Thursday, May 14, 2009

Do As You Likeys

A group of travellers wrecked a multi-million pound police helicopter which was being used to spy on their site. The gang used axes to smash the £5million aircraft, after they leapt over a 4ft wall surrounding Surrey Police force’s helipad at Fairoaks airport, near Woking in Surrey.

After threatening staff working in the operations room, they set about wrecking the helicopter, smashing six of its windows and causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage. The incident happened at 10pm yesterday after weeks of aerial surveillance on the travellers’ site, where detectives believe stolen goods have been hidden.

Officers were getting ready to raid the site after collecting evidence they had filmed from the air. A police source said last night: 'The gipsies were furious because they kept getting buzzed by the helicopter. But no one expected this level of violence. Before a raid is conducted we will observe the criminals from the air. That way we get an idea what we are likely to find, identify suspects and locate entrances and exits. Maybe we got too low.'

I'm sure the report is basically kosher, but I wonder how they knew they were travellers ?

I keep reading in the Guardian that violence solves nothing. But it seems pretty effective for some groups. The police round our way are leery enough of them as it is. Incidents like this (and this) will only reinforce the feeling that they're not to be messed with.

Here's a report on a 'domestic' in Wales :

Nineteen people were arrested after reports of a huge brawl at a Mid Wales gipsy site. Dozens of police officers attended after “violent disorder” broke out. Neighbours reported seeing a gang of men pile out of several vehicles and run on to the site at Withy Beds, on the outskirts of Welshpool, at about 2pm yesterday. Dyfed-Powys Police said 19 travellers from Welshpool and Oxfordshire were arrested for violent disorder and officers remained at the scene overnight, but had left by 8.30am today.

What ? A £20,000 4x4 full of red diesel ? I'm shocked.

Another Liberal Myth Bites The Dust

Laban, 2004.

"Yes, Victorian Values. They covered their piano legs !"

Jonathan Calder channels clinical psychologist Professor Strange :

"The truth – and I am indebted to Matthew Sweet’s 2001 book Inventing the Victorians for what follows – is that the Victorians did not cover the legs of their pianos at all, unless it was to keep off the dust or children’s boot.

The idea that anyone would worry about the eroticism of furniture first surfaced in Captain Marryat’s A Diary in America, published in 1839. He reported that the word ‘leg’ was not used in polite society across the Atlantic, and that when he visited a ladies’ seminary his guide informed him that the mistress of the establishment, in order to demonstrate her ‘care to preserve in their utmost purity the ideas of the young ladies under her charge had dressed all these four limbs in modest little trousers, with frills at the bottom of them!’

No doubt the guide was making fun of Marryat’s credulity, but the story soon caught on in nineteenth century Britain. How those Victorians enjoyed poking fun at the straitlaced Americans! Nothing so absurd would ever be seen over here.

Somehow the story remained in circulation, and when the publication of Lytton Strachey’s Eminent Victorians made it fashionable to scoff it was recycled to make fun of the people who had originally found it so funny."

Mr Calder seems a thoughtful chap :

Just as the Bloomsbury lens distorts our picture of the Victorians, so the Swinging 60s have given us a false view of the 1950s. But they want to close the College Library and there are macaroons for tea, so that story will have to wait for another day.

The Swinging Sixties only happened in the 1970s. Look at the Kop or the World Cup Final crowd to see how swinging they were back then. Most people wore ties to the match.

It's The Demography, Stupid (Again)

Telegraph :

James Carville, the man who masterminded Bill Clinton's first election victory, has predicted the Democratic Party will dominate American politics for the next four decades due to "seismic shifts" in demographic voting patterns...

"There have been long periods where one party generally has the upper hand. You never win every election – the Democrats won't win every election – but for 40 years the underlying dynamics in demographics stay with them," he told the Daily Telegraph.

From 1896 to 1932 there was just one Democratic president and from 1932 to 1968 just one moderate Republican, Eisenhower. Since 1968 the Republicans have generally held sway, exploiting the backlash to the liberal society.

But in the first decades of the 21st century, young voters have swung heavily to the Democrats, a crucial advantage given that voting behaviour in the US is generally set when people are in their 20s.

Hispanics and blacks are growing as a percentage of the population, while white men and Christians, who have voted heavily Republican for the past 40 years, are declining.

"It's the kind of seismic shift we have never seen before," he said.

As an unashamedly partisan Democrat, Carville rejoices in Republican misfortune, but also claims that none of his high-powered Republican friends – Congressmen, pollsters and columnists – disagree with his hypothesis.
FWIW, I don't disagree with the demographics either. The question is what the impact will be.

We already know that, as in the UK, on current trends US whites (in the UK, Native Brits - to distinguish them from the equally melanin-challenged Eastern Europeans) will become a minority. By 2042 Hispanics (who 'traditionally' vote Democrat) will be 30% of the popuation.

All parties change, but the Democratic Party may have to change more than most to accommodate its voters. It may not be the Democratic Party that Carville wants. Given that the idea of integration, of the melting pot, is no longer fashionable, it's likely to be a lot more like a Mexican political party than it used to be.

But wait ! I hear you say (or not) - what about the demographic differential between the Godly and the unGodly ? Republicans have more kids than Democrats, don't they ?

Yes they do. And white UK liberals have few children. But the scale of mass immigration in both countries is enough to wipe out the differentials. Not enough Labour voters having kids ? Import some more.

Unless you're hung up on political labels what's really important is the change to the parties over time, not what they're called. A Cameron Tory government would be far less socially conservative than Attlee's 1945 Labour Party, for example. My prediction FWIW is that US politics will be more like Mexican politics in thirty years, while UK politics will be more like the politics of the Indian subcontinent. There's also the probability in the UK that the tensions between the 70s types who now constitute our ruling elite, with their talk of 'retarded homophobes', and their pious and fecund Muslim voters, will lead to a split and the formation of a new party or parties.

"Traditionally Labour has been the party of immigrants, but a point will be reached at which they (Labour) are not needed any more and with a cry of 'so long and thanks for all the outreach workers' the Muslim vote will depart. The divorce will be messy."

Squander Two on Cameron

"I don't even care why Cameron has said what he's said and done what he's done in the last couple of days. He's right, and he's doing what's right. Sure, you've got to worry about how consistently a man with no principles can be right, but this thing's big enough for the rest not to matter so much. And it's also big enough to significantly shape the behaviour of the party. Overnight, the Tories have become the most principled party, and clearly not because they wanted to, but because they've been forced into it by Cameron. Well, OK, then. I'll take him as Prime Minister."


"In a somer sesun, whon softe was the sonne"

Former Guantanamera inmate and not-a-terrorist Moazzam Begg channels the spirit of Piers Plowman :

A former Guantanamo Bay inmate said that the thought of walking the Worcestershire countryside had helped him cope during his imprisonment.

Moazzam Begg told an audience in Malvern that visiting the Malvern Hills with his family was something he wanted to do when he was finally released.

Moazzam Begg was speaking at a talk at Malvern Baptist Church organised by the Malvern branch of Amnesty International.

Hmm. How romantic. The useful idiot equivalent of 'Hello, Denver, you're a great audience and we love you". Isn't Malvern where these people (formerly the Royal Signals and Radar Research Establishment, sold off to the Yanks by NuLab at a giveaway price) do their work ? Maybe he'll be off to Cheltenham next.

Talking of useful idiots :
The Malvern branch of Amnesty meet regularly on the first Thursday of every month at 7.30pm at Abbey Road Baptist Church and anyone who wants to get involved is welcome.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


2nd Lt. Hulbert Robertson

A story.

Relatives of an American Air Force crew whose plane crashed into a west Wales hillside in World War II have unveiled a memorial in their honour.

The bomber hit the slopes of Carn Llidi near St Davids in thick fog on 4 June 1943, killing all four on board. One of the aircraft's propellers, found on the hillside, forms part of the memorial at nearby Whitesands Beach.

The daughters of pilot Robert Lawrence and navigator Hulbert Robertson travelled to Wales for the ceremony. On Saturday - 62 years to the day of the crash - they were joined by civic and military representatives to unveil the memorial and plaque.

The story.

In late summer, 2003, while skimming through my hometown Texas newspaper, the Comanche Chief, I was surprised to see a name I recognized. A man in England, I read, had written in search of relatives of 2nd Lt. Hulbert H. Robertson, who served in the Army Air Corps in World War II. I knew that name well. Hulbert was my mother’s first husband, father of my half-sister Gwen. He died on June 4, 1943, when his B-26 Marauder crashed into a Welsh hillside. He was buried in the American Cemetery near Cambridge, England.

Gwen was not quite two years old when her father died, too young to remember him. My dad raised her and loved her as his own, but from early on I knew that my big sister and I had different biological fathers. Her daddy was the smiling young soldier whose picture hung on the parlor wall of his parents’ old dog trot cabin in the country near Comanche.

I knew he’d died in some war, and that it made people sad to talk about him, but they were proud of him just the same. As I got older and understood more I thought it was kind of tragically romantic. 2nd Lt. Robertson would remain forever young and handsome and brave, and those he left behind would have only happy memories of him.

Gwen grew up, married, had children and grandchildren. They knew, in an abstract way, that they’d had another grandfather, but he was just a young man in a photo to them, a part of history they knew little about. Now, out of the blue, someone, a complete stranger from another country, was asking about him.

Read the whole thing.

She said she got a little shiver every day when she drove by the cemetery and thought about those boys, and she got a bit teary eyed as she talked about it. So did we. That would happen a lot during our trip.

Happens when you read about it too. Shirley Wetzel can write (and she knows Kinky Friedman).

One of my Welsh relatives spent many years investigating WW2 crash sites in the North Wales mountains. I was fascinated by the hardware he'd retrieved, and though the crews might be always in your mind as you hold a part of their aircraft, it's easy to forget the families changed forever by the death of their young men. There are photos of the visit here. And as well as Lt. Robert Lawrence, Flight Officer James Grady Jackson, 2nd Lt. Hulbert H. Robertson and Sgt. William "Billy" Brown, there's another hero in this story - the Port Talbot fireman and aviation history buff Steve Jones, who contacted the relatives, put them up at his place, and seems to have no Web presence at all.

More photos and more about the crash on the B26 Marauder site, including one with Mr Jones in it. I wonder if he wrote the text ? The stories on the site's guestbook are riveting.

Female Foeticide Legal In Sweden

The Local

The woman, who already had two daughters, requested an amniocentesis in order to allay concerns about possible chromosome abnormalities. At the same time, she also asked to know the foetus's gender.

Doctors at Mälaren Hospital expressed concern and asked Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) to draw up guidelines on how to handle requests in the future in which they "feel pressured to examine the foetus’s gender" without having a medically compelling reason to do so.

The board has now responded that such requests and thus abortions can not be refused and that it is not possible to deny a woman an abortion up to the 18th week of pregnancy, even if the foetus's gender is the basis for the request.

Call me a cynic, but I wonder who exactly this will benefit ? You have to (if you're me) jump to the conclusion that people who really, really want a boy might be involved.

I've not thought too much about sex ratios in relation to UK demography and mass immigration. It might be that we're not only talking about 23% of schoolchildren, but more than 23% of boys. I wonder what the sex ratios are for these births ?

(via David Duff)


I've noticed the odd comment from a chap called 'Anatolie' turning up in places like CiF and now on this blog - odd because the spelling is so idiosyncratic it almost seems deliberate.

"I think that the brittish system of imigrasion can bee compered with the subpraime morgage scheme. Some peoples has benefitted on it for some time but in the end the countrie wil sufer when the scheme colapses wich of corse sooner or later it wil."
I don't know. He can spell 'system' and 'scheme' but not 'will'. He's the Nigel Molesworth de nos jours.

If it's deliberate it seems like a lot of hard work for not a huge result. Maybe he needs time to find his blogging voice, but as of now he's no Manolo or Stanislav.

But either way, he's taking it seriously enough to have started his own blog - the Anatolie Examiner.

Hello, my name is Anatolie. I live in Australia, where I move to about one year ago. I have desided to start this webpage to print articles from the newspaper that I think is good and i will make coments to. I will also print storys that are funny and will make people lauhgh to.

And as he links to me, the least I can do is link back.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Poetry Corner

Nick Drew at CityUnslicker (who I believe brought us the One-Eyed Yellow Scotsman) turns his attentions to Lewis Carroll :

“You are odd, Father Gordon,” the young man said,
”And your party is in disarray;
And now your delusions have gone to your head –
Do you think you should call it a day?”

“In my youth,” the Prime Minister said in reply,
“My integrity mattered a lot;
But, now that it’s obviously gone by-the-by,
Depart? I shall certainly not!”

He's At It Again

Edmund Conway in the Telegraph on demography and pensions. The man's an idiot. Not only does he take the Dave Osler view of immigrants as tax-producing units and nothing more, he even thinks the chav mothers of the UK will help.

thanks partly to our relatively open immigration policy and partly to a rise in births, Britain's old age dependency rate is set to increase far less rapidly than that of any other major country between now and 2050, according to UN projections.

In and out of wedlock, babies are being born at a higher rate than for many years, and every new child represents another prospective taxpayer to help reduce that bill.

Teenage pregnancies may bemuse nonagenarians such as Gertrude Janeway, and they may cause hand-wringing among social commentators; but in economic terms, they may be the best hope we have for solving the impending fiscal timebomb.

The man's practically certifiable.

Firstly, the underclass kids will all be on benefits themselves in 18 years. The least-educated mothers are the ones having more kids.

Secondly, according to the ONS figures on unemployment by ethnicity, all immigrant groups have lower employment rates than the natives. Now you can blame that on the evil racist Brits, but you can't have it both ways. They can't be at once both poor victims of unemployment AND doing the jobs the natives don't want to do.

Thirdly, both immigrant and underclass members who are in employment are likely to be in low-paid jobs where they cost more in government expenditure than they pay in taxes.

Fourthly, and this is conjecture rather than established fact, I would be amazed if the tax take was the same for all ethnic groups, even when controlling for income. Those in cash trades, taxis, catering etc have far more opportunity to do things 'off the books' than someone working 9-5 for an FTSE100 company. I don't know if the Revenue have done any research (probably not - and if they have it'll be in a locked leadlined safe somewhere), but I would venture the suggestion that as time goes on and the composition of the UK changes, the percentage tax take per economically active person in the UK will fall.

It's a pity his prescriptions are so bloody awful, as his diagnosis is spot-on :

In the 1940s and 1950s, Britain went, via the Beveridge Report, from being a warfare state to a welfare state. We may take the current system for granted now, but it was nothing short of a massive economic experiment, one forged in the shadow of terrible suffering. Moreover, it is a system that has been in operation, in its full embodiment, for less than a lifetime.

Unfortunately, it has been an experiment based on unrealistic assumptions about Britons' longevity and their fecundity. Since the 1940s, life expectancy at birth has climbed from just over 60 years to just under 80. And fertility rates, which peaked at an average of almost three children per family in the baby boom era of the 1960s, have now seen a drop to below two children per family for three decades.
In other words, the cultural revolution kicked in and babies went out along with churchgoing and wearing a tie on weekends.

Until relatively recently, most funds were designed either as defined benefit schemes, with pensioners given a guaranteed payment no matter how much they paid in, or plain unfunded schemes, with pensioners paid from the current account.

Several companies suffer a hangover from large versions of the former British Airways and British Telecom being prime examples. Many insiders fear that before long we could see a major British company taken down by the burdens of its pension scheme.

But these bills are as nothing compared to the unfunded liabilities of the state. By even conservative estimates, the state and public- sector pensions liabilities could more than double the total national debt, causing far more damage than the current financial crisis. The situation is hardly any better in the US, where the unfunded liabilities for social security and Medicare health care for the old are more than $50 trillion.

For all the talk of waste in the public sector, of inefficiency and of profligacy under Gordon Brown, nothing that this Government has done to dent Britain's public finances can compare with the damage imposed by decades of this demographic disaster.
There's a word for financial schemes which take in money, promising a good return in the future, and use the new money coming in to pay existing investors. They're called Ponzi schemes. A characteristic is that they need to recruit more and more new investors to pay the outgoings to the current investors. When the supply of new investors dries up, the scheme cannot continue to pay out and collapses.

Or in Dave Osler's words "Either immigrants keep this country going, or it folds." For 'new investors' in the Ponzi scheme, read 'new taxpayers' paying for some old chap's pension and NHS treatment.

I have wondered for some years about our Government's attitude to mass immigration. Even white liberal guilt seemed insufficient motive for their determination to see the positive side - and not exactly ignore the negative side, but rather deny that there was or ever could be a negative side (and only racists would suggest such a thing).

Maybe they've just been looking at the sums all along, and see mass immigration as the only politically acceptable solution. After all, no-one's going to suggest that we stop killing 200,000 babies a year, are they ?

Monday, May 11, 2009

Losing It ...

Polly Toynbee ...

It's all over for Brown and Labour. The abyss awaits. As long as he remains leader, there is nothing that wretched Labour candidates can plausibly say on the doorstep at next month's European elections. They are struck dumb. Why should people vote for them?
"Gorbals Mick" Martin ...

MPs exchanged looks. Now Norman Baker, who has campaigned long and hard on this issue, arose to mutters of irritation. He was urging the release of more information when Mr Speaker, robes swishing, cut him off.

“Another individual member who is keen to say to the press whatever the press wants to hear!” he announced, embarking on another rant, the nub of which was that Mr Baker had said in the past that the Commons authorities had done nothing on this. “It’s wrong for you to say that!” he said.

MPs just wanted it to end now. Yesterday should have been the Commons at its best, instead we were seeing it at its worst.
He just doesn't get it, does he ?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may sell wheat, making the measure sold small, and the measure bought great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the sweepings of the wheat?

The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, "Surely I will never forget any of their works".

Let's start with the works of Margaret Moran, shall we ?

Labour MP for Luton, seen here attempting to justify the unjustifiable.

Most MPs on the fiddle (i.e. nearly all of them) flip their 'second home' (which attracts all kinds of expense goodies) between their London home and their constituency home.

This convent schoolgirl flipped her second home between the two in traditional style, but then flipped it last year to a third house in Southampton, 90-odd miles from Westminster and 100-plus from Luton, which was owned by her lover and which she'd just become part-owner of. Immediately she claimed expenses of £22,500 for dry-rot treatment.

Now an uncharitable person might assume that when her paramour discovered the dry-rot, they jointly hatched a plot to get the taxpayer to stump up for it. You just can't stop cynical people having ridiculous ideas like that. That an MP could behave in such a way is of course unthinkable.

On 10 May 2009 she defended her expenses claim on the BBC Politics Show as follows:

Margaret Moran: "I have to be able to have a proper family life sometimes which I can't do unless I share the costs of the Southampton home with him (her partner, Booker)."

Andrew Sinclair: "But why should the taxpayer pay for your home in Southampton when clearly you are not using it for work?"

Margaret Moran: "Well, I... I... could argue that I use it to be able to sustain my work. Any MP has to have a proper family life.

Two points. Strange that she needs to go to Southampton when Mick Booker's Companies House address is given as Luton, and he's also on the electoral roll there, sharing a house with a voter called Margaret Moran. Mick does (or did) indeed work in Southampton - and from this 2002 photograph he's more prepossessing than his mercenary mort. Is Health and Safety Officer at Southampton Uni a more important job than an MPs ? Can't he get up to Luton to keep Margaret suitably sustained and serviced ?

Maybe she had to go down to Southampton Docks to give him a tug.

Second, and this is the one that gets me, is this nagombi about "family life". She's got no kids (like so many other 70s Sociology grads). What family ? Does sleeping with someone constitute a family ? Perhaps we should all have got bigger student grants back in those liberated, unGodly 70s days ? After all, we all had families ... some of us more than one ...

"Well, I... I... could argue that I use it to be able to sustain my work."

For God's sake ! Mark Oaten could have said the same thing about his rent-boys ! Lord Lambton could have said the same thing about his prostitutes - and his dope for that matter. Perhaps we could indeed all do with a quickie to sustain us - but how many of us charge it to the taxpayer ?

What do her fecund, pious Muslim constituents see in her ? I suppose God is the Knower.

This fubsy, fraudulent fornicator is a disgrace even to the disorderly House that is the Commons.

UPDATE - I was going to mention Blears Capital Gains Tax shenanigans, millionaire Shaun Woodward's claims, Jack Straw's dodgy Council Tax deals, the Repairs of the House of Ussher. I haven't the heart. Apart from a few saints like Hollobone and Dennis Skinner, the main difference seems to be that some are bigger crooks than others. Oh, and did you know that all Blair's expenses were "accidentally" shredded ? And that Thursday was a good day to bury the news that Labour's dodgy Abrahams contributions won't be prosecuted ?

I've always been, in Neville Chamberlain's words, a man of peace to the depths of my soul. But I don't know. I'm starting to think that all those ranting commenters looking for lamp posts and hempen rope may not have been as mad as I thought.

UPDATE2 - the first Tories are in. Michael Gove and Francis Maude look in trouble.