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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