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.