Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Happy Anniversary...

How could I have let that pass?

Probably something to do with the fact that I was trying to cope with turning thirty...

Anyway, at the weekend, this blog became one year old, so I feel it only appropriate to mark this passing with a feeble nod of acknowledgement (which also acts to add an entry at a time when I have little time to add entries).

The irony... if only Id been keeping it the other twenty-nine years...

Monday, 26 April 2010

Being thirty...

Another decade, another decade. A frightening thought. To those who have sent their best wishes, I thank you; to those who haven't, I probably don't like you anyway, so sod you...

In an effort at trying to appear young, I thought Id go out and get drunk, before making a foolish impulse purchase of an XBox and then falling aspleep in my clothes. However, I simply allowed myself a weekend off from DIY in the hope that sometime soon I'll get a chance to return to my novel.

I was then planning on making a marathon cycle ride before embarking on my prescribed stretches and exercises to make up for the fact that I wont be playing cricket this year. But I think I'll just go for a walk instead...

Friday, 23 April 2010

Yoghurtville

I read that Nick Clegg believes that we, as Britons, have "delusions of grandeur" and that we should accept our place in the world order. Accordingly to one Liberal Democrat spokesman, we should stop thinking that it is 1945 and that we still have an Empire.

Well! Quite extraordinary it is to think that I have been of the opinion that we have sunk to new depths of insignificance under New Labour in terms of our global status. That I believed that we were an embarrassment during Tony Blair's "puppy dog to George Bush" period - that we need to re-invigorate ourselves as a global powerhouse.

But no. Not according to Nick Clegg. This is a man who believes we should be embarrassed of our past. A man who wants to sell our nuclear defence capabilities short. a man who wants to increase immigration and rid ourselves of our already rotting national identity (remember Blair's "Cool Britannia" crap back in 1997 anyone?). A man who wants us to embrace the Euro and lose our Pound Sterling.

Perhaps we should just change the name of England to "Yoghurtville" then we can all go around eating lentils, wearing plastic shoes and working as "Emotional Consultants" to disfunctional council advisors.

Last one out of the country turn the lights out...

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Coalitions, the Lib Dems and Chaos

"I think a Coalition Government would be a good thing," I heard one Scottish passer-by comment on the radio. "Maybe the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives could work with Labour and we'd have a Government that would work together."

Wrong. However, before I give my reasons as to why this is a bad idea, I should point out that the Scottish viewpoint should be taken with a proverbial pinch of salt. It is worth considering for a moment that Scotland have their own parliament which sets their laws and that is not up for election on the 6th May. The only thing they take from Westminster is funding, which, I should add, it more per head in terms of public money than it is in England. Scotland's economy is hugely dependent upon tourism and a very bloated public sector, funded extravagantly by Gordon Brown and his Scottish pals. It is facts like these that cause me to muse on the possibility that the SNP would be doing us a favour by breaking Scotland away from the UK, although their ludicrous claim that they would take the north sea oil reserves with them is quite laughable...

Anyway, where were we? Oh yes, a hung parliament. It worked once during WW2 but that was largely speaking due to the respect to which Churchill was granted having been proved so correct in his view of failed foreign policy towards Germany during the thirties and his great leadership qualities. It was also due to the fact that we were in the midst of a global war that saw daily bombings upon British soil and an occupied Europe with the threat of invasion ever-looming. Quite extreme circumstances. And even then, as soon as an election was thrown to the public, a clear winner was declared at the earliest opportunity.

A Coalition right now would be a disaster. This country needs fewer left wing policies, not more. With the Lib Dems and Labour in power, we'd head down the EU route before you could blink. We'd be stuffed. Not only that, but the three main leaders would continue to claw for power until they managed to wrestle sole control. A second election would be inevitable. And with it more uncertainty in the city. More banks not lending. Stocks and shares continuing to fall in value. Bad, bad bad...

And, whilst we're on the subject, what of the Lib Dems? Our nuclear weapons scrapped, leaving us under the threat of Iran and North Korea (not to mention Pakistan if the terrorists overthrown the government). Taxes up on businesses so that industry is moved abroad. An Amnesty to illegal immigrants, plus a further influx of immigration to "areas that need it" (in other words the few remaining, unspoilt and uncongested areas of countryside), the vote for convicted criminals, oh the list goes on...

The main reason their popularity has risen to due to non-voters (students mainly) suddenly thinking they have someone to vote for. And the fact that Nick Clegg seems to have been going to the Tony Blair school of tarted up "PR Man" bullshit. And to think I thought we'd learnt from 1997
...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Who to Vote for?

Lot's of Labour bashing, but not much in the way of suggested alternatives - is that what you're thinking?

No, not really. The very nature of a democracy means that no single person will ever be truly happy. Which is why I'll only ever strive for a dictatorship under my supreme rule...

Only joking, sort of. My criticism of Labour is so savage because they are in power. They have had well over a decade to have a go and they have completely failed. So what of the alternatives.

The Liberal Democrats are, as ever, a waste of a vote. Not because they can’t get in (there are parties far smaller that I would consider voting for), but because they are what I would call a "utility player" party. In other words, they have continued to position themselves wherever they see a suitable gap in the political spectrum for their own ends, and in doing so have lost sight of what they stand for. The old Liberal party used to be a leading player in the early part of the last century, but having been displaced by Labour they went into a spiral of decay before being injected with an influx of Labour party defectors (remember the Social Democrats in the 1980's?). Now, they sit half on the left wing pseudo-Labour fence and half on the halfway line, trying their best to guide in as many doddering middle class voters in peaceful hamlets as they do poor families in Beirut style housing estates. Either way, it doesn’t work, it lacks focus and ultimately, it is far too based upon the crumpled logic of socialism that I have repeatedly denounced on this blog.

Then we have the Tory party. The party that has taken two decades to rid itself of the ghost of Thatcher that, whilst lending them so much success, etched a curse up their future in the bitterness caused by her departure. David Cameron would not be my ideal choice of leader. He is too media friendly, too polished, too populist for my liking (I would have preferred David Davies). However, that it seemingly what people want in today's modern political leader - given Tony Blair's ridiculous blueprint. The basic economic and social principles of the Conservative party are what I ultimately aim for, although there are many other facets that take my fancy. The policy and attitudes of UKIP towards are pointless membership of the EU are to be admired. The environmental guardianship of the Green Party is a worthy player. The structural aims of the English Democrats Party in regards to the status of Westminster in relation to the Act of Union is something I empathise with. The aim of countless parties towards closing our doors to immigration is a near vote winner for me.

But are these things enough for me to vote for? I would regard myself as a "Conservative Libertine" which is to say that I believe that regulated capitalism and social freedom is the way to utopia, without the impositions of the Daily Mail and Archbishop of Canterbury to ruin the mood. To that end, my vote will be going to the blue party, but my aim is for the pool of other right of centre groups to continue knocking on the door in order to provide some better alternatives in the future. Of course, as soon as a party is voted into power, we as voters have the right to criticise and commentate upon their performance. From the moment the Prime Minister is elected, he or she becomes scrutinised by both supporters and opposition and rightly so.

There has to be swing away from the left wing bias in this country and it needs to start now.


Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Gordon Brown's Vision...of despair

I was interested to see Gordon Brown's ludicrous pledges. This man needs to realise the hypocrisy to which he has fallen. The main issues for voters in this election are high taxes, immigration, violent crime and the deficit.

Well, here's a thing, Gordon. You've been in power for well over a decade. In that time, taxes have risen. In that time, immigration has spiralled out of all proportion (it wasn't too much of an issue before as far as I can recall). Violent crime has escalated because you haven't got room to send people to prison so you send them on holidays. And as for the deficit...I really don't even have to comment on that one, do I? These issues all exist because of his own failiure - not those of anyone else.

His real pledge is to continue expanding the public sector at the expense of the private sector. Soon, there wont even be a private sector. Everyone will be fat and ill so we'll need ten million more doctors and nurses. Everyone will be stupid because of the amount of reality TV they watch so they'll have to stay at school until they're forty so we'll need another ten million teachers. And the rest will work for debt collection agencies or behind the tills at KFC (which by then will be state-owned).

Friday, 9 April 2010

The Choice of the Country

So it looks like the Tories could get in. Or maybe a hung parliament is more likely? Or possible even, Labour will get another term in office...

What will happen in the election?

There is a tendency to over-subscribe in politics – to become bogged down with an abundance of trivial details and counter arguments as to who did what, who is to blame, who we should listen to, etc…

It helps me to step back and think about the country, the past and the future. To consider simply oneself is to put the blinkers on (how much better off would I be if X got in…)

Then again, I am fairly secure in my opinions. I don’t become swayed by the latest celebrity to endorse the Labour Party, or Sarah Brown’s latest Tweets, or Piers Morgan’s efforts at hamming up the PM’s more “down-to-earth” nature.

Nope – that doesn’t interest me. What concerns me is the fact that England (yes, I mentioned England there – not the UK) has been systematically dismantled over the course of the last thirteen years of this government.

We are now completely over populated, with a demand for housing that cannot be sustained, congested roads and teetering public services. Stealth taxes have escalated out of all control. None of us has any money but the economy is broken, along with our society (you get shot or stabbed if you take the bus). Violent crime has risen. Multi-culturalism has diluted the national identity and led to the rise of the BNP.

Public freedom has been diminished (enforcements ranging from smoking ban, fox hunting ban, higher taxes on drinking, increase in CCTV, driving offences, etc), whilst failing to deal with the root cause of the problems. These and many more are policies instigated by a Scottish contingent sat in our Parliament.

Surely, I hear you say, Tony Blair did something when first in power? Surely he was good?

No, not really. He handed our final remnants of legal control over to Brussels (without telling anybody), and put his faith in Alistair Campbell, who systematically turned Westminster into a Nazi-esque PR machine.

Oh, and he hung out with celebrities.

We now aspire to David Beckham, Jordan and Cheryl Cole – people who at best are average performers in their chosen fields, but at worst are nobodies who have created a plastic existence based on the modern ideals of aspiration. They have given us the X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother and a host of other crap programmes designed to rot the minds of all who watch.

Which is probably why so many people have continued to vote Labour.

So, if you want the country to continue in its dour malaise, tumbling into ruins like some once-great monolith sinking into the desert, then you vote them in again. If, however, you’d like someone else to have a go, then do us all a favour – DON’T let Brown or any of his cronies anywhere near Westminster EVER again.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Why socialism? Why capitalism?

I have realised that for the most part, my blogs assume a premise that socialism is a bad thing and that we should aspire to capitalism. Of course, it would be naïve of me to consistently present this as an assumed argument, having never actually striven to make its case.

Capitalism is about giving people the means to fend for themselves. Giving people an incentive to work. To strive for better. It is about recognising the fact that we are all different as people – some of us are more motivated by money than others and there is a reward for different levels of input into society – rather than treating people like robots and assuming that the only reason for some people being less well off is due to a lack of opportunity. Rather, it frees up opportunity – removes the bureaucracy in society in order for people to reach for their goals, get on and earn money. Supply and demand. Not waste. Of course, it needs regulating (something which has been lacking through numerous different governments now), particularly in key sectors such as banking and finance and market sectors with high barriers to entry. But essentially, it is the key to all successful modern societies.

Consider, on the other hand, the periods of near-socialism in the UK and you will be able to draw a parallel to times of hardship, government failure, union strikes, deflation, negativity and general discontent. It assumes that the state is there to support the individual and therefore, it creates a bloated welfare system and a sense of inherent laziness amongst the work-shy, who have the necessity for work taken away. It places a huge financial burden upon businesses, especially small, local businesses who have taken great risks to set themselves up only to face large tax bills, union restrictions and bureaucratic boundaries. Having spoken with a number of people who have lived through the greater part of the twentieth century, it is clear that capitalism is a far more beneficial system upon which to base society than socialism.

But it is more than simply a case of aspiring to capitalism. It is a case of raising the bar. I watched an episode of country house rescue the other night (if you haven’t seen it, a business woman goes around the UK visiting historical houses that are falling into rack and ruin because their owners are too old, poor or incompetent to run them – she offers them advice to stop the homes either falling into ruin or having to be sold). It occurred to me that if certain people were watching that program, they would be full of vitriol towards the concept of anybody owning such a large property. There are some people who are so ensconced in their working class view that nobody should own anymore than a shed, an allotment patch and a single pair of clothes – all the rest should go to the state and charity. Okay, I’m exaggerating (sort of) but there is a mentality of some people that the road to equality is so very right, that everything else must come crashing down in order to accommodate it. Ferrari’s, bottles of champagne, country houses, horses, hounds, top hats, cigars, antiquarian libraries and smoking jackets must all be set alight in the name of revolution and have their ashes cast bitterly into the ocean in order for everyone to prosper.

These people always fail to see the folly of their blinkered views. In the same luddite, backward way of thinking that caused concord to be removed from our skies, the extreme left wing view point of destroying the perceived aristocracy (something that in fact doesn’t really exist anymore) will only bring society back down to the base level of achievement, ability, projection and aspiration.

Consider, if you like, the number of left wingers who have preached moderate socialism and the destruction of riches, only to fill their boots on sight of the first opportunity of prosperity. John Prescott, once upon a time a ship’s bar steward (some would argue he still is) and a socialist. Gets into power, becomes the owner of not one but two high powered Jaguar cars and, whilst officially on duty as Deputy Prime Minister during Blair’s absence, is seen in the grounds of a stately home playing croquet. Dianne Abbot, a campaigner for the abolition of private schools, only to have her children privately educated. Tony Blair, a man who in 1983 pledged his support for Michael Foot’s near-communist election manifesto with the words: “I am a socialist,” and who now has made millions from his wife’s legal cases, his own self-appointed pay increases, and a strong PR campaign that now sees him living in a £6 million mansion.

The point is that we are products of our circumstances. When we have nothing, we want something. When we have something, we want some more. When we have more, we want better. When we have better, we want the ultimate. We are people. We are human beings. We have a hierarchy of needs that are ever-changing. A tramp will be grateful for a pound, but that is not to say that if you were to give him a million pounds he would never ask for anything more. That does not make it right, or good, simply the way it is. Those people who, during times of perceived hardship have preached socialism, have become wealthy and ultimately, have had their ideals shifted. Why? Because their initial misgivings towards capitalism were not to do with a genuine moral compass that pointed to an alternative socio-economic framework, but a basic case of envy. And that, ultimately, is what the Labour party have been for a number of years now. They tell us all how to live, whilst secretly carving out nice lives for themselves. They are the party of envy.

ONLY when society comes to terms with aspiration, only when people work harder, only when people remove the chips from their shoulder will equality prevail. ONLY when taxes are spent wisely can the government justify the current levels that the Inland Revenue gather in Only when people realise that speaking in a posh voice is not necessarily a sign of snobbery or aristocracy in the same way as the possession of a Scouse or Brummie accent is not necessarily a sign of stupidity or inferiority. There is no reason to look up or down on these things – but certainly no need for inverse snobbery. We are all different – both at the top and bottom of society and we will not achieve equality by destroying the middle and upper classes – both ends. There is a great deal of class prejudice in this country and not simply from the top to the bottom. It works both ways.

If there is a lesson to be learned from the failings of the economic system, it is that we should be less dependant upon credit and more realistic in our material aims than we have been. But that should not mean the state-led disintegration of wealth. “Greed is good,” said Gordon Gekko. “Greed is right. Greed works.” No it doesn’t! Greed is BAD! But do not confuse greed with wealth. As a society, we should aspire to wealth – collectively, whilst being realistic and content with what we have. Socialism is too restrictive a practice to achieve this and you must remember that our Government has its roots deep set within socialism. Envy from the left simply fuels the concept of greed. The pink badge of New Labour is only starting to glow red, but believe me, if we allow them in again, it will burn crimson for another five, miserable years.