Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jonathan Portes on Channel 4 News

Petulant performance from Jonathan Portes on Channel 4 News this evening.  He resembled a middle-aged cherub, with a droning monotone voice like a Harry Enfield character from the 1990s endlessly telling people how wrong they are.  His arguments are all of the same variety, taking small examples and extrapolating them into general principles.

What motivates him, one wonders.

Why has he devoted his life to urging ever more immigration on the United Kingdom?

Channel 4 did their usual trick of having the pro-immigration interviewee comfortably seated in the studio, well-lit and with wonderful sound opposed to the less-enthusiastic-about-immigration interviewee standing in a gloomy room and sounding as if he were talking over a megaphone.

http://www.channel4.com/news/catch-up/

Elevation of Doreen Lawrence to the House of Lords

I hope that the elevation of Doreen Lawrence to the House of Lords is intended to be more than just a gimmick designed to make individuals such as Bonnie Greer "feel good about Labour right now. Feels, for a minute, like my Party again" (her actual words).

This is a serious post in the legislative assembly.  It's supported by public money.  Life peerages are not just gewgaws and trinkets to be used to placate bloc-vote communities in a post-Bradford West electoral winter.

Anyway, what does Lee Jasper think about the appointment?  Presumably he would advise Mrs Lawrence to throw the imperial honour back in Ed Miliband's face.  Or is he selling-out too? 

Update 2nd August:  it seems that Lee Jasper has sold out:  "I'm no fan of an unelected 2nd chamber but the addition of a black woman and community champion Doreen Lawrence will be a force for good" he says.

This is how the British establishment works - any troublemakers get co-opted into the system and then patted until they bruise and start to conform and behave themselves.

Perhaps Lee Jasper could be offered an OBE - he may well take the bait.

The left is all over the place

Referring to this article:  http://www.standard.co.uk/comment/comment/david-goodhart-at-last-we-are-talking-about-and-dealing-with-illegals-8738189.html

Independent writer and Unite activist Owen Jones says: 

"Can media please stop calling David Goodhart 'left-wing' please? He isn't. At all. However useful for immigration-bashers to pretend he is."

It would be helpful if Owen Jones could tell us who is left-wing instead of who isn't.

Is Tony Blair left-wing?

Is Labour MP Simon Danczuk left-wing?

Looking back in history, would even Labour Prime Minister Ramsey McDonald pass the Owen Jones lefty test?

Recently Mr Jones published on his Twitter microsite the following image:



















As you can see, it reproduces a leaflet of the Durham Miners' Gala (held earlier this month) featuring a picture of Lenin, the Soviet red star, and the hammer and sickle emblem.

Are we supposed to conclude that Soviet socialism is the "left" that Owen Jones subscribes to?

And yet Owen Jones himself is routinely denounced as a class traitor by lefties even more ideologically pure than himself.

Is it not the case that the left is all over the place?  No agreed programme, no sense of direction, no experienced personnel in charge of the party machine.  It's as if they have given up on the 2015 election and are manouvring for a 2016 leadership challenge.

And while they wait around, bored out of their minds, for the Ed Miliband faction to fall they are filling in time fighting amongst themselves.

Nonsense talked about migration by Elena Blackmore

Considerable nonsense talked about migration by Elena Blackmore on the Common Cause website:  http://valuesandframes.org/what-have-the-immigrants-ever-done-for-us/

The economic argument falls apart (as it always does) on examination of the statement "immigration has provided net economic gain for the UK".

Suppose the net economic gain of immigration is £1 billion a year (it's not, this is just an example).

£1 billion sounds good.  Spread out evenly that represents £16 a year for every man, woman and child in the country.  Who can possibly oppose immigration (on economic grounds) with that sort of bonanza?

Except that the benefits (if there are any) are not shared out equally.  Suppose that net economic gain just benefits ten people, giving them windfall fortunes of £100 million each.  Suddenly the net economic gain does not look so attractive.

And the costs are not shared out equally either.  Employing cheapo migrants is very cheap for bosses, but very expensive for the communities (and it's always the poorest communities) that the migrants crowd into.  If you cannot see this Ms Blackmore you are either a liar or a moron (if you will excuse me using such upfront language).

Talk of net economic gain is meaningless.

You need to talk about average economic gain per person.  And prove it in models that can be clearly understood, not the impenetrable stats produced technocratic dissemblers such as Jonathan Portes.  And then (this is the crucial bit) the economic proof needs to be laid before the electorate and their consent gained before any further immigration takes place.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Unite union is telling us "the UK needs migrant workers"

With awesome predictability the Unite union is telling us "the UK needs migrant workers to run its services".

How do they work this out?

What services do we have that must be run by migrants instead of training up unemployed people? (especially young unemployed people).

Or is this just political posturing, because more migrants eventually translates into more votes for the Labour party (which the Unite union is aiming to control).

Is the packing of left-voting migrants into marginal inner-city constituencies any different from the packing of moribund constituency Labour parties with Unite-influenced candidates?

Is it any different from Herbert Morrison "building the Conservatives out of London" by constructing vast social housing estates in Conservative constituencies?

Cheating, treating, gerrymandering, personation, truckling to minorities, divide and rule.

We've seen it all before from the union leaders, entirely ignoring the real interests of their members who are just Orwellian cart-horses to be exploited and then dispensed with.

http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/ministersmustputthebrakeonthevansofhatesaysunite/#

Twitter abuse

Apropos the debate about abuse on social media, particularly Twitter abuse, the organisation I work for set up last year a stand-alone campaigning website that received hundreds of aggressive and malicious messages.  It was so bad we had to involve a third party to investigate.  All the abuse came from just fifteen people who were acting together.

Urban myths

Andrew Sparrow in the Guardian today makes the statement:  "Critics have claimed that the 'go home' message has racists undertones, because it is reminiscent of the anti-immigrant graffiti that was common in the 1990s".

Is there any photographic evidence, with proven provenance, that this kind of graffiti ever existed anywhere in the United Kingdom?

Also the infamous "No dogs, no blacks, no Irish" notices supposedly put up in the windows of lodging houses in the 1950s and 1960s? (again I am looking for photographs that have proven provenance).

Or should we assume the graffiti and the notices are just urban myths?
This graph is fascinating, and appears to show how increases in state spending results in higher unemployment:  https://twitter.com/GarethAlteran/status/360803150220894209/photo/1

This is presumably because state activity crowds out the private sector.

The Go Home posters

The research I have seen (admittedly small scale) shows that the Go Home posters have a high approval rate.

The posters perform a valuable function in that they reassure the public that it is not "racist" to talk about illegal migration. 

This is necessary because during the time of the Labour government all discussion on migration was closed down by the "racist" accusation (and demonstrated by the Labour Prime Minister calling someone a bigot for raising the subject). 

More discussion on illegal migration will stimulate more identification of illegal migrants and hence a greater flow of information to the police.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2013/jul/29/go-home-campaign-illegal-immigrants

Monday, July 29, 2013

I didn't think much of Skins first time round, but the latest series (Monday evenings) is powerful and intense drama.

http://www.e4.com/skins/


Very impressed with this piece by Sir Andrew Green of Migration Watch:

http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2013/07/green.html
Very interesting interview just now on Channel 4.  Clive James ensconced in the library of Pembroke College Cambridge.  Talking about literature, politics, punk rock.

http://www.channel4.com/news/clive-james-jon-snow-television-dante-video?google_editors_picks=true

The chapel at Pembroke is by Wren (although it is very small).

Sunday, July 28, 2013















Flowers and weeds among the wheat in the east field.

It is wonderful news that Monsanto has abandoned plans to market GM crops in the European Union.

The Americans would be well advised to drive GM out of their food chain.

http://www.nature.com/news/monsanto-drops-gm-in-europe-1.13432
Putting on one side all the sentimental coverage of the royal baby story there is a serious point to be made about the national ability to project a story of this kind to a global audience.

It has been done at very little cost, and almost no effort (contrast with the attempt of the North Korean head of state to gain attention for his nation over the last few days - at huge cost, including great human cost, and huge effort).

Perhas the royal baby story is a classic example of a Jungian archetype achieving universal attention because it is tapping into the collective unconscious.
Theresa May has revealed that she has Type 1 diabetes.

Is she perhaps the first female Cabinet Minister who has a disability? (diabetes is a disability within the definition of the 2010 Equality Act).

Her opponents such as Keith Vaz (who tweeted: "A bit worried about Home Secretary she is looking a bit thin these days. A new diet or pressure of work?") need to be careful they do not break the law by using the Home Secretary's disability as a reason to hound her out of her job. 

Many people throughout the United Kingdom are forced out of their jobs because they admit they have diabetes - forced out of their jobs by people using exactly the same kind of false concern that Keith Vaz has used.

It is all the more ironic that Keith Vaz has diabetes himself and has no doubt have received the same medical advice to lose weight.
On Dateline London earlier today there was yet again mention of a skills shortage, "particularly in the north".

How is it possible for the United Kingdom to spend £19 billion a year on education and have a skills shortage?

Without a resident director at the moment

Monday

The first thing I did when I got to the office was to arrange to take Wednesday afternoon as holiday.

The Institute is without a resident director at the moment, and so has an empty directionless feel.  All major decisions are being taken by Alec Nussbaum at the Head Office in London.  But otherwise it seems we are to be left to ourselves (how long this will continue is anybody's guess).

During the morning I did some media research.  Also a fruitless effort to try and find a GP's surgery willing to act as a case study.  So hot I could hardly concentrate, and someone has stolen the fan from my desk.

Tuesday

Because of the royal baby news Marcia Walsh unlocked the Director's office (shut up after Vijay Singh left last Friday) and had the television on all the day.  People wandered in and out.  Jacqui G (mountainous South African woman in Accounts) spilt her coffee all over the sofa.

Intermittently throughout the day I updated my Things To Do list.

I also started to compile a database of people in the museums and art galleries sector.

Wednesday

Because things are proving to be so relaxed in the interregnum between directors I wasted my time in the morning.  I have plenty to do, but nothing I could say was urgent.  And no-one is asking me for the usual reports.

The afternoon I took as holiday.

The night was so hot I considered sleeping downstairs (the stone floors keep the ground floor cool).  But by the time I got home I was so tired I could not be bothered to make up a bed on one of the sofas.  And the little dog would have been confused - she is always on guard whenever I go to sleep (although I cannot say whether she stays on guard the whole night).

Thursday

Katie in Accounts has heard from Head Office that there is to be a modest reorganisation in the Institute. 

Most of the morning I spent answering e-mails, not all of them work-related.

I helped Gary (assistant in the Reading Room) carry downstairs several boxes of Vijay Singh's files and papers.  He has a very slight build but can carry quite heavy loads.  The heat and the effort made him perspire.

In the afternoon I developed arguments and narratives for various campaigns.

Friday

I had to be up at 5.30 this morning as I was attending the last day of the Understanding Society conference. 

Parts of the conference were valuable but there were far too many superficial people working on useless projects.  I had lunch with a group of people I met in the last session of the morning - youngish in age, intense in demeanour, contemptuous of ordinary people.  I did not dare to tell them I was a Conservative. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013














The Guardian has done a guide to hipster fashions, identifying check shirts as a hipster motif.

http://www.ehow.co.uk/slideshow_12248729_irritating-ironic-hipster-fashion-trends.html?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=outbrain#pg=9

I only wear white shirts, so there is no chance of my being mistaken for a hipster.

Michael Rosen with his anti-royal baby poem

Very poor effort from Michael Rosen with his anti-royal baby poem in today's Guardian (I know he said in the poem he didn't mind if other people were in favour of babies, but that's just conventional poodle-faking - even lefty miserablists cannot actually wage class war against a baby).

And he does not dare criticise the royal birth itself, but confines himself to disparaging the reporting of the royal birth, which makes his effort a poem about Kay Burley.

But it is the poor quality of the poetry that is so striking.  Given the passion of the left for abstract ideas such as republicanism it is surprising that they cannot distill their feelings into great works of art.  Michael Rosen's poor effort today could have been lifted from a Neil Kinnock speech - the dreary repetitive mantra of a loser.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/25/saturday-poem-mind-michael-rosen

Friday, July 26, 2013

A modern day Zinoviev Letter

With the news that Shadow Minister Diane Abbott is criticising Ed Miliband's refusal to publish the Falkirk report (she did so on her Twitter site earlier today but seems to have removed the "tweet") can we assume that in-fighting within the Labour party has now reached the Shadow Cabinet?

Why are feelings running so high?

If Michael Crick's informant is correct and the report shows very little criticism of the Unite union then why has the Labour leadership put forward major changes in the relationship between the party and the unions?

Unless the report was designed from the start to be an excuse for action (a modern day Zinoviev Letter designed to blacken the reputation of the unions and entrench the position of the current leadership).

Many sincere socialists in the unions have worked hard for the Labour party - they deserve better than this shoddy slap in the face.

A social duty to employ local people

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said on the Today programme this morning that British companies have a social duty to employ local people (especially local young people) rather than migrants.

Nigel Farage (UKIP) tells us "Matthew Hancock's statement utterly meaningless all the while we're members of the EU single market".

This is not quite true.

Now that this signal has gone out from the government ordinary people within companies will feel empowered to raise the issue of employing local youngsters.  Some businesses are autocratic, but most will have staff feedback channels, regular staff meetings, 180 degree appraisals (where the staff appraise the managers) etc.  Given the strong feelings on the issue of migration I would expect employers to come under very sustained pressure to stop employing migrants.

Effectively telling them that it is OK to kill people

Very disturbing article about an unexplained rise in deaths over the past eighteen months:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jul/25/labour-investigation-deaths-older-people?CMP=twt_gu

If you recall, there has been a seemingly endless succession of stories in the media about the "rights" of terminally ill people to receive assistance to commit suicide.

Alarmed commentators have warned that this would result in pressure on very elderly people to end their lives on the spurious grounds that their lives are not worth living (in terms of participation in consumer culture).

Is this what has happened here?

Is it possible that the pro-suicide lobby, agitating for the law to be changed, has acted as a "nudge" to nurses and other care workers effectively telling them that it is OK to kill people?

"I wish I was dead" is a rhetorical wail uttered by most elderly people (particularly elderly women who are lonely and feel unloved).  They do not actually mean they wish they were dead.  But is it possible that stupid, spiteful, amoral NHS nurses (and we know such nurses exist as two were struck off yesterday) have taken them at their word and "assisted" them into oblivion?

Society must have zero tolerance of suicide.

Caribbean nations wanting money

Interesting re-opening of the claim by fourteen Caribbean nations wanting money to compensate their populations for the damage caused by slavery in the period up to 1833.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/26/caribbean-countries-slavery-compensation-claim?CMP=twt_fd

In any assessment of the claim, will account be taken of the valuable property the populations of the Jamaica, Barbados and other islands in the West Indies have already collectively received?  What is the retail value of the island of Jamaica for instance?  The descendants of slavery are not indigenous to the West Indian islands, and the transfer of the land titles from the British Crown to the local populations presumably represents a gift worth many billions of pounds.

In any case, only 35,000 individuals were involved in the slave trade.  These people are long dead.  It might be possible to trace the descendants and seize their assets but this would be a vicious and inhuman thing to so. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kadija Sesay is missing the point

I think Kadija Sesay is missing the point with her article in the Guardian today about the "illegal migrants go home" mobile poster vans:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/23/anti-immigrant-ad-campaign-racism

Crude though they may be, the vans are intended to achieve an important objective.  They are a trap for the Labour party.  This outrageous reaction to the on-going issue of migration is intended to be talked about in the press and to achieve a high-level of awareness in the general population.  Some will be supportive of the vans, many (perhaps most) will be appalled by them, everyone will be aware of them.  The outrage among lefties will reach such a pitch that the vans will be removed - literally driven off the streets.  The impression that will remain is that the Conservatives are trying to do something about illegal migration (however awkwardly), the Labour party wants illegal migration to continue.

And everything will then be nicely set up for 2015.

Jane Austen is to feature on the £10 bank note

Notwithstanding a certain amount of digital whooping and high-fives among lefty feminist journalists and writers.

And also disregarding the slightly silly premise that underpinned the campaign (did anyone seriously think that the lack of a female portrait on the obverse of the bank notes was part of a patriarchal plot to do down the sistahs?). 

I am very pleased that Jane Austen is to feature on the £10 bank note.

I am more than pleased in fact - I am ecstatic (insofar as an introverted boring personality like myself can ever be said to be ecstatic). 

Was there ever a more conservative role model to hold up to society?

Live within your means economics; respect for the institution of marriage; reverence for the Anglican Church; a default acceptance of landed society as the only style of life worth considering ("virtue resides in rural surroundings"); the cult of respectability; admiration for the armed forces; the ideology of "the gentleman" as the defining measure of society in relation to which all humanity is to be judged (viz Elizabeth Bennet's exchange with Lady Catherine de Bourgh).

Thank you Caroline Criado-Perez, thank you Helen Lewis, thank you, thank you, thank you Zoe Williams.

This is a victory we can all celebrate.


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/24/jane-austen-banknote-victory-young-women

Falkirk

According to Independent writer Owen Jones: "Police find no grounds for criminal inquiry into Falkirk selection. Lots of people need to apologise and Labour need an independent inquiry."

No Mr Jones, we need to see the Labour party's report on Falkirk published.

If police time has been wasted it is because of the miasma of rumour and suspicion that has been created by suppressing the report.  In such circumstances the public will naturally suspect the worst.  And I would remind Owen Jones that the harshest accusations surrounding Falkirk (including accusations of promotion within Unite in return for sexual favours, and also accusations of closet fascism by lefty commentators) have come from highly respected Guardian writers and from honourable Labour members of the House of Commons.

Publish the report NOW.

Let us have a free and frank and open examination of the facts.

What on earth has been going on in that benighted constituency?

Update 1 - Michael Crick (Political correspondent, Channel 4 News) reports:  "Despite Scottish police dropping their investigation, Labour say they still won't publish Falkirk report because it is an 'internal report' ".

Which implies they are hiding something.

There is a cover-up going on.

And as Richard Nixon found out, it is not the original misdemeanour but the cover-up that eventually kills you.

Was the 'internal report' a smear and slander attempt against the Unite union by another faction in the Labour party?  Is this faction (perhaps close to the leadership) now frantically trying to prevent the nefarious truth from coming out?  Are we about to witness an orgy of factional bloodletting and internal washing of the spears?

Update 2 - Sophie Ridge (Sky News) says:  "The police may have decided not to investigate Falkirk BUT the Information Commissioner's Office will be, I'm told."

Is it better for the Labour party to publish the report now so it looks in charge of the story?  Or resist publication and risk having the report extracted from their hands by force, each finger painfully prised away until the grasp falls limp?  And if the Information Commissioner's Office is involved presumably that will enable Freedom of Information requests to see what in the Labour party they are investigating, the aims and scope of the investigation, and whether the Unite union or the Labour party (or both) are liable to be fined for any wrongdoing.

Jamaican homophobia

Peter Tatchell advises us:  "More than half the 83 countries that criminalise homosexuality are members of the Commonwealth. Where is the Commonwealth Secretaries condemnation?"

Where also, is the condemnation of Diane Abbott MP?

Jamaica is reported to be the most homophobic country in the world.

Diane Abbott MP is probably the most well-known living Jamaican (probably also the most powerful and influential Jamaican).

And yet she says nothing (in public) about Jamaican homophobia.

This is strange is it not?

The signals sent out by the Anglican bishops

Has the Archbishop of Canterbury condemned usury this morning? (report on the Today programme that he had declared war on Wonga).

That is a change from the post-war non-judgmental stance of the Anglican church towards societal sins.

Many people (usually non-Anglicans) sneer that the Church of England is wishy-washy in its refusal to condemn erroneous human behaviour and has an over-reliance on earnest understanding and sympathy rather than fundamentalist judgment followed by penance or expulsion (or indeed damnation, if you believe in damnation).

As I understand it (and I have no theological training, this is just what I have picked up, so I may be wrong in all or part of it) the Anglican Church is in the Apostolic Succession and (according to some) is the only true Church in the Apostolic Succession given that the Church of Rome has fallen into error.

As the successors to the Apostles the Anglican Church has the power to judge human behaviour and these judgments are for all time.  This is the power to bind and loose - what is bound on Earth will be bound in Heaven and what is loosened on Earth will be loosened in Heaven.  If taken seriously this is a heavy responsibility for priests to carry.

However there is a get-out clause to this heavy responsibility.

If sins are not judged by the Church they will be carried over to be judged on the Day of Judgment at the End of Days.

For some time Anglican theologians have developed the theory that the final judgment at the End of Days will be more merciful than the judgments by individual priests, prone as they are to all the human failings of anger, stupidity, pride etc.

Therefore, the argument has gone, it is better for the Anglican Church not to absolutely judge and condemn but to support the wrongdoers and urge them to repentance and leave the judging to the Day of Judgment.

This has been the stance of the Church of England for so long that the Archbishop's declaration of "war" against usurers must be seen as a new departure.

Does any of this matter? 

The atheists will scoff as usual.  The minority religions will say it doesn't apply to them (although technically they are auto-enrolled into the Anglican communion whether they like it or not).  The Bad and the Very Bad (to use a medieval classification from the Vision of Tondal manuscript) will be exultant as they think they are winning the war of sin anyway.

Is anyone listening to the Anglican bishops?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Great Huffington Post article by Len McClusky

Great Huffington Post article by Len McClusky Defiant Len McCluskey Attacks 'Oxbridge Blairites' Within Labour : http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/24/len-mccluskey-ed-miliband-labour-unite_n_3643328.html?1374671817

It is always a cathartic moment when the Left starts being socialist as that gives the Right permission to start being Tory and we can all get away from the ridiculous bear-hug between Labour and the Conservatives where we all pretend to be vaguely the same and committed to the same insipid consensual mush.

And goodness me, both parties need a rest from the Oxbridge hegemony.


My goodness, what a hipster David Wearing turns out to be.

"Hmm" he asks on Twitter. "Would appreciate feminist thoughts re c word. Know some feminists who use it. Know others hate it. I like swearing but not offending ppl."

Isn't offending people the whole point of swearing?

Unless you are just swearing to be cool.

Perhaps he could adopt obscure 18th century swearing like "Gadzooks" or "Dash mi wig" if he really wants to be inoffensive.

David Wearing is SOAS PhD researcher on UK foreign policy in MENA (Middle East and North Africa); writes for The Guardian and New Statesman; and is Co-editor of the New Left Project.

Seamus Milne's article about the monarchy

On the whole I quite enjoyed Seamus Milne's article about the monarchy in today's Guardian:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/23/cut-anti-democratic-dynasty-out-of-politics

And certainly I would urge the Labour party to go into the 2015 election promising to install a republic.

But Mr Milne is wrong to say that the Royal Family is part of the aristocracy.  Perhaps he is thinking of medieval France where the monarch was nothing more than a sacerdotal posh boy and the counts were the real rulers of their Comte (is that right? I'm never good with French plurals).  He should read KB McFarlane on the emergence in later medieval England of the "Your Majesty" title that specifically distinguished the Crown from other landed magnates.

He also needs to add to his list of royal "meddling" in politics the insistence in 1924 by George V that the Labour party should be allowed to form a minority government when the rest of the establishment was trying to stitch things up.

Liar

John Rentoul (Columnist for Independent on Sunday; visiting professor at Queen Mary College London; biographer of Tony Blair) asks the question: “Don't get people who dislike TB suggesting that ‘President Blair’ is an argument for monarchy: how would he be elected?”


The same way Mr Rentoul that he got elected in 1997, 2001 and 2005 – he would tell lies.

Look at all the manifold ways he has lied in the past.

He lied in a Blair’s Babes sort of way. He lied in a hip happening Cool Britannia sort of way. He lied in a things can only get better sort of way (they didn’t get better - “things” collapsed in 2008 and we are still living with the consequences).

He lied in an ethical foreign policy sort of way. He lied in a no more boom and bust sort of way. He lied in a rubbing people’s noses in diversity sort of way.

He employed people to lie for him (Alistair Campbell). He inspired people to lie for him (the whole New Labour project). He cajoled people to lie for him holding their nose (all the old Labour refuseniks who thought he was the best option).

He lied in Washington about the Europeans. He lied in Brussels about the Americans. He lied in Northern Ireland about how there would be no losers in the “peace” process (oh how he lied in Northern Ireland – that all needs to come out).

He lied with the help of the Murdoch press. He lied with the help of the Daily Mirror. He lied with the help of the Daily Express.

He lied by proxy. He lied directly. He lied in complex opaque ways that are still emerging.

He lied to Inquiries, he lied to Committees, he lied (so we are led to believe from various memoirs) to the Cabinet.

He lied with false sincerity, he lied with joshing jocularity, he lied with that endearing little catch in his voice that implied he was emotionally moved.

He lied and lied and lied – and then came back and lied some more.

He is, in truth, the People’s Liar.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The arrival of the royal baby
















The Deputy Director of the Institute rang up Alec Nussbaum (in London) and got agreement to take all the staff to the pub at lunchtime to celebrate the arrival of the royal baby.

£100 from the petty cash tin - all that was in the tin, the whole petty cash budget for the month.

We went to The Crown which is one of my favourite village pubs and also an appropriate name for a royalist celebration.

Dull overcast sky, the air hot and humid, downpour of rain on the drive back.
All those people on Twitter who keep saying "Yep".

Are they wannabe hipsters?

Those people are so cool they substitute the "s" for a "p" as a sign of how cool they are.
It is possible that Kay Burley is our greatest living news presenter.

Stamina, inventiveness, grace under fire.

It is one of the stories behind the story.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Those calling longest and loudest for more immigration

Is it not very noticeable that those calling longest and loudest for more immigration are themselves from immigrant communities?

Everyone from Liam Halligan to Daniel Trilling to Hugh Muir to Yasmin Alibhai-Brown et al appears to be either from the Irish immigrant community or the Jewish immigrant community or the West Indian immigrant community or the Asian immigrant community etc.

Does this not suggest that the incessant call for ever greater numbers of immigrants has less to do with spurious economic arguments and more to do with their own personal hang-ups and paranoia?

Do they perhaps subconsciously fear the society their families (perhaps several generations ago) took them to?  Is it possible they are confused about their identity and crave reassurance that they are not alone?  Are we witnessing from this pro-immigration claque a milder version (I stress the word mild) of the antipathy towards British society expressed by the "home grown" Seven-Seven insurgents (or indeed hundreds of "home grown" Irish in mainland Britain who aided the Northern Ireland insurgency)?

Latest in this wave of silliness is this Mehdi Hasan piece for the Huffington Post (yet again, zero mention of democratic consent for migration):  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/mehdi-hasan/immigration-britain_b_3633860.html

Immigrants would get on better in the United Kingdom if they attempted to fit into British society rather than this endless insistence that society fits in with them.

The birth of a royal heir will also be a subliminal announcement

According to David Smith (economics editor of The Sunday Times) "...in 1982 the birth of a royal heir (William) coincided with accelerating UK recovery. 1.3% alone in Q2 1982".

David Smith says this fact is unrelated to anything, but presumably he is not a Jungian.

In any case you do not have to be a Jungian to understand the symbolism of what is about to take place.

The birth of a royal heir will secure the stability of the government for at least the next hundred years (given the likely advances in medical science we can expect to take place).  Dull and middle-class and dutiful the House of Windsor might be, but while they hold all the reins of power (military, judicial, religious, administrative, governmental, ceremonial etc) there will be no revolutions or coups or religious destabilisations or extreme lurches in policy or systemic corruption or presidential megalomania etc.  The United Kingdom will remain a safe place to live and work and invest far into the future.

Therefore the "safety signal" that will be announced by the birth of a royal heir will also be a subliminal announcement to the world that the United Kingdom is a safe place to invest your money.
Do I really have readers in Botswana?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Conspirators by Michael Andre Bernstein















I have just finished reading Conspirators by Michael Andre Bernstein.

I really wanted to like this book, and the first pages made me hope it would an intelligent extended thriller in the style of the Mask of Demitrios.  But all too soon it degenerated into a bewilderingly complex and meandering narrative that ultimately told me nothing about central Europe on the eve of the First World War (the book is mainly set in 1913).  Too many (far, far too many) characters, and none of them especially developed.  Myriad viewpoints, so that I felt as if I was experiencing a literary equivalent of dizziness and double vision.  And much too long.  And (dare I say it) dreary.

However there were also interesting ideas and fine paragraphs.

"...longing for some great, all-transforming crisis, a moment of truth, whether for good or ill, that would smash through the suffocating trivia of their daily routines..."

"...confused versions of a single complaint:  None of us has ever felt fully alive..."

"Mass action always develops after a deed of individual sacrifice, never the other way round."

"...even among those who have the least it is prestige, not just material improvement of their condition, that motivates people."

"...people all held, hived in the cells of their bodies and the blood that coursed through them, the stored-up traits of all their ancestors."

"...the kind of public humiliation that was nearly as dangerous to the government as revolutionary violence."

Anyway, reading this book is part of an assignment I have set myself to understand more fully the First World War through the anniversaries of the next six and half years, culminating in the centenary of the Versailles Conference (I might actually go to Versailles in 2019).

I hope to visit the graves of members of my family who died in the Great War - if they have graves, they might just be listed names on a collective memorial.

And I intend to call this six year study: a deliberately triumphalist commemoration of the First World War.

Not because I am a bombastic militarist.

But because too many idealistic people died in that conflict to allow their sacrifice to be negated by the lefty miserablists who will tell us it was all for nothing (already the thinktank British Future is preparing to publish a paper on the centenary of the First World War on 18th August - and you can imagine what a lefty drear-fest that is going to be).

So here, if nowhere else, you will find genuine respect for the idea:  Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.


Overcast all of yesterday and today, and it actually feels cold.

I woke up at 8am this morning and put the electric fire on.

Then I slept until 10.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Debate over whether opening the windows made things hotter - the past week at work

Monday

In the office today the massive mailshot was reaching a climax, mainly because Alec Nussbaum has given the Admin team a deadline for getting it done. 

While the envelope stuffing and franking went on all around me (my desk is adjacent to the Admin area) I sat quietly reading e-mails and drinking coffee.  It was a hot day and I had two desk fans pointing at me all the time I was in the office.  Debate over whether opening the windows made things hotter.

A meeting with Vijay Singh, outgoing Director of the Institute, to discuss the PR priorities and to sign off the Communications Plan.  It was not a very friendly meeting as he is very bitter about the way he has been treated by Alec Nussbaum.  At least he will be gone soon.

Tuesday

It makes me weary to just look at the Admin team toiling away at the mailshot.

A call from Peter Whitgift in the Birmingham office, praising the Communications Plan which I have circulated by e-mail.  "You'll need an assistant" he told me.  Invited to visit the Birmingham office, which is a privilege as they do not often let people in.

Wednesday

The whole day spent presenting the Communications Plan to the Insitute's staff in three sessions.

Thursday

Surprise e-mail to all staff this morning from Vijay Singh saying that his date of departure had been brought forward to the end of this week (tomorrow!).

The Admin has finally finished the mailshot, but has immediately gone into another project that includes mailing thousands of invitations.

I had little work to do (I am actually up to date with most things) so idled the day away.

Friday

All of the morning I spent editing the Communications Plan removing all references to Vijay Singh and deleting the crackpot schemes which he had put forward. 

Lunchtime lots of staff went to a cafe in the park to mark Vijay Singh's last day - I just went there for a short while and then went on to the dry cleaners and the post office.

In the afternoon I drafted an article for a magazine, working downstairs in the Reading Room where it was cooler.  Carol Reynolds (employed by the Institute but based at Head Office) rang me up full of bitter comments about Vijay Singh's ousting and trying to get me to gossip.  At 4 o'clock everyone gathered upstairs and Marcia Walsh gave Vijay Singh a card and then he was gone.

David Starkey Music and Monarchy on BBC2















Superb new series from Professor David Starkey Music and Monarchy on BBC2 this evening.

Watching it you can understand why he is one of our foremost academics and intellectuals.

It was even "pick of the day" in the Guardian.

Earlier on Dateline London the panel attempted to analyse why the monarchy is so popular.  None of them really had a clue, which is reassuring as you can't destroy something you don't understand (except by accident).  One idiot even said the monarchy was just celebrity culture.

Abdallah Homouda sounded as if he might be stumbling on the truth, but happily the others talked over him and didn't really let him speak.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b037lstv/Dateline_London_20_07_2013/ 

Ukrainians are suspected of bombing a mosque

The news that Ukrainians are suspected of bombing a mosque and other terrorist crimes makes me wonder if slavic migrants are introducing into the United Kingdom the eastern European custom of periodic pogroms against alien faiths.

This is presumably another aspect of the "vibrant diversity" we're supposed to celebrate along with female genital mutilation, the people smuggling of domestic slaves and all the rest.

Of course it is just mosques at risk currently, but presumably they will get round to synagogues in time, and possibly even our own dear Anglican parish churches.

How do Ukrainians even get into the country?  Ukraine isn't in the European Union.  Can someone trace back how these people arrived here, and the names of the state employees who have helped them on their way.

Friday, July 19, 2013















Waterlily in a pond adjacent to the cafe where I had lunch.

The sun scintillating.

The heat unbearable.

Jonathan Portes and the people like him will ultimately fail

With almost indecent hast Jonathan Portes rushes forward to embrace the OBR's recommendation yesterday that we need seven million more immigrants over the next fifty years:

http://niesr.ac.uk/blog/migration-and-public-finances-long-run-obrs-fiscal-sustainability-report#.UelZWI3ItzM

All the classic Portes tropes are present - the dancing-on-pinhead arguments; the dazzling array of whooshing lines on graphs; the threats dressed up as reasoned academic points; the all-pervading tone of intellectuals-talking-to-intellectuals over the heads of the little people they are discussing; the smug confidence that he can demolish the opposition with his devastating fusillade of stats shot off like a Stalin's Organ; above all the fanatical absence of doubt.

What you will not find in his article is any humanity and any comprehension of what his mad arguments will mean for ordinary people who will have to live with this on-going flood.

Nor will you find any commitment to democracy, and the idea of gaining democratic consent to fundamental changes before they are implemented.

That is why Jonathan Portes and the people like him will ultimately fail (although they are likely to do a lot of damage to society before they do fail)

The human cost of people smuggling

One has to agree that Australia has a sensible policy to address the issue of asylum seekers and illegal migrants:

http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/tb/2013/tb205550.htm

Horrific report on Newsnight yesterday about the human cost of people smuggling.

The only way of stopping this traffic is to end any prospect of illegal entry to destination countries.  Zero tolerance of illegal immigration.  Relocation to a neutral safe low-cost country where there is no incentive to remain except for reasons of sanctuary (it would also cut the cost for the United Kingdom and benefit the economy of those countries willing to host the asylum sanctuaries).

Egg-head lefty intellectuals who are willing to advocate the acceptance of illegal immigrants are just as responsible for the burnings and rapings and extortion as the gangs of people smugglers we saw on Newsnight yesterday.

Stop telling prospective illegals that they have any future in the United Kingdom and thousands of lives will be saved from the predations of the people smugglers.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b037blld

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jon Snow told Tom Watson MP "It's your fault"

Channel 4 News this evening:

Jon Snow told Tom Watson MP "It's your fault" (referring to the Falkirk fraud / fiasco / farce).

"I've not yet seen the report" said Tom Watson, wheedling his way out of the accusation.

Who has seen this report?

Why is it not published?

Lot's of people are waiting to read it and draw conclusions.

How can the Labour party claim to be open and transparent with all this cover-up / concealment / creeping around in the shadows?

A talk she has just given to Eastlea Community School

Laurie Penny (author, journalist, feminist, and Contributing Editor of the New Statesman) tells us on her Twitter microsite about a talk she has just given to Eastlea Community School on "media and sexism".

Can I ask whether Laurie Penny went through a CRB check before being allowed access to children at a state school?

Or was this another example of lefty teachers informally letting in their lefty comrades while insisting on draconian levels of political correctness for everyone else?

We must conclude that Robert Chote is a lying toad

Newsnight yesterday discussed the utterly fatuous forward report by the Office for Budget Responsibility claiming that 140,000 more immigrants are needed every year for the next fifty years to care for the projected aging population.

It seems that for every challenge the United Kingdom faces the answer of the left is "we need more immigrants".

What has happened to the millions of immigrants who have entered the country since 1997?  Migration has been on such a massive scale that if economic growth results from migration we should already be seeing stratospheric growth rates.  As we are clearly not experiencing any growth (worthy of the name) the conclusion must be that economic growth does NOT result from massive immigration (and therefore we must conclude that Robert Chote is a lying toad).

And is it not laughable that Robert Chote and his OBR should attempt to predict what the world is going to be like in fifty years time?  Who in 1963 could have predicted how the United Kingdom would look in 2013?  Are we paying the OBR to produce science-fiction fantasy reports?

There are no end of scenarios that could be projected over the next fifty years  - for instance euthanasia might be introduced so that the elderly are culled; genetically-modified cloning might be allowed so that we have millions of workers designed solely to be care assistants; global warming might become so severe that we can rent out British Antarctica and live off the receipts etc.

All of these scenarios are horrific, but none of them as horrific as the prospect of millions more migrants entering the country and going on about their "rights" and insisting on how good "vibrant diversity" is for us and voting in Labour governments that tell endless lies, smash up our institutions, and launch so-called ethical wars that kill brown people.

Predictably the pro-immigration claque is already going yippee, we've found another excuse to let in more people.

Jonathan Portes is already marshalling his slide rule and his Excel spreadsheets and getting ready to "prove", through the remorseless application of statistics (used as a bludgeon), that migration cannot possibly have any downsides.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Were particular ethnic groups or people with disabilities unreasonably targetted

And since we have an obsession in the public sector with Equalities legislation are there any figures that demonstrate whether fatalities resulting from the Liverpool Care Pathway were fair and equitable?

Was the Liverpool Care Pathway applied to everyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability etc?

Or were particular ethnic groups or people with disabilities unreasonably targetted to receive this programme of "care".

Note:  under Equalities legislation if there is no evidence that a programme was fair and equitable it is automatically found in law to have been discriminatory - and therefore claims of discrimination are found to be valid.

Who developed the Liverpool Care Pathway

There is a strong suspicion that the now-abandoned Liverpool Care Pathway was used as an unofficial policy of euthanasia, with hospital staff deciding who was worth saving and who was not.

Who developed the Liverpool Care Pathway, and who was responsible for rolling it out throughout the NHS? 

Was this an example of a "nudge" signal being used to covertly introduce euthanasia into society rather than seek a specific mandate to do so?

Who was responsible for authorising "financial rewards to hit targets associated with the use of the care pathway" - surely this must have come from ministers in the last government?

And is it not the case that the medical professions have become unduly influenced by an atheist ideology which tolerates the idea of euthanasia? 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Diane Abbott talking about a subject she knows nothing about

On her Twitter microsite 44 minutes ago Diane Abbott MP showed solidarity with gay marriage activists by wearing a pink carnation.



















I don't know much about gay history but even I am aware that green carnations are associated with gay culture, not pink ones.

Not for the first time we see Diane Abbott talking about a subject she knows nothing about.

And while I am sure it is very laudable for Diane Abbott to condemn homophobia in Cameroon, why does she not condemn loudly and openly homophobia in Jamaica (the most homophobic country on earth) and among the Jamaican diaspora?  This is the community she has most influence in.  And yet she is strangely silent.

Hypocritical is it not?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Green_Carnation

Send a bill to the southern Irish government

"Health Secretary finally admits he has no idea as to cost of health tourism" sneers Steve McCabe, Labour MP for Birmingham Selly Oak.

But we do know that approximately four thousand southern Irish women travel to the United Kingdom each year for abortions.  We know this because the Irish Republic government collects the statistics.  So Mr McCabe can you ask the Department of Health to send a bill to the southern Irish government for the cost of these abortions, backdated for the last twenty years.

4,000 x 20 x £400 (average cost of an abortion) = £32 million.

And to answer Alex Salmond's question, yes the southern Irish are foreigners - that is the category they chose for themselves in 1949.
Is Angela Eagle's People's Politics the same as Owen Jones's People's Assembly?  Or Tony Blair's People's Princess?  This is all getting very confusing - does no-one on the left have any branding experience?

And as someone has commented, when translated into German these phrases sound positively sinister:  Volks Politik, Volks Zusammenbau, Volks Prinzessin.

George Monbiot on the cigarette packaging issue

Very lazy and misleading article by George Monbiot on the cigarette packaging issue:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/15/cigarette-packaging-corporate-smokescreen-liberty

"On Friday the government announced..." who in the government made this announcement Mr Monbiot?  Diane Abbott MP said yesterday that all the ministers were in favour of plain cigarette packaging.  That only leaves the Prime Minister and the civil servants and we know the Prime Minister was in favour as he has said so often enough.

So when you ask "How did it happen?" it is not really acceptable for you to use innuendo and hints at a conspiracy.

It is perfectly possible for you to find out who took this decision.

If you really wanted to.

Name some names please.
If Swinton Insurance can be fined £7.38 million for mis-selling add-on insurance that customers did not want or ask for, why can't the Unite union be fined a similar amount for mis-selling add-on Labour party memberships that their customers did not want or ask for?

Why is the principle any different?

And is it not typical of socialism to rely on compulsion rather than persuasion.

Pedantic lecturing to the nth degree

Is there no end to the pedantic lecturing to the nth degree performed by Jonathan Portes (Director, National Institute of Economic and Social Research) on whoever provokes his ire?

He just goes on and on and on, saying nothing important just quoting stats all the time.

He reminds me of a friend I have who is a Spurs supporter.  You try to point out that Spurs have never won anything, not a thing, for as long as anyone can remember.  And all you get back is loads of stats "proving" Spurs is the best team in the league.

He reminds me of Betjeman's Lord Mount Prospect, a well-born clergyman whose skeletal remains are discovered in an empty church having perished delivering the longest sermon in history, his boney finger poised on the twenty-thousandth point he wanted to make.

Sir Brian Jarman on the Today programme this morning

Extremely interesting interview with Sir Brian Jarman, Emeritus Professor Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London, on the Today programme this morning discussing the culture of cover up and secrecy in the NHS.

"...we were dealing with the Department of Health, not with ministers..." said Sir Brian.

John Humphrys then said that civil servants are answerable to ministers.

This is not currently the case.  The Civil Service has a bewildering number of responsibilities and reporting relationships, some defined in law, but generally they are not answerable to ministers (this may change in the near future).  Thus we have the absurd situation where ministers have to defend in Parliament situations created by civil servants often without their knowledge or approval.

In the same programme Andy Burnham, former Secretary of State for Health, said that he acted on the advice of his civil servants - all such advice needs to be published so that we can all see what is going on.

Also, I want to know about the meetings of senior civil servants with their "opposite numbers" in EU countries.  Can we see the agendas for these meetings, and also have the minutes published.  And preferably the meetings should be held in public.

Monday, July 15, 2013

When I hear that there is a 37-year waiting time to process all the immigration backlog I am reminded of the excessive waiting times for telephones that used to be the norm when the state controlled the telephone system.

Just as privatisation quickly dealt with the inefficiencies in the telecommunications industry is it not the case that private agencies will be able to quickly deal with the 37-year backlog in processing migrant applications?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2362467/Migrant-backlog-soars-500-000--37-years-clear-say-MPs.html
Reading Andrew Sparrow's synopsis of the Number 10 lobby briefing I was intrigued by the item:

Cameron is taking the cabinet to Chequers on Thursday for its weekly meeting. Normally the cabinet meets in Downing Street on a Tuesday. The spokesman did not explain why the cabinet was going to enjoy an away-day in the Chilterns, or answer questions about whether cabinet ministers had been asked to bring their swimming costumes (there's a pool).

There is indeed a pool at Chequers.

It was a gift by the Nixon administration to Ted.

While the Cabinet make their sober deliberations will the ghost of Ted be frolicking in the water (perhaps doing show-off bombs into the water).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2013/jul/15/prince-charles-tax-live-blog#block-51e3d7e5e4b0f0282112e43b

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Britannia




















Why has an owl appeared on the latest design of Britannia for the Royal Mint?

The owl is associated with Athena, not Britannia.

And what has happened to the British lion?  Are we just making this stuff up now?  An owl this year, a panda next year, and maybe the year after a random creature to symbolise "vibrant diversity".

Talk about dumbing down.

Cigarette packaging announcement

Jon Trickett MP is entirely barking up the wrong tree over the cigarette packaging announcement.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/14/lynton-crosby-tobacco-meeting-labour?CMP=twt_gu

No-one has yet established who in the "government" (which is, remember, elected ministers PLUS senior civil servants) took the decision over cigarette packaging.

It is presented as a collective Cabinet decision, but in reality many decisions are made by committees.

Journalists can use freedom of information to find out how this decision was made and who made it.  Instead they prefer to see what they want to see, and play at party politics.  Which indicates that the journalists (Andrew Sparrow in this case) are part of the problem, not the solution.

Civil service

Ways in which the civil service operates:

Civil servants filter information that is presented to ministers - we should know what advice is being given to ministers.

In their efforts to avoid crisis they have created an unofficial corporatist system of political consensus - this is antithetical to democracy.

They operate a system of patronage, particularly through the appointments to public bodies and committees.

Also we need to know a lot more about the secretive Legislation Committee.



 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Meetings at Head Office - the past week at work

Monday 

A day off to buy a new car as my Alfa Romeo is nine years old and has done 144,000 miles.

I went to the showroom and told the sales assistant "if the price is right I can buy it now".

He then proceeded to try to sell me a car I didn't want.  Next he tried to sell me a second hand car ("It's only done eight miles, it was bought by some ditzy girl who changed her mind an hour after buying it...").  Only when I was going to leave did they give me the car I wanted at the price I wanted to pay (and also in blue, since I only drive blue cars).

Tuesday

Even now, when I am half-asleep in the half-hour before I have to get up, there are times when my thoughts and dreams go back to the past.

But I went to the office where there are no such distractions.

Most of the morning I spent answering e-mails and preparing for meetings in London over the next two days.

Leaving work at midday, I had the afternoon as holiday, attending a meeting with one of my freelance clients.  We went to a restaurant near his office for lunch (paid for out of a commission apparently).  Goat's cheese fried in olive oil, lamb, chocolate pudding and a glass of port (although I don't like port much).

The restaurant almost empty.  We sat on a sofa in the circulating area and he talked about a campaign he wants organised.  He went outside to make 'phone calls, and I was left alone on the sofa with a cup of coffee and my thoughts.

Wednesday

I got to London about 11 and went to Lower Thames Street for a quick meeting with another freelance client (all this freelance work is killing me, but at least it is paying for the new car).

Then I travelled west on the tube to Head Office for a meeting with David L about the "fringe" event planned for Conference this autumn.  Walking through the building I was greeted by so many people that I suppose I am becoming well-known in the organisation.  Down to the basement meeting room for a confidential briefing on...


Thursday

More meetings at Head Office.

First a meeting on the planned intranet which I felt was not terribly interesting or relevant.

Then up to the third floor for a meeting about website co-ordination (Marcia Walsh was also at this meeting).

Finally into Publications to discuss a new booklet Head Office is planning - I suppose it was flattering to be consulted.

Friday

Back at the Institute today, although it did not feel like a Friday.

I listed all the projects I have coming up over the next few weeks ready for a planning meeting on Monday. 

All over the floor the Admin section were still doing the big mailing - they are taking ages over it and Alec Nussbaum is not happy over this.

Gary from the Reading Room simultaneously soulful and doleful over his relationship problems.

The loathsome Anne Boswell-Urquart was at the Institute, and was most of the day in a meeting with Alec Nussbaum.  I hope she is not going to be our new Director!  I would have to look for a new job if so.














Drink! (as Father Jack would say).

Despite the Proustian associations I have never really liked Badoit mineral water - it has a salty taste.

Anyway, I'm told I am being anti-social blogging while everyone else is watching Baccara on the Vintage music channel.

Quintessential 1970s kitsch:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBPX3wibvnQ

Richard J Evans in today's Guardian

















Interesting (but wrong) argument by Richard J Evans in today's Guardian about reform of the History syllabus of the National Curriculum.

The reason History in schools is of such fundamental importance is because it defines everything else about the United Kingdom.

In many ways History is the memory of a nation.

In cases of Alzheimer's disease an individual's memory perishes and although that person is still alive and functioning they have essentially died.

The same holds true for nations - without an awareness of its national history narrative a nation is dead as a unique culture and civilisation.

That is why the History syllabus is too important to be decided by trendy leftie teachers.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jul/13/michael-gove-teaching-history-wars

Bob Crow's statements earlier today

Although I am not a socialist, I do admire Bob Crow's statements earlier today.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.


Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82

http://news.sky.com/story/1115374/bob-crow-union-leader-promises-new-party 
In all the furore over the 'U-turn' over plain cigarette packs has anyone worked out who took this decision?

Is it not the case that the decision was taken by civil servants in the Cabinet Office against the wishes of ministers? (and the announcement was made from the Cabinet Office).

And please don't tell me the Cabinet Office is under the control of the elected government as it is not.

More on civil servants:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/exclusive-an-uncivil-end-pms-frustrations-could-see-whitehall-head-ousted-8704057.html

Friday, July 12, 2013

Owen Jones is going soft on the revolution

The newspaper review on BBC News 24 last night included Independent writer Owen Jones.

Presented with a picture of the Queen he described Her Majesty as a "kindly old lady".

What?

Is he not supposed to denounce the Royal Family as "hypocritical conservatism, servility and sanctimoniousness"?  Isn't it "old rags, rubbish, the refuse of centuries"?  Would Lenin describe Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna Romanova Empress Consort of All the Russias as a kindly lady? 

What does Owen Jones even mean by the descriptor "lady"?

Is this not bourgeois language, designed to stunt the growth of proletarian consciousness?  Are not the Jones critics justified in their view that he does not represent the future of socialism but is merely a cringing lickspittle relic of the old regime?  If even Owen Jones is going soft on the revolution what hope is there for the Labour party?

Shoes

According to John Rentoul (Columnist for Independent on Sunday; visiting professor at Queen Mary University of London; biographer of Tony Blair): "Churchill was horrified Bevin polished his own shoes and offered him a batman to do it. Bevin refused."

Presumably Bevin was not bothered whether the batman kept his job or not.

The batman could have been under-employed, and Churchill was desperately trying to find him more tasks to justify his full-time role.

Did Bevin care about the batman's job?  Oh no.  Bevin didn't care whether he went onto short hours or indeed lost his job so long as Bevin's ideological purity was maintained.

This is what the left is like.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The suggestion that the NHS should give priority on the transplant waiting list to people who are on the organ donor register

On the Today programme this morning was the suggestion that the NHS should give priority on the transplant waiting list to people who are on the organ donor register.

Someone called Sally Johnson, Director of Organ Donation and Transplantation for NHS Blood and Transplant (who sounded a typical public sector bossy boots), said she was keen to know what people think about the idea.

I think the idea stinks.

The NHS belongs to everyone, and no-one should be made to jump through hoops to get treatment.

Organ donors are not the only "donors" who contribute to transplant operations.  Each operation costs a fair amount of money to perform.  That money comes exclusively from taxpayers - non-taxpayers do not contribute anything.

The logic of Ms Johnson's argument means that we should give priority for transplants to taxpayers over non-taxpayers.  That is clearly unacceptable.  But no more unacceptable than giving priority to people who are on a particular register.

Is it not typical of the public sector that they always want to go down the path of compulsion rather than persuasion?

Get off your backside Ms Johnson and use your selling skills to persuade more people to become organ donors.  And if you don't have the necessary selling skills?  You are probably in the wrong job.

I used to carry an organ donor card but I don't now.  The reason is that I don't trust the NHS.  I think they would make decisions (on who is to live and who is to die) based on expediency rather than morality.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b036kt0z/live

Proto-terrorist Pakistani group MQM

Very alarming report on Newsnight yesterday about proto-terrorist Pakistani group MQM and how they seem to be operating from London.

Who took the decision to let these people into the United Kingdom and why?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b036ts98#programme-broadcasts

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Re-live the Great War 1914-18



















There was an interesting item on the Today programme this morning about a project whereby participants in the Falklands war return to the islands and effectively re-live their experiences for the benefit of historians.

Much discussion about the possible psychological impact of this process on the former soldiers.

It made me wonder whether what is true for individuals might also be true for nations.

The United Kingdom is about to re-live the Great War 1914-18.

The next year will be concerned with the tensions that led to war, and then will follow a week by week, perhaps even day by day, series of anniversaries - all of them in some way traumatic and with resonances for the majority of British families.

Will the next five years simply be shrugged-off as a mere sequence of historical curiosities?

Or will the process of re-living the First World War bring to life (perhaps literally) Barbara Tuchman's terrible proud tower of European civilisation at the apex of world domination?

And once the ghosts have been waked will they go back to sleep again?
James Bloodworth can complain all he likes, there is nothing anyone can do about Royal Mail privatisation.

It is one of the many ways in which the EU is being "informally" opened up to competition.

The only way of stopping it is to leave the EU.

Too late to save the Royal Mail, but perhaps not too late to stop the privatisation of other state assets (ultimately one suspects all state assets are going to go).

http://www.leftfootforward.org/2013/07/five-reasons-why-the-privatisation-of-royal-mail-is-bad-policy/

Hazy ideas about how many BME people are in the country

Rather pedantic article by Ally Fogg in today's Guardian that is being exultantly leaped upon by lefties as evidence that the ordinary people are stupid ("British public wrong about nearly everything- v. interesting, and proof we need compulsory citizenship education" says Rebecca Moore Labour's candidate in Withington ward for the 2014 Manchester City Council elections): 

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/immigration-crime-benefits-everything-you-know-about-the-state-of-the-nation-is-wrong-8697574.html

Leaving aside the silly idea by Rebecca Moore that re-education camps are needed (not so fanciful - Diane Abbott MP has said on television that Mao Tse-tung is her great political hero) is the Ally Fogg argument serious?

Let us take the most provocative line by Mr Fogg:  "The average member of the public believes 24 per cent of the British population is Muslim. It is actually five per cent. Average estimates of the total immigrant population are two to three times higher than reality."

The average member of the public believes that the Muslim population is too high - whether 24% is too high, or 5% is too high or indeed 1% is too high, the fact remains that the average member of the public thinks there are too many Muslims.  You can accept that fact or ignore that fact or (like Rebecca Moore) try to re-educate that fact out of existence.  What you cannot do is tell people they are wrong and its all been got up by the press (because guess what - in a democracy the people are sovereign).

And Mr Fogg should be aware that it is not just the public that holds hazy ideas about how many BME people are in the country.

Earlier this morning Bonnie Greer said: "A gospel choir onstage at the TheNational doesn't take the place there of  ethnic leads, directors & writers mainstage. There. I've said it."

The black population of the United Kingdom is less than 2%.  The Muslim population according to Mr Fogg is a paltry 5%.  On these tiny figures how on earth can Bonnie Greer justify her call for more "ethnic" leads, directors and writers mainstage at the National Theatre?
Liam Fox's speech on immigration at CPS:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht1pH9ndZ0w&feature=youtu.be&a

A very interesting and thoughtful contribution to the problem of migration.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Political Levy

"There is some confusion" says the Unite union about Ed Miliband's speech earlier today:

http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/uniteandthepoliticallevy/

You can say that again!

It appears that Ed Miliband is not proposing to make the Political Levy (which is a sort of danegeld payment on all union members, whether they support Labour or not) an "opt in"; he is merely suggesting that "affiliation" (which is a sort of forced conscription into the Labour party) becomes an "opt in".

Big deal.

I would guess that most union members do not even realise that they are automatically co-opted into a political party.

It is the Political Levy that is such an abomination.

It is of course a form of inertia selling, and if this scam was operated by a retailer the police would become involved.

Imagine you buy a washing machine or a television set, and when you get home you find that the retailer had signed you up for an insurance policy without your knowledge.

Imagine going back to the store and complaining, only to have the smarmy sales assistant say "Ah, but you didn't say you didn't want it".

That is what the unions are doing with the Political Levy.
Zero hours contracts should be illegal - there would be kudos for the Conservative party in bringing forward legislation.

Both formal and informal contracts should be banned.

The impact on the economy would not be great and the flexibility offered by these contracts is not worth having.

It would reinforce the image of the Conservative party as being firm but fair with regard to people in work and people out of work. 
"Len McClusky of Unite sounding conciliatory on World at One" says Diane Abbott MP.

And yet in the same interview Mr McClusky accuses Labour faction Progress of funding selections for candidates.

Hardly conciliatory.

They are saying very bad things

Another surprising smear, this time by Polly Toynbee in her article in the Guardian today about the Falkirk scandal:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jul/08/falkirk-labour-unions-empty-democracy

Talking about Len McClusky, leader of the Unite union, Polly Toynbee says:  "The suspicion that he shoehorned girlfriends and mates' girlfriends into safe seats and top union jobs doesn't look good".

Unite Community Campaigner Ellie Mae O'Hagen immediately protested about this slur and identified it as being aimed at a Unite director and named that person by referring to her Twitter "hashtag" (although she has since removed the "tweets" indicating fury followed by wiser counsel).

The accusation that a union official slept her way to the top is distasteful to say the least.  It's tantamount to calling her a whore.  And there is no proof, just Polly Toynbee's "suspicion".

Fascists and whores?  What is happening here?  Simon Danczuk MP and Polly Toynbee are not bad people, but they are saying very bad things.

It is perhaps an indication of the pent-up passions that the Falkirk affair has released.  Cathartic expressions of this kind usually indicate there are underlying issues that have been long-suppressed and are bursting to come out.  Will there be more out-pourings of passion or will the Labour leadership succeed in putting the lid back on?
Make no mistake, Ed Miliband will be doing us all a favour when he calls for one member, one vote for the Labour party.

The Conservative party will have to respond in kind.

Democracy as whole will benefit.

"No better than the BNP" says Labour MP Simon Danczuk

"Labour's hard left are no better than the BNP" says Labour MP Simon Danczuk:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10167562/Simon-Danczuk-MP-Labours-militant-left-no-better-than-BNP.html

This is a disgraceful slur presumably aimed at Independent writer Owen Jones (with whom he had a very public falling-out on television).

Oh I know Simon Danczuk was careful not to name any names, but the implications are obvious and the mud is going to stick.

And if individuals such as Owen Jones are no better than the BNP what about the Labour supporters normally associated with Owen Jones?  Are they to be smeared in this way?  It seems like politics in the Labour party just got a whole lot nastier.

And in any case, the analogy doesn't work - the hard left of the Labour party is nothing like the BNP (they are a lot more effective than the BNP and command much greater support).

It should be perfectly possible to demolish the arguments of the hard left without resulting to name calling.  

Monday, July 08, 2013

Carelessly splitting his own party

"He's a leader carelessly splitting his own party" says Kevin Maguire, writing in the Daily Mirror about Ed Miliband's response to the Falkirk outrage-disgrace-frenzy:   http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ed-miliband-needs-fight-real-2037789

This seems to be a very unlikely interpretation.  Ed Miliband in almost all his public pronouncements is careful not careless.  And in any case what would he have to gain since the electorate do not on the whole associate Labour as being in the hands of the unions (although that impression might start to change if this crisis develops).

Ed Miliband seems to me like an honourable man trying to untangle a farrago of dishonourable conduct.

Off the record briefings,  off the record counter-briefings, revelations of organised subversions, accusations of conspiracy by Sunny Hundal, possible criminal activity, factions of the party barely even talking to each other.

And that's just today's febrile activity.

And this evening we read of an organised attempt by Labour Students to silence the Twitter account of Independent writer Owen Jones by bombarding him with hostile messages (this is surely intimidation - mild intimidation admittedly, but intimidation nonetheless).

Falling apart at the seams

Blimey - this article on the Compass website actually says the Labour party is "falling apart at the seams" over the Falkirk scandal and its fall-out:

http://www.compassonline.org.uk/falkirk-the-end-of-the-fix/#.UdrAk4DZrnI.twitter

They dress it up later in the paragraph as a general malaise affecting all parties, but the words "Labour" and "falling apart at the seams" do appear in the same sentence.

Compass is an organisation (or faction would perhaps be a better word) associated with the anti-Blairite forces in the Labour party.

What will happen if Ed Miliband is unable to hold the warring factions together and the Labour party does indeed fall apart at the seams?

Will he follow the example of Ramsay Macdonald and lead Labour moderates into a government of national unity, leaving the extremists to huff and puff on their own.