Friday, 16 November 2018


What a disaster the European Referendum was. David Cameron was sure the vote would be to stay. A huge miscalculation on his part which led to his immediate resignation and departure from politics altogether. There were plenty of good reasons for a 'no' vote, and those that did vote no felt that they had gained nothing by being in the EU. In fact, they had lost a great deal. Industries like the British fishing fleet was decimated due to Common Market rules. Then there was the gradual change in the union which had started out being a purely economic trading community called the Common Market when Britain joined, to more of a political union. As a trading union it had promised riches for everyone. That didn't happen, for two reasons. The first was that the Europeans and mainly the French and the Germans had another agenda. They wanted a politically united Europe, something the British never did and would never have voted for. The second and probably the most important, British politicians never really pulled their weight in Europe. Politicians of both main parties have always been split on Europe and continue to be so to this day. Had British politicians forced their way into the centre of the European politics and administration instead of always skirting round the periphery, Britain could have done a lot better for the industries and fisheries mainly based in the north of England. They may also have been better able to argue against the gradual politicisation of the union.

London centric political thought concentrated on what London and the the south of England had to offer (mainly services) and they have done very well out of Europe, unsurprisingly. In the referendum these people voted overwhelmingly to stay in Europe and now have to cope with the negative result. After 43 years of being tied to Europe and blindly following the unelected Commission's diktat, trying to quit in a couple of years and untangle the Gordian knot that has held us to everything European is beyond the capabilities of any of the current politicians in Parliament. This is the biggest and most complex situation Britain has faced since the Second World War and a time when she needs strong and charismatic leadership, and sadly there ain't none. The British political classes have dumbed themselves down over the past 30 years or so and there isn't a real and charismatic leader amongst them.

Look at the main Brexiteers, they are all rich men and women, multi millionaires some of them. What do they know of working people? Have any of them ever mixed with factory workers or drunk in the local pubs? If they get their way and Britain leaves with no deal they will be alright thank you. None of them will suffer a lost job or a dole queue and the extremist are pushing for just that sort of exit. It's a disgrace and it's no surprise that the polls show that politicians are now held in lower esteem than estate agents. One wonders who would get into power if voting was made compulsory. At the moment, if an election was called, it is probable that less than 60% of the population would vote and the result still probably 50/50 as the country is split down the middle.

I keep hearing the hard line Brexiteers stating that we should just cop out with no deal and follow WTO rules – easy! There is nothing easy about it. Imagine the disruption to trade. How many people would lose their jobs? It's guaranteed none of the politicians would unless there was a general election then some of the old soaks might. However, there is no one in the wings with the strength of personality to take the rains of this most difficult of all tasks.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018


Erdogan recently called Netenyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, a terrorist for the deaths of 16 demonstrating Palestinians. This coming from a man that has recently bombed and killed hundreds of Kurds in Afrin in northern Syria on the pretext that they are a threat to Turkey. He states that they have only killed Kurdish terrorists (freedom fighters depending on which side you are on) but indiscriminate aerial bombing in the same fashion as in Syria, kills civilians. Erdogan is directly responsible for hundreds of Kurdish and Syrian men, women and children's deaths. Who is the terrorist?

Not only does he kill innocent men women and children in other countries but on the basis of a failed attempted coup he has had his police and secret police arrest nearly 40,000 people, most of whom are only guilty of not being Erdogan supporters. A classic example was that of Musa Kart who is a cartoonist who lampooned Erdogan. The president does not like being made fun of so he sued him. The courts in Turkey have been stuffed with his acolytes so always support the president and he won three and a half thousand US dollars. This did not stop Kart. He lampooned him again and is now in prison.

This is the man who has allied himself to the Iranian regime, probably the greatest organizer of state terrorism in the world. Also a regime that hangs people publicly for being in opposition to it and who follows Sharia law by cutting off peoples hands, heads, and stoning women to death even when they have been raped. It would appear that Erdogan wants to turn Turkey into a similar state. He has managed to change the constitution of the country so that he can stay on as president indefinitely. The sure sign of a dictator. Kemal Attaturk must be turning in his grave.

All this has led to a rising voice against him. When demonstrations broke out in 2013 Erdogan ordered a crack down in which 22 people were killed. These were Turkish citizens demonstrating against him, not terrorists but peaceful demonstrators and they were killed. Who is the terrorist? Erdogan served his two terms as Prime minister when the Turkish president was more of a ceremonial position. The Turkish constitution states the PM can only serve two terms, so what does he do? He stands for President but before leaving office gets the constitution changed so that, in fact, the president has all the power. If ever there was a man obsessed with power it's Erdogan.

The fact that Erdogan, in attacking the Kurdish YPG in northern Syria has actually invaded a neighbour does not seem to bother him. Further, the fact that the YPG were allies of the West in the defeat of ISIS does not bother him either. In fact, French president Macron hosted the YPG at the Elysee Palace and got a serious mouthful from Erdogan. It might be added that during the fight with ISIS Erdogan said nothing about the YPG. As soon as the battle was won Erdogan moved his troops into the Kurdish area of northern Syria and bombed the hell out of them. Who's the terrorist?

The sad thing is that here we have a passionate Islamist, greatly adding to the problems of the Middle East and Britain and France and most of the rest of Europe are still selling holidays in Turkey. Why would anyone want to go to Turkey these days? It used to be a very nice place to go to and, I have to say, in general the Turks are lovely people but their president is definitely not a lovely person. If we all stopped going to Turkey for holidays, that would hit the Turkish economy and send a message to Erdogan and the people who support him. This is a power mad, up and coming dictator and while he murders civilians in northern Syria, the West's politicians stand by and say nothing. It's an absolute disgrace.

Friday, 5 January 2018


Jerusalem has been the de facto capital, albeit partitioned, of Israel since its birth after the Second World War. The Arab countries never accepted the fact that Jews should settle in Palestine. They have also managed to get many countries of the world to sympathise with them mainly because of the refugee problem it created but also because of a general anti Antisemitism. They want Palestine back and for some reason, mainly oil and economics, many countries seem to agree with them. However, Jerusalem was Jewish long before it was Arab. Over the millennia it has been a city fought over, captured, destroyed, and rebuilt many times but it's origins are Jewish and it has always housed many Jewish institutions and families.

Ever since the establishment of the state of Israel the Arabs have fought against it. They first laid siege to it and occupied it way back in the seventh century. Then the Turks fought the Arabs and occupied the city during the sixteenth century. They were thrown out at the end of the First World War. The whole area was peopled by Arabs and Jews and some Christians all of whom, as a rule, lived together in uneasy peace. However, the Jews were always discriminated against, not just by the Arabs but actually by most nations in Europe too as the Second World War was to prove. Hence, Jewry, in general, felt, with reason, that they needed a homeland of their own once again before they could feel safe. Palestine, the promised land of Canaan in the Old Testament, was the obvious place as that is where they had originally settled and had a continued presence and had began to resettle through the nineteenth century.

In 1948 they fought a war against the Arabs and established a state that was quickly recognised by the major powers of the world and the United Nation Organisation. The Arabs did not and vowed to sling them out. The 1956 conflict was as a direct result of Egyptian president Nasser closing the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. This was a provocation which Nasser was sure he could win. He was wrong, he lost and lost the Sinai Peninsula too. The Israelis withdrew from the Peninsula after getting an agreement that the Tiran straits would remain open to their shipping.

In 1967 Nasser broke his promise and again closed the Straits to Israeli shipping. He moved his forces up to the Israeli boarder. At the time Egypt, Syria and Jordan were in an accord and called themselves the United Arab Republic. Their aim was to crush Israel and return the territory to the Arabs. At the time there were 5 countries ranged against Israel, they were Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. They were supported by 7 other countries and the PLO. On paper Israel did not stand a chance. She had a total of 240,000soldiers that included reservists of which they actually deployed 100,000. The Arabs had 547,000 troops and they deployed 240,000. Israel had 300 combat aircraft and 800 tanks. The joint Arab forces had 957 aircraft, and 2,504 tanks. Not a fair fight and the Arabs were convinced they would win and that would be the end of the state of Israel. However, we all know the result. The Arabs were soundly thrashed and Israel reoccupied the Sinai Peninsula, the whole of the West Bank including Jerusalem and the Golan Heights.

Up to this time Jerusalem had been partitioned with Jordan nominally in charge of east Jerusalem and the West Bank. Jerusalem had actually been proclaimed the capital of Israel by the Knesset in 1949. After the war Israel held the whole of Jerusalem and since then the city has been the unified capital. Needless to say the Arabs refused to concede defeat and have wanted all their territory back. Palestinians, Jordanians and Syrians who fled the war ended up in refugee camps and whilst many have escaped to other countries and settled down the bulk are still in these camps. They are kept there by the Arabs nations, who have the ability, the money and the land to resettle them if they wanted to. However, to gain sympathy from the rest of the world against the Israelis these poor people are kept in these camps in terrible conditions and abject poverty. And this is how it continues to work. Although Israel has given the Sinai back to Egypt and agreed that Palestinians should have a state in the West Bank and Gaza strip, with conditions which are mainly to do with her safety, the Arabs steadfastly refuse to come to an agreement.

At the end of the day, Jerusalem is Israel's capital and the Israelis are not going to agree to any form of partition in the future. The Arabs are all up in arms about America recognising this fact and there will, no doubt, be some blood spilt over the decision but the fact will remain. The Arabs, in an effort to gain support also state that Christians should be worried about the situation, but under Israeli stewardship there are no problems for Christians living or visiting Jerusalem. Under Arab stewardship there are always problems for any non Moslems. Just ask an Egyptian Christian of whom there are about 7 million, how they are treated and discriminated against in Egypt. The same can be said for all the Christians and Jews throughout the Middle East. None of them can live in total peace or feel completely secure under Moslem Arab governments and that includes Palestinian Christians.