Another Mad Year

As another year comes to an end there seems little hope of sanity appearing in this sadly muddled and confused world. Everybody seems to have an axe to grind and nowhere is this more apparent than here in Britain.

Take the vexed question of race for example. In general black Britons and white Britons get on reasonably well. Of course there are occasional flare ups over ‘difference’ but these are soon forgotten. In the rarefied atmosphere inhabited by the liberal elite however, this is far from the case. When it comes to achieving equality of opportunity, there is institutional virtue signalling, self-righteous guilt-tripping and ideological posturing.

As a result, instead of meeting genuine needs, many policy-makers indulge in the worst kind of stereotyping, where ethnic minorities are automatically treated as victims in need of support and white people are regarded as potential oppressors who deserve to be either prosecuted or ignored.

Two very different examples of this kind of behaviour emerged this week – both telling a great deal about the British neurosis over race, and the damage that it does.

The first was the row over the decision by two leading public schools – Dulwich and Winchester – to reject large philanthropic donations, worth more than £1 million, to fund scholarships for talented white boys from poor backgrounds.

The donations were offered by Sir Bryan Thwaites, a former principal of Westfield College, part of the University of London. He is rightly concerned about Britain’s ‘severe problem of the underperforming white cohort in schools.’

The second was when Richard Leafe, chief executive of the Lake District National Park Authority, stated that the region should be made more accessible to the disabled and ethnic minorities. This follows a decision by his park authority to run a four-mile tarmac path through woodland at Keswick to improve access.

In each case, the people behind these decisions will have thought of themselves as generous and progressive. But their approach is little more than condescendingly puerile. All recent studies show that white boys from deprived backgrounds do worse at school than almost all other ethnic groups and are significantly less likely to go to university.

Sir Bryan’s wish to promote social mobility through these scholarships is wholly justified. Nor is there anything unorthodox about wanting to provide financial backing to pupils from certain ethnic groups which face disadvantages in the system. After all, the rap star, Stormzy has established a number of scholarships exclusively for black students at Cambridge University. Other charities have done the same yet there has never been a flicker of indignation from the liberal twits.

Sir Bryan’s proposal was certainly not illegal under current equality legislation either. Trevor Phillips who was one of the authors of the 2010 Equality Act states categorically that in circumstances where a racial group suffering disadvantage is white, then there is no bar on doing for them exactly what we would do for black and ethnic minority groups.

Contrary to what some ‘progressives’ seem to believe, the Equality Act is not the judicial preserve of black people. It is not a kind of ‘be nice to blacks’ charter but a measure that aims to bring fairness for all. Yet that fact is being ignored by organisations such as Dulwich and Winchester. The two schools were too terrified of accusations of bigotry to accept Sir Bryan’s generosity.

In their anxious minds, the very use of the term ‘white’ probably conjured up images of the far-Right and aggressive English nationalism. Bristling with indignation, Dulwich boasted that its ‘community is profoundly diverse.’ In the same tone, Winchester proclaimed that ‘the school does not see how discrimination on grounds of a boy’s colour could ever be compatible with its values.’

What utterly sanctimonious liberal clap trap!

One state school has proved less squeamish than these supposedly elite centres of learning and has happily accepted Sir Bryan’s largesse. Unsurprisingly the headmaster is black!

Do these left wing intellectual types have any idea of how ordinary people actually live I wonder? They certainly show little sign of it. Despite their fixation with ethnic-minority victimhood, they show little understanding of the lives of the British working people.

The term ‘white privilege’ is so casually bandied about among these people and perhaps it applied in the colonial era when I was growing up, yet most low-paid workers in Britain are white. Does their skin colour give them any sense of privilege? I very much doubt it.

But neurosis about race means that guilt and condescension can be found everywhere in our public life – as the Lake District story shows.

‘We are deficient in terms of black and minority ethnic communities,’ declared Richard Leafe. He is probably well-meaning but he is sadly out of touch with reality. His belief that the Lake District should be enjoyed by as many people as possible is commendable, but what does he intend to do – drag black, brown and vari-coloured folk up there with instructions that they must enjoy the scenery and amenities on offer?

Black people do not need to be guided by the benevolent hand of the State for God’s sake. They have minds of their own and will surely choose their own places to visit.

As I said earlier in this piece, the deep anxiety that is so apparent in British political and media classes isn’t reflected among most people, who – generally speaking – want to get on with their neighbours, whatever their colour.

And you know, this squeamishness about race and colour can have disastrous consequences, as terrible crimes are overlooked.  Remember the long-running refusal by the authorities to face up to the reality of Asian predatory sex gangs on the streets of towns such as Rotherham and Telford? At the moment, we have the same shameful silence about the soaring incidence of knife crime in cities. Ethnicity plays a critical role here because the overwhelming majority of both perpetrators and victims are young black men. Yet the race aspect is constantly, almost feverishly down-played by liberals, who would rather grumble about poverty or lack of youth clubs. But none of this mayhem is taking place in the left-behind seaside towns of Kent or the devastated industrial wastelands of South Wales or the North-East.

The hand-wringing over these crimes does nothing to tackle the terrifying surge in violence. We need some realism about our racial differences – and the people who most want to see that realism are almost certainly the black people themselves.

Why on earth can the liberal, do-gooding ‘elite’ not understand this?

Mind you, hypocrisy is not all with the liberal elite and foppish white pratwinkles of Britain. At the moment it seems that half the world’s leaders are on holiday and it was refreshing to read that Bunter Johnson and his popsy went on their Caribbean jaunt, flying economy class on British Airways. Many of us know just what an ordeal that can be. Not only that, but he paid for his own tickets.

Consider that for a moment. Bunter is the Prime Minister of Britain, the fifth largest economy in the world with a GDP of $2.8 trillion.

‪‪Emmerson Mnangagwa on the other hand is the President of Zimbabwe, a country with the second highest inflation and a GDP one hundred and sixty four times smaller than Britain, yet he flies in private jets costing the Zimbabwean taxpayers millions of dollars!

And still he blames sanctions for the fact that virtually everything in my benighted country is failing.

I don’t really know what 2020 will bring but I have two wishes for the New Year. Firstly that the British people – no just one small slice of the British people – will learn to laugh at themselves and realise just how lucky they are and secondly, that some sort of miracle will take place in Southern Africa and bring peace and stability to what is one of the most beautiful regions of the world.

What chance do I have? None at all I suppose but whether you are black, white, pink, yellow or some unspecified hue, have a wonderful new year in any case.

Christmas Craziness

Christmas is over and very pleasant it was. Now in theory the world ought to be settling back to some sort of normality, but somehow I don’t think it is.

A brief supermarket visit yesterday left me speechless and upset at the sight of thousands of people almost fighting to fill up their trollies with piles upon piles of presumably cut-price goodies. Every till heaved with overloaded shoppers and as my basket contained but four small items, I made for the Express till.

Huh! That particular till was unmanned, so I ceremoniously placed my basket upon its shiny surface and walked out of the ruddy place.I know the Boxing Day Sales as they call them are said to be chaotic, but this was a supermarket for Pete’s sake!

And in the world of so called celebrities, the general inanity doesn’t diminish.

Take the South African actress Charlize Theron. This overpaid woman wails that when she was a mere nineteen years old in 1994 – that makes her around forty four, twenty five years later – she was sexually harassed.

Poor darling, wasn’t everyone who is anyone but what actually happened?

Well it seems that ‘a famous director’ actually touched her leg.

Then what happened, you might wonder?

Well, she got up and left and that was it. 

For Pete’s sake, that was a quarter of a century ago and this prancing nincompoop would have us believe she has been traumatised ever since. 

Less than twenty years before this utterly devastating and life damaging incident, many of us were watching friends and colleagues dying violently while at the same time being subject to ambushes, land mines, rocket attacks and other fiendish ways of being killed. We were delivering death messages to bereaved families and sharing their grief. Yet for all the attendant horror, most of us seemed to have managed to get over it.

And all that was happening very close to Ms Theron’s homeland.

Of course, by some amazing coincidence, this so terribly distressed woman just happens to have a film to promote and it seems any damn-fool story of persecution will suffice in that completely phoney world of Celebrity La-La-Land. 

Mind you, I certainly won’t be going to see her film, whatever it is called. It is far too much of a risk.

In the half-darkness, an usherette might brush against me and put me in a therapy clinic for years. 

One has to be so very careful not to be traumatised nowadays.

Bloody silly people! Sometimes I despair of my own species. 

Green Trends and Twitter

My last rant was about the iniquities of defence spending in this country, but of course, the Ministry of Justice are not the only department to have lost their marbles in the course of their trendy spending projects.

Perhaps the worthy Dominic Cummings should be asked to run a review of police spending as well. In their wish to appear politically correct and keep up with the twitterati, forces have spent millions of pounds on electric cars that they admit are useless for chasing suspects or rushing to help victims.

Forces around the country have bought at least four hundred and forty eight environmentally-friendly vehicles to help them meet green energy targets. But almost all of these cars and vans are being used in non-emergency situations or by chiefs to get to work.

Official police reports concede that electric vehicles cannot meet the demands of urgent response or pursuit driving. They take too long to charge up to be ready for 999 calls and could run out of battery before a shift ends. Now that might be embarrassing!

Figures from thirty of the country’s forty-six police forces show they have bought or leased four hundred and forty eight ‘green’ vehicles and have many more on order. Together they have spent at least one and a half million pounds, according to details obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. The true costs will be far higher as several forces refused to say how much they had spent.

Scotland Yard has a hundred and thirty four green vehicles and wants to make its entire fleet green by 2050, partly to avoid having to pay London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s daily £12.50 Ultra Low Emission Zone charge. The Met has bought dozens of ‘ultra-low emissions non-response cars’ from BMW, Mitsubishi and Toyota, but it then had to get more diesel vehicles for high-speed chases. An internal report admitted that ‘The market has not yet sufficiently matured to offer alternatively fuelled vehicles capable of meeting the requirements for the role of pursuit cars.’

A report by Staffordshire Police states: ‘Vehicles that are less damaging to the environment are struggling to cope with the arduous needs of emergency service; autonomous driving and safety systems are not conducive to pursuit or response driving.’  Jeepers, talk about officialese. When I was a cop, we were taught to keep our writing simple with as few words as possible!

Anyway, a number of forces have submitted long-winded excuses for their inept profligacy while Tim Rogers, spokesman on pursuits for the Police Federation said: ‘The public does not need to worry about police not being able to get to them because their cars have run out of battery.

‘It would be remiss of anyone managing a vehicle fleet to restrict themselves that way – they are still able to use other vehicles.’ 

We can only hope Mr Rogers is not also using a load of flannel.

I mentioned the twitterati and although I have never wanted to be on twitter, I think few of us whatever our politics, would deny that social media brings out the worst in people. We could all do with thinking a little more and tweeting a little less.

The last decade has been a low point for public debate, thanks not least to various activists’ or whatever they call themselves shouting and screaming in favour of their particular point of view. It baffles me that so many self-declared liberals are completely intolerant of difference and so reluctant to listen to contrary opinions. When the local candidate for the Libdems canvassed around Princetown – he was the only one who did mind you – I told his supporters that the party were no longer liberal or democratic. They immediately stopped trying to get me to meet the clown, thank God.

Indeed, earlier this year almost two-fifths of Brexit remainers told an opinion poll that they would seriously mind if their child married somebody who had voted Leave. So much, then, for their cosmopolitan open-mindedness! Yet surely democracy depends on competing opinions and we all learn far more from people who disagree with us than from those who reinforce what we already think.

So as we prepare to celebrate Christmas and bid farewell to the second decade of the century, I can only hope that we will leave behind the age of confected outrage, the culture of ‘calling out’ perceived offences and the hysterical obsession with political correctness. I am not holding my breath but as animals of the same species, we all have so much more in common than we think; we just need to recognise it, that’s all.

So here’s my Christmas wish for the next decade – a bit more freedom of speech, a bit more tolerance, a bit more perspective and a bit more humility. Is that really too much to ask?

Happy Christmas everyone. Don’t forget to leave a wee dram out for the tubby fellow coming down the chimney tonight.

 

Inefficiency, Top Brass and Anthony Blair

Now that the Brexit squabbling and back-biting is hopefully behind us, we must pray that Britain is about to enter a new political era. With his huge majority in parliament Bunter Johnson must surely have been given a mandate to embark on a significant programme of reform.

And as far as I can see, the first priority for sweeping reforms is the Ministry of Defence. The duty of any government is to protects its citizens yet that duty has been forgotten in recent years and given way to warped priorities and gross mismanagement. In too many parts of the Armed Forces, a culture of inefficiency prevails, reflected in top-heavy bureaucracies, wasteful procurement processes and outdated practices.

Clinging to dreams of imperial grandeur, some of the generals and field marshals seem reluctant to face modern realities such as cyber-warfare, terrorism and unmanned weaponry. For decades, governments of both parties have colluded with this failure of vision by the Ministry of Defence because they appear to be nervous about challenging these bemedalled buffoons. 

Commitment to defence has repeatedly been judged by the size of the MOD’s ever-increasing budget, rather that the effectiveness of spending.  But there are signs that the new Government will take a different approach, focused on Britain’s national interests rather than grandiose fantasies. To see if taxpayers are receiving value for the £39.3billion spent this year on defence, a far-reaching review into the MOD is to be conducted by Dominic Cummings, the chief Downing Street strategist.

Few people like Cummings and I must admit that he does not appear to be a prepossessing sort, but he is the ideal figure to head this review, not only because of his indifference to criticism or personal feelings but also because of his record as an incisive operator. 

In defiance of all the odds, Cummings masterminded both the leave victory in the 2016 referendum and the Conservatives’ election triumph earlier in the month. A few years ago, he was Michael Gove’s adviser at the Department of Education, where his drive for reform provoked outrage from the unions and the teaching establishment. Yet he had a long-term impact in raising standards. The joy of Cummings is that he doesn’t give a tuppenny damn about what people think of him and thanks to his efforts, the United Kingdom is rising up the international league tables in maths, science and reading. 

The news that Cummings is now to turn his forensic spotlight on the MOD should be welcomed by the public – even if the top brass are alarmed. His outlook was recently captured in his ferocious condemnation of the procurement process which ‘has continued to squander billions, enriching some of the worst corporate looters and corrupting public life.’ 

The same dysfunctionality can be seen in the neglect of Britain’s home waters. A proper patrol force around the seven thousand plus mile coast, especially in the Channel, would enhance protection of borders and deter crossings by illegal migrant boats. Somewhat shamefully, the Border Force has just five cutters for such a vital task, compared to the six hundred vessels used by Italy to guard its coast, or the two hundred and forty by Greece. 

Yet Britain found over six billion to spend on a pair of aircraft carriers, which boosted the prestige of the admirals but did nothing to strengthen her defences against real threats. As floating targets, vulnerable to new types of anti-ship missiles and drone technology, they need much of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet to protect them. Not only that, but the F-35 strike aircraft they carry are ruinously expensive and have limited range. 

So what is the point of these juggernauts? Little wonder that Cummings has called the carrier policy a farce – it is damnit and seems designed only to create a few top jobs for the boys.

But this is just part of a pattern of destructive extravagance by this idiotic and overstaffed ministry. It has been estimated that over the last fifteen years, two hundred and eighty billion has been wasted by the MOD on disastrous equipment decisions. 

The sooner Dominic Cummings embarks on this review, the better. Perhaps he can bang a few heads together and fire a large number of official time wasters. This country needs money to spend, not grandiosely useless aircraft carriers.

Is it possible that Anthony Blair has already been mummified? His face certainly seems to have acquired an entirely new shape and patina.

I suppose that doesn’t matter to anyone but him and perhaps Mrs Blair but once again this horrible man is here among us to tell us that he knows better than anyone else, despite having made in Iraq, the worst single foreign policy mistake in the last fifty years.

Why do the media outlets still allow so much time for this pratwinkle, who seems to veer between being a ramblingly incoherent nonentity and a raging warmonger when he is not surrendering to terrorist murderers on shameful terms? His time is past. It is over. He no longer has any say or influence in the running of this country.

In recent weeks, the Blair Creature has been telling us all how wrong we were on the European issue, seemingly forgetting that not so long ago he urged this country to join the euro, a policy almost every breathing human now realises would have been a disaster. 

Since the election, he has reappeared to gloat over Jeremy Corbyn’s failure and claim that Corbyn’s ‘revolutionary programme’ and ‘Marxist past’ stopped him winning the Election. This is very odd coming from Blair. He has told us before that he was himself once a Trotskyist. 

He has never revealed which particular organisation he joined, although a close friend of his belonged to the International Marxist Group, which called for ‘Victory to the IRA’ and urged its student members to infiltrate and take over the moribund Labour Party in the 1970s, when no vaguely sane person under the age of fifty would have joined it. 

An astonishing number of Mr Blair’s Cabinet were also ‘former’ Marxists – and these are just the ones we know about. And, as we all now know, Blair did indeed give ‘Victory to the IRA’ in his Good Friday surrender to them in 1998 – the fact that it was a surrender is shown by the continued legal pursuit of British soldiers accused of crimes during the Troubles, and the effective mass pardon given to IRA killers, though some people still refuse to see it.

As for Mr Blair’s other policies – rapid integration in the EU, participation in mad foreign wars, sale of our gold reserves just before the price shot up, a gigantic splurge in welfare and NHS spending way beyond our means, unlimited immigration, fanatical pursuit of political correctness – they are a mixture of zealotry and stupidity, slightly different from Mr Corbyn’s, but only very slightly.

I just wish all those who managed to see the obvious Corbyn threat will one day understand the damage they have allowed Anthony Blair to do by praising him as the ‘moderate’ he never was.

He should be banned from spouting his nonsense because he is an excellent orator and manages to persuade decent folk that he is the voice of moderation and reason.

He is most definitely not I’m afraid. He is a very nasty man with a great deal of blood on his hands.

A New Beginning – Perhaps

I found the picture of Bunter Johnson and the Bearded Trotskyite entering Parliament yesterday quite amazing for their contrasting expressions. The roly poly one was beaming all over his chubby chops while Corbyn had a scowl that would have melted soap.

I confess I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the Queen’s speech and its attendant promises but with the majority he now has, Bunter will need to do more than promise us the world.

It won’t be enough to hire an extra 20,000 coppers for a start. He has to ensure that they are deployed on the streets, fighting crime and tackling burglary instead of pursuing politically motivated prosecutions for ‘hate crimes.’ More foot work and less paper pushing is required.

The fire brigade must be reminded that their job is fighting fires, not ‘celebrating diversity’ and putting the safety of firemen ahead of the lives of the people they’re paid to rescue. The Armed Forces should be told they will be judged on their ability to defend us against our enemies, not on how many sexual and ethnic minorities they employ. Ministers should ensure that schools exist to teach children to read and write, to teach geography, maths and foreign languages – not fill their heads with a revisionist Left-wing version of history and endless propaganda about climate change and gender fluidity.

Above all, Bunter must ensure that the extra billions being pumped into the NHS go to benefit patients and do not disappear inevitably into the black hole of the self-serving  bureaucracy that run the hospitals.

With an eighty-seat Tory majority and the support of most ordinary people, Bunter must sort out the mess that is parliament for once and for all.

If Labour is to have any credibility at all, they must get rid of Corbyn’s hard left supporters as well as the so-called moderates like that po faced clown, Keir Starmer who not only went along with the corruption of a once-respectable political party, but instigated its cynical attempts to thwart the democratically expressed will of the people it purports to represent.

What comes next for Labour? I don’t think I really care. A prolonged period of silence – at least four years, ideally – is overdue. Thankfully Squeaker Bercow has gone. This preposterous garden gnome abused his high office to derail Brexit and should be destined for well-deserved ignominy. Mind you he seems to be cultivating a second career as an entertainer now. He has just been paid to appear on an Italian talk show in which he shouted in Italian his catchphrase ‘Order, order.’ It is probably the most suitable role he could possibly play I’m afraid. He was always much more suited to the role of a novelty act than a serious politician and once he’s exhausted that vein, other opportunities await – town crier, placard holder announcing the end of the world, unicyclist, footman, food taster for a dictator, door-knob polisher. They would all suit him admirably. No, forget about all those jobs, let’s give him the career he was born to – a somewhat inept but very funny circus clown. The only drawback is that he is being paid vast sums for his performances and that is an insult to the rest of us.

I hope but am certainly not sure that we will hear no more from that weird woman, Gina Miller. Having failed to stop Brexit with her expensive court cases, she is threatening more legal action to throw a spoke into Bunter’s proposed constitutional reforms, so she could be back on our screens fairly soon.

Hopefully too we will hear no more from the Tory turncoats Dominic Grieve, Anna Soubry, David Gauke, the Totnes quack and the rest, who thought they were entitled to overturn the democratic will of the British people but were turfed out by their own indignant constituents. Now perhaps pro-EU has-beens Johnny Major, Michael Heseltine, Peter Mandelson and Tony Blair will also shut up, although the last of those still kids himself that he is a force in the land.

We’ve had to put up with decades of being patronised by the smug, self-appointed metropolitan elite and betrayed by an arrogant, self-serving political class. Hopefully – only hopefully at this stage – those days are now over. Please let the government of this country be run with a modicum of common sense for a change.

You know I have never agreed with the concept of police and crime commissioners. What are they for damnit? Police forces have always been run by experienced coppers and it is only in recent times that the wheels seem to have come off. Now they are run by amateur politicians who surely know nothing about policing the streets.

For me, the calibre of most of these numptys is typified by the police and crime commissioner for Cambridgeshire. This buffoon has had to resign after sending suggestive messages and a photo of his own wedding tackle to a vulnerable woman.

Jason Ablewhite is said to have struck up a dialogue with the fifty-year-old at the Cambridgeshire force’s headquarters. The lewd comments continued for nine days until she reported him to his force via its online system after she ‘threw up’ after getting the image of his private parts.

He should be prosecuted for bringing his force into disrepute damnit. The coppers of Cambridgeshire do not deserve this.

Intellect, Insult and Common Sense

Why is everyone so keen to take offence these days? An anonymous mother from Plymouth has told the media that she was subjected to a Facebook tirade for calling the guy who tumbles down the chimney at this time of the year, Father Christmas.

Apparently this is insulting because it is not ‘gender neutral’ like the American name Santa Clause. Well I am sorry. I have always called him Father Christmas and while I continue to believe in him, will always do so.

Even more startling in the newspapers today was a piece on a leading academic and psychotherapist, Dr Sonja Falck who wants the calling of anyone a nerd or smarty-pants made a hate crime and dealt with by law. She tells the media that such ‘divisive and humiliating’ anti-IQ insults can have negative effects that last a lifetime and she wants people with the highest IQs in the country, who make up just two per cent of the population, to be protected by the same hate crime laws as ethnic, religious and sexual minority groups. 

She is herself obviously highly intelligent and a member of Mensa but I fear she must be losing her marbles a little. She also wants the ‘insults’ braniac, know-it-all, smart-arse’, dweeb and brain box to be covered by hate crime legislation.   

She clams victims of anti-IQ slurs often experience the same level of distress and isolation as other minority groups at the receiving end of verbal abuse. Extending legislation to include these words would, she claims, help stamp out the victimisation of more than one million Britons with an IQ score of 132 or over – in other words, members of Mensa.

Dr Falck has just launched a new book called ‘Extreme Intelligence’, a study of discrimination against those with especially high IQs. I don’t think I will be investing in it I’m afraid.

She said: “The N-word was common parlance in the UK until at least the 1960s. Other insulting slurs about age, disability, religion and gender identity remained in widespread use until relatively recently. Society at the time turned a blind eye to their impact by passing them off as harmless banter and it is only with the benefit of hindsight and academic research that we realise how wrong we were.

‘The same can be said about anti-IQ words like nerd, brainbox, geek, egg-head, dweeb and smarty-pants. Slurs such as these will continue to be used unabated at the expense of the brightest members of society unless and until legislative action is taken.”

Oh come on. When anyone gets the better of me or hits me with a sharp retort, my own immediate reaction is to call them ‘smarty pants’ or the more vulgar alternative and I do it with a smile. Besides, haven’t the new government got enough on their collective plates not to have to worry about this politically correct drivel? I don’t like the taste of most vegetables but if I say so, will I offend millions of vegetarians and vegans and thereby commit yet another hate crime? Where on earth is this nonsense going to end I wonder?

Yet Dr Falck, who lectures at a London university and also runs a highly respected Harley Street psychotherapy practice, says the legislation must be widened to include anti-IQ slurs, which she describes as hate crime’s ‘last taboo.’

No Doctor; someone else just like you will think of something else to be mortally offended by and we will all end up scared witless about expressing our own sincerely held views.

I have never had my IQ tested and don’t suppose it is very high but surely a little bit of common sense is preferable to being a ruddy genius who can’t cope with life. We all get perceived insults thrown at us through much of our lives and to my mind, it ought to make us stronger and better able to cope. If Dr Falck is serious about this, she might try imagining what it was like to attend boarding school at a very young age with choir boy looks and a name like Lemon.

Yet I can only smile when I think back on my feelings then and don’t believe the insults and bullying did me anything but good.

Politics and Parties

I was pleased that the Conservatives won the general election and pleased that they gained themselves a majority – and a big one at that – in Parliament. At least it gives them a lever to work with.

But listening to Bunter Johnson’s victory speech outside Number Ten, I felt a prickle of apprehensive doubt. It was a speech that could have been made by that horrible Blair fellow or his gloomy successor Gordon Brown. It could even have been made by Crafty Cameron and it did nothing for my peace of mind.

There was the usual hearty pledge of ‘carbon neutrality’ (whatever that means) by 2050. As far as I can see, the only way they can achieve that is by strangling the economy, destroying efficient power generation and making us all pay for windmills through higher gas and electricity bills. Yet China who have the world’s fastest growing economy sensibly depends on cheap, reliable coal. There must be a moral there somewhere.

Bunter also promised ‘colossal new investments in infrastructure.’ Does this mean even more hugely inefficient projects like HS2, which do no good, cost billions and massively overrun their budgets and timetables – at our expense.

There’s a promise of a ‘long-term NHS budget enshrined in law, 650 million pounds extra every week.’ Oh come on – no amount of extra money can pull the NHS out of the mire in its present form. We could spend every penny the country has on it and it still would not work as it is supposed to. Had he promised a cross party plan to overhaul the entire NHS set up, I would have had more faith.

And there’s the usual thoughtless nonsense about police numbers. This is vacant politicising I’m afraid. The problem with the police is not how many of them there are. It is the fact that they spend their time doing the wrong things, and refuse to return to the simple, solitary foot patrol, which was the original reason for their existence. I know. As a young man, I pounded British pavements for seven long years before going back to my own country. In those days, policing worked damnit!

Unfortunately Bunter is a populist rather than a conservative. He is a London bohemian who doesn’t understand the basic concept of being faithful in marriage. He has proved himself a serial adulterer and doesn’t seem sure how many children he has actually sired. In normal circumstances, I would not hold that against him but suddenly the man has been given enormous power.

He is also rich enough to have no idea as to just how bad, and how crammed with indoctrination, state schools have become and like all senior politicians he doesn’t have to worry about crime and disorder. Since he was Mayor of London, he has surrounded himself with aides who encourage the left wing and politically correct thinking, so beloved by the Corbyn followers.

I was particularly unimpressed by Bunter standing in front of a backdrop inscribed with the words ‘The People’s Government,’ That is a phrase that could have been concocted by Blair’s thuggish sidekick, Alastair Campbell damnit and it filled me with foreboding.

Bunter grandly told us that, ‘In winning this Election we have won the votes and the trust of people who have never voted Conservative before and people who have always voted for other parties. Those people want change. We cannot, must not – must not, let them down. And in delivering change we must change too. We must recognise the incredible reality that we now speak as a one-nation Conservative Party, literally for everyone from Woking to Workington.’

Again this sounds too much like the Blair creature in full flow. Is Bunter perhaps trying to make the Conservatives into New Labour? Crafty Cameron tried this – remember his ‘heir to Blair’ pronouncement? But he came unstuck because he just couldn’t get his own party to like the European Union. Nor did the people. So many of us had come to identify the EU with two things we greatly dislike. One was the abolition of Britain itself and its replacement by a slick, glossy, corrupt and grasping new society that seemed vaguely repellent.

The other was the arrival of migrants in numbers too vast to integrate, with the result that almost every town or district now has a number of separate communities.

How many of us understand or worry about trade deals or tariffs. Most of us – including myself – can’t tell the single market from the customs union. Yet for three years we have been forced to listen to continuous petulant wrangling from our elected leaders without there being any possibility of agreement.

This I am sure is what caused the tidal wave that gave Bunter J his huge majority. Yet when the Conservatives say they’ll ‘get Brexit done,’ they don’t actually mean that the great immigration wave will be undone or reversed. Nor can we expect a rolling back of the cultural revolution that has swept away so much of what was specifically British about customs and laws.

They’re mainly talking about technical trading matters, and the resolution of those will last for years to come. But they will be able to say that we have left, which is after all what the referendum was all about.

And those who hoped to get their country back will be left staring around them and seeing the same old mess. That is why, although I am thankful that the Marxist lot didn’t get in, I am a wee bit apprehensive about the current crop of Conservatives and particularly their leader.

While the British Media clowns write either gushingly or scathingly about the election result here, the media in Zimbabwe are reporting ‘Feasting in a Time of Famine’ over there. The annual conference of the ruling ZANU (PF) party was held this weekend in a little town called Goromonzi and at a time when the United Nations report that eight million Zimbabweans (over half the population) are in urgent need of international food aid to save them from starvation, the sheer excess of the political leadership is grossly obscene.

For seven thousand delegates, VIPs and the top leadership, one hundred and fifty cows were slaughtered to feed them, as well as five tons of chicken and eight tons of maize meal. Add to that bread, rice, fresh produce and other food items completely unobtainable for most Zimbabweans.

Ninety buses provided transport for the faithful even though fuel is in desperately short supply, four boreholes were drilled for water, a large transformer with a back up generator was installed for electricity when most of the country is in darkness and a car park for thousands of cars was constructed.

This frenzy of feasting and opulence is in stark contrast with the realities of life for most Zimbabweans. The average monthly income for a family is approximately four hundred zim dollars, bond notes or whatever paper currency they are using at the moment. A single small chicken in a supermarket costs ninety of these worthless units. A ten kilogram bag of maize meal costs one hundred and nineteen; a loaf of bread costs nineteen, a litre of milk twenty-five. A single mango costs twenty dollars and this in a country where mangoes have always grown freely. Even in the towns, people only have water once a week if they are lucky, electricity only comes on between ten in the evening and four thirty in the early hours. Queues of many hundreds of cars waiting for fuel are an everyday occurrence and if Zanu (PF) cars or government vehicles come along, they are given preference over ordinary motorists.

In the hospitals, the few doctors left say they are praying for their patients as they have nothing to help them with – no equipment, no medicine, no supplies. How many people are suffering and dying at home is obviously unknown.

The country is in a shamefully desperate state and perhaps the reason I have fears for Bunter Johnson’s tenure in Downing Street is the fact that my relatively prosperous homeland, Rhodesia was handed over to the corrupt thuggery of Zanu (PF) by the last Tory prime Minister with a whacking great majority – the late Margaret Thatcher.

I hope that was not an omen.

There was only one item that made me smile in my extensive reading of the newspapers this weekend. A lady columnist quoted the nineteen fifties film star, Joan Crawford on the subject of Christmas parties.

‘Remember, if you are hosting a party this festive season, always add a splash of vodka to EVERYTHING. Nobody ever knows and everyone ends up having a wonderful time.’ 

Somehow I think they were happier days. There was far less about everyday life to worry about – except perhaps hangovers.

People, Wildlife and a New Book

At last the general election is over and with such a huge Conservative majority, I had hoped that the country would settle down and start pulling together.

But no – there were anti Bunter demonstrations in London last night and I watched a particularly rancorous Question Time programme on the iplayer this morning. Admittedly it was a London audience but it did not make for easy viewing with many irritable arguments plus claim and counter claim. What is the matter with these people? Surely, they must realise that it is time for the Nation to come together and move on, yet it seems that nobody in this day and age is prepared to accept any view that differs from their own.

I fear that this way of looking at life is what leads to eventual anarchy.

The day was a good one for me though as I received advance copies of my new book, Ivory Challenge. It is another short novel that while being a love story of sorts, also tries to show the difference between trophy hunting and poaching. I suppose it is my own small attempt to counter the general hysteria that accompanies trophy hunting these days. I don’t want to hunt myself but I can understand the people who do and believe it or not, professional hunters are the most efficient conservationists of all.

I am often told that photographic safaris are equally good for conservation but I’m afraid I can’t agree with that. Eco tourists as they are called look at a totally artificial and unreal Africa. Yes, they see a number of wild animals and take photographs that have been taken many thousands of times before, usually from the rear seats of luxury safari vehicles. Yes, it means that individual animals can live to a grand old age, but in the bush that usually means they are ripped to pieces by hyenas in their old age or starve to death because they can’t catch prey any more or have lost their teeth.

In hunting areas, the land is harsher. There are few roads and the ethical hunters shoot only the oldest animals, because (a) they are the ones on hunting licenses and (b) they are invariably the animals with the largest, tusks, horns or other attachments. In general hunting clients kill cleanly and if they do not, the professional hunter with them will ensure that the animal is followed up and despatched before it is allowed to suffer unnecessarily. This keeps the populations of individual species at a manageable level and in the process, brings money in to local tribesmen. This in turn means that the tribesmen look on wildlife as a source of income rather than a dangerous nuisance so they learn to protect the animals in their areas. They also keep poachers away rather than encouraging them as they have always done in the past.

Well meaning people tell me that all hunting is barbaric and if one takes the basic concept of an armed man stalking down and killing a noble creature, then yes it is, but there is a great deal more to it than that. Hunting and killing are in the genetic makeup of Mankind and surely it is better that this is used to benefit wildlife rather than allowing wild life to be snared, to die in agony or poached by unscrupulous people who don’t give a damn for the animal itself.

I could go on but would suggest you read the book. It is entitled Ivory Challenge and is available on Amazon for £7.99 or as an ebook on Kindle for £2.99 or if you want a signed copy, through me, for £8 plus postage, which in the UK amounts to £2. An extra penny for a signature that could be valuable in a hundred years time can’t be bad surely?!

If any of you do buy or read the book, please send me your comments when you have. For a professional scribbler, readers’ comments – whether good or bad – are what keeps us glued to our typewriters.

So go on, buy the book and tell me what you think. If my little tale can change the outlook of a few irate people who have never given the hunting dilemma any serious thought, then it will have served its purpose.

Elephants and Immorality

I wrote an impassioned rant about politics and the Media earlier today but with my usual technological expertise, managed to ‘lose’ the lot while trying to post it. I know it is not really lost and is doubtless cowering somewhere in the bowels of my laptop but I don’t have the energy or the time to search for it.

In the meantime though I was sent an article entitled The Immorality of Saving Elephants. As most of you know, I spend a great deal of my time lecturing on the need to save elephants so the title of the piece set me back a little.

I do read everything I am sent though – apart from advertisements for this, that or the other – and when I read the article by John D. Holm and Robert K Hitchcock, who are both American university professors, I was impressed.

Let me quote from the piece.

Over two-thirds of the world’s African elephant population lives in four southern African countries: Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. By contrast, in the remainder of Africa herd numbers from poaching and population pressures have been in dramatic decline.

One would think that the four states protecting most of the surviving elephants would be rewarded for their exceptional efforts. But to the contrary, these states have been punished. This outcome was strikingly evident at the August meeting in Geneva of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The voting parties to the Convention rejected a proposal by the four southern African states that they be given the legal right to sell their stockpiles of ivory on the international market. They proposed to use their profits to pay for wildlife conservation and village damage caused by elephants.

How on earth can CITES justify such a moral failure to reward the four governments which are successfully investing in saving over two-thirds of the world’s African elephants.

The CITES majority, led by animal rights groups in the developed countries, claim they must be pragmatic. Effectively, this pragmatism means preventing all trade in elephant products, regardless of the moral cost. A recent Economist essay states that this pragmatism derives from a simple correlation. The one-time legal sales of ivory CITES allowed to three southern African states in 2007 resulted in increased smuggling for over a decade. The theory is that legal ivory comes on the international market one year and creates demand thereafter for smuggled goods. Most surprising in the case of the last legal sale in 2007, the poaching and smuggling is alleged to still be evident in 2018, eleven years after the legal ivory went on the market.

This is arrant nonsense I’m afraid but let me go on with the article.

We would suggest that according to standard economic theory, the causation runs in the reverse: When there are no legal products on the market, the demand for smuggled products goes up. What the animal rights groups and CITES are doing is creating demand for poaching and smuggling by clearing the international market of all legal ivory. To add insult to injury they are unwilling to reward the African governments that prevent elephant poaching from engaging in delimited international trade, the profits of which should be used to fund policing the poachers.

Surely this must be obvious to even the most determined animal rights campaigners. If trade is allowed and ivory is available, the demand for illegal ivory must diminish. Black markets are particularly vile and the black market in ivory ranks second only to the black market in hard drugs in terms of profitability.

The animal rights cause is further undermined by the fact the key organizations in this movement raise hundreds of millions of dollars from their supporters for their activities in saving the elephants. Yet neither they nor CITES itself allocate any of these millions to compensate rural villagers in the four countries whose crops, livestock, water points, and people are endangered periodically by the massive wild beasts roaming free in their midst. Nor have these organizations offered to financially assist the four African governments that are using costly police powers to prevent poaching in their territories. In effect, the wealthiest countries in the world are employing their overwhelming power and influence to impose trade policies on African countries with much less wealth.

The immorality of the current situation is multi-faceted. The animal rights organizations are raising millions of dollars from their unsuspecting supporters to save the elephants in developing countries, and they are using that money to lobby their governments to impose a policy which:

1) does not achieve the objectives their supporters are promised,

2) forces African countries to fund these failed policies,

3) punishes governments which save their elephants, and

4) offers no compensation to villagers for financial loss and physical suffering.

The Authors are quite correct you know. My latest book Ivory Challenge has recently been published and although it is a little love story set in the African bush, I have endeavoured to put forward most of what these two chaps have said in their article.

The situation is desperate and it is time that CITES ignored the voluble rabble who comprise so many of the animal rights groups and brought a little real pragmatism to bear.

With their current policies, they are merely hastening the ultimate extinction of the elephant – a result that I spend a great deal of my life campaigning against.

Pen Pushers and Politicians

I have just come back from a weekend house-sitting stint in Darkest Gloucestershire and due to fog, the journey up there took a good three quarters of an hour longer than it usually does.

At one point, I was peering into the gloom ahead of me and concentrating with everything I had when I was distracted by a motorway sign way above my head.

‘FOG’ it told me proudly. As if none of us knew! Visibility was less than twenty metres and traffic was crawling along, yet some pen-pushing paper-shuffler in his nice warm office spends time, designing a sign that informs in very large letters what Nature has already made abundantly apparent.

God protect me from fools in offices!

As we enter the last week of election campaigning, God protect us all from modern politicians too. Not only in Britain but throughout the ruddy world. I understand little about American politics but the American people elected Donald Trump without being subjected to the thuggery and intimidation so prevalent in my own country.

Trump is a braggart and in many ways a bit of an ass, but like him or not, he has done most of the things he promised and seems to me to have proven himself a better president than his immediate predecessors.

Yet when he attended the recent NATO summit in London, he was subjected to ridicule by a quartet of political buffoons and stomped off in a huff.

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden was quick off the mark with his political ad mocking President Trump. Only hours after Trump returned to America, the contemptuous footage was being rolled out across the globe in a damage maximisation bid.

‘Look, the world is laughing at him, world leaders cannot trust him,’ crowed Biden, showing footage of Bunter Johnson, Macron of France, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Canada’s Justin Trudeau sniggering behind Trump’s back at a Buckingham Palace reception. Their remarks were caught on an open mic because they were all too idiotic to realise that the presence of so many TV cameras tends to suggest that a number of microphones will be dotted around the room too. Yes, the saga certainly said something about the kind of man Trump is, but it said far more about his smug tormentors.

It seemed somehow pathetic to see this sad quartet of losers and chancers, who found safety in numbers and their joint ineptitude jeering at a political colleague who wasn’t there to defend himself.

Princess Anne is one of the few hard working Royals, but she didn’t do herself any favours either, hovering around at the edges of this group, snickering away with the best of them. Perhaps she had forgotten that her calamity-prone younger brother Andrew was banned from the event because he is up to his sweat-free neck in a rolling boil of sleaze and scandal.

Bunter was in the thick of it, of course. Yet with his priapic tendencies and chaotic private life, he has little call to laugh at anyone.  Many of us live in hope that come Friday, a solid majority and a good wind behind him will be the making of Bunter, both as a human being and a politician. But I certainly won’t be holding my breath.

Meanwhile Emmanuel Macron’s two-year presidency has been disastrous, with a strike that will bring the country to its knees, but worst of all is Trudeau, the idiotic Canadian leader who does yoga, had sympathy pains when his wife was in labour, wants to ban the word mankind because it is sexist and seemed to spend most of his youth wearing blackface make up at parties and then abjectly apologising for it.

Instead of laughing at Trump, this pratwinkle should be studying his economic record. For while America’s economy is booming, Trudeau has driven Canada’s into prairie dust.

Yet many professional Trump haters admired this pathetic display of playground nastiness as further proof of Trump being unfit for office. Well perhaps he is. I don’t know but hopefully the impeachment hearings will decide his future one way or the other.

In the meantime, whatever happened to statesmanship, to ‘cometh the hour, cometh the man,’ to strength of character, rising to the occasion and doing one’s country proud? All that seems to have disappeared from public life a long time ago.

Instead, we are left with this shower of half-baked twonks. The political class of today are more than just a disappointment – they are a disgrace to their profession and their respective countries.

And we have to elect more of them on Thursday.