The Father of Conservatism

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Herein lies the Ghost in the political machine of the Rt. Hon. Edmund Burke. Much like Max Weber arguing with the Ghost of Marx, this blog seeks to make relevant and where appropriate support or reject Burke's 'Reflections' against the backdrop of the disastrous New Labour experiment.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

What a load of Balls?

Of all the Labour MPs that should be sent to the scaffold, ‘Herr E. Balls’ should be at the front of the queue. His new Children, Schools and Family Bill, which he is hoping to pass both Houses before he’s ‘hopefully’ dumped in the unemployment line, is disastrous for children from working class backgrounds. Balls’s boldest statement of intent is to abolish traditionally taught subjects such as Maths, English, History and Geography and roll them into 6 ‘themed lessons’ based around issue based topics, as opposed to the tried and tested methods of teaching rigorous fact and figures.

They will fall under these new ambiguous areas:

Understanding English, Communication and Languages; mathematically understanding, understanding the arts; Historical, geographical and social understanding; physical development, health and well-being; scientific and technological understanding.

Mr Balls is noted for saying he is not “abolishing traditional subjects but reforming the curriculum so teachers have more freedom.” I’m sorry, but this is absurd. ‘More freedom’, coming from his Government, which takes great joy and pleasure from infantile-ling the whole of society, I don’t think so. With youth unemployment at almost half that of the full dole figures; the mythical idea that all can/should go to university and the State will pick up the tab; to dumbed down multiple choice science GCSE’s - this Government needs to be brought to its knees over its abject failure of young Britons.

How on earth can any of these whimsical and wooly-headed thematic lessons allow for freedom, if you ask a teacher to teach History or Maths, they will know where they stand and have no problem understanding what's asked of them. The same goes for the pupils who when asked upon what they learned that day can easily quantify and qualify English from Geography. Riddle me this: What on earth is ‘social understanding’?

They do not need lesson on how to use Google Earth, Twitter or learn how to blog - this they learn for themselves (I learnt it well enough) As kids often are, they appear well ahead of the curve on all things technological and do not need time taken out of official school time to try and condense the meaning of Shakespeare or the reasons for the outbreak of World War II to 140 characters in a tweet.

One prime example of these well-being lessons already happening is one go my friend’s primary school aged children who has to keep a record throughout the weekend on how they were feeling from happy, sad, angry and laughter etc. What happened to real teaching not empathy lessons. Another similar story is that pupils now take ‘big writing’ as opposed to a straight English subject.

What is also strange is how a public educated school boy like Ed Balls knows about struggling comprehensives and how to turn them around? Well, the commonsensical answer would be that he feels they should mirror private primary schools, however these schools stick rigidly to traditional teaching methods and focus not one jot on emotion, just a neat balance between competition and camaraderie. I would know I personally went to one. Although, Mr. Balls thinks it relies in constant tinkering with the system.

It is therefore right that Prince Charles and his chief educational aide, Bernice McCabe, has got involved in denouncing Balls’s latest educational malaise. If the King Elect feels ‘his majesty’s Government is failing children he has a right to voice concerns despite the assertion that the monarch is above politics. This is negated as this isn’t politics, it is a generation of children’s education that Labour’s socialists policies are wrecking.

Mrs. McCabe has said: 'Sometimes there are too many shortcuts into theme-based teaching. That's not what gets children learning.” She is completely correct as are the Prince’s opinion on a ‘cultural disinheritance’ that is occurring under New Labour. It is well known that Labour spends most of it’s nefarious time dreaming up ways to undermine a sense of British History, as it is embarrassed at Britain’s former greatness. But denying a child a right to know the truth about their background is a savage act of mal-governance.

I urge Michael Gove to repeal and outrightly scrap this bill is it ever makes it into law. We need a Conservative administration to public come out against Labour’s latest educational bankruptcy. This should big a flagship element of Tory policy to reclaim the moral authority from Labour to show that it is able to look after the nation’s most vulnerable, be they young, old or in social difficulty - we owe it to great Britons that came before us.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Got Beef? How the Global-Warmists suffer from a case of Mad Cow

Words fail me upon hearing Lord Stern’s plan for a Climate Comintern. He says that meat is wasteful and that eating it will become as immoral as drink driving or smoking. Is the man completely insane?

This politics of fear is driving the global warming cult to the forefront of power which is based on illiberal and totalitarian forces.

The Left once said that it was only the Right who use fear-mongering politicking, the latest being based on a War-on-Terror to legitimate a climate of panic. They then go on to say that only ‘they’ can safely protect us, but the catch is you must first hand over certain basic freedoms in order to do so.

However, it is the Left who have been seduced by this notion by harnessing fear and thus spun a web of deception to match the War-on-Terror on the premise of a climate catastrophe.

Only bigger government and its subsequent meddling in our everyday lives is the only solution to this peril. Such threats as not traveling on aeroplanes, banning the use of our cars, and now the dubious moral claim to deny us eating meat are now upon us.

It has hoodwinked thousands of groups (from Oxfam to Apple Mac) and millions of people (from Leftist students with no critical faculties to Presidents and brain dead pop-stars) and by doing so has co-opted them to carry out the greatest of coup d’etats - that of the premise for world government. This Copenhegan Summit is just a precursor of what will await a slumbering nation.

This latest vegetarian putsch, of what can only be described as liberal bile, is so ludicrous it beggers belief. Mankind has been eating meat since time began, it is our God-given right to do so. Riddle me this...why is it only now that certain lunatic sections of society deem it immoral to consume meat?

That aside, the Left have two fundamental problems: One - the moral cause to lift the world out of poverty, more specifically Africa, to do so, or so the theory goes is to give them aid. This helping hand allows for more people to survive infant mortality and lead a more prosperous life. The problem with this is that this new lease on life means they want to consume more resources and of course all staple ingredients - including a diet of meat, which we’ve now been ‘informed’ or should I say ‘instructed’ is a global killer.

The second problem lies with their conversion to human-global warming theory. Lord Stern says that British taxpayers must contribute about £3 billion a year to help poor countries to cope with the inevitable impact of climate change. But surely by doing this more of these people will live and therefore through other aid given by governments have the opportunity to consume more resources, thereby making the problem worse?

Liberals are in a bind - they can’t save everyone! Just like how they can’t be the best friend of both the muslim and homosexual lobby.

Now I am not advocating leaving Africa to rot, but merely highlighting the dilemma Liberals have in who they wish to claim to rescue. I believe strongly that helping Africa and the World will only happen through technological advances. We must trust in man’s creative talents not hide in a cave like many on the Left are suggesting (note a cave in which they are the rulers).

Also the predicament is couched in wider philosophical terms. I assume that most Global Warming converts as also secularists and therefore do not believe in Armageddon, the End Times, and putting it simply - life after death. If we are indeed just mere animals and dust then why the outlook to preserve our world? We are then born only to die and with no greater purpose other than to procreate, it appears that the continuation of our species is at the will of Nature herself. As the human race wasn’t the fittest to survive, the clock will be reset, we will die out and something else will take its place. Isn’t that how the nihilistic evolution story goes?

I can see how a religious person would want to help alleviate plight from millions of people and avoid the destruction of our world, as we will be judge by God on how we looked after the world He created. But for a secularist Liberal to think it was a moral imperative (though aren’t morals now relative?), his Calling if you will, to save the world appears to be a leap of vanity.

Then again maybe the fact that the rhetoric of global warming is tempered in a way that appears to a lost sense of religiosity is why it is having such a marked effect on regular post-modern person.

To deny that man made global warming is occurring is to be a heretic, and blasphemer of the highest order (though they are doing away with blasphemy laws) an act of sacrilege so great that to be one is to be akin to a holocaust denier. The questioning of such a ‘truth’ is subhuman, its reasoning Neanderthal.

All that is left to be said is that I will be exercising my democratic right to purchase two Big Macs instead of one - in full knowledge somewhere in his ivory tower Lord Stern is tucking into his rabbit food.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Should I be worried about Google? As soon as I hit send on my Postal Strike article up came an advert for the Communication Workers' Union wanting me to join. Could it be that they know I'm after them...

Ah Big Brother continues to roll on at pace...

Reagan-omic Redundancies - a warning to the posties

The threat of more postal strike action must cease. If we are to defeat this return to cartel-style Trade Union power then drastic measures will have to be issued. The Government must recall the steadfastness and unwavering stance President Reagan took during the air traffic controllers strike of 1981.

Reagan refused to be cowed by an act of Union strong-arm-ism and he ordered all the dissenters to return to work - leaving them with an 48 hour ultimatum - return or be permanently barred from your current employment.

The result meant he fired all 11,000 employees. People thought this plan of action would cripple the US during the holiday season, however after initial problems flights were back to near normal operational levels and air-trade stablilsed.

What we need in the UK is a similar plan of action. We should issue a stark warming to these lay-about posties, branding their actions unpatriotic and that if they do not return to work they will no longer have the right to return.

A way round avoiding even more chronic failures of undelivered post would be to employ, on a temporary basis, the 6 million unemployed we have currently in this country. The number of under 25’s at some estimates is 1.5 million, so how about we give jobs to these people, on the current wage levels those strikers walked out on.

We could resurrect the very British sense of rallying together (WWII-style) and each doing an hour in the post office each week sorting the mail and allowing the unemployed access to postal vans and lorries to deliver the mail (sat-nav included!)

Britain must not bow to the whims of a class of pre-historic socialists, especially at a time when we are all feeling the pinch and most are getting on with the task or duty at hands. Coupled with the one-year pay freeze for public sector workers, we will need a show of unity that this must be the correct course in the long term, and not witness a return to self-centred and individualistic grumbles of Trade Union idleness.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

A polemic against the Socialist’s guide to Camping

I have been meaning to write on this New Statesman article about Socialism for sometime, but the sheer extent of explaining how wrong the late G A Cohen is - has proved a tiresome task. His article was written in the NS and it invokes the warm and cosy idea of a camping trip where we are all happy campers, working for the greater good - sharing numerous things from tools and knowledge to food and individual property.

The fundamental problem with Socialism, as I have repeated on numerous occasions, is that it completely misreads human nature, so from the outset it jettisons any sense of sensibility.

Firstly, no matter how neat the analogy, Life is not comparable to a campsite and never will be. To say people came to this campsite without prejudices, desires, skills and property is utter folly.

Let’s widen this out and replace ‘people’ with ‘nations’, they each have a differing way of conducting themselves, different religions, social customs, views on the family, the list goes on. These are in fact social prejudices.

Taken a stage further with the Socialist’s drive for revolution, it has no regards for generational alteration. The grandfather’s view of the world will slightly differ from the father’s as will the son’s; however we must not forget that each socialises the latter so they will imprint on them a sense of their inherited culture - there is no escape from this, nor should their be, as Burke noted that “no generation has the right to change everything because one generation merely inherited from its ancestors, in trusteeship, ideas and institutions which it handed on to their heirs.”

It is the audacity with which Cohen applies a one-dimensional social harmony that baffles me. To say that people will regulate themselves into societal roles is misguided as he begins with the premise that there is “no hierarchy between us”.

For a start, who governs this belief system?

Surely to join this campsite you have to agree to the principles laid out, but who has made them - your forefathers, social architects, revolutionaries? If there is no hierarchy, somebody must be above to police these values, in case of discontent. Perhaps, a much stronger words should be used - who enforces these societal rules?

What happens if you begin to disagree or wish to alter the rules of this 'social harmony'? Can it be questioned or challenged, if so where can somebody go to ask these questions. All these important queries, require such things as a police force, the media, the family, the legal system and so on.

Another stumbling block is the idea of keeping the notion of social harmony intact. Surely a breed of thought-police would need to be deployed as to maintain the same ‘unifying spirit’? If people didn’t think the same, or rejected the notions of shared property what will happen?

Would they be reprimanded?

This misrepresentation of human nature is seen in Socialism’s myopic drive for equality. For example, when we branch out the simple ownership of the fish or apple tree, to say a favourite toy that may have personal value, or the love between one man and his wife, should the toy be handed out or the wife be shared because that child/man has something that other people do not?

His example: “People who hate cooking, but enjoy the washing up may do all the washing up, and so on? Who legislates for this, or rather who says this is so? This begs the question of value, something the Socialist hates.

Simply asked, is washing up equal in value to cooking? Or put another way, is someone who has a specific skill set above or below another person. Or what about the people who do not work, will they receive benefit from the campsite, even of they do not contribute to the everyday running.

He gives the game away by uttering two exclamations, the first: “I’d rather have my socialism in the warmth of the All Souls College, Oxford”. This shows the armchair philosophical naivety of Socialism that has no regards for the real world. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that All Soul’s College is an idealised space for which the academic is at home, but what about other people - what if they do not like his campsite?

The second is: “Isn’t this socialist way, with collective property and planned mutual giving, rather obviously the best way to run a camping trip, whether or not you like camping?” Yes, in a bloody campsite! But ask yourself this question, how long does the normal family go camping? 3 days, a week maximum? Doesn’t each family, their own flesh and blood, get unbelievably fed up by the end of it!

To see the world as an entity that could cope in this whimsical and idealised way, in the way we view going camping each year, is the crux of this misdiagnosed understanding of the human condition. We can survive a few days, without my favourite pillow, or the misplaced fluffy toy, but very soon, tempers starts to flare, people desire the comfort of their own space, their own time and importantly their own property.

The solution? If people were born into the camp without pre-existing ideas of ownership would it therefore mean these people wouldn’t grow up with any inclinations of personal ownership or desire to be alone and not always in the company or the community or volk?

The more I re-read the article the more it reminds me of Winston in 1984 who begins to value is own time and space. He hates joining in with the chanting and singing and wants nothing more than an individual identity. The society he lives in denies him any such luxuries of freedom of though or expression.

Again, he was brought up with no pre-conceived ideas of personal thought or space, but he still has this burning desire consuming him - human nature. The answer is that you can not keep Man’s expressive or artistic side oppressed and locked away. So for Cohen to agree with Einstein that “Socialism is humanity’s attempt to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development”, highlights his ‘faith position’ that humanity can be perfected in a scientific way, showing how far Socialism goes against the grain of Mankind rather than with slow and steady Arc of History.

I could go on and on, but what saddens me the most is that an obviously very intelligent man, in Cohen, spent his whole life shackled to an idea that made no real world sense and the only way to explain it in his dying days was in the form of a camping site. Surely he would have worked out that by then, that Socialism is merely a dystopian musing on the part of Man which has no regard for freedom or human questioning.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

NHS Debate - In defense of Dan Hannan

A fully functioning NHS in an idealised world is an excellent project and a highly commendable act; however in our fallen world such an aspiration isn’t as clear cut. The American strategy on healthcare is proving to be a hotbed of political consternation on both sides of the Atlantic, not just the political divide!

I can see why the US do not want to see any form of socialised healthcare. It simply isn’t in their constitutional DNA. The view that the State should have any control on the very personal issue of health is a very persuasive philosophical standpoint. However there are always extremes that can be taken too far; the recent debate over the right to die highlights the ethical complications of a legal and political basis for state controlled medical treatment.

On the other hand, I fully agree that the premise that universal health care for all is one that is moral and true. To be able to walk into a hospital or a GPs office and receive treatment without handing over your cash is something everyone should have the right to do. The trickier questions rears its head when people who abuse these privileged - for instance people who are obese or drink too much, or even to an extent the growly population of elderly people placing an economic burden on the rest of the population.

My problem is with the abuse Daniel Hannan is getting, especially from that twat Andy Burnham, who said that Dan is unpatriotic; this is completely uncalled for and utter twaddle. To say Daniel isn’t pro-British is like saying Cricket isn’t a national pastime.

He has single-handedly stood up for the British people against the EU and it’s bureaucratic tentacles, while offering us an alternative vision of parliamentary affairs in his 12 Stage Plan. His patriotism is even reflected in his speeches and the literature he reads - he has a full grasp Shakespeare that he often quotes at lengths during all occasions.

To say that not supporting the NHS’s current state of disarray as unpatriotic implies that the NHS is to make it appear as a part of our British identity and woven into our social fabric. Yes, it is important, but it is hardly the 3 lions on the shirt or the Lord Nelson of the current era. It has become absurdly bureaucratic, while in turn completely unmanageable.

Touching on more personal matters for a moment, the basic human instinct to do whatever it takes to look after your children/spouse/parents when they're sick is hugely important to this debate as it highlights perfectly the lengths people are prepared to go private (or in essence pay over the odds) instead of using the NHS.

It's not immoral or wrong to want our own flesh and blood to live or to get better sooner, if that means paying to be on a shorter waiting list or better care at BUPA then so be it. Yes, the NHS should exist as universal care, but in an unequal life people will go to great depths to ensure personal and family safety it is in our genes to think so.

What we need is the social conditions to save for a rainy day when it comes to healthcare. From an early age if we were encouraged to put money into our own personal health fund knowing realistically that we will need it as we grow old, then when the time comes one has money to spare in order to go private.

The Government could even provide a pension style healthcare system where they pay for example 20% upon your retirement and throughout your own life you stump up the other 80%. If this money was ring-fenced solely for people's health it may well prove money well invested.

The thought now of having a fund for my healthcare, to use when I get older is a comforting idea and one that almost all could experience.

Again, focusing once more on Mr. Hannan's defense, it does appear that people on the Left are playing the man and not the ball or rather a bucket full of ad hominems directed squarely at Daniel. Just because the Left shut down every debate by labelling the smallest dissenter of the NHS as a neo-con bone head doesn't mean the view on offer shouldn't be weighed and viewed like any other argument.

Furthermore, his decision not to tow the party line should be noted as a positive thing (see Paul Goodman on this issue) and Cameron fell into the trap of going all lovie dovie on the NHS again. It needs reform in a drastic way and the only course of action is to tackle the NHS fat controllers head on like Maggie did with the miners. Why should they get paid more than the nurses or the doctors? The system is run like the USSR.

One final point that needs to be cleared up is the mythical gospel that the NHS is in the sole clutches of the Labour Party and they are the ones to defend it. Referring back to an old press cutting from the Telegraph last year I read that William Beveridge, the principle architect of the duly named Beveridge Report was adopted last by the Labour Party and that many on the hard Left showed vehement condemnation of anything resembling the NHS – some claimed it to be 'semi-fascist.

They saw universal welfare as standing in the way of class warfare and thus the end of capitalism. Other socialists derided as the social ambulance scheme – it appeared that they didn't actually care for the proletariat and not for the first time either!

What is also of note is how Beveridge himself wanted a welfare society not a welfare STATE, he sent a two page letter condemning such an idea. His view was that the State should be used as a last resort because it often spent irresponsible and acted to whatever voters demanded to stay in power.

I shall end the post with Beveridges own words: “While there are somethings the State should do, there are many more which should be done in other self-help and by voluntary helping of citizens by another.” Hmmm isn't that pragmatic conservatism?

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

This is what a Feminist looks like?!

Ah Ms Harperson - what will we do with you? Her latest rants on a woman’s place in the world has caused a stir in the papers and the most notable is the work of Janice Turner in the Times supplement.

My take on Harperson’s feminism is that it is retrograde, out-dated marxism. Her drive for egalitarianism, note not actual equality, is based on the foundation that gender parity will be reached through an economic and numeric putsch. A redistribution of wealth or control of the mode and forces of production to fall inline with this worn out socialist narrative. That is why she is wrong.

True equality is something more akin to respect, not figures on a spreadsheet. A man should be able to look at a woman and think of her as an equal, not as something to be used or to be thought less of. It is thus about morality and justice.

Most of my female friends (20 somethings) are no doubt cleverer, more outgoing, more confident and have a greater drive than my male peer group, myself included. So speaking for my generation - Generation Y - girls far outperform boys.

Is there a reason why? Well, the sad thing is the push to equality has led to a severe lack of male role models for boys at school as well as at home. Most recently, the numbers of male primary schools teachers is 1 in 10 and 4 in 10 in secondary schools. Not to mention the surge in absentee fathers. In addition, coursework is favoured over exams , which is shown to suit more girls than it is boys. I do not wish these to sound like excuses, merely that they reflect a skewed gender balance more in line with female strengths.

Turner’s article notes at length the pornification of our culture, which she claims subjugates women further. She is correct.

The cause of such plight is again my bete noir - Liberalism. First allow me to say the idea of female equality is noble and just; however the pursuit of this through Liberal means has proved a disaster, it’s conclusion is the ‘24/7 pleasure-dome of modern youth culture’, as Turner puts it. Women, by seeking to be like men is not equality. The pursuit of drinking way in excess and the poisoned chalice of sexual conquest through one night promiscuity isn’t the glass ceiling women should be looking to break and enter.

Equality should be women having an equal voice to stand up and argue the virtues social decorum, civility, sobriety and fidelity. These traits should be used to make men more equal to women rather than women striving out of a contorted sense of marxist-feminist equality to be more like the stereotyped oppressive all conquering Man.

Turner is right in saying that women of the 00’s have replaced the goal of feminism with narcissism. Debates over enfranchisement have been stifled over talk of shoes, accessories, sex in the city and the latest fake tan. As a man committed to female justice, I love it when I’m on the tube and a woman is reading the Economist or a broadsheet. It makes me want to talk to them about politics, economics, science and social policy as equals.

The problem lies in Liberalism allowing women to think equality means they can do whatever the hell they want, supposedly just like men can. Take the curse of the Nuts and Zoo magazines, they are nothing compared to Hello, OK and Heat - the female counterparts.

The content in them is drivel and doesn’t enhance female freedoms, it compounds them. How is a women meant to find self-worth when she is constantly being told by another woman with an exceedingly low IQ that being skinny is the must have look, or the right fake tan will increase your self confidence. The men in the magazine are barely clothed and offer nothing more than titillation to rival the objectification from the male gaze that women have come to so deplore on Page 3.

Here, so called freedom is just a veil of subjugation - it is a masquerade, nothing more. It is not a woman’s right to act like men, when more often than not male actions are the objectionable acts that true feminism wanted to do away with in the first place. This couldn’t be better conveyed by Turner’s phrase: “Sex used to be something men did to women, today it is perceived as something women perform for men.” Is that the reversal of gender roles that feminists desired?!

Again, the philosophical view of women has clearly not changed, in essence that men use their brains and women use their bodies - logos versus eros. The example used is that lap-dancing clubs are perceived by many young women as being a legitimate source of income and no moral judgement enters the equation. Women as objects is hit home by the borderline unbelievable statistic that more than 25,000 users of Bebo use slut in their users names, or crudely spell out what sort of instantaneous sexual gratification they crave.

Furthermore, Harperson is wrongheaded by using our soundbite-saturated society, by claiming to want a Gender 20 summit to run along aside the ‘male dominated G20’. One, this is completely sexist and divisive. Two, it is the old us and them argument, it causes more struggles than it solves. Three, her utterance that men can’t be left on their own is just plain sexist; if a man said those things about a women he would be socially hung, drawn and quartered. Thus, if women want to be taken seriously then don’t listen to her, she is a relic of marxist thinking, she has nothing new to bring to the table, just like the New Labour facade.

Couple with this, centralised frogmarching of girls into traditional male jobs, isn’t going to breed equality, as it removes freedom of choice. If she doesn’t want to be a builder, don’t force her. So is the EU plan to remove all gendered language from european languages as it is perceived as sexism. This is a waste of our taxes!

As the Conservative knows too well society moves organically and shouldn’t be tampered with by either those who tinker at the centre, or who shout the loudest - as these people are not the defenders of liberty.

Therefore, I propose another word other than equality and that word is balance. Crude equality isn’t some quantitative quest for the same pay or the same hours a man must spend with his child. Realistically, if a woman decided to have children, over time she will earn less than a man, that is not oppression that is just a simple fact. But this does not stop men campaigning for greater paternal leave or fatherhood rights - something I champion to the hilt.

For example, the family chores shouldn’t be divvied up to strict codes, such as equal time changing the nappies or running a bath, but a balance of roles taking on more or less as and when required. If the man is better at disciplining his children then let him get on with the job, if the woman is better at comforting her children, let her - don’t force them to be people they are not.

Traditional values are something not to be sneered at - the nanny shouldn’t be brought in to deal with the trials and tribulations of family life, note nanny refers as much to the State as it does to the child-minder.

Finally, Turner refrains from calling this era retro-sexism, well I challenge her to call it retro-feminism as the ways and means of Ms Harriet Harperson are not the tools to be fighting a woman’s corner in the 21st Century.