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Saturday, 31 July 2010

Thieving bankers

The Telegraph reveals this morning how the thieving bankers are skimming billions from our savings in immoral and hidden deductions.

I fear only a return to mediaeval justice will have any effect on these sorry creatures; once we amputate the hands of a few Investment Managers and slit open the nostrils of a few more dodgy Fund Managers then their love of filling their mouths with our gold may become somewhat diminished.

Who wants the Roma?

The Roma are such an anomaly it's astonishing they've survived at all. They reject just about every one of the most fundamental tenets that define our Western civilisation and society whilst living parasitically from from the benefits of our social organisation.

They reject our right to own property, or uphold theirs to take it from us. Inside their temporary homes all is clean, but the filth is flung away carelessly to pollute our world. They recognise neither nationality, nor borders, nor income tax. They have no allegiance or obligation but to themselves. Christianity and Islam have left them untouched. They are secretive and inward looking, maintaining a strong insider-outsider barrier. Above all, they make people fear; fear damage and loss and theft, fear implied violence, fear the hedgerows fouled with human scat and fear all the certainties of our civilisation being scorned.

The Nazis tried to eradicate them, with 12,000 being slaughtered in the pits of Babi Yar and thousands more in the extermination camps, yet they've recovered to a European population of about 16m, spread from Ireland to Greece.

Yet at base they're people like us. They value family and kinship, love their children and maintain a strong cultural identity. They have their own set of rules. And these things have been enough to sustain them for centuries, enough to prevent them from integrating, from becoming invisible, however hostile the alternative.

The Guardian reports today on how the EU is turning a blind eye to the official harassment and 'persecution' of Roma across Europe, as these unwanted scavengers are driven from country to country, and asks why EU governments aren't applying the Human Rights Charter to protect them.

The answer is transparently clear; the Roma are self-declared outlaws, or scoff-laws, and for as long as they reject our tenets and mores we can do no other than deny them the benison of legal protection. What other choice is there?

Friday, 30 July 2010

It's not just us, then

Despite what the government price indices are telling me, I'm quite aware that a 4-bag Tesco shop that used to cost £36 now costs £53 and no sign of falling, even though I'm substituting cheaper choices and taking advantage of BOGOFs.

The Times of India carries a piece today on the effects there of fifteen months of double-digit food inflation - rather more serious than having to switch from Pork loin to belly. In India the urban poor are being worst hit - and it's the prices of basics and essentials that have risen the most;
In a country with a large population of vegetarians, the absence of milk and dal from the daily diet means that the poor in India, the bulk of them employed in manual labour, are simply not getting adequate proteins. Non-vegetarian families, like the Prasads on the eastern fringes of Kolkata, are being forced to reduce their meat intake and eat the less nutritious parts of chicken and mutton.
But it's the online comments that convince me that India is just a mini-me version of the UK; this could have appeared as an OT comment on almost any of Iain Dale's blog posts;
Dear Mr Rishi, POPULATION. NO, you have to blame the government for not having proper, civilized and growth oriented EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.We as a nation has compromised a lot for the MATERIALISTIC WORLD. The system has to educate children right from the tender age to register in their mind what is this nation has to be in the next generation and teach how to keep our house and around clean etc.. which majority of the schools do not educate. It has to be part of curriculum so that when they grow, they will be aware of population explosion problem, greenery, environmental awareness, taking care of animals, be happy and make others happy. For example, see how our common people handle the common toilets either in a public roads, railways stations and even in trains. Nobody has the slightest clue on cleanliness. Hope next generation grows even better for a better living. Jai Hind.
Hey ho.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Olympburo Zil Lanes - gulags for offenders?

The IOC has been one of the most corrupt organisations anywhere in the world; bribery, dash and fraud characterised the organisation under Samaranch and many critics believed it hasn't changed that much since. The IOC fat cats will be amongst tens of thousands of sponsors and their corporate hangers-on, media and, er, competitors who are set to whizz in darkened convoys around London on specially designated Olympburo Zil Lanes.

And what do I get out of this? A whacking increase in my Council Tax to pay for these bloated bent herberts to swan about on privatised roads as they count the wads of notes in their brown envelopes, massive disruption and inconvenience on a titanic scale and streets obstructed with the ten thousand poxed Lithuanian tarts it's estimated will be needed to service this IOC fartfest as they pout like Pollack to attract the trade of the five thousand Polish event stewards.

And as armed police hold the population of London back on side streets to allow the Zil convoys to race through with motorcycle outriders, sirens and lights, no doubt the eleven thousand Romanian pickpockets and bag-snatchers imported specially for the Olympics will extract a further toll from the long-suffering population and the streets of Timisoara will soon echo to the sounds of London rap ringtones.

It won't be long before Theresa May announces the construction of a special Olympic detention camp where offenders who stray into the Zil lanes can be held, or where those seized by the Olympic Logo Police for wearing clothing bearing brand names or logos other than those of the official sponsors can be held and charged with the new offence of Ambush Marketing.

A curse on all their heads.

You'd need a heart of stone ...

From the Glasgow Herald;
A report by Transport Scotland, the £2 billion organisation responsible for rail and trunk roads, found that travel-related carbon dioxide emissions by staff had increased by 3% over two years, despite its goal of an 8% decrease.

It blamed a sharp increase in flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow to London to attend meetings for reducing CO² in staff business travel in the two years to November 2008.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The present that Cameron can bring London from India

Cameron has gone back to the '50s with his old-school trade delegation to India; it's an old plan, but it may just work. India has about the largest and fastest growing middle-class in the world. Currently they're showing their sophistication by stocking Johnny Walker Very Old Bombay Malt Whisky on the shelves of their newly-built warehouse apartments, watching Friends on DVD and experimenting with Burberry check sari fabric, but soon the most sophisticated will want the real thing rather than locally made 'snides'. All the British firms currently taking out full-colour full-page ads in 'Country Life' and 'Horse and Hounds' could do worse than open up niche stores in Linking Road.

But it's what the Indians can do for us that really interests me. Anyone who has watched BBC4's 'Monsoon Railways' will soon realise that India is the sole repository of all the knowledge that enabled the UK to run it's rail system so effectively in the 1890s. The original electro-mechanical signal and control systems are still in place and working perfectly, the staff are happy in their complex hierarchies and loyal to their employer, engineering and maintenance staff are highly safety-conscious and display craft skills and a level of ingenuity long lost to the UK.

Passengers are still called passengers on the Indian Railways, and are served by porters, bearers and chai wallers attending to their every comfort. Stations are still provided with 'retiring rooms', temporary bedrooms, many now with AC, that can be hired for 24 hours whilst awaiting an obscure branch line connection. What's more, they've avoided the curse of the 'Human Resources' department, retaining a Personnel Department. The most recent vacancies circular specifies for a candidate that "APPLICANT SHOULD BE CONVERSANT IN PERSONNEL, ESTABLISHMENT MATTERS, HANDLING STATUTORY LAWS, GRIEVANCE HANDLING, STAFF WELFARE, RAJBHASHA & COMPUTER WORKING".

In fact, Indian Rail epitomises exactly how a railway should be run.

So I can think of no greater benefit for London than sacking Metronet, tearing up the PFI, booting out Bob Crow and his antediluvian members and bringing in Indian Rail in its entirety to run the Tube. They'd be perfect. And as for Rajbhasha, the slow conversion of the official language of the railways from English to Hindi, well, I'm sure we'll get used to it.

The insanity of 'green' energy

UK Energy Minister Chris Huhne MP

Like organic vegetables, 'green' energy is a luxury of the metropolitan gullible with more money than sense. The rest of us are quite happy with the old fashioned stuff with tiny residues of healthy, honest pesticides and herbicides and electricity made from coal. This is why I'm astonished that the Conservatives, the party of the free market, is proposing to distort the energy market to the extent of costing us from £300 to £5,000 a year depending on whose figures you use.

It's as if the blessed St Margaret had banned Mothers' Pride back in 1979 and decreed that the nation should eat wholemeal tofu lentil-bread instead.

On a decent July day with a wodge of high-pressure sitting comfortably over the British Isles, each of those two hundred foot high wind turbines with blades the size of 747 wings will produce about enough electricity to boil an egg. To make Sunday lunch for six, you need the combined output of eleven of them. And if you want to get the drill out in the afternoon for some DIY, you'll need to call the National Grid to divert the output of all Wales' turbines to your 13 Amp socket.

Meanwhile, we've barely scratched the seams of our coal reserves. From the earliest Tudor drift-mines to the deep post-war mines, including the entire output that fuelled the Industrial Revolution, drove British industry and powered the world's largest Naval and Merchant shipping fleets, we've mined about 25bn tonnes so far.

Coal in-place, that is coal in seams over two feet thick and less than 4000 feet from the surface, excluding the 25bn tonnes already mined, is estimated to total some 190bn tonnes. Recoverable reserves, that is coal that can economically be mined now using current technology (and Polish labour) is estimated at 45bn tonnes.

Coal is versatile stuff. We can burn it to generate electricity, or pyrolise it in gasification plants to provide an inflammable substitute for natural gas. We can also turn it into diesel and heavy bunker oil for the merchant fleet. We can turn it into Hydrogen to power a new generation of motor vehicles. We can even burn it in our grates to provide attractive space heating and the means of reaching a minimum temperature fire-base on which to incinerate household waste.

So why the hell are we turning England's landscape, the landscape of Housman, Elgar, Malcolm Arnold and Clare, into some garden gnome legoland travesty of hideous excrescences on the skyline? Excrescences that are about as effective as an Afghan drug squad? Have we all gone completely, utterly mad?

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Fuel shortage

I'm sorry, I can't do it today. There's a rich palette of happenings out there - the abolition of scores of Quangos, the Electoral Commission report, but right now all I can think about is coffee.

My next delivery will arrive this evening, in good time for tomorrow, and for the next ten weeks, but this morning I shook, brushed, dusted and gathered the very last grains from the last batch to squeeze out a single slightly pale mug of the stuff. And it's not enough.

Monday, 26 July 2010

At the end of the 1914 - 45 war, a new government

Historians who neatly roll up both the first and second wars into a continuum, a thirty-years war for the twentieth century, are on to something. The Great War was the start of Total War, one fought not just by a professional army but by the whole population, and the Second War was its apogee. The Great War necessarily demolished social structures and the roles of the sexes, and by the second it was the players, and not the gentlemen, who led our soldiers in battle.

Over much of this period, Britain had been governed by the Conservatives, the party of the ruling class, and paradoxically it was the Conservatives who either oversaw, participated in or originated much of the restructuring of British society. Neither Churchill nor the Conservative Party objected to Beveridge in principle - war on the 'evils' of want, disease, ignorance, squalor and idleness appealed to patrician old-school Tories who wanted to see their tenants as healthy and productive as their livestock.

But when Labour won its landslide on this day in 1945, it was not so much a revolution but a debt called-in. The whole nation had bled and died, gone hungry, been bombed to buggery, and the lessons learned from the '20s and '30s were that a settlement of this particular national debt was long overdue.

The price paid by the ruling class for the preservation of our nation was a permanent loss of power and status and inroads on accumulated wealth. And I for one don't regret this one little bit; I'm of the Yeoman breed, not the County set. They go to Eton, we go to local Grammars and obscure Independents languishing in the bottom half of the HMC league. They study Greats at Cambridge, we go to Cirencester and Camborne. They're on first-name terms with the Lord Chamberlain and still form part of the Court; we're the solicitors, land agents, small businessmen, farmers, vets and vicars who may ride with them on the hunt but depend on our fee income and P&L accounts rather than tenants' rents to pay for the broadcloth.

So (heresy) had I been around on 5th July 1945, I suspect I would have voted Labour. In doing so, I would have been putting one of my own Yeoman class into Parliament. This really was the end of Lord Tollemache, Lady Paul or Lord Rous having a say in whether I could hang my shingle in their bailiwick. No regrets, no looking back; on this day sixty-five years ago we completed the process that had started in August 1914, the making of modern Britain.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Police reform and ACPO closedown

First, a piece in the Telegraph by ex-blogger David Copperfield on his experience of policing in Canada, and how a local police force free of central Statist interference can be both cheap and effective.

Second, a few details from a leaked report in the Mail. Theresa May is to announce tomorrow the setting up of a national police body under the Home Secretary to deal with serious organised crime. I bet you thought we had one of those already, with SOCA, didn't you? SOCA has been a miserable failure, becoming little more than a comfortable sinecure for bloated police fat-cats. SOCA's chairman, director-general, ten directors and thirty deputy directors succeeded at only one thing; stuffing their mouths with public gold. One of the proximate causes of their utter uselessness was the role of ACPO in managing SOCA. It was just last year that Keith Bristow succeeded Ian Johnson in the ACPO role that oversees SOCA; during Johnson's tenure, SOCA cost the taxpayer £1.2bn and recovered just a few millions in crime funds.

Well, the signs are that May has learned the lesson and will be letting ACPO nowhere near the new NCA. Not only that, but she is planning additionally to strip ACPO of its counter-terrorism oversight role and place this wholly with the new NCA. And about time.

But until the malign and anti-democratic influence of ACPO and its shadowy capi are removed completely from public life in the UK, our chances of creating truly local, efficient and responsive police forces such as that in Edmonton that now employs PC Copperfield are low.