30 September, 2013


The Golden Dawn Party has been declared illegal and most of its MPs have been arrested for belonging to an illegal organisation.

Golden Dawn parades itself as a neo-Nazi Group, with Nazi salutes and a swastika-like emblem. As with Hitler's party before he came to power they go in for a fair bit of Street violence and have been linked in the public mind with the death of a socialist rap artist, although there have been no convictions.

I cannot help feeling that the Greek Government are playing this wrong. These organisations crop up in times of economic malaise, usually trying to blame immigrants for the country's troubles. Such a one appeared in Britain in the 1930s and we have seen modest signs of them occasionally thereafter.

The trick is not to take them seriously, to ridicule their uniforms and salutes; they go away when times are better.

Instead, Greece has got martyrs. Golden Dawn scored 7% in the last elections, which is higher than one would wish but, given that no one will have them in a coalition, not electorally dangerous.

And yet 7% of Greeks will be outraged.

No good will come of this. Greece panicked when it should have giggled.

Italy update

The Head of Telecom Italia has resigned, now that the company is believed to be Spanish. The head of Intesa, Italy’s largest bank, has resigned. The finance Minister Fabrizio Saccomanni has threatened to resign.

The Ministers of Berlusconi’s PdL party have resigned from the Government.

Several senior members of PdL have resigned from the party over the resignation of the others.

Beppe Grillo says he will resign if an election brings back the centre left PD and the centre right PdL but several of his deputies are threatening to resign in order to maintain those two parties in power.

The markets are selling Italian debt.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta will offer himself for a vote of confidence on Wednesday and we shall see what happens.

The last time Italy had a government run by the head of the largest elected party was November 2011. His name was Berlusconi. Angela Merkel got rid of him; perhaps she has some ideas now.

But it will sort itself out. Life goes on as normal.

Remember that the word ‘fiasco’ is Italian.

28 September, 2013


Finally the UN has produced a unanimous resolution on the chemical weapons in Syria.

If you recall, firstly the West (America, Britain and France) wanted the right to bomb. Then Russian diplomacy took this off the table. Obama, Cameron and Hollande then insisted that the resolution permitted them to bomb if Assad didn't comply.

Now, it does not permit any attack at all (they would need to start again with anther resolution for that) and does not say which side used the weapons (because we don't know).

A victory, and a welcome one, For Messrs Putin and Lavrov.


You may recall a couple of years ago the Irish budget appearing in the German newspapers before it had been discussed in the Irish parliament. I thought it outrageous but most Irish seemed to take the view that they were in trouble - and needing support - and you had to put up with some indignity.

Now this is standard practice for the eurozone. Within the next fortnight every eurozone country must send its 2014 budget for approval by the Commissioner, unelected Ollie Rehn. This week it was the turn of once proud, independent France.

Mr Rehn may 'request' changes.

This is just the latest example of how these people are prepared to override national democracy in pursuit of their goal of a Europe free from interference from its people, a Europe run by an unelected elite. We should be glad we are out of this, but we will not be out of the poisonous, undemocratic atmosphere until we leave the EU.

27 September, 2013


Finally the International Panel on Climate Change has produced its report.

It says that there has been no warming these 15 years, although several British 'scientists' (as these bogus professionals like to be known) tried to have that taken out of the report.

And Britain? The forecast is for it to get....colder. Far from the arid desert forecast for the Sussex Downs and cactus growing in Scotland, we are more likely to see frozen rivers.

I have asked before, but could we please now have the overdue apology from Prince Charles (plus an indication that he has made such a fool of himself he will retire into private life), Roger Harrabin of the BBC and the countless newspaper pundits who fell for this.

23 September, 2013


On the subject of the German elections, bad luck to the AfD perty, which wants Germany to leave the EU. It missed the threshold for parliamentary representation by 0.2%

Nobody thought it would do this well, and, as we have seen with UKIP, the more people think a party could do well, the more likely they are to vote for it.

Am I alone?

'Am I alone in recognising....' was how the typical eccentric's letter began, often to the Daily Telegraph and often, it is said, in green ink.

However there is an aspect of our political system which does not seem to me to receive any attention at all. Look at the papers today and you will see that in Germany Angela Merkel has won a decent victory, but not enough to govern on her own. 'Merkel in search of partners', they all say.

So who voted for that? Here we are, after the vote, and the people of Germany don't even know  who she is going to be making overtures to, what kind of a squalid compromise she is going to negotiate, not on behalf of the people, but on her own behalf, betraying their votes to hold on to power.

Of course in Gemany there are mitigating circumstances: their constitution was designed after the war, for very good reasons, to stop heavy majorities which could be misused. And at least the people knew pretty well that Merkel was going to win, and so any coalition would be shaped in her own image.

There is no such excuse in Britain, which does not have a proportional representation system. The trouble was caused by Mr Cameron's incompetence in missing the biggest open goal in political history. Having failed to win, he should then have governed as a minority administration but lack of courage and, I am told, excessive influence from Buckingham Palace, meant that he governs with a minority party, itslf riven between left and right, and that the policies of the Government have never been tested before the electorate. To describe this as democracy is a sham. No, it's a lie.

But we, the people, mysteriously, don't seem to mind.

21 September, 2013

The latest and best

No blogging for a bit - more later - due to other commitments. See my articles in The Commentator about UKIP and Berlusconi. The Commentator is free and excellent and only on the internet.

11 September, 2013

On this day

Today is the 12th anniversary of the attack on the twin Towers in America (I usually think of 9/11 as 9th November because of the different way they write dates); it is the 40th anniversary of Pinochet's coup in Chile and, but for the Grace of God, it would have been the first day of the American, British and French Attacks on Syria.

I'm keeping my head down

Diplomacy Doubles

The Russian team of Putin and Lavrov easily outclassed the Americans Obama and Kelly, the British Cameron and Hague and the French Hollande and whoever to register a remarkable victory.

In the last minute of play the Russians produced a staggering gambit whereby the Syrians hand over their chemical weapons to international control.

Now the Americans can't attack (the plan came out just as Obama was honing his speech to the American people suggesting he does just that), they have to give the Russian plan a go.

Of course the plan won't work - that's the beauty of it. 'International' must mean the UN, which would take a long time to gear up. The last time the UN was in Syria the team was shot at and they don't know who by; it was equally likely to be one side or another. Syria is undergoing a civil war and you can't just ask the protagonists to down weapons. And there will be confusion as regional approvals are not sought, inspectors turned away with a 'sorry, we didn't mean it' the week later (remember Saddam?), lost weaponry (now where did we put that Sarin gas?) and the 'discovery', true or false, that some are in the hands of the rebels, who haven't done a deal to hand them over.

The American and British peoples (Hollande wasn't going to bother to ask the French) are tired of war. Parliament refused Cameron permission to wage one. Then Hague hinted that if things changed there might be another vote. Things changed but not the way Hague wanted: if there were a vote now that there is a chance of mediation, it would go even more horribly against the Government. The Americans will pause.

And Putin will sit back, comforted that the war can continue as normal, just supplying a little more weaponry to make sure his side wins.

10 September, 2013


Today is Gibraltar Day, where Gibraltarians celebrate the 1967 referendum to remain part of Britain.

Mr Cameron has said that he will never agree to any transfer od sovereignty without the consent of the Gibraltar people.

That's good. Let's leave it at that and let's hope for no sabre-rattling from either side.

09 September, 2013

The BBC and global warming

The BBC predicted that the Arctic would be ice free by 2013.

Today we learn that there is 60% more ice than at this time last year.

It's cooling, like the rest of the planet.

Doubtless the BBC team, I believe it is led by Roger Harrabin, will wish to apologise for causing an unnecessary scare tactic on the back of insufficient and inaccurate data it did not, in any case, understand.

Don't hold your breath, though.

08 September, 2013

Olympics again

Yes, the Olympics have raised their ugly, corrupt head again, this time to decide who will hold the games in 2020.

I could have sworn I heard the BBC announcer connect to our man in Istanbul, who said 'everywhere there are people waving flags, cheering...' and I assumed the games had been awarded to Turkey. But no, they went to Japan. Perhaps they were cheering because they wouldn't have to build useless stadia everywhere and take on mountains of debt.

Meanwhile Japanese professor Yasuo Hazaki suggests that hide-and-seek might be a good sport to include.

That's the stuff: games people actually want to play. Away with the  synchronised diving and dancing horses; hide-and-seek, hopscotch, skipping.

And cricket.

02 September, 2013

David Frost

David Frost has died of a heart attack aged 74, which is young.

He will be remembered, I hope, for the wonderful satire, which characterised the 1960s as much as the clothes and the music, and for the TV interviews, of so many people, which were lessons in the interviewer's craft.

I hope he will not be remembered for 'Through the Keyhole', a programme as crass and trivial as any you could find on TV.

Seamus Heaney

Seamus Heaney, the Nobel Prize winning poet, has died.

I've read a bit of his work and it struck me as banal, ineffective pay-per-word stuff, like someone who had never written poetry pretending to be a modern poet.

And I can't understand why, born in the United Kingdom to parents who were born in the United Kingdom, he wasn't British.

But he said he was Irish.

01 September, 2013

Greatly exaggerated

It seems that George H Bush, that is to say Bush père, not Dubya, has announced on Twitter the death of Nelson Mandela, even though he is still with us.

I can't work out which I think the sillier, the 41st President or the social medium itself.

Policy making

According to the Telegraph, Downing St admits that David Cameron's wife, Samantha, influences some of his decision making and she was behind getting him to attack Syria.

Good grief.

I mean, good ****ing grief. Is this what we have come to?