Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Last Ditch has moved to TypePad

I have been blogging happily on Blogger for 18 months, but I am going to try a new home. Follow the link in the header and please update your bookmarks to All comments on this archive are now closed. Feel free to email tom [at] thelastditch [dot] org if you have something to say.

Iain Dale's Diary: The Top 100 Blogs

Congratulations to all my fellow bloggers on UK politics who are featured in Iain Dale's various "Top 100" lists. I am sure it will do your traffic a lot of good, as Iain is an influential chap these days.

I shall humbly consider what I must do to improve my blog so as to make it one day. Any suggestions?

Iain Dale's Diary: EXCLUSIVE: The Top 100 Conservative Blogs

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Call for inquiry into NHS ploy

It is good to see two Members of Parliament actually doing the job for which they were elected. I am sure Hazel Blears is not the first, and will not be the last, Party boss to hijack government business for political purposes. But time was that, caught in the act as she has been, she - and the ministers concerned - would have had the grace to resign.

Call for inquiry into NHS ploy - Britain - Times Online

The Joy of Curmudgeonry: Nothing New

Deogolwulf, as ever, is philosophical. I find it harder to accept with equanimity that seething is all the Mohammedans and I have in common.

The Joy of Curmudgeonry: Nothing New

Airgun Wisdom

I was intrigued to find that my second biggest referrer in the past few days was a bulletin board for airgun users. There's some surprisingly political discussion going on over there. For example
You live in a country where privacy has been abolished.
You live in a country with 24/7 mass surveillance.
You live in a country with more CCTV cameras than the rest of Europe combined.
You live in a country where you are caught on camera 300 times a day.
You live in a country where all your phone calls and e-mails are routinely recorded and logged.
You live in a country with the largest and fastest growing DNA database in the world.
You live in a country where innocent children are DNA sampled.
You live in a country with a "Childrens Register".
You live in a country where you can be arrested for dropping a cigarette end in the street.
You live in a country where your every journey is monitored and recorded.
You live in a country where double jeopardy has been abolished.
You live in a country where the government does not trust you to own a pistol.
You live in a country where the government does not trust you to own a semi-auto rifle.
You live in a country where policemen shoot innocent men in the head and are promoted.
You live in a country where hunting with dogs is illegal.
You live in a country with the Regulation Of Investigatory Powers Act.
You live in a country with the Civil Contingences Act.
You live in a country with the Prevention Of Terrorism Act 2005.
You live in a country where the Government lies to take you to war.
You live in a country where public protest has been abolished.
You live in a country where Thought Crime earns you a jail term.
You live in a country with the largest and most toxic underclass in the world.
You live in a country with the highest crime rate in Europe.
You live in a country the worst educated in Europe.
You live in a country with the worst health care in Europe.
You live in a country that starves its old people to death in hospital.
You live in a country where one third of the people would leave if they could.

I could go on, but I`m just getting depressed here

Personally, I think that in Britain freedom is history.

We certainly have no right to point the finger at other countries.

Well, maybe North Korea
Haribo King
I could not have put it better myself. Maybe I should take up this hobby?

Pope 'sorry' for offence to Islam

I cannot help but smile at the violent reaction of Muslims to the Pope's innocuous remarks. The religious are different, of course. For those who take pride in belief without proof, it must be child's play to repudiate violence with fire-bombs.

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Pope 'sorry' for offence to Islam

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Brussels on trial over staff treatment

In the courts this week, a scrap of evidence in support of my thesis that the EU is more like the USSR than the USA; the use of psychiatry as a way to suppress dissent. You need an expensive FT subscription to read the full article (and no other newspapers seem to find it interesting), but here's the gist:
"A civil servant branded as mentally unstable by the European Commission was subjected to harassment and blackmail a court heard on Wednesday, in a trial that questions the way the European Union executive rids itself of troublesome staff.

José Sequeira was marched from his office two years ago after the Commission’s medical service said he was mentally unfit to work. His lawyers claim he was singled out for raising allegations of corruption in the Jacques Santer-led Commission during the late 1990s.

Neither he nor his doctors have seen the diagnosis and three eminent psychiatrists have given him a clean bill of health.

“How can one contest a decision without access to the medical file?” asked Paul Mahoney, presiding judge at the European civil service tribunal in Luxembourg, where the hearing was held."
plus ca change... / Europe / Brussels - Brussels on trial over staff treatment

Blair condemns anti-US 'madness'

As he prepares to leave power, Tony Blair understandably tries to focus on the one thing history will say he got right. We can argue over how well it is being fought, and whether we have chosen the right ground on which to fight it, but the so-called "war on terror" is a clear necessity.

Islamic terrorists have no political goals which could be accommodated. Nothing short of our destruction or surrender will satisfy them.

At this point in history, we can easily defeat them if we have the political and moral will. Blair - to his credit - knows that. Unlike the leftists in his Party and the bitter and envious governments of Western Europe, he also knows that without the leading nation of the West, there can be no victory.

I believe history will say that Osama bin Laden's attack on 9/11 was as great a blunder as the Japanese attack on Pearl harbor. The USA would have sat by stoically while the Caliphate was restored by infiltration in Europe. Why should Americans have intervened in the affairs of a continent riddled with anti-Americanism? Only 9/11 - or something very like it - could have awoken them. Given some historical distance, I think it will one day be seen that the victims did not die in vain,

Whenever one nation is seen as "too powerful", there are bound to be resentments. Kipling warned Americans of their destiny at the end of the 19th Century. Yet America does not throw her weight about like European imperialists of the past. Buy her goods and services and she will not even notice your politics. She has no imperial ambitions.

European resentment of the USA is jealousy, pure and simple. For the French, it is almost unbearable that one Anglo-Saxon superpower should have been succeeded by another. For the Germans, arguably the most civilised Europeans, it must be hard to see an uncultured consumer nation at the head of the Western World. But Blair is right. If they - and the strange alliance of British snobs, leftists and Muslims who hate America - cannot put those resentments behind them, we are lost.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair condemns anti-US 'madness'

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Menezes police officer promoted

This woman should be ashamed.

BBC NEWS | England | London | Menezes police officer promoted

First double jeopardy killer jailed

From Joshua Rozenberg's report, one might think the Government's decision to repeal the "double jeopardy" rule had been vindicated. Yet the logic of the rule was, in part, expressed in Blackstone's famous dictum "better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

Of course people are wrongly acquitted, just as people are wrongly convicted. The rule against double jeopardy was designed to ensure that the virtually limitless resources of the state were not mustered again and again to secure the conviction of a man once acquitted by a court.

It was a protection against the persecution and ruin of innocents, which sometimes - of course - resulted in the guilty escaping. Proof that a guilty man escaped in this case does not change that or surprise any rational observer.

Those who believe in the rule (enshrined in the US Constitution and therefore not so easily tossed aside on the other side of that Atlantic) have always understood that justice is not perfect. Nothing human is. Yet, at the instigation of a Home Secretary who is as imperfect a human as ever walked, the protection of the rule was lost after 800 years.

This article from the New York Times reports a study which suggests that many innocents are convicted at the first attempt, without the State having a second chance. There is no reason to suppose Britain is any better than the United States in this respect. From my own experience, I would guess it is worse.

Abolishing double jeopardy may have meant justice in the case of Billy Dunlop, but it will mean greater injustice in other cases. One mother's quest for vengeance, pandered to by an uneducated press and an unethical government, may lead to thousands more innocents in our jails. I do not question the lady's intentions. I am sure they were good, but they were the sort of good intentions with which the road to Hell is paved.

The jubilation of the victim's mother is understandable, but her hope that her family's love for the victim has "helped leave a lasting legacy that ... will pave the way for other families to achieve justice," is false and misguided.

The false chat-show notion that a victim somehow automatically acquires extra wisdom, or greater moral standing, leaves us open to the mentality of the lynch-mob.

New Labour knows no better, of course, but one might have hoped for more from the Daily Telegraph.

Telegraph | News | First double jeopardy killer jailed

Monday, September 11, 2006

Prison threat for drivers who kill

The government, even in the middle of its internal political warfare, continues to pander to the prejudices of the ignorant.

For someone justly to be convicted of a crime, he should have criminal intent. I cannot believe that many drivers involved in fatal accidents have an intention to kill or even hurt the person who dies. Nor do many have a reckless disregard for the consequences of their driving. The risk of a driver being hurt is enough to ensure that he will do his best to avoid accidents.

Of course, if someone is culpably negligent to a degree which society thinks is equivalent to criminal intent (driving while too drunk or high to do so safely, for example) they should be as liable to criminal penalties as someone who deliberately or recklessly does harm. But the idea that a driver involved in a fatal accident who has neither intent to do harm nor is criminally negligent should go to jail is simply wrong.

The proposed change to the law is for no reason other than to satisfy a lust for revenge from the families of some accident victims. Any member of those families might well, on another day, need a more civilised response to their own mistakes on the road. The ones who cry for greater penalties are simply too stupid to realise that.

Law makers should also consider that there, but for the grace of God, goes any of them. A moment's loss of concentration in a lifetime of driving can lead to an accident. Sometimes we are lucky and the accident only bends metal. Sometimes, sadly, people get hurt. The accident rate in Britain, please remember, is already the lowest in Europe.

A member of my wife's family bore the burden for the rest of his life of having accidentally killed a child when driving a truck. Trust me, he did not need to be penalised further. Bravely, he went to the funeral and quietly bore being spat upon and assaulted by the family of the unfortunate child. Their grief was understandable. Their anger was pure emotional self-indulgence.

After all, what on Earth could he have gained by killing their son, who had climbed onto the truck for a joke, then lost his grip and fallen under the wheels as it was reversing? The driver was a father himself and was highly distraught to have been the unwitting agent of the boy's death. Yet still, in their stupidity, the family wanted vengeance. You only have to watch the stupid participants on various daytime chat shows to know what they were like. Now the government wants to pander to such brutish emotionalism.

While refusing to jail the burglars and muggers who spoil the lives of millions; while seeking to blame "society" for the manifold crimes of the underclass which are making Britain unliveable, still the government wants middle-class victims to prove its leftist credentials.

There is no question of justice here, not even the so-called "social justice" which is the excuse for so much vileness. Labour, as always, is playing politics with the lives of decent people.

Telegraph | News | Prison threat for drivers who kill


This is a brilliant idea. On this fifth anniversary, I recommend that you head to the 2,996 site and read the tributes by volunteer bloggers to the fallen of 9/11.

God bless America.

2,996 List of Participants

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Prodicus: The Islamisation of European anti-Semitism

This post goes into many details which support my view, expressed a couple of days ago, that the revival of anti-Semitism in Britain is almost entirely attributable to our Muslim community.

Prodicus: The Islamisation of European anti-Semitism

Call to ban pro-suicide websites

There has been a steady flow of such stories and "calls" over the last year or so. Life is hard and suicide is legal. If people want data on how to kill themselves, then they should be able to get it. Better that they find the least painful and most sure methods than that they cripple themselves and have to live in impotent regret. The suicide rate in Britain is at an historic low, so hysteria about the internet's role is misplaced.

I suspect the steady drip of negative commentary against the "destructive web" (as the BBC link to this story calls it) is preparation for attempts at censorship of an increasingly important source of information in an increasingly controlled society. When New Labour can reduce political blogs to the same impotent sycophancy as Nick Robinson and Andrew Marr, for examples, we will know that a Golden Age is over.

The World Wide Web is growing into a perfect library of all human knowledge, beliefs, stories and lies. Any restrictions on access to it should be considered in that context. There is, of course, an issue over the protection of children too young to make rational decisions. That has always been there and it's for parents to decide what it's safe for their children to read - not the state.

The cries of parents in such cases are no more than attempts to foist blame on "society" (which since it is said to be to blame for everything can shrug off all the blame that is thrown). I can sympathise with their pain. Any parent can. But "hard cases make bad law". Law is not benign but destructive. Sometimes, like military force, it cannot be avoided, but it should be deployed with just as much reluctance.

It is hard to know whether New Labourites are more culpable as war-mongers or law-mongers. I think history will report that their laws were worse than their wars.

BBC NEWS | Health | Call to ban pro-suicide websites

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The UK Daily Pundit: Boris the Buffoon Strikes Again

This sort of thing p****s me off. By all means attack a man for what he says or does. Politics is a contact sport. But don't attack him for the things he has no control over, like where he went to school.

Boris is in politics for laudable motives of public service. I think this post was unworthily snide and have had a good rant in the comments.

The UK Daily Pundit: Boris the Buffoon Strikes Again

Dunderheadedness: Swinging from the gallows pole...

Dunderheadedness is a new blog to me, but this post is a cracker.

Dunderheadedness: Swinging from the gallows pole...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"I would prefer to do this in my own way"

"The next conference will be my last as Labour Party leader... I am not going to set a precise date... The precise timetable has to be left up to me."

"I think it's important for the Labour Party to understand .... we can't treat the public as irrelevant bystanders in a subject as important as to who is their Prime Minister"
Why not, Tony? You have treated us as such on more important issues, such as Britain's constitution and her peoples' freedoms.

Get lost. Go on. Just go now.

Drinking From Home: BBC Screencaps from 1943

This may be the best British political blog post yet. And it's not even about the delightfully agonising public demise of Blair.

Well done, DFH.

Drinking From Home: BBC Screencaps from 1943

Police accused of inaction as anti-Jewish alliance emerges - Britain - Times Online

Years ago, I dismissed a Jewish colleague's suspicions of anti-semitism in the City of London by saying that, in my whole life, I had "never heard an anti-semitic remark" in Britain. It was true and I sincerely believed that we were beyond such nonsense.

The Times is very PC in talking of "far Right groups and Islamic extremists." European anti-semitism is now almost only to be found among our Muslim immigrants. Visit the countries they came from and read a newspaper. You will cease to be surprised.

Religious tolerance is just one more of our values that they don't share.

Facing that truth might be the beginning of a solution. Stupid talk of "sinister alliances" is no help at all. If "far-Right groups" (how do statists get to be right-wing, by the way - they are just socialists with hate figures based on race instead of class) were really involved, I have no doubt the police would be all over the problem. It's because it emanates from those elements of our community whose leaders scream "racism" and "islamophobia" at the slightest provocation that the police are too scared to act.

Police accused of inaction as anti-Jewish alliance emerges - Britain - Times Online

Blair's leadership goes into meltdown

How ironic that Blair or his entourage should use the phrase "seize the crown" in this context. It has been obvious for some time that this vain and undistinguished little man has entirely forgotten his place.

The crown of England is not to be brawled over by Blair and that other Scot. They are both the insufficiently humble and deeply unworthy servants of the lady whose crown it is - and of her people.

We have noticed that Blair has long sought to reverse the relationship and treat us like his subjects. In his pathetic vanity he mistook the trust we put in him for love or loyalty or both. He lied to us and tried to frighten us into accepting ever greater submission to his "power". But the power is ours, and he only ever had it on loan, as he may now finally realise.

He took Orwell's "1984" as his textbook and his "doublespeak" and breathless talk of the threat from Osama bin "Goldstein" worked for a while. But now, we have had enough. That is why his "loyal supporters" are distancing themselves. They fear our wrath. Their cowardice will not save them, however, whether or not they succeed in their quest for a new Scottish arse to lick.

Her Majesty the Queen is awaiting, I would guess with some amusement, a humble visit from Blair so that the rejoicing may begin at his long-overdue departure. No worse man (and this is some claim) has degraded his office since it was occupied by another Celtic chancer and seller of peerages, Lloyd George.

We may run the risk today that Blair will hand his responsbilities to an even worse PM, but we will take it. He will not have them long.

Or to put it in the banal language of your squalid premiership, Blair - "Just get lost, OK?"

Telegraph | News | Blair's leadership goes into meltdown

Blunkett urges Brown allies to 'back off'

This is not only to avoid our opponents exploiting the impression of disintegration and division, but also to avoid the split of our party, which would have lasting consequences
How I love the idea that as the Labour Party disintegrates and divides, what the Blairites want is to avoid giving that impression! We have had a decade of spin, and now finally we have tail-spin.

It is an index of just how far Labour has collapsed that the main political concerns of the Right in Britain are now about the effectiveness of the Conservative Party's leadership. For ten years, that has been only of academic interest.

Labour is irrelevant. It is over. All we have to worry about is what use it makes of its final time in power. With luck, the venal instincts which have characterised it from T. Dan Smith through to John Prescott will swamp any remaining political ambition, so that we can expect to see massive use of the country houses and aeroplanes of the Queen's Flight that they have so enjoyed in power.

Best of all, any second now we can expect Labour's toadies in the Police, such as Sir Ian Blair and Richard Brunstrom, to realise that their game is up too unless they start making conciliatory noises towards the next government and "back off" on their police state ambitions.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Brown allies urged to 'back off'

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Man jailed for speed camera blast

I am afraid that, for most of us, young Mr. Moore comes into the same category as John Hampden or Clarence Henry Willcock

Considering that burglars can plunder our homes with impunity, it's, to say the least, irritating that the State defends its own property with such vigour.

This young gentleman's act would be repeated many thousands of times if the yeoman spirit still lived in England.

BBC NEWS | England | Manchester | Man jailed for speed camera blast

The freedom paradox

I read this article from The Economist on my way to work this morning. I think it sums up, in moderate language, the general point I have been trying to make on this blog for a year and a half. H/T Craig Murray for making a copy available online.

The sting is in the final paragraph. One way and another, our fellow citizens seem to support, or at least acquiesce in, the draconian measures our governments are taking to restrict our freedoms. They are certainly not angry enough to take to the streets and strike electoral fear into the hearts of those most cowardly creatures, politicians.

Blogs like this can do no more than hold up a candle in the darkness. The real challenge is to build a cross-party coalition to oppose the Blair/Bush assault on freedom. Such a coalition might end up including some pretty weird people, but the alternative, as The Economist says, is the "looming police state".

Craig Murray - The freedom paradox

Leaked memo suggests how to package glorious farewell - Britain - Times Online

What an appropriately lame way for Blair's career to fizzle out. He will be remembered by history for one thing. He stood with the USA on Iraq, the opening, incompetent battle of Western Civilisation's war for survival.

His reasons for that were typically odious: "political triangulation" (Bill Clinton's patent trick of stealing your opponents' clothes while taking your followers for granted) and a desire to counter his effeminate image by adopting a warrior-like stance.

Whatever his motivations, history will say that he did one thing right, but paid for it with the enmity of his Party. That's appropriate too. After all, the typical Labour Party member could not say "Western Civilisation" without a grimace or quotiing Ghandi's jibe about " would be a good idea..."

The game seems to be up now. I don't agree with Ian Dale and others who suggest the "Blue Peter memo" was deliberately leaked. It is a stab in the back from within his own entourage. It has shone a spotlight on Blair as the pathetic, posturing faker that he is and has always been. He has been bounced into naming a date to The Sun, now (sadly) Britain's paper of political record.

The only two questions now are whether he can hold on until that date, and how much damage his regime will do to our civil liberties in the meantime.

Leaked memo suggests how to package glorious farewell - Britain - Times Online

Britain's human history revealed

This is interesting stuff. Apparently several waves of human settlement were driven back by extreme climate change from what is now Britain before our ancestors finally succeeded in establishing themselves.
'Britain suffered some of the most extreme climate changes of any area in the world during the Pleistocene,' said Professor Stringer.

'So places in say South Wales would have gone from something that looked like North Africa with hippos, elephants, rhinos and hyenas, to the other extreme: to an extraordinary cold environment like northern Scandinavia.'

Maybe those Neantherdals had a more developed motor industry than previously thought? Or was it the CFC from their fridges, do you think?

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Britain's human history revealed:

Monday, September 04, 2006

David Cameron In India

Who would have thought it? Cameron in the blogosphere. Welcome, Dave.

Blogging is difficult for practising politicians. They are too restricted in what they dare say. I can't imagine how our Dave will manage, but it will be interesting to see. The first post's not very promising but for now it's quite remarkable enough that he thinks it's worth doing, so let's give him a chance.

David Cameron In India

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunday AM

I just watched Hilary Armstrong interviewed by Andrew Marr on Sunday AM. She might have made some sense were she still a "community worker" in Sunderland, but she made none for a Government Minister. To be honest, she didn't seem to see the jobs as different.

Her confidence in the Government's ability to micro-manage individual citizens' lives was creepy. Given that she was talking about teams of social workers per problem parent, the plans seemed to imply massive increases in the State payroll, or at least in State subsidy of the "voluntary sector".

To add to all the housing and policing costs caused by our pampering of the chavs, it seems we are now going to provide each with a personal assistant social worker. Even free use of the lowest grade busybody with a 2:2 in Sociology will cost as much as providing them with a valet. Why not, I suppose? Their stays in jail cost as much as sending them to Eton.

The pathetic Marr, who has proved to be an even softer interviewer than the odious David Frost, gave her the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation's characteristically easy ride.

The subject was the policy jocularly referred to as "FASBO" (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders for Foetuses). The Government, having made us all feel like surly teenagers by constant meddling in our lives, has decided to work on our indoctrination from birth. The plan is to identify "at risk" children even in the womb and then swamp them with Government intervention.

I can hardly believe that even this shower of cretins could conceive a plan so calculated to create a race of institutionalised, state-dependent ****wits. This simplistic social determinism is an insult to everyone from a poor background who went on to be a good citizen. It will ensure that the numbers achieving such routine feats will decline. The only consistent thread (apart from contempt for individual freedom) that I can find in Labour's policies is that they are designed to prevent working class individuals from "getting on" in life.

Perhaps Labour really understands that it is the "Losers' Party" and wants to ensure as many future losers as possible?

PS: If you follow the link to her Government bio, you will see that, like Polly Toynbee, Armstrong has adopted the Stalinist habit of editing her past. Born in 1945, there is no way the school she attended could have been a "comprehensive." A moment's googling has revealed that it was, of course a grammar school at the time. But then why would we expect those who tell big lies to respect small truths?

BBC NEWS | Programmes | Sunday AM

I Am Tony Parrish

Liverpool Evil Cabal

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Children's Index will turn all parents into suspects

Has the Telegraph not noticed that this Government has already turned us all into "suspects?" New Labour are beyond mere control freaks, they are full-blown Stalinists, complete with Uncle Joe's paranoia. No malicious neighbour now needs to descend to injecting glue into your car-door locks to get revenge. An anonymous denunciation to "the authorities" is already enough to trash anyone's life.

In Stalin's day, you could get yourself an apartment by renting a room and then denouncing your landlords. They would be carted away to the gulag and you could stretch yourself out in the space they formerly occupied. Are we really so far away from that?

Telegraph | Comment | The Children's Index will turn all parents into suspects