Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Libyan Civil War.

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Libya’s Civil War rages on. The fighting will not abate I think until Col. Gaddafi is removed from power, I shall not say office since he holds no office. The Botox Berber does indeed have much to answer for.

The soi-disant Brotherly Guide of the Revolution is as solipsistic as his absurd title suggest. He is man of quite exceptional bombast. I remember than scene when tribesman hailed him – camel whips aloft. He sat pouting sternly. What a poseur. This contemptible popinjay is a case study in megalomania.

Down with Gaddafi. Yes, I would like him to go but I cannot say that the foreign intervention was necessary, justified nor wise. I suppose that Sarko, Cameroon, B Hussein Obama and their ilk have decided that having got into this fight they must not get out of it without something to show for it. They must have Gaddafi’s head. They would settle, I do not doubt, for Gaddafi to flee and live out the rest of his natural enjoying his billions in some shady bolthole. Gaddafi must be made to seen that there shall be no letup in the campaign agin him. On the other hand I do not see him throwing in the towel. He stood fast when the situation looked rather hairier.

I would like to see the truculent scowl that Gaddfi thinks impresses wiped off the tyrant’s botoxed chops.

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Netanyahu postures as a peacenik. It fools no one.

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I watched Benyamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress yesterevening. He laid a heavy emphasis on the strong relationship between Israel and the US. He thanked the United States for her support for Israeli. Well may Israel say thanks! They have much to be thankful for. What does the US get in return? Little beyond words. They can use Israel as a jumping off point for campaigns in the Middle East but seldom do so. From Israel it is mostly take take take. There is very little give. Admittedly there is not much they can give to the best armed and richest country in the world. However, the Israeli Government is not even willing to make significant concessions to the Palestinians in order to achieve a peace that will be beneficial to the US.

Netanyahu said that Israel was prepared to make painful concessions to Palestine but this is false. He says this because it allows him to present his government – however unconvincingly –  as reasonable, as minded to compromise. He has rejected key parts of President Obama’s peace proposal. Netanyahu said that Palestine must be demilitarised if it is to be fully sovereign. One would be forgiven for thinking that it was Palestine that had dispossessed Israelis. Yes the Middle East is unstable partly because the Israeli Government keeps destabilising it by sequestering Palestinian property.One of his preconditions for negotiation is for Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah to break the coalition with Hamas. I admit that Hamas is horrendous but many Zionists are no better. Hamas is the more popular party in Palestine. Would it be fair for Chairman Abbas to say that he will only parley with the Israeli Labour Party when they disassociate themselves from Likud because Likud are a bunch of militant religious nuts? I do not think that Netanyahu would find this proposition to be reasonable.

The Israeli Prime Minister noted that Israeli is smaller than every state in the US bar Rhode Island and Delaware. However, Palestine is even smaller than that. The Palestine that is actually under Palestinian control is tiny. There is such myopia on the part of B. Netanyahu and many of his supporters. If anyone in this conflict is vulnerable it is the Palestinians.

Mr Netanyahu did not allude to the fact that he is a US citizen himself. Not in the portion of his address that I watched anyhow.

The worrying part was how much he was applauded by Congress. There were even several standing ovations. I thought that it took a little mettle not to stand as certain Congressmen chose to remain seated.

Depressingly there is no sign that the US Government will put considerable pressure on Tel Aviv to get serious about peace. Of course B. Netanyahu is insincere about this. If he were to make major concessions this would dismay the supporters if Likud.

Enda Kenny’s welcome to Pres. Obama.

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I watched this oration yesterday. I have hardly seen such an animated speech in Ireland. A discourse of such emotion is normally one related to the Northern Ireland Troubles.

I felt that the Taoiseach became carried away. His voice was cracking with sentiment. It was very crowd pleasing. His audience in the Dublin drizzle clapped and cheered repeatedly. The atmosphere was electric. His thrilling cadences impelled the crowd to yell with elation every time he rammed home a fervent phrase. Why did they lap it up? It is partly he is a new Taoiseach and he is in his honeymoon. Moreover, Obama is seen as a celebrity. However, Kenny’s rousing rhetoric must take some credit for it. I felt it lacking in decorum but as the people lapped it up it was a political hit. The Obamas seemed to be tittering with mild embarrassment at Kenny’s exuberance. Warming to his theme he said that Obama ”was the American dream”. There were shades of Howard Dean’s ”I have a scream” moment. I was wincing when I heard the Taoiseach’s oratory going too far.

I saw this chunky woman behind Kenny and thought –  who she? Then I realised that she is his awful wedded wife.

I must hand it to Mr Kenny. He can at least rouse a crowd. Brian Cowen, Bertie Ahern and Albert Reynolds all missed lesson 1 of public speaking. Kenny’s remarks were heartfelt and the crowd perceived that. I did wince at his excessive enthusiasm and gushing diatribe. It was overly sentimental and struck me as hollow. He meant it but it was meaningless, ”we your Irish family are right here.” Furthermore, he used several Irish language phrases which he did not translate.

Obama’s words were more measured. However, he stooped to many prejudices about Irish history talking of ”oppression.” He said that many Irishman fought to preserve the Union and against slavery. This is true. What he did not point out was that there were more than a few on the side of the Confederacy. Such speeches are always a tad dishonest. One is selective. There are no prizes for such honesty in orations abroad. Obama will want positive images to show on the campaign trail next year. In many lands the US President tells the people that they are America’s best friend. The Irish Republic allows the US military to transit Shannon –  that is it. The Republic of Ireland does not provide material support for US actions abroad.

Obama stresses his Irish ancestry. Why does he not emphasise his English ancestry? They always do this. Being Irish is good and being English or any other white group is not so good? I cannot think why else American politicians are at such pains to underline their Hibernian heritage. US politicians many of who have English heritage, Welsh heritage, German heritage etc… tend not to make much of it when they pass through the old country.

It made me think that the Obamas must see that most white people are genuinely not anti-black.

The passing of Hon. Dr. Garret FitzGerald.

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I am watching the oration of President Obama on CNN. He is speaking outside the Bank of Ireland building on College Green. It was he who broke the news – as I heard it – that Garret FitzGerald has died.

Nihil nisi bonum… Well I do not believe that. However, in this case an elegy to the good doctor is richly deserved. He was a man of intellectual attainments, a restrained campaigner, a man of reasonable views, an honourable man and a fine leader. He was more statesman than politician.

I have read his autobiography.

I had a chance to meet him – have tea with him in about 2001 and I forgot! It shall be to my eternal regret. I have stayed in the guesthouse on St Michael’s Street where he used to stay.

This is not an encomium. I must own that despite all his qualities he was not very successful as Taoiseach. In the 1980s when he dominated the political scene there was high unemployment, half the youth emigrated. Crime was rising as drug abuse spread. He did his best to calm the Ulster conflict. He signed the Anglo-Irish Agreement. This was a commendable thing to do and he had to do it in the teeth of opposition from hardline nationalists. He espoused a very moderate and honourable edition of Irish nationalism. He stood up to pressures to exacerbate the Ulster conflict. He eschewed irresponsible tub thumping rhetoric. That took moral courage.

He contributed to debate and academe after he retired from politics. He will be missed.

Her Britannic Majesty’s progress around the Irish Republic.

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Her Most Excellent Majesty in Ireland but a few shorts days ago. She has been to Northern Ireland many times. This was the first time she has set foot in the Republic of Ireland. It is quite extraordinary that it should have taken until now for the head of one EU state to visit the neighbouring state in an official capacity. Mary Robinson when she was the Irish president visited Great Britain and so indeed has Mary MacAleese and that caused not the least ruction in Great Britain. There was a little hostility to the British head of state in the Republic of Ireland but virtually no animus against the Irish head of state in Great Britain.

I was very glad to see the Queen’s Majesty arriving in the Republic of Ireland. She was received with the pomp that is fitting to a monarch. It struck me that Enda Kenny and President MacAleese were genuinely pleased to see her. These were no mere diplomatic smiles.

This moment has been years in the building. Much of the spadework was done by politicians who are no off the scene. It is quite a coup for Mr Kenny to manage this only 2 months into his time as Taoiseach. President MacAleese must retire from Aras an Uachtrain in November yet still this may be her crowning achievement.

Her Majesty was greeted by large cheering crowds. Many people in the Republic of Ireland, even those of a nationalist mindset, have a regard for the British Royal Family. It is a chance to demonstrate the heartfelt friendship between the people of Ireland the people of the United Kingdom.

The trouble about such a visit is that it hands a golden opportunity to ultra nationalists to protest and cause disruption. These xenophobic elements could have turned the visit into an own goal if they had any significant following. However, these anglophobes , I am happy to say, are a tiny minority. Most people have no truck with the racist and attitudes that they espouse. Shame on them for their arrant bigotry.

Her Majesty has visited many places of note in the Republic of Ireland. I disapproved of her wreath laying at the Gardens of Remembrance. This was honouring terrorism. It mollified hardline nationalist opinion. It was the kind of shameful gesture that David Cameron really likes. He will never do the right thing when an easy option is open to him. He cares nothing for history only for cutting deals now. Yes, he is the new Blair.

Her Majesty the Queen is visiting Ireland at a happy time in all but the economic sense. It is a century since her grandfather George V visited Southern Ireland. He was in Northern Ireland twice after that at least. In 1921 he inaugurated the Parliament of Northern Ireland and in 1935 he was there as part of his Silver Jubilee celebrations. When His Gracious Majesty George of that name the fifth set foot ‘pon Erin’s shore in the year of grace some nineteen hundreds and eleven he was welcomed heartily by the people of Ireland. The Home Rule dispute had not yet hotted up.

I read the BBC coverage of Her Majesty’s tour of Eire. I disliked the commentary very intensely. It said that ”even the most committed anglophile must admit that there were centuries of brutal dispossession.” I am quoting from memory. If those are not ipsissima verba they are certainly ipsissima vox. I loathe this rhetorical device. It is this. Even the most partisan person must agree with the following. Therefore if one does not agree with it one’s extremism is off the chart. This travesty of history is typical of the BBC’s self-flaggelating world view.

Countries I have visited in approximate order

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Republic of Ireland.-

England –

Italy / partly written

Aged 1 (total 3)

Libya. Tunisia –

aged 2 (total 5)

France. partly written

Monaco . written

Vatican City

aged 3 (total 8)

Scotland. –
Jordan. written

aged 4 (total 10)

Saudi Arabia. –
Jersey. –
Guernsey.-

aged 5 (total 13)

South Africa, –
Swaziland-

aged 6 (total 15)

Greece. partly written

aged 7 (total 16)

Israel, written
Palestine, –
Cyprus, written
Egypt. –
Spain. partly written
Andorra

aged 8 ( total 22)

Netherlands. partly written

Bahrain. –

aged 9 (total 23)

UAE, –
Oman, partly written
Thailand. written

aged 10 (total 26)

Chad –

AGED 11 (total 27)

Northern Ireland. –

aged 12

aged 13. Switzerland. – (total 28)

aged 14

Russia, –
Qatar -(total 30)

aged 15

USA

aged 16 (total 31)

aged 17

Wales –

aged 18 (total 32)

aged 19 Nepal, written partly
India partly written(total 34)

aged 20

Pakistan. written

aged 21 (total 35)

Germany, partly written
Singapore, partly written
Indonesia, partly written
Malaysia, partly written
Vietnam, written
Laos, written
Cambodia. written

aged 22 (total 42)

Belgium. written

aged 23 (total 43)

Morocco. partly written
Turkey. partly written
Slovenia. – partly written
Austria. partly written
Czech Republic. –
Peru, –
Chile, –
Uruguay. –
Argentina. –
Brazil. partly written (total 53)

aged 24. Portugal. –
Gibraltar –
(total 55)

aged 25

Lichtenstein. –
Slovakia.-
Hungary. –
Croatia.- (total 58)

26. Luxembourg. –
San Marino.-
Estonia,- written
Latvia, – written
Lithuania. –
Poland.-
Romania. –
Serbia. –
Bosnia Herzegovina. –
Montenegro. –
Albania. partly written
Macedonia.-
Norway-

(total 71)

aged 27

Denmark. written
Sweden. written
Finland. –
Malta. –
Costa Rica,-
Nicaragua. –
Honduras, –
El Salvador.-
Guatemala. –
Belize. –
Mexico.- (total 82)

aged 28

Ukraine.
Moldova.
Jamaica.
Barbados (total 88)

aged 29

Iceland

(total 90)

aged 30

aged 31

none since.
Azerbaijan

Georgia (total 92)

Lunch time arguments

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I wish to recall certain arguments that I had at work at the luncheon table some years ago when I still worked as a teacher. I remember Christian  Sour arguing about homosexualism with Mme. Theron. The aged Saffa was saying it emerges in urban societies to reduce the birth rate. He took umbrage at this was visibly pissed off. Gay rights are a hobby-horse for him. He huffed and snorted derision. She said that gays were not normal. It did not come across to me as a wicked thing to say – there was no vitriol in it. She has at other times told me that she had gay friends. Sour was sour. He said being in love with a person of one’s own sex was not determined by social circumstances. Mme Theron was on the back foot and explained that she had attitudes shaped by her era and upbringing as Chris has his attitudes formed in a like manner.

Like a typical new Labourite he is sanctimonious and judgmental. Can they not see even a little irony in this? They tear down one system that oppressed free expression to replace it with another. Later away from Mme Theron he asked for my support. Did I not think that for one who works in a school to can being gay banormal is reprehensible. I had to disappoint him. I said I believe in letting gays do what they want. I am against gay adoption. For ultra liberals if one does not subscribe to the entire agenda one is wicked.For him this is the sacred cause that can brook no questioning.

I said that I believed in corporal punishment. My head of dept Denisa recounted her experience of being whacked for tiny things. I disagree with hitting a child for a light cause. She said if a teacher had hit one of her brood she would have found out where that person lived to take revenge. What an over reaction. She must have something to prove – to show she is a good mother. People get so het up about it. If my children are hit by their teachers my reaction will depend on what my child has done. Denisa claims that behaviour was no better in the old days. This is patently false. Teachers were almost never sworn at or assaulted. Crime rates were much lower. Bad behaviour in school clearly leads to crime as the pupils grow up. The caused of crime are manifold – family breakdown, drugs, soft punishment – poverty is a very minor factor. Like a typical leftists she defies reason in claiming harsher punishment does not reduce crime. They certainly do not take that attitude to racism. They call for racist attitudes –  what they consider to be racist –  to be punished in the strongest possible ways. No chance, no mitigating circumstances.

Denisa always used tp bring class into it. She claimed as I went to public school I know nothing. She said working class boys in her school were proud to be caned. But all hard lads are proud of any punishment. Class has nothing to do with it. She is amiable but a deeply prejudices person. She thinks my background invalidates my views.

She further claimed that thicko boys from public school were let into university in the old days. When I expressed my disbelief she backtracked a little. I pointed out that until the 1980s there was no expectation that boys from public school should go to university. Now if one does not one is told that one has failed. I decried the dumbing down of universities. She said that a Cambridge degree was not devalued by other people doing mickey mouse subjects. I said that it was. I have been rejected for hundreds of jobs. The very word degree has been enormously devalued. People were are not remotely interested in education get degrees. Sour pointed out his Cantabrigian mates are asked by employers –  where is your master’s degree?

Denise said there are no jobs for 16 year old school leavers. I said there are. Cleaners, bus drivers, shop assistants, soldiers, nursery assistants etc… There are some factory jobs still. We have so raised the level that is needed to work in a nursery etc that is unnecessarily disbars 16 year olds without making people who have the piece of paper any cleverer. The reason those who leave school at 16 do not have jobs is partly due to excessive immigration and also due to the welfare dependency culture.

She told me people in her ENglish Midlands shire who were working class did not attend the Church of England. I said there were some working class Anglicans. She replied that I was living in cloud cuckooland. This is odd as a majority of people in England were Anglicans at least on paper in the 1960s yet over 60% of people called themselves working class.