Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Europeans talk the talk about Gitmo but they can't walk the walk

The Times has revealed that a Taleban commander responsible for increasingly sophisticated bomb attacks on British soldiers in Afghanistan is a former detainee of Guantánamo Bay.

You can understand why EU countries are in no hurry to offer hospitality to former Guantánamo inmates (but hold on a minute, weren't they all calling for Gitmo to be closed down?).

Maybe it's time Britain stopped preaching to the world about what a wonderful success Northern Ireland is

The recent murders that have taken place in Northern Ireland should serve as a wake up call to the British and Irish government about what has happened in Northern Ireland.

There have been demonstrations and candle lit vigils (as if the dissident republicans care), the Pope has added his voice to the chorus of condemnation, and politicians have promised that the perpetrators will be brought to justice (yeah right, remember Robert McCartney?). And even if the perpetrators are caught, you can be sure they will be freed within a year or two as a gesture towards peace and reconciliation.

I have said it all before. As a result of the "peace at all costs" mentality of the British and Irish governments, Northern Ireland has become a basket case economy (70% of expenditure is by the State), a Mafia state governed by thugs (Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley) and policed by armed loyalist and republican thugs, who carry on with their racketeering, protection rackets, drug dealing and beatings unchallenged.

The first stage of a peace process is to stop the bombings and shootings, but it doesn't stop there. Unless all parties agree to the rule of law, we are back where we started.

What future does a country have that tolerates this kind of thuggery?

Welcome to Britain, 2009

My Father came to the safety of these shores in 1937. Had he remained in his country of birth just a few months later, he would have perished at the hands of the Nazis.

Now, seventy years later, we allow those who hate this country to openly vent their hatred towards us and our armed forces. For how long will our deluded establishment that continue to tolerate this thuggery? How long will they continue to preach that you can counter extremism by turning the other cheek?

It makes me worried for the future of my children.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

We all helped fuel the recession, but not out of greed

There is some truth in the Shadow Chancellor's claim that we all helped fuel the current recession, but he needs to be very careful who he points the finger of blame at. The boom times may have been years of greed and overindulgence for some, but for many, they were simply a daily struggle to make ends meet.

Not everyone was bingeing on plasma TVs and buying houses as an investment. Many were simply looking for a roof over their heads, but with house prices rising faster than wages, were forced to take on mortgages they could barely afford.

We may have all helped fuel the current recession, but we weren't all responsible.

Cutting the speed limit to 50mph? Why stop there? Why not cut the limit to 40 or 30?

The government's latest road safety initiative bears all the hallmarks of an administration living on borrowed time. Knowing that it's unlikely to win the next election, it has little to lose from introducing unpopular policies. Its latest plan is to cut speed limits on country roads from 60mph down to 50mph early next year. The roads minister was quoted as saying:
There will be some in the driving lobby who think this is a further attack and a restriction on people’s freedom,” he said. “But when you compare that to the fact we are killing 3,000 people a year on our roads, it would be irresponsible not to do something about it. I’m sure that the vast majority of motorists would support the proposals.”
I have a suggestion for the government minister. As the Sunday Times Leader argues, If he thinks that "speed kills", why stop at 50? Why not cut the limit to limit to 40 or even 30? And while he's at it, why not cut the motorway limit to 50? Better still, why not take driving licences away from everyone except professional drivers? Surely that way we really could save 3,000 lives a year.

The "speed kills" slogan is as old as red flag act, and is based on a simplistic assumption that the slower you drive, the safer you are. But anyone with an ounce of common sense knows this is utter nonsense. Why for example are our motorways the safest roads despite being the fastest roads? And has anyone figured out how Germany, with its limit free Autobahnen has fewer deaths than other European countries with lower speed limits? True, the majority of road deaths in the UK occur on country roads, but that's because the standard of driving is appalling and many motorists simply don't know how to drive on them. Some of our country roads are bendy, narrow and dangerous and really should have their speed limits reduced, but others are straight and wide and perfectly safe within the current speed limit. Clearly the design of our roads and the poor standard of driving is a factor, not just speed.

Many of us in the "motoring lobby" are not against this policy because of the restriction to our freedom, but because it's a clumsy ill conceived law that will criminalise millions of motorists whilst doing little to improve the standard of driving.

Plane Stupid are Plain Stupid

Plane Stupid's latest act: throwing green custard in the face of Peter Mandelson may have attracted a lot of publicity, but they may have actually done the government a highlighting the lack of security around cabinet ministers.

Unfortunately for Plane Stupid, their publicity stunt will be remembered more for the green custard than for any protest behind it. But then their whole campaign is a joke, and has more to do with making campaigners like Emma Thompson and James Blunt feel less guilty about flying. It's ok for them: if the price of flying went up tenfold, they could still afford to fly, unlike the rest of us.