and several walked by on the other side

I write as an Englishman with strong Northern Irish bonds by birth, along with an intimate knowledge of the intricacies of the Province’s politics, and a calm look at how British Law had been trashed, ignored and twisted, all in the cause of the famed and ‘sacred’ (my italics) Peace Process’; which brought in to Government, Sinn Fein, the grinning representatives of the murderous IRA, along with the equally venal PUP, cover for the UVF paramilitaries, and the DUP, the Protestant origins of which stem from the likes of ex-Stormont Unionist Prime Ministers Terence O’Neill and Brian Faulkner, together with the old traditions of Ian Paisley and all his passionate but deluded religion-based ideals; alongside their well-known cover for the UDA, yet another gang of killers and criminals.

I note with growing alarm the intentions of the PSNI, the ‘reformed’ Police Service, in interviewing under caution the Paratroopers who were alleged to have ‘shot and murdered’ civilians in Londonderry in 1972. Strange, is it not, that these men, supposedly given anonymity and protection under the terms of the Saville Enquiry, are once again to be questioned as to what happened that fateful day; when over two hundred IRA killers have all been sent letters stating that they will not be either prosecuted or imprisoned for the murders they undoubtedly committed.

My own ‘interpretation’ of the happenings which led to the SAVILLE enquiry can be read here, and believe me when I posted it on a Blog devoted to Northern Irish politics, the venom in the comments stated only one thing; that I was right on the button!

 

If you say you need more information whether to leave EU or not….

 

……..Then you just haven’t been paying attention.

The most important item, on a majority of people’s minds, is Immigration. But, apart from the Romanians and Bulgarians, the vast majority of the inward flow from the EU are totally acceptable to the British, from a viewpoint of reliability, honesty, and just about any other measure. They are like us, in so many ways; which is why they assimilate so quickly and readily.

The single item or measure which should be pursued, but of course is not, is not just Nationality, but Nationality coupled with Religious Persuasion. I refer of course to the new Fifth Column amongst us, the Muslims. There are now over two million of these belligerents, all claiming that their bloody god is better than any of ours; and we see, from hard evidence, that there are those amongst the ranks of Muslims who see it as their holy duty to kill in the name of their f****ing so-called prophet Mohammed.

So why is my stance firmly in the ‘Leave’ camp. Apart from the curse of the Human Rights Act, imported from the EU without any in-depth research as to the extent and ramification of this pernicious Act; as well as the actuality of the imposition of European Law overriding our own Law; I would only point out that the negotiations for Turkey’s full membership of the EU are strolling slowly along, and if the Turks ever get over the fact that they would have to accept that Greece rules over half of Cyprus, they will be eligible for full membership in about four years time. Has anyone else looked at the ethnic and religious make-up of Turkey? 85% Muslim, a small and ever-diminishing Arabic Christian contingent, and the balance mainly Kurdish, who of course are still Muslim, but want their own Independence.

Just contemplate that statistic, and then decide if you wish to remain in a Europe, Federal or not, where you will be forced to accept that a good proportion of 90 million Muslims want to live next door to you; and you would not be able to say ‘No’, because of that old ‘Free Movement’ routine of which the EU is so very fond.

Plimsoll Lines

I was chatting with a car sales employee the other morning, waiting my turn to speak with the sales rep with whom I had an appointment. He was a Geordie, the same as I am, and as we talked, the conversation ranged from football; of which I know absolutely nothing, through various cars and other vehicles we both had knowledge of; and ended up talking about shipping and Unions in Australia.

I was telling this young man of a stevedore foreman in Perth, who was also a Union rep. Now in those days, the Australian Unions ruled, and a ship’s captain, or a stevedore company, walked warily when the Unions were on the prowl. So, as I said, I was chatting to this foreman, and he asked me if I could see the Plimsoll marks on a ship which was berthed across the harbour from where we lay; as she was unusually low in the water. I fetched my binoculars, and saw firstly that she was flying the Blue Peter, which signifies ‘I am about to depart’; and then focussing on her marks, saw that she was sitting well below the ruling lines on the Plimsoll marks painted on her side midships. The foreman asked for a view, then raced ashore, called his office, and about ten minutes later the Port Captain’s guys were boarding the freighter, to stop her sailing illegally. The ship had to unload about three-four hundred tons of cargo before the ship complied with what is actually an Internationally-recognised regulation.

But the reason why I write this is simply because, in a country which survives because of the Sea, whose destiny and fate has always been bound to ships, shipping, and a naval tradition; this young man, an otherwise well-educated and obviously aware individual; had never heard of Samuel Plimsoll, or of the simple fact that, on EVERY ship which crosses any stretch of water, any ocean, anywhere: she must carry, by Law, the internationally-recognised Plimsoll markings; along with the name of the English MP who fought to make it so!

 

The only sentence? Life without Parole!

When I write about mental health or mental illnesses, I write from personal knowledge of a problem which has been with my wife for over 45 years. Over the years which I have lived with this devastating mental illness; namely schizophrenia, I have also encountered great kindness, a depth of understanding of the human condition second to none, and great knowledge of how some people react when faced with the living reality of a person who literally, and mercurially, alters their ‘persona’, to be almost another, stronger, and sometimes more violent individual. In my long life, during the course of my wife’s illness and treatment, I have seen and met dozens, if not hundreds, of people similarly afflicted, and I know of the distress of the families who have had to watch as their relative endures the living hell which can be mental illness. I have watched as a literal giant of a man carefully cradled my infant daughter in his arms, after he asked my wife if he could hold her during a Sunday visit to the hospital where my wife was treated; and I also heard how this same man had to be restrained so tightly because he could smash a human body when his mind was afflicted by the skeins and tendrils of this mental illness.

Mental illness strikes at random; it ranges from a depression to a violence unimaginable; and it is near to most of us, in that most of us know, or are related to, a person who suffers from one or another type of illness. Unless you have experience of; or close and substantial personal contact with a person suffering from such a terrible affliction, you cannot know how such an individual will react under any stimuli or restraint.

Which is why I feel that the only appropriate charge for these three uniformed Nazis is Murder, not the weak charge of manslaughter!

A fair wind, and a sound ship, will bring her crew safe home!

I write today on a subject which has always been near to my core beliefs, and as the subject is ‘Life and Safety at Sea’, it should also stand high in the priorities of the Regulating Authorities, and Parliament, as the ultimate arbiters of Safety as regards the crew and shipping serving the needs of the United Kingdom.

I refer to the numbers of inspections by Competent Inspectors throughout the United Kingdom as noted in the online publication ‘Officer of the Watch’ with a total of 197 Cargo ships inspected, along with 166 bulk carriers; and a total of 14 detentions in the year 2015. I would also ask you to compare these totals with, say Australia, where 6030 bulk carriers and 491 general cargo ships were inspected; where the Detention numbers reported were 241. Gazing objectively at the relative paucity of inspections within the UK, an Island Kingdom which depends almost entirely upon sea freight, as compared to the rigorous Inspection regimes of Australia, we are not just paddling to stay in the same place, we have been caught by the currents of cost-cutting, of so-called austerity, of simply not bothering; in the faint hope that someone else will do our job for us, and protect sailors from criminal acts of neglect and, at worst, death.

We are an Island Nation, with a proud tradition with the sea, and one of the things which stick in my memory of my time in the British Merchant Navy was the resolute requirement that everything to do with Safety at Sea was scrupulously attended to. Every ship I sailed on, every Saturday morning, all equipment with any potential at all regarding safety was either tested, used, operated, sounded or started. Everyone took part, everyone knew how to use all the safety and fire equipment, because we knew that lives might depend on it; and so it was done. We owe it to the seafarers on board every ship which touches our ports and shores that a thorough and sound Safety inspection completed without fear or favour is carried out by Competent Inspectors, of a sufficient number and calibre which should catch any vessels and operators who attempt to evade their responsibilities to the crew, either by substandard living conditions, or by a lack of either provision of safety equipment; or of  maintenance & repair of that essential equipment.

Calls for stronger actions, such as those emanating from the Reverend Roger Stone from seafarers’ charity Apostleship of the Sea (AoS); should be both made required reading, as well as featuring in stricter and stronger criminal penalties, instead of the weak-kneed civil strictures in place today.

‘It’ll be alright; after all, we’re just down the road’

I believe that the famous aphorism ‘If you find yourself in a hole; stop digging’ was originally spoken by the American comedian Will Rogers, but grew to be known as ‘Healey’s First Law of Holes’, after it was quoted by the Labour politician Denis Healey.

I was reminded of that famous saying when reading of yet another interminable bleating interview with Kate McCann, wife of Gerry; and mother of the tragic Madeleine. I say interminable, not only because of the way that our Kate rambles on, but the number of times in which she castigates everyone, from the Portuguese Police, to the Metropolitan Police in the UK; all the red-top newsies, most of t’v.’s presenters and programmers, alongside everyone who has ever been interviewed, suspected, cleared or even sniffed at: over the disappearance of that small child. In all the interviews, in the books, magazine and news articles; strangely enough, she does not mention, not ever, the real authors of that little girl’s disappearance: probably because she will not confirm what everyone else already knows as fact. She will not admit the truth, that she and her husband were solely and ultimately responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance because they would not pay 10 euros for a babysitter to look after their three kids while they went off to eat at some outdoor restaurant.

True, the child wasn’t abducted by the parents, but by leaving three small kids all alone; so that they could bloody eat and booze with their mates, they left the drawbridge down, the room unguarded, the windows open; and what better signal to maleficent and evil individuals which states, categorically, that the parents basically did not care.

I still believe that the McCanns should have been visited by a couple of thin-lipped women from Social Services upon their return to the UK, and had the other two kids snatched and placed into care, as those two specimens, personable, educated and media-savvy though they are, were truly unfit to be called parents.

I would end with a quote from Katie Hopkins, a reporter and columnist for whom I have a great deal of respect:- ‘Maddie wasn’t lost because someone took her. She was lost because she was left to be found’.

Two dead, two missing; and not a single person asks: WHY?

We are often told, that we choose what happens to our bodies, it is our decision alone; we are all individually responsible for whatever happens to us: whether the actions are through the hazards and effects of smoking; great and deadly though those hazards factually are: or drinking, possibly less; or through the ingestion or self-administering of noxious drugs and substances; possibly even more deadly than either of the first two.

But where are the calls for a modicum of common sense; for the slightest sense of caution; when three elderly morons decide that they know best; better than all the experts who abound in the region: and move off to go walking/climbing deep in the wilds of Dumfries and Galloway; when the weather, arguably changeable as the wind at these times of the year, is demonstrably atrocious. Two of the three, rescued and brought down by police and mountain rescue teams, lie dead in the hospital morgue, and the third is fighting for his life in that hospital. Did they not, for even one second, think that they might not know the area as good as the experts? Just consider the dangers which the rescue teams, albeit willingly, face every time they journey out to rescue fools, morons and numerous other idiots who want to go, climb or stumble; ‘just because its there’?

Also headlined is the news of two ‘experienced climbers’, one of which is an ‘environmental consultant’, was said to have been hit by an avalanche on the slopes of Ben Nevis. Imagine, two ‘experienced climbers’ being unaware of the dangers of avalanches; deep in the middle of ‘Avalanche Valley’! Doesn’t your incredulity graph sort of head skywards?
If there was a substantial deposit required from all these so-called ‘elderly hill-walkers’ and other suicidally-inclined clowns, all itching to go onto mountain tops and hills when the weather causes everyone else to head for the nearest warm fire; there might be a few less calls for those rescue services.