Well, here we are…not on Merry Christmas but (maybe) near Happy New Year. Time for a few stray thoughts about the year passing away, the year(s) ahead, and about where UK society and the world may be going.
I am going to be adding to this throughout the day, in a stream of consciousness way, not in any particular order or with any fixed structure.
Bush fires in Australia
As a child of 10-13, I lived in Sydney, on the North Shore (Mosman/Cremorne), in the late 1960s (2-3 years). I recall seeing bushfire damage in the Ku-ring-gai Chase area (many miles to the North) once or twice (may have been a controlled burn fire gap), but only once saw an actual bushfire, and that was when my family drove up to Queensland in 1968. Somewhere in the Northern coastal part of New South Wales. We drove through an area with fire on both sides of the highway (Australia had no motorways then outside Sydney). That cannot of course be compared to the almost apocalyptic pictures we now see on TV from NSW and Victoria.
Temperatures? Well, I do recall that, one day, in Sydney, the news was full of how the next day would be the hottest ever recorded in Sydney. I think it got to 112F (44C). One day only, as far as I can remember. I think that that was in December 1967 or January 1968. I see from Wikipedia that Sydney’s record high, more recently, is recorded as having been 45C. So not very different.
Where it is now different is that such extreme heat now seems to go on for weeks or even months. I have heard so from members of my family who have visited Sydney a number of times in the past 20 years or so (a few even live there). They have no doubt that Australia is far hotter now than it was in the late 1960s. As I say, it is now not a question of isolated very hot days but of relentless heat every year for months at a time.
No-one had aircon in their home then!
For me, the question of “climate change” or “global warming” resolves into:
- Is the climate worldwide getting hotter?
- Is human behaviour part (or even all) of the causation?
- What if anything can be done to ameliorate the effects, or even halt the process?
For me (obviously not a scientist and/or “expert”), again, the answers (provisionally) seem to be:
- There is evidence that there is a warming trend worldwide, but the evidence is far from conclusive;
- Human behaviour may be part of the causative trigger, but is unlikely to be the whole or only reason why the Earth’s atmosphere etc is warming (assuming that it is);
- Human behaviour might make a difference but only if the really large-scale industrial powers, with overwhelmingly huge populations, cease to exist or to exist in the way that they now do. I am talking about, mainly, China and India.
What I can be certain about is that ridiculous rants by the likes of Greta Thunberg, and the kind of pathetic sub-terrorism indulged in by Extinction Rebellion will achieve nothing at all. I have blogged about these already:
as I have about green politics and the connection to social nationalism:
For me, it is clear that the problem is, at root, the huge human population on the Earth now, which is twice as large as it was even in 1970 and about twenty times what it was at the start of our present age (the Fifth Post-Atlantean) in or about 1400 AD.
I feel that a huge “correction” in coming. In fact, I am rather glad that I shall probably be discarnate when it happens, though I do feel a responsibility, not to do anything to prevent it (I have no power to do so anyway), but to plant a seed which may one day burst into life as a new super-race and super-culture.
The collapse of the recent “climate change” summit was inevitable. The large polluting countries, chief among them China and India, cannot do enough (on the premise that cutting back on “emissions” actually helps), the USA will not do much, so the international System and the System msm concentrate on the peripheral issues, such as “emissions” of carbon from countries such as the UK, Australia etc. The UK only produces about 1% of global carbon “emissions” anyway, so it scarcely matters, in reality, what the UK does. That is even more true in respect of Australia.
Russia and “the West”
Russia today is not the Soviet Union. It is merely a large nation-state which sits somewhere between being a regional power and being a superpower.
The Soviet Union wanted to take over the world and certainly Europe in the 1920s, 1930s and even 1940s. By the 1950s, its leaders knew that that would probably never happen. Just as the Schlieffen Plan solidified into the trench warfare of the First World War after 1914, the revolutionary and later at least expansionist aspirations of the Soviet Union had solidified by the late 1940s into the Cold War rivalry with the US-led “West”. After 1989, that had all but stopped but was then replaced by a Russian-nationalist ideology.
As it now is, Russia is not going to invade Europe, but NATO is encircling (has encircled) Russia, and is pushing. Don’t push Russia too far. It now has hypersonic missiles and is years in advance of the Americans. The new missiles can hit American targets within 15 minutes.
“The general who oversees U.S. nuclear forces, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, said in February that hypersonic missiles can strike America within 15 minutes, half the time of ballistic weapons” [Bloomberg]
The lesson is obvious: stop poking Russia with a sharp stick.
In terms of conventional arms too, if need be, Russia can place 4 million men in the field, and even its active forces dwarf those of Europe and are more effective as well. As for the Americans, they have technology and numbers, but do they have real will?
The New World Order tried to swallow Russia in the decade after 1989. It failed, thanks to the upsurge in Russian nationalism under Putin and also thanks to the Islamist upsurge.
Russia is unlikely to be the aggressor (in Europe) but do not underestimate its power.
Some people make the mistake of saying “Russia’s economy has fundamental weaknesses, therefore it is militarily weak”. A mistake made throughout history. The Medes and the Persians. The Spartans and the Persian Empire etc. Stalin said of the atom bomb, “we must have it even if we have to eat grass”…(cf. North Korea).
One of the jokes of recent years was the spectacle of the then UK Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, a former fireplace salesman, interrupting playing with his pet spider (yes, really…) to threaten both Russia and China with his meagre forces! What a total idiot! He even threatened to send one of Britain’s few (about 20) capital ships to the South China Sea! That would really frighten China, which has about 700 naval ships and submarines, and over 700 naval aircraft! Not to mention 255,000 sailors:
China is adding two new ships each month!
The UK, politically
I have blogged a great deal about the recent General Election. No point in regurgitating all that. Still, worth recalling that the 2019 Conservative vote only increased by 1.2 points over 2017. The Labour vote fell by 8 points. All the same, Corbyn did as well or better than Miliband or Brown, in national vote percentage terms, and not far short of Blair. Unfortunately for Corbyn, the national vote percentage is not the only factor.
The General Election of 2019 reinforced my view that Labour is now a niche party for the “blacks and browns” as well as public service people. It has no broad appeal. That however may change. Had only 18-24 y o voters voted, Labour would have captured almost all seats in England and Wales, and at least half of those in Scotland. The Conservatives would, by contrast, have no seats at all, not one. Is that a straw in the wind? Was 2019 the “last hurrah” for Labour, for the Conservatives, or for both?
The roots of the Conservatives in their new Northern seats are very shallow. Look at Hartlepool, a Labour seat even now. Labour received over a third of the vote, but both Con and Brexit Party over a quarter. Volatile, like all of the North and Midlands now.
It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that Labour, if radical, could bounce back and, with new voters coming up and retired elderly ones dying, seize back the field, all but wiping out a Conservative Party which in some respect is as weak as Labour.
Free speech in the UK
A matter close to my heart.
In the last couple of years, we have seen Jez Turner (Jeremy Bedford-Turner) convicted and (incredibly) imprisoned merely for making a humorous reference to Jews in a public speech, and the satirical singer-songwriter Alison Chabloz convicted and briefly imprisoned (the matter is still in part under appeal as I write) for singing humorous songs!
Also see: https://alisonchabloz.com/
What we face in the UK is an intensification of the assault on free speech, which is actually now being placed in the hands of police supposedly investigating “terrorism”! One man was convicted in 2019 of putting up “neo-Nazi” stickers on lamp-posts. Sentence? 2.5 years! Another was imprisoned for 2 years merely for posting remarks o Twitter and Facebook. The judge in that case was unwise enough to say that the harsh punishment was “to deter others”. A poundland Judge Jeffreys…
There is a huge amount still to say, but no more time today.
Happy New Year.