Monday, January 31, 2011

North Africa, Islam and the West

Islamic protesters in the UK
There seems to be a mood of positivity in certain quarters at the events in Tunisia and Egypt, a naive mood that Johnny Foreigner is finally throwing off the shackles of dictatorship and is about to embark on the road to western style freedom and democracy. I don't share that view and feel extremely pessimistic about events in North Africa.

Perhaps people have short memories but it was only 1979 that there was an uprising against the Shah in Iran, and look what happened there. Fine, that revolution was largely influenced from the start by the Ayatollah in exile, whereas Tunisia and Egypt appear to be more spontaneous uprisings by the population against unpopular and authoritarian regimes. But Islam, and the Muslim Brotherhood are in the background biding their time.

Egypt in recent years has moved much nearer to embracing fundamentalist Islam, and it will only take a nudge in that direction for another dangerous Islamic state to come into being. Within five years one side of the Mediterranean could consist of Islamic states much more hostile to the liberal democracies on the other side of the Med than we have seen for centuries. How long before fundamentalist Islam takes power in Turkey? We should be very worried.

Islam is as much a threat to peace, freedom and democracy as Communism was after the Second World War and Fascism was before the Second World War. The difference is that for decades we in the West have had our belief and ideals eroded by political correctness. We have been told by the political and social elite that every belief, ideology or philosophy that we hold dear is either wicked or outdated.

There is no longer any self-belief in Western Europe. We have opened our doors to masses of people who loathe our way of life and we have been forced, by law, to accept and tolerate these views in the interests of 'diversity'. The elite have told us that 'diversity' is good and that we must accept, indeed embrace, new cultures in twentieth and twenty-first century Britain because that is wholesome, enlightening and good for us. At the same time the liberal elite deride our own history, culture and beliefs. Dare stand up for them and you are labelled a crank, a nutter or worse.

We can no longer question Islam or, God forbid, oppose it without being accused of Islamophobia. Implication being that we have no powers of reason, just irrational fear. There are any number of other topics declared off limits by the elite because people are scared of being tarnished as being guilty of an 'ism' or a 'phobia'. Question immigration levels and you are immediately branded a racist. It's the tyranny of the liberal left, control thought by controlling speech.

If, as I am convinced, Islam will continue to expand elsewhere, how long before there are serious problems in this country and other countries in Europe? My fear is that when that time comes we will have neither the belief nor the means to defend ourselves or our culture. Political correctness has seen to that.     

Friday, January 28, 2011

Democracy and the Alternative Vote

There has been much talk this week about the number of Old Etonians in government in the UK. I can't be doing with this kind of obsessive inverted snobbery, especially when it emanates from a prat like Andrew Neil. People pay an arm and a leg to send their kids to Eton College, that should be applauded. What finer start in life could you give your kids than a top class education? Why else do we work other than to improve life for us and our families? But the leftist class warriors want to knock it, they obviously think that paying for a fortnight in Benidorm every year is more socially acceptable than paying to educate your kids.

Then my mind wandered to Cameron, Osborne and Clegg, all educated at public schools and Oxbridge. I'm no fan of any of them, but that is down to their brand of social democracy, nothing to do with their backgrounds or where they were educated. The thought of some of some of the products of our state education system ruling us does send a shiver down my spine, more so than people who have been educated privately.

So that got me thinking about democracy. I'm not going to bang on for 300,000 words or more about the subject, easily possible when you consider the intricacies and wide range of what people call 'democracy', but want to consider my gut reaction this week to what we in the UK consider democracy. Here it is in a nutshell. Every five years, or less, we put a cross on a piece of paper. Last year we put a cross on a piece of paper and this was the result:

Conservatives-306 seats. 36.1% of the vote.
Lib Dems-57 seats. 23% of the vote
Labour-258 seats. 29% of the vote.
Others-28 seats. 11.9% of the vote.

So with only 6% more of the popular vote the Labour Party ended up with 201 seats more in the House of Commons than the Liberal Democrats. I can't see, no matter how hard I try, that this current system is particularly democratic. Especially when we end up being governed by two parties, in coaliton, that claimed to be diametrically opposed during the election campaign.

I will be voting for AV when we eventually get our AV referendum, but I don't think AV goes far enough. My preference would be for the UK to adopt a Swiss style constitution. In the twenty first century we must have the wherewithall to offer the people of the UK a much more open, representative and accountable system of government than the one we currently suffer.

It is not that we are governed by Old Etonians that concerns me. What concerns me is that our system has allowed a political class to become entrenched that believes it has a God given right to rule us whether we voted for them or not. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Babies As Accessories

As we in the west, possibly elsewhere in the world too, become ever more obsessed with wealth and the trinkets of wealth there is inevitably an impact on the way we treat humans. So called 'enlightened employment practices' have actually created something nearer to the Victorian workplace than we have seen in decades.

I know people whose employers threaten them with dismissal if they drink at lunchtime. A Friday lunchtime pint with colleagues used to be a great team building exercise, but no more. Internet access is severely restricted, but they still have access to lawbooks and other work manuals and reference books on the shelves. Why do employers need to know whether you are gay or heterosexual? Why do they need to know your religion? Why in Northern Ireland is it illegal not to state your religion on a job application? Why do employers need to know if we are married or not? Why do they need to know whether you regard yourself as having a disability?

But more worrying is the way we see babies and very young people. There has been much debate in the media this week about social services departments who will not place black babies for adoption with white couples. We all know that in an ideal world parents would be able to adopt a baby that as nearly resembles a child the couple might produce naturally as possible. But it isn't an ideal world, so surely the most important thing is that babies are adopted by whoever can give them the love and attention they need rather than leaving them in care maybe for years and years.

But no, social workers claim that placing black babies with white families would be confusing for the child. Well then, how bloody  confused will the children of gay parents be when they get to school to find that all the other kids have mummy and daddy while they have daddy and daddy or mummy and mummy?

Then we have the reintroduction of slavery, as long you have lots of cash and are preferably a celebrity. Madonna's bought a little slave and now Elton John, perhaps bored with all his other vulger trinkets, has also bought a little slave. Because I see no difference between buying a baby and buying somebody older to work for you, both involve buying human beings for money, and both are wrong, both are slavery.

Then we have the obscenity of abortion with millions of unborn babies being slaughtered every year. But in these days of ever more effective contraception why are so many young girls getting pregnant and using abortion as a form of contraception? Maybe because the authorities insist on teaching sex education to younger and younger children without properly teaching of the dangers and the responsibilities. So the more unwanted teenage pregnancies we have, the younger the 'progressives' start teaching kids about sex and so the cycle goes on. So the UK now has the highest rate of unwantd teen pregnancies in Europe, and abortion is just another form of contraception.

If you judge a civilisation by the way it treats its babies I fear that our civilisation doesn't stand up to close scrutiny.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Politically Correct Bull

Oh dear, two football commentators joked that a female linesman at the Wolves v Liverpool game probably wouldn't understand the offside rule. It's hit the front page of The Times today, a full inside page and the two, Andy Gray and Richard Keys, aren't allowed to work on tonight's live game. How pathetic.

We used to have a great sense of humour in this country, and a sense of perspective, it seems that the politically correct puritans have killed off both. If women can't cope with a corny old joke like that God help them when twenty thousand hairy arsed drunks start chanting abuse at them when they do get a decision wrong.

I heard a woman commenting on a game last week, on the Football League Show I think, and I couldn't watch it, it just wasn't right. It sounded like a netball commentary had been overlaid onto a football game. If that makes me sexist then so be it. I suppose it fits with Baroness Warsi claiming those of us who dare to criticise Islam are Islamphobes. So I'm sexist and Islamophobic/racist. I heartily oppose gay adoption too. Bingo, homophobic too.

Again we used to be able to disagree or oppose something a few years back without being accused of an 'ism' or a 'phobia'. No more, the politically correct fascists have used the English language to create a form of intellectual imprisonment. And don't you dare tell a joke that might be a little bit iffy, you will be treated as if you've just raped the Queen.

Don't forget, Carol Thatcher was sacked by the BBC for saying that a black tennis player with a tight, 1970s style Afro hairstyle looked like a gollywog. A bit daft maybe, but it was off air and I deny anybody to persuade me that anybody should lose their job for a comment like that, or for the comment that started this post.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Morrissey-First Of The Gang To Die

It's hard to believe that it's coming up to seven years since my beloved and I headed off to watch Morrissey at Old Trafford. For me especially it was a marriage made in heaven, the musical genius that is Morrissey playing at the home of the world's greatest cricket club, Lancashire.

Here is a flavour to give you an idea what a fantastic night we had. In fact we still get sentimental over it when we hear this song:

And the lad grew up quarter of a mile round the corner from the ground.

Hugo the Chavez and George Galloway, What a Pair of Prats!

Vicious Venezuelan dictator
Hugo Chavez is the new Chez Guevarra, a tyrant worshipped by idiots like George Galloway and lefty prats who don't mind bloodthirsy bastards as long as they look cool and are of a leftist disposition.

Earlier this week I read about Chavez, the great dictator of Venezuela, banning a TV station from featuring a particularly nasty dog called Little Hugo in a soap opera. I wonder how Galloway would react if Coronation Street introduced a pesky little dog called Scottish Bastard?

Nasty little dog in a Venezuelan soap opera
Not known for modesty, or a keen sense of humour leftist despots.

Saw a few minutes of George Galloway on Question Time this week. He's just as self-obsessed and bullying as ever. I had to switch off, him and Alistair Campbell on the same platform is way beyond what any reasonable human being should have to suffer. In fact the UN should ban it as cruel and unusual punishment.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Baroness Warsi's an Idiot!

I spent the start of the week ensconced in a dreary hotel on a training course. The rest of the week I've been suffering a dose of double pneumonia with chronic fatigue and bronchial problems or, as my beloved likes to call it in her usual sexist way, 'man flu'. I'm feeling a lot better now and have decided to blog.

I shall have a fitness test tomorow morning to decide if I am fit for the FC United game tomorrow. I suspect I will be OK to take my usual place in the Main Stand thanks to the amazing medicinal qualities of cheap whisky, honey, lemon and boiling water.

Now then, if you had any doubts that the Tory Party is nothing more than a bunch of dead headed social democrats, dripping wet and with a great pinkish tinge running down their spines you only had to hear what Baroness Warsi had to say about Islam and dinner tables. What a pathetic moron she is and she is Chairman of the Tory Party.

So a muslim woman, apparently a successful businesswoman, who has been elevated to the House of Lords, claims that English people sit around their dinner tables coming out with nasty racist remarks about Islam. Forgive me if I now sound racist but I can't remember the last time we bothered to talk about Islam around our dinner table.

I don't bracket all followers of Islam as extremist nutters any more than I blamed all Irish people or all Catholics for the evils of the IRA. After all, I'm a Catholic myself and I've never wanted to blow anybody up.

Actually now I think of it, the last time we mentioned anything concerning Islam at the dinner table was discussing how our friend in an Islamic country had to get the written permission of her husband to get a driving licence and isn't allowed a bible in that particular country.

Of course there's nowt wrong with that is there Baroness? Or does that make us evil anti-Islamist racists?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

More Oppression of Christians

I've been away on a training course for a few days and came blinking out of the hotel into the daylight again yesterday evening. I always leave residential courses feeling like I know the other participants as well as I know my family, and expecting the world will have somehow changed while I've been ensconced in a dreary chain hotel. Sadly, the world just trundles on.

Yesterday I heard the news that a Christian couple who run a bed and breakfast have become the latest victims of the police state. They have fallen foul of the law for refusing a room to a  gay couple. The gay couple, rather than just go elsewhere, ran off to the police like a pair of big cissies. Now when I smoked, and the habit was tolerated, in the days before the police state forbade it, if I saw a bed and breakfast that was 'strictly non smoking' I just passed it and went to one with a more libreral attitude. Why couldn' this gay couple do likewise?

I'm a Roman Catholic and there are obviously things that I disapprove of, divorce being one. I am married until the day I die to one woman. Even if she did leave me, unlikely after nearly 25 years I hope, I would still regard myself as married. But I wouldn't stop other people from being allowed to divorce. I have gay friends. If they came to stay with us I would have no problem with them sharing a bedroom in our house. But if others refuse them that convenience, it is their choice.

We now live in a country where minority wishes repeatedly override the majority, where the majority are refused choice in order to accomodate the minority. I vehemently disapprove of gay adoption just as I oppose 70 year old women using IVF to become pregnant. Until recently Catholic adption agencies were allowed to work in the interests of children and Catholic couples who couldn't have children. The state has now closed down Catholic adoption agencies. For years if gay couples went to Catholic agencies they were discreetly pointed in the direction of agencies that did approve of gay adoption. No problem there, all views and beliefs were catered for. But no, the state decided what our agencies were doing was illegal and there are now no Catholic adoption agencies.

I may not approve of certain things, but I don't want them banned. Sadly in our 21st century tyranny choice for many of us is being crushed on an almost daily basis.   

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Goal of the Century? FC United of Manchester

Had a cracking day yesterday watching FC United play Retford United in Nottinghamshire. We won 4 0 but the highlight has to be the following goal. Yes, the wind was in the right direction, but it's not often you see a keeper score from within his own penalty area. But then again, not every team has a keeper like Sam Ashton.

Apparently their pitch is 115yds long. So this kick is about 107yds.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Voters Of Oldham East and Saddleworth-What A Shower!

Oldham voters head for the polling stations.
Having spent most of the day driving around the North West listening to the radio I was slowly boiling, actually more of a simmer really, at the result of the by-election in Oldham.

A Labour MP, Woolas, was forced out of office by an Elections Court for lying. The former Labour MP for nearby Bury, David Chaytor, has just been sentenced for fraud and fatboy slug Eric Illsley, Labour MP for Barnsley Central, is awaiting sentence for fraud. So the bloody misfits in Oldham vote to replace a lying Labour MP with another Labour MP.

That's without mentioning what the bastard Labour Party did to this country over the 13 years it was in power. Are the people of Delph, Uppermill, Glodwick, Denshaw and those other old Pennine mill towns really as inbred as we Mancunians like to accuse them of? Until yesterday that accusation was done largely in jest but, after yesterday, surely there may have to be a rethink about whether it is tongue in cheek or not.

Then I heard a silly old bag interviewed on regional TV news and she proudly proclaimed that of course she had voted Labour yesterday, working class people do vote Labour! For crying out loud, it's 2011. Except around Saddleworth where it still seems to be 1911. She then complained that the price of clogs had gone up a farthing and they couldn't afford to eat black pudding since it had gone up to a shilling a pound. When asked about Afghanistan she reckoned we should send Kitchener, he'd sort 'em out

I don't want some class commissar bossing me about, and Labour loves bossing people about, so here's one 'working class lad' who has never voted Labour. As a consequence I don't have Iraq and Afghanistan on my conscience like all those pillocks who have voted Labour since 1997. Or Kosovo and the shambles that followed on from that. Nor am I responsible for terrorists like McGuiness and Adams and their other IRA chums being in government in Belfast. Nor do I have surrender to the EU on my conscience or the selling off of the UK gold reserves just before the value of gold started soaring. I could go on but I won't because I'm bloody angry.

I know that four out of five voters did not vote for the Labour wallah. Only around 20% of those eligible to vote actually voted Labour, so 80% of the electorate weren't quite that stupid. But what of the 52% of the electorate who couldn't get off their fat, lazy backsides to put a cross on a ballot paper? Evidently that is too much for them to manage either physically, mentally or both. After all there were ten, yes ten candidates to choose from, too much for many of the voters tiny brains to cope with it seems. But don't whinge about there being nobody to vote for when you are next challenged about your absurd level of not-giving-a-shitidness!

I don't agree with compulsory voting, I don't see forcing people to vote as being very democratic. But 52% of the voters yesterday did not abstain, they just didn't give a shit. That is the threat to democracy, the apathy of the electorate, bread and circuses call it what you will.

In the words of The Jam:

And the public gets what the public wants
But I want nothing this society's got -
I'm going underground, going underground
I'm not really planning going underground, but after more than 30 years leafletting, canvassing, standing for election in local and parliamentary elections, and winning once, I do wonder why any of us who are politically active actually bother. It's easier to raise the dead than wake up the voters of this sinking nation. Or should that be 'stinking nation'?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Sounds in My Head

Oh God, please not Bronski Beat!
No, I'm not going mad, at least I don't think so, but recently there seem to be more than the usual number of tunes that get in my head and refuse to go. You know what I mean, you're tootling round the supermarket and suddenly it's there, that tune. You even find yourself humming it out loud, and it isn't always a tune you necessarily like, which makes it even worse.

It happened to me before Christmas and the tune wedged in there and refused to go. It's easing now, but there are still a few times during an average day when it pops in and haunts me. The song is Tar Barrel in Dale by The Unthanks.  If you follow the link and listen to the song I'd be interested to hear if it invades your mind too! Thankfully I like the song, that's some mercy.

Then yesterday I worked with Sweeps, a Scouser on my acting course. It felt like he'd spent Christmas at home with us as he pops up in the current McDonald's and Sheila's Wheels TV commercials. Every time I turned the telly on that bugger popped up. So I was haunted by a Scouser on TV, and The Unthanks had got themselves into the dark recesses of my mind.

But last night, and today it became a lot worse. Last night Sweeps kept singing the opening lines of He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother.  So I now have The Hollies desperately fighting The Unthanks like some kind of mental Eurovision Song Contest going on in my head. But to make matters worse the high pitched squealing of Jimmy Somerville singing the chorus of Bronski Beat's Smalltown Boy keeps sneaking in. He kept singing that one too when his brother got a bit too heavy for him.

Bloody Scousers!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Guest Blog: Life in Dubai

Many of us yearn, especially at this time of year when it is raining and seems to be permanently dusk, to be enjoying sunnier climes. Our thoughts turn to summer holidays and barbecues. But some people make their dream a permanent reality and move, lock stock and barrel to warmer climes. Mike and his family did this late last year and following is Mike's account of moving to Dubai. I'm sure he will do regular guest posts so that we can see how life develops for him, his wife and young son.

I moved to Dubai 5 months ago, and now I've settled into life as an expat, Gregg has asked me to write about my experiences living and working here in Dubai.

My wife and I first visited Dubai together in 2007. It was at the height of the boom here and it was definitely an impressive place to visit. Huge skyscrapers (though the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa wasn't open at the time), warm sunshine, balmy nights, fast cars, amazing shopping, hotels and wife fell in love with the place almost straight away and I wasn't far behind her. We visited at the end of October in 2007 and I remember vividly arriving back home to the North East of Scotland and seeing the first of the Winter snowfall, when just 24 hours before we had been lounging by the pool in 34C.

We had talked a lot on the plane coming home about the possibility of moving to the UAE and we both agreed that it would be something we would love to do. I'm quite lucky with my job that I can pretty much move anywhere in the world assuming there were vacancies and so once we'd settled back into our regular post-holiday life, I started the ball rolling. One of the things I learnt very early on about Dubai is that it really is the case of 'who you know, not necessarily what you know'. I had a good friend who had been working out here for 3 years at that point and he got me in touch with the relevant people and so the process began.

All that being said, it was still just over 2 years before the initial, concrete, job offer came in in January 2010. At that time I had been told that recruitment wasn't likely to start until early 2011 and so in the meantime I had applied for, been offered and accepted a job in London with the same company I was working for in Scotland. Because of this, I initially rejected the job offer from Dubai. However, 6 months later I still hadn't been released from my position in Scotland to move to London with no prospect of it happening any time soon and Dubai came calling again.

We accepted in a flash!

The 4 months between accepting the job and actually boarding the plane for the big move zoomed by! We had much to do! Getting the house valued and put on the market, getting the first of my paperwork moving, sorting out shipping and containers, making trips to say farewell to friends and family, not to mention the fact that my wife and I were still working full time!

Anyway, finally the big day came. We had already decided that I would fly first, get settled in, find a place for us and then a month later my wife and son would join me. Although being apart for a month was difficult, it was probably the right choice. When I first arrived I was put up in a hotel for the first month, and when I wasn't in work, I was out house hunting. Although it was a very nice hotel, my wife and son would have soon got stir crazy I feel!

One of the things I have had to get used to out here very quickly is the amount of bureaucracy. It really is phenomenal. I arrived with 40 passport photos of myself, my wife and son. Everything needs a photocopy as well, from passport to visa to birth certificates to marriage certificates to UK driving licence.......the list is truly endless! It even got to the stage one night after a particularly long day that I tried to give the bemused Filipino checkout girl a copy of my passport at the supermarket checkout with my credit card whilst trying to buy some groceries!

It was also in the first week that I learned about the phrase 'Inshallah'...........The best way I can compare it is with the Spanish 'manana'.............For example, after finding a house I liked and agreed a rental price on I arranged a day and time to go in to the lettings office to meet our new landlady and sign the contracts. I was told to be at the office at 9am and my new landlady should arrive at 9.15am Inshallah..........she arrived at 11.30am. It was similar when trying to get my car park pass for work and being told it was activated and should work within 24 hours.........Inshallah. Inshallah is very much a cultural thing here and it really does sum up the entire thought process of the Muslim people. If anything does or doesn't happen, it is the will of Allah, hence Inshallah. Religion is a complete way of life in Dubai and the local people are entrenched in their religion. It's actually very impressive seeing the devotion the people have to their religion. There are mosques on almost every street, and 5 times a day you hear the call to prayer on the mosque loudspeakers. Even when walking around the vast shopping malls the wailing of an imam will suddenly come over the mall speakers calling the faithful to prayer. That being said, even though the majority of people here are Muslim, it isn't in your face or attempted to be imposed on you. All that the local people ask is that you respect their customs and religion. This means things like being dressed modestly in public (ie not wearing bikinis or anything else similarly revealing in the malls if you're a woman or going bare chested as a man), acknowledging Ramadan and remembering not to eat or drink in public during Ramadan....basically doing the sorts of things that most people in Britain would expect of newcomers with regard to British customs and traditions.

As a westerner in Dubai, life is certainly not difficult, particularly as a British westerner. I earn a tax-free salary and take home double what I earnt in the UK. Rent and utilities are paid for by the company as a matter of course, there are plenty of things to do cheaply, with some amazing restaurants and cars and fuel are cheap. Dubai is literally in the middle of the world and so you can fly from here to every continent non-stop and relatively cheaply. The opportunities we have for travelling as a family from Dubai now are way beyond what we could have dreamt of had we stayed in the UK. However, that is only one side of the coin. The UAE has been built on immigration. Local Emirati, depending on which sourse of information you use, make up around just 18-20% of the total population. They are literally a minority in their own country. The majority of immigrants are from the sub-Continent-Pakistan, India and Bangladesh with a sizable number from the Philippines and Sri Lanka. Westerners make up the rest with around 100,000 Britons making Dubai their home. The rest of the Westerner expat population are generally made up from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the US & Canada. However, unlike in other countries, the Emirati embrace immigration. They acknowledge the expertise and labour that immigration bring to their country, which literally would not be what it is today without immigration. The Westerners bring the majority of expertise in things like finance, logistics, engineering, teaching and medicine whilst the majority of immigrants from Asia and the sub-Continent work in the service and labour sectors. However, this really is a place of extremes and the gap between the (relatively) wealthy Western expats and their counterparts from Asia are literally vast.

For example, the vast majority of villas and even apartments here come with a maid's room. These are generally tiny little box rooms, with a small ensuite and enough room for a 2/3rds size single bed and a small bedside table. The average cost of a maid for us if we chose would be just over a day's salary for me, each month and a paid trip home for them once every 2 years....For that the maid would be expected to do all the cleaning, washing and ironing, babysit 2 or 3 nights a week, and even if you wanted, drop off the kids at school or nursery every day and then pick them up again. For a little bit extra they'll even do all the shopping and cooking. It really is an eye-opener. It's not something that we would feel comfortable with, however, despite the arguments we sometimes hear from friends justifying their hire of a maid.

Possibly the least well looked after, however, are the labourers. Every morning at around 6am, you see fleets of old Tata coaches, transporting all the workers for their 12 hour shifts in the daytime sun. They are housed in pre-fab blocks of dormitories with very basic cooling systems and 1 bathroom between many. Apparently, a rule was passed that if the daytime temperature went above 50C, then workers have to down tools...........that means that legally these guys can work outside in soaring temperatures and as long as the thermometer that their employers have bought and placed on a wall remains below 50C, they can't stop........I'm sure you can guess what happens.

Driving in Dubai is an adventure to say the least. The locals even take 'Inshallah' into the car with them- what will be will be so it's not unusual to see people reversing up the hard shoulder of the motorway after missing their exit, or making a last minute swerve across 6 lanes of busy traffic in order to make the junction they're about to fire past. One of the most irritating traits of Dubai drivers, however, is their complete lack of patience. This manifests itself in many ways but the most common is a car in the fast lane of the motorway with another car (usually a large 4X4 or similar) literally inches from its bumper flashing its lights trying to force it out of the way. The concept of safe stopping distances hasn't reached Dubai yet. One of the scariest things I have seen, however, is a large car overtaking me on the motorway with a family in it. The parents were in the front, and their child is either running around the back seat of the car, or even worse just sitting in the lap of it's mother in the front with no safety belt. Although this doesn't happen regularly I would still bet (something that is illegal here incidentally) on seeing that at least 5times a week.

Despite the price of oil nowadays, fuel here is still very cheap compared to Britain at least, although the locals complain that the price has quadrupled in 2 years! It costs me around £21 to fill up my fuel tank which holds 80 litres.......

The hypocrisy here is astonishing as well. We are living in a supposedly strict Muslim country. Yet there are bars here where you can get legless, places where you can buy alcohol, casinos and most bars have prostitutes from Eastern Europe, the Far East and East Africa openly flaunting there bodies to men. And quite often you will see local men in these bars, drinking the alcohol and negotiating a price with the hookers.

All in all, we are so far very happy with our move to Dubai. We earn good money tax-free, almost guaranteed sunshine 365 days a year, it's an incredibly safe place to bring up our son with very little if any anti-social behaviour never mind any serious crime, and Britain is only a 7hour flight away. I'm not sure we could handle more than about 5 years out here but for now we're quite happy to call Dubai home..........

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Hatred of the Left

Galloway, peace loving statesman.
Yesterday I blogged about the hatred and venom of the left, and their hatred has been further exposed today in the media in relation to the terrible events in Arizona yesterday. I heard George Galloway attacking the right for building an atmosphere of hate. He didn't have an answer when Charlie Wolf asked him who he thought had strung up an effigy of Sarah Palin during the US election campaign. And anyway, Galloway throwing around accusations of hatred? A little bit rich I thought.

Talk of the hatred unleashed since Obama became President seems to overlook the pure venom and hatred directed at George Bush. Don't forget the left persistently lied about him rigging the election, although it was proved that he hadn't. They even accused him of leaving people to die in New Orleans because he was a racist. Is that the politics of love? And there was much worse than that directed at George Bush.

Incidentally, don't forget who it was who said in 2008: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Can't remember? It was that darling of the left, President Barack Obama.

Anybody who was alive in the 1970s and 1980s saw the hatred of the left in Town Halls and Trade Unions throughout the country. Dare admit to being a Conservative in certain workplaces in those decades and you would find yourself 'sent to Coventry', or worse in some cases, by so-called colleagues. Many of us actually witnessed or experienced the violence of the left in those decades.

They say the far-left and the far-right are two sides of the same coin, and I tend to agree with that position. The lunatic who went on the rampage in Arizona had been reading Mein Kampf and Das Kapital it transpires. Nutters like that pop up occasionally, we had one up the road in Cumbria last year. You cannot legislate for psychopaths sadly, no matter what we do a nutter will find a way. Ban guns, he may drive a car into a crowd next time.

But enough. What I really wanted to do with this post was to bring to peoples' attention this excellent article by Daniel Hannan. This is another excellent article of his too, on the same issue.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Sarah Palin and Liberal Scum

Last night was one of those strange nights, largely due to the modern media. As the terrible events in Tucson, Arizona unfolded watching the TV, and being on Twitter made it seem so much closer than previous tragedies that have rocked different parts of the world. It is terrible for all involved and we must all pray that Gabrielle Giffords makes a full recovery, not forgetting all the other victims and their families.

What really shocked me around the unfolding tragedy was the response of the liberal left. Within minutes they started pointing the finger. And who was it pointed at? No surprises, that figure of hate to the left, for the liberal left thrive on hatred, Sara Palin. Yes, no evidence, no reasoning just a typical knee jerk reaction and someone to instantly blame, someone on the right.

So why did the left immediately point the finger at Sara Palin? Because she had 'targetted' Congresswoman Giffords, among others, on her website. So obviously some nutter takes it literally and hey presto, Palin's to blame. How simplistic, how hateful, how very liberal left. So we can only assume that the next time Labour talk about a 'decapitation' strategy they will bear in mind that they could be encouraging the beheading of political opponents! If you don't know, and might be encouraged by this blog to take a machete to a political opponent please don't. Decapitation means working for the removal in elections of senior or leading political oppponents rather than their literal decapitation.

When the left rattle on about hatred, love and peace it is as well to remember the way they treated George Bush, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and others, indeed anybody they happen to disagree or disapprove of. Socialism is based on hatred and venom, it is the natural territory of the liberal left and Marxists all over the world. We have a duty to fight them everywhere.  

Friday, January 07, 2011

Soaps and Morality? Privatise the BBC!

There's been quite a fuss this week about two soap operas, one being Eastenders, the other the radio soap The Archers, both produced by the BBC.

If you don't know the Eastenders' storyline was about two women who gave birth on the same day. One baby died of cot death, the grieving mother sneaked into the home of the other and swapped babies. A particularly unpleasant and nasty storyline that was as far fetched as it was in bad taste. The uproar has led to thousands of complaints to the BBC, whose response has been pretty much: 'tough, it was well researched and we think it was good'. My beloved blogged about it on Rosie's Forum yesterday.

Much of the defence that people have put up for Eastenders is the old chestnut that things like that happen in real life. My response to that is that going to the toilet happens in real life but thankfully no deviant has yet decided to show it on TV. There's a strong argument, and a place in drama for gritty realism but it must always be done tastefully and sympathetically. Eastenders is neither tasteful nor sympathetic. I saw the episode and it was badly done and pretty sickening.

The Archers, which lost any credibility it had years ago, trumpeted that their Christmas storyline was going to rock the show for the next ten years. The build up was so intense that people who don't normally listen to The Archers were discussing the possibilities. Bear in mind Ambridge is the sleepy Borsetshire town that has far worse social problems, from racism to rape than all the sink estates in the rest of the country put together. In a nutshell it is so politically correct that most people who hear it can only laugh at the absurdity of it. If you want an idea what people mean when they say, usually in relation to the hunting ban, that the metroplitan elite don't understand the countryside, then listen to an episode of The Archers.

So what happened in The Achers? Helen, a single woman pregnant by a sperm donor, gave birth six weeks early and Nigel Pargetter fell off the roof of his country pile and died. I'm only surprised that Helen's baby isn't black. As for Nigel, I suppose they had to kill off the only toff in the village. The producer, Vanessa Whitburn, has finally completed her Stalinist purge of the show, landed wealthy spongers have now been expunged.

There are people who argue that there should be tighter control over broadcasters so that storylines such as these, more so Eastenders than The Archers, should not be allowed. Although appalled by Eastenders, I can't agree that censorship is a healthy solution. Part of the problem, if indeed it is a problem, is that people actually like these senstationalist stories, the ratings prove that to be the case. My worry is about how far our values and standards have dropped that so much tripe is produced and greedily consumed by the public. The problem is deep rooted within society, tripe on TV and radio is merely a symptom of that deeper malaise.

The logical thing to do is to switch off the TV or switch to another channel. Certainly we won't be watching Eastenders again. But the problem with the BBC is that I still have to pay for it, through the TV Licence Fee, whether I watch it or not. Commercial pressure should be the natural form of censorship. Whether I like to watch it or not, if enough other people do want to watch it then it will be made as it will be economically feasible. That is the best form of censorship for TV and radio.

Of course the problem then is that the nature of BBC funding means that it doesn't have the responsibilities and accountabilities that other broadcasters have, indeed it prides itself on producing output that most people don't want to watch or listen to, mostly narrow politically correct pap. So the answer, logically, is to scrap or privatise the BBC. Then it will have to work within the constraints that its rivals do.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

David Byrne-This Must Be The Place

The late seventies saw the emergence of some fantastic New Wave bands from here and the US. One of the finest had to be Talking Heads , formed around 1974 in New York . The band played together until around 1991 then  David Byrne, head honcho, carried on with some fine, groundbreaking solo work. Here he is on Jools Holland in 2004:


If you don't find that uplifting I suspect rigor mortis has set in.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Wasting Police Time

Thousands of pounds in police and court time has been wasted prosecuting a motorist who flashed his lights at oncoming motorists to warn them of a mobile speed camera ahead. Yet another sign of what a nasty, vindictive and authoritarian bunch of misfits we have lording it over us.

Michael Thomson should be given a medal not dragged through the courts. Surely we have a duty to try and discourage each other from breaking the law. That's what Mr Thomson was doing. Surely speed cameras are there to try and stop people speeding. That's all Mr Thomson was doing.

Of course we all know that speed cameras are actually tax machines, there to squeeze even more money from already ripped off motorists, that's why this nasty prosecution was pursued by the authorities.

So if you ever find yourself in the company of somebody planning a crime, don't try and persuade them it's a bad idea. If you do that and the police don't get the chance to nick a gang of armed robbers, you'll likely find yourself up on a charge of obstructing the police, just like Mr Thomson.

Full story from This Is Grimsby.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Signs of the Times

Something is wrong and we all know it. Sometimes things happen that should cause outrage and anger, but they get a little coverage and then are gone, forgotten.

One such instance was the policeman in Wiltshire who was imprisoned for assaulting an innocent women as he threw her, for no obvious reason, into a police cell. He was released after a few weeks on appeal. However, the police still weren't happy with him and he was sacked. I must admit to feeling a sense of relief for the innocent people of Wiltshire when I heard he had been sacked, just a shame he's on the streets as a civilian.

On a similarly serious note a Scottish 'ambulance technician' has kept his job despite a woman dying when he refused to treat her because he was on a tea break 800 yards away. That really does take the biscuit. He should not only have been sacked but also put behind bars the bastard!

According to the NHS careers website this is what 'ambulance technicians' are supposed to do, so long as they are not having a brew:
Where they are still employed, ambulance technicians are members of the accident and emergency crew, answering 999 calls. Working alongside a paramedic, they give patients potentially lifesaving care at the scene and then get them to hospital as soon as possible. They are often on call - in the middle of the night and in all weathers - and will deal with a wide range of different people and situations.
Just to prove that we are being crushed by an ever more oppressive and authoritarian state that cares little for the innocent citizenry on numerous levels, here is another example of high handedness from Bedford council.
A man was threatened with a £1,000 fine for displaying posters of his missing cat on trees and lampposts in Bedford. Mike Harding put up a series of A4-sized posters of Wookie, who went missing in late November. He said the borough council warned him of the offence of flyposting and said he had to remove the posters within 48 hours or face a fine.

We used to be a nation of animal lovers, it seems that those in charge of us now loathe animals and humans in equal measure.