The Sad Story of a Lawn

I have just returned from ten very soggy days of house sitting in the Cotswolds and for once, even the Princetown weather seems almost benign. At least we are not likely to be flooded.

But the world outside still seems to be a troubled place. The royal family keep trying to tear themselves apart. Prince Andrew’s shenanigans continue to shock as it is now revealed that he is/was friends with and accepted lavish hospitality from yet another serial paedophile. The Royal Biscuit and his Yank have been preparing to make squillions with their ‘Royal Sussex’ brand company, but thankfully Queenie seems to have put a stop to that and over the past month or so there have been a string of divorces among minor members of the Firm.

Lisa Nandy, the prospective Labour leader has said that she would support a vote to abolish the monarchy and at the moment, I don’t suppose poor old Queenie would mind.   

Then there is the coronavirus or whatever fancy name they are calling it now. What a shambles it is proving. Russia seem to be the only nation showing any common sense by banning anyone arriving from China. If this virus is as deadly as it is purported to be, then surely draconian measures have to be taken, regardless of anybody’s human ruddy rights. 

And I see that the Extinction Rebellion lot are up to their tricks again, this time in Cambridge. The local branch of these nutcases took offence at Trinity College’s decision to sell farmland near Felixstowe, which developers want to turn into an industrial estate.

To punish the college, the anarchists invaded Trinity’s lawn, ripped it up, carted the mud off to a Barclays Bank branch, and chained themselves to an apple tree, waving the usual flags and chanting the traditional inane slogans.

They claimed this was an ideal way to protest against the ‘destruction of nature.’ How ridiculous is that? Are Cambridge colleges not allowed to sell their own property? Should all industrial estates be shut down, despite the local economic damage? Is tearing up a lawn the best way to defend nature? Isn’t it simply a childish act of self-promoting vandalism, for which the perpetrators should be prosecuted? 

For me, the astounding thing is Extinction Rebellion – and they can’t all be morons – seriously believe such antics advance their cause. In fact though, like their attempts to block highways, and airports, this sort of stunt simply turns ordinary people against them. One poll for the Cambridge Evening News’s website found a staggering ninety four per cent of local readers thought the protest was ‘nothing more than vandalism.’

So much for raising environmental awareness.

And as so often when virtue-signalling brats decide to lecture us all about their consciences, it is hard to miss the smell of hypocrisy. When the spokeswoman for these people, Sarah Lunnon went on the radio to defend them, she reportedly travelled to the studio by car. But shouldn’t she have walked or taken a bike? Shouldn’t her half-baked comrades tear up her lawn, too?

And as on previous occasions, the protesters seemed not to care that they were putting public services at risk. Contrary to their dishonest claims, at least one ambulance was forced to turn around when faced with XR’s roadblocks, and there have been accounts of other ambulances making long detours. Britain has seen antics like these before, from the radicals of the 1960s to the Greenham Common women in the 1980s. Self-appointed activists and posturing protesters will always be with us. Every generation has them. The real question, therefore, is not why XR are so stupid but what on earth were the Cambridgeshire cops doing?

After all, they had plenty of opportunities to stop the vandals. Yet they stood idly by and watched. These latter-day Dixons of Dock Green actually made the protesters’ task easier by putting up roadblocks to deter the traffic! What madness is that? At first, police spokesmen claimed they could not intervene because the Human Rights Act guarantees the right to peaceful protest. Does that not sound horribly familiar? But it is complete nonsense. Since the law forbids people from obstructing the highway and damaging private property, the constabulary would have been perfectly entitled to step in.

In a video released on Monday, Superintendent James Sutherland admitted that the issue was not ‘black and white.’ The police could have intervened if they thought the protest threatened public order, Superintendent Sutherland said. But he went on, ‘it’s a peaceful protest, there’s no disorder.’

I am willing to bet that if I hopped over the fence and dug up my neighbour’s lawn or better still Superintendent Sullivan’s before dumping it in my local post office – we don’t have a Barclays – I would be hauled in front of a Beak before I managed to get back. Would the local Plod defend my human right to smash up his garden? Would they reroute the traffic to make my life a little bit easier?

Of course they wouldn’t. Unlike the Cambridge protesters, I am not a spoiled, entitled, middle-class brat. Quite apart from my own actions, would kids from a council estate get away with similar actions. Of course they would not.

The police were too craven to intervene because senior figures were frightened to stand against a ‘progressive’ cause. So desperate to appear ‘woke’ are modern coppers that this lot lacked the guts to enforce the law.

And this reflects a wider picture. Like so many public institutions, from our universities to the BBC, the police force has been contaminated with a lazy, uncritical, knee-jerk political correctness. Dare to question the fashionable transgender dogma of the day on social media and you can expect a visit from the local constabulary. Poke fun at the holiness of ‘diversity’ and you might be facing a night in the cells. But rip up your neighbours’ lawn? If it’s for ‘environmental awareness,’ (whatever that may be) then fair enough.

To me this is a perfect example of the growing gap between the vast majority of ordinary Britons who recognise cant, dishonesty and vandalism when they see them and the people who run our public institutions, whose instinct is always to grovel and appease.

But it has to be stopped damnit! If there’s one institution that cannot fall victim to the cult of hectoring ‘wokeness,’ it is the police. Their job is not to promote diversity, encourage inclusion, stimulate eco-awareness or any other of the lazy, second-hand phrases that pass for political discourse among the slow and simple-minded. Their job is to uphold the law and arrest wrongdoers.

If they don’t do this, they let us all down and are at serious risk of forfeiting public confidence. Faced with vandalism and disorder from fashionable eco twits, the police’s instinct seems to be to grovel. So how can we trust them to keep us safe?

No wonder, then, in Cambridge there is now talk of a ‘counter-protest’ against the XR extremists. For if you can’t trust the police, why wouldn’t you take the law into your own hands? That way, of course, lies anarchy so the local constabulary simply must get a grip.

Clean up the disorder. Arrest the vandals. Let ordinary residents get on with their lives and have some respect for people’s lawns. That surely can’t be too difficult, can it?

It is Not the Climate

Yet again there has been an outpouring of whittering by allegedly sensible and enlightened people about climate change and what dangers it will bring to the planet. I don’t buy it I’m afraid. Yes, the climate is changing as it has during different periods over the past millennia but climate change is not the biggest threat to the environment – people are. The world’s rivers and seas aren’t choked with floating piles of rubbish, toxic chemicals and plastic waste because of climate change or global warming. They’re that way because we have nearly eight billion people crammed onto a planet that’s dying under the pressure of our greedy abuse. Two decades from now, the earth’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish. Climate change didn’t do that. Way too many people did.

Climate change hasn’t covered the world with concrete or replaced healthy ecosystems with housing estates and shopping malls – we and our ever-increasing numbers are the culprit. Climate change is only one of many symptoms of an out-of-control disease – human overpopulation. The irreversible environmental damage stemming from having too many people on a very small planet is already painfully evident. Our bloated population is diminishing our children’s futures in ways that have very little to do with the planet’s temperature.

I read today that the BBC are about to make a series with climate activist Greta Thunberg promoting her views. That should be fun! We will again be harangued by this little girl who has somehow taken the world by storm with her ranting. Will she offer any cures for the illnesses of the planet I wonder? Somehow I doubt it. So far, she has told us all what we have done and are doing wrong but has come up with no ready alternatives.

Bunter Johnson has decreed that sales of petrol and diesel motor vehicles will cease in fifteen years time. That seems wildly optimistic and completely unsustainable I’m afraid. There is hardly any infrastructure in place to keep the currently running electric vehicles on the road and in any case, the world will still be choked in plastic.

Our current environmental woes have almost nothing to do with the climate and everything to do with how we’ve been treating the earth – not just recently but for centuries. We’ve always abused the environment and managed to get away with it because our numbers weren’t significant enough to cause lasting damage. Now our numbers are out of control, and that presents us with huge problems.

In hindsight, we should have addressed rampant overpopulation shortly after the second world war when the global population was still around two and a half billion – less than a third of what it is today. But we were in the midst of post-war optimism and still believed in the delusion of ‘nature’s endless bounty.’ Nobody thought about the environment; all they wanted was more money and larger families.

Nature’s bounty has almost run out I’m afraid and I would urge all climate-change ‘activists’ to direct their environmental anger at those who really deserve it. They can start with the economists, developers and politicians who blissfully believe that perpetual growth is still meaningful. They can then move on to the religious zealots who still spout the mantra of ‘man’s dominion over nature’ and abhor the idea of contraceptives. After that, they can apportion a hefty dose of blame to the world leaders who purposefully sidestep the overpopulation issue like the political hot potato it is. Why damnit?! Overpopulation is killing our planet and robbing future generations of the spectacular biodiversity and animal life that older generations took for granted. And finally, they can look in the mirror and ask themselves what they are personally doing (besides protesting in the streets) to make the planet a better place for all the life that dwells on it.

One of the British national dailies is running a worthy campaign to clean the country of its litter and I would suggest that Ms Thunberg – I see she is to trademark herself to prevent anyone capitalising on her name – and the Extinction Rebellion fanatics could better help the planet by picking up a few discarded plastic bags from time to time.

Are there any solutions to an overcrowded planet? Yes there are. Firstly, governments must stop getting side-tracked by the climate change industry and recognize that the problem is sheer numbers and blatant disregard for the planet’s health – not the climate. We as human beings must replace political and economic agendas with better education and more global promotion of family planning and government incentives to have fewer children – not more.

Unless this happens pretty soon, there will be no space left on the planet and then the ‘activists’ will have been proved right but for all the wrong reasons.

Promoting her new novel Grown Ups, best-selling author Marian Keyes says she only reads books by women as male writers and their lives are ‘so limited . . . it’s such a small and narrow experience.’  

Imagine if a man had said such a thing about female novelists!

Students and Censorship

I did not go to university – through choice rather than lack of opportunity but that is another story – but had I done so, I don’t think I would be boasting about it nowadays. Rather like the police I was so proud to be a part of, universities seem  to have lost their drive and their reason for being. They spend more time tending to political correctness and he complaints of ever more precious students than they do with providing a good tertiary education.

Take Oxford and Cambridge for example. These two institutions have long been regarded worldwide as great seats of learning and hitherto, only the best would be accepted. Last week however, it was reported that Oxbridge intends to have six and a half thousand more students from deprived backgrounds by 2025.

Since there are no plans to expand undergraduate numbers, these students will doubtless be offered places at the expense of very able, largely middle-class applicants. Can it ever be right to give a place to a less qualified candidate at the expense of an intellectually stronger student who has worked hard, and committed no greater sin than to be born into relatively privileged circumstances? I don’t think so. What on earth has happened to the concept of merit in this mixed up society?

And Cambridge University Students’ Union has said that having military personnel at their freshers’ fair is ‘alarming’ for attendees and could affect their mental health. Have these snowflake numptys any idea of what they will be facing when they get out into the real world?

Students voted in favour of banning societies from bringing firearms to the annual fairs after union welfare and rights officer Stella Swain suggested those with mental health issues could find their presence ‘triggering.’ If they have mental health issues, what on earth are they doing at Cambridge?    

The motion said that the presence of military personnel carrying firearms at the fair indicate ‘implicit approval of their use, despite the links between military and firearms and violence on an international scale.’

Ms Swain, who proposed the motion which passed with over fifty percent approval, said that the union was committed to demilitarisation efforts within the university, and therefore should not be a place for military organisations to recruit.

‘The presence of firearms and military personnel at freshers’ fair is alarming and off-putting for some students and has the potential to detrimentally affect students’ mental welfare,’ the motion said.  

Without the Armed Forces these students wouldn’t be able to study in any case. They would be under the rule of Nazi Germany and the only reason they are able to attend university at all is because of the sacrifice and bravery of the Armed Forces, many of whom would have come from Cambridge ruddy University!

But it doesn’t really come as a surprise. In 2018, the same union voted down a motion to promote Remembrance Sunday citing fears about the ‘glorification’ of conflict. 

When he came to power, I urged the detractors of Bunter Johnson – and there are many – to give the man a chance. One move he made last week makes me worry somewhat though.

On Monday afternoon, journalists at No 10 who were expecting a briefing on EU trade were asked to line up on one side of the entrance hall while a security officer checked them off against a list. Those that were acceptable to the powers-that-be were asked to cross over to the other side of the room. 

The remaining journalists – mostly, though not entirely, from organisations disliked by No 10 – were told to leave. This is surely censorship of the most blatant kind and whether it was encouraged or decided upon by Johnson himself or was the whim of his strange advisor Dominic Cummings is difficult to know.

In the event, everyone present walked out in protest at what was considered an almost unprecedented act of censorship on the part of Downing Street. Nine times out of ten, when journalists grumble about the way they are treated by the authorities, I am inclined to shrug my shoulders, and not take their complaints too seriously, but this smacks of Kremlin or African dictatorship and makes me doubt the prime minister, even though he seems to have done alright so far.

Liberals and the Woke Brigade

As a scribbler, I am interested in semantics but I confess I needed to look up one particular word that crops up time and again in the daily newspapers. That word is ‘woke,’ which according to my dictionary means ‘alert to injustice in society, especially racism.’

I sounds very noble but so far as I can judge, woke culture seems to have overtaken and replaced political correctness. It is a kind of thought police cult whose devotees have given themselves the right to be offended to their core by anything they disagree with. Which is just about everything. 

Every time a woke spokesman (or more likely woman) says anything, it appears to be a wail of complaint because whatever they heard or read was either based on common sense or a traditional view. I was brought up to show tolerance for views different to my own and to try and understand the reasoning behind such views. Yet it seems that in woke culture a non-woke viewpoint is a source of almost hysterical denunciation.

And what is then expected is self-abasement, apology and retraction. The woke mindset seems to have invaded and taken over British universities too and the slightest variation merits ‘de-platforming’ – meaning that particular speakers have to be barred from addressing the assembled luvvies. Bring back national service for God’s sake. If any of these fragile snowflakes had listened to a drill sergeant on parade, I think they’d have died of ruddy shock!

And almost as bad as the woke brigade are the so-called liberals. They are anything but liberal damnit! Take for instance the rancorous impeachment process in America, which is led by so called Democrats Shumer, Schiff and Jerry Nadler. They represent a party that seems to me responsible for so many of that nation’s problems, but they do not like Trump and sound almost rabid in their denunciation of the man. Yet like him or not, he was fairly elected by the American people so surely deserves to be accepted as such.

After all, when Barack Obama somewhat surprisingly came to power millions of conservative American voters were concerned. The man was not even Christian in a deeply Christian country, but these folk didn’t react the way the current lot have reacted and are reacting to Trump. They buried their concerns and gave their support to a duly elected president which was as it should be.

While political opposition from his Republican opponents continued, it was conducted in a respectful and well-mannered way. Yet with the equally surprising election of Trump, a similar display of common decency and acceptance of defeat has been utterly absent from the liberal political leadership and the far too powerful American media. In response to his winning the presidency, he has been hounded, harassed and viciously vilified – and is still being vilified. In my long lifetime I have never heard any American or Western politician being so harshly and relentlessly attacked by his political opponents as has Donald Trump.

But it all rather mirrors what the liberal elite think of African history. Even today, a number of people seem horrified that I look on myself as African. I am the wrong colour to make that claim according to these so called ‘liberals.’ And let’s face it, the decolonisation process that swept through Africa a few decades ago was motivated by the liberal politicians of Western democracies who came to dominate the political landscape after WWII.  They successfully promoted the idea that all whites in Africa were racist oppressors and all blacks were innocent victims.

And to bolster that view, Chaka Zulu, a psychotic mass-murderer who terrorised an entire sub-region has been universally lionised while Cecil Rhodes, who as far as I know never killed anyone, who built roads, railways, bridges, hospitals, schools, universities and supplied the funding for the most prestigious scholarship of the modern era, is remembered as a heartless, avaricious, monster.

The same applies to two relatively recent leaders of my own country. Ian Smith, who was a good and honest man will go down in liberal history books as a racist tyrant while his successor, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, personally responsible for ruining a country and killing many thousands of innocent people will be remembered as a long serving black ‘leader.’

On the back of this and many other big lies, one of the greatest man-made catastrophes of all time has unfolded in sub-Saharan Africa. It has cost and continues to cost millions of lives in wars and endemic continental violence. It has flattened entire economies and left hundreds of millions of people trapped in a deepening poverty spiral. Cruel despots have amassed fortunes and continue to be accepted around the world as leaders while their people struggle to survive.

Yet despite all this, no member of the liberal establishment has ever had the courage to stand up and admit that they got it wrong. As with the woke brigade, if you don’t agree with them, you are just wrong.

Across the liberal spectrum there seems to exist an inability to accept any form of defeat, but more importantly there is also a frightening refusal to accept and acknowledge that they may have done something wrong and take responsibility for their actions. So the chances of finding solutions borne out of constructive discourse to world problems are frighteningly absent unless the rest of us fight back.

Independence and a Sordid Family Drama

Well, it has finally arrived. I write of course about Independence Day or as it is being called – Brexit Day. It is here at last and after eleven o’clock – I wonder why they didn’t choose midnight – tonight, Britain will at last be independent of Europe or at any rate, the European Union.

The last time I lived through an Independence Day was on 18th April 1980 when Rhodesia finally became Zimbabwe. I didn’t join in the celebrations then so I can sympathise with those who will not be celebrating tonight, but although there have been three and a half years of bitter squabbling among the people of this country over Brexit, at least nobody has been killed as happened in the lead up to Independence to thousands of my own countrymen way back then.

So what will happen tonight I wonder? Will there be a ceremonial lowering of the European flag and raising of the Union Jack, as happened in reverse in all those liberated colonies? Will Prince Charles attend and stiffen to a royal salute as he did in my own country before handing it over to Robert Mugabe?

Somehow I doubt it. There will I suppose be the odd party here and there, but I fancy it will all be pretty subdued, as a nervous nation waits for what will happen next. This was once the proudest nation on earth, but modern Britons seem too cowed by comfort and technology to celebrate the fact that they will be free of what really was a brutal and corrupt tyranny.

Talking about Prince Charles, I do feel terribly sorry for his mother. Poor old Queenie must be tearing her hair out as her family in general present themselves to the world as rather a sordid sort of soap opera.

Charles himself, who tells us all how he talks to his plants and is intent on saving the planet from itself was this week revealed to have travelled many thousands of miles of late in private jets – a little like his younger son who not so long ago lectured us all in bare feet, having taken four private jet flights in a week.

Prince Andrew drops ever further into disgrace over his heartless attitude toward Epstein victims and his apparent refusal to speak with the American investigators in the case. Peter Phillips demeans himself and his family by doing a tacky commercial advertising Chinese milk, as does Lady Kitty Spencer with a rival milk company. The Duchess of York is opening a business selling more knick-knacks under a ‘Duchess’ brand and of course the Royal Biscuit and his Yank have horrified the world by running away from their royal duties to cash in on their titles and celebrity connections.

And now to cap it all, a bloke in Australia claims to be the illegitimate son of Charles and Camilla and is so confident of his case that he has taken it to the Australian High Court. Simon Charles Dorante-Day (he has a posh name at any rate!) seems determined to prove that he is the second in line to the throne. The fifty-three year old has long claimed to have damning evidence that he was born out of wedlock in 1966 and was farmed out to a family who had strong private ties to the Queen.

Says Simon: “My grandmother, who worked for the Queen, told me outright that I was Camilla and Charles’ son many times. The government and the palace would’ve learnt about my High Court submissions just before Christmas, and I have no doubt it would’ve caused panic. Then we hear of Harry announcing that he was stepping back from the royal family and all the crisis talks at Sandringham Estate with the Queen, Charles and William. It’s all a very big coincidence!

“While the whole world was thinking they were talking about Harry, we believe this legal battle would’ve also been on the agenda and discussed. In his farewell speech, Harry himself alluded to there being ‘other challenges’ and I can’t help but wonder if this case is one.”

As part of his new case, Simon has asked for a mediation session and a ‘Statement of Paternity’ whatever that may be. “When looking into my options, I received advice that led me to believe that it was best to take my case to the High Court,” says he.

It would seem that Simon was born in Gosport during April 1966 and at the age of eighteen months, was adopted by a local couple named Karen and David Day. His adoptive grandparents, Winifred and Ernest Bowlden both worked for the Queen and Prince Philip in one of their royal households. Ernest in fact received an Imperial Service Award for his work for Her Majesty.

Simon’s grandmother apparently told him many times he was Camilla and Charles’ child. “She didn’t just hint at it, she told me outright.”

It seems that Charles and Camilla first became close in 1965, and just months later, in the lead-up to when Simon was born, Camilla mysteriously disappeared for at least nine months, while Charles was sent to Australia. The hospital where Simon was reportedly born didn’t deliver babies at the time and the names of the parents listed on his birth certificate were fictitious. It all sounds somewhat fishy I suppose.

Simon reckons that he has firm recollections of being taken to houses around Portsmouth as a little boy, where he would spend time with the woman, he believes was Camilla while protection officers and his adoptive parents waited outside.

Simon believes Camilla kept him until he was eighteen months old, using the royals and protection officers to help conceal him. But when he was getting too old, it was arranged that one of the Queen’s trusted house staff − Simon’s grandmother − would have her daughter adopt him.

God only knows what will happen next but the papers here are being very coy about this case. I said to begin with that the Royals were beginning to seem like a somewhat sordid soap opera, but I can’t imagine any screen writer having the imagination or the gall to inflict so much personal disaster and shame on any one family.

What on earth will Queenie have to put up with next? She goes around looking regal and unconcerned but inside she must be dreading the next horrific instalment in her personal family drama.

Liberals, Lecturers and Legal Reporting

Nothing like a bit of alliteration for a handy title!

‘Liberal’ is a much used word these days, but I fear its meaning has been twisted somewhat. The dictionary tells me that the word means ‘willing to respect or accept behaviour or opinions different from one’s own; open to new ideas.’

Huh! The modern – usually self-proclaimed – ‘liberal’ seems to be the exact opposite. They don’t accept any view that differs from their own. If you don’t agree with them, you must be wrong. Take the current furore over Margaret Court for instance. When I was a boy, I thrilled to this Australian lady’s exploits on the tennis court and longed to watch her in action – we did not have television in those days. Her tally of grand slam titles still has not been equalled.

Soon after retiring from the game, she embraced religion and became a pastor in a denomination I had never heard of. In that capacity, she has spoken out against homosexuality and same-sex marriage and that has brought the liberal elite down on her in slavering droves. She is due to be honoured this week at the Australian Open tournament but the Aussie lawn tennis association qualified their honour by saying the Ms Court’s views were entirely her own and not the views of the association. Why mention that at all? Surely the honour is for her tennis career, not what she thinks or says.

The verbose and volatile john McEnroe has now joined in the vituperation being thrown at this icon of her sport and if I was in her shoes, I would probably tell them all to get stuffed.

She was a great tennis player – probably the greatest female player ever – and is entitled to her own views, which let’s face it are shared by a large percentage of humanity. She deserves every honour the tennis world can bestow on her and if people do not agree with her views, they should just accept them as being different to their own. That is what being liberal is about – at least according to the dictionary definition.

Talking about the misuse of words, I see that Squeaker Bercow is now a ‘professor’ of politics at a London university. The ex-MP for Buckingham has become a part-time professor of politics at Royal Holloway, University of London, and delivered his first lecture to parliamentary studies students last week.

Those poor unfortunate students! Members of Parliament became used to sitting through his self-indulgent and wordy lectures in the House of Commons, but they volunteered. What have the students done to deserve this horrible little man?

His initial lecture came one day after his most senior former official, Lord Lisvane filed yet another bullying complaint against him and Bercow responded by accusing Boris Johnson of ignoring a ‘centuries-old tradition’ that ex-Speakers are elevated to the Lords.

Only if they deserve it and this pompous clown surely did not deserve any sort of honour after his disgracefully biased tenure of a honourable position.

A university spokesman said: ‘Professor Bercow will work with undergraduate and postgraduate students on a part-time basis and will contribute to teaching across the curriculum.’

I hope they are prepared to pay through the nose for his services. After all, this was the first speaker in two hundred and thirty years not to be offered a peerage immediately on retirement and only last week it was revealed that he spent more than a thousand quid in taxpayers’ cash on a two hundred and fifty mile return taxi ride from Westminster to Nottingham. That really has to be taking the mickey, but his total travel bill in his final year as Speaker hit thirteen thousand, six hundred and twenty seven pounds. Have the university considered his expense claims I wonder.

For all his dismal failure as a speaker and his appalling record on bullying and taking us all for philanthropic fools, this man is now a professor at a prestigious university. Why didn’t any of these establishments of learning offer Ronnie Biggs or the Kray twins similar roles, perhaps lecturing on violent crime?

I was amused to see that new research by Cambridge University has confirmed what all good coppers know and what I’ve been saying for years.

A visible police presence on foot reduces crime. One does not need to be a professor of anything to see that. The Cambridge research showed that just four fifteen-minute patrols a day on some of the capital’s most crime-ridden Underground platforms reduced reported crime by twenty-eight per cent in patrolled locations, while it rose by sixteen per cent on platforms without patrols. Will anything happen? I doubt it.

Meanwhile, a major newspaper has just published on its front page as hot news, the fact that police have given up pursuing the serious crime of marijuana possession. 

Oh wow! I wonder what ace reporter is angling for a Pulitzer prize with that bit of non news.

Zimbabwe Thunberg and Van de Merwe

This week the Zimbabwe government got out of their obligation to pay doctors a vaguely liveable salary. Zimbabwean millionaire and philanthropist, Strive Masiyiwa and his Higher Life Foundation has established a fund that will pay junior doctors three hundred US dollars a month for the next six months. Can you imagine doctors in any other modern country working for this sort of wage? Anyway, Tawanda Zvakada who is a spokesman for the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association said: “This is not a long-lasting solution but it is an opportunity for our members to go back to work and finish their training.”

While this deal was being finalized the Supreme Court ruled this week that all debts incurred before the 22nd Feb 2019 will be settled in the local currency on a one to one basis with the American dollar. That is ridiculously cynical but the ruling was made by Chief Justice Luke Malaba, the very same Judge who ignored all the evidence, to rule that Crocodile Mnangagwa won Zimbabwe’s 2018 disputed election! In the week that Justice Malaba made the currency/debt ruling, the bank rate for US$1 was Z$17 and the black market rate was US$1 for Z$25.

To put Justice Malaba’s ruling into context: if someone owed you one hundred US dollars in Feb 2019, they can now pay you back one hundred Zimbabwe Bond dollars which today is only worth the equivalent of four US dollars.

Undoubtedly this ruling will benefit the well-connected and the political elite, because who else can access large amounts of money in a bankrupt country? Borrow a million, pay back fifty thousand. What a bargain for Zimbabwe’s big borrowers; they must be rubbing their hands in glee. Legal commentator Alex Magaisa calls this the ‘great heist’ and he is right. It is a damned disgrace but nobody can do a thing about it.

Yet while the government is off the hook with doctors and off the hook with debts, they are doing nothing about teachers who are earning the equivalent of forty US dollars a month and can’t afford to do their jobs. When a schoolteacher and his students in Bulawayo held a demonstration recently to highlight the absence of teachers and the huge school fee increases, police launched a manhunt for the teacher who had gone into hiding. Bulawayo biology teacher Brian Mutsiba subsequently released a letter which reads in part: ‘The presence of officials from the President’s Office, Military Intelligence and Prisons intelligence on that fateful day is testimony enough that there are threats on my life.’

Of course there are. Zimbabweans are not allowed to criticise officialdom and yet if there was any doubt about the need for Mr Mutsiba’s demonstration, the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council have announced that there was only a 31.6% pass rate in November’s O’ Level exams. There’s a shameful irony about a manhunt for a biology teacher when teachers can’t afford to go to work and children can’t afford to go to school.

In the meantime, the president continues to fly around the world in chartered aircraft and world leaders continue to ignore his excesses. The Crocodile is out of touch with reality I’m afraid but he is tacitly allowed to get away with it.

Also out of touch with reality is teenage environmentalist Greta Thunberg, who gave another hysterical speech at the global bunfight this week in which she claimed, “Our house is still on fire. Your inaction is fuelling the flames by the hour. We are still telling you to panic, and to act as if you loved your children above all else.

‘We don’t want these things done in 2050, 2030, or even 2021,” Thunberg said. “We want this done now.”

I find it vaguely significant that she doesn’t vent her spleen at the main polluters of the planet – China and India.

Sixty percent of CO2 emissions since this strident little girl was born are attributable to China, but nobody talks about that. They talk as if its somehow Europeans and Americans who have to fix this problem. This is not only wrong but it is frustrating because Europe and America alone have no hope of doing what Ms Thunberg is screaming about. Let her go to Beijing, Delhi or even Africa and harangue the politicians there. I fear she will have little impact and will probably end up in gaol which is probably why the rest of us have to endure her angry ranting.

And you know, the British authorities – and I rarely have anything good to say about them – have done a great deal to avert the global catastrophe that Thunberg keeps yammering on about. CO2 emissions in this country peaked in 1973 and are now at their lowest level since Victorian times, Air pollution has plummeted since then too with sulphur dioxide levels down ninety five per cent. Britain’s population is rising but energy consumption peaked in 2001 and has since fallen by nineteen per cent.

God spare us from the rantings of children who really don’t know what they are talking about.

On a lighter note, I liked the story of Hennie Van de Merwe who went with his wife to the Pretoria Agricultural Show a couple of weeks ago. One of the first exhibits they stopped at was the breeding bulls. On one pen there was a sign that proudly proclaimed that the bull inside had mated fifty times in the previous year.

Mrs Van nudged Hennie in the ribs with a smile and said, ‘He mated 50 times last year, that’s almost once a week.’

Hennie ignored her but on the next pen there was a sign that told them that the bull inside had mated one hundred and fifty times the previous year.

Obviously impressed, Mrs Van gave Hennie a healthy jab in the ribs and exclaimed, ‘See Hennie – that’s more than twice a week. You could learn a lot from him.’

The third bull they looked at had a sign on his pen that said, in capital letters,

THIS BULL MATED 365 TIMES LAST YEAR

Mrs Van was so excited that her elbow nearly broke Hennie’s ribs and she said, ‘That’s once a day Hennie. You could really learn something from this one.’

But Hennie had had enough and he said to his wife, “Go over and ask him if every time was with the same old cow.”

There are no set visiting hours in the Intensive Care Unit at Pretoria general hospital, but anyone wanting to see Hennie is advised to check with the hospital first as he is not a pretty sight.

Sorry; that is my anti Afrikaners joke for the year – perhaps!

Turmoil in Southern Africa

The great and the good are meeting again in Davos this week to discuss what to do for the world. To my mind, it is all a bit of a farce but earlier in the week, they brought out what is known as the Edelman Trust Barometer. This is basically what the citizens of different countries think of their respective governments.

I don’t suppose it came as a surprise to my fellow displaced Africans but Cyril Ramaphosa’s government in South Africa came last in the table, to be rated the least trustworthy on earth – and that by some distance.

It would seem that only twenty percent of South Africans trust their government and I don’t know where they found that twenty percent. Closest nation to South Africa in the untrustworthiness stakes is Spain and they have a whopping thirty percent.

The survey – apparently the biggest of its kind globally with thirty four thousand respondents – was conducted between mid-October and mid-November last year. Now in its twentieth edition, it recorded how the SA Government’s trust ranking slumped into the bottom slot during the Zuma era, with only similarly scandal-wracked Brazil keeping it company.

Under its new president, Brazil has left the South Africans behind and at thirty nine percent is now well clear of the relegation zone. How much of that improvement is due to the ongoing success of the anti-corruption, Operation Car Wash or Jair Bolsonaro’s leadership wasn’t mentioned. But it does show Team Ramaphosa what’s possible.

Rainbow ruddy Nation indeed!

Further north across the Great Grey Green Greasy Limpopo, Zimbabwean woes deepen by the day. Unsurprisingly they were not invited to the recent UK – Africa Investment summit held in London last Monday.

During this self-congratulatory – on both sides – bun fight, leaders from twenty one African countries were treated to a reception at Buckingham Palace, hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Crocodile Mnangagwa was notable by his absence, but as I said, he was not invited, even though my little country was once the food bowl of Africa.

Harare’s response to this diplomatic snub was to describe Britain as ‘no longer an investing global power’ and send the Crocodile on to the next and larger bunfight in Davos, inevitably in another private jet, hired for the occasion. I mean, the politicians of Zimbabwe can’t be expected to travel like ordinary citizens!

Mnangagwa has recently boasted of a deal with Russia, trading precious minerals for military hardware. That hardware will come in handy to further subdue an increasingly restless and angry population.

At the moment, Zim is verging on destitution. The United Nations special rapporteur (where do they find these grandiose titles?) on the right to food, Hilal Elver spoke in terms of man-made starvation when she estimated recently that sixty percent of the population is ‘food insecure.’ I know Zimbabweans are gentle and peaceful people, but how much longer can they take this?

Ms Elver’s statement has proved frighteningly accurate as many Zimbabweans are fortunate if they can find one good meal every two days. World Bank estimates currently show that five point seven million Zimbabweans are living in extreme poverty. It costs a hospital doctor more to get a bus to work than they can earn in a week and unsurprisingly most of them are currently on strike. The head of their Doctors’ Association Peter Magombeyi was abducted from his home last year and after he was ‘found,’ the authorities would not allow him to go to South Africa in order be treated for suspected poisoning.

These people are doctors damnit. Ordinary people need doctors but are being deprived of their services so Mnangagwa and his considerable entourage can fly around the world in private jets. A tiny proportion of the money spent on their international junkets would provide doctors with a liveable wage.

And it is not only the doctors. Last week, public servants went on strike for a day. They want pay rises too as their earnings are disappearing under an inflation rate of five hundred and twenty one percent and rising.

Those who dare to protest are met with uncontrolled brutality from a police force that is underpaid, under-trained and desperate for survival. When there is nothing more to lose, starvation drives people to new levels of courage – or thuggery.

Over the past few months, there have been increasing reports of killings carried out by the waShurugwi — a gang of twenty year olds with nothing who are killing with machetes anyone who has anything. This started with the murder of itinerant goldminers in the Midlands but in the past few days, the waShurugwi have spread from rural areas to the suburbs of Harare.

The public fear of these horrible little thugs has not been helped by photographs showing that among the disguised killers are members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police. So many of us were proud to be members of that force, but over the years it has degenerated into a corrupt and useless shambles.

When he was foreign secretary in 2018, Bunter Johnson said he would give Mnangagwa a year to improve human rights and get the economy working before there could be any consideration of the readmission of Zimbabwe to the Commonwealth. Huh! As things stand today, the whole country is fast becoming a human rights disaster.

How long will Britain and other members of the Commonwealth, as well as the United ruddy Nations stand by and watch Zimbabwe, with all the potential and promise of its well-educated populace and abundant natural resources, make a violent descent into mayhem?

Luvvies and Lords

It seems that Foxy is in trouble again. He has risked sparking further controversy by criticising Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes for including a Sikh soldier in his World War I drama 1917. 

He is quite right of course. Natural warriors, Sikhs fought with outstanding bravery in their own regiments, rather than in British ones in many of World War I’s most horrific battles, including Ypres and the Somme. Yet putting a token Sikh into a British regiment is playing to the politically correct Luvvie gallery I fear.

This seems to be the gong season among the acting fraternity with award ceremony after award ceremony hitting the headlines every week. This week it was the SAGS – whatever they may be. But what on earth is it all about? Actors are paid vast sums of money for mouthing the words of others and surely do not need these additional plaudits which seem to come mainly from their fellow actors and the comic section of the media..

As for the ceremonies, they really are cringe-worthy. Women glammed up to the nines, sometimes in outrageous gowns and winners standing up to lecture the rest of the world on what we are doing wrong – in their opinions, which really are not worth a pinch of salt. None of these people live in the real world, yet they seem to feel themselves so superior to the rest of us.

Why is this I wonder? Yes, they have far more money than most people can ever aspire to but this surely doesn’t make them experts on how you, I and the man next door should act.

As for 1917, I won’t be watching it but as far as I can make out, it is a fairy tale with almost no connection to reality but doused in blood – perfect for the war game videos that the younger generation – and I watched my grandsons growing up – seem to enjoy.

Two Great War soldiers are sent on foot across no-man’s-land on a ‘desperate mission’ to prevent a massacre. What rot!! Futile massacres were a regular occurrence throughout the First World War, and there’s no sign that the high command cared all that much, so why go on foot?

As the two heroes stumble from hazard to hazard in what is apparently just like a video game, they watch British planes flying overhead. Couldn’t these planes have taken the message? 

Having wriggled and struggled sweatily through a deadly maze to get into no-man’s-land, the pair are then overtaken by a convoy of British lorries, which appears to have got there by taking the first right turn off the Ypres by-pass. If the roads are open for trucks, why not send the message by motorbike? And here’s another question. 

When was the last time a film started collecting awards before it had even been shown in cinemas? This really doesn’t make sense but is typical of the plastic world inhabited by these so-called ‘stars.’

I read with horror that Jeremy Corbyn has nominated both former Squeaker Bercow and Tom Watson to be elevated to the House of Lords. On what possible grounds can he claim that either of these two numpties are fit and proper candidates to grace the benches of the Upper House? I know there are a lot of other unworthy candidates in there but surely it is time for common sense, or are we going to stuff all political failures in there so they can keep drawing the tax payer’s dollar?

Bercow did all he could to defy the democratically expressed will of the British people to leave the European Union. Surely he has forfeited any right to have a say in the future governance of this country. He was a disgrace to his position and loved humiliating those unfortunates over who he held power.

And how on earth can Corbyn possibly believe that his former deputy, Watson deserves to be elevated to the peerage? As a reward for services to perverting the course of justice perhaps?

Let’s just remember that this man was in cahoots with a convicted paedophile and a dodgy ‘news’ agency to bring very nasty allegations against predominantly Conservative members of the Establishment. He put pressure on Scotland Yard to pursue investigations into outrageous claims made by a known fantasist, smearing decent men with impeccable histories of public service, as rapists and murderers.

While their lives and those of their families were ruined, Watson has been able to walk away from the wreckage and reinvent himself as a diet guru and author. I find it quite sickening to see the way in which broadcasters fawn at the feet of this odious man while ignoring his disgusting track record. If Watson had any sense of shame or decency, he would have slithered back under whichever stone he emerged from – and ruddy well stayed there. If he makes any money from his new book, he should be forced to donate all profits to the families of his victims, some of whom died before they could clear their names. 

The idea that he will soon be in the Lords is an appalling one. Presumably, it’s a pay-off from Corbyn for not rocking the Labour boat during the election campaign. Watson was noticeable by his silence and absence from our screens. What a relief that was.

Meanwhile, Bercow has embarked on a new career as a circus act, recently demeaning himself, parliament and the nation, yelling ‘Order, Order!’ on a late-night Italian TV show. He also plans to cash in his notoriety on the after-dinner speaking circuit. Surely the Lords can live without him.

So can this anti-democratic outrage be stopped? Perhaps. All nominations have to be ratified by the House of Lords Appointments Commission. They are vetted to verify that potential life peers ‘ensure the highest standards of propriety’ and satisfy the commission that ‘the past conduct of the nominee would not reasonably be regarded as bringing the House of Lords into disrepute.’

Please Committee members, use a little bit of common sense with these two nominations – or is that too much to ask of politicians?

The election result was supposed to mark the moment that voters took back control from the rotten, arrogant political class. Those politicians who did their damnedest to defy the will of the people were booted out. Others, like Bercow and Watson, scuttled away in disgrace. If they are now allowed to resurrect their political careers in the House of Lords, it will send a depressingly clear signal that absolutely nothing has really changed.

Private Frazer had it right – ‘we are all doomed!’

Northern Ireland, Laurence Fox and an Each-way Bet

One of Bunter Johnson’s promises during the election campaign – and it must have gained him a sackload of votes – was that he would put an end to the prosecution of long-retired British soldiers for crimes allegedly committed during the Northern Irish Troubles. I for one, fully approved. A soldier’s job is difficult at the best of times and the war in Northern Ireland was a particularly horrible one.

But Bunter seems to have changed his mind and has agreed to do exactly the opposite. A key part of the recent resurrection of ‘power-sharing’ in Northern Ireland is a pledge to revive a rather nasty deal called the Stormont House Agreement, agreed to by the wishy-washy Cameron shower in 2014.

This ‘agreement’ ensures that there will be more of these politically motivated cases. In fact it is the latest stage in the appeasement of the IRA and the other terror groups, which began in 1998 with the mass release of scores of terrorists, both loyalist and Republican. This surrender to criminal violence, the most shameful and abject in modern British history, is generally ignored or forgotten on the mainland, but there is one part of this which reaches across the Irish Sea, and that is the unceasing attempt to pursue these cold cases.

Every time it happens, the Tories say they will stop it. But they don’t and it happens again. This is because it is what the IRA (and its political wing Sinn Fein) want. And rather as the Royal Biscuit said of his tame Yank, what the IRA wants, they get because the British government are scared stiff of offending them.

Maybe some of these old cases are justified. Nast things happen in any war and this one was dirtier than most. But that is not the point. Justice has never been the point of the 1998 agreement. Let’s face it, this pathetically one-sided deal not only led to the rapid freedom of many murderers, it also prevented the prosecution of terrorist criminals who were not tried before the deal was reached.

Take the case of John Downey, the alleged culprit of the Hyde Park bombing. He was one of nearly two hundred people who had been given written official promises that they would not be prosecuted. As the judge said, even if he had been convicted, he would have served no more than two years – for a crime of such brutal savagery? It beggars belief, but the ‘deal’ was a deal for the terrorist side, who we are told were finally defeated in 1998. 

Now the Stormont House Agreement, which Mr Johnson has just agreed to put into effect, promises: ‘Legislation will establish a new independent body to take forward investigations into outstanding Troubles-related deaths; the Historical Investigations Unit (HIU).’ 

It adds: ‘In respect of its criminal investigations, the HIU will have full policing powers.’

Last year we were told that the Prime Minister was going to bring an end to all ongoing investigations from the conflict, and he said only last Monday that he would not support vexatious claims when there was no new evidence. 

But the Stormont agreement includes the HIU, and the point of all the ongoing investigations is that the original evidence has never been properly investigated. Does this mean that Bunter has now decided to support the investigation of every single outstanding claim?

He also said last week that ‘Nothing in the agreement will stop us going ahead with legislation to ensure that no one who has served in our armed forces suffers vexatious or unfair prosecution for cases that happened many years ago when no new evidence has been provided. We will legislate to ensure that cannot happen.’

What a load of sanctimonious woffle but my question would be, who decides what is vexatious or unfair? What if the HIU insists that the evidence is new and the Belfast prosecution service agrees? Heaven help poor British soldiers if this is all the protection they have.

It would seem that terrorism wins again – as it so often seems to do!

I ranted with much glee last week about the actor Laurence Fox standing up for common sense on Question Time. The following day, The Times reported that Mr Fox’s comments were condemned by the actors’ union Equity as ‘disgraceful playing to the gallery’ and called him ‘a disgrace to our industry.’

Are not actors paid to play to the gallery or am I missing something?

At the other end of the newspaper social scale, The Sun’s editorial praised the actor for ‘having the guts to defy the suffocating liberal-left consensus in the arts.’

I don’t often read The Sun but I do so agree with them.

When Anthony Blair allowed gambling firms to advertise openly, I predicted that it was going to cause huge problems. I know I am rather biased as my Grandfather betted away a considerable fortune, but this country is now gripped in an epidemic of gambling-associated problems.

It is becoming predictably corrupt too. Take Fred and Peter Done, who are both billionaires. 

They created Betfred, a gambling company that made £728 million last year by luring men and a few women into the world of compulsive online gambling that has destroyed so many lives.

Now we learn that these two beauties have another company. This is Health Assured which believe it or not has contracts with the NHS and councils worth at least two and a half million quid – providing services for gambling addicts.

Talk about a successful each-way bet, but how on earth do they get away with it?