Saturday, 22 April 2017

Extra Territorial Jurisdiction

There is an interview in the Indie this morning with lawyer David Edward in which he lambastes the 'invincible ignorance' of those who think the UK can escape the jurisdiction of the ECJ. Edward sat as an ECJ judge, but perhaps not a very balanced one as his argument here is utterly distorted and deeply misleading.

"You can escape the jurisdiction of the ECJ, but you have got to comply with EU standards if you are going to export into the EU. And who decides what these standards are ultimately if there’s a problem? It’s the ECJ." Edward is quoted as saying. Uhm, yes. But EU exporters wishing to sell to the UK - by far the greater value of goods - must in turn comply with UK standards. And who will decide what those standards are if ultimately there's a problem? The UK Supreme Court and English / Scottish appeal courts. 

Never have I heard any Brexiteer suggest that British courts should exercise Extra Territorial Jurisdiction to decide what product standards within the EU should be. It's a nonsense. Edward is refuting a claim that no-one has made. His argument is specious and fallacious; in exercising our own jurisdiction over trade, competition and commercial law for all actions within UK territorial boundaries of course we escape ECJ jurisdiction. I weep for the 'invincible ignorance' of those like Edward in a state of denial over this fundamental reality. On our land, in our skies and upon our seas out to the 200 mile economic limit, British courts will exercise sole jurisdiction. British laws, British standards, British judgements and British penalties will prevail. 

And of course EU citizens will continue to enjoy access to UK courts to resolve matters within British territorial jurisdiction just as UK citizens will continue to enjoy access to the ECJ to resolve matters within EU jurisdiction. If a Polish single mum feels she is wrongly being denied a British welfare benefit, she has exactly the same recourse to our legal system as any Brit. And likewise a Brit in Europe to the ECJ. What exactly is the problem?

It's a manufactured issue, promoted by those who wish to preserve such bonds of slavery to Euro Federalism beyond Brexit. English common law never did fit well, if at all, with the Napoleonic codex approach of the mainland, yet it maintains itself as both a superior body of law and a more equitable legal jurisdiction than the 'political' fandangling of the ECJ. 

Friday, 21 April 2017

This is an economic battle between Britain and Germany

It is becoming transparently clear that Brexit is an economic battle between Britain and Germany. It is also becoming clear that EU membership is costing us way more than the headline contributions, before or after rebate. One of the EU's several Presidents, Herr Tirana, repeated yesterday in effect that they're so desperate for our wealth that they encourage voters to overturn Mrs May so we may repent and continue to bleed our nation's life blood for the vampire squid.

Germany knows the lead that a fractional advantage in GDP growth can produce over a decade. Yep, one nation grows at 1.1% and another at 1.6% and it doesn't sound much until you look at the lead after 20 years - 13% for these figures. That's been Germany's game plan since the 1970s - free riding NATO, skewing the rules, manipulating EU budgets and quiet economic sabotage to ensure their GDP growth is greater than ours. And now they're furious, they're incandescent with rage that they've been found out and that we're leaving. By doing so we ensure that our GDP takes the lead - not only will Trump make them pay an extra 1% of GDP to NATO, but they must pay 25% of the EU's budget from 2019 or see it unravel.

Hence the bullying, the threats and the attempted intimidation; we must pay €60bn, we must submit to the German European Court until 2030, we must follow their instructions. It's becoming clear that we won't do any of it, that we will walk away. So be it. Alone and ahead.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

I'll miss Gisela and wish Bob well ...

There had to be casualties of course. Few regret the abandonment of his political career by Osborne; the Commons will be infinitely improved by his absence, and the housebuilders' brochure that is the Evening Standard, an organ that once was a newspaper, will no doubt benefit from his family wallpaper and soft furnishings expertise.

Gisela Stuart will be a real loss. The Labour Leave campaign leader was a boon to the cause before the referendum, and did much to counter the swivel-eyed loon barb thrown at we outers. She is transparently straightforward and shines as, well, just nice. 

Bob Marshall-Andrews is a Medway fixture and I wish him well in his move to the Lib-Dems, despite my wanting to see that party destroyed in Parliament. I can't imagine Medway without Bob; a rebel and maverick who used to publicly but pointlessly prompt the Labour leadership to give him a job. Rochester is a bit twee and has pretentions, but remains more Tesco than Waitrose, sandwiched between Emily Thornbury's white van Strood and Borstal. Chatham is as rough as a badger's arse, the home of pale, scabrous and violent Chavs, and Gillingham houses aspirational but just-coping NHS workers. Bob has done a great job there, transcending party. I wish him well.  

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Game On!

Well, she's done it. And she's got the £ nudging €1.20, which is nice. And the global corporates are squeezing out a little high pressure flatus, which is also reassuring. Farron, Mandlebum, the Remoaners, the BBC, the EU and the Guardian are incandescent with rage, which is always worthwhile. All in all, it seems like the right thing to do. 

The main complaint of all those so upset by Mrs May's calling an election seems to be democracy. They are objecting to Britain's voters having a definitive say, rather than claiming to speak for us themselves. 

Oh yes. And that chap Grayling, which I always thought was a fish. If this doesn't trip him into gibbering insanity I don't know what will. So good all round, really. 

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Isn't it time we re-issued 'Protect and Survive'?

There will be many homes in Britain that still have the last edition of the Home Guide to Nuclear War, issued by the government as Protect and Survive. Maybe in a telephone drawer somewhere, along with the radiator bleed key and a 1976 warranty card for the doorbell. However, whole new generations will be unaware of the simple preparations they must make if we are faced with nuclear Armageddon. Technology has also moved on, so an updated edition of this friendly guide to mass extinction may be worthwhile. 

It may be useful to remind the younger ones that iPhones are unlikely to work after an intense EM pulse, that a couple of tins of energy drink won't last long and that Facebook is unlikely to be widely available with which to share nuclear experiences. Ditto Instagram. It's also unwise to rely on take-away delivery services for food after the bomb falls, however impervious Mr Wu seems to Alpha particles. And as members of the family die and the bodies must be dealt with, Yell will not be the best source of home service providers. 

It's about time we scared the youngsters. 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Final hope for democracy in Turkey

Tomorrow's referendum in Turkey on that country's version of Germany's 1933 Enabling Act is, by all accounts, on a knife-edge. If Erdogan wins, he can exercise unrestrained executive power of a sort unseen since Nazi Germany. If he wins, Turkey also loses any chance of joining the EU, her NATO partner status will be in doubt, the migrant deal risks unravelling in time for the peak Summer travelling season and all hopes of Ataturk's secular Turkey will vanish.

Of course, if he loses, everyone expects him to to the achieve exactly the same ends by unconstitutional means. He's hardly going to put his hands up and go quietly, is he?

Sometimes the BBC's correspondents, isolated from the fake-news hothouses of Salford Keys and Broadcasting House, forget their remit and tell the truth. Mark Lowen's report here is really worth a listen. 

A young lady colleague once returned from a holiday in 'unspoilt' Turkey to report that each day a group of unshaven village grey heads, in threadbare grubby shirts buttoned to the collar and old lounge suit coats from the 1950s, would gather to keep the beach under observation. There was no direct interaction, but the visitors were all too uncomfortable to wear bikinis or to enjoy using the beach. These then are Erdogan's supporters, the illiterate bigoted Islamist peasantry of an 18th century Sultanate. God help us all.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Cameron ran a bent Referendum campaign say MPs

This won't be the headline in your MSM papers, which focus on a minor report footnote that a DOS attack may have slowed the website processing those registering to vote in the last days before the Referendum, but that this did not affect the outcome. 

However, the meat of the report is in Chapter 5 - a litany of criticisms of Cameron's misuse of public funds and of the machinery of government in an attempt to skew the result. The verdict, even clothed in the politesse of the old chums club, is damming. Cameron was bent. Never Again. 

Hmphhhh. Told you so.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Peace in Syria?

When I write 'peace in Syria' I don't of course mean the sort of peace that the West gifted to Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Libya, or indeed anywhere we've interfered in the past decade or so, where we've left a legacy of death, terrorism, economic collapse and failed governance. Only the most reality-challenged drug-addled FCO PR person could term those conditions 'peace'. So let's define our terms - what must peace mean for Syria?

No Entry to Salafism - No opportunity can be given to Salafist Islamists, the West's mortal enemies, to increase their power or influence in the region. This includes Turkey, Sunni Iraq, KSA, Kuwait, the gulf states and the various barbarian head-choppers.

Non-sectarian and tolerant society -  A future Syria must allow Shia and Sunni, Christian and Kurd, Alawite and Jew, to live in peace and freedom with no sectarian discrimination. Much as the country worked under Assad before the 'Salafist Spring', which saw deluded fools in Western government mistake Islamist uprisings for democratic urges. 

Russian influence preserved - Any settlement must preserve Russian influence and port / military facilities if the settlement is not to lead to wider causes of conflict

Self-determination - Allow the Syrian people to choose their own leaders and form of government - which may not be the same as Western forms of government and self-determination

Safe return for refugees - A safe place to which refugees currently in Jordan, Palestine and Turkey (as well as Europe) can safely return and rebuild. 

Now it might be that President Assad actually offers the best opportunity to meet these objectives. I don't know. 

However, I am sure that if the US and our own blundering, inept, mistaken FCO conspire to give us yet another Salafist-dominated failed state exporting Islamist terrorism and from which millions of refugees flee, all for the sake of global corporate oil or gas pipes, that we will hang the bastards from the lamp columns in Parliament Square. They're drinking in the Last Chance Saloon over Syria.

Friday, 7 April 2017

US now free to kill its own 'beautiful babies' in Mosul

With the PR-stunt bombardment of a vacant Syrian airbase over, US forces in the region can now re-target their cruise missiles and aircraft and carry on killing beautiful babies as well as their mothers and older children in Mosul. However, since Putin is way smarter than Trump and has normal sized hands to boot, don't be surprised at some cunning piece of counter-PR. Of course it's still possible that one of those US cruise missiles hit the base creche, and that Syria produces its own dead beautiful babies torn apart by US explosives. 

I'm really sick to the gills of the lies. Sick of the superpower slaughter fought through proxies; sick of the mendacious game playing, sick of the horror, the death, the childish destruction. I'm sick of the official distortion, invention, omission and misrepresentation of the truth. Sick of the BBC, of the MSM, of RT, of Brietbart and of the bloody lying Guardian. Sick of twisted journalism of the sort gurgitated by Con Coughlin, by other maggot-struck dags, who lie for their paymasters in claiming to be sure of events a thousand miles over the horizon. Who the Hell do they all imagine they're lying to?

Will all you fake journalists now please re-target your own interest from this fake gas circus sideshow to what is really happening in Iraq? In Kurdistan? No, thought not.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Oh Good. They've forgotten about the 'unspeakable' slaughter in Mosul.

I have no illusions about Bashir Assad's ruthlessness, and none about his commitment to regain control of Syria. His success in Aleppo, the recapture of Palmyra and even his quick reaction to the assault by the West's 'friendly' Islamist jihadis on Damascus have all given him the advantage. Meanwhile, the US-led blundering in taking Mosul, with its massive civilian casualties, makes Trump look a dick against Putin's effective siege of Aleppo. 

So I don't rule out Assad being responsible for a chemical attack in Idlib that has killed 70. But it's so / too convenient for the US led side, and such an unnecessary action for Assad, that I cannot rush to the same immediate verdict as the entire Western media seems to have done, at least without evidence. It's just too bloody convenient, particularly in silencing  the growing outrage against child and civilian casualties in Mosul, most recently as the 230 (as the Telegraph reported) child and mothers corpses were pulled from the rubble of a single Iraqi / US strike last week.

Whilst the slaughter of seventy in Idlib by poison gas is 'unspeakable', the slaughter of three times that number in Mosul by good, clean US missiles seems to be OK. Good. Glad that's clear.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

NATO - Keeping the peace in Europe for 68 Years

NATO's anniversary today could not come at a more appropriate moment. NATO, and the Atlantic Alliance, has kept the peace in Europe since the Iron Curtain came down in 1949. NATO itself  arose from a 1941 meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt at which was drafted the Atlantic Charter - subsequently adopted by allies of the United Nations. No territorial aggrandisement; no territorial changes made against the wishes of the people, self-determination; restoration of self-government to those deprived of it; reduction of trade restrictions; global cooperation to secure better economic and social conditions for all; freedom from fear and want; freedom of the seas; and abandonment of the use of force, as well as disarmament of of aggressor nations. 

And why such an appropriate moment? Well, it's come at exactly the time at which the EU has demonstrated yet again that it is NOT an organisation that promotes peace, but is instead a malign nascent Empire that foments conflict, war, death and dissent. Britain's reaction to the EU's inclusion of Gibraltar in the Brexit talks was entirely predictable. One could have written the Sun's headline in advance. It is an unforgivable deliberate hostile provocation from this cabal of cynical hypocrites in Brussels geared at provoking conflict - just as they have done in Ukraine, just as they did in the Balkans. 

The EU is simply incapable of signing up to the aims of the Atlantic Charter; the Federast aim is wholly about expansion, not peace; "No territorial aggrandisement" is simply not a phrase they understand in Brussels. The aims of NATO and the EU are not the same - not the same at all. Which is why the EU now wants to fund its own military arm - one that can breach the Atlantic Charter provisons with impunity and no opposition. 

NATO needs a strong and effective leader who has the confidence of both Washington and London. Cameron, the Boden-catalogue ditherer, the kitchen supper dilettante, a collapsed souffle of a politician, is simply not that man.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

If the Remoaners had been around in 1938 ...

It's perhaps not strange that although times and events move relentlessly forward, human nature is far less liable to change. Time and embarrassment will have erased many of the dissenting voices of 1938 as the winner's history was subsequently written, but echoes of those same 1938 types can be heard today in Britain ..

The scientific Remoaner
"Look at the statistics; look at our armaments production, military strength, renewal capacity and expected levels of attrition. They prove without a scintilla of doubt that there is absolutely NO WAY we can beat Nazi Germany. It just can't be done. It's quite impossible. I'm an expert and I'm telling you that Britain simply cannot win this war."

The Socialist die-hard
"The National Socialists in Germany are in permanent alliance with the Union of Soviets; all over Europe, socialism and communism are in the ascendant. We should invite Comrades Hitler and Stalin to come and take control here, to end the disgrace of warmongering capitalists who just want a war to sell weapons and munitions. Our future can only be as a socialist republic under the wise control of the German-Soviet pact leaders."

The mindless thug
"So what's the worst that Hitler can do to me then? Sanction my benefit again? Like these c***s keep doing by calling me in at 8.45 when I'm in breakfast mode bro, know what I mean? I bet Hitler wouldn't tell me to hand out my CV instead of doing my shift on the anti-racist march, yeah? I hate authority,  I do - I hate being told what to do. That's why we should chuck this lot out and get Hitler in, innit?"

The liberal mum Remoaner
"Basically war will prevent my two, Tarquin and Murgatroyd, from reaching their potential. We took them across the Channel to Le Touquet last year and they came back with several words of French and after the Olympics they sooo want to see the torchlight processions in Nuremberg and Tarquin in particular wants to go on Erasmus to meet his Hitler Youth penfriend - he even keeps a photo of Horst wearing his athletic vest by his bedside! You can't travel freely when armies are trying to kill eachother."

The Remoaner MP
"War with Germany will mean the total extinction and annihilation of this country -starvation, economic collapse and in ten years by 1948 we'll be little more than apes scratching in the dirt with sticks. If we take what Germany is offering we'll keep a model Parliament that's free to make laws on dog fouling, loud noises, garden shed colours and similar matters and life will be pretty much as it is now, well, except for the Nazi troops on the street, loss of freedom, confiscation of our wealth and so on. Most importantly, the Germans have promised to keep-on in Parliament all MPs that sign up now .."

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Spaniards badly rattled over Factortame / CFP

When I owned a British Registered Ship (Part 1 registration) the ship's passport or Certificate of British Registry was an impressive thing; a long blue cloth cover embossed with the royal arms containing a large fold-out sheet of an obsolete size of sea-resistant high-rag thick paper - Demy, Double Post or even Elephant, perhaps - whereon were detailed the vessel and most importantly the ownership of each of the sixty-fourths into which British law divided ship ownership. I was stated, as the ship's fifth owner, to hold sixty-four sixty-fourths of her property. I could therefore wear a Red Ensign and salute our warships. In those days Johnny Foreigner wasn't allowed to own a British Registered ship.  

Then of course came the bloody EU and Factortame. This was a court case brought by some rich Spanish fishing boat owners who declared that the requirement of the 1988 Merchant Shipping Act that 75% of British registered ship owners (48/64ths) had to be of British nationality was contrary to the Treaty of Rome and that Spaniards should have the right to wholly own Red Duster ships. They won. 

This means that not only can Spanish ships fish our waters under their own quota, they can also, through buying British ships and the quota that goes with them, take our fish using British registered ships. And there are an awful lot of Spanish fishermen, trawler owners, shore-side secondaries and Spanish government tax euros currently coming from Britain's 200 mile exclusive economic zone, under both their own and our flag. The blow to their income and commerce from being excluded in two years time will be immense - if that is what happens - and Spain will scream in agony. 

Hence Gibraltar. Now I've no idea whether we can reverse Factortame in two years - Richard North is your man for that sort of knowledge - or how we'll exit the Common Fisheries Policy, but Spain is very rattled. 

There's a deal to be done, but Gib's comfort will cost us fish.

Friday, 31 March 2017

EU talks gamesmanship - bluff and spin

One can usually tell when a journo has been royally fed the official line. Con Coughlin's MOD lunches are marked by subsequent pieces of strong, coherent journalism pushing a risibly absurd line that defies all logic. Which probably seems really convincing until the cold light of the following morning.

All the EU's planted stories so far on the Brexit talks have been models of Teutonic coherence. One can almost hear the machine-gun rattle of the press officer listing out the points at the journo's winking recorder. And once they actually realised that the UK really will walk away from a bad deal, the focus of their press manipulation has been pushing the line that our hopes are unrealistic, and that our only option is to take our punishment for the good of the 27. Only it must never be called punishment. 

The best example this morning is a piece in Der Spiegel. The author doesn't even bother to hint at those hedging prevarications that a news story usually contains. Nope. This is pure gamesmanship - using the only weapons the EU can muster, bluff, threat and spin. 

Whenever I've gone into negotiations with an unassailably strong position, the very last thing I've done is to crow about it to the other side. In fact, you rather hope the other side doesn't realise quite how strong your position is - if you want a deal, that is. So why is Spiegel, parotting the official line, crowing so loudly? Unless it's all tommyrot. And everything else we hear from the EU side suggests they're living in La-la land, hoping that bluff, spin and bullying will scare the UK into doing as we're told. They really don't know us, do they?

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

"I have the heart and stomach of a king, and of a king of England too"

An early post for Brexit Day as I've got a chocca full day's graft from first light tomorrow. 

Of course, England has been here before. The EU (that's the Pope and the whole of Catholic Europe) excommunicated Queen Elizabeth and barred all trade with us; not even a WTO-terms deal, only a bit of state-sanctioned piracy and smuggling kept us going. In reaction we went further afield to find new trade partners and accidentally founded the British Empire, established dominance of the seas and oceans and led the world in trade and commerce. They did us a favour, really.  

Anyway, if you fancy a rollocking good yarn with your celebratory tipple on B-day, rent Cate Blanchett's Elizabeth - The Golden Age; it's really rather appropriate.

Theresa May reads the draft of the Article 50 letter one last time before it is carried to Brussels. This is it!

In Brussels, Herr Juncker and Commissioner Mogherini discuss their reaction to the notification
PM May has a problem - half the country are still Remainians, committed to the 'old ways' and the sinister Tim Farron is doing his best to sow dissent in the realm
The Labour Party NEC meets to discuss the implications of Brexit. Mr Corbyn is misplaced and found later in a store cupboard. 

Meanwhile Brexit Secretary David Davis sets out to 'singe the King of Brussel's beard' before negotiations start, and is ably partnered by ...

Boris 'spuds and tobacco' Johnson, just back from exploring Washington and meeting Mr Trump, the chief of the indiginous tribes in the New World

At home Nicola Sturgeon, Queen of Scots, is caught by GCHQ plotting with Remainians to betray Brexit. 'We know the contents of every secret letter you sent' the head of MI5 tells her.

Herr Juncker's chief negotiator, Herr Barnier and Herr Verhofstadt discuss destroying the British negotiating position 'We vill crush dem and stomp dem into ze eart! No trade deal for dem!'
Mrs May makes her final speech to Conservative Party Conference before the climax of the Brexit talks. "I may have the stomach of a feeble woman, but my legs are rather good and I have the heart of a Lion"

The EU main negotiating team arrives, stunning the Brits by the size and scale 'Crikey!' exclaims Boris, and takes up smoking again, thanking providence he remembered to bring tobacco back from his US trip.

That night, Mrs May smells smoke and wakes to see the entire EU negotiating team on fire. She summons Boris, but he's nowhere to be found
Herr Juncker and the Commissioners have to explain to Europe that they've screwed up, and that all their homework got burnt in an accidental cigarette fire; Britain wins the talks
Boris turns up from the direction of the ashes of the EU team clutching a baked potato 'You see I knew there was a reason I brought these back from the new world; just the thing to keep you going when you're looking for a dropped fag ..'

Demonstrations don't count half as much as votes

Paul Mason reprises a Remoanian whine in the Guardian today; they may have lost the vote, our Article 50 letter is good to go, our negotiating teams are primed but still he clutches at the most feeble of straws. Demonstrations matter, he says, because they lay the ground for future electoral victories. Thus NHS and pro-EU protesters will see no easy victory now, but will score unexpected wins in the future.

To a point, Lord Copper. Was the Brexit vote then a delayed effect of the Countryside march, the first I ever attended? It was as much a protest about the disregard of the elite Metropolis for the rurality as about hunting, and until the Iraq march was the biggest ever seen in London, dwarfing the recent piddling little NHS and pro-EU huddles. And what of the anti-Blair march, the second of my lifetime (and probably the last)? Did the size and scale of this presage the overwhelming destruction of the Labour Party, it's utter unelectability for all time? 

Yes, the pendulum will swing back again. It always does. But not because of enfeebled radicals such as Mason calling fewer and fewer ageing followers onto the streets. Generational change will drive a future political rebalance. Demonstrations are really no more influential than a successful pop song or blockbuster TV series. It's universal suffrage and the secret ballot that really bring change - both of them striking fear into the hearts of the Illiberals. 

Let me fix that strapline for you, Paul ..

Monday, 27 March 2017

Britain needs a new people's Party - What should it stand for?

There seems a degree of agreement that the nation needs a new party of the people that transcends the left - right political axis; what ten key aims would such a party stand FOR? Over to you, but here are my starting suggestions -

- Small state and the rule of law; a balance between central and local control
- Greater democratic control by a variety of democratic forms for each democratic tier, as appropriate
- Patriotic, not nationalistic; A Britain Internationalist in trade and outlook, but not subservient to Globalism
- A focus on the little platoons that will help build a strong and congruent British national identity  
- Fairness, justice and equity both within and between the generations
- Pride in our values, confidence in our cause
- Sustainable and practical use of our land, seas and assets
- A nation slow to rouse, but strong to bite 

NB being clear about what a party stands for implies those things it is against - they need never be stated explicitly. Negative aims turn people off. 

(Uhm, I'm not volunteering to start one.)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

I always thought Carswell was a bit of a cad

Not saying I told you so, but this post from 29th August 2014;

Carswell - A bit of a mess
Oh dear Oh dear. Where to start. Mr Carswell.

1. He's undoubtedly right in believing that Cameron will flunk any reform negotiations - Dave has all the negotiating ability of a collapsed soufflĂ© and about as much real commitment to fundamental reform as a nun writing a condom ad. Many Tories are exhibiting the triumph of hope over experience on this, convincing themselves that Dave will somehow behave completely differently to the way he has for the last ten years. There's no hope I'm afraid - he will flunk it, and be wholly humiliated, and will then flunk the Brexit referendum, leaving the UK as weak losers. 

2. A minor but nonetheless niggling point - he's stolen Nigel's thunder as the first elected UKIP MP (or will do if he succeeds in the by election). While the gain to UKIP outweighs the stolen prize, it's a bit caddish.  

3. Carswell is an unlikely hero. Committed to the privileges of the political class, he led moves to make the home addresses of MPs secret on election applications. Neither was his Localism book (with Dan Hannan) entirely original, owing much to both Simon Jenkins and Helena Kennedy, sometimes without attribution. If I met him in the pub, I wouldn't like him. 

4. However, at least few care personally what happens to him. His move is useful in gaining UKIP air-time and in forcing Tory MPs to realise that Cameron's emollient charms are unsuited to the job in hand. It also brings back into discussion a Tory - UKIP election pact for 2015; if a worried party forces Cameron into this, Carswell's actions will be justified.    

Back to today ...and apropos of nothing

Apropos of nothing, you may not be aware that the EU Commission actually has its own FOI system, application form HERE.

I've already submitted two - 
- (1)Inventory and valuation of the Commission's cellar stocks of wine, beers and spirits (2) Inventory and valuation of the Commission's cutlery, crockery, napery, cruets, condiments, candelabra, candle holders and all other equipment and table decoration held for official Commission dining and events

- A complete inventory and valuation of all works of art valued each at over €1.000 (one thousand Euros) held by the Commission to include paintings, sculpture, prints and drawings, installation works and all other objects held for artistic and / or cultural reasons

Well, if we're entitled to 10% of the CDs in this divorce, we don't want to be stuck with the Spice Girls and Robbie Williams, do we? 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Facial Asymmetry - Mayor of London

Just one more photography post and I'm done ...

A game we used to play when bored was to 'split' on Photoshop the full face photographs of convicts in US jails (many American states publish mugshots of their jailbirds on the web) to find the greatest degree of asymmetry. Convicts gave good results because they generally have the most asymmetric faces - balanced, sober, law abiding college football players tend to have very symmetrical faces.

Watching London's Mayor yesterday I was struck by the thought that he would also give a good result. Of course there's absolutely no suggestion whatever that Mr Khan is criminally inclined, but the two composites perhaps suggest that there is more than one side to the Mayor. 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

This picture is genuine

This picture is credited to Jamie Lorriman. It is genuine. Jamie is a professional photographer. It appears, credited to Jamie, in the Standard

Islamist killers are just pathetic failures

Hate-bearded Islamist killers in Britain will all end up as cold lumps of bullet-torn meat in the common morgue. No glory, no martyrdom, just squalid deaths shot down like dogs. And no burial the following day - we'll keep the bodies in the fridge for weeks, or what's left of it after Heckler & Koch and the pathologist have finished. They will lose the humanity we grant them the moment they raise a weapon in anger against us. 

There are no good Islamists (using the former PM's definition of Islamism). Non-Islamist Moslems can live amongst us in peace so long as their true allegiance is to our realm and not to their faith. And Moslems cannot just walk by and pretend that they and their faith are not the root of the problem. Unless Moslems here are now active in helping destroy Islamism in Britain, they are also part of the problem.   

NB If anyone has evidence that this picture is a fake, I'll happily remove it. I've carried out an image-match search and it doesn't appear on the internet before yesterday early evening. Light and weather conditions are right, for yesterday, as is clothing. Could be a photoshop - please alert me if someone has done a pixel analysis.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

EU's Brexit talks strategy - Hire Raging Ronnie

It happens from time that time that contractors lose big money on a construction job. Either they won the work with a loss-leading bid, hoping in vain to make it up on variations and instructions, or they mis-valued risk, or they simply badly mismanaged the process. Often, they simply don't figure the P&L on a job until site work has finished, get a shock and submit a claim for an outrageous sum to get them out of trouble. Usually a firm and very chilly meeting with full forces assembled was enough to see off trouble, but when senior jobs were at risk they would hire Raging Ronnie. 

Raging Ronnie was himself chartered in three professions, with an array of post-nominals that exceeded his own name in length. One of his professions was as an Adjudicator, but he was rarely appointed in that role. Mostly he worked as muscle for contractors. The first Raging Ronnie letter would come in, with copies to the Chairman and Secretary, expressing outrage and shock that we had refused his client's eminently reasonable claim, and demanding that we paid up straight away. The second would come a week later, expressing outrage and shock that we had not yet agreed to his demands, and threatening immediate Arbitration. The third would go just to the Chairman, as between equals, a reasonable and calm appeal over the heads of we stubborn underlings to intervene and pay, and the fourth would be the formal notice to seek Adjudication if the claim was not met. 

Our strategy was always the same. Ignore all demands and keep twitchy board members calm, stiffen their backbones and prepare for a hearing. 

Of course all Raging Ronnie's bluster, hubris, outrage, anger and threats would vanish in the case made. Adjudicators don't like intemperate parties. Then it was just a calm and patient slog to demolish their claims. We'd always have to pay something, of course; the Adjudicator will make an award to a contractor just for spelling their own name correctly, but usually it was peanuts.   

And so it is with this oh-so-carefully 'leaked' EU negotiating strategy document that threatens taking the UK to the Hague if we don't meet their demands. I'm beginning to think that Raging Ronnie has found a new client ..

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

When Guardian comrades fall out

The disintegration of the left is the gift that goes on giving; hardly a day passes without one fraternal comrade thrusting a knife into the back of another. Honestly. The Tories just don't have to bother - the brothers are doing it themselves.

Now two of the Guardian's foremost cis-scribblers are at eachother's throats; Nick Cohen and trainee welder Owen Jones. I don't know whether Cohen backs Fatboy or some fourth party but the handbags are definitely unsheathed.

"This is the final word on the matter" declares Jones optimistically on Medium, then goes on to write
The response to the current terrible political situation by Nick Cohen is as follows: “I Told You So You Fucking Fools!” In a profanity-ridden rant, he says supporting Corbyn in the first place was a colossal misjudgement despite all the warnings about what would happen. Let me be polite about this. Cohen was a passionate and unapologetic supporter of the Iraq war, one of the greatest calamities of our time, a ‘misjudgement’ (I’d prefer ‘crime’) so colossal that ‘catastrophic’ doesn’t even begin to cover it, a war waged on a false pretext which led to the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people, countless others maimed and traumatised, millions driven from their homes, Iraq turned into a hunting ground for sectarian murderers and Islamist fanatics, which played a critical role in violently destabilising the Middle East. Cohen demands penitence for those who backed someone who will lead Labour to defeat. That’s not quite on the scale of noisily backing a calamity that slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people. Imagine being unrepentant about backing one of the worst disasters of the post-war era and then abusively attacking others for failures of judgement.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Police Drones

"So, Inspector, this proposed Drone Squad can be staffed by transfers from the Internet Porn Squad? How's that gone?"

"Well sir since 2004 the lads have watched over 2 million hours of online porn. Deserve a medal, they do sir. Constable Hotchkiss can't hear the word 'Brazilian' now without twitching."

"And how many arrests and convictions have resulted?" 

"Just the one sir. The chairman of the golf club who put hidden cameras in the ladies. But that doesn't affect the deterrent effect of those evil film makers knowing that the Force is watching. And we've learnt our lesson - the lads need periodic rotation out of the squad. Hence the new Drone Squad, sir"

"Ah yes. Sergeant Thom bought one for his kids and saw the crime-busting possibilities straight away...."

"That's right sir. Of course, police drones would cost a lot more, it being taxpayers' money, and the lads would need professional training from the RAF"

"I'm still not happy about us flying these potentially lethal things over people's houses and gardens .. have you considered the risks?"    

"We estimate that 80% of the time we'll be flying over public roads and open land. In particular it will allow the lads to gather video evidence of widespread 'dogging' activity in Knickers Woods, sir.  We could spend a year keeping constant tabs on it all then swoop. Then there's the poofs sorry BLTs on Handy Heath. We can follow 'em sir from the sky without risking officers on the ground."

"You don't think there's a risk that some of this footage may leak onto the web? Doesn't this sort of surveillance constitute a variety of porn in itself?"

"That's the beauty of it sir. The Internet Porn Squad can keep an eye out for any leaked footage"

"Ah yes. When was the last time any of these men actually walked a beat or responded to a disturbance? Some of them look as though they have difficulty walking"

"Yes sir. Injuries incurred in the line of service, watching the porn sir. Sixteen early ill-health retirements so far. We're hoping that working the drones gets them out of their chairs, sir. Into other chairs."

"Very well. Carry on, Inspector"

Sunday, 19 March 2017

More lies from the Fake News Guardian

Yep, that mendacious rag the Guardian has been at it again. This time it's a Fake News story that vast numbers of EU nurses are fleeing the NHS for fear of Brexit. The story is so risibly crooked, biased and laden with falsity that Guardian subs have not even dared allow comments.

Firstly - All context is absent from the story. No mention is made of the latest official Parliament report on NHS staffing, particularly that only 5% of NHS staff are from other EU countries, and of those some 48% work in London and the South East. No context is given to the bald claim that 2,700 EU nurses leaving the NHS in 2016 is unusual. No mention is made of normal staff 'churn' - usually 10% a year. Of 21,000 EU NHS nurses, we should expect that 2,100 leave each year; that gives us 600 EU nurses a year over the norm that are quitting. That's 0.05% of all NHS staff. Worth a headline?

Secondly - Little or no fact checking seems to have been done, certainly not using the Parliamentary report on NHS staffing, which states that far from falling, the number of NHS staff from EU states has been rising - "Of staff who joined the NHS in 2015/16, 10.8% were from other EU countries. This has risen from 6.8% in 2012/13" - though still only 5% of the total. 

Thirdly - The most risibly unevidenced claim, that floods of EU staff were leaving because of fear of Brexit, is nothing more than made-up agitprop that has no place in any newspaper. No survey, no voxpops, no reporter interviewing significant numbers. It's just a lie.

In fact, EU workers in all sectors including agriculture and horticulture have fallen since mid 2016. In all cases where evidence is available, this is primarily because of the weak pound; getting €1.15 for each NHS £1 is simply not as attractive as the old €1.35 rate. Particularly for staff in London and the South-east faced with high housing costs. But of course, not a single mention of this. 

In the face of such blatant omission, distortion and misrepresentation, such outrageous Fake News, is it any wonder that this foul little rag is going broke?  

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Remoanian pissy whine extends across London

Before Lebedev's ownership, and when it used to cost 20p, London's Standard was popularly known as the Evening Mail, accurately reflecting its City-biased editorial stance. There would be up to four editions distributed between 1pm and 5pm, with insiders familiar with the arcane star markings and content of the post-printed racing results / late news strip on the back page who always ensured that they bought the latest edition. Before the internet, people would use it to find flats - homehunters would swoop on the orange and white chevron vans as they tossed out the first bundles of the first editions. That was back in the era of Headbags, when the echoes of Big Bang still reverberated. 

Now the Evening Standard has become quite the metropolitan socially liberal thing, a paper that beardy hipsters are not embarrassed to show in their Quinoa bars or ethical coffee salons. It reflects a new London readership of 800,000 daily copies, and is politically quite wet. No surprise then that Lebedev has picked an arch Remainian for the UK's most Remainian city, in new editor George Osborne. With only one edition, and edited now by subs who often offer bare evidence of literacy, it is today a lifestyle and opinion platform for advertising rather than a serious paper.  

No doubt the Standard under Osborne will join the Guardian in emitting a long pissy whine from all those that just can't get over Brexit. The fools are already blaming Brexit for the break up of the union, failing to realise that it has no more happened yet than the dire economic slump and financial tsunami that the Standard's new editor predicted. With Osborne's piss-poor judgement he will now proceed to give a platform to every Remoaner loon, fruitcake and bug-eyed zealot. Not only do they infest twitter and the Guardian's damp pages, but we'll have now have to snort at their lunacy whilst jammed in the doorspace of a stalled commuter cattle car. 

Tim Stanley in this morning's Telegraph catalogues yet more persistent Remoaners who just won't flush (to steal a phrase from a witty commenter) but Brendan O'Neill writing for Medium does the job perfectly; 
And, of course, all tantrums involve lashing out, as this one does. The levels of antipathy aimed at voters, and at democracy itself, has been extraordinary. We have failed to “keep the mob from the gates”, says Brexit-fearing columnist Matthew Parris. American writer Jason Brennan has become a favourite of liberal publications in the tantrum era because he wrote a book called Against Democracy and says “low-information white people” should not be trusted to make big political decisions.

American-British conservative Andrew Sullivan frets that the “passions of the mob” have been unleashed. A writer for The Observer says it’s time to smash the “taboo” against saying that ordinary people are often very stupid, and “there are times when their stupidity combines to produce gross, self-harming acts of national stupidity”. Don’t worry, mate: that taboo has been well and truly demolished, if it ever existed. Post-Brexit and post-Trump, the chattering classes have not been shy in wondering if the masses are too daft for politics.
But the biggest long pissy whine of all still comes from the Guardian's grievously butthurt scribblers - who are moving to a nihilistic, nationally self-destructive form of sutee to share their pain whilst seeking to destroy the nation's good. Screw 'em. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Geert Wilders is a prybar, not a national leader

Geert Wilders scored his greatest success back in January, when the electoral threat of the PVV forced incumbent PM Mark Rutte sharply to the right. With full-page adverts on 23rd January in all the national papers and an interview for tabloid Algemeen Dagblad, Mr Rutte had a blunt message for the Netherlands migrants and Moslems - Get Out if you don't like it. Rutte wrote "We feel a growing unease when people misuse our freedoms to spoil everything, when they have come to our country for freedom. People who don’t want to adapt, who attack gay people, who shout at women in short skirts or call ordinary Dutch people racist." Those who wouldn't adapt to Dutch social liberalism should leave. "Be normal, or Begone".

Rutte declared back then that yesterdays election was not about the EU, tax, economics or public services but national identity. "There is one question to be answered. What sort of country do we want?". Last night he had his answer. And I think that we should welcome the result, which I interpret as strong support for a Dutch identity that means freedom, liberalism, tolerance and above all, social congruence. 

Rutte's view that the Dutch have rejected the 'wrong sort' of populism is, I think, correct. His own declarations from January were the 'right' kind of populism. Voters like his strong message, but also trust him to be fair. And Wilders was given just enough encouragement to ensure he continues to act as an effective prybar, keeping the new centreground levered to the right, and most importantly keeping the question of Dutch national identity to the fore. 

The Netherlands is a smart little country. 

Monday, 13 March 2017

Brexit: The Sekt is on ice .......

With our Article 50 notification now just a hair's breadth away, we can expect today some spectacular last-minute disruptions. Satan's little sex-toy to the North will probably announce a new independence referendum, just as US fracking is making third-stage extraction from the North Sea increasingly uneconomic. Soros and his little helpers will throw money at QCs in an effort to use the law to scupper Parliament. The BBC will no doubt find reasons to announce today some dire economic forecasts amid tones of general gloom. Little Owen Jones may offer free blowies to Brexiteers who recant, Lily Allen will give away copies of her dire new album, currently bombing, and even Lord Geldof may emerge to sneer at, shower with spittle and swear at the common folk before his carers get him back into his bath chair. 

None of which should make the slightest difference to the Brexit Bill. If it clears its stages today unamended, I can think of no greater gift to our Sovereign Lady than to submit the Bill for Royal Assent allowing the Prime Minister to give Brussels our formal notice tomorrow. 

There will be a general screeching from Farringdon as a distraught Polly Toynbee dribbles salty snot over a wailing Suzanne Moore's velvet kitten heels. Some hopeless little bloke called Farron will call all the TV stations ( "there's some bloke called Dim Pharom on the line ... yeah, third time he's called ... OK, we'll bar the number" ) Gina Miller will vow revenge on the British people and devote her remaining fortune to keeping members of the bar in Claret, and in Brussels the pressed duck (four fat Flemish ducks for each Commissioner, reduced to a cube the size of a fag packet by a powerful hydraulic press,  a favourite dish served by Herr Juncker) will regorge and repeat acidly into the night. 

Here, I'll pop the caps on a brace of Sekt bottles cooling in the fridge. If it happens.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Erdogan's hired street thugs intimidate Europe

I posted recently on Austria and Germany's refusals to allow the nascent fascist dictator Erdogan to campaign in their countries for support for the April referendum for his Turkish equivalent to the Nazi Enabling Law. Voters in Turkey are divided, and the Turkish Diaspora living elsewhere in Europe who can still vote may swing it. Of 4m Turkish-origin residents in Germany, some 1.6m can vote on this issue.

The latest to feel the rent-a-mob fury of the psychopathic Erdogan are the Dutch; they refused to allow Erdogan's foreign minister to land in Rotterdam, to headline a street rally in support of the Enabling Law. In retaliation, Erdogan's thugs are besieging the Netherlands Embassy in Ankara.     

Austria banned a further Turkish senior official from a proposed rally in Hörbranz on Friday on the grounds of risk to public order. 

Europe gives refuge to many tens of thousands of opponents of Erdogan's regime, not terrorists but professionals, intellectuals and former public officials, who otherwise face detention and torture in squalid Turkish jails at the hands of the Erdogan regime. To allow the very thugs who command the waterboarding to campaign openly in the countries of refuge of their victims for even greater totalitarian power is utterly unacceptable and European governments are doing exactly the right thing in repudiating these second-tier thugs.  

I expect Erdogan to throw half a million migrants into Greece in a tantrum of furious petulance. Let's hope Hungary's, Austria's and Slovenia's fences hold. 

Thursday, 9 March 2017

UN greed and cupidity, EU waste and stupidity piss away $803m in Greek Aid

"One senior aid official estimated that as much as $70 out of every $100 spent had been wasted"

So says a piece in the Guardian today that catalogues the greed, stupidity, empire buiding, tantrums, thefts, frauds, jealousies and malfeasance that has pissed away $803m in aid to Greece to accommodate the migrants there. Who is surprised? 

The gainers from the aid have been UN bureaucrats, apparatchiks and aid workers paid third-world 'hardship pay' bonuses for being posted to this holiday destination, the international aid bandwagon, EU bureaucrats, Greek civil servants and their contractors, and Turkish and German taxpayers. Losers from the aid have been the migrants, who have little improvement in living conditions and the people of Greece, who have gained nothing and lost much. 

The piece is a damning litany of lunatics running the asylum. Few migrants have been returned to Turkey, few have been accepted under Juncker's quota rules but UN managers are fat with gold and puffed with a hubristic flatus of self-importance. Vicious turf-wars between aid agencies have seen donor aid pissed away in campaigns to counter opposing aid agencies rather than in assisting the migrants to go home.   

If any further evidence were needed that the UN and EU are run for the benefit of their officials, Greece provides it in spades. Nasty, self-loving incapable fools, chiselling little crooks, petulant penpushers and leeches, their vile misappropriation of tax and aid money is only now becoming clear.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Monbiot's annual outing on this blog - 2017

I read Monbiot every week in the Guardian and for fifty weeks a year there's really nothing worth commenting on. But as regulars will know, around once a year old Moonbat comes up with a column that presses all the right buttons. This year's hit is a post on Big Data.  

Not so much Big Data as the Big Money that uses it, in the West anyway. Those who have great wealth, from across the political spectrum, inevitably turn their attention to using it to gain greater political leverage than their single vote alone would allow. And they all make me nervous; Gina Miller and Tony Blair as much as Lord Ashcroft and Arron Banks. Whilst we're working towards controls that restrict their funding of political parties - controls that depend on also controlling TU funding - the funding of 'sniper' technology that allows campaigns to be precisely focused rather than shotgunned is not so controlled. And the State can also use it;
" ... deep-learning algorithms enable the state to develop its “citizen score”. This uses people’s online activities to determine how loyal and compliant they are, and whether they should qualify for jobs, loans or entitlement to travel to other countries. Combine this level of monitoring with nudging technologies – tools designed subtly to change people’s opinions and responses – and you develop a system that tends towards complete control."
However, Monbiot also recognises that Localism, Direct Democracy and other systems that 'take back control' from the overwheening centre can counter these malign effects
"But digital technologies could also be a powerful force for positive change. Political systems, particularly in the Anglophone nations, have scarcely changed since the fastest means of delivering information was the horse. They remain remote, centralised and paternalist. The great potential for participation and deeper democratic engagement is almost untapped. Because the rest of us have not been invited to occupy them, it is easy for billionaires to seize and enclose the political cyber-commons."
To a point, George. So long as we maintain universal adult suffrage and the secret ballot on all matters of importance, this can be supplemented by as many citizens' juries as you wish. But any solutions that disenfranchise any part of the population are unacceptable - and Labour has a shameful history of supporting Eugenics in the party's early days, a fascist tendency that resurfaces from time to time. 

Sunday, 5 March 2017

So, Herr Juncker, let me see if I've got this right ...

The fury from across the Channel this week at a reports that finds that the EU have no basis in law for their demand of a €60bn reverse golden handshake reveals rather more than the Berleymont apparatchiks would wish, I think.

It can't be because they didn't know that they have no basis in international law for their demands. They know as well as we do they have no lawful right to ask this of us. The weakness of their case is amply demonstrated by their demand that the matter of the exit bill is decided before any trade terms are discussed. They must also know that there is no way that Mrs May can agree a lump sum before knowing by how much the trade deal will benefit or disbenefit us.

On the other hand, Mrs May has clearly signalled her fall-back position; we leave without a deal on WTO terms, our contributions stop in March 2019, and we use our rights under international law to reclaim our assets; unlike the EU's spurious claims, our reclaiming our investments such as the €40bn we've put into the European Investment Bank will be enforced. And yes, WTO terms will hurt our GDP, but the lump sum we win back plus the €10bn a year buffer of no more Danegeld could compensate for the downturn. Whereas the EU has no such capital cushion, and faces charging its contributing nations far more, and will also suffer its own hit to EU GDP from a Brexit without any buffer at all. 

Have I misunderstood this or are we negotiating from a pretty strong position? Are the comrades so cross because they've worked out how weak they are in all this?

Friday, 3 March 2017

Swedish establishment still the same Nazis

Ask me to name the most continuously Nazi European nation and I have no hesitation in nominating Sweden. Sweden was ahead of Hitler's Germany in inventing crude racial myths of Aryan purity, all that Volk cobblers around runes and race superiority, and had some of Europe's most repressive laws that equalled Franco's Spain in their Fascist reach. Sweden also fell victim to that fashionable Socialist and National-Socialist fake-science, Eugenics. George Bernard Shaw wanted a humane gas to kill the poor, Virginia Woolf wanted her own T-4 programme to kill the mentally subnormal and all believed passionately in controlled breeding to produce a master-race. The UK Labour party quietly dropped Eugenics from its manifesto some time in the 1930s, but Nazi Germany and Sweden never did.

I recall that in addition to being appalled by the Vietnam War in the early 1970s, we were horrified that Sweden still practiced compulsory sterilisation for those failing to reach an IQ minimum. It was pure Nazi T-4. Sweden only halted compulsory sterilisation for dim Swedes in 1975, after the Paris peace accords. Except of course for transexuals. Men and women wanting sex changes in Sweden had, by law, to have their balls lopped-off or their wombs pulled out. They carried on doing this until 2012 - yes, when I was building Olympic facilities in London, Swedish versions of Caitlyn Jenner were being castrated by court order. 

So it comes as absolutely no surprise that with such a poor history of social governance, the Swedes have also screwed up massively on immigration. Maybe to make up for a dip in the population caused by their sterilising tens of thousands of their own people, Sweden decided to import economic Moslem migrants, who, as Katie Hopkins reports, now commit the same crimes over and over again;
'here we go; this is what I've handled from Monday to Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape....violence against the police, threats to police, drug crime, felony, attempted murder, rape again.

'Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, Mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, Muhammad, again, again, again. Countries representing all the crimes this week; Iraq, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia...
Of course that shouldn't be a surprise. Nor should Sweden's outright denials that anything is wrong. After all, they told the exact same lie for the whole of my youth and adolescence when they were ripping the testicles and ovaries from the poor. 

Note: Postwar Swedish fascism was far more extensive than this; for a researched source see

Thursday, 2 March 2017

A line in the sand for Europe, and another migrant Summer

No, not about the upper house doing a bit of virtue-signalling from the, uhm, somewhat damp red benches. That will be reversed. And if Farron and similar idiots really want to know how their jejune posturing looks to the 1m Brits in Europe I'd be delighted to tell him. No, this is about our old enemy, Turkey.

Erdogan is going through a democratic sham process to grant himself Franco-like powers, following the text-book route to dictatorship with the instruction "Next, pass Enabling Act". There are 1.6m Turkish citizens in Germany and 110k in Austria who can vote - and Erdogan is desperate to downplay his evil dictator persona for a liberal democrat one, so wants to extend his campaign tour to the two nations. The answer likely from both is Nein. 

Austria has simply said no. The total Turkish-origin population here is 360k, and Erdogan's visit would 'disrupt' their integration. Germany is using Turkey's arrest and detention of a Die Welt Journo, Deniz Yucel, to prevent Erdogan reaching out to the 4m Turkish-origin Germans. Both nations are likely to accommodate regime opponents, and Kurds, whom Erdogan is doing his best to slaughter. It would be like the UK hosting a State Visit for some brutal Salafist head-chopper. Oh ... I see. Sorry.

The Somalis, Ethiopians and Nigerians on the streets of Rome will no doubt be kept out of sight of the EU's unelected Nomenklatura as they meet to feast and drink this month to commemorate the Treaty of Rome, but will nonetheless serve as reminder of the hordes of migrants waiting in Libya to cross this Summer. Add to those a million more Iraqis and Afghanis in Turkey pushed over the border by a furious and petulant Erdogan denied his pretence at being a democrat, and Europe is facing an issue that puts the petty virtue signalling of our party funders retirement home back in its place. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Owen Jones must learn to weld

Although watching the Labour Party disintegrate gives a wonderful pleasure, nothing has really changed. I spent enough of my career attending those dreary trade conferences in bland 'international' hotels off the Euston Road to have met an entire cross section of the nation over stewed coffee and rubber chicken. The ones I genuinely enjoyed were those we termed, with real affection, the 'Northern bastards'. Oblivious to our soft southern conceits they would happily demand of conference executives "I'm parched here, love; be a poppet and fetch me a cup of tea, would you?". Their night out in London would involve beer and strippers. Even though they were construction managers, they were also local councillors, Labour party officials and at home were as likely to be drinking in their local 'institute' than in the golf club. By and large they were humorous, jocund and good value. They were a million miles removed from sensitive souls such as Owen Jones and the fashionable metropolitan left, but in their own way (expressed as "I don't mind poofs, me" or something similar ) were really quite liberal.

Anyway, for years now Labour has been trying to be a broad enough church to accommodate both the Northern Bastards and the London Poofs. And even though the Northern Bastards were quite good at committees, rules and procedures, the Southern Poofs were good at the media, and won. They immediately demanded that the Northern Bastards dropped 'pet' 'love' 'sweetie' and similar terms of endearment, made their own tea and flew a rainbow flag at the Durham Miners' gala.  

Even though they're no longer part of the same coherent party, both sides are still there. The Northern Bastards are still running vast swathes of local councils and the Southern Poofs the London boroughs; they still have a shedload of MPs. The problem is to come. If the Southern Poofs become a sort of rump regional far-left party, the Northern Bastards need a home. And as much as I'd like this to be UKIP, I don't think this will work. We're lacking a social democratic white van man and working men's club party, where wives make the tea and cobs for the meetings.     

My time in the North taught me several surprising things. Everyone north of Leicester, it seems, can weld. Perhaps it was taught in schools, perhaps it's a dad thing. If Labour is to survive in any form perhaps this is the answer. Little Owen Jones must go to Middlesborough and learn to weld, and in return he can show them how to open Prosecco and eat mussels or something. I can't think of anything else that would prevent there being two Labour parties.