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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Evening out ...

We're off to the movies, to see "The King's Speech" in Wiesbaden. A meal will follow in one of the many excellent eateries with which the Capital of Hessen is blessed.

From tomorrow onward blogging will depend on access to the internet for the Monk as he will be in the UK on a short teaching contract. Everything will depend on how and where he can get online...

Friday, 25 February 2011

Getting set for some work ...

Next week the Monk is in the UK for a bit of work. It will be strange to be back at his former place of work after a fairly lengthy absence - it is over a year since his last visit now.

For the moment though he is desperately searching for all the teaching materials he will need and making sure he has his bag packed properly. There is quite a bit he needs to take and it's THAT time of the year when it could be snowing, raining, freezing or so mild you can sunbathe...

Still, it will be fun.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

A long day ...

It has been a long and busy day, but a satisfactory one. Normal ranting should resume tomorrow.

Suffice it to say that Mausi and the Monk got some good news today which they have been waiting for for a few weeks.

Now we can get things moving the way we want them to go.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mass nervous breakdown ...

A book I am currently reading contained a passage the set me thinking about a number of things including the direction that western society as a whole has taken since the 1960s. To quote the passage -

"Hardly anyone foresaw the incredible technological advance since WWII, or the mass cultural/psychological nervous breakdown of the late sixties."


This passage is from a book on writing fiction and is, more or less, a throw away comment by the author, Gardner Dozois, then editor of a popular Science Fiction magazine. He goes on to discuss the many mistakes and failures of those whose imagination tends toward the ideas of the 1930s 40s and 50s in terms of space travel, future life on earth and so on. But the last part of his remark really got my attention - the fact is that our culture, as a whole, underwent an earth shattering loss of confidence in ourselves and our future in the late sixties.

For many of us it probably wasn't immediately apparent, but the student riots, sit-ins and campaigns against teachers, authority of any sort and the mass appeal of mind bending drug use all started the trend. Anyone remember the mantra chanted by the flower waving 'peaceniks' of the 60s and 70s? "Better Red the Dead" was the mantra at every rally for disarmament and the idea that war was unsurvivable, that defending what your fathers had fought and died to create, was pointless all stem from those drug hazed days. So to do all the 'Campaigners' against every form of -ism they can invent.

You would have to be terminally naive to not recognise that there was a lot wrong with our society back then, but it certainly wasn't as bad as it is now depicted by those who can see nothing worthwhile in our society and wish to create a socialist/fascist state to control us.

As things stand we seem to be on a path toward self destruction. We have lost confidence in our governments, we have lost confidence in sciences and we are run by single issue campaigners to the extent that we often feel we are unable to express ourselves clearly on any thing in case we 'offend' someone's sensitivities. The latest piece of legislation to hit the statute books in England and Wales, the Equalities Act, is a case of legislation gone beserk and it enshrines the point I've just made. Under the provisions of this Act, someone who is offended by something another employee has said or shared with someone else, whether the 'offended' person actually heard or saw it themselves or not, they can sue the employer ...

Local Authorities now routinely expel groups using council owned property if they are afraid that someone may be offended by their lack of 'inclusiveness' or by the Chairman's choice of idiomatic expression. Nor does it stop there.

How could this have happened, you may well ask? You may even ask why it happened, and there doesn't seem, on the face of it, to be a clearcut answer. One thing that certainly has emerged is that the former KGB funded many of these groups in an effort to undermine the western democracies, but they were also ably aided and abetted by the Fabian Society and various other home grown 'socialist' groups who have worked insidiously to insert themselves into positions from which they could control education, state services and key policy makers.

Propaganda is a powerful tool and it has been used effectively to undermine our confidence in the justice system, in government, in religion and in our own achievements. How far will it go and where does it stop? Those are questions I cannot answer, though I can say that when I look back at the collapse of the Roman Empire and later still that of Byzantium, they underwent a similar collective nervous breakdown when everything became questionable, everything became a matter of challenge and disobedience and finally social and economic breakdown.

The one thing that does stand out from that is that all the precious 'freedoms' the campaigners have claimed to have won, they have in fact curtailed - and worse, they have undermined us so completely our society will probably not survive much longer. The riots in North Africa and across the Arab world may yet be the spark that ignites one of civilizations many recorded major collapses - and how long and in what form it re-emerges may take some time to become apparent.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

New Zealand tragedy ...

The news today must surely be dominated by the earthquake that has hit Christchurch in New Zealand. Just looking at the small bits of footage to come out of there tells its own tale - and the cameras probably haven't even seen most of it yet. One report speaks of boulders falling on houses in some of the outlying suburbs and apparently no one has yet managed to assess the damage outside of the city centre.

OK, so all of that is on the news and you've already read it or heard it.

My thoughts and prayers at the moment are with the NZ Fire Service guys. Their families are involved in this as well, yet many will not be able to take time out to go and check on their safety or to rescue them until they have dealt with the collapsed structures and rescues they must do in their appointed stations and areas. That isn't easy to do, nor is it easy to deal with knowing that you left your own nearest, dearest and most precious family to fend for themselves while you rescued others.

Spare a thought and a prayer for the rescuers at work in Christchurch today and in the coming days - they are going to need all the help they can get.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Phew!

It has taken all day, but the Monk has recovered all the files his rash use of the "delete duplicates" wiped out.

Fortunately he had backups and trawling through the "trash" traced all the important files he needed to recapture and the rest can now be dumped. What it has shown him is just how easy it is to create a monster file storage unnecessarily.

Next project - sort out a filing system that works, that doesn't end up full of duplicate files and folders and the resultant inability to know which file is the updated version without going through a major search! There will be a cleanout to beat all cleanouts!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Aargh ...

The Monk had a wonderful idea. He knew he had multiple copies of files on his Mac. He knew they were cluttering his system, so he had a brilliant idea. He got the computer to list and identify all the duplicates.

Then it went to pieces. He told it to delete all the duplicates.

Fine, except that the files it removed were all the ones he wanted kept, and now he's faced with the task of finding the copies the computer has kept ...

Experience is what helps us make a different mistake next time ...

Friday, 18 February 2011

Interesting Challenge ...


Our new church in Wiesbaden has a very interesting pipe organ located on the gallery at the back of the church. There is only one snag, it has not been played since 1986 as it needed major renovation then and probably even more so now. It was installed in the church, new, in 1901, by a builder then based in Biebrich, now a suburb of Wiesbaden, on the banks of the Rhine. The Schloss Biebrich is a fabulous Baroque edifice built for the Dukes of Nassau.



The organ was damaged in WW2, though not terminally, and restored by another organ builder, from Frankfurt am Main, in the early 1950s, but this appears to have been little more than a good clean, retuning and repairs to the bellows and re-felting of the wind chests. It is a great pity that it has not been preserved - in 1986 the church had to undergo a renovation that was far more extensive than the congregation had cash for and the organ was replaced by an electric version, with the speakers for it being inserted rather clumsily into the organ case. The photographs don't show electrical cables - these are metal tubes for the pneumatic action, one of the reasons this will be a challenge to restore!



Looking at the specification and having looked at the pipes inside and the wind chests, it would be well worth restoring the instrument. It has some unique stops on it, and the older members of the congregation recall that it was a very good sound, much admired by those who had occasion to play it. So we have a challenge before us. There is a desire to restore it, but the cost will be high. Even so, it will be worth doing. In it's favour are the following -

- it was well constructed in the first instance and is still largely intact,
- it has a minimal case, and the sound from it is focussed in the upper volume of the church (Which has a good acoustic as well),
- the playing 'action' appears to be an unmodified 'pneumatic' mechanism, in itself worthy of preservation,
- the instrument is of historic as well as musical interest and should be preserved.



So now the challenge is this. We have to find the funds to do the restoration and we have to find a builder willing to undertake what will, I suspect, be quite a challenge to get the original action back into working order.

Should keep me busy for the next few years...

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Social Disease

A blog post by Lord Tebbit caught my eye. Entitled 'Don't look left for the answers' it is well worth the read. Commenting that few people actually understand the Prime Minister's concept of a "Big Society" he goes on to say of those favouring an ever larger Bureaucracy and government involvement in every aspect of our lives -

"On the other hand, the believers in the Big State are clear enough about what they want. More and more regulation, not just of the economy, but of the way in which we live. More and more dependency upon the state. Downward only social mobility, except of course for the exclusive echelons of the political class. Dumbed down state education, the disincentivisation of work through high taxes and welfare. The attacks on the traditional family unit, the toleration, if not the encouragement, of low level crime, vandalism and hooliganism."


I think he has, as usual, hit the nail squarely on the head here. A few paragraphs further in he slams home yet another body blow for those who believe that the State is the best organ to ensure freedom and equality -

"But socialism is an illness. It is the illness which has overwhelmed the Labour Party’s inheritance from both Welsh valley Methodism and love of education and the Rochdale Pioneers tradition of self-help."


Socialism is a delusion. Its proponents believe that the wealth of the nation is theirs to apportion and distribute. It is not. The wealth of any nation depends on the constituents being productively employed, of generating wealth which, in purchasing the services provided by the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, others share. That there are always inequalities in this is a given, but there are worse inequalities in a 'Socialist' State - ask those who suffered under the 80 years of Communist Rule in Russia or any of the Eastern European States occupied by the USSR after 1945. The ruling 'Elite' can always make a case for their having more than anyone else of the 'communal wealth.'

The socialist ideal of a 'fairer' society is a delusion, simply because 'fairness' is a moral concept, the root of almost all religious belief. The minute you try to enshrine it in a law, defining what is fair or unfair, it becomes biased and unfair to many more than it is supposed to help.

There must be a fair sharing of wealth, but it must also be based on a contribution to that wealth in the form of labour or service. Socialists always see themselves as being the arbiters of wealth distribution, the 'natural' rulers of those less visionary than themselves, yet they are usually also the least capable of being the rulers in any useful or meaningful sense. This is what worries me about almost everyone I now see in Parliament and everyone I have ever had to deal with in the Civil Service.

A fair society, as Gandhi implied, cares for the aged, the infirm and for its young. It does not provide freebie wealth accumulation to the lazy, the feckless or the thief. Government is the least competent organisation to do any of it. Government should concern itself only with providing those services which are best provided by a central authority, it should provide security with adequate defence forces, police, fire and ambulance services. Justice, economic stability and sensible foreign policy are the province of government, not, as we have at present daily interference in every persons everyday life.

Lord Tebbit is right. Socialism is a disease, but, like a cancer, it is difficult to cure without radical surgery and aggressive medication.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Twisted values?

A friend of mine has the distinction of having lost her father to the first terrorist murder in what was then Rhodesia. The name P J A Oberholzer is probably now forgotten by most, except his family, he was not a government employee or a policeman. He, like many before him, was a victim of random violence stirred by political activists. His murder was investigated, those responsible were caught, tried in due process of law, and hanged. And that is when the liberal movement in the UK turned nasty.

The victim was painted as an evil oppressive racist and his murderers as noble, honourable and decent men whose only ambition was to "throw off the yoke of oppression and assert their rights." This is classic Leninist/Trotskist propaganda, twist the truth, misrepresent the facts and feed the story repeatedly until it becomes the "new truth" and the truth is lost. The facts are that, at the time of this murder, the then Rhodesian Government had an agreement with the leaders of the African parties, to gradually extend the vote and to repeal much of the restrictive legislation so that eventually a truly multi-racial society could evolve. Nkomo's faction, then the most powerful, tried to get smart. The result was the "Bush War" in which thousands more died and ultimately the psychopathic Mugabe came to power - thanks to a Whitehall dominated by Fabianists and "Anti-Colonial" Liberals. Sickeningly, they still will not acknowledge that their support for the mass murderers who now rule in Zimbabwe and much of the rest of Africa was against all rational advice.

Everyone who opposed them was immediately branded as "racist" and hounded unmercifully through the press and in literature. Now we face the results, an Africa locked in poverty, ruled by despots and murderers and the liberals in Whitehall, Westminster, Washington and elsewhere hail them as "freedom fighters" or "heroes of the struggle for liberation," while branding the former colonists, their own flesh and blood, many of whom gave their lives and blood in two world wars for the freedom these scum now enjoy and deny everyone else, are branded as the murderers, the monsters to be labelled as "Fascists" or "oppressors" but never, ever, to be acknowledged as the victims.

It is sickening to listen to these "liberals" defending the murder of farmers in South Africa and Zimbabwe as "the inevitable result of the oppression these people imposed on their killers" and never a word of sympathy for those who built everything these killers have stolen. It is even more sickening to see youths with their placards "marching against racism," or whatever, with their T-shirts emblazoned with the image of that South American murderer and psychopath, Guevarra. Not many of them would be aware that his mentor, Cuba's Marxist President Castro, arranged for him to be betrayed and killed because he was more valuable for propaganda dead, than in continuing his campaign of murder against the peasants he was supposedly "liberating" in Colombia.

Morality has, in the classic fashion of Lenin, Marx, Trotsky and Goebbels, been turned on its head. The mantra that the "cause" justifies everything will one day rebound on these immoral and loathesome liars. Sadly, I fear I will not be here to see it, but I hope that someone, somewhere, starts the process by decorating lamposts with their dangling corpses.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Interesting Geography...

The Monk freely admits that his geography of some countries is a bit woolly, but he can generally locate them in the right places on the various lumps of land called continents and get them in the right hemispheres. He can also generally identify where certain key things, like the pyramids, various canals and major shipping routes are.

So he is always rather surprised - and sometimes dismayed - when someone who has sat next to the 'throne' of the US or some other major power, can't.

And a former speech writer for a US President would, one would think, know that the Panama Canal is not located in Egypt. Apparently not, because that is exactly what a certain Chris Matthews, once President Carter's speechwriter has just dropped on a live TV show on MSNBC. According to Mr Matthews, the instability in Egypt is a purely local matter, the great thing, he says, about Egypt is its always been there and it has great assets, like the Panama Canal....

Oh dear. I don't think navigation is a strong point with him either. Either that or someone has pulled off a major shift of continents and The Monk hasn't realised it...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Marxist Britain?

I have long felt that the UK has been drifting toward a Marxist State, but recently came across another blog that says it rather more forcefully. In a post titled British Marxist State the blogger gives a very clear overview of just how far we have drifted in that direction. While I don't agree with everything he says, I can see the trend he describes!

The Left now dominates in the Press and other media and in education and most of those now leaving school or university have been brainwashed into thinking that the Left - Socialism - is the "Centre" of politics and anyone who disagrees must be a Fascist (A mislabel since the two dictators who gave the world the label were both students of Marx and Socialist). Once more I am indebted to Luikerland.com for his excellent treatise on the subject "Education is a Weapon." It is well researched and hits the nail squarely on the head. One has to ask, how have we allowed this creep toward state controlled domination of our historic freedoms and the blatant spread of Socialist propaganda? He argues to, that Immigration is a Weapon, the deliberate policy of promoting anti-British cultural immigrants from cultures and backgrounds that despise the very freedoms the British cherish, coupled with the deliberate and concerted alienation of our children from their Christian heritage is yet another drive to control our thinking and foster a climate of fear and obedience.

While I find I cannot entirely agree with everything he has written, there is certainly a trend and a lot of circumstantial evidenceto support his view.

Orwell's 1984 coming to reality?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Writing Progress ...

The textbook I'm writing for my professional Institution is turning into a major exercise - I have now got 95,000 words written and at least another 15 - 20,000 to get into the files... Still, it is a fascinating exercise, drawing on my knowledge of the subject, expanding it still further and taking me into areas I had previously not given to much thought to.

Still, there is now an end in sight, one almost says at last.

Slowly I am also developing some ideas for a new Harry Heron adventure, but I am also exploring a "Historical Romance/Adventure" type book and one set in the dying days of WW2. Lot's of ideas, to little time, and now with Fruhling about to arrive the garden will soon need work done. Tsk... Did Dickens have this problem I wonder?

And my German is progressing to, much to my own surprise!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The FSS Closure

Trawling around the Blogosphere I came across an excellent post on Witterings from Witney on the subject of the closure of the Forensic Science Service. It is well worth a read. I heartily recommend visiting his site and reading this one on the Whitehall subterfuge and deceit. You may well find other posts interesting as well.

The FSS is a vital service, one that cannot be adequately replaced by the usual commercial interests as it does far more than any of them can offer. It is also independent and not being commercial means that it is not subject to pressure to get the "right" answers to any investigation.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Remembering ...

Today would have been my mother's 86th birthday, sadly, she died in 1999. She had, by then, become more or less housebound, years of smoking had left her with chronic emphysema and a bad heart. She broke her leg two years before this and never fully recovered her mobility.

It makes me appreciate how lucky I have been health-wise and, indeed, in the number of options and choices I have been able to exercise thanks, in many ways, to her encouragement. Like most of us, she certainly had her moments and faults, but today I remember her with fondness.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Democracy - a Western conceit?

Watching the news on the Egyptian and Tunisian 'revolutions' I am frequently struck by the enthusiastic Western news commentators who presume that the overthrow of a 'dictator' will automatically lead to a 'democratic' replacement in governance. Indeed, it runs far deeper, since the presumption among many Western politicians that 'Western Style Democracy' is a one size fits all and can be imposed upon diverse cultures and societies without any qualms. Then they always seem to be surprised when it doesn't work...

Already in Cairo, the Muslim Brotherhood have emerged and are shouting about creating an 'Islamic Republic' and a similar cadre are vying for power in Tunisia. I fully believe that these countries will soon be dragged into 'popularly' elected Islamic governments run by the Mullahs and their extremist supporters for the 'benefit' of Islam and the people will find themselves under a new form of restrictive and possibly more draconian regime.

Why do we expect to be able to impose a system which barely functions in the West? Whatever is popularly believed by the electorates of the West, we are in fact not truly democratic. Unless I vote for a 'winner' in the UK's 'first past the post' system, I might as well not vote. In some areas the 'tribal vote' will go to a particular party regardless of their performance or their broken promises and you could no more persuade one of those voters to use his head and vote for someone else, than you could persuade them to drink arsenic. In fact, the latter would probably be easier. Even if, despite the odds, there is a change of government as a result of the vote, it isn't really a change, since the same political class remain in power, the same civil servants actually dictate policy and run the country and the same coterie of Trade Union Bosses, Big City Investors and Industrialists benefit. There is no space on the ballot for "NONE OF THE ABOVE" which is what is needed if there is to be a true democracy.

Egypt has no democratic history. Oh, they voted at the elections, in fact, the majority actually voted for Mubarak and his ministers, but it wasn't really 'democratic' in that Mubarak's Party controlled the media and made sure they got the advertising. Yes, there were opposition parties, but intimidation, restricted access to the media and advertising - plus accusations of terrorism, extremism or links to something unsavoury soon sorts that out. Take a look at the 'democratic' states south of the Sahara. See any 'democracies there? Nearly all of them have the same problems, intimidation, vote rigging, corruption and the 'Tribal' vote...

Look East, Iran claims to be fully 'Democratic' and in a way, it is. Everyone can vote. Everyone does vote, which is more than can be said for over 40% of the UK populace, but it isn't Western Style democracy by a long shot. The candidates for any election there have to first be 'approved' by the Supreme Council and the Supreme Leader - an Ayatollah among a group of Ayatollahs who are not elected, but have the Constitutional Right to make or break the elected government. And the majority of Iranians believe that is the right way to do things.

No, I am not sanguine that there will be an improvement in the Egyptian or Tunisian people's lives anytime soon. I expect the Muslim Brotherhood to ultimately decide who will rule, and if it is someone they believe is right, then heaven help anyone who thinks there will be a less oppressive regime.

What do the Western Media and politicians expect? The dawning of a new age of enlightenment? The creation of a socially liberal paradise? No, I suspect they know what the outcome will be but dare not admit it. One thing I am certain of, is that these revolutions are not yet over. No revolution in history has produced a stable and non-violent government immediately, the example of the United States notwithstanding, though it perhaps settled down a lot more rapidly than most. It certainly sorted itself out in less time than the French did, but that is an almost unique situation. Revolutions tend to produce dictators and civil disobedience has dangerous consequences for everyone, not just those in power.

Civil unrest usually leads to economic collapse or at the least decay. Different groups struggling for power tend to break more than they fix and it always allows the opportunistic extremists to slip into positions of authority while everyone else is squabbling.

Mubarak and Ben Ali probably had to go, it remains to be seen who will replace them, but I very much doubt the outcome will be as rosey as the Western Media and politicians claim... Where there is no history or tradition of democracy, it cannot simply be planted and expected to flourish. There is a long and probably painful road ahead here.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Acid Rhine ...

It seems that the sunken tanker still stuck on the Loreley is in danger of breaking up. The emptying of the tanks has had to slow down as the barge is now 'bent like a banana' and threatening to split. In a wide consultation it has now been decided to flush some of the acid directly into the river.

Doing this at a controlled rate means it will be quickly diluted to below harmful levels - and probably a bit of 'reaction' with some of the minerals, mud etc., the river carries - and the salvors hope this will speed up the recovery. The danger, of course, if she breaks up before they can empty the tanks completely is that the acid will not be dispersed effectively. This is what they hope to prevent now with the slow small scale releases.

I wonder how many people know that the most reliable guide to a nations industrial activity and success is the amount of Sulphuric Acid it consumes? Come to that, I wonder how many people realise that most of those juggernaut tankers hurtling around the motorways and autobahns aren't carrying fuel? You got it, a very large number are full of high concentration Sulphuric Acid.

Frankly, they are less at risk of spillage on the railways or on the rivers!

Monday, 7 February 2011

Progress, I think ...

On my text book at least. Not a lot on the language course though I do seem to understand more each day. Problem is when I come to try and speak it myself...

My 'forgettery' works very well.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Late Post

Mausi and the Monk have had a busy day, starting out with our weekly shopping, then we decided to try out our new "Norwegian Walking" sticks. Rather like ski sticks these, but used for walking.

All I will say is that it takes a little getting used to walking with them and it certainly gives one a thorough workout.Watching the news earlier The Monk was amused to see that a wind turbine north of here has suffered in much the same way as the one he posted a link to earlier this week. The wind last night was strong, but only one of the group of turbines seems to have been damaged by it.

The one thing they haven't done - or the Monk hasn't - is do any writing on the text book. Ah well, back to the grindstone.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Pressed for time...

With my German language classes proving quite demanding now as I get to grips with tenses, participles, verbs and cases that I have used without thinking for so long in English, it has required an enormous amount of study just to keep up.

I've now got exercise books, dictionaries, talking books and even 'Intermediate German for Dummies' to help me. It must be making some impact, somewhere, other than in my bank account...

And now I have a deadline looming for the text book I'm writing.

Ce la vie!

Thursday, 3 February 2011

I like my wind turbines ...

Preferably flattened ...

See this post at Watt's Up With That. The pictures say it all really, these monstrosities are a waste of public money, require materials to make them that cause massive ecological damage in China, India and several other places the eco-freaks like to patronise and they don't provide anything like the power stability that their supporters claim.

They're not 'green,' they're a hazard to birds and light aircraft, they're an eyesore and a blot on the landscape - and they don't replace any other power stations because we have to keep the turbines in the coal or nuclear station they supplement 'spooling' so we can bring them online when the wind turbine stops producing power. In case you didn't realise it, they shut down if the wind rises to above 35 mph (60 km/h) or falls below around 8 mph (15 km/h) and it takes at least a half hour to bring a normal turbine online from the 'spooling' stage and more than an hour if you have to start it from zero...

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

There are times ...

There are definitely times when I am convinced that the gap between Whitehall/Westminster and the rest of the civilised world has reached the level of a change in dimensions. I'm no longer sure that the denizens of Whitehall and that Palace of Fantasy called Westminster are even on the same planet as the rest of us.

I learned yesterday that the Home Office has decided to close down the Forensic Science Service. Now you may wonder why I am concerned by that, so I'll explain. The FSS serves the UK Police Forces, providing expert analysis of finger prints, DNA, foot prints, chemical traces and much, much more. It employed over a thousand experts who provided expertise in a wide range of subjects vital to the successful prosecution of murderers, terrorists, drug dealers and other criminal prosecutions. That is, until the Treasury decided that it should be turned into a business and did what they have done to every "Trading Fund Agency". They made them a business on a 'pay your own way' basis, but failed to provide any working capital and made it illegal to obtain an overdraft at the bank. Then, of course, they loaded on a "Capital Debt" - the Treasury's inflated value placed on buildings, equipment etc, and charged a very high rate of interest for the "Notional Loan."

So, as with every other agency they created, the Trading Fund began to operate on Day 1 with a huge deficit, plus a large number of "Administrators" and "Managers" who were all Civil Servants and understood less than nothing about how to run a business, never mind one which had huge debts and no capital. Ah, and then, having made sure that, in order to pay its way - no profit remember, just cover costs - the pricing for every service it provided had to be sky-high. After all, someone has to pay the salaries for all those non-specialist managers and administrators and the Treasury 'Loan.'

Then comes the next Treasury trick. Competitive Tendering... They call it "Value for Money" but the reality is that it allows anyone on the Treasury's 'Approved Supplier' List to bid against the Agency and undercut it. After all they don't have to operate in the same restricted manner as the Agency or carry the burden of debt it has been loaded with. So, surprise, surprise, the FSS has not made enough to 'Break Even.' Like every agency these liars and buffoons in the Treasury have created in the last thirty years, it has now failed - and the UK Justice system will suffer mistrial after mistrial as a result. Commercial suppliers of the services the FSS provided will be rubbing their hands in delight because now there is no reason to have restraint in their pricing. With the FSS gone their charges and fees will rise exponentially and instead of 'saving' money everything will cost more.

This can be proved by examining the figures for every service once delivered by a Department that was turned into a Agency and then forced to 'compete' on anything but a level playing field.

It used to amaze me that no one in Westminster could spot the fraud, or even seemed to realise that someone in the senior levels of the Civil Service was benefitting from this either in perks or in the Directorships they all seem to get as soon as they 'retire' on pensions the rest of us can only dream of. No longer, they are all in it up to their necks. This isn't about providing a better service or even a more cost effective one, it's about ensuring that they have secure incomes and cushy directorships to fall back on.

The irony? Most people in Britain won't even notice because they have no idea of what has been lost or sacrificed by these venal and self serving parasites.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

No limits ...

Sometimes it seems there are no limits to mankind's ability to cause harm or to bring oppression - often under the banner of 'for the greater good."

This morning I read an item on the news that, in itself, was a disturbing account of the violence and unrest seething beneath the surface in many Muslim countries at present. Obviously there is a great determination there to change their situation and to remove ruling classes who are oppressive, play on nepotism and overlook the rampant corruption which is crippling their economies and causing hardship for those not 'on the gravy train' with the privileged. I find it disturbing that already the most fundamentalist factions are seeking to impose their vision of society - one in which their model of religion is the foundation of all moral and legal matters - are making a bid for the organs of power. I say sadly, because, as a man of faith myself, I would have to be the first to acknowledge that history does not provide me with an inspired example of any religious figure whose followers have managed to impose a balanced and equal society anywhere. Combining secular and spiritual authority is always a recipe for abuse.

Reading on in the news though I encountered another item, this time related to the apparent desire in the UK Conservative Party to abolish the current Human Rights Act, presumably replacing it with something with greater balance. I say presumably, because all that is currently being discussed in the news is the abolition aspect. Now I have to admit that I am not a fan of the Human Rights Act. For one thing it restricted and removed more rights than it granted, sweeping away vast swathes of the rights my forebears fought long and hard to win from the ruling classes across the centuries. It is badly drafted, like most of the legislation rammed through Parliament by the last government, and lacks balance. It should be replaced by something that restricts the rampant abuse of it by criminals to further persecute their intended victims and removes the ability of those with ideological intentions unrelated to real 'rights' of the individual, to interfere or impose their ideologies upon the majority.

Reading the 'comments' it quickly became apparent that many of the commentators on this piece are unable to see beyond their ideological prejudices. The Conservative Party was, again and again, referred to as 'Right Wing' and even as 'Extreme Right Wing' when the reality is that the present Conservative Party is so close to being socialist it is barely 'Centerist.' Mind you, one of those making this assertion then went on to declare that Mao Tse Tung was the best example of a socialist who had brought order, 'rights' and 'people power' to the people of China. When another commentator pointed out that Mao had a pretty poor record for deaths, he airily brushed these aside and went into pean of praise about how China was 'made a nation' and 'given back its pride' and a 'few deaths were inevitable' in pursuit of the 'greater good' of the masses.

Call it the fascination of the horrible, but I found myself looking up more of this morons comments and it seems he truly believes that there is such a thing as a truly free and fair 'socialist society' in which everyone and everything is equal. All I can say is that morons like this need to be forced to live in a truly socialist state - preferably at the bottom of that societies pile. When one encounters people like this one is forced to admit that there are indeed, no limits to mankind's stupidity.

The late Sir Winston Churchill KG, a man with many faults of his own, but with an intellect that was little short of astounding summed up Socialism succinctly. A pity his analysis is not more widely taught.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.