MichaelCD - The Blog.

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

Friday, July 27, 2007

An Unlikely Civil War

The blogger Mr Smith has pointed out a number of posts from Paul Weston, who he describes as a 'social commentator'. What caught my eye most was the two posts entitled 'Is European Civil War Inevitable by 2025?' The article, in reality, is ruminations by Weston on demographics and the ubiquity of violence in states with large Muslims populations.

Obviously, I am well aware of the arguments about demographics; I have read Pat Buchanan’s Death of the West and I used to lap up plenty of Mark Steyn’s doom-laden columns, in years gone by. And I certainly can see the validity of the argument - inward Islamic immigration continues unabated, whilst 'white flight' is a well documented phenomenon.

However, I think that extrapolating short term trends over a long period of time, is risky territory. Weston seems to believe that there will be a violent reaction to one terrorist attack too many. Is that realistic? I can forsee more and more people angered by terrorism, certainly, but their likely reaction will be to agitate for strict Islamic immigration restrictions and against the building of 'Mega Mosques', both policies that would postpone, or even stop, 'Islamification'.

There are also a couple of other tenuous arguments within the article.

Even if we agree with Weston's demographic argument, the 5 to 1 ratio is over the whole of Europe. Yet, this is likely to mean that in a country like France the ratio will be high, in many other countries in Europe the ratio will be low. Will the hopelessly outnumbered Muslim populations in these countries rise up in support of Sharia too? They will need to, if the thesis is correct, because it will require a massive sectarian conflict, like that in Iraq, to really render the Police and Army useless. Again, this all seems highly unlikely to myself.

There is, however, a killer section in the article, which I will reproduce here:
In France the politicians promise more money for the banlieus, within which Sharia law operates and no white European dare set foot. In Spain they gathered in squares after the Madrid train bombing and held candle-lit peace vigils, before voting out their Government and replacing it with one more in tune to the Islamists demands. In Holland, the Dutch justice minister, Piet Hein Donner has no objection to Sharia law being imposed, providing it is done democratically, and in Sweden, integration minister Jens Orback declared: “We must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.”

After the London tube bombings, the government’s immediate response was to worry not about the English, but about the terrible oppression the perpetrators must have suffered from in order to commit such a crime. Much to our rulers dismay, the “fabulous four” were educated and middle class; their drive was Islam, not oppression.
Weston has it on the submissive aspects of the governments of Western Europe, and the simple fact is that it far easier for Muslims to work within the current policial framework, extracting concessions, if they desire an Islam dominated future. In short, the obsession with minority interests, which dominates British politics, offers a richer ground for Islamists than engaging in a mass war.

Now I will engage in my little bit of fantasy: it's 2011, a charismatic Muslim leader emerges, styled as a moderate, who attempts to combat 'Islamophobia' and the 'extremists' within his community, he is feted by the Guardian, the Coexistence Trust and the BBC. Affable, presentable and a model of 'integration success', he is more Barak Obama than George Galloway. His party, helped by the 'ethnic voting' that those from the Indian Subcontient routinely engage in, win a good number of seats in the General Election.

The government court him, wanting to bring back the voters that they have lost back into the fold, and aim to concede to whatever he desires. And then the dam will have burst: Islamic schools, Mega Mosques, Islamic courts, will quickly become a daily reality of life in Britain. Perhaps, similar movements will arise in France, Sweden and Holland, too.

Britain will continue to exist, but will have become hollowed out and divided. And if, like Weston, you're looking for a Hadrianople or an Alaric outside the gates, you will not see the destruction right in front of your eyes.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hitchens on the EU

Hat-tip The Devils Kitchen

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Monday, July 16, 2007


July 16 (Bloomberg) -- Brent crude-oil futures traded above $78 a barrel in London for the first time since Aug. 9 as maintenance shutdowns limited North Sea supplies and violence in Nigeria curbed its oil exports.

The August Brent contract rose as high as $78.02 a barrel and was trading at $78 a barrel, up 43 cents, at 8:38 a.m. on London's ICE Futures exchange. Brent has averaged $64.56 so far this year for contracts closest to delivery, after averaging $66.11 last year, $55.25 in 2005 and $38.04 in 2004.

Brent set a record on Aug. 7, when crude futures closest to delivery reached an intra-day high of $78.64 a barrel.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Dealing With Terrorism

Stella Rimington, former head of MI5, has elucidated her remedy for dealing with terrorism:

The former head of MI5 today calls for stricter border controls to combat a terrorism threat to Britain which will last for a 'generation'.

In an exclusive Daily Mail interview, Dame Stella Rimington says the Government must resist the introduction of increasingly 'draconian' terror laws, such as detention without trial.

But she argues that 'if you have people who would kill you there have got to be a lot more checks' of those trying to enter the UK.

There you go, Gordon, it's simple. You do not need to trample on civil liberties, and you certainly do not need to spend massive amounts on implementing ID cards. If you want to fight terrorism, the first place to start is our porous border.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Oil Fundamentals - Update

The fundamentals of oil have returned to the news this week. The IEA has predicted a coming supply crunch:
Crude-oil supplies will be tighter in coming years, with a "supply crunch" after 2010 as OPEC's spare production capacity evaporates, the International Energy Agency predicted Monday.

Supplies will tighten because economic growth will drive up demand and offset significant increases in oil-refining capacity, the IEA said, according to media reports citing the agency's annual medium-term forecast.

The IEA, which monitors energy markets for the world's 26 most-advanced economies, doesn't forecast oil prices, but its conclusions imply consumers should expect continued upward pressure on energy costs, The Wall Street Journal reported in its online edition.

"Oil and gas price pressures look set to remain in the coming years," the IEA reported, according to the Journal. "Slower-than-expected (gross-domestic-product) growth may provide a breathing space, but it is abundantly clear that if the path of demand doesn't change on its own, it may well be driven to change by higher prices.".
Clearly, the problems here are more of a refinery nature than Peak Oil related. Nonetheless, they are related to the unbelievable explosion in demand of the last few years emanating from non-OECD countries, which has lead to the pressure on refinery capacity.

And when you add stagnating reserves, refinery problems and massive demand together it shows that we are headed one way: directly towards what Peter Terzakian calls an 'energy breakpoint'.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Broken Society

David Cameron is aiming to 'mend' society:
Tory leader David Cameron has said mending Britain's "broken society" is the biggest challenge facing the UK.

Citing high crime rates, drug abuse and teenage pregnancies, he said there was something "deeply wrong" and "long-term generational change" was needed.

Mr Cameron was speaking to the BBC's Sunday AM show ahead of a report by the party's Social Justice Policy Group.

All very laudable. However, it is not just a 'long-term generational change' that is needed. The fact is that it is not just problems with the so-called underclass of British society that have created the feeling that our society is broken. Their is a deep pervasive current of nihilism, self-loathing. consumerism and selfishness that runs through all rungs of society.

One of the saddest, and also most graphic, manifestations of this has been the response of some to the widespread misery caused by the floods in the North-East of England. Here are three examples:

National Flood Forum co-ordinator Mary Dhonau warned cowboy builders could arrive at people's doors "wearing spurs and yelling yee-haa".

She advised flood victims to use recommended workmen "even if it means you are displaced for longer".

"There aren't enough builders in the area for the homes who need one,"
she said.

"People will go to the area and nobody knows who they are. They have got to check their credentials."

She said damage done by dodgy workmen could end up being more stressful than the flooding itself.

It could lead to the need for people to move out of their homes again, she said.

Meanwhile, Katrina Whincup has faced the prospect of profiteering.

Mrs Whincup, 36, was forced to flee her house in Ilchester Close, Bransholme, with her three children Adam, Abbie and Emily on June 25 after it became flooded.

She tried to secure a property in Mill Lane, Beverley, to rent through a private landlord, after seeing an advertisement in the Mail.

But she claims the price was increased by £120 to £900 per month at the last minute, a cost too high to be covered by her insurers.

Since then Mrs Whincup has lost out on three other properties in Hull because of the high demand.

The owner of the house in Mill Lane, Beverley, did not wish to be named and declined to comment.
Finally, in this sordid trio we have this:
Four people have been arrested on suspicion of looting from flooded properties in West Yorkshire, police have said.

The arrests for theft were made in the Brigg area of Wakefield, where a number of homes were hit by flooding.

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Police said the four people had been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Ch. Inspector Mark Truelove said: "We warn people engaging in such activity they will be dealt with robustly."

Perhaps these are merely isolated incidents, but you really do have to wonder about the mentality of those involved here. They are a symptom of the broken society, but unlike the underclass it cannot be claimed that they are 'poor'. Therefore, it is beyond the ability of the left, with their Marxist obsession with money and poverty, to solve the malaise in society. So what is now needed is a revolution. A revolution, to be more precise, in the morals and spirit of the nation.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Gordon's Weakness

There has been much said about Gordon Brown’s accession to Prime Minister.Most of it seems to revolve around how he has surprised the Tories, by not causing a massive poll slump after taking the keys to Number 10. Quite why anyone would have thought that Brown’s accession would have caused such a down-surge in popularity I do not know.

Image, one of the areas where people said Brown would err, has not got the same hold over the public that it did in 1997. The ‘Cool Britannia’ hysteria of that era has dissipated, to be replaced by a more image-weary media and public. And, in any case, all media appearances can be heavily managed and choreographed, interviewers can be handpicked and speeches carefully constructed; leaving little chance of the voters seeing the real personality of Brown shining through.

The other hope, I suppose, was that Brown would quickly be seen as a 1970s dinosaur, whose socialism would send the voters of the ‘middle’ ground back into the arms of the Conservatives. It should have been fairly obvious by now, however, that Brown does understand that you need wealth creation and lower-than-1970s direct taxation to make an economy tick.

In saying all that Brown does have some severe weaknesses. The economy has performed well in a number of ways, but it is certainly not the ‘miracle’ economy that Brown and his media Toadies like to paint out. Most damning of all is the question of who has benefited from Brown’s policies, who has lost out and what effects will they have on our country in the future.

The City has been full of praise for Brown, and why shouldn’t they be? He has kept direct taxation reasonably low, and resisted the temptation to clamp down on record bonuses. Furthermore, there is non-domicile tax status in which foreigners (many of whom hold British passports) pay about 25% tax rather than the 40% top rate. That is great for them, and many would argue that this has lead to top foreign talent descending on the City making it the powerhouse (or, indeed, the only working engine at all) of the British economy.

This windfall has allowed Brown to throw the money at the people he regards as either too important too annoy votes-wise, or as ‘worthy’ of government help. So we now have a protected public sector retirement age of 60; whilst those of my generation have been told that they must work till 68 before retiring. Then there are those who are technically called ‘economically inactive’, including all those who live off welfare, the black economy and crime. Many of these people are classed as ‘poor’ by the government and the likes of Polly Toynbee, but are, if they have plenty of children, more than likely far more cash-rich than those who work on low to middle incomes.

Brown’s recent machinations in which the income tax starting rate of 10% has been scrapped, is yet another kick in the teeth for these people. Indeed, the marginal tax rate for the poorest members of society who try to better themselves through work, is now 90%. True, many of these people have ‘benefited’ from House Price inflation over the last ten years, but nowhere near as much as the upper-echelons of society.

The effects of this are obvious: by subsidising the unproductive you breed more and more of these types of people, often alienated from general society and shorn of the civilizing nature which the act of working brings to a person. More than likely, you’ll also force those who are on the bread line to drop out of work and maybe even split-up relationships, to benefit from the Prime Minister’s beloved tax credits. This policy is, therefore, undermining the moral fabric of the country.

It is true that these policies will have pernicious economic effects too, but due to the strength of the City and the global economy, these problems will only manifest themselves of the long term. So what needs to be attacked now is the immoral aspect of Gordon Brown’s economic policies, not his financial policies. The degenerative aspects of this should be obvious to any conservative; why then does it seem that only a Member of Parliament for Labour, understands that?

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

Family Values

When social conservatives attack immigration, they are regularly told that they are actually engaging in a collective nose cutting. Immigrants, we are told, actually bring 'family values' to this country, and are, therefore, of great benefit to our society and social cohesion.

Let's leave aside the question of what sort of 'family values' these immigrants bring for now. Instead, what does the statistical evidence say? Does it really back up these claims? Firstly America:
President Bush and others argue that one of the benefits of immigration is that immigrants have a stronger commitment to traditional family values than native-born Americans.

However, a new analysis of birth records by the Center for Immigration Studies shows that out of wedlock births have grown dramatically for both groups, and rates are now about the same for immigrant and native mothers. Children born to unmarried parents are at higher risk for a host of social problems. This may be especially true for the children of immigrants, because they need strong families to adjust to life in America.
Then there was this report from Britain:
The number of marriages in England and Wales has slumped to the lowest level on record, it was announced today.

The 10% cent fall reversed three years in which an increased number of people had tied the knot. Provisional figures from the Office for National Statistics showed there just were just 244,710 weddings in 2005.

In London the decrease was even more marked, with marriages falling by 35%
London, of course, has received masses of immigration over the last decade. There does not seem, in conclusion, to be much evidence for the claims of immigrant 'family values' on either side of the Atlantic. So whilst I do want to re-establish family values and laud any attempts to further that goal, I think we can safely say that importing millions of immigrants isn't the answer.

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