Tag Archives: Politics

Diane Abbott, Emily Thornberry…..Two reasons to vote for……..well…..ANYONE else!!!

Here are a few snippets which confirm what have always been my biggest fears about politicians – Incompetence, xenophobia, racial bigotry and the triumph of bullshit over substance. These two lovelies are among the finest exponents. This is a must watch video:

(Conservatives and Libdems to follow!!)

 

(With thanks to Politics UK – you NAUGHTY people!)

The Kraken Wakes.

georgia.gifThe Kraken. According to ancient stories, this huge many-armed creature looked like an island when motionless and could reach as high as the top of a sailing ship’s main mast with its arms deployed.  When the Kraken attacked a ship, it wrapped its arms around the hull and capsised it. The crew would drown or be eaten by the monster.

………………….

Occasionally, we Europeans look at Africa and its constant political flux and we shake our heads. We mutter about the conflicts between tribal culture and political expediency and how impossible it is to overlay a stable democratic system over an ancient tribal mentality.

We forget the similarity between those African mud huts and the wooden shacks of what used to be the USSR. The ethnic stirrings within Georgia remind us that tribal identity and tribal belonging – our ancestral herding instincts – are far from extinct.

This week, the news networks have been dominated by harrowing scenes of civilian suffering in the ongoing Russo-Georgian conflict over the separatist region of South Ossetia.

There are shades of the Sudetenland crisis in 1938, when Hitler, on the pretext of defending a ‘persecuted’ German minority in that region of Czechoslovakia, was appeased and allowed to annex it.  Six months later, he had conquered the entire country.

Russia is seeking Anschluss of  Russocentric regions in its former Soviet empire.   

While anxious that Russia must not be appeased (for a change, George Bush is right in having sent an uncompromising Condoleezza Rice to state the West’s views), one can sympathise with nationalities seeking to go their own way in an historic homeland.

Even so, the merits of their independence bids are not universally clear to those without a knowledge of the history of the South Ossettian and Abkhazian conflicts which have led to two  Russian puppet-states on internationally-recognised Georgian soil.

In Abkhazia, prior to the 1992-1994 war, the majority of the population was Georgian.

Now, Abkhazia seems undeserving of independence, given that its pro-independence demographic is a result of the ethnic-cleansing of Georgians.

Nowadays, the Abkhaz people, (who were never a majority in the region) are the largest ethnic-group.

The 1989 census said that the Abhkaz were 18% of the population, whereas now, according to the 2003 census, they are closer to 40% .

Around 190,000 ethnic-Georgians were expelled and 15,000 massacred by Abkhaz pro-Moscow militias and  Russian troops.

The Sukhumi Massacre of September 27th 1993 was a gruesome atrocity against the ethnic-Georgians.

The late Russian journalist Dmitry Kholodov (assassinated in a suspected contract-killing for investigating corruption in the Russian military) , witnessed the massacre and reported the following:

“They captured a young girl. She was hiding in the bushes near the house where they killed her parents. She was raped several times. One of the soldiers killed her and mutilated her. She was cut in half. Near her body they left a message: as this corpse will never be as one piece, Abkhazia and Georgia will never be united either.”

The Abkhazans  could not have driven the Georgians out without massive military aid from Moscow, which certainly connived to help the separatists. In 1992, it negotiated ceasefires in Sukhumi and Gagra. 

The  Georgian troops were promised an end to the shelling of the cities if they left. In fact the cities were stormed by the separatists. Thousands of Georgians were butchered in the ensuing massacre, some of them, ironically, by Chechen militia led by Shamil Basayev who later masterminded the Beslan massacre.   

So to grant Abkhazia international recognition as an independent state would be to reward ethnic-cleansing and should be unacceptable to the international community.

The Georgian refugees expelled in the 1990’s must be allowed return and then perhaps take part in a referendum on independence.

The existing “YES” votes on independence cannot stand, considering their basis in ethnic-cleansing and their non-recognition by the international community.   

Abkhazia’s place in Georgia dates back to the ancient kingdom of Colchis.   Subsequently, there was an independent kingdom of Abkhazia, which nonetheless may have been primarily ethnic-Georgian anyway, judging by the names of its kings. Abkhazia was later reunited with Georgia by marriage.

In South Ossetia, the Ossetians have been a majority since at least 1926, with a 26% Georgian minority prior to the current conflict. But the Georgian claim to the territory is legitimate in moral terms because they were there first.

The Ossetians migrated to South Ossetia in the 1300’s following expulsion from parts of European Russia by the Mongols.

North Ossetia, which is a Russian republic has 10 times the Ossetian population, and as such the Ossetians already have a homeland (considering they don’t want independence and have always been remarkably loyal to Russia).

According to Human Rights Watch, there is evidence that pro-Russian militia are ethnic-cleansing Georgian villages. Russian troops have been pouring into the region ever since the Bucharest NATO summit that refused to give Georgia and Ukraine a date for admission to the alliance.

The Russians have continued the intermittent bombing of parts of Georgia in an  attempt to provoke Tbilisi. Now Russia has the excuse it needs to meddle in Georgian affairs with something approaching an occupation.

As with Abkhazia, the old pattern of ethnic-cleansing, destruction and looting of ethnic-Georgian villages in South Ossetia seems to be repeating itself.

Human Rights Watch claims that it witnessed the destruction of the four Georgian villages of Kekhvi, Nizhnie Achaveti, Verkhnie Achaveti and Tamarasheni.

The Russians keep a high-profile as they Blitzkrieg through the country. Consequently, observers do not see what is happening a few miles behind the Russian line. THAT is where the butchery and destruction are taking place.

In the village of Nizhnie Achaveti, Human Rights Watch researchers spoke to an elderly man who was desperately trying to rescue his smoldering house using two half-empty buckets of dirty water brought from a spring. He said that the vast majority of residents, including his family, fled the village when fighting broke out between Georgian forces and South Ossetian militias  on August 8th  but he then decided to stay to look after the cattle.

He said members of the South Ossetian militia came to his house on August 11, and tried to take away some household items. When he protested, they torched the house and left. The man said he had no food or drinking water. His hands were burned and hair was singed  and he appeared to be in a state of shock. He said that there were   five to ten elderly and sick people left in the village, all in a similar desperate condition. Many of the houses had been destroyed.

Russian influence in the region has been the real winner.   

The crucial Baku-Ceyhan-Tblisi oil pipeline, owned by BP and carrying 1 million barrels worth of oil a day from Azerbaijan to Turkey (before it was temporarily put out of action by a terrorist attack in Turkey)  now risks falling into Russian  hands. The pipeline, more commonly referred-to as the BTC pipeline runs from Baku 443km through Azerbaijan, 249km through Georgia and 1,076km through Turkey to the Ceyhan Marine Terminal.

Russia has always been at its most dangerous when it has felt powerful.  Currently, it feels powerful because of its substantial oil and gas reserves.

A crucial part of exerting leverage on Russia is to develop pipelines which bypass the country. Without Georgia, this strategy is dealt a crushing blow.

We must not be naive enough to believe the Russians on their ‘humanitarian’ motives for intervention. We remember the lack of concern by the Kremlin for Chechnya’s right to self-determination and its destruction of Grozny.

What about the Sarkozy Peace Plan and the curious refusal by Russia  to agree to an amendment to Point 4 (on humanitarian agencies’ access to the region) that would have guaranteed the right of return of refugees to their homes?

Today in South Ossetia, the ethnic cleansing of villages continues. They have been told that Putin had ordered them to be expelled or killed.

Does this not show that Russia is motivated  by territorial ambition and NOT by humanitarianism and concern for the self-determination of small nations?

For several years, Russian strategy has been to  stoke the separatist conflicts in its former Soviet republics. Why?

In order to frustrate them from NATO membership and from forging closer links to the West.

There is a long way to go.

Click here for a look at ALL the Russian Tribes.

Glasgow by-election

curran2.jpg 

“Bollocks.”

Margaret Curran was beaten by 365 votes.  Coincidence?  Yes, I think it was.

Here are the full results:

John Mason(SNP): 11,277 votes (43%) Majority: 365

Margaret Curran(Labour): 10,912 (41.6%)

Davena Rankin (Conservative): 1,639 (6.3%)

Ian Robertson(Liberal Democrat): 915 (3.5%)

Others: 876 (3.3%)

The turnout was a respectable 42.25% .

One gets the feeling that the electorate was trying to make a point.

Davena Rankin, the Conservative candidate harvested over 1500 votes. That result is not to be underestimated because let’s face it – most Glaswegians would rather vote for a deep-fried dog’s testicle than elect a  Conservative.

There are several downsides to this result.

The obvious one is that Ms Curran is a victim of the current Labour Government’s dithering and incompetent “oke coke” style of government. She campaigned well and during her campaign was relying on local initiatives and policies.

This result has yet again proved that politicians’ promises, policies and crystal ball gazing are no longer of any interest to the electorate. The “swing” voters rely on their perception of the Government and its leader.

We have already had the obligatory statement from David Cairns, the Scottish Office minister who said: “The Prime Minister’s fate does not hang on any one by-election… I think Gordon Brown will continue to be leader of the Labour Party and will lead us into the next election.”  Cairns made that statement just BEFORE the result was announced.

Perhaps Cairns knows something that we do not. For instance, has Gordon Brown has had the locks changed at No 10 ? 

The other downside to this result is that Alex (McGargoyle) Salmond’s smug grin will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

At least the Labour Party is consistent in its by-now regular achievement of double-figure swings against them. This one was a 24%-er in a rabidly Labour area. Nice one. Edward Timpson only managed a 17.6% swing to the Conservatives in Crewe and Nantwich.

Is that what Transport House  calls “progress” these days?

Spygun wishes Gordon Brown and his family a pleasant holiday and suggests that Gordon takes his Latin Reader to the beach so that he can practice phrases such as ” Et tu, Jack?”

Oil be damned!!

oil-tank.jpg“All species expand as much as resources allow and predators, parasites, and physical conditions permit. When a species is introduced into a new habitat with abundant resources that accumulated before its arrival, the population expands rapidly until all the resources are used up.”
– David Price, Energy and Human Evolution

Then they die.

It has been demonstrated on numerous occasions that all species suffer population collapse or species extinction if they overshoot and degrade the carrying capacityof their ecology.

For instance, in 1944, 29 reindeer were brought to St Matthew Island . Initially there were abundant food sources and the reindeer population increased dramatically. There were no predators to cull the population.

About 20 years after they were first introduced, the reindeer had overshot the food carrying capacity of the island, and there was a sudden, massive die-off.  About 99% of the reindeer died of starvation.

The human race has its own St Matthew Island – it is called Earth. We have no predators to keep our population is check, so we self-regulate in a very limited way by occasionally carrying out our own culls through the self-designed joint mediums of war and disease.

The reindeer on St Matthew Island ran out of food – and although we are also running out of food, it is oil and gas that we regard as our most precious resource. Just like the reindeer which died after munching their way through the very last bits of moss, we are about to pump and burn our way through the last droplet of oil and final whiff of gas .

The reindeer of St Matthew island will have ended their days scratching  at the earth looking for moss in places where they had never looked before. No doubt they would have found scraps which kept them going for another few days.

When a commodity has a high-enough value, it is worth looking for it in places where you possibly would not have bothered when there was lots of it available.

—————–

THE ANTARCTIC OIL

Two years ago, Ali Bakhtiari, a former senior adviser for the National Iranian Oil Company, said at a meeting of international Antarctic specialists in Hobart that pressure to drill in Antarctica could soon become irresistible – and  he was right.

“I hope it will not happen because that would create enormous difficulties, but when you have the enormous price increase that I can foresee governments and companies will want to find oil anywhere,” he said in 2006.

“There is now only one frontier province left and that is Antarctica,” he was quoted as saying by Australia’s national news agency AAP.

Bakhtiari predicted the world’s oil production rate would peak at 81 million barrels per day and decline to roughly 55 million barrels per day by 2020, pitching oil prices to “stratospheric levels“.

Even two years ago , he could not have foreseen the damage that a combination of supply (OPEC’s intransigence, Nigeria’s instability and America’s untidy foreign policy),  speculation (George Soros and his troupe of keyboard-bashing monkeys)  and demand (India, China),  could do to the current (2008) price of oil.

In 7 or 8 years about one-third of the world’s remaining oil supply will be gone and the “stratospheric” price of oil and gas will probably cause a world recession on such a scale as to endanger our lives. Hopefully that will signal the wake-up call that stops us all being so parochial and we develop a concept of cross-border responsibility which is not driven by charity and the West’s brand of one-sided economics, waste and ugly self-interest.

Seven countries have made territorial claims in Antarctica, but not all countries recognize these claims. No change there !

The 1961 Antarctic Treaty established the legal framework for the management of Antarctica and has 28 decision-making members, including the seven that claim portions of the continent. Imagine Antarctica as a large cake with seven  greedy schoolboys gathered round it – who will get the biggest piece?

The Magnificent Seven  are Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and Britain.

The United States and Russia have reserved the right to make claims and the US does not recognize the claims of others. The playground bullies know that no-one will dare reach for a slice of cake until they have given permission!

Antarctica is protected from mineral exploration under the Madrid Protocol, which bans mining, but the prohibition can be changed at any time if all 28 signatory countries agree.

We can look forward to lots of countries sticking lots of flags  in the snow. That will be followed by lots of flags being kicked over and moved and more meetings.

THE ARCTIC OIL

Currently, it looks as if both the top and bottom of the earth are about to be plundered because an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered but technically recoverable oil — three years of world consumption — lie north of the Arctic Circle, the U.S. Geological Survey reported this week.

While the oil, along with vast quantities of natural gas, will be extremely difficult to extract, the promise is enough to make the frozen north the new — and maybe last — frontier for world energy producers.

According to geology and probability, undiscovered oil and gas are thought to be present . If they’re further confirmed, they will become  reserves and (hopefully) some of OPEC’s smugness will fade.

Currently, the five nations that border the Arctic — the United States, Russia, Denmark, Canada and Norway — all have their eyes on what geologists say is about a quarter of the world’s undiscovered but technically recoverable oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids.

According to the new survey, the Arctic Alaskan Province, which includes offshore seabeds, has the greatest potential for undiscovered oil  – an estimated 30 billion barrels.

Mark Myers, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey, said he hoped that the new estimates would contribute to future energy decisions.

“Before we can make decisions about our future use of oil and gas and related decisions about protecting endangered species, native communities and the health of our planet, we need to know what’s out there,” he said in a statement. They always say stuff like that just before digging holes.

Look out elks and Inuits.

Geologist Donald Gautier, who led the study, added, In our judgment, the Arctic Alaska Province is the most obvious place to look for oil north of the Arctic Circle right now.”

While Arctic Alaska has the greatest undiscovered energy potential, other big stocks are thought to lie in the Amerasia Basin north of the two continents and also east of Greenland.

The West Siberian Basin contained the most undiscovered natural gas, with 651 trillion cubic feet, followed by the East Barents Basins, with 318 trillion cubic feet, and Arctic Alaska, with 221 trillion cubic feet.

The geological survey didn’t consider the cost of recovery, but will publish an economic analysis of likely costs next year, said Brenda Pierce, the coordinator of the agency’s Energy Resources Programme.

Energy companies have already identified more than 400 oil and gas fields north of the Arctic Circle. High energy prices and global warming are making the forbidding region more inviting than ever.

The next ten years-or-so will prove challenging.  There will be reports, commissions, meetings, summits, signatures and threats.

That will be followed by the USA declaring a “war on ice” and attempting to take what it needs.

China will then look up from its workbench, flex its muscles, crack its knuckles and then we’ll all find out if that bloke who predicted Armageddon was right.

The one-horse race loser.

cameron-davis.jpg

“Davis, that’s twice that you’ve pissed on my shoes. It won’t happen again.”

David Davis, the ex-Shadow Home Secretary has just consigned himself to that pile of broken dreams and unfulfilled ambitions that is the political scrapheap – and he went there of his own free will!!

Dave Cameron, being the nice guy that he undoubtedly is, gave Davis a job. One presumes that he did it on the old Mafia basis of keeping your friends close but your enemies even closer.

Davis is a pretend toff who may have (almost) acquired the accent, the grooming and all that stuff but really, he is in a group of one. You can tell that from the self-inflicted love bites.

David Cameron is undoubtedly a good manager and if there is one thing that a good manager dislikes it is surprise. Most leaders operate a “no surprises” regime. The surprise that Deluded Davis has presented suggests several things: Vanity, Ambition, a Hidden Agenda and the inability to be a Team Player.

Those were all good Conservative attributes about 20 years ago but nowadays the Party knows that in order to survive and prosper, it has to behave as a single organism or shoal with just one big fish swimming at the front.

Those that desert the shoal invariably perish.

Davis looks like a spud in a Savile Row suit – not quite right. The shoaling instinct among proper toffs is very strong. They can sense a “wrong ‘un” at fifty paces and will occasionally tolerate an outsider but Toffdom is situated well above a triple-glazed toughened glass ceiling.

Davis has already had one go at penetrating the impenetrable. This current (and last) attempt will finish him. The sad fact is that we don’t give a shit about what he thinks or what his principles are.

The rambling statement that he read from a flapping sheet of A4 sounded as if it had been hastily contrived by a first-year student  watching Question Time after too many ciders. Of course, the big bonus for us was that we had the treat of  hearing Deluded Davis reading out his own suicide note. Pure showbiz!!

As he put his hands around his own neck and began to squeeze, he referred to the ‘slow strangulation of fundamental freedoms by this government’.

He should wake up (if he can)  and smell the Frappuccino. The Tories are going to win the 2010 election. Any laws that are  either too onerous or unworkable can be repealed. As Home Secretary. he could have been the man to reverse the slow strangulation.

Directorships, chairmanships of meaningless enquiries and possibly Brussells are already beckoning. That is the Valhalla for political losers.

That well-known funster Kelvin “I am so controversial” MacKenzie will be standing against Davis. All that we need to complete the full set is Coco the Clown and a loose-wheeled wagon.