Skip to main content
While I try and avoid to much political comment on this website, there are times when I’m tempted to pop my head over the parapet. With the great Brighton fiesta now underway, I’m wondering if Britain, Kent or indeed Thanet has done any better under a Labour government than it might have done under the Conservatives, LibDems or even UKIP, I’m struck by Simon Jenkins’ column in the Sunday Times this morning where he writes:

“Labour conferences now resemble the last chapter of Animal Farm. Old Boxer has gone to the knacker’s. No one dares speak. Some animals are more equal than others. Napoleon is reading Tit-Bits and dressing his sow in watered silk. The ruling pigs are drinking with the old enemy, the humans. In truth they are indistinguishable.”

He continues, “The Labour party will this week cheer a government that in its name is privatising the National Health Service, public housing and, if it can, secondary education. It will cheer the fiscal regression of last week’s cringing U-turn on council tax revaluation. It will cheer parenting orders, internment without trial and curbs on free speech. Its MPs have for 2½, years acceded to an illegal foreign war in alliance with a right-wing American president.”

Perhaps I’m a ‘wishy washy’ liberal at heart but conscious of the example of Sir Thomas More in challenging the Reformation of Henry VIII, I’ve spent five years watching and protesting the dismantling of the freedoms that started with Magna Carta, survived Oliver Cromwell but apparently not Tony Blair. In my lifetime, being British, once implied a moral, educational and political courage that once made us the envy of the world but when George Orwell, satirising communism, wrote ‘Animal Farm,’ I wonder if he could have conceived of political correctness and a 21st century Britain under New Labour?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

A Matter of Drones - Simon Moores for The Guardian

I have a drone on my airfield” – a statement that welcomes passengers to the latest dimension in air-travel disruption. Words of despair from the chief operating officer of Gatwick airport in the busiest travel week of the year. Elsewhere, many thousands of stranded and inconvenienced passengers turned in frustration to social media in an expression of crowd-sourced outrage.

How could this happen? Why is it still happening over 12 hours after Gatwick’s runways were closed to aircraft, why is an intruder drone – or even two of them – suspended in the bright blue sky above the airport, apparently visible to security staff and police who remain quite unable to locate its source of radio control?

Meanwhile, the UK Civil Aviation Authority, overtaken by both the technology and events, is reduced to sending out desperate tweets warning that an airport incursion is a criminal offence and that drone users should follow their new code of conduct. Yet this is not an unforeseen event. It was i…

An Ockham of Gatwick

The 13th century theologian and philosopher, William of Ockham, who once lived in his small Surrey village, not so very far from what is today, the wide concrete expanse of Gatwick airport is a frequently referenced source of intellectual reason. His contribution to modern culture was Ockham’s Razor, which cautions us when problem solving, that “The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct;” sound advice which constantly proves to be true.

A week further-on since Britain’s second busiest airport was bought to a complete standstill by two or perhaps two hundred different drone sightings, it is perhaps time to revisit William of Ockham’s maxim, rather than be led astray by an increasingly bizarre narrative, one which has led Surrey police up several blind alleys with little or nothing in the way of measurable results.

 Exploring the possibilities with a little help in reasoning from our medieval friar, we appear to have a choice of two different account…