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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Interesting to note..
The report mentioned in the preceeding entry was compiled by Sir Nicholas Stern.. an economist.. The focus was not on the environmental effects of global warming, per se.. but on the economic impact the phenomina will have on the global GNP..
Apparently, at this hour, a copy of this report has not even reached the White House, much less been digested or evaluated..
One would think that with mid-term elections within just over a week's time, a report of such impact would be of prime concern to the Republican Party.. it's already been shown, by actions taken in California by Arnold, that comprehensive legislation against carbon emitters, would only raise esteem, in the eyes of the American man on the street, for the Party willing to take a hard line.. Arnold's gained 15% in the polls by his stance..
But what this does speak of, is the probable reluctance of the Federal Government to disturb it's main contributors by announcing plans the likes of those stated by Tony, who's set a 60% reduction on emissions over a 50 year period..
A good plan, but as to whether we have that time is moot..
Not to have even recieved this report, is something that one finds hard to fathom. One might even go so far as to say that this is simple disinformation. Perhaps George's speechwriters are still trying to phrase an announcement that will appease the populace, while keeping industry content.
Such obfuscation can only be interpreted as deliberate, and as such, a subject deserving of some concern.
The US contributes 25% of carbon emissions. It's a touchy subject, one which will affect the finances of whichever Party demands immediate action.
Again, one can only re-state the difficulties facing all of us, in forcing our politicians to make draconian stances..
There's little the common man can do to alleviate this problem, other than by chosing politicians who do make a stand.. and finding them might prove a difficult task..
Little has been done so far, according to the Stern Report. We can only wonder what actions those we elect will really take..
As far as the US is concerned, a willingness to sign the Kyoto Accord would be a positive start..
But again... money plays a huge role in what legislation is passed, or delayed, or discarded entirely.
And this is 'democracy' at work..

Monday, October 30, 2006

Disturbing news..
Not unexpected.. this blog has been writing about it for years..
But finally, Tony has released the results of a report which predicts that global warming, as contributed to great effect by our carbon emissions, have reached the point where within 15 years, it could cost the global ecomony close to £4 trillion.. 20% of the current total..
What's perhaps more disturbing is, that even if Britain cut it's emissions to zero, developing industry in China alone would wipe out any reduction we could make..
Herein lies the problem. We have India and China evolving to Western standards of living. It's not a quick process.. it will be decades to reach the point wherein there are hundreds of thousands from starvation levels enjoying electricity, plumbing, such basics as running water at a kitchen sink..
And to give these people the basics, as we would see them, it will take vast expansion of particularly the Indian economy, and that, as technology now stands, demands excessive carbon emissions..
Unless the West can offer technology that replaces that which brought us our own prosperity, to those countries straining to achieve parity, we are, without exaggeration, doomed.
India itself will be one of the primary areas affected.. as the Himalayan glaciers melt, Indian lowlands will be permanently innundated, which in turn will create a catastrophic drop in food production..
The African continent as a whole will be drastically affected.. reports have that areas general temperature as risen .3 of a degree in the last two years.. other reports have specific areas, the likes of the Horn and the sub-Sahara, rising an average 20 degrees in the last three years.
But once again, while we have the US refusing to even sign up to the Kyoto Accord, which in itself does not go far enough according to this latest British report, how can we expect to get agreement from China.. or India..
China, by the way, has not even been asked to reduce emissions, as it qualifies as a 'developing nation'..
Now while there are those who say carbon emissions are not the main cause of this climate change.. that it is a natural cycle of the earth, the fact remains that we are between a rock and a very hard place, and if there is anything we can do to even slow this process, we would be nothing short of idiots not to make an attempt.
It's the old argument of economics.. lobbies such as those representing the car industry in the States dictate government policy.. We seem to have an inexplicable reluctance to legislate what would amount to a retooling of our way of life, and to fund the development of technology that would ease the threat we now face..
It will take the innundation of the American East Coast.. the British seacoast.. the Indian lowlands.. the deaths of milions and the loss of £billions before those in power will even consider doing something to combat further damage.
We seem bent on short-term views, ignoring the obvious until indeed it is too late..
It is a fact that those, in this country, are on the whole reasonably well informed concerning the effects of global climate change, and it will be perhaps the prominent issue when our next elections roll around. But what is desperately needed is a response from those who hold the reins, right now..
And it will certainly require global agreement on a plan to implement changes, radical changes.
And this, is far to much to reasonably expect..
At the very least, as we have said again and again, we should be making moves away from our dependence on the Middle East, and the oil it provides us..
Truthfully, it is a question that no-one can answer.. that which will be left for our grandchildren to deal with..
And we are lead by those, who apparently couldn't give a damn.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

There's the obvious knock on effect in the Eu, with the admittance ofRomania and Bulgaria next year.. that of course being economic..
Even in Britain, we are feeling the pinch, with that quintissential British sports car, the JVR, closing it's plant here, and farming the jobs out to plants in Europe..
It is hard to imagine what countries the likes of Germany, France, and Italy will lose, and their economies are already in dire straights..
What will the streets of Paris be like if thousands of workers converge to ptotest the loss of what they thought to be lifetime jobs, taking account of what was done by students earlier this year when they realised they had nothing to look for in the way of jobs when they graduated, and that the fees for what is essentially useless education, at least on this side of the Atlantic, were going to be raised?
With China expanding it's potential exponentially, Russia while still dealing with it's Chechen problem, emerging as a growing world economic force, the value of the American dollar decreasing steadily, the EU is rushing wholeheartedly into bankrupcy..
This world of ours is changing, with ballances of power shifting with the effects of tectonic plates..
There are so many foreign issues for The West and by the West one must include Canada, although that country will not go willingly into deep woreign waters, to contend with, that there will be less and less attention on the Federal level focussed on matters of national importance. The Individual States will have to pick up that burden, and that will mean a definate divide between those that have the tax base, and those who do not..
It's basically the same scenario facing the EU.. with the particular difference being that there will be a central, or federal government, trying to maintain an equitable ballance between individual member states..
Populations are going to shift radically in Europe over the next few years. That's a given..
But industry will take advantage, while it can, of the disparate lifestyles which might be offered the poorer states, while paying wages which are not universally enforced..
One would dispair at the immediate future of this world, while this metamorphosis takes place..
If all the pieces of the puzzle were laid in place, the future would not be a bright thing to contemplate.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

There wre estimates of upwards of 1.4 million applicants waiting to enter Britain, when Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union this coming January..
And this frankly, frightened this Labour Government..
Immigration Minister John Reed has had to take a pre-emptive stance, and announce legislation that would limit those unto our shores, to the skilled, at least for the most part. He has allowed for migrant workers, but only in the food processing or agriculrual sectors..
It has yet to be announced that measures France and Germany will take, but they certainly will have to do something. Their economies can't reasonably support the population they have, let along the millions who will be looking for a better life, in 'The West'.. These are recovering Communist regemes, and their sociological makeup at this time, is, to say the least, lax in Law Enforcement..
There will be many who would early love to leave those countries.. and as of the first of this new year, they will be free to do so..
This economic problem of new EU members is a matter that will take decades to sort out, and it is to Tony's credit, and a necissary commitment from whomever takes over, be they Labour or Conservative, that they tread very quietly in further involvement with what will develop on the Continent..
It could be a literal juggernaut..

Monday, October 23, 2006

Now this is where we get to see, how two of the worlds 'superpowers' back out of an untenable position..
Iraq is not going well..
An American State Department official, who has since retracted his statement as being non=representative of either his own position or that of the State Department, told al Jazeera that there had been 'arrogance and stupidity' in the American approach to the war in the Middle East..
We have here, two senior army generals decrying the lack of forethought, and statements to the effect that this is an 'unwinable' war we're involved in..
Now perhaps there was originally a feasable manner in which Saddam could have been deposed without involving conventional army personel in a constant battle with spontanious terrorist militias and established terrorist organisations, but historically, a lesson should have been learned from past encounters with the Levant, and more importantly, with VietNam..
We have destroyed the everyday lives of those who might well have supported us, through lack of intelligence. We cannot identify civilians from combatants, when uniforms are not distributed to al Q'area or Hammas or Hezbollah operatives, and we have not succeeded in cutting off the financial and material aid getting to these organisations through other Islamic States.
Nor are we going to.
It is time for a switch in Western strategy in the area, as has been evidenced both by George, who's facing mid-term elections, and Tony, who's looking towards retirement. Once again, it could be stressed that the only viable option is financial attrition, a decrease in Western buying from the entire region, and a restructuring of our oil-based economy.
With the internal sociological problems facing both the US and Britain, there appears to be no option but to turn towards a policy of isolationism, and that this policy should be for the long-term.
For once, the finances directed towards warfare, should be applied to correcting inequality at home, and finding a solution to growing zenophobia among our own populations..
It is time, now that Saddam has gone, to allow the Middle East to determine it's own destiny, and for we, as a block, to do the same at home.
it is now a case of 'physician, heal thyself'..

Friday, October 20, 2006

One must question if it's a case of 'familiarity breeds contempt'.. or whether it's just the natural progression of the pursuit of the lowest common denominator..
Internet chatrooms have deteriorated to an amazing extent over the past few years.. to the point at which there is no intelligent conversation to be found..
This might be in part to the misuse of the medium.. the fears of providers in keeping paedophiles away from their prey, but it would seem to go deeper than that..
While in Britain, there are only two major chat options available.. those being AT&T and Yahoo/Lycos.. those who once frequented these rooms for an exchange of ideas, thoughts, have been replaced by cliquish groups who, for the most part, are only interested in witless banter. Those rooms once dedicated to the discussion of religion, philosophy, politics, are now either empty, or devoid of a population with any interest in these subjects..
And this is a terrible shame..
Where we once had forums... we now have little more than a small village mentality, in which gossip is the main topic..
We have squandered what could have been an amazing resource.. exchanged intelligence for mediocrity..
And while the various governments worldwide have had their part in this deteriorative process, the main fault lies with those participating..
What was instant acess to global debate, has become a travesty.
Yet another great idea.. reduced to the lowest common denominator.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Interesting scenario unfolding before us..
One has to find it almost inconvievable that Venezuela is running a close second for the temporary seat on the UN Security Council.. The appointment would only be for two years duration, but the presence of a government who's President has called George 'the Devil' when there are so many cards on the table.. North Korea, Afghanistan, The Sudan, Iraq, continuing petrochemical sources..
Yet there it is indeed.. the possibility of a voice which could prove decisive in immenent votes..
While on the topic of North Korea.. There is some question concerning just what sanctions will be imposed on North Korea.. It's always those at the bottom of the ladder who suffer most when trade embargos are imposed, and China is understandably concerned about the possibility of a flood of refugees, with the poorest appearing first..
Yet all seem agreed that something must be done to curb Kim Jong Il's determination to test nuclear weapons.. There has been a formal warning from the US to Pyongyang, that no follow-up testing will be tolerated.. but just what that ambiguous statement actually means is moot..
Military action would seem to be a non-option, on several levels..
The US and NATO are already deployed on two fronts.. to stretch the limited resources of the main contributing countries, and with France, Italy, and Germany exceedingly reluctant to contribute to this effort.. could, and almost certainly would, lead to failure on all fronts.
Especially when China declares itself neutral, and possibly refuses any forces engaging North Korea the use of Chinese ports..
Russia itself could likely adopt a similar disassociation..
The Japanese..
Well despite their non-violent stance since the end of WW2, their Foreign Minister has dropped sotto voce hints, that they too, might consider a nuclear program.. It demonstrates perhaps more graphically than any other statement, that there are real concerns about the virulence of the attacks on The American, and thus by association the Western, way of life, by the average North Korean man on the street. They do believe our way of live to be evil.. not just bad, or despicable, but evil. This is what they've been taught, indoctrinated into believeing, since the Korean War..
And they're a proud people.. whether earned or not, they have self-belief in abundance..
Just as the Japanese have a name for Westerners they're not too fond of.. so do the Chinese, and the Koreans, and right around the Pacific rim to the Philippines..
It is an area of the world which has a history which far oputstrips ours.. While our ancestors fought with gay abandon, the Oriental mind had already become well-versed in manipulation.. both in battle and in diplomacy.. and we, relative newcomers to this poiltical scene, who's government(s) aim for the well-being of the individual, are dealing with those who have been trained to deal with amazing alacrity, leaving all those within the negtoiations at least appeased, while achieving their own purposes entirely. Their diplomacy works in small steps, small concessions, leading them into a position of moral, or economic superiority.
One must define 'moral' here, in the Western sense..
North Korea is fishing.. seeing just how strong the line is that binds them with China.. and how the other rod reels in the West..
North Korea could not concievably win a full-fledged war with the West, and Pyongyang knows this without a doubt. This is the case of 'The Mouse That Roared'.. an attempt to pry direct talks between Kim and George.. concessions for a country that while wallowing in poverty, is united in it's hatred of all the US represents..
Interesting.. Mohammad al Baradai, the head of the UN Regulatory Commission, says it's becoming 'fashionable' to posess nuclear capabilities.. he estimated that as many as 30 countries have the technology to build the bomb..
It's when these powers posess the long-range rockets capable of delivering these bombs, that we'll find ourselves back in a 'Cold War' situation, multiplied by tens..
We are doing well, are we not?

Monday, October 16, 2006

One must wonder if Jack Straw had any idea what a broohaha he would be stirring up with his stance aginst Muslim women wearing veils while in his Constituency Surgery..
It's turned, from one man's stance aginat anonymity, to a national cause od group segregation..
This weekend, Government Minister Phil Woolas angered Muslim groups by calling for 23-year-old Aishah Azmi - a Muslim teaching assistant suspended for refusing to remove her veil - to be sacked.
The head of the Muslim Council of Britain, Muhammad Abdul Bari, has claimed that a recent "drip feed" of ministerial statements over the issue has "stigmatised" the entire Muslim community... that "What is happening, especially in the last few months, has been a barrage of demonisation of the Muslim community to such an extent that the community is now scared and the whole community feels vulnerable."
Yet Communities Minister Ruth Kelly spoke to a meeting of local authority officials saying the battle against extremism in the UK was the biggest security issue for local communities and should be fought by everyone - not just Muslims.
She told representatives from 20 councils and senior police officers at the meeting: "This is not just a problem for Muslim communities.
"The far right is still with us, still poisonous, still trying to create and exploit divisions.
"Extremism is an issue for all of us. We all must play our part in responding to it."

One cannot doubt the sincerity of Ruth Kelly, or the resentment of the Islamic Community.. but what has begun as a tempest in a teapot is turning into something much more ugly..
If we have British Commanders on the ground in Iraq saying the presence of our troops is indeed leading to an increase in terrorist rectuits, what can we expect on this island, when traditional values are becoming something which could face antipathetic legislation..
We have had a history in dealing badly with minority groups in this country, and especially when dealing with cultures which differ radically from 'the norm'..
Historically Britain has not been a place minorities have flocked to.. it wasn't until the 50's and 60's that the Black Community grew to any significant size..
Now, we have a Muslim Community which measures in the millions, and quite frankly this, when looked at by native Britains who live side by side, is in some cases, daunting to say the meast..
Add the aspect of the source of most terrorists these days, and there is cause for concern..
As has been said several times in these writings, while Britons must become familiar with the true nature of these new faces on the block.. it behooves the Muslim Community to defuse this current issue..
There is nothing in the Q'ran which demands a full-face cover for a woman.. it is the choice of certain sects and individuals..
Time to really dig deep, and decide, on both sides, the relative importance of religious dress..
Mind you, having said that, one wonders if there will be future protests about the particular dress of Hassidic or Ashkenazi Jews..
Already a woman has been fired from her job for wearing a cross on the job..

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A disturbing sociological trend in these British Isles has prompted the government to invest £4 million to televise ads aimed at 18 to 24 year olds, about the dangers of 'binge drinking'..
But one has to wonder, whether seeing clips od young people vomiting on themselves, starting pointless fights, anding up in police custody, will really make much of an impact on the problem..
It seems there is, among a significant proportion of British youth, a sense of pointlessness, of directionless everyday existence.
Now, drinking las long been an integral part of British social life, and has always, to some extent, been a problem..
But these days, there is a sub-culture, of a young demographic who are either in poor paying jobs, or entirely unemployed and on State Benefits, who fi d that their working, or trying to find work, is made bearable only by the prospect of losing themselves in recreational drugs or alcohol, or a combination of both. There is a distinct lack of 'pride' in their work, and a subsequent reluctance to find a job..
And it seems we're seeing a repeat of the cycle last evident at the end of the Second World War, wherein those who have achieved qualifications, are leaving the country for more lucrative employment in North America. This, in itself, is a reflection to those who have no skill to export, of the 'trapped' scenario.. and thus.. the drive to escape the quotidien slog by a cathartic release on the weekend..
Itr's difficult to find any particular person or institution to point a finger at.. to lay blame at the feet of..
It's a phenominon that has been evolving for decades..
It would seem that perhaps one solution would be to re-introduce an older form of educational standards, wherein it was determined in lower schools what each individual student's capabilities might be, and guidance offered to steer them towards a realistic goal.. a skill they can excell in.. It might be best to reverse our position, that 'anyone can achieve a higher education, and deserves a place in University'..
A return to the apprentice system, and a re-instilling of that elusive 'pride' element, would give those who are currently square pegs being forced into round holes, to realize they have worth, without having to struggle for a Degree they will never be able to complete..
It might be better if the £4 planned for advertising against over-indulgence.. was used to build and staff a technical school.. one which could properly train tradesmen.. offer those among the great bewildered an option which currently is not available..
Give people a sense of pride, and there's far less a chance they'll take any oportunity to escape their mundane existence.

Friday, October 13, 2006

A comment from General Sir Richard Dannet, the Head of the British Army, has indicated that the British presence in Iraq is fueling terrorism, and it would be better for the Government to reconsider the schedule for withdrawal of troops from the area..
Comments from the British man on the street appear to agree with this assessment, and would indeed like to see our boys come home.. but there have also been reports from Brits living in Baghdad, who say such a withdrawal at this time would be catastrophic, leading to the deaths of thousands of Iraqi's in continued terrorist attacks, and would in fact, allow those terrorist groups to consolidate, throwing the country into a situation wherein there is a national government which is effectively powerless to protect those who have opposed the Muslim extremist stance..
It's a fine line Tony has to walk these days. It is absolutely true that once Western troops disappear, the government of Iraq will face an enormous task of trying to deal with those who would die to restore a Caliphate, while dealing with the normal everyday incidents of crime and mayhem. This Iraqi government is totally dependent on the Western presence at this point, and is still working on the timetable set out three weeks ago, that projected a civil war in the country within two months.
If British forces depart the south of Iraq, leaving a situation that has yet to be resolved, then it could be quite rightly said that we have done exactly what George Sr. did following his withdrawal from Iraq in the early 90's.. leaving a population open to reprisals, and perhaps facing certain death.
Yet as Sir Richard pointed out, and as has been mentioned before in this journal, we are fighting a war which we cannot now, conceivably win..
This is our VietNam.. and while the deposition of Saddam was certainly a necissary action, the followup operation was always going to be a losing proposition..
A rock and a hard place aint in it.. we either commit ourselves to an almost continuous occupation, or we cut our losses, and leave it to the Iraqi's to sort it out.
It's a loss, anyway one looks at it.
One wonders, once Western forces have withdrawn, how long it will take Iran to launch an offensive against the precarious government in Iraq.. again proposing a unified attempt at implementing a religious solution.. a turning back of the clock to a Caliphate, and a government filled with Islamic zeal..

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

This past weekends nuclear test has cost North Korea one of it's most prominent ptoectors.. China has joined with the other members of the UN Security Council in considering 'significant' sanctions against the government in Pyongyang.. an abrubt about turn from former statements from Beijing..
While the Chinese have called military action 'unimaginable'.. that has not been the case from the US.. the American Ambassador to the UN says Washington has 'not ruled out' military action against Kim Jong Il and his regeme.. but a diplomatic solution would be the first step in trying to control the proliferation of nuclear weapons..
Now the salient point is, whether or not North Korea would consider any diplomatic approaches against it's nuclear program..
China itself is deeply concerned at the possibility of military or severe economic action against North Korea, imagining massive reaction by the North Korean people themselves, as they would certainly seek asylum across their northern border into north eastern China..
With China itself on a course of internal development towards trade agreements with the West and Europe, an influx of North Koreans would put them in a situation not unlike that of Germany, when the Berlin wall came down and that country re-united.. the German economy is still recovering from that unification, and China is certainly not going willingly into that scenario..
Yet all agree that something must be done to curb the North Korean determination to posess nuclear capabilities.. just what that might be has yet to be decided..

Just a brief note here..
Britain might be unique with it's fascination with the game of snooker.. major tournaments are regularly televised, and have been for decades, making sporting hero's of the shining lights of that game..
One of those lights has been extinguished..
Yesterday, Paul Hunter died after a year-long fight against stomach cancer.. He was 27 years old..
His presence will be sorely missed both by the game, and the public on the whole..

Saturday, October 07, 2006

It remains a puzzle, as to why China would sit so quietly while North Korea continues with it's drive towards nuclear weaponry..
It's thought that Pyongyam could authorize a nuclear test this weekend, and it would seem inconcievable that Beijing would feel comfortable with a nuclear trigger in the hands of Kim Jong Il..
Yet, there has been no actions from China to effectively discourage North Korea, to wit, a resolution aimed directly at the economy of the country, the likes of which has already been imposed by the US.. and the UN Security Council..
There have been shots fired across the demilitarised zone between North and South, as Northern soldiers made a short forray into the neutral zone.. and North Korea has boycotted upcomming 6 Party Talks scheduled to begin on Monday..
South Korea is sending its top delegate to the talks, Chun Yung-Woo, to Beijing on Monday for talks with his Chinese counterpart Wu Dawei.
North Korea has been adamant in boycotting the six-party talks - which involve the two Koreas, the USA, China, Russia and Japan - in protest of US sanctions against it.

One wonders how long China will tolerate such a threat on it's own doorstep..
One recalls the Bay of Pigs..
It's the fifth anniversary of British troops entering Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, and to mark the occasion, Tony has promised those troops 'whatever they need' to increase their effectiveness on the ground.. or to be more precise, in the air..
The anaysis suggests that those helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft in the region are clapped out, and desperately need replacing..
Yet with British forces fighting on two fronts, in iraq and Afghanistan, it remains to be seen how the national budget can cope with more disposable spending..
There are that many Home Affairs issues which are demanding cash, the likes of the National Health Service and Education, that it's going to be exceedingly difficult to stretch tax resources to continue the 'War On Terror' on the scale the military will be asking for.. This is reflected in the latest reports especially on Education, where students entering high school are finding themselves forced to attend schools which have been judged sub-standard. Some of these schools, according to the Education Secretary, should either be shut down completely, or thoroughly re-structured..
While most on the Island are sympathetic with the need to deal with terrorist groups, they are also disillusioned with the government's handling of home affairs, and there doesn't seem to be much room for maneuvering towards a happy medium..
While the US, with it's population and tax base, might well be content to continue with an economy which is almost dependant on wars to keep it's industries in operation, Britain is not quite in the same league..
There are far fewer of us, thus leaving far fewer to contribute either in downstream industries, or direct taxation. We must buy our ammunition.. our raw materials to manufacture the means of war.. and with little hope of an end to these conflicts, the outlook is bleak..
This is going to be a serious issue for Gordon Brown, when he takes over Labour.. and it's a surety the Conservatives will be looking at this cost of foreign involvements and comparing the good this cash could do at home, to the positive effects produced in the Middle East..
As a side note, figure released from Iraq show that there have been 8 thousand Iraqi Police killed since the invasion and the toppling of Saddam, and another 12 thousand wounded.. Those in power in that country have announced that unless there is some detant reached with insurgents within two months, that country will be in civil war.
Not quite what was intended..

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jack Straw, the ex-foreign secretary, has angered Muslim groups by suggesting women who wear veils can make relations between communities more difficult. He asks Muslim women who attend his constituent clinics, to uncover their faces, saying it makes conversation difficult..
Now this is not a request he has made lightly.. in an article he's written for his local newspaper indicates he's been thinking about this issue for more than a year..
This has the Muslim community in an uproar, with not all factions disagreeing with Jack..
Now this is all happening with a number of incidents involving Muslim groups and 'homegrown British'..
There's a dairy in the Midlands which has been firebombed.. It's owned by a Muslim.. There have been confrontations between Muslim youths and locals for the past 4 nights outside this facility..
One of the objections is, that the owner of the dairy wants to open a 'Center for Islamic Studies' on his property..
Friday's newspapers all, to some extent, are focussing on just where ethnic communities live.. The Independant will publish a demographic map, showing that the majority of Muslims live in the Midlands, and coincidentally pointing out that two ajacent constituencies in London have, in one case, 41% black voters, while the other has only 2%..
There is real concern that the various ethnic groups which make up the population of this country, are segregating themselves.. not trying to amalgamate with 'native British values'.. and this in itself is exceedingly disturbing..
Even the Queen has been brought into this fray, with plans to build a Mosque in Windsor, on Her Majesty's doorstep, so to speak. Whether or not planning permission is granted for this structure is still moot..
There's also an official Police investigation underway, into the case of a Muslim Police Officer, who, for the duration of the Israeli occupation of Lebanon, had asked to be moved from his post as a member of the guard for the Israeli Embassy.. The position of the police appears to be, that all officers take an oath of loyalty, and where they serve should not be affected by reasons religious..
It's an unhealthy atmosphere brewing in England.. one which could blossom into zenophobia on a grand scale. It will soon be felt by the average man on the street, that it is impossible for immigrants, even those who have been here for generations, to intigrate fully into the British way of life..
We should well remember the Brixton riots, and the causes of those incidents..
The US calls itself 'the melting pot'.. the Canadians have 'the cultural mosaic'.. it would appear that we in Britain are regressing, with fear the motivating factor..
Of course, it's not helped by reports that al Q'aida is collecting depleted uranium, even from old x-ray machines, which could be used in 'dirty bombs'..
It would truely be a shame if we, as a nation, take on a seige mentality. Once again, it would something all terrorist groups would smile at..

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Just a comment on the speech delivered by George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, at the Tory Conference this morning.
He seems to have followed the format outlined in this blog when it comes to taxes.. explaining that while he would like to promise lower taxes, it's an impossibility to lay out a budget for 2009 in 2006.. He did say he would plan on increasing taxes on industries which produce polution.. that he would like to say there would be lower taxes for the poorer sectors, but indeed that would depend on the economy he inherits..
He produced an impression of youthfull hopefulness, stressing that he is not of the generation that fought the Second World War, nor of that which went through the supression of Socialism, but is of the generation that sees and accepts the current problems this country faces. His attitude is, that these problems can and will be faced by an Exchequer that is not mired in the past, but is looking towards the future.
All in all, a better showing than that from Gordon Brown..

Yet another young Amish girl has died as a result of yesterday's attack in Paradise Pennsylvania..
Those of the Amish Community see the attack as 'evil'..
One can only concurr.

One more brief note on legislation passed by our Parliament.. that would allow muggers, and those who assault police officers, to be issued 'on-the-spot £100 fines, the equivalent of a traffic ticket..
How our Judiciary can be so obtuse is beyond imagination, to expect results from such a law..
The majority if not the ttality of those who steal, are motivated by drug habits, and to expect them to come up with £100 to pay such a fine, in fact to have them pay any attention to such, is naive at best, downright stupid at worst..
What are our legislators thinking?
For the third time in a week, there has been an incident involving fatal shootings in a US school, this time involving the deaths of four Amish girls, all between the ages of 6 and 13..
The details are all accessable through the regular new channels, but one finds it disturbing that in this particular case, it was not a student who precipitated the violence, but a 40 year old man finally expressing a 20 year old grudge.. the exact nature of that motive has yet to be made public..
We've almost become compacent about schoolroom shootings in the States.. they've been going on since 1997 or so.. but it must give one pause when this latest attack targets an Amish school, and particularly young girls. The motnive in this case is of supreme importance in developing a profile of this shooter, and to date, having searched the local Pennsylvanian newspapers, none has been provided. In fact, in many of those publications, the incident has not even been reported..
This speaks to the very heart of the American mindset, and makes one uneasy with such a close alliance with a country which conceals it's inner problems..

Ban Ki-Moon. Not exactly a household name, but this man seems destined to take over as the Secretary General of the United Nations at the end of this year, when Kofi Annan's 10 year stretch comes to an end..
Ban Ki-Moon is the Foreign Secretary for South Korea...
One wonders what Pyongyang's reaction will be..

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tax cuts.. That appears to be the catch-phrase of the Tory right-wing faction, and they want their new leader to outline a program which would see sweeping tax reforms if and when they take power..
The ubiquitous issue could see David loook somewhat at a disadvantage, both to the public, and to his own Party, yet how can an aspiring Prime Minister make promises concerning what will be needed in tax revenue, when he's bound to be Leader of the Opposition for the next three years?
Who has a crystal ball that will tell David what state the economy will be in, in three years time, or what will be needed from the individual to contribute to the continuance of public services?
It is absurd to put the man in such an untenable position.. to ask him to make policy statements, effectively promises, when he's no more clairvoyant than anyone else.
It is an issue that should be left for the actual election campaign, or for a Party Conference in two years time, when the prevailing economic winds are more predictable.
Certainly those who call for a policy statement immediately, are doing their Party little favour, for they tend to make their own leader appear indecisive.. unsure..
With Tony stepping down next year, there is little to go on to make predictions concerning the direction Gordon Brown will take this country for the two years he'll hold the reins..
To ask for a firm committment from David at this point, is a fool's request..
There's an old Yorkshire saying that goes 'tis better to hold one's tongue and be thought a fool, than to speak, and remove all possible doubt...'
The taxation issue will become a topic for hot debate certainly, but now's not the time, and this particular Conference, not the place..

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's the Tory's turn this next seven days.. the Party Faithful are gathering in Bournemouth for their annual convention.. the first for David Cameron..
It will be important for David to lay out some concrete plans for his Party.
Even considering a General Election is still three years away, and that will mean at least two years of Labour under a new leader, it is obliged of David, as the new Conservative leader, to give his Party a sense of direction.. of purpose... Of how he plans to effect a swing in public opinion away from whomever takes over from Tony next year, towards his vision for the future of this country.
He'll have to make his view plain on the commitment our forces have in the Middle East, and how he will deal both with the US, and the EU.. He'll also have to take a stance on internal issues, such as the National Health Service, and Socisl Services in general.
It's doubtful he'll lay out many financial plans, with the volotile economic situation worldwide, but he'll need to present a realistic extrapolation on what he would like to see..
This is the grandstand David needs to sell himself to the country, before Gordon Brown takes over..
He'd best make the most of it..

One has taken a couple of days to digest George's admission that there was a report presented to him, that would indicate the Western presence in the Middle East is indeed sparking the initiative of Muslim youths to take the martyrs pledge..
What is surprising is not that the report existed, but that it had been supressed.. for it's content has always been taken as a 'given'.
Nothing new really..
But what took some thought, was deciding why it was kept secret.. and the damage it has done to Georges image, and his efforts..
Stupid move, to obfuscate on what is obvious..

A view not often examined in this 'War on Terror', and the resulting hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, is the position of the Christian communities which, for generations, have lived side by side with Islam.
There have been reports from Syria, which has a large Christian minority, in which the Roman, Greek Orthodox, Marionite, and Coptic Christian Communities, have voiced their fervent wish that the West would clear out of the Middle East. That the status quo, which has existed for literally millennia, is being destabalised, and that native Christians might have the efforts of their Western counterparts taken out on them.
It's a valid concern, and one perhaps that should be taken into account when those who pull the strings decide to make some move towards befriending the non-combatants in the area.
It's an interesting point, that the Syrian government funds a high school in a remote community of Christians, which teaches all it's classes in Aramaic, the language of Christ.
The Western Christian Community might do well to think of the damage they support, and who it might affect..

There is some dissent in Turkey these days, with the Government being Islamic, but the army comitted to maintaining the secuar State outlined and set up by Kamil Attaturk. There is a concern, especially in the light of the proposed entry of Turkey into the EU, that there be a strict division between Church and State, that the general tone being taken by the Islamic world could lead towards the end of Jurisprudence for Sha'ria Law..
That case brought into the limelight by the impending execution of a Turkish man, who was acquitted of his crime by the Judicial System, but still sentenced to death by a religious court..
It will be interesting to watch this situation develop, and what effect the Turkish man on the street has on whatever's implemented..

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