Sunday, July 31, 2011

Don't forget the barbed wire

The EU has brought about the first sovereign default in Western Europe since the Second World War and set a fateful precedent without actually resolving the Greek problem. This is the worst of all worlds ... We can only pray that at least one half of the Atlantic system holds relatively firm. If both go down together, buy a shotgun and prepare for 1932.

But don't forget the barbed wire, Ambrose, the canned food and plenty of ammunition.


The system doesn't work any more

Headed: "A stupid business" the editorial for the Sunday Express is a corker. The only thing is, it is from 10 November 1940. Bear with me, though, as this has important lessons for today. But first the editorial, which concerns Frederick George Leighton-Morris (pictured above), who is going to jail for three months. Asks the paper, rhetorically, "What's George been up to?" And therein lies the story, as retailed by the paper:
He was told by the police that a delayed action bomb had fallen into the house next door. So he clambered out of his bed and got through the hole which the bomb had made in his neighbour's roof. He found the bomb standing up like a beer bottle on a bed among the debris. The bomb weighed a hundredweight.

George picked it up and staggered downstairs with it (dropping it once on the way). He got it out in the street and began to walk towards St James's Park with it, meaning to dump it in some safe place where it could hurt nobody when it exploded.
However, the unfortunate George then came to the attention of the Police, who promptly arrested him. They told him he had no business entering the neighbouring flat and took him before the Magistrates. The justice, confronted with this obvious criminal, fined him £100 (over six month's wages for a workman) or the alternative of three months in jail for his "bad deed".

Said the magistrate, a Mr Fry: "It is intolerable that any private individual should be allowed to meddle with a bomb in this way ... No person other than those in authority can be allowed to decide in what part of London a delayed-action bomb should go off".

He gave Leighton-Morris 28 days to pay, posting £100 bail. Mr. Leighton-Morris' defiant comment was: "Even if I had a hundred thousand in the bank, I'd rather do three months than pay the fine".

There are some other important details in the story. The "house" was a block of flats in Jermyn Street, and Mr Leighton-Morris, 30, had health problems that gave him four years to live. He had been rejected for police and fire service because of "groggy heart and wanky lungs" (that's what the Time report says) and was not afraid to give his life to save others.

The Express having paraded him on the front page of its Saturday copy (below left), saw the point – hence the editorial (reproduced, right: click to expand to readable size). And what followed was a classic example of how the system used to work. Other papers picked up the story, followed by Pathe News, and it became something of a cause célèbre.

Questions were then asked in the House – with an outraged MP directly addressing Winston Churchill on the matter. The prime minister noted that the episode had "certainly attracted as much attention in Government circles as out of doors" and, without making any announcement on the subject, he said, "it is probable that some statement will be made at an early stage".

And announcement there was. There were no weasel words about not intervening in the judgement of the courts. By the 18th November, the Home Secretary had intervened and reduced the fine to £5. Meanwhile, the neighbours had had a whip-round and collected the £100 to pay the fine, presenting Mr Leighton-Morris with a cheque, which he decided to keep as a memorial.

His friends and neighbours then held a grand party in his honour, having put two fingers up to the authorities, whence the final part of the story emerged.

A friend had been with Leighton-Morris as he removed the bomb, lighting his way down the stairs, and had gone to fetch taxi when he had been arrested. He had said to his friend, "Where shall we take it?", and his friend had said jokingly, "Let's take it to the Corner House and give it breakfast".

And the point of the story? Well, that is how the system used to work – in my recent memory – up until about the mid-nineties. Officials would do something stupid or insensitive, and the courts (as they so often did) would back "their" officials. The media would then intervene, there would be a right, royal rumpus, there would be "questions in the House", people would rally round, Ministers would act, and the issue would get sorted.

But nowadays, unless it is a sleb, the media is most often uninterested. Then, on the few occasions that journos do run a story, the officials do not care. They either ignore it or bluff it out. Then, rarely do MPs take a personal interest and, when they do, ministers most often dead-bat it and refuse to take action. The spiritual heirs of Mr Leighton-Morris go to jail.

Booker and I noticed the change in about the mid-nineties – in the dying days of the Major administration. When previously we had run stories, things used to happen. That got less common, and the situation got far worse in the Blair and then Brown administrations. It has not improved with The Boy.

Generally, some officials will always act like morons and courts will back them up. They did then, and do now. So there has to be a long-stop - a safety valve - a quick and effective means of cutting through the "red tape" and sorting out obviously stupid or unjust acts. We do not seem to have this now.

That is why society now is more brutal and unfair, and that is why Booker's stolen children campaign goes begging. The system doesn't work any more - and we all know what happens when the safety valve doesn't work.


All the news not fit to print

Superficially, there is an element of sameness about the column this week, as Booker yet again addresses the vexed issue of "stolen children". This story, though, is possibly more ghastly than some he has written, all the more for the subjects being anonymous.

I forget now how many months Booker has been beating this drum, and no one could now deny that there is a case to answer by social services, the police, the court system and the legal profession – to say nothing of the politicians.

Most of all though, there is an issue here about the media. This is the industry which professes to be concerned with people's rights and in freedoms yet not a single newspaper has followed up on Booker's work and developed a campaign – which is what is desperately needed.

It is thus left to Booker to plod on, in his own little ghetto, becoming the last repository for desperate parents, who are increasingly directed to him as the only journalist prepared to listen to their stories.

Equally, Booker is the only journalist prepared to take on Rajendra Pachauri, although in less detail than one would like, as so much of his space is taken by the "stolen children" saga. And as long as he is the only one writing the stories, that is how it is going to have to be.

He also finds a small space to take a swipe at Amanda Deeks, the fully paid-up member of the parasite class, once again a lone voice, also pointing out that we are still having to borrow £140 billion a year. This means that the Government is borrowing 20 percent, or one pound in every five, of all it spends.

That the newspapers cannot get to grips with such issues is perhaps why they are now part of a failing industry, with Autonomous Mind pointing out that they are fishing an increasingly shallow pool as readers turn away from them.

The only paper actually to increase circulation is the Mail on Sunday, the small rise of one percent attributable to its "Weekend Reward Club" scheme launched last month. This works by offering shopping vouchers and other incentives to those who buy the paper. That says a great deal about the content.

Worst hit of the Sundays is The Observer, which has lost 11.6 percent of its circulation, year-on-year, but the "heavies" such as The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph aren't doing so well either, losing 7.8 and 6.7 percent of their circulation, respectively.

This is not the whole picture though, as all the papers have strong internet presences. But even here they are under competition from the likes of Huff-puff, which offers exactly the same lightweight tat for a fraction of the production cost – unsurprising as most of the news content is "harvested" from MSM sites.

The demise of the News of the World is going to distort the Sunday circulation figures for a while, but there is no disguising the fact that the industry is haemorrhaging readers. Perhaps if they started offering real news, and pursuing subjects of real importance, instead of leaving them to the Booker ghetto, they might fare better.

And there's a thought – a newspaper that actually offers serious news. Whatever next?


Saturday, July 30, 2011

The threat does not go away

... just because the MSM is bored with it, or wants us to focus on something elseAutonomous mind joins the dots and assesses the threat to our freedoms arising from the Breivik affair. His "take" is not exactly one of unalloyed optimism.

And nor can we look to the MSM for salvation. For all its huffing and puffing, the media only really gets interested in "freedom of speech" when its commercial interests are threatened. For the independent blogs, if they are crushed, it will not shed a tear.


Not unrelated

On the one hand, we have a report detailing how "incompetent" taxman are bullying the innocent, making entirely unwarranted threats which, MPs say, could undermine the whole taxation system.

On the other, we get this, a report that Sir Michael Barber, a former aide to Tony Blair, has been paid an "obscene" £5,505 a day to advise the Government on doling out its vast foreign aid budget – with the added news that DFID has negotiated a discount. He is now working for a bargain £4,404 a day.

This was for a contract via the consultancy McKinsey, which was actually planning to charge £7,340 a day for Barber's "advice" on improving Pakistan's education system over 45 days, making a total of £330,300.

Overall, four consultants were to be paid £910,000 for 250 days, although this was reduced to £676,720 after the firm agreed a "social sector discount", which took Barber's daily rate to £5,505. A fellow director was paid the same rate while two "senior consultants" were paid £2,350 a day.

Whatever the media and the political claque try to sell you as their agenda, this is the core issue, which affects everyone in this land. We have a dysfunctional tax system, which is resorting to an increasing level of bullying and sundry unpleasantness to extract ever-increasing amounts from an ever-more impoverished and unwilling population, matched only by serial incompetence and profligacy when it comes to spending our hard-earned cash.

At this point, one might offer the traditional incantation: "and the reason we should not rise up and slaughter them is ...?" But, interestingly, not a few people have sent me this link, retailing how "Radical Muslim" Bilal Zaheer Ahmad – described by a Bristol Crown Court judge as "a viper in our midst" has been jailed for twelve years for calling for jihad against MPs.

The difference, one supposes, is that we are not actually advocating the slaughter of our MPs (yet). We simply ask why – in an entirely rhetorical fashion – they should not be. Arguably, though, our Madame Defarge list (which I promise you, we will continue) is such a call, except that it is not. Simply, come the revolution, these people should be put on trial. The outcome, at this point, is not our concern.

On the other side of the coin, it must be noted that those who fail to feed the monster with its demands are already put on trial. If they fail to deliver, they are stripped of their possessions and, if they try to resist, force is used against them. For certain demands – notably Council Tax – prison beckons.

This is something that should never be forgotten and cannot be repeated often enough. The likes of Mr Barber – and the rest of the parasite class - are kept in the luxury they most certainly do not deserve by extracting sums of money from those who have considerably less than them, the system underpinned by force which will stop at nothing.

At the top of the manure heap, representing us and permitting this to happen, are our MPs. Under our system, they and only they can stop it. That they do not makes them responsible for it. We should, therefore, have no hesitation in reminding them of this, and the day that becomes a criminal offence is the day the revolution starts.



I am not sure the man is right. Only six months ago, I was asserting that they had lost their fear. One would like to think that those six months have made the difference. But the Jeffersonian precept is still a long way from being satisfied – although, for those who are determined to make a point, the means are still available.

Fear is one thing though. Whether the politicians are capable of understanding why they need to fear us, and what they need to do to contain that fear, is another matter. But if they get this wrong as well, we end up in a downwards spiral. Fear begets repression, repression begets resistance, resistance begets more repression, and so on.

In the longer term, however, fear in a politician can be the beginnings of wisdom. We should do all we can to help each and every one of them attain that desirable state.


Friday, July 29, 2011

The lies they tell

Seventy-one years ago today, in the Dover Straits the weather was fine with light, north-westerly winds and haze. Two sizeable convoys were on the move and an early morning raid by German aircraft was brewing, with the seamen expecting an attack at any moment.

Just after seven, however, it became apparent that the ships were not the target. The raid was heading for Dover harbour. Air Vice Marshal Park, from his bunker in Hillingdon, released a squadron of Spitfires and one of Hurricanes, which raced to the scene to intercept the Germans.

The fighters met what turned out to be twenty Stukas supported by about fifty Me 109s. As the waters of the harbour erupted under a storm of bombs, four Stukas were shot down. But the Me 109s had the advantage of height and extracted a toll of five British fighters, killing one pilot. The ferocious fighting was made all the more hazardous for the RAF by the enthusiastic participation of anti-aircraft gunners.

This was the first of two attacks, both witnessed by a Daily Express staff reporter who penned an account for his newspaper the following day, telling readers "I saw how bad the bombers' aim was," he says. "Ships in the harbour had bombs scattered around them, but they were not hit. Five trawlers had narrow escape".

He was by no means the only one to make such a claim and by 9 August 1940, the War Illustrated (above) was unequivocal in declaring the battle a British victory, publishing what became the iconic photograph of the period (top left). And it was a lie. The British media had gone way beyond basic censorship - which entails omitting militarily sensitive information. It had crossed the line into propaganda, deliberately lying about events.

Far from emerging unscathed, the harbour had taken considerable damage. By the end of the second, the steamer SS Grondland, which had been damaged on the 25th, had been sunk. Nineteen crewmen were killed. Patrol yacht Gulzar was sunk in the submarine basin.

But, more significantly, the depot ship HMS Sandhurst - damaged two days previously - was set on fire (pictured above and below). With the half-submerged wreck of the destroyer HMS Codrington still alongside, had her substantial store of fuel and explosives detonated, it could have devastated the town.

Faced with this desperate situation, the civilian fire brigade, instead of doing the wise thing and evacuating the area, decided to fight the fire. Again and again, personnel from Dover Fire Brigade and the Auxiliary Fire Service forced their way into the burning ship. Despite thick black smoke creating a pyre visible for miles, they stayed in place as the bombers returned. The fire was extinguished and the town saved.

One can only guess at what exactly transpired, for the story was never told publically by the media. But, for their bravery, three senior fire officers were awarded the George Medal: Ernest Harmer, Cyril Brown and Alexander Edmund Campbell (pictured below).

A fourth person to receive the medal was Harbour tug master, Captain F J Hopgood. Six more firemen, Hookings, Foord, Gore, Cunnington, Hudsmith and McDermott were mentioned in dispatches. In the Gazette details, however, the date of their heroic deeds was not specified. The details of the Dover raid were to remain secret until after the end of the war.

So who were papers (Express report right)  and the authorities trying to fool? Certainly, it cannot have been the Germans. The thick, black smoke pouring from the stricken Sandhurst, rising a thousand or more feet into the air, could be seen for miles. The Germans across the Channel could see the smoke and would have known that had scored the hit.

This, therefore, was not about fooling the enemy, but the British people. They were being sold a preferred narrative, in this case that the bravery and heroism of the gallant RAF pilots had defeated the Hun. The authorities needed to deliver a victory, and this was it.

For the narrative to stick, though, the heroism of the gallant band of firemen - the ones who really saved Dover on that day – had to be suppressed. And even to this day, the lie survives. Francis Mason, for instance, in his definitive book on the Battle of Britain, remarks that the attack on Dover "caused remarkably little damage". There is no mention of the heroic battle to save the Sandhurst.

For sure, at the time, the newspapers were under censorship restrictions, but that only constrained what they could print. There was no obligation to lie, and the government of the day could not have forced unwilling proprietors to do so. But the papers did lie, freely and willingly. And they were to lie consistently, through the war and they do so right up to the present.

The episode, though, is of special importance. It demonstrates how easily the record can be falsified and, once done, how this can survive into the history books as a true record of events. One should always be aware, therefore, that the narrative you read may not necessarily be true, even (or especially) if it appears to be so.


A good start

Martin Jay, the "veteran foreign correspondent" writes for al Arabiya News offering an amusing and often insightful perspective on the EU.

"Europe's bold project is not a peep show, but a sinking ship … let's get an Italian clown to play with the deckchairs", is the title of the piece in which he recalls interviewing Romano Prodi EU commission president from 1999 2004:
He flapped his arms in some sort of funky-chicken spasm; he huffed, puffed and jittered on camera like a demented Muppet, but [he] was a joy to interview as he always understood the first rule about broadcast media: that it was entertainment driven ...

His comment during a TV interview for an American network in 2003 still brings a smile to my face, returning to me as I often stroke the shaft of nostalgia in the Belgian capital. "My job is to re-connect Europe's citizens with the European Union", he said, with the eager look of an Albanian paedophile waiting for the school bell to ring.

"Ah but Il Presidente", I stirred in the plastic studio seat which seemed to go well with my even-cheaper suit. "Surely you don't mean: 're-connect' … but simply 'connect'"?
After an analysis which is only too familiar to readers of this blog, he notes of recent events that: "This is the beginning of the end, as soon the giants – France and Germany – will be forced to infringe more EU laws just to satisfy local unrest. Then the project will start to look about as stable as a spastic trying to repair a broken TV with a bowl of jelly".

Jay has done a remarkable thing here, writing in a fresh and entertaining fashion on a theme – the collapse of the EU - that is so desperately familiar that most of us are bored witless even thinking about it.

For sure, it is going to happen. The thinking, as I have said so often before, is what should happen next ... what we should be doing. Even leaving the EU would not solve anything, and the break-up of the EU will create as many new problems as it solves.

Most of all, we need to do something about the chronic democratic deficit in this country, reining back our politicians and bringing them under control. That will need more than entertaining writing, but even that would be a good start.


Always a reason

Time magazine sums it up by stating that, in all probability, Breivik most likely acted alone. And to many, it then says, "it may come as a relief that Breivik's claims of being just one of several killer cells in some wider conspiracy for global domination turns out to be nothing but a web of deception spun by a brutal killer".

But – and there always is a "but" - investigators and counterterrorism officials are not relieved. They fear that Breivik represents a new, potentially deadly paradigm shift in the world of extremist violence – the "Lone-Wolf Terrorist".

Now, if Breivik had been part of a group, there would most certainly have been calls for more action to contain his form of terrorist. But the investigators and counterterrorism officials are certainly not going to let a "paradigm shift" go to waste. This too "may need more government attention", we are told by the Bloomberg agency.

And behind this is the masterful exploiter of the "paradigm shift" – none other than the European Union determined to turn these killings into a beneficial crisis.

Thus the Polish presidency convened a joint meeting of the two Council working groups on terrorism, the Terrorism Working Party (TWP) and COTER.

And after representatives of the Norwegian authorities informed the meeting about the events and the ongoing investigation., there was a "debate which included experts from EU member states, representatives of several EU bodies and institutions (Europol, European External Action Service, European Commission) as well as the office of the EU Counterterrorism coordinator".

The Oslo attacks, concluded these great sages, proved that "terrorism has nothing to do with any particular religion or belief". Thus, particular attention was given to the processes of radicalization and recruitment.

But the real meat was the issue of "lone-wolf terrorism", represented by terrorists that are self-radicalised (e.g. through the internet) with no obvious attachment to any terrorist organisation.

This, they say, seems to require increasing attention. And, of course, the "experts" have decided that, in confronting the threat of a terrorist attack, regardless of its underlying motivation, the effective exchange of information is vital - lots more meetings in agreeable places, with plenty of long lunches.

Then we get the payoff line: "The importance of strengthening response capacity was another issue that was highlighted". Needless to say, it is that "response capacity" which the EU will be only too happy to provide ... another job for euro-plod.

But it is also a wide-open invitation for local plods to bear down on individuals who mind their own business and have absolutely no links with any actual or suspected terrorist organisations. The very fact of the absence of such links is now sufficient to invite suspicion and action. After all, if they have absolutely no contact with other terrorists, that proves they are "lone wolves".

And there we have it. For the officials, whatever the event, whatever the crisis, there is always a reason for intervening. And this one is a beauty: no one is now safe from the finger of suspicion, and the long arm of euro-plod. Absence of evidence is now evidence.

As did one of the "colleagues" once suggest a statute to the "great integrator" Nasser, one can see them putting up a statue to Breivik. He has given them all they need.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eleven weeks' borrowing

Considering that HMG is borrowing on average something like £3 billion a week, just to keep up with current expenditure, it is a little hard to get too excited about the estimated cost of £4,025.6 million to maintain our operation in Afghanistan for the current financial year.

But that is the figure the Defence Committee has published, with the proviso that it may run to £4.4 billion, or even more. And that, of course, is not the total cost – merely the additional sum needed to support the operation, over and above that of maintaining the units involved at their normal state of readiness.

The additional billions, according to The Guardian, bring the cost of the Afghani operation to £18 billion, met from the Treasury reserve.

That figure does not include what the defence committee describes as "additional costs in terms of training opportunities cancelled or deferred and equipment wear and tear that will eventually have to be met" – and nor does it take account of the probability that, had they not been chasing ragheads around the countryside, Dave could have made the soldiers redundant and sold their toys off for scrap.

So far, Dave and his merry men have written off about some £12 billion-worth of kit, including the Nimrods, the Harriers, the Navy's type 22 frigates, and sundry other goodies.

However, that still leaves £33.8 billion to find for the core defence budget for 2011–12; £34.4 billion for 2012–13; £34.1 billion for 2013–14; and £33.5 billion for 2014–15, much of which could be saved if Dave got rid of the armed forces altogether, cutting about eleven weeks' worth of the borrowing requirement each year – plus just over a week for Afghanistan and Libya.

One really gets the impression that Our Dave isn't really trying hard enough.


Under our noses

Unremarked in the UK MSM, not only because of its familiarity but also because the danger is not fully (or at all) realised, are recently announced EU plans for increasing the spend on "research". Thus it is left to The Irish Times to tell us that the EU plans to spend €7 billion on research in 2012, the largest single research budget in the world bar the US National Institutes for Health and NASA.

This is part of the Seventh Framework Programme running from 2007 to 2014, but it is only part of it. Most of the projects paid-for out of the fund are match-funded, with upwards of 60 percent found from other sources.

Needless to say, the Irish Times writes in glowing terms about this bonanza, extracted from increasingly unwilling taxpayers, and notes that the successor named Horizon 2020, has a proposed budget of €80 billion, the only major area for increase in the EC budget after 2014. It is clear from these announcements, says IT writer Conor O'Carroll, "that European governments see investing in research and innovation as vital to economic recovery". He then details some of the areas that will be funded.

However, what is not said is that the primary purpose of EU research funding is the promotion and development of integration – through diverse means ranging from the study of the "European dimension" of so many issues, to the insistence of cross-border research teams, thus forcing the Europeanisation of the research effort.

Alongside this, a major function of the research funding is to buy up academia, creating an "intellectual" class beholden to the EU and thus, in theory, supportive of it.

Then, unrealised by many, much of this funding is directed at specific issues with a view to developing EU policy, to the extent that the European academic community has been absorbed into an extended policy-making matrix, giving it a stake in the central government structure. The corollary of that, incidentally, is that there is no money for national policy development.

Such is the effectiveness of the EU publicity machine, however – and the gullibility of its "donors", that the research programme is seen as an unalloyed good, creating "opportunities" and all sorts of benefits for the academic community.

In fact, under our very noses, the EU is buying up academia with our money, turning it into a trans-national fifth column, in the service of European political integration. Opportunities there are, but none that are at all wholesome or welcome. We are paying for our own demise.


Not "deniers" but "dissenters"

Conservative white males (CWMs) are significantly more likely than are other Americans to endorse denialist views ... these differences are even greater for those conservative white males who self-report understanding global warming very well.

and ...

CWMs also tended to assert a stronger understanding of global warming than other adults – and those who said they understood it best were the most likely to be the strongest deniers.

and ...

The pattern demonstrates that CWMs "are more likely than other adults to reject the scientific consensus on climate change ... "not surprisingly," 58.8 percent of CWMs "deny the existence of a scientific consensus," compared with 35.5 percent of other adults.

So ...

The more you know, the less likely you are to believe the garbage. That does not make us "deniers". We should be calling ourselves "dissenters" ... and that would make a good replacement for the debased "eurosceptic", where the same applied. The more you know about the EU, the less likely you are to be want to be part of it.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The only acceptable diagnosis

Interesting observations on the Breivik affair from Raedwald, with a commentary on the Boy Dave's response, and the piece by Simon Jenkins. Unless I'm very much mistaken, though, the story is fast disappearing from the MSM, which is in itself interesting, given the orgy of coverage on the Murdoch "crisis". One wonders if it has touched too many nerves.

However, with Breivik having visited Bradford, having had a mentor called "Richard" and quoting from my work in his "manifesto", I am daily expecting my 5am courtesy call from West Yorkshire's finest. If I suddenly go off air without an explanation, that might be the reason.

Another point of interest is how far the Norwegians and the other political establishments go down the line of branding Breivik "mad". For some - particularly the Right (as it is known) - this would be a convenient diagnosis. Then, everything he has done and represents can be dismissed as the frothing of a madman.  The issues raised can be ignored and the discussion shut down.

However, further review of his "manifesto" suggests that, while obsessive, Breivik is very far from mad. Further, his choice of the summer camp for his shooting orgy was entirely consistent with his tactical appreciation of the situation. Way down in his tract, towards the end, he explains lucidly why this should be.

To that extent, the label of madness cannot stick – not unless we care to expand it more widely. The deed itself – much as some would like to think so – was not mad, and nor was it evil if judged by the criteria which Breivik applies.

Those same criteria are not dissimilar to those adopted by the likes of Churchill and Bomber Harris, who night after night ordered the bombing of civilians in German towns and cities. Following in the trail, they are the same adopted by Blair, Brown and, currently, by Cameron. They adopt the simple, beguiling mantra of "end justifies means". If Breivik is mad, so are they.

What offends, therefore, it not the deed itself, but the fact that it was not state sanctioned. The killing of men, women and children is perfectly acceptable, as long as it is ordered by grave men in suits, sitting at tables in the offices of government, and carried out by men in pretty uniforms with lots of badges.

It is even deemed admirable if done at a distance with high-tech toys. The deeds are applauded and the bodies quietly buried. The men (and indeed women) involved even get shiny new medals for their labours, promotions, more badges and pensions.

Thus, Breivik's great "crime" was to breach the state monopoly on killing. You have to get elected before you are allowed to order killing on this scale. And then, only state employees may carry out the orders even to the extent of indulging in mass, indiscriminate killing. But if an individual conducts targeted slaughter, on the basis of his own careful analysis, he must be mad. It is the only acceptable diagnosis.


This is getting stupid

These people are taking us for a ride. Little Dave said he was going to sort it, but that was just another of his lies to add to a growing list of lies. He now looks stupid – not that he ever looked any different – and he is now making us look stupid as well.

Are there any grown-up out there, at all, who can sort this out? Or do they really want us to do it? Then, they'll not be looking at human rights so much as last rites.  And if that is inflammatory, stop to consider how this plays out.  As best - stretching it to breaking point - we are prepared to tolerate immigrant couples reuniting.  But the most fundamental issue here is one of integration - if you want to become a British citizen, you learn the language.

To have an alien law, imposed by alien judges, with the British government rolling over and letting them, over something as sensitive as this, could not be more inflammatory. Few things could be quite as provocative.  And even the apathetic British have a breaking point ... this brings it a lot closer.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

All the motivation you will ever need

The groupescules are launching into advanced bloggernoia directed at the "right wing" bloggers, all but blaming them for inciting Anders Breivik to murder. Not least. the Washington Post, but others as well, are having a rip-snorting time spreading the blame, and offering pompous homilies.

So far, though, trawling through Breivik's "manifesto", the wuzzies are citing prominent "Islamophobic" bloggers, supposed experts on Islamic terrorism and think-tanks claiming to be on the frontlines of battling Islam’s attacks on democracies.

Individuals cited include: Center for Security Policy's President Frank Gaffney; "counterjihad" bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer; Investigative Project on Terrorism's Director Steven Emerson; Middle East Forum President Daniel Pipes; and controversial historian Bat Ye'or.

They are also pointing to organisations cited by Breivik, which include: the Foundation For Defense Of Democracies (FDD) and the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), as well as the Clarion documentary "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West" and "right-wing" Pajamas Media.

And Melanie Phillips seems to have had a torrid time of it. Now she claims to have been smeared after having been picked on by the venomous Sunny Hundal on the basis of being cited twice by Breivik. However, such pundits seem to have missed a trick. Tucked into the text are several major references to Christopher Monckton, including links to two of his You-Tube videos, an honourable mention of Bishop Hill, and one to Steve McIntyre. As Autonomous Mind points out links are being made between climate change "deniers" and Breivik.

Also quoted at length is a certain Richard North, "publisher of the blog EU Referendum" and co-author Christopher Booker, with substantial quotes from The Great Deception. But we also see Conservative MP Michael Gove and political commentator Mark Dooley, Polish writer Nina Witoszek, Timothy Garton Ash, Vladimir Bukovksy and none other than EU Commissioner Margot Wallstrom.

Booker railing at the EU's "culture of deceit" gets a good dissection, which is followed by a long quote from Gisela Stuart and an even longer one from Daniel Hannan.

Booker and North are then quoted at length on the EU, which Breivik seems to believe is responsible for creating multi-culturalism, and therefore must be destroyed. He has us concluding that, "The project Monnet had set on its way was a vast, ramshackle, self-deluding monster: partly suffocating in its own bureaucracy; partly a corrupt racket (...) The one thing above all the project could never be, because by definition it had never been intended to be, was in the remotest sense democratic".

They believe, says Breivik, this is why the EU is doomed and why it will leave a terrible devastation behind it, a wasteland from which it would take many years for the peoples of Europe to emerge. "I understand concerns that the destruction of the EU could cause instability in Europe", then says Breivik. "It will. But we will probably end up with some instability anyway, given the number of Muslims here that the EUrabians have helped in. Besides, if stability means a steady course towards Eurabia, I'll take some instability any day".

Some would hope that we could keep the "positive" aspects of the EU and not "throw out the baby with the bath water", concludes Breivik, adding: "I beg to differ. The EU is all bath water, no baby. There never was a baby, just a truckload of overpaid babysitters".

Despite all this, some are arguing that Breivik the monster "was a manifestation of the internet, the blogosphere, and its tendency to drive some individuals to ever more extreme views", putting the blame squarely on the likes of us scribblers, including – of course – Hannan, with five references in all.

Clearly though, one of the greater influences on this mass murderer has been that bastion of right wing sentiment, none other than the Guardian, which has eleven references (including links) – leaving poor Melanie standing. However, it is to the likes of Hannan that we must really turn. "Becoming and maintaining the position as a self sufficient Justiciar Knight sleeper cell involves the capability to motivate/indoctrinate yourself over a prolonged period of time, writes Breivik, further adding:
Self-financed and self-indoctrinated single individual attack cells, is the backbone of the Knights Templar Europe. The importance of the ability for single cell commanders to be able to keep their spirits and morale up through self-indoctrination and motivation by using specific motivational techniques has been stressed on multiple occasions.
"Taking long walks/work out while listening to select music is a very efficient way of sustaining your needs in this regard", counsels the man. "When you combine this ritual with reading the occasional resistance blog you gain all the motivation you will ever need. Repeat these routines on a weekly basis and you will sustain your motivation and moral for as long as is needed".

Not only were his ideas culled from the internet, but blogs sustained his motivation and morale. And those words, I fear, will be more than enough to convince the wuzzies that the "resistance blogs" should be shut down.


Any goo will do

If ever one needed an example of quite how useless is the MSM, here it is - a softball interview with the snake-oil salesman himself, and a repeat of the infamous "one mistake" meme.

It really does not matter how many times you write that this was not a mistake but a deliberate fraud and that it represented a clear conflict of interest and double dealing, with Booker also pitching in, you will still get brain dead reporters giving the charlatan a platform, and newspapers willing to publish the goo.

Never mind that there was also Amazongate and Africagate, which have now been conveniently forgotten, alongside the multiple conflict of interest issues and his very questionable financial dealings, with the man demonstrating that he has a finger in every pie.

We could go on, but don't need to. We've made the case. The MSM does need to, but will not. Being in the MSM means you don't have to do your homework and never have to say you are sorry. And any goo will do when you are the Failygraph.


They know not what to do

We hear the ritual noises from the provincial government in London, but the result is this - it always is. Politicians talk the talk, but they do not understand the dynamics of regulation and have little knowledge of enforcement (the handmaiden of regulation). Besides, the majority of our business and economic legislation now comes from the EU, over which the provincial government has no control.

Such is the fantasy world in which they live, however, that they are prepared to entertain spurious debates about changes, when they know full well that they will do nothing – thus simply soaking up energy in a fraudulent and cynical exercise in so-called consultation.

The ultimate problem, however, is that the politicians do not know how to deregulate. Given the low grade of creature in parliament, this is unsurprising, but it does mean that the bureaucrats run rings round them. I do wish they would stop the charade, though, pretending they are doing something about "red tape". They haven't done anything sensible, and they never will.


The Parasite Class

The BBC dutifully tells us our masters are doing their bit to share the load. And we are supposed to be grateful.
The chief executive of South Gloucestershire Council has voluntarily taken an £8,000 pay cut. Amanda Deeks now earns £155,000 a year - a 5% reduction in her previous salary.
So that's alright then. Well it just so happens I live in South Gloucestershire and this creature, unwittingly, just declared war on a North. I am not paying another cent to these people until this woman is removed. Whatever the cost. She is noted by one Madame Defarge. Shame there's never an Anders Breivik around when you need one.

UPDATE: Thanks to our forum, we now know her total pay for 09/10 was £184,790 (pdf - see page 28). Right about the time the council was warning of "significant cuts". I will not let this rest. This is the facebook page.

And in case you were wondering what we pay her for... Take a look at this.


The slide into decline

Hague and the Kermit foreign minister Alain Juppé met in London yesterday to discuss UK-France surrender cooperation on Libya. The outcome is that Britain is prepared to follow the Kermit's lead and agree to a political settlement in Libya that would see Gaddafi remain in the country after relinquishing his hold on power.

Stunned by the news, incredulous crowds queued impatiently outside Buckingham Palace to hear more details, while anxious passers-by snapped up copies of the papers to find out more. And thus did a once-great nation slide into decline, given the run-around by a tin-pot North African dictator, the like of whom we used to sell by the dozen.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The generals finally share the blame

"Richard North, the author of Ministry of Defeat and independent blogger, has passionately written that the Committee report, more than the hacking scandal, has highlighted the flaws of both Parliament and the media.

James Arbuthnot and the members of the Defence Committee should have been aware of these issues long ago but they repeatedly failed to address them until now. North has also accused Arbuthnot of maintaining the myth of 'ministerial responsibility', the equivalent of Robinson's modern day 'stab-in-the-back'.

The media for all its interest in Afghanistan also failed to understand what was happening especially in terms of strategic questions and civil-military relations. Newspapers like the Sun and the Daily Mail chose to vilify Gordon Brown while making Generals like Sir Richard Dannatt the honourable soldier.

The Sun as well as the Mail have both been oddly quiet on reporting the Committee's findings, no surprise. The Sun's sister paper The Times, to its credit, did publish this article last year which mirrored this week's committee findings".

It's a good piece ... well, I would say that - but it still is. Read it and then buy the book. I need the money.


You can't defy gravity

It looks very much as if the latest squirming by the "colleagues" isn't even going to get them past the holiday period. The deal is already beginning to unravel. Ambrose is in fine form as well.

To be honest, though, there really isn't a lot more to say on this issue. It is just a matter of waiting for the crash and, to some extent the details don't matter. But we can take issue with Ambrose, when he says "Europe's ideologues took the whole world to the brink of disaster" as if this is in the past. We are teetering on the brink at the moment, and the "colleagues" are going to tip over, and attempt to drag us all down.

There is a sort of inane piece here as well – stirring stuff, but not getting to grips with the issues. The choice is between a rock and a hard place, but the "colleagues" are determined to stay put – not for economic but political reasons.

Thus, Ambrose tells us that the root problem is that vastly disparate nations with different growth rates, productivity patterns, debt structures, sensitivity to interest rates, legal systems, wage bargaining practices, and inflation proclivities, were meshed together by Hegelian politicians acting against the warnings of the Bundesbank and the European Commission's economists.

But that isn't it at all. The real root problem is that economic means are being used to attain political ends ... ever closer union, all on the basis that this is the only thing that stands between the nations of Europe and war. The "colleagues" are not going to let go of that. They have too much invested in it and, no matter how bad it gets, they will tell you that the alternative is worse. They will persevere, no matter what damage is caused.

But, as I've written before, you can't defy gravity. The wax is melting and soon the body will plummet to earth. These people took off without parachutes. They are not repeat sky-divers.


Close down the blogs

Norway's extremists don't tend to gather in visible "rightwing groups". But online, they settle into a subculture of resentment, writes Thomas Hylland Eriksen for The Guardian.

He tells us that "anyone familiar with the darker waters of the blogosphere would for years have been aware of the existence of a vibrant cyberscene characterised by unmitigated hatred of the new Europe, aggressive denunciations of the 'corrupted, multiculturalist power elites' and pejorative generalisations about immigrants, targeting Muslims in particular". Thus ...
Breivik must willingly have allowed himself to be brainwashed by Islamophobic and extreme rightwing websites. However, had he instead been forced to receive his information through a broadsheet newspaper, where not all the stories dealt with Europe's loss of confidence and the rise of militant Islam, it is conceivable that his world would have looked slightly different.

Perhaps one lesson from this weekend of shock and disbelief may be that cultural pluralism is not necessarily a threat to national cohesion, but that the tunnel vision resulting from selective perusal of the internet is.
This is seriously scary stuff ... a world where the MSM retains its monopoly as information providers, where "citizen journalists" are corralled and then banned where they do not follow the approved path. This is the voice of a new totalitarianism. And it's coming your way.


Back in business

Now having had time to scan, albeit briefly, the "manifesto" offered by Anders Breivik (under his Anglicised name of Andrew Berwick), what leaps from the pages is his grand proclamation of, "What you need to know, our falsified history and other forms of cultural Marxist/multiculturalist propaganda".

What Brievik has concluded, like many of us, is that the history fed to us as the record of fact is largely false, so distorted as not to represent in any way a true or reasonable account of our past. And thus aware, he has sought to rewrite history in his own fashion, telling us what he believes to be the truth.

Then, by way of a publicity stunt to launch his book, he detonates a large bomb and then shoots over ninety people on a remote Norwegian island.

Well, if the intention was to grab our attention – and it clearly was – then Mr Breivik has succeeded. But as a way of selling his ideas, this is probably less than effective. Such good sense as he might have offered is now so tainted that anyone now seeking to promulgate his version of history will find it more difficult than ever before.

The deeds perpetrated by Breivik, therefore, are the hallmarks of failure. One does not need to make moral judgements – and neither can one resort to high moral imperatives, declaring all killing to be wrong. If that is your way, step forward Messrs Blair, Brown and Cameron – three men with blood on their hands in far greater quantity than Breivik.

Simply, if Breivik wished to communicate a message, this was not the way to do it. He will be remembered for his deeds rather than his words, the latter being rejected – which rather defeats the object of the exercise.

The great problem for us though, as Breivik correctly identifies, is that our history remains false, and it was the pursuit of that idea which has kept me quieter than usual for nearly a week.

What started the process was my going through my existing newspaper archives, page my page, checking to see if I had missed anything of great importance for my book. And I had, a brief reference in the Daily Express of 26 October 1940, to an article in the Sunday Express (pictured - click to enlarge to readable size. The article underneath is also interesting), with reference to many more. It was acquiring the microfilm, converting the film to readable format and then doing the rewriting which took the time – all against another of those impossible deadlines.

The thesis, which has emerged in the book that I have written, will now be published by a reputable publishing house. The book will be distributed and sold. There will be reviews, some serialisation, broadcasts and television (I hope), and I plan to do a series of talks and road shows, plus my blogs and other material, all to spread the word.

And that is how you do it. If the ideas are sound, they will be picked up and spread. With driving minds behind them, they will prevail. And that is the way you communicate ideas – not by killing people. The latter is what fundamentalists do, and that is why they always fail in the end. We have to succeed. And there are no short cuts.

So I'm back in business - tired ... in fact almost dizzy with fatigue. But I'm back.


The threat of the individual?

With the bodies still warm, The Guardian is hot on the trail of "far right" followers, using Nottingham University lecturer Matthew Goodwin as its foil.

He argues that the "tragedy in Norway" this weekend may prove to be a watershed moment in terms of how we approach "far right" followers, groups and their ideology.

Until now, he says, European democracies and their security services had focused almost exclusively on the threat from al-Qaida -inspired terrorism. Right wing extremist groups and their more violent affiliates, he says, were dismissed as a disorganised, fragmented and irrelevant movement.

One does not need to read much more to see the direction of travel. The demons of the left now have a face and a name – and (at last count) 93 martyrs to inspire what looks suspiciously like a pogrom in the making.

What seems to have spooked the Left most, however, is that Breivik acted on his own, without fellow conspirators or even outside assistance. He is what Goodwin calls one of the right wing "lone wolves".

Of course, to the "collective", the idea anyone actually acting individually is almost incomprehensible. And when they tot up in their fevered imaginations the number of putative "right wingers" (meaning those with ideas different from their own), this becomes the stuff of nightmares.

As opposed to the crowd, individuals now become the threat. No longer is there that feeling of safety that comes from being part of a perceived majority. If one man can do all this, as an individual, think what thousands of individuals can do.

Yet, even as Goodwin sprays around his "right wing" epithets, he concedes that Breivik was "far from what we might term a traditional rightwing extremist". While he was profoundly concerned about the effects of immigration, multiculturalism, Islam and the growth of settled Muslim communities, he was also dismissive of crude racial supremacist and neo-Nazi ideas and parties that espoused these ideas.

With that, the imagination soars. Even people who are not actually "right wingers" could still be right-wingers. The world is full of them, all of them heavily disguised as individuals.

Even then, Goodwin cannot quite handle the concept. Despite acknowledging the "lone wolf" threat, he reverts to the standard demonology of the collective, and the threat that the next wave of terrorism in Europe will come not from al-Quaida-inspired groups, but rather right wing groups that want to respond to this threat and reassert the position of their wider group.

It is far too early to tell whether Breivik's actions will inspire copycat attacks, says Goodwin. But one thing remains clear: the threat from right wing extremist groups and ideas deserves far greater attention.

Someone should perhaps point out the inconsistencies here. Either it is groups, or is it "lone wolf" individuals? The latter is a lot more scary to the likes of Goodwin, as there are a whole lot more of them than groups.

But, if individuals are to be identified as the threat, there will be no stopping the collective. Just to be different will be enough to invite suspicions and countermeasures. We could indeed be looking at a watershed ... and it ain't pretty.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A rational act?

Europe's second bail-out for the crisis-hit Greek economy risks undermining the foundations of the European Union, the president of Germany's Bundesbank has warned. And the picture was taken before photoshop was invented. It's real, and was seen as a solution at the time. An anonymous donor paid good money for the street advert, "somewhere in London". It wasn't an answer.

It has to be said, though, that our masters are driving us in the same direction and some might think that a repeat is called-for. When the euro finally goes belly-up, and the EU with its gods off multiculturalism falls apart, there are a lot of people who will turn to violence, as their idea of a solution.

So what do we make of the Norwegian killings? In an outwardly calm and civilised country, still waters run deep. Is this a "nutter" running amok, or is there something more to it? Is there something in this society of ours that is driving apparently rational people to take such extreme measures?

But ponder if you will – even the perpetration of the most extreme violence can be made to seem a rational act. The decision to bomb Dresden was taken by officers of the Crown, sanctioned by a prime minister, and carried out in good faith by brave, sincere and dedicated people. Whether killing is permissible, therefore, depends entirely on context - not on the act or the consequences.

We look upon those same people differently now, and ask how they could have killed people on an industrial scale - innocent women and children amongst them. Should we be looking at Anders Behring Breivik, and ask ourselves what made an intelligent and educated man take the action he did? Or are we to dismiss him as a rabid, extreme "right wing" madman and leave it there? Should we ignore his manifesto and pretend it didn't happen? Until the next time?

On the other hand, we could look at related events in the wider context, analysing them not only for what they are, but what they might be and what they might provoke. There is no excuse for violence, the sages might say. And that might be true. But there are often reasons - and of those we need to know something. Certain acts might be wrong, but some of the thinking behind them might be sound.


No need to argue

In his column this week, Booker does a fairly comprehensive demolition job on the BBC Trust review of the impartiality and accuracy of the BBC's coverage of science. Writing the column was not easy, but it was not the labour of months. The basic theme was easy to establish, and relatively little work was needed to put the arguments together.

And that makes for an intriguing puzzle – another one. Why are the arguments adduced by the BBC are so shallow and implausible that they can so readily be demolished? You would have thought that, if the BBC wanted seriously to make its case, it would have done a far better job than it has done.

But then, the probability is that the BBC does not see the need to substantiate its case. Endowed with that mystical quality known as "prestige", massively supported by its hypothecated tax which relieves it of the burden of responding to customers who might otherwise exercise free choice, and endorsed by the Scumset classes, it need only to make an ex cathedra statement.

Since, in its own terms, it controls the debate in the media of which it has charge, it has no fear of challengers, as their arguments can be drowned out. And even though the naysayers might be right, what does that matter to the BBC? They cannot hurt it, or even begin to dent its supreme arrogance and indifference to the truth.

What we have, therefore, is the ultimate examples of two phenomena – the effect of absolute power, albeit in a narrow context, and the exercise of power without responsibility. When you have power, you do not need to argue.

And that of course points to only one long-term solution. The BBC must be broken up. But that is not going to happen in a hurry. In the interim, the Bookers of this world will challenge the monster, but they cannot prevail.

The real answer is power – you need power to beat power. And no one gives you power. You take it. The BBC will die when we wish it to die, and there are enough of us, determined enough to make it happen. And I could not even begin to estimate when that might be.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Struggling for answers

It would be easy to dismiss Charles Moore where, in his latest piece he asks: is the Left right after all? In fact, it is incredibly easy, because the man is actually picking holes in what the Right calls "the free market", which the Left thinks is actually a set-up.

More to the point, despite the startling title, this is an incoherent piece which, as far as I can see, leads you up the garden path but does not really take you anywhere. Is the man saying that capitalism is wrong, or simply does not work? Is he complaining about a failure of democracy, or what?

That apart though, the fact that the question is even asked is intriguing. All is not well in the mind of Moore, and the man is struggling with the idea that some of his long-held beliefs might be flawed – or even wrong.

But that is as far as he goes. What the man fails to see is that we have neither democracy nor a free market. The dominant forces in this society are statism and corporatism, where – as always – the ordinary people have very little say in the way the nation is run, or the nature of goods and services provided.

In all sorts of areas, we have to take what we are given, at a price decided without any real market influence. And if you don't like it ... tough.

But one has to applaud Moore's comments about the News of the World. "It has surprised me", he writes, "to read fellow defenders of the free press saying how sad they are that the News of the World closed". He adds:
In its stupidity, narrowness and cruelty, and in its methods, the paper was a disgrace to the free press. No one should ever have banned it, of course, but nor should anyone mourn its passing. It is rather as if supporters of parliamentary democracy were to lament the collapse of the BNP.

It was a great day for newspapers when, 25 years ago, Mr Murdoch beat the print unions at Wapping, but much of what he chose to print on those presses has been a great disappointment to those of us who believe in free markets because they emancipate people. The Right has done itself harm by covering up for so much brutality.
And there lies our conundrum. If the owner, Mr Murdoch - champion of the Right - turns out to have feet of clay, where have we left to go? That question is unanswered, and the lack of an answer adds to the incoherence of the piece. But if Moore is struggling for answers, so are we all.

What this possibly indicates, though, is that all the old certainties are disappearing. That itself is a form of progress. We might actually be getting somewhere.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Life in six-minute chunks

As per my earlier piece, the microfilm duly arrived yesterday – twenty-six priceless copies of the Sunday Express from July to December 1940. And, of course, they cannot be read with the naked eye.

I thought I could scan them in to the computer, but a wasted morning produced no results. Thus, a quick dash to the Central Library to use their reader and buy a small number of very expensive photocopies. That is a start, but hardly satisfactory.

Looking through the forums, it seems you simply cannot copy microfilm on a scanner system costing less than about £6,000. My scanner manual says explicitly (when at last I read it) that you can't. But they haven't met a North. By about ten last night I had cracked it.

However, it takes thirteen minutes to scan one frame, and then seven minutes to process that frame on a professional editor to make it readable – see example posted. There are 312 pages to scan, which gives me over sixty hours of scanning ... and I have 72 hours before I hand in the revised manuscript, including the new details I have gleaned.

Thus, in my spare time – the six-minute segment in every thirteen – I am having some jolly fun. Who said research was easy? Woops ... time's up. Gotta go. It's worth a book is that - life in six-minute chunks.


The least he can do

There are only so many ways that you can say that the media has lost it, and only so many times that you can say it before you begin to bore even yourself. But that does not make it any different. The media has lost it.

Alongside the euro, what should be front page news in the comic section (the bit round the business news) is this.

According to the Office for National Statistics, public sector borrowing topped £14 billion in June, higher that £13.6 billion borrowed in the same month last year. Therefore, despite Osborne's promise to cut the deficit (but not the national debt), we are looking at a year-on-year increase.

The ONS is saying that last month's poor figures stem from an increase in public spending of £2.3 billion, against the previous year, while receipts grew only £2.1 billion. What price "cuts"?

Baby Osborne and his mate little Dave are now going to have to screw down borrowing, chopping at least £2 billion a month out of the system if he is to come inside this year's target of £122 billion. Yet even that is a soft target – it means the deadly duo are "only" going to increase the national debt by £122 billion, if they meet their target. And now, the chances of doing that are vanishingly small.

The last time I wrote in this vein, incidentally, it was in terms of observing the unreality. Given the growing detachment of the Scumset from even their brand of unreality, perhaps we should be petitioning Murdoch to change the man pretending to be our prime minister. Since he runs the universe, that is the least he can do for us.

Yet, in terms of his "flagship" newspaper (the one hiding behind the firewall), all his writers can manage for a lead is the legend "Eurozone leaders pulled the single currency back from the brink of disaster last night as they agreed a second plan to bail out Greece and ambitious proposals to overhaul the embattled euro area".

They haven't really. All the "colleagues" done is "parked" the issue long enough for them to get away on their hols (they hope). The stitch-up will unravel in the early autumn, if not earlier - and it's going to be a long, hot summer in Athens.