Sunday, September 30, 2007

This Blog Is A 'Top 100 Right of Centre (UK) Blog'

Weighing in at Number 98.

Many thanks to Iain Dale.

Some Thoughts On The Institute For Public Policy Research

According to this morning's 'Sunday Telegraph',
"Hundreds of thousands of immigrants are a drain on Britain and its economy, not a benefit, says a Left-leaning think tank.

Migrants from many developing nations fail to pay their way (MK - my emphasis), while those from wealthy countries, such as the United States and Australia, provide a boost for the economy.

The report, published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), sets out to reveal which nationalities are "a debit on Britain's balance sheet...
"It found that fewer than half of Britain's 650,000 Somalis, Bangladeshis, Turks and Pakistanis, have jobs and the four communities have the highest levels of benefit dependency....
The IPPR, which has close links to Labour, insisted that its report "is not an attempt to cast immigrant communities in a bad or good light". However, its findings will be seized on by those campaigning for tighter immigration controls."
My, how the tune of the Institute for Public Policy Research has changed.
Look at the emphasis above - "pay their way".
In 2005, the very same Institute for Public Policy Research published a hugely positive report on immigration into the UK entitled - guess what? - 'Paying Their Way"! which was approvingly cited by John Bercow in his own report, and which, nearly two years ago, I eviscerated back to front and inside out.
Maybe one of its 'thinkers' got mugged.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Alex Salmond And "The European Cause"

"I therefore want to be clear from the outset that as First Minister of Scotland I have no confusion or prevarication. The peoples and institutions of the European Union are central to my vision for Scotland. It will, I hope, be recognised that Scotland requires to rediscover the sense of internationalism which once defined our nation....
In my view, just as Flanders leads for Belgium at the Fisheries Council, so should Scotland lead for the UK. Regardless of Scotland's constitutional future, and regardless of the future framework of a policy which does the European cause so much damage and which would be better to revert to national control and conservation, it simply cannot be right that Scotland - with 68 per cent of the UK catch and the largest fishing zone of any single EU country - sits in a subsidiary position when these decisions affecting our communities are being made....
Tonight, my message is a clear and unambiguous one - this is the time for Scotland to assume our obligations and responsibilities to help mould the world around us.

This must be an era of renewed Scottish internationalism - both as a tribute to the past and a statement of who we are today.

It is not just that we are a nation interested in Europe, but rather that it is fundamentally in our national interest that we understand what it is to be European.

In furthering that national interest, I know with certainty that I can count on your support. And, for that, I thank you most sincerely."
You may have 'their' support, First Minister - but your now stated desire to break up one nation to merge it with another means you will never have mine.
Come, Tartanissimo, tell us - you have deplored all of Britain's wars, presumably because they were not Scotland's wars; would you be so keen to deplore Europe's?
Are you gunning for a Commissionership already?
And what, just what, is this so-called "European cause"? You were (barely) elected on a platform of Scottish nationalism - so do you believe in Scotland or Europe?
Baldly, where does your allegiance lie?
Whose side are you on?

Some Thoughts On John Reid's Appoinment As Chairman Of Celtic

Within every Home Secretary lurks a frustrated Prime Minister - yet even so, one would have thought a former holder of one the great offices of the British state might have been slightly more politically astute than to associate himself with a business whose customers routinely show allegiance to the flag of a nation other than their, and his, own.

Farming Notes

And given that the folly of having allowed the nation's dietary demands to be determined by the profit motive seems well and truly exposed, isn't it perhaps time to have a national food policy?

And Last, But Not Least...

A couple of foreign criminals - South African drug smuggler Jean Pierre Bezuidenhout and Portuguese menace Carlos Martins.
Having been labouring the scale of the UK's foreign crime problem for nearly two years, it is gratifying to see that some elements within the police services are now, belatedly, prepared to stand up and tell the truth.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Still Alive...

but with some things to do at the moment...

Of which more later...perhaps...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

What The Scottish Nationalists Would be Saying (If They Were Smart)

If it's acceptable for the government to intervene to save a bank, why can't it intervene to save a shipyard?

The Liberal Democrats On Immigration

"Lib Dems back migrant 'amnesty'
Plans to offer a "selective" amnesty to illegal immigrants in the UK have been backed at the Lib Dem conference.

Home affairs spokesman Nick Clegg said it was "absurd" to suggest the 500,000 people in Britain illegally could all be deported - at £11,000 a head.

Instead after 10 years they should get the right to earn citizenship, he said.

The Tories said the Lib Dems were "living in a fantasy world" while Labour said it would be "a strong pull for waves of illegal immigration".

The government says it does not know how many illegal immigrants are in the UK. However, pressure group Migration Watch puts the figure at between 515,000 and 870,000.
Mr Clegg said it was "fantasy politics" to discuss mass deportation of the "underclass" of people who do not pay tax, lack employment rights and access to healthcare and banking - when the government does not know where most of them are. "
What about the mass deportation of the many of them who commit crimes?
O, sorry, is that illiberal?

Just Where Is Scotland's Justice Minister When You Need Him?

How Does Scottish Officialdom React To The Conviction Of A Jihadist Terrorist?

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Man's A Suspect For A' That

Arthur Herman's book 'The Scottish Enlightenment' is a bit of a curate's Scotch egg.
He knows everything there is to know about Scotland up to 1900 - yet he equates 19th Century Irish migrants with modern "guest workers". Hmmm...wonder what some of my Irish Catholic Unionist Tory ancestors would have thought of that analysis...
In particular, he falls apart when describing the collapse of heavy industry in the West of Scotland from 1950 onwards; and one can't help but wonder whether he was a little embarrassed about someone making the connection between the influence of free-market ideology on the collapse with his former role as a professor at George Mason.
Yet these are minor faults; for the book is otherwise packed with many references which the casual student of Scottish history would otherwise have to work hard to find.
Such as the comments of Erskine of Grange made in 1735 that, before the Union,
"actual liberty was a stranger here ... our Scottish heroes of old savour a little of the Poles at present: they fought for liberty and independency, not to their country, but to the crown and the grandees."
This would be abhorrent at the best of times, yet it would be entirely in line with the tradition of Scottish elite thought going back to the greatest Scotch liberty hater of them all, Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun; an insightful crank who proposed that the only way for Scotland to achieve growth was the enforced enslavement of the people.
Fletcher's heirs are unhappy with the outcome of the World's End Murders trial. Although Angus Sinclair is a serial killer who will never be released, it goes without saying that if you elect to try a 30 year old case you do it on pretty solid foundations. That did not seem to be the case here.
However, in a society where you can get what you want, when you want, where you want and how you want it, a purely "transactional" society of the kind described by George Soros, then justice is just another commodity to be transacted until you get the justice you want - which in many cases is not actually justice, but vengeance.
This is not progressive, but regressive. Sometimes you don't get what you want. It sucks. Get over it. The narrow-minded, grasping, intolerant, vengeful streak in the Scottish character cannot and should not be thus indulged - for it would merely give the grandees cause to take more liberties away from us.

The Northern Crock

It beggars belief that Gloucestershire Police could say that no crime had been committed when Christopher and Fiona Howard barricaded their (female) bank manager into her office - if I were the lady's husband I'd be screaming for the male to be charged with abduction, assault and breach of the peace, his status as a pensioner with mouth cancer notwithstanding.
Yet the recent run on the Northern Rock points the way in which the provision of retail financial services is likely to move in the not too distant future - when a bank can keep you away from your money for a few more days because the website's crashed, you can expect the high street branch to disappear completely.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Drivellings Of A Clever Man

The erudite and urbane John O'Sullivan has a piece in today's 'Telegraph' entitled 'Who will be Britain's Boris Yeltsin?'
Please read it. It is an uncharacteristically, if not appallingly, bad analysis.
He writes,
"Following the defection of Quentin Davies to Labour, this week's news that two Tory MPs, Patrick Mercer and John Bercow, and the deputy treasurer, Johan Eliasch, were recruited by Gordon Brown as "advisers" has provoked some anxious speculation.

Does it all mean nothing more than that Brown has exploited the harmless vanity of three innocents abroad to throw the Tories still further off balance? Or are these the first faltering steps to making Britain a one-party state?"
Eliasch is a Swede; unless he has taken British citizenship (a commodity which in recent years has been handed out like sweeties), in my opinion he has no place involving himself in British politics. However, with the greatest respect to the gentleman, John Bercow's particular form of vanity can hardly be regarded as harmless.
O' Sullivan continues,
"If Britain is not going to be a one-party state, however, that should not banish all anxiety about its political destiny. A more insidious threat than one-partyism is the "one-establishment" state."
What has Britain ever been other than a 'one-establishment state'?
JOS goes on,
"This is a regime where both (or all) parties are merely different wings of the same political elite committed to the same broad policies. Admittedly, some element of cross-party consensus is inseparable from democracy; otherwise civil war breaks out. "
This is far, far too sweeping. The retention of the monarchy, commitment to the British Union and the preservation of the rule of law are policies just as surely as the periodical, and usually hamfisted, ideological surgery/butcherings of the tax and benefits systems that we have come to expect; yet there is no element of active consensus in their maintenance - they're just part of the furniture.
For the classic definition of bipartisanship, see under "Samuel L. Francis", "stupid" and "evil".
JOS goes on,
"But we know we are living in a one-establishment state when the parties agree on a series of major issues over which the voters are either divided or united in opposition to the "consensus". This false consensus drains democracy of its lifeblood - accountability - and instead we have a "one-establishment" regime with disturbing echoes of one-party rule."
OK, I'll give him that. He continues,
"Compare recent British political history with the trajectory of Soviet politics after the death of Stalin. After a brief interval, Khrushchev emerged to reform the rigid and inefficient orthodoxy of Stalinist socialism. He had some success, but his looser rule threatened both the ruling bureaucracy and its justifying ideology. "
This is guff. Our system is not Soviet - to attempt to draw any analogy to British politics or history from those of the Soviet Union, apart from one aspect only to which I will return, is absurd.
But he's not done -
"Khrushchev was replaced by the duopoly of Brezhnev and Kosygin, who restored a milder form of Stalinism. Eventually, the tougher Brezhnev assumed full power and for another decade maintained a façade of ideological "stability" behind which the inefficiencies of socialism quietly multiplied.

These produced such a serious systemic crisis that the Politburo appointed Gorbachev to reform it wholesale. But Gorbachev's perestroika was based on the illusion that socialism could be made efficient by a mixture of punishments and incentives. It couldn't. Perestroika brought the whole system crashing down and a genuine reformer emerged from the ruins in the shape of the post- and anti-communist Yeltsin."
That Yeltsin was the Communist who as mayor of Sverdlovsk did what not even Stalin would contemplate and levelled The Ipatiev House seems to have escaped O'Sullivan's attention - but hey, whatever. Dead Romanovs don't sell 'Daily Telegraphs'.
JOS continues,
"Consider now the two crises of the one-establishment British regime. The first came in the 1970s, when the regime's justifying ideology of "full employment Keynesianism" produced stagflation, strikes, ungovernability, and the winter of discontent. "
As if accession to the EEC and the First Oil Crisis had nothing to do with it. OK. Moving on,
"A Khrushchev figure emerged to liberate the system in the form of Madam Thatcherova. She eliminated the inefficient structures of socialism in industry and the work economy. She left the structures of welfare socialism largely untouched - but ideologically nervous. That led to her overthrow by bureaucrats intent on preserving their power and privileges."
More guff. She was overthrown by her own party, with Lord Howe of Aberavon in the role of quiet assassin; possibly the greatest act of service of that noble and learned gentleman's career in public life. JOS goes on,
"After a dim period lost to history, a Kosygin-Brezhnev duo took power in the form of Blairovitch and Brownski, with an updated consensus ideology of "market economy, welfare society". Blairovitch talked occasionally of reforming welfare socialism, but the tougher Brownski extended its inefficient structures."
That 1990-97 should be 'a dim period lost to history' is unsurprising - according to Fukuyama, that's when it (history) ended - you know, when 'The New World Order' won.
Or not. He goes on,
"Eventually the Soviet system collapsed from its contradictions; in Britain, the main contradiction is that an efficient and successful private sector is held back by burdensome, failing, costly and counter-productive public services. Ultimately, that contradiction will force reform. But the "one-establishment" regime postpones that day through its false consensus.
In the meantime, who is our Yeltsin? John Redwood? David Davis? Liam Fox? But who is that figure ambling amiably towards us, grander than Yeltsin, yet more courteous. Surely it cannot be?

But yes it is - the Tory party's own Mikhail Ancramovich, just back from his exile to the Scottish equivalent of a Ukrainian power station. Or maybe on his way there."
Boris Yeltsin was a disaster for Russia. The hero of 1991 had no compunction in turning his guns on the White House in 1993. He was only elected for a second term because, unbelievably, he was the least worst option; and the greatest service he performed for Russia was the manner in which he left office, going quietly as opposed to being forced out at gunpoint - or in a coffin.
Yet there is a Yeltsin in British politics - just not the one John O' Sullivan thinks.
The same thing happened in Edinburgh - about a week ago.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Alex Salmond And The Raising Of The Saltire In Edinburgh - Do None Dare Call This Treason?

is now up on The Devil's Kitchen.