Friday, 31 December 2010

Thomas Sowell - In the Right Direction

I am moving around all over the place at the moment because of the holidays, but blogging will return to (what counts as) normality in 2011.  So I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year, and to say thank you for your ever increasing support throughout 2010!

So until 2011 rolls around, I leave you with a very cool TV show on one of my favourite economists - Thomas Sowell.  If you have never read any of Sowell's works, it might prove a very good New Years Resolution to make!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

"Principles? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Principles" says Senior Tory Minister

Well, I had a day off from all news stories yesterday, choosing instead to enjoy the festivities with my family and to play around with my new Kindle.  Today I woke up very relaxed, turned on my PC, checked the stories on the Daily Telegraph and immediately my blood pressure hit the roof - back to business as usual here at the Anglo-American Debate then!

Today's story is not a complete surprise, and is from an unnamed source (and so needs to be taken with a pinch of salt) but it does show how the end of the Conservative Party in Great Britain as we know it is a very real possibility, and true conservatives who want their party to represent real conservative values as opposed to some fuzzy liberal-left consensus should be very worried indeed!

In short, the story (found here) from the Daily Telegraph, reveals that a "senior Conservative minister" has backed proposals to field "coalition" candidates at the next election.  To clarify, this would mean that the Tories and the Lib Dems would get together and decide upon a candidate that they could both agree upon to run under the banner of "Coalition candidate."

Of course this is absolutely ideal for the left-wing of the Tory Party (a scandal that such a thing even exists) who can select the most left-wing candidate that they like, a candidate who has as much to do with conservatism as I do with the Trotskyites, and then when questioned on it can turn around and say "Oh, well we needed to in order to satiate the Liberal Democrats."  It gives them the perfect excuse to make a permanent coalition with the Liberal Democrats (after all, which party would the coalition candidates actually belong to?), meaning that they could drag the Tories away from the Right, and into the arms of a centre-left coalition with the Lib-Dems.

I can see exactly what a "Coalition" candidate would be - some trendy Cameroon trained in media relations and spin who would stand for "fairness", "equality" and "a new way of doing politics in the 21st Century."  Great...

Such a decision would be a disaster for the right-wing of the Tory Party, of which I am a part, and needs to be prevented at all costs.  The Party is already too far left as it is, and to unite with the Lib Dems would mean little more than a complete rejection of all conservative principles in order to solidify power in the short term.  But voters are not stupid, they would be able to see this for what it is.  They would know that the Conservatives would no longer stand for anything.  It isn't "compromise" or "dialogue" or any of the other fuzzy words that weirdo like Ken Clarke (who I would propose is the "senior Tory Minister" that has approved this) - instead it is a cynical ploy for power, and proves once and for all that the present Tory Party is just a party that will say anything in order to achieve short term power.

This is not what voters want, and will turn people off politics, and will throw them into the arms of Labour on one hand, or UKIP on the other.  While I have no inherent problem with UKIP, I do not believe in splitting the right-wing vote.  In order to win, the right-wing need to unite under one party, ideally the Tories.  But making a permanent principle-less coalition with the Lib Dems will force many of the right-wing of the party out, and will force a split.  While in the long term this may lead to the establishment of UKIP as a major political force (it would certainly be where I would begin to drift) in the short term it would be an absolute disaster.  The left-wing of the Liberal Democrats are already beginning to migrate to the swelling ranks of the Labour Party, the right of the Tories would drift to UKIP, and it would leave a starved Coalition and hand the next election (whenever that may be) to Labour.

Ed Miliband cannot win an election on his own, but if this tasteless coalition continues, then the Tories could very easily lose it, and Miliband may find himself handed the next election by a Tory Party determined to abandon its principles and self destruct at all costs.  The prospect of Prime Minister Miliband should spur the right wing of the Tory Party into action and to reclaim the party from nutjobs such as Ken Clarke - who are determined to continue this marriage of inconvenience with the Liberal Democrats.

It is time to stop the madness.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas to the Right, Happy Winterval to the Left!

I want to wish all of my readers a very Happy Christmas, whatever their political viewpoints!  As for the whole "War on Christmas", I don't really bother with it - I celebrate Christmas and if other people do not want to, then that is up to them.  But I do want to link to this video, as I find it particularly funny!

Everyone all together "DI-VERS-IT-YYYYYY"  :-)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Katharine Birbalsingh Exposes the State of British Education

I want to give a heads up to Katharine Birbalsingh.  If you do not know who Katharine Birbalsingh is, she is a former deputy head in inner city London, who having seen the dreadful state of state school education, slowly became more and more convinced of the right's position on education, until eventually she gave a major speech at this year's Conservative Party Conference that sent shockwaves throughout the education community.

The speech is a devastating indictment of the way British state school system is planned by those well meaning politicians in Westminster, and has consequently provoked hatred and anger from the voices of the powerful, institutionalised left.  In addition to her speech, it is well worth taking a look at her blog for the Daily Telegraph which details the reactions she is getting from various people (teachers, parents and children) who are connected to the state education system.  Take a look!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Cable - "I Can Bring Down the Government" - SACK HIM!

The big news coming from the British press this morning is the secretly taped conversations with Business Secretary Vince Cable.  In the conversations (which are actually more like one-sided rants from Cable), The Lib Dem shoots his mouth off to a bunch of people who he thought were Liberal Democrat supporters (but who were actually journalists), and tells them that he has "the nuclear option" whereby if he was pushed to do something he didn't like then he could "bring down the government."  Good one Vince you blithering idiot!

Vince Cable is easily one of the most odious men in politics.  His views are absolutely hard-left and out of the socialist playbook, and the fact that he has managed to get himself the position of Business Secretary in a government that is made predominately of Conservatives is disgraceful.  Yet this shows him up for who he really he is.  He isn't just a socialist - he is a power nut to boot.  In the context of the conversations, Cable is not telling his "supporters" about how the government works, but is simply bragging about how much power he has.

The incident shows that he has no qualms about slagging off the government of which he is a major part either.  He had met these people for the first time, and already he is slagging off the Tories, and how they are going to break their promises in the future, and how he doesn't trust a single one of them.  It raises the question - what would he have said to them the next time they met?

Ultimately though this is a question of power, and Cable's love for it.  Vince Cable is all about power.  All the lefty rhetoric that he spouts about punishing banks, taxing  and beating up bankers is all about transferring power over economic matters away from the banks and into his office.  Cable is a classic statist, and sees himself as the ideal man to run such a large statist economy. There is certainly the usual anti-business mentality present in Vince Cable, but it is power that this man really seeks.  No policy he has ever promoted has ever been about anything other than taking power away from private individuals and organisations, and handing that power over to the State.  He should never have been allowed to even get a sniff of government, and to make him Business Secretary was obscene.  Consequently, we are now facing the consequences of that extraordinarily misguided decision by the Prime Minister.

So, can Cable bring down the government?  In short, no - he is a moron who thinks way too highly of himself, as most statists do.  What he is though is a dangerous moron, and if he is allowed to continue being a moron, and advancing such ridiculous policies like taxing the banks out of existence, then he could  be a danger in the future.  It is for this reason that Cameron and Clegg should demand his resignation before the year is out.  Let's start 2011 Cable-free!

Monday, 20 December 2010

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Repealed - The Brits Lead the Way.

With "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" now repealed, there is a pressing need for new military drills to be implemented that are more inclusive.  Luckily the British Army prepared for this situation many years ago, and has lent the Americans their comprehensive training video.  (Just a little joke!) :-)

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Left Wing Media Fawning Over Assange

Over the last few months, I have been fascinated by the different ways Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been treated by various parts of society, especially the media.  Obviously the hard left see him as a sort of hero or visionary - as they do to anyone who does significant damage to America and its allies.  That was always to be expected.  The same people who were "shocked" and "appalled" by the leak of the Climategate emails have no problem with sensitive aspects of national security being plastered across newspapers all around the world and on the internet.  But anything that harms America is good for these people, so this should surprise nobody.

Yet even some of the more moderate voices in the media seem to be swayed by Assange, and are not treating him for what he is - a cyberterrorist - but instead as a legitimate contributor to American political discourse.    We have seen this not only in the decisions by newspapers like The Guardian and The New York Times to publish the leaked files released by Wikileaks, but also in the attitude that many journalists have shown towards Wikileaks and its founder. Take a look at the video of this interview between Assange and ABC news reporter Jim Sciutto.

Sciutto begins to probe Assange about the rape allegations that he is facing, and that are making the international news.  Sciutto does not imply anything, but simply asks Assange to clarify what he meant when he described the rape accusations he is facing as little more than a hit job.  It seems like a pretty obvious question, and is actually a pretty easy one in comparison to some of the questions many of us would like to ask Mr Assange.  Yet Assange walks out on Sciutto.  Again, this is no surprise, we are used to Assange walking out of interviews when he doesn't like a question - he has done it many times before, most notably to a CNN reporter a few months ago.  The standards of "honesty" and "transparency" that he sets up for the US government apparently do not apply to him.

Yet what is interesting is Sciutto's response.  As Assange is taking his microphone off, Sciutto scuttles up to him and then proceeds to grovel to the leader of the group that has put thousands of American lives at risk time and time again, and stutters,  "I...I...I meant no insult by it...."

Two thoughts immediately occurred to me.  The first was that Julian Assange was being treated like he was the President or a foreign dignitary, and not the head of an international anarcho-terrorist group.  The second thought was more of a question - would Sciutto would have run after Sarah Palin, or Rush Limbaugh, or any Republican figure like that if they had walked off his show?  Probably not.  He would have probably been lauded by his colleagues for "asking the tough questions" and then given some journalistic prize for "services to democracy and accountability" or some other such nonsense.  Instead, because it is Assange, who seems to command this weird sort of respect from even the moderate of left-wing news media, Sciutto panics and feels compelled to apologize for making one of the major security risks to the Western world feel slightly uncomfortable in an interview.

Such an incident didn't anger me, instead I found it interesting.  For there is certainly a complex relationship between Assange and the left-wing media.  I don't believe that the media genuinely like what Wikileaks is doing, but there does seem to be a sense in which they identify him as "one of ours" and consequently they are uncertain as to whether or not they should condemn him, as if doing so would somehow harm their own rights as journalists.

This does cause significant problems.  We need to be able to define clearly who the good guys and the bad guys are here.  There is nothing heroic, or liberty loving to do with Wikileaks, nor does it have anything to do with "journalistic integrity."  If we have a mainstream media that can't fully understand that, and treats Wikileaks' founder like he is some sort of major celebrity or politician, then there is a real problem, and it is going to make bringing cyberterrorists like Assange to justice very difficult if our media can't quite work out if they have done anything wrong!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Britain's Left Are Panicking

My latest article in The American Thinker has been published and focuses upon the left-wing student riots. The article argues that increasing tuition fees threatens the left's hold over the University system in Britain, and therefore represents a real threat to their agenda.  It is for this reason that we have seen so much venom towards the government proposals.

As a PS, I should make reference to a criticism of the article that has popped up a few times  - that is that I am naive for believing that a small hike will remove the left-wing problem in universities.  This is not what the article is saying at all.  I am not saying that this will remove the problem, but that it will weaken the left's grip, as it will dissuade disinterested students not to come, and will result in students demanding greater quality from their lecturers.  As fees go up, as will quality.  That is all I am arguing, not that this latest hike has solved the many, many problems of the British university.  I hope this helps!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Sweden's Close Shave

Those of us who believe in God will be thanking Him that the Swedish terror attempt failed spectacularly.  With the only person killed being the suicide bomber, it is amazing that these two bombs that triggered didn't kill anyone.  Two bombs in Stockholm during Christmas time could have had devastating results.

However, the fact that Sweden was targeted emphasises the flaw in the left's logic when it comes to terrorism and the roots of terror.  As I pointed out in an article last month for The American Thinker, the left's narrative on terror is that terrorism is an exaggerated (but understandable) response to the evil, imperialistic, right-wing policies of America and Britain - policies epitomised in the foreign policy of Dick Cheney and George W. Bush.  If only we would listen to the left, and abandon our evil foreign policies, and just roll over, then the Islamists would leave us alone and all would be fine - they would leave us alone.  It is for this reason, they claim, that America and Britain are the main targets of Islamic anger.

The attempted attacks on Sweden once again blow this theory out of the water, especially when one considers that Sweden is one of the most socialist country in Europe, and is often heralded by the left as the closest thing in existence to a socialist paradise.

Threats have been made not only against Sweden, but also against Germany, France, Belgium and Italy.  Out of those, only Germany could be said to be a significant ally of America in the War of Terror.  Sweden did send troops to Afghanistan, but the number of troops is relatively limited.  Although the media is trying to place emphasis on this factor, the bomber himself indicated that it had less to do with the support for the war in Afghanistan, and more to do with their silence over one of the (many) cartoon/Mohammed controversies.

Yes that's right, you read that correctly.  Sweden was made a target, not because it did anything, but because it didn't condemn the cartoons that were drawn in another country.  This indicates something else about how wrong the left's understanding of the terrorist threat really is.  Islamic extremists won't just leave us alone if we do nothing wrong, instead they demand that we conform with and support their agenda as well.  Their aim is conquest, not neutrality.  Radical Islamists say that we must submit to them or we will automatically be targeted - that is their offer.

The Sweden attacks show that such people cannot be bargained with - as the left wish to do.  The only option is to root these people out and destroy them - this is the option that the right offers, and it is the only option that makes sense.  Let us hope that this awakens people to the threat that confronts us, and the true reality of the situation.  This was a close call, we need to make sure it doesn't happen again, as next time we might not be so lucky.

Friday, 10 December 2010

"Pay For My Own Education? Tory Scum!!"

First of all, apologies for the lack of posts last week - I have been travelling back to England, and have been trying to shake off the jet lag since I arrived.  Good to be home though!  :-)

The obvious news for this week is the riots by British students on the day of the tuition fee vote.  The Bill to raise the cap on university fees from £3,000 to £6,000 a year passed.....just.  Yet the day was marked by a series of "protests" by left wing students determined to present themselves as socialists who are "protesting for the common man."  By the end of the day the protests looked less and less like protests and more and more like a full blown riot.  It was a riot that ended with enormous amounts of damage to the city of London, and even in the royal car carrying Prince Charles and Camilla being attacked.

There are some great articles out there covering the story, and I wouldn't want to retread some of the old points that so many good writers have made.  However, I did want to look at this claim by these students that they are somehow taking part in a socialist revolution on behalf of the working man.

That they are socialists is not up for debate.  The way such student bodies almost always end up paying lip service to Marx, Trostsky, Chomsky et al, and wear Che Guevara T-shirts and wave communist flags prove as much.  However, the idea that they are standing up for the "worker" or the "common man" is completely nonsensical, and the opposite is actually true.

The debate has been caught up in soundbites about "free education" and the "right to higher education."  However, the debate is not about that at all, but instead it is about one question (so important that I will highlight it in bold...)

Who should bear the brunt of the cost for a student's university education?

The socialist, if forced to answer this question, will answer that it should be the State.  Yet this answer is erroneous.  The State does not pay for anything, it only channels funds that it has already received. It has received those funds from the taxpayer.  Now, while some of those taxpayers are the "evil bankers" and the "exploitative rich corporations", many taxpayers are normal, working class people trying to make ends meet on a a daily basis - workers who the socialist students claim to be fighting for.

Therefore by arguing for "free" (by which they mean subsidised) education, the student left are simply insisting that other people, many of whom will earn less than the majority of students will eventually earn, pay for their education.  Therefore, they are arguing for a situation in which milkmen, farmers, dinner ladies and plumbers bear the cost of the university education of future lawyers, bankers and executives.  How this is "fair" is beyond me, and how it is "fighting for workers" is even harder for me to understand!

Lifting the cap is a basic statement that says that students should bear a greater share of the cost of their own higher education, an education from which it is they who will primarily benefit.  If students are unable to pay immediately, then it is important to have an accompanying loan system that works and does not add interests to their debt.  However, forcing people (most of whom are struggling to make ends meet as it is) to pay for the higher education of others is not fair, is not just, and it is certainly not in in the interest of the "working masses." 

If students wants to try and convince the public to subsidise their educations then fair play to them, but they should not pretend that it is done for anyone's interests other than their own.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Can We Stop START?? (And Other Tiresome Puns)

If American political commentators were various forms of weapons, Charles Krauthammer would be a drone missile - for every single one of his articles seem to get right to the heart of the matter and obliterates opposing arguments in a single swoop.

His latest article is on the ridiculous START treaty, which seeks to limit the number of nuclear weapons that both the US and Russia possess - the idea being that this will make the world safer as not only does it mean there are less nukes, but that it might also encourage Iran and North Korea to stop playing with nuclear weapons too.  These two arguments are nonsensical, and it one wouldn't be surprised if Mr Obama came out and say "You can't hug your children with nuclear arms!"

As Krauthammer points out, it isn't necessarily the symbolism of START which is problematic, but instead more worrying is Obama's ultimate aim that there are no nuclear weapons in existence.  This is completely idiotic for two reasons.

The first is that even if this dream were able to be achieved, this would leave us at an enormous disadvantage against Russia.  The reason the Soviets were so in favour of nuclear disarmament in the 70's and 80's wasn't because they were all peace loving hippy types, but because nuclear weapons were the only area that the United States could beat the Soviets with.  When it came to military numbers, tanks, planes etc, the Russians were well ahead of the game, due to their industrial capabilities and their enormous population which meant they had manpower for both industry and for the army.  If the Cold War had been fought only on the ground,
the Soviets would have won every day of the week!  It was only because the US had advanced nuclear weapons that prevented to Soviets from attacking.  Now, although Soviet Russia no longer exists and modern day Russia is less and less of a threat, it would still be folly to remove that strategic advantage that America has.  Getting Russia to get rid of theirs is irrelevant, as nukes aren't their strength!

Second of all, there is no such thing as a nuclear free world, and if Russia and America abolished their nukes, it would mean that the whole world could be held hostage by the one country that did manage to sneak out a weapon.  Why Obama believes that America not having weapons would do anything but encourage rogue nations to gather nukes is beyond me!   Without America having nukes, it would only remove the deterrent that currently stops smaller nations developing nukes themselves.

START also brings the revisionist history of the Cold War that the left have tried to tell into focus.  The fact is that we won the Cold War by having greater numbers of more powerful nukes and better defences than the Soviets did.  Reagan's plan (that the left hated) worked, and yet we are told that it didn't and that somehow the CND movement that pervaded the 80's were right, when they were in fact wrong.  Until now this has not mattered a great deal, but now we have a President in the White House who buys into this nonsense, and this should worry us.

It is up to the Republicans to put a spanner in the works of this treaty in 2011, or the world will be a less safe place as a result.  To fall back on the obvious pun - it is time to put a stop to START.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

President Bush's Challenge to Great Britain

Although it is based generally on a post I made a few weeks ago, my latest article in the American Thinker is out, and focuses on George W Bush's claims that waterboarding saved British lives.  It argues that it is about time that people in both Britain and America make a genuine decision about what they are prepared to accept in order to save the lives of innocent civilians.

The article can be found here.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Is it me or does anyone else not see the fuss about these latest so called Wikileaks??

Don't get me wrong, I have had many bad words to say about Wikileaks in the past, with their leaks on the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts that put many people in immediate danger as a result.  However, these latest ones don't seem particularly surprising or revealing.  I read through many of them and was not surprised by a single revelation.  Pakistan has a worry amount of nukes.  Yeh??  North Korea could collapse and China could back off.  No!!  US officials don't like Mugabe or Ahmadinejad - say it isn't so!

I honestly believe that in the long term these leaks won't go down in history for anything except for the sheer quantity of documents that have been leaked, which is certainly worrying.  However, apart from various diplomatic feathers being ruffled, I don't really see this as much more than a storm in a teacup.  One quick caveat to that though - not everything has been released yet, so there could be some big bombshells around the corner. If that is so, lets hope that officials can track down that weirdo Assange and co before they do any more damage.