Thursday, January 30, 2014

I thought Nick Robinson was scraping the barrel on the PM programme (BBC Radio 4) when he talked about the Conservative party being divided.

The issue is over speed of travel, not the direction we are going in.

Anyway, has he forgotten the Labour leadership crisis, which was only months ago?  They are still saddled with a lacklustre leader who is failing to register any impact with the electorate.  And has now capitulated to the unions.

Has he forgotten UKIP which is barely keeping the lid on a maelstrom of er... distinctive views which are likely to overboil when they win the Euro elections (as I am sure they will).

Has he forgotten the LibDems with their massive gulf between the leaders and the members.

No Mr Robinson, you cannot say we are divided.  I would probably place myself on the right of the party, and I have complete confidence in David Cameron.  Hung parliaments are very rare in the United Kingdom, and I am sure we shall have a Conservative majority in 2015.

We fight on, we fight to win (as they say).
I'm just thinking aloud here, but will rioters (born abroad and subsequently acquired British citizenship) have their citizenship revoked?

Foreigners who have acquired British citizenship can have it taken away

Excellent news that foreigners who have acquired British citizenship can have it taken away if they fail to behave themselves.

"...would not have to have been convicted of a particular offence" the Home Secretary has just said in the House of Commons.

This is exactly what we need.

Once the principle has been established it can be extended to a whole range of anti-British activities.

Ms Alibhai-Brown needs to watch her step.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Helen Lewis (New Statesman) repeats the rather naive question:  "The 7% problem: why do the private school minority dominate public life?"

Because the Labour party destroyed all state competition in pursuit of an ideological objective that had no relevance to education.

The Refugee Council has no business making statements of this kind

Katy Long (Lecturer in International Development at the University of Edinburgh) tells us:

A press release from the Refugee Council has just landed in my inbox, telling me that ‘Britain has a proud tradition of protecting and welcoming refugees and we will continue to lead the way in offering refuge to people in their greatest hour of need’.

The Refugee Council has no business making statements of this kind.

A more truthful statement might be:

Whatever sympathy the United Kingdom may once have had for refugees has been entirely undermined due to a combination of political gerrymandering (encouraging the migration of groups of people who will vote Labour), lies about the overall levels of foreigners allowed into the United Kingdom, and a ridiculous amount of bogus asylum claims.  There is now no sympathy for the idea that yet more foreigners should be given access to the United Kingdom.  You are welcome to use British aid money to rebuild your lives in your own regional homes, but you are not welcome in the United Kingdom.

The northern cities

Is it not obvious that northern cities are lagging behind London because they are dominated by Labour councils and Labour MPs who are antithetically opposed to enterprise, entrepreneurialism and the idea of making profit.

It is not so much that London is sucking in all the entrepreneurs.

It is more the case that the northern cities are driving them out by creating a sterile climate in which profit is regarded as something to be ashamed of.

The way for the northern cities to change this is simple - vote more Conservatives into power.

Crocodile tears by Yvette Cooper

Given the huge amount of money the United Kingdom is spending on aid to the Syrian refugees I do not see why it is not possible to use a few million pounds of this money to build state of the art hospitals and clinics, and also to construct safe compounds protected by armed security guards reporting to the United Nations.

That way many tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees can be given vital aid and protection - far far more than the pathetic token of allowing a few hundred refugees into the United Kingdom for such treatment.

The clinics and hospitals would remain in the border countries as a permanent asset for the local populations, after the emergency is over.

Of course this will not suit the left.

They see immigration as the answer to everything.

They are not interested in "vulnerable" refugees - that is just crocodile tears by Yvette Cooper.

They want another bloc community they can bribe and manipulate into voting Labour.

We have seen this trick played before and we should not tolerate it.

An enemy of the people

I am staggered at the affrontery of former senior civil servant Gus O'Donnell in proposing "leadership" over the subject of immigration:

By leadership he means ignoring what the people want, and (by that sneaky way civil servants have) allowing immigration covertly (in millions during the time Gus O'Donnell was Cabinet Secretary) and then saying nothing can be done about it.

We do not want politicians and civil servants showing "leadership".

We have had enough of their "leadership" over immigration and wars in the middle east and signing European treaties without consent etc.

We do not want politicians and civil servants to show "leadership" we want them to bloody well do as they are told (and if they are not sure what the people are telling them they need to seek the endorsement of an election or referendum).

Gus O'Donnell is now in the House of Lords for heaven's sake.

He should not have been ennobled.

I have no hesitation in saying that Gus O'Donnell is an enemy of the people.

Perhaps he should be subject to a citizen's arrest and arraigned before a citizen's court.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I don't often get the chance to see the Daily Politics, but working at home I managed to see today's programme.

Very surprised to see a largish part of the programme used by Peter Hain MP to promote his new book about his sainted parents.

And was this the same sainted mother who he finessed onto the public payroll (at the age of 80!) on a Commons salary of £5,400 a year?

Curious that Jo Coburn did not ask him about it, but just let him blather on about what good people his parents were.

Economic growth has only returned since immigration has been cut by a third

All those apologists who insist that immigration is good for economic growth.

And yet economic growth has only returned since immigration has been cut by a third.

Do not underestimate the rise in morale among ordinary working class communities now they realise the invasion is beginning to be curbed.
On the whole I like Aiden Burley.

I especially enjoyed the "multi-cultural crap" verdict.

Far too many politicans are bland yes-men and yes-women.

We need more MPs who voice what the ordinary people are saying.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Superb start this evening to Jeremy Paxman's documentary series on the Great War.

Several times I felt it was very moving.

The Owen Jones manifesto

Owen Jones has produced his own manifesto:

1) A statutory living wage, with immediate effect, for large businesses and the  public sector, and phased  in for small and medium  businesses over a five-year Parliament. 
When has an incomes policy ever worked?  The simple way to increase pay for the lowest paid is to stop immigration and incomes must rise as labour becomes scarce.  But as we know, the Labour party is addicted to immigration.

2) Resolve the housing crisis by regulating private rents...
Another policy from the 1970s that has been discredited - if landlords cannot make a profit from letting they will simply take their properties off the market (the goal of most of them is capital appreciation rather than rental income).

and lifting the cap on councils to let them build hundreds of thousands of houses...
With what?  Higher Council tax?  Or are we going to trust splurging lefty councils to run up municipal debts until their administrations crash (Neil Kinnock voice:  "A Labour council, a LABOUR council scuttling around in taxis handing out redundancy notices...").

3) A 50 per cent tax on all earnings above £100,000 – or the top 2 per cent of earners...
Yes, let's tax the rich until the pips squeak, after all it worked for Denis Healey (didn't it?).

4) An all-out campaign to recoup the £25bn worth of tax avoided by the wealthiest each year...
Yeah, as if no-one has ever tried to stop tax avoidance before.  What is wrong with the public sector employees in HM Revenue & Customs that they cannot get on top of this.  Why does even Owen Jones have to criticise the public sector employees who are letting £25 billion slip through their fingers?

5) Publicly run, accountable local banks. 
Nationalise the banks and let the public sector run them.  The public sector has a track record of success right?  Or better still let's have co-operative banks with the cronies of the Reverend Flowers on the board.

6) An industrial strategy... based on an active state that intervenes in the economy...
Government can pick the winners!  We could even try growing ground nuts in East Africa.  And never mind if the ventures fail - the state has a million ways of covering up the evidence.

7) Publicly owned rail and energy, democratically run by consumers and workers. 
Public utilities run by workers' councils?  And what if the interests of consumers and workers do not match?  How soon before the bullying unions force them into compliance?

8) A new charter of workers’ rights fit for the 21st century. 
This sounds like James Callaghan's Social Compact (or Social Contract as it later became). 

9) A universal childcare system that would pay for itself...
If it can pay for itself why does the state need to get involved?

So much for the Owen Jones manifesto.

How depressing this all is.  Bankrupt of ideas, the left can only regurgitate the failed policies of the past.  As Enoch Powell would say, this is a dog returning to its vomit.
I thought the Prime Minister gave an excellent interview on the Today programme this morning.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Watchers by Stephen Alford

Have just finished reading The Watchers by Stephen Alford (Professor of Early Modern British History at the University of Leeds).

It is an academic study of espionage in the reign of Elizabeth I.

It is a dense book, and written for an academic audience, but worth persisting with (I read it at a rate of ten pages a day, which was just enough to stop my head from spinning).

We are used to thinking of the first Elizabethan Age as a golden period of expansion, innovation and dazzling culture (literary, in the visual arts, architecture etc).

This book reveals how threatened the Elizabethan state was (by enemies within and without) and the necessity for constant vigilance to outwit the assassins, the seditions, the acts of terror.

"The weapons they used were espionage, relentless interrogation, surveillance, the suppression of dissent, robust treason law, torture and propaganda."

Which rather sounds like the situation we are in today (except for the torture bit - the British security forces are not involved in torture).

Saturday, January 25, 2014

On BBC News Film Review Mark Kermode, when discussing Twelve Years A Slave, folded his arms defensively and touched his face (supposedly indicating he was not telling the truth).

Are critics afraid to criticise the film for fear of being called racist?

What is the point of employing Mark Kermode to review films if he is going to self-censor his remarks? 
All through Dateline London earlier today Marc Roche (Le Monde) was compulsively bouncing his knee up and down.

He was obviously very nervous about what he was saying (all of it anti-British).

Perhaps he thought the rest of the panel would laugh at him.

I struggled on - the past week at work


All of the week I had flu-like symptoms, without actually having flu.  So I had pains in my chest, but no cough.  Weak and tired all the time, but not so bad it was debilitating.  Deafness in my right ear that was intermittent.  Feeling giddy when walking.  Slightly nauseous at mealtimes.

But I struggled on.

Arriving at the office I felt tired and disorientated.

During the morning I worked on various projects but I also felt very subdued, a feeling that everything I was doing was pointless and purposeless.

I did a lot of work on the communications plan for the Birmingham office.


On the drive to work I saw the effects of the recent rain, with mini-lakes forming in the fields.

The arrival back of Galdys Y (as supervisor of the admin team) has created a sullen atmosphere, although that means nothing to me since I can keep aloof from all the bickering.

Alec Nussbaum (our de facto Director during the interregnum) in the office and briefed me on a confidential project that I will have to allocate one day per week towards.

More news of resignations and reorganisations at Head Office.


I am trying hard not to let the heap of paper on my desk grow to an unmanageable size.

The early part of the morning I spent researching databases for the Birmingham office.

Then a meeting with Campaign Manager Simon C to discuss his exhibitions programme and literature he might need.


Train journey to Birmingham, having to change at Nottingham.

The air was cold as I walked along New Street.  Into Waterstones to look at novels.  Then up to Chamberlain Square and into the Art Gallery to look at the pre-Raphaelites (The Blind Girl, The Annunciation, various Moores).

A brisk walk down Hill Street and into Bristol Street and the Institute's Birmingham office, discreetly masked by 1970s shabbiness. 

I was still early so after greeting Ashish Sharma I sat at an empty desk and looked at my e-mails.  Then a three-hour meeting with Ashish Sharma.  It was very clear that he knew almost nothing about campaigning.

On the whole it was a positive meeting, but an enormous amount of work lies ahead.

A walk back to New Street and a crowded train to Nottingham where I had to wait for almost an hour.  I went into one of the platform cafes, the walls lined with Edwardian ceramic tiles.  A cup of coffee and a sandwich.


Work on the confidential project.
The problem for Ed Balls with his 50p tax rate for income over £150k is that he cannot make it tangible for ordinary people.

So why should they care whether the tax is 40p or 50p or 60p?

It's not as if he is going to give the money away, it's just going to reduce the deficit - which is so abstract it is meaningless.

A few people will say yes, let's attack rich people.

But the politics of envy only gets you so far.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Does this not make you feel uncomfortable?

Various media lefties (Brian Whelan, Daniel Trilling, Owen Jones etc) exchanging digital high-fives at the incarceration of former EDL leader Tommy Robinson for mortgage fraud:

It is not for me to defend Tommy Robinson.

Still less do I condone mortgage fraud.

But eighteen months in gaol does seem harsh for a crime in which nothing was actually stolen (although of course the lender's money was put at risk).

And one cannot help thinking of Peter Mandelson who also committed mortgage fraud, had to resign from the government and then "ping" was back in the government again, and "ping" became Deputy Prime Minister, and "ping" is now in the House of Lords.

If Tommy Robinson deserves eighteen months in gaol then Peter Mandelson needs to be in the same cell with him.

Which is why I feel uncomfortable about this case.

The gloating of the left, the severity of the sentence, the fact that others committing the same crime get off scot free.

Does this not suggest that Tommy Robinson is being punished for reasons other than white collar fiddling?

I know people will say "It's only Tommy Robinson".

But does this not make you feel uncomfortable?

Does this not allow his supporters to say he is a political prisoner?

Most people saw their income rise over the last financial year

Howls from the left this morning at statistics indicating that most people saw their income rise over the last financial year.

"Nonsense" they scream (insofar as one can scream on Twitter - what I mean is that the haikuised 140 character texts have an edge of hysteria deliniated by a combination of terse abuse and assumption that everyone must know what they are talking about).

Of course, if it had been nonsense no-one would be much bothered.  They would just sit back and let the nonsense manifest itself.  The fact that so many on the left are not doing this suggests they are seriously rattled.

Of course, we have yet to hear from that prince of statistical lies Jonathan Portes.

Like the magician in Night of the Demon he can summon up stormclouds on a sunny day and frighten the children with thunderclaps.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Standing tall

Nick Clegg talking at Davos:  "The UK cannot stand tall in the modern world if it doesn't stand tall in its own backyard."

What on earth does he mean by standing tall?

What has standing tall got to do with the everyday lives of ordinary people?

Is "standing tall" like "punching above our weight"?

Is it all about politicians bigging themselves up and striding about the world thinking they are important (when most people would spit on them if they met them in the street)?

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott

This is a sad, rather pathetic "tweet" from former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott:

"If you count up the weeks I covered for Tony in Downing Street over 10 years, I technically ran the country longer than Alec Douglas-Home".  

Is this what he is reduced to in his post-government years?  Obsessing over his time in power and trying to prove to himself it wasn't all a complete failure.  And he seems unaware of the irony of comparing himself to Alec Douglas-Hume - one turkey referencing another.

Whether Syrian refugees should be allowed into the United Kingdom

In any consideration of whether Syrian refugees should be allowed into the United Kingdom we should bear the following in mind:

1  The United Kingdom is already providing very significant support to refugees in locations close to Syria, and this is by far the best policy - allowing the refugees to remain in cultures they are familiar with and with a good likelihood they will one day be able to return home.  By all means increase the funding we provide.  Double it if necessary.

2  Entry of previous groups of refugees has not been a success.  The unnecessary creation in the United Kingdom of a Somali community has been a disaster.  Entry of thousands of Syrians will increase the risk of violence to the United Kingdom population.

3  The United Kingdom is no longer an imperial nation and the political class needs to get over this.  There is no requirement for us to go about the world lecturing and interfering.  What is happening in Syria is a civil war and there is no right side or wrong side or good side or bad side - tragic though the situation is, they need to resolve things themselves.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

These people have no shame


Found guilty by a court.

Sent to gaol.

Released and then "ping" she is back in the elite running our affairs.

These people have no shame.
You should not do what you love.

You should do your duty (no matter how difficult it may seem).

Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson

Interesting article on Labour List by Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson:

Obviously his attacks on the government are just playing to the gallery and should be ignored.

But the proposals are sound - so far as they go.

Taking real action to enforce the minimum wage; doubling the maximum fine for those paying below the NMW to £50,000 and giving local councils the power to enforce the minimum wage;
A reasonable aspiration, but possibly unenforceable (perhaps prison sentences might concentrate the mind?).  I live in a rural area where the minimum wage is routinely flouted.  When there is a surfeit of cheap labour the minimum wage is always going to come under pressure.

We will extend the scope of the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority
What does this mean in practical terms?

We will strengthening the law so that recruitment agencies aren’t able to discriminate against UK workers from applying for jobs
Discrimination is already illegal - enforce the law.

We will ensure Labour’s housing laws are enforced to stop migrant workers being exploited and crammed into ‘beds in sheds’ and undercutting local workers’;
Difficult to see how this can be done.  Why not require everyone coming into the country to have a sponsor who will be legally responsible for guaranteeing their housing and employment conditions.  Also the sponsor can be financially responsible for the immigrant if they fall ill, become unemployed or otherwise make claims on the state.

And crucially we would make sure we give people here the skills they need for the future by ensuring that large companies bringing in workers from outside the EU also have to offer an apprenticeship for a local worker.
Hmm.  What level of skills will be on offer?  Why not make the existing Education system (which costs billions) ensure that school and college leavers all have high skills in the first place.

Weasel words from Nick Clegg

More weasel words from Nick Clegg about the Lord Rennard scandal:

I am puzzled by the stress that is being made on Liberal Democrat internal rules that insist on "criminal burden of proof in these cases".

I am not a lawyer, but I know that Employment Law (which covers sexual harassment) trumps any "rules" devised by an organisation.  The rights conferred by employment legislation are inalienable rights and cannot be evaded, superseded or given up.  Therefore Lord Rennard needs to go through an enquiry that looks at what he did from the perspective of employment law, and if agreement cannot be reached the case should go to an Employment Tribunal for adjudication.

Update:  Cathy Newman (Channel 4 News) has written a synopsis of the scandal:

Nicky Morgan MP

Conservative Nicky Morgan MP has been reported in the Daily Telegraph:  In a recording of Miss Morgan’s words, obtained by the Huffington Post website, she told activists that politicians struggle to appeal to female voters because Westminster is seen as a “male club”.

Ms Morgan needs to understand that Westminster is not a "male club" per se.  There are almost no working class men and women in the House of Commons.  Westminster is a club for (all parties) privately-educated Oxbridge ex-lawyers like Nicky Morgan.

You are part of the problem Ms Morgan, not part of the solution.

The reason you claim that only "lone voices" are objecting to immigration is because most members of the House of Commons have no idea of the impact that swamping levels of immigration is having on the lives of ordinary people.

I would also advise you to get out more and talk to ordinary people and not the public school twerps in Bright Blue (who seem to be neither bright nor particularly blue).

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lord Rennard put his hand down the back of her dress

An unusual coalition seems to be rallying (very subtely) to Lord Rennard's defence.

Paddy Ashdown tells us we should not forget what a great service Lord Rennard did for the Liberal Democrats (and all great men have their foibles is the unspoken excuse).

Guardian writer Michael White has spent most of the day on Twitter calling for a sense of perspective (don't get your knickers in a twist could be a precis of his argument).

Labour activist Stephen Bush uses the Progress website to say that we are ALL guilty of sexism (and thus by implication Lord Rennard is no more guilty than the rest of us)

Of course, these individuals (and others) are not really defending Lord Rennard.  They are attempting damage-limitation for the Liberal Democrat party - for a range of motives connected no doubt to marginal seat calculations related to 2015.  Sexual harassment is important, but not as important as winning the next election.

We are not helped by the clampdown that has been imposed on the scandal (secrecy that must inevitably fail - eventually the facts will come out).

We did hear yesterday from one of the complainants who said that Lord Rennard put his hand down the back of her dress.

Presumably (one hopes) he just put his hand down a little way before her objections stopped him. 

But one is forced to speculate whether his fat fumbling fingers intended to interfere with the most private parts of her body.

He is a dirty old man.

He must not be protected from the consequences of his actions, no matter how expedient it might be to do so.

And who knew all this was going on?  Why was nothing done?  Where does the buck stop?
According to the CBI "new manufacturing orders are growing at the fastest rate since 2011".

Polly Toynbee is very selective about her examples

In an otherwise reasonable article about the Lord Rennard scandal and its precursors, Polly Toynbee is very selective about her examples:

She quotes Conservative sleazebags and Liberal sleazebags but is strangely silent on the Labour variety (a few rotten apples among the Cabinet ministers).

Was it not the case that the late 1970s and all of the 1980s were characterised by a tsunami of sexist misogyny aimed at "that bloody woman"? (coming from all directions it is true, but a huge amount coming from the Labour party and the trade union movement).

Indeed does she not recall the incident in the mid-1970s when Henry Kissinger, then American Secretary of State, visited the United Kingdom and among many meetings paid a call upon the then Leader of the Opposition?  Later Mr Kissinger was filmed arriving at Downing Street and the Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan asked him (on camera) "Did you kiss her?"  This was a Labour Prime Minister, Ms Toynbee.

Oh how the men laughed.

Oh how the fussy upstart woman was belittled.

A Labour Prime Minister, Ms Toynbee.

As the Norwegians say, a rotten fish stinks from the head downwards.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Is it possible that this imbroglio will topple Nick Clegg?

"Incompetent leadership" Jeremy Paxman has just said on Newsnight, referring to the Lord Rennard scandal.

Is it possible that this imbroglio will topple Nick Clegg?

The Liberal Democrat party when it was in Opposition received state funding for administration and also "Cranbourne money" for its activities in the House of Lords.

Surely as an organisation in receipt of public money it had a duty under Equalities legislation to eliminate discrimination, including (obviously) the sexual harassment of women?

In any case, as an employer it must take responsibility for any sexual harassment that occurs (it is not clear whether any of the complainants were employees at the time they were assaulted, but this scandal will have had an intimidating effect on all women employees of the party whether they have been fondled or not).

This is over and above the personal responsibility of Lord Rennard himself for his behaviour.

I thought it was disgraceful of Lord Greaves to make comparisons with South Africa and Northern Ireland.  The comparison should be with the very considerable body of best practice that exists in the corporate world for dealing with allegations of misconduct.  Any middle-ranking personnel manager will be able to advise the Liberal-Democrat party on this.

As an aside, excellent report by Emily Maitlis from Westminster (all her reports so far in her new role have been excellent - precise and informative and without waffle).
Tim Farron was interviewed by Eddie Mair on the PM programme about Lord Rennard.

And on Channel 4 News he was interviewed by Cathy Newman, in a discussion that included Harriet Harman and Bridget Harris (one of the complainants).

I thought Tim Farron's argument that it was just "democracy" that was responsible for the delays, obfuscation and attempted cover-up over the Rennard scandal was weaselly and unconvincing.

I am not a lawyer, but I thought that in cases of sexual harassment the burden of proof lay with the organisation (ie the Liberal Party), not with the victims? 
The Lord Rennard statement is astonishing:

First he says he was ill (the implication being that he was so ill he was not responsible for his actions).

Then he says it was all a conspiracy (by whom?  for what purpose?).

Then he says the women complainants had withdrawn their complaints and they were not real complaints anyway (just silly girls who got too excited presumably).

Then he says the police investigation has been intolerable but has totally cleared him.

Then he says it has all been settled by a handshake among men in the House of Lords so why don't we all just give it a rest.
Perhaps I am being over-suspicious, but is the reason for Lord Rennard's refusal to apologise because there is still much more to come out?

At the moment the LibDem leadership is holding together and facing down any complaints, belittling any criticisms, booing any journalists who get too close.

If this broederbond breaks down and Lord Rennard's hegemony over the party no longer has the power to intimidate do they fear that more women will come forward? 

It's always the cover-up that kills

Attempts to silence questions will blow up in Mr Clegg's face:

It's always the cover-up that kills, seldom the original offence.

And is there any suggestion that the booing of a journalist from a national news channel was organised?  Did the whispers go out that if Cathy Newman strayed off the subject of mental health she should be booed into submission?  Would a male journalist (Nick Robinson say) be booed in the same way?


Horribly dated new "community building" going up at St Pancras Square on behalf of Camden Council:

It is as if the architect has become stuck in the 1920s and is fantasising he is Mies van der Rohe.

No relation to its architectural surroundings.  No acknowledgment of the architectural history of the site.  No understanding of how people feel when entering such an alienating building.

Have we really not progressed beyond the 1920s/30s?

This "community building" looks as if it has been dug out of Bauhaus Berlin and plonked down between St Pancras and Kings Cross.

Enough of this erzatz internationalist nonsense.

We have national styles of architecture in this country, related to traditional social interactions, and public money should be used to promote them.
Why is Nick Clegg freezing out Channel 4 News over the Lord Rennard scandal?

Running away is never the answer.

Rachel Reeves on the Today programme

Listening to Rachel Reeves on the Today programme this morning she talked about youth unemployment and said that under a Labour government young claimants will be obliged to sit literacy and numeracy tests, and if they fail will be obliged to attend further education courses to learn to read and write.

Can I suggest that if individuals fail these literacy and numeracy tests their schools should be contacted and asked to explain why.  And if the explanation is unsatisfactory, they have the cost of the further education course deducted from their school funding.  That might start to concentrate the minds of state school teachers that their lackadaisical attitude to failure will not be tolerated.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I am still puzzled by Michael Goldfarb's use of the phrase "greed mongering" on Dateline London.

I know what greed is, and I know what mongering is, but greed mongering (the selling of greed?) defeats me.

Later in the same programme Agnes Poirier used the phase "scare mongering" which is at least intelligible. 
All the time Sunday Politics was discussing Lord Rennard I seemed to hear a voice, in a Harry H. Corbett accent, saying You dirty old man.

A disappointing film

I went to see The Wolf of Wall Street yesterday.

It was a disappointing film, with two-dimensional characters and exaggerated scenes.

Occasionally there were striking images.  At one point a naked DiCaprio walks slowly, in a mann von hinten sequence, through the aftermath of an orgy that resembles the Death of Sardanapalus.  But mostly it was a bore, with no serious ideas.

I have no intention of going to see Twelve Years A Slave, the only other notable film at the local cinema.  It appears to be pornography masquerading as literary adaption (much like Tinto Brass's Caligula).  Politically correct pornography, but pornography nonetheless.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The past week at work


A day spent with my freelance client.  We drove into London, and parked near Soho.  Various calls then to the hotel, the ballroom in the basement (pink, white and gold rococo) almost packed, rows of seats under the shining chandeliers.

Seminar on equities, followed by a lunch - the food very fine (Roquefort souffle, poached salmon, and keeping to my resolution I just had Vichy water instead of wine).

Then to Bishopsgate where my client went into a massive glass block to see his client.  I sat in the huge reception hall and read the Financial Times.  Then when I got bored I went for a walk along Artillery Lane.


Calls from Ashish Sharma (new Director of the Birmingham office) are a nuisance.  He has asked me to give a briefing to his staff about campaigns over the next seventeen months.  At least I will finally get to see the mysterious Birmingham operation.

Sensational news that Peter J has resigned, leaving his team in the lurch.


I wrote a very reasoned e-mail to the Director of Media Relations at Head Office, attacking everything they have done for the Institute recently.  I was helped by a blistering complaint that has come in about the errant press release.  I sent an e-mail to Anne Boswell-Urquart (nasty person) implying her department had caused the trouble.


Proof-reading, some exhibition planning, a variety of other little tasks.


To Head Office for a publications meeting.  They had a range of booklets newly printed, including one I had written (although I could not look at it, I was afraid I would see mistakes).  Afterwards I walked around the City.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The more esoteric and encoded messages of Ed Miliband’s speech

Ed Miliband’s speech earlier today was extremely interesting. In 2165 words he outlined practical ideas combined with popular sentiments. However, as a Conservative I was interested in the more esoteric and encoded messages of Ed Miliband’s speech.

“It is about those families who work all the hours that God sends and don’t feel they get anything back.” Mention of God and family, in the opening sentences of the speech, seems to be raising the oriflamme of High Toryism at the heart of the Labour party. Is it possible that Ed Miliband is working for us?

“It is about those just starting out who can’t imagine they will ever afford a home of their own.” Here Mr Miliband seems to be endorsing the idea of a property–owning democracy. Ownership of private property is of course a cornerstone of Conservatism.

“It is about who we are as a country.” Forget about internationalism, national identity is going to be a focus. Indeed, Milibandism is embracing identity politics (which included an apology for immigration don’t forget).

“It is about all those who believe that we’re Britain and we should never settle for second best.” Did he really say this? Can a Labour leader in the 21st century be promoting the idea of British exceptionalism? (I mentally imagine him chanting “The British are best, the British are best, I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest…”).

“Personal debt for ordinary families rising again, as wages are squeezed and productivity remains low.” Personal debt is both wrong and immoral. Live within your means, as Margaret would say.

“Over-reliance on insecure, low paid jobs, not enough of the secure, high paying ones that used to keep our middle class strong.” Yes! At last a Labour leader is emphasizing the desirability of a strong middle class and the discreet charms of the bourgeoisie.

“Part of the reason as a country we rely too much on low paid, insecure work is that the small and medium sized firms that could create the good, high paying jobs of the future can’t get the finance they need.” Good old Ed. Forget about the workers and endorse the small businesses that create wealth – the factory owners, the mill owners, the pit owners...

And how he was cheered and clapped!

What a terrible meeting (for the old socialists).

What a wonderful meeting.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How is the New Statesman going to define "an ethnic minority background"

An unusual advertisement from the New Statesman:

"The New Statesman wants to help create a more diverse media, so we're hosting an eight-week paid placement for aspiring science writers from an ethnic minority background."

How is the New Statesman going to define "an ethnic minority background" and how are they going to check whether someone qualifies?

Will self-assertion be enough? (in which case they can presumably expect some mischief-makers to apply).

Is skin colour sufficient? (which will no doubt lead to considerations of how black is "black").

Are community leaders expected to endorse whether an applicant is a Muslim, or Hindu, or Jedi?

This scheme does seem to be attempting in miniature all the contradictions and absurdities of the pass-law requirements of apartheid South Africa.

There are no Muslim babies

Erroneous article by Daniel Trilling on the Rationalist Association website:

Brusquely Mr Trilling tells readers:  "This use of language is annoying. Children are not “born” Muslim, any more than they are born supporters of West Bromwich Albion, or speakers of Russian."

The legal position is that all children born in England are automatically Christian members of the Church of England.

Of course, there is complete toleration of personal belief.

But the Thirty-Nine Articles are still in law, and good luck to anyone who tries to change them ("That the Articles of the Church of England which have been allowed and authorized heretofore, and which Our Clergy generally have subscribed unto do contain the true Doctrine of the Church of England agreeable to God's Word: which We do therefore ratify and confirm, requiring all Our loving Subjects to continue in the uniform Profession thereof, and prohibiting the least difference from the said Articles...").

There are no Muslim babies - they are all born Anglicans.

This is inclusivity in action.
To the list of consequences of the First World War in the Guardian should be added the mechanisation of agriculture and the depopulation of the countryside.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Unofficial eugenics programme

Article in the Independent suggesting that female children are being aborted because of cultural preference in some sections of the BME population (Pakistani-heritage, Bangladeshi-heritage and Afghani-heritage are mentioned):

Are these not the same communities that insist on importing brides for their male off-spring?

Is it possible that the importation of female brides from the Indian sub-continent is helping to facilitate the kill-the-female-embryos unofficial eugenics programme?

Can I suggest we apply a default position of refusing visas for imported brides from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan (and perhaps India also) until this disgusting perversion of the abortion process has come to a stop?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

£25 billion, problem solved

Exultant whooping from the pro-immigration lobby over asinine pronouncement on immigration by the Office for Budget Responsibility:

However they can only make their projections work over a fifty year timescale!

Here is an easier way to help the Treasury.

The foreign-born population of the United Kingdom is estimated to be 7, 354,000.

The Chancellor needs to find £25 billion extra per year.

Impose an annual tax of £3,400 per immigrant per year.

Total raised £25 billion, problem solved.

If they don't like the tax they can go home - which helps solve the immigration problem.

Illiterate article by Aditya Chakrabortty

Economically illiterate article by Aditya Chakrabortty about North Sea oil and its revenues:

There can be no comparison between the United Kingdom economy and Norway during the 1970s and 1980s.

Possession of North Sea oil made the pound sterling a "petro currency" - effectively the United Kingdom could not go bankrupt and so sterling was an extremely safe investment.

Thus the value of the pound began to rise.

A rising pound made British manufactured exports more expensive and companies became uncompetitive.

Manufacturing companies closed or relocated overseas, and hundreds of thousands of workers became unemployed.

North Sea oil revenues were used to pay the unemployment benefit of the newly unemployed people - and at the time the benefits were relatively generous and not limited by timescale.

Thus possession of North Sea oil for the United Kingdom was economically neutral (Norway did not have such a large manufacturing base and so did not experience this process).

All this was proved by left-wing economist Lord Kagan years ago.
When I heard Alex Salmon singing Scottish folk songs to a 1970s musical backing on the Today programme this morning it sounded like a excerpt from the horror film The Wicker Man.
It is very disconcerting to have to liaise with a senior person who has an highly-developed sense of humour that one does not understand.

His Last Bow

Discussion on the Today programme this morning about Sherlock Holmes and his various revivals over the years.

It would be appropriate during 2014 for the BBC to dramatise the Sherlock Holmes story His Last Bow, set on the eve of the First World War in which the great detective confounds a German espionage ring.

It would also be an antidote to the Blackadder version of dramatised war history.

Monday, January 13, 2014

An astonishingly comprehensive and cogent article about the First World War from an Australian perspective:

I think we are justified in saying Enoch Powell was right

Alarming front page of the Independent today.  The accompanying article tells us "an estimated 278,000 hate crimes a year – of which 154,000 had an element of racial motivation".  That is nearly three thousand racially-motivated incidents every week.

Leaving on one side issues of right and wrong (and it goes without saying that all violence, whether verbal or physical, is wrong). 

Also leaving on one side the identity of the perpetrators and the identity of the victims.

154,000 incidents a year represents an inter-communal war - there really is no other way of describing it.

Therefore I think we are justified in saying Enoch Powell was right.

He correctly predicted this state of affairs.  All the evidence is presented here by the left-leaning Independent.  Perhaps more attention can now be given to Mr Powell's analysis of the immigration problem and how it is going to play out.

The mutation of right-to-buy into buy-to-let in London

Tom Copley (Labour Member of the London Assembly) has produced a report on the mutation of right-to-buy into buy-to-let in London.

Strangely however there is no mention in his report of "vibrant diversity".

Is it not the case that the majority of former right-to-buy properties that are now buy-to-let are characterised by asian tenants exercising their right-to-buy options and then selling-on to asian buy-to-let landlords?

One does not like to be suspicious, but is it possible that within this "vibrantly diverse" right-to-buy-and-buy-to-let nexus there is a culture of extended family conspiring, inter-communal kickbacks and subtle (sometimes less than subtle) respect-your-elders pressures.

It needs investigating.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The pro-immigration lobby is constantly changing its argument

Barbara Roche, former Labour MP and now representing the lobby group Migration Matters, appeared on BBC News 24 earlier today telling us that immigration was essential to economic growth.

Like some shape-shifting elemental force, the pro-immigration lobby is constantly changing its argument.  At first we were told immigrants were here to do the jobs we were too lazy to do; and when that argument was debunked we were told it was because "vibrant diversity" and multiculturalism was good for us; and when multiculturalism as a policy was junked we were told that we needed immigrants to look after the old (as if immigrants would not get old themselves, as well as wanting to bring their aged relations over here).  Now we are being assured that immigration is responsible for economic growth.

Well here we have them.

Economic growth is not some esoteric concept like "vibrant diversity".

Economic growth can be defined and measured. 

The bean counters will be able to tell us when this economic growth occurred, which immigrants caused it, and what the value was to average voter. 

So please tell us Ms Roche, what immigrants were responsible for this economic growth, when did they arrive here and when did the resulting economic growth happen, and what was the direct chain of cause and effect that delivered a financial benefit to the average man and woman in the United Kingdom (and how much was that financial benefit).

Of course, you might not be able to prove your argument Ms Roche.

In which case I hope you will not mind if I call you a lying toad.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

A liberating thought - the past week at work


Dismal experience to get up in the darkness and go back to work.  I had gone in last Thursday and Friday, but only for three hours each day.  And in any case only a few other staff had been in.

This was the formal start of a new week, indeed a new year, although whether the Institute will last the year is anybody's guess.

My only serious task today was a meeting with Mary McF from Head Office Media Relations.  She arrived late complaining about the taxis.  It surprised me that we had enough to talk about to last forty-five minutes. 


Most of the morning spent on an e-mail conversation with various people concerning the campaign being prepared by former Director Vijay Singh.  He behaves as if he is still Director.  I am tempted to just tell him to go away (I am almost sure that he no longer has any influence at Head Office). 

Later Marcia Walsh (Deputy Director and an opponent of the campaign) came to my desk and said "Well done with your e-mails."

Although I did very little today I felt exhausted when I got home.


Although I do not like Marcia Walsh, and certainly do not trust her, we are increasingly thrown together.  This morning we discussed the future of the Institute which is without a Director and is rumoured to be moving back to London.  Marcia Walsh was pessimistic in her outlook, and thought we might have six months at the most before the office closes.

Later, sitting quietly at my desk, I pondered the future.  If it is true that we just have six months left, perhaps I should just forget all the campaigns we have in the pipeline and just concentrate on the issues I cared about, calculating that it would be some time before got to hear of it and moved to stop me.  If I wanted to, I could steer the whole resources of the Institute into campaigns that I wanted to see happen.

It was a liberating thought.


The office filled with people today, including a party of six who had come to use the Reading Room.

Somehow I couldn't get organised, even though urgent tasks are building up.  I had to deal with a complaint that came in by e-mail about a press release that was off message.  It had been issued by Mary McF at Head Office, and it was quite satisfying to forward the complaint to her, widely copied.

In the afternoon Mary McF rang me and said:  "I do not mind grovelling to ---- ------ if that will make the situation better".

Ashish Sharma rang me with various projects he wants me to action (he has taken over the Birmingham office).


The complaint against Mary McF rumbled on, and I did my best to stir it up.
Illogical reasoning by Ian Birell on today's Dateline London.

Because opposition to immigration has always been high (77% latest) that is a reason to ignore it now (he argued).

Opposition to immigration was shouted down in the past with the accusation "racist".

Now the "racist" screaming no longer works.

All the more reason not only to stop immigration now, but also to look back on the past decades and reverse some of the migration for which there was no mandate.

Do what the people want.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I feel safer

On the whole I am glad that criminals indulging in gun crime are being shot out of hand.

It would be nice to painstakingly collect evidence, marshall it into an irrefutable case, arrest the people involved, araign them before the courts, prove their guilt with devastating logic, and consign the guilty persons to very long periods in prison.

Unfortunately this process is not working (certainly not working well enough).

Therefore given the choice between anarchy and authority I am endorsing authority.

I am glad the police are shooting gun-toting criminals, and I feel safer as a result.

I don't care if this is an official policy being administered covertly, or whether it is individuals using their initiative.

I am glad it is happening and I feel safer as a result.
Is it not a disgrace that Peter Mandelson should describe democratic referendum votes as "a lottery" on the Today programme this morning.

The Labour Party on a whole range of issues (the EU, immigration, declaring war on third world countries) is elitist and anti-democratic.

These are bad people.

They must not get back in.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Hilarious error in this "tweet" from the pressure group Class.

The First World War began on 28th July 1914 not in June.

Class are an organisation that champions comprehensive education.

Obviously the person that wrote this tweet was chortling along to Blackadder rather than paying attention to facts.  Not that facts feature very highly in the estimation of state school History teachers.  It's all relative and easy-going and there's no wrong answers.

Marxist interpretation of the First World War by Seamus Milne in the Guardian

An almost textbook Marxist interpretation of the First World War by Seamus Milne in the Guardian:

It is mostly just hyperbole.

However Mr Milne is wrong to say:  "The idea that Britain and its allies were defending liberal democracy, let alone international law or the rights of small nations, is simply absurd" and "Britain and France then divvied up the defeated German and Ottoman empires between them, from Palestine to Cameroon, without a thought for small nations' rights".

The Peace Conference at Versailles in 1919 set up the League of Nations, which formalised international law.  The territories surrendered by Germany and Turkey were held in trust by the League of Nations and given to France and the United Kingdom as trusteeships to prepare for self-government.  If the Britain and France were just interested in a cynical land grab why would they bother to set up the League of Nations and go through the rigmarole of trusteeships?

It's a question Seamus Milne ignores.

1960s version of history

An odd piece on the Today programme this morning about the First World War.

It just repeated the 1960s peacenik view without any attempt to interrogate those views.

Of course all war is to be regretted.  Of course the loss of millions of young lives is a matter of great seriousness.  Of course political leaders must be held accountable for the decisions they take, including where necessary trial for war crimes (I'm thinking of Tony Blair and his Labour colleagues).

But it is intellectually bogus to extrapolate from those general ideas and say that the First World War was a pointless conflict, that the people who died were mere dupes and drones, that the British victory in that conflict was not a magnificent achievement worthy of commemoration and indeed celebration.

We need to recognise that in the 1960s there was a cultural coup that effectively hi-jacked interpretation of the Great War and propagated the now all too familiar view that it was an imperialist war that exploited the working classes.  This 1960s version of history was a product of its time and needs to be junked.  It had nothing to do with the serious examination of history but was a leftist peacenik subversion that interpreted "peace" as supine passivity to the ideological expansionism of the Soviet Union and saw the whole of history as the inevitable progress of humanity towards communism (an idea all the more laughable now that communism has utterly failed and is dead and gone).

And can the media please stop quoting Harry Patch as some kind of distillation of the armed forces who served in the First World War.  Old codgers at the end of their lives are not the most reliable witnesses of what happened eighty years previously.  And in any case, he was just one person among many millions.

It is offensive in the extreme for descendants of people who died in the Great War to hear Harry Patch saying the deaths were "not worth it".  Not worth it compared to what?  When you think of the bovine lives that most of us (including myself) live, can we really say that our existence is so superior to those who died in that conflict? 

Compared to the idealism, courage, and self-sacrifice those young people displayed, are we really saying that the mindless consumerism, cynicism, and over-indulgence of life in 2014 is "worth" more? 

And in any case, do we not owe everything we now enjoy to the victory achieved in 1918?

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Nick Robinson's documentary on immigration

On the whole I found Nick Robinson's documentary on immigration rather lightweight.

However there are two statements that need to be challenged.

Right at the start of the programme he said "We are a nation of immigrants" and later said "Britain has a long history of migration".

Recently I read A House Unlocked by Penelope Lively.  It is a history of her family home, a Lutyensesque house in the west country.  But it is also a social history of the United Kingdom during the twentieth century.

On page 203 Penelope Lively talks about the arrival here of refugees during the Second World War and says:  "Unemployment was high; this country was already overpopulated and did not have a tradition of immigration".

Nick Robinson tells us we have a long tradition of immigration and indeed we are a nation of immigrants, Penelope Lively says we had no tradition of immigration until the Second World War.

Who is one to believe?

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

I will watch Nick Robinson's documentary on immigration this evening (BBC 2 at 9.30) but I feel I already know what he is going to say.

"On the one hand this, on the other hand that, and notwithstanding a few local difficulties, but broadly we all benefit from immigration."

It would be nice to be proved wrong, but that's how I think it is going to go.

That is the establishment line on immigration and it is not likely Nick Robinson is going to vary it.
I am not by any means a supporter of UKIP, but I thought Nigel Farage talked a lot of sense on the Today programme this morning.

Monday, January 06, 2014

The general election will take place during the centenary of the Gallipoli landings

Ostensibly most of the left, when asked, will say that British involvement in the First World War consisted of "lions led by donkeys".

When scrutinised more carefully however you soon learn that the lefties really think it was a case of "donkeys led by donkeys".

The next four years are not going to be easy for Labour with this attitude in the ascendant.

Duncan Weldon (TUC Senior Economist) says facetiously on Twitter:  "The general election will take place during the centenary of the Gallipoli landings. I now expect this to dominate the debates."

Indeed, it might.

For what it is worth, my own direct ancestor was a stoker on a battleship during the Gallipoli landings.  As a stoker he may have been the lowest of the low, but he was not a donkey.  Duncan Weldon may not care about his reputation, but I do.

Hugh Muir raises an important point

Hugh Muir raises an important point in his article about the timescale of being an immigrant and being an "owner":

If the arrival of the Jamaican immigrants had been with the consent of the majority Hugh Muir's question would not need to be asked.

However, the existence in our society of millions of people whose communities are not legitimate in terms of majority agreement indicates that their position here is problematical.

The fact that Hugh Muir, decades after the arrival of the Jamaicans, still feels the necessity to raise the issue of "belonging" in a column in a national newspaper indicates that all is not well.

Indeed, it could not really be otherwise.

The pro-immigration lobby has always followed a bellicose strategy:  force through immigration despite negative public opinion, shout down any opposition ("racist racist racist"), eventually everyone will get used to the idea.

Unfortunately this strategy has not worked - majority public opinion is still resolutely opposed to the idea of inward migration, and in the eyes of most people an "immigrant" is anyone from a migrant community, whether they were born here or not.

Immigration (massive immigration) without the consent of the majority has been (indeed, is) a huge injustice.

As Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Madiba Mandela have said in the past Mr Muir, a society built on an injustice cannot endure.

Ed Miliband is not the son of an immigrant

In his article on the Labour party and immigration Mark Ferguson makes a glaring mistake:

Ed Miliband is not the son of an immigrant.

He is the son of a refugee (or asylum seeker as they are now known).

The way in which asylum seekers morph seamlessly into permanent settlers is one of the abuses of the system that needs to be addressed.

Ralph Miliband should have volunteered to join the Free Belgian Forces in London.  He should have joined in the efforts to liberate Belgium.  And after Belgium was free he should have returned there to help rebuild the country.

Instead what seems to have happened is that all sorts of strings were pulled to finesse his establishment here.

That cannot be right.

PS I feel justified in referring to this case study as it has been offered up to us for scrutiny by the Miliband family.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is quite right, the BBC does have a duty to "moderate" its coverage of immigration:

Under Equalities legislation the BBC, like all organisations in receipt of public funds, has a legal duty to promote a positive view of immigration, regardless of the actual truth.

Indeed they must tell lies and keep telling lies if they want to keep their public funding.

This is why the ordinary people (the electorate) are not being told what is happening.

Enoch Powell was right

On a blind test a prominent politician agrees Enoch Powell was right:

In the article Sunder Katwala, Director of the left-leaning thinktank British Future, having previously said Enoch Powell was "best left to history", breaks this self-imposed restriction and gives advice (unsolicited I suspect) to UKIP vis-a-vis Enoch Powell.

Later Sunder Katwala tells Cambridge law student Richard Nicholl, via the medium of Twitter, that the United Kingdom does not have a problem with inter-communal relations.

If everything in the garden is rosy one wonders why it is necessary to have such unusually proscriptive Equalities legislation including the self-defeating public sector duty (sic).

British Future is known for anodyne surveys asking bland questions (of the "don't you agree it's nice to be nice" variety) and then drawing sweeping unfounded conclusions from the data.

They could very easily test the level of integration in the United Kingdom by asking a representative sample when they last entertained (as friends, in their homes) someone from a different community.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

The Great War poses a threat to Labour

It was inevitable that Labour would have to take a position on the commemoration of the First World War, although Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt comes across as rather intemperate:

The Great War poses a threat to Labour in that left-wing pacifism and internationalism cannot be integrated into the narrative (not without a lot of clunky and unconvincing revisions - eg Tristram Hunt's assertion in the article that pre-1914 Germany was "fascist", an ideology that did not come into being until the post-war period).

For the Conservatives on the other hand all they have to do is allow the centennial anniversaries to unfold one by one and waves of national pride will wash through the country, culminating in the victory anniversary in 2018.

Conservatives simply have to allow the narrative to be told.

Socialists need to revise the narrative, so that the Blackadder spin is what the public sees.  This is going to be a tough challenge.  Also one that risks branding them as unpatriotic.

Recently I read Tell England by Ernest Raymond.  Published in 1922, it became very popular and has been continuously in print ever since.  One cannot imagine an account of the war that is more at variance to the "lions led by donkeys" theme.

The novel is strongly autobiographical, and is obviously a memorial in written form of his friendship with two companions (all of them aged in their early twenties) and the deaths of his two friends at Gallipoli.  Often sentimental, the story is half a school story and half a war story.  Sometimes the author goes off on incomprehensible excursions, as if he were more concerned with giving a complete record of his friends, rather than maintaining narrative drive. 

The book contains many passages that are homoerotic, and the story can be viewed as an unconsummated love story.  Homoeroticism was of course one of the major thematic experiences of the Great War, and the whole conflict can be seen as an episode of barely repressed sexual longing (perhaps that was why so many combatants did not want to talk about it when they returned to civilian life?).  This sexual aspect may well be one of the national "discoveries" of the next four years.

"...there are three things old England has learnt to make:  ships, and poetry, and boys."

"Just look around... isn't our Tommy the most lovable creature in the world".

"And your friendship is a more beautiful whole, as things are.  Had there been no war, you'd have left school and gone your different roads, till each lost trace of the other.  It's always the same.  But, as it is, the war has held you in a deepening intimacy till the end.  It's perfect."

Friday, January 03, 2014

Richard Dunstan on the Fabian Society website

Rather unworldly article on zero hours contracts by Richard Dunstan on the Fabian Society website:

It reminds me of that episode of Father Ted when confronted with a massive milk-float-conveyed time-bomb the best the Fathers can come up with is to say another mass.

Wishing and hoping is not going to fundamentally change the value the market places on the price of labour.

Nor will Owen Jones-style daydreams of the 1970s:

The only realistic way to quickly and permanently raise the value of labour is to reduce the supply.

Disingenuous amendment

IpsosMori graph subjected to disingenuous amendment by BrightBlue twerp Jonathan Algar:

It is perfectly possible Mr Algar to be concerned about national issues even though one is not affected by them on a local level.

For instance, I am concerned about GM crops although none of the farmers in my area are growing them.

I am concerned about abortion although I am unable to actually give birth myself.

I am concerned about the high prevalence of public school twerps in the Conservative party although my local Association does not (to my knowledge) have any.

BrightBlue indeed.

We've seen your sort before Mr Algar.
Can we find out please exactly which teachers have been showing comedy films in their classes instead of teaching?

We pay these people to teach, not watch lefty comedies like Blackadder.

Is it unreasonable to ask for these lazy teachers to be sacked?
Very thought-provoking article by John Blake in the Times Educational Supplement on some of the myths that need to be debunked surrounding the First World War:

As an aside on the Battle of the Somme, General Ludendorff in his memoirs said that the British Army fought the Germans to a standstill at the Somme.

Also worth reading is Michael Gove's article:

How out of touch the political elite are

It is unusual that Keith Vaz MP should go to an airport to welcome Romanian and Bulgarian migrants.

I suppose he was thinking that even a downmarket airport such as Luton would have a VIP lounge with cushions of sufficient quality to comfort his over-sensitive posterior.

However, if he wanted to see the flood of destitute arrivals from the Balkans should he not have gone to Victoria coach station?

Or the Channel ports where the Balkan migrants arrive in beaten-up old jalopies, having driven across Europe?

Flying is for the Balkan elite, not the peasants.

But does this not illustrate how out of touch the political elite are - they think migrants are going to be flying in on first class, paid for by expenses.

Stop the inward flow of cheap labour

At last Polly Toynbee is seeing what many people have warned about for years:

Unlimited supply of labour will drive down the price of labour until it is at third world levels.

Bad though the situation is, it is going to get far worse over the next ten years unless action is taken.

However the solution of the left (the fatuous call for employers to "pay a living wage") is unrealistic to the point of dishonesty.

The unscrupulous employers are not obeying employment law NOW, why on earth should we suppose that they would obey new laws.  And is this not a typical Blairite attitude - let's just pass another law and the problem will be solved.  Laws can of course be enforced by an all-embracing surveillance culture armed with draconian powers, but I can't see this happening under any of the available options for the next government.

The only practical solution is to stop the inward flow of cheap labour.

Stop it completely and stop it immediately.

Then as the economy grows employers will have to offer higher wages and other incentives (company pensions, longer holidays, continuing training and development, subsidised share options, company cars, subsidised season tickets etc) to attract workers to their companies.

And if they don't offer theses incentives they must either automate (which will happen anyway), move overseas (and good riddance to bad employers), or go out of business.

We know this will happen as this is exactly what did happen in the post-1945 period when labour was scarce and before open-door immigration began to undermine the United Kingdom wages structure.

And on a wider political note, is it not slightly alarming that Ed Miliband seems to be leading his party towards adopting a prices and incomes policy?  I thought that idea was completely discredited?  And please don't suggest stronger unions - we all know the sort of bullying and blackmail that will lead to.

Thursday, January 02, 2014


It was inevitable that this sort of breakdown would occur in Northern Ireland:

You cannot compromise with democracy.

If the majority do not rule then everyone is living in a variation of tyranny.

The symbols are important because they symbolise the wider situation (I hope that is not a tautology).

Our duty is clear - support the democratic will of the majority.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Seamus Milne and the rest of the pro-immigration lobby still don't get it.

You can have as much immigration as you want Mr Milne.  You can have tens of millions of immigrants brought into this country.  All you have to do is put it up front in a political manifesto and ask the people to vote for it.

No democratic mandate and none of the immigration is legitimate.