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Europe

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.

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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.

Kraków, Poland – A study in collectivism

Yours truly, John Galt himself has been away for the last week enjoying the warm sunshine of Kraków, Poland and, as well as taking in the cultural sights, also took in the collectivist ones.

Krakow - Wavel Castle

Wavel Castle, home to kings, Nazi generals and Communist apparatchiks down the ages

Despite my being something of a world traveller, this was my first visit to Kraków (or indeed Poland) and I heartily commend it as a cultural destination, having a mix of Eastern European character, fine architecture dating from the founding of the city around the 7th century, with the vast majority from the late medieval period.

Unlike Warsaw, little of Kraków was bombed during WWII or even substantially damaged by the repeated hoards of collectivist vandals from 1921 through 1989 (Lenin’s hoards, Hitler’s hoard’s and finally Stalin’s hoards). Indeed, to say that the poor Poles feel somewhat “trodden underfoot” would be an understatement.

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Sovereign state

Sky News:

Drivers in remote areas will be given a 5p a litre discount on their petrol under plans put forward by ministers.

Hurrah! But why can’t they do it for everyone?

Three locations in England and seven in Scotland have been selected after deciding they meet strict criteria to justify a cut.

Okay, but why can’t they just…

The Government has applied to the European Commission to vary the duty rates in the 10 towns.

Oh, right.

Why the EU doesn’t matter.

Despite the protestations of not-so-former Maoist José Manuel Barroso, it is not the existence of the EU which stops the German tanks rolling across the Polish border, but nearly 70-years of peace and relative security in Europe, the source of which was NATO and free trade rather than any EU inspired initiative.

- Kitty Kounter John Galt.

Absolutely. When I was a student I read a lot of late Victorian and Edwardian literature (cheap, out of copyright and all) and the idea that immigration, for example, is a new thing is risible. The London streets I walked down were much the same as those walked by Holmes and Watson. This is perhaps why I thought the reboot of Sherlock was a very bad idea until I saw it. I then really liked it. I mean I was prejudiced – John Watson MD, a British Army Doctor wounded in Afghanistan – in the C21st! Oh, wait… Oh, yeah… And there is a Khazi in Kabul too and we are involved in our fourth Afghan War. Or fifth – I forget. God alone knows what the point is. I do recall a Times cartoon from 2001 with the tag-line (from a USAF General), “We’re gonna bomb them forward into the Renaissance!”. Yeah, right. Whatever.

The ‘stan is and always has been a lost cause. The Taleban came to power at least partly because of a regrettable incident in Kabul when two warlords decided to fight a duel over the buggery rights to an attractive boy. They did this in downtown in broad daylight and in tanks. Wow!

But Europe – no. Europe is not a lost cause though the EU does not make this so. Holmes and Watson would dine in Italian restaurants and so do I. Essentially we’ve just given up fighting each other due to things like Angela Merkel being the boss in Germany and not a deranged and strangely ‘tached bastard – either of them. But also due to cheap flights and stuff. Prague is now somewhere we go for a stag do and not a “far away country of which we know little” to quote the best mayor Birmingham never had. The EU didn’t do this. Easyjet did. So did football, so did food – just consider the extent to which nobody regards lasagne as foreign as such. I collect old cookbooks and some of the stuff is frightful.

The EU is a prime example of giving us what we already had and then taking credit for it. If that sounds like a protection racket and not burning your warehouse down then… Well, it is. The EUropols simply can’t cope with the fact that, for example, I’ve had a couple of French flatmates or that my sister-in-law lives in Poland with a Polish chap, who, after a few too many brown vodkas than were strictly speaking good for me I agreed to watch the Lord of the Rings – extended director’s cut back to back. Now here is where it gets interesting. They live very close to the Czech border. Except it isn’t really a border as such. You can drive through it and not notice a thing. There is a Avia L-29 and a T-34 and possibly the most peculiar property I have ever seen for sale (probs sold by now). It’s the old Polish/Czech border-house (Paperien bitte! and all that). I think it is (was?) technically straddling the border so going into the kitchen might involve an emigration, technically. But how cool is that? A house in two countries. It almost makes me wanna be an accountant because the dodges could be awesome. Oh, and the Czechs invented deep-fried cheese. And do cracking beer.

The EU didn’t make any of this possible. The EU is a superstructure of gits who claim they made this possible. They have to claim this because otherwise they are utterly irrelevant. They have to make barriers in order to be seen to break’em. They are an irrelevance desperately trying to be relevant. They claim I can live anywhere in Europe and I can but then I always could. They are like somebody beating you with a 2×4 and then expecting thanks for taking you to A&E afterwards.

I love Europe. It is my home. But it was not gifted to me by Brussels. It just is. It always has been and it always shall be.

The likes of UKIP who seem to believe the entire population of Bulgaria is imminent at Gatwick as I speak are wrong. No Mr Farage the UK is not “full”. We are densely populated but still are about 12% of land area built upon. And that is everything. I mean everything. That is houses, roads, factories, docks, airports, warehouses, shops – everything. The whole nine yards. And no. I also disagree with the left who, let’s face facts, wish a Europe that holds a deranged “balance of power” between East and West. I mentioned eating deep-fried cheese in the Czech Republic? The Cold War is over. Has been for decades.

As a kid I had a C20th history book from the late ’60s. Now this proffered two options – and it was blatent – nuclear holocaust or a “United States of Europe” holding the balance of power. I believe the assumption was that a kinda Swedish Social Democracy would be the “third way” between Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe. Utter bollocks obviously. But it was stated not as opinion (though it was) but as fact.

And we are still stuck with this inconvenient “truth”. Do I need a EUrocrat let me go to the Czech Republic and eat deep-fried cheese? I mean really? on a six figure salary? I mean for fuck’s sake! All I need is a few Crowns and an appetite.

They may tek our lives but they’ll nivver tek us seriously!

The BBC News is leading on the story that in exactly a year the pale folk up Norf get to vote on dissolving the Union. Well, like, whatever. I don’t care. If King Alex of Pies wants his fiefdom then so be it as long as the rest of us don’t have to pay for the woadsters (is the woad even historically accurate?) to create a Socialist Celtic Wonderland. In any case it is utter gesture politricks (not an sp) because NewScotland(TM) will of course be de facto be as economically tied to England as ever – even though they have pandas. You simply can’t sever those ties easily and they are the real ties that bind – between individuals and companies and such. It’s like imagining Norway can be truly independent of Sweden, or Canada from the USA.

Now don’t get me wrong. This post is not really about Scottish Independence which is a bizarre idea in an increasingly globalised planet (or maybe not – the only branch of government I trust is my parish council – so, perhaps smaller political entities is the way ahead) but this blanket coverage of what is in many ways a non-issue (we’re not going to get “Checkpoint Alex” in Berwick or rebuild Hadrian’s Wall (don’t tell Micky Gove – it’s the sort of deranged thing he’d like – teaches Classics and gets the proles doing something)).

No, this post is about something deeper. It is the absurd attention that the TV News (I’ll betya Sky weren’t better) pays to politics. And it ain’t just us. I was last in the USA in 2006 and a certain chap I’d never heard of was everywhere on the TV. You might know of him – he’s now the President. He was being hyped more than two years before the election. Now regardless of your feelings about Mr Obama that is ridiculous and so is this. As I said, this is irrelevant. We have a Scottish contributor here, Sam Duncan. Now we, obviously, don’t agree on everything but I’ll bet you dollars to donuts if we met we’d probably talk more about the late and lamented Commodore Amiga computer than who pays for prescription charges in Fife. Shallow? No. Real. We hear a lot in the blogosphere about stringing ‘em up etc but the cruelest and most effective treatment for the political class is to ignore them. They’d rather be flayed over a gun-carriage than have me or you just go, “Yeah, like, whatever…” You can argue the Midlothian question or whether there ought to be a separate Scottish team at the Rio Games in 2016 until you are blue in the face but, “Sam, do you think Atari would have developed the Amiga better…” is more interesting. The really big questions are the small ones. Politicians only make their stuff important because we let them. And the mirage of Scottish independence is a prime example. Note it is exactly a year from now that Scotland goes to the polls. It will be the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. Now if that isn’t gesture politics then I’m a Dutchman!

Does anyone care? Hell’s teeth! When I was in the USA in 2006 I visited amongst other things the Capitol which the Redcoats torched (using the contents of the Library of Congress as kindling) during the War of 1812. Like who cares anymore? I didn’t do it – honest! It’s quite possible ancestors of mine fought at Bannockburn though I neither know nor care upon which side. This is not to dismiss history but to put it into context and not keep on trotting it out like Basil Fawlty with German guests.

And here is something that barely scrapped the news yet really puts our minor squabbles over flags and such into genuine context – this summer our species achieved something remarkable and in the grand scheme a much bigger deal than arguing the toss over the EU-specified meat-content of a haggis or whatever excruciating minutiae the pols raise to rarefied heights of significance. Voyager I passed the Heliopause. There is now a man-made object in interstellar space. Now that is important (and more to the point cool) and makes the ambitions of Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon (why so fishy?) look utterly petty. Or to quote John Nance Garner* (he was speaking about the US Vice Presidency – that he held), “It’s not worth a pitcher of warm piss”.

Similarly, I have never for the life of me understood Ireland and it’s “troubles” (how delightfully euphemistic). I guess they were “solved” by giving Gerry Adams** a ministerial Jag rather than a cell in the Maze Prison which of course says much about the venality of politicians. No, I never did understand Ireland. If we consider one substantive issue (i.e. not the colours flying over Stormont) like, say, abortion then surely there would be a meeting of minds between staunch Catholics and staunch Presbyterians? So why the agro? Neither of them were up on birth-control or queers so they ought to have gotten along like a house on fire which I suppose in a twisted sense they did. I know many, many people died (frequently horribly) in Ireland over the decades but this anecdote sums it up for me. I gleaned this gem from a documentary many years back. Apparently you set off a fertilizer bomb using sulphuric acid and the best thing to keep that in is apparently a condom which is then ruptured for the kaboom! OK. I’ll take their word for it only ever having used condoms for the more traditional reasons but being “good Catholics” debate erupted amongst the IRA as to the use of “immoral objects” to achieve their moral goals such as indiscriminate killing and maiming. The lack of seeing the big picture here is astonishing. As a side-light it is also illuminating as to assigning morality to objects. I can’t help but feel there is some sort of connexion with the gun-control nuts. A gun is neither moral nor immoral. Going on a rampage in Mumbai is immoral. Shooting a rabid dog in the way Atticus Finch did is the right thing to do. Morality is not about means but desire. With a box of matches you can burn a Rwandan village (and its inhabitants) to ash but you can also light a cooking fire for the refugees. Nobody said life was about easy decisions. Nobody but politicians anyway. They are far too eager to legislate and then call the problem a done one. Just look at the “War on Drugs”.

There is an uncomfortable truth here. Being good and decent is not about law as such (would you rape, rob or murder even if there were no laws against such acts?) it’s about being good and decent and whether you get that from a holy book or just knowing (I suspect there is a large cross-over) morality is not legality. It is not statutes, laws nor all the rest. It is generally fairly basic and obvious***. And that is what is uncomfortable. Like Voyager I in the interstellar cold we have to let slip the surly apron-strings and no amount of politics and minimum booze prices or smoking bans or warnings on fatty food or campaigns against sexual harassment shall do that – just plain decency out of the creche – and yeah it’s a tough one to wave nanny goodbye.

Arguably such laws are counter-productive but the simple truth is that being fair, decent and honest is internal because if we are worth anything we are moral agents, not subjects. It is that simple and that hard. It is why (and I’ve lived in some rough areas – but not here, not now) I implicitly trust my next-door neighbour with my keys and we have hers. Perhaps politicians don’t get this simple truth. Laws can’t force the “good” whether it be a ban or a nudge or whatever. You just are good. Or not. Or most likely a “bit of both”. Yes, the morality of actions can be difficult to judge. That is partly why such judgements matter. Morality matters because we aren’t just Skinner’s pigeons. Politicians don’t understand this. They have the hubris to believe they can perfect the human condition. They can’t (clearly) and neither can we but we can get much closer than they because in a sense we don’t believe. Politics is almost entirely grand-standing. If I were ever in a position to employ folks then would I give a toss about whether or not they were gay, straight, male, female, black, white, Muslim, Christian or Jew… No! If they could field-strip a Dell and tell me what was wrong with it then bingo!

That wasn’t as much of a digression as I had feared.

I regard myself as a libertarian almost not as a political position or even an anti-political position but as orthogonal to politics. The title of this post (despite wrapping itself in a second-hand version of a third-hand Scottish flag – must be a bit tatty by now…) has nothing really to do with Scotland. It’s about the bigger picture. It’s about what freedom really means. Nationalism (of any form) is just a crib-sheet for freedom devoured by politicians. We know better. Don’t we?

We are star-dust that has just started to flirt with the Galaxy and the BBC witters on about Scottish Independence? I like Scotland (when it isn’t raining****) or I’m being eaten alive by midges and it will still be there however the vote goes. It is obviously of supreme importance to the sort of people this sort of thing is of supreme importance to but if, for example, I asked Sam to recommend a Linux distro would it matter? No. Of course not! -

See how irrelevant this is to us all? And see how nasty making it so is?

And Voyager I just projs on!

It’s like the final scene in “Antz” where the CGI pans out to show the anthill is just a little mound in Central Park in NYC.

*A contrary sod but let one of his enemies extol his virtues. In Congressional testimony, union leader John L. Lewis described him as “a labor-baiting, poker-playing, whiskey-drinking, evil old man”. Gets my vote!
**Perhaps the most bizarre graffiti I ever did see was in the gents of the George Green Science Library, University of Nottingham, “I’d sleep with Gerry Adams but I’d be thinking of Martin McGuinness”. God knows!
***Yes, I appreciate there are complexities here. Especially in terms of things like IP and contract law and such and such.
****Living near Manchester that is very important.

ALERTS to Threats in Europe — 2013

Comment at Objectivist Living:

ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2013 EUROPE

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross.” The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance.” The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s get the Bastards.” They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide.” The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender.” The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France ‘s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from “Shout Loudly and Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing.” Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides.”

The Germans have increased their alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.” They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbour” and “Lose.”

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels ..

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be right, Mate.” Two more escalation levels remain: “Crikey! I think we’ll need to cancel the Barbie this weekend!” and “The Barbie is cancelled.” So far no situation has ever warranted use of the last final escalation level.

Regards,
British writer, actor and tall person

And as a final thought – Greece is collapsing, the Iranians are getting aggressive, and Rome is in disarray. Welcome back to 430 BC.
Life is too short…

Commenter is unsure, but thinks the author may have been John Cleese.