Tag Archives: Singapore

Diary Blog, 31 May 2021

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.[3] 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).

Israeli elections

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.

Farm subsidies

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.

Tweets seen

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…

Afternoon music

Late tweets

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…

Late music