As if proof were needed that the British Government is incapable of looking after its people, the case of  Abu Qatada serves to underline this bitter truth.

Next year a limitation on the number of immigrants allowed from Eastern Europe into the UK will no longer be viable, just in time for immigrants from the new EU nations of Romania and Bulgaria to travel to arrive and claim the benefits and jobs that any rational country would issue to its own populace as a priority. This is on top of the immigrants from across the EU and the world who recognise that the UK is a soft touch, with its skewed cultural values and its prolongation of a damaging permissive society. Among these people will be a serious criminals including the possibility of terrorists who could quite easily exploit the weaknesses of the UK’s borders to their own nefarious ends.

Is anything done about this? Of course not. EU law binds the UK to an open borders policy which means that the most one can hope for is containment of the problem, certainly not resolving it. As was alluded to in the previous post, some 320,000 immigrants are likely to be granted an amnesty to stay in the UK because the Border Agency have (no thanks to political parties of all persuasions) not been provided with the adequate resources to stop this from spiralling out of control. And to emphasise, the Government is not serious about patrolling the UK’s borders because their loyalty is to the EU and its ideology before their own territories.

Not only is the problem coming from without, the problem is also from within. When an alleged Al-Qaeda affiliate like Abu Qatada, the ‘the spiritual leader” of this rat-bag organisation in Europe, who has been connected to several terrorist plots and attacks is kept in the UK on account of his human rights, then it is clear something is fundamentally wrong with the system of justice, which is meant to protect the people of the UK. And, of course, it indicates how seriously defective the government is for having the UK signed up to a charter that allows the ECHR to supersede the decisions made my British courts.

The real threats to the UK do not come from without, they come from the government and their inability and unwillingness to assert the rights of its people and its principles from within. So the government sends troops out to die in the  futile and regressive conflict in Afghanistan under the auspices of keeping the streets of Britain safe, but fails at every turn to address the real threats to jobs, welfare, social cohesion and benefits posed by uncontrolled immigration. Furthermore, it fails to  act decisively against known criminal threats like Abu Qatada because it prizes the sovereignty of the EU as a political project before the rights, liberties, freedoms and democracies of its people every time.

Do not think for a second that the government has yet to decide on its relationship with the EU, that decision has long since been made and so long as it lines the pockets and furthers the careers of the political class, so the people of the UK – soldiers and citizens – will pay for it.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

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Some notes on matters that have arisen over the last week

Europhile Denis MacShane is a criminal – no, I am sorry, he’s not a criminal – he made a ‘mistake’ and because of some technicality cannot be prosecuted for defrauding the taxpayer with their own money and using it to further his own political and financial ends.

Mr MacShane attempted to blame the BNP and other members of the political right for his actions, doing nothing to disprove that those on the left are incapable of applying personal responsibility for their actions. Indeed, in an effort to make it sound like he was doing the taxpayer a favour, he alluded to his efforts to tackle anti-Semitism – did he hope this would somehow justify his criminality to an already squeezed taxpayer?

One thing is for certain – as both a Europhile and a criminal, Mr MacShane is perfectly qualified to obtain a position on the European Commission.

*

I cannot have been the only one nauseated by the expressions of uninhibited delight that greeted Mr Obama’s re-election as US President, especially in the UK. The suspension of critical faculties was total, so in awe of the image of Mr Obama were those expressing adulation. No one seemed to mention the way in which Mr Obama is saddling future generations of Americans (and, let’s face it, the world) with trillions of dollars in debt, nor was his flaky attitude towards the Middle East situation probed with any purpose.

So star-struck were the Media Politburo of the Labour Party (the BBC), that they interviewed an actor who had played the part of a communications director, who worked for a fictional president, during an imagined Democratic presidency. Could his opinions be any less important? I hope that on matters of national security they will consult Daniel Craig, or else on matters of scientific revelation, they will grill Dr Who.

*

Every time there is a crisis at the BBC, commentators tend to remark that this blighted corporation needs to regain the trust of the British public, as if it were a long-term relationship were suddenly imperilled by indiscretion. But does any thinking person ever really trust  the BBC any more than any other company or media outlet? To do so would seem rather incautious, but I dare say there are those so slavishly devoted to the idiot box that nothing short of relationship counselling will help reconfigure their dependency.

*

There is a backlog of immigration cases in the UK equivalent to the population of Iceland – this blog has said more than once that if this was any other department, heads would role. But why don’t  they? Because the main political parties a) do not care and b) because, as Theresa May alluded to today, despite temporary curbs imposed on immigration from the EU in 2005 to protect the British labour market, these are set to expire and that it is not possible under EU law to extend them.

Miss May also suggested that the government was on target to cut immigration into the UK from people outside of the EU as a way of deflecting the point that it is largely people from within the EU, flooding the labour market and seeking benefits who are the most prominent strain on the country’s already overstretched resources.

*

I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! – a celebrity reality TV show – a televised equivalent of the stocks returns soon enough to offer vital life support to the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace. One does not even need close analysis of the title of this sub-genre to realise that neither celebrities nor reality are constituent ingredients in this soup of human indignity.

That Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has decided to participate in this year’s series of the programme has caused her to be suspended by her party. This is not an unreasonable course of action from the Conservatives, especially since she will continue to be paid her salary whilst being absent from her constituency and from parliament – rather like that moulding potato Gordon Brown.

Ms Dorries’ has claimed that with an audience of some 16 million viewers (what did I say about ‘the ever swelling legions of the UK’s brain-dead populace’?), she will be able to profile who she is and what she stands for to an audience who are probably generally concerned with neither. Of course, one can hardly imagine a better place for Ms Dorries to champion her campaign to lower the point during a pregnancy at which an abortion can be performed than from a jungle in Australia.

Speculation has arise over whether or not she will defect to UKIP, especially since she is to the right of the Conservatives and a welcome stone in Mr Cameron’s flip-flopping shoes. Some seem excited about this prospect, but one may also be inclined to think that a discredited Ms Dorries could undermine UKIP’s efforts to make its outfit more professional and a part of the celeb-chasing culture that characterized the New Labour years.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

This video has done the rounds on the internet for a while, but it is worth refreshing one’s memory of the precision of Peter Hitchens’ argument. This is extracted from a longer debate with Labour MP Chris Bryant (a snivelling, unintelligent, political vegetable) after the equally contemptible Edward Miliband had the temerity to tell the electorate that they were not bigoted for opposing mass, uncontrolled immigration [1].

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Notes

Gareth Shanks (Yorkshire Young Independence Regional Secretary) presents his take on the forthcoming Police Crime Commissioner Elections.

I’m no fan of how the Government is running the Police and Crime Commissioner Elections: high deposits which lock out smaller parties, an expensive not to mention at times wasteful campaign, and a projected turnout of just 18.5% – to put that into context, my local ward election attracted 29.05% turnout. This does not bode well for the Conservative Party which has traditionally been seen as ‘tough on crime’.

However, the idea of electing my Police Commissioner is an interesting one and a notion I support. Policing is a pressing issue in every community; regardless of how poorly organized the elections are, they present a chance for some unique changes in policing in the UK.

One of the benefits of the PCC elections is that one can pick which types of crimes are prioritised by their local force, no longer (I add a very generous ‘hopefully’ in here) will crime targets be dictated by Whitehall. The post also adds a slightly increased sense of localism: different areas, rural or urban, will have very different policing needs, so it is a chance to elect someone who understands one’s local area. Worried about anti-social behaviour? Vote for a candidate tough on anti-social behaviour – if you like to keep cannabis for personal use, vote for the ‘soft on drugs’ candidate.

It is likely only a small percentage of people are able to name who is in charge of their Local Education Authority, or their local NHS health board. The PCC elections present a public face to policing in your area, instead of being run by anonymous and arguably unaccountable police force chiefs.

With the advent of this election I believe it will bring more scrutiny to the top job.  Other parties and journalists looking to smear their opponents will hopefully allow for a more transparent police force, something I believe has been needed for a long time. The actions of a very small number of police officers  has led to a skewed perception of policeman as being needlessly aggressive against protesters, for instance (that the protesters normally throw bricks and abuse at the police first is often omitted). Nevertheless, anything that improves the transparency of the police force is surely a good thing.

The single most important matter heralded by these PCC elections is that elected PCCs are just that: elected. They are accountable to the electorate; if crime goes up, don’t re-elect them, if they backtrack on promises, don’t re-elect them, if they are found dressed in a Nazi uniform in a compromising position with some livestock, don’t re-elect them – although that may increase popularity in some areas.

Gareth Shanks

  • Young Independence Yorkshire Secretary
  • @garethshanks

Remember that The Panopticon is always happy to consider publishing articles written by its readers. Email: thepanopticonblog@gmail.com

Retiring in the UK is a bleak prospect for many. Whilst fuel poverty blights and sometimes takes the lives of among the most vulnerable in society, a protected budget of £11 billion is committed to aiding poverty abroad. In the UK, the government’s charity does not begin at home.

It is no secret that the UK’s population is taking longer to shuffle off its mortal coil. A recent report by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has indicated that Britain’s ageing population is growing at its fastest rate since the 19th century and is projected to hit 70 million by 2027, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  The current 62 million UK population is rising at 0.8% a year and may increase by 4.9 million to 67.2 million by 2020 and to 73 million by 2035. The ONS also suggests that the oldest age groups are the fastest growing and the number of people over the age of 85 is expected to more than double from 1.4 million now to 3.5 million within 25 years. Centenarians are set to rise more from 13,000 in 2010 to 110,000 in 2035, with the median age rising from 39.7 years in 2010 to 39.9 in 2020 and to 42.2 by 2035 [1]. Of course, this does not include mass uncontrolled immigration into the UK’s porous – rather – non-existent border.

Yet, in the present day, there is good reason to fear old age. Hardly a week seems to pass without reports of the appalling physical and psychological abuses dispensed by manipulative  sadistic and criminal employees at ‘care’ homes. Such abuses include:

  • Not being given adequate support to eat or drink, in particular those with dementia
  • Home helps not carrying out vital tasks such as washing and dressing because of lack of time;
  • Financial abuse, such as money being systematically stolen;
  • Talking over older people (sometimes on mobile phones) or patronising them;
  • Physical abuse, such as rough handling or unnecessary force. [2]

Even those not occupying care homes face difficult times, especially during the winter months. In 2007-09, around 35% of single pensioners were living in fuel poverty (defined as when someone needs to spend 10 per cent or more on heating their home) with many cutting back on food to meet their energy bills; around 2 million elderly people are so desperately cold that they go to bed when they are not tired or else move into a single room, in an attempt to keep their energy bills down.

The UK government has every reason to feel embarrassed at this shameful state of affairs, especially since the ‘Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000’ is meant to eliminate fuel poverty by 2016 [3]. Worse still, a number of the UK’s main energy suppliers have decided Christmas will arrive early for them this year:

  • EDF announced they will raise prices for domestic gas and electricity by 10.8%, meaning its typical dual-fuel bill for a direct debit customer will rise by £122 to £1,251 a year.
  • SSE, which trades as Southern Electric, Swalec and Scottish Hydro, increased its tariffs by 9% on October 15, the same day as Scottish Power announced plans to hike bills by an average 7% from December 3.
  • British Gas will impose an average increase of 6% affecting 8.5 million customers from November 16, with Npower planning an average rise of 8.8% for gas and 9.1% for electricity from November 26.

The government previously estimated that the total number of deaths relating to fuel poverty in the UK at 2,700 a year, but according to Prof. Christine Liddell (University of Ulster), some 7,800 people die during winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes properly. This figure suggests that there are 65 such deaths a day [4].

In the mean time, the government has responded by suggesting consumers ‘Switch utility providers and use price comparison sites’ – hardly a possibility for the computer illiterate pensioners who make up those most in need.

At the present time the government has budgeted £7.3bn for elderly social care in 2012, whilst the budget for overseas aid in 2013 is projected to be £11bn, ring-fenced by the philanthropic Mr Cameron. Both sums are large, but why should Mr Cameron be prepared to spend more on foreign aid than combating poverty within the UK’s borders? It is not a question of one life being more important than another, it is about dutifully serving his fellow countrymen, or (if one wishes to put it clinically) assisting British taxpayers who have paid money to the state all their lives, trusting that when they need assistance in turn, their taxes may well help them.

It is not even remotely cynical to suggest that committing £11bn in foreign aid is much more glamorous to career politicians like Mr Cameron than it is committing the same amount to help the vulnerable at home.

Domestically, Mr Cameron and his cross-party kin preside over a flat-lining economy, a crumbling society, a decrepit rule of law, an increasingly undemocratic politics and a talent for populist policy (which never comes to fruition either).

On the international stage, however, Mr Cameron has a chance to radiate statesmanship and policy. Whether it is preaching democracy in other countries, demanding the cessation of conflict, insisting that important things are attended to, or patronising third world countries with the British taxpayer’s money, there is a chance to cast himself in the role of a world leader.

It is all sound and fury, signifying nothing, but what else might one expect from the likes of Mr Cameron, Mr Miliband and Mr Clegg, who have only ever seen their parliamentary careers as an apprenticeship to their entrance on the world stage. Whilst their future (like their past) will be comfortable and they will never know what it is to endure, elderly men and women will have to suffer  all manner of indignities and hardships because they are less efficient political capital.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes

When Douglas Carswell claimed that the UK had ‘shackled itself to a corpse’ by continuing to belong to the EU, his remarks entertained an alarming, but unintentionally accurate implication…

Europhiles have begun to look like necrophiliacs.

Any thinking person has long since known that justifying the UK’s ongoing relationship with the EU, let alone attempting to justify the EU’s very existence, is a hiding to nothing. As it begins to resemble the government of a third world country (with its excessive spending for those who least need the money, its corruption, the violence it has bred, the bankruptcy it has initiated, the poverty it has caused), support has become a marginal voice.

But it still has its champions, who cite the following arguments in the EU’s defence:

1. The EU Safeguards Peace

The EU has never prevented a war in Europe, let alone safeguarded peace. At the present time, significant civil unrest continues to rock Greece and Spain as a direct result of EU policy, whist even recent history proves this notion a false one – in Bosnia, Kosovo and the Chechen wars, intervention was led by British and American initiatives carried out by the UN and NATO whilst the EU twiddled its thumbs, actively arguing against intervention.

2. The EU gives states more power on the global stage

One pro-EU website repeats the familiar line, ‘EU membership gives states increased influence on the global stage.  While nations would find it easy to ignore Britain or any European nation acting on its own, the combined influence of all twenty-seven member states acting together is harder to ignore.’ This feeble argument is presented by EU necrophiliacs and from within the UK by apologists. In fact, the UK is the world’s tenth largest exporter, with $495,400,000,000 worth of exports occurring in 2011 alone. Considering the UK’s size compared to other countries in the top ten (France, Germany, Russia), this is not to be underestimated. Notwithstanding the fact it is also a nuclear power, the UK is also one of the biggest contributors to the UN.

3. The EU makes us better off

EU necrophiliacs continue to claim that by creating a customs union and later the single market, the EU has been hugely successful. But this does not account for the fact that the collapse of the ideological project of the euro has left about a quarter of working-age people in recession-hit Spain unemployed. Indeed, Spain’s economy is set to shrink by 1.5 per cent this year with the recession due to continue into 2013 and beyond. Its level of unemployment is now the second highest behind Greece where the average is 11.4 per cent.

4. The EU encourages our neighbours to reform

Instead of presenting an argument against this, I have chosen to quote directly from a pro-EU website (that claims to be impartial):

“The EU shares land or sea borders with a great variety of nations including Egypt, Libya, Serbia, Turkey, Syria and Israel, with unstable governments, histories of conflict or different cultural and political outlooks to our own. Despite this, the EU’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) ensures stability with the region by offering favourable relations with the EU in exchange for nations living up to standards such as the rule of law and democracy. Meanwhile, nations that look to join the EU are encouraged to reform their national institutions in order to fit in with the European liberal democratic model.  This encourages wider stability and improves people’s lives.” [2]

Claims as fatuous as this do enough damage to themselves without the need for annotation.

Leave the EU, now.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes

Some thoughts on the War in Afghanistan – a country riven by conflict since the time of the ancients – where today an ill-defined and un-winnable war continues to slaughter members of the UK’s armed forces for no discernible cause and with no visible end in sight. 

At the time of writing this article 435 British Soldiers have died as a result of the war in Afghanistan which began in 2001. On average, that is approximately forty lives a year, though more accurately, in 2009, the bloodiest year for the UK’s armed forces in Afghanistan, 108 troops were killed, with 103 deaths in 2010. Among this litany of sobering numbers and statistics, perhaps the most appalling is that the youngest casualties were just eighteen years of age [1].

‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ is the official moniker for this and other campaigns devised by the uninquisitive and illiterate George W. Bush, instead of the less palatable ‘War on Terror’. Tony Blair and his rabble probably helped with the spelling mistakes. The trouble with catch-all titles is that they tend to appear short on detail. So it is with the major operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, where with the former the objective was to remove the Taliban and capture or kill Osama Bin Laden; with the latter, it was to neutralise Saddam Hussein’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and overthrow his wicked regime.

These are aims to be applauded in the name of all that is civilised, but the mistake was to suggest that these objectives would ever be an end in themselves. Indeed, the mistakes were far more grave, since soldierly professionalism was time and again undone by not only a shortage of equipment, faulty equipment and disastrous ‘friendly-fire’ incidents, but also the fact that the central aims never accounted for either a) what would happen once these were achieved, and b) what would happen if these conflicts continued for longer than expected. In this (wilful) failure to adequately plan lay the death warrants for the military personal fighting theses wars.

Currently, in 2012, the war in Afghanistan has never looked so pointless. Purpose after purpose has been invented for the UK’s continued involvement in this war-torn country, because the members of the UK’s interchangeable political parties lack exactly what they expect of the soldiery: spine, selflessness and sacrifice. For these reasons, MPs will not speak out against this war since they may lose something they count as more valuable than the lives of military personnel: their job.

The PM and other politicians tell the electorate that this war is keeping Britain’s streets safe from the threat of terrorism. But Britain’s streets are fraught with terror – with anti-social behaviour, intimidation, violent and serious crimes terrorising the populace nightly. The spectre of terrorism from abroad is truly insubstantial compared to the day-to-day miseries faced by those afflicted by the terror of crime. Indeed, it is the enemy within that seems to issue the greatest threat, with home-grown terrorists executing, planning or participating in acts of terror long before their foul brethren from abroad have the chance to carry out their deeds. Peter Hitchens has it exact when he claims that the political parties ‘can’t fix the schools, they can’t fix the hospitals, they can’t ix the roads, they can’t fix crime, so they exaggerate a danger somewhere else and then they pretend they can save you from it.’ [2]

If MPs targeted criminals in the UK with the equivalent relish that they have in targeting terrorist crackpots in backward and uninhabitable regions of the planet, then the streets of Britain could be reclaimed and criminals would have something to fear. But since when have domestic concerns inflated the self regard of politicians in the same way foreign affairs do? To preach the virtues of democracy in other lands and to to be associated with that fight is always an edifying opportunity for posturing MPs.

There are real wars at home with achievable goals that could be battled for – the only casualties would be those engaged on criminal activity at any level. Instead, whilst the rule of law in the UK continues to slide, lives, money and resources are tossed away carelessly in Afghanistan. Politicians send young people out to phoney wars abroad with no purposeful goals  and where the casualties are the soldiers on the battlefield and their shattered families back at home.

Leave Afghanistan, now.

Postscript

Since I published this article about eight hours ago, a report has emerged from the UK’s International Development Committee, where they have claimed a ‘viable Afghanistan may not work’ [3]. Attention has now switched to providing aid and pursuing rights for women – in itself this is a worthy cause – but the bald fact is that UK troops should not continue to perish in order to achieve the emancipation of women in a religious and political culture whose position is all but intractable.

The UK’s politicians find every excuse to ensure troops remain in Afghanistan, but are incapable of presenting any reason for them to leave. Expect the needless deaths of members of the armed forces to continue indefinitely.

© thepanopticonblog, 2012

Notes