Monday, 31 August 2015

Which project?

Anthony Charles Lynton Crosby Stills Nash Young and Blair. Whatever else he wanted for his legacy the gurning glove puppet mouthpiece of Mandelson’s New Labour will most be remembered for the asset-stripping of what was left of the Labour Party. He started off by abandoning  Clause Four, continued through the systematic rejection of all the values that originally made Labour a party of the ordinary working man, turned the comedy ‘champagne socialist’ into the mainstay of his club of cronies and finally killed Keir Hardie’s dream with his three increasingly desperate attempts to persuade the voters to reject Jeremy Corbyn.

So far at odds with Labour’s core principles were New Labour that David Cameron once referred to himself as ‘heir to Blair’. Yikes. It takes an especially thick kind of skin to handle that kind of abuse but dear old ‘Tone’ rose to the challenge with aplomb. He was disliked by Conservatives who clearly saw through his blatant attempt to turn Labour into Tory-lite but were powerless to prevent it. He was reviled by ordinary rank-and-file Labour members for doing the same thing. And hated by the unions for not taking their shilling he became the most successful and most popular Prime Minister that nobody, apart from his trendy new media and luvvie friends, admitted to ever liking.

The devil eyes of the Tory election campaign; the evil upside down mouth of his cackling spouse; the bitter venom of his communist father-in-law and the barely veiled sneers of his partner in crime Gordon Brown... above all else the thing that people appeared to hate the most about Blair was how malleable he was as he chameleonically changed his stance to fit the views of his audience – oh, except for the famous savaging he got from the Women’s Institute; as mothers they were uniquely equipped to see through his psychopathic manipulations and view the nasty, greedy little boy beneath.

The exact moment when Blair realises he has finished off Labour
My god... what have I done?

But finally he has come good. Even going so far as to admit that he understands his interventions may well lead to an increase in Corbyn-mania - bizarrely it is many of the same luvvie set who are now supporting JC in his ascendency – Blair’s last act for Labour may be to hammer in the nails on its coffin lid. Some have suggested this is a deliberate act to complete the sabotage he started but I suspect he is trying to atone for the damage he caused. Either way, intentional or not, we may have him to thank for keeping Labour’s hands off the levers of power for a generation. It would not surprise me if, when Blair accepts a chair in the upper chamber, he is ennobled as a Tory Peer. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015

The House of Oh my Gawd!

A caller to LBC this afternoon thought it mighty clever of Call-me-Dave to stuff the Lords with cronies and donors, thus leading to a grass-roots socialist backlash and the near certainty of Labour ending up with 2020 General Election-losing Jeremy Corbyn for Glorious Leader. At first I thought, hey, cunning plan, but then I remembered who I was dealing with. While Labour hasn’t a coherent thought among the lot of them, the current crop of pseudo-Conservatives are hardly joined-up government personified. Apart from lucking out on the economy I struggle to recall a single bit of brilliant policy that has led to the desired outcomes.

But isn’t that what the Lords are there for? To volley back to the Commons policy on which the stitching has come undone. Or to toss into the trash that which should never have made it off the lower house’s cutting room floor. When the ermined were the real deal it was in an age when they took it as a sacred trust to look after the country for posterity. A good Squire knows it is in his own interests to keep the peasants fed and happy enough at least not to revolt. And while there were – with absolutely no doubt – devilish dealings and underhand pacts made for the enrichment of the landed class the peasantry wouldn’t have known what to do with wealth anyway.

I mean, look at them; richer than at any time in history, all they seem to do is demand more for less in an open show of ignorance that would embarrass anybody with the feeblest cerebral pulse. And it’s a positive feedback loop – this is rarely a good thing, you non-logicians out there – whereby the masses vote for the parties whose lies they prefer, who then in turn pack the red benches with peers who won’t oppose them.  And still the leeching goes on (doesn’t it ‘Lord Moat’?) but that’s okay because now both ends are hammering the middle.

From the political left comes the cry “Reform the Lords!” by which they mean, “Make them agree with us!” But oh how quickly those principles slip away, Lord Prescott, when the call comes from above? There really is no sensible answer. Hereditary succession is rejected because of the class war which has been raging a century or more now. An appointed peerage is a clear no-go as the numbers approach a thousand ennobled stooges who proceed with partisan agendas while taking their £300-a-day to snooze on the plush leather. And an elected upper chamber is a ludicrous nonsense which will simply bring whichever electoral system is used for selection into disrepute.

Lord Filthy Rich

So, what’s it to be? I say we turn the House of Lords into a retirement club for those whose days of political ne’er-do-welling are over. Instead of us paying them to attend we maintain the building as a national treasure, but they cover the running costs and act as tour guides and tea room staff for bemused foreign visitors. But, you ask, what of the legislative safety valve? What of the control over runaway governments? What of the checks and balances? To which my response is, ask the unelected masters in Brussels; they’re in charge now.

Friday, 28 August 2015

Demos be joking!

The migration figures were out yesterday. Even the painfully high, record one-third of a million net immigration hides the much larger figure of double that for inward migration only. Over 600,000 means that our non-British-born population is increasing by 1% every year (if ‘official’ total population numbers are not wildly under-estimated). Twice as many coming in as going out; think about that. Then consider their make-up.

Those coming in come to make a living from the British economy and no matter how loud the rhetoric that this is a marvellous thing it is a simple fact that sub-£30k workers will always cost more in demand for services, housing and general infrastructure than they pay in tax. Those who come for a short period don’t integrate and those who come from certain world sub-cultures will never integrate. The proportionately few who genuinely pay for themselves and cause no harm would have been able to come anyway and would have been welcome. The rest; well look around you.

Watching your neighbourhood change before your eyes may be a joy to behold if you have swallowed the line that immigration is a natural good. You probably also believe that nationalities are a construct of racist ideology and that all people are of equal worth to society, that every possible variant of gender identity is exactly as ‘normal’ as that held by 99% of humans, that money is shit out by magical rainbow unicorns and Tories hate everybody so much that they would rather see their own children die than put a single penny into the NHS. You may well hope for a Jeremy Corbyn government even, heaven help you.

But what of those leaving the UK? Some of them, it is true, are returning to their own countries, having made their pile, no doubt to start businesses, start a family, etc... good luck to them, but they are still net takers. Others are going back as broke as they arrived having made little difference but, hey, no hard feelings. Some are no doubt a small number of working Brits seeking their fortunes abroad? For all the pleading that, look, we do just the same as ‘they’ do, relatively few Brits go off to do entry-level work abroad; being a waiter in Romania or a labourer in Poland does not pay – ask those who come here to do that work.

That leaves me to consider the rest of those leaving these shores; the natural born Brits. How many are retirees going off, not to contribute but to simply make their British pensions go further? How many are business owners who have shut up shop and cashed in to retire early and become economically inactive in Britain? You may say good, they are also exporting their health concerns, but it’s far more likely those who have problems will stay in the UK for the NHS alone. It has to be a consideration that we are losing some of our best and a glance at our inner cities could leave you with no other conclusion.

Soon – within a generation maybe - you who remain will have no idea what an Englishman ever was; they will be historical relics. Long dead will be the fighters we used to honour, but now denigrate, on Armistice Day and hollowed-out husks will be those who still remember them. The real shame is that they believed in and fought for a flawed ideal; democracy. True democracy can never work in a multicultural society with ideals as disparate as the backgrounds they come from, but it is due to notions of ‘representative’ democracy that we have such a society.


There is a lie that diversity itself produces success whereas the truth is that success attracts and tolerates diversity. For too long our governments have pursued the fallacy and ignored the facts. But the true facts of yesterday’s immigration figures are yet to be fully analysed and accepted and it is doubtful that the authorities on all sides even want to know the truth as it appears to the displaced, the demos, the bulk of voters. And who needs facts to get in the way of election campaigns anyway? Even were the raw data available in a form capable of being rationally scrutinised, the vast majority of those with a ballot would be incapable of drawing meaningful conclusions. Our ‘representatives’, as ever, will decide and they already did, decades ago. On Fridays I normally post a joke. Are you ready for the joke? Here it comes: Democracy.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

On Autumn

Remember the old adage “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves?” While we are all distracted, watching the flood of migrants threatening to engulf all of western civilisation we ignore at our peril the smaller ways in which our culture has been progressively dismantled. For instance, have you noticed the quiet removal of the once common Chelsea bun from our supermarket shelves, to be replaced by the bland ubiquity of chocolate chip brioche rolls or the evil mass-produced 'Victory Croissant'?  You haven’t? Well I bloody well have; my search for Chelsea buns has now covered four counties and as many supermarket chains.

Is uniformly inoffensive Euro-fare to eventually erase all traces of parochial identity from the national diet? How long before we lose the Yorkshire pud? And is there a future for the Bakewell tart, Eton mess and Melton Mowbray pies? The evil Margarita Fatcha closed down the once-famous jam butty mines of Knotty Ash and the French have long envied and despised our Stilton cheese. It's all a big conspiracy against differentiation and the nation state, I tells ya!

The world turns on its axis and tilts us away from the sun and before we are aware of it the changes creep in. Each day we lose several minutes of daylight but in our busy lives we only notice it properly after nature has already registered this annual climate change. Last night I went for a short walk and saw fully-formed conkers amid browning leaves, ripe elderberries already producing purple pigeon shit and that great harbinger of middle class autumn – sloes, already fat and purple and dusted with their characteristic yeasty bloom. While the eternally confirmation-biased anthropogenic global warming mob register this as proof of their doom-laden thesis, the rest of us simply recognise the inevitability of the seasons.

Autumn has long been used as a metaphor for ageing; the mellow fruitfulness a simile for the ripening of wisdom atop old shoulders, with the earlier nightfall heralding our own shorter days – have you seen how they fly by once you pass fifty? The rich hedgerow harvest, if you are able to avail yourself of it, is akin to the rewards for making hay while the sun shone, while those long, wet days sat staring from rain-streaked windows is a hint at the helplessness that comes to us all. But the thing about the real autumn, as opposed to an individual’s autumn is that it isn’t the only one; we have a chance to start over again come spring.

Conkers? Bollocks, more like!

And just as I am not yet ready to lie down and accept old age gracefully, nor should the individual nations of Europe accept that their day is done. “Do not go gentle into that good night” wrote Dylan Thomas “Old age should burn and rave at close of day;” While the mature governments of the world seem to accept as inevitable that our cultures must change and the familiar be forever lost – bizarrely ‘diversity’ makes us ever less capable of difference – it is up to the civilised populations of those benighted countries to stand up to their masters and to “rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Stormy Weather

England. It’s lovely. We have all of history, climate and culture on our side. If ever there really were a chosen race it was the people who maintained this island kingdom free of invasion for a thousand years. Blessed with a taciturn exterior but fiercely loyal to our friends and our flag, England and its people are, or were, the very best of the world. Oft derided as a mongrel nation we had the enviable character of a stoic with a secret; only the English could truly know the English. We not only showed the world how to behave, we walked our walk; even the lowliest English-born bore the heart of a champion in their chest. Cannon fodder maybe, but with a sense of patriotism unsurpassed.

I grew up with rainy Sunday afternoons watching Kenneth Moore shoot down the Luftwaffe, cheering on Noel Coward as he defied the U-Boats and identifying with Richard Attenborough as the plucky everyman, digging tunnels to return to Blighty and to the fray. I also grew up with fierce-bright long summer holidays, roaming the fields and building straw-bale forts, lolling in hedgerow dens chewing sugarbeet and barley ears. And then there were the deep, cold, hoar-frost winters; how we survived without central heating, fleeces and Gore-Tex© is a mystery as deep as why the country voted Labour in 1974.

But of course we know exactly why we elected the government that ended with unburied bodies and undisposed rubbish; Europe. Or, more specifically, what we then called The Common Market. Yes, the referendum was badly handled, but the instincts of the British Left, as piss-poor as they were in government, were still with the working man back then and they knew, if they would not say it openly, that there was far more at stake than trade. They knew – as today they ALL know – that at the heart of the European Projekt is the total obliteration of the nation state and today it is the majority will of the political classes to complete that erasure.

In pursuit of ‘harmonisation’ – becoming mediocre through diversity - the face of this green and pleasant land is defaced with political windmills which boldly demonstrate the impunity with which local democracy is overruled. The little man who wields the vote has no further say after he has cast it in favour of the party which promised the earth but instead continues to deliver us, piece by piece into the ravenous jaws of the Euro-juggernaut. In our history we believe at least that we would not have stood for it. Now it’s by no means certain we have that shared identity and will to remain unshackled.

The captain of HMS Beagle wouldn't have been the kind of man to succumb to Europe’s demanding embrace. Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy was made of sterner stuff. Naval hero, one-time Governor of New Zealand and founder, in 1854, of the Meteorological Office, he was one of that happy breed of men who existed a century before the state broadcasting corporation  became the mouthpiece of a softer establishment in thrall to the destructive experiment of socialism. This week we learned that the Met Office is to lose the contract to supply the BBC with weather forecasts.

Whether or not you believe in the advance of Cultural Marxism, this severing of connections between one national institution and another is surely yet another example of the progressive dismantling, the fracturing of a sense of identity; who else but the UK Met Office should be supplying weather information services to the nation in which it is based? But there are many precedents; much of UK services and infrastructure is in foreign hands, foreign control. Bought and sold we can no longer tell where Britain ends and the rest of the world begins. EU-Mission accomplished.

Have you put the cat out?
"I think we may be in for a bit of rain, dear..."

Come the referendum we genuinely will not know what we are voting for, but right now we should be demanding the reinstatement of the contract. The success of D-Day and Operation Neptune relied on the support of Meteorological Office and as a former ‘Met-Man’ myself I have more than a passing association with its worth. But casting all that aside, the Met Office should be kept on for one reason and one reason alone... who else will have the sheer brass neck to optimistically promise this sceptred isle of many shining facets the sheer fantasy of a bloody barbecue summer!

Monday, 24 August 2015

The New Normal?

Arriving at the hotel last night I found myself besieged with little slitty-eyed yellow people in such numbers as to make Prince Phillip’s temples twitch. He would have been in his hilarious element as they literally teemed about the place, chattering loudly in an incomprehensible tongue. I was tempted to say ‘swarmed’ but I believe that is now on the banned list. We need prodigious new phrase-coiners just to keep pace with the rate of word banning; people like Kathy Lette... even if she is a bloody foreigner. To some concerned citizens, those last two words alone are enough to condemn me as a racist. A vile racist, if you will.

But like every taunt and every pejorative label, overuse leads to the dulling of its blame-spreading blade. Racism, as a hate adjective (hatejective?) has been stretched so thinly of late, applied to words and deeds with no malicious intent and with ever more flimsy justification that the word has become meaningless. The offended have to deploy increasingly more powerful lenses to see hate in place of humour and infer fascism from an expression of fear.

Like running to the newspapers with the latest evidence that the British have become... exactly what the British and all sovereign nations have always been – concerned about our culture. At first glance the Wetherspoons’ poster ‘scoop’ is just an everyday story of pub-going folk: A concerned citizen goes into the pub with his moderate muslim friend only to be shocked, nay violated, by the presence of a hate-filled poster suggesting that those who don’t share our values don’t belong here. The bedwetting Guardianistas were all over it, but wasn’t it all a little ‘convenient’?

For a start, it’s not even remotely racist except by the sensitive standards of those who seek hurt from every quarter. Notwithstanding the long-established truth that islam isn’t a race and its own truly bigoted poison has infiltrated populations of many origins, wasn’t it somehow handy he had a ‘muslim friend’ with him on behalf of whom he was able to get offended. And isn’t there an element of racism in his assumption that said friend would share his feelings and thus “we were so upset by it we were forced to leave”?

What a long article, too, for such a short and insignificant event and yet I didn’t bother to alert the national press on Friday when I was treated to the left-handed, ‘dirty’ handshake of contempt by a member of the  supposedly oppressed minority. When snarling, raging, blood-lusting enemies of the west are free to demonstrate and demand the ritual death of their hosts and a return to tribal primitivism, an A4 poster with the perfectly reasonable suggestion that if you don’t like it you could always fuck off ought, surely, to be posted in every pub in the land. In transgression terms it barely ranks alongside the old bar postcard that read “Please do not ask for credit as refusal often offends.”

The only offensive thing here is the redaction.

What will the useful idiots do now that ‘racism’ is rumbled, now that its value is so low that they need to issue a new higher-value currency? The R-word no longer has the power to silence because it has been abused as surely as have many of those against who it has been used. If resisting the incursion of an ideology which expressly seeks to eradicate all dissenters is racist then a synonym for ‘racism’ could easily be ‘normal’. Oh, I forgot; ‘normal’ is now a hatejective too.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Walkabout

Still they are discussing the employability of graduates and the worth of A Levels in a world where it seems you need a qualification to take a dump and another to flush it away. And with the government on an impressive-sounding push to enrol youngsters on apprenticeships and deter sloth with ‘earn or learn’ programmes the options maybe somewhat bewildering to the average nineteen or twenty-year old school-leaver. But one thing has become a staple rite-of-passage that the human rights movement would deny nobody; where once you got a job and started to make your own way in life, now it is practically compulsory that, until you decide, you must continue to leech off your parents who opt to pay for a gap year rather than have you stinking up the family home.

And so it was that lazy Jake found himself on a long-haul flight to Australia, on an exchange programme with one of their own equally unemployable, what some have taken to calling ‘high school graduates’. (They even have ‘proms’ now, for heaven’s sake!) Jake crammed his long-legged form into the cramped seats of the Boeing 757 and slumped into the iPad coma that is the only known way of surviving such transport and prepared for the ordeal. A whole planetary day later and with a thumping headache he ran the gauntlet through Sydney international airport and out into the searing heat of early summer of New South Wales.

But the headache would not shift and even the glorious sights and non-stop hedonism of backpacking heaven did little to alleviate the dull throb. Eventually he sought advice and was directed to the oldest hospital in Australia, originally founded in 1788 and situated in Macquarie Street in the business district of Sydney since 181. The diagnosis was somewhat vague, but he was screened for all the major tropical diseases and all came up blank and he was sent away with instructions to take it easy, lay off the intoxicants and keep out of the sun.

Days went by and without the distractions of fun to keep him busy, Jake was more aware than ever of the tympani solo taking place behind his eyelids and began to seek ever desperate remedies. But none would alleviate his suffering. Then one day he heard about a Christian mission nearby, at Mercy Hospice, where the nuns were renowned for their compassion and healing powers and in particular their use of efficacious folk remedies. He decided to give them a try and pitched up to petition the Mother Superior for help. Admitted into a treatment room, one of the sisters listened carefully to his litany of symptoms and smiled benignly.

“Tea,” she said, “I will get you some tea.” She rang a little bell and the novice who had been quietly praying outside the door scurried off to prepare the brew. Jake was not highly impressed but held his tongue until the oily, steaming infusion arrived. He sniffed at the pungent aroma and looked suspiciously into the cup. “Drink” said he sister “it is a healing draft made from the fur of the koala bear.” Jake immediately assumed he was being taken for an idiot, but the nun patiently explained that much of the beneficial chemicals in the eucalyptus diet of the koala accumulated in concentrated form in the skin and nails and fur of the little somnolent animal. The fur could be combed out, rinsed then the ingredients extracted without any harm to the little bear. “It has great healing properties.”

Haha! You fell for that, Pommie?

Jake steeled himself against the smell; the eucalyptus was obvious and its tang evoked memories of childhood vapour rubs and Victory V lozenges and anyway, why would a Sister of Mercy lie to him? Instead of an exploratory sip, he took a deep gulp and immediately regretted it. His eyes bulged, his nostrils flared, but most of all his throat spasmed and he spat out a wad of matted koala fur. The nun smiled at his pantomime and waited. Jake realised his headache had disappeared. He smiled back and began to speak his gratitude but had to keep stopping as he coughed up bits of koala fur. The sister took advantage of one of these hiatuses to explain. “I’m sorry” she said “I should have warned you; the koala tea of Mercy is not strained...”

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The cost of education

Much chatter on the airwaves about the news – honestly, it’s like they think this just happened – that it may not be necessary to hold a degree in order to chuck coffee in a mug and scribble a doodle in the foam. No shit, Sherlock. A CIPD report, no doubt costing millions and conducted by ‘experts’, reveals a truth know to everybody with a brain ever since Tony Blair repeatedly recited that holy word Edjumakayshun. It turns out - and I can scarcely believe this wasn’t as blindingly obvious to government as it was to me and every educated adult in the country that this would happen - that over half of UK graduates are in shit jobs that require no such level of learning. (That’s right, ‘over half’. I’d use the percentage value reported, but there is a good chance it would sail right over their heads and we ought at least try to engage them in this conversation.)

During the time we have had this massive increase in the number of plastic graduates it is shameful that we are also suffering exactly the sort of skills shortage an education programme is expressly intended to alleviate. But of course, there was no programme so much as a political agenda to prevent children maturing into responsible adults by pandering to their already pampered expectations of instant fame, wealth, success and happiness. A graduate of some vague discipline for which there is no real demand and no overall worth is no more likely than a bin man to possess the work skills of punctuality and hard graft ... in fact the opposite is almost certainly the truth; the school of hard knocks and the university of life are still more relevant in preparing most people for life after mum and dad.

But maybe New Labour’s expectation was that, contrary to the general way in which the world actually works, a raft of new skills might create its own demand? Because there has certainly been a massive increase in ‘studies’ and as any fule kno, without studies we know nothing. Rent-seeking competencies such as analysing the synergistic equality outcomes of trans-women within the framework of a multicultural, multi-faith, tie-dye society via social media are valuable means of diverting public funds that would otherwise only be wasted on, say, healthcare for the elderly, who are hardly worth studying at all.

The rise of such social commentators – for which read professional offence-whores and perpetual moaning machines – as the vacuous and irrelevant Laurie Penny has an uncanny correlation with the rise in the number of people who want to study such self-centred obsessions. It’s surprising here isn’t a whole curriculum based on totting up the many ways in which you can be angry about the world not being all about you. Degrees in aggressive feminism, angry race relations, jealous politics and almost anything that can be followed by the word ‘studies’ or end in an ‘ism’ instead of an ‘ology’ are highly suspect ways of creating a generation fit to take on the challenges of the modern world, but they are near-perfect vehicles for increasing the sum total of malcontent.

Too stupid to think of a caption...

The report says graduates are ‘too qualified’ for their job roles; it doesn’t conclude that they are ‘too competent’. In the rush to inflate everybody’s grades the world of education has forgotten that qualifications do not a competent person make. This includes members of the highly ‘qualified’ teaching industry and its advisors. It must register with profound disappointment as well as a sense of bafflement that the explosion in university degrees has not resulted in an explosion in intellect. In fact one could almost argue the opposite; as a direct result of handing out degrees for all, the country as a whole is a bit more stupid. “The CIPD called on the Government to carry out a thorough review...” Well, here’s your thorough review, pal: It’s a fucking disgrace.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Black looks

Good old Lee Jasper is off on one again. Bless his little cotton socks – made, no doubt, from the bitter buds picked by the bent backs and arthritic hands of his slave ancestors in the cotton fields of Oldham. ‘Mammy, he’p me! When cayn mah people be free?’ His one big idea – and bear with me if you’ve heard this one before – is that only white people can be racist. Like the lunatic in Dark Side of the Moon he’s been mad for fucking years. Raving mad.

He’s written this delightful new blog about the suffering of his people, in which he asserts “The perennial debate about what constitutes racism is a deeply contentious issue and nowhere more so, than here in Britain. Take a cursory look at online debates about racism on any given day and you will see just what sound and fury is unleashed anytime this issue is debated.” Yes Lee, mostly by you and people like Yasmin Alibhai-Brown who seem to spend all of their time banging on about how disgusting white people are.

He believes whitey is “bent out of shape [because] they believe I’m the spawn of the devil as a result of [my] uncompromising stance on fighting racism.” Of course he and his tribe of assorted malcontents are simply doing Marx’s bidding and putting to the whip the consciences of those not fully formed or with a suggestive disposition. As a fellow propagandist, Goebbels himself would be proud of the way they repeat dogma until it becomes fact in their minds, much as half of the children of Britain (according to a recent survey) now seem to want to give homosexuality a go. Life could get interesting; brace yourself, kids.

Bent out of shape, Lee? Amused, more like. I’m pretty sure Ali G was meant to be a parody but when you read “as a nation, we are racially illiterate, confused and in deep denial [because] of slavery and colonialism and a deeply held shame and guilt [about] Britain’s past, [driven] by unacknowledged guilt and the base irrationality of racist sentiment combined with historical denial and a reductive view of racism producing a toxic psychology, blinded by prejudice and politics that drives them to bizarre and contradictory absurdities.” You realise the psychosis runs deep.

He don’t ‘alf go on, blacksplaining away that “Rationality, common sense, reasonable debate, objective facts all leave the room once the debate turns to racism or immigration.” Seemingly unaware that in fact we all metaphorically left the room as soon as this pseudo-intellectual discourse began to dribble forth, much as most of us do when the feministas get going. Who is frothing at the mouth, Lee? From where I’m sitting you seem to be increasingly preaching only to yourself and a small band of the already persuaded.  But keep going son; you’ll get the confused white kids to black up in solidarity pretty soon.

He states “As a black man of African descent and a veteran campaigner against racism for over 30 years I’ve always been crystal clear about my own views on what racism means.” Which, as a Mancunian of mixed Irish/Jamaican descent, with an olive complexion, suggests he’s not entirely crystal clear about anything very much.

What?
I see racism, Bro'. What's your point?

His favourite chant is that “Racism is prejudice plus power reflecting the specific historic, economic, cultural and geographic context to which the term is applied.” And thus continues to his climax by repeating that “Black and Asian people in US UK and Europe cannot be racist. I rest my case.” Case? What case? A bunch of half-baked rants painting the world in the colour of the prejudice he wants to see, like a petulant child railing against reasonable parents. Lee Jasper’s stance makes him look like an anti-white racist with a massive chip on his shoulder. Maybe it’s because he’s not really black?

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Unbelievable

Gordon Brown spoke for forty-nine minutes without mentioning Jeremy Corbyn by name, although the subtext beneath every single utterance was the latest New Labour mantra “Anyone but Corbyn”. If you could bear to listen to Gordo’s sanctimonious drivel about the ‘pain and suffering’ of Labour’s fictional beleaguered poor you could almost hear the rhythm: “abc, abc, abc, abc...” as he paced back and forth like the novelty weirdo on Strictly. The other theme was power. Labour must not become a party of opposition. We must have power. Only in power can we make the changes we want to make. To gain power we must present a credible alternative to the cruel and heartless Tories, he said. It has nothing to do with principle, it’s all about the power.

It seems such a shame then, that when Gordon himself had that power he managed to turn a healthy economy into a struggling one, then created a record breaking deficit of such magnitude that all the ‘austerity’ the hated Tories could muster has only managed to slow the rate of increase of the overall debt. Labour in power is a dangerous thing, especially to their own constituents, who they turn into dribbling unemployable morons; a client state, fit only to consume, recycling the fake money churned out by the relentless state printing presses generating not wealth but ‘quantitative easing’. This is what Labour does, it distorts everything; the economy, the perceptions of worth, the meaning of words. So it is risible yet entirely appropriate that their latest buzzword is ‘credibility’.

Everybody is using it, seemingly oblivious that Tony Blair’s soundbite soundtrack has been robustly rejected by every true died-in-the-wool socialist of the old school. For them it was never about the power of the party elites but about doing the good things that people working together, for each other can achieve. We used to call it community but once appropriated by the state its good intentions always become corrupted. “But ‘real’ socialism has never been tried!” they wail, while in fact it has. Real socialism was the manageable sub-150 settlement of the early agrarians. It just doesn’t scale up to include the millions of faceless strangers who can easily hide their failure to fully engage in the project except as permanent recipients.

Credible? What is credible is that Labour’s leaders are so focused on the gaining of power that they have no regard for the misery they cause every time they have it. To socialist ‘intellectuals’ the proletariat cannot possibly order their affairs for the greater good and must be pummelled, coerced, prodded and cajoled into behaving in the proper manner, no matter how much it hurts. What is credible is that power is more important to them than potency and facing a man like Jeremy Corbyn who can actually speak to Labour’s target electorate they would rather destroy him than join him because he appears to put principles before power and that is just ‘not credible’. Andy Burnham is the only one offering an olive branch but he has previous as an opportunistic shape-shifter.

Tax Credits? You disgust me!
Yes you! Do as you're damn well told!

For all their fine rhetoric about equality, liberty, fraternity all of those things will become worse under Labour. Everybody will be equally poor and be free to do just as the government tells them. As for fraternity, socialism has spent over a century trying to break down the natural ties that bind families and communities together and create instead a free-for-all society where nobody, however manifestly evil can be criticised, let alone sanctioned. Credibility? I’ll only believe Labour’s treacherous top table are conviction politicians when I see the rap sheet.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Stand on your liver!

When Moses Miliband came down from the mountain with his stone tablet of principles from who knows what acid-fuelled, socialist unthink tank we all gasped in astonishment before falling about with laughter. Ed himself always appeared to be delivering the message of others more Marxist than he, as he robotically intoned the edicts with a voice that was a gift to impressionists everywhere. He is probably as relieved as his party to be away from the spotlight, but he must be wondering why Jeremy Corbyn is getting away with doing much the same thing.

Iain Dale called JC’s launch of ‘Standing to Deliver’ (and don't you know he's been waiting decades to use that) as the shortest suicide note in history. Corbyn’s plan for a fairer and more successful Britain is a curious concoction of values and policy with the usual lack of detail. Like all left wing economic fantasy he doesn’t ever really get to explain how he will coerce those who don’t share his ideals to willingly share their resources. But hey, who’s to knock the New Ten Commandments? 

“Growth not austerity” he declares, with a national investment bank and ‘fair taxes’ for all, which is Labour speak for squeezing ‘the rich’ (that’s anybody not on tax credits) until the pips squeak. He promises “a lower welfare bill through investment and growth” yet with no meat on the bone of this policy, which actually implies far greater state spending, it will inevitably be funded by higher taxation on the good old ‘squeezed middle’ whose only crime is to not be reliant on handouts. But hey, won’t we all benefit from Jezzer’s “Action on climate change”? Given that, so far, the climate change industry has only ever created greater fuel costs and lower fuel security, I somehow doubt it.

Then there are the pure magic money policies. Intent on following the ruinous examples of left wing governments before him JC plans to magically renationalise the railways and the energy sector, control private rents and build enough council houses for everybody by 2025. Somehow he is going to do all that by “no more illegal wars” and not replacing Trident but, oddly, by redeploying the skills of those in Britain’s highly profitable  arms industry in the community. Meals on wheels delivered by drones, perhaps? Or will he sail a nuclear sub up the ship canal to provide a northern powerhouse for Manchester?

Of course, Corbyn is fully committed to saving, nay improving, the NHS with full state funding and a miraculously seamless integration with social care. It makes you wonder why no politician before him has ever even mentioned the health service. Furthermore, his fully-integrated, fully-costed, I-don’t-know-why-nobody-thought-of-it-before package of promises includes the abolition of zero-hours contracts, the stamping out of workplace injustice and – wait for it - equality for all! Add to that, lifelong ‘free’ education, jobs for everybody and somehow “an end to the scapegoating of migrants” in a one-nation Britain and it is surely time to bring out the bunting.

A change is gonna come?
Bloody hell it's Billy Bragg!

So there we go; Full-Corbyn will bring us a totally novel and innovative, “new kind of politics” and “a fairer, kinder Britain based on innovation, decent jobs and decent public services.” These are exactly the sort of ideas that every other party clearly opposes and so radical are they you would think Jeremy ought to have them engraved in stone. Meanwhile, that noise you hear in the background? It’s the combined hubbub of grinding teeth and middle-class rats scurrying from the sinking ship.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Reds under the beds

Even the noted left-wing comedian Mark Steel has now been barred from voting for Jeremy Corbyn, such is the deperation that has entered this contest. Added to the warnings by Blair, Campbell and Mandelson, a haggard-looking Jack ‘Fuck the English’ Straw appeared on Channel Four to drive home just how terrified the New Labour Louts are by this return to, er, democracy. The people choosing who they want to be leader? Dear god, what next?

But when the good comrade triumphs, Britain will enter familiar territory and balance will be restored as we revisit 1979 and good old left versus right, as opposed to left versus a little bit more left, versus a slightly more centrist than left-of-centre liberal free-market capita-socialism with a hint of left-lurching NHS-Tory thrown in. It’s good to know where you stand. Meanwhile as life returns to normal we will look away from the drama centre-stage and concentrate a little more on matters closer to home...

One morning in Corbyn's heavily regulated surveillance state, where everybody informs on everybody else, the senior IT System Manager of a major British business failed to show up for work and receiving no phone call to inform them of the reason for his unplanned absence, Susan from HR called him on his home phone number. The call was answered almost immediately but instead of a man’s voice, a small child answered: “Hello?” she whispered. In the way that we all instinctively do, Susan lowered her own voice when she asked, “Who is this?” The tiny voice replied, “It’s Polly.”

“'Hello Polly. Is your daddy at home?” asked Susan

“Yes”, lisped Polly and said no more.

“Can he come to the phone?”

“No.”

Susan was taken aback by this abrupt but firm negative, so she tried again: “Well, is your mummy there then?”

“Yes” said Polly

“Well could I speak to your mummy, then?”

In hushed and serious tones, “No.”

Susan was perplexed and thought for a moment. Something was clearly amiss. “Is there anybody else there?” she enquired.

“Yes,” whispered Polly, “there’s a policeman.”

“Oh? Then may I speak to the policeman, please?”

“No, he's busy.”

“What is he doing?”

“He’s talking to mummy and daddy... and the Fireman.”

A note of alarm crept into Susan’s voice as she began to ask what on earth was going on but she heard in the background a loud clattering noise, sounding as if it was getting nearer. “What’s that noise?” she almost yelled.

Boo!

“A helicopter,” whispered Polly.

“A helicopter?” Susan was frantic with worry. “What's happening? You can tell me, Polly”

Polly whispered back “The search team has just landed a big yellow helicopter outside.”

“Search team? Oh my goodness, what are they searching for?”

Polly tried to stifle it but her muffled giggle turned into a snort and then a raucous guffaw as she said “ME!”

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Angry? Moi?

I let off a bit of a rant yesterday at stuff I have no power to prevent and only limited scope to influence... and even then ‘influence’ is a tad optimistic. Let’s say I stood on the side-lines of a topic of the day and bellowed forth my displeasure. It felt good to vent, but was I angry? Actually no, not really; I stopped being angry many moons ago once I realised, a) it was fuck-all to do with me, and b) it was fuck-all to do with me. See? Thirty years ago, I used to regularly travel a stretch of the M6. When traffic conditions turned it into a car park there was nothing you could do about it; No satnav, no internet, no mobile phones. I would see angry drivers all around me, inching forward and shouting furiously in their vehicular bubbles; and yet progress came there none. Me? I shifted into neutral, turned up the radio and relaxed. It was liberating.

I simply adapted to the situation; it's a special skill we humans possess. In fact it’s one of the big reasons we are still here, on preternaturally and eternally unsatisfactory planet Earth. We can’t outrun wolves and tigers, we can’t wrestle a bear, we aren’t swift enough to capture rabbits and we are so insecure in our grasp of the meaning or purpose of life that we invent fictions to keep away the nightmares of being... and then we confect more complicated nightmares to justify the arms race of our imaginary good-versus-evil narrative. We’re a queer bunch, folk.

Human beings are capable of great stupidity, singly or en masse and yet also capable of great feats of genius/enterprise/humanity, again, singly or en masse. We are both cruel and philanthropic, often in the same corpus, generous yet tight as arseholes, greedy yet magnanimous. We are nothing if not adaptable; and the curse of self-awareness and inquisitive thought is also the gift that really does keep on giving. We can’t always outcompete nature physically, as mishaps by the million reveal, but we can outwit her and we come through often enough and survive extremes often enough to suggest that on balance we are winning.

What other animal can survive in the arctic and on the equator, in the rain-drenched tropical forests or the parched deserts? Everybody’s Talking, said Harry Nilsson “Going where the weather suits my clothes.” See? When the heat is on we open a window, or strip off a layer. So when Britain changes too much for comfort, we can always abandon it to its fate; or at least I can, and up-sticks for greener, cooler, cheaper pastures. When it comes down to it I figure that Britain needs me more than I need it. I can survive anywhere; a Britain without its curmudgeons is no Britain at all.

Bear attack? Improvise, adapt, cuddle...

So when you read my shoddily-assembled words and feel the teeth of my invective through to your bones and you wonder why I seem so angry, I have to inform you that I’m not angry at all. I’m British, so what I feel about the state we find ourselves in is much, much worse than that. No, I’m not angry at all. I’m just a bit disappointed.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Praise de Lo’d!

Sod the EU and its open borders. In fact sod the EU, full stop. But, say the yessers, the EU has kept the peace in Europe for half a century. Has it bollocks, we chorus, Germany was beaten then hobbled, France never recovered from its collaborationist episode and the eastern countries were kept in check (Czech, geddit?) by Mother Russia. In fact if anything it was the cold war, tight border controls, the lack of internet and the looming threat of over-hyped nuclear Armageddon wot done it. It kept the busybodies busy protesting, creating putative Jeremy Corbyns, and it kept the centre-right on their toes; a healthy mistrust of your neighbour is a far better defence than all this multi-culti-all-in-it-together-joining-hands nonsense.

Back when we all knew our place we also had a far better idea of how things would turn out. Secure in the knowledge that mighty militaries flexed their muscles and sneaky intelligence services snooped about on our behalf we mostly just got on with life and tried to make the most of what we’d got. Now we have ridiculous notions of enforced ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ (both of which we had in spades long before it got enshrined in law) neither of which is fair or equal to those who have it inflicted upon them. Diversity breeds resentment and the ridiculous funding of various forms of ‘research’ and ‘outreach’ is just another way of making the blameless pay for their own punishment.

Outside the lofty enclaves of the wilfully blind ‘liberal intelligentsia’, who show scant evidence of either, Britain is fed up to the back teeth of not only being forced to endure what is, by any measure, an unwanted infestation of undesirables, but also of being branded bigots if we dare utter a syllable in opposition to the socialist doctrines of ‘bend over and take it like you are in the British care system’. And as if to rub our face still further in the helplessness of it all, Songs of Praise does its own bit of outreach and seeks to humanise the wretched Calais ‘Jungle’ by visiting the makeshift chapel that is representative of a tiny minority of this ‘tiny’ minority of several thousand mostly muslim mobsters. Onward Christian Soldiers?

Meantime Kos is getting lively with their unwelcome visitors outliving any last vestige of welcome that yet remained. And riots and ‘civil unrest’ by African immigrants beset Barcelona; what message do they think they send about their future integration into civilisation? Were I a refugee I’d like to think I’d behave with the dignity and gratitude befitting somebody throwing themselves on the mercy of an unprepared and nervous populace; a quiet acceptance that this is charity and resettlement takes time... and that machetes are not the best way of displaying an aptitude for western living. It is little wonder, then, that the Germans want to reintroduce border controls. It is hard to suppress a frisson of I-told-you-so: Sieg-Halle-Lujah! Time for the machine gun posts also? You haff ze papers, jah?

Passport? Passport? I have a machete!
The ugly truth about 20th Century migration.
This picture cannot be shown too widely.

Europe is under siege and under threat. It is the avowed intent of islam, having fucked Africa and the Middle East, to move up to the big leagues and fuck all of civilisation. It is the avowed intent of the displaced to make homes in the west, whatever the cost to their hosts. And what do western governments do? They preach about tolerance and integration and turning the other cheek, but it’s not their arse that gets spanked, it’s ours. You want a solution to the migration ‘crisis’? Then forget the human rights bollocks, call it what it is - an invasion - and get repelling. Because until we treat this threat to civilisation as seriously as the war it will inevitably become, we might as well just paint targets on each and every one of us. 

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Swinging the vote

Normal blog service is resumed following a couple of days of being incapable of sitting upright long enough to type the thing. I wish I could say I was that drunk, or so far incapacitated by hallucinogenic intoxicants I thought my fingers were enormous burning cauliflowers and too big to hit the keys accurately; sadly the real story, as is usually the way, is somewhat more prosaic. Damn you, lower back strain! (Surely there’s a much more complicated and tortuous phrase that doesn’t tell the truth that you just lifted and twisted like you’ve been told not to?)

Anyway, once again I was engaged in the odd sally regarding the supposedly forthcoming open and honest debate about Europe and the EU and how the vote will be won... or lost. And here, I think, lies the root of the problem; nobody - and I do mean nobody – knows how the UK would fare outside its suffocating embrace. So all the YES campaign has to do is stay all nice and fluffy, calm and controlled and act like your dad: “You may hate me now, son, but in the end you’ll see, I had your best interests at heart all along.” And given the current cost of housing the lad may well stay on in the family home... although the resentment will simmer beneath the surface forever. Prescient or what?

Meanwhile, the NO campaign is struggling to find a positive message for life beyond because, in the lives of most who will vote, there has never been a world outside the EU and for those who remember Britain before we were railroaded in, it was a pretty shitty time all round; two world wars and the poverty and blight that followed. Although many of those my age and older are anti-‘the EU’ a good proportion will abstain or vote to stay in because they believe their pensions depend on it. This means that the bias of the OUT campaign will necessarily be negative, stating what is wrong with the EU – principally the whole political union thing – rather than what could be beneficial for an independent UK.

Like general elections though, the majority of minds are already made up, with a near fifty/fifty split for each option, leaving only the undecided 20% of those who intend to vote to influence. For the IN lobby to be positive all they have to say is “Look what [unsubstantiated] bounty it brings.” and then point at all the signs that tell you how this school extension and that hospital wing has been built with EU grants, leaving out that the cost of a £50million EU grant is nothing for, say, Spain, but around £100million for the UK. When the NO movement points this out it is seen as mud slinging.

No caption required...

Logically, nobody unsure of the facts – and there are no verifiable ‘facts’ in this propaganda war – would vote to alter a status quo which offers them no apparent harm. And why would those who have never experienced self-determination chance their arm at going it alone? As defeatist as it may sound, a crowd-pleasing monstering campaign against the EU will be much like the Jeremy Corbyn circus – rousing cheers from the converted and the odd round of applause from curious bystanders, but at best a minority translation into actual votes from outside. My forecast, for what it’s worth, is a 60/40 IN vote and just like Scotland, much grumbling and unrest thereafter. The EU won't let go its grip until it ends in total failure.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Invulnerable

‘The most vulnerable in society’ is fast becoming a cliché and a devalued one at that. What does it mean anyway? Poor? Stupid? Weak? Sick? Any or all of the above? It seems that all you need do is evoke ‘the most vulnerable’ and hey presto you care... whether you actually care or not. And the rich are to blame, by all accounts, for not giving more, says Jeremy Corbyn, which he also believes they would willingly do if asked.

All of this, of course ignores a couple of realities. First, ‘the rich’ already pay much more than ‘the most vulnerable in society' and would do so even if we had a flat tax rate. A so-called progressive tax system demands not only more tax from ‘the rich’ but a higher proportion of the rewards for their endeavours. There quickly comes a point, as France has learned, where this acts as a disincentive and throttles domestic wealth creation. Yet Corbyn would follow François Hollande’s aborted lead and push for 75% tax and more if he could.

Also, we used to know what poor was; it meant not having food and shelter and eking out a thoroughly miserable existence with mere survival being a significant goal. But now ‘we’, that is western governments, define poverty as less than 60% median income and garnish that sacred figure with the redundant term ‘child poverty’; there appears to be no quantitative assessment of that state lest it be the children of parents who already fall into the ‘poor’ category. I would love to see the reaction of a Victorian street urchin to the lifestyles of poor children in Britain today. Child poverty is an emotive shill for the con of creating an ever larger dependent class and the 60% figure ensures we will always have a significant number of ‘poor’, even if they lived gilded lives of leisure.

But what, actually, is rich? Is there some figure above median income that suddenly makes you rich, regardless of need? Because, if median income is £25k, somebody earning below £15k is officially poor yet they may work for six months then party the rest of the year away in some far eastern paradise; a life most median earners could only ever dream about. So is, say, four times median income ‘rich’ if you have four children and to earn that you have to live where housing is cripplingly expensive and being in work means there is no subsidised social housing available to you? Yet if you are single, living in a debt-free home and that income is not the result of back-breaking drudgery you might be comparatively rich indeed.

It’s this ‘relative’ thing, isn’t it? Those who scream about poverty and vulnerability are driven partly by altruism, that’s true, but they also appear to believe that it is somehow socially unjust for vast wealth and genuine poverty to exist in the same society. As there is no way you can enable the sick and disadvantaged, the stupid and feeble of mind and body... and the bone idle, all to achieve wealth, their answer is always to hobble ‘the rich’ without ever addressing the clear fact that the truly rich can escape all their sanctions. By upping sticks and leaving.

How did people survive without technology?
Look! I'm sitting! All. By. Myself!

A short article in the Daily Mirror addresses the loss of what used to be basic life skills to navigate society; these skills are increasingly being replaced by a dependence on technology. How chaotic would a ‘tach-savvy’ teen’s life become if denied the guiding hand of the Internet? Would they then, also, be classed as vulnerable? This is analogous to the poverty trap; if you live your whole life on crutches that others tell you you need, soon you’ll believe you can’t survive without them. You want to escape from poverty? Have a stab at becoming invulnerable for a change.

Friday, 7 August 2015

The gathering electric storm...

As if we haven’t enough to worry about what, with climate change, geopolitical upheaval, wars, famine and televised atrocity such as Benefits Britain, along comes a fabulous new opportunity for the modern-day mountebank – electro smog. Oh yes, move over ‘chemtrails’, this fabulous new, you-can’t-disprove-it malady could see you secure in your retirement if you could just set up in business to sell £2000-plus-a-pop ‘electronic yoga mats’. (Also available for horses at only twice the price!) Cue the lead-lined safe rooms, off-grid hide-outs and tinfoil hats.

Madness, delusion, faith; call it what you wish but human gullibility, it seems, knows no bounds and where there is belief, there’s brass. Those going the ‘full Icke’ are so far gone they can make a living from it, but the rest end up on a slippery downward slope with no recompense for their madness. We call it insanity if you’re poor, but eccentric if you can sell your madness to others. I suppose there’s a logic there; the church, after all, does very nicely from selling to the credulous and has done for centuries.

But madness has many paths and you can’t say Noel Edmonds hasn’t done his homework. Wanting to avoid the beating he took over ‘cosmic ordering’ (yes the bearded cardie-fiend has form) he decided to get himself checked out and visited a discreet private clinic, tucked away from scrutiny in an undisclosed but quiet, pastoral location. While he was waiting for his consultation he was taken on a tour to view the house and grounds and see the therapies available.

What he saw was an oasis of calm; group therapies concentrating on mindfulness, relaxing and healing treatments to aid the process and plenty of scope for individuals to express themselves and explore their realities. Outside, people strolled in the grounds or exercised in well-supervised groups. Everybody seemed happy enough until he found himself back inside the foyer and confronted by a man wrapped tightly in his own little universe, muttering angrily to himself as he appeared to be manning an imaginary help desk. The man mimed the taking of calls and the looking up of screens of information and then enthusiastically and not without a hint of weary sarcasm, dispensing advice. All the while he was sitting cross-legged on the floor.

For a moment Noel stood watching this figure with some concern when he was suddenly aware that they were not alone. He looked up to see another man, clinging perilously to a chandelier overhead. The man on the floor noticed and put his own world on hold for a moment. “Don’t worry about him” he said “he thinks he’s a lightbulb”. But Noel Edmonds, known for his philanthropic instincts said “But look at him; we should get him down before he hurts himself!”

"I've been mad for fucking years..."
You're all mental!

The help-desker considered this for a moment, looking up to see lightbulb man’s face turning red with the effort of clinging on to the flimsy fitting as he slowly revolved above them. It certainly looked like a precarious situation. But then, his mind made up, he turned to Noel and said, quite soberly. “What? You want me to work in the dark?”

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Jungle Drums

Egads, the natives are restless! Or should that be the non-natives? It does seem that high-profile, unsavoury goings-on feature rather too prominently among those whose origins may not lie in these green and pleasant lands. What is it, I wonder, about human nature that sees people transplanted from drab, restrictive, repressive regimes quickly becoming bellowing, demanding entitlement junkies? Maybe going from no-speech to free-speech they involuntarily gorge on it until they become delirious and insist we try what they once had; a gag.

Katie Hopkins has, by all accounts, been questioned for ‘inciting racial hatred’ because of an article written from the heart about three months ago. The article, in which she openly expressed the views of – I absolutely bet – a clear majority of ordinary British people was reported to police by Peter Herbert, the Chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers, described in Wikipedia as a ‘barrister and political activist’. (Say no more. No, really...) Three months? I wonder how much pressure has been exerted to bring about the police action after such a long time. After all, it was in print in a national newspaper; it’s not as if there was any hidden evidence to uncover.

Meanwhile Camilla Batmobile’s charity, Kids Company has been closed down amid much muttering about how funds were used, although nobody dare say what they immediately thought on hearing the news. And Anjem ‘Andy’ Choudary has been arrested along with Mohammed Rahman for their tireless promotion of an organisation that unlike Katie Hopkins has actually threatened the death, dismemberment and vanquishing from the face of the earth all who don’t follow their idea of a good life. It took a couple of decades longer than three months though, and wasn’t it another Rahman who was involved in protracted and widespread electoral fraud without challenge for years? And don’t you dare mention the racial roots of the systematic rapists in Rotherham and elsewhere.

Of course the likes of Yasmin Ali-Baba Brownie will say we are simply racist for pointing any of this out. Just because they are brown, she will say, you nasty white people will fan the flames; white people do bad things all the time and it is noticeable that paedophilia is a majority white male crime. Very noticeable actually and in case you hadn’t been paying attention we have been publicly pursuing perpetrators for long-past historical instances of abuse. But still the prisons are ‘over-represented’ by people who are not called Smith or Brown or Jones and instead have monickers such as Adebolajo. Is it any wonder we’re a bit quick to believe the worst? What to do? (Answers on a postcard.)

In the jungle – the one in Calais - they are rioting to get into Britain and in the Med they are drowning in their attempts to overwhelm Europe, where they are wanted even less than the countries they are leaving. Literal swarms of Middle Eastern and African migrants like... well, very much like infestations of cockroaches, which is the word that seems to have upset those who get upset about such things. But as the Czech President made clear nobody invited them, yet here they all are. 

The Croydon Morris are recruiting new blood...
We come in peace, you racists!

Better the devil we know than the foreign devil we don’t, whose motives are muddled and whose morals and beliefs seem so incompatible with our own. This isn’t racism, this is fear; and by the evidence those fears do seem somewhat founded. Of course white people ‘do’ crime, some of it horrible, although generally stopping short of mass beheadings and routine clitoral mutilation. Maybe it’s that we just prefer our own, recognisable brands of criminality? And at least we can pronounce ‘Ted Heath’.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

In the Bank!

George Osborne inherited a state-owned bank we don’t really want. What we do want is more dosh to spend on the ruinous welfare state, so beloved of those who don’t have to pay for it. So, he sells shares to recover some of the capital spent by the last government some years ago to shore up said bank against failure and now he’s the arch baddy ‘selling assets to his mates’. But nobody agrees RBS is an asset, most people understand that the state can’t really run financial institutions effectively and everybody knows we’re strapped for cash... and he’d still be the arch baddy if all the poor ate from gold plates while the rich had diamond knives and forks.

Most people in private enterprise know well the perilously narrow and rocky channel to navigate between profit and loss, cash flow and capital investment and the balance between staying in business and losing the lot, but it seems everybody (apart from many economics commentators) knows better what he should do. On left and right there is condemnation and disappointment that he is ‘throwing away’ £1billion, but really the loss was made on taking RBS into state ownership when the government of the day poured billions of tax-dosh into the business. They had little choice, other than to let the bank fail, but this makes them no less complicit in the current ‘loss’.

It was a gamble – ‘investing’ always is – RBS may have gone on to fail completely and the loss would have been total but instead it has survived and now the present government wants to recover at least some of what was spent. Think of it as like cashing in Premium Bonds which you bought thirty years ago and are worth far less now than if you’d left the money in a deposit account but might, yet, win a big prize... except the car really needs fixing today. Or imagine that – heaven forfend – you bought shares in Chinese solar panels at the top of the market and you are getting out before your holding loses any more value. It’s not what you wanted, but it’s what you’ve got, so...

Think like many who overstretched themselves in the cheap mortgage years and bought a crumbling pile with dodgy foundations in the northeast in the belief that property prices could only ever go up and you could easily re-finance to cover the cost of repairs. Only now, the roof is close to collapse, the windows are rotten and the east wing is parting company with the Italianate portico. And you are fearful of losing your job. You’d say no to the property developer offering to take it off our hands for less than you originally paid? (And the offer will go down every day you prevaricate.)

It's a project... just needs a bit of paint.

I’m not really defending Osborne. I’m not saying he’s any kind of genius. Neither am I mistakenly attributing our relative economic success to his policies and his alone. I’m not at all sure I'd even like the bloke if I ever met him, but I do know that I don’t know a better alternative. (I’m not saying there isn’t one, I’m admitting I don’t know of one.) But what I am saying is, it’s a bit rich that the voices on the left are berating capitalism for not making a profit on an 'investment' socialism made in a failing enterprise they knew little about. Those in glass houses...

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Joybringer

They say you should never bring up politics, science and religion at the dinner table. So I spent some of the weekend poking the cowpat of faith with the shitty stick of inquiry to see how many flies I could enrage. I ended up watching and retweeting a few videos of such luminaries as Richard Dawkins and Mehdi Hassan, Christopher Hitchens and various ludicrous ‘men of god’ and I was struck by how often the faith communities love to fire off total non sequiturs by insisting that science is itself a form of faith and lacks definitive proof. Dear old Dickie Dawkins gets quite impatient at the suggestion, not without reason.

Religion says “Believe me, for I am the word of the creator of all things!” Science replies “Prove it!” to which religion falls back on the schoolyard response, “No, YOU prove it.” Now the discussion can only proceed along a well-defined path... To the scientist, if god is the omnipotent creator of all things, surely proof that he exists should be pretty easy to rustle up. After all, how much effort would it really take to produce a minor miracle, say an actual answer to a prayer? But, as Jimmy Carr said, “I prayed to god for a bicycle, but then I realised he doesn’t work like that. So I stole one and prayed for forgiveness instead.”

The flood! they cry! What proof? say the scientists. Besides, what about climate change? (Admittedly, some areas of climate change theory are articles of faith themselves.)
God, in his wrath, sent forth plagues and pestilence! What? Your heavenly father, all-knowing, all-wise? Couldn’t he just have smited and be done? And when was the last time he did any judicial smiting anyway?
But he gave his son to be crucified! Oh yes, about that; wouldn’t it would have been way more impressive if he’d just rescued him? You’re saying the best way to prove his existence and rid the world of evil was to have the lamb of god barbecued? We don’t see a lot of saviouring about these days.

But, but, but. ..

Science revels in inquiry which modifies, or disproves theories, sometimes those which have stood for centuries but now with keener minds and greater technology no longer hold to detailed scrutiny. Religion says, hold on, we read the book again after you said all those hurtful things and we now see that he didn’t literally come back from the dead; that was just a metaphor. Science says, don’t bring me your metaphors, bring me evidence, to which religion says... let’s have a gander at that book again and see what we can find between the lines.

Honestly, you do one miracle and they never stop nagging!
The smitin' days are done!

In the meantime the killing goes on and the happy brotherhood of man carries on daily disproving the existence of that to which he looks to for guidance. It’s little wonder the world is fucked up. The burden of proof still lies with the faithful no matter how many deflective arguments they dream up; re-interpreting a text, itself the product of many men and many revisions, is not proof. Ah, but religion brings hope, they say. Except that it is science which shapes the world. It moves on and evolves and builds greater understanding and genuinely does offer hope that as it solves life’s mysteries, one-by-one it is also conquering all of the ancient biblical terrors.

Science says you don't need a god to be good. It says: we don't have all the answers but we will keep on looking and report back as we find them. It says: little by little we are making your lives easier, longer and more healthy. What contribution does religion make? It says: god moves in mysterious ways.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Journey's End

After long treks across desert sands they set out in their rickety boats; barely seaworthy craft that listed heavily and handled like barrels, with just enough fuel to get them out of African coastal waters and into the path of naval vessels, compelled by international maritime law to rescue them from drowning. A boat trip to heaven if they survived, but still there were obstacles to surmount and no welcome in any country, save for the grudging shelter and food provided by the relief operations. But this worked to their advantage because they became invisible.

Encouraged to escape the loose confines of reception centres and fed stories of a life of plenty in Great Britain that country became a fabled land; they told each other stories to keep the dream alive and soon found how easy it was to travel north. Across baking desert, in open-topped trucks or on foot, fleeing armed conflict, persecution or grinding poverty, they were always at risk of being robbed. If not directly held up they were persuaded to put their lives and what money they had in the hands of people traffickers. But here in Europe it was different.

Nobody wanted to help, but nobody did much to hinder their progress. Food and water were abundant and the penalties for stealing were laughable, although they were rarely challenged. The expressions of fear and loathing they attracted were soon realised to be signs of weakness in populations grown soft and pampered. Fearful of the strangers the local officials did all they could to aid them in their passage to the rich pickings of Britain. Some said that this was a myth, others believed all they were told. Across the water one more time and – they told each other – their journey would rewarded with untold riches and anew citizenship.

But they also herd stories of running battles, of storming the fences and stowing away in lorries. Armed police and dogs, tear gas and baton rounds. Of repulsion and retreat and endless waiting for nightly opportunities to try again. They were ready though; compared to Africa, what was a fence and a non-lethal response? Compared to life in their home countries, this was but a game to be played and although the stakes might be high, the winning of it was simply a matter of persistence.

But when they got to Calais they found little of any of this. The once sprawling camps were largely abandoned and the ruined fences left where they lay. Signs in several languages directed them to the migrant reception and processing centre where they were encouraged o stand in line to receive what they first thought to be identity cards, but proved to be ferry tickets. The British and French, it seemed, were tired of the game and the border was wide open. They marched over to the ferry terminal and walked on board what, in comparison with their flaky Mediterranean hulks, was a mighty, modern ship.

All aboard, thousands packed tightly together, the boarding ramps were raised and they felt the judder of mighty engines engaging propeller shafts and they saw dockside workers slipping the lines. England, here they come! Soon an inquisitive few began to explore, but they discovered the upper decks were locked against them. No matter, there was food in the dining halls and besides, the crossing was under an hour they had heard. The ship, rolling slightly in the swell, steamed on.

By daybreak, however, after several hours in which they had told themselves they were probably going to another port, or in a holding pattern, they knew something was wrong. Applying the same brute force they had been ready to use against the fences they managed to break their way onto the upper decks where they found... nobody. No land was in sight, either, yet they knew England to be so close. Then one of them noticed the position of the sun, astern of them; they were clearly sailing west. A cry from aloft, a note of panic in his voice. The bridge also, was empty and the ferry was in auto-pilot, headed into the mid-Atlantic. 

Immigration policy on the rocks...

A few minutes later and the engines suddenly died. From far below them the muffled sound of synchronised charges accompanied a jarring vibration. Water poured in below the plimsoll line and the scuppered ship began its slow descent to journey’s end. Exhausting all other options the British and French authorities had finally done what their public secretly wished. This time there was no rescue.