‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 30 September 1961

  At #6 this week is Billy Fury's 'Jealousy':


Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):

25 September: "Wisconsin became the first state in the United States to require the installation of seat belts as standard equipment in motor vehicles, as Governor Gaylord Nelson signed into law a bill directing that all 1962 and later model cars and trucks were required to include the safety belts before they could be sold. In the first six months that the law was in effect, all but one belt wearer had survived a car accident in the state." 
    See also: https://www.wpr.org/surprisingly-controversial-history-seat-belts and the invention of the modern three-point seat belt by Volvo's Nils Bohlin: https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/three-point-seatbelt-inventor-nils-bohlin-born

26 SeptemberThe U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) came into being, per the Arms Control and Disarmament Act, Pub.L. 87–297, 75 Stat. 631. Its mission was to strengthen United States national security by "formulating, advocating, negotiating, implementing and verifying effective arms control, nonproliferation, and disarmament policies, strategies, and agreements."
    As of April 1, 1999, ACDA was abolished and its functions merged into the Department of State.


27 September: The first episode of cartoon series Top Cat airs on USA's ABC network TV. See it here:

29 September: "Minutes after Fidel Castro announced that he was going to "clean up" Havana, the last casinos in Cuba were closed. At the time of the revolution, there had been 25 gambling casinos. Five were left, all in government operated hotels, at the time of the order."
UK chart hits, week ending 30 September 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint's labour-of love compilation https://www.sixtiescity.net/charts/61chart.htm

1

Kon-Tiki

The Shadows

Columbia

2

Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

Top Rank

3

Wild In The Country / I Feel So Bad

Elvis Presley

RCA

4

Michael Row The Boat

The Highwaymen

HMV

5

You Don't Know

Helen Shapiro

Columbia

6

Jealousy

Billy Fury

Decca

7

Get Lost

Eden Kane

Decca

8

Reach For The Stars / Climb Every Mountain

Shirley Bassey

Columbia

9

Hats Off To Larry

Del Shannon

London

10

Together

Connie Francis

MGM

11

You'll Answer To Me

Cleo Laine

Fontana

12

Michael Row The Boat / Lumbered

Lonnie Donegan

Pye

13

Walkin' Back To Happiness

Helen Shapiro

Columbia

14

Cupid

Sam Cooke

RCA

15

Sea Of Heartbreak

Don Gibson

RCA

16

Granada

Frank Sinatra

Reprise

17

Halfway To Paradise

Billy Fury

Decca

18

Ain't Gonna Wash For A Week

The Brook Brothers

Pye

19

That's My Home

Acker Bilk

Columbia

20

I'm Gonna Knock On Your Door

Eddie Hodges

London


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

What Parliament Is For, And the Delusions of Frau Merkel and Remainers

A man called James Hawes has just brought out a book called ‘The Shortest History of England’ (288 pages.) https://www.amazon.co.uk/Shortest-History-England-James-Hawes/dp/1910400998/. If you see who praises it, you may guess its political tendency. https://jameshawes.org.uk/

On the back of it he has written an article for Unherd https://unherd.com/2021/09/angela-merkel-wins-again/?1632732450484 that is a fine piece of Remainer coat-trailing, as the furious comments section shows.

In passing, the author recounts an anecdote that made my diesel engine cough into life:

I have twice been told by a German insider… that at the 2015 G7 meeting at Schloss Elmau, Merkel, Cameron’s best friend in Europe, personally begged him not to hold his utterly needless referendum and “throw away 800 years of parliamentary rule.”

I will do Frau Merkel the courtesy of not calling her a cynical, manipulative liar; I shall believe that she was giving her sincere opinion. If so, she is – I flail about for a suitable adverb – astoundingly ignorant and blinkered. So for her edification and your convenience, I shall now offer a much, much shorter history of England.

Frau Merkel seems to think that Parliament is merely a conduit of rule, as it is in the EU, where those delegates who do not simply sign in and then take their wheelie luggage straight back on the train remain to air their views powerlessly.

She does not understand that we are ruled not by Parliament but by a monarch, albeit one whose awesome powers have devolved onto the Privy Council and especially the British Prime Minister and Cabinet, all of whom are automatically members. It is now 241 years since John Dunning MP moved his resolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dunning,_1st_Baron_Ashburton that "the influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished"; this is long overdue for resubmission, perhaps with the substitution of ‘Prime Minister’ for ‘Crown’; indeed it should have been remooted when Mr Blair brought his wrecking ball to the Constitution, but surely now we have seen the whim of iron wielded by the Government during the Covid crisis we feel its relevance more than for a very long time.

Merkel remembered that Parliament’s roots go back eight centuries, but seems to have forgotten the significance of 1215. Runnymede saw the first of several versions of Magna Carta and was about the restraint of autocratic power, not its passive transmission as the deluded German Empress imagines. The same Charter also established Parliament to set controls on the King, especially in money matters. The key role of our representatives is to scrutinise, moderate and sometimes outright oppose the ruler who is tempted to say ‘The very firstlings of my heart shall be / The firstlings of my hand.’

Speaking of Scottish kings, we had the strife all over again when the Stuarts came to the throne, bringing their cronies and Celtic absolutist kingship with them; not to mention religious bigotry and double-dealing (‘Na, na, we’ll no’ need the Catholics noo.’) There was a little discussion about that in the 1640s, following which we discovered that we didn’t like despots even if they were Puritans.

I can understand and forgive ignorance, but it is asking too much to accept it when it is accompanied by egregious arrogance, as we see even among those Remainers who are obviously literate, even littérateurs. I can only think it is down to an inability to distinguish between what the European Project means to them, and what it actually is. The EU is adept at the emotional management of us by signs, symbols and words, which we use to process our perceptions of reality. Its cheerleaders in Britain are so wedded to the groupthink that they cannot see that the EU is institutionally antidemocratic; it wields the Ring of Power that even Gandalf feared to handle; and like groupthinkers they feel compelled to misrepresent and despise those who disagree with them. The English intellectual, unable to see what is in front of his nose, instead looks down it at the rest of us.

What a shame; for leaving the EU was only the first struggle; the people are now at war with several great Empires.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Jaw-dropping...

https://unherd.com/2021/09/angela-merkel-wins-again/?1632732450484

Angela Merkel 'personally begged [Cameron] not to hold his utterly needless referendum and “throw away 800 years of parliamentary rule.” '

What an astounding whopper! It is as though Tony Benn had never lived: 
https://theylaughedatnoah.blogspot.com/2014/04/21-years-of-maastricht-my-last-speech.html

Newspeak.

But then, see who praises Hawes: https://jameshawes.org.uk/

Why won't they admit what they're really about?

Saturday, September 25, 2021

WEEKENDER: Inner City Blues, by Wiggia


The what appears to be never ending knife crime murders in London and now spreading elsewhere are another of those serious issues seemingly pushed into a siding because no one wants to label any ethnic group something other than victims. Whatever has happened be it an individual or ethnic group there is always a ready made reason for their activities.

Certainly in my youth warring gangs who used razors or bicycle chains and knuckle dusters, how quaint all that sounds today, were dealt with by using the full force of the law, and it was all small scale. I cannot remember anyone standing up in court in those days, such as a social worker, and saying the perpetrators have mental problems , they come from a one parent upbringing, everyone who knows him as a lovely boy who would do anything for anyone,  and hacking someone's hand off is just letting off steam; but we are not far from that now.

Not enough youth clubs to keep these promising rappers and footballers occupied, and it is something we are going to have to live with, words not dissimilar to that of Mayor Khan about middle east terrorists.

This report from a junior doctor at a London hospital is bad enough in what it portrays. What is worse is the fact not once are the perpetrators described, yet only one group is carrying out the bulk of these attacks and they are black youths, gang members.

The report even tries to dilute the seriousness of what is going on by comparing murder rates from 2003, despite graphs showing the murder rate oscillates over time, but if the murder rate was higher then it has been reducing ever since and any upward movement in the figures today will be for one reason only, though that will never be admitted.

“I suspect this is part of a general increase in knife crime, although it’s entirely possible it’s been like this for a while. After all, even if last year’s 132 London murders made it the worst for almost a decade, things were far worse in the 90s and early 00s. In 2003 there were 204 murders — and there were almost two million fewer Londoners then — although, with better treatment now available, some of those would have survived in 2021.“

https://unherd.com/?p=217302?tl_inbound=1&tl_groups

Reading that, you would think by reading things were not that bad at all as the rate is lower than 2003.  BAME gang members are now completely out of control. Our politically correct world has been and still is very careful to not mention the ethnicity of any perpetrators of these types of crime; using the wide term ‘Asian’ men for the mass raping of under age girls in numerous British cities was done so ‘as to not upset community cohesion’ - not that there was much cohesion as shown by the three teachers in Batley still in hiding for their lives over a drawing!

But this is different because it is at the moment black on black crime yet still the ethnicity is hidden in the press.

The report here

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1490943/London-news-crime-machete-attack-tower-hamlets-gangs-latest-update

still manages not to mention the ethnicity and the police ask people ‘not to speculate.’ I don’t think they have to as this type of attack is now quite common in certain areas of London. What I believe from other reports in this case is the rival gang was Muslim; it is a Muslim area and the two groups are known to not have a lot of love for one another, so much for 'diversity is our strength', but that has and will not be mentioned either.

The problem is how do you stop it? The 'youth club and hugs' route a la Cameron is not likely to have any effect on youths who for what ever reason see no future and drugs and the selling of them give them more money than any average full time employment, that appeals to the largely uneducated members of these gangs as they can never see a better way to become wealthy, they have nothing else. That doesn’t excuse the moral vacuum that exists in these groups and the enormous absent father rate among them doesn’t exactly help either.

Numerous schemes have been tried in the past to reduce knife crime, all have failed; this latest initiative is sadly typical.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/knife-crime-reduction-trial-fails-to-result-in-a-single-court-action/ar-AAOCCKQ

The regular knife amnesties of the past have all resulted in pictures of large amounts of weapons handed in, result nothing: anyone can get a knife of any type with little trouble, most homes have a broad selection, so amnesties are pointless apart from being seen to be doing something, as are age requirements on buying a knife.

There are now dozens of videos like this on Youtube and other platforms, and some involve white gang members; the vast majority are however black or Asian/Muslim gangs.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9670723/Man-stabbed-machete-attack-south-London-dies-week-later.html

The fact these attacks are happening in high streets and in broad daylight should have one believe this would be a priority with the police, yet the police no longer patrol in the way we used to see and and only appear after or during these events and they are not immune themselves from these attacks.

Stop and search is considered by many minority organisations a violation of human rights and unfairly targets these ethnic groups, which would be funny if it were not the fact they are the ones carrying out these knife crimes; and there seems to be a void in thinking by the authorities on how to tackle the problem, normally after one of their own is attacked the strategy changes to a more forceful pro active approach, but not this time. What is being planned to stamp on this Mad Max world is anyone's guess yet the same police have no trouble in denouncing hurtful words on social media and threatening prosecution; as with so much else in this mad world our priorities have gone out of the window.

You would like to believe that machete gangs raging down hospital corridors would give a wake up call to the Met or any other force faced with this barbaric criminality but all is quiet; as the report by the junior doctor says, it will take the death  of a medical staff member for anything to happen, yet even that I doubt.

This is from a trust set up in Haringey and now serves a broader area, to fight against knife crime and other issues within the BAME communities. At least they recognise that the problem is mainly within BAME gangs and related to drugs, and once more community projects are sighted as a way forward to help the youths involved find other outlets for their ‘talents.’ They claim success, yet this piece is from 2018 and the knife crime statistics just keep rising!

https://jantrust.wordpress.com/2018/04/12/the-uks-violent-crime-epidemic-hits-bame-communities-hardest/

Another all-encompassing, well-meaning organisation trying to tie in all those disparate groups trying to make a difference falls at the first hurdle by again not mentioning who is creating the problem once in this over four minute video. Anyone from a another planet viewing this would assume it involves all of London's young males.

This year has seen a drop in the knife crime figures, that though is entirely due to the Coronavirus restrictions on movement and the reduction in opportunities to openly attack people. Now the restrictions have been lifted we will see if it is business as usual again.

What to do? It seems that this is one of those problems that at the coal face is not really solvable. I have no more ideas on how to stop knife crime than anyone else, even youth sentencing has no effect as misplaced allegiances to peer groups over rides all else, so for the time being feral mobs hunting down rival gang members on a high street near you seems to be likely to be with us for some time, unless the police start shooting them in large numbers.

The backdrop for all this violence is drugs. That also has been an unsolvable problem for decades, but the two run in tandem: without the drugs there would not be knife crime, certainly not on this scale; solve the first which is equally unlikely and the second will diminish.

In the meantime this now world wide problem which we have imported will simply carry on. Well-meaning do-gooders are wasting their time as the sums of money involved by those who profit from it all are enormous.

So despite all the above I fear little can be done. Crime, violence and drugs are  a world wide problem no one has managed to eliminate. In fact despite TV programs showing huge amounts of drugs seized there is no problem these days in getting anything you want: Operation This, Operation That, millions of pounds worth of drugs seized, it never stops the supply, as with those killed in the street wars there is always a ready replacement. Maybe Mayor Khan can’t do anything other than make sweeping statements, he’s good at that, it is a problem of our age. As far as the street violence is concerned, youths who can’t be bothered to get off their backside and work will turn to easy money and nothing these days is easier than drugs; a sea change in the mind set of these youths is all that will make a difference, but so many have tried and failed to create that. The lure of easy money when you have nothing to offer society and see no reason to bother creates a vicious circle that has been with us for decades, with drugs it has just become a much bigger problem.

Friday, September 24, 2021

FRIDAY MUSIC: Nicola Benedetti, by JD

"Nicola Benedetti is one of the most sought-after violinists of her generation. Her ability to captivate audiences with her innate musicianship and spirited presence, coupled with her wide appeal as a high-profile advocate for classical music, has made her one of the most influential classical artists of today.

Born in Scotland of Italian heritage, Nicola began violin lessons at the age of five with Brenda Smith. In 1997, she entered the Yehudi Menuhin School where she studied with Natasha Boyarskaya. Upon leaving, she continued her studies with Maciej Rakowski and then Pavel Vernikov."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicola_Benedetti
https://www.nicolabenedetti.co.uk/








Thursday, September 23, 2021

THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 23 September 1961

 At #6 this week, 'Michael Row The Boat' by The Highwaymen (and also at #7, by Lonnie Donegan!)



Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):

18 September: 'Dag Hammarskjöld, the Secretary-General of the United Nations was killed when his plane crashed while flying from Leopoldville in the Congo, to Ndola in Northern Rhodesia...
The sole survivor, U.N. Sgt. Harold Julien, was able to tell investigators that Hammarskjold ordered the pilot not to land at Ndola, and that there had been a series of explosions.' 
One theory, investigated in a UN report from 2019, is that the plane could have been shot down.

Image taken from Michigan Daily, 1961-09-19
Also 18 September: 'For the first time, troops from North Vietnam seized control of a provincial capital in South Vietnam, capturing Phuoc Vinh in a predawn attack, only 55 miles from Saigon. The ARVN recaptured the city the next day, but not before the Governor of the Phuoc Thanh province was publicly beheaded, along with the top military officers, and the government buildings burned.'


Flag of the West Indies Federation
19 September: 'Voters in Jamaica elected to withdraw from the West Indies Federation by a margin of 251,776 to 216,371. With Jamaicans comprising more than half (56%) of population and a majority of its income, the result was the end of the Federation, and, eventually, 12 independent nations.'


Image from a French account of the pirate station in Algiers, 'Radio France'
21 September: the OAS bombs the television station in Algiers just before President De Gaulle is about to broadcast; the rebel leader Raoul Salan then transmits 'a speech on the same frequency, taunting de Gaulle and calling for demonstrations against the separation of Algeria from French rule.'

UK chart hits, week ending 23 September 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint's labour-of love compilation https://www.sixtiescity.net/charts/61chart.htm

1

Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

Top Rank

2

Kon-Tiki

The Shadows

Columbia

3

Wild In The Country / I Feel So Bad

Elvis Presley

RCA

4

You Don't Know

Helen Shapiro

Columbia

5

Reach For The Stars / Climb Every Mountain

Shirley Bassey

Columbia

6

Michael Row The Boat

The Highwaymen

HMV

7

Michael Row The Boat / Lumbered

Lonnie Donegan

Pye

8

Jealousy

Billy Fury

Decca

9

Cupid

Sam Cooke

RCA

10

Get Lost

Eden Kane

Decca

11

Ain't Gonna Wash For A Week

The Brook Brothers

Pye

12

That's My Home

Acker Bilk

Columbia

13

Together

Connie Francis

MGM

14

Well I Ask You

Eden Kane

Decca

15

Hats Off To Larry

Del Shannon

London

16

You'll Answer To Me

Cleo Laine

Fontana

17

Romeo

Petula Clark

Pye

18

How Many Tears

Bobby Vee

London

19

Halfway To Paradise

Billy Fury

Decca

20

Sea Of Heartbreak

Don Gibson

RCA