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The Coffee House Wall – May 2018

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  1. Sod the wedding , watch this guy’s videos instead. They are rather wonderful!

    “Nikon D850 Meets Bald Eagles, Snail Kites, Limpkins and more In Sunny South Florida”

    Not only is this guy an ace photographer he can chew gum and can do unscripted voice to camera at the same time. Eat your heart out Attenborough!

    PS. He’s in Colorado for the intro, so vertigo sufferers either hold on to something or skip the first 30 seconds!

  2. Why are we cosying up to Erdogan?
    And why is May standing on a stage with this man attacking Israel?

  3. EC – The wedding is a fascinating insight into how hick dysfunctional American families live.
    Obviously very well suited to join the Windsors.

  4. Mashall Roberts (05:53)

    The whys and wherefores involved in the insane decision making of the motley crew that currently
    ‘represents’ the electorate of the ‘United Kngdom’ correlate perfectly to the assinine geopolitical perceptions of said elecorate, the idiocy of which, in the round, is profoundly destructive to our nation, our culture, our heritage – and the civilisation engendered both internally and eternally therefrom. History seems to indicate that inherent in all civilisations are the seeds of self destruction, germinated and cultivated by the very human frailties, foibles and febrile fits, compriing the fragile, kalaidoscopic, chaotic and internecine nature of homo sapiens, which increasingly fails to distinguish its arse from its elbow.

    This was illustrated perfectly by last night’s Panorama progamme ‘Pollce Under Pressure’, the police participants involved, with a complete lack of irony and self-awareness, all failed to understand the difference between quantity and quality; between proaction and reaction. The sheer brutality and ugliness of their presence and performance was deeply depressing.

    Fielding, Peel and Mayne spin in their graves. And Mottram’s plaintive cry continues to reverberate through the small wee hours of my sleeplessness.

  5. Sorry Marshal … a slip of the stylus; two in fact.

  6. Why this deluded affection for the Palestinians?
    Rod Liddle
    Comrade Rod’s latest

    Not your toy, Netta Barzilai
    Rod Liddle
    19 May 2018 9:00 AM
    The worst entry for this year’s Euro-vision song contest was that vast cater-wauling aboriginal. I can’t remember her name, only that her performance convinced me still further that Australia might not, technically, be a part of Europe. But then I was a little worried by the winner too. The song ‘Toy’, sung by Israel’s Netta Barzilai, was easily the most musically imaginative in the contest and so probably deserved its victory. But the lyrics were the usual deluded, self-aggrandising victimhood rot. ‘I am a beautiful creature,’ she sang, despite fairly compelling evidence to the contrary, right there in front of our eyes. An energetic and likeable performer she may be, but I suspect we have unleashed a monster on the world, like that lachrymose bearded freak who won for Austria a few years back and then wouldn’t shut up for ages.

    After the contest, Netta — who had nothing to do with the writing of the song — gibbered about ‘diversity’ in the manner of a Chatty Cathy doll programmed by the Guardian’s editorial board. Much as did last year’s winner, a Portuguese bloke everybody has fortunately forgotten about.

    But then spewing out meaningless PC garbage is as important these days as having a decent song — which means that next year’s contest, which will be held in the rightful Israeli capital of Jerusalem, should be interesting viewing. Live From Golgotha, as Gore Vidal presciently put it.

    This will cause problems, I’d suggest. Some countries — the Turkic alliance mainly, but probably also a few useful idiots from the civilised West — will most likely refuse to take part. The organisers might try to engineer a compromise in which Palestine is allowed to compete, and so we may be treated to some sweating, overweight Hamas bint in a sparkly dress, surrounded by artfully choreographed burning tyres, singing:

    La la la lei lei lei lei!
    Throw all the filthy Jews in the sea!
    Kill them all, kill them all, inshallah!
    Peace and diversity!
    La la la lei lei lei! Intifada!

    All set to a cheesy hi-NRG beat with a melody lifted from that stuff they play when belly-dancers are doing their thing in some noisome fly-blown Arab whoretrap. Yes, I can’t wait either.

    Do not underestimate, though, the kudos acquired by Israel in winning the contest. It probably comes third in the list of things Israel wanted this year: an end to the nuclear deal with Iran, the US embassy relocated from lovely, liberal Tel Aviv to the real capital, conservative Jerusalem. And third, the imprimatur of millions and millions of exceedingly camp Eurovision fans. It is truly an excellent riposte to the hyperbolic shrieking from the pro-Palestinian BDS brigade across our continent.

    There is no real animus against Israel among ordinary Europeans, not even among the liberal pro-LGBTQI hordes who turn out to vote for the Eurovision Song Contest. Don’t forget, the contest has shown people do vote according to local and indeed international politics. But they had no problem in voting for Netta. They did so because it was probably the best song in the contest and she was appealing, in an odd kind of way.

    The public, even the Eurovision public, knows best. It is not obsessively anti-Semitic, even if it lapses into a kind of casual, millennial anti-Semitism from time to time. Under BDS, Netta would not be allowed to perform in the UK. They are clear about that, these fascists — no Jews! As it happens, I’m marginally in favour of that standpoint with regard to Netta, but only because I think she might become fabulously irritating. Like a sort of moronic Björk, puffed up full of herself and without very much in the way of talent, bless the girl.

    Meanwhile, the Palestinians are having their week of rage again, thousands congregating at the border fences. This was more to do with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem (i.e. the capital city of Israel) than the Eurovision Song Contest result —though there might have been a few among the querulous hordes insisting that Lithuania (my favourite) was robbed. Or more likely, it was the injunction by Hamas that protesters should storm the border fence, a statement given little publicity by the British media, which concentrated instead on telling us that lots of Palestinian ‘children’ had been shot by Israeli security forces. They are children when they are Palestinian. They are violent young men when they try the same business anywhere else.

    This was very far from the peaceful demonstration that the Palestinians — and most of the western media, particularly the BBC — insisted it was. Stuff was set on fire. The young men hurled rocks and fired catapults at soldiers and civilians. They had been warned not to do so through countless leaflet drops by the Israelis. I would have preferred the Israelis to use CS gas and rubber bullets — hey, call me a liberal — against these insurgents, or maybe just to have broadcast ‘Toy’ over and over again to the jihadis.

    But the reporting of the stand-off does enormous discredit to the western media, imbued as it is with a misplaced sentimental affection for the Palestinians. It was the same when Israel fired rockets at Iranian positions in Syria — scarcely a mention of the rocket attacks that had provoked that response.

    And indeed when the leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, delivered himself of the usual grotesquely anti–Semitic comments during a three-hour rant in Ramallah recently. Again, hardly reported. And it wasn’t reported for the simple reason that the views of Abbas, which are shared by an enormous proportion of Palestinians and are considered pretty moderate by Hamas, do not fit into the convenient assumption of western liberals that the Palestinians are not remotely anti-Semitic at all, they just want peace, my frent. A magnificent delusion.


    Sadiq Khan (15%) or Tommy Robinson for PM (85%)?
    Asks Edith Llewellyn-Holmes ✊ @CorbynistaEdith
    Queen of Twitter polls. Non-binary Socialist & LGBTQIAPK activist. Fierce Corbynista. Free speech over censorship. Pro-Palestine. Anti-Alt-Right. Pro Gamer️
    (And a very fat, ugly porker).

    The Twatterati deliberates.

  8. LGBTQIAPK: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersexual, Asexual, Pansexual and Polygamous, and Kinkiness.

    Of course, it’s the oriface choice!

  9. Skripal has been discharged.
    How long before Putin finds him?

  10. Marshal Roberts – 15:03

    Did Putin ever lose him?

  11. Apparently the Germans gave us the formula of Novichok 30 years ago. Now whether we used this to identify the agent in Salisbury or to make some is not clear.
    Maybe Putin was correct all along.

  12. Ruth Davidson completes the transition of the late Conservative party into Blaibour by writing in the Guardian (!) that it needs to become more liberal (code for left wing) in order to appeal to ‘younger voters’ (sic).

    Affirmation that the late Conservative party, now Blaibour, has utterly failed to persuade with a conservative narrative. Instead of holding to conservative beliefs with integrity and passionately championing them it seeks instead to curry favour by publicly abandoning those beliefs it has not championed or defended for many a long year.

    What is it, this THING with a useless leader that now squats, ugly and idle, to the left of centre? This THING that now presents voters with the dismal choice of a party of the hard left, a party of the centre left moving ever leftwards or a party of misfits and weirdos slithering between the two. It’s Blaibour, the worst of Toryism and the worst of Blairite Labour. The Blairites still huddled for the ride in Corbyn’s ghastly bandwagon might as well join it and have done.

  13. BBC 4 @ 9-00pm.

    A bit of brightness it is to be hoped : Inspector Montalbano ; although it sounds as if it is probably funnier if you speak Italian.

  14. HURRAH! Another Royal Baby/Wedding etc.

    “It’s a good day to bury bad news” to quote Jo Moore’s email. The original cause of the then Mr Richard Mottram’s Dickie fit in 2001.

  15. Radford NG May 19th, 2018 – 08:40

    Ah, Montalbano! The Italians are not yet hamstrung by the sort of po-faced political correctness inflicted by the parochial British left, those rabid Guardians of tedium and joy-kill, ever rising like the foul stench of a blocked drain. They understand the natural and unashamed state of the man and the woman, from the ribald frescos of Pompeii to the mores of modern Sicily, and are at ease with it.

    An entertaining police procedural which is not preaching on behalf of the Labour party or subsumed into neo-feminist guff.

  16. Wilders fights on, with some success.

  17. Will da nu duk and duchie be known as da TOWIS?

  18. Who is the short arsed BBC (w)anchor placed on the couch beside Kirsty Young? A ruse clearly designed to allow her to condescendingly look down her Scots hooter at him each time he utters some trivial cliche appropriate to this chavvy travesty of a ‘Royal’ celebration.

    The rout of royalty in now complete. There is no way back. Cromwell blew it, but this hybrid soap opera actress has breached the dam through one of its dodgiest building blocks. Next step – the Corbynistas in No.10, to hasten what is clearly an incipient republic. The whole edifice of the British Constitution is crumbling before the eyes of the world.

  19. Colonel Mustard May 19th, 2018 – 08:40

    An excoriating analysis of the party of failure and the betrayal of hope.

    Does this count as bad news being buried on a good day?

    And Peter Hitchens analysis in Conservative Woman offers no relief.

  20. How does the Tory Party roll?

    It rolls over of course, a whipped cur desperate for a tummy tickle from its contemptuous, betrayed ageing electors.

    And thats the clue, the voter base is dying out; replaced by the new ethnic block votes and a screaming hysterical rabble of dissolving half formed ice crystals.
    The good news is you soon won’t have some pensioner shuffling his way up your path to push a leaflet through your door begging you to vote for the new trans-woman whose concerned about toilet labelling in the Town Hall. Instead a pink haired wildebeest will be banging on the door, singing the Bandera Rossi and thrusting agitprop about…toilet labelling in the Town Hall…in your face.

  21. I’m glad to be dying out. I won’t have to long endure the dog’s dinner of a country that the infantilised idiots are making it.

    I just hope that there is an afterlife, though. I have a long list of politicians and ‘activists’ I’d like to haunt to make their lives miserable.

  22. Frank P May 19th, 2018 – 10:22

    Passing through the TV lounge this morning I found my predominantly female family all a-goggle over hats and dresses. I lingered just long enough to vouch safe it to be the ghastly sleb-fest parade of egotism and vulgarity that I was expecting and then sought refuge here in the garden room with Strauss – Taillefer, Wandrers Sturmlied and Die Tageszeiten. Around me the beauty of the English countryside eternal and unknowing.

  23. 1110
    Sitting watching the very same and listening to the exquisite Thomas Tallis anthem.

  24. What a dog and pony show; laced with a fire & brimstone vicar and a self-indulgent banjo player practising on his cello. The shape of things to come?

  25. Radford NG

    There’s rich and perhaps unintended irony in that cartoon, given the germanic origins of our royalty.

    But the Emperors Clothes, delusion or not, remain as resplendent and extravagant as ever. 🙂

  26. Marshal Roberts.
    As Putin said, if we had poisoned them they would be dead.
    Quite, so it was probably a Poundland version.

  27. Let coup de grace?


    Redemption on the comments, though.

  28. Rod Liddle, correct again.

    “It is the iron law of politics. No matter how bad a politician might be, they will be sacked only when they’ve said something that is, for once, palpably true. So it is with the vertically challenged Speaker, John Bercow. Puffed up, pompous, ghastly and parti pris are just some of the accusations levelled at this vaulting time bandit.

    But it is only now that his resignation is on the cards — because he is said to have called Tory leadership challenger Andrea Leadsom “a stupid woman” and “f****** useless”. His first pertinent observation since being elected in 1997.“

  29. John birch.
    May 20th, 2018 – 08:06
    What Putin lacks is a trusted Beria. Or is he Beria reincarnated?
    As I keep telling Baron, the world cries out for Navalny.

  30. Marshal Roberts May 20th, 2018 – 08:41

    A subtle misdiagnosis by cumryd Liddle, methinks, who lends an ad hominem twist to screeches of the Feminist Banshees lurking in the Parliamentary lobbies.
    In doing so he ignores the statist Squeakers visceral, mysogenistic hatred for Andrea Leadsom the Brexiteer, who would have delivered a full Brexit and so could never obtain the support of the Tory Grandees in her leadership bid

  31. Noa that may be so but you cannot deliver anything if you are f****** useless.

  32. Marshal Roberts May 20th, 2018 – 11:39

    Theresa May correctly diagnosed then.

  33. Today is the anniversary of the first solo trans-Atlantic flight by Colonel Charles Lindbergh. On 21st May 1927, Lindbergh landed his single-engined aircraft near Paris, after completing the previously unthinkable flight across the Atlantic Ocean.
    As well as the aviation pioneer let us also remember the eugenicist, environmentalist and pro-national socialist.

  34. BBC 1 tonight : drama of the week ; The Killing of Rinka .

  35. But I think Ted Heath shielded him as a fellow “sufferer” and it is worth contemplating the role of the judge.
    “Summing up, the judge did not restrain himself about the witnesses’ lack of credibility. Nor did he conceal his contempt for Scott, calling him ‘a hysterical, warped personality, accomplished sponger and very skilful at exciting and exploiting sympathy’.
    He spoke of Scott’s ‘amazing lies’ and his predatory and dishonest behaviour, concluding: ‘He is a crook, a fraud, a sponger, a whiner and a parasite.’ Before adding: ‘But of course, he could still be telling the truth . . .’
    He described the case against Thorpe as almost entirely circumstantial. He admitted that it was in Thorpe’s interest if Scott was silenced, but the existence of motive did not constitute proof.

    Read more:

  36. And of course, in 1974, Edward Heath tried to form a coalition government with the Liberals, and he offered Jeremy Thorpe the post of Home Secretary.

    The Home Secretary is responsible for the police and MI5.

    The coalition talks failed and in the end a minority government was formed by Harold Wilson, himself having shady intelligence connections.

  37. And on down the years:

    “That Thorpe got away with it may well have encouraged the likes of DJ Jimmy Savile and Liberal MP Cyril Smith — both of whom knew him — to believe that their own sexual exploitation of vulnerable young people would be brushed under the carpet.
    A realisation that the Establishment protected its own in cases such as Thorpe’s probably, in turn, fuelled the absurd recent overreaction by police investigating historic abuse accusations by liars and fantasists against the likes of Edward Heath, Leon Brittan and Cliff Richard.”

    Read more:

  38. Yet another London stabbing.
    Draconian Sus laws are called for.

  39. I have kids living in London for God’s sake.

  40. Marshal Roberts @ May 20th, 2018 – 13:19

    It’s your call, Marshall, you either blame the violence on Putin, or you vote for Putin’s approach to stop it.

    Btw, something tells Baron your kids live anywhere near the stabbing zones, don’t they?

  41. Marshal Roberts @ May 20th, 2018 – 12:55

    The book may indeed be splendid, Marshall, but it’s what Frank thinks about these sordid affairs that carries the day for the barbarian, he was as close to it as it gets and has n o dogs in the fight.

  42. Noa @ May 20th, 2018 – 11:49

    A timely reminder of an anniversary that’s not exactly in vogue today, Noa, thanks for reminding us.

    A rather detailed survey of the flight (amongst other things on the Republic in the 20s and 30s) is furnished by Bill Bryson’s “One Summer: America 1927”, you may think the barbarian is obsessed by the American writer (for he is), but his books are unique in blending facts with wit.

    The excitement that the Lindbergh’s flight generated is difficult to fathom today, Bryson says, “some 155 tons of debris were cleaned from Manhattan streets after the armistice parade of 1918, but so much ticker-tape was thrown for Lindbergh in 1927 that they cleared 1,800 tons”.

  43. Noa @ May 20th, 2018 – 11:07

    Spot on on Andrea Leadsom, young sir, and the hateful crowd that targets her.

  44. Frank P @ May 20th, 2018 – 08:11

    One cannot have the world as one would want it, Frank, one must take it as it is, no?

    Btw, the cellist surprised, the singing delighted (the pieces may have been chosen better), the episcopal preacher got the venue wrong, it wasn’t a firemen’s convention, but overall the pageantry of the spectacle was unforgettable. It is what distinguishes this small island at the edge of Europe from any other country.

    There are more powerful countries, richer countries, countries with less rain, but there aren’t any that could offer such a visible coupling of today with the distant past.

    The carriage passing the statue of Victoria, at the background the Windsor Castle of William the Conquerer built close to the Thames, on the edge of a Saxon hunting ground, the eye hitting colours of the galloping Guards – which other country could link its past to the present so visible, ha?

    (Time to light the barbecue).

  45. “…. or you vote for Putin’s approach to stop it.”
    That being to let the mafia loose on London streets?

  46. And Navalny?

    “Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny has launched a new political party, though he missed its founding due to a jail sentence over nationwide protests he organized against President Vladimir Putin.

    The new party, called Russia Of The Future, was created at a May 19 founding convention in Moscow, Lybov Sobol, a senior associate of the Kremlin critic, said on Twitter.

    Sobol said that the party had not yet been formally registered with the Russian Justice Ministry.

    She said that the goals of the party included “real changes, real reforms,” including increased property protections, a fair criminal-justice system, and battling corruption “so that money from the budget does not flow into offshores and is not spent on yachts and palaces.”

  47. I had thought Radio Free Europe was dead until I saw this documenting Putin’s new romance.

  48. What a pity either Leadsom or Gove didn’t win the leadership election. At least then we would have had a genuine Brexiteer in charge, instead of May’s wishy-washy approach.

    By the way, I enjoyed every moment of the wedding! After all these months of gloomy, miserable news, at last something happy. I remarked to my husband that most women love a royal wedding, and most men love the Cup Final. He is unusual, in detesting both, and took himself off to the garden. Let me watch in peace.

  49. Radford NG – 11:57

    “BBC 1 tonight : drama of the week ; The Killing of Rinka .”

    If that doesn’t get a response from Andy Carpark then he must no longer be extant!

  50. Marshal Roberts – May 20th, 2018 – 08:41

    Rod Liddle, correct again.

    “It is the iron law of politics. No matter how bad a politician might be, they will be sacked only when they’ve said something that is, for once, palpably true. So it is with the vertically challenged Speaker, John Bercow. Puffed up, pompous, ghastly and parti pris are just some of the accusations levelled at this vaulting time bandit.

    But it is only now that his resignation is on the cards — because he is said to have called Tory leadership challenger Andrea Leadsom “a stupid woman” and “f****** useless”. His first pertinent observation since being elected in 1997.“

    She wasn’t up to the job of beating T.May for the leadership of the “Conservative” Party let alone delivering Brexit.

  51. Lesley C.
    Gove yes – a highly competent man of ideas.
    Leadsom rated this before she rightly withdrew from the leadership contest.

    “And officials in the Treasury, where she worked as a junior minister from April 2014 to May 2015, have issued an extraordinary criticism of her track record in government.

    “She was the worst minister we’ve ever had,” one unnamed City official told the Financial Times.

    “She found it difficult to understand issues or take decisions,” another said. “She was monomaniacal, seeing the EU as the source of every problem.

    “She alienated officials by continually complaining about poor drafting.”

  52. Ah yes.
    A leaking Civil Servant, (impartial, content to implement the electorate’s ‘will) speaking off the record stilletoing their Brexit minister to the Remain FT.
    No FT.
    No comment.

  53. Whoever did the briefing against Leadsom forgot to mention she was competent, articulate, factual before Brexit, in the debates rated number one, fully committed to Brexit after the vote of the people. Now, why would the FT fail to mention it?

  54. Why now all the sudden Dianafication of Leadsom? She folded at the first sign of press criticism during Conservative leadership contest. The rest is history.

    Anybody wanting to employ a third party to get rid of the ghastly Bercow would be well advised to put up somebody who can slug it out against the press.

  55. EC

    The “Dianafication of Leadsom?”
    More like the Meghanisation of Bercow, Gove (always behind Leadsom in the polls) and May.

  56. Todays Anniversary.

    On 21st May 1894 the 36 mile long Manchester Ship Canal in England was officially opened by Queen Victoria,
    Construction began in 1887; it took six years and cost £15 million (equivalent to about £1.65 billion in 2011. When the ship canal opened in January 1894 it was the largest river navigation canal in the world, and enabled the newly created Port of Manchester to become Britain’s third busiest port despite the city being about 40 miles inland. Changes to shipping methods and the growth of containerisation during the 1970s and 80s meant that many ships were now too big to use the canal and traffic declined, resulting in the closure of the terminal docks at Salford. Although able to accommodate a range of vessels from coastal ships to inter-continental cargo liners, the canal is not large enough for most modern vessels. By 2011 traffic had decreased from its peak in 1958 of 18 million long tons (20 million short tons) of freight each year to about 7 million long tons (7.8 million short tons). The canal is now privately owned by Peel Holdings, whose plans include redevelopment, expansion and an increase in shipping from 8,000 containers a year to 100,000 by 2030 as part of their Atlantic Gateway project.

  57. Noa,

    Leadsom is a Norwegian Blue. As a keen reader/viewer of Peter Hitchens you will no doubt have heard him on more than one occasion speak of the Conservative Party in a similar vein.

    I agree with Hitchens, in that it’s: “A Dead Parrot, Ceased to Be!”
    Who killed it? Where do we start? May? Cameron?

  58. Nobody playing today?

    The Borg Collective seems to have taken over all three main parties and those now in charge seem to actually despise their indigenous core voters, particularly those holding traditional values. Seems to be an age related thing regardless of the party.
    Common Purpose?

    Also this…

    YCMIU !

  59. EC
    We are in agreement over the slow, juddering faiure of the Tory led delivery, (miscarriage?) of Brexit , however I fail to see why Andrea Leadsom is excoriated for it by Liddle and Bercow.
    As I noted previously the real Tory party leadership is the cabal of Fat Pang, Fats Clarke Salmonella John and the Mad Cow Burgher Sodium Gummer, who are the true masters of Britain’s destiny, not Bercow, some anonymous civil servant or Rod Liddle in a cheap and cheerful throwaway line.

  60. What’s with Roman’s visa? Are the domino’s tumbling? Chelski must be feeling miffed after their hollow victory on Sat and the departure of Conte (no surprise that, though).

  61. Who killed the Tory Party?
    A mass imbibation of Koolaid in the best tradition of JonesTown

  62. Frank
    Any man who waltzes around unshaven with scruffy clothes like Abramovich should be excluded on general principles.

  63. Frank P – 16:23

    Call me an old cynic but…
    Roman’s visa problems could just be a gesture of a temporary nature. A nod and a wink to the septics?

    Surely Roman and his fellow oligarchs must have enough goods on enough politicians the world over to obtain a visa for wherever they like?

  64. Marshal Roberts – 18:20

    Roman is a snappy dresser as compared to most Brits.
    When did you last visit?

  65. EC

    Heh, heh, heh.

    No … Belay that, lets have a full-throated Dan Collins.


    Btw. ACP must have popped his clogs, as you say, he hasn’t surfaced for the resurrection of Jewemy Thrupp.

    Not a bad depiction, incidentally; both Hugh Grant and AlexJennings – ringers for Thorpe and Bessell. Mind you, Hughie’s proclivity for blow jobs from mulatto whores in the back of cars in LA renders his performance a little ironic. But if Jennings isn’t ginger, he’s a very good actor. Wonder who will play Bron Waugh? Scott is still alive of course. Can’t see him suing. 🙂

    The senior police investigator from the West Country i/c the case kept his head well below the parapet, didn’t he? I guess he must have a celestial pension by now. I’ve forgotten his name, but I’ve just tried to Google him and failed. Must dig out the Pencourt files/book. Plus ca change ….’

  66. There ya go:

    Detective Chief Supt. Michael Challes drew the short straw. It ruined his bucolic sinecure. Sheer chance.

    But the chicanery of Heath, Wilson and Thorpe in the carve-up was the story behind the story. They each had files on each other. Corrupt crooks all. Sexually and venally. Wonder if Marcia Forkbender will get a mention. No sign of her in the cast list. Pity.
    As I noted above … plus ca change …

    Looking forward to the next episode.

  67. Today is the fifth anniversary of the brutal murder y decapitation of Drummer Lee Rigby by a brutal Islamic fundamentalist.
    It is also the first anniversary of the 22 innocents murdered at the Manchester G Mex. As we wait for the next victims from our our people let us remember these innocent victims and their suffering families, betrayed by our political elite both Tory and Socialist.

  68. Mark Steyn with a flowing collage on Bernard Lewis (RIP), the Royal Wedding and much else. Replete, as ever, with flair, wit and pencraft.

  69. USA : a really neat idea.

    National Rifle Association chose Lt.Col. Oliver North as its new leader.

  70. Not Learning the Lessons – A UK Defence Strategy Doomed to Failure

    By Mike Hookem MEP

    “In 1982, as a British Army reservist, I watched on, frustrated, as Chinook helicopters ferried men and supplies around the docks of Hull; loading merchant vessels that would soon form part of the armada sent to free the Falkland Islands.
    For weeks, the air around my barracks had been alive with expectation and rumour; that we would be called upon to take part in the largest naval operation since the invasion of Normandy. As the taskforce prepared to depart, we finally knew we were to be left behind while other Hull men and women went to war.

    Despite the dangers going to war automatically entails, I felt gutted at the time; in fact, cheated of the opportunity to put to use the months and years of military training I had worked so hard to accrue.

    Over time, those feelings have changed. Rather than frustration and feeling like I missed out; I today feel great pride in those who risked all in that short, yet bloody conflict, thousands of miles from home; together with deep sorrow for those who laid down their lives to defend the South Atlantic Islanders right to ‘be British.’

    Today, as a Member of the European Parliament; UKIP’s Defence Spokesman; Deputy Party Leader, and a student of military history; I have to say that my perspective of the events that unfolded in 1982 has somewhat changed.

    No longer do I pour over the military tactics and battlefield stories, as I once did. Instead, I am more concerned with the political and strategic picture; the logistics employed to mount such a large operation; how causalities could have potentially been avoided; and the important question of whether the UK could still retake the Falkland Islands if it were invaded today.

    Let’s examine that question.

    Could we retake the Falkland’s today?

    Even in 1982, the British Army and Royal Navy were feeling the pinch of politically motivated ‘cost-cutting’ to its operational capability, following the publication of John Nott’s 1981 Defence White Paper, “The UK Defence Programme: The Way Forward.”

    Under the plans published by Nott, the regular army was to be reduced to 135,000 men, a loss of 7,000, which, as now, was to be partly offset by the gradual expansion of the Territorial Army by 16,000 personnel. But the biggest blows came to the Royal Navy, with plans to sell its new Aircraft Carrier, HMS Invincible, to Australia and to focus ‘primarily on anti-submarine warfare.”

    The Royal Marines, who along with the Paras, were destined to play such a vital role in recapturing the Falklands, were, under Nott’s plans, to look at disbanding their entire amphibious landing force and sell off the landing ships, HMS Intrepid and Fearless. Nott also demanded that nine of the Navy’s 59 escorts would be decommissioned; together with a reduction in manpower of between 8,000 and 10,000 personnel.

    Despite the deep cuts proposed a year earlier, the Royal Navy mustered an impressive amphibious force of 115 ships to head for the Falkland Islands. This force included the two aircraft carriers, HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible; two landing platform dock (LPD) ships, HMS Fearless and Intrepid; and six landing ship logistics (LSL) ships. The Royal Navy was additionally augmented by Ships Taken Up From Trade (STUFT); requisitioned civilian vessels that including the SS Canberra, the Hull-based ferry, MV Norland, and the world-famous Cunard cruise liner, the QE2.

    Fast forward 38 years and the thought of having 135,000 troops defending the Realm and our interests overseas seems like nothing more than a utopian dream; while the Royal Navy has suffered years of deep cuts John Nott would not have even dared to suggest.

    Since the retirement of the Fleet Air Arm’s Harrier force in 2010, today’s Royal Navy does not even have the operational capacity to launch aircraft at sea, despite billions of pounds being investments into two new aircraft carriers. In fact, it is doubtful whether the two new carriers – the biggest ships ever built for the Royal Navy – will ever be fully equipped with aircraft, or adequately protected at sea.

    It is already stated that only one of the two behemoths will ever put to sea at any one time, as the Royal Navy cannot refuel, resupply or defend both carriers at the same time. It has also been pointed out that with recent developments in missile technology, the inadequately protected carriers are unlikely ever to be deployed on a Falklands style operation, as they would be too ‘prime a target.’ Other questions have also arisen over the combat readiness and capability of the F35 stealth fighter programme, the aircraft chosen as a replacement for the Harrier Jump Jet which is due to enter frontline service in 2020, due to serious ongoing engineering and software problems with the programme.

    Many of the issues the UK’s armed forces face today, can be traced back over decades, even before John Nott’s white paper. However, is was to be a Conservative/Lib Dem coalition, driving for ‘austerity,’ that did the real damage to the UK’s military capability. With the banking crash as a background, and demands from the then Chancellor, George Osbourne, to slash the defence budget by 10% to 20% in real terms, the new coalition Government published its Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) 2010.

    An Undermanned Army in Crisis

    The SDSR 2010 called for a cut in British Army personnel numbers from 102,000 to a mere 82,000 by 2018; a 40% reduction in Challenger 2 tanks; a 35% reduction in AS90 self-propelled artillery, and the withdrawal of 20,000 British troops from Germany. The SDSR 2010 also set out plans to make up the shortfall in full-time personnel numbers by increasing the size of the Volunteer Reserves (formally known as the Territorial Army) by 20% to fill the capability gap, reflecting similar proposals by John Nott three decades earlier.

    In January 2018, the number of full-time British Army personnel stood at a mere 81,660 according to the National Audit Office. However, when this figure is broken down using the Government’s own recently relaxed rules for personnel deemed ‘operationally ready,’ the number immediately falls to 77,470. Recent newspaper reports have even suggested that when sickness, injury, and other personal considerations are taken into account, the number of operational ready soldiers falls to as low as 60,000, the smallest standing UK army for over a hundred years.

    As for the Government’s plans to increase the number of reservists, the figures make even grimmer reading. The recently privatised armed forces recruitment programme has become something of a national embarrassment, despite a £440Million, 10-year contract with Capita, that has seen over £664 million spent on “recruitment and retention” incentives in the last five years for both reserve and full-time personnel of all forces.

    According to the National Audit Office, only 1,975 reserve soldiers were recruited by Capita in 2013-14 against a December 2012 Army Demand Plan requirement of 6,000. This is a pattern that became increasingly familiar over following years. In the year 1st June 2016 to 1st June 2017, the number of people leaving the reserves rose by approximately 20%, while intake fell by 18%, leaving a meagre 1.4% increase in reserve manpower, despite a shortfall of 3,000 ‘trained’ reservists. In April 2018, a report by the National Audit Office revealed the percentage of regulars leaving the Armed Forces voluntarily, has increased from 3.8% annually in March 2010, to 5.6% in December 2017.

    In fact, things have become so bad, in October 2016 the Government was forced to redefine what is classified as a ‘trained’ soldier to meet operational requirements.

    According to the Independent newspaper, “some critics have also claimed official figures now underplay the true scale of the problem because the Government has redefined “trained soldiers” in a way that allows many more reservists to be counted as trained strength.”

    Under the Government’s new rules, any troops who have passed basic training (phase 1), but not yet completed trade or ‘advanced’ training, such as an advanced infantry skills course (phase 2), are classed as ‘trained.’ Before 2016, only troops with both phase 1 & 2 training could be counted as fully trained and deployable. Why the change? The answer, of course, is to meet targets and look like the British Army has better readiness than is the actual case!

    The fact is, like any voluntary organisation, the volunteer reserve will always suffer from fluctuating numbers. From my own time in the TA, I know there is always a core of troops who are dedicated to the unit; while the commitment of others wavered, only showing up when the whim took them, despite being kept on strength for months or even years.

    While the SDSR 2010 removed a large amount of capability and operational readiness from the British army, especially regarding personnel and armour, the Royal Navy (RN) suffered even more devastating cuts. These cuts included the loss of its last remaining aircraft carrier; a reduction in the number of helicopter landing ships; the scrapping of the Fleet Air Arm’s Harrier jump-jet force; and a reduction in personnel of 5,000 to 30,000.

    The Royal Navy, All at Sea

    On the 6th June 1944 – commonly known as D-Day – 900 RN vessels of all types took part in the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.

    While it is unrealistic to expect the Government to keep the RN at wartime levels throughout protracted periods of relative peace, we, as an island nation, must retain a force that is adequately trained and equipped to deal with the flare-up of unexpected conflicts.

    While in 1982, we were able to muster 115 to head for the South Atlantic, today, the entire RN fleet stands at a mere 89 vessels. These ships include one as yet non-operational aircraft carrier, six amphibious assault ships, six destroyers, thirteen frigates, seven attack submarines and four ballistic-missile submarines. The rest of the fleet is made up of minesweepers, survey ships and other support vessels; with many no larger than the small patrol ships.

    Sadly, until March this year, the RN could also boast a helicopter carrier. However, the last remaining vessel of this type, HMS Ocean, was decommissioned in March 2018 and sold to the Brazilian navy.

    Of the 89 vessels that have survived the cuts, only the six destroyers, thirteen frigates and seven attack submarines can be considered frontline vessels, with adequate sensors, weapons and protection to fight and survive in a battle against a sophisticated foe. However, as with the army, the numbers do not represent the true state of readiness. At any one time, approximately half of the RN’s vessels are undergoing maintenance or training periods, and several others are committed to routine standing patrols, leaving just a handful to respond to emergencies.

    Many of these issues have been compounded by poorly judged procurement of new equipment, cost overruns, and engineering issues that have seen some of the RN’s newest vessels laid up for significant works, including propulsion issues with the in-service Type 45 Destroyers, and electrical and build issues with the latest class of patrol vessels.

    The introduction of any new technology can be troublesome, however, many of the current issues with the Type 45s could have been avoided had the then Labour Government listened to the builders, BAE Systems, and opted for a tried and tested propulsion system, rather than a ‘revolutionary,’ yet unproven Rolls-Royce supplied gas turbine design.

    A design flaw with the Northrop Grumman intercooler system has on occasion left ships with no source of power or propulsion, especially when operating in warm climates. This has meant ships that should be out on-patrol are missing engagements, due to being in harbour undergoing expensive overhauls under the Type 45 Power Improvement Project (PIP).

    The number of replacement vessels is also becoming a significant issue. In recent years, the Royal Navy has acquired just six new Type 45s, to do the work of the twelve Type 42 destroyers it replaces, and it is the same story with new submarines. Just seven new Astute-class attack submarines have been ordered to replace twelve outgoing Swiftsure and Trafalgar-class subs. While both the Type 45’s and Astute class submarines are bigger and pack more firepower than their predecessors, there just aren’t enough of them to cover all the areas or tasks undertaken by the older vessels.

    However, ships are only as good as the crew, and it is with personnel numbers where the RN is struggling. As of Jan 2018, the Royal Navy was approximately 2,000 sailors short of its target 31,000 personnel. Retention of experience personnel is now under such strain that a senior Royal Navy insider is quoted as saying the navy, “is diabolically short of senior rate engineers.” The same source continued, “they can’t retain or train the replacements fast enough to stop the shortages.” According to Labour peer and former First Sea Lord, Admiral Lord West, the problem stems simply from the move to axe 4,000 sailors under the SDSR 2010.

    In fact, the pressures have become so great regarding manning, ships such as HMS Dauntless, one of only six Type 45 destroyers, have been laid up to have their crews dispersed to other vessels.

    Further blows to the Royal Navy’s capability are still in the pipeline. Reports leaked late last year suggest that a further 2,000 Royal Marines out of a total force of 6,600 may be axed, together with the Royal Navy’s two amphibious assault ships.

    The proposed cuts come on top of the consolidation or closure of several major Royal Marine bases including the Royal Citadel in Plymouth.

    While the leak led to an angry backlash from MPs, who stated the Royal Marines, “risks being sacrificed to short-term Treasury book-keeping;” the pressures of finding experienced crew for the two new aircraft carriers and filling the £20 billion ‘black hole’ in the defence budget could prove too great an opportunity for the Treasury not to wield the knife.

    Speaking of the cuts, General Julian Thompson, who led 3 Commando Royal Marines during the Falklands War, warned, “these plans will spell the end of the Royal Marines as we know them. The days of D-Day scale amphibious landings may be over, but the days of landing against an enemy that is going to fight you on the beach aren’t.”

    Military insiders have also warned that any further cuts to the Royal Marines could have a dramatic effect on recruitment into the UK’s Special Forces, 40% of whom are taken from the ranks of the Marines.

    Clipped wings

    While the Government has made a great deal of noise regarding the purchase of new equipment for the Royal Air Force (RAF), such as an order for nine new Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and the introduction of the F35B Lightning II in 2020; things are far from well.

    As with both the British Army and Royal Navy, the RAF is currently running at least a 5% deficit in personnel and struggling to recruit replacements for experienced people leaving the service, with recruitment figures down 1% over the past year.

    Under the SDSR 2010, the RAF also suffered huge losses in capability, most notably with the retirement of its entire Harrier ground attack force; and the loss of its maritime patrol BAE Nimrod aircraft; the closure of RAF Kinloss and a manpower reduction of 5,000 personnel.

    The RAF has also seen much of its pilot training capability removed from the Force’s control and outsourced to a consortium headed by Lockheed Martin (manufacturer of the F35B) and Babcock International, under a 25-year, £1.1 billion Private Finance Initiative (PFI).

    While the capability of the RAF was stricken by the SDSR 2010, the Government’s latest review, the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) 2015, appeared to be a victory for the RAF, at least on paper.

    Under the SDSR 2015, the government pledged to continue with the purchase of 138 F-35 ‘Lightning’ multi-role fighter aircraft, albeit the first 48 at least being of the short take-off and vertical-landing (STOVL) variant (F-35B) rather than the conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) variant (F-35A) that the RAF would have preferred.

    The government also decided to retain the first tranche of Eurofighter Typhoons in service which will allow the RAF to form two additional squadrons. Added to this was the acquisition of at least twenty new unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs), nine Boeing P-9A maritime patrol aircraft, three more Shadow R1 surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, and the retention of fourteen C-130J-30 tactical transport aircraft.

    To support this, the RAF was allowed a very modest increment in its personnel numbers. However, many of these posts are still to be filled, and with the lead time on new aircraft in some cases running to years, the RAF will still suffer large gaps in capability for many years to come.

    Pressures on personnel also mean the RAF is now looking to retire its long-serving Panavia Tornado GR4 bomber force to redeploy personnel in other areas, despite the Phase 3 Typhoon (ground attack) aircraft not yet being available. Years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have also left their mark on the serviceability of existing platforms. This was highlighted by the recent grounding of the RAF’s E3A Sentry AWACS aircraft following electrical problems across the platform.

    The future is also not bright for several existing platforms and services that were thought to be safe after the SDSR 2015, including the RAF Regiment, the R1 Sentinel intelligence-gathering platform that was initially protected, together with the world famous Red Arrow Display Team.

    Budget pressures and the fluctuation in the exchange rate may mean the R1 Sentinel fleet is once again facing cuts, despite the often touted £178 billion equipment plan for the armed forces, while the RAF Regiment is suffering from the same manpower stresses said to be behind the push for the retirement of the Tornado force.

    The downward trend in aircraft and personnel led defence analysis group, IHS Jane’s to warn that the RAF could be left with only 127 combat jets by the end of the decade as the 87 Tornados are retired; while the Phase 3 Typhoons will not be in service until 2019 and the F35 will not be in full service until 2023. This scenario would leave the RAF with its fewest number of fighter planes since 1918.

    However, it is the Government’s direct lack of support for British aircraft manufacturing which could threaten the future of the Red Arrows. With the current Hawk T1 jet used by the squadron coming to the end of its life; some recent accidents and a lack of commitment from Government to buy a replacement for the Hawk, the future of the display team has now been cast into doubt. With the lack of Government interest in buying new variants of the Hawk, there is also the potential that a future Red Arrows squadron may be forced to fly an aircraft supplied by either Germany, the US or South Korea.

    As for the much-vaunted Lockheed Martin F35 programme, serious issues with the aircraft remain even after entry into service, with the director of Operational Test and Evaluation in the US, Robert Behler, branding the platform, not “operationally suitable.”

    In fact, according to US defence website,, “the F-35B being used to see if the plane will survive the 8,000 hours it’s required to last pretty much fell to pieces last year and needs replacing.”

    This was corroborated by Behler who wrote, “the effect of the failures observed and repairs required during the first two lifetimes of testing on the service life certification of the F-35B aircraft is still to be determined. The service life for all three variants is planned to be 8,000 hours; however, the F-35B service life may be less than that, even with extensive modifications to strengthen the aircraft already produced.”

    This is worrying for a platform that is going to provide the backbone of RAF strike capacity over the coming decades, especially when added to the already well-recognised engineering and combat performance problems.

    So, Could We Retake the Falklands?

    The frank answer to this question of whether the UK could retake the Falklands today has to be no!

    Mounting an operation with the same size and strength as that seen in 1982 would be an impossible logistical and military exercise for our armed forces today. Bearing in mind the UK currently has no operational aircraft carriers – and would be reticent to use them, even if they were available – and following the sale of HMS Ocean, the RN no longer even has the capabilities of a helicopter landing ship or a platform from which to launch the strike aircraft that played such a critical role in 1982. Add to this the potential sale of the ships used by the Royal Marines for amphibious landings, and not only would an invasion have to be made without vital air cover, the UK would have no way of landing troops by sea.

    However, more critically for an island nation, the RN now stands at a mere 26 combat capable vessels. Bearing in mind that 50% of these vessels are likely to be in maintenance or on training duties at any one time – rendering it incapable of putting an operational ‘task force’ to sea – and an operation to retake the Falklands from the sea is rendered entirely impossible.

    In fact, if MoD planners were honest, we are today hard pushed to protect our home waters from unwanted visitors.

    This situation was highlighted in a speech last year by First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Philip Jones, who said, “the degree of superiority at sea which Western navies previously enjoyed post-Cold War is diminishing.”

    Admiral Jones continued, “you don’t need to look very far to see rising and resurgent powers flex their muscles. It’s now clear that the peaks of Russian submarine activity that we’ve seen in the North Atlantic in recent years are the new norm. The same is true of the steady stream of vessels passing the UK on their way to join the Baltic, Mediterranean and the Black Sea fleets.”

    In 2016, cover of the UK’s coastline by the Royal Navy was so depleted, the emergency response ship was forced to race from the south coast to Scotland to cover a potential incursion by Russian naval vessels into home waters.

    In terms of personnel numbers, the UK’s armed forces have lost approximately 50% of the personnel enlisted at the time of the Falklands War, before taking into account those who have not completed phase 1 & 2 training. This leaves the UK’s land forces at a low ebb, especially after years of combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Regarding aircraft, we no longer have the assets or capability to mount an operation like ‘Operation Black Buck,’ the raid carried out by Avro Vulcan aircraft on the airfield at Port Stanley; without a land base within a reasonable striking distance of the Islands.

    With issues surrounding the F35B aircraft and many of the new RAF platforms not likely to be available for some years leaves the RAF facing years of capability gaps, despite increasing demands for airstrikes on Syria.

    The RN could no longer even count on being able to mobilise commandeered vessels, as the size and composition of the UK merchant register has changed significantly in the past 36 years. In fact, the RN is today so overstretched, the UK no-longer maintains a standing warship patrol around the Falklands, as had been the tradition since the recapture of the islands in 1982.

    When Britain’s precarious military situation is applied to current global security challenges, the picture is even more troubling. With Vladimir Putin’s annexation of the Ukrainian territory of the Crimea and involvement in the Syrian Civil War on the side of Assad; a belligerent North Korea under Kim Jong-un; continued IS activity across the Middle East and North Africa; the rise of al-Shabaab; Iran’s nuclear aspirations and China’s rapid expansion of its armed forces, the Ministry of Defence’s £178bn equipment plan to transform the services seems to pale into insignificance.

    Growing intervention in Syria and the threat posed by a resurgent Russia are to be, in my opinion, the two great conventional military challenges of the next decade.

    A clear sign of how ill-prepared the UK is for yet another armed conflict came two weeks ago, when Prime Minister, Theresa May ordered strikes on Syria. While our French and US partners pounded suspected chemical weapons sites with ship-launched cruise missiles, the UK could only contribute four ageing RAF Tornado strike jets accompanied by four Typhoons for defence.

    However, the RN could only spectate while US and French warships of similar size and composition launched round after round of cruise missiles from their decks, the launchers on the British vessels having been scrapped at the planning stage for budget reasons.

    With a belligerent Russian President acting as a power broker in the Middle East, where he is aiding the forces of Assad to win a vicious civil war, NATO and the UK in particular face a range of conventional security challenges in the coming decades, even before the threats posed by terrorist activity is added.

    NATO as a whole and the UK, in particular, should take heed of Putin’s words on the annexation of Crimea – an act akin to Hitler’s actions in the Sudetenland – when he stated, “if you press the spring, it will release at some point.”

    With a build-up of troops on both sides in Eastern Europe, we now face a flashpoint not seen since before the Second World War. The UK is totally unprepared for the eventuality of a quickly escalating state-on-state conflict.

    However, here we are with a Conservative government to make yet further reductions in equipment and personnel.

    Put simply; we are not learning the lessons of history!”

  71. Conservative Woman reprises Mark Steyn’s disquieting analysis on the Manchester massacre.

  72. Noa 1306. I now have indigestion.

  73. “Police in Moscow have detained Sergey Boyko, the coordinator of Alexey Navalny’s headquarters in Novosibirsk, on charges of repeatedly violating Russia’s laws on public demonstrations.

    According to Vyacheslav Gimadi, a lawyer for the Anti-Corruption Foundation, the evidence against Boyko is a tweet he posted on April 12, where he called on people to protest against Vladimir Putin on May 5. The tweet, which includes a link to Alexey Navalny’s website, doesn’t mention a time or a location, and it was too early to know if ”

  74. Like the HRH the Duke of Edinburgh I am proud to be a man and be identified as a misogynist.

  75. On 23rd May 2014 a major fire damaged Glasgow School of Art, one of Britain’s most iconic buildings.

  76. Below zero around here, exaggerating somewhat but not much, if fact so cold that Baron had to put on a hat and a scarf to go fill up the bird feeders, even the lilacs have turned brownish, almost ceased releasing their narcotic scents, the birds sing only sparingly, and yesterday afternoon two sparrow hawks had a fight over the body of a fat dead squirrel the barbarian dispatched to the maker of it all an hour or so earlier.

    Where TF is the global warming, the barbarian needs the heat, his atrophying body shouts for it, instead it seems we’re moving into another not mini but medium size ice age.

  77. Noa @ May 22nd, 2018 – 10:47

    One should be more than thankful to you, Noa, for mentioning the Woolwich atrocity, it seems totally forgotten now, nobody speaks about it, yesterday afternoon as Baron entered an M&S outfit he was reminded that at 14.30 (that’s 2.30PM for those who still live in the the ‘barbarian’ Britain) there would be a minute silence, the barbarian reached the pastry counter just as it was starting, stood still as did everyone else apart from two old ladies who didn’t know what was going on, had to be told.

    After the minute passed Baron reminded the two women behind the counter of the Woolwich tragedy, (Baron knew because he read you posting), they didn’t know (or have forgotten), only after some explanation one of them said ‘oh, yes, and wasn’t it awful’.

    One must ask why was it swept under the carpet so quickly?

  78. And lastly for those who like reading long pieces (Noa?, heh, heh, heh) this:

    Two takes on the Salisbury farce, one from Sherlock Holmes, the other from the Blonde Inseminator, who runs our Foreign Office. Only one can be right, but which one?

  79. Baron 09.48

    I hate to tell you, but its waarm oop North at’moment. Me ferrets are writhing at’bottom of cage”.

  80. Baron

    “One must ask why was it swept under the carpet so quickly?”

    Jack Buckby, (fellow Lancastrian lad) provides a convincing explanation. Quite simply we are not to be trusted.
    BTW. Has anyone read his book, “The Paradoxical Alliance”?.

  81. Marshal/Baron 10.01

    It was for EC’s edification mainly, part of the ongoing EOI on defence, or rather the lack thereof. And I couldn’t be bothered to go to Hookem’s site for a link.

    And ‘If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out” or at least let it read seamlessly down to less taxing fare… ;-))

  82. It would benefit Harry and t’other half to have read
    his namesake.

    “…Had I so lavish of my presence been,
    So common-hackney’d in the eyes of men,
    So stale and cheap to vulgar company,
    Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
    Had still kept loyal to possession
    And left me in reputeless banishment,
    A fellow of no mark nor likelihood.
    By being seldom seen, I could not stir
    But like a comet I was wonder’d at…”

  83. @Noa 23rd – 10:14

    but its waarm oop North at’moment.

    No, it bloody ain’t … we’ve got 12°C in east Northumberland today!

  84. Ostrich (occasionally) May 23rd, 2018 – 14:13

    Sorry to hear it! I shall think of you as I apply more sun cream.
    Time to throw another SNP MSP log on the fire…

  85. ‘Nothings Really free
    It all comes with a fee’

    The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band

  86. Been banned from Twitter, under the new policy which seems to be based around protecting Muslims .

  87. @Noa 23rd – 14:34

    ‘Time to throw another SNP MSP log on the fire…’

    Not easy to come by over here … A nice juicy party worker from Ian Lavery’s office seems to be the preferred fuel today.

  88. John Birch
    You are the first of many.
    Like me I suggest you keep a bag packed in readiness for a 4am. knock from Khan”= Schuzstaffel.

  89. Just turned on Chelsea on BBC one to look at the flowers to see that we are to be regaled to the Reverend Richard Coles and his gay reverend partner.
    Is it compulsory at the BBC now?

  90. On a more upbeat note it was good to see the Skripal daughter looking so well and relaxed.
    Pity she did not have a go at the perpetrator.


    “The host of the YouTube channel of jailed opposition politician and anticorruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny has been jailed for 30 days over nationwide protests against President Vladimir Putin.”

  92. Impossible to post.

  93. It seems the only posting that went through is the one that says ‘impossible to post’. Strange that.

    If this goes in the service must have resumed.

  94. Keeping up with the Jones’ (or Noa)

    Latest from Boot:

    “From USSR to EU and back

    Anyone still thinking the EU is anything but an awful, unworkable contrivance should visit Riga.

    Whose deranged mind decided it’s possible to a create a single federation out of 28 (30? 40?) European countries? Having spent four days in Riga, I can testify that this mind wasn’t only deranged but also evil.

    It’s possible to create a federation out of different countries – provided they have something in common, a little area where they overlap.

    What I mean by an area isn’t shared geography, even though that helps. However, much more important are shared culture, history, behavioural modes, social responses, aesthetics – all those things that add up to civilisation.

    Hence some bright European sparks must have got together and decided that, say, Greece and Holland have enough in common to blend naturally into a single country.

    I suppose an experienced sophist could argue the toss, referring, for example, to Greek philosophy and its input into our religion and culture. And indeed a peripatetic Westerner visiting Athens might be impressed by treading the ground trodden 2,500 years ago by peripatetic philosophers.

    But then he’d look for more up to date evidence of kinship, only to find none. Greece and Holland, though both technically speaking European, haven’t much more in common than either has with Mongolia.

    They may be forced under the same umbrella, but neither will be home and dry together. There’s no umbrella big enough to cover both.

    If you agree, then let me tell you: Athens is more of a European capital than Riga is. Yes, Greece has had a chequered history, punctuated by foreign occupation, most recently by Nazi Germany.

    But, even though Nazi Germany took over Greece’s land, it never took over Greece’s soul. I’m sure that no foreigner visiting Greece in 1972, 27 years after the liberation, would have said that the country still remained Nazi.

    Well, this visitor, here in Riga 27 years after the country left the Soviet Union and 14 after it joined the European one, can argue that the country remains Soviet to its core.

    It’s not the Latvians’ fault. Communism corrupts nations so absolutely that its effects will linger for at least as long as communism lasted – and I’m being generous. Twice as long would be closer to the mark, and that’s provided the country makes an honest effort to cleanse itself.

    The first thing one notices about Riga is how dingy it is, and I don’t mean its physical plant. Quite the opposite: the medieval Old Town is lovely, the city centre boasts more Art Nouveau buildings than any other city in the world, and the parks separating the two are beautifully landscaped and maintained.

    True, Riga’s Gothic churches aren’t a patch on those in France, but then whose are? And Riga’s Art Nouveau architecture isn’t exactly Gaudi, but then whose is?

    Yet one central park stopped me dead with the notice above. My first impression was that it was some kind of inside joke. Surely children don’t drive?

    Oh yes they do. And I don’t even mean grown-ups driving like irresponsible children, zipping through the streets at 70 mph in their clapped out jalopies with mufflers shot or non-existent – there are plenty of those in Riga. No, it’s tots, some as young as three, actually driving their electric go-karts through the park.

    I pointed them out to my wife, and her reaction was that the cars were paddled. Yet she realised they weren’t when one three-year-old hit a kerb and then reversed out with the élan of a get-away driver. Obviously Latvian standards of ‘elf and safety aren’t quite like ours.

    Riga isn’t exactly dingy in any physical sense, even though veering off the beaten track of Gothic and Art Nouveau areas landed me smack in the middle of the Soviet suburbs of my Moscow childhood.

    Still, Riga’s dinginess isn’t in the buildings. It’s in the people.

    They don’t look, act, walk or deport themselves like Europeans. Language apart, they are indistinguishable from the inhabitants of the bad outskirts of Moscow.

    Speaking statistically, in terms of GDP per capita, Latvia is better off than most Eastern European countries and certainly than Russia. Yet in the four days we didn’t see a single well-dressed person, male or female.

    I mean M&S or Gap well-dressed, not Bond Street or Savile Row. Yet Riga has many of the boutiques one finds in those streets. Who shops there? Certainly not the equivalents of the Russian Mafiosi – those chaps shop in London and Paris. And evidently no one else.

    Then there are the 20-stone, misshapen women, some of them still young, one sees everywhere. I’m sure they don’t add up to half the female population, but one could be forgiven for getting that impression. There are plenty of obese women in any European city, but nowhere do they dominate the human landscape to the same degree.

    The number of falling-over drunks is also far greater than in any European capital I’ve seen, although some places in England may compete with Riga in that respect. But drunks are different there: they’re simply barbarians who can’t think of any other way of having fun. But have fun they do, if you can call it that.

    In Riga people clearly drink the way the Russians do: not to have fun but to forget, ideally to die. One can almost see the abyss of despair into which they’re falling with every gulp. Many drinkers are down-and-outs on their last legs.

    “There’s nothing else for them to do,” explained a woman we chatted up. “There are no decent jobs for them to find, so those who have anything on the ball just up and leave. Those who stay drink.” She herself prefers New Zealand as her holiday destination, to get as far as geographically possible from her native city.

    There are boozers and off-licences at every corner in Riga, sometimes more than one per corner. Yet I’ve found only two bookshops in the whole city, each the size of a typical newsagent in London.

    I’m sure there must be more, but it’s hard to walk through the centre of, say, Paris for five minutes without catching sight of a sizeable bookshop. The Rigans’ interests must lie elsewhere.

    Even the way they try to be Western is touchingly childish. We stopped at a rather chi-chi restaurant for a late-night snack. All we wanted was their celebrated tuna tartare and a glass of wine.

    The celebrated tuna tartare turned out to be mostly avocado, while my request for two glasses of the house white raised the curtain for a major production. The wine waitress delivered a long soliloquy, talking about plonks in the terms normally reserved for women: “Lovely legs… full body… beautiful nose…”

    I wanted to say, “For God’s sake, we aren’t ordering Meursault here. Just give us two glasses of plonk, will you?” Instead I said, “Pinot grigio is fine. And no, I don’t want to taste it first.”

    The last time I visited Riga was in 1973. The place was then as unmistakeably Soviet as anywhere in Russia – and in many ways it still is. I don’t think it has much in common with Western Europe; in fact, Riga comes across as a little girl trying to walk in her mother’s shoes and looking silly for it – or, more menacingly, as a little boy trying to drive.

    But then who says the EU has anything to do with Europe? Like any other socialist Leviathan it just wants to swallow as many countries as possible. Latvia fills the bill perfectly. So would Mongolia for that matter.”

  95. John Birch,
    Keep sticking it to the bastards john, and keep in mind the old saw, non illigitimus carborundum ,As ever, the old ones are the best ones.

  96. As a footnote to the royal wedding: The argument for Brexit.

  97. Noa, May 22nd, 2018 – 13:06

    Thanks for taking the t&t pasting Hookem’s article up.
    It seems the idiocracy in the HoC and the civil service are well fed and prospering.

    Cue: Samuel Taylor Coleride, ““If men could learn from history…” etc.

  98. John birch, May 23rd, 2018 – 17:07

    Re: Twitter ban:
    Is their new “policy” retrospective? Haven’t been on there in months so I just logged on to see if I had been banned in absentia. I’m still hanging on in there, so obviously my previous efforts didn’t cut the mustard. It’s a worthless forum anyway so long as the lunatics are in charge.

  99. Baron,

    Good news: Technically , it might hit 17C in East Anglia today.
    Bad news: There’s a bit of a north easterly going on to bring it, and you, down a bit.

    Re: lack of bird song. Not surprised if there are two sparrowhawks in the vicinity!


    Aye, it’s owa warm, lad.
    Whippet racing should only be allowed when there’s an “r” in the month.

  100. Marshal Roberts, May 23rd, 2018 – 19:08

    “On a more upbeat note it was good to see the Skripal daughter looking so well and relaxed. Pity she did not have a go at the perpetrator.”

    Legal note: It’s an offence to assault or otherwise hinder an officer of the crown in the execution…
    of his/her duty.

  101. The ase-covering sarc is comic-clever, too.

  102. A brilliant exposé — nay – masterpiece of analysis of cause and effect in the Great Game that is now attempting to de-rail the Trump Train:

    Riveting stuff that chronicles the whole Deep State conspiracy in a readable, witty and concise essay. Deserves a Pulitzer Prize. Watergate – schwatergate!

    What about them apples Baron??

    Btw Steve Bannon wiped the floor with Emily Maitlis on Newsnight last night. Google it – another TV hack in the thrall of the funnies with their script on her clipboard. He destroyed their game plan.
    All in context, btw,I do not digress OTO.

  103. CNN Raided By FCC For Deceiving American Public

  104. Frank P May 24th, 2018 – 10:14

    Found it!
    It was there all the time of course, the sly, leftie dig…

    “…after which Harry will dump Meghan and marry someone very right-wing, with strange blonde hair and a penchant for injudicious tweets. ‘Do you, Ginger Harry, take this woman, Katie Hopkins, to be your lawful wedded wife?’ etc. That will be the anti-Obama moment, then…”

  105. Frank P – 13:59


    Very many thanks for the heads up on the Emily Nomates – Bannon interview.
    That’s twice she’s been shafted by ‘The Mooch’ and once by Bannon.

    Anybody who missed the 25min car crash can see it here:

    In a way it was a more important crash than Cathy Newman vs Jordan Peterson or MadGyn Kelly vs Vlad the Impaler because Bannon skewered the BBC too.

    Saving Steyn for later.

  106. Re: Maitlis vs Bannon

    Here for the delectation of CHWallsters are two screen shots from the closing moments of the bruising encounter that quite graphically illustrate up how it all went!

    Steve’s GOTCHA! moment

  107. EC May 24th, 2018 – 16:25

    Hee hee! Thanks for those stills EC, those respective looks remind me of when I’ve been out with the boys and returned past curfew time.

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