Friday, 12 November 2010

A moral duty to oppose the evil of the EU

Commentators have adequately exposed the manifold failings of the so-called Sovereignty Bill, legislation that will do nothing to halt the insidious boiled-frog ratcheting of EU control of our nation. The political class will ensure that nothing is done that will trigger a referendum, whilst greasing the treasonous take-over of every aspect of our national lives by a monstrous and unaccountable Leviathan. 


It's because I love Europe that I condemn with every breath I take the grotesque evil of the EU. The EU is evil in exactly the same way that the Soviet Union was evil; that in a pretence at securing the good of all, the freedoms of each are trampled upon, that power and its maintenance becomes an end in itself, that privilege and patronage are reserved to the ruling elite, and that any countervailing loyalties and allegiances are crushed. The corruption of power, the spoilation of national dignity, the cruel subjugation of human spirit and conscience are all works of true evil and counter to our shared Christian culture and heritage. Every one of us has a moral duty to oppose the EU. 


Today the power of the nomenclature in Brussels looks unassailable. The Eurocrats no longer wear jackboots or carry arms, but as they gaze up at Westminster's spires they wear the exact same look as those other conquerors as they rode beneath the Arc de Triomphe in 1940. Things have scarcely looked blacker in my lifetime for Britain, scarce looked more hopeless. But older readers will have been here before, and on the wall of the rebuilt Coventry Cathedral it took a Jew to sculpt the simple meaning of that triumph of Christian faith; that good will, eventually, vanquish evil. 

Thursday, 11 November 2010

A revival of student altruism, or a new age war?

One fact that the mainstream media seems to have missed about the student protests yesterday is that very few of those smashing up 30 Millbank will be personally affected by the tuition fee increases; these were not future students, but current students, many no doubt in their final year, and will have enjoyed tuition fees pegged at a maximum of £3,290 pa. The new fees are not due to come in until 2012. Even stranger was the contingent from Glasgow Uni featured in the press pics; Scotland currently charges no tuition fees at all. So if they were not protesting on their own behalf, what were they protesting for?


I have long been disappointed at the serious work-focused attitude of modern students. Instead of getting sozzled and experimenting with sex and Sartre the modern student seemed a dull dog, preferring to twiddle with their entry-level laptop in Starbucks than plot stoned revolution. If all that is changing, if a new zeitgeist is blowing through the grume encrusted halls of residence that brings altruism, political engagement and a clamour for change, I am truly encouraged. 

I wrote in 2009 about the potential for intergenerational conflict that the recession brought, that economic measures geared at preserving the privileges of the older generations would be deeply resented by the new Generation Y. David Willetts' seminal The Pinch, published this year, made much the same point. Could yesterday's little skirmish presage the building of a larger battle?  

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Getting serious about the Parish

The parish church here, barely 150m away, is a wonderful late Victorian affair and bears testimony to the new parishes carved out out of the old Mediaeval ones as the rail lines out of central London spawned a ring of new development in what is now Zone 2. With the new terraces and rail stations came parades of local shops, pubs and churches. In 15 years, I've never been inside it. But neither, in 15 years, has the vicar, who lives in a rather splendid ivy-clad attached dwelling, ever knocked on my door to invite me to do so. In fact he (or she, as far as I know) has been invisible, never even once seen in the corner co-op, never a single glimpse of a clerical collar on the street. And never, in 15 years, has a single parish newsletter ever dropped onto my doormat. Coming from a Suffolk village in which one bumped into the vicar on the village street at least once or twice a week, and greeted him by name, this is extraordinary. 


I'm a firm believer in the potential of the local parish church to be the centre of the whole community, whatever the caste or creed of those in the parish, the duty to one's neighbour coming rather higher on the list than either the 39 articles or the Catholic catechism. In Suffolk, villagers of all faiths packed the church for carol services and harvest festivals and the like, each having a moral lien on the physical church if not any clear tie to the church spiritual. 


So come on, London vicars all. Eschew all that introvert obsessioning that's seen you turn your backs on your parishes and get your coats on. Walk your streets pushing a parish newsletter through each letter box; stand outside the convenience store and give sweets to the kiddies, visit everyone who newly moves in, use the church as a meeting place, clearing house, bazaar and living room for the community. Few will be offended, many more will be delighted. It's time you learned from your country cousins. 

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The revenge of BP

There must be a certain shadenfreude in the corridors of BP, or 'British Petroleum' as Obama liked to refer to the company. The company's share price bounced back against Obama's attempted scapegoating and continues to recover healthily; the damage turned out to be far less than hyped, and mostly the fault of, er, Halliburton. Or should that be 'Halliburton US Inc'?


Meanwhile Obama's rankings have slumped, millions of Americans have abandoned him and his chances of a second term are ranked as slim. He's just taken a huge slapping in the mid-terms and his 'socialism lite' branding isn't gaining any traction in the US. His anti-British rhetoric, stemming from the way we dealt with the 'Mickeys' (Mau Mau) in his Kenyan ancestral homeland, is also failing to connect with an America now more at ease with its own treatment of Iraqis, at a time when ex President Bush can defend waterboarding without a murmur of indignation at home. 


Interestingly, this redneck teabag hasn't quite grasped things yet; I'm just impressed that he's managed cursive script rather than BLOCK CAPS:-

  

Council RIPA misuse to cost millions

Somewhere in the country a paranoid council has been using directed surveillance to spy on councillors and senior officers who were believed to be planning an internal coup. Their private home email, computer and phone records have been obtained, they have been followed and covertly filmed, their bank and credit card records examined. All this has been allowed to happen because in the glory days of Labour, spying, informants and Stasi-like surveillance were good things and councils were encouraged by the government to embrace the freedoms that RIPA gave them to spy and prod at private lives - and yes, RIPA did in a wholly perverse way make this easier than it was before. 


That's at an end. The Law Society Gazette reported last month on the IP Tribunal's findings against the horrific misuse of powers by Poole Council. This opens the door to expensive legal action by victims against the illegal and intrusive use of powers by councils that will cost them millions in damages. The Coalition pledged on coming to office that ‘We will ban the use of powers in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) by councils, unless they are signed off by a magistrate and required for stopping serious crime.’ and appointed Lord MacDonald, Ken MacDonald the old DPP as was, to conduct a review due to report about now. In fact, the DCLG's new business plan published yesterday claims that it's complete - but nothing on the Home Office website yet, so we suspect that the Home Secretary is sitting on it for some reason. 


One thing is certain. More cases of horrific abuse of power by councils will be uncovered as cases crawl into the legal system and disclosure orders are made by the higher courts. Labour's brutish, evil and repressive disregard of the rights and freedoms of the peoples of these islands will come increasingly to light, and our disgust at their illiberality will grow. 

Monday, 8 November 2010

The Con in Connaught

Connaught Partnerships, Labour's much loved social housing FM provider, in the hands of Labour's favourite consultants KPMG in administration for the last two months, was thought to have owed £46m to creditors. 'Building' reports this morning that auditors have found a further 50,000 unpaid invoices, pushing the likely debt level to around £100m. 


Can anyone please explain how even a large company can 'mislay' 50,000 invoices? Really?


Archdruid of Canterbury fears work

The Archdruid of Canterbury has his roots in that part of the Church of England that believes that work is a curse to man, a punishment. Hell to these people is a place where one is given work to do. He would rather whistle away his week in perfect idleness, bestirring his bones only on a Sunday to sacrifice an altar boy to Gaiea. This is all the explanation one needs to understand his view that Cameron's workfare offer is a punishment for the guilty rather than help for the helpless. 


For those trapped in the dreadful slavery of welfare dependence the first thing to be lost is self respect; alienated from the dignity and belonging of labour, personal standards slide, pushing these people ever downwards on a spiral of unemployability. Anything that intervenes in this process, that gets them up in the morning, gets them to bathe and don clean underwear, gets them to enjoy a pre-work cuppa and banter with other workers, is worth a lakh of rubies. 


I've seen and heard it dozens of times from the US, where Clinton's workfare programme restored that lost dignity and belonging to millions; the gratitude of a person whose potential has been restored, who has been helped recover their humanity and self-respect. Would Archdruid Williams deprive his fellow men of these simple human dignities? Would he condemn them to squalor, idleness and self-loathing for ever? I suggest Williams might be best served by reading a copy of the Gospels rather than Socialist Worker.  

Sunday, 7 November 2010

SCUM

The scum on the left is a Socialist MP called Farrelly. According to published accounts, he was with a group of pissed political mates high on self importance, rugby and testosterone and fuelled by liquor. Inevitably, as happens with such thuggish groups, their crawl took them to a venue where one of them - Farrelly - found a victim upon whom to vent his neanderthal prowess. 


The same thing thing probably happened in a dozen town centres last night, town centres now off-limits to decent people thanks to Labour's Thugs' Charter. Not only have this sick spawn degraded our local environments, they are now importing their brutish, vomit-caked and red-eyed debauches stinking with cheap vodka to the heart of the Mother of Parliaments. Farrelly is scum and his chums are scum and if the Squeaker doesn't at least suspend him from the house, his sour puke will spatter us all.