Words do not often fail; but…..

I quote, without comment, from a UN Human rights Council Review on Libya:-

Iran noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had implemented a number of international human rights instruments and had cooperated with relevant treaty bodies. It noted with appreciation the establishment of the National Human Rights Committee as an independent national human rights institution, and the provision of an enabling environment for non-governmental organizations.

Algeria noted the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote human rights, which reflected the country’s commitment to complying with Human Rights Council resolutions and cooperating with the international community. Algeria welcomed the national institutional framework that had been set up, in particular the National Human Rights Committee. It noted that the country had made some progress in the area of education, as well as social and economic progress since the lifting of economic sanctions.

Qatar praised the legal framework for the protection of human rights and freedoms, including, inter alia, its criminal code and criminal procedure law, which provided legal guarantees for the implementation of those rights. Qatar expressed appreciation for the improvements made in the areas of education and health care, the rights of women, children and the elderly, and the situation of people with special needs.

Sudan noted the country’s positive experience in achieving a high school enrolment rate and improvements in the education of women.

The Syrian Arab Republic praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its serious commitment to and interaction with the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms. It commended the country for its democratic regime based on promoting the people’s authority through the holding of public conferences, which enhanced development and respect for human rights, while respecting cultural and religions traditions.

North Korea praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its achievements in the protection of human rights, especially in the field of economic and social rights, including income augmentation, social care, a free education system, increased delivery of health-care services, care for people with disabilities, and efforts to empower women. It noted the functioning of the constitutional and legislative framework and national entities.

Bahrain noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had adopted various policies aimed at improving human rights, in particular the right to education and the rights of persons with disabilities. Bahrain commended the free education system and praised programmes such as electronic examinations and teacher training. It commended the country for its efforts regarding persons with disabilities, particularly all the services and rehabilitation programmes provided.

Palestine commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the consultations held with civil society in the preparation of the national report, which demonstrated its commitment to the improved enjoyment of human rights. Palestine praised the country for the Great Green Document on Human Rights. It noted the establishment of the national independent institution entrusted with promoting and protecting human rights, which had many of the competencies set out in the Paris Principles. It also noted the interaction of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with human rights mechanisms.

Iraq commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being a party to most international and regional human rights instruments, which took precedence over its national legislation. It welcomed the efforts to present a comprehensive overview of the human rights situation in the country based on the unity among democracy, development and human rights. It also commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its cooperation with the international community.

Saudi Arabia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in its constitutional, legislative and institutional frameworks, which showed the importance that the country attached to human rights, and for the fact that international treaties took precedence over its national legislation. It noted that the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya had become party to many human rights conventions and had equipped itself with a number of institutions, national, governmental and non-governmental, tasked with promoting and protecting human rights.

Tunisia welcomed [Libya’s] national report, as well as the efforts of the National Committee, such as the website created to gather contributions. Tunisia noted progress made by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, such as the adoption of the Great Green Charter, which was very comprehensive and enshrined fundamental freedoms and rights as enshrined in international human rights instruments.

Venezuela acknowledged the efforts of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to promote economic, social and cultural rights, especially those of children. It highlighted progress achieved in ensuring free and compulsory education.

Jordan welcomed the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s achievements in the promotion and protection of human rights, including the establishment of institutions, particularly in the judiciary system. Jordan praised progress in the fields of health, education and labour, as well as the increased attention to the rights of women. Jordan noted the participation of women in public life, including decision-making, and emphasized the fact that women held one third of all judicial posts.

Cuba commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for the progress made in the achievement of one of the Millennium Development Goals, namely, universal primary education. It noted that the country had also made a firm commitment to providing health care.

Oman commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its diligent efforts in the field of human rights and for making them its priority. It referred to the legal framework for the protection of human rights, and its clear commitment in that regard, which was reflected in the ratification of most human rights instruments, and its cooperation with United Nations mechanisms. The country’s report focused on both achievements and challenges, which demonstrated its sincerity in addressing human rights issues.

Egypt commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for progress in building a comprehensive national human rights framework of institutions and in drafting legislation and supporting its human resources in that area. It commended the separation of the Ministries of Justice and the Interior and the development of a new criminal code, and it praised the cooperation with international organizations in combating human trafficking and corruption, and the improvement made in the conditions related to illegal migration.

Malta fully recognized the difficulties faced by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and welcomed the action taken at the national, bilateral and regional levels to suppress the illegal activities that gave rise to migration. Malta welcomed the cooperation of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya with the International Organization for Migration.

Bangladesh referred to the progress made in the enjoyment of economic and social rights, including in the areas of education, health care, poverty reduction and social welfare. Bangladesh noted with appreciation the measures taken to promote transparency.

Malaysia commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for being party to a significant number of international and regional human rights instruments.

Morocco welcomed the achievements in promoting social protection, especially for women, children and persons with special needs. It welcomed the efforts to protect the rights of children. It welcomed the establishment of a national committee for the protection of persons with special needs. Morocco also praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its promotion of human rights education, particularly for security personnel.

Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for measures taken both in terms of legislation and in practice, noting with appreciation that it was a party to most of the core human rights treaties. Pakistan praised the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s commitment to human rights, in particular the right to health, education and food, even when the country had faced sanctions in the 1990s. Pakistan was encouraged by efforts to address the root causes of illegal migration, and noted the good practice of settling political disputes and developing infrastructure in source countries.

Mexico thanked the delegation for the presentation of the national report and the answers that it had provided. It expressed appreciation for the political will of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to address the human rights challenges facing it. Mexico hoped that the universal periodic review of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya would make a positive contribution to national efforts to overcome challenges to guaranteeing the full enjoyment of human rights.

Myanmar commended the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya for its economic and social progress, and recognized efforts in domestic legislation aimed at guaranteeing equal rights. Myanmar noted that the country had acceded to many international human rights instruments and established a national Human Rights Committee. Myanmar praised efforts to realize basic education for all and a free health-care system.

Viet Nam congratulated the delegation on the quality of the national report. It noted with satisfaction the commitment of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to the protection and promotion of the human rights of its people, particularly the country’s accession to the main international human rights conventions. It welcomed achievements made in the exercise of human rights.

Thailand welcomed the national report, which presented both progress and challenges. Thailand highlighted efforts made with regard to education, persons with special needs and vulnerable groups.

Brazil noted the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s economic and social progress and acknowledged the promotion of the rights of persons with disabilities, the free health care and the high enrolment in primary education. Brazil noted the successful cooperation with international organizations in areas such as migrant rights, judicial reform and the fight against corruption.

Kuwait expressed appreciation for the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya’s initiative to improve per capita income and to ensure social justice and the fair distribution of wealth. It praised the measures taken with regard to low-income families. Kuwait called upon the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to continue its efforts to integrate people with disabilities into society while recognizing their positive role.

Well, I said I wouldn’t comment, but CUBA and BURMA(Myanmar)? Human rights! And they say satire is dead!

Another Planet; or Universe?

I have been scrolling through some of the more recent entries and comments on SaudiWoman’s blog. Now this blogsite is itself a rarity, coming as it does from a seemingly well-educated Saudi female, but it also lifts the veil, as it were, from a nation and a culture which seems so foreign to a Western-educated mind as to be living near a distant star in our galaxy.

Let me list, if I can, some of the more jarring statements which, to SaudiWoman, seem perfectly normal, if not entirely acceptable.

• A group of men belonging to the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vices, or CPVPV, numbering several thousand by the sound of it, can stop chase or harrass any Saudi woman if she is a) by herself on the street, b) in the company of a man whom the PVPV man thinks is not related to her, c) is behaving in a manner likely to inflame men near to her, and d) they don’t like the way she is blinking her eyes at them, because they are seductive, seditious and could push a man to sin.. They cannot see her face, as she is completely covered up in burlap or hessian, but these men can read a wilful expression from forty paces away.
• She is not allowed to drive, or vote, or decide who she marries.
• She is the personal property of her father, or if married; her husband.
• If she builds a Company, and wishes to discuss taxes, or commercial items, or indeed anything at all with Government departments, she must appoint a male as a director, with full discretionary and legal powers, including that of power of attorney; because women cannot talk to Government.
• She has no rights of legal representation, and in a Saudi court of law, her voice has half the power of a man’s, as she is nearly beneath contempt, being a woman.

The list goes on and on, which brings me to a very strange conclusion. Muslim women ,and Saudi women in particular, seem to accept their position in life, they almost seem to say, if to themselves if not out loud, ‘this is the way that life must be, because it is ordained by the King, because he is the Guardian of the Holy Places of Islam, and therefore he can do no wrong’!

Have these women no idea of what is just around the corner? My daughter is an Engineer, she can go where she wishes, do what she wants, sit where she pleases and drives wherever; all because she can! She has the ability to do many things, because she is FREE. Why don’t the Saudi women rise up and say ‘We want to be free! If you wish, you can jail us, beat us, or kill us; because you are going to have to do just that to stop us’!

Take a look at Ghandi. He beat the entire British Empire, because he knew he was right, and you just cannot beat a little self-knowledge!

No real change around!

As we view the “New Revolutions” coming down the road in North Africa and the Middle East, I prefer to take a slightly jaundiced view of the outcomes of any changes which occur because ‘the new, young, computer-savvy, well-educated’ are supposed to be in charge.

Take Egypt for example; I mean the ‘New’ government bears a striking resemblance to the ‘old’ one, in that nearly all the cabinet retain their posts. Oh, and who gets to lead a ‘mass demonstation in Tahrir square’? Why, its none other that the friend of Red Ken Livingstone himself, Yusuf Al-Quaradawi, calling for a ‘jihad’ against Israel! I wonder if the people who courageously stood against the tanks and bullets of Mubarak reckoned they were letting loose a greater catastrophe than the 30-years of repression under the Generals?

Swing across to Tunisia, where there were demonstrations by religious groups against protitutes whose homes have been burned down. One woman asks, ‘Why did they do that?’ Simple, Lady, they did it for Allah, and the bearded fanatics who chant his name! They also slaughtered a Polish Catholic priest, probably because they don’t like Catholics either; a bit like Northern Ireland but with more sun!

We’ll watch what happens in Bahrein, where a shifty Shia majority have been lumbered with a Sunni monarchy for too long. They’ve grown complacent, what with the fifth US Fleet tied up alongside, but heavy guns and helicopters are no match for a bunch of angry people armed only with a sense of injustice!


Add Oman to the mix, along with Morocco, stir gently, and return to the boil!!!

Un-Common Man…1 Bureaucracy…..0

I wish to report a tiny but significant victory for we common people this morning. I had a battle with the Council, and I won. I cannot go into details, because that would expose certain private details of another, but what I can state is that the Council, or rather officials of the Council took one position, and my own was diametrically opposed to them.

Their position, from the outset, was one of ‘we know best’ and ‘we have our jobs to do’, in the great echoing traditions of both Local and Central Governments the world over. They wished that I would adopt a proposal without any argument, without consultation, without demur; because they ‘knew what was best’ for me and my family.
In amongst the communications sent by myself to the Council were the phrases “ No-one tells me what to do;” as well as “the attitude of Council Officials who seem all too keen to go ‘by the book’, and spend some three months odd reading that very same book?”

The Council officials seemed taken aback to find one member of the Community they are supposed to be working for, actively opposing the very thought processes of that same Council, which brings me to a very strange query. Am I the first to object strongly, and argue lucidly against a proposal of the Council?’ Am I the only person ever to take on this organisation with a budget of millions, and a staff numbering over 21,000? It would seem so, because they literally could not understand how their position was so firmly rejected by myself.

Still, they reversed their original demand, made a sensible ‘offer’, which I of course rejected, and the world moves on. If the bland statement that I had to acquiesce with their proposal been made in the form of an offer, all that acrimony would have been avoided, but ‘they knew best’.

Well, this time; they didn’t!!!

X-posted from A Tangled Web

and do you sleep soundly, Mr. Diamond?

As I am deeply interested in the political and financial affairs of our Nation, I sometimes wonder if the definition of Justice is different for some people as to the rest of us. For the purposes of this small essay, ‘Some People’ means those with access to extremely large sums of money, along with regiments of lawyers dedicated to help them keep that money from the depredations of nasty people such as the Tax Collection branch of Her Majesty’s Customs & Revenue. Allow me to elaborate if I may.

Barclays Bank is split into two divisions, one is the friendly (sort of) Bank which has branches throughout Great Britain, looking after your money, paying ridiculously low rates of interest for the privilege of using their deposit facilities for that cash, loaning money at usury rates, and in general making substantial amounts of profit for the shareholders. So far, so normal. They of course, like all mega-banks, have another Division, labelled Investment Banking & Wealth Management. This is of course where the jolly boys and girls sit who deal in ‘Casino banking’, earning huge amounts of money for their clients, and also incidentally creaming off profit for the Bank and ‘bonuses’ for themselves. Now what I have just described is perfectly legitimate, perfectly legal and, in the financial world we live in, perfectly acceptable. The owners of all that money ask Barclays to invest it and look after it, and Barclays, for instance goes into ‘Forex’, which is ‘Foreign Exchange’ to the uninitiated, and literally bet mega-sums of money on tiny changes in ‘rates of exchange’ between currencies. If they get their bets correct, and to all intents they are bets, they make massive profits. Of course, for every winner, there must be a loser, and sometimes they do lose, but the boys and girls at Barclays are pretty good at the ‘Casino Banking’ business; witness the massive profits listed even in bad times and recessions!

Now far be it from me to state that Barclays IMWM division is doing anything either criminal, actionable or against the law, but scrutiny must now focus on a sub-division of Barclays IMWM named Structured Capital Markets Division, which features programmes which try and minimise tax liabilities for their clients and themselves. They, together with banks of tax lawyers ranged in levels of scum, formulated a system whereby a series of gigantic loans named Pelleas and Claudas, switching loans through the Cayman Islands, Luxembourg and the United States. The sums involved totalled £9.8 billion (that is £9,800,000,000 to we ordinary folk), and involved a complicated structure designed with one thing, and one thing only, in mind; and that was to make it so that any tax eventually paid was a fraction of the amount which should have been paid to the Tax authorities.

A whistleblower obtained copies of all the documents, describing this massive tax-evasion scheme to Vince Cable, and through him to the Guardian.
A Financial Times commentator stated:-

I was lucky enough to read through the first of the Barclays documents…
I will say it was absolutely breathtaking, extraordinary. The depth of deceit, connivance and deliberate, artificial avoidance stunned me. The intricacy and artificiality of the scheme deeply was absolutely evident, as was the fact that the knew exactly what they were doing and why: to get money from one point in London to another without paying tax, via about 10 offshore companies. Simple, deliberate outcome, clearly stated, with the exact names of who was doing this, and no other purpose.
Until now I have been a supporter of the finance industry – I work with people there regularly and respect many of them, and greatly enjoy the Financial Times and other financial papers. However this has shone a light on something for me, and made me certain that these people belong in jail, and companies like Barclays deserve to be bankrupt. They have robbed everyone of us, every single person who pays tax or who will ever pay tax in this country (and other countries!), through both the bailouts and schemes such as this.

Barclays reacted violently to prevent the Guardian from printing the detailed statements on the Web, and this part of the story ended when Freshfields, Barclays’ lawyers, toiled into the night to compel the Guardian to remove the documents from the website. Geraldine Proudler, a solicitor acting for the Guardian, was woken by a high court judge telephoning at 2am and asked to justify their publication. At 2.31am, Mr Justice Ouseley, over the phone, ordered that the documents be removed from the website, by which time 127 people had read them.

At the end of a two-day hearing, Mr Justice Blake ruled that the ban remain, even though the memos were circulating around the web. Anyone could find them within minutes on sites such as WikiLeaks, but he did not accept that all confidentiality had been destroyed.
He also believed that the Guardian was not justified under the Human Rights Act in publishing the unexpurgated documents containing legal advice and other confidential matters.

He specifically ordered the Guardian and other media not to “incite” or even “encourage” their readers to go to other websites to view the documents. Out on the internet, however, members of the public were busy discussing and copying the documents for themselves.
This absurdity was ridiculed a week later by a peer, Matthew Oakeshott, who was then Lib Dem Treasury spokesman. He used parliamentary privilege to tell the public what newspapers could not, when he outlined the case to his fellow peers in the Lords.

Now I have visited the Wikileaks site where the documents are discussed, one discussion giving rise to the above quotation from the Financial Times, and although I have not the skill or the software required to download the Barclays Bank files, I will be continuing to attempt to do so!

I am writing this for the simple reason that I believe in the old-fashioned British idea of ‘fair play’! Not the ‘Fair’ so long spouted or promoted by the likes of Blair, Brown, and all the other Labour Party thieves which states that rich people should be divested of all their earnings, which shall be ‘shared equally’ by the ‘deserving poor’, whoever they may be! My ‘Fair Play’ would be that whether rich or poor, a single person or a gigantic corporation or Company, you all must be given an equal shake, and in return, pay what is considered due to the Government of the day! Its maybe a little simplistic, but that is the way I am.

I am writing this because I have just read and digested the facts of Barclays Bank end-of-year results during which it was revealed that, on earnings of £4,600,000,000 (£4.6 Billion), they paid a total of 2.4% or £113 million, as against the normal rate of Corporation Tax which is 28%.

What a bunch of cheese-paring thieves, vagabonds and plain rogues are resident under the flag of a British bank which used to be above reproach!

Law; all for them, very little for the rest!

So you are a young footballer. You are in sight of the ‘big money’, you read the headlines about the cars, the girls, the booze, the lifestyle; its all on your plate, about to be handed to you!

And then you learn that your mates have beaten up, intimidated and robbed at knifepoint a young man the same age as you are. So what do you do? Do you act as a public spirited citizen would, and tell the police what you have learned? No; you contact the victim, and proceed to harrass and intimidate him into dropping all charges against your ‘mates’. You threaten him with physical violence if he does not comply with your demands. One of your statements is recorded as “’You don’t know me any more. You don’t know what I’m capable of.’

But you yourself are arrested & charged with Intimidating a witness.
But the gods are smiling upon you. Your are handed a twelve-month ‘Refferal Order’, which is a legal way of saying “Well don’t do it again, you naughty boy”! Oh, you are also fined £1,500 in costs and compensation.

Is it because you are a ‘Supremely gifted Talent?’ Is it because you play for Manchester United, and of course have access to the finest legal talent money can buy? Is it because the Club stated “’The club does not in any way condone Ravel’s actions, but he is a very talented player with a bright future ahead of him. The right thing to do now is to support him and help him in the process of his rehabilitation.

You have a result! You can go back to kicking your balls, and scoring with the girls, and getting hammered every other night in years to come. No prison time; no shower time with some very hard cases, even in a ‘Young Offenders Institution’, no real punishment at all!

Unlike the victim and his family, who are now under such pressure because the youngster and his family actually stood up to a bully who also was a Footballer!

We are often reminded that these people are ‘Role Models’ for a generation. I wonder if my own boyhood hero Jackie Milburn would ever have contemplated ‘witness intimidation’ as an adornment to his lifestyle? Somehow; I think not!

Will a man post a picture of Ravel Morrison on a blogsite some twenty-three years after his death? Somehow, I doubt it!

If music be the food, what about the vegetables?

As some who read and enjoy these pages may know, Classical music, including much opera, have been part of my life for many years. My ATW mate David might espouse the cause of Elvis (Costello), and others may vote with their feet and ears for other stars of the musical firmament, but the soaring arias of Verdi’s ‘La Traviata,’ Puccini with his ‘La Boheme’, Saint-Saens or even Delibes complete my listening pleasure.

Few modern composers can compete with the Masters, but we must at least see and hear what they have to offer, even if the subject matter itself is stark, such as John Adams’ ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ or his ‘Nixon in China’; but the question now should be:-

Is the world really ready for ‘Anna Nicole Smith’?”

Number, Please?

Its fine when the Prez calls an American Football Club to congratulate them on the signing of one of their players, who besides being a star was also a convicted felon!

Its equally fine when he calls a TV reporter who has escaped from a brutal assault during the riots which brought the downfall of Obama’s best buddy Mubarak!

But I just wonder how many families who have just received the worst call in their lives have also received a call from their Commander-in-Chief?

Just wondering; is all!

Times go by, but memories last forever.

The recent surge of Twitchers or birding enthusiasts toweards an ordinary garden in Chipping Norton should not surprise us, nor should it cause an involuntary shake of heads in sympathy. These men have their passion, their search for the great unknown, whether it is birds, or balloons, or even civil airliners.
A few years ago, I was working on contract for Welsh Water north of Cardiff, and travelled back by train to home in Durham. It was a long, and sometimes very dreary journey, but I met some nice folk, and made some good friends.

I used to catch the train at Newport, and as usual was trundling slowly up the platform, not taking notice of anything in particular. I did notice a goods train coming up and past me on the outside line; perfectly ordinary train, old ‘Deltic’ loco, a mixture of flatbeds, open and covered wagons; you have probably seen hundreds of similar trains yourselves.

But I was suddenly confronted by a raving lunatic, jumping and shouting right in front of me; he was hysterical with anger; shouting and gibbering about how I had ‘spoiled his shot’, and he was going to ‘kill me’. all of course in a high-pitched Welsh accent. Now ordinarily I would have been on the back-foot, but the guy who was doing all the shouting was about five foot one tall, and, shall we say, a ‘bit weedy’! So I dropped my holdall and prepared to defend myself, but then three other men took hold of the raving idiot, and ushered him away. The leader of the rescuing three came back, and said, “You must forgive Dylan, he has been waiting for that engine and truck combination for seven years; and you walked right in front of his camera, just as the set moved past!”.

I then scanned the platform in front of me, and saw five video-cameras, all on tripods. My assailant was a train-spotter, but of course really up-to-date, with the early video cameras recording directly on to VHS format tapes being a god-send to the breed. I was given stony stares by the assembled spotting crew, but walked past, and I will admit, shaking my head slowly as I passed the assembled technology.

I often wonder if he ever saw the funny side of things, or did he buy a waxen doll and some needles?

Stand firm against ‘abuse’, but no worry about Hate propaganda!

I posted a few musings oupon the Dispatches Programme aired yesterday evening, just a few as the programme was still being broadcast, but now am able to cast a more considered gaze across the broadcast in full.

The recorded slices, filmed by concealed cameras, fell into two categories. The first category was to do with the blatant promotion of hard-line Islamic teaching, of the categorisation of all non-muslims as ‘Kuffar’, as unbelievers, as being unworthy of association with a ‘true believer’. The hate just went on, and on! All segments in this section stated an extreme antipathy towards Western values and Western people, and continued warnings from the preachers, who I have to say knew their business and their book; that any association or friendship with Western ideas, people or values was to be rejected.

The second of the two broadcast category was given and talked about as ‘child abuse’. Now when I, or many like me, think or talk about ‘child abuse’, we are of course referring to either sexual abuse of small children by perverts and deviants; or extreme violence perpetrated against a defenceless child by an adult; adult that is in terms of physical strength, not mental development. What we saw, what was depicted was mainly the reactions of an elderly man who couldn’t understand that he was in charge of small and growing boys, couldn’t understand that not everyone who was in the room gave as much respect as he to a book which is regarded as ‘holy’ by his fellow muslims. Yes, he clipped one or two, or more about the head; he slapped one small boy quite deliberately on the ear; yes he did use his foot more than once, to chastise and perhaps to motivate a bunch of unruly children; but ‘abuse’; not from where I was seated! I have seen and felt, far worse than that filmed during my time at a Catholic Grammar School, and what was filmed wasn’t abuse, it was probably frustration at his religion not being taken as seriously as he did!

But the treatment between the two categories by the producers and interviewers is what got my attention. The constant Islamic glorification, the hate-filled commentary against anything Western was said to be ‘disturbing’, and it ‘was not as the school had stated during the OFSTED inspections’, but very little else. No strong condemnation of the propaganda being poured into young, impressionable minds by a skilled and lucid spokesman for Islam! Contrast the actions taken by the police, as they arrest one man following ‘allegations of assault’, and are wishing to speak to another. Contrast the statements by Anne Cryer about the ‘abuse’ allegations, who said ‘It just isn’t acceptable,’ ‘We wouldn’t allow this to happen to white kids going to Sunday schools.’

No mention of the flood of anti-Western sentiments, but plenty of time to stop ‘hitting and kicking’ small boys!

Two Jags, or Jobs, or Shacks, or Shags?

Parliament. The word itself is one to be treasured; for its meaning, for its intent, for the message it gives to a wider world.

1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) an assembly of the representatives of a political nation or people, often the supreme legislative authority
2. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) any legislative or deliberative assembly, conference, etc.
3. (Historical Terms) Also parlement (in France before the Revolution) any of several high courts of justice in which royal decrees were registered
4. Parliament was the party of the Republicans during the English Civil War.

The specific Parliament of which I write is the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), which isn’t a true Parliament, in that all its members are appointed, not elected. Its Members may well be parliamentarians in their own right, but they are not elected to this body, which in turn makes the PACE undemocratic to begin with. My point will be clearer shortly.

One of the functions of this body is that the Assembly elects the judges who sit upon the European Court of Human Rights, and by this election, purport to give the judges, and hence the Court, its own Democratic appearance. The same Court which has just expressed its deep regret at the temerity of the House of Commons’ vote on prisoners’ voting rights.

I listened to, well it was not a debate, with John Prescott taking part it could only be a shouting match, during which a complaint was made that the Judges were undemocratically chosen, to which John Prescott replied, “Of course they are elected, I elected them!”Ah well, that must be alright then, as our political future is safe in the hands of a man who took a job as a waiter with a cruise line, so avoiding National Service. A man who continually opened conversations with “When I was at sea, I worked ‘For Cunard’” Well, John, so did the rest of us, but we didn’t have sex with our secretary on the office desk, and neither did most of us wear out two toilet seats in two years! This, folks, is the calibre of appointee to the Assembly of the Council of Europe, a body which purports to tell us how our land should be governed.

Says a great deal about those who appoint the appointees!

The simple art of prophecy

We all can look back at times in our lives when we can say with all honesty “I told you so!”; and I do so relish being able to state that this is one time that I wish I had not been so exactly right.

Some two years ago, I posted on the ludicrous decision to allow Ghurkas who had served before 1997 and had retired to Nepal to settle within the United Kingdom.

Of course, I received the usual knee-jerk reactions from the assembled few, but as usual I ignored them, because I knew that I was right!

So we now see a local Borough Council literally overwhelmed by a veritable, albeit very slow-moving flood of elderly ex-Ghurkas and large families who have come from Nepal because, I quote “They are in great need of housing benefit, pension credits. They’re not capable of working themselves, they need instant help in order to survive.”

It is true, at least they aren’t bloody Muslims, but I would again quote from the final sentence of the BBC report:- ‘They say their main concern now is getting visas for their adult children in Nepal to come to the UK to look after them in their old age’

Greater love hath no man, than he lay down his life for the D.f.I.D.

Isaiah 28:15
We have made a covenant with death, and with hell we are at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
I don’t often quote from what is possibly the most famous book in the world, but the majestic phrases of the King James Bible carries phrases and quotations suitable and apposite for all occasions, and it is the best of all publications when one is writing of, and exposing lies, dissimulation and falsehoods.

I listened to the slot on the Today programme which was discussing the Army Benevolent Fund’s statement that the Army’s morale was being lowered by the effect of the Government’s Spending ‘cuts’, the strange disappearance of the Armed Forces Covenant from promised legislation, and the lowering or even removal of the Continuity Education Allowance, which gives Forces’ families the ability to send their children to boarding schools, and thus give continuity of education even when families are moved around between bases.

The Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey stated that ‘savings’ had to be made by all three Services, and the actions taken so far, with the demolition of Nimrod, and the axing of the Ark Royal along with the Harrier fleet, would save some £1.2 billion over ten years. So he, along of course with Liam Fox, is perfectly content to strip Britain not only of Capital projects which never would have worked properly in the first place (Nimrod), lumbering us with two aircraft carriers which will not have any aircraft to fly off them; but also depriving our Servicemen of all the ‘perks’ which make their ‘lives on the line’ just that bit more bearable. All of course in the sacred casue of ‘reducing the Deficit’ and ‘saving money’.

I wonder if Cameron, Fox and Harvey have ever got together and congratulated themselves on not only ring-fencing, but actually increasing, the Dpt. for International Developments budget? In amongst the £7.6 billion due to be given away this year, I wonder if the Ministers think they are getting ‘value for money’? Do they think that the £22 million spent on the ‘Gender Equality’ campaign in Pakistan is bearing fruit, especially when we read that murder, rape and violence is enshrined within their religious statutes?

Why don’t we repatriate all of that cash, and spend it on Our Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen, instead of pouring it down the drain, as we do, for example, in Malawi? Malawi, where we are funding the purchase of two million ‘energy-saving’ light bulbs; in a country which, by conservative accounts, only has some 76,000 homes connected to mains power?

X-posted from A Tangled Web

Not funny?

We are told that the cringingly-subservient (to the right people, that is) BBC has apologised to the Mexican Ambassador, and through him of course to the Mexican people for ‘jokes made on national stereoptypes’ made during the Top Gear programme. Apparently, reference was made by the programme presenters that “Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat. The presenters then described Mexican food as “refried sick”.

The humour, or the alleged humour, contained within Top Gear, is an acquired taste, unpalatable to some, hilarious to others. The viewer, knowing the proclivities of Clarkson and Hammond for off-colour and tasteless jokes, has the ultimate choice whether to watch or not by the twitch of a remote control, and therefore knows what he or she will be seeing; and I for one would not dream of censoring, or even commenting upon their alleged ‘sense of humour’.

But would the BBC have apologised so profusely if the Top Gear team had commented upon the following items?

Mexican Government corruption rampant!

Mexican drug wars threaten to envelop American States bordering Mexico!

Mexican drug executions untouched by fearful police!

It is true that I cannot imagine humour being applied to a single story of death, murder or corruption on a scale which threatens the very essemce of the Mexican State, but equally to reprove a trio of entertainers whose show is massively popular for stereotypical comments of another nation is going perhaps farther than the BBC should have done.

The man who changed the face of British Politics forever.

He is the son of Hungarians who fled from the 1956 uprising in that once-Communist land. His family name was Anglicised once the family had settled, mainly because no true-born Englishman knew, or desired to learn, how to pronounce Hircsák. He won a scholarship to Christ’s Hospital School in Sussex, with fees for this particular Independent school paid by a charitable trust, and went on to Oxford to read Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
Working at Saatchi & Saatchi, he watched and learned at the feet of masters of his chosen profession, and learned it well.

He met ‘Our Dave’ during the 1992 election, but went back to advertising; eventually starting his own company, which leant heavily on telling his clients how to become ‘socially responsible’. You can hang whatver buzz-word meaning on that title, and it will stick. He came back into politics in 1997, but his policy of ‘tell them the worst, or the truth’ is said to have backfired when he brought out the Tony Blair ‘Demon eyes’ posters during that election.
He began to sit in the Cameron ‘kitchen cabinet’ long before the 2010 election, and is said to have masterminded the move to ‘Green’ issues for the Tories, which is said to have made them more electable. Some might say that his work on the Tory party during that time has made it the amorphous, jelly-like mixture we see today, but perhaps that is just me being realistic.

His long love-affair with American political strategies, and his admiration for ‘cool’ projects, has won him an ardent dislike by many senior Tories, who dislike even more his e-mailing them with such gems as ‘Here are some great examples of how harnessing the insights of behavioural economics and social psychology can help you to achieve your policy goals in a more effective and light-touch way.” See what I mean?

He got David Cameron to memorise that famous speech which won him the Tory Leadership, and earned Cameron’s dog-like devotion ever afterwards, which is possibly the real reason why he has done so much damage to the Tory Party, as well as British Democracy. His judgement was trusted, absolutely trusted; so when he came up with the idea to endorse the idea of a series of Debates with Labour and the Lib-Dems, no one seemed to notice the strange pattern which was about to emerge. The two main Parties had slugged it out both inside and outside of Parliament for years uncounted, but no-one had ever even thought of bringing in the Liberal Democrats; mainly because in electoral terms they were a joke!

Viewed by the populace as a bunch of losers, chancers in sandals, espousing all sorts of stupid policies uncounted, they were a political disaster area. But when it comes to a Television Debate at Election Time, they had to be included, mainly because, if left out, the Lib-Dem screams would have been heard in Jerusalem. This political fixer knew that Cameron could and would wipe the floor with Brown; he saw it as a ‘done deal’, but he hadn’t done his homework with the Lib-Dem leader, Nick Clegg. True, Clegg was and is a typical Lib-Dem politician, wild and woolly around the edges, but he was also a seasoned performer, having served a term as an MEP in the Euro Parliament, and also wasn’t Ashdown or Kennedy.

So the Debates were organised, and suddenly a fresh telegenic face appeared on national television, speaking cogently and strongly on positions he either supported or disliked. The Lib-Dems had not changed, their positions on such items as Trident —hate it, or Students’ Tuition fees —-hate them, hate them, but the vision had! The vision cleared to allow the electorate to see what they though was reality, but in fact was just one man shining in a particular spotlight! The Tory vote weakened, the Lib-Dems strenghtened just a touch, the Labour bunch, who should have all been shown the Westnminster door for the debacle they had presided over in the last seven years of their rule, lost a lot of seats, but just not enough, because the son of Hungarian-immigrants had an idea!

So, folks, lets all give Steve Hilton a very slow round of applause, because what you see in Parliament today, with weak-kneed policies all around, and weaker people in high positions, is because of one man; the man who changed Britain for ever!