Saturday, 24 December 2011

Why the time has come for Wales to lay claim to Argentina

The Falkland Islands and why Argentina rightfully belongs to the Welsh. 

In the last few weeks the irksome Argentine government under the mendacious, although admittedly extremely fragrant Mrs Kirchner has once more laid claim to the Falkland Islands. David Cameron has quite rightly rejected this tiresome claim stating that the sovereignty of the archipelago is not open to debate. I would go further and argue that perhaps the time has come instead, to debate the sovereignty of Argentina and whether we and specifically the Welsh should lay claim to it.

Allow me to explain. The Falklands were discovered by an Englishman, John Davis, who in 1592 claimed  them as a British possession. West Falkland was settled by a few dozen Frenchmen in 1764 and the first British came a year later. The two groups lived cheek by jowl, quite contentedly, until the typically trouble-making Iberians threw a Spaniard in the works by buying out the French in 1766 and illegally expelling the British. Happily English speaking islanders returned in 1771 and the land has been a dominion of the crown ever since. 

The Argentine claim on the 'Malvinas' therefore seems to stem from the brief period in which their former colonial overlord Spain, wrongly and maliciously laid claim to the rocks. Coupled with a frankly tenuous argument concerning geographic proximity, their twisted logic would presumably allow the polo playing, corned beef munching twerps to argue that any former Spanish holding in its vicinity from Chile to California is rightfully theirs. Should such demands be upheld under international law, Britain could well claim that Normandy, which belonged to the British Crown from 1066 to 1449 be returned forthwith along with Indonesia, Malta, South Africa, Ireland, the United States of America and approximately one third of the land surface of the planet Earth.

The only other conceivable claim Argentina has is that some of the Falkland island folk are descendants of the tiny group of Spanish settlers who arrived there in the mid eighteenth century. This logic, perversely, might offer a solution to the 'Malvinas problem. As I am sure you know, Argentina boasts the only Welsh speaking community outside of Cymru. Based on the Buenos Aires government's apparent logic that the land belongs to the ethnic origin of some of its current settlers, in spite of their own feelings on the matter, Wales might very well claim that as Patagonia is largely settled by the people of its delightful valleys, everything south of the 40th parallel is rightfully Welsh. As this area is particularly rich in Uranium, oil and coal, one is tempted to argue that the time has come to do 'swapsies'. They can have the Falklands and we (or more specifically the Welsh Assembly) shall reclaim half of Argentina. 

Glad Tidings

I am afraid that that is all we have time for in 2011. It has been my great honour to chat with many of my on-line followers over the last few months. One hopes that 2012 brings you all rich tidings whether working man, working woman, Conservative, socialist, psychopath or Liberal Democrat.


Friday, 16 December 2011

The PM, 'Professor' Dawkins and why we should bring back the Groat

David and Goliath

We witnessed last week what one is tempted to describe as a "Falklands moment" in the Prime Minister's term of office. David's bold leadership faced down an attempt by Mrs Merkel and the increasingly nettlesome Sarkozy, to drag this country into closer union with France and Germany, at the precise moment that the European 'project' looks certain to collapse.

The EU's false economy has long resembled the sort of sports day one reads about in progressive secondary moderns, where all the competitors are awarded first place in every race, thus rendering the prizes themselves worthless. It is time for the UK to prove itself as 'scholarship material' once more and return to the playing fields of 'gentlemanly competition', free markets and 'gold'.

As our party's poll rating shoots toward the heavens, those of us who have long argued the anti-EU cause can allow ourselves the chance to bask in a little reflected glory. More importantly, David's actions have ensured that the City, the power house of the British economy, can at last be left to its own devices. 

'Professor' Dawkins

In the build-up to Christmas, professional atheist 'Professor' Richard Dawkins has been out and about insulting people again. This time his target is the Prime Minister, who he accuses of being an 'agnostic' who 'believes in belief' as a means of controlling the populace at large (or some such rot). David has very sensibly dismissed this balderdash and at the same time pointed out rather wittily that 'Dawkins simply doesn't get faith', a superb retort to a bitter man who one pictures as a seven year old whispering in the ears of his school chums that 'Father Christmas doesn't exist'.

Frankly were I to have my way this dangerous, out of control buffoon would long ago have been prosecuted for blasphemy and sent to the Tower. Unfortunately we live in times when such actions are frowned upon and so my advice to Mr Dawkins is as follows: By all means refuse to celebrate 'Saturnalia' or 'Winterval' or whatever you wish to call it, but please do not expect the rest of us to wallow in your pitiful 'empirical evidence', your Darwinian self righteousness or you Grinch like determination to spoil the magic for everyone else. Having said that, were it true that we are indeed descended from 'apes' one look at the 'Professor's' photograph would appear to provide the evidence he so desperately seeks.

Children's Corner

In February 1971 the UK 'went decimal'. A system of currency that had existed since the time of Henry II was discarded overnight, as Britain kow-towed to the demands of the EU (then known as the EEC) and instigated a 'continental style' monetary system of 100 pence in a pound that we have suffered to this day.

Frankly the lack of imagination and backbone displayed by Ted Heath and his government, which I am ashamed to admit was of a Conservative bent, dis-spirits one almost as much in 2011 as it did when one was two. Generations of Britons have been raised under the false impression that the 'old money' was fiendishly complicated, but even the briefest perusal of the facts knocks that debate into touch.

The pre-decimalised currency was based on the 'Troy System' wherein a pennyweight of silver was equivalent to one old penny. A pound thus weighed 240 pennyweight and was equivalent to 'one pound', with two farthings being a ha'penny. With twenty four ha'pennies in a shilling and twenty shillings in a pound that meant that two shillings and six pence were equivalent to one half crown, the crown itself being worth (of course) five shillings of which there were four in a single pound. If anyone has ever come up with a simpler way of devising a currency I would be very glad to see it.

It is my sincere hope that as we drift further away from the European project and the idiotic euro the chance to reinstate our old system dawns ever closer.

I believe that is all we have time for this week. My warmest Yuletide Greetings to you all.


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Bowler hats, Eurocrats and Quails

Eurozone Crisis Summit

As David Cameron flew to Brussels today to take part in the crisis summit, I found myself meditating on the EU and asking one very simple question: What is it for exactly? Is it a trading block? Is it a union of states, seeking closer harmonization for the peace and prosperity of their collective inhabitants? Or is the question itself as elusive as Professor Heidegger's search for a definition of 'being'; is it in essence 'a great unanswerable'?

After much cogitation over a reasonably priced luncheon of quail, hare and gratin dauphinois, I had to admit that I had quite given up. I suspect in the end anybody asking the same question would, just as I did many years ago with regard to the foolish ideas upon which Mr Heidegger based his life-times work.

However, this I know: The EU is doomed and it is so for one very obvious reason. Since the beginning of civilization, no successful 'trading block' has ever been hewn from the rib of peace. From the Akkadians to the Persians, from the Byzantines to the British all 'trading blocks' have in essence been empires and no empire was ever created from anything so disagreeable as 'compromise'. One only has to think of the Romans who built harmony across their considerable domain, only after they had crushed inferior weaklings beneath the sandals of their all conquering legions. The EU, by contrast, has been a piecemeal affair from the very beginning, full of damp squibs, sops to French farmers, 'worthy' human rights acts, sops to Italian cheese-makers, minimum wages, sops to Belgian waffle salesmen, health and safety acts, sops to Spanish fishermen, curbs on bankers trying to make a decent living and sops to the Greeks (full sop). No blood has been spilt, no slaves have been driven before it, no elephants used to intimidate barbarians, no christians executed for sport.

Worse still, the Union has provided us with not one single great unifying figure. No Ghengis Khan, no Earl Grey, no Nebuchadnezzar or Alexander; not even an imitation Napoleon Bonaparte, just the suggestion of one.

As H hour approaches, the closest we are offered by way of an Otto Von Bismark is a Herman Van Rompuy, a man who would seem to personify that old gag about 'the problem with political jokes is they get elected' were it not for the fact that he has NOT been elected.

Bowler hatted council workers

Regular readers of this 'blog' will not have been in the least bit surprised to have heard of my calls in the House this week for council workers to wear bowler hats. This is part of my on-going campaign to 'spruce up' sloppy sartorial standards in the public sector. Some weeks ago I argued that HM Customs and Revenue staff, who present a lamentable first impression for visitors to these islands, should sport crisp 'military style' uniforms and possibly pith helmets. On reflection I have come up with some other 'workers' who might benefit from a 'make-over'.

  • Latrine staff at railway stations in ruffs
  • Leather jerkins for 'road-sweepers'
  • Striped suits for prisoners (with matching hats)
  • Frock coats for Railtrack staff
  • Top hatted toll booth operators
  • Starched wing collars, robes and mortar boards for all teachers in secondary moderns
Although one fears such suggestions will be dismissed without a thought, I feel convinced that they would at the very least offer a wonderful sight to behold.

As ever I welcome your comments and contributions and wish you all a hearty week-end.

Ego vobis valedico