Friday, November 23, 2007

Words of Wisdom (6): Nigel Lawson

"The more one examines the current global warming orthodoxy, the more it resembles a Da Vinci code of environmentalism. It is a great story and a phenomenal bestseller. It contains a grain of truth and a mountain of nonsense. And that nonsense could be very damaging indeed."

Nigel Lawson (Chancellor of the Exchequer in the UK under during Margaret Thatcher's premiership) addressing the New Zealand Business Round Table, November 21st 2007.

Words of Wisdom (5): Richard North

"People need to wake up to the fact that government – any government – is their enemy.

"It should be tolerated only because the alternative of not having one is worse. Furthermore, the one we have should be kept tightly restrained, lest it slip its leash and take over our lives."

Richard North of EU Referendum.EU Referendum: The authors of our own misfortunes

Friday, November 16, 2007

Words of Wisdom (V) Vaclav Havel on Climate Change

"What is at risk is not the climate but freedom…

"I see the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity now in ambitious environmentalism, not in communism. This ideology wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central (now global) planning."

Vaclav Havel

Bearded Red Flails Helmut Kohl

Wolfgang Thierse is the ex-DDR Communist functionary who is now Vice President of Germany's Bundestag. His trademark is his bushy red beard, hallmark of the revolutionary firebrand, even if, as his government colleague Glos once observed, Ein roter Bart macht noch keinen Barbarossa (A red beard alone doesn't make you Barbarossa).

In his Vice President of the Bundestag role he's meant to be impartial, rather as the Speaker of the House of Commons, in the UK, is meant to be impartial. But being VP of the BT isn't as important as being Speaker.

Thierse once said he wouldn't allow the demands of the job reduce him to a "political eunuch." He has now demonstrated this in a most repulsive way.

His socialist colleague, the scourge of capitalist locusts Franz Müntefering, yesterday left the German government to look after his ailing wife. Responding to this, Thierse remarked, "Leaving your wife sitting in the dark in Ludwigshafen, as Helmut Kohl did, is not ideal." The dig was aimed at the ex-Chancellor and his wife of 41 years, Hannelore. She suffered an allergy to light and committed suicide in 2001.

It is perhaps the final installment of a long-running animosity between the two men. Back in 2002, Kohl was quoted as saying of Thierse, Das ist der schlimmste Präsident seit Hermann Göring (He's the worst president since Hermann Goering - Thierse was parliamentary president at the time).

Now everyone is calling for Thierse to resign. But the thick skin and indifference to human suffering which doubtlessly stood him in such good stead during his successful DDR career will probably prompt him to cling on to power as long as he can.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Neanderthal Feminists

Maybe it's down to the long bloodlines, but the blog's always had a soft spot for the Neanderthals.

An article in the Boston Globe gives a glimpse into why our closest cousins may have died out.

It suggests that the equality-minded Neanderthal habit of allowing women to hunt alongside men may have led to lots of deaths among child-bearers - and thus caused the demise of the Neanderthals in about 30,000 BC.

Sexist Homo sapiens, whose women specialised in domestic gathering and home-making skills, was thus left in sole command of the world.

Stone Age feminism? - The Boston Globe

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Müntefering Resigns From German Government

Franz Müntefering, the socialist Employment minister and Vice Chancellor in Angela Merkel's coalition, has resigned to look after his wife who has cancer.

Müntefering has long been a bugbear of this blog's, mainly because of his posturing in Chancellor Schroeder's terrible government. Fulminating against the locusts of international capitalism (as was that government's wont), "Münte" blamed Jewish businessmen for Germany's economic woes. He might more usefully have looked at his own government's woeful 9 year record. Working with Chancellor Merkel has calmed him down as he has mediated between Merkel's centre-left CDU and his own socialist SPD parties. In comparison with the latter "Münte" almost resembles a man of reason, rather than the demagogue of limited brain he is.

Recently he was humiliated by his party's leader, a brutish, bearded mediocrity called Kurt Beck, in an arcane dispute about unemployment payments. Beck needed to improve his own profile within the party. He did so with a display of hard-left socialist rhetoric at Müntefering's expense. Now "Münte's" stepping down will give him a measure of revenge.

Müntefering's departure will destabilise the coalition. This could be good news for Angela Merkel, who leads in the polls, mainly because of her personal popularity. An election called soon would mean the end of this hopeless government, and a probable return to power for Merkel's CDU, supported by the centre-right FDP party.

For all the praise being heaped on "Münte" as he departs, this would be his only worthwhile legacy.