Post Christmas observations
Splendid couple of days doing not much. A shame the weather's been grey - 'grismal' at times in fact - and not enticing for a walk. Today was an exception but, Sod's Law, I had to finish off my contribution to January’s Identity and so was stuck in the office. Still, having done that and while in writing mode, may as well do a bit more blogging.
All the Yuletide menu arrangements went according to plan. We habitually avoid turkey on Christmas Day as the factory-reared things are a thoroughly disappointing meat as well as being nearly as inhumanely reared as battery hens and eggs (no-one who eats factory-farm eggs has the faintest right to criticise fox-hunting, most healthy foxes always stood a fair chance of getting away, and those that don't live free until the moment they die which is a luxury denied to millions of chickens). This Boxing Day though we had a free-range bird from a fairly local farm, as recommended by one of the two pukka butchers in Welshpool - take a look at Langford's Food Hall in particular if you're passing through Welshpool at some time. To add to the traditional nature of the day, and on the hunting theme, Rhiannon, Elen and I went down to see the Boxing Day hunt meet outside the
Local Tory Assembly Member Glynn Davies was there trying to shore up his vote. He's not particularly popular though, as word has gone around of his smug comment to a well-known farmer a few years back when the latter offered him a bit of advice on how to do things better: "I've done very well for myself". Where do they get these greedy second-raters? Apparently the hunt was one of about 300 happily defying New Labour's purported hunt ban, and very fine they looked too. I spoke to several people who were proudly sporting 'I was there' badges from the Countryside Marches. While I appreciate that some people are as deeply opposed to hunting as the hunts and their supporters are to carrying on, I do believe that people who are genuinely concerned with animal welfare would do better to direct their efforts against the grotesquely unnecessary and wholly alien practice of halal ritual slaughter of literally millions of helpless farm animals, rather than bothering about a couple of thousand often elderly or injured foxes a year.
The best present as far as I'm concerned is, of course, simply being at home this Christmas, even more so without a looming court case (as far as I know!) In strictly material terms, though, my best this year has got to be a double CD, 'The Legendary Johnny Cash'. It features many of his best songs, all of which were re-recorded in the early 1990s when Cash signed to Rick Rubin's American Recordings label. His voice is amazingly strong for a man of his age, and his versatility shown by his ability not just with his own old classics but also on new covers of material such as Cat's In the Cradle, Wanted Man and even two by Elvis Costello. I'm pleased to say that I was a Cash fan some time before the recent film 'I Walk The Line' sparked a revival which has made him a musical icon even to many teenagers (if the music-playing ones around here are anything to go by, which they might not be of course). If all you know of Johnny Cash is a vague memory of one or two of his cheesier 1980s Country or Born Again Christian tracks, then I recommend you to get hold of this album. Brilliant stuff.
Back on the subject of local celebrities, Richard and Rhiannon, out with separate gangs of mates in Newtown, were amused to have seen - several days before the story of their relationship broke in the press - Lembit Opick in relaxed mood in the Grapes and the Exchange pubs near to his constituency home, and his half of the Cheeky Girls out without him in the Castle Vaults on 'Mad Friday'. Say nothing, even the walls have BNP ears! Still, it's good to hear that at least one LibDem is hetero, I hope his colleagues won't persecute him to much over this shocking deviation from LibDem orthodoxy. At least by the time he splits up with Ms Cheeky there'll be a whole queue of Romanian (or, to be more precise, Roma) lasses available to anyone who has mastered a few basic phrases in their language.
My guess on the impact of EU expansion to
A new wage war
Paradoxically, the people who will be hardest hit may actually be the Poles who've arrived over the last year or so. They've already dragged wages down so low that hundreds of thousands more native Brits are already out of the labour market, so the latest arrivals won't make any difference to our people. It's the Poles who'll now find themselves being undercut, by people who can work every bit as hard as they do (I mean Bulgarians and Romanians when I write this, the Roma's idea of work is stealing anything heavier than a purse). As the song goes, I predict a riot.
Yesterday's Daily Mail had an editorial which put part a large part of the blame for this flood on lazy British workers. There is of course a shred of truth in this, but that's all. The reality is that, on top of the impact of decades of increasing 'dependency culture', the killing blow as far as the natives are concerned is that the East Europeans are able to undercut anything they can work for. There are two key reasons for this, neither of which is yet understood, let alone talked about by ignorant editors or shock-jock hacks like Peter Hitchens in their well-paid ivory towers: First, the newcomers often live eight or ten to a flat, dossing on floors or sharing beds in shifts. Second, the ones paying taxes are willing to live hand-to-mouth for ten months of the year (a combination of cheap supermarket special offers, eating at work, shoplifting and frugal peasant cookery of a sort that our pathetic school 'cookery' lessons dropped decades ago), with the savings they're after accruing in their tax and National Insurance contributions. Because, when they then go home at the end of nearly a year here, the British government kindly gives them all their tax back.
That's right, whether it's the initial emergency tax rate or the flat 22%, it's all paid over to them when they go home on holiday. All they've got to do is to use a fraction of the resulting handout to buy false ID and they're back taking another low paid British job a couple of weeks later. How can any native workers, with families to keep, homes to pay for, and Gordon Brown's tax-habit to pay for, possibly compete against that? What a shame it is that just about the only job that a bright East European immigrant can't take is one working as a journalist - the hacks might drop their condescending attacks on 'lazy' British workers if they could only get a taste of their own medicine.
One can't say quite the same for MPs, of course, because a fair few of them are already of East European ancestry. I was particularly amused to see Denis 'MacShane', Labour MP for the economic basket case known as Rotherham, and hence to more than his fair share of Islamic 'groomers', praising the Guardian for exposing the 'secrecy' of the BNP. For Denis was blessed at birth with an utterly unspellable Polish surname. Why did he change it? What sinister secret is he trying to hide? Not because having a strange name is an impediment to getting elected in tolerant, for if it was then Lembit Opick would be representing Riga East.
The Grauniad feature was one of the strangest pieces of journalism I've seen in a long time. As one reporter who called the Doc and me on the first day to see what we thought of it asked: "What did you have to pay the Guardian for that three page advert?" And the second day was even better. True, their wholly gratuitous 'unmasking' of several upper middle class type members was a nasty piece of McCarthyism, and something about which we will be talking to a senior barrister very early in the New Year, but the rest was a wonderful piece of 'repositioning' propaganda. Either the journalist and editor are both secret BNP supporters or, perhaps slightly less incredibly, this is part of a desperate New Labour/Joseph Rowntree Trust scheme designed to rouse the Grauniad's 400,000 readership into getting off their self-satisfied bourgeois liberal bottoms and opposing the BNP before it is completely too late.
My hunch is that these people are privy to some truly (for them) shocking opinion poll and focus group data which shows the few little BNP snowballs we've already seen rolling down apparently solid rock and ice hillsides are in fact on the verge of triggering a BNP avalanche. Near panic, that's what we're seeing.
And if they think it's bad now, have they any idea what might happen when one of those Islamist terror attacks that Dr. Reid and various top cops keep on warning about gets through? Of course, they are probably exaggerating the risk in order to justify their moves to abolish even more traditional freedoms, but saying that civilian Brits now face a greater danger than even during World War Two. That suggests 60,000 deaths in five years - around about 240 7/7 attacks a year for the next five years!
Either our Masters' arithmetic is deeply flawed, or they know nothing about World War Two, or their lust for all that extra power as driven them mad, or they know something they're not telling us (think Captain Hook with a supply of suitcase nukes and a group of spotty seventeen year old Asifs). None of the above options is particularly good news if you're a Guardian reader who thinks
Sooner or later, of course, even if the Powers That Be are over-egging the threat by a factor of a hundred, the unexaggerated Islamic threat is going to do enough damage. The latest Establishment organ to display some faint inkling into what's coming our way is the Independent, with its revelation that at least 23,000 British-based Muslims are among the three million pilgrims travelling to
The Indie frets that it is 'alienation' and 'Islamophobia' that are radicalising young Muslims in
At the very least they need watching like hawks, and most certainly barred from certain jobs. One of the bullets that the British Establishment is going to have to bite sooner or later is the problem that all proper Muslims owe their primary allegiance to their religion and their co-religionists, rather than to an adopted kuffir country like the
It's not a mistake that the British army made for a hundred years after the shock of the Indian Mutiny, and it requires serious ignorance of history to run the same risks again, especially when the trouble that will result will be on our own soil this time around. Kipling, as so often, tried to warn us of the danger:
"The Stranger within my gates,
He may be evil or good, But I cannot tell what powers control -
What reasons sway his mood;
Nor when the Gods of his far-off land
Shall repossess his blood."
Not 'if'', but 'when'.