Sunday, 4 December 2011

Today

Blogging would have been non existent today.  A very dear friend is in need of some help and support and I'm going to do what I can.  It's strange that amongst all of the mess that seems to be overwhelming us, there are pockets of humanity going on, especially as we approach Christmas.  It puts everything into perspective.  I thought I would therefore wander off topic with some music and a favourite of mine.  I hope you enjoy it:

Friday, 18 November 2011

Buy it. Fly It!

I still find myself almost overwhelmed by the stuff that needs blogging about.  Some days I feel very fired up to have my go, only to crash when it feels like shouting at a hurricane.  Fortunately, many of my fellow bloggers are made of sterner stuff and more ready for the fight.  I wonder to what end I am blogging and who is listening.  It is one thing to want to save a nation, but it is another thing entirely for a nation to want to save itself. Blogs in this niche has lost one of its champions this week as Captain Ranty.  Ranty will be a loss to the cause but he is very much like Gene Hackman's preacher character in The Poseidon Adventure - sick of shouting his message of salvation to deaf ears and I understand the idea that he should focus his energies on himself and his kin in such circumstances.

For all of that, there is still a flicker inside of me and this week a little air was added to that small flame with a few things that came up.

First I had a real head shaking moment when I saw this video (h/t Vlad Tepes)



The story is utter nonsense when you hear the underlying logic as to why the flag shouldn't be flying year round.  The story is even more odd if you know anything about the village itself in terms of its demographics and where it sits geographically. It sits right on the edge of one of Nottinghamshire's most prosperous suburbs - West Bridgford.  I'm not here to debate the whys and wherefores of this except to say someone is making mischief here.

What it does show is how far we have slipped when a story such as this can gain traction and present with a degree of seriousness that any flying of the Union Flag is act of racism and hatred.  In all seriousness, when the BBC first got this story the response should have been along the lines of "oh do p*ss off" or at least the interviewer should have asked if the offended man was out of his tiny mind with such a conclusion.  They didn't however because it is a notion that has been given credence of the years and is an embedded part of the narrative and I'll explain why.

First, however I want to contrast that with a documentary I watched this week on the construction of the Ground Zero 9/11 memorial.  The programme touched me in so many ways but the parts that particularly stood out, was the reverence for the people lost there on that fateful day and the dedication and care it inspired in those constructing it.  Everything it seemed, mattered.  Even making as much effort as possible not to break branches on the trees that were being transported to the site from their nursery.

There was however something else and it was flags.  The US flag was everywhere and was flown with pride.  It was swinging off cranes and even around the memorial, flags were added to anywhere that could take one.  Furthermore, pretty much every hard hat I could see on the site workers had a stars and stripes on the back. They don't wear or fly their flag as tokenism in the US, they believe in it and all it symbolises and it is stirring stuff to see it in its host country

Flags have meaning.  Regardless of the oft suggested idea that they are mere pieces of cloth I find flags have real meaning and symbolism.  Flags are rallying points which call on individual and collective effort to keep them flying and send a signal to those behind it.  They are a distress signal when flown upside down.  They are also a signal to those who identify with it as their stronghold and their place of safety.  When lost or in need of help, head towards the flag because that is where your own are.  Like the US demonstrates also, they area symbol of pride in who you are and your nation.

It is for all of those reasons that I think it is part of the narrative to degrade the flag in this country and to ascribe the notions of evil and hatred to it.  For me, flags are potent and uniting symbols.  If I were part of group or ideology that wished to collapse a nation and its identity from within, including its social fabric, I would recognise that a key part of that would involve creating a toxicity to the symbolism of the flag so that people would be afraid of uniting behind that.  Deny a point where like minded people could come together to stand behind their nation and its values and you keep them on the run. They remain weak and vulnerable to attack.   Let them rally behind the flag and things begin to change. From that strong point they can begin to take back the argument and collapse the lies on which the propaganda stands. Not only that, more start to find their voice also putting to bed the falsehood that they are in the minority.

The flag doesn't belong to the BNP and any suggestion to the contrary is an out and out lie. The flag belongs to everyone who ascribes to the values of this nation and spends every day contributing to it.  It does not belong to the BNP.  If it was theirs, it would be because an ideology and movement has handed it to them by denying its true owners of it by creating a false narrative around it to suit their own ideological ends in order to make it toxic.

So what's my point?



We're not alone though and we need to send a signal to that effect.  We need to start taking back our nation for all the good things that it is and ever was.  We need to start sending a signal that all those who think likewise are not alone so that we can start finding each other, because as we do, more will stand.  We need to create our rallying points so that we can start to push back the decades of decay.

How do we start? With our flag.

We start by taking back our flag by flying it wherever we can.  Buy it and fly it! We prepare our argument to shoot down the notion that its a symbol of hate so we can explain politely and firmly that it is the flag of a fair place and a fair people and that it belongs to anyone of regardless of their colour or place of birth who comes here, contributes assumes our way of life and stands behind the values of this country.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Move First - Move Now

I am a little bit fatigued by the whole Europe thing.  The mess in Greece which is always seemingly going to bring things to a head only to then pull back from the brink too is tiring as it seems that the main thing at play here is Papandreou seemingly contorting every possible way to hang on to power.  Why he would want to do that escapes me.  I still think it is all likely to go horribly wrong and all he seems to be doing is making himself a key target for those who will come hunting for the politicians who abandoned the Greeks to a stark future.  Back in Europe, the leaders demonstrate that they too are not really willing to solve the problem because their dream must succeed at all costs.


We need to be out of Europe for our own good, based on its current model.  Europe seems to be heading for collapse and staying there hoping it won't do so is folly.  The most promising future will fall to those who get out and set a different course as quickly as possible.  The term first mover advantage was never truer than it is now and we need to make sure that is us.  Over at The Devils kitchen some thought has been given to this.

The argument that we need to stay in to trade with them is another poor argument.  If it collapses what exactly will be the size of the market to trade with?  Banks with serious asset write downs combined with tax payers hocked up the eyeballs will not exactly be awash with cash.  The reality is that it isn't a market but an incestuous welfare programme in which the cronies both corporate and political draw down on the incessant remortgaging of the future of its working people. All of this made worse by a growing population of wealth takers.

Our future lies not in this model but in other models.  We need to re find our ambition as a nation as well as the energy to take ourselves on a different path.  There is plenty of evidence of what works.  The Germans have a strong economy based on their work ethic and their ability to make good strong things that people buy.  India, China and other Far East countries demonstrate a similar ethic and a similar belief in themselves and the essential ambition to take a nation forward, underpinned by a commitment to education.

But that requires a sea change.  Right now, the malaise in Britain is obvious to pretty much anyone who cares to look hard.  One only has to visit blogs such as Winston Smith or to ride shotgun with Inspector Gadget around Ruralshire and observe the antics of Wayne & Shaznay to see that we need a change.  But its not just down there with what have become our underclass, it runs right through like our nation choking everything it wraps around, in the same way Japanese knotweed does in the plant world.

At heart of this is thinking.  What we have in front of us is a manifestation of a cocktail of sinister and flabby thinking.  This thinking has dried our ambition up and I'll explain more in future posting (although I have alluded to it in the past).  Some of it is deliberate and we've fallen for it.  Some of it as appealed to our instincts because it has promised something for nothing, an idea which becomes ever more appealing as we are dumbed down to worship celeb culture. Right now we are in a mess and we need to lift out of it.

But of course if it was thinking backed up by influence that got us here, it is counter thinking and influence that will get us out. We need to start demonstrating new thinking on all fronts in order to move the change forward. It will not happen overnight and I believe it is one of the mistakes we make.  We did not get in this mess overnight. Those that put us here will not give it up easily either.  They've worked too hard to get us here. We must push back against them.

I believe however that there are more of us than them.  There are more of us that want great things for this nation and its people than there are that want to collapse it.  Even among those who are seemingly lost and are on the receiving end of our criticism are people who want what we want.  They are only lost through demoralisation.  We can get them back. 

There are more of us than them and they know that.  In our nation is an inherent good and an inherent strength.  It just needs firming up and deploying.  Those who would have it otherwise know that too.  That is their fear.  That is why they shout down and shoot down every attempt at to forge this new path.  I believe, however that we must keep going forward towards a notion of British excellence.

That starts with each and every one of us.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Bystanders in history

One can't help but think Billy Joel should do a new version.  There's plenty of material

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Am I Missing Something

Like Winnie the Pooh I am obviously a bear of very small brain. I come to this conclusion when I get a sense of fear running through our Government at the prospect of a two tier EU made up of those in the Eurozone, making big decisions and those outside the single currency relegated to a second tier role.

If the EU were thriving that might be of some concern, but a lot of the serious thinkers and commentators seem to think the opposite is true.  Aside from a bit of market giddiness on the announcement at 4am (which The Slog sheds some light on), hyped up by the main news bulletins, there is a very dissenting counter opinion to that viewpoint.  The message that is increasingly appearing in news bulletins from people looking hard at the problem is that what we have is smoke and mirrors.  The view is that the Eurozone is in very real trouble and the politicos are playing for time by trying more of what has failed to this point. The result will be the same they feel.

If that is the case, what precisely will we be shut out of?  If the hallmark of that zone will be a financial crisis, surely the results will be felt by anyone living it.  We live in a society which grows based on credit and that includes both business and individual consumers.  If that locks up, precisely who will be doing the buying that we consider a vital aspect of our relationship with Europe? 

So what exactly is the fear here?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

The Opportunity

I recall that in my school days I was always confused at the connection between the bungled, but successful assassination of Franz Ferdinand and how it led to the Great War.  As I grew older I started to see how many other seemingly isolated and unrelated events start a chain reaction into something much larger.  A more modern day example of this was the self immolation of a member of the public seemingly the precursor of the so called Arab Spring.

I have this in mind as I see the forthcoming debate and referendum vote on our presence in the EU.  Understandably there seems something of a mixed bag of opinion on it.  Daniel Finklestein used the word farce in one of his Tweets yesterday around the same time as the Peoples Pledge congress, although I'm not certain precisely what he was talking about.  There have also been some excellent posts about the debate from Witterings from Witney and a particularly informative one which Autonomous Mind picks up.  In addition Richard North's EU Referendum blog has also weighed in with some food for thought.  All of these posts I would recommend to readers to help crystallise their own thinking as they have done for me.

My personal view is that in many ways the progress of the EU has moved beyond a referendum on in or out because so many of our problems as a nation stem from the structures and edicts from them.  That said it should be put to the people and it is up to people who share my view to make a credible and cogent article around that case and their will abided by.  I also agree with AM that the people of Britain probably aren't in a place where they are clear about what they would be voting for in such a referendum.

All that said, the debate and the vote presents an opportunity that should be capitalised on.  I expect ultimately that the vote will be lost for a number of reasons, but it brings us something we can use and we should work on it.  For me this is one of those seemingly innocuous events I mentioned at the top of this post.  I believe this 'failure' can be turned into an opportunity on many fronts.  For some bizarre reason I find myself agreeing with Kate Hoey who suggested that this might not turn out to be a victory but it presents a first chink in the armour.

What we have seen from the introduction of the debate is a palpable sense of fear in the top table of British politics.  If there's one clever thing Cameron has done, it was bringing the debate forward.  He has turned his metaphorical submarine towards the enemy torpedo in the hope of tackling it before it is able to explode. It is clever because it illustrates that those of us who want a referendum or who want us out of Europe haven't sold it to the electorate in a way that they properly understand and will take action on.  Whilst Cameron's action might seem savvy, it has also exposed him and his ilk as terrified, especially with the introduction of the three line whip. 

Something else that will come to the fore over this is that many so called Eurosceptics, many of whom are in reality Europlastics along with many other MPs will vote the way their parties tell them to.  There will be no recognition of the will of the people.

In short, there will be no referendum offered on Europe but this time it will be glaringly obvious why.  To this point we've seen it dressed up in the language of obfuscation and they're even trying it now as Hague tries to talk up the idea that it will distract efforts to fix the Eurozone economy.

Despite all that, the truth is that you can't have a referendum because they don't want you to have one.

What we will get is a no vote in which MPs will put self interest above the will of the people.  They will maintain the status quo, hiding behind the illusion of a power base that is Westminster.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, they hide there because the place they do not want the argument to take place where true balance of power lies - the local constituency.  It his here that the illusion of their power is shattered because this is where they must seek your consent.

What I think we're presented with here is an opportunity and a starting point to lay the foundations of local voting blocs.  This is where our MP's feel the real power in democracy, but that only exists where the people gather to exercise that power.  Local is where it is at. We can call the MPs all we like for not being representative but it is us that have let them off their leads and it is us who must put them back on it. I believe this debate gives an opportunity for such a move to gain some traction.



No more "someone should do something" - go on and exercise your rights in a lawful and honest manner.  Britain needs you, now more than ever.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Weapons grade pillockery

Drop your trousers people and bend over as it seems the politicians are coming back for more:

Five days to save the economy

I'm sure the boy is not alone in what is clearly a massed display of weapons grade pillockery by a group of people who on past evidence couldn't run a bath.

As I read through the article, the first "You what?" point came with this quote from the Mail article.

Mr Cameron is set to agree to new rules affecting the banking sector at this weekend's summit, which will require those exposed to the debts of stricken states such as Greece to hold more cash to shield themselves against potential defaults.
Banks are expected to be given a deadline by which they must amass at least £70billion - though some put the figure as high as £110billion - from the markets.

Now to me, finance is complicated, but even I have picked up from bloggers such as The Slog, Golem and Zerohedge, that the real problem with our banks is based on liquidity problems, a virtual cessation in interbank lending and the folly of painting debts as assets.

In other words - they've got no money.  
 
The money has gone.  Much of what was there was only pretend money; notional numbers on computer screens brought about by rules that allowed banks to trumpet debt owed to them as assets regardless of the likelihood of getting it back.  The banks haven't got the money, that's the problem.  Only a modern politician can think that solving this is as easy as saying you've got to get some more money.  I think the banks already know that.  
 
But if this is crisis of liquidity, the banks don't have the money as they're all in the mire and trying to solve their own problem.  Non existent growth from the private sector cannot provide the money
.
So the question comes back to where is the money likely to come from?  Ah here it is.

If they fail to meet the deadline, public sector bailouts will be ordered

That's right folks, the weapons grade pillocks have the answer.  You and I must stump up for it again.  Well in truth it won't be you and I.  The politicos have already hocked all current living generations up to the eyeballs when they ran this approach before and both they and the bankers have already p*ssed that money up against a wall.  They're now being free and easy with whatever money might be squeezed out of generations yet to walk the planet (assuming those parents to be can still afford to have those children).

The mind boggles. It really does.  If the Monty Python team had written sketches on finance and economics it wouldn't be half as surreal as this.  This isn't any form of threat to the banks to get their house in order.

Of course I've referred to this as stupidity and it is but in many ways they know what they're doing.  We're dealing with chancers who have all the depth of a car park puddle.  The only thing that matters to them is their political survival and so what they are obsessing over is not how to solve the crisis but how to maintain the illusion that they can solve this.  That's what this next step is about - how they can kick the can a little further down the road.  The structure is riddled with rust and in their heart of hearts they know it, but they either don't know how to solve it or are not willing to.  
 
So they will do what modern politicians do.  They attend swanky summits in nice venues, fine wines, rich food and hopefully a photo call, before returning home to dip their hands in the pockets of the people.

Unfortunately they have become so detached from their people that they have failed to notice that people are getting really angry at this and are unlikely to stand by passively for much longer making this a very dangerous game.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

More Hoodwinking

24 hours after we had the press and the government engaging in a lovely little obfuscation exercise around energy prices, Richard North picks up on George Osborne's effort to pander to the crowd by pinning the whole thing on Labour. 

There's one problem.

The Tories voted for the Climate Change act in droves so as the sign says in some shops - You break it you own it.

Oh.  and George was one of them

On the money

The Daily Mail online addition is running a story today that suggests that Cameron is pandering to lobbyists as evidenced by the numbers of associates who are working in the sector.

The story however is not the best bit.  The best bit lies in the comments section in which a certain Neil Rogers from Wales writes:

Contemporary Politicians have have no political convictions or philosophy. They are public relations executives who treat politics as just another consumer product that they push onto the public like they would do with soap or used cars. Occasionally the product has to repackaged and backed by slicker advertising but that's all it is to them because their experience in politics is essential to fill out their CVs and contact list so they can grease the tracks into the corporate tyranny that is destroying all of us. Damn them. Damn them all to hell.

I simply cannot better that sentiment or his words.  I hope he repeats that to every man and woman he meets.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Pay attention people

When the MSM deals up articles like Brogan's piece in the Telegraph, it should surprise no one that the mainstream media attracts the fire of bloggers such as Wittering Witney, EU Referendum and Autonomous Mind among many others who have a particularly watchful eye for their failures.  When you read the MSM's work, you sometimes wonder what their fingers are touching when they mistake what they find as the pulse of a nation's viewpoint.

The article however should be admired for the way it has spectacularly missed the point. In it Brogan seems to spot a talent in Cameron when he suggests

Mr Cameron has the leadership knack to know that the opinion of the voters matters more than the grumble of MPs.

Really?  He does? So explain to me the somewhat curious abandonment of manifesto pledges especially on a referendum on Europe, with his weasel words on the matter.

Brogan also gives us this

Tomorrow the backbench business committee is expected to confirm that the House will debate a referendum on EU membership in coming weeks. The vote is not binding but Mr Cameron will want to avoid at all costs a Commons vote in favour of a referendum he does not want to hold. So he will whip his MPs against.

The suggestion here is that a referendum on the EU is something that only vexes a pocket of his MPs and is of no concern to the electorate.

So, if this were to be true, Cameron could not wear the crown of genius placed upon him by Brogan, otherwise why would a referendum have appeared as a manifesto pledge and why do the faux Tories witter on about renegotiation of our relationship with Brussels?

Such behaviour suggests that Conservative high command, are aware of what this means to the British people and the mumblings of a debate and a vote (albeit non binding) suggests that the a lot of the 650 know this too which brings us to the telling aspect of Brogan's piece.

Brogan suggests that Cameron intends to avoid an outcome that will make him look bad and so will bring in the whips.  Well firstly this tells you all you need to know about the leadership - they're not interested in any referendum vote, even a pretend one or a protest one.  They don't want to hear even the merest hint of anger on Europe, beyond the top table's faux posturing for headlines to be consumed by "gullible" voters.

But it tells you something else.  It tells you to keep an eye on the future because we will see what this debate and vote comes to.  If it comes to nothing, it will tell us where the so called rebels are in their relationship to the party whips and the electorate.  If the debate and the vote collapses we will see that the people matter little compared to the whips and that what many of us suspect of our so called democracy will be further underscored.

I'm not sure what to be more worried about - that a journalist cannot see this or that Mme Defarge was seen buying industrial quantities of wool from the local craft shop this weekend.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Hierachy - Chancers

Within Christianity, there have been several attempts to formalise a hierarchy of the demonic world.  As well as names I understand these demons are also gathered into group classifications of Empyreal, Aerial, Subterranean, Lucifugi, Aqueous and Terrene.

I have in my head in much more informal classification built around the observation by all round Roman clever guy, Cicero that a nation can withstand it's fools and external enemies, but not those who collapse a society from within.  The result is a hierarchy of types that move the levers of state who, whether by malign intent, ignorance, vanity or self preservation are creating a situation in which our nation will collapse in on itself.

One such group are those I call Chancers.

I have over the years been fortunate to work in various roles both in the public and private sector and it is only through doing so that I stumbled upon the Chancer.  I did not spot them as a grouping at first but once seen and recognised they are easy to spot.

Although the hallmarks of a Chancer are many one of the simplest to spot is the concept that the only basis for their activity is themselves.  Like a fly that can sniff out a bloated corpse for no other reason than a source of food and a place to lay its eggs, Chancers, are acutely attuned to similar bloated bodies to gorge on money, power and prestige.  Such bodies can be found by them in public and private sector and it matters not to them which they land on as long as it can serve their needs.

One of their most deceitful tricks is that they hide in plain site.  They often arrive at an organisation appearing to those who see them as fresh faced idiots who seem to bear none of the scars shared by their cohorts.  Any new arrival in an organisation is sized up for its threat capability to those already there and is soon presumed to be little if any threat.  Some people spot them immediately. In a previous role, a colleague and friend once said of one such new arrival:

"In a couple of years he will be boss of us all".

At the time, we laughed but it did not take long for him to be proven inexplicably right.  This is part of their secret.  They begin to thrive as soon as nobody spots them and stops them.  Believing them to be harmless and incapable (only the latter trait is true), those who do spot them are often ridiculed by colleagues.  Many have a early sign by which you will know them and it lies in their arrival and how they got their job.  Very rarely do they get there by their own efforts.  Stories soon emerge of a connection between the higher ups in an organisation and someone close to the Chancer.  Often a rumour, there is some form of introduction, although there is no fanfare when they arrive, but a low key entrance that disguises what you are about to see.

It is at this point the madness sets as they weave their spell.  Their talent is unremarkable.  They do not appear particularly quick to grasp the detail of the role they have landed in an are often seen as bumbling. Not only do they not seem to grasp the requirements of the job, but it does not outwardly worry them. Very few of their peers see them achieving any degree of success.  So what follows next is more inexplicable.

They start to rise.  Despite their lack of talent and interest, people begin to promote them.  At first the utterances only take place among the group they have just risen above.  These utterances are usually along the lines of "how the hell did that happen".  They are usually kept low because nobody who has been close to the Chancer at work can fathom what it was that those with the power of patronage in an organisation saw as readiness for promotion.  As such they remain quiet, doubting their own lying eyes.

Chancers start to unfurl their demonic wings further at this point.  If they lacked talent before, their lack of skill appears even more challenged at the next level.  They begin to make more obvious mistakes and appear even more ordinary.  Mistakes seem to be inexplicably overlooked or culpability lands on the laps of others around the Chancer.  The sense of insanity increases among those who cannot believe that those with the power to stop this can not see the Chancer is incompetent.  People begin to become more vocal but are often taken to one side and warned about what is now being classed as a vendetta born out of petty motivations and jealousy, compounding the madness even further.

The Chancer appears everly outwardly graceful.  They begin to wear the trappings of their promotions well.  They sit at key places in meetings and begin to move in ever bigger circles.  The vain begin to become beguiled by their spell and as a result, usher them further into the gilded circles.  They say the right things to the right people.  Even the powerful who initially show disdain are soon won over for some inexplicable reason and amazingly begin to view them as talented. They are soon beyond the gravity that could have stopped them in their tracks.



There are many more facets to the Chancer and their pathway, too numerous to mention here.  I ask however, if with the relatively short description I have given if you now see them anywhere.  Personally I do and am startled at their prevalence.  If you're still unsure, look around at the major problems that are currently on our doorstep such as the riots, show pony politics and the global financial crisis amongst other things and look at their handling and the responses of the so called great and the good.  Most of us recognise we are in the midst of serious times, but ask yourself if we have seen a serious response.  I say not.  I see trivial responses and the continuation of previous failed methods.  I see people lacking the capability to make decisions, preferring instead to hang on to their gilded life.  I see people in power trying to shuffle blame to anywhere but themselves.  I see a general population screaming at the lunacy of it all and seeing responses that serve only to convince them that they are indeed the crazy ones.

I see the worlds problems being handled by intellects with less depth than a car park puddle.  In other words I see Chancers everywhere.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Read it ...or weep

 Over the past month or so, David at Witterings from Witney has spent a considerable amount of time putting together his thoughts on possible models in a post EU democracy in Britain.  His thoughts are laid out across five separate posts.  I would urge readers to go along and take a look at the posts which I've linked to below.

Constitution One

Constitution Two

Constitution Three 

Constitution Four 

Constitution Five

The effort in putting together such thoughts is not without its challenges and I would urge readers to contribute to the discussion on what might help shape a stronger nation in which its people are truly represented.  It would be oh so easy to flick through the posts and move on to other blog posts.  I understand that.  I would however, say that events we are seeing point to something happening both here and in the wider world that what we have cannot handle and to some degree may well smash itself into the rocks.  Even if the desperate scenario does not manifest itself, what we have is clearly broken and need to give our minds to what should come next.

Although I have more reading to do on it (especially the backing reading on Switzerland), I agree with David's observation that what we have is broken and that we are in desperate need of reform both in our structures and our representation.  Government has become addicted to our money and use words like billions and trillions like they were peanuts as well as devising policy that serves themselves and Europeans before it serves us (if it does at all).  Like WfW's posts I share the view Government should be smaller.  Its size and interference is holding the country back by turning its people into the human equivalent of veal calves by causing them to lack self reliance, innovation, self or national pride.  If the purpose of a state apparatus is to ensure its success and perpetuity, I need someone to explain me how that is achieved by crippling the effort of the very people who can bring that about - its citizens.  One only has to look to Hong Kong and how it prospered under John Cowperthwaite under his approach of staying out the lives of the people with minimal interference.

As I alluded to earlier.  We are in serious times and whether we want to or not, we need to start doing some serious thinking and it will be better to do it now before we find we have run out of road.  For if we run out road we will no longer be able to say "someone should do something", because then as now, we are that someone.

So head over to those links, read, think and contribute. 

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Inception

Give us the child for 8 years and it will be a Bolshevik forever - Lenin

There was once a psycohology / sociology experiment involving three chimps in a cage.  The cage contained a bunch of bananas at the top and a rope to reach the bananas.  Upon climbing the rope to reach the bananas, each chimp is repelled with a burst of water from a hose, also in the cage.  The chimps soon abandon attempts to get the bananas. 

The next phase of the experiment involves swapping out one of the original chimps for a new one with no experience of the water.  As it makes its first foray for the bananas, the two original chimps, pull the new chimp down.  The swapping out is repeated with a second and third chimp and a similar process occurs.  Eventually there are three chimps within the cage with no experience of the hose and despite that, none of them will attempt to climb the rope.

The experiment illustrates what Lenin knew all those years ago.  Lenin knew that with the right message and education environment he could place a thought of his design (in his case Bolshevism)  into the mind  of someone else and have them believe it, repeat it and live by it. 

The potency for this rested with the genius of the human mind.  In an effort to enable the human mind to manage the multiple stimuli it receives each day, it has developed a process of filtering and simplification and generalisation.  In other words, when the mind sees or experiences something it first looks inside itself for a previous similar experience and should it find one, brings along all the thoughts, feelings and reactions that the previous experience generated. The aim is to speed things up and keep us safe.

Examples of this are door handles and boiling water.  We encounter door handles most days.  Regardless of whether we have seen a door handle like that before, we recognise it and know what it does.  We do not need to relearn.  If we see a pan of boiling water, we know to stay clear without having to retest the idea it is dangerous.  This comes from deep in the subconscious.

There is however a flip side to this as Lenin understood and the chimps demonstrated.  A person does not need to have tested something or direct experience of something to believe it.  In the right environment an entire frame of reference can be planted in a person's head by something or someone external.  Done right it can be a pervading thought and the person holding it will truly believe that they formed that thought themselves. 

One example of this all pervading thought system is often evidenced with the man made global warming narrative and the mechanism is present in the education system.

Evidence of this came this morning as one of RB's offspring was doing some homework around an end of topic assessment on atmospheric gases.  In the first question we see a comparison of earth's present atmosphere gas composition with Mars and the notion that earth once had a similar atmospheric make up to Mars today, with all that Carbon Dioxide. The next question is one on earthquakes and tectonic plates (odd one that for a chemistry paper).

Then we start to make the jumps.

The next question comes back to earth atmospheric composition.  The introduction starts to suggest that life on earth would not be possible without the atmosphere.  Billions of years ago, the composition of the atmosphere was very different from the composition today, following which we get a pie chart showing a composition of 98% Co2 from billions of years ago.

Part one of that question asks the student to complete the blank pie chart with the current composition of earth's atmospheric gases.  The second part of the question then makes the leap:

There is evidence that the composition of the earth's atmosphere is changing.  One possible reason is that many power stations generate electricity by burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil or natural gas.  Sulfur dioxide So2 is produced when coal burns in air.

From that we go on to ask:

  • What environmental problem does sulfur dioxide cause?
  • How could this environmental problem be reduced in coal fired power stations
  • Excess carbon dioxide should be prevented from entering the atmosphere.  Explain why.
It is clear from one of young RB's answers that his lessons contain use of the words greenhouse gases,  and the notion that greenhouse gasses are to be avoided because they trap heat in the atmosphere.

What we have here in this paper is a battle for a child's mind.  This paper on atmospheric composition spends the vast majority of its content concentrating on Co2 and is riddled with more metaphors and imagery than one might find in a Tolkien novel.  We start with Mars, a planet that everyone knows to be dead and barren and just happens to have a majority composition of Co2 and the suggestion that we were once in a similar position.  For some reason we throw in something about earthquakes (natural disaster image anyone?) and then we start to get to the idea of the ability of the earth's atmosphere to change from its current composition to another, following which we complete the circle with the image of power station pumping "filthy" greenhouse gases into the air.  The narrative - our power stations and other forms of producing Co2 will turn earth into lifeless Mars.

In some ways, the paper is subtle.  It asks a question about the current composition of earth's atmosphere acknowledging the nitrogen and oxygen content but yet for these majority gases, no questions are asked. All the questions are about Co2, and its role in damaging the chances of life on earth.  Then there is fact.  Take for example:

Excess carbon dioxide should be prevented from entering the atmosphere.  Explain why.
 
There we go - carbon dioxide is bad and we have an excess of it and we need to stop before we become Mars.  There are no questions about what role Carbon dioxide plays in Earth's atmosphere.  Whilst we've had a question on the process of burning methane & air, where is the question of what happens to Co2 when it meets plant life. The questions take the student down a very specific path and draw a very specific conclusion.  
There are no questions about the other theories, nor are there any suggestions as to what they might contain.  There is no opportunity to compare those theories or answer a question on comparing the merits of the different theories.  In other words the student is being told what to think as opposed to how to think.  There is no opportunity to undertake the age old scientific process of testing whether a theory stands up to scrutiny or not and therein lies the problem.  
 
Look at that "Excess carbon dioxide" question above.  Although it seems an open ended question  it is simply not possible to answer that question by suggesting that Co2 should be allowed because alternate schools of thought on the subject find the research into the correlation highly flawed.  It's not possible because the answer has already been decided within the question.  They do not want an answer on the other theories, just an answer on why this theory is right. End of debate.  So in order to get the marks for the "correct" answer, RB junior needs to parrot the AGW narrative because their life chances are tied to it.  I think this is something that Autonomous Mind may also have experienced in a past blog post (but I'm unable to locate it).

RB junior is not alone.  He, along with his fellow students are considered the bright ones at science and may well pass into science related roles, yet this is what they are being taught as the fight for their minds continues.  If they receive no challenge to this orthodoxy, this frame of reference will drift into their subconscious.  They will start to use this notion in what they perceive to be their own original thought.  They won't recall how such an idea took hold in their heads nor will they even be able to recognise that it may have come in via an external source.  Their work and ideas will flow from it.  The concept of Inception will have been achieved.

So if you have children or grandchildren, take an interest in what they are thinking.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

The Legacy

I'm aware that Labour is having its great love in at the moment, a session in which countless stupid phrases like "conference", "colleagues" and "comrades" are likely  to pour forth.  I can't bring myself to watch any of it, but I catch flashes on the news and see denial and lies come forward as they try to reinforce the Pol Potesque year zero narrative about their time in government.  Don't get me wrong, were I sufficiently depressed to watch the other two mainstream parties in their big talking shops, I feel I would be exactly the same.

Because I'm not watching it though I didn't see young Rory Weal's wading in to the coalition on their treatment of young people.  I have however picked up on a line being covered by many in the media such as the Daily Express from his tale of woe in which he points out that:

Two-and-a-half years ago the home I had lived in since birth was repossessed. I owe my entire well-being and that of my family to the welfare state.
“That very same welfare state is being ruthlessly ripped apart by a vicious, Right-wing Tory-led Government.”

For me the young lad has encapsulated the entire problem.  I'm all for the idea of something to catch the fallen so that they can lift themselves back off their knees and begin to get themselves back into a situation where they can regain their self respect through the fruits of their labour.
But what Weal seemed to be talking about, is far from that.  Jackart has put the problems of the welfare state perfectly over at his place.

For me, the modern welfare state is akin to a national veal calf programme for humans.  The endless benefits, like Jackart points out are akin to a trap in which the recipients are unable to develop the strength to stand on their own.  They become like the mice in the fantastic little book Who Moved My Cheese as they simply return to the same spot time after time, demanding someone start laying cheese out for them again.  The modern welfare state, produces an incapable population bereft of any ability to turn their situation around with government i.e. our cash.

"So what?" you might say.  Well as I saw the report on Rory Weal's speech and his particular phrase, I thought back to the video I posted yesterday involving the trader and his take on the future.

If that trader's words turn out to be even half true, what will we have?  What will those that share the same perspective of Rory Weal do?  What will those who expect the money truck to drive them through life do, when the money is gone?  Will they continue to look to someone else to simply give them what they need?  What will they do when they find there is no money truck anymore and that most people around them no longer care about their problem because they have their own to solve?
I'm not blaming people such as Weal, in fact I think they've been had.  They've been conned into living a life that cannot handle any collapse in the system such as the one we are facing.  When politicians talk about society letting people down, what it really means is politicians have let people down. 

Will there be violence?  Unfortunately, that will be a very real possibility for a variety of reasons.  I presume that in the main, Weal's family wanted something better for themselves and were suckered down the path they took.  They may try to struggle on.  There are others though, who will always fail to grasp the problem they face and will continue to believe someone, somewhere owes them and will simply take.

Will that be the legacy of the welfare state?  A system designed to help the weak that breeds another group that will turn into a nightmare for us all?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Can't think of a title for this one

I stumbled upon this little segment of "news" via ZeroHedge.

In between marvelling at the guest's ability to stun BBC presenters into near silence, I marvelled at how someone with such a message managed to get on the news as well as marvelling at the man's apparent glee at the prospect of the world's descent into a Mad Max / Escape from New York type future.

If his predictions come true I'm still trying to work out how he intends to collect on his winnings as anyone who can pay him will probably have legged it with what passes for cash?

Friday, 16 September 2011

The Irony

A smile crept across my face this morning as I saw images of our beloved PM basking in the appreciation of possibly the majority of the Libyian people what they seem to want.

Shame he can't / won't do it in the country he's supposed to run.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Metal on Metal

A few years ago I had a car, courtesy of my job.  Shortly after it's service I'm driving along and a terrible knocking sound can be heard, the car started rocking violently and I nursed it home.  I called The AA to come take a look.  The AA man told me there was no oil in it and the noise was down to metal components knocking on each other with no oil to lubricate it.  This really buggered things up with a broken piston arm.  I needed a new engine.

Why am I telling you this?  Well, as someone who enjoys writing, I'm particularly drawn to metaphors and parallels.  This one felt very timely given the evolving news over at The Slog.  There are a good few posts covering the emerging problem..

Who knows?  By the time you're finished reading you won't need the man from The AA to tell you the engine may well have broken a piston and blown a gasket. It will be obvious.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

And this is why.

According to his column in the Mail Online, James Forsyth tells us that Cameron should pull the kid gloves off and give their coalition partners a fat lip.

The story and the quotations from the sources, if true, tells of a David Cameron being thwarted from being delivering the kind of Conservative government most Tory voters wanted, by the Lib Dem coalition partners.   There are however several schools of thought on Cameron.  The popular views are:

  • He's a closet liberal who hates what the Tories stand for and quite likes the current arrangement with the Lib Dems.  Whilst it seemingly runs counter to James Forsyth's column it would certainly marry up with a lot of his actions and this latest little piece that Prodicus covered in his blog recently.
  • Cameron believes in nothing save his own place at the trough that has been gilded to look like a seat of power.
  • The man is a weak, weak vacilator whose viewpoint it seems can be shaped if anyone on the left even looks at him funny.
To be honest, it matters little which of these is true (and all of them maybe true) as the outcome to the British population remains the same and it is not acceptable.

If Forsyth's column is correct in its description internally, you seriously have to question Cameron's thinking is his kowtowing to them.  One of the main causes of the Lib Dem action is they know they face humiliation at the polls because of their perceived sell out by getting into bed with the Conservatives, so they're trying to ensure they have their hand on the rudder.  They're blustering to cover up their weakness.  That's not rocket science so neither should the conclusion that to call their bluff would probably terrify them.

But here's the rub.  That he won't do it tells us several things.  No one on the Conservative side wants to upset the apple cart.  There is clearly nobody on that side who has said "enough" and laid down the gauntlet to the PM and demanded that he come back to their fold or be dropped on his backside.

Why?

Goodness knows, but one can only conclude that they don't wish the risk of an election either in which they risk losing their seat and all the trappings and loot that it brings.  To continue on that path they would have to feel reassured that the public is disinterested and will not put them under any pressure to get this country moving again by holding them to account.

And this is why I think Britain requires a Tea Party movement, in which local chapters come form and remind their representatives in Parliament that there is work to be done.  Work to lift this country of its knees and to steer a path through the morass that is dragging Britain down.  I think such a movement would form a greater pull on our MP's by laying out the stark future they face away from the trough if they continue to be uninterested in the people they serve.

There is a quote I have often seen that I always interpret as being about the people.  It says that you should take an interest in politics or it will take an interest in you.  I think there should also be one, politicians in a democracy should understand. 

Take an interest in the people, or they will take an interest in you.

What a Loveley Analogy

Taking my morning trip through the digital news, I came across a story in the Mail which possibly gives some insight into why the Home Secretary scuppered Cameron's plans to have former New York Police Chief William Bratton take over at the met

Essentially it seems he had the temerity to tell a politician that through his experience that her ideas were wrong.  It seems debate is not what they want and experience counts for nothing.  I'm going to stop myself  now because this wasn't the point of my post.

In the comments section below is the real point of this post which went like this:

We could blame Theresa May - or we could blame ourselves. The three party system - long ago became a parody of the ' magic roundabout '. You vote for one of the three parties - you get your ticket and step onto the roundabout. It has no destination - it's never going anywhere - and is simply destined for all eternity - to go round in circles. Theresa May is simply - just another passenger - and we paid for her ticket.

Beautiful.  Just Beautiful.  Couldn't have put "Jack Russell's" view of modern politics better myself.

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Lucky Deluded B*stards

Bear with me on this one.

I have been fortunate to hold a number of different jobs over the years.  In a past phase, I held a job in health care which included a stint at an old peoples home what was referred to back then as being for the Elderly Mentally Infirm.  I couldn't wait to get out of there because it looked like a living hell.  It was typical of images I'd seen around the care of the elderly.  Wake up, toileting, changing the bed from the incontinence episodes, dressed, breakfast, into the day room to sit until about 11 when it was time to get them all toileted again in time for lunch before going back to the day room.

The day room was like so many others.  A ring of high backed chairs with a TV in the corner.  On the wall was what I always felt a patronising attempt to bring some reality orientation to these people, in the form of a board that said things like "The day is Wednesday.  The Month is November".  That sort of thing.  The reason being was that the home catered for old people who through a range of conditions were no longer in possession of a fully functioning mind.  You could see that in the day room when most of them sat there in the room, mostly silent with a thousand yard stare.  It is quite a haunting sight to behold.

One day I was sat next to one of the residents who looked like the sort of lady you imagine would make a lovely grandmother just by looking at her.  Unfortunately she seemed as lost as everyone else in the room.  What happened next nearly broke my heart yet it was over in a flash.  As we sat there, she raised her head, looked at me and a small flicker of life came into her eyes but soon turned to a look of sadness when she said to me "what am I doing here?  I don't belong here".  She was having a lucid moment where she possessed her faculties again and recognised the hell she was in.  No sooner had she said it though, I saw her eyes lose the spark they had and she dropped her head back into her alternate reality.

The memory of this sprung into my head this morning and was immediately followed by my memory of a movie I saw some months ago.  The film was called Knowing and starred Nicholas Cage.  For those who don't know it is about a maths genius who basically cracks a series of codes that lead to predictions of disasters, all of which come true.  The final code he cracks, points to an event which will result in the end of life on earth. 

These memories came to me as I completed my run this morning.  It was one of those runs where everything was pretty much spot on in which the runner has is experiencing "flow" and as such enters an almost trance like experience and I was looking back on how enjoyable it had been.  It had helped lift me from the dour mood I had experienced on my morning surf of various blogs.

The connection between all of these little anecdotes is knowing and not knowing.  I really enjoy reading the blogs that I do and I enjoy blogging.  I can't speak for my fellow bloggers but my rationale is to try and wake readers up in the hope that they will do something to help turn around the mess that grows around us everyday by exposing what remains hidden either by deliberate design or by lack of attention or ineptitude.

The problem is it comes with a curse.  If we were to take a quick look around the blogsphere today, fellow bloggers are showing some great insights.  But through it all is a thread of inevitability. They, like me are writing but we still press headlong into a future that seems unavoidable, similar to a racing driving still bearing down on a wall despite their efforts on the steering wheel.  We write but yet little changes from it as the majority continue on in their delusional waking coma, like the old lady I mentioned earlier who has long since passed from her torment.

Who are the lucky ones?  We who see what is coming up on us or those who only have the occasional flicker before falling back to sleep with their eyes wide open?

Sunday, 28 August 2011

RIP John McAleese


John McAleese Dies (Source Mail Online)

I don't often do this sort of thing when I don't know them.  I see from the Mail Online article that John McAleese has died of a heart attack.

For those who aren't old enough to remember, here's some video of him in action (at about 25 seconds).



I recall that night as a boy visiting my Grandparents.  No one said much on those visits and we were watching a James Bond movie (how apt).  Back in those days, you knew it was serious when a programme was interrupted for a "newsflash", so when they stopped the James Bond film, everyone in my grandparents front room sat up and paid attention and back in those days, this was seriously dramatic footage.

McAleese and his colleagues became instant heroes to us all and we knew none of them.  There was no clue at the time who these ghosts in black gas masks were and for a while they disappeared as fast as they arrived, with newsreaders and reporters clutching at straws as to who they were and where they had come from.  What was certain they had become the stuff of legend.  It didn't take too long to learn they were SAS and who this regiment were, but it would take even longer to learn exactly how they did what they did at the Iranian embassy.

Part of their magic I think was that we as Britain's were proud of them following that exposure in the public eye.  To me they sent a message to those that wished us harm that we had men that would not back down in impossible circumstances and that in extreme situations we had ghosts that would come and get you.  For me they sent a message that we might still be little (and in many ways getting smaller) but pick a fight with us and you were still going to get knocked out because we had the bogeyman and you should be sacred.

So Mr McAleese sleep well and may you rest in peace because although we never knew you, you gave us glimpse of what heroes look like and reminded us of what we can be.

Friday, 26 August 2011

The Donkey Whisperer

h/t sistertoldjah

I really enjoy visiting that fine blog sistertoldjah and was there the other day when I stumbled across this video. Obviously its for a politician and although the comedy is fantastic there is a very serious thread running through it for those wishing to hear and see.  Unfortunately I don't really know that this applies to politicians here.  The more appropriate parallel in this country would be a blogger trying to get their "wake up Britain " message across to the population at large or to politicians steering the boat towards the edge of the waterfall.




Thursday, 25 August 2011

British Tea - Right on the money

H/T Sue @ Muffled Vociferation

I couldn't put this better myself.

I have a suggestion

Slightly off topic for a blog based on the restoration of Britain to a prosperous and democratic nation, but it caught my eye and sent a chill down my spine.

Looking at various news sites, it seems the hunt for the current / former Libyan leader continues apace and our news teams are eating it up.  Tucked away in much of the current reporting are quotes such as this:

UK Defence Minister Liam Fox has confirmed that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assistance to rebels hunting Col Gaddafi
That sounds like boots on the ground to me because in all the chaos and the carnage I'm not certain what one could pick out from the sky to help find him.  If there are boots on the ground I would rather they go looking for something else.

It would seem that bodies such IAEA, among others have some concerns about the security of materials related to three decades of nuclear research and radioisotope production that could go into the production of a dirty bomb.  Despite the apparent reassurances by our political leaders there have remained persistent questions about precisely who these that we have been helping to arm are. That combined with the chaos leading to porous borders and a flotilla of refugees to mainland Europe, really makes me think that the hunt for the man with as many name variations as his uniforms should be left to others.  Our recon assistance, should really be chasing more scary stuff.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Seeing the wood for the trees

Whilst the PM's recent "cracking skulls" type soundbites might have resonated among those who are angry at what this nation appears to have descended into, there were questions amongst them as to what extent it would stick. It was in many respects knee jerk and I can understand that.  There was lots of finger pointing from either side of the political divide.  My finger still continues to point in a certain direction.

It soon became clear that there were multiple aspects to the violence and the looting.  One of them is the profile of the looters.  As cases continue to be heard, we see that the spectrum of people involved ranged from the anticipated "scrotes" who gorge on taxpayer funded "free sh*t" to lady chatterly types filling time before the ski season starts by mixing it with the nation's bit of rough.

For those who have read the paper on the Broken Windows Theory, there is little surprise here.  The basic premise here is that given permission to do so through the right signals, even so called respectable folk will engage in lawlessness.

I'm not intending to debate the whys and wherefores too much, except to say that it points to an underlying problem across the various systems which run our society.  There are a range of "broken windows" across the whole system, that invite people to take advantage of the mess.  Under the current system it simply isn't possible to seperate those who are beyond hope and redemption from those who simply do because everyone else is and they can get away with it.  For politicians looking to address the problems, they should start here as opposed to pratting about in pointless efforts such as shutting down communication tools.

One area they should really start with is welfare reform and the underclass it breeds.  The UK welfare system is like a golden tit that gives off a shine which can be seen across the whole planet and draws in the hoardes.  In a country that seems to be sliding down so many international scales, what could it possibly be that is causing people from across the world to beat a path to our door? Why are they forsaking, the allure of all of those other nations they pass through en route to beat a path to dear Old Blightie.  Of course I fully accept that some are genuinely seeking to escape opression, but in an adult conversation we have to accept that there is a huge group of people with only one destination in mind - Britain and when they land they plug straight into the benefits system.

But before anyone thinks this is an anti immigrant posting, I would like to point out that it is far from it.  Its about the signals that our welfare state gives off.  The high inward immigration is just one aspect of it.  The signal it sends among the British born population is one of a system that gives and asks for little or nothing in return.  It has done this to the point that single motherhood became a economically viable career choice.  We have people who are incapable in the realms of responsibility but high fliers in the dependency industry. Some of these are into their second and third generation of welfare addiction.  Some are people perfectly capable of becoming net contributors to the economy and know this but aren't because they know they can get away with it.

We therefore need a willingness  to address the two aspects of welfare. One to break the generational cycle and the other to send the true message of our welfare system.  The truth of the matter is that the golden tit has dried up.  Once we let the world know that, I think we might be amazed how many might seek to gorge at the nipple of another nation and how many might change.

It would at least give us a chance to see the real size of the problem.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Calling them out

Watch the video below and think about how it applies to the riots. As you've probably picked up though, it has nothing to do with the UK but at the same time it has everything to do with the UK (h/t Old Holborn)



I know what the story behind this video is. What really makes this video however is that Michael Nutter is the Mayor of Philadelphia. That's right an elected official stands there and tells it how he sees it. The fact that it contains some "uncomfortable" truths for some is what makes it especially powerful. This has nothing to do with the colour of his skin, or the colour of the skin of those the message is aimed at. It is about the fact that someone in office is willing to stand up and have an adult conversation about the nature of the problems that we face as society, something that our elected elite seems to want to avoid at all costs, reinforcing the notion that our a streak of infantalisation runs right through our elite.

Michael Nutter - you keep telling it like you see it!

British Tea - It really is time

Well what a week or more in which two of our largest chickens have come home to roost.  First we had the riots and now we are seeing another stage in our European financial crisis.  What is worse is we see our politicians responses to them both.  On the riots it seems the big idea is MORE, whether it be more money thrown at the problems of deprivation or more laws and restrictions.  On Europe and the financial crisis, the idea seems to be more as Merkel and Sarkozy seem to want more central control over Europe and pull in those who also sit on the periphery of the Eurozone.  The whole response is akin to trying to hose a fire down with a tanker full of petrol.  Having demonstrated time and time again that these approaches have had no effect other than to destabilise societies, they continue to push for more of it. 


We're heading down the wrong path and it goes to a scary place.  I have no problem with Europe.  It is vital we trade with them, both for our economy and theirs.  For me however there are things which should remain within the control of each individual sovereign nation, powered by their own democracy.  From that base I believe we can create the tools from which each nation, including our own can thrive and the people within it.  I do not believe I am alone in such thinking.  In fact I know I'm not.  I only have to look at the comments under the blog entries on independent bloggers as well as in the comments section on MSM websites, to know that the majority in this country want better.  Better for themselves, their families and their nation.  Yet despite that we continue what appears to be our march into the night.

That march has to stop.  I know when I look at the comments sections, people cry out to Britain to wake up as well as cry that someone should do something.  Although I think he has been a terrible US President, there was one thing that Barack Obama said correctly on his campaign trail when he told the people

"You are the miracle you've been waiting for"

Britain needs renewal on a whole range of fronts.  The first step is to renew our democracy because that is where all the decisions that have surrendered our nation and our sovereignty have taken place, by people who supposedly work for us.  We are being beaten over the head with our own money.  We are being taxed with no representation.  We need to renew our democracy through democratic lawful and legitimate means by holding those to account.  For too long we have shown no interest in politics yet all the time it has taken an interest in us.  The dynamic has been the wrong way round and it can go on no longer. 

In the US the model for this renewal has been ongoing in recent years in the form of the Tea Party movement and it has something we need.  Do not fall for the mainstream categorisation of this movement as full of cranks, racists and extremists as I will explain in future posts because there is much to learn from them as we take our first steps to renewing our country.

But the time is now, not in the future.  The signs are that the future will be too late.  The time is now because there is much to do. 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

So good I read it twice

h/t Wittering Witney (via Twitter).

This should be essential reading for all.  I read it twice (and will probably come back to it again), although it is difficult to read whilst your head is nodding in agreement through tear stained eyes at what our nation has become:

The Australian - British Rioters the spawn of a bankrupt ruling elite

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Straight Talking

(h/t A Tangled Web)

He gets a bit sweary - you've been warned.

I'm always amused by our elected officials dancing around issues with clever words that they believe is straight talking.  Their particular favourite lead in at the moment is "let me be clear" before twisting themselves in knots.

Lord knows who this guy is but this is what straight talking on economics looks like:

Everything we need to know

One of the emerging pieces of news over the weekend is that having flown in to save his nation, our Dave is to go one step further by hiring former New York and Los Angeles police commissioner, William Bratton as an adviser.

As someone who has done a bit more than the usual cursory reading of Bratton I am something of a fan of what was achieved under his leadership.  I should therefore welcome his appointment but I have real reservations about this one as I am fearful that his appointment is pure window dressing on the part of Cameron.  Cameron at the moment is posturing as tough talking politician looking to grab the problem by the scruff of the neck and asking Bratton to be an adviser would underscore that to those who don't spend any time scratching the surface on their news.  Here's a few reasons why I think this might not go anywhere.

Cameron isn't exactly without form on window dressing politics.  It doesn't take me to list all the times he has made out he will take a tough line on something only to water it down.  Bratton will have some tough uncompromising views that is going to attract attacks from a liberal press who say anything they don't agree with as extreme.  Cameron is not one to stand and make an argument when challenged on things.  He has been prone to the odd volte face when he comes up against a bit of resistance from those areas of the press that would still criticise him if he did everything they ever asked. I expect Bratton to be on a tight lead and to have much of what he says watered down.  I would not be surprised if he quits the role quite soon when he finds that Cameron has little appetite to implement his recommendations.

Another reason I believe that Cameron is engaging in pure window dressing  is that what Bratton advocates is not rocket science.  His ideas are well published and the background to his thinking can be found anywhere.  Much of it is probably already known to most coppers and many of them may well agree with his approach.  You don't actually need Bratton to come and advise you, any level headed British Officer could well do that and I recall they once had one in Ray Mallon (although I'm not sure where he ended up).

What it really needs is a willingness to follow through on his thinking and suggestions.  That would take an act of political will.  If his ideas were already well documented and were apparently so well thought of by Cameron it is a fair question to ask where the hell are they?  Why aren't they already being employed? The problems we saw come to a head over the last week have been coming for a long time, they were as obvious as the day is long.  It was a question of when, not if this would come to a head.  In fact many commentators pointed to employing Bratton's tactics over the past few years to solve the problem.  So if they didn't want them then, what makes us think we'll get them now.

The final problem is one that many have already alluded to in looking back at the riots.  The issues surrounding the lawlessness are many but one often overlooked issue is the system.  To have an impact you have to have executive control over the system.  Bratton's success was due in part to the fact that he had control over one aspect of the system.  If he ordered it, it happened because he had executive powers in his role. Here he has no such powers having been ruled out of applying for the top job at the Met.  The result is that the role is likely to go to a careerist and won't be what often gets referred to as a Copper's Copper.  In this respect, Bratton's chances of influence have been cut off at both knees and have had both arms tied behind their backs.

I hope I'm wrong on this.  I hope to swallow my words along with some humble pie but I doubt I will.

I suspect Cameron knows all of these points that I have raised and by going down this line in the full knowledge of them will demonstrate this is all about window dressing for his own sake.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Now we'll see won't we?

(h/t Old Holborn)

It looks like we're about to see whether our politicians meant what they said in their grand preening exercise yesterday when they talked about serious action for those who had been involved in the riots.  Particularly on the spot over this one is our PM.  One of  the items mentioned yesterday was the removal of benefits for those found to be involved in the looting.

It looks like the first test of this piece of rhetoric has arrived in the form of Wandsworth Council apparently issuing an eviction notice to the family whose offspring was involved in the events of the last few days.  Unfortunately it is something of a no win situation for a politician.

The process now involves the order application going through the courts to be assessed by a judge who will rule on the decision.  We are about to see if the judge will grant it.  If it is not granted, the outcry will join the other criticisms around the tough talk such as the light sentences being meted out contrary to what was suggested.  If the judgement is to evict them, whilst politicians might use this as the basis for reflected glory, another question will be lurking in the wings.  If no new powers have been designed, such a decision will be based on existing laws.  The question will be one of where was the deployment of these available laws in days and years gone by when people were crying out for help and protection.  The idea that they were hamstrung by other laws will be shown to be an opportune falsehood for some strange reason being used to maintain the status quo.

Whichever light you look at it in, it doesn't look good does it?

Juxtaposing

Yesterday I was over at Inspector Gadget looking at the video below and reading the comments (which given their number, took an age):



Now to be honest I know nothing of the bloke and don't really know if he had a legitimate gripe with the police or not. This isn't a post about that.

What I was looking at during this guys rant, was the crowd around him and the police's reaction to him. Whilst the police stood there and essentially didn't react, I looked at the crowd around them, smirking, smiling and laughing whilst the officers just stood there and took it.

My thinking soon drifted to wonderment of what would happen to the crowd if they had to stand there and have someone tell them a few own truths. Would they be able just to stand there and not react or would they just "gob off" as they do to try and deflect any criticism of themselves.

How would they handle someone railing at them with someone not really holding back. How about having Pat have a dig at them like this (assuming they could understand the big words):




Thursday, 11 August 2011

Answers on a postage stamp please

We've been fortunate to have a relatively quiet night and hopefully it is more than a lull in the proceedings.  Of course some might have some questions about some of the things we have seen and a little bit of "what next?".  So here are a few of mine:

I see the courts are handing out sentences (albeit paltry) for virtually every crime related to the riots.  What's changed?  What I mean by that is for years now the British public as been crying out for action on crime and all the time we've been given short shrift.  Politicians have pointed to all sorts of reasons why it couldn't happen while we despaired and our criminal element grew stronger.  Suddenly, Dave and the other cronies have had some bad press and all that has changed.  I don't think the MP's have been rewriting the law from the various villas around the world so these powers are not new and yet suddenly we can apply them. Hmmm, would it be evidence that there has been deliberate application of brakes on magistrates from nipping this kind of thing in the bud.

I understand all police leave has been cancelled.  Aside from questions about how sustainable this is over the longer term, I wonder what it says to the public when politicians are asking them to do more with less, when it turns out they will get paid for having their  holidays interrupted to return and talk this subject to death for their own political ends.  There are several appeals going on across the Internet to raise funds for the mugged student and Aaron Biber, the barber in his 80's who got turned over.  How many of those MP's will redirect their pay for today to such causes to show they really mean those platitudes each of them will utter when they stand up in Parliament today?

What exactly does water cannon deployed on 24 hours notice mean?  Does it mean asking the rioters to come back to the same place the next night so you that they can get hosed down.  Is this what the Home Secretary meant by policing by consent?  The oddity of this is that it gives the impression that tough talk was for show, in which the PM can sound tough making promises that he is never really going to have to deliver on.

My final question is what now?  Yes it has gone quiet and I hope it remains that way but in reality nothing has changed.  All that has happened is the perpetrators of this have retreated to sleep off their indulgence and to rest their shoulders from the huge chip on them they've been carrying around.  Their attitudes remain the same.  The structures that permit them to feel the way they do and thrive still remain.  The consequences that are currently being wheeled out (a short term PR measure) are not sustainable for too long.  There is still a system creaking from social woodworm and nothing will changed until this is fixed. 

I'm sure I have more but as I don't expect to receive answers to these, I'll reserve my energy and leave it there for the sake of my health.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Copying Tommy

There's understandably a lot of examination as to the background of the recent rioting and looting in the UK.  Whilst certain people on the left are looking to make political capital out of it by blaming it on government cuts, others are looking at what is increasingly being termed the feral nature of the rioters.  Whilst both sides seem to share the notion of an underclass they hold differing views of what is in the petrie dish in which this virus thrives.

To be honest my view is that the causes are multi faceted.  For me some of it is boundaries and holding to account, some of it is about education and some is about an over generous welfare state.  Many on the left will tell you it is all about government spending and programmes and will try to seize the moral high ground as they offer this mantra as the path to raising the life standards of these poor disenfranchised.  they've sold this message very well over the years as they pretty much dominate the electoral picture in these areas.  They run the councils, represent them as MP's and many who share their thinking have key roles in aligned roles such as social services.

Isn't it then curious how these people remain trapped in poverty?  As I mentioned in a previous post it is almost as if paradise is always over the next hill, if the population will continue to vote for them.  I remain suspicious of this, because it would seem that lifting such people from the poverty trap would mean that they would no longer be eligible for welfare programmes and massive influxes of public spending, nor would they need it.  They would thrive on their own, but of course I'm sure they would ultimately prefer that - wouldn't they?  I know that people who share my political views would certainly like to see these people turned around not only for their own sakes but for those of a thriving Britain.

So maybe we should look for a new solution to the problem compared to the one that has been repeatedly implemented in this country to no effect for some years now.

Maybe we need to look over at the work of former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson.  For those who don't know who he is, he was elected Governor of Wisconsin and was around at the same time as Bill Clinton.  When he came to office, Wisconsin was a wreck as a state, to the point that they became the butt of jokes and campaigns from other states.  I believe that it was the state of Illinois, that put up signs, tempting businesses to relocate there from Wisconsin with ads such as "will the last  business to leave Wisconsin please turn out the lights".  Worse still Wisconsin had a massively expensive welfare bill.

What Thompson did however was turn around the problems in Wisconsin to such an extent that the then President Clinton took his ideas for implementation elsewhere.  Many commenters try to give Clinton the credit for welfare reform, but the ideas were really Thompson's.  Oddly enough and counter to the common narrative from the left, what we have here is a conservative politician wanting to improve the condition of the poor.

Personally I think some of his ideas would be very current if you take a viewpoint on some of the underlying problems with our rioters around welfare dependency, fatherless children and lack of education.

Among some of the key things Thompson did was to tie welfare payments to educational attendance.  Parents receiving welfare had the funds aligned to ensuring their child attended school in an effort to break the cycle of poverty that passed from one generation to another.  If your child attended 100% of the time you received your full welfare cheque.  If they missed any number of days your check was revised down by the proportion of time your child had failed to attend school.  Although there was some squealing at first drop out rates declined.

Another thing Thompson did was go after what he referred to as deadbeat dads - those who fathered children and simply disappeared paying not interest or upkeep in their offspring.  Thompson decided to take that on.  You paid up or you went to jail.  Typically in court they would be given an opportunity to avoid jail by making their payments.  Many would try to choose this and avoid it at the same time by claiming that they didn't have a job.  In those cases they were given jobs such as sweeping leaves, litter picking etc.  Oddly enough, they soon found more meaningful work not long after.  This programme moved them to the top two in terms of gathering child support payments.  There were other programmes as well and you can read about them at the Heritage Institute

As to be expected, there were howls of outrage and criticism from certain groups and other poverty enablers.  There is always a reason for such people why reform is wrong, even if it turns things around.  As they often say though, you know you must be near the target when you start taking flak.

Of course we could keep doing what we've always done, but we shouldn't be surprised when we get what we always got.