Friday, 16 December 2016

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO GREAT BRITAIN

Are we becoming just a sad little country struggling in the shadow of a great past? Just look at a news item stating that a sink hole in a village in the south of England has been fixed and the road has just reopened after a year. In Japan, a few weeks before, a sink hole of similar size in a city was filled and the road reopened in a week.

At the turn of the last century Britain had the biggest navy in the world to look after its interests. All the ships were built in Britain. In fact most of the ships sailing in the world were built in Britain. Today the British navy is so small it is counted as an irrelevance by the rest of the world. Most of the ships don't work properly and are laid up in ports. Britain is about to have two new aircraft carriers having just scrapped the last one, but when they are eventually launched there are no planes for them and it looks as though we will have to borrow some from the French. What sort of planning is that? It is obvious from this alone that British politicians really don't give a damn. Britain built some of the greatest ships ever and now 90% of shipyards lay desolate and abandoned. British companies like P&O go abroad to have their ships built.

Until 50 years ago Britain had a car and lorry industry that was up with the best in the world. What happened to that? Both unions and management really didn't give a damn about them either and together they conspired to ruin it. Strikes, theft, no research and development worth the name, incredibly bad management from top down, unions believing they could have what they wanted without ever thinking of productivity and blaming everyone else for the problems of the industry. The workers for blindly and greedily flowing union orders without ever thinking that their jobs might be at risk. Even iconic vehicles like Land Rover, Jaguar and the Mini failed under British management. Bought by foreigners they have returned to success and profit.

Britain used to export to the world just about every manufactured item imaginable. When I was a youngster and living abroad in Africa everything we ever bought had 'Made in England' stamped somewhere on it. Try finding that stamp on anything these days. What is it about the British that they just don't care any more. In Muswell Hill, London, a shop called Really British opened its doors and, in fact, very little is made in Britain, most of it is made in China. In the 70s the government of the day tried a buy British campaign. What they forgot to do is encourage businesses to make British. There wasn't much made in Britain to encourage the locals to buy, but even what there was didn't interest the great British public. They all went for foreign products in general because they were of better quality. The British had given up manufacturing anything of quality.

Aircraft manufacture is another area where the British were amongst the best in the world. You can't find a kite built in Britain today. The first nuclear power station was built in Britain. Today Britain has to go abroad in search of companies to renew them. Even to a country that not many years ago was classed as a third world country like China. Isn't is amazing that Britain calls itself a nuclear power and yet has to go to China, cap in hand, to get a nuclear power station built.

Trains and rolling stock were another British triumph. The best in the world were built in Britain, but that was a long time ago, now everything is imported and anything relating to the railways built in Britain is foreign owned. It's all a sad reflection on Britain and the British today.

If anything good should come of Brexit it is that the British take a hard look at themselves and realize that it's not the government that should be doing everything for them and turning Britain into the nanny state that it's becoming. They should pull up their socks and get back to the inventive entrepreneurs that they used to be. Start inventing and manufacturing again and get a decent economy going. If this doesn't happen Britain will carry on sinking in the eyes of the world.


Monday, 6 June 2016

IN OR OUT? THAT IS THE QUESTION


The big problem with the question is that both sides have very good and valid arguments but many of them are speculation. Telling the future is always problematical and who knows where we will end up whether we stay in or leave the Union. To really understand the ramifications of of leaving one would have to be an economist, an accountant, an entrepreneur, a big business man, a university professor and probably a politician too, all rolled into one. In other words the subject is too complicated for most people to fully comprehend. Listen to the good ones on both sides and they will convince you that their arguments are the only valid ones, but they are not, because actually, in many ways, both are correct.

The elephant in the room is the change the referendum will make to the British political system. The funny thing is, the politicians themselves don't seem to see it. The Conservative party is totally riven and the two sides can no longer be polite to each other. They will never forgive each other. There is a good argument to be made for the Conservatives to split into two or more parties. It's really hard to see how they can possibly come together again after the referendum. They are being so vitriolic about each other I think it would be a miracle for everything to settle down and get back to where it was before. The Graylings of this world who state that if they (Brexit) win, Cameron can remain party leader, are living in cloud and cuckoo land. Conservative backbenchers are probably the most disloyal group of men and women in Parliament and are already plotting his downfall win or lose.

The Labour party is being led by a reluctant leader, reluctant to be leader, really reluctant about the EU, reluctant about most things in Britain till he was surprisingly elected as leader. He was the ultimate protester about everything his own party did, let alone the opposition, for all the years he's been in Parliament. The problem with Corbyn is that he was elected with an overwhelming majority that even caught fellow parliamentary colleagues by surprise. This makes it very difficult to overthrow him which is what a lot of them would like to do. His policies and general demeanor seem to make him unelectable yet never has the Labour party been in such a good position to take advantage of Tory disarray. They will probably split and be in the political wilderness for at least a decade or even longer. Under normal circumstances Labour should be able to take advantage and yet that looks highly unlikely.

Poor old Lib Dems made the fatal mistake of joining a coalition with the Tories and have wiped themselves off the political map. They should try to take advantage of the current political disarray and rebuild, but can they? The problem with them is that they support staying in the EU and whichever way the vote goes the country will be split as I'm sure it will be a very close run thing, so at least half of the people who supported them in the past won't do so again.

That leaves the marginal parties, UKIP, British Nationals etc. and what chance any of them gaining enough support to govern. I don't think so. So, step forth the elephant and change British politics for ever. Supporters of Brexit also seem to forget that if they win it is highly probable that Scotland will hold another referendum and this time the SNP will win leading to the break up of the United Kingdom. Is that what they want? Bumbling buffoon Johnson dismisses that claim with an imperious wave of his hand. If that happens how can we hold him and his mates to account? The break up of the UK would be one of the greatest tragedies ever to befall the country and an indelible stain on the Brexiter escutcheon, but they don't seem to care.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

PROBLEMS WITH RELIGION

Most religions these days are not taken too seriously by their followers. People today, in the West, if they profess to be followers, are not fanatics. Education has had a reasoning influence on people's minds and they take their religion mainly in name only. I admit that people often go back to it when the going gets tough and they need a little help from God. However, for everyone who professes that God has helped when asked there are millions who will swear the opposite. Of course, a lot of this is down to the way we govern ourselves in this modern age. The state makes the laws we have to abide by and this does not include religion in any way, it's called secularism. How people think about religion is left up to the individual, as it should be. Total freedom to chose the way you live, compatible with state laws, is the way we, in the West, like it.

Unfortunately Islam is not like that and there lies the problem many non Muslims have with that religion. There has never been a reformation in Islam and of course, Islam is more than a religion, it is a political system too. Hence, when fundamentalism raises its ugly head, it is ugly. Fundamentalist Muslims hark back to laws that their prophet, Mohammed, promulgated. These may have been fine in the seventh century and, it must be said, were not dissimilar to those practised by Jews and Christians at that time. In fact, Mohammed read both the Torah and the Bible and plagiarised much of their contents for his own teachings. The really hypocritical thing about the fanatics is that they insist on implementing seventh century laws by the use of all things modern including the internet, social media, modern guns and explosives and modern transport none of which Mohammed had. Should they go back to just using swords and camels they would, of course, be truer to what they believe in and preach and a lot less dangerous to others.

The religion could have moderated like others under the normal passage of time and evolution but that has not come about. This is mainly due to the draconian punishments prescribed by the Koran and faithfully dished out by mullahs for any form of dissent or free speech which is seen as a gross infringement of God's will. Muslims are terrified of criticizing anything stated in the Koran. If they do it's called blasphemy and they find themselves under sentence of death. It is truly amazing for a religion that repeats, ad nauseam, the fact that God is great, that they rely so heartily on earthly punishments for perceived sins against heavenly laws. Why not let God be the judge and punish accordingly or perhaps they think he is incapable of this task?

Muslim education starts with primary school children having to learn the Koran off by heart and being warned at that early age of the perils of going against the holy book. This even happens in Moslem schools in Europe and should not be allowed. A Moslem mother in London in 2013, actually killed her six year old son because he didn't get it right. It is an excellent method of brain washing and stifles any form of free thought. The same method was used by the Jesuits centuries ago and we all know what they got up to. Probably one of the wickedest promises made in the Koran which Moslems fervently believe, is the fact that if killed in a war situation they will go directly to heaven and will immediately be granted a gaggle of virgins to play with. It is this promise alone that is responsible for the many suicide bombers the radicals seem able to persuade.

Many of what we call moderate Muslims condemn these suicide bombers yet they keep coming. Radical preachers seem able to persuade these impressionable mainly young men, that blowing themselves up and killing loads of other people will be blessed by God and they'll get their instant reward and gratification. I have never been able to find out what is in it for women. A genuinely sick teaching that non Muslims just could not believe because they have the freedom of thought and the ability to question without being challanged. If all the Muslim preachers formed a united front and openly stated that this is a sin and that the perpetrators would be rewarded by a hefty stint in Hell, things might change, but the brain washing is too embedded for this to happen.

Other religions see things differently. Jews don't believe that Jesus was the Messiah but they live amongst other people all over the world and get on with them. If there is any trouble with the Jews it is usually started by Christians and Muslims. Christians, on the other hand, do believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and not only that, but the actual son of God. They therefore look upon the Jews as misguided, unfortunate, and therefore probably heading for a spell in Hades. However, Muslims can only be heretics because if Jesus is the son of God there can be no further prophets, and as heretics they will surely burn in Hell for ever. However, these days, both Christians and Jews are quite prepared to live and let live on the basis already mentioned that they take their religion less seriously (not all Jews or Christians admittedly but they also don't go round suicide bombing people for the sake if it). They feel that people should be free to choose their religion themselves. Islam doesn't work like that. Muslims believe in forced conversion and do it all over the World wherever they can. Plus if you are a Moslem and you convert to some other religion you are immediately under sentence of death and if nobody else gets to you, it is incumbent on your family to carry the sentence out. What sort of loving religion demands that? Muslims in general have this fanatical belief that they are right and everybody else is wrong and, in fact, treat people of other religions very badly when they can get away with it. Just look at the poor Egyptian Christians and how they are treated.