Thursday, 17 November 2016

Trump's victory

I am feeling a little sore about Trump's election victory -not over the victory itself you understand but over my idleness in not putting a bet on him to win. I ended my blog of 5th May 2016 saying

"I must stop now and ring my bookmaker. I want a quote on  double . Britain to vote out and Donald Trump to win the Presidency-after all stranger things have happened."

I meant to put a bet on and I just never got round to it and that is why I am so sore - what odds would I have got I wonder? pretty good then I should have thought.

But the Brexit vote and Trumps victory reminds me rather forcefully of a quotation from Gandhi.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win"

I think both Nigel Farage and Donald Trump ought to have that  carved in great letters above their doorways. and, come to think of it, if Nigel is going to get the peerage which he richly deserves, it would make a great motto for his coat of arms.     

Friday, 7 October 2016

UKIP punch up

Let's make the most of it. UKIP should commission a series of adverts and posters showing the photo of  UKIP MEP Steven Woolfe lying unconscious having been -allegedly- felled by a blow from fellow, and aptly named, UKIP MEP Mike Hookem.  The caption - of course - would be; 'Real Men vote UKIP.'

Firstly let me say that knocking someone unconscious in a bare knuckle fight is not nearly as easy as John Wayne makes it look in the films. You have to hit the right spot with a lot of power to do that - how many Conservative MP's or MEP's would you bet on being able to do that- very few.  Now I am also prepared to bet - that when Stephen Woolfe get's back on his feet - he won't go running blubbing to a lawyer or the police but will shake hands with his assailant like a 'Real man' that he is.

Friday, 30 September 2016

JASTA -American Hypocrisy on a Grand Scale

So the American congress has overridden President Obama's veto and passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism (JASTA). The AIM of the act -apart -obviously - from providing yet another  pigs trough for lawyers to feed in -is to allow families of victims of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia.

Not just Saudi Arabia (which -for clarification -apart from being the country of residence of 15 of the 19 hijackers had no involvement in 9/11) but actually any American citizen in future will be able to bring a case against any sovereign country they claim financed or otherwise aided terrorism on American soil.

There are fears even that rapacious American lawyers could try to take the UK to court to try to prove that UK based jihadists had been involved in terror plots against the good old USA. Well they should remember Jesus said: "Judge not, that ye be not judged."

Because, I'm afraid, the good old USA most certainly does have a very sordid history of sponsoring terrorism. The CIA in the 60's and seventies of course almost openly sponsored terrorism in a variety of countries round the globe.   And don't let us forget that many US congressmen openly supported the IRA, and that the IRA was almost entirely funded by donations from American citizens,  the weapon of choice of the IRA was not the AK47 but Armalite rifle made in the USA and much of the sophisticated bomb making equipment used by the IRA emanated from the USA. The case, in short, against America as a sponsor of Irish terrorism would be overwhelming.

I could go on but I won't.  It is strange that in a country where some 50% of the population still attends church every Sunday that they forgot that Jesus said: "Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye, then thou shall see clearly to cast out the mote out of they brothers eye"  

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Our soldiers - how to stop the legal gravy train

The scandal of our soldiers being hounded by tax payer funded blood sucking solicitors shows that the Brexit victory was - to quote Winston Churchill on the battle of El Alamein-

"This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but it is perhaps the end of the beginning."

So next steps please . First let's take the case of our soldiers.

In order to put a full stop to the nonsense of treating our soldiers like common criminals for the crime of putting their lives on the line in the service of their country we need to do one simple thing. Revoke the 2001 parliamentary bill which placed our Armed forces under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.  It is the alleged fear that if the UK is not seen; " to be giving our troops hell"  then  we and our soldiers will be hauled up before this kangaroo court and to stop that happening we need to be seen to be energetically  investigating every complaint however spurious.

Well come on Mrs May the solution is obvious and cheap. Bring in an Act of Parliament revoking the 2001 Act and hey presto you will be a heroine to everyone apart from Guardian readers, the BBC and , I've almost forgotten, the Law society whose members are profiting obscenely from this scandal.

Come on Teresa. What's stopping you? and, come to think about it, if you can't bear to offend the chattering and legal classes over this issue it is surely one which UKIP under it's new leader should take up without delay.  

Friday, 9 September 2016

The National Trust

The National Trust is -rightly -in hot water over out bidding local hill farmers in the Lake District in order to add to its enormous landholding.  I have long had my doubts about the National Trust's (of which I am a member) Empire building ambitions.  This is yet another incidence -of which their have been too many in recent years - of the National Trust spending large sums of members money to buy land over which there is no conceivable risk from development now or in the future.  So what is the reason behind buying it? what conceivable benefit to the general public and their membership will result from the purchase? Absolutely nothing.

The National Trust should stop buying up vast areas of protected coast line and mountain and fell for no benefit and instead concentrate their resources on buying up areas which may be threatened with development or areas already developed which are such eyesores that they blight great areas.

So the other day - walking the coast path between Sidmouth and Budleigh Salterton in Devon -along a lovely unspoilt stretch of coast unspoilt- incidentally - mainly because it is owned not by the National Trust but by a Private estate - The Clinton Devon Estate - there was one blot on an otherwise idyllic walk.  A vast caravan park covering - at a guess -fifty acres.  This excrescence did not just blight the fifty acres but the coast line for several miles in either direction. How much better spent would the National Trust millions be on buying up such gross blots on the landscape and returning them to verdant countryside rather than wasting money on buying protected mountains and fell.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Soft Roes on toast

When I was a boy every Friday we had Soft Roes on toast for breakfast. What a treat! Soft roes are Herring roe rolled in flour and then fried and, on my culinary Richter scale, they rate a 10. Not only are they absolutely delicious but they are dirt cheap. And that is the problem. No fishmonger in Exeter is selling them anymore. Sainsbury's fish counter did for a long time but then gave up as 'there is no demand' (groan) - then I had a brainwave -surely - I thought- that new Waitrose would stock them - no luck there either.  So my quest continues and will end - I suspect -in finding some fishmonger who will dispatch them by post.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

My Mulberry Tree

Some 25 years ago I had the foresight to plant a Mulberry tree. Not just to plant one either but to plant one strategically in the right place namely on the route I normally take when going for a walk with my dogs, which is at least three times a day.

Now I am reaping the harvest of my good work. Every time we pass the tree we stop and search among the leaf for full ripe mulberries. They that are black as pitch and drop off into your hand at a touch are truly nectar of the gods. The dogs are as keen as me and pester me to share my booty with them, which I reluctantly do.

To me it is strange why so few people plant Mulberry trees in their gardens or on their walks. Unlike most fruit trees they have one enormous advantage they are true 'plant and forget' trees and have the added advantage of being beautiful to look at, having lovely leaves (dry them and -apparently -they make a very good tea) and, when old, produce a very valuable timber much prized by cabinet makers. Also -and this -for a lazy gardener like me - is the really good news- once they have 'got away' they need no pruning or watering or manuring they just grow and produce, in most years, this most luscious of fruits. forget raspberries, or strawberries or any other kind of 'berries'  a black mulberry is the true king of 'berries.'  

Thursday, 4 August 2016

The Border Force - A cheap & cheerful solution

There is a cheap and cheerful solution to our currently over stretched border force - paid volunteers.

Just as we rely increasingly on a paid volunteer Reserve Army and in rural Britain we rely on a paid volunteer Fire Brigade why not have a paid part time volunteer Border Force?  But let's take this simple idea a little further though - why not let the volunteers provide the means as well as the muscle-I mean of course fast offshore boats and surveillance aircraft.

This is not a new concept. Once volunteer cavalry, the Yeomanry, all had their own horses which the government fed and paid for when on service while in both World Wars private boats where pressed into service with their owners as often as not as skippers. Tied up in virtually every small harbour along the South Coast are fast offshore boats like Ribs idling around doing nothing. Many of their owners would love the chance to put them through their paces 'for real' and the same goes for the fleet of private aircraft sitting around airfields up and down the land.

With just a little Vim & Vigour on the behalf of government such a volunteer force could be up and running in months. The government would provide the necessary communication and surveillance equipment for the boats and aircraft and pay for the fuel.  Volunteers would be formed into units centred on individual ports and airfields and each unit would have a full times professional running the show. I know of course that the BBC, The Guardian etc. would have field day at mocking a 'Dads Army' Border force.  Well I say - better a Dad's Army Border Force than virtually no Border Force -which is the case at the moment.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Nigel Farage -a dukedom deserved

Very few politicians  become truly historical figures.  One though who undoubtedly will be remembered as long as British History is taught is Nigel Farage. Love him or loathe him he is chiefly responsible for the biggest political upset since Attlee won the 1945 election - and  Attlee ended with an earldom!

OK a lot of credit is due for Brexit to the Leave team of Boris, Michael et al  but they would never have got to fight the battle without Nigel doing all the groundwork. It was he, as he reminded the European Parliament, who 17 years ago went there as an MEP and got up and told them that his AIM was to take Britain out of Europe and- as he said -'You laughed at me then -but you are not laughing now are you?'  Everyone has laughed at Nigel for the best part of twenty years.  The establishment, the City, the BBC (naturally), the Guardian and all the Chattering Classes. But Nigel has had the last laugh and is still laughing as they gnash their teeth and rent their raiment in disbelieving despair at their defeat.    

Enoch Powell said 'That all political careers end in disappointment.' Well not Nigel's who has resigned as leader of UKIP at the time of greatest triumph.. In future years a grateful country will -I believe - erect a statue to the man most responsible for our Independence from Europe.  So let's keep that vacant plinth in Trafalgar Square vacant for a few more years till the whole country can agree that Nigel's vision was for the benefit of his country as a whole and not just for a few elderly old farts like me.

That though is in the future. For the present it goes without saying that Nigel should be offered a peerage but a life peerage of the same type as has been dished out for the last decade to every 'establishment ' mediocrity is not sufficient reward.  If Attlee, Eden and Macmillan got earldoms then surely for the man who lead the battle for our Independence to a successful conclusion a dukedom is his only just reward.  

Monday, 13 June 2016

similarities between the Civil War and the Referendum debate

The Referendum debate of 2016 is, I imagine, much like the King versus Parliament debate of 1642. Families are divided, not just brothers and sisters but husbands and wives. Rachel Johnson, sister of Boris, writes that her husband Ivo -one of my best friends at prep school -spits about 'Outers' like me and his brother -in -law. As we get nearer the day of voting so tempers are rising and it takes little imagination to see how, not so long ago, this issue could have ended up being decided on the battlefield and not by the ballot box.

But it is not just in the way Europe has split families (luckily all my children sensibly agree with their parents) that has similarities with the 1640.  Geographically the country looks like voting in a fashion which is almost a mirror image of how England ended up divided in 1642. Draw a line from the Tees estuary in the North East to the mouth of the river Ex in Devon, everything to the left of that line and above it is called the Highland Zone  and , by and large, declared for the King everything to the right of that line is the Lowland Zone and, by and large, declared for Parliament. Opinion Polls strongly suggest that on June 23rd this voting pattern will be repeated with the Highland Zone voting Out and Lowland zone voting In.

This time though it is looking like we in the Highland Zone have a good chance of winning and revenging our defeat on preaching hand wringing Puritan hypocrites of the 1640's who, sadly are still alive and well and seemingly inhabiting Rachel,s cosy 'right on' Notting Hill Gate household.  

Sunday, 5 June 2016

the BIG Short by Michale Lewis

I've just spent two days gripped by this great book on the economic crash of 2008. Boggled by the sheer arrogant stupidity of the Great & Bad of Wall Street as they staked the whole financial system of the USA on one mammoth bet on house prices and how a few mavericks made a fortune betting against them

Putting the book down and lying back in my bed I began to wonder what was the current equivalent financial madness.  I've long been a bear of London house prices but although they may be over valued by 40/50% that's not in quite the same leagues table as the US mortgage backed securities which went from being worth 100cents in the dollar to being worth zero.  No the biggest bubble I think is the Contemporary Art Market.

The annual report of the European Fine Art Fair estimated that the total value of the art market in 2015 was $63.8 billion. This is a boggling amount of money especially as most of it couldn't be called 'Fine' by any stretch of the imagination. . Whose buying?  Well need you really ask? Quite a lot of the buyers are the same idiots who nearly bankrupted the World economy in 2008 -bankers.  Today we laugh at the stupidity of the Dutch three hundred and fifty years manically investing in tulips and bidding them up to ridiculous heights. Future generations will I am sure view the Contemporary Art boom in the same light.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

"You can't manage what you can't measure"

"You can't manage what you can't measure. "  Those seven words sum up, in my view , everything which is wrong in modern society and business.  They were uttered by a nonentity called Matt Hancock (note use of shortened version of his Christian name - so important in the new phoney 'right on' Conservative government) he is something called the Cabinet Officer Minister. He has proposed a set of questions employers are meant to ask prospective employees before offering them a job.   Yes I know this sounds just a touch like Nazi Germany but don't worry - strangely - Mr Hancock doesn't want you to be forced to reveal your race or religion  - yet- just details of your socio - economic background.  Why? Well obviously so companies and government  can discriminate against you if you come from the 'wrong one' and the 'wrong one ' in this case is anyone who was educated in Privately

So while discrimination is WRONG it can also now apparently be RIGHT.  The reasoning is that the Government is 'concerned ' that too many  people from a private educational background are employed in too many high powered jobs. Well perhaps that might just have more to do with the abolishment of the Grammar Schools in the sixties and seventies and a collapse in educational standards in the state sector for the next thirty years than by anything else .

But to return to that chilling phrase: "You can't manage what you can't measure" It is a Totalitarian view of life from the top. We are Puppet Masters - you the people - are our puppets and we will make you to dance to our tune.  Adolf, Uncle Joe and dear old Musso would all have nodded their heads in agreement  at - call me Matt- Hancock and 'Our Dave's bright idea.  but then the Metropolitan elite are in a way fascist in their total belief that only they are ever right and anyone else's views are beneath contempt.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Economic migrants - how do I invest in a boat builder

Could someone tell me how to invest in the company which makes those enormous blow up boats which economic migrants cram into when they venture out into the Mediterranean.  I mean what  a business!  You make the boat - the people smuggler buys it off you - then it is only used for one trip before he is back wanting another.  Not only that but I don't suppose there is a lot of competition in the enormous blow up boat market so you can presumably charge a pretty hefty price for your product.

Of course the obvious solution to the current economic migrant crisis is for a covert European agency to buy the boat manufacturer and either (a) shut it down or - more cleverly -(b) keep producing boats and taking money off the people smugglers for a short while but make sure the boats sink immediately they are launched.  But of course the best solution of all would be to identify the factory making the boats and then send in James Bond to destroy the factory and kill Mr Big as well as a few of his henchmen and assorted people smugglers. Sadly the hand wringing drips who rule over us and Europe at the moment wouldn't have the balls to do it. What we need are leaders more in the mould of the new President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. elected on a wave of populism he has promised to clean up corruption and crime happily pledging to dump the bodies of 100,000 gangsters in Manila Bay while laughing off accusations of his links with 'vigilante' killings in the city he was mayor of before his elevation. 

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Leicester triumph and Donald Trump

We all love an underdog - so many congratulations to Leicester City for winning the Premier League as a 5,000 to one outsider.  What price - I wonder - would the bookies have put on a double nine months ago of Leicester to win the Premiership and Donald Trump to win the Republican Party Presidential nomination!!

We live in a 'topsy turvey' world indeed at the moment and I can't remember when either the sporting world or the political world has had this much uncertainty or entertainment value.  In fact on current form of upsets I am starting to think that just maybe we Outers will win the day come 23rd of June - a thought which is reinforced by voters shyness in revealing to Pollsters voting intentions which they think are perhaps a shade politically incorrect.  So the winning candidate in the first round of the Austrian Presidential elections was a right winger who got 36% of the vote, some 8 percentage points higher than the polls had predicted. I must stop now and ring my bookmaker - I want a quote on a double. Britain to vote out and Donald Trump to win the Presidency -after all stranger things have happened!

Friday, 22 April 2016

Europe - all about GREED

It's all about GREED.  Or so it seems from listening to the arguments put forward by the Remain campaign. Their sole argument is that you - the average British person -will be better off financially in Europe rather than if we leave. They have no other argument because there is no other argument as far as they are concerned -it's all about MONEY.

Now historically we have been here before.  Many British kings and chiefs (including Boadicea's father) did deals with the Romans thinking they would be better off under Roman rule -all that trade with the Empire- than as free men.  Boadicea of course paid the price some years later when she was scourged and her daughters gang raped in front of her by Roman soldiers.   Likewise in 1066 the money men in the City of London hung back when Harold went to fight for his kingdom at Hastings thinking - as money men always do - that perhaps it might be in their better interest to be ruled by William as - after all - they had many trade links with Normandy. Well they learnt their lesson when the Normans went berserk at William's coronation and indulged themselves in an orgy of violence against the pusillanimous citizens of London who had turned up to grovel to the Conqueror.

Lessons of history are of course never learnt.  Now David Cameron would have us bind ourselves into a new Roman Empire. Am I surprised. No not at all. Cameron comes from a long line of stockbrokers and is like the anti hero, Edward Cossey, in the great Victorian  novel- Colonel Quartich VC by Rider Haggard, of whom he wrote;

Goldsmiths two centuries back, then bankers from generation to generation, money bees seeking for wealth and counting it from decade to decade, till at last gold became to them what honour is to nobler stock -the pervading principle and the clink of the guinea and the rustling of the bank note stirred their blood as the clank of armed men and the sound of the flapping banner with its three golden hawks flaming in the sun , was wont to set the hearts of the race of Boissey of Dofferleigh and of de la Molle beating to that tune to which England marched on to win the World.

Great stuff and I think there is no doubt whatsoever which way Rider Haggard would vote in the coming referendum!

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The referendum debate

As the referendum campaign get's going I  go from despair to unwarranted optimism depending of course - on who I last talked to.   So have just been talking to a friend who attended a meeting in Exeter with about 70  other of 'the Great & Good' of the Exeter business community and - when the speaker - a distinguished economist - asked for a show of hands -only two out of the seventy supported leaving the EU! On the other hand I am currently employing a couple of builders and there is no nonsense about them - they are voting LEAVE in spades as is the mechanic who fixes my car.

So what does this prove? Well for a start it seems to show that the result of  a 'privileged' education at a public school followed by university is a spineless product with a yellow streak half a yard wide down its back. Conversely 'bog standard' comprehensives  still turn out patriots and people who actually dare to go against the Metropolitan elite view of life.  The GOOD NEWs is that there are a lot more people like my builders than there are professionals - so we can still hope for our freedom.   

Interestingly though when you challenge an INNER to a debate on why they are for remaining in the EU they waffle and have no real zeal for their chosen path other than it is 'safer.'  Wow 'safer' to be ruled by Germans -I don't think my father or grandfather would have agreed with that. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Boris Johnson & Europe

If Boris Johnson continues to sit on the fence over whether Britain should leave or stay in Europe for much longer I very much fear that the fence will break with all that weight on it - and his long term political career will be over.

Boris's strength as a politician  has always been that people's perception of him is radically different from the reality. The perception is of a maverick conviction politician who says what he thinks and doesn't give a damn for the consequences. The reality though is that he is a highly ambitious and calculating politician whose sole agenda is Boris.  His long term future political career though will turn to dust if he spends much more time trying to do the sums to come up with an answer as to whether his political future is better served by backing the Inners or the Outers.

My advice to him is to back whole heartedly the Outers -If he does this he will be in tune with a majority of the membership of the Conservative party and - with a leadership election a near certainty before the next election whatever the referendum result -it is unlikely the membership will mass behind a contender who couldn't make up his mind on the most important issue of the day. So come on Boris - kick Cameron where it hurts (you must have longed to do it for years anyway) and throw your not inconsiderable weight behind the Outers- your undoubted communication skills could just make the difference and cause you to go down in history as a Big Man rather than a damp fart.         

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Illegal immigration and Cameron's scaremongering

Well I'm back. David Cameron has finally driven me to take up pen again. His latest scaremongering claim that if we vote to leave Europe we will become inundated with asylum seekers from Calais is just simply a lie. First the French have stated that they have no intention on breaking the treaty which allows UK immigration control to take place at Calais but secondly there would be a very simple solution to the problem if the French did break the treaty -put the responsibility for ensuring that only passengers with valid documentation arrived at Dover firmly on the people who profit from carrying the cross channel traffic - the Ferry Companies.

In short make the Ferry companies check the documents of all passengers just like airlines check your passport etc. and fine them say £25,000 for each illegal immigrant or asylum seeker they let through.  Somehow I think that would solve the problem.