Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Christmas

A light shall shine upon us this day: for our Lord is born to us; and He shall be called Wonderful, God, the Prince of peace, the Father of the world to come, of Whose kingdom there shall be no end.

A child is born to us.

And to us a Son is given.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord our God, that we who rejoice in celebrating the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ may deserve by holiness of life to attain unto fellowship with Him. Who liveth and reigneth forever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The BBC Christmas Session

The BBC soaks up vast amounts of our hard earned cash, so it's only right that they occasionally produce something worth watching. Last year they made The Christmas Session featuring Bellowhead, The Unthanks, Lisa Knapp and others.

I recommend putting it on your viewing list this Christmas, let's face it, now they're no longer showing Laurel and Hardy films at Christmas there's not a lot else worth watching.

The BBC Christmas Session.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sign of the Times

Last time I was in Manchester (last weekend) I bumped into somebody I used to know. He's in his fifties now and I can't remember the last time he had a job, he still hasn't got one.

I saw him last about twelve months ago when he proceeded to slag off the government, expressing his anger quite forcefully and regretting having voted Conservative. When I asked him what the problem was it was that the DSS had sent him for a medical as he'd been on disability/invalidity benefit, at least that's what I think it was, and they were checking he was still medically unfit for work. His anger was induced by the fact that they had found him perfectly fit and able to work.

This time I saw him I asked how he was getting on. He smiled and told me how was now being treated for mental health problems. He's still on benefits. I'm not sure but I swear he winked as he told me.

Nice to know how our hard earned taxes are being spent isn't it? Then nutty lefties rant about us, and businesses, not paying enough tax. Stuff 'em!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Andrew Mitchell and Class War

I always had doubts about the sacking of Andrew Mitchell and it looks increasingly like he has been the victim of a conspiracy. Even if he had used the word 'pleb' big deal! If everybody who lost his temper at work was sacked the dole queues would be even bigger than they are now. The hysteria around name calling, be it 'pleb', 'black bastard' or whatever shows just how infantilised we have become as a society. Grow up and get on with it.

But with Andrew Mitchell it looks increasingly like the actions of the police involved came down to politics and sheer spitefulness. The Police Association are becoming ever more hysterical about the cuts, which in my opinion are nowhere enough, and they seem to be increasingly obsessed with political correctness rather than good old fashioned policing. Public trust in the police is at an all time low which should worry everybody. But I suppose it is inevitable as so many years of Labour in power has corrupted and weakened just about every British institution. It is increasingly like living in a banana republic, and Cameron hasn't got the balls to do what is needed-shrink the state and cut taxes.

The backdrop to all this is a nasty vindictiveness towards people seen as from a class above, or seen as a having a bit more money than most, stoked up as ever by the hate filled hypocrites in the Labour Party. It seems that we have to treat everybody with dignity and respect, even convicts, but God help you if you are seen as successful or wealthy, then it's open season in the most hateful and unpleasant manner. So Cameron is from a wealthy background and went to a public school. A similar background to Blair then. If people want to knock him, as I frequently do, then do it for sound political reasons, not because you're an envious, bitter and hate filled socialist who begrudges success.

How long before the morons from UK Uncut start attacking individuals who earn more than minimum wage because they're bored of whining about Starbucks?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Gay Marriage

It seems that Cameron's social democrat government is determined to alienate as many people in the country as possible. Lately we've had the fiasco of the PCC elections which 80% of the population couldn't be mithered getting involved with.

Now they are determined, despite a total lack of interest from the populace at large be they gay or straight, to redefine marriage. Yet things that do concern the public, such as the EU, are completely ignored. I suppose as this government has no mandate they have no reason to worry what the electorate want or believe.

On the question of 'gay marriage' there is a wonderful article by Brendan O'Neill in Spiked Online. A must read I would say.

Monday, December 10, 2012

David Morris MP, Morecambe and Lunesdale

David Morris and his researcher.
David Morris is a snivelling little shit who must lose his seat at the next election.

The Bruges Group have done a study of MPs and how they have voted since 2010 on selling our country to Brussels. Here is the full list.

The little turd who currently pretends to represent me scored a derisory -72%. One term only for you little fella.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Little To Blog About

I suppose it was inevitable when the grey man himself became Prime Minister and then Geek of the Century was elected Labour Leader that things would become mind numbingly dull.

That's largely why I'm finding it difficult to blog much at the moment. No big characters, no big ideas and all the political nutters seem to be obsessed with how much tax coffee shops have paid or should pay in tax. Big deal, the less tax we pay the better, then the state may stop bombing foreign countries then spending billions on foreign aid.

In short, I'm bored.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Annual Police Terror

The Annual Police Terror is upon us. From now until New Year there will suddenly be police on most of our roads in numbers we all thought the cuts had made impossible. God help you if you've necked a quick glass of port at the office Christmas Party.

No doubt there will be morbid TV ads of angelic children explaining how daddy was cruelly taken from them by a nasty man who'd had a pint of Hobgoblin before driving home. There'll be a sobbing walk-on actor telling us all, voice shaking, how he wiped out a family of six while driving after eating a packet of wine gums.

Yesterday there was a disgusting phone-in on BBC Radio2 with people proudly telling us how they'd grassed up loved ones to the police. One woman proudly told us how she'd grassed up her mother-in-law who had been on the sherry before driving home. The poor woman was nicked, dragged off to the station and released without charge. She was innocent and her son is now, thankfully, divorced. The Stasi would be proud of modern Britain.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

UKIP-An Objective Viewpoint

Nigel Farage: Mad As A Hatter
There are so many reasons why UKIP won't achieve that a whole blog could be taken up with listing and explaining them. Some of them are:

It's merely a plaything for Nigel Farage and his MEP chums who don't take UK politics seriously, only their EU salaries and allowances.

Farage only tolerates his chums and purges the party of anybody he perceives as independent minded or a threat to his position. Hence the candidate in today's Rotherham by-election still being given responsible positions despite being a complete political incompetent.

UKIP claim to be a libertarian party but the overwhelming majority of members would a run a mile if they knew what libertarianism actually was. Other than opposing the smoking ban their few attempts at policy are far from libertarian. If you don't believe me visit the Libertarian Alliance website.

Despite efforts they have never managed to cobble together reasoned and affordable policies, largely because the only thing the membership agree on is getting out of the EU. Any other policy discussions in open meetings are likely to lead to major rows and splits.

The only people who take UKIP ever so seriously are UKIP members.

Following is an independent assessment of UKIP's current position from an article in the Telegraph Online:

Sorry, but it isn’t going to happen. In 1983 the SDP were going to break the mould of British politics; they didn’t. In 1989 the Greens were going to transform the British political landscape; they couldn’t. And in 2015 the great Ukip breakthrough will disintegrate upon the unyielding wall of electoral reality.

This morning the Tweed Army are on a roll. They are surging in Rotherham on the back of the fostering scandal. As this paper reports today, no fewer than eight Tory MPs are said to be in discussion with Sir Stewart Wheeler about possible defection. And opinion poll after opinion poll shows Ukip snapping furiously at the heels of the flatlining Liberal Democrats.
It’s a false dawn. However noble their cause, or steely their resolve, Nigel Farage and his irregulars are marching towards defeat.

Ukip are not a political force, but a political curiosity. In years to come many a pub quiz trophy will be won by those who can correctly answer the question: “What was the name of the guy who ran the anti-EU party? Begins with an N."

In life there are rules. What goes up will come down. The Earth rotates around the Sun, not vice versa. And come election time, minor British political parties get squeezed out of existence.
It may not be fair. It may not be healthy. But them’s the facts. And unfortunately, they are immutable.
Of course, come June 2014, when next year's European votes are counted, there’s going to be a whole lot of muting going on. Ukip will be in the process of recording their greatest ever election triumph. The Tories will have been beaten into a humiliating third place. Eurosceptic MPs will be fanning out across the airways demanding action and the summary execution of Ken Clarke.

And then nothing will happen. A year later Ukip will run, they will fight and they will lose. There will be no Ukip MPs. Their impact on sitting Tory MPs will have been negligible. They will have 3 or at a stretch 4 per cent of the vote to show for their efforts.

How can my cold, Leftist eyes penetrate the political crystal ball so clearly? Well, for one thing, I’m not a Ukip supporter, so I’m unencumbered by the hope and expectation attending several of those currently predicting a national outbreak of Farage Mania.

The truth, if you care to look for it, is out there. Firstly, there is the electoral system. Ukip cannot make a breakthrough in 2015 because the system they will be fighting under has been specifically designed to prevent them from making that breakthrough. It was not built to further the political ambitions of free spirits such as Citizen Farage. It was created to crush them underfoot; and so it will.

Then there is the second big problem facing Nigel Farage’s party: he hasn’t got one. In relative terms, Ukip have no money, no infrastructure and no activists. They have no organisational expertise, no strategy expertise and no policy expertise. Yes, they punch above their weight in the media, but that’s because much of the media is instinctively sympathetic to their agenda, not because of any presentational acumen. Not so long ago Ukip’s idea of a communications strategy was to wind up Robert Kilroy-Silk and let him go.

Then there is a third obstacle. Ukip are a single-issue organisation, campaigning on an issue most voters couldn’t care less about. According to Mori’s latest issue tracker, only 5 per cent of voters regard Europe as one of the most important issues facing the country. At the time of the 1997 election that figure stood at 43 per cent. Ukip aren’t surfing a wave, they’re paddling in a rock pool watching the tide go out.

People can spend the next couple of years preparing with mounting excitement for Ukip’s moment. But come the next election, the fix will be in. That tiny percentage of voters who rate Europe as the defining issue will have a clear choice. The Eurowary – if not fully fledged sceptic – Prime Minister Cameron. Or the Europhile – if not fully obsessive – Prime Minister Miliband. Nigel Farage – no debate, no money, no activists, no infrastructure, no hope of a seat, never mind power – won’t get a look-in.

That’s the problem with being a lone warrior. It’s lonely.

Monday, November 26, 2012

UKIP-Politics of the Playground

Just when UKIP were being defended by non members over the Rotherham foster business they go and prove, once again, why they bomb in proper elections, only gaining seats under the EU's ludicrous PR system.

Michael Fabricant suggests an electoral pact with UKIP in return for an in-out referendum on the EU. Do UKIP jump at the chance? No, they condemn it out of hand in a school playground style tantrum. Why? Because David Cameron called them names a few years ago.

Paul Nuttall, bagman for Nigel Farage, was on Radio Manchester today sobbing that David Cameron called them closet racists so they won't play with him any more. This is the party that claims causing offence should not be a criminal offence, but are happy to refuse us the chance of a referendum because Cameron upset them a few years ago.

Or maybe the UKIP MEPs are just enjoying their fat salaries and generous expenses a little too much to risk their seats on the gravy train. UKIP, part of the problem, not the solution.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

A Letter from Ashdod, Israel

The following guest blog is from an English friend living in Ashdod in southern Israel. It tells of his life living with the constant threat of shells landing from Gaza from where Hamas have been carrying out terror attacks on Israeli civilians for some time:

It’s impossible for someone who has never been in southern Israel during a rocket attack to fully understand the emotions and thoughts you have when the Banshee-like rocket sirens begin to wail. They are loud and mournful, almost as if an angel was foreseeing the deaths of innocent children. When they occur in the dark of night, they are especially haunting and fill every fibre of your being with fear, adrenaline, and foreboding. You know instantly that rockets are heading towards your location and that within seconds they could explode on top of you.  

I lost count of the number of sirens we heard in our city of Ashdod over the 8 days of Operation Pillar of Defence (14-21 November 2012). I think I read somewhere that there were 140 individual rocket barrages on Ashdod alone. That means 140 sirens, which is on average one attack every 1 hour and 37 minutes, over 8 days. They seemed to never end. Across Israel, over 1,456 rockets were fired by Gazan terrorist groups. 

Normal every day activities you hardly think about become a matter of intense discussion and frequent hesitation. Going to the toilet, taking a shower, changing clothes, boiling/frying food in pans, taking the dog a walk, taking the bins out, going for a nap … going to bed at night, all become things you think about twice and then thrice, and do with a certain urgency. For example, during one attack I was caught in the shower and had to dry my feet (to avoid breaking my neck on the tiled floor) and run outside, wrapped in my towel, to the neighbour’s shelter all in the space of 45 seconds. 

We didn’t have a shelter or safety room of our own. Every time a siren sounded we had to race next door and into their safety room via their living room and kitchen. Once inside, when the sirens stopped, the rockets began to land or be taken out by the impressive Iron Dome missile defence shield. The explosions of the Iron Dome intercepting the rockets were huge and frequently occurred right over our location. The walls shook, the ground vibrated, windows sometimes smashed nearby and the audible volume of the explosions were akin to a car backfiring nearby.  

Sometimes the rockets landed. It’s quite easy to differentiate between an Iron Dome interception and a rocket hitting the ground. The interceptions mid-air are like someone whacking a large drum and frequently occur in groups. A rocket hitting the ground is more of a thud, and somehow, you hear … feel … and then visualize in your mind (within a split-second) the rocket impacting concrete. Again, it’s impossible to put into words, you have to experience it. In Ashdod alone, a number of buildings suffered direct hits and fires resulted. Many people suffered from shrapnel wounds, injuries from falling over, and probably the most underappreciated injury one can suffer during an attack, that of shock.  

The Assassination of Ahmed Jabari 

I knew immediately upon reading reports that Ahmed Jabari (head of the Hamas military wing) had been killed that we’d have rockets fired on our city within a few hours. There was no doubt about it, southern Israel would be under intense rocket fire that would rival any previous experience I had had in the two years I’d lived in the port city of Ashdod. The assassination of Jabari was a huge hit and would unleash a tightly coiled spring of fury that had been waiting to leap forth for many months.  

There had been a number of flare ups over the previous month or two, each one resulting in a brief lull. The latest exchange had started a week before the assassination (10th November 2012) when an Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) jeep on routine patrol next to the Gaza Strip border was attacked with an anti-tank missile. The two sides exchanged fire and rockets (over 100) began hitting southern Israeli communities, including a single attack here in Ashdod. All the major cities were hit, many people were wounded, and all schools were cancelled. Residents were upset that the Israeli response to the rocket fire was so weak, with barely any air strikes in retaliation.  

Things then went quiet (13th November 2012) amid rumours of a ceasefire. Most people, including myself, estimated this relatively brief exchange was over until the next one in a few months. However,   worst was soon to come. Israel had secretly decided upon a course of action in order to punish the terror group’s unprovoked attacks on Israeli civilians.  

The Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak had given a clue to the imminent strike, saying "Israel's reaction will come at the appropriate time”. Israelis shrugged off such words as typical inaction and delay in the face of rocket fire. Another minister Benny Begin said "the current exchange of hostilities seems to be over”, which made me and most other people think that was that. It no doubt also made the terrorists think they had got away with their rocket fire.  

Preparing for Rocket Attacks 

BOOM! On a Wednesday afternoon (14th November 2012) I was finishing off a bit of work. As I usually do during or after a flare-up in tensions, I began my hourly check of the Israeli news sites, expecting to see very little that was new. There it was in black and white, the breaking news reports that a senior terrorist had just been killed inside his car minutes before. I sat for the next half an hour refreshing the news websites reading the new details emerging about the strike. When the target’s name was revealed, I knew the gates of hell were about to open on our heads. 

I made phone calls and sent text messages to people telling them what had happened and what was about to happen. People needed to know, not for celebratory reasons (the extinguishing of a terrorist head who was instrumental in the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for nearly 6 years was something to be pleased about) but because they would need to make arrangements for their families and perhaps drive home earlier from work. I would have put all the money I owned on the fact there would be rockets before the end of the day. I was right. 


After 8 days of constant action, here’s now a ceasefire which, at the time of writing, seems to be holding. Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip such as Islamic Jihad have suffered immense damage to their arsenals and infrastructure. However, they were not destroyed and they will rebuild and return to firing rockets in the not too distant future.  

Residents of southern Israel will once again hear the rocket sirens sound and race for the nearest shelter. The international media will of course ignore these attacks unless an Israeli is killed. When Israel finally loses patience and fires back at another terrorist leader, the events of the previous week will be repeated. 

What Israel can do about this situation is for another article but suffice to say, the various options will all result in loss of life on both sides.  

More rockets? 

Let me make a couple of estimates.

My first estimate is that the first post-ceasefire rocket will land in Israel’s Eshkol or Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Councils (those that border the Gaza Strip) by the end of November. My second estimate is that a post-ceasefire rocket will be fired at one of the big cities (Ashkelon/Ashdod/Beersheva) before June 2013.  

If you want to know what it’s like during a rocket attack on southern Israel, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-wETUOJDmc 

For more news and updates on Israel follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/edward_bea

Saturday, November 24, 2012

UKIP and the Race Obsessed

He'd be at home in Rotherham!
I joined UKIP in 2000 and stood in three parliamentary elections. I worked for a UKIP MEP for nearly five years. I became disillusioned in 2009 and resigned my membership, six months after leaving my job with UKIP. That's the background to this post.

Last night and this morning I have been in a rage. I can categorically state that UKIP is not a racist party and that Rotherham Borough Council, in taking foster children away from a couple because they are UKIP members, have acted like some kind of totalitarian banana state.

 A woman called Joyce Thacker, who has just been on TV news spouting off about multiculturalism, should be immediately sacked from her job. She couldn't answer the question why the decision had been taken, and had as much human warmth as a dead polar bear. She didn't seem fit to me to be taking decisions about anything let alone the lives of vulnerable children. That the Labour Party calls for an investigation shows how appallingly fascistic this decision is. But why an investigation? Sack the people involved now. Yet another example of how race is used by the left, Rotherham is a Labour council, to suppress freedom of speech.

I have lots of reasons for leaving UKIP behind, none more so than their party leader who I would trust as far as I could throw him, but this attack on them is frightening in its implications. It says to me that the state is far too powerful and those involved in this decision have power way beyond their capabilities or ideas of democracy. All those involved should be immediately sacked and never employed again.

It is surely time to rise up against this politically correct police state that we are sleep walking into.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Kick Out Racism

It was good to hear that the politically correct thought police have dropped their persecution of football referee Mark Clattenburg. Girls in Rochdale who were being sexually abused by gangs of Asian men were ignored when they complained to the authorities. But dare make an accusation of racism and the full force of the law cranks into operation. Racism is the new witchcraft.

Chelsea FC seem to be going out of their way lately to prove themselves the chavviest football club in the world. Their refusal now to apologise for making up claims of racism to attack Clattenburg show them to be a  club with no values, morality or honesty. Quite apt that in the sordid world of professional football they should be current European Champions.

The overwhelming majority of people are decent and have no interest in race whatsoever. It seems to me that a tiny minority are racially obsessed. The BNP, as we know, but also the left who see racism in everything. Let's face it, the left use race to divide and rule, throw racism at somebody then call the ethnic minorities into your arms for protection. The left and the BNP, two sides of the same coin.

But who are the real racists? The case against Clattenburg came about because of a complaint from the Society of Black Lawyers. Obviously the allegations weren't investigated by the National Black Police Association, otherwise he would probably have been found guilty instantly.

Change the words 'black' in the organisations above to 'white' and the paragraph immediately sounds like something from 1950s Alabama or apartheid South Africa. This virulent type of racism really should be kicked out.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More Snouts In The Trough

Another day in Parliament
It seems to me that MPs are now just taking the piss out of us, pushing their luck time and again to see how much they can get away with. And a docile, state loving public just seem to lie there happy for the state to shaft them as and when it wants.

The latest MP to push it is Stephen Dorrell. Hot on his heels is Ian Stewart who is having his expenses closely scrutinised. And before the hand wringing lefties and pinko liberals point the finger at these two Tories, remember Denis  McShane. Then there's that fat old bag Moran who avoided a spell in chokey by feigning claiming mental illness at her trial. She just proves that psychos are more welcome in Parliament than in chokey.

Then there is that poisonous little dwarf John Bercow trying to suppress information about MPs and their dodgy expenses claims. Pigs policing pigs obviously doesn't work. Furthermore the pathetic excuse trundled out by many of these greedy bastards that "I haven't broken the rules" doesn't wash. In fact it not only doesn't wash it is absolute bullshit! Ever heard of  that old saying 'the spirit of the law' chaps? Ever heard of morality chaps? If that is your level of judgement then you really should not be lording it over us mere mortals. You really should be banged up for  a few years to contemplate your snivelling little lives. Then put up against the wall and shot.

But millions of people need to take a good hard look at what they are allowing to happen in their name. Every time you think the state should do X, Y or Z you are saying you want to give more power to people like Dorrell, McShane, Moran et al. Every socialist is effectively saying he/she is happy to hand over responsibility for their lives to MPs and bureaucrats. Nationalisation means handing business, including healthcare in the form of the NHS, to MPs and the state.

The last thing we need is more state. What we need is to smash the current sytem and to start again. Pigs with their snouts in the trough should be the first to go.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Knobhead of the Year-David Cameron?

It's that time of year when I start wondering who will get the Knobhead of the Year award.

There are plenty of candidates this year, such as the committee full of knobheads and out and out nutjobs who gave the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union. Rio Ferdinand is high on the list for boring the arse off us all with his constant whining and whinging about supposed racism in football.

But today David Cameron has enthusiastically joined the fray with a wonderfully bizarre defence of the most ridiculed and unwanted elections in the history of the world, yesterday's Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Only around 15% of the electorate could be bothered wasting a few seconds of their lives to put a cross by the name of a muppet attempting to clamber aboard the latest gravy train for failed and aspiring politicos. Here's what the knobhead said:

'The turnout was always going to be low, when you're electing a new post for the first time,'

No Dave, turnout was low because we're sick of voting for knobheads like you.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Police State

If anybody thought that this bastard son of Blair government, aka The Coalition, would improve anything in the UK then think again. The public have told the government that they don't want the police commissars (PCCs), foisted on us by Cameron, by not bothering to vote yesterday.

This morning on TV Damian Green MP, Minister for Police and Criminal Justice, claimed that even though less than 20% of the electorate voted, the new commissars had a mandate from the public because we had the chance to vote for them. How very North Korean.

No Mr Green, we didn't vote because we don't want them. In plain English, we don't give a shit about your poxy commissars. They do not have a mandate any more than this poxy government that nobody actually voted for has a mandate.

Then this morning I read about a man in Glasgow who is to appear in court charged with behaving "in a threatening or abusive" manner. He fed a sausage roll to a police horse who he felt looked hungry. It may have been a daft thing to do, but arrested and charged? Nice to know the Glasgow police have no real crime to take up their time.

Recently there has also been a case where a drunken student was arrested and spent a night in the cells for behaving in a "homophobic manner". His crime? He asked a police horse if it was gay. Yes, I know. It seems that the police put the poor delicate flowers among their ranks, the ones who are easily offended and emotionally delicate, out of the way up there on horseback.

It is easy to laugh at these and other ludicrous examples of the state losing all sense of proportion, but that is a very dangerous trap to fall into. What these things show, the commissars and the humourless prats on horseback, is actually how far down the authoritarian road to a police state we have moved in the last couple of decades.

So, the next time you pass a bobby, especially one on a horse, make sure you smile and greet him with a cheery "good morning officer". Anything less may be interpreted as threatening behaviour, and may find yourself cuffed, horsewhipped and dragged into cell for a night.

And bear in mind that the annual police terror will soon be upon us as the police try to catch us for drink driving on the way to work of a morning after the previous night's Christmas party. Be warned!

Full story of the sausage roll here.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Ayn Rand on Israel

"If you mean whose side one should be on, Israel or the Arabs, I would certainly say Israel because it’s the advanced, technological, civilized country amidst a group of almost totally primitive savages who have not changed for years and who are racist and who resent Israel because it’s bringing industry, intelligence, and modern technology into their stagnation."

Q and A session during taping of Donohue, Live in New York

Very hard to disagree with her. What Israel is suffering is an extremely concentrated version of what the rest of us face from Islamist extremists.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nadine Dorries and the PPC Elections

The Police and Crime Commissioners are just another gravy train,  so I've spoilt my postal ballot paper already for tomorrow's election. I did intend abstaining completely but felt the urge to leave a message on the ballot paper, it may not do much good, but it made me feel better.

A friend of mine has a good idea. At the bottom of each ballot paper there should be a 'Non of the Above' box and if 51% vote NOTA then the election is declared void and nobody is elected. I would also count abstentions because, let's face it, if the candidates can't muster 51% between them then none of them deserve to be elected. I'd rather have no MP at the moment than the insipid little clown who currently 'represents' Morecambe and Lunesdale.

Then we have Nadine Dorries waltzing off to the jungle. She claims that it will give her access to 16m viewers who will then see politicians in a different light. What her entering actually shows is how out of touch our politicians really are. Did she not realise that people like her are only invited on to have the piss taken out of them? Did you not see George Galloway Nadine? And is she not the one who accused Sally Bercow of bringing her husband's position as Speaker of the House when she went on Celebrity Big Brother?

But I have mixed feelings about Nadine buggering off during term time like that. Part of me wishes every Member of Parliament had buggered off with her, preferably until the next election. At least then they couldn't keep mithering and badgering us with new laws and taxes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pub Closures-The Gransmoor, Openshaw, Manchester

I was thinking about pub closures today and remembered the Gransmoor on Ashton Old Road in Manchester. Last time I passed it was a secondhand fridge and washing machine shop. Sad as it was a great old Victorian place.

Then I started thinking of some of the bands we used to see there when we were in our teens. Manchester pubs and clubs were the launch pad for many great bands, I suppose they just use the internet these days which is a shame as so many small atmospheric venues and pubs are no more.

One band that I remember from the late seventies, and I was introduced to them by my cousin Vinny in the Gransmoor, was Gammer. The last incarnation of Gammer's original band I saw was Gammer and His Familiars at the old Band on the Wall in Manchester in the early eighties. Happy daze!

So this post has really just become a plug for Norman Gammer. I've posted this before but eh, if something's good..


Sunday, November 11, 2012

For the Fallen-We Will Remember Them

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.
But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;
As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections-November 15th

In the run up to the last few elections I've pledged to boycott, abstain, spoil my ballot paper or whatever. But when push came to shove I always caved in, held my nose and voted for the least scary option.

This time though I have followed through and spoilt my ballot paper for the PCC elections on November 15th. I have a postal vote you see. I wrote 'just another gravy train' at the top of the ballot paper and 'muppet' next to the name of each candidate. If nothing else it may give the poor counters a giggle when they have the boring job of counting. Mind you, they won't be too bored this time as turnout is likely to be an all-time low, so they'll probably be done in half an hour.

However, just because I've told them what I think doesn't mean I shouldn't hlp those who may wish to join in this charade of democracy. So here is a useful link to a website that links, when you enter your postcode, to details of your candidates.

I only found it today but it made me even more convinced that abstaining is the only way. My candidates look like a right bunch of oddballs, loonies and fruitcakes.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Can They Get Any Worse?

So, the pinko lefties are drooling about Obama being re-elected. Big deal.  Seeing him constantly on TV these last few weeks has really shown how shallow politics has become here and in the States. He seems hot on rhetoric but when you analyse it he says little of any real substance. From a British point of view having a US President who supports Argentina's claim to the Falklands isn't very helpful either.

Then there's the question of race. This morning I've lost count of the number of references to Obama's race. At best it makes him sound like a token black man, at worst it is surely racism. I've always said that the far left and the far right are two sides of the same coin on the question of race and racism. The reaction to the re-election of Obama, I think, proves me right.

Then we have Nadine Dorries MP disappearing off to Australia to play around in the reality TV show I'm A Celebrity.. Says it all about what she thinks of her position as a Member of Parliament and her constituents. At least George Galloway wasn't an MP when he was well and truly humiliated on Big Brother.

Then we have hundreds of thousands of people signing petitions calling for a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union. Do we get a referendum? No, instead we get to vote for elected Police and Crime Commissioners on November 15th. Democracy in action?

Yesterday I spoilt my ballot paper for the November 15th election. I posted it back with 'just another politicians' gravy train' written across it and something like 'muppet' written against the name of each candidate. I look forward to doing similar at the next general election.

Surely it can't get any worse.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

NHS-Paid To Kill

I was out early today, looking forward to a busy day including Mass as today is All Saints Day, a holy day of obligation for us Roman Catholics. But when I got my copy of the Daily Telegraph I was shocked to read this story.

It seems that not only has euthanasia been allowed through the back door, but the government has paid as much as £12m to hospitals that help the terminally ill to die. I can't help wondering what else is going on in our state health system that they don't want us to know about.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Co-Op To Boycott Israel

I have just received the following message from the British Israel Coalition:
The Co-op boycotts Israeli companies. They seek to justify this bigotry by invoking ‘ethical policy’.
But when you read their ‘ethical policy’, it is clear that it exists to demonise one country: Israel

This week at the Gmex convention centre in Manchester, there is an international expo hosted by the Co-op. The British Israel Coalition is supporting the activists protesting Co-op's highly discriminatory treatment of Israel and working to get this one-sided boycott removed.

Please come along and help us on Thursday or Friday this week to distribute leaflets and help us get across our case.

If you can help, please get in touch with the activists in Manchester:

When Voting Becomes Collaboration

These are strange times indeed. Have politicians ever been quite as despised as they are now? Have protest movements ever been as hysterical and puerile as they are now?

Let's start with the wailing and gnashing of teeth about individuals and businesses not paying enough tax. In the sixties the protest movements would have wanted to pay as little to the state as possible, so that they weren't feeding its war machine in Vietnam for example. Today there is faux moral outrage at people and businesses paying, perfectly legally, as little tax as possible. I suppose those headbangers at UK Uncut are happy to pay ever more tax to fund an increasingly paramilitary police force and ever more morally dubious foreign adventures by our military. Those that pay tax that is.

Another about turn by the lefties is attacking Andrew Mitchell for shouting at a bobby. I howled with laughter at seeing the type of nutters who turn a march into a game shoot, with the police being the game, suddenly wanting to string up evil bastards who call the police names. Suddenly they are fanatically pro-police-nothing to do with Mitchell being a 'posh Tory' of course.

Then you have a government that nobody elected. Yes, I know how our system works and that if a big enough group of MPs can band together and cobble a majority then they form a government. But does that mean it is right? I certainly didn't vote to have idiots like Clegg and Cable lording it over us.

Then, as I've said before hundreds of thousands of us have signed petitions, campaigned and marched for a say in our relationship with the European Union. What do we get? The introduction of Police and Crime Commissioners! I don't remember thousands and thousands of people campaigning for PCCs.

But it isn't enough to blame the state. I've been actively involved in politics since schooldays but eventually became disillusioned with the ever increasing apathy of the public. In many cases it was because they had no idea how the sytem works. They didn't understand that at a local level activists are volunteers who give their time freely to leaflet, stand for election and canvass the voters, admittedly in ever dwindling numbers. In many cases they didn't know the difference between a councillor, an MP and an MEP. So eventually I walked away from active politics.

Back in the 1980s I attended a meeting addressed by Enoch Powell, one of several times I was fortunate enough to hear him speak. During questions he was asked how he felt that people should vote in the upcoming European elections. His immediate response was: "I wouldn't soil my hands on a European ballot paper".  He then explained that taking part in the process was akin to validating it.

In many recent elections I have voted for the least bad option. I have not voted for any party from conviction for many years. But now is the time to say enough is enough, beginning with the elections on November 15 for the PCCs. They are a sham, another gravy train for the political class and I do not accept their validity and am no longer prepared to validate what I no longer believe in by holding my nose and plonking a cross in a box.

Furthermore there is no longer a party in this country that I feel able to vote for. They have lied, cheated and broken promises for far too many years and the forging of this despised cioalition was the final straw. In future I will not be voting as I am no longer prepared to vote for something I do not believe in. And before people cry about people dying for my right to vote, they did not! They fought and died for our freedom and that includes the right to vote or not to vote.

I will no longer be voting as voting has becone collaboration.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Madness of Tony Blair

Proof, if it were needed, that Tony Blair has finally lost his last few marbles. He has now been in Berlin saying that the only way out of the EU's current shambles is to have a Europe wide election for a European president. And guess who wants to stand?

The man's a complete mad man and should be locked up for the safety of us all.

Report in the Daily Mail.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Time For A Real Conservative Party?

Cameron is looking increasingly isolated on the question of the European Union. More and more politicians seem to be waking up the nightmare that is the European Union. Except Cameron, who seems to be doing a great impression of a lemming. The only real chance the Tories have of winning the next election is to bin him. But who could replace him?

At the last election I made the mistake of voting Tory as the best of a pitiful bunch of misfit candidates. Sadly David Morris was elected who seems to have a backbone of jelly. I contacted him for his views on gay marriage and he didn't have a view. He informed me that there was a public consultation process and he would await the outcome of that before forming an opinion. What a prize prat. If he had said that he was in favour I would hgave disgreed with him, but would have respected his opinion. But to effecrtively say that he would wait to see which bandwagon to jump on proves to me that he is a man with no principles or genuinely held political beliefs, a waste of space.

This sorry state leaves me unable to vote Tory at the next election. Even if they bin Cameron I could never again vote for a political tart like David Morris. So, in the absence of a serious conservative/right of centre political party that isn't full of sundry loonies, headbangers and galloping egomaniacs it looks like I'll be abstaining at the next election, as I will be on November 15 when the elections to Cameron's latest gravy train take place.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Southern Jukebox Music

The Penguin Cafe Orchestra made some remarkable music, but this one has to take the prize for numero uno:

I may have popped it on here before. If so I don't care as it's well worgth a second hearing.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Racism In Football-Kick It Out

The older I get the less I seem to understand. Earlier I blogged about Police and Crime Commissioners and how I just can't see the point of them. Now it's racism in football and Rio Ferdinand apparently setting up a trade union for black players only. Odd as I thought apartheid was a thing of the past, but so be it.

What I don't understand is why the authorites seem to be allowing virulent racism in football, apparently sweeping it under the carpet much more effectively than professional cycling swept doping under the carpet. Apart from Suarez and Terry behaving like pillocks I'm unaware of galloping racism in football. It seems to me that there are a higher proportion of black players in football today than the proportion of black people in the general population. Or are some clubs actually barring black players? I don't think so.

In the 1970s there were racist chants aimed at black players but the world has moved on and in recent years, watching football virtually weekly, I've been unaware of racism apart from the odd unpleasant individual. Maybe it is rampant in some Eastern European states, but certainly not in the UK.

Rio Ferdinand seems to be in a constant state of rage about race but doesn't stand up and give examples of racism in football. Earning more in a week than most people earn in a few years it doesn't seem to me like racism in football has held Ferdinand, or the many other successful black players.

The more I hear about this rampant racism in football the more I wonder why anybody gets involved with such an unpleasant sport. Maybe we should all boycott until it's cleaned up, as happened with cricket and rugby under apartheid. That Ferdinand should be making such a fortune in such a vile racist industry sickens me. He should walk away and have nothing to do with such a thoroughly unpleasant game. After all, he's probably made enough money from it to live in comfort for the rest of his life.

Police and Crime Commissioner Elections

I really don't see the point of elected police chiefs, it's just another ConDem gimmick. Sadly Cameron seems to have learnt a little too well from Blair and his Tory Party is just a smoothish facade with no substance.

For many years we have had police authorities consisting of the great and the good, and elected representatives. I fail to see how one elected, highly paid police chief is going to make the police more accountable, especially if that chief is John Prescott or some other failed politico.

The only argument anybody has put to me in favour was that being elected will make them accountable to us. Oh yes, just like the elected government?

To date we have had no information from the state about this mammoth breakthrough in democracy, so it is highly unlikely that I will be voting in November to put whatever nitwit stands onto yet another highly paid gravy train.

Maybe somebody could persuade me otherwise.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

George Osborne and the Class Warriors

Murderer and hero of the class warriors.
I have failed, and I am the first to admit it. I have searched and searched but I cannot find why George Osborne, the Chancellor, is all over the media for apparently moving from standard class to first class on a train to London. Big deal.

Headlines like "Great Train Snobbery" may be amusing and clever but does that mean that I am some kind of outrageous upper crust snob because I have occasionally travelled first class on a train?

The Guardian in this piece of usual pinko drivel tries to make it into something by claiming that an aide of the Chancellor tried to have him moved into first class without paying. But the supplement was paid so end of story.

In this country there is an overwhelming tide of inverted snobbery because we happen to have a goverment with a certain number of ex-public schoolboys in it. I thought in the twenty-first century we were supposed to treat people fairly whatever their race, class, religion, shoe size etc etc. That seems to be the case unless you happen to be from what the class warriors perceive as a 'privileged background', then it's open season in the most small minded, petty and unpleasant manner imagineable.

I've always found class warfare vulgar and nasty in the extreme. This nonsense with George Osborne proves that a sizeable proportion of people in this country still thrive and feed on hatred of people they see as privileged.

The reality is that they thrive on hatred for people who are more successful than themselves. It's called socialism.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Christians, Gays and Freedom

This is my reaction to this story.

First of all if I had a hotel, which I haven't, I would not care whether a same sex couple using my establishment was gay or straight. What they do in the privacy of their bedroom is no concern of mine.

Secondly I would not stay in a hotel that advertised itself as a 'gay hotel'. I wouldn't have a problem with a hotel advertising itself as such, I would just prefer not to stay there. Similarly I would prefer not to stay at a hotel that described itself as a 'christian hotel', despite being a practising Roman Catholic. Both designations imply to me establishlishments whose owners are so obsessed with one aspect of their lives that they forget that they are actually a plain old hotel and would probably bore me to death within minutes.

But I see no reason why christians can't refuse to accomodate gay couples or why gay hotels shouldn't be allowed to refuse heterosexual couples accomodation. I wouldn't stay in a hotel where people of whatever persuasion or belief  were banned, but it should be the decision of the owners and the state should keep out.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Police Plebs?

A few years ago Halford's supplied the police in Lancashire with mountain bikes. One particular bobby, in Preston, refused to use his bike as although he was perfectly capable of riding it, he hadn't had specific training in riding a police bike. Health and safety and all that.

Today I read about a blind man in Chorley, not far from Preston, who was tasered by a bobby hunting a man with a Samurai sword. Apparently the bobby mistook the blind man's white stick for a Samurai sword. I can't help wondering if it was the same bobby who refused to ride his bike, but have found no reports that said taser happy cop was on a Halford's mountain bike.

Alternatively maybe the bike bobby had gone for health and safety instruction/training and they'd found that his eyesight was too poor to ride a bike on the open road, hence he managed to mistake a white stick for a Samurai sword.

On a slightly more serious note I can't help wondering why the bobby felt so threatened by the blind man that he felt the need to taser him. After all, if he was too far away to differentiate between a white stick and a Samurai sword then the officer could hardly have been in immediate danger.

So my advice if you visit our beautiful county of Lancashire is to be very careful what you carry, just in case it could be mistaken for a lethal weapon. And if you don't heed that advice I only hope it's a taser toting rather than a gun toting cop that bags you.

And finally will people in the media, the Police Federation and Ed Miliband, now be big enough to admit that the police do actually have a fair proportion of plebs among their ranks?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ricky Gervais, Religion and Science

I'll admit that I've never understood why people like Ricky Gervais. To me he's smug and totally unfunny. To top it all he is nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is. So I wasn't in the least bit surprised to see one of his childish Tweets bobbing up in various places on the internet.
Interestingly he doesn't thank science for the nuclear bomb.

Friday, October 12, 2012

BBC and Free Speech

In response to the announcement that the EU had been awarded the totally ludicrous and discredited Nobel Peace Prize a good friend left the following comment on the BBC News website:

Surely Berlusconi should now get a nobel prize for his services to women and his
fight against corruption?
It was removed and following is the BBC's reason for censoring it, which was emailed to my friend:

Thank you for contributing to the BBC web site.  Unfortunately we've had to
remove the content below (
above now) because it contravened one of our House Rules.

Your comment was considered to have broken the following House Rule:

"We reserve the right to fail comments which...

Contain potentially defamatory statements.”

The sooner the taxpayer funded BBC is abolished the better.

Nobel Peace Prize-European Union

It seems that the European Union is about to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Well if true, after awarding it to Obama for winning an election, it puts the final nail in the coffin of the whole stupid process. What a joke!

I am pre-empting the announcement. If it's not the EU I will donate £20 to St John's Hospice, Lancaster.

Jimmy Savile and Lance Armstrong

This week it's been interesting hearing peoples' reactions to the accusations against Jimmy Savile and Lance Armstrong. In the case of Lance Armstrong the people I've spoken to, like me, have defended him when I expected to be in a minority, possibly of one.

After defending him on Twitter yesterday I was invited to defend him on the BBC World Service, a programme called World Have Your Say. The thrust of my defence of Armstrong was that he had around 500 drug tests during his cycling career and did not fail a single one. The report produced by USADA contains nothing but hearsay, maybe from people with a grudge or people who knew they would receive a lighter ban for admitting their own doping if they fingered Armstrong. Let's face it, USADA have hounded Armstrong for years and were determined to get him one way or another.

With Jimmy Savile the questions are even more far reaching. Why did people wait until he was dead and buried to make the accusations? Why did social workers, police and other agencies seemingly ignore accusations against Savile going back 50 years? Why did hospital authorities allow Savile to wander at will around wards with no supervision if, as is claimed, nurses and other hospital staff suspected or saw him sexually abusing patients? As with Hillsborough, where people in authority at the time are likely to be charged now with manslaughter, I would hope that anybody in any position to have acted against Savile, be it a nurse, a doctor a BBC manager or whoever but didn't, faces investigation and charges if the accusations are proved correct.

There is also the question of women now coming forward claiming to have been victims of sexual misbehaviour, by people other than Jimmy Savile, when working for the BBC. One question here is what constitutes sexual harassment or sexual abuse? Over recent decades what is seen as acceptable behaviour by a man towards a woman has changed dramatically. Could what they are looking back on have been what was regarded at the time as 'banter', but with twenty first century eyes it becomes harassment or abuse? And again, why did these apparently strong women, building successful careers in the tough world of broadcasting, not act at the time?

This morning I read that social workers in Rochdale ignored reports that a 13 year old girl was involved in prostitution claiming that she had made a 'lifestyle choice'. All these things show one thing, that the authorites (the state) cannot be trusted. They need to be questioned and challenged constantly and in many cases agencies of the state should be abolished, only then will people start taking individual responsibility.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Have Eurosceptic MEPs Gone Native?

In the 1990s I was involved with Alan Sked's Anti Federalist League. Around 1995 it became the UK Independence Party and I didn't join, firmly believing that a single issue party would not achieve my aim of leaving the European Union.

In 2000 I was invited, as a local councillor, to address a meeeting of the local UKIP branch. John Whittaker, who became an MEP in 2004, convinced me that UKIP MEPs would use their positions to build a credible and effective political movement in this country to fight domestic elections. I then joined UKIP. John did work hard to do just that when he was elected, but I believe that he is the only UKIP MEP who did.

The other MEP to work hard in this country is Nikki Sinclaire. It was her petition that forced the referendum debate in Parliament. Nikki was forced out of UKIP for refusing to sit with right-wing extremists in their group in the European Parliament. I can't think of anything useful that any other UKIP MEPs have done.

While I respect Nikki I no longer believe that Eurosceptic parties, including her We Want A Referendum Party, will achieve their aims by getting people elected to the European Parliament. I firmly believe that Eurosceptics in the European Parliament have been seduced by the money and status. If all 70+ MEPs for the UK were Eurosceptic it would not bring us one minute closer to exiting. Only the EU imploding or our own Westminster Parliament will achieve that.

Logically therefore, we Eurosceptics have nothing at all to gain from sending MEPs off on the gravy train that they claim to abhor and wish to leave. In recent weeks I have asked numerous people in the North West if they can name any of their MEPs. None could. I have also asked if they can name the parties their MEPs represent. Most thought they were Liberal Democrat or Labour, only one included a Tory, none knew that there was a UKIP MEP, and only one knew there was a BNP MEP. I asked how many MEPs there were in the North West. None got the answer right. So in terms of connecting with the electorate I would say that all MEPs have failed completely. There is virtually no awareness of them or their role. No consultation on any issues, it seems, is done by any of the North West MEPs. So what is the point?

In my opinion the only logical reason for any Eurosceptic remaining an MEP is that they have gone native. And that applies to Europhile MEPs too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Conservative Party Variety Show

A few years ago I attended a number of party conferences and Tory conferences in the 1980s used to be great affairs. Although policy couldn't be changed there were serious politicians and serious debates with excellent contributions by the membership from the floor. When did it change? Was it Blair, and the Tories copying his slick PR style that did it?

This year's Tory conference is more like a variety show. At times it looks they're using a breakfast TV studio and then there is music blaring out from Take That, or somebody else seen as 'trendy' by Tory grandees, while a dreary video is shown. The tedious habit of making speeches while strolling around the stage is another instant turn-off. How apt that geeky Miliband uses that particular technique.

We've gone, these past weeks, from the pantomime that is the UKIP conference, through the Labour and Lib Dem charades to the Tory variety show this week. If nothing else they have shown what a busted flush most of our political parties are. They have also confirmed that none of them will be getting my vote next time around.

Sadly theses conferences can't be called victories of style over substance, even the style is dreary and tedious. Bring back the statesmen and serious political thinkers of yesteryear. Or am I just becoming an old fart?

Friday, October 05, 2012

Growing Up In Public

Increasingly I despair for the future of this country. We seem to have bred a generation of useless parents who have no clue how to raise children. But unlike past generations, I'll bet the useless ones have had soppy lessons at school on parenting skills or similar.

We have busy lives and a couple of mornings a week we like to have breakfast together in local cafes before we go our seperate ways to earn a crust. Increasingly it is becoming more and more a bad idea as kids increasingly run amok while their mothers sit twiddling their mobile phones. This morning the brats were running around, helping themselves from drinks cabinets, with no shoes on and looking as if they were still in pyjamas.

But it isn't all single mothers. On Saturday it was a couple who sat twiddling on their mobiles while their brat looked around screaming, probably for a little parental attention. Said parents looked blankly towards their offspring occasionally before carrying on with their mobiles. They only became animated when a friend turned up who they could boast to about how drunk they'd been the night before.

I think I'll be cooking breakfast at home in future.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

British Railways and the NHS

So the franchise process for the West Coast Mainline was cocked up by civil servants. No surprise there.

Nationalising our railways would effectively put them back under the control of politicians (the government) and civil servants. Do you trust our politicians and the state to get anything right? And remember, the Beeching Axe fell when our railways were nationalised, not when they were privately owned.

So who in their right minds would want government involved in any aspect of our railway system? In fact if our railway sytem is too important to leave to politicians and civil servants to cock up, then what about our healthcare?

Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Eric Hobsbawm

The Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm always epitomised to me the hypocrisy of the twentieth century political classes. It was, and still is, socially unacceptable to profess any kind of sympathy with any aspect of fascism but was, and still is, acceptable to embrace communism. Surely murdering millions in the pursuit of an ideology should be condemned whatever that ideology is?

Rather than go into detail about Hobsbawm, who died yesterday, I would invite you to read the two following objective pieces about him:

This one from The Commentator

This one from Helen Szamuely's Your Freedom and Ours Blog

Friday, September 28, 2012

UKIP, The EU, A Referendum And A Conspiracy

One of the things that sometimes amused me, but often really angered me when I was active in politics was the conspiracy theorists. Believe me in Eurosceptic politics there are plenty of conspiracy theorists.

On Wednesday I posted about UKIP and the We Want A Referendum Party, you can read it below. There are several comments from a very typical conspiracy theorist. He is typical because he bends the truth, or simply ignores the truth, because it doesn't fit in with his theory. So he began by saying that the We Want A Referendum Party is a black op initiated, I presume, by the secret service to kibosh UKIP. He then changed tack and the We Want A Referendum Party became merely a vehicle for people to jump aboard the Brussels gravy train. He even cited incorrect reasons for the party's founder, Nikki Sinclair, leaving UKIP. When I pointed out the reality, that she hadn't resigned the whip but refused to sit with ultra-right extremists in UKIP's group in Brussels, as did two other UKIP MEPs, she was expelled while the other two were not, he convenmniently ignored this truth.

I have waffled on above to highlight the point. I'm sure most people have come across similar whether it be a theory about the EU, the assassination of JFK, the sinking of the Titanic or whatever. It serves no purpose to debate with these people because no matter what evidence or argument you put forward they do not believe the reality. Usually, if you're case is particularly strong, they will eventually accuse you of being in on the conspiracy.

In the case of the EU/UKIP conspiracy I do not believe one exists. The starting point for this particular conspiracy theory is that 50%, maybe more, have wanted to leave the EU for many years, but we are still deeply in there. Well forgive me but similar numbers want the return of the death penalty, is that a conspiracy too? I'd say that way more than 50% want overseas aid at least cut if not scrapped. Is that too a conspiracy? No, governments have a habit of ignoring the people when it suits them, and if you don't get that you don't get the nature of government and why so many of us are so very disillusioned with our system. Rather than face the reality, which might mean getting off their arses and doing something, it is easier for conspiracy theorists to sit at their laptops and tilt at windmills.

The reason Eurosceptics haven't achived independence from the EU is quite simple. The movement is a disparate group of politicos who agree on little other than leaving the EU. Secondly although around 50% of the electorate would be happy to leave the EU they vote in elections on health, education, law and order and a whole range of issues. They do not feel strongly enough about the EU to vote on that single issue. To those who are vehement that the EU is the only issue they cannot caccept this and search for a sinister reason for their failure. Up pops a conspiracy.

Then there is UKIP itself. People over the years have been attracted to UKIP, despite them having MEPs, because the argument was that they would use the MEP resources to build a solid party in the UK to fight elections to Westminster. Sadly, whereas with never more than two MEPs since 1999 the Green Party now has an MP in Westminster and even Respect has an MP, UKIP is no nearer gaining a seat today than they were in 1999. Incompetence? The MEPs have gone native and enjoy the gravy train a little too much? Or is Nigel Farage part of a conspiracy to derail the Eurosceptic movement by coralling Eurosceptics into a cul-de-sac?

For my part I believe UKIP have gone native. They have some of the worst attendance records in Brussels but do little that attracts publicity in the UK. In short they get their fat salaries, huge  expenses and allowances and do very little of any worth.

As for taking seriously our Westminster elections I suggest you watch the Daily Politics clip that I posted on Wednesday from about 4 minutes in. If you do then bear in mind that UKIP claim that MEPs and the Euro Parliament is a complete waste of time and money and that it is only our parliament in Westminster that can get us out of the EU. You will hear UKIP's deputy leader telling Katie Hopkins of We Want A Referendum that her party should not fight UKIP in the 2014 Euro elections but should fight the 2015 UK general election.

Now, why would UKIP's deputy leader prefer the Eurosceptic vote to be split in a Westminster election rather than a Euro election? Conspiracy or boring old, straightforward gone native?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UKIP v We Want A Referendum

The following is an appearance on The Daily Politics by Katie Hopkins of the We Want A Referendum Party.

What I find really amusing is the sheer panic of UKIP MEP Paul 'Scouse Farage' Nuttall at the prospect of losing his seat on the gravy train if the party splits the Eurosceptic vote in 2014. He declares that no number of MEPs would bring about a referendum and that a UK election is where they (We Want A Referendum Party) should be concentrating. Does that mean UKIP are not as interested in UK elections as they are in Euro elections? It would seem so judging by this little debate.

More gravy anyone?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Andrew Mitchell MP

There are serious issues facing the country, indeed the world, but the media and political classes are obsessing about a government minister having a go at a bobby. Fair enough Mitchell sounds like a prat but please, let's get a sense of proportion and forget about it.

As for the Police Federation banging on about an enquiry well they need to grow up. To use the fact that two police women were murdered in the same week is a cynical and emotive ploy by them and is far worse than anything Mitchell did. The Police Federation might also like to remember  that the incident occurred just after we found out about the police lies and cover-up over Hillsborough. But that wouldn't suit the bobbies' union agenda would it?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

An Englishman's Home Is His Castle?

I have no time for this government. I loathe David Cameron and Nick Clegg for their smarmy self-satisfaction, a bit rich considering neither actually won the 2010 General Election.

As far as welfare goes I broadly agree that changes need to be made to a system that over many years, has rewarded the feckless and the lazy. However, I do not object in the least to paying my taxes to help pay benefits for those genuinely in need, it is the wasters I object to funding. So reform of benefits is a must but in at least one area I believe that this government has got it seriously wrong. What's new?

Among the forthcoming welfare reforms is a reform of Housing Benefit. Currently those who qualify have their rent paid by the state to the landlord. In their wisdom this government is going to change the system so that Housing Benefit is paid to the tenant who must then pay the landlord. Madness. The overwelming majority of people in rented accomodation, and receiving Housing Benefit, are fine but there is a sizeable group who are not. If a junkie is faced with paying his landlord or his dealer what will he choose? The family in hock to a local loan shark. Are they likely to pay the rent or use the money to stop said loan shark breaking legs for non-payment. To many it will be like giving the keys to the sweet shop to a child.

Then the reform will introduce the concept of 'under occupation'. Social landlords will have to check occupancy and if a family have a spare bedroom they will lose 14% of their Housing Benefit. Two spare bedrooms and they lose 25%. This means that when the children grow up and leave the home, their parents will either have to find more money to top up their benefit, find a lodger to pay rent to cover their loss of benefits, or move out into a smaller property, often private which will cost the taxpayers much more in Housing Benefit.

We are talking here about family homes, not just bricks and mortar. Many of us bought our houses but many more, for whatever reasons, chose to rent. If a couple have lived in a home for thirty years or more, raised a family in that home but in retirement exist on a state pension and Housing Benefit, why should they be forced out of the family home with all its memories and momentoes? Why should they be forced to take in a styranger as a lodger? These are peoples' homes we are talkng about, not state operated workers' hostels or workers' dormitories.

In many ways Cameron and Clegg seem to go out of their way to appear 'caring' and 'of the people'. These reforms merely show how very out of touch both of them are with the real world. The sooner they are gone the better. At least then the Tories may actually find a conservative to lead them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

UKIP Launch The Pantomime Season

The panto season seems to come around quicker each year, perhaps it's my age. Today sees the start of the 2012 UKIP panto in Birmingham. You'll know UKIP, their leader Nigel Farage has a comedy routine that goes something like this:

Farage: "UKIP is Britain's third political party!"

Electorate: "Oh no you're not!"

But once people reach a certain age they believe in Farage's UKIP about as much as they believe in Aladdin or Cinderella.

The problem for the Eurosceptics in this country is that they have failed to realise that the electorate, although increasingly Eurosceptic, vote in UK elections on a whole range of issues and will not ignore health, education, law and order etc by voting for a single issue party such as UKIP.

Thus a single issue party will pick up votes in elections that aren't seen as important, the European Parliament elections, where they can make an impact as people protest vote for a party they wouldn't normally vote for. Couple that with a high level of abstinence and proportional representation system and hey presto, you win a few seats, which has given UKIP a fig leaf of electoral respectability.

But if you look at it logically we all know what is behind the fig leaf. In UK elections UKIP continue to fail dismally with Nigel Farage losing in Buckingham in the general election of 2010 coming in behind an independent, Europhile, former Tory MEP. I've said it before and I'll say it again that most of UKIP's councillors are co-opted town/parish councillors or defectors from other parties who rarely retain their seats when they defend them.

We all know that MEPs are a waste of time with no power or serious responsibility. Most people in the UK couldn't even name one of their MEPs and many don't even know that there are only around 76 MEPs for the UK with as many as 9 representing a region rather than a traditional single representative for a one man constituency.

Sadly the Eurosceptic movement in the UK has been seduced by the very organisation it claims to want to leave. Eurosceptic MEPs receive huge salaries and allowances, are surrounded by highly paid assistants and enjoy living the life of a politico without the responsibility. Once they have tasted that lifestyle most of them look at the real world and don't want to return to it.

It is quite apt therefore, that the political panto season should be launched by UKIP.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We Demand A Referendum Party-Aiming At The Wrong Target?

Having a couple of days to ponder Nikki Sinclaire's new political party I am slightly concerned. It seems that they intend taking up seats in the European Parliament if elected in 2014. I fear that standing in the Euros, and taking up seats, could be a huge double mistake.

Many of us were seduced into UKIP post-1999 with the promise that their MEPs would use their huge amounts of money to build a credible force at home in the UK. Sadly they went native and there are now just a number of people with a lot more money in their bank accounts as a result of being MEPs or working for MEPs on fat salaries, but not a single MP. Furthermore they have few elected councillors, most are co-opted onto town/parish councils. The few elected are usually defectors from other parties who lose their seats when they stand under the UKIP brand.

I believe that Nikki's movement would come across as much more principled if they refused to take up seats if elected. After all, most Eurosceptics know that MEPs have no power and any number of MEPs elected would not bring a referendum any closer, it has nothing to do with the European Parliament.

The real target for making an impact is Westminster. Hitting the governing parties in a general election is the way forward, not in meaningless EU elections. Remember James Goldsmith's Referendum Party? If the Tories were in danger in a Westminster election that would make a difference.

Sadly it seems that Eurosceptics have been seduced by the proportional representation system in Europe where, with a relatively small vote, they can gain representation, and fat salaries. Yes some misguidedly genuinely think it will help, others are in it for the cash.

I would not discount the We Demand A Referendum Party, but I will really take some convincing that it will be worth voting for in 2014.