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Friday 19 June 2020

Sadiq Khan and Chief Dick - we're watching you

Policing a demonstration in modern times needs several things. It needs sections of coppers trained to work together, it needs a stock of fireproof overalls, helmets and protective equipment for them to wear, it needs live monitoring and surveillance of the crowds and above all it needs police managers and commanders of talent and ability.

The BLM march two weeks ago was a disaster for the Met. Officers in light summer patrol dress with soft caps faced a baying, vicious and violent mob, and turned, ran and abandoned our democratic heart to vandalism and graffiti. Command was chaotic, a counter plan unapparent. The Gold commander of that farce, whether straight or gay, male or female, black or white, must be removed from duty. We cannot pretend it was anything other than gross mismanagement.

Last week's protests were better commanded, with only two major lapses - the unmanned barriers and an open footway at King Charles St in the morning, and a failure to anticipate the clashes on the South Bank after 5pm.

Then there was the assault on the PM's car following PMQs this week. A group of more than six protesters was gathered in contravention of the law. Specifically, s.7 of the The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020,
7.—(1) During the emergency period, unless paragraph (2) applies, no person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a public or private place—

(a)outdoors, and consists of more than six persons
They were watched by a few bored plods who were watching the nice shiny cars coming out of the palace of Westminster rather the protesters around them. One of the mob ran at the PM's vehicle, there was an emergency stop and a collision. It could have been an Islamist with a sticky bomb. Fail.

Again tomorrow, thugs will gather in London to seek to break the law, vandalise and destroy the public realm and to create fear and disturbance. We expect nothing less from the Met than that they uphold the laws made by our Parliament, a Parliament we elected. We expect the Met to prevent and to disperse any illegal gatherings of more than 6. We expect the Met to enforce the provisions of the Public Order Act. We expect the Met to safeguard our democratic heart in SW1, and to prevent mob damage to our national monuments.

Sadiq Khan and Cressida Dick, the eyes of the entire nation are on you tomorrow. We're watching you. We're watching you very closely.

Unpoliced illegal gathering - Chief Dick, please note

Thursday 18 June 2020

Told ya ...

From Wednesday 6th May

I have no confidence at all that the tracing app being developed by Whitehall will work. If it's up to the abysmal standards of error, malfunction, delay and inadequacy that have characterised the rest of the actions of the Department of Health, it will collapse half an hour after release, the first week''s central data will be hacked, warning SMS messages will be sent to everyone by mistake and the bluetooth errors will destroy thousands of phones.


A great ox has stood on your tongue

I must say it cheered my heart to have the old Boris back yesterday. The effects of Covid are debilitating, enervating and sap bounce. His trouncing of Starmer at the despatch box was a delight. Starmer is a Karen, a Frinton-on-Sea litter warden, and when Boris told him a great ox had stood on his tongue when he would not answer why he's sitting on the fence over schools re-opening he, like most of the rest of us, had little idea what he meant. They don't teach that sort of thing at Essex litter-warden school. 

Classicists told us later it was a parliamentary way of saying the teaching unions had bribed Labour; in some ancient time, the coinage depicted an ox, and an ox on the tongue was someone bribed to stay silent. Glad they cleared that up.

The abolition of DfID was just the start. Anything that draws a whinge from remainiac ex-PMs has got to be good. But he's got his work cut out - the war for the State is now out in the open, and it's us against those who have captured our establishment and institutions. As Allister Heath writes in the 'graph
The drift of the past two months has allowed the Left-wing establishment to reassert itself. The BBC has appointed one of its own as its new boss; an ex-Treasury, ex-IMF, Left-wing think tanker was appointed as head of the Office for Budget Responsibility; the CBI’s new boss used to advise Gordon Brown and work for the Guardian. The only economic policy we heard about – apart from the necessary spending of hundreds of billions to cushion the economy – were “green jobs”, state-infrastructure, government this and government that. The Left-liberal elites were beginning to hope again that Boris’ project was about to fail. The EU detected weakness, crashing the talks before seeking to prolong the transition.
With Boris at the helm, we're ready for the fight. Bring it on.

Keir Starmer bust commissioned by the teachers' unions?

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Fish reality starts to sink-in

Remainer minds are remarkably resilient, and none more so than that of Jeremy Warner in the 'graph. The poor chap can simply not conceive that control of our 200 mile EEZ is more important to the nation than bankers' bonuses. Even now it takes more torque than dragging your granny away from Corrie to penetrate that kind of thinking. Again today Warner writes
If it is true that the EU is on the verge of conceding that Britain should have the same control over fishing rights as enjoyed by Norway, it seems reasonable to assume that there will be no concessions on equivalence. An economically hugely important sector is about to be sacrificed to the politics of an insignificant one.
Jeremy, sweetie, listen up.

It really is not a matter of the EU 'conceding' anything. From next year under international law the UK becomes an independent coastal state. The EU have absolutely no say in the matter, none at all. They cannot prevent it. It is a matter of immutable fact.

How has the EU managed to convince an otherwise sane and rational man against all the evidence, the law, the actuality, that they still have some sort of say over this happening? Incredible.

Bone-headed ain't in it.

And don't worry about the City. The timezone, the language, the judicial system and courts and above all the critical mass of analogous expertises in a world city of unparalleled attractions will mean dull, provincial little towns with a mime theatre and two massage parlours such as Frankfurt will never come close to being a threat.

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Could the Wuhan virus save the car industry?

Investors may not have to write off the car makers and lease networks quite yet. As the dark lid of lockdown lifts, for many people their car is becoming a mobile extension to their virus-safe home. Bugger Greta, we're driving.

No problem for those of us with no carbon conscience, but a poser for the metropolitan virtue signallers. Those smug and pious Gretists who boasted that Eurostar and TGV was the only acceptable way to get to their Provence gîte are now faced with a dilemna. Load up the disco in the dark of night and go before the neighbours are awake and face the embarrassment three week later, or set off in a visible Uber and jump into a hired disco down the road?

No one trusts flying any more, despite the assurances about the number of air changes and the efficiency of the cabin air filtration system. Too many have come away from a short hop flight with a cold or flu, and the folk appreciation of the risk is widespread.

Comfort for the virtue-signallers is already here. The 'graph has a piece explaining that those driving to the Alps (presumably written in January and held over, as it's about skiing) can still claim to be green if you game the maths a bit -
According to research by Best Foot Forward, a car with four people in it going to Méribel in France’s giant Trois Vallées would generate two-thirds of the emissions than if you had flown to Geneva.
I can suggest a further pabulum for the virtuous - "Jeremy's IBS puts him in the at-risk category, so using any form of public transport is just too risky .." or "we would go by easyjet but Mère Prépuce is 87, and she insists on cleaning the place each day and we can't risk her health". You can think of a thousand others, I expect.

And for carmakers who have almost run out of gadgets, gizmos and apps to attract buyers, here's one. A HEPA++ cabin air filtration system, with the effectiveness of an FFP2 facemask, i.e. filtering out a minimum of 94% of particles down to 0.3 microns. Your car then becomes an item of essential medical equipment .. "We would have bought an EV, but only the Vulva Sauvete P3 has the air filter we need for Tarquin .." 

Monday 15 June 2020

Biden, champion of the tech giants?

1911 was a key year for Standard Oil. It was the year the US courts decided that the company had been misusing its size and market strength to restrict and distort competition, and the company was ordered to be broken up. Hence we got Esso and Mobil instead, joined a few decades later by BP, Shell, Chevron, Gulf Oil and Texaco, the 'Seven Sisters' that dominated the world petroleum market until the 1970s. Which was of greater benefit to the consumer, monopoly or oligopoly? The arguments rumble on.

It's worthwhile looking back at some of those earliest criticisms of Standard. In the UK and in the EU, we're hearing the same noises about the US tech giants, and like the opposition to standard oil, the arguments may appear to be about economics or (today) freedom of speech, but are also very much about human mistrust of large, powerful corporations that are not subject to local or democratic control. And this is where the proffered solutions expose the supranationalists and separate them from the anti-Globalists; if you want Facebook to be subject to UK regulation in the UK, you're likely an anti-Globalist. If you want some sort of over-riding international internet authority to have jurisdiction, you're a dangerous supranationalist.

This is more than just about who regulates your gran's baby pictures on FB. If Biden beats Trump this November, a requirement to accept US hegemony in the form of the tech giants may be a cost attached to a trade deal - remember, socialism is a Globalist construct. For the EU, distaste for the tech giants is also about an endogenous dislike of what they see as transatlantic cultural imperialism. It's been a long time growing; the first time back in the '80s when I watched Die straßen von San Francisco dubbed into German in an Amsterdam hotel room you could see the way things were going. There are simply no home-grown alternatives to Netflix and Amazon Prime anywhere in the EU, and it hurts.

It may be an uncomfortable realisation for both those in the UK and the EU who dislike the power of the tech giants, but their best hope lies in Trump's re-election in November. His recent spat with Twitter brought the revocation of a clause in a 1996 US law - 'Section 230' - into view. If he does so, it would cripple the power of the tech giants - and make many on this side of the Atlantic very happy. And this may just be the only policy aspect upon which Rejoiners and Brexiteers will ever agree.

The government clearly need to refine the 2m rule. Do they really think the British people are too thick to understand a more nuanced approach? Here's my suggestion - feel free to tear holes in it.

Sunday 14 June 2020

A few hundred thugs

I watched closely yesterday the live footage transmitted from the London protests on both You Tube and Periscope, and as I know the areas of the events intimately, had a decent appreciation of the geography of protest. Here's what I saw.

The Cenotaph incursion
The area permitted for the counter-demonstration was Parliament Square and Whitehall up to King Charles St - the street that separates the Treasury and Foreign Office. There was a double row of steel barriers across the road, but the footway on the south side was left open. Those gathered at about 10am were largely the peaceful ex-servicemen and the responsible early risers. The Whitehall barriers were staffed only by two bored police officers in patrol dress engaged in deep conversation. The counter protestors used their initiative in the absence of a police presence and surged over the barriers and up the footway to gather around the Cenotaph. Non violent.

Trafalgar Square
The march from the Dorchester was sparsely attended. BLM-UK had cancelled the official march so those that went straight to Trafalgar Square were unofficial and largely peaceful protesters. I saw animated protest but no violence.

The Thugs arrive
I can only assume the thugs on both sides are late sleepers, or maybe they preferred to get stoned or intoxicated away from the main protest areas, but it was about 1pm before the snide Chinese knock-offs of Hugo Boss leisure wear (oh the multiple ironies) began to be visible at the counter-protest and the hooded Antifa-cadets in Trafalgar Square.

There followed several provocative incidents initiated by the far-right thugs. They assaulted the police on the now-defended King Charles St barrier. A small group tried to invade the BLM protest in Trafalgar Square, and were cornered and beaten. The latter incident was carefully staged and filmed by the racists, who broadcast it on social media tagged as 'innocent' counter protesters going about their lawful business being set upon by black people. It was so transparently an attempt to incite violence as to be laughable.

5 pm
As the 5pm deadline for the end of the protests arrived, the police in Trafalgar square opened up exits to Charing Cross Road and the Strand, and at about 8 minutes past, the entire square emptied peacefully and in good order up the steps to the National Gallery and then towards St Martins.

In Parliament Square, the peaceful counter-protesters and armed forces veterans also left, their stewards litter-picking the area, clearing the bottles and rubbish into bin sacks which were piled for the Council to collect. A hard core of BF/ NF / EDL / BNP far-right racist thugs remained, looking for opportunities for violence. The thug who pissed in the corner adjacent to Keith Palmer's memorial was one such.

This was an affair of the thugs of both sides seeking each other out. The BLM thugs crossed Waterloo Bridge headed for the station, the Britain First thugs Hungerford and Westminster bridges, and there were isolated violent incidents at Waterloo Station.

Patrick Hutchinson - a top bloke in so many ways - rescues a foolish man
Sadiq Khan
The events of the past two weekends, and his statements to the press, have demonstrated beyond doubt that Khan is simply unfit to be Mayor of London. A shifty little narcissist, uninspired, untalented and with an ability only to affect the standard Labour glottal stop that the comrades imagine makes them sound attractive to working people, the people of London deserve so much better. Much more on this as time goes on.

Overall, the day was one of peaceful protest, generally well managed policing with two serious lapses (the unguarded Whitehall barrier in the morning, the chaotic and responsive policing of the limited violent post-protest incidents on the South Bank) and not much to see. It was a victory for public order, and a fail for the few hundred violent thugs from both sides.