Kept In The Dark

Today a feedback comment on a British newspaper web site claimed that Austrians were so concerned about the migration situation that they were rushing to buy guns. But with so many false stories on the web Grandad thought that this was so unlikely as to be just another fake.

Cleggy1However a quick search, with the help of Google Translate, found – Austrians stocking up on weapons. The article goes on with – The wave of refugees has brought the arms dealers in the country record sales.  Austrians have always been one of the most armed countries in Europe. But now all the dams are broken. Over 70,000 more weapons were sold than in the same period last year. .. Tyrolean arms dealer Stefan Mair of Fulpmes confirms the sales boom, which has increased since the beginning of September- especially sales to women. (see Austria’s oe24 website for German original)

So the story is not the invention of some online troll – but rather a story being quoted direct from source. Worrying – especially when this is just one of many Euro stories not being reported here in the UK.

Unarmed Invasion

Today the BBC has been headlining a report on planned cuts to mobile (cell phone) roaming charges within the EU by 2017. The basic reporting angle being that this shows just how good the EU is for Britain – and to change the mind of anyone who is not a true believer in a European Union.

Merkel_200Meanwhile Frau Merkel’s statement that all migrants are welcome in Germany is still fueling ever-growing chaos – especially in the smaller EU nations to the south and east of the continent. At first the BBC – and much of the media – was keen to show the plight of refugees or the welcoming volunteers at railway stations. But once the scale of the potential migration issue sunk-in the reporting started to be scaled back.

Instead most of media now seem to be ignoring the unintended consequences of Frau Merkel’s unilateral open door policy. For example tonight’s main BBC TV news made no mention of the migration turmoil at all. But as more and more real world problems rear their ugly heads the media are going to be forced to change sooner or later. And some of these problems are really big problems. With thousands arriving every day how can any local council, school, hospital, housing trust or community possibly cope? And the lack of job opportunities for existing residents can only mean that thousands of those arriving will remain unemployed turning to criminality or violence – or both.

So even though the UK is not on the direct route from the Middle East / North Africa to Germany it will still feel the effects. It’s just that there will be a time delay for the full impact arrives. So we have a little more time to create the new towns / suburbs and their infrastructures that will be needed to cope. But considering that we were already trying unsuccessfully to fit in the 636,000 that arrived in the year up to March that seems unlikely. In fact if it was not for the 307,000 that left the situation here would already be out of control.

So as the Eurocrats attempt to disguise unpleasant truths by cheap promises an unarmed mass invasion is taking place. An invasion that is actually being helped by some politicians, charity workers and those professions / criminals that will make money out of the situation. Don’t forget that even Lord Byron and Karl Marx agreed that .. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Home From Home

Yesterday we had this headline in The IndependentBishops slam Cameron’s refugee crisis response and urge him to take in 50,000 Syrians. Leaving aside the fact that the Prime Minister cannot physically take in anyone – but some would say has taken in the whole electorate – their point is that Britain should provide more space for refugees. However none of the bishops seemed to have a plan for how that could be achieved on the temporal, rather than spiritual, plane.

In unrelated news last week we had the strong rumour that more British steel-making plants are expected to close soon. This story coming just weeks after the demise of the steel plant at Redcar. And for Redcar this meant that their main employer had gone bust with no prospect of being replaced. The town now seems certain to see an exodus of population, decline in trade and increase in state dependence. The obvious answer was to re-nationalise the plant and sell UK steel to UK businesses at a loss – assuming that cheap imports could not be banned. But that solution has already been dismissed out of hand by the Government.

Redcar_SEZSo rather than seeing this as two problems, one issue could turn out to be a solution to the other. In summary the plan is – make Redcar into a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), move out the remaining residents and move in the Syrian refugees. Clearly this would create objections from the local NIMBYs but since they are mainly English working-class they could be totally ignored. And all the Redcar properties / businesses would then be purchased – as they have been elsewhere to accommodate things like high-speed railways.

The practical advantages of this plan over spreading the Syrian arrivals around the country are obvious. First property prices in Redcar are low – one bedroom flats are on the market for as little as £29,000 even before these plans were announced. So every home could be purchased for much less than in most other areas, especially the South East. All the properties would then be set controlled, affordable rents.

Second keeping all the new arrivals together in one town would avoid the cost and delay of teaching everyone English – both the language and standards of behaviour. Just the local signage would need to be changed. A task that could provide a little local employment.

Third this SEZ status would mean that the steel works could be reopened and operated in the same way – with the same economics – as those in China. This would provide the UK with local steel at Chinese prices and without the delay of shipping halfway round the world.

Fourth the town already has the facilities that all new migrants need when they arrive anywhere – homes, shops, schools, hospitals, GPs, dentists, fire services, police, gas, electricity, water, sewage treatment, roads and even a railway. And with the existing, reduced Redcar population of around 36,000 moved elsewhere the new Redcar SEZ should be able to handle at least 40,000 incomers without overcrowding. Apparently many of the Syrians are already trained and qualified as teachers, doctors and such; so could readily fill the posts vacated. Of course the displaced Redcarians would need to housed somewhere else but they would be much easier to assimilate – having lived in the UK long enough not to need language training, etc.

AccountDoctor160So there we have it – that’s another two problems solved. True there are a few details that need to be tidied up and legislation passed. But Grandad cannot take all the glory and would happily let some politician claim credit for this master stoke.

With more steel-making cut-backs expected to be announced tomorrow it is likely that a second Special Economic Zone will also be needed as a solution for Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire. But this is not a problem. With a current population of around 72,000 a Scunthorpe SEZ would have the capacity to accommodate twice as many as Redcar. It could, therefore, cope with both natural growth and the expected arrival of the families / relatives of the initial wave of Syrian migrants over the next few years. Sorted.

A Whitehall Farce

It is now just a memory but during the 1950s and 60s Brian Rix was the actor-manager behind series of long-running comedy plays at the Whitehall Theatre in London. Their showing on BBC TV followed by movie versions made Whitehall Farces a popular British genre of the time. So in commemoration of this fine tradition we now launch the Whitehall Farce Awards for any long-running bungling ineptitude within Whitehall and its minions.

Brian_Rix_Farce1And the first nomination in the Political Confusion category is the proposed EU Referendum. This nomination excels in its category for a range of compelling reasons. First the single referendum question has had to be changed – the original one was deemed biased. Second the Leave campaign is supported by two separate groups – one backed by UKIP and the other including the only UKIP MP. And only one of them can be the official Leave group. Third the Stay campaign is also split – with the SNP refusing to be in the same group as the Conservatives. Fourth there is no agreed date for the vote; only that it will be held some time before the end of 2017. Fifth there is nothing to actually vote on – through the vagueness of our Prime Minister’s issues with the present EU agreement. Sixth EU members have demoted the British issues to the very end of their agendas given their reduced importance and a lack of any firm proposals.

In short the handling of the EU Referendum by Whitehall meets all the comedic requirements of a far-fetched fictional script – but in real life. For more details and opinions read …

Details of any further Whitehall Farce Award nominations will be reported as they emerge and the winner will be announced on 13 December 2015 at our glittering awards ceremony.

All Quiet On The Western Front

For the third Sunday in a row one of our European partners is having a general election. This time it is the turn of Portugal – another one of those countries bailed-out and still deeply in debt.

FlagPort1But here the economy is starting to recover and none of the EU big players feel under any threat from the possible results. In fact the voting is unlikely to make much impact on anyone except those politicians that are directly involved.

So it’s fine vintage ports and fat cigars all round in Brussels with nothing new to worry about. The Eurocrats can instead contemplate how best to promote Frau Merkel’s case for taking the next Nobel Peace Prize. But things don’t always go to plan …