Ignoring The Elephant In The Room

The Telegraph reports that EU commission jackbooted thugs have raided the offices of Fox News in London.

Ostensibly the investigation concerns sports rights and as a would-be consumer if they weren’t so darned expensive, I can half see what they’re getting at.

However as the Telegraph story notes:

The raid comes at an extremely sensitive time for Fox as it seeks a remedies agreement with British watchdogs at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to secure its heavily delayed takeover of Sky…The CMA is considering an offer from the Murdoch family to spin off Sky News into a separate company or sell it to Disney to assuage concerns that full control of Sky will give them too much sway over the British media. 

The elephant in the room being of course that Fox is far less monopolistic than the BBC, but nobody, in an official capacity at least, is recommending that that monstrosity be broken up.

Might there be more to this than meets the eye:

News of a competition investigation by the European Commission will be viewed as a boost to the US cable giant Comcast, which is seeking to disrupt Fox’s takeover of Sky with its own rival £22bn bid.

News that the investigatory and ball-breaking powers of the EU have been bought and sold bought would hardly surprise anybody here at Castello Italicus.

Home Truths In The Grauniad – Shock Horror

The Grauniad, notable since its fall from being the rather splendid Manchester Guardian mainly for its slavish devotion to right-on hypocrisy and socialist lies and fake news (and tax avoidance), just occasionally manages to print a piece worth reading.

Via Guido, I commend to my reader this item by Ken Crawford (who must be smart as he went to St Andrews; cue chorus of “Gaudeamus Ignitur” etc ad nauseam!).

Bravely (in the Grauniad) he makes the point:

Somehow the role of the white male in ending Islam’s leading role in the slave trade never features, nor that of the men who argued for women’s equality in law and democracy. In the key disciplines that have shaped the western culture we all enjoy it is the white male we have most to thank. A world absent Galileo, Da Vinci, Newton, Darwin, Kant, Descartes, Fleming, Freud, Watt, Jung, Einstein and many others would be an unimaginably worse place, wracked with disease and scraping an agrarian existence. 

Of course, some at the Grauniad think that wouldn’t be a bad result, but still.  He goes on:

This ideology borrows strongly from Marxist doctrine and its dream of a Socialist utopia of equality. We don’t have to think too hard about where this road leads because it has already been trodden, a road slick with blood and corpses stacked on the verge as far as the eye can see. We learn in school about the dangers of right-wing identity politics, Hitler and the road to the gas chambers. Rightly so but the education system omits the equal danger from the leftist doctrine that has killed far more than the Nazis. Pol Pot, having been schooled by French intellectuals in the wisdom of Marxist doctrine, returned home to Cambodia and launched an equality programme …[in which]… perhaps 2 million perished. Stalin’s Russia accounted for perhaps 20 million deaths under its equality is driven collectivisation programme. Worse was to happen in China where around 45 million deaths can be attributed to Mao and the ‘Great Leap Forward’. 

And Dolcis in fondo:

It is not perfect but the capitalist system is the best, most merit-based system humans have been able to create.

Also true.

The article started off grumbling about identity politics.   Which is all about Group Rights.  There is no such thing as Group Rights.  There can be only Individual Rights and these are endowed by our creator whoever he (she or it) is.

So-called Group Rights are nothing more than shorthand for legalised expropriation from non-members of the favoured Groups.

Martin Luther King, a very great man, one of the greatest men of the 20th century, would never have stood for this bollocks.  In his words:

And when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’

 

 

Lessons From Stalingrad

Apropos of nothing really, we hear periodically about the threat posed to western nations by returning jihadists brutalised and further radicalised by fighting for ISIS/ISIL/Daesh – call it what you will.

At Castello Italicus we have read our history and don’t really see any major problem.

After a bitter fight at Stalingrad in 1943 the German 6th Army was surrounded and starving.  The Russians killed the lot (except for a few) in total around 1,000,000 men in the whole of the battle.

That was it for the Wehrmacht, from that day on their war was lost and it was only a matter of time.

The Russians lost appalling numbers of men as well, mainly because they began the battle desperately short of everything and their main tactic was simply to keep throwing waves of ill equipped teenagers and pensioners at the Germans in the hope they’d buy some time.

But to get back to our lesson from history, the only possible way to finish the jihadist menace is to surround them (pretty much done now) and simply make sure that none can escape.  Cut off supplies and wait until they all die.

It is brutal and far from the sporting sort of warfare we like.  But if we don’t do it this way we’ll have to do it again, closer to home.

No foreign fighter must  be allowed out, except in a box.  And not even then.  Don’t release the names of those killed.  Bury them in a trench by bulldozer, perhaps burning the bodies first to deny the possibility of DNA identification.

This is a war the Russians would appreciate.  Perhaps we should put them in charge for the duration.

The World’s Smallest Violin

From the Telegraph we read that:

he was such a loving person, and it’s probably something which just went wrong but he shouldn’t have died out of it.

The “something” being the robbery of a house occupied by a pensioner and his wife, aged in their seventies.

the pensioner – who was confronted by two intruders, one of them armed with a screwdriver – may have been trying to protect his wife Maureen…One of the men went upstairs while Vincent scuffled with Mr Osborn-Brooks and was stabbed.

with his own screwdriver.

We salute Mr Osborn-Brooks and wish him well in his forthcoming trial for murder.

Yes the British Justice system is living down to its reputation of frowning on brave people defending their own where the police have dismally failed.

Richard Osborn-Brooks, who has been bailed over Vincent's death

A splendid fellow, in happier times.

We can’t get too upset about the death of Mr Vincent.  A lowlife, habitual criminal, a leech on the poorer classes who were his victims, especially the old and supposedly defenceless.  No great loss to society.

Sound the tiny violins.

And Don’t Let The Door Hit Your Arse On The Way Out

Amid the successive clusterfucks of the May government a piece of good news, very good news actually; the awful Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders has been sacked*.

The Telegraph reports that her tenure started badly:

Operation Elvedon, an investigation into alleged payments by journalists to the police and other public officials. The investigation cost £20million but failed to secure the single conviction of a single journalist who was tried.

and went downhill from there:

Operation Yewtree, an investigation into allegations of historic sex offences involving celebrities. The investigation secured several high-profile convictions, including Gary Glitter, Max Clifford, Rolf Harris and Dave Lee Travis, but attracted criticism from other celebrities who were cleared after extensive investigations.

Her dismissal comes:

as every rape case in the country is under review after the collapse of four rape trials in the space of two months when critical evidence was disclosed just days before cases were due to be heard in court.

The money quote is this:

Mrs Saunders was “more interested in convictions than she was in people being tried fairly”.

And that about sums it up.

*Not sacked actually, but made clear she will not be renewed at the end of her 5 year term

 

Nemesis In Sight?

Via Zerohedge we read that the “evidence” connecting Russian Intelligence with the Salisbury attack probably wouldn’t stand up in a court of law:

This 6-paged PDF is a powerful evidence of another intellectual low of British propaganda machine. Open it and you can tell that substantially it makes only two assertions on the Skripal case, and both are false

Not so surprising, really.  This document was brought to you by the same geniuses who prepared Tony Blair’s dodgy dossiers, and it was one their old boys, Christopher Steele, who made up up Hilbilly’s “Trump dossier”

It has been obvious from the start that the Russia connection was at best the least unlikely possibility, but much more importantly, that May’s “Handbags at Dawn” approach was almost certainly going to turn into a humiliating defeat, which eventuality seems to be on the horizon and approaching fast.

 

 

NB  One caveat about the Zero hedge article; the last paragraph reads:

Have you totally lost your minds, ladies & gentlemen from the Downing Street?

Sounds like something out of a James Bond novel!  The title of the original host publication is “Oriental Review” which I suppose would also ring some alarm bells.

Being British

Raedwald posted today about the considerable gulf between total spending on the Leave campaign in the run up to the Great Referendum, compared with the Remainers, funded as they were by the EU, the Government, the IMF, the Irish and Japanese governments, George fucking Soros etc etc:

Bearing in mind that the Leave spending was all donated by citizens donating their own money to the cause it is a clear indication, after the fact, that the Leave side had a far more committed base and it is perhaps less surprising that we won, than is sometimes made out.

I absolutely share  Radders’ contempt for the motropolitan classes who confusing their own narrow concerns for the public good of the nation, orchestrated the Remain campaign, and continue to fight their spiteful little campaign of rearguard actions and insults.  They are firmly centred on the south east, and for that reason alone,  I would be happy never to travel south of Watford again.

What the vote confirmed once again is that the collective wisdom of the People of this country exceeds that of the Establishment.

Let’s hear it for the yeomen* of England!

  • or should that be yeopeople?

 

 

A Tidal Wave Of Good Intentions

This blog has a lot of time for Michael Gove, by far the ablest minister in Cameron’s government, and in fact the ablest minister in a UK government for some time.  He is bright, decent and honest – a most unusual combination.

He  did good work as Minister of Education, and then his timely adoption of the Brexit cause was an important waypoint in that campaign.

But oh dear, we read in the Telegraph today that he has been spouting some utter dribble:

A tax of up to 22p could be added to plastic bottles to prevent the tide of rubbish flowing into the oceans, under plans announced by Michael Gove on Wednesday…  Announcing the scheme, Environment Secretary Mr Gove said: “We can be in no doubt that plastic is wreaking havoc on our marine environment – killing dolphins, choking turtles and degrading our most precious habitats.

Which brings us to two things:

  • Most of the problem plastic in the world is put there by consumers in Africa and South America.  Measures like this will do absolutely nothing to resolve the problem.
  • I have never thrown away a plastic bottle (as far as I can remember) and the same is true probably for a majority of the population.  I carefully crush them and put them out for recycling.  This plan would mean that I can no longer do that as it would cost me 22p a time (more than the contents of the bottle in many cases).  I or Mrs H will be obliged to fill a box periodically and go and waste an hour of my time getting back our deposits.

It is an insane idea. 

The article goes on to say:

It comes amid speculation that Britain could use some of its overseas aid budget to help Commonwealth countries to cut down on plastic pollution.

No fuck off.  Let’s cut our overseas aid budget altogether and spend it on our own defence.  If these countries want to spend money reducing plastic consumption let them cut down their spending on private jets, swiss bank accounts or nuclear weapons programmes.

A Downing St spokesman said: “Marine pollution, particularly from plastics, is one of the most significant challenges facing the world today and the Commonwealth spread over six Continents is uniquely placed to take transformative action so that future generations can enjoy a natural environment that is cleaner and greener than we currently find it.

No it’s not.  The most serious threat facing the world today is idiots in government wanting to be seen to be virtuous by the kind of people of sign up to Change.org campaigns.

It is that the gains in wealth, wellbeing and freedom over the last centuries of struggle will be squandered by feelgood pinko twats at international conferences.

This blog cares passionately about the environment, and spends its free time working hard to improve the immediate environment around Castello Italicus.

More importantly it recognises that a richer world will be a more environmentally friendly world, as caring for the environment is a luxury afforded only to people who don’t have to worry about where their next meal will come from.

The history of care about the environment is a history of people from rich countries who don’t have to work.

Measures like the ones proposed by Gove will reduce wellbeing and wealth, and therefore their contribution will be perforce negative for the environment.

 

A Very Brave Man, But A Defeat For Free Speech

The world’s law enforcement community has seldom covered itself in glory in recent years.

We have paramilitary police in the US routinely murdering unarmed people, the British police more concerned with jailing the owners of dogs that raise their paws in response to anti-semitic remarks than with doing anything about the systematic rape and abuse of tens of thousands of white working class girls by grooming gangs; and all over Europe gun, knife and grenade crime is on the rise in certain no-go areas, but the main focus of the police seems to be on prosecuting the use of mobile phones while driving.

So it is especially important to honour the memory of Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, the man who voluntarily offered himself as a hostage to crazed islamist lunatic in order to free another person, and who was subsequently murdered for his trouble.  This was an act in the most noble tradition of heroism, of a true servant of the public and a credit to his nation and to his force.

This has not stopped one of his compatriots from tweeting his pleasure at the news of his death:

Stéphane Poussier appeared to celebrate the death of Lt-Col Arnaud Beltrame, saying it was great.

This individual is a part of Melechon’s far-left movement of nasty, embittered cultural marxists, so we should not be too surprised.

Naturally he has been expelled from the party, and now there are moves afoot to prosecute him:

A former French left-wing parliamentary candidate has been arrested over his tweets about a policeman killed during a jihadist siege in southern France last week…French media say he could be charged with apologising for terrorism

That is a shame.  This would have been a good moment to stand up for free speech.

At Italicus Towers, we don’t agree with this man, and in fact find his views loathsome.  But it is our opinion that in a free society he has the right to express that opinion.  So far as we are aware he was not inciting violence (except perhaps by decent people against himself).  Or committing fraud or anything else that should rightly be banned.

So he should be free to make a fool of himself.

 

No, You’re Wrong

That normally reliable repository of intelligent comment The Continental Telegraph, doubtless wishing to be seen to be publishing a diverse set of opinions, has a piece about gun control in the US by a certain Tom Fuller in which he informs us that:

I don’t believe at all that I have any right to park an Abrams tank in my driveway or a Humvee with a mounted fifty caliber machine gun.

Mmmh, anybody else spot the straw man?

He goes to reassure us that it’s ok, and a nevralgic political issue which has been simmering for decades dividing the country like no other except abortion, is in fact easy to fix, because:

I believe the limits can be drawn quickly and using common sense using those facts. Background checks for all gun sales, prohibition of gun ownership to convicted felons, convicted domestic abusers (there are shamefully some types of domestic abuse not classified as a felony), withdrawal of semi and automatic rifles from the market and a mandatory buyback of such weapons as are already in private hands.

That’s alright then Tom!  Thank goodness you exist!!

We can really only think of a couple of problems with this.  The first is that it wouldn’t do any good.  Automatic weapons are already to all intents and purposes outlawed and have been since at least the 1980s.  Every state has its own gun laws and nearly all require purchasers to be sane and law abiding.  Often however these requirements are ignored.  So how about enforcing the existing laws before making any new stupid ones?

In every free country in the western world except Australia and the UK ownership of semi auto pistols and rifles is permitted under certain reasonable conditions.  The ridicuous laws in the UK and Australia  don’t seem to have led to any significant improvement in the law enforcement situation.  Certainly in the UK at least knife and gun crime are on the rise, and coppers can barely be arsed to try to do anything about it preferring to spend their time trawling twitter for rude comments about mosques or police horses.

In these countries the murder rate is not sky high.  There are next to no incidents.  How can this be?  Because ownership of firearms by law abiding people is totally harmless, and might even be beneficial as criminals are forced to consider that potential victims might be in a position to defend themselves.

The other slight problem that we can see is the bit about the mandatory buy back.  That is a recipe for massive civil disobedience, and possibly civil war and/or secession.  The chances are thousands of people would be hurt and killed if this was attempted.

This blog would tentatively suggest two things that could make a difference.  The first is the wider adoption of Gun Safety Orders in which in a very focused way, specific individuals eg parents, teachers would be able to take legal action to deny temporarily firearm possession to people showing clear signs of imminent disaster such as posting on facebook that they want to become a school shooter.  This has we understand been tried with encouraging results.

Possibly even more important would be a voluntary code of practice in the media, not to publicise the sad losers’ names.  Deny them their 15 minutes of fame.  Deny them, in Mrs Thatchers memorable turn of phrase, the Oxygen of Publicity.

For a few twisted individuals the chance to dominate the news for 24 hours trumps any moral or emotional considerations of right and wrong.  Remove that incentive and with time you will reduce the occurrence.

We are sure that if you plot the frequence and deadliness of these events against the amount of hours of coverage of the 24 hour news cycle you will see a strong correlation.