Thursday, January 31, 2008

Poor Africa

While Kenya is in the headlines at the moment there is a continuing tragedy in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. According to The International Rescue Committee there are still 45,000 people dying every month in Congo, despite the civil war supposedly ending 5 years ago.

Over 5,000,000 people have died since the war began in 1998. The 45,000 deaths a month now are due to the collapse of the infastructure, health services, malnutrition and disease. There is also ongoing violence, torture and widespread rape. And yet there is little to be heard about this from the liberal left. Elsewhere I have posted about Zimbabwe and repeat, that the pinko liberal politically correct brigade seem to always turn a blind eye to black against black violence. Where is the hatred towards the African murderers from the 'rentamob' that turn out in their thousands if a GI runs over an Iraqi civilian in a road accident in Baghdad? For that matter where are Geldoff and Bono? Oh yes, they will be busy pointing their fingers at the evil West while making a few more millions!

One of the less popular reasons to despise the EU has always been the damage it causes to the economies of developing countries, African countries being a prime example. The only way to stop the continuing rape of African countries by despots is to ensure that these countries can feed themselves, and that means trade not aid, free trade not 'fairtrade'. Until then the liberal left can wallow in their hatred of western civilisation, get a nice warm glow from turning up at a huge fundraising concert at Wembley, and ignore the fact that they are as much a part of the problem as Mugabe and the other African despots their 'consciences' help to keep in power.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Snouts in the Trough

The pigs are wallowing in muck again, this time it's Tory MP Derek Conway. Is stupidity the most important qualification for being an MP in modern Britain? Apparently the answer is yes, and it was perhaps a superfluous question. Don't forget that nice Mr Osborne, Tory prat for Tatton, is also being investigated by the authorities over £500,000 donated to help him run his office, some bloody office that must be!

Now I am not a one to slag off MPs, or others elected to public office, who employ family members to work for them. If a wife, or another relative, is qualified to do a job on your behalf then you would be a fool not to employ her. You only have to consider the backstabbing and plotting that seems to motivate too many in politics to conclude that employing a politico carries a certain risk. Now, unless your marriage is rocky in the first place, or your family is the kind that leaves horses heads in rivals' beds or shoots people when they are eating spaghetti, then employing a family member is a much safer bet.

However, when a politician employs a son who is doing a full-time degree course nearly 300 miles from his constituency, and there is no record of him lifting a finger on behalf of his 'employer', then that stinks and is a clear misuse of public funds. A 10 day suspension from parliament is no punishment whatsoever, a parliamentary by-election should be on the horizon.

If anybody still thinks that life would be better under the Tories then think again.

Or is all this sleaze designed to justify taxpayer funding of political parties?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ieper or Ypres

We are off this afternoon to Hull, from where we will spend the night eating in Langans on a P&O ferry, then gently snoozing in a cabin en route to Zeebrugge. We return overnight on Sunday.

We should have been in Ieper for Remembrance Day last year, but due to the NHS attempting to finish off my mother-in-law posted here, we had to postpone that trip. If you have not visited Ieper you really must. It is one of the most evocative cities in the world. The playing of the Last Post by volunteer buglers from the Last Post Association, every night under the Menin Gate, brings a lump to your throat no matter how many times you attend.

Tomorrow our mate Paul Nuttall, who is a researcher in Brussels for the ID Group, will be joining us in Ieper for a hearty meal of Flemish stew in Vivaldi on the Grote Markt, no doubt washed down with fine Belgian beers. We will spend the rest of our trip visiting the many local First World War sights.

Flanders really does bring home the cruelty of war, and the incredible sacrifices of our forefathers. We must never forget.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Barack Obama

Here is an interesting look at the view the outside world has of Barack Obama. It is written by Alvaro Vargas Llosa of The Independent Institute.

Now, I have tried a few of the tests on American websites that predict how you would/should vote in the US election, using the candidates currently in the race. Usually I have been told my natural leaning is for somebody I've never heard of, who probably wants to abolish government. The last one I did told me I was a Huckerbee supporter, perhaps I hadn't slept well or had a hangover that day! Any Americans reading this will be pleased to know that I am thoroughly British and these were merely academic exercises.

For some weeks now I, like many, have had a strong feeling that there will be a Democrat in the White House come November. Consequently I find the Democratic race more interesting at the moment and have to admit that Obama is an intriguing candidate. He has yet, thankfully, to play 'the race card' and seems genuinely to be a man who will not constantly harp on about perceived injustices from hundreds of years ago. He is also a Christian who spent some time in Indonesia when younger, where he attended a Muslim school, few Christian schools in Indonesia I suspect, but an interesting experience nontheless for a candidate in 2008. And he does come over as less 'statist' and authoritarian than Mrs Clinton. As with most elections these days I look forward to more policy being introduced into the race than there currently is.

For now all I can say is please God, if there is to be a Democrat President anybody but Clinton II.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Passport Renewals and ID Cards

NO2ID are now asking anybody who has recently applied for their first UK passport, and been interrogated at one of the IPS interrogation centres, to get in touch with them so that they can monitor the situation.

The interrogation centres are starting to open although the national ID database is not yet ready and people are not being fingerprinted, nor are ID cards yet being issued. It also seems that not all first time applicants are being interrogated.

For details on renewing your passport early to beat the introduction of ID cards please visit Renew For Freedom or NO2ID .

Newcastle United Circus

Newcastle's Last Successful Captain (on left).

Throughout this week the nation has been bored witless by the nonsense that is Newcastle United FC. As a dedicated football fan myself I have always been appalled at the constant hype around this under-achieving outfit. Then, this morning, I realised how the club mirrors the new Britain. Here are the similarities:

In the early '90s 20,000 was a good attendance at a game. The crowd (population) has now swelled to 50,000 per game. But they all claim to have been loyal fans for decades and decades.

They won a couple of FA cups in the 1950s and a Fairs Cup (UEFA Cup, now defunct) in the 1960s. That doesn't make them a successful club in 2008 any more than we can claim to have an empire, which we lost in the same era in which they were last successful.

The good thing is the only way Newcastle United get into Europe these days is on a booze cruise.

Their owner claims to be an ordinary man but he, and the club, rip off the mug supporters on a daily basis but the mugs are happy to keep stumping up and making rich men even richer while the club becomes ever more a laughing stock. Bit like our government.

When anything of import happens, like siging a new player or manager, or even sacking one, the fans turn up and turn their stadium into a vulgar, makeshift shrine and there is a mawkish public display of emotion.

The most worrying thing though is that Kevin Keegan is now being hailed as the second coming of the Messiah. Please don't tell me that Tony Blair is sniffing around safe Labour seats for the next election! After all, Blair did claim to have regularly sat in the Gallowgate End at Newcastle in the 1960s, except that it was then a standing terrace.

But to sum it up in one word-SPIN.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Brown & Hain

This story really says it all about New Labour and Old Socialist Brown. Brown thinks it's acceptable to excuse the vile Work and Pensions Minister by declaring him incompetent. Remember the days when incompetence itself was enough to sack a government minister?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Donating Organs

Here is a link to the Libertarian Alliance press release on the government's intention to allow us to have organs whipped out, hopefully after death, unless we specifically refuse to donate them when still living.

I am happy to donate after death and am registered as a prospective donor, I am very concerned, however, at this move by the government. After recent experiences with relatives using the NHS I have even been wondering whether I should think twice about donating at all.

Below is a note that my wife has fired off to a news outlet about this issue:

Anyone who supports removing organs from the dead unless they opt out should recall Alder Hey Childrens Hospital, where the organs of dead children were removed and stored without permission (in some cases despite the express refusal of the parents). Thymus glands, taken from children during heart surgery, were also given to a drug company for research in return for financial donations. Your loved ones could suffer the same fate if this scheme is implemented.

If anybody still had lingering suspicions that there may be some kind of morality in New Labour, this surely proves that there is absoolutely none.

ID Cards

Here is a link to the BBC's report today on the government's latest pronouncements on its despised ID card scheme.

Despite massive public opposition, led by NO2ID and political parties such as the UK Independence Party , the government is still going ahead. What they are now saying is that their 'voluntary scheme', whereby you have to have an ID card if you want a passport, will have to run for several years before they can pass legislation to make them compulsory.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nuclear Power? Yes please!

Here is a storming, for a change, BBC report on the government's proposal to build more nuclear power plants.

Local people around the Sizewell plant sing the praises of living beside a nuclear power station, and none of them glow in the dark! How refreshing compared to the doom and gloom merchants who have been claiming there will be a disaster soon, then it doesn't happen and probably never will. The green environmental luddites who whine on about global warming being man-made always remind me of the end of the world sect in Monty Python who prepare for the end, regularly, only to be disappointed.
And guess what? Here's an article on UKIP's policy on nuclear power, every bit as sensible.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It Just Isn't Cricket!

Even the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website describes Zimbabwe as a basket case and Mugabe is quite obviously responsible. However, I cannot agree with talk of banning the Zimbabwe cricket team from touring England in 2009, as Miliband Senior seems to be calling for today .

If the government, the United Nations and assorted pan-African organisations haven't got the guts to deal with Mugabe and his rancid government, then don't pass the buck to our sportsmen and expect the English Cricket Board to do your dirty work. Will this government be urging a boycott of the Olympics when they roll into China? After all, the human rights abuses and lack of true democracy in China make it just as bad, if not worse by most standards, as Zimbabwe. And is Zimbabwe really any worse than most African states who we continue to deal with?

It's interesting that the current government, containing previous boycotters, such as Peter Hain, now appear powerless to act when in a position of political power. They boycotted everything South African during apartheid but seem incapable of action in the case of Zimbabwe. Perhaps they are only motivated when they see white people as the oppressors of black people but are blind, or just don't care, when it is black oppressing black and/or white.

It's the Zimbabwe government to blame, not their cricketers.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Does Tha Speak The Lingo

The Skills Secretary, John Denham, has now decided that having huge chunks of the population unable to speak English is harmful to community relations. In order to improve community relations he is now advocating 'free' English lessons to immigrants who cannot speak a reasonable level of English.

Now forgive me, but only a few years back if you had the temerity to state that, and suggest a level of English was desirable for immigrants, you were branded a xenophobe at best. I never saw it as morally wrong to question the wisdom of official documents and notices being printed in numerous languages, I always felt that it was unhelpful and divisive, a common sense position I thought.

When an organisation I worked for some years ago decided to print introductory leaflets in numerous languages, I questioned the wisdom and was told it was so that we could be 'more accessible'. They didn't grasp the irony that when the recipients of said leaflets rang for assistance nobody on the switchboard, or in the organisation, could speak other than English. Massive amounts of money wasted on an empty gesture.

Now I accept that not all who come and settle here will be able to speak an acceptable level of English initially, but for anybody wishing to settle here a certain level should be a condition of entry. Some people, from any background, may meet and marry somebody from overseas, as friends of mine have done, and poor English should be no bar to their entry. However, the emphasis should be on them, from their own resources, improving their English.

When the government talks about 'free' English lessons they mean free to the recipient, not free to you and me who pay through our taxes. Where there is a real need, such as genuine refugess who are unable to speak English, then let voluntary organisations provide a service, great practice for students before going away teaching English on their gap years.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Three Cheers for Big Knickers

Here's a great story about a masssive pair of knickers being used to put out a house fire.

Now all those whining PC wallies like Prime Minister Gordon Brown who think smokers, porkers and others with 'self-inflicted' ailments should no longer be treated on the NHS, might like to think how much Mrs Marsey, being a porker, saved the NHS. She said herself that her daughter's skimpy knickers would never have put out the flames.

So three cheers for £4.99 parachute knickers size 18-20, better than any fire extinguisher. Put on weight and save lives and property!

Sinister Groups or Glorified Think Tanks?

Recently I was asked if I had come across the Club of Rome, which I hadn't, but I have found their website.

There has also been interest on the internet and elsewhere, to the point of obsession in some quarters, with a group called Common Purpose.

Now I am naturally quite a sceptical person and don't see conspiracies around every corner, but I am intrigued when people do see conspiracies in what may be innocent groups or events. I have had a brief look at these websites and, while being dubious about them from a political and moral perspective, have yet to discover anything truly sinister or conspiratorial. Others may disagree.