He loves me, ***@@!!*, he loves me not!

I write about things which intrigue me; I write, sometimes, of the joy of a Family, of the simple wonder of a small grandson’s hand clutching my finger, and of the implicit trust of moments such as those. I also write of the disgust in which I hold politicians who have diluted and trashed the very idea of that same Family life, and of Marriage. I write in vehement complaint of things political, where our great nation has been betrayed by lesser men who pursue a political viewpoint, and of the truly lethal outcomings of that betrayal. I sometimes mischievously write to stimulate argument; and relish the bellicose outbursts from those minds who would speak against me, without ever either knowing me, or coming close enough to form another opinion.

I hardly ever write about sport, and sporting matters; mainly because I just do not understand the tribal urge which ‘follows’ a team, or a single exponent of any particular sporting endeavour, I just cannot fathom the thought process which brings people to their feet, shouting and shrieking for either joy, or vengeance, because of a particular shot, or move, or kick. But I do write about human nature, and the crass stupidities of people in the ‘sporting world’ who also inhabit the headlines because of their fame.

So the NFL player Ray Rice, who is, apparently, a gifted athlete and a star in his chosen sport, looses his temper with his wife, and beats her senseless in a hotel elevator. He is then promptly suspended from his team, and eventually fired.

The wife insisted that there had been no further instances of abuse since the footage surfaced in September, and that her husband’s judgement the night of the assault had been skewed by alcohol. “He said he was terrified. He was in such shock that this had just happened and he didn’t know how to function at that point.”

Nonetheless, she reaffirmed her support for her husband, claiming that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t tell the truth when he said Ray Rice was “ambiguous” about hitting her in an elevator.

“We know it’s going to take some work,” Janay told NBC’s Matt Lauer. “So I think once he shows them who he is and they reach out to people here, and they find out the things that he’s done, then I think it’s definitely good … At the end of the day, he’s a football player and that’s what they should be really be focused on, because he’s proven himself as a football player for seven years. There’s never been a question on what he can do on the field.”

So he beats her up, and knocks her unconscious, and the next thing; she announces that she is ‘standing by her man’, and all will be snowdrops in the spring!

Do these people inhabit the same Galaxy as us?

Four Hundred & Fifty-Three

To begin, allow me to pass some names before your minds. names of battle honours awarded to the famed and famousBritish Regimental names, illustrious for the places where British soldiers and sailors fought the enemies of the Crown, and; in most cases, prevailed. St Lucia 1778, Egmont-op-Zee, Copenhagen, Douro, Talavera, Albuhera Nivelle, Inkerman, Sevastopol, Kandahar 1880, Afghanistan 1879 -80,Egypt 1882 Tofrek, Suakin 1885, South Africa 1899-1902.

The names of Regiments famed for over six centuries, all of which began from the Fraternity or Guild of Artillery of Longbows, Crossbows and Handgonnes; latterly transformed into the Honourable Artillery company, the oldest regiment in continuous service in the British Army, reel off before your minds eye. The Coldstream Guards, the Irish Guards, the Scots & Welsh Guards; the list of Regimental names, and the Battle honours they fought, won and died for, dazzle the very eye which perceives them. Our history is military, our very Nation was formed in the blood spilled in the dark ages after the Romans left, their own Empire crumbling. We have seen a conqueror come in 1066, but none after that, although many tried.

DURAHAM PAGE 11A

In the photo, the faded flags set high on the framed wall of the Durham Light Infantry chapel, set within the majestic stones of Durham Cathedral, are held with the mental concrete of martial memory. We revere our dead, we honour those who survived, and the colours reflect that honour.

Will there be honour; will there be flags; for Camp Bastion, for the wounded who survived the roadside bombs whilst being transported in unarmoured Land Rovers and mobile Coffins? Will there be Drumhead Services for the British Army of 2014, as we scuttle away from the place where the very flower of our generation were sacrificed to allay the political pretensions of f***king politicians, one of whom uttered those infamous words “ “We would be perfectly happy to leave in three years and without firing one shot because our job is to protect the reconstruction.” By 2008, 4 million bullets had been fired by the British armed forces; and Four hundred & fifty-three men and women, wearing the uniforms and badges of Her Majesty; lay dead!

The truth of the real ‘Health & Safety’ Regulations.

When I was first exposed to real danger, when working in an environment where your life was seriously at risk if you did not obey the rules; most of which were not written down, but learnt, off by heart, from real people who knew of those dangers by learning them from their predecessors: you learned the rules fast. At the age of 21, I was placed in charge of equipment worth millions, and more importantly, of people’s lives who used that equipment, when on board British Merchant Ships. If the Safety devices protecting an alternator, an engine, or a winch, were not tested and found satisfactory, someone could die, or be badly injured, and that death or injury would be placed at your feet, and you would be asked the reasons. When my friend the radio operator wished to have me check out the rotating radar aerial, I made damn certain that the control and power fuses for the rotating aerial were locked away until I came down from the forty-foot-high mast, so that no clown was able to switch the damn thing on, and send the aerial slicing into my back.

Similarly, when I was running the installation and engineering of a huge and complex electrical system for a South African hospital, it was my ‘Safety Document’ which was the rule for all switching and cabling connections and changes. Everything was written down, and everyone signed, so that, again, everyone was aware that eleven thousand volts; a truly lethal voltage; would not be even close to a human being, when work was underway.  We were professionals, doing a dangerous job, and ‘Health & Safety’ was paramount.

Health & Safety was always high in our minds when working in the English water industry, because each rule, each prohibition or passage, had been generated and established by professionals, for professionals. Two men died, over a weekend, in the tunnel feeding the huge, deep pumping station I was in charge of, when they failed to obey the rules. The 3 metre-dia. tunnel planned and built to carry water for London, ended in a large metal chamber, where the pump inlets would push the water up into the domestic zones of Northern London; and this chamber had been sealed for three months. The rules stated that, if a sealed chamber was breached or opened, the first item was to drop a gas detector, on the end of a rope, into the newly-opened space, to check if the atmosphere was stable, or if any noxious gases or major changes, hazardous to humans had occurred. Plain, straight forward; common-sense! But our two heroes knew so much better than scores of highly-experienced and qualified engineers; so they simply climbed down into the chamber and tunnel: and there they died, as there was less than two-percent oxygen in the tunnel and chamber, as the atmosphere had simply been denatured, nitrogen had displaced all the breathable air, and they died from a bad attack of ‘stupidity’!

Terry Waite, the enormously self-important Anglican envoy who flew to Beirut because he just ‘knew’ that his contacts in Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and the ordinary Beirut Arabic slime underground could be implicitly trusted. He has been assured that all was ‘safe’! So he climbed on to a pick-up truck crammed with armed terrorists, again trusting them all because they were all muslim, and therefore completely ‘trustworthy’: and promptly disappeared for five years. Tied to radiators, hidden in underground cells, his only contact was another hostage; until he was released after a huge ransom was paid. ‘Trustworthy’ is as trustworthy does.

FCO 312 - Nigeria Travel Advice Ed2 [WEB]Similarly, ‘humanitarian volunteer’ Alan Hemming was travelling in an ‘Aid convoy’ into the darkest place on this Earth, war-torn Syria, because he ‘wanted to help’; ‘wanted to make a difference’, and all the other bullshit phrases used to attempt to excuse the actions of a man who just ‘knew’ that he would be safe, ‘knew’ that he would compete his mission; ‘knew’ that everyone else was wrong, and he alone was ‘right’: going into a muslim maelstrom where no-one is or can be trusted, because, in the end, they all hate us, they call us ‘infidel’, they call us ‘kuffar’.

And now his bereaved family has the audacity to state that the British government should and could have done more to rescue this idiot, should have risked the lives of soldiers, because the family felt that, as a ‘volunteer’, he should have been given special treatment; despite his ignoring every knowledgeable Government Department stating the bleedingly obvious, that Syria was a no-go place, that Europeans, no matter how well-meaning, no matter how well-intentioned; simply should not be there, because their lives would be at risk the second they drove across the border.

I say, save the ink, don’t sign the books of condolence, don’t buy the silly bunches of flowers, don’t condemn the Government for its immobility; instead accept that Alan Hemming was a well-meaning but foolish man, who ignored the warnings of the real Health & Safety Brigade; who gambled with his life and placed his belief on black, but watched the wheel of life’s spin land on blood red instead!

Now’s the day, and now’s the hour

George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian, presumably believes he is correct, whilst writing on the mainstream media’s coverage of the Scots Referendum on Independence. But I believe he is totally and absurdly wrong.

In all of Mr. Monbiot’s elegant phrasing; along with his condescension towards a Scots electorate which assumes they are just not capable of discerning when political bullshit is spread in their general direction: there does not appear the one truth which has been carefully and completely removed from the debate. That ‘truth’ is the simple fact that the Scots are not being offered a chance at an amorphous ‘Independence’, they are being offered a choice between one bunch of politicians and a vast civil service which governs undemocratically now, and government by another bunch of politicians and a smaller civil service which will also govern undemocratically in the future.

The same bunch of thieving clowns, albeit with different accents, will occupy all the leading roles in public life; the same, but smaller civil service will cling to their ‘rule books’ and deny a troubled Scots family a life-giving operation or treatment as they do now, the same, faceless bunch of thieving clowns will continue to pillage the national wallet, all in the course of making everyone equal, but not telling those same people that, in Orwell’s immortal words, ‘some are more equal that others’.

I would happily vote for a Party which would contend for my vote if they promised, graven in stone, to implement, for example, a system whereby a true ‘Recall’ would be made available not only for Members of a Scottish or indeed a Westminster Parliament, but also for all people in Public Life: a ‘recall’ with teeth, which would strip anyone ‘recalled’, of their ill-gotten riches, pensions and status, before condemning them to a life-long job as a ‘Deep-fried Mars-Bar’ taster, or the equivalent in England, which would probably be a sewage channel cleaner, or an apologist for a British politician.

So why didn’t the dog bark in the night?

I write about a strange and almost inexplicable trait present in many British people , a trait which I certainly do not share, nor do I even attempt to either comprehend or  even understand. It is the singular foolishness of risking one’s own life to ‘rescue’ an animal which is perceived to be in danger of dying; either through accident or human action; it is the whole idea that an animal is worthy of the possibility of losing or hazarding the rescuer’s own life to aid that same animal.

Time and again, we watch or read, or hear of some futile rescue attempt of a dog, usually a dog, possibly because they are more singularly stupid than the merest of cats and moggies in general, who seem to have a much higher degree of self-preservation built into their natural DNA; when the dog has either fallen through an iced-up pond or lake, or fallen off a cliff, or else some equally hazardous or extremely silly happening. The rescuer, if still alive, but more often than not is now dead, is referred to as a hero, or a brave and fast-thinking man or woman of moral steadfastness; worthy of the tributes of lesser mortals.

Just think about the strange, and in fact remarkably effective, campaign by some pressure group or other which strove against the killing of baby seals in the Canadian Arctic. It wasn’t the artful campaign photos of a female model dragging a sealskin coat across the floor, the passage of the coat was of course traced with the alleged blood of the dead seals which was the prime mover of the campaign winning: it was the photos of the head of a baby seal with its two large, seemingly soulful eyes staring reproachfully back out off the pages of the adverts and articles which was the crunch kit of the campaign against the use of furs from those dead baby seals. Most viewers simply looked at those two reproachful pools, staring out of an animal’s head; and immediately transposed the eyes into human eyes, and the fur coat trade died away.

And it is exactly the same transference which rules when some ordinary man is hailed as a HERO, by his actions in saving, or attempting to save, some animal; even at the cost of his own life: a  cost which is felt most severely by his dependants, who now have to struggle along without a breadwinner: but he is, or rather was, a hero!

Which brings me to the main point of my writing today. Readers will no doubt have read and heard of the saving of some 150 dogs from a blazing inferno at a Manchester dogs’ home, while some fifty other animals died. Two of the men who rescued some of the dogs were being interviewed by the BBC pillock on the Today Programme, and they had been retelling how they had seen the flames from their own homes, and had rushed over to try and save the dogs, despite the fierce temperature of the fire and the flames. They were suitably modest about their ‘heroics’, and said that anyone else would have done the same. But the BBC clown then said, “You must have heard that the fund to rebuild the dog’s shelter has already reached over a million pounds. Are you surprised that people have donated so much money to a dog’s home, when OTHER CHARITIES ARE FINDING IT DIFFICULT TO HELP STARVING PEOPLE OVERSEAS?”

Now, if some wet, liberal, lefty BBC clone had asked me, or someone like me, why I had donated cash to some bloody burnt-out dogs’ shelter instead of the starving f***king Ethiopians, or the Sudanese, or the Ebola victims, or any other of the myriad causes placed forward so piously by the multitude of bloody charities which have sprung up like weeds, my answer would have been a tad more robust, and to the effect that “IT IS MY BLOODY MONEY, AND I WILL SPEND IT, OR GIVE IT AWAY, TO WHOM I BLOODY WELL PLEASE!”

 

Now where have I heard that ‘song’ before?

If the varied and various headlines published over the past few days, and indeed weeks are anything to go by, the Scottish Referendum should be viewed as a complete change in British Politics. The ‘Independence’ claims of ‘Freedom’ and ‘self-rule’ are there in plenty, as well as the undertones, always evident from the Celtic fringe, of a release from the servitude of centuries, of a forced bow towards Westminster, of having to be allowed to spend tax-payers money which stems from the wealth stemming from Scots oil and gas. Much more has been written, and spoken, by the Scots ‘Yes’ campaign, but all along the, the same theme emerges from these Scots politicians; ‘Trust us, and we shall deliver you and Scotland towards the Elysian Fields, and it will not cost you anything’!

Much the same thing, but on a much more negative note, comes from the speeches of the ‘No’ campaign; more dire warnings from a bunch of politicians and observers gathered together, for expediency purposes, under their ‘No Thanks’ banner. We hear of the terrible things which may befall the Scots, if they decide to ‘go it alone’, and even of the very voice of the Prime Minister ‘breaking’ with true emotion as he implores the Scottish voters to believe him and his confreres in the ‘No’ camp; whilst at the same time asking those same Scottish voters to forget that he shares the same platform with the Labour leader, a bitter enemy, and the Lib-Dim leader, another bitter enemy, but one wrapped in the colours of a Coalition.

But amidst all the clamour, the many and varied promises of a collective bunch of Politicians whom, we are justly remembering, are the same bunch who promised all those things which never came to pass, because they will never, ever, contemplate changing from the ‘status quo ante’; meaning, literally, the same as was before.

Commentators, and there are many of us, despair of being offered a true change, of a movement away from the deadly boredom of Government by Party politics, of the incessant pleas for this special treatment for a small category, or that ‘exception’ to the rules for the rest of us.

If one of the Parties: now scrambling to attempt to undo the catastrophic decisions which came forth after the totally stupid and cowardly ‘Devolution’ schemes of the early Blair/New Labour years, when the paths towards a Scottish ‘Independence’ were first cast in Legislation: had actually presented any new ideas, any faint traces of a proper ‘Democracy’; of changes which would form a Government which reacted to what the People wanted; instead of ramming through policies based on Party dogma, many would have applauded and made those changes work. But the big problem is that, in order to effect those changes, the Party politicians, together with the bulk of the invisible but powerful ‘Inner Government’ which is actually what the Whitehall Civil Service actually is, would have to give up power, and themselves be subject to the considered ‘whims’ of the people who gave their votes, and allowed the parasites in power to milch the public purse unto the tenth generation!

What is not evident, but still present, are the facts that one bunch of the ‘Old Elite’ are attempting to wrest power from the rest of the ‘Old Elite’; with not a new thought, or idea, or proposal amongst the lot of them! If you mention, even in passing, the Harrogate Solution, all you would probably get would be “Whats Harrogate got to do with it”?

A ‘law’ for him, but not for her

Maybe many thousands of people have ‘googled’ about the ignoble ‘Lord Rennard’ and his pervy dealings with at least four women (that number is based upon those who actually came forward); the laughable ‘enquiry’ pushed by the LibDems as the only way to shovel this particular pile of manure out of the room; and the truly shoddy manner in which the Party decided that they would be taking no further action.

Now I mentioned the term ‘googled’; but I wonder just how many people noticed that at the base of the first page of search results, if you look diligently, you will read this small line, placed to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling, which states:-

 

 Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. (my accents)

Now if people are sufficiently intrigued by this notice, as I have maybe stated previously, and institute an identical search on Google.com, you come up with this little gem, which of course gives one of these women’s words in full, as opposed to those blotted out in the original search. Words such as :-

Susan was sitting with seven female colleagues, including Jo Swinson, now the Minister for Women and Equality, enjoying a gin and tonic after dinner when Rennard ‘plonked himself down’ next to her.

‘Physically, I thought he was a fat, bald man who looked a bit sweaty, but he was very charming and seemed to listen,’ she says.

‘He started asking me questions about what my ambitions were and where I saw my future going. I told him I really wanted to be an MP. I thought: “This is a positive conversation to be having. I’m setting out my store as to who I am, what I believe in and where I see myself.”

‘And then his hand touched my knee.

‘I thought, “I’m imagining this” — so moved my leg away and carried on the conversation.

‘He moved closer and it happened again,’ says Susan, her pretty, heart-shaped face expressing genuine revulsion.

‘I shifted a little bit more and that exposed my back, because I was wearing a little pink top. He started stroking this bare bit of skin.

‘It was quite late and we had been drinking. I’d had a couple of glasses of wine with dinner and was on my second gin and tonic, but I was hardly throwing my legs in the air.

‘By that stage the person next to me had gone to bed, so I moved myself from one chair to another. It must have been half-elevenish. When I moved chairs, he moved chairs … and it started again.

‘I thought, “I don’t like this, I really don’t like this” so I finished my drink and said: “I’m off to bed.” He said: “I’ll walk up with you.”

‘I thought: “How do I get out of this?” So I said: “No, I’m going to go to the ladies first because I don’t think I’ll make it upstairs.”

‘I hid in there for about ten minutes, pacing up and down. When I thought he must have finished his drink and gone to bed, I started towards the stairs. It was this sort of winding staircase and he was standing at the bottom. He said: “I’ll walk you up.”

‘We got to the top of the staircase and he brushed my back again. I turned round and said: “I’m off to bed. Really nice to have had that conversation.”

‘He said: “No, no, no. Let’s get a couple more drinks and we’ll go to my room and we can discuss your future political career.”

‘My head at this point was just screaming: “No! No! Susan, what have you got yourself into?” I told him I was really tired and had to go to bed.

‘When I got into my room, that was when the tears started. I phoned my dad and said: “Dad, I think I’ve just wrecked my political career because I turned down Chris Rennard.”’

Now I, and maybe many others, will commence wondering who actually contacted that mighty Search Engine, and insisted that that link be scrubbed away from any results for Susan’s name in conjunction with the pervy, wriggling, nasty twit who goes by the name of Reennard?

And of course the second query is the one that counts. How many women will still work and vote for a bunch as lily-livered and compromised as the Lib-Dems surely are; especially after a decision such as this?

and it came right because of a ‘donation’!

When I write of my own personal dislike of transplant techniques, and organ donations etc. I am often accused of being heartless, of lacking in human decency, along with all the other turgid attempts to insult me. But I don’t care at all, and I am not at all bothered by the verbal diarrhoea flung in my general direction, mainly because I know I am in the right. I know. for example, of the huge pressures placed on relatives of the dying, the intolerable pressure of hearing, again and again ‘without this organ, or that body part, this young man/young woman may die, or live for only a short time’, all the time placing agonising choices on the families of those whose lives have been cut short for whatever reason; to allow the transplant vultures to ‘Harvest’ the selected organs or tissue, because that is the term which is used, because the only type of organ which is suitable for transplant is from another’s living body!

When I was a young man, my 16 year-old sister died of a terrible disease named Leukaemia, or blood cancer. From being a vibrant teenager, she collapsed into a pale shadow of herself, and died within months of her diagnosis. Some twenty years later, a technique was developed, after long research, to implant bone marrow from a matching donor, which would virtually remove leukaemia from the list of killer diseases. With this process, I have no problems, apart from the fact that the process can be extremely painful for the donor; but, and it is a large but, the donor eventually gets up and walks away.

Which is why I write that this procedure should have been prevented,  the donor was too young to give his approval, because he was only ten months old!

 

some strife on the ocean wave….

I note that the BBC has finally caught up with a story which has been widely reported on both other news-sites as well as the MSM, which of course was the news that Commander Sarah West has been removed from her post as Captain of the Type 23 frigate HMS Portland because she was having sexual relations, or as the BBC coyly states, ‘an affair’ with one of her subordinate officers. Whether she was being screwed by a male junior officer, or alternatively doing whatever lesbians actually do, it amounts to the same thing, which involves a breach of the Navy’s ‘Social conduct’ code, and she has to go. The Navy also stated that she is not being dismissed, but will be reappointed to a post where her skills and experience can be used to best effect,” I give my own interpretation of what such a post might be in the following picture.

aladycook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But my point in writing in regard to this female naval officer is to highlight the sheer stupidity of confining young, healthy and sexually-active men and women together aboard a naval vessel, and then expecting that no impropriety will take place. It is sheer, unmitigated lunacy to demand that young, testosterone-fuelled men;  placed in very close proximity with young, attractive women who also are similarly-fuelled with female hormones; to constantly deny the natural urges which are brought on by the inevitable attractions of the opposite sex: and vice-versa with the women, whom, I presume, go through the same pressures as men do.

It is simply a surrender to the ever-growing pressures of politically-correct clowns who have obviously never served a day in uniform in any sector of the military, to firstly demand equality of selection and treatment when recruiting for any branch of military duty, and then to state that, under no circumstances whatsoever shall these young men and women give way to the baser sexual urges which fuel their entire systems. We are not yet in the position of the American Armed forces, where careers and even possibly lives are being placed at risk because some lesbian bitch has been advanced far beyond her capabilities because she is a lesbian, but that has happened in Uncle Sam’s Navy,, and seemingly we are fast catching up. The Royal Navy which I knew and respected is in danger of being castrated, both in terms of ships, but also, sadly, of its personnel.

Frankenstein Salmon

My headline is not, unfortunately, a coded attack on Scotland’s mouthy First Minister and his compound delusions of grandeur regarding his grand vision(s) for Independence for his small Country; more famous for hairy knees and/or whisky than common sense political thought. But it is a commentary upon a political decision, made mainly by politicians in a complicated entanglement with big business, and crop bio-engineering in particular. I am referring to the decision, made against some 99% of public opinion, to allow small-scale trials of a ‘false flax’ plant which has been genetically-modified to produce an oil similar to Omega-3, an oil found only in certain types of fish. These scientists, who are of course heavily subsidised by the big GM companies, state that this modified plant, because it now will produce a fish-oil, should and would be fed to farmed salmon to make them healthier, with a higher rate of Omega-3 within their flesh, which would make it a healthier product for people to purchase.

We are assured that everything has been thought through; everything has and will be tested to the ultimate degree, there will be no cover-ups, all will be out in the open, there is absolutely nothing for the sceptical public to worry about.

S’funny, really; that is just what was said when this drug was placed on the pharmacy market-shelf  as firstly a sedative with no side-effects whatsoever, then as the wonder-drug for women who were suffering from pregnancy morning sickness, and let us remember what happened with that little episode!

athal1athal2

athal3

 

 

So nothing to worry about with GM foods, or scientifically modified crops then?

Which does pose the question why the entire shindig is being produced behind ten-foot high barbed wire fences, and protected by guards with alsatian attack-dogs?

and how do you say ‘Intellectually Challenged’ in one word?

I have often considered the words ‘and they have exactly the same vote as I’ to be the most offensive words I have ever written. But the previous statement must in turn be covered by its own caveat; in that most of those who are covered by that sweeping statement have not got the intellectual curiosity to be, themselves, offended.

Take one particular event, or rather non-event, in my immediate community within Durham City. The County Council produced a five-year Plan for the alleged improvement of our County, in terms of extra housing, roads, ‘green spaces’, predictions and expectations of new industry and businesses over the next five-ten years. As for the content of that plan, it produced over 3965 statements, of over 97% of which were partly or actively hostile. The level of comment or query, should have had,. in my own opinion, a response level in the tens of thousands, which goes to show how many people actually get involved in Local Government. However, this document was published to form the basis of changes which were proposed to alter the very nature of a substantial part of our once-cherished Green Belt, by building houses and roads all over it. Many other changes were proposed, and the whole plan is up for scrutiny by an Inspector. But my point in telling ATW readers about this Plan, which of course the County Council is extremely proud and protective, was also the subject of a ‘road-show’ exhibition, which was set up in community buildings and centres all over our County, and when this exhibition was set up , I wrote about it at that time on ATW, and the final paragraph went:-

The comment is the truth that we, as a community, get exactly the Local Government we deserve. An Exhibition on the Plan were held at Framwellgate Moor on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 23rd, and the room was thronged with interested people. A similar exhibition was held at the Laurel Avenue community centre in Gilesgate on the 24th, the  following Thursday, and only two people, one of whom was myself, signed in by 7 p.m.

My first sentence, along with the caveat, should now be considered, especially in the light of this Court Case where a PCSO managed to get herself ‘airside’ at Gatwick, then told passengers ‘en route’ to their departure gates that there was a limit of £1,000 which they could take out of the country, and she would be confiscating the rest, which would be handed back upon their return. We should obviously condemn this woman PCSO, but should some level of blame not accrue to the strangely silent people who allowed themselves to be ‘conned’ out of their hard-earned holiday cash. Just imagine if some clown gets dressed up in a uniform, and tells members of the public to give away their money. What would you do, if such a statement or demand was made to you, on your way to board an aircraft?

Closed shop? Or closed minds?

Here’s hoping that an enlarged hard-copy of this article by Owen Paterson, the now former Environment Secretary is securely fixed in a prominent position in No. 10 Downing Street’s Cabinet Room.

alevelsflood

Of course, it would never happen, as the present occupant of No. 10, besides thinking that sacking good politicians and replacing them with allegedly-well-dressed women will ensure his own re-election as Tory leader and Prime Minister; has his own reasons for the sacking of this hugely-popular politician, whose crimes, as far as I can tell, are to stand up to so-called environmental pressure groups, chop the lunatic policies of the bent quango-crat Chris Smith regarding not dredging rivers which have been dredged for decades; and instigate the cull of disease-ridden badgers so that our dairy herds may live free of tuberculosis.

Number please?

I don’t know if any loyal reader has checked out the ‘nightmare in Comcast-land’ where an ordinary American bloke who has had a Comcast broadband connection decided that he and his family wanted to trade away, get another service provider, and break with Comcast completely. To check out this truly-Orwellian conversation, go to this link, and it will be revealed in all its awesome clarity. But the point, made later on any number of Commentary blogs, radio & tv spots, is that the Comcast bloke was literally or seemingly only trying to do his job, which is that of a ‘Customer Retention Representative’. Seems as though Comcast takes the nightmare of losing customers rather seriously, and every CRE gets a bonus for customers retained, for ‘milking services’ presumably, but, if the CRE does not show success, his number comes up on a monthly ‘debit board’, and he either loses his bonus, or gets placed on a Comcast ‘watch list’; which is presumably just about the same as the modern version of Long John Silver’s ‘Black Spot’.

Now I recently bought a new ‘smart-ish’ phone, and signed up with a different Service provider. Now when we in Gt. Britain wish to move from one mobile provider to another, you apply for a Port Authorisation Code, and then you can take your number, and your business, wherever you wish. So I contacted Orange, because I had been with them until alerted that they were much more expensive than others. So I called Orange, and asked for my PAC, and this bloke says, “Who are you moving to?”

Now I don’t normally get all uptight with people in call-centres, mainly because they usually work from  screen menus, but because this clown wouldn’t leave off asking where and why I was placing my mobile business elsewhere, I abruptly told him to ‘f*** off’, give me my PAC number, and cease pissing around.

I would only note that Comcast is seeking FCC approval to take over Time Warner, and wonder if the FCC is noticing they are allowing one big bully to get ever larger!

 

…in sickness, and in health…..

abucketbaby

 

 

Before posting on a subject which is worthy of at least some discussion, before being cast into the cess-pool from which it has arisen, I thought I would lighten the atmosphere by posting a photo of what must be the most enchanting small child’s smile published this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A long-awaited bill being published by the former Lord Chancellor Lord Falconer has parallels with the 1967 Abortion Act by placing responsibility for authorising the action in the hands of two doctors.

legalise assisted dying

upholding the sanctity of human life without regard to suffering caused in the process

“ethical turning point”

be promoting anguish and pain, the very opposite of a Christian message of hope.”

the commandment “Thou shalt not kill” should not mean prolonging suffering.

in the face of the reality of needless suffering.”

In writing about this pernicious, dangerous and illiberal Assisted Dying Bill, I would attempt to explain my thoughts. The quotations, taken from people who support this Bill, do not state the truth about what is proposed. The Bill is written and introduced to change the Law. Ignore all the emotional rubbish held within those quotations, the supporters of this Bill want, wish and work towards one thing, and one thing only :-

 

Euthanasia!

I knew the girl I met was for me some ten seconds after we first saw each other, but, upon my return after my last trip to sea, I laid siege until she agreed to marry me.  We were gloriously, blissfully happy, our family grew and blossomed; until I was finally made aware that my beloved wife was seriously ill, and I had to have her committed. My wife of now some forty-seven years has been suffering from the effects of schizophrenia for some forty-three of those years. For many years, after she was released to me from the mental hospital where she was treated, she was back to some 95-97.5% of the woman whom I fell in love with, all those years ago in one chance evening at the Empire Ballroom in Leicester Square; but things went downhill some ten or twelve-odd years ago.

She now sits upstairs on her bedside, anxiously awaiting my help for even the slightest move to swivel across to her commode. She depends upon me for everything, and I would be a strange caricature of a man if I ever deserted her. My philosophy of life is now, and has been for many years; ‘you play the hand you are dealt’, and this is what I do for the woman I love. But what might happen to my love if I should die before her? Being totally dependent upon others for everything, and I do mean everything; more than likely she would be headed straight for a care facility, would she not be a prime target for these do-gooders who believe firmly that they know what is best for one who cannot articulate her needs and wishes?

I once visited an old-aged people’s home/complex in Islington to help a mate of mine who was compiling an electrical tender document, and I will be honest when I state that I have never witnessed anything more dispiriting in my entire life. I entered the main room/hall of the home, and there must have been at least seventy or eighty elderly people seated there, but the strange thing was the fact that they were all seated at seventy or eighty different angles to one another; there were two televisions blaring away at opposite corners of the room, no-one was watching either, and this was the first time that I had ever witnessed what is called the ‘Thousand-mile-stare’, where the person’s eyes are focussed over a huge distance away. The staff could safely be described as uniformly useless, as I gathered when talking to the one helpful staff member, a maintenance bloke, who simply sniffed when asked his opinion of his fellow workers, then replied, ‘when they aren’t in ever-extended meetings discussing how much they would not be doing, they are forever looking after themselves; with not much time left for the poor sods in the armchairs and beds’! I spotted one lady, seated in a wheelchair, trapped in the space between a wall and a folding door. She had been left by the ‘caring’ staff member, and forgotten as breakfast had been served, and no-one missed her, until an outsider arrived and gently wheeled her out of her confinement. She was so pathetically grateful to me, a stranger for helping her. Needless to state, I made my own feelings pretty plain to the management, but I don’t believe that my anger even registered!

Reference is made in one of the earlier quotations to the Abortion Act of 1967. I would simply remind readers that one of the ruling guidelines in 1967 was that two doctors should examine and confer with the pregnant woman before agreeing and signing to that abortion procedure. Those guidelines are now so loose that a NURSE can authorise an abortion.  I would remind ATW readers that, in just four years, there have been 731801 babies, foetuses; call them what you will, killed quite legally in this so-called civilised country of ours! Just consider what a bunch of politicians and their fellow bottom-feeding compatriots could do once the Euthanasia Bill becomes Law?

The Assisted Dying Bill, which in reality should be renamed the ‘Euthanasia Bill or the even more explanatory The Inconvenience Bill’ or the  ‘Let us get rid of the Old, the Ill, the Insane, the Sufferers from incurable and painful Diseases, those who alarm us by their very longevity, and the Memories of what faces us all Bill’ is a shameful and destructive piece of legislation, and we, along with the dangerous do-gooder Clowns who propose and back this tawdry attempt to change, by euphemism alone, the settled Law, should be ashamed that Legislation as bad, corrupt and disgraceful as this Bill undoubtedly is, even passes across the threshold of the House of Lords in these troubled times.

 

I simply ask, who could forget tiny Cooper?

gonebut neverforgotten

 

Is this man entitled to call himself a human being, never mind an allegedly-absent-minded father?

He left this child, strapped into a car seat, for seven hours in a hot Southern summer’s day.

He didn’t just leave the tiny boy alone for a chance visit to a store for something forgotten from a previous shopping trip: no ways, he left the 22-month toddler in the car to go to work. He also returned to the car once during the day; but also drove away with that tiny lifeless form strapped in beside him: only stopping  at another shopping centre to seek aid when he states that he just found that small boy dead.

 

and here is the news, from the BBC; as we see it.

We were once more regaled this morning on the BBC Today programme with the dark and dangerous stories emanating from the Syrian War, with reports from the ‘rebel’ side of the battleground which the city of Aleppo has become. The BBC reporter described the horrendous effects of the Assad forces weaponry which has been cosily christened the ‘barrel bomb’ which is either an oil drum dropped from a helicopter, which is stocked with home-made explosives and the regulation shrapnel, designed specifically to rend and tear human flesh, or a reinforced gas container, stuffed with the same explosive mix, plus detonator of course; the explosive force generated when detonated would of course shatter the steel containment shell, producing even better shards of shrapnel to injure or kill, well, anybody in its explosive path. The reporter described the areas he was standing in as a war-zone beyond imagination, blaming all this destruction on the Syrian dictator, as well as his Russian-supported military, alongside the really efficient murderers of Hezbollah, whose intervention helped save Assad’s forces from defeat in the Lebanese border towns. Everything which had happened to this once-bustling city was ascribed to the Government’s forces, but there was the routine disclaimer that ’rebel’ forces had also conducted killings of civilians.

All the froth, all the verbal fury, was there for one purpose and one only; to remind us all of our disgraceful (in the BBC’s eyes of course) decision not to join in Obama’s proposed war against the ‘red lines’ of Syrian use of chemical weaponry. To remind us that all these people were dying, or suffering, because we, as a Nation, had not stepped forward when the clarion call came to once more send our Armed forces into harm’s way, to remove this upstart dictator who was punishing the people who had rebelled against his rule! To remind us that it still was not too late to send our soldiers, along with what missiles we still have access to, into yet another sandy deathtrap where we would never, ever, be even able to make one iota of difference.

I think the sad situation in that nation, where the only problems used to arise when Assad wished to reinforce his friends in Hezbollah’s Lebanese camps with Iranian rocketry to be used against Israel; can best be described as one where we in the West have no dog in that fight; where it would be best left if the combatants, with Assad’s Russian-supplied forces did battle against the Jihadi-bent terror gangs who are all fighting with treasure sent from the Saudis and Qataris, and they can fight on, and kill each other, until they grow tired of the bloodshed, and just stop.

As a footnote to my words, and as a further judgement on the stealthy philosophies of the Beeb, I would ask just a few pointed questions for you to ponder:-

  • When was the last time the BBC told of the terrible starvation and suffering of the North Korean people, and asked what Britain should do about it?
  • When was the last time that the savage torment placed upon the Zimbabwean people by the geriatric dictator Mugabe, along of course with his Zanu-PF thugs, was even discussed on the BBC airwaves?
  • When was the decision by the Botswana Government not to stop the forced removal of the Kalahari Bushmen to the resettlement camps, so that diamond mining can carry on without these pesky Bushmen wanting a major share of the profits; ever criticised on the BBC?
  • When was the fate of the people who once lived quite happily upon the island of Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, but forcibly removed by British government agents so that the whole island chain could be leased very profitably to America as a base for carriers, submarines and equipment ships, ever taken up, or even championed by a supine BBC?

and the ‘Process’ rolls merrily onwards!

Not too many journalists’ work makes me pause, and recognise that amongst the millions of words pumped out about the so-called ‘Peace Process’, with all the blind eyes and deaf ears turned away from the truth which just plain refuses to just shut up and go away, there sometimes appears an article, a commentary which rings true; and so from Jenny McCartney:-

A 43-year-old man called Seamus Daly was charged last week in connection with the 1998 Omagh bomb, the worst single republican terrorist atrocity in Northern Ireland’s history. A massive car bomb exploded in the central shopping area of the town on a busy Saturday afternoon: bungled, inaccurate warnings from those responsible meant that civilians were placed at maximum risk. In the explosion, 29 people died, including children, teenagers and one woman who was heavily pregnant with twins.
The attack was carried out by the “Real” IRA, a dissident group in opposition to the strategy pursued at the time by the Provisional IRA. For years, the prosecution went nowhere. Finally, the families of the victims succeeded in 2009 with a landmark civil prosecution against four men linked to the Real IRA, who were ordered to pay compensation of £1.6 million. One of them was Daly, who still denies involvement.
Just a couple of days before Daly’s arrest, another republican once linked to bombing campaigns appeared in the news: Martin McGuinness, the former IRA commander and current Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland. He was attending a white-tie banquet with the Queen at Windsor Castle. The long list of atrocities against civilians committed by the Provisional IRA contains details no less searing than those of Omagh – from the 1978 La Mon bombing (in which 12 guests at a hotel dinner dance were burned to death by an IRA napalm bomb) to the 1993 Shankill bomb, which killed nine shoppers. Continue reading “and the ‘Process’ rolls merrily onwards!”

No, she should not have gone!

Strangely enough, I do not believe that Maria Miller should have resigned. Most of the hue and cry which has pursued this lying, thieving and mendacious woman is based upon two inaccuracies.

The first is the simple fact that her thieving and lying behaviour was based upon rules of behaviour which have been replaced by much sterner equivalents. What she did was no more and no less than some 400 other MPs did before the eruption following the Telegraph’s expenses campaign. Where this thieving bitch went wrong was attempting to browbeat the Parliamentary Commissioner into either dropping or altering the terms of her investigation; and also attempting to place a block on the Telegraph reporter’s legitimate investigation by getting her advisor to quote Miller’s position as a Minister responsible for Press Regulation, to harass or bully the newspaper into dropping the investigation.

The second inaccuracy is of course that Miller was just doing her job by piloting through Parliament the disgusting and disgraceful Cameron-inspired Homosexual Marriage Act’s debasement of Marriage, and also controlling and pushing for the Leveson Royal Charter against Press Freedom; which pales into insignificance beside the fact that this Government, and the Labour bunch before it has given into Terrorism’s demands so that our own Queen Elizabeth was forced to accept into her presence one of the main leaders of SinnFeinIRA when Martin McGuiness sat down as a guest at Windsor Castle. A man who undoubtedly knew of the planned terror murder of her own dear Uncle, and the murder of well over two thousand other British subjects. So if he and his ilk can sit at Stormont and eat their fill at Windsor with Her Majesty, why should Miller have been eventually forced to fall on her sword to protect the Prime Minister, who was about to receive an almighty shellacking during Questions to the Prime Minister early this afternoon.

The wages of sin is…….freedom!

I note that the pair of slappers jailed in Peru for attempting to smuggle 11 Kgs. of cocaine into the UK are actively being considered for early transfer back to this country ‘to serve their time in prison near to their families” ATW readers unfamiliar with this phrase within judicial language must realise that this phrase is short for ‘upon arrival in Great Britain, they will be imprisoned for about three weeks, then carefully let out the back door to rejoin the cess-pits from whence they emerged’.

11 Kgs. That, folks is about 24 pounds in ‘old money’. After judicious cutting with ideal cheap materials such as baking powder or milk sugar, estimates of aound half-a-million quidsworth of a deadly hard drug were due to hit Britain’s streets if this criminal pair had not been stopped.

And now they propose to repatriate them from Peru to their ‘loved ones’.

What was that phrase again; the one about ‘tough on crime’ or something? Must have been just another soundbite!

An ACRONYM too far?

I listened almost with one ear to BBC reporter and self-styled economist Jim O’Neill as he rhapsodised about the latest entries to the upcoming ‘Economic Giants’ race, labelling Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey as the MINTs, after the BRICs which he had labelled some years before. He had visited all four entrants, and was busy warbling on about how industrious they all were, and the horizons were endless, and it was just a matter of time before they all did a mini-China; and amazed us all with their massive rises in GDP, and advances in education, etc., etc.. As I said, he was rhapsodising about ‘Indonesia…this’ and Turkey….that, and of course ‘Mexico and Nigeria….the  other’ without expanding or lifting his gaze away from the statistics he was warbling on about.

Now I may be wrong, but if Indonesia, for example, is about to take off and experience this huge rise in productivity, energy and wealth; why are there all those Indonesian people grabbing standing-room only on board any leaky scow heading towards Australia? They are jumping from a country where this huge promise is prophesied, and sailing towards a country which, these days, not only doesn’t want them, but isactively taking hard moves to repel the very boats which come sneaking over the waves towards the ’promised land’.

Let us move towards Turkey. Yes, that Nation has made some impressive steps towards industrialization and wealth creation; but have you had a look at the headlines coming out of Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul recently. They may be building the third bridge across the Bosphorus to take some of the excess traffic into Istanbul, but the riots, the water-cannon and the helmeted police are just getting some rest before moving back into action under the orders of the once-admired moderate Muslim hard man Prime Minister Erdogan. He’s just found out that, if given a little freedom, the plebs all want a great deal more, and since the word ‘freedom’ isn’t even printed in Islamic dictionaries, and is probably not even understood in Koran-land, the heavy mob is going to crush any dissent. Since western capital is so mobile, if the people who arrange the investments see a few more riots put down with precision, they aren’t going to stop long in a country which is moving towards a heavy-handed theocracy, along the lines of Iran.

Mexico, the third nation in the list; well, what would any global investor think if his advisors said ‘Let’s all head towards Mexico City’? If he had any sense, he’d find himself some new advisors. What with the endemic corruption in the politics, the endless ferocity of the drug cartels, and the endless river of the crime rates, anyone in Mexico is planning to get out, towards America and sanity.

And then there is Nigeria, blessed with huge oil and gas wealth. For anyone  even thinking of investing more than a fiver in the land of the Niger and the Bonny, the list of deterrence is so large that its usually available online, but you need a good broadband connection to read it. The Best-known product of Nigeria is the scams, the thieves and the corruption, but coming up fast is the bloodshed between the muslim fanatics of the Boko-Haraam, and the Christians of the south.

MINTs? You’d be better off investing in some of Mr. Murray’s products; enjoyable, sweet, and you know exactly what you get when buying them.

Late, but still true.

The New York Times has a devastating survey of the lies, the political stupidity, the carnage and the cover-up, from all sides, of the attack on the Americans in Benghazi.

You take a deadly mix of an American diplomat who believes any Arab can be trusted, the usual mix of clever and foolish adherents to the Muslim religion, murderous in intent behind the welcoming smiles, an inept and naive American Administration which doesn’t care how they protect those who serve them, toss in a stupid, silly video which supposedly ‘angered Islam’, and you get the carnage which was Benghazi.

Some time ago, I wrote a book about politics, and one theme was the Arab mindset as opposed to say, a Western mindset.  One very small quotation from that book goes :-

“They hate us because we are free, because we are rich, because we have open government, because we have free speech, because we are not muslim; because we are the unbelievers!

and a car, or indeed anything, from this bunch?

Reasons why the British Public are walking away from Democratic involvement cannot be paraphrased or explained in the written equivalent of a television out-take or radio soundbite, mainly because there are multiple reasons, and they all need to be either catalogued or discussed.

Take, if you would, the two greatest scandals of the last thirty years, in constitutional terms, within the British political system;  the determined and ruthless task, undertaken with hardly a note or instruction being recorded, to alter, by stealth, the very image of British society by huge numbers of immigrants, only some of which came from the EU, where we had limited means of stopping or reducing the flow because of EU legislation; while the vast majority came from one area, namely the whole Indian sub-continent, and more specifically Pakistan, Bangladesh and India itself, backed up by large numbers of Iraqis, Afghanis, Somalis, and all the other cess-pits of the world, whose peoples had been routinely pillaged and robbed of their very birthright by their own corrupt politicians. Labour, because that was the Party who commenced this assault on the very core of our Nation, handed out visas, and then passports, as though the printing presses were due to be smashed, and they had to get the numbers up before the day slated for destruction.

But the problem which those same Labour acolytes conveniently forgot about was the importation, along with the hordes who carried in, of a sinister disease which cannot be detected by a scanner, or indeed x-ray; the name of the disease is of course the Muslim religion, the worship of a God which brooks no alternative, no excuse, you either worship their allah, along with their paeadophile prophet mohammed; or you are killed; simple and as complicated as that!

I am not claiming that all Muslims are terrorists, but the seed is there, and all it takes is a clever intellect, and a fiery tone, and the bombs are being built, and the hatchets are sharpened, before you can dial the Security Directorate; but get the Labour Party apologists to take even a shred of responsibility, and every commentator is named as ‘racist’, when the whole problem is based  around yet another bastardized religion!

The other scandal, and to my mind the more divisive and catastrophic, was the exposure, by the Daily Telegraph, of the criminal activities of somewhere around 95% of the occupants of the House of Commons in the ‘Expenses Exposure’. When the scandal broke, and the true extent of the organised pillaging became known, there was a window for change, but of course the political elite sacrificed a few, organised that many more stepped down, and spun the remainder by the repeated use of my favourite term, ‘But all our actions did not break any rules’, without reminding us that the same scum who were abusing the ‘Rules’ were the ones who had re-written those same ‘Rules’! Wholesale theft and fraud were excused as ‘an unfortunate lapse’, and the victims? Why we, the British nation just sat back, and turned to watching some garbage on the telly!

It is a truth that we get exactly the Government we deserve, and until a leader emerges who can state what should be done, and what will be done to reverse the trend of ‘unnaccountability’ we will continue to see the likes of Blair, and Cameron, sliding ever upwards, greased by their own filth. I have taken a deep interest in local politics recently, asking questions at full Council meetings, which is allowed; but only three queries per session, and ‘no debate allowed’, but at least I get up and ask, and this is what these politicians hate above all, that they have to answer, and there are only so many ways of telling a lie before they get caught out!

Can’t; time; crime; don’t.

When anyone talks of the failed ‘War on drugs’, along with the statement that any drug law infraction is virtually a victimless crime, I tend to roll my eyes, and wish I were elsewhere, anywhere but in a place where the very idea of selling drugs is considered to be an ordinary human function.  The argument goes that ‘no-one gets hurt’ and ‘no-one does drugs who doesn’t want to do drugs’ and we should all just step back, and maybe even make it legal.

This post of mine was written after reading the supposedly thought-provoking article in this oh-so-on-the-mark New York Times on the so-called ‘evils’ surrounding mandatory minimum sentencing for various crimes. Seems as though the ‘system’ had reacted to the huge rise in drug-related crimes, along with the equally-huge toll on the addicts and their families.

The thinking then, which I hold to this day, is if you are told and understand, in advance, that if you are caught committing a crime which, on a big list, relates to a certain length of time in jail; you may wish to think twice before getting involved in that activity. It is simply ‘cause’ related to ‘effect’. The fact that certain drug-related offences automatically meant a life sentence without parole is, perhaps, beside the point. The criminal engaged in this felonious activity in the full knowledge that, if caught, tried and found guilty; he would automatically get ‘life without parole’. This penalty did not even feature in the glib thinking that driving and distributing serious narcotics was just ‘easy money’.

Well, Mr Webster, ‘easy money’ it may have been; but you cannot say that you were not warned, no matter what the A.C.L.U.’s Vanita Gupta may claim about the injustice of mandatory minimums. The penalties were there, written and explained so that even the simplest could understand. As for mercy, and clemency; I think you may have already discovered that Society is just about clean out, as far as the likes of you is concerned!

War; or plain, calculated murder?

When contemplating writing about any serving member of our Armed Forces, there are two pointers I would normally use. Firstly, have they seen action at the sharp end; in other words, have they been shot at, and fired back: or have they been deliberately targeted by a hidden bomb? The second is, quite simple; are they of senior rank; colonel, general, air vice-marshal, vice-admiral?

If the second, they are usually political in nature, having scrambled up the greasy pole without struggle, used to sending the men under their command without proper equipment or protection: with the explicit knowledge of their political masters regarding these ‘money-saving’ tactics; but safe in the knowledge that the ordinary British ‘squaddie’ would sooner commit suicide than complain.

If the first, it becomes a trifle difficult. British soldiers are used to serving under truly ridiculous ‘rules of engagement’ authored by politicians who don’t understand that the opposition is doing their level best to kill any British serviceman. Ask any ‘squaddie’ who served at the front end in Belfast whether they consulted their ‘Orange Cards’ before firing back at some sociopath; ask if he felt justified in squashing some murderous clown before that IRA ‘volunteer’ killed a friend, or any more innocents?

All the same, as to whether Sergeant Alexander Blackman was justified in firing his weapon point blank at some wounded Afghani scum who had been trying to kill the Sergeant minutes before, I have no opinion. Other, of course that he was totally stupid in not confirming that all his mates’ helmet cameras were disabled!

Florence used by the Machine

The Prime Minister has sent out his official Christmas card, and how charming it is. It shows him and Samantha with their adorably pretty three-year-old daughter Florence Rose Endellion Cameron. You can see she’s pretty because her face is not pixelated. Let me explain. DowningStreet has sent out ferocious letters to newspaper editors explaining that photos of Mr Cameron’s children must on no account be published unless their faces are pixelated. In the same breath, however, it invites the media to reproduce Florence’s face prominently – in a Christmas card photo that bears no sign of photoshopping at all. Well, unless you count the suspicious disappearance of one of Dave’s chins, but I could be wrong about that.

anxmasphony

Using an innocent child for political ends…..Yes, he really is a true Leader.

 

Do you remember?

Where were you, or rather were you even alive, on the day Kennedy was shot? I was  home on leave from Merchant Navy service, seated on a bus travelling back to my home, when a mate of mine spotted me, sat down and told me of the news. It seems to me that this one question, tells us more about how the world, and the people, have altered perceptions, and changed viewpoints than any other political event in the last one hundred tears.

Imagine, if the Internet, and citizen bloggers, and 24/7 news cycles, had existed on that sunny day when John Kennedy sat down in that motorcade which slowly wound its way through downtown Dallas.

It is indeed, more likely than not that LBJ would have been seated in that limousine, as the word, and fact, of Kennedy’s many flaws would have already driven him from office; either through resignation, or impeachment. Can you even imagine of the furore which would erupt if the news cycle was able to grab and run with stories of the American President having multiple sexual liaisons whilst his wife was in the White House caring for their youngest child? Can you even contemplate the size of the headlines when the assassination attempts on Castro were uncovered? Or the plots to overthrow the South Vietnamese President? Can you imagine the blog pages when Monroe serenaded Kennedy in public? All those huge problems would have been uncovered within hours of happening, because today, no-one gets away with much, except maybe bogus asylum-seekers and killers in Britain, and of course the SinnFeinIRA murderers in Stormont.

Camelot was always a straw building, and Kennedy was not even a very good politician, never mind President. He was a reluctant convert to the civil rights movement, and just about the only thing he got right was to stand firm against Kruschev over Cuba and the missiles, and even then Kennedy benefited from the spy Oleg Penkovsky’s advice on Soviet intentions. A pity that Penkovsky was later arrested and burnt alive after being betrayed by an American KGB mole.

So where indeed were you on the day that Kennedy was shot? Does it matter if there was a conspiracy? Why did Jack Ruby gun Lee Harvey down? Who indeed was on that Grassy Knoll? Who, if indeed anyone, really cares?

Letter to an Editor

I wrote a small screed to our local newspaper concerning a proposed Development Plan for our whole County, and I thought I might reproduce it here. As I may have mentioned before, I have taken a deep and critical interest in local politics recently, so, as this Plan is so important, I thought I might stir up some effluent.:- (Note; the words in Red are quoted straight from the Plan).

To the Editors,

I am writing to advise your readers of a book that they simply must read. They won’t have to buy it, because it is free to those who wish access, either online, as a download, or as a normal printed book. It is a work of non-fiction, but there is, by this observer’s thinking, a great deal of both fiction and wishful thinking in this book of 301 pages. It has a really zingy title, well chosen for both brevity and accuracy; namely… The County Durham Plan (Pre-Submission Draft Local Plan). See what I mean? The words roll off your tongue like treacle spread over honey! It is a great pity that the contents don’t live up to the title, as there is planning, but not the type which most of us would accept as the result of neutral thought and open discussion. No, this document, which purports to be the Plan under which this whole County, along with all its residents, will be steered towards a happier, more productive and informed existence than they do at present; is in fact the worst sort of Socialist thinking in terms of the old-style attitude of ‘We know what is best, so shut up, pay your taxes, and we’ll let you know when its finished!’

Allow me to expand and explain. The book states, in great detail, The Plan as it purports to lay out the master-plan for regeneration, re-industrialisation and re-vitalisation of the County in which we live. I was not expecting to read a funny book, but there are pages which will generate laughter in the reader, but the laughter will not be of a humorous nature; but instead will be acid, sarcastic and derisory. The excerpts which will generate the laughter are entitled ‘Vision’, and explain, in great and glorious detail, how we shall all be living, some twenty years down the timeline, in a ‘Workers Paradise’, reminiscent of the Stalinist billboards which featured strong, muscular, chisel-featured  men and beautiful women, gazing forth into a rising sun, as they set forth to build that same ‘Paradise’.

We are told that Durham City’s traders and businesses will flourish, aided by the newly-built “relief roads”which will remove excess ‘through’ traffic from its overburdened main roads. Tourists will “flock’ to see the Cathedral and the ‘sensitively optimised heritage and cultural attractions’, whilst staying in the newly-provided ‘quality accommodation’. Major new ‘communities’ will have developed to the North, East and South of the City proper, and the inhabitants of those ‘new communities’ will all be leading fruitful lives in harmony with everyone else. To the East of Durham City, Seaham Harbour is lauded as a new generator for wealth and activity, with most of the new wealth coming from the ‘Marina and Harbour’, the only one in County Durham, and the visionary Centre for Creative Excellence. Peterlee is not forgotten, as the Plan states that it will have a ‘vibrant’ regionally important employment base and new rail access via the new rail station at Horden.

For the South of the County, the planners wax lyrical with the ‘strong success’ of Aycliffe Park and Amazon Park, and Hitachi shall be the home of train manufacturing in the UK. Bishop Auckland has not been forgotten, as it is described as having a consolidated retail centre and well-supports the ‘visitor experience’, what ever that may be. Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor will no doubt be encouraged to learn they will have viable housing strategies, and Crook will still be the ‘gateway’ to the Durham Dales. The West of the County, Barnard Castle, Stanhope and Wolsingham will be delighted to learn that accessibility will have been improved, and broadband access will bring creative and service industries flocking to their environment.

All this will be achieved through ‘Sustainable Development’ and a ‘Spatial Approach’ (no, I don’t know what that means either!); but a big hint is in the choice, by these same Planners, of where and how the major new ‘Communities’ will be sited and built, and then bought by the future occupants of these ‘sustainably built’ and ‘spatially planned’ houses and estates.

The  Durham City Green Belt is proposed, under this Plan, to be de-registered and then raped, in three major areas. To the North of Durham City, a huge new development north of the Arnison Centre, a second huge estate complex surrounding  Sniperley to the North East, and a third, smaller housing development South of  Sherburn Road. The two afore-mentioned ‘relief roads’ shall funnel the extra traffic generated by the occupants of the new developments, mostly riding on public transport and fewer in those nasty, evil private cars, away from the main thoroughfares and trunk roads of Durham City proper, and all in this new-found ‘Garden of Eden’ will be so, so happy!

But the twist in this Planners’ plot comes along when the Plan reveals how all of this will be paid for. Because the bill will be immense! All the industrial parks, the new ‘relief roads’, access roads, sewerage, power lines and cables will have to be provided, but not by the County Council; because the Council doesn’t have any extra taxpayers’ cash of its own. Or does it? No, it will all be paid for by the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is just another name for yet another ‘Stealth Tax’ which states that every house, every shop, store or supermarket, every development within the list will have to shell out huge sums of money to fund these huge bills, and the end users of the houses would have to realise that the inflated prices being asked for these ‘sustainably and spatially’-built homes would be paying, through the veritable nose, for the privilege of living in one of these so-called ‘vibrant’ communities. Just to give you some idea of the range of charges under this Community Levy, the proposed Levy charges for new homes within the Green Belt land would be around £250.00 per square metre, for large retailers (supermarkets) the Levy would be around £400.00 per square metre, and for student accommodation the charge would be £50.00 per square metre. So if Tesco wanted to build another ‘Extra’ around the same size as the Dragonville site, they would have to shell out, on top of all the other building costs, 40,000 * £400.00, or some £16 million quid! The Council really want to attract new investment into County Durham!

So, in winding up this small diatribe, I would end with one piece of advice, and one comment. The advice is simple, grab yourself a long, cool gaze at this bureaucratic wet dream, and then make your objections, if any occur to you, known to the Council, either on the web-site, or by letter.

The comment is the truth that we, as a community, get exactly the Local Government we deserve. An Exhibition on the Plan were held at Framwellgate Moor on the afternoon and evening of Wednesday 23rd, and the room was thronged with interested people. A similar exhibition was held at the Laurel Avenue community centre in Gliesgate on the 24th, the  following Thursday, and only two people, one of whom was myself, signed in by 7 p.m.

Regards

Mike Cunningham

Caveat Emptor

If I, whilst running a British-based company making garments for example, initiated or allowed unsafe working practices to occur, I would be guilty of offences against Health & Safety Law. Similarly, if the company I ran overloaded a factory floor-space with machinery, to the extent of some 200% of the safe working load to which that same factory floor was designed, and if a structural collapse happened, with deaths resultant from that overloading, I would be guilty of manslaughter.

However, if I ran a retail company specialising in fast-moving clothing priced at low market prices, and sourced all those clothes, dresses, coats etc. from a company in, say, Bangladesh; all my responsibilities would be made towards ensuring that I was getting the products ordered, on time and in good order; so that my shops would be stocked with clothing which my customers wished to buy.  I might wish to ensure that the clothing stocked in my shops were not produced using child labour, or manufactured during unsafe or overlong hours; but my responsibilities would be to my own company, or the shareholders if the company were publicly owned.

I would not, repeat not, have to burden myself or my company’s shareholders with either the responsibility, the cost or the vast expense of paying huge death benefits or compensation if another company, on another continent, made certain choices in overloading a factory with excess machinery, or made untruthful statements to their employees, in order to make then work in unsafe or deadly conditions; because I didn’t employ the company or the workers: I simply placed a clothing order.

I have a dream……..

……….that one day, sometime in the dim and distant future, common sense will rear its head regarding the insane idea that a country, or an alliance of countries will make the Syrian Government back down from the use of poison gas and chemical weaponry by an attack using cruise missiles and ‘stand-off’ bombs.

  • The Syrians, led by Assad, are fighting for their existence; and are winning with the able aid of Hezbollah’s fanatics. Who, in this crazy world, believes that an attack, no matter how broad, or threatening, or damaging, or awesome, will deter one swivel-eyed bunch of ragheads from attempting to wipe out another bunch of equally-swivel-eyed ragheads?
  • A sizeable majority of the ‘Opposition’ in the field are harnessed and led by Al Quaeda affiliates. Has it occurred to the ‘bomber-boy’ buddies Obama, Cameron and Hollande that when the Tomahawks, Harpoons and Exocets begin to rain down on the airfields and radar stattions of Syria; that this will undoubtedly give heart and volition to even more ‘jihadi’ clowns to fight in the hope of killing the Alawites of Bashar Assad, and replacing them as rulers of an Islamic State along the user-friendly lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran? The Allies have, rather sensibly, refrained from supplying mobile anti-aircraft missiles to the disorganised clowns fighting Assad, as those same clowns have a rather strange affinity for attacking Western aircraft, and if you give them Stinger missiles, the next thing would be a BA 747 or an American Airlines Airbus slicing into the ground after its engines are blown off the wing!
  • The belief amongst the ‘thinking elites’ of Islington and Chipping Norton that Syria will take note of a battering from the skies is ludicrous.
  • Where is the proof that Assad’s regiments delivered the poisonous clouds which ‘killed’ hundreds? Assad’s armies are winning. Are they so stupid that they would unleash a deadly gas attack whilst the UN inspectors are seven miles away? What would be the purpose of that attack?
  • Immediately upon the first missiles rain down on Syrian soil, the way is open for an immediate counter-strike upon a very close and really jumpy neighbour, who flies a six-pointed blue star, and who is closely allied to the USA, otherwise known as ‘The Great Satan’.
  • The only winners in this war will be the suppliers of missiles, aircraft builders and hospital supply companies.