Archive for the ‘Comment’ Category
In the light of some recent disclosures regarding the escapades, either real or alleged, of our Security Agencies, as well as the huge assets of the American NSA, I would like to bring to your attention some statistics from a more local outfit, namely Durham County Council. They were amongst the many who were clamouring to gain access to our data, both private and public, so that we might be ‘better protected’, through the ‘SNOOPERS’ CHARTER’, allegedly killed off by Nick Clegg, but is reported as being returned to life as being ‘IMPORTANT FOR NATIONAL SECURITY’. Now I am not decrying the activities of our Secret Services, who already have a heavy job to do in controlling and slapping the wrists of all these tiresome Muslims who insist upon their right to bomb, maim and kill us because their Religion demands it, but, one side talks to another, so we should be at least concerned.
I asked our local Council in 2011 various questions regarding their activities under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, which the Government has given them the power to covertly view, record and monitor our e-mail, phone and general behaviour.
Their reply, which was very illuminating, stated that, from 2007 to the end of 2009, there had been a total of 225 requests for surveillance operations. As they are now able to bring requests together into a block, (for statistical purposes only, you must understand ‘sarcasm alert’) there were a further possible 270 actual surveillance activities authorised to proceed. So, you may well ask, of this substantial number of intrusions into the private lives of residents of County Durham, how many resulted in prosecutions?
Well, the reply, taken verbatim from the Council’s letter to me was for a grand total of ONE.
Our response: There has been one successful prosecution which went to court in March 2011. This was a fly tipping offence caught on a covert CCTV camera.
So thats all right then?
When I was a much younger man, the House of Lords’ membership was that of hereditary peers. Their birth denoted their ability to walk into and work in that august Chamber, but at the same time, there were many remarkable minds voting and advising within the Lords. Then came the legislation which allowed the ennoblement of people who had served their country well, and they emerged as Life Peers. The theory was that Britain had the best deal because the new Peers would be scientists, engineers, academics, but nothing is ever clear or perfect, especially within the murky world of politics.
After the gerrymandering of the Labour Government years, when the hereditary element was virtually cut to a tenth of its previous number, the Life Peers were almost exclusively appointed for political means. Otherwise, how can the ennoblement of complete non-entities such as Floella Benjamin, a t.v presenter; John Prescott, universally acknowledged as the worst disaster to hit Westminster; as well as Baroness Uddin, who was forced to repay £125,000 she had fraudulently claimed as expenses: along with many, many others of equally bland or sordid pasts be explained? The Lords has become the second home of failed or useless politicians, from all three parties. And it is a truth that they, these hacks, these useless appendages who think so highly of themselves, believe that they deserve to be ennobled, and to sit in that once great Chamber and deliberate upon what Law is left to oppress us as a Nation.
As a typical example of this brand of complete failure, I present Anne Widdecombe, formerly of the House of Commons and ‘Strictly Dancing’, naturally. She was quoted as stating ‘she was a natural candidate, but Cameron vetoed me because of my support for hunting’. She ‘expected to become a member of the House of Lords because ‘thats the way it works’. I used to have some time for Anne, mainly because she spoke her mind in the House of Commons, but I see she has joined on to the pile of lepers waiting for preferment, in the belief she deserves it. Just a little bit sad.
Its a long way from ‘excellence in thought and deed’ to ‘its my turn now’! I would remind all readers that these people determine our Law, ands we should be proud of our representattves. Can anyone, these days, claim to be proud of the House of Lords?
A couple of days ago I flew down to Gatwick to spend a day with my grandson Marco, along with his Mom and his Dad, my eldest son. Our few hours together was the stuff of legend; the same legend which has come to be expected from a family grown wider, of harmless laughter, of silly jokes and of watching a small boy’s wide eyes when introduced to that greatest of England’s inventions, the railway steam engine. I could, and indeed have maybe mentioned, my great happiness with the smaller members of my family; of the sheer wonder of being introduced to a ten-weeks premature scrap of humanity some five years ago, and of having my own worries brought down to earth by the response of a paediatric nurse who casually named my first grandson as ‘the noisy one in the corner’. Of the equally special happiness shared with my second son, who has presented me, care of course of Mom, with two more grandsons; both of whom have been introduced to the wonders of steam, along with the proud heritage of engineer-driven advances with which we fuelled the true Industrial Revolution which still changes our world even today.
Because it is the visit which we made to the privately-run, funded and operated Bluebelle Railway is that of which I write today. I cannot claim that it is a peculiarly-British trait to rescue and rebuild rusting steam locomotives, to spend literally millions on progressing the refurbishment of a branch-line closed long ago, and then to get thousands of people to pay for the privilege of sitting in a rail carriage which is drawn by one of the steam, smoke and noise-belching behemoths from our past, but we have over two hundred Rail Preservation societies all across this country of ours. The engineering and construction feats which faced this outfit would have daunted professionals, but they calmly made plans, raised money, sold shares in their Company, and moved over 80,000 tons of rubbish to get the trains running where they once rolled some sixty years ago.
The peculiar thrill of standing close up to a working steam engine, with its steam, water and smoke smells and noise, is one which lived with me from my first memories of travel after the War ended. To be favoured with a smile or a wave from these minor gods who bestrode the cabs of the locomotives was to know that you had been recognised as a true aficionado, and it is no lie when drivers and firemen said that once fired up, the railway engine was as ‘a living thing’. We as a nation still innovate, still experiment and invent, but the advances usually flow towards America, partly because we don’t seem to acknowledge that seed money without financial control is not welcomed by young entrepreneurs. But when it comes to men and women who dream of a time when ‘the railway’ meant a service which was prompt, reliable, efficient; employing machinery which maybe wasn’t ‘super-efficient’, wasn’t ‘ecologically friendly’ (whatever that is supposed to mean) but struck a spark of recognition within the engineer hidden within our hearts, we have them is spades!
Translated into ordinary English, this headline should actually read “We shall now be shovelling obscene amounts of taxpayers’ money towards the many muslim ‘community leaders’ and mosque imams from the Wahabbi sect of Islam, in order to shut the slimy bastards up, and give us a little peace before another crazed jihadi clown decides to avenge the imaginary insults done to ‘Islam’ half a world away.’ We know it didn’t work before, but, hey; thats never stopped us from doing it again!’
When I married my wife, some forty-six years ago, we married in Church. We married by exchanging vows before the symbols of God. Over our heads was an invisible sign which stated “Be still, and know that I am God”. We promised to love and honour each other all the days of our lives, until ‘Death do us part’. Implicit in this ceremony was to acknowledge the fact that we would be having a family, because marriage and the conception of children have been inextricably linked, both in and out of religious belief, for almost three millennia; from the earliest days of what has become to be known as civilized society. I do not look upon the past nearly half-century as anything other than a testament to my own good fortune, in meeting, courting and finally persuading my wife that we should marry. I knew, approximately ten seconds after we first met, that she was the one for me; and the delay in our marriage of nearly two years was mainly due to the fact that I left England to join my last ship for a thirteen-month trip some four weeks after we first met. We have seen great happiness, and also great sadness in the long years together, but my view is simple; we made a promise together, and I would be a poor imitation of a man if I ever broke that promise.
So don’t ever let a set of mealy-mouthed politicians, who have joined with another, and larger set of scheming liberals and socialists equate the joy, the wonder, the sadness, the happiness and the hope of my marriage, along with millions of similar marriages; to the ‘union’ between two mincing queers as the same thing: because it is not, will not, and cannot be anything but a pale imitation of our promise that day, in that church; some forty-six years ago
A child, someone’s daughter, has died. This is indeed a personal tragedy.
We are told that the ‘family are angry, angry and hurt’
We are also told that lifeguards were chatting whilst girl drowned
We are also informed that ‘a full and thorough’ investigation would be carried out.
We were not told why a FIVE-year old child was allowed to go into a swimming pool area unsupervised by her ‘devastated parents or grandparents’.
Just in the course of ‘full disclosure’!
In the course of full disclosure, I might add that two of my grandsons are already learning to swim, and the third is being introduced to the water. All three of my grandchildren, whenever near the water, are supervised as if they were about to disappear, and I would expect nothing less from their fathers, my two sons. Also to be disclosed is the sad truth that their Grandad cannot swim a stroke, and is terrified of the water.
A re-post from a few years ago, in remembrance of true, undiluted bravery.
Some seventy years ago today, nineteen Lancaster bombers of R.A.F. 617 Squadron took off on a mission which, many hoped, could drastically alter the war in favour of the Allies. They hoped, by use of a special weapon, to breach three of the Ruhr dams when they were at their highest level of water storage. The weapon was a product of the agile mind of Sir Barnes Neville Wallis, and it became the precursor of many of the exceedingly effective weapons which issued from the agile mind of this superb scientist. The bomb was built in the shape of a drum, and dropped with the case spinning in reverse to the motion of the aircraft. The idea was that the spinning bomb would hit the waves and then ‘bounce’ forward, dropping, bouncing and slowing on the water as the bomb advanced.
The trouble with the attack, which had to be carried out at an extremely low altitude and in a straight line, was that the bomber could be tracked and attacked by seriously-accurate German anti-aircraft fire during the predictable approach path. The Moehne, Eder & Sorpe dams were chosen as targets, and the Lancasters of 617 Squadron, modified to carry the three ton weight of the bombs which had to be held partly outside the bomb-bay as the spin had to be applied before the bomb was released, set off on their mission. The Moehne and Eder dams were successfully breached, albeit with heavy loss to the attacking squadron; with eight of the nineteen bombers failing to return, and fifty-three fliers in total died during the operation.Squadron Leader Guy Gibson received the Victoria Cross, there were also five D.S.O.’s, ten D.F.C.’s and four Bars, two Conspicuous Gallantry Medals and eleven Distinguished Flying Medals and one Bar.
It was hoped that the resultant torrents of water would damage war industries, halt electricity generation, clog rail routes and damage the German war effort. The actual effect was rather different; in that the electricity supplies were back in business due to an emergency pumping system built by a forward-looking German generation industry; the great percentage of deaths were actually of P.O.W.’s, and the rail system was rebuilt where damaged in typical German quick-time, mainly by the use of slave labour. The surprising outcome was a rapid decline in food production, as large areas of arable land were flooded, as well as huge numbers of farm animals killed. German civilian morale suffered greatly. British morale went sky-high, as the pictures of the broken dams were shown in cinemas and in the newspapers.
They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
Image from the works of Ronald Suchiu
I wore the cap badge of the Merchant Navy in the years of my youth, along with the purple-stripe bordered by gold braid denoting Engineer Officer on my uniform. Before I met and married my wife, I had many ports and many trips under my cap, and it is only now, in the evening of my life, have I come to understand how important the sea was and is to us; a Maritime Nation.
Imagine, if you will, your departure from the port of Halifax in Nova Scotia in the early years between 1939 & 1945. Your ship is tasked to a convoy, protected by a tiny number of inadequately-equipped escort vessels; tiny because of the short-sighted policies of successive British Governments who had decided that the best form of defence for a maritime nation was to do very, very little indeed. You sailed on that ship in the full knowledge that there were men intent upon only one thing; your death, along with your shipmates, and the destruction of your ship by means of torpedoes, or heavy-calibre gunfire. The gunfire was preferred by the German U-Boat commanders in the early days of the War; partly because the shells were easier to carry in a cramped submarine, and partly because many Merchant vessels sailed completely unarmed, and the escort vessels could not be everywhere at once.
If you were an Engineer Officer, eight hours out of every 24 were spent on watch in the Engine Room, sited by necessity in the bowels of the ship. Your job might also be an engine-room greaser, or a fireman, keeping steam up in the boilers to help propel your ship across the Atlantic, but you shared the same hours as the Officers, and the same dangers as well. The only protection from the ever-restless sea were sheets of steel, riveted together to form the hull of your ship, and clear access to ladders leading up top. Ladders which were never bolted to the supporting girders, but instead were firmly held by rope; so as to minimise the effects of shock after an explosion. An explosion which, if aimed at the midships of the vessel, would almost certainly result in a huge influx of water, acting as its own battering ram, flooding the very bowels of your ship, and drowning anyone in its path who was unlucky enough to be caught down below.
Some time back, re-read a novel entitled Westbound, Warbound by Alexander Fullerton, and once again realized how good a writer this man is. His writing career commenced with an autobiographical novel of his service with HM Submarines in the Far East towards the end of the Second World War, and the instant success of his first offering pushed him to write on a full-time basis. His novel ‘Westbound, Warbound’ is a one-off, telling as it does the story of a tramp steamer caught up firstly in the seas which embraced the final days of the pocket-battleship ‘Graf Spee’, and then to their travails whilst inching through a North Atlantic hurricane at the same time as being in constant danger of sinking! This book is about the men who brought Britain through the War by offering themselves as open targets for the U-boat menace, armed with a single six-pounder and a rationed number of shells! The men whose work, sacrifice, lives and deaths are forever remembered in the Merchant Seamen’s Memorials opposite the Tower of London and in Liverpool have had very few books written of their deeds, partly, one supposes, that there isn’t much glamour in stories of drowning, or burning alive, or freezing to death within three minutes of your ship’s slowly sinking beneath the waves after enemy action!
His hero is a deck officer, doing the everyday things which are his calling, from taking a ‘star sight’ to advising an illiterate seaman about the benefit of learning how to read. Fullerton has met men such as this young officer, and more than likely has killed very similar young men who sailed in the Japanese ships which his submarine sank in the shallow waters of Sumatra and Malaya! The novels which have been bought by the thousand telling of the fighting ships of the Allied forces sometimes forget that the slow, plodding freighters, tankers and liners have stories too, and they should also be remembered by an audience which unfortunately these days, doesn’t even know, never mind remember, of the sacrifices which were made so that they can slouch down and watch ‘Top Gear’ or ‘Broadchurch’ in warmth and comfort!
The photo of the Merchant Navy Memorial in Liverpool is of course self-explanatory, but the next photo depicts a ship heading into a storm, showing what perils there were even without the torpedoes and the gunfire, and the final one shows what might have been seen on a convoy to Murmansk.
‘Oh hear us when we cry to thee, For those in peril on the sea.’
There are many things I could state in reaction to the results of this Demos survey, but I will attempt to keep things on a civil level.
When Trevor Philips, one of the architects of the cuddly multi-culti state of garbage we have been forced to live in states ‘the findings should make us ‘a little anxious’, and were ‘not good news for the cause of integration’; do you agree with him? Or do you ask why we should even consider integrating with a whole bunch of foreigners who definitely do not want to ‘integrate’ with us?
Were we ever, ever asked, as a Nation, whether we wanted to have hundreds of thousands of people who think and behave so differently to ourselves, planted within our town and cities, all in the cause of ‘Diversity’?
It is true that a fair chunk of the newly-arrived are ‘people like us’; such as the Polish migrants, largely Catholic as can be seen from the enlarged congregations in many Catholic churches; and with such as them, I have no problems at all. No problems because all they wish for is a chance to work, to make a better life, to set down roots. But I do have a problem with the vast herds of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Iraqis and other clumps from the cess-pits of Asia and the Middle East. Why, because they do not wish to assimilate.They do not wish to adopt our ways. They carry with them the seeds of destruction of our very way of life because, deep down, they want to change our nation into a Muslim society.
Consider the results of another survey, one where over 30% of young Muslim respondents accepted the use of murder to further their religious ends to be justified.
The simple truth is that this violence is in their very DNA, in their koranic scriptures; ready to be subverted and used by any messianic mullah with access to a computer and a mosque meeting-room. Take a student, fill his mind with rhetoric, subvert the very teachings of his prophet towards a hatred of the people who have welcomed him in to their very homes and hearths; and what do you get?
Taking full advantage, as one does, of modern technology I recorded the whole broadcast of the Baroness Thatcher funeral for two reasons; I was unable to be home for the first sector, and I wished a permanent reminder of the ceremony afforded my long-time political heroine. We are not often able to claim that we lived through a defining change in the history of this Nation of ours, but with those eleven years in which she bestrode the Westminster and indeed the World stages, I reckon that it is indeed a justified claim. She was a strange mix; a scientist, a deeply religious person, heavily involved in politics from a comparatively early age; and of course the largest handicap of all, for most people who have been involved in either local or national politics: she was, obviously, a woman.
Many people danced and sang as she was slowly carried onwards to Wren’s masterpiece for a final farewell, and they expressed hatred for both the woman and her politics, and I regard them with a quiet pity, mainly because it is obvious; to myself at least, that they refuse to simply take one step back, and view her policies, politics, actions and beliefs with a dispassionate gaze.
Yes, her economic policies and ‘who governs’ approach to the stranglehold held on the British economy by the Unions generated massive antipathy, but she was supported in her endeavours by the ordinary working-class voters who saw, in her and her approach to the ‘British disease’, possibly the only saviour of a once-proud Nation slowly sinking into decay. Remember, she won three General Elections in a row after winning the Tory leadership from a moribund crew of no-hopers who had not an original idea between them.
When she was told of the invasion of the Falkland Islands by the Argentinian General’s forces, her immediate response; after ensuring that the Armed Forces were ready and available, was to order a Taskforce south to re-establish the right of the Falklanders to choose their own Government; nothing more and nothing less. The rights of that issue can be tested by viewing the results of an Island-wide Referendum held on March 10-11 this year, where the replies were an overwhelming 99.8% in favour of remaining a British Overseas Territory.
In the decade of Thatcher’s domination of British politics, she oversaw changes to many things which we, today, consider normality. Imagine a country where, if you wanted a telephone with a private line, you went on a six-month waiting list; and if you simply agreed to a ‘party’ or shared line, you maybe got a phone after three months. Imagine a country where the majority of the trucks and cars were built by a State-run organisation; and most products were so badly made that the call went out, ‘please ensure my car is made on a Wednesday’. Also imagine a car industry virtually run by its Unions, with feather-bedding rampant, quality control non-existent, management useless; and where a delivery date was routinely scheduled ‘give-or-take a month’, due to the strikes which were routinely scheduled. Imagine a shipbuilding industry where the agreement and presence of eight different types of artisans had to be arranged before a single weld, hole or bolt could be made, burnt or tightened; and where a six-week strike was called over a disagreement as to which type of artisan plucked the string of a chalk line marking a steel plate.
We have maybe lost some of the fires which were lit in the heady days of Thatcherism, but we are considerably free-er in a thousand different ways. The world is different because of Baroness Thatcher, and we should be proud of her achievements. As I have noted before, she was not perfect; with her negotiations which became the Anglo-Irish Treaty, she began the disgraceful process which resulted in murderers and their lackeys sitting in Stormont; she pushed through acceptance of the Single European Act without understanding the implications of that devious document, which resulted in the various Treaties which have removed so much of our National Sovereignty and handed to Brussels, but as a Leader, as a Conviction Politician and a Prime Minister, she was, simply, without peer!
East & Central London hospitals and Emergency areas across the Capital will be overwhelmed with a huge influx of some seven hundred-odd marathon runners, all brought in at ultra-high speed by Paramedics and ambulances. All the patients will be admitted with notes stating that the diagnosis is a probable heart attack; as each patient was seen to clasp his chest with his hand as they crossed over the finish line. Only one patient will actually be admitted to the hospital for treatment, as the rest were able, once they had recovered their collective breaths,. to confirm that they were just trying to comply with the proposal that each runner held his or her hands to their heart as a symbol of solidarity with the Boston marathon casualties.
Please do not misunderstand me. I, and probably millions of others around the world, are aghast at the random ferocity unleashed upon unsuspecting runners and crowds of supporters when the bombs exploded without warning in Boston. But we simply do not feel the need to express our regret collectively, publicly, or with any flourish at all. What does the proposed wearing of black ribbons achieve? Will the injured recover faster? Will the family of that small boy, itself ruptured by more horrific injury, be comforted by the fact that lots of people held their hands to their hearts as they crossed a marathon finish line? Will the fanatical Muslim jihadis, already settling down in their madrassas for an afternoon’s bomb-making class and koranic propagands session be given pause for thought because a large bunch of sweaty clowns running in a road race make a ‘gesture’?
I doubt it very, very much indeed!
We live, and sometimes we die, purely through chance. When we decide to do anything, we cannot possibly know what is to befall us in terms of accident, or malicious acts. The hasty work or maintenance item completed in a rush, the need to get on to the next task, or even to leave work on time, can have such tragic consequences for a complete stranger many miles from where that task was left only partially complete.
I was working some years ago, on a Central London construction site as a Mechanical & Electrical Manager, and as I lived just across the fence and a wide main road from Heathrow airport, sometimes I parked by the Underground station at Hatton Cross, and rode the train in to work, instead of driving in part way, and then using the Tube for the final stretch. I finished my day, hopped on the Tube, changing trains once, and grabbed a rare seat for the trip back west. Following the throng off the train, I paid for an evening paper, then walked, paper up but following the crowd, out of the station to stand at the traffic lights and pedestrian crossing.
The main road at which we stopped was the A30, and it was, even in those days, a very busy and fast-travelled 3-lane dual carriageway. You never took chances by crossing early, so we all waited until the lights turned ‘red’, and the green ‘pedestrian’ sign started flashing. Directly in front of me walked a lady wearing a beige raincoat, and she was being waved at by a young girl, whom I presumed was her daughter, standing on the central reservation with her father. I can still remember even to this day, so many years later, that I walked past a small Fiat which had stopped in the inside lane, and then a blue Mercedes in the central lane, with the outer lane still empty: the lady, still some five feet in front of me. Then a blur in front of my eyes, the newspaper was torn from my fingers; and with a massive rush of air but astonishingly no sound at all, a single-decker bus slammed straight across the junction, collecting the lady who was walking in front of us as it raced through the lights. I was left standing, stock-still, in the middle of the road, immobile for maybe a minute until a kind man took me by the shoulder and asked if I was okay.
I later discovered that the lady who died was indeed the wife of the man waiting with his happy daughter on the pedestrian reservation. I also discovered that the bus suffered a massive hydraulic failure of the braking system due to an over-stressed pipe connection which had worked loose. As I once wrote before, Funny how things sometimes stay in your mind long after the event!!
I want to echo the rising chorus of complaint regarding the cost of the funeral of the late Baroness Thatcher. I think that, in these days of austerity, of cutting costs, of reducing deficits; of slashing Welfare benefits to the needy, the deprived, the disabled: to spend an estimated £10 millions of public money on the funeral of this ‘divisive politician’ was appalling.
Some claim that to spend such an amount of cash on the Security, the gathering of members of the Armed forces, the many aspects of this, the largest ceremonial funeral for a politician since Sir Winston Churchill was wrong amd indefensible.
Personally, I would have brought over the Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial flight; I would have marched the massed bands of the Guards, the Royal Marines, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force along the whole route, and literally rubbed her very name into the noses of that sorry band of losers who ‘protested’ against the Nation’s salute to a truly Great Lady.
I would have made it £20 Million, and every penny well spent!
In amongst the angst, bitterness and pure hatred spewed from all corners following the death of the Iron Lady, not too many commentators have reviewed her true Legacy, which she bestowed to this Nation during the time she bestrode the Westminster stage. Some of her targets were not from the Left, but from her own Party, who resented the very impertinence of being told the unvarnished truth by a ‘Grocer’s Daughter’. Not only did she tell the truth, not only did she figure out the roots of British decline; she made damn sure that change was seen as not only needed, it was made inevitable.
Consider her legacy with regard to the disastrous state of the British economy, when she came to lead the Tory Party. As one commentator reported in this acid-based documentary, in the days before the Thatcher revolution, you awoke to the voices from the State Broadcaster, otherwise known as the BBC, giving a slant on the news similar to Orwell’s Ministry of Truth but without the friendly atmosphere. You then ate a breakfast comprising food which had been transported by the State haulage company, whilst living in a house which you did not own, but which was allocated to you care of the National Housing schemes and Council housing lists. You then left to travel to work, either on a council-owned and operated bus or trolleybus, on a British Rail train, or in a car which was built by a State-owned company such as British Leyland. When you arrived at your work, a great many people worked in State-owned, subsidised and mis-managed industries such as British Telecom, British Steel, British Airways, British Gas: the list just went on. Whilst you worked, or sometimes pretended to work; you had to be a member of an appropriate Union, because the vast majority of State-owned companies were also closed shops. You also had to listen and agree with whatever the Unions proposed, such as strike action, because if you did not strike, and thus crossed a picket line, you had committed the ultimate crime; and henceforth you were a SCAB, and no-one would speak to you at all. The Unions ruled, and their Communist leaders, along with their wide-eyed supporters from the Liberal Left, made sure that their members were featherbedded against all expensive rises in cost-of-living statistics by threatening strike action if their constant demands were ever opposed. A threat, incidentally, the direct result of which brought some 29.5 million days lost to strike action in 1978-9.
Younger readers today have literally no idea of Union power, and the gross lunacies which grew from an idea which was, in itself, of great benefit to the working man. Place yourself in the boots of an electrician helping to build a ship at Swan Hunters’ shipyard on the Tyne. All he wants to do is to have a hole drilled through a bulkhead (a wall, to the uninitiated). He needs to get the hole cut or drilled because his heavy cable must go through the bulkhead. One side of the steel wall is covered by a wooden panel, the other side is covered by an asbestos panel. Firstly, he has to contact a carpenter, because only a carpenter can touch or drill through a wooden structure. Then he has to contact a boilermaker, because only boilermakers can use a oxy-acetylene cutting torch which can burn through the steel of the bulkhead. But then he also has to arrange for a shipwright to attend, because only shipwrights are authorised to mark up positions on steelwork. He also has then to arrange a visit by two fire-watchers, because a spark may catch another part of the woodwork, and cause fires. Two watchers because one must be standing on either side of the bulkhead. He then must also get an asbestos-qualified fitter to cut the asbestos insulation back around the hole which has been burned by the boilermaker. The electrician must then get a welder to fit and weld a steel collar around the circumference of the new hole in the bulkhead, so that the cable will not be damaged by lying on a sharp edge. If any workman, for want of simple speed, attempted to do anything for which he did not hold a Union card stating that he was qualified to undertake the procedure or task, he was warned, once, with the feared statement ‘you are depriving the family of a working man of the bread they need to survive’; and that was the force which ruled all of the State industries privatised by Margaret Thatcher.
An opponent of the working man? Rubbish, she freed that same working man from Union shackles, and allowed ‘freedom of choice’ to rule in their place!
Alongside most people who look upon the world from a right-wing perspective, I have always taken the BBC for what it is; which is an institution populated and dominated by Left-wing and creepily liberal minds, bound by Charter to be independent, but seeking always to inculcate its audience towards its own ‘common purpose’ mindset. But I have always also believed that some of the finest journalism and exposure documentaries have also made their way onto the BBC screens and airwaves, mainly because you cannot always keep the talent from making a solid programme. But I now feel that the BBC has not only overstepped the line in terms of deceit in pursuit of a story, but also placed unsuspecting students in grave danger from the most oppressive regime in this world.
Allow me to explain. BBC Panorama producers were desperate to obtain good solid footage of life as it is ‘lived’ within the paradise which is the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. As all foreign reporters are barred from entering the People’s Paradise, they forged official documentation to state that John Sweeney and two colleagues were on the teaching staff of the London School of Economics, and so joined a students tour of DPRK organised by the LSE’s Grimshaw Club. During their stay in the dictatorship, Sweeney was continually called ‘Professor’ by the North Korean guides and military minders.
The BBC’s Sweeny writes of his experiences in the Mail today, and brushes away his lunacy with false documents by writing ‘North Korea doesn’t allow journalists here so I’m going in with a group of holidaymakers.’!
Just imagine what would have been the fate of the unsuspecting, and probably rather naive students from the LSE’s Grimshaw Club if the regime had discovered that three of the party were actually engaged in making a documentary for BBC Panorama?
Watching the tributes spoken within the Palace of Westminster as they were broadcast, the truths about the Labour Party, its whole approach to present history, its truly appalling attitude towards the late Lady Thatcher were laid bare. Over half of this collective group of time-serving slime couldn’t even abandon their vitriolic hatred of this dominant personality to the extent of turning up for the tribute she so rightly deserved; so that the empty green leather benches showed their disrespect for a Lady who had adorned to such purpose the same House which they did not enter today.
We watched with disgust as the morons danced drunkenly in celebration on the streets of Brixton and Glasgow yesterday, so typical of a belief system which defies all polite thinking when opposed by anyone who knew that they were wrong both in actions and beliefs. There may have been silence on the Opposition benches because the Labour MPs were absent, but that very silence was so noisy that it reverberated around the whole House. The small minds which represent so many Labour constituencies, by their absence, showed more about the fractious nature of these clowns than any acid speech which they may have spoken during this Tribute.
We were well served by the Lady during her time in office, just as we were betrayed by the jackals who attacked her and brought her down and voted against her in her own Party. Those same jackals whose voices are echoed by her enemies in the BBC, who of course consistently refer to this amazing Lady as being ‘divisive’. Rich indeed, those words coming from an organisation whose very Charter requires independence of thought; but that very independence is shaded and ignored as shown by the total lack of right-wing opinion and voice. They all seem to forget that to be ‘divisive’ requires two parties, and both parties should be heard from.
Lady Thatcher was that rare thing, a politician who believed that Her Country should be shown and led on the correct path, and all programmes, projects and policies should lead towards a better life for all of the inhabitants. She knew what she wanted; yes, she made mistakes both in policy and politics, but she made more progress towards the real freedoms than any of her predecessors or the inheritors of her Office.
Labour or Tory politician, football star or banker, they are all indeed the same. They strive to keep their own or their family’s misdeeds out of the public eye. We read of Caroline Spelman’s dramatic call for ‘privacy’ when she failed to gain a permanent injunction to help protect her hulking son from the publicity surrounding his steroid abuse after a rugby injury. We all remember the long-running saga of the well-known ‘family man’ footballer Ryan Giggs, and how his legal team spent loads of his cash trying to keep his name out of the headlines, when all along he was not only shagging some whore, he was also screwing his sister-in-law, and had been doing this for years. We now read of the Labour councillor who tried for over a year to suppress the facts that she was arrested for being drunk whilst in charge of her 2 year-old daughter, and who sought an injunction on the grounds that the publicity would damage her daughter. The final name on this particular list is that of Fred Goodwin, and now that everyone is aware of his crimes after his injunction was quashed, no further mention need be made.
The point I am making is that, after Dave Cameron, in one of his more spectacular misjudgements, set up a judicial enquiry after the mobile phone hacking row broke, and of course the truly illiberal Lord Leveson answered the call with the first legal chain around the neck of the Press in Great Britain. We are already seeing the glee with which all politicians, and all the suddenly publicity-shy ‘celebrities’ who were upset after their own misdeeds, such as Hugh Grant’s adventures in oral sex with some whore in America, were laid bare for the public’s gaze, fasten upon the fact that they will be protected from press scrutiny by legal force.
All the stories, all the reporters and policemen charged, all the phones whose digital memories were unlawfully accessed; all these items were processed under laws presently in place; in other words, no complainant has been forced to wait for action upon a new press muzzle, but that is the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry.
The Prime Minister has previously referred to UKIP members as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”,
“There are some pretty odd people,” he said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.
Eastleigh By-election results:-
- Mike Thornton (Liberal Democrat) 13,342
- Diane James (UKIP) 11,571
- Maria Hutchings (Conservative) 10,559
- John O’Farrell (Labour) 4,088
- Danny Stupple (Independent) 768
So there appear to be 11,571 Fruitcakes, Loonies, Closet Racists, and a whole lot of ‘Pretty Odd People’ within the Eastleigh Constituency, Mr. Cameron.
Do you still believe in your previous statements regarding the UKIP members and supporters?
I have never been a fan of clubs, or joining in, but there are always times when the best thing to do is to look it up; and then SIGN UP for a truly deserving cause!
I have no means of checking the demographic spread of my readership, nor would I wish to be able to achieve that knowledge; but, based purely on guesswork, intuition and a healthy dollop of curiosity, I would reckon on a fair few men aged from forty-plus to around sixty five. My reasons for selection of this slice of British men will become clearer as I progress. You are more than likely to be married, with a family now grown into adulthood themselves, all of whom are eager to spread their wings and sample life as it is offered within these Isles. We are a law-abiding bunch, we British, and one of the very few areas where fathers, especially fathers, would tend to stray outside the boundaries of acceptable behaviour, is when their children are threatened; either morally or physically.
Possibly the only area of intrusive legislation either proposed or adopted within our legal system which has gained majority support is the measure known as Clare’s Law, by which women suspicious of a new man’s behaviour or intent can ascertain if he has a violent nature or criminal convictions.
If your daughter or indeed your granddaughter, now maybe in her middle-to-late twenties, has a firm boyfriend who is slightly reticent about his past, and has also a history of vagueness about his family roots; as well as having the traces of a ‘Scouse’ accent; just remember that one Robert Thompson is alive and well, and unlike his fellow killer Venables, who is hopefully behind bars for a long time to come, is free, living under an assumed name and under minimal supervision.
Remember too those smiling eyes and chirpy grin which for a heartbreakingly-short time, enlivened the very world and life of Denise and Ralph.
I want to write about a man. A famous man. Alternatively, an infamous man. His name was Daniel Ellsberg, and he was the single source for the greatest story about lies, compounded felonies, corruption and treason this world has ever known about. But it is not the story, not the lies or the alleged treason, it is about the Law of a Nation; it is about the freedom of the Press; it is about courageous men and women who decided that ‘enough is enough’, that the phrase ‘publish and be damned’ was an American Institution.
Ellsberg was an American ‘Hawk’ as far as Vietnam was concerned, but in his job as an analyst for the Rand Corporation, in a huge military ‘think-tank’ with global reach and influence; he kept getting confused signals in regard to one statistic, which was ‘the body count’. The bodies counted, all of which were supposed to be dead Viet Cong, were a vital part of the American Military’s strategy to convince their ultimate pay-masters, the American people; that America was winning the war. Some say that the whole science of statistics is based on a computation of lies, and Ellsberg, unused to being puzzled, determined that the only way to figure out truth from fiction was to go to the battlefields of Vietnam, where Americans and, hopefully, the Viet Cong, were being killed. He stayed for over six months, being one of the very few ‘observers’ who actually did some observing, and came back to America convinced that America should never have entered the war on the side of the since-deposed and assassinated President Diem. But the trouble was he still believed that, although America was wrong to back a dictator, he also believed that America could ‘win’ this dirty, bloody war which was chopping Americans into bloody garbage which could only be transported back home in waterproof body-bags.
Then came the great revelation. He had heard through the Rand’s grapevine that there was a super-secret study, of America’s historical intent and involvement in the Far East, in existence, and discovers that his research and writing had been part of this document. Ellsberg persuaded his boss that he should be able to read the complete document, so as to study and best advise Rand, and thence the White House, regarding future strategic policies in the Vietnam area, and is amazed to learn that all 47 volumes, some 7,000 pages,are now stacked on his desktop. The only security requirement is that all the documents be secured in a high-security safe each night. He reads all through the ‘Pentagon Papers’ and discovers to his horror that the American people have been systematically lied to since 1945 by all the Presidents and Administrations, from Roosevelt & Truman onwards, through Eisenhower, Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson; regarding America’s intent, involvement and strategy in the Far East. In amongst the many hardly-believable sections of this massive document, comes the facts that Ho Chi Minh wrote some 15 letters to President Truman,simply stating that the Vietnamese simply wanted what had been agreed in the famous Atlantic Charter between Roosevelt and Churchill. That all peoples ruled by foreign powers should be free. The Vietnamese simply asked that Truman live up to those words, and help get the French, the Colonial Power before WW2, out of Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh was ignored, commenced guerilla warfare against the French, and the rest is history.
So after trying the legal route, which was attempting to discuss or broadcast the existence of the ‘Papers’ with everyone from Senator Fullbright, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman downwards, he embarked upon the perilous course of copying all 7,000-odd pages, collating and storing the copies of something which, if broadcast, could and would be regarded as treason; for the very simple reason that if he did not do this act, he would really be committing treason.
We all know the happenings which followed the publication of the Pentagon Papers by firstly the New York Times, and then the Washington Post. We know the treacherous behaviour of President Nixon’s staff, firstly to attempt to bar the publication of those damning documents by the ‘Times’ and then the ‘Post’, and when that track failed at the Supreme Court, they attempted to blacken Ellsberg’s character through knowledge gleaned from transcripts stolen from Ellsberg’s psychiatrist’s office during a break-in. Unfortunately for Nixon and his team, the bunch who stole Ellsberg’s papers also attempted to ‘bug’ the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate complex; the judge deemed Ellsberg’s basic rights had been fatally injured by the prosecution’s use of illegally-obtained personal documents, and all charges were dismissed.
The real reasons for this writing should now of course be obvious. Knowledge of activities which had never been declared to either the American people nor their elected representatives, and publication of those activities was not deemed to be an unlawful activity. This was stated to be part of the Constitution upon which the United States was formed, and ‘Freedom of the Press’ was confirmed as overriding any call for the truth, or indeed any part of that truth, to be either silenced or muzzled in any manner whatsoever.
Now transfer your minds across that same Atlantic which was named in the Charter, insert the words ‘Leveson Inquiry’, and see where you are lead!
One of the best definitions of Government is a body or group which dedicates itself to the defence of the Nation-State. In these troubled times, we hold a small standing Army, a very-much reduced Navy and a Royal Air Force which must be checked under a microscope to find its component parts. These three arms of the Services have been treated savagely by Labour, and much the same by the Conservatives; both in terms of funding of manpower and equipment, as well as in direction. We are an Island Nation. We depend upon free passage for our imports, as well as the ever-diminishing flow of exports from our harbours and ports. We have surrendered much of our Sovereignty to foreigners, and we, or rather the various bunches of lying thieves and vagabonds masquerading as politicians have not only decimated our capability to defend ourselves, they have arranged things so that those decimations are permanent.
One of the driving forces behind a good defence structure is the ability to provide fuel for your aircraft, for your ships; and of course for the various methods of transporting large numbers of soldiers into harms way, if that is what is deemed necessary. To depend upon others, to allow your very power and motive infrastructure to be controlled by someone other than a sworn officer, is to accept that your very core is capable of being compromised. If you cannot refuel your aircraft, if you cannot run your trucks, tanks or mobile artillery, if you cannot be certain that your warships can be refuelled ahead of all others in a queue; you have arranged for surrender without the purchase of a white flag.
So one can understand why the bunch of lying thieves who masquerade under the title of the Coalition Government have slipped out, well-hidden in the fairly small print of the Energy Bill, itself further evidence of that sheer lunacy known as the Climate Change Act, the most expensive piece of legislation probably introduced in this country since the Welfare State; the proposed sale of the only hardware specifically designed to keep safe the means of refuelling all our Armed Forces , safe as in protected by both guns as well as Statute. The ConDoms are proposing to sell off the Ministry of Defence (MOD) held asset that supplies aviation fuel to military airbases in the UK, as well as a number of civilian airports.
This asset, known as the the Government Pipeline and Storage System (GPSS) was established to provide a secure oil distribution network for the United Kingdom at the beginning of World War Two in 1939. Over many years the pipeline route has been extended and amended until it now covers approximately 2,500 km of pipe and associated storage depots, pumping stations and other sites. The GPSS distributes about 40 per cent of the aviation fuel within the UK and is used to supply important commercial airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick, along with Royal Air Force (RAF) and United States Air Force bases in England and Scotland.
One presumes the price will be slightly in excess of the statutory Thirty Pieces of Silver, but not by much!
As my own family will testify, I have strong views on many things, and over the years I have altered my position on very few.
As some may remember, I wrote of my brother’s death in the final days of May. He died with his friends around his bed, together with my brother who had travelled down from the North-East.
We had not spoken for over a year, as my brother and I had argued; the reasons for our arguments are not important, but he was similarly annoyed, so we just stopped answering the phone.
I still believe that my stance was correct, but wish we had not broken the way we did!
We had our laughs, as families do, but we were both as stiff-necked as they come.
In the present somewhat amateur attempts at mass assassination by the terrorists of Hamas, and the more qualified and targeted killing responses by the Israeli Air Force, I have noticed a somewhat telling similarity in the reporting of the conflict, not only from the entirely-predictable BBC (Israelis….really nasty, brutal and bad); and the Palestinians (noble, hard done-by and forlornly waging a war against a brutal oppressor): but also from such as Sky, CNN and others.
Let me tell you a story, and see if it sounds feasible!
You are living in a country which has been at war for over four years, your Nation’s leaders have made some really bad judgements, but there is still an overwhelming support for the war to be fought, and won. Your Armed forces, alongside your Allies, have crossed the narrow waters which separate your lands from the Occupied Continent; landed successfully along a broad beachhead, and have broken through heavy defences, and are making headway towards the enemy’s borders. Your Eastern Allies, who indeed have suffered more than any other are moving ever westwards, seeking revenge. The nightly raids, the incessant terror-bombing of your cities and towns, which destroyed so much, and killed so many, is now but a distant memory, because your Country’s bombers are heading outwards at night, along with your Allies’ bombers during the day.
You live in a quiet street in a West London suburb called Chiswick. You have heard the enemy bombers as they drone menacingly overhead, you know when to take cover, or hasten to the shelter areas. The air-raid sirens’ wail is still well-remembered, and your relatives have drilled it into your head that any warning is better than none at all. So you are as relaxed as is possible, as there are no alarms, or warning noises, or indeed official broadcasts or warnings. You have no warning before being blown into smithereens, along with two others, together with 22 injured; the explosion also demolishes 11 houses, and seriously damages a further 22. The crater measures 30 feet across, and is 8 foot deep. You are the first victims of the V2 ballstic missile, the V standing for Verwaltungswaffen, or retaliation weapon. Boosted by a sixty-five-second explosive burn from an rocket engine, the V2 soared some fifty miles into the stratosphere in a parabolic arc which ended with the detonation of just under a ton of explosives upon impact. There was no defence, as the missile was faster than the speed of sound; no defence, as radar could not possibly interrogate the path of this terror weaponry. If your Nations’ main enemy can manufacture enough missiles, they can strike anywhere. The only means of retaliation is to destroy the means of missile production.
If Hamas gets a new delivery of more sophisticated Iranian weaponry, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem will come under daily bombardment, despite Jerusalem being the third holiest place for all Muslims.
Is Israel willing to move? Is Hamas suicidal enough to continue encouraging their rocket attacks on Israel?
Place your bets!
I wonder how much guilt the various Irish politicians feel when they read of the death of a woman whom they condemned to death by a combination of inertia, superstition and ignorance?
I doubt very much if Enda Kenny feels anything more than a momentary annoyance at the stupidity of a woman who held the belief that she was in a country which would protect her against that same ignorance, superstition and inertia, but there again, she must have forgotten she was in a country which just doesn’t care!
You are an ordinary man, with an ordinary family whom you dearly love. Your Country is invaded by another, and your nation is overwhelmed by massive superiority of men, weaponry and air power. You soon realise that the invaders look upon your religion and race with distaste and dislike, but you are used to that, as the same fate has littered your race’s history for centuries. You don’t worry too much, because, after all, your new masters might have the power, but they are still human beings. Your fate becomes progressively worse, as you and all your neighbours, friends and fellow members of your faith are herded together into ever-smaller areas of your own city, and you are forced to wear distinguishing labels on your clothing whenever you walk out of the hovel you are forced to call home. Then the news spreads that you, along with thousands of others, are to be sent far away to new areas to work for your new overlords. You seek counsel with those who are the wisest amongst your religion, and it is decided that you should co-operate, because your new rulers might be vicious, and brutal, but they are just following their own orders to relieve pressure upon overloaded city functions.
Your family, after travelling for many hours in crammed railway cars, finally arrive at your new home, where you are met with the usual mixture of efficiency, brutality and disdain by your conquerors; separated into two columns of men and boys, women and girls and told to prepare to march to your new home. But before you commence marching, the call goes out for skilled volunteers, for carpenters, cobblers, electricians, and because you were told to volunteer by one of the many uniformed helpers at the rail station, members of the same religion as yourself, you put your hand up and you are told to stand by until ordered to move. You wave farewell as your wife and children walk away as their long column disappears through the trees which line the dusty road, then you are briskly pushed into another, smaller line of volunteers and marched into the camp. You are shown your workplace, then a friendly face speaks, and shows you where you will sleep, and how the invaders always expect the camp workers to run everywhere, and never question any order given.
As the hours and days progress, you notice that some things are very, very different in this work camp. There are many soldiers, and armed guards, all from the country of your conqueror, and many working men and women, all of your race and religion, but there are no children at all, and you ask several others when you can expect to see your wife and children, as you were told that they would be working in the fields; but all avert their eyes and will not answer. You see a constant cloud of smoke from a distant building, but again, when you ask what is the source of that smoke and fire, no one will answer. Finally, that same friendly face comes close, takes you by the arm to a quiet place, gets you to sit down and tells you the terrible truth, that the name of this camp is SOBIBOR, and it is not a work camp, it is a death camp.
Escape from Sobibor is not a very well made film, some of the characters are stereotypes, and the acting is alternatively very good, and almost absurd; but the message, the central theme behind the storyline, is of course real, truthful and very deadly. The film was based on testimony from two survivors of Sobibor, and every major item is based on fact. There were only some three hundred Jews who made their escape through the barbed wire fences, over the anti-personnel mines which literally infested all the surrounds of that terrible place, escaping as the remaining guards and S.S. shot down the rest of the ‘UnterMenschen’, as the Jews were known by their Nazi masters. Only 300-odd escaped from Sobibor, and a further 70 made their escape from Treblinka and all the other death camps, out of the six million or more Jewish prisoners whose mortal remains either rose through the crematorium chimneys, or lie in unmarked graves across the wide expanses of the wide swathes which were scythed by the Nazis in their five years of warfare and terror.
It isn’t a well-known film, but I for one would make it compulsory viewing for all teenagers in schools across this nation of ours; just so that they too can remember why our fathers fought and won at Alamein some seventy years ago this week, why the Royal Air Force was so right to bomb Dresden into a smoking pyre, why some 30,000 young Americans flying B-17’s and Liberators sacrificed their lives during the daylight bombing raids over Nazi Germany; and why I would always support military action in a cause worth embarking upon.
Four-odd months ago, I commenced a process to lose weight. As I stated previously, I was not obese, or that I had a problem with my ‘image’ (some image), or indeed that my Body Mass Index was too high; I simply was too damn fat for my own good, and decided to do something about it. I had some ‘previous’ with various diets, but had a good look around, and plumped (ha ha!) for the one which made sense to me, a mere neophyte in medical, process and chemical changes within my body; and also because of the inescapable truth that I was now definitely ‘elderly’. I also exercise every weekday morning, which is similar to belting myself with birch twigs, without the sado-masochistic satisfaction.
So, some 140 days later, I have reached the magic figure of 38 pounds off, or just over 2.5 stones in weight loss; which is half my weight-loss target. It hasn’t been easy, as I still consider the lack of Danish pastries akin to a natural disaster, and chocolate biscuits to be on a par with at least cocaine in addictive potential. But I shall progress, and as I am already feeling the benefits from not having to cart the equivalent of a sack of potatoes every time I walk, I shall continue to do my bit for my heart, my general health and well-being. My beloved wife depends upon me, and as I could never contemplate being without her, I shall do my best to stay with her for those years allowed us.
But the real reason to tell regulars of my small battles and triumphs is to lay bare the truths about the many and varied slimming and diet claims in news columns, magazines of all shapes and persuasions, and of course the plethora of diet, food and health advice websites on t’Internet. You have no doubt read as many headlines as I which all carry the pick-and-mix words we are so used to reading. ‘Lose a Stone in two weeks’, or ‘Get that beach body ready for the holiday of a lifetime’, or my own personal favourite, ‘Lose that belly fat faster’. What all of these diet sites promise, and of course it is just a promise, is that you too will have the enviable body silhouette featured on the shiny diet page, providing that you eat Brand XX, or Solution YY, or a half-dozen bottles of pinkish-coloured Gloop ZZ. Most diet advice sites and pages also routinely denigrate everyone else’s ideas and products, consigning them to a shade just above child abuse, which is pretty low itself.
The one thing which most routinely forget to tell you is that, in order to lose weight, you have to accept that it is and ‘should be’ a long process. The human body retains many of the defence mechanisms built up over millennia, and one of those mechanisms is the ability to store energy against a time of hunger or famine. The Pygmy Bushmen of Namibian fame are a typical example of this body action, where they gorged on food after a hunt, and their bodies store the excess in their buttocks, and draw upon that excess during the long days between another kill, so that whilst they might seem to be almost without sustenance, their bodies are routinely replenishing from their energy store.
There are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss, if you have built up a fat reservoir over months or indeed years, and you wish to return to a better level of health, whichever diet regime you adopt must be tailored to the finite ideal of slowly and steadily. The diet advice which I adopted stated that the total time needed to come close to my ideal weight loss was nine months, and what the man wrote has so far come close to my own knowledge of my progress.
I would not presume to advise anyone on the efficacies of my diet, or any other advice, regime or product; that is again an individual choice; I do not preach, I don’t say ‘eat this’ or alternatively ‘don’t eat or drink that’. The only thing I would say is that the best method of weight control is a full length mirror, and if you don’t like what you see, don’t you think that you owe it to those who may depend on you to maybe do something about it?
I am a member of the Tell the Telegraph community, and I thought I would copy my response to a panel query on when a poppy symbol should appear on the website:-
The topic under debate is one of when the Royal British Legion Poppy symbol should be shown on the Telegraph masthead. Surely the more appropriate debate should be centred around the tragic loss of lives in that dusty hell-hole commonly known as Afghanistan; and perhaps more importantly a discussion of the possible fate of all the politicians who sent, and continue to send, British Services personnel into harms way in order to establish a ‘Democratic State’ in Afghanistan.
The other ‘purpose’ of this multi-billion pound endeavour is alleged to be ‘keeping us safer here at home’ because of the sacrifices of those bright shining spirits in the drug- and blood-soaked sands of Afghanistan. The sheer lunacy of even believing in the very idea of a ‘democratic Government’ in Afghanistan should give all sensible people a pause for thought.
We tried it, to govern Afghanistan that is, over a century ago, and we eventually scurried out over the bodies of the sixteen-odd thousand British members of the column from Jalalabad. We went in again, time after time, to prevent influence from France, from Russia, and it got us absolutely nowhere.
We should have taken to heart the warning of the latest Russian occupation which was to support their Afghan proxy, an occupation which was total, brutal and unswerving, but which eventually came to nothing after the Mujahideen gained superiority through the advent of the Stinger missile supplied by America. Was the NATO-led invasion justified after 9/11? Most certainly yes, but instead of ‘nation-building’ by force, which has ever been a fruitless exercise wherever it been tried, we should have handed over to the Afghanis, told then that the next time the West would be coming, we would be coming to make their ‘country’ a smoking radio-active car-park, and to mind their manners; and then left.
Western politicians have yet to learn that you cannot make a Nation out of ten thousand villages, soaked in the beliefs of muslim autocracy. But we saw Bush, and Blair, and all the other guilty parties, including the fool John Reid, with his forever-remembered ‘British Forces could leave Afghanistan without a shot being fired’, prate, and parade, and posture.
We saw them line up beside the Cenotaph, with their wreaths of poppies, while not understanding that what they had signed the British Army up to achieve was just unachievable. And let us not forget that none of these posturing, primping princes of political thought have ever served one single day in uniform, of any colour or rank, at all.
We do not retain, in Britain, the ability to legally kill someone who has committed treason, but I for one would sign any petition to restore such a power, and then the first ones to be tried would be every politician, of any Party, who has expressed the slightest desire to extend, for one second, our presence in the corrupt stagnant pool of drugs, grand-scale larceny and murder which is the alleged country named Afghanistan.