Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Inspiral Carpets and Happy Mondays

A few years ago, 2008 I think, we saw Happy Mondays, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Inspiral Carpets and others at Andy Rourke's Versus Cancer bash in Manchester. What a great night it was too.

But cameo appearances are one thing. I'm always a bit dubious when bands from yesteryear get back together with a great fanfare, so I was only cautiously excited when I heard that Happy Mondays were getting together for a tour, even with the original line up. What really clinched it for me was the news that the original Inspiral Carpets would also be playing with them. That did it, got to get tickets. Here's a treat from 1990:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Guest Blog: Kosovo is Serb!

Kosovo je Srbija Kosovo is the heart of Serbia
Thank you to Gregg for asking me to write this article about the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia. As a Serb, and indeed we as Serbs in general, have felt for a long time that we have been somewhat demonised in the West since 1992 and this small corner of the internet at least allows me to put forward an alternative view on Kosovo from a Serbian perspective. I hope you find this piece interesting, informative and hopefully it will make people understand why we as Serbians feel so strongly about Kosovo and its future.........

'When you take away a person's soul and the very root of their existence, that person becomes dead inside without an identity............' 

The above line is a quote by the Serbian historian, Djordje Bojanic and although he talks about a person, the person he is referring to is Serbia and it explains succinctly why Kosovo is seen as so important to Serbs.

Before I talk about the events around the last 20 years, it is extremely important to give a brief history of the relationship between Serbia and her southern province, Kosovo.

There is some confusion as to where the first Serbian peoples originated from. Some historians believe that modern day Serbs are descended from people who came south from Siberia to the Carpathian mountains, before moving further further south and westwards, with a large number settling in the area of modern day Serbia. Other historians, including the noted Serbian historian, Jovan Deretic, believe that modern day Serbs are descended from people who have been in the Danube Valley region for as long as human civilisation in that area can be traced. What has been proven without doubt is that the earliest human remains and evidence of civilisation in the Kosovo region, are those of Serbs, or at least their earliest ancestors. Records have been found showing that it was in Kosovo that the first beginnings of the modern day state of Serbia were born.

Kosovo and Metohija are as much the home and promised land of the Serbs as Jerusalem is of the Jews. In the Serbian people's thousand year-long history, Kosovo and Metohija were the state centre
and the main religious stronghold, the heartland of their culture and springwell of their historical traditions. For a people who spent more time under foreign rule than in their own state, Kosovo and Metohija stand for the foundations on which they preserved their national and state identity in times of tribulation and based it when freedom came. The Serbian spirit and national ideology which grew out of Kosovo's tribulations and suffering (wherein a central place is occupied by the 1389 St. Vitus' Day Battle in Kosovo polje), are the main pillars of that grand edifice that constitutes the Serbian national pantheon.

To say that without Kosovo there can be no Serbia or Serbian nation, implies more than just the territory of its promised land, covered with telling monuments to its culture and civilization, more than just the feeling of hard - won national and state independence: Kosovo and Metohija are the key to the existence and survival of the Serbian nation. It is no wonder, then, that all major turning-points in Serbian history have taken place in and around Kosovo and Metohija. When the Serbs in other Balkan lands fought to safeguard their religious freedoms and national rights, their banners had as their beacon the Kosovo idea, embodied in the Kosovo pledge which was woven into the fabric of folk legend and upheld in countless uprisings against foreign rule. The Kosovo pledge - to choose freedom in the kingdom of heaven rather than humiliation and slavery in the kingdom on earth - is the one permanent connecting tissue that gives the Serbian nation its feeling of being a national entity and that lends meaning to its common strivings. This has been proven time and again in various ways since the Middle Ages.

Kosovo and Metohija, situated in the heart of the Balkans where important trade routes had crossed since ancient times, was settled by Slav tribes between the 7th and 10th centuries.
Dostinik or Destinikon was the first capital of Serbia (Rascia) during the Middle Ages (early 7th century) in present-day Metohija, proven by both historic and archeological facts. That was also one of the first Serbian cities mentioned by Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos.

In the 10th century the emperor Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos wrote in one of his writings that tzar Iraklis (610-641) has given the province called Dalmatia to Serbs for settlement. The old researches prove that the farthest east spot of Roman Dalmatia was Metohija, whereas in XI and XII century the historians claimed that Dalmatia began where Kosovo is today and it was inhabited by Serbs.

Archeological sites and facts prove best that Kosovo belongs to Serbs. One of them is the oldest Serbian and Slavic testimony found in the early Byzantine findings from Čečan and Gornji Streoc, in the immediate vicinity of Vučitrn (Kosovo). This suggests that Kosovo had a considerable Serbian population in the Late Roman Empire as is confirmed by the many fortresses constructed throughout the entire region. It is an indisputable fact that there are more than 1500 archeological findings of Serbian culture and existence in Kosovo and Metohija. Even the remains of one of our first rulers, Jovan Vladimir, are kept today in an Orthodox church in Elbasan in Albania, which just talks about how far our culture goes.

One of the oldest findings are in Prizren, on the Ostrvica mountin and they also date back to early Byzantine period, the old forms of Serbian cemeteries which just proved the continuity of Serbs on this territory.

Constant presence of Serbian people on this territory is also proved by the old Roman / Byzantine fortresses from IX and X century, especially those the remains of which were found in the towns of Cecan, Zvecan, Prizren and Veletin. Typical Serbian pottery from this time is another proof of Serbs being a genuine nation settled in this area.

The Serbian medieval state, which under the Nemanjic dynasty (12th to 14th century) was to grow into a major power in the Balkan peninsula, developed in the nearby mountain regions, in Raska (with Bosnia) and in Duklja (later Zeta and then Montenegro). The centre of the Nemanjic state moved to Kosovo and Metohija after the fall of Constantinople (1204). At their peak, at the beginning of the 14th century, these lands were the richest and most densely settled regions of the Nemanjic state and its cultural and administrative centre, with fortresses the remains of which can be found today in the southern part of Kosovo in the vicinity of the town Urosevac.

In his wars with Byzantium, Stefan Nemanja conquered various parts of what is today Kosovo, and his successor, Stefan the First Crowned (became king in 1217), included Prizren in his state. The entire Kosovo and Metohija region became a permanent part of the Serbian state by the beginning of the 13th century. Soon after becoming autocephalous (1219), the Serbian Orthodox Church moved its seat to Metohija. The heirs of the first archbishop, Saint Sava, built several additional temples around the Church of the Holy Apostle, laying the ground for what was to become the Pec Patriarchy. The founding of a separate bishopric (1220) near Pec showed that the region's political importance was growing hand in hand with its religious influence. With the proclamation of the empire, the patriarchal throne was permanently established at the Pec monastery in 1346. Serbia's rulers dotted the fertile valleys between Pec, Prizren, Mitrovica and Pristina and their adjacent environs with churches and monasteries, and the whole region eventually acquired the name Metohija, from the Greek metoh which means an estate owned by the church.

Studded with churches and monasteries more than any other Serbian land, Kosovo and Metohija became the spiritual nucleus of the Serbian nation. Situated at the crossroads of the main Balkan routes connecting the surrounding Serbian lands of Raska, Bosnia, Zeta and the Skadar littoral with Macedonia and the Pomoravlje region, Kosovo and Metohija were, geographically speaking, the ideal place to serve as the state and cultural center. Girdled by mountain gorges, and relatively secure against outside attack, Kosovo and Metohija were not chosen by chance as the site for building religious headquarters, church cemeteries and palaces. The rich land holdings of Decani provided an economic underpinning for the wealth of spiritual activities in the area. The learned monks and religious dignitaries assembled in the large monastic community (where they could rely on the rich feudal holdings), strongly influenced the spiritual shaping of the nation, especially in reinforcing local cults and fostering the Orthodox doctrine.

With time, especially in later centuries, the people came to believe that Kosovo was the center of Serbian Orthodoxy and the most resistant stronghold of the Serbian nation.

The below mentioned monasteries just speak the truth for themselves being the institutions worldly recognised. Gracanica Monastery, a 14th century Serbian Orthodox monastery and which today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is situated in the village of Gracanica 5km from the largest city in Kosovo, Pristina. Another UNESCO World Heritage site can be found 12km from Pec, another 14th century Serbian orthodox monastery, Visoki Decani. Yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site and 12th century Serbian Orthodox monastery, Our Lady of Ljevis (Bogorodica Ljeviska) was burned down by Albanian mobs in 2004. This particular monastery was built on the remains of a 9th century Byzantine church. This monastery is in the town of Prizren, very close to the Albanian border in southern Kosovo.

In contrast to all these numerous examples of material Serbian culture, Albanians cannot prove any archeological trace of there presence either in Kosovo or in Metohija. There are no testimonies not even from 18th century when they started spreading and inhabiting these regions. The earliest examples come from 20th century in the shape of mosques and towers taken from the Ottoman heritage.

Up to 17th century Serbian orthodox people comprised an absolute majority on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija and there were literally no trace of Siptars i.e. Albanians. Then in the late 18th and early 19th century, Albanians from the northern Albania started settling in as well as the remains of Turks after the end of Ottoman empire. Even then, Serbian population was more than 50%.
By contrast, today's separatists in Kosovo are predominantly made up of people descended from both Muslim and/or Albanian people. The Muslim population of Kosovo arrived after the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 between the Serbs and their ruler at that time, Lazar Hrebeljanovic, and the forces of the Ottoman Empire led by Sultan Murad I. The battle saw the deaths of Lazar and much of the Serbian noble class, and saw the end of Serbian sovereignty until 1867, when the last Turkish soldiers left Serbia, resulting in the international recognition of Serbia in 1878 ,including Kosovo, as an independent country again.

The aggression of the NATO forces against Serbia was justified by the invented facts that Siptars, Albanians now living in Kosovo, are actually genuine descendants of pre-Roman Ilyrian tribes living in Kosovo and Metohija whereas those facts are not found in any researches done either in Albania or former Yugoslavia.

The Second World War brought the most dramatic demographic changes in the population of Serbs in Kosovo. The great number of Serbs were killed during the occupation and a vast number was prosecuted from the territory being replaced by more than 100 000 Albanians from Albania. The canny non-Serb policy initiated y Germans was then taken over by a communist Yugoslav leader Tito, being a Commintern agent, who encouraged further migrations of Albanians from Albania to Kosovo and Metohija. He literally forced thousands and thousands of Serbs to leave their hearths and make us space for Albanians. Serbs were even banned to claim their property back which was even supported by the special law reinforced in 1946. It was estimated that almost 300 000 Albanians came to Kosovo and settled there as an ethnic group. Gradually Serbian population, being a majority at the beginning, now represented the segregated minority.

Tito`s initial plan was to form a great Yugoslavia consisting of communist republics, one of which would be great communist Albania with Kosovo and Metohija as its constituent parts. He was even appointing Albanian leader as “national heroes” who were in charge of ethnic cleansing of Serbs.

Tito and his policy managed to provide all necessary conditions for the prosperous growth of the Albanian nation giving them privileges of the minority. Not only that he exempt them from paying taxes and bills, he demanded that there should be schools for both Serbs and Albanians. Serbs were made to learn Albanian at school, whereas Albanians adamantly opposed to learning Serbian and were allowed to spread Albanian influence on Serbian culture in that region. Furthermore, Tito encouraged the Albanian population growth in Kosovo by being the godfather to the 10the child in the family, giving them child allowance for every child.

After Tito`s death, the unrest of Albanians on Kosovo was an everyday occasion. They were doing their best to achieve their goals and Serbian and at that time Yugoslav government was doing everything in their power to prevent bloodshed in that part of the country.

One of the means was by sending special military formations that would make sure peace and order are maintained. To put it precisely, these were “military exercise” carried out in a way that certain number of ordinary people who used to serve army in their early 20s were pulled out from their workposts and families and sent to Kosovo to protect Serbian civilians and maintain peace.
My father obligatorily participated in two of them when my sister and I were still children and I remember that we missed him a lot because he was more than a month away. I talked to my dad often about these events and his experience there and he told me that only bad things happened there and that he could almost got killed. Namely, Albanians train their kids from the very beginnings to handle weapons and bombs i.e. they train them to be murderers. A little Albanian boy was passing the street and was all smeared and untidy and dad`s friend felt sorry for him and offered him a piece of candy he had got for his lunch that day. The kid quickly put out a bomb out of his pocket and threw it at my father`s friend...

Albanians were always boasting about their being a segregated nation, whereas they were always present in the Serbian political scene. They had their representing body in Yugoslav Federal Commity and were never denied any rights.

Despite the high autonomy they enjoyed and the constant participation in both Serbian and Yugoslav governments, from early 80s in 20th century Albanians started requesting more rights showing open segregation of Serbian people living in the province, hoping to scare the Serbs away from the territory and trying to acquire Serbian property and land at bargain prices.

“So called quiet ethnic cleansing” of Serbian population in Kosovo during the last 20 years of 20th century resulted in their claiming to comprise 90% of the population in Kosovo which is questionable. Today they claim that there are 2 m Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija. The very important fact to emphasise here is that Albanians boycotted demographic data collection in the past 30 years (1971, 1981, 1991) and non has been carried out so far due to this boycott.

After the NATO bombing, one of the final blows against Serbs in Kosovo (although persistent Albanian intimidation against Serbs is still present) was the so called Pogrom that took place on 17th March 2004 when more than 50 000 Albanians carried out widescale attacks on Serbian people, during which almost 20 civilians were killed, over 4000 Serbs were forced to leave their homes, 935 Serb houses, 10 public facilities and 35 Serbian orthodox churches were desecrated, damaged or destroyed.

Serbs could not sit down and wait for the God to retaliate against the Albanians. We wanted to give them back, to make them suffer and stand in our shoes. Yes, as the whole world knows, we burnt the mosque in Belgrade and Nis. But why do those two mosques have a greater value than our 35 orthodox churches burnt by Albanians? Why do people consider us to be villains and them to be victims? It is simply not fair seeing so much injustice done against my people when all the historic facts claim that they usurped our land and we were only defending what has been ours form the time immemorial.

Ironically, the Serbs being the vast majority in Kosovo population, now comprise almost 4 % of the entire population, whereas Albanians take 92%.

More than 200 000 refugees from Kosovo nowadays inhabit central Serbia living in refugee camps or with their relatives in their houses. Generally people lead a very tough life not knowing where they belong, because they left their hearths, their land and all their belongings.

Those 4 percent of Serbs still living in Kosovo are constantly exposed to violence and threats and we are all aware of the fact the Albanians will never stop until they achieve the final goal which is ethnically clean Kosovo, free from any minorities.

The only goal of Albanian representatives has always been independence and secession of Kosovo and Metohija from Serbia, so they never agreed on any peace talks. The Great Albania is something every single Albanian from Kosovo strives for.

Kosovo independence, recognised by major world forces, proves only that destabilisation of other countries done by the separatists can be successful and encourages destability not only in the region but worldwide. Today it is Kosovo, tomorrow who knows.

Nowadays there are still Serbs living in Kosovo. For example, my sister-in-laws parents still live there, in the town called Gnjilane and they say that it is very difficult to live a normal life. People live without electricity, without water supply in a very terrifying conditions. They are constantly under fear that somebody might kill them while they are in the field or in their houses. It is not safe for them to go to church or to the cemetery to light the candles for their ancestors.

What I have heard from them and what the whole world knows, Kosovo is now a narco-terrorist country.

“ Multi-ethnic, independent and democratic” Kosovo, as Obama puts it, stands today as the main network for the drug, human organs, weapon and people trafficking, manipulating not only the territory of the Balkans but the rest of the world as well.

Kosovo leaders, Taci, Haradinay and Cheku, who participated in the Serbian ethnic cleansing, are not only the leaders of unlawful military formations, but also “bosses” of narco mafia, that financed Albanian terrorist forces. Kosovo is nowadays called “Heroin republic”.

The major Eropean countries, such as Switzerland, Norwey, Italy, England and many others, are centres of Albanian trafficking coordinated also by Albanians who migrated into these countries.
FBA, Interpol and Europol unanimously claim that Albanian mafia is the most serious and threatening organisation in Europe, but obviously nobody has taken any necessary measures to stand up against this.

The writer is a good friend and I am very grateful that she has taken the time to write from a Serbian perspective on the problems in Kosovo. As much as anything I asked her because, as with many issues, I feel that we in the West are being given a one-sided version of events in the Balkans.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Salford Referendum And Democracy

I'm not convinced that elected mayors add anything to local democracy, it seems to me just another busybody to mither and badger the local populace and get a good wedge of cash in the process. Having said that, Blair's attack on local democracy with the introduction of the cabinet system probably made elected mayors seem an attractive proposition to a few. And the nub is 'the few'.

It may be a problem with our first past the post electoral system, but the best way for smaller parties to win is to look at alternative routes to being elected. UKIP manage to scrape into the European Parliament through that particular form of proportional representation. Whereas in recent local by-elections, under FPTP, they have averaged 1% of the vote. Ironically for an anti-EU party they only have reasonable representation in an undemocratic sham of a parliament that they profess to oppose. I'm sure they aren't in it for the pot of cash to be had!

The only success for the English Democrats was when they managed to get their candidate elected Mayor of Doncaster, a huge shock in 2009 even for the English Democrats. So as they are unable to get elected under FPTP they are now busily campaigning for elected mayors.

Yesterday the people of Salford voted to have an elected mayor. I say 'the people of Salford', in reality only 18% of the people of Salford bothered to vote in the referendum. 17,344 voted yes while 13,653 voteed no. The city's  electorate is 171,000.  My maths is diabolical but I guess that means that around 10% of the people eligible to vote actually voted for a mayor. The whole exercise cost over £200,000. Hardly an overwhelming show of civic desire for yet another well paid politico. The referendum was called following a petition organised by the English Democrats.

There is an argument that if people don't bother to vote in elections then tough. But we do need to ask questions of a system that produces results such as this. Yes, if people don't bother to vote they can't complain. But on the other hand if a referendum campaign can only produce a turnout of 18% can it be said to have been effective in engaging with the electorate? Or is it politicos taking advantage of apathy for their own gain?

I support the principle of referenda, when called for by a percentage of the electorate in a referendum, but there has to be a limit. The 5% of signatures currently required on a petition to trigger a mayoral election is too low, it should be 10%. There should also be a threshold of at least a 51% turnout for the vote to be binding. If the politicos can't stimulate that level of interest among the electorate, then their wishes deserve to be ignored.

Sadly, if our system of democracy was more transparent and open, with elected politicians who were  responsive to the electorate rather than party whips, we wouldn't actually need the safety valve of referenda. Maybe it's time we had a serious root and branch look at our whole system after years of tinkering and fiddling by Blair/Brown and the undemocratic European Union.

Oh, and don't forget, it was the good people of Salford in 2010 who re-elected that giant of political probity Hazel Blears. If you want to see what I really think of Blears just click on this link or click on Hazel Blears in the labels list below this post. 'Frederick Oakley' be warned, it is extremely venomous and will upset you!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Back To 1977

Lounging around in the sixth form, chasing girls, drinking Boddington's and wishing I was as cool as Bryan Ferry. That was me, and half the teenagers in the country in 1977.

Bryan Ferry has written some of the finest pop songs ever written and has always played with some of the world's best musicians. Here is one of his finest from that vintage year of 1977, the title track from his fourth solo album, In Your Mind:

In fact I'd forgotten what a damn fine album In Your Mind is, so here's a bonus track from it, Rock of Ages:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The European Union-World Beacon Of Democracy?

I cringed this week when I saw William Hague kissing Baroness Ashton, the EU's 'High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy'. She began her political career when the last shower made her a baroness and gave her various government jobs. Never bothering to seek election she was an obvious choice when the EU decided to create the seat on the gravy train she currently occupies. What next for Hague, a continental style kiss on the cheeks for Herman von Rompuy, the EU's similarly unelected President?

Then he could trot off to Greece to kowtow to their Prime Minister, Lucas Papademos, after all, Prime Ministers are elected by the people aren't they? Not this one. He was installed in a bloodless coup by the EU in November 2011 because he was a high flying EU bureaucrat in a previous incarnation.

OK then, when will Hague be schmaltzing the Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi? Unsavoury he may be, but at least he was elected. Oh no, Berlusconi was overthrown in another bloodless coup. The unelected Italian Prime Minister is Mario Monti. He was a former high flying EU bureaucrat installed as Italian Duce, sorry Prime Minister, last November by the European Union, not elected by the people.

But at least the EU consults the people on certain issues by holding national referenda doesn't it? Yes, but ask the French, Dutch, Irish and Danish people. When they held referenda but got the result the EU didn't want, they were ignored, or told to hold the referendum again and get it right!

So when the EU is throwing it's weight around and bringing in sanctions against Iran, or anywhere else, I'd take at look at the EU's version of democracy. I don't think it has any right to lecture any country on earth about democracy and listening to the people. It's a sick sham that must be stopped.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Racism Again!

Race is becoming a national obsession it seems to me, and it's not healthy. There's a football song that refers to Wayne Rooney as 'the white Pele' and I've actually heard one person, I suppose it would be sexist to refer to her by gender, ranting at those singing it for being racist. Why?

I won't go into reasons, but last year I did a secret shopping exercise. When I fed back and referred to the server as 'dark skinned' I was told that description was not allowed as it could identify his racial type. So if he had been the only black/white employee, which he wasn't, and his race identified him I would have had to pretend he wasn't black/white in my feedback or be seen as racist. I was actually saying what good service I had received but the employee had no name badge so how else was I to identify him?

Last night a friend sent me a link to the YouTube clip below. It's a mad old man we came across a couple of years ago in a pub in North London. Now forgive me but where is the racism? He's coming out with similar drivel to the nonsense he was blabbing off to us, two white men about, but this time it's two Asian looking women. Furthermore, the two women are laughing.

Friday, January 20, 2012

When Punishment Becomes Sheer Spite

I was as disgusted by the orgy of looting and wanton vandalism in the summer as anybody else, but this story concerns me, as did the demands for the eviction of looters from council houses at the time.

It seems that Wandsworth council tried to evict a family because the son had looted an electrical store, but they haven't been able to. So why should his mother be thrown out of her house? Surely it is the miscreant who should be punished not his innocent mother. Should the family of everybody sent to prison in the UK also be evicted?

To punish a whole family for the deeds of one member strikes me as highly vindictive and utterly immoral. But on another level where should this type of action end? Would my next door neighbour, who owns his home, have been immune from similar punishment had one of his sons looted a shop? If not, why not if the law applies to all? Surely his house should be taken off him and his family dumped on the street too.

Where do these evicted families go? Maybe if my neighbour had been evicted an unscrupulous private landlord could have bought his property and moved another evicted family into it, after all, they still need somewhere to live. Or are the evicted families expected, indeed only allowed to turn up at homeless shelters? Or maybe they are all expected to get together and live rough on the streets, maybe in tents outside cathedrals and in other urban areas.

This type of action is beyond punishment, it is sheer spite and I'm glad Wandsworth council failed.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Iraqi Politicians Fighting

I love seeing politicians having a fight, after all wouldn't it be better to see international disputes settled by politicos squaring up to each other rather than seeing innocent civilians bombed and squaddies facing injury and death?

The problem with too many fights involving politicians is that they think it makes them look macho, when in reality they look like pansies slapping their arms around like windmills. But the following news footage from Iraq is good. I wouldn't mind the one on the left being our Prime Minister, I'd back him against Sarkozy any day. Quite probably Putin too, who always strikes me as a poseur, all pee and wind. Here goes:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Claim An 'Ism' And Avoid Jail

I find this story quite appalling. A girl thinks a man is eyeing her up in a nightclub so she sticks a glass in his face. Her excuse is that she was being sexually harrassed at work, she's a plumber. The judge felt sorry for her, not the victim, and gave her a lighter sentence as a result.

So next time somebody pisses you off, stick a glass in his face then claim you are being discriminated against at work and hey presto, it's no longer a race/sexism/homophobia or whatever card, it's a get out of jail card!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Black Monday-January 16th

Apparently today is the most depressing day of the year. Whoever decided that is correct, it's the crappiest day of the crappiest part of the crappiest month of the year. This January I've not felt massively excited or angered by events yet, to the extent that I can't really be bothered blogging. So I put Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 thinking his phone-in would give me something to get angry/excited about. But the topics today are:

Are cruise ships too big?

A woman whose father died in a factory accident 20 years ago has just pressed the button to demolish said factory.

Is dieting bad for you?

I am no longer listening to Jeremy Vine today. In fact, I feel like crawling back to bed and setting the alarm to wake me up when the world gets interesting again.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Iron Lady

1970s Britain under Labour
We're having a decadent afternoon, a couple of drinks then off to the flicks to see The Iron Lady. I've had doubts about going to see this as I'm not sure that while Mrs Thatcher is still alive it's in good taste. But I've got to see it.

It's been funny seeing the emotional and politically incontinent whining about her. There has even been a bunch of harridans in Chesterfield picketting the cinema in Coal Not Dole t-shirts. Dare turn up at my local cinema this afternoon and you'll get more than you bargained for you misfits!

Looking at comments on internet reviews I've marvelled at the bullshit lies the lefties still come out with about her. Everything from fractured societies to the unemployed committing mass suicide. It just confirms what I've always known, that lefties are seriously mentally challenged, or mongs to you and me.

Britain at war? No, the 1970s under Labour.
I was at school through the seventies, that was the decade of shite, thanks yet again to Labour. In the seventies we had the three day week. We had power cuts. Thanks to strikes there were piles of rotting garbage on street corners. We had food shortages. A relative died but couldn't be buried because the grave diggers were on strike. Like many my parents almost lost their home thanks to striking unions. The 'brain drain' meant talented people went abroad because of huge taxes and poor quality of life.

Compared to the 1970s the 1980s were bliss. We have a lot to thank Mrs Thatcher for. I might even do a film review when I've seen it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Nation Of Wimps-Today Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC

An Arsenal footballer has had to apologise because he Tweeted that a team mate looked like a rapist. He was told to apologise, delete the Tweet and explain that he had overstepped the mark. It's not clear who he had apologised to as his team mate took it for the jokey banter it was. Maybe he had upset a Tottenham supporting rapist in Brixton who objected to being likened to an Arsenal player. Somebody at Arsenal FC is a wimp.

Thinking about yesterday's post about wimps I couldn't help wondering about the position of Liverpool FC on all this racism/apology stuff. They defend a banned player who called another player black. Then a supporter shouts "you fucking black bastard" at an opposition player and they promise to ban him for life. I can only assume that in the eyes of Liverpool FC, using the words "fucking" and "bastard" in the same sentence massively trumps the word "black" or "negro", the guilty player is Uruguayan and used the Spanish word.

On the other hand a player like Luis Suarez could score a winning goal and make them a fortune in revenue. Ban a foul mouthed little Scouser and another fifty mugs will be lining up to pay £30 to use his seat.

Funny old game!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Nation Of Wimps

Political correctness has gradually turned us into a nation of wimps. If we'd been populated by today's oddballs and softies then I doubt we would have won the last war, Hitler and co would walk in virtually unopposed today, especially with most of our people with backbone in Afghanistan or some other foreign country. What made me think this?

I've just seen a gameshow called 'Deal Or No Deal'. The bloke trying to win money, he eventually got £70,000, was sobbing like a baby whenever he looked like winning some cash. Pathetic, get a grip.

I turned on the TV news earlier this week and a woman was bemoaning how devastated thousands of families would be feeling that morning at the terrible news. She was referring to David Cameron's Tourettes comment. I thought there'd been some awfully natural disaster or terrorist attack at first, but no families of Tourettes sufferers would be devastated. Piss, fuck nut nuggets!

A bunch of loony women, resplendent in 'Coal Not Dole' t-shirts straight from the 1980s picketted the film 'The Iron Lady' in Chesterfield. I bet those silly bags never worked down a pit!

A footballer got called a black bastard by an ignorant muppet in the crowd at Anfield (pattern developing?) and the player breaks down in tears. I wouldn't have blamed him for giving him a verbal volley back, or even smacking the prat, but weeping for God's sake!!

Friday, January 06, 2012

Diane Abbott And Stinking Hypocrisy

Diane Abbott Tweeted:

''White people love playing 'divide & rule'".

Chuka Umunna, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary defended her saying:

"During her 25 years in the House of Commons, Diane has proved to be a constant fighter against prejudice, hatred, racism and other forms of prejudice in our society. Her actions prove that she is not a racist person." Oh really? 
I don't care what Diane Abbott said, but I despise the stinking hypocrisy of those defending her when they would pillory a white politician for making such a sweeping generalisation about black people. It's so funny watching the intellectual contortions of the white pinko liberal politically correct brigade in their attempts to defend her.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Legalised Killing

Driving into Lancaster this morning the big lead story on the BBC informed us that an influential committee had produced a report supporting the introduction of euthanasia. But it turned out that the report had been commissioned and drawn up by a group of people who support the introduction of euthanasia anyway. Hardly a hard hitting, objective and independent report then.

The supporters of euthanasia love to talk in euphemisms, it doesn't sound like killing people then, and cry that they are the truly passionate, whereas those of us who believe that human life is sacred are happy to see people die horrific lingering deaths, which is obviously untrue, there is a wonderful thing called palliative care. Care Not Killing has the humane position on the issue and an excellent counter to today's pro-death report.

Just remember that we now have abortion on demand, despite all the safeguards promised when it was legalised in this country. Already the influential euthanasia campaigner Baroness Warnock has called for the euthanasia of the elderly with dementia to free up NHS resources so I'd campaign against if I were you, or be very nervous about what people regard as 'elderly' and beyond worth wasting NHS resources on when you get a bit older.

In addition I question, yet again, the objectivity of a broadcaster that I'm forced to fund through my taxes. It clearly has an agenda on this issue, as we all know it does on many issues so time to be rid of the BBC I think.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Cee Lo Green, John Lennon, Imagine

It's good to see Cee Lo Green upsetting the ageing hippies and misfits who think Lennon's nonsensical dirge Imagine is profound rather than the vaccuous tosh it actually is.

It seems that Green did a cover version and replaced the lyrics "and no religion too" with "and all religion's true". Of course the deadheads immediatly took to t'interweb to pour hatred and vitriol towards Green and religion. Not very "imagine all the people living life in peace" I'd say.

I suppose it was easy for Lennon to write and sing "imagine no possessions" while tickling the ivories in one of his multi-million pound apartments or mansions with his bank account bulging with enough cash to pay off the national debt of a reasonably sized developing country. His fans really need to get a grip.

In fact it's time music fans got a sense of reality full stop. It's the most free market, most capitalist industry on the planet. That's why mediocrities can make an absolute fortune and then spend their lives patronising us about poverty and how we need to do more for the poor of the world. That's you and me being lectured at by multi-millionaires like Bono, Geldoff and co. Get a grip!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012 And Some Things Never Change

So 2012 has arrived and a couple of things stand out.

Scousers are still wallowing in self pity, this time about something somebody is alleged to have said to Margaret Thatcher about letting the place rot in the early 1980s. Instead her government spent millions and millions on the crap hole, but still they whine and whinge and wallow in victimhood.

Secondly Arsene Wenger is whining that the referee cost his team three points at Fulham last night, nothing to do with his dodgy defence, oh no, it was the referee. I'm just amazed Wenger has never managed Liverpool, they seem made for each other.

Over Christmas I've been pondering the state of politics and reached a couple of bizarre conclusions. I've decided Clegg was right to go into government with the Conservatives. I don't like it, I don't like it at all but what was the alternative? Ignoring the nightmare option of a LabLibDem government it would have meant the Lib Dems sitting on their bums on the backbenches like they have for almost a century, firstly as Liberals latterly as LibDems, with no influence just giving us the occasional belly laugh. So what did LibDem voters want? Their MPs just warming a green bench and nothing else or an MP who at least has strong influence and maybe a little power? It's called living in the real world.

Then I looked back at the last year, much of which I had spent wondering about a new political party, maybe being formed or maybe starting one. That option looks increasingly bleak sadly, so what do we do those of us who might be regarded as right of centre? There isn't a realistic party at the moment that we could join, so over Christmas I wondered about rejoining the Tories, as some I know have done. Is it better to sit on the sidelines sniping or better to get in and try to make a difference?

Let's be honest the only political party with a chance of standing up to the EU is the Conservative Party. But it needs large enough numbers of us to get back involved. We can all stand by our ideological purity and bang on about the EU from within a minor, largely irrelevant party or pressure group, or we can actually get stuck in within a party that could make a difference. As with Clegg and the Coalition it's about making tough decisions in the real world.

But then every time I think I might rejoin the Tories I hear Cameron come out with some bland soundbite and can't help thinking that some things never change.