Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Spineless Coward...

is the blogger known as 'Bishop Brennan'.
They have the left this comment upon my inevitably unpopular post of yesterday on 'The Devil's Kitchen' -
"DK - can we have this c-nt's address, so we can string him up please?"
I have left this reply -
"Er, Bishop Brennan,
If you ever post anything about wanting to do me violence again, I will find you out and have you arrested. You went too far."
He really should take my word for that. There is too much of this kind of unreasonable comment in the so-called 'British blogosphere', and he would make a good test case for stamping it out.
Update, June 1 2008 - unsurprisingly, this person has posted an apology on the same thread.

Here Is The News

The sole purpose of such calls is to undermine the Union in the public mind, by shifting its primary focus from British events to Scottish. If any BBC Scotland staff are included in those who have made those calls, then they can be counted amongst The Tartanissimo's own wee amen corner in that organisation - along with those who persist in designing HRH The Prince of Wales as 'The Duke of Rothesay'.
I doubt if his ma calls him that.
And the amen corner should all be fired. If they wish to engage in sedition and activism, they can do it without the benefit of my subsidy. God, I hate entryists...
(June 3rd 2008 - A reader has been good enough to point out an error in this post, and the correction can be found here)

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Thoroughly Stupid Policy

The BBC reports that,
"Data on people with low incomes could be shared with energy companies to help people pay their fuel bills.

The government wants to share details so extra cash from suppliers, as well as existing grants, can be better targeted at the elderly and vulnerable. "
In other words, the government is prepared to permit elderly, disabled, and vulnerable people be deluged with junk mail and worrisome cold calls, on the premise that they're helping them save tuppence a week.
I just can't wait for the identity theft cases to start rolling in from the overseas call centres that end up with the data. Talk about making a bad situation worse...

Isolationism's Time Has Come

is now up on The Devil's Kitchen.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hangin' With The Nats

My most productive work of the day can be found in the 'Comments' section here.

Very refreshing.

Cluster Bombs

Without in any way wishing to rouse the ire of Oliver Kamm, there is one serious flaw in the otherwise cogent case that he has made for the retention of cluster bombs which appears in today's 'Times'.
Mr. Kamm writes,
"The most enduring costs of an extensive treaty, however, will be to the solidarity of Nato. The United States insists on the option of using cluster munitions. The US is not merely one state among many. In the absence of world government, it is the provider and guarantor of collective security."
It is the nature of all alliances such as NATO that their individual member states are but one among many. The role that the USA plays in NATO is almost identical to that played by the United Kingdom during the endgame of the Napoleonic Wars. The UK provided the subsidies which kept the Prussians and the Austrians in the fight, while also providing the manpower that helped drive the Bonapartists from Spain.
That the leading powers of both NATO and the anti-Napoleonic alliance should have been the major industrial powers of the day, both separated from the theatre of war by an expanse of water which the aggressor was unable to bridge, may be coincidental.
It is also in the nature of such alliances that they are, by their very nature, temporary. NATO's rationale ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union - it is difficult to understand why it was not wrapped up sometime in 1993, and the ferocity of modern anti-Russian rhetoric might lead those of a paranoid bent to imagine that NATO was actually seeking enemies.
If NATO is not the bulwark it is imagined to be, but instead so fragile that it could fall apart over the issue of cluster bombs, then let it fall. Alliances end because the aims of nations change - and one wonders whether those who suggest that NATO might collapse over the Americans' insistence on using such horrible weapons as cluster bombs ever imagine that that might be the Americans' problem, not ours. After all, the USA does not act as the guarantor of collective security with a gun at its head.

A Perversion Of The Course Of Justice

Whilst one might disagree with George Monbiot's motives, it is absolutely certain that those security guards who prevented him from effecting a citizen's arrest on John Bolton are guilty of perverting the course of justice.
As a former diplomat, Bolton might have diplomatic immunity, in which case the appropriate course of events would have been for him to be taken into custody, a few quick phone calls made or appropriate ID's flashed, and it's all over. However, by obstructing Monbiot, whose intentions were well-known, Bolton's guards prevented him from effecting an arrest; and the execution of an arrest is not a declaration of guilt. It is an essential first step in the open and public administration of justice; as a citizen, Monbiot possesses the right to effect a citizen's arrest if he believes that its object is guilty of a crime; and nobody has any business standing in his way.
This sort of ham-fisted thuggery effected by ham-handed thugs gives the impression that there are some people who either reside in this country, or who visit this country, who are somehow beyond its justice; and what was good for Pinochet, who after all was a bona fide head of state, should also be good for John Bolton. Bolton talks a good game - one wonders just how big he must have felt, standing as he did behind the skirts of black-shirted goombahs.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Some Thoughts On Flags, Funerals And Other Stuff

I've just finished 'Our Bones are Scattered', Andrew Ward's account of the massacres perpetrated at Cawnpore during the Indian Mutiny.
It is a terrible book (an inevitable outcome given its subject matter, and no fault of Mr. Ward's) which has reminded me why I don't read much military history, and why I'm not really interested in it - it's all so confusing. Did 100 men of the 35th ride out, or was it 35 men of the 100th? After a while, you lose track.
Treaties are easier to deal with; put two sets of mutton-chops round a big polished table, leave them to stew for a few weeks, and bish, bash, bosh, you've got a historical event which students can actually learn something about.
The Mutiny is an event which deserves more study than it gets - however, the multicultural mindset would probably not long suffer the idea of people knowing that both Indians and Europeans tied each other to cannon (not a lot of people know that both sides were at it).
Multiculturalism pops up in the oddest places. Whilst one obviously gives condolences to the surviving family of murdered special constable Nisha Patel-Nasri, one of the BBC's reports of her husband's conviction showed a picture of her funeral. Inside the hearse, her coffin was draped in the Indian flag.
Mrs. Nasri was a serving British police officer. She did not live in India, she did not serve in India and she most certainly did not die in India. If draping a flag over her coffin was appropriate, it should have been a British one; end of story.
The consistent refusal of the British elites to reinforce any sense of common British civic identity is the real cause of our social ills, not the 'collapse of Christianity' nor the welfare state (one of English Bob's more stupid and crapulous commentaries, that one). How can people be expected to have an emotional attachment to an entity whose symbols they never see? How can people be expected to show loyalty to a society whose agencies only figure in their lives to either give them money or take it away?
The Union Flag should be displayed in every courtroom, every school and every public office in the United Kingdom. Let the people see the symbol of their nationhood, and they might just begin to feel some respect for the nation.
One wonders whether or not putting a British flag on Mrs. Nasri's coffin would even have occurred to those responsible - I doubt it. After all, what's the point of showing respect to entities which don't demand your allegiance?

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Ugly Reality Of Scottish Nationalist Rule

Never mind - that's 3,000 votes for the Union in the bag. Talk about shooting yourselves in the foot...

The Stupidity Of (Some) Libertarians

Fresh from reporting the doctrinal dispute into which the Libertarian Party of the USA has been plunged over the permissibility of child pornography (for the avoidance of doubt, this writer's view is that anyone who thinks child pornography should be legalised is in need of 1. Therapy, or 2. Castration), one's attention is drawn to a particularly stupid remark by Eamonn Butler of The Adam Smith Institute.
Butler has written,
"Britain's newspapers this week report that the government is going to take on gangs. Well, they had to say something: Home Secretary Jacqui Smith had to give a speech to the Police Federation, and since she's not going to honour their pay agreement, they were in a nasty mood. So getting tough on young thugs was something that might cheer them up and deflect a bit of flack. Who says policy is made for rational reasons.
Mind you, there are a number of slightly older gangs that the government could usefully tackle. Like the legal profession, for example, which succeeds in extorting vast amounts of cash from their clients, making it impossible for people to get real justice these days, unless they are very rich (or very poor and eligible for Legal Aid). By restricting the supply of lawyers, they can charge what they like. And the fact that the courts are a state monopoly doesn't help either. Sure, you can go to arbitration on contract disputes. But if someone owes you money, for example, you don't have much choice.
Doctors are another gang that should be tackled. Again, they decide how many people should qualify as doctors. So they don't go out of their way to pass too many. And again, the medical system is a state monopoly. People might not have to pay cash, but they certainly do pay in terms of reduced access, poor service, and lower recovery and survival rates than in many other advanced countries (and some non-advanced ones)."
To describe the medical profession as a 'gang' is very funny until you find you can't relieve yourself in the middle of the night, and describing the legal profession as a 'gang' is terribly, terribly funny; until you fail a roadside breath test.
Incidentally, Butler's comments show a stark ignorance of what some branches of the British professions are actually doing; for example, Scotland's solicitors have opted to go for Tesco Law, a decision which, in my opinion, is not just turkeys voting for Christmas, it's lemmings voting for tombstoning.
Butler's own ignorance of what is actually happening in the professions can be determined by that fact that until 2006, what was and was not chargeable by Scottish solicitors was determined by the Table of Fees. This was a very useful price control, until some idiot economist suggested abolishing it, whereupon fees rose to their true level overnight; the imposition of Gaidarism on those who pay fees to Scottish solicitors, and a genie which can only be brought back into the bottle by expanding the range of bodies capable of providing legal services - in other words, Tesco Law, a move which will leave most Scottish solicitors worse off than they are at the moment.
But what do I know? I'm just a blogger...
However, what is staggering about Butler's remarks about both doctors and lawyers is that they fail to acknowledge the importance of expertise. Would he wish to attend a doctor who'd learned their profession from a cobbler in a nail-bar? No, neither would I. Would he wish to instruct a solicitor who's learned their profession from a joiner in a tannery? No, neither would I.
There is a point to restricting the numbers of people who enter professions. It is to ensure that standards are maintained. If he wants to increase the numbers qualifying as doctors, and abolish the NHS, then that's just fine; just as long as he's willing to pay £3000 an hour to cover the doctor's indemnity insurance premiums - or else abolish the concept of, and all liability for, 'professional negligence'.

Scottish Nationalist Hypocrisy

A man's a man for a' that...unless you're an asylum-seeker...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Some Thoughts On Why Contributing To Internet Comment Sites Is A Waste Of Time

Shane Cory, my former editor at 'The Washington Dispatch', has resigned from his post as CEO of the USA's Libertarian Party.
The very, very weird background to his resignation has been narrated by Jeremy Lott on 'Comment is Free'; which as is about as far up the British media food chain that anyone attached to 'The Washington Dispatch' has ever got.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Nuts From The Chipmunk's Pouch

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Scottish National Party's Cheap, Headline Driven Populism

Whilst Richard Lochhead, 'Environment Secretary' in the soi-disant, ersatz 'Scottish Government', reveals that the SNP's policies are founded in autarky (good luck with that one, Richard - I don't see your fellow travellers in BBC Scotland and the Sunday Herald buying that policy too easily; the only way you'll take their Chateau Margaux from them is out of their cold, dead hands), The Tartanissimo has, for the second time in two days, engaged in the sort of cheap, nasty, headline-driven populism for which he would have lashed out at Tony Blair with both fists.
Yesterday it was pandering to celebrities; today it's pandering to those tabloids who angrily reported the angry comments of Sheriff Kevin Drummond concerning crimes committed by early-release prisoners.
The nasty streak of Calvinist authoritarianism running through the political wing of The Boys' Brigade having thus been whetted, and a few cheap headlines bought, hopefully Salmond will be able to reconcile his desire to stamp on prisoners' heads with our chronic lack of prison capacity; for no amount of low business rates will pay for our current high demand for new jail cells, let alone the new jails he and his colleagues will have to build if they're going to stop early release.
There's only one policy which will enable Salmond to have his oatcake and eat it, and that's more community based sentences; and I'd love to hear what his buddies in the media have to say about that, when they've been burgled by neds who are the subjects of community service orders at the time of their offence.

The Exeter Bummer

It's unfortunate that today's real news will be swept aside in favour of coverage of a bye-election.
Politics is the most fleeting and transitory of pastimes. Political fortunes ebb and flow, wax and wane all the time. At the moment, both the Conservative and Labour parties are in the grip of social and economic radicals, so the electoral choices available to, and therefore the interest capable of being generated on the part of, the true conservative are limited.

No, yesterday's real news was a that a mentally ill, dog loving fatso from Plymouth tried to turn himself into the self-service carvery in an Exeter restaurant, presumably at Allah's behest.

Nicky Reilly is, of course, innocent until proven guilty; so I shall refrain from labelling him 'The Exeter Bomber', using the more apposite title of 'The Exeter Bummer' instead.

Almost immediately, the police have been able to tell us that Reilly was a convert to Islam who was 'vulnerable' and who was" preyed upon, radicalised and taken advantage of".

This begs some questions - are those Muslims who 'preyed upon' this so-called 'Big Friendly Giant' (pass the sick bag, please!) being actively pursued? Are arrests anticipated? If they haven't already been made, why not? An allegedly vulnerable, i.e. subnormal, person like Reilly doesn't do pretty much anything without someone else's help - who was the Abu Bombmaker who sent him out tooled up to get his virgins?

A concerned public are entitled to ask these questions - if only because a combination of violence and extreme limited intelligence seems to run in the Reilly family.

The Daily Telegraph reports two fascinatiing snippets about the life of Reilly. The first is the comment of his neighbour Bradley Kinsman that Reilly owns "a big lurcher dog called Gypsy who he adores".

Two points; firstly, Reilly's sociopathic tendencies are perfectly illustrated by showing no compunction in trying to kill other people while possessing a sickeningly sentimental attachment to an animal at the same time - and secondly, those who are alleged to have 'radicalised' him never seemed to have got round to telling him about the bits in Islam about dogs being unclean.

The other is the report that,

"Nicky Reilly’s brother Luke, 20, was jailed for six years in February after pleading guilty to beating Polish kitchen worker Wojciech Giedzilin unconscious in a “brutal and sustained attack”.

During his hearing at Plymouth Crown Court Reilly’s defence lawyer said he was of “limited intelligence,” and had a troubled upbringing.

The court also heard that he had a cannabis habit and would regularly steal to fund it. "


Old Mother Reilly clearly has more than one stupid and violent son - the question is, do they both smoke dope? And was the bold Nicky toked up to the eyeballs when he tried to bring Guy Fawkes Night forward by six months?

If that's the case, then it may just be the case that those who, ahem, 'radicalised' him might have been pushing him dope as well; in which case, the jihad has spiralled allllllll the way back in time to the days of al-Hassan ibn-al-Sabbah, and Reilly was, in truest sense of the word, an assassin.

And just think - dope might have played merry hell with whatever medicines that benevolent and well-intentioned doctors might have prescribed him to alleviate his schizophrenia.

It ill be interesting to see just how Reilly's alleged illnesses are played by his defence team. If they shout, 'He's a fat, smelly, screaming schizo!", they might just about have a psycho defence - but Little Nicky's not made it easy for them. Is he enough of a loony not to co-operate? I think he's already realised the error of his ways, which is why the police know he's been 'radicalised'; I mean, the police wouldn't make that sort of stuff up for reasons of political correctness and to stop people getting angry with Islam - would they?

However, a clever prosecutor (a rare breed, in my experience) could suggest that his willingness to co-operate is proof of his sanity - in which case Reilly would be looking down the wrong end of 40 thoroughly deserved years in prison.

When all is said and done, and as perverse as it may seem, The Exeter Bummer's alleged failure to execute his alleged attack has a number of other strong positives quite apart from the fact that the only person he hurt was himself.

Remember how, earlier this year, the more robust adherents of the religion of peace strapped suicide backpacks on to two Down's Syndrome women in Baghdad? Well, this is the same kind of gig. When the only Muslims interested in the violent acquisition of Heaven are the fat loony loser converts with dogs called 'Gypsy', then it's the fat loony losers you have to go with. The jihad might fail for want of soldiers, in which case, in 20 years' time we'll all look back on these days and laugh. It is written, inshallah...

However, another, more profound outcome might be the reacquisition of our cultures. Dennis recently wrote a post on stroppy women, and today Martin Samuel has written a piece complaining about his son's teacher wanting the boy to get a haircut. Postculture is entirely unisex, in that the women want to look and act like men, while some men want to look and act like women. A man's hair should never proceed over his ears or collar - anything else, and he looks like a girl.

It is essential that British males be permitted to regain their maleness; and an essential aspect of maleness is fighting. A man is nothing without a foe to overcome. Maybe the fact that Islam is so weak that it can only recruit killers of Nicky Reilly's calibre will make more men reclaim their maleness by fighting against Islam; not with fists or feet, but the most satisfying fights of all, those won with words, thought and argument. Islam is not a religion of peace, but a hateful death cult. It is violent to its core; and it needs intellectual violence to be done upon it if we are ever to enter days when we do not have to suffer the likes of Nicky Reilly.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cooledonia Revisited

Just yesterday, I wrote that Alex Salmond might have "rendered himself subject to accusations of frivolity, of attempting to court some cheap popularity by attaching himself to celebrities; of trying to create his own version of 'Cool Britannia' - 'Cooledonia', if you will."

Tonight, the BBC has reported that,

"The Scottish Funding council is to carry out a review of money for drama provision across Scotland.

The news comes after the Scots actor James McAvoy joined a campaign to prevent cutbacks at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD.

First Minister Alex Salmond has written to Mr McAvoy saying the government is committed to maintaining "world class drama provision".


A number of high-profile stars have become involved in the RSAMD campaign.

Among those who had put their names to a letter to the first minister were Bill Patterson, Billy Boyd and Alan Cumming."

Now, perhaps I'm a little different from many other conservatives in thinking that arts training should be publicly funded, if only because the arts are the public expression of our common culture; the drama we produce is a mirror of ourselves. Those who work in the arts know, or should know, that they are very privileged, and it's gratifying to see many talented, creative people take time away from creating things to speak up in defence of that culture.

However, if the RSAMD is to survive in its current form then it must do so on its own, very high, merits. As soon as the politicians get involved, and start making cases for the arts, then the likes of Salmond lay themselves wide open to accusation of frivolity in seeking to associate with celebrities; in his case, of trying to create the 'Cooledonia' I complained of yesterday.

And this sort of public concession to special interest cases can so easily backfire - for example, why will Salmond investigate the cost of funding drama provision, when he won't intervene to help an adult day-care centre in Aberdeen that his party wants to close?

A Life Well Lived

A six-fold increase in traffic overnight is usually to be welcomed - however, it seems to have been occasioned by people looking for information on my namesake Martin Kelly, who has passed way at the tragically early age of 42.
Mr. Kelly seems to have been the sort of character we don't make many of in Britain anymore - a surgeon and philanthropist who deserves the title that they've been given, that of 'Renaissance Man'. With 30 published papers under his belt, the only honour that seems to have eluded him was a professorship - but one would imagine that that was a goal he would have easily attained if he had really applied himself to it.
He seems to have been one of those people like Lord Birkenhead, people who live the equivalent of three lifetimes in one - and anyone who plays in a band composed of plastic surgeons and called 'Tuck That' has got to be said to have a sense of humour.
Whilst his family obviously have my condolences, Mr. Kelly's death also gives one pause. Hopefully it wasn't just another senseless bloody jogging accident. I am not too far away from his age at death, yet have done nothing like as much to alleviate the suffering of my fellow man. Although it's no excuse, he might have been a one-off - he seemed to possess that remarkable combination of extreme intelligence, commitment and energy found in only the truly gifted; and more to the point, he didn't sit around on his backside talking about helping people, he just went out and did it. One would imagine that listening to him talk about his work would make performing reconstructive surgery sound as simple as tying your shoelaces.
What a remarkable man - and what a life well-lived.

The Fag Hag

That the soi-disant, ersatz 'Scottish Goverment' is an enemy of liberty is not in dispute; that they are thoroughly nasty people, with a strong streak of chauvinism, who love the Scots only in the abstract and who are led by one history's less diligent liberators, is not in dispute; but this move just how thoroughly petty they are.
They are Jacobins, in the truest sense of the word. They cannot bear the thought of anyone else not being like them; and they will do everything in their power to ensure that the Scots are turned into the sort of people you can bring your German friends to see, and who won't embarrass you in front of your guests. They don't like smoking - so nobody should smoke.
I would give Ms. Robison two fingers- if I wasn't holding a cigarette between them.

Some Thoughts On The Final Day Of The Scottish Premier League Soccer Season

The BBC reports that,
"Celtic and Rangers face a nerve-shredding end to the Scottish Premier League season as the title race reaches its climax on Thursday."

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Cooledonia

The level of media coverage granted to the funeral of Tommy Burns yesterday made one wonder whether it should have been labelled a 'Burns' Last Supper'. Popes have been seen off with fewer priests at their funeral; and one can only hope that other sick were being visited, and other dead were being buried, whilst their clergy were otherwise engaged.
There is no disrespect intended to the memory of Mr. Burns in these remarks; and his family have my condolences upon their loss. He was, by all accounts, a genuinely pious man - but a case can be made that having two bishops and over 20 priests concelebrate your funeral might be thought to be, pardon the expression, overkill, particularly when 20,000 people have lined the streets to view/honour/gawp at your cortege.
It would be interesting to know just how many of those clergy actually knew Mr. Burns, or if they had been drawn to participate because of his association with Celtic Football Club. My own view, that Celtic is an insidious entity, is, I acknowledge, not within my community's intellectual mainstream; however, from a particular point of view it might have been better if a man of goodwill and simple faith like Mr. Burns had never been associated with it, rather than to have spent so much of his life in its service - a service he seems to have performed with enthusiasm.
However, what's done is done. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him, may he rest in peace; and may his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.
One wonders whether or not other lessons can be drawn from what was seen yesterday. For example, although BBC Scotland's news website has reported that "Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has also attended the funeral", an attendance corroborated by the sight of his bulky frame waddling into the chapel broadcast on the UK-wide lunchtime news, neither of the local Scottish bulletins I saw yesterday made any mention of his presence. One wonders why. At times, it seems that BBC Scotland would not shy away from reporting Alex Salmond in the same way that the old Yugoslav news used to report that 'Today, Comrade Tito shot a bear'; and it is remarkable that they should have thought fit to omit to mention of both his name and his image from amongst those of the well-known mourners whom they did report as having attended what must have been the most well-reported Scottish funeral that this century has thus far seen.
Agin, Mr. Salmond might have been a friend of the Burns family, and was doing them the courtesy of paying his last respects in the proper manner. If not, then he might have thought it appropriate to attend in his capacity as the nation's civic leader, to honour the memory of a popular Scottish public figure, and one obviously held in high esteem.
Howeer, if he was there in the hope of cheap publicity by attaching himself to the memory of a dead former footballer like a leech, then he should stand accused of two things. Firstly, attempting to subvert a funeral Mass for his own purposes. You decide. Alternatively, he rendered himself subject to accusations of frivolity, of attempting to court some cheap populalrity by attaching himself to celebrities; of trying to create his own version of 'Cool Britannia' - 'Cooledonia', if you will.
If that was his game, then he couldn't have picked a worse occasion - for what is publicly known about Tommy Burns seems to indicate that he was not a frivolous man, and that his memory deserves more respect than for his funeral to be turned into a photo-op for The Tartanissimo.

Nationalists And Weapons

Good to see Alan Cochrane stick the boot into the Scottish Nationalists for preaching pacifism, while also hailing the award of armaments contracts to be fulfilled in their consituencies.

The Production Line Children

The tribunes have excelled themselves - the abortion limit stays at 24 weeks.
Huzzah! Another three lives ended every day, skulls crushed and flushed down the toilet bowl. I hope they all feel very proud of themselves.
Where is Schindler when we need him?
George Pitcher has an interesting wee piece on saviour siblings in today's 'Telegraph' entitled, 'What will we tell these production-line children? He doesn't really come out and say what this debate is all about, but he comes close.
Let's be clear about one thing; the whole concept of 'saviour siblings' has not been created for the cure of children, but the mental well-being of parents. One of Pitcher's commentors writes, "what do you tell a five year old that's dying of leukaemia?" Although it's doubtful that any five year old child has any actual conception of what death and the process of dying really are, their use of the word 'that' in this context is instructive. It is a pronoun most commonly used to describe an object, not a person.
I have never been in the position of trying to comfort a dying five year old, and hope that cup never comes my way - but one might have thought a good pitch in those circumstances might be, 'Don't worry, darling, the pain will soon be over when you go to sleep'. The whole 'saviour siblings' stuff has not come into being to enable sick childreen to live longer - it is to minimise the risk of their parents having to have such conversations. Perhaps longer life spans, and reduced infant mortality, have reinstated an almost medieval fear of death. Maybe the parents' own fear of death, their naked terror at the thought of not being alive anymore, sublimates into a panic concerning their childrens' survival which would have been a mystery to those who lived in the ages of exposure and foundling hospitals.
That such evils are no longer prevalent is in no small measure due to the enormous advances in human prosperity made since the beginning of ther 19th Century. However, there is an enormous difference between wanting to live longer and wanting to live forever. We seem no longer capable of accepting the idea of 'Acts of God'; that some things will just be, no matter how hard we look for solutions or try to rationalise the outcomes. Death is now viewed as un-natural, when it's really the most natural part of being alive. Having been able to cure smallpox and suppress the plague, we sem unable to accept that the human body remains a thing of mystery, a true synergy that enables great feats to be done on the back of a collection of chemicals which cost about two pounds fifty in total.
We believe that science can unlock all doors, provide all the answers, when all rational people should know that it can't. Some things are just going to happen, whatever we do; which, sadly, means that some sick children will still die even if a saviour sibling is created for them. That is an actuarial racing certainty; and one can only feel great pity for those parents of sick children whose hopes for a cure have been raised by this law. Some, if not most, of them are still going to be disappointed.
However, there is a more disturbing undercurrent in this debate - the view that children are somehow a piece of property to be protected. Pitcher comes close to this when he writes, "how much more embarrassing might it be to be brought into the world to be a piece of equipment"; it might have be better put as 'a tool, like a hammer or screwdriver, required to fix a broken accessory'. If any of those calling for the creation of 'saviour siblings' are motivated by this kind of sentiment, then I pity them - they are just another species of self-interested creature who'll find it very hard to deal with the credit cruch and a restricted ability to consume. They do not love their children - not really - but instead wish to consume their company; on their own terms, of course. These are the the sort of people who talk loudly about 'their kids' before complaining about the expense of bringing them up.
And for this mindset, I blame the most profane, most ungodly collection of soi-disant 'scientists' the world has ever seen - the economists.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

England's Problem Wife

Postculturalism

Curses!
You think up a wonderful neologism - and discover someone's beaten you to it!
'Postcultural' is really the only adjective that can be used to describe our society at the moment, a place and time where the old culture is not just ignored, but wilfully thrown away, the society defined solely in the negative terms of how it differs from the old culture without any attempt to mould a positive, wholesome new identity. One of postculturalism's most striking features is that it manages to be negative even when it's trying to be positive. Let me give you a few examples.
Fancy a good kids' movie? I did, quite recently. What I got was an overtly sexualised story which vividly depicted both a hanging and a human sacrifice, and whose plot was driven forward by devices which included showing two small boys fighting each other. Its name - 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'.
BBC One has recently shown all three previous 'Jones' movies on consecutive Sunday nights - the imminent release of the fourth is presumably entirely coincidental. 'Temple of Doom' falls into the usual traps that Spielberg laid at his own feet when he was still an entertainer, before deciding to become a polemicist and serious man - cartoon violence, garbage dialogue and an annoying, gobby, cheeky kid. The presence of Mrs. Spielberg, in the first of her two career outings as an Oriental bar girl, (the other being in 'Black Rain'), doesn't really add much to the story - she's certainly not helped by a script that makes her character almost as annoying as that of the kid's.
Is this too harsh a treatment of what was intended to be a popcorn movie? No. While channel-hopping the evening before watching 'Temple of Doom', I came upon 'The Exorcist'. It is not unfair to say that the human sacrifice scenes in 'Temple of Doom' are just as disturbing, if not more disturbing, than the notorious exorcism scene in the latter movie. 'The Exorcist' was released in 1973, 'Temple of Doom' in, appropriately, 1984. Something must have happened in the 11 years between their respective unleashings on the public to make what was unacceptable in 'The Exorcist' acceptable in 'Temple of Doom'. Personally, I think the culture ended, and it was one of the first flowerings of mass postculture - making money by showing two wee boys fighting with each other isn't really creatively taxing, and shows something of a rotten-ness of spirit.
I wonder if Spielberg has let his own kids watch it. I doubt it.
This morning, the British people have woken up to discover that their tribunes have sanctioned the creation of hybrid embryos. Last night, BBC News was choc-a-bloc with images of the lame and the halt saying how this wonderful science would let them spring from their sickbeds like gazelles, and the concerned parents of sickly nippers, on the verge of tears, emphasising that what little Tommy wanted for his Christmas was not his two front teeth, but a saviour sibling.
They're voting again today on cutting the abortion time limit. This has got the former Communist David Aaromovitch into a bit of a typically ex-Communist froth. Abortionists' ethics are a mystery to me - when other people stand up to be counted, do they lie down? - but the whole debate into abortion and saviour siblings seems, to my mind, to be capable of being cut through very simply.
For example, did any mother seeking to create a saviour sibling for a sick child have an abortion before that child was conceived? If so, then your family's predicament is very sad, and, all appearances to the contrary, you have my deepest sympathy; but I'd guess it's odds-on that you've already aborted your surviving child's natural-born donor.
Come to think of it, given that these matters are only ever determined by the tyranny of the free vote, an exercise in which Parliament has consistently shown itself to be far to the left of the public, isn't it only appropriate for those female MP's voting on this legislation to be canvassed as to whether they have themselves subjected their children to terminations? And if that if they weren't capable of exercising self-denial and remaining attached to their underwear for two minutes, why they couldn't have exercised a form of birth control rather less brutal and bloody? Indeed, doesn't any such failure to exercise judgment in their personal affairs not reflect rather badly on their ability to deliver wise counsel and exercise prudent judgment when directing the affairs of the nation?
The Daughters of Simone de Beauvoir are all so terribly postcultural - it's all gimme, gimme, gimme, now, now, now. For them, there is no past, no introspection, no reflection - history does not exist. They forget that the egomaniacal old bat whose poisonous teachings they so willingly imbibed was not pro-woman, but anti-marriage - a small distinction, but one of fundamental importance in attempting to understand the desert that postculture has made for us, and which the postculturalists call the permissive society
I could go on and on for hours, but it would be pointless. If a definition of postculture is required, think of it as only being the rejection of that which was; negative, nihilistic and, either until a major Christian revival (which is a strongish possibility - stranger things have happened) or the Muslims take over, it's here to stay.

One In The Private Eye

The 'News' section of Eye 1210 states that,
"A reader alerts the Eye to a 1940's history of Benito Mussolini, uncovered by a US think tank, and makes an unkind comparison with Gordon Brown's (Private Finance Initiative) policy".
It then gives a long quotation from the Mises Institute's recent reprinting of part of one of John T. Flynn's books, and concludes,
"The author, American John T. Flynn, added in a footnote, 'For a full and interesting discussion of this weird chapter in fiscal policy see 'Twelve Years of Fascist Finance', by Dr. Gaetano Salvemini, 1935'.
Dr. Salvemini's works are, of course, familiar to readers of this blog - in 'A Very British Fascism', written on, oh, 3rd January 2007, I cited him in support of the contention that British financial policy is now at one with the fundamentals of Italian fascist economic theory; and in 'British Fascism Revisited', written on 27th June 2008, I specifically outlined how the nationalisation scheme enacted for Northern Rock fitted right into the same gameplan.
Whilst one's vanity is wounded at being so cruelly overlooked, its injury is more like athlete's foot than anything mortal. However, one might have thought that Private Eye, of all publications, might be paying slightly more attention to what's being published right under its nose.
Maybe Hislop and his gnomeboys should spend more time surfing the British blogosphere than appearing on game shows; for there's gold in them thar links...

Monday, May 19, 2008

White Heat

Given that the economy's tanking, the country's being sold out hand over fist to the European Union and we're involved in one war we can't win (Iraq), and another we don't seem to want to fight properly (Afghanistan), Gordon Brown's very vocal support for the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, an abominable law which would facilitate the creation of abominations and which sits at the farthest edge of ethics, isn't quite fiddling while Rome burns; but it's close.
Anyone who decribes an embryo as a 'spare' has commodified humanity to the extent that they view the body as just a collection of bits. So-called 'spare' embryos have the same dignity as spare hubcaps or washing machine filters; tools for the completion of a task.
Brown's arguments are just another expression of the left's apparent infatuation with scientific progress. Where Wilson sang the praises of 'the white heat' of the technological revolution, Brown praises the efforts of the test-tube titans who, up to this point, have been unable to find a cure for the common cold. Everything that's new, the left will be into; ideological novelty junkies, and to hell with habits of mind that have served us very well in the past. The left's desire to make New Men caused it to create New Labour. Brown's outbursts show that in their desire to reshape humanity, some on the left would go as far as to create new species.
As the sufferer of a currently incurable genetic neurological disorder, I do not wish to be cured as a result of hybrid research. What many ill people sometimes seem to forget is that none of them are important enough to merit another person losing their life for them. The recipients of donated organs should live every day in a spirit of humility, acknowledging that they owe their life to the generosity and selflessness of another. However, Brown's bill is intended for the benefit of those who consider it to be their right to be well and free of disease, instead of acknowledging that good health is a privilege.
And if Brown is swayed by the blandishment of the embryonic stem cell professionals, then I would suggest that he re-read his Adam Smith.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sir Simon Of The Quangos

"...what really jumps put from the book is, well, a sense that Sir Simon is the British Establishment incarnate. He's never been an MP, I don't know if he's ever even run for office, but he's forever making references to having been on the board of British Rail and how he's served on this commission, that committee and the other quango."-
The blogger, 10 June 2007.
"I was for five years a member of the relevant agency, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority." -
I had almost forgotten that he'd been involved in the Strategic Defence Review; and I have to say I think my case is pretty much rested.
However, his column today doesn't really display much understanding of the libertarianism he seems to claim to profess. In saying that, "(t)he Commons will have a chance to stamp the medieval demand of the Catholic Church that MPs obey its edicts rather than their judgments", he seems to forget that although the Church has rules, membership is entirely voluntary; and if members wish to receive the benefits membership confers, then they must comply with the rules. It's a bit like a golf club for souls.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Sound Of Silence

Anyone who's ever had to listen to somebody else playing what sounds like 'Sydney Devine Sings Jesus Christ Superstar' -I..don't know how to...LOVE Him! - at 03.00 can appreciate the value of a little piece and quiet.
As a user of public transport, it is extremely irritating to have a precious time almost God-given for the pursuit of contemplation and study disturbed by by some anti-social person intent on blasting out trance or death metal.
On one occasion, the silence of my local library was shattered by a local gobshi-personality wanting to share the delight of knowing him with serious library users; the kind of personality and behaviour which the cattle-prod was invented to respectively mould and deter.
Being responsible for creating a racket is a sign of profound egotism. The noisy are so self-absorbed that not only do they wish to manipulate their own environment, they perceive no harm or irritation in wilfully disturbing the quiet of others.
The noise is, of course, an expression of the terror the noisy feel at having to contemplate their own thoughts; a terror so profound that it seeks to suppress not merely their own thoughts, but every thought within a 50 feet radius.
It's therefore with some sympathy that one reads Andrew Martin's piece on silence in today's 'Guardian'. If Stephen Gough weren't an exhibitionist crank, he'd quite easily be a neighbourhood noise crank instead. If you are the other kind of egoist, the type that demands that everyone around you like Trappists, then buy a bungalow. Noise is an act of sharing, politics in its purest form - one person makes it, another receives it and both have to be happy with the result. Societies that cannot both tolerate a certain level of noise and recognise that the volume control cuts both ways are in deep trouble, for they are atomising to the point where social and political living is impossible.
Whether or not this is the fault of economics is anyone's guess - but I wonder whether or not Janice Turner's 'London Rage' is partly rooted in noise; perhaps too many immigrants only being here to make a buck, being unwilling to live by British cultural norms and thinking that the same standards of behaviour hold good in both Cairo and Camberwell, or in Mayfair and Minsk. They might not, you know.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Fauna Of Lanarkshire

Despite being the youngest of my parents' surviving children, I'm at the stage in life where the only groups in which I remain the youngest are coach tour parties (sadly, horrifically, this has actually happened) and Saturday morning worshippers.
Accordingly, as the spectre of middle age begins to descend, I've begun to notice, even develop some interest in, middle-aged stuff - like the local wildlife.
One of our local grey squirrels is a bit of a hoodie. He has absolutely no compunction about scaling the 30 foot wall of the neighbouring Church of Scotland, and I have seen him have a go at a cat. He's a sort of Highland Light Infantry squirrel; if he were human you'd know he'd be small, wiry, and red-haired, weaving about on the balls of his feet while itching to avenge some real or imagined injustice - but no matter how truculent, or how bitter his attitude to life, the world and humanity, you just know he's the type of squirrel you'd want at your back in a tight corner.
However, this morning, I saw something even more startling than the antics of my rumbustious rodent friend.
Our gardens contain two trees, between the lines of which hang cables running between some unsightly telephone poles. Between a cable and one of the trees hung a spiders' web, the diameter of which must have been at least nine feet. This was intensely disturbing.
For a world in which the spiders and squirrels are becoming bigger and bolder while the humans are becoming smaller and more timid is one whose natural balance of power is unravelling.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Scotland's Rowan Williams

That would be Canon Gerard Tartaglia, quoted as saying that,
"...elements of Islamic law are likely to be incorporated into UK law over time. Canon Tartaglia believes that Islamic law will have influence in the areas of financial transactions and marital mediation. This will, he claims, reflect society's multiculural nature and society would not adopt laws which would not be of benefit. Nor would the influence be a threat."
The appropriate reply to such rubbish can be found here.

What Rioting Rangers Fans Tells Non Scots About Scotland

It was predictable that Rangers would lose the UEFA Cup Final - indeed, it was thus predicted - and it was also sadly predictable that some of its fans would do violence in the wake of the defeat.
Althouh holding no brief for either side of the Old Firm, and although it is my privilege to know many moderate Rangers fans, there are a hard core of Rangers fans, mainly sectarian bigots, who just don't like losing. This is evidenced by the number of corpses they leave in their wake - something like eight Celtic fans have been murdered by alleged Rangers supporters in the aftermath of their encounters over the last 20 years, to no reply.
If either side of the Old Firm were serious about tackling the social problems their continued existence cause, they could make a start by banning the travelling buses from Ireland. Both Northern Ireland and the Republic have perfectly serviceble soccer leagues, and true fans of the game would be able to find their entertainment slightly closer to home. It's an unavoidable conclusion that many of those who travel to watch the Old Firm don't do so for the soccer, but to chant hatred. This is socially unhygienic - a bit like making Glasgow a common cesspool.
By the same token, they should both be a little more rigourous about granting season tickets to non-Glaswegian Scots. For days, BBC Scotland has been carrying images of Rangers' supporters buses leaving for Manchester from as far afield as Inverness and Dundee, cities with perfectly solid teams of their own. Why do these people follow Rangers? To shout their hatred of Catholics? Sorry, can't one ask this question?
However, the real lesson to be drawn from this is for those charged with Scotland's government - the spirit of 'We, The People' will never be able to flourish amid the thorns of 'We Are The People!'

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Our Richard Nixon

Irony Of The Day

If Alex Salmond goes to Manchester to watch Rangers get beat, he will be amongst a group who seem to define themselves solely by their attachment to the Union Flag.
Discuss.

The Limits Of Libertarianism

Those libertarians who believe that Boris Johnson was wrong to ban alcohol from London's Tube network forget that even in the smallest of all possible British states, the authorities would retain a monopoly on force and, in return, would be expected to protect the people from harm. In some instances that may very well mean banning alcohol from public places; and for a non-contentious example of how such bans can sometimes be very much to the greater good, they should study the history of the ban on alcohol within Scotland's soccer stadia. It was enacted after this.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Ideal Job

Historian, newspaper columnist, book reviewer, public intellectual and much-quoted homme serieux.

Offers welcome.

David Palmerston Aaronovitch

Liberal interventionism flows from pretty much the same mindset as that which produced the Anti-Social Behaviour Order - I don't like what you do, and I'm going to use force to stop you.
Relying as it does on the both the threat of force and the use of force, on limbs getting rent and skulls getting cracked, liberal interventionism is anything but liberal, of course - and it's sad to see David Aaronovitch, one of our more intelligent new Palmerstons, display his ignorance of some basic history when making the case for a humanitarian intervention in Burma in today's 'Times'.
By positioning the adjective 'needy' immediately beside the noun 'Burmese', Aaronovitch, to his credit, passes The Cohen Test with flying colours. Yet he writes of state control,
"...after the Second World War there grew up a kind of admiration of the mobilisatory capacities of totalitarian governments. Stalin had saved Soviet heavy industry from the Germans by moving it physically from Belorussia to the Urals. The command economy had proved its worth by building gazillions of T34 tanks. By the late 1950s and 60s this was translated into praise for the Sputniks and Gagarins of the Soviet space effort and in the 70s into warm words about Cuba's health system.

It was a hallucination. The democracies had done as good a job in war production as the dictatorships, and were to prove massively superior at technological innovation. By the late 1970s it was becoming clear that the only thing real communism - or any totalitarianism, including theocracy - was good at, was repression".
While his ultimate point is true, he seems not to know that the reason the democracies were as good at war production as the totalitarians was that they were just as ruthless at grabbing the means of production; indeed, in the comparative cases of the UK and Germany, even more so - the UK was pretty much geared up to a full war economy by 1939, while Germany did not fully mobilise the home front until 1941 at the very earliest.
Being good at winning wars has absolutely nothing at all to do with whether you're a democracy or a totalitarianism. If you don't understand this, then you've got precisely the same problem as market fundamentalist economists - you don't understand it's neither the 'who' nor the 'why' that matter, but the 'how'.
Aaronivitch concludes his piece soberly, and soberingly, by writing,
"How often do we need it proved? The issue isn't whether we have the right to intervene - because the consequences of vicious dictatorships usually catch up with us in time - but whether or not, practically, we can. "
All very high minded and moral, for sure, but just a little too vague, aggressive, insolent, and Palmerstonian for my taste.

The Globalisation Lie

Writing in today's 'Telegraph' on how a state of affairs whereby no business doing business in Britain being owned by Brits would apparently be a very desirable thing and all to the greater good, Tracy Corrigan states,
" The loss from the FTSE 100 of a string of long-established household names - Boots is now owned by a US private equity group; ICI was acquired by Dutch chemicals group Akzo Nobel - has further eroded our sense of British corporate identity. But such departures are the result of forces which we are powerless to resist - the globalisation of financial markets and the rise of the multinational corporation."
Whether deliberately or otherwise, Corrigan is not telling the truth. Globalisation is a policy, not a process. It has not just 'happened', it is a consequence of quite deliberate political decisions made without a popular mandate and under the influence of an overly powerful corporate lobby. It suits them and nobody else and anyone who thinks otherwise is either an ideologue or a fool.

Apologia For A Murderous Gerontocracy

Although Chris Patten's comment that he "would like to see the number of our Chinese students continue to grow", can be attributed to his desire, as its Chancellor, to see the University of Oxford make as much money off the backs of foreign students as it can, his question, "Would the rest of us be better off if China was still dirt poor?" actually beggars belief, if only because it shows his complete detachment from day to day reality.
We'd be paying lower prices for our food, for a start. Let's hope that none of his precious Chinese students are fifth-columnists or spies; I'd like to see the old tango dancer try to tango his way out of explaining that one.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some Thoughts On The Nature Of Moral Authority

In yesterday's 'Observer', Nick Cohen was blasting off that 'We must not shrink from our moral obligation to Burma'.
In today's 'Times', it's Rosemary Righter blasting off that Burma's crisis is a 'test of the UN's moral authority'.
The United Nations' track record shows it to be a profoundly amoral body; attempts to invest it with some kind of 'moral authority' flow from the same flawed thinking that handicapped the United Kingdom for decades, through unnecessary spending to maintain what was believed to be its rightful place at the top table of affairs, the mindset rightly savaged by Correlli Barnett.
People who seek to invest secular institutions with moral authority inevitably fail; and if you want proof for that contention, what is noticeably missing from Cohen's piece is any indication that he actually gives a monkey's toss for the poor bloody Burmese, starving and up to their armpits in new water features. It's all 'aid' this' and 'governments' that, without any indication that he could give a damn about the corpses in sarongs. To her limited credit, Righter at leasts gives them a nod.
Morality, like charity, begins at home, and not in the debating chamber or the newspaper column; and hopefully without getting unduly Old Testament or Savonarolan with her, this is a lesson that might be learned by the devout Catholic Cherie Blair.
According to today's 'Telegraph', the cheeky scally Scouser's memoirs apparently record that her youngest child was conceived at Balmoral because she "had not packed (her) contraceptive equipment out of sheer embarrassment". Unless she was planning to take the Pill with her entree, I can't imagine what she had to embarrassed about - the Queen's a mother of four, and given her particular constitutional role I expect that she's been around the gynaecological block.
One of the most misinterpreted passages of the New Testament is 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone'. I smoke too much, drink too much, occasionally swear -although only on days that end in a 'y' during the months between January and December - and have been known to have a Vesuvian temper. However, one of the principal duties you sign up to as a recipient of Catholic sacramental marriage is to procreate children - it's entirely voluntary and there's not too much room for doubt.
But I don't suppose Cherie Blair is not the sort of woman to be told what she'll do by anyone - after all, how many buy-to-let flats in Bristol does the Pope have?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Public Choice Fallacy

"...the great insight of public choice economics is that all governments are like (Burma's): it’s only a matter of degree. Do we think that every member of the House of Commons is there for the selfless struggle to better the lives of their constituents? That every Ministerial decision is made solely with the benefits to the population in mind? That there are no MPs, no Miinisters, there for the pleasures and aggrandisement it gives them, and them alone?

Quite, they’re all at it. It’s a matter of degree.

And that’s what those boring things like civil liberties, laws about what they may not do to us, are all about. Limiting their ability to do as they wish for themselves at our expense."
Apart from being rather sweeping, Tim forgets precisely how these 'civil liberties' came to be on the statute books. It was because representatives enacted them.
If Tim is looking for an example of an MP who does give the impression of being there 'for the selfless struggle to better the lives' of his constituents, I'd nominate Frank Field - the last man standing on the patriotic left.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

He Stoops To Conkers

Kalum Lamptey has been given an ASBO preventing him from carrying marbles.

One wonders whether he will stoop to conkers.

Hat tip - Laban Tall.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Bring On The Referendum

Apparently unlike Alan Cochrane, I welcome an early referendum on 'independence'; if only because in the poorer and less free separate Scotland that would be created from the act of national self harm of a vote in favour, I would have the lifelong pleasure of being able to say, 'I told you so'.

Some Thoughts On Atheism (And Atheists)

"The Archbishop of Westminster has urged Christians to treat atheists and agnostics with "deep esteem".

Believers may be partly responsible for the decline in faith by losing sense of the mystery and treating God as a "fact in the world", he said in a lecture.

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor called for more understanding and appreciation between believers and non-believers. "
With the greatest respect to His Eminence, one knows that must love one's neighbour as oneself, turn the other cheek and all that - but I have yet to encounter an atheist who hasn't told me they're an atheist within five minutes of first introductions.
Atheists seem profoundly insecure in their lack of belief - and while I respect their persons and right to be wrong if they so wish, I do not, should not, actually must not respect views which put Man at the centre of the universe, and which hails him as the fount of creativity. That's just guff - like, show me the chimp that's written an opera .

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Some Thoughts On Swearblogging

"People who are anxiously frivolous or self-consciously out to shock become tedious" -
As Isidorus the Cynic remarked of Nero, swearbloggers make good use of ancient ills, and ill use of modern goods.

Labouring The Point

Whilst David Cameron should be condemned in the strongest possible terms for using apparent confusion within the Labour Party over policy concerning the future of the Union for party political purposes - all Unionists, of whatever hue, should consider the Union to be above party - Gordon Brown should also be condemned for attempting to dominate, micromanage and undermine what has been the most politically courageous act of Wendy Alexander's career thus far.
By calling for a referendum on the act of national self harm called separation to be conducted now, Alexander has called the Nationalists' bluff - and Brown's megalomania and libido dominandi have prevented her from being able to ram the point home and put them on the defensive. Instead of being able to go into First Minister's Questions today and put Salmond on the back foot, she will now have to answer questions about the level of co-operation between London and Edinburgh in the formulation of Labour policy. Like Robespierre, Brown seems to be jealous of those who come up with good ideas other than himself - and that psychological flaw has robbed his party, and an apparently close colleague, of credibility, and given ammunition to their opponents.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Corpses In Sarongs

is now up on The Devil's Kitchen.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A 'Yes Or No' Vote On Ending The Union Is Not Enough

Contrary to what Wendy Alexander and the rest of Scotland's pattering classes seem to think, there is a caucus of opinion - OK, it might just be me - that wishes to see the devolution 'experiment' ended, the Scotland Act repealed, direct rule from Westminster reinstated and the Holyrood building to be allowed to fall into disrepair as a moral warning against hubris.
Don't we get a say in how Scotland should be governed?

What Russia Under The Rule Of Boris Berezovsky Might Be Like

"All who return to reign, from banishment, reign bloodily" -

Suetonius, 'The Twelve Caesars', Tiberius.59.

Lenin...Khomeini...looks like the advice still holds good...

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Canticle For Kelly

Like the monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz struggling to rediscover electricity in the post-apocalyptic darkness, I managed to get the new laptop online today.

Fiat Lux.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Laptop Blues

Yesterday, I purchased a laptop from a household name retailer. It was only during discussion with the sales assistant that it became clear that I would require to purchase Microsoft Office and Norton separately, as they were not installed on the machine - and which, as I want to use it to get on the Internet and word process, I did. Together, they added £100 to the advertised purchase price.
Having been unable to install broadband, I contacted my ISP's technical support helpline. After a full diagnostic was performed, I was told that because the laptop has Windows Vista, it would be USB-incompatible and that an ethernet cable would be required instead. I last saw the ethernet cable which came with the external modem when it was installed - in March 2005. This is not their fault, but mine. Indeed, the ISP and their staff cannot be faulted.
Accordingly, I now have to purchase an ethernet cable - something which I was unable to do today, on account of having come out without my ATM card. Ho hum....