Saturday, 6 March 2021


The appalling greed and selfishness of some is almost unbelievable.

At a time when hundreds of thousands have lost their jobs, many thousands more may yet do so and more than 120,000 have lost their lives, health service unions have decided to whinge about their pay. Notwithstanding that there will be no pay rise this year for the police, fire service, local council workers and many others, the representatives of some of the highest paid in our society are demanding yet more. 

The doctors' union, the British Medical Association, none of whose members can be considered poor while many are simply very wealthy, wants more. The Royal College of Nursing, another trade union despite its fancy name, wants more and yet its members already have average pay in the region of £34,000, well in excess of the national average for all employees. If anyone has a genuine gripe it may be the members of Unison, the union which represents the lower paid echelons of NHS staff, though even here can they really demand money with menaces in the face of the death and mayhem wrought by the COVID-19 epidemic ?

Doctors, nurses and the rest have chosen their careers for an assortment of reasons, pay no doubt being one of them though very unlikely to have been the driving force. That workers in these professions have been put under pressure by recent events is undeniable, but so has the rest of society. When those who work in the health care sector sign on, do they expect to have it easy ? Do they expect it to be a simple 9 to 5 job with no problems ? If they do, they are deluded.

People who need hospital care are sick or injured; some will be very sick or very badly injured, some will need very intensive care and many will die. While COVID-19 has brought about a high level of illness in a short period of time, hospitals have actually had many fewer other patients to deal with due to the various protective measures put in place. Overall, the volume of patients being cared for, and the pressure on staff, has surely been no greater, and maybe even less, than is usual.

Doctors nurses and the other health sector workers chose their careers and are rewarded for their work, some very greatly so.  They are not some special breed, indeed most are average contributors while some are very good and an equal number are pretty poor. It is time that the national obsession with the NHS was ended and for people to realise that those who work in it are simply doing jobs that they chose to do for whatever reasons they may have had at the time of joining. They are not Gods, they are workers like the rest of us. 

It is also time for the unions that represent these workers to wind their necks in at a time of national crisis, not to be threatening strike action over unsustainable demands for yet more money from an already grossly over-stretched public purse. After all, who will ultimately be picking up the bill but the rest of us who have no pay rise, no job and yet are faced with higher and higher taxes at every turn.

Friday, 26 February 2021


Can there ever be a more clear demonstration of the difference between the approaches of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her errant grandson, Prince Harry ?

While the almost 95-year old Queen took to the airwaves yesterday to offer encouragement to those who are nervous about accepting a vaccination against the COVID-19 virus, Prince Harry has been seen giving an interview to some US chat show host while riding around Los Angeles on an open topped bus. The entire purpose of the interview seems to have been to offer a defence of his decision to exile himself from both the United Kingdom and his former Royal responsibilities.

The Queen referred to the spirit of co-operation that remains an essential part of the attitude of those who experienced the nightmare reality of World War 2; Harry talked about the media hounding him and the effect this supposedly had on his 'mental health'. In other words, while Her Majesty talked of the wider world, Harry talked about himself and bemoaned his own fate.  

Anyone who truly believes that being a subject of intrusive press stories can be compared with the horrors of brutal warfare needs to think again. Being subjected to nightly bombing, doodlebugs and V2 rocket attacks, as were the populations of London and numerous other British cities must have been utterly terrifying; somehow, those who avoided being blown apart, including the Queen herself, survived without needing to claim that they needed 'mental health support'. Basically, they got on with things, helped their neighbours or were helped by them, played their parts and rebuilt their lives. Yes, Harry has experienced warfare with the British army but his experiences were of his own choosing and not those endured by the helpless civilian victims of enemy bombing.

If Harry didn't like what was being written or said about him, he and his wife could have closed their assorted social media accounts and toughened up. "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never harm me", should have been their motto. Instead, they chose to run off to his wife's former celebrity life in a misguided belief that this would safeguard them and they could then carry on much as before but also make oodles of cash on the side. How wrong they were; the money will flow in and they'll be US style celebrities but the kudos of being major players within the Royal Family has gone.

For Harry now to keep in the media spotlight, he will have to continue to appear on American chat shows and in other US media, something which will bring its own risks of insults, abuse and approbation. Instead of appearing in full regalia in controlled events, he will have to rely on the generosity of hosts of all sorts. As for his wife, she is now in her element, an  "A-list" US celebrity but for how long ? Once the furore over their recent changes of position dies down, what will the future hold for Harry, whose previous status far exceeded that of any grade of mere 'celebrity' ? Once the shine goes and interest wanes, what next ?


Sunday, 14 February 2021


 Wow ! I'm so not excited.

Apparently Prince Harry - remember him, the ginger one ? - and his American wife are expecting another child. Whoopee ! I can hardly wait.

Yet more column inches in the American, not to say British, press, yet more chances to sell the story to whatever magazines, websites and whatever else there is these days and make oodles of cash. Pity the poor little creature that eventually pops out and has to live their life with some God-awful name dreamt up to satisfy the media and cash, hungry retinue that now surrounds the former Royals.

Truly, Harry must be the least intelligent member of the Royal family in not just living memory but almost for centuries, leaving aside any who may have been genuinely disadvantaged. He has surrendered his entire former life - military titles, patronages, regular tea with HM etc. - to live as no more than the adjunct of a publicity seeking former B-list actress whose one true desire in life is to be an A-List" celebrity". 

Of course, the now effectively exiled couple will make oodles of money by hawking themselves around the United States, a nation which remains fascinated by celebrity of any sort and Royalty in particular. Any child born to the couple in the United States would be eligible to take political office and, eventually, put themselves forward as a candidate for the Presidency. There can be little doubt that any such candidacy would be on the Democratic ticket but what would the electorate make of a candidate who threatened to turn the clock back nearly 300 years ? Would Algernon Adolphus or Persephone Anastasia Cambridge, 7-greats-grandchild of the last King of America, hit the right mark ? I doubt it, but then has such doubt ever stopped anyone running for that job ? What's in a name anyway ?

So watch out kid, some abomination awaits you ! Ariana Britney Kylie Elton, or Elon Tesla Bubblewrap Moonshot Cambridge, must be possibilities. But then American Presidents have not been known for their adherence to normal naming conventions - Joseph Biden's middle name is not exactly usual at "Robinette", poor Gerald Ford was a 'Rudolph', Warren Harding suffered 'Gamaliel' and there was of course, Ulysses Simpson Grant, who may well have felt as did the recipient of the Johnny Cash song "Boy named Sue", that he had something to prove.

Anything that appeals to the masses of the day, God help you. But you will be able to claim descent from the King who gave your country its independence, albeit only after a bitter war, in the first place, and you will have the essential Irish ancestry so beloved of US Presidents through your great granny's family. What price President Elon Cambridge in 2064 ? Or President Ariana Cambridge in 2068 ?

But then wait.

Perhaps Harry isn't as naive as I think he is. Perhaps this is all part of a carefully orchestrated plot to regain the lost American colonies and capture the throne for Harry's descendants. Harry's son, or daughter, becomes US President and promotes the idea of "strengthening" the "special bond" between the USA and UK. That then develops into a movement to abolish the Presidency and accept the UK's titular Monarch as head of state; the USA gets an all powerful House of Representatives, that is moderated only by a watered-down Senate (a copy of the House of Commons / House of Lords arrangement), instead of an annoying and vacillating President. Better, or worse, still, perhaps the British might be inveigled into accepting President Cambridge as their new King or Queen, ousting Harry's brother and his line.

It starts to look possible, even attractive, from an American viewpoint. No more Donald Trump or Bill Clinton, no more Richard Nixon; at the very least, someone at the top with real experience - let's not forget that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has been around longer than any British Prime Minister, any US President and, frankly, most of the rest of us are likely to be. She has 70 years of experience at the highest level of government, she has met every American President since Herbert Hoover (1929 - 1933) except for Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson, that's 13 and counting; her knowledge of world affairs over the last 80 years is unparalleled. Even once her time is up, the monarchy will continue to have a similar rein over modern affairs and will provide a steadying influence as a counter to the more extreme proclivities of "here today, gone tomorrow" politicians.

Stranger things have happened.

Friday, 12 February 2021


In the past, when things got tough, people buckled down and got on with it. 

Many men died well before their allotted "three score years and ten", leaving widows with young families; many women died in or soon after childbirth, leaving husbands with gaggles of children to care for. Many children died in infancy or early childhood from diseases that are now almost unknown or, at least, are easily curable. 

Populations suffered through famines and plagues and wars raged around them; poverty, genuine poverty rather than the invented poverty of today, was rife; people lived in constant fear of offending some overlord. During all this horror, people continued to get on with their lives without the help of armies of psychiatrists and psychologists, without the input of hordes of counsellors, social workers and other, often self-appointed, mental health 'experts'. the world continued to turn and dramatic advances were made - the Renaissance, the opening up of the continents, the Industrial Revolution, discoveries in science and medicine, even the beginning of the Space Age - all of this happened while people managed without the assistance of the mental health brigades. 

Today, our society is top heavy with those who see every slight deviation from some invented 'norm' as being a sign of 'mental health problems'. The airwaves and media are full of people who never stop talking about the 'problems' faced by some group in society, be it school children, 'the young', 'first time mothers', 'single mothers', 'the bereaved, 'the elderly', 'the disabled', 'minorities' - you name it and there's someone offering to help them "deal with" their "mental health issues".

I have no doubt that some people do have genuine problems. Some people do have difficulty coping with everyday life but the vast majority, given respite from the constant avalanche of warnings, advice and offers of help about their "mental health problems", would find their own ways to survive as their parents, grandparents and hundreds of generations before them did. 

We are told that today's world is so fast, that life is so hard, that things are so different from the past that it's not surprising that so many can't cope; that our school children are under so much pressure that it's not surprising that they suffer breakdowns. That people are "so depressed" by lockdown and the resultant inability to see our friends. 

What utter poppycock.

All of this drivel is nothing but the invention of those who make their livings from 'helping' and 'supporting' those who are supposedly afflicted with the mostly mythical array of "mental health problems" that these same experts have also invented. We now live in a world in which virtually every single one of us could be 'diagnosed' with some sort of "mental health problem" if only we'd take the trouble to seek out help. It is a strange application of Parkinson's Law which itself states that work expands to fill the available time - now it's mental problems that expand exponentially to occupy the ever increasing hordes of mental health 'professionals'.

This is all very perverse. As our society has developed, we've created a world in which image is all important and one in which self aggrandisement assumes gigantic proportions. We are deluged with meaningless terms such as diversity and equality, true history is rejected in favour of some re-imagining of the past based on supposed modern values, and all of this in pursuit of ludicrous notions dreamt up by a band of self-serving 'experts' with axes to grind.

One of the principal consequences of this 'new world' has been the opportunity to invent new problems from which we can all suffer. Anyone who now feels a little left out or sad, anyone who is on the sharp end of some unpleasant words, indeed anyone who is slightly different, is encouraged to seek 'help'. This 'help' will inevitably involve 'counselling' and the reinforcement of whatever bad feelings the seeker had; soon, there will be a need for more 'expert help', followed by pills and potions. A self fulfilling diagnosis that serves the purposes of those providing the 'help' far more than it does those of the person seeking it.

There were bullies when I was at school and we survived because we didn't hear all of the rubbish spouted about bullying today. We got on with our lives, regardless of the bullies' activities. Of course, we didn't have the internet to worry about, instead we went out, to the local park with our real friends, rather than getting worked up by the unkind words of some virtual 'friends'. If anyone said mean things, we relied on the truth of the old, old adage "Sticks and stone may break my bones but words can never harm me".

Oh for a return to those days, when whingeing about what someone had said was met with derision. Today we have thought crimes, invented to 'safeguard' every minority under the sun as well as women, although there are no such laws to protect men. Crimes can be deemed to have been committed not in actuality but because the supposed victim feels aggrieved; can this really be just ? If a white man kicks a coloured man, the crime will be considered to be 'racially aggravated', regardless of the offender's actual motives; if the boot is on the other foot, race is rarely, if ever, considered to have been relevant. Why is this ?

Our world is a mess, largely of our own making, although that making has been accomplished by only a tiny minority while the rest of us have sat around and done little to influence things. Far too many of us have become comfortable and lazy, no longer even bothering to do our own shopping and relying, instead, on retailers to deliver everything from milk to medicines to our doors. We live on our computers, in whatever form they take, addicted to Facebook or TikTok, Instagram or WhatsApp, or whatever is the latest fad. Far too many of us open ourselves up to the 'online abuse' which seems to be the cause of so much of the imagined 'mental health problems' experienced by the younger generations. 

We have created our own 'Hell on Earth' and the psych-fraternity love it. Now we need to rein this back, stop dishing out the empathy, sympathy and pills and start being rather more honest. Facebook and its like are pure evil and serve no purpose other than the enrichment of their owners. Thought crimes have no place in our world. People are not all equal and men and women are different. Sex and gender are the same thing and are not interchangeable. It is perfectly reasonable to say that homosexuality is wrong, but utterly unreasonable to be vilified for saying it.

Sadly, I see little chance that enough people will see the light before it;s far too late; indeed, it may well be too late already.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021


Thank God we left the dysfunctional European Union !!!!

Having left the EU at the end of January 2020, the United Kingdom was then free to make its own plans and arrangements for dealing with the worldwide Coronavirus epidemic. The UK government agreed contracts with several companies for the supply of millions of doses of vaccines and 2 of those vaccines are now being injected into the arms of UK citizens at the rate of more than 2 million a week. 

But what has happened in the European Union ?

Being a group of 27 countries which are almost forbidden to act independently on matters of any importance, they're in a right old mess. The 27 had to agree on a way forward and so were slow to negotiate for supplies of the vaccines. Now, of course, they deny this and claim to have obtained a better price than other nations - such as the UK and USA - but are also at the back of the queue when it comes to supply. This they do not like.

One of the main producers of vaccines, the UK based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, agreed a deal with the EU but has now found itself unable to supply the number of doses initially agreed due to production problems. Quite simply, it doesn't have the current capacity to satisfy demand and is having to create new facilities, which will take time. The EU doesn't like this one bit and is accusing the company of prioritising supplies to other countries, notably the UK, over supplies to its 27 member states. The EU is threatening various reprisals against the company and is also threatening to introduce curbs on exports of vaccines produced within its borders, seemingly regardless of contractual arrangements that may exist.

Among the various lessons taught to the world by  COVID-19, one is surely that a conglomeration of disparate countries relying on a central government to manage their affairs is a bad idea. When vital decisions are delayed due to a need to satisfy convoluted and time consuming ratification processes it's surely time to quit. The EU itself, with its Commission, Parliament, European Council and Council of the EU, is bad enough, but when individual countries (and in some cases regions) also have to have their say, it's utterly unmanageable in a time of crisis, if not always.

Of course, those who sit at the top of this vast edifice will never admit that there's a problem; if things go wrong, it must be the other party that's at fault, in this case AstraZeneca, the UK, perhaps the Boogeyman, for all I know. The knee jerk reaction is to cry "FOUL !", threaten legal action and assorted penalties for the perceived wrongdoers, and of course, use it as an excuse for demanding "MORE EUROPE, NOT LESS !".

If the UK was still a member of this dreadful organisation we would have been unable to take our own path in tackling COVID-19; we would not already have vaccinated well over 6 million people and be on course to vaccinate all of our most vulnerable citizens by mid-February. In fact we would barely have started vaccinating anyone.

If ever there was a clear proof that leaving the European Union was the right thing, indeed the only sensible thing, to do, it's this current debacle. How long will it be before other countries, hard hit by the virus and now struggling to cope under the dead hand of the EU's all-encompassing central bureaucracy, come to the same conclusion ? 

Sunday, 24 January 2021


Margaret Court was a truly great tennis player. In her day, she was undoubtedly the best and her record of triumphs in Grand Slam events is testimonial to that. 

Unfortunately for her, Mrs Court has views on some matters which run counter to currently promoted notions of supposed equality and she has received considerable criticism, even odium, for expressing them. In truth, Mrs Court has shown great courage, far greater than that shown by the undoubted vast numbers of people who share her views but are terrified to express them for fear of the backlash they will then suffer. Her views are based on an interpretation of the Christian bible which she, as a committed Christian, has total faith in; they are not violent or aggressive, but are simply social and cultural in nature.

Of course, in these supposedly enlightened days, we are all expected to kowtow to every minority group, granting them rights and privileges virtually on demand. Vote hungry legislators, terrified of the noise created by pressure groups, have supported the introduction of the most ludicrous arrangements; allowing marriage between 2 men or 2 women, allowing birth certificates to be devoid of a parent of one sex or the other, creating a legalistic difference between the terms 'gender' and sex', supporting the notion that a person who's had surgery to change their physical appearance can also lay claim to the sex (or is it gender ?) of their changed body form. The list goes on.

Mrs Court's crime has been to object to this nonsense on a religious basis although surely it can, and should, be rejected on the grounds of common sense. Yes, there are some people who are born with indeterminate chromosomal arrangements but these are few and far between; the rest of us are what we are - male or female, whatever medical or surgical interventions we undergo. End of.

I have no issue with 2 men or 2 women entering into a legal contract to be a couple, but for them to be 'married' in church is utterly ludicrous. For a child to have 2 men or 2 women named as their parents is equally nonsensical and for muscular men, who prefer to call themselves female, to be allowed to compete in women's sporting events is nothing short of insane.

Mrs Court has expressed such views and been vilified for it.  Now she is back at the centre of more opprobrium as it's rumoured that she is to be granted Australia's highest honour, "Companion of the Order of Australia". Inevitably, the usual loud noises are emanating from the usual places and Mrs Court may yet be denied her honour for the simple reason that her views do not find favour with the fads and fancies of today's "Woke" brigade.

Mrs Court's predicament is little different to that of others whose beliefs now fail to find favour with some elements of modern society. The recent attacks on monuments to those of previous generations, who are now deemed to have held unacceptable views, are another example of this same lack of tolerance that is displayed by those who demand that that they should be not just tolerated but almost deified for their differences. Interestingly, while the demonstrators demand the removal of statues, and renaming of buildings and streets in their own image, I've heard no one suggesting that the vast fortunes often endowed by such offenders, Cecil Rhodes springs rapidly to mind, be returned to his family. Perhaps those who benefitted greatly from Oxford's 'Rhodes' Scholarships' would now like to repay the cost of their time at the university, in recognition of their own acceptance that Rhodes' fortune was accrued from practices which are, today, considered unacceptable. Not much chance of that, I think.

The moral of the story is quite simple. Agree with us, that is those who are 'Woke' and making the loudest noise, or be condemned as being bigoted, racist, homophobic or any of a dozen other terms of vilification. Essentially, it's no different to the approach of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and all those other tyrants of history. We already have a variety of 'thought crimes', how long before conviction carries a prison sentence ?

What a terrifying world we live in.

Thursday, 7 January 2021


In an appalling act of anti-democratic bile, Donald Trump encouraged his 'supporters' to march on the Capitol, the heart of United States government, in Washington. Inevitably, it was not just his fanatical 'supporters' who marched but also hordes of others who join in with any attack on democratic institutions. The result was mayhem and 4 people killed.

In ancient Rome, it was well known that 'the mob' (not be confused with "The Mob") was a powerful force; whoever controlled 'the mob' controlled Rome. In more recent times 'the mob' has been deployed in various countries and by various claimants for power, dictators and the like, usually with bad outcomes. Lenin and Stalin in Russia, Hitler in Germany, Mao Tse-Tung in China, Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran and many more. While the outcome of Trump's attempts to rouse the mob pail into insignificance besides these masters of revolutionary action, they are nonetheless a shocking indictment of the man.

Whether or not there were any irregularities in a tiny proportion of the votes cast in November's Presidential election is not the point. From the outset, Trump whined on about fraud and having the election 'stolen' from him; he has never produced any evidence to support his claims and courts and legislators across the country have rejected his attempts to use legal process to further them. Having failed by legal means, Trump tried to coerce officials and when this also failed, he did what every would-be dictator throughout history has done and called upon 'the mob' to back him'.

Thankfully, Trump's mob proved to be rather less effective than some in the past and even the most senior members of his own Republican Party have now deserted him. Any plans he may have had for making a dramatic return in 2024, whether personally or through a family proxy, must now lie in tatters. The Republican Party will never go near him or his family again and attempting to gain office as an Independent, regardless of wealth, is virtually impossible. 

Far from being remembered as the man who 'drained the swamp', Trump will go down in US history as the worst President of all, a man whose ego and arrogance threatened the very fabric of the nation's democracy. For their own good, the Republicans must distance themselves very quickly and very far from Trump and his Presidency. They must look to find a candidate for 2024 who will reflect the values of American society while also respecting its democracy and traditions; otherwise it will be President Kamala Harris in 2024, by a landslide, and probably in 2028 too.

At the moment, the Republicans have been roundly rejected by the electorate, courtesy of Donald Trump, and it looks as though President Joe Biden will have a free hand to do almost anything he likes, at least for the next couple of years. The 'Grand Old Party' has only itself to blame for the mess it's now in; only it can revive its fortunes.