Monthly Archives: July 2010

Wasting police time.

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A Labour councillor calls a Conservative councillor an Oreo in Bristol. Shamefully the Conservative party reported this to the police. The Labourite got a caution. The word in question is an insult for a dark skinned person who behaves like a white. It is most revealing that to behave like a white is now grounds for being insulted! So white behaviour is a legitimate target for stereotyping. The Labour man said this because the Tory did not agree to to Gospel according to St Politically Correct. On the one hand it is gratifying to see the socialist hoisted on his own petard. The list of banned words is patronising, illiberal and frightening. I do not like the use of racial epithets in normal conversation. In my opinion there is a defence of artistic licence in a play or something. But the use of nasty words should not be a matter for the police. Aren’t there many more serious matters to deal with. The trouble is the PC mindset is now sine qua non for promotion or even induction in the police.

We are bound to disagree with each other. Anything that causes distress or alarm is a crime. A policeman of about 20 years service told me this. How tempting to go after normal people who say something a tad off colour rather than tackle a dangerous thug? It is scary that the police should deem it meet to charge people in connection with harmless jokes in private however distasteful these may be. Ken Livingstone is one of the merkins responsible for this. Back in the 1980s when he has hair above his mouth was when he most spoke like a cunt.

For all I care people may stereotype white conduct and perform skits on it. You will not see me protetsting against this.

I have been on Trafalgar Square at New Year some while back. I have seen people climb over the barriers and into the fountains and the police make no attempt to stop. On the one hand this is good as people are being allowed to take the risk. They are drunk and may slip and crack their heads open, that is why the barriers are there. No doubt they’ll sue the council for compensation despite the man endangering himself. But the barrier was there and the police have not tried to uphold the rule they have announced. This brings them into contempt. I have seen a man dressed as a spliff shout right into the copper’s face ”fuck the police the wankers” and do the V signs. This man was not arrested. I am not against swearing. Personal insults should not be seen as criminal matters. But this was a patent breach of the peace. The failure to apprehend this man let things deteriorate. I know the police need to marshall their manpower for when it is really necessary. Early intervention does send a good message though. To nick this man would take the police officer off the streets for hours filling forms.

There are many police who will agree with my message. It is the fault of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) and later regulations. PACE was good in parts in that is granted free legal representation to all being questioned. The rules force the police to fill out reams of paperwork for each arrest. Many police officers are deeply frustrated by all this hogwash that hampers their work. I have seen schools’ ethnic monitoring forms that ask people to pick on eof 97 different categories. Why do we need to know? This race fixation of the liberal left is unhealthy and intrusive. They shift the goal posts on racism. We had discrimination in the 1960s all right. There is very little now. But any ethnic minority person can claim to be a victim of racism and get a good pay out from it.

I admire France in some aspects. For instance, they do not monitor race and religion. The state takes no corporate view of these things. The state says that all Frenchmen are French and the state is colour blind. The state does not bend over backwards for relgious nutters.

On the other hand the burka ban in France takes away too much personal autonomy. Hijabs seem rather harmless to me. I am not a secular zealot. The Church of England being the established church does no evil. I concur with Lord Falkland’s aphorism, ”That which it is not necessary to change it is necessary not to change.”

Arresting people for wearing a burka in France. That is wasting police time. Notably Al Qa’eda has said it shall take vengeance on France for this. So it is not about foreign policy so much. Of all Western countries France is among the most friendly to Palestine etc… I disapprove of the burka ban but acknowledge a state’s right to make such laws even when they seem to me to be an incursion into the zone of individual choice. Al Qa’eda does not agree. Their ‘police action’ will be on the harsh side.

The Big Tent.

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New Labour had a Big Tent strategy 13 years ago. They wished to hoover up all the vaguely progressive forces. They wanted to ally with the Lib Dems or maybe even former a merger. This would heal the wound of 1981 when 20 Labour MPs deserted the party to form the SDP which eventually formed the Liberal Democrats with the Liberal Party. An understanding could be reached with the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the Greens and maybe the SDLP. Anyhow, today we see the reverse. the Lib Dems are in coalition with the Conservatives. There is no thought of the parties uniting permanently so far as I can tell.

A Labour friend of mine argues that the alliance of Blue and Orange will help the Red cohorts. The only was to oppose the government is to vote Labour. A civil war amongst the Lib Dems would be the best possible result for the Conservatives.

The Alternative Vote will be defeated I believe. Labour do not want it. In their 1997 manifesto they promised it. A pledge made, a pledge broken. I saw Stephen Twigg interviewed on this about 2001 and he was not as embarrassed as he should have been. Shrugging off this blatant failure to honour an explicit manifesto promise. Admittedly the Conservative Party has had to jettison many manifesto commitments but that is due to the unforseen situation of a coalition. Like Lord Butler entitled his book, politics is, ”the art of the possible.” It is no good living in cloud cuckoo land.

AV would help the Lib Dems most. The Conservative party and Labour will campaign for a no. Very likely, the referendum will be defeated. But if it does pass then it may screw the Conservative party in the long term. There is more of a natural fellow feeling between the Lib Dems and Labour. Labour screwed this up in recent years with profligacy and extreme authoritarianism. I recall in 1997 the editor of the Economist speaking and saying he detected moral authoritarianism in Labour as one of its unattractive trairs. My God was he right! We have had it in spades. One day things may return to normal and a Lib Dem – Labour voting pact to second preference each other could see the Conservatives out of office in the long term.

 I am a Conservative, on the right of the party in many ways. I have libertarian instincts on personal issues such as health, sex, safety etc… I wish we could go back to the ’80s in some ways. Really roll back the frontiers of socialism. I want to see a much smaller state. Oliver Letwin’s oratory of 6 years back was inspiring.. put fat government on a diet. I would like to see a minimum state. The state is only there to intervene in exigency. The government does not have all the answers, it cannot cure all ills. What are the ills? To a great extent that much be left to the individual to decide.  Economically I favour masterly inaction. It is over provision that has robbed the chavs of their initiative.

 Could we not have a big tent of small staters even if cobbled together now and again on particular issues?

I am displeased with some of the government’s actions. If they sign up to this agreement sharing information on suspects with other EU forces it will be another pooling of sovereignty. Necessity is always the excuse. Sometimes it is a valid one but in this case it is not.

Lord Black of Crossharbour

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Lord Black was paroled a while ago. For those of you who do not know who he is, he is a Canadian who inherited a few newspapers. He later expanded his publication empire. He was one of the main right wing media moguls around. He is married to Barbara Amiel who is a couple of years his senior. Their cognomen was ”Attila the Honey and Mr Money.”  He is most notable as having been proprietor of the Telegraph Group. He ran a salon of right wing cognoscenti. He was a confidante of Margaret Thatcher and he was ennobled on the nomination of William Hague, then leader of the Conservative and Unionist party. The fact that was super rich is no reason to dislike him. When asked if they flew Concorde Barbara Amiel answered, ”we never use public transport.” 

He fell from grace when he was convicted of wire fraud and obstruction of justice. He was convicted in a US Federal court. Owing to his not being an American citizen there as no Club Fed for him. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment if memory serves me right. I think this was too soft. I am not a throw away the key sort of guy but when a multi-millionaire steals this is much more grievous than when an ordinary person does so. One contrasts that with the downright insane sentences awarded to minor felons, 845 years for example!

As a doyen of the right Lord Black was a cheerleader for ”tougher” sentences. We should not boast of being ”tough” on justice any more than we should wish to be ”weak” on it. Proportionate and fair –  these are the things one should aim at. I dislike mandatory sentences. They take away discretion from judges to consider the mitigating or aggravating circumstances of the case. Admittedly judges may be too hard or soft but this is better than a law that is inflexible and inappropriate.

Criminal justice is a topic that fascinates me. Readers of my blog will know this. There are approximately zero of you! I have had no brushes with it, never having been even arrested. I have never helped the police with their investigations either.

Miss Chlamydia Asbo.

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They are Not in Education Employment or Training. A worrying percentage of our youth fall into this terrible category. There are hard luck cases. However, I think that in the main it is down to indolence. It is extremely easy to get into training or education. One can fail every exam and still be taken. I found an art course offered by Birmingham City Institute for which the blurb stated. ‘there are no formal admissions requirements. You need to show you have some interest and skill in art.’  Talk about widening access, facilitating participation –  this means dumping any standards at all. The dumbing down is beyind belief.  As for the education spending cuts, do not let the axe fall equally. Some universities such as Oxford deserve more money. Close down certain courses and universities that ought never to have been started. That’d save enough.

Getting a job has got tough in this recession. I know I have had to do it. I dislike the EU and believed that letting any Eastern European states into it –  even Czechia –  was wrong. But the Eastern Europeans form the EU states are here legally. Well done to them and shame on our own folk for not taking jobs themselves. If someone with bad English can get a job why can’t you? It is too easy to be a benefits junky. Further, for anyone who is able bodied it is simple to get into the military. They have taken people with reading ages of 11 and extensive criminal records. Certainly until recently the Army was undermanned owing to high employment, the deterrent effect of the conflicts in the Middle East and the complete lack of military like discipline of many youths. People who have grown up without discipline may find the Army very unalluring.

There is also a sense of entitlement. What is the state doing for me? The state ought to sort it all out for me. I shouldn’t have to get a job. I have a right to get money for doing nothing. It is an inversion of John F Kennedy’s dictum, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.’ 

”What is the definition of a chavette? / She has more STDs than GCSEs.” Lugubriously one must recognise that this sorry state of affairs is no longer a joke but a stark reality.

Miss Chlamydia Asbo is the poster girl for a generation of underachievers. I do not slag off the youth per se. There are many who are law abiding, do well at school and work hard to get the good jobs they deserve. It is about a fifth of that age bracket 16-24 who are the NEETs. They are characterised by boorishness, aggression, an inbuilt hostility to any authority or restraint, fecklessness, idleness, self-indulgence and a chaotic lifestyle. They have no sense of responsibility because the welfare state has taught them that it will take care of them. They have an ”I’ve got my rights” attitude that Michael Howard rightly identified in the 2005 election campaign is a two fingers to any attempt to rein them in.

I am no old curmudgeon. I am an epicurean. I am not opposed to drunkenness, venality and swearing. I think it needs to be confined to certain zones. Plus one may take part in such behaviour but one must take responsibility for such actions.

One must wean people off welfare. The dole must no longer be a career option. Job creation is essential. We have enough of our own low skilled people for the menial jobs. Force them to take them or stop their benefits. One must restrict immigration so that there are jobs available for the NEETs. Firm enforcement of Asbos must follow because half of them are broken.

Pak attack.

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The Prime Minister is enjoying an Indian summer, or at least his straight talking is. For a trip abroad his language has been a touch undiplomatic. I am broadly in agreement with his recent tendentious pronouncements. He said that Gaza resembled a huge open air prison camp and he deprecated the Irsaeli action with regard to the relief flotilla. Offending Israel does the United Kingdom very little harm and in fact redounds to the British Realm’s favour amongst Ishmaelites and Mohammedans the world over. His further comments, expressed on his first official visit to India, said that Pakistan must not look the other way when terrorism is in the offing. This shall, let us no doubt, warm the cockles of the Indians’ hearts. He may be now the very toast of New Delhi. With his remarks, he struck true. I think most Inter-Services Intelligence officers are opposed to and Islamist takeover of Pakistan and are opposed to the Taleban even if the latter is only a temproary conviction since 9/11. But methinks that there is a minority, and it is not a tiny one, within the ISI that is willing to turn a blind eye to the Taleban and to go further and even facilitate them. Attacks on India by Islamists are welcomed by not a few Pakistanis, principally because they feel hard done by over the status of Jammu and Kashmir. Incidentally the ISI is the secret service of Pakistan. It was founded in the 1970s and its name indicates that it combined personnel from the intelligence departments of the Pakistani Army, the Pakistani Navy, the Pakistani Air Force and the police.

The Pakistanis who are against terrorist attacks on the Republic of India take that stance sometimes on principle. Others, I suspect, take that view because they do not want payaback from India which has a military 8 times larger than that of the Islamic Republic.

I have been to Pakistan. In some ways I hold that land in high regard. The Pakistanis are mainly exceedingly welcoming people. They go out of their way to be good to strangers. This value is seldom found in the Occident. It has a higher GDP and lower crime rate than India. They do not have cattle befouling their streets. There are fewer beggars, the Islamic code of zakat sees to that.

One must acknowledge that Pakistan has permitted in recent years terrorist organisations to train and recruit on its soil. In Rawalpindi the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Force had an office. Many shops have donations boxes to raise funds for these jihadists. For those in Pak who take a courageous stand against the twin evils of terrorism and religious fundamentalism, no praise is too high.

I agree with not returning the Koh-i-Noor. It was legally acquired through a treaty. There is now protocol that diamonds be returned to where the originated geologically.

It is very important to cultivate India though. It is between them and China to be the next superpower. Where would one more likely have a fair trial? India is a much more benign force than China. India is a free country, it has the concept of loyal opposition. China, by contrast, is a totalitarian and leads the world only in its application of the death penalty. (Admittedly this is only in absolute numbers, relative to the population Singapore tops the table). India has much in common with the British Isles. India has a growing economy and is militarily strong. Pakistan has been embroiled in trying to quell internal terrorism for years. It has a most troublous situation on its western border. It never even pretended to control the tribal areas. The Pakistan Army cannot fight a two front war. While Pakistan has been riven by domestic strife India has forged ahead. With Indian support one can exert more pressure on rogue states such as North Korea and Iran.

As for strengthening ties with India rather than the US, wasn’t it Caesar who said, ‘more worship a rising sun than a setting sun’?

Jai Hind.

Poor taste

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”It is warm down here but up in Cumbria the atmosphere is minus 12.”  That was a topical gag when thought up.

”Why does a French air hostess always have a wax before going out on the town? / Because when Air France have Brazilians they never make it home.” Likewise this wheeze was composed at the time of the air disaster last summer.

”Why does Michael Barrymore have no ashtrays in his house? /He prefers to extinguish his fags in the swimming pool.” Again, that was in date a decade ago when ‘composed’.

More macabre mirth awaits you when I can rack my brains for such sick gags as my tortured imagination has created down the years.

Absolve me these tragicomedies. One has to laught. I would to God that if I am in such a bind I shall have the fortitude to be able to chuckle at my lamentable fate.

Sabotage by Labour

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‘You cannot borrow your way out of debt.’ It is a truism, voiced lately by Daniel Hannan. But this is precisely what Labour is trying to do. For 13 years they have told us that massive public spending is essential. Anyone who disagrees wants us all to die very prematurely and illiterate too, that is Labour;s excuse.

Cameron has been wrong footed and agreed to match Labour spending. In order to win the election his pledge is probably wise. It does store up huge problems for the future.

The scale of the deficit that the UK is building up is unsustainable.

I wonder if Labour are deliberately sabotaging the economy so when, as appears very likely, a Conservative government is formed, it has to deal with enormous debt and unfeasibly large public spending commitments.

This is one of the perils of democracy –  the short termism. Politicians need only think of election within the next 4 years or so. The problems that they create will have to be resolved decades later when this statesman is long retired or dead. It takes a lot of courage to bite the bullet about unpopular decisions and risk losing the subsequent election. I fear that Cameron lacks the vision and balls to make the tough choice and cut spending significantly. This would actually make the country happier, more efficient and freer – not just freer in the fiscal sense. We do not need hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats and blizzards of regulations. I would like to take us back 20 years or more in terms of regulation.

Very few steps have been taken in a libertarian direction under Labour (allowing gay sex at 16 is one, relaxing porn laws and 24 drinking are the others). A more relaxed approach from the Conservatives on regulation would be very welcome. It would also save money.

Bush, a good leader in other ways, was very irresponsible in slashing taxes and letting public sector borrowing rip.

It does not have to be withis way. Some very well developed states have sovereign wealth funds – such as Norway.

 As for Mr Hannan he ends every speech as, I believe, Cato did. Hannan’s slogan, also delivered in Latin, is that the Treaty of Lisbon must be overturned. This is much too abstruse. I doubt that 5% of Britishers understand what he says in Latin. He is a fine man, intelligent, honourable, hard working and articulate but he does not bear his erudition lightly.

Crusading spirit

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Social workers. I do not wish to deride them all. Many of them must enter that occupation with the best of intentions. Child abuse is a thing of horror. My grandfather was an inspector in the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. He covered the largest county in Ireland with a bicycle. After afew years they bought him a car. Now about 100 people do his job, no exaggeration. Yes I am proud of him. What he was doing was stopping heavy violence against children by alcoholic fathers in the main. In such a sexually repressed society the notion of sexual abuse may never have entered his head. When children had to be taken away from bad parents they were packed off the ecclesiatical insitutuion. In Ireland ‘Christ and Caesar are hand in glove’ so saith James Joyce in his poem ‘Gas from a burner’. Of course some of them were molested there. Again, being an ardent Catholic it probably never crossed his mind that such a thing could happen. In those days if these things were reported which Gard would arrest a priest? Which juror would ever convict one? Who would believe a child against the word of the Lord’s annointed?

But what we see now is nosey do-gooders who are so convinced of their own virtue that they think all parents are negligent or cruel or both. Not all social workers fall into this category but a great many do. It appeals to the vanity of many. The more evil the thing is that they are rooting out the better they are. They are the best parents in the world. The state is utterly benevolent and legislation, inspection and paperwork is the answer to everything, no discetion permitted. Investigations will be launched! These busybodies love snooping and bossing people around. Interference is the order of the day. It raises the status of social workers if they convince us thay families are dens of the most unspeakable abuse.

Like all crime child abuse is in eradicable. We can at least reduce it. Sometimes attempts to do so go to far and do more harm than good by impacting on the innocent. Any bruise must be explained. The child fell? That is what they all say! How deeply suspect.

We have broadened the definition of abuse to mean any criticism, any harsh word, almost any smack, even not giving them a sufficiently balance diet. Even smoking in the presence of a child is deemed to be abusive. This reworking of the definition is absurd and unjust. It belittles abuse. But it does create job opportunities for the self-righteous. These sanctimonious self congratulaters can then lead the onslaught against the family.

Part of the reason Baby P and so on die is because social workers waste their time on normal people. Social workers have more than enough powers but do not even exercise those sensibly. The last thing they need is more powers. The powers they have being sufficient it is just they did not use them properly to save children like Baby P. The trouble is in the review they ask for more reasons to take away children and enter homes, oh, and more money. It is like after a terrorist outrage. The security servives say they need more £. Guarantees their jobs. They can invent as many bogeymen as they like. Same as social workers, they can claim that everybody is abused.

By the current definiton it would seems every child of even the 1980s was abused. Somehow we survived as well adjusted adults on the whole. The Children are Unbeatable campaign has not utterly succeeded but it is getting there. Zero tolerance of smacking soons becomes zero discipline. I was smacked, not half enough probably.

Lock ’em up an throw away the rehabilitation!

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I do not consider myself a softie on crime but I am agahast at the insanely and scandalously punitive sentencing policies such as are pursued in certain parts of the United States. This is all taken from this month’s Economist. A man committed his first offence, fraud. I am not sure of the scale. He copped 845 years! 845 days mights have been just. These sentences are staggeringly harsh. This is arrant injustice. It would be more just to even reward people. I am not saying rewarding criminals is good but I just make this comparison to highlight how extraordinarily unfair and disproportionate these sentences are. Murderers are often treated more leniently. The bench seems to be too influenced by the lynch mob mentality of many voters. Moreover, it costs so much to keep these people incarcerated. Many are now little old men in wheel chairs. I read of a man who nicked a bicycle and got life imprisonment! It beggars belief. What is next? Bringing back hanging for grand larceny? Justice should be just that –  neither to harsh nor too light, just right. One must serve the end of justice rather than using people as a means to scare others off crime. I do agree with the deterence principle but not at the almost total exclusion of reforming the wrongdoers. This vindictivefixation with punishment is scary. Crime has fallen in the US over the past 20 years and harsher sentencing is probably one factor in that. I own that this somewhat undermines my case. I call for fair and sane sentences and I accept slightly higher crime as a result. As for sentences in the UK, they are seldom too long.

By contrast the UK is generally too lenient. Burglars are often not gaoled. Fraudsters get very light terms of imprisonment or none at all. Community services orders and fines are not enforced. If people turn up for community service at all they often laze around in parks. The police go after the bourgeoisie who have a reputation to lose and are more likely to co-operate. Looks good on the target statistics don’t it guv? Plus those in prison get free tellies, they are often in for nicking them. The men who stole my bike (it probably was men) would not serve a day in prison if caught. I do not call for very long sentences but something, so that justice may be served, the community protected and a message sent to wouldbe crims.

Community service ought to be a term of honour, people volunteering to help others. Now it is opprobrious.

The UK also has exceptionally draconian security legislation. Normal people are spied on all the time. I am not against all surveillance but it is shocking how hundreds of categories of functionary are empowered to forcibly enter one’s house.

In 2005 the bombs went off in London. About 50 people were murdered. A dreadful crime. A handful of people have been murdered in Northern Ireland in the last few years. That makes about 60 over the past 5 years. 60 people out of sixty million. A one in a million chance of being killed by terrorism. One has a one in three chance of dying of cancer. We do not dedicate a fraction of the money of legislation to tackling cancer as we do terrorism. My point is the legislative response is way over the top. I am in favour of some counter terrorist legislation but Labour went too far in recent years. They think the state has all the answers and civil liberties are Hebrew to them. As for the one in a million chance, I will take those odds. I am more likely to die of a bolt of lightning. In the 70s with 500 people killed in Ulster alone the legislation was proportionate, internment (admittedly incompetently carried out) and longer periods to question suspects.

We need to roll back the state very dramatically. Let freedom ring!