Broad Oak: your emotional support animal

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A letter to the National Archives

The National Archives

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Dear Sirs

75th anniversary publication request -  document AIR 20/4870

As you know, in 1944 the writer H E Bates was commissioned to write a monograph on the defence of Britain during the Blitz of 1940-41, which was titled "The Night Battle of Britain."

May I ask whether this study by a now world-famous author, written so close to the events it describes, will be made available online in time for the 75th anniversary of its completion, i.e. 2019? That year will of course also be the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Alternatively (or in addition), would the National Archives consider permitting hard-copy facsimile publication?

Friday, September 22, 2017

FRIDAY MUSIC: Hillbilly Moon Explosion, by JD

YouTube always offer their 'recommendations' as well as the music you are actually looking for. Occasionally there appears something interesting and one such was Hillbilly Moon Explosion.

A strange mixture of Rockabilly, Reggae, Swing and other pop styles mixed in with 1950s style smoochy, cheesy 'Dolce Vita' type ballads. Very bizarre and very different but it works!

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Transsexual Coincidence

One thing leads to another. It certainly did last Wednesday, when blows were exchanged at Speaker’s Corner between transsexuals and feminists who don’t wish the former to have the rights they enjoy themselves.[1] These TERFs[2] don’t seem to realise how old-fashioned their prejudice is.  For transsexuals play a key part in a novel from 1960 that took nearly 50 years to get published.[3]

Murray Sayle’s “A Crooked Sixpence”[4] tells of an Australian journalist who comes to London following a girlfriend and manages to get a job on a newspaper, the Sunday Sun.[5]  Largely based on his own experiences from the 1950s[6], the book describes the underhand stratagems by which “human interest” journalists got stories to titillate their readers, regardless of the damage they caused to obscure individuals in their hypocritically moralistic exposés.[7]

A game-changer in the tale is a transsexual who offers to tell his/her story, naively hoping for fair coverage. (This was very modern: in 1961 the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic - the first in the UK[8] - was still 5 years into the future. But the successful fashion model April Ashley was just about to be outed as a transsexual - in the Sunday People.)[9]

The brutal editor, Barr, gives O’Toole his brief: offer £25 and “that bollocks about explaining his tragic plight to the public”, then turn on the trans in print:

“I see the angle like this: “This disgusting pervert has had himself mutilated to get money from the innocent British public. He even had the nerve to ask money for the revolting details of his sickening operation. You ought to be in a prison or a mental home, you're not fit to breathe the same air as the decent people of Britain, you contemptible beast.” With this twist, it ought to make a page lead.”

More than half a century later, the decent TERFs of Britain are turning on the often tremendously brave transsexuals, in a location famously dedicated to the principle of liberal tolerance.

[2] “Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists”
[3] Originally published in 1961 but pulped almost immediately because of an attempt by a broke toff to sue the publishers: Michael Alexander was the model for “Michael Macedon”.
[5] Based on The People, which was taken over by Mirror Group in 1961. Now called the Sunday People:
[6] He quit in 1956, like his fictional hero James O’Toole.
[7] There was another book about Fleet Street - “The Street Of Disillusion” - published three years earlier (in 1958) by a man called Harry Procter. Like Sayle, Procter left the profession in disgust; but Sayle was to return a few years later and earn distinction in serious investigative journalism.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Merkel's refugees: a twist

Germany is not inviting refugees/migrants out of love for them, for if that were so the incomers would not be kept in such degrading conditions. They are

"effectively warehoused in wholly inadequate conditions, housed twelve to a “room” in what are no more than, and indeed described as, “containers”. Existing on disgusting food, jobless and with no apparent means of emerging from these holding pens, these migrants have in effect been abandoned by the German state."

The real motive is to wipe the guilt blackboard clean so that they can get back to hating Jews, says Melanie Phillips in this review of undercover Jewish investigator Tuvia Tenenbom's latest book, "Hello, Refugees!"

Friday, September 15, 2017

FRIDAY MUSIC: Joan Osborne, by JD

This week's musical treasure is Joan Osborne:

Maybe not as well known as she deserves to be but she is a very good 'soul' singer and seems to fit in quite happily in other genres; I first heard her on the BBC show 'Transatlantic Sessions' and one or two songs below come from that series.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Notes Towards A Blueprint For A Self-Destroying Financial Machine

There are many elements to the current economic system that threaten to tear it apart; so many that we will have to approach the design piecemeal, with the hope of eventually integrating all the pieces into one flowchart.

One aspect is the benefits trap. Undermining our domestic workforce by putting them in competition with far lower-paid people around the world has meant wages have stagnated, while in order to keep up with inflating living costs those out of work cost more to keep and those in work often need some form of in-work financial supplement.

The gap then narrows to the point where the unemployed cannot afford to work and the lower paid wonder why they bother to work. Responding to Sunday's post here, "Jack Ketch" says:

" A life on welfare today probably gives you a better standard of living than a working man had 40-50 years ago"

Bollocks does it! If I wanted to live in that kind of poverty, the soul destroying grinding poverty of Granddad's era, I'd go get a job....and yes I am genuinely on benefits. We pull in something like £1k a month cash in hand and the rent is paid. Going to work is a luxury many can't afford, that's the stone cold truth.

As the old song goes:

I was outside a lunatic asylum one day, busy picking up stones
When along came a lunatic and said to me, "Good morning Mr. Jones,
Oh, how much a week do you get for doing that?" "Thirty bob!" I cried.
"What, thirty bob a week, with a wife and kids to keep?
Come inside, you silly bugger, come inside."

"Come inside, you silly bugger, come inside, you ought to have a bit more sense.
Working for your living, take my tip, act a little screwy and become a lunatic.
Oh you get your meals most regular and a brand new suit besides.
What's thirty bob a week with a wife and kids to keep?
Come inside you silly bugger come inside."

See here from 2:05 for a visual metaphor:

Jean Tinguely - Homage to New York (1960) from Stephen Cornford on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Welfare State, meet your end

Peter Hitchens hits the nail on the head again today. Under the headline "Our drug-addled louts are the REAL reason we need migrants" he runs through the four plagues withering Britain:

- undisciplined, fatherless children;
- the failure of the education system to differentiate - not to access the same learning in many different ways (turning teachers into overworking, PC-ridden drudges), but to teach what is most suitable to that child's abilities, including vocational skills;
- giveaway welfare, and a laissez-faire approach to the habitual intoxication that lets youngsters grow up feckless and feral;
- courts that don't enforce the law

Michael Heseltine appears to second Hitchens' solution. While he now says "There have to be controls on immigration across Europe" - which I think is a forced change from his previous position - he points out the shortage of manpower in the public services:

"There is no alternative supply of skilled labour from our own population...It would take a decade to train up enough British workers to fill the gaps."

Fine, do it. Yes, let's admit foreign labour to remedy our shortfalls, but let's also tackle the real problems we have in our disorderly society. Because if we don't, goodbye the Welfare State.

75 years ago, William Beveridge produced his report, aiming to slay the "five giant evils of society": squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. We now have them again, but in a different guise - their modern versions are voluntary.

The long-term solution is not more immigration. The country is already incapable of feeding itself without massive food imports, which will become much more expensive for us as the differences in global pay narrow. If somebody comes in and pays less in taxes (direct and indirect) than he and his family take out, the wealth of the country declines; especially if by coming in ready and able to work he helps cement his British underclass counterpart in toxic idleness.

Our system doesn't challenge enough. The social workers I meet think that for a client to have a need is to have it met, and I'm not hard-hearted enough to say that underfed children should continue to sleep on sofas in dingy, dogbeshitten houses; but nobody seems to want to strengthen the family by enforcing marital/quasimarital responsibilities, particularly on men - but even if they did, where's the work and training? Where are the negative consequences for crime? What, other than pleading, wheedling and emotional manipulation (and they are trying, believe me), are teachers allowed to do to enforce discipline in the classroom?

People respond to game rules:

"I have a little boy, younger than you, who knows six Psalms by heart: and when you ask him which he would rather have, a gingerbread-nut to eat or a verse of a Psalm to learn, he says: 'Oh! the verse of a Psalm! angels sing Psalms;' says he, 'I wish to be a little angel here below;' he then gets two nuts in recompense for his infant piety."

- Charlotte Bronte, "Jane Eyre", Chap. 4

The rules are long past due an overhaul. We've helped create the underclass in pursuit of other objectives: Labour and the LibDems, riding their hobby-horse of melting-pot immigration; the Tories, exploiting their opponents' Johnny-Head-In-Air idealism to bring in cheap labour and swell the bottom line of their business backers. Who defended our industry and its domestic ownership, our intellectual property, our R&D, our trade in real things?

If the decline continues, Beveridge's wonderful system will crack.