Saturday, 7 May 2011

Reshaping British politics

Alex Salmond's spectacular wins in Scotland, the trouncing of the LibDems and the further retreat of Labour to a rump of areas in the NE and NW are really not good news for Cameron, despite what the papers are saying. On the face of it, the Tories have come through the local elections pretty much unscathed, have maintained a good vote share and were on the winning AV side. You'd forgive them for some complacency this morning. The innate  small-c conservatism of the Brits which on balance favours the status quo has asserted itself; this doesn't actually signal any real support for Conservatism. In fact, the opposite may hold true.


Apart from the handful of 'Yes' areas, which I'll bet coincide with the location of the Guardian's most devoted readers (Oxford, Cambridge, the London Muesli belt), the nation voted against electoral change, but not for a continued political duopoly. Don't expect to see the changes in the 2015 Parliament, but 2020 may signal the end of Red - Blue Britain. The third of voters who vote for parties other than Labour and the Tories will continue to grow; when something over 40% of votes are for brands other than Coke and Pepsi then seats will start to fall like ninepins. 


The future for the Lib Dems looks grim. With only about 60,000 members and no natural large donors, they're hard strapped for cash. The Committee on Standards in Public Life is set in the next few weeks to dismiss the tax-funding of political parties, something the LibDems had set their hopes on. The loss of so many local councillors is a grievous body-blow. The Coalition has exposed the LibDem party membership as being more disunited than either Labour or the Tories - the EU-loving LibDems from the Muesli belt have nothing in common with the EU-loathing LibDems from the South West. Their votes will find their way to the Greens, UKIP and others. For the first time in my lifetime, national politics is not only starting to look interesting but the centre of gravity is dispersing from the metropolitan centre. The smaller parties will now fight for Conservative votes. 

Targeting the Tan Pound

It must have been in the 1980s when business realised that the spending ambitions of a substantial economic cohort were being frustrated by lack of opportunity; the marketeers woke up, and the Pink Pound was born. Goods and services specifically attractive and available to inverts multiplied, from clothing to travel agents, and have been so successful that some have even 'crossed over' and now enjoy the custom of normal people. 


We've been waiting for some time for an economically challenged business sector to recognise the frustrated spending power of the quarter of the UK population who smoke. The 'Tan Pound' has been straining at the leash awaiting spending opportunities; 'smoke friendly' hotels and holiday accommodation, package tours to places where smokers are not relegated to an outside area beside the refuse bins, tobacco-related merchandise and so on. 


It is good news therefore that Belfast Airport has introduced a Smoking Lounge (albeit complying with the puerile restrictions of the 2006 Health Act) where for a charge of £1 'airside' smokers can enjoy a pre-departure smoke. Let's hope this is just the start of it; it's time for smokers to flex their economic muscles.  

Friday, 6 May 2011

Beware the State's death squads

Spain is still coming to terms with what the MSM term 'the Civil War' but is in reality more the ruthless grip on power of an utterly amoral central State. The Ministry of Justice have published HERE a map of all the mass-graves of the casualties of both left and right, and frankly it has the power to shock. Of the many hundreds of mass graves, take just one, located at the side of the B10 - the road you'll take from central Barcelona out to the airport this Summer. As the smooth tarmac glides through an industrial estate whose vent stacks are adorned with household names and logos, look down at an undeveloped area, stone field walls, a flash of bright pantiles on the roof of a concrete-drab cottage, a few stunted olives. Here lie the corpses of 1717 persons, deemed enemies of the central State and dumped here after their casual killing. 


Below is the first of 172 internet pages that list the victims. When our fathers were fighting WWII, Franco was killing musicians. During the Korean war, he was shooting Glaziers. When London had the mini and Twiggy, when the first men landed on the Moon, Cataluns were being dragged from their beds and summarily murdered.


I cannot stress too strongly the danger of a nation, any nation, at any time, sliding into totalitarianism, nor the dangers that the 'State' comes to regard itself as more important than its citizens. The passion with which I advocate decentralisation of power, oppose the creation of a national police force, promote local administration of policing and justice, and fight the Leviathan metropolitan State and its parasitic political class is just this. Whatever the future brings for our nation, we must never, never allow them to justify the death squads, the raid in the night , and piles of corpses dumped on waste ground around our towns and cities.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

UKIP again .....

Many thanks all for the fantastic response to the UKIP post below. Never let it be said that Radders refused a challenge; here are my first efforts at an updated party logo / colours. I've tried to keep some reference to the purple / yellow, but changed the purple to a deep, rich Imperial version and offer some variations on the yellow. Personally, I like the burnt orange version - number 4. Since I'm not a designer, graphic artist or 'creative' you can all be as rude as you like ....

[PS - For any 'creatives' out there, I've also 'united' the leading letters of United Kingdom ... see what I've done there? Also, there's a free online colour combination tool at http://kuler.adobe.com/ for anyone who wants to experiment]

Euro: The criminal scum's favourite currency

No, not Berlusconi this time, nor even the chiselling little crooks infesting the Berleymonstre in Brussels, but the world's drug barons, mafia hoods, terrorists and assorted underworld scum who are all wild for the €500 note. We're now told that even Bin Laden had one sewn into his pajamas in case he needed to make a quick getaway. I've never actually seen one, and the chances are that you haven't either; this is because the majority of notes in circulation are held and exchanged by the criminal gangs. 


Let's be clear here. The reason neither the dollar nor the pound Sterling are available in high-denomination notes is because the respective US and British governments have decided quite responsibly that these are too attractive to the scum underbelly of our world. The EU clearly believes that assisting global criminality is more important than responsible governance. It tells you everything you need to know about the corruption of the Brussels cabal. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Tips for UKIP

OK, UKIP, I agree with your policies. I've voted for you several times. I think Nigel Farage is a charismatic and effective leader, and he's a sea fisherman to boot. Why is it then that I can't quite bring myself to declare myself a UKIP supporter, let alone join the party? Let's be honest here;
1. The £ sign in the logo. It's naff. Pure Mr Byrite.
2. I hate the colours; purple and yellow are also utterly naff. Like a Council house bedroom decorated by a demented tenant on acid.
3. You're neither middle-class enough nor intellectual enough. You need smart totty (smart in the social sense) and a clutch of personable academics, plus a couple of knighted businessmen.
4. You're too 'against' stuff and don't communicate or project a set of positive values I can buy into.
5. The name. It doesn't accurately reflect the party's policies. I'm not in favour of an 'Independent' UK if this means joining Zimbabwe. Free trade, ports open to goods of all nations, a moral and intellectual dependence on common European cultural and religious roots, Liberal, responsible, a partner and friend to other nations and peoples.
6. There's nothing aspirational about the party; I won't meet  a Booker-prize winner, a Turner prize finalist or a TV historian at your receptions. I imagine UKIP does like being stuck in a dreary provincial golf-club with car dealers and estate agents in polyester blazers.Even though UKIP supporters on the Internet are largely witty, wise and personable.
National politics is all about consumer branding these days. Tory Coke vs Labour Pepsi. It's the UKIP brand that's lacking something, not the UKIP manifesto. Sorry to be so shallow, but there it is. 

It's not only PC Harwood who must face trial

Back in July of last year I wrote:
For some men, physical aggression is as intrinsic to their makeup as it is to a pitbull. Short of castrating them, there's little one can do to contain it. The most fortunate of them find themselves a niche in life where their aggression can earn them a living, the Paras perhaps, or similar. The least fortunate collect criminal convictions at an early age and waste their short lives in a rage of incarceration and control.
From time to time one of them becomes a copper. He'll get a reputation amongst his colleagues for provoking trouble, never backing down, never walking away and always looking for the slightest excuse to use violence. A constant trickle of complaints and ill-will may result in him moving from work where he has regular contact with the public to the TSG, where he can testosterone-bond with others away from ordinary people. Perhaps even here he'll have a record of poor discipline, a weak ability to restrain himself from the premature application of baton, shield, knees and boots.
 Leave him in place, and sooner or later someone's going to get killed.
And just as a pitbull's DNA isn't the dog's fault, the consequences of leaving such an impaired officer in place aren't wholly his own fault. PC Harwood had an appalling disciplinary record, and the risks should have been recognised and acted upon by his superiors long before Mr Tomlinson died.
Harwood is a flawed individual, one of those unfortunates who would have arguably been better off had they lost their balls at puberty, and with them their violence and aggression. Even 'usefully' engaged as a policeman, he was a ticking time bomb. An inquest jury has now quite rightly determined that he unlawfully killed Ian Tomlinson. He must face trial. 


However, the succession of  Harwood's bosses, who turned a blind eye to his psycopathic violence and appalling disciplinary record because he was 'useful' should also ask themselves today whether they themselves are fit to continue in public office. 

UK Muslims urged to vote 'Yes 2 AV'

The UK's 2 million voting Muslims are being urged to vote 'Yes' in Thursday's AV referendum. Advice issued on 1st May and now being widely circulated by the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (a registered charity 'run by a number of leading Muslim scholars, Imams and professionals from a variety of backgrounds') says
Such a decision will have an impact on the nature of future British governments and will significantly alter the political dynamic in the UK. As such, the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF) felt it necessary to issue advice to Muslims in the UK regarding the potential impact of the proposed change and what is perceived to be the most suitable option, and Allah knows best.
It continues
Muslims constitute the largest minority in the UK and stand to make substantial gains given the greater value and relevance of our votes.
Hmmm. So if this works for Muslims, why not for the BNP? Another good reason to stick to FPTP, I think.  

Ending postal voting will improve democracy more than AV

Under Labour, two unforgivably corrupt mutations to our electoral system were allowed to fester like an unchecked cancer, threatening the fundamental health and integrity of our democracy. The first was the unequal electoral quotient, which because it allowed Labour MPs to be elected for Northern towns with shrunken populations with two-thirds the votes needed by a Tory candidate in the South East both Blair and Brown were content to leave be. Most mature democracies work with an EQ of +/- 3%; slightly shakier ones with +/- 5%. Under Labour the UK was way off the scale. To the sound of much Labour whining, Cameron is correcting this. 


Secondly, Labour not only introduced postal-votes-on-demand but failed to regulate the voter registration system at a time of mass immigration. Any illegal Commonwealth overstayer can still register unchecked, and add a host of fictional housemates to the register without question. Any Bangladeshi (and yes, those from the Indian sub-continent have been caught time and time again at this so this is fair) can include every member of his extended family, including those not even in the UK, on his registration form without question. Michael Pinto-Duschinsky has estimated that there are some 3.5m persons on the Electoral registers who shouldn't be there - and an equal number missing who should be. 


Trying to change to an AV system at a time when the most compelling and fundamental components of the democratic process are in such disorder is pure folly. Get the corrupt mutations sorted first, cure the cancer that's actually killing democracy, before you even start thinking about changing the system. 

A little bit of Hampshire

Like most of you I suspect, I went straight to Google earth to take a look at Abbottabad, Bin Laden's final hiding place. The internet-savvy locals have been of great assistance in linking a plethora of photographs to the area; they show a British army garrison town. The pre-1947 buildings, that is to say most of the significant ones, show the unmistakeable hand of design by the Royal Engineers to a standard template that can be found from Nairobi to Hong Kong. Others, such as St Luke's Church (below) translate English 14th century gothic forms to the North West Frontier. It's all rather like Hampshire. And I bet the trains run on time, too. 

Monday, 2 May 2011

Shoes - Northampton vs Guangzhou

Not even three years ago, there were only some half dozen shoemakers in the UK worth looking at. The most expensive, the 'premium', brands were Church and Loake, with a reputation driven purely by word of mouth and discreet product placement in upscale print media. The also-rans were Alfred Sargent, Trickers and Grenson - superb English-made footwear, but little known. For thirty years I've never been without a pair of  zug-grain veldtshoen, black calfskin Oxfords, or tan Gibsons. Indeed, if a chap only owned three pairs of shoes, these would be them. And because each pair can be rebuilt several times, they tend to last for fifteen years or more, even with hard wear. 
The Northampton shoemakers went through something of a business crisis. Cheap, disposable, Chinese-made shoes dominated the market, the young were eschewing shoes in favour of 'trainers' and costs were spiralling ever upward. Their various reactions are interesting. Church and Loake have both gone mass-market; you can now pick up a pair of Loake's for £99. For all I know they're now made in China and feature in the 'Argos' catalogue. Grenson have sought to create a fashion niche - I hope they succeed, for there's nothing in their range I'd now be content to buy. Trickers have stayed pretty much as they were with a reduced range (now only Shipton and Heneage do the slippers), but Alfred Sargent, once the most affordable of the bunch, has bravely priced its range at premium prices - for premium Northampton craftsmanship. Prices have risen by around £100 or 40% in three years. Still excellent value against some glued-up Chinese crud from the High Street, but still. 


And of course there's the Englishman's bootmakers - William Lennon. Excellent value, and a superb range of boots. Paradoxically, the saving of the old Northampton craftsmen could well be the hunger of the new Chinese middle class for premium Western brands; the last thing they want to wear is Chinese-made shoes. Once Alfred Sargent, Trickers and the rest open branches in Shenzhen their future, I think, is secure.  

So what now?

That afternoon almost ten years ago demonstrated how immediate news now is. There was an animated but suppressed discussion at the other end of the office; a knot of people including one of the top-floor chiefs. As I wandered up to drop some letters off in the post bin, it became clear what was going on. I didn't linger at the office that day, but came home to switch the TV on to get the full story. By midnight our time, there can have been few people around the world who weren't aware that terrorists had flown into the World Trade Center in New York and that Bin Laden was in the frame for it. 


Since then of course we've had the ongoing engagement in Afghanistan (justified) and a disastrous military adventure in Iraq (unjustified) that has immeasurably strengthened Islamic terrorism worldwide. Pakistan and its shadowy ISI, the finger on the nuke, continues to play a dangerous double game. North Africa is in turmoil, and our new and very green PM can't seem to resist playing with our few remaining war toys here. A whole generation of British Muslims, excluded from mainstream society by Labour's connivance in a dangerous and corrosive multikulti, have become radicalised and are now an enemy within. As we celebrate Bin Laden's death today, it's useful to remember that in Luton, in Bradford and in Tower Hamlets there will be silly and ignorant young men simmering in anger. 


So what now? Well, we're no longer in control of events. They've assumed their own momentum and course, and will run their route. AJE will be the news channel to follow today, I think. 

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Hollow EU Econprop from slavish BBC

It seems the BBC news service is wholly without the services of an economist. Either that, or it's content to publish whatever pro-EU old rubbish is pushed in its direction. What else can explain the coverage being given to the NIESR's report that Eastern European immigration increased UK GDP?  


As any fule know, it's not changes to GDP that's meaningful in this context, but changes to per capita GDP; even a Somali on benefits will increase GDP, but whereas a Somali on benefits marginally reduces per capita GDP, a Canadian doctor will marginally increase it.