Monday, 25 June 2012

England vs Italy

England started brightly I thought and there were a few moments of hope, but then we reverted to type; useless. Italy cannot claim to have played brilliantly but what they did, they did well enough. In fact if their shooting had been any more accurate, we would have been sunk under a deluge of goals.

So, to the ratings. For me, they go like this

Joe Hart - 7. Couldn't say he could have done better, but wasn't hugely tested.
Glen Johnson - 7. Worked hard I thought and proved useful, good team player.
John Terry - 3. Shouldn't be an England player of course, did a couple of moderately OK things, usually a nuisance to his own team.
Joleon Lescott - 5. Didn't really do anything wrong.
Ashley Cole - 5. Same as above.
James Milner - 4. England are probably two levels above his ability. A liability and takes up a place.
Steven Gerrard - 5. For most of the game you could have sworn he wasn't playing.
Scott Parker - 7. Reliable, possibly deserves a bit higher score, but there was nothing pivotal.
Ashley Young - 3. Awful. Was the invisible man for almost the entire game.
Wayne Rooney - 6. Much as I dislike the lad, he was without blame here. He tried hard but had no delivery, as is apparent in other scores. Deserved an 8 but for the lack of actual play.
Danny Wellbeck - 6. Strong, played well.

Theo Walcott continues to show the reasons he should start and Andy Carroll? Are we hoping for a lucky move by this lumbering fool? He turns round with the alacrity of a supertanker and seemed at times genuinely lost as to what to do (once when he actually had the ball).

The biggest problem with the England football team continues to be a lack of team spirit. I appreciate it must be hard to get past their immense ego's, but the Coach has to. They have to come to want to play for England and the only way I can see to do that is to change the way we talk about football.

The press and the pundits continually talk of 'excellent play' when describing absolute mediocrity. How did Rio Ferdinand ever get cited as a world class player? He seems to have a particular knack for being somewhere other than where an attack is coming in. He likes passing back to the keeper.

John Terry is a thug and plays aggressively to hide his waning talents (such as they were). He should not play for England. Only a Liverpool jury would not see that Gerrard is also not what he was. There are players being denied places so these 'names' can play.

Players should be told by the England 'Manager' when they are just not good enough and dropped when they don't play well enough. Only by publicly stating the situation as it is, rather than molly-coddling their personalities will we ever start to turn it around. England has some talent and as a nation we should be doing better, but the players have to want it enough.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Jimmy Carr Crash

I like Jimmy Carr. Or do I? I'm not sure. He is quick-witted, which I admire. He can be funny, but isn't always. 'Sketch' shows are not his thing - he does them really badly.

But anyway, here we have a Leftie comedian who has actually done a sketch lampooning Barclays for only paying 1 percent tax. This is a tax arrangement he has made use of himself. Now if it exists, why not I say, but of course if you have always spouted that it is morally wrong, how can you then decide, morally wrong for anyone but me?

So now Jimmy has said it was an 'error of judgement' as indeed it was. He has apologised but he shouldn't have (unless it was for his sketch shows) as he only did what anyone should do in his position. If tax is to be a level playing field with all paying their dues, then the tax office needs sorting out and the law changed. That is where the problem is. That and a tax regime that goes out of its way to facilitate companies like Vodafone, to ensure they pay little or no tax here.

Bloody funny about Carr though, but I guess he isn't feeling it.

Dixons - Nice

Having just read the article on Dixon's recent reported results, it seems obvious that the CEO of the electronics group reads this blog. I have pointed out their failings in addressing the look of their stores (and their ads -useless), products, prices and customer service previously. Let alone leveraging their market position and sticking the knife in to Comet and Argos.

It's all about crowds ladies and gentlemen, crowds. Ever read Asimov's Foundation trilogy?

Friday, 15 June 2012

The Importance Of Question Time

As the only hint at a political programme with some connection to the public, BBC's Question Time should be an important piece of broadcasting. That it isn't even remotely so is due to the format and the political bias of the BBC. The format means it cannot be serious, because it requires brevity and so is unable to deal with the complexities politics throws up. Indeed it plays to the Blair style of the insubstantial.

Last night welfare came up. It is clear from any study of the subject that the most generous interpretation of Britain's welfare system is that it has many unintended consequences. The actual subject here was supposed to be the suggestion by Eric Pickles that 'problem' families may see their benefits cut. My problem here is that the law should be the weapon of choice and the cowardly police required to put down their speed guns for a little while and deal with real societal problems.

However, the mention of benefits sent the hounds off on a false trail. Peter Hitchens said that welfare and its promotion of fatherless families is hugely to blame for fracturing society. We then had a display of what I really, really hate about Labour. The dozy bint MP leaped in with what was probably a prepared speech, first demonising Hitchens to establish that he is a 'known' rabid 'right winger' and then went on with her diatribe. She apparently came from a council housed, single parent family, where the mother 'struggled' to bring up a family on her own and it was a happy family and they had done well.

Not that well luv, listen to yourself! She then got to the bit underlined in her script; 'how dare you say we were a problem family, how dare you!' Hitchens was at least allowed to point out that he had said no such thing and that her 'phoney rage' was typical of her party. Indeed it is. But the easily led audience mightily applauded her soundbite-providing 'outrage'.

This is what the programme genuinely promotes; soundbites. Politicians of no substance and dodgy morals are allowed to make sharp accusations and request Dimmo moves the 'debate' on. The audience fail completely to see how they are being misled, but are fed easily swallowed bites of political spin.

Hitchens was talking about a serious matter that needed some expansion to actually understand. Having read into the subject, I find it amazing that we are where we are today, as a welfare state. One woman, who I think thought she was opposing Hitchens said that we should do what works. Wow! That must have shocked and concerned the harridan Labour MP.

But the audience haven't studied the issue, are selected to provide a pro-Left view and respond only to the easily digestible. So you end up thinking some dangerous, self important twerp, with a strong line in vitriolic bile, is a useful Member of Parliament. You then get a dysfunctional welfare state and a wrecked economy, which you then blame on the likes of Peter Hitchens, because they are 'nasty' (or so you've been told).

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Joining The EU

The rules for joining the EU say that aspiring countries must have a democratic system, amongst other things. But I find myself wondering why. The EU has evolved its powers without reference to any of the private citizens of the European continent.

It is run by unelected bureaucrats and is designed to destroy democracy. So why must a country have democracy before the EU terminates it for them? And why would the Eastern European countries throw off the communist yoke, with a controlling Moscow backing their oppression, to the hand their sovereignty to an exact replica in the EU?

It's beyond me.

New Low For Speaker

The ineffectual Speaker, husband of the international level airhead Sally, John Bercow has plumbed new depths of unacceptable behaviour and bias. Today, he has modified House of Commons rules at his own whim and allowed a pal on the Labour side to call a Conservative a liar.

Of course since the serial liars Tony Blair and Gordon Brown the Commons has been a much degraded place. Bercow naturally fits into an environment where poor quality is the norm, where his office is supposed to uphold or raise standards. This is way beyond his abilities.

Britain becomes a little more diminished, a little more the old, outdated, jaded country with no place in a developed society. Labour used to only wreck the economy, they have now achieved so much more.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

BBC Self View

We have had a couple of wonderful examples of the view the BBC has of the world and itself. Firstly the coverage of the Jubilee celebrations and the BBC's reaction to criticism. If that many people turned out in the cold and wet to see a river pageant honouring Her Majesty then it is clear their is a great and deep seated respect for the monarchy in the UK.

The BBC knows better of course and had already decided that whilst it had to cover the event, nobody would be really interested and would much prefer trivial witterings by its 'hip' presenters. Those chosen to fill the roles had neither any idea about the subject they would be presenting on, or indeed bothered to do any research. It obviously hadn't registered as being of any importance nor would be watched by very many people.

Such is the prevailing attitude within the BBC. They 'know' without asking. and anyway, they are right about everything so you must have the broadcasting they deem correct to help educate you as to the correct mindset.

Ferne Cotton has protested that criticism of her amounts to bullying. Firstly, if she is such a delicate flower then perhaps a role in the public eye is an incorrect career choice and secondly it is only bullying if it is inaccurate. If she felt her contribution was pivotal, intelligent and helpful, then she should say so and explain why. To everyone else it was ditzy, no offence.

The BBC naturally is stunned. It was and remains unaware that the UK has more than a smattering of 'Royalists' or in fact people who believe Britain to be important (in the context of its more important place as an unimportant part of the EU). Consequently in cannot see that just because not one of its presenters had the faintest idea what they were doing or why (including some for whom great respect is given, when in their field of expertise), that this should be subject to derision.

I loved the comment from the delicious Victoria Coren on 'Have I got a little more news for you' last night, that the BBC produces programme for their viewer who is some 'imaginary idiot'.

Another example was how they presented a news item about the Education Secretary trying to reintroduce tried and proven techniques to educate children. The ideas of course fell out of use as trendy 'BBC types' took over education, so naturally the BBC themselves needed to provide balance, which usually means, their point of view.

Times tables are to be learned, spelling tests introduced and poetry recital. These things provide basic tools to allow children to do much else. The incredulous BBC said that this could mean a return to learning by rote, which 'doesn't teach children anything'. Of course this bizarre interpretation needed no attempt at substantiation. Learning by rote = wrong. Full stop.

Here is the difference between the real world and the BBC. Take any person and get them to examine a child's level of education. They will find the child will usually be poor at spelling, arithmetic and general knowledge. They will be aware that climate change is the biggest threat facing mankind and that 'renewable' energy will save us. They won't know why.

The BBC will say almost all children have a high level of education, because the exam results say so. But won't go near a child to find out.


As the actions of the EU to save its currency, the Euro continue in what can only be described as bizarre fashion, perhaps now is a good time to look at the background. You can usually discern intentions by looking at some of the tangential activities of those you are studying.

The obvious points are that the single European currency idea could never have worked and is therefore solely designed to precipitate a crisis, that allows the bureaucrats to offer the only 'solution'; a single government. This much has been clear since long before the problems became apparent.

What I find amusing is that countries in Europe are rejecting 'austerity'. Austerity here means doing what Brussels says, which would be exactly the same as if there was a single European government. Germany do not want to transfer funds to southerners who created their own problems through fecklessness. But what else would happen under a single government?

I can hear the Central Planning Unit being built. Maybe Germans would be happier paying the money if it bought an empire.

But here we have the problem and the motivation to look at what is really going on. It would not be a German empire. It would be an empire run by unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats in Brussels. There would be no 'national' machinery to constrain them; no German money, only EU funds. But does this utopia for bureaucrats create a European psyche? No. All the years of accumulated national identity cannot be expunged overnight.

The Germans talk of Greek fecklessness, a nation condemned. Not a company, or a family, or a group of people taking advantage, a nation. Now you can claim it is racism to speak thus, but just because some Greeks doubtless do not fit the profile doesn't change the truth. As a national entity Greece lied about its finances which were dire because, Greeks retire early and don't pay their taxes.

So yes, you can point a finger at a national trait. But it is the considered opinion of the bureaucracy in Brussels that all the peoples of Europe see themselves as Europeans, with a common heritage and common goals. Delusions of that scale used to mean a strait jacket.

Take Yugoslavia. It was a federation of states that was doing OK. Then, when the strongmen disappeared it fell apart, literally tearing at each others throats. The Northern states hating the Southerners who they thought lazy. Only centralised power, force, held this together in the past

The same is true of that other, larger federation, the USSR. It fell apart as soon as it became apparent that the will to use force to sustain it no longer existed. Often there was no violence, just a drift away from central control, to regain national identity.

But this is precisely the model the EU is trying to recreate; a federation of subsumed states where national identity is erased. They talk openly of a United States of Europe because the USA is seen as a free country, rich and powerful, very much a positive image. But Americans, whether from New York or Florida see themselves as Americans, with regional pride but national goals.

I am British and Frenchmen are French. They may talk of a continent called Europe but none of them see themselves as a citizens of the Continent. So what is it that is in the minds of the EU project directors? Do they not know this, or do they think people can overcome it, in an intellectual way? A triumph of reason over emotion.

If so then it is perhaps the ultimate irony; the emotional need of the bureaucrats to believe in and create a nation of unified souls, when reason tells them this cannot be.

Are they that stupid, that idealistically blind? No, not a bit. So here we look at what else is going on. As we know the way the EU is being constructed is the opposite of the US experience; they are trying to impose a federation, they have put single currency before political union (the reverse of the US again).

Why has a country that doesn't exist (yet) have its own flag, its own anthem? Why do the EU member states have to fly that flag prominently? Why is it a crime to speak out against the EU? Why do EU police have immunity from prosecution?

All of these are attributes of a central power that knows it must enforce its will upon the people. Why else does the actual power, the machinery of the EU remain apart from elections. Your MEP is a sop to your prejudices, they have absolutely no power and no ability to affect EU policy. If they 'vote' down some measure that the bureaucrats desire to see in place, it stays there until the politicians see sense.

Behind the scenes and around the periphery the EU is building itself an empire to match Russia. To avoid the problems that the Soviet Union encountered they have decided to proceed slowly, so that when the lid is finally on, the people will feel that somehow they agreed to it. Counter-revolution will be avoided.

As the single currency crisis comes to a head the goal of political union is almost upon them and so the efforts to establish an EU army are coming to the fore. We may agree that necessity means joining together as a single country called Europe, but the Project managers in Brussels are not so stupid that they do not realise that, even from Day One, they will need tanks and troops to hold it together.

When you look at how the EU has gone about constructing itself, the way it has achieved legislative hegemony, the powers it accords itself (and why it needs them) says quite clearly that the end result is designed to be a totalitarian state. Even the elite shops, full of subsidised goods, that ordinary citizens are not allowed to use already exist!

It is therefore, for the sake of peace in Europe not merely important that Britain escapes the clutches of these evil minds, but that the EU itself  is dismantled. Think of their expensive 'offices' as palaces and with the key individuals sitting in high back leather chairs, stroking white cats and you are on the right track. We have a chance to destroy it once and for all and now is the time. But will we do it? Where is Britain's Churchill? Is it coincidence that Cameron looks nothing like the great man?

The other aspect to consider is current damage. When you think of how inept most people are today in Britain, when children die under social workers noses, nurses don't feed patients, the police shoot people with impunity, children lack basic education, firefighters cannot enter water ankle deep, then you think what this reminds you of.

The image is that of the Soviet Union, where failure, incompetence and corruption was endemic but the Party insisted all was well. We already have too much of the EU and its failures embedded in us (and elsewhere - Spain's reckless building programme, Greece's belief that welfare didn't need to be funded) and we need to break free as soon as possible. We do need radical action; we need a revolution.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Is It A Bad Idea?

Cameron and Clegg want to negotiate with the EU to stay out of a federal superstate (for now) which is what the Brussels bunch are angling for. But the Coalition remains deaf to the public it is supposed to serve and represent and to reality. Clegg thinks that when this current inconvenience blows over the EU will be a fantastic place, presaging eternal peace, a land of milk and honey, where lions lay down with lambs.

But the negotiation would need to be more sophisticated than the way Europhiles support their cause with naysayers.They generally use the intellectual argument that anyone who agrees with them is sensible and those against, nutters. Perfectly sound reasoning don't you think? Stacks up well against those who just point to unimportant things like, the moronic, hugely costly laws the EU imposes, the absence of any hint of democracy and a crisis that is entirely the result of EU politics. Made worse by the failure of EU politics to keep a lid on it, let alone resolve it.

No I think it is extraordinarily difficult for those who oppose the EU to come up with any cogent argument. The EU was a project to bring a version of the Soviet Union into Western Europe, to serve the desires of a political elite. It didn't work for the Russians (or anything they touched) and amazingly it hasn't worked here either. It is like trying to replace petrol with water; the engine won't run. Some things are just not possible.

So no, we don't want to renegotiate our relationship with the EU, we need to get out. Britain is in a mess. The government has pretty much based its strategy on borrowing more and increasing taxes. What they should be doing is leaving the EU which frees up large amounts of money we used to give them, so they could hand it over primarily to criminals. Then the government should rip up EU directives strangling industry and our society. The government then needs to look to itself, to eradicate waste, corruption and to stop doing a vast swathe of things that they have taken to their hearts.

Quango's need to go. Industry regulators should be lean and mean, with a clearly proven remit to support consumers, not party with those they are paid to watch. Foreign aid should go. Government spending on diversity and multiculturalism crap should end. Where we should be directing effort and yes, some monetary resources is on research and development and reinvigorating manufacturing in this country.

These wide ranging reforms and programmes will show a government with a grip on reality and some feeling for the people that pay them. It would show leadership. Perhaps if Cameron cannot fit it in between playing games and taking jollies, he should step aside and let a grown up politician step into the breach.