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Tim Sinclair
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Interesting that what makes the headlines is Le Pen's focus on immigration, Frexit, 'law and order' and other Trump-like plans. But in her 144-point manifesto is what will be a major upheaval and is hardly mentioned. It is her programme for the political institutions that will take the Republic away from the devolved partnership between president, parliament and local government. Le Pen would dramatically reduce the size of the French parliament and jettison 30 years of local government reform and devolution to abolish France’s regions. Have we a dictator in the making?
Lovely and informative piece, Colin. Anyone in the Centre and of (lower case) liberal persuasion would get my vote these days. As Tony Blair (yes, I know, despite his awful decisions he was, and remains, a useful diagnostician who worked out his party’s faults and eventually delivered many of the Left’s historic dreams) said that the issue of the day is less about the tension between the Left and Right and more between “open” and “closed” states. "Ok, the Left is more anti-business, the Right is more anti-immigrant, but they [both] tend to be protectionist,” he says. To combat this, he argues, the “muscular centre” has to work out “what bits of the so-called liberal agenda have failed and what bits haven’t”. Let's hope there is a sane future for the EU, the US and the UK.
Like any normal civilised law-abiding person, my reaction to these barbaric attacks is first horror and then fear. So ISIL is winning the war on terror (aided by media spreading it). However, thinking we need the 'spirit of the Blitz' seems to me conceding defeat - that we are scared, terrified. Should we be? There are 66,000,000 people in France. At the current level of activity, their odds of being killed in a terrorist attack in a given year are less than two ten-thousandths of one per cent. That’s 27 times lower than their odds of dying in a car accident. Even if the current level of attacks continues for 80 years (which would be unprecedented), a child born today in France would have only one percent of a one percent chance of being killed in one. The paragraph above is from 'Some Numbers on Terror' by risk analyst Tom Pollock (author of The City's Son and The Glass Republic). Of course, like all murders, justice must prevail. But above all, we need the mindset not to be terror-fied.
You could equally question the unfortunate company of the Remain voters - starting with Cameron whose scheming brought us to this mess in the first place. BTW, have you seen this? "Why we voted leave: voices from northern England":
I wonder: if Belgium were Syria, would the US have sorted out El Bakraoui with a drone strike?
Cool, measured debate? Impossible because there are no facts to base it upon. Politicians, economists, bank governors, professors, erudite journalists et al cannot even sort out our sinking economies, never mind make a case for forcing unity on disparate peoples and cultures. So in the end, what have we? Gut instinct. I'm not sure, Colin in the phrasing of your concluding remarks, if you're saying that's a good or bad thing.
One of my shortlived tall, long blonde-hair girlfriends in the late 60s was a spitting image of Francoise. And - according to my brother who still occasionally sees her (the ex that is) - still looks amazing. Lost chances, lost love? But what are looks without the music (in any language)?
Well, that 'someone somewhere' is a lousy sub!
Totally off topic, Colin, but when reading on my tablet the Salut page the comments (nothing else) are set so far to the right that they are partly covered (and so unreadable) by the links panel. Update: Well,at least Bill's is. Mine seems to behave correctly I'm not trolling, honest!
It seems to be human nature that we need to have hate figures - we have to have a devil. There's been many from Hitler to Gadaffi, Saddam and bin Laden. Choudary now joins them. I think it is wrong for the media to be blamed for helping to create these imaginary or otherwise monsters - our Press is surely just reflecting what society seems to want. That said, I would certainly agree that we need to exorcise demons when they appear. But with care and thought and not with knee-jerk rash of new laws. I totally agree with the Muslim Council on that. Sadly, I'm not so sure those former Eton prefects now in charge really know how to get us "all in it together" - whether we're English or Scots, Muslims or (nominally) Christians. Cameron's one nation is an order, no discussion. Otherwise it's six of the best, or rather detention these days.
Interfering busybodies? Like the suffragettes, like Mary Whitehouse, like peace demonstrators? Sometimes unwanted, sometimes wrong, but thank goodness there are folk willing to "interfere". In fact, you could describe some media people as busybodies and who get it wrong.
> nor do I defend the unwarranted abuse of journalists doing their jobs Neither (as an ex-hack) do I. But soldiers get killed for doing their jobs. Sticks and stones and all that - come on, folk who have seen their (or friends') reputation, hopes, even lives, ruined thanks to "journalists" can surely shout (even if too hastily and without forethought) abuse at what's perceived as the enemy. At least they are only words - not bullets.
> And maybe they haven't. That's pure speculation. More an educated guess. As I said, perhaps not them but possibly someone close or a friend - that's more than likely their neighbour, failed would-be PM Mr Milliband. You cannot say he hasn't suffered from the pen of the Press. Justification? Does Colin have justification to 'smear' the neighbours? Neighbours who perhaps do not have any sort of easily accessible grand platform to make their point as do journalists. Oh yes, I suppose they could write a letter to the editor. Mob mentality? I fail to see this mob - if there, Milliband could have done with their votes. Mindless insults? I would say a too hasty reaction to seeing what might have appeared to be in the making another 'two-kitchens' socialism piece.
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May 13, 2015