One Cheer, At Least One, For Caroline.

Caroline Lucas is from a species which I normally either ignore, detest or attack on sight or hearing. She epitomises everything about the liberal-left which I, as a freeborn Englishman, have come to dislike intensely. An activist within C.N.D., and prominent against American bases in Great Britain, she has espoused such campaigns as the Centre for Social Europe, Women’s Environmental Network and the Green manifesto for a Zero Carbon Economy, and so on, etc., etc. In other words, she is one accustomed to telling us what we should be doing, burning and eating because she, and of course her Party, knows far better that we do.

But, and it is indeed a big ‘BUT’, she has had the utter gall to do what very few others within the last excuse for a Parliament, and presumably the vast percentage of the new lot, have had either the guts, the temerity, or the plain courage of conviction and bravery to say that which none dared say before. She was talking about Trafigura, their slimy solicitors Carter Ruck, and the super-injunction slapped upon the Guardian which was only breached after bloggers raised the debate above the gutters where Carter-Ruck and Trafigura hoped to have it buried. Even now, there are more legal activities in Dutch courts, but you don’t hear much about those legal cases within British newspapers or television.

So welcome to Parliament, Caroline! You may be small, you might not endear many to either your Party or your causes, but when you speak for freedom, you deserve our congratulations!

A Brick, or a *rick?

Music is perhaps the one thing which can be really classed as universal, despite its almost infinite variations and forms. David’s musical hero Elvis Costello’s grip on his fans affections is as real as my own titans of the musical world, with names such as Stravinski, Barber, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. Whatever your choice, whether you experience a thrill from hearing a Peruvian Nose Flute, Pan Pipes or a Stradivarius Cello, music is accepted as an experience which can soothe, alarm, please, enrich and entertain, all within a few bars or notes. The virtuoso, whether playing a guitar, piano, violin, oboe or drums can get a feedback reaction from an audience which, although perfectly silent during the music, sends rapture through the ether which tells the player that once more, he or she has conquered.

That much I would attest to, in that musicians, pop or classical, singer or player, are masters of their trade. They have to be, otherwise they would not last very long in the cut-throat world of music. They have to be aware of the butterfly affections of their fans, whose appetite must be fed with more, and newer pieces, all of which have to be aimed straight at their target market like a bullet from a Barrett .50 calibre sniper rifle. The best survive and adapt, like the Stones or Status Quo; (these names are known even unto me, not because I know or like their music, but because their names crop up on news-sites) the balance flare like a starburst, then fade quickly from sight.
The problem is, from long-serving musicians or solar-flare types equally, is that because they are known in one field, they all arrogantly accept that this automatically gives them the right to pontificate on just about every subject, political, domestic or world-wide, that comes to wider public knowledge. Thus we have Bob Geldof, who rescued a faded pop career by investing his time and lots of other peoples money to ”Feed the World”, we also shrink from the nasal tones of some clown named Bonio or something, who attempts to dictate how lots of other peoples money should again be spent.

We heard this morning how Roger Waters, who apparently lead a group named Pink Flood or something similar, was planning to start another tour with his own band, but featuring the massive hit album ‘The Wall’. Now if the BBC wants to give this clown some free publicity, so be it, but I for one take exception to the little diatribe which was spouted from this self-opinionated musician on his own pet hates. He was asked by the Today interviewer if he would perform a ‘farewell tour’ and replied “at the age of sixty-six, why not? But I would like to play one concert when one wall comes down, and that is the wall in Bethlehem. That is one wall where I would like to play!”

I wonder if he has many fans amongst the Israelis who lost so many family members to the suicide , mortar and death squad attacks before that Wall was erected; that Wall which brought a sudden drop in the attacks from fundamentalist Pallies’ and their best friends in Hezbollah? I wonder if Mr. Waters would forgive his neighbours if they started shelling his home from across the green valley where he lives? I wonder if his lip-service to the demands of a group of killers and terrorists advances their cause one iota? I fervently hope it does not!

Who watches the Watchers?

There is a joke told about a boy who asked his Dad why Bigamy was against the law?

His Dad replied that the law exists to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

That was a feeble attempt to bring humour to what is surely one of the most difficult decisions ever to be asked of a Judicial figure, and of the Judicial system, in this our native land. A woman, born mentally handicapped, has contracted cancer of the uterus, and the hospital authorities advised her to prepare for an operation, because not to do so would result in a very early, painful death. Because of her limited abilities to comprehend or react as people with their full range of mental capacities might do, she has failed to keep appointments, or indeed comply with the requests of the surgeons to avail herself of the life-saving operation proposed by the medical people, those same medics have gone to Court in order to make her have the operation.

The Court of Protection exists to protect those whose mental faculties are blurred, damaged or broken beyond repair, and although it has its many critics, myself amongst them, it does serve as a legal bulwark against possible abuse by others against those who literally cannot protect themselves. So the Family Divisions President, Sir Nicholas Wall had the unenviable task of deciding whether the operation should be carried out, with or without the co-operation or understanding of the patient. As a firm believer in the Rule of Law, but also in the removal of unjust Laws, I do believe that this lady’s best interests are served by this decision, and whilst I also hope that similar decisions are taken as seldom as possible, recognise that the need of the individual is best served by a body such as this Court.

Pass by on the other side?

When we declared ourselves to be a civilised nation, honouring such ideals as Democracy, Society and Public Service, we should have put up large banners and posters reminding our so-called caring citizens that when they see something untoward, it is maybe almost their duty to inform someone in authority that something is troubling them.

It doesn’t have to be specific; if you feel there is a problem with a near neighbour, whether it be knowledge that they are ill, or perhaps disturbed, ask the police or, perish the thought, Social Services, and at least you have done your duty.

Let me give you two examples from my own life.

  • I was chatting to a mate whom I met on a quiet street in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. As we talked, I caught a movement out of the side of my eye, glanced around, but saw nothing. I thought I saw movement again, and looked far closer; discovering that a car or truck had collided with a metal post which served as a combination street-light pole plus an overhead cable support, the pole had broken off about an inch from the ground, and it was actually been held upright by the tension of the power cables to which it was fastened. As my car was pointing into the suburb centre, I said I would report it. The policeman to who I reported the damage at first didn’t want to know, as it probably would have generated a great deal of paperwork, but I persisted, eventually speaking to a Sergeant who accepted that I had done my duty, and now he would carry on and alert the various officials who would arrange for repairs.
  • A few years ago, I was inspecting work done by a contractor in a flat, and the resident mentioned almost in passing that the elderly lady upstairs had not had a hot water supply, either for washing or heating, for over two months. I checked, found that the landlord was indeed responsible for this gross dereliction of his duty of care towards the person who rented accommodation, and ensured that the skinflint Scrooge sorted things out, by a judicious letter to both the head of the Social Services, as well as the Police.

If you, like I, accept that under certain circumstances we are our brother’s keeper, do you agree that the neighbours of this unfortunate are indeed unworthy of the title?

No, but honestly….

Julius Malema and his chauffeur were rolling down the highway when suddenly they hit a pig crossing the road. They killed it instantly.

Malema tells his driver:” Go to da farm over dere and hexplain to da howner of da pig what happen.”

One hour later, Malema sees his driver coming back from the farm, his clothes all wrinkled, a bottle of wine in one hand and a cigar in the other.

“What happen to you?” Malema asks.

“Well, the Boer farmer gave me a bottle of wine, beautiful plates of food, a cigar, beautiful 20 year old brandy, coffee biscuits and cheese and their 19 year old domestic servant made wild passionate love to me.”

“My My ! What did you tell dem?” asked Malema.

The driver answered: ” Good evening, I am Julius Malema’s chauffeur and I have just killed the pig.”