“But they are just like us!”

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.

Progress report

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?

Tell it like it is.

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.

Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’

One of the abiding things about the British is that they generally play by the rules. Whether on a pitch, with a game of football or cricket, or in affairs of Government, by paying tax; we, as a group, stick with what we have built. We may not like paying the huge amounts which the various Governments, certainly within my lifetime, have gouged out of the public purse to fund their projects, but we pay. We might not like it, some actively state they will not pay certain taxes, or indeed an individual tax, but there have been very few ‘tax’ revolts. One of the very few errors which marred the Premiership of Margaret Thatcher was the ‘Poll Tax’, and she bore the scars of that revolt because she thought it was a good idea, but forgot to follow through by contemplation of the outcome of that Tax. The ‘Poll Tax’ was seen as grossly unfair, as divisive and iniquitous, and it was scrapped. Her Premiership was challenged, she won the first round, but failed to win a majority of her Party, and resigned.

There are certain taxes which are almost universally reviled, and worst of all is the tax which supports and upholds the leviathan which is the British Broadcasting Corporation. The Licence, because that is what it is called, allows you to watch television from any supplier, whether BBC, ITV, channels 4 & 5, Sky or any of the hundreds of digital channels available through satellite, on a static t.v., or a computer, or even a hand-held tablet, phone or other device. It is a total anachronism in a society such as ours, mainly because it is exactly the same as paying a sum of cash to the manufacturers of washing powders for the privilege of owning a washing machine.

Just imagine, if you would, the power which is available to a BBC producer or collective senior editorial management, whether on radio or television. You hold the ability to give or withhold a voice, or a view, on virtually any subject, and your decision is final! There are no rights of reply, or editorial redress, in the BBC. Just ask yourself the last time you heard or watched a strong, forthright Right-wing voice or face arguing against the massed bands of left-wing or liberal arguments so freely available on the BBC airwaves? I used to revel in the voice of Frederick Forsyth whenever he was allowed access to a BBC microphone, but sadly even his voice has been silenced. True, our very own David Vance makes an occasional argument over on BBC Northern Ireland, but with all due respect to David, not many in England tune in to the Belfast broadcasts. So we have to be content with only one side of most arguments, and, being the sheep we have become, accept that there are no alternative arguments, because the vast majority of British people, at least the semi-sentient ones, bury their heads in ‘Strictly’, or ‘Corrie’; or even the hinterlands of ‘Yeastenders’ and ‘Emmerdale’; along with the interminable sports and D.I.Y. programmes which litter the schedules, just to feed the equivalent of ‘bread and circuses’ to the masses!

And thus we get to the sordid saga of Sir Jimmy Savile, OBE, KCSG, LLD. Saviour or secret deviant? A man whose fame as a performer and as a celebrity is entwined totally with that of the BBC, and who was extolled with two programmes dedicated to his memory just last year. Who gave of his time and fame, who supported charities, who helped raise funds for spinal injury wards and won a Royal Marines beret for completion of a gruelling 30 mile march with full pack. He was involved in marathons, in climbing and running, met royalty, the great and the good. But the news comes filtering past the fear and the pressure from libel law actions, after his death of course, that behind the facade of a kindly extrovert was the sinister face of a sadistic pervert and paedophile. The full story of this person’s activities is still evolving, as more and more people understand that they might, this time, be believed when they talk, often for the first time, of the sordid and savage things which were done to their young bodies, and more importantly, their young minds, by this evil man.

The inquiries and formal investigations by both the police as well as the BBC’s internal ones are just beginning, and already there are leaks, and rumours, of at least seven or eight arrests imminent on serving members of the BBC’s employees, but the questions of how this man managed to escape detection, arrest and conviction over a period of some four-odd decades are the important ones. Was he given shelter by some likeminded individuals? Was he ‘given the benefit of the doubt’ because he was just being ‘Jimmy’, and such a celebrity could not possibly be as stupid as to engage in sexual acts with young girls and fans, or could he? The one thing which should always be remembered when it comes to discussions about perverts and paedophiles is that these individuals are, and have to be, so very clever at disguising their true intent and purpose in life, which is the despoliation of all that is innocent and undefiled. Many of us at ATW have either heard of or read the many websites which purport to relate, in graphic detail, the sins of those whom they have targeted and wish to prove that they are not ‘whiter than white’, but in fact are guilty are gross perversions of the worst kind, but not many of us have actually met up with, conversed with, and even befriended anyone who has actually been found guilty of these disgusting practices. When Jimmy Savile died, his property, clothes, memorabilia and motor car were all auctioned, and the proceeds given to the charities which bore his name. I wonder how much would that Rolls-Royce fetch now, or any of the clothing sold here be treasured now the curtain has been pulled aside?

As I wrote on my own blogsite:- Along with very few others, I have personal knowledge of a paedophile priest in action, although confessing at the same time that he gave off the aura of ‘just another parish priest’. I shook his hand, I joined in his parish works, I gave him a hand with parish activities and auctions. Why? Simple, because, above everything else, because of the hidden and disgusting nature of their inner being, their disguise is so good, so impenetrable, that the only way is by either direct knowledge, or accusation by one of the abused which is taken seriously. When Adrian McLeish was arrested and charged, I, along with all the other parishioners, was flabbergasted. Was the man who had preached reconciliation, peace and charity the same who was accused of sacrificing the innocents to further his own perverted ends? Was the man who handed out the Sacrament the same as the pervert? I even visited him in prison before his trial, to try and discover what had turned him from the path of clarity, of truth and single-mindedness in belief to that of double-talk, and of perversion! All I found was a self-serving bleat that he could not help himself, all I heard was drivel and treachery!

So, in ending, what should we be hearing from the BBC when it comes time for the inquiries to report back? In the knowledge that the BBC lawyers removed all knowledge of certain e-mails from their own Panorama investigation, should we even believe that such Inquiries are thorough, or credible, or even independent enough to be giving justice to those who have been treated so badly by one of the ‘Star Celebrities’ who was given such a rousing send-off by the BBC? I note that the gravestone, carved at such cost, which depicted the known achievements and accomplishments of Savile has already been lifted, smashed up and sent for landfill. Will the next act of retribution be the unceremonious removal of the corpse for a swift cremation and ash scattering? I am reminded of the first act after the triumphant return and coronation of King Charles the Second was to order the exhumation of the corpse of General Oliver Cromwell, and to have that same corpse thrown into a lime pit, but the head was impaled upon a spike outside Hampton Court Palace. A bit symbolic, perhaps, but Charles lived in perhaps a simpler, more savage time, and such actions upon the remains of the man who had killed his own father are perhaps, understandable!

Will the BBC ever rebound from the ramifications of this new witch-hunt? In a few months, after some sacrificial sheep have been thrown to the wolves to satisfy the mob, it is my belief that the BBC will revert to type, close ranks and go on much as before. The BBC can never change, because the canker is set too deeply. There are too many self-satisfied left-wing and liberal-minded time-servers within both management, production staff and performers of all types for there to be any change of any value. The Charter is up for renewal in 2016; and I will be campaigning that the BBC be converted into a commercial organisation, without any taxpayer support whatsoever, to sink or swim in the marketplace.

….. and hanged by the neck until dead!

The solemn moment, of murder trials in times gone by, when the Judge donned the black silk cap to pronounce the sentence, was an instant which all killers feared, because it was the commencement of a countdown to a judicial retribution for the crime, or crimes, which they had committed. A family friend and neighbour, who also happened to be a police sergeant, once told me long ago, that he had talked an armed, violent and dangerous man into surrendering to justice based on the statement that, “Yes, you can pull that trigger, and that shotgun blast will kill me; but remember that there is a long, legal road which follows, at the end of which is a sad but dutiful man with a set length of rope, and your life will be ended by that same rope;”.

We no longer hold the power of life or death through the courts, having pusillanimously surrendered that power based on a false premise, which was,’Ah well, murderers shall serve life in prison, and surely that is punishment is enough?’ Life imprisonment, in these ‘enlightened times’ amounts to eight or nine years tops, and it is very, very rare to hear of a sentenced criminal given a tariff of more than fifteen years. That promise, together with Sky Sports tv, plasma tv sets on demand, and mecca-facing toilets, is now that which faces violent criminals of all classes.

So when these three ‘trainee jihadis’ are eventually found guilty, they won’t be greeting their 72 virgins, if such a number can be found these days as they aren’t only in short supply around Lime Street, they will be shut away in luxury, with every whim catered to, with nary a search-dog in sight. True, they didn’t succeed in killing anyone, but what if they had, and survived? They would be looking at the same sentences as they probably will get for the plotting!

My sort of justice would have a slightly different outcome; but there again, thats me, and I hold to a slightly higher standard of retribution.

to form a more perfect Union!

The usual uproar surrounding the very word ‘Abortion’ commenced about five milli-seconds after the announcement that Marie Stopes was opening an abortion clinic in Belfast.

Firstly, I would like to clarify my own position on this extremely touchy subject, which is that whilst I dearly wish the mothers-to-be would not seek to terminate the new life which is inside their bodies, I hold the belief that their bodies are their own to control, and if they wish to terminate that unborn life, so be it! My reasoning has nothing to do with any religion, or indeed a belief stemming from any religion; it is just that if that future child is indeed unwanted by its mother, a life which is begun in hate, rejection and loathing bodes badly for that life.

I listened to the voice of Jim Allister this morning as he placed his views on record that the proposed Clinic has no place in Northern Ireland because of the Province’s culture, and this is maybe where I part company with Mr. Allister, partly because of the many statements by the T.U.V. which encourage ever closer links and ties with the mainland of the British Isles. I would say to Mr. Allister that you cannot pick and choose which parts of the United Kingdom’s Laws should be held to a higher standard in Northern Ireland than on the mainland. Abortion is a fact of life in England, Wales and Scotland, why should there be any difference in the Province of Northern Ireland? The Law is more strictly controlled in Northern Ireland, is much more restrictive, and the question which should be asked is simply ‘Why is Northern Ireland so special?’ Is life, or future life, looked upon as more precious than in, say, London, Bristol or Arbroath? I would also ask Mr. Allister if he likes being of one mind with Sinn Fein on this, or any issue of individual judgement or morality?

I am a great believer in having one set of laws for everyone, with no special dispensation or caveats for ‘certain areas, cultures or creeds’. If we all have to obey the same Law, then the same facilities, legal and lawful, should be available to all the Subjects of the Crown, wherever that Rule pertains!

… so tie a ****** ribbon round the old oak tree

Treading carefully, as I am forced to do in a time of possible tragedy, I wonder how many besides myself are rather less than either comfortable or indeed receptive to the mass display of public ‘support’ for the search for the now-probably dead April Jones.

What possible value, to either the search or the family, is the purchase, distribution and positioning of literally hundreds of yards of pink ribbon; just because that colour was the little girl’s favourite colour? Are the words from that woman vicar, where she said that ‘as long as there is hope, we shall continue to demonstrate that support’ to be taken as a command from ‘on high’ that further miles of pink ribbon be draped over every fence in that remote Welsh town?

I am sure that it all looks very ‘caring’, but I fail to see how the wearing of small or large lengths of pink ribbon will help the family, the police or the detection and subsequent prosecution of the man who took this smiling child away from her family! I have written before on the false and ridiculous outpourings of collective ‘grief’ upon the death of so-called ‘Slebs’, but again I completely fail to understand the reasons why so many buy bunches of flowers and pile them up against the railings. Apart from a benefit to the profit margins of the local florists, what possible motive applies? When my eldest brother died, his coffin held a single bouquet, but a fairly substantial donation was made to a Cancer Charity in his name; now that is the sort of thing I understand and accept: but rows of ribbon and huge and elaborate bunches of floral tributes? Not for me; thank you very much!

There is a police statistic known as the ‘Golden Day’. It gives a timeline by which news of the abduction should be broadcast, by which time all available police resources should be concentrated on road blocks and traffic searches, by what time the premises of the family and near relatives should be carefully and thoroughly searched; the list goes on; but the hours, and the hope, decrease after the first six hours, and at the end of the first 24 hours, all experienced crime prevention officers mutely accept that the search changes from the rescue of an abducted child to that of a search for the body of an abused and tortured child.

There is, however, another anomaly rising through the tangle of stories and allegations regarding the man who has been arrested over the murder of this small child; and it is simple. What if the police have got things totally wrong? What if Mark Bridger is totally innocent? Not too many people know Wales, and the Welsh; but the little that I know about such places and people tells me one thing; if Mr. Bridger is released without charge, or on a police bail, he had better make arrangements to move pretty quickly, because the type of person who cannot tell the difference between a paeadophile and a paeadiatrician live in Machynlleth, just as they do in Newport.