Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Immigration and the Terrorist Issue

Earlier in the year I had a bit of a Facebook spat with a student friend of my son about the whole EU immigration issue.

Basically he was labelling me a racist for saying that the EU shouldn't be letting the huge numbers of people into the EU without proper checks.

He was all for letting every single person into the country that wanted to come, irrespective of their actual status.

I countered by stating he'd be the first to bleat if even one of those unchecked and unidentified persons carried out some atrocity on British or EU soil.

And so it has come to pass. Although the Paris terrorists may have been French born, they were using the "refugee" conduit from Syria to gain unchecked access back to the EU despite them being known the authorities.

This was what I was stating back in July and August. Its a problem caused by the EU relying on almost bankrupt countries like Greece to Police our borders.

What should happen is that the receiving EU country should hold and process the people arriving in their country, so that they can be identified and their claim for asylum or whatever be confirmed as genuine. If they fail the checks then they get booted back to where they come from.

However the vast numbers of people coming into the EU means that the resources in the receiving countries have been overwhelmed, to the point people are just walking through porous borders with no checks and on through Europe with no checks either.

So far the EU seem to have done nothing to bolster or support the receiving countries in any way, other than sending a few ships to pluck unfortunates out of the water and dump them on the shores of the closest country thereby adding to the problem.

Hopefully after Paris there is an appreciation that the situation is untenable and something has to change. The signs are not good however, with the EU heads proposing an EU Coastguard service, which will do absolutely nothing to resolve the issue. All they will do is take over from where our Navy ships will leave off and continue dumping refugees on Greece or Italy's doorstep to then continue unchecked across Europe.

What needs to happen is for the EU to fund Italy, Greece Hungary and the like to build reception centres for the refugees and to bolster their border force so there is a robust and effective control of people coming through the external EU border. This is the only way to (a) protect against terrorists entering the EU unchecked and (b) to protect the concept of open internal EU borders and (c) to weed out the illegal immigrants from the genuine refugees.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Impossibility of Dealing with ISIS

Since the dawn of the Islamic fundamentalist problem in it's many forms, such as the Taliban, Al-Queda and now Islamic State as the BBC like to so-call it, most westerners have been perplexed at the lack of actual definitive action against what most see as a threat to Western society.

The problem is the issue is very complex and cannot be resolved without pain... a lot of pain. Both literally in the form of lives lost and the financial cost.

In it's simplest form, the Middle Eastern problem is a fight of ideologies. Or, more accurately Islamic ideologies. It's a fight between Sunni and Shia, or more clearly for Westerners, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The conflict between the two is centuries old. The conflict between Arabia and Persia, the fight for power and influence in the Middle East. The lid was kept on it for the best part of a century by the Western Powers and their meddling in the Middle East. Setting up artificial boundaries between states and propping up despots and dictators suppressed the ill-feeling, but under the surface, when you talk to people from the Middle East there is and always has been that "them and us" mentality. Sunni will not sit easily with Shia, problems are caused even inside families where people follow the two ideologies of Islam.

Syria and Iraq are the current killing field for this outpouring of bile between the two factions. On the one hand Assad's Syrian government propped up by Iran, who are also helping the Iraq government (for what its worth) fight ISIS in their country too.

On the other hand you have ISIS, backed if not directly by The Saudi government, then by wealthy individuals in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States.

So, there's a basic premiss for the conflict.

Of course the West has to meddle, because we are allied to the Gulf States by our need to continue the oil supply and more importantly the fact the Gulf States own a large percentage of real estate in the West and account for a significant proportion of our economies and wealth. Maybe in the region of 20 percent.

So we are obliged to do whatever the Gulf States request us to do, which currently is kick the butt of any Iran-backed faction, i.e. Asssad. Which is why the UK have just 6 ancient Tornado aircraft bombing ISIS in Iraq, in a face-saving effort in order to not look like total shits and not leaving Iraq out to dry after we ruined their country. Its also why it's very hard to garner the support of those in power to extending that action into Syria. The Gulf States and their representatives have a lot of influence in Western governments.

As an example of how paranoid the Gulf States are about the rise of Shia influence, when the so-called "Arab Spring" came to Bahrain and the majority Shia population started to kick off, next door Saudi Arabia sent forces in to help the Sunni Bahrain Royal Family deal with the problem.

We're trying to be best buds with both sides, which is never going to work out so well, we end up pissing off both factions. We have a token force lobbing ordnance at ISIS in Iraq because I assume we've come to an accord with the Saudis that Iraq is our mess and we have an obligation to support the government there and protect the South of the country, but ISIS can have the North of Iraq because only Kurds live there and no-one likes the Kurds. (The Kurds are the only thing keeping ISIS out of Turkey, but Turkey still bombs them. Go figure). There are some weird Christians there that no-one understands, but not enough to make serious headlines and hey, collateral damage happens.

We won't go into Syria and bomb Assad no matter how much the Gulf states press us because we are trying to win contracts... I mean we're trying to get Iran back into the international community. Oh, and one day they may have Nukes, or even if they didn't they have the nuclear material to make a very dirty bomb which could cause a huge problem.

But the main reason we can't cause significant damage to ISIS is because their backers own so much of our economy. Just think whet would happen if we lost 20 percent of the whole Western economy overnight or even a fraction of it, or we lost the Billions in arms deals? Chaos, that's what.

So, sort that lot out if you can. Try and eliminate the threat of ISIS without pissing off the Gulf States, whilst at the same time trying to moderate the ambitions of Iran to be a major player in the region.

Its impossible whilst the status quo continues. Something has to change in the dynamics of the conflict before the problem can be resolved. I don't think the Paris attacks are enough of a game-changer, France doesn't possess the muscle to change things. The bombing of the Russian airliner might well become THE turning point of the conflict, as the Russians don't react well to being hurt like that and they carry a really big stick.

As an example of the Gulf States' financial power, just look at the price of petrol. It's dropped significantly in recent months and that's mainly because the U.S.A. have brought on stream shale oil and gas and have reduced their dependency on Gulf Oil. The Gulf States have fought back and rather than reduce production and keep prices up, have actually kept up production in order to reduce oil prices in an effort to make shale oil production unprofitable and bankrupt the American companies. It wouldn't surprise me if Gulf States start buying up American Shale production companies once their value has plummeted.

There are a couple of wildcards on the fringes that have the ability to throw big spanners in the works:

The first is Turkey. With Syria and the conflict on their doorstep they have a direct bearing on the conflict. they hate the Kurds the Turks have expended a lot of ammunition attacking Kurdish forces, as Kurds are regarded as terrorists in Turkey. However the Kurds fight ISIS, so implicitly Turkey by their actions are aiding ISIS. In fact up until recently there was a situation where Turkey ignored ISIS fighters crossing into Syria but battered the Kurds. The bomb attacks in Turkey have been attributed to Kurdish terrorists where it might have been ISIS.

Turkey also hate Assad and anyone that supports him, hence why they get in a Tizz when Russian or Syrian planes fly over or close to their territory.

They could inflict damage to the anti-ISIS front in Syria.

The other wildcard is Israel. They have been quiet on the issue of ISIS, I suppose there has been an element of "I told you so" as they have sat back and let it all kick off whilst eating popcorn. Historically a large Islamic force in Syria would be a threat to Israel, but this time they have stayed quietly fuming whilst the West court Iran.

Of course you could subscribe to the conspiracy theory that ISIS is just an Israeli plot funded by the Saudis to reduce the influence of Iran in the Middle East and keep them tied up in infinite conflicts.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

More than Dangerous

Well, my opinion of Jeremy Corbyn seems to have been bang on the money.

The Nuclear Deterrent issue that has sprung up has shown what a dangerous man he is.

He says he's principled, I say he's a person that will put his so-called principles before the security of the country and the population at large.

Just think.... Russian bombers could be on their way, Putin could make it absolutely clear that they intend to wipe us off the face of the Earth..... and he STILL wouldn't press the button to retaliate.

Even if its not Russia... how about if Iran create a nuclear weapon and install it in their embassy in London? How could he negotiate if he won't retaliate? No one will take him seriously.

Now we also see the total lack of leadership over Labour's economic strategy.

He has yet to understand he's the Labour LEADER.... He's not on the back benches any more. He's got to pull the party together. It looks like he's waiting for someone else to do it, when he's the one supposed to be doing it.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Circling the Plughole...

Is what I feel Britain is doing at the moment.

The election of Jeremy Corbyn to Labour leader casts me back to the time when Labour were idealistic but had policies as mad as a box of frogs.

My real concern is that after decades of plastic politicians, people may actually vote Labour into power.

Ideologues are the very worst of people. Margaret Thatcher was one, so was Tony Blair. They were so fanatic in their self-belief  that no-one could convince them their path was wrong. They would quite happily ruin a whole country, make millions unemployed or got to war and kill hundreds of thousands of people just to prove an ideological point.

They are very dangerous.

Not matter how chummy, or down to earth they appear, they are dangerous. They have no consideration for the results of their actions, the path, the idea, the dogma is all and MUST be followed. Slavishly. There is no compromise.

The same goes now for Jeremy Corbyn. He has lead a life without compromise, on the back benches he has been able to get away with extremist and dangerous views and connections without scrutiny. I just wonder whether now he's on the top table will he be be a politician and ditch his dodgy historical connections, or will he be the true ideologue and hang onto them regardless.

My money is on him sticking with it and the Labour PR team labeling his fanaticism as principles.

The thing is, there isn't much to look forward to. Our economy is flatlining as North Sea Oil reserves start to decline, we have no industry to grow us out of the slump, and the financial sector still has more than a decade left of toxicity in any debts it holds on to.

After decades squandering the booty from the North Sea, using it to prop up a crippled economy and paying unsustainable amounts of people unaffordable sums to not work, making new entrants to the job market and new migrants to stay and work on minimum wages that don't raise enough tax revenue to cover the cost of increased demands on infrastructure.

We will head back to the Seventies, when we couldn't afford to keep the lights on, we were crippled by Socialist dogma and no-one had a viable plan.

The ideas were bankrupt back then and they are just as bankrupt today. The chancellors of the early Seventies spent most of their time printing more money than the country could back up just to keep things going.

These days quantative easing has pumped the same pressure into the economic system, inflating the value of everything but most substantially house prices. With the debt time-bombs of equity-only mortgages about to
go off over the next 5 or so years, I see no end to the misery.

In dire times like we'll have over the next decade, voters do strange things. Dangerous things.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Labour About to Cast themselves Back to the Eighties.

I admire the Labour party: When they fuck up, they don't mess about. The past few weeks have been spectacular.

So the parliamentary group stuck Jeremy Corbyn on the leadership list mainly to placate the lefties in the party and look what's happened: he's winning in the polls.

I'm pretty sure alarm bells and cries of "Oh Fuck!" are resounding round the labour MPs at the moment as they face casting themselves into the wilderness for several years.

The problem is Labour and its supporters currently have a split personality that no-one in the PLP can resolve. There are areas of policy where their supporters are more to the right than Labour are at the moment and they need to readjust rather than crash further to the left.

Labour need to resolve these key issues:

Immigration. Lots of low-paid and young people are seeing huge numbers of immigrants coming in from Eastern Europe taking their jobs. Immigrants will come in and sleep 20-30 to a house (usually illegally) to share the rent so their overheads are low compared to a single British guy trying to keep a flat on minimum wage. British kids are being failed by an education system that is more concerned with box ticking than actual education which opens the door for better educated immigrants to take those precious jobs.

There's also the "dark" economy where criminal activity is also being overtaken by foreign gangs coming in from the East. Imagine how depressed the local skally is if he can't make an honest or even a dishonest living.

Of course Labour are in favour of the EU and the open door policy. The problem is it doesn't benefit their core supporters, it benefits big business who get cheap(er) labour.

The Labour party HAS to change it's stance on this. They have to disassociate immigration from racism, a meme they've been throwing at the Tories and UKIP and which is now backfiring on them.

They have to understand that the open door policy is against the workers and for big business, but at the same time promote the fact that Britain should be accomodating to those that bring skills and jobs and integrate into society..
It's not quite as far to the left as their current policy but it needs to reflect the nature of their supporters.

Benefits. This is another area of disassociation between Labour and it's supporters. Are they really saying that there should be no cap on benefits? Are Labour saying to people on the minimum wage that it's fine for people on benefits to have an unlimited salary? What do they think someone on a £15,000 salary will think about someone getting the equivalent of a £50,000 salary for doing nothing? They will rightly cast the party promoting that view into the wilderness.

Also, how is someone on the equivalent of £20,000+ supposed to cope on £15,000 when they get into work? The fact is once they are getting 20 grand for doing nothing they won't want to take a pay cut.

That's the problem Labour have to get round with regard to benefits.

Public Services. A great deal of wailing comes from Labour about cuts to public services. The Tory's 1% pay rise for public service workers has come in for a lot of criticism from the left. Well get real guys, I've just had a 2% pay rise, the first in 3 years so you're doing a damn sight better than me.

Labour need to get real when it comes to public service. There are plenty of their supporters in the private sector in a worse position.

Also when it comes to cuts in front line services, there needs to be a focus on what is being cut and what's being kept. For instance its quite common when the Tories are in power and reducing payments to local councils for Labour controlled councils to cut front line services first before non-essential services in order to prove a political point. That has to stop, especially when those at the top of the council are collecting six figure salaries. Labour councils should be leading from the front when it comes to fat-cat salaries for those at the top. The normal response is they need to recruit the best and compete with the private sector. NO THEY DON'T! They need to employ people with a public service ethos, not someone who's out for as much as they can get.

In conclusion there are a load of things that Labour will only make worse with a lurch to the left. But hey, it'll make for great commentary for political bloggers for the next 5-10 years...

I just wish the Labour party could see sense and not swerve from left to right all the time. Just some MODERATE adjustment is all that is required to bring them into synch with the majority of the population and make them electable again.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Like Lazarus, I have Risen...

Well, that was interesting... The election, that is. And I just have to comment on it.

The Conservatives are handed a majority and are now able to run amok with whatever plans they have for reducing government spending. Brilliant. I may just have to resurrect this blog for good to comment on what a shit option that is.

The real story is that voters are wary of a coalition they can't control. If there was an option on the ballot paper that stated "more of the same please" then you would have probably got that ticked more than any.

But the thing is, with the current system you can't guarantee the numbers will work out so that the Conservatives don't quite get enough to make a majority and the Liberals get enough to hold them to ransom.

Instead people voted for "Not Labour" in as manifestly emphatic and desperate way they could. Liberals switched to Conservative in huge numbers, simultaneously locking out Labour and chastising their own for not going far enough while in coalition.

Up in Scotland the "Not Labour" vote was big enough to create a one-party state. It will be interesting if the "Not Labour" vote continues when it comes round to voting for MSPs. Only the diversity of Holyrood will save Scotland from disaster. If it goes the way of the general election and does create a one-party state then the Scots will only have themselves to blame for what happens afterwards. Never put your eggs in one basket and always keep your options open is something that should be taken up North of the border, but unfortunately the passionate Scots never do things in moderation.

Before I talk about Labour's performance, let's dwell on what should happen to the Liberals now. First the bad news: they don't have enough MPs from which to chose a viable leader. I see no-one in the group of elected MPs that anyone would vote for in significant numbers. They have all been pretty faceless and uninspiring. Only politicos in the bubble would put forward any of them as a potential leader. Sorry Liberals, you are going to have to bite the bullet and maybe elect a non-MP leader in order to make up ground in future. You know, someone with charisma and that has lead a life.

Now Labour. What a sorry mess that party is at the moment. The only constituencies that voted Labour are the ones where you could stick a Labour rosette on a pig and they'd still vote for it. No thought, no intelligence, just mark the Labour box on the form "Because that's what we do round here, stick up for't working man".

Except Labour hasn't been sticking up for the working man for at least two decades as far as I can recall. Not since the times of John Smith have Labour really, truly followed that path. Instead they work for the corporations just like the Conservatives do, providing pigs in rosettes for Labour voters to crayon their cross by.

I mean, look at the options people are really putting forward as replacements for dead Ed. All of them professional politicos. I doubt any one of them has toiled 12 hours a day wiping bums and drool off the sick and old for minimum wage, none of them have cleaned public toilets in order to make a living like I have in the past. I really doubt one of them has brought up a disabled child, seen how shit the benefits system really is and how discouraging high tax rates are for those that want to get on. I have. I've been at the bottom and I've been at the top and the faces of the people put forward as potential Labour leader show they have lead a lifeless life. They are ideologues with no clue about what their party should stand for. Okay, maybe they know what it should stand for but are unable to enact it. Who knows. All I know is that the Labour line that they stand up for the working man is a croc of shit. These days they are more likely to stand up for the non-working man (or woman), the immigrants and the big corporations. i.e. anyone but the working man (or woman).

Instead they quote party history like the good little test tube MPs. Not one of them quotes from actual experience. They spout dogma to convince the faithful but their actions betray what they are actually about.

And that my friends is why dead Ed failed and why the next rosetted pig they put in place will also fail. Only some places will vote for that pig wearing the rosette, the others have a brain and still retain the ability to analyse and choose. Maybe not wisely, but between the lesser of two evils.

Oh, and the Ed Balls moment.... how sweeet was that? It's pity the one eyed buffoon decided to retire or we could have seen the same happen to him.

Monday, 7 July 2014

I'm Offski.... Taters!

Well, the time has come to stop blogging.

I've been thinking about it and really, there isn't much to say any more: politics has gone past parody into the realms of the unbelievable. The wheels keep turning, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The welfare state swells with an ever growing swath of victims, such that one day there will be a cry to eradicate them and no one will shed a tear. Parasites come in many forms and history says they are denormalised so they can be cleansed, socially, ethnically, religiously, racially. Social cleansing is now acceptable, how long before the others? And as we know, mission creep means the first victims won't be the only ones. History tells us that the dehumanisation of humans is always the prelude to vast horrors. Its what us humans do, time and time again. We lose our humanity and regress to the animal ape hidden under the human mask. As a society we lost our humanity decades ago. Just Google the Liverpool pathway and really, really understand what it means to be subjected to it. Its been policy for years.

I've seen the dark clouds forming, political conniving, corruption, the death of actual democracy, the battle for control of any form of independent media and now a convenient crisis has shown itself to be a vehicle for suppression of political independence. Its only taken 15 years. The witch hunt begins.

I have my escape plan ready, you'd better have yours. When the shit hits the fan and you can no longer do and think freely it'll be too late for you.

This will be my last post and the site will be left to itself. I'm sure in the near future this site and especially these last comments will be labelled seditious and illegal.

Adios and farewell.

Before I go, just ask yourself these questions:

Just who keeps pushing the "right to die" agenda? Where is the money coming from to fund the high cost legal cases and why to we keep having case after case when the first "No" should have been enough? What happens when the judges become weary and say "Okay, go on then"; what happens after that first crucial step over the precipice?

Why is the media starting to portray the vulnerable and impoverished as some prime time inhuman joke?

Why is the independence of the media under such constant attack? Why have people gone to jail for what is in essence poor judgement? Why have some been jailed and some let off scott free?

Why has the Saville case been wrung out and spun to such a huge extent? Why has the hysteria been kept artificially high? Has the frenzy been whipped up so artificially high its now so big a story that people will overlook bias now that sexual impropriety has arrived at the door of politics? How long before someone entering politics has to be approved by someone other than the public?

I see between the pages, I see behind the screen, I see behind the curtain, What we're not supposed to see.