Friday, 15 August 2014

A good day for bad news

ISIS are chasing Yazidis up mountains; Al Malaki has finally given up the reins in Baghdad; the Syrian "Arab spring" rumbles on; unreported by the mainstream media Boko Haram is making territorial gains in Nigeria (and not #BringingOurGirlsBack - looks like the girls are gone for good) and of course Israel and Gaza are alternating between ceasefire and mutual mass murder.

This would seem like an ideal time for Russia to invade the Ukraine.

Maybe they already have and no-one has noticed!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Oh no, not Sir Cliff!

The shadow of suspicion has fallen on the ultimate golden boy - Sir Cliff Richard. Police from Op Yewtree have searched his Berkshire home after receiving allegations dating back to the 1980s. The victim was supposedly a 16-year-old boy. Blue-rinses everywhere are going to be devastated.

But frankly neither the gaydar nor the paedodar are pinging on this one. It's probably going nowhere.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Lady Warsi resigns

Baroness Warsi, expenses-fiddling, toenail-painting, Secretary of State at the Foreign Office has resigned because of Gaza. Or did she quit because she was demoted in the last reshuffle? Opinions differ.

Dumpling

Either way she won't be missed. In fact this blog has no idea what she did for the country in the first place. Nor why she was made a "lady".

She was considered a disaster waiting to happen at the FO and seems to have been notorious for attending meetings where she took no part but instead wrote copious notes on what everyone else said. The general assumption is that she is planning a pay-day by publishing some dirt-filled diaries.

She may have decided that since this government has less than a year to run it was time to leave and cash in. She may also be planning a defection to Labour and have an eye on a government job after the election next year. As an unelected peer she doesn't need to worry about how her constituents would take the betrayal and she would need some time to bed into a new party.

One thing is sure, she won't be quitting the Lords and will be seen there briefly but regularly collecting her £300 daily attendance allowance.

Monday, 4 August 2014

One hundred years ago

This month, one hundred years ago...

Winston Churchill, Member of Parliament and First Lord of the Admiralty, argued in Cabinet that England should go to war with Germany and started the shooting by personally sending the telegram telling all Royal Navy ships to start hostile acts against the Germans.

Adolf Hitler, impoverished artist living in Munich, illegally volunteered for the German army as a rifleman ("rifleman" being the lowest possible rank, not his job, he was actually a messenger. He was later promoted to Lance-Corporal, or in American terms: Private First Class.) Illegally, because he was an Austrian citizen.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

PM talks tough

David Cameron had an article in the Telegraph on Monday. In it he says a lot of good things about immigration. He intends to:
  • Clamp down on bogus students.
  • Revoke driving licenses of illegal immigrants.
  • Close their bank accounts.
  • Make landlords check their tenants' right to be in the UK.
  • Deport foreign criminals first, hear appeals later.
  • Legal immigrants can only claim job-seekers benefit for three months instead of six.
  • Employers cannot recruit exclusively from abroad, must also advertise in the UK.
It's all good stuff. The benefit reform is a bit weak - immigrants can still claim Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Working Tax Credits and Housing Benefit. (Note that selling the Big Issue counts as self-employed and opens the door to all the top-up benefits just like a job would.)

Of course none of this is actually going to happen. Dave is just talking tough because he is afraid of UKIP. Well stay afraid Dave, very afraid, because no-one believes anything you say anymore.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Unfortunate name

Here is a rather disturbed individual...

David Ruffley MP, Wife beater

Nominative determinism strikes again. Seriously, if your name is Roughly Ruffley then you need to avoid cautions for common assault. The Tabloids won't be able to help themselves anymore than a yappy little dog can ignore ankles.

Just saying.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Nick Griffin has resigned as BNP chairman

As reported here by the BBC. And a very strange article it is too; not snide; not full of malicious falsehoods; just the facts - good and bad - very unusual for the Beeb, and to be fair, the rest of the national media.

Officially this blog is sad to see him go; thinks he has done a good job converting the BNP from unelectable to would-be-elected-if-it-were-not-for-UKIP and notes he has finally put the finances in order and got the accounts passing audit for several years in a row.

The leadership toll on Griffin must be quite considerable. He has endured several court cases, all spurious but all with the potential to send him to jail if he lost. The cost of defending these has led to his personal bankruptcy. There has been continual vilification from the media.

When he looks back his two high points are likely to be: being elected as an MEP, and his Question Time appearance.

QT was a mixed bag, many said he fluffed it, but there was a serious support boost as a result. Being an MEP has been central to his life for several years; the loss of those three letters cannot be nice.

Griffin intends to remain in the party and has invented the new post of Party President for himself. In the chair as pro tem leader until elections next year is Adam Walker, a former teacher with a certain amount of "history" but essentially a sound fellow and a close friend of Griffin's.

Officially Griffin's reason for leaving is because the BNP failure at the Euro elections has caused dissent in the ranks and he wants to let the party heal itself. And it is true that a lot of nationalists hate Nick Griffin and would be members of the BNP if he were not there, or cannot be members because Griffin has banned them. In theory Walker could reach out to these disaffected potential (and often former) members and rebuild the membership with them. In practice it may turn out that being a friend of Griffin's means he has the same enemies as Griffin and the people currently outside the tent will remain outside the tent. The next few days as Walker grasps the reins will be informative. He could announce a blanket amnesty on banned former-members, but he probably won't.

It is also worth remembering that Griffin has "stood down" before now and somehow ended up still being chairman. There are scheduled leadership elections next year - why not stand down in the run up to them rather than so much sooner? Is it because he actually intends to be a candidate after Walker has taken the flack off him for a while? Alternatively it may be to give Walker some exposure in his appointed role before putting him up as a candidate for elected chairmanship.