Sunday, 11 November 2012

Release Sgt Nightingale - The entire case is a travesty as well as an indictment of our current laws.

Sgt Danny Nightingale with his wife Sally on their wedding day and, right, on duty

This is the sort of petty, vindictive and entirely malign use of the law that happens when we have too much government. For that reason anyone with any sense should be supporting the release of Sgt Nightingale a decorated war hero. Oh and by the way he's a senior NCO with a premier Spec Ops unit - The British SAS.  Incredibly he has been jailed for over 18 months for the crime of keeping an unlicensed pistol n his married quarter. A further illustration of how plain stupid our gun laws are. Not only should any law abiding citizen be allowed to keep such a weapon  but a serving SAS soldier may have particular reason to! Enough said.  Please support the petition here.   His wife risks losing the family home as a consequence of this ill thought over-use of draconian law. Full text below from the DT: 

Sgt Danny Nightingale, a special forces sniper who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was sentenced to 18 months in military detention by a court martial last week.  His sentence was described last night as the “betrayal of a war hero”, made worse because it was handed down in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.
Sgt Nightingale had planned to fight the charge of illegally possessing the 9mm Glock. But his lawyer said he pleaded guilty after being warned that he could otherwise face a five-year sentence.

The soldier had hoped for leniency given the circumstances. At the court martial, even the prosecution described him as a serviceman of exemplary character, who had served his country for 17 years, 11 in the special forces.  The court was told that he returned to Britain in a hurry after two friends were killed in Iraq, leaving his equipment — including the pistol — to be packed up by colleagues.  It accepted evidence from expert witnesses that he suffered severe memory loss due to a brain injury.  Judge Advocate Alistair McGrigor, presiding over the court martial, could have spared the soldier prison by passing a suspended sentence. Instead he handed down the custodial term.

Sgt Nightingale and his family chose to waive the anonymity usually given to members of the special forces.
His wife, Sally, said her husband’s sentence was a “disgrace”. She called him a “hero who had been betrayed”. She said she and the couple’s two daughters, aged two and five, faced losing their home after his Army pay was stopped.  The soldier’s former commanding officer and politicians have called for the sentence to be overturned.  Lt Col Richard Williams, who won a Military Cross in Afghanistan in 2001 and was Sgt Nightingale’s commanding officer in Iraq, said the sentence “clearly needed to be overturned immediately”.  He said: “His military career has been ruined and his wife and children face being evicted from their home — this is a total betrayal of a man who dedicated his life to the service of his country.”
Patrick Mercer, the Conservative MP for Newark and a former infantry officer, said he planned to take up the case with the Defence Secretary. Simon McKay, Sgt Nightingale’s lawyer, said: “On Remembrance Sunday, when the nation remembers its war heroes, my client — one of their number — is in a prison cell.
"I consider the sentence to be excessive and the basis of the guilty plea unsafe. It is a gross miscarriage of justice and grounds of appeal are already being prepared.”

In 2007, Sgt Nightingale was serving in Iraq as a member of Task Force Black, a covert counter-terrorist unit that conducted operations under orders to capture and kill members of al-Qaeda.
He also helped train members of a secret counter-terrorist force called the Apostles. At the end of the training he was presented with the Glock, which he planned to donate to his regiment as a war trophy.
But in November 2007, two of Sgt Nightingale’s closest friends, Sgt John
Battersby and Cpl Lee Fitzsimmons, were killed in a helicopter crash. He accompanied both bodies back to Britain and helped arrange the funerals.  In Iraq, his equipment was packed by colleagues, one of whom placed the pistol inside a container that was sent first to the SAS regimental headquarters in Hereford, then to his home where it remained unopened until 2010.  In 2009, Sgt Nightingale, now a member of the SAS selection staff, took part in a 200-mile fund-raising trek in Brazil. He collapsed after 30 miles and fell into a coma for three days.

He recovered but his memory was severely damaged, according to two expert witnesses, including Prof Michael Kopleman of King’s College, London, an authority on memory loss.  In May, 2010, Sgt Nightingale was living in a house with another soldier close to the regiment’s headquarters when he was posted to Afghanistan at short notice.  During the tour, his housemate’s estranged wife claimed her husband had assaulted her and kept a stash of ammunition in the house. West Mercia Police raided the house and found the Glock, still in its container.  Sgt Nightingale’s court martial did not dispute that the pistol had been a gift. It accepted statements from expert witnesses, including Dr Susan Young, a forensic psychologist also from King’s College, London. She said that he probably had no recollection that he had the gun.
The court also accepted that Sgt Nightingale had suffered severe memory loss. But the judge did not believe that he had no recollection of being in possession of the weapon. 

Saturday, 20 October 2012

On this day 70 years ago..

93 yr old Peter Watsson pays his respects to fallen comrades
The theme of this post is just a quick tribute to World War Two veterans.  I know by entitling it 'on this day' etc. It looks like I've borrowed the idea from my friend Ted and that's because I have. I thought I would just add a quick article from the DT as it is now 70 years since the second battle of El Alamein. The DT have produced a good article penned by David Blair.  Just as the Allied forces were gathered for what was to be the 'end of the beginning' 70 years ago, now commemorations featuring some veterans are taking place. There is a tendency for El Alamein to be regarded as a mostly British victory in many circles. However the truth is it was an allied endeavour albeit one led and planned by the British. The victory would not have been possible without tanks and munitions form the US. Or large numbers of Commonwealth soldiers, or indeed the vastly overlooked contribution of these guys.  I would like to take this opportunity to express my admiration, respect and gratitude for all involved. Full text from David Blair below:

The Battle of El Alamein, which opened with a 1,000-gun artillery barrage on the night of Oct 23 1942, amounted to a turning point in the Second World War for the British Army.
In a 12-day offensive, the British Eighth Army under General Bernard Montgomery routed the German Afrika Korps, destroying about a third of its fighting strength and wrecking Hitler's hopes of capturing the Middle East.
Two soldiers belonging to the Commonwealth and Allied forces aim at a German soldier surrendering atop his tank 25 October 1942 as a sandstorm clouds the battlefield at El Alamein 
Perhaps most importantly, the Eighth Army renewed Britain's belief in final victory, shaken by the disasters at Dunkirk and Singapore.
Australian veterans attend the commemorations (Getty)
"El Alamein is seen on the home front as the greatest British victory since Waterloo," said Niall Barr, a reader in military history at King's College London, who has travelled to El Alamein for the anniversary.
"For the British people, who had experienced a run of defeats and suffering really from 1940 onwards, the final battle of El Alamein was a crucial sign that final victory was possible."

Members of the ceremonial Catafalque party stand together at the ceremony (Getty)
Winston Churchill seized the opportunity to lift the morale of the Home Front, driving home the message that Montgomery had fought the battle with "one single idea", namely to "destroy the armed force of the enemy and to destroy it at the place where the disaster would be most far-reaching and irrecoverable."
"Now, this is not the end," added Churchill. "It is not even the beginning of the end; but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

A member of the ceremonial Catafalque Party stands on the cenotaph (Getty)
On Saturday, the chosen setting for the destruction of General Erwin Rommel's desert army is a modern Egyptian town on the Mediterranean coast, about 70 miles west of Alexandria. Outside El Alamein lies a cemetery with 7,240 British and Commonwealth graves, where today's ceremony will take place.
After the passage of seven decades, this will probably be the last big commemoration. Perhaps a score of veterans from Australia, New Zealand and the Commonwealth will be present. But only one British veteran is expected to attend. 

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Classic Mrs T - The thing with Europe is...

I just had to post this clip as I love it, Mrs T at her best! She was no libertarian but she held true to principles of democracy, sovereignty and a strong nation state. Unlike any of the current shower who proceeded her. A real example of leadership. The only I would add is that just as Europe (from which I will always exclude Britain) will never support the US when it comes to the crunch. They display the same ambivalence towards Israel, for proof of that see here.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

The Irony of the BBC's Cover up' of allegations concerning Jimmy Saville is that the BBC has never failed to point the same finger at Christian Institutions

Janet Street Porter has claimed many at the BBC knew of allegations concerning Jimmy Saville
There is a certain Irony at work in the current appalling saga concerning the late Jimmy Saville. It now appears that the Metropolitan Police are going to investigate the BBC over allegations that they may have permitted (through omission of action) or even covered up the alleged criminality of Jimmy Saville.  As many of you will now know Jimmy Saville has been made the subject of allegations including rape and sexual abuse of young girls.  What is particularly disturbing is that according to some sources these matters were either known about and covered up by the BBC during the 1970's; or at the very least a culture existed at Broadcasting house that made such behaviour permissible.  The veteran broadcaster Janet Street-Porter indeed said as much on the BBC1 programme question time last Thursday night .  You can watch that programme in full on BBC iplayer or just look at the clip I have linked to.  The whole subject is deeply shocking and my thoughts are with the victims.  Jimmy Saville was an iconic figure during the 1980's with his show 'Jim'll Fix it' and whilst these matters are still currently allegations his reputation like that of Paul Gadd is in tatters and deservedly so. Indeed it would appear that both Saville and Gadd may have both abused children at the same time - sickening. There is a link to the media report for that here, the allegations are shocking

However there is a certain strong irony concerning this disturbing subject. It would appear that the BBC are now accused of possibly covering up for Saville in his criminality and therefore permitting such behaviour.  Now the BBC have never been shy to dine out on similar allegations concerning for instance the Catholic Church.  Indeed many commentators have accused our state broadcaster of being biased against Christianity.  Indeed the BBC never failed either in it's reportage or in it's dramas to mock and belittle Christianity as well as dining out extensively on the abuse issue.  Yet that is hypocrisy writ large if these current allegations are true, the BBC are rotten. I will say again that my thoughts are with the victims, I just hope that the BBC will now subject itself to the same standard of critical enquiry that it has previously reserved solely for Christians.  This post may be seen as having little to do with libertarianism, but if we can dispense with another morally redundant tax payer funded institution I'm game. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Interesting piece on BBC Radio Four about Britain's Gun Laws

This is a great little slot on BBC Radio Four, it consists of an interview with a former sports shooter from Shropshire.  The man provides an excellent critique of the ridiculous, dangerous and authoritarian laws we have been left with in England and Wales concerning guns. His pain when he describes how he had to hand in his firearms post the 1997 is particularly heartfelt, link is here please listen to this programme.  The only thing I would have added is it needs to be stressed how gun crime in Britain increased AFTER the handgun ban of 1997. P.S I'm dying for some pro-gun control authoritarian type to come on here and dispute my arguments it has never happened. Please comment below.
Good job only the Government has these things eh? Did you know in the UK you had a Constitutional right to keep one for self-defence?

Saturday, 4 August 2012

RIP Sir John Keegan

Sad to hear that the great military historian Sir John Keegan has passed away. I strongly recommend his work on Normandy in particular.  Full text from the DT below written by General Sir David Richards: 

As a professor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Sir John Keegan shaped a generation of young Army officers with his intellectual insights and historical perspective. As defence editor of The Daily Telegraph, he kept the generals and politicians in line with trenchant criticism and carefully judged observations. His death marks a sad moment for those of us who knew him, but an opportunity to remember a man whose influence on British defence policy was long and measured.
Sir John’s works unfailingly took the part of the soldier in battle, bringing a perspective so often overlooked by those with a more political interest. Those of us who were commissioned in the Seventies remember well his first major work, The Face of Battle (1976), which brought the perspective of the archer at Agincourt, the rifleman at Waterloo and the Tommy at the Somme to young officers preparing for what could have been the next European war. It was sobering for those of us who had not experienced battle and it played a major part in our training.
His later works built on this formidable tome and he shaped the way we thought about battle and the nature of military power. His contribution to explaining the Falklands conflict to a dubious and often defeatist London journalistic community should not be underestimated.
Victory in no way seemed assured and many thought the idea of sending a Task Force was a vainglorious relic of empire. Sir John saw it for what it was: a courageous, risky, but ultimately achievable operation that had to succeed, and he devoted a huge amount of effort to convincing others of this. It helped turn the doubting intellectual milieu into a supportive community.
That ability to shape the debate by bringing specialist knowledge to the lay reader was fundamental to his success. As conscription ended and fewer people had direct experience of military life, it was vital to ensuring that people understood what the Armed Forces were for.
As his more than 20 years on the Telegraph demonstrate, Sir John’s articles and comments contributed to the national debate with an energy and understanding that few could match. Though his views were not always shared by those of us struggling to balance the competing pressures that modern generalship demands, he was an honest critic and had that most useful of all journalistic assets: an ability to make us think again.
His work at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is also worth remembering. This is a hugely impressive organisation with a global mandate, and requires people with the vision, sensitivity and understanding of Sir John to ensure that it endures.
I know his contribution to that, and so many other walks of life, will be greatly missed. Despite a childhood sickness that prevented him from putting on a uniform, he was very much one of us.
General Sir David Richards is Chief of the Defence Staff

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Postcard from Afghanistan

Postcard from Afgahnistan.
Dear Mr Cameron wish you were here.
Regards A. Soldier.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Gun Control is a Myth in the UK

Brilliant video that quite adequately shows the total failure of so called 'gun control' laws in the blog. As I have said repeatedly the laws don’t work and all firearms laws passed after 1968 at least should be repealed. Or would you rather continue to live with only the state and criminals being armed? Please discuss below.

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Islamist's Solution to the 'Grooming' of non-Muslim girls for sexual exploitation by Muslim Gangs

Mohammad Shafiq of the Ramadhan
foundation has faced death threats after calling for members
of his community to face up to the issues involved.
Last month saw the conviction of a gang of sex offenders in Liverpool Crown Court.  What was notable (although not unusual) about this gang was that they were British Muslims, respected members of their community and they targeted white, non-Muslim girls for rape and enforced prostitution.  Some of the victims were as young as 11, all were from disadvantaged backgrounds and many were in care homes from which they were picked up.  Others were more or less 'street kids' children who were unsupervised and often emotionally insecure thus easy prey for such exploitation.  This trial has led to a diverse range of reactions across communities and the political spectrum.  The reaction amongst British Muslims has been mixed also, many such as MPACUK are in flat denial of the issue, a sad reaction but that is the same organisation that believes the CIA are responsible for Al Qaeda.  However many other Muslims are proving to be both shocked and willing to question some of the aspects of the culture of British Muslims they may lead to such criminality.  This is welcome and Mohammad Shafiq of the Ramadhan foundation is worthy of praise for his bravery on this issue.     One group of people that emerge with no credit at all are the police.  GMP knew of this issue since at least 2002 when one of the victims reported the matter to them, they did nothing.  It has been speculated that this was out of political correctness or a belief that the girl concerned was an unreliable witness.  After the girl reported the matter and was ignored the crimes which may have involved as many as 49 perpetrators continued.  The Greater Manchester Police do not emerge with much creditability from this sorry episode, their management should be ashamed and IMHO subject to proceedings. 

But what is the reaction from radical Muslims (Islamists) and why is this important?  Well for one thing their opinions carry much weight among young Muslims in particular.  Therefore their reaction is worth noting, plus a superficial reading of their views is easily accepted amongst many Muslims who see them as a means of providing a solution to this and other matters.

The time is due for a look at what a former (and likely still active) member of Hizb Ut Tahir has to say. Yamin Zakaria is such a man.  He points out simply enough that :

1. Islam is a solution to this matter, not a factor.
2. Liberalism is the cause as the girls were wearing revealing clothing and out late at night unsupervised (i.e. It was their fault).  Plus liberalism encourages fornification (so it cannot possibly have been the fault of the gang that raped them repeatedly and prostituted them to others).
3.  The girls were not raped, they consented.
4.  In any case an Islamic court would stamp such behaviour out (that of the gang members) as rape would be severely punished in an Islamic court.  Look at the bog entry by Zakaria for these views and see how they chime with and receive praise from some British Muslims.  Now only the latter point is worth debating of course the rest is a seedy apologia for rape and violence.  So finally lets very quickly see how in fact an Islamic system might have tried such a matter.

1.  The first problem is that actually in Sharia law for a rape conviction to be secured it requires four male witnesses. If these witnesses cannot be produced there is no conviction and the victim faces prosecution for fornification, some brave women's groups in Pakistan have highlighted this.  I have commented on this issue on my blog before with a similar case from Saudi Arabia.  

2.  In an Islamic system, a non-Muslim's testimony is half that of a Muslims.  Therefore if one Muslim says something only the weight of two non-Muslims at least can counteract it. Therefore these victims being both female and non-Muslims really stand no chance at all under the abysmal utopia propagated by Zakaria.

Because of the above and not in spite of it therefore there is in fact a tendency in many Islamic countries for the non-Muslim communities to be targeted for rape and other crimes by Islamic criminals who now that the courts are unlikely to punish them for it.  In fact the authorities too frequently do nothing about it and even persecute the Christians who report it.    

I would like to again add my praise to the brave Muslims who have spoken out against the crimes as they have occurred in Rochdale and other places.  I would also urge caution against anyone who is foolish enough to believe that Islamic law may in itself prove a solution.  Those who do just read the above again although I am probably wasting my time on you.  Finally lets all feel sorry for the child victims of this sorry business

Monday, 28 May 2012

The 2020 Tax Commission by the UK Taxpayer's Alliance

Some interesting points contained in this report from the Taxpayers Alliance.  The Taxpayers Alliance has interested me for quite some time with their excellent common sense viewpoints on matters such as the EU.  Now they have released some common sense proposals for reducing the size of the state and simplifying the tax system.  All great libertarian ideas that are bound to annoy socialists.  Please check them and their report out.  Personally I consider it very easy to understand why it is obvious that if you reduce taxation you actually get growth.  However that does not mean that the powers that be will see it that way.  Needless to say the left will be against this but then they never have anything sensible or un-dogmatic to contribute in any case.  A sort of 'ooh prosperity is wrong' type of knee-jerk reaction to things.  I will bring more from the Taxpayer's Alliance I like them.     I blogged about the failure of the big state here.  Next I will write about the flawed notion of the Irish nation State as Ireland teeters towards fiscal Union with the EU.  It is more than a bit interesting that on this matter I find myself agreeing with this chap!  More to come folks.   

Friday, 16 March 2012

Pamela Geller debating Gun Control

 The gun laws in the UK do not work.

Note how Pamela's opponent seems to favor Statism at the expense of individual autonomy (not to mention actual safety IMHO).  As I have said before after the UK introduced harsher gun control laws (moral panic) the actual incidences of gun crime increased! Please join the debate below I say the current laws are oppressive, ill thought out and anti-libertarian they should be repealed.  

Sunday, 26 February 2012

A Legend has passed - Frank Carson RIP

Very sad news this the passing of a real great man and a credit to all Belfast folk.  Frank Carson passed away peacefully last week and I'd like to pass my condolences on to his family and friends.  I actually met Frank on the Antrim Road as a young soldier manning a VCP many years ago.  He made us all laugh before driving off he was like that in essence, a friend to everyone and a truly positive figure to emerge from a city that has sadly seen more grief than joy in it's recent past.  RIP Frank you were a cracker, text from BBC below.

The Belfast-born comedian Frank Carson has died.  He was 85 and had been seriously ill for a number of months.  He will be remembered not only for his career in show business but also for his charity work, which earned him an honorary title from Pope John Paul II.  Frank Carson never lost touch with his roots in the Great Patrick Street area near Belfast city centre, where he was born in 1926.  He had a varied career as an electrician, a plasterer and then in the Parachute Regiment at a time when he says jobs in Belfast for Catholics were scarce.  His big opportunity came in the 1960s when he won ITV's Opportunity Knocks talent show, and the comedy career which followed brought him fame and wealth.

Mayor of Balbriggan

He moved his family from the New Lodge Road to Liverpool in 1969 and later set up home in Blackpool.
He also spent some time in Balbriggan near Dublin where he was mayor.  The comedian John Linehan, better known as May McFettridge, said, as a Belfast comic who made it to British stages and network television, he led the way for others.  "He put the landmark down for the Belfast comedians who followed him to England," he said.  "He was a massive plus for Belfast, a class act. He was the top, number one."
Frank Carson appeared all over the world and said his aim was to be loved as a performer by all sides of the community and people of all politics.

Award from Pope

He dabbled in politics at one stage and became a member of UKIP, the UK Independence Party.
One of his proudest achievements was an award from the Vatican: becoming a Knight of St Gregory for his charity work.  A major cause was the integrated education fund. Baroness May Blood said he generously helped many charities.  "We really will miss Frank. He was always there for us," she said.
"If we had a new idea and he could help us financially or by opening a door, he was there."

Frank Carson had suffered serious illness since 2009, but kept active until a few months ago.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth, three children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
It is understood he will be buried in Belfast from the city centre church where he was married.