We Pay For This

I am not sure which subject in the newspapers is more repetitively irritating at the moment, the election or Prince Andrew, the Duke of Pork.

Commentators seem to have succumbed to mass hysteria on both subjects and they aren’t helped by some of the better known Twonks in British society who keep chipping in with what can only be described as inanities.

Last week, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said we should leave the Royals alone, when trying to defend the Royal Biscuit and his Yank against ‘unrealistically high demands’ in terms of their personal conduct from the media.

It was, he said, ‘absurd and completely unjust’ to hold them to higher moral standards than the rest of us. ‘The Royal Family are not superhuman. They are a very remarkable group of people, all of them. But you can’t lay that kind of extra burden on people.’

Why not damnit? We pay for their privileged lifestyle. How can this overly elevated Churchman assert that the Royal Family are ‘all very remarkable people.’ Queenie probably is as she has remained unswervingly faithful to her broadcast vow, made on her 21st birthday, in 1947: ‘I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.’

Thankfully for us all, that life has been a very long one. But her eldest son and heir, while he also seems to have a profound sense of public service, is another casualty of the sycophancy which is so startling in what is supposed to be a much less deferential society than it was.

Someone who worked for Prince Charles for many years described him as ‘appallingly selfish.’ I don’t suppose he ever dared say that to Charlie’s face though. And I don’t suppose he would have paid the slightest attention. For all his green credentials, the silver spoon shows through all too readily.

In his memoirs, Sir Max Hastings recounted a lunch in the mid-1990s at which he (then the editor of the Daily Telegraph) told Prince Charles that his demand for greater public sympathy was not becoming in someone of his privileges: ‘His fist banged on the table, rattling the silver: “Nobody but me can possibly understand how perfectly bloody it is to be the Prince of Wales!”’

That was the last time the two spoke. Those who criticise the Prince to his face are forever excluded. I had a colleague who was part of the Royal Protection squad surrounding Charlie and he told me that ‘he (the prince) is a hell of a nice guy but if you don’t obey his every whim, you will be thrown out forthwith.’

My friend has since moved to America, probably to get away from the pomp and hypocrisy surrounding the Royals. Over there, the criterion seems to be how much money you have rather than what family you were born into.

Nicholas Whitchell, the current BBC Royal Correspondent (he gave up an exciting job as a war correspondent for this one so it must pay well) commented the other day that suddenly there seems to be a complete lack of organisation in Buckingham Palace and it is leading to PR disaster after PR disaster.

He said: “There is now a lack of strong central control. We have had two episodes within just a couple of months of senior members of the royal family doing it their own way.

‘We had Prince Harry with his rant against the tabloid media which was absolutely against the advice of his communications officials who were in despair over it. We have a similar situation now. The mainstream advisors of the Queen at the Palace were not a part of this Prince Andrew debate.”

I think he should have said Prince Andrew debacle rather than debate. For the last three days, the tabloids have been full to bursting of photographs showing that this overweight prince lied through his teeth throughout the offending interview.

Personally I am fed up with it. I don’t want to comment on the farcical election that is going on at the moment, but I really don’t want to write anything more about the Duke of Pork or the Royal biscuit and his Yank.

They are just ordinary and somewhat stupid people damnit! The tragedy is that we as tax payers are paying for them.

I was truly horrified to read a couple of days ago that a former model turned jihadi who was jailed for helping the 21/7 Tube bombers was granted £1.4 million in legal aid during her battle to evade justice.

Yes that was indeed one point four million pounds! Again, it is tax payers’ money.

Mulu Girma then received thousands more for her human rights fight to remain in the UK instead of facing deportation to her homeland Ethiopia. The victims of the attack received a fraction of than that in compensation. Where oh where has justice gone in this country?

Girma was sentenced to ten years in prison for helping her brother in law Hussein Osman, just weeks after fifty-two people were killed on the London tube trains and buses on July 7, 2005. The callous former model helped him hide and dressed his wounds following his failed bid to kill commuters and then assisted in his attempt to flee the country. And then we, the poor bloody taxpayers fork out to help her. Does that make any sense at all even in this benighted twenty-first century?

Freedom of information figures reveal that she received £1,435,090 in legal aid for her crown court trial in 2008. They also show that Girma benefited from £30,162 in legal aid between 2009 and 2013 and is believed to have won her battle to remain in the UK, despite her horrific actions. 

To add to the ridiculousness of the situation, Girma was then recruited by the south London local authority as a trainee customer services assistant in 2013, shortly after she was released early from a 10-year jail term.

I know I am an old toppie and very old fashioned but there are times that I despair of modern society and feel reluctant to read the newspapers at all. But then I would have nothing to rant about so to hell with my escalating blood pressure – I will keep going.

Student Leaders and Royalty

Where will the collective insanity that drives the young of this world end? I dread to think.

We are now told by leaders of the Universities and Colleges Union (whoever they may be) that anyone should be allowed to ‘identify’ as black regardless of the colour of their skin or background. These hysterical and opinionated twits have set out their stance in a report on the ongoing row about whether men should be able to self-identify as women and be treated as female regardless of their anatomy.

The UCU’s ‘position statement’ did not just stand by its support for self-identification of gender, but also insisted people can choose their own race, saying: ‘Our rules commit us to ending all forms of discrimination, bigotry and stereotyping. UCU has a long history of enabling members to self-identify whether that is being black, disabled, LGBT+ or women.’

I am not alone in my opposition to this sort of idiocy. Recognising ‘self-defined’ women as fully female is deeply controversial among many leading feminists too. Mother Maybe’s pathetic government did consider changing the law to allow people to choose their own gender, but Ministers have put those plans on hold after a backlash from female voters.

Many female academics say they have faced harassment from students and activists for questioning trans-inclusive policies, and several high-profile female speakers including Germaine Greer and Dame Jenni Murray have been ‘no platformed’ from university debates for their refusal to accept that anyone who says they are a woman must be accepted as female.

We are different for God’s sake! I can’t have a baby so why should I be allowed to call myself a woman just because I feel like it? If I want to dress up in feminine clothes, that is fine but it doesn’t entitle me to use the ladies’ loo.

But it is not only the gender issue. The union’s position on race was last night mocked as the latest ‘nonsensical’ demonstration of ‘woke’ thinking imported from US campuses. I am not sure what ‘woke’ means, but the choosing of one’s own race has already proved highly controversial in America: in 2015, Rachel Dolezal resigned as an official with the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People after her white parents disputed her claim to be black. They should surely know!

The British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen also came under fire across the pond over his character Ali G, a white man from Staines who asks critics: ‘Is it because I is black?’

In Britain, the actor Anthony Lennon – born in London to Irish parents – faced criticism last year when it emerged, he had won funding from an Arts Council scheme to help ethnic minority actors develop their stage careers, because he ‘identifies’ as a ‘born-again African.’ He should have been prosecuted for fraud damnit, not given a grant.

There are a few – a very few – dissenting voices however. Kathleen Stock, a philosophy professor at Sussex University and UCU member, has questioned the union’s position on race, saying it was ‘nonsensical, anti-intellectual propaganda.’

No My Dear, it is pure and undiluted garbage designed to provoke. Each and every one of us is as we are and while we can change inwardly, our bodies remain the same and so does our colour.

The UCU is led by Jo Grady, a lecturer at Sheffield University Management School. If this is the calibre of lecturers in our higher seats of learning, God help this country. It wasn’t her, but another union spokesman confirmed that the UCU considers ‘it is up to individuals to choose if they wish to be recognised as black.’

When is the world going to wake up and recognise that this collective insanity is dangerous? These retarded twonks who come out with their idiotic pronouncements are going to be the leaders of the future – and then what?

I am not by any means a Royalist but I do feel very sorry for Queenie. The newspapers today are full of articles condemning her second son, the Duke of York for an interview he gave to the BBC yesterday. It was to give his side of allegations that he was engaged in sexual romps with under age girls, laid on by his friend Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted pederast.

Without exception, the articles I read – and I didn’t see the interview last night – were excoriating. The Duke was accused of ‘obviously lying’ and ‘thinking only of himself and never the victims.’ That I am afraid is how this overweight ass has always been. He apparently denied being a ‘playboy prince’ but it is the image he has always conveyed. At ninety-three, her Maj does not need this, particularly after the furore over the Biscuit and his American duchess boycotting the Royal Christmas.

As I said, I did not see the offending interview and have no intention of seeing it but what I want to know is why the Duke of York – a complete drain on tax payers money and not much good for anything else – was being interviewed by a BBC reporter and not the police.

Collective Insanity

Occasionally my daily trawl through the newspapers is an interesting exercise, but all too often I am reduced to wondering what collective insanity is gripping the human race and where it is going to end.

Take South Africa for example. According to reports, the South African cops are concentrating most of their resources on trying to find a lady called Vicky Momberg.  This in the face of 21 000 murders, 52 000 rapes and sexual assaults, 156 000 common assaults, 190 000 robberies, 23 000 house robberies, 220 000 burglaries, 16 000 carjackings and 238 cash in transit heists every year. Nevertheless, one missing person who said a bad word is the story making headlines and the crime that is regarded as being a priority by the South African Police Service.

Ms Momberg is an estate agent who was charged with racist crimen injuria and sentenced to three years imprisonment of which one was suspended. Momberg was the first person in South Africa to be sentenced to imprisonment for calling a black police officer Kaffir.

For those of you who don’t know, ‘kaffir’ is a derogatory term for a black person in Southern Africa. Anyway Ms Momberg was videod in the act and although she appealed against her conviction, the appeal was turned down, but instead of handing herself in to the authorities, she disappeared and has not been seen since August.

This, of course, sets a legal precedent. From now on the Momberg case will be used as a guideline for investigating, charging and punishing any person who uses terms and expressions which can be regarded as racist. But it also highlights the double standards of the law in judging such matters.

Only this week, a serving Defence Force officer publicly asked for the torture and killing of white people. He was only verbally reprimanded by his commanding officer for that. Why is he not in court next to Momberg? Why does he not serve a three year sentence? Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Front is continually calling for white people to be wiped out, but he continues to enjoy life as a member of the South African Parliament without any hint of retribution or even reprimand.

It seems that racism in South Africa, as with racism almost anywhere nowadays works only one way. As an elderly, white, heterosexual male, I fear I am definitely part of an endangered species which is somewhat ironic. I spend a great deal of my time preparing and delivering talks on the plight faced by elephants, lions and other African endangered species. Perhaps I should expand my repertoire to include we old toppies as yet another fascinating (!) species facing extinction.

Mind you, whatever one says or does nowadays leads to somebody taking offence and this is perfectly illustrated in a little spoof that was sent to me yesterday by my friend Tony Warde. I will lay it out below and even though it is meant as a joke, I fear it typifies the state of the modern world.

‘It snowed the other night and this was my diary for the following day.

8:00 am: I made a snowman.

8:10 – A feminist passed by and asked me why I didn’t make a snow woman.

8:15 – So, I made a snow woman.

8:17 – My feminist neighbour complained about the snow woman’s voluptuous chest saying it objectified women everywhere.

8:20 – The gay couple living nearby threw a hissy fit and moaned it could have been two snow men instead.

8:22 – A transgender man/woman/person then asked why I didn’t just make one snow person with detachable parts.

8:25 – The vegans at the end of the lane complained about the carrot nose, as veggies are food and not to decorate snow figures with.

8:28 – I was being called a racist because the snow couple is white.

8:31 – The middle eastern gent across the road demanded the snow woman be covered up.

8:40 – The Police arrived saying someone had been offended.

8:42 – The feminist neighbour complained again that the broomstick of the snow woman needed to be removed because it depicted women in a domestic role.

8:43 – The council equality officer arrived and threatened me with eviction.

8:45 – TV news crew from BBC showed up. I was asked if I know the difference between snowmen and snow-women? I replied ‘Snowballs’ and am now branded as sexist.

9:00 – I was on the News as a suspected terrorist, racist, homophobe sensibility offender, bent on stirring up trouble during difficult weather.

9:10 – I was asked if I have any accomplices. My children were taken by social services.

9:29 – Far left protesters offended by everything marched down the street demanding for me to be arrested.

By noon it all melted

Moral:

There is no moral to this story. It is what we have become, all because of snowflakes.’

Sorry Tony, I have amended things here and there for it to read better, but in essence it captures the collective insanity that is sweeping through the human race.

Political Priorities

A couple of people have asked me why I have said nothing about the forthcoming General Election as yet. What can I say? We are all being subjected to a daily diet of lies, counter lies, empty promises and a barrage of earnest-sounding Twonks appearing on the idiot box and explaining how they intend to feed the five thousand with a few loaves and fishes.

I m sorry but I regard it all as a load of garbage and beneath commenting on at the moment. Let’s see – God help us – what happens on the twelfth of December.

One thing I do rant about fairly frequently is the abject state of the criminal justice system in this country and I would feel happier about the forthcoming election if our political clowns would promise to do something about that. They won’t, but one case this week made me shake my head in vaguely amused bewilderment. If it wasn’t so costly in time and money while serious crimes and misdemeanours go unpunished, it would be laughable – and we are nowhere near the first of April..

Let me explain the circumstances briefly: last September, Samantha Mead was travelling on an early morning train from Chelmsford in Essex, to London. She is said to have pulled a ‘bad face’ at the smell released when fellow passenger Erika Stoter opened her Tupperware container to eat the boiled eggs it contained.

Okay, we have all experienced that sort of thing from time to time on public transport but this one gets worse. Ms Stoter (she with the eggs) said Ms Mead moved towards her ‘quickly and aggressively’ and leaned into her face, reportedly saying: ‘You are disgusting’, and telling her to ‘be careful.’ At this, Ms Stoter replied: ‘Don’t you think you are quite old to be doing these kind of things?’

That should surely have been an end to it — an unpleasant but harmless clash between two stroppy commuters. But no. Ms Stoter was ‘so upset’ by Ms Mead that she marched in to the nearest police station to inform the Plod that she had been made to feel ‘intimidated and vulnerable’ by what had happened. She suggested that because she was born in Brazil, there was perhaps a racial element to Mead’s criticism of her egg-munching. Aha! That must have made the cops sit up. Specifically, it was alleged that Ms Mead called Ms Stoter ‘disgusting’ — not her breakfast. Now could that possibly be a hint of racism?

In the days when common sense was the norm among cops, before political correctness overtook us all, things would have gone rather differently? Any old fashioned  desk sergeant would have first clarified that no lasting harm had been done, and then said: ‘Oh dear, Madam, sorry to hear that. But never mind, worse things happen at sea,’ and sent her on her way.

Today, with people in a perpetual state of outrage, that approach is simply not good enough. This week, more than a year later, Mead was found guilty of intentionally causing harassment, alarm or distress following a trial at Blackfriars Crown Court. She was fined £750 and also ordered to pay £750 in compensation, but she was cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence.

Why oh why did a minor squabble like this even get to court, let alone the Crown Court – and at tax payers’ expense? Crown Court has always been a court for offences that are extremely serious, not an argument over ruddy boiled eggs.

Blackfriars Crown Court, for example, has recently heard cases including prosecutions for sexual assault, firearms possession — specifically, carrying a loaded gun on the London Underground — and slavery. We can also compare this preposterous waste of time over a petty and rather pathetic argument on a train with those which never make it to court at all.

Because this is just the latest example of a criminal justice system that is absolutely broken and a disgrace to the entire country.

Only last year an official report found that two in three burglaries are not investigated, while in some areas, nine cases out of ten are closed with police taking no action at all. The police no longer bother prosecuting for cannabis possession, and, as many experts predicted would happen, this tolerance has proved a slippery slope.

At least four British police forces have now said that even possession of the hardest drugs, like heroin and cocaine, will be treated the same way and not prosecuted. And that’s before we even come to the epidemic of knife crime in London and the scourge of ‘county lines’ drug gangs.

Perhaps the police don’t have the manpower to enforce the laws anymore, thanks to all the ‘funding cuts’ that they never stop bleating about. Then again, they aren’t short of staff for their exciting new ‘national online hate crime hub,’ which monitors social media for inappropriate material.

And, of course, they are always have time to be photographed skateboarding with Extinction Rebellion protesters, attending gay pride marches and dancing in the streets at the Notting Hill Carnival. That must be pretty time-consuming damnit!

In which case, it does seem odd they pressed ahead with the Case Of The Smelly Eggs. If only our police forces would divert their resources away from investigating risible arguments on trains, and instead focus on tackling real crime, they would surely find it a better use of their time and it would help restore public trust in the law.

The police and criminal justice system need to learn some perspective and do their jobs accordingly. The political buffoons currently promising us the world should ensure that they do.

Parades and Pride

The Armistice Day parade in Princetown yesterday was a resounding success despite a wind cold enough to freeze neat gin. Beautifully organised by the local committee, it was a tapestry of beautifully pressed military uniforms, clanking medals and smart young service people – as well as a few old toppies in civilian clothes like myself.

We marched down the main street and despite the cold, local people lined the street in their droves. We duly formed up in front of the hundred year old cenotaph memorial for a short service to commemorate the dead and while the Padre was delivering his sermon, my wreath burst open. A helpful lady had opened it up before the parade to put a weight in it as Princetown winds are inclined to be violent as well as cold. Unfortunately she or we perhaps because I helped, hadn’t put it back together properly and the whole thing sprang apart, dropping the weight on to the tarmac. There followed minutes of anguished fumbling to put it together without being able to look down at what I was doing because I was standing at ease with my head up and my shoulders back – I had almost forgotten how good that feels.

Anyway, I was thankful when ‘The Rhodesian Armed Forces’ were called and I could get rid of the damned thing. As I bent down to place it on the monument, what I had feared most happened. I burst into tears! With a row of medals on my chest that must have looked weird but I couldn’t help it and was not sorry about it.

Anyway, it was all a great success and I have been invited back next year so that is nice. I will make sure my wreath is intact this time and look at it carefully beforehand to see just how it is all put together.

A day later and it is a solemn day for all former Rhodesians, even those like me who refer to ourselves as Zimbabweans. Fifty-four years ago today, Ian Douglas Smith declared our little country unilaterally independent from Britain. It was a momentous occasion and although the consequences were to be severe, we were all very proud of Smithy.

Most of the outside world condemned UDI and imposed sanctions on Rhodesia, but that merely ensured that our resourceful citizens learned how to make everything for themselves rather than import goods from other countries. British politicians cursed and swore, but we became ever more self-sufficient. Blacks and whites worked together in the cause of survival and when the guerrilla war – no damn it; it was a terrorist war – started, our security forces were very much in control of the situation.

Then Russia and China took a hand and gradually the tide turned. The weight of numbers against us increased and gradually, Smith and his Ministers were forced to negotiate conditions for peace. It was a peace that still has not come to Zimbabwe even though the Western world promptly washed their hands of my country.

Many people in Britain have told me that they looked upon that horrible little war as a conflict between black and white, but that just was not the case. The majority of casualties on our side were black and they included the military and innocent civilians. My Support Unit Company for instance consisted of a hundred and twenty black men and at the most, six whites. Is that racist? I don’t think so and I loved those black men like the brothers I never had. Yes I was in command, but they were all ‘my men’ and I was proud of them.

With the benefit of hindsight, UDI was a decision that led to enormous loss of life but Smith was an honest man and a born leader. Unlike the political leaders of today, he did not travel in convoy and he was readily approachable. He certainly was not as bright as many of his political opponents in the Western World but I and the majority of Rhodesians would have followed him in any circumstances. He had the charisma that rarely exists in the modern political classes.

It is all history now and cannot be changed but after my sad euphoria (does that make sense?) of yesterday, today will be a day of solemn reflection and remembering the Rhodesians who died for my little country.

I will raise a glass or three to them all this evening and can only pray that British politicians and the British Legion will see sense next year and I will not be the only former Rhodesian allowed to lay a wreath for the fallen in an official parade.

I have often heard it said that politics should not interfere with sport and it is so but above all, politics should not interfere with a proud nation’s wish to honour their dead. Yet it still does and that just cannot be justified.

I used to wear a tee shirt proclaiming that I was ‘proud to be a Rhodesian.’ Incredibly that was almost forty years ago but the sentiment still holds good.

I am incredibly proud of my tormented little country.

The Futility of War

Later today I shall make a little bit of history as the first Rhodesian (Yes I know I call myself Zimbabwean but it is the same country) former serviceman to officially march in an Armistice Day parade since UDI in 1965. I will be laying my wreath, probably with tears streaming down my face in Princetown, the highest town on Dartmoor and one of the highest in Britain.

For me, it will be a proud moment and I hope many others will be able to use it as a precedent in future years when they try and persuade their local parade committees to let them do the same.

I was born right at the end of the Second World War, but as the son of a soldier, war has always fascinated and repelled me. It is a horrible business that sees young men fighting and dying at the whim of politicians. That surely cannot be morally justified. Yet war brings a certain edge to life that is rarely present in normal everyday living. The soldier at war never really knows whether he will still be alive the next day and that adds a great deal of spice to daily routine. Since I fought through the bush war in my own country, I have often thought back on it and wondered why I miss it now that my life is relatively peaceful.

I saw some terrible things and did some terrible things. At times, my stomach churned with fear, but at the same time it was all incredibly exciting. I lost many friends and a few of my own men. I also attended many funerals and as a fighting policeman, brought death messages to many families with whom I cried.

I didn’t want to fight and although some people have a natural aptitude for warfare, I think most soldiers in a war go into battle somewhat reluctantly. We believe we are fighting for a just cause, but then, the young men we are making war against also believe that their cause is right.

None of it really makes sense, but I feel that each and every would-be politician should experience the horrors of it all before being allowed to make decisions condemning young men to death or to permanent injury, be it physical or mental. Civilians suffer too but do political leaders ever consider this? Personally I doubt it.

I was on the losing side in my war, but I fought for an ideal that went against what the rest of the world thought was right. Were we wrong to fight? I don’t know and will never know, but we were led and inspired by an honest politician – now there is a contradiction in terms – and if I had the choice again, I would still follow Ian Smith to war.

But was it worth it? Did all those soldiers, airmen, policemen and civilians achieve anything by giving their lives to a cause? That is definitely a more difficult question to answer but the answer must surely be a resounding no. Once again, the political leaders had their way and as a result, many, many more innocent people suffered and are suffering still. The proud little country that I fought for and would fight for still has been destroyed by political chicanery and corruption, while those politicians who smugly handed it over to its current crop of brutish oppressors live well-paid and comfortable lives in their own countries.

The current president of Zimbabwe promised that violent seizures of land would cease, but only a few days ago, the Hensman family of Chinhoyi were forcibly evicted from their farm and the land will languish and die away under the new owner, one Moses Mpofu who ‘has always wanted to be a farmer.’

The same thing has happened to countless other farms and like most expatriate Zimbabweans I have cried over the damage that independence has caused to my little country. I will cry again today and wonder again at the futility of it all. Why did we fight against the inevitable and what good has the sacrifice of so many achieved?

I really do not know but I will lay my wreath with a lot of pride. ‪

Demonstrators and Small Children

Here we go again. After winning a High Court challenge over the police’s ban on their protests, the extremists of Extinction Rebellion are in line for a million-pound pay-out.

So how do they celebrate this unexpected windfall? Not with a party, that is for sure. No, they are planning another twelve long days of protests to bring London to a standstill again, saying they are determined to turn this into the ‘climate election.’ 

Haven’t we got enough to worry about with posturing and lying politicians of all persuasions?

And do any of these demented protesters have a shred of compassion for the ordinary folk they prevent getting to work to support their families, especially those on zero-hours contracts? No show, no pay, because some imbecile has glued himself or herself to a ruddy bridge or railway carriage.

Like the Crown Princess of their movement, Greta Thunberg, they argue that we ordinary people and hard workers are stealing their future. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that they are robbing hard-working people and their families of their present.

Surely it is time these anarchical demonstrations were banned. Why should thousands of innocent people suffer for the sake of a few bigoted climate changers?

And the collective madness spreads throughout our lives I’m afraid. A head teacher in Brighton has been branded ‘Britain’s biggest snowflake’ for banning children from playing ‘rough’ contact games like tag.

Tag for God’s sake! Unless it has changed radically since I was a child, it is hardly a dangerous pastime.

But Joanne Smith told pupils at Rudyard Kipling Primary School, they had to play with ‘gentle hands’ – banning traditional games like ‘it’ or ‘British Bulldog.’

Instead, children are being encouraged to hold hands or clap with each other while in the playground. Parents of children at the school were understandably angry when they were told about the crazy policy. Many are calling for the bizarre rule to be axed because it has left the kids feeling bored at playtime. 

But Mrs Smith is having none of it. She wrote in a letter to all parents: ‘To clarify, Gentle Hands does not mean no touching. The children are of course allowed to hold hands or play clapping games with a friend should they wish to. Gentle Hands simply means playing games outside that do not need to be physical.

‘This will ensure the playground is a happy, safe and calm place where everyone can enjoy their lunchtime running around and getting the exercise, we know is important to them.’

Oh big deal Ma’am. This will ensure another wagonload of future protesters who have not the slightest idea of how the real world works.

The school, that describes itself as ‘fully inclusive’ (whatever that may mean) has around four hundred and fifteen pupils and was rated as ‘good’ at the last Ofsted inspection

Yet the mother of a ten-year-old boy said: “The school have got it completely backwards. Sometimes, I don’t even know what planet Brighton is on. They’re banning children from playing tag? Why on earth would anyone think tag is a bad thing?

‘I’m going to teach my son about another game instead, that’ll really scare the snowflake headteacher – kiss-chase.”

Well said Ma’am. I am glad some parents in this crazy society understand how childhood works. Surely the reason for breaks in school are to allow children to let off steam so that classrooms will be calm places – or have I got that wrong? In my day – which admittedly was a very long time ago – playgrounds were noisy, demented places where everyone dashed madly around. People fell and were picked up and everyone had fun before the next lesson.

Walking past any junior school nowadays while a break is being had, I don’t think they have changed, despite the efforts of teachers like Joanne Smith. The decibel level is usually through the roof and I am sure that is not caused by holding hands.

Poor old Rudyard Kipling must be turning in his grave knowing how this politically correct and rather daft female is running his school. Children in Britain can’t do any of the traditional things that children always used to do. Conkers have long since been banned, now harmless games like Tag or British bulldogs are going the same way. No wonder the kids are turning to crime. Everyone needs some excitement in their life and it seem that there is not much else left for them to do.

A spokesperson for the school confirmed they were supporting ‘gentle hands.’

“We want to make sure the playground is a happy, safe and calm place where everyone can enjoy their lunchtime running around and getting the exercise, we know is important to them. With the full support of our staff and our Parents Teachers and Friends Association, we have reminded the children of our Gentle Hands rule during break and lunchtimes.

‘This is because last half term we had a few incidents involving rough play and play fighting that were causing children to get upset. Gentle Hands simply means playing games outside that do not need to be overly physical and risk hurting or upsetting other children.”

For Pete’s sake; have these teachers any concept of the real world that these children will eventually have to enter? It is at this age that they need opportunities to play around and occasionally get upset with each other damnit! That way they can work things out between themselves and arm themselves for getting upset in later life.

Getting upset is a normal part of being human and if these kids are not allowed to learn how to deal with it at their young age, they will grow into totally unstable adults – just like Miss Thunberg and her Extinction Rebellion acolytes!

Stop the world – I think I want to get off!

Common Sense and The Law

Every country needs a system of law, mainly because the human animal needs direction in how to live its life. But the law must surely be tinged with compassion and common sense, not be enforced with extreme rigidity whatever the circumstances.

Take the case of Mavis and Dennis Eccleston who had been married for sixty years and lived in the West Midlands. Dennis was riddled with cancer and when he told Mavis that he could not continue the battle and intended to end his life, this doughty lady told him, ‘I am coming with you.’

They duly took a cocktail of drugs, said goodbye to each other and drifted into unconsciousness, but their daughter Joy Munns found them and they were rushed to hospital.

Dennis died there but the medical staff managed to save eighty year old Mavis. The day after this all happened, she was arrested on suspicion of murder and taken away by police, still in her dressing gown, nightie and slippers. She was then held in a cell for thirty hours.

Where is there a shred of humanity in that scenario? But it gets worse. On April 1 this year, Mavis and Dennis’ three children were given the devastating news that their mother was to be charged with murder.

In September, this poor woman was subjected to a harrowing three week trial before jurors found her not guilty and she was discharged.

Thank God for those jurors but what on earth were the West Midland cops, the Crown Prosecution lawyers and all the relevant pen pushers who caused this travesty of justice doing to even allow the case to come to trial.

Surely someone in authority could have quietly spoken to Mavis and given her a caution or something similar. And when will the strutting popinjays who are currently electioneering for their lives set about debating the iniquities of the current laws on assisted suicide? This has gone on far too long and as I said at the beginning of this little piece, the law has to contain an element of compassion.

Meanwhile, a group of eight ladies from my own country came across to Britain in search of jobs as ‘trained and qualified nurses.’

Huh! The authorities in the NHS did not take long to discover that none of the ladies in question had any idea about nursing. Their ‘qualification certificates’ were all identical and after in depth enquiries, it was found that they had been forged, probably by the same person on the same machine.

Reprehensible and far more worthy of punishment than the ‘crime’ committed by poor old Mavis Eccleston, but apparently not. They promptly claimed and received asylum on the grounds that they were afraid to go back to Zimbabwe When questioned by the Media, a spokesperson for the Home Office said that it would be a ‘violation of their human rights’ were they to be deported as should have been the case.

So they will stay here and we the poor taxpayers will pay for them.

I can’t remember who it was first said that the law is an ass – it could have been Shakespeare or Rumpole – but that is hard on asses, which are relatively intelligent animals.

The law in Britain is little more than a laughing stock and it is administered by cretins without a shred of common sense in what passes for their brains.

Meanwhile a birth coach has been forced out of her government role for saying that only women can have babies.

For most of us that is pretty obvious but she apparently offended the trans gender lobby so she was fired.

At the same time, a female prisoner was sexually assaulted in a women’s prison by a transgender inmate with a male body. This man had previously been sentenced for rape.

I am not sure that according to law rape can be committed by females so surely a convicted rapist should serve their sentence in a male jail? Compassion for those who claim to be trapped in the wrong body is one thing, but destroying the career of a dedicated healthcare professional who simply states an incontestable medical fact is not only outrageous, it’s insane.

And deliberately putting women at risk of rape in pursuit of a fashionable political agenda is nothing short of criminal.

The entire legal and moral set up in Britain needs drastic overhauling. This surely cannot be allowed to continue.

Rugby Euphoria but…..

The English rugby team slipped quietly back into the country yesterday. It was not the homecoming they wanted and will doubtless provide stark contrast with the welcome the Springbok side will receive when they land back in Johannesburg later today. Not only did the Amabokke win the world cup but they swept the board with rugby awards for the year, receiving the trophies for best team, best coach and player of the year.

They will return as conquering heroes and deservedly so but they are returning to a very troubled and divided land. The economy is lurching from crisis to crisis, political corruption is rampant and there is an epidemic of violent crime.

Nowhere is this epidemic more in evidence than in the farming community. Last month, there were twenty eight farm attacks and three farm murders, whilst one farm attack was successfully fought off. During September, there were forty six farm attacks and seven farm murders, whilst again, one attack was repulsed. Yet despite this continued reign of horror, government authorities continue to deny the existence of any problem in the farming community.

In August there were forty five farm attacks and four farm murders, whilst six attacks were successfully averted. In July, there were thirty nine farm attacks, four farm murders and four other farm attacks were fought off. In June, the figures were similar – thirty four farm attacks and six farm murders, whilst three attacks were repulsed. And in the first five months of the year there were one hundred and eighty four farm attacks and twenty farm murders.

Horrifying statistics I’m afraid yet the South African government says it is not happening! Other political leaders around the world seem to agree with them as they are all very quiet. Apart from Donald Trump in one speech, none have even referred to this attempt to destroy the South African farming community.

Yes I know these figures seem fairly minor in the general context of South African crime. After all, every year there are thousands of murders and tens of thousands of rapes. Muggings, assaults and hijackings are everyday occurrences so why should a few farm attacks matter?

For me, it is not the crimes themselves, it is the manner of them and the terror they imbue. I lived through the Rhodesian war and as a middle ranking police officer, was horrified witness to numerous farm attacks and the effects they had on farmers and their families. Most farmers live in isolated surroundings and work hard on their lands. Imagine then the terror of sudden gunfire at night and the violent confusion that follows.

I also reported covertly for the London Sunday Express for eleven years during the Zimbabwe farm invasions and yet again, I saw it all at first hand. Now it is happening in South Africa and the horrors continue while the rest of the world doesn’t even raise its collective voice in a disapproving murmur. Fewer than a dozen white Zimbabwe farmers lost their lives in the farm invasions, yet almost three thousand South African farmers have suffered the same fate, many in appalling circumstances.

Even while the Springboks were celebrating their stunning victory on Sunday, a brutal farm attack was taking place near Nelspruit, not far from the Kruger National Park. Four attackers entered the homestead while an elderly couple and their son were asleep in their beds. The attackers laid into the couple with pangas (machetes) demanding money and firearms. The son who woke during the assault opened fire on the attackers, hitting one but was wounded himself in the subsequent exchange of gunfire.

The gun battle caused the attackers to flee with one of the victim’s firearms whilst dragging their wounded accomplice with them. The man died as they ran and was left behind. His firearm was recovered by police.

All three victims were hospitalised while the police continue with their enquiries. I don’t suppose they will arrest anyone for this though.

On 31st October, a Newcastle farmer, Anton Pitout was attacked by a mob on his farm in Normandien in the Drakensberg mountains. He was very severely assaulted with knobkerries and other objects all over his body, head and face and was lucky to survive. This is the third attack he has endured this year.

A farmer who came to his assistance was also assaulted. The attack comes on the back of a dispute with land affairs and locals over a ninety hectare portion of his farm that he offered to them so that he could continue his farming activities on the rest of the land. Inevitably perhaps, they want more.

The local police are refusing to assist, claiming as they claimed in Zimbabwe that it was ‘a private matter.’ The South African Police have degenerated into a rabble I’m afraid, just as they have in my native Zimbabwe.

The day before the mass assault on Pitout, two people died as a result of being tied up and tightly gagged during another attack in Mpumulanga. Both suffocated behind their gags after brutal beatings but at least the police are said to be investigating.

I have chosen the least horrific of incidents to highlight here. There are others a hundred times more violent and difficult to read about. Old folk, children, helpless housewives and sometimes house servants have been brutally assaulted and put to death in nightmarish circumstances but the world still says nothing.

So despite the general euphoria at winning the rugby world cup, the question must surely be asked, why must South African farmers who are providing food for the country continue to be attacked, murdered and tortured without getting any help from police or government?

And why are world leaders so damned quiet about the situation. Trump apart, I suppose they are all too scared of being labelled ‘racist’ by the Great Unwashed.

What a sad reflection it all is on Society in the twenty first century!

Rugby and the Media

Like a few million other people I spent the morning yesterday in front of the television – or idiot box as I usually refer to it. I didn’t go to the pub to watch, nor did I have anyone watching with me. Perched on the edge of my chair with a bucket of strong coffee, I was prepared for an agonising eighty minutes.

The occasion of course was the rugby World Cup final in Japan and I was a bag of nerves before the game. Ever since I was a boy and was told by a former Springbok cricketer that if I worked hard at my bowling, I too could wear the green and gold (I never did) I have supported South Africa in sport. Many Rhodesians have worn the Springbok colours and I don’t think many of my countrymen were supporting England yesterday.

Nevertheless, the England team had comprehensively beaten the mighty All Blacks the previous Saturday and in doing so had put on an awesome display of fifteen man rugby. Nervously I wondered whether the South Africans could match it.

They could indeed and were every bit as awesome yesterday as England had been the previous week. I sighed with relief when the final whistle blew and my heart bled for those defeated Englishmen. Everyone who plays or has played any sport to a reasonable standard will know or remember the bitterness of defeat, particularly in a big match – and you don’t get bigger than a World Cup final.

My sympathy for the players ebbed a little when so many of them refused to wear their silver medal – Maro Itoje refused to even put it on. I thought that was somewhat disrespectful to their Japanese hosts who had laid on one of the most successful world cup tournaments ever. But I suppose their actions mirrored the disappointment they were feeling, so I wallowed happily in the feeling of euphoria engendered by the handsome Springbok win.

What surprised me was the reaction of the British Press this morning. Last week, they crowed about the World Cup coming back to these shores and what heroes the rugby team were. They were lauded as saviours of a divided nation and Head Coach, Eddie Jones was tipped as a racing certainty to become Sir Edward in the New Year. They gleefully reported how a victory parade was scheduled for next Tuesday in London and at least one major clothing retailer produced a few thousand England World Cup Champions 2019 golf shirts.

Huh! Those same scribblers this morning poured bile and vitriol on the English players and support staff. They were accused of having ‘shamed the nation’ and being ‘totally inept in their performance.’ There were calls for last weeks proposed knight of the realm to be fired and for mass changes in the team before the Six Nations tournament begins in a few months time.

Once again, my sympathy for the players and support staff rose. They gave of their best and were beaten by a better team on the day. Every sporting side, no matter how successful experiences that from time to time and it is part of sport. I wonder how many of those commentators have ever been on a sports field of any sort, let alone in the heaving cauldron of emotion that is a world cup final.

One or two of them have and the former England scrum half, Matt Dawson who is now the BBC’s main rugby pundit was reasonably gracious. Last week, he wrote that if one was picking a joint England/South Africa team, all twenty-three places would have to go to England because their players were so much better.

After the game, he grudgingly admitted that the Springboks had played well and deserved their victory. Thank you for conceding that, Mr Dawson but I wish you could get your fellow scribblers to sit down and try to understand just what happens to everyone involved in a big sporting occasion.

Far from the England team being fired, I feel that most of England’s hypocritical journalists should lose their jobs.

Well done South Africa, but well done England too. Despite reading many accounts that described the game as ‘scrappy and disjointed,’ I found it fascinating to watch and it wasn’t until Cheslin Kolbe scored five minutes from full time that I truly allowed my nervousness to dissipate and settled down to watch the post-match celebrations.

In fact I opened a bottle of wine in my own little solo celebration. As it is Sunday today I might well imbibe a wee bit more in order to toast Rassie Erasmus. He ignored the predictions of the so called ‘experts’ last week and stuck to his own game plan to provide South Africa with their third world cup triumph.

Three finals and three victories – two of them against England. That really can’t be bad.