Friday, 23 June 2017
A week and a half on from the Grenfell Tower fire (And how many unchecked variations of that name have been used across various media platforms?) and still the same old politics-as-usual. The Corbynistas have been in full flight-of-fancy mode, variously blaming the conflagration on Tory cuts, Tory councillors, Tory contractors, Tory planners, Tory specifiers Tory procurers, Tory cladding erectors and no doubt, Tori Spelling, Tori Amos and the elusive Vic-Tory too.
As a brief respite from the opportunistically manufactured national grief, John McDonnell’s clenched-fist ‘Day of Rage’ turned out – thankfully – to be a soggy squib of an affair as a few of the unwashed persuaded themselves they would somehow ‘overthrow’ their new Thatcher hate-figure, placard by placard. Inside the chamber Jeremy Corbyn piled into the Queen’s speech, claiming it was a meagre affair, thin gruel, insufficient, on the grounds that too few radical changes were proposed. Is this, then, the duty of government, to consistently lay down law after law? Or is it rather to create an environment where individuals can flourish and people can improve their own lives?
Talking of individuals, it turns out that a further 500,000 of them were added to the population in the last year; the pace of population growth far outgrowing our ability to accommodate them, feed them and continually subsidise the lie that we need them. Actually, that figure is only what is known; the Grenfell fire has revealed that we don’t even know how many, or who, were living in the tower block, legally or otherwise; one of the challenges of the coming days is to quantify the political mileage available from the unknown unknowns.
To this end Sadiq Khan’s team have assembled a panel of experts to gather information and form a strategy for extracting the maximum embarrassment from government and the maximum funding possible from the public purse. One of the first tasks is to work out how many lives were lost, how many displaced and how much compensation could be due. Part of the process was to recruit analysts to crunch the numbers, to which end a mathematician, a statistician and an accountant were interviewed for the job of leading the task force:
At the interview the mathematician declared that with, say, 127 flats and an average occupancy of 3.4 people per flat we were dealing with a potential total number of fatalities of 431.8, minus those who had been accounted for and thus a precise figure could be arrived at for both living and dead. He was asked to take a seat in the waiting room while they interviewed the next candidate.
The statistician took a slightly different approach, based on the fact that a number of flats were thought to have been sub-let multiple times. Let us suppose, he said, that 40% of the flats had been let out to unregistered tenants and let us suppose that, typically these would be immigrant families who were on the whole the vanguard for large extended families intending to settle in London. We can take a ball park estimate, based on the probability that at any one time 50% of these apartments contained people in transit, that somewhere in the region of a 1000 people would need to be accounted for and adequately compensated.
The hiring committee was impressed with how easily the statistician had dispensed with hard facts and plucked a number from thin air which suggested they could ask for twice as much as they had originally imagined. They asked the statistician to take a seat while they interviewed the accountant. The accountant took his turn, listened carefully to the question the committee posed and answered, simply, “How many do you want it to be?”
Wednesday, 21 June 2017
Forgive me, Blogger, for I have sinned. It is five days since my last blogfession. I don’t even offer any excuse, although plenty spring to mind. In fact, excuses seem to be very much the thing right now. Excuses for inaction, excuses for past actions, excuses for possible future actions; the hardest bit of politics seems to me to be getting your excuses in early, ideally before any blame has been apportioned. Meanwhile the show must go on. The show today being, of course, the subdued state opening of Parliament.
It’s like the worst kind of scripted reality show; mindless fodder for the lumpen masses, where wooden characters act out pre-ordained plots as onlookers agitate from the side-lines. Did I say agitate? Of course I meant – John McDonnell meant – peacefully demonstrate their kinder, gentler opposition; not in any way engage in a Day of Rage to bring down the government; oh no, that would be inflammatory, nobody meant that, did they, John? Hedging his bets McDonnell first called for insurrection then yesterday pretended he really meant ‘a bit of a march’ with a few mild placards.
And over on the other channel everybody is watching the Grenfell Game, wondering who is going to scoop the big prize. The various cheerleaders are whipping up the audience into a frenzy in an effort to ensure that as many as possible leave the game with more than they owned when they arrived. Compensation has gone from being the provision of relief from loss to a system of reward for giving the best depiction of entitlement. Playing the helpless victim of greater powers has become a new career for some and facilitating that victimhood is a full-time occupation for others.
To assist in upping the entertainment value, a bevy of modern-age virtues are brought to the front line: selective outrage, moral equivalence, the race card, the muslim card... along with a whole entourage of faux facts, from mangled statistics to downright lies. He said, she said, they did, we didn’t; the war of words is rapidly becoming a well-rehearsed soap opera in which everybody knows the format. Shit happens, everybody mucks in, politicians on all sides try to spin it as a triumph for themselves and a ‘sad indictment’ of the supposed motives of all the other competing sides. We’re all sinners now; casting the first stone is nothing to do with conscience, it’s merely a matter of timing.
Meanwhile, the world still turns. Those who pay for everything will still pay for everything. Those who have only ever taken will continue to take. And the poor sods in the middle scrabble for the safety and promise of salvation of the few scraps of flotsam from the wreckage. The ideologues’ multicultural, rainbow-nation dream has been a disaster and the disparate forces of malcontent, jostling to put their special interest centre stage at the expense of others threatens to tear it still further asunder. In pursuit of a world in which everybody wins, against nature itself, we are instead in a place where, with few exceptions, everybody loses.
Ask not what your country can do for you...
Whatever happens today, peaceful or otherwise, it has to be hoped that common sense and common decency prevail and the process of governing the country is allowed to begin again. Instead of demanding from society yet another slice of a finite pie of money, police, emergency services, ‘justice’ and so on, look to the other side of the Grenfell disaster. Follow the example of those who freely gave of their time and resources to help each other out. Margaret Thatcher said there was no such thing as society – and she was right. People conveniently forget that she went on to say: “There are individual men and women and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look after themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then, also, to look after our neighbours." Why, she was practically Jeremy Corbyn!
Friday, 16 June 2017
There’s a lot said on both sides of The House about immigration. In the wider world people adversely affected – and they are many – find it hard to comprehend how their circumstances have come about, while in other areas – usually those who have known little else – they refer to vibrant diversity and all its wonders. There are valid arguments on both extremes if they could only be heard above the clamour of political correctness, typified by the image of a politician, any variety, clasping knees to chest, rocking to and fro and loudly humming so as not hear any incorrect opinions.
Last night’s ‘comedy’ spot on Radio 4 was occupied by Paul Sinha's History Revision and jolly interesting it was too... were it not for the fact that this son of immigrants was banging one particular drum and banging pretty loudly, too. The tune was, ‘nothing good would ever have happened in the world without immigration’. And he had the history to prove it. Now, I know Sinha is a clever lad and I’m sure he would make for invigorating and stimulating company, but this trope is over-wrought and fundamentally flawed.
‘We are all descended from immigrants’ is irrelevant. ‘The NHS relies on immigrants’ is irrelevant. Immigration, in and of itself, is not the source of all things good, it is merely one of several facilitators. It is the individual, inspired by place and experience, that creates; his or her ethnic origin is often incidental. Sinha’s thesis, inspired by his love of history – literally an ‘amateur’ historian – was based on an acceptance of the innate ‘goodness’ of immigration.
Inventure Place, in Akron Ohio, is referred to as the American Inventors’ Hall of Fame and its exhibitive niches are mostly occupied by immigrants who came to The New World, did good and invented stuff; the USA is proud to adopt them as great American inventors. But there’s a bit of a chicken and egg game going on here – did the immigrants make it happen, or did America provide the means and opportunities? Or did they do their inventing elsewhere and bring the goods over on the Mayflower’s successors? Beware the easy conclusions wrought from a non sequitur.
Anyway, we’ve always had movement of people. One traditional mode of casual migration was the regular cycles of itinerant traders, slavers, tinkers and circus folk, the inspiration for many a running-away-from-home. A friend of mine disappeared one day, some years ago and much gossip ensued. But a decade later, when the circus came to town, there he was, in full carney slap, parading round the ring, an array of ironmongery hanging from a specially designed belt.
As the crowd watched he took from his belt a small hammer, such as are used by piano tuners, which he swallowed whole. The watchers gasped. Next, a toffee hammer disappeared down his gullet, quickly followed by a veneer hammer, a small ball pein and a much larger claw hammer. The applause rippled around the big top but then we were quelled to silence as the lights dimmed; for the finale he took up a six-pound sledgehammer and after some business twirling it around, tossing and catching it he struck a pose and then, with his head tilted far back, he slowly swallowed the hickory shaft until only the steel hammer head remained visible. With a gulp, this too was gone; the audience went wild!
The roar of the greasepaint, the smell of the crowd!
After the show, I caught up with him as he signed autographs and congratulated him on his remarkable achievements. He told me of his life and the wonderful people he had met, from all over the world. I remarked on his unconventional performance and asked if he had ever tried to swallow a sword, a much more familiar act. He shook his head. “No,” he said “that’s a job for the professionals... I’m strictly an ‘ammer-chewer.”
Thursday, 15 June 2017
In the past twenty-four hours I have been told I am a moron. I am also a disgusting person, as it happens. If both are true I plead ignorance; only following orders, etc. I’ve always found it curious how quick people are to label others as somehow beneath contempt while simultaneously providing an excuse for their lack of wisdom or morals. There is generally no point in disputing the charges and especially not in hurling back equally intemperate epithets, but it’s interesting sometimes to examine the claims.
Moron /ˈmɔːrɒn/ early 20th century (as a medical term denoting an adult with a mental age of about 8–12): from Greek mōron, neuter of mōros ‘foolish’. Well, most of this is refutable holding, as I do, several higher education awards and having lived a varied life of independence from the assistance of others. The foolishness, I grant you; I have made poor choices and endured their consequences, but who among us can claim otherwise? But, on balance, I’m not sure my being a moron would hold up in court as defence for my disgustingness. But wherewith comes that?
I admit, somewhat, a lack of general empathy for my supposed fellow humans, but then I have never been an advocate of equality at any cost and while I clearly see difference, I see no reason to pretend that diversity is an unalloyed good, especially where it also brings such obvious strife. The news media recently celebrating the diversity of the dead, whether by knife or truck or fire, are hardly covering themselves in glory as they simultaneously fuel the prurience and exploit the biddability of the masses, but, lest we forget, I’m the disgusting one here.
Yet I have killed nobody, threatened nobody and – while some may wish to tell themselves otherwise – I have refrained from hurling the spitting abuse which comes so readily to my detractors. This is the burden of pragmatism; I accept human frailty and see no reason to hide that acceptance. Why should I dress up my observations of humans reverting to the animal type they are just to meet some arbitrary notion of how kinder, gentler political minds think we ought to behave?
For instance I think that, yes, we should have subsidised housing to allow lower paid workers a decent place to live near where they toil. But I know that corruption would create favouritism in allocation, sub-letting would let in private renters or high earners in public office would seek to take advantage, as Bob Crow did. I would love to raise wages so that a working couple could afford bring up a family on a single wage; but I know that this will put millions out of work as industry seeks cheaper labour elsewhere. I’d like to cap fuel and food prices but I know that this would create shortages as providers decline to meet a demand which would not pay them for their effort.
Shiny happy people... and all of them broke.
The dream of plenty for all is just that, a dream. Maybe in some throwback commune where small numbers of people live in tribal harmony such equitable division of wealth is possible... but somehow every example of communal living is also an example of people eschewing much of the trappings of modernity. Maybe you can be nice but not rich, or else rich but not nice? Or, maybe, you can be both rich and nice as long as don’t openly enjoy the fruits of your success? When the left decide what they want and realise what we can afford maybe we could come to an arrangement other than what we have now. Failing that, keep pissing on those chips.
Wednesday, 14 June 2017
To all you toxic Britons, you xenophobes, you bigoted, narrow-minded racists, you sexist, homophobic, Brexit-voting bastards... welcome. Welcome to the new reality, you soon-to-be re-oppressed. Everywhere you hear it ‘Hope not Hate’. Don’t give in to Nazis, don’t let the ‘far right’, ‘hard right’, ‘alt right’, ‘extreme right’ win. Stamp out hate; hate the haters, destroy the right, kill them, kill them all! The incessant whine of progressive discontent has risen a couple of octaves to fever pitch since the Momentum surge and – in their eyes – vindication of all the labels they have invented to describe the objects of their animus. ‘Remainer’ sounds pathetic in comparison.
Admittedly the referendum result brought a thrill, a sense of belonging, the heartening realisation that in fact we were not just small, isolated pockets of rabid, fruitcake Little Englanders. We felt a sense of relief in the prospect of freeing ourselves from an unhappy relationship in which we had never felt comfortable, a divorce we had hoped for but never thought possible. Yes we did have a little gloat, a dig at our tormentors, a nose-thumb at the politically correct, kinder, gentler, yet somehow more rabidly bloodthirsty politics.
But now the left, who are easily raised to passionate anger, are back in the game and they are pretty full on. Since the disastrous gamble of Theresa May’s not-quite-snappy-enough election and the unexpected Labour vote-share, the activists have been in full gloat mode. Revenge is a word I keep hearing, spat out with some bloodthirsty glee; even at the height of our joy over Brexit we still harboured doubts it would come about, still kept our powder somewhat dry. But the whipped-up delirium of some of the leftist bully boys shows no such restraint.
In recent years we have seen the march of the left globally: book burnings, violent mobs contesting the free speech of others, empty-chairing invited speakers and campus revolts against anybody with differing views. We have witnessed openly anti-Semitic attacks and seen a sinister new alliance with islam, a religion whose extremely devout openly call for the killing of Jews, gays and apostates, in the name of such clearly misunderstood aims as equality and cultural harmony. Where do you start to discuss peace with a pink-haired, tattooed, transsexual, body-modified, professional protester who spits in your face and screams “death to the islamophobes”?
Who are the extremists here? Those of us who in the main, slog out our lives earning and saving and trying to be as little a burden as possible, who wanted to regain a sense of national pride before we died following a reasonable retirement, or the entitled hordes who march at the drop of a pink beret, sing The Red Flag and demand, with menaces, that we throw open the treasury doors, throw open the borders and throw out the rule book of society so that their muddled ideology of ‘anything goes’ can be allowed to hold sway.
Irony in action...
But, perversely, their understanding of equality and human rights does not extend to an acceptance of normal, decent, working people who have no political agenda. In fact segregation is the norm, with every sector of society identified and labelled and judged; exclusive ‘safe spaces’, gender-segregated work places, women-only and black-only events (anything but white men, eh?) and persecution of anybody perceived to have acted on or have displayed anything which they can seize on as ‘prejudice’. These hooded, armed, violent reactionaries call themselves Anti-Fascists? They look like Nazis to me.
Friday, 9 June 2017
So, I was wrong. Again. I was wrong about Brexit, wrong about 2015 and wrong to have underestimated the passion in some quarters for what they honestly think is doing the right thing. I admit it; I was wrong. Being a natural conservative – both big and small ‘c’s – I will do what we always do and get on with it. To be fair, very little in political life directly affects me anyway as, being as big a C as I have just declared, I have made it my life mission to look after my own affairs and never expect anybody else to care a fig. Long may that continue.
That said, where do we go from here? Theresa May has little option but to cling on, at least for a while and hope that when the clamour dies down she can carry on getting us out of the EU. The last thing anybody (except Labour) needs right now is a Tory leadership contest. But I’m fully prepared (and partially expect) to be proved wrong again. Unlike the rabid hordes of Momentum, however, I refuse to rip up the streets and threaten people with personal violence if that happens.
In the short term at least as far as my life is concerned, it makes little difference. I expect I’ll get by whatever system rules over us. In the longer term as well it won’t really affect me very much whether we’re in or out of the EU, whether we collectively pay 2p more or 2p less in tax. Whether or not our population is 80 million or 800 million, whether we join the German Army or become a caliphate etc, etc. But if this marks a shift towards a Corbyn-style of Marxist regime the people who will be adversely affected will be the children of the children who have just voted for a change they may not like very much when the money runs out.
Oh yes, a gentler kinder politics may be what’s on the masthead, but when you see how very, very angry the mobs can get even a newly minted Labour voter must, surely, have qualms about what sort of society we may become. Will the tendency to restrict freedom of speech intensify yet further? Will the ever-expanding and contradictory lexicon of human rights prevent us from actually having meaningful human rights? Will profligacy replace prudence, to the financial downfall of us all?
What of business confidence? Voting to pragmatically leave a restrictive union with 27 other squabbling nations might have been the very thing that would bring a new prosperity; will a new dawn of socialism bring about a return to the misery of the 1970s? The prospect of a future left wing Labour government is not likely to encourage investors to spend money in industries which could be swiftly nationalised. The drying up of tax revenues and the fleeing of the entrepreneurs will inevitably end in said government borrowing still more to fulfill promises made in opposition.
Theresa May adopts a new look... wrong.
Unless the Conservatives get their act together and shore up the breaches the future does not look very bright at all. The British, by their very nature, are conservative at heart; minor corrections, left and right, to a steady and unexciting course. But maybe we’re going to approach things in an increasingly less British manner over the next few decades? Has anybody taken the pulse of Venezuela lately? I really can’t see any of that going well at all, but I could be wrong. Please, let me be wrong.
Thursday, 8 June 2017
Election day is upon us and the security services are on high alert. Warnings are flooding into police call centres across the land as the threat to our democracy increases by the hour. They want most to disrupt our way of life to force on us an ideology which is abhorrent to people who love freedom and they would enslave us forever to the worship of their own idols, eschewing the decency, the humanity, the civilisation which has been Britain’s bequest to the world over the last thousand years.
Fifth columnists, the antagonists are home grown, living among us but not with us, keeping to their own communities; some of them have never spoken to an outsider, never heard the arguments of those who follow a different path in life. In these communities, which take a much higher than normal toll on our public services – the NHS, the police, social services – inbreeding is common, as they blindly condemn the very society that provides for them. And all the while they have been stealthily infiltrating local councils; wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The threat of violence is ever present and these people, this anti-modernist cult, frequently rallies its soldiers to bring their twisted and contradictory belief system to the streets. Ordinary, decent people are too cowed by political correctness to dare name the threat, but I name it today. Look after yourselves as you go to your polling stations. Report any suspicious behaviour to the authorities. But most of all protect your homes, your family, your businesses, from the very real threat of The Left.
Expect riots tomorrow, when the results come in and their false god remains outside the corridors of power. Be on guard against looting for equality and bottle-lobbing for fairness. Jeremy Corbyn has uncorked the bottle and released the evil genie; his tub-thumping, rabble-rousing war cries have echoed across the lands of the idle hands and now they are crawling out from under their stones once more to bring militancy back to the streets.
If you ever wanted proof of the Marxist leanings of the Labour Party, the quick propensity of their disciples to violence and brute force is right up there with the Bolsheviks, the Trotskyites and the grand wizard of leftist bully boys, Hitler himself. The brownshirts have spoken out on Facebook and called on leftists everywhere to riot, to disobey, to revolt. 'Twas ever thus. From spitting at candidates, calling out for the death of Tory politicians, to the physical intimidation of voters at the polling booths; the police have their jobs cut out today.
Labour Youth? Back to the future...
For decent people everywhere this should serve as a reminder of what we are fighting against. Don’t let the nasty party – Labour and their thugs – gain a single extra seat. And if you think giving in would make for an easier life, think again. If they are so ungracious in defeat as they have shown themselves to be, over and over again, just think how much more emboldened they would be with real power in their hands. So much for Corbyn’s ‘kinder, gentler politics’; you think he would be able to control them, a meek devotee of Karl Marx? Groucho Marx, more like...
Wednesday, 7 June 2017
The desperate search for a killer cause to swing the election in favour of the Party of No Personal Responsibility is now working the “Boo hoo, Tories cut police funding” line. Hey, you can have as many police officers as you like, so long as you can pay them. Of course, if the Conservatives increased the numbers of officres on the thin blue line, Labour would accuse them of presiding over a police state. The purpose of opposition is, after all, to oppose, no matter how ridiculous it makes you look. But whatever you propose you have to be able to afford it.
A penny on income tax, said one twitter moron, the argument being that low earners would pay nothing, as they already do, high earners would hardly notice and everybody would be happy to pay up. But, of course, the extra this might raise (ignoring that prices would rise to compensate, consumption would fall, the cost of living would increase and then the lowest paid will be negatively impacted) might theoretically pay for one of Labour’s pledges. But what of the others; another penny here, another penny there? Before we know it we’d be back with the traditional inflationary spiral with interest rates headed for ‘Oh-my-good-God!’ and never-ending pay battles with newly emboldened unions.
The centrist line has always been ‘there is no magic money tree’ but as is the modern way, the left are attempting to use this as an argument against common sense by suggesting that yes, there is. This disingenuous article in The Guardian says we can pay nurses, policemen, teachers, etc, all we want, after all, we magicked-up the money for the ‘evil’ bankers back in 2008, so we can do it again... and again. It’s a tempting theory, but it is simply wrong; it is as wrong as Gordon Brown selling off the gold reserves and pretending this was clever economics. No more boom and what, Gordon?
And just as with all the other new-world-order, illuminati, Bilderberg conspiracies and the rest it feeds neatly into the ‘unfair’ narrative peddled by the left. It’s not your fault you earn less, it’s because those nasty Tories, in cahoots with the bankers want to keep you down. But surely it takes only a second of rational thought to reason that, if people are kept poor, consumption is kept low and profits suffer. If it was as easy as fairy-tale believing left wingers seem to think, why doesn’t evil capitalism indulge in ‘trickle-up’ economics? After all, a comfortably off population is a contented population, everybody would be happy and everybody would be richer; a socialist wet dream!
Yes, the money tree is real, dear, it is just as real as human equality. I’m guessing that when the flaws in the print-more-money theories are pointed out, along with the failures of socialist states to bring about the wished for prosperity, the response will be that the magic money tree has never been tried properly! Take out your Occam’s Razor and slice; if it was this easy, if the left had an answer on the lines of what this columnist is proposing, don’t you think they would have applied it, somewhere in the world? Or is the failure to conjure something from nothing yet another conspiracy against the workers?
A vote for Labour?
By all means, dream. Imagine winning the lottery, or coming up big on the gee-gees, or inheriting from a forgotten millionaire uncle, or even – cross fingers – imagine a government waving a magic wand and making you rich at a stroke. Dream of unlimited resources for every public service imaginable; nobody can stop you dreaming. But when you wake up, for heaven’s sake, sober up before you consider voting for what, in the cold light of day, is revealed to be a simple lie.
Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Golf is not the oddest of games, but it inspires passion and derision like few other activities. From the relentless golf bore in the club bar who almost, nearly, mighta claimed a course record except for the double bogey on the seventeenth, to the quiet unassuming up and coming youngster, diligently bringing down his score, round by round. On the professional circuits the stakes are high and there is nowhere to hide; the vicar might get away with kicking his ball from the rough into the fairway when nobody is looking but the pro is followed by the cameras everywhere he goes.
Another game that scores high on the passion and derision stakes is, of course, politics and never more so than when a major prize is up for grabs. Like golf it rewards the steady hands, those who can stick to their technique and keep on chipping away at every hole. And like golf, politics does not deal kindly with the ingénues, brashly sporting their tartan plus-fours and pink tam o’shanters, hoping that the bling will divert attention from the divots. Prior preparation is a must; which is why even those golfers at the top of the game turn up hours before the match and practice their swing.
Both games are won and lost in the head as well as the hand. On Sunday Theresa May as Prime Minister, had no option but to make a speech decrying the terrorist attacks of Saturday night. She did so; she took one measured stroke, straight down the fairway and then respectfully retired from the scene as others sought to catch up. Jeremy Corbyn, seeing an opportunity, took a wild swing; he accused her of making political capital out of the situation, sliced his ball and then spent the rest of the day wildly flailing away in the rough, tweeting another twenty times on the same theme.
Calm heads, preparation, deep breaths and considered responses. Last night Diane Abbott, surely the least capable politician of recent years, but nonetheless still somehow clinging on to her job, came out from the woods to answer her critics and save the day for Labour. On Sky News she approached the ball, sitting high on a tee at an easy par three; trash the government record on national security, demonstrate how her steady hands would bring the Labour team back into contention, tap in for a par.
She took a practice swing and her club flew out of her hands, nearly taking out a bystander; on Monday, with the election on Thursday, unforced, in her opening statement, she declared that there were two days until the vote. With an apparent reference to the ‘village people’ instead of the British people she missed her first shot at the ball. Dermot Murnaghan then unfairly asked her about the recent Harris report on London’s safety and security. Diane flailed again at the ball, still sitting steadfastly on its tee and missed by a mile. Yes, she’d read it, of course she’d read it but mysteriously couldn’t remember a single thing about it.
As in golf, elections are generally won by those who have the most experience, have practised long and hard and are at the top of their game – as Gary Player said, the more I practise, the luckier I get – but even the best players go into decline. Diane Abbott may think of herself as Labour’s Tiger Woods in his prime. But in reality she has always been much more like Tiger Woods is today. It’s time to leave the field. So, with Labour in trouble and Jeremy Corbyn rolling up his trousers to paddle in the burn and take his tenth stroke at the eighteenth, all Theresa May needs is a straight and steady chip down the middle and two putts to win.
Monday, 5 June 2017
Once again election campaigns were suspended temporarily so that certain people could signal their virtue by sending out their hearts (they’d die, surely?) to the victims of ‘terror attacks’ of unnamed provenance and motiveless end. What drives these mentally unstable, unhappy, lone wolves to carry out such totally random assaults for no ideology whatsoever? It’s a mystery; a mystery at least to all those charged with protecting populations from them. If only there was some common theme to these attacks?
Meanwhile, you don’t have to look far on social media to find certain ‘types’ screaming blue murder... literally. “Kill the Tories!” is considered a perfectly reasonable response to a concerned enquiry about the mental health of somebody who thinks that Conservatives are actually plotting to kill off the old, the sick, the lame and the thick. Oh, if only we could, but in the meantime we just pay to keep them angry, it seems. A large proportion of those who put a roof over your head, feed you, allow you to breed with contemptuous irresponsibility and then even try to educate your offspring are natural Conservative voters and are repaid with nothing but hatred.
It can’t be coincidence that the same people who demand that ‘the rich’ (anybody earning more than me) pay larger and larger chunks of cash also demand that we not name the terrorism threat. The islamists are actually killing us but we must not blame muslims, yet ‘cutting the throat of capitalism’ is somehow a noble cause. Ordinary muslims join marches to demand the institution of the sharia and death to the west and are protected by our police as they do so, yet daring to point the finger of suspicion at the followers of the koran is somehow inhuman. The ability to hold mutually incompatible positions is characteristic of both the left and of schizophrenia.
The left, collectively, is textbook insane to the point where anybody displaying signs of common sense is considered to be of the ‘far right’. The national conversation has, so far, gone like this: Multiculturalism is good for you. We don’t like it. That’s bigoted; try it, see how you get on. It doesn’t feel right. That’s just your prejudice speaking; here, have some more multiculturalism, it’ll grow on you. It hurts. No it doesn’t. But I don’t feel enriched, actually I feel impoverished and disadvantaged by it. That’s your white privilege. I don’t feel privileged, I feel threatened. Bigot. But... Bigot. But... Racist. But... Don’t blame islam.
Labour's experimental Tower Hamlets candidate.
Okay, so back on the campaign trail. Forget the weekend events, except where they can be used to bolster claims and counter claims to make the case for more politics. And while the brownshirts of the left bully and intimidate and stuff the polls and threaten violence against those who dare to fear violence, remember we have just three days to save the NHS... from Labour.
Friday, 2 June 2017
So Donald Trump has pulled out of Paris; the climate change agreement, not Ms Hilton, although, you know, he has form. According to some the world will soon, literally, be engulfed in flames. The EU has stopped just short of branding the USA a pariah nation and imposing sanctions, but you can bet that has nothing to do with saving the planet and everything to do with continuing trade. Trump’s decision is, of course, also to do with money and while the world condemns him, governments are all going to watch keenly for signs of economic upturns at which point expect others to follow suit, if in less dramatic fashion.
You can guarantee, however, that grass roots protest will ensue with hippies making Washington DC look untidy, anti-frackers churning up rural areas as they hold ‘peace vigils’ and the like and in an echo of the self-destructive instincts of some of Britain’s high profile Remainers, signed-up climate change scientists will take to the skies to fly to fragile exotic ecosystems where they will generate enough hot air to melt the ice caps, just to show how wrong Trump is and how much they care.
And in the background, of course, conspiracy theorists will abound. Look out for increased chemtrail hysteria activity, every drop of rain, or lack of it, being claimed as a direct result of yesterday’s announcement, rapidly rising sea levels to be widely broadcast... only for those reports to be retracted as the tide goes back out again. And the Sun headline ‘Phew, what a scorcher!’ to be put on standby for every edition. The world will go mad for a while and then everybody will calm down and forget about it.
Of course, the largest stakes to play for are the vested interests of the numerous committees, councils, research grantees and paid consultants in what has become a global industry. Not so much save the planet as save the jobs of the professionally concerned. Many children are betting their future on being able to continue playing make-believe long into adulthood as they convince themselves and each other of the spiralling dangers in a positive feedback loop which makes survival-fear a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom and gloom. There is a serious danger of climate ‘scientist’ over-supply in the near future and some may be questioning the long-term viability of being a Climate Cassandra.
Fortunately, forecasting disaster and then profiting from advising how to avoid it is a transferable skill these days; every industry is looking for the silver bullet to fix everything and will carry on paying for quack cures long after all reason has left the building. You can find the quackery of expert consultants in every walk of life. Too many low-paid migrant workers? Open the borders! Too much bureaucracy? Convene a select committee! Too many laws? Legislate! But what about the chicken problem, I hear you ask?
Farmer Brown’s chickens began to quarrel, Cooped up because of avian flu, they started to peck and wound each other, much like the uneasy internecine hostilities of the crazy coalition of the left. Many of them were dying, so the upset farmer hurried to a consultant, and asked for a solution to his problem. “Add baking-powder to their food,” said the consultant, “It will calm them down.”
After a week Farmer Brown was once more at the consultant’s office,explaining that nothing had changed and was there another way? The consultant said “Add apple juice to their drinking water. The attacks will stop, for sure.” But of course, no such change came about and a week later the farmer, now distraught, was back once again. “My chickens are still quarrelling. Do you have some more advice?” The consultant sat him down and answered “Of course I can give you as much advice as you can pay for, but the real question is whether you still have any chickens left to save.”
Thursday, 1 June 2017
Did you see the chimps’ tea party last night? The unedifying spectacle of seven party leaders and representatives squabbling over the sandwiches and general flinging their shit about? I believe it was billed as a debate, but as usual it was nothing more than Britain’s Not Got Talent for a bunch of deluded losers who all think they have something to offer. Hoot-panting as each spoke over the other, the IQ of the audience, already not the most gifted part of the ensemble, progressively lowered as the night went on.
Let’s talk about that audience. Balanced, the BBC said, rigorously selected to represent a true cross-section of the population. I assume then, that there were no more than a dozen deranged mentalists in there to mirror the support for Plaid Cymru, The Greens and the SNP combined. Perhaps the same again for Ukip and the LimpDems, leaving the bulk to represent the Tories and Labour. Naturally the Conservative Party supporters would have sat back, listened and considered what was being said, while the others wore their colours more openly.
The repeated and often hysterical attacks launched at Amber Rudd and her calm response pretty much summed up the mood for me. It is hard to be in the government of such a benign realm as this. Notwithstanding Diane Abbott’s ridiculous assertion to the contrary this is one of the most tolerant countries in the world but the one part of society which is openly not tolerated by the baying mob for ‘social justice’, is the white, working, tax-paying, patriotic backbone of middle class England.
Welsh, Scottish and Irish accents seem to confer a sort of honorary BME status on even damned whitey, giving them a leeway not accorded the hated Tories. And herein lies the main curiosity of the whole shooting match; the quiet party, the getting-on-with-it, mustn’t-grumble, doing-our-bit party; the party which most represents the British national character, is constantly hectored and bullied by the ingrates they feed with their constant cries for more. The strident demands of those who do the least persistently drowns out the calls for a sober discussion of solutions.
Always with the problems, your leftists, always wagging the blame finger. Like arrogant teenagers, yet to make a meaningful contribution to family life they stamp their feet and clench their fists and spew out irrational hate for their parents and yet at the same time whine for more pocket money. The whole event was one of each in turn and often all together railing against the calm and reasoned voce of the only one there who has ever held high office. Amber Rudd stood up to her assailants with dignity.
The Coalition of Chaos convenes its first cabinet
But make no mistake, it was a mugging which Theresa May, for all the opprobrium she is getting for failing to show up, was wise to avoid. In any case, which other party could you possibly choose to run the country? The bullying communism of the Greens, the Charlie Drake party of Tim Farron with his knockabout quips about Bake Off, the insignificant Welsh and Scottish separatists, Paul ‘Hillsborough’ Nuttall, or the far left commissariat of the newly Marxist, not just old, but superannuated Labour Party? Give me Grey May any day.
Wednesday, 31 May 2017
Lots of political capital (or should that be political lower-case?) has been claimed at Jeremy Corbyn’s inability to remember a made-up number on Woman’s Hour yesterday. The listening public, however, have probably forgotten the numbers already, as they should because all the numbers used by all the parties involved in this and every other general election are largely works of fiction. Nobody cares about the actual figures, their only significance is as a proxy for competence – can’t remember your own numbers, goes the logic, can’t be relied on to govern.
The Tory strategy of giving little detail in the way of numbers is both more realistic and yet just as negatively indicative of competence. What do you mean, you don’t know how much it will cost or where the money is coming from? Come on you must know! But, of course they don’t; nobody does. In the same way you don’t know what you will earn next year nor how you will spend it. You could get a substantial rise, but then your car might expensively break down. You might lose your job, but then have a horse come in on long odds. Hell you might even win the lottery, but then suffer a terminal illness. Nobody knows; the big lie of politics is that there is certainty.
So which way do you play it? Safe hands or bet the farm? Safe is boring, but then so is voting, in the eyes of many people. They may prefer a steady hand on the tiller, but placing a wager on the socialist miracle of state ‘investment’ (borrowing to the limit) might yield spectacular success in the short term, as it often appears to, but then the cold calculus of debt repayment inevitably turns up to ruin things. Ain’t credit cards a buzzkiller?
As for where the money comes from, every type of taxation is a stimulus to invent creative ways of escaping liability. Increasing corporation tax will lower company profits, either by clever accounting or by moving companies elsewhere. Land taxes and rent-capping will distort the property market still further and even fewer will be able to afford to buy, worsening the housing shortage and increasing stress levels and putting greater strains on the social care and mental health budgets, decreasing overall productivity, affecting credit rating and ability to borrow... on which plan your entire offer was made.
Making promises you can never keep is a singularly dishonest way to panhandle a vulnerable electorate, so desperate for a magic bullet they will believe anything; anything is better than being told the truth, that the only way out of poverty is hard work... and a bit of luck. Promising free stuff is effectively exploiting poor, ill-educated people. It is putting the disadvantaged at greater risk further down the line, burdening future generations with the debt of your desperation. It is everything of which Labour continually accuses the Tories. Who’s the real nasty party?
Tuesday, 30 May 2017
We have a problem in the west, a problem which is not, of itself, going to go away. It is a problem that divides society, with a form of Stockholm syndrome gripping half the population who are unable to name and discuss this problem and act as fifth columnists against the rest who believe they see clearly the true nature of the threat. We cannot begin to tackle what is wrong unless we can have a serious debate about – and let’s not be coy here - the muslim problem. If we want any form of ‘solution’ we have to be willing to discuss it and we have to be willing to see it through.
For people born before the nineteen-eighties the visible changes in our society are genuinely alarming. Mosques on every street corner in some areas, calls to prayer, women concealed in black shrouds, men strolling around in ethnic garb every day, not just on holy days. Every supermarket selling muslim sanctioned food to all, regardless of their beliefs and values. Muslim majority schools, the local population of young people overwhelmed by Middle Eastern breeding levels. Continual pandering to muslim sensitivities at national level and imams appearing all the time on the media as if this was perfectly normal; Christian church leaders are silent by comparison.
What was once a police force is now reduced to a service; apologists and protectors of the faith, publicly accepting gifted korans days after the faithful have brutally killed on British soil. That is a gesture of their confidence that the police will do as bidden and an open affront to the indigenous. If even the police are afraid of islam, what chance does that give the rest of us? The followers of allah are told they are superior to all others; they preach jihad and the conversion or subjugation of the kaffir to their will. If you don’t see the threat, if you rally to support your muslim communities, you are already lost.
At the moment, but two solutions are proposed: submission or expulsion. But isn’t there another way? How is it that, in the twenty-first century, people are still in thrall to the teachings of crazy, solitary men who wandered off into the desert for days on end and had ‘visions’? Isn’t it time to seriously question the writings of men clearly afflicted by early onset dementia? God, whatever you call him, did not write this stuff and just as the Old Testament is taken seriously by a few marginalised fundamentalists maybe it is time to take the rabble-rouser mohammed out of the islamic equation.
You see the problem yet?
The religion of islam must reform or die in the west. You want primitivism, then go where the sharia is practised nationally. You want the rewards of living in the west, then become civilised or be expelled. The message from our government ought to be that and only that; our leaders need to name the problem – islam – and demand that it clean its own house. The small number of secular muslim voices raised against the islamists is not enough; your whole church needs disinfecting and if you won’t do it yourselves others will have to do it for you.
Monday, 29 May 2017
A Labour supporter and NHS flag-waver appearing on BBC’s The Big Questions on Sunday morning spoke enthusiastically about fiscal multipliers; the notion that government spending can stimulate the economy. Yay, spend! But this ignores the simple fact that basic economics is about how we individually and collectively allocate scarce resources with alternative uses. In this respect, money is not a resource but an exchange mechanism allowing us to avoid barter and directly trade labour and materials we possess or control for other labour and materials we desire.
His argument is that if we plough more money into the NHS this would pay more people who would then spend locally, thus stimulating other businesses, all miraculously making profits from that original injection of capital. But where do those businesses source their raw materials? And how many in the local economy are saving for their own, nobly selfish needs and how many are sending money abroad? Come to that, how much of NHS funding goes to buy goods and services from overseas? All of this is a drain on that funding, making the miracle of fiscal multiplication less likely.
Providing government assistance for an area overcome by natural disaster, or local industrial collapse, buying time for the local economy to get back on its feet is one thing, but sooner or later the assistance has to stop, or risk that society becoming dependent on the charity of others. Unfortunately, once that welfare tap has been turned on you need to keep opening it ever wider. (See whole swathes of formerly industrial regions whose old fester and whose talented young leave) Yes, but, the argument goes, the NHS is different; better health in society IS a form of profit, providing healthier workers, who live longer, with fewer end-of-life costs. This is a noble and moral belief, but is it true?
When we decide how to spend our money we effectively ration our consumption to keep within our means, foregoing one good for another where necessary. Those who use the least amount of NHS services are generally the wealthiest, opting to go private, only when they actually need to, on their own timetable. Yet they pay the most into the pot. At the other end of the scale the vast majority of those who use state-supplied medicine contribute nothing to it. Dressed up as ‘need’, those who contribute little gorge themselves on the free stuff. More free stuff, less incentive to ration its consumption.
The NHS. Doing as well as expected...
The NHS is an almost perfect model of what happens when the state tries to organise anything. There is no real price mechanism to allocate resources, just an ever-expanding need, a capacious maw that always needs feeding. For as long as there is an NHS, the Labour Party (for which it is a deity) will ceaselessly declare that we have six-hours/three-weeks/two-days, etc to ‘save’ it. But no matter how much this emotive pleading appeals to the hard-of-thinking we must never forget Mr Micawber’s sage advice.
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds, nineteen shillings and sixpence, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
Physician, heal thyself.
Saturday, 27 May 2017
Katie Hopkins and LBC have parted ways. The malicious left are, in their loving, caring, kinder politics manner, gleefully infesting social media with group hugs, tears of joy and hopes that she dies in agony, from bottom cancer or suchlike. Of course, the vile Hopkins is guilty of the most nauseating, most violent, most despicable of modern offences and she has brought censure on herself. Stalin, Mussolini, Pol Pot... such despots always meet a sticky end, love triumphing over hate when they are strung up by a baying mob.
What did Katie do to attract such opprobrium? She dared to articulate what millions feel they cannot. She voiced the genuine feelings of a majority who are not cowed by political correctness and a fear of denouncement. She stood up for reason in a world which seems devoid of it at times. And she faced down the howls of knee-jerk demands to silence her from the very quarters engaged in suppression of freedoms in the west. And she will be back, because she’s right.
After many years of proposed solutions to the problems caused by an effective submission to islam in the west. After years of ‘nothing to do with islam’ uttered by political clones after every atrocity claimed in the name of the prophet (pieces be upon him). After the inanity of vigils and silences and voices raised against the aggrieved instead of the aggressors, she simply said what many, many people want. An end to it all. Finally. A final solution to the islamic problem. There, I said it too.
The very thing that the islamists want to deny us, up to and including life itself, is our freedom. Time after time after time, they have declared that they see us as less than them. They will have us as slaves, or not at all. They say they hate us they say they want us dead and I say they have the right to say these things. I welcome their openness; it makes everything so much simpler. They want us dead, we want them gone, finally.
Jeremy Corbyn can use terror all he likes, he can blame all of terrorism on the actions of former western governments and he can openly consort with whoever he wishes. Isn’t that the mark of a free society? But what is sauce for the goose, must also be at least a blob of relish for the gander. All calls for suppression of speech must be resisted; one man’s rallying cry is another’s hate speech. I say we should be able to call a spade a spade and not get arrested for racism because of it.
Yes, I accept that this means some people, especially young, radical peace warriors, might have to hear language of which they disapprove. Yes, it means that some people may be so mortally offended they may have to take to their beds. And of course the Penny Reds and Owen Gays and Jon Snowflakes and Jobby O’Briens might have to suffer being pointed at and mocked some more but it’s a small price to pay. It’s either free speech or officially approved speech; which would you prefer?
Friday, 26 May 2017
The war on terror has once more been visited on our shores and feelings have been running high as the touchy-feely, rainbow coalition of appeaseratchiks hug each other and form protective rings around mosques while the stinking, racist, lower-class lynch mobs eschew candlelit vigils for their own, more direct kind of vigilantism. The police are so busy controlling rampant islamophobia there isn’t a cell free within a hundred miles radius of Manchester.
But other security forces have been busy on our behalf, rounding up random jihadis in dawn raids and swooping on those well-known hotbeds of seething hatred for the hand that feeds them; university campuses, madrassas, back bedrooms in seedy suburbs and kebab shops. By all accounts the tally of arrests and detentions is growing and secret enhanced interrogation suites are being quietly commissioned to deal with the business of ‘intelligence gathering’. Fortunately, those charged with defence of the realm have never bought into the simple lie that torture never yields truth, so widely promulgated by our social justice peaceniks.
I always fancied one of those waterboarding holidays, but it seems that even there the early ISIS bird gets the preferential booking treatment worm, with each potential suicide bomber getting peaceful, solitary, individual accommodation free, at the expense of the UK taxpayer. Some have given up the goodies at the first sight of a dental pick but other soldiers of allah have been harder nuts to crack, so the story goes.
“You filthy infidel pig!” spits Abdul at his interlocutor, as the current is once again applied. “I will never betray my brothers in jihad!” Out comes the wet towel and Abdul splutters as a cascade of cold water persuades his brain that he is drowning. Still no spilling of the beans. As they work on through the night, he taunts them; he seems to even be enjoying the pain. “I long to die for my faith! You will never break me. You will have to kill me, then I will take my reward in heaven. 72 virgins await me.” He pauses to spit blood then grins up at his captors, “Blonde virgins,” he says, “blonde and white and all of them fifteen... like your daughters!”
Eventually Abdul is released after questioning. He wasn’t really tortured at all – this is just the story he intends to tell all his friends once he gets back to his study bedroom in college. But deep inside he believes himself to be a fierce lion of islam, scourge of the west, which has given him everything he has ever known. But Abdul’s reverie is cut short as his life is ended, appropriately enough, by the speeding truck, in front of which he has just stepped. He seems to close his eyes for a second...
Going vestal on yo' ass...
When he opens them again his first sensation is of a bright light and a feeling of peace and contentment. He looks around and sees that he is indeed in heaven and before him stand, as promised, the 72 fifteen-year old virgins, all of them white, all of them naked and all of them with hair the colour of bleached straw. They smile as they walk towards him and surround him. Abdul stares, open mouthed as one of them takes his hand. “Welcome Abdul. We are here for your eternal pleasure... you can call me Larry.”
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
There is nothing quite like a national tragedy to highlight the paucity of vocabulary that afflicts post-traumatic-state-disorder. It’s as if there is some laid down glossary of acceptable terms to which all public figures must adhere: Together we stand. We are united. They will not prevail. The litany goes on... and on... and on. We must not let hate win, they say, hate having won, decisively, on the day. We are not afraid, they say. But wait, it’s not the hatred that delivered the Manchester murders that is on trial here, but the natural fearful reaction of the bereaved.
You can do vigils, you can do candles, you can even do angry poetry but until the hysteria calms down and we strike back, in cold blood, nothing will ever change. The message being sent to the world? Bomb us, murder us, rape us and rob us for welfare and we will simply lie down and let you do it all again. Yes, we’ll look at you pleadingly and utter the mealy-mouthed borrowed phrases of political simpletons, but we will not lift a finger against you. Come, we are easy meat; our country is yours for the taking. No wonder Christians get persecuted in some countries – they practically beg for it.
Rather than actually fight we will cynically use that word to mean something different. We will fight to understand your pain, empathise with your plight, open up a ‘dialogue’ with your emotions and find a way to your heart. And it doesn’t matter how any of us you kill and how many times you actually tell us that our death is what your ideology demands, we will ignore the simple truth and continue to fight to discover a reassuring way of blaming your actions on ourselves. It must be my fault that daddy keeps hitting me; it must be. He does it because he loves me...
Of course, the authorities are fighting back. Oh yes. They are fighting against the backlash of islamophobia; they are policing imaginary hate crime; they are poised and ready to punish you for your horrified response to horrific events. Bomb a venue, kill 22 people and you need to be understood, but express revulsion at the act and post a social media message of antipathy and you must be sanctioned. Pre-meditated murder is bad, this says, but knee-jerk condemnation of it is worse.
How many more empty words?
‘Don’t let hate win. Embrace. Come together. Stand strong. My heart goes out. My thoughts are with. We pray for. Solidarity. The lost vocabulary of official responses finds its apotheosis in the hollow phrase ‘there are no words’. If that’s the case then tell me, why are we still just talking?
Tuesday, 23 May 2017
I was going to write today about the issue of competence in government and the utter lack of it shown by the various parties contesting the election. I was going to explore how it is that with access to all the expertise of all the country’s thinkers and strategists and all the experience of reaction to former policy announcements, Theresa May managed to set her own trap and then u-turn straight into it. Didn’t she know that any move, whatsoever, to reduce the amount of free stuff, will be seized upon and dubbed a tax.
Over the years we’ve had Poll Tax, Pasty Tax, Bedroom Tax and now with the gift of the ‘Dementia Tax’, the mechanism for going into reverse once more grinds into gear. Andrew Neil also managed neatly to expose exactly why she would not participate in a televised debate. Fortunately for her, the Labour Party are in such disarray that she will recover from that mauling and the other parties are wedded to ideologies so barmy only a complete fruitcake could vote for them. Sadly, we do seem to have a few million of the permanently bewildered that they would even vote for the Greens; it’s little wonder they are so fixated with dementia
But why is it that our leaders and would-be leaders are always so unprepared? Could it be because in trying to appeal to everybody they appeal to nobody? In setting a course they imagine to be straight down the middle they end up veering wildly from bank to bank, churning up the river bed and frightening the wildlife? So frequent and so appalling are some of the gaffes that in the wilder regions of the press they mistake simple incompetence for grand conspiracy: there has to be a reason surely? They can’t be just... you know... stupid?
But suddenly, all this is irrelevant. Following the nothing-to-do-with-you-know-who attack in Manchester last night, all hands are on deck and the virtue signallers are out in force. “We must not make political capital out of tragedy!” goes the cry, as they all concoct soundbites to suggest greater compassion than the next. “My heart goes out”, “My thoughts are with”, “My prayers go out”... notice how they all start with ‘my’. Little, mini-pledges to show how much more they care than *insert main rival party name here*.
But after the platitudes we need something more. We need action. Not vigils, or silences; not pleas to ‘come together’, nor understand. We understand it fine; the west is under attack and whether or not we ‘learn lessons’ we want to see something being done. We want a highly visible armed response, resulting in arrests, detentions and deportations. We want recognition that our supposed leaders have the first idea how to combat this war on our on soil and most of all we want the source of the violence – islam itself – called to account, or called on to leave the west.
As it happens, this latest atrocity has the potential to become Theresa May’s finest hour. What leader, besieged by blunders over bungled policy announcements and embarrassing climb-downs on national television, wouldn’t welcome this very real test of true character? What a vote winner a Churchillian call to arms could be right now. How welcome might a public rejection of ‘islam is the religion of peace’ be to a population drowning in the ordure of electoral claptrap? This could be May’s Falklands War. I can already hear Guardian contributors queuing up to call it a conspiracy.
Monday, 22 May 2017
Have you ever noticed that the more you try and eradicate poverty, the more poverty there is? Maybe it would make more sense to just eradicate the poor? I mean, seriously, given that a crap start in life fails so often to serve as an incentive to improve your lot – poor parenting skills, bad examples, being educated alongside others from the same gutter, the inbred hatred of others’ success – there’s a lot to be said for suppressing their urge to reproduce. Perhaps making people entirely financially responsible for their own life choices would be a step on the way?
Of course, propose this eminently rational piece of pragmatism and you will have a riot on your hands. How dare you take back their unearned ‘wages’? Nasty party, etc, etc, etc... But have you ever noticed that wherever you get poor people you get squalor? The same with certain sectors of the non-integrating immigrant population; you house them in half-decent accommodation and within a few very short years you have yet another shithole sink estate, with rows of sleazy takeaways, dodgy taxi firms, money transfer shops and bag-headed multi-wives, popping out home-grown jihadis faster than you can say ‘ally-ally-akbar!’
Of course there is always a blurred line between correlation and causation but whether it’s the chicken or the egg that first started the rot the correlation is relentlessly sky high. And the answer always seems to be spend. Spend more on encouraging integration. Spend more on improving the social housing stock. Spend more on education. Spend more on outreach and social work. Spend more, spend more, spend more... How is it that despite the £trillions pissed into the welfare pot, the poor, the squalid and the undesirables go on multiplying?
Like the NHS, the welfare system will NEVER be 'properly funded'. There is always more demand for free stuff than the stuff itself. The money-go-round is a political beast that has made a habit of repeatedly biting the hand that wields it. Relative poverty is a rent-seeking business – throw money at it and increase the supply. And perversely, as people get richer, relative poverty comes to be redefined; the poor of a century ago would view today’s poor as rich beyond imagination. Poverty should be a hellish, deprived state to be avoided, not a lifestyle option.
Behind all of this are the self-same economic driving forces which will render any attempt to make most people pay for their end-of-life care just as chaotic as any other top-down imposition of responsibility. Those who have the means and the motivation will not be affected at all as they will pay for it anyway, just as they have throughout their life – rich people are not the problem. Those who have nothing, through their own inability, will pay nothing, just as they have throughout their life.
The inevitable outcome of universal welfare...
For all the rest, the real outcome of the so-called ‘dementia tax’, if it ever makes it to statute, will be an evolution of the way in which property ownership is defined. Clever accountants and lawyers will find and develop legal loopholes so that by the time one needs social care beyond what is already available, there will no longer be any assets to seize. While Theresa May wants to appear ready to make the tough decisions and many will back the Tory manifesto proposals you would have to be demented to think it wasn’t going to come with an electoral price.
Saturday, 20 May 2017
Labour are funny. Yesterday Jeremy Corbyn decided to denounce the Tory ‘cap’ on social care despite the fact that no such proposal exists. But even if he had understood what was proposed the Labour position would still have been wrong. Old hard-left Labour hates wealth because they see it as a zero sum game whereby people can only become rich by making others poorer, even though real figures show that on average everybody in Britain has become progressively richer, decade on decade, without any help from Labour.
What the Tories are doing, however, is directly from Labour’s playbook, hence the criticism from their own side. Stop paying benefits to those who don’t need them so you can continue to help those who do. In fact, over the last seven years, the Conservative and coalition administrations have progressively shifted the burden of paying for the state from the working poor, who were often unfairly penalised under the last Labour government, to the better off. Despite the constant accusations of ‘tax cuts for the rich’, the despised wealth creators are paying way more than what an ordinary person would consider their fair share.
That last assertion may seem contentious but given the facts; that the poor actually contribute almost no tax (after tax credits and other working benefits are taken into account many are actually subsidised to a considerable degree) while those who earn above about £40k only ever pay in, it can easily be shown that it is the relatively better off who are penalised. But it’s a system we accept. It’s only the left, who twist the reality to suit their narrative of robber barons and fat cat industrialists, squeezing the poor for every drop to fuel hedonistic lifestyles, who don’t seem to get it.
It’s all about the words. Tories adopt a more egalitarian position, redistribute wealth, increase employment, live within our means and strive to create a fairer society with maximum participation for all and they are painted as the nasty party. Labour would disincentivise ambition, penalise success, favour their pet divisive projects of multiculturalism, enforced diversity, state-funded idleness and national bankruptcy and they still manage to convince some voters that they care. You would, literally, have to be stupid to vote for Labour in June.
Don't mention the war...
The last two weeks have seen the party in such disarray that even if they genuinely believed a single thing they say it is clear that they are not singing from the same hymnal. Practically every single spokesperson – some more memorably so that others – has been found devoid of an argument to back their claims when pressed. And several have had to issue post-interview ‘clarifications. This isn’t media bias, it is journalists doing their job and doing it well. If Labour’s message is now so muddled that their leader has to go on television and attack Tory policies that appeal to Labour voters it is surely the end. They think it’s all over? It is now.
Thursday, 18 May 2017
A BBC reporter did a vlog entitled My Lunch Hack. Do they inhabit a magical realm so divorced from the real world that they think everybody has the same difficulties with modern life that they do? A ‘hack’ he called it, for which a cursory definition search produced the following:
- cut with rough or heavy blows.
- gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer.
- to manage successfully, e.g. [neg] ‘just couldn't hack the new job’
- to play inexpert golf
Or maybe they thought it was clever parody of something or other? A dig at people who think that by rebranding what we used to call tips as ‘life-hacks’ somehow makes your existence a marvel of triumph over a frustrating and mundane reality. Whereas we used to call it ‘getting on with it’ nowadays people must ‘reinvent’ themselves, have what they call life makeovers and openly flaunt their inane solutions to problems which didn’t exist, as if they have discovered some Holy Grail or fountain of eternal youth. In case you missed the point, the guy made his own sandwich.
So, here’s my transport hack; feel free to share it, make it an Internet sensation and like the fuck out of it across the social media diaspora. Are you ready? Prepare to be amazed: It was a minor miracle when, with a sense of wonderment I discovered that the two spindly appendages beneath my fat arse could employed, were I willing, as an actual means of propulsion. For years I got around in my bath chair, as befits a man of my exalted position, but one day I just thought to hell with it. Dismissing my manservant I unsteadily rose to balance atop those self-same limbs and... woah!
Freed of the gravitational bonds of arse-bound inertia, I discovered that with a little persistence it was possible to swing those oddly knuckled props one at a time and actually make forward progress. Within a few hours I was getting as far as the front door all by myself and by the end of the week I was able to leave the house (on foot!) and make it to a thing you may have seen by the side of the road, called a ‘bus stop’. I’ve christened this marvellous perambulatory action ‘walking’ and I think it could even catch on... if only the ordinary people could be persuaded to abandon their chauffeurs and dismiss the help for the day.
In case you think this was one of those lucky happenstance one-offs, I have a dozen more hacks in the pipeline. Coming up in my new series of instructional videos I am going to show you: how to stay out of debt by not spending money you don’t have: how to stay slim and healthy by not eating food that is basically made of shit: how to earn the respect of your peers by not whining for help at the first hurdle: and how to grow up by not buying fidget spinners... because they are not made for you, they are made for children!
Wednesday, 17 May 2017
I can see why supporters of the Labour Party are concerned about the level of funding for mental health issues. I’m concerned about the level of self-delusion they exhibit and I only hope they can keep it together until 8th June because the fallout is going to be glorious. It’s supposed to be wrong to gloat but, come on, have you heard the stuff they believe in? I know that a positive attitude can be an advantage, but the Corbynistas positively believe they’re onto something. Why? Because when they told a bunch of students in Labour Central – Bradfordistan – that they would abolish tuition fees, the crowd went wild.
But away from the echo chamber of like-minded simpletons, most people are ambivalent about political colour, wanting only to be free to get on with their lives with the minimum of interference from authority. They are generally tolerant and hope that their neighbours return the sentiment. Most people don’t want to be a burden. They also don’t want to pay to look after other burdens, but will happily let themselves be moderately taxed to support a generally benevolent society. Most people have no absolute political allegiance and are often vague about which party best fits their views
A few people are sadists; this is not defined by their political allegiance. A few people are mentally deranged; this is not defined by their political allegiance. Some people are unwilling to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves; this is not defined by their political allegiance. Some people are saints; this is not defined by their political allegiance. And so on; who you are is not defined by your politics but by how you live your life. There is, however, a strong correlation between being self-reliant and voting Conservative and being dependent on others and voting Labour.
The perennial problem with the welfare state is the issue of who deserves help and who pays for it. This used to be simpler than it is now and when we inhabited a world in which morals were pretty uniform – we knew who the goodies and the baddies were, we knew how decent humans behaved. Yes there were those who fell through the cracks, but on the whole most of us realised that self-reliance was the ‘better’ way and relying on the charity of others was a last resort. But those needs and entitlements have been blurred now with so many defined as in some kind of need and welfare dressed up as tax credits which exceed the tax paid in the first place.
Labour wants to expand the welfare state. The Conservatives know this is not possible at current productivity levels. Labour insists, against the clear opinion of pretty much every non-idealised commentator, that it can raise the money. This is the principle battleground that they have chosen for the election. It’s okay repeating guff about a fairer society, social justice, compassion and decency, but the fact remains that somebody, all of us, have to dig into our pockets to cover their ‘fully costed’ manifesto. It seems that Labour has brought an expired credit card to a cash fight.