Monday, July 31, 2006

Some Thoughts On The Fall Of The Cedar Revolution

'That's the thing about revolutions.

Sooner or later they turn right round and slap you in the face'-

Tommy Lee Jones, 'Under Siege'.

Some Thoughts On The Pitfalls Involved In Quoting Charles Krauthammer Favourably

Andrew Sullivan has continued his orgy of politically-motivated outbursts against Mel Gibson with a zeal which makes him a poster boy for the last conservative value.
However, he makes the error of praying in aid a column by Charles Krauthammer.
The column is entitled 'Gibson's Blood Libel'.
In it he writes,
"In Gibson's movie, Satan appears four times. Not one of these appearances occurs in the four Gospels. They are pure invention. Twice, this sinister, hooded, androgynous embodiment of evil is found . . . where? Moving among the crowd of Jews. Gibson's camera follows close up, documentary style, as Satan glides among them, his face popping up among theirs -- merging with, indeed, defining the murderous Jewish crowd. After all, a perfect match: Satan's own people."
If Krauthammer is seeking to use the depiction of Satan amidst the action as evidence of Gibson's anti-semitism, then he would have to level the same charge against George Stevens; because in 'The Greatest Story Ever Told', the voice of Satan, played by Donald Pleasance, is the first to shout 'Crucify Him!'.

God Loves A Trier

Tim Worstall returns to the topic of immigration.
Och, well, God loves a trier...

Global Labour Arbitrage? Who Said Global Labour Arbitrage?

Chalk Another One Up To The Nice Treaty

"A 21-year-old man has appeared in court charged in connection with the fatal stabbing of another man in north Dublin yesterday morning.
Gertautas Suslavicius, a Lithuanian national, with an address at Oak Avenue in Santry, is charged with assault causing serious harm to a fellow Lithuanian.
The 24-year-old victim died from a single stab wound to the chest following an argument in the house at Oak Avenue. "
That's another penny on the euro to feed, shelter, clothe and cage him.

The Blair Government Finally Tells The Truth On Immigration

The 'Daily Telegraph', 'The Times' and 'The Guardian' all report today on a leaked document written by a junior Home Office minister named Joan Ryan and entitled 'Migration From Eastern Europe: Impact on Public Services and Community Cohesion'.
It's best just to hand over to 'The Times':
"The document...reveals that every government department has been ordered to draw up contingency plans to deal with the extra pressure on schools, housing and health.
The report says that schools will be under pressure, with thousands of children arriving here unable to speak English.
It insists that hospitals will struggle to cope with Eastern European patients who “block” hospital beds because they are ineligible for social care and benefits if they leave.
The report also reveals that towns and cities where large numbers of the new immigrants have settled are demanding millions of pounds of extra money to cope.
The leaked document, marked “Restricted”, was written by Ms Ryan on July 19, the day after she submitted a report saying that 45,000 “undesirable” criminal migrants from Romania and Bulgaria may settle in Britain next year.
The report also insists that, although foreign workers have filled jobs that British workers do not want to do, there is evidence that wages for low-paid workers have been affected.
It says: “There is anecdotal evidence, particularly from Southampton, a port of entry for Eastern Europeans, that the effect of migration . . . has been to depress wages for low-paid workers. If this were widely true, or that perception were to spread widely, the implications for community cohesion would be potentially serious.”
Ms Ryan is concerned that a legal challenge could force the Government to abandon restrictions on Eastern European immigrants applying for benefits and social housing. Her report says that some councils are demanding an end to this restriction so that they can get them off the streets.
The Government is already being criticised for underestimating the flood of migrants from eight former Soviet bloc states that joined the EU in 2004: some 662,000 came to Britain in the past two years, instead of the 10,000 to 26,000 predicted. Ministers expect that number to rise by up to 140,000 next year.
The leak coincided with a police report yesterday revealing that the migration of East Europeans to the UK is bringing mafia-style gangsters and organised prostitution to rural areas. The document, an unlisted appendix to a council meeting in Cornwall, cites figures from Boston, Lincolnshire, where there are large numbers of migrant workers.
In Boston, the report notes, “the local community have reacted adversely” to “drinking, noise and the open proliferation of massage parlours”.
A recent police stop-and-check in Lincolnshire found 50 per cent of all drivers were committing an offence and 97 per cent of those were migrant workers.
The document notes: “There has also been a marked increase in road traffic accidents in this rural area. There is a real concern over safety issues as a consequence.”
It reports that in Boston there is a “rapid increase” in bulk buying of new homes for “labour providers” to house their low-paid workers. The report says: “This has fuelled demand and price inflation. The council estimates the average two-bedroom house price has risen 400 per cent in six years. There has been ‘ghettoisation’ of some areas. Surprisingly, this is not just in older housing areas: but also on new-build estates, where blocks of property are being bought direct from developers.”
From worker displacement to the scourge of foreign crime, it seems it's got the lot.
If only they'd told us nine years ago.

This Picture Was Taken In Scotland

Nauseating, isn't it?

'Worker electrocution probe begins'

My condolences to Gerard Faltynowski's family.
His death highlights what might be a very serious problem with mass migration, that of health and safety. Are standards of electrical safety the same in Poland and the UK?
I mean, can these guys tell the difference between the live wire and the earth?

'Illegals Smuggled For £150'

I guess that's the law of supply and demand at work.

Mel On Mel

Against my expectations, I had a brief exchange of e-mails with Andrew Sullivan yesterday. It ended with an insinuation of anti-semitism being made against me and my reply that he should read this link and this link very closely; and that I didn't like being threatened.
I haven't heard from him since. Such was the great Andrew Sullivan's best shot.
Now Commissar Phillips, the praiser of liars, has weighed into the Gibson saga. Although her post was a critique of the BBC's reportage of the incident, a perfectly reasonable stance given its defects, she just couldn't help herself from writing,
"The actor and film director whose movie The Passion of the Christ was a vicious piece of theological Jew-hatred."
Perhaps it's a consequence of coming from a culture where one hears 40,000 Glasgow Rangers singing that 'they're up to their knees in Fenian (ie your) blood' every second Saturday between August and May; but I rather don't think you need to have been president of the Oxford Union, the holder of a Harvard Ph.D. nor editor of 'The New Republic' to work out that Phillips might have some issues to work through.
With the central teachings of my, and probably most of her readership's, religious beliefs.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

An Immigration Triple Whammy In 'The Sunday Times'

The Countess of Mar, no opponent of immigration, explains the structural defects and administrative incompetence which have led to her resignation from the Immigration Appeal Tribunal.
And Minette Marrin makes the nastiest demand that can ever be made of an immigrationist - 'We need to talk numbers'.

“Poland for the Poles”

Now there's a catchy phrase.

I'll remember that.

'Migrants 'die' on voyage to Italy'

Although the appearance of the word 'die' in inverted commas is evidence either of appalling sub-editing or some new kind of fraud on the part of the migrants, it seems that it's been a good weekend for horror stories of life on the ocean grave.

Guys, The Fighting's In Lebanon...

"The Australian prime minister's car was mobbed as violent scuffles broke out between police and pro-Lebanon supporters in Perth.
John Howard was leaving a state conference of his Liberal Party when about 200 protestors surged forward.
The group had been demanding more government action to quell the ongoing violence in the Middle East.
Protestors punched and kicked police and threw objects at the car....
Mr Howard's entourage sped from the scene as police wrestled protestors to the ground.
Mr Howard had used his key note address to the conference to attack Hizbollah.
He said: "It's not some kind of inspirational liberation organisation, it's a terrorist organisation."
Protest leader Muhammad El Khatib said he had family in Lebanon and the Australian government was not doing enough to broker peace in the region.
He said: "Hizbollah is protecting Lebanon, they are freedom fighters, not terrorists."
One is quite sure that the average Bruce and Kylie would be more than happy if Muhammed El Khatib joined his family, for he certainly seems to prefer the Lebanese way of life over the Australian.

'Cameron’s A-list could give Tories the X factor'

Michael Portillo assesses the Parliamentary Conservative Party thus:
"Much of the parliamentary party is reactionary and unattractive to voters. Their attitude to their fellow human beings is ungenerous. Their real interests in life are the narrow issues of taxation, immigration and Europe that obsess the party. That tunnel vision sets many Tory MPs apart from voters whose main concerns are not political at all, but to the extent that they are, focus on their children’s schooling and their family’s health. "
My own view of the PCP, which has been on the record for years, is that they are a bunch of undisciplined, unprincipled and largely unspeakable losers.
And if the former Secretary of State for Defence found their company so unappealing, it makes one wonder precisely why he aspired to lead them.

'An industry killed by bad government'

Martin Vander Weyer tells the truth about the decline of British shipbuilding in 'The Spectator' (subscription required).
He writes,
"Some commentators said that was the commercial sector the likes of Swan Hunter could no longer bid competitively against Korean and Taiwanese yards which enjoyed the twin advantages of cheap labour and shameless subsidy".
At last - a rightist who acknowledges that the subsidies other countries paid their shipbuilders helped kill our industry. We would not permit our builders to compete on equal terms with yards in countries whose governments had the vision to see that there might be some merit in island nations being able to build ships.
The decline of British shipbuilding was not the outcome of 'free trade', not when the Taiwanese were supporting our competitors and paying subsidies we weren't. For us the ideology of the market was more important than retaining the industrial capacity - as always we 'played fair', while others didn't.
British shipbuilding didn't 'die', in any meaningful sense.
It was murdered. And Martin Vander Weyer at least has the honesty to admit it.

A Contradiction In 'The Daily Mail'

It's been a good weekend for my occasional correspondent Tim Luckhurst.
Yesterday he published a 1,200 word essay in the 'Scottish Daily Mail' (not online, unfortunately) entitled 'They helped to shape the world, so why are the Scots so ill at ease with their own brilliance and courage?'
Today he has another 800 words (at least) in the Scottish edition of the 'Sunday Times' (also as yet not online) entitled 'The state must serve our poor students'.
I'm delighted to see such Stakhanovite industry receiving its due reward.
Near the end of Tim's 'Daily Mail' essay of yesterday he wrote,
"But the old law that, in order to really excel, you have to leave has been reimposed so effectively that Scotland is the only part of Britain in danger of population decline."
That was on Page 15.
Oddly, Graham Grant wrote on Page 22 of the same edition that,
"Population booms as English seek good life north of the Border".
These two statements would appear to be contradictory.
That's strange.

A Letter To Andrew Sullivan

I have sent the following e-mail to Andrew Sullivan this afternoon-
"Dear Andrew,

I'm a regular reader - indeed, you once posted a section of my essay
'Neoconservatism's Berlin Wall' as a quote of the day writing that,

"I'm not as gloomy as Kelly is about the state of neoconservatism, but his little blog-essay is stimulating stuff."

I am, however, glad to see that
you now concur with my analysis.

Shame about the the timing.

I've been reading your posts on the arrest of Mel Gibson with interest; and I have to say that they're giving off a hefty tang of schadenfreude - otherwise you wouldn't have written not
one, not two, not three, not four but five of them by this point.

I should explain that I am no fan of Gibson's. I have not seen 'The Passion of the Christ'
for spiritual reasons, and the crude Anglophobia on display in the appalling pieces of drivel that were 'Braveheart' and 'The Patriot' makes him one of the public square's less persuasive adverts for traditional Catholicism.

But the guy's a self-confessed drunk. That means that, just like you, he has a disease to which his compulsions and emotional vulnerability have made him prey; and I have been unable to detect a hint of compassion for his condition in anything you have written about his arrest.

One can't help but think that what you have read into Gibson's previous work is blinding you to mercy. I mean, would you be so lacking in sympathy if it were Christopher Hitchens in Gibson's position?

The compulsive and emotionally vulnerable live as slaves to their compulsions, and the boot might have been on the other foot - after
The Great AOL Chatroom Incident of 2001, it was your good fortune that you were not on the receiving end of a charge of reckless endangerment.

Alcoholism is one of the great levellers. It affects movie stars and First Ladies as surely as the rustbelt working class. Nobody holds charity fund-raisers for drunks, nobody wears funky wee 'Stop Alcoholism' tie pins and millions don't get spent on retrovirs for alcoholics. The only lobbies for drunks are the ones they sleep in.

lethal frivolity and elitist xenophilia notwithstanding, I have been more than happy to voice my sympathy for you and your condition when you have discussed it with a measure of honesty. However that you, as the sufferer of a potentially fatal illness, should be so willing to hack at the sufferer of another potentially fatal illness for cultural reasons is unfortunate, to say the least.

And not particularly Christian.

For the sake of the record's completeness, I'll be posting this mail on the blog.


Martin Kelly
I do not expect a reply.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

A Confluence Of Shocks

"As bad luck would have it, a confluence of three potentially powerful shocks — oil, housing, and Fed tightening -- is now in play. All other things the same, the US or global economy may not have been dealt a lethal blow by any one of these shocks. But that may well be beside the point. This is not the time for ceteris paribus."

Matthew Parris On Michael Gove

"Mr Cameron should be alive to a comparable danger this weekend. There are some dangerous voices in the Parliamentary Conservative Party, and outside it among the set to whom senior Tories listen. One of these voices is Michael Gove, my fellow-columnist and the capable frontbencher who speaks on housing and has just had a notable success on housing information packs. Michael is a moral man, a subtle and persuasive writer, a spellbinding speaker and a powerful mind. He is also — on questions of foreign policy — stark, staring bonkers. "

Tasteful, No?

How Brazilians protest.

Pity that the score at the final whistle was SO19 7, Jean Charles de Menezes 0.

The Universal Failure Of Multiculturalism

'Mixing Mexicans and Muslims' in Lodi, California doesn't work, according to Joe Guzzardi.
Meanwhile, Laban Tall points out that mixing Muslims and Muslims doesn't seem to be working in Dewsbury.
According to 'Dewsbury Today',
"POLICE are carrying out nightly patrols in parts of Dewsbury after four disturbances in as many days.
The Reporter understands the incidents, three in Savile Town and one in Ravensthorpe, have been confrontations between Iraqi and Pakistani men. It is thought resentment could have built up over Pakistani women being approached by Iraqi men."
A couple of thoughts for West Yorkshire's ibn Montagues and al-Capulets:
Firstly, if the Iraqis possess the cultural confidence to be chasing skirt then they should be guarding their own country.
Secondly, Dewsbury's Pakistani population really should still be keeping their heads down..if not actually on...

The 'Key Workers' House Price Canard

This is garbage. The public sector's 'key workers', our workforce's sheltered arisocrats, don't seem to be able to understand the difference between being able to buy a property and being able to buy the property they want.
If they must be homeowners, there is absolutely nothing stopping our hard-pressed nurses from buying a shoebox to live in if they so wish. There is no shame in not owning a three bedroom semi if you are unable to afford it.
My own sympathies are very much more with the new rural dispossessed, priced out of their local markets by settlers. I first noticed this phenomenon not in Scotland but Ireland, in my fiancee's home town of Kinsale.
Twinned with Newport, Rhode Island and Cap d'Antibes, and the site of what must be the world's ugliest seaside villas (the multi-coloured monstrosities at Ardbrack which sit astride the harbour walk from the 'The Spaniard' pub to Charles Fort), Kinsale is pretty much the heart of the Irish Riviera. The town's success is built on tourism, but the sheer numbers of French, German and Dutch blow-ins, along with other Irish seeking the simple life or on the make, seem to have pretty much priced out the local lower middle and working classes. If you want to stay where you are but have to move, the amount of money that blow-ins and tourists spend in your economy is no real consolation when you realise you'll be renting for 30 years.
Hell, I come from Jordanhill - and unless my circumstances suffer a sudden and unexpected sea change there is no way I'll ever be moving home...

'Why lesbians may enjoy better wages'

Riveting research, which from the BBC's report seems to indicate that some lesbians possess masculine personalities and don't have kids.

Dear Tyler

George Mason U.'s gastronome agony uncle might not yet have dipped his toe in the waters of Ghanaian cuisine, but his more lovelorn readers might wish to reflect on the very, very sad story of William West.

Friday, July 28, 2006

'Thai man deport move criticised'


He destroyed £40,000 worth of property when he was drunk.

That's cause enough for deportation in my book.

'An Immigrant Who Needs Deportation'

Dennis on Arnie.


'Honour killing' appeal refused'

Described as 'a devout Muslim', Mohammed Arshad's devotion to his faith did not prevent him from soliciting murder when his will was not obeyed.
Hopefully he's not finding prison life particularly agreeable.

'The economics of marrying a foreign woman'

seem to have nothing to do with economics.

Nor with love.

The World Map Of Net Immigration

Israel's Northern Ireland (Or 'It's Iraq All Over Again')

Andrew Stuttaford has linked to an interesting article by Michael Totten indicating similarities between Iraq and Lebanon of the kind outlined in 'America's Northern Ireland Redux'.

Who Are These Guys?

"Grocery store owner Hassan Charaff Deen, aged 52, fled Tyre with his wife and three children when the bombardment began.
He qualified for a British passport through being born in an African colony and is anxious to learn of any news from his home city.
"I feel very happy to be in Britain at any time but it's a very bad situation. We worry for many people who are still over there," he said. "....
"One 30-year-old Lebanese woman, who arrived with her mother and two-year-old daughter, agreed to speak but asked not to be identified.
She became eligible for British overseas territories citizenship through her father.
She lived in the north of Lebanon and had returned to the country, after years of living abroad, just three weeks before the current conflict broke out...
She said her British passport was a document she kept "in a cupboard" and never paid much attention to - she also holds Lebanese citizenship.
"I never thought I'd ever end up one day having to use it in this way," she said.
Neither did we, darlin'.

Some (Gassy) Thoughts On Gas

The rise in retail gas prices has 'em wringing their hands in the Daily Telegraph, and 'The Times' is speculating on Centrica's future.
I really can't help but laugh at 'The Daily Telegraph's' comments that 'Sadly, wages are not keeping pace', and that '...the latest increases would put particular strain on the heavily indebted 18 to 35 age group, which is also experiencing the biggest decline in employment opportunities", when the same newspaper so enthusiastically reported Mervyn King's remarks on mass immigration's 'positive' anti-inflationary effects on wages, and endorsed them by writing that, "... it's hard to argue with Mr King's (elegantly disguised) conclusion: that orderly immigration by hard working people is a big net benefit to the economy", and going out of its way to boost the cult of the Pole whenever and wherever possible.
I await the stories of Polish gas engineers price gouging British pensioners during the coming winter with interest.
But the current upward spiral of the retail gas price is indicative of a far more profound economic sickness than any diagnosed by newspaper writers. There's been a cancer growing in the sytem for nearly 20 years, and it's taken globalisation to draw out the symptoms like a leech.
Since privatisation, the focus of the gas and electricity suppliers appears to have been almost exclusively on the domestic retail market. 'Shopping around' for 'the best deal' has become the national mantra - if one is not inclined to spend otherwise productive time pursuing annual savings equivalent to the price of four days supply of smokes, or my post payday booze bill, one is eyed as if one has confessed to either necrophilia or to being a fan of the Bay City Rollers.
Yet all suppliers are dependent on the same limited gas supply - after all one cannot make gas in a factory - and it was inevitable that the increased demand from the Far East and South Asia would lead to an increase in the price. Privatisation did not lead to a 'gas supply market' in any meaningful sense - what it did lead to was a gas retail price market, the successful operation of which was always dependent on relatively low global demand and a low wholesale price. It was a cup and ball game from the start. As soon as the demand bubble started to expand, it was inevitable that the British corporation's unique survival instincts would kick in leading to massive price rises.
The current rises are nothing more than the failure of the initial privatisation, due to its being structurally, not philosophically, unsound. It was supposed to make us all better off - and it looks like it hasn't worked. It's like globalisation.
Thirty years ago, British Communist trade unionists could turn off the lights; now it seems that Chinese Communists might be able to do the same.
Plus ca change...

'Jehovah's Witness joke fails to amuse the police'

The late Gordon Grove put a sign on his gate saying "Our dogs are fed on Jehovah's Witnesses".
After the sign was removed at the insistence of the police, his son was reported to have said "There's no way we could take the sign down...It is a testament to dad's sense of humour."
Lord preserve us from such a sense of humour.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

An Interesting Analysis Of The UK's Wealth...

from David Miles of Morgan Stanley.

It's the land, not the houses, that have become expensive.

And although Miles does see some cause for optimism, he does note two critical factors -

1. There is very little evidence that we are better off: and

2. Our current arrangements might not protect us from overseas inflation shocks.

The Magdalene Brothers

Humpty Numpty gets up close and personal with the blowhard Peter Mullan.

We Are All Guilty!

says Timothy Garton Ash.

Speak for yourself, pal.

Never Mind The Law Or Stuff Like That...

it's the 20 billion pounds that counts...

Some Thoughts On Cultural Homogeneity

Laban Tall posted an interesting item on the deliberate erosion of cultural homogeneity yesterday.
He linked to a post by Anthony Browne entitled 'The folly of mass immigration'. In 2004 Browne authored the 'Response to Tony Blair's first speech on immigration (.pdf)' for Civitas.
In his new piece Brown writes,
"It is vital to emphasise that mass immigration and the remarkably intolerant ideology of multiculturalism are exclusively western phenomena. Indeed, the striking thing about the global immigration debate in the west is its determined parochialism. If people in India, China, or Africa were asked whether they have a right to oppose mass immigration on such a scale that it would transform their culture, the answer would be clear. Yet uniquely among the 6 billion people on the planet, westerners – the approximately 800 million in western Europe, North America and Australasia – are expected by the proponents of mass immigration and multiculturalism to abandon any right to define or shape their own society."
The first of the overseas signatories to the economic community's recent 'Open Letter on Immigration' was Lord Desai of the London School of Economics, and a native of Vadodara, India.
Before advocating further immigration into the UK, which might result in the erosion of British cultural homogeneity, one wonders precisely what Lord Desai thinks of the murder of Pravin Pagi, India's rather brutal harrassment of the emotionally vulnerable and the poor state of religious freedoms in Madhya Pradesh.
Just a thought, you know...

Apart From The Very Serious Allegations Of Corruption...

can anyone explain precisely why claims for asylum in the United Kingdom were being processed by a Zimbabwean?

Globalisation's Advocates, Having A Ball

Some pictures of the Globalisation Institute's summer drinks party.

As the GI itself writes,

"Last night we hosted a summer drinks party along with the Shadow DFID Team at the former home of Prime Minister Gladstone, now the Foreign Press Association in London. Guests included friends and supporters of the Institute, representatives from organisations like Oxfam, CAFOD and Christian Aid, the Prime Minister’s Office, journalists like the FT’s World Trade Editor Alan Beattie, Danny Krueger of the Daily Telegraph, and so on. Andrew Mitchell MP (Shadow International Development Secretary) gave an informative and excellent speech putting the case for a Pan-African Trading Area. "

I guess there might have been some Boers in the house...and the drinks might have been served by scrubbed-up neds from Drumchapel...

If nothing else, the GI has done us the marvellous favour of showing us all precisely who globalisation's winners really are; Orwellian, almost Roman, isn't it?

I could tolerate these sort of images if some of those depicted expressed more concern for their fellow citizens' economic well-being before passing out with excitement at the prospect of pan-African trading areas.

And Andrew Mitchell's actions in joining the party have given me another reason not to vote Conservative.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

All Good Things Must Come To An End...

so get ready...
I almost had you there, didn't I?
A hearty hap tip is owed to the gracious Andrew Stuttaford for pointing out an article from today's 'Daily Telegraph' entitled 'Immigration - how New Labour got the numbers completely wrong' by its business wallah Jeff Randall.
Randall writes,
"By encouraging the greatest wave of unchecked arrivals that these islands have ever experienced, the Blair regime has eroded our traditions of tolerance and understanding, while forcing fundamental social change on millions who never voted for it.
New Labour's last three elections manifestos contained not a word about cranking up immigration.
Adding insult to injury, the Prime Minister and his diminishing band of allies still seek to justify their negligence (it cannot be dignified as a policy) with bogus assertions about immigration's economic benefits, the validity of which not even a D-grade GCSE student would have trouble demolishing.
Any debate about the non-economic issues of allowing large numbers of people from overseas into Britain is, of course, a separate matter. While the sudden imposition of racial and cultural diversity can be destabilising, I accept that not everyone is hostile to it. An influx of fresh ideas and unfamiliar habits has its attractions.
But when the Prime Minister says "if we don't have migration, we don't have the growth from the economy that we all benefit from," he is either dissembling or displaying a level of ignorance which, hitherto, one imagined was the exclusive preserve of John Prescott.
New Labour's case for an open door to inward migrants appears to have three strands: 1) There are not enough domestic workers to do all the jobs that need doing; 2) There are universal benefits from having large numbers of foreigners, prepared to work for low wages; 3) A decline in domestic birth rates means that millions more immigrants are required to fund our pension pots.
None of these bears a moment's scrutiny. For a start, there is not a shortage of labour in Britain. Unemployment is at a six-year high of 1.6m and another 2.7m are claiming long-term incapacity benefit. There may well, however, be a shortage of skilled labour, especially in the construction industry. Hence the success of the Polish plumber.
But tradesmen aside, the reason most immigrants are able to find employment here, while millions of indigenous workers remain idle, is price, ie, wages. Many immigrants, especially those from eastern Europe, are prepared to undercut established pay rates and, by all accounts, work a lot harder than locals. No wonder UK businesses like them so much.
Three years ago, Britain had 600,000 job vacancies. Since then, there has been a net inflow of 700,000 legal workers and who knows how many illegal. Yet, the number of unfilled posts is still 600,000. The reason for this paradox is that, as well as providing services, immigrants also consume them. They add to demand as well as supply. Simply by going shopping, buying a coffee, catching a bus, they create jobs, thereby sucking in yet more immigrants.
But the idea that everybody benefits from mass immigration is a fallacy. Research by Professor George Borjas at Harvard University shows that in the long run it transfers wealth from grubby bedsits to swanky penthouses.
By lowering wages, migrants enable the middle classes to hire more home-caterers, dog-walkers, house-cleaners and hedge-trimmers for less cost than before. Very nice, if you're an investment banker in Kensington. Not so hot, if the last job you had was polishing his Bentley.
Put another way, mass immigration is a bit like outsourcing overseas. It allows public companies and private employers to extract greater value from their assets without the hassle of moving operations abroad. Instead of taking jobs to the workers, they bring workers to the jobs.
As for the argument that migrants will ease our pensions crisis, what are its proponents smoking? The obvious hole in their case is that one day all these workers from overseas will, too, grow old and need pensions themselves. They don't solve the problem, they merely postpone it.
Research by Professors David Blake and Les Mayhew for the Royal Economic Society concludes that "up to 10m more migrant workers might need to enter the UK between now and 2025" to help fund the state pension system.
I've no idea if their calculations are correct but I'm pretty certain that a 16pc population increase in less than 20 years would crush our infrastructure of health care, schools and transport, and further threaten social cohesion.
As it is, Britain's population has risen by 20pc since 1950 and is set to rise from 60m to 70m, perhaps by as early as 2050. That total, however, doesn't reflect huge regional imbalances, with England accounting for 50m people, more than half of whom are jammed into the South East.
This level of overcrowding, according to the Optimum Population Trust, makes England the fourth-most densely populated country in the world, excluding small island and city states. Only Holland, South Korea and Bangladesh are more packed.
Ironically, the average British couple is now opting for a small family: the current projection on fertility rates is about 1.74 children per woman, well below the natural replacement rate of 2.1. But the country's population continues to rise, partly because of lengthening life expectancy, but mainly due to very high net inward migration.
The standard of discussion on the true cost of immigration has been woeful. The agenda has been hijacked by lobby groups such as the Refugee Council, human rights lawyers and politically correct bullies who throw the "racist" dart at anyone daring to suggest that Britain would be a more comfortable place if we didn't have to suffer the extra pollution, pressure on amenities and loss of Green Belt that inevitably comes with a rapidly expanding population.
I'd like to think that, at last, we have a Home Secretary who is really serious about stopping the rot. Many believe it's already too late."
All of which means that The Daily Treasongraph, the blog with the strangest URL in the blogosphere, can now retire in triumph.

Seeking The Thoughts Of Melanie Phillips

One wonders what Melanie Phillips has to say about this.

The Real Lack Of 'Child Protection' Arrangements...

is surely to be found in those policies which permit unaccompanied children to enter the country and then to seek asylum.

'Public urged to 'shop' firms using illegal foreign staff'

Thereafter, one supposes that hit squads of immigration enforcers will appear on their doorsteps like Monty Python's Spanish Inquisition...

That's The Spirit!

'UK airport used to fly bombs to Israel'

Couldn't they have dropped one on the Liberal Democrats - you know, just in passing?

When The Chips Are Down...

you always know who your mates are...

More On Economic Innocence

Tyler Cowen asks 'Why is the UK so expensive?'

Because its entrepeneurs and executives are a gang of crooks and sharks, that's why.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

'African Free Trade'...

A picture can tell a thousand words about the aid industry, you know...

The Seventh Boudreaux Prize...

for economistic drivelling goes to Robert Reich, for his commentary 'China: Capitalism Doesn't Require Democracy'. (HT - Arnold Kling)
No, I suppose not, if you define 'capitalism' as being the sons and daughters of Politburo members using their connections to screw the poor into the ground so they can buy their next Mercedes.
I only hope they manage to salt enough away in Geneva before the house comes tumbling down, for I don't suppose they'd ever want to find out how well they'd do well they'd do should Uncle Zhang's phone number ever be...disconnected, so to speak.
Mind you, I don't suppose we can talk.
It's not at all unknown in this country for the children of socialists to enjoy careers in the most decadent and profligate of industries - such as banking.

The Collapse Of China

Although Stephen Roach might not believe in 'China-collapse scenarios', it seems the Chinese do.

A Working Definition Of 'Elite'

Steve has posed the question 'what exactly is the meaning and status of the Word of the Decade?'
As far as its meaning's concerned, probably 'those groups within societies and cultures able to use their collective social or economic standing to exert political pressure in pursuit of their own ideological aims or for financial gain'.

'Lebanon Is Not Innocent'

You tell 'em, David!

You sock it to those Lebanese collaborators hard!

Where it hurts!

'Britons 'dependent on mobile use'...

A strange phenomenon, given that so many have difficulty with civilised conversation.

'Muslims 'boycott' Glasgow Airport'

"Strathclyde Police said it was looking at training to raise awareness of cultural and religious sensitivities."
Like Christian sensitivity towards the possibility of being murdered on an aircraft, perhaps.

'National flags ban to be lifted'

"Outdated laws banning the flying of national flags are to be scrapped. "
"Currently it is illegal to fly a national flag without permission from a local council - unless it is flown from a vertical flagpole."
Jeez, I hope these guys got permission from the States of Jersey.

Gonzoconservatism And The Death Of The Monroe Doctrine

Although Vladimir Putin has few more solid defenders than myself, and although Hugo Chavez's assessment of George W. Bush as being 'an alcoholic imperialist' might not be without merit, Russian arms sales to Venezuela are most certainly not a good thing.
El Loco Grande is the sort of leader whom Ronald Reagan would have lost no sleep undermining - so where are the Venezuelan contras?
The resources that could have been used to send Chavez into Zimbabwean exile are instead being wasted shoring up Iraq's democratic dolls-house. What will we do today, kids? Yeah, let's smash a country and destabilise a region!
They're being used to prop up the giant smackhouse known as Afghanistan- a hole on the map which would be greatly improved by being wasted with napalm from end to end. When used appropriately, force is a power for good - and one could think of no greater good than sending poppy farms, Edens of misery, back to the Stone Age. When treating with drug dealers, the harshness of their landscape and the brutality of their winters really cuts no ice. If they won't grow anything else, if the poppy business is the tool by which tribal headsmen keep themselves in wives, weapons and concubines, then there is no reason why they shouldn't feel the sharp end of the Industrial Revolution.
Arms deals such as the one between Russia and Venezuela are a direct contravention of The Monroe Doctrine, for better or worse a plank of American foreign policy for nearly two centuries. The gonzocons are Trotskyites of course, keener on creative destruction than 'We, The People'; but if they allow Monroe to wither, another nail will be driven into the coffin of the Great Republic of which they shout their love so loudly.
To Hell with them all.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Some More Thoughts On Why Scotland Fails

This evening, my journey home took me through Prospecthill Circus - known to some in these parts as 'Thunderdome'.
One of its tower blocks, derelict after a few short decades of life, is being used to film an advert directed by Jonathan Glazer.
Hopefully the sheer irony of one of Glaswegian municipal socialism's phallic symbols being used to hawk fast food or gadgets was not lost on the crowd of residents thronging around the lot, because by 19.00 there were a lot of them, whatever was due to have happened hadn't and the light was failing.
As the Number 12 trundled out of the Circus and into the throbbing Heart of Darkness known as Toryglen, the voice of a youth bored of showbusiness could be heard behind me.
He was complaining that the crowd had been told that something would happen at 17.30. It didn't, and the crew kept telling them it would happen 'in five minutes'.
By 19.00 he had left in disgust, and was moaning that he had missed five-a-side football to go and see it.
Although a naturally timourous creature in public, I nearly rounded on him.
The thought that the crew were there not to put on a show for him but to sell stuff hadn't occurred to him.
The thought that they had probably bought the building and can do whatever they want with it when they want to hadn't occurred to him.
The thought that they are professionals hired to do the best of all possible jobs for their clients hadn't occurred to him.
Instead, all the whiny wee get could think about was missing the five-a-sides.
Welcome to Scotland - where even world famous film directors cannot satisfy the population's flea-like attention span.

Is He The Fat One Or The Little One?

Reading Andrew Sullivan is becoming like 'The Two Ronnies' sketch about 'Mastermind', where Ronnie Corbett's specialist subject is answering the question before last.
For example, today he writes,
"William F. Buckley is the latest to come to the conclusion that this administration has long abandoned conservatism for something only coherent in what passes for Karl Rove's mind. I look forward to Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and Ramesh Ponnuru excommunicating Buckley from the conservative movement."
On March 14 2006, I wrote,
"They have sown the dragon's teeth; and the stone having been thrown among them, the gonzocons fall upon each other with the same violence they once reserved for the people of Iraq.
You'd almost pay to see it.
First to go was Francis Fukuyama. Then the father of the feast, William F. Buckley Jr., joined the parade.
I for one relish the prospect of Buckley being denounced in his own pages in the same way the gonzocons denounced those who refused to follow their lead in the destruction of a nation, denunciations they later tried to wipe from the record. "

Greetings, American Spectator Readers!

Although one is very grateful to AmSpec's editors for publishing such a shamelessly large number of links to previous scrawls, some readers might be wondering where some of them go.
Well, 'The Grinch Who Stole Scotland' can be found here.
And 'An Open Letter To Brian Montieth MSP' can be found here.

Paternity Is Still Nationalised, And Some Thoughts On Refugees

Sky News' headline 'Discredited CSA Faces Axe' would normally put a spring in one's step, the creation of the Child Support Agency having been one of the most authoritarian, illiberal and absolutely unnecessary actions in Parliament's history.
But the champagne stays in the fridge.
"The Child Support Agency is to be replaced by a new body with powers to confiscate passports and impose curfews on dads.
Parents will also be encouraged to make their own financial arrangements under the Government shake-up."
'Making their one financial arrangements' according to their respective needs and resources was precisely what both parties did before the clownish adulterer John Major decided he wanted to make political capital out of the divorce statistics.
However, confiscating a 'deadbeat dad's' passport, the only tangible symbol of his citizenship, is just another extension of the state into places it has no business being. With the exception of the few and extreme cases where a parent harms a child, the citizenry has no business interfering in any family's affairs. Confiscating parents' passports for failing to adhere to family duties is an extension of state power which can only be described as fascist.
That's not to say there are those whose passports shouldn't be confiscated. Take the case of Jounama Itani.
A Scoto-Lebanese, Itani has been pulled out of Beirut at my expense. This morning she's reported as saying,
"I'm going to take some time out but I'm planning to return to Lebanon...
"I wouldn't go back this year, but hopefully things will have quietened down by next year, so I can go back."
Which means that my money's been wasted and the whole exercise will have to be repeated several years down the line when this spat's died down and the next one flares.
People who deliberately imperil themselves by choosing to live in countries where people vote for Hezbollah are unworthy candidates for either sympathy or assistance. And it would be more equitable to me to confiscate their passports than to prevent a man who's probably having trouble making ends meets in a globalised economy whose deck is stacked against him from going to Dublin for the weekend.

'Uniforms for passport teams 'will deter illegals'

In other news, Dorothy has finally reached Emerald City - at the end of the Yellow Brick Road.

'UK Home Secretary John Reid reforms to affect Immigration and Nationality Directorate'

So he's planning to sack Dave Roberts?


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Yahoo! Mail Seems To Be Down...

so if anyone is looking for a comment that hasn't appeared, then I haven't seen it yet.

'Immigrants step up protest at law'

Maybe natives should have a protest against protesting immigrants.
We could then take a petition to Downing Street demanding border control and the expulsion of all illegals.
I wonder how many signatures we'd get?

'Spanish intercept migrant boats'

Hmm..I suppose this means that the Spanish don't shoot migrants on sight, then....

'Cycle race 'worth £70m' to London'

From the BBC.

'Don't trust economic impact studies' -

Tyler Cowen.

Nailing The BBC's Inverted Racism

It's been a bad weekend for race relations.
There appear have been racially motivated white on Asian murders in both Preston and Huddersfield.
In another incident in London, the BBC reports that,
"A woman has been shot in the face by a man who opened fire on a group of people in south-east London.
The 25-year-old woman was in Kennington when two men approached the group in a black Fiat Punto on Friday evening.
A man left the car and fired shots into the group before the pair drove off. Police believe the attack followed an argument between the men and the group.
The unnamed woman was taken to a south London hospital with a gunshot wound to her cheek. She is recovering at home. "
But given that the BBC duly reported the racial element in the murders, why didn't they report that the London gunmen were black?

'Migrant fear over 45,000 'undesirables'

The figure is believed to be an underestimate.

Excuse Me If I Give The George Will Lovefest A Pass

I originally saw George Will's column 'Transformation's Toll' via Steve.
I thought then that I'd let what Will wrote pass without comment; but Sullivan's Babbles in today's 'Sunday Times' was the straw that broke the camel's back.
In a piece entitled 'Neocons caught in their very own civil war', the title of which is at least four months out of date, Sullivan writes,
"...non-neoconservatives have actually observed the past few years and committed the cardinal sin of thinking about them.
Chief among them is George Will, who last week finally unleashed a real tirade against his Republican brethren. He called neoconservatism “a spectacularly misnamed radicalism” and urged patience, prudence and restraint in the war we are now engaged in.
To Kristol’s somewhat hysterical question — why wait to bomb Iran? — Will retorted: “Perhaps because the US military has enough on its plate, in the deteriorating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which both border Iran. And perhaps because containment, although of uncertain success, did work against Stalin and his successors, and might be preferable to a war against a nation much larger and more formidable than Iraq.”
The milestones on my own path away from neoconservatism are listed down the side of the blog. Number four was the aftermath of the Madrid train bombing, and some commentators' hysterical reactions to the Spanish people's rejection of the lying liar Jose Maria Aznar.
George Will wrote at the time that,
"Perhaps Sunday's election, which removed the leadership that took Spain into the war against Islamist terrorism, means that after the homegrown terrors of the 20th century, Spain, like much of the rest of Europe, wants peace, and at any price."
Only a rabid ideologue condemns an entire nation of democrats as cowards and appeasers in plain contradiction of the facts.
Although the scales may be falling from Will's eyes, they're making a hell of an echo as they hit the ground.

Not Our Problem, Not Our War

Michael Portillo, the former Conservative Secretary of State for Defence, writes in today's 'Sunday Times' that 'The bloody truth is that Israel's war is our war'.
This is a lie written in blood.
As Pat Buchanan wrote so eloquently last week, Israel's "response to the capture of two soldiers had all the spontaneity of the Schlieffen Plan."
The invasion of Lebanon is 'A Clean Break: Phase II'. 'A Clean Break: Phase I' involved Russell Beeston losing his life in Caroline Glick's war, cattle to the slaughter.
The bunch of well heeled thugs who dominate the Conservative Party's leadership and discourse, from the upscale wallpaper heir George Osborne to the Aberdonian Rick Moranis lookalike Michael Gove, avidly peddling the same sort of guff in last Thursday's 'Daily Express', were all lockstep in their support for that war; and although they lack the guts for real streetfighting's consequences, they must have skipped into the lobbies because it gave them an opportunity to do through proxies what they'd all love to do in their own crappy realities - go out and really, really stamp on someone else's head.
Give them a brain injury.
Kill them.
The Conservative Party is run by a coterie of corner boys all happy to maintain Britain's rich history of gang violence, in the grand tradition of the Inter City Firm and Norman Conks and Billy Boys all the way back to the Hellfire Club.
They all love war - so let them fight it.
The United Kingdom has no interests in supporting either side in the Levant's latest piddling squabble.
And nothing in Lebanon, and no possible political outcome that might spring from British involvement there, is worth the life of a single British squaddie.

'Overeducated for Jobs'...

"A third of university graduates are in jobs that do not need a degree.
Many are stacking shelves, washing dishes or working in bars, figures prepared according to research by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)."
Hang on. I thought we needed mass immigration because Brits wouldn't do those jobs...

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Pinnacle Of Success

What I want to know is when I will get one of these.


Do any of these people ever stop to think about what impression their behaviour makes upon the Portuguese?

'Delivering Simple, Speedy, Summary Justice'

The next stage will be a bullet in the back of the head.
A totally unnecessary legislative move from a government which measures courts' productivity by how many cases they process, not the quality of the justice they dispense.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Through A Glass Eye, Darkly

Although the BBC fairly reports that he burst into tears and compared himself unfavourably to Superman (an analogy which seems singularly inappropriate, given the Man of Steel's penchant for undressing in telephone boxes), the old street fighter's mettle was still in evidence when he cried,
"I think, sometimes, when you are dealing with the power of the law and the most reactionary scab outfit in the world you will have to fight dirty, yes".
Reactionary scabs...perhaps.
But he who denounces last denounces longest, Comrade.

How Very Sickeningly British

Read this and rage at what our country has become.

Seek Out The Guilty!

Precisely who in Iraq would have good reason to phone the Wallis and Futuna Islands? Ringing up a £289,991 bill at £5.95 a minute on a stolen satellite phone?
Pacific islanders in the forces, perhaps?

'Whining Their Way Home'

"Our military was left in such a state by our previous government that we couldn't even transport our own troops overseas, we had to hitch a ride with the Americans --and yet some of those who are being rescued from a war zone can't understand why they have to wait for help -- why the conditions are not First Class.One angry evacuee said that on the five hour trip to Cyprus, the first wave of Canadian refugees had to face unpleasant conditions. There was "no food, no A/C, people had to sleep on the floor. People were vomitting -- we were treated like animals." Well, I can think of 8 Canadians who would gladly trade places with them. Too bad they're dead."
As Canadianna's commentors point out, the Lebano-Canucks being pulled from Beirut at the average Gord and Tammy's expense should be invoiced for the privilege - a regime which should also be applied to British evacuees as surely as it should have been applied to Norman Kember.

'Lawyers may seek gagging order for July 21 plot trial'

This cannot be allowed to pass.
Given the role played by the attacks of July 21 in the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, hopefully the 'Justice for Jean' campaign will add its voice to the calls for this trial to be fully reported.

'Eight held in immigration raids'

It seems that The Rose of India may have been stocking more than Cobra beer and saffron rice...

(Update, July 21 - 'Eight to be deported'. Oh dear. It looks like the lamb passanda's going to be off the menu for a while...)

'Rise in Lochaber English classes'

They're for the migrants?

Sorry. The headline confused me for a moment...

'Understanding migration is key to many policy issues'

Such as the policy of deliberately stuffing the native population by increasing the size of the work force and thereby decreasing the opportunities available to, and earning capacities of, native citizens.
And you can always rely on 'The Guardian' to write guff like,
"Poles have become indispensable to whole sections of the British economy."
Which sections, exactly? Those where employers are not prepared to pay market wages?
Or which need migration's human subsidy in order to continue trading?

Allah's Demis Roussos...

finds that he can't wait forever and ever....

Thursday, July 20, 2006


Pinko and Perky, alias The Grand Old Duke Of Trots and Humpty Numpty, in happier times...

"Those were the days my friend
We'd thought they'd never end
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we choose
We'd fight and never lose
For we were young and sure to have our way..."
"Socialist MSP Mr Fox, 47, told the court: "Mr Sheridan took issue with a great deal in the story.
"He did admit he had visited a swingers club."
But worse was yet to come for poor old Humpty, for the cheap stilettos of Carolyn Leckie and Rosie Kane were clacking on the cobbles of Parliament Square like the needles of Les Tricoteuses...
"Later, MSPs Carolyn Leckie and Rosie Kane both said they had heard Mr Sheridan admit he had been at the club.
Ms Leckie said it "hadn't been about judging behaviour but about the most popular, most famous convener with a huge reputation for principle, honesty and integrity being shown to be a hypocrite and a liar".
Mr Sheridan put it to Ms Leckie that she had come to court in pursuit of a political faction fight and had never heard him making that admission.
She replied: "That's a fantasy of yours, Tommy. You just can't take responsibility for your actions."
Nor take a bullet for cause and party, one supposes.

'LLB Confidential'

Probably the most important analysis of Scottish legal education of the last 30 years, from Alistair Bonnington.
As a sidebar, Bonnington delivered a lecture to my class at the University of Strathclyde (I cannot recall whether it was in the first year of the LL.B. or to the postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice class) during which he uttered the immortal phrase 'You will come to hate your clients' - words I derided at the time, which later more proved their worth.
Every word that Bonnington writes is true. The universities are greedy. Many of the academics don't have a clue about what it's like to have a young mother pitch up in the office with two small children in tow at 2 pm on the last business day before Christmas, crying her eyes out and bawling that her husband's kicked her out.
Or to advise a woman whose husband leaves knives in the bed.
Or to try to communicate with an elderly Arab man accused of sex offences being held in the cells at Clydebank Police Office, and deciding that the best means of address for yourself would be 'ibn Yusuf' - Joe's boy.
Bonnington doesn't go far enough. The best way of training lawyers was the old way, the apprenticeship.
Before 1961, aspirant solicitors sat two different degree courses, the BL (Bachelor of Law) and the MA LLB (Master of Arts, Bachelor of Laws). A BL once explained to me that the only practical difference between the two was that on the BL, the first year was spent in full-time study of arts courses whilst on the MA LLB it was the first two. The aspirants then went to work in offices, learning the job on the job while attending law lectures at 8.00 am and 5.00 pm.
The LLB went full time in 1961. Twenty years later, the mandatory Diploma in Legal Practice was introduced in an attempt to arrest the perceived decline in professional standards.
First story concerning the Dip.L.P. -
The final accountancy exam was the one I was really dreading. Although relatively numerate, I never grasped double entry book-keeping. The exam contained one mandatory calculation and one mandatory essay. You then had a mix and match of two calculations or two essays. I passed an accountancy exam - by writing three essays.
Second story concerning the Dip.L.P. -
I studied Advanced Conveyancing for one day before sitting the three hour final exam. Aspects of the Advanced Conveyancing class bore marked similarities to aspects of the Conveyancing class in the third year of the LLB, which in turn bore marked similarities to the Property Law class from second year.
Third story concerning the Dip.L.P. -
I cannot recall seeing what I later discovered was one of a lawyer's most important tools, a case citator, at any point during the course of my legal education.
And now, Bonnington's essay...
The last time I bumped into some old university acquaintances, one of them had become a lecturer at Strathclyde. The size of the first year intake had more than doubled in the preceding 17 years. The number of laws hadn't doubled during the same period - so why are there so many bloody law students? Who's making money from it?
Unfortunately, the culture of the profession has changed so radically that going back to the apprenticeship system would be impossible. It worked when practices were concentrated in the centres of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and within easy reach of the universities. Now practices are spread so widely, and the commercial and regulatory demands upon practitioners so intense, that trainees have to be fee-earners from their professional cradles, their productivity as important as their competence.
A profession that cannot train its own has no business surviving. Bonnington's warnings should be heeded, for it would be rather sad to think of the profession that produced such minds as David Hume, Viscount Stair, Lord Cooper of Culross and TB Smith finally packing away its scrolls .

'Missing the mark on the de Menezes shooting'

A typically measured and thoughtful analysis of the De Menezes case from Josie Appleton.
Money quotes, at least as far as I'm concerned -
"While the case reveals dislocation in the Met, it also shows a worrying frame of mind among the police’s critics too. A surprising number of people have empathised and found deep meaning in the killing of de Menezes. There is a notion that the killing signals a totalitarian state, in which we could be victims at any moment. At the memorial that grew up at Stockwell Tube station last year, notes read, ‘even the police are starting to shoot us randomly’, ‘They are killing us, brother’, and ‘Another victim of the fascist pig’...De Menezes has become an almost Christ-like figure, a hard-working innocent young man who died to show us British sins (indeed, Bianca Jagger has as usual taken it too far by actually likening his death to that of Jesus’s).
Journalists have gone looking for ‘the real Jean Charles’, detailing his childhood, ambitions and pastimes. His small hilltop hometown of Gonzaga has been staked out by the British media – so it is small wonder that the town now bears a welcome sign at its entrance, reading ‘The land of Jean Charles – a victim of terrorism in London’. An offshoot of all this has been the growing importance of the issue in Brazil, a country not famed for the sensitivity of its police, where figures from the president downwards have raised the issue. At de Menezes’ memorial service in London, attended by the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Brazilian chaplain said that de Menezes ‘made us proud to be Brazilian’: ‘If Jean Charles’s tragic death helps us to hear those words, and take them to our hearts, his death will not be in vain but will bear fruits.’
'Proud to be Brazilian'?
Render unto Caesar, padre. Your sort of clerical thinking led to Rwanda.


Mary Ann Sieghart socks one to the Islamists.

'Lebanon Britons speak of relief'

The BBC -
"Samantha Bradley-Hojaij and her two young children had been staying in Beirut for the summer holidays but their apartment had its windows blown out in the fighting. "
"Among the Britons is Carolanne Nehme, from Glasgow, who is on holiday with her husband and nine-month-old baby.
They had gathered for evacuation on the sea front with hundreds of other foreign passport holders but their UN-chartered ferry was forced to turn back as it did not have clearance from the Israeli navy.
Mrs Nehme said: "It's absolute chaos, we're stuck.
"We came here (to the sea front) because we were told to, we were told to get on a boat out of here.
"It's so disappointing, an absolute disaster. It's really inhumane the way they are treating people."
"Maria Noujeim, from Portsmouth, has lived in Beirut for the last 15 years and is married to Joe, a 49-year-old Lebanese national.
They fled their apartment in Hadath, near the airport, hours before HMS Gloucester set sail, with their three children, Mario 12, Jessica nine, and five-year-old Michael.
Mrs Noukeim said: "My concern was the children, they were watching the bombing from the apartment every night - the planes coming over, the bombs dropping and the airport blowing up.
"We wanted to leave straightaway because of the children but we have left my husband's family, including his mother who is on her own.
"It is very hard and it has been quite emotional."
The good life in the sun's over, darlin'.
Right now, the British government's determination to act as travel agent of last resort for British citizens who elect to holiday in, and in the case of Maria Noujiem make their lives in, Levantine hellholes means that the citizenship of those being 'rescued' is being valued more highly than mine.
Those of us who don't travel and who are taxed into the ground to maintain armed forces for the defence of the homeland are receiving no value from this exercise. What's in it for us?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Moderated Comments Have Been Re-Enabled

Please use, or they'll be disabled again.

I Broke A Mirror This Evening...

I immediately made such a botch of trimming my beard that I had to shave it off, the dark-eyed fanatic of the Inquisition replaced by a greying and tetchy smurf.
So one waits with trepidation to see what bad luck the next seven years might bring.
Loss of career and prospects?
Nope, been there, done that.
Pestilence - got Tourette Syndrome.
Famine - as I need to lose two stone, this is not as bad a plague as one might think.
Flood - If most of my hometown disappeared under water, it's doubtful the outside world would notice it was missing...

Some Thoughts On Modern Scotland

The trains run on time.

And whenever I'm waiting for one, they come on time every time...

'Mideast Fatigue'

The Derb hits the nail on the head.

And, ahem, Amen to that.

Israeli Actions In Lebanon, British Actions In Ireland

My thoughts on the disproportionality of Israeli response, and some analogies, are in the letters section of today's 'American Spectator'.
Don't forget to scroll...

'Asylum backlog 'is much bigger'

There's a surprise.
Given that he has deliberately degraded those institutions of government responsible for preserving the homeland through a process of neglect, one now just can't help oneself asking - is Blair guilty of treason?

'A third world war looms - but Britain has no foreign policy'

Enough hot air to propel the Montgolfier Brothers, from the pen of English Bob.
Maybe he's gunning for a spot on Bush's speechwriting team.

British Inflation Up

"CPI annual inflation – the Government's target measure – rose to 2.5 per cent in June up from 2.2 per cent in May. It has not been higher since the start of the official series in 1997, and has only been equalled once before, in September 2005.

The largest upward effect came from gas and electricity bills which continued to increase by more than a year ago, reflecting the phasing in of recent tariff increases from major suppliers.

There were also large upward effects from:

• food and non-alcoholic beverages, mainly due to vegetable prices, and to a lesser extent fish prices, both of which increased this year but fell a year ago. A partially offsetting downward contribution came from fruit where prices rose by less than last year;

• tobacco, due to the price of cigarettes increasing this year on all brands, on average by 6p for a packet of 20. Last year, prices were little changed; and

• furniture and furnishings with prices rising by more than a year ago. The main upward effects came from lounge furniture and kitchen cabinets.

RPI inflation rose in June to 3.3 per cent up from 3.0 per cent in May. The main factors influencing it were similar to those affecting the CPI.

RPIX inflation – the all items RPI excluding mortgage interest payments – is 3.1 per cent in June, up from 2.9 per cent in May.

As an internationally comparable measure of inflation, the CPI shows that the UK inflation rate is slightly above the average for the European Union as a whole. The provisional inflation rate for the EU 25 in June was 2.4 per cent, compared with the UK figure for the same month of 2.5 per cent."

Some thoughts:

Mervyn King's endorsement of mass immigration as a means of controlling inflation was wrong-headed. Inflation has increased notwithstanding deliberate wage suppression. He should be fired.

Given that the prices of non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco have been major drivers of this spurt, the patriotic solution to this crisis would be for everyone to start smoking - preferably with a glass of mineral water.

And when British inflation is higher than the EU average, the superiority of the Anglo-Saxon model of liberal capitalism over continental protectionism is made into a myth - a dream that was peddled to help the pedlars get rich.

Well done, Gordon Brown...