Friday, 19 October 2007

"Tough sentence... will act as a deterrent" says DCI

"What is the tough sentence?" you may ask. Chopping off shoplifters' hands or rapists' goolies? In a local newspaper (the Greenock Telegraph, since you ask) from about 100 years ago, I once read a story about a couple of young boys who were flogged for stealing a pocket watch. That was a tough sentence.

Nowadays, a tough sentence is this - two measly years detention for the vermin who killed an old man by throwing stones at him. When they are released in no time at all, they will come out of their detention centre as tougher, meaner criminals who know that in Britain of 2007 people like them really can get away with murder (OK, I know it was technically 'manslaughter'; but I do not have a brilliant legal mind like yours: I am just the sort of punter who pays your wages.)

Of course, the little darlings are protected by anonymity - their names cannot be revealed because of their 'rights'. Now let's think this through. When the scum are released, the youngest will still only be 14. That means at least two more years of compulsory education; two years in which other children will have to be educated alongside a killer; two years in which those children will not have the right to know they have a killer in their midst; two years in which teachers will not have the right to know that the truculent child in front of them is not just making idle threats: they have a track record in killing an adult who got in their way. What about their rights? They don't have any, do they? Silly question.

It doesn't always involve killers, but the above scenario happens at schools up and down the country. Sex offenders and other criminals are mollycoddled and innocent children and their teachers are put in danger because the law and the pinko liberals do not recognise that some children are just evil and that the rest of us need to be protected from them.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

M8 - Major car park

I travelled from Glasgow to Edinburgh (round trip) today. OK, I was travelling at rush hour both times. OK, I would usually take the train but I didn't get my fat arse out of bed on time. But...

For much of the journey, the motorway was like one huge car park. Hundreds of cars stopped or crawling along at a snail's pace. The road urgently needs an extra lane in each direction. But...

Doesn't that just increase congestion in the long run, because the volume of traffic will expand along with the road's capacity to handle it? And there is the environmental impact, which I am not happy about.

Edinburgh itself, of course, urgently needs the park-and-ride facilities which other cities have. It has a ring road of sorts, although this needs upgrading, and we desperately need the sort of integrated transport network that politicians have spoken about for years without actually solving.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Immigration

Not an easy issue. One of those where it is easy to be branded as a racist, which along with paedophile, is the modern equivalent of being called a witch in the 17th Century.

Various statistics are banded around. £6 billion contributed to the economy by immigrants: £8.8 billion taken out of the economy. The truth is, that no one really seems to know whether immigration is definitively a good or a bad thing. What is bad is that the most densely populated country in Europe is gaining about 200,000 extra people each year, with the Government having abrogated all responsibility for monitoring the borders or managing immigration.

Is it good or bad that six immigrants share a room; go out each day and work long hours to earn enough to send home to their families; price indigenous workers out of a job and meanwhile 5 million of our fellow citizens are being supported on benefits?

Like the curate's egg, it is good in parts and bad in parts.

Good that we are gaining hard working people; good that they contribute to the economy; bad that it leads to public services being overwhelmed by people who cannot speak a word of English; bad that people who could fill these jobs are sitting on their arses (through choice or compulsion); bad that the net immigration masks huge numbers of emigrants, many of whom take large amounts of wealth out of the country as they head for sunnier climes.

And I wouldn't want to stop my Latvians being able to earn a crust.

Still, if it means Tory voters heading to live in France and Labour voters being kept in lucrative public service jobs to manage the hoardes of immigrants, guess what the Government is going to do about it? And who is going to pay for the whole shibang?

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

BLINKing nonsense

The taxpayer-funded BLINK organisation reports that a Conservative councillor in Croydon has said that he will not support BoJo's candidacy for Mayor of London because of alleged 'racist remarks'.

Unfortunately, BLINK does not appear to have given us any examples of Johnson's alleged racism in its article. Having read many of Johnson's writings, I find it impossible to believe that he has a racist cell in his entire being.

Perhaps a clue lies in the final paragraph: Cllr Taylor... caused a stir earlier this year after losing his job as cabinet member for community cohesion. He described the fact there were no black or ethnic minority cabinet members on the council as "despicable".

So... man loses job... man causes a stir... man throws the proverbial rattle out of the proverbial pram... man finds easy way of getting some attention. Or am I being too cynical?

Monday, 15 October 2007

Al Gore

I am delighted that Al Gore has won the Nobel Prize for Peace. Whatever else we believe on any other issue, we have to protect the planet that we live on. When a magnificent animal like the polar bear is threatened with extinction, we have to act and act fast.

As a Christian, I have a certain ambivalence, however. Yes, we must do what we can. Equally, this world is not meant to last for ever. Read Mark 13:7-8: it is bloody frightening. Wars, famines, earthquakes and that is only the beginning, boyo. God has a plan and we must have faith that he knows best.

I once heard Rev Ewan Aitken, leader of Edinburgh City Council, say something which I reckon is good advice: Pray as though only God can solve the problem, and work as though only you can solve it.

End of the Ming dynasty

So. Farewell then, Ming. It is actually quite sad. Whatever role he played in the slaying of Charles Kennedy, Ming seems to be a genuinely decent guy who, like Michael Foot, will be remembered as a bumbling old fool who was his party's worst leader rather than for the distinguished career in several fields which preceded it. It is probably unkind to suggest that he was only elected leader following the debacle of the leadership contest because he was too old to get up to sexual shenanigans like this or this: he was (wrongly) seen as a safe pair of hands.

So whither now? Chris Huhne is much spoken of, but with a tiny majority in Eastleigh the last thing the Lib Dems want is a leader who could lose his seat. Nick Clegg and Steve Webb both have safe seats and appear to have considerable support in their party. Politics just gets more and more interesting, doesn't it?

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Brown is finished - good riddance

It is obvious, as confirmed by this poll in the Sunday Torygraph, that Broon is a political cadaver just waiting to be buried. Good riddance to him. He had it all - if he had had the courage to call an election, he would have won. Broon reminds me of one of my favourite political proverbs, that politicians are like bananas. They start off green and straight, but finish up yellow and bent.

Let's give Neil Kinnock credit, too. The Tories were heading for defeat in 1992, before he held his infamous Sheffield Rally to hand them victory on a plate. What is his view of Broon's vision for Britain? Schools, hospitals, jobs, economy, environment? Not a bit of it. He wants to grind the bastards into dust. One foul mouthed rant, and a reason not to vote Labour is firmly implanted in voters' minds. Lots of politicians appear not to be terribly bright, but Kinnock is the only one who has struck me as actually being thick.

Broon's bluff has been called, well and truly. He has no vision for Britain. He was the future, once. Like John Major in late 1992, the only issue for him is how long to grip what little power he has until he is forced to go. A lame duck PM - not exactly what the country needs, but if it is what we must endure to get rid of this shower, then so be it.