Les Miserables

Les POne may safety say that Sir Oliver Letwin has brought the same world-wide regard for the dignity and respect of the UK as Sir Les Peterson brought to Australia.

Which is … Continue reading

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Weighting

dietWhilst waiting for the medical profession to provide me with a new hip in the New Year, I have been a lot less active than usual, which has unsurprisingly led to my putting on a bit of weight.

There seem to be two major drawbacks to going on a diet.  The first is that diets are unpleasant, leaving one hungry and/or having to eat ghastly food. The second is that they rarely work in the long term.

I am trying a fasting diet, of sorts. No dinner. The idea is that I can have what I like for breakfast and lunch, but then at 4 o’clock in the afternoon, the shutter comes down: nothing to eat or drink except water until the next morning.

Obviously, this is good, in that I’m not required to eat raw carrots, lettuce or fish sticks. Surprisingly, after several days on this regime, it is not nearly as annoying as one might think. Ordinarily Continue reading

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BritBox “Watch anywhere”

This sounds good:

Anywhere

But not unhappily, not that good: Continue reading

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Backing the Enemy

zionYou would not need to be a political genius, or even particularly cynical, to note that the current impeachment proposals against President Trump are driven by Democrats, not Republicans, for very good reason.

The impeachment proceedings have no prospect whatsoever of removing Trump as president of the United States. Like him or loathe him, he has a majority in the Senate, and so there is really no prospect at all of the majority in the Senate, let alone a two thirds majority in the Senate voting against him, as would be necessary for any impeachment. Conversely, the impeachment process does have the effect of focusing on the narrative: Trump wants Joe Biden investigated for corruption. Unhappily, you might say, it does not much matter whether or not Joe Biden is corrupt. The constant repetition of the narrative, on the other hand, will fix into the American psyche yet more firmly the notion that Joe Biden is corrupt. And so it is hardly surprising that that narrative is very welcome to Joe Biden’s competitors for the Democratic nomination. They are whipping that bandwagon along.

There’s nothing new, of course, about political forces pulling their weight behind political moves, including support for well-meaning but naïve opponents, for political purposes. The USSR did it for decades.

An interesting question is whether Saudi Arabia, and the other major stakeholders in the oil business, are behind Extinction Rebellion. It is interesting that, until Andrew Neil’s interview of Zion Lights, the BBC had suppressed any meaningful questions about the climate change lobby’s gender, or the scientific facts behind their campaign. And yet here we have the BBC airing Andrew Neil’s somewhat gentle but nevertheless devastating interview of extension rebellions spokesperson. She was made to look like a complete idiot. Which is not wholly surprising. Since Continue reading

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Batting for a Foreign Power

A price that England has long paid for its openness and tolerance is that, when the country is under threat of foreign powers seeking to take over, there have been traitors who have engaged with those foreign powers.

The latest threat is of course from the EU, which is desperately seeking to retain and then expand control over the UK’s laws, waters, animals, trading arrangements etc etc.

Bizarrely, Dominic Grieve and others do not deny that they have been engaging with the EU behind the government’s back, to assist the EU in the bringing about such vassalage.  They think that is perfectly fine!

It is not clear that they have a very good grasp of history. Happily for them, hanging (with or without the drawing and the quartering) has been abolished.

Spain, under Philip Anthony Babington, hanged, drawn and quartered 1586 babington
France, under Napoleon Wolfe Tone, committed suicide 1798, having been sentenced to be hanged for treason tone
Germany, under Kaiser Wilhelm Michael Collins, shot in an ambush 1922 collins
Germany, under Hitler William Joyce, hanged for treason 1946 joyce
   

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Battles and Wars

NFA really thoughtful interview with Nigel Farage.

In summary, he is modest enough to admit that he really cannot be sure. But his best guess is that Brexit will lose the battle (no Brexit on 31st October) but will then win the war. i.e. a General Election and then a clean break Brexit will follow before long.

He is probably right. The fundamental point is, I think, this. The British people voted for Brexit in a vote that they were promised would be implemented. You might think that the EU is a corrupt neo-Nazi cabal of old-fashioned German industrialists and French farmers who mistreat their animals according to 18th century standards. You might think the EU is lovely. Either way, the country has spoken, and the country’s voice should be respected.

In the end, the people will Continue reading

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Carrot, Sticks and Fish

margirisI have noted before that the UK might discourage the EU from extending the Brexit agony by promising to veto all and any EU business it can whilst the UK is still a member. It is hard to see that it is good for the EU have a really stroppy member in its club. That is the stick.

The Telegraph leads with a story today that Hungary might veto any extension.[1] That would do the trick of avoiding another damaging extension.

The cost of an extension is huge. Not only does it cost around £1 billion a month in direct costs; it is causing massive costs in terms of economic uncertainty. And of course the country loses the advantages of cheaper non-EU imports (food, clothes, footware etc) as long as EU-imposed tariffs are keeping those imports out. We all know that, for the plotters, this is not about “no deal”; it is about “no Brexit”. And so Tony Blair et al will have been scheming with the EU for a long extension, or perhaps one extension leading to another, and another and so on until we all give up on ever winning independence. The Surrender Act is designed to give the EU the power to impose as long an extension as they like.

It is not only British humans who suffer. The Dutch have deployed a massive trawler – the FV Margiris[2] – in UK waters. It is said to be some 14 times bigger than the British trawlers which fish sustainably.[3]  This EU trawler now is seeking to extract as much fish as possible, killing many short-beaked dolphins (we like dolphins), bluefin tuna (they are endangered) and sea bass (they are overfished) on the way,  in the next few weeks. Just in case the UK does achieve freedom from the EU on Continue reading

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Banged to Wrongs

EU burnThis is quite seriously weird: I this see on Twitter from Pieter Cleppe @pietercleppe:

Incredible: Germany’s Upper House approved legislation that would impose a prison sentence of up to 3 years or a fine for defamation of the EU’s flag or hymn. What about freedom of speech? 

And what about those who feel that Ode to Joy is a bit… well …cheesy?

Germany, and indeed some other countries, have also made holocaust denial a criminal offence. 5 years for that one.

For sure, denying the historical fact that the Germans, not so very long ago, did kill an awful lot of Jews is decidedly nutty – the evidence is really very clear.  In the UK, the preferred route is not to lock nutters up, but instead to place them in the Houses of Parliament representing the minor parties. Prison costs the State £37,543 a year per prisoner, not to mention the cost of Continue reading

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Brexit & Global Warming: Gnostics v Faithful

GnosticIt has been remarked that there is some commonality between those who advocate for British independence from the EU (Brexit) and those who are sceptical about climate change alarmism.[1] The point might equally be put the other way around: that the more likely someone is to believe in the UK’s continued partipation in the EU project, the more likely that person is to believe in impending disaster resulting from anthropogenic global warming.

What is the link between these concepts? It is an interesting question, and the answer is by no means obvious. Certainly, it is the case that a number of the sharpest minds in Britain today (Matt Ridley[2], Nigel Lawson[3], Jacob Rees-Mogg[4] and Daniel Hannan[5] to name a few) – let us call them the Gnostics – are in favour of Brexit, and are also sceptical about the beliefs of the climate change lobby. But then again, there are also Continue reading

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Supreme Court – All out!

SCUKThe decision by the government of Tony Blair to puff up the judicial committee of the House of Lords into the new Supreme Court a few years ago might well have been a mistake.

Views vary as to whether it should, the other day, have ventured onto new political ground.[1] What is not in serious dispute is that it has ventured onto that new political ground. The judgment of the court claims that there is nothing wrong with that. It includes this:

  1. Secondly, although the courts cannot decide political questions, the fact that a legal dispute concerns the conduct of politicians, or arises from a matter of political controversy, has never been sufficient reason for the courts to refuse to consider it. As the Divisional Court observed in para 47 of its judgment, almost all important decisions made by the executive have a political hue to them. Nevertheless, the courts have exercised a supervisory jurisdiction over the decisions of the executive for centuries. Many if not most of the constitutional cases in our legal history have been concerned with politics in that sense.

This last sentence may be doubted. Certainly, it is contrary to the views of the Lord Chief Justice and the other members of the Divisional Court as expressed in Miller, R (On the Application Of) v The Prime Minister Continue reading

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