Archive for January, 2010

Someone quoted Kipling with reference to Afghanistan in yesterday’s Telegraph – and very aptly – though I can’t be certain: I generally can’t remember that far back these days. But it put me in mind of “Tommy”, his wonderful satirical poem about the lot of the average squaddie, who, when called upon to execute the policy follies of men like Tony Blair, is treated with hypocritical reverence and, should he lose his life in the service of Queen and Country, can expect his memory to be honoured, for instance, with a cursory, solemn mention at the dispatch box – but not a visit from Gordon at his repatriation ceremony, of course. The rest of the time, he’s ignored, underpaid, under-equipped, unappreciated, badly billeted and generally despised – especially by the people who would put him in harm’s way just to suit their own political ambitions and vanities (Blair again).

The point is that the poem is as fresh now as it was when it was penned by the great man, in 1890. It’s pretty funny, too:

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ‘We serve no red-coats ‘ere.’
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed and giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again, an’ to myself sez I:
Oh, it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, go away’:
But it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins,’ when the band begins to play –
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
Oh, it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins,’ when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, wait outside’;
But it’s ‘Special train for Atkins’ when the trooper’s on the tide –
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
Oh, it’s ‘Special train for Atkins’ when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?’
But it’s ‘Thin red line of ‘eroes’ when the drums begin to roll –
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
Oh, it’s ‘Thin red line of ‘eroes when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that , an’ ‘Tommy, fall be’ind,’
But it’s ‘Please to walk in front, sir,’ when there’s trouble in the wind –
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
Oh, it’s ‘Please to walk in front, sir,’ when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Chuck him out, the brute!’
But it’s ‘Saviour of ‘is country’ when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time to put an end to this Afghan thing, either by sending in massive reinforcements and actually paying the necessary price for final victory – in other words, not causing unnecessary death by doing everything on the cheap (one scandal for which Brown should genuinely never be forgiven) – or by bringing our army home. That’s the choice Cameron will have to face. Why? Because, to coin a phrase, we can’t go on like this.

Me, I would opt for the former and give our armed forces everything they need, and then some. Whatever it takes, Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is the right war and is a war that we have to win. We must respect our troops properly, therefore, by backing them to the hilt, even if it means making some sacrifices at home in the short term.

One thing is certain, if nothing else, our armed forces deserve much better than Labour, and much, much better than Brown.

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Or, at the very least, he should be if these latest revelations, from highly respected columnist, writer and long-time posh Labourist cheerleader Andrew Rawnsley are anything to go by. The Spectator has reported on this latest shocking insight into Brown’s terrifyingly dysfunctional world of violence and madness thus:

Stories of Gordon Brown’s temper are commonplace in Westminster. But they rarely make it into print. This, though, is about to change. The Mail on Sunday reports that Andrew Rawnsley’s follow-up to Servants of the Peoplecontains a string of revelations about Brown’s behaviour. The paper reports that Rawnsley has investigated whether the Prime Minister has hit a senior adviser, pulled a secretary out of her chair because she wasn’t typing fast enough and sworn at aides over the Obama snub. Downing Street is rubbishing these allegations. However, Rawnsley’s record is so good that these stories cannot easily be dismissed, also many journalists have come close to standing them up previously and so will not be inclined to dismiss them out of hand.
The Rawnsley book may make Brown’s temper a major election issue—which would be a disaster for Labour. The Sunday Times is reporting that Brown wants to stay on as Labour leader if the Tory majority is less than 20. This news might well prompt some former insiders to conclude that the interests of the Labour party are best served by revealing just how fraught life has been within Brown’s Downing Street.

The point for me is not, in this case, a political one. It’s a simple matter of the law – the law which – as anyone reading this blog who works every day with other people, whether in a management position or in the position of being managed by someone else (and that’s just about all of us, surely), will know – does not permit the kind of weirdly abusive, utterly contemptuous and, quite simply, disturbed behaviour that clearly is part of Brown’s “normal” modus operandi.

The man is unfit for general employment, let alone the role of Prime Minister of Great Britain – a position he has never earned, need we be reminded. However, given the kind of law-busting political protection he has always somehow enjoyed, and behind which the real scale of his unpleasant weirdness is still being hidden, I’m not going to hold my breath while waiting for him to be uncovered for the vicious, overrated, lying pile of insecure, egotistical, bullying, incompetent and impotent emptiness that he really is.

What becomes more clear as the days slide by and the election looms ever closer is that it will be a huge relief to a weary, depressed nation when he is finally put out of his (our) misery and sent the way the dodo.

Judging by these latest leaks from the bunker, he’s been rightly written off as a charisma wasteland by many in his own inner circle. Hardly surprising, then, that the entire country desperately wants to see the back of him – and I mean yesterday. Well, unless this country really is lost (and I don’t think it is) then they, and we, will get that wish.
But I don’t want to leave it there. For their various crimes, little and large (a crime’s a crime) I want Brown and Blair both to be hounded to the ends of the earth, until we have satisfaction for their hideous, painful, destructive long term political abuses.
Ultimately, though, it is all about class – in the sense that Brown, in particular, has none whatsoever.
What’s beyond doubt is that it’s time, most certainly, to get rid of the utter bastard.

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History’s Most Honest Leaders

” I will fight corruption…”
“I will tell the truth at the Chilcot inquiry.”
“I vill honour ze Munich Agreement with ze Pritishers”

Oh, and we mustn’t forget the most compulsively honest man in the world, of course:
“It started in America…”
“We saved the world…”
“[fill in the blank – there’s hundreds more to choose from]”
With men as honest as these, folks, you just know we’re in safe hands.
Yeah. Right.

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Kelvin Mackenzie was just asked on the Sky News paper review what question he wants to be put to Blair when he faces Chilcot. He was absolutely fuming – as I seem permanently to be these days when it comes to Liebour generally – and came up with a real doozy. He said he wanted to cut through all the non-oath, lawyerless BS and get to heart of things. The question, he said, should be: “How much money have you [Blair] made since you were Prime Minister?”

Last thing I read about this, it was something like £15 million – and still rapidly rising (and it’s a figure that doesn’t include his various nefarious business arrangements or his truly massive international property portfolio). He’s the wealthiest ex-PM in modern history and he made that money simply because he fooled enough people into voting for him – three times. Exploitation of office? Personal agendas? Utter corruption? You get it all with Tony Blair – and all who supported (and still support) him. Alastair “David Kelly” Campbell, for one.

But Blair’s clearly been well-rewarded for being Bush’s Wormtongue. Lying to the British people and to parliament about some mythical need for “regime change” in Iraq was all he had to do. And he went about the task with truly nauseating alacrity.

Whatever millions Blair, in his insatiable greed, has scammed since being pushed out by his even-worse, long-term rival, Brown, every single penny of it is blood money. And the blood is the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis and hundreds of brave British soldiers. All sacrificed on the altar of an evil Labour leader’s vanity, greed and megalomania. (With Brown, of course, I suppose you can omit the greed, but not the vanity and megalomania.) But, as a Conservative-voting relative of mine said to me just the other day, “It’s really very simple…Blair is a war criminal.”
The other upshot is that not-only Blair, but the entire rotten edifice that is the Labour party must never, ever be let off the hook for this terrible evil that their leader(s) perpetrated, and virtually all of them went along with. All the way to the first bombing raid and beyond.
It won’t be forgotten or forgiven by an abused, humiliated and exploited British people for decades to come, that’s for certain. And rightly so.

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Inequality, that vague, almost indefinable term generally used by socialists whenever they want to attack the “evils of capitalism”, is now the “worst” it has been since the 1970s – or so this government’s own report says today. Of course, what “inequality” really is is a euphemism for poverty. It should be unsurprising to anyone who has lived through a few governments that poverty always increases under Labour, because Labour impoverishes the country with its insane, incompetent economics and politically-motivated, divisive, incredibly damaging social interference. What is important to remember, however, is that the “inequality” to which socialists refer is based on some bankrupt notion of class and “privilege” (in other words, aspiration, education and self-improvement). It’s not genuine inequality, but politically motivated class warfare.

So, as we hear from Harriet Harman today, the left, with typical propagandist doublethink, will try to turn the the fruits of their own disastrous misgovernance into justification for more of the same. Truly, they are that perverse in their desire to make the State king and to hammer wealth creators – and the middle classes – into the ground, all the while expanding what now must be termed Labour’s “dependent classes” (they can hardly be called the “working” classes any more – and what we now know is that Thatcher wasn’t to blame for that).

But the scale of the damage this time around, of Labour’s betrayal of everyone, and in their own terms (it’s a government-commissioned report, for heaven’s sake) is truly astonishing and can’t be escaped even by Labour’s liars and spinners. Today’s Mail:

The study says that inequality in income has reached the highest level since records began in 1961, and probably since the end of the Second World War. It also concludes that inequality in Britain is among the worst in the developed world, with the highest rate of poverty in western Europe.
It says ‘deep seated and systematic differences’ remain between the life chances of different social classes and groups. People’s class and origins ‘shape their life chances from cradle to grave’.The report says there is ‘widespread ignorance of the scale of inequality’ and warns that many people will find its conclusions ‘shocking’.

So the report, as we can see from the right-on sociologist claptrap terminology employed, is definitely a left-inspired one – and it is still devastating for the government. So they can’t even use the familiar Labour lie that it “would be/was much worse under the Tories” – because it wasn’t – and because it couldn’t be any worse under anyone!

The question everyone must now ask is this: if Labour can’t even help making worse something they themselves presume to champion (ostensibly curing poverty but really robbing aspirational wealth creators to flatten social diversity), then what, exactly, are Labour good for? The answer that I for one have known for a long time now is simple enough: precisely nothing.

They are a redundant organisation belonging to a bygone age. I pray that when they are defeated this summer, they are beaten so badly that they are relegated to third party status. That would be more than they deserve, and I could tolerate the Liberals as one of the country’s two mainstream parties. Hell, I could even vote for them if they ditched their ex-Labour left wingers.

But Labour, as far as I am concerned, have inflicted so much damage on this country in so many ways that they warrant nothing more and nothing less than abolition. It would be easy enough to do for any new incumbent government. Just make union funding illegal. Job done.

In the meantime, there is some hope (there is always hope) not least because we are nearly at the point when we can eject them, but expect Labour to become more and more abusive and dangerous in their desperation as the general election approaches (they’ve already cranked-up the television propaganda to epic levels, for instance). As John Redwood says, commenting on today’s report:

The Labour response is likely to include new tortures for people who work hard, try to get on in the world, who aspire for themselves and their children.
What we need are policies which raise the sights and motivate the energies of the many. The way to reduce inequality – and to make most people better off – is to encourage and foster, not to regulate and tax in a fit of jealous anger that some have still succeeded.We need an enterprise package to make it easier to set up and run your own business, a small business package so more small businesses can expand and take on more labour, and a shake up of some schools and training Colleges so more obtain worthwhile qualifications.

Amen to that. See? There’s always hope.

As for Cameron, well, the one thing this disastrous report (for Labour) gives him is carte blanche to start listening far more to sane sages like Redwood (and Janet Daley) – and far less to the nutters, hypocrites, misfits and malcontents on the left.

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It’s not exactly Frost-Nixon (not least because Jon “Red” Snow is involved, letting Mandelbum basically do whatever he likes), but it is compelling, and it is a complete victory for the most effective, honest and no-nonsense post-war Chancellor of the Exchequer this country has ever had. That’d be Ken Clarke.
Part 1:

Part 2:

Smart people and people who remember will understand why Clarke won that confrontation hands down. Everyone else won’t be certain. They won’t know, for example, that Mandelson is one of the most dishonest men ever to have held – been fired from (because of that dishonesty) – held again – and been fired from again (again, because of his habitual dishonesty) – a cabinet post. But nonetheless, despite his desperate record of deceit, he now holds the second highest office in this land – to which he has never been elected. I’m astounded Ken Clarke gave him an audience.

Mandelson is the epitome of (New) Labour – but is, sadly, proof that Labour, even after its monumental lies, failures and inadequacies, are nonetheless still dangerous. Mandelson – and Labour – will stop at nothing to stay in charge of a country that no longer wants them, and an economy that desperately needs them gone.

Ken Clarke is a man that demands – commands – your support. And, regardless of his strange, undying European fetish, he still totally deserves it.

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I’m Still ROFL-ing

Steve Green wonders whether this joke, as told so brilliantly by the late, wonderful Sir Clement Fraud, is the funniest of all time.

I think it is the actual Monty Python ‘secret weapon’ gag, designed to break the trench war deadlock on the Western Front in 1916 to smash the German advance of 1944. So don’t listen to it if you’re German.

If you think of it while you watch the clip, it kind of works. (Kind of 😉 There’s a slight issue with my German reference, of course. But what the hell.

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This from Guido Fawkes earlier on bears repeating. Over and over and over again.

Some Labour-loving, myopic hoon calling himself “Fraser1701” commented on Guido’s YouTube channel underneath this upload “I prefer optimism”. Well, Fraser, old boy, unless you really are a myopic Labourist hoon, then I imagine you must mean “as opposed to wildly dishonest, outrageously massaged and risibly inaccurate economic predictions that consistently bear no resemblance to reality whatsoever”. In which case, I have done you a disservice because you’re going to express your preference for optimism by voting out the worst government in this nation’s history. And, as we know, the only way to do that is to vote Tory, like it or not.

I suspect, though, that “Fraser1701” did not mean this and that he’s really just another pathetic Labour stooge paid to trawl through the sensible and effective anti-government blogs, like Guido’s, leaving little rat dropping comments like that one to further some desperate plan to reverse his party’s massive – and unstoppable – decline in credibility and popularity.

Earth to Fraser: with Brown in charge, mate, it’ll never happen! So keep him right where he is.

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Nick “I know which side my bread is buttered” Robinson, BBC-Labour’s tame political pundit, after the start of the UK’s so-called economic recovery (0.1% to be adjusted is not exactly Darling’s “trampoline” recovery now is it, especially after squillions in printed inflation-fuel has been chucked at it?), has just concluded on his hyper-moderated blog:

…some voters may note that we are still not securely out of the longest and deepest recession since the war and may conclude that the current custodians of the economy can no longer be trusted to finish the job.

You think?

The fact that Brown and his cohort of economic nincompoops and ne’re-do-wells, whose now-legendary incompetence is only just about trumped by their compulsive mendacity, have managed to bankrupt the country in search of some sort of theoretical, artificially stimulated recovery that, as these figures show with devastating clarity, has utterly failed to materialise will not have gone unnoticed by the general public.

So, toenails, my old china, for “may conclude,” read “decided a long time ago,” and for “the current custodians of the economy,” read “the Brownite, Labourist liars and wreckers,” and for “can no longer be trusted to finish the job,” read “are going to be lucky to get away with not being hanged en masse from the nearest tree, never mind an election defeat, for the cataclysmic economic harm they’ve managed to do to Britain, not to mention the desperate harm they’ve managed to do throughout British society, during their overlong period in office.”

This is no time for understatement, you see!

But it is time for a Tory government. And if you read between Robinson’s BBC-approved lines, even he knows that most sane people have known that for quite some time.

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Seems that Obama’s speech on banking regulation has finally put paid to any remaining pretence that Brown was in any way ‘leading the world’ in this area. It has, perhaps predictably, sent the government into a tailspin, with no co-ordinated response to the plans and, it seems, very little idea of what to do with the new information. According to Iain Martin:

So, since Obama spoke British ministers have been in quite a spin. The Chancellor’s office said Britain would not be following the U.S. but Number 10 said, rather nervously, that it is studying the plans.
“I think what the president is doing is very much in accordance with the direction we’ve been taking,” said a Number 10 spokesman. But that’s simply not true. Obama’s plans are not in accordance with the direction the British have been taking. A plan to break up the megabanks and inhibit proprietary trading is not at all what the Treasury wants. It wants the UK’s megabanks – RBS, and the Lloyds-HBOS monster it created mid-crisis – to trade their way out of their poor position and into safety so that taxpayer money can be recovered.
The Number 10 spokesman mused some more: “Obviously one of the issues in the banking world is that you have different circumstances in different countries.” Sorry, I thought a co-ordinated global response was supposed to be the priority?To further cloud the issue up popped Lord Myners of the Treasury. He said there is no way Britain will follow the Obama lead on this. But… “I think the important thing is that there is a globally co-ordinated response taking place here.”
Again, no, there isn’t a globally co-ordinated response. I repeat: Obama acted unilaterally on Thursday in making his biggest post-crisis reform proposal.
What there is here is a mess created by a serious breakdown in global policy-making. In a panic after his party’s Senate defeat in Massachusetts this week, Obama has decided he needs to be much tougher than he has been.
And it creates a serious difficulty for the current British government, which wants to appear in line with a president who popular on this side of the Atlantic and is taking on finance. But he is proposing to do what the Treasury and Number 10 do not want to do: he wants to break up the big banks
For the Tories this is a gift. They have advocated G20-wide policies similar to those now promoted by Obama – so they get to be on his side (a boon in Europe) and lined up against big banks the government here won’t break up. No wonder George Osborne sounds delighted this weekend.

While I very much doubt that Obama was thinking too much about Gordon Brown’s political credibility when he decided to get tough with the megabanks (for better or for worse – probably worse since he’s got just about everything else wrong since he took over), there can be no doubt whatsoever that Iain Martin is right and this is a disaster for a prime minister who, in his own fevered imagination, believes he – and only he – has the credentials to ‘save the world’.

And Martin is right to say it’s a gift for the Tories. It is, and for Britain too. Anything that helps to prick the Brown ego bubble and correct his (and Labour’s) utterly dishonest narrative on his role in the economic crisis (for which he himself as Chancellor was largely to blame) can only be a good thing. Why? Because it hastens the useless old fraud to the political grave he so richly deserves and to which his passage is now long overdue. Two cheers for Obama, then.

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