Monday, 28 June 2010

Clever, clever, little David Cameron!.

David Cameron announces that British troops will pull out of Afghanistan in 2015, before the General Election.

The many, many, British citizens who want our troops to leave Afghanistan now, may be tempted to say “At least that’s something.”

No it is not. It is clever politicking.

5 years more. We’ve been there already for 9 years. Cameron is happily countenancing a war of 14 years. For what? No one is yet able to explain what the British people can gain from this war. All it achieves is to allow British ministers to strut the world stage as though Britain was a “Great Power”.

How many more British soldiers will die to boost Cameron’s ego? How many more Afghan civilians?

And the politicking. Cameron will order British troops home just before the 2015 General Election, taking credit for brining them home, rather than admitting his disastrous decision to keep them there.

Do not be deceived. Cameron’ s recent speech indicates very clearly that he does not care about the deaths of British soldiers or Afghan civilians. All he cares about is the possibility of using this dreadful war to secure re-election for himself in 2015.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

George Osborne cuts his salary by a quarter

George Osborne stepped forward to deliver his first budget speech. As usual the House was full.

“You are all aware” he began “of the enormous deficit, and of the need to reduce it as soon as is feasible. All parties are agreed that we need both to cut government spending, and to raise taxes. The question is what spending should be cut, what taxes should be raised. But whatever decisions are taken, all British citizens will lose some money.

“You will have already read of our intention to order each government department to cut their spending by a quarter.

“Those who aspire to leadership should never ask their followers to do what they themselves are not prepared to do. David Cameron, the Prime Minister, and I wish to announce now that we are cutting our salaries by a quarter for the duration of this Parliament.”

It was as if waves rolled on to the House of Commons shore – waves of murmurings and mutterings, which subsided into astonished silence.

George Osborne continued: “We have asked our ministerial colleagues, the heads of every Civil Service department, the Governor of the Bank of England, the chief executives of the major banks, and the hundred top FTSE companies to follow our example. They have all agreed. Her Majesty the Queen has also volunteered to reduce the Civil List payment by a quarter.

“Of course this reduction in our salaries will not reduce the deficit. We admit it is a symbolic action. But we offer it as a token of our sincerity to the British people. I now invite you all, Members of Parliament, to join with us in cutting your salary by a quarter for the duration of this Parliament.”

With one accord, the entire House rose to its feet. With one accord, they all shouted “Aye.”


Why is this a piece of satire, and not a sober reporting of the news?

How dare our leaders, who have collectively made such disastrous mistakes, ask the people of Britain for ‘sacrifices’ they themselves are not prepared to make.

Those who aspire to leadership should never ask their followers to do what they themselves are not prepared to do.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Slobodan Milliband; Slobodan Cameron

What is the difference between Slobodan Milosevic’s killing of Kosovans, and Bush and Blair’s killing of Iraqis? Anyone who supports the invasion of Iraq supports the genocide of a hundred thousand Iraqis.

David Milliband says it’s “time to move on” from the invasion of Iraq. “While Iraq was a source of division in the past, it doesn’t need to be a source of division in the future.” Milliband insists on trivialising the invasion of Iraq, by treating it as a matter for disagreement between politicians, rather than a massacre of innocent Iraqis.

It is worth reading a website describing itself as the biography of Slobodan Milosevic. This presents him as a hero of Serbia, elected President of the Republic in 1990, by the first free multi-party elections since the Second World War.

March 11th 2006 Milosevic, on trial for war crimes at The Hague, died of a heart attack, before a verdict had been reached. To more or less everyone in the West he was acknowledged as a war criminal, who had committed genocide in Kosovo. To many Serbians, and, possibly, Russians, he was a hero of the Serbian people.

His death was thought to be suspicious. Some believed he had been poisoned, or had taken poison himself. Whatever the truth of this, it is accepted that he was refused permission to travel to Moscow for treatment which might well have kept him alive.

Milosevic is named a war criminal by the West for invading Kosovo and killing many innocent civilians. He would claim he did this to defend Serbia.

What is the difference between him and Messrs Bush and Blair, who also claimed they were defending their respective countries, and used this as an excuse for killing many innocent civilians during their invasion and occupation of Iraq?

David Milliband, by refusing to say the Iraq invasion was wrong, and by referring to it merely as something which caused controversy in the Labour party, trivialises what many thousands of people in the world regard as a war crime.

David Cameron on June 23rd, 2006, interviewed by Jonathan Ross, said he supported the Iraq invasion. Cameron was elected MP in 2001 as an obvious Tory high-flyer, and was a member of the Shadow Cabinet from 2003 to 2005 when he was elected Tory leader.

Since the Tories supported the invasion of Iraq, Cameron, like Milliband, apparently prides himself on voting for an action which has resulted in about 100,000 people being killed.

Suppose the Muslim block of countries were as dominant in the world now as they were during the Middle Ages. Suppose the International Court of Justice was at Mecca, not The Hague. If that was the case, Bush and Blair might well have been on trial there along with Milosevic.

What possible defence is there for supporting the Iraq invasion?

Iraq “doesn’t need to be a source of division in the future” says David Milliband. It will continue to be a source of division until the British government – after all with a Deputy Prime Minister whose party opposed the invasion – repudiates wholeheartedly, with reparations, what was not only a stupid decision, but also an immoral and illegal one.

The British Government needs to perform an act of repentance


Friday, 21 May 2010

Anti-terrorist expert says British troops should leave Afghanistan

A week before the General Election a candidate’s leaflet came through my door. A certain Crispin Black MBE was offering himself as an Independent for the constituency where I live – West Wiltshire.

I checked his biography. He had been commissioned in the Welsh Guards in 1982, just in time for the Falklands War; just in time to be bombed in the Sir Galahad by the Argentine air force. Speaking with the authority of someone who’d survived battle, he was contemptuous of generals who had not been shot at.

He became an intelligence expert, and wrote a book called 7 – 7 The London Bombs – What Went Wrong. As a lieutenant-colonel, he was seconded to the Cabinet Office 1999 – 2002, and prepared intelligence briefings for the Joint Intelligence Committee and COBRA.

This is part of his manifesto:
“Sadly, British troops in Afghanistan do not make us safer from terrorism in the UK. It’s time to withdraw them. The threat is here in the homeland.”

The only reason ever given by any British politician for continuing to fight in Afghanistan is that fighting there protects us from terrorists. That always seemed extremely dubious.

Now, there is no excuse whatsoever for sending British soldiers to die, and killing thousands of innocent Afghan civilians as ‘collateral damage.’ A top British terrorism expert has said the Afghan war is a useless waste of lives and money.

Bring the troops home.


Thursday, 20 May 2010

Clegg's 'Democracy'?

Nick Clegg has just announced a programme of political reform ‘greater than anything since the Reform Bill of 1832,’

Many commentators have already questioned his claim. 1832 widened the suffrage only to 18% of adult males in England and Wales. Working class males did not get the vote until nearer the end of the century, and women were only given the same voting rights as men in 1928, living memory to those aged 82 and over.

Was the 1832 Reform Bill such a huge reform of poltics? How do the proposed Clegg reforms stand in relation to other extensions of franchise to ordinary British citizens?

Nick Clegg offers us, the citizens of Britain, the right to object to laws we don’t like.

Well, do you believe this? I'm afraid I don’t.

Here are some decisions on which I should like to vote. They all require straightforward yes/no answers. They all involve questions of money.

Should British taxpayers fund the replacement for Trident, which may cost about £100 billion?

Should cannabis be legalized? Subsidiary question: should it be sold over the counter like cigarettes and taxed similarly?

Should all drugs – even heroin - be legalized? Subsidiary question: should it be sold over the counter like cigarettes and taxed similarly?

Should British soldiers be withdrawn from Afghanistan?

Should wars only be undertaken if the decision to go to war is confirmed by referendum?

In my capacity as an ordinary British citizen, I do not claim the right to decide complicated problems in the NHS, or Education, nor do I have the solution for controlling bankers. (Nor do the politicians, but that’s another issue.)

The five questions noted above could all be put to the citizen body. They are all important. They all involve cost. They all impinge on our lives. If Britain was a democracy, as opposed to being governed by representative oligarchy, we would all have a right to take part in these decisions.

Politicians who say it would be wrong to put these questions to the citizen body, should also acknowledge that they do not believe we should be a democracy.

Then of course the next question rears its head:

Should Britain continue to be governed by representative oligarchy, or should it take the first steps towards becoming a democracy?


Thursday, 13 May 2010

Lib-Dems betrayed

Make no mistake: the coalition between Clegg and Cameron has meant the abandonment of one of the most important promises in the Lib-Dem manifesto, the promise not to pay for the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile system.

The Scottish Nationalists oppose spending money on the Trident replacement.Plaid Cymru at least calls for money to be spent on pensioners rather than on replacing Trident. But this hardly creates a powerful Opposition. Now the few MPs who oppose the replacement of Trident are likely to be shouted down. It is up to the unrepresented people of Britain, and those who voted Lib-Dem and now feel betrayed to form an Opposition of petition-signers.

Trident is indeed a symbol. With it, British ministers can edge their way into councils of ‘Great Powers.’

Are we prepared to allow these puffed up nonentities – for that is what they are – to spend over £100 billion of our money on this symbol?

One Vanguard submarine, fully armed, carries “more destructiver power than was unleashed in the entire campaign of World War II.”

If a British Commander-in-Chief was to order one Vanguard submarine to fire its missiles, this would create a nuclear winter to devastate most of Planet Earth.

I find it difficult to feel anything other than contempt for the current collection of mediocrities who call themselves our leaders. But I do think we are mercifully unlikely to have a genocidal, gaiacidal, lunatic in 10 Downing Street.

Which are the European countries least likely to be targeted by nuclear missiles? Sweden and Switzerland.

Let us, the citizens of Britain, follow the sensible lead of the Scots Nationalists, and protest at being asked to spend over £100 billion – which we most certainly cannot afford – on a piece of unnecessary equipment which does not protect us, and might in certain situations endanger us.

No to the replacement of Trident. We cannot afford it.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Real Change? Don't make me vomit!

"We stand for Real Change." What a lie! What thumping great lie!

The Lib-Dems’ manifesto for the 2010 General Election announced that, if elected, they would not pay the cost of replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent.

May 12th, 2010. The Lib-Dem Party has joined the Conservatives in a coalition. One of the conditions imposed by the Conservatives, and agreed by the Lib-Dems, was that they would support the replacement of Trident, now estimated at costing £100 billion.

Please note the previous post.

A nuclear deterrent does not mean nuclear deterrence. What are the countries least likely to be attacked by nuclear weapons? Sweden and Switzerland, who possess no nuclear weapons and who have been neutral for over two hundred years.

Which country is by far the most powerful in Europe? Germany. Germany has no nuclear weapons.

The 2010 General Election poured verbal effluent into our ears. The most offensive word-splurge which I heard was the slogan repeated ad retch-the-guts-up nauseam: “we stand for Real Change.” Why do they bother to spew such lies?

Now, the Tories and Lib-Dems have signed up to more of the ‘Real Change’ politics in the old mould. This election offered a chance, a tiny loophole of a chance, that the British people might so vote that change (and I mean ‘change’ as understood by normal people speaking English, not politicians mouthing meaninglessness) might be forced on the mentally retarded mediocrities who preen themselves as our leaders.

Just suppose the Lib-Dems had acquired enough clout to insist that Britain did not replace Trident. Well then this would mean the British Prime Minister would no longer be able to strut about as a ‘world leader.’

We, the British, would have to adjust to belonging to a medium-sized country on the edge of Europe, a country whose industries had been destroyed by the stupidity of Conservative and Labour governments over the last thirty years, a country dependent on the wit and enterprise of its scientists and artists, as it had to do during the reign of Elizabeth the First, the last period when Britain had no overseas possessions, and no claim to be a world power.

After the Second World War, the Germans turned and renounced the trappings of dominance, and got down to the business of making things other people would buy.

This is what the British should have done two generations ago.