Monthly Archives: March 2010

When your defence is a crime.


Andrew Pritchard sold cannabis in the 1980s and organised illegal raves in the 1990s. He had gangsters with guns provide security. This was all by his own admission. He was tried for importing hundreds of kilos of coke.He claimed he was smuggling in counterfeit cigars. Two juries failed to reach a verdict so he was acquitted.

This was all in MacIntyre’s underworld show.

I think he was smuggling cocaine –  I do not know that he was. His claims seems implausible but it is just possible. His girlfriend blinked so much, looked away so much when asked if he was guilty. Her denials were unconvicing. The man himself was closer to believable.

But if he is innocent of importing cocaine then this is only because he is guilty of illegally importing tobacco. For such a massive tax dodge he should be behind bars for a few years –  not the 35 that he would have been awarded for cocaine smuggling if he had been convicted of that.

The maximum sentence of supplying class A drugs is life. That said, I have never known it to be imposed. Even so life sentences can mean as little as 10 years.

Having been found not guilty of importing coke, he was not, so far as I know, charged with smuggling in tobacco. The case against him was overwhelming. He had said he smuggled in tobacco –  he said it under oath for months. If he were to retract this statement couldn’t he be charged with perjury and the coke trafficking charges be reinstated?

He got off scot free. Very unfair. His chums said he was a loveable rogue. No he was far worse than that – a thoroughly bad man. I know it is wrong but there is a part of me that envies his wealth and daring –  that even admires him. But this is bad of me. Sadly many poor boys will try to copy him. He is the role model for them.

I am minded to say we should legalise the weaker strains of weed. Hard drugs are a different matter. The libertarian in me says that people should be allowed to use them and prohibition is foredoomed. I have heard that experiments in issuing drugs for free causes crime to fall dramatically. This option appeals to me. If these fools want to ruin their health, let them. Just so long as they do not beat old folks to death whilst robbing them to pay for their next fix. It is not the drugs as such that harm others but the criminality that surrounds them.

A brief history of crime


I read this book, named in the title, a month back. I am reading it again now. That is how good it is. Peter Hitchens is a pompous prig and I once had the honour of pinging his ear in Reading Railway station. ‘Hey Pete put that in your column’ I said.

It was comical – ‘May I have your name?’ I refused to tell him. He followed me around, ‘You just committed an assault on me.’

He went out, he sneaked on me to a railway employee and I denied doing anything and Hitchens said of me ‘Thinks he’s clever.’ – ‘No Pete –  I AM clever.’

I left the station and he said, ‘Let’s gret some British Transport Police.’  He went off and I got away.

He could have had me caught by CCTV –  but oh he disapproves of that!

Anyhow the book is rollicking. I do think the prison regime a century ago was inhumane. In the US all the shakedowns seems harsh but at least the guards are in charge –  here it is the crims who run the place.

I agree with much of what Hitchens says. The weakest part is his attack on drugs. He eulogises the Victorian epoch. Yet we had all drugs as legal then –  for recreational use. Their use was very limited though.

His opposition to narcotics sits oddly with his libertarian instincts.

His attacks on PC police, endless bureaucracy, the bogus notion of institutional racism and  excessive gun control are all totally valid.

Hitchens is a stupid attention seeker. His vocabulary is often hyperbolic and ignorant. He is a contrarian. One can only put down much his bizarre range of views to attention seeking perversity.

I remember in 2001 a book called The Election was published. Various pundits were asked to forecast the result. Of a score of them only Hitchens predicted a Conservative victory –  and then by a landslide. How wrong can you get? Rather calls into question his judgement. I once questioned him about it and he said he only said that to get people to listen to him.

He was a Trotskyist and is now ultra-conservative. He likes the lunatic fringe.

He tried to be a Conservative MP in the 1990s and now hates that party. Sour grapes, per chance?

He calls for remoralisation and Christianity but never spells out exactly what he believes here. What do we do now that there are many atheists and people of other religions in the country?

Mad dog


I saw a programme about Mad Dog Johnnie Adair the other night. It was hosted by Donal MacIntyre. I like MacIntyre’s work but he seems sympathetic towards Adair. I suppose he needs to appear to be this was to get Mad Dog to open up.

Mad Dog is an extraordinarily loathsome character. He patently suffers from a very severe Napoleon complex. Why else be so musclebound? I am weak so I must appear strong.

His narcissism is nauseating. He likes walking around without his shirt showing his tattoos. He is a common criminal –  well worse than that. If his C Company of the UDA did not murder 40 Roman Catholic civilians it certainly encouraged this. He is complicit in the foulest and most shameful of crimes. As so often those who are the most opprobrious affect to be the proudest. He was about to get a hiding from the UDA as a teenager for beating up and old man and then they offered him to join their mob. This is typical of his low down and utterly cowardly behaviour.

His creed is gangsterism masquerading as a political stance. He is a drug dealer and a wife beater and yet accuses others of being scum. A senior retired RUC offier put these allegations to Adair and he did not contest them. Adair is conceited enough to refer to himself in the third person. Adair called himself a soldier yet had earrings.

His organisation propagated the most revolting sectarian bigotry that was a boon to the IRA. Adair has no sense of right and wrong and cheerily admits that if he had been born into a Roman Catholic family he would have been in the IRA. These two sets of terrorists are tweedledum and tweedledee. The UDA for all their posturing with guns killed very few republicans – they murdered defenceless and innocent people.

It is little surprise that the King of Chavs Michael Carroll should be star struck by Adair. Likewise Neo-Nazis admire Adair. So much for the UDA being British patriots.

One of the saddest things is that there is so little justice. These terrorists when they were in the Maze lived the life of Reilly. They should have been subjected to a harsh regime. Yet the republican and loyalist terrorists whinged that they were treated badly. Dedums, my heart bleeds.

Adair and his bone-headed thugs bring disgrace on unionism. It is terrible that the many honourable unionists should have their reputation besmirched by so despicable a man.

Good Islam


I disbelieve in Islam. Before I hear false allegations of Islamophobia –  I believe that a lot of Islam is good even if false and I disagree with all supersitions and religions. I do not seek to stop others worshipping. I ask that they do not interfere with rationalism and free thinking.

Let’s look at Islam from a positive standpoint. I like to drink but I have seen the harm that excessive alcohol consumption causes. There is something to be said for abstention.

I am not against polygamy per se. It is only supposed to happen where there is a paucity of men.

Islam does care about truth and falsehood and its own code of morality. The same cannot be said for Hinduism for example.

The ban on pork made sense due to the health problems of 7th century Arabia.

The Muslim Council of Britain cannot claim to represent most Mohammedans in the UK. I know a restaurauteur of Bangladeshi origin. He is a Muslim and a very reasonable chap too –  there is no surprise in being both. He serves alcohol in his restaurant. I like that  – but he does not need to serve beer to be a good chap but it shows you how moderate he is. H drinks too. His wife is an indigenous Britisher. She and his daughter dress as is normal in the UK.

I had a Muslim girlfriend of Nigerian origin who dressed like anyone else in the UK. She said she believed in Islam and drank because this has nothing to do with being a good or bad person.

What would the fundies do to these people if they had their way? Lash them for selling booze and fling them in gaol? Stone the girl to death for fornication?

The secular Muslims are the biggest victims of the vicious puritans who are the Islamists.

Michael Foot.


I can’t say that I am sad that Michael Foot is no longer with us. I did not hate him. The policies her pursued were very pernicious.

He adopted a policy of giving the IRA what they wanted in the 1980s despite having been in government in the 70s when the Labour government rightly fought against the IRA and its loyalist equivalents.

Foot was a champagne socialist like the best of them. High living in Hampstead and dining at the Gay Hussar –  why not donate all his worldly bourgeois encumbrances to the wretched of the earth.

I am grateful for his donkey jacket moment-  it helped people of my ilk a great deal. It was decidedly discourteous to the fallen though.

 Foot presided over Labour at its most extreme. Its policies would have been a debacle for this country if even half were implemented.

He was so embarrassing  –  no one wanted him as PM. That is in a  large part why Labour lost so heavily under him.

He wanted the Lords abolished and declined to accept a seat there or any monarchical gong. On this point I praise him for consistency which is lacking in people like Kinnock who have the same views. 

 I read about his views in 1935 – unilateral disarmament and at the same time stand up to the Third Reich. Naive goodwill can only excuse so much.

I have seen the memorial he unveiled in the 80s by the South Bank Centre. It is to those who laid down their lives for democracy in Spain. The ‘demockery’ they had in Spain was punctuated by hundreds of political killings committed by left and right. The left got more votes than the right in 1936 but had only a plurality of the votes –  there was the centre too. How fair this election was is keenly contested.

The leftists were fighting for Stalinism, Trotskyism, Anarchism and the extirpation of personal and religious freedom. This is the antithesis of democracy. There were some decent moderate left wingers fighting in Spain then but that was not most of them.

Franco’s policies were often overly conservative but he was clearly the better option. Further, his attitude towards the Muslims was much more enlightened and tolerant than that of the Communists.

What the right formed in Spain at the time was if you like a popular front against Stalinism. At that time Stalinism was by far the most savagely oppressive and murderous regime ever.

Stream of consciousness


The title tells you something about how things come to me.

I predict that the Conservatives will beat Labour by 8% and Brown will resign within days.

I am a right winger but on capitalism I am not totally doctrinaire. The NHS has many flaws such as being overly bureaucratic, wasteful, bossy, overly indulgent towards druggies and those who ruin their health. For all its flaws the NHS does much good too.  The US is debating giving everyone access to health insurance. Congress has passed this but it is far from a done deal. I believe that Republicans in the US are too suspicious of public healthcare. There has been reasoned criticism of Obama’s package but much of what the right in the US has resorted to is scare mongering of the worst kind. I oppose Obama but he is not a Communist as some nuts have labelled him. One placard showed the emaciated corpses of concentration camp victims and said that these were ‘victims of public healthcare.’  This was an extremely low, dishonest and vile attack. Looking at Canada surely Americans can see that public healthcare does not lead to totalitariansim.

Americans spend twice per capita on health what Britons spend. Ok in the  UK it is spent by the government on the whole and not the individual. Yet the US has worse outcomes such as lower life expectancy  – the higher murder rate in the US does little to explain this.

The US pays so much for health because its doctors are the best paid in the world. It is so litigious and doctors have to insure themselves against malpractice suits to an enormous degree. The US is overly cautious and tends to over treat.

I admire the US a lot but since the 70s or so when it became to litigious it lost its brave pioneering risk taking spirit. It became over regulated –  it was supposed to believe in small government.

Americans tend to believe that a beer is more dangerous than a gun –  like at the ages at which one can legally obtain these things.

But I digress from the healthcare debate. We already have some chao rges in the UK such as prescription charges and most people pay for dental care –  NHS dentists are hard to find. A 15 quid fee to see a GP would deter malingerers –  the poor would be exempt as in the jobless, pensioners, students etc… We could make people in hospital pay charges for their food and bills as they would at home. No more free sex change operations, terminations and IVF.  Thes are all elective lifestyle procedures –  they are not about survival or even quality of  life.

I think more of a public private partnership on health in the UK would be better. The Irish Republic, France, Germany and many western states have such a system and it is much more efficient.

The name


My name is pronounced Calers with a short ‘a’. I have a single ‘l’ here so one knows that this is not pronounce ‘callers’ as in people who call.

As for other names – when was it that Labour lost its ‘New’ prefix’?

At least the Conservative and Unionist party has not change its name. Has it officially dropped the ‘Unionist’ part? I have not seen it in any bumpf however obscure for yonks.

Nick Cohen – unsung hero.


Much though I find his 2001 flirtation with the SWP rebarbative I must admit that Cohen is a man of rare lucidity and bravery. His books such as What’s Left? and Waiting for the Etonians are very readable. His prose is acerbic and he exposes the hypocrisy of the left. Bigotry is quite acceptable if it happens to be a member of a minority faith or ethnicity that espouses such a view –  that is the stance of much of the liberal left. He wrote in the New Statesman of how the liberation of Iraq was eminently justifiable from a leftist perspective.

I know an unrepentant Stalinist who speaks up for Moqtada as-Sadr because as-Sadr opposes the US presence in Iraq. This is all too typical. But even milder leftists voice such opinions.

It reminds me of the Danish cartoons issue. Many were upset by them. This is not reason enough to ban them. My attitudes are greviously offended on a daily basis by Commies but I would not stop them expressing their opinions. I acknowledge that Muslims are entitled to fight fire with fire. A proprotionate response from Mohammedans would have been to publish a cartoon.

Witness the fact that Labour tried to stop Geert Wilders from speaking in the UK. I do not share his views and banning the Koran would be an exceedinglu illiberal act but that is what Wilders calls for. At the same time Labour allows Islamist groups to legally exist whilse they call for death to be awarded to gays and feminists. Double standard is not the word for it. Wilders’ views though worrisome are not in the same league as those of the Islamic fundamentalists.

I am not against Islam. There is a positive side to it with charitable giving. its encouragement of literacy and its opposition to female infanticide. These were big advances in 7th century Arabia. There are many likeable Muslisms. It is more respectable than some faiths. Liberal Muslims are perfectly convivial. Fundamentalist ones are not to my taste overmuch  – in the same league as fundoes of any faith. But if a fundo chooses to keep his faith to the private sphere –  so long as this is not abusive –  then I can see no reasonable objection.

Hello world!


Good evening,

The Conservatives are 5% ahead of Labour. Not as slim a margin as one might suppose. The Conservatives have since 1992 consistently performed better than their poll ratings. It is the closet Consevative phenomenon. Many people feel they cannot admit to being pro-Conservative in polite society. Cf: Northern Ireland where surveys always overestimated the middle ground. People are often unwilling to admit to their more extreme views to a stranger even in an anonymous survey. The Conservative Party was seen as being beyond the pale by many of the chattering classes.

The allegations regarding Byers et al have come at precisely the wrong time. I do not assume that he is guilty. I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt.