Thursday, 2 January 2014

New Year Resolutions Number One

Ignore Idiots.

I will neither correct nor challenge the nonsense they produce. Let them wallow in their righteous ignorance. I've got better things to do.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Christmas Present

The Emperor’s New Clothes 

Twice upon a time, the great reading public were approached by two brothers, “We are ever so clever and very stylish”, as they described each other, “but my brother is also quite wrong.”

 “Readers, we are the finest political writers ever to put pen to page or fingertip to keyboard. We can look at any subject; see immediately how wrong the other journalists and historians are and weave the finest stories from words that we define ourselves precisely.” They took a sip of whisky and coffee respectively and continued,

 “We are so contrarian that the warp of our stories runs crosswise and the weft lengthways. Isn’t that brilliant? Everyone else has got it wrong, of course.” “And the thread is spun from the finest individual hand-picked cotton bolls as we metaphorically describe facts. If the colour and texture of the cotton boll doesn’t match the thread of the cloth we plan to weave we discard it unless we need some that are thicker and darker for emphasis.”

 The great reading public was very impressed with the brilliant brothers’ description of their talents and sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the brothers to research and then write a brilliantly controversial article or two because the brothers always disagreed with each other so that they could write more articles. When the articles were published the great reading public paid for the newspapers, books and magazines they appeared in and the two brothers became rich as a consequence.

 However, the great reading public was rather disappointed by the articles, “You’ve simply written the opposite of what other journalists have written,” it complained. “No we haven’t” said the two brothers, “Unintelligent people might think that because they aren’t clever enough to understand that actually … other journalists have written the opposite to us.”

Not wanting to appear dim, the great reading public readily agreed with that elegantly constructed logical argument for which there was no possible rebuttal and became very hostile to other people who had doubts about the brilliance of the two brothers, whatever they cared to write.

 A succession of critics noticed the errors in the brothers’ articles but they were smeared as background noise and lasagne, whatever that meant and were ignored and became unpersons just as the Trotskyists had taught the brothers to do in their first flush of contrarianism.

 Paradoxically, the brothers became more unpopular as they became more popular with their polarised fan bases. One took pride in calling himself Hated when actually he was pitied more than despised (Perhaps the reasonable person’s definition of Hated was actually Consistently Correct). But the younger brother was happy because he was finally getting the attention for which he had desperately yearned all his life (he was never on radio and the telly because he was right and reminded his readers of that injustice before and after every appearance). And he lived happily ever after.

Monday, 21 October 2013

How To Pay For Nuclear Power Stations And Own Them

Hinkley C Nuclear Power Station cost      = £16 billion

International Aid (using borrowed money) = £12 billion annually

Thus, a power station supplying 7% of UK electricity demand costs 16 months' international aid.

I propose a 16 month aid moratorium to pay for a nuclear power station. The net profits from the power generated by the power station can be "ring-fenced" for international aid if a referendum agrees to it. After a decade over a half of electricity demand will be provided by British owned nuclear power stations. And we'll have a flourishing British nuclear power industry (Rolls-Royce already make naval submarine reactors) and the all important energy security that means we won't have to be nice to nasty foreign governments to get their gas.

Net effect on public spending and borrowing nil.

Why didn't you and the bright sparks in the Treasury think of it George?

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Bongobongoland - A Howler

Godfrey Bloom MEP was wrong because Any Fule Kno that Bongobongoland changed its name to the Democratic Republic of Bongola when it gained independence and a set of fancy dress but kept its allowance from the former Mother Country.

Friday, 10 May 2013

A Challenge To Peter Hitchens

Statue of Marshal of the RAF Sir Arthur Harris outside the central church of the RAF, St. Clement Danes. The front of the stone base bears the inscription:
G.C.B. O.B.E. A.F.C.
1892 – 1984
1942 - 1945
The side of the base bears a plaque with the words:

The sculptor was Faith Winter, the architects were Tony Hart and Mike Goss

Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens refuses to amend or even acknowledge an error he made regarding the rank of Marshal of the RAF Sir Arthur Harris in an article published on 30 June 2012.

This is any open opportunity for him to justify his assertion and I offer him the hospitality of this site to do so, as he was able to do last year on a related topic.

I found an excellent quote about Tony Cliff of the International Socialists in Jim Higgins "More Years for the Locust"

"For Cliff the “brilliant” insights of an individual (himself) could be submitted to popular approval on two conditions: one; that they agreed with his proposal in double quick time, and two; that if they did not agree he won anyway." 

Someone evidently had a good teacher.

Update 2 January 2014: "Arthur Harris's eventual rank on retirement has no bearing whatever on my arguments about the bombing of German civilians. Pedantry must be its own reward."

I shall let Comrade Hitchens wallow in his self-righteous ordure:

 "Now that we have a memorial at last to the thousands of men who flew and died in Bomber Command, can we please cart away the ugly statue of that unpleasant man Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris, GCB, OBE, AFC?"

Takes one to know one.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Useful Idiots And Conditional Surrender In WW2

In WW2 Bishop George Bell of Chichester and Basil Liddell Hart were both opposed to the Allies' decision in January 1943 to adopt a policy of unconditional surrender by Germany. The "Good Germans" had been led into the war by Hitler and his Nazis, indeed the weak foreign policy of France and Britain had forced Hitler, a reasonable statesman into a war that he had never planned nor desired - the impish AJP Taylor's donnish joke in his Causes of the Second World War (indeed, as a result of the book some very literal-minded mouth-breathers believe that A. Schickelgruber was easily led :) and it was all our fault and everything that Britain did was wrong (for example, the anti -area bombing Fotherington-Tomas crowd who with the touchingly simple faith that the American Norden bombsight could "drop a bomb from 20,000 ft into a pickle-barrel" in daylight). I shall return to that fallacy later.

What were the terms that a non-Nazi Germany would have agreed to to end the war? Apparently, Colonel Claus Stauffenberg (the 20 July 1944 bomb plotter) had two contacts with the British, via go-betweens (was one of the contacts, Bishop George Bell in Sweden?) According to my copy of the excellent "The Nazi Germany Sourcebook by Roderick Stackelberg and Sally A. Winkle, p312,

May I suggest you buy a copy for reference as it's packed with translations of interesting documents.

Stauffenberg had written a memo on 25 May 1944 setting out the plotters' terms of negotiation (I've italicised my comments):

1  Immediate abandonment of aerial warfare (so the joint efforts of Bomber Command and the US 8th AF were working - is it unreasonable to wonder if Bishop Bell had been prompted to make his infamous February 1944 House of Lords speech against the RAF's bomber offensive to help his German friends and, disturbingly, albeit unwittingly, abet the German war effort?)

2  Abandonment of invasion plans.

3  Avoidance of further bloodshed. (Except in the East and see point 11 below).

4   Continuing function of defensive strength in the East. Evacuation of all occupied regions in the North, West and South. (To concentrate forces in the East. One presumes the pro-German puppet regimes in the formerly occupied countries would remain in place, along with the schemes of forced supply of labour and materials.

5  Renunciation of any occupation.

6  Free government, independent self-chosen constitution.

7  Full cooperation in the carrying out of truce conditions and in peace preparations.

8  Reich border of 1914 in the East (ie West Prussia and Upper Silesia taken from Poland).
    Retention of Austria and the Sudetenland within the Reich.
    Autonomy of Alsace-Lorraine.
    Acquisition of the Tyrol as far as Bozen, Meran.

9  Vigorous reconstruction with joint efforts for European reconstruction.

10  Nations to deal with own criminals (this was important for the plotters as most, if not all, could have been indicted for war crimes, especially those who had served on the Eastern Front (eg the Commissars and Severity Orders).

11  Restoration of hour, self-respect and respect for others (well, the murder of the Hungarian Jews hadn't yet begun).

Thus, the Wehrmacht plotters wanted to turn back the clock to 13 September 1939 with no apologies and no questions asked. Just as if five years of killing and destruction hadn't taken place. Does anyone still consider that unconditional surrender was the wrong policy?

Update 21 October 2013: The murder of fifty recaptured RAF and other air force escapers from the Great Escape breakout at Stalag III on the night of 23-24 March 1944 took place after Bishop Bell's infamous February 1944 House of Lords speech attacking the area bombing campaign. Any causation between the two events?

Sunday, 14 April 2013

LSE Attacks BBC Panorama Over North Korea Trip

The LSE founded by Sidney and Beatrice Webb has demanded that the BBC cancel an edition of Panorama in which a BBC reporter pretended to be a PhD student on a student field trip to North Korea (not much worse than Llandudno in 1982 in my experience). Apparently, the students were "not given enough information to enable informed consent" and were "endangered".

In addition, "the BBC's actions may do serious damage to LSE's reputation for academic integrity"

Pause for laughter........ This is the same LSE whose director Sir Howard Davies quit over funding by the Gadaffi regime in 2011. including a e £1.5million bung from PhD student Saif el-Gaddafi. Here's the Woolf Report into the scandal. Not to mention the marxist filth taught by Ralph Miliband during his tenure there. 

Academic integrity? It would appear to the casual observer that Pyongyang can still deal with this Fabian work unit.