The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'History' Category

04 June
Comments Off on A Million Brits Braved The Rain To Say “God Save The Queen”

A Million Brits Braved The Rain To Say “God Save The Queen”

It was a special day. Despite the rain one million people lined the Thames to cheer the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee River pageant held in her honour….and less than a hundred of sour faced anti monarchists waved a collection of agitprop banners.

The figures tell us all we need to know – this was a day when, for once, the silent majority seized the agenda from the self proclaimed “cultural elite” who are usually telling us what we should be doing/thinking via their media pulpits.

If the emotional resonance of the spectacle tightened the throat yesterday, it was surely this unaffected pride of the people in their Queen and their straightforward but no less deep love of their country that really brought tears to the eye.

This is because there is such an enormous, latent, pent-up feeling of patriotism — that most decent and inspiring of emotions which, in our degraded public discourse, has now become all but forbidden to express for fear of being damned as a racist or xenophobe.

Patriotism is thus sneered at by the kind of people who unfortunately tend to dominate our culture and who lose no opportunity to be sour and mean-spirited about the monarchy and the people it so invaluably serves.

OK Melanie Phillips overgushed a little at the close of her piece but the core premise is rock solid – and backed up, surprisingly, in a confessional from the grand panjandrum of the BBC commentariat Jeremy Paxman himself..

So here’s a toast to our flag and our Queen and a remembrance of the second verse of our National Anthem, rarely sung today but which nevertheless probably echoes the feelings of most ordinary folk in our country.

O Lord our God arise
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks
On Thee our hopes we fix
God save us all

Amen to that, say I….

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22 May
Comments Off on Is WaPo appointing a 194 yr old man as their Mormon “expert” for 2012 election?

Is WaPo appointing a 194 yr old man as their Mormon “expert” for 2012 election?

Great news – with the publication of this it is clear that those rumours about the appointment of Thomas C Sharp as a Washington Post 2012 Election consultant appear to have a certain degree of substance. Just as Adolf Eichmann was regarded by the Nazis as an “expert” on Jews so Mr Sharp is an “expert” on Mormons.

War and extermination is inevitable! Citizens ARISE, ONE and ALL!!!—Can you stand by, and suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS! to ROB men of their property and RIGHTS, without avenging them. We have no time for comment, every man will make his own. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER AND BALL!!!

Like Eichmann Mr Sharp was also a man of action, playing a leading role in the raid on the Carthage Jailhouse in June 1844 when the Mormon leader Joseph Smith and his brother were murdered. He and others were charged with murder but were acquitted by a sympathetic jury.

Mr Sharp’s role will be to select historical references to Mormons which can be used to suggest that they are strange and a little sinister and therefore putting a Mormon like Mitt Romney in the White House might turn Washington into another Nauvoo.

Mr Sharp has apologised for his untoward behaviour in 1844. “I was a young man and hot tempered. Now I am 194 I have matured in my views…I no longer see Mormons as the devil’s spawn, just as a bunch of weirdoes who don’t like hope and change..”

Indeed at this very moment Mr Sharp has despatched scores of WaPo “investigative journalists” to Utah to track down Romney’s multiple wives currently undercover until January 2013….

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17 May
Comments Off on How Sweet..BBC Goes All Nostalgic Over The Punks Saying “Stuff The Jubilee” In 1977

How Sweet..BBC Goes All Nostalgic Over The Punks Saying “Stuff The Jubilee” In 1977

Only the BBC would dream of digging up a graveyard full of corpses who were punks in 1977 when we were celebrating the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

“I was against the Silver Jubilee, against the symbolism and the money being spent on the festivities. My friends and I thought the royals could afford to pay for the party themselves.”

Thus one Louise Bolotin, a 50 year old “writer”, reminiscing about those glory days. A real rebel was Louise..to show her rage against the machine she wore her “Stuff The Jubilee” badge ALL DAY…tell that to the Solidarity members who were being imprisoned in Communist Poland or the Cuban dissidents being tortured by Castro’s secret police. Louise showed true defiance and, what’s more, she feels the same today.

The Beeb revived other corpses to find the same sentiment and then proceeded to inform us of the historical/sociological significance of punk

Her attitude typifies those following the punk movement at that time. Although the nation had been encouraged to have a party in honour of the Queen, not everyone wanted to come.
The rising popularity of the punks provided a snarling, spitting, sometimes swearing outlet for some of the angry youths disillusioned with 1970s Britain – a time of strikes, economic hard times and high unemployment

What a load of pretentious colour supplement drivel. It wasn’t a movement, you moron, just a fashion trend like the Teds, hippies, mods, skinheads, Goths and thousands of others. There was no political dimension, just, like me in my Teddy Boy drainpipes in the 50s, a wish to irritate my elders by wearing something that made me stand out from the crowd and to make me seem intimidating (think hoodies)…the badge of youth in every generation.

However a tiny group of student/arty types muscled in on the trend and created a style industry and bigged it up to get some PR traction and, of course, with sound capitalist motives, to make some money selling music and fashion. These, like latter day Jacobites, are sad dinosaurs still dining out on the “movement” . Most of the punks, however, like the Teds and Goths and Mods grew up and became adults with families and proper jobs.

As for the BBC’s political point, as a teacher in South London during the 70’s, I remember that the punks tended to be the spotty, insecure loners on the fringe of school social life who found out of school solace in belonging to their outlandish tribe. In full punk gear they looked violent and terrifying but they were plaster board warriors who were essentially the embodiment of Urban Wimpdom.

So why did the Beeb even bother to visit this particular cemetery? The clue is in the description of 1970s Britain.. “a time of strikes, economic hard times and high unemployment”…it’s the BBC narrative about Cameron’s Britain and they are constantly searching for signs of disaffected youth. They thought they found it in the 2011 rioters but had to pull back when the public supported belated tough police action and harsh sentences. So, at the moment, they need to go back in time…except they forget to mention that punk erupted under a Labour government and the black fog of despair that fell about the nation in the 70s and helped spawn the punks was dispelled for the ordinary people of Britain in 1979 with the arrival of the BBC’s nemesis..

cross posted at Biased BBC

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02 April
Comments Off on The Falklands War – Right 30 Years Ago And Still Right Today

The Falklands War – Right 30 Years Ago And Still Right Today

Today is the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the Falklands War in 1982 when Argentine forces invaded and occupied the isolated South Atlantic islands. There is no doubt that Margaret Thatcher and her government were asleep at the wheel at the time ignoring the ratcheting up of rhetoric from the military junta over previous months.

When we heard about the invasion there was anger mixed with humiliation as we saw the pictures of UK marines lying on the ground in surrender. Nevertheless most of us believed that after decades of following the advice of our diplomatic mandarins and the sermonising of the BBC the Thatcher government would wring it’s hands, write an angry note and then accept the offer of a UN special conference that would eventually come up with some wheeze like “shared sovereignty”

But we had reckoned without Margaret Thatcher. It was her willpower that drove the organisation of the task force that travelled thousands of miles and drove the invaders into total capitulation. With hindsight, of course, it all appears to have been a foregone conclusion. But, like D Day in 1944 it was a tremendous gamble with only one possible throw of the dice. Failure would have been the final nail in the coffin of British power and self respect, a vindication of the BBC/Guardian siren song of eternal appeasement and, naturally, the end of Thatcher’s political career.

Nothing illustrated the sudden transformation of will than the sinking of the Belgrano. The Argentines realised that they had sown the wind and had now reaped the whirlwind. They faced a foe that would go to all lengths to break them.

Today, of course, another government in Argentina is seeking to use the Falklands as a useful drum to beat to distract attention from domestic problems. But no self respecting UK government could dare offer any negotiation for a land streaked with the blood and bones of those British servicemen who died in 1982.

Ask the widow of Colonel H Jones who died leading his paratroopers in an assault upon machine gun emplacements at Goose Green.

Ask Simon Weston, the Welsh Guardsman who was horribly burned in an Argentine air attack.

1982 uncovered a Britain that had been hidden away for many years. It’s back under cover, of course, but, much to the chagrin of the left and their friends at the BBC, it’s still there….

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14 March
Comments Off on Downton Abbey Creator Wants To Destroy A Few Myths About “The Titanic”

Downton Abbey Creator Wants To Destroy A Few Myths About “The Titanic”

Good news – Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey is making a four part television drama about the Titanic. It will not be able to match the magnificent special effects of James Cameron’s Hollywood blockbuster but he does hope to avoid Camerons simplistic and hackneyed symbolism of the ship as a microcosm of the class struggle where plucky but poor steerage passengers were left to drown while the rich seized all the lifeboats.

He points out that third class women and children were rescued ahead of first class men, that all the evidence appears to indicate a fairly orderly evacuation and that, above all, there is no guarantee that a similar accident happening today would be handled more effectively.

Indeed he believes that our modern assumption that previous generations were less adept at organising a bold and efficient response to the unexpected merely demonstrates a baseless arrogance and a shallow understanding of the past. We have convinced ourselves that the contemporary tendency to “emote” and sustain the continuous mantra of “caring and sharing” somehow endows us with a higher purpose in life.

The mistake is to imagine the sort of Channel 4 thing that everything was ghastly until 1968 and Woodstock and then it all took a tremendous turn for the better. That’s essentially bogus. Every period has some things to offer that worked well and others that were unjust and wrong and repressive.

Whoops – take care, Julian…in some quarters going public with the view that maybe previous generations made a better fist of things than team 21st century might well be characterised as a “Hate Crime”….

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19 January
Comments Off on Yes, I Also Have Been Sorely Tempted To Punch Will Shakespeare On The Nose…

Yes, I Also Have Been Sorely Tempted To Punch Will Shakespeare On The Nose…

As a former schoolboy (a long time ago) and a teacher (now retired) and an amateur actor (still mumbling) I must confess enjoying a moment of guilty pleasure when I watch that Blackadder clip…

It came to mind when I learned a day or so back that I had just landed myself a part in our amateur theatre group’s Shakespeare spring production of “The Winter’s Tale”….not a particularly big role but, as Private Eye might say, it’s small but perfectly formed…..

I love being involved with a play, be it on or back stage. For a few weeks you are part of a joint endeavour with a group of people for one common purpose. You share all the ups and the downs, the crises and the celebrations, the laughter and the tears. Forget those familiar dividing lines of social intercourse age, sex or experience. You are pitched together like a close family battling the world. Then the set is struck and you go your separate ways. Once or twice the bonds made during a run might hold long after the scripts are filed. But more usually, once the play is done, the connections dissolve and disappear down memory lane.

The Bard, however, raises different issues for he is the broccoli of drama. We are told how good he is for us yet so many leave him on the side of the plate. Amateur groups feel he has to be performed even though quite a few tickets will be left unsold.
Shakespeare is often the amdram equivalent of a loss leader.

But he shouldn’t be. The characters are fascinating. The language is powerful and vivid. The themes are universal. He is part of every school’s curriculum.

We all have studied Shakespeare – and there’s the rub.

He is studied because he is a Good Thing. In school we have all analysed and dissected Billy S like a specimen on a laboratory bench. We have discussed characters, motives, meanings and symbolism, turned over metaphors and deconstructed references and laid bare every bone, muscle and sinew. His words are revered like a biblical text, a scientific hypothesis or a philosophical treatise. There is a vast Shakespeare industry employing thousands of actors, academics and gushing media scribblers and talking heads.

The guy’s works are being adulated to death – so here’s a thought.

Let’s turn off the tap for five years. Embargo the puff pieces. Deep freeze the academics in a cryogenics unit. Remove Stratford’s name from all road signs and sat navs. Ban Billy S from being mentioned in the school classroom. Perform the plays with zero hype. Hang anyone who dares to say “the bard”

Shift his library classification from the doom laden “Literature” to cheap and cheerful “Entertainment” – because that was how he was regarded by the noisy, bawdy riotous townsfolk who watched his plays in Elizabethan and Jacobean London.

As a schoolboy in 1950s England any chance of appreciating Shakespeare was ground out of my consciousness by hour after hour of mind numbing analysis until the very mention of the name would cause my eyes to glaze over and my brain to slip into neutral.

Then one evening in 1955 I went with my bus driver dad for our weekly cinema visit. He had misread the bill and was expecting to see a gangster movie. By the time we realised it was Laurence Olivier’s film of Richard III our tickets had already been purchased so we went in, expecting to be bored to tears.

How wrong we were. It was magical.

At the end, as the final credits rolled the audience in that packed cinema in a working class suburb of South London sat motionless and silent for a few brief moments. Then as we walked out into the night there was a massive buzz as we all began to talk of what we had seen and my dad looked at me and said “That wasn’t the Shakespeare that was hammered into me at school. That film must be the real Shakespeare….what have I been missing all these years?”

So, unlike Blackadder, it’s not the real Will Shakespeare I want to punch on the nose – it’s the polystyrene cultural idol created by the termites of the Shakespeare industry that I would like to target with my custard pie.

Mind you sometimes I do find Colin Firth a tad irritating……

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16 January
Comments Off on You Knew It Had To Come…..”Margaret Thatcher Should Be Sentenced To Death For Mass Murder”

You Knew It Had To Come…..”Margaret Thatcher Should Be Sentenced To Death For Mass Murder”

It’s inevitable. Mention Thatcher (or Palin or Bush or Blair) and the looney tunes pour out of the sewers.

So stand aside Stalin with your NKVD killing squads and your gulag. Get to the back Mao and your famines and Red Guards. Ignore Hitler’s SS and death camps. Forget Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge killing fields.

There’s a new mass murderer in town.

Margaret Thatcher.

That’s right. Elizabeth Farrelly’s snarky little memoir of her brief sojourn in London at the height of the “Thatcher Regime” smoked out a comment which referenced one Paul Treanor, a passionate opponent of the nation state and crusader for collectivism who uses Russian statistics to “prove” that free market economies shorten life expectancy and since Thatcher’s free market ideas were copied by countries all over the world she is clearly directly responsible for mass murder.

If the free market has caused about one-third of all deaths, in market economies, over the entire period of their existence, then the market has killed hundreds of millions of people. More than all wars, and more than the impact of a one-kilometre meteorite

Treanor believes that Thatcher should be tried and sentenced by a special tribunal and, naturally, there could only be one outcome.

A European Tribunal for Thatcher would be a sign, that Europe intends to remedy this defect of the British nation state. Such a tribunal should have the power to apply the death penalty, the most appropriate penalty for mass murder.

Of course, being a tankie, Treanor would be quite familiar with tribunals imposing death penalties. He would also assume that statistics published by the Soviet Union were totally honest, though others might disagree. But the true significance of his ill constructed ramblings has nothing to do with facts and figures or with constructing a case.

It is about the construction of a narrative. A narrative which aims to sabotage the argument for individual responsibility and limited government that underpinned Thatcher’s policies – for what worried the collectivist consensus was her popular appeal and the impact her electoral successes had on subsequent political generations.

So the counter myth of brutal Thatcher capitalism gained currency in those elite circles that had the most to lose from the decline in state power – the cartels….the bureaucrats, the academics, the planners and the pressure groups who all depend on the public teat for their well financed comforts.

Treanor’s looney tunes ramblings are merely a useful tool to justify their convictions – and in today’s climate it is more than likely that some BBC documentary maker or Hollywood producer could use them as the basis for a smooth piece of Michael Moore style agitprop that would mainstream the concept of Thatcher and her free market ideas as the willing agents of the grim reaper.

They wouldn’t deny the slaughters of Stalin, Mao or Pol Pot, they would merely slip her into the discourse using the sly concept of equivalence.

The Stasi support group GRH are only the tip of an iceberg, comrades….

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12 January
1Comment

Thatcher’s Alzheimer’s Is Karmic Revenge Say A “Usual Suspects” Media Hackette…

Elizabeth Farrelly is a leading Australian architect and newspaper columnist. She has been described as a Renaissance woman during an Australian radio interview with an irritatingly pompous BBC type clone but, in fact, she came across as relatively down to earth with some surprisingly sensible comments about feminism and climate change.

Unfortunately, in a piece on the recent film about Margaret Thatcher, “The Iron Lady”, she comes across as nothing more than a standard Guardianista media hack parroting the North London chattering class dinner party musings that all too often are allowed to pass by default into an accepted universal mythology.

Farrelly, we are told, lived in London for a few years during the eighties – so, should we be ready for a shrewd and perceptive historical analysis of the times?

If only….

Everyone I knew, even the toffs, hated Thatcher with a passion. It was not just disagreement. It was hate.

That tells us more about Farrelly’s narrowly circumscribed social bubble than it does about Thatcher’s government. If indeed that were true how would it have been possible for her to win three elections in a row with ever increasing majorities? Those votes didn’t just come from London and the south east. The Tories dominated the industrial midlands and made substantial inroads in the north. Quite a large chunk of those votes also came from working class voters. To portray her as some sort of southern middle class dominatrix grinding the faces of the lower classes is merely one additional facet of the left/liberal mythology ceaselessly promulgated by our media elite.

Then even more false memory syndrome.

To shrink the whole of Britain into London, then remodel that vast relocated wealth into something as ugly and brittle as Canary Wharf was bad policy, pure and simple. To require the selling of council flats was also wrong, in social as well as urban terms.

Farrelly obviously had no experience of living on a council estate during the 60s and 70s. Poorly managed by disinterested and unresponsive bureaucracies most council tenants were perceived as a leaden lumpenproletariat by patronising local politicians of all parties. The right to buy at generous terms liberated hundreds of thousands of ordinary working people and gave many families their first opportunity to actually benefit from a capital asset once regarded as the reserve of the middle classes. The resulting transformation of many of these estates from untidy sinkholes to neatly ordered urban landscapes was in itself a vindication of Thatcher’s policy.

Radical architects hate not being able to impose their will on the sweaty multitudes because they crave a uniformity of taste and style. That’s why the Farrellys of the world hated Thatcher. She valued the individual above the masses. She was absolutely certain that the gentleman from Whitehall did not know best.

I did not even warm to her personally. The pearls and handbags, stagey voice and sprayed hair all seemed old-fashioned, phoney and tasteless. I was among those who, hearing that both Thatcher and Reagan had Alzheimer’s disease, took it as karmic revenge.

Karmic revenge..

Funny how the liberal/left are allowed to vent their spleen in quite unpleasant terms and assume they are allowed to be given a pass. Yet at the end of the day it’s really Farrelly who is the museum piece…old fashioned, phoney and tasteless. That anti Thatcher horse was flogged to death many years ago.

You see, Ms Farrelly, unlike you I lived in Britain during the pre Thatcher days of the 50s, 60s & 70s and I can assure you it was no golden age…….

BTW…link to Farrelly’s piece fixed, thanks to my eagle eyed son...

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11 November
Comments Off on On November 11th Remember The Price….

On November 11th Remember The Price….

Today is Armistice Day in the UK…

Millions of people across the UK have observed a two-minute silence to mark Armistice Day.
Starting at 11:00 GMT, the event mirrors the time guns along the western front fell silent for a final time at the end of World War I in 1918.
The ceremony also remembers those who died in two world wars and later conflicts, including 385 UK personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001.

Remembering those who have paid the price for our freedom…

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10 November
Comments Off on “Child 44” – A Chilling Snapshot Of The Marxist Nightmare That Was Stalin’s Russia

“Child 44” – A Chilling Snapshot Of The Marxist Nightmare That Was Stalin’s Russia

Since the eruption of the banking crisis in 2008 and the justifiable public anger in the UK & USA at the amount of taxpayers money that had to be pumped into the subsequent bailouts there has been a marked revival of anti-capitalist, class war rhetoric and a renewed interest in the ideas of Karl Marx.

At the same time the bombastic posturing of the former KGB agent Vladimir Putin who now rules Russia with the help of a gang of vindictive and sticky fingered ex secret policemen seeks to restore the reputation of that archetypal left wing dictator Josef Stalin who spent thirty years claiming to have constructed the world’s very first perfect socialist where all men were equal and where all the means of production were controlled by the workers themselves – or rather, since it would be impossible to run a business dependent on the fluctuating wishes of the masses – controlled by the officials of the Communist Party claiming only they knew the “true” wishes and feelings of the working classes.

Russia and communism are both getting a big media makeover.

Which is why every sane man and woman in the west should read “Child 44” by Tim Rob Smith

Read it and realise the true nature of Russia in the 1930s and early 50s, the society that lay behind the Five Year Plans and People’s Arts festivals and the edifice of lies and hypocrisy that was shored up by the Bolshevik hacks and their brutal enforcers – and the useful idiots in the west who fell hook line and sinker for the whole sham.

It is essentially a crime novel in the police procedural mould, a hunt for a serial killer of children in Russia during the 1940s and early 50s during the latter years of the Stalin regime. Or rather the non hunt because the Communists claimed to have created a new kind of society where poverty and greed had been abolished and therefore crime no longer existed. If crimes were committed they were deliberate anti Soviet counter revolutionary acts, political crimes – therefore almost all policing resources were poured into the political police, the NKVD /MVD. Everyday policing was left to the underfunded and despised Militia. It followed that if an act could not be considered a political crime then it just drifted under the radar.

The novel is about an up and coming NKVD officer who upsets his bosses because he wants to track down a serial killer. He continues this obsession even after he is transferred to a dead end Militia placement.

It is a cold story set against the background of the moral vacuum of Soviet Russia where the only imperative is to survive the dead weight of an oppressive and secretive regime. There are disturbing snapshots of the darkness within the NKVD/MVD – one of the most chilling moments is the description of NKVD “specialists” (i.e.torturers) leaving the Lubianka at the end of their shift, going home to their families after a day of breaking bones and smashing bodies as if they were office commuters.
Read it if you can – then keep it burned in your memory next time you see somebody waving a hammer and sickle claiming to represent “the workers” – or watch Putin posturing on a Russian TV clip….

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