Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I hope you all have a great time tonight seeing in the New Year and that 2011 brings you peace, prosperity and happiness.

The highlight of my year has to be the Papal Visit to the UK and being in Birmingham for the Mass celebrating the Beatification of Cardinal Newman. I was fortunate to attend Mass when John Paul II visited Manchester in the 1980s and in 2007 attended a general audience in Rome, so I count myself very fortunate.

The low point had to be the general election. It showed what a sham our electoral system really is. Under the current FPTP system smaller parties, representing a sizeable proportion of the electorate, are effectively neutered. The coming by-election in Oldham on January 13 will further prove the point with 10 candidates, 7 of them being no hopers who will have thrown their £500 deposits down the drain, plus the cost of other campaign materials, for what? Well done again the Lib Dems for breaking with tradition and cynically calling the by-election at Christmas. I suspect you will be given a thrashing for your cynicism on January 13th and despite Woolas's stupidity Labour will walk in.

Other than that, apart from the house flooding in May and an earthquake rocking us before Christmas, it's been a good and healthy 2010. God bless, and let's hope that families with loved ones in the armed forces welcome them all home safely soon.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

MPs' Expenses-The Slow Burning Scandal

So it's been disclosed that 30 years ago Mrs Thatcher was aware that there was something dodgy going on with MPs' expenses and that some could end up being prosecuted. Shame it took all this time to eventually get a few of them done. No doubt the Coalition will eventually take credit for cleaning up British politics, which they haven't and never will.

It's amazing how quickly they can up income tax, fuel duty and VAT. Or bring in ever more oppressive 'anti-terror' legislation to nudge us even closer to a police state. It didn't take them long to declare war on Iran and Afghanistan either did it? But clean up their own muck? 30 years for that one, and we still don't know the half of it.

The problem today is that morality has gone from public life. As a nation we have become obsessed with money and trinkets. The Trafford Centre, Brent Cross and Meadowhall are the new cathedrals and computers are the news electronic tags, keeping kids imprisoned in their bedooms for hours on end rather than out playing and socialising with other kids. The world begins and ends with number one.

Community is dying. Neighbours no longer mix socially, the most is a nodded hello as they head to, or home from the office. The local pub, once the centre of the community, is dying or dead. Where are the local community organisations that used to thrive? They now consist, at best, of one or two elderly, hardy stalwarts trying to survive with ever dwindling memberships.

We all know about falling church attendance. Thankfully in the big cities many churches, such as my old church in inner city Manchester, are thriving with full pews thanks to the presence of immigrants from Africa and Eastern Europe. But the rot has set in and contribues to the rotting away of our national fabric.

MPs expenses are a sign that the whole nation is in a sorry state, from the top down, and it has been decaying for many a decade. If anybody thinks that morality is not the main contributory factor we only have to look at the Royal Family, who supposedly give us continuity and stability, to see that dysunctional families with single parents and broken relationships don't only exist on sink estates. And if the sink estates are a sad sign of the times, equally so are the royal estates. 

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thank You England

Our cricketers have done something to delight us all on a grey, damp December day. They have walloped Australia to retain The Ashes. Thank you, and I can start looking forward to the new cricket season with confidence now.

Probably best not to even think about the football World Cup.

Proud to be a Roman Catholic

I read yesterday's Telegraph very late and there was this superb article by Cristina Odone. Any article that begins with an attack on the hariden that is the Guardian's Polly Toynbee has to be good.

The gist of the piece is that freedom to practice christianity in this country is slowly being eroded, and the Coalition are doing nothing after Dave abandoned his promise to scrap the Human Rights Act. Furthermore, all over the world christians are being persecuted and murdered and nobody bats an eyelid. The third strand of her piece that so impressed me was how humourless the militant secularists are.

I could imagine nothing worse than having Toynbee and Dawkins round for dinner, truly the new Puritans. Whenever they, or Tatchell and others, appear with their obsessive anti-christianity, I am struck by their lack of humility, their complete lack of tolerance and their downright nastiness. If my parish priest hectored and bullied the way these people do, I would look for another church.

There was a campaign launched a few months ago called Not Ashamed. I think having such a defensive name was a big mistake. Proud to be Christian would have been a much more positive name for a campaign of that kind.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Fockers, Smoking and Chateau Neuf du Pape

Christmas is fantastic, I love it. Thanks to t'internet and Skype it is easy to keep in touch with family and friends be they in Arabia, New Zealand, Wood Green or anywhere else in the world. But last night we had good friends round for a raclette which is a great way of partying, and a bit safer than a fondue when too much wine has been imbibed.

Our friends Netty and Steve still smoke, Netty is on the fags and Steve the Cuban cigars. Although we gave up smoking three years ago we feel it inhospitable to deny them the right to smoke, or worse to force them out onto the freezing balcony, so the ashtrays came out and they were invited to partake, which they did.

This morning we came down the stairs and found the house smelling lovely and fresh. We didn't have to wash the curtains, neither did we have to spend five hours washing hair and clothes because we stank of tobacco. So, everybody feeling surprisingly well after gallons of Chateau Neuf du Pape, cognac and single malt the night before, we waved our guests goodbye after a hearty breakfast. Then we set out for an afternoon stroll.

We set off for a stroll but ended up at the 3-00 showing of The Little Fockers in Lancaster. Just the kind of froth to watch on a soggy, cold Christmas afternoon. And it was packed, just like the pictures used to be in the olden days. They even had trouble with the projector which delayed the start just like days of yore.

A good hot chilli tonight. Wine? Not sure.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Three Cheers for the Bishop of Winchester

It's good to hear the Bishop of Winchester criticising the Human Rights Act for leading to increasing discrimination against Christians. The Telegraph article covering the Bishop's comments also attacked David Cameron:
The critique of the Human Rights Act is likely to fuel the criticism of David Cameron for failing to abide by a pre-election pledge he made to replace the controversial European rules with a home-grown Bill of Rights.
Yet another pre-election promise broken by the Coalition.

The Pope's visit to Britain was a huge success for all of us who are Roman Catholic, but equally heart warming was the hugely positive reaction to the Holy Father by non-catholics and non-believers. Yes there was a tiny minority of anti-Catholic bigots using the paedophile scandal as cover for their anti-christian bigotry, but they were a tiny minority. The church has admitted wrong in that scandal and now has the most stringent systems in place of any organisation in the world to minimise problems like that in the future. Where are the militants with their blanket condemnation of thousands of Catholic priests guilty or not, when paedophiles are exposed in other occupations such as teaching, nursery nursing and many more?

I recently heard interviews with two comedians who were asked why their attacks on religion in their comedy routines only included christianity not others, such as Islam. Their response was that they know about christianity, they know nothing of Islam. That despite one of them, in an earlier interview I'd heard, stating that for his latest stand up show he had had to swot up on christianity and the New Testament to write his material. Obviously can't bother to swot up on Islam and the Koran!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

UKIP, Hatred, Annabelle Fuller and Nikki Sinclaire MEP

A particularly nasty pro-UKIP blog has recently targeted me again for attack. I won't name it as I don't want to publicise it. But it got me thinking.

Just over two years ago Annabelle Fuller, a woman I have little time for incidentally, was targeted by elements within UKIP. She faced a particularly venomous campaign of vilification which goes beyond political banter. I believe her accusations to be the truth as a former colleague of mine in the Libertarian Party was present when she received some of her threats. It is reported comprehensively in this report from the Independent.

More recently Nikki Sinclaire MEP has come under similar fire. You can find links to my reports of Nikki's victimisation by elements within UKIP by following the labels below this post. You can also visit Nikki's blog.

Now I would suggest that Annabelle Fuller, long time friend of Nigel Farage MEP, and Nikki Sinclaire have little in common, indeed nothing in common. But both have been subjected to vile attacks by elements within the UK Independence Party, as have people associated with Nikki. There are few coincidences in politics.

Food for thought?

That's it, time for a mince pie.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Christmas

Happy Christmas to you all, wherever you may be. Let's hope it's a time, if only for a few days, of peace and goodwill for all people.

I know of one family who have been reunited with husband and father just home from Afghanistan. Let's pray that those still abroad have a wonderful Christmas and come home safely, preferably all of them and sooner rather than later.

Christmas is a time for family and friends, good food and wine. So wherever your family and friends may be, I hope you enjoy their company, or at least get to speak to them and share messages of goodwill.

 But remember too that it is first and foremost a celebration of the birth of Christ, and that is the great message of joy we are celebrating whether with friends and family, or spending Christmas alone.

So again, Happy Christmas and God Bless.

Why not visit Catholic TV , especially if you can't get to Christmas Mass.

Please don't forget to click on the banner above if you would like to make a donation to the SSAFA Christmas appeal.

More on UKIP's Homophobia

Many people associated with Nikki Sinclaire are now facing what UKIP does best, lies and smears on the internet. You see UKIP under Nigel Farage ran faster into the sewer than a rat up a drainpipe. They spend so much time attacking people like Nikki and her colleagues that they forget to do the basics, such as bothering to register a defence against a legal action against them. It's a bit like Dad's Army without the humour. Here's some media coverage of Nikki's legal victory against UKIP, Farage and Bloom:

A former UK Independence Party MEP, who represents West Midlands in the European Parliament, has won her claim that the party discriminated against her because she was a lesbian.

Nikki Sinclaire MEP had the whip removed by Ukip leader Nigel Farage in January after she refused to sit with members of the far-right Italian party Lega Nord, claiming that some of its members were homophobic.

The Eurosceptic party made no defence when she lodged a discrimination suit against it at Exeter Employment Tribunal and a default judgment was made in her favour.
But Ukip said it had failed to lodge a response to the suit due to an administrative error and that an application for the judgment to be set aside had been filed.

The judgment, on which Mr Farage and Godfrey Bloom MEP were both listed as respondents, found that: "The claim of sexual orientation discrimination is well founded".

Ms Sinclaire, who now sits as an independent, said: "I'm very saddened by how this has all turned out. I have been trying to work for an out of court settlement but at no point did Ukip come to me and say: 'Right, shall we talk about this?'

"I feel betrayed by the party. When I joined Ukip in 1994 it certainly wasn't a career move. I did my bit in building Ukip up to second in a national election and they have repaid me with discrimination."

Ms Sinclaire claims that Mr Bloom, MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, called her "a queer" as she passed him in the hallway of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

She said she had made an official complaint and the alleged incident was being investigated by Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament.

Mr Bloom denied making the comment and said he was unaware of any investigation. The European Parliament could not confirm whether an investigation was under way.
Mr Bloom said: "I've received absolutely nothing from the European Union, the President, the Parliament or anybody else about this. The first I heard of it was when she filed [the discrimination suit] so I really can't add anything."

He said he was normally made aware of complaints within 24 hours. In November he was ejected from the Parliamentary chamber after making a Nazi jibe while a German MEP was speaking.

Ms Sinclaire said it was "ridiculous" she had been asked to join the Europe of Freedom and Democracy bloc, which includes Lega Nord.

She said: "You would not expect a black MEP to sit next to a Ku Klux Klan member so why would you expect me to sit next to someone who wanted me dead?" 
In their statement Ukip said: "Because of a simple administrative error, the date for filing a response to Ms Sinclaire's action was regrettably missed.
"The Respondents have now filed an application to set aside the judgment. The Respondents have always intended to defend this case vigorously and the application is accompanied by a robust response challenging almost every aspect of her case, including the Tribunal's jurisdiction."

A remedy hearing, where compensation may be awarded, will take place on December 29.
From the Birmingham Mail.

I suppose UKIP could have a new slogan: "How to lose friends and alienate people". Their small minded vindictiveness knows no bounds it seems.

Pope Benedict XVI's Thought For The Day

Following is the Holy Father's message from today's BBC Radio 4 Thought For The Day:

Recalling with great fondness my four-day visit to the United Kingdom last September, I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. Our thoughts turn back to a moment in history when God's chosen people, the children of Israel, were living in intense expectation. They were waiting for the Messiah that God had promised to send, and they pictured him as a great leader who would rescue them from foreign domination and restore their freedom.

God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfils them. The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place - he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history. And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross. And while he was born in poverty and obscurity, far from the centres of earthly power, he was none other than the Son of God. Out of love for us he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability, and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life, to a share in the life of God himself. As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us, and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life.

Dear Friends from Scotland, England, Wales and indeed every part of the English-speaking world, I want you to know that I keep all of you very much in my prayers during this Holy Season. I pray for your families, for your children, for those who are sick, and for those who are going through any form of hardship at this time. I pray especially for the elderly and for those who are approaching the end of their days. I ask Christ, the light of the nations, to dispel whatever darkness there may be in your lives and to grant to every one of you the grace of a peaceful joyful Christmas.
May God bless all of you!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vince Cable, The Lib Dems and the Coalition

When I heard that a coalition had been cobbled together after the general election I was concerned. Senior Lib Dems, from Paddy Ashdown to Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and the rest have that patronising smugness that comes from being in a party for years that has had all the answers, so they think, without ever having power or responsibility. Now they are in power we can all see how totally juvenile and irresponsible they are.

Don't get me wrong, I was surprised that the Telegraph should stoop so low by sending in undercover reporters. But for crying out loud, how long have Cable, Baker and others caught in the sting been involved in politics?  Donkeys years, and the clowns have still not learnt the most basic principle of 'need to know'. It's no use Cable accusing the Telegraph of wrecking the MP-constituent relationship, he was the one who opened his big gob and hearing excerpts of his remarks on the radio, it sounded to me like he did it to sound ever so macho and powerful to impress a couple of young women. Why else would he boast about being able to bring down the government if he so wished? Or that he had declared war on Rupert Murdoch?

Then like all politicians who've been rumbled he (Cable) comes out with the ritual apology. Again what has he apologised for? For what he said or for being found out? The man is obviously an idiot which makes Clegg and Cameron even bigger idiots for making him Business Secretary.

Human life works on networks, family being the primary network. I may criticise members of my family, but woebetide anybody else who does. Then I may criticise friends, but would defend them against others being critical, then I may criticise my party and so on radiating outwards. Cable and his colleagues have broken a fundamental principle. Namely loyalty. Of course we all know that members of the Coalition will not agree 100% with what is done, no group of thinking people ever will. But make your criticism within and constructively, not to giggling girls in an office in Twickenham.

Likewise freedom of speech has a limit, responsibility being the limiting factor. When you join a group, a club, a party, a company or any other group you have a responsibility to it. When speaking on behalf of it you have a responsibility to toe the line. Even when 'off duty' if you are recognisable as part of a group you still have a responsibility to it. Cable and his ilk don't seem to appreciate that, which is why they haven't won power and don't deserve what power they currently have been gifted.

But then again, the Lib Dems are the ones who moved the writ in Oldham East going against the accepted convention that the party previously holding the seat moves the writ. The Lib Dems are the ones who turned the by-election into a joke by holding it on January 13th with Christmas neutralising any serious campaigning.

Talk about holding the electorate in contempt, the Lib Dems are the masters.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nikki Sinclaire MEP versus UKIP

Many congratulations to Nikki Sinclaire on winning her claim against the UK Independence Party on the grounds of Sexual Orientation Discrimination with her claim being described by Employment Judge Harper as 'well founded'. A Remedy Hearing to determine which sanction will be taken will take place on the 29th December 2010.

Ms. Sinclaire claimed her treatment by UKIP was partly due to her refusal to sit in the European Parliament with the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) Group which shares an allegiance with UKIP due to her misgivings about the 'offensive' ideology of Liga Nord and other extreme right-wing parties in the coalition. She states after her refusal, a campaign of intimidation followed from UKIP members, including Nigel Farage and Godfrey Bloom which resulted in the whip being removed and her being prevented from standing for the UK Independence Party as a parliamentary candidate in the General Election without any disciplinary procedure. Furthermore, other UKIP MEPs who refused to sit with EFD including Mike Nattrass were still allowed to represent UKIP which she believes is an example of the deep rooted homophobia within the party.

Additionally, Ms. Sinclaire who is openly gay was subjected to discrimination by senior party members such as Godfrey Bloom who labelled her a 'queer'.

The Remedy Hearing will be held at Exeter Employment Tribunal at 10.30am. Nikki states, 'I am extremely pleased with the tribunal’s decision. The treatment I received from UKIP is a sad indictment of how politics in the UK has not kept up in the 21st century. I have as much right as everyone else to express my beliefs and ask others to support my views. I should not have to suffer from such behaviour'.

Nikki is a brave fighter against the European Union and deserves respect not only for that, but for her determination and courage generally. I was her campaign manager in the general election and witnessed the constant hard work and long hours she puts in to her campaigns. Unlike most senior UKIP members Nikki also connects with the electorate who warm to her as soon as they meet her.

As a side effect of this, and other illiberal policies recently adopted by them, I hope UKIP now stop describing themselves as 'libertarian'.

Why not visit Nikki's blog.

Ice, Snow and Earthquakes

This global warming eh? Weeks of ice and snow, average temperatures in the last couple of years have fallen and we are in the coldest December since records began.

Then around 11 00pm last night I turned on a tap in the bathroom and the house rumbled. I thought it must have been air in the pipes or something, but after the house flooding in May we went around each floor checking for leaks or another flood. Nothing.

This morning we saw the news and it had been an earthquake measuring 3.6 on the Richter Scale apparently. It was centred on Coniston, about 20 miles north of us in the Lake District. No damage fortunately it seems and  more importantly no injuries.

What with people at my beloved's workplace going down with flu and/or the Norovirus, and the weather killing off the sprout harvest all we need is a spot of pestilence to make it a really biblical Christmas.

The arrogance of man is such that we think we have power over whether or not the Earth survives. I suggest it is rather the other way round. Nature holds all the trump cards, we are at the mercy of nature no matter how supremely powerful we believe we are.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Coalition Going, Going...........

I remember driving back from the Meriden constituency count after the general election as other results were rolling in wondering how long until the next general election. Not long I thought. Then the Coalition was cobbled together and I became convinced that there would be another general election within two years.

It's obvious to anybody who has seen the LIb Dems up close, as I did when I was a local councillor, that they are like spoilt children. They say what suits them at a given time, throw tantrums if they don't get their own way and care little for the voters. When in coalition on local councils they display little sense of collective responsibility, important in councils but crucial to effective national government.

I would like to thank Vince Cable for proving me absolutely correct. But what does it say about David Cameron and the Tories that a clown like Cable is Business Secretary?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ban Christmas Trees In Public Places?

I was wondering when the loonies would get a mention in the media. Thankfully this shower of morons advocating the banning of Christmas trees in public are in Canada rather than Camden or Lambeth. I really did think the Candians had more sense but we live and learn, it seems that PC knobheads are everywhere.

Researchers at Simon Fraser University in Canada have found that non-christians feel less included if they see Christmas trees in public places. So, rather than telling those non-christians to grow a backbone the stupid researchers advocate the restricting of Christmas trees in public.

In these times of financial cutbacks and savings I think it would be a much better idea to abolish social psychology departments in universities throughout the world. Then we could start on media studies departments, economics departments and so on. The list is probably very long.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mail on Sunday and Julian Assange

According to the Mail on Sunday's attack on Julian Assange today I'm a raging lefty. According to that revered organ anybody else who supports him is also a dangerous lefty. I've been called many things in my time but never that, it certainly is a first.

I'm not a dangerous lefty at all, I'm a libertarian or a classical liberal. The WikiLeaks cable releases have merely reinforced my opinion that the state is a monster that plays dangerous games with our lives, lies to us and is ultimately only interested in surviving and expanding. It despises us and I thank Assange and WikiLeaks for exposing the reality. How does that make me a dangerous lefty?

The Mail on Sunday carries a childish attempt to smear Assange claiming he is promiscuous and arrogant. Big deal. It also details the fact that he is wanted in Sweden for refusing to takea test early enough for STDs after allegedly having unprotected sex with two women. Oh no, lock him up!!

What Assange should do is claim political asylum, get a driving ban, go on to kill a little girl then leave the scene of the accident.

Then they try to deny that the persecution of Julian Assange is political.

Visit the Justice for Assange Website.

Peter Kay v Liam Gallagher

I remember seeing the following clip and Peter Kay, already a comedy hero of mine, went even higher in my estimation when I did.

Anybody who calls either Gallagher brother a 'knobhead' deserves to be immortalised, not least as the pair of muppets support Manchester City. I wonder what that makes Carlos Tevez?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Russia, Quatar and Football

So now Sepp Blatter, top man at FIFA, suggests that gays who decide to go to the World Cup when it trundles around Quatar shouldn't indulge in sexual activity. He was being frivolous but as it stands homosexuality is illegal in Quatar, as is alcohol, and Israeli passport holders aren't allowed into the place.

Russia has some of the most racist fans in world football, and some of the worst hooligans too. After years of Soviet Socialism it's infrastructure is crumbling and will not be fit to host a tournament of that size in the foreseeable future.

So when the footballing authorities, UEFA and FIFA claim that they want to eradicate racism, homophobia and hooliganism from football remember that FIFA chose Russia and Quatar to host World Cups.

Also remember that the authorities do not acknowledge footballing countries such as Portugal and Holland as being big enough to host international tournaments without bidding jointly with neighbours. Quatar is half the size of Wales with half the population and not a single stadium this stage.

Apart from a trip to Oslo in 2007 to watch Lyn Oslo I haven't watched professional football since 2005 when the Glazers shafted Manchester United. Sky began the corruption with matches moved to Sunday and Monday nights to suit TV and stuff the fans. Prices still soared despite all the TV cash. Atmospheres at grounds faded as corporate areas displaced real fans and so on and so on.

If you want to still pour your hard earned cash into paying misfits like Wayne Rooney over £200,000 a week, and lining the pockets of the stinking businessmen who are bleeding football dry, then so be it. But personally I work too hard to squander my cash on scum.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Terry Jones and the EDL

Some things don't change, especially in governmnent. Theresa May has proudly announced that US pastor Terry Jones 'has been on her radar' for some time. She's been keeping a beady eye on him and is now considering banning him from visiting the UK. Not very liberal that really.

Terry Jones is the evangelist who threatened to burn copies of the Koran on the anniversary of 9/11. The English Defence League have invited him to address a rally in February. Regardless of what the EDL and Jones believe they should have the right to freee speech. Neither have threatened violence to my knowledge so let them speak, and be supported or condemned by their own words.

An organisation called Hope Not Hate  is leading the campaign to have him banned. I've only had a cursory look at their website but they only seem to condemn extremists on one side, what they regard to be the far-right, and now they are calling Terry Jones a 'pastor of hate'. There is no condemnation of extremist Muslims and their 'preachers of hate'. But that's no surprise, it's yet another front organisation for the far-left who loathe and detest western democracy with a vengeance. Why should an outfit like this, and a woman like Theresa May, dictate who any of us should be allowed to hear speak?

The grounds for banning him are the threat of disorder from opponents. So all anybody has to do now to have somebody banned is to threaten violence if they speak their mind. That's not free speech in my opinion.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Frankie Boyle In Trouble Again

A celebrity slapper, without any apparent talent or ability complains about a very funny comedian and an investigation is launched. Oh, and 50 people, from a population of 70,000,000 complained too.

Frankie Boyle told an admitedly rather dodgy joke and the self-righteously indignant mob goes into overdrive, yet again.The gist of the joke was that Jordan and Peter Andre were in a legal battle over custody of their disabled son, the loser gets to keep him. Tasteless? Probably. Funny? It was to me. If you are easily offended don't watch Frankie Boyle, it's quite simple really.

If all it takes is 50 people and a rough old publicity seeker with big boobs to have a TV comedian investigated by officialdom, we could have some real fun. Personally I find Jordan more offensive than Frankie Boyle. I'm sure I could find 50 others who feel the same, so next time she's on telly it's onto the official complaints line methinks.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Supporting WikiLeaks' Founder Julian Assange

If you want to support Julian Assange in his fight against political persecution then please visit the Justice For Assange website.

Student Riots

I do believe that in extreme circumstances political violence is justifiable, but only as a last resort. I really don't see the tuition fees issue as anything like a last resort.

We've handed sovereignty to Brussels at a frightening rate.Where were the violent protests then? We went to war against Iraq and Afghanistan. Where were the violent protests then?

Education has to be paid for, the question at the heart of these recent demonstrations is: "Who pays for education?". Should it be the taxpayer earning minimum wage? Or the student who benefits from the education system by getting a better paid job? Bearing in mind the repayments will only begin when the graduate starts earning over £21,000, and then at a favourable interest rate.

What has annoyed me these last couple of days is the idiot socialists who have responded in their usual simplistic manner. A Scouser on a radio phone-in today, had to be a Scouser, blamed the police fairly and squarely for the violence. When told that the media coverage suggested otherwise he came out with the usual conspiracy theory about media bias.

Then there was a Scotsman on the same show, Scotland where the tution fees voted on yesterday don't apply, singing the praises of the mob for damaging buildings. When asked how he would feel if protesters attacked his home he didn't have an answer.

There was the usual bull about education being free. How can education ever be free? Would lecturers do the job on a voluntary basis? Would builders build the universities for free? Would companies donate the teaching materials? It's obviously a stupid argument and shows how our education system has failed so many people. Education, healthcare and all the other services currently provided by the government cost money. We, the taxpayers pay. Or the government borrows money and eventually drops us in the brown stuff, a bit like now!

The voice of reason was a woman from Brighton who explained that the violent demonstrators had removed the right of her daughters to demonstrate because they were now scared to get involved after witnessing the violence of the demonstartors on a previous demo.

Another valid point is the total cost of the violent demonstrations. Who pays for that? Yes, you and me from our taxes. So they want us to pay for their eduation and to pay for their juvenile, if very violent temper tantrums on the streets of London and elsewhere. Well I've had enough of being taxed 'til the pips squeak so that other people can indulge themselves at my expense.

Let's truly open higher education up to the free market and see how long media studies courses, golf course management courses, retail management courses and the like survive. In the meantime the lazy scroungers rioting in London should get back to their studies and work hard, because many of them will probably end up working in some highly paid jobs in the very buildings they've been smashing on their totally selfish and self-indulgent wrecking spree.

And just in  case you were wondering yes, I have been on plenty of demonstraions ranging from a few hundred to hundreds of thousands. But we were extremely well behaved. Well, mostly!

Paloma Faith Sings Nick Cave's 'Into My Arms'

Apart from a bunch of Trots using the student demos to go on the rampage and smash up London, it's been a pretty boring week. So the antidote is a Friday Funday featuring the fantastic combination of Paloma Faith and Nick Cave. Funny, but I don't remember 'students' going on the rampage when the Labour Party screwed the system in the first place. Oh well, here we go:

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Guest Post: Andrew Withers-Libertarian Party Leader

Gregg asked me to write a post on what I hope to see for the Libertarian Party in the forthcoming years, I hope the following will explain what I am looking for.

First off what is my kind of Libertarianism ?

It is one founded on  everybody having the right to personal liberty of thought,word and deed, but that is absolutely coupled with the personal responsibility for those thoughts, words and deeds.

Fabianism the doctrine that 'the state is a force for good' and is the absolute converse of Libertarian philosophy. By 'paying' the State with no oversight on how that money is spent by the individual, my gut feeling is that the 'donor' feels relieved of any further responsibility to our fellow human beings, and the recipient also feels no sense of responsibility to the donor and it creates a feeling of entitlement and of rights that have to be paid by others.

Fabianism also creates a class of people that 'administers' the system. The model that they choose to perpetuate is that of 1950's rigid bureaucratic socialism.

So the first thing I want to achieve is an acceptance of the message. Libertarianism is not a scabrous right wing philosophy, Libertarianism rejects all forms of 'authority' that do not have checks and balances against it, be it 'Left' or 'Right'.

Various parties have adopted 'libertarianism' (including Hattersley for the Labour Party) and it has become a fairly vague term, a bit like 'liberal'. When the reality of their idea of 'libertarianism' is somewhat different to true Libertarianism, usually authoritarian and pro-big State.

Secondly, I want to forge links and understanding with all organisations that profess Classic Liberal Values. The Libertarian Alliance, The Cobden Centre, The Adam Smith Institute etc., and members in other parties who are sympathetic.

Thirdly I want to create an efficient party machine with a central office, that can attract members, dispense information and as a source for obtaining books associated with Libertarianism. This is an issue that cannot be ducked, our poor organisation.

Fourthly we have to be a campaigning party, because we do not get a lot of coverage, cases like the Stephen Neary case (see Anna Raccoon). Daily people are being sucked into the state system against their will. The plight of others caught in the maw of the State should and must be our concern.

The alternative is an acceptance of the 'endarkening' where liberal values are driven out and the State is the be all and end of our existence.

It is a case of standing up and being counted. We now have another opportunity in Oldham, where we have a very good candidate in Gregg Beaman.

If you have any questions for Andrew then please feel free to ask via comments on this blog. Alternatively you can contact Andrew via his blog, looking for a voice.

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Lib Dems

It really does feel like we're in some kind of time warp. An MP found to have a Russian spy working as his assistant. It's just like the good old days of the Cold War. I always thought the Lib Dems were a bit dodgy now we know, their idea of Europe includes 'sleeping partners' from east of the Urals. Mike Hancock even looks like a caricature Lib Dem with his dandruffy beard and linen suits. It seems that colleagues have been concerened for some time about his penchant for employing leggy babes from behind the old Iron Curtain. Of course he denies she's a spy, but she would hardly list 'Russian spy' on her application form would she? Although with equal opportunities nonsense MPs may have to employ a certain ratio of foreign spies.

Hancock has a reputation as a womaniser, a constituent complained about his behaviour in October. He has a special interest in defence matters and a special interest in Russia and his constituency is Portsmouth South. He is a great fan of Vladimir Putin and was introduced to Katia Zatuliveter on a trip to Russia. The security services had already warned a British defence company about her when she applied for a job wth them. It is alleged that she wasn't properly vetted when apponted by Hancock giving her access to secret defence papers. What a bizarre coincidence that a spy would want to work for him!

Then we have Vince Cable having a very public debate with himself over whether or not he will vote in favour of increasing tuition fees. The architect of the change in student funding? Vince Cable.

Personally I wouldn't trust the Lib Dems to run Carnforth Town Council. To have them in government should give us all sleepless nights. With clowns like these in the Coalition I give it another year, maybe eighteen months before it all falls apart and we have another general election.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Interfering Busybodies III

At this time of year lots of worthy causes pop up to appeal for donations. Quite right too. Then there are dodgy outfits such as Manchester homeless charity Barnabus.

Barnabus claim that homeless people will die in Manchester if they do not receive money for at least 30 more beds. This is what Manchester City Council say:

"We do currently have 20 spaces available for rough sleepers in supported housing schemes, and on top of that, we will find spaces in B&Bs and hotels if we need to.

"These are extreme weather conditions but we are confident there is no reason for anyone to sleep rough in Manchester."

Barnabus, screwing you and the homeless!

Unlikely any rough sleepers will read this but, just in case, here is a link to the Manchester City Council Homeless Section.

Personally I'd rather take in a homeless person for Christmas than give a penny to a cowboy outfit like Barnabus.

BBC coverage here. 

Interfering Busybodies II

Step forward UK Uncut. A bunch of scummy, self-righteous parasites who think it's clever to terrify shoppers and shop workers because they think companies should pay more tax.

Well why don't you lot do the truly self-righteous thing and volunteer to pay more tax, assuming any of you actually earn anything.

And before any idiots whine about what good use our taxes are put to, remember that the bombs for Iraq, the money going into politicians' back pockets and millions more wasted by the government is your tax money and my tax money.

We have a moral duty to avoid paying tax as best we possibly can, a bit like avoiding a nasty accident or the edge of a cliff.

Taxation is theft.

Georges Moustaki

It was freezing cold at Mass this morning and I started dreaming about our summer holiday. I quite fancy going back to Bergerac but off to Paris in January first. Which got me thinking about French music, so here's a bit of Georges Moustaki to enjoy:

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Ok, so people say the TV adverts are cheesey, but they still raise a titter in the East Wing TV lounge of Chateau Beaman and I'm glad that Gio Compario is releasing a charity single on Monday. Here it is:

The charity single is raising money for Teenage Cancer Trust and will be available to download from Monday 6th December on iTunes, Amazon, HMV, and digital 7.

Grand Theatre, Lancaster

Some days you wake up thinking you know what the day has in store, but you end up doing something quite different. Today has been one of those and I've had a fantastic morning.

When I was at school I did drama and enjoyed acting in the odd school production. That faded away although I continued for a short time after that doing some set building at the Droylsden Little Theatre in Manchester.

Things then went quiet on that front until a few years ago when I met somebody on a train who had her own agency for extras and actors. Always enjoying theatre, film and TV I couldn't resist giving it a go, if nothing else to see what goes on behind the scenes, and registered with the agency. Since then I've been an extra, walk on and had featured parts in soaps such as Coronation Street and Emmerdale, shows such as Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor..., dramas such as The Street and many more. It's great fun, can be long hours, isn't very well paid but you get to meet some really interesting people.

Then my mind wandered back to acting and I'm curently doing an acting for TV course and some months ago joined Lancaster Footlights, an amateur theatre group. I think I'm of an age now where I don't care about making a wally of myself, let's just have a go and see what happens is my attitude. So that's the introduction.

This morning I had to return a script for the Footlights' next production so popped along. The Footlights have a coffee morning on a Saturday so it's a good time to visit. At 10-30 there was a theatre tour and I was invited to join them. Why not? If you're in Lancaster any time you really should do the tour. The guide, Steve, was extremely knowledgeable and to see behind the scenes of such a splendid and historic theatre is a real pleasure. It's the third oldest continuously operating theatre in the country and I could spend hours just sat there soaking in the architecture and the atmosphere. It is even haunted by Sarah Siddons.

So I got home and decided to make some hot chocolate and blog about how I'd spent my morning. It's definitely worth a visit, as is Lancaster itself. So don't hang about, organise your transport, there's lots of great hotels, inns and B&Bs and lots to see, especially the Grand Theatre.

My next 'let's give it a go' project is writing a script about the Lancashire Witch Trials of 1612. Watch this space.

Friday, December 03, 2010

2018 World Cup Russia-Three Bears on a Shirt

Glad I listened to Ian Collins on Talksport last night while driving home from a dinner at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Annual Police Terror

Lancashire's Chief Constable 
I had to pick up my beloved after one of her many 'work's Christmas dos' last night, but to compensate she had won a nice bottle of top notch Vodka.

What wasn't so nice was seeing that the Annual Police Terror had begun with a vengeance. Central Lancaster resembled East Berlin in the Cold War with the goons scouring the place for a for an Osti heading West. Talk about overkill.

Then this morning there would have been police posted on the outskirts of the City Centre stopping people in an effort to catch somebody still over the limit from the night before Did they really join the police to do that kind of thing?

About four years ago I was stopped, in Lancaster surprise, surprise, for using my mobile while driving. I tried to claim I'd been scratching my ear but they didn't buy that, they actually had me on film. Fair cop, and luckily I did't smell of booze from the night before.

But I was pulled by two bobbies in a van with dogs in the back. I don't know what it costs to train and equip two police dog handlers but I would suggest that using them on a Friday morning to mither motorists is not good use of resources. Interestingly the bobby who gave me my ticket agreed with me when I mentioned that to him. He told me that he would prefer to spend his time more usefully but it was his 'higher ups' who made him do this, and he aplogised to me. It was the first time I'd been caught up in the Annual Police Terror and left feeling quite uplifted!

So be very careful if driving in Lancashire between now and Christmas, especially around Lancaster, the Terror has begun.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Food Fascists

Steak tartare or a raw burger?
Food fascists are being fought back again by the valiant 'normals'. It seems that a debate has been started because uber-food-fascist Gillian McKeith has made a complete prat of herself on I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.

The debate seems to be around whether or not being a vegan has caused her to faint on a regular basis, and constantly lack any bottle, or whether she's a vegan because she's a big wuss anyway. I tend towards believing that vegans and the like are that way because they are soft arses in the first place. They are incapable of looking at a lovely joint of roast lamb without automatically visualising cuddly lambs gambolling across grassy slopes to feed at mother's teat. It's a terrible weakness and displays a total lack of moral fibre.

McKeith describes herself as a 'holistic nutritionist'. Now forgive me, but the minute I hear the word 'holistic' alarm bells ring and I suspect a nutter. And so it appears to be with McKeith. Nigella Lawson is only some three months younger than McKeith, yet Lawson looks 10 years younger than she is, McKeith looks 10 years older. Nigella eats meat, McKeith doesn't. It seem obvious that a diet that is truly 'holistic' means that you should eat the rabbit food, and eat the rabbit too.

The health fascists whine on about how bad for you burgers are. But food fascism isn't just the preserve of vegans, vegetarians and those with other eating disorders. Consider the following scenarios:

You take a nice piece of best steak. Cook it as you like. That's ok, top quality food.

You take a nice piece of best steak. Mince it and eat it raw, with a raw egg on top. Steak tartare, a French delicacy. Ooh la la!

You take a nice piece of best steak. Mince it and make a burger. Suddenly it's evil fast food that makes you so fat and unhealthy you explode and die. 

What happens that makes the burgers so unhealthy? Exactly, bugger all. It's  food fascism in the form of snobbery.

Eat what you want and stuff what others say. Most of us have a good idea what is healthy, what is not and how much of each constitutes a reasonably healthy diet without being lectured by the new puritans and wet nellies like McKeith.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Interfering Busybodies

Every now and then a campaign pops up and I can't help but wonder what perfect lives some people have if they think what they are campaigning for/against is the biggest problem facing the world. Alternatively I wonder why people have to campaign against people doing what they want to do, such as smoking. If people don't smoke fair enough, but why do they become so obsessed by people who do that they waste hours, days, weeks, months, years of their lives campaigning against it?

One such organisation I came across this week was Close the Door. It's a campaign started by a group of bored housewives in Cambridge who want to save the environment by getting businesses to stop leaving their doors open. At first I had to check it wasn't April 1st.

Don't get me wrong, I admire people who campaign for things they feel strongly about, but there are far worse things in the world than a shop leaving its front doors open to entice customers in.  In fact if Mrs B came home frothing with rage, red of face and with steam coming from her ears and I discovered that her fury had been unleashed by the sight of an open shop door, I would be seriously worried about her mental state. In fact I'd tranquilize her with a few shots of Bacardi and Coke then, when suitably sedated, would whip her off to the nearest mental health unit for an assessment.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Vince Cable and Coalition Doomsday

I couldn't really believe what I was hearing today. Sadly I heard numerous interviews with Vince Cable, I think he has some serious form of mental illness, or maybe dementia.

When asked about dropping Lib Dem principles, or what pass for principles, he declared they did it in the 'national interest'.

In the 'national interest' he joined the Coaltion cabinet.

He then drew up government policy on tuition fees and student loans.

He thinks the coalition policy is absolutely right under current circumstances.

He may however abstain when the voting in the House of Commons because his mates in the Lib Dems might abstain.

So what he is finally saying is: "stuff the national interest, my gang's more important".

Labour are enraged but I've heard little response from the Tories. I can only assume that Cable doesn't realise how despised the Lib Dems are, by their own supporters as much as the elecorate at large, and thinks another general election might be a good idea.

As for anybody who thought the Lib Dems were trustworthy, there must still be a few out there, I think this latest fiasco proves you totally wrong.

Or maybe putting the Lib Dems into government has really been the ultimate care in the community cock-up.

FA Cup Replay: FC United of Manchester v Brighton

It's now time to start praying that the weather next Wednesday is a little better than it is this week. The FA Cup replay at Gigg Lane, Bury is not all ticket but tickets are going on sale to ease entry to the stadium on the night (Wed 8th Dec).

If you've yet to watch FC United this is the ideal first game. A bumper gate, probably a record, the chance of a giant killing act and lots of noise ad colour which will mean one of the best atmospheres you're likely to experience at a football game .Following are the details:

As previously stated, the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON second round replay versus Brighton & Hove Albion will be played on Wednesday 8th December with kick-off at 7.45pm.

This match will not be all ticket but, as a larger than average crowd is expected, FC United will be selling tickets in advance to try and speed up entry on the night.

If you wish to guarantee entry to your preferred stand it is advisable to purchase your ticket in advance.

Prices for all parts of the ground will be Adults £8, Over-60s £5 and Under-18s £2.

Selling arrangements

The Manchester Road End, Main Stand and Cemetery End will be set aside for FC United supporters. Tickets will be on sale from the Bury FC ticket office (next to the main reception) at Gigg Lane, Bury, between 10am and 3pm from Wednesday 1st December and Wednesday 8th December (NOT including Sunday 5th December)

For those who cannot get to Gigg Lane, tickets can also be purchased by telephoning the FC United club office between 10am and 4pm on 0161 273 8950  and paying by debit or credit card up to 4pm on Friday 3rd December 2010. A £2 booking fee will be charged to cover card and recorded delivery postage costs.

Unfortunately, due to the short timeframe we cannot accept payments by cheque.

Tickets will not be on sale to personal callers from the FC United office.

FC United will send all tickets by recorded delivery but we CANNOT take responsibility for any items that go missing in the post.

29-11-2010 at 18:45

For more infrmation visit the FC United website.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Libertarian Party AGM

The Libertarian Party AGM on Saturday saw us elect a new Party Leader, Andrew Withers, although for a few days he will remain, like newly elected US Presidents 'Leader Elect'. I have blogged about this before so I won't repeat myself, suffice to say that I am extremely pleased that we now have a leader who is a doer and am confident that we will make great progress in the New Year.

You might like to visit Andrew's blog, Looking for a Voice.  I'm looking forward to working with Andrew and the other people elected on Saturday to fight for a worthy cause whose time has come.

The AGM also provided a great opportunity to catch up with my sister and her husband (aka Julia and Barry) who, like yours truly and Mrs B, happen to enjoy good food and wine. Delays on the M6 meant that by the time I arrived in Wood Green on Friday night we were too late to hit the West End, as planned, so stayed in for an excellent home cooked meal.

Of course the AGM was in a pub, The Punch Tavern on Fleet Street, which meant first pints of excellent foaming ale being consumed around 12 00pm.  So the tradition of good company and good booze continued. Then, at 4-00pm I was round the corner to The Blackfriar to meet Julia and Barry again. Both pubs are a must if you like good ale and traditional pubs. Another pint and a catch up on the football scores, notably Brighton 1 FC United 1 and Manchester United 7 Blackburn 1, then we crossed the Thames to walk along the South Bank.

If you get the chance to visit the South Bank Centre before 5th December you must visit the World Press Photo Exhibition 2010. It's an exhibition of around 170 award winning photographs but be warned, some of them are extremely disturbing.

We then headed towards Soho via The Salisbury to the wonderful Melati Restaurant for a fantastic Indonesian/Malaysian feast.

Sunday morning saw the long drive home after a hearty breakfast of bacon and eggs, arriving back in God's county just before the heaven's dumped a couple of inches of snow on us.  And just to finish the weekend properly Mrs B had prepared a fine Sunday dinner of roast beef, and we had a roaring log fire to sit by while catching up on each others weekend news while enjoying a couple of tinctures.

That's what I call a damn fine weekend, just a shame I couldn't fit in a football game at some point.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Science Fiction and Things

If you are into science fiction, old time radio, cult TV and fantasy I can suggest a visit to The Blog of the Cosmic Griffin.

I'm into cult TV and radio and this blog looks like being a good one. It's new, begun this month, but looks good and has great content. The current post is a review of the 1997 sci-fi film Gattaca. In fact I'm off to buy the film, the review has tempted me!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

European Gendarmerie Force

From the Eurogendfor website, a description of their logo:
On a background of blue sky, the cruciform sword symbolizes the force, the laurel crown the victory, and the flaming grenade the common military roots of the police forces.
Britain is a changing place and public opinion is constantly shifting, especially around law and order. But I hope that the above description of the Eurogendfor concerns people. It perhaps more starkly than many things highlights the difference between the UK and European countries.

Eurogendfor is a paramilitary force set up by the European Union. Six member states are currently involved, they are Italy, France, Spain, Romania, The Netherlands and Portugal. They are based in barracks in Vicenza in Northern Italy. The Turkish force, Jandarma, currently has observer status and the Poles and Lithuanians are partners.

The force is under the direct control of the EU and can be deployed anywhere in the world. Imagine the student riots escalating and the police losing control. That is the ideal scenario for the deployment of this force.  It has recently been involved in missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The UK government has repeatedly claimed that the Eurogendfor will not be deployed in the UK. But the EU does have a habit of creeping influence becoming creeping power.

More information is available on the European Gendarmerie Force website.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gregg's Library

I've had a busy morning ploughing through a simplistic novel about an attempt to establish the Fourth Reich using the European Union. I'd promised weeks ago to review it on my other blog, Gregg's Library, which I have now done. If I'd have given up halfway through and not bothered ever mentioning it again nobody would have probably noticed. But I said I would so I have.

Now I'm cooking Cumberland sausage before heading off to Manchester to meet my fellow thespian wannabes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eric Cantona

I was at Selhurst Park when Eric dished out some retribution to an obnoxious prat. I was there when he came back from the ban at Old Trafford and scored with a penalty against Liverpool. Sadly I missed the chance to be an extra when they filmed Looking for Eric in Manchester.

But he's in the news again, and here's that video:

In my position, not being very good with figures, I'm not sure whether I should max my overdraft on December 7th, or clear it thus depriving the bank of some interest. I'll have to contemplate that one.

Libertarian Party v The Government-An Update

Following attempts by the Coalition to bar Andrew Withers from becoming Leader of the Libertarian Party we have taken legal advice and requested clarification from the Electoral Commision on the legality or otherwise of the government's actions. I have previously posted on this here  and here.

This afternoon the following email was received from the Electoral Commission and is their considered opinion on Vince Cable's attempt to remove Andrew Withers as Leader of the Libertarian Party through the courts.

The current proceedings taken against you is a matter for the Courts to decide.
If the party makes an application to appoint you as Leader, then we shall consider the application in accordance with PPERA taking account of any implications of the Court decision. If approved, we shall update the party's registered entry.
So the considered opinion of the Electoral Commission is that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has the right to determine who shall and who shall not be the Leader or an officer of a political party.

Also that it is the Electoral Commission's considered opinion that it is up a court to decide whether Andrew Withers will be the elected Leader of a registered political party, not the members, and that the Electoral Commission will approve an 'application' from the Party, not a notification from the members that a new Leader has been elected.

Freedom of association has been the bedrock of our parliamentary democracy, under the Coalition the freedom to associate will be decided by the Government.

I wonder if we'll all be arrested on Saturday for subversion when Andrew becomes Party Leader.

Ireland-Declan Ganley Talking Straight

Through all the waffle around the Irish bailout, and the crisis throughout the European Union, comes a voice of reason. Step forward, yet again, Declan Ganley:

It's just a shame there seems to be no serious politician, in the UK, Ireland or anywhere in Europe, telling it as it is. Little Georgie Osborne has certainly done neither the UK nor Ireland any favours by bunging £7,000,000,000 into the great black hole that is the so called bailout.

There Are Comedians-Then There Is Simon Amstell

Comedians are supposed to be funny, I think the clue is in the name. Comic, comedy, comedian.  A comedy is something that is humorous, a comedian is somebody who is humorous and makes people laugh. People like Lee Mack and Peter Kay today  are fine examples of people who make other people laugh. They are comedians.

Then you get other people such as Simon Amstell and Marcus Brigstocke. Both smarty arsed people who are tediously smug, self-satisfied and mind numbingly not funny. But for some bizarre reason they are called 'comedians'. In the clip below Simon Amstell sat cross legged on the sofa, obviously assuming it made him look avant garde and cutting edge. I thought it just made him look like a curly haired anorexic Buddha in dodgy glasses.

I'm not in the least bit socialist, and am certainly no class warrior, at least I don't think I am. But whenever I see Amstell or Brigstocke I imagine them cutting their 'comedy teeth' in a minor public school where their peers found cruelty to fags highly amusing, and those two must have been extremely cruel to fags. The problem is they have arrested devlopment and still have that mentality, hence the clip below. The particularly tasteless line comes near the end. If you don't know, the guest they are about to introduce is the singer Russell Watson, who has had two years of treatment for a brain tumour.

I saw this clip which was on live TV yesterday morning. What isn't shown sadly, is Watson's response when the interviewer asked him about Amstel's remark. He replied along the lines of: "Well I just passed him as I came on, but he's too small to punch". A rather sharper put down than anything Amstel could muster I suspect.

Admittedly comedy is a matter of personal taste, and there are obviously people who find Amstel, and even Brigstocke faintly amusing, otherwise they wouldn't sell their DVDs or tickets to their shows. To those people I say stop wasting your time. Watch the following interview, with a really funny fella, and find out what a real comedian does. And he doesn't sit cross legged either!

The Threat of Militant Islam

This is the UK 2010!
There is a growing recognition that tolerance has its limits. We cannot afford to tolerate ourselves into extinction. Anybody who has grown up in a high ethnic, especially Muslim area, will have seen the change in the past twenty years or more. And it is very disturbing.

The old New Labour government needed the votes of the ethnic minorities so cried racism constantly in an effort to make them feel threatened. They then rode in on their white chargers to protect them. I don't believe the overwhelming majority of people in this country give a damn about somebody's ethnicity, colour or religious beliefs. But they are quite rightly concerned at the threat to us from militant Islam. Don't expect the London bombings, the vile demonstrations against Remembrance Day parades by Islamic militants, and other incidents such as Wootton Basset, not to have a negative impact on the majority view of Islam. It is inevitable

I didn't see last night's docmentary about radical teachers in Islamic schools in the UK but was neither shocked nor surprised at what was apparently reported, it's been common knowledge for years. But under the New Labour all inclusive regime it was tolerated. What has shocked me is that the Coalition government appear to be preparing to take action against the militants in faith schools. The following quote from an article about the programme last night in the Telegraph is very heartening:

It has been left largely to journalists and to think tanks like Policy Exchange and the Centre for Social Cohesion to study and expose radicalisation in schools and universities. Last night, Panorama’s John Ware revealed that 5,000 children in more than 40 Saudi Students’ Schools and Clubs in the UK were being taught anti-Semitism, homophobia and other tenets of sharia. Michael Gove promises that his department will extend its remit to ensure it can stamp out such teachings in part-time schools. Mr Gove is the author of Celsius 7/7, a brilliant analysis of how the perverted totalitarian ideology that is Islamism developed out of “a great, historical faith” that has brought spiritual nourishment to billions. Asked to define extremism, he has explained that ''you know it when you see it”.

See the full article. Let's hope action on this threat is one promise the Coalition keep

Monday, November 22, 2010

The BBC Must Go

Some taxes, under our current system of social democracy, are inevitable but taxes such as the BBC Licence Fee are totally unjustifiable. Why should we pay our TV tax to fund the BBC? Remember the tax is payable if you have the equipment in your home to receive TV signals, whether you watch the BBC or not. Just like the NHS the BBC is a state owned remnant from a bygone era. Both should be privatised.

BBC political correctness and bias seem to get worse as the general populace become more angry about political correctness. The cosmopolitan elite at the BBC really do despise us plebs who pay their wages, and with an increasing venom. Last week I saw a BBC documentary The Amerian Dream. It told the story of the American Dream through the 1950s and '60s. But behind every example of great achievement, there was a barbed put down. For example the quality of daily life and the growth of suburban living was highlighted but then a woman who had severe mental health problems appeared and lo and behold, the illness was blamed on the American Dream.
And of course there were the usual accusations of paranoia about communism, even though documents released in recent years prove that there was indeed a concerted Soviet led effort to undemine the American, indeed the whole Western system. We called it the Cold War, I suppose BBC producers would call it an attempt at liberation! 
Then three days before FIFA vote on who is to host the 2018 World Cup, with England in a strong position to win the race, the BBC are to air a documentary about corruption within FIFA. What wonderful timing, thank you BBC. The BBC claim that the broadcast is in the public interest, which it may be, but the timing is certainly not in the national interest. The footballing authorities are now considering boycotting the BBC, or at least the team bidding for the 2018 World Cup are.
But pissing off the sporting authorities is one thing, the BBC have managed to piss off the military in a grand style too. They are now broadcasting a drama showing the bullying of troops in Afghanistan. Again if there is a problem it needs dealing with but, whether we should or should not be in Afghanistan, we are there and we should be 100% behind our troops as long as they are there. How would you feel with your young lad in Afghanistan watching a drama about bullying? If you were a young lad in Catterick or Aldershot waiting to leave for Afghanistan, how would you feel watching that?
When wre've been abroad we've often slumped into a hotel room, weary and wanting to catch up on the news after a long journey. On goes the TV, up pops a news item  with a definite anti-British slant, and the blood starts boiling. Before switching off we check what hateful channel it is and guess what? Yes, it's BBC World!
The BBC consistently undermines Britain and everything British. I don't see why my taxes should be paying for it to do so.
If you feel the same there are numerous campaigns fighting to have the licence fee abolished. Some are weird, some extreme, others highly reasonable. I am not recommending any but suggest you search and research on the internet.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Trains, Planes, Automobiles and White Vans-Divine Comedy

I'm off to London next weekend for the Libertarian Party AGM. I've checked out trains and buses but they either take too long or are far too expensive. So it looks like my trusty old white van will be my chosen mode of transport and a night or two sleeping in my sister's spare room in North London. I say couple of nights as the AGM will probably involve several pints of beer rendering me unable to drive until the Sunday. Good reason to then have a decent chicken madras too.

Whenever I consider public transport the wonderful National Express by the Divine Comedy runs through my mind. We did actualy know somebody a few years back who was a hostess on the National Express buses, and her arse really was as wide as a small country. Belgium I always thought, Julie thought more Luxembourg, either way it was a Benelux country.

Ladies and gentlemen, before I leave to spend a few hours in the Rover's Return in Manchester, I give you, the Divine Comedy and National Express:

Well it is Friday, and I thought I'd reintroduce Friday Funday. All work and no play.........

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Persecution of Christians

Throughout the world Christians are being persecuted and very little is reported in the mainstream media, unless it is where there is a current newsworthy situation, such as Iraq. The persecution of Christians in many countries is supported and actually enacted by the state, it is not just different groups acting under their own initiative and taking the law into their own hands.

Of course there are groups such as the Tibetan Buddhists being oppressed too, and they deserve support in their fight against Chinese oppression. But you might see a 'Free Tibet' car sticker in the UK, you will never see one denouncing the oppression and torture of Christians anywhere in the world. Sadly, many Christians seem unaware of what is happening or if they are, seem to regard it as somebody else's problem.

What got me on this train of thought was this story yesterday about a British boy being bullied at school by Muslim pupils for posting a favourable message about British troops on Facebook.  The production of slaughtering of animals to produce Halal meat has also been in the news recently. Halal butchers are exempt from our animal cruelty laws. It must be noted that Kosher meat is accorded similar exemption and is equally cruel.

Then on Remembrance Day there were protests by Muslim extremists when sick abuse was hurled at participants in parades. Admittedly the extremists seem to be a minority, but all majorities begin as minorities. The big question for us in the UK is when does tolerance of others become a danger to ourselves?

Then we recently witnessed extreme atheism around the time of the Papal visit. It seemed pretty clear to most of us that the likes of Richard Dawkins, and other humanists, were using the Papal visit to rant against all religion, but Catholicism is the easy target and the other religions don't seem to understand that they are also included in Dawkins' obsessive attacks. After all, if Dawkins, Tatchell and company ranted and demonstrated against Islam in a similar way, they may not find things as comfortable for themselves as they do attacking Christians.

Now as a consequence of the threat of terrorism from Islamic extremism, again a tiny minority, or at least we hope it is, we find ourselves living under increasingly oppressive anti-terror legislation, so oppressive that even an obvious joke or throwaway remark on Twitter can find you facing the full force of the law.

There is actually no conclusion to this ramble. It is a sign of a civilised society to be tolerant of others, after all we are all unique and therefore different. But I can't help thinking that tolerance has a limit, and that limit is when tolerance actually puts you in danger. Put another way it is about our survival instinct, and I can't help wondering sometimes if our obsession with being open and liberal may not put us in danger. In the meantime I await a copy of the Koran that a Muslim friend has bought me so I can find out more for myself about the real Islam.

Below are links to a few reports about Christian oppression in other parts of the world.

Saudi Arabia

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Road Rage

If people persistently parked in front of your garage door, what would you do? I think most of us would either leave a note on the offending vehicle, or speak to the driver if he/she was around. But how many times do you put up with it until you snap? The man in the following video snapped and did what I think many of us would do eventually.

But sadly he has now been banned from driving. What constantly angers me is why so many parents, often those who bleat most at drivers who do 31mph past little Tarquin or Kylie's school, think they, as parents, have a God given right to park where and how they want when on the school run, note the driver parking on the yellow zigzags in the video to collect the kids. This case just compounds that and I for one am disgusted that this man has lost his licence.

He should really be given a medal!

European Union in Crisis

I'm sure I'm not the only one convinced that, come what may, the Euro will survive the current crisis as will the European Union. Too many vested interests will ensure that no matter what happens they will botch it through this mess and continue towards future crises.

Most of the countries in the Eurozone botched their figures  so that they could rush lemming like into the single currency in the first place. Their EU masters were happy to turn a blind eye because they desperately wanted their single currency. When have our EU masters ever let reality impact on their great project?

How many people breathed a huge sigh of relief when the Danes voted no to Maastricht in 1992? Just one nation refusing to sign the treaty would kill it. The Danes in a referendum voted no. They were told to vote again, and voted yes.

The Irish voted no to the Treaty of Nice in 2001. They were told to vote again, and voted yes.

The French voted no the Constitution in 2005.
The Dutch voted no to the Constitution in 2005.

The Constitution became the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish voted no to the Lisbon Treaty in 2008. They were told to vote again, and voted yes.

If the EU can so blatantly ignore democratic ballots in such an authoritarian fashion, why should they do the right thing when it means making decisions behind closed doors? My guess is that after ignoring the democratic wishes of the people so many times, because they are power mad and fundametally dishonest, they will do anything they have to do to hold their empire together. If they means eventually bringing economic ruin to Europe then their vanity will allow it.

The actions of the EU have brought about a resurgence of the far-right in Europe, as seen in recent national elections. I fear that the EU will eventually crumble because of it's fundamental lack of honesty, transparency and demoracy which will lead to complete economic ruin and a rejection of democracy. After all, successive British governments and others, have handed over the power we entrust to them to the EU. Why, when it crumbles should we trust our government structure when it has spent the last decades subverting our democratic rights and liberties?

What I find so difficult to understand is why the people of Europe have allowed theses abuses of their power to continue. Perhaps you get what you deserve.