PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH
120 days ago
175 days ago
As every day goes by I find myself despising our wretched Prime Minister Theresa May even more. I apologise to one and all for having voted for her party at the last election. However awful the alternative is, and it is truly ghastly at every level, I shall not be repeating my mistake next time. It would take all day to list the acts or omissions which make me despise her. The complete betrayal of Ulster is a matter close to my black Protestant heart and the even more complete sell out of Gibraltar makes me unspeakably angry.
But, on reflection, it is the betrayal of Asia Bibi that must rank is May’s most despicable act or omission. Bibi is a Pakistani Christian who drunk water from a rusty old mug by a village well. Her Muslim neighbours said she was “unclean” because she was a Christian, should not have used a mug used by Muslims and should convert at once. She refused. Reportedly she said “I believe in my religion and in Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for the sins of mankind. What did your Prophet Mohammed ever do to save mankind? And why should it be me that converts instead of you.”
For this, in 2010, she was sentenced to death. A couple of months ago she was released and the case is being reviewed. Mobs have marched in Pakistan demanding she be hung. There is a bounty on her head offered up by a leading Islamist cleric. Poor Bibi moves from safe house to safe house knowing her life is in danger.
Pakistan was once under British rule. This woman is being persecuted for a faith we, nominally, share with her. Those beastly so called extremists who run Italy and Holland have offered her asylum but the country which surely has a greater obligation than any to offer Bibi sanctuary is the United Kingdom. But Mrs May, who makes such great play on her Christian upbringing and values, has done nothing.
This is, I think her most despicable act. But perhaps I have missed out another act or ommission from the wretched May which will help cement her position as Britain’s worst ever Prime Minister.
179 days ago
On this day we should remember the anniversaries of 25 folks murdered by the IRA. They were civilians, largely in Birmingham. There were two 17 year olds with their lives ahead of them, numerous other young folks on a night out in a pub, a man away from his pregnant wife who never got to see her give birth or his kid grow up, a factory worker, a railwayman, the list goes on and on.
Folks like Jeremy Corbyn, the BBC and the Guardian and the liberal elites want you to think of the Troubles as an era of British Brutality in Ulster. They want you to view men like the evil Gerry Adams as folks who brought you peace. In fact while the Army did some things which must be condemned that is dwarfed by the sheer scale of IRA atrocities and , as an active IRA member, as were most of the Sinn Fein leadership, Adams has his hands truly soaked in the blood of the innocents.
Do not let the bien pensants re-write history. Do not forget the evil wrought by IRA/Sinn Fein.
As ever the most excellent @onthisdayPIRA twitter feed has the full list of horror
#OnThisDay in 1974 the IRA murdered Jane Davis, 17. Schoolgirl studying for A levels. 1 of 21 civilians murdered when IRA bombed 2 pubs in what became known as the Birmingham Pub Bombings. Jane 1 of 2 17 yr olds murdered. 200 injured #BirminghamPubBombings #Birmingham #OTD pic.twitter.com/QVQbTUhy3P— OnThisDayTheIRA (@OnThisDayPIRA) November 21, 2018
186 days ago
191 days ago
192 days ago
World War One ended 100 years ago this week and so, quite rightly, the media is giving wall to wall coverage to ceremionies and other tributes. It was a ghastly and pointless conflict but we should honour the fallen in that conflict and others and show our respect. Of course some Cambridge students and pampered Serbian soccer players at Manchester United will not. That is a sad reflection on them. But there is one Rememberance day event the liberal elites, the BBC and its sister paper the Guardian will do their best to ignore. They want you to forget.
It was 31 years ago today when the citizens of Enniskillen in Co Fermanagh put on their Sunday best to pay their respects at the town’s war memorial. The IRA detonated a massive bomb to blow them up. 67 year old reired painter, hospital volunteer and preacher Johnny Megaw, 72 year old retired pharmacist William Mullan and his wife, 73 year old grandmother Nessie, 72 year old retired nurse Georgina Quinton, 20 year old student nurse Marie Wilson… the list goes on an on. Twelve died, hundreds were injured. Lives were shattered and changed forever.
It could have been worse. A second bomb was planted down the road at Tullyhommon. It was four times the size of the Enniskillen bomb. The parade there was made up largely of children. Thankfully it did not go off.
Today we are taught by the bien pensants that men like the late, and totally unlamented, Martin McGuinness and his comrade in the IRA and Sinn Fein Gerry Adams brought peace to Northern Ireland. On that basis Jeremy Corbyn talked to those men and other killers over many years. But the grim reality of what these evil men and women actually brought to Northern Ireland is shown in the video, from 31 years ago today, below. The liberal apologists for evil do not what you to remember this part of Rememberance day history as they try to airbush the true horrors of the troubles from history, to portray the British army as the real villains of the peace. Don’t let the elites do that.
Show your family and friends this video. Make them remember, or become aware of, the true evil that stalked Ulster for so many years.
217 days ago
I have noted in an earlier piece why I am delighted, if a bit surprised, that Ashers bakery in Belfast has won its court case, allowing it not to be forced to bake cakes carrying political messages with which it disagrees, in the case in support of gay marriage. As the great Peter Tatchell showed, backing the Christian bakers does not make you a bigot just someone who believes in key civil liberties.
In my lifetime the dominant mores of our society have been transformed and, I should say, largely in a positive way. But who is to say what the next great changes will be. Would gay bakers really want to be forced to print cakes, I’d admit they would have to be very large cakes, citing how extreme interpretations of Sharia law should be applied to the LGBTI community? How would your local gay bakers feel about being asked to ice on the words of Leviticus Chapter 20 verse 13:
“If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
I guess even my local, straight, bakers, being good lefties, might baulk at that one and quite right too. Why should a customer be able to ram their political views down the throat of any business? The Ashers case is about civil liberties as one of the greatest heroes of the gay rights movement Mr Peter Tatchell explains here.
But the BBC did not see it this way - the ruling went against the set group think agenda which is that "rights" of set groups get to trump civil liberties for all. As such its coverage was shocking. For starters it stated repeatedly that the decision was greeted with anger by the LGBT community. In fact many LGBT folks agreed with Tatchell while, I accept, many others disagreed with the ruling. But the BBC presented it as if the gay community was, at one, opposed to the judgement. That was simply fake news.
Then it turn across radio and TV to three vox pops from Ulster. The first was an obviously devout old buffoon who said that Jesus would have welcomed the decision. The other two were “supportive straights” who said it would hurt the feelings of the poor gays and that it was thus a bad thing. The clear message: only bigoted members of the one faith that the metropolitan liberal elitists of the BBC love to mock as old world, Irrelevant and ridiculous supported the bakers while the rest of Ulster were not bigots so opposed the ruling. According to the BBC there is no-one in Ulster who takes the very sensible Tatchell line on this matter.
Such coverage is as ludicrous as it is unbalanced. Yet we taxpayers face the threat of jail if we do not pay a license fee to support the very high salaries of those who churn such nonsense out on a daily basis. And the BBC wonders why it is not universally loved?
221 days ago
As I have noted before, the LGBTI and civil liberties campaigner Peter Tatchell is a national treasure. I don't always agree with him but today he again showed why he is a man of absolute principle. The case is Ashers, a baker in God’s chosen lands of Ulster, which refused to bake a cake for a same sex wedding. A lower court ruled that it was wrong to do so but at the Supreme Court today the bigoted bakers won their case. Step forward Tatch, a man who helped found the Pride march in London and who has been at the forefront of the gay equality movement for decades, in their defence, Tatch says:
“This verdict is a victory for freedom of expression. As well as meaning that Ashers cannot be legally forced to aid the promotion of same-sex marriage, it also means that gay bakers cannot be compelled by law to decorate cakes with anti-gay marriage slogans,
Businesses can now lawfully refuse a customer’s request to emblazon a political message if they have a conscientious objection to it. This includes the right to refuse messages that are sexist, xenophobic or anti-gay, which is a good thing.
If the original judgement against Ashers had been upheld it would have meant that a Muslim printer could be obliged to publish cartoons of Mohammed and a Jewish printer could be forced to publish a book that propagates Holocaust denial. It could have also encouraged far right extremists to demand that bakers and other service providers facilitate the promotion of anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim opinions.
That would have set a dangerous, authoritarian precedent that could have been open to serious abuse. Discrimination against people should be illegal but not discrimination against ideas and opinions.
Although I profoundly disagree with Ashers opposition to marriage equality, in a free society neither they nor anyone else should be forced to facilitate a political idea that they oppose.
The ruling does not permit anyone to discriminate against LGBT people. Such discrimination rightly remains unlawful. Ashers did not discriminate against the customer, Gareth Lee, because he was gay. They objected to the message he wanted on the cake: Support gay marriage.’”
Tatchell’s comments will not make him universally popular in the LGBTI community but one of his great qualities is that he will not give a damn about that. For him it is freedom that must be defended at all costs for he sees, as many on the authoritarian left fail to see, that if we are all free than we are all safer, even if we are from not always popular minority group.
225 days ago
228 days ago
276 days ago
If you head to a seaside settlement in the Mani right now whether it be Islington-sur-Mer (kardamili) or the Costa-del-Stoupa they will be packed with people. Head there in the winter and they are semi-deserted. Up here in the lower reaches of the Taygetos mountains, in unfashionable old Kambos, the population barely changes throughout the year. The faces I see when harvesting olives in November are, essentially, those I see now in the burning heat of August.
Sure there are a few seasonal visitors. Poor Nicho the Communist, Papou, a man several years older than I am, has been saddled by his sister with two young nephews from Athens. He brings them to the Kourounis taverna of lovely Eleni where they play mindless games on their tablet with the other kids. Poor Nicho, a “moderate drinker” in the same way as the late Charles Kennedy, orders another large whisky and sits there resigned to his fate.
But most of the folks in Kambos are all year rounders. My first stop in the village was naturally at one of the two hardware stores to stock up on snake repellent canisters and to teat myself to a new saw and axe as my old ones appear to have been lost in the building works.
My olive trees are pretty clean having been thoroughly pruned in May and re-pruned in June but the rain of July has seen new sprouts emerging and so a re-cleaning exercise is called for and is now underway. 250 trees – almost for weeks so ten a day will do me fine. Yesterday I did twelve but even early in the morning it is jolly hot and so I’m not planning to spend that long each day in the snake-fields.
The second person I met was the ageing mother-in-law of lovely Eleni. I was wandering down the back street that leads from the Church and where I park my car, down towards the main street and there was the old lady painting white the pavement outside her house and the kerb.
In Ulster if you are a loyalist you paint the kerb red white and blue, a Fenian paints the kerb orange, white and green and you make a statement. In Greece all kerbs are painted white making the statement “We Greeks may have buggered it all up over the pat decade but we are calm and at peace and by the way we invented democracy, literature and philosophy three thousand years ago when you were all living in trees and caves. PS Glad to see Turkey buggering it up too.”
And so I greeted her and she greeted me. Tikanis, Cala, etc. She asked how old Joshua was and I replied “Theo”. I thought of trying to explain that he and the Mrs would arrive soon but given that my Greek is as non existent as her English thought better of it. Anyhow it was a warm greeting. And so I wandered on. The village square is packed in the evening with families as well as the normal old men chatting, drinking and eating at either Kourounis or at Miranda’s. trade is roaring. They are all familiar faces: the shepherds, the goat herder, Vangelis in his pink shirts, all the other m en who will all be called George, Nicho or Vangelis but whose names I cannot quite remember. It will be one of the three. Tikanis, Cala, Yas, Tom. I shake hands with many of them.
As ever I reflect on how few folks in Bristol I know well enough to greet them with a warm handshake. Come the weekend the Mrs who speaks some Greek pitches up. I’m not sure that will aid the conversation greatly but, of course, Joshua melts all hearts and builds bridges at once.
Up at the hovel after midnight there was another familiar face spotted. You may remember that three or four years ago I befriended a small black and white kitten up here by giving it milk. It has been a periodic pleasure in subsequent years to see my old friend, now a large cat, striding purposefully across the land. Cats eat rats and snakes and as such he, or she, is most welcome here.
My room being a tad stuffy I ventured outside shining my torch ahead of me to ensure that I had no unexpected encounters. There is a slightly cooling breeze and I wanted to catch a bit of it before heading off to sleep. If I hear a noise anywhere I shine my torch in the right direction hoping to spot what approaches. I saw a brief bit of black and white but the cat darted behind a tree. I kept the torch on that tree some 30 yards away and after a short while my friend broke cover and walked, with no sense of panic, off towards the snake fields. Happy hunting comrade cat.
292 days ago
There are some who try to suggest that former IRA members like Gerry Adams or the late Martin McGuinness should be remembered for bringing peace to Ulster. There are those who say that talking to such men was a heroic act by Jeremy Corbyn. Those folks probably cannot remember "the troubles" or if they have heard about it it is with a false narrative of one sided British brutality. On this day I ask you to remember the small town of Claudy and what happened there 46 years ago as you watch and listen to the ballad of Claudy.
Though we have enquiry after enquiry into acts committed by the British in Ulster we have never had a full enquiry into Claudy. But it seems almost certain that the bomb was organised by a Catholic priest, Father Chesney, a man who McGuinness denied knowing but later admitted that he had known, which is hardly surprising as Londonderry, where evil McGuinness headed up the local IRA unit, is just nine miles from Claudy.
317 days ago
For many of us Brexit was the defining issue of the past few years. Finally we got a referendum, we were promised that the result would be implemented and we won. Slowly the political class backtracked and now today, Theresa May, will set down a watered down proposal which is a sell out. Mrs May is a Quisling. Gone are her “red lines”. Gone is the ability to cut our own trades deals so to get cheaper tariff free food for the poor and working classes. We will have to accept laws and restrictions imposed by a bloc to which we hand over a vast cheque but have no say over, the Evil Empire. This is the worst of all worlds. This is the bad deal that is worse than no deal. Mrs May has betrayed us.
How as a loyal Tory does one react? It is not as if, under Mrs May, this is a Tory party I recognise or respect. Pro tem, sweating my balls off and risking my capital in the private sector I see tax freedom day (now June 3) move later every year and I see that private sector pay increases have lagged those in the public sector since 2010. Yet laughably Mrs May is now promising more tax hikes in order to end “austerity” for public sector pay. The party of law and order unleashes initiative after initiative to tackle those who might “offend” others while proposing that folks sentenced to a year or less, i.e. real criminals, should be let out of jail free.
The party of a sound defence supports prosecuting soldiers who served in Ulster 40 years ago but rewards returning jihadis with benefits and a bump up the council house waiting list. The party of freedom flaps pathetically but does nothing tangible to stop a growing suppression of free speech on campuses across the land. The party of small Government is still running a vast deficit – and now plans to borrow more for more public sector wage hikes – as borrowing mounts higher and higher.
The list goes on and on and on. Mrs May’s Conservative party is really not that different from the Labour party but the latter has not served up the biggest betrayal of democracy since Ted Heath told all those lies to get us into the EU in the first place. And as such Mrs May and the party she leads deserves the fate of Peel’s Tories after the repeal of the Corn Laws, only back then the PM did the “right” thing for his country , rather than betraying it. So the fate the rotten Tories deserve in 2018 is not to be thrown out of power for a generation but for good.
I know that Labour will train wreck the economy by being even more profligate than the Tories but my time as a capitalist is almost up anyway. Risking my capital, working myself into an early grave so creating jobs, generating taxes, sod that for a game of soldiers. This “golden goose” is retiring before the next election at which I shall be voting Labour as one last fuck you to the traitor May and to her pathetic and wretched party which allowed her to behave in this way. The so called Brexiteers of the cabinet who will roll over today are pitiful.
I realise many others will find the idea of voting Labour too much to stomach but many good Tories will protest with other parties or, more likely, just stay at home. Why should we show any loyalty to those folks who have betrayed us? And that might just be enough to see Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by a coalition of nationalists and fringe parties, heading to Downing Street.
Mrs May you wretched and appalling traitor, your duplicity and mendacity will be the architect of that defeat.
325 days ago
333 days ago
I was flamed on twitter by a cluster of IRA apologist Republicans yesterday for suggesting that their approach to reconciliation and bringing communities in Ireland together was somewhat lopsided.
The prompting is news that a soldier, aged 23 in 1988, is to be charged with shooting a man dead at a checkpoint during the troubles. Good say the Republicans. Bad say I. The IRA apologists need to learn from the great Nelson Mandela and accept that wrongs were committed by all sides and just move on. Instead there has been an amnesty granted for IRA killers but British soldiers are still being prosecuted.
But one IRA sympathiser bites back. He argued via twitter
The difference is that the Irish are fighting for the freedom of their own country and the British for the subjugation of the same.
And says of the Soldiers and RUC men:
Indeed, and they get a promotion and a pension for toturing/injuring/murdering whilst the victims have to pay for that through taxation, how sick is that.
The irony is that this IRA loving bastard @Rory_Donaghy uses as his avatar a “free Catalonia” flag. I agree with Rory about the idea that a small area within a bigger country has every right to decide its future and as the IRA killed men, women and children across Ulster in the Troubles surely Rory must accept that most folk in Ulster then ( and now) regard themselves as British not Irish.
The IRA were fighting not for the freedom of their own country but to suppress the freedom of the folks of the North who wanted NOT to be part of another country. The British army and the RUC were there protecting the rights not only of the majority in Ulster but of all there not to be murdered for a minority cause.
As for the idea that all the soldiers were torturing/injuring/murdering ( and getting promoted for such crimes) in contrast to the IRA men who were, presumably, all angelic souls doing God’s work, that is ludicrous. There were some soldiers who did bad things, that we can all accept but try following @onthisdaypira to get a scale of the slaughter of men, women, children, soldiers, RUC, civilians, protestants and Catholics by the IRA and even the staunchest Fenian must surely accept that at least some of what the IRA did was indefensible.
Yet there is an amnesty for all that the IRA did. If the island of Ireland is to enjoy genuine peace and reconciliation, to ease sectarian hatred all must move on with the same rules for everyone. I can, as a proud wearer of an Ulster rugby shirt accept that idea and have no burning desire to see men and women who committed horrific and evil acts for the IRA prosecuted. The brutal blood lust and calls for revenge trials for one side only by IRA apologists smack of the highest double standard and only serve to set back the process of creating a lasting peace. It is almost as if that is what some want.
399 days ago
A few weeks ago, after a nine week trial, two Ulster and Ireland rugby players, Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding, were found not guilty of rape. At once the hashtag #Ibelieveher started trending and hundreds of protesters gathered in Belfast and other cities across the island of Ireland. You will note that those tweeting and protesting were not in the Court room or on off-site visits with the Jury but, based only on what had been reported in the media, they asserted that the jury, who had been there, had got it wrong.
You will also note that some of those protesting had also demanded that Ireland and Ulster captain Rory Best be sacked before the Six Nations for merely attending the trial for one day showing solidarity with team-mates who were innocent until proven guilty and, as it happened, innocent of the charges laid. The Best protesters have yet to apolgise to him. They do not believe in freeedom or principles of natural justice it appears. Theirs is the way of the mob.
There is no doubt that Jackson and Olding are the sort of rotters you'd not want your daughter to meet. They exchanged sordid and offensive texts post the event which are really unpleasant to read. But the justice system has found them not guilty of rape. So what has happened next? Protestors who - I bet the ranch - have never watched a rugby match in their lives, took out a crowdfunded advert in the Befast press demanding that Ireland and Ulster sack the two men. Before Ulster played the Ospreys 300 protesters, largely from the "Belfast Feminist Network" marched and demanded the same. Corporate sponsors of Ulster were contacted and, since PLCs are terrified of any accusation of sexism, racism, homophobia or reading the Daily Mail, they buckled and started intefering in team selection.
You could see that the writing was on the wall. Folks with no interest in rugby have managed to stop two men from working in the only job they have ever had, that is to say as professional rugby player. Jackson and Olding have today had their contracts terminated by Ulster and Ireland. They might get work in Japan or South Africa or they might be out of work and on the dole.
Some, with no knowledge of rugby or indeed any sport, will say this will improve the game. Really? Do you think that when young men relax after playing sport and having a few beers they will in future only send texts approved by the #Metoo movement? For these two men are being thrown on the dole on the basis of texts - they were cleared of rape. Sure Jackson will never get a job in the sociology department at Queens Belfast but that is not what he is applying for. If all sportsment are to be judged for team selection by what they say or text about women you would see the Premier League decimated.
Or are we saying that society can somehow over-rule the courts if folks shout loudly enough? Really? Mob rule is now deemed progress? I don't like the sound of Jackson and Olding but they are now the new victims here. Will no-one else SUFTUM?
434 days ago
It was 2009 and the Ireland team of Brian O'Driscoll had just won the grand slam. For my father it was the second triumph for the Old Country in his lifetime. The first was in 1948 when Jackie Kyle from Belfast lead the men in green to the first ever clean sweep in what, was then, the five nations.
And so I said to my father well you have to wait 61 years for that, I don't suppose you will see another in your lifetime. After years of watching Ireland win more wooden spoons than anything else he replied " i doubt you will either".
It is St Patrick's day next Saturday and Ireland head to the fortress of the old enemy, Twickenham, with a Grand Slam on the cards. Both Dad and I could be proved wrong with our 2009 gloom as another fine son of Ulster, Rory Best, leads out our boys.
I do not wish to tempt fate but England looked really piss poor against the French yesterday but a lion is most dangerous when licking its wounds. The English went into this Six Nations with the swagger and conceit which serves to unite the Celtic Nations in their hatred, not of England, but of English Rugby. The talk was of a minor hurdle before the real contest of the next world cup. Such arrogance reminded the Celtic nations of the days of Carling, Guscott and the accursed Woodward (as manager not player).
As such it has been a particular delight to see England laid low by both the Scots and the Frogs. If there is a God, perhaps he will again teach the arrogant English a lesson on the 17th while serving up one last Grand Slam for my father, and possibly me as well, to delight in.
467 days ago
As a lifelong supporter of Ulster and Irish Rugby I was this weekend celebrating a famous and thrilling win in Paris. My father said he could almost not bear to watch the final minutes but he managed it and was euphoric.Our brave lads were led out by skipper Rory Best of Ulster but if you check out social media you will see that in the run up there was a most hateful campaign against Best. His "crime?"
Two Ulster and Ireland team-mates Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding are on trial for an alleged rape. A third man, former Ulster Academy player Blane McIlroy, is charged with indecent exposure, while ex-UCD and Belfast Harlequins player Rory Harrison is accused of perverting the course of justice and withholding information. All four men deny the charges.
On Wednesday on his day off Best and Ireland second-row Iain Henderson and Ulster team-mate Craig Gilroy attended the trial in Belfast. And that is Best's "crime".
I am in no doubt that if the men are found guilty Best will condemn them. But justice used to mean that the accused were presumened innocent until proven guilty and these men, mates of Best's, protest their innocence. I would hope that if a friend of mine insisted he was innocent of a crime I would support and stand by him (or her) until a verdict was reached at which time I would re-assess my position.
But apparently while those who accuse men of rape are guaranteed anonymity - however spurious or malicious the claim is established to be in the end - those who stand charged are named and, in the current climate of #Metoo, must be shunned because guilt rather than innocence is assumed.
There was a chap on the BBC saying yesterday that as Hollywood pourges the predators there will be innocent victims ( i.e. men falsely accused whose careers are ruined) but that this is a price worth paying. Is it really acceptable to condemn a man to shame and professional ruin without any sort of trial but just becuase he stands accused of an awful offence? This is the direction that #MeToo is heading as Rory Best has discovered to his cost.
As he led his team to a famous win I hope that all of Ireland was proud of him for he has done nothing wrong at all other than stand up to the madness of ( largely and predictably, social media) crowds and show a commendable loyalty to his friends who are still, under law, presumed, as they plead, innocent..
666 days ago
692 days ago
On June 9th the liberal media warned us that those bigoted DUP types from Ulster would want to roll back LGBT and women's rights in return for propping up pathetic Prime Minister May. We Thatcherites dared to dream that the DUP might demand some proper Tory policies like privatizing the BBC or slashing corporation tax as the price for keeping the wretched Conservatives in power. What nonsense. Ulster politics is all about posture and pork barrel and the latter is the more powerful of the two.
Thus the DUP will prop up the May creature in return for an additional £1 billion being poured into the Ulster pork trough during the next two years. The DUP are, it turns out, utterly unprincipled wastrels just like all the other folks at Westminster.
The predictable faux outrage and hypocrisy from the virtua signalling liberal establishment. was loud and instanteous. This is an insult to the LGBT community and sets back gay rights by years. Bollocks. It will make not a jot of difference.
Labour at once accused The Tories of offering a sordid bribe. The tone was almost of an evengelical Victorian preacher warning his flock of the power of Satan and evil. It soon emerged that in both 2010 and 2015 Labour had approached the DUP offering bribes, that is to say more cash for the Ulster pork barrel, in return for Westminster support.
So the attack changed and the fake news liberal press joined in, demanding to know how the wicked Tories could afford half a billion a year. How many nurses could that pay for they shrieked but sadly Diane Abbott was not around to provide the exact answer.
Of course this is all posturing. Thje deficit is more than £50 billion so that extra £500 million spunked on Ulster makes little difference. It is funded by the money tree but so too is £50 billion (100 times as much if Diane is struggling with that sum) of spending on nurses, policeman, hair removal ops for transexuals, foreign aid to fund Ethiopian girl bands and all the other vital ways HMG spends borrowed cash. So it was a sily point but how the politicos and journalists frothed and raged.
Meanwhile I tried to find a letter from the taxman about an overdue bill of a couple of hundred pounds from 2010. I had a couple of meetings about UK Investor Show 2018. I noted how Darren's new waitress at Wedge Issue is a total stunner so much so that when I observed as much to Darren's rather stern and PC Mrs, she actually agreed with me rather than - as would be her wont - giving me a severe frown. I wrote a few articles so delaying my journey back to Bristol, having discovered that the mother-in-law has graciously extended her stay by another night. I had a long chat with a new source to ensure I have a massive scoop on Tuesday which will help pay the bills for a few days. I wondered at the beauty of the English countryside as my train sped back to Bristol and considered some take-aways from my lunch with old friends from New York.
In other words I got on with life. So, I suspect, did you. And we will do the same tomorrow. And the next day. And, God willing, the day after that. For 99.9% of the population the sordid deals, utter hypocrisy and fake posturing of the political and media classes have no impact on our lives at all. We are too busy paying the bills, earning cash to pay our taxes - to support the overpaid scumbags at Westminster - and trying to get on with our nearest and dearest, to give a stuff about whether the DUP is in bed with the Tories or the terms of their coupling and the constitutional implications of all of this nonsense.
In Greece I might not have discovered news that I am told is hugely important for several days. Am I any better off having found about it as it happened? I cannot say that I am. I really don't care about any of it. Be honest. Do you?
698 days ago
723 days ago
The spendfest demanded by the people of Wales, Ulster, Scotland and the North of England is paid for by the hard working folks of London and the South East. That might sound like a provocative and unpleasant jibe at the expense of idle celts and workshy Northerners as they roam the welfare safaris. But it just happens to be a statement of fact as you can see below.
The graph shows the budget deficit by region - how much is taken in tax and how much spent as a percentage of the size of the economy. As you can see, in the hard working South and East Anglia there is actually a budget surplus. But elsewhere the picture is really grim.
Oddly those in the biggest deficit regions demand more Government spending to tackle poverty. It is quite clear that what they need is less Government intervention and more raw capitalism. But that is not the zeitgeist in the Northern Welfare safaris or the Celtic fringes.
I guess, as an English taxpayer, I can stick with the North pro tem but there are large numbers of folks in Wales, Ulster and Scotland who blame the English for their woes, indeed often London and Southern England in particular. Such folk demand more not in a fraternal way based on solidarity but in a menacing way based on dislike. Watch a Question Tine in Wales and hear the rapturous applause when some low grade politician bleats about London and demands "a fair share" or more cash for Wales.
The graph below shows that when it comes to taxpayer handouts the Celts and Northerners get far more than their "fair share" but they will always want more until the English wake up and realise what a gravy train we have been funding and we get a vote on our independence, a decision which would make perfect sense.
But it will not happen and so the ungrateful and idle Welsh, Scots and Northerners will just carry on bleating in a post fact era manner.
PS In 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie's Scottish invasion of England reached Derby. Might the SNP not be persuaded to take back their former lands in the North of England as part of a newly independent Scotland?
975 days ago
1191 days ago
1800 days ago
So Ireland did not make it to Brazil. That leaves me with a dilemma – who to support? If this was Rugby and Ireland were not playing it would be simple: anyone playing England. The swagger, pomposity and arrogance of English rugby drives me to supporting anyone up against the Old Enemy. But I just don’t feel that way about soccer.
The selection of Neanderthal half-wits who wear the England shirt and whichever hapless sap is in charge do not rile me in the slightest. I feel a general sense of contempt for all the Premiership prima donnas but there is no great hostility towards England as a national side. And so on balance I wish England well and will naturally cheer them on for their entire campaign. All three matches.
But I’d rather like to be rooting for a side with a good chance of making it through to the second phases. And also I really find it hard to root for any team that has as its talisman Wayne Rooney. And every time I see Joe hart on TV earning yet more money promoting shampoo I find myself wishing the mercenary pig nothing but ill. As such my mind had wandered to Greece. I was told that the Greek team – who collectively earn less than Mr Rooney does on his own – are not that bad. Having now seen them play I accept that they are quite bad.
Having completed a fiendishly complex sweepstake created on an Excel spreadsheet by a friend of the Mrs which forced the Mrs and I to predict every result and how many goals Messi scores, I now reckon that the last four will be Holland, Portugal, Brazil and the Argies. And I’d go for an all South American final with the hosts winning.
So I cheer for Greece and England. And as neither will make it past the group stages there is unlikely to be a time when I have to choose between the two. After that – how about Holland. As they play in Orange the Ulsterman in me sees the links and they were superb against Spain.
1890 days ago
I told God that I did not mind West Ham losing as long as Ireland won in Paris yesterday and so won the Six Nations Championship. And God played ball. West Ham were stuffed at Stoke and Ireland scraped home. My stomach was in knots for the whole game, it was agony but in the end Brian O’Driscoll went out as he deserved with a win.
My thoughts as the match dragged on were of a game in Rome a few years ago. Ireland thumped Italy but knowing that the Championship would be decided on points tried for that extra score and Italy got a freak try. We then sat down to watch France vs. Scotland and with last gasp points France did enough to deprive Ireland of the Championship. It was agony. No doubt as the England team and supporters watched events unfold yesterday they felt the same agony.
Good. So much for their swagger and arrogance, the Old Enemy were deprived. That made Ireland’s win all the more enjoyable.
For once France “turned up” but Ireland were the better side and deserved to win. I am not sure that I understand how the rules of rugby have changed. Apparently a forward pass can now count as a backward pass in some circumstances but the pass for the last minute French disallowed try was a mile and a half forward. Another French try should have been disallowed and Johnny Sexton’s kicking was a bit off. Ireland were the better side on the day and over five matches the best side in the Championship. BOD was inspirational throughout. But it is our forwards who are magnificent.
I may, again, sound like an old fart but the modern scrum baffles me. Why does it always collapse? Why were both Ireland and France not penalised for feeding and “foot up” throughout the game. It just baffles me. I just do not understand the rules of rugby at all these days.
But who cares? Mrs C Booker, a good woman of Ulster, was on her second celebratory Bushmills by the time I called and was on top of the world. Mr Chris Booker had gritted his teeth and showed Euro-solidarity by rooting for the Froggies and was a bit disgruntled but it was his wife not he with who joy could be shared. We do not win things often at a National level in Ireland so when we do, it is time to celebrate. We can ponder life without BOD later.
1931 days ago
As you might have gathered, teams that gain my support on the sports field can rarely be described as consistent models of success. West Ham, Northants CC, Ireland & Ulster at rugby, Eire at football and England at Cricket. The less said about the last on that list the better – for now I have decided that supporting the England women’s cricket team is less painful.
My big loves are, for my sins, Irish rugby and West Ham. For the former I can blame my father. For the latter I have only myself to blame. But this weekend both Ireland and West Ham won. I really cannot remember the last time this happened.
At this stage of the season I usually have a conversation with God on the matter of sport. Heavenly father, will you allow West Ham to avoid relegation and as a trade-off I will give you that Ireland will not win the six nations. But would you mind terribly if we won the Triple Crown? I sense that God is not really interested in such discussions (although why he should have anything against Irish rugby is beyond me, surely he cannot support England?) and thus Ireland will probably not win the Triple Crown and as for West Ham? If the appeal against the red card shown to Horseface (Andy Carroll) on Saturday is successful – as I think it should be – we actually looked like a half decent side.
Okay we are still in the 3rd relegation spot ( 18th) but in theory just one win would put us 11th The reality is that every side from 10th down (Villa who we play on Saturday on 27 points, five more than us) is a relegation contender. No side looks dead and buried so who will go down? Take your pick from (bottom of the table upwards) Fulham, Cardiff, West Ham, Palace, West Brom, Sunderland, Hull, Swansea, Stoke and Villa. None of those ten looks too good to go down and none of the ten look so abject that they really deserve to go down.
At both ends of the table the Premiership looks set to provide excitement to the wire with the added joy that Man United may well be missing out on a top four spot and European football next year.
As a footnote, at my daughter’s school all the kids bar two support Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea or Arsenal. The two exceptions are my daughter (a die-hard Hammer) and Jude who supports Spurs. I have some time for Jude for that, even if he is a Spurs supporter. I just wonder if there might be rather fewer “diehard Man U fans” next season?
As a second footnote from Upton Park on Saturday I relay a chant from whenever the Swansea No 8 touched the ball. This balding figure did bear a passing mention to “he who shall not be named” and thus when in possession the crowd immediately began singing “he’s coming for you, he’s coming for you, Harry Potter’s coming for you.”
Okay, it seemed funny at the time. I guess you had to be there.