Monday, 30 November 2015

Peanuts


The New Politics of Chauncey and Syria


We will come shortly to the soap opera that is the Labour Party, its leader, its Shadow Cabinet, the membership, the Corbynistas disguised either as Momentum or as genial Uncle Len McCluskey.

But first let us talk about the issue of Syria itself and of what we should or should not do there if, as seems likely, there is a vote this week to authorise - actually no parliamentary authority is required at all for David Cameron to bomb ISIL in Syria - action in Syria against ISIL.

Hear that lefties? Hear that? Parliament does not have to be consulted. So any talk of an illegal war is so much cant as ever.

But this is essentially an excuse anyway. Chauncey asked for a UN Security Council resolution and that was exactly what he got. Then he shifted his goalposts. In parliament last week his much vaunted questions had already been answered by the prime minister before he asked them. But that was because Labour don't really want to hear any answers for fear of the fact that they will, you know, provide answers. But please spare us the talk that this action, if it takes place, will be illegal. It won't. There has been a vote in the UN. It was backed by Russia, the erstwhile employers of Chauncey himself and by China. It is also backed by France whose president is socialist, albeit of the non pacifist variety.

Not that any of this has stopped Uncle Len McCluskey himself from threatening Labour MPs lest they dare to do what Chauncey has spent his entire career doing and exercising their own judgements. The fact that so many of them are allied against the juvenile position of their leader ought to give pause for thought. But not if you are the dictator of UNITE who knows what his members think and so never troubles to ask them. Its a model they intend to transplant on to the Labour Party.

But sorry, I was talking about Syria before getting on to the Labour Party.

This blogger was opposed to action in Syria in 2013. At the time I felt that it would just create more anarchy and chaos and that there was no knowing the outcome, which could well end up worse, much as we deplored Assad and his use of chemical weapons. Back then the Labour Party piously called for all kinds of UN votes and legal sine qua nons which were duly given only to then opportunistically defeat the Government anyway. This time the only real difference is that those beneath the leader are acting with greater dignity and probity than the leader himself. Chauncey is giving the impression of displaying these attributes without demonstrating any.



As events since 2013 have shown, those of us who feared anarchy and chaos have seen it happen anyway, only more so. The nightmare of ISIL or whatever we are calling these nihilistic fascists dressed up as the pious has imposed itself on an already war ravaged and ineluctably troubled region.

The arguments for doing nothing seem to fall into the category of a) our doing something will make matters worse. Or b) Britain's contribution will be so minimal anyway that we will make no difference so we might as well do nothing. Such arguments are simplistic.

Its hard to see how we can possibly make matters worse, even if, as with most wars, we cannot necessarily predict exactly what will happen. We also know that Britain's contribution is likely small. But it is not insignificant, furthermore it may even improve matters by bringing into the field weaponry that is better than that currently being used. But even if it were purely a gesture, surely it is right that we show willing to stand alongside our great allies France and the US in addition to other nations whose contribution is if anything smaller than our own? When our friends are attacked shouldn't we stand alongside them? Is it not cowardly and indeed impolitic to argue otherwise?

We are already engaged in Iraq and combating ISIL there. It is an absurdity to do so only for our planes to stop when they reach a line drawn in the air rather than in the sand and over which they must not cross.

Its said, indeed it has become something of a truism, that you cannot win wars without boots on the ground. Cue lots of arguments about how many boots on the ground there are that we can rely on. But here's the thing: the boots that are on the ground have been winning with the aid of air raids from the planes of coalition forces. ISIL have been in retreat. Indeed its possible that the very reason that they decided to start bringing down planes or murdering Parisians was because they are doing so badly. Perhaps they can be defeated after all and that these were the last throes of a desperate regime, after all we don't hear of Al Qaeda so much now do we.

Will our action in the skies above Syria make us less safe? Only if you buy the kind of vile argument proposed by Ken Livingstone, John McDonnell or indeed Chauncey himself when he was still a backbencher that we are somehow to blame for murder on our streets or tube lines by people in our midst. You see these are people who see all violence as western violence even when it is perpetrated by jihadists with kalashnikovs or bombs in a Paris theatre, a Tunisian beach or on the London Underground. That's what Ken Livingstone said last Thursday. They, British born men, were heroes in the eyes of Livingstone, although he said something very different in the immediate aftermath of that atrocity. Chauncey still hasn't sacked him for what he said on the BBC last week. So much for the doe eyed speaker of peace. They are quite happy to excuse violence when it is against us, they just don't want to defend us against it.



So there is a clear and demonstrable case to be made that we should be bombing ISIL because it is a sensible and pragmatic decision but also a morally justifiable one. It is us acting in self defence. More than that it is us acting in the defence of Syrians. More than that it is us acting in the defence of humanity and of universal human rights that the Left claims to hold so dear. If we do not stop this vile organisation now then we will likely have to do so at some point in the near future when they might be more powerful and wealthier and thus it will take more effort, more money and more blood to stop them. They cannot be appeased and surely we wouldn't want to appease them even if they could be. The price would be too dear.

Finally we return to the issue of the Labour Party and what it should do. It is perfectly true that Chauncey is the democratically elected leader of his party. So should his MPs accept his will and his decision and obey his instructions to vote against military action? No they shouldn't, for the very good reason that he is wrong. Labour has never been a party of pacifism and neither should it be because pacifism is unthinking adherence to an unrealisable dream.

Chauncey made his arguments last week and they were nonsensical. From the reports we have heard, his arguments were demolished by his own Shadow Cabinet. He then agreed to defer a decision until today only to immediately renege on this by trying to go behind the backs of his Shadow Cabinet seeking to undermine them by appealing directly to the great unwashed of the Labour masses. So much for the new politics, although we should note that Tony Blair was elected three times at general elections by the whole British people and not just a couple of hundred thousand activists. That never stopped Chauncey and co from voting in defiance of him and the Labour whip.

Its not been said by any commentators I have noticed this weekend, but Chauncey is guilty of the most appalling cowardice for a man who is supposed to be so principled. He made an argument - the debate he is alway calling for - and was roundly beaten. This is probably down to the fact that Chauncey just isn't very bright or capable of marshalling an argument against people who disagree with him - just look at the times he debated cleverer people than him at the Oxford Union. Its on YouTube.

But, having lost the argument, he asked his cabinet to wait. Then, once their backs were turned, he stabbed them in them. Cowardice. So the chances are that he will do the same again. We all know that there is going to be a big set to in which a lot of people who are good at politics will have a face off with Chauncey and the very few people who are his lieutenants who aren't good at it. If he insists, as is his right, on dictating party policy on this, then they have the right to either vote in defiance of him anyway or to resign and then do so. No amount of threats from the Left can change that now. The Left doesn't seem to understand this having apparently not noticed that the country doesn't agree with them about a lot of things and that no amount of name calling and even spitting has changed this in decades.

So will Chauncey take this to the hilt or backtrack and pretend this is the new principled politics again? Or he can give them a free vote. If he gives them a free vote then Labour, the party that is the official opposition, will have been unable to reach a party policy on a matter of, quite literally, life and death. And we will all know what really happened anyway. Chauncey's leadership is over. Its just that its going to take a few months for reality to intrude on the new politics.


World History

Page 3


Sunday, 29 November 2015

Peanuts


The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Genesis: Chapter 45 - Joseph Tells His Dim Brothers Who He Really Is


Finally after this long and sustained torture so beloved of the authors of the silly stories in Genesis, Joseph could contain himself no longer and finally told his assembled brothers who he really was. His brothers were dumbfounded, in fact they probably wanted to nearly kill him again but that would have been impolitic under the circumstances.

Understandably they also required a lot of persuasion about this. How could it be that the brother they had known and sold into slavery (as you do) was now standing before them as the most powerful man in Egypt after the Pharaoh himself? Joseph however told them all to come near and presumably removed the brilliant disguise he had been wearing all of this time and finally, though they remained afraid, they were persuaded.

Just to help them out Joseph told them that they should not feel any remorse for what they had done to him for it had all been part of God's plan. Eh?

Yes, apparently God had planned for Joseph's brothers to become jealous of him and sell him into slavery so that he could rise to his present position and then save the entire family from starvation. At no point does it occur to them that it would have been much easier and better for all had God not been such a sadistic bastard, saved Joseph from his years of misery and then not had a seven year famine.

Anyway, don't worry, said Joseph. Thanks to me the family will survive. We've had 2 years of famine but there are 5 more to come. Again, why? Why doesn't God just end the famine? It wouldn't make for such a good story probably.



So there was much hugging and kissing and Joseph was especially pleased to see his brother Benjamin. But then he told them all to go back to their father and tell him of all of this and that Joseph was not only alive but was all powerful in Egypt.

Let's pause at this moment and consider that Jacob/Israel was supposedly God's favourite. He had that name after all. Why hadn't God simply apprised him of all of this? Wouldn't that have been a kind thing to do for his favourite? Wouldn't it have been kinder for God to tell this old man that his favourite son was not dead at all but had been sent to Egypt as part of his big plan and would become a big beast in Egypt? Or was it that God could only have one favourite at a time and all of his efforts were concentrated on Joseph? Remember that the next time you pray. God's very busy and can't multitask.

Anyway, all of this soon reached the ears of the Pharaoh and he called Joseph to him and told him to tell his brothers to go back to the lands of their father and bring them to Egypt where all of the best lands would be given to them because Joseph was such a great guy. Presumably these lands would be for when the famine was over.

So Joseph did as he was told, sent his brothers to their lands with wagons laden down with food and a change of clothes for each, except he gave several changes of clothes to Benjamin, his favourite, plus silver.

So they went back to Jacob/Israel and told him all of this. At first he didn't believe them, that his long lost son was now almost the most powerful man in Egypt, but then he saw the train laden down with goodies and he was convinced and he wanted to go and see Joseph before he died.




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Friday, 27 November 2015

Peanuts


Corbyn's Fifth Columnists Must Be Forced Out Now



Before we come on to the issue of Syria and air strikes, let us pause first and reflect on the Mao loving Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell. In his cack handed response to the Autumn Statement, in which the Chancellor had performed a U turn of such dimensions it can be seen from space, he somehow contrived to grab headlines, not with his witty and clever response but by invoking the words of a mass murdering rapist and psychopath. Mao, we should also note, operated in a way that Chauncey's cheerleaders are attempting to emulate right now. Okay the killing hasn't started yet, but this is how it all starts in the early days, demanding unquestioning adherence, talking of the leader as being unassailable.

But back to the Shadow Chancellor again for a moment. He was then assailed by people, including the woman in the clip above, who said that his 'joke' wasn't funny owing to the fact that they lived through the great Chinese terror. Presumably McDonnell wouldn't have made a joke about Hitler, although you never know.

McDonnell then, as part of his damage repair attempts (he didn't try his usual trick of claiming he hadn't said it because we had all seen it and not just on the Murdoch controlled media) claimed that he had spoken to this victim, Diane Wei Liang and that she had understood his 'joke' and what he was trying to do. She said he had done no such thing and that she was still highly offended by the joke. He lies and he lies and he lies. This is the new politics.

The Times has today unearthed a story from the 1980s about McDonnell in which he called for the IRA to use the bullet, the ballot and the bomb to win in Northern Ireland. Was this a joke too? He then joked about kneecapping Labour councillors who did not attend rallies for the IRA, which at the time had just tried to murder the Cabinet at Brighton and would soon commit the appalling and defining atrocity at Enniskillen.

McDonnell of course claims that he has been misquoted. Who should we believe? The story was printed at the time and McDonnell, then an obscure figure who had nevertheless helped run the GLC under the egregious Ken Livingstone, failed to challenge its accuracy. So we can probably assume it is 100% accurate.

So then, what should we believe of what is happening within Labour? The spin coming out of the leadership or that of the saps who are in his Shadow Cabinet?

The Shadow Cabinet is broadly of the mind that Labour should back the government having listened to what the prime minister said and been convinced. They are of this opinion because of what has happened in Paris, in Tunisia and what is continuing to happen in Syria and Iraq in addition to David Cameron's cool calm and rational assessment. Chauncey, it is fair to say, did not listen to a word of this or to the intelligence assessments he now has access to. He is just opposed to war. Any war. Regardless. His brainless and pathetic response to the PM, like a sixth former in a sea of adults, proved his serial and embarrassing inability to do open his mind, have the sort of debate he is always calling for. In short he is incapable of doing his job.

ISIL has to be stopped. It has to be stopped while it is still comparatively easy to stop it. We should learn the lessons of history and stop fascists before they become entrenched. Nobody is saying this will be easy or that the outcome is predictable. How can it be? Did the country make similar demands of the Government in 1939 and 1940? We went to war against an evil regime then because they were a threat to us and because of what they were doing to our friends and allies. The same is true now.

The Nazis, from their early beginnings as a bunch of hooligans with pretensions and delusions of grandeur, became an existential threat to humanity. The same could easily be true of the cancer of ISIL if we let it. Back in the 1930s there were many sensible people who were convinced by the Nazi propaganda and promises of a better tomorrow. ISIL could easily have similar appeal. And imagine what they would be capable of were they to gain control of nuclear weapons.

Labour has been captured by a vile collection of ideologues and people who believe in a peculiar formula for peace in which people shooting at us or bombing us are to be appeased and indulged and in which we must never be allowed to shoot back or defend ourselves. But ISIL cannot be appeased. They hate us for what we are, what we stand for, how we live our lives. They enslave people, rape women, kill people for their sexuality or because they believe in the wrong kind of god, or even the wrong version of that god, or even the wrong sect of the same version of that god, or even the wrongly attired same version of that god. There is nothing here to appease or to make a deal with. Peace is impossible while these maniacs have their say. They must be confronted. Most sensible people can see that.

But Chauncey and co are signed up to the Stop the War version of the history we are all living through. Chauncey and co believe that all the wars, even the ones being waged by Vlad the Botoxed are our fault. Last night on Question Time, Ken Livingstone said that the 7/7 terrorists, British born Jihadis with chips on their shoulders, died, not because they pointlessly and viciously strapped explosives to themselves in order to slaughter blameless commuters, but because of Tony Blair and the Iraq War. Happily Livingstone is no longer in parliament, but it is fair to assume that Chauncey and his fellow travellers secretly agree with this vile excuse for a politician. As a consequence Chauncey and co have no place in parliament let alone as the leader of a party. Chauncey should have been thrown out of the Labour Party with his friends years ago.

It is incumbent upon the members of the Shadow Cabinet to stand up to Chauncey and his revolting friends or to resign en masse. They do not agree with any of his positions on anything and so how can they serve in his Shadow Cabinet. They are like collaborators if they stay. This is their moment. It must be seized without delay. A free vote is the very least they should be demanding. Even that isn't enough. When the history of this last couple of months comes to be written we may well wonder out loud why sensible and reasonable men and women agreed to serve at all under Chauncey. But, since he is not listening to them anyway and undermines them at every opportunity, they might as well walk out on him.

We have a fifth column operating in Britain in broad daylight and currently in the establishment. It is only there because Labour MPs have allowed it to be there. Now is their opportunity to remove this cancer and send it back to the gutter where it belongs. The brown jacket will look more at home there anyway.

World History

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Thursday, 26 November 2015

Peanuts


President Obama Pardons Turkey



We all love our traditions and this is one of my favourites. What makes it special is Obama. He's been a lousy president but he's great at pardoning turkeys and his daughters enjoy it too. Perhaps they could be invited back to the event after he leaves.

Happy Thanksgiving



I'm not a religious man, quite the opposite, but I just really like this hymn for some reason. I must admit that Christian music is often rather lovely. You can appreciate the music without buying into the overall message. And I do love America. For all its faults it is a country to be admired and respected. So enjoy your big day.

Anyway, as we all know, Thanksgiving is now just a precursor to Black Friday - a day to give thanks for cheap deals on electronic and other goods and for watching fat chavs fighting over them. Thank you God.

George's Fancy Footwork

Its not entirely fair to say that George Osborne is lucky. His cuts to date, despite the rhetoric and the cries of doom from Labour, have been very mild indeed. Yet he and the country have reaped the rewards of this approach. That is why the economy is growing well, why unemployment is coming down and, most importantly, why Britain remains a country that people are happy to lend to at historically low interest rates. That ultimately is why Osborne was able effectively to go on a spending spree yesterday.

Its said that this can only have been a certain plan in the last couple of weeks. So when the House of Lords voted against Osborne's cuts to Tax Credits he did indeed face a big black hole. Then the OBR came along and filled it for him with our money. A £27 billion windfall. But then it is a windfall we have all earned.

Nevertheless those of us who have spent the last few months making the arguments for austerity and the need to reform welfare and rid the country of Gordon Brown's bastard child - the scourge of Tax Credits which do more harm than good and trap people in low paying jobs are feeling a bit short changed this morning. Was it all talk? Does this windfall represent an end to the Government's reforming zeal?

To be fair it was a great piece of political gamesmanship. Osborne had once again led them to believe one reality only to hit them for six with an alternate one. He does it time and time again in league with David Cameron. It took the wind out of the sails of the opposition who were already reeling from being led by Chauncey and McDonnell - the chuckle brothers of British politics. McDonnell had them rolling in the aisles, or at least rolling their eyes as he actually quoted Mao Tse Tong. Tories could hardly believe their luck. A cannier operator could have had fun with the U turn and the volte faces. McDonnell, who is clearly as incapable of thinking on his feet as his friend in the non matching clothing, preferred instead to quote the words of a mass murdering, deranged megalomaniac.



All in all it was a great day for Tories and for George Osborne in particular. My immediate reaction, posted on Twitter was that he has probably just won himself the Tory leadership.



I stand by that judgement, with one caveat. It is however a big one. George was able to get away with this fancy piece of footwork based on what is essentially a best guess. He has effectively gambled on the continued growth of the British economy as predicted by the OBR. So his spending plans are effectively actuarial.

The trouble is that there are many things that can go wrong. For now the oil price is low and set to remain low with OPEC having lost control. It might even effectively cease to exist soon and then its anyone's guess what could happen. But that would have all kinds of effects, not all of them good. It could further destabilise a region that is perennially unstable.

The only sure prediction we can make is that oil prices are unlikely to head as high as they once did and which I contend caused the great 2007/8 recession, not bankers. It was high energy prices that caused budgets to become tighter which meant those given mortgages they shouldn't have started defaulting and then the risky lending practices of the big banks was exposed. Happily we live in a world of plentiful oil and a burgeoning supply. Oil rich Arabs and Russians are nothing like as rich. That may stabilise or indeed destabilise the world. Nobody really knows. The current behaviour of the Saudis and Putin suggests the latter.

Or there is China. China could easily implode at some point in the coming years as it heads inexorably for a hard landing. It has been practising the kind of loony economics often espoused by the Left. It will all turn bad in the end. Its a bubble ready to burst.

Nevertheless George Osborne did something pretty impressive yesterday. He further holed below the waterline the already drowning Labour leadership. He also parked Tory tanks firmly on the centre ground, not that Labour members are in any mood to compete for that centre ground any time soon, whatever happens to Chauncey in the coming weeks and months. Its just to be hoped that those forecasts he is relying on prove accurate.



World History

Page 3


Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Peanuts


187 188

PMQs Review 25th November 2015 - The Green Crap Edition


It's been something of a mixed week for Chauncey it's fair to say. The good news - always start with the good news - is that Labour Party members and those who backed him for the leadership think he is doing a good job. Well the vast majority of them do anyway. This isn't that good news really when you think about it. After all this is Labour, the party that failed to remove its last two leaders only to then lose elections. Oh and it also removed the leader before that. But he had actually won elections. Are you starting to see a pattern?

That is only the start of the bad news for Chauncey too. The bad news is that Labour MPs were largely a big part of the reason that those catastrophes occurred because so many of them hadn't the balls to remove the madman who should have been in the attic and Wallace. Now Labour MPs are desperate to remove Chauncey. Hell, even Andy Burnham may arrive at a decision he doesn't reverse within half an hour and come down as an anti Chauncey MP at this rate. John McDonnell probably won't. But he would only deny it even if he did. Until someone produced a picture of him grinning like a Cheshire cat underneath a picture of him stabbing Chauncey in the back.

There is still quite a lot more bad news too. For a start one of the people who backed him for the leadership - or at least we assume so - was union boss Len McCluskey. But even he was not impressed by peace loving Chauncey's claim that it would not be a good idea not to shoot gun toting terrorists on British streets. Even George Galloway thought we should and even offered to do it himself, although to be fair he does spend his life wearing what looks like a cowboy hat and so maybe it just feels like second nature to him.

You know there are simply too many things that have gone badly for Chauncey this last week to list. This blog, ever mindful of the need to entertain, has even thought of abandoning plans for a musical advent calendar this year for a Chauncey advent calendar which would list 25 of his greatest embarrassments, cock-ups, screw ups and volte faces. But how do you even begin to compile such a list? And, given how many there can often be in just one day, would I need to have a system for live updates? Sorry, new window required, he has appointed Derek Hatton as his adviser for employment relations. Notification of this was sent to Hatton in a taxi just for the sake of posterity.

Anyway, since there are apparently only 25 windows on the traditional advent calendar I have abandoned this plan and will be sticking with music instead. Its much easier. Once you rule out the execrable Last Christmas by Wham it more or less compiles itself.


To much relief, the new politics is now looking an awful lot like the old politics, but with a brown jacket and different coloured trousers. Chauncey is even trying to impose some kind of message discipline and voting discipline on his party. The guffaws that created amongst Labour MPs have been really quite life affirming.

And Dave is now beating up on the old duffer as though Wallace has never gone away. Its frankly the right thing to do. What was he meant to do, ignore the idiocies and craven stupidity of the Labour front bench? Why should he when Labour MPs, union leaders and even George Galloway don't?

Today's event however was something of a damp squib. Chauncey was in full sanctimony mode, this time on green issues. The session started however with Mr Cameron giving a heartfelt panegyric to his former civil servant, Chris Martin, who has died at the age of just 42 and whom he described as his Bernard - a reference to the character in everyone's favourite political sit com: Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. The House joined in with his fulsome and emotional tribute.



Perhaps it was this that contributed to the rather dull exchange that the two leaders - no, Chauncey is Labour's leader, honestly - then half heartedly engaged in. Greenery was the topic of conversation prompted by a leak that says that the government is going to miss its green targets. Now Dave did not shrug and say who gives a damn. He should have. Instead he defended the Government's record, albeit a record that was largely imposed on them by having the bloody Lib Dems occupying the office responsible for what Dave would later call green crap. His true instincts are right.

This is all to do with next week's hot air talking shop in Paris in which leaders will make grand promises and then go away and renege on them. The fact that this government is back pedalling on commitments is to be commended. Dave did make the point that Labour made a big issue in the last parliament about the affordability of energy bills. Green energy subsidies are a big part of that.

Chauncey ignored this and instead asked his only crowd sourced question, one of which seemed to come from someone called Ziggy. He looks and sounds more and more like a children's TV presenter from a bygone era. He would be the irascible one who says stupid things and goes Doh a lot. As it is its just his MPs who do that.

As is traditional on this day, this was a session to be forgotten and which will be forgotten because of what was to follow. Chauncey just concentrated on issues that nobody but him really cares about. As a consequence nobody really cared. Tory MPs couldn't even be bothered to heckle him enough to prompt a hard stare.




World History

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Peanuts


The Crown Jewels of Stupidity



I see that know nothing tit, Prince Charles, has joined the other know-nothing tit, Charlotte Church in blaming the current Syrian civil war on climate change. Charles claims that there is evidence for this. This is actually symptomatic of the whole climate change idiocy in general. Correlation is not cause. In short, for the hard of thinking and inbred, just because something happens at the same time as something else does not mean it caused or even influenced it. That is not proof. It isn't even proof if someone writes it down and someone publishes it.

It is true that Syria has lately been suffering from a drought. But then it is a part of the world where a lack of water is hardly unknown. There's a lot of desert there after all. Droughts may indeed cause someone people to up sticks and move. But they will generally do so far more in a country that is poor and badly governed as Syria is. What causes people to up sticks and move and become refugees however is bullets and bombs and psychopathic dictators intent on slaughtering them. Add into the mix an equally psychopathic bunch of nihilists and murderers who think they are acting for their god and it is not hard to see why people would want to leave their homes.

Contrast this with California. California has lately been suffering a drought too. There are no refugees though. Funny that. So, though both are suffering from lack of water the same outcomes are drastically different. Do I have to explain why or can you figure it out for yourselves? Charles and Charlotte? If you need any more help figuring this out please do get in touch.


Dump Chauncey Now


Let's be fair. There probably is some hope for Labour after all. It seems that Chauncey's parliamentary colleagues hold him in the same contempt as the rest of us. Shadow ministers now answer reporters questions with almost a laugh as they take the opposite line to their hapless leader. The contempt shines through. They don't quite roll their eyes and do a one finger swirling motion next to their head, but they might as well.

Yesterday in parliament Chauncey was, well he was Chauncey. It would have surprised nobody if he had actually turned out to be Peter Sellers and this a scene from a film. He was that bad. The Commons laughs at him. Oh he still does that Paddington stare at them but now that just makes people laugh at him all the more. He is like the madman on the bus, taking himself and his views entirely seriously and entirely unaware that everyone thinks he's nuts.

He was taken apart by David Cameron yesterday. Those old quotes against him and his equally nuts Shadow Chancellor keep coming back and biting them. This week doesn't look like being any better than last week.



His backbenchers remained silent during Cameron's sledging. Indeed his front bench had not got much to say either. They just stared ahead, as did Chauncey, resplendent as ever in his non matching outfit coupled to that brown jacket he so loves. One can't help wondering what he is spending his pay rise on. Maybe he knows he had better enjoy it while he can.

Nevertheless those who are briefing anonymously against their leader have still not actually moved against him. Perhaps this week is their opportunity. It is hard to understand why any of the so called moderates agreed to serve on his front bench anyway. They could have made his leadership untenable from the first week had he been unable to actually fill all of the posts on that front bench. Instead many agreed to serve having extracted promises about policy that Chauncey had no intention of honouring. Now this week is crunch time. Will he give them a free vote on bombing Syria? If not he could or at least should face mass resignations. That would be the end of him. But do they have the gumption to actually do it?



And even if they do force him to give a free vote to Labour MPs, how is that viable? This is the official Opposition. Are they really saying that it should have no official position on this country's military operations in a hostile and dangerous environment? Are they really saying that, even though the UN has authorised it (something which is entirely irrelevant and only makes things more acceptable and 'legal' if you are a lefty loon) they themselves cannot agree on this? Are they really saying that they, the Labour Party, the party that helped found NATO, cannot agree on a policy coming to the aid of France having just been attacked by a fascist organisation bent on slaughter, rape and a very modern form of genocide?

Chauncey, though still backed by many ordinary members according to a new poll definitively does not have the support of Labour MPs. Ultimately it is up to them to do something about this. If you do not agree with the policy positions of your leader, you should not go on TV and snigger about him and then say what you think. You should resign, although of course you should never have accepted the position in the first place. It is immaterial whether or not Chauncey gives his MPs and by extension the Shadow Cabinet a free vote, it still makes the party a laughing stock as the prime minister demonstrated yesterday in parliament.

Simply put, Chauncey's position is untenable. It was bad enough when he was advocating loony tunes economic policies like printing money to invest in infrastructure. Now, at a time when we are facing potential murder on our streets, his instincts for disarmament and unilateral surrender to anyone and everyone are a danger to our country. More than that, having this man sitting on the front bench is an embarrassment for the country.

How has it come to this? How has Labour come to this? This week is the opportunity to dump him and replace him. Hell, even Wallace would be an improvement. But then had he not resigned when he did all of this might not have happened. Nevertheless Labour MPs have to gird their loins, forget party loyalty, forget Chauncey's supposed mandate and remember that he is leader of precisely nothing if they withdraw their support.

Frankly, if they get rid of him he will probably be secretly relieved. So will the Left that he leads. They can get righteously angry about it and carry placards. They are good at that sort of thing.





World History

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Monday, 23 November 2015

Peanuts


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The Lord's Prayer in Cinemas? Show It In All It's Vacuous Glory



I find myself torn by the cinema ban on an advert by the Church of England featuring the Lord's Prayer. On the one hand I am a believer in freedom of speech. On the other hand I am one of those pesky militant atheists the churches are always fulminating about. 

Of course militant atheists aren't really very militant at all. We have never been known to bomb or kill people in the name of our non belief. We just keep asking awkward questions, writing articles, books and blog posts they can't execute us for anymore, we don't go to church except when compelled to do so for social reasons and even then can be heard sniggering at the back at weddings. We have it written into our wills that on no account must there be any mention of a deity at our funerals and that the only songs sung must have been written about something a bit more down to earth and realistic than any dream of everlasting life in paradise.

We atheists and humanists are actually terribly reasonable people. We revere reason actually. The only great likelihood that I can be roused to violence is if someone, anyone claims that Jurgen Klopp is not the Messiah.

Nevertheless I do find myself wondering what harm it would have done to allow people to see the Lord's Prayer whilst waiting for some shoot em up fest or alien invasion on the big screen. How much attention do people pay to adverts anyway? We like the fun ones, the clever ones, the witty ones. But an advert reciting lines they made us learn at school or bloody Sunday school? Its not a recipe for widespread epiphanies is it.

As usual this seems to be a decision made by lawyers and middle managers afraid of offending someone. But the Lord's Prayer? Offensive? It's offensively dull of course. Offensively meaningless and trite. More importantly it is offensively inhabiting several of my grey cells entirely against my will because the bloody thing was offensively drilled into me as a child and now I can't forget it. Seriously, I am 50 years old now, there are many things I would like to remember that I can't, not least names. Yet I have been an atheist for 40 of my 50 years and still cannot forget this meaningless drivel.



Thy kingdom come? What the hell does that mean. When did it come? How come nobody noticed?

Thy will be done? When? You mean his will is being done? The world is like this by design?

Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil? What temptation? Sugary sweets? Extra marital sex? Non marital sex? Any sex? We know the church has a peculiar hang up about sex. What temptation should we be not led into? Some of us quite like a bit of temptation. Those who work in advertising or the sex trade in particular.  The two are kind of synonymous anyway.

Deliver us from evil? I mean how can you hear that and not snigger? No forget the sniggering and let's have a belly laugh.

For thine is the kingdom? The power and the glory? Does anyone have the first clue what the hell that means?

Its said that last weekend, after the events in Paris, Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, had his doubts about religion. I don't think it had anything to do with Paris. He probably had his doubts that putting this in cinemas and advertising how vacuous his faith was was a good idea.

Hilariously they were planning on putting this advert in cinemas showing the new Star Wars film. Maybe they are worried that more people will soon believe in The Force than in God. I know which I prefer. But then a Jedi Knight I am. 

So please reverse this ban and put this advert on in cinemas immediately.  At a time when the world is wondering what to do about about a band of fascists who think they are working for their God (who is great, apparently, but still saw fit to entice this bunch of spotty, virginal dimwits) I suppose it is comforting in a way that our own English religion is so reliably dull, uninspiring and thus harmless. Its no wonder then that, as Matt Ridley points out here, atheism, humanism and scepticism is on the rise, even amongst people born and raised as Muslims. Here in the decadent West, where our liberalism and tolerance so enrage zealots because they can see how enticing it is, church attendance has fallen to the point that it barely registers at all. We may soon be raising a generation that will not even know by heart the bloody Lord's Prayer. Now that would be real freedom of speech.


World History

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Sunday, 22 November 2015

Peanuts


The Bible: A Very Grim Fairytale - Genesis: Chapter 44 - Joseph Entraps His Infant Brother


So, having treated his estranged and strangely obtuse family to dinner, Joseph then decided to trick and entrap them. He told one of his servants to put the money they had brought with them back in the sacks just like the last time. But he also told him to put his silver cup in the sack belonging to Benjamin. Yes they all had individual sacks. Perhaps they all had their names sewn in them too.

So the family left, but after only a short interval, Joseph told his servant to catch up with them and accuse them of having stolen the property of Joseph. The servant, who was probably one of those long suffering types, did as he was bidden and caught up with the brothers where he accused them of stealing the silver cup from which Joseph not only drank but apparently from which he divined. No, nor me.

The brother were incredulous. They protested their innocence, that they had taken money to pay for their corn but that it had once again been returned to them. Why then would they have stolen a silver cup? Why indeed? But then why would they have spent all that time with the owner of the cup without recognising their own brother?

But the servant insisted that their sacks be searched and sure enough the cup was found in Benjamin's personalised sack. It probably had Benjamin in big friendly letters on the outside to avoid confusion. Sacks of corn are almost always personalised in this way. Its probably a religious decree. Actually, I shouldn't give them ideas.

The brothers, at this discovery, rent their clothes. The Bible does love a bit of clothes renting - there is nothing like a bit of gratuitous ripping of garments to show one's anguish.

Anyway, they all went back to Joseph's house and fell on the ground before him to implore him not to take their brother from them. Joseph pretended to be angry. The brother pleaded with him, offering to all be his servants. But Joseph only wanted Benjamin, his full brother.

Judah then gave a long speech to Joseph in which he told him that Benjamin was the youngest son of an old man, his other brother having died. The speech seems to imply that Benjamin was very young, which would seem unlikely, but maybe he was one of those miracle births to very elderly parents with which Genesis specialises. But if he was young, say a toddler or certainly under the age of 10,  then how could he be suspected of having stolen the silver cup? You would think that Judah might have mentioned this.

Anyway Judah's long and rather tedious speech was a retelling of the story of their visits to Egypt to buy corn and of their taking Benjamin with them as previously instructed but against the better judgement of their father. In short though he was telling Joseph that if they did not return to their father with his youngest son it would kill the old man.






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Friday, 20 November 2015

Peanuts


The End of the Revolution Is Nigh



The trouble with electing a leftist half wit as a party leader, a man who has spent his entire career appending his name to various dodgy causes, is that they are a matter of record. The records are coming out now.

When he was a mere backbencher that everyone ignored, John McDonnell, Shadow Chancellor, argued for the abolition of MI5 and for the disarmament of the police. No, really. He now says he said nothing of the sort. Yet he signed a letter calling for precisely that and posed with the letter. Did he not read the letter he was posing with? Or is he just a liar caught out by his past?

This is the problem now faced by the left and Labour. We have already had McDonnell's insincere apology for his beliefs about the IRA. Now it turns out he wanted to abolish the very organisations that are keeping us all from being annihilated. Unilateral disarmament. That was the policy of John McDonnell.



But then the same is true of Chauncey. When asked about the terrible events in Paris last week, any normal person would have expressed anger and disgust. Chauncey expressed his dismay that the slaughter in Paris was getting less coverage than deaths in Beirut. How did he expect the British public would respond to that kind of purblind idiocy?

Before Paris happened there was the whole Mohammed Emwazi debacle, in which he complained that British soldiers had not risked life and limb to go and capture him. But Chauncey is opposed to any British military intervention in Syria. McDonnell would probably like our army and special forces abolished. So presumably he was happy to let Jihadi John continue his senseless, preening murders. Better that than authorise a nice clean kill by our hateful military.



This week Chauncey told the nation that he would not authorise British police to shoot to kill in the event of a Paris style event in the UK. He later clarified this, much as McDonnell is seeking to clarify his signature on that letter. But just how stupid does he think we are? Their true instincts are there for all to see. They can clarify as much as they like. If these clowns were in charge right now it would be an invitation to jihadists to come and kill. They enjoy killing. It is their raison d'être. Chauncey and his pal would smile and wave them through and then go on TV to say how awful it was but how it was justified by the war in Iraq. The policy of the Labour leadership is unilateral disarmament, not just of nuclear weapons but all weapons. They are uber appeasers.

How much longer are leading figures in the party going to let this carry on? Where is the leadership? Where is someone willing to stand up and be counted and rid the party and the country of these fools? Chauncey is only in his position thanks to a flawed election and the stupidity of MPs who nominated him. Now it is down to MPs to bring him down. He is only in position thanks to the fact that he leads the second largest party in the House of Commons. So MPs should simply withdraw their support for him. Forget the arcane rules of the Labour Party. Unite behind someone, anyone, who would be better and Chauncey is done for. He was bawled out at the PLP meeting earlier this week and humiliated in the Commons on Tuesday. He is probably going to lose the by election on 3rd December in Oldham West. The day after, at the very latest, his party should meet and send him back to the back benches. His revolution will be over.

World History

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Thursday, 19 November 2015

Peanuts


Livingstone and the Left



It would be hypocritical of me to condemn Ken Livingstone for his remarks about his own party's Kevan Jones. This blog engages in a fair bit of name calling itself and especially of the last three leaders of Labour. Anyway, condemnation of Livingstone would deny me the pleasure of calling him a loathsome, obnoxious, deranged, deluded halfwit - something I once did to his face in east London. Well, words to that effect. At the time he was campaigning to be London Mayor again and was caught up in yet another controversy, this time about his taxes, which characteristically he had dodged. 

Now he has been caught in the act of saying that someone with whom he disagrees is in need of psychological help. Unfortunately for him, Mr Jones has in the past admitted, bravely, to having received such help. 

But Ken would not apologise. He still has not apologised properly. He has given a non apology apology, repeatedly and brazenly. He did so again last night on Newsnight - 3 times. He continued with this approach all day, despite it being pointed out to him that Mr Jones had suffered mental health issues. Any decent human being would have humbly apologised rather than attempt to brazen it out. Livingstone didn't and persistently and consistently refused to take the opportunity to do so, on the specious and infantile grounds that Mr Jones had started it by questioning his ability to do the job. Ironically his behaviour demonstrated that Mr Jones had been right from the start. Livingstone is not sorry. He thinks it is perfectly acceptable to say such things of people who have an honest disagreement with him. 

This kind of thing is hardly unknown to street fighter Ken. It is symptomatic of the Left in general. That is why the whole schtick of nicer, more straightforward politics supposedly engaged in by Chauncey and his cohorts had so many people rolling in the aisles. The Left is routinely vile, underhand, dishonest, hypocritical and insulting. It has been okay these last 40 years or so for the Left to campaign against its own side and the Tories by any means, fair or foul and for Chauncey to vote constantly against his own party, but now it is no longer acceptable for those who disagree with the new leaders to do the same. Ken Livingstone has been given his new wholly inappropriate role deciding Labour's defence policy as part of a new determination to force through a new defence policy. Once decided, if they succeed in this, they will demand adherence to it.

Imagine how these people will behave if they are ever allowed into power. Dissent is not tolerated. Now it is just name calling. Generally speaking it gets a whole lot worse. Ken Livingstone is just doing what he has always done, what the Left always does. Its cant and hypocrisy is being exposed just like unfortunate words from the past. How much longer can this be allowed to continue? Labour is in disarray.

EasyCam


It says a lot about this country that the notion of our Government investing in a small fleet of planes, to be operated by the RAF and which are to be converted from their current use as tankers might be seen as controversial. I have never understood why it was seen as a bad thing that Tony Blair proposed a similar service when he was prime minister, except of course we must not discount the fact that he wanted one just because his good friend George had a much bigger one and he was feeling left out.

It must be sensible for ministers, and in particular the prime minister, to have at their disposal a fleet of aircraft that can fly them, perhaps at short notice, around the world to do their jobs. It ought to be no more controversial than providing them with a fleet of cars to ferry them around or indeed providing them with an office to work from and the latest IT equipment therein.

This is not to deny that having a fleet of aircraft and cars and offices in the more salubrious and fashionable parts of London are not highly desirable and may stroke the already capacious egos of our senior politicians. But so what? They work long hours for what are actually quite miserly salaries and are held up to ridicule and impossible to meet standards. The least we can do is make them do so in a modicum of comfort. Hell, I say give Chauncey access to these planes too. It might turn him from a humourless ascetic into a sybarite and then he might get real. When he does, expect Ken Livingstone and George Galloway to ride fearlessly to his defence. They are accustomed to spectacular hypocrisy and will no doubt defend him on RT or Press TV. They could even fly to Moscow or Tehran with the RAF to do so in person. Just make them come back at their own expense.

Musical Advent Calendar

World History

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Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Peanuts


PMQs Review 18th November 2015 - The Don't Mention the War Edition


How Labour MPs must look back wistfully on the days of Wallace. Back then, though he was frequently an embarrassment and struggled with every day activities like the eating of normal consumer comestibles, they didn't usually have to watch his interviews from behind the sofa. Well, not always anyway.

Wallace too was the accidental leader. Chauncey is not so much an accident as a calamity. Earlier this week, at the private meeting of Labour MPs, he was shouted down by so many he had to perform a U turn so that his policy on shoot to kill came into line with what everyone else thought was reasonable.  Yes, he said, under certain exigencies such as when faced with a life or death situation, the police ought to be able to shoot to kill. This is actually the law anyway and has been for decades. Chauncey seemed unaware of this. He seemed to think that the police and security services should be approaching heavily armed suicide squads of maniacal jihadists singing Kum Ba Yah and wearing only flowers in their hair.

Then there is the issue of the now evaporated Jihadi John. Should we have taken him out with a drone or should we have sent in troops to recover him, drag him back to Britain and put him on trial. Chauncey thinks it should be the latter. This despite the fact that he is opposed to even bombing Syria let alone putting boots on the ground to arrest half wits with a god complex.

Chauncey must look back on the days when, as a backbencher, people just used to roll their eyes at his naive stupidity and then change the subject. Or he talked to like minded people and didn't have to make decisions of any kind. Now people shout at him and call him names. And they are nominally on his side.

Dave was cautious at the weekend about Britain getting involved in action in Syria. Since then public opinion seems to have moved in his favour. A vote is looking possible, but only if the Government can win. It is the right thing to do when faced with a cancer on humanity. Chauncey will be opposed because Chauncey is incapable of any kind of rationality on this subject. Nobody is saying it will be easy, or that the outcome can be foreseen. This is hardly the first time this country will have engaged in military action under those circumstances. That doesn't make it wrong to try. When people want to kill you for no reason other than bigotry and hatred, then you are entitled to defend yourself.


Corbyn seemed subdued today at PMQs. Here he was, the great lefty firebrand and Stop the War supporter, with a platform in front of the nation to air his views and he ducked it. He didn't once raise the subject of action in Syria. He didn't once tell the world, or rather the West, that we are to blame for what happened in Paris, or Tunisia, or the Sinai desert or various other places just in the last few days.

Chauncey's first question was about the support the Government is giving to British nationals caught up in the events in Paris. Dave gave a stock answer.

Chauncey's second question was the stock sort of question about Islam and most Muslims being just as appalled by this as the rest of us. Dave agreed. Most politicians, if they are being honest, know that this is crap by the way. They know that Islam is not a religion of peace and that there are grave problems with a substantial minority of Muslims holding views that are sympathetic to jihadism even if they would never resort to violence themselves. Chauncey on the other hand is probably one who believes in the crap that all politicians are obliged to spout at times like this. Lefties do.

Chauncey's third question was about cutting off funding to ISIL. This is code for taking these sort of measures instead of actually confronting the vicious maniacs. The PM gave a stock line about all of the measures that are being taken in this regard but then pointed out that the reason ISIL has been able to gain ground, power and money is because of the situation in Syria. We cannot dodge forever, the prime minister said, how to address the problem of ISIL. Chauncey would rather dodge it forever and a day. You could almost hear the muttering from his backbenchers.



Chauncey then moved on to domestic security. Slightly dangerous ground this, but not as dangerous as Syria. He asked where extra funding for security services was coming from and expressed surprise that Dave was getting guidance on this from the man in charge of it who was fortuitously sitting next to him. Still, it showed that Chauncey does have a sense of humour, albeit a peculiar one, although given his penchant for teacher brown jackets, this should never have been in doubt.

Chauncey asked about police numbers. Dave played a little fast and loose with the numbers here, they are certainly being cut, but then pointed out that here, as more or less everywhere else, Labour is conflicted. Andy Burnham, the serially useless former leadership candidate and now Shadow Home Secretary had said 10% cuts were achievable. Did Chauncey agree? Chauncey ignored this.



Finally Chauncey asked his one and only question from a member of the public, someone called John who had a strong opinion about police numbers. What John's expertise was on this matter was not revealed. But then one doesn't have to have expertise on anything in Chauncey's eyes. Just look at Ken Livingstone, mysteriously elevated to a position on defence and insulting fellow Labour members over their mental health.

Anyway, Dave batted this away with the same dodgy numbers but then went in for the kill. Hasn't it comes to something, he asked, when the leader of the opposition isnt sure what the response should be if the police are confronted by someone wielding a Kalashnikov? The House approved. The whole House. Chauncey looked irritable, dejected and rather stupid. Very stupid actually. Like a kid playing grown up games in clothes that don't fit him. This job doesn't fit him. He is out of his depth and his idiocy is damaging Labour, possibly irreparably.

But this could actually have gone a lot worse for Chauncey. He could have taken a pasting, the sort handed out to him by his own party on Monday. Labour is in revolt. Ken Livingstone is behaving like the nasty arse he has always been. The party is febrile, desperate, angry. The PM probably wanted to say all of these things but was never given the opening to do so. He made his final thrust, but it wasn't a killer blow. He probably doesn't need to. Chauncey didn't mention the war. But it was there in the background anyway. It can't go on like this.



World History

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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Peanuts


Chauncey Corbyn Has To Go



What a useless bunch of numpties the Labour Party is now. I'm not even talking about Chauncey and his juvenile posturing over Syria, Paris and how we should all get around a fictional table with people who think that death is glorious and who consider our way of life to be offensive to the point that it justifies murder.

No, these are not the real numpties. We knew this about Chauncey when he got the job and he is entirely living down to our expectations. The real numpties are those who are watching all of this happening, shaking their heads sadly and then just muttering to themselves. The most that has happened is that the moderates of Labour have organised to dominate the backbench policy committees. Phew! That'll show them eh?

Meanwhile the Left is doing what the Left loves doing. It is organising and campaigning, twisting arms, encouraging entryism and slowly but surely gaining control. Chauncey will soon ensure that, even if a leadership election is called, he will get to take part. We know what happens then.

So what are they waiting for? What is this serial reluctance of Labour to force out useless leaders? So he has a mandate of sorts. So what? The man is a modern day farce. It would be funny were it not so serious. Shoot to kill would be dangerous he opined yesterday in that pious and serious way of his. We have to prevent people firing off weapons where we can said Chauncey. Well, yes. Thank god we had such a great and original thinker at the head of the opposition. We never thought of that. Funnily enough that is what our police and security services are straining every sinew to achieve. Recently they have been remarkably successful. But what if they fail? What then? If madmen and women go on the rampage in our streets, if they enter a concert venue, maybe one of Islington's trendy small theatres for instance, what then? Do we forbid the police from shooting them if they have the chance? Do we have a firm policy of wanting murderers to stand trial? Do we implement this policy regardless of the fact it would probably cause many more deaths? How strange that a pacifist can be seriously commending a policy of non intervention on British streets even if someone goes toting a kalashnikov and slaughtering dozens.



The moment that Chauncey said any of this, the moment he revealed, rather like a beauty queen wanting world peace, that he would rather nasty and unpleasant things didn't happen, then Labour should have said enough is enough and deposed him. The man has to go and now seems like an opportune moment, now that he is making an arse of himself in the wake of a terrorist massacre.

Instead Labour MPs are staring at their feet and hoping that fate might intervene. The British public is having demonstrated to it, in a way that they will never forget, just what a liability Labour has as its leader, just what a feckless fool they have been saddled with. If Chauncey were prime minister then Jihadi John would still be on the loose, free to murder aid workers with impunity because the Labour leader doesn't have the balls to do the job. If Chauncey were prime minister and Britain were under attack then the police would have to counter this with talk and possibly the offer of nice biscuits and coffee. Guns would be forbidden. Truncheons would even be frowned upon.

Labour has as its leader a man who has called terrorists his friends. He has as his Shadow Chancellor a man who thinks IRA murderers should be celebrated and applauded. This is a man whose first response to the death of Mohammed Emwazi was to wonder if killing people by drone was entirely legal and right. This is a man who apparently cannot grasp the simple idea that possession of a weapon does not mean that the possessor wants to use it, but knowledge of that possession acts as a deterrent. Chauncey would not press the nuclear button and so the moment he walked into Downing Street our country would be vulnerable at a stroke.

Conservatives at their conference and since have been saying that Labour, under Chauncey, cannot be trusted to keep us safe, cannot be trusted with the defence of our country. Chauncey is now proving them to be entirely justified in this assertion. At first it sounded hyperbolic. Now it sounds reasonable and prescient.

And this is why he has to go. It doesn't matter what damage and infighting occurs in the Labour Party. This is much more important. This is about Britain at a time when we are facing a terrible threat. It is unconscionable that Chauncey is leading the Labour Party and is their candidate to be our prime minister. The Shadow Cabinet should resign en masse and he should be deposed without delay. Not for the Labour Party, but for the sake of the country. What is wrong with you all? Do something bold for once, before it is too late.