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Comment upon a comment!

By Mike Cunningham On June 4th, 2011 at 10:51 pm

“What I find amazing is that they were fighting, and I mean both sides, were fighting to prevent exactly what our country has become!!! I don’t think they ever envisioned a country where class differences would deepen, where greed and superficiality would be more important than character and honesty. I will never forget these men, and I am saddened that what they fought for has been largely abandoned and forgotten by the people of this country.”

 

The above words were written as a commentary upon a Youtube video of the theme tune to ‘Gods & Generals’, the Ted Turner film of the first years of the American Civil War. But here is the strange thing, they could have been written about this country, the four nations of the Union; and the attitudes and thoughts of the people that I have come to see as the reason for the decline of Great Britain from a global power to a nation with pretensions, of a nation consistently trying to punch above its fighting weight, but without the backbone, the grit and the determination to somehow pull ourselves out of the morass of superficiality which seems to rule all around us. We voted this scum to rule over us, we have watched as they have routinely lied and broken every promise made, and we just do not seem to care!

We are fighting two wars whilst scrapping valuable ships and aircraft, we have placed our fighting forces in harm’s way in Libyan skies and the blood and dirt of Afghanistan, and what are we reading about in our newspapers?

How a jockey has been banned from riding a horse.

We are treated to a review of where the cast of some strange tv show which is known apparently by the initials T.O.W.I.E. will be spending their holidays.

A judge claims he is forced to free a drug dealer arrested with £5,000′s of cannabis because of ‘the guidelines’

An in-depth look at some ‘talent show’ where the only winner is the promoter, who locks all the acts into unbreakable contracts.

We read how one Prime Minister who is busy giving billions of pounds we do not possess away to foreign scum is being backed by an ex-Prime Minister.

The news is broken that a balding footballer is getting a hair transplant.

And so on, ad infinitum!

 

X-posted from Fire Pillage & Plague

ELIZABETH R GOES TO DUBLIN

By Pete Moore On May 17th, 2011 at 12:16 pm

The red carpet, all the quality out in their finest, the 21-gun salute and a guard of honour at the splendid Georgian Áras an Uachtaráin.

Gosh they do like their old world pomp and ceremony over there, eh?

 

 

 

All alone in the moonlight!

By Mike Cunningham On May 11th, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I have to admit that my memory fails me sometimes. From being unable to remember the titles of well-loved pieces of music when played on the radio, to being completely foggy when asked who played whom in a film, or t.v. series. I suppose that time is catching up on me, as it does for all of us. But I regret to state that the passing of one of the most momentous days in the last Century went by my memory without even a stir.

That day was of course May 8th 1945,  V.E. Day, or Victory in Europe Day. The day after Grand Admiral Hans Georg von Friedburg, Dönitz successor as Chief of the Naval Staff, and General Hans Kinzel, Chief of Staff, North West Army Command, surrendered to Field Marshal Montgomery. The dreams of a Thousand-year Reich were smashed, the dreams of a madman who infected a Nation were toppled, the Courts of Nuremberg were in the near future, and I was less than five years old. Six million Jews had perished in the Death Camps, countless thousands had perished with Hitler’s march to ‘Lebensraum’ , and his vaunted Reich was dismembered.

The sad truth of the deal between an ailing Roosevelt, a Churchill who was treated as very much the junior partner; and an exultant and triumphant Stalin at Yalta was becoming evident, with the crushing of any signs of Polish democracy, as well as the nations of Eastern Europe who had been surrendered to the evils of Communism by an American President who was only dead a month. It would be another forty-four years before the stain of Stalin’s shadow would finally be removed with the fall of Communism.

You will note that I used the term by which that Day was known, Victory in Europe Day. I believe that another monster has succeeded the terror of the Nazi plague, but this monster comes complete with politeness, rules, regulations, and strict attention to protocol at all times; but none whit less ruthless than the evil which preceeded it onto the stage. That is why I would never, ever, use the term ‘European Victory’, because that strikes too close to home!

X-posted from Fire, Pillage & Plague

Simply the Best!

By Mike Cunningham On April 30th, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Amongst the millions of lines in newspapers, hours of comment and exposition upon every channel under the sun; Tweets, Likes, blog posts and letters on yesterdays Big Day, I reckon the prize for the simplest, most apposite and pointed commentary goes to the letter from the pages of the Daily Telegraph:-

A special day. British pageantry at its best. Happy faces, smiling crowds. Not an EU flag in sight — what a bonus.

Ted Hawkins

Sandhurst

Berkshire

THE WAY WE ARE

By Pete Moore On April 29th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

A Triumph!

We might not be up to much else, but we can still put on a decent show, and what a show.

I have to agree with Cristina Odone and Toby Young in the Telegraph. We are and remain a Christian, conservative country. Without question, the marriage of our future King and Queen in the glorious Westminster Abbey has been met with a national tide of celebration. This was no hark back to the past, there was nothing “old-fashioned”  in the extraordinary joy found in the enormous crowds in london and thousands of street parties up and down the land. So magnificent is the day we just may not have changed as much as some of us have feared and some have hoped.

This is us, today, as we are, the British people having a jolly good knees up. Now I’m off down the pub.

ANSWER THE CENSUS OR SUFFER VIOLENCE

By Pete Moore On March 26th, 2011 at 7:35 pm

A 100-STRONG army of census enforcers has been given police powers to gather criminal evidence against householders who fail to complete tomorrow’s national survey.

Oh dear, mine went to instant filing a few weeks ago.

For the first time in the 210-year ­history of the census, a unit of “non-compliance” officers authorised to conduct interviews under caution will visit homes across the country.

Piss off.

Mark me as “non-compliant” on your form if you like, but you can piss off.

I am a free-born Englishman. I do not belong to the state. I am not a piece of cattle to herd. I am not a tax unit to be counted and assessed for auctioning to the highest criminal bidder.

In this life I belong to myself and no-one else and I will not answer your questions.

And how do you pronounce ‘compassion?

By Mike Cunningham On March 23rd, 2011 at 1:30 pm

‘We are arranging a visit to your house. We will view your possessions and list those that we will sell at auction. We strongly advise you to avoid this as it will cost you much more to pay this way and can be embarrassing.’


Suppose you are 95, and then suppose you are frail, confused and ill. You receive a letter like that from HMRC, a government agency with a reputation for arrogant and forceful action. So you contact a friend, who contacts a newspaper; who in turn contacts the charity Tax Help For Older People to look at her case.

After examining her records it emerged that she has in fact paid more than £380 too much tax. HMRC apologises, and says it will investigate.

But no-one will be fired, no-one will be punished, no-one will accept that wrong has been done; and not only to this frail elderly lady, but to many thousands of others who have received harsh demand letters from the Agency which bears  the title Her Majesty’s  Revenue & Customs.

THE UNPRONOUNCEABLES

By ATWadmin On September 10th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Some people are city types. The crowds, the buzz, the pizzazz of life among the throng attracts many who find it all so exciting.

Not me.

That’s Pen y Fan in the Brecons Beacons with its sibling Corn Du just behind. It’s where I was this week but I might not have made it. In fact it might never have been in my mind to go anywhere near it but for chance.

You see, dear reader, twenty-odd years ago a mate dragged me up Blencathra in the the Lake District. It wasn’t planned and he wasn’t sure of the route himself, but he’d been there before and nagged me into submission. I was soon cursing the swine every painful step of the way, wondering what on Earth possessed anyone to put themselves through such Hell for no good reason. When I catch up with him at the top, I vowed, I’ll strangle the bugger. Well, not quite. Instead, I had one of those moments, an epiphany of sorts. “Blimey” I would have said if something a little more industrial hadn’t been heard instead.

The swirling clouds cleared and the great, dark bulk of Skiddaw to the right came into view. Laid out far below was Derwentwater with Keswick (where I’d been sat happily with a coffee not two hours before) at its shore and, beyond, the great spread of Lakeland peaks and valleys was laid out before me. Since then many of my most memorable experiences have come from hill-walking. Physically and mentally it gives me a buzz which others find elsewhere.

If I hadn’t been dragged up Blencathra, jeans, trainers and light jacket and all, I don’t know where I’d have been this week but it certainly wouldn’t have been up and around Pen y Fan. The approach is first on a Roman road, now a track known as “the Gap Road”. Since it cuts through the mountains at the Bwlch ar y Fan col I suspect it much pre-dates the Romans who used it practically for their purposes. At the col it was a turn west onto the Craig Cwm Cynwyn, over the Cribyn peak and onto Pen y Fan. When you look back from this, the highest point in southern Britain, you see Cribyn and a spread of Beacons:

Better than being stuck indoors in my book. Then it was over Corn Du and south onto a ridge walk by way of Craig Gwaun Taf and Rhiw yr Ysgyfarnog. (By the way, if you think I’m making up these names, just ask ATW regular marlloy who grew up not far from here).

Halfway along that ridge I spied a likely squaddie walking back my way. Squaddies and special forces are often in these here parts and his stuffed bergen gave the game away when we closed. At a couple of paces away I noticed his maroon Paras t-shirt and that he was in his early twenties. We gave each other a nod and a hello. It was just then I saw his left arm was missing below the elbow. I didn’t ask, you never do intrude, but I wondered about him all the way back, on where he’d been and what he’d seen.

Then, lastly, a drop down from the ridge, through the Twyn y Neuadd bog where I thought I’d be smart, cut the track and ended up with sopping feet when my heroic leap across a stream didn’t go quite as planned. Five hours, ten miles in total and, in my mind, a great day because it was spent doing exactly what I wanted to do.

STRAW AND MACASKILL TELL SENATE TO GET STUFFED

By ATWadmin On July 23rd, 2010 at 5:37 pm

THE US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations has scheduled some rather odd hearings into the release almost a year ago of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. Odd, because the committee “is responsible for overseeing the foreign policy agencies of the U.S. government”. Reviewing the judicial decisions of foreign powers would seem rather beyond that writ.

Still, they press on and the committee has invited former Justice Secretary Jack Straw and Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill to testify. As unusual as it is to agree with Trots and socialists, I absolutely applaud their decision to decline the invites.

I have a natural sympathy for the American sensibility and no-one is more willing than me to recognise the astonishing country generations of Americans have built across a vast land mass in such a short period of time. While many places struggle with plumbing after five thousand years, the Americans were on the Moon in two hundred because of their dynamism, hard work and relative liberty. It is a country of astonishing achievements then.

However, I have to say I’m becoming increasingly sick and tired of Washington and it’s arrogant stance that the world answers to it. MacAskill has given the committee exactly the right response to the invite:

“I am accountable to the Scottish Parliament and I’m elected by the Scottish people.

“That’s why when I was asked to appear before a Scottish Parliamentary committee on Megrahi, I did so, and that’s proper form.”

In other words – “get stuffed”.

The American founding myth is built on the idea of sovereignty and self-determination. For all its faults, the Scottish government is a lawfully constituted body which vested in MacAskill judicial powers. When he acted in the al-Megrahi case he did so openly and explained his decision; all terminally-ill prisoners in Scotland are released and al-Megrahi was treated no differently. Whether you agree with this decision or not, and I don’t, we know how and why the decision was made.

The US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations can simply find out all they need to know. It’s why they send thousands of people around the world to American embassies. Unfortunately it’s acting with an increasing arrogance and disrespect and even people like me are becoming increasingly ticked off. If the committee wants an explanation it can ask via the proper channels and the response will be full.

When the members sit on a dais and make ready to question the acts of other, sovereign governments, they can get stuffed.

CUMBRIA: 12 KILLED, 25 INJURED, THREE CRITICAL

By ATWadmin On June 2nd, 2010 at 6:00 pm

It’s terrible news from Cumbria and we can only hope and pray it doesn’t get any worse.

Twelve people have been killed by a gunman who went on the rampage across Cumbria in north-west England. Taxi driver Derrick Bird shot dead a colleague in the town of Whitehaven before driving through the countryside apparently targeting people at random […]

Mr Bird’s body was found in a wooded area in Boot in the Lake District and two weapons have been recovered.

I know the area well. A good friend is from Whitehaven and I’ve done plenty of hiking on the fells around Boot. This is the place we’re talking about, left, until today a piece of Heaven in England. There’s plenty of time to chew on these dreadful events later.

For now, I’m thinking of the victims and bereaved. The news coming out is heartbreaking, the victims losing their lives at random, people in the wrong place at the wrong time.