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Europe

“How much there is that we prefer not to notice.”

The title is from the diaries of the Soviet poet Alexander Tvardovsky, as quoted (and translated) by Helen Szamuely. It’s from a passage describing an incident in the winter of 1955 when he saw young girls attempting to dig ditches in frozen ground.

The girls earn 10-15 roubles a day and their food is terrible. Today I joked a little as I went past: “Why not wait till spring? It will be easier to dig.” A pleasant young girl replied with sad determination: “We have to do it.”

How much there is that we prefer not to notice.

That was just how life was in the USSR. Now, this is not the Soviet Union. It’s not even close. But still, we go along with things for the sake of an easy life. We accept things we’d rather not until they become the “new normal”. There is much, even for us, that we prefer not to notice. “Asian” men abusing young girls in Rotherham, for example.

Once someone did notice, that shocked us all. But sometimes you have to step back a little, and look at what you’ve come to accept in a different light before you realise there’s something to notice in the first place.

I can’t recall exactly who it was – it may have been Helen’s “boss”, Richard North, or his associate Christopher Booker – who when writing about the European Union, asked a Norwegian politician prominent in that country’s campaign against membership exactly why it was that his countrymen voted against it, and received the answer, “It’s the lack of democracy in your system that we don’t like”. It struck whoever it was – and myself, reading it – deeply. “Your system”: we may rant about Brussels ordering around, and still, even now, persist on reporting it as “Foreign news”, but we are a part of this system. It’s ours, it’s governing us, and it’s rotten. We prefer not to notice.

I thought the same thing when I read Andrew Gilligan’s Sunday Telegraph column this week: (more…)

Lets avoid a shotgun divorce

Fog in the Channel - Continent cut off

Before I get kicked to death in the streets by the Counting Cats Eurosceptic wing (which seems to be most of us in fairness), I shall be clear and unequivocal.

I believe that Britain has a place in Europe as its political and economic stability is essential to British peace and prosperity, but that “Europe” and the “European Union” are two very different things.

I believe that the EU is a travesty and, if not brought down by its own hubris, will cause conflict in Europe in the not too distant future, probably over the secession of Germany.

For this reason, I believe the UK should leave the EU, in fact we should have baulked at its creation at Maastricht in 1992.  Although John Major was very successful at negotiating away the worst excesses of the transformation from European Community into European Union, it was in fact little more than appeasement. (more…)

Two from “The Daily Beast”

First, from a story on ISIS and like-minded others in Holland, with links at the source:

ISIS’s Black Flags Are Flying in Europe

World News
07.28.14

The symbol of the murderous Islamic State is waving in The Hague. ‘Death to the Jews,’ shout the demonstrators. Yet the Dutch government authorized the protests.

Pro-Hamas, anti_Israel Demonstrators in Holland.1406565178252.cached

“Death to the Jews” chanted the crowd waving the black flags of the Islamic State, or ISIS as it used to be known. They were looking for new supporters for their cause, the creation of a worldwide caliphate answering to the man who now calls himself Ibrahim: a zealot too radical even for Al Qaeda who has stormed through Syria and Iraq carrying out mass executions, crucifying rivals, beheading enemies. But these marchers were not in Syria or Iraq; they were in The Hague in The Netherlands. And their message was one tailored to the disaffected young descendants of Muslim immigrants in Europe.

“We are Moroccans,” went out the cry over a portable loudspeaker. “The French killed the Moroccans but they didn’t kill them all; the grandchildren of the few men left protest against the West, America and the Jews.”

Many of the demonstrators covered their faces with Palestinian scarves or balaclavas. “Anyone who doesn’t jump is a Jew,” someone shouted as the whole group started jumping in a scene that might have been ludicrous if it weren’t for the hateful message. “Death to the Jews!” the crowd shouted in Arabic.

This scene last Thursday came in the wake of an earlier demonstration supposed to defend the Palestinians suffering in Gaza, which turned quickly into a hatefest targeting Israel, with people carrying placards that screamed “Zionism is Nazism.” But while the comingling [sic] of pro-Palestinian, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic sentiment has become all too common in European protests in recent weeks, that the battle flag of the Islamic State waved in the streets of The Netherlands on July 24 is something new and particularly dangerous.
. . .
In a letter to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center wrote about the concerns of the wider Jewish community when it sees these racist demonstrations espousing the cause of the so-called “Islamic State” that opposes everything about democracy.

[Story continues at source.]

And, in order not to change the subject, from a column by Jesse Rosenfeld, also from The Daily Beast. One of the hundreds of comments is also below.

Israel Is Minting the Next Generation of Hate

07.30.14 Jesse Rosenfeld

The children of Gaza still have dreams for their future. Who do they admire? Anyone who might protect them: a doctor, a journalist, the fighters from Hamas.

GAZA CITY — The bombs continue falling, more and more people are running for their lives with fewer places to go and as the screams from beneath the wreckage of Israel’s assault become more frequent, a generation of Gaza’s children are being shaped by what they see. And yet, as kids often do, they can still surprise you.

Inside a Gaza City UNRWA school that’s been turned into a shelter, children pack the courtyard. Several are kicking a soccer ball around. A blue United Nations flag sits atop the building and the windows below are draped with laundry that spills out onto lines that crisscross the outdoor walkways. The stench of the backed-up toilets combines with the fumes of garbage fermenting in the midday sun. Inside, piled desks covered in sheets in the hallways partition makeshift rooms for the families.

There are now some 200,000 people in Gaza living in conditions like this, and many if not most of them are children. At least half of Gaza’s people—that is, 900,000 of the people here—are under the age of 18.
. . .
For the most part the ones here are under ten years old. None has ever left the narrow and overcrowded 40-kilometer strip of land called Gaza. They cannot remember a world without Israel’s seven-year blockade. They are living through their third war.

Ten-year-old Yasmine al Attar stares at me from under her dark curled bangs. ….

says she admires the Palestinian fighters, led by Hamas, who are, as she understands the situation, trying to repel the Israeli attackers.

But Yasmine isn’t looking for a Muslim warrior’s martyrdom. Like the other children here she’s looking for someone to defend her: doctors, journalists, fighters—and those are the people she wants to be some day. It is an attitude reflected by many of the children who mask their trauma behind unwavering smiles as they bubble with chatter about the devastation they’ve seen.
. . .
Mohammad [al Attar, also 10] says he wants to be a teacher if he has the choice. But, if nothing has changed by the time he grows up, he says, he knows he will fight. There is no malice in his voice. For this 10-year-old there are no childhood fantasies about the romance of war or political delusions about a grand victory. He’s making an honest calculation about the possibilities. “I just want to protect people,” he says.

It is not Hamas propaganda, the school curriculum or even their parents that make these children see a future where continued resistance is the only option for survival. That was an education taught by the Israeli bombs that flattened their homes and by the bread lines across the street from the school.

And here is one of the comments to the second piece:

rinki 4 hours ago

HERE IS WHAT “MINTS THE NEXT GENERATION OF HATE”

Hamas kids show encouraging to kill jews

It’s not just us brutal Anglo Saxons you know…

Protest outside Muenster Town Hall

This weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting a friend in the historic city of Münster, Germany – a university town with 50,000 students and famous as the site of the Rathaus where the Treaty of Westphalia was signed ending the Thirty Years’ War in 1648.

What was not so appealing this weekend was the protest outside the historic Rathaus by a group of supporters of the Palestinians shouting quite frankly repulsive and anti-Semitic slogans while the Police looked on with cold eyes.

The rally had been called by the “initiative of the Friends of Palestine in Münster”. Bearing banners and pamphlets to express their protest the participants were mainly women with headscarves and children.

They also chanted slogans such as “child murderer Israel” or “mass murderer Netanyahu”. In a pamphlet stated: “We do not hate the Jews, but the terrorist state of Israel.”

On the opposite side of the street, under the arches, demonstrated a significantly smaller group of people for self-defense of Israel.

Heated verbal exchanges on the principal market (in the original German, translated into English by Google Translate)

It was quite clear to all concerned that the Police were not there to ensure the demonstrators didn’t get out of hand (as occasionally happens with environmental and Neo-Nazi protests in Germany), but rather to ensure that the demonstrators themselves were protected from the public at large.

Marcus, my host for the weekend, is an educated native German with a doctorate in physics who spends his summer vacations building village schools in rural India, so not exactly a little-Deutschlander, but he was outraged to the point of anger that the “…spectre of the anti-Semitism of the Nazi era…” (his exact words) should be displayed again on the streets of Germany.

I pointed out to Marcus that if the right to free-speech means anything, it means the right to make statements which others may find offensive and that there is no general right not to be offended.

“Quite correct”, Marcus said, “but if the protesters had been ethnic German’s rather than immigrants, then they would have been dragged away by the Police at the first anti-Semitic outburst” - this was in relation to an anti-immigration protest at the Münster Rathaus some months ago, which the police had broken up for exactly that reason.

“The police are afraid to intervene because they are Muslims” was Marcus’ final word on the matter.

Idiot of the Day.

I present Maciej Maciejewski…

Not exactly a looker either...

Well, what did this intellectual giant do? In a desperate bid to be deported to his native Poland he chucked a petrol bomb into Manchester Town Hall. But wait! It gets better… He’d been living in London and travelled to Manchester to do this because “He liked London too much”. He then obtained petrol, a Budweiser bottle from a bin, tore a strip from his T-shirt for a fuse and caused GBP 250 damage to the mighty Victorian edifice. Well, it survived the Luftwaffe so a single deranged Pole*…

Anyway, he ain’t getting deported. He’s doing two years chokey. He could have killed someone. What puzzles me is how he got to Manchester. If we assume it was train or the National Distress bus that is a sum of monies roughly in the ball-park of the cost of getting Ryanair or whatever to Poland. Yes, even from Manchester. I know having done it.

I feel very sorry for this numpty. He is clearly not playing with a full-deck.

I mean there are ups, downs and creamy middles to being in the EU (which both Britain and Poland are) but the free movement of people is an unalloyed good. Oh, I know it doesn’t need the full kit and caboodle and it certainly doesn’t need my last experience at Manchester Airport where I had to have my chipped passport scanned and then stand on two footprint marks whilst my face was scanned before I was allowed through the gate. I’d only been to Holland.

*There has got to be a complex analysis joke there…

The Great Deception

Richard North and Christopher Booker’s masterly history of the European Project has been made available as a free PDF by North.

This is huge news. If you haven’t read it, you (probably) don’t know the first thing about what the EU is, where it came from, and why it can’t – or won’t – ever be “reformed”. I always urge everyone to read it if they can get a hold of a copy. Now everyone can.

[EDIT: Updated link. North noticed he'd actually posted the original, pre-Constitutional Convention, edition. The second edition, with two extra chapters covering 2003-2005, is now available. My hardback copy is of the first, so I'm interested to see what they say myself.]

Leonard of Quirm has not left the building…

Well, us European types are going to build an extremely large telescope in the Chilean desert. Good news. I can’t say, as a libertarian, I’m entirely in favour of gubermunt spending but a billion quid between quite a few nations for something that actually matters warms the cockles of my astronomer’s heart. I mean it’s only 2% (if that) of HS2 and this will show the limits of the observable Universe. HS2 will get me to Birmingham slightly quicker. Well, put me on an astral plane or whatever but I know where I’d rather my monies went. And it ain’t in early C19th tech to get me to Brum.

I know a bit about the ESO in Chile. A lad I knew went out there and brought back some mighty fine wine (he was observational, I was theory) and we voted him a capital fellow at the second bottle. The Atacama Desert apart from anything else is remarkable. It never rains for a start and seeing as I live in NW England that is a bonus. Anyway it is currently home to the European VLT (Very Large Telescope) due to be overtaken by the European ELT or Extremely Large Telescope.

They really need someone to name these things. Maybe it is linguistic but we really need to put in a hint of effort. The University of Chicago has a Tevatron now that sounds suitably SF. A Large Hadron Collider just doesn’t. I mean it is big and it collides hadrons… but… I want it to sound more Trekkie. “Number One, engage the Tevatron”. That works. I want Dan Dare and instead we get B&Q! The first movie I ever saw at the cinema was Star Wars Episode IV. As hard SF it is junk – basically a Western/Fairy Tale in space but we didn’t have Han Solo flying “The medium sized smuggling ship” did we? Did “Sailor” Malan fly the “Small combat aircraft”. No, he flew a Spitfire. Even when George Stephenson built his engine he called it “The Rocket” and not “The convenient new means of getting from Liverpool to Manchester”.

Show some imagination people!

Having said all that a certain icon of the Battle of Britain came within an ace of being called the Supermarine Shrew. What would that have done? Nag the Germans to death?

Some observations of foreign types in crowds

There was some strange behaviour outside my hotel this evening, instead of the usual languid European-style pavement restaurant with a few, mainly elderly residents enjoying their café under an iridescent evening sun as a few blonde haired goddesses drift by aimlessly on bicycles, there was a massed throng of unruly teens and drunken men filling the square in front of my hotel.

I presumed that it was some form of political protest as they were uniformly dressed alike, but apparently not, it was in fact an opportunity to get utterly paralytic on Heineken served in plastic cups while watching a giant TV screen erected at the end of the not-so-very-grand place. I initially presumed they were there to watch the local version of “America’s Next One Hit Wonder” or whatever it is called in The Land of Clogs.

(more…)

On the 6th of June, 1944…

This young man you see before you, cocky as hell, fit as a Butcher’s dog, hard as nails, and with a fag on, jumped out of a plane over Caen in Normandy from about 1000 feet, along with thousands of his brothers in arms. A 60Lb pack on his back, a Sten gun and a rifle, and a life expectancy of around 20 minutes, according  to War Department estimates.

Dad in uniform age 18 001

He was part of 6th Airborne whose  job it was to support the glider troops who were to take Pegasus Bridge and prevent a German counterattack, until British troops from Gold and Sword beaches could reinforce them. Despite being scattered all over the place, his group finally made it to Pegasus Bridge.

He lasted much longer than that of course, and from that moment on he was at the sharp end of every battle all the way to Berlin and beyond. He was in Holland checking out the cellar of a house when a Panzer tank took out the house above him, and the rest of his platoon. Leaving him buried alive. It took him 3 days to dig himself out. He had a clause in his Will that stated that in the event of his death, his main artery was to be severed, just to make sure, because there was no way in hell he was going to be buried alive again! He was one of the first troops into Belsen, and couldn’t believe his eyes (even after having friends and comrades literally blown to bits next to him) at the sheer horror and depravity that one evil twisted ideology could inflict on fellow human beings. The most heartbreaking thing, he told me was when they tried to feed the inmates from their rations and watched them go into shock and die. They had no idea that could happen. It felt like they had put a gun to their head there and then.

And yes that cocky crazy incredibly brave young man, was my Father in Law. In whom I have immense pride. But what I wonder now, did he fight for? He was told he was fighting for freedom and democracy and the liberation of Europe; The last Righteous War. And he was. Trouble is our Elites and Politicians didn’t let it turn out that way.

Dad in Para uniform latest 001

The Attlee Labour Government  promised paradise on earth after the privations of war (rationing continued until 1954) and won  a landslide victory. They proceeded to Nationalise everything that wasn’t nailed down, and pretty much everything that was too. Then ran the whole country into bankruptcy. From the NHS (the envy of the world! Funny no other country has ever tried to copy it though eh?) to the Welfare state, which was to be a safety net not a lifestyle. Government after Government thereafter (Tory or Labour it made no difference) conspired to manage the decline of Great Britain, not its resurgence.

We spent much blood and much gold and lost an Empire on a very righteous fight for freedom against unmitigated evil. You’d think that Europe would have been grateful eh? Well some of them probably were, but the movers and shakers  like President De Gaulle of France were moving and shaking towards a new, but very old idea… The United States of Europe.

At first they called it the Coal and Steel pact, between France and Germany. Both made interdependent so that Germany could never go to war against France again (by 1945 Germany was so fucked, disgusted and guilty with itself, they never ever wanted to go to war with anyone again, anyway), but with the arrogant French thinking they were going to be the leaders and the Germans the workers in this new world order. Well it didn’t work out like that.

Now a united Germany is the master of Europe, and calls all the shots. The “Ever closer Union” that condescending nutters like traitorous Ken Clarke, believes are just a form of words not a statement of intent, is getting ever closer to becoming The United States of Europe, and with as much democracy as Hitler himself would have allowed.

The Queen is even now laying wreaths with President Hollande (who would probably like to guillotine   her) in the Champs Elysees, and Chuckles Buggerlugs is doing the same in Arromanches where the Mulberry Harbour and Gold beach was, to all those who made such a noble sacrifice on behalf of Liberty and Freedom.

On such anniversaries such as this, and with  bitter tears in my eyes, I wonder if my Father in Law, dead over 20 years now, would have thought it worth the bother .

Separated at Birth?

Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council, said EU leaders had agreed to ¿re-evaluate¿ its agenda after voters ¿sent a strong message¿ at the weekend

 

 

Lessons have been learned Da yadda Da yadda Da yadda… Oh no they fuckin haven’t!

The UK Electoral Dilemma

Prisoners dilemma

Although the result of the drubbing that UKIP has given all of the other main UK parties has yet to be revealed (as the Euro results won’t be released until the rest of the EU finishes voting on Sunday night), one thing that is clear is that although UKIP support is patchy, it is taking votes from all of the other main parties, but more importantly it is threatening to take the possibility of an outright win in May 2015 from both the Tories and Labour.

Given the unpleasant taste of coalition which Dave Cameron (and more importantly the UK populace at large) has endured for the last four years, the thought of repeating it with both a weaker Tory party AND a weaker LibDem party must be positively nauseating. I can’t imagine that Ed Miliband is much enamoured of a Lib/Lab coalition either.

This leaves the possibility of a little exploitation of game theory, best illustrated by “The Prisoner’s Dilemma“. In short neither Cameron nor Miliband wish to abandon their EU policies, but stealing UKIP’s main raison d’être in the form of a genuine in/out referendum on the EU would both undermine UKIP and allow either one of the parties to leapfrog into power.

However, if both parties do it then although UKIP is neutralised, neither party gains sufficient electoral advantage to seize outright victory in 2015. Equally, there is no benefit to half-measures as Mr. Cameron’s worthless 2017 referendum illustrates.

I’m betting that both parties will keep their existing policies on the EU for the time being, but that in a very late announcement just prior to the May 2015 General Election Labour will announce a straight in/out EU referendum.

…and before anyone starts… – No I don’t expect either party to actually honour a commitment to a straight in/out EU referendum. After the election is won it will get watered down into the usual bullshit settlement as Harold Wilson did last time.

Euro Elections

I’ll keep this short. All prominent parties, Lib Dems, Labour, Conservative and Unionist (now there’s a joke), Green – all of them, design their policies to attract the votes of Polly Toynbee and the Guardian leader writers.

That these people will never, at least, not in this lifetime, vote Conservative simply demonstrates how far from reality David Cameron has dragged his party.

If you want notice to be taken of you in the future then today there is only one option available – and I don’t mean the Pirate party, that is, and will be taken as, a joke.

There may only be that one option, but that is one more than they want you to have.

I first joined UKIP in 1996, I was even asked to stand in Streatham in the 1997 elections, and I regret to this day that I didn’t follow through.

It doesn’t matter what you want from your party, if you want them to start taking notice of you tomorrow, then vote UKIP today.

Personally, I hope you keep voting UKIP, because I support their aims, in the main, but even if you don’t, why continue to vote for parties which openly and blatantly regard you with contempt?

Return that contempt today.

Time to frighten the Horses…

And as we already know, they are already spooked and pooping incontinently all over the Media in a desperate attempt to Drive Old UKIP down. Allegedly the Tory party backroom wonks have done a deal with the Guardian to provide them with scurrilous material on UKIP candidates for both the EU elections and the Local Council ones. What the Tories work with the Guardian… The enemy? Surely not? Oh you betcha!

It’s not just the Guardian though, the whole of the British media has suddenly woken up to the fact that there’s a new game in town, that might just challenge the cosy hegemony  of our current rulers. A party who are actually listening to the views of voters, not condescendingly browbeating them into submission with their Elitist nanny knows best policies.  From the BBC, the Independent to the Mirror and the Sun, even to the Express and the Mail, the boots are stamping on the faces of UKIP candidates that the rest of us have never heard of. I doubt Nigel Farage has heard of half of them.

But then how many of their own candidates do you think the mainstream parties have much knowledge of either. Mr Ed, the Marxist talking horses arse, certainly doesn’t . And he doesn’t seem to live in the same world as the rest of us either.

I won’t bore you by going on about that potato faced twat and PR man, iDave, who is trying to pull the same dishonest trick Harold Wilson did back in the 70’s, by trying to pretend that he can re-negotiate our terms with the EU, because he can’t, and they just won’t give back one iota of power that we have ceded to them. He will pretend (as Wilson did… and Chamberlin in 1939) that he has a cast iron agreement on this piece of paper  wot he has in his hand, and so now we can all vote to stay in, yay! He’s a lying piece of cuntulating shite!

As for the Boy Clegg… well I fear he is heading for the rubber room faster than Gordon Brown and Teflon Tony. He is a creature of the EU, bought and paid for twice over, and he and his party will be going back to holding their Party Conference in a phone booth very soon now.

So what I am saying is…. all of us with UK votes on Thursday , vote UKIP. Are they flakey? Sure! but are they venal dishonest little shits like the rest certainly are? Well some of them possibly. Politics attracts certain personality types, as do the Police and Social Workers, and as Norman Stanley Fletcher once remarked in Porridge, when a tin of his Pineapple chunks went missing… There’s a distinct criminal element in this Nick you know…

Will voting UKIP make any difference? Well in the short term no. They have no UK Parliamentary seats and are unlikely to get many given the implacable  Media opposition they face from every wing of the political spectrum. But I am happy for them to be the major UK party in Brussels and set about smashing up the Gangster Protection Racket that it is from the inside. Let them spend their salary and expenses how they wish, and not vote for anything at all or vote against everything under the sun, because I want out of the EU before the inevitable United States Of Europe is announced by some unelected kleptocrat flunky who calls himself a President, in some time in the not to distant future.

I want my country back. However bad the decisions made by our Parliament, they will be our decisions made by our people for our people, not some distant unelected self chosen Elite with stars in their eyes about new Empires. The EU are a bunch of gangsters.  And do link to Prof Anderson’s rather long article. He may be a very Leftist Historian, but he’s on the money with Europe.

And UKIP really are beginning to scare the horses…

DHS: German Homeschooling Romeike Family Will Be Allowed to Stay in U.S.

I’m SO happy about this! I can’t believe it! *applause*

From Glenn Beck:

Tuesday, Mar 4, 2014 at 11:54 AM CST

UPDATE: In a surprising turn of events, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) announced this afternoon that the Romeike family will now be allowed to stay in America. A post on the HSLDA’s Facebook wall signed by the organization’s chairman explains the change:

Today, a Supervisor with the Department of Homeland Security called a member of our legal team to inform us that the Romeike family has been granted “indefinite deferred status”. This means that the Romeikes can stay in the United States permanently (unless they are convicted of a crime, etc.) ….

[SNIP]

Upfront and in your face…

No excuse not to know what they are up to now, and have been all these years, since Jean Monnet, a Communist who was never elected to anything, and much preferred it that way, came up with the idea of a United States of Europe.

Viviane Reding, Vice President of the European Commission and the longest serving Brussels Commissioner, (also never elected) has openly called for a United States of Europe, and bugger what we the mere citizens of our respective Nation States think about it. Read a speech she made back in 2012.

"We need to build a United States of Europe with the Commission as government and two chambers – the European Parliament and a "Senate" of Member States," she said.

Mrs Reding’s vision, which is shared by many in the European institutions, would transform the EU into superstate relegating national governments and parliaments to a minor political role equivalent to that played by local councils in Britain.

Under her plan, the commission would have supremacy over governments and MEPs in the European Parliament would supersede the sovereignty of MPs in the House of Commons.

National leaders, meeting as the European Council, would be reduced to consultative, second chamber role similar to the House of Lords.

So there you have it, bold a brass, no more softly softly catchy monkey, no more Democracy either. The Great and the Good will watch over us forever more my fellow European Brothers and Sisters, and we will be grateful, oh so ever humbly grateful!

I will be voting in the European Elections in May, and you know who I will not be voting for don’t you? Yes the usual suspects… Lib/Lab/Con.

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