Friday, 28 March 2014

Jeramiah Denton Knew Who His Enemies Were.

"Former Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton, who survived 7½ years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam and alerted the U.S. military to conditions there when he blinked the word "torture" in Morse code during a television interview, has died. He was 89 years of age.

Denton's grandson, Edward Denton, says he died about 8 a.m. Friday at a hospice facility surrounded by family. Edward Denton says his grandfather had been in declining health for the past year and died from heart problems.

Denton, a Republican who served a single term in the U.S. Senate, was a strong advocate of conservative causes and backer of the Reagan administration. But the iron will that served him in such good stead in captivity gave rise to criticism that he was too rigid as a politician."
(Associated Press)
I remember as a very young child seeing those terrible images from the Vietnam War that have now become so iconic. They were beamed into our homes with every news bulletin.
Vietnam was, of course, a cold war era proxy war.
Of course, we still fight proxy wars, but as one who served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces during the final years of the cold war, I sort of took comfort in the fact that in those days we knew who our enemies were. Our main enemy was what was officially called the Soviet Union, but what we all knew was the Russian Empire. Or as one former Baltic Prime Minister called it recently, "The Second Mongol Occupation".
Then it changed. That change reached its pinnacle on 9/11. The enemy became an unknown force, operating within our own borders.
Now, in a loose interpretation of Marxist vernacular, we see the negation of the negation.
It has changed again. It has reverted back to where we were some decades ago. Russia is on the move again.
A very senior military advisor to NATO told me two days ago "This is the start of World War 3".
Let us hope he is wrong.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Another Duff Policy, This Time From UKIP.

On the subject of ridiculous policies....

I have commented on the UKIP policy formulation process in the past. It is, to say the least, incoherent. But this one really takes the biscuit.

Apparently, a chap named Stephen Woolfe, a UKIP economics spokesman who wants to close down the Bank of England, has come up with the idea of abolishing the state pension.  Considering that the average UKIP member is quite elderly and below the average educational level, this might seem a somewhat unwise direction to take....

“This would take hundreds of years of strict public finances to have an impact. It is bizarre UKIP could be going after the state pension when its core voters are pensioners.”
Strategic Society Centre director James Lloyd

I understand that UKIP has sought to distance itself from this nonsense, just as it Nigel Farage has sought to distance himself from the Pythonesque 2010 UKIP manifesto that he himself signed off.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

And The Winner Of The Shit Policy Of The Year Award Goes To........

An aquaintance of mine recently undertook some work at Tory HQ. His comments on Grant Shapps' office were enlightening, "Well intentioned, well educated young people, mostly working for free, but absolutely no experience in the real world at all. Utterly clueless."

The latest Tory wheeze is a plan to cut taxes to "help hardworking people do more of the things they enjoy". Apparently, outside of Central Office, where these chinless Oxford graduates wait for Daddy to arrange a safe seat for them, the proletariat play bingo and drink beer. OK, drinking beer I will accept, and as I own shares in a brewery I'm going to let that one pass without too much criticism. But Bingo?

I actually find it hard to say what I truly think about this. In fact, this is so idiotic, I don't even want to waste my thoughts on it.

What does worry me, deeply, is that somebody at a high level of government thought that was a suitable way of presenting policy. I would like to think that every single person who touched this project, from conception, through approval, to launch, will be sacked this very day.

Given that the Tories are facing a strong challenge from UKIP at the moment, one would have thought that they would have drafted in some heavyweight policy boffins. Apparently that is not the case.

If this is what we are going see from the Tories now, they may as well pack up and go home.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

A Proud Father Moment!

Today, George had his first kart race.

He was, as always, pessimistic, and even doubted that the event would even happen. For an 8 year old, he is seriously Laconic.

 The race started, and he was 5th (out of 6) out of the pits. Not exactly pole position. But by the end of the first lap he was in the lead, and he held it until the end of the race. At the end of his 8th lap, the young lad in second place was still just short of his 7th lap. The lead narrowed slightly, but at the end he was still way ahead of the field. His best mate Jay, whose birthday the event was to celebrate, won the preceding race, so now they are feeling pretty good about themselves.

He celebrated with a fizzy water!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Lib Dems Trounced - By Elvis!

I am absolutely delighted that the Bus Pass Elvis Party has beaten the Lib Dems in the Clifton North by election.

As I understand it, the party is an offshoot of the Church Of The Militant Elvis.

Being in the business myself, the websites of other political parties are of great interest to me. I think I can honestly say, however, that in a great many years I never saw anything quite like this! Keep up the good work, chaps.