Friday, 22 June 2012
Comfy as old slippers, I survey a world bathed in rosy content and it’s all down to Clausewitch and a clown.
How cheered I was to hear that Jimmy Carr, puzzlingly described as a comedian, is going to pay tax on his wages, just like Our Gracious and the rest of us. Bit harder for him because he was only paying a penny in the pound on three million of the little crinklies.
He might even have persuaded some of his fellow celebrities to do the same. Take That are alleged to have put £26 million into a similar scheme.
But what of jolly old Karl von C? He tipped us a very broad wink. “War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.”
Always listen to an expert and General Karl comes from a race devoted to wars. Sadly they have no talent for winning them. The Hun tried twice to conquer the world by force and failed. Now he seeks to conquer by manipulating currency with much more success.
My five closest friends were all army colonels and every one of them an eager warrior. I have always believed servicemen to be the salt of the earth. Unfortunately I loathe war and have never understood why such noble men could be persuaded to wear unbecoming clothes and kill perfect strangers. Especially since the moment the war ends they meet in mutual admiration. Now I know that war, the ultimate inefficiency, is a branch of politics all is clear.
I had forgotten Versailles where most of our troubles started. Those pale imitations of statesmen burdened Germany with reparations she could not hope to pay. Weimar collapsed in an avalanche of worthless currency, the Nazis leapt into the vacuum with promises of jobs and prosperity and the seed was set for another war.
Germany now insists that Greece is burdened with debt it cannot hope to pay and at the time of writing showed no sign of divvying up. Golden Dawn, the new Nazi party, has won its first seats in the Greek parliament,
Another thing that puzzles me about soldiers is that never tumble to what sewers politicians are.
No matter whom they meet, Jap, Hun, Taliban or Chinese, they are never going to come across an enemy as implacable as the Ministry of Defence.
No government has ever treated returning warriors with anything more welcoming than a place in a dole queue. Yet it is the first to tap them on the shoulder whilst they are still fighting off an enemy.
Not only has the MoD given notice to quit to the hapless boys it bundled off to Afghanistan. It has announced redundancies for soldiers within days of them becoming eligible for a handsome pension. The Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders has been rewarded for spilling its blood for two hundred years with oblivion.
The MoD is clearly ashamed of its job. There is obviously something distasteful about being involved with warriors. Since they virtually won world war two for us, however distasteful the destruction they wrought on enemy civilians, the refusal for half a century to grant Bomber Command a memorial was a disgrace. Shameful that veterans had to raise £700,000 themselves to build one. Worse was to come. Next week the memorial will be unveiled in the presence of the Royal Family at a cost equal to the building bill. The veterans will have to raise that money too. The MoD has refused to give them a penny.
Short of money, the Ministry of Defecation explains.
Short of money? It is spending 5 billion pounds replacing Harrier jets which cannot land on aircraft carriers after giving away the fleet of Harriers which could. Another billion is going to refit Rolls Royce so the MoD can spend another twenty billion building nuclear submarines which they specify must be able to destroy Moscow. Moscow? Russia, though it has won a few, has never in recent history started a war.
Short of money?
This week saw the opening of the Cultural Olympic Games at a cost of 55 million though it consists largely of events like the Proms which were happening anyway and things that should never have happened at all.
The government is stumping up half a million to smarten up shops near the Olympic Park.
If the doctors’ strike succeeds the taxpayer will be required to find sixty-six billion towards their excessive pensions.
The Met has spent almost £8m over the past year on 150 staff investigating allegations of wrongdoing involving journalists.
Operation Weeting – the Met’s second investigation into phone-hacking – will rack up £5.9m in costs from January 2011 to the end of 2012, using 83 officers and 19 administrative staff.
Operation Elveden, the probe into illegal payments to police and public officials, has so far cost £1.5m and employed 36 officers and nine staff. A further £0.4m was spent on Operation Tuleta, the inquiry into computer hacking, involving seven officers and one administrator.
Mark Colman, an ex-Royal Engineer is to stay submerged in a water tank for 120 hours to raise £500,000 for the Forces’ Charity ‘Veterans in Action’. Peter Foster, Bishop of Chester, the heir to claims of walking on water, is himself claiming £27,000 in attendance fees and £ 7,309 expenses for attending the House of Lords.