Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A salute to three terrific scribblers who tell it the way it is

I’m not at my absolute chipperest today, so I’m going to be lazy and simply point readers at the latest posts by three of my favourite bloggers (two of whom are also regular newspaper columnists) – namely Inspector Gadget, Mark Steyn and Melanie Phillips, all of whom feature in the “Blogfeeds” column to the right of this post.

Inspector Gadget is in particularly fine form today, discussing the inquiry into the policing of the riots earlier this summer:

We are the only police force in the world without access to the basic riot control equipment. We have no CS gas grenades, no available and authorised baton rounds and no water cannon. Add to that the fact that we are having our pensions raided, our wages stolen and 20% cuts to our numbers and you have a recipe for disaster. We are policing a nation of 70 million people with the same numbers which we had when there were 40 million people. We police in a post-Tomlinson environment. An unquestioning welfare state and weak courts have created a burgeoning criminal underclass who care nothing for anyone. The public shock at the fact that 75% of the rioters already had criminal convictions was a joke. We have known these things for years. To make things worse, since 1997, every single police officer at the rank of Chief Inspector and above has been selected more for their ability to fly a rainbow flag over headquarters, celebrate Gypsy culture week, secure their forces place on the Stonewall Top 10 Employers list or achieve the best figures for ‘detecting’ children throwing cream cakes at a bus than they have for their ability to fight criminals. Stand back and fail to intervene? I’m amazed we turned up at all.

The whole post is available here.

Inspector Gadget is a reminder that the average front-line copper knows exactly what’s going on out there, knows whose fault it is, and is, I trust, deeply right-wing and/or conservative (by contrast,  the senior officer class now appears to be composed almost entirely of posturing liberal ninnies).

When Mark Steyn used to write for the Telegraph, I assumed he was a short, fat Jewish American (thanks to his name, subject matter, writing style and his truly dreadful by-line photo, which, for some odd reason, he insists on using to this day - someone should have a word). Turns out he speaks with an  educated English accent, is around my height and – despite his unstinting support for Israel – not Jewish. The Daily Telegraph replaced his frequently hilarious, rabidly right-wing columns with the vapid left-wing witterings of a cosmically air-headed bimbo called Mary Riddell. No one can understand what she’s doing writing for the paper – even by Guardian standards, she’s pitiful. Which is not an adjective you’d ever use to describe Steyn, who’s probably the funniest political writer working in the English language today.

In his latest post, Steyn - not for the first time - advances the theory that, despite all their swagger about the Second Amendment, Americans are heading for the same socialist hell in the same liberal handcart as Europeans and Canadians. Here’s some classic Steyn to whet your appetite:

I saw a fellow in a "Don't Tread on Me" T-shirt the other day. He was at LaGuardia, and he was being trod all over, by the obergropinfuhrers of the TSA, who had decided to subject him to one of their enhanced pat-downs. There are few sights more dismal than that of a law-abiding citizen having his genitalia pawed by state commissars, but having them pawed while wearing a "Don't Tread on Me" T-shirt is certainly one of them. 
Finally, there’s Melanie Phillips, who stormed out of the Spectator earlier this year after they refused to support her over complaints about one of her regular pro-Israeli columns. I particularly admire her relentless hounding of the BBC over its lack of even-handedness on a range of issues. Here, she gives it a right old mauling for its ridiculously biased and unquestioning coverage of Climate Change. She’s not as funny as Delingpole on the issue, but her method of bludgeoning the opposition to death with facts and moral outrage is invigorating:

Just imagine if, hypothetically, it had been revealed that the BBC had been quietly paid by the oil industry to shoot down AGW theory through sponsored seminars, vetted scripts and the exclusion of green activists from the airwaves. Or that it had been paid to promote in similar fashion the agenda of American neoconservatives, or bankers and hedge-fund managers, or UKIP, and correspondingly keep critics of the neocons, bankers or UKIP off the air. Does anyone think that following such revelations not one word would be published elsewhere – or would there be absolute uproar? 
You can read the whole post here.

The occasional bouts of below-parness I experience aren’t that bad, to be honest – and they don’t last very long – but what helps, when feeling a trifle frail, is to be reminded that, despite being out-of-joint politically with the times, there are any number of robust, intelligent people out there who share ones views, and can express them effectively.  

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