The slow, inevitable death of Labour as it used to be.

I have always had a deep, not admiration, more a respect for the old time Labour Party. It was peopled with men of integrity, men of substance. If an opponent, one could always rely on the stances of the Party, of the leaders, never bending to suit the prevailing winds, never to sacrifice their principles for cheap political advantage. I used to live in a mining village, many of my friends had parents who worked in the mines; and one had to observe that the men who came from the underground into daylight were the true salt of the earth. I too have worked underground, and, I suppose, that experience gave me more understanding of people who took the Labour ideal; than many a news article, political speech or ‘vision’ from some ‘special advisor’ whose nearest experience to coal was to use the electricity generated from a coal-fired power station.

Labour’s problem stems from its earliest days, when, short of funds, the Party voted to accept political donations to help get its men into Parliament. There was one judicial decision banning the funding of MPs by the Unions, and a further Act in Parliament to overcome this decision, and thus allow Unions funding of the Party, and its MPs.

So we now see the situation where the People elect and pay a Labour MP, but he or she is funded and indeed supported by a Labour Union. The question then arises; to whom does he or she or she give his loyalty? To the Party whose banner he or she stood under when canvassing for, and gaining votes, and to his Constituency; or to the Union whose creature he or she has become, because of the vast financial support these same Unions spread around?

As a final query, and in an individual point, we must ask ourselves who’s creature is now the Deputy Leader of the Party. Once looked upon as a king-maker, he is reduced to a silent shadow of his former authority; whilst ‘singing’ the Party dirge, which consists of repeated chants of the Party’s leader’s name. And the Party which once commanded respect, if little else? What sort of a Party is it when a BBC reporter has to be given a bodyguard as she attended the Conference? The same Party which introduced the flying pickets which hounded staff who would not support a strike by another Union entirely? The same Party which supported the massed actions of the miners during that strike of 84-85? The same Party which, when in power in the Seventies, gave in time and again to the demands of those same Unions; because they knew that if they did not bend the knee to their paymasters; the Unions would quickly find someone who did.

The young of today have not the benefit of a good memory, as the likes of my generation have. We can remember the bin strikes, with rubbish bags piled so high, and for so long; that the rats were thinking of paying rent; so good were the pickings. We can remember the power cuts, the three-day weeks, the impassive strike pickets who denied the very right to a decent burial, because they claimed it would mean crossing a picket line!

Corbyn’s Labour may be in the swing right now,  with the Hard-line Left of the Momentum faction powerful;  but the Labour Party will regret that silly vote which empowered Corbyn, along with his Hard-Left Trotskyite ideals, of a pacificism which reeks of betrayal of everything which Britain has stood for for centuries, and of the regret which has brought the Deputy Leader of the Party to a literal irrelevance!

(Not much) Peace: (Not much of a) Process (either!)

If I may digress before writing this particular essay, I am reminded of the tale of a swarthy foreign-looking man, possibly a seafarer; who was walking down a road in Belfast, when suddenly he was surrounded by a gang of tough young men; and the question thrown at him was, ‘Are ye a Protestant; or a Catholic?’

The swarthy gent thought he was on somewhat safe ground as he replied ‘I’m a Palestinian Arab’.

The instantaneous question again:- ‘Ah, but are you a Catholic Palestinian Arab, or a  Protestant Palestinian Arab?

Sadly, I read that even that small piece of humour is out-of-date; as I now learn that the Catholic Republican communities fly Palestinian flags, and the  Protestant Unionists? They opt for the Star of David.

When the Northern Ireland Assembly was mooted; when the first stirrings of what later was to be called either ‘Good Friday Agreement (GFA) or Belfast Agreement  came chanting down the freeways, a certain number of sceptical commentators amongst us shrugged and muttered ‘As long as the killings, the threats, the punishment beatings, along with all the paraphernalia of two, three or more groups of terrorists cease; we’ll see how it goes.’

Hundreds of prisoners, of various degrees of murderous inclinations, from both sides of a sectarian mindset border were freed, the Police were virtually neutered, and the politicking began; and that has never ceased. One side proposes, and the other side disposes in the political arena; and that has again continued for a long time. But certain propositions were both put forward and accepted; to many on the mainland these same proposals would have raised a forest of eyebrows: but Norn’Ireland has a logic and a manner all its own.

Can any Englishman, home-grown or imported, expect, when being told that there is a Council House available yet unavailable; that they cannot live in that house, despite that house being both empty and available: because they are of the WRONG RELIGION? I have lived in my own home in a small estate in Durham City for over thirty-odd years, and I do not know what God any of my neighbours prays to, and nor do I really care! Its really a simple as that. Its none of my business! As long as they keep themselves to themselves, keep the noise down after ten in the evening, pay the rent if either private or Council tenants, only bother me when an emergency crops up: they’ll do me fine!

But we read of the quartet who used to live in Cantrell Close, a shared housing area off the Ravenhill Road. The Police arrived, presumably in force, and ‘advised the four families that ‘credible threats had been made by the UVF’ and those families ‘had to leave’.

I would now point you towards a truly wonderful publication from the Northern Ireland Executive Office entitled ‘Together: Building a United Community Strategy’, and I would encourage you to read it all. You will not learn anything from it, because as long as there are ‘credible threats’ from one group of shadows, and ‘equally credible threats’ from another; all those fancy phrases, all those wonderful ideas, all those high-flying theories about how we can crush the life out of ‘sectarianism’ if only we stand together; are simply not worth a bucket of piss!

When even the ‘Strategy’ cannot be honest, and call hatred and true hostility what they are, what chance does the rest of that well-meaning booklet have of being able to tell those four Catholic families that they are safe, they can relax, because the Criminal GodFathers ON BOTH SIDES have been quelled?


I wrote a few weeks ago of the dormant Assembly,  when discussing, for those who don’t understand what is so different about their NornIron fellow Brits, all about the cancer of the Peace Walls, those sadly mis-named excrescences which are so necessary to stop random bunches of thugs from one side of the sectarian fringe, to go attacking, burning and spreading their fear towards those on the other side of where that THIRTY FOOT-HIGH FENCE now stands,  which comes along with reinforced steel netting, to stop the petrol bombs, the rocks and the rest.



Red Army History, and Rochdale

When  Russia’s Culture Minister and representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church unveiled their new memorial statue to Mikhail Kalashnikov which came along with millimetrically-accurate outlines of all of Kalashnikov’s world-class killing machines, it was soon pointed out that the sculptor had included, in amongst all of the AK-47’s variants, a perfect replica outline of a German StG 44 machine gun, designed in 1944.

Moscow-based military historian Yuri Pasholok revealed Thursday in a Facebook post that the rifle diagram etched into the plate is an exact replica of the diagram for the StG rifle. “Just don’t say that this was an accident,” Pasholok wrote. “One should be beaten, painfully and publicly, for something like this. These are boy-sculptors, dammit!”

Scherbakov acknowledged the discrepancy the same day, admitting that it was a mistake. “This is a very small background thing,” the sculptor was quoted saying by the RBC news outlet. “I even wonder how they noticed it. We took [the image] from a source where it was written ‘Kalashnikov assault rifle.”

So, the grinding wheels came out pretty quick, the sculptor was suitably advised to get his weaponry library overhauled; or something very similar; the offending StG machine pistol disappeared, the mistake was acknowledged, and the world shrugged and moved on.

I bet Rochdale Council wished it could as easily erase the past events which spread over two decades with the allegations of abuse at Knowl View School and Cambridge House Hostel: allegations which, despite the mounting list of allegations against both staff members and the late Cyril Smith MP, the CPS decided that there would be no further actions, and the case files were closed: a decision which even the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd called ‘shameful’. Rochdale Council have ‘apologised’; but Richard Scorer, a solicitor for some of the the victims, claimed the independent inquiry which opens on 9 October and will examine abuse allegations about Cambridge House and Knowl View, is the real reason for the apology.

So Rochdale adds yet another place-name to the sordid list; upon which one commentator stated:- If the List gets any longer, Prof. Jay will probably be the first Centenarian Inquiry Leader.

‘Standing Room’ only!

There are messages, and statements aplenty, on the efficacy, content and outcome of the ‘kneeling’ protest against America’s Flag, Anthem and indeed ethos of the America which I have come to understand and respect for more years than I can either count or indeed remember. I have written of the ‘Sounds’; I have written of the ‘Warriors’, men who fought their B-17 bombersacross the death-laden skies of Occupied France, and the other Nazi-held nations of Europe, and into the enemy bastion of Nazi Germany; to deliver yet another message to Berlin: a message with just two words. Those words? Unconditional SurrenderI give a link to a blogsite which holds one man’s reply to the swaggering bloated millionaires as they kneel in a disrespect which goes against everything that I believed America stands for. True, they are perfectly entitled to protest against anything and anyone, they are perfectly at liberty to do just that; but to state that ‘Your Country is not Worthy’! This action is beyond parody, and is itself unworthy.

I would finish this short (for me) statement by posting a YouTube  video from a group who holds views which many acclaim, many abhor, but deserve to be heard: because this is where they stand on ‘Kneeling’!

Today; versus Yesterday

A disturbing photo (and comment) Tweeted by a gentleman named Mark Collet says it all really.

But much more disturbing is the reply photo, complete with inset comment.

As an aside; although living only some twenty-odd miles from Seaham, I have never seen this remarkable statue. The best that I can offer is a view of the DLI bugler sited in the Market Place.

Or, alternatively, a read of my Last Novel.

I began with phone taps, but end with guns, and death in Dallas

WikiLeaks has just dropped a whole pile of documentation detailing how the Russians tap, and spy on mobile and computer devices alike. They have always been fairly open about it, so I don’t really understand all the fuss. I mean, Soviet Russia did it the old-fashioned way, through bribery, force, intimidation and of course; the KGB. Russia has continued the practice without some, but not all, of the blood and terror. The onlooker might ask, ‘So what else is new?’

The reply might worry many in the West. That reply? Russia has always done it, but more openly now than in the past. But the real difference is the fact of the discovery that America was using exactly the same means for long enough, until the Snowden leaks made transparent the invidious existence of the FISA courts, the secret intercepts approved for mass trawling of phone and email conversations; and all of course, for the greater good.

What I would like to see and hear is, from the vast amounts of data hovered up by the likes of the NSA under apparently fully-legal mass surveillance techniques, how many people were actually prosecuted for any criminal activity at all! I was checking through the ACLU pages on this, and, whilst they actually know of ONE case, the former Attorney General Holder (he of the Contempt of the House of Representatives) had stated that the Justice Department was ‘thinking’ about telling people that they were being investigated or charged on evidence gathered by covert means; which is against everything that America actually stands for.

So, Russia condemned for being ‘as usual’, the Obama bunch just kept Schtum! I wonder when Trump’s attack dogs will ferret around, and start unearthing more of the dirty deeds from the days of ‘Fast and Furious’? You remember ‘Fast and Furious”, don’t you? Nope, it wasn’t a bunch of films about fast cars; but instead a typically shady deal between Holder’s DoJ and the ATF, positioned so that guns would be ‘Gun-Walked’ or placed on the open market, and tracked towards Mexico, and then the furore would commence about the easy access of Americans to buy long guns, sniper as well as semi-automatic rifles, with a view to side-swiping the NRA, and bringing gun-control in by the back door.

So, over two thousand weapons, large and small, were trafficked across the border; but someone forgot to maybe read the memo, and the guns were not fitted with tracking devices; and away they went, straight into the hands of the cartels. From their bloody hands those weapons went to fuel, amongst many others, the death of the brother of the former attorney general of the state of Chihuahua, when Fast and Furious weapons were found at the scene. But the ATF, Holder & Co.’s horrendous judgment continues to take a toll. By the time of the House’s contempt vote, some 300 Mexicans had been killed or wounded by Fast and Furious firearms, and that number has surely risen. In December 2013, a ‘walked’ gun was found at the site of a gunfight at a Mexican resort that left five cartel members dead. The guns have found their way north, too; with one American, U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry dead from the gunfire of ‘Fast and Furious’ weaponry. In amongst the weaponry ‘walked’ across the border were thirteen long guns similar to a .50 Calibre Barrett, which, given the right shells and a steady aim, will down a helicopter, never mind a car. One was retrieved when El Chapo was arrested, so there are only twelve missing, which is kinda’ comforting: but only kinda’!

Strangely enough, after an investigation by Darrell Issa (R., Calif.) uncovered a paper trail a mile long, Obama claimed ‘executive privilege’ over that portion of the documents which Holder’s merry men had withheld from the House Investigation. The Obama Administration later claimed ‘victory’ when fourteen ATf officials were disciplined, whilst stating that the 1,300 pages withheld from the inquiry reached Holder’s desk, but somehow he never got around to reading them!

Oh, and just by the bye; a weapon owned by Nadir Soofi, one of the two Muslim terrorists who tried to shoot up Pamela Geller’s “Draw Muhammad” contest in Dallas, Texas last May, was acquired through Fast and Furious.