Monday, 29 February 2016

Bloggery

Why do I write a blog? Maybe it’s because I’ve been faffing about for years trying to write a bloody novel and haven’t the patience for the longer form. Maybe it’s because in all my life I have never found the physical forum to have the kind of conversation I imagine might be possible if everybody was on my wavelength. Or maybe it’s because, apart from comments which I can moderate, I have full editorial and engagement control. Why argue when I can just block and go? (Actually, I rarely block; it’s funnier watching them rant away.)

Picking a topic is usually the easiest thing to do as I always listen to Radio 4 on my journey to and from work and there is usually plenty to bang on about; politics, money, politics, ‘studies show’ reports, politics, climate science, the energy debate and more politics. Actually it’s all politics, really isn’t it? In the absence of verifiable hard facts that everybody can understand the great debates of the day are reduced to soundbites promoting partisan positions. The big deal right now is, of course, the referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU and oh what a load of politics it is.

How in the world is anybody just looking for simple clarity going to get answers to the very real questions and concerns they have about such issues? The Remain campaign is very openly threatening Tory MPs if they dare to challenge the ‘official’ line and smearing the dissenters at every press briefing and leak. But the Leavers are hardly covering themselves in glory, with internecine squabbling and power plays forever derailing the coherent message of hope they want to spread.

It’s the same with climate change; if somebody with impeccable scientific credentials tells you it’s for real you will be inclined to believe. But when somebody equally august tells you not only that it isn’t happening but that the first bloke was paid to deliver his message and backs it up with examples of influential decision-makers in the thrall of big oil, big solar, big wind, with statements that later turn out to be 'out of context', how are you to separate fact from fiction?

It’s to be hoped that social media, like Twitter, allows on-the-spot reports of actual events, but even then it depends what you are being shown, who is showing you it and as ever, who is paying for it. We should always ask ourselves who stands to gain, but then again, how do you do that if you have neither the raw data nor the means to analyse them? All we can do is pass everything through the prism of our own experience and prejudices and come up with a ‘truth’ we can be happy with.



But don’t worry, help is at hand and here’s the science bit: I use Occam’s Razor – scientifically proven to be the very best analytical razor money can’t buy. Try it you’ll like it It’s so simple even a Labour supporter could do it! But here’s the best bit – if you are not absolutely satisfied we will refund every penny, no quibble. Or was I paid to say that?

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Power Play

Yesterday I tweeted, slightly tongue in cheek, “...in the alternative universe I inhabit on weekends, my entire class of wannabe electricians have all forgotten Ohm's Law.” This turned out not to be a joke. Later in the day one of the class asked me what a twin-and-earth cable was. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know, but it’s just about the most common form of cable used in smaller electrical installations; for somebody who has been supposedly studying the subject part-time for over a year it is a scarcely credible knowledge gap.

I guess what disappointed me most was the lack of interest on display. This particular student is a typical product of our age, from a school system which churns out lacklustre, unengaged non-scholars with an expectation that qualifications are achieved by mere attendance and that personal effort need not be applied. Twas ever thus you might protest, but here is a young man paying for a vocational course, presumably with the intention of making a career out of the wiring game; you would think he might show a smidgeon of a modicum, of a morsel of a spirit of enquiry.

But maybe this exactly meets the expectation of modern world governments? Displaced by floods of migrant labour, a pointless extended education pushed upon them, unreasonable aspiration dangled in front of their noses and rendered utterly incurious about pretty much everything. Exactly the kind of non-voter a state can rely on to not even notice the roof falling in until it is pointed out to them, whereupon such alarums can confidently be relied on to be accepted uncritically. Certainly those who issued the proclamation from the G20 summit must believe so.

The Financial Times reported three days ago that ‘Britain’ was lobbying for such a warning to be issued and now it is official; if Britain leaves the EU the sky will actually fall in. A major shock to the world’s economy? Oh, purlease! How desperate are Cameron and Osborne for a result in the referendum that they stoop this low? It was only a few days ago that the ‘Remain’ tack was to insist that if we left we would become an irrelevance; now our leaving would shake the business foundations of the planet? How stupid must they think we are? Oh, wait...

Meanwhile, back on the subject of electricity, we hear news that the EU is delaying its imposition of power restrictions on things like kettles and toasters. Delaying, mind, not cancelling. The imposition is ludicrous, by the way. Quite apart from restricting commerce and innovation it demonstrates that the EU’s finest minds don’t understand Ohm’s Law and basic physics either, because a litre of water takes the same amount of energy to boil whether it is done quickly or not; a less powerful kettle will cost just as much to boil the same amount but take longer to do so. Maybe the plan is to drive us mad by proving the adage that a watched kettle never boils?

London. The day after Brexit...

Project Fear rumbles on and with each passing day the claims for apocalyptic calamity grow more extreme. We will have all the downsides to membership without any positives, they insist. Our towns will be overrun with immigrants and our children will be out of work. Terrorists will roam the streets and occupy all the houses and the health service will collapse under the tsunami of brown babies and mental illness. Industry will disappear forever from the land that invented it and, yes, the sky will fall in. Unless, they say, we allow all of our policies for every matter to be decided by Martin Shultz and his pals. How soon before EU Thought Control takes over the information services and - like state terrorism everywhere - pulls the plug on all inconvenient news sources? If you thought ISIS was bad enough, wait for the telly-ban.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Getting to Heaven

The latest success story from the land of Eeuuw is that the immigration system is set to collapse in ten days. Wait, that’s just nine days now. Having spent the last twenty years being told that the NHS has a mere six days in which to be saved (did we save it, by the way?) I’ll savour that delicious piece of schadenfreude with a pinch of salt. But it’s serious, isn’t it? All over Europe borders are being closed and the shutters nailed up tight with good reason; in Calais the response to the approved demolition of The Jungle was a 1000-strong advance on The Chunnel.

But why, you have to ask, do any of them want to come to Britain? It’s a draughty, dark, cold, crowded place and the natives can hardly be said to be friendly. You can live on a British street for a decade and still not know the names of your neighbours and woe betide a stranger who doesn’t understand our complex and subtle social mores. If somebody asks how you are you must never, on pain of being ostracised for life, tell them how you are. And don’t you dare cut into a queue unless you are prepared to brave the ritual tutting and the white-lipped, teeth-clenched, barely audible repetitions of “They come over ‘ere...”

Heaven it ain’t, but it does remind me of the story of the Sunday School teacher, asking her charges if they understood the true concept of heaven and how to get there. On a beautiful, sunny day in early spring he asked them: “If I sold my house and my car, had a big jumble sale and gave all my money I made to the church, would that get me into heaven?” The children chorused, as one “NO!” This she took as a good sign they were getting the message.

“So, what if I cleaned the vestry every day, mowed the vicarage garden, weeded the flowerbeds, arranged flowers in the church and kept everything nice and tidy, would that get me into heaven?” Once again the kids saw through this blatant attempt to reduce entry to heaven to a simple quid pro quo and of course the answer was a unanimous no. These were good little children who could not be bribed by material things but held to higher standards. What good little Europeans they would grow up to become.


She smiled and tried again. “But if I was kind to animals and gave sweeties to all the children, and gave all my spare cash to charity, would that get me into heaven?” The chorus of negatives pleased her greatly; she had taught them well and she was just bursting with pride. “So, children” she finally asked “what do I have to do to get into heaven?” Into the silence, while the other kids were concentrating on framing their answers, boomed the voice of a six year old boy, "You’ve got to be fucking dead, miss!”

Thursday, 25 February 2016

A Nasty Taste in the Mouth

My drive home is the best part of my day, providing the weather isn’t appalling. Last night it was still light, the sun was setting in a glorious red blaze and no insensitive idiot had managed to kill himself and snarl up the traffic. (Am I alone in hoping all motorway accidents that hold me up are fatal ones? Somebody must pay, as far as I’m concerned, damn it!) Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, driving home I get to listen to all sorts of people interviewed on Radio 4, my station du jour, every jour.

On The Media Show last night I heard professional offendee Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. She who wishes for white men to become extinct was bitterly whining about never getting a Press Award because, you guessed it, there is a conspiracy of white men against wimmin. (There was also another guest who could not pronounce the plural ‘women’ insisting on referring to many ‘woman’. I’m guessing this was in a bid to show some lexical parity with ‘sheep’.) I always love listening to YAB because it reminds me how truly glorious it is to be rational, level-headed, devoid of hate and oh yes, white and male.

Then, on PM, we got Jonathan Freedland reporting on the Trump sensation and how it had taken by surprise everybody except the millions upon millions who absolutely get it. In trying to explain the phenomenon he revealed his own prejudices by adopting a slightly smug tone and describing Trump as extreme and repellent, on the assumption that everybody listening would nod along and share his exasperated sighs. Oh, what a nasty taste he was having to experience on our behalf. I do love it so when the bubble dwellers peer out of their misted-up portals and imagine the soft focus, dream-lit ‘beyond’ bears any resemblance to those who actually inhabit it.

All very harmless you might think, this inability to imagine a contrary narrative, until you contemplate that it is exactly this willing blindness to other people's reality that was highlighted yesterday by the tip-of-the-iceberg conviction of six Pakistani rapists in Rotherham. We're all talking about it now but for years although their crimes were common knowledge, the many officials to whom it was repeatedly reported, refused to believe it. Turns out that ‘progressive’ thought is actually harmful; not merely hurt feelings, but real bodily and mental harm with lifelong consequences.

And still the social justice warriors actually believe their own tribal sloganeering and their wistful brotherhood-of-man lyrics. They believe everybody ought to think as they do and if they were in charge you would be compelled to. Naturally there is a referendum element too. This article by the insufferable Rafael Behr yet again totally misreads the motives and the commitment behind those of us who wish to be rid of the uber-socialist Kleptocracy of the EU. And of course, Polly Toynbee does her level best to tell her loyal readers how to despise and pity the poor, stupid people who just won’t think properly.


But outside the narrow confines of the sneering elite socialist thought factory, Brexit is not something musingly wished for by a minority of shallow thinking Little Englanders. It is a long-desired outcome of around 50% of the voting age population of the UK – especially those who can actually remember an optimistic world before the cloying embrace of all that legislation to control what we do or say or think, or even look like. The Yasmins and Jonathans and Rafaels and Pollys and all the little cogs in the statist machine don’t have the wit to imagine that anybody could think outside their little red box. Here’s hoping for (if not quite expecting) a rude awakening come the referendum.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Pension Ponzi

Another day on the campaign trail – can it really be under a week old? – and another barrage of lies and fearmongering from the Remainders. A little over a third of the CEOs of the FTSE 100 companies have put their name to a letter supporting remaining in the EU; to the media and apparently to people like David Cameron this is a ringing endorsement by a majority. It all seems to make so much sense now because the same desperately flawed (and just plain desperate) mathematical thinking informs everything EU-fanatical economists say. Well here's a little fear from me.

Take the Ponzi scheme on which Merkel and Cameron and Hollande and Uncle Tom Bollocks and all are relying on to prevent their being lynched by angry mobs. Pensioners may be old and rheumatic and senile and toothless, but they are a growth market and command many votes. And having paid in through an entire long lifetime of work – starting at fourteen or fifteen years old in many cases – and having been told during that entire time that they must work harder and for longer and pay an ever greater share of their relatively shrinking incomes into the system, is it any wonder that they want their pensions? You know, the pensions they have been promised from the day they started paying tax.

Except their governments have spent it, haven’t they? Like Robert Maxwell, they treated the pensions portion of contributions, whatever fancy name they gave it, like current income; robbing Peter to pay Paul and relying on the sacred, Holy Grail of economic growth to cover the pension costs. If we can only increase the work force, by whatever means possible, we can borrow enough money on the never-never to keep the old fogies off our backs. Now that it looks likely that the keepers of the Christmas Club will abscond with the members’ money their argument is wearing thin.

Nobody in the UK earning less than around £30k and without dependents pays sufficient tax through PAYE to clear their own share of the entire deal. To cover the cost of our engorged state and its commitments, let alone pay back our creditors, every working person needs to contribute, on average, upwards of £6000 each year. Every penny claimed back in tax credits, housing benefit, child benefit and the like is a cost that has to be recovered from the rest of us. Have children and you can forget about making a net contribution unless you are earning what for most people is an impossible dream.

Hey, where did da money go?

Could somebody from the Remain camp explain how importing workers on wages so low they pay virtually no tax at all, or workers who through the tax credit system pay negative tax, contribute to keeping future pensions secure? Add to this the impossibility of many low paid families ever accruing savings or buying a home and you have what can only be concluded is an unsustainable, unstable model. When in future the government raids your bank account – Cyprus style – in a now established EU routine, ask yourself why you voted to stay in a club which cares not one jot for you or your family. Or your pension.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Workers Revolution!

A bit of any humane person has to be at least a tiny little bit socialist. Even I – and this will come as a shock to many of you – don’t believe that any old form of laissez-faire, ‘libertarian’ capitalism will result in only benign outcomes. If I want to sell something I own to another who covets it, then government has no right in any part of that deal, even if I make a profit on it. If I make a habit of it and it involves third parties then, yes, I believe there comes a point where oversight may be essential to maintain at least some semblance of fairness.

I believe in workers’ rights to withdraw their labour and even to enlist the support of other workers to better make their point. I also believe in the right of employers to sack their striking workers, especially if they have access to ‘better’ workers. But better can’t only ever mean cheaper, because these workers are ultimately your market, your economy. If they can’t afford to buy what you have, or make, or trade in, then you have no business. Somewhere in there is a balance and it’s pretty much the one we have in the UK. Or had, before unfettered access to an ultra-cheap, no-rights, disposable workforce was ushered in.

There was much chatter early today on Radio 4 about the agricultural industry and its essential access to cheap foreign labour. Yet I seem to recall, way back before we joined the EU that migrant farm workers were the norm – the apple harvest, hops and in France they received a regular influx of British youths to get the grapes in. It was entirely normal in England for school holidays to be scheduled around harvest times – spuds, barley, sugar beet, wheat – and for kids to be introduced to the serious work ethic.

But what did we do? In pursuit of some ridiculous Utopian dream of British kids all becoming highly educated highly skilled and highly motivated high earners, we bought millions of iPads and dumbed them down still further so that the academic no-hopers now have hopes higher than their dull brains will ever be able to take them. I’m all for individual ambition and drive, but you have to recognise that the thick kid, en masse, is an economic resource we should be exploiting, in good old-fashioned, glorious turnip harvest fashion.

So, yes, I’d be in favour of supporting our farmers through subsidy to keep on doing what they are doing, gradually adjusting their output to match the real market and employing local youths from the age of sixteen. If nothing else, working on the land may be the stimulus to try harder in life; it will certainly instil a love of earning their money when the thick-sixteens realise they can actually make a living many years before their brainy peers start paying for their own pleasures.

That's it, work, you little fuckers!

And why stop at agriculture? Factories, construction, transport – all these industries employ plenty of people of limited skillsets – we should be getting people off their arses and into paid work as young as feasible and only rely on imported talent when absolutely necessary. Look after our own before we look after the rest and invest and invest and invest in our own economy. In people terms it’s the equivalent of looking after the pennies – quids-in, the pounds will look after themselves. 

Monday, 22 February 2016

Carry on Camping

Ah, Brexit beckons and the starting gun has been fired for the referendum on 23rd June this year. Cameron’s chaos is all around as Boris does the entirely expected and does what’s best for Boris; it is expected that a number of other Tory MPs will now break ranks with the PM and campaign to leave. This, of course, is the cue to ramp up the rhetoric. Tarzan Heseletine has waded in, although nobody could stay awake long enough to hear him repeat his Euro-drivel and blah, blah, blah, blah, blaaaah.

It’s sickening, all this fear-mongering. Despite forty years of contrary evidence David Cameron’s side (which will probably win, but be despised forever when it does) is trotting out all the usual, lazy blather: Our security is at risk outside the EU – it’s looking pretty dodgy as it is, thank you very much. Outside the EU our economy will suffer – yet our current success is despite, not because of the moribund union. More migrants will come if we try and control our own borders – only if you let them, you fools. And my personal favourite; Britons will no longer be able to get cheap flights to cheap holidays if we leave.

Because of course, Spain will be closed for business and British holidaymakers’ Euros will be worthless. Yes, the airlines will immediately hike the prices for the filthy foreigners that keep them in the air. The hotels will auto-demolish because British tourists will no longer be able to afford the punitive visa charges levied by the now enemy nations. And of course, Brits and their cash will be so unwelcome in the Eurozone that they will in future only be allowed to take their holidays in the UK.

Okay then, let’s assume that all those hilarious threats are true. Dodgy Dave, from whose camp comes such prophecies of doom said “We want to end the something for nothing society”. Well here’s the late news, Dishface, it’s already here and thriving. So much so in fact that entire families, indigenous and otherwise, live their whole lives on the state. We effectively pay them to be on holiday all the year round and they already do it right here in Britain. As Keith Moon famously sang on stage and on screen, “When you come to Tommy’s, the ‘oliday’s forever!”

Just as Blackpool has already done – or so it would seem if you ever dared to walk through its blighted streets – we could make all British resorts into enclosed exclusive holiday camps for the permanently unemployable. We already pay for their every comfort anyway – food, shelter, entertainment, healthcare, etc – so why not formalise it? Forget the concept of all-in holidays on the Costa Del Crime, we could have all-in lives on the Costa Dem Taxpayers, all packaged up and out of sight... behind razor wire fences.

Holiday Camp Britain - the final solution?
Redcoats... so much nicer than brownshirts.

Natives and migrants alike, once you have lived in Britain without working for four years you get to wear the special wrist-band which identifies you as being entitled to a life free of care and worry. And furthermore, to the greater good of society, you get to live that life far out of everybody else’s sight. Some would say this solves nothing but it’s a solution all right; it may be the last solution we’d ever need. When you come to Britain, the ‘oliday’s forever...

Sunday, 21 February 2016

A Patriotic Rant

Nicola Sturgeon has said that should the UK do the ‘unthinkable’ and vote to leave the European Union, Scotland would be better off leaving our 300-year union and becoming an ‘independent’ EU member. Quite apart from the oxymoronic nature of that statement – swapping one level of dependency for another, this would make Scotland a foreign power against which a border would need to be erected and enforced. Hadrian was right.

But, on the good side, a significant proportion of those of us in England who would be rid of the EU’s unhelpful restraint on freedom and development, would be equally delighted to see the back of a country whose denizens have long hated us while taking every penny they could wring out of us. It has been suggested that both the Welsh and the Scots, if the UK was divided thus for the referendum, would overwhelmingly vote to stay in. One has to ask why, given that both populations have been allowed for years to be fiercely nationalistic even in their socialism, while the English don’t even have their own anthem, let alone their own parliament.

Bring it on, I say. No, bring it – the fuck – on. I grew up English. By the time I hit my late teens I had to learn to say British and indeed, when I finally got a real passport (a blue one, of course) it told the world I was a Brit. Well, I want independence from Britain, too. I want to be English again and no longer have to care for the poor and under-nourished of other nations. I say ‘care’, like I ever did and I say ‘under-nourished’ because for all of my life as a 'British' man I’ve had to listen to the constant demands from more stridently nationalistically proud folk holding out begging bowls and demanding that English taxpayers give ever more.

So, here’s a plan. Release Wales from its status as a mere principality and let it self-rule entirely. Let the Scots, likewise, be free to roam ‘aboot’ their glens and bonnie braes and let them both be entirely sovereign nations, free to sell their sovereignty for the Euro-shilling. Allow all Scots and Welsh and Northern Irish who wish to leave the EU reside in England and naturalise as English, then get those borders rebuilt; Hadrian’s Wall to be relocated to the current border, Offa’s Dyke to be extended and fortified the full distance. (There’s already a handy proper border between Wales and Scotland and Ireland anyway). THEN hold the referendum.


If we can’t get British independence from the EU, let’s put all our efforts into establishing English independence. In effect, we can start all over again. Why not? As individuals most of us will suffer changes of circumstance, both good and bad, in our lives, which we take advantage of or rise above. Is there any reason why we can’t do that as a country? Forget the European Union, forget any union. Vote for independence, vote to leave. “Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!' 

Friday, 19 February 2016

The World's a Stage

As I write this, David Cameron is still in his fake negotiation meeting, putting the finishing touches to the script to be premiered to a waiting world who already know exactly what to expect, unless of course he does the unexpected... which nobody expects. Nah, it will (or will have been) more of the same old rubbish we’ve heard for forty years. As he declaims to the expectant crowd that he has sold our souls for some magic beans you just know he is being worked behind the scenes by master puppeteers, taking turns to wear him like a sock.

I could be wrong but I expect him to say, whatever the outcome, that Britain needs to remain outward looking. Britain needs to remain an important trade partner. We need to remain an important influence in international policing and defence and it will be hard to remain competitive if we don’t remain cooperative. While he waffles, count how many times he says ‘remain’, because nobody is expecting any other position from Call-me-Dave, Remainder-in-Chief. Checking his autocue he will take his bow, then exit, stage left. Curtain. Lights up. We all love a bit of theatre.

The last time I went to the theatre there was a bit of a commotion from the stalls. On the best row in the house, a queue was forming as people tried to get past an old man who was asleep across three entire seats. The ticket-holders checked their seat numbers and being British, polite and after all, sophisticated theatre-goers, they stood there looking put out, but otherwise doing nothing. The aisle they had stepped from began to back up and the sound of tutting became deafening. An usher noticed and made his way over to see what the trouble was.

He gently shook the old man, hoping he was sleeping and not actually dead – oh the publicity! But luckily the old man stirred, opened an eye and stared at the people gathered round him. "Sorry sir,” whispered the usher, “but you're only allowed one seat." The old man breathed heavily, but didn't make any attempt to move. The usher leaned in closer and smelled the old man’s laboured breath to see if he could detect alcohol. Nothing. He tried again. “Sir, it’s getting towards curtain up and if you don't give up these seats I'm going to have to call the manager." Once again, the old man remained motionless, but muttered something inaudible under his breath.

The usher fetched the manager and as the announcer made the three-minute call for the audience to take their seats, the manager strode briskly through the parted crowd of what were now spectators and demanded the old man leave the theatre. His words fell on deaf ears as once again the old fella muttered something too quiet to hear and remained, recumbent, across all three seats. “Right,” said the manager, “I’m afraid I have no alternative but to call the police!” He marched back to the aisle where he plucked out his telephone and dialled 999.

Being in the West End, police were on hand in a matter of minutes and they parted the crowd to get to the old man who appeared to have fallen asleep again. One officer gently shook him and when his eyes opened he said “Come along sir, the performance is about to start and we need to get everybody in their seats. The old fella looked up at the policeman and muttered something. The policeman began to get impatient and took out his notebook. “I was hoping we’d be able to avoid this,” he said, “what’s your name, sir?” The old man whispered “Alf Smith.” The copper duly wrote it down.

Still not listening...

The old man struggled for breath as the policeman carried on. “And where are you from?” Alf started to reply but a coughing fit took over and for some long seconds everybody watched as he doubled over, hacking away and fighting to breathe. The crowd fidgeted impatiently and the manager looked at his watch as backstage staff waited for the signal to begin the night’s performance. Alf’s coughing fit was over and with rheumy eyes he looked earnestly at the policeman. “Where have you come from, sir?” asked the copper again. Alf looked him in the eye and then up and over his shoulder. He pointed upwards and in a quiet, strained voice he managed to say “The balcony.”

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Blond Widow

Look, he's crawling up my wall
Blonde and hairy, very tall
Now he's up above my head
Hanging by a little thread.

When John Entwistle penned the little ditty which haunted The Who through several decades, little did he know that a real life Boris was created at around the same time. The nineteen sixties were a great time for horror stories of the genetic mutation variety, but now the overgrown Johnson spider has spun his own web, along with his own story and is using it to catch and terrify smaller politicians and toy with them.

Now he's dropped on to the floor
Heading for the bedroom door
Maybe he's as scared as me
Where's he gone now, I can't see.

Despite his enormous bulk, it is said that much of Boris Johnson remains beneath the surface. That mop of purposefully unruly hair acts as a lure for the less cautious, who are drawn to it like moths to a flame, unaware they will get burned. In particular he likes to taunt his victims with a will-he/won’t-he riddle and over the particular question of Europe he has proved ruthless and unwilling to be drawn. David Cameron knows only too well that he will have to wait to see if he will be eaten or merely toyed with some more, over support for his rigged negotiations.

Creepy, crawly
Creepy, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly
Creepy, creepy, crawly, crawly.

Whatever he eventually does, few will later argue that it was against his own interests. The Johnson clan is a political force to be reckoned with, regardless of acting on blatant self-interest, which is usually a dangerous ploy for any political chancer. The Johnson spider has no sense of moral responsibility and ultimately spares no victims once they are no longer useful or amusing. Caught up in his sticky web of vague hints and un-promised pledges, even voters he intends to shaft gaze up at him as he musses up his hair and wobbles his great, rubbery cheeks and say as one, “It’s Boris, innit?!” unable to stifle a wry chuckle.
Boris the spider
Boris the spider
Some say he’s a force of nature, others, that he is a dangerous beast, but many still see him as a harmless natural survivor, hiding under the skirting boards of top-level politics and occasionally pouncing on his smaller, less well-defended prey. Until recently David Cameron has managed to avoid his clutches but now, there he is, struggling. His only defence against the overgrown Eton schoolboy is for somebody else with bigger shoes to take him out...

He's come to a sticky end
Don't think he will ever mend
Never more will he crawl 'round
He's embedded in the ground
 
Boo!

But that’s just an old song. Despite his public vacuity, playing up the big, clumsy kid persona, those who know him say he is a serious front-runner and Cameron needs his deadly handshake to stay in the game. Certainly the general public either loathe him as part of a side they would never support, or love him as he plays political wiff-waff, his own version of the sport, in which he gets to make up the rules as he goes along. Boris Johnson, lovable chancer, or Boris the Spider, Machiavellian manipulator? I’m no longer sure which is real.

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

My Kingdom for a horse's arse...

I don’t care if you don’t like what I say; you don’t know me and you can always just ignore me. But I always write from a position of having an at least partially informed view, tempered by a long-held distrust of human motives. I‘m not an entirely objective observer (who among us really is?) but while I may employ it, I rarely let sentiment inform my account of the nefarious goings-on in our little corner of the universe. I’m not sure much of that can be said for the likes of Emma Thompson.

On matters of race, gender, social justice, immigration, welfare, the NHS and politics in general the luvvies speak with but one voice, or do not speak at all. You rarely hear right-wing voices from the world of entertainment because, well, look what happens to them. And the last time you were allowed to be exposed to the views of soft-right patriotic entertainers like Jim Davidson was, ooh, well, it was a way back. Jeremy Clarkson, of course, had a large audience and undeniably right-of-centre views and it was hilarious when he punched Oisin Tymon suggested on The One Show that striking public sector workers should be taken out and shot... in front of their families.

But oh, what a fuss was made – in some quarters it was said that was the moment at which Danny Cohen set in train his plot to oust the ‘hateful’ yet tremendously popular presenter, who dared to say what you can hear down any pub on any given night of the week. And indeed in any workplace where people still toil for an honest wage. For, despite the impression the media desperately wish to portray, not everybody is in thrall to a form of socialism that only rich people can afford to circumvent. The rest of us are involved, either paying for it by working all hours, or sucking it dry... by not.

It is no good poor little privileged people who play dressing up and pretend for a living imagining themselves in the role of statesman. Flitting from one part to the next, it is a recognised phenomenon that some actors get so lost in their little filmic worlds they scarcely remember their own names, let alone command any understanding of realpolitik. La Thompson said of Britain that it was “a tiny little cloud-bolted, rainy corner of sort-of Europe ... a cake-filled misery-laden grey old island.” And went on to add, “Of course I'm going to vote to stay in Europe. Are you kidding? Oh my God, of course. It would be madness not to. It's a crazy idea not to. We should be taking down borders, not putting them up." Did you get that? She wants to tear down what's left of the borders.

I just say what the bloody old bird tells me...

The day before, lest ye forget, she wanted to kill off all the ‘old white men’ who had dared to award Baftas on merit, rather than on the basis of some form of colour code. So you would hope that your man-in-the-street would ignore such ideological pronouncements. But in the absence of any avowedly Eurosceptic Conservative big beasts coming out for Brexit, it has to be a worry that public opinion may be swayed, at least a tiny bit, by the vacuous utterings of those who spend most of their lives developing imaginary personas and living in an alternative reality.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Move Britannia

Brits have always worked abroad. We had freedom of movement long before it was available to most of the rest of the world. We used it well, too. Firstly, in bringing civilisation and light to the dark continents then, much later, showing our dissatisfaction with state socialism here in Britain by joining the brain drain to escape punitive taxation that was crippling Britain under the last Labour government to operate on its founding Marxist principles. That was, of course, when we were at the forefront of educating the masses, when grammar schools produced scientists and engineers and bright, young, employable things.

Although some left for good many came back of course, the pull of our glorious sceptred isle proving irresistible; deep-veined patriotism drew this happy breed of men back to our little world, this precious stone set in a silver sea. And for a while it really looked like we had it all again... until the displaced socialists resurfaced in their sheep’s clothing and shouted ‘Cool Britannia!’ even as they began dismantling Britannia’s realm forever. Come one, come all, they cried and come they did. Wages plummeted, education slumped to a shameful low, Britain’s streets and housing estates turned into war zones and this royal throne of kings turned into rows and rows of Burger Kings.

Many of those who could, left these shores. Those with average means retired to the sun and took their pensions with them where their capital could buy their own blessed plots. The best and brightest were drawn to prestigious foreign universities. Tech start-ups made independent wealth for a very few.  The rest clung on, out of lack of means, out of patriotism or xenophobia, or dependence on the bloated welfare state which systematically turned workers into an underclass of low-worth breeders, serially ignored by successive administrations because it was cheaper than the alternative – to admit they were wrong and do something about it.

Instead of training our own we imported cheap labour and perpetuated the rot. Manufacturing declined, the city flourished but went rogue and slowly but surely Britain changed. A dwindling tax base for a burgeoning welfare bill and no plan to take control; just the Ponzi scheme of open-doors immigration. Things can only get better, said New labour, as they watched their plans fall into place. ‘New hospitals!’ they cried and piled up the public debt! ‘More doctors!’ they demanded and imported them from afar, from countries less able to replace them. And somewhere in there (for surely there was a plan?) they presumably called for ‘More administrators!’

Now the junior doctors are threatening to leave and work overseas and their places will be taken by foreign-trained medics because – just as in practically every industry - we haven’t preserved the status of home-grown talent. As the top guys leave we’ll receive the cream of the second divisions and more Brits will feel displaced and forgotten and seek their own exit by whatever means. The health service will suffer and social cohesion will worsen, which will further increase the demand for health services, because poor people cost so much more to keep well.

Rude Britannia...

And future governments will continue to import more poor people to maintain their doomed economic model and still try and spin the discontent as an irrational fear of foreigners, all the while squeezing the funding while trying to cope with an increasing burden. Training could eventually be abandoned altogether, relying entirely on ever cheaper, part-trained, non-English speakers and hiring more and more interpreters to cope with the Babel-chatter of alien labour. Is Brexit the answer? It will never be allowed to happen. But, look on the bright side: Brits have always worked abroad; there won’t be any decent ones left here to suffer.

Monday, 15 February 2016

A piece of paper...

A long time ago, in a country far, far away from the nominal ‘Britain’ we know today, a former Prime Minister said the following words: "This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final Note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.” Until that point we had been on a path to appeasement; history tends to vindicate our decision to take more drastic steps.

Today it is as if we are right back there again, except that this time, instead of the carefully controlled and relatively meagre output of the establishment press we are bombarded by facts, factoids and downright lies from all quarters. Ah, the lies we tell: If the wind changes while you’re wearing that expression your face will stay that way. If you swallow chewing gum it will glue up your insides. You’ll have somebody’s eye out! Children grow up and eventually realise the absurdity of such folk tales but we are still unable to immediately detect untruths, especially when they pander to our suspicions of conspiracy.

The EU, therefore, is variously a New World Order plot, a Communist resurgence, a Capitalist power play, the Ultimate Battle Between Good and Evil, a Fourth Reich... or The Matrix. Whilst I tend towards a cleaner explanation, that it is a simple replacement of national democracies based on sincerely held beliefs that the demos is insufficiently equipped to handle the truth, it’s hard at times not to be seduced by some of the more outlandish theories that float, like scum atop the murky waters of international affairs.

Oil and gas, trade protectionism, agricultural subsidies, banking and finance, fisheries, boundaries, history and allegiances, real life is always more surprising and complex than the most carefully scripted plots. But you have to worry when previously opposing sides get together to spin a tale of the famine and war and pestilence which await the remnants of the custodians of the once greatest empire on Earth outside the breath-restricting embrace of a huddle of mutually mistrusting former nations who have lost their identities.

Never poke a sleeping lion, they say. But now the lion is firmly poked, what else accounts for the proliferation of scare stories that have flooded the UK and world press about the consequences of Brexit than that it is showing its claws? Britain leaving the EU will ‘imperil’ global security. The situation is potentially so dire that the president of the United States – despised lame duck though he now is – must intervene. Leaving the EU will end cheap flights and put an end to foreign holidays. And on and on go the negative reports as the EU lines up Brexit to be the potential cause of the third World War that many have been predicting for years.

Mrs Merkel assures me...

Realising that nobody knows what the future holds, in or out, the latest tactic is to spread so many wildly variant prophecies of doom that eventually even the rabidly ‘Little English’ will put away their union flag waistcoats and quietly accept their fate. But the problems of the EU will not go away. If not Britain, then the focus will shift, most notably to the new border countries under the increasing strain of become processing centres for the welcoming of our future islamic masters. 

With or without Britain, the EU of the future is going to look a lot different and a lot less prosperous from how it looks now. I don’t like the look of either version, but only one offers the British, if they dare to take it, a chance of avoiding the very worst. David Cameron's piece of paper from Brussels is worth no more than that of Neville Chamberlain, all those years ago.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Private Jihadi

In these turbulent times a man has to be wise to the ways of the world. When the forces ranged against you are just as likely to be those of your own side as those of the named enemy you need to be ever alert to the threat. ‘Trust nobody’ is a watchword for all, especially those venturing toward danger. And a wise question to ask yourself is ‘who stands to profit most?' Thus the current prevarication in the Conservative Party over EU membership should be viewed through murky, venal, suspicious spectacles and any hint of rosiness dismissed as a freak of light.

And as in domestic politics so it is in the theatre of war. During the overthrow of the Libyan town of Sirte by ISIS jihadis, a Labour politician, a reporter and a Soldier were captured, paraded before the worlds’ media and told they were to be beheaded. In reverse order of remuneration; the politician was there on a ‘fact-finding mission’, the reporter was trying to get himself a Pulitzer Prize scoop... and the soldier was just doing his job. In a move calculated to heighten their sense of loss, they were each offered a last wish – within the bounds of practicality – before they met their very public end.

The politician, without any discussion of pecking order, or sensitivity towards his fellow captives, immediately blurted out that he would like to hear “The Internationale" one last time, confident that the communist anthem was likely to be a difficult request to fulfil and thus buy some time for a rescue. But, of course, he reckoned without YouTube and within minutes he was listening to its stirring chords and tearfully singing along.

The reporter, ever hopeful of an award, asked that he be allowed to deliver his last report direct to camera so that his words might live on even after his head had rolled from his lifeless corpse. The terrorists agreed and duly set up the camera intended to record their last moments on earth. In a halting yet defiant voice the reporter recited his piece to the waiting world. Despite the impending execution, he took heart from his performance, only realising right at the end that this would be the last time.

The Soldier watched the performances of his fellow captives with a rueful countenance and when his time came he looked his captors in the eye and asked that all six of them should give him a good kick in the arse before they got out the scimitar. The other two stopped their grizzling and watched, amazed, as one by one the ISIS goons lined up, took a run and booted the soldier in the fundament. He winced with each blow but, as the last boot went in he made his move.

Rolling forward he whipped out the Browning 9mm pistol he had managed to conceal in his boot and picked off three of the terrorists before they even realised what was happening. Running out of ammunition he wrested the AK47 from the dead hands of one of the would-be executioners and continued firing until the last of them fell. The politician and the reporter looked on in amazement and then all three of them got to their feet and burst out into the street where they ran and ran until they managed to join a convoy of evacuees making for the docks.


Aboard the open-topped truck the reporter and politician thanked the soldier profusely and told all who would listen about his heroic deed. “But why,” asked the politician “did you ask them to kick you so brutally before you acted?” The soldier shrugged and looked from one to the other of his fellow ex-captives. “What, and have you two stringing me up back home for carrying out an unprovoked attack?”

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Keyboards for Justice

I’m having a break from the booze. So far this year that makes it 42 days and counting... not that anybody is, actually, counting. By now I should be feeling much more alert, sleeping like a baby (waking up crying in a puddle of piss?) and my liver ought to be doing cartwheels of joy. The truth is rather more prosaic in that I’ve hardly noticed. I have no desperate craving for the plonk and I can’t honestly report anything having changed very much. Maybe it’s a slow-burn thing and in another few weeks I’ll grow an athlete’s physique and the intellect of Brian Cox. I bet I don’t get his lovely hair though...

I’m the same way with most things; I’ve never noticed a sugar rush, get no buzz from coffee and when I was drinking – and I can put it away - I rarely got hangovers. Cheese has never been a thing of poetry for me and most grub, no matter how exotically prepared and however heavily eulogised over by the foodies, generally tastes exactly as I expect it to. I don’t scream for ice cream and pizza leaves me nonplussed (it’s cheese on toast, basically, without the handiness). I had a go on one of them there joints once as well... meh. Not much in life ever really amazes me – as an eternal pessimist I am occasionally pleasantly surprised when the shit merely stops the fan and isn’t spread asunder, but otherwise everything works on an even keel.

I reckon I’m an okay judge of character, trusting nobody very far until they’ve earned it and expecting nothing, despite all the promises. So, no, I wasn’t surprised by David Cameron using the Calais Jungle to scare up a Remain vote. And I’m not in the least bit disappointed by the sheer lack of backbone displayed by the oaf Boris Johnson’s fence-sitting. It doesn’t come as much of a shock to see the cabinet’s Eurosceptics bound and gagged ahead of the next carefully rehearsed negotiation performance. Life lurches along, from one mildly predictable, undramatic moment to the next.

But I suppose the one thing that I never quite get used to is how surprised other, mere mortals, are when they get panned for saying something stupid on social media. The creation of Twitter’s ridiculous ‘Trust and Safety Council’ is typical of the age in which we live. ‘Sticks and stones’ we used to counsel and ‘ignore him, he’s not worth it'. But no, the collective ego of the online world, it seems, is so delicate only an ersatz Thought Police will do. Expect similar Quangos to proliferate in the material world as the delicate snowflakes expect comfort blankets for all areas of their lives.


It is one thing to protect your children from their ignorance and to defend people from out and out bullies, but as a species, internet man has over-evolved into a whining, bullshitting, keyboard-frapping, waste of fucking time. The internet promised so much – freedom of speech, a worldwide platform for all views, legitimised by popularity; direct democracy for everybody. A new kind of politics. An end to the tyranny of elites. Power to the people and all that bollocks. But so far, like me quitting the booze, the internet has yet to live up to its more ambitious promises.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Fighting Fair?

An interesting article by Anne Marie Waters in Breitbart a few days ago perfectly explains the perverse Newspeak of the forces of mother-state socialism and the lust for uniform mediocrity achieved through coercion and not by any natural human mechanism. In Germany of all places, where half the country was for so long a part of a ruthless communist dictatorship, they are busily rebuilding the wall, only this time they want to include all of Europe within its destructive embrace.

It only came down a quarter of a century ago. Are memories so short that European leaders are already prepared to rebuild a failed ideology and defend it by viciously attacking those who speak out? Once again we hear the trudge of metaphorical jackboots and formalised state terrorism marching back into the heart of Europe. This death wish for freedom, echoes the demands of islam and its ‘democracy go to hell’ clarion call. Never mind hell, what on earth is wrong with the citizens of the new Eurasia?

The deafening screech of the massed voices of eternal protest – the left, for whom it is as natural as breathing – overlay every area of life today and anybody who dare challenge their orthodoxy is shouted down. When they say ‘far right’ they mean you and I. It is ‘far right’ to oppose uncontrolled immigration. It is ‘far-right’ to defend the traditional family. And it is ‘far right’ to want to regain independence from the European Union, whose end game is a totalitarianism just as unyielding as the old USSR.

The dupes on the left are brought into line by swallowing wholesale the narrative that they will bring about a gentler, more caring world of inclusivity and equality if they only band together to threaten violence to those deemed ‘far-right’. Like good little Hitler Youth they believe right is on their side and while the rest of us want peaceful coexistence, the multicultural mantra demands special concessions from us towards people who have no intention of ever integrating. The only way to live with people who hate us is with as great a distance between them and us as is possible; that goes for the left as much as it does for islam. Europe belongs across the Channel.

David Cameron may believe he is cleverly exploiting our fears by pretending that invasion is imminent if we leave the EU. Having tried and failed to make the economic argument which few now believe and realising that the left-wing approach of insulting us all as ‘the far right’ was making little headway against the intelligent, he has gone full-1984 by stating an outright lie as truth. War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. Taking back control of our borders, he says, is losing control of our borders and brooks no reason.


This referendum is Cameron's to lose but he is relying on fear to win the day. There are no hard facts in the EU debate; nobody knows what leaving will bring, but it is the only option which offers change and goodness knows we need a change. I’m going with the ‘far right’ option of free speech, free thought and freedom from foreign rule, otherwise what’s the point? But, just as Anne Marie Waters explained, I never expected a fair fight.

PS: The French have also called Cameron a liar.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Leave to remain

The ‘Remain’ campaign does oft defame,
Those who do not think the same.
But deign to claim they chose their name,
So apathy would aid their aim,
And on your head will insults rain,
As specious claim and counter claim,
Combine to shame you into stay’n...

But perpetuating people’s pain,
To stay aboard the gravy train,
Whose first class carriage preordains,
That only politicians gain,
Is tantamount to plot profane,
To bring an end to Liz’s reign,
O’er people free to say their name.
A once-proud race now run insane.

So join with us and don't abstain,
Be free-born Brits, cast off your chain.
Our island should be our domain,
To do with as we deem germane.
Let British blood run red again,
And fear not those who try in vain,
To keep us bound, I should explain,
They may as well fuck off to Spain*.

(*It rhymes, okay?) 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The Communists Next Door

Listening to Any Questions on Radio 4 on the drive home from work last night it was fascinating to hear the inner workings of an alien species. Broadcast from Glasgow, it didn’t take very long to realise that the Scots aren’t like the rest of us. Or if they are they may have succumbed to a wasting disease that we should all worry about. The SNP appear to be pink to the core, espousing many of the contradictions of communism itself; collective misery and hardship and wishing death on the hated Tories, while, simultaneously expressing a deep seated desire to save the world, when they can’t even save themselves.

Part of the problem with pretending that you are so nice, while spitting hatred at those who pay for you to maintain your delusion, is that sooner or later you have to come face to face with reality. The reality that not everybody is equal, or that some people are not worth saving. That those you despise genuinely don’t care what you think of them. And that lofty ambitions of egalitarianism will remain unreachable without the enlistment of capitalism’s ability to do the things that communism can only dream of. And why get so agitated and angry when you find that not everybody shares your impossible quest?

And then you come up against people like me. I don’t care. I really don’t. I don’t care about refugees, asylum seekers, sick children, the unemployed, minority rights... In short, I don’t care about you and your bizarre obsession with taking and living the hypocritical oath. Oh, all this weird shit interests me, but in a fascinated ‘Ripley’s Believe it or Not’ way. It interests me that you can be all for equal treatment for all but also want to kill Tories. It interests me that you will believe without question and without proof a narrative that says the Westminster Government has a deliberate policy of exterminating the disabled and unemployed, yet refuse to condemn a murderous ideology which actually tortures and kills people live on screen.

Not caring doesn’t make me a typical Tory because there isn’t a Tory in the land who would espouse the complete disdain and disregard I hold for the human species and all its self-inflicted suffering. For instance, I don’t believe in every woman’s right to procreate; some people should never be allowed to replicate. I broadly support preventative abortion and if necessary post-natal culling. Up to 40 years post-natal ideally. You may call me a monster but you should be aware that I genuinely do not care what you think of me. If you are the kind of person who is offended by strangers not agreeing with you then why are you even still reading this?

Manufactured rage, dog-whistle reaction to barely grasped events, the confusion about which murderous bunch of foreigners you are supposed to support today, your fanatical devotion to the NHS even as it eats through money that might better get your children properly educated to not rely on others for their health and well-being... and maintaining the constant state of readiness to react angrily to every story of cleverer people passing on their advantage to their children must take its toll. I expect the cognitive dissonance roars like tinnitus and disturbs your very balance.

No? Me neither... Jockanese translator required

But, you see, the world needs people like me. It needs people like me to go out to work and pay my taxes and do my level best not to spend those taxes ten-fold. It needs people like me to hold up as hate figures, even though we do nothing to make the plight of your oh-so-many special cases any worse. And it needs people like me to be good little Aunt Sallies for you to rail against and wave your feeble little fists at. But at least I recognise that nobody cares what I think and nobody is going to spend any wasted time trying to rearrange the world to suit me... which is almost the exact opposite of the whining entitlement monkeys of socialism.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Red Alert

It’s been a hell of a week. Lord Lucan resurrected, David Cameron buried, Donald Trump purportedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. But when all’s said and done the world keeps on turning, we’re still in the EU and one day follows the next like a scabby stray dog shuffling behind you begging for scraps. But don’t worry about any of that, you’ve just got to get out there and grab the opportunities where they fall. Take heart from Geoff, a friend of mine to whom life offers up the most surprising experiences which he accepts as karma, just for being an eternal optimist.

Between girlfriends Geoff had taken to scouting the local hostelries and restaurants in search of whatever fortune may throw his way. And he’d had his fair share of luck with the single ladies, if truth be told. But last weekend is one he will remember for a long time. Finding himself in a mighty posh eatery, he was already seated and had ordered the soup du jour and a bottle of wine before he noticed the menu had no prices. We all know what it means if you have to ask the price. Hungry, but uncomfortable in his seat he eyed up the bread rolls and wondered if he could just pocket one and slink away.

That’s when he noticed the woman at the table opposite. She was astonishingly beautiful, with deep red hair and a full, pouting smile; he couldn’t help but stare. Her fringe hung down low over one eye and felt the urge to go over and pull it back so that he could gaze at her exquisite jawline, her ‘cheekbones like geometry’ and the flawless cream-white skin on her slender neck. She suddenly flipped back her head and with an expression of alarm in her eyes, entered a sneezing fit so powerful it felt like time had almost stopped. Her flame hair flew back as her head jerked forward and then Geoff saw something arcing through the air towards him.

He watched in slow motion as the object began to descend and then, as time speeded up again, he reached out and caught the projectile just before it splash-landed in his expensive soup. It was a glass eye. He looked up at the redhead who was holding a hand up to what he knew must be her empty socket and froze. She calmly walked over to him, plucked they eye from his palm and disappeared to the ladies’ room. In a few minutes she was back, elegant and beautiful and poised, as if nothing had happened. She thanked Geoff and took a seat at his table.

He couldn’t believe his luck as the night wore on and they chatted animatedly until the restaurant wanted to close. She insisted on paying the bill and invited him back for a nightcap. Soon they were in bed and coupling with an energy Geoff had long thought consigned to the past and in the morning she made him breakfast, staring dreamily at him as he ate his eggs and effortlessly maintaining the chat. Geoff was in heaven.


They showered together and made love again and as he was dressing he realised this had been the best night of his life. He couldn't believe his luck and a little doubt crept into his thoughts. “You, my dear” he said “are the perfect woman.” She smiled and purred a little as Geoff continued. “I hardly dare ask you this, but tell me, are you this nice to every bloke you meet?” She laughed like a tinkling brook, took his hand, winked and said “No, you just happened to catch my eye.”

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Lucky Dave?

Some people have put forward the theory that Cameron is really a new Churchill in disguise, treating with his enemies in public but, back in Blighty, secretly plotting their overthrow. He is playing a long game, they say, seeing what meagre scraps from the table will eventually be offered, only to overturn that table and - in a flourish worthy of Tyrone Power himself - whip out his rapier and carve Z-for-Zorro across the invasion map of Europe. I don’t buy it; it’s not happening. Cameron is as committed a Europhile as the cowardly Boris Johnson, trying to look undecided but already signed up to the United Kingdom Clearance Sale. Everything must go: sovereignty, currency, law and order, identity, tradition and when they get round to it, history itself.

When future generations read about how the European Union held fast against the Romans, Napoleon, the invader Nelson, Hitler and Stalin, united under the glorious star-spangled dishcloth, what was once the United Kingdom will be consigned to a footnote in history. Those great EU cultural heroes will be celebrated with many bread and circus days named for them: Shakespeare, Mao, mohammed (of course), Charlemagne, De Gaulle, Obama, and – naturally - Zorro himself. A mask may be worn on his day as it must on V-Day; the mask of Occupy who liberated Europe from the oppressions of free speech advocates and restored the power of the banks. This history is already being written in the minds of your infants. (If you want hard proof, I just miss-typed ‘Brthsi’ and the spellcheck didn’t even offer the name of our realm as an option! Even Microsoft is on board!)

We are not going to see any more ‘concessions’. What we haven’t even already got is a poor request for the other countries to assist in keeping the truth from the British public as the straps are buckled tighter still. Even the supposed alternative strategy of ‘Flexcit’[sic] is just a disguise for a mechanism by which our uncomfortable stay can be prolonged, possibly indefinitely. I reckon I have, at best, twenty years to go and I genuinely don’t expect to see any meaningful change in that time. So, David Cameron, you can go and fuck yourself unless you are prepared to rise to your office. I expect to be kept waiting.

Lucky Dave - whereabouts unknown

In other news, Lord Lucan is alive and well and living in England. Despite the reclamation of the title I believe the only Lucan anybody will remember is the one in that photo. Many since have copied his modus operandi, at least the one they believe, and vanished into obscurity. There will be no need for David Cameron to ‘take a walk in the woods’; when his time comes to leave the stage he could just do a Lucan... the only difference being that nobody will ever remember him.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Nellie the elephant

Trump trump trump! Before you jump to any ill-advised conclusions, Donald Trump is not the elephant in the room.  Everybody’s talking about him. From the early hours of yesterday on LBC through the morning’s Today programme on Radio 4 and then throughout the day the news that The Donald didn’t win the nomination in Iowa was trumpeted with undisguised glee and his supporters dismissed as bigots and racists and dangerous simpletons. Trump himself has had to endure bile that would provoke any left-wing politician to call the cops. He had it coming, said Yahoo! 

Now I’ve never liked Donald Trump, the man, from what I’ve seen of him over the years; brash, vainglorious, ridiculous hair, vocally incontinent and certainly no diplomat. But, as a politician, the way the left has reacted – employing an ideologically based hate campaign against him – is not only reminiscent of the Nazis, it smacks of real fear and loathing. And all of that visceral antipathy transfers straight to his supporters. The left fear nothing as much as they fear the will of the people and rather than try to win on their own terms, they instead revert to tried and tested, negative campaigns of discreditation.

On this side of the Atlantic, of course, the establishment hate figure is Nigel Farage, who despite two decades of personal sacrifice in a cause he believes in and despite his millions of supporters, is portrayed by that same establishment, without any apparent intended irony, as a fascist demagogue. And yet the support for both Trump and Farage is not some enchantment they have cast over the stupid; they are both simply saying what the entrenched parties won’t. And there are very many more, besides, who while not intending to vote for either man, know that the old parties offer no hope for change.

On both sides of the Atlantic the establishment is fighting for its life. The settled order is under real attack from both left and right – Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Jeremy Corbyn – and the desperation is showing. Corbyn’s election in particular has rattled the centre-leftists of the old-New Labour, which is hilarious of course, but all now seem to be semi-united against a common enemy. David Cameron. Cameron has gone full Ken Clarke over the EU and to prove it he is hailing his we’ll-think-about-it proposal to the other EU states as a victory when even the Daily Torygraph knows it’s a sham.

This upcoming referendum is nothing whatsoever to do with minor details; it’s not about emergency brakes, migrant benefit caps etc. In fact where have we got ourselves when protecting benefits is the greatest concern? Nobody, anywhere, should be living off the state unless they simply cannot fend for themselves and nobody should have the choice to sit on their arses and expect a comfortable living. Immigration has distorted the labour market, the EU socialist federation has distorted domestic politics and multiculturalism is steadily eroding national identity and eliminating indigenous cultures; what the fuck is wrong with socialists that they actually want more of this?


It is time to reject the impossible dream of the European National Socialist Party and its enforcers. It’s time to stop pretending that we need the EU. And it is long past time that we took back politics for the benefit of the British.  Thankfully, across social media, the voices for remaining in are muted while there is near-universal contempt for Cameron’s handful of magic beans. Whatever you personally think of them we need the Farages and the Trumps. And as for 'The Donald', I personally hope he doesn’t pack his trunk and say goodbye to the GOP circus. We need all the fun we can get. 

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Play your cards right Cameron!

Yesterday ‘Deal-or-No-Deal’ Dave had 24 hours to come up with an agreement to be presented to a bunch of countries who have no real interest in negotiating Britain’s relationship with the EU. Today, he probably still has 24 hours; time is elastic in political crises. But over the last few weeks of talking about it most of us have forgotten what he said he was setting out to achieve. Does he have a raft of powers to be handed back to the UK Parliament? Wasn’t there something in there about limiting migrant numbers? I really don’t remember.

Actually that’s not altogether true – I do have a vague memory of a list of four key demands he set out to argue, three of which we effectively had control over anyway and the fourth was some inconsequential smoke and mirrors about paying migrant benefits which appeared to have absolutely sod-all to do with restricting free movement of people across our borders. While there is a natural focus on the Calais swarm, without having control over our borders the hundreds of thousands of new ‘EU citizens’ invited in by Angela Merkel will quite soon be able to come here without challenge.

But what does David Cameron really want? If it’s legacy then staying in the EU isn’t one; it is just, really, doing nothing. Oh there is much chatter around the reported desires of the other EU countries for Britain to remain onside but haven’t we always been a thorn in that side? Some say untying the Gordian knot that represents our involvement in Europe will take years. I say, take a pair of scissors to it, set fire to it, hack at it with a machete; the mooring ropes will still be there, we would not be setting ourselves adrift. Britain has been a part of political Europe for centuries, forming allegiances, breaking them, inter-marrying our royalty. None of that will change. Just as before, we can advance or retreat at will, not as pressed men.

There is nothing, I repeat nothing, which we get from our part in the EU that we couldn’t have as an independent wealthy nation. And there is much we would gain from having the ability to set our own course. Will we still be friends? I see no reason why not. Would we still cooperate on defence, justice, financial and other issues? Of course we would. But without total control of our own perimeter and policies we are not a sovereign nation and nothing less should be on offer.

Lest you are inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt the Conservative Home website lists ten negotiation aims Cameron has dropped:
  • Taking back control over social and employment laws.
  • A complete opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • Stopping the ECJ overruling our criminal law. 
  • Changing the EU treaties before the referendum. 
  • Stopping EU migrants coming to the UK without a job offer.
  • Removing EU jobseekers after six months. 
  • Reforming the Working Time Directive.
  • Stopping the European Parliament meeting in two places. 
  • Reforming the Common Agricultural Policy. 
  • Reforming the EU’s Structural Funds.
All gone, forgotten, crumbled into dust...


In the end he has asked for nothing and been turned down. Pursuing Britain in a reformed Europe is a strategy that will make him the new Ted Heath (remember how well respected his footnote in history is?) The only hand that may yield a worthwhile result is the genuine threat to lead Britain out of the EU. In that game all the cards are on our side. We can easily do without the EU; can the EU survive the next turbulent decade without us? But it seems Cameron would sooner fold than do the one thing that would actually earn him a deserved place in history.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Faith School

There was a time when – like the adherents of mohammed – most people, even the intelligent ones, believed in a god. How else to explain the rising of the sun and the bounty of the earth? But there is something in the human psyche that demands their god be so insecure in his omnipotence that he insists on an exclusivity clause – thou shalt have no other god before me – and brings down a righteous smiting on all who demur. Naturally, being aloof sort of characters and somewhat reclusive, all gods seem to need the hand of man to do their smiting, but as long as one puts such small details out of mind, sustaining belief isn’t so hard for the not so bright.

But then, as society evolved and we became better at survival without strife, overcoming the vagaries of nature and freeing some from grubbing for subsistence, our big, busy brains began fizzing with enquiring thoughts and doubt. Science showed us that in the absence of proof the existence of anything is not a matter of fact but a matter of faith and in time the continued absence of proof has worn away at faith; in the developed world the bishops no longer have the power to control by edict and divine threat.

But Voltaire said “If god did not exist it would be necessary to invent him.” And he had a point. What is filling the void left by the church? Science may have done for god in Europe, but science if anything is a harder master to follow than god. Science demands reason and reason demands education. It seems we are demonstrating that you can’t have an easy freedom from religion without the intellect to exist in the world beyond it. In the twentieth century it looked as if secularism was getting somewhere as education freed the masses from unthinking faith (apart from the USA, but that is a work in progress).

So what went wrong? By now we should be a free society of intelligent people, grateful for our liberty and running our lives at a profit, not by a prophet. We should be settling our disputes by reason and coming to consensus, not fracturing into ever smaller, selfish, special interest groups. And we should be absolutely resisting the encroachment of medievalism in the form of men in dresses and women in sacks. And yet the latest OECD report has British teenagers among the thickest in the world; barely able to tie their shoelaces by some accounts

God is in the detail...
Six billion years of evolution?

Maybe Voltaire was right; in the absence of intellect gods will have to do, but do we really want the old gods back, with all that smiting and human sacrifice? No, we need to invent a new god and a proper one at that – reality TV won’t do - and money has had variable results. No, we need a proper, inclusive, omnipotent, unprovable deity again and a congregation without the wit to challenge ‘him’. The OECD report shows the way; if we can’t make everybody clever, let’s make everybody stupid again – so that they can accept the lord and be saved.