More Thoughts

To continue the method of dividing comments into sections

Working from Home

The government claims that it is attempting to put an end to the situation where a large number of its employees are insisting on working from home, a matter which has resulted in the level of service being provided to the public being severely adversely affected.

That this should present a problem is yet another illustration of the weakness of the current administration, as the answer is obvious, and lies completely within its power to solve. All those on the government payroll should be instructed to return to work within a week, or be dismissed, unless they have a genuine health reason for not be able to do so. I know that that would have been my fate, had I arrogantly refused to attend the office during my over forty two years of employment.

Those who claim that the absence of large numbers of workers is not undermining the organisations involved are talking rubbish, as anyone who attempts to obtain assistance from major government departments can attest. Even if one succeeds in contacting a real human being it is frequently the case that they cannot deal with the matter, as they do not have access to the necessary documents etc.

The same sanction is available to other public sector employers such as local authorities, while, although private companies are not controlled by the state, it is obvious that much stricter measures could be used by the government to ensure that companies with customer service departments which fail to meet reasonable levels of effectiveness would be subject to sanctions.

That there should be any difficulty in resolving this matter merely proves the uselessness of the current political elite.

The Symbol of Bureaucracy

As now happens with monotonous regularity the traditional music on Last Night of the Proms is attacked by the liberal left as being unacceptable because of its unashamedly loyal sentiments, while some of those attending reject the Union Jack in favour of the circle of twelve stars.

While pride in their own culture, and history, expressed by peoples from around the world is rightly praised, any similar manifestation of patriotic feeling in Britain is condemned by those who hate their own country, and always seek to deride its achievements, while transferring their emotional allegiance to some other nation, or supranational entity. George Orwell identified this in his comments about those of his own time when he said "In intention, at any rate, the English intelligentsia are Europeanised. They take their cookery from Paris and their opinions from Moscow. In the general patriotism of the country they form a sort of island of dissident thought". Then it was the uncritical support given to Stalin's merciless dictatorship in the Soviet Union, while today it is largely hero worship of the EU. As it is an emotional reaction they cannot be persuaded by rational debate, no matter how many facts point to the utter failures of the object of their love.

The elites in this country have a horror of being identified in anyway with the views of those they regard as the hoi polloi, and, as they know that the average person is quietly patriotic, they determine that they will take an adverse view. To quote Orwell again "In left-wing circles it is always felt that there is something slightly disgraceful in being an Englishman and that it is a duty to snigger at every English institution, from horse racing to suet puddings. It is a strange fact, but it is unquestionably true that almost any English intellectual would feel more ashamed of standing to attention during 'God save the King' than of stealing from a poor box".

Those waving the EU flag in the Royal Albert Hall, are in fact displaying its corporate logo as, despite denying it has any ambition to become a nation state, it is busy making itself into a United States of Europe with all the trappings of a nation, including a flag and parliament. However what is being waved is a corporate logo, and technically, anyone flying it from a building requires planning permission to do so, as it is not a national flag.  So all those, waving their blue flags, were waving corporate logos, and may as well be waving them with the McDonald's' fast food sign on them!

To use the modern parlance, I self identify as a member of the patriotic hoi polloi, and I am sure that the vast majority of Britons agree with me in giving their allegiance to our nation, as represented by the Union Jack, not bowing to the symbol of the Brussels bureaucratic dictatorship.

Activists

Many people believe that the activists associated with such causes as net zero emissions, and gender transition, are benevolent, seeking to improve the quality of life. However the truth is that they represent a real danger to freedom of speech, and democracy, and must be resisted, something none of the main political parties appear willing to do.

For centuries political thought in the West has been largely based upon the Enlightenment, the late seventeenth century philosophical, intellectual and cultural movement which, stressed reason, logic, criticism, and freedom of thought over dogma, blind faith, and superstition. It was in sharp contrast to the age of the Puritans, who, driven by religious belief, were totally dogmatic, humourless, judgemental, and fully prepared to persecute anyone who dared to question their beliefs.

Now we face vociferous groups which, while lacking religious motivations, are distorting society, particularly in the UK and USA, in a way that the witch finders of the mid seventeenth century would applaud. They admit of no possibility that they might be wrong, close down debate, and treat any opponents as heretics, to be punished by the loss of employment, reputation or worse. Aided by the cesspit of social media, which unjustly magnifies the extent to which their opinions are supported by ordinary citizens, they have succeeded in imposing their views on large swathes of the populace, using accusations of racism, homophobia, climate change denial etc., to silence those who question, inter alia, whether a country producing only one percent of global carbon emissions should sacrifice its way of life in pursuit of a dubious theory, dare to oppose the use of irreversible medical procedures on children probably only just going through the usual confusions arising from the process of growing up, or who choose not to indulge the Thought Police seeking to limit their right to free speech.

In many fields the malign influence of HR departments is oppressing employees, forcing them to conform to the prejudices of the politically correct, who like Torquemada, the Spanish Grand inquisitor of the 15th Century, or Matthew Hopkins, English Witchfinder General of the 17th, seek out and punish all those whom it believes are guilty of thoughtcrime, while schools are being obliged to teach climate alarmism as fact, when it is quite valid to hold a different view as to its truth. Cowardly public figures, particularly among the acting profession, attack those such as J K Rowling, who will not submit to the dictatorship of the current zeitgeist, instead choosing to defend the rights of women.

If we do not stand up to these authoritarians then we shall descend into a new dark age, where speech, and even thought, will be subject to policing by these acolytes of the modern religion of woke.

NHS Management

The latest horrific failures in the NHS brings into sharp focus something which many of us have been pointing out for years, that the main cause of its problems is bureaucracy draining the strength from the organisation like a giant succubus. These so called managers obfuscate all errors made on their watch, belong to a merry go round circle of overpaid parasites, and are granted unearned bonuses, while patients are treated as nuisances to be ignored. They are supported by that non profession HR, with its ridiculous jargon of synergies and lacunas, producing endless worthless policies, that do no more than waste time and resources, based on their mantra of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. No normal person regards themselves as superior to others by virtue of cosmetic differences, like skin colour, yet these woke fanatics cause division and conflict by implementing their own prejudices against normal, decent people.

Parkinson's law was first published in 1955, observing that public administration, bureaucracy and officialdom expands to fill its allotted time span, regardless of the amount of work to be done. This was attributed mainly to two factors: that officials want subordinates, not rivals, and that officials make work for each other. As he pointed out, and is even more true today, the Foreign Office had fewer officials when Britain ruled a quarter of humanity, than it does when the Empire has gone, while the Admiralty retains large numbers of bureaucrats at a time when the Royal Navy has shrunk from being by far the largest in the world to a pale shadow of its former self.

Extra funding for the NHS just vanishes into the bottomless pit of the bureaucracy, spent on even more rooms for pointless meetings, constantly growing numbers of officials who spend their time communicating with each other, and paying those at the top ridiculously large amounts, while failing to effectively manage anything. We now learn that in the Lucy Letby case managers threatened clinical staff concerned about her actions, and made them apologise to the murderess, rather than investigate properly, yet only rarely is anyone held accountable for such failures.

If the NHS is to be rescued then 95% of these managers should be sacked, HR should be totally abolished, and not incidentally just within the health service, and all policies, within and outside the NHS, based on the absurd woke ideology should be scrapped. Clinicians should be listened to, whistleblowers supported, not persecuted, and patients' complaints heeded. However, given the utter uselessness of the political elite, no doubt all that will happen is that yet more taxpayers money will be poured in, all to no avail.

Suella Braverman

It is increasingly obvious that the Conservative party made a serious mistake in electing Rishi Sunak as leader, as he is excellent at announcements, aspirations and intentions, but spectacularly useless at implementation. He promises policy changes, which are then either delayed to some unspecified time in the future, or cancelled altogether, apparently in the belief that the public are fooled by this into thinking that the government is actually addressing the myriad challenges which face the country.

It is doubly regrettable that, in electing this man, the party rejected a far more effective candidate in the form of Suella Braverman. She is principled, committed and courageous, not least in her determined efforts to overcome the ideologues infesting the Home Office, who stand in her way as she tries to end illegal immigration, and defeat those in the police force who put persecuting what they see as thoughtcrime above actual policing.

She would be a far more effective PM than most of those vying for the position, and is in the mould of Margaret Thatcher, unlike that other female leader Theresa May, a weak, ineffectual premier, whose short term in office nevertheless created a number of major problems which haunt us today.

Suella is hated by the Left, as they believe that they own the votes of anyone who is non white, and cannot understand how a member of an ethnic minority should be a Conservative. Indeed the Labour MP Dawn Butler, herself the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, said in an interview that "So you can't really have a white home secretary saying the sort of things that Suella's saying and get away with it that easily, I don't think. So it's very strategic of the government to place people with those kind of views and meaning in those positions.", thus implying that Suella owes her position to her race, not her ability.

When Sunak has led the Conservatives to a well earned defeat, and no doubt gone off to the Lords, the party will, as so often, ignore the best candidates in favour of a 'safe pair of hands', ignoring those of real talent such as the current Home Secretary.

Net Zero

The world appears to be gripped by the greatest delusion since the idiocy of the Dutch tulip mania of the 1630s, and the South Sea Bubble of the 1720s, the effects of which were at least confined to one country. The propaganda surrounding the called climate crisis is causing immense damage to the economies of many advanced nations, in particular our own, yet the ordinary citizens are kept in the dark about the dubious nature of what environmental extremists claim, and are facing enormous changes in their life styles in order to counter what is not the Armageddon scenario being predicted.

In fact there are many reputable scientists who characterise climate change as a problem that should be addressed, but calmly, and over a sensible time scale, not in the deranged manner advocated by the Greens, and who point out that there are beneficial results for the natural world, as well as adverse ones, such as a large increase in plant life. However, in the hysterical world of social media, and with the cowardly refusal of politicians to oppose those shouting "Fire", anyone who dares to offer an opinion contrary to that of the vociferous alarmists is cancelled, and treated as some sort of pariah.

There are undoubtedly major problems affecting the planet, such as the overuse of plastics, but these are being addressed, and there are many long term solutions to excessive use of fossil fuels which sensible people can accept, but which do not require them to live in unheated homes, or give up cars, and foreign holidays.

Unfortunately those who are now making a career from supposedly fighting climate change are not disposed to accept any real solutions, such as much greater use of nuclear power, or a massive exploitation of tidal power, but instead prefer to either enjoy research grants to produce even more apocalyptic predictions, or just think that they are being virtuous in obstructing normal life. Most of the latter are ignorant of real science, and enjoy shouting the odds, and presenting themselves as examples to be followed.

It is time for the electorate to call a halt to the entire net zero madness, else they will be enduring an immense reduction in the living standards, all to no purpose, in particular in the UK, which only produces one per cent of global CO2 emissions. Perhaps these people would be better employed blocking traffic in Tiananmen Square, as China produces a third of the world's greenhouse gases. However I doubt very much that their virtue signalling would extent to actually risking the sort of stern response that would inevitably result.

The Absurdities of Social Media

The absurd furore surrounding the infamous kiss bestowed by football official Luis Rubiales on female player Jenni Hermoso illustrates the lack of proportion shown by the media on so many issues, as what amounts to a somewhat insensitive display of Spanish machismo is hardly an example of massive oppression. It was certainly impolite, but nothing more, and certainly not a sexual assault.

If one is genuinely concerned with the rights of women then the attacks on the latter by the transgender lobby, who are seeking to impose their mantra of "Men are Women" by reversing so many of the hard won gains made by feminists over a century, are something which should be stopped, yet fashionable opinion is supportive of these extremists.

Far worse is the oppression of women in Afghanistan. They have been forbidden the opportunity to work, for an education, for even the right to venture outside their homes without a male escort. Only recently they have been banned from public parks, and those girls who have managed to gain admission to universities outside the country have now been prevented from doing so.

There is no realistic prospect that this medieval oppression of half the population will end, as any Western intervention would be decried by the left liberals as something akin to imperialism, so there is nothing to stop the Taliban continuing on this path for decades.

Clearly the ridiculously excessive outrage expressed about Senor Rubiales should be regarded in the light of the very real abuse endured by many women in the Third World, whose grievances are in a totally different league. In case anyone thinks that I disrespect women I should point out that, being British, I fear that I probably give offence to female French friends whom I try to greet with a handshake, in a usually vain effort to avoid the famous 'La bise', in which even Frenchmen sometimes indulge!

I realise that there are a vast number of people, ignorant, and stupid, who infest social media, but I came upon one example recently which I though took the biscuit, being totally deranged. In a comment on Nigel's article on the Last Night of the Proms mentioned above, one lunatic said that Boris's main intention was to join President Zelensky of Ukraine in provoking a war with Russia, so that the US would have an excuse to attack the latter! From where do they dig these morons up?

Defence

Too many people in the UK are like children in a tree house, squabbling over toys, while a flood is about to sweep the tree, the toys, and them, into oblivion. While idiots on social media argue over inconsequential rubbish, and activists for various causes continue their monomaniacal campaigns, inspired by a desire to signal how virtuous they are, we face a growing threat in the real world, as we are in as great a danger as we were in the thirties.

Our defence is predicated on the effectiveness of NATO, and American military might. However, as the Democrats in the US vanish to the far left, and the Republicans are baulking at spending money on the defence of others, there is a real danger that that nation may retreat into Fortress America, while, given the backsliding by many NATO members on aid to Ukraine, how much is it sensible to rely on promises that are based on one for all, and all for one. The bell will begin to toll for NATO the day the Russian steamroller finally crushes the valiant Ukrainian people.

In the thirties we had an empire of hundreds of millions behind us, the largest Navy in the world, a valiant air force, and an industrial base with the potential to out perform Nazi Germany in military production. The army, though smaller than the continental powers, was nevertheless significant.

Now we have potentially the smallest Army since the Napoleonic Wars, the Navy has been reduced to no much more than a flotilla, and the air force has only about 130 front line fighters, with approximately 150 pilots trained to fly them. The new aircraft carriers are good, but they need a screen of destroyers if they are to operate effectively, something they do not have. The air force needs an enormous increase in numbers, if it were to be able to face an onslaught from Russian forces.

We do have the necessary nuclear deterrent, protecting use from naked nuclear blackmail. However we cannot use strategic weapons on a tactical battlefield without risking annihilation, so their first use is ruled out.

Perhaps the greatest danger is that, while in 1939 we had an industrial base that could be converted to war production, powered by our own resources, now we have outsourced so much in the move to becoming a supplier of services, while shamefully neglecting domestic energy supplies. We cannot counter a Russian fleet with pieces of paper, and HR policies, while power from offshore windmills would be among the first targets for the Russians.

e might face the totalitarians of Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, without the help of the US, while the rest of NATO, except France, would being easily overwhelmed, leaving us once again relying on the Channel to save us.

Those on the left who oppose spending on defence should wake up to the fact that their concerns are of no interest to our enemies, who indeed oppose them, while the politicians must return to the principle that defence of the realm is their first priority, and change policies, on energy, industrial capacity, and defence accordingly, before it is too late.

Winnie

At regular intervals one sees attacks on Winston Churchill uses the same old canards repeated by those who wish to denigrate the greatest of all Britons. He is constantly berated over the famine in Bengal, claiming that he deliberately prevented aid being given, yet Churchill knew that sufficient supplies of grain were already available, but it proved to be the distribution which failed, due to corruption within the provincial, and largely Indian run government, plus hoarding by speculators. In fact it was Churchill who appointed Lord Wavell as Viceroy, whose use of the Army finally alleviated the crisis. In addition, at the time Churchill was also faced with the need to utilise all available shipping for the war effort, as the seaborne invasions of Sicily, Italy and Normandy were in dire need of ships if Nazi Germany was to be defeated.

One idiot tried to blame Winston for the bloodshed that accompanied partition, but the historic hatreds between Hindu and Muslim, plus the demand of the latter for Pakistan, meant that the accompanying massacres were inevitable, whatever the British tried to do, while of course the ultimate responsibility lay with Attlee's Labour government, not Churchill, who was leader of the opposition at the time.

Those historians who try to rewrite the story of appeasement ignore the truth that it was primarily Churchill, among the major political figures of the time, who warned of the danger from Hitler, and without him, we would have gone down to defeat, as no agreement could last, given the megalomania of Hitler.

To denigrate Britain's contribution to the war effort is deplorable: thousands died in the Western desert, the jungles of Burma, on the Normandy beaches, and at Arnhem, while we had more men in contact with German forces until July 1944 than did the US; the Navy was the major contributor to the European sea battles, and amphibious assaults; thousands of RAF personnel died the Battle of Britain, and in the campaign to undermine Germany's war production.

Incidentally the same idiot described Mountbatten as useless yet the latter appointed Slim to lead the 14th Army, whose leadership inspired  the 14th Army, as they turned the tide on the Japanese.

My parents endured nearly six years of war in London, including losing the house to a bomb in the Blitz, and they regarded Churchill as the saviour of the nation. I for one know that, had we lost the war, I and my generation would not exist, given the German plans for the British population, so we owe our lives to Churchill. It is contemptible that some wish to sully his memory, and that of the great generation which defeated the fascists.

Conclusion

The list of issues upon which the lunatics are now in charge of the asylum grows every day. Unless there is a sea change, and soon, Britain will be finished as a place where sane people will be able to live.