isolating their nervous systems entirely from the world of human pain and suffering? I don’t want my politicians to empathise – or worse, pretend to empathise – I want them to actually do something. I want them clean and sober, up off their arses and leading. I genuinely don’t need to believe they are my friends and every time one of them lays a metaphorical hand on my shoulder and tells me she cares, all I can sense is the unadulterated whiff of hypocritical bullshit.

Magic Miliband

But hey, look on the good side: today is the Newark by-election! And whatever happens between UKIP and the Conservatives, Ed’s lot are in for a thumping and could well end up disappearing in a puff of smoke. Abraca-fucking-dabra.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Hearth and Home

The Nationwide Building Society announced yesterday that house prices had risen by 11% across the UK in the past twelve months. If that’s the case, Mr Nationwide, perhaps you can tell me why my own house is not only worth considerably less than I paid for it eight years ago (despite being fully renovated in that period) but is likely to fetch not a penny more than it would have done last year… or the year before? As always, supposedly ‘national’ statistics are pretty much useless in painting an accurate picture.

It’s like the weather forecast; no matter what the general prognosis, the majority’s experience of specific conditions will differ. In one village an enormous cumulonimbus dumps hundreds of tonnes of the wet stuff in under half an hour while in the next the cricket continues unabated until only the cucumber sandwiches stop play. Similarly, recession or not, companies fail and people are made redundant while others prosper and profit, yet the statistics deal only with aggregated productivity and fail to tell the real stories of the majority of individuals.

What’s my beef? It’s the fact that not only will our own government rarely properly consider and accommodate regional variations, acting instead on overall figures that are representative of almost nobody, but that the EU feels compelled to butt in and do the same. Help to buy has been a real boon to people trying to buy their first house in areas outside central Londonistan yet the commissars are now ‘suggesting’ to Westminster that they take steps to curb this apparent economic bubble by cutting off the only means many people may ever have to own their own home.

How dare the EU, having shown utter profligacy throughout its existence, turn its attention to dictating the detailed policies of supposedly sovereign nations, especially those who thank their lucky stars they didn’t adopt the euro. “Tractor production at an all-time high, comrades. Cease making tractors and divert all resources to bringing in the glorious turnip harvest!” Cue the mighty tractor army of the south-east gathering in a record tonnage of the favourite communist comestible while in the tractor-deprived north the crops rot in the fields. The national statistics show only good news, while in some parts of the country the only growth industries are undertakers and clothes recyclers.

The human rights industry grants rights to criminals whilst denying justice to victims. Discrimination legislation discriminates and criminalises the majority. Employment law puts people out of work. The common agricultural policy makes farming unprofitable and food scarce. Energy policy makes electricity unaffordable, or a luxury item for some. And importing ‘vibrant’ third-world multiculturalism makes no-go areas of our inner cities. For every blue-flagged leisure centre or community outreach hub apparently paid for with ‘EU money’ we have paid IN ten or twenty-fold.

Home sweet hovel
House? Luxury!

We have been ripped off, lied to, insulted, affronted, subjugated and treated as vassals throughout our whole sorry history of association with this shabby ‘communism-lite’ experiment. And still the arguments always spring from an assumption that without the EU nothing good could have come to pass, because whatever successes we do achieve it is easy to turn the passive fact that we are a member into the triumphal and causal claim that it is because we are a member. Just remember all that when your EU-fawning offspring are still eating you out of the family home at the age of 40.