Friday, 31 October 2014

It's Not Just About Pumpkins

Hallowe'en has become a gruesome festival of fright, blatantly commercialised, and meaning nothing any more. People who do not believe in any soul or spiritual dimension revel in fake superstition, dressing up as witches and ghouls in a rather childish way, void of significance. This is followed by a sad heap of thrown-away pumpkins that no-one can be bothered to cook. What a waste.

That is a pity because both the Christian Hallowe'en and its forerunner, the pagan festival of Samhain, are important and valuable. The Christian feast of All Souls (All Hallows) is when we pray for all the departed, visit family graves and honour the memory of our forebears. Schubert's beautiful song All Souls, with words by Johann Jacobi, sums up the mood of solemn meditation.

May all souls rest in peace!
Their anxious torment over
And their sweet dreams too,
Those weary of life, or those who,
       Barely born, departed from this world,
Peace be on all their souls.

Without doubt the Christian festival took its cue from surviving pagan celebrations known in the Celtic world as Samhain, Calan Gaeaf, Kalan Gway or Kalan Goany. The onset of winter, the death of the year, made people mindful of death and it was believed that the souls of the dead revisited our world, not to scare or harm us, but to greet and protect us. In particular, the souls of our ancestors might choose this time of year to make a visit back to the family home. In Corsica and Sardinia it was customary until the early 20th century, to take symbolic gifts of food to family graves, and in many parts of Europe people would set out a meal on the kitchen table before going to bed, to welcome the returning family member. 
Lanterns were an important part of this. Made out of large turnips or hollow gourds, with a small candle inside, they were left burning in a window or an alcove all night, to guide the spirits to your house through the darkness. 
For Christian or pagan, Hallowe'en was a time when people felt the presence of the departed and the continuity of life, each generation passing the torch to the next. Even if you don't literally believe in the survival of a spirit as such, this can still be meaningful, as people we have lost do, in a sense, survive by leaving a part of themselves inside us. At All Hallows tide we can be mindful of that and seem to sense their presence again.
In Christian tradition, beggars would go from door to door offering to pray for the souls of your family in return for a cake, known as a "soul-cake". This eventually became travestied in the American custom of "trick or treat", which is a pity. 
So my Hallowe'en will be a comforting time, when I may carve a face on my largest pumpkin, but I certainly won't throw it away afterwards. It will be turned into pie and soup. I will be leaving lanterns outside at night, and I may even make some "soul-cakes" but will only bestow one on a beggar who can say the entire litany for the dead in Latin.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

"Being Gay in the Church" by Peter Boulton-Lea

Holy Trinity Church, Headington Quarry, has been holding a series of talks, "Enriching Relationships in an Inclusive Church" which were billed as discussions but did not in my view provide any real dialogue or balance. "Being Gay in the Church" was a very one-sided lecture by the Rev. Peter Boulton-Lea. His talk began with a familiar bit of "gay" hagiography, concerning Alan Turing, who had nothing to do with the Church of England or any Christian church. Turing's contribution to the war-time code-breaking at Bletchley Park was duly exaggerated, his hundreds of heterosexual colleagues all forgotten, the timely capture of a decoding-machine on a German U-boat was overlooked, and his eventual suicide attributed to the overwhelming “homophobia” of his times. So we are supposed to accept that it is Christian to support the LGBT movement and to encourage it to proselytize even within the church.
The naughty word for this sort of "gay" hagiography is Queero Worship...

But what if we took a wider and more up-to-date picture? There are plenty of suicides happening today among young people who are suffering as a result of rampant “gay rights” and homosexual predators. The church should be concerned about the tragic suicide of Anthony Stubbs, a teenager who killed himself this year, 2014, after being targeted by a homosexual teacher. Anthony was only 16 and was already the father of a child, by his live-in girlfriend aged 18. The baby is left fatherless. A balanced discussion could have mentioned the recent tragic suicide of Benjamin Cowburn, another teenager whose life was messed up by homosexual predators. Benjamin, a student, became severely depressed after being used as a plaything by a “gay” TV star and he took an overdose.
Consider the suicide of 15-year-old Aaron Leafe, a boy who hanged himself in Leicestershire in 2010 after being abused by a homosexual care worker for three years. Why do these victims deserve less concern and compassion than Alan Turing?
The rules of “gay rights” are that only a few people matter, and most of the truth must be omitted, gagged, and silenced.

There were plenty more "gay" myths in the rest of Boulton-Lea’s talk, such as the assumption that one's sexual orientation is somehow innate, a "given" and that it defines "who you are". He asked why anyone would choose to become homosexual. A better question would be, how could a gay gene emerge out of the evolutionary struggle, where survival to breed is all important? Answer: it couldn't happen. And Mr Boulton-Lea said a lot of downright offensive things, including the allegation that Jesus was homosexual. At one point he even compared himself to Jesus, saying that both of them were pretty unpopular in their own time.

With remarkable complacency, Mr Boulton-Lea spoke as if the whole LGBT movement had been a huge success, and AIDS had just never happened. He expressed not the slightest concern for the victims of this pandemic which is killing millions around the world; nor for people such as Adrian Smith, the victims of bullying by homo-extremists.

Adrian Smith was demoted after writing on Facebook that gay marriage was 'an equality too far'
   Adrian Smith, bullied by homosexuals

Mr Smith, who works for Trafford Housing Trust in Birmingham, was victimized two years ago just for saying on Facebook that he did not support same-sex "marriages" being held in a church. He used no rude or intemperate language, simply writing "An equality too far". A snooping, aggressive lesbian complained about this and Mr Smith (a committed Christian who chose this job for vocational reasons and is a tireless charity campaigner) was demoted at work and given a 40% cut in salary. His wife and children suffered considerable long-term hardship, and despite a court deciding that he had done nothing wrong, he got no compensation, nor did he get his original job back. That is shameful injustice and the Church of England should be mobilising to fight it.

Most of the violence and harm done to homosexuals is done by other homosexuals. “Although accurate data is difficult to obtain, trends suggest that as many as half of lesbian relationships experience some form of abuse (Brand & Kidd, 1986; Nadoff, 1987; Renzetti, 1992, 1996; Taylor& Chandler , 1995). Greenwood et al. (2002) reported on a sample of 2,881 male cohabitants during the past five years and found a higher rate of violence than in cases of heterosexual relationships. Letellier (1994) found that gay men are more likely to be killed by their partners than a stranger.”

It is interesting to note that the Rev Boulton–Lea, now retired, was not a very successful vicar and the rapid diminution of his congregation brought his church into danger of closure. We are constantly told that the Church needs to be “in touch” with the modern world to attract a congregation, but that is rather doubtful. It is pointless to go to church if what you hear there is just the same as you could get from reading The Guardian or watching TV. There is an alternative to that PC, LGBT point of view, there is much strong evidence to support a conservative moral view, and it is a pity that we were not allowed to hear it at this one-sided, slanted event.

"A CHURCH may be forced to close its doors because of its ever-diminishing number of worshippers.
St Nicholas Church in Thorne has seen its congregation halved in the last year. The combination of ever-aging parishioners, together with a lack of interest from the younger population has vicar Rev Peter Boulton-Lea fearing for the future.
He said: "The number attending services has gone down dramatically in the last few years and the congregation is getting older.
"The church needs to raise funds to pay into a central diocese and without worshippers we will not be able to this.
"There is a chance in the future that the church may no longer be viable."

Pianos Cambridge

Everybody knows who lives at the Old Rectory, Grantchester. Fewer people know who lives at the Old Rectory at Landbeach, another village also just a few miles outside Cambridge.
It is the home of Tom Poole and the Cambridge Pianola Company, which sells and renovates pianos and pianolas, those fascinating Victorian machines like a piano that plays itself.
If you live in or near East Anglia, and are looking for an affordable second-hand piano, I recommend you arrange a visit to Landbeach, where you will be able to choose between twenty or more. There is a very nice Zimmerman upright with a lovely tone, which would be my choice.
The Old Rectory is a house with a remarkable history. It dates back to Tudor times at least and incorporates some ancient carved archways, together with Restoration and Georgian extensions. On the outside it looks neat and symmetrical but inside it is a maze of rooms, creaking corridors and winding staircases. It is full of secret cupboards, hidden doors and passageways.
Tom Poole, who was born in a small cottage in Landbeach, bought this house with the proceeds of his work as a barrister. Then he was caught up in the Lloyds crash and for twenty years he faced the imminent prospect of having to sell it, with all its contents. But Lloyds found that Tom Poole was quite a tough nut to crack. He would not give in without a hell of a struggle, and in fact he fought back through the courts on behalf of a group of other Lloyds investors as well as himself. Tom, with his invaluable experience as a barrister, argued that there was a clause in some obscure contract or regulation document that required Lloyds to exercise more care than they had done. By demonstrating that Lloyds was guilty of some degree of negligence, he persuaded a court to shield the investors from unlimited liability, and while most still lost millions they were not forced to sell their homes. 
The case was stressful and protracted, and the most remarkable thing about it is not only that Tom Poole won, but that he is totally blind and has been so from earliest childhood. His entire legal career was conducted by means of reading Braille, and it is with the help of Braille, and the telephone, that he now, in his retirement, runs the Cambridge Pianola Company. He employs three other people and sells pianos all over England and beyond.

There are also regular jazz evenings held at the Old Rectory where friends play sax, clarinet and of course piano, while hearers can sip wine and enjoy the scent of a nice, big log fire.
If you are looking for a piano (or pianola) you can get in touch with the Old Rectory on 01223.861507.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Labour party Rising Star was Paedophile

Labour Party activist and approved council candidate Michael Tombs writes a blog, 

A Blog! By Michael Tombs. Living the Dream. Supporting Labour since I was too young to vote!

Here Tombs, a professional child social care worker, burbles in a messianic strain.
"In the 11 years, since Tony Blair took New Labour into government, the UK has become a much safer, better place to live and work. Tony Blair said on the 2nd of May 1997, that “a new dawn has broken”, he was right about that, now is the time for a second coming of the new dawn."
Michael Tombs

But Michael Tombs also has a taste for sex with children who are "too young to vote". Much too young. Too young even to complain about the abuse in many cases.  And for them Blair's England has not been a safer or better place.
Tombs was employed by Labour-run Doncaster Council to look after children and run after-school clubs. He ran his own company organizing holidays for disabled children and he was also a primary school governor.
He did all this in order to get access to children, cynically using his positions of trust to exploit the children by taking pornographic photographs that he could circulate on the internet. He had a collection of such porn on his computer, which he lent to a girl aged 14. Police who examined his computer found that he had deleted some very serious level five images from it, which means images of extremely young infants suffering severe violence or even death.  He thought he could deceive the police but they retrieved his secret stash using restoration programmes.
 When Tombs' vile behaviour was exposed, Doncaster's Labour council did not even inform the parents what was going on. In the end after a fifteen-month delay, he got only six weeks in gaol.
This is only one of hundreds of cases of Labour councils putting homosexuals and paedophiles (two categories often indistinguishable) in charge of child care services, with disastrous results.  Organized paedophile rings, commercialised prostitution and molestation even of very young or handicapped children has frequently ensued.  Doncaster  -  Islington  -  Rotherham  - the NCCL run by Harman and co  -  there is a pattern here. Left-wing ideology proclaims that children are "sexual" therefore can and should be available for adults to abuse. 

It is time to put child care and education back in the hands of responsible, moral and sane people.

Labour25 logo with transparent backgroundLabour Party Predator Paedophile Child Social Worker & Primary School Governor Michael Tombs. 

Michael TombsA Labour Party Child Social Worker & ‘ready made’ Councillor has been jailed for making indecent images of children being raped.

Micahael Tombs from Doncaster downloaded images of Child pornography during trips out with disabled children in his care. The up and coming Labour Party ‘Star of the community’ ran his own business looking after children, especially those who were vulnerable and could not speak out for themselves.
Parents of the disabled children were angry at the judge, after he gave Michael Tombs a sentence of just six weeks in prison. One parent spoke out about the sentence, Concerned father of one of the mentally handicapped children, Keith Cheshire said the sentence was ”absolutely disgusting.” He added, ”He worked with disabled children and a lot of them including my own daughter are unable to talk.”
Parents were furious because it took 15 months for his trial doncasterand Doncaster Council did not inform any parents about the predator paedophile they had allowed to take their children on ”Outings” with.
Mr Tombs was a Primary School Governor and organizer of ‘After School Clubs’ for children. He befriended the family of a child whom he sent unhealthy messages to. He gave the child one of his computers which was later found to have had scores of indecent images of child rape recovered by police experts.
It has come to light that Michael Tombs not only worked for Doncaster Council but had set up his own private ‘One Man’ company called ”Michael Tombs Child Care” working with disabled children.
Doncaster Council were under numerous reviews and labelled as ”Dangerous” by a childrens watchdog after a number of children had died in the Borough from abuse.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

"Sexual Maturity in the Church" Carla Grosch-Miller

"Sexual Maturity in the Church" with Carla Grosch-Miller was part of an Autumn series entitled "Enriching Relationships in an Inclusive Church" held at Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry on October 22nd 2014. The pamphlet said that this was a series of "midweek conversations touching on moral and theological questions" and it would be "encouraging open conversations".

David alias Brenda Reimer

It turned out to be a talk, given by the Rev. Carla Grosch-Miller who works at the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality in the USA. I don't know who funds this Centre, but its website states as follows.
"Our Aim. The Christian community needs a contemporary sexual theology. To build this we have to talk to one another and share experiences in both affirming and challenging ways. CSCS provides opportunities for sexuality to be discussed honestly and openly, and aims to help others in the churches to provide similar opportunities."

However the event did not consist of a dialogue, nor did it provide any opportunity for people to "share experiences in challenging ways". Instead it was a one-sided lecture given by somebody whose idea of contemporary sexual theology is for the Christian churches to just follow and mindlessly replicate some of 
the worst ideas of the 20th century, including the nonsense of the LGBT movement and the fake science of "gender". 
            Ms Grosch-Miller started by telling us that the sexual morality of the Old Testament was designed to maximize procreation because the life expectancy then was so short; therefore, we can easily conclude that it is outdated and discard it. She did not explain why, if that was true, the descendants of Abraham rejected the fertility rites of the Babylonians, and their rather gregarious sexual practices, since those too would surely result in procreation. Actually according to the Bible, Abraham lived to be 175, Isaac 180, and Jacob 174. Abraham's mother Terah was said to have lived to be 205. I would hardly call that a short life expectancy.
        Ms Grosch-Miller said that the ancient Israelites believed in the homunculus theory of Aristotle, which surprised me. She could not provide any back up for this, and if they did it is rather odd that Judaism runs in the female line. 
         The real problems with Ms Grosch-Miller's approach were visible when she offered us a list of 37 rules or criteria for defining a so-called "Sexually Healthy Adult" drawn up by SIECUS, the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. I wonder who and what SIECUS is and where its funding comes from. She challenged us to study this SIECUS list of Desiderata and say whether the Church in our opinion helped us to achieve each of them. The focus of the talk was supposed to be on "sexual maturity" (whatever that is) and "sexual theology" (whatever that is) but now it had abruptly switched to sexual health. At least we know what that is  - or do we? According to the ridiculously long list issued by SIECUS, sexual health starts with "appreciating your own body"  - does that include sexting pictures of your private parts to others? It requires that we "express love and intimacy in appropriate ways"  - but what the hell is appropriate and who decides? "Exhibit skills that enhance personal relationships" - and what exactly does that entail? Then we must "Discriminate between life-enhancing sexual behaviours and those that are harmful to self and/or others," but harm is a very difficult thing to prove and who exactly is going to decide what is harmful?
Then we are told to "Express one's sexuality in ways that are consistent with one's values"... It doesn't matter apparently what those values are, so long as they're yours. If that's your choice according to SIECUS that's fine. And number 27, "Act consistently with one's own values when dealing with an unintended pregnancy," must come as a huge relief to the woman in Winnipeg who was found last week to have stored the dead bodies of six newborn babies in a rented locker for years. She was consistent all right because she did the same  thing six times!
We are urged to "Help to prevent sexual abuse"  - how exactly are we supposed to do that? And how do you define abuse? We are told we must "Exercise democratic responsibility to influence legislation dealing with sexual issues." But in the UK we are not allowed to do that. The government has just forced through a redefinition of marriage without any prior warning in their manifesto or mandate from the voters. So according to SIECUS we are all sexually unhealthy. 
     Nowhere in the SIECUS document do I find the words "love", "marriage", "commitment", or even "morality". So what is it doing in a church?
     Number 33 exhorts us to be critical of all bias on grounds of "gender, sexuality, culture, ethnicity and race". Here we have the familiar fallacy of equating different sorts of category, and insisting that to discriminate between anything at all is always wrong and unfair. As a ploy of rhetoric, this is called "bracketting". By listing gender and sexuality alongside race it encourages you to assume that the same answers must automatically apply to a wide range of totally different questions. They don't. Being black is not a form of behaviour. It is not an action, or a lifestyle, but merely a matter of your personal appearance, therefore it is not a moral issue. To compare being black to any form of social or sexual behaviour is an invalid argument. It was quite obvious that Ms Grosch-Miller accepts all those hasty, superficial ways of  thinking. 
       It would take too long to point out all the weaknesses, contradictions and fallacies of the SIECUS document. The deplorable thing is that Ms Grosch-Miller took the line that the church's role is to follow what secular society decrees, instead of offering a lead. If secular society and the Guardian newspaper decide that "gay is good" she thinks the church should follow. It must take its orders from the likes of Ian McKellen of Stonewall, who goes around schools reading out some obscene poem about a necrophiliac queer assaulting the dead body of Christ. He's obviously completely crackers.
      By urging us to be "inclusive" Ms Grosch-Miller means the Church of England should give its blessing to the revolting perversions described in the literature of the Terrence Higgins Trust (which I will not even stoop to quoting). It should replace the Ten Commandments with the Gay Liberation Manifesto, which says "We must abolish the family..."
      The argument that a church needs to be "inclusive" is another fallacy. By telling people to repent and offering forgiveness of sins it is already inclusive. Inclusion does not mean pretending that gross behaviour is acceptable or something to boast about. Nor does it mean accepting at face value the lie that somebody can change their sex by cutting off their genitals. 
      This fake science originated in the 1950s when Simone de Beauvoir wrote, "one is not born a woman, one becomes a woman". She was wrong of course and since then she has been proved wrong by the disastrous experiments of the misguided Professor John Money. Money's attempts to change people's sex by carrying out operations on their genitalia ended in tragedy when his chief guinea-pig, David Reimer, committed suicide in 2004. Many other sex-change stories end in suicide, regret or tragedy.
       So the trendy ideas of Ms Grosch-Miller do not lead to sexual maturity, to sexual health or even to mental health. They will not lead to enriching relationships. They are out of place in a church and would indeed do a lot of harm anywhere.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

We give £700 million to Romanian railways...and it goes into corrupt pockets

Via the European Union, we in the UK are going to contribute €800 million   - which is just over £700 million sterling - to improve and update the Romanian transport infrastructure. So our tax money is being poured into modern roads and railways for Romania while train fares here in the UK are leaping up by 20 -25% per year. Commuters are crippled by these costs. 
In total, the EU is giving Romania 7.2 BILLION between now and 2020 for this project.
What a terrible shame. Apart from anything else, I like the Romanian trains the way they are, small and old-fashioned. 

It was a modernisation scheme that ruined the lovely little railway in Corsica.

But it is only fair that Romania gets this money as Bulgaria has already been given a similar amount. And so has Spain - to build motorways that have been washed away from mountainsides by winter rains, or toll-roads that "foreigners" such as the English have to pay to use, even though our taxes were taken to build them.

My Romanian friend Daniela Paun is not overjoyed by the EU's generous grant. She comments:
"WOW! I would be enchanted if much of this money will go to the railways as even inter-cities have the amazing speed of 50-60km/h. But I am afraid most of it will go to the black hole of the high ways where corruption in stead of efficiency is the king: huge amounts with almost no results!"

I said to her, "Maybe this will create jobs for you over there." She replied: "Thank you for your hope, but I hardly believe it will be the case."

She added, "
Progress has been made for an independent justice [ in Romania]. Still the attacks of the corrupt ones, politicians and manny others, are worrisome. The PM and the majority in both chambers are Socialists."

Same fox, different fur, as the Romanian proverb goes.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Save Asia Bibi, Sentenced to Death in Pakistan

Asia Bibi is only one of many people sentenced to death in Pakistan for refusing to change her religion to Islam.

She has been held in prison for over a year and is  now facing execution  in this backward country which takes billion of  pounds in "Aid" from Britain.

Asia Bibi has committed no crime and she is being killed as an act of defiance against world opinion.  This is an act of persecution. Her right to her Christian beliefs is upheld by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Please sign the petition (scroll down to Royaume-Uni for UK) and circulate it widely as time is running out.
Write to your MP and circulate this on Facebook.
While you are about it,ask your MP why people with attitudes like those of Shahid Akmal (below) are running schools in England. Diversity? Equality? Tolerance?  Or just stupidity?

Shahid Akmal, former governor at Nansen Primary School in Birmingham

Akmal, one of the governors o a "Trojan Horse" school in Birmingham, was interviewed by an undercover reporter in Juliy this year and expressed such views as that Europeans have what he called "colonial blood".
“The colonial blood is very difficult to get rid of. The colonial blood they have within them, these white people, it’s very difficult to get rid of that very quickly. They still think they rule half the world.”
He went on to say that white children were lazy and Asian women were superior to the English. “I tell you, our women are much, much better consciously in the heart than any white women. White women have the least amount of morals.” Of course - look at all those wicked little girls in Rotherham who went around grooming older men,,,,
Akmal argued that girls should be taught skills like cooking and sewing while boys should be taught trades like construction and mechanics.
Akmal attacked women who became “high flying” politicians: “She has to sacrifice her family, she has to sacrifice her children, she has to sacrifice her husband, all in the name of equality. And there are so many marriages that have broken up because of this.” Yes, there also politicians like Benazir Bhutto who have been assassinated because of this...
Akmal appeared to defend British Muslims joining ISIS rebels in Syria and Iraq, He called them "freedom fighters". He regards the terrorists who beheaded Alan Henning as heroic,
He said: “The fact that they have gone there to fight, they say that he is supporting terrorists. Because they don’t believe in the freedom fight.”

Thursday, 9 October 2014

On 1st November 2014 the UK Parliament comes to an effective end.

Why are students in the UK not marching and waving banners for democracy like their counterparts in Hong Kong? It seems that over there in that tiny former British colony, people value democracy far more than they do here. The idea that you will be governed by people you have not elected does not appeal to them. Meanwhile here in the UK people are fast asleep. 

On 1st November 2014 the UK Parliament comes to an effective end. That is because so many powers are being transferred from Westminster to the EU. The Lisbon Treaty is taking away our veto on new legislation however unpopular and replacing it with QMV  - qualified majority voting  - in the following 44 areas.

Initiatives of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Administrative co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Asylum – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
Border controls – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Citizens' initiative regulations – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Civil protection – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Committee of the Regions – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Common defence policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Crime prevention incentives – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Criminal judicial co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Criminal law – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Culture – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Diplomatic & Consular protection – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
Economic & Social Committee – Nice: QMV Lisbon: QMV
Emergency international aid – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon: QMV
Energy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
EU budget – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Eurojust – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV

European Central Bank – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
European Court of Justice – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV

Europol – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Eurozone external representation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Foreign Affairs High Representative election – Lisbon: QMV
Freedom of movement for workers – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Freedom to establish a business – Nice: Unanimity Lisbon QMV
Freedom, security, justice, co-operation & evaluation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Funding the Common Foreign & Security Policy – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
General economic interest services – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Humanitarian aid – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Immigration – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
Intellectual property – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Organisation of the Council of the EU – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Police co-operation – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
President of the European Council election – Lisbon: QMV
Response to natural disasters & terrorism – Lisbon: QMV
Rules concerning the Armaments Agency – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Self-employment access rights – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Social Security Unanimity – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV
Space – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV

Sport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Structural & Cohension Funds – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Tourism – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Transport – Nice: Unanimity; Lisbon: QMV
Withdrawal of a member state – Nice: QMV; Lisbon: QMV

So while people in Hong Kong demonstrate and organize sit-ins for democracy, we in the UK are letting it slip away while we slumber complacently. Nobody in the UK ever voted to become part of a massive, centralised, EU super-state. Our parents were told that we would enter a free-trade zone, that's all. It was rather like being lured onto a slave ship with a promise of sweets. Even then, the vote was distorted by massive, foreign funding for the "yes" supporters. And as for the promise of a new British "Bill of Rights," that is worth as much as all David Cameron's other "cast-iron guarantees" and Nick Clegg's solemn pledges to abolish tuition fees and vote against cuts. Even in their own parties, surely nobody is stupid enough to believe it?

Friday, 3 October 2014

Liberal scroungers and parasites

Who are the scroungers and parasites in our society? Whinging Liberal peeress Olly Grender looks to me like one of the worst offenders. While her party in government is cutting benefits even for disabled people and forcing job-seekers to take "work experience" for as little as £30 per week, she complains that she cannot live on the £300 per DAY that she is paid to sit and do nothing in the House of Lords.

'Deeply offensive': Olly Grender, who incredibly claimed being in the House of Lords is 'unaffordable' to normal people because peers only get £300 a day

Olly Grender was made a LibDem peer by her multi-millionaire chum Nick Clegg, and after picking up £21,000 for six months in the House of Lords, she is saying that nobody can live on such a measly sum and it leaves you dependent on your partner.
The rate is equivalent to a salary of nearly £60,000 per annum, after deductions of tax, which Ms - sorry LADY - Grender does not have to pay on her expenses. Furthermore, in the House of Lords she gets subsidized food and wine, free newspapers, a library and an office equipped with computers. To say nothing of a free parking space bang in the middle of London. Still not enough for her.

Ms Grender, a public relations merchant who has been desribed as Nick Clegg's "spin doctor" has never been an MP, has never been elected to any post, and is typical of the new unelected elite who are ruling us in place of  the old hereditary peers so hypocritically abolished. 
She tells us solemnly that low pay is the reason why there are no hair dressers or bus-drivers in the House of Lords.
No, Lady Grender  - the reason is that your friend Nick Clegg has not nominated any hairdressers or bus-drivers. He could do if he wished, but he doesn't know any, has never met any, and doesn't give a damn about what they think either. Besides, they don't make large contributions to party funds, or introduce him to influential people so why should he put their names on the list of new prospective peers? 
You are there to make the Libdem's "sexual equality" image believable. So please just shut up and take the money because frankly your whining makes a lot of people sick.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Bake-off is Getting Silly

TV programmes have a natural life and after they have made a hit with the public, what generally happens is that they get "sequelitis". Either they have to repeat themselves, perhaps with some thin disguise, or they have to wander from the original idea in order to prolong the series indefinitely. We have got to this stage with the Great British Bake-off. It is no longer great, it is less and less British and this week it was not even about baking.
Over the last few episodes we have seen the hapless contestants being required to make things that nobody has ever tasted, seen or even heard of. Obscure varieties of cake and pastry from every corner of the world are now being found and turned into a challenge for the bakers.
Last week they were expected to make "Kouign-amann" a type of sweet pastry from one village in Brittany, utterly unknown to most French people. The instructions boiled it down to just seventeen steps - no fuss, then.
This week they had to make something called Schichttorte, an even more obscure culinary oddity from one village in Germany.


The reason a recipe has not travelled the world is that it's probably a bit more trouble than it's worth. The twenty layers of Schichttorte are grilled, one at a time, not baked. Not only is this a huge waste of time and fuel, but since it's not actually baked, what is it doing on the British Bake-off? It just gave Paul Hollywood another chance to bully people in his abrupt, offhand way. He does not even try to be polite, and the fact that he appears on the show wearing jeans seems to me rather disrespectful. Judges should dress up. Not necessarily in a wig and a robe, but at least a decent pair of trousers.

Of course the Bakeoff has nothing to do with baking in real life. Real women don't have four or five hours to make a cake, They're lucky if they get half an hour, and most of that time they will also be doing everybody else's washing up, answering the phone and watering all the pot plants on the patio.

Watching on TV can't give you any idea what things really taste like but I would be prepared to bet that anything cooked by Chetna, who was kicked off this week in the semi-final, would be pretty tasty. It is a pity to see her go and if we could invite ourselves to dinner with any one of the contestants, she would certainly be my choice.