Friday, 26 October 2007

I'm back!

Not that I've been missed!

I feel I need to say something about Gordon Brown.

He tells me that he's a conviction politician yet all I see from him is platitudes or falsehoods. He tells me he has a vision but cannot articulate that vision despite his labour leadership hustings. He tells me to give him time to shape his vision and then employs lots of consultants to generate it, maybe. .......But at least the Smith Institute is well paid.

Let's face facts. He's a man devoid of ideas, morals, vision or indeed basic brain function. He is, in effect, a total cunt. And yet he's prime minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. How the flying fuck did that happen? Oh yes, Tony gave it to him over our heads.

for what it's worth I believe his "safe pair of hands on the economy" was the length, breadth and depth of his so called towering intellect and that we have a PM morally, intellectually and politically bereft of any idea as to how to run our great country. The man's a cunt! Full stop

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The Rugby World Cup

I am a rugbyphile of the highest order. It is the sport that has given me the greatest pleasure both in playing and spectating. It is a sport so rich in nuance that football fans like Iain Dale don't even understand it!! it is brutal yet balletic, it is painful yet joyful, it is, as my favourite T-Shirt says, ELEGANT VIOLENCE!

I'm also greatly heartened by the current performance of the "minnows"; rugby is becoming a truly global game and that makes me a happy man. No sport "grows" a young person like rugby. It is the real "beautiful game". England 3 Israel 0? Who gives a monkey's fuck!!!!???

Monday, 10 September 2007


I am reluctantly taking down my Maddy poster.

Like many others I currently don't know what to believe and feel that my support is not quite as unequivocal as it was.

I'd like to try to explain why but all the arguments I've tried to post are either fatuous, disingenuous or based on mere supposition. But, but, but.

Part of my issue is that I have not liked the well orchestrated media machine behind the family, they were ill advised (sic) to be so clearly media oriented/manipulated. They had the media spotlight anyway, I feel others may have set them up for a fall through today's obsession with outright media manipulation rather than heartfelt direct appeal. Even this repetition of general MSM comment makes me nervous.

I have other concerns but will keep them to myself for now thankyou.

Update: Still none the wiser but working hard at not jumping to conclusions. Fascinated that the tabloids are also not jumping to conclusions but merely reporting the most lurid details they can possibly get their hands on. Hands up those who think they are beginning to hedge their bets at the expense of the disposable/dispensable McCanns? How well advised were this, let's face it pretty savvy, couple to so completely embrace the notoriously duplicitous press?

Saturday, 25 August 2007

David Cameron

Enjoyed reading this paragraph by a VERY impressive young political journo/adviser.

"An ex-CCHQ senior researcher recalls when David and George were fledgling MPs and attending Prime Minister's Questions preparation for Iain Duncan Smith. "The pair of them would walk in, were slightly dismissive of IDS, would rip up the script, give their lines, eat a croissant and breeze out." He adds, "The air of confidence and self-assurance was magnificent. There was, of course, an inner desire to punch them."

Well this chimes well with me. I like the idea that Cameron and Osborne feel confident in their own abilities, running the greatest country on the planet is not for the faint hearted!! I like David Cameron, I like George Osborne and would wish to see his public profile heightened. But I too would like to punch them out of the same "inner desire" shown by conservative ministers, in as much as we all want to do that to people who effortlessly achieve what the rest of us have to work immesurably hard to even cusp.

Herein lies my undoubted respect. I'd love to punch them in the nicest possible way for being clever and confident and clearly highly competent. However, I'd love to punch the living fuck out of Tone and Gordo for being two complete fuckwits and for screwing up the country I love. Fuck you Gordon, I'll give you more than a fucking punch if we ever meet!!

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Human Rights

One of my favourite authors/commentators is the American humourist P J O'Rourke. He is deeply libertarian and acutely incisive of thought and is prone, as am I, to a reductio ad absurdam approach to modern myths. One of my favourite quotes is (and I paraphrase somewhat)"There is only one basic human right; you can do what the hell you want. However, with it comes one basic human responsibility; you bear, in full, the consequences of your actions."

This is where the Human Rights Act fall flat on its face. It does not even attempt to link rights with responsibilities. How can this be so when PJ's slightly glib premise actually shines a stark light on the underpinning morality of western society? As a society I believe we are not defined by our rights but by our responsibilities and by how we discharge them. The human rights act has turned this ethos on its head and clearly places rights above responsibilities. I struggle to handle the logic of this. Rights surely exist ONLY if you accede to the societal norms that ensure the common good; move beyond these norms and feel the consequences. It is fundamental to a moral and viable society. Most long standing laws, unlike he human rights act, exist to protect the wider populous from those who deliberately choose to harm us, this can only be right.

If you do not wish to live by society's rules you have NO RIGHT to be part of that society.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Cold War??

Big bad Bear!

Let's get some things straight! If the Badgers and the Backfires want to come back over the horizon, let them. In fact I'd love it if they cusped into UK airspace and provoked a diplomatic incident. I'd love to hear stories of the renewal of the only real element of the cold war as submarines joust to within an inch of their multiple lives in the Greenland-Iceland-Faeroes gap and generally well equipped NATO forces face a large but largely inept Soviet army across the central German plain.


Because the hidden Gordon Brown scandal is his funding of the Armed Forces. We are so underfunded that the Navy is effectively useless and all funds rightly but secretly go to those fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, even if it means cuts in other areas. For those not in the know the Navy is HUNDREDS of MILLIONS short because Gordon doesn't give a flying fuck about us. And in a way, nor do you. Dear electorate, "defence of the realm" that which you think you pay for is, in fact just enough to make us "feel" safe. National Defence is not a nice to have, it is a fundamental responsibility of government and is currently being abrogated in massive spades by the Browne noser.

Bottom line? We are underfunded to protect the UK and its interests by several billions but, on the grounds that Gordon and his duplicitous mates couldn't give a flying fuck about us, we are hamstrung.

Perhaps the populous is happy with this. I hope not.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Local food for local people!

This caught my eye

Bastard Supermarkets

We have a farm shop near us and less than a mile away from the local Tesco. The meat in Tesco is shit, the vegetables are ok and the range of other goods, from bin bags to HDTVs, is utterly unbelievable. Tesco provides me with range, convenience and seriously competetive pricing. The farm shop cannot give me these. However...

The farm shop provides, in some areas, quality that Tesco could NEVER afford to match. Supermarkets spend millions to have you believe that their buying power provides the highest of quality across the piece. This is simply not true and where it is, you are charged premium prices. Were I to have a dinner party and with to serve fillet steak, I would avoid the watery, overly fatty, under-hung, tasteless Tesco meat like the fucking plague. Don't even bother with the shitty, overly-hyped "Jamie" steaks in Sainsbury, they're shit. The farm shop fillet steaks, from local farms and on a financial par with the supermarket "expensive" range, is not only far,far,far,far, superior, being properly managed and locally produced but the farmer gets more money than he otherwise would from a supermarket.

Big Supermarkets will squeeze their suppliers to provide "same same" stuff for lazy buyers for as long as we'll let them but astute shoppers can drive a real alternative, keep independent farming going and taste real food by looking up their nearest farm shop.

Did I mention Fiona loves me too?? If not I will for ages. Things are just so perfect at the moment.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Who am I??

Hugely belated update. Apologies to both my readers, you can take dad to the pub now mum!!!

My non-posting has a complex provenance. I've oft told of my love for Fiona and how this is re-shaping my life. Well that is now permanent but not without almost daily trauma. Posts about errant ex-husbands who only want the good bits of a parental relationship and none of the trauma they left behind or close family/friends who promise much and deliver less than nothing would currently feature higher than my usual agenda items!!

They might hold an interest for a while but are closely personal.

Politics is currently as dull as fuck. With the exception of Dizzy, everyone is in Brownian motion and it is as dull as a dull thing with dull bits stuck on something really dull!

The final complexity? I've realised something. I'm not a Dizzy, a Guido, an Iain Dale, a DK a Mr Eugenides. I'm not an opinion setter. Not through lack of desire or I wouldn't be here!! I think there are two elements at play here; the first is my Armed Forces reticence to step beyond that which I feel morally acceptable, or indeed legal, in my position.

The second perhaps provides a window into a new area to develop this blog. My strength lies not in the generation of views, but in their analysis. I'm goin to think a while but I reckon my talent here, is is forensic analysis of shit logic.

I cannot form beautiful phrases, I cannot construct elegant sentences, but I can EASILY take a counter-view to a perceived argument.

I started this blog in a desire to be heard during divorce. It made me feel alive and whilst the motivation and ergo the general thrust might change, the desire does not.

Oh and by the way, did I tell you I love Fiona??

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Global Whining

When I was a young lad (yeah, yeah, I know), 30 years ago plus, I subscribed to a magazine called "Speed and Power". Besides telling me about such awesome weapons systems as the new Jaguar and MRCA (Tornado) aircraft, it was full of highly informed scientific warnings of the forthcoming Ice Age, yes, Ice age!! Northern Europe was once again going to be plunged into a frozen wasteland that would see glaciers reappear in Scotland after a 100,000 year absence. Politicians were deeply alarmed. Hmmmm

Scientists have always been, usually correctly, held in high regard but I harbour strong fears now that their "conclusions" are designed to hit political buttons thus engendering further funding, the real raison d'etre of some eminent modern scientists!! My analysis of the science behind Global Warming suggests it is far from the "done deal" we are constantly told it to be. Indeed, in a (linked throwback to "Speed and Power" above) our current level of global warming is not only not that unusual in even relatively short geological terms, but the human contribution is almost certainly swamped by that of the Sun. Sunspot activity happens on an approximate 11 year cycle and is clearly considered a major factor in current climate conditions by a number of scientists. Sadly these people are being shouted down by opportunistic politicians and unscrupulous scientists seeking further funding with the effect of stifling debate. This I abhor.

The bottom line is that, whatever the causes of so called "Global Warming", the answers are probably scientific and not remotely political so let's not sully the debate with weasel political cant. Planet Earth experiences cycles beyond our influence and beyond our timescales, let's not get so up ourselves as a species that we think everything that happens on a planetary scale is to do with us. It's an effing big and seriously complex universe out there.

Doctors don't kill??

Firstly apologia to my small band of readers for not blogging much, my excuse it that I'm forming a new relationship post divorce and I think I deserve the chance to do that. Think i might try to change my style from the long rant (takes me a while to build up the ire!!) to more frequent, shorter, pithier missives. Let's see how it goes.

Anyway, onto the very weighty subject matter at hand, the media incredulity that doctors could possibly bring themselves to kill. Notwithstanding the tacit governmental admission today that these "doctors" didn't necessarily belong in the NHS and should have been practicing at home,I'm astonished that people think doctors don't kill people. There is, I know, this Utopean view of the Hippocratic oath and it's direction to doctors that life is sacrosanct in all instances but even a little forensic analysis says this is not true. Doctors in today's NHS make regular decisions that condemn someone to death, they usually have the conscience salving clause of being able to make that as dignified and painless as possible, but the system, constrained by money and those nice people at NICE, triages certain people to die or suffer horrible ends. They have to, it's part of their job spec and must often be deeply stressful.

Now let's be clear, the foreign born doctors who attempted mayhem last week were intent on murder, pure and simple. They are evil, poisonous and deluded individuals with a warped sense of justice and do not remotely deserve the epiphet of "doctor". They deserve neither our sympathy or our understanding, they are merely scum. We should feel lucky that these men are very poor engineers as their relatively simplistic plan should have worked if executed properly. My beef here is with the MSM who have taken the ridiculously simplistic view that doctors only ever heal and that to have perpetrated this attack must have struck at the core of these doctors ethical fibres. The NHS asks them to make life and death choices daily and I suspect they were very able to suspend their Hippocratic feelings. Doctors decide on and see death every day of their working lives,did the MSM not think they might actually have a decent acquaintance with it? Why are our press so stupid?

I'm uncomfortable with this blog and might pull it but will publish and then consider.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Zimbabwe is beyond descending into chaos And we, as a nation have a responsibility, whether we like it nor not!!
Is Zimbabwe's current predicament our fault? Clearly not. Mugabe is a distinctly evil dictator, sadly democratically elected and the fact that he has been indulged by the UN and many influential countries makes me feel physically sick.

Should we invade Zimbabwe? Well it's the clincher that Tony Blair is/was/always has been a liar!! Of all the "tear stained issues" that should have affected him, Zimbabwe, as a commonwealth country should have been writ large. Instead he ducked and dived like a dodgy used car salesman and condemned thousands to death and many more to abject deprivation and pain. Well done Tony, would you like it to be counted in your legacy?

Oh no! Your legacy is only that you've told us you've done something about, you venal barsteward!!!

I repeat as a member of the Armed Forces, if we invade anywhere on the planet, let's not make it Iran, let's rebuild southern Africa's breadbasket and re-make Zimbabwe the engine of growth not only there but also in Mozambique and beyond.

What we have allowed to happen in Zimbabwe has affected so many other countries it defies logic and shames us.

Friday, 8 June 2007

"My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice."

So said the lawyer of celebrity fuckwit Paris Hilton.

for the record "WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF? WTF?"

Guys, Paris is a common criminal. In fact in everything she does she shows herself up to be common in a way even Essex would not recognise. The idiot girl is pampered beyond belief, stupid beyond parody and believed she lived above the law. What is so fucking sad is that certain US gaolers did too!! The barking mad crack addict down the corridor, who probably does need psychiatric care, would get some money for oral "favours" while Paris gets let out. Holy fucking, fucking shit.

At a time when we need heros more than ever we pander to celebrity. Western civilisation is under threat like it hasn't been for over a generation and the best we can do to counter the one eyed malice of radical Islam is to pander to the hysteria of a thick, pampered, frankly rather ugly slapper.

Hands up those who think we're doomed?? Hands up those who think we fucking deserve it???!!!

Gloomy mood tonight!

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Grammars again!

Two headlines in tomorrow's Telegraph.

"Tories in U turn over Grammar schools" and, in breaking news

"Almost 100,000 taught in failing schools"

Once again I iterate that Cameron is right, to fuss arse over a couple of hundred grammars that are now largely safe from ZanuLab inspired extinction at the expense of hundreds of thousands of failed children is preposterous in the extreme. What the fuck has gripped the Tory party?? Your goal, my friends, is to rescue the countless thousands from intellectual and vocational poverty created by Labour's mismanagement of education, not to pontificate over a natural given. Fucking grow up you spineless cunts! Do what's right not what feels comfortable!!!

Fiona again

I'm in love and I just can't explain how good it feels.

Monday, 28 May 2007

Muslim and civil liberties groups reacted with horror

Said the Daily Mail, playing completely into the hands of muslim and ultra-left wing groups about civil liberties. Let's just get some things straight here.

a. The Daily Mail is a really stupid newspaper that often unknowingly promotes its own betes noir through total ignorance.

b. I abhor and denounce this renewed attack on our liberty with all my might.

The new political landscape seems to be polarising into an authoritarian/libertarian rather than a left/right one, albeit that there are strong parallels. Let me make my position clear I am a libertarian to the core of my being. I chose to fight and potentially die, my compact with the British people is that I am here to defend their rights. Paramount amongst those rights is the right to seek liberty from the state as long as you recognise and contribute to it. Labour appears to seek to destroy that bond and I'm not going to let it happen.

Britain is a paragon of individual liberty, the agglomeration of which is a democracy for and by all. I will not allow these NuLab turds to destroy that enviable historical legacy.

Music Again

Yesterday, in the car, 5Live Grand Prix coverage has finished, there's no cricket on R4LW and can't be faffed to plug in the MP3 so flip the dial to R2. There I found that old CAMPanologist Dale Winton playing some sort of album chart. When I turned on he was playing Jethro Tull and swiftly followed it with a track from King Crimson, hardly R2 material but top drawer!! That track led my thoughts to Greg Lake and onto ELP. Once home I thought I'd have a look on You Tube to see what ELP was on offer. Well fuck me sideways with a barge pole if I didn't discover amongst many excellent things, a fantastic live performance of Pictures at an Exhibition with the band, and Carl Palmer in particular, clearly enjoying themselves. Have just finished listening and am a happy man! Some of the other stuff is great too. Highly amused by how much of a porker Greg Lake is in some of the later videos but his voice has matured magnificently and adds some real depth and gravitas. At times, the musicianship leaves you open mouthed in awe.

I'm a regular poster on a Bath Rugby website called ERE. You Tube, in a similar but clearly different way to ERE, is a real example of the recent democratisation of the internet. I can now say what I like about rugby when I like, blog to my heart's content on the issues of the day and watch/listen to almost any music I like.


Am now going to search for some King Crimson!

More on this later perhaps.

Grammar Schools-Cameron is right

What a fantastically interesting issue. My gut feeling, after a beer or two is I should do this extempore and see how it goes.

I am a grammar school boy. In fact I'm the classic example of the current debate's poor kid made good. I was born into a very poor family, probably out of wedlock although my mum refuses to concede that 45 years later. My father was an arse of the first water and, as he's now dead, I will not go into detail, suffice to say he left us when I was seven and I never missed him.

From a very young age, I harboured a desire, inspired by my grandfather, to join the Navy. My primary school years were up and down. I attended an infant school and two separate primaries. I was bright but un-preposessingly shy due to my background. I passed my 11 plus with ease and went to Weymouth Grammar. But, but.... I passed partly because I was an august baby and therefore had a potential 11 month march on my class mates because age in year was considered important at 11 plus.

Still, I got into Weymouth Grammar and instantly, er, floundered. I initially struggled academically but also struggled socially with people who were very different from me. I ended up in a low set. I was bullied incessantly from 12 to 15. Hmm, Over time I realised I was clever, I could do things and worked my way up the "pecking order". I ended up doing my maths "O" level at 13 and getting a B, because I was good. Subsequent "O" level activity was mixed and I ended up with 7. Average. But in that time I'd fought my way to acceptance, it was hard graft and often literally painful but I became well liked. The minor point here being that grammar schools are not, and never were, paragons of virtue and harmony, they can be as tough as any comp.

I moved on to the sixth form and was adamant that I was going to to do Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry as my core subjects. I was advised early on to drop chemistry,primarily 'cos I'm a lazy bastard, I did not demur. 3 half decent A levels later I joined the Royal Navy as an Officer.

Result for Grammar Schools! Er, yes, 30 years ago! Let's fast forward

My son Ben is the son of a Grammar School boy and a Grammar School girl.... let's hold onto that idea.

Ben goes to the local comp. It's ostensibly one of that hateful twat Campbell's "bog standard" comprehensives but yet it's not. Thanks to a visionary head and stunningly well utilised investment, it's a school to die for in the area. And yet, bizzarely, due to the town's mining history it's not seen as being as good as Bath Schools! I would send anyone to his school it's a place of real quality.

As for him? He's top in his year in Maths, Science and (er) Technology (woodwork I think). He didn't quite make the national maths challenge finals in London but he was, by a league, "best in school". At 13 he realises that he needs to have all the talents and works really hard at English, he's good at it but by no means perfect, he continues to strive. He's also a fabulous rugby player and wants to join the school's CCF. In short, a well rounded pupil in a good school.

So. Where are we? Right where David Cameron is as far as I'm concerned. He is utterly right to call the the grammar school debate "sterile". Yes I was a grammar school boy but my son is doing better at his state school than I ever did. Let's be grateful he's the product of a parental past that was grammar school based, and move forward to what creates a culture of excellence in all our children. Ben's school aggressively "sets" its pupils and gives them individual targets EVERY SINGLE YEAR! This is, I think, Cameron's vision and it's one I utterly endorse.

So my conclusion, albeit a little obvious, is that where I once trod, Ben is now following. Today's good comprehensives can, and do, deliver the same level of performance as my school back in the 70's. Let's just teach to ability, let's let talent flow, and let's fund the right class sizes to do that.

Parents should be up in arms that less than a third of comps are like that despite so called "record government investment." Therein lies the scandal, not that grammar schools may or may not have a viable future but that this government cannot, or more likely will not, see the wood for the trees.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Let's talk nuclear, if only 'cos it pisses off the lefties!!

I'm a naval officer. I'm a marine engineer. I happen to be what we call a surface engineer, i.e. my propulsion plant is either electric motors or gas turbines. Just hang on to the global warming theme there for a moment....

Many of my best engineer friends went into nuclear submarines. They're not only still alive, they not only have normal, nay, exceptional children,i.e, they're not prematurely sterile, they are, without exception, advocates of nuclear power. And it's because they believe.

So what? you might say, with some justification. Well the so what's to me are twofold. One, through brilliant design and amazing technical support, our nuclear plants are the best run on the planet (ask Putin how he's doing and how polluted the arctic ocean is) and two, safety is absolutely paramount, even when it is occasionally of nugatory value and excessive cost, because that's what the populous expects.

Nuclear power, through the civilian programme and through the excellent military regime is an unbelievably safe form of power generation, those who oppose it are either always going to oppose it or are scientifically challenged and should read more.

Coming full circle, in my last ship, due to diesel generators and gas turbines, we contributed more to global warming as one platform than all the nuclear subs on the planet put together.

Let's have a proper debate. Nuclear is a Global and Green option. Full stop. Those unwilling to engage in a genuinely scientific debate are known to me as fuckwits and need not apply!!

Freedom of Speech and the MSM

Melissa we've got our eye on you and you don't seem to be a very nice lady. Shame.

Melissa Cassandra

your ambition clearly outweighs your ethics, shame on you.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Rugby and Football

Now let me start with an historical point. Up until the middle of the 19th century there was only one "football" the point was that, depending on what public school you played it in, the rules were different. Thus "Rugby football" originated in, er, well you know, but "association football" originated in......................ETON!!! FACT!!!

Point number one therefore is that the "working man's game" is in fact a product of the country's most elite school. something for Tony Bliar to ponder and Dave Cameroon to celebrate.

Point number two is that, as a Bath Rugby fan I, with 9,000 of my fellow supporters descended upon the Twickenham Stoop yesterday to watch our European Challenge Cup final against Clerment Auvergne, known to their fans as ASM. Took the Bath U13s up from Great Pulteney Street about 1230 in a big coach and had fun on the way up with the parents imbibing gently in alcohol of varying quality and volume. After a pee stop in Reading Services our driver informed us that we should stop drinking as there were police checks on the motorway. These "roadblocks" were clearly set up to catch football coaches and we did indeed pass one on the M4, we were tarred with the same brush. The worst thing that happened on our coach, and indeed throughout our contribution to a thoroughly friendly match, was that some boys put chewing gum in each other's hair. I'm so glad our constabularies thought us so important over the course of nearly 11 hours that we had to be checked in case caring and attentive parents were daring to sup alcohol. Pathetic Thames Valley Police, utterly pathetic.

Point three is that we had an absolute ball with the ASM fans. West Country and Sud France combined in an enjoyment, nay celebration, of our sport that transcended national boundaries and language. ASM fans went home flying Bath flags from their coaches, we swapped beer, photographs, hand shakes, and hugs, and actually tears too!! At no point in the day did we exchange animosity. It could never have happened, full stop.

Point four is therefore a question that I intend to return to soon with my take on the answer to the question that is "why are football and rugby, given their genetic provenance, so diametrically different in their philosophy, attitude, loyalty, fan base and outcomes?"

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Prince Harry and Deployment to Iraq

Hmm, has Sir Richard Dannatt just created the Army's "HMS Cornwall" moment? I am deeply disappointed that, for reasons I understand but do not agree with, Harry will not be going to Iraq. I think there are a number of issues here and I'll try to deal with them chronologically:

When Harry joined Sandhurst he would have been "sponsored" by a regiment and it was therefore plain that he was joining the Blues and Royals. The Army's forward planners would have know that the "Arms Plot" would have had his regiment deploying to Iraq in the timescale he was due to take up a post as troop commander. It appears there was no forward planning/thinking as to how this might be handled when it happened.

Once it became public knowledge that the Blues and Royals were deploying but that Harry might not, why did the Mod not "table top" all the possible scenarios and devise a more elegant exit strategy than the one we were presented with today?

I feel for Dannatt post the Cornwall incident. Having fucked up big time over the easter weekend, our not so able Defence Secretary felt extremely vulnerable and told Dannatt in no uncertain terms that the Harry decision was his and his alone. what a cowardly cunt! I'm told Blair also ran like fuck from being associated with the decision. Dannatt's words are carefully constructed but I detect a hint of his frustration with the politicians running away.

That said, I feel he's made the wrong decision and has fallen short on moral courage. Given that the two princes were joining the Army, a coup as the mighty Royal Navy usually attracts Royal signings, there was a natural expectation that they would both do what soldiers do, and that at the moment is fight hard in major trouble spots!! Whilst I appreciate that the William question is easy to handle, "no the future king will not deploy to a war zone", the Harry equation was always more subtle.

Dannatt has effectively told Britain what Tony Blair has been too venally shy to admit, Iraq is fucking dangerous and normal people shouldn't go there! Well us military types are not normal, we understand we might die and we are trained and prepared to take these risks head on. It's what we do. By joining the Armed Forces you enter into a compact with the 60 Million people in this country in that you say to each and every one of them "I will die to ensure your security". Dannatt today has effectively said that is a qualified compact depending on who you are. I am deeply uncomfortable with that as I think Harry probably is too.

The military ethos is unique and, to those not within it, occasionally baffling but it creates a British Armed Forces that are, I absolutely assure you, held in awe by friends and enemies alike. The phrase "they punch above their weight" is pertinent but doesn't even begin to describe our impact compared with our resources. We are universally acknowledged as the best and today's announcement has chipped away at that in a way that has some short term effects but some massive bearing on how we might conduct ourselves in the future.

I'm worried.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Children, Academia and Sport

Up Front Caveat - This post may subsequently change because it's late, I'm tired and just a wee bit pissed.

Right. Much is said about the physical prowess, or actually not, of our benighted youth. Let me tell you a small tale of a 13 year old of my acquaint who proves that most of the stuff purveyed by the press on this topic is just bullshit. His school is almost exactly a mile from home; come rain, come shine he walks to school a minimum of 10 miles a week. He is one of the standout players in his school's rugby team and, in season, plays 2-3 hours a week for his school. Now the cricket season has started he puts his all in for Lansdown CC, charging in as a bowler every friday. He's 13 years old, 5'4 and the best part of 10 stone. someone might say he's a bit chunky but he's not, he's all muscle and presence, brought about I suspect by a love of milk and a burgeoning love of sport!!

But most of all he plays rugby for the Bath Youth section and, last night picked up the award for most improved player of the season. To watch his face as he was given that well deserved accolade was both enervating and humbling.

Ben is also one of the very, very, very brightest children at his school, a state comprehensive of the highest quality, and is thriving academically.

In short, he plays rugby with boys of exceptional skill and no little academic ability, and those who display great sporting prowess but who are not destined for Oxbridge, all enjoy God's sport. In short, I, through my son, see the best of young sporting and academic talent in my area and, despite Swiss Tone and the clunking fister, find it in rude health.-

These children are fit, healthy and very educated.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007


Ok, on the grounds that I always intended this blog to be rather eclectic, hererwith some musical thoughts.

My "core" musical taste has always resided in the 70's/80's rock/prog genre with bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Genesis, Yes, Magnum etc dominating my musical tastes. I introduced them to my son who, over time has paid me back in spades. After years of being just into rock of my era I'm now listening to, in ascending order of magnificence, Kasabian, Razorlight, My Chemical Romance and, stunningly of all, Muse. To have effectively missed 10 years of musical education and to come back to a band like Muse is stupifingly wonderful. Black Holes and Revelations tips The Black parade to best album of the last 12 months but by 'eck it's close. Rock music is truly alive and as well as it's been for 15 years. Praise be, because it moves me like nothing else!!

NuLab is the Price We've paid for Replacing Political Idealism with Functional Managerialism

And what's worse is that they're completely shit at managing!! I had a long chat with one of my tutors on my MSc back in 2002 about the rise of managerialism and the impact it might have on the place of "ideas" in politics. Sadly I have largely been proved right in that the NuLab managerialist approach has created an ideas vacuum across the Union. Thus we see UUP/SDLP mainstream politics in Ireland replaced by the more polarising UDP/SF mix. Similarly in Wales and strikingly but not decisively in Scotland in the separatist vote surging dramatically. In England we have been surprised by the rise in UKIP voting and utterly gobsmacked by the advances of the BNP in the south east.

I put all of these down to a managerialist approach by ZANULAB that has created an utter ideas vacuum in British politics. Civil Servants manage, politicians traditionally create the idealogical framework in which they (civil servants)sometimes deliver. To uses SPADs in particular but the politicisation of the Civil Service in general to deliver a party-centric agenda devoid of all idealism galls me greatly.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are and have always been, utterly devoid of real political ideas and their managerialistic approach has done more to polarise modern politics than anything since early Thatcherism but without the clear benefits thereof! Indeed I lay a charge at the feet of the Liar and his disappearing henchman, that they, an avowedly centrist party, have made British politics the most extreme it's been in living memory by their deliberate creation of an idealisic vacuum.

Monday, 7 May 2007

The Infantilisation of Men

Just spotted this on Iain Dales wonderful site. Quite keen to address some of these "priorities" head on.

Make improving the educational attainment of boys a political priority. Sadly, this has already been done but to negligible effect. Is it an education issue? I think not explicitly. When I was at primary/junior school the head was male and we had several male teachers. Thanks to a number of social pressures, not least the utterly irrational fear of "paedos" these schools are almost utterly devoid of influential male role models. I'm going out with a primary school teacher and she rarely meets male equivalents. We are allowing a whole generation of boys, often already devoid of live-in fathers, to grow up in a uniquely feminised world. Fiona, like almost all other teachers of young pupils is talented, dedicated and wholly committed to what's best for each individual but she is not able to provide a male role model and wouldn't confess to attempt to. My son is in the lucky position at secondary school of having some seriously good male teachers who provide excellent, if slightly un-PC guidance. His PE teacher absolutely adores him and the feeling is mutual but, as they support different rugby teams, has no qualms about calling my boy "scum" when discussing rugby. To some this is beyond the pale and out the other side,I know, because I know my son and his teacher, that this can ONLY happen because of the bond they have. His maths teacher reminds him daily that his nearest rival in being top of the class is a girl; the competition is friendly but intense. There's some good "male" teaching out there but it is inexorably being marginalised. So in essence, yes, let's have political impetus behind male attainment at school but ffs let's not target the schools themselves, this is a societal issue and needs to be addressed on a broad front. We need to understand all the cultural influences on boys and young men, not just legislate about how schools treat boys.

Make the state recognise/support male domestic violence victims. Have not been on the end of this, albeit my recent divorce showed her skills at psychological warfare(!) and am sure it is hell on earth for those victims. I guess that a) it's just an equality in law issue and b)they might suffer in the "role model" stakes.

Improve care and funding for prostate/testicular cancer sufferers. I think we have to change our own male attitudes here first. "Grin and bear it" usually means you'll die these days and far too many men still believe bad things happen to others. Once we have the right attitude to seeking help early, might I humbly suggest death rates might go down? That said it is a societal truism that a female death is somehow worse than a male one.

Support Anonymity for men Accused of Rape, Unless Found Guilty. No beef with this one, the law is skewed and the dramatic increase in malicious accusations suggests a review is needed. personally I would extend this to all but the most trivial (I mean legally) indecent assault cases too.

Improve Care and Support for Men Suffering from Depression. Bingo, spot on, absolutely. I'm there now, this blog helps, so does my doctor who is magnificent. And yet, and yet...... at work it is not seen as an illness at all, I'm a bloke, I should pull myself together c.f. cancer! Medical care and support are therefore not the issue per se, it's once again that societal view that men just have to take it on the chin and get on with life. Let me tell you, depression is massively debilitating and affects all aspects of your life. It's care and support at work that is frankly non-existent. Bearing in mind my profession, that's pretty galling!!

The rest of it is, as others have said, is more a set of demands than a political agenda. To have resonance it needs to be more positive both in outlook and outcome and also less strident in tone. My worry is encapsulated in my title; men have serious problems that they need to address both individually and societally and I empathise with some of them. But for fucks sake, please don't try to turn me into a victim or infantalise the role of men in society. Try that approach oh putative "minister for men" and I will surely hunt you down.

chin up!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007


Still lovely, still wonderful, still mine. So lucky to have gone from despair to perfection in so short a time. Thanks gorgeous! xxx

Current Ops

I posted a place marker to comment on Jonothan Band's missive to the Naval Service after the Cornwall affair. Having seen it, and Alan Massey's er, effort in the Sunday Telegraph, I feel I would be merely commenting behind the agenda so will not be adding my tuppence worth at this juncture. Stand by if a decent man like J Band is forced out by the failings of others, you may not then be able to hold me back!!

However, on an entirely different (rugby!!) site, I was asked to comment on the current position viz lack of tactical vehicles (WMIK)in Afghanistan. I responded thus;

Right then,

Herewith the diatribe!

WMIK are used by 16AA Bde and 3CDO Bde (ie Paras and Royal Marines) because they are light mobile forces that lack serious firepower (i.e. tanks)and need the ability to "hit and run". Hence the WMIK is a cut down land rover with a 1/2" machine gun mounted on a turret ring, it brings lots of additional firepower, a "force multiplier" as we would call it. Sadly, because Defence is usually skint (I'll come back to the usually) we bought enough WMIKs to support EITHER the Paras OR the Marines, not necessarily both. This is to do with warning times for major war where the assumption was we'd have a lot of notice and be able to buy "stuff" if it was going seriously pear shaped in the world. Ergo, between big wars, we'd sort of have enough to go round for the occasional bout of foreigner bashing.

Well the truth of the matter is that, since 1997, the British Armed Forces have been operating at a level well above that required or, more importantly, funded by government plans. In only one year of the last 10 have we sort of been operating at the right level. Overstretch in spades.

This has many consequences. The largest current UK military contingent in Afghanistan is 3Cdo Bde with 800 Naval Air Squadron (Harriers), 3Cdo Bde HQ, Brigade Recce Force and a whole host of "blue uniforms" in support roles. Yes, the Royal Navy, and a pretty large chunk of it too. The Army and, lets face it, to a significantly lesser extent the RAF, (LOL) are so stretched in Land ops on two fronts that significant numbers of Naval personnel are doing Land force ops in support of our Marines. The fact that Royal and the NAS are out there is not too unusual but the requisite numbers of Naval augmentees is unprecedented.

Other corollaries? The money for ops (not enough 'cos the treasury always argues, cavills and snipes) is quite rightly being heavily concentrated on Land ops on two war fronts (again I stress ops above our true funding limit) so the Navy is being hollowed out. We are hardly able to put ships to sea, never mind fight them. Want a topical example? well you're going to get one anyway! HMS Cornwall (my old ship) of current infamy is capable of carrying not one but two Lynx helicopters but guess how many she deployed to a war zone with and guess why! In other words, continuous air cover with specialist air to surface missiles could have been available. Seems a decent deterrent to me!

We, and I truly mean all the Armed Forces are juggling Governmental and Societal expectations with massive overstretch and actually diminishing resources. Service Chiefs have been warning of both tactical and strategic failure for some time but, whilst we "get by" on the grounds of levels of professionalism and courage that don't exist ANYWHERE ELSE in the world, the government can take a fiscal risk against our lives. Mark my words, that equation is in the balance like it never has been before since 1933.

Light aside, my Admiral recently said it was quite right that current funding went to "the Army and those parts of the RAF associated with Operations". Nearly wet myself laughing!! p.s. That's what we'll do because we always do, keep laughing......'til we die.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

What the.....?

The government's latest lunacy before policy is here

Yeah right. The teaching of emotional intelligence is going to undo years of utterly shit teaching philosophy. Methinks not Tonto!! Emotional intelligence is a(not bad) leadership approach to major project management and big organisational control. I'm just fucking underwhelmed that it might work in St Snot Nose's All Faith Primary Hell Hole! Emotional Intelligence is a complex theory which relies on many personal and managerial constructs and is, IMO utterly unsuited to addressing misbehaviour in schools. But most annoyingly of all it will allow teachers to ignore equations and concentrate on the fucking wet.

I'm lucky with my children (no I'm not, I work on their knowledge constantly) but feral parents beget feral children. Not very bright people do not necessarily beget not very bright children (viz me!!)but the may odds are stacked. In other words we are in a societal downward spiral here that potentially affects our wealth and ergo everything else as a nation because we value emotional intelligence over the 9 times table. This would not be a school issue if we had a more stable society. Parental responsibility anyone??

I know several teachers and they already provide all the "emotional intelligence" required of their job (and indeed have for donkey's years) but hey, let's not miss a fucking headline eh Tony? Parents have the biggest responsibility in any real society and apparently none in Swiss Tony's!!

Saturday, 28 April 2007

Children and Alcohol

The serious Bloggers have already covered this so just a short, sharp exposition from me.

Can we please draw a distinction between the sensible, family oriented, occasional sip of wine by a 15 year old and the utter alcoholic abandon of a feral child? "Alcohol Concern" (who the fuck are they, never heard of them until their dash for today's headline) have tried to set the bar on this issue so high that they have made themselves look a bunch of prize cunts. Was their spokesperson pissed???

Responsible drinking comes from a responsible attitude to alcohol, I see no evidence of that attitude from "Alcohol Concern". They're just illiberal cunts!

You know you want to

Well impressed by Trixies office challenge!!!

Too late for redemption?

No Fucking shit Sherlock!!

Tectonic Leaves on the Line

Yes, this does make me angry!
Shitty little quake scares Britain

Let's get real here, it was a pissy little 4.5 on the Richter scale. Some of my post curry bowel evacuations have registered more ffs!! Having been involved in the Montserrat volcano eruptions in '96, having sailed through the straits of Messina with Etna at near full voice and having visited Napoli, Pozzoli, Sulfatara etc I feel we're just being utterly poncy as a nation about this! The earth wobbled a bit, get over it, we live in one of the most geologically sound bits of the entire planet, bask in the novelty you dullards!

The scenes of Fearnought clad firemen marching through the streets of Kent filled me with wanton despair. Some bricks got thrown around and an old lady got hurt, fuck me, that's the norm every 5 minutes in Kent!! We currently seem to be hopeless,shit,pathetic, nay fucking crap at just taking things on the fucking chin. Shit really just does happen boys and girls. The earth has an iron core, a molten mantle and a very, very thin crust. If you think it's scary living in Kent, try living on Montserrat, Naples or even maybe in yellowstone where they believe there's a volcanic caldera that could wipe out civilisation.

As a member of the warrior class I'm beginning to think it's a lot of you lot who are responsible for the chicken shit attitude of Mr Bean and Fatty Turney!! Buck up, chin up, we're British FFS!!

1937 Headline "No-one particularly hurt in very small Kent tremor"
2007 Headline "Fuck shit We're all going to die as earth moves under Eastenders"
2007 Headline in Independent "Fuck shit We're All Going to Die as Global Warming Melts Earths Crust and Exposes Us to Red Hot Mantle, US utterly to Blame!!!!"

CCleaner-Great tool until it stops you accessing your own Blog!

This post is intended to hopefully re-establish my cookies and allow me into my own fucking Blog!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Place Marker

I've stood back from the Iranian Hostage affair so far because it hurt my Naval sensibilities too much. Tomorrow, armed with the words of the First Sea Lord and with my own thoughts in order, I feel I may put a Naval Officer's perspective on this awful saga.

update - short hiatus until I remember to print off 1SL's letter!!! Doh!

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Love Update

Still just wonderful with her and wish her all the best in her job interview tomorrow.
Adore you Fiona.

Plywood Women Abuse Toddlers

This doesn't piss me off at all, oh no!!!! Nasty, Nasty, evil women
I used to live in Plymouth. For 18 years in fact. It's a Naval town, I'm a Naval person, we are what we are and we're not ashamed in the round. But it's fair to say that in certain areas it's an effing rough city. But these women go beyond anyone's perception of parental responsibility surely. These women are not human, they are monsters. Their natural instinct should have been to protect but they chose to thrust infants into "combat" in the spirit of "toughening them up". This is beyond disgusting. Parents protect, full stop. As the child grows that level of protection changes from one of embracement to slow but deliberate liberation but it is always to help the child be a grown up. these people were trying to raise human wolves. Though I've never met them,I hate them.

Makes me Angry!


This blog is now a week or two old. It's rubbish (although the love bit and my son are clearly hearfelt). I currently have no idea what I'm doing or how to provide a coherent and consistent commentary. But I want to. My inspiration came from reading the serious heavyweights in this field and wanting, if not to emulate then, at least to make a contribution. Two Bloggers have always stood out for me (sorry Iain), Guido and Mr Eugenides.

Guido gets under the skin of the current political order in ways few msm journos could contemplate and is consistently irreverent and entertaining, a balloon pricker of the first order. Which I believe is not too many letters away from what politicians think of him!!! He has led on a number of scandals that the msm were slow to pick up on and I agree with him that they have sometimes been complicit in this, shame on them.

Mr Eugenedies is a different kettle of Calimari! A man who leads from the heart but with an intellect to kill for. Incisive, witty, coherent and politically astute he matches these with an ability to swear that makes Navy men like me blush!! He and Devils Kitchen encapsulate the desire, nay the absolute need to say it like it fucking well is. And I approve! My mother always said that swearing displayed a lack of vocabularly but I detect no scintilla of that in the swearers! No fucking way!

Why big up Mr E? 2 motives. He's the reason I started Blogging in the first place and as above, it's so refreshing to read stuff that cuts through the cant fed to most people. Secondly, 'cos I linked my new site to him he had the good grace to post a comment on my blog. Clearly a fucking Gent!!

Thanks Mr E, you've enthused me


Thursday, 19 April 2007

Virginia Tech

Difficult. Virtually impossible but to not speak is to tacitly endorse the arsehole who killed 32 people, that can't be right!

Where do we start? Gun control I presume. Awful lot of cant buzzing around the MSM about this at the moment. The constitutional right to bear arms does not, and has never conferred on anyone the right to kill. That person abandoned all rights the moment he chose to kill, no- one has that right, full fucking stop. The argument by the gun lobby that the students might have had guns and might have also taken (an admittedly broken) life is cant of the first water. My understanding of Virginia law is that they can't carry hidden firearms, good. Because murder begets murder. We need to know, and already have many clues, as to why this man killed. Guns don't kill, American culture does, big time.

The corollary is Iraq. My friends are dying there daily due to an American cultural approach to warfare that is rooted in the ghetto and the disaffected element of campus and which is entirely victim oriented.

The world's superpower is in danger of being populated by juvenile intellectual lightweights and it is to the detriment of the world that this is happening.

Life's good isn't it!!

Free Speech

Bit of an issue at the moment what with EU calling for "holocaust denial" to be a criminal offence and even some of my favourite bloggers (Devils kitchen and Mr Eugenides) getting their intellectual knickers in a twist.

Lets be completely clear here, the right to freedom of speech is absolute, it is in no way whatsofuckingever a qualified freedom. FULL STOP. You might speak utter shit, and nasty shit at that but you can say it in my country. With that right comes the the fact that you must be responsible for every single word you say. Say what you like but feel the wrath of those who disagree and be prepared to argue your corner.

Things like the holocaust are clearly emotional almost beyond reason but I suggest we might just be edging towards the same sort of state Hitler formed if we stifle a sensible debate with these tossers. Free speech can be, and often is, fucking uncomfortable, it's meant to be that way!! Let's be grown up, robust, hard edged but tolerant, it's what we're supposed to be.


My son went to secondary school two years ago and we agonised about it extensively. Do we go for the local comp (failing school in recent history but now well on the up with significant investment) or do we take the lottery of opting for another school and seeing that fail and him going to a shit school? We opted for the local school. I't's a mile away. He can, and does in all weathers, walk to school. He's the standout player in his year rugby team, he is in the debating club, plays bass in a band and is a popular member of his year. when I asked him if he was bullied at school for being smart he said, "Nah, I'm a rugby hardass!!"

Not only that but he is absolutely flying academically. His science teacher told me he asks questions he doesn't expect from sixth formers and his maths teacher referred to him as "a phenomenal mathematician, probably one of the brightest I've ever taught". Ben is 13.

Lesson? Despite this venal, malignent and disgusting government, there are some bloody good schools out there that serve their pupils well.


Love's a funny thing isn't it. I was married for 22 years and regret not one moment of that time but am now going through a divorce. Her petition arrived on the doorstep today, boy did that hurt. We've been growing apart for a long time but when you've produced two such wonderful children together there's always something there. It's not right that grown men cry!!! I think the legalese from her solicitor didn't help! I'll stop using exclaimation marks right now!

And yet, and yet. Life goes on, it must. I'm not someone who is comfortable being alone so I confess I hit the dating sites. I've already met someone who turns me inside out the moment I see her and who is also falling for me. A bit of me says is this right? The rest of me says you deserve happiness however many times you've screwed up in life.

She makes my heart sing, calls me babe and cares for me in a way I haven't felt for years so it must be good.

Love is where you find it.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Some of my sporting views:

Vaughn is a wonderfully adept strategist, an accomplished batsman and a genuine leader, he must continue to lead the test side, full stop. The issue about who leads the one dayers is slightly more intractible. My personal choice would be Strauss. He's well respected, an able tactician but also not afraid to tear up the script and just go for it. He's already nearly up there with Vaughn as a proven leader so why not go for it and give him his head?

On my passion for Bath Rugby and its owner Andrew Brownsword (AB)

A man like AB who has amassed such wealth through his own initiative should never be classed a fool. To me, It's also not about whether he has invested, not invested, might be a tightwad, etc. etc.. Without wishing to resort to management bollox, my beef is with the vision and values he sets, or in this case apparently doesn't set, for the club. When I asked BC for the club's mission, vision and values last year, he told me they were secret. In other words, we the fans are not allowed to know where the club thinks it is or where it wants to go.

AB's purported £4M appears to be a sunk cost as far as he's concerned so to bat on about his "altruistic investment" is to speak about the past as if it is the present and does not take the debate about the future of our great club forward one nanometre! I wish to know what AB's ambitions for the club are, not how much money he's given us and I'm unimpressed to be met by a deafening silence from the management that suggests to me that they don't have a scooby.

Strange and Scary

I've considered this for a long time but been too scared! Emboldened by white wine herewith my very own Blog!