Thursday, 24 September 2015

Massacre at Mecca

Seven hundred people have been crushed to death in Mecca when a crowd stampeded during the annual muslim "hajj" or pilgrimage. Hundreds of others have been badly injured.

Last week 100 people died when a crane fell through the roof into the Grand Mosque.

In previous years hundreds have been killed by poor organisation and failures of the built infrastructure.

But why does Mecca have such a high mortality rate? Perhaps this motorway sign gives us a clue...

Don't diss Lord Ashcroft

Seriously, don't. All this week the Daily Mail has been publishing extracts from his new book and so far we have allegations that:

  • David Cameron took canabis
  • David Cameron took cocaine
  • David Cameron was groomed by the KGB
  • David Cameron put his penis in a (dead) pig's mouth
  • David Cameron blamed deputy PM Clegg for not giving Ashcroft a job
  • David Cameron was told off by the Queen for nearly breaking the UK over Scottish independence.
  • David Cameron made his wife's hair fall out
Quite why Cameron didn't properly reward Lord Ashcroft for 10 years' work and £8m donated to the party is unclear. Clegg denies vetoing a senior position for him so it looks like it was Cameron's decision alone.

He's probably regretting it now.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Corbyn curiously effective

Corbyn has just asked his six questions at PMQs and he was not a complete disaster area.

Like all newbies he started by saying let's have a new more adult PMQs with serious questions and serious answers. They all do that, and it generally lasts all of five minutes before they degenerate into slagging each other off.

But Corbyn has found a tricksy style which Cameron will find difficult to crack. Corbyn announced he would be asking questions sent in by members of the pubic - so immediately the PM is on the back foot, he cannot diss the public. Corby said he has received 40,000 questions and proceeded to read a few out, giving the first name of the questioner each time. The PM dully answered, after which Corbyn gravely told him why he was wrong and then moved on to the next question, thus allowing him the last word on each subject.

The usual PM tactic to deal with the 'last word' problem is to bottle it all up until he answers the leader of the opposition's last question and then give him both barrels secure in the knowledge that he can't shoot back. However, with a named member of the public asking the questions, and the real prospect that the Labour Party might actually produce this member of the public tearfully lamenting the PM's rudeness, Cameron cannot afford to let loose and has to just answer on the facts. Hint to Corbyn for the future: make sure the last question always comes from a woman, the tearful lamenting will look so much better. So "Dave" is on a sticky wicket here. It's not clear how he will take Corbyn down. Some pondering required.

After Corby was done, the leader of the SNP in the House (Alex someone-or-other) asked a few questions and the PM wiped the floor with him.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Jeremy Corbyn: some thoughts

So Comrade Corbyn won just like everyone assumed he would and now we are all kicking ourselves we didn't place a bet back when he was 500/1 against.

Power to the people!
The other Labour leadership candidates looked "suitably delighted" for him when the results where announced, although Yvette Cooper had a little cry and Liz Kendall actually looked relived.

So what now? Is the show over? Of course not, it's just getting started. The next installment is PMQs on Wednesday this week when Corbyn will take his first swipe at Cameron. That should be interesting to put it mildly.

Before then Corbyn needs to appoint a shadow cabinet and it seems a bit of a bloodbath is in progress. Moderates and Blairites are being purged to make room for socialists with pedigrees dating back to the Cretaceous (the  last time dinosaurs ruled.) Comrade Corbyn has 35 years of grudges that need sorting out. His appointments so far are drawn from the fringes of the party so mainly people no-one has ever heard of: eg John McDonnell as shadow Chancellor, Angela Eagle as "first secretary", Heidi Alexander as shadow Health Secretary.

A bit more familiar are Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham, the only other leadership candidate who would agree to work with Corbyn.

A big buzzing fly in the ointment is the fact that Corbyn is eurosceptic. Historically Labour has been pro-Europe while the Tories were anti. But now it looks like Euroscepticism will be quite acceptable on all sides of the House. The referendum in 2017 is looking like a wide open goal.

Daddy issues

Behold Ms Charlotte Proudman, PhD (student) and Barrister...

Ms Proudperson

Having recently started a work-placement at Chambers Ms Proudman fired off a few 'friend' requests to people she had never met to bolster her address book. Mr Carter-Silk, solicitor and senior partner at a law firm, looked like a good connexion to have. Barristers get their briefs from solicitors so sucking up to them is an essential Barristorial skill.

Mr Alexander Carter-Silk 

Mr Carter-Silk it seems took a look at the unsolicited approach in his email and, despite being vastly more senior than Ms Proudperson, decided to take her on as a friend and responded along the lines of: Charlotte, delighted to connect. This is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning photo.

To which Ms Proudy responded with words to the effect of, Alex, I find your message offensive. I am on LinkedIn for business purposes not to be approached about my physical appearance or to be objectified by sexist men. [blah, blah...] Think twice before sending another woman (half your age) such a sexist message. (She couldn't actually spell LinkedIn but I have corrected it here.)

She then seems to have decided to maximise her satisfaction by tweeting her response to the world, presumably with a view to basking in the adulation of her fellow outraged feminists. 

Mr Carter-Silk responded with an apology which Ms P didn't like because it wasn't grovelly enough.

But, unfortunately for Ms P she has been throwing stones from the comfort of a glass house because Daily Mail journalists performed a cursory search on Facebook and found her referring to men she liked as "hot stuff" and "oo-err Missus" (I may have made that last one up.)

It looks like she developed "daddy issues" when her father died and left all his money to cancer research. Considering her father died when he was 37 one might guess he actually suffered from cancer and considered it a more deserving cause than his proud daughter (who assumed the name "Proudman" when she dropped her father's surname.)

Alexander Carter-Silk has clearly made a number of serious mistakes. He should never have prefaced his first email with the words, This is probably horrendously politically incorrect but..., that's just asking for trouble. Better would have been, Cute picture but you're the most junior it's possible to be and I'm a senior partner so I think not.

Realistically Ms Proud was trading on her looks trying to get a connexion with a senior partner she had never met  anyway. And since her looks aren't all that anyway he should have turned her down. (Not that we can really judge her looks. She wears hijab levels of make-up. Doesn't she know make-up is a conspiracy of the patriarchy?!)

Mr Carter-Silk should certainly not have apologised in his response. Better would have been, I don't appreciate your ageist attitude and you have breached my copyright by publishing my email.

Sadly Ms P has now blotted her copybook for life. She is forever going to be known for her pompous retort. Maybe she should change her name again.

On the plus side Mr Carter-Silk will probably sail serenely on.

Achtung! Papers!

Well, that didn't take long - Germany has closed the border with Austria.

The reason....

...too many of these.

The German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced that the border with Austria was closed to undocumented persons, in violation of the Schengen Agreement. We can now expect a cascade effect because the only reason Austria was letting them in is because they could pass them on to Germany. So Austria will stop taking them from Hungary and Hungary will have to stop them entering from Serbia.

There will be a build-up somewhere in the system, and if it's an unfriendly place like Serbia or Macedonia violence is to be expected.

The effect on Chancellor Angela Merkel's rating is starting to show...

Sad face
Seventy-one percent of Germans now disapprove of her policy and don't want any more immigrants let into the country. There have been riots in Dresden - not generally reported by the BBC with its own agenda to push. Fortunately for Merkel she is mid-term at the moment and won't be facing the electorate until 2017.

And talking of BBC agendas - look at the top picture. It's a representation sample of migrants; 9 out of 10 are single young men (flicking victory signs). When conducting interviews the Beeb always contrives to give the wrong impression by showing mothers with young children but the reality is much different. Families have been left at home. The Germans are allowing a foreign army to build up in their country.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Killer Cameron

Two British citizens have been killed by their own Government without the slightest attempt at legal due process; killed by a country which officially does not even have the death penalty. They were supposedly killed for plotting to kill the queen. Of course, had they succeeded in killing the queen the penalty would only have been life in prison.

Bang! You're dead!

This blog has no real objection to muslim terrorists being killed, and plenty of private individuals have travelled to the Levant to help kill ISIS fighters, mainly by joining up with Kurdish forces, and there has been no great outcry or legal sanction when they got back to the UK. (Unlike those who travel to join ISIS who get prosecuted.)

It's not a new thing for HMG to kill its own citizens. In 1988 three unarmed IRA members were killed in Gibraltar by the SAS. Throughout the "troubles" in Northern Ireland arrests of suspected terrorists were divided into "hard" and "soft". In a soft arrest the suspects were actually arrested but in a hard arrest they were simply shot dead and there was no legal consequence for the killers. (After several members of the UK government were killed in a Brighton hotel in 1986 by the IRA the army in Northern Ireland were given free rein to kill at will.)

However there is a new thing here. For the first time the Prime Minister has personally ordered an execution (two in fact.) There can be absolutely no pretense that it was necessary as a national security measure - the two terrorists were nowhere near British territory. "Dave" wanted them dead so they died. One imagines though, that he was egged on by the intelligence services and the RAF, very keen to try out their comparatively new toys.

This may not be the zero cost operation that Cameron imagines. The two terrorists are likely to have family back in the UK. There could be court cases; demands for compensation; allegations of murder even. Cameron may discover the long term legal ramifications outweigh the fun he had on the day

Germany has turned suicidal

Angela Merkel has said Germany will take half a million Syrian migrants per year - every year!

If she means it then that's effectively national suicide. The Syrians will re-create Syria in Germany. They won't turn into Germans. That's not the way it works. Geography does not make a nation; people make a nation. Germany would be Germany anywhere the German people were. If Syria were exclusively inhabited by the Germanic peoples then Beamers and Mercs would come from Syria and that's where the Oktoberfest would happen.

Germany may be rich at the moment, and they have only recently become rich again after absorbing the costs of re-unification, but they won't stay rich for long with a massive muslim population. BBC reporters have done a good job of spotting the families and children in the invading hoard, but even they, when forced, admit that 9 out of 10 of the migrants are young men.

The "refugee" status of the migrants is a complete fiction. They are safe in Turkey. They are actually safe in many parts of Syria itself, including Damascus where life carries on as normal for the most part.

Sentiment in Europe was turned by the dead boy on a beach. Various idiots have claimed "his parents would not have put him in a boat if it were not safer than the land," but where was he, his brother and his mother buried? In Syria! Yes, the father took the bodies back to Syria for the funeral and has turned down an asylum offer from Canada (where his sister lives) and intends to live in Syria from now on.

Was safe in Syria - victim of father's greed!

At best the hoards headed for Germany are economic migrants who have selected the richest country in Europe as their destination. Germany guarantees each and every one of them housing and support. So they marched out of Syria, across Turkey, across the sea to Greece, across Macedonia and Serbia and even Hungary and Austria were not good enough for them. Only at the German border do they consider themselves "home".

It's obvious that the Middle East is now going to siphon into Germany. Are there enough empty houses? Job vacancies - for people who mainly don't speak German? No, of course not. And the German government knows this. Why Merkel has embarked on this foolishness is baffling. Germany does not have any moral liability for the Middle East situation. They have not been involved in the wars against Iraq. They are still being tripped by residual guilt from the second world war; a war few people can even remember. Angela Merkel certainly cannot, she wasn't born back then.

They had better come to their senses fast or they will have big problems.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Germany has blinked

Last week we were bombarded with images of migrants out of the Middle East kicking down fences to get into Macedonia and then forcing their way onto trains to get across to Serbia, where of course they did not stop, as now we are seeing the hoards outside Budapest railway station in Hungary. (We didn't see much in the way of reporting from Serbia - the Serbians seem to have just waved them through.)

Hoard reaches Budapest, Hungary
The pull factor is Germany which is now willing to take a million migrants a year out of Syria. So course, as you would expect, all of Syria is on the move. The German people are reported to be generally sympathetic and welcoming although this may not last - the state of Bavaria has broken ranks and said it will not take any refugees.
Genghis Kahn didn't manage this (got stuck in Austria)
The next country on the migration route is Austria. So far the hoard hasn't gotten through Hungary and it looks like the Hungarian authorities are putting up more of fight than Macedonia or Serbia did. 
The Hungarian police tried to stop a train commandeered by migrants 25 miles outside Budapest where they have a big reception centre but the migrants weren't having it. The migrants know the rule that they must stop in the nearest safe place and they do not want to be registered (ie fingerprinted) in Hungary.

With such a long lead time we can hope the Austrians are even better prepared at the border.

It goes without saying that any refugee who makes it as far as Calais is an economic migrant even if he started out as a genuine asylum seeker since he will have passed through many safe countries to get that far.