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Friday, 7 August 2015

Petulant Yentob was an incapable Chairman

Anyone who watched an angry and petulant Yentob on Channel Four will have seen a man so used to getting hos own way that he was incandescent with rage that he had been unable to prevail in the case of Kids Company. Yet the charity's failure was, most of all, Yentob's own fault for gross financial mismanagement. 

The charity's finance directors repeatedly warned the trustees, of whom Yentob was Chair, that the charity needed reserves; any business needs access to a reserve of about three months of payroll costs, at least. Two finance directors resigned because Yentob's board paid no attention.

No doubt he imagined that if he continued to increase commitments in terms of clients and staff then the government would have no choice but to increase his grant to match. And no doubt this is the way Yentob has used to bulldoze his pet projects at the BBC. 

However, as far as operating in the cold commercial real world rather than the comfy tax-funded parallel universe that is the BBC, Yentob has clearly shown himself to be an incapable Chairman.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

RIP The scourge of Labour's Gulag apologists

Stalin's starvation of the Ukraine in 1932/1933 killed somewhere between six and eight million people; the facts were known at the time, published in the Times from an unimpeachable corespondent who had witnessed Stalin's holocaust at first hand. Yet so blinded to the evil of communism was Labour's iconic hero Nye Bevan that he continued to push for British trade deals with Stalin's empire. 

You'd think any decent politician would have condemned Russia to the rafters from the floor of the house - but not Bevan. Hansard from 1933 reports a debate on measures to restrict trade with Russia following an incident in which two British engineers had been arrested by Stalin's OGPU; the many Russians who had met them were all summarily shot. Bevan replied;
I believe that the main architect of the troubles which will come in the future will be the Foreign Secretary and his chauvinistic and jingoistic followers in the House of Commons who for years have sought an opportunity of declaring war against the one nation, which, despite all the difficulties, is still showing that it is possible to have a world order in which people can live with more security than we have here. The dictatorship which has existed would have been relaxed had it not been for opposition from without. When you have a classless society you can abolish dictatorships, because it will not then be necessary to rest privilege upon the shoulders of an oppressed people.
The 'one nation, which, despite all the difficulties, is still showing that it is possible to have a world order in which people can live with more security than we have here' was of course Stalin's Russia.

And it wasn't only the Labour idiots of the 30s that supported totalitarian and fascistic social control; from Bernard Shaw with his wishes for a 'humane gas' to kill the poor and mentally afflicted in a chilling foretaste of Hitler's T4 euthanasia programme, to Virginia Wolff, heroine of a new BBC series, who, after passing a line of the profoundly mentally ill, wrote "Imbeciles - every one of them a miserable, ineffective, shuffling, idiotic creature. It was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed."

And those other heroes of the left, the 'historian' Eric Hobsbawm and his chum Ralph Milliband, also tried to deny Stalin's horrendous crimes. 

The man who laid them all bare was Robert Conquest. Obits in the Times and Telegraph, but a good piece in the Mail HERE. RIP. 

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Corbyn supports war crimes trial for Blair

The Labour leadership election is the gift that just continues to give. Jeremy Corbyn now says he will support putting Bloody Blair in the dock for war crimes if the evidence from Chilcot supports it. 

Not just Blair, Jeremy; at a minimum it needs to be those occupying the senior relevant offices of state at the time - Irvine, Hoon and Straw as well. Irvine is now reported to have retreated into whisky and self-recrimination, Hoon is a disgraced cheat and putative thief who was humiliated by a TV setup and Straw has reinvented himself, now pretending that he didn't even know Blair, let alone serve as his Foreign Secretary. No reason why they should not stand alongside Blair in the dock.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Sadiq Khan and Child Obesity - Wilful stupidity

There are days when you just hold your head in your hands and despair at the cynical, wilful stupidity of the political class. The subject this time is child obesity in London. Those of us who live here have a pretty good idea of who the fat kids are; black African and Somali  kids are, by my observations, fattest of all, and then Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi kids. Now 25% of London's population are ethnic minorities, compared to 5% to 10% elsewhere in England, so if my unscientific observations about the ethnic origin variations in obesity are right, London child obesity rates overall will be higher than England child obesity rates. With me? 

What prompted this is the story in tonight's Standard with Khan wanting to block all fast food shops within 400m of schools in London to curb London's child obesity 'epidemic'. Of course there's no evidence linking fast food shop location to obesity levels, but that doesn't stop Khan from drawing the spurious and bigoted conclusion. 
"Childhood obesity rates are higher in London than the rest of the country with one in five children classed as very overweight by the time they leave primary school, figures showed today. In eight London boroughs, including Southwark and Westminster, more than a quarter of 11-year-olds are considered obese, while one in ten five-year-olds across the capital are seriously overweight. Medical evidence shows that obese children are more likely to have heart attacks and strokes in later life. Labour mayoral candidate Sadiq Khan, who compiled the figures, set out plans to prevent new fast food outlets opening within 400 metres of schools."
See? No evidence of any connection whatsoever. Just 'Kids are fat - close the chip shops'. Stupid, stupid, stupid. 

Well, it took a few minutes of searching to find the figures on ethnic variations in obesity - in a Parliamentary research paper. 
So London's child obesity rates are almost certainly no worse than anywhere else in England once you equalise for ethnicity. 

Resources to tackle child obesity will be far better used if they are targeted where they're most needed. And you also don't need 20/20 vision to notice that black African women are the fattest of all in London - immensely, hugely fat - with all the health risks and shortened life expectancy that goes with it. But until Khan and his kind discard their bigotry and prejudice and use facts and evidence to drive policy, these people will continue to die because Khan is too embarrassed to identify the real problem.

Forget the Gay Grocer, what about Chilcot?

Just as the press were dropping heavy hints about a senior Labour paedo, still alive and still in Parliament, and were building up to an expose, the Grocer Ted story hits the front pages. Convenient, that. 

For what it's worth, I don't think he was a kiddy-fiddler, but two pieces of evidence - anecdotes told by a boatyard worker in Newhaven who used to crew for him, and the dreadful, awful, queer-camp decoration of his house in Salisbury - scream that Heath was certainly a Friend of Dorothy, though probably a non-playing member of the club from the 1960s. 

So now that's over, let's get back to the senior Labour paedo still in Parliament, and more pertinently, the Chilcot report which is expected to condemn a former Prime Minister and his dags in a way that leaves the vague innuendo against the Grocer look like playground taunting. 

There's nothing accidental about the release of the Heath story at this moment - Tom Watson, one of those behind it, is a candidate for Deputy Leader, and speculation is that he can least afford to bear the exposure at this time of the identity of Labour's still-active Parliamentary paedo. Let's have him named. 

Gay curtains - but not Liberace's

Sunday, 2 August 2015

You'd need a heart of stone

You'd need a heart of stone not to feel for Theresa May this morning. Having finished the week with arrangements for a joint article with her French counterpart to appear in the Sunday Telegraph, carrying the clear message 'The streets of Britain are not paved with gold' she no doubt looked forward to a relaxed Sunday.

Until the Mail ran its front page lead on how asylum seekers are enjoying all the benefits of 4* country house hotels with spa pools, wellness centres and holistic grapefruit at the taxpayers' expense. 

I think I can guess which cutting will circulate most widely in Calais.

Oh dear. 

May is correct of course in that this is a Europe-wide problem; even Austria now gets asylum seekers. They are housed in tents within the grounds of a police barracks and subject to strict discipline, disinfestation, de-parasitisation and isolation from local populations on public health grounds as well as being lectured for several hours each day on the Austrian way of life by social workers. And they don't get any cash allowance, unlike their British counterparts. Most can't wait to leave Austria ...

Asylum seekers camp at Krumpendorf barracks