When will the Germans ever learn. Twice in the 20th century we had to teach them that bullying other countries was just 'not on' and here they go again. Now they are the big 'I am' of Europe they think once again they can throw their weight around and tell everyone what to do. Well not us Mrs Merkel.
You would have thought that a day or two reading the history of the last century would have taught her that threats and bombast have the opposite effect on British people than is intended. If instead of being aggressive Merkel and her chums had used soft words and conciliatory phrases plus an little bit of flattery they would have got a very different reaction from the British people. But the more they bully and bluster the more our hackles rise and the more we dig our heals in as the Kaiser and Her Hitler both discovered to their cost.
Sadly UKIP -at the moment - is in disarray. It has won the WAR - namely getting a referendum and then winning it - but seems currently to be running around like a headless chicken without direction. So here is what it should do
Firstly announce that it will only field candidates in those constituencies where the Conservative candidate is either a 'remainer' or a 'soft' Brexiter. It would be stupidity itself to put up candidates against proven 'hard' Brexit conservatives.
Secondly it should put forth a populist anti 'metropolitan elite 'manifesto, which should include abolishing the rule that we spend 0.7% of our GDP on overseas aid and instead announce that this money -some £13 billion will be redirected to defence and the health service. It should also contain a commitment to leave the absurd European Convention of Human Rights.
Thirdly - sadly Nigel Farage has said he won't stand for Parliament - which is a pity as I think if he had put himself forward in that ghastly vertically challenged little prig of a Speaker- Bercow's- constituency he would have romped home. So in Nigel's absence perhaps the current UKIP leader, Mr Nuttall might give it a go
I'm afraid I am not going to join the majority in congratulating Prince Harry on 'coming out' with his stories of mental anguish and of showing his feelings.
When doing the TV series Life is Toff the director kept on asking me;
"Francis what do you feel about............" to which I eventually responded :
" How many times have I got to tell you - I don't do f****** feelings." And I don't.
Other peoples feelings (whatever they maybe) are -along with other peoples children and other peoples illnesses up there at the top of the League table of most boring topic of conversations ever.
It is also the 'Great Excuse' - Oh it is not my fault I am a complete dickhead it was because of X . No -I'm sorry - if you at a complete dickhead it is your fault.
It is the great curse of modern society that we look for and find excuses for peoples behaviour and tell them that 'it is not your fault' forgetting the thousand of others who have had traumatic experiences who get a grip and fight through without recourse to ghastly psychiatrists peddling their bogus science of endless expensive counselling sessions.
I always remember taking my children for a walk when they were very little. Out of the corner of my eye I saw my eldest -who was lagging behind - fall over onto the rough road - I read his mind - shall I scream and cry or shall I get up and go on - he decided to get up and go on- but I have absolutely no doubt that if I had turned round and said: "Oh darling - are you all right? " He would have burst into tears and howled.
What we are doing with this modern obsession with 'feelings' is encouraging everybody to burst into tears and howl and IT IS NOT HEALTHY - rather the opposite.
Inspired by the furore over the chemical atrocity in Syria I think we need to just get our brains into gear and ask some pertinent questions rather than firing off missiles.
1) Who is the major beneficiary of the chemical weapon atrocity is it;
a) President Assad and his forces or
b) Rebel forces - wishing to depose President Assad
2) What strategic advantage were President Assad's forces aiming to gain by the use of Chemical weapons against a small Civilian target?
3) Why having used chemical weapons did the Syrian forces not immediately occupy the area attacked to ensure that no Western journalists etc. had access to it?
4) Unless Assad and his commanders (and his Russian advisers) are all mentally deranged they would know
a) That the use of Chemical weapons would bring down on them the full wrath of the western press and every politician in the West
b) That president Trump being the guy he is would quite likely unleash the full force of American power to punish them
c) That therefore using chemical weapons except 'in extemis' or in order to gain an enormous strategic victory was imbecilic
Now I do not believe President Assad is a blithering idiot. I therefore do not believe he ordered or had any pre knowledge of the chemical atrocity. It is of course possible that a Pro Assad officer ordered the attack off his own bat though again it is difficult to come up with a single logical reason why any reasonably intelligent officer should order a very limited chemical attack on a civilian target and them not immediately secure the target to remove the evidence of the attack.
So I believe that elements of the rebel forces, facing defeat, deliberately engineered a chemical attack on civilians (probably civilians who were supporters of a different rebel group) in order to achieve the AIM of a massive western attack on Assad.
I have said it before and I will say it again. Damascus before the so called 'Arab spring' was the most cosmopolitan and relaxed city in the Middle East. Girls wandered about in western fashion and gays chatted away with each other in restaurants and coffee houses without being persecuted. admittedly it was a good idea not to voice vociferous anti regime statements and Western Democracy was unknown (as -of course - it is through out the Middle East) but as Dictatorhips go it was pretty benign,
All the so called 'rebel 'groups would, if they got into power, have very different agenda and if any one in the West thinks, for a moment, that some lovely secular Western style Democracy with a independent press and a independent judiciary would evolve from the ashes of the Assad regime then they are very stupid.
The other day I was on the road and in need of breakfast. I spotted a Macdonalds. Now I haven't been into a Macdonalds for about thirty years - so I thought I would see if they have improved!
I perused the menu and settled on a bacon roll. Now frankly what can go wrong with that I thought. The answer - everything. First, it was absolutely tasteless: the roll was like chewing on cotton wool, the bacon was flavourless rubber and to cap it all it was tepid. So I won't be going to a Macdonalds again. But hang on - just how could they have got something so simple and so delicious as a bacon roll so wrong?
Now a proper bacon sandwich or sarney is one of the great culinary delights of the world. The most memorable one I ever had was at a café halfway up a steep hill on our way back from a weekend playing soldiers in the Black Mountains in Wales. This - Macdonalds -is what you have to do to make a great bacon sandwich.
First -obviously - choose good thick cut tasty bacon with lots of fat - then fry it - then put the said bacon between two slices of Mothers Pride white bread which have been liberally spread with margarine- then serve with a large mug of hot tea or coffee and - as Americans say - enjoy- there is nothing to beat it.
The great thing about Donald Trump's election and Brexit is that now nearly everyone is gripped by politics. The lovely lady who comes in and helps my wife clean once a week said - as she came through the door -"What do you think of Donald Trump then?" - Well until the Brexit vote she had never voted (she voted out -natch) and now she is really 'into politics.' That she - and many millions like her - no longer find politics boring is -you would have thought - good news for Democracy - unless -that is you are member of that overeducated white middle class blancmange who are now in meltdown (incidentally next time you see a demonstration on TV try to count how many ethnics are in the demo - hardly any -interesting )
So how has the Donald done to date? Well not bad. He has castigated European countries for not paying their fair share of the cost of defending their countries - and you know what - he is absolutely right - they don't (only two European countries spend 2% of their GDP on defence per year -one is the UK)- if European countries are not prepared to pay for their own defence why on earth should America do it for them?
He has accused Germany of using the weak euro to dump it's manufactured goods onto the USA. Undeniably true again. Although -the true victims of German manufacturing dominance is not America but all those other European countries whose industries are unable to cope with-for them - an overvalued currency.
He has announced he is going to build a wall to stop illegal immigration. So what's wrong with that? It is surely the primary duty of any leader of a country to ensure its borders are secure - just as it is the primary duty of a householder to make sure his family is safe by locking doors etc. at night. He has also -of course -said -he wants to deport illegal immigrants - so Hurrah to the that - so do I -and most other Brits.
He has temporarily banned immigration and 'refugees' from six Muslim countries from entering America but -oddly -continues to allow Muslims from another 51 Muslim countries to come in! Again what's wrong with that? And am I alone in being bored by people calling themselves 'refugees when most are 'economic migrants?
So far so good. I am -I admit a littler concerned about his protectionist policies as I am a free trader and I would like him to make sure Israel understands that his support for it is conditional on it ceasing to build new settlements on the occupied West Bank. But apart from these two issues I am happy to give him an 8/10 so far -But he gets a 10/10 for making politics interesting again for everyone and not for just an educated (badly) elite