Saturday, 15 September 2007

How Brown could get my vote

The 'populus' analysis that Brown and Cameron have moved ever-closer together on a left / right axis has been given much word-space; the conclusions are that they're fighting to occupy the same space on the centre ground, where the next election will be decided.

I think this is far too simplistic. The diagram below show why. I will vote for whoever is nearest to me not on a one-dimensional axis but on a two (or even three) dimensional conviction grid. And with both leaders in the same place on the horizontal axis, the vertical axis becomes critical.

Of course, its complicated by the fact that I know that Brown is posturing and his real position is different to his public position but that I don't know where Cameron's real position really lies.

Any leader - even Brown - who moves upwards on the scale will be more strongly assured of my vote, and those of the many of you that I know will place themselves in the upper right hand quadrant. Enough said.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Northern Rock cracks start to show

Banks and governments unite at times of financial crisis in talking the markets up, pretending there is no problem, that everything is under control. Shrewd commentators reckon that we are teetering on the precipice of financial meltdown.

A story here is instructive. The State bank of Saxony has lent €65bn to the US market, despite having barely €200m of equity.

A bumpy ride ahead, methinks.
Now they're starting to wake up

Good to see that Iain Dale's piece in the Telegraph today recognises that Brown is out to destroy the Tory party - I wrote about it HERE.

If Cameron agrees to the State party funding deal, it will be the world's most rapid political suicide note.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Small riot in Belgium. No Britons hurt.

One of the stories that has been bubbling away this summer virtually unnoticed in the British press is the political crisis in Belgium that has left the country without a government since June. Not that the Belgians seem to care very much about not having a government. Lying under the Flemish movement for a split of Europe's most boring nation is a strong anti-Islamic thread.

Anyone who has walked from Grote Markt to the Eurostar terminal to catch the cheap late-evening service will understand Flemish nervousness about the city's very large and very Islamic Moroccan population. There is a palpable sense of threat. The Eurostar terminal mall itself is filled with aimless groups of Moroccan young men who don't exactly exude friendliness. The ethnic and racial divisions in Belgium seem very much more sharply drawn than is my experience in London.

So when the Belgian authorities banned an anti-Islamization demo in Brussels, and the demonstrators went ahead anyway, there was bound to be a confrontation. It it alleged that the authorities brought in a Walloon police brigade who treated the largely Flemish demonstrators harshly. This website is worth reading.

Anyway, a tip for any yotties after a cheap courtesy flag for Ostend (for non-yotties, it is customary to fly a small version of the flag of the country whose waters you are entering in addition to your own national flag, as a courtesy) - the Flemish lion (as in the pic above) is available from HERE at the bargain price of €2.50 plus €0.75 postage to the UK.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

I was right. The EU is a religious cult.

If I ask a whole load of you a question, and you come up with an answer I don't want to hear, do I take counsel and reconsider my position? Not if I'm the EU I don't.

The EU will take a sample of you, and lock you in a room with EU 'experts' until they think you've changed your mind. Then ask you the question again. If you still get the answer wrong, they'll lock you up some more until the Stockholm Syndrome kicks in and you agree with your torturers. Then they'll publish the 'new and accurate' poll results.

You think I'm kidding? Do you imagine this kind of totalitarian distortion doesn't exist in the 21st century? Think again.

See HERE. It's called 'Deliberative Polling'. It's the EU's new and preferred way of presenting public opinion.
In English, dammit!

Welcome news that train operator FGW is to remove the bilingual English / Punjabi station signs from Southall station. Not because they've had a blinding Damascene conversion to common sense, but because the other ethnics in the area, who have brought the jealousies of the Kashmir conflict with them, see this token of Punjabi ascendency as insufferable. I have only one comment to describe FGW's action in the first place:

More spin, smoke and mirrors from Brown

In reading of Brown's promise to provide every jobless Briton with work, I am reminded of a paragraph from the Beveridge report:
The second principle is that organisation of social insurance should be treated as one part only of a comprehensive policy of social progress. Social insurance fully developed may provide income security; it is an attack upon Want. But Want is one only of five giants on the road of reconstruction and in some ways the easiest to attack. The others are Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness.
For a start, it is not the State, only the economy, that can create sustainable employment. Taxing one person to pay another is not a sustainable solution. Secondly, we have 5m people locked into Brown's welfare slavery - a system he himself created as Chancellor, having neither the vision nor the courage to pursue the real solutions proposed by Frank Field. We have 1.2m 16-24 year olds alone rotting at home.

And how has Labour's record been at tackling Beveridge's other 'evils'? It's the water companies that provide pure drinking water, and the supermarkets that provide cheap food - the two most important factors in disease prevention. With a state school system, 'Ignorance' is in the realm of the State - and Brown has failed abysmally. Our national standards of literacy and numeracy have plummeted since 1997. For the third, the Squalor that was ascribed to private tenements, after half a century of State housing investment, £400bn of welfare housing at current market prices, continues exactly as before across the nation's blighted council estates. The North Peckham Estate can be no less Squalid than the jerry-built slums of the 19th century. And finally Idleness. Brown's system of welfare slavery has enshrined idleness into the very bones of the 5m serfs he has created.

If anyone is so naive as to be fooled by Brown's empty and vacuous rhetoric they deserve the dystopian gulag this one-eyed thief is building.
EU cries surrender over Imperial measures

The mile is inherently a far older European measure than the kilometer; it was the measure of a thousand (or mille) paces traversed by a Roman soldier (a pace being the distance between one heel on the ground and the same heel on the ground, for those of you doing the maths and only getting half a mile). Our Imperial gills, pints, quarts and gallons are measures in harmony with British physiology, and the Imperial Pint is exactly equivalent to the Roman Sextarius. Our Avoirdupois Ounce at 28.35g is almost exactly equal to the Roman Uncia of 27.92 g. Even our rail gauge is the same as the standard wheelbase of Roman carts. It is, in other words, Europe that has changed and not Britain. Once something works, we tend to hang on to it - for around 2,000 years in the case of weights and measures.

I cannot improve on the blog reactions of A Very British Dude and Devil's Kitchen to proposals to remove her Britannic Majesty's unequivocal caution from the inside leaf of our passports. A British passport says something no arriviste or upstart European can claim; Civis Britannicus Sum. Palmerston understood the importance of the Realm's moral arming of its subjects abroad with the assurance of deadly retribution against those who would violate their freedoms. It lingers even today, even in the Easyjet age, giving petty officials pause when dealing with one of our island race.

The craven, spineless, timorous compliance by our government and civil servants with every piece of corporatist lunacy that emerges from Brussels cannot be endured. It took the death of Steve Thoburn to demonstrate our affection for our Imperial measures. Our passports are equally dear to us.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Northern Ireland's suicide 'epidemic'

The population of the province of Northern Ireland is barely 1.7m, yet virtually every day there is another suicide. Looking at the statistics provides no easy answer; although suicide is the biggest cause of death for young men, both young women and older men are also vulnerable. There is no sectarian bias - Catholics and Protestants figure about equally in the figures. Urban and rural populations are equally susceptible. There is no obvious bias to occupation or wealth. The only clear fact is that suicides have soared since the province settled into an uneasy peace.

The phenomenon is not unknown. Suicide rates soared in Germany after the capitulation in May 1945, and recent studies have shown the same effect in Croatia after 1995. In Germany it was not only the recent Nazis or rape victims, but ordinary Germans who had survived the war and had everything to look forward to from peace.

It may therefore be just part of the price of peace; the sudden withdrawal of the old certainties, allegiances and commitments that leaves the survivors in a credential vacuum. And a useful lesson that it's not just the bombs and bullets that kill.