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?"

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Syria - No Military Action (for now)

Parliament has voted against British involvement in any military action against Syria. There is, of course, no reason why the government should not seek a further vote in due course, but for the time being we are safe. If the situation changes for the worse, the government could again seek a mandate for action, and rightly so, but at present parliament has listened to the electorate and decided to avoid military involvement.
One thing that worries me is that politicians never seem to look far ahead, and there was no discussion of the possible consequences of any involvement. Action would have worsened our relationship with Russia as well as with a number of Arab and Muslim countries and stangely as it might be seen, we would, in effect, be supporting Al-Qaeda who are now the dominant anti-Assad force in Syria.
Even worse, we would invite retaliation. Arabs tend to believe in taking revenge, if only to save face. Unless Assad were to be killed, he would want revenge, and as he has no military capability for striking at this country, I believe he could and would resort to terrorism. He has Sarin and other nasty chemicals at his disposal; how difficult would he find it to smuggle some into this country for use by a suicide bomber? No doubt we will soon be hit by an influx of Syrian asylum seekers - how do we tell the goodies from the baddies? Assad would only need one baddie who wants to go to paradise in order to carry out a gas attack on the Underground and satisfy his lust for revenge.
So we must thank Parliament for making the right decision tonight, even, as some might argue, it was for the wrong reasons.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Syria - Why should Assad use WMD?

I have been reading the various blogs in the Telegraph about Syria, and this one by Dr Tim Stanley caught my eye, particularly as his thinking on this occasion is broadly the same as mine, only he makes the case so much better than I ever could.

Syria: why would Assad invite a Western intervention by using WMDs in a war he was winning? 

He makes the argument, as in the headlines, that there was every reason for Assad not using such weapons as he was winning the war, and it is just as likely that the attack could have been carried out by one of the various opposition groups.

Indeed, I would reiterate the question I've already asked, "Why the mad rush to take action in Syria before the UN inspectors have had a chance to publish the results of their investigation?" It has not been unknown, in the past, for terrorists to kill their own supporters if this could gain them an advantage, and it could be the same here, particularly if those in the area concerned were supporting the "wrong" opposition group or belonged to a different religious sect.

If you have already read your twenty free pages this month in the Telegraph, can I suggest that you clear the relevant cookies on your computer and try again.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Intervention in Syria

I am strongly opposed to any intervention by Britain in Syria, regardless of what has happened there.
However, I read tonight that Cameron has said  "I won't stand by over Syria", and elsewhere we are being told that it is "a moral imperative" that we should take action.
In response to these statements I simply ask "Why?". Why should we take action; we no longer profess to be a world power and have cut our military back to a bare minimum, Why does it have to be Britain? Why not Germany? Why not Spain? Why not India? Why us? More to the point as it is an Islamic sectarian war, why not the Arab states?
No other countries except the US and France appear to see any moral requirement to intervene, why are we joining the minority of countries who are proposing to take action?
The House of Commons is being recalled by Cameron to debate whether Britain should intervene, and seemingly, from media reports, the three party leaders are all in favour of action which I suspect is totally opposite to the views of the majority of the general public. So determined is Cameron to take action, that he is not even prepared to wait for the UN inspectors to report on their visit to to site of the alleged gas attack, which makes one wonder why there is this indecent haste.
I'll e-mail my MP expressing my opposition to military action, but it will really be a pointless activity as I believe the decision has already been made. Nevertheless, as he is Attorney General, it will be interesting to hear his views on the legality of taking action should he be pressed to make a statement on the matter.
Meanwhile we can just hope that there are enough sensible (ie rebel) MPs from all parties who are prepared to vote against action.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Irish women and teenager caught in Cairo mosque stand-off

The above headline caught my attention in the Telegraph, and my first thought was "What on earth are they doing in Cairo?"
Then I read the report and discovered their names were Omaima Halawa,  and her two sisters Somaia,  and Fatima,  and their younger brother Ibrihim.

With those names they are obviously part of a ancient Irish family, the O'Halawas. and are clearly within their rights in expecting the Irish Embassy to rescue them from their predicament!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Bongo Bongo Land (Part 2)

It is worth reading this piece in today's Mail outlining how some of our foreign aid is spent.
Highlights are:
Rwanda - The President has two private jets – South African-registered Bombardier BD-700 Global Expresses – costing £30million each.
Uganda - Here the President contents himself with just one jet, a 30million top-of-the-range Gulfstream G550. The country is also intending to buy six Russian made fighter planes at a cost of about £500million.
Gabon - The state bought a £85million property in the heart of Paris.
Congo - The President here has a multi-million pound property portfolio in Paris.

And so it goes on, with most Bongo-Bongo land presidents having private aircraft and properties abroad, mainly in Paris.

All the media here are interested in is one short phrase, not the rest of Godfrey Bloom's speech about the waste and misuse of our foreign aid. But, of course, with modern political correctness, if one points out what is happening in these countries, one is immediately declared racist by our self-serving politicians and media, who no doubt are wondering why they, too, should not have such luxuries.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Bongo Bongo Land

The BBC along with the usual left wing media are getting themselves worked up into a sweat because a UKIP MP, Godfrey Bloom, referred to much of Britain's overseas aid being sent to "Bongo Bongo Land". Now I can see nothing wrong with this phrase and those British who take offence should come back and join the real world. From my experience, that is how many, probably a majority, of us British feel about many African countries with names that that no-one recognises. So what is wrong with "bongo-bongo"? It is hardly a racist expression, although I suppose that the BBC will argue that the McPherson criteria of "if the listener believes it is racist, it is racist" applies here.

I believe that the use of this phrase by the UKIP MEP will do them more good than harm. People are fed up with the LbLabCon political correctness, and like to hear someone who actually says what they are thinking but afraid to say themselves. But then the LibLabCon politicians, along with the BBC, only ever talk to like minded people and so haven't got the vaguest idea of how the average person thinks or talks about. At least Nigel Farrage visits his local, our MP wouldn't be seen dead in ours.

The other interesting thing about this spat is that no-one has commented on what was actually said, just on the words that were used, presumably because they know what he said is largely true. Most of the aid money is spent on luxuries for the elite or ends up in Swiss bank accounts. The rest is probably spent on armaments, as in the case of Pakistan. Why should we give aid to a country which can afford F18 fighter aircraft?

Whilst what was said was certainly not politically correct, but it needed to be said and in terms that we all understand. Those in the Conservative party who want to "dig the dirt" on UKIP members had better be very careful as it could rebound on them, as has the recent allegation about a supporter who had in the past been a member of the BNP. This was correct, but when the truth was revealed, it turned out that he had been a member in his youth, but had then been a member of the Conservative party for 20 years before joining UKIP!

I'm all for political incorrectness if it means we get the truth and it means that ordinary people understand what is being said.