THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
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July 2009

So what is the other 14%?

86% Heterotompaine is 86% HeteroHow hetero are you? How hetero is Martha Stewart? Try out any Twitter name and get the real picture. Are we really the words we use? Hope to see you at Stockholm Pride!


h/t The apparently 72% hetero Croydonian, without asking why he was cruising such sites, or why Stockholm Gay Pride has based its logo on the late lamented Sinclair ZX Spectrum.

On the word of a self-confessed liar, the PM is a moral man

Former No 10 aide Damian McBride breaks silence on smear scandal - Times Online.

ThestinkycheesemanSo, Mr McBride. You, a man who was prepared to spread a sickening lie about a political opponent to help your boss, now tells us said boss was shocked when you told him what you had done. Says you. Did your mother never read you Aesop's Fables?

You are a liar, Mr McBride. The whole country knows exactly how little value to place upon your version of events. You have proved that you are prepared to say whatever serves the interest of your political master, without regard to morality, truth or justice. You are a despicable creature of no conceivable value to any decent employer. Which brings us to the interesting question of why - if Gordon Brown is the upright bible-thumper he purports to be - he found such a creature so valuable?

I don't let rip here like some of my fellow bloggers. I am very circumspect, because I am a lawyer. I have some small understanding of our rather nasty laws of defamation and I am worth suing. So I am careful. Writing about you, however, I feel freer than ever. Your lawyer will explain why, if you care to consult him. A true statement cannot be defamatory. And even an untrue statement is only defamatory if it lowers a man's reputation in the eyes of right thinking members of the community. 

That you planned to defame others is true, by your own admission. And it is nigh impossible, I think, to lower your reputation. The question as to why your boss felt the need to have such a man reporting directly to him is as clear an example as a lawyer ever saw of "fair comment on a matter of public interest." You McBride, make a far better legal exam question than you do a human being.

Mind you, I do believe your boss was angry. I am sure he was very angry that you were caught. I am convinced that he must have been furious you were stupid enough to work with a man like "Dolly" Draper. Ah, but wait. Perhaps that's not quite fair to you? After all, Mr Brown liked Dolly enough to invite him to Chequers of a weekend, didn't he? So perhaps he was just furious about you both being caught then?

If time proves that you are doing this because you are back on the Labour payroll, no-one will be surprised. You are, after all, no mere amateur; you are a professional liar. And, given that your name makes year-old Stinking Bishop seem like fresh Camembert, who else would give you a job but the Labour Party?

There are, to be fair, worse scum in the world than you, McBride. But then with your morals, who knows? Perhaps you have merely lacked opportunity? Time will tell. Let's hope charitably that you are no worse than you have already proved. In the meantime, if you really care about the man with the much-vaunted "moral compass," just shut up.


Last night I was in a Shanghai club, drinking with some young friends. We were discussing how the world might change in their lifetime. I remembered having a similar conversation with my late grandfather.

SentinelSaturnV His generation saw more change than any in history. He remembered seeing the first car in our home village (little did he know as I found later, that Mrs P's grandfather was its chauffeur). As he put it to me, "I grew up in a world of horses and carts and lived to see Man walk on the moon." He also saw much political change; most of it bad. He and his brothers built a business worth £1 million in the 1930s from a single steam powered "Sentinel " truck they bought with money borrowed from their father. When he was invalided out of the Army with a broken back which disabled him for life, his grateful government rewarded him by taking his business from him by force. His was the era of Socialism - a word he once had to explain to his mother who had never heard of it. Yet he also lived to see the end of that era, with the collapse of the Soviet Union. If only he had lived to see the British "intelligentsia" acknowedge the stupidity of what they did to him in 1946.

Maserati-A6-1500-GT-3C-Pinin-Farina-Berlinetta_9 Vittoria, masked The technological advances in my life have been less radical. The personal computer has changed my life, but it hardly touches many. It's important, but if I had to choose between car and computer, it would be back to Filofax and "farewell blogging". The mobile phone is handy, but it's a mere evolution. It's Mr. Bell's original work combined with that of Marconi. I crossed the Atlantic on Concorde, but there is no passenger plane so fast now. I have basked in the presence of (but never, sadly, driven) the awesome Bugatti Veyron. It may well prove to be the high-water mark of automotive power, given the daily outpouring of crazy Gaian hostility to Mankind's greatest creation. Besides, onboard computers and better ergonomics apart, there is not really that much to distinguish my Maserati Granturismo from the 1940s original.

2003 07 08 Holiday in Miami (Fisher Island) 181Veyron Few of my technological dreams, as an excited 13 year old boy hero-worshipping Neil Armstrong, have come true. I have walked the ramp Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin used to board Apollo 11. I have never been more excited than I was (pictured here) in the presence of a Saturn V rocket, the most powerful vehicle built by Man. Yet that was designed and built more than 40 years ago. For all we have done in space since, Apollo 11 might as well have been the faked stunt many moonbats now claim.We reached the moon, but we have still not reached further. Ultimately it seems that, for the politicians who control the public purse, the moon landing (despite all their contemporary claims for collateral benefits on Earth, some of which came true) really was - for them - just Cold War propaganda. How sad, especially for the heroes who risked and died for it.

Technological progress has slowed and the New Luddites of the Green movement will reverse it if they can. They are the deadly threat to human civilisation that now-laughable Socialism once was.

So the greatest changes in my lifetime have been political. As a student politician I wore a badge (among many, including my beloved "Ramon Mercader fan club" badge) which called for "Free elections in the East." It was a sort of idealistic joke, but I lived to see it happen. I am delighted to have been present for free elections in both Poland and Russia. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of "the evil empire" is the greatest historical event of my lifetime. The student politician covered in idealistic badges never hoped for it. Without superb Western leaders like Reagan, Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, it would never have happened. The French and the Germans (and Gordon Brown had he been born earlier) would have been sucking up to the Kremlin gerontocracy yet.

A life with such unexpected good fortune cannot, for all its other woes, be considered a bad one. At least not on beautiful sunny Sunday in Shanghai, a city I never expected to walk freely at my leisure, still less to have young friends in to make me think about the future. I hope the changes in their lifetimes are as great on the technical side as they were for my grandfather. If they are politically as dramatic as they have been in mine, they can reasonably hope (and work) for marvellous things. My grandfather's generation defeated Nazism and (more slowly) the Soviet Union. Our generation has been less effective. Maybe we have just rested on their laurels. More probably our collective drive has been sapped by their massively (if honourably) misguided Welfare State. My young friends' (and my daughters') generation doesn't have to be limited by ours. To have great hopes, they just need to zoom out the historical lens.

Bullied City lawyer claiming £12m

BBC NEWS | UK | Bullied City lawyer claiming £12m.
Anyone weak enough to be bullied should be ashamed to call himself a lawyer, let alone a "City lawyer" (which has other connotations than the literal "lawyer who works in the City"). We may be gentle souls in our spare time, but professionally we are meant to be tough. We are also supposed to be persuasive. Listening to the radio interview embedded in the linked article, I thought it rather sad that the interviewer came over as being quite so much more intelligent and articulate than the interviewee. What happened to the performance art element of lawyering, aka advocacy?

What is going to happen when everyone in Britain has decided it is more profitable to be a victim than to work? How are tough jobs to be performed when the nation is populated entirely by what one of my colleagues calls "entitlement bunnies?"

What next? Mafia hit men suing their Godfathers for work-related stress? Samurai on the sick?

They lie because it works

News Rage UK: Home Secretary statement on annual crime statistics.

Fleet Street used to have a drinking culture. Maybe it's hard drugs now? How else can one account for journalists failing to connect the story linked above with the one I blogged about here? If you believe domestic burglary in Britain is down by 54 percent, there is no hope for you. You are destined to live in a Britain of one party government, constantly-exceeded 5 year plans and shortages of everything caused by counter-revolutionary saboteurs.

Last weekend, Mrs P's aged mother asked me to look at a contents insurance proposal for her home. She lives in a Thatcher-privatised house on a council estate oop North. Her renewal is coming up and she had an offer which was going to save her £50. It all seemed fine. The institution was respectable enough and the cover was actually better. But still the premium seemed high to me at 25% of the cost for our own (much higher) cover. Bear in mind that all of her possessions are worth less than one of my wristwatches.

As she has no internet connection, I painfully navigated one of those market comparison sites on my mobile phone. Not only could I not get her a cheaper quote, I couldn't get her one at all. On the basis of her postcode, not one company would offer cover. I didn't alarm her by saying so. I just told her that she should go ahead with her plan. But what does that say about her risk of burglary?

Like his predecessors here, here, here and here, Alan Johnson is lying. He is lying because journalists are too drunk, high or biased to connect his - carefully engineered - statistics with those that contradict them. Mainly he is lying because it works. Sadly, it only works because his electors are lazy fools and he knows it.

You have a vote

No, there's no General Election yet. Gordon Brown is still denying the people their lawful prey and his party (not that he cares) will suffer all the more for it in due course. But until that happy day, you can at least vote for your favourite political blogs.

Total Politics (an Iain Dale publication) is asking you to vote for your personal Top 10. The results will be published in the forthcoming book, the Total Politics Guide to Blogging 2009-10, to be published in September.
Here's what to do:
  1. Please vote for your ten favourite blogs, ranking them from 1 (your favourite) to 10 (your tenth favourite).
  2. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. Unranked votes will be ignored.
  3. You MUST include ten blogs. If you include fewer than ten your vote will not count.
  4. Email your vote to [email protected]
  5. Only vote once.
  6. Only blogs based in the UK, run by UK residents or (like The Last Ditch, hint hint) based on UK politics are eligible.
  7. Anonymous votes left as comments will not count. You must give a name
  8. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2009. Any votes received after that date will not count.
If you have your own blog, please encourage your readers to take part. BUT, DO NOT list ten blogs you think your readers should vote for. Any duplicate voting of this nature will be disallowed. If you do not wish for your own blog to be voted for please email [email protected]

Banks should publish pay and bonuses of all top earners, if they want to export City jobs

Bank should publish pay and bonuses of all top earners, Walker Report recommends - Telegraph.

Somewhere, there is a room. In it sit the chief looters of Britain; the leaders of leftist thought. Each day, over fair trade coffee, they ask themselves one question. How can we destroy Britain's economy?

You may think it far fetched, but how else do you explain such idiocy as this? Sir David suggests that bankers's pay and bonuses should be published by bands, without any names, but it's naive in the extreme to think friends, family and neighbours will not correlate the job description on your business card with your pay grade. In fact, in the envy-fest that is failure-loving Britain, they will imagine, greenly, that you are actually in a higher band.

If you were a high-flying banker, capable of moving your institution's profits by millions, would you choose to live in a country with among the highest taxes in Europe? To live in the shabbiest, most miserable European capital; a city with cramped offices, poor infrastructure and access to countryside via clogged roads or filthy public transport? To live where neither your abilities, your hard work nor your privacy is respected? To live in a country where your (massively taxed) gross pay and bonuses are published by your employer? To live in a country which respects nothing you do (and takes more than half your earnings to keep wasters in idleness?) Above all, would you choose to live in a country populated by envious, ignorant, uncultured (and heavily-armed) failures, encouraged by birth to blame the talented for their own uselessness?

Companies are already voting with their feet. Banks will too. The only reason the City prospers (usually) is because it has a reserve of talented individuals. That reserve is based only on flimsy tradition. Few of them, these days, are British. They come from countries with better lifestyles, and would usually love to go back there. The City doesn't grow these people. It simply attracts them. It can just as easily repel them. Sir David Walker seems intent on doing just that.

Bringing Jacqui to Justice

Sunlight COPs Will Prosecute Jacqui Smith | Sunlight Centre for Open Politics.
The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics is going to do what the Crown Prosecution Service will not; prosecute Jacqui Smith for her fraudulent expenses claim. Nothing could do more to restore confidence in British justice than to demonstrate that the political establishment cannot protect its members by political direction of the police and Crown Prosecutors. The Centre is raising £100,000 to fund a private prosecution. I have donated today. Now it's your turn, gentle reader. Please click on this link to contribute by PayPal or credit card. Guido and other far more influential bloggers than me are putting their weight and money behind this.

Let's bring Jacqui to Justice. It's a start.