Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Friday, 3 June 2016

Can you ever believe Cameron?

Last night, in response to a question in the Sky News interview, Cameron claimed that Turkey was unlikely to meet the criteria to join the EU by the year 3000!

Cameron has fought for Turkish membership of the EU for at least ten years and has made it quite clear that he wanted Turkey to join the EU as fast as possible. In a speech in Ankara, in July 2010, when he said the EU would be stronger with Turkey as a member, and that he would pave the way from Ankara to Brussels.

Turkey is blackmailing the European Union. First, we said we'd give them £3bn,  as part of an agreement on migrants, now we're giving them £6bn. They are now demanding, and they will probably get, visa-free access for 79million people by the end of this year.

Then last night Cameron said 'Ah yeah, but we do have a veto'. We may have, but would Cameron use it after all his previous promises to Turkey and the EU? Especially when Mrs Merkel, who's the real boss of Europe, has said she wants to fast-track them as members of the European Union

Nigel Farage dubbed David Cameron "Dishonest Dave" in an LBC broadcast and said that he doesn't believe a single thing he says any more.

It's definitely time to LEAVE the EU!

Saturday, 23 April 2016

A Convenient Obama Visit

Clearly President Obama is here to help Cameron in his pro EU campaign. Why else would he come, after all, he appears to dislike this country and all it stands for?

The main outcome of his visit, apart from some photographs with the Queen and Prince George for his album, is that he has shown himself to be a hypocrite and has allowed his dislike of this country to to overcome whatever common sense that he might once have had. His main argument for us staying in the EU seems to be that we will be put at the 'back of the queue' when it comes to discussing trade agreements as the US would rather negotiate with one group of 28 nations than with a single country.

I would suspect that anyone else involved in negotiating with the EU would argue the exact opposite, it is far easier to reach agreement with a single country than with a group where they all individually have to concur with the decisions reached by their negotiators. But that aside, Obama won't be president in eight months time, so he can't possibly predict what a future administration might do.

As reported in Breitbart, his view is also contradicted by an official from their Office of International Trade who, in an e-mail said
“This is the first time I’ve heard of the assertion that the UK is too small to have an FTA with the US… clearly the UK is not too small to have an FTA with the US if we have one with Oman.”
But neither is the trade deal with the EU likely in the near future, as Obama told the press that a U.S./EU trade deal is “not going to happen anytime soon”.

In any case, does it matter? We are trading with the US at the moment, apparently without any agreement, and it is difficult to visualise why there should be any change if we left the EU.

Finally, for a laugh, the reply that Obama gave when asked by a student in London what he wanted his legacy to be.
"Saving the world economy from a Great Depression — that was pretty good"
 I thought that was Gordon Brown's line!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Project Fear continues.with Forecasts

Today we had the Treasury forecast that if Brexit happens, we will all be £4300 per household worse off by 2030.

If this is as accurate as recent Treasury forecasts concerning the country's budget and growth for periods of just one financial year, any forecasts as to what might happen after 16 years are just wishful thinking. A recent statement by the 'Remain' campaigners admitted that wages for the lower paid would continue to be depressed due to the high levels of unskilled immigration, so it would seem that the lower paid lose out either way!

By some convoluted thinking, the Chancellor also suggested that taxes would have to rise if we left the EU because we would no longer be getting the present grants from Brussels. But since we paid them the money in the first place, and they took a large cut before paying back some of it in grants, if we kept our taxes at the present level and paid the grants directly, the Chancellor would have the whole of the cut taken by Brussels to start paying off our debts or allowing more spending on the NHS.

Of course, with proper border control and hopefully less immigration than at present, the strain on the NHS would be significantly reduced, under which circumstances the NHS would probably be able to cope without any major budget increase.

But the Treasury is not the only state organisation to be incapable of economic forecasting; the Bank of England is just as bad. For several years running in their annual forecasts, they have suggested that interest rates would start rising within the next six months, when in fact, as far as both savers and borrowers are concerned they are still falling. Now they have suggested that rates would rise in the event of Brexit; is this forecast any better than their previous ones?

It is also suggested that trade with the EU would decline in the event of Brexit. Why should it? I'm sure that Mercedes, BMW and VW will still want to sell us their cars; if the EU imposes trade sanctions on our exports, we would be free to do the same and the Germans would be one of the biggest losers.

There is also the suggestion last week that Brexit would result in major repercussions and a slump in not just our economy but that of the world at large. However a few weeks previously we had been told that our country is too small 'to go it alone'. These contradictory arguments make you begin to wonder if any of these so called experts have the vaguest idea of what they are talking about. Why should the actions of a 'tiny insignificant country' (their phrase) like ours have any effect on the world economy?

I'm awaiting forecasts from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries concerning plagues of locusts decimating our crops and the absence of Spanish trawlers from our fishing grounds causing massive problems due to under-fishing.

An afterthought:
Has anyone in the remain side provided a forecast as the increase in the EU budget by 2030? I suspect that the additional cost to each family of belonging will far outstrip the £4300 that Osborne claims will be the cost of Brexit. 

Monday, 11 April 2016

Cameron's Pro-EU Leaflet

We've just received our copy of THAT leaflet; I haven't read it yet and probably I won't even bother. The claim that it is HM Government's position on the EU is blatantly untrue as a number of members of the Cabinet don't agree with the case that is put forward and in this country, until Blair, we always had Cabinet government not a Prime Ministerial dictatorship. Even worse, as far as I am concerned,  is the Prime Minister's arrogance in sending out the leaflets in spite of a pending debate on the subject in Parliament, thus putting himself above Parliament.

Because the contents of the document are not impartial but a one-sided case for remaining in the EU, it undermines the public's belief in any statements by the government or its officials, a change from my younger days when the contents formal government statements or publications were generally accepted to be true.  For example, the Chief Medical Officer recently made a statement on the dangers of alcohol and recommended lower limits. Once, I would have considered statements by our Chief Medical Officer to be advice that I should think about very carefully before ignoring it, but these days such advice has become merely another piece of state propaganda and is treated as such.

It is well worth reading the piece by Lord Tebbit in today's Daily Telegraph, he puts forward what is wrong with this government in far more elegant terms than I could ever achieve.

Monday, 28 March 2016


I've reached the conclusion that there should be an offence of being Christianophobic.

Almost every day we read of a Christian being penalised for his beliefs when members of other religions certainly would not.

Today, the Mail records the case of a gentleman, who had served for 15 years as a magistrate, being sacked because he expressed his Christian viewpoint that he felt it wrong for a child to be adopted by gay parents and that there has been no research to determine the longer term effects on the child.  There is no suggestion that his views had in any way ever influenced any of his decisions as a magistrate, he was fired simply because of having expressed his Christian belief, an view with which many Christians, including myself, would agree.

Then to add insult to injury, the local LBGT coven complained to the Kent and Medway NHS Trust, where he was a member of the board, and as a result he was also suspended from the board as his views were 'incompatible with the Trust's values'.

If these actions were not Christianophobia, I don't know what is. They are discrimination, pure and simple, without any reason, as there is no evidence whatsoever that his beliefs have ever affected his work in any way.

Are these two authorities who sacked him saying that they have no Muslims as magistrates or as NHS Trust members? The views of most Muslims on the subject of homosexuality are far more rigid and extreme than those of most Christians who in general are reasonably tolerant towards gays, even if they don't approve of their actions. Unlike Muslims, where the majority appear to believe that they should be killed, usually by some barbaric method.

The gentleman, a Mr Richard Page issued the following statement:
'Last week, the Prime Minister distributed an Easter video in which he commended Christians, and the Church for their vital role in society, stating that we are a Christian country and should be proud of it.
'However, his Government has brought in laws which effectively silence Christians and remove them from the public square.
'It would appear no longer possible to be a Christian, to state what the Bible actually says and what the Church has believed for 2,000 years, and maintain a role in public life in today's Britain.'
I would agree with every word he said. Christianophobia is rampant in this country.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Brussels - More Emerges

Turkey has said that the Brussels bomber Ibrahim El Bakraoui was deported to the Netherlands for the second time by Turkey last July as a 'foreign terrorist fighter', although it is uncertain whether Brussels was told. But if either the Dutch or the Belgians knew, they certainly didn't put the information onto the international watchlist.

It is claimed that both the El Bakraoui brothers and the mysterious 'Man in White' were on U.S. terror-watch lists and identified by American intelligence rather than by EU resources. The Telegraph also claims that the main EU anti-terrorism watchlist used by the UK Border Force contains major flaws as is that it does not identify a suspect operating under an alias by their finger prints.
Other reports suggest that there is very little co-operation between France, Germany, Belgium and their bordering countries on mainland Europe, let alone with 'outsiders' such as Britain, even though we are all in the EU. American officials have supported the comments made by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6 which I wrote about yesterday

So much for this marvellous co-operation that we would no longer have if we left the EU, it seems to be pretty non-existent at best.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump, in a Tweet says "My heart and prayers go out to all the victims of the terrible Brussels tragedy. This madness must be stopped and stop it I will".
Hilary Clinton, responding to a previous bombing said "Let us be clear, Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism".

Well, at least Trump has his feet firmly on the ground and believes in action rather than appeasement.

The Express reports
Retired general Michael Hayden, who has headed the CIA spy agency, warned that the EU often “gets in the way” of combating terrorism and other threats.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Brussels and the Aftermath

Following the horrific explosions in Brussels, governments of many other European countries have taken more or less the same action as the did following those in Paris. They have called for solidarity and illuminated national monuments in the colours of the Belgian flag. There have been outpouring of grief in the streets of Brussels and elsewhere with flowers being left at many public memorials.

Frankly, if I'd lost someone in these terror attacks, I would be wanting to see my country take somewhat more positive action. I'd be wanting to know how a 'Belgian Citizen' can be deported back from Turkey as being a security risk and then escape the eyes of the authorities, especially as they had been informed of his impending return by the Turks. But so far real action, at least as far as the media and public is concerned has been totally non-existent.

Reading the news today, it is apparent that the intelligence gathering on the continent is not a patch on ours. In spite of the EU, there appears to be very little co-ordination or co-operation even within the individual countries although they are undoubtedly generally  very good in terms of armed response and the like, they are very poor in intelligence.

More telling are the comments made by Sir Richard Dearlove, the former head of MI6, now freed from political restraints, who likened the EU's various intelligence bodies to the 'leakiest ships of state' and colanders riddled with holes. He also added that "Britain is Europe's leader in intelligence and security matters and gives much more than it gets in return". He confirmed his view that Britain would be safer and more secure outside the EU, and that there should be no loss of intelligence from the EU as it was a moral issue not a political matter.

At the same time Defence Minister Penny Mordaunt today claimed Brexit would make Britain safer although her boss disagreed. She took the view that: "We need accountability. And we need our sovereignty back."  "All that is at stake. It's not just that freedom, but our ability also to defend it, which a subject very close to my heart." You certainly can't accuse her of not 'putting her money where her mouth is' as she is a member of the Royal Naval Reserve.

Yesterday, a van load of twenty or more illegal immigrants was stopped on one of the motorways; I should suppose we mast be grateful that they were not fully armed jihadis who had been let through Dover by our virtually non-existent border security. More worrying is that no-one seemed particularly concerned!

Meanwhile, just when one would expect the Prime Minister to be harrying the various departments of state and demanding action, he has decided to chillax in Lanzarote because he needs 'time to think'.

We are fortunate enough to live on an island surrounded by a stretch of water which has always protected us from the actions of those on the Continent. Let us make the most of it

Saturday, 12 March 2016

EU funding - More 'Project Fear'

Cameron’s latest bid to scare the British people into voting to remain within the European Union was delivered to farmers when he warned that withdrawing from the EU would cost the British farming industry £330 million.

What is he saying? The implication of this statement is that he has decided that if we withdrew from the EU and he remained Prime Minister, the government of the day would no longer pay this sum to our farmers in spite of the fact that at present we pay about ten times that sum to subsidise EU agriculture as a whole, a sum which we would no longer have to pay.

The same argument seems to apply to every other group receiving EU grants. This week, Stephen Hawking and 150 other distinguished scientists – all fellows of the Royal Society – wrote a letter to the Times saying that if Britain leaves the European Union it would be a “disaster for UK science.” Why should it? I'm sure that any government would be happy to pay the same grants simply on the basis that it would cost them a fraction of what it does to pay the money to the EU, who 'cream off' a huge chunk before paying the grants. The government of the day would even be able to increase the grants and still be in pocket.

I heard something similar from another Professor whom I know; He couldn't understand my argument that that no sensible government would discontinue the funding.

Indeed, almost every person or organisation (except pro-EU charities who are keeping very quiet) seems to have been enrolled in project fear to try to convince us that all such subsidies will stop dead the moment we are outside the EU.

Boris could put a stop to such nonsense at once. All he needs to say that if he were PM in a government outside the EU, he would continue the grants at their present levels. The exchequer could easily afford that, and we would still be billions better off as we would no longer be paying huge sums to the EU, only to get a fraction back. I'm sure any Chancellor, offered this choice would jump at the opportunity, he would still save enough to reduce our deficit to zero as well as being able to start paying off the country's debts.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Migration - Turkey is taking the EU for a ride! (Part2)

Just a brief observation that since I wrote last night's instalment, the BBC have reported that Turkey is now demanding Six Billion Euros, rather than the Three Billion previously reported. The sum has doubled overnight! I wonder if it is a "one off" payment or an annual payment? The reports are unclear.

No doubt whilst we are in  the EU, we will be expected to pay a significant part of this sum.

This is blackmail by Turkey, pure and simple.

The Australian approach to similar boat people trying to get to Australia illegally was quite simple; they took them back to where they had sailed from and put them ashore. The problem ended within six months.

The EU should do exactly the same, dump all migrants ashore in the country were they came from. If the EU hasn't the resources to prevent migrants landing on the relatively short Greek coastline, certainly Turkey wouldn't have the resources to prevent this along their much longer coast line. Isn't that what landing craft are designed to do!

Monday, 7 March 2016

Migration - Turkey is taking the EU for a ride!

According to the latest news, the EU has provisionally come to an agreement with Turkey about the migration which is taking place across the Aegean Sea.

Apparently Turkey will take back any migrants of non-Syrian origin in exchange for the EU taking an equivalent number of Syrian refugees provided they are given a payment of some Three Billion Euros and Turkish citizens being allowed into the EU without visas.

The EU has also agreed to expedite the accession of Turkey to the EU, in spite of it previously having been rejected because of human rights issues, something which has just got worse with Turkey's closure of the only opposition newspaper.

Clearly, not only has this has demonstrated not only that the EU would be incapable of negotiating its way out of the proverbial paper bag, but it has also shown, once again, how feeble Cameron must have been in his negotiations with the EU if he couldn't beat them hands down.

Of course, Cameron has insisted that the UK's opt-out from the passport-free Schengen agreement means that there could be no question of Britain joining any new EU asylum quota process, but it seems quite clear that he hasn't yet received his order from Fuhrer Merkel telling him to accept both the illegal migrants and a few million Turkish citizens.

As every day passes, there is yet another reason  for voting to get out of the EU.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

What the BBC (and most newspapers) don't tell us.

I was reading Breitbart for the news that we don't read elsewhere and read this headline:

Massive Sweden Bound Haul Of Grenades And Automatic Weapons Seized

When I read this piece, it wasn't this attempt at smuggling that took me by surprise but this part of the report:
Grenade attacks linked to migrant gang warfare have become a familiar occurrence in parts of Nordic nation. There were 30 grenade explosion in Malmö in the first half of 2015, and 25 explosions in the city in 2014.
This link above led me to this:
Grenade attacks in multicultural paradise Malmö are now so commonplace the English-speaking media has all but stopped bothering to report them. Compounding the apparent disinterest in the descent of beautiful, historic Malmö into a third-world ghetto where native Swedes are very nearly in the minority, is a striking dearth of facts about what is actually going on there.
And then to this:
We know the grenade attacks are a regular occurrence – there have been four this past week and at least ten since April. They come in addition to the regular shootings, stabbings, and arson attacks that are apparently so commonplace they don’t make the English papers at all.
Which, of course leads me to the obvious question - 'When is this sort of thing likely to start happening in Britain?'

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Project Fear - The ony reason for staying in the EU

The latest statement by the 'Remainers' is that if we leave the EU, we will no longer be able to travel freely around the EU, but as usual, they give no reason as to why this should be so.

Indeed, why should it be more difficult that at present, unless any of the EU countries decide to be bloody minded, which I very much doubt. Is it difficult for, say, Americans or Australians to travel to European countries because they're not in the EU? Of course not!

We went to Spain for our honeymoon, far more years ago than I care to remember. We had good old-fashioned blue passports, not the horrible modern EU style paperbacks. The only problem or hold-up was on our return when the BEA Trident blew its centre engine at the end of the runway and we had to wait for a replacement aircraft.

Since then on numerous occasions we toured Europe by car, with the children, finding B&B as we went. There were never any problems, we just had to show our passports and the car's documentation at some of the borders. Hardly any additional great hardship. We've also travelled quite widely outside Europe; Australia, the US and Russian required visas, so what, they still do and this presents no great impediment to travel.

The only reason that I would no longer want to travel to the EU, in general, is that with the plague of migrants, I would be concerned about our safety and it would seem that I'm not alone in this respect. The Austrian media have apparently been reporting concerns at the huge drop in holiday bookings for this summer. Vienna is one of the few European capitals that I've not visited, and it now looks as if I will never get the chance. This situation is unlikely to change whether we are in or out of the EU.

So this year, if we go touring, it is likely to be the Irish republic which seems quite safe if one avoids the rival gangs' gunfire in Dublin. But even here you need a passport so that you can prove you are British, both when entering Ireland and returning home.

Otherwise, it looks like a cruise, but it has to start in the UK as Mrs EP has ear problems and no wish to fly (otherwise we might head off to visit friends in Australia!). But certainly not a cruise to the Mediterranean, would it be safe to walk around the various places that the cruise would visit? Judging by the constant advertising of Mediterranean cruises for the coming summer, I would suspect that I'm not alone in my concerns.

So the only remaining problem now is whether we can get some affordable Holiday Insurance, and that's nothing to do with the EU!

Sunday, 28 February 2016


We are warned by the G20 that there will be a "Global Shock" if Britain leaves the EU.
We are also told that we couldn't survive by ourselves outside the EU in spite of our having one of the world's largest economies and more than half our trade being with countries outside the EU.

Surely these two statements contradict each other. If our economy is sufficiently large to cause a "Global Shock" as a result of our leaving the EU, surely it is strong enough for Britain to survive outside the EU? I suspect that the main shock will be to the EU's economy when they discover they will no longer get subsidies from the UK.

Friday, 26 February 2016

Whose figures do we trust?

"650,000 New National Insurance Numbers for
EU Nationals Despite Official Figures Saying There
Are Only 260,000 Migrants"

The above headline, from Breitbart does not seem to have received any significant coverage from the major media sources, and certainly not from the BBC.

What does this mean? Does it mean that the immigration figures are wrong and some 650,000 new immigrants entered this country last year? Or does it mean that some are collecting two or three numbers, perhaps under different names, enabling them, presumably, to collect several lots of benefits.

Your guess is as good as mine, but I think that we deserve some official explanation.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Unfit to be Prime Minister

A headline is the "Mail Online" claims

'Even if we leave the EU, we won't be able to control immigration': Cameron's counsel of despair as he turns on rebel Brexit ministers 

If this is a true reflection of what Cameron said, in my view he is totally unfitted to be Prime Minister. It is apparently based on his belief that if we are to trade with the EU countries after Brexit, we would be forced to have continued free movement of people. What rubbish, other countries trade with the EU without having EU migrants forced onto them!

If he is admitting that we wouldn't be able to control immigration, what would he say if there was a prospect of war for any reason? "Let's surrender now as there is no prospect of winning"?

The sooner we are out of the EU and have a Prime Minister who genuinely stands up for this country, the better.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Cameron's fantasy

In a speech given in Germany, reported in the Telegraph, David Cameron has said that Britain must stay in the European Union to help “confront the evil” of Isil and stand up to countries like North Korea and Russia.

What on earth can the EU do about either that Britain couldn't do outside the EU? The EU made a mess of their dealings with the Ukraine with Russia coming off best from the confrontation. So he wants them to have more dealings with Russia on our behalf when they've already failed once. As for North Korea, I'd hate to think of the EU trying to negotiate with them, they'd probably invite the country to become a member of the EU!

When it comes to Isil, letting several million mainly Muslim migrants from the Middle East and Africa come into the EU when experts suggest that probably one in a hundred is probably an active Isil supporter was a clearly a great idea! We will be confronting them whether we like it or not when they start terrorist attacks.

Indeed, if the EU is proposing to “confront the evil” of Isil and stand up to countries like North Korea and Russia, we would be best out and looking after ourselves.

The money we pay the EU could be far more sensibly used to improve our own security and deal with Isil at home. As for North Korea, what has that got to do with the EU? It is essentially an American problem and nothing whatsoever to do with the EU which is clearly suffering from delusions of grandeur. If the US can't resolve the problem, it would need far more than a miracle for the EU to achieve anything.

Cameron's remarks, like his previous suggestion that the Calais 'Jungle' would move to Britain if we left the EU, but which has since been proved false as it is the subject of an Anglo-French agreement not an EU agreement, will do nothing to help his case for staying in the EU.

Let's have some real reasons to stay in, if there are any, not scare tactics.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Calais - A Frenchwoman Speaks Out

Calais is a town where various violent pro-immigrant groups are allowed to protest with immunity, but where a peaceful protest by PEGIDA was banned by the mayor and an 80 year old retired Foreign Legion General was thrown into jail for participating in the event.

This link gives a local Frenchwoman's view on what is happening in the town where she was born and has lived all her life.

Everyone should read this!

Note her estimate of some 18000 immigrants in the camp, far in excess of what the UK media tell us.  Just don't expect it to get a mention on the BBC.

More information is in Breitbart.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Democracy - Cameron Style

When it comes to campaigning for the EU referendum, David Cameron has advised Tory MPs to ignore the views of their constituency party and of their local constituents and make up their own minds. Implied in his 'advice' is that they need to consider their future career within the party. Clearly Cameron has already made up his own mind to stay in the EU, and if the referendum is in favour of staying, the implication is that MPs who campaigned in favour of leaving the EU will not see any promotion and could even be deselected for the next General Election when many constituency boundaries are to be changed.

I have never belonged to a political party, until Mrs Thatcher was deposed, I supported the Tories, since when I've become a supporter of UKIP. Looking at the way Cameron expects MPs to treat their constituents and their local party, what would be the point of joining? The local party has very little power or influence; it is allowed to select its prospective parliamentary candidate, but only from a list of prospective candidates put forward by Conservative Headquarters. Exactly what are the benefits of joining the Conservative Party if one doesn't have ambitions to be a politician?

Strange as it might seem, many of our Trade Unions are more democratic. I used to belong to a Union and went to its annual conference on a few occasions. On one occasion, our branch had tabled a motion criticising the National Executive on a particular issue concerning professional engineers. The motion was called to be debated and I was allowed my five minutes on the platform to put forward my branch's views. The matter was duly debated and although we lost, our grievances were fully aired.

Can you imagine that happening at a Conservative party's annual conference? I certainly can't. It is simply a show-piece where the higher-ups in the party tell everyone how well they are doing and why they are doing the right thing, regardless of what members think. Why on earth should anyone want to join an organisation like that? I've never been one for toeing a party line just because I'm told that's what I should do, I like to make my own decisions based on my own conclusions.

Time will tell how many Tory MPs decide to ignore Cameron's 'advice'.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Hoisted with their own petard

The news this week from Australia that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) was to significantly reduce its research into climate change and close down its Climate Division with the loss of jobs for some 350 scientists was about the only recent item of news which has raised a smile as far as I'm concerned.

After all, sceptics like myself are constantly being told that "the science is settled", so why should there be any need for further research?

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Keep Rhodes

Protesters with nothing better to do are demanding that the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College, Oxford, is removed on the basis that Rhodes was racist. The leader of the campaign is one Ntokozo Qwabe, who himself has benefited from the Rhodes scholarship, funded by a legacy left to the college by none other than the "racist" Cecil Rhodes.

One notices that he didn't turn down the scholarship and was happy to avail himself of funds left by this "racist imperialist". If he really believes Rhodes was so bad he should refund the money immediately and so 'putting his money where his mouth is'. But of course he won't and will no doubt have some convoluted excuse for not doing so.

Let's take a quick look at colonial Africa. When the British and other colonial powers went there, the population was a fraction of the present day population. The inhabitants, who weren't killed by constant inter-tribal warfare generally died of disease or starvation; the life expectancy of most of them was in the order of only 30 years. The colonists stopped the tribal warfare and helped establish agriculture along with basic education so that by the time that Rhodesia became independent, life expectancy was approaching that of many European nations. It interesting to note that life expectancy in modern Zimbabwe has now fallen back to the early thirties over the years since it was given self government and at the same time its education standards have tumbled for all except the privileged few.

I'm no mathematician, but I would suggest that if it hadn't been for the colonial nations, the probability of Ntokozo Qwabe even having being born, let alone surviving to his twenties would have been quite small. It was the "racist colonists" like Rhodes who are indirectly responsible for him actually existing and enabling him to be educated to a standard allowing him to attend Oxford.
He should shut up and give thanks for the colonists who changed Africa from a primitive tribal civilisation to, what was until independence, modern countries.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

The Oscars

Someone (whom I have never heard of) is complaining about the Oscars being 'too white'. This surely isn't the fault of the Oscars, which can only be awarded to those in the film industry who have achieved something, but of the industry itself. You can't give an award to a black actor if there was no black actor available to qualify for selection.

Are we now reaching the point where the Oscars and other similar awards are not going to be given on the basis of talent, but on the basis of ethnicity. This is already happening elsewhere with so-called positive discrimination and is a failure more frequently than not. Those who are good at their jobs and have ability get on regardless of their race or sex and rarely need special treatment.

Personally, I've reached the point were I now have zero interest in any of the awards in the Film, TV, music or radio industries. First we have all the hype about the nominations for the Oscars, then, some time latter we have the Oscars themselves. We have Golden Globes, whatever they are, along with British Academy awards, Pop awards, Radio & TV awards and others too numerous even to remember; no sooner is one over than another fills our TV screens. On the television we see under-dressed females, intent on showing as much as they can and sometime more than they expected.

Every time it's the same self-serving group of people in the industry busily telling us how good they are. They are paid extremely well to do what they do, I just wish they would get on with that and stop filling our TV screens with their self-advertisements.

Friday, 15 January 2016

New Years Eve - Cologne Cathedral was Attacked

Whilst the mass attack on women by Muslims in Cologne has received a small amount of coverage in the UK media, I can't recall seeing anything about the Cathedral also being attacked. However the 'Frankfurter Allgemeine' reports that firecrackers and rockets were directed at the Cathedral during the New Year's Eve Service and that the German police did nothing.
The report is in German but Google Translate does quite a good job.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Foreign Criminals

According to the BBC Web Page

"Germany has announced plans to make it easier to throw out foreign criminals and strip sex attackers of refugee status."

As both the UK and Germany are signatories to the same European Convention on Human Rights, how comes it that they believe that they will be able to do this when we rarely succeed in doing so? Surely the same Human Rights rules apply and they can't be sent back to any country where their lives might be in danger.
Or is it that the German State doesn't fund human rights lawyers to make numerous appeals on behalf of the criminals that they wish to deport?

The other possibility is that Justice Minister Heiko Maas is simply making a statement concerning 'plans' in order to try to placate those demonstrating against the fact that Chancellor Merkel has allowed these criminals into the country in the first place, but that he has no intention of doing anything because the EU Human Rights rules won't allow him to take such action.

Certainly, if he does succeed, many people here will be asking why we can't do the same.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Drink Less Alcohol!

It is hard to find any real science in the latest recommended alcohol limits produced by the UK's Chief Medical Officers. Bringing the 'allowance' for men down to that of women simply smacks of the desire for sexual equality.

The obvious question is as to the accuracy of the research. To establish the mortality or disease rates of people according to the amount they drink (or drunk if they are dead) is not one of the easiest tasks. Research elsewhere suggests that when patients discus alcohol with their doctors, the majority understate the amount they drink and it was concluded that on average, a drinker would understate what what he/she had drunk by at least 50%. My mother used to claim that she rarely drunk alcohol, only on special occasions; she didn't count the glass of sherry she had every day with her evening meal; that was medicinal, to help her digestion.

Did these medical officers take this research into account? Did they assume all the alcohol claimed to have been drunk by individuals was correct? Probably they believed what they were told, because if they had doubled the amounts that people claimed to drink, it would probably have produced higher, not lower 'allowances'.

But my main complaint about the figures, and the cancers that they are claimed to produce, is how they managed to decide that the cancers were produced by alcohol and not one of the other numerous possible causes such as traffic pollution. We've recently had the scandal about emissions from diesel engines and the 'extra' risks to which we have been subjected due to the falsification of records. Others claim that red meat can be a cause; how long before we get our weekly meat allowance? And what about obesity, which was recently claimed to be one of the biggest threats to this country; where does that fit into the equation? Suppose we stopped drinking beer and had a pint of coca-cola instead, which would do the most damage?

Then they rubbish the suggestion, among other things, that a daily glass of red wine can be helpful against various ills. Lots of carefully documented research by various well respected doctors and institutions world wide on the beneficial effects of moderate alcohol consumption are simply swept away for no reason. The Harvard School of Public Health has produced a number of studies, this one in particular being of interest in that it weighs up the risks and benefits of alcohol.

Many people drink alcohol for stress related reasons; it might help them to relax after a hard day's work or a stressful journey. Suppose they gave up alcohol, would they in due course be turning up at the doctor's or hospital with a nervous breakdown? When I have problems sleeping, a tot of whisky before bed is an enormous help; my GP knows about this and has given me some pills. But I've failed to get a simple answer, whether the long term use of alcohol, or the long term use of the pills would do me the most harm? Remember that in spite of all the claims made about the safety of medicines, Aspirin was being sold around the world by 1899, and that even today, they are still finding both new uses and new problems with it. So how safe is something that has only been available for a much shorter period?

I believe these new limits will be totally ignored and indeed could make things worse. I don't consider myself a heavy drinker compared with most of my friends; I probably kept within the existing limits most of the time. The problem is that by setting them so low, many will go over the figures, and then adopt the attitude "In for a penny, in for a pound" and totally ignore them altogether.

I intend to continue as at present. I am aware that alcohol could shorten my life, but then so could numerous other thing that I do during a normal day. If I tried to have a life devoid of any avoidable risk, where even crossing the road entails some degree of risk,  I would probably then die of boredom.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Private Sector and Public Sector Resignations

In the private sector, shareholders expect results and if they don't get them, heads usually roll.
Yesterday, it was announced that Marc Bolland, who became chief executive of Marks and Spencer in 2010 will resign in April following poor results, partly brought about by a slump in sales in the womenswear division.

But across at the Environment Agency there was no similar announcement. Although the public would expect resignations following the floods, unlike the private sector, things just continue as if nothing had happened. The Chairman, Philip Dilley, was holidaying in Barbados during the crisis, and didn't think that it was necessary to return. The chief executive, Sir James Bevan, said that it was "heartbreaking to see what has happened to those communities". His heart doesn't, however, seem to be sufficiently broken for him to think it would be appropriate for him to resign.

Senior officials in government posts are now earning salaries and get benefits of  the same order as in those executives in major companies and should should be treated in the same manner by being made to resign if they fail to meet their objectives, in  this case carrying out work to  minimise floods.

No doubt both will blame  'climate change', the M&S chief because they stocked up for the wrong weather, the Environment chief, because of 'the heaviest rainfall since records began'.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Also in Zurich

Since writing my last post, it has emerged that similar events occurred in Zurich on New Years Eve, although on a smaller scale.
Several women have complained to the Zurich City Police of sexual harassment and rape by men "with darker skin colour."
The story continues . . . . . .

Report from "Tages Anzeiger", in German.

More reports from Austria in the Blog "Gates of Vienna". 

Germany - More detail of the attacks by migrants slowly emerges

News has been slow to emerge in both the German and British media concerning the events in Cologne on New Years Eve. At first both the BBC and Sky seemed to be in denial about the events as did the local German media. But now, at least German public broadcaster ZDF has apologised for delays in reporting the sexual assaults, after it emerged they had details of the story for 24 hours before they broadcast them.

But now far more facts are slowly emerging and they are not very nice.  Spiegel International gives quite comprehensive details in which it is admitted that German police lost control of the situation.

It is also emerging that similar attacks have been reported in other major German cities as well as in Austria. In most cases there appears a deliberate attempt by the local authorities to minimise what has taken place. Breitbart mentions attacks in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Dusseldorf in addition to those in Cologne.

The (female) Mayor of Cologne who is on record a welcoming migrants has said:
'It is always possible to keep a certain distance that is longer than an arm's length, 'need to be 'better prepared' for such incidents. Speaking on live TV, she said women should be 'more protected in the future so these things don't happen again'. 'This means they should go out and have fun, but they need to be better prepared.'
In other words, if you are attacked, it's your own fault, not that of the attackers!

Breitbart also reveals that the interior minister for the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, within which Cologne is situated, has said people of a right wing persuasion discussing the mass sexual assaults on New Years Eve online are equally “awful” as the attackers and rapists. At the same time the German government is trying to have anti-immigration speech banned from the social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

These politicians seem to be totally out of touch with reality, as do the local police chiefs.

A number of anti-immigrant organisations are planning protests in Cologne on Saturday, it will be interesting to see how the authorities handle the situation.

Not being a fan of the seaside, Germany has always been one of my favourite countries for a European holiday, but it now looks as if most of mainland Europe is now totally out of the question as far as holidaying is concerned.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Over a 1000 immigrants assault and rape women in Cologne

1,000+ Migrants Brawl, Rape, Sexually Assault, And Steal At ONE German Train Station On New Year’s Eve 
I would have thought this would have been a major item of European news which would be in the headlines in this country, but for some reason it seems to have been largely ignored or downgraded by the UK media.

The BBC, for example, on their on-line news front page, merely has a small paragraph discretely titled  "Germany shocked by Cologne New Year gang assaults on women", whilst the Telegraph reports, way down the page that "German women report string of sex attacks on New Year's Eve by gangs of 'Arab and North African men' ".

It seems that the media has given up reporting news from Europe concerning migrants, unless one of the migrants happens to be a victim. For news of what is happening abroad one has to turn to 'Breitbart' or the 'The Local' for news from Europe.

The most disturbing fact, apart from this being largely ignored by the UK media, is that officials said at a press conference on Tuesday that the Police in Cologne have "no leads" on the perpetrators behind the dozens of sex attacks committed against women in the western cathedral city on New Year's Eve.

How soon before this becomes commonplace, not only in Germany but here in Britain?


I'm starting with two picture of Lambeth Palace which is situated on the south side of the River Thames, almost opposite the Houses of Parliament.

The first, a painting from about 1750 shows the palace alongside the Thames, quite close to the water's edge with maybe a footpath between the river and the palace wall.

This second picture is taken from Google Maps and shows a recent aerial view, but with one big difference, the is now a main road, some gardens and the embankment footpath between the the Palace and the river. Whilst it is impossible to be exact, probably the river has been narrowed by some fifty feet in the couple of hundred years since the artist painted the first picture.

This is just one example of how our waterways have been narrowed, further down, near where I used to work, the embankment road had been diverted under the north arch of Blackfriars' bridge, narrowing the width of the river by 'half an arch'. This has happened all along the Thames and I've no doubt that the same has happened to rivers elsewhere around the country.

There are numerous other old paintings which prove my point, the one showing the frozen Thames is of interest as there is no way that the fast flowing modern river is ever likely to freeze; not due to global warming, but due to the fast movement of the water.

The net result of this narrowing of our rivers is that the water not only flows faster, but when we get very heavy rain, there is now insufficient capacity to cope with the extra water and the river overflows up stream. This of course was never a problem in the past, if it happened, the water went into low lying fields adjacent to the river with little inconvenience to anyone except possibly the farmers. But now, these water meadows are disappearing; a builder looking for land sees them in the summer as good flat building land and fills them with nice houses with a river view. The trouble as their owners have discovered, it's a nice view in the summer, but far from nice during a wet autumn when the water is lapping around their ankles or even reaching their windowsills!

Of course, not all houses are built on such land; many are built on higher land. Generally the owners have no problems as they busily concrete over their drives and build patios, but every bit of land that is covered is that much less land to absorb the water when it rains. Where I live, most of our tap water comes from the underground aquifer, where water collects in the porous sub-surface strata from which it can be pumped. But in spite of all the rain, this area is having problems of water shortage because as a result of the building, less water is soaking into the land and instead is pouring down drains and going into the nearest rivers.

These, of course, are not the only problems; there are others such as the lack of work being carried out to dredge the rivers for so-called 'environmental reasons'. If we are narrowing the rivers and sending more water into them, the only way to cope is to make them deeper which means regular dredging.

Of course there is a large lobby which wishes to convince the public that the floods are nothing to do with building or the lack of dredging, but that they are due to climate change. The Met Office, aided by the BBC are keen to convince us that the recent rainfall is the highest since 'records began', but are very careful to avoid telling us when that was! We also saw what happened last year when the Somerset levels were flooded; the official line was that it was not due to lack of dredging of the local rivers, but again to abnormal circumstances resulting from climate change.

According to the BBC's web site, Sir James Bevan, the Environment Agency's chief executive has said that "People will always come first" in the battle to defend the UK against flooding, ."If we have to choose between people and wildlife, we will always, of course, choose people".

I'll believe it when I see it!