MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Most Moronic comment of the Week

I think the Harry Hill-esque award was just begging to be created when I read the following, on the Daily Mail online:
The fact that he acts like any young lad of his age is one of the most endearing things about him
That was a comment relating to a the scene below.

Yes, that is a Prince of the United Kingdom falling over drunk, after brawling with a Paparazzo.

Now, let's get a couple of things straight. The third in line to the throne of this Kingdom, is certainly not an 'ordinary guy'. Obviously the Royals are human beings, and like all humans they err from time to time. Nonetheless, a position of such responsibility requires a certain level of decorum; a concept which seems alien to Prince Harry.

Secondly, is this really the way 'any' young lad would behave? Actually, it's the sort of behaviour which gets blamed by politicians for creating 'no-go areas', in our cities. The only difference is that one situation involves working-class youngsters, the other a Hooray Henry.

Finally, it's certainly plausible that Harry could be King one day, even if it is a little unlikely. And I, for one, do not wish this Kingdom to be ruled by someone who has regularly behaved like a drunken moron. Am I really asking for too much?

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Some Late Thoughts on Budget

The annual Budget was delivered on Wednesday.

Reading the Newspapers after the event, I'm firmly of the opnion that the Conservatives and their supporters, are going down the wrong path in attempting to paint Gordon as an unreformed old-Labour socialist.
If they are going down that path they will have to explain to the public how a supposed socialist reduced income tax twice, and has now reduced corporation tax.

Now, don’t get me wrong, the budget is all smoke and mirrors. The tax reductions were measly, and will be more than cancelled out by the other increases, especially the National Insurance increment. But this was classic New Labour: panem et circem, headline-grabbing, single-mum sponsoring and, most of all, a lot of hot air which will make little difference to the overall fiscal picture. The problem is, they have been doing this, succesfully, for ten years. The media, especially the Sun, are still lapping it up, as their front page focused extensively on the 'cuts', whilst ignoring the rises.

If the Conservatives want to beat Gordon Brown's New Labour they need to paint Brown as a hammerer of the non-pensioner, non single-mother poor. Surely, by painting him as an old style socialist, the Conservatives give him the chance to play the ‘man-of-the-people’ card, when, in fact, that's something he is definitely not.

As for the rest of the budget, well, the logic of it confused me somewhat. For instance, why was corporation tax reduced, whilst small businesses have seen a tax rise to 22%? Surely, the ‘enterprise culture’ Brown desires relies on the very same small businesses prospering. And, we’re in a situation where many large corporations have recorded record profits – which makes the need to help them hardly pressing.

Green and cigarette taxes are politically a winner. But I’d imagine that a lot of the Mums who have gained with the child-benefit increase, will be the big losers if they’ve recently purchased a gas-guzzling vehicle. If that isn’t the definition of giving with one hand and taking with the other, then I don’t know what is!

Then there’s the crux of the matter: how does this budget affect me? Well, I am, as a single childless-man earning less than £19,000 a year, in effect worse off. The Lib Dems said that people like myself will be ‘subsidising the rich’, more than likely, however, it will be child-benefit and tax credit receiving single-mothers, who will be the ones who gain from my pain. How I can - despite having that thought in my mind and after working a 45-hour week - contain myself from foaming at the mouth with anger, I’ll never know.

Finally, we have a 2p petrol increase, although it will be frozen for six months. So, to say that he has tried to keep ‘inflation and interest rates under control’ seems ludicrous. The price of oil is volatile, and if it increased to the mid-60s or even early-70s in the summer, coupled with this Increase would set the inflationary cat, already on the verge of escaping, free. If that happens then it wouldn’t just be the likes of me who are worse-off, because everyone feels the pain of stagflation.

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Propping-up Fundamentals

What was it Tony Blair said about marriage and single parentage? Do I look bovvered? No, that's not it, although it does show that Tony missed his true vocation in life. It was, in fact, said to be a 'good thing', but we shouldn't see it as a 'marriage versus lone parentage', contest.

Well, Tony, your Chancellor does see it as a contest, and he comes down hard on the side of single-parents:

Parents who earn less than £50,000 a year would be better off splitting up, it was claimed.

Benefits and taxes are weighed so heavily in favour of lone-parent families that couples need to bring in twice the national average income before staying together has a financial advantage, a report said.

Research by Patricia Morgan for the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank, has provided more evidence that large numbers are either living apart or hiding the fact they are a couple just so they can hold on to tax credits and benefits.

Brown's motivation is an interesting question. I'd suggest that the housing market may be one of his main concerns, and with the twin policies of mass-immigration and encouragement of living alone, the current government has created a demand for 250,000 new houses per year. Like I've said before, the fundamentals are probably the most important part of the housing market's increase, although I still believe that speculation is also a main cause for the boom, so to shore them up probably seems like a good idea. And, the recent havoc created by the American market's decline, probably strengthened this belief.

The social consequences, however, will far outweigh any temporary benefits derived from this easy-money non wealth-creating situation. So, we now know where to look for the where and when of our society's further descent into the abyss.

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Monday, March 12, 2007

Mass Migration Accelerating

The Sunday Telegraph reported some breathaking figures on immigration:

More than a million foreigners have been allowed to come to work in Britain in just three years - and given the right to remain indefinitely.

The numbers of migrants, who are also entitled to bring their families and settle, have been revealed in new figures released to MPs by the Home Office. They reveal for the first time the full impact that officially sanctioned immigration is having on the UK work force.

They show that the issuing of work permits to people from non-European Union countries continued to accelerate even after the expansion of the EU in 2004, which has already brought an unprecedented number of eastern European workers to Britain.

Between 2004 and last year, a record 309,000 non-EU citizens were granted long-term work permits carrying potential entitlement to settle.

So, at a time when we have had a deluge of immigrants from newly accessioned EU countries, we have had a similar number from non-EU countries, via the back door. To think that the Prime Minister had the temerity to write to me last month, exclamining:
This petition was posted shortly before we published the Eddington Study, an independent review of Britain's transport network. This study set out long-term challenges and options for our transport network. It made clear that congestion is a major problem to which there is no easy answer.
One answer, Tony, is not to add millions of people to the population in the space of a few years. Oh, and your government's claim that the reduction in asylum applications is a 'great achievement', rings particulary hollow when we can see how the numbers have been juggled around.


Friday, March 09, 2007

A Worthy Protest March

The Gates of Vienna has news (Hat Tip: Fulham Reactionary) of a protest march scheduled for the 11th of September 2007, in Brussels. The march will end with a demonstration outside the European Parliament.

It's organised by a group calling itself Stop the Islamification of Europe, which states that it aims to:
(C)ombat legally the overt and covert expansion of Islam in Europe.
Now, some of the rhetoric is overly obesessed with saving 'democracy' instead of Western Civilisation, but I must say that it's been a while since I've been to Brussels and the prospect of a spot of sightseeing married with a protest against the spineless leaders of Europe, is a very tempting proposition.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Criminal Justice - An Example of Wilful Negligence?

Being a small ‘c’ conservative in the modern climate can be tough. Sometimes it feels like swimming against a tide, with iron weights attached to your feet. It feels even more so when some within the conservative movement have all but given up on some of its most important principles.

But, there is no subject in modern life that is more at ease for a conservative, than the subject of crime. Whilst liberalism has infected the area thoroughly, especially in areas like sentencing and policing, it has not fully captured the hearts of the public in the way that government nanny-statism and loosining of morals have. Sure, liberals do preach about rehabilitation and criminals as ‘victims’, but those in government realise that they must do so concomitant with a ‘crackdown’ of some sort. I’m thinking specifically here of Tony Blair’s mantra of ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’.

Interestingly, as if to illuminate the point, the Liberal Democrats have sent through their local election literature this week. Their national policies, of course, include giving the vote to prisoners. However, the leaflet striking a decidedly ‘tough on crime’ stance, demanded more policeman on the beat.

A question arises from all this - do politicians believe that being tough on crime really works? If so, why are they always sending out mixed messages? It was with these questions in mind, and because I am simply fascinated by the workings of the criminal justice system, that I originally decided to read books on the subject of crime. Recently, I have read the most brilliant and damning of them, which has finally answered most of the things puzzling me was David Fraser’s Magnus Opus: A land Fit For Criminals.

Opening the book, immediately gives you an insight into the thinking behind it:

We do not need psychologists to tell us the simple truth that if you reward bad behaviour you will get more of it…We should not be surprised that we are now engulfed in crime. The offenders have taken their cue from us.

The book looks at the post-war view towards criminal justice, and is fairly similar to Peter Hitchens’ book, the Abolition of Liberty. Unlike Hitchens, however, David Fraser is an insider; he spent 26 years working at what is now National Probation Service. So, he has a clear advantage over Hitchens in terms of technical and insider knowledge.

These facts may lead people to conclude that this is a dry academic prose, written for other professors, and lacking in Hitchens brilliant ability to tear into the dark under-belly of liberalism. But such a view is mistaken, as Fraser makes clear in his introduction that this is not ‘a calm, dispassionate review of this subject’, it is in fact ‘a passionate cry for the public to be aware of the gross deceptions that are worked on them’.

The book examines the post-1950s period of crime, which corresponds with the post-1960 crime explosion. Crime has, however, started to fall since 1990 (in official statistics). John Reid even claimed that the government had reduced crime by ‘a third’, since 1997. What he is probably referring to is the British (actually it only covers England & Wales) Crime Survey, which reported a fall from 18million-recorded crimes in the late 1990s, to 12million in July 2004.

Fraser’s response to those official ‘figures’ was short and sharp: nonsense! He cites a little known home office report which showed the true figure was nearer 60 million, and that their own separate reconviction figures, have not shown any decrease over the same period. If crime really has reduced by a third, there would have to be some sort of statistical reduction in these figures, so its claim that crime has reduced is very dubious.

I sense that most people don’t believe government figures anyway, but it’s always edifying to see them savaged in print. Whilst figures can be spun and distorted, the individual’s experiences of crime are what really matter. Big differences exist between the statistics and the reality, and this allows 'progressives' to attempt to subvert and divert debate on crime.

That's what make this book such an invaluable source. For instance, there is a dubious claim from certain quarters who claim that high crime-rates are due to police detection rates increasing. Therefore, it's only public perception that crime is increasing. Fraser exposes this as at best a fallacy, and at worse a downright lie. I turns out that the rates are no different now than in 1979, and twenty years earlier, as there was less crime, it is more than likely that there the rates were even better.

So, why has the establishment decided that liberal policies are the answer to crime, especially given that such policies have never gained full public support? Fraser talks of a ‘criminal justice elite’, spell-bound by political correctness. He shows the way they have intimidated magistrates who oppose their views. And, for a view of just how influential these people are, PragueTory had a post a while ago showing the Howard Reform League’s closeness to the Prime Minister’s wife.

Their motivation bears the classic hallmark of the culture war, waged and won by the left using the universities. With the growth of pseudo-scientific subjects like the social sciences, the bureaucrats who have the levers of government at their hands have been indoctrinated in ‘crime is primarily society's fault’, type theories. And, therefore, the anti-prison doctrines within this fraternity are regarded as set-in-stone, and can never be challenged even if evidence points to the contrary. This is Fraser’s main bugbear in the book, as you suspect that for years he has tried to counter this propaganda in meetings, but has been dismissed out-of-hand.

That’s not mentioning the role of successive governments within the criminal justice debacle of the last half-century. Almost always, the view that the financial costs of prison are too much has been the motivating factor behind their decisions. The propaganda presented by liberal civil servants has just played into the hands of this argument.

The award for the worst government must go to the Labour government in the 1960s/early 70s, but the Tories in the 1980s and early 90s were not far behind in the rankings. Both Hitchens and Fraser mention Roy Jenkinstinkering with the police whilst he was Home Secretary, as a seminal part of the new order created.

Jenkins was in thrall to ‘unit beat policing’, based on the style of policing used in the big American cities like Chicago. This was nothing more than the dismantling of the Peel police force. Instead of whistles, radios became ubiquitous; instead of a bobby walking the beat, ‘Panda’ cars were introduced; finally, local police stations were closed down in large numbers, to be replaced by remote ‘headquarters’. This was a response to rising crime and to ‘manpower shortages’, which Hitchens doesn’t believe is borne out by the figures. But what it did was to encourage the police to 'consider themselves as a special body set above the rest of the citizenry, and 'it has also nurtured the idea that the police are mainly a detective and record-keeping organization, rather than an active preventative force.'

Jenkins’ other passion was for amalgamating the smaller forces into large organisations, which were supposedly better at fighting crime. Again, this was modernisation for its own sake. And there was no evidence that larger police forces were any more efficient at fighting crime, especially the low-level crime that bedevils the lives of ordinary people. But the clamour for modernisation led to this being adopted almost un-opposed.

The regional super-forces, with a chief constable who had little or no links to the local community, were the beginning of the modern ‘career’ chief constable. This is the sort of character who values his sociology degree above fighting crime, and attempts to influence government policy via the ACPO.

As for the Tory mistakes, well Hitchens fingers the Police and Criminal Evidence act, from 1984, as the tombstone of the old Peel-type police force. The bureaucracy that is so prevalent nowadays was born from this act, as was the police complaints authority. The effects were dramatic:

The constable was already a radio-controlled automaton sent to crime scenes after the event, robbed of his initiative and of his main function, the enforcement of the public will. Now, bound by the Act and threatened with the career-ruining procedures of the Police Complaints Authority, the police officer is almost powerless to act even when an arrest could be made. Officially, he is not trusted to do the job for which he is paid.

It doesn’t stop there, however. The 1982 Criminal Justice Act placed severe restrictions on the use of imprisonment for young offenders. The consequence of this, has been a huge rise in the number of street robberies, a crime predominately caused by those aged 15-20.

Then there was the Crown Prosecution Service, set up in 1986, was described by Fraser in scathing terms: “No organisation could have done more to make the lives of criminals easier, safer and more rewarding”.

The 1991 Criminal Justice Act, introduced by the Major government, started the early release of prisoners. Those serving four years and over could be considered for release on parole at the half way stage, but, otherwise, would be automatically released at the two-thirds point of the sentence. Taken together with the 1990 liberalisation of abortion laws, the 1992 Maastricht treaty, the sex-scandals and in-fighting, the only conclusion is that that un-conservative government was almost, if not equally, as bad as our current incumbents. Only Michael Howard can come out with any praise from its misrule.


If you are, like me, totally bewildered by the current state of British justice, reading A Land Fit For Criminals is essential. It shows the way that the police have become burnt-out; how the judiciary have wilfully let the public suffer at the hand of career-criminals; the pseudo-intellectual propaganda that has led to criminals being painted as victims; and the political lies that have no connection to reality.

After you have put the book down, you’ll feel anger and, probably, despair. It looks very much like we are headed to a world where officials will trumpet their success at fighting crime, whilst people are more scared than they have ever been. In the future, it’s easy to see public anger turning to vigilantism. And yet, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Labour does acknowledge, whatever they say with their silly statistics, that there is a crime problem. Unfortunately, the only way they believe they can deal with it is through illiberal measures such as a DNA database and an ID Card scheme. Fraser shows this to be totally unnecessary, and that the solutions to the problems are simple: more proper police (not CSOs), and more prisons. In both Singapore and New York, these simple measures have proved deadly efficient.

The Abolition of Liberty shows that traditional police methods were junked in favour of modernisation for its own sake. All it will take is someone with the foresight to learn that traditional police methods, sending offenders to prison and zero-tolerance, are all that is needed to make our streets safe again. And, most importantly, what is needed is the will to implement these against a hostile ‘criminal justice elite’. Let’s hope we do not have to wait too much longer for that will to manifest…

A Land Fit For Criminals on Amazon

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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Our Future Elite - Be Very, Very Afraid

Leading academics yesterday defended an eminent Oxford professor against a students' call for him to be sacked for his links to an immigration think-tank.

Oxford Student Action for Refugees has circulated a petition seeking the removal of Professor David Coleman, a leading expert in demographics, because of his connections with MigrationWatch.

The students believe that because MigrationWatch warns about the negative effects of present and future immigration, it is inherently racist.

But Professor Coleman condemned what he called a "shameful attack on academic independence and freedom of speech".

He questioned whether the students involved should be allowed to stay at the university themselves.

Among his defenders was Professor John Salt, director of the Migration Research Unit at University College London.

So, even talking about migration in a negative way, is racist now!

One of the students behind the petition, Kieran Hutchinson Dean, 19, said the aim was to invite debate.

He said: "We are not expecting the professor to be sacked straight away. But we ask that he refrains from using his academic status when promoting his own views.

"If he does not refrain he is representing the university as a whole and many of us do not agree with his views.

"Professor Coleman cofounded MigrationWatch which continues to spew out anti-immigration tirades that fuel the far-Right BNP.

"He gives MigrationWatch a credibility and credence it does not deserve."

Why does Migration Watch not deserve credence and credibility? Is it simply because they express opinions to the contrary of your own? Oh, and what are these tirades you are referring to? All I can see on Migration Watch's website is well presented arguments about the costs, both social and financial, of migration. The fact that the BNP, a legal political-party, may cite the arguments on their literature and websites, does not detract from the validity of the evidence presented.

What's most worrying is the sort of people involved in this disgraceful hounding. These are supposed to be the cream of the crop, the students who will go on to inhabit the upper-echelons of the legal, political and civil service worlds. And from what we can see here, they are, in fact, totalitarian scum, who wish for the public to be kept from data deemed 'too sensitive' for their consumption.

If you think that New Labour are bad, wait until the class of '07 come into fruition. Free speech and academic freedom will not just be on life support as they are now, but ashes scattered over this once great Island.


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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Dydd Dewi Sant

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