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Saturday, 13 September 2014

On the brink of disaster

At the end of the day it's all personal. Salmond and those poor dreamers who believe his lies are on the brink of causing an economic disaster for the United Kingdom from which England will recover painfully but will prove fatal for Scotland - and will do so with Englishmen like me pushing and twisting the knife as deeply as we can - because it will be personal. If all my plans for my imminent retirement, the state of the London property market that will help make it possible, the performance of my pension and investment funds, the exchange rate and a dozen other factors are blown to buggery by a 'yes' vote then it becomes very personal - and my fury against the nationalists will know no bounds. 

If I'm forced to carry on working, to spend extra years of my life re-building all that which has been dissipated by Scots hubris, I'll make damn sure that Scotland pays. That means voting for politicians who will give nothing away, make no concessions, and get every penny back of our money from Scotland - taking down the transmitter towers, dismantling the studios, moving thousands of tonnes of stock and boxes south of the border. If they want a reason to hate the English, they will have one. 

And I will expect that complacent fool Cameron to take himself into the garage of his Oxfordshire home and put a shotgun barrel under his chin. Sorry, I'm past being reasonable on this. It's personal.  

Friday, 12 September 2014

The old Party Politics are finished

Whatever the result of next Thursday's referendum, the one certainty is that politics in the UK as we know it - the old, stable 2 1/2 party system - is over. The political dinosaur may take a while to die - it may be after May 2015 before the message gets from tail to head - but dead it is. Which is why you will see Cameron, Clegg and Miliband doing more than ever to pretend it isn't - they really don't know what else to do. 

The Party conference season will be soon upon us - that annual con-trick ably aided by the BBC that pretends that the 120 elderly and unemployed people huddled in the front rows of some vast and otherwise vacant venue are a mass party membership in plenary session. It would be too, too humiliating for Cameron to admit that with a party membership down to 60,000 from 2,000,000 in the 1950s that he could probably have his annual conference in the upstairs function room at the Dog and Duck. And by the way, more than a million of those Tory members were lost after 1979 during the Thatcher years. The combined membership of all the main parties is now far less than 1% of the UK electorate. 

And the parties - particularly Labour - have not just been complacent but have been complicit in electoral fraud. Our standards of electoral probity are way outside established democratic standards, particularly with regard to the EQ or electoral quotient. Scotland has been particularly guilty of running rotten boroughs and one way or another - either by independence, which will eliminate the problem, or a federalist system that sees at at least half of Scotland's MPs culled - this must end. 

That IPSA imagine that is a suitable time to announce a 10% pay rise for MPs underlines just how far away from reality the fools of the political class are operating. We loathe them more than ever, and in Scotland they're realising just how close they all are to being strung-up from the lamp columns. Tip: It's not just Scotland.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Glasgow Herald

Do you think I could get a good rate for a quarter-page ad from the Glasgow Herald next Friday? There's always an opportunity somewhere ...

Post Scriptum: Seems like RBS, BOS, Scottish Widows and Lloyds have already got the message ...

Declaration of Interest

As deeply opposed as I am - wholly, 110%, absolutely, irrevocably opposed - to Scotland leaving the UK, I feel obliged to make a declaration of interest. Following a Political Betting tweet announcing a shortening of Philip Hammond's odds to be next PM, I checked the odds on my own tenner placed on Andy Burnham at 45:1 (only up to 33:1, since you ask)

But to my discomfort found that amongst my live bets is £20 on a 'Yes' vote at 5:2, taken out in May.

Oh well, that's a bottle of Armagnac Malt English Whisky paid for if it all goes tits-up. 

Where's OUR right of recall?

MPs toed up to the mark yesterday in their quizzing of public sector liggers clinging onto their pensions and salaries despite managing the most appalling abuse of vulnerable children. Keith Vaz is even reported as asking for 'emergency law' to enable his select committee to sack the embattled PCC Shaun Wright. All good stuff.

Only one question. Where is OUR right to subject our MPs to similar scrutiny, and to sack them if they fail to resign of their own volition? The bar needs to be high to avoid vexatious actions or Party political games, but why should we be stuck with a thief, bigot, liar or charlatan for four years or more?

Video of the Home Affairs Select Committee's quizzing of Crompton, Hughes, Thacker and Wright HERE 

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

HMP Isis or Hollesley Bay Borstal?

Yes, there really is a HMP Isis - or rather, more correctly, HMYOI Isis. It probably even also holds a few exploding jihadists who have failed to go off. It's very modern in a bleak, soulless, institutional way unrelieved even by the pastiche architectural quirks incorporated by HLM Architects. It's probably packed with well-meaning therapists, reading tutors, youth mentors and deradicalisation co-ordinators and the screws probably aren't called screws but Custody Service Operatives or something. I'll bet it's inclusion of heating and sanitation drives some of you to fury at such 'softness' and I'll bet it does absolutely no practical good at all except keeping a few score young crims off the streets for a while. 

Until the fairly recent criminal justice reforms, Hollesley Bay Borstal on the Suffolk coast held many of the young men who will now find themselves on Thamesmead marshes. It was cold, crowded, insanitary and uncomfortable and the boys were housed in Victorian brick barrack blocks as cold as ice when the Siberian winds came tearing like knives over the North Sea. The boys worked an 1,800 acre farm and moreover did so with horses - Suffolk Punches. You could always tell the Borstal colony's farmland; it was the neatest, best managed, healthiest land you could see, with tidy well-layered hedges and gates with rectitude. They had no therapists at all, the screws were called screws and the County Council library van called once a week for those who could read. It successfully reformed thousands of boys, ensured the survival of the rare-breed Punches at a critical time and produced quality food for the market. 

Still, you can't let effectiveness stand in the way of progress.    

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Cameron's head on the block

Cameron looks set to be remembered in history as the PM who chillaxed himself into oblivion. If he loses Scotland, he is finished, to be consigned to opprobrium and a legacy of failure, inability and uselessness. There will be substantial pressure on him to quit Number 10 even before the election - he will be like a bad smell, only worse. His Premiership since 2010 has been entirely wasted, frittered away in Portuguese fish markets and on Cornish beaches, and will be marked only by this one damning event. Cameron will be the PM who lost Scotland.

The enraging aspect of all this is that it is Whitehall's own goal. Those centralist control freaks are so constipated with power that it is their refusal to let go that is forcing the Scots to set off by themselves. If Cameron had pursued the Localism agenda that helped him to power, major constitutional reform for the UK along the lines of the Swiss federal model would have defused demands for schism. Instead of hitting the ground running in 2010, he couldn't wait to sink on the sofa with a bottle of Merlot and a Netflix release. 

The grandees must already be quietly lunching to fund a runner with whom they can replace this stupid, complacent and lazy little man next year. Make no mistake, Cameron's head is on the block.