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Saturday 4 February 2017

BBC & RT news rivalry can only benefit the public

The chap criticising RT on the Today programme declared that it was a state-sponsored national broadcaster subject to government control and which represented the views of the establishment, before pausing awkwardly for a second or two as the leaden weight of the irony filled his soul. It was, I imagine, as he glanced about him with a sinking feeling knowing where he was and who was broadcasting his opinion.  Yes, of course RT and the BBC are equivalents; of course both broadcast untruths and of course both represent the view of their controlling establishment through biased production values that no-one is advised to take at face value. 

And that is exactly why their news rivalry is of the greatest public benefit. With RT exposing the BBC's fake news and the BBC doing likewise to false RT stories, by flicking between them one can get an approximation of the reality. 

The watershed was Aleppo and the BBC's mythical White Helmets reporting from the besieged enclave. Except they weren't there. They didn't exist. No-one there had seen them, and when the final rump of rebel fighters surrendered there was no trace of them. Either they escaped to Idlib disguised as rebel fighters - hardly the behaviour of an aid organisation - or they were never there in the first place. Despite which the BBC continued to broadcast their fake accounts of life under siege until near the end, accounts in all probability originating no further from White City than Vauxhall. 

Have you heard a single mention of the White Helmets since the fall of Aleppo? It's as though the MSM has realised that the secret is out and is desperate for people to forget all the past lies. 

Back at the height of the Cold War I used to tune to Radio Moscow on a short-wave valve radio receiver whose qualities I now greatly miss; the xylophone gongs of the 'Moscow Nights' station ident before the news quavered over the ether, with an impression of great distance. The Soviet news if all was well would be predictably dull; a speech from the Agriculture Convention of the 34th Plenary of the Uzhbek Soviet, mine production output gains in Novobyersk and so on. The absence of war rhetoric was, at the time, some sort of assurance that the 4 minutes had not yet arrived. 

Now forty years on we're back in the same place - trying desperately to find the truth in the ground between the liars. 

Friday 3 February 2017

Christian crosses to stay in Austria - and Britain

Austria is going ahead with a ban on the Niqab and Burqa in public venues - places where there is an expectation that people will show their faces. I don't think this is anti-libertarian, and I apply the same policy personally; I simply refuse to hear or recognise anyone whose face I can't see, including anyone who tries to talk to me whilst wearing mirror sunglasses. They don't exist and are ignored. 

The backlash has come already in Austria, where the majority of public venues including courtrooms are graced with a Christian crucifix. Having a cross bearing Christ crucified in the judge's line of vision seems a compassionate boon to defendants, surely, as a constant reminder of love, goodness and mercy? Some judges have taken to removing them when sitting, but should I ever find myself in an Austrian court I should insist they were restored. Take every help you can. A legal attempt here (should we start terming these vexatious actions as 'Miller cases'?) to class crucifixes in the same way as Islamist head-bags* has already failed, and the crosses stay. 

We also have ubiquitous crucifixes in the UK, though somewhat more discreet.

On every police helmet, pillar box, court or government building; on every government report, paper, news release and letterhead, in and on every thing in the realm that bears an image of the sovereign's crown, we have the Christian cross. Mounted on the orb that is this world, it surmounts all - world, monarch, realm and people. And it says without any ambiguity Christus regnat!

We're not quite finished yet.

*OT but true ...
As a callow youth first in London at a time when Jim Davidson and his ilk regularly termed ill-favoured women as 'double baggers' in their acts, and the parlace of 'yeah with a bag over her head ...' was the disgraceful sexist banter of the public bar, I was nevertheless actually shocked to see a large market sign declaiming "Head bags - 2 for £10". Well I was from Suffolk, so how was I to know that 'Head' brand bags were a London fashion item? For several months I actually believed that Londoners had recourse to bespoke tailored full-length hats for their women ... 

Wednesday 1 February 2017

We must help the EU turn from self-destruction

A European customs union in which goods, services and capital can circulate freely is a pretty good idea. The power of Europe's 440m people as a trade bloc, the internal savings from lower frictional costs of trade and the spin-off advantages of a talking-shop at which representatives of the national governments meet to discuss trade matters are all powerful benefits of such a union of convenience. 

Unfortunately, what the EU has become is an unelected cabal of little men from small nations who want to be big. Maltese, Luxembourgers, Belgians and Dutch like the ability to talk on equal terms at France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Sadly, it has led to delusions - delusions that the EU can be a global superpower, and all it needs is an army to go with the flag and the anthem. Germany, the only member with the means to pay for this jejune fantasy, will only go along with it all whilst she is able to exploit the enforced poverty of all the nations of southern Europe that keeps German exports cheap. 

Tusk is one of Europe's little men who wants to be big. He is also literally a small man, with all the comedic chihuahua snappishness that comes with Small Man Syndrome. As the EU crumbles around him, all he can think of to say is "Everyone is against us. Therefore we must have even less democracy and a big army, now". Sadly, it is this sort of blind stupidity, remote from voters and the reality of democratic elections, remote from all modern reality in the make-believe Brussels bunkers, that will hasten the EU's failing. 

But it's neither in Britain's or Europe's interest to see it all crash. We must now work to turn the EU into what it should have been all along - a trade bloc that benefits its members, not a clumsy attempt at a Ruritanian world power run by the Mayor of Gozo. There's no point talking to fools such as Verhofstadt - they're all away with the fairies. We need to take a dialogue directly to the peoples of Europe's nations and plant the idea of a fundamental reformation of the EU.

Monday 30 January 2017

USA & Australia set the new standard for immigration

The majority of illegals held after trying to enter Australia are not Indonesians, Thais or Vietnamese but Iraqis, Iranians, Sudanese and Libyans. Australia's uncompromising migrant policy sees them held in camps on Nauru and Manus. They will not get in. 

Trump's measures, though they will result in many injustices for those who are true friends of America and who have the economic capacity to contribute, are no greater than the measures that Australia already has in place. Both nations now make it easier for the UK to make migration policy more targeted - excluding nationals of the 7 banned nations, but plus Pakistan and Bangladesh, from whence much of the UK terrorist threat comes.

The outcome is that Anglophone nations are now making the point that the world is not some free, open, ownerless place in which migrants hungry for wealth unavailable in their home countries can move freely en masse and without restriction . They are making the point that nations are already owned by the people that live in them and whose ancestors have fought, bled suffered and struggled to make them what they are. The message is 'Go and make your own'. The message is 'If we want you, we'll call'

The United Kingdom now has the opportunity to join two other great anchors of the Anglophone world. And despite Trudeau's words, migrants will find it a lot harder to get into Canada than they might imagine.