Wednesday 11 May 2016


Horror of Horrors !

Her Majesty the Queen is someone who is rarely caught out but it seems that a snooping reporter picked up a conversation in which she said something about Chinese visitors being rude to an ambassador. Within a short space of time, David Cameron was overheard saying that Nigeria and Afghanistan were 'fantastically corrupt' countries, coincidentally in a conversation with the very same Queen.

That Cameron's comment was undoubtedly correct and the Queen's remark a statement of her perception of a simple fact has made no difference to the media storm which has been created. It seems that, when it comes to relations between nations. the one thing that can't be spoken is the truth; instead, countries like the UK have to kowtow to tin-pot dictators and despots, corrupt regimes and their crooked leaders.

Everyone knows that Nigeria is a country in which corruption is rife, as it is in most of the countries of the African continent. Places like Afghanistan are fanatically tribal with all that that implies, tribal leaders cheating and bribing anyone and everyone in order to maintain their power. Shockingly, we are supposed to keep quiet about such things and pretend that we really rather like the representatives from these nations, who aren't such bad chaps after all. This is not too dissimilar to the way in which the world tiptoes around issues to do with Israel, whatever atrocities are perpetrated by their government. What a load of bu****it.

Along the same lines, Germany actually has a law which prohibits individuals from making fun of foreign leaders and dignitaries and has recently invoked it against a comedian who's dared to recite a somewhat rude poem about the overly-sensitive president of Turkey, Mr Erdogan. Erdogan seems to have few redeeming features and yet Germany, and consequently most of the rest of the EU, is falling over itself backwards to do his bidding.

Why can't our politicians be honest for a change ? Why can't they say what they really think, without fear of causing international incidents ? In business, senior managers are expected to be ruthless and to be brutally honest in the interests of their companies; why is it that politicians are only ruthless and honest in pursuit of their own career ambitions ?

What a sad, sick and corrupt world we live in.

Tuesday 3 May 2016


What on earth is all this noise about 'anti-Semitism' ? The Labour party is in turmoil over it and the media is having a field day on the back of it. Is any of the huffing and puffing, rushing around, shouting and name-calling in any way justified, or is it just the standard reaction when anyone criticises the Israeli state ?

To start with, the very term 'anti-Semitic' is regularly misused or used in a very restrictive way. A 'Semite' is someone who speaks a semitic language and this includes the Arabs as well as the Jews, and also included the ancient Babylonians, Assyrians and Phoenicians. The Semitic languages include Arabic and Aramaic, as well as Hebrew and various others both extant and extinct. Semitic features are characteristic of the peoples who speak Semitic languages, most especially the Arabs and Jews, although the term Semitic also seems to be used simply to refer to Jews. The term anti-Semitic' has, however, been invented to specifically refer to someone who persecutes or discriminates against Jews, rather than being used in its wider linguistic meaning.

It's also the case that, in common with other -isms, the term 'anti-Semitism' is trotted out whenever those on the receiving end of criticism want to stifle debate or promote their own beliefs or points of view, or to simply prevent the criticism from continuing and gaining traction. The current nonsensical row in the Labour party is a fine example of this.

Naseem "Naz" Shah is Labour MP for Bradford West and a Muslim. Perhaps unsurprisingly given her faith, she does not like the way that the Israeli government has treated the Palestinian Arabs over many decades, and has said so. Unfortunately for her, her language has been clumsy and certain comments about Israel itself seriously ill-advised, but has she been 'anti-Semitic' ? Frankly, I see her as simply a rather a sad character who is way out of her depth and should never have been put forward as a Parliamentary candidate.

Then there is Ken Livingstone. He has also made some ill-advised comments and has almost certainly misunderstood, or misrepresented, certain historical facts, but does this amount to anti-Semitism ? Livingstone claimed that Adolf Hitler had supported Zionism, the Jewish desire for a homeland, specifically the land that they claim as that which was given to them in Biblical times. Nonsensical though such claims are, it is a fact that Hitler did enter into an agreement with the representatives of Zionist German Jews in 1933, the Haavara Agreement. This agreement was designed to facilitate the migration of German Jews to Palestine although it probably had more to do with getting them out of Germany than anything else. Nonetheless, it was seen by some leading German Zionists as being supportive of their goals.

For Livingstone to claim that this agreement meant that Hitler supported Zionism is pretty ridiculous but, again, by simply voicing this, albeit mistaken, idea, is he actually being anti-Semitic ? Of course he isn't. As any child is, or certainly used to be, taught, 'Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you'. Sadly, in these days of ultra political correctness words seem to be given far greater prominence and meaning than they are worth. In the past, the silly comments of both Shah and Livingstone would simply have been put down to moments of madness and we'd have moved seamlessly on. Today, every last syllable is pawed over, every last ounce of possible meaning drawn out and the witch hunt begins.

The state of Israel was founded in vicious bloodshed after, and as a direct consequence, of the Second World War; it is now one of the most aggressive states in the world. It is defiantly protective of its borders and state religion and does everything it can to deflect all criticism of its actions. In most respects, it is little different to other states in the region which are founded on fanatical religious beliefs, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the much vilified Iran, and others. They are, in essence, continuing to fight centuries old religious wars, for no reason that makes any sense at all. What we have is Jewish zealots fighting Islamic zealots, with a mix of dictators, other fanatics  and out-and-out terrorists thrown in.

There can be no doubt that some of the actions of the Israeli government vis-a-vis its Arab population have been grotesque and frequently out of all proportion to the perceived damage done to Israeli citizens and property. There are certainly grounds for arguing that the Israeli state is, itself, racist and operates an effective apartheid system. However, to fly into a tantrum because an MP and an aging former politician make a few silly remarks is idiotic. Criticism of Muslims is rife, as is criticism of many other sects, groups and organisations; why is Israel or, indeed, Judaism, any different ?

Wednesday 27 April 2016


The events at Hillsborough 27 years ago were shocking but surely it's now time for us all to move on.

Yesterday, the media was choc-a-bloc with stories about the inquest and, of course, they dragged up all the same old stuff from years gone by that they always do. Pictures of the crowd at the ground on the day were set alongside rather grotesque images of a smaller crowd standing outside of the court and chanting their victory songs. Frankly, the latter simply showed just how fanatical and moronic football supporters and their families can be.

The coroner's jury, reduced to only 9 members, had determined that those who died in the tragedy had been victims of 'unlawful killing', though this was not a unanimous verdict and may have been the opinion of only 7 of the remaining jurors; this hardly seems grounds for such elation amongst the families of the deceased or, indeed, such blanket coverage by the media. Now we are faced with the prospect of 2 more inquiries concluding in the coming months and which may send files to the Crown Prosecution Service; given the over-hyped and over-sentimentalised way in which this whole episode has been handled, it seems likely that someone will eventually be charged, tried, condemned and sentenced. We do like to have our scapegoats and, always, someone to blame.

Was anyone really to blame or was Hillsborough simply a result of a series of blunders allied to the fervour which so often surrounds major football matches ? Is it really the case that the 96 who died were 'unlawfully killed' ? Was any one, or 2 or 3, people really responsible, solely, for what happened ?

We are looking back through the prism of 27 years and attempting to apply what we know now to what happened then. Not only have times changed, but so have perceptions and, even, our understanding of what we are prepared to accept as reasonable or normal. What was a tragic accident can easily become murder in the manic search for someone to blame; in short, it's a witch hunt, merrily fuelled by the media.

Hillsborough was a terrible event and mistakes were made, but to keep stoking the embers will serve no one in the long run. It's time to move on, with lessons learned.

Monday 16 February 2015


God save us all from politicians and particularly when elections are looming.

For the last few months, and it's set to get much worse over the next 2, all the goons who want us to vote for them on 7th May have been throwing out their nonsense. Promises, commitments, guarantees, you name it, they're all telling us exactly what they think will make us vote for them. The reality is that nothing of what they say will be in their manifestos and therefore will not be binding. Whoever forms the next government will do what governments have done since time immemorial, they'll do exactly what they want and sod the voters.

This country needs a revolution. It needs to wake up and understand the realities of the current world. Our leaders should be telling us this and helping to lead us to a better place. Instead, they're busy watching their own backs and bank balances. Shoot the lot, I say and start again, because, at present, our country is on a road to oblivion.

Monday 15 December 2014


A Ukip candidate has resigned because he's been guilty, apparently, of using "homophobic and racist" language. What a load of politically correct tosh.

In an age when nudity and simulated sex scenes are commonplace, almost obligatory, on our screens and radio, television and films are littered with the most crude, vulgar, offensive and disgusting language, using the word 'pooftah' has been deemed to be so bad that an ordinary man cannot remain as a parliamentary candidate.

It may be news to the politically correct liberal elite who rule our poor nation, but such a word is not homophobic; it is an old fashioned expression, possibly a little distasteful but no more, which was used alongside others such as brown-hatter, queer, shirt-lifter, homo and many more. If the speaker intended offence, it would have been in the manner of speech rather than in the words themselves.

How 'pooftah' can be deemed utterly unacceptable when the egregious 'fuck', and 'cunt' appear with ever-increasing frequency escapes me. In the past, I've known more than a few old 'pooftahs' who had no trouble with those who used the vernacular to describe them, but would have been equally as unhappy as I at the use of much of today's disgusting language.

It's high time that we got back to calling a spade a spade and a homosexual a pooftah, instead of this awful 'gay' nonsense. Hijacking perfectly good words and perverting our language for political causes can never be a good idea and is what we should be fighting against.

Saturday 11 October 2014


UKIP's success in Thursday's by-elections has certainly stirred things up.

In Clacton, it was always expected that the former sitting MP, Douglas Carswell, would win after switching his allegiance from the Conservative party to UKIP. What wasn't quite expected was that he'd increase his share of the vote and gain the support of almost 60% of voters, nor that the Liberal Democrats would be all-but wiped out, receiving only a miserly 483 votes.

In the Manchester constituency of Heywood and Middleton, a seat previously held with a comfortable majority by Labour, UKIP were expected to do well and, perhaps, get as much as 30% of the vote. In the event, they gained very nearly 40% and almost won the seat; Labour held on by their finger tips with a majority of just 617. To add to Labour's concerns, this constituency was held with a majority of over 11,000 in 2005 , a figure which reduced to 6,000 in 2010 and has now all-but disappeared.

Inevitably, all 3 main parties have done their usual 'head-in-the-sand' act and explained UKIP's success away as a blip or nothing to worry about. They remind us that this was 'only a by-election', that 'turn-out was low' or that 'there were special circumstances'. Who do they think they're kidding ? For the Conservatives, 'Dave' maintains a stance of telling us that a vote for UKIP is really a vote for Miliband, hoping that this thought will deter Tories from defecting. He also refuses, point-blank, to alter his own course or contemplate any sort of deal with his bete noire

Labour have always believed that UKIP were a threat to the Tories and, probably, of benefit to themselves; they've simply ignored the perceived right wing interlopers. However, a few recent by-elections and now the Heywood result have woken them up to the truth - that UKIP are a threat to any sitting MP who has failed to represent his or her constituency effectively or has simply 'toed the party line'.

As for the LibDems, UKIP are no direct threat to them. However, the LibDem vote has already been severely damaged by their coalition with the Conservatives and now an upswell in support for UKIP, seen as the 'anti-politics party', might well see their share of the vote fall to levels last experienced decades ago.

Immediately following the results Miliband minor has come under criticism for his leadership, or lack of it. Indeed, there's now renewed chatter about whether or not he's the right man for the job and whether the public see him as a potential Prime Minister. The strongly expressed opinion is that they do not. However, replacing him at this late stage in the Parliament is almost impossible, so Labour are stuck with him, like it or not, and the best that they might achieve is to bring in one or 2 old senior figures to bolster their front line.

Clegg is also untouchable, for now, as leader of the LibDems and it's difficult to see what he, or any alternative leader, could do that would make much difference to their short-term prospects. They are simply bracing themselves for a shocking result in next May's General Election and must contemplate losing many, perhaps half, of their current Parliamentary strength.

Which leaves the Conservatives and their incumbent, 'Dave'. They have another serious test to face in November when the electors of the Rochester and Strood constituency in Kent go to the polls. This is a seat previously held by another Tory defector, Mark Reckless, and it's likely to provide more pain for the Conservatives. Labour and the LibDems are likely to make little effort to win the seat and will leave it to Conservatives and UKIP to fight over, which may make life even more problematic for the Tories. Defeat for the Conservatives will ring alarm bells at Tory Central and will bring more and louder calls for the party hierarchy to respond to the UKIP threat. Recent polling suggests that UKIP will, indeed, win this seat as well though whether they'll hold it at the General Election is a different matter. Nonetheless, while 'Dave's position is not currently under threat, defeat in Rochester and failure to respond to the clamour from his back benches may well see him overthrown after May's elections.

Interestingly, all three main parties may well have new leaders by this time next year. There are jolly times ahead !

Monday 6 October 2014


So Nick Clegg and his 'LibDems' have shown their true colours at last.

The Party Conference currently in progress has seen announcements of yet more tax and spend, yet more socialist claptrap and yet more bullshit. Any future 'LibDem' involvement in government will now see them pushing for higher taxes on what they term 'the better off', without any indication as to what' better off' might mean. They propose to restrict payment of the winter fuel allowance to 'wealthier pensioners' - what does that mean ? They still want a 'mansion tax', albeit dressed up as additional council tax bands, and are apparently considering ways of hitting already hard-pressed savers by an attack on dividend payments.

On the other side of the coin, they want to avoid the freeze on benefit payments proposed by the Conservatives and plan to abolish what they and Labour choose to call the 'bedroom tax'. How this last proposal can be considered fair is beyond me; all that it has been done is to bring council and housing association tenants onto the same footing as those in privately rented properties, which is hardly unreasonable. Somehow, and despite rowing back on these particular money saving schemes, they still propose to tackle the remaining vast deficit in our national accounts.

The 'LibDem' may not be quite the party of sandal-wearing, tree-hugging nuts that they used to be (that distinction now belongs to the Greens) but they are still a bunch of privileged socialists who want to take from those who have as a result of working hard and give to the idle and workshy scroungers who so populate our island. The real answer to our country's malaise is to cut benefits and taxes, so that all those who are able to work are strongly encouraged to do so; there can be no reason why anyone who is able cannot be employed, if necessary by the state on community service projects until other opportunities arise. The utter nonsense of paying substantial amounts of tax credits and other benefits to anyone working 24 hours, in such a way that they are wholly discouraged from working longer, is farcical and must end.

As it stands, only the Conservatives have anything like the right approach, even UKIP indicating that they're in favour of abolishing the 'bedroom tax'. How it will all play out over the 7 months up to next May's election is anyone's guess.


Whatever Alan Henning thought he was achieving in wherever it is he actually was, his brutal murder by a gang of vicious thugs has to be condemned.

Exactly why Henning had decided to leave his family and travel to a part of the world known to be extremely dangerous escapes me. Talk of him being a wonderful caring man makes little sense to me when he's left a widow and teenaged children behind. Who's been caring for them during his ordeal and who will care for them now ? Nonetheless, no one deserves to end up like him, in the hands of butchers.

The sooner Cameron and Co. fulfil their promises to hunt down the murderers the better.

Sunday 28 September 2014


So another Tory MP has defected to UKIP. Mark Reckless has announced his defection and resignation from his seat on the eve of the Conservatives' conference in Birmingham.

The Tory leadership just carry on as usual and tell us that this is simply a disloyal member picking his moment to cause maximum damage to the party. The truth is more likely that the Conservative party no longer represents the people that it did 30 or more years ago; it has become a 'middle-of-the-road' and mildly socialist group which has little or no connection with its roots. Oh, yes, it will claim 'grass roots' support but that is from a tiny number of party members; in reality, it has lost the support of large numbers of its traditional voters who are now turning to the only real alternative, UKIP.

UKIP is the new Conservative party. It isn't run by a bunch of public school rich boys; it is not an elitist party and it does have policies which reflect the views of a significant proportion of the population. Unless the Conservative party realises that they cannot continue to ignore the real concerns and desires of the people who have supported them over the years, and actually do something about them rather than to simply spout platitudes, dogma and more worthless promises, they are dead in the water.

Would anyone with a brain really vote for Cameron, Osborne and co., any more than they'd vote for the other lot led by the equally elitist Miliband, Balls and their lot ? Surely not.

Tuesday 23 September 2014


Good old Labour.

In traditional fashion and ignoring the horrors of their last period in government, Balls, Miliband and the rest are in the processing of setting out a few policies for their next term if, indeed, the people are silly enough to vote for them. At their conference in Manchester, Balls has already said that they'd increase taxation, 'reverse the cuts in housing benefit' and increase the minimum wage to £8 per hour, while Miliband is, apparently, going to announce the introduction of a 'mansion tax' and that they'll throw yet more money at the NHS.

All of this is, of course, just electioneering. Miliband & Co. are well aware that these so-called policies will appeal to their traditional voters and they really don't care what anyone else thinks; this is simply all about pursuing their basic policy of taking from those with anything in order to provide hand-outs for those with less.

Increasing taxation, whether only on the so-called rich or not, would be counter-productive as it always is. Increasing the minimum wage will achieve little as this would be accompanied by consequential reductions in the payment of tax credits, housing and council tax benefits and so on. It would, in effect, shift costs from government to business and the end result would be higher prices for consumers.

The claimed 'cuts' in housing benefit which Balls has pledged to reverse, are nothing of the sort. The current government has not cut housing benefit, it has brought the benefits paid to tenants in local authority or housing association properties into line with the benefits paid to those in privately rented accommodation. What Balls is proposing is to return to the utterly unfair system which previously existed, something which simply cannot be justified.

Miliband's 'mansion tax' is just another policy popular with his envious supporters. The majority of people who would be affected by it live in the south east of England and he cares not about losing their votes - most don't vote for his lot anyway. Many of those who would be affected have paid for their homes out of previously heavily taxed income greatly and the value of their homes has increased greatly since they were bought; many would be pensioners on limited incomes who are 'property rich and cash poor'. At least some of these people would be forced to sell their homes as they would not be able to pay the tax. In the end, the only people living in the south east of England would be the super-rich, those for whom the tax is meaningless and who, quite possibly, would find ways of avoiding it altogether.

As for throwing more money at the NHS, there is no logic in this. Ever since its inception, the NHS has consumed increasing amounts of resources and, if unreformed, it will eventually consume the entire national budget. What is needed is real reform and an acceptance that it cannot continue in its current form; what the vast majority of people want is a service which deals quickly and efficiently with their everyday problems, not an all-encompassing service which provides whatever is demanded. A move to a service part-funded by the state and topped-up by insurance has to be the way forward and the sooner people realise this, the better.

Whether we'll be faced with a Miliband government next May has yet to be decided but one thing is certain; if they do make it to number 10, we can expect more tax, more profligacy and, ultimately, a poorer and less efficient nation with a more and more doctrinaire approach to everything. Labour simply have no answer to the issues of today, being stuck as they are in the class struggles of the past.

Sunday 21 September 2014


As debate over the consequences of the Scottish referendum rages on, it's becoming increasingly clear that the constitutional implications are extensive.

It is now very clear that there must be an English parliament. There cannot be separate legislative bodies for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland while denying the same to England and attempting to do so will result in enormous unrest within the UK's principal member. Also, the position of the House of Lords must now be under serious question as it does not scrutinise devolved matters and, with an increasingly devolved nation, it's role will be reduced to almost nothing.

David Cameron has put forward some very broad proposals aimed mainly, it seems, at discomfiting his Labour opponents and wrong-footing UKIP. Miliband has made it clear that he wants everything to do with an English parliament and the UK government subjected to a constitutional review; in other words, he wants the whole notion of further reform dumped. Clegg doesn't seem to have said all that much yet, but it's likely that whatever he does say will be largely ignored by everyone. Regardless of who's said what, the truth is that we now have an almighty mess on our hands.

The solution is, to my mind, relatively obvious. An English parliament has to be created, preferably elected in the traditional way but with fewer members than the present House of Commons. There are currently 59 Scottish MPs, 40 Welsh and 18 from Northern Ireland out of a total of 650; thus, an English-only body should have no more than 533 and preferably a good few less. Personally,
I'd settle for 450 which would be approximately 1 for every 120,000 of the population though those in power may not like it.

In addition to this we should reduce the existing House of Commons to a 'rump', serving only to deal with those matters which cannot be devolved, principally top-level finance, defence, foreign affairs, and other issues with nation-wide effects such as major infra-structure projects. This revised House, the United Kingdom Parliament, would continue to be the over-arching government of the nation and would be its representative body overseas. In order for this House to be considered genuinely representative, it's membership would need to be elected on a proportional representation basis; ideally, I'd see, possibly, 2 representatives from each current county or similar local authority area across the 4 countries of the UK with the Prime Minister leading this body. At the same time, the House of Lords should be reduced to a relative handful of elected members, perhaps 100 or so, or, even, abolished altogether, given that the extent of its scrutiny of legislation would be substantially less than now.

While all of this seems perfectly right and proper to me, the actual outcome will be subject to the partisan whims and fears of the major players. Labour will fear losing power at Westminster for ever while the Tories hate PR. All sides love the idea of putting on ermine robes and 'lording' it in the House of Lords; enthusiasm for an elected upper chamber is limited and the idea of reducing its size has been regularly pushed to the back of the queue. Above all, the 2015 General Election is looming large in their minds.

One has to wonder whether the future will bring much at all other than more in-fighting, back-biting, recriminations, finger-pointing and broken promises.

Saturday 20 September 2014


Alex Salmond's resignation as leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party was a little unexpected, at least in terms of its timing. However, it may be that this crafty old politician could have been very clever in getting out while the going is still relatively good.

His successor, be it Nicola Sturgeon or anyone else, will have the unenviable task of negotiating the promised devolution of more powers to the Scottish government and, worse, implementing them. Those at Westminster will know only too well that, whatever Cameron, Clegg and Miliband might have said, this is going to be a massive issue with some huge hurdles to get over before it's completed. Indeed, it's quite probable that the eventual result will be a mish-mash, a mess that causes mayhem for decades to come, and Salmond will have had nothing to do with it. He will remain a Scottish hero while his successor will become a pariah; he might even find himself recalled to duty as an 'elder-statesman', tasked with creating order out of chaos.

Salmond has shown himself, once again, to be a very crafty old fox; don't write-off the prospect of a return.

Friday 19 September 2014


And so, after an increasingly frenetic few weeks, the people of Scotland have rejected the idea of full independence. The pollsters who told us that the vote was 'neck-and-neck' have, once again, got it horribly wrong and Alex Salmond's dream has been dashed at least for now. By 55.3% to 44.7%, the United Kingdom will remain united for a few more years.

Unfortunately, this is not the end of our problems. Despite saying that he accepts the verdict and that the independence debate is now closed for a generation, or even a lifetime, it's a racing certainty that many of his colleagues won't see it that way; the likelihood of another referendum within a decade or so has to be very high. Even before that, we're now faced with fulfilling the assorted promises made by Cameron, Miliband and Clegg and trying to make sense of these not only for Scotland but also for the rest of the country. The 'West Lothian' question has already come dramatically to the fore with many people now asking how Scotland can be granted virtual independence within the Union while the same privilege is denied to England; the implications for the future of the UK constitution and Parliament are mind-boggling.

Cameron has said that everything should be resolved by the time of the General Election in May of next year. This is clearly nothing other than political bravado as he tries to pretend that he's in control; the simple truth is that he and the other main party leaders panicked and made a raft of stupid promises without having any idea as to how they would be fulfilled or what effect they would have elsewhere. Once reality is restored, there'll be rapid realisation that what we actually have is a nightmare situation which will take years to resolve if, indeed, resolution is possible.

All the main parties are focussed on next year's election and, as the date approaches, they'll become more and more terrified. The winners, certainly in England, may well be UKIP who should be able to profit from the total disarray of the rest allied to an upsurge of English nationalism. Oh, what fun it's all going to be !

Friday 12 September 2014


As we move into the last week of the Scottish Independence campaign, it is increasingly apparent that the result will be very close. Whichever way it goes, the implications for the whole of the UK will be significant and, quite probably, traumatic.

If Scotland votes 'Yes', it raises questions about the future of Sterling and the national debt, the financial services industry, many of our major institutions and businesses, our defence forces, and many, many more areas. It raises possible questions about next year's General Election and what will be done about the 59 Scottish MPs who may then be returned to a Parliament in which they will have no more than a couple of years service. In Scotland itself, decisions will have to be made about the currency, membership of international organisations such as the EU, NATO and the UN, border controls, defence, and so on. It may be many years before all of the questions are resolved.

If the vote is 'No', Scotland will be given much greater control over it's own finances and services and many of the same questions arise. The granting of much greater autonomy to the Scots will lead to an upsurge in demands for similar treatment for Wales and, perhaps, the more remote English regions; there will be questions raised about the future of the 59 Scottish MPs at Westminster and demands for an 'English only' parliament. Worse still, a narrow 'No' vote will almost certainly mean a further referendum within a decade or so, one which will almost certainly result in a 'Yes' vote.

One way or another, Scotland will almost certainly gain independence within the not very distant future and we will have to deal with the issues outlined above, plus many others. Currently, our political masters claim to have made no contingency plans and are panicking greatly. No doubt there are some contingency plans somewhere but it may be that we should hope for a 'No' vote next week in order for there to be some more comprehensive planning for the future. It would also give Alex Salmond and his mates time to work out some proper plans for the management of an independent Scotland, though this would probably not be in their interests as proper plans are the last thing people relying on emotion would want.

Roll on next Friday, Scotland's 'D-day'.

Wednesday 3 September 2014


The grotesque reaction of assorted authorities to parents deciding to take their child out of hospital has been a 'wake-up' call to the whole of the UK's population.

Brett and Naghmeh King made a perfectly reasonable and logical decision to remove their son, Ashya, from Southampton General Hospital in order to take him abroad for medical treatment not available in this country. In doing this, they did nothing wrong or illegal; their son was their responsibility and was not under the care of Social Services or the courts.

The appalling reaction of the NHS, Hampshire police and the local council was to seek, and be granted, an emergency court order and launch a Europe-wide hunt for the family under cover of a 'European Arrest Warrant'. Brett, Naghmeh and their children were found in Spain; the parents were arrested and imprisoned; Ashya was taken away from them and placed in a Spanish hospital, while his siblings were held elsewhere. All of this effectively because a mish-mash of officials and 'experts' in England disliked having their authority and expertise challenged.

Thankfully, this shocking state of affairs lasted for only a few days before order was restored. The arrest warrant has now been rescinded and the family reunited. Senior figures in various English institutions will now face serious questions and, with any luck, some will lose their jobs; there can be no doubt that they deserve to.

One wonders whether this will turn out to have been an isolated incident or presages a major change in the relationship between state and people. Who is it that has presumed authority over our children - is it the parents or the state ? If parents refuse the advice of the hordes of self-proclaimed 'professionals' and 'experts' who infest our world, will they find themselves pursued and imprisoned as with the King family ? Is it now mandatory to accept the advice of those whom the state employs ?

It is time for the people of this country to cry "Enough !" If we do not, we will be forever subservient to those who lie, cheat and bribe their way to positions of power and authority over us and then claim levels of knowledge and understanding which the rest of us supposedly lack. Freedom will be a mere memory, something to tell the grandchildren stories about but that, like the Dodo, no longer exists.