Friday, 1 June 2018

Remembering Ronnie

I can remember exactly where I was and what I was doing in the early hours of the morning in the UK when it was confirmed that Ronald Reagan had won the US presidency. At the time we were appalled - a 'B' movie actor, a rather stupid and vain man who dyed his hair, a man unacquainted with the complexity of realpolitik, we thought. East Anglia back then was little more than a vast USAF airfield; F4 Phantoms and A10 Thunderbolts screamed overhead at low level from dawn until dusk, the last of our own fantastic Lightnings having been retired from RAF Wattisham in 1974. The faint stench of unburnt kerosene hung in the air and on our clothes and somewhere over to the east vast Soviet tank armies and millions of jackbooted killers stood ready to steamroll over Europe headed for Southwold and Walberswick.

The fear of nuclear war was endemic and ever present. Our rural counties had ICBMs targeted at them, we knew. Members of the Royal Observer Corps, normally village postmen or somesuch, would don their berets each day after work and scuttle down into their holes in the ground, mashing-up forty feet below the fields, with the milk rota pinned up next to the expected megadeaths from various megatonnages of nuclear blasts. We were terrified that the stupid, ignorant, blundering Reagan would provoke war with Russia, that he was gambling with our young lives. 

Well, we were as wrong as were the nation's finest economists who scribbled chain letters explaining why the housewife Margaret Thatcher would be a disaster for jobs and growth. And of course we've heard it all again about President Trump. And on past form, that's why I'm less concerned about a trade war, tariffs and sanctions, mutual economic destruction and all the rest than I should be. In fact, the more that the world's economists are shrieking how dreadful it all is, the more experience tells me that it may just work, but perhaps not in the way that Mr Trump thinks it will (those US rust belt jobs will never return - but tax cuts, deregulation and fracking will compensate). Reagan never expected the wall to come down, after all. 

EU tariffs on cranberries, bourbon and denim jeans? Give me strength. BTW, preiselbeere or Lingonberry sauce is a perfect substitute for cranberry sauce - sold in big, cheap jars and also perfect with venison, I wouldn't use Bourbon to clean the sink and my denim is made in China and SE Asia by slaves. If I couldn't get hold of Dickies shirts and boots, on the other hand, that would be a disaster ..

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Tommy Robinson jailed - rightly

The British have long tried to apply injunctions, superinjunctions, gagging orders and censorship edicts to the activities of the judiciary and establishment. At the time of the Abdication, they imagined they could keep the news of the King's unlawful infidelity a secret from the nation at a time when whole column metres were devoted to reporting it not only across the Atlantic but across the Channel. As an aside, one of the great freedoms that smaller nation-states can enjoy when not part of a global or continental legal jurisdiction is popular knowledge of establishment wrong-doing. If the EU survives, I pity its poor citizens - who will have to depend on British or US sources for the truth once Brussels closes down internal free information, probably on the grounds that the wealthy and powerful have an absolute right to privacy, even when exploiting the poor, stealing from the state, subverting democracy or stuffing their mouths with gold by criminal malfeasance. We can call this the [NAME REDACTED] school of media licensing. 

It now emerges that there were not one but two Censorship Orders issued around a criminal case now being heard somewhere north of Watford. The first we have referred to below, referring to the case itself. This is still in force. The second, now withdrawn, related to the arrest of Tommy Robinson. He has subsequently pleaded guilty to contempt of court - that his activities were sub judice and risked prejudicing a fair trial for those currently in the dock. Frankly, his activities were asinine and in my view his sentence is deserved. Those inclined to protest may consider whether they would also have defended the rights of the brownshirts to smash shop windows and burn books - activities equally anti-democratic and as harmful to us all as disrupting the exercise of justice. Smashing shop windows and burning books are not 'freedom of expression' - they are acts of shameful intimidation. Our courts must be free, open and independent for all our sakes. This is why even though I am deeply suspicious of the first gagging order - censoring any mention of the case in progress, even normally permissible factual reporting - I will uphold it on this blog. 

When the trial is over we will learn the judge's reasons for imposing this restriction. If it proves to have been for sound reasons in the interests of justice, fair enough. If it proves to have been made for reasons of political expediency, or for protecting the establishment from scrutiny, then is the time to take to the streets. Until then, we must all pretend we know nothing.

As many Tommy comments as you like in the comments folks but NO mention of the case, the town, the court or the defendants that are the subject of the Censorship Order, please.

I think Guido's Monday Morning view rather cruelly makes the point;

  

Monday, 28 May 2018

EU kicks Italian can down the road

In President Mattarella, the EU has a head of state wholly committed to both the Euro and a Federast union - a safe pair of hands for the German empire. Under the Italian constitution, the President not only appoints the Head of the Council of Ministers (the PM) but must approve the appointment of the ministers. Normally a rubber stamp process, Mattarella has used this power in his first blocking move to delay the Lega / 5 star coalition from taking power.

It now looks like another election for Italy, with an EU approved technocratic government installed by Mattarella in the meanwhile. This time the EU is expected to pour in hundreds of millions in black publicity to swing the result away from the populist parties - but in the slim chance that Italian voters dig their heels in against the Germans, Mattarella has more shots in his locker to enable the EU to keep kicking the Italian can down the road for as long as possible. 

The EU Satrap President of Italy can also veto bills going before the Italian parliament, and send passed acts back for 'reconsideration' if he doesn't like them. He can also issue emergency laws by decree - though these are time limited to 60 days unless made permanent or extended by parliament. So plenty of scope to keep the can bouncing down the road for months or even years.

The only light at the end of the tunnel is Mattarella's age - he's 77. 

Sunday, 27 May 2018

[REDACTED]

Hat-tip to [REDACTED]

NB No comments that violate the Censorship Order please.



Update
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GDPR gets its revenge. Blogger can be set to email all new comments automatically - but since yesterday, no comments. I have to check blogger manually. Of course, under GDPR I actually need to consent to receive emails from my own blog to my own email addy ... this one has slipped under Google's radar, but with fines of up to 4% of t/o for such breaches no wonder they've just turned ALL blogger comment notifications off until they come up with a fix.