Archive for February, 2014

It’s not racist, if you attack a named person. It’s just meaner.

February 28, 2014

I looked up the French term for Germans (Boche), and basically (based on my translation) it comes down to “blockhead”.
I.e. “Germans are stupid”
The term “Welsh” seems to have been the English for “gabblers” just as the term barbarian was the Greek term (emulating sheep going baa!baa!) for the same.
These terms would nowadays be called racist.
But, then, any term for another racial / national group  is in modern terms, racist and to be despised.
Even terms based on common names are now construed as racist. just as Scots will call a stranger “Jimmy”, because it is/was a common Scottish name (possibly after James Stuart), Welshmen were Taffy (Daffyd) to the English. Scots were “Jocks” ( a variation of Jacques = James), Irish were Paddy’s (Padraig/Patrick, the Patron Saint) or Micks (Michael), Spaniards were Dago’s (Diego/ James the Patron Saint) etc.
The problem came with the term Negro for African’s.
Originally just meant to convey, in a posh way, the skin colour of African’s.
It became Nigrah/nigger but more importantly it was used as an expression of contempt by the slave owning white supremacists of the Southern states of the USA. this particular word, now often cowardly referred to as the N-word, became an abomination in the USA and, because we ape USA fashions, in the UK.
We had a term “WOG” (Westernised Oriental Gentleman), which was just as sneering but hadn’t got the same publicity as the former. In consequence the term is never used nowadays, because racism is so unacceptable that it has been quietly dropped.
Racism thrives; you’re just not, now, allowed to acknowledge the fact.
“Whites” are still “honky’s” and I’m sure that there many other terms being applied to people of my ethnic grouping.
Some are used openly e.g. “Scouser” is a term which originally just referred to my being born in Liverpool but now means a shiftless , pugnacious lying thief, with a high pitched voice.
It is even acceptable to make  jokes, on TV, about this stereotype.
It is not okay to crack jokes about people with antecedents from Africa, India, China, etc.
It is okay to crack jokes about UK regional types, or more often personal Jokes.
Got a joke about someone with a big nose?
Well you can’t tell it about a tokenised Jew, any more,(that’s racist) but you can pick a White bloke with a big nose, e.g. Barry Manilow, and make it a personal attack.
You can’t make jokes about the disabled but you can name a specific handicapped person e.g. Stephen Hawking, whom we all love and admire, so it’s OK.
We’ve moved away from generalised nicknames to racial stereotypes and now , great improvement, we pick on individuals and attack their  differences, for our entertainment.
We are no longer racist (in public), we are just mean to individuals.
How much more Civilised to attack an individual, a single voice of protest, more likely to cower and suicide, than a generic person, whose geno-types can unite into a much louder protest group and attack us.

Tom Brown’s schooldays gives some insight into the Tory mindset

February 25, 2014

If you want to get inside the Tory mindset, then Tom Brown’s schooldays is a good place to start.
It’s not about Capitalism and greed, although these are, in my opinion, the consequences of people holding the Tory viewpoint.

Superficially, the book is about a survivor.
Tom Brown is a callow youth (from a well heeled family) thrown into the bearpit that is Rugby school.
Such school’s are intended to breed rugged individuals, with an independence of mind and Tom proves the apparent wisdom of this process by not only surviving but, through his own sterling qualities of pluck, perseverance, bulldog tenacity and thoroughly good-eggedness, goes on to win the admiration and love of all those who have come to know him.
Tom Brown is indeed admirable and would have been just as admirable, if he had been brought up as a miner’s son.

So where is the moral?
Consider the environment and the ethos from which he emerges.
A Tory would tell you that it was the school that moulded him and brought out these qualities, rather like the philosophy, which suggests that the best way to teach a person to swim is to throw him in the deep end of the swimming pool.
Oh! sure, a few drown but they probably weren’t fit to survive, anyway.
In the book, Young George is a casualty, as is the young girl, who Flashman rapes.

In fact if Doctor Arnold had not been there, trying to change the ethos of Rugby,  young Tom may well have proved a failure, through being too plucky.
What of Flashman? Expelled, yes. However, as a very rich young man (his father was a school benefactor), he goes away to a life of ease and continued arrogance and bullying, still believing that he has the right to use the weak for his own selfish desires.

In fact another author tried to portray his ensuing career (title “Flashman”) as a commissioned officer.

Ah! yes but Doctor Arnold was an important character, who showed how the Public school ethos was changed to demonstrate a more empathetic side to Public school education.
How much of a change was Dr. Arnold striving for?
He certainly seemed to be at ease with the roughness of pupil interactions.
The wall game, the fight twixt Tom and Flashman, the raucous behaviour of pupils in the dining hall etc.
He drew the line at roasting fags, fifth years demanding fagging service, theft from the plebs and other not quite fair activities.
He, obviously still believed in the survival of the fittest and that  it was a regrettable but necessary part of life, that the Devil takes the hindmost.
This is the Tory lodestone.

Tom is admired and becomes the Head boy, whom all the other boy’s love, admire and pledge their lives to.
This is another tenet of Tory credo, culled from Public school values.
You aspire (perhaps conspire) to be Head Boy and if you fail, it’s because you’re not worthy and you should give your Head Boy whole-hearted support in everything he does.
At least, until he weakens and the time comes for challenger’s to step forward.

One other tenet, is that you are trained to lead.
A natural leader doesn’t go where the rank and file wish to go.
A natural leader is an independently minded person, a man of conviction, not for turning, heedless of populist opinion.
A man like Churchill, or a woman like Thatcher.
Poor Cameron. He tries to appear populist, to con the British Public but his own MP’s don’t see it, whilst the Plebs do.

Nevertheless; No matter how mad they may be, they are the one’s to follow, even onto the Russian guns.

The tacit assumption in this creed, of survival of the fittest, is that the weak should go to the wall, culled from the herd, so the herd becomes stronger.
If you do not wish to be culled, you must ensure that you are not at the bottom of the pile and that, lacking a Doctor Arnold to ensure that you play fairly, you should do whatever it takes to get as near the top as possible. you must step on those beneath you and ensure that they never get the chance to pull you down.
Money gives you power, so the poor must be the powerless and deserving to be stomped on.
It’s always easier to stomp on those, who are despicable, so the poor must be despicable and deserving of their place underfoot.

Summary:
The Rich must be admirable, because they are our leaders.
They are our leaders, because they have the power.
They have power, because they have money.
Achieving power through accruing wealth makes you a person to be admired.
It is admirable to accrue wealth by any means possible, especially, if it comes from the despicable Poor.

@Ed_Miliband @David_Cameron Why you won’t confront @Nigel_Farage

February 24, 2014
This was a letter to the Daily Express (not published):
From numerous reports on the motives of David Cameron, it seems that he definitely wants to see The UK remain in The EU and any pretence at favouring a referendum is a mere smokescreen to hinder the mass migration of his rank and file to UKIP.

Meanwhile Ed Miliband’s silence on a referendum is deafening in its support for shackling The UK to the EU.
Neither wants an EU referendum to be an issue in the forthcoming General Election, so I would not be at all surprised to find that they not only supported Clegg in his proposal to confront Farage (in a live TV debate) but that they had actually connived at it and would be offering tactical advice.
If Clegg is slain, it’d be no great loss and would provide justification for Ed and Dave to insist on a private debate, with the economy / austerity as the sole issue to be elected on.
If Clegg can land a few punches, then they can use this as an excuse to dismiss any comments made by UKIP.

Either way, an EU referendum will not be allowed to be a major issue in the General Election.

the Great War resulted in a backlash against Capitalist greed

February 24, 2014

The Great War (WWI) was caused by rampant Capitalist greed and its mass murder of plebians resulted in a reaction amongst the Working classes against their “betters”.  Soldiers who went off to war as hat doffing wage slaves, returned, not only disenchanted with the worth of their leaders but fired up by tales of the Russian Revolution.

Europe was rife for revolution, which was why the banker’s backed Hitler against the opposing street marching gangs of Communists. It was why the Nazi’s were able to burn down The Reichstag and successfully blame it on the Communists.

It was why, in Britain, the Ruling Classes back-pedalled on suppression of the Working Classes and allowed them a better standard of living and the birth of the Labour party.

British men had gone off to war and suddenly found a meat free diet replaced by a meat laden one. Women confined to Purdah had been released to the factories and tasted financial independence. Men returned from War, fit, even those who were mutilated, trained in combat and inured to death.

The likes of Churchill, who had condemned so many to death in Gallipoli, realised that trying to re-impose the sort of heavy-handed treatment meted out in Tonypandy, Liverpool etc. would not work, especially as the Army was filled with like minded men.

It wasn’t until the fall of the USSR and the retreat of the threat of Communism, in the late ’70’s, that Capitalists deemed it possible to return to a regime of suppression.

The attempt by The EU to cast the Great War as a victory for the unifying of a pacified Europe was an attempt to recast our vision of the conflict. Some Europhiles may actually see it in this rose-tinted light but only by blinding us to the injustices that are being masked.

It was a relief to have Fred Forsyth condemn the celebration of this carnage and call for a commemoration instead, which is what I said in this letter to the Daily Express.

Printed Version:

GreatWar- no big triumph of Democracy
I was relieved to read Frederick Forsyth’s take on the First World War and why its forthcoming commemoration should not be a celebration (“Senseless slaughter in the mud”, February 21)>
The line that looked like being taken was that this was to be a celebration of how we had all learned to live in harmony in a greater Europe.
This war was not a glorious triumph for democracy, it was a consequence of the greed of vested interests.
The European powers and the youthful USA were all empire-building and, in my opinion, looking either for territorial acquisitions or sole trading rights with foreign nations.
There was also the acquisition of armaments.
This was called `The Great War, to end all wars’ because no one who survived it could believe that politicians would embroil us in yet another one.
This name was in no way to celebrate how fantastic a job it had done in unifying Europe.

Original letter:

I was relieved to read Fred Forsyth’s take on W.W. 1 and why its forthcoming commemoration shouldn’t be a celebration.
The line, which was appearing to be about to be taken, by the supporters of David Cameron (presumably guided by Brussels) was that this was to be a celebration of how we had all learned to live in harmony in a greater Europe.

This War was not a glorious triumph for Democracy, it was a consequence of the greed of vested interests.
One of the causes being that, which my History books referred to as “The scramble for Africa”.
The European powers and the youthful USA were all Empire building and looking either for territorial acquisitions, or sole trading rights with foreign nations.
Another aspect was the acquisition of new armaments, such as flying machines and tanks, by politicians and Generals, who wanted to posture on the World Stage and/or play “soldiers”.
This was called “The Great War, to end all Wars” because no-one who survived it, could believe that politicians could be so callous and greedy as to embroil us in another.
The naming wasn’t to celebrate how fantastic a job it had done in unifying Europe.

Europhiles seem spectacularly oblivious to the present situation in the Ukraine, the recent wars in Yugoslavia (as was), or the persistent political unrest in Spain, Greece and Italy.
 
The imposition of a United States of Europe has all the signs of a dangerous attempt to hold down the lid on a kettle.
All that does is allow the pressure to build up and become more powerful, when it blows.

 

@Ed-Miliband will take us into EU and doom the NHS

February 18, 2014

Letter, as sent to Daily Express:

Does N.Clegg genuinely believe that there is any chance of a Lib-Lab coalition?
Does he genuinely believe that a sufficient number of Lib-Dem MP’s will be returned to Parliament, for him to have any chance of gaining a seat in Cabinet?
Even if Labour don’t gain an overall majority, so as not to be able to form a Government, who would Labour align with?
Indeed, would Labour need to form any alliance, at all?
Only UKIP oppose membership of the EU and they are unlikely to gain enough support, from rebel Tory and Labour MP’s, to force a referendum.
Once it is clear that Ed Miliband has the votes to commit to Europe, our fate will, likely, be sealed and any other issues will be of little, or no, consequence.
Barroso has already told us part of what awaits us.
He promised that we would be forced to allow immigration for anyone with EU documentation.
He made no comment about the EU treaty with the USA, which will make it impossible for Labour supporters to see the re-nationalisation of the NHS, the railways, or our energy supplies.
He made no mention of the moves to see our Justice system replaced by the Napoleonic Code favoured by much of Europe.
One wonders why we should even vote for a Parliament, which seems destined to become merely a State legislature, like those in America, whose main concern seems to be whether, or not, to legalise marijuana and who to award the contracts for the management of our State-run schools, hospitals and prisons.

Letter, as published in Daily Express:

Labour would not be good fit with Lib Dems anyway
DOES Nick Clegg believe there is any chance of a Lib-Lab coalition?
Does he truly believe a sufficient number of Lib Dem MPs will be returned to Parliament for him to have any chance of a Cabinet seat?
Even if Labour won without a majority, why would the party align with Clegg? Only Ukip opposes the UK+s membership of the EU and Ukip is unlikely to gain enough support to force a referendum.
Once it is clear Ed Miliband has the votes to commit to Europe, the UK’s fate will be sealed.
Eurocrat Jose Barroso has told. us what awaits us (“Brussels to foil UK curb on migrants”, February 17). He claimed the UK would be forced to allow immigration for anyone with EU documentation.

So what if Chris Smith resigns? The Environment Agency will still have the same people running it.

February 10, 2014

This is a letter I sent to The Daily Express:

Surely the blame for the inaction on the flooding does not purely lie with Chris Smith, or George Osborne.
Osborne’s austerity measure’s provide a good excuse for the inaction and Chris Smith was, of course, paid £100k p.a. precisely for the purpose of taking the blame.
However the under-lying problem lies with the political elite needing a way to reward their allies.
The Rich will be happy with being ennobled but the party hacks want a sinecure and, although David Cameron came into office promising to get rid of Quango’s, it soon became obvious that he saw the advantages of such non-essential organisations. (Has anyone done a stock-take of them?)
Highly lucrative posts, paid from Public funds but within his power to dispense are obviously useful to a P.M.
Chris Smith doesn’t run The Environmental Agency, any more than Chris Patten runs the BBC.
These and other quango’s are run by highly paid professional’s, appointed on the basis of their relevant experience.
These retired Government Minister’s never have any relevant experience, other than shuffling papers at Board meetings and appearing on Newsnight to bluff down public censure.
If blame is to be apportioned, it must go to the Minister charged with oversight of the relevant quango.
If he can justify its existence, then he must check its terms of reference and how well it complies.
In the case of the Environment Agency, it seems that its purpose of protecting the environment has been distorted.
Instead of protecting the countryside, its flora and fauna, for the benefit of the Nation, it has worked to the benefit of those with an interest in the study of the flora and fauna.
Instead of the relevant Minister, guided by his officials, ensuring that the interests of the people were given proper balance, he has let this Quango free-wheel into a disaster.
If David Cameron and his successor’s wish to persist with these Grace and Favour appointments, then clear guidelines need to be set as to the oversight function of the appointee’s and Minister’s need to check that the Chris’s et al are following them.

@David_Cameron when considering Union reform, consider your vote %’s

February 9, 2014

I looked up some voting figures at General elections, prompted by Brian Reade’s take on Boris Johnson’s attack on Bob Crow (http://www.mirror.co.uk/authors/brian-reade/#ixzz2sp6skavc )  and the subsequent Tory kerfuffle about “Union Reform” and sent this off to the Daily Express:

Voter turnout at General Elections has been typically between 70% and 80%, except for the last decade, when, for three G.E.’s, it was below 70% (http://www.ukpolitical.info/Turnout45.htm).

In fact the fall in electoral turnout seems to have coincided with the emergence of Tony Blair and Labour’s attempt to woo Traditional Tory voter.

The percentage of those votes held by the ruling party has been between 40% and 50% in all post-war G.E.’s ( http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/percentvote.htm),

with figures of 36% for Tory, 29% for Labour and 23% for LibDem in the last General election.

Combining these results, we see that The Conservatives were given support by 23.5% of those eligible to vote.

For the previous General Election (Labour Government), this was only 21.6%.

 Just as Trade Unionism has changed in the past few decades, so has the right of Politicians to claim to represent us.

I hope these sort of figures are kept in mind, when they are deciding on Union voting reforms.

Then just as a matter of interest, I shoved some on a spreadsheet:

Year 1974 1979 1983 1987 1992 1997 1991 1995 2010
poll voted poll voted poll voted poll voted poll voted poll voted poll voted poll voted poll voted
Cons% 36 26 44 33 42 31 42 32 42 33 31 22 32 19 32 20 36 23
Lab% 39 29 37 28 28 20 31 23 34 27 43 31 41 24 35 22 29 19
Lib% 18 13 14 11 25 18 23 17 18 14 17 12 18 11 22 14 23 15
Other% 7 5 5 4 5 3 4 3 6 5 9 7 9 6 10 6 12 8
t/o % 73 76 73 75 78 71 59 61 65

The highest percentage of votes cast FOR a party was 33%  (for Tories) in 1979 and 1992 and, since the attack on Iraq (1991), no party has been supported by more than a quarter of the Electorate.

Bearing such figures in mind, it would be well for politicians to think carefully before screaming about Union votes for strikes, only being 30% of those entitled to vote.

If MP’s can ignore those who choose not to vote, then Unions should be similarly entitled.

@educationgovuk Public school discipline won’t work in State schools.

February 2, 2014

Dear Mr. Gove,

Public school discipline won’t work in State schools.

In fee-paying schools, pupils are motivated to conform and accept such measures of censure and control because, even if it is not natural to them, they know that if they don’t, they’ll be kicked out of that school and sent to a State school.

Lines, detentions and similar punishments only work, where the pupil consents to them and there is nothing in Law, or Minister of State edict, which will make them.

Your Civil Service advisor’s know this.

It’s why they advised one of your predecessor’s to punish the parent’s, rather than the pupil’s, when a child  truants.

The hands of the Court’s, The Police and the CPS are unable (and unwilling) to attempt to curb the behaviour of those under the age of 16.

So why do you stand in your pulpit, blinker’s on, and demand that teacher’s, who daily monitor hundred’s of children, be able to accomplish this feat, which is beyond your own wit to do.

10% of the population are mentally unbalanced, 10% are subnormal, 10% will appear before a court, as adults. Only 5% will achieve a useful, honours degree. (percentages are guessed-at but probably close to reality)

In a State school, pupils of every class and kind, except those of the privileged, have to attend.

Some will attend under duress, without any genuine way of preventing them showing their displeasure, except to some extent, by teacher bluff.

Of course, some teacher’s will engage and fascinate their pupils: But not every pupil and not every teacher.

Consider some of our own Prime Minister’s, who have actually boasted of their lack of skill in Maths.

How do you engage and fascinate and, yet, teach the dyscalculic, in a class of variously abled pupils?.

How do you engage and fascinate and, yet, teach French to the dyslexic in a class of variously abled pupils?

How do you engage and fascinate and, yet, teach anything to the latent Kray twins, intent only on terrorising your variously abled pupils?

Unless you re-instate the sort of facilities, closed by Blunkett, where specific categories of pupil can be catered for, then teacher’s will never be able to even begin to dominate and raise standards to those of Pre-Blair.