Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Militant Bee-Keepers on the March!

I had a phone call quite late yesterday, from a chap who is in Brussels to lobby MEPs on a matter that is very important to him. It is a quiet week, and there are not so many MEPs around now, and so I guess that he had to make do with me. I admire anybody who is prepared to put his, or her, hand in their pocket and give up valuble time to come out here and make a political point. I was not going to say no to him, and in any case, in our office the constituent always comes first. And when he introduced himself as a "militant Bee-keeper" then I was totally hooked!

Having formerly sabotaged fox hunts, and burnt GM crops, this guy is clearly a serious campaigner. I do not condone illegal actions, but God knows, politics could do with a bit more passion.

One of the hottest potatoes in Brussels at the moment is reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Much to the horror of many of my colleagues and friends (especially those who have not yet left UKIP), I describe myself as a 'soft' environmentalist. Actually, 'post-materialist' would be a more accurate description.

The militant Bee-keeper came up with some strong objections to certain proposals currently being considered as part of the CAP reform.

Nobody likes CAP, except for agrarian French farmers and East-Anglian Hen-keepers cum politicians, who make a fortune from the subsides. When well-informed environmentalists start ringing alarm bells about the supposed 'greening' of CAP, then we know that something is wrong. The greening proposals are likely to have an adverse effect on local biodiversity, and you don't have to be James Lovelock to work that one out.

We all know that in terms of failure, CAP comes a close second only to the Common Fisheries Policy.

I remember my Head Teacher, Mr Newsombe, once reviewing a homework project of mine which I had been asked to rewrite in the hope of injecting a modicum of relevance into it, before handing it back to me with a shake of his head, and declaring 'You can't polish a turd, Cartwright!'.

He was absolutely correct. CAP is beyond reform. Scrap the CAP, or beware the wrath of the militant Bee-keepers!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Atheists in Foxholes: For All Who Serve & Remembrance.

I was proud to be invited for an interview with my very good friend Randall Calvin, a former infantry officer, and believe it or not, briefly a member of UKIP! Randall and I talk a lot about stuff that matters to us, and he is one of the guys who often keeps me connected to reality when I might otherwise be having a bad day.

He has a very successful channel on YouTube, and we sat down in the European Parliament yesterday and recorded this. I hope it hits the right note.....

Friday, 19 October 2012

UKIP: Wrong Again!

The resignation of John Dalli, EU Commissioner, is one of the hottest political stories in Brussels. Because John Dalli did not resign. The best source is here....

However, UKIP jumped on the bandwagon, and issued the usual partially informed and biased statements in the usual knee-jerk way. Those statements are not worth repeating here.

Even before the first UKIP statement was issued on it's party website, Brussels was buzzing over this one. But apparently UKIP's press office was out of the loop - as usual. Plus ça change, plus la même chose!

The UKIP press office was always the party's weakest link, but it appears that recently, and particularly in Brussels, it has gotten even worse.

This story is going to explode, but if you want to follow it, don't look to UKIP. Their press people in Brussels are probably either p***ed, or too busy observing some strange superstitious ritual to be bothered with reality! You don't have to be Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein to get this stuff, you just have to know your job.

Tossers, to be sure, to be sure!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Blind Man Tasered By Idiot Copper

Blind chap with white stick.

Nutter with Samurai Sword

"A police force has apologised after an officer used a Taser on a blind man whose white stick was mistaken for a sword.

Colin Farmer, 61, was stunned by police following reports of a man walking through Chorley with a samurai sword.
Ch Supt Stuart Williams, of Lancashire Police, said the force had "deep regrets" and had "clearly put this man through a traumatic experience".

A traumatic experience? No shit, Sherlock!

This gentleman, who was walking to the pub, carrying a white stick, was mistaken for a nutter wielding a Samuri Sword. Apparently the copper's eyesight is no better than his victim's!

Where do they recruit these idiots from?

Of course, no action will ever be taken against this police officer, it never is.


Sunday, 14 October 2012

Cricket Hurts....!

It was John Major, I seem to recall, who once waxed lyrical about the smack of leather against willow on the English village green.

It all sounds rather lovely, much nicer than the sensation of the impact of a cricket ball against one's own forehead in a Brussels park on a Sunday morning.

I just introduced my son George to cricket, and his agression as a batsman somewhat outclasses my own defensive instincts as a bowler. I remember a Tom and Jerry cartoon where the ever suffering moggie was hit on the head by an anvil dropped from high above. Little Bluebirds flew around his head, twittering sweetly while he lay on the ground with a stupid expression on his face.  Today, I shared this experience. I do not recommend it.

The funny thing was, lots of Spanish people took an interest in all this. Continentals do not share our respect for personal space, and if there are 50 empty benches in the park, then the obvious place to sit with one's familia is on the very same end of the one bench where some crazy English guy with a large and rapidly growing red swelling on his forehead is trying to explain the rules of cricket to his son.

But I love such days, and I will remember this one for a very long time.

Friday, 12 October 2012

What We Stand For!

We shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island whatever the cost may be.

We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.

Monday, 8 October 2012

EU - Dying From Indifference...

Well done to my good friend Randall for this one. Here we have euro-pessimism from a different perspective.

Many right-wing eurosceptics are highly critical of the EU's emphasis on social justice and rights, mainly citing the costs as the reason for their opposition. But here, the President of the Socialists in the European Parliament appears to be telling us that it isn't working from his ideological perspective.

Antwerp Hippo Fails To Survive Castration.

This has to be possibly one of the best headlines I have come across in a very long time, and so I thought I would share it.

The story is, of course, very sad, and I do not mean to make light of the loss of such a fine animal.

You can find a video report here, fortunately we are spared the sight of the actual operation.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Campaign for a Referendum: Conference a Great Success!

Its always nice to spend a couple of days in London, even if it is a working visit.

On Thursday evening I was delighted to meet Katie Hopkins for the first time: she is absolutely the right person for the campaign, as her media appearences to date have proved. We were joined at dinner at the Victory Services Club by Nikki and a number of senior members of the team, and also Roger Knapman and his wife Carolyn, as well as former Lib-Dem councillor David McGrath and his wife, both of whom I know from the campaign to clear an illegal travellers camp in Meriden. The cross-party demographics of this campaign team give us both integrity and depth.

But the real reason for the trip was our inaugural conference in Westminster. The day began with Katie appearing on ITN's Daybreak, and by the end of the first round of speakers we were on the front page of the BBC news website. Christian Party Leader George Hargreaves, and the US broadcaster and political analyst Charlie Wolf both gave excellent speeches, adding depth to the debate on our membership of the EU and what it means for our democratic integrity.

It was a chance to catch up with old friends from various parties, including one Conservative MEP, and to meet new people.

No surprise that UKIP had at least two spotters outside, reporting back on who was attending - I suspect that a few people will be getting some unpleasant phone calls or letters from their branch chairman shortly!

Two motions were passed by conference: the first calling on HMG to establish a Royal Commission to set the terms of reference for the referendum, the second calling on the PM to call a binding referendum before Jan 1st 2014.

A great success!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Campaign For A Referendum: Is Somebody Scared!

I was highly amused to see a certain party leader looking like a scared rabbit caught in car headlights, desperately explaining to a Tory chum his thoughts on a referendum in Brussels a couple of weeks ago.

I wonder what has suddenly made him so concerned about a referendum now?

Better Late Than Never!
 Demanding of David Cameron a promise of a referendum "written in blood" is all jolly stirring stuff, but when the person in question didn't actually sign the petition calling for a referendum until after it had actually been presented to 10 Downing Street, those words sound somewhat hollow. But words are cheap, and easy to come by.
Unlike collecting 220,000 signatures, forcing a debate in the Commons, and provoking a back-bench revolt, all of which required great effort and some financial cost, words actually count for little unless they are backed up with deeds. UKIP's words rarely seem to be backed up with deeds. The party has descended into a world of yaa-boo politics: name calling and jeering from the sidelines. The party is simply not interesting anymore.

It amused me, although it did not surprise me, when after the first 100,000 signatures were handed in and we learned there was to be a debate on a referendum on our continued membership of the EU, no less than 3 other groups tried to take the credit for it. I remember well UKIP's feeble and half-hearted attempt at raising a petition. It appers to have acheived nothing - apart that is from an expenditure of a substantial 6 figure sum. I have often wondered where that money went...

As we approach our inaugural conference on Friday 5th, at Westminster Central Hall, I expect the usual libels and slanders that I have come to expect from the UKIP press office to start oozing to the surface. If you can't do anything, attack those who can, seems to be the strategy. Probably the only strategy UKIP has, I am afraid.

When I think of the UKIP press office, for some reason the words of Lewis Carroll: "T'was brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe..." come into my mind.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Dialectical Materialism: Still With Us.

Jose Manuel Barroso, Maoist Revolutionary
"The difficult, devious, and dangerous dialectic became the tool with which Stalin justified the murder of millions. Unless we understand it, it is probable that it may be used historically to justify the demise of all free peoples."

So wrote Dr. Fred Schwarz, the founder of the Christian Anti Communism Crusade, as long ago as 1962.

I consider Dr. Schwarz as something of a mentor; I was lucky to speak with him by telephone on numerous occasions, and we exchanged many letters during the years following my discharge from the RAF, a period in which I became politically aware.

The dialectic he refers to is Dialectical Materialism, which is, in simplistic terms, the philosophy of communism.

I apologise for this paragraph, and I will make it as brief as possible. The concept is Marxian, and it marries the materialism of Feuerbach with the dialectic of Hegel. It supposes a historic and inevitable process of conflict between thesis and antithesis which always culminates in the triumph of the antithesis. This is the synthesis. The antithesis then becomes the new thesis, and the process begins again until a new antithesis appears and overcomes the thesis to create a new synthesis, now know as the negation of the negation. Quantity becomes quality, and from this process a new society, a communist society, will eventually be born.

Sorry about that, but don't blame me, blame the communists, its their philosophy and not mine.

An important part of all this is the concept of dialectical progress. Understanding this is essential to understanding communist strategy, and, I would argue (and this is where it gets relevant), to understanding the strategy of the political elites of the European Union.

When Lenin introduced his New Economic Programme in 1921, this was seen by some as an acceptance of the primacy of capitalism. This was not the case. This was a pragmatic response to economic crisis. When the NEP was replaced by Stalin's 5 year plan in 1928, many of those who turned the economy around through the NEP were liquidated, and the Bolsheviks got themselves back on track.

Lenin staed that atheism was at the heart of Marx. When the church was allowed to re-emerge in WW2, did that mean that the communists had turned their backs on atheism? No, they simply realised that they had to allow their people to have something to fight for. In any case, they assumed that religion would wither away with the dawn of communism, and so they did not feel threatened or compromised by this apparent (to the outsider) change of of direction.

The point I make here, and I could use other examples, is that to understand where the communists were going, it was important to understand the dialectic, to simply look at the direction in which they were travelling at any given moment would reveal nothing.

And so, when President Barroso began his state of the Union address recently with "Europe needs a new direction", bear in mind the concept of dialectical progress. And remember, Barroso cut his political teeth as a Maoist revolutionary. Mao had this to say of the dialectic: "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the most basic law in materialist dialectics." (1937).

Dialectical materialism is alive and kicking, albeit under the table.

When Tony Blair declared to the Labour Party conference in 1994 that "Marx is dead", like Fukiyama two years earlier, he was somewhat premature. Marx did not pluck his ideas from thin air: to underestimate him is to be vulnerable. Much of the scientific basis of Marxism is as real today as it was in 1867. There is a very good reason why we use the tern political science. Barroso understands that.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Brief Encounter: Bang On!

UKIP candidate in Solihull 2010 - couldn't resist revisiting this classic image!

One of my most abiding memories of the 2010 General Election campaign is of driving around the Birmingham Bull Ring in a Mercedes people carrier with Gregg Beaman by my side.

I had a wee problem with this vehicle in that quite often, and for no apparent reason, the alarm would go off, and I had to try a variety of means, any one of which may or may not have worked, to turn the bloody thing off.

So there we were, transporting about 50 helium-filled balloons, each exhorting people to vote for the Solihull & Meriden Resident's Association.

Suddenly, goodness knows why, at 50mph and in heavy traffic, the alarm went off. Gregg and I exchanged grins, and then it got really good. One by ohe the balloons began to explode...

50mph, on the Bull Ring, alarm blaring, exploding balloons, and both of us convulsed in hysterical laughter. Those were the days!

This memory came back to brighten my day when I read a post on Gregg's blog this morning.

No comment is neccessary, I think he has got it spot on.