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By Pete Moore On January 27th, 2012 at 2:12 pm

First there was the “French paradox”: how do those chaps over the channel eat so much fat and yet get so little heart disease?

Because fat is good and necessary for health. It’s also very tasty. State Dietary Field Guidance is the worst possible diet advice. All that bread, rice, potatoes and pasta is the reason for much ill-health and why many find it difficult to lose weight. Get rid and replace with more meat, fish and fruit and veg. Fry them if you like in olive oil, it’s just as good.

High-fructose corn syrup is another reason for ill-health. It’s in almost all processed foods and it’s poison. Yes, “the Mediterranean diet” is healthier than ours in Blighty or North America, and one reason is because it excludes the rubbish which comes in tins and packets.


By David Vance On January 27th, 2012 at 11:43 am

Did you see that Spain’s unemployment figure has passed the five million mark in the last quarter of 2011, official figures show.

The National Statistics Institute said 5.3 million people were out of work at the end of December, up from 4.9 million in the third quarter. The rate rose from 21.5% in the third quarter to 22.8% – the highest rate in nearly 17 years. The new figures show more than half of all 16-24 year-olds are jobless – 51.4% compared with 45.8% before.

From talking to people in Spain, I understand that even this does not reveal the true degree of the dreadful situation-  with many of those young people who ARE working in dead end jobs.

The havoc wrought on the Spanish economy is entirely the fault of the Spanish people who endorsed Zapatero’s socialist government for two consecutive terms. In essence they sold the future of their young people for more than a handful of Euros. Now, as the new Spanish Government seeks to shrink the Debt and row back the outrageous spending, the people take to the streets. They would do better to look in the mirror and ponder their actions in 2008 and 2004.


By David Vance On January 27th, 2012 at 9:56 am

If you want to encourage Faith, it’s important that you keep faith with the idea of ensuring that the established Churches are prevented from controlling State Education.

It’s a simple proposition, really. Should the Churches get to determine what is taught in State schools? The answer is also straightforward; No – they should not. And yet in the UK and Ireland, the established Churches retain significant influence over how schools are run, what is taught and who does the teaching.

Don’t get me wrong – I fully support the idea of Faith Schools. I think some of these do a very good academic job whilst staying true to their core religious values. I know some people who teach in these schools and am certain that they provide a decent grounding for the young people under their instruction. But I also believe that not so much as one penny from the taxpayer should go their way as it is plainly inappropriate for the State to fund Faith schools. In the same way, it is important that the State also keeps its nose out of Faith Schools and I object to the way in which the pernicious  State seeks to control Church Schools. It has to be a two way street. No Church interference in State schools and no State interference in Church Schools.

If we look to the United States, a Nation that is considered much more religious than the UK, we can see the clear benefit of separation between Church and School. In the US 83% of people consider themselves Christian, compared to a sinking 70% in the UK. The Founders were clear that in order to maintain religious liberty and freedom of religious choice, Churches and Schools must be kept apart. I’m with the 4th US President James Madison who shrewdly observed that “the [religious] devotion of the people has been manifestly increased by the total separation of the church from the state.” This situation still prevails and shows that people can be trusted to find Faith without it having to be dictated on the daily curriculum.

In Northern Ireland, all schools run by the Roman Catholic Church, the Free Presbyterian Church and any other Church should have any funding they receive from the State removed. If Churches here want to run schools, that’s great, but let them pay for it. It is quite outrageous to demand that the taxpayer hands over hundreds of £££millions to fund their institutions. Why do they take an arrogant attitude that is both wholly and indeed holy unreasonable? Where is the moral imperative that justifies a claim to all the cash needed to preserve their schools and their ethos? If they want to keep this, let them pay for it from their own funds.

State schools should be what they say on the can. They exist care of the taxpayer and their mission should be to provide a balanced and excellent education to all who attend. Should Religion be part of that? Of course! To appreciate the works of Shakespeare, to marvel at the wonders of the Universe, to understand the human condition, a sense of religious faith is an asset and State schools should ensure students are exposed to a wide range of Religious Faiths – so they can make their own mind up. I’m all for the Churches going into Religious classes in State schools and putting forward their views, their traditions, their values.  But that’s as far as it goes. I don’t believe that Morning Assemblies with prayers and hymns are relevant in 2012 and far too often these are simply banal exercises in going through the motions. It is possible to envisage circumstances where a School Assembly could potentially benefit from a Christian teaching but that is different to saying that this is the norm or a requirement.

CK Chesteron observed that “A coziness between church and state is good for the state and bad for the church.” He’s right.

Over the last 70 years, Churches and State Schools have become far too cozy with the Churches sitting back with their collection plates held out accepting the filthy lucre dispensed from Government. They would do better to reclaim their independence by separation from the State. If they don’t, they haven’t really got a prayer.


By David Vance On January 27th, 2012 at 9:47 am

Here is a most excellent article by my friend Robin Greer. Make sure you read all of it if you want to understand where Capitalism needs to go. Here’s an excerpt;

“Like justice capitalism is blind. Left unchecked capitalism will usually succumb to the human frailties of greed and lead to unsustainable inequalities. This is the central plank of revolutionary Marxism, that preaches that capitalism will always lead to cruelty and unfairness and so sow the seeds of revolution.

Unfortunately unchecked socialism is an even worse outcome than rampant capitalism. History has, however, shown that whenever socialism has taken hold the results are poverty and the brutality of the Gulag.

However, capitalism tamed by democracy has consistently produced the best results for the greatest number of people.

Broadly the western capitalist world has succeeded by switching between right wing governments that stick their noses out and allow wealth to be created, until the inequalities become evident and the electorate invites a left wing government in to spread the wealth about. Once the left wing has spent all the money the cycle starts over again.

But things have been allowed to get a bit out of synch of late….”

We’d love for you to take the job, Stephen!

By Mike Cunningham On January 27th, 2012 at 9:44 am

So you are a very successful operator and high-level executive in property company British Land. You previously held very senior positions within Credit Suisse, and similar high-profile work at Abbey National. You are extremely well-paid, and you have not blotted your copybook by making silly mistakes like so many of your compatriots. The Banking crisis, with huge banks about to default, happens, but you are not concerned because your job is unaffected.

But the Government pleads with you to take over the reins of the largest of the faltering banks, and so you negotiate a very good salary and bonus package to try and bring the bank with possibly the largest losses of any British bank back onto an even keel, so it can once more be privatised and sold hopefully at a profit to the taxpayer, who holds some 82% of RBS shares. Let us not forget that little sentence; that Mr. Hester entered into a Contract backed by the British Government (Labour, at that time) within which was agreed that he would be awarded a bonus determined by his actions.

Fast forward four years, with Stephen Hester half-way through his job of reorganising and downsizing the bank. He is doing a fair job, although the share price has tanked; but there again most banks are a bit ‘iffy’. The board of directors decides that Hester is doing a fair job, not brilliant, but moderate, and awards him a share bonus worth just under a million pounds.

The heavens fall around the shoulders of CEO Hester, but also the Government, because he is being paid ‘Too Much Money’ and ‘it isn’t fair’!

Is it any wonder that we only get mediocrities in high public positions, because when we do get exceptional men appointed to high office; the media, all the politicians, and the unwashed mob commences baying for their blood!


By David Vance On January 27th, 2012 at 9:41 am

Iran really is the nexus of repression combined with State savagery. Just reflect on this news if you will;

Iranian courts have sentenced two bloggers to death for “spreading corruption,” and government security forces have arrested four other journalists, in the lead-up to the nation’s March elections.

“In the past two weeks, security forces have reportedly arrested four journalists,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement, “including Shahram Manouchehri, Sahamedin Bourghani, Parastoo Dokouhaki, and Marzieh Rasouli, and Iranian courts confirmed death sentences for bloggers Saeed Malekpour and Vahid Asghari, both of whom were not accorded due process and now face imminent execution on charges of ‘spreading corruption.'”

As someone who has been blogging for more than a decade now, I am thankful that I live in a country that whilst imperfect in so many ways has not yet decided to crack down on those of us who express dissenting political opinion!

There is a chasm that exists in Iran between the regime and the people. When I talk of Iran being the nexus of evil, I simply refer to the Mad Mullahs and their dreams of finishing what Hitler started with regard to Israel. By contrast, the Iranian people are a civilised people that suffer horrendous repression from the thugs in power. When they TRIED to rise up against the Mullahs, Obama shrugged and looked the other way. Any sense of revolution faded.

Thid Iranian regime hangs gay people, stones adulterers to death and now aims to execute bloggers. Our continued avoidance of confrontation with these tyrants is seen – rightly-  as weakness. The sooner we (i.e Israel)  reduces their atomic ambitions to cinders the better. Iran could be a great country, an enlightened land. But this will never happen with the Mullahs at the helm to hell.


By David Vance On January 27th, 2012 at 9:31 am

Glad to see some justice being done.

A corrupt vicar who conducted 28 sham weddings was jailed yesterday. The Rev Canon Dr John Magumba, 58, pocketed at least £8,300 after he  agreed to marry Nigerians to Eastern Europeans living in Britain. The unions enabled the Africans to stay in the UK and claim hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefits.

A court heard that the cost to the  taxpayer of one immigrant wrongly  entitled to services amounted to  £100,000 over a decade, or £230,000 if they had a child. Yesterday the Church of England vicar – who came to Britain from Uganda with his wife and six children – was told that he had brought scandal to his church as he was sentenced to two-and-a-half  years in jail. Investigators suspect no ceremony actually took place with the ‘couples’ simply given their marriage certificates – dubbed ‘golden tickets’ – after handing him hundreds of pounds. On one occasion he married the same woman to different men twice in the space of a week, later changing her age in the register to try to avoid suspicion.

One has to ask HOW did Magumba get into the Church in the first place? How did h get away with all these sham weddings? Shouldn’t this criminal be deported?


By David Vance On January 27th, 2012 at 9:25 am

Is Portugal going to be the new Greece?

A report for the Kiel Institute for the World Economy said Portugal would have to run a primary budget surplus of over 11pc of GDP a year to prevent debt dynamics spiralling out of control, even in a benign scenario of 2pc annual growth.”Portugal’s debt is unsustainable. That is the only possible conclusion,” said David Bencek, the co-author, warning that no country can achieve a primary budget surplus above 5pc for long. “We won’t know what the trigger will be but once there is a decision on Greece people are going to start looking closely and realise that Portugal is the same position as Greece was a year ago.”

This suggests that an orderly Greek default will be followed by others. The buck, or if you prefer the Euro, doesn’t stop in Athens. And then the question is whether it stops in Lisbon? I doubt it – with Ireland, Spain, Italy, even Belgium, looking precarious and all possible candidates for default.


By David Vance On January 27th, 2012 at 9:19 am

How we clapped our hands with excitement when Mubarak fell. At long last, democracy would reign in Egypt under the stony gaze off long dead Pharoahs. Except, of course, this was never going to be the outcome as some of us forecast to the opprobrium of the chattering classes. Now, a quick catch up with reality..

“Six Americans working for publicly funded U.S. organizations promoting democracy in Egypt have been barred from leaving the country, provoking angry demands in Washington that Cairo’s new military rulers stop “endangering American lives”. Among those hit by travel bans – one of those targeted called it “de facto detention” – is a son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, as well as other foreign staffers of the International Republican Institute and National Democratic Institute, officials at the two organizations said.

The United States said Egypt should reverse them: “We are urging the government of Egypt to lift these restrictions immediately and allow these folks to come home as soon as possible,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. “We are trying to get them free to travel as soon as possible, and we’re hopeful that we can resolve this in coming days,” she said.

The Muslim Brotherhood haven’t even started advancing their Sharia-driven agenda yet but it is quite obvious that the new gleaming Egypt will turn out to be like a pyramid – impressive from afar but the closer one gets the more decrepit it looks. I fear for the rights of those Egyptians that thought they were agitating for freedom when they tumbled Mubarak – instead they will find themselves locked in captivity. Just like these Americans.

Obama’s Transformational Change

By Patty On January 26th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Way back in 2008, Barack Obama promised  transformational change if elected.   Boy, oh boy!…did he ever deliver!   Government debt is now greater than 100% of GDP and the government welfare rolls have exploded thanks to deep and lasting unemployment.



Illustration from American Thinker site here.