Monday, 29 May 2017

National Treasure

A Labour supporter and NHS flag-waver appearing on BBC’s The Big Questions on Sunday morning spoke enthusiastically about fiscal multipliers; the notion that government spending can stimulate the economy. Yay, spend! But this ignores the simple fact that basic economics is about how we individually and collectively allocate scarce resources with alternative uses. In this respect, money is not a resource but an exchange mechanism allowing us to avoid barter and directly trade labour and materials we possess or control for other labour and materials we desire.

His argument is that if we plough more money into the NHS this would pay more people who would then spend locally, thus stimulating other businesses, all miraculously making profits from that original injection of capital. But where do those businesses source their raw materials? And how many in the local economy are saving for their own, nobly selfish needs and how many are sending money abroad? Come to that, how much of NHS funding goes to buy goods and services from overseas? All of this is a drain on that funding, making the miracle of fiscal multiplication less likely.

Providing government assistance for an area overcome by natural disaster, or local industrial collapse, buying time for the local economy to get back on its feet is one thing, but sooner or later the assistance has to stop, or risk that society becoming dependent on the charity of others. Unfortunately, once that welfare tap has been turned on you need to keep opening it ever wider. (See whole swathes of formerly industrial regions whose old fester and whose talented young leave) Yes, but, the argument goes, the NHS is different; better health in society IS a form of profit, providing healthier workers, who live longer, with fewer end-of-life costs. This is a noble and moral belief, but is it true?

When we decide how to spend our money we effectively ration our consumption to keep within our means, foregoing one good for another where necessary. Those who use the least amount of NHS services are generally the wealthiest, opting to go private, only when they actually need to, on their own timetable. Yet they pay the most into the pot. At the other end of the scale the vast majority of those who use state-supplied medicine contribute nothing to it. Dressed up as ‘need’, those who contribute little gorge themselves on the free stuff. More free stuff, less incentive to ration its consumption.

The NHS. Doing as well as expected...

The NHS is an almost perfect model of what happens when the state tries to organise anything. There is no real price mechanism to allocate resources, just an ever-expanding need, a capacious maw that always needs feeding. For as long as there is an NHS, the Labour Party (for which it is a deity) will ceaselessly declare that we have six-hours/three-weeks/two-days, etc to ‘save’ it. But no matter how much this emotive pleading appeals to the hard-of-thinking we must never forget Mr Micawber’s sage advice.

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

Physician, heal thyself.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Finally!

Katie Hopkins and LBC have parted ways. The malicious left are, in their loving, caring, kinder politics manner, gleefully infesting social media with group hugs, tears of joy and hopes that she dies in agony, from bottom cancer or suchlike. Of course, the vile Hopkins is guilty of the most nauseating, most violent, most despicable of modern offences and she has brought censure on herself. Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot... such despots always meet a sticky end, love triumphing over hate when they are strung up by a baying mob.

What did Katie do to attract such opprobrium? She dared to articulate what millions feel they cannot. She voiced the genuine feelings of a majority who are not cowed by political correctness and a fear of denouncement. She stood up for reason in a world which seems devoid of it at times. And she faced down the howls of knee-jerk demands to silence her from the very quarters engaged in suppression of freedoms in the west. And she will be back, because she’s right.

After many years of proposed solutions to the problems caused by an effective submission to islam in the west. After years of ‘nothing to do with islam’ uttered by political clones after every atrocity claimed in the name of the prophet (pieces be upon him). After the inanity of vigils and silences and voices raised against the aggrieved instead of the aggressors, she simply said what many, many people want. An end to it all. Finally. A final solution to the islamic problem. There, I said it too.

The very thing that the islamists want to deny us, up to and including life itself, is our freedom. Time after time after time, they have declared that they see us as less than them. They will have us as slaves, or not at all. They say they hate us they say they want us dead and I say they have the right to say these things. I welcome their openness; it makes everything so much simpler. They want us dead, we want them gone, finally.

Jeremy Corbyn can use terror all he likes, he can blame all of terrorism on the actions of former western governments and he can openly consort with whoever he wishes. Isn’t that the mark of a free society? But what is sauce for the goose, must also be at least a blob of relish for the gander. All calls for suppression of speech must be resisted; one man’s rallying cry is another’s hate speech. I say we should be able to call a spade a spade and not get arrested for racism because of it.


Yes, I accept that this means some people, especially young, radical peace warriors, might have to hear language of which they disapprove. Yes, it means that some people may be so mortally offended they may have to take to their beds. And of course the Penny Reds and Owen Gays and Jon Snowflakes and Jobby O’Briens might have to suffer being pointed at and mocked some more but it’s a small price to pay. It’s either free speech or officially approved speech; which would you prefer?

Friday, 26 May 2017

Call me

The war on terror has once more been visited on our shores and feelings have been running high as the touchy-feely, rainbow coalition of appeaseratchiks hug each other and form protective rings around mosques while the stinking, racist, lower-class lynch mobs eschew candlelit vigils for their own, more direct kind of vigilantism. The police are so busy controlling rampant islamophobia there isn’t a cell free within a hundred miles radius of Manchester.

But other security forces have been busy on our behalf, rounding up random jihadis in dawn raids and swooping on those well-known hotbeds of seething hatred for the hand that feeds them; university campuses, madrassas, back bedrooms in seedy suburbs and kebab shops. By all accounts the tally of arrests and detentions is growing and secret enhanced interrogation suites are being quietly commissioned to deal with the business of ‘intelligence gathering’. Fortunately, those charged with defence of the realm have never bought into the simple lie that torture never yields truth, so widely promulgated by our social justice peaceniks.

I always fancied one of those waterboarding holidays, but it seems that even there the early ISIS bird gets the preferential booking treatment worm, with each potential suicide bomber getting peaceful, solitary, individual accommodation free, at the expense of the UK taxpayer. Some have given up the goodies at the first sight of a dental pick but other soldiers of allah have been harder nuts to crack, so the story goes.

“You filthy infidel pig!” spits Abdul at his interlocutor, as the current is once again applied. “I will never betray my brothers in jihad!” Out comes the wet towel and Abdul splutters as a cascade of cold water persuades his brain that he is drowning. Still no spilling of the beans. As they work on through the night, he taunts them; he seems to even be enjoying the pain. “I long to die for my faith! You will never break me. You will have to kill me, then I will take my reward in heaven. 72 virgins await me.” He pauses to spit blood then grins up at his captors, “Blonde virgins,” he says, “blonde and white and all of them fifteen... like your daughters!”

Eventually Abdul is released after questioning. He wasn’t really tortured at all – this is just the story he intends to tell all his friends once he gets back to his study bedroom in college. But deep inside he believes himself to be a fierce lion of islam, scourge of the west, which has given him everything he has ever known. But Abdul’s reverie is cut short as his life is ended, appropriately enough, by the speeding truck, in front of which he has just stepped. He seems to close his eyes for a second...

Going vestal on yo' ass...

When he opens them again his first sensation is of a bright light and a feeling of peace and contentment. He looks around and sees that he is indeed in heaven and before him stand, as promised, the 72 fifteen-year old virgins, all of them white, all of them naked and all of them with hair the colour of bleached straw. They smile as they walk towards him and surround him. Abdul stares, open mouthed as one of them takes his hand. “Welcome Abdul. We are here for your eternal pleasure... you can call me Larry.”

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

No Words

There is nothing quite like a national tragedy to highlight the paucity of vocabulary that afflicts post-traumatic-state-disorder. It’s as if there is some laid down glossary of acceptable terms to which all public figures must adhere: Together we stand. We are united. They will not prevail. The litany goes on... and on... and on. We must not let hate win, they say, hate having won, decisively, on the day. We are not afraid, they say. But wait, it’s not the hatred that delivered the Manchester murders that is on trial here, but the natural fearful reaction of the bereaved.

You can do vigils, you can do candles, you can even do angry poetry but until the hysteria calms down and we strike back, in cold blood, nothing will ever change. The message being sent to the world? Bomb us, murder us, rape us and rob us for welfare and we will simply lie down and let you do it all again. Yes, we’ll look at you pleadingly and utter the mealy-mouthed borrowed phrases of political simpletons, but we will not lift a finger against you. Come, we are easy meat; our country is yours for the taking. No wonder Christians get persecuted in some countries – they practically beg for it.

Rather than actually fight we will cynically use that word to mean something different. We will fight to understand your pain, empathise with your plight, open up a ‘dialogue’ with your emotions and find a way to your heart. And it doesn’t matter how any of us you kill and how many times you actually tell us that our death is what your ideology demands, we will ignore the simple truth and continue to fight to discover a reassuring way of blaming your actions on ourselves. It must be my fault that daddy keeps hitting me; it must be. He does it because he loves me...

Of course, the authorities are fighting back. Oh yes. They are fighting against the backlash of islamophobia; they are policing imaginary hate crime; they are poised and ready to punish you for your horrified response to horrific events. Bomb a venue, kill 22 people and you need to be understood, but express revulsion at the act and post a social media message of antipathy and you must be sanctioned. Pre-meditated murder is bad, this says, but knee-jerk condemnation of it is worse.

How many more empty words?

‘Don’t let hate win. Embrace. Come together. Stand strong. My heart goes out. My thoughts are with. We pray for. Solidarity. The lost vocabulary of official responses finds its apotheosis in the hollow phrase ‘there are no words’. If that’s the case then tell me, why are we still just talking?

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A conspiracy of incompetence?

I was going to write today about the issue of competence in government and the utter lack of it shown by the various parties contesting the election. I was going to explore how it is that with access to all the expertise of all the country’s thinkers and strategists and all the experience of reaction to former policy announcements, Theresa May managed to set her own trap and then u-turn straight into it. Didn’t she know that any move, whatsoever, to reduce the amount of free stuff, will be seized upon and dubbed a tax.

Over the years we’ve had Poll Tax, Pasty Tax, Bedroom Tax and now with the gift of the ‘Dementia Tax’, the mechanism for going into reverse once more grinds into gear. Andrew Neil also managed neatly to expose exactly why she would not participate in a televised debate. Fortunately for her, the Labour Party are in such disarray that she will recover from that mauling and the other parties are wedded to ideologies so barmy only a complete fruitcake could vote for them. Sadly, we do seem to have a few million of the permanently bewildered that they would even vote for the Greens; it’s little wonder they are so fixated with dementia

But why is it that our leaders and would-be leaders are always so unprepared? Could it be because in trying to appeal to everybody they appeal to nobody? In setting a course they imagine to be straight down the middle they end up veering wildly from bank to bank, churning up the river bed and frightening the wildlife? So frequent and so appalling are some of the gaffes that in the wilder regions of the press they mistake simple incompetence for grand conspiracy: there has to be a reason surely? They can’t be just... you know... stupid?

But suddenly, all this is irrelevant. Following the nothing-to-do-with-you-know-who attack in Manchester last night, all hands are on deck and the virtue signallers are out in force. “We must not make political capital out of tragedy!” goes the cry, as they all concoct soundbites to suggest greater compassion than the next. “My heart goes out”, “My thoughts are with”, “My prayers go out”... notice how they all start with ‘my’. Little, mini-pledges to show how much more they care than *insert main rival party name here*.

But after the platitudes we need something more. We need action. Not vigils, or silences; not pleas to ‘come together’, nor understand. We understand it fine; the west is under attack and whether or not we ‘learn lessons’ we want to see something being done. We want a highly visible armed response, resulting in arrests, detentions and deportations. We want recognition that our supposed leaders have the first idea how to combat this war on our on soil and most of all we want the source of the violence – islam itself – called to account, or called on to leave the west.


As it happens, this latest atrocity has the potential to become Theresa May’s finest hour. What leader, besieged by blunders over bungled policy announcements and embarrassing climb-downs on national television, wouldn’t welcome this very real test of true character? What a vote winner a Churchillian call to arms could be right now. How welcome might a public rejection of ‘islam is the religion of peace’ be to a population drowning in the ordure of electoral claptrap? This could be May’s Falklands War. I can already hear Guardian contributors queuing up to call it a conspiracy.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Demented

Have you ever noticed that the more you try and eradicate poverty, the more poverty there is? Maybe it would make more sense to just eradicate the poor? I mean, seriously, given that a crap start in life fails so often to serve as an incentive to improve your lot – poor parenting skills, bad examples, being educated alongside others from the same gutter, the inbred hatred of others’ success – there’s a lot to be said for suppressing their urge to reproduce. Perhaps making people entirely financially responsible for their own life choices would be a step on the way?

Of course, propose this eminently rational piece of pragmatism and you will have a riot on your hands. How dare you take back their unearned ‘wages’? Nasty party, etc, etc, etc... But have you ever noticed that wherever you get poor people you get squalor? The same with certain sectors of the non-integrating immigrant population; you house them in half-decent accommodation and within a few very short years you have yet another shithole sink estate, with rows of sleazy takeaways, dodgy taxi firms, money transfer shops and bag-headed multi-wives, popping out home-grown jihadis faster than you can say ‘ally-ally-akbar!’

Of course there is always a blurred line between correlation and causation but whether it’s the chicken or the egg that first started the rot the correlation is relentlessly sky high. And the answer always seems to be spend. Spend more on encouraging integration. Spend more on improving the social housing stock. Spend more on education. Spend more on outreach and social work. Spend more, spend more, spend more... How is it that despite the £trillions pissed into the welfare pot, the poor, the squalid and the undesirables go on multiplying?

Like the NHS, the welfare system will NEVER be 'properly funded'. There is always more demand for free stuff than the stuff itself. The money-go-round is a political beast that has made a habit of repeatedly biting the hand that wields it. Relative poverty is a rent-seeking business – throw money at it and increase the supply. And perversely, as people get richer, relative poverty comes to be redefined; the poor of a century ago would view today’s poor as rich beyond imagination. Poverty should be a hellish, deprived state to be avoided, not a lifestyle option.

Behind all of this are the self-same economic driving forces which will render any attempt to make most people pay for their end-of-life care just as chaotic as any other top-down imposition of responsibility. Those who have the means and the motivation will not be affected at all as they will pay for it anyway, just as they have throughout their life – rich people are not the problem. Those who have nothing, through their own inability, will pay nothing, just as they have throughout their life.

The inevitable outcome of universal welfare...

For all the rest, the real outcome of the so-called ‘dementia tax’, if it ever makes it to statute, will be an evolution of the way in which property ownership is defined. Clever accountants and lawyers will find and develop legal loopholes so that by the time one needs social care beyond what is already available, there will no longer be any assets to seize. While Theresa May wants to appear ready to make the tough decisions and many will back the Tory manifesto proposals you would have to be demented to think it wasn’t going to come with an electoral price.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Labour all over

Labour are funny. Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn decided to denounce the Tory ‘cap’ on social care  despite the fact that no such proposal exists. But even if he had understood what was proposed the Labour position would still have been wrong. Old hard-left Labour hates wealth because they see it as a zero sum game whereby people can only become rich by making others poorer, even though real figures show that on average everybody in Britain has become progressively richer, decade on decade, without any help from Labour.

What the Tories are doing, however, is directly from Labour’s playbook, hence the criticism from their own side. Stop paying benefits to those who don’t need them so you can continue to help those who do. In fact, over the last seven years, the Conservative and coalition administrations have progressively shifted the burden of paying for the state from the working poor, who were often unfairly penalised under the last Labour government, to the better off. Despite the constant accusations of ‘tax cuts for the rich’, the despised wealth creators are paying way more than what an ordinary person would consider their fair share.

That last assertion may seem contentious but given the facts; that the poor actually contribute almost no tax (after tax credits and other working benefits are taken into account many are actually subsidised to a considerable degree) while those who earn above about £40k only ever pay in, it can easily be shown that it is the relatively better off who are penalised. But it’s a system we accept. It’s only the left, who twist the reality to suit their narrative of robber barons and fat cat industrialists, squeezing the poor for every drop to fuel hedonistic lifestyles, who don’t seem to get it.

It’s all about the words. Tories adopt a more egalitarian position, redistribute wealth, increase employment, live within our means and strive to create a fairer society with maximum participation for all and they are painted as the nasty party. Labour would disincentivise ambition, penalise success, favour their pet divisive projects of multiculturalism, enforced diversity, state-funded idleness and national bankruptcy and they still manage to convince some voters that they care. You would, literally, have to be stupid to vote for Labour in June.

Don't mention the war...

The last two weeks have seen the party in such disarray that even if they genuinely believed a single thing they say it is clear that they are not singing from the same hymnal. Practically every single spokesperson – some more memorably so that others – has been found devoid of an argument to back their claims when pressed. And several have had to issue post-interview ‘clarifications. This isn’t media bias, it is journalists doing their job and doing it well. If Labour’s message is now so muddled that their leader has to go on television and attack Tory policies that appeal to Labour voters it is surely the end. They think it’s all over? It is now.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Sandwich Bored

A BBC reporter did a vlog entitled My Lunch Hack. Do they inhabit a magical realm so divorced from the real world that they think everybody has the same difficulties with modern life that they do? A ‘hack’ he called it, for which a cursory definition search produced the following:
  • cut with rough or heavy blows.
  • gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer.
  • to manage successfully, e.g. [neg] ‘just couldn't hack the new job’
  • to play inexpert golf
Also, in journalism hack is a ‘pejorative term for a writer who is paid to write low-quality, rushed articles or books "to order", often with a short deadline.’ Ah, got it, though you’d think the BBC would prefer loftier content.

Or maybe they thought it was clever parody of something or other? A dig at people who think that by rebranding what we used to call tips as ‘life-hacks’ somehow makes your existence a marvel of triumph over a frustrating and mundane reality. Whereas we used to call it ‘getting on with it’ nowadays people must ‘reinvent’ themselves, have what they call life makeovers and openly flaunt their inane solutions to problems which didn’t exist, as if they have discovered some Holy Grail or fountain of eternal youth. In case you missed the point, the guy made his own sandwich.

So, here’s my transport hack; feel free to share it, make it an Internet sensation and like the fuck out of it across the social media diaspora. Are you ready? Prepare to be amazed: It was a minor miracle when, with a sense of wonderment I discovered that the two spindly appendages beneath my fat arse could employed, were I willing, as an actual means of propulsion. For years I got around in my bath chair, as befits a man of my exalted position, but one day I just thought to hell with it. Dismissing my manservant I unsteadily rose to balance atop those self-same limbs and... woah!

Freed of the gravitational bonds of arse-bound inertia, I discovered that with a little persistence it was possible to swing those oddly knuckled props one at a time and actually make forward progress. Within a few hours I was getting as far as the front door all by myself and by the end of the week I was able to leave the house (on foot!) and make it to a thing you may have seen by the side of the road, called a ‘bus stop’. I’ve christened this marvellous perambulatory action ‘walking’ and I think it could even catch on... if only the ordinary people could be persuaded to abandon their chauffeurs and dismiss the help for the day.


In case you think this was one of those lucky happenstance one-offs, I have a dozen more hacks in the pipeline. Coming up in my new series of instructional videos I am going to show you: how to stay out of debt by not spending money you don’t have: how to stay slim and healthy by not eating food that is basically made of shit: how to earn the respect of your peers by not whining for help at the first hurdle: and how to grow up by not buying fidget spinners... because they are not made for you, they are made for children!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Spend, spend, spend!

I can see why supporters of the Labour Party are concerned about the level of funding for mental health issues. I’m concerned about the level of self-delusion they exhibit and I only hope they can keep it together until 8th June because the fallout is going to be glorious. It’s supposed to be wrong to gloat but, come on, have you heard the stuff they believe in? I know that a positive attitude can be an advantage, but the Corbynistas positively believe they’re onto something. Why? Because when they told a bunch of students in Labour Central – Bradfordistan – that they would abolish tuition fees, the crowd went wild.

But away from the echo chamber of like-minded simpletons, most people are ambivalent about political colour, wanting only to be free to get on with their lives with the minimum of interference from authority. They are generally tolerant and hope that their neighbours return the sentiment. Most people don’t want to be a burden. They also don’t want to pay to look after other burdens, but will happily let themselves be moderately taxed to support a generally benevolent society. Most people have no absolute political allegiance and are often vague about which party best fits their views

A few people are sadists; this is not defined by their political allegiance. A few people are mentally deranged; this is not defined by their political allegiance. Some people are unwilling to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves; this is not defined by their political allegiance. Some people are saints; this is not defined by their political allegiance. And so on; who you are is not defined by your politics but by how you live your life. There is, however, a strong correlation between being self-reliant and voting Conservative and being dependent on others and voting Labour.

The perennial problem with the welfare state is the issue of who deserves help and who pays for it. This used to be simpler than it is now and when we inhabited a world in which morals were pretty uniform – we knew who the goodies and the baddies were, we knew how decent humans behaved. Yes there were those who fell through the cracks, but on the whole most of us realised that self-reliance was the ‘better’ way and relying on the charity of others was a last resort. But those needs and entitlements have been blurred now with so many defined as in some kind of need and welfare dressed up as tax credits which exceed the tax paid in the first place.


Labour wants to expand the welfare state. The Conservatives know this is not possible at current productivity levels. Labour insists, against the clear opinion of pretty much every non-idealised commentator, that it can raise the money. This is the principle battleground that they have chosen for the election. It’s okay repeating guff about a fairer society, social justice, compassion and decency, but the fact remains that somebody, all of us, have to dig into our pockets to cover their ‘fully costed’ manifesto. It seems that Labour has brought an expired credit card to a cash fight.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Manicfesto

Well, I’ve just about had enough of all this he-did, she-said, they-would, we-didn’t general electoral malarkey. Confirmation bias mixed with blood-curdling tales of the atrocities committed on both sides of the gulf of party politics makes for an unhappy propaganda cocktail. But how, as we sift through the mountain of ‘facts’, conveniently adapted memories, ‘accurately’ recalled accounts of closed-door meetings from decades ago and simple opportunistic hearsay, do we know that any of it is true?

Maybe we should only vote based on what we have directly experienced and know to be real. But what, then, of those staged muggings after which bystanders manage to give wildly varying accounts of what they just witnessed? The unreliability of eye witness testimony is a recognised phenomenon and is thought to be responsible for a significant number of wrongful convictions. If we can’t even rely on the evidence of our own eyes, is it any wonder that fallible memory, overlaid with folklore and peer pressure keeps the political divide wide open?  

We need to start again, from scratch, so let me build you a utopia based on what you seem to be telling me you want. It’s clear that you hate rich people, so we will discourage them from living here by ultra-punitive taxation. Hopefully, they will get the message that their filthy privilege isn’t wanted and they will take their divisive spending power to somewhere more suitable. Thus freed from envy, we will make far more friendly bedfellows and it will be easier to set a living wage; a wage that everybody will receive, regardless of circumstance, thus ending the stigma of unemployment overnight.

This wage will be inextricably linked to prices; as prices rise, so will the wage. Forecasts suggest we could be into double digit wage rises within months. This will be a tremendous boost to the economy and as everything will be provided by the state all the proceeds will flow back to government, making it a simple matter to double the NHS budget every few years. Likewise with education, energy and food, it is clear that allowing producers to earn profits from these necessities encourages the pursuit and hoarding of wealth, so in future all will be enshrined as human rights and provided via central planning; everybody will get what we decide they deserve.

And don’t imagine we take social justice lightly. We have been watching you closely - very closely – and it is apparent that the thing you dislike the most is difference. Psychologists tell us this is wired into the human psyche and it will be impossible to educate you to not recognise disparity. So when we are in power we will legislate to encourage uniformity by force of law. For your benefit, so that you don’t have to suffer the burden that choice brings, we will decide and then enforce conformity of appearance, ability and opinion; your lives will all become immeasurably more simple and satisfying.

The glorious uniformity of the future...

And finally, as you have also shown such a disdain for the political process, with campaigns bringing out the worst in vituperation and downright lies it is clear to us that partisan politics, especially at election time is a source of much unhappiness. We want you to be happy, by law, so on taking office we will immediately abolish all other ideological affiliations rendering future contests for power both unnecessary and no longer possible. You know it makes sense.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Tory Monsters

I swear they are getting worse. The already turbulent waters of social media are becoming a frothing, churning maelstrom of increasingly fantastic claims by the left about the motives and morals of Conservative voters. Every individual instance of less than the politically determined amount of bleeding heart compassion for all god’s creatures is seized upon as proof positive that the Tory heart is a black and evil one. The meme-o-sphere is alight with indignation and disturbed imaginings.

Yes! We’ll bring back fox hunting! Because nothing says ‘Tory mindset and values’ quite as clearly as taking pleasure in the ritualistic slaughter of terrified woodland animals!” shouts the slogan on the photoshopped side of a Conservative Party branded mug. No doubt, in the fevered imagination of the acolytes of Corbyn, tea-towels exist which proudly depict the prone corpse of a newly shot peasant, his former master posing with one foot on an upturned buttock, an ear-to-ear grin on his face, while his beaters flush out a newly created orphan, just for the sport.

Oh yes, the Tories believe in taking pleasure in cruelty at least as much as The Labours want to barcode everybody, implant electrodes in their brains and link them up to the Matrix, mere cogs in the machinery of state. Were anybody on the nominally right-wing side of the argument to actually believe any such thing, one could say that both positions are ludicrous, each side believing the horror-tales of their own narrative, but I don’t think any such equivalence exists. For a start, given that on-balance Tory voters are net payers-in to the state, they are far too busy managing their own lives to be overly concerned about what the net recipients actually think about them.

Watching the ravings of the left is just an amusing diversion for us. We wish them no harm, as much as they love to tell each other of their brutish manhandling at the hands of ‘Tory Austerity’. In truth they are more to be pitied than derided because whereas Tories believe in hard work, thrift, family, country and the pursuit of individual betterment, Labour devotees appear to still be waiting for a government to do everything for them, as they have been led to believe is their entitlement.

Cruella May plots ways to torture the poor*

Come 8th June the country will decide and it will decide to hand a decisive majority to Mrs May. As for The Labours, they’ve been waiting a hundred and seventeen years so far... another two or three terms won’t be any problem. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to put another wog on the fire.

(*For any left-wingers reading, this is what is known as 'satire'.) 

Friday, 12 May 2017

Castles in the Air

I met a man on a train. He had travelled far and wide, crossed the oceans, roamed the lands and he had spoken to its peoples. His eyes, set in a deep-lined visage which nevertheless shone with youth, burned with a fierce intelligence. Slight, almost frail in appearance, his firm grip belied the slender frame as he clasped my hands in his and besought me to listen. “Hear my words, friend, that you may be cured of your woeful cynicism. I have seen many things on my travels. Such wonders have I to impart.” And he told me his story.

Once were thieves, forty strong in the land of the sea of sands, where they roamed and robbed and amassed a great fortune. I happened upon them on a dusty trail leading through a deep wadi and hid in the meagre thorn scrub as they approached. They dismounted their horses not twenty feet from where I was concealed and I was sore afraid they would find me and kill me. But their leader made a mystical pass at a blank wall of rock. He spake some words and the rock opened to reveal a vast cave within. Filled, it was, with gold and jewels beyond imagination!

"I returned after dark and filled my pockets with treasures, making a map so that I may return and take the rest. But, so as not arouse suspicion I took only what would not be missed, then covered my tracks and boarded a steamer. Presently we came alongside in a land of wonders, a land where I was, quite literally, a giant! The natives were tiny by comparison, so small that a fully-grown man might have ridden in my pocket, as if a mere mouse! Such sights I have seen, my friend.

"And then, I found myself in a land where I was but the mouse, wherein a giant inhabited a lonely castle of grey granite, accompanied only by a goose; a goose which laid golden eggs which the giant guarded day and night. I fell in with a lad named Jack who told me how he had reached this castle in the clouds by climbing a giant beanstalk, grown from magic beans. Jack and I hatched a plot to separate the giant from his eggs of gold and duly whisked them from his grasp, goose and all.

I tried to get a word in, but the little old man just carried on, telling tales of castles and princesses and treasures; treasures beyond imagining, riches to end all the suffering in the world, the wherewithal to cure disease, end war and bring plenty for all. “But, who are you?” I asked

Grimm... up north

I am ancient, I am wise beyond philosophy, I am counsel to kings, advisor to administrators and I keep the secrets of the aristocracy. Rulers come to me when they seek knowledge and power and the learned sages of the epoch bow before me as I spin gold from the humble straw of mortal discourse. I make the ordinary extraordinary, I am the kingmaker, the power behind the throne, I...

“Oh, wait,” I said, “I know who you are. You are Rumpelstiltskin... and you are Jeremy Corbyn’s speechwriter.”

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Educated Guess

Remember Michael Gove’s ‘experts’? The economic experts on all shores of the political quagmire that typifies this general election run-up have been crunching the numbers. Now, if there was any reliable way to slice up the financial cake in such a way that everybody got what they considered a fair deal surely these experts would generally agree. Not completely, obviously; some would favour a bit of top-down redistribution, others might go for a more laissez-faire, free market. But, on balance, if there was a way to conjure up the necessary funding to buy your votes you would think they would all stumble across much the same wheezes.

But no. Not only do these experts not agree, they outright refute each other’s projections. But it’s worse than that; if the competence of the experts is in doubt, what about the competence of the general public to understand the policies proposed? I’m guessing that if you go to work, pay taxes and spend all that is left to enable you to continue going to work you will be reasonably well-equipped to see beyond the Labour promises to pull financial rabbits from hats. On the other hand, if you have absorbed the lessons of comprehensive schooling you will believe that everybody can be rich by simply printing money.

State education is intended to produce reliable citizens, who can contribute something to society, not compliant voters, eager to cast their ballot in favour of the party promising free stuff. Those doing the promising seem to have so little regard for the recipients of the message that they are appearing in the media, making gaffe after gaffe and fluffing their prepared lines in the face of the mildest scrutiny. Their contempt it showing and they can’t even see it. If only they’d had a better education...

Enter more free stuff: Labour will renationalise railways, the Royal Mail and the energy industry. Free for all? Free-for-all, more like. All this, they reckon, will be paid for by increasing corporation tax, reversing inheritance tax cuts and, er, I’m guessing they will just borrow the other £trillion-per-annum. They will want to nationalise the already nationalised education system. They want to meddle even more directly in the manipulation of young minds, paying for this by taxing private education – that is a LOT of tax. I wonder what they have in mind for the history books?

Can you see how they did it?

Of course class sizes should de under 30. Ideally, they should be under 20. But they should also be taught by teachers with a genuine vocation and ability to get the best out of them, not driven by a need to churn out ‘cookie-cutter’ social justice warriors. Qualifications do not ensure competence; this is true in teaching as much as it is in any other arena – this brief Spectator article on MBAs is enlightening and rings oh so true. But as long as the educationalists are riddled with left-wing ideology, actually educating children will take a back seat to programming them and the costs of doing so will forever spiral, like the NHS, out of reach. Corbyn’s Labour manifesto wasn’t leaked – it  just escaped from the loony bin.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Anger, or Serenity?

So, the great Corbyn United National Treaty for the ‘reckoning’ he keeps mentioning but won’t define has been launched. When I say launched I mean given a bit of a push from the side of the duck pond with everybody holding their collective breath, wondering how long the newspaper ship of Corbyn’s imaginary state will last before it becomes waterlogged, blows over or gets retrieved by a big, wet dog. It has no compass, nobody is steering it and like Jeremy’s blowhard, tough guy “Ooh, I’m so angry!” speech, relies on nothing more tangible than hope to complete its journey. Being sodden by now it’s not even fit to line the budgie’s cage.

You wanted high spending, punitive taxing, excessive borrowing, road-to-ruin economics and here it is, writ large. “Blah, blah, blah... inequality. Blah, blah... fairer society. Blah, blah, blah... thirty days to save the NHS. Blah, blah Blair, blah...” It’s all there, all the naivety of a sixth-form ingĂ©nu on a platform to save everything from the clutches of some mythical status quo which, despite all the fear, is singularly failing to bring about the disaster he wants to save us from. It’s frankly insulting to imagine anybody could believe it yet, there they are, hands held out like welfare-seeking zombies, desperately short of brains...

Life is simultaneously both simple and complex. The simple part is that what actually matters to you is already largely under your control. You don’t like where you are? For all but an unfortunate few, the solution is in your own hands; work harder, work smarter, change your ways... or learn to accept what you have. It is nobody’s purpose in life to improve your lot; the best you can vote for is a government that gets out of your way. It might not be easy, but it is pretty simple and you only have yourself to blame... or to praise.

The complex part is way beyond your control and unless you are a latter-day Machiavelli, negotiating the shark-infested waters of society’s loosely interlocking parts is likely to get you nowhere comfortable. You want a pay rise? Far easier that you work for it within the bit of the system you can influence personally than try, somehow, to change the way an organisation operates. Meddling from the outside, as socialism always wants to do, is almost always ineffective and ruinous. The law of unintended consequences is an ever-present threat:

Raise wages by edict and employment falls, consumer spending falls with it, prices rise and a policy intended to help thousands adversely affects millions. Insist on diverse hiring quotas and competence suffers, industries fail and thousands lose jobs. Penalise fossil fuel users to artificially promote ‘renewables’ and throw huge amounts of national funding at foreign manufacturers of equipment, thereby literally giving our national money away. A vote for Corbyn is a vote for changes so fundamental you can’t imagine - nobody can - how potentially ruinous they might turn out.



But, hey, your choice. By all means campaign for a better world, but recognise what is within your purview. Just remember a couple of things; the Greek proverb ‘Physician, heal thyself’ applies as much today as it ever did in biblical times. And while we’re on a religious theme, believer or atheist, I've always found  Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer a useful maxim: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Through the Looking Glass

Another weekend has passed and Jeremy Corbyn has been whipping his crowd into a froth of fevered excitement at the enticing prospect of victory at the general election in June. Here in social media land the wilfully indoctrinated are positively salivating as John McDonnell repeats his intention – I use the word loosely, as he will never be in a position to enact a single one of his madcap Marxist policies – of taxing all those he deems ‘the rich’. At the moment the bar appears to be set at just a tad above an MP’s salary.

Arthur Laffer famous curve and its effect was demonstrated in the 1980s when Ronald Reagan cut taxes and tax revenues rose from a little over $500 billion to around $900 billion during his time in office. Of course this may have just been a coincidence... and the collapse of the Venezuelan economy under Hugo Chavez’s socialist regime night also be a coincidence. Who knows? Nothing is ever as simple, as cut and dried as all that but Laffer’s contention that the more a thing is taxed, the less incentive there is to produce it, satisfies Occam’s test nicely.

Tax wealth creation and you will get tax avoidance. Crack down on tax avoidance and you will get tax evasion. Get tough on that and people will either settle for less or move their money elsewhere. Either way the tax take goes down and now you have to set the ‘rich bar’ lower, at which point you start punitively taxing those you promised not to. Before long anybody actually earning their own money becomes one of ‘the rich’ working to fund the spiralling costs of a voracious social welfare system. It is the self-defeating politics of envy and it has never, ever worked.

And yet, there they are, the Corbynistas, sloganizing their way to culthood and utterly impervious to logic and reason. Especially scathing when attacking all things Tory, these infantilised children of Marx will believe anything which panders to their delusion that ‘real socialism’ hasn’t been tried yet and is the only thing that can save the human race. The Moonies, The Branch Davidians, the Children of God, Heaven’s Gate and many others have successfully managed to convince large numbers of people that obviously wacko ideas are grounded in their alternate reality. There is a reason for all this and as usual, it’s not unusual...

Alternative? Alternative reality, more like...

Listening to last night’s The Digital Human, presented by Aleks Krotoski, I learned of The MandelaEffect, a condition in which a large number of people share a memory, despite it being demonstrably false. Have a listen; it explains the quasi-religious nature of tribal politics pretty closely. Why would so many people believe something so different from the obvious truth? Why would so many people readily believe that the Tories are somehow cruel and inhuman? The fact is that human memory is malleable and we all have some experience of false memories – if you don’t you are very unusual, or else you have yet to accept it. So, you warriors for social justice, you Marxmen for the revolution, do you want to take the red pill now? 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Why the EU will fail

David Cameron was okay. He looked quite good – big, shiny baby face aside - and he was easily likeable unless you were so cloaked in bitter tribal hatred that you could see no good because of the man’s political clothes. But, ultimately, he stood for nothing so much as his own epithet ‘heir to Blair’. When it came to the big decision to stay in or leave the European Union he was revealed as very much Brussels’ man. But at least he made some inroads into reining in the excesses of the previous administration and regaining our grip on reality.

Reality is a quality that doesn’t tend to trouble the policy-makers on the left which is why last week’s council elections looked like nothing so much as Labour dreamers waking from a deep and troubled sleep. A sleep in which humanity was reduced to equality; given the range of abilities and aspirations of mankind, the only true equality is in misery. But now they see those empty dreams for what they are; Corbyn is no redeemer and the lisping gaffe-magnet that is Diane Abbott has made such an idiot of herself, so many times, in full public view, that even the most deeply branded child of Labour can surely have no illusions that she has been promoted through competence, rather than tokenism.

But despite all the left-wing frenzy, the foaming fury of hatred and the repeated insistence that the Tories are some rapacious, multi-headed hound from hell, the truth is different; and it is boringly benign. During the Tory years the NHS has not failed, nobody was evicted directly because of ‘Tory cuts’, nobody who needed it was left short of care, any more than they were under Labour and no matter how hard they try to use the discredited statistics, people are not dying in their thousands ‘because’ they passed a fitness to work assessment. Of course, the system isn’t perfect, but it is barely different from what it was under Blair, Brown and Co.

The facts are simple; only so many people can be supported in idleness and you can only tax working people so far before they start to resist. Branding people as far-right when all they did was vote to end the crippling profligacy of socialism is a desperate tactic of a failing campaign. And that oft-quoted soundbite that debt has tripled under the Tories plays to a wilful ignorance of the difference between debt and deficit; it was Labour who left us with both. Even those living perpetually on welfare are beginning to see that the well has run dry and that the books need to be balanced; nobody believes the left can ever do that. In June, Britain will return to its centre-right norm.

EU: "We don't see what the fuss is about."

So the EU, trying to exploit a non-existent lack of direction in Brexit, has no chance. The direction is clear; away from the hated EU. And as we leave others will follow. The tiger’s teeth have been pulled, its claws clipped, its appetite curtailed by gastric band and its capacious maw wired shut. Whatever happens in the French elections today, France is slowly waking up to the same truths; you can’t keep taking out, the pot is not limitless and the EU dream is a great big lie. Watch those tottering dominoes topple... and smile.

Friday, 5 May 2017

If at first...

Yesterday I was savagely torn into... okay, I was mildly gummed by a toothless class warrior armed with what are commonly, if generally incorrectly, referred to as memes. Of course memes ain’t what they used to be but accused as I was of confirmation bias, a condition I freely admit (unlike those who believe that memetic argument is the thing) I nevertheless had a look at what they had to offer. The same old tired aphorisms posing as truth; no good to anybody with an actual engagement with the living world, but useful, I guess to those whose life view has been shared almost entirely by the meme-makers guild, whose important works include:
  •  A picture of a gurning Noam Chomsky captioned with “If we didn’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise we don’t believe in it at all.” Posted by somebody who has been telling you all day to shut up.
  • The sainted Margaret alongside “If they attack you personally it means they have not a single political argument left.” By one who started out questioning your legitimacy, but is singularly unimpressed by ‘creative’ vocabulary and the fact that he had to look up half of your invective.
  • The claim that Churchill said “Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.” By somebody outraged that you dared challenge their views.
  • And any number of mangled statistics presented as fact to prove a point nobody cares about, superimposed on an old photograph of somebody nobody remembers.

Memes can be funny – who hasn’t laughed at Batman slapping Robin? – but they are hardly the definitive way to win an argument. The way you come out on top of an argument is firstly by not getting into one, secondly by having impeccable facts at your disposal and the wit to wield them and thirdly, being able to point and laugh at the ridiculous posturing of the other side. (It drives them bandy!) Which brings us neatly on to Caroline Lucas who, having decided to continue public self-harming, has demanded (again) a second referendum so that those of us who knew exactly what we were voting for last year can demonstrate that yes, leaving the EU completely, along with all its institutions, is... exactly what we voted for.

Of course she won’t be happy with the inevitable outcome of the general election, itself touted as a second referendum, so her proposed next vote would effectively be a third referendum. It reminds me of when, faced with a diary clash she had to decide whether to support a rally to lobby for equal vegan rights for environmentally sensitive gay tigers or attend a routine vote in the House of Commons.


By the time she made it on to the stand to deliver a rousing speech at the tiger rally people were already beginning to disperse. “Why are you so late?” she was asked. She explained that she had to make a choice; attend parliament and do her duty by her constituents, or be here, fighting for gay tigers. “I tossed a coin” she explained. “But that couldn’t have taken so long” protested the inquirer. Caroline replied, “I had to toss it 37 times.”

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Smell that?

Well, all hell’s been let loose as Theresa May does the job she is signed up to do and every bedwetting Remainer demonstrates why they aren’t fit to either hold office or seek it. The malign intransigents of the EU-phile ranks poured scorn on our Prime Minister for acting exactly like the leader of a country negotiating its independence. We British are not disposed to take shit from Johnny Foreigner and we’re not best persuaded by those who do. It’s become an out and out fist fight as the very same people who applauded the underhand Juncker leak are now berating Theresa May for openly acknowledging and standing up to the threats emanating from Brussels.

Having failed to shift the opinions of the millions of adults who voted for Brexit they are forever invoking the plight of the young who will ‘have to live with the decisions we make now, for the rest of their lives’. So what? When I was young we had the three day week, wildcat strikes, work-to-rule, go-slows, the brain drain and the constant, if overstated, threat of nuclear Armageddon. You’re telling us Brexit will not only be worse, but that the fallout from it - its own nuclear winter - will last forever?

Nobody knows what anybody else is thinking or even what will happen tomorrow, yet the bleating, garment-rending ranks of quisling remainers are privy to the inner thoughts of Theresa May, and the likes of tiny Tim Farron know for certain that your children will grow up in a weaker, poorer country with no job, fewer opportunities, etc. Listening to them preach their social insecurity, they sound like agents of unfriendly foreign lands; as Mrs May stresses a desire for civilised talks and mutually beneficial outcomes they are openly demanding that we be punished.

But it’s a simple truth that decisions made by the country now are merely a fork in the road. How you progress down that road is up to you and the younger generations will play – or will be able to play, without EU interference – a full part in shaping that progress. In fact, removing the stifling blanket of supra-governance should let in the fresh air of full participation in democracy. If young voters are unhappy with the way future UK parliaments govern they will have far more power now they have seen how the status quo can be upset.

The EU assembles its troops in the Battle for Britain

Far from disenfranchising young people, British independence actually places their future firmly in their hands... once they are old enough to take part. Far from threatening failure, Brexit promises to take us down a road to a better democracy; if detractors don’t want a part in that they are welcome to fork off elsewhere. As for Tim Farron, he might want to consider his own uncertain future as the rest of the country watches him lose his seat to a man dressed as a fish finger.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Fun with Numbers

Yesterday was a bad day for Diane Abbott as she floundered on Nick Ferrari’s LBC radio show, making up figures on the hoof and generally revealing that she had been sent out to bat without the necessary equipment, to wit; numeracy, a grasp of basic economics and a rudimentary intuition of the right time to fake your own death, live on air. Honestly, all she had to do was gasp, clutch at her left arm and slump in the chair. It would have been less embarrassing. Or, you know she could have used that legendary parliamentary prowess and just refused to be drawn; the technique she uses every time with Andrew Neil.

Fortunately, a day is a long time in politics and today a Labour spokesperson, a completely different person, came out to clarify the situation. Dana Abbottson said in an interview on the world service in the early hours of this morning that the pledge to employ an extra 10,000 police officers would, in fact, be self-financing. “You see, it’s all very simple. Yes, we have to pay them up front, but if we tax their salary at 25%, after four months we get it all back. Then we can spend it again and buy recruit more.

When pressed that A) you would have still paid out four times what you took back and B) that it all came out of general taxation anyway and that C) Nobody paid by the state is a contributor to the public purse regardless, Ms Abbotson (not, we stress, Ms Abbott) adjusted her wig, glared at the presenter and said in her very best Margaret Thatcher tribute voice “Andwew, I’m sure I don’t have to explain basic economics to yououou...” She then excused herself on the grounds of having just suffered a cerebral aneurism brought on by cruel Tory cutbacks to the NHS and hastily left the studio.

Seeking to put the incident behind them an email was later received from Labour’s Level 1 Key Skills Unit explaining that ‘Dana’ had been misunderestimated and quoted out of context and that, of course, the Labour Party’s policies were fully costed. The proposals are, in fact, to bring in a universal 100% tax rate, rising to 150% for high earners. This, the e-briefing note elaborated, would promote a fairer society by removing any incentive to pursue inequality and actually put the exchequer back into profit.

It went on to outline Labour’s other popular policies to supply every household with free meals-on-wheels, put a policeman on every lawn, provide lawns for those who went without and increase participation in future elections by ensuring every child was registered at birth for a postal vote. Climate change would be arrested by making it illegal to engage in ‘hate weather’ and education standards would be brought in line with inflation, which would be pegged at 5% thus ensuring a year-on-year increase in GDP of thirty-several.

Labour's fully costed budget plan...

A researcher for The Daily Politics telephoned the Labour Party’s Victoria Square head office for a comment. They are still waiting...

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Yo’ Mama

Tell Mama want you to believe that islamophobia is rife in Britain. They have a narrative to peddle and peddle it they damn well will, whatever the truth of the matter. To this end they are aided and abetted by the Crown Prosecution Service who have helpfully defined ‘hate speech’ as whatever anybody who genuinely hates straight white people perceives as being motivated by the, mostly ambivalent everyday language of said white people who really do have far better things to be getting on with.

But all expressions of alarm, despondency, incredulity and despair are now potential criminal acts.  Almost anything said in an unguarded moment could result in a report to the Rozzer. The openness to abuse of this system is so wide and so easily exploitable that it amounts to censorship of free speech. But despite the best attempts of hate groups like Hope Not Hate (see what they did there?) and Unite Against Fascism (and again) to whip up anti-British hatred the bloody-minded British are obstinately maintaining their composure and have the audacity to be all tolerant about it. But help is at hand with Sadiq Khan’s special new ‘Hate Crime Unit’ a task force with the special mission to fabricate as much ‘evidence’ as they can.

It’s all about controlling the narrative. The Labour Party’s attempt to regain control of the country seems to depend on painting the incumbent government as a cabal of cruel, selfish, money-grubbing bastards who would gleefully allow people to starve rather than deny a ‘tax cut for millionaires’. In a return to its socialist roots Labour promises the North Korea option; a world of apparent plenty, oblivious of reality, with every need fulfilled by Mother State. The evil capitalists will be banished and each citizen will be cossetted from cradle to grave, all facets of life controlled by the loving supreme leader.

To which end the media has been alight with Corbynite stooges telling tales of woe and misery in parallel with the party promising the earth. And of course the story of an evil, tithe-raiding Sheriff of Nottingham is more compelling than that of a benign administration, doing its best to balance the books. Stories of patients dying in hospital corridors is so much more heart-wrenching than hearing about the hundreds of thousands actually being cured. If you dare to come out in support of bland competence you are assailed as a Tory bootlicker. If you dare excuse a failure to pander to every social demand you are a monster.

Jean-Claude... drunker

Enter Jean-Claude ‘one-for-the-road’ Juncker, famous drunk, liar and EU heel who, having been wined and dined by Mrs May and duly pronounced the event ‘excellent’ has since been ordered to claim otherwise. Following a five-minute meeting with ‘The 27’ he has now leaked to a German newspaper the line the EU wants to peddle; that the UK is unprepared, deluded and that Brexit is doomed to failure. Well, Jean-Claude, we saw off a fair few Junkers in World War Two. Do you really believe we don’t relish the prospect of finishing the job and seeing off the rest of the EU Fokkers?