Cookie Notice

However, this blog is a US service and this site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse.

Thursday 21 November 2019


Possibly the most important piece of news of the day is easy to overlook. Our hero is no high profile politician or media personality, no minor royal with the emotional intelligence of a lump of mince, no virtue signalling pop star but a previously unknown 53 year old former policeman called Harry Miller. The story is featured in today's Telegraph

You will know me as a pretty laid back and socially liberal sort of blogger; if male readers choose to browse the internet dressed as Eartha Kitt or wearing outsize Victoria's Secret undergarments, I really don't care. I really, really, don't care. Being libertarian in outlook means so long as you're not harming anyone else, you can do as you like. However, I fundamentally believe that there are only two human sexes, biologically, and anything else can be classed as either make-believe or a psychological disorder. Now you may not have realised that writing that may lead to this blog entry being recorded by the police under their Hate Crime Operational Guidance (2014). Something similar led to plod banging at the door of Harry Miller -
Mr Miller, a married father of four, was investigated by Humberside Police earlier this year after a Twitter user complained that he shared a 'transphobic limerick'. Even though no crime was committed, his sharing of the limerick online was recorded as a 'hate incident' and he was described as a "suspect" in police reports, the court heard.

Mr Miller, who was previously an officer for the Humberside force, accused the police of "creating a chilling atmosphere for those who would express a gender critical position".

"The idea that a law-abiding citizen can have their name recorded against a hate incident on a crime report when there was neither hate nor crime undermines principles of justice, free expression, democracy and common sense," he said.
Mr Miller has succeeded in putting the police guidance before the courts for judicial review. The case continues. We must not only wish him every success but be ready to support the costs of an appeal should the case continue in the higher courts.

Wednesday 20 November 2019

Baying at our power and booing democracy

On 6th November I wrote a piece that included
The events are designed to show how powerful and important are the broadcasters, and how trivial our political leaders. Silly little bar stools, demeaning sets and intellectually inadequate presenters with little understanding of democracy and frequently an inability to chair either effectively or impartially the debate make the things a spectacle like those in which secret incestuous caravan-park relations are revealed before a studio audience. TV debates are all about the broadcasters.
Well, last night was absolutely everything I hate about these staged spectacles. The set was taken from a game show, the vacuous presenter would perhaps have served to interview a minor royal with the IQ of a slice of bacon but for nothing more challenging, and the audience bayed and booed. The broadcasters have yet again insulted the gravity of our democracy with jejune malice and have turned a leaders' debate during the most important election in a century into an episode of the Jeremy Kyle show.

We must ensure that this is the last time the broadcasters insult our democracy, devalue the power of our vote and belittle our electoral process. A ninety-minute studio debate without an audience chaired by Andrew Neil would serve - but this lurex spangled game show must end.

Tuesday 19 November 2019

Hong Kong - are the protesters losing support?

Am I detecting a change in temperature in support for the Hong Kong protesters? When they were waving union flags as an un-ironic symbol of freedom and metaphorically standing in front of the tanks, there was a groundswell of support for their courage and commitment to values we like to think we gifted our ex-colony.

However, things have turned ugly. Molotov cocktails and crossbows, violence directed at the police, beatings of those inclined to reason. In a week they've seemingly gone from victims to Boxers, to the extent that my sympathies have actually shifted towards the beleaguered police and even to China's (puppet?) ruler Carrie Lam, struggling both to restore control and keep the PLA out.

Or are the protesters just ramping up their response to a more aggressive and violent police tactics? In any event, this is becoming, in my perception, a shades of grey thing.

Maybe Peking has learned a thing or two since Tiananmen Square - now thirty years ago.

Monday 18 November 2019

Water, water .....

One of the upsides of having a main residence in a place in which 2m of Winter snow is not unusual and the entire landscape is trying constantly to go from 45° to horizontal is that everyone is well prepared for it. Every village has its volunteer firefighters and a pump or two (and who are now finally ditching their disconcerting WWII German coal scuttle steel helmets) and council vehicles are short, powerful, high wheelbase trucks. Consequently, the biblical deluge of the past two days is treated as serious but normal; stuff happens. As scores of roads are closed by landslips, floods and fallen trees - find alternative routes. As 200 train passengers are trapped by blocked rail lines and fallen power cables - put them up in hotels and guesthouses, now empty in the off-season. Houses flood, cellars fill with water, schools are unreachable - get the people out, send the pumps in.

As the trickling bachl at the edge of my meadows has turned into a roaring torrent I have been watching the local news carefully, as one does. Never once have I heard anyone blaming it on the government, never once have I seen exploitative interviews with tearful victims. No one cares right now whether it's climate or weather. The whole approach is incredibly stoical. It shames me to say it, but it puts the sensationalist, unbalanced and virtue-signalling whining of the UK media to shame.

In fact, the Austrians have me chuckling. Breakfast TV here is 'Good Morning, Austria!' in which the presenters take their caravan around rural Austria and interview local cake-bakers, costume makers, cider brewers, men with big moustaches and so on between serious news pieces. Today they're broadcasting from an area of the Tyrol stricken with avalanches, mudslides, floods and closed roads and they have segued seamlessly into interviewing firefighters, disaster co-ordinators and experts in making your own candles from earwax ... judge for yourself; the first three minutes are enough.

And here is a matter-of-fact information list of local closed roads, so one may plan one's journey. I'll bet SatNav hasn't caught up yet -

  • die B80, Lavamünder Straße, bei Lavamünd. Nur für PKW gibt es eine Umleitungsmöglichkeit.
  • die B81, Bleiburger Straße, in Lavamünd.
  • die B98, Millstätter Straße, bei Feld am See und zwischen Afritz und Feld am See
  • die B81, Bleiburger Straße, in Lavamünd. PKW werden örtlich umgeleitet. LKW können nur großräumig ausweichen.
  • die B85, Rosental Straße zwischen Finkenstein und Pogöriach
  • die B88, die Kleinkirchheimer Straße, zwischen Radenthein und dem Kirchheimer Graben
  • die B99, Katschberg Straße, zwischen Lieserbrücke und Trebesing, zwischen Leoben und Kremsbrücke sowie zwischen der Autobahnauffahrt Rennweg und dem Katschberg
  • die B100 Drautal Straße zwischen Greifenburg und Radlach
  • die B105, Mallnitzer Straße, auf der gesamten Strecke
  • die B106, Mölltal Straße zwischen Mühldorf und Flattach und zwischen Stall und Latzendorf
  • die B107, Großglockner Straße, zwischen Döllach und Heiligenblut und zwischen Winklern und Iselsberg
  • die B110, die Plöckenpass-Straße, zwischen Mauthen und dem Plöckenpass sowie zwischen Oberdrauburg und Kötschach
  • die B90, die Nassfeld-Straße, zwischen der B111 und Tröpolach
  • die L65, die Hochrindl Straße zwischen Ebene Reichenau und Hochrindl
  • die L26, Egger Straße zwischen Paßriach und Latschach
  • die L103, Waidischer Straße im Ortsgebiet von Ferlach und Zell Pfarre
  • die L3 Amlacher Straße in Greifenburg
  • die L5 Baldramsdorferstraße zwischen Spittal Draubrücke und Gendorf
  • die L19, Innerkremser Straße, zwischen Innerkrems und der Kremsbrücke
  • die L32, die Stockenboier Landesstraße, bei Zlan
  • die L38 Krastal Landesstraße zwischen Treffen und Puch
  • die L37, die Ferndorfer Straße, bei Ferndorf
  • die L113, die Diexer Straße, zwischen St. Ulrich und Gretschitz
  • die Apriacher Straße (Gemeinde Heiligenblut)
  • die Verbindung Winkl – Schlatten
  • und auf der Innerfaganter Straße die Zufahrt zum Mölltaler Gletscher
In der Gemeinde Mörtschach sind einige Straßen wegen Lawinengefahr gesperrt. Und zwar die Ortswege nach :
– Oberstranach
– Pirkaberg
– Rettenbach
– Stampfen West
– Asten
  • In der Gemeinde Großkirchheim sind alle Ortschaftswege gesperrt.
  • In der Gemeinde Winklern sind alle Güterwege Richtung Penzelberg, Oberzwischenbergen und Unterzwischenbergen gesperrt.
  • In der Gemeinde Rangersdorf sind alle Güterwege zu den Bergortschaften gesperrt.
  • In der Gemeinde Stall im Mölltal sind alle Straßen gesperrt.
In der Gemeinde Dellach gesperrt sind:
Nordseitig (Gailtaler Alpen)
– Stollwitzweg (mit Oberstollwitz)
– Goldbergweg (mit Hofzufahrt Obermonseller, Hofzufahrt Knaller und Hofzufahrt Rüben) Wieserbergweg (mit Gurina und Sigile/Schrocker)
– Hofzufahrt Urban
In der Gemeinde Kötschach-Mauthen:
  • Plon – Buchach
  • Lanz – Dobra
  • Vorhegg – Kreuth
  • Kreuth Ödenhütte (Maierle)
  • Sittmoos, Nischlwitz und Zufahrt Huber
  • Kosta
  • Moser – Trattenschuster Weg
  • Strenge
  • Krieghof
  • Kronhof
  • Gratzhof
  • Dolling
  • Kreuzberg zu Lamprechtbauer und Krieger
In der Gemeide Kirchbach, die Bereiche:
  • Schimanberg-Tramun
  • Staudachberg-Hochwart
  • Wassertheurerberg
  • Stöfflerberg
  • Forst-Straße
  • Kattlingberg-Lenzhofstraße
  • Rauthweg
  • Oberbuchach
  • AAW Stranig-Goderschach; Unterbuchachstraße
  • Verbindungsweg Fitschweg
  • Reißkofelbad-Straße von Grafendorf und Reisach
Wegen umgestürzter Bäume gesperrt ist:
– die B95, die Turracher Straße, zwischen Predlitz und Turrach
In Osttirol sind zahlreiche Straßen gesperrt nach dem starken Schneefall. Auch drohen immer wieder Bäume umzustürzen.
Gesperrt sind
– die Felbertauern-Mautstraße von Mittersill bis Matrei
– und die B108, die Felbertauern-Straße, zwischen Matrei und Huben (zwischen der Hofstelle „Strimitzer“ und der Brühlbrücke)
Weiters gesperrt:
– die B107, die Großglockner Straße, zwischen Iselsberg und Winklern
– die B111, die Gailtal Straße, zwischen Rauchenbach und Kartitsch
– die L24, die Virgentalstraße, von Obermauern bis Hinterbichl
– die L25, die Defereggental-Straße, von Huben bis zum Staller Sattel
– die L26, die Kalser Straße, von Huben bis zur Ködnitz-Brücke
– die L74, die Rajach Straße, im gesamten Verlauf
– die L273, die Villgratentalstraße, zwischen Heinfels und Kalkstein
– die L324, Pustertaler Höhenstraße, in mehreren Abschnitten zwischen Oberburgfrieden und Abfaltersbach
– die L325, die Tessenberger Straße, zwischen Fronstadl und Hintenburg
– die L326, die Winkeltalstraße, auf gesamter Strecke
– die L358, die St. Veiter Straße, im Bereich Frezgraben
– die L359, die Asslinger Straße, zwischen Thal und Oberassling
– und die L388, die St. Justina Straße, zwischen Mittenwald und St. Justina
– sowie sämtliche Ortsstraßen in Inner- und Außervillgraten