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

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens (not)

nourishing obscurity: Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?.

The linked item is a (for me) more than usually personal guest post at James Higham's blog, Nourishing Obscurity. He has asked a number of bloggers to write about our favourite things. I hope James will reciprocate with a guest post here at The Last Ditch at some point.

Though work continues as normal tomorrow for me, I wish my English readers a good bank holiday and hope you all get to enjoy some of your favourite things.

Only a Kennedy could get away with it

Airbrushing out Mary Jo Kopechne by Mark Steyn on National Review Online

I had hoped never to mention that odious family again, but the continuing lionisation of, arguably, the worst of them prompts me to refer you to the linked article by Mark Steyn in America's National Review.

Mary Jo Kopechne, according to John Farror the diver who found her body, lived for at least an hour, maybe more, in an air pocket in Kennedy's car while the late senator slept it all off. At best, we can assume she would have died anyway, even if he had called for help. At worst, we have to imagine an innocent star-struck girl taking her time to die.

She did not have long to realise what most misguided young leftists take years over; that her heroes were scum.

Any doubts I had about President Obama died as he gave his funeral oration for Kennedy. Any doubts that the American Left was quite as toxic as our own died when I read this (and headed disbelievingly to the source to check it):

At the Huffington Post, Melissa Lafsky mused on what Mary Jo “would have thought about arguably being a catalyst for the most successful Senate career in history . . . Who knows — maybe she’d feel it was worth it.”

Right. She would have died willingly, so that Ted Kennedy could be the Democratic Party's king maker. I am sure she thought that during her wait to die. As for Kennedy, he thought it was funny. He asked his friends for the latest Mary Jo jokes. And he named his dog Splash.

Quote of the day

Dick Puddlecote: It's Confirmed. Scotland Is Going Insane.

Mr Puddlecote is one of these, shall we say, trenchant bloggers whom I admire but am too gentle  to emulate. My personal view of Scotland is that the immense beauty of that country and the rich variety of its whiskies are Nature's way of compensating for the cretinous leadership its people have "enjoyed" (and sometimes, understandably, palmed off on us poor English).

I have often also thought the fighting spirit of the Scots was more an understandable therapeutic release of their frustration at their hopeless leaders, than evidence of any loyalty to them.

I do have to applaud Mr Puddlecote, however, for his turn of phrase in describing Scotland's current leaders as; dense they could bend light...

As Oscar Wilde once said flatteringly to Whistler, "I wish I had said that". As Whistler replied, "You will, Oscar. You will."

Up 9 places in the top 100

Top 100 Right of Centre Blogs.

It seems to me that If I slipped a few places this year in the top 20 Libertarian blogs, but am placed higher in the top 100 Right of Centre blogs, the libertarians must be doing better. Does that make sense?

Congratulations to Obnoxio, who has shot up from 81st to 13th place. Evidently not many blog readers are maiden aunts, especially as the top 3 libertarian bloggers are Devil's Kitchen, Old Holborn and Obnoxio. It seems (d*** and b**** it) that the public prefers freedom-minded bloggers who swear freely.

I am delighted to see my slot from last year occupied by new entrant Anna Racoon, one of my learned friends, who is as sound as a pre-Brown pound and trenchant with it.

However, I am sad to see that the most important British blog has slipped several places in the rankings. I refer of course to Burning our Money. It's far more important than the bigger blogs because it holds the government to account for stewardship of public funds. This is a crucial job that the British media - staffed as they are by innumerate arts graduates - and Parliament - staffed as it is by ambitious poodles - signally fail to do.

I am also personally disappointed to see An Englishman's Castle slip many places. It's the first blog I turn to every day and is unsurpassed for concise wit and acute observation. If I envy any blogger his turn of phrase, it is the Englishman. Chin up, old bean.

Anyway, The Last Ditch is now placed at number 38, up from number 47 last year. Thank you to all who voted.

Two brilliant posts (and neither by me, damn it all)

JuliaM, the AmbushPredator, has a tie for her "post of the month". The first she has selected is from They're Joking, Aren't They? (with the wonderful strapline, "What are our rulers thinking of? And with?"). The second is from Winston Smith. Kudos to both of them, and a tip of the hat to JuliaM.

Here are the gems in question:

They're Joking. Aren't They?: Possessions.

Winston Smith: Making the Right Choice Part 2

For overseas readers (and, for that matter, comfortable middle class readers from the Home Counties) both posts should give some insight into modern Britain, which is about as far from the stereotypical Hugh Grant image as it could possibly get.

Speaking ill of the dead

The eulogies for the late Senator from Massachusetts are disgusting. It makes me sick to read the constant refrain of "the liberal lion." A lion is a noble, courageous beast. Kennedy was a beast, certainly, but neither noble nor courageous. That leftists and liberals admire this coward speaks volumes about them and their unjustified sense of righteousness.

Forget everything about him but this. He ran away from a drowning girl. He did not try to save her. He did not call for help. He ran away and hid until her body was discovered. I could list other faults (cheating on his Spanish exam at Harvard, his support for Irish terrorism, his promotion of the racism known euphemistically as "affirmative action") but beside this defining act, all else pales.

He was a coward. Let that be his epitaph. It is the only one he deserves. One of freedom's enemies is dead at last. He should have died, as his manhood died, on July 18, 1969 at Chappaquiddick.

Death does not dignify him. Nothing could.

Fiona Bruce has no problem with "lookism"

BBC's Fiona Bruce: 'If you look like the back end of a bus, you won't get the job' - Telegraph.


That's big of her. I would have no problem if there was suddenly a demand for tall, overweight, middle-aged TV presenters either. Unfortunately, it's harder to get the people who really need to accept "lookism" with a good grace to do so. Those are the ones who - unlike Ms. Bruce - have radio faces.Their complaints remind me of the silent movie stars with ugly voices whose careers ended with the advent of the "talkies."

Why do people (even the usually sound-thinking Mrs P) get upset about TV presenters being selected for their looks? Why spend a fortune designing a TV show to be visually-appealing; from the sets through the lighting to the attractive fonts for the opening titles, only to spoil it by featuring an unattractive presenter front and centre? TV is a visual medium. It's for looking at. Naturally, audiences favour presenters from whom they do not need to avert their gaze. TV cameras also add apparent weight, which is why so many "attractive" presenters so disappoint when viewed without an intervening lens.

Why does all this only apply to female presenters, you may snort? Any unfairness there, I am afraid, is entirely the fault of women. They have less developed aesthetic standards when it comes to the opposite sex. Such are the rewards of a TV career, however, that any male presenter will give off the attractive aura of the chap of whom, in Ms. Austen's immortal words;

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

Are men to blame for such discrimination on the part of women? Is not such an attitude just as "unfair" as (and much less charming than) the male preference for a pretty face?

Antiques Roadshow was a tired, tedious programme well past its sell-by date. It was leavened only by an occasional laugh at a grasping punter pretending not to care how much his bric-a-brac was worth. Since Ms. Bruce took over, it has (at least in parts) become gripping entertainment and once more has an audience outside the old folks' homes. Good for her.

Those of a Guardian disposition, move along. Nothing to see here.

Jeremy Clarkson Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 Spyder review | Driving - Times Online.

Jeremy Clarkson is a hate figure of the Left. Read the linked article to find out why. Here's a short sample to give you a flavour;

It was, I think, the most enjoyable drive of my life: to be in a car that good, with its V10 bark echoing off the limestone and a bit of Steely Dan on the stereo, doing about a million with a man who truly knows what he’s doing at the wheel. This is what those of a Guardian disposition don’t understand: that a car can be a tool but it can also be so much more. It can be a heart-starter, it can be a drug, it can be a piece of art, it can stir your soul and it can get you from Marbella to Ronda before the bar closes.

Truth is, Jeremy is more fully alive than a whole London borough of the miserable little self-satisfied soulless zombies. And he can write better too.

Cowards flinch and traitors sneer

Worrying reading - Frank Field MP.

It's hard to believe that the most sensible words I can find written today - in blogosphere or msm - are from a Labour MP. "Worrying reading" indeed. Yet a Conservative opposition strongly positioned in the opinion polls still lacks the courage to state these obvious truths;

With public borrowing coming in at £200 billion, and the printing of money as though there is no tomorrow, it is difficult to understand the reasoning of those voices who prattle on about the dangers of cutting public spending now.

Quite. Come on Cameron. Speak up for sanity.

How dare she oppose the state?

Solicitor faces being struck off after fighting councils' care cuts - Telegraph.

A fellow-solicitor faces a charge of "bringing the profession into disrepute" because she helped clients campaign againts council policies. I suspect Ms Hossack is not of my political persuasion. Nonetheless, from this article I suspect she has rather brought our profession into repute than otherwise.

I am fascinated to see how the new and sinister-sounding "Solicitors' Regulation Authority" (OffShark?) will address the matter. I am sure the Law Society had no legal option but to refer the councils' complaints, but it sticks in my throat that we are no longer a free profession, able to tell these statist thugs where to go.