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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The End is Nigh?

Mrs Paine and I had a great holiday. We talked and talked and, for once, came to some conclusions. Unless there are serious changes in Britain (unlikely, with the Conservative Party on its current tack) we want out.

France tipped the balance. It is just so civilised. People are polite. The streets are clean. There are enough roads for the peoples' needs. Official notices make suggestions, they don't give orders. There is no need for signs warning against "verbal assault" on public servants.

I am a gentle enough man, but I am often in the presence of British public employees I could cheerfully kick, so triumphant are they in their hour of victory over a private sector cowed into meek submission.

Our daughter needed medical help there. We had a full set of tests and a diagnosis within 48 hours. Had we been French, we could have claimed the costs back from the State, but the State did not own the clinic or employ the doctor and all the staff treated us with the same courtesy (I do not exaggerate) as the staff in the expensive shop where I bought my wife's anniversary present.

We know it's no paradise. France has her problems too - e.g. an even greater population than England's of Muslims hostile to native values. Yet, time after time, we asked ourselves "Why can't England be like this?" We can accept that the English don't care about food. That's their choice. We can live on poor fare ourselves when we need to, much as we enjoy French cuisine. We know that the French are theoretically more Socialist than the Brits. But that doesn't deter us from wanting to move there. The English talk Capitalism but act Socialist. The French talk Socialism but act Capitalist. In the end, handsome is as handsome does.

Much as I hate Socialism, I have finally realised that it is not really the main problem in Britain. Puritanism is. It is the Puritanism of the British that elevates good ideas like "let's save energy by recycling" or "let's encourage people to give up the dangerous habit of smoking" into quasi-religious fanaticism. It's Puritanism that turns people with different viewpoints into dangerous heretics whose thought-crimes must be punished. It's Puritanism that is turning the cradle of freedom into a police state, day by day.

I don't smoke. I would rather have one glass of really great wine than a case of plonk, so I drink in moderation. It was no hardship to be on a driving holiday because I can forego even the fine wine for the pleasure of driving my car. By French standards, perhaps I am a Puritan. But I enjoyed being in a country where I was not constantly badgered and nagged by know-it-all goody-two shoes trying to invoke the powers of the State to tell me how to live.

I got angry once in over two weeks away. That was over a personal matter. But in England I was in a sustained state of fury for my first seven hours as I laboured from traffic jam to traffic jam on roads deliberately neglected for allegedly "green" reasons. When not fuming in stationary traffic, I was in fear of losing my licence to a speed camera if I took a rare chance to make up some time stolen from me by the Ministry of Transport's incompetence.

France was not so much another country as another world. A calmer, politer, frankly more civilised world. In the name of equality, tolerance and multiculturalism, Britain is descending into the barbarism of which the French have always accused it. I would have fought for my country's good name against such accusations in the past. I have found great relief in simply accepting them. I can no longer defend the indefensible. Britain was great, but is no more. Labour and its fellow travellers have destroyed everything I held dear and the only way is out.

I love my country. I am sad beyond belief to feel this way. But enough is enough.

Mrs Paine says I should "let go". She thinks I waste too much time and spiritual energy worrying about the future of a country that has only a past. She says that she has already put the place behind her and accepted that it has passed the point of no return. It will decline, in her view, until it hits bottom. It will be rebuilt, she thinks, perhaps as an Islamic Republic but certainly as nothing to which she could feel any loyalty.

I fear she is right. If so, this blog makes no sense. It is making no difference to anything and there is no hope - if Mrs P is right - that it could ever do so. I shall have to think about that.

Privacy row erupts over child database

If the Government believed in (or cared about) the security of this database, it would not be exempting the children of "celebrities" (code for "nothing on there about the Blairs"). Our children are as important as theirs not to mention, by some accounts, rather better brought up.

If the Social Services were the answer to the problems of our children, they might well like to take an interest in the children of some of our political leaders. Of course, they won't get the opportunity to do so. Nor will they be able to take an interest in the children of anyone who buys "celebrity" by, for example, donating to the Labour Party.

Any idea that a database to which 400,000 people have access will be confidential is ridiculous. So is the notion that £200 million spent on this technology will save any Victoria Climbies of the future. Poor Victoria's fate was well-known to the social workers. However, it seems our public servants were too afraid of accusations of thought-crime to intervene when the responsible adults were from ethnic minorities.

Amid so many imagined victims of "racism" (e.g. those children of Caribbean descent who perform below average in school, despite the fact the children of Chinese and Indian descent perform above average), Victoria was a real victim of racism. The racism that allowed her to be killed is the same racism that allows the murder of so many Muslim girls every year.

Dismantling multiculturalism and holding everyone in our society to the same standards would have saved her life. This database wouldn't.

Privacy row erupts over child database | the Daily Mail

Restriction order on cab driver cleared in terror case - Britain - Times Online

This story makes exactly the point I was seeking to make when I started this blog. A man is charged of terrorist offences, acquitted by a jury and put under house arrest anyway because the Government says so. A society which tolerates such behaviour from its government is lost.

Restriction order on cab driver cleared in terror case - Britain - Times Online

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Footballer gets criminal record for making sign of the cross

If Mr Boruc's reverent sign of the Cross was so serious a provocation to Scottish thugs as to merit a criminal record, why is not the public wearing of the "hijab" or the "kufi?"

Scotland is truly the advance guard of New Labour's totalitarian state.

I hope the Catholic Church will now help in the Resistance as it so signally failed to do at the same stage in the development of totalitarianism in Germany. It has an opportunity to redeem itself for its shameful history of craven responses to Fascist and Communist regimes around the world.

Certainly, its spokesman's comments reported here are far too mild. The Church should demand the dismissal of the police officers and the Procurator Fiscal concerned.

The British people now have little influence over the Blair regime. It is arrogant and utterly out of control. Through the Blessed Cherie, however, the Pope has far more than mere influence. Let him use it.

Footballer gets criminal record for making sign of the cross | the Daily Mail

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Biggest migrant influx in Britain's history

I hate blogging about immigration. It's a minefield. Almost any opinion is likely to attract accusations from one direction or another. I don't subscribe to the BNP "foreigners taking our jobs" theory. Nor do I share the Guardianista view that our country's culture is so disgusting that it can only be improved by foreigners. I have the extra dimension of having lived and worked in other people's countries for more than half my working life. I have been on the receiving end of both points of view as the foreigner in question - and I know them for the nonsense they are.

Far from "taking our jobs", many immigrants are doing the jobs "we" would rather sit on our fat chav behinds than do. The Labour heartlands where I grew up contain an archipelago of idleness, funded by disability, unemployment and other benefits, insurance fraud, fake personal injury claims, drug dealing and other crimes. My wife tripped and fell on an uneven pavement in our home town and was advised by the next three people she met how to sue the council (i.e. get free money from the taxpayer). People who don't read for pleasure and find Big Brother demanding viewing know the intricacies of "the system" inside out. Don't get me wrong. Those three were nice people. They were all in gainful employment, but they have been hopelessly corrupted by living near to the rip-off culture of the archipelago.

Unless we are prepared to take measures so drastic as to be politically unthinkable, I am afraid we have to accept that our enormous underclass will now do anything but work. There are now third-generation idlers who don't even know anyone with a job. They are sanctified as "the most vulnerable members of our society" and indeed there are some such amongst them - held up rather like the photos of "martyrs" at a march of Islamic fascists, as justification for future crimes.

So we need immigrants. Hard-working immigrants who will do essential jobs to make our country livable. Immigrants who will appreciate what a free society has to offer.

Hundreds of thousands of migrant workers have arrived in recent years from new EU members, notably Poland. I know Poland well. I lived there for over a decade. It is a country of which I could be proud to be a citizen. It has a good education system, strong family values and a work ethic. I am no fan of Britain's membership of the EU, but I was there as Poland prepared itself to join and the EU's influence was good. It required many reforms - legal, administrative and social - as conditions of membership. Poland dutifully delivered them, as did the other candidate countries. Any Pole, Hungarian or Czech who comes to Britain to work is not a refugee from a failed state or a primitive religious fanatic. He or she is a citizen of a civilised European country, sharing all of our key values and simply looking for a better job. The proportion of social security claimants amongst those migrant workers puts our native population to shame.

The same will be true of the Bulgarians, Croats, Serbians and Romanians when their time comes. If we need migrant workers - temporary or permanent (and most of these people would prefer to live in their own more polite and civilised countries if they could, so many will eventually go home) - then the EU is finally providing us with a benefit for our massive membership fee.

So why has Labour admitted over a million immigrants from non-EU countries? Why has it done so without questioning their motives or their objectives? Why is it continuing to do so even when it has become apparent that a dangerously significant minority of those immigrants not only don't share our basic values but despise them? Even after, in their self-imposed apartheid, they have bred British citizens so primitively fanatical as to murder by suicide bombing, Labour continues to admit them.

This is not a question of racism. Many non-EU immigrants from Hong Kong, India and elsewhere make a superb contribution to our country. So far from finding us so racist and hostile as to alienate them and justify terrorism, they have rolled up their sleeves and got down to work. Their children have the highest rates of educational achievement. No excuses from them, and no complaints from us. They are welcome. However, it is time for "profiling" not just of airline passengers waiting in line for security checks, but of immigrants waiting in line to come to our country. To the extent that the New Europe can't supply the skilled workers we need, we should take them from the countries that have the best history of providing productive, law-abiding, and well-integrated citizens to date.

And that - call it racism if you will - precludes any further immigration from the Islamic world. One does not have to be a paranoid who suspects them of following their false prophet's advice to infiltrate infidel nations to say this. One just has to use common sense. No more immigrants from communities whose leaders advocate, justify or excuse terrorism. No more immigrants from communities which don't share our views on female equality, religious tolerance or minority rights.

What has been done so far already puts our society in mortal danger. But it is never too late to start fighting back. Today would be a good day to begin.

Telegraph | News | Biggest migrant influx in Britain's history

Monday, August 21, 2006

Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed

How exactly are passengers supposed to react if they observe passengers who match the profile of a typical suicide bomber dressed in clothes too bulky for the weather, talking nervously to each other and checking their watches at frequent intervals?

Of course these circumstances don't mean the men in question are terrorists. There are many other explanations for their behaviours. But other passengers are entitled to worry about their families' safety. It is certainly unfair that passengers who were alert in reporting security concerns should be denounced (by Patrick Mercer, the Tory "Homeland Security spokesman" no less) as racists for their pains. They were polite, but insistent and expressed no racist sentiments, according to witnesses.

On far less substantial (and equally circumstantial) evidence, a Metropolitan Police hit squad killed an innocent man on a Tube train. If these passengers' polite refusal to fly with these men was "racist", then what on earth was that?

Mutiny as passengers refuse to fly until Asians are removed | the Daily Mail

Friday, August 18, 2006

Rumpole author claims UK is selling out to fascism - The Herald

God bless John Mortimer. He may be an old leftie, but anyone who has ever read his books or seen an episode of "Rumpole of the Bailey" knows he believes first and foremost in liberty and the rule of law.

He has argued for socialist ideas all his long life. To his enormous credit it seems never to have occurred to him that they could be implemented against the informed will of the majority. Unlike Blair, Brown, Campbell and Cameron, he has always seen the people as being there to be persuaded, not manipulated.

Rumpole author claims UK is selling out to fascism - The Herald

Monday, August 14, 2006

Home thoughts from abroad

Epernay, France.

Blogging was interrupted during a stay in a beautiful “Hostellerie” with more civilised guest services than Wi-Fi. It was probably good for me. If I had the now standard-issue victim mentality, I would consider myself an "addictive" blogger. A rest will do me good; not to mention my overworked readers who shoulder the heavy burden of making my theraputic ramblings seem less pointless.

Political thoughts continued to surface however. Mrs Paine’s mother sat in the cramped rear cockpit of the Painemobile for our 7 hour journey from oop North to the place where Champagne comes from. She is a lifelong Labour woman, chatty and decent. She’s the sort of person the toffs who run the Party imagine “the workers” to be (when they are not shamelessly attributing ridiculous views to them). I blogged [here] about the Party’s corrupt pitch to her to run for the local council.

Listening to our last English radio news on the way down to the Eurostar, she said that “something doesn’t ring true” about last Thursday’s terror scare. I affected surprise. Surely she didnt’ think "our Tony" and the boys would make something like that up? She said, “I think they want us scared.”

There was much cynicism in our high-speed political capsule about the downgrading of Britain’s terror alert status. “They’ve overdone it so people are calling for Blair to come back from holiday. So he’s told them to downgrade it to take the heat off” was the consensus.

I am amazed. We have known each other for over thirty years and never agreed on the wickedness of the Labour Party’s intentions before.

Unfortunately, we have also never agreed about the hopelessness of the Tories before. There was unanimity on the pointlessness of voting for a Party led by “our Dave”, whose sole political idea is to imitate Blair - now that everybody has finally concluded that Tony is as fake as his tan.

Over coffee in our Relais while they readied our rooms, we discussed what (short of violent revolution) could be done. Unfortunately we had no better ideas than trying to get involved in organising tactical voting next time.

Mrs Paine’s mum is a constant source of information about heartlands life. She told of a conversation with a midwife. When leaving a home delivery on a local council estate during the recent heatwave, the midwife had run into the postman. After a chat, he had pointed to all the local gentry who had carried their sofas out into the gardens and were drinking tins of beer while marking their race cards, listening to their radios or watching their TV’s - in the middle of a working day. “You and me are the only ones with a job for miles around, love” observed the postie, “we must be mad.”

The midwife told Mrs Paine’s mum that the mother she had just delivered had told her to “f*** off” at an early stage in the proceedings. The midwife had had the satisfaction of being begged to stay when she had made as if to take the foul-mouthed loser at her word.

We fantasised hopelessly about how good it would be to make the Cabinet live on such an estate for a year. There’s about as much chance of that as there is of Prescott developing a conscience.

En route to France. Normal service will be resumed, d.v., as soon as possible

Glancing back, they saw a small cloud of dust, with a dark centre of energy, advancing on them at incredible speed, while from out the dust a faint `Poop-poop!' wailed like an uneasy animal in pain. Hardly regarding it, they turned to resume their conversation, when in an instant (as it seemed) the peaceful scene was changed, and with a blast of wind and a whirl of sound that made them jump for the nearest ditch, It was on them! The `Poop-poop' rang with a brazen shout in their ears, they had a moment's glimpse of an interior of glittering plate-glass and rich morocco, and the magnificent motor-car, immense, breath-snatching, passionate, with its pilot tense and hugging his wheel, possessed all earth and air for the fraction of a second, flung an enveloping cloud of dust that blinded and enwrapped them utterly, and then dwindled to a speck in the far distance, changed back into a droning bee once more.

The Wind in the Willows

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Back in Blighty

I am briefly in England, preparing for my motorised expedition to the Cote d'Azur. So far I have had three conversations with people outside my family.

The man who drove me from Manchester Airport (proud sponsors of the Labour Party) expressed his doubts about Thursday's terrrorism alert. "You can't believe anything this lot say, can you?" he observed wearily. If the denizens of the Northern Heartlands, who have unquestioningly drunk the Party's hemlock for generations, think Labour might lie on this scale, anything is possible.

To be honest, I have been a bit shocked that so many (including Guido) think our Government would imitate Goebbels so shamelessly. Cynicism is one thing, but that verges on moonbattery, surely? I don't even think it's good politics. If they were lies, surely Blair would have stayed home to deliver them, movingly? Leaving such powerful drama to his understudies makes no sense.

The second chat was with the guy who cut my hair. Unprovoked he observed, when hearing that I live in Russia, that I should probably stay there. He said many of his more educated customers have left England in the last 10 years. "The American tourists" [ours is a small-scale tourist town] "are amazed we can live with low wages, high prices AND high taxes" he added, sadly.

The third exchange of views was with a bewhiskered Trot who thrust a leaflet into my hand denouncing BushandBlair and calling for "immediate unconditional ceasefire" in Lebanon. "You must be joking", I said. "Children are dying!" she Gallowayed for the benefit of the adjoining counties. "But what about Hezbollah's rockets? Didn't you mind when it was just Jewish children?" I said, and started to walk away. She bellowed after me, for the benefit of passersby, "Afraid to stop and argue, then?"

I swivelled on my heel and went back. I am so glad I did. If I hadn't I would have missed the first laugh of my holiday.

"Have you read the Hezbollah Charter?" I asked. Somewhat evasively she riposted "I've read a lot of things I have. I've got three university degrees, I have. I'm not stupid."

That made my day. I hadn't called her stupid; effectively she just had. Three degrees were not enough to fill the cracks in her well-justified sense of inferiority. Nor enough to get her a job, judging by her bedraggled appearance.

After exchanging a few more pleasantries, she decided that, so far from being afraid to argue, I was deliberately distracting her from the struggle. She turned away and resumed ranting at the bemused shoppers.

The nostalgic smell of Trotskyite fear in my nostrils, I strolled away, contentedly wondering where I could find the "Ramon Mercador Fan Club" badge I used to wear at National Union of Students conferences.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Last Ditch

My holidays begin today, so blogging will be light, especially on driving days. Today, unfortunately, is a flying day; from Moscow to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Manchester.

I am not looking forward to the possibility of being forced to check my laptop as British security goes into headless chicken mode.

The Last Ditch

Thursday, August 10, 2006

BBC NEWS | Politics | Terror 'may force freedom curbs'

How interesting that when our our condescending Home Secretary was making this speech yesterday and telling us that we don't "get it," he knew about today's police operation to thwart "mass murder on an unmaginable scale".

It remains to be seen if the perceived threat was real. We all hope that the people arrested prove to be real terrorists, now out of circulation. Unfortunately the source of the intelligence which led to their arrests is the same bunch of clowns who brought you Iraqi WMD capable of being deployed in 45 minutes.

The taxpayers whose travel was disrupted today may yet find themselves paying compensation

Meanwhile, on cue, Gorgeous George was on the box busy telling us that we are to blame for the radicalisation of Islam.

BBC NEWS | Politics | Terror 'may force freedom curbs'

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Knife attacks surge 73% as amnesty fails - Britain - Times Online

My more conventionally right-wing comrades in the blogosphere will take offence at Chris Eades' observation, reported here, that the Government has an "implausible view that increased sentence length will have a deterrent effect." They will feel no sentence is too long for a thug who offers violence to fellow citizens. They have a point. At the risk of offending them, Mr Eades has a point too.

I worked with criminals briefly, but for long enough to learn that they are characterised by tattoos and a lack of foresight. Perhaps the two are connected? Tattooing the name of a girl on your arm when the pain from the needles is likely to last longer than the relationship demonstrates a lack of foresight.

I digress. My point is they live in, and for, the moment.

We - thoughtfully considering appropriate penal policy - would consider the consequences of being caught. They don't, because they think it isn't going to happen. That's not irrational. Statistically, they are being much more rational in their "professional" lives than - say - when they play the National Lottery.

Rational humans assume that, while a thief will risk a year in jail, he will "think again" about risking ten. To think again, you must have thought the first time. The fact is, he hasn't thought about jail at all. Time after time, I interviewed criminal clients who could hardly focus on preparing their defence, such was their sense of grievance about their "bad luck".

Most criminals are young men, between the ages of 15 and 30. They have the sense of invulnerability that only a young man can have. If you really want to affect their behaviour, you have to increase their sense of risk. A young man confidently walking across a broad bridge, doesn't care if the ravine below is twenty or twenty thousand feet deep. You need to make it a rickety bridge. And even then many young men will want to bungee jump.

PC David Copperfield at the Policeman's Blog (always an excellent read) has written amusingly and at length about the bureaucratic burdens of his work. There is little doubt that the police are currently incentivised to pluck "low-hanging fruit" to produce good statistics for the Home Office. A painstaking attempt to detect a crime with no immediately obvious perpetrator will produce - at best - one conviction. That translates to a feeling on the part of victims and criminals that serious police effort at detection is unlikely. How long has it been in Britain since anyone seriously expected more from the police after a burglary than a "crime number" for the insurance company?

If PC Copperfield and his colleagues could break free from the statistical chains that bind them and focus on detection of crime, there is a chance they could affect even a cocky young man's sense of risk. I believe that's why - to the surprise of criminologists - "zero tolerance" policies for even minor offences have reduced serious crime in New York and other cities. Subconsciously, criminals have concluded that the risk of detection is higher, the more often they have been detected - however trivial the crime.

The trouble is that higher sentences, like new laws, are cheap ways for Ministers to get good publicity and to seem tough. For a politician it's a "no-brainer." If a Home Secretary were stupid enough, politically, to focus on genuine improvements in the efficiency of the police force, he would have a long, hard slog for nothing. Why for nothing? Because the turnover of ministers is so rapid that any long term project is ultimately a gift to your successor. In a functioning democracy that might even, God forbid, be a political opponent.

Knife attacks surge 73% as amnesty fails - Britain - Times Online

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Adam Smith Institute Blog

The Adam Smith Institute blog is good at putting economic issues in context, allowing the less numerate among us to get a handle on them. Today's post by Dr Eamonn Butler is a good example. In the context of discussing the biggest Government IT project ever (and the most sinister since this one), he comments on the Government's record of controlling IT costs as follows:-
"I calculated recently that the budget spent on IT in the National Health Service was enough to give every doctor, nurse, porter and administrator 20,000 PCs each. "
Am I naieve in thinking that all a competent leader of HM Opposition has to do is state his arguments so clearly?

Adam Smith Institute Blog:

Monday, August 07, 2006

'Gas guzzlers should pay £1,800 a year car tax' | the Daily Mail

For me this would be the last straw. Most of the money I have earned in my life has been spent either on necessities or on goods for my family. My children's education (my finest investment, I am not complaining) has cost more than my pension fund. The only personal motivation to get me out of bed and into harness every morning has been my motor car.

I am not alone. "Top Gear" is one of the BBC's biggest international money earners, with a worldwide audience of more than 350 million, despite what one might expect to be the offputting "blokeyness" and colloquial English of the presenters. There are more than 5 million viewers per show in the UK alone. Compare and contrast the 300,000 circulation of the Guardian. We love our cars.

All I really have to show for having worked longer hours and endured greater stresses than any of my school friends is "Claudia II". She is my Mercedes AMG convertible. I love her passionately. I derive enormous pleasure merely from the memory of the sight of her deeply imposing 5.5 litre engine. She and I are going on holiday to the South of France next week, a journey set up entirely to show off her attributes.

I could easily fly to the Cote d'Azur from Moscow, but instead I am flying to England to pick her up and drive her for 16 hours from our pied a terre in the rotten boroughs of the Labour North to the sun. My wife and her mother are coming with us. They will chat amiably and enjoy the ride, while Claudia and I commune in silent, noble, ecstasy.

She produces her own weight in carbon every year (at least she would if she were driven every day). But she produces less than the 1.5 litre car I drove in my youth - and uses about the same amount of fuel, thanks to the ever-advancing technology which has always been (and will always be) the solution to Man's problems.

She doesn't just motivate me. Every time she moves, Claudia motivates passing young boys to strive for success. Even when parked, she attracts them and starts them thinking how they can achieve in order, one day, to afford something so beautiful. I can read in their eyes the feelings I had as a teenager when I first saw a Ferrari. "One day..." I thought.

Did a Toyota Prius ever have such an effect? Did a ****ing Ford KA ever inspire anyone to anything but sloth? God help us, go on "the disability" and Nanny will buy you one of those!

The effect still works on me. At the Geneva Motor Show three years ago I sat in a Bentley Continental. I shall not cease from mental fight, nor shall my sword sleep in my hand until I possess one. And every flex of my professional sinews towards that goal will create wealth and jobs. Dozens work in - and feed their families from - businesses I have built, not because I cared for them (although I liked almost all of them a bit and some of them a lot) but because I was striving towards Claudia.

The Greens who promote punitive taxes on such glorious creations as Claudia are falling - every day - for a stupid logical fallacy. They are assuming that everything bad will continue to get worse at a constant rate, while nothing good will improve. They are the same Puritans who have dogged the English speaking world and been a brake on our progress since Hengest and Horsa first set us on our path to glory.

In the great history of the Anglosphere, name me one hero who advanced humanity's cause while holding back its technological advance. Such people are not worth remembering. They are the ultimate reactionaries and we should despise them with all the force that our waning race can muster.

God rot all Luddites. Had Ned Lud's terrorists succeeded during the Industrial Revolution, millions who have lived and loved and died would never have known this Earth. Who among us honestly wants to live the life of a Plains Indian, as advocated by these nutcases? Why do we keep rewarding them by voting for politicians who gesture towards their insane ideas?

'Gas guzzlers should pay £1,800 a year car tax' | the Daily Mail

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Gun fears follow Toni-Ann verdict

Here's a left-wing liberal media classic. A young black criminal kills a drug dealing rival with a gun, then shoots the man's seven year old daughter to prevent her giving evidence that he did it. He is caught, prosecuted and convicted. The judge directs he serve a minimum of forty years.

It is all clear enough. The killer is an evil man and has been brought to justice. End of story, right? Wrong!

First comes the usual clap trap from the "family" about the dead girl's "promising" future. Yes, right. Her mother abandoned her to the care of one of the drug dealing low lifes who just might have been her father, as the deluded fool apparently thought. DNA now shows he wasn't. Very promising. How the mother has the nerve to appear in public is a mystery. Where was she when her daughter was shot? No doubt making some other baby with a "promising future" of life with drug-dealing scum.

Secondly, we are told that young black men "lack opportunity" and "turn to gun crime". This man had the same bloody opportunities as the rest of us; the same crap schools, the same crap healthcare, and the same turn on the wheel of fortune to determine the quality of his parenting. He "turned to" drug dealing and ultimately to shooting a seven year old girl in cold blood. His choice. A choice that millions with the same opportunities (or lack thereof) didn't make.

Then "campaigner", Ms Ogole, tells us that "prisons don't really work". Right, love. Not as well as the gallows anyway. No doubt you disagree and think this scumbag should be released. Forgive us if we beg to differ.

At the risk of enraging the EU, as Poland's President has done, nothing less than the death penalty would be enough for him. Any life he has in jail will be more than he deserves, despite what I hope will be the best efforts of his cellmates to introduce him to retributive justice of the most animal kind. Please don't ask me to feel sorry for him.

Then of course the call for more gun control. How CAN there be more?! Even replica firearms are now illegal and the police only bother to turn up at the scene of a burglary if the householder has done some well-deserved harm to the burglar. We are defenceless and our police don't give a damn.

At present in Britain, it seems two categories of people have guns; trigger happy officers specialising in multiple lethal head shots to innocent targets, and dangerous criminals. What we need, it seems to me, are MORE guns, but in the hands of the respectable citizenry instead. I would willingly trade half the police officers in England for the right to keep a semi-automatic at home - and to use it freely the next time I find an intruder on my property.

I would even settle for not being afforded the special "whoops, sorry, I thought he was a terrorist" defence apparently enjoyed by the officers of CO19.

We gave up the right to bear arms in Britain as part of a social contract that our police would ensure we didn't regret it. They haven't. What now?

BBC NEWS | England | London | Gun fears follow Toni-Ann verdict

Friday, August 04, 2006

'Disproportionate' in What Moral Universe?

I feel I have no need to blog today, as I am able to link to an article which says beautifully exactly what I feel. Of course it's not in the British or European press. It's from the Washington Post. (h/t A Tangled Web ) God bless you, Charles Krauthammer.

The current shitstorm in the MSM and blogosphere is horrific. We are being taken for mugs here. If you don't want Israel to win outright, leaving Hezbollah destroyed, then what do you want? What exactly is it about misogynist primitives armed by holocaust-denying genocidal maniacs that you find so attractive?

'Disproportionate' in What Moral Universe?

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Police marksman cleared over terror raid shooting - Britain - Times Online

Isn't it odd that, for the second time, the British police have accidentally shot a suspect, only to discover afterwards that he is guilty of something likely to lose him public sympathy? In both cases, it had nothing to do with the incident. With Jean Charles de Menezes, it was being an illegal immigrant. With this gentleman, it was child porn on his PC. What are the odds?

When the police take your computer away, no-one is better placed to fill it with such images. After all they, perfectly legally, have computers full of them. How, exactly, is this man to prove that he didn't download them? Even if the charge doesn't stick, he will be looked at askance forever.

Innocent until proven guilty? Not if our police manage to trash you in the media and make you an outcast in your community first. If shot by the British police, perhaps it's best to smile and say "thank you." The best solution may even be to confess cheerfully to whatever they think you might have done.

Why not? if New Labour succeed in turning the whole island into a prison camp, will it really matter if you are in or out of jail?

Police marksman cleared over terror raid shooting - Britain - Times Online

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Overstated, but true

In the watery sunshine of a fading Russian Summer, I finished reading Londonistan over lunch at my local brasserie today. I was chilled both inside and out.

Melanie Phillips is a tiring read. Her style is like a jack-hammer, driving her ideas into your head. I want to find fault, because she is so bloody irritating. Unfortunately, in this book at least, she is almost completely right.

Her central thesis is that Britain has failed to defend herself against forces which seek to destroy her, because she has trapped herself in a strait-jacket of multiculturalism.

This has gone beyond an updating of classical liberalism to embrace other cultures. It has become a quasi-religious belief. The heretics who oppose it are called racists. In modern Britain, to be called a racist is rather like being called a witch in 17th Century Salem. It's not something you can just laugh off.

This constraint on political thought has permitted the mass immigration of people inimical to the British way of life and most of all - ironically - to British liberalism. To question the wisdom of admitting fanatics of a foreign faith was racist. It couldn't be said, so it wasn't.

This same constraint allowed those enemies, once inside the country, to trap the majority into appeasing their every demand. Require that they learn English History? Racist. Expect them to respect English laws and customs? Racist. Expect them to integrate with the rest of the population? Racist.

The cult of the victim which underlies multiculturalism demonises the majority. The minority are victims. Victims are morally superior. Of whom are they victims? The majority. Who else? And what does that make the majority? The oppressors. QED.

Question whether you are racist and you are just expressing your subconscious racism. Accept it and you are (of course) racist. Float, you are a witch and cannot be suffered to live. Drown, and you are innocent. We have been here before.

Such thinking is so pathetic that it might almost be thought amusing. The non-PC have long joked of the ideal Conservative candidate being a one-eyed Muslim lesbian living on disability benefits. But Phillips points out that this has been far from harmless lunacy.

The young men who blew themselves up on London's trains and buses on 7th July 2005 were murderers. But they saw themselves as victims. They were prosperous beneficiaries of Britain'’s open society, but they saw themselves as oppressed. They were British, but when their leader's video tape was broadcast posthumously, he spoke of the British as "you" and the Muslims of the world as "we".

Scarily, the spokesmen of Britain's Muslims - while distancing themselves from murder - continued to portray themselves as victims. It was a technique that worked and they were not giving it up. Although - amazingly - there were no significant attacks on Muslims in the wake of 7/7, both Muslims and the media focussed on the supposed Islamophobia of the majority population.

To have your sons commit mass murder, and then win sympathy for your fear of reprisals is surely the greatest success in the history of PR.

From Melanie Phillips' main thesis, I cannot demur. "Multiculti" is not a joke, but an abomination. Immigrants should be welcomed, according to the nation's economic needs, by all means. But they should always be screened on national security grounds. Blindly admitting people raised in backward societies with views incompatible with our liberties was, and is, criminally negligent.

But Phillips goes too far. She sees a conspiracy where there is only amiable incompetence. Like Tony Blair she sees opposition to any legal measure labelled "anti-terrorist" as being evidence of treachery; whether the proposed measure would be effective or not, and regardless of the costs to the innocent.

Like Tony Blair, she blames judges for their unwillingness to give effect to repressive measures against terror suspects on "human rights" grounds. Like Tony Blair, therefore, she fails to distinguish between a suspect (still innocent until proven guilty) and a convicted terrorist.

In her sweeping rhetoric, she brands many of her natural allies as traitors - including those libertarians and believers in the Rule of Law who have most to lose and are most fiercely inclined to resist. I think it would be easier for a social conservative such as Melanie Phillips (hijab apart) to live as a dhimmi under the Caliphate than it would be for me or my thoroughly modern daughters.

I resent her implication that libertarian objections to the introduction of a police state are mere weakness in the face of terror.

There is one more respect in which I disagree with Melanie Phillips. She concludes her book pessimistically, saying that
“Britain is currently locked into such a spiral of decadence, self-loathing and sentimentality that it is incapable of seeing that it is setting itself up for cultural immolation.
In consequence, she feels there is “little chance”. I cannot blame her. Readers of my blog know that I wrestle with the same pessimism.

However, I keep writing - and I think Phillips does too - as a small token of a deeply-held conviction that "there is life in the old girl yet." England has given the world a great deal. I believe that - before it is too late - she will wake up from her torpor and give more.

Already the ordinary people have cast off multiculturalism. To start up a random conversation in a taxi or a bar is to become encouraged. After a ritual disclaimer of racism, common-sense will ensue more often than not. That gives me hope that, despite the best efforts of our leaders, Islam will not triumph, though the way to its defeat will be bloody.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Israelis make a bad position worse

These are dark times. Are we facing the decline and fall of the West? Even the leader writers of the Daily Telegraph have given up on our right to self-defence.

The barbarians are at the gate and the toga-wearing sybarites of the West are debating the precise meaning of the word "proportionality". What can such a word mean when a nation under siege defends itself against those who are sworn to the genocide of its people?

The primitive misogynists of Hezbollah have learned well how to manipulate the Western media. I sat in horror over the weekend watching Sky News' "reporting" which was no better than Hezbollah propaganda. I read incredulously on Guido Fawkes' blog that he had turned to Sky News from the BBC because Sky's reporting was "more balanced!" I can't see the BBC from Moscow, but can only assume they have taken to broadcasting extracts from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

The Israelis have apologised for the civilian loss of life at Qana. They have made the fair point that they never target civilians, unlike Hezbollah. Their ambassador said "We mourn every Lebanese child killed, but Hezbollah celebrates the death of every Israeli child".

Yet the ignorant "reporters" asked over and over again - as if it were an incisive question - "How could you "see" the rockets and the terrorists and not "see" the women and children?" The Israelis suffer from all having served in the IDF. To experienced soldiers it is obvious that - with current technology - you can detect the explosion of a rocket or identify the source of enemy fire, without being able to see the faces of the men behind the weapons. Western reporters seem to see war as some kind of strategy game, where your opponent's moves are visible on a chessboard or on screen.

Hezbollah's fighters position their rocket launchers and hide their men in villages, contrary to the Geneva Convention. They are war criminals responsible for the civilian deaths they cause when Israel attacks those military positions. I would not be surprised if they held those women and children in a basement below a firing position in the hope of engineering their propaganda victory of this weekend. There is evidence that they positioned their fighters near UN troops in the hope of getting the "peacekeepers" killed for propaganda purposes.

To rational Westerners these ideas seem crackpot. Consider, however, that Islamic mothers send their sons to die as suicide bombers and praise them afterwards as "martyrs" (though no other religion so designates those who died killing others). To members of such a death cult, sacrificing women and children for propaganda gains is nothing.

Twenty percent of Israel's population is currently living in shelters under rocket attack from Hezbollah. Those attacks are unimpeded by Lebanon's army or the UN "peacekeepers." When Israeli spokesmen mention those attacks, the "reporters" pour scorn on the rockets being used by Hezbollah as if they were mere fireworks compared to the weapons at Israel's disposal. To hear Sky's "reporters" you would think a Katyusha delivered no more deadly effect than a water pistol.

It shames us all to admit it, but it is clear that no-one will defend Israel but Israel. Even the usually sound Condoleeza Rice is equivocating in the face of the orchestrated clamour of Muslims, Leftists and anti-Semites. Israel is part of the civilised West; the only democracy in a region ruled by barbarian tyrants with antediluvian ethics. The Israelis, battle-hardened as they are, may sometimes seem less gentle than us but they are our civilisational brothers and sisters. If we cannot choose correctly between them and the genocidal scum who threaten them, we are lost. I wish the IDF well in its just war and hope its political leadership will have the courage to continue until the job is done.

My daughters, who read this blog, complain that it is too "dark" and that I am too pessimistic. I wish I could find the Little Orphan Annie in me today. But in the face of such treachery, defeatism and weakness, I despair.

Telegraph | Opinion | Israelis make a bad position worse

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Obituary: Ted Grant

Living in Eastern Europe for 15 years, I have met many older people who lived to understand that they had spent their lives on a lie or - to be polite - an illusion. There were no believing Communists in power, of course. The leaders were all Prescotts - joining the Party because it was a way for the talent-free to enjoy wealth and privilege. However, there were lots of little people who believed.

I spent a Sunday afternoon once chatting in my broken Polish with a man who rode a Soviet tank into Czechoslovakia to put down the "Prague Spring." It's hard to read between the lines in your fourth language, but I thought I sensed some regret behind his bluff soldierly explanation of his role. I didn't press him. Why should I? It was tough for him already.

The naieve Reaganite idea that they were all glad to be liberated is not right. The older people had adapted to their circumstances and it was too late for them to change. One theatre director in Warsaw explained it well to my wife. "I suppose it will be better for my children," he said, "..but I have lost a way of life I understood." Not to mention a budget unlinked to any need to please his audiences.

One learns to be sensitive to these old Communists. If they were true believers, how could they suddenly accept they wasted their lives on defective ideas? That they lived to the detriment of their fellow men? We only have one life. It's hard to accept that we blew it. I can even feel sorry for them.

For Ted Grant, however, I have no such sympathy. This man lived in the free world and set out to subvert it. He lived an infantile life of secret societies, hidden identities and splits. He was a traitor and would - in a well-ordered democracy - have been executed. He cynically abused the weaknesses of a democratic party filled with naieve believers in Socialism; people who - like my lost old people of the East - genuinely wanted "a better world" and were guilty of naught but foolishness.

Ted Grant was a bad man who lived a full life of fun and self-importance. At this moment, I could wish there were a God so that he could be condemned to Hell. Within weeks, he would have set up in opposition to the Devil and formed new factions of left-wing demons. He would therefore improve Hell as he never managed to improve this world.

Guardian Unlimited Politics | Special Reports | Obituary: Ted Grant

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Committee opposes 'Tesco law' - Law - Times Online

Lawyers are not popular but, collectively, we are important. An independent legal profession is a hallmark of a free society. If lawyers are controlled by the Executive, then how are the rights of individuals to be defended against the State? If judges are dependent on the Executive - for example to determine their pay and pensions - then how is the independence of the judiciary to be maintained and defended? There are already those who fear that some judges have "sold out" to the New Labour Project for increased pensions.

No-one likes paying us, but when you are in trouble and find the awesome resources of a modern State ranged against you, you need an independent lawyer to defend you and an independent judge to acquit you if you are innocent.

New Labour's New Totalitarianism marches on with this project. It is opposed by the Law Society. It is opposed - as reported here - by a committee of MPs and peers. If you think that the independence of lawyers does not matter to you, you are wrong.

Committee opposes 'Tesco law' - Law - Times Online

Monday, July 24, 2006

Why I believe David Kelly's death may have been murder, by MP | the Daily Mail

It is surprising that this story is not given greater prominence. If Dr. Kelly was murdered, the question cui bono leads to some interesting suspects, to say the least. If the government is found to have ordered his death, one wonders if the ministers concerned will refuse to resign, saying they feel the need to sort out the problems they caused or that they still have something to contribute?

In a civilised sociey, no government could survive such a scandal. I doubt if any governing party involved in such a killing would ever see office again. But Britain is clearly no longer a civilised society, so maybe it will all turn out OK for Labour, whatever the truth of this MP's allegations.

Why I believe David Kelly's death may have been murder, by MP | the Daily Mail

Teenager was kept a prisoner for two years - Britain - Times Online

In what sense is a family "middle class", when it treats its daughters like this? It seems more like the behaviour of ignorant peasants to me.

Teenager was kept a prisoner for two years - Britain - Times Online

Despair as forced marriages stay legal - Britain - Times Online

I don't believe the statement in this article that "Suicide rates among young Asian women are more than three times the national average and about 12 women every year die as a result of so-called 'honour killings'." More than 20 years ago, a police sergeant in Nottingham told me that officers routinely accepted Pakistani families' "ludicrous" claims that their daughter had committed suicide, when they believed that she had been murdered in an "honour killing". They did so rather than face criticism from their superiors or adverse press coverage for "racism".

My guess is that all the "additional" suicides are murders.

Of course, accepting ludicrous stories from one community which would never be expected from another is real "racism", but that doesn't matter. As we know, racism in Britain is a one way thing.

Despair as forced marriages stay legal - Britain - Times Online

Prescott defiant over criticism

If John Prescott's motivation for being in politics was public service, he would quit. His acceptance of gifts from businessmen negotiating government contracts may not prove him to be corrupt, but it proves him to lack judgement. His reputation (such as it was) is damaged beyond retrieval and his ability to serve in government is diminished.

He knows that. He stays because, as his whole career shows, the "perks" are what it is all about for him. When he was a union rep., he groped the girls and lived at the union's expense. He has done the same in office. He is simply making his way in politics as a more lucrative alternative to any other life for which he is fitted.

Sadly, from his point of view, he has proved himself as unfit for this career as for any other.

BBC NEWS | UK | Prescott defiant over criticism

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Street crime soars as more robbers use guns but burglaries decline - Britain - Times Online

John Reid lacks respect for his bosses, the British people. How dare he tell them that rising street crime is their fault, because they are carrying such valuable items as cellphones and iPods? Crime is the fault of the criminal, not the victim, whether the item stolen is a pocket handkerchief or a laptop. The duty of the Home Office and its goons (formerly known as our police force) is to deal with the criminals, not criticise the people they are supposed to protect.

Shut up, Reid, until you are able to report some progress. You are our servant, not our master.

Street crime soars as more robbers use guns %u2013 but burglaries decline - Britain - Times Online

Leading universities spurn students from poor families - Britain - Times Online

What a nonsensical headline! How would it be in the interests of Universities to "spurn" good students? Why would admissions tutors, drawn from an overwhelmingly left-wing pool of British academics, discriminate against the products of a state education system they all profess to believe in?

These statistics are a direct product of the continuing scandal of an education system which has been subverted.

Only in the crazed world of British education is it wrong to select pupils for a level of education suited to their abilities. I suffered from this nonsense as a pupil. I tried, day after day, to learn while bored and angry classmates disrupted lessons they couldn't handle. I felt sorry for them, up to a point. They couldn't cope and I could understand their frustration. But, by God, I wished them elsewhere. Nor did I appreciate being stoned from passing school buses by "less academically able" (i.e. stupid) class mates who resented "swots". All the peer pressure at my comprehensive school was to make trouble and "spurn" education.

Mrs Paine - a teacher - suffered in attempting to work within this bizarre system. Many of our schools are now anarchic hell-holes. The least savoury pupils set the tone; destroying the educational chances of their peers. The turnover of teachers is appalling. Few last long in a profession which has been reduced to riot control interspersed with occasional political indoctrination.

I am furious with the Labour Party for this vindictive nonsense. That ****wits like Prescott should have been allowed to avenge his personal educational failure by trashing the prospects of millions is disgusting.

I am even more furious with Dave Cameron, who does not have Prescott's excuse of manifest stupidity. He has dropped even his Party's last token support of grammar schools - the most powerful agents of social mobility in Britain's history.

Anyone who cares about the education of ordinary children should be fighting to restore selective education. Equality of opportunity was at its greatest when grammar schools and secondary moderns were the norm.

Leading universities spurn students from poor families - Britain - Times Online

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Socialism and Corruption

President Putin landed a political blow on Tony Blair during the G8 Conference in St Petersburg. Questioned by the British press about criticisms of his government and asked if he would discuss them with the Prime Minister, he said "There are also other questions. Questions, let's say, about the fight against corruption. We'd be interested in hearing your experience, including how it applies to Lord Levy."

I don't blog about Russian politics. I am a guest in Moscow and it's not my place. Forgive me, however, if I enjoy the President's wit on the subject of British politics.

Growing up in the Labour rotten boroughs of the North, I am unsurprised by the ethical shabbiness of New Labour. I never believed for a second Blair's 1997 pledge to be "whiter than white" and was quietly confident that he would live to regret it. John Prescott's taste for the high life at public expense was no surprise to me, growing up as I did in the same area, surrounded by lots of such people.

A relative was approached to run for the council in the last elections. A lifelong Labour supporter she listened to the pitch from the Party's representatives with interest. She was promised the ability to claim "expenses", whether or not she bothered to turn up; free repairs and upgrades to her home carried out by council workers and numerous other "perks" all - as the Labour man said - for "next to no work". She sent him away in disgust, but someone took the offer.

I have blogged before about how a Labour local authority abused its powers to strip my family of a business permit, not because of any breach of its terms, but because it wanted to buy the land and thought it could get it cheaper.

I grew up in an area where, for twenty years, Labour councils ran their childrens homes so badly that they were largely staffed by predatory paedophiles who rented the children out for sex as well as abusing them themselves. New Labour appointed as "Minister for Children" a woman who had presided over another such scandal when leader of Islington Council.

This is not because British socialists are particularly bad. During the great 20th Century experiment with Socialism it was the common experience of people living under Socialist governments (more than half of humanity at one point) that their rulers lived like mediaeval kings; sometimes even exercising the droit de seigneur. John Prescott seems to have believed he had some modern version of that right in relation to his own staff.

Socialism is not about fairness. In practice it has always been a system under which wealth, privilege and power are allocated according to political rather than economic criteria. Socialists, caught out, always condemn the "abuse" and say that it was not "true Socialism" but time and time again that is the practical result of the system. It is always embraced by men, be they Josef Stalin or John Prescott, who have no talent or ability to earn wealth, but who have the low cunning to win power.

After the clear and abject failure of the 20th Century Socialist Experiment, only Britain still clings to the wreckage of a comprehensively discredited ideology. Why?

Reports reveal threats to NHS patients' safety

This article - in the journal of record of British Socialism - unsurprisingly lacks any analysis or critique, save for the routine implication that yet more money should be spent to make the National Health Service work. It is more evidence of the disaster that is socialised medicine. It illustrates perfectly how official "caring" is not quite the same thing as giving a damn.

The NHS is worse than a mere failure. It does positive harm, to its patients and to the ethics of the people who work in it. I don't suppose any NHS employees signed up for the opportunity to commit rape or manslaughter. It's hard to be sure of course, given - for example - that the People's Republic of Britain has a history of public childrens' homes largely staffed by predatory paedophiles.

The NHS is not an aberration. It does not matter how much money a rich nation spends to try to make socialised medicine work, it will degenerate into a shambles. During the great 20th Century Experiment, with more than half of humanity living under various flavours of Socialism, the evidence was clear. When people are reduced to providers or consumers of public services, their common relationship with the soulless State begins to destroy their human relationship with each other.

Why does Britain persist with this nonsense, when the rest of the world has seen it for what it is? | Health | Reports reveal threats to NHS patients' safety

Police summonsed over Menezes shooting - Law - Times Online

An innocent man is shot dead by what the British press would describe (if it happened in any other country) as "a police death squad." After long months of consideration by the authorities, the management of the police force is summonsed for an offence under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974.

Someone, somewhere is taking the piss.

Police summonsed over Menezes shooting - Law - Times Online

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

'They are using this law to cover their mistakes' - Britain - Times Online

Patricia da Silva Armani, a relative of Jean Charles de Menezes, said - commenting on the Crown Prosecution Service decision not to take any action agains the police officers who killed him - "The authorities here . . . don't have any shame. I feel sickened by that."

I feel sickened by it too. So should we all. This story is a disgrace to our nation.

'They are using this law to cover their mistakes' - Britain - Times Online

Souped-up ASBOs to tackle kings of organised crime gangs - Britain - Times Online

This is another signature "initiative" from this most pointless of governments. Everything that "gangsters" do is already illegal. If caught and convicted, there are laws enough to keep them in jail for as long as the government's sentencing guidelines allow.

We are not suffering from a shortage of laws. On the contrary, we have thousands too many. We are suffering from a failure of enforcement. This government makes new laws not to solve problems, but to suggest that every problem we have is due to defects in the law and not to the failure of the law enforcement agencies for which it is responsible.

What a shame Britain's academics are mostly left-wing. If a Conservative government were indulging in such legislatory masturbation, there would be studies galore to demonstrate its futility. I am prepared to gamble GBP500 with the first professor of criminology to take the bet that, if he embarks on a study of the hundreds of new crimes created by this government, they will prove to have had no measurable impact on the targeted behaviours. Many of them have not even been used; i.e. no prosecutions have been brought.

This government has passed more Criminal Justice Acts than in all our previous history. Each new such Act is now no more than a confession of the failure of the others.

How much better would it be to declare a legislative "freeze" to allow our police forces to catch up with their workload? How much better would it be to relieve trained police officers of the bureaucratic burdens imposed by the Home Office, designed to turn them into collectors of statistics rather than feelers of wicked collars? How much better would it be for the Home Office to help police forces recover the relationship they used to have with the public? There's a worthy task with which degraded spin doctors could redeem themselves.

The only policing that works (accepting that no policing works perfectly) is "policing by consent." The public used willingly to cooperate with policemen they saw as their protectors and servants. Now they see them as tax-collectors, bullies and agents of Class War.

I have made a couple of citizen's arrests in my time. I would not make one now, because I fear the police would be more interested in a soft target like me than any hard case I might bring them. I would end up being charged with assault, while the villain would walk.

In today's Britain, even the respectable middle class fear contact with a police force widely perceived to be politicised. If the 80% of the time of a front-line police officer that PC David Copperfield over at the Policeman's Blog estimates is wasted could be reduced to civilised levels, police officers could spend enough time with the public to win back their trust. On his blog recently, PC Copperfield said "Somebody told me the other day that if no member of the public ever called Newtown police ever again, our internal procedures would keep us so busy we wouldn'’t notice for another six months." I believe it.

Nothing in this government's record suggests that it gives a damn about the standing of any force in our society but the Labour Party. Now that its policies are failing even to promote that, perhaps Ministers on the way out might look to their legacy and try to do some actual good, instead of focussing entirely on pointless spin?

Souped-up ASBOs to tackle kings of organised crime gangs - Britain - Times Online