The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for February, 2012

28 February
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The Unforgettable Nat “King” Cole…1919-1965…

You can’t mistake that soft, silky baritone voice….Nat King Cole was so big during the 40s/50s that the iconic Capitol Records building in Los Angeles was often described as “the house that Nat built”

Yet it is often forgotten that he was regarded as one of the top jazz pianists of his time, on a par with Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum and credited with being one of the first jazzmen to organise the piano/guitar/bass trio set up that became so familiar in the 40s…

Nat plays…

Nat sings….

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27 February
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Why Something Is Missing From The BBC’s Reporting Of Those Anti-EU Protests In Greece & Elsewhere…

Over the last months there have been regular marches and demonstrations against the massive cuts in state spending being forced by the EU in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece. Indeed in Greece these protests have frequently escalated into full scale riots.

The BBC has, of course, reported on these protests but in a strangely disconnected manner. The levels of anger and frustration are made obvious and the fact that the austerity programmes are the result of pressure from the EU (aka Merkel/Sarkozy) is clearly noted.

But that’s where it ends. There is little background or follow up – the journalism is very two dimensional. Now this is odd because there is nothing more that the BBC likes to do than to dig deep into any protest/riot. G20, Tottenham/Croydon August 2011, Occupy and Syria…..the agitation is lovingly filmed and often carefully choreographed for the cameras, just in time for the evening news. Individual protesters (usually young and photogenic) are interviewed with a hushed and reverential air and over the days there springs from out of nowhere a veritable tsunami of in depth analysis which is usually skewed against the powers that be. Within a fortnight or so there appears the Panorama documentary and six to twelve months later the play/film/opera dramatising the whole event with a cast of heroes…and villains.

The villains – they are always central to the whole performance. Bankers, Oil companies, government ministers – all wheeled out and deconstructed in the name of truth and journalistic rigour. Yet the script has been changed for these Mediterranean protests. There are no villains in this epic – no shadowy figures to abuse, excoriate or condemn. No implication of a deep laid conspiracy to suppress freedom.

Nobody to blame.

Of course you and I know only too well who to blame. They are the cartel of bureaucratic bunglers and con artists who cobbled together the gigantic scam that is the Euro a decade or so back. They are the guilty men and women. In any other situation the BBC would be hunting them down with mike and camera, confronting them in their glittering taxpayer funded offices in Brussels, metaphorically tarring and feathering them in the name of justice and revenge.

But the BBC could never perform that function against the EU, not in a million years. For it is essentially the PR arm of the EU. It has shamelessly pimped this raddled harlot across our airwaves for decades. It would be like the pope flourishing a condom. To admit this monumental failure on the part of the EU elite would demand a degree of honesty and conscience that is simply beyond the pale for any BBC chattering class apparatchik.

Sorry, people…move along there, nothing to see here. Why not look over there at Tesco or that travellers site or the anti capital protest – we’ve already got scores of reporters and the whole team of Today and Newsnight presenters covering those much more important stories…
You see all that criticism of the EU is simply not…helpful….it undermines the narrative and we at the BBC always appreciate the big picture….

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24 February
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The Shamelessness Of Greenpeace

Remember this nifty piece of bullet dodging choreography performed by a Greenpeace top dog when pressed over his “Icecaps all gone by 2030” scaremongering press release in 2009?

Many “Climate Realists” hoped that glaring admission about “emotionalising” the issue would have extinguished this moralising and malevolent dinosaur for good.

Fat chance

It’s 2012 and Greenpeace is still very much alive and well.

In almost every corner of the world, there’s a Greenpeace activist working to limit food production, stop energy development or bullying a sovereign nation to stifle economic development in favour of their ideological goals.
……….
But in reality, Greenpeace loathes growth in developing world economies because stronger industries in Indonesia, China, South Africa or Malaysia offer stiffer competition to firms based in London or Berlin and their host governments – those who happen to fund Greenpeace’s operations

That’s right – those Greenpeace activists performing agitprop street theatre all over the world are financed partly by western governments.

The “activists” are, of course, front line cannon fodder, a mixture of idealistic young students and seasoned agitators who happily block pavements, trespass onto private property and perform acts of vandalism for the “cause”. They do it for the kicks and cost little money.

Above them, however, are the Greenpeace executives who jet around the world, hang out in luxury hotels and drive around in expensive limos, hobnobbing with politicians and bureaucrats. There function is twofold – to dream up more stunts and arrange to siphon even more money out of taxpayers pockets to fund the whole circus.

The stunts and campaigns are essentially tools to blackmail third world governments into stifling economic development because organisations like Greenpeace need the third world to remain poverty stricken in order to leech off middle class guilt in the western world and ensure a steady stream of funding from private donations and government largesse.

But maybe these third world countries are waking up

Last week, John Sauven, the director of Greenpeace UK, was refused entry by Indonesian officials after landing in the country on his way to further the organization’s deforestation initiatives. Officials at Jakarta International rejected his visa and deported him the same day with a very clear message: Greenpeace is not welcome in Indonesia.
Maryoto Sumadi, spokesman for Indonesia’s Immigration Department, put it best, saying, “We have good reasons for blacklisting him… It is the right of our country, just like any country, to deny entry to people in accordance with our national interests.”

Over the last few years Greenpeace has made Indonesia the target of several anti growth campaigns but maybe the penny has started to drop about the organisation’s true agenda.

Good for them.

Perhaps now the people of the UK and other European nations might even start to ask their governments why, at this time of high unemployment, redundancies and bankruptcies, they are helping to bankroll a new “Rainbow Warrior” for around £20m in order to “emotionalise” issues that are so often founded on lies, half truths and distortions.

Let’s hope so.

Unfortunately so far Greenpeace has proved to be pure teflon…as in the introductory clip caught out time and time again in peddling myths and falsehoods yet quite shamelessly convincing the media to ignore them with that old “move on, nothing to see here” mantra so successfully adopted by liberal/left radicals whenever they have been caught with their trousers down or their fingers in the till.

It will take many swords to slay this beast….

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23 February
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Snowdrops – Spring Is On The Way……

Snowdrops….the sign that spring is on it’s way. There were huge clumps of them growing on the grass verges in Somerset at the weekend and in our son’s garden…..

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23 February
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At Last – A UK Tory MP With Cojones…And She’s A Woman..#fightlikeagirl

There appears to have been a brawl in a House of Commons bar yesterday. Guido, as usual has the details.

The police eventually arrived and took away an MP (alleged to be the Labour Party’s Eric Joyce) in handcuffs.
Several members tried to stop the fight including a Conservative female MP who placed herself in front of Mr Joyce and told him to punch her instead of anyone else..

Poor Stuart was just having a quiet pint and minding his own business and Eric headbutted him. Stuart was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Several other MPs tried to calm Mr Joyce down, including Labour whip Phil Wilson, who was hit. One woman MP, Thurrock Tory Jackie Doyle-Price, stepped bravely between Mr Joyce and the fracas.

At last a Tory MP with cojones?

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23 February
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Adele – “Hometown Glory”…She’s Like Me, From Croydon To West Sussex…

“Hometown Glory” was one of Adele’s earliest compositions, written when she was 16. It’s a song about West Norwood which is part of Croydon, a rather unfashionable suburb of South London. That is also the world I lived in for fifty years so I know it well – I’ll always remain a proud “Sarf” Londoner at heart. Another great singer/songwriter also came from Croydon – Kirsty MacColl, although she lived in a more affluent district (I actually taught her for a while)

MacColl was not always positive about the place but Adele’s song has a more affectionate feel to it.

Oddly enough, Adele has recently moved to a beautiful house in the West Sussex countryside, just a few miles down the road from where I live now….which shows the girl’s got taste…

As for the song, one of the comments hits the nail on the head..

no make-up, no proactiv, no fancy clothes. just an amazingly beautiful singer.

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21 February
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How Goldman Sachs Helped the Greeks Enter The Euro By Making Their Deficit “Disappear”

The BBC shows us how, just before Greece entered the Euro, Goldman Sachs and the Greek political elite cobbled together a dodgy deal to cover up the huge elephant in the room that was Greece’s debt and then how the EU financial “experts” looked around and pretended not to see it.

Their fingerprints and DNA are all over the room but, you see, it was all a misunderstanding and anyway it’s water under the bridge.

That sound? It’s Al Capone, turning in his grave out of sheer envy….

Or, as Adam smith might have said

Investment Bankers, politicians and EU officials seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public

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16 February
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Enoch Powell – The Greatest Prime Minister The UK Never Had…

The sad news about the death of Ray Honeyford, a brilliant head teacher whose career was broken in 1985 by the zealots of multiculturalism is made more poignant by the fact that subsequent events have proved him right. As head of a school with a largely Asian intake he warned against the dangers of multiculturalism which, during the 70s and 80s was the official policy of the educational establishment, aided and abetted by the great and the good of the media, the political elite and the lords of academe.

According to this policy, ethnic minority children were encouraged to cling on to their cultures, customs, even languages, while the concept of a shared British identity was treated with contempt. Honeyford thought this approach was deeply damaging.
He feared that it promoted division, hindered integration and undermined pupils’ opportunities to succeed in wider British society.

He was subjected to a campaign of unrelenting vilification from the liberal left and the race relations industry and was given up as a sacrificial lamb by his terrified employers with little, if any, support from the Thatcher government.

….and it made me think of Enoch Powell….

Enoch Powell was a brilliant academic (Professor of Ancient Greek at age 25) and also a combative conservative politician who possessed the remarkable gift (extremely rare amonst UK conservatives) of being able to connect with the man or woman in the street.

His views on immigration and the EU struck a chord that resonated with the majority of British people at a time when those same opinions were deemed unacceptable by the cultural elite that dominated – and continues to dominate – politics, the media and academe. As a result he was ostracised and ignored by the establishment and remained a political outsider from the late 60s onward.

Though popular with everyday folk he never deliberately courted popularity. Indeed some of his views (he was opposed to capital punishment) went against the grain of public opinion. But this independence of mind merely served to endear him even further with the public. There was always the feeling that with Powell you had a politician who was totally honest, never self serving and always ready to tell you the truth however unwilling were your ears to receive it.

Naturally he was given the cold shoulder, not just by the left but also by many of his Conservative Party colleagues who wanted a quiet life free from the strictures of the BBC and the UK Guardian.

Naturally all his warnings about the impact of uncontrolled immigration, European integration and lax fiscal policy have come to pass….

For a taster one clip and two quotes

Powell on the race card

Powell on “Western guilt”

We are told that the economic achievement of the Western countries has been at the expense of the rest of the world and has impoverished them, so that what are called the ‘developed’ countries owe a duty to hand over tax-produced ‘aid’ to the governments of the undeveloped countries. It is nonsense—manifest, arrant nonsense; but it is nonsense with which the people of the Western countries, clergy and laity, but clergy especially—have been so deluged and saturated that in the end they feel ashamed of what the brains and energy of Western mankind have done, and sink on their knees to apologise for being civilised and ask to be insulted and humiliated.

Powell on “Europe”

We are taunted—by the French, by the Italians, by the Spaniards—for refusing to worship at the shrine of a common government superimposed upon them all… where were the European unity merchants in 1940? I will tell you. They were either writhing under a hideous oppression or they were aiding and abetting that oppression. Lucky for Europe that Britain was alone in 1940.

Finally a must-read….Simon Heffer’s magisterial biography of Powell….

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14 February
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UK Muslim Cabinet Minister Tells European Christians To Stop Apologising And Start Standing Up For Themselves

A Muslim UK Cabinet Minister, addressing a meeting in The Vatican, warned against an aggressive secularisation that was on the rise in Britain and Europe

“My theory is that… we have got to the stage where aggressive secularism is being imposed by stealth… denying people the right to a religious identity and failing to understand the relationship between religious loyalty and loyalty to the state,”

Warsi, born and bred in Yorkshire of Pakistani parents is a combative conservative who has fallen foul of both the gay rights lobby for opposing homosexual marriage and of jihadists who have threatened her for her support of Bitish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

She has consistently and robustly defended the role of religion in modern society and poured scorn not just upon those militant atheists who seek to drive it out of public life but also upon so called religious “leaders” who seem to be in constant retreat in the face of those militants.

to create a more just society, people need to feel stronger in their religious identities and more confident in their creeds. In practice this means individuals not diluting their faiths and nations not denying their religious heritages

But what is most striking about this Muslim lady is not just her acceptance that Christianity is a key element of European culture and civilisation but her insistence that Europeans should make that fact a cause for celebration.

today I will be taking the argument one step further. I will be arguing for Europe to become more confident and more comfortable in its Christianity. The point is this: the societies we live in, the cultures we have created, the values we hold and the things we fight for all stem from centuries of discussion, dissent and belief in Christianity.

These values shine through our politics, our public life, our culture, our economics, our language and our architecture. And, as I will say today, you cannot and should not extract these Christian foundations from the evolution of our nations any more than you can or should erase the spires from our landscapes.

How sad that it falls to a Muslim politician to defend Christianity and Britain’s culture and history. Where are the bishops and archbishops who should be fighting the good fight?. Oh, I forgot….they are too busy APOLOGISING for the very thing Warsi was eulogising.

What a crazy world…..

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14 February
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Jan Vermeer’s 1670 Masterpiece Is Just Right For Valentine’s Day

The Dutch artist Jan Vermeer painted “The Love Letter” around 1670 but the mood is timeless and so appropriate for Valentine’s Day….capturing that glorious moment of surrender to the magic of loving and being loved….

The subject of this painting is love. This is evident in the presence of musical references (the instrument held by the woman and the musical score on the chair in the foreground) which were commonly used as a metaphor for harmony between two people and the letter which the young woman holds, undoubtedly from a loved one whom she speaks of with the servant. The painters of interior scenes often included paintings within paintings to clarify the meaning of the composition. In this case the paintings on the end wall, a landscape with a man and woman and a seascape, undoubtedly refer to the absence of the loved one….

Across 350 years we are in that house. We see their faces and we can almost hear their voices.

That is the power of art….

That is the power of love….

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