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!

Light match, then plunge hand into middle of fireworks bundle…….

As an ordinary Englishman, trained from early years in the field of Engineering, and being fairly successful in my chosen work for some forty-odd years, I am by no means knowledgeable of medical practices, except of course by immediate knowledge of illnesses and conditions which I, or family members have suffered from and mainly conquered over my life-span. However, the science of treating communicable diseases is well-known, even when the disease itself is both frightening in its efficiency and mobility.

The Ebola virus which is running rampant in West Africa is a deadly bug. Deadly to a point of some 80%+ of those who are infected; die. It is as simple and complicated as that. The first symptoms apparently resemble a bad dose of influenza, but once that virus takes its course, the human body usually cannot resist the viral onslaught. The patient is infectious from some three or four days into the disease’s journey, and the virus is spread by contact with bodily fluids; namely sweat, semen, blood, nasal and vocal sputum. Barrier nursing, using high-tech clothing, masks and gloves, is essential if the people who are attempting to treat those suffering from this deadly disease are not to be infected themselves. Total isolation of all those either suffering from, or adjacent to, Ebola is and must be adhered to, if the virus is to be beaten!

So why is the UK importing ‘experts and politicians’ from bloody Sierra Leone to hold a bleeding conference, when most of those same ‘experts’ have probably been exposed to the f**king virus back in bloody Africa?

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!

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!

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?

start soul-searching? Bollocks!

The great debate is said to be commencing about Britain’s role in the world, and how wrong it was not to let Our Dave bomb Syria, even from a safe distance.

Allow me to place a few facts before the ATW audience, and see if you can agree with me that this isn’t the end of the world; isn’t the start of decay in our innermost souls; isn’t a sign that we are done for.

We are a trading nation, and our Armed Forces have always been committed to the protection of British interests around the world. One of the very few times when we went to war outside of those somewhat narrow confines is when we acted on Treaty obligations, and committed ourselves to a war against Hitler’s Germany; and it wasn’t until the war was nearly over did we begin to realise how lucky the world was that we did decide to fight. When the Death Camps were uncovered, when the long lists of those gassed, shot, poisoned or otherwise literally exterminated in the first tabulated Genocidal acts were seen by an angry world, Nuremberg was inevitable.

We should look and listen critically to the words of Chancellor Osborne, when he stated that, because we are a trading nation, we had a duty to intervene in a ‘civil war’; We have no trade with Syria, mainly because we have instituted sanctions against that unhappy country. The ONLY country in the immediate neighbourhood which is worthwhile signing a contract with is Israel, a democratic Nation which owes its very existence to a Britain who, despite or perhaps because of an Arab-oriented and very anti-semitic Foreign Office, finagled the Balfour Declaration into the first Jewish State. The rest of the Arabic crescent of so-called Nation-states, a ghastly rubble of despotic monarchs and ill-hidden military or religion-sodden dictatorships, aren’t worth bothering about, or risking a single British life to defend. The so-called Arab Emirates, another clutch of sandy despots, have oil, sun, sand and so-called holiday resorts; but try getting pissed just away from the main drag, or having a quick fumble with your girlfriend whilst not being married, and you will soon find out what they think of British attitudes. We are still attempting to extricate ourselves from the blood-soaked sands of Afghanistan, another dump where we may have been right to enter, but we should have got out one hell of a sight sooner that we are.

Yes, we are a trading nation, but we live in age when disputes are solved within civilized surroundings, within organizations such as the United Nations, ineffective though that rag-bag of territorial clowns might sometimes be. Our Armed forces are there to protect our people, and those we have stated that are under our protection by means of blood-ties, such as the Falklands, or even tiny Gibraltar. We have no right to state what is acceptable within a bloody civil war, partly because we did not put up much of an argument when America was dosing Laos and North Vietnam with Agent Orange, or wave our hands in horror when the F-105’s slammed their napalm down on the Vietcong and the Vietnamese alike. We didn’t say much about Georgia, when Russia came swanning in to carve out a big slice; mainly because it was none of our bloody business.

The Syrian war is a sad and bloody business, but it is their business; not ours: and we should spend very little time worrying about a truly sensible Parliamentary decision to stay the hell out of a shit-storm, especially when it ain’t our shit!

Behind the headlines

A child, someone’s daughter, has died. This is indeed a personal tragedy.

We are told that the ‘family are angry, angry and hurt’

We are also told that lifeguards were chatting whilst girl drowned

We are also informed that ‘a full and thorough’ investigation would be carried out.

 

We were not told why a FIVE-year old child was allowed to go into a swimming pool area unsupervised by her ‘devastated parents or grandparents’.

Just in the course of ‘full disclosure’!

UPDATE

In the course of full disclosure, I might add that two of my grandsons are already learning to swim, and the third is being introduced to the water. All three of my grandchildren, whenever near the water, are supervised as if they were about to disappear, and I would expect nothing less from their fathers, my two sons. Also to be disclosed is the sad truth that their Grandad cannot swim a stroke, and is terrified of the water.

 

London marathon…a Prophesy

East & Central London hospitals and Emergency areas across the Capital will be overwhelmed with a huge influx of some seven hundred-odd marathon runners, all brought in at ultra-high speed by Paramedics and ambulances. All the patients will be admitted with notes stating that the diagnosis is a probable heart attack; as each patient was seen to clasp his chest with his hand as they crossed over the finish line. Only one patient will actually be admitted to the hospital for treatment, as the rest were able, once they had recovered their collective breaths,. to confirm that they were just trying to comply with the proposal that each runner held his or her hands to their heart as a symbol of solidarity with the Boston marathon casualties.

Please do not misunderstand me. I, and probably millions of others around the world, are aghast at the random ferocity unleashed upon unsuspecting runners and crowds of supporters when the bombs exploded without warning in Boston. But we simply do not feel the need to express our regret collectively, publicly, or with any flourish at all. What does the proposed wearing of black ribbons achieve? Will the injured recover faster? Will the family of that small boy, itself ruptured by more horrific injury, be comforted by the fact that lots of people held their hands to their hearts as they crossed a marathon finish line? Will the fanatical Muslim jihadis, already settling down in their madrassas for an afternoon’s bomb-making class and koranic propagands session be given pause for thought because a large bunch of sweaty clowns running in a road race make a ‘gesture’?

I doubt it very, very much indeed!

When ‘red line’ doesn’t come from a rev. counter

When will Western politicians even begin to understand that they do not know ANYTHING about Middle Eastern politics, religion, tribal loyalties or any thought which expresses an ideal that ‘if only we can kill a few of the bad guys, all will be well’? We read, week after week, and ramping up to daily briefings from ‘connected observers’ that the US, France, the UK and other ‘friendly’ Governments are drawing ‘red lines’ in the sand. These so-called ‘red lines’ are based around the possible use of chemical weaponry by the Assad government against the rebellious bunch who loosely fight under the title of the ‘Free Syria’ movement. Not much of the UN mentioned around those ‘red line’ ideas, but, since China and Russia still wield a veto, the rest of the Security Council knows only too well that their opponents have learned to read.

Someone must explain, using cards and symbols if necessary, what the difference is between dying from a tank shell, or a mortar shell, or a cluster bomb, or a pre-laid roadside bomb; and a death by means of a nerve gas, a chemical spray or a contaminated water supply? There are no degrees of death, you are either alive, or you are dead, so what is the difference?

We are now watching as Obama, pushed no doubt by his military, starts thinking along the lines of ‘surgical strikes’ and ‘contained out-reach’, along with all the other bullshit phrases so beloved of the ‘Liberal Elite’ who see something nasty happening half a world away, and demand that ‘something should be done’. Our own clown prince Prime Minister of course is repeating the same slogans, warning one set of murderous fools against killing another set of murdering idiots, all the while continuing to downgrade our own military machine which of course he wants to use to kill one or other of the aforementioned fools if they don’t behave.

MY six-pennorth? Stand well back, and let them all kill each other; lending a hand only to aid the one Country, Israel: which just wishes to be left in peace, but, because of the internecine politics and hatreds of the whole region, is set up as a target once the next set of wild-eyed radicals gains power in that whole blood-soaked area!

Tell it like it is.

I am a member of the Tell the Telegraph community, and I thought I would copy my response to a panel query on when a poppy symbol should appear on the website:-

The topic under debate is one of when the Royal British Legion Poppy symbol should be shown on the Telegraph masthead. Surely the more appropriate debate should be centred around the tragic loss of lives in that dusty hell-hole commonly known as Afghanistan; and perhaps more importantly a discussion of the possible fate of all the politicians who sent, and continue to send, British Services personnel into harms way in order to establish a ‘Democratic State’ in Afghanistan.

The other ‘purpose’ of this multi-billion pound endeavour is alleged to be ‘keeping us safer here at home’ because of the sacrifices of those bright shining spirits in the drug- and blood-soaked sands of Afghanistan. The sheer lunacy of even believing in the very idea of a ‘democratic Government’ in Afghanistan should give all sensible people a pause for thought.

We tried it, to govern Afghanistan that is, over a century ago, and we eventually scurried out over the bodies of the sixteen-odd thousand British members of the column from Jalalabad. We went in again, time after time, to prevent influence from France, from Russia, and it got us absolutely nowhere.

We should have taken to heart the warning of the latest Russian occupation which was to support their Afghan proxy, an occupation which was total, brutal and unswerving, but which eventually came to nothing after the Mujahideen gained superiority through the advent of the Stinger missile supplied by America. Was the NATO-led invasion justified after 9/11? Most certainly yes, but instead of ‘nation-building’ by force, which has ever been a fruitless exercise wherever it been tried, we should have handed over to the Afghanis, told then that the next time the West would be coming, we would be coming to make their ‘country’ a smoking radio-active car-park, and to mind their manners; and then left.

Western politicians have yet to learn that you cannot make a Nation out of ten thousand villages, soaked in the beliefs of muslim autocracy. But we saw Bush, and Blair, and all the other guilty parties, including the fool John Reid, with his forever-remembered ‘British Forces could leave Afghanistan without a shot being fired’, prate, and parade, and posture.

We saw them line up beside the Cenotaph, with their wreaths of poppies, while not understanding that what they had signed the British Army up to achieve was just unachievable. And let us not forget that none of these posturing, primping princes of political thought have ever served one single day in uniform, of any colour or rank, at all.

We do not retain, in Britain, the ability to legally kill someone who has committed treason, but I for one would sign any petition to restore such a power, and then the first ones to be tried would be every politician, of any Party, who has expressed the slightest desire to extend, for one second, our presence in the corrupt stagnant pool of drugs, grand-scale larceny and murder which is the alleged country named Afghanistan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

An alternate view of that Report!

In the earlier part of my life, whilst I lived in England, I used to hold the Police as, generally, a friend. My support for the Police has decreased over the years as they have steadily become more and more politicised and political; in their structure, their controlling philosophies, their attitude towards civil liberties and the Rule of Law. It is a fact that the vast majority of law-abiding British people accept the Police, but don’t really trust them. The failures of Policing over the past thirty years are both well-known and substantial, and many of these failings stem from a grasping of the ‘politically-correct’ attitude at all times. But some of the failures are also known because they literally tried too hard, knowing that the accused were guilty, and therefore attempting to gild that same lily with evidence not manufactured but ‘embellished’.

But after going through the ‘Report’ from the ‘Independent Panel’ ( and you can well believe that the title was given them by the last Labour Government without a single blush), I can see that the Police are being hung out to dry. I did not listen to the nauseating self-justification of the Bishop of Liverpool on the BBC this morning, but I would lay good odds on the inclusion of the phrases ‘Justice for the families’, as well as the well-worn words of ‘the truth finally emerging’ about the deaths of 96 football fans at the Hillsborough ground those 23 years ago.

These questions, after the production of this truly self-serving and nauseatingly-righteous report, should be asked:-

What was the common identity of the clowns who massed against the fences, crowding so much that a mounted policeman on his horse felt unable to move? Answer…Liverpool ‘fans’.

The layout of the fencing and manner of static control within the ground had been made necessary by much previous riotous and threatening behaviour by whom?  Answer………..Football club ‘fans’ of all shirt colours and hues, whose behaviour could best be described as animalistic.

What was the mass identity of the crowd who literally tried to smash the fencing around the entry gates?                Answer……….Liverpool ‘fans’.

Did the ‘alterations’ of police and witness statements provide evidence that any one of those people who died that day could have been saved?  Answer………Probably not!

Did the actions of a panicked senior policeman by ordering the opening of the access gates contribute to the crowd packing into the tunnel?  Possibly yes, but the police were simply outnumbered by an aggressive, booze-fuelled crowd of Liverpool ‘fans’.

What has been the driving force behind the eternal call by the ‘victims families’ for a re-opening of Inquiries etc.   Was it Justice? Was it that the truth finally come out? Was it revenge on a Police Force which, they believed, contributed to the deaths of those ninety-six people?

Or was it just for the Money?

The Masque of the Red Death

Grief and sympathy are normal human emotions. When we lose a close member of family to death, whether accident or illness, we are touched with an emotion which is peculiarly human. it is a singular thing to be human, and it shows in how we grieve. True grief is reserved for those closest to us, a family member; a loved one from outside the immediate family. Being human, we also can feel sorrow at the death of a pet animal, because they have shared our lives; despite the knowledge that they, being animal, whether dog, cat, horse, tortoise, cannot possibly have shared our emotions.

When another human dies, one who is unknown to us, we cannot feel the same grief because we have not invested any mental capital in the unknown’s life, and therefore we are divorced from the need to grieve for one who is, and now was, unknown. That fact is why I detest the false shows of emotion for people who have died in the full glare of media publicity. For example, the murder of Joana Yeates bore a whirlwind of public grief, with memorials planned seemingly all over Devon and Somerset, yet she was just an ordinary woman who died. Or was it just the time of year when nothing much else was happening, so the newspapers and the tv went berserk over this murder? I would remove, from my critique, any memorial or ceremony to those of our Armed Forces who died whilst on active service, notwithstanding the fact that we are, in Afghanistan; in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and for entirely the wrong reasons!

I write of grief, of death, for two reasons. The first is that old age and death comes for us all. The silly rituals of vain women the world over in their stupid and ludicrous search to regain the flush of youth in their appearance has me asking myself has the world gone mad? We have women supporting, with cash, a multi-billion dollar industry in cosmetic products, including the injection of what is a deadly poison into their faces in the hope that ‘wrinkles’ will disappear. And in a country not too far away, people are dying because they have only contaminated water to drink! We now even see adverts for men showing how they too can regain their toned skin etc., but only if they use Product A, or as a last resort, Product B. The reply to my earlier question is of course that the world has gone mad, but we haven’t noticed yet!

The second reason for writing of grief is to express my sorrow for the 18 million souls who still have to exist and endure under the brutal dictatorship of the North Korean military. The pictures of the seemingly overwhelming grief spatter all over our newspapers and screens, yet we do not see the other photographers, the ones who systematically photograph the crowds of ‘mourners’ in the hope of catching a ‘dissident’ who isn’t quite as grief-stricken as he should be. The garish and revolting ceremonies, for a ‘leader’ who was no more than a figurehead for a regime which holds around a million of its citizens in concentration and re-education camps, should be banished without delay to a history shelf, and only discussed when the North Korean nightmare finally ends, when a subjugated people finally get their own chance to settle their own lives, hopefully by ending, swiftly and brutally, the lives of their oppressors!