Sail Ho?

I read that a couple of people with more money than sense have put up rather a lot of money so that the yacht Gipsy Moth IV will stay in Britain, rather than possibly be sold overseas.
Now I know a little bit about the sea, and small ships, boats and yachts, so I probably find myself in a minority by plaintively asking,”Why the fuss?”
After all, that yacht, is just a collection of timber, steel, aluminium, concrete and fibres, sailing loosely in formation. It has no intrinsic value whatsoever, being as it is some forty-odd years old, and in sad need of a lot of cash being slathered all over its wooden ribs. The ‘donation’ of more than £250,000 will enable the old boat to go sailing once more, but again, and again, the question nags at me, “why spend all that cash on an old boat when you could buy a new one for very little more?”

The simple truth that it was the Man who sailed that voyage. It was Sir Francis Chichester who battled the seas, the winds and all the elements on his voyage. The yacht was just the collection of timbers and canvas which carried that single-minded man as he won out against all the odds. Having been in very large ships, I have also sailed in very small craft, of a similar size to Gipsy Moth, and it is the sea which is your opponent. If you look ‘up’ at a wave whilst on the bridge of a modern ship, just think of the power bearing down upon a puny yacht in the same seas!

England fought the French with old ships of the line, and won, but that was because of Nelson, the crippled sailing genius and his men of the Royal Navy; the government of the day was too tight-fisted to pay for new vessels. ‘Victory’ remains as the only reminder of that Navy, but only because there are sufficient sailors who have fought to keep her in dock.

Gipsy Moth should have been let go, to sail on until she disappeared of old age and fading fortunes.

 

Pour slowly, and the colour alters imperceptibly!

When a liquid, or a potion, or any mixture is guaranteed to be 100% pure, that is commonly accepted as being ‘the real thing’. There can be no substitute for adulteration, no dilution is permitted; there are definite restrictions on advertising a compound, or a mixture, or any substance which contains less than the agreed ingredients in correct proportions; because to allow this would be to accept that the lesser product is as efficacious, or as potent, as ‘the real thing’.

As with chemistry, so with politics. Our system of political representation was developed over centuries of trial, sometimes of error; but always of retaining the items which worked, discarding those which did not meet with expectations, and ensuring that the People were at least governed and kept safe. Many politicians enter their field because of a sense of justice, many others because of a sense of injustice, whether experienced by a few, or many. But the people whom I write about today are mostly failed politicians, remnants of times past, of egos too big for their boots, of blunder, bluster, avarice and bigotry!

I refer to the present House of Lords, not the past. In my own lifetime I have watched as the finest Second Chamber in the world has become dilute, stained, and as more than a few have noted, a political laughing-stock. In most of the last century, we in the United Kingdom had a gathering of people who were beholden to no one, who were independent of thought and politics because they owed no-one any favour because they were there because of their birth, not because of political influence. We had scientists, philosophers, engineers, businessmen, artists; people of enormous talent whose experience was freely available to scrutinise and reform legislation put forward by Members of the Commons. And, folks, it worked! Because they had the time, because they were beholden to no whim of a political party, they gave value and indeed benefit to a political process which stood in great need of it.

It is true, not all Members were hereditary. The Crown retained the right to establish peerages, who then retained the hereditary principle, but it was not until 1958 that Life Peerages were established. These posts were established ostensibly to overcome the alleged inability of Peers to attend Parliament regularly, with the attendant problem that the ‘backwoodsmen’, those who attended infrequently or hardly ever, could wreck any legislation by appearing out of the blue, as it were, and with a majority demolish years of work by both the Commons and by political draughtsmen.

But if you now look at the make-up of the Lords, dominated as they are after the gerrymandering techniques of the Labour years, yes, and of Conservative times as well; by failed politicians of all hues, of people who can and will be told, ‘vote our way’, and will follow the strictures of a Party and not an opinion, knowledge or a conscience. On the Labour side of things, we see the Welsh windbag Kinnock, Lord Levy, one time money bag-man to Tony Blair, two prime examples of reward for failure. We see Pola, Baroness Uddin, but not for a while, because she has been banned from the House for what should have been called theft and fraud. Alongside Uddin are two more prime examples of Labour’s prescience in political honour distribution, Lords Paul and Bhatia, who have also been fined large amounts of money for similar offences to Uddin, but were not banned because they admitted their wrongdoing. We also see Baroness Floella Benjamin, but nobody knows really why! Name after name, of people ennobled for entirely the wrong reasons, or for the right reasons if you are of that mind.

Similarly, on the Tory side of the aisle, we see patronage at its best, with Baroness Anelay, formerly Chairwoman of the Conservative Womens Committee, with no other expertise to show that her ennoblement was nothing else than a political gesture; and it works, because she is Chief Whip for the Tories in the Lords. We also see Ken Baker, now of course Baron Baker of Dorking, who had also been described as the reason slime gets a good name in Dorking. We hear the names Conrad Black, but we don’t see the good Baron Black of Crossharbour, because he is just about to return to an American prison to serve out the remainder of a sentence for fraud. We note the names by the dozen, of political friends who have served their purpose well in the sleazy art of politics, and now get their rewards in ermine and good tables in restaurants.

By virtue of a single Legislative Act, the Labour party destroyed the whole idea of an Independent Second Chamber, whose role was to scrutinise and remedy legislation placed before it by the Commons, on the grounds that the Lords were not ‘accountable’. Looking as we do now at some 600-odd political placemen, only some of whom are sentient; with a small rump of the hereditary peerage remaining, , would anyone agree that the result of Labour’s gerrymandering has been beneficial to democracy?

The rich are different!

If you have really bad neighbour problems, you have few choices. You can attempt to negotiate with the ‘pikeys’ next door, who probably have no idea that their behaviour is causing distress around them, mainly because they have never been imbued with any sense of civility or courtesy! You can ask your neighbour if he will cut back on the overgrown forest which masquerades as a hedge next door. You can even attempt to get the police to clamp down on the scum who are making your life a misery in the estate which is a no-go area, but don’t really hold out much hope on that score.

The one thing you usually cannot do is ‘move’, mainly because your investment is locked in your house, and no-one will buy into trouble.

Unless you are a Billionaire, and find that someone has photographed your house from a moving car, and then uploaded all your home details onto the Internet, along of course with everyone else’s in the entire city, town or village. Because, if you are a true Billionaire, you can always ‘MOVE‘!

 

Abandon Hope?

As my regular readers may remember, I worked in South Africa for some seventeen years, leaving only when I decided that the country was changing too fast, too dangerously and to soon.

Some people seem to believe that I hanker for the days of Aparthied, for the rule of the White Man, in that once pleasant and wonderful country. Not so, I accept that, in a Democracy, the majority’s wishes must rule.

All I would ever point out that the day of ‘Uhuru’ has been and gone, the magic ‘votes’ were handed out and used, and all I would ever ask is whether those who voted regard their nation as one of the winners.

Yes, the magic ‘World Cup’ was played and watched by millions, but do the citizens of South Africa now realise that they are burdened with paying the huge infrastructure costs, and the repayment of all those borrowed billions, as well as the huge amounts of cash which were legally stolen by the directors of the Gautrain, for example, while failing to come up with anything else besides a speedy trip from the airport to Johannesburg Central? How about the new airport in Durban, built at huge cost, and for what? Fifteen extra flights from overseas! A new freight depot beside the airport. Yes, and watch how it is being utilised. The rust will grow on the tracks where the cargoes are supposed to run, because the business is just not there!

Turn your eyes towards the hospitals, and watch as they slowly sink beneath the weight of the useless bureaucracy imposed by the Black administrations, and also watch as the doctors, the specialists, the consultants disappear towards Europe, Australia and america, towards a future which is not a lottery of murder, theft and sleaze!

Read the warnings of an eminent scientist as he predicts disease and near disaster if Capital Investment is not prioritized for the Water Industry. I know about water, about sewage and treatment works. They are expensive, and they take time to plan, and build, and commission. If the engineering is not there, the water does not get cleansed, and people start getting sick very quickly. Don’t heed me; heed HIM!

An ‘error’ in Translation

In general, the phrase, ‘A Nation gets the Government it deserves’ ought to be emblazoned, prominently, over the main gates of the Palace of Westminster, and again over the Lobby to the House of Commons within that august structure. Over the time I have been a close observer of the shenanigans happening within those gothic walls, I have seen and heard of many scandals, much deceit, a very few moments of genuine honesty & pathos, and a great deal of pusillanimous speechmaking, angling for personal power and blatant lying untruthfulness.

The business of Parliament, which used to be about how we were governed and how we are to be defended, has been abolished, as many if not most decisions are taken by an unelected cabal of bureaucrats based in Brussels. What we are left with is an expensive version of the deck chairs being moved around on the sun-deck of the Titanic. But the Left still tries to carry on with it’s Big State ideas, always being helpful to the Unions, who after all demand such gratitude without a whisper of the truth, which is simply that behind the modernised exteriors and amalgamations; They, and They alone, are the Paymasters of the Labour Party, the Labour movement and the wider Labour acolytes and hangers-on!

We see the bitter fruits of the Thatcher years, when one fearless woman stood up to the burners, the bullies and the backbiters; Continue reading “An ‘error’ in Translation”

Ted, Ned, and Dave to do the dishes.

Henry V111 and Ted Heath may seem strange bed-fellows, but one oversaw the rise of firstly English and later British Independence, and the other signed it away. The King, the ruler, knew what he wanted and foresaw for his kingdom, and determined to achieve it. He went against Catholic Rome, a faith and belief which he espoused and held to for years, because he saw the downfall of his line in the obdurate attitude of the Papal See on the thorny question of a marriage to a brother’s widow, once he found that this wife would not bring him Princes; heirs to a throne which was rocky at best, and calamitously unsound  on more than one path.

He wanted Anne Boleyn, she would not give him what he wanted without a wedding ring, so he broke with Rome. His further romantic liaisons, after the disappointment with Queen Anne, a wife for whom he had killed his best friend because Sir Thomas More would not make the Oath, all led to disappointment, although he tried and tried again. He established universities, he helped build the first navy; but his greatest achievement was to give England the first Elizabeth, the Queen who would go on to defend her Crown, to build a nation who bestrode the seas, whose trade, influence and plain straightforward bloody-mindedness made Britain a leader amongst the nations of Europe, and the World.

Ted Heath, on the other hand, probably never had a sexual encounter in his entire life, homo- or heterosexual. A ‘loner’ par excellence, his problem probably was that he just did not understand the needs of people who were different to him. The fact that these people were, to themselves, normal, probaly never occurred to a man who had always stood apart from everyone, and therefore had no clue about what was best for them. He didn’t understand working people, he was useless with the Union bosses, he didn’t understand that his own Party were desperate for change, but change they understood. His service in the Artillery during the Second World War proved he was no coward, but his knowledge of that war probabaly coloured his approach to the formation of the Common Market. He probably saw it as a means to ensure that Germany and France could never war against each other, and its enlargement he saw a a proper balance against American domination in both trade and power.

Like Margaret Thatcher, he never understood the truth about Europe, which is that it was a deeply-authoritarian and undemocratic creation, built, peopled and operated by politicians and apparatchiks who instinctively ‘knew’ that their way was best, and their creation allowed for no dissent, no opposition.  He lied all the way to the bank to get Britain in to the ‘Market’, giving away the huge resource of all our fishing grounds away to a bunch of clowns who had never even seen the sea before, and debasing himself, and us, to France to get in on any terms.

When he signed the Treaty of Rome, he threw away our sovereignty, and the talking shop in Westminster cannot get it back, and just about all of them don’t even want to try! The changes from ‘Market’ to ‘Economic Union’ to ‘European Union’ were stealthy, unadvertised and unknown to most Europeans, never mind the British. The pillock who sits in Downing Street is a typical ‘apparatchik’or manager. He is, as most will learn in due course, in love with the ‘idea’ of Europe, and is fascinated by it’s rituals, its pomp and self-importance, and has forgotten the offer of a Referendum on our membership of that dictatorial body, and fervently wishes that the rest of us would forget as well!