Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Importing Ash-trees? How Stupid Can They Get?

Forty years ago the Dutch elm disease ravaged woodlands and farmlands all over this country and wiped out a handsome, beloved tree that was synonymous with our traditional landscape. The elm tree, painted by Gainsborough, Constable and Turner, has almost vanished from our land.
And it seems we have learnt nothing. For the past ten years, a fungal infection called ash dieback disease has been destroying ash trees all over the world, and yet our government has done nothing at all about it. Ash dieback has already destroyed 90% of the ash trees in Denmark, one of our nearest neighbours, yet until last week it was completely legal in England to import ash saplings from Denmark. Now several British woodlands that planted the imported saplings have been found to harbour dieback disease. 100,000 trees have been hastily destroyed - but it is too late.
What the government should have done was to ban ash imports as soon as the disease was identified.
The whole idea of having to import ash saplings is completely ridiculous. Few trees are more naturally prolific than the ash, and I regularly throw away little ash seedlings, one or two feet high, that sprout as weeds in my garden. Their long, pinnate leaflets are rather similar to those of an elder tree but more pendant. They are seeded by the beautiful clump of three ash trees in a neighbour's garden, visible from my kitchen window. This grove was planted as a boundary marker a hundred years ago and looks wonderful when the moon is in the high branches. I wonder how long they will last now? Wherever there are ash trees, their winged seed-pods, airborne on the slightest breeze, scatter themselves widely and germinate readily without human help. To admit we are paying for imported ash saplings is a damning admission of horticultural incompetence.
It's like paying to import air.
If Britain now loses its ash trees, this will be an environmental tragedy. We are losing our native trees one by one and they are being replaced by unsuitable imports such as the ghastly Leylandii and the hideous Thuja. Our native birds, butterflies and insects cannot live and survive in the alien species. The officials who are supposed to take care of our woodlands and our environment are doing a very poor job.




Monday, 22 October 2012

Licence for Licence - can the BBC survive?

We all paid Jimmy Saville because we all have to pay the TV licence fee if we have the box in our house. Never mind if we never watch BBC - you can't prove it and they don't care. You must pay for your TV licence and now that the Rupert Murdoch scandals are fading into history, we face again one of the moral dilemmas of our time. Which is worse: having a state broadcasting corporation that is corrupt, biassed and riddled with cronyism, or having media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch dominating the scene, owning more and more of our TV channels and newspapers, for private profit, without any claim of being neutral?
I never watched Top of the Pops, or Jim'll Fix It, because I found Jimmy Saville so utterly repulsive and it seems that my instincts were absolutely right. He was not just ugly, he was peculiar, vain, egotistical and terribly unfunny. He was loathsome, but the Beeb puffed him up into one of the greatest "celebs" of our time and that is an ethos we have got to learn to question.
Who is this new elite, the celebrities made overnight by TV, pop chart or film and endowed with glamour and enviability? Why do the media encourage us to worship them? Obviously, because our culture lacks anything else more solid to worship. The media set up celebs as idols, and some of these gods even claim to have a morality. Saville was a philanthropist, a do-gooder who made children's dreams come true, and he seems to have used that image successfully to disguise his unsavoury side. The permissive era of the sixties encouraged letting it ALL hang out, losing your inhibitions, right? It was inevitable that some nasty things would crawl out from under the stone.
From time to time over the years I have become irate with the BBC on account of its gross political bias towards the left and the Greens, and its flagrant slander of other political persuasions. I have tried cutting off my TV licence payments, but if you do you can be sent to gaol and when you eventually resume paying they force you to pay all the missing installments. They deduct these from your bank account regardless of whether you watched TV at all during that period. And what do they spend the money on? Revolting creeps like Jimmy Saville who molest youngsters in orphanages and then boast about it to their pals. Isn't it about time the BBC shook off this notion it has of a divine right to broadcast and to enjoy credibility? As more and more reports come in, it seems that the Beeb rivals the Catholic church when it comes to child molestation cover-ups.
I wonder if the BBC can survive this and I wonder if it deserves to survive. If we are paying for people like Saville, it does not. But I suppose what we are paying for at the end of the day is the chance to watch programmes of longer than fifteen minutes without interruption for advertising.


Postscript. There has been some discussion in the Daily Telegraph about how Harriet Harman, deputy leader of the Labour Party,are deeply implicated in the promotion and protection of paedophilia. It is a fact. The BBC-lefty-paedo-network is well documented. According to the Daily Telegraph 9th March 2009, Harriet Harman was the lawyer who personally represented the Paedophile Information Exchange when it was sheltered by the NCCL in the 1970s. Harman helped the PIE argue for lowering the age of consent and oppose and resist laws on child pornography in 1978. She went on representing them until 1982.
The view taken by Harman was the courts should have to prove that a child or young person was harmed rather than assuming any under-age sexual activity was a crime.

Harman was Legal Director of NCCL in 1980. And Motion 31 at the NCCL’s AGM that year went as follows:
“This motion notes with disapproval the continued harassment of the
organisations Paedophile Information Exchange and the Paedophiles
Action for Liberation, who are working for the rights of adults who
are sexually interested in children. We affirm that the existence of
these and any other lawful pressure groups should be threatened by
neither press nor police”
So Harman was directly involved at a senior level in an organisation that promoted and campaigned for paedophilia. [Source for this is Phyllis Bowman's 'Right to Life', drawing on original archives of NCCL in Hull.]
Any public inquiry into the BBC’s collusion with and covering up for Jimmy Savile needs also to look at the broader landscape
of high level paedophilia and its promotion, including especially
members of the NCCL. In particular, you will find that the research
which led to the implementation of Section 28 of the Local Government Bill uncovered a massive programme targeting children in schools, including those of a very young age, by socialist homosexual groups funded by the GLC.
These days, of course, they are backed by David Cameron, Theresa May
and Boris Johnson:


Thanks to the friend who sent me this!


Friday, 19 October 2012

Headington Shamed in Binge Drinking Report

I am horrified to read in the Oxford Times that Oxford's binge-drinking problem is worst in the South-East area. That puts Headington to shame. What on earth are we in the North-East of Oxford going to do to catch up?
All I've had to drink tonight, and it's a Friday, is two glasses of Tuscan red (Giordano Toscano Rosso Gold Label 2007), which is hardly a binge. Earlier this evening a young Facebook friend told me he was tippling from a bottle of absinthe, which is 80%. That's the sort of competition we are up against. It's about time that we all went out to the pubs, the off-licences, and the supermarkets, to say nothing of the corner-shops, and took full advantage of the fact that no Scottish Nationalist spoilsport has yet imposed a minimum price for booze on us HERE.



Let Them Eat Cake

Martin Schultz, the President of the EU Parliament, has put a picture of himself on his Facebook page beaming with delight as the team of four highly-trained chefs of the Parliament present him with a special cake to celebrate getting the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr Schultz commented wittily "I'm not sure I'm going to share it with my 753 colleagues!" No indeed, that would not leave much for Mr Schultz. He will take the cake home and eat all of it himself.
He will definitely not share it with any of the rioters who were throwing petrol bombs and bricks in Athens today.

The almost universal derision that has greeted the announcement of the Peace Prize is a sign that opinion world-wide is beginning to turn against the failed EU project. Just reading some of the comments that people are putting on Mr Schultz's page gives you an idea of how popular he is. Beneath the photo of him holding the cake, a Dutch reader named Rowan-Ewout Dekker has posted:-

Dear Mr. Schulz, how about an apology for your statement in today's edition of "Volkskrant" that the Dutch people are "small minded" ?
Do you think that it's appropriate to say such a thing about an entire nation? You of all people should know that spreading offensive stereotypes about a certain group of people can lead to bad things... It would also be nice if you could control yourself a bit with regards to how you respond to people who don't support your Imperial euro-federalist dream. You have called euro-sceptics "mentally weak", "fascists" and now "small minded". Show some respect for other opinions ok?

Underneath a "very nice 360 degrees panorama of the European Parliament in Strasbourg" (only one of their many very nice and lavish buildings) somebody called Uturunka Dulom has commented:-

Beautiful, when I become homeless I would like to get a bedroom there!

And below that, where Mr Schultz shows how generously he supports an anti-poverty charity, the same person writes:-

I would like to help, but, in this moment, I cannot afford to pay 10 euros a month. I pay too many useless taxes in Spain. I am using private health insurance because all public services are almost bankrupt, electricity and gas supplies get higher and higher, Internet is very expensive as well as phone calls and I am earning -40% money in my job that during 2011.

Underneath the announcement of the prize itself, there are hundreds of messages, many of them scathing such as this one:-
Michael Voemel a joke not more!
12 October at 17:57 ·

and this one:-
Lamberto Censi and where was The European Parliament when in SARAJEVO, SREBRENICA and all Bosnia and Herzegovina happened massacres and violences?.. you should be ashamed!!

Charles Dornach links to an article that says the EU is "more like war than peace":-
13 October at 14:32

Erich Mainusch writes: A bad joke for the poor!!! But who cares. And the stupids are happy.

So the comments go on and on, in German, Polish, Czech, Latvian etc etc.
And a Spanish commentator,Isac Ramòn Castellanos, adds this sombre reflection in Italian:-

Non possiamo considerare un regime legitimo che fa violenzia contra suo popolo.

(We cannot consider a government legal when it commits violence against its own people.)

Mr Schultz, the writing is on the wall. Your wall. For all you greedy corrupt fat cat Eurocrats (including the Maltese commissioner who just resigned after an investigation by OLAF the details of which are not being released to the public who just pay for these things).

Listen to the voices. They are telling you that the EU is a failure and its tyranny is making more and more people chafe.



Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Plot Thickens

The social event of the year in Headington Quarry just has to be the annual Meeting of the Ramsey Road Allotment holders. Yes it's time for all the muddy-fingered slug-bashers of Quarry to gather, pay their dues and decide all the important things that allotment holders have to decide.
I don't think anyone recognized me when I turned up at the meeting in a skirt with my hair combed, they are all so used to seeing me in my baggy gardening jeans, oldest jumper and fisherman's hat. But I recognized them as the valiant diggers and hoers, planters and weeders, whose efforts in general far surpass my own.
Of course, weather wise, it has been a pig of a year. Late frosts, torrential rain, severe storms in spring, short cool summer, early chilly autumn, more torrential rain. There was much deep discussion of the potato blight, the plague of snails and the difficulty of getting things to ripen. It helps if you put a pumpkin on a couple of bricks, raising it just a few inches off the ground so that it gets more sun.
Many of us had already resorted to picking our green tomatoes and bringing them inside to ripen on a window-sill.
The amazing success of the year has been the raspberries. They survived the weather that destroyed so many other kinds of fruit and produced an absolutely bumper crop. I am swamped with them. My freezer is full of raspberries and I have made jam for the first time in my life. This is partly for the satisfaction of defying the EU ban on re-using jam-jars.
There was also much talk about unwelcome tree-roots, the advantages of wood-chip paths and the relative merits of different sorts of manure.
Council compost is not much good at all. It tends to have all sorts of unwanted debris in it. The manure they provide did not get a thumbs up from the allotmenters (or allot-men? allotpersons?) either. It comes from a riding stable and is too coarse. The very best manure for horticultural purposes is bovine. That of course, figures. Farmers all over the world for thousands of years have kept cows, not only for their milk and their meat but for their wholistic contribution to the ecological cycle i.e. what comes out of the other end of them. Good manure should not be too new. It's like wine, it needs to laid down for a year or so before you use it.
The allotments have a boss and he assured us he knew where to get the right sort of stuff and it could be kept lying around for an appropriate time so that it gets nice and stale. Ideal!
So having decided how to spend our annual budget, we all went for a drink and chatted about planting autumn peas and beans. If you missed it - well, I'm sorry but this is rather an exclusive event and only a select few were invited.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Remind You of 1939?

From time to time I hear this:"Doesn't the way some people are pointing to Muslims as a threat remind you of the way that Jews were treated in the 1930s?"
No. It reminds me of the way that Nazis were being treated in the 1930s. In the pre-war era, the obvious signs of a rising threat were being pointed out by perspicacious observers such as Churchill, and ignored by those who preferred to pursue a line of cowardly appeasement.

When the US ambassador in Libya was murdered last month by Arab Spring fanatics, I was staggered to hear the President of the USA issue what amounted to a public apology for "offending Muslim sensibilities". Apparently being offended by a film gives Muslims the right to commit outright homicide on an innocent person and his colleagues in the embassy.
And the EU's Lady Ashton issued a joint statement with the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Countries apologizing to Muslims who were offended by the film. I would like to dissociate myself completely from this statement, which amounted to a retreat from the democratic principles of free speech and freedom of conscience.

Last week forty-six Christians in Nigeria were massacred by Boko Haram extremists. Boko Haram are another apt-to-be-offended Muslim group enraged by the fact that the authorities had a week earlier rounded up some of their ring-leaders and placed them under arrest.
Most of the murdered Christians were students living in a hostel. They were shot or stabbed to death, then the nearby church was burnt down.

Meanwhile in Pakistan, a girl was shot for saying that she believed in education for women. A mob has been going around setting fire to Christian churches and destroying ancient Buddhist temples in protest against the American film "Innocence of Muslims" whose supposed insults to their religion they could not even understand. Of course, it is just a pretext for doing more openly what they do surreptitiously most of the time.

And in Egypt, where the Islamic extremists have now taken over the government, Christians are being targetted for ethnic cleansing. Actually this is nothing new. For the past 60 years the Muslim majority in Egypt has driven out first the Jewish citizens and then more gradually the Christians. It is estimated that 4 million Copts have been victimized and pushed out by this regime that complains very loudly about displaced Palestinians.
Now the Egyptian government is using the film "Innocence of Muslims" as a pretext to speed up its persecution campaign. Eye-witnesses report, "Violence against Christians occurs every day, and the state usually takes the side of the Muslim murderers." Atheists and those who advocate a secular society are fellow-victims, being spied on and imprisoned for their views.

Of course if you don't mind being slaughtered and ethnically cleansed, then this won't bother you at all.

>> And here is the case of a Christian pastor in Uganda who had acid thrown in his face by Muslim attackers as he left Church on Christmas Eve. Umar Mulinde's face was wrecked the flesh hanging off the bone. His crime? Leaving Islam.

>>Here is an account by a young Frenchwoman of life in a suburb near Paris in 2012. She has reported the problems to the police who say they dare not interfere because they are being intimidated:-

Churchill, when trying to alert Parliament to the threat of Nazism, in 1938, said:
"I foresee and foretell that the policy of submission will carry with it restrictions upon the freedom of speech and debate in Parliament, on public platforms, and discussions in the Press, for it will be said - indeed, I hear it said sometimes now - that we cannot allow the Nazi system of dictatorship to be criticised by ordinary common English politicians. And do not suppose that this is the end. This is only the beginning of the reckoning. This is only the first sip, the first foretaste of a bitter cup which will be proffered to us year by year, unless by a supreme recovery of moral health and martial vigour we arise again and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time."

Friday, 12 October 2012

Peace Prize? EU Must Be Joking

How nice that I have now got the Nobel Peace prize - and so have you, and all of us in fact, since we are citizens of the European Union and the EU has just been collectively awarded the prize by the Norwegian committee.

What a pity that the prize is utterly worthless and has fallen into disrepute because it's been given to so many absurd recipients for such bizarre reasons. Frankly, I wouldn't waste a tea-bag celebrating it, let alone open the champagne.

The last person to get it, you may remember, was Barack Obama. He got it almost as soon as he was elected President of the USA. After getting the Peace prize, he continued the war in Afghanistan for another four years and US troops are still there. After having Osama-bin-Laden assassinated he embarked on the current campaign of drone-bombing Taliban targets in Pakistan. All of which may be very necessary but does it really come under the heading of "peace"? Using necessary force to maintain a just peace, maybe. But that sounds to me remarkably similar to "war".
Let's face it, the real reason he got the prize was because there wasn't a specific award for being the first black (or blackish) person elected President of the USA. Obama's latest contribution to "peace" has been to cringe and grovel to the fanatics who murdered the US ambassador to Libya. Christopher Stevens was an islamophile who had nothing to do with the film that appeared in America but he and his colleagues were hacked to bits in a devout religious protest. Then Obama grovelled and said that insulting Islam was totally utterly inexcusable.
Blessed are the peacemakers!
Then there was Al Gore. He got the Nobel Peace Prize for spreading wild predictions that the melting polar ice-cap was going to raise sea-levels all over the globe by about two hundred feet in a century, and promises that we could stop this catastrophe by buying carbon emission permits. The permits made Al Gore very rich but seem to have had no impact on sea levels, and those who believe his theory about CO2 need to explain why the polar ice-cap on Mars is shrinking at exactly the same rate as our own. Have they got cars and aeroplanes, central heating and fridges too, on Mars?
Previous recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize include our dear friend Gerry Adams, who recently shook hands with the Queen when she visited Ireland (meanwhile the Duke of Edinburgh gave him the coldest shoulder I have ever seen). And let's not forget Yasser Arafat whose terrorist PLO murdered the entire Israeli Olympic team in about 1972. Since 1948, when they attacked Israel, the Arab League has caused unending war by stubbornly refusing to accept the legitimacy of the state of Israel which was founded by international agreement. They claim that the non-Jews who left Israel because of the war they started are victims, yet a greater number of Jews were expelled from surrounding Arab zones and have happily re-settled themselves elsewhere. Even Wikipedia admits that the Arab League was an ally of the Nazis and the PLO has simply carried on Nazi policies ever since.
Blessed are the peace-makers?
So what did the EU do to get the Nobel Peace prize? Supposedly it achieved "six decades of advancement of peace, reconciliation and human rights in Europe." Peace as in riots in Spain, Greece and Warsaw this past week? 7,000 extra police flown into Athens alone to keep the angry, starving crowds at bay during the visit of Angela Merkel.
Peace as in protestors in Madrid being clobbered and injured by police in the streets, and then viciously beaten up in recrimination attacks later? Peace as in photographs of people with cracked skulls and broken collar-bones?
Peace as in bullets, tasers, water-cannon and tear-gas being used to keep down mobs in Warsaw, protesting against the steep new taxes and cuts in just about everything? Human rights as in setting up a European police force whose members are immune from prosecution?

Peace as in helping the Shi-ite extremists trying to take over Syria? Peace as in saying nothing at all about the brutal persecution of Christians in Egypt? Human rights as in giving prisoners the vote and stopping us from kicking out Abu Hamza for year after year after year?
Reconciliation as in appointing a bunch of former criminals to take charge of the European Stability Mechanism, the biggest currency-grab in history, and granting those crooks immunity from prosecution?

The Prize Committee also thinks that the EU has somehow managed to advance democracy in Europe. Apart from in Italy and Greece where it has calmly dismantled the democratic system and put its own puppet rulers in charge. And Spain, where it has done much the same in a more discreet fashion. And France and Ireland where it has ignored the outcome of national referenda. We all had a vote, didn't we, on the appointment of Baroness Ashton?

All in all, I am not too flattered to get the Nobel Peace Prize. It's a bit like being offered a pair of second-hand trousers that have been worn by a series of people you particularly dislike.
I would be more pleased to win the prize for the best spuds at my local village fete. It would mean so much more!