I happened to see this Wikipedia piece: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avshalom_Feinberg. A Jew who was a spy for the British in then-Ottoman Palestine in the First World War.
“In 1915 Feinberg traveled to Egypt and made contact with the British Department of Naval Intelligence. In 1917, he again went to Egypt, on foot. He was apparently killed on his way back by a group of Bedouins near the British front in Sinai, close to Rafah. His fate was unknown until after the 1967 Six-Day War, when his remains were found under a palm tree that had grown from date seeds in his pocket.” [Wikipedia].
How about that?! “…his remains were found under a palm tree that had grown from date seeds in his pocket.“
Well, now that the said Feinberg is apparently an Israeli hero-figure (they even have a stamp with his head on it), the suspicion must be that the bit about the palm tree and the date seeds is some kind of fairy tale. Still, it may well be true. These things happen.
I have not included the above in my blog to make any political or other point; it just struck me as interesting. Still, one could reflect on how one never knows how one’s actions may, long after one’s own death, bear unexpected fruit (in the case of Feinberg, literally, of course).
Readers of my blog will know that I am usually cautious about commenting about the political situation in countries with which I am not directly familiar (even Scotland), but idly browsing Wikipedia while listening to BBC World Service, I heard about the electoral impasse in Israel. I looked up the state of play on Wikipedia:
It seems that there 120 elected members. What is extraordinary is that Israeli politics is so fragmented that the party presently ruling, Likud [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Likud], has only 30 members out of that 120. Indeed, the whole minority government coalition headed by Likud only has 54 members.
The second-largest party in the Knesset, Yesh Atid [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yesh_Atid] has only 17 Knesset members. The next-largest party has 9. In fact, there are no less than 23 parties and Independent members represented, grouped into 13 parties and factions.
Compare that to the much larger UK House of Commons, where there are 16 parties and Independents but where, out of 650 MPs, 562 belong to only two of those parties.
Why is the Israeli parliament so fragmented? It may be that there is something in the Jewish psychology that tends to dissension, dissidence etc. That was certainly true of the various Marxist factions that used to exist in the Western world, especially in the realms of Trotskyism.
There again, the Israeli proportional representation system has a low threshold for representation: 3.25% (it was 1% at one time). In fact, there has never been a one-party-majority government in Israel.
A further aspect is the sheer fragmentation of Israeli society, as can be seen in the details of the various parties: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knesset#Current_composition.
Another aspect yet is that most of those parties were started not long ago. The main Opposition party, Yesh Atid, was only formed in 2012. Several others were formed even more recently, in the past two or three years. Likud, the presently largest party, was founded in 1973.
Well, there it is. A peculiar country. Interesting though. I am interested generally in countries which are contrived or artificial, as Israel surely is. Singapore would be another example. They tend to be small geographically; Israel is almost exactly the size of Wales (or New Jersey), while Singapore is not even twice the size of the Isle of Wight. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore.
Listening to some typical farm-owner whining on BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. Farmers in the UK always want it both ways, to be treated as independent businessmen and women, but given State subsidy or support at the same time. For me, it just does not wash.
One farmer had the right sort of ideas about small-scale farming, biodiversity, organics etc, yet wanted public money, in effect for not being an environmental vandal. Why should the public subsidize farmers at all? Better to impose environmental and animal welfare regulations, restrict imports, and let the farms be real private “businesses”. Alternatively, to put them largely into State ownership but give environment-friendly farmers or collectives long-term (even lifetime) leases.
Anyone interested in Peter Hitchens would be better off reading my own assessment, written two years ago: https://ianrobertmillard.org/2019/05/19/peter-hitchens-and-his-views/.
Soon, there will be the Batley and Spen by-election. I shall be blogging about it in a week or so. The Labour Party vote has suffered a gradual decline in that constituency since the rigged by-election in 2016. After the assassination of Jo Cox, the System parties conspired to get another Labour Party MP elected, so an ex-soap actress was parachuted in, and the Conservative and LibDem parties did not stand. Pathetically, “controlled opposition” UKIP also failed to put up a candidate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batley_and_Spen_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Elections_in_the_2010s.
Now Labour is relying, in the Batley by-election, on a kind of “sympathy vote” by putting up the sister of that assassinated MP. Pretty desperate…
The gradually-emerging UK police state in operation. Quite normal things criminalized, but real criminal acts ignored. Read The Protocols of Zion and you will be on the right track…
17 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 31 May 2021”
It is high time the police were equipped with water cannons and rubber bullets and used them without restraint and glee upon these selfish cunts protesting in London about very mild restrictions to suppress a highly infectious viral disease.
Show some FUCKING respect to the victims of Covid-19 and their poor families!🤬😡
We, as a country, have a disgraceful government led by an utter moron and fellow moronic pricks who have given us one of the world’s very highest death and case rates because of their EVIL decision to continue with their globalist open borders obsession during a worldwide viral pandemic!🙄🤬😡 NATURAL JUSTICE will hopefully catch-up soon with the moronic, scruffy, fat cunt we have for a PM and his idiot goon squad.
I hope the police UTTERLY BATTER these moronic and selfish cunts as the still REAL police forces of Deutschland are doing.👌😎
There they are being pepper sprayed and given a good wash by water canons. Good old Germany shows the way as usual!👌😎🍷🥳🤣😛😜😷
We have had far too many deaths already in this country and we don’t want you bastards to cause ANY more.
I noticed you still haven’t answered my question regarding biohazard bins – how come? If this virus was so dangerous, the authorities would not be so blasé regarding the disposal of face masks!
Little old humanitarian me though would adopt the methods of China and instead of using rubber bullets line these selfish cunts up against a wall and machine gun them with REAL, LIVE bullets!
Perhaps then these cretins would have a REAL case for whinging about the government belatedly using the methods of a Communist state to suppress a viral disease.🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
The utter selfishness in this country is a total fucking national DISGRACE.🙄🤬😡😞☹️
I bet the men and women of Deutschland’s fine Polizei police forces have a great day out when they fire water cannon at filth like them.
It must make it almost worth their while to be a German police officer in the first place! Time to give the Met’s officers a similar good day out!😎😂👌🥳🤣🍷
Yes, Israel, at least as far as its Jewish population is concerned, IS a democratic country in that they have free and FAIR elections whereas ‘Britain’ under the globalist CON Party and Labour can be justly regarded as one of the world’s and Europe’s LEAST democratic.
We, in fact, share the ludicrously unfair and sick joke of First Past The System with just ONE other country in Europe ie Belarus which also happens to be the ONLY country in Europe that still has the death penalty where it is carried out by a gunshot to the back of the head.
At its heart the concept of democracy surely has as an abiding principle that people should be equal but with FPTP we are anything BUT equal when we walk into a polling station and cast a vote since FPTP treats voters differently depending upon WHO they vote for and WHERE they cast a ballot. In effect, the value of one’s vote here depends very much upon which constituency a voter lives in and whether it is a ‘safe’ constituency eg Windsor in Berkshire which has been continuously held by the Tories since the reign of Queen Victoria (the last time a non-Tory won it was 1874!) or a ‘marginal’ like the Basildon seat near me used to be before the seat was abolished.
We have a ‘postcode lottery’ using FPTP and therefore a vote does NOT have an EQUAL WEIGHT in the system whereas with Proportional Representation it would do and especially does in Israel which uses a highly proportional national party list version of PR where the ENTIRE Israeli State is one constituency.
As you say, m’Lord of Essex. UK general elections are decided by a tiny proportion of the voters. I believe that, in 2017, a few thousand votes in key marginals would have given Corbyn-Labour a victory overall.
Yes, that is correct. A similar situation happened in 1992 whereby John Major’s Tories managed to eke out their fourth straight ‘victory’ in a row (a scenario which had not happened for a party since the Great Reform Act in the 1830’s) because the Conservatives managed to win very narrow wins in a small number of ‘marginal’ seats such as The Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales that was won by the minuscule margin of just 19 votes over Labour!
A ‘democracy’ for the FEW and NOT the MANY! That is surely the very opposite of what a genuine, modern democracy should entail.🙄🤬😡
This archaic system is, in fact, so crude, primitive, unrepresentative and unfit for purpose it can’t always guarantee that the party that has the most votes overall in the country will have the most seats eg In 1951, Clement Attlee’s Labour Party won more votes (the highest they have ever won infact) than Churchill’s Conservatives yet the latter party had the largest number of seats and therefore ‘won’ the election.
Conversely, in February 1974, Edward Heath’s Tories had more actual votes yet won fewer seats than Wilson’s Labour Party and his party formed the next administration.
And a MiNORITY OF A MINORITY of voters since even within ‘swing’’/marginal’ seats there will be only a small number of ‘swing’ voters who will readily switch from voting Tory to Labour or Labour to Tory at each general election.
The parties increasingly target these voters and craft their manifestos accordingly with sometimes wrong priorities for the county’s future as a whole so this all has real world political effects.
Yes, Israel has a very fragmented political scene. ONE reason for this is that the Israeli parliament called the Knesset uses a very highly proportional version of Proportional Representation as it has a relatively low threshold of 3.25% AND the ENTIRE Israeli state is one national party list ‘constituency’.
Voters in Israel only vote for parties on a national list not candidates.
Having a very low threshold of just 1% at one time meant that it was very easy for tiny parties to gain entry into the Knesset and this led to too many parties doing so which made stable and effective governments hard to form. It led to an excessive fragmentation of the Israeli party system.
So, the decision was made to progressively raise it to 2% and now to 3.25% of the national party list vote and that led to fewer parties in the parliament and stable and effective governments being easier to form.
Israel has a low threshold by world standards. Most countries have one of 4% eg Sweden, Austria or 5% eg Germany. Denmark’s is just 2%.
There is something quite arbitrary about these thresholds though. You have to careful as to what level you set it at as, on the one hand, if you set it fairly high like Germany’s you can begin to ‘waste’ too many people’s votes and a party can enter a situation of catch 22 ie few people will vote for it because it is perceived as having no chance to ever surpass the threshold and get into parliament and then if that is the common view then people won’t ever vote for it and give it a chance to get to the point where it might get over the threshold.
On the other hand, if you set it too low then you might well have too many parties getting into parliament, an excessive fragmentation of the party system occurring and thereby making stable and effective governments hard to form.
There is, therefore, a balance to be struck. The ideal level seems to be from 3% to 4%.
There is a new party in Germany which has as one of its main planks a policy of reducing the Bundestag’s threshold from the current 5% to 3% in order to increase the range of viewpoints represented in the German parliament..
Israel doesn’t just have a fragmented political scene because of its very proportional version of Proportional Representation (PR). This is also due to the character of its Jewish population as you say and the fact that Israel has a large number of small, religious parties which I can’t think of another democracy on the top of my head having.
This is why it is so ABSURD for Tory morons and others here to say Britain can’t have PR as we would, “end up like Israel”.🙄🙄🙄 Italy is another PR example they use as well thereby ignoring the fact Britons are not hot headed and impulsive Latins!🙄🙄🙄
No one should dismiss the role national character plays in moulding a country’s politics when comparing countries using PR electoral systems versus a country like ours having First Past The Post.
If we had PR, especially in the German form, which is my favourite system we would have similar politics to them I think as we are more similar to Germans than we are to Italians or Israelis.
Italy is also a bad example for undemocratic Tory morons to use because one of the reasons why Italy had unstable politics for such a long period after WW2 was NOT solely due to a very proportional version of PR BUT ALSO due to the Italian Upper House of Parliament, the Senate, having equal powers to the Lower House.
The unelected House of Lords here is really just a revising chamber and has few real powers.
https://www.bbc.com/news/education-57256075.amp More loopy crap from the “woke” brigade!
I feel an educational purge coming on…
Indeed. Most people think having a ‘postcode lottery’ is not an ideal situation for the NHS but how much more absurd is it for the same situation to occur at the ballot box where the future political destiny of a country is decided upon! Do people who live in marginal seats think about political issues with more careful thought and consideration than those living in ‘safe’ seats? No, they don’t and in many cases of individual voters even less so therefore their having a vote which is of more inherent worth overall within the system is downright stupid.
No wonder this country’s politics is a mess and we don’t make much, if any, progress politically speaking as a country.