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.