31 January 2011

UKK41 - Our loathsome political class

Yet another hat-tip to Autonomous Mind for finding and linking a passionate site. Damned if I know what UKK41 means, but it's good to hear from a member of the class that has been most comprehensively conned, cheated and betrayed by the Labour pukes - yet still votes for them in large numbers.

So, do we find some recognition that there might just be some culpability attaching to having supported trades unions and voting for a party that were all led by life-long KGB agents? Nope. It seems it all went to shit over the past 13 years, in which the Labour pukes turned their back on the proles.
The problem is that “the progressive left” appear to despise those ordinary working people it claims to want to reach out to. It hates their conservative (small c) nature. It especially despises them having a love of their families/homes/ country/religion – the ‘left’ believe that the proletariat should only have eyes for the providing “progressive left”. 

But ‘progressive’ has come to be seen as something more sinister to people such as myself; it seems to sum up the authoritarian and Orwellian past thirteen years. The progressive left have become the enemy of the conservative C2s. For ‘progressive left’ read ‘state communism’, for ‘public bodies’ read ‘party committees’, ‘raion’, or ‘guberniya’; for Miliband’s young activists read ‘Komsomol’.
We all know that Movement for Change [the Milipedes' M4C] is just a continuation of the same Common Purpose-run nonsense [this is an unusual conspiracy theory with some basis in fact - see this link] that has systematically corrupted and destroyed Britain’s public bodies. Cameron’s “Big Society” is just a carbon copy and will be heavily influenced by the same odious individuals.
All true - but all no less true when people like UKK41 were voting for the contemptible shits and furiously denouncing Thatcher for ceasing to subsidize their wretched work practices and for letting their uncompetitive industries go to the wall.

It all reads a bit like the BNP - bring back the good old days of nationalized industries, "who does what" strikes and union officials posing as defenders of the working class while robbing their members blind.

Might it be that the stench from our political class is simply the distillation of the odour from a decomposing society?

Nice one, Anna!

Anna Raccoon has spotted yet another chink in the armour of militant mediocrity:
American science has finally discovered that we smoke because of a brain defect, a genetic variation in the α5 receptor subunit of the habenulo-interpeduncular tract. Now ye righteous, you just dare to discriminate against me because of my disability – Gotcha!

30 January 2011

Why are there so many more horse's arses than there are horses?

The estimable Anna Raccoon has drawn my attention to a The Blinkered I, a new blog dedicated to the proposition (posed as a question) that "the triumph of individualism landed us with a new kind of tyranny". Since to my blinkered eye the tyranny we have appears to be one born of collective envy, cowardice and stupidity, I thought I should broaden my sadly limited horizon and read what this insightful fellow has to say.  
The state is a fact of life and one we should all get used to.[1] Let the far-right wing of the Tory party waste their time in constructing ideological models of just how much flesh can be cut from it's weary bones if they must.[2] The progressives [LOL] need to concentrating on how to resurrect [3] this much maligned enterprise, transforming it into a noble beast of burden, harnessed by law and custom,[4] piloted by the popular will,[5] fuelled by prudent and fair taxation,[ROFL] charged with championing unity through diversity [6] and protecting the social stability of the nation.[7] Does that sound utopian and idealistic? [8] Good. It was meant to. Since when was dreaming for more than you're likely to get something to be ashamed of?[9]
  1. This because some imbecile student sprayed "Smash the State" on the wall of the Foreign Office. Yet the graffito does not deny the existence of the state; it merely expresses adolescent anarchism. 
  2. This is the "straw man" logical fallacy.    
  3. Here we go with the religious imagery. It's very damned far from being dead. It employs a third of the country and consumes over half the GNP.
  4. Custom? Oh dear, there go your "progressive" credentials. Traditions are backward-looking, and we must all look forward, lest we notice that we are repeating the same ideologically-driven stupidities.
  5. Let's see now. The popular will would bring back capital punishment for adults and corporal punishment for minors, expel all immigrant criminals, leave the EU - shall I go on?
  6. Also with bringing about peace through conflict, honesty through theft, wisdom through ignorance, etc. This is 1984's INGSOC - see my masthead.
  7. Hmmm. Social stability, eh? Sounds like a lowmid frightened by social mobility to me.
  8. No, it does not sound like but is utopian socialism, the pursuit of which has invariably led to totalitarian genocide. Gotta make space for the "new man"; can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
  9. Like "Smash the State"? Children may believe in Santa Claus - adults are supposed to know that he does not exist.    

Pat Condell - soothsayer

Check out Condell's forthright videos on Islamofascism. If anyone knows if there is some way of subscribing to his output, I would be grateful if they could share the information.

Hat-tip: Muffled Vociferation

Neil O'Brien - arsehole

"Are you on the Left or the Right" asks O'Brien, director of the supposedly "new politics" Policy Exchange. For those who may be confused about the Aristotelian logical fallacy of petitio principii or begging the question, in which a conclusion is "demonstrated" by reference to premises that presuppose it, his questionnaire is a primer.

Like most such people, it is when he tries to be clever that he reveals the depths of his stupidity. Note that all the "correct" answers are the second, or right hand choice, even though most of them are definitive of the "left". The categories themselves are revealing: anyone who believes the "left" vs. "right" manichaeism has any analytical usefulness whatever is too stupid to talk to.

What the Q and presupposed A (each also illustrating false dichotomy) reveals is the smug, self-reinforcing mind-set of militant mediocrity that characterizes those who believe themselves to be "progressive". Each and every one of them reveals a brutal lack of intellectual sophistication and a brow-beating indifference to nuance.

The "clever" object of the exercise is to demonstrate the alleged gulf between "left" and "right" that Policy Exchange supposedly bridges. On the showing of this exercise, it is a ramshackle ramp going nowhere.         

Traditional social structures
1) Traditional institutions and monarchy v. Republicanism.
2) Traditional British history v. Unbiased view of our colonial past
3) Pro-family policies v. Neutral view about different types of family
4) Patriotism v. Internationalism
5) Personal responsibility v. Needs-based welfare, universal and unconditional
6) Opposition to immigration v. Anti-Racism, freedom to migrate

Traditional morality
7) Anti-gay rights, gay marriage v. Pro
8) Anti-Abortion/Pro-life v. Pro-choice
9) Anti-stem cell research v. Pro
10) Anti-Drugs v. Pro-liberalisation
11) Anti-Prostitution v.Pro-liberalisation
12) Anti-Premarital sex v. Pro
13) Anti-Euthanasia v. Pro-choice
14) Coarsening of the culture & swearing, violence and sex on TV v. anti-censorship, free expression
15) Fear of “political correctness” v. Anti-racism, anti-homophobia
16) Pro-faith schools, large role of Christianity in public life v. Secularism

A strong state
17) Tough punishment, longer prison sentences v. tackling the social causes of crime (poverty, racism)
18) Strong armed forces v. de-militarisation, disarmament
19) National security, control orders, DNA database v. Civil liberties, liberal judicial activism

Freedom from the state (freedom “from” rather than freedom “to”)
20) Fox hunting v. Hunt ban
21) Anti-nanny state, anti-“elf ‘n safety” v. Safety at work
22) Opposition to the smoking ban, anti-drink and cigarette taxes v. Public health
23) Opposition to “political correctness”, quotas, equalities legislation, v. Equality, positive discrimination, anti-racism

29 January 2011

Like anyone in the rest of the world gives a shit

William Hague declared that the Mubarak dictatorship needs to accommodate the “legitimate demands of protesters”.  In an interview for CNN, the boy Cameron said "I think what we need is reform in Egypt". "I mean", he went on "we support reform and progress in the greater strengthening of the democracy and civil rights and the rule of law."

Overawed by the blinding wisdom of these British seers, Mubarak has ordered the complete liberalization of Egyptian society, invited the Muslim Brotherhood to join his cabinet and everything will now be wonderful.

Oh - he hasn't? You mean to say a wog dictator has ignored the advice of Her Britannic Majesty's Prime Minister and her Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs? Tsk - what's the world coming to? 

Al Jaz sometimes worth reading

Interesting article by Jeremy Keenan in Al Jazeera's "In Depth" section. Can't say I've been paying much attention to North Africa because - well - I really don't give a shit. The Frogs feel threatened by it and will as always try to "europeanize" their problems; but I don't think they will succeed. Every country in Europe has its own variety of the Islamist virus to contend with.

Ours in Britain is the flood of unassimilable human detritus imported from Pakistan, Somalia and similar shit-holes by the Labour regime in the cretinous belief that they would become party clients; but that's another story.

Anyway, Keenan's article has persuaded me to follow Al Jaz again for a while, something I had given up because it contains far too much of this kind of superficial, sophomoric ranting.

I had not appreciated that the Algerian DRS (secret service) had committed the same error in the Mahgreb as the Pakistani ISI did in Afghanistan: they have created an Islamist "front" they thought they could control, and the sword has turned in their hand.

Not that I give a damn what happens to them so long as they don't blow themselves up anywhere near me, but I am amazed how secret services continue to think they can harness fanatics to their own purposes. Half the bloody Bolsheviks, including Stalin, were on the payroll of the Tsarist secret service - and look how well that worked out. 

Hat-tip Jay

28 January 2011

"Our NHS is in crisis"

Says the Lancet, voice of the medical profession.

Yeah, well, I knew that the genius of Aneurin Bevan and successors had made British consultants and GPs the highest paid for the least work and accountability in the world, and that the British medical profession severely limits the numbers admitted to med school to keep their earnings up; but I didn't think they'd be stupid enough to use a form of words that suggests the whole thing is a racket run for their convenience and benefit.

It wouldn't be so bad if the fuckers were prepared to work hard for their money - but they aren't. Lancet says they are quivering at the prospect of being given control of 80% of the NHS budget under the new Health and Social Care Act. "The emphasis will move from clinical needs (GPs' forte) back to cost (not what GPs were trained to evaluate)".

Actually, what will happen will be the same as already occurs with drugs. GP emolument is already reduced by the amount it is assumed they are getting from pharmaceutical companies for prescribing their products, and they will presumably get kick-backs from clinics and hospitals for sending patients to them.

The new act is a retrospective attempt to make GPs work harder for the massive increase in their incomes given to them by the Brown regime. It is a hell of a bad idea to set up a system which can only work if the individuals entrusted with its administration are prepared to put the general good ahead of their particular interest. It does not work, never has, never will.

27 January 2011

Gotta vote UKIP

Autonomous Mind speaks for me when he writes "Put the faux Conservative party out of its [our?] misery". Since its idea of modernising is Labour-lite, then it serves no useful function and should be given an indecent burial.

With regard to the antics of UKIP's leading figures, we must hope that a massive increase in their vote will force them to sober up. The prospect of exercising power does that: look at the LibDems, desperately trying to grow into the big boys' clothing unexpectedly thrust upon them.

P.S. Must have been in the air. See Ed West's article in the Telegraph and links.

Steve Richards: Balls-licker (new category)

Reading Steve Richards' "My View" in the Independent's new 20p paper, it struck me that I have not paid enough attention to the journopukes doing such a good job of smoke-screening the extent of the catastrophe that was the Labour regime of 1997-2010, and in particular its final manifestation, stripped of Blair's glib charm, under the Psycho Cyclops and his tape-worm Balls.

The best analogy that occurs to me is the unsavoury service that the most raddled and debased junkie whores used to offer passers-by in the vicinity of Kings Cross.

Richards' comments on Osborne seem fair enough - in opposition he was a weathercock - as are they all when in opposition. He says nothing about Osborne's actions as chancellor other than to repeat the tired Brownite trope about "cuts on an unprecedented scale" which have neither been announced nor implemented. Returning spending to 2007 levels by restraining increases irresponsibly set in motion by the Labour pukes cannot be called "unprecedented" except by the deliberate exercise of maliciously bad faith.

But when it comes to Balls, Richards puckers up, hollows his cheeks and does the Dyson:
Balls is most formidable as an economist who applies policy making to the daunting demands of political context. 
WTF does that mean? It seems to skate around the obvious fact that Balls has always and will always perceive policy making as a means to score points in the Westminster game of pat-a-cake; but actually it is meaningless. "Richards is most pitiful as a journopuke who applies his limited skill as a wordsmith to the daunting demands of presenting a turd as a diamond in the rough".

Then Richards puffs his book, which apparently highlights how Balls worked on the policy detail that restored the Labour pukes credibility on the economy. Well, no. Balls and Brown lied like flatfish to conceal the fact that their policies were the same old tax, borrow and spend, with the entirely predictable outcome that Richards cannot bring himself to admit.  
After acquiring [1] a stable macro-economic framework, Labour acquired [1] space to invest more in public services and retain [2] the support of enough voters to win elections, a rare combination and one that currently eludes left of centre parties around the Western world.[3]
1. Acquiring? Inheriting from the despised Major government, you dishonest little shit.

2. Nobody ever lost votes by "investing" in give-aways. You can bribe some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but the money eventually runs out.

3. And will always elude them, as they deal only in crowd-pleasing redistribution and neither know nor care how wealth is created.

Quote of the Day - Jon Holbrook

From Spiked, which is getting better all the time: 
Civil liberties and human rights have different qualities. Civil liberties are directed at curtailing the state’s power, whereas human-rights claims invariably seek to invoke more state power. Civil liberties aim to protect individual freedom, whereas human-rights claims invariably aim to regulate human behaviour. Civil liberties are premised on a belief in human rationality, whereas a human-rights culture and the legal regulation that flows from it are invariably premised on the belief that individuals are vulnerable and not resourceful.

The Mash - ya gotta love 'em

"Celebrities still think they deserve privacy" reports the Daily Mash.
As the investigation into phone hacking by the News of the World reopened, dozens of celebrities stepped up their case against the tabloid for intercepting the private information they had chosen not to use for promoting their latest piece of shit.
On the psycho cyclops Brown trying to get in on the act:
If some prick thinks he should be allowed to exert authority over me and spend my money, then I want him wearing a microphone 24 hours a day. I want probes drilled into his head so I can see his fucking dreams. You can have privacy or you can sit in your fancy office in Whitehall thinking you're the big man. But you can't have both.
Right on, lads. Fuck 'em all.

You couldn't make it up - exterminator in Downing Street

The pied piper of Downing Street: Ratcatcher called in to rid No.10 of vermin who made it on to News At Ten

Thus the Daily Mail headline. How many of the sub-humans inhabiting that street do you think will survive?

P.S. It just keeps getting better. Thus the Washington Post:
Rats are a common nuisance in London, where rubbish scattered on sidewalks provides a constant supply of food. Britain's National Pest Technicians Association said callouts of specialists to deal with unwanted rats in the capital were up 40 percent. Last year, performers in the city's entertainment district complained that vermin were frequently spotted back stage at theaters.

26 January 2011

Soothscribe O'Neill once more

From his article "The Palestine Papers: fact and fiction" in Spiked today:
The fuss over the Palestine Papers brilliantly reveals why leaked information is not the best tool for making sense of political affairs. The startled reaction to the papers suggests that our increasingly leak-reliant world is also a profoundly unquestioning place, zapped of critical thinking, where journalists wait around for revelations from on high to inform them of things they could easily have found out for themselves. The cult of leaking neuters journalists’ critical faculties, making them the passive recipients of info rather than hunters for truth.
Well - duh - yeah. But it's not an "increasingly leak-reliant world" - it's a totally leak-reliant British MSM, which has been bereft of investigative journalism and critical thinking for decades.

Brave journalists risk their lives to uncover the truth in many parts of the world - but not in the birthplace of freedom of speech, where the most they can lose is the pathetic pensions for which they, along with the entire state sector, have sold their souls.

Cameron and Obsborne have blown it

There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3

So also are nations sometimes offered a golden opportunity to change course. There was one such moment in 1979, when the bankruptcy of tax, borrow and spend had become apparent to all except the Labour party's suborned tribal voters. As we know, that opportunity was seized by a principled woman in the teeth of opposition from the Heathite castrati of her party and for a few decades Britain ceased to be the sick man of Europe and an international laughing stock.

Another came last year, but the capons who now run the Conservative party have not merely let the opportunity slip - they have thrown it away quite deliberately. Today's editorial in Critical Reaction states what has been obvious to me since before the last general election: Cameron is the new Heath, and thanks to his moral cowardice and unfitness for high office we will get the Labour pukes back in a few years time to complete the destruction of the nation.
Whatever a screaming 0.5% contraction in the economy might be due to, it hasn’t been as a result of George Osborne’s slash n’ burn - for he hasn’t. He claimed in opposition massively stringent measures would be needed, but the self-styled ‘political’ politician neglected to start making these genuinely hard choices last May, his one true moment to do so.
While it’s characteristic of Tory modernisers to announce what their tactics are as they engage in them, it’s also equally characteristic that these tactics don’t work. If the public are going to believe in cuts – if ever they actually happen – they have above all else to believe that the government believes in them. They are never going to do so for as long as a spin-obsessed Prime Minister and Chancellor think that it is smart politics to run away from ‘little, noisy fights’. Those are precisely the fights where the government needed to stand its ground if ever it was going to convince the electorate of its wider sincerity.
Public sector borrowing is greater than Brown’s at his most expansive, with November’s figures being the worst ever in British history. Ed Balls’ secret weapon in making the case against ‘Tory cuts’ is not the cuts themselves, but the fact that Cameron and Osborne haven’t had the courage to make them. That case is even harder to make now, and we can have even less confidence that this pair will make it.

25 January 2011

NHS blog to follow

Recommend checking out Militant Medical Nurse before making any customer comments about treatment in the NHS. Occurs to me that my foul experience at the Lister was on a medical ward and my excellent treatment at the QE II was on a surgical ward, which makes the linked post highly relevant.

But that still does not excuse the Lister ultrasound unit for missing two one-inch stones in my gall bladder.

24 January 2011

Rod Liddle - tsk, tsk

Purple prose from Liddle on Blair. Sod the legalities, he says, Blair's real crime was:
. . . a separate issue, upon which Blair is terribly culpable; more terribly culpable than any PM before or since.[1] We know for sure now and had indications at the time that Blair’s reasons for taking our country to war were not those which he deemed to share with the country or with parliament. [2] They were not shared because he was well aware that neither public nor parliamentary opinion would go along with him. And in attempting to convince the public of Saddam’s ownership of WMD he misled parliament, misled the public and pressurised, perverted or twisted every institution which might have acted as a check upon his messianic determination to wage war.[3] This included the select committees, the civil service, the security services, the government scientists and even in the end the BBC. Cabinet was ignored. As John Denham put it at the time, Blair demanded evidence of WMD regardless or not of whether WMD existed. This is incontestable; it is the subtext of all those Blair year diaries produced by the either supine, or in Alastair Campbell’s case, conniving, former members of the administration. I do not think it is stretching it to suggest that this was the closest Britain has come to totalitarianism.[4] Regardless or not of whether we were right to have invaded Iraq, we were lied to, repeatedly and the processes corrupted.
1. Ludicrous hyperbole. Judged by the consequences, Asquith and the secret agreement with France that led to Britain declaring war in 1914 makes Blair's commitment to Bush seem a minor lapse.

2. Untrue. He made his moral position perfectly clear long before cooking up the WMD subterfuge. He also explicitly stated that he regarded the USA as the only hope of realizing his hopes for a better world.

3. Not limited to the Iraq war. It was under Blair, not Brown, that England's ancient liberties were fatally undermined, applauded by such Labour party "moderates" as the cuckold Alan Johnson and absolutely NOT denounced with appropriate vehemence by the journopukes of Britain.

4. What makes Liddle think the danger is past? Our whole society has become corrupted, and a people without virtue not only cannot be, but does not deserve to be, free.

Juan Manuel Barroso - arsehole extraordinaire and bar

Missed this great article last week by the great Ambrose E-P. The unspeakable Barroso now says: 
The problems of Ireland were created by irresponsible financial behaviour of financial institutions and a lack of supervision in the Irish market. It was not Europe that created this fiscally irresponsible situation and this financially irresponsible behaviour. Europe is now part of the solution.
In December 2007 in their Stability Update Report of December 2007, Barroso’s staff identified risks but agreed with the IMF report of September 2007 that Ireland was “operating responsible fiscal policy”. As Ambrose says:
It is true that Ireland’s regulators made an utter hash of things. But could the Irish have avoided a destructive bubble? The parallel story in Spain suggests otherwise. The Bank of Spain was one of the best run central banks in the world, the pioneer of “dynamic provisioning”, yet even it could not contain the effects of an interest rate and currency regime that was so far out of kilter. The serial disasters across the EMU periphery cannot simply be blamed on the victims.
But they will be for as long as Germany cracks the whip and the EU oligarchy jumps through hoops without regard for truth, logic or common decency. 

Mark Steyn - soothscribe

Recommend you read "Dependence Day" for as comprehensive an "as others see us" as you will encounter. Key comments:

To almost all members of Britain’s governing elite, quoting Churchill approvingly only confirms that you’re an extremist lunatic. 

“Anti-fascism” now means attacking the British Empire, which stood alone against fascism in that critical year between the fall of France and Germany’s invasion of Russia. And it’s even sadder to have to point out the most obvious fatuity in those “anti-fascist groups” litany of evil - “the British Empire’s association with slavery.” The British Empire’s principal association with slavery is that it abolished it.*

In cutting off two generations of students from their cultural inheritance, the British state has engaged in what we will one day come to see as a form of child abuse, one that puts a huge question mark over the future. Why be surprised that legions of British Muslims sign up for the Taliban? These are young men who went to school in Luton and West Bromwich and learned nothing of their country of nominal citizenship other than that it’s responsible for racism, imperialism, colonialism, and all the other bad -isms of the world. If that’s all you knew of Britain, why would you feel any allegiance to Queen and country?

Read it all - you won't find a more succinct summary.

*For those inclined to quibble, check out Lord Chief Justice Mansfield's reluctant ruling in R v Knowles, ex parte Somersett (1772). Mansfield was a racist, but he was first and foremost a jurist - and he found no basis in English Common Law for the state of slavery. End of. The home of the brave and the land of the free rebelled 4 years later and did not get around to declaring slavery illegal for another 90 years.

David Kahane - who says the Septics don't do irony?

Agreeing to Be Agreeable
We could all just get along if only you would shut up.

His Exalted Majesty Barack Hussein Obama II, Lord of the Flies, Keeper of the Hoops, and Protector of the Holy Cities of Honolulu and Chicago, is right. It’s time for a new tone. A kinder, gentler tone, just like the one Daddy Bush was talking about right around the time he tried to upend Saddam Hussein back in the day. A tone of sweet reasonableness, of civility in the way we interact with each other, an Athenian level discourse that would make Pericles proud.

If only you bastards would let us do it.

I’m talking about a whole new way to look at political speech, one that combines First Amendment protections - which of course we could not possibly respect more - with a living-and-breathing constitutional view that above all prizes personal responsibility for public utterances, lest some wingnut loon or right-wing goon be driven into a homicidal fit of rage by Sarah Palin’s recipe for moose stew.

In other words, shut the hell up.

Yes, my brothers and sisters in Gaia, we men of the Left are hereby calling on you to police yourselves, beginning with the penumbrically emanating thoughts that originate within your brains (if you can call them “brains” - we need to see your advanced degrees from Columbia and Harvard). For we are so exquisitely sensitive that the pitiful waves of what you call ratiocination fly directly from your frontal lobes to Paul Krugman’s ears, driving the poor man to fits at the typewriter. Even if, mercifully, we can’t hear you, we know that you’re “thinking” and, worse, we know exactly what you’re thinking.

You miserable sodding savages.

You see, my beloved amigos across the aisle, we’ve got you all sussed out. We understand, far better than you, what animates you. We sense the dark and stormy nights of your souls, your inchoate, racist agita over our First Black President, your love of corporate plutocrats and your sheer loathing for the Little Guy, whom you would like to see ripped to pieces by the Thracian women, rent asunder by rabid weasels and forced to read Atlas Shrugged in its entirety, including the John Galt speech. We know you secretly root for Gradgrind and Naptha, whereas we are partial to Mrs. Jellyby and Settembrini. Or maybe it’s the other way around, whatever; in the Berghof that is the Hollywood Hills, even us A-list writers only read coverage, Cliff’s Notes, and Wikipedia.

You, of course, can’t read at all, which is why you’re so easily swayed by the simpleton musings of Sarah Palin, who is a bona fide moron and a blithering idiot who can’t tell crosshairs from surveyor’s marks.

We, on the other hand, are motivated by one of the highest values in our values canon, compassion. Right up there with Fairness and Tolerance, Compassion is, as you know, the thing that makes us feel really, really comfortable with ourselves; after all, living in Brentwood and Beverly Hills, we don’t have many opportunities to exhibit compassion in our daily lives, except when some sonofabitch blocks us from making the left-turn light at Wilshire and Santa Monica and we just smile and wave. I encounter dozens of compassionate opportunities every day, including the homeless undocumented immigrants coagulating down by the taco stands on Sunset, but I pass them by in favor of a more nuanced, abstract compassion. Call it dispassionate compassion since, like the great Martha Gellhorn, I love humanity - it’s just people I can’t stand.

And so it goes on. Wonderful. Read in full here. The punch-paragraphs:

But no - you knuckle-dragging troglodytes resist us at every turn, and have the temerity to actually fight back when we assault you. We pinch and poke and prod and provoke, and when you’ve finally reached the end of your ropes and fight back, we scream bloody murder at your lack of civility. Heads we win, tails you lose!

And that’s why we need civility. Because America is too fragile to support two schools of thought. Competition leads to disagreement and disagreement leads to disagreeableness and since everything we learned, we learned in kindergarten, there is nothing worse than disagreeableness.

Breathless Bitchy Boys Bulletin

For immediate release

BBC Trust alert: Trust approves new online strategy for the BBC

The BBC Trust has today announced its approval of a new strategy for the BBC’s online output. The strategy will involve a reduction in the budget of 25 per cent, clearer editorial boundaries and more distinctive content.

It will simplify the navigation around five main product groupings:
• news, sport and weather
• iPlayer and TV
• radio and music
• children’s
• learning and knowledge

The Trust has tested the Executive’s proposals for Online against the BBC’s overall new strategy, ‘Putting Quality First’, the final conclusions of which were published last December. It is satisfied that the proposals deliver on the four strategic objectives of increasing distinctiveness and quality, improving value for money, setting new standards of openness and transparency and doing more to serve all audiences.

There really is no need to comment on this horse-shit. But surely, even the autoproctological Bitchy Boys should have spotted the utter stupidity of suggesting the question: what were they previously putting first?

22 January 2011

Blair tells it like it is

Crap. My flock of bêtes noires is shrinking. Here's Blair making the case for combating Islamofascism and to shed the post-colonial guilt that has left the West so supine. Shame he wasn't so forthright or eloquent when he was in power. Strange the Bitchy Boys didn't report it . . .

Hat-tip: Archbishop Cranmer

De Gaulle bladder

Well, to put it mildly things did not go as confidently expected by my surgical team. Basing their diagnosis on a sonogram performed at the abject Lister Hospital, on the absence of local pain under the right rib-cage and the fact that my temperature was normal, they made the three perforations for a laparoscopic extraction and found themselves in an unimagined world of woe.

The sonogram had found one 3mm stone and a lot of "sludge". In fact I had two stones, each 2-3cm, which had blocked the outlet from the GB for many years, causing a long-term, chronic inflammation. The surrounding area cavity was full of aged bile mixed with pus arising from the fact that the GB had become gangrenous. So 48 hours stretched into a week in hospital, made pleasant by excellent nursing care.

Here's to you, the nurses of Codicote Ward, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital, Welwyn Garden City. Thank you from the heart, even though you have now made it morally impossible for me to snipe at the NHS. You, and you alone make it work. 

I was unable to elicit any medical opinion on how the hell I could have been nurturing such an advanced pathology without chronic, disabling pain and a fever. "Oh, you must have a very high tolerance for pain", they said. While true, I am still very aware of the pain that I learned to tolerate before having two broken discs taken out of my lower back, and having both hips replaced. The point is - I felt only occasional twinges that I thought were indigestion over the past few years, and none at all since I went on a low fat diet seven months ago.

So it was open him up and let's get some elbow-room. Stones removed and given to me in a flask, but adhesions and generalized swelling made it impossible to remove the remains of the GB. So they closed me up leaving a drain in my side that will remain there for the next 2-3 months until they can get a clear view of the liver-GB duct and seal it off.

Many thanks to well-wishers on-line and to those of you who battled through the permanently busy ward telephone to ask after me. I am deeply touched.

Harriers' farewell to the British government

The last Harrier fly-by over the Houses of Parliament. You have squint a bit to read their sincere message to our honest, competent, hard-working and deeply respected rulers.

Hat-tip: Roger Bell

12 January 2011

Gall bladder extraction tomorrow

Scheduled for tomorrow morning at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, which I chose after a frighteningly awful experience at the nearer Lister Hospital, midway between Hitchin and Stevenage.

My contrasting experience of the QE II is of really first class staff, and of the cheerful hum of large numbers of patients being handled with humane competence. So of course the NHS is going to shut the QE II to leave the already no less over-crowded Lister as the sole area hospital. 

I'll never enter it again while conscious. I will trek back to Addenbrooke's even if I have an ingrowing toenail.

Seems they blow you up with CO2 (oooh - global warming) and make three perforations for: 1) optic fibre; 2) laser cutter; 3) extraction of excised bile-sac. Presumably one also deflates through the latter. Wanted a local to be able to watch, but the idea was met with polite derision. If all goes well, home the day after.

CU then.

Raedwald, with regret

"Banks are a bigger threat than socialists", blogs the robust boat-dweller. Oh dear - false dichotomy, old son. Not to mention a smattering of formal, propositional, quantificational and syllogistic logical fallacies in the body of the blog, linking hands to form dense nests of ideologically-driven irrationality. 
. . .the duty of society's institutions should be to serve the interests of that society, based on the unit of the family, on horizontal ties that bind family, neighbourhood and community, on Burke's 'little platoons', those local institutions that give us belonging.
Bullshit. Banks are not "society's institutions" - they are commercial entities whose obligations are to make money for their share-holders within the law. It was society's institutions, to wit elected governments and their regulatory bodies, which contumaciously failed to define and enforce laws to oblige the banks to serve the greater interest of the societies within which they operate.

And it is those same institutions, desperate for revenue, that have reversed the equation and put the resources of society unconditionally at the disposal of the banks. Here is Raedwald's premise:
Socialism is no longer the greatest threat to this nation; the banks are. They support central Statism, because this is the system that suits their interests best. They support the EU, because trans-national governance is in their interests. They favour central economic planning, a high State stake in the economy, and the levers of economic control through tax and investment being manipulated at national level. They are, in other words, profoundly anti-Localist and a profound obstacle to subsidiarity.
All of it questionable in whole or in part - but it's his premise so let's go with it. So what does he argue constitutes an alternative? Why - Corporativism, the Catholic alternative to socialism AND economic liberalism developed under the aegis of Pope Leo XIII. This is the ideology of all Christian Democrat parties and the organizing principle of the EU, which ticks every single one of the above-enumerated boxes.

Raedwald is particularly enamoured of the late Victorian Roman Catholic author G.K. Chesterton:
Chesterton's beliefs were based on profoundly Christian, and specifically Catholic doctrine. His was the age in which not only did Rerum Novarum [1891] (frequently featured on this blog) condemn Socialism as anti-Christian, but likewise condemned unconstrained corporate capitalism, in Quadragesimo Anno [1931]; "Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do" and "every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them".
Now, since they lack the magic words "I declare, decree and define", those encyclicals are not covered by the doctrine of papal infallibility (when speaking ex cathedra) proclaimed in 1870 under Leo XIII's immediate predecessor, Pius IX. Just as well, because Corporativism has proved to be as much a charter for bureaucratic oligarchy, political corruption and social stagnation as Marxism.

Raedwald's target appears to be the international financial system, of which banks play a large but by no means definitive role. The big issue now is how to bring China's enormous surpluses into play, without which the global economy is not going to recover. Like it or not, only the world's banks are capable of handling the massive amounts of money involved.   

In politics, the core question is NEVER what should we do. It is ALWAYS what can we do, given what we have to work with. Currently, what policy-makers have to work with are the banks. Full stop. No alternative.

So people should stop yapping about how banks do not, of their own free will, act for the greater good (although there is a strong case that they do, regardless), and try to work out how to make them to do so without driving them to other, more accommodating jurisdictions.  

11 January 2011

Falklands - British diplomacy triumphs again

The Foreign Office has confirmed that Brazil has denied diplomatic clearance to dock at Rio de Janeiro to the RN Falklands protection ship HMS Clyde, despite the defence cooperation treaty signed with the Brazilian navy in September 2010.

That was the same month the Type 42 destroyer HMS Gloucester was refused permission to dock in Montevideo, explicitly to register Uruguay's solidarity with the Argentine claim on the Falkland Islands.

The refusal to permit HMS Clyde to dock in Rio was without a doubt a similar act of solidarity with the recently widowed, ultra-nationalist Argentine President Cristina Fernández by the new Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, previously a Castroite guerrilla.

When signing the defence agreement, British Minister for International Security Strategy Gerald Howarth described the UK and Brazil as "old and trusted friends" and said the treaty would mark a "new dawn" in defence relations between the two countries.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: ""Brazil did not grant diplomatic clearance this time. We respect Brazil's right to make such a decision. We have a close relationship with Brazil. The UK-Brazil defence cooperation treaty signed last September is a good example of our current strong links."

In other words, let's not put our relations with Brazil at risk for those miserable islanders who have so stubbornly resisted all our efforts to sell them out to Argentina. Ha ha! This time we've got 'em.

On a closely related theme, see Sharkey's World on the French aircraft carrier that is supposed to provide air cover for our fleet while we bugger around with our naval air capability. If there is one thing more sure than that the Foreign Office is determined to prove it was right pre-1982, it is that the MoD wants to get shot of its commitment to defend the islands.

Bingo! We don't have the capability anymore. Just like we damned nearly didn't in 1982. If the Argentines had waited another year they could have walked in and all the British could have done was bleat ineffectually to the UN. See my 2006 book Razor's Edge: the Unofficial History of the Falklands War.

The Argentines have a word for our diplomats - vendepatrias. The personnel has changed, but it's the same game plan; and this time, oh joy!, the Americans won't back us, as both The One and Clinton have made clear.

Job done, you sneaky, cowardly, shameless sons of bitches.

P.S. Look out for leaks from the Foreign Office about how they warned the government this would happen if it persisted in upholding British sovereignty and licensed oil exploration off the Falklands.

10 January 2011

Shooting politicians

Gabrielle Giffords appears to be a hard-working, thoughtful and honest member of Congress - and she's an attractive woman, which is not supposed to make any difference but does. Nonetheless she is alive and six others, including nine year-old Christina Green, are dead.

Hilary Clinton has chosen to equate the shooting of Giffords with the 9/11 holocaust, and the leftist media on both sides of the Atlantic is tying itself in knots trying to blame it on Sarah Palin. Was Palin, who knowingly bore a Down's Syndrome baby because of her reverence for life, also responsible for the murder of Christina Green?

Here's a list by Michelle Malkin of murderous rhetoric directed at Palin and others of her political views by those who now claim to be shocked, shocked that a Palin graphic dared to put a target on Giffords' district as one her followers might be able to swing away from the Democratic party.

Getting elected does not make you any better than you were before. I have no idea what sort of a person Giffords was, but I do know that Christina Green never had a chance to find out what sort of person she could be, and that hers is by any measure the greater loss.

I think the manner in which the incident has been politicized, and the immediate consigning of the dead to a foot-note by the US press and and politicians, tells us a lot more about what is rotten in that country than the shooting itself.  

Thought for today from George Orwell's "1984"

The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past, in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

EU press releases regurgitated

On Sunday the Independent reported that the EU is "considering" a £1bn fund to set up plants to use greenhouse gas to help recover North Sea oil, which, the report says, could extend their productive life by 50 years and "add £60bn to UK coffers".

If it were commercially viable, the oil companies would be doing it already. Sounds like a subsidy to me. 

The Sunday Times (£) reported that UK railway companies may face an investigation by the European Commission over the dumping of lavatory waste on the tracks and in railway stations.

Yeah well - that's a door the Eurocrats could not push open if ours were a competently governed country.
Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Siôn Simon - arsehole of the week

This turkey was Film Minister in the Brown regime. Now, I do not read Labour Uncut because I consider socialists too stupid to talk to, plus I got tired of dumping them in the "Culi Emeritus Causa" bin because it involved reading their drivel and commenting on it, and shooting fish in a barrel is boring.

But someone sent me a link to Simon's review of The King's Speech, in which he does such a number on himself as to require no comment from me. The presumably left-of-centre readers of Labour Uncut felt otherwise, and their comments disembowel the pompous little prat with admirable thoroughness.

Read 'em and laugh.

Hat-tip Scott

Heir of Blair

Given that he was one of the few who shared my bleak evaluation of  Michael Howard's muppet long before he squeezed into 10 Downing Street through the back door, Autonomous Mind shows magnanimity in urging us to pity the foolish trusting souls who believed that "call me Dave" would keep any of his "cast iron" promises. The following description might as easily have been written of Cameron's predecessor but one.
He just seemed so . . . sincere. The narrowed eyes, the tightened lips, the determined set of his jaw. The recognition of the urgent need to act to put right so much of what was wrong. He knew what we wanted, what the country needed, and he told us he would deliver it. His promises of change gave us hope.
Enter Red Cloud, the war chief who actually halted US invasion of Lakota tribal lands for a while after the Civil War, but who - unlike Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse - realized his people must make the best deal they could in the face of the unstoppable white tide.
They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they never kept but one: they promised to take our land, and they took it.
To bring that up to date:
Cameron made us many promises, more than we can remember, but he has kept only one: he promised to be the heir of Blair - and he is.

9 January 2011

Austrian parliamentarian refuses to eat Islamic shit

If any Brit politician dared to speak this honestly and clearly his party would disown him amid shrieks of outrage from the Bitchy Boys and the Foreign Office.

Just how deeply are we in it?

No bottom that Ambrose Evans-Pritchard can detect. He is the only Anglo journo who combines deep erudition, wide life experience, courage (he was one of only two journos to risk his life to visit the Contras in Nicaragua) and an uncompromising commitment to the truth (see The Secret Life of Bill Clinton, which got him informally PNG'd from Washington).

So, I tend to pay a lot of attention to what he writes. And what he writes in today's Telegraph makes very grim reading, not least because it eschews facile political partisanship. He argues that "the US is drifting from a financial crisis to a deeper and more insidious social crisis".
The numbers of people on food stamps have reached 43.2 million, an all time-high of 14 percent of the population. Recipients receive debit cards - not stamps - currently worth about $140 a month under President Obama’s stimulus package. The US Conference of Mayors said visits to soup kitchens are up 24 percent this year. There are 643,000 people needing shelter each night.

Jobs data released on Friday was again shocking. The only the reason that headline unemployment fell from 9.7 percent to 9.4 percent was that so many people dropped out of the system altogether. The actual number of jobs contracted by 260,000 to 153,690,000. The “labour participation rate” for working-age men over 20 dropped to 73.6 percent, the lowest the since the data series began in 1948. My guess is that this figure exceeds the average for the Great Depression (minus the cruellest year of 1932).
The Gini Coefficient used to measure income inequality has risen from the mid-30s to 46.8 over the last quarter century, touching the same extremes reached in the Roaring Twenties just before the Slump. It has also been ratcheting up in Britain and Europe.

Raghuram Rajan, the IMF’s former chief economist, argues that the subprime debt build-up was an attempt – “whether carefully planned or the path of least resistance” – to disguise stagnating incomes and to buy off the poor. “The inevitable bill could be postponed into the future. Cynical as it might seem, easy credit has been used throughout history as a palliative by governments that are unable to address the deeper anxieties of the middle class directly,” he said.
But then he gets weird on me:
There is no easy solution to creeping depression in America and swathes of the Old World. A Keynesian `New Deal’ of borrowing on the bond markets to build roads, bridges, solar farms, or nuclear power stations to soak up the army of unemployed is not a credible option in our new age of sovereign debt jitters. The fiscal card is played out.

So we limp on, with very large numbers of people in the West trapped on the wrong side of globalization, and nobody doing much about it. Would Franklin Roosevelt have tolerated such a lamentable state of affairs, or would he have ripped up and reshaped the global system until it answered the needs of his citizens?
For God's sake - FDR's New Deal did not end the Great Depression in the US: the massive stimulus and forced saving and investment of World War II did that, along with some very shrewd management of the US economy to prevent the vast increase in liquidity triggering out of control inflation once wage and price controls were relaxed after the war.

If even the great Ambrose E-P is looking to a mythical past for a precedent that may salvage the present, we're deeper in it than I thought - and that is really, really deep.

Hague - read him and weep

If it amuses you to read processed, mendacious crap have a look at his article in the Telegrap blog.
I would have dearly loved to hold a referendum on that treaty after a change of government: sadly the ratification of Lisbon by all 27 EU states last autumn made that impossible. But I have always been determined that this flagrant denial of democratic choice to the people of Britain would never happen again.
No you wouldn't, you lying sack of shit. All of you top Tory weenies were delighted that Brown forced it through on a Commons vote. The last thing in the world you want is a referendum on any aspect of the EU because you know damned well it would produce a result of outright rejection.

Plus it would split your excuse for a party and you'd lose office - that's what really matters to you, isn't it? 

Matt Ridley - always on the nail

From The Rational Optimist
Half of the biggest American companies of 1980 have now disappeared by takeover or bankruptcy; half of today's biggest companies did not even exist in 1980. The same is not true of government monopolies: the Internal Revenue Service and the National Health Service will not die, however much incomptence they might display. Yet most anti-corporate activists have faith in the good will of the leviathans that can force you to do business with them, but are suspicious of the behemoths that have to beg for your business. I find that odd.
Hat-tip Johnathan Pearce, who adds:
After having read and watched anti-business folk for years now, I don't perhaps find this attitude as odd as Ridley does. The hatred of business is, in my view, a product of centuries of crappy, anti-reason philosophy and a fear of freedom that this has generated.

The Tories get their mojo back

Whoopee! Rural drunkenness and adultery - expenses cheat Nadine Dorries - grabbing hold of a rich prick - expenses cheat Nadine Dorries - betrayal of friendship - expenses cheat Nadine Dorries - my constituents will vote for me whatever I do because "everybody does it" - expenses cheat Nadine Dorries.

So very, very much to loathe about the Conservative party. So little left to like. Dear God, I can see the totalitarians waltzing back into power in four years time on the same wave of visceral revulsion as in 1997.

Why "moderates" suck

I am increasingly inclined to believe that "moderate" should rank alongside "progressive" as a term of contempt. Reading the estimable Anna Raccoon's list of five Saturday Evening Posts Worth Reading, all by bloggers previously unknown to me, I encountered the following.

From Simon Cooke, a Tory Councillor, blogging as The View from Cullingworth:
I hold no brief for Sarah Palin's politics - although I don't share some folk's irrational and violent hatred of her - and think that the cause of liberty is held back by those like her (and sadly too many her left-wing opponents) who combine it with judgmental bigotry. But I do not see in her campaigns any incitement to violence or any corrupting of America's democratic discourse.
The opposite of judgmental is having no judgment, arsehole. Repeating the "bigotry" charge thrown at anyone who disagrees with them by US "progressives" proves that you, sir, have none.

From Syniadau, whose dream of an independent Wales I heartily support, but who lumps David Davies with Jack Straw, showing that he has not even conducted cursory research of the two men:
To me it appears that there is seam of political opinion in which politicians think they can keep pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable, pandering to the anti-Muslim feeling they presume must exist in the minds of potential voters ... an impression it is all too easy to get by taking the more rabid utterings of some of the gutter press seriously. But are they simply trying to take political advantage of feelings that are already widespread, or is it their intention to stir up and spread those feelings? I find it hard to believe that politicians like these would make such inflammatory statements without having a very good idea of what they want to achieve by them.
What an utterly pointless paragraph. It is to be presumed that when politicians make political statements they believe there will be a significant number of people who agree with them. It's called democracy, arsehole.

To point out that there is a large and rapidly growing religious-ethnic group in Britain that rejects kuffār concepts like democracy, civil liberties, religious tolerance, freedom of speech, equality for women, etc., etc., is not inflammatory but a stone cold statement of undeniable fact. To deny, ignore or to seek to obfuscate it is dhimmitude.

Since the author of Syniadau obviously prefers the blissful certainties that can only come from total ignorance, let me elaborate. The term "dhimmitude" was coined by the Lebanese Christian leader Bachir Gemayel in 1982 to describe a type of response to aggressive Muslim sectarianianism. It is behaviour conditioned by fear of terrorism, consisting of submissiveness in the face of ideological and physical threats in the hope of obtaining security thereby.

Something like the Welsh and the English, I guess.

8 January 2011

Nice one, Richard!

I expect that anyone who reads this probably reads my colleague Dr Richard North's EU Referendum, but just in case check out this article in the Mail on Sunday.

See also the further development of the theme in the always sound Autonomous Mind.

So true it hurts. The scum has hardened and "direct action" now seems the only way to crack their carapace of complacent arrogance.

I hope nobody takes this as an incitement to key their cars, throw shit at them or any other illegal act. No, let's be British and do ineffectual things like demos and writing letters to the editor.

My enemy's enemy is NOT my friend!

Crap. The Daily Express is trying to boost its disappearing circulation with an anti-EU campaign, today publishing a booklet titled "Get Britain out of the EU", complete with a picture of a defiant crusader towering over the white cliffs of Dover.

And the snerge Jack Straw has tried to regain disaffected white proles for the party that imported Pakistanis wholesale by saying that some Pakistani men in Britain of see white girls as "easy meat" for sexual abuse and demanding that the community should be "more open" about the issue.

The enemy is within, you mendacious mother-molesters. It is the deliberate "progressive" destruction of the family unit that has put those girls on the street corners where anyone can pick them up, and the deliberate "progressive" destruction of a sense of national identity that has turned Britain into a spiritless province of the EU bureaucratic oligarchy.

Even out of the EU, and even if all the Pakistanis abandoned their native culture, Britain would still need to reverse the effects of 50-60 years of statist social engineering, which has left the country without the antibodies that healthy societies produce to defend and heal themselves.  

Simon Hughes

In no other country would someone of the calibre of Simon Hughes even have dared to enter politics, let alone rise to become the deputy leader of a political party. One fact alone should have sunk him - he was first elected to Parliament in 1983 thanks to running a queer-bashing campaign (proclaiming himself the "Straight Choice") against homosexual activist Peter Tatchell, despite his own secret proclivity for boys.

Furthermore he only apologized for the campaign in 2006, and admitted his homosexuality - actually he said he was "bisexual" but that is just another layer of denial - after being outed by The Sun. Surprisingly Tatchell, who must have known all along, was completely forgiving - as far as I recall, his reasoning being that societal oppression was responsible for Hughes' utterly contemptible behaviour.

Hughes now enjoys the title of adviser to the government on access to higher education - which is to say that LibDem leader Nick Clegg gave him a sinecure without any influence whatever. From which, nonetheless, he seeks to establish himself as the leader of the "left wing" of the LibDems against the moment when the Coalition fails and the party is reduced to a rump (sic) in the subsequent general election.

According to the Guardian, Hughes has declared that universities should drastically limit their intake of privately educated pupils if they want to charge undergraduates up to £9,000 a year.
I think my message to the universities is: You have gained quite a lot in the settlement. Yes, you've lost lots of state money, but you've got another revenue stream that's going to protect you. You now have to deliver in turn. You cannot expect to go on as you are. It has failed miserably.
Umm - leaving aside the fact that what has "failed miserably" is precisely the system he continues to advocate, how does he think the ability of the state to impose admissions criteria has been enhanced by reducing the amount of state subsidy paid to the universities?

Fee-paid universities have to compete for the best and brightest in order to maintain or improve their international reputations - for that's where the big money is to be won. They cannot - indeed the best already do not - care what secondary school a candidate comes from: they must judge them by results.

And those are so damning of the council-run of the mill state schools that Hughes' logically incoherent comment can only be construed as a sop to the ineffectual "progressive" teachers who make up the left wing of the LibDem party, which out-satirizes the Monster Raving Loony Party.

7 January 2011

St John the Divine's comment on the Coalition government

From the Message to Laodicea, verses 15-16.
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold or hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
My sentiments exactly.

Libel tourism to end?

The Daily Mail reports that Clegg is to announce a thorough-going reform of British libel laws. Text reads in part:
It is a farce – and an international embarrassment – that the American Government has felt it necessary to legislate to protect their citizens from our libel laws. This Government wants to restore our reputation for free speech. We will be publishing a draft defamation bill in the spring. We intend to provide a new statutory defence for those speaking out in the public interest, and to clarify the law around the existing defences of fair comment, and justification.’
The weasel words that follow say that his intention is to "rein in" libel tourism and prevent claimants threatening legal action on essentially trivial grounds.

Why was this not done on day 1 of this administration? Libel tourism is a stench in the nostrils of international jurisprudence and must be stopped, not "reined in"; and who the hell will decide what is or is not "essentially trivial".

No mention of the outrageous English innovation of the "super-injunction", in which the press is prohibited from reporting even the existence of the injunction, or any details of it, a field in which the solicitors Carter-Fuck are pre-eminent and which has been granted to, inter alia, the gargoyle Andrew Marr to prevent publication of the scarcely believable fact that some sad woman other than his wife had consented to let him drip his premature ejaculations into her.

6 January 2011

Why must we only copy "progressive" policies from the States?

Heather MacDonald's "Restoring the social order" in City Journal says it all. If it works, do it for Chrissake!

Why, oh why oh why do the Brits only ever imitate US policies that do not work?

The Chicago mafia in the White House

Just in case anyone still hoped that The One might emancipate himself from the most corrupt Democratic machine in the the fifty states, he has now appointed one of the infamous Daley family as White House chief of staff. William is the son of one and brother of another of the all-powerful Mayors Daley of Chicago.

It was not necessarily a vain hope. After all, Harry Truman owed his political career to the Democratic machine run by Tom Pendergast in Kansas City, and he became one of the most honest - and principled - presidents ever. But he had time to establish himself - he was a senator for 10 years before Franklin Roosevelt chose him as his vice-president for his (unique) fourth term, when he was already a very ill man.

Sad, but really what choice did The One have? The "progressive" Democrats have done the rats and sinking ship thing, and his only hope is to get the backing of the old guard. And there is no guard older than the Daley machine, to which he owes his entire political career.

High unemployment forever?

Thought-provoking article in Foreign Policy about the possibly permanent unemployability of the ill-educated.
We have seen the rise of a large class of "zero marginal product workers," to coin a term. [1] Their productivity may not be literally zero, but it is lower than the cost of training, employing, and insuring them. That is why labor is hurting but capital is doing fine; dumping these employees is tough for the workers themselves -- and arguably bad for society at large -- but it simply doesn't damage profits much. It's a cold, hard reality, and one that we will have to deal with, one way or another.
In other words, the US economy is going through some major structural shifts. It's not a question of getting back to where we were, but that the economy must solve a new problem of re-employing a lot of people who were not, in reality, producing very much in the first place.[2] That's a steeper challenge than we realized early in the stages of this recession -- and so far policymakers have failed to meet it. Analysts still disagree on how rapidly the US economy will recover. But they're missing the point. The era of low unemployment may be in our rearview mirror for a long time to come.
1. In the UK, that would be the bloated state sector, whose already low productivity actually declined under the impact of the Blair-Brown borrow and spend binge. There was no employment increase in the productive sector under the Labour regime.

2. Just a thought, but maybe the cost of labour in the UK was already so high, and the labour force already so ill-educated, that this phenomenon had already manifested itself over a decade ago - hence the Blair-Brown "solution", which was to create a million new non-jobs in the bureaucracy.

Taking a leak

Ya gotta laff - Techdirt has published a confidential memo of 3 January 2011 memo from The Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), on . . . how to detect potential leakers. 

Not merely that, but the content of OMB memo is ludicrous. Shrinks to spot disgruntled employees? And what do you do then? You can't sack bureaucrats even if they fall well below the already pitifully low levels of motivation and competence that are the best government agencies can hope for.

Hat-tip Scott

5 January 2011

Cuba - banned from landing

During last month's cruise, the good ship Discovery put into Santiago de Cuba for one day, and Havana for two - extended to three because incoming passengers were stranded at Heathrow and outgoing passengers could not depart.

Made no difference to me because I could not go ashore. Seems the European leftists' dream society has a blanket prohibition on anyone born in Cuba - even one such as I who was born there when it did not automatically make you a Cuban citizen - landing from a ship. No problem entering by plane, though. Go figure.

"Eternal Young Rebels" - forsooth.

However, immigration officials at Santiago and and Havana did interview me on board, in the latter case at 6am on the fourth day, delaying the ship's departure slightly, on specific orders from "higher up". I guess some commie jobsworth Googled me. Same questions both times.

Why were you born in Cuba? Because my mother was there at the time. (Smiles all round)
Why do you speak such fluent Spanish? Because I've spoken it as long as I have English. I was born and lived my first seven year here. (Wise nods)
Why don't you have a Cuban passport? Because both my parents were British and before 1959 Cuban law did not automatically confer citizenship on those born in Cuba. (Wise nods)

And so on. Perfectly amicable, even apologizing for their Consul General in London, who told me I would be able to go ashore.They did not explain the reason for the blanket prohibition, but I deduce that it is designed to criminalize Cuban exiles who might wish to cross the 90-mile Florida Strait in their pleasure craft and bring goodies to their relatives in the socialist paradise.

The Castro dictatorship was 52 years old on New Year's day. I never knew Havana as a kid, but was surprised how well I remembered Santiago.

As far as I could see the city had precisely one new large building in the last half-century. It was begun pre-1959 as a hotel, then converted to a maternity centre, apparently a very good one.

Some ship friends shared their pics with me. This one of the Havana Capitol is particularly poignant. That Ford was new the year of Batista's coup, the last time free elections were even scheduled in Cuba. And the Capitol has been an empty shell ever since.

Hague has a blinding glimpse of the obvious

The Independent reports a directive by Foreign Secretary Hague for senior British diplomats to receive obligatory training "in the pursuit of excellence". Hague believes that essential diplomacy skills, such as obtaining the maximum advantage for the UK in negotiations with foreign states, have been neglected.

No shit, Sherlock. Ever wonder why the French exercise such a disproportionate influence on the EU? The answer is the École Nationale d'Administration (ENA), and I would hazard a guess that not one senior British civil servant would have the intellectual capacity even to win admission under a French alias, let alone graduate.

So who is going to train our senior diplomats? What can you do with an institution that regards appeasement and surrendering the national interest as "progressive" and noble? And has done so for a very long time. Brit diplomats reflect the dominant lowmid culture of the country - dysthimic and submissive.

4 January 2011

The Bitchy Boys welcome home

Nothing ever changes in Britain. You go away for a month, mercifully cut off from BBCrap, a savage - and completely unpredicted - freezing spell causes the usual widespread chaos; and you come back to find that the Bitchy Boys are spinning an excuse for their global warming scam co-conspirators in the Met Office.

Autonomous Mind does the requisite number on the useless shits and does not need further exegesis. Matt Ridley has helped to viral AM's post - praise indeed!