Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Miliband leaves a suicide note

You wonder about suicide notes. I have written a few in my head but I never get past the bit where you offer advice/excuses/reasons for the terminal action, to those nearest and dearest. In the end, you think the better of it and live.

Not so, Ed Milliband. He's not only written the note, he's had a lot of help writing it and it seems he cannot go back. I am talking about his announcements at this year's Labour conference. Now, conferences are not real events. They are as staged as the wrestling bouts between Kendo Nagasaki and Giant Haystacks used to be. But this one was different.

Milliband announced that, should Labour gain power at the next election, they will freeze energy bills for two years. It is not often that I read something and find that I am truly astonished. The immediate effect of this announcement caused shares in Centrica and others to go into meltdown. One Hundred Million pounds was wiped off their value and another firm saw a similar dip. On top of that, the energy firms are threatening to pull out of Britain altogether. That image, that seminal image of Neil Kinnock and the light bulb came into my mind. What were they thinking?

The utilities in this country, for the benefit of our colonial friends, are privately owned. It means that they operate in a free-market, at least as much as Brussels will let them. Whatever Milliband's strategy is called, it is in reality a return to a Command Economy.

Those who do not study their history are condemned to relive it. Command Economies do not work. It is not difficult to see the history or to take heed of it.

The reason that Labour's stance on this will fail is simple. Today's economic news should be a good signal, but in case anybody is in doubt, the politicians  are not in charge. Business is in charge of this country. What do you think all those Bilderberg meetings are about? The economy of the Western World is more powerful than any individual country, including Germany. How else would you get the kind of madness, the dead parrot of the European Union, propping up Greece, Spain and Italy? They did it to save their own skin.

For all we know, Centrica could bundle Mr Miliband into the back of a Cessna Citation and fly him to Cuba, where he could simply disappear. They certainly have the money and the contacts. But no. Miliband has shot himself. The money and influence will start pouring in (if it already hasn't) to ensure that Labour does not gain the upper hand in 2015. It's not democratic, and neither is it in the spirit of democracy, but it is better than a return to the days of Stalin.

Friday, 20 September 2013

A good day to bury bad news?

Biteback Publishing has launched the memoirs of Damien McBride and it is being serialised in The Daily Mail. I am sure the book is fascinating, but it will not tell us what we don't know already; that Labour spin doctors are evil lying bastards.

Nigel Farage has just given an address to the UKIP party conference that will be played over and over in years to come. There is nothing in it that he hasn't said before and he was sweating like a fish, but he dissected the dishonesty and the big lie at the heart of LibDem/Tory/Labour policy towards Europe with coruscating clarity; that is, the obvious fact that none of the above will give Britain a choice on Europe.
No politician smells of roses, Nigel included, but if the Damien McBride memoir does anything, it should reveal the profoundly vile state of mainstream politics.
No sane person can accept this way of governance. Nobody can excuse Gordon Brown for first ruining the country and second, employing a corps of myrmidons to do his dirty work.
I very much hope that Damien is yesterday's bad news.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

What's funny?

Mrs Weasel has bee giggling insanely in another room. Upon closer investigation this turned out to be the source of merriment:

I don't laugh very often but this was an exception - tears, choking, giggling and involuntary evacuation of the bowels. The guy is a genius. I would contact him and ask to show a pic, but he's on something called tumblr (not a recreational party drug).

Very occasionally, there's more to the internet than cats and porn.

Time for a bit of personal anecdotal. I am not drinking. This is purely involuntary, down to me taking an antibiotic that carries dire warnings about mixing it with alcohol. It's all due to a wisdom tooth which I shall probably have removed on Thursday. Now, there has been a side-effect, and I am not sure if it is the lack of booze or the drug. I have been having really weird, graphic dreams. They are too strange to record here, but one of them involved going to see a show full of chorus boys and as we left the theatre, Mrs Weasel broke down in tears in the emergency stair well and confessed to having a "fancy grope". I awoke at that point so never got to hear the full confession, or indeed, a definition.

I have been toying with e-cigs. Last time I mentioned this the blog got spammed by people trying to flog them, so, if you are reading this Mr Spammer, just bugger off. The problem with e-cigs is not the experience but the paraphernalia. It all appears to be made in China and is consequently programmed to fall to pieces, leaving goo everywhere. If you are interested at all in the idea of e-cigs, it is best that you avoid watching demonstrations on YouTube because they all appear to have been recorded by people you will soon see on the news, along with a statement from the Mayor and the Chief of Police telling everyone to keep calm and lock their doors. The only person I have seen using them is me and frankly, I feel a bit self-conscious and liable to offer my services as a menacing henchman.

I still get amazed at the way garages up here refuse to spend my money. I have asked them to look at the air-con three times at three different places. "Cost too much - and anyway we are in Scotland. What would you be wanting it for?" The question always leaves me feeling guilty, guilty in particular of being a poofy Englishman who does not understand the value of fresh air and damp underpants.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Fear and Phobia in DC

I try not to do knee-jerk reaction posts. Having just learned of the shootings in Washington, however, it perhaps is ok to think about the wider implications of such events.

Let's deal with some of the patellar reflex material.

Always there is a debate about gun control, whether or not citizens have the right to bear arms. There is no real answer to this because, if you live in Switzerland it is compulsory and if you live in the United Kingdom it is illegal. Even the continent of Europe is at odds with itself. The American model goes back to England also, where at various times, it was illegal, or a right or a duty. Nobody seems to be able to make their minds up about it and it seems down to whoever wields the most power and influence. In the case of the US, it is currently, as I understand it, the National Rifle Association.
In other words, any debate about gun control, borne out of tragedies like this is somewhat pointless. What is required is a global mindset and an understanding of the relationship between the state and the individual. If you take away the right of self-defence you must put a safety net in place. One that works.

The second knee jerk reaction is to the usual suspects. It became clear that the Boston bombings were done under the umbrella of Islam. The fugitive Tsarnaev scrawled on the bloodied boat where he made his last stand,

“We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all” and “Now I don’t like killing innocent people it is forbidden in Islam but due to said [unintelligible] it is allowed,”

As yet the information on the identity of the Washington attackers is scant. One is described as white, another black. They were apparently dressed in para-military garb.

Again, the knee-jerk reaction, of making connections which currently do not exist,  does not really address the long term effect of American foreign or domestic policy, it merely provides ammunition for people who look, in these terrible times, for scapegoats.

The third kind of knee jerk reaction is perhaps a personal one. People get scared. As I write this a considerable sector of the Capitol is in lock-down. The disruption is incalculable. People have been advised to stay in their homes and lock their doors. All that can really be said of this is that the actual risk of coming face to face with one of the perpetrators in a city of about 600,000 is minimal and the risk as such is rather less than being shot in a regular hold-up in DC.

So how should people react? Whenever there is a multiple killing, whether it is a dozen or thousands, the reaction is I think, down to a societal feeling that they have been corporately and jointly assaulted. Essentially, apart from the friends and families of the bereaved, these events are an assault on values and perceptions we have. They are an assault on our imaginary sense of well-being.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

John Bellany - As I knew him

On Wednesday, 28th September, 2013, John Bellany, the Scottish artist died "clutching a paintbrush as he took his final breath." (You can read the rest in The Scotsman)

The BBC showed a documentary, directed by one of his own sons. It is well worth watching, but it gives little away about the nature of his work and just tantalizing glimpses into his methods. Bellany said, "If a painting must have anything, it must have intensity". Certainly, if you know his work, you can see the proof of this. The caveat is that there is probably not one painting of his that I could ever bear to have on my wall.

There may of course be another reason why I am not, let's say, sympathetic to his work.

I knew John Bellany. He was my personal tutor at art college in 1972/3. During term time I would see him more or less every day and more or less every day he would arrive very late, drunk and disorderly. If we were lucky, he would simply disappear with a bottle into his tiny office and we could get on with painting. But occasionally he would give us the benefit of his drunken rage. He once lifted me against a wall and threatened to beat me up. I learnt nothing from the man, partly because I was still in my teens and not that teachable, but mainly because he was unable or unwilling or both to share any of his talent with us. He was a violent yob and his contribution to the education of young artists, at least during that period, was to primarily de-motivate and distress. By his own admission, he was a bastard.

I find it personally sickening that someone who spent most of his life making the lives of others a misery (see what his family have said on record) that there should now be an outpouring of sentimentality about him now that he is dead.

As strange as it is sometimes in life, decades later I moved to Scotland to live, about five miles from Bellany's hometown of Port Seton. On the occasional visit there the memories would come flowing back, of a young man, quite confused and at sea emotionally, being abused by an arrogant, violent drunkard.

I did not complete my course at Art College and left after a year. My life up to that point had been damaged by my father, also a violent drunken alcoholic. He had long gone, but those days in the art room were no different. Only the actors had changed, not the characters. It was too much for me to bear.

Bellany leaves a legacy of work that is prolific, intense and individual, but it will never atone for the people whose lives he damaged and whose hopes he destroyed.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

"Human Rights".. the new name for "I'm Taking the Piss"

They did it with Marathon bars
They did it with Opel Fruits
The even did it with Mr Dog.

And now..

"Human Rights"..the new name for "I'm taking the piss".

The lefty darlings have been at it this week with a vengeance. The lovely Shami Chakrabarti, Paul Mason and a few others, this week writing about "Human Rights".

Shami is celebrating 60 years of the European Convention on Human Rights - she opines,

it has proved an essential check on oppressive and arbitrary government throughout Europe. In Britain it's given us our very own bill of rights – the Human Rights Act.

Yes, and it has given us Abu Qatada, Somali rapists who get to stay, murderers being given a vote, and traveling people who appear to circumvent our planning laws at will, among a lot of other travesties of this law. As for arbitrary government, all government is arbitrary, especially that which emanates from an unelected body such as the European Commission.

Paul Mason is crying real tears about Sub-Saharan Africans, self-confessed economic migrants who are roughed up a bit when they arrive in Morocco. He tells us the EU are ignoring human rights of illegal migrants. Well, Paul, the clue is in the word, "illegal".

My comment on the thread, in the Guardian (surprise) was as follows, and like most of the comments, they were not sympathetic:

Most of these people do not belong in Europe. They neither understand our culture, nor do they wish to accommodate our culture. Already, immigration is causing mayhem in places like Boston in Lincolnshire and that's just the ones who the EU force us to have.
This kind of migration is made illegal to protect our way of life. That is OUR human right.

It currently shows 198 "recommends" and tends to sum up the feelings of the majority.
So even Guardian readers can see the absurdity of it. Mason is of course a senior BBC journalist and a screaming lefty. He accused commenters on the thread of reacting "viscerally and emotionally". I would react viscerally and emotionally to illegal, dirty, ignorant and potentially violent people living on my doorstep. The irony is, I could do nothing to remove them. It's their human right to make my life a misery.

People like this are playing the human rights thing like a Stradivarius. It's Human Rights, the new name for "I'm taking the piss".

There is a subtext to this rant, and I believe a very important one. There is a new feeling about, a feeling that is ditching political correctness and getting real about the abuses brought about by a woolly, left-leaning liberal elite. The concept of PC is dying. The new Zeitgeist is a slow burning fuse that will ignite reaction and revolution, albeit a probably a democratic one. Syria is perhaps a paradigm. A massive majority of the people of this country did not want involvement in a country of whom we don't understand, nor do we wish to accommodate its culture. We are not the world's policemen. It is clear to me that Syria is about maintaining trade balances; something that is of major benefit to the EU and the rest of the global elite. It is certainly not instinctively humanitarian, because it is arbitrary and opportunistic in a world where there are too many injustices to fight.

I am beginning to see a backlash. It is the voice of the ordinary people who are no longer fooled by leaders who exist to lie and deceive. I see that even the BBC is holed below the waterline and cannot continue to make a case for its funding, based upon extortion and menaces.

I see the likes of Paul Mason becoming objects of ridicule in decades to come, their redundant Marxist ramblings a mere dot in history.

We did not need a convention on human rights to understand what is right and wrong. It is only because those who hold sway have decided there is no right and wrong and no absolute truth that we have had years of arbitrary and contradictory messages from them. In the end, they will dissolve in a puff of their own warped logic. And it will have been a long time coming.