THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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April 2009

Desert rats

L'Ombre de l'Olivier.

In the shade of the olive tree blog, there is often a mot juste to be appreciated. I particularly enjoyed the remark that here, in a shipyard, was a sinking Gordon deserting his rat. How glorious too was the PM's wonderful doublespeak;

"I take full responsibility for what happened. That's why the person who was responsible went immediately."

Far be it from me to go into the overcrowded fake psychotherapist business, but it seems to me that such a logical contradiction could only be the result of Mr Brown's subconscious having wrestled his raddled intellect to the ground.

I am becoming concerned that Labour's opponents are visibly enjoying this horror too much. Gloating is such an unattractive activity. Perhaps it's best laughingly to accept this apology for an apology? I think we may safely leave Mr Brown to his own people now. After all, if there's one thing British voters dislike more than gloating, it is political cannibalism.


Police delete London tourists' photos 'to prevent terrorism' | UK news |

For mercy's sake, New Labour and all your minions. Just go. You have humiliated us enough in the eyes of the world. Our economy lies in tatters after you  - as the honourable people still left in your party are now admitting - released great floods of our hard-earned money without securing remotely commensurate benefits. For years.

One tiny compensation for this shambles was that, thanks to you, our currency is so weak that tourists find our usually expensive and inhospitable capital city affordable. So what do you do? You have your uniformed buffoons harass them. You force them to delete their snaps. You send them home to tell their countrymen how a nation once famed for its stiff upper lip under fire has lost its nerve. How it has become an enfeebled, cowering rabble that its historical heroes would scorn to acknowledge as Englishmen.

How my shame burns, to see our people sacrifice their dignity, privacy and freedom - on the basis of lies, spin, smears and scare stories - to provincial losers with no higher ambition than to swan around in ministerial Jaguars and feel (as they could never otherwise have felt, having no productive skills) important.

LumpWith such lumpen creatures as this in charge of our internal defences, how can we hope not to be embarrassed? She throws tantrums and sends out our public servants, from Permanent Secretaries to humble police officers - to punish her opponents for exposing her incompetence. Then she lets them take the rap for the consequences of her steam-out-of-the-ears pique. How like her cowardly boss she is. Like him, her idea of taking "full responsibility" is to let those who served her exactly as she demanded take the consequences. Like him, she has the morals of a stoat.

All those involved in the New Labour "project" must always have known in their hearts that what they were doing was wrong. They must have known it from the dishonest, deceitful methods they had to use and the scum they had to employ, to secure the power to do it. The means in the end, always signal the squalor of the ends.

But perhaps, as readers more cynical even than me have suggested, they never cared for anything more than than their perks and their expense-fiddling. It certainly seems to have been all (until they got careless) they were good at.

How very interesting...

Derek Draper Labour spin doctor does a runner with his computer. - Mirror Images - James Vellacott -

Draper12computerblog I wonder where that computer is now.

Given that Labour has a predilection for confusing state resources with its own, I do hope our security services are not currently cleaning Mr Draper's hard drive. Or is that hyperbolic of me, I wonder?

The gentler souls of the political blogosphere are giving Draper good advice, which (thank goodness) he seems reluctant to take. For the first time in his career, this professional political communicator is doing a great job in disseminating the truth about the party he loves. His continued presence on the scene is a constant reminder of the real story here. This is not about spin or smears. It is about the low moral character, psychological flaws and frightening lack of judgement of our Prime Minister.

Does anyone have an eye on Tom Watson's computer, by the way? He's not responding to Twitter requests and his blog has still not been updated. Perhaps it's broken?

Tom Watson Twitter

h/t the very excellent Crown Blogspot

Professions 'increasingly dominated by the wealthiest.' Duh.

Professions 'increasingly dominated by the wealthiest' - Telegraph.

...the Government and the professions must "widen the talent pool" if the seven million new professional jobs it estimates will be needed in Britain by 2020 were to be filled...

Oh really? And I suppose that the politicisation, dumbing-down and general degradation of state public education has nothing to do with this situation?

When I joined my learned profession 26 years ago, there were a large number of bright, ambitious state school school types (educated in grammar schools or early comprehensives which had only begun to go bad) winking smilingly at each other amid the older public-school boys and girls for whom we worked. Not that we resented them (except those who occasionally revealed near-New Labour Minister levels of insulation from ordinary life). They didn't bother us, because we confidently expected to see their numbers trend to the proportion they represented in a wider society. After all, grammar school boys and girls were rather more to the fore in Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet than comprehensive alumni are in Brown's. The greatest English judge of that time (a personal hero of mine, whose signature on my admission certificate I treasure) was one of three superstar sons of a railwaymen. Social mobility was greater than at any time in our country's history and we were cheerfully riding that wave.

Thanks to Labour, the sons and daughters of those public school chaps now outnumber those rising below me more heavily than ever. When I retire, my successor will almost certainly be privately educated. It's not for the professions to dumb down in order to meet the declining standards of state education. It's up to a future government to fix what Labour has broken, in the interests of all - ideally by getting out of the management (if not the financing) of education altogether. No nation can survive on the educated talents of only that minority of children whose parents can afford (under the current fiscal regime) to pay for private education.

I told some Russian colleagues this morning that, in some ways, I would rather Britain had had 80 years of Communism to innoculate it forever from the Leveller virus that has infected it since Cromwell's day, than 30 years of an education system so poisonously Marxist that that it would never have occured to Stalin. Before someone points it out, yes I must re-read The Gulag Archipelago to cure myself of such hyperbole. Nonetheless, buried beneath tons of angry poetic exaggeration, there is an important point somewhere. A very important point that needs to be made, angrily or otherwise, on a daily basis.

Labour's Fifth Column in education is trashing your culture and stealing your childrens' future - at your and their expense.  If that doesn't make you angry, I don't know what will.

Shame on us all

Rachel from north London: Shame on you.

Look at the face of the police officer in the film as he casually slaps a young woman in the face with the back of his hand. Have you seen such an expression before? The casual, confident thuggery? The absolute sense of entitlement? It can be seen all the time on the faces of government officials, spokesmen for the "causes" supported by the government, people from the protected groups which constitute the new aristocracies of New Labour's New Britain. It's the shameless look on the face of Sharon Shoesmith, the woman who perhaps best represents New Labour's New Woman, just as Damian McBride and his control freak boss perhaps best represent New Labour's New Man. It is a look that can now even be seen on the faces of non-government busybodies "empowered" by New Labour's culture of continual, personal interference.


The faces of the new men

A fish rots from the head. New Labour has been in charge of "our" public servants for more than a decade. It is they who have put the inverted commas around the word "our." In my working life, I have observed how people naturally, albeit subconsciously, copy their leaders. Leadership carries power, but also responsibility, which is why there must always be morality at the heart of its exercise. Lying, spinning, smearing brazen thuggery has been the way in which our country has been run for so long that many public servants now know no other way. Some will fall naturally into line when and if a new style of government arrives. They will be the weakest and/or the most cynical ones. But it will take sustained, strong, moral leadership - and not a few tough examples set - to bring those like the police man in the movie back into the fold of decency.

Prodicus summed it up yesterday with a sporting metaphor - "They only go for the man, never the ball". He makes a fair point well, but too mildly. Rachel says "shame on you" and she's right, but not completely so. The real shame is on us, whether we became the people with the cold dead eyes, or whether we submitted to them. The message needs to be delivered by each of us - not just to this government but to all future ones - that there are limits, ethical limits, to what government is entitled to do and say. Without those limits to naked power, the cold, dead look in that policeman's eyes will be the fate of us all.

Just for a change, more stealth taxes

The Taxpayers' Alliance has created a "green calculator" to help you work out how much you pay in useless eco-taxes. This is my personal result. It ignores any I may (though I doubt it) be paying on flights from Russia to places outside the EU. Nor does it account for any involved (again unlikely) in being driven around in Russia. Bear in mind that I fly to/from England with unusual frequency at present (I still live and work in Russia, but a close family member is ill and being treated in London). Also consider that my car is a Maserati Granturismo (garaged and taxed in the UK). The fuel consumption of her 4.2 litre V8 engine is more modest than you think (less than that of my first, 1.5 litre, car) but my mileage in her first year has been 10 times my typical, as I have been manufacturing opportunities to drive her long trans-continental distances for the sheer joy of it.

Still, who knew? All that taxation (plus the Council Tax on our English house, plus VAT plus the rest of my fuel duty, etc., etc.) and yet still - after 15 years outside the UK - no representation. Not only that, but despite having no political rights in any other country, I am banned from donating to any political party that might actually do something about rescuing Britain from the alien cabal that has seized power there.

h/t Tim Worstall

A suite on Piccadilly

Tory Bear - right-wing political gossip...: Suite 35.

Blogger Tory Bear has done some of that "fact-checking" stuff journalists talk about far more often than they do. That Derek Draper is somewhat estranged from Truth hardly needs repeating. That his breathtaking contempt for the intelligence of the electorate was his main qualification to serve the party that he loves deserves many a reprise however. Well done, that bear!

Where's Tom?

Books that influence me as a politician and dad | Tom Watson MP.

Screen ShotGiven recent events, much amusement has been had with number 15 on Tom Watson's list of books that have "influenced, interested or amused" him. It has even been suggested that he's making a play to be mentioned in the next edition.

He's locked his Twitter account and gone strangely silent though. Presumably, until McBride is replaced, all the spinning and smearing work has to be done personally. No wonder he's too busy to blog and tweet.

I suggest you send him a request to be allowed to follow him on Twitter. I have. For the next few weeks, his feed will be a sure source of interesting material, I should think. For example, did anyone get a screen shot of his alleged "tweet" asking for the phone number of my learned friends at "Chilling Schillings?" Even on the usually reliable authority of Mr Dale, I am afraid I find that too funny to be fully credible.

In the meantime, I have left him a question (click to enlarge) in a comment on the post. What odds will any gamblers among you give that it will pass moderation?