Woke up, fell out of bed …

English football fans embrace continental cafe culture
English football fans embrace continental cafe culture

Reuters, Friday 10th Jun 2016
French police stepped in to break up small groups of English and Russian football fans who squared up and hurled taunts at one another in Marseille on Friday, ahead of the opening match of the Euro 2016 football tournament. TV footage showed one bare-chested supporter in the back of a police van and a handcuffed English supporter being frogmarched by two officers along the edge of Marseille’s old harbour.

WUFOOB Archive

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged , , ,

An attack on democracy and humanity

Jo Cox

A man who fatally attacked and shot Labour MP Jo Cox outside her constituency office reportedly shouted “Britain First”. The incident has occurred against a backdrop of an ugly public debate on the EU referendum.

Well, yes, it does matter what we’re for or against. But not this much.

Posted in Opinion Tagged , ,

Woke up, fell out of bed …

'Vindictive' David Cameron tries Brexit blackmail
‘Vindictive’ David Cameron tries Brexit blackmail

Daily Express, Monday 13th Jun 2016
David Cameron was accused of attempting to “blackmail” pensioners last night after claiming that retirement benefits could be slashed if Britain quits the EU.

WUFOOB Archive

Posted in Woke up, fell out of bed ... Tagged , , ,

Smelling the coffee

As a leading proponent of the Remain campaign, David Cameron should perhaps have left the UK to continue sleepwalking along the road towards full EU integration.

The reaction to his performance in the recent televised debate suggests people have started waking up. Hurling insults and abuse at those who have understandable reservations about the country’s inclusion in a federal Europe (dominated by Germany using non-military means), he has succeeded only in creating the perception that he lacks the judgment and comportment expected of a statesman. It cannot be right to insult people in this manner, people who are genuinely concerned about issues like freedom, democracy, accountability and sovereignty (some of them being ex-service personnel who fought for these principles in the Second World War).

Resorting to the use of pejorative terms such as “quitters” and “little Englanders”, Cameron has clearly demonstrated that he has exhausted his arguments. And he’s provided the sleepwalkers with lashings of strong, black coffee. I’d stop drinking it but I’m no quitter.

Posted in Opinion Tagged , , , ,

Woke up, fell out of bed …

Channel 4 slammed by watchdog for shameless plugging
Channel 4 slammed by watchdog for shameless plugging

BBC News, Monday 6th Jun 2016
Channel 4 breached regulations on product placement in an episode of its quiz show Countdown, media Ofcom watchdog has ruled. A complaint was received about the 21 March programme after host Nick Hewer referred to the Ideal Home Show “at Olympia… until 3 April”. Later, guest Mark Foster talked about being an ambassador for P&O Cruises, referring to activities on offer. Ofcom ruled that both references were “unduly prominent” and “promotional”.

WUFOOB Archive

Oh, and just in case you’re interested:

Click here to purchase the book from Amazon

Posted in Woke up, fell out of bed ... Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Rocking the boat

Last week, a refugee boat capsized off the Libya coast after passengers rushed to one side on spotting a rescue ship. At least five people died.

This tragedy could end up foreshadowing the demise of the European Union as it continues crossing turbulent waters en route to its destination of political union.

Free movement in a continent made up of disparate countries seeking utopian salvation at a time of social disintegration and economic fragility is just not a good idea. All the skilled labour migrates towards the stronger, more prosperous countries, forcing the weaker economies to suffer rapidly diminishing GDPs and increasing reliance on handouts from their richer neighbours, who, in turn, experience social disharmony and threats to their infrastructure.

In essence, everyone is rushing to the side of the ship and the consequences are going to be catastrophic. Frankly, I think the EU is heading for the rocks anyway, whatever the outcome of the UK referendum. Eurozone unemployment, a horrendous level of Greek and Italian debt and an uncontrolled immigration system – all good reasons to launch the lifeboat and start paddling for a better future outside the EU.

Posted in Opinion Tagged , ,


Once David Cameron claimed that a vote for Brexit would compromise Britain’s security, it was inevitable that a whole host of generals, admirals, air marshals and former intelligence chiefs would come out of the woodwork to reinforce his misgivings.

We should remind ourselves that there is no European Intelligence Service and that collaboration with other intelligence agencies may not be quite as advantageous as many claim. In that context, it’s worth remembering the role played by Germany’s BND intelligence service in the build-up to the Iraq War…

Click here for the full story.

Posted in Opinion Tagged , , ,

Woke up, fell out of bed …

EU makes net migration target 'impossible'
EU makes net migration target ‘impossible’

BBC News, Thursday 12th May 2016
Figures show 1.2m more EU migrants have got National Insurance numbers in the past five years than have shown up in immigration statistics. Boris Johnson has attacked the government’s pledge to cut net migration, saying ministers know it is “legally impossible” to achieve. The ex-London mayor said EU membership made it impossible to control immigration and criticised politicians who “promise that they can control it”. He said the government had “absolutely no control” over the numbers coming from the EU, adding: “What’s certainly not a good idea, politically, is for politicians to stand up year after year and tell the British people ‘we can cut immigration to tens of thousands’ when they know full well that that’s legally impossible.”

WUFOOB Archive

Posted in Woke up, fell out of bed ... Tagged , , , ,

Pouring petrol on the fire of corruption

David Cameron was caught on camera at Buckingham Palace telling the Queen that Nigeria and Afghanistan are “possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world”. A microphone picked up a conversation between himself, the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. “We’ve got some leaders of some fantastically corrupt countries coming to Britain,” the Prime Minister told them, referring to an anti-corruption summit he was due to host later.

To be fair, according to the latest Corruption Perceptions Index compiled by the Berlin-based organisation Transparency International, Nigeria features well outside the top ten most corrupt countries. The index, which includes 175 countries and territories, defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain and measures perceived public sector corruption worldwide. The scores range from 100 (squeaky clean) to zero (highly corrupt). A score of 50 is the number Transparency International considers the borderline figure distinguishing countries that do and do not have a serious corruption problem. In the 2014 survey, Nigeria scored 27. On the whole, it paints a fairly alarming picture. Not one single country got a perfect score and more than two-thirds scored below 50.

The ten most corrupt countries were identified as:

1 Somalia 8
North Korea 8
3 Sudan 11
4 Afghanistan 12
5 South Sudan 15
6 Iraq 16
7 Turkmenistan 17
8 Uzbekistan 18
Libya 18
Eritrea 18

Perhaps the most perturbing aspect of this is the fact that Mr Cameron’s government continues to distribute increasing amounts of aid to countries he admits are guilty of rampant corruption.

Somalia, for example, has received £583m in UK aid under David Cameron. The figure for Afghanistan is £955m. In total, the world’s ten most corrupt nations listed above have received £2.7 billion in British aid since he took office. Ministers insist they spend to support specific development projects and trusted charities, but there must be a huge risk of these funds being diverted into unauthorised accounts.

Posted in Opinion Tagged , , , , , ,

A catalogue of own goals

Everyone makes mistakes. And most mistakes are forgiven, provided the perpetrators have the courage to admit them. But in the words of the song, ‘sorry’ so often seems to be the hardest word.

A jury has found the 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster were unlawfully killed. In the course of the proceedings, a catalogue of police failings emerged that could result in criminal charges. It all begs the question – why has it proved so difficult for South Yorkshire Police to offer the families an unreserved, undiluted, unambiguous, full and frank apology for their failures before, during and after the disaster?

Perhaps they figure that they learn so much from their mistakes, they can’t wait to make another one. Barely was the ink dry on the inquest verdicts than Narpo (National Association of Retired Police Officers) released a statement congratulating colleagues for doing “a good job”. Rick Naylor, a Narpo member who was working at Hillsborough on the day, sent colleagues a message entitled ‘It was a bad day’. “Mistakes were made and we would all like to turn the clock back,” he wrote, adding that despite the failings found by the inquests “there were many examples of outstanding actions and selflessness by police officers on that tragic day as they did their best to deal with the disaster unfolding before them”. Adding that his colleagues had done well to remain dignified while “bile and hatred” was directed towards the force, which faced “immense challenges” in the 1980s.

I know the message was intended to be internal and was made public by accident, but the timing is so insensitive, it defies belief. Another catastrophic own goal.

David Crompton, the current Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police, was suspended on Wednesday amid continued anger over disproven claims that Liverpool fans were to blame for the deaths.

At the inquest, it was established that the supporters did not turn up late and that any late arrivals had no bearing whatsoever on the tragedy. Fans were told to turn up fifteen minutes before the game but the crush outside the turnstiles occurred thirty minutes before the game. This was a direct result of the insufficient number of turnstiles in operation for that section of the ground. Police chief David Duckenfield, however, immediately blamed the gate opening on the fans and, as a result, the police treated the incident as a crowd behaviour problem instead of a major medical emergency. Consequently, ambulances were prevented from entering the ground.

Barry Devonside, whose 18-year-old son, Christopher, died in the tragedy, said: “They didn’t do a good job. Yes, I saw police officers endeavouring to give mouth-to-mouth or CPR and those people were excellent. But the sad thing is they were only a few, maybe on two hands you could count them.”

During the subsequent attempts to cover-up their actions, South Yorkshire Police allowed narrow loyalties to prevail over their broader humanity and sense of propriety. Those involved should be thoroughly and unreservedly ashamed of themselves. The communities of South Yorkshire need a police force they can trust and respect, but this is not a time for the force to prioritise its wounded pride. Yes, eventually, energies must be focused on rebuilding morale, but before that can happen, the force will have to have the character to face the public and summon up the strength to say sorry.

It will take even more strength for the families of the victims to forgive them.

Click here for more about the Hillsborough Disaster.

Posted in Dark Mutterings, Opinion Tagged , , , , , ,