Saturday, 14 May 2011

McCann book promo events

One can't but be aware that Kate McCann is currently doing the PR rounds of breakfast TV, Women's Hour and the all rest, but until I saw the advertising posters on the station platforms today, I wasn't aware that she was just promoting her new book, called 'madeleine'. One awaits the expected 'Personal Appearances' in relation to the book marketing effort with some interest. 


The book is available from Amazon price £9. 

The Iain Dale comeback tour

After giving up his top-ranking blog for a job as a local radio talk-show host, Iain Dale has been conspicuous by his absence from the list of those used by the serious national media for soundbites and instant opinions. Dale's blog was hugely influential; without his constant promotion of a few favourite co-blogs they have now dropped like stones in the rankings. It is, I suspect, these favourites that he is now recruiting for a new 'group blog'. With it perhaps will return his status as the 'father of the political blogosphere' and the early morning phone calls from the 'Today' production team. Perhaps.

Crusade

One has to be so careful with words. Readers rightly upbraided me recently when I used 'atheist' as shorthand for 'not moral absolutists' when I should have written moral relativists. For indeed it is moral relativism that I was condemning. Humanists can be moral absolutists too. 


And so with Crusade. The word is based on crux or cross and is avoided even by Geert Wilders, yet a Crusade is precisely what he was advocating in a recent speech in the US. That is, as Wilders says, an alliance of Christianity, Judaism and (morally absolutist) Humanism against Islam.  


Wilders said:
How did the Europeans get into this situation? It is partly our own fault because we have foolishly adopted the concept of cultural relativism, which manifests itself in the ideology of multiculturalism. Cultural relativism advocates that all cultures are equal. However, cultures wither away and die if people no longer believe that its values are better than those of another culture. Islam is spreading like wildfire wherever people lack the guts to say that their values are better than the Islamic values. Islam is spreading like wildfire because the Koran explicitly tells Muslims that they are “the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind” and that non-Muslims are “the worst of creatures.” Islam is spreading like wildfire everywhere in the West where political, academic, cultural and media elites lack the guts to proudly proclaim, as I believe we all should proclaim:

Our Judeo-Christian Western culture is far better and far superior to the islamic culture. We must be proud to say so!
"Cultures wither away and die if people no longer believe that its values are better than those of another culture". The values are moral values, and ours, our peculiarly English morality, really is the apotheosis (careful, words again) of cultural superiority. The Reformation, the English Renaissance, the First and Second Enlightenments have given us a people and a culture that in terms of advanced cultural values is second to none. We must not be ashamed to say so, and in terms of a moral Crusade, rather than an inferior and primitive one that wields a sword like Islam, we must not be shy of saying unequivocally "Our values are best". 

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Heffer joins Craig Brown and A.N. Wilson

Their collective sin, it seems, was to refuse to devote their columns to the doings of pointless people. The Telegraph is increasingly devoted to pointless people; a feature listing 'Our five hottest Summer vegetables' leaves one not knowing whether the piece will be about comestibles or the stars of X-factor. Before long the paper will go tabloid, to suit the morning trains and tubes, and someone called Jordan will pen the politics column. 


So farewell then, Heff. A man I imagined wearing Corduroy strides of such thickness that hinges were fitted at the knee to allow him to sit. A columnist who allowed me to feel like a pinkish liberal after every read. A man in possession of an English bray that could be heard from Cairo to the Cape. 

Met issued with 'inhumane' dum-dum bullets

The use of hollow-point or 'dum-dum' rounds in warfare was prohibited by the Hague Convention of 1899 and this prohibition remains in force. It's quite legal, however, for States to use them against its own citizens for purposes of 'law enforcement', and this is just what the Met has done. In future all 9mm rounds used by Met firearms plods will be dum-dum.


The use of hollow-point rounds in putting down colonial insurrections was defended by Sir John Ardagh in the following terms "The civilized soldier when shot recognizes that he is wounded and knows that the sooner he is attended to the sooner he will recover. He lies down on his stretcher and is taken off the field to his ambulance, where he is dressed or bandaged.. Your fanatical barbarian, similarly wounded, continues to rush on, spear or sword in hand; and before you have the time to represent to him that his conduct is in flagrant violation of the understanding relative to the proper course for the wounded man to follow - he may have cut off your head". In warfare against savages, Ardagh said, a bullet that caused such massive tissue damage and loss that it would physically stop the fanatical tribeman was needed.


The only problem is that the Met can't seem to tell the difference between a fanatical jihadist and a suntanned tourist, or indeed between a fanatical jihadist and a fat Irishman carrying a chair leg. And the keen volunteers from whom the Met's firearms plods are selected are by definition the least suitable persons to be allowed to carry firearms; you don't become a farmer because you like killing rabbits.


Still, the 'stopping power' of a score of plods armed with H&Ks loaded with dum-dum against a violent anti-government protest must give the political class a little more comfort today.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Yet more blackmail, bribery and corruption

Does anyone smell a strong piscene odour from the following sequence of events?


1. RMT union plans 2 week strike this Summer and more during Olympics year
2. Concern expressed by IOC officials that the Zil lanes may be crowded, or that their pre-booked whores and drug-runners may be late in arriving at their hotels
3. Pay deal announced on 10th May for RMT & TSSA of 5.2% from January 2011 and inflation plus 0.5% from January next year plus a £500 Olympic bonus for each worker
4. RMT calls off planned 2 week strike


Like rotten Mackerel. 

Of course Greece will default

Look, let's be clear. There's not enough bail-out cash in the whole of the EU to prevent Greece from going bankrupt. Right now, Argos wouldn't even give Greece a storecard. Despite the bubble of recent years, Greeks aren't rich - there's far less fat to be cut than the stories of State largesse would suggest - and they simply can't afford to service their banks' bail-out debts. And again let's be clear - it's the liabilities of the Greek banks, not the personal debts of her population, that are being bailed out.  


Before long, Greece will announce that the payout on its junk bonds will be thirty cents in the Euro, and the redemption terms will double. The only question is whether this will happen before or after the UK has thrown another £3bn of our tax money into the mess. And they will leave the Euro. Right now in a security printing firm in Hamburg or Munich great stacks of drachmas are being printed to replace the doomed Euro. 


I know it, you know it, the entire banking and financial world knows it. Even Cameron and Osborne know it - but they're likely to throw our money away anyway, lest they be accused afterwards of precipitating the collapse by not contributing. So C'mon, let's get on with it. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

FIFA ahead of IOC in Most Corrupt race?

That traditional annual sporting event, the FIFA - IOC Derby for the title of the most bent corrupt bastards on the planet has got off to a fine start this year. FIFA immediately went ahead on news that Qatar had bribed every single FIFA member with traditional cash in €500 notes and had additionally provided them with several kilos of cocaine, Polish whores and a Thai ladyboy in order to secure their nomination. The International Olympic Committee made a spirited return with news that half of them had approached the Lord Chamberlain to ask about the going rate for a Knighthood each, others had already sold places in the Zil cavalcade to Mexican drug barons and one had approached a British actor known as a family man with an offer to push various objects up his bottom in return for IOC advertising work. Both teams have now issued a 'rate card' to clarify the expected cost of corruption, bent decisions, fixing the draws, nobbling races and selling the sexual favours of international athletes and, disturbingly, parathletes. 


I just hope that whoever lets any of these loathsome slime slither their noisome way into the UK has the decency to organise a receiving line made up of convicted MPs, nonces and the scum of the prisons rather than anyone with a scruple of decency who might risk gagging at the stench of their foulness. 

Of course Scotland should have powers

Provided that Scotland remains part of this one Realm, stands under the Union flag and looks to the sovereign as the fount of law and justice, I see no difficulty in devolving just about every other exercise of power by government to the Scots. An annual precept paid by Holyrood to Westminster for defence, foreign affairs and justice, from taxes raised and collected in Scotland, would cover the essentials. Scotland would set her own income tax, corporation tax, national Insurance, VAT and duty rates, determine how property-based taxes are to be levied and enjoy licence income from coal, oil and gas extraction both on land and in a 200 mile coastal economic zone. 


Scotland would pay from such taxes for health, education, welfare, pensions, police, fire, transport (including rail subsidies) and all local services. Why not? And as the national debt is a UK sovereign debt, Scotland would have a joint responsibility for this along with other constituents of the Kingdom.


Wales should enjoy similar arrangements. As should England through the quadrarchy of  Northumbria, Wessex, Anglia and Mercia. Such arrangements would mean we wouldn't need an English parliament - the six parliaments of Great Britain between them dealing with the bulk of government. Westminster would remain as a sovereign parliament to regulate justice and foreign affairs, administer defence, immigration and citizenship, air traffic control and the like. And of course to administer Northern Ireland, which is a province, and the UK's other dependent territories. 


Only such bold thinking will free us from the Mandarinate and the central State's pernicious political class; only such radical measures will put the terms of our relationship with the EU on the agenda, and only such progressive measures will bring true Localism to Britain.  

Monday, 9 May 2011

InjunctionSuper

Seventeen hours after InjunctionSuper claimed to identify the subjects of a number of Super Injunctions on Twitter and over eighteen thousand users have signed up as followers. Jemima Khan has stated that she hasn't taken out an injunction but hasn't denied that either he or his wife have. Is this going to be the interweb game for the summer?


The judges have got themselves into a pickle on this one and are bringing English law into international disrepute. They desperately need rescuing for our own good. 


I'll leave comments on, but any posts with names will be deleted.

Flags of Europe

As a child I was pretty low maintenance. My father knew the best way to keep me quiet and intensely occupied was the gift of a National Savings poster, not some ghastly lifestyle-aspirational thing, but a big poster laying out in neat rows and columns the cap badges of every regiment in the British army, in order of precedence. Or one that similarly depicted the flags of every nation. There was something intensely satisfying to my infant mind about the classification, the diverse symbols, the ordered logic of it all. I would pore over the details, and the symbols or patterns that annoyed me were the ones that didn't follow the rules. It wasn't until much later that I worked out that the 'rules' as far as I was concerned were based on either at least one plane of bilateral symmetry, or a balance of 'mass' about a plane. A lion could be balanced by a unicorn, but not by an acorn. And no, I've never liked Stockhausen's execrable 'music' either. There. That's told you something about me. 


You'll understand that when I pulled up the graphic below this morning my eyes satisfyingly ticked off all the old, well known friends and recognised a host of newer and welcome ones. This is my Europe; a continent of sovereign nation-states at peace, with borders open to trade. One flag however, strikes such a discordant note, so off-scale, that it offends the eye. You'll see which one immediately. Those poor people must cringe in shame every time its hoisted. What's worse, it echoes the colour and symbols of another hated flag, that of an evil and totalitarian regime intent on subjugating the peoples of Europe and destroying the bright diversity of all its nationhood. 


Sir Thomas Beecham was once asked if he'd ever conducted any Stockhausen. "No" he replied "But I once trod in some". I have exactly the same emotion in reaction to any upstart flag that seeks to supersede the bright panoply of the Flags of Europe. 

 

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lies and balderdash

Terry Gilliam's 1988 film Baron Munchausen was prescient indeed. The film is replete with monsters, tyrants, despots and belligerents all determined to do away with Munchausen, but by far the most dangerous of these, the real enemy of good and right, is the Right Ordinary Horatio Jackson. Jackson is a professional politician, a rationalist, a follower of Rousseau, an advocate for the exercise of totalitarian power by the central State "for the general good". When one of his soldiers performed an action of great bravery Jackson ordered him executed on the grounds that such behaviour was demoralising to the other troops. I have met Jackson, in the departure lounge at Barcelona airport.

The gold-rimmed specs, the immaculate and fastidious slim-fit sports coat and slacks in the manner of Brooks Brothers but crafted in Hamburg or Rostov, the prissy little manicured fingers, the little handled wheely bag, the perfect English only slightly accented in German or Danish, and of course the tie. A tie of such anodyne presence that its colour and pattern are wholly immemorable (for it would never do to display ostentatious individuality in dress) but nonetheless, in a heat and humidity that was intense even inside the departure lounge, a woollen jacket and tie. We only chatted for two or three minutes, until he was called forward for priority boarding, but it was long enough for me to take a deep and immediate dislike for him and everything he stood for. He didn't say exactly what he did, but it was clear he was part of the intellectual hegemon that forms, supports and lives from the EU. He was Horatio Jackson.

The Berlaymonstre is packed to the walls with clones of this little chap. A new Imperial elite; athiest, rational, convinced of the rights of the State, prepared to trample the responsibility of individuals, families, communities and local institutions for themselves and substitute central control and governance 'for the greater good'. For such people John Bull is a man who needs medical intervention to deal with his appalling BMI, Jorrocks someone who needs re-education in sustainable consumption and Falstaff the epitome of irresponsible drinking. Rows upon rows, floors upon floors of these anally-retentive little creatures all beavering away in multilingual concert in producing rules, codes, laws that enforce their puritanical world view, all utterly convinced of their righteousness, all committed to an iconoclasm that would destroy all national symbols, loyalties and horizontal ties in favour of a Rousseau-esque relationship between every individual and the European Federal State. Their reality, in the words of Gilliam's Munchausen, is lies and balderdash and I too am delighted to say I have no grasp of it whatsoever.