Friday, October 31, 2014

November 4th

If you are reading this then you are probably one of those people that care to know what is going on in your world.  That's not to say that this blog is the fount of all knowledge, just that it seeks to provide a view which can add to and inform your overall opinion.

So, you care!

Well come Tuesday November 4, caring isn't enough.  You need to get out and vote on Tuesday and to vote the Republican ticket, all the way.  I have posted here just how important these elections are.  At the risk of repeating myself all Republicans need your vote.  Even if they are RINOs, you need to get out and vote Republican.  Even if they are a 'shoo in' you need to get out and vote Republican.  You need to contribute to sending the strongest possible message to Obama and the Democrats that 'enough is enough!'  The votes for Republicans need to be an expression of America's anger with the damage that Obama has wrought on America.  You have no voice in the media, save for Fox News, so get out and vote and get your family to do so, as well.

Patriot Americans need to take back America.  You can't sit on your hands and say, we will take America back in 2016.  Think of what two more years of damage can be done to your great country, in those 24 months.  Think of the allies that will lose patience with a weak USA and seek new partnerships with other countries.  Think of the people that will die because of the failings of Obamacare or the open door policy to illegal immigration and to Ebola-infected countries.  Do you really want your kids or grandkids to suffer two more years of Common Core?  Do you really want more Americans to die, as they did at Benghazi or as a result of Fast and Furious or more Marines to be incarcerated in Mexican jails because America has a President who is more concerned with his back-swing or follow-through or fund-raising rather than with looking out for the interests of America?  Do you really want your priest's or your pastor's sermons to be investigated because they conflict with a politician's ideas on sexual mores?

At the end of the day, it comes down to this.  If you care for America, then vote Republican on Tuesday.  That is the day that 'We the people' say 'enough is enough!'

Please re-tweet this to all right-thinking people.

Sturgeon's idea of democracy

Just in case you have been visiting the International Space Station or trekking through the Amazon or your name is Nicola Sturgeon, I wanted to let you know the outcome of the referendum on Scottish Independence.  The answer was 55.3% of the votes cast said no to independence.  This on a respectable turnout of 84.6%.

If you were on the ISS or seeking new species in the Amazon you could be forgiven for not knowing the result but Nicola Sturgeon is the Deputy Leader of the Scottish Nationalist Party and, following the referendum result and the resignation of Alex Salmond, she is soon to become the leader of the SNP and the First Minister of Scotland.  So clearly she does know the result!

Maybe it is the inappropriate climate in Scotland that causes the SNP vines to yield such sour grapes?  I ask because the latest proposal from Nicola Sturgeon is that in any referendum on the UK's continued membership of the European Union, then the result must not only be a majority over the whole of the UK, but also a majority in each of the constituent nations of the UK.  So if the UK as a whole votes to leave the UK but in Scotland there is a majority to stay in the EU, then the UK would have to stay in the EU!

This is a crazy notion of democracy.  I remind you that Scotland voted to remain part of the UK.  The UK is considered by international bodies as a unitary authority.  When treaties are signed, they are signed on behalf of the United Kingdom, not the constituent member countries but the United Kingdom.  The UK is a member of the United Nations and indeed the EU not the individual constituent nations.

This is fatuous nonsense from Sturgeon and the SNP.

When the SNP were pushing the independence agenda, seeking to divorce Scotland from the rest of the UK, they didn't for one minute consider the thoughts or opinions of the rest of the UK.  Scotland was to have this divorce and Scotland would decide how the fruits of the union would be shared out and the rest of the UK would just have to lump it.  There's a part of me that believes that many people in Scotland saw that such a one-sided approach to a divorce was unrealistic and unfair.  Think of any divorced couple that you know - do you you know of any where one party had to stay silent and accept everything that the other party wanted?  

Think further on Sturgeon's ideas of democracy.  Northern Ireland has an electorate of just over 1.4 million.  In Sturgeons World, if just over half of those voters  - say 706,000 vote no to leaving the EU  in a referendum then this would dictate the outcome for the whole of the UK.  These 706,000 voters would trump whatever the other 45 million voted for!  Of course, it could require even less than these 706,000 votes, since that is based on a 100% turnout in Northern Ireland!

This is blatantly absurd.  Sturgeon knows this but wants to bait the Westminster parliament and is trying to gain independence by the back door.  I guess the rationale at the SNP policy asylum runs something like this.  We will insist, on behalf of the people of Scotland, that any referendum on EU membership must have not only a UK majority but one in the same way in each of the constituent countries.  That way, if England's 38-39 million voters, vote no but just 706,000  people in Northern Ireland vote yes, then it doesn't matter what majority is found in the England part of the UK, the result will be determined by those Northern Ireland Yes votes!  This will really annoy the English and will strengthen UKIP and will lead to calls from the English for them to have independence from the rest of the UK and so, Scotland will be given independence even though it has said (against our strong advice) that it doesn't want it!  Magic!!

Sturgeon and the SNP know that foreign affairs is not a matter that is devolved to the Scottish parliament.  These powers are reserved to the national parliament at Westminster, where members of parliament, elected from across the UK represent the people of the UK.  Sturgeon and the rest of the Scottish parliament should stick to trying to manage Scottish affairs.

Loosely related to this subject, I was reading comments on the BBC about Sturgeon's outlandish proposals (seemed to be the majority viewpoint, there, as well).  Commentators kept referring to someone called Lego man and it took me a couple of minutes to get the visual and the connection - see how long it takes you!




Saturday, October 25, 2014

That £1.7Bn extra contribution

First I should declare an interest.  I know that this is a novel approach among political commentators but I must.

I believe that Britain would be better off out of the European Union.

That said, all of the talk about the so called extra money that Britain will have to contribute is pure political posturing.

All of the UK politicians know that the system by which the extra contribution is calculated is one to which they all agreed.  It is, if you like, a rule of the club.  It is the same rule that gave Britain a reduction in contributions back in 2008, when our economy was very poorly (that was during the last Labour government, in case you had forgotten!).

Is the system crazy?  Most people would say that any system, that in times like this demands extra funds from the UK, has to be flawed.  When you couple that with the same system also seeking further contributions from ailing Italy and a near-dead Greece, then you can see the point.  When that same system then takes some of that money and passes it to the EU economic powerhouse that is Germany, it would indeed seem like the lunatics have taken over the asylum.  Layer onto that the spectacle of France also getting a rebate, when they are very much the masters of their own economic malaise and you have the 'icing on the cake'!

However, as said earlier, this is the system to which all of these countries, signed-up.  So, despite the posturing - and that is exactly what it is - by David Cameron, the UK should pay.

The argument therefore shouldn't  be about the size and value of the contribution.  The discussion should be on what the bloated EU does with the funds it receives (other than rebate some member states).

The EU budget is too high and the EU bureaucracy is far too large and not fit for purpose.  That refers to the EU Commission, the European 'parliament' and all of the other EU organisations.  My earlier declared opposition to the EU stems from the fact that the 'club' has morphed into something for which many Britons did not vote.  The 1975 referendum was about the so called 'Common Market'  - the establishment of a free market where goods and services and yes, people, could move freely.  That's it.  No talk of EU working time directives, straight bananas and ceding of UK fishing grounds.  No fat bureaucracy seeking to supplant sovereign governments.  No aim to bring in, as member states, many new countries with little or no history of democracy and large numbers of low paid workers.  No acceptance that year after year the 'club's' accounts would fail to be approved by auditors.

So David Cameron and the so far silent, Ed Miliband and the over-noisy Nigel Farage, should be focusing not on Britain 'welshing' on an agreed rule of membership but on getting the people of the UK a referendum on membership of the EU 'club' and on getting the EU budget under control.

These are the key issues around the EU.  Britain's continued membership and, if it is decided to remain a member,  how to remove the democratic deficit at the heart of the club and to make it work for the people of Europe.

In all of this, we know where David Cameron and the Conservatives Party stand - kind of!  We know that they are in favour of an In/Out referendum - but not until 2017 - and we know that they favour reform of the EU budget and of finding ways to stem the flood of economic immigrants that continue to come to Britain.

We also know that UKIP wants a very early referendum.  They are not talking about next week but one coinciding with the May 2015 General Election wouldn't go amiss.  They too want to tear-up the rule book as regards the free movement of people - otherwise known as immigration! - but they want to do this from outside the EU.

The Lib Dems?  Well the EU has always afforded them a stage on which they are magnified, where their closet socialist ideas can be cloaked in 'communitaire' terms and made to seem less extreme.

The question though, is where do the Labour Party stand?  They haven't said yes or no, to a referendum, that is.  Their spokesman yesterday, simply refused to say whether or not Labour would pay the  extra contribution but really that is a sideshow.  To me it is clear that Labour would never now offer a referendum on EU membership.  They won't say so and they hedge their bets but to come out and say that they will deny the British people a say on the  matter would cost them dearly, in terms of lost votes.

The large-scale immigration that Britain has seen, attacks the Labour heartlands and core vote.  If these people can be bothered to vote  see here , then they would compound their desertion of  Labour by actively transferring their votes to UKIP which more overtly addresses the issue that they see as important.

So don't expect Labour to come out in favour of a referendum.  Any party that can get the UK into such an awful economic state, leave a note to the incoming Chancellor saying ' there's no money left' and then, just a couple of years later claim to have any shred of economic competence is such a stranger to honesty and the truth that one can only conclude these words have been removed from their Labour versions of the dictionary!

Just as Labour is dishonest on the economy - they know that the only way their economic pledges can be paid for is to raise general taxation - general as in hitting most of the working population and not just the so called millionaires - so they display rank dishonesty on the subject of the EU.  I would have more respect for Labour if they came out and said ' We support the EU because it reflects our long-held core belief that appointed elites are much better at managing things like countries and communities, than the people themselves.  We believe that nationhood, however long established, has no place in the modern world.  We believe that democracy has run its course and now is the time for educated technocrats to steer the countries of the EU, through these troubled times'  Of course though, they won't!

So to David Cameron and George Osborne, my message is clear.  Pay the money that we owe.  That is the British way - we don't cheat or walk away from our debts.  Turn it though into a positive by re-opening the debate about the EU budget.  Also expose Labour relentlessly, for their avoidance of a stated policy on Britain's continued membership of the EU.  Spike UKIP's guns by bringing forward the In/Out referendum or at least try to do so - this might even have the advantage of flushing out Labour!

My message to Nigel Farage is this.  You might see this as a God sent gift and a great aid to your Rochester and Strood by-election hopes but put aside party political thoughts, for a moment and consider the timing of this story.  Who benefits?  Most probably, UKIP.  Who loses?  Most probably the Conservatives.  However, in the bigger picture, the big winners are the EU bureaucracy and the Labour Party.  Have a care that you don't let a short term advantage blind you to the realities of EU politics.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Westminster's deficits

Dear reader, please don't be too worried and immediately look elsewhere - this posting won't feature too heavily on the monetary deficit or debt that is affecting the UK.

Rather this is about the other two deficits that are plaguing the UK.

When the so called 'expenses' scandal broke, many people expected the politicians that had their noses so deep into the public purse and were claiming expenses that, if not criminally wrong were at least ethically so, would be severely punished at the ballot box.  Some of them were but maybe not enough.  Some went to prison but again, not enough.

In two recent by-elections - Heywood and Clacton - much has been made of the the results.  In Heywood, Labour clung onto a supposedly safe seat with a much reduced majority of 617 votes, from a concerted challenge by UKIP.   The UKIP leaders crow that if just 20% of the Tory vote had come their way, instead of being 'split' (in their view) then they would have had a remarkable night.

These same UKIP leaders also shout about the victory of their candidate, Douglas Carswell, in Claction, where he actually increased the majority with which he previously won, when he did so as a Conservative candidate at the 2010 General Election.

Look a little closer though and these results seem less spectacular and actually quite worrying.

In Clacton, the winner, Douglas Carswell was a very active local MP for the Conservative party.  His wider activism around European issues, also assured him of media air-time as a prominent Euro-sceptic Tory.  His defection to UKIP was not a complete surprise and neither was his decision to stand down and force a by-election.  That decision speaks to an integrity that is all too lacking among so many of the Westminster elite.

It is a bit rich though for Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, to claim that the election of that party's first MP was about a tide of anti-establishment voting which was ready to sweep away the 'out of touch 'Westminster' parties.  The electoral turn-out in Claction was just over 51%.  So when you consider Farage's comments it seems that people were so disgusted with the Westminster elite that barely half of them could be bothered to vote.  The Clacton turn-out at the General Election was 64% so whatever the message was it can't be said to be a ringing endorsement of Farage's policies.

Again,at Heywood we see a much diminished turn-out - down from 57.5% at the General Election to 36.2% in the by election.  So barely one in three voters could be bothered to vote.  Some might say that this apathetic response is the voting equivalent of the old 'a pox on all your houses' epithet.  Labour talk about how the voters of Heywood voted against a 'viciously cruel and austerity driven Tory government' but don't mention the far from ringing mandate that their candidate gained.  UKIP talk about breaking the mould etc., but the reality is that they too couldn't engage with or mobilise the voters.

For the Tories, Heywood does support their contention that a vote for UKIP gets Ed Miliband into Downing Street and power.  The message from Clacton was always going to be hard for the Conservatives - Carswell was a very good and involved local MP and his integrity shone through.  It will be interesting to see how he works alongside Farage in the coming weeks and months.

Clearly Carswell has depth and his views on Europe and the uncontrolled immigration that the EU and the Labour Party unleashed on the UK, resonate with voters and are aligned with Farage.  However, can the same be said for the social and economic policies put forward by UKIP?  I may be wrong but I always thought that Carswell was 'sound' on the economy and understood the critical need for deficit and debt reduction and smaller government - that isn't entirely in accord with UKIP's policies.  Details on these policies are scant but suggest that UKIP follow a much more interventionist, some might say socialist, approach towards the economy - certainly if their 'spend whatever you like' pledge to the NHS is anything to go by.  

I come back though to the turn-out.  In both cases significantly below the General Election levels.

We all know that the European Project has a major democratic deficit.  In the UK, barely 34.7% of those eligible bothered to vote in the 2014 MEP elections.  The UK wasn't alone in recording such poor rates of participation.  As you can see in the below table, barely 13% in Slovakia bothered to vote!

Member States19791984198919941999200420092014
Belgium91.3692.0990.7390.6691.0590.8190.3990
Denmark47.8252.3846.1752.9250.4647.8959.5456.4
Germany65.7356.7662.2860.0245.194343.2747.9
Ireland63.6147.5668.2843.9850.2158.5858.6451.6
France60.7156.7248.852.7146.7642.7640.6343.5
Italy85.6582.4781.0773.669.7671.7265.0560
Luxembourg88.9188.7987.3988.5587.2791.3590.7690
Netherlands58.1250.8847.4835.6930.0239.2636.7537
United Kingdom32.3532.5736.3736.432438.5234.734.19
Greece80.5980.0373.1870.2563.2252.6158.2
Spain54.7159.1463.0545.1444.8745.90
Portugal51.135.5439.9338.636.7734.50
Sweden38.8437.8545.5348.8
Austria49.442.4345.9745.7
Finland30.1439.4338.640.9
Czech Republic28.328.219.5
Estonia26.8343.936.44
Cyprus72.559.443.97
Lithuania48.3820.9844.91
Latvia41.3453.730.04
Hungary38.536.3128.92
Malta82.3978.7974.81
Poland20.8724.5322.7
Slovenia28.3528.3720.96
Slovakia16.9719.6413
Bulgaria38.9935.50
Romania27.6732.16
Croatia       25.06
Average EU turnout61.9958.9858.4156.6749.5145.474343.09


Now though we see  that just prior to a General Election, voter apathy for the UK parliament remains. The political parties are said to be out of touch - and that includes UKIP!  The same source of the previous table (http://www.ukpolitical.info) also provides the below table on turn-out in UK General Elections, since 1945  We all need to hope that the increases seen in 2010 are built upon and we get back to the turn-out levels seen in the late 1970s through to the 1990s.

YearUKEnglandWalesScotlandN.Ireland
201065.165.564.763.857.6
200561.461.362.660.862.9
200159.459.261.658.268
199771.471.473.571.367.1
199277.77879.775.569.8
198775.375.478.975.167
198372.772.576.172.772.9
19797675.979.476.867.7
1974 Oct72.872.676.674.867.7
1974 Feb78.879807969.9
19707271.477.474.176.6
196675.875.9797666.1
196477.17780.177.671.7
195978.778.982.678.165.9
195576.876.979.675.174.1
195182.682.784.481.279.9
195083.984.484.880.977.4
194572.873.475.76967.4

Perhaps there is a message for David Cameron in the above table?  Maybe it is, that when Margaret Thatcher pursued unpopular but many believe absolutely necessary policies, she brought many voters out to vote.  Indeed, they voted for her and her successor, John Major, in significant numbers and brought large parliamentary success for the Conservatives.  Yes they also voted against her and her policies but the majority voted for the Conservative party.

Strange that!  Give people the hard choice or the soft irresponsible one that Labour pushed and the people chose the tough one on four separate occasions and in large numbers.  Who would have thought it?

While Cameron and his pollsters are thinking about the upcoming General Election, they should also maybe think about these things.

People, other than self-interested public sector union members, haven't taken to the streets in protest about austerity.  I believe that this demonstrates that 'the people' understand the need to rein in public spending.  The need for a welfare cap seems to now be universally accepted.  People can see that those in the public sector have had it too easy and have been cossetted from the realities of life  that 'they' have had to face - redundancy, under-performing and uncertain pensions, real wage cuts and belt-tightening - at home and at work.

'The people' will vote for a party that addresses the first deficit - that of integrity.  A party that does what is right for the UK.  The Conservatives deserve credit for having the courage to push forward with reforms but they have been too timid.  I accept that much of that lack of backbone was because of the compromises that were forced upon them by their coalition partners - the fast-fading Liberal Democrats - but when they come before the electorate again, they must stress their economic competence and emphasize the incompetence and economic mal-administration of the Labour Party.  The electorate know who got us into this mess!

'The people' will also vote for a party that addresses the second deficit - that of democracy.  Again, a party that does what is right for the UK.  One that allows the people of the UK a say on the UK's continued participation in the European Union and one that addresses the democracy needs within the UK.  The so-called 'West Lothian' question has never gone away but the recent Scottish Referendum has brought a much greater focus onto this and to the democratic deficit that is suffered by the English.  I don't advocate an 'English parliament' but English MPs for 'English' votes seems entirely reasonable.

Cameron and Co. need to openly push the message about how they can and will address these two deficits and in the process the other deficit and debt reduction and they now need to do so, unfettered by their Coalition partners.  So it is time to ditch the Lib Dems.  It shan't be too difficult to find an excuse and it allows for a decent period of time - for both parties - to put some clear water between themselves and allow their policy differences to be evident.

I will come back later on what those Conservative policies, should look like.



Friday, October 17, 2014

The duty for Americans

I was dining out with friends, last night and one asked me 'what will you blog about, this week?'  My response was that I wasn't too sure because there is a lot going on in the world, right now - stalling or flat-lining economies, ISIS running rampant, allied to this NATO in jeopardy because of Turkey's acts of realpolitik vis a vis the Kurds, Ebola and the rise of UKIP in the UK - all strong contenders but I am opting to return to the upcoming mid term elections in America.

On November 4, the American electorate will go to the polls to elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 members of the Senate.  There are also certain mayoral and gubernatorial races at the same time.

Back in January, I posted here  about the need for Republicans to come together and elect Republicans to office.  To say that this still stands is an understatement.  Possibly more than ever before, America, and I would suggest the world, need  an overwhelmingly Republican Congress to be elected.

Why so?  Well in the last six years America has lost its way.   Or rather America has drifted from the path that made it the 'shining city upon a hill' and has lurched heavily to the Left.  It isn't just about broken promises - though there are enough of them.  It isn't about the corrupt activities of un-elected officials - as concerning as these are, they can be turned around (incidentally, have the Democrats and their union backers ever stopped for one minute and thought 'what happens when the Republicans get back into power and turn the IRS spotlight on us?.  Come to that, have the Democrats and their union backers ever stopped for one minute and thought?)

It is about what America has become.

America under Obama has lost its pre-eminence among nations.  Previously nations would rattle the American cage but would know that the wrath of a great nation would be visited upon them.  Now?

Consider.  Hillary Clinton spoke of pressing the 'reset' button on America's relationship with Vladimir Putin's Russia.  Given what happened in Crimea and continues to occur in the rest of Ukraine, that 'reset' doesn't seem to be working out too well, for those folks!

Consider.  President Obama spoke of approaching Iran with the open hand of friendship rather than the closed fist of aggression.  Does anyone believe that the situation with Iran is anything other than that they are 6 years closer towards the gaining of a nuclear weapons capability?

Consider.  President Obama also talked of a relationship re-alignment - his so called 'pivot to Asia'.   The thrust was to re-position America's foreign policy to be more centred on Asia and less on Europe.  We can see how that has panned-out in Ukraine but look to Asia also.  China is flexing its military muscles and bullying its neighbors  over island territories in the South China Sea  and the US does nothing about it.

Consider.  Obama withdrew troops from Iraq on an accelerated scale and against the advice of military commanders on the ground.  The result is the horrors being visited upon the people of Syria and Iraq by ISIS.

Consider.  Obama and Kerry (and Clinton before Kerry) support the terrorist Hamas organisation over the democratically elected (the only real democracy in the Middle East) government of Israel. Support Hamas who believe it is acceptable to rain down rockets on civilians and then to complain to the liberal world when Israel defends itself.

Consider also (last one, I promise) that Obama and his cohorts conspired to open the southern border of the USA and allow in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.  Don't concern yourself with how many of those are terrorists or hardened criminals but just think about this.  How can America call itself a country when it can't even protect its borders?  Mind you, what kind of a 'country' is it that allows its veterans to be treated so shabbily?

I could go on and on.  The simple truth is that America no longer counts for much, in the eyes of much of the world.  Its military is being reduced in numbers and global presence and dissident voices at the top, removed.  Its economy is a basket case with a wildly over-spending government, reliant on the Chinese continuing to buy its debauched currency and Treasury bills.  Its healthcare system in ruins because of  socialist dogma and its welfare system groaning under the weight of so many claimants (it is said that something like 50 million Americans are now receiving food stamps - 50 Million!!)

Today, a decorated US Marine languishes in a Mexican jail.  He took a wrong turn on a border road and found himself in Mexico.  He told this to the Mexican authorities who promptly arrested and incarcerated him.  That was more than 6 months ago.  Close your eyes and think back to the Bush years or the Reagan ones, heavens, maybe even to the Carter days.  Do you seriously believe that any one of those former Presidents would have left Sergeant Andrew Tahmooresi to rot in a Mexican jail for so long, on the basis of a navigation error?  OK, open your eyes.  Truth is that you are in Obamalala land and that country no longer has the 'stroke' to threaten or cajole Mexico.

Is it because the Obama administration allows deserters like Bowe Bergdahl to be swapped for 5 senior Taliban terrorist leaders?  Is it because the same administration allows the traitorous Bradley Manning to undergo a sex-change operation, while serving time for his/her crimes?   Draw your own conclusions.  You can bet though that nations of the world, including the (maybe soon to be former?) allies of the USA know which way the wind is currently blowing.  As do the terrorists.

So back to the main item, today.  The mid terms.

What is needed in November is the election of significant numbers of Republicans by a very large number of voters.  Getting lots of Republicans elected is not enough in itself.  These Republicans need to be elected by very significant numbers of voters.  This is so that a very clear message is sent to Obama that the game has changed.  That 'we the people' as Americans like to say, have had enough.  Also to send a message to the outgoing Democrats - don't you dare try to pass an Amnesty Bill during the time remaining until the new Congress starts in January 2015.  Same for you, Mr President, don't you dare try to pass Executive Orders to circumvent Congress.

Finally, a word for those Republicans  in name only - the so called RINOs.  When you get elected on a tide of anger at the antics of the Democrats and at how they have so swiftly brought a great nation to its knees, consider (sorry, had to do it again) that you now have a chance to be a true Republican and to stand-up for real Republican values.  Think of these elections as like going into the confessional and coming out on November 5th as a redeemed soul.  If you don't, then the tide of true Republicanism might just sweep you away, real soon.

Oh and yes I am a Brit and some might say I shouldn't 'interfere' in American politics.  The real America (not Obama's failing fantasy land) is far too important to the world to be allowed to go under without a fight and it is time for all patriots that believe that the American way is best, to stand-up and be counted.

Get all of the Republican vote out, on November 4th !


Friday, October 10, 2014

Ebola problem - Political Correctness

A question for you.   Are the peoples of Europe and the USA, indeed much of the world, to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness?

I ask because it seems to me that the only reason that Liberia and Sierra Leone have not been isolated - no international flights to or from these countries -  is because it might somehow be seen to be racist.

Consider.  What happens with patients that are diagnosed with Ebola virus?  They are held in isolation and treated with appropriate caution for such a contagious disease.  If diagnosed they are not allowed to wander freely, infecting others.  Why would a country be treated differently from its people?  Let's be open and honest about this - both Liberia and Sierra Leone have a clear problem in containing this disease - their people are distrustful of government and being told to stay home, if you are sick does nothing to put bread on the table so people won't 'do as they are told'!

The idea of monitoring people on arrival at airports is  useless fatuous nonsense and will provide useful but ultimately useless photo-ops at airports, for TV networks.

Think about it.  You arrive at London Heathrow, Paris CDG, Chicago O'Hare or Dubai. Your plane lands 10 minutes after a flight from Freetown, Sierra Leone.  This plane is carrying someone who has unknowingly contracted Ebola virus.  This someone, let's be sexist and say it's a him, had a cold already and has been coughing during the flight and continues upon arrival and some of these coughs contain minor but nevertheless infected, moisture droplets and some of these are ingested by the people off of your flight, including yourself.  This someone then takes a connecting flight and so he doesn't pass through check 'systems' in your destination country.  You and your fellow passengers  do pass through these checks and are allowed in because, while infected, you are not yet showing the so called signs that the authorities can check for.

That is the scenario at so called 'hub' airports and while the risk is greater there it is the same at any port of entry.

At this point, I ask American residents to consider what has happened at their southern border.  This has been allowed to be a border in name only by the Obama administration for many months - how many of those that have been allowed to illegally enter the USA, have infectious diseases?

So, the clear answer - but that doesn't mean it will be followed - is to isolate those countries with a high incidence of Ebola.  No international flights into or out of Sierra Leone or Liberia.  The US Navy and Royal Navy, the Australian, Chinese and French Navy to impose a quarantine on the seas, to keep these countries isolated.  Of course measures would need to be taken to ensure that the necessary deliveries of food and medicines and other essentials of life, are provided to the people of these countries but that should be handled by appropriately attired military or voluntary personnel.

Such a quarantine to remain in place until these countries are 'clean' for a period of 2-3 times the incubation period of the disease, so 2 months or so.

Ebola has the potential to be a modern day Black Death or Great Plague but instead of being spread by infected rats, as these great epidemics were, this will be spread by political correctness.  A 20th century disease that doesn't take the necessary steps because to do so just might offend someone.  Well I have news for the politicians and media - I am offended that my loved ones and fellow humans will be put at risk because of political correctness.  I am offended that people will die, needlessly, because politicians lack the courage to act in the best interests of the people that elect them.

This isn't about Left or Right, Labour or Conservative, Republican or Democrat - this is potentially about survival.  This is Walking Dead for real, territory!

One final point, why on earth are we bringing infected people back to their home countries for treatment?  Why arrange flights to the US or London or Madrid and bring the risk, however small, to your home country?  In what warped mind can this risk to the majority of the citizens ever be considered acceptable?  I absolutely know and understand that these people have families and it would be awful to just 'abandon' people but that is what must be done - treat them in situ.  I know that is harsh but consider this.  How hard is it for the families of hostages to hear a spokesperson from their government say 'we don't negotiate with terrorists' knowing that this is effectively a death sentence for the hostage?

Hard times and issues require what might now seem to be harsh solutions but those that survive will bless those in power that allowed them to do so!

Monday, September 15, 2014

After the vote.

We are a couple of days away from the result of the referendum on Scottish Independence.   The opinion polls suggest a close result likely to favour the No campaign.

In recent weeks there has been talk of David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, being called upon to resign if Scotland votes yes.  The people that make these calls offer no logical reason for why he should do that, other than he has ‘lost’ Scotland.  That is complete poppycock!  As a Unionist, and Englishman, I fully understand the limited participation of Cameron  in the debate.  When he has spoken it is with an obvious and deep-seated passion for our United Kingdom.  Let’s be clear though, the Conservatives are not well liked in Scotland.  Indeed, in some parts they are loathed.  A Scottish friend, who sits in the No camp, said that the less Cameron speaks on the referendum, the better, as his Etonian pronunciation just pushes the ‘don’t knows’ into the Yes camp.  I see his point and it is a sad reflection of the current debate that he may be right.  There’s a part of me though that thinks that as the campaign draws to a close, some people of Scotland are seeing (hearing?) past the voice and listening to the message.  This is a message of our shared history  and a strong desire to have the United Kingdom  continue to lead the world in so many fields.

I think though, that whatever the outcome, Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and Nicola Sturgeon his deputy, must stand down on Friday morning.  They have led a very divisive campaign.  Oftentimes, they have either wittingly or unwittingly unleashed the thuggish element which inhabits the nationalist fringes (North and South of the border) . 

They have  given a glimpse of what life would be like in  Scottish Nationalist Scotland – Independent or not.  A State controlled media, for example.  One that pushes-out the party line according to wee Eck.  Salmond became furious with Nick Robinson, of the BBC, because Robinson has dared to question some of the more outrageous statements made by Salmond and Co.   Bad boy  Nick – go sit on the naughty step!      It was perhaps telling that Salmond’s outburst against the BBC came just after his independence campaign was solidly endorsed by North Korea’s Supreme Leader – a fully paid-up member of the ‘It’s my country to do with as I want and don’t dare question me’ club.   In Pyongyang one can’t say that the emperor has no clothes but is still possible, just, in Edinburgh. 

Salmond and Sturgeon have taken Scotland down a very divisive road and pitted neighbor against neighbor.  Does anyone believe these two have the ability to bring the country together, from Friday?  These are little people with little minds.  I’ll admit Salmond has a way with words but throughout this campaign they have not managed to craft an answer to the fundamental questions that have been posed.  Ask a question Salmond or Sturgeon don’t like  and back they come with a non-answer or an accusation that ‘you are in the pay of the distant Westminster elite’.  Ask about the Scottish NHS and the accusations that it would not be safe with a No vote and you get all the rubbish about privatization and nothing about the fact that Health is a devolved responsibility and so currently and will continue to sit with Holyrood and not London!  Oh, and by the way, the NHS was established, ever before devolution by those ‘Westminster elite types!’


So come Friday whatever the outcome,  Salmond and Sturgeon could do one last decent act for Scotland, by tendering their own resignations.   They have said nothing, in their years in power, to indicate that they have the spirit to heal the divisions that their hubris has brought about.