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THE CHANGING FACE OF IRELAND…

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 10:40 pm

Hibernia Girl has a fascinating post concerning the dramatic demographic changes happening in the Republic of Ireland.

irish_flag1_thumbnail.gifPerhaps the key fact I pick up on is that the Republic now has around 300,000 Poles/Latvians resident in it. The total Irish population prior to 2004 (when EU expansion really opened the floodgates) was around 4m. So the Irish population, in the space of just a few years, has changed dramatically, with eastern Europeans now making up almost 10% of the total population! This is a HUGE figure, which dwarfs the UK relative figure of just 1%. It is the greatest demographic change in Europe and yet it seems to pass below the political radar. The Irish political elite seem relatively unconcerned, so wrapped up are they in the multiculti dream. I find it odd that there is not more of a public concern as the Republic will be changed out of ALL recognition as the numbers of immigrants pour in, and the demographics change the country in a way that has no historical precedence. 

LOW PRICES A HIGH PRICE?

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 10:30 pm

What’s all this outcry about the fact that Tesco is cutting the retail price of its standard whole chicken to £1.99? The store says bringing down the price of a bird from £3.30 will benefit "shoppers on a budget". But – guess what – yes, Animal Rights groups and Farmers are up in arms against this. In essence, lowering prices to shoppers for key value items such as chicken is being portrayed as a BAD thing! Total rubbish – Tesco should be applauded for thissince it meets what many shoppers want. If others feel unhappy about this – then let them go elsewhere and pay more. But this is a counter-inflationary move at a time when inflation is a key economic issue for the UK, and the attack on Tesco is chicken-brained.

A FAMILY AFFAIR

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 9:51 pm

pig203.jpgPigs. Snout. Trough.

I was reading that lobster-fishing enthusiast Ian Paisley Jnr really IS in the money.

As an MLA, he earns around £85,00O in salary and expenses. But he is ALSO  a junior Minister – a position he occupies care of his Dad.  As a junior Minister, he earns around 20k above the basic MLA salary. So that takes him up over the 100k. But that’s not enough.

It is now revealed that Ian Jnr is ALSO receiving a salary from Westminster as a "researcher" for his North Antrim MP father. Sir Alastair Graham, the former chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, described this as "very bizarre".

"It means he is being paid as an assembly member, a junior minister and also by his father from his parliamentary allowances," he said. Mr Paisley said his research job has been detailed in his register of interests since 1998.

Now there is nothing illegal about this. Greed, however, is a different ball game.

That’s also the thing about nepotism, gotta keep it in the family.

THE GLORY OF PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Isn’t ITALY a wonderful example of the merits of proportional representation?


Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has dissolved parliament, paving the way for snap elections. Again.


The move comes after the country’s leaders held unsuccessful talks to form an interim government. The political crisis was triggered by last month’s resignation of centre-left Prime Minister Romano Prodi who lost a confidence vote in the Senate. By law, President Napolitano has to call an election within 70 days of dissolving parliament. Mr Prodi – as a caretaker prime minister – is now expected to hold a cabinet meeting to decide the date for the election, widely expected to be held on 13-14 April.


This means that Italy has a general election virtually every year, which in turn means that government lacks any sort of sustained cohesion since everything is short-term and as chaotic as the traffic in Rome!

THE DEBT JUGGERNAUT

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

Excellent article by Jeff Randall in the Telegraph today. It concerns the parlous state of the UK economy.

"Gordon Brown keeps telling us that, under his stewardship, this country has enjoyed its longest-ever period of economic growth. Were a business to make a similar boast, you might expect it to have cash in the bank. Yet, according to a survey by KPMG, 22pc of Britons are struggling to repay their debts and 35pc fear that this year it will become even more difficult to make ends meet. The Brown boom has, perversely, produced a massive explosion in the numbers going bust. The Government led by example, changing the rules so that bankruptcy was made easier and less onerous. Worse still, thousands of naive students have been channelled into third-rate universities, clocking up £20,000 of debt in the pursuit of worthless degrees. And finally, there is the unpalatable truth that too many live-for-the-moment merchants simply shut their eyes and went for broke. They abandoned personal accountability for the economics of the madhouse."

Yet Brown has been allowed to get away with portraying himself as Mr Prudence, the man who made such a good job of the economy. Brown was a disaster as a Chancellor and it is only now that some are wakening up to this economic reality.  The worse news is that he is now Prime Minister!!

TERROR ALERT IN NEVER NEVER LAND!

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

I see that Northern Ireland has been put on terror alert as police said they were stepping up operations to disrupt dissident republican activity across the Province. The announcement was made just days after it was revealed that the Queen is to visit next month.
Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde said today it was a disorganised but dangerous threat. Members of the public have been told to expect an increase in police activity, including the use of vehicle checkpoints. In a statement, police said: "The public are urged to be patient and to co-operate with police in this operation which is designed to ensure the safety of the whole community." Sir Hugh warned that whilst dissidents appeared to be concentrating on mounting attacks in the province, he had no doubt that would target other parts of the UK if they can. Speaking at Stormont earlier today he said:
"They have the intent to cause as much damage as they can to the peace process in Northern Ireland."
Hang on a second, Sir Hugh. The "peace process" was entirely predicated on REWARDING terrorists. How on earth can you now say that terrorism does not pay? These dissidents are scum but so are the IRA, UVF and UDA and they are now the kings of the hill. If you start appeasing terrorists, where do you stop?

THE BMW DEBATE

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

RhodochitonW0502_228x333.jpgDid you read about the BBC apologising after a debate about a plant known as a "black man’s willy" was broadcast on Gardeners’ Question Time? Yes, a caller to the Radio 4 show asked for advice on the Rhodochiton volubilis, which he said was "commonly known as the BMW, the black man’s willy". Panellists were heard giggling their way through a discussion about the plant. Gardening author Bob Flowerdew admitted he had "only ever seen one close up – and not that colour". Horticulturalist Anne Swithinbank added: "I’ve never seen one in my life. They don’t really like the cold, as you can imagine. They shrivel up and look very unhappy." But "some" listeners failed to see the funny side, complaining of racist stereotyping and vulgarity by the broadcaster.

I have listened to Gardener’s Question Time on the odd occasion and a more innocent programme would be hard to contemplate. There was NO NEED to apologise for this and the BBC is being way too indulgent of the humourless politically correct professional complainers out there. Is there anybody out there who thinks this public apology was necessary, or do you agree with me that by doing this the BBC encourages more of the same petty fault-finding?

OFFENSIVE BUT SO WHAT?

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

Busy day – hence lack of posts from yours truly! Anyway, catching up….


Did you see that a poster claiming that there is a gay agenda to “abolish the family” has been criticised by the advertising watchdog? The Christian Congress for Traditional Values (CCTV) advert showed a man, woman, boy and girl with the statement “Gay aim: abolish the family”.


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the organisation could not stand up the claim that was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. CCTV defended its concerns about a perceived threat to Christian values.  The ASA upheld complaints against the ad, ruling that it could be inflammatory. The poster broke advertising rules on social responsibility, decency, matters of opinion and truthfulness, the ASA said.


I totally disagree – I think this is EXACTLY the agenda being pursued by the militant gay lobby, exemplified by the efforts of the Stonewall group. I also think that our rotten Labour government shares this anti-family agenda and will be pleased that any effort to highlight this poisonous agenda is slapped down by the ASA.  Surely there is a public right to express opinion, or is it that gays, like Islamists, have special protection? What’s wrong with producing material that some gays may not like? Since when did they have a right not to be offended?

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME…

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 8:35 am

Well then, that was Super Tuesday, and what an interesting day it was.

Let me start by stating what seem obvious, a change is going to come in American politics. Ever since Bush got back into the White House for a second term, I sense that momentum has been draining away from the GOP. Perhaps eight years in power does do that to any Party and therefore a period in relative exile will help re-focus minds on the issues that matter and how crafted policy must reflect these.

I believe that a liberal will enter the White House – be it McCain/Hillary/Obama. Contrary to what some here think, and what the opinion polls claim, I am certain that John,McCain cannot defeat either Democrat contender. I think the media knows that but that’s why they have been shilling for John McCain. Bottom line is this; when the New York Times smiles favourably on a Republican, as they do with dear John, then you KNOW that something is badly wrong!

So, on the issues, the "right" will have a Presidential candidate who is weak as ditchwater on immigration, who wants to close Gitmo, who wants to commit the US to ludicrous AGW treaties, who delights in attacking big business, and who is either for/against tax cuts depending what day of the week you ask him. The media claim that republican voters will, in the end, "hold their nose" and vote McCain in to keep Hillary out. I do not think this will happen and that a section of the base will not endorse McCain. Since the race is tight enough, this section’s refusal to back  McCain guarantees the Dem’s will capture the Presidency.  

I have nothing but disdain for Hillary and anyone who has read about her "experience" will realise what we are dealing with here but I still think that she will win the Presidency. The Clintons brought shame on the White House last time round, but that has now been erased from the media memory and Hillary is presented as a knight in white(water) armour. I don’t think Obama can win, but maybe I will be proven wrong. I think this whole "Change"  hysteria that surrounds him is ephemeral and will not endure. I think he is so lightweight that he is in danger of floating away – but then again, the media love him because he most closely echoes their own agenda.

The GOP needs to revisit first principles. It needs to find a connection with the base AGAIN. There should be a revolution coming down the line on the GOP side and that will be good. The Party has become smug, lazy and incompetent. The last four years of Bush – the surge aside – have been poor fare. I think that many republican voters are looking for the sort of inspired leadership Ronald Reagan once offered. Vision, fearlessness, determination – these are just some of the qualities that are needed in a future Republican President. Bush has wobbled over the past four years – perhaps paying far too much attention to the sirens in US State – and where his instincts were right in his first term, he allowed these to be ameliorated in the second term and THAT is where it all went wrong. A true conservative cannot win plaudits in the MSM unless principles become disposable.

The good news is that we can rely on the Dem’s to mess it up – even though the MSM will give them endless support and unfaltering praise. But there is a danger here and we have seen this happen in the UK. Once a leftist administration gets into power the 24/7l media tries to keep it in power. This has had the effect of moving the centre of gravity of British politics even further left. Could this happen in the States? I hope not.

So, in summary, Super Tuesday has not conclusively determined anything but I just wanted to share my meandering thoughts with you. I wish the United States the very best regardless of WHO is in the White House, of course. Above all, I hope that there will never be another 9/11, and so to my Republican and Democrat friends, I can say that I wish your country well regardless of who your President will be.

"God bless America" kinda sums up what I have to say.

Super Tuesday Open Thread

By ATWadmin On February 6th, 2008 at 2:04 am

Texas 8:30PM

The results so far are mixed. I’m calling numbers from the CNN and Fox website for incoming  election results.

Republicans: McCain is sweeping the early states with a few Huckabee wins in a couple of cracker states. Romney has taken Massachusetts.

Democrats: Obama has taken 7 states. Hillary has taken 7. We’ve got a horse race on the Democrats side.

 All political comments welcome!

 **Update 10:37 CST

California hasn’t called it yet, but the early results are leaning towards a Clinton/MCcain matchup.

Looks like McCain is the presumptive Republican nominee. Hard to call for the Democrats until they divy up the electoral votes. Obama gave Hillary a hard run for the money tonight, we can only hope the hag was knocked out.