Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Fire Raging in Islington

You may have seen the AnnWiddecombe Versus the Hoodies Programme in which she stayed with the Spall family and experienced the real Islington
It was, of course, given great prominence locally, and exposed the true nature of the Borough. What a telling combination of a good Labour Councillor who lives on the estate and a fine principled Conservative. They may have different agendas but between them they have exposed the despair that New labour lies inflict daily on ordinary people. How I wish we spent more time trying to connect with the betrayed working class ,and less sucking up Liberal Hypocrites.



Naturally as Conservatives ,we want to ensure the right conclusions are drawn. This is going into the locals ,although I may have to cut it down.

Dear Sir

The courage of the Spall family is twofold . Firstly, they stood up to the Andover yobs .Secondly , with Ann Widdecombe`s help, they have revealed the truth about the Islington, far from Emily Thornberry`s super gentrified Barnsbury. The commendably pugnacious Ms. Widdesombe came to support the majority of “Forgotten decents “ in her phrase, and to ask why ,.”Abandon hope all ye who enter here” is the way the nation thinks of our failing estates. We cannot go on ignoring the uncomfortable truths.

We are putting a quart of social problems into the pint pot . Fifteen thousand wait on the housing list and as long as we go one offering £250000 homes at a third of market rates this will never change. Already half of the Borough is Council housing with 2/3 on benefits up from 50% in 1981 . Now thirteen thousand additional Social housing units are being forced on us by Ken Livingstone.
Marginal rates of taxation are at 75% and more, at the low end, ensuring no escape from poverty ,and as Frank Field put it “… dependency is set to Blow apart some of the key characteristics which underpin common citizenship”. We reward irresponsible pregnancy, and then we are surprised at the ensuing Social breakdown. New Labour have created impossible conditions and they owe the decent majority protection from their insane policies.

The protection was supposed to be ASB0`s ,the new medallion of delinquent youth. Naturally the Police know the 20 or so Coucil tenants responsible for 95% of the crime but cannot act.. HFL managed to evict a grand total of ,seven people , for Anti Social behaviour last year. Lousie Casey , coordinator of the Government’s laughable “Respect Task Force”will be delighted
“ We don’t want people moved ..It has to be met where the people are “, she said.Yes Louise but they are all here !

Councillor Spall exposed more than the incompetence of HFL. Remove the twenty of course ,but there will soon be twenty more. It is “..the erosion of what use to be called the moral fabric of society “,that David Cameron rightly identified an the core problem.Let us not foget that in ,Lord of the Flies London ,seventy four children are mugged everyday often for mobile phones. The young suffer most of all.

Catastrophic benefits and housing policy allied with impotent policing and toothless ASB initiatives make criminals and victims alike, “Abandon hope”. New labour have truly rebuilt Dante`s “City of Woe”; right here in Islington

Paul Newman
Vice Chairman Islington North Conservatives


Anonymous said...

Cucumber Sandwich

Pee wants to show me
How to make cucumber sandwich...

- Cucumber and nothing else!
- What? No meat?
- Darling, that's how they do!

- I'm no cook. It's such a fright! ( giggle )
- Don't worry, I'm right behind!
( starts humming and ... pumping!!! )

- Unchained Melody, isn't it?
- "Cucumber Sandwich", darling!

Eliza, 30 January 2007
for Pee xxx

Anonymous said...

I can certainly picture the scene Eliza...and its not helping me concerntrate on Insurance

Stan Bull said...

Yup, we have to win back the workers, especially in Labour's northern strongholds and the Celtic fringes. I believe there are people out there in our urban areas who given the chance to hear the real Conservative message would agree with it. We have to go into the council estates of Sunderland, Liverpool Glasgow and Islington to seek out potential converts. The Labour northern/working-class vote gives them a solid block of seats they can always rely on. We need to put a dent in that constituency fast....Supporting the gay adoption law, even if no compromise can be found, is not exactly a brilliant step in that direction especially as far as Scotland goes.

N, I sense that certain clauses of the Blogging Constitution are being flouted of late. You are all over the blogosphere...

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Pee ! (giggle)

Anonymous said...

No IT....I have been skiving at work and I have about five minutes to get my act togethr before something goes seriously wrong.Anyway you are worse than me

Anonymous said...

Thinking about what you say IT I `m not sure that right now , in reality there are any seats in that approach and DC is probably right.He will have looked at the figures and trendsand he is far from stupid.
I feel though that if the conservative Party forgets the woking class the soul goes out of it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Islington needs a super casino - nly joking!

Hey, heard Croydonian give you a great plug on Doughty Street last night, I'm sure it won't be long before you are sitting on that sofa.

Stan Bull said...

N, it’s no good the party writing off large areas of the country from its electoral calculation. The Labour elite seems determined on worsening the circumstances of the British working class, too many working class children leave school innumerate and illiterate, uncontrolled immigration leaves the working class convinced that their interests count for little in the face of political correctness; a Free for all boozing and gambling round the clock leaves them in financial ruin, and so on.Despite record levels of public spending, they are no safer or better off than they were 10 years ago.
It’s no use the Party sending Southern lawyers and stock brokers up North or to Wales and Scotland at general elections.We need to build up active, campaigning bases right across the country with no “no-go areas”. As long as the Conservatives are viewed as other people from other places by much of the population we will not win an election. What’s more we will deserve not to win.

Philipa said...

"How I wish we spent more time trying to connect with the betrayed working class ,and less sucking up Liberal Hypocrites" - agree completely N but when you go on to say "We reward irresponsible pregnancy, and then we are surprised at the ensuing Social breakdown" you go down the easy route of demonising single mothers for ALL the ills of society (and by abolishing benefits you would hurt the children more than the parents) How many times do I have to say that there have ALWAYS been single mothers and children born out of wedlock. The fact of a wedding certificate sweetie, does NOT guarantee a collection of morals and standards of the type you see absent in that "City of Woe". How many times do I have to remind you all that if you frogmarched these people to a registry office and married them all off to each other, it would not change their behaviour one jot. A marriage certificate is incidental. At best it is an indicator in that morally corrupt and selfish people are much less likely to marry. But only an indicator in that all single mothers are not necessarily morally corrupt or selfish. Just like not ALL men are bastards. That's true. Isn't it??

Anonymous said...

ALL men are bastards. That's true. Isn't it??

Mmmm take the fifth on that one .I know what you mean Phillipa but th4e single mothers I am talking about are those who acquired a needy lifstyle so as to obtain independent accomodation usuall;y in their teens .

It isn`t the fact of a single mother. It is the fact of an entire absence of fathers from whole tracts of a Borough of 120,000.
If single mothers I think you are talking about quite a different subject myself but I may be wrong

Anonymous said...

I agree with every word of that IT , in fact I cannot think of anything much to add
The working class do not want to be serfs and the anger should not beexpressed in the pantomime villain BNP.

YES YES YES and great contribution thanks very much

Anonymous said...

you go down the easy route of demonising single mothers for ALL the ills of society

I do not blame single mothers P. I blame the benfits system and the social collapse surrounding it . Tax payers who are paying for all this need to know they are soving problems not making them more numerous and worse.

Anonymous said...

Hey, heard Croydonian give you a great plug on Doughty Street last night, I'm sure it won't be long before you are sitting on that sofa.

Never gonna happen Ellee.Iain doesn`t like me becasue I wind him up and others on his blog. I can`t help it I `m just not a fitter in

How iofetn have I wished I was better at it but its to late to chmage now

(...and I couldn`t guive a flip anyway)

Anonymous said...

Of course - that piece of crap Emily Thornberry is your MP - email me at mutleythedog1@hotmail.co.uk with a suitable email address and I can tell you a funny story about her. In herself a great motivation to vote Conservative. There is nothing about her that is not despicable

Philipa said...

The architect of the situation I think you're on about is not the benefit system but the decline of industry. Entire industries were wiped out leaving no time for the population to adjust. Whole towns were left on benefits when the day before they had a job. Entire communities in wales were left on the dole because those industries were engines that drove everything. Without that benefit system you so despise things would have been worse. The reason people are locked into a benefits reality and future is not the fault of feckless girls or the benefits they claim. If you want to blame any one person, actually it could be Thatcher.

CityUnslicker said...

Philipa, this is just nonsense.

Where are these industries in Islington that were wiped out? How does this apply to N's article here?

The Yanks are terrified at the success London is having on draining jobs and capital from New York.

We are not sinking here without hope. N is right, the benefits system does encourages sloth and fecklessness. It has to change, if needs to be changed slowly in order not to punish children already condemned by their parents (mothers and fathers).

Your argument has more resonance in some parts of the country, but the overall level of unemplyment in this country has been low for many years now. It is just excuses. Look at all the people who are suddendly on sickness beneift over hte past few years. Has our healthcare declined so much? Of course not. People are not silly and if the government is going to hand them free money who are they to turn it down?

I don't blame them, the government needs to stop this wrtechedness. However, they actively seek a dependency class as a source of constant votes.

Philipa said...

Nonsense is it? Have you been to Wales?? And how does this relate to Islington? Well apart from the my commenting on the wider topic of single mothers being the source of all social evil in general (I wasn't commenting on Islington in particular as I've never been there) I haven't got onto the immigration and underclass issue of London as described by Jon Cruddas (as I said, no personal knowledge of Islington so comments must be on issues not particulars)

However, before you condemn me for having the front to comment on the issue of single mothers without ever having visited Islington, allow me to remind you; I AM a single mother! That's unmarried, not divorced, not widowed, SINGLE mother. Got it? Get it? Good.

PS: thanks for the taxes dude :-)

Anonymous said...

Phillipa I `m sorry to go all Norman Tebbit on you but are you suggesting that the decline of the mining Industry produced a rash of unprotected sex ? Are you further suggesting that , uniquely , Welsh people , should be isulated from the need to move to work.

Wouild you please extend that largesse in my direction. Benefits to ease the transition between jobs is something I approve of ,it was the original intention and part of a long tradition of assisting hardship.

It was never meant to be an alternative lifestyle and the ready availability of other peoples money has made it exactly that especially in inner city areas. Sometimes over several generations

Single motherhood is symptom as are crime , nocturnal lifestyles , drugs use , and educational failure.

Just because you tick oneof the boxes doesnot make you a spokesperson on behalf of London`s people dumps. I am well aware of your general circumstances but not he specifics. You are turning a discussion about social policy into a discussion on single motherhood. It is a part of the picture and by no means the whole.

I know you are a girl but please don`t cry and get emotional on me.

CityUnslicker said...

..and just to add. My sister is a single mother and has been for 16 years.

Dumped by her bastard man pre-marriage and left with nothing.

She set up her own business and is now a successful business women, able to put her own child into private education.

PS I did not mention single mothers once in my response.

Anonymous said...

There's a mountain of evidence to suggest that children raised by single mothers are at an increased risk for virtually every social problem you can think of--poverty, crime, drug use, etc.--including single parenthood.

Philipa said...

Newmania - at 9" I think it's you that would be extending "that largesse" in my direction! But as a symptom of the situation you object to it's a poor one. If all single mothers are moral free and gagging for it for the promise of benefits I'm afraid I'd have precious little recompense for yet another child. So your argument falls down. And get emotional? I can't see the problem - what use are men anyway? You can post a cheque and get less laundry.

Actually that's a good idea - all you men should live on an island somewhere, say, Britain, while we lasses raise the children somewhere nice.

Anonymous said...

Not all..Phillipa and morals at an individual level have little to do with it.....

CU I don`t know if its your intention but I think its unreasonable to expect women to start a business and be as go getting as your sister obviously was. I am talking about the social circumstances that lead to the sort of descisions chiefly teenage girls make.It operates through forming cultures of despair over time and , as I say, single motherhood is just part of the picture

On the other hand there is no point in pretending the state can protect evryone from bad luck and bad times and this pretence infantilises adults . Not right.

Philipa said...

Anon 12:57 - actually I agree with you completely and think you make an important point: "this pretence infantilises adults . Not right"

Sorry, I was being a bit flippant.

Anonymous said...

Entertaining debate here.

Wow Philipa, you're a wildcat when outnumbered.

I just want to say this, Newmania. Regardless of the rights or wrongs of pit closures, loss of heavy industry et al and the usual blaming of Thatcher, the Tories did fail abysmally with the issue of welfare dependancy during their tenure; I remember Tory supporters (myself included) despairing at what the hell was going on. I don't believe that these 'lunatic policies' were all New Labour's doing and that these generations of bastard children suddenly appeared circa 1997.

Needless to say, I have not voted since Major even though I care passionately about what is going on in this country.

If you want my rather grim assessment, welfare dependancy (as a lifestyle choice) does exist, is destructive and it is now far too engrained for either party to summon the courage to deal with it honestly.

Britain could provide an interesting case study for other Western societies on how to avoid self-destruction. And that is about the only positive thing I can see emerging from the whole sorry mess.

Anonymous said...

cityunslicker, I guess your sister had an education which enabled her to set up her business, most of the single mums on benefits will not be able to find work because they lack skills and qualifications. I do admire your sister, she's probably studying for a degree at the same time, as well as keeping a spotless house and constantly multi-tasking.

Newmania, you are certainly a one-off, and don't ever change just to conform, I'm sure your moment of TV fame will come one day.

Newmania said...

Ellee I may appear unusual to you but I hold fairly common views.I am not eccentric or extreme even.

Kev to be fair , it was a relatively new problem at that time but nonetheless the policy designed to help was selling off council properties and it did help. David cameron has announced a scheme to convert rents to mortgages and I belive this is looking in the right area

You are right though ,easier to criticise than come up with an answer, especially a politically possible answer.

The 12000 leaseholders of islignton were, for the most part Coucil tenants and the difference down the line is astonishing.

They are under constant doctrinal attack from Ken Livingstone and the "collectivist" dinosaurs that infest inner City Politics

I try to support them as much as I can. That is the way to go , slowly and surely sell of the properties. It gives the incumbents a huge cash boost but at least thats the end of it

Stan Bull said...

Exactly. Taking to the streets of the north and talking about the kind of policies that you mention will go a long way towards demonstrating that the tories have policies for all. As you say, we need to maximise private property ownership amongst the working classes so as to encourage independence in the face of the welfare state.

Anonymous said...

Newmania, your rationale doesn't address the fact that property ownership is a relatively new phenomena and that there was far less illegitimacy 60 years ago when most people rented.

How does the Conservative party intend to convert those who have absolutely no aspirations, property owning or otherwise ?

Newmania said...

How does the Conservative party intend to convert those who have absolutely no aspirations, property owning or otherwise ?

Kev. Same way as they did before , by handing what is ,in effect, a large wad of other people`s money. This accrues to the buyer, by buying at discounted market rates.It is highly attractive and also they get to have their rent count to the mortgage so as to get them into a position to take advantage. I don`t see this as a problem. It is , for quite complex reasons,paid for ny everyone else but we need radical cures. I know for a fact it works.

As to why this country went through such a unique period of Law abidingness in the 30s 40s and 50s well thats a bit complex for today .I see the answer in the breakdown of religion mostly but also a whole network of shared values that did not survive the 60s. It is also to do , paradoxicaly , with class structure and the rigid hierarchies of the time .

A complex subject and not a lot of help right now . You forget these people were closer to the Victorians than to us . Have you read "The chosen people" it describes well the total change in peoples attitudes..

One thing , when people got married then they belived in god and belived the state was sacred. Now they do not

Interesting and I`m not saying there isn`t much to learn but a bit complex for me right now

Newmania said...

Complex three times ..hmmmmam I waffling /struggling at all...could be

Anonymous said...

Bliss kev, Mrs N frowns on inactivity ( but I do far les harm that way on my part)

Serf said...

Blaming Margaret Thatcher for the decline in British Industry, is like blaming a Doctor for the side effects of chemotherapy.

Britain's industry was irreparably damaged by decades of socialism. Thatcherism was the therapy needed to enable the economy to start creating jobs again.

Philipa said...

Kev - hi! Great to see your comments buddy.

Newmania - gotta disagree with you there honey, I'm with Kev on this one (and blame me for the link, but hey being here is fab, I wanted to tell the world)

Serf - "Thatcherism was the therapy needed to enable the economy to start creating jobs again" ;in the mining industry by any chance?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Serf about Thatcher - I hope that was clear in my first submission.

Newmania, Mrs N frowns on inactivity ? Poor you. In fact things are worse than that; I exist on Pot Noodles and drive trains for First Great Western - I am ashamed.

I know you said that you think this is a bit complex for you right now, and I suspect that this forum has a light-hearted feel to it which I don't want to spoil. This issue is one of the most important of the day. One of your contributers exhorts that the Tories must re-connect with the disenfranchised working class - well here I am, educate me.

Before I go on I wish to say that I draw a distinction between abandoned single mothers and 'career' single mothers. Philipa Beng MSc is part of the tragically abandoned aspirant class - I sense that she would not enjoy the company of the single mums within my circle who are uncultured, ungrateful, grasping, rude and totally cynical about their motherhood status.

In response to your generous reply and in order of the points you make:

- Handing people a stake in property still doesn't address the problem of those without aspiration who would see such an 'asset' as a burden and exactly for what it is - a bribe in order to give up a dependent lifestyle.

- I don't believe in the Ealing Studios image of a uniquely nice brand of Englishness during the 30s, 40s & 50s but why does abiding with the law have to be 'unique' to any era. I infer from this that this period was just a lucky time in our past not to be repeated - oh well, never mind - or am I just picking over the semantics here ?

- No, the network of values did not survive the '60s because it was comprehensively attacked through a combination of renegade art and music as well as Social Marxism. It didn't just happen to fall by the wayside accidentally.

- Rigid hierarchies were never going to survive the loss of empire
(I am not an imperialist), but why degeneration ? How have other western cultures fared better ? Some of these never had such rigid hierarchies.

- No I have not read The Chosen People (I will put it on my list). But why is the subject of the effect of welfare provision on illegitimacy a complex ? It seems perfectly simple to me. It is a common tactic of the ruling class to over-intellectualise an issue in order keep the common man (woman)out of it. Whilst I will doff my cap and take my place on subjects which are genuinely esoteric, I feel mildy put-out when the subject clearly isn't that complex.

- I infer from your suggestion that the sanctity of marriage, church & state is vital to good behaviour in England that the religious have a monopoly on goodness. Without the church it all falls appart. So we have no hope ? Is that what you're saying ?

Finally, my belief is a simple one. There has been a concerted attack on the productive classes of our country and if you pay people who bring children into the world and let them become feral, then that is exactly what they will continue to do.

If this is all too serious for the nature of this blog then don't feel the need to respond.

Anonymous said...

Hi Newmania,

The entry at 7.12pm was me (I expect you realise that) I got barged off the 'pooter by Mrs P - who is significantly more feral than I - hence I pressed 'anonymous' by mistake.



CityUnslicker said...

A bit late, but my sister left school at 18 with 2 a-levels.

Newmania said...

Kev , I tend tend be jovial by nature but I do not accept that earnestness is the same as seriousness. Actually that is one of the best contributions I have ever had here . I have very limited ambitions blogging wise but I can`t say it isn`t exceedingly flattering to get such thoughtful input.
I have to peek in at work which is why I am always in a rush so in a very meaningful way I consider myself working class as well.

In fact I work in Insurance which is pretty much the bottomm end of preffessional so Lower middle class at best.

There is nothing you say that I take issue with and I was groping to much the same points myself . By "complex" I meant that the different ways in which people behaved and saw themselves during the middle part of the 20th century is not one I feel qualified to express a definitive opinion about .
I thought you were saying that means tested benefits including rents ,being replaced with ownership would help as was demonstrated by the non existence of private ownership at a time when the working class had entirely diffrent attitudes towards "single parent families"

Even the phrase tell us what vast chasm of culture we are crossing to get from A to B and one is hard put to know where to start.

What you are actually saying is that renting or ownership are not the issue , benefits are the issue and , I would add, breaking the link between work /inpout and reward generally.We agree that there is much that has been lost in the general cultural sphere , self respect , dignity and reponsibility...etc.God doesn1`t it all sound awful , but there we are

YES agreed but what does one do about it now when "families" see no way to participate in what is "Now" the only way to some security. Property ownership sems to me to give us a way to break the cycle .

I like music from the 60s and do not suscribe to a general dislike of everything that is new. I attribute the blame to Marxism and think you have to follow the money.

In other words now will be very diffrent to then but you are right it isn1t complicatedto know what to do. Undo the things that have caused the disaster.

You point on the false language of the ruling class is one i have made myself at greta and tedious length under the blog "the new Prietly caste"

CU Your sister sounds fantastic. I think we have to have system that gives hope to those less fantastic as well ( Like me)

She must have a steely work ethic

( What happened to you ? :-))

Anonymous said...

Philipa, thanks for welcoming me and just look at what you've started. I hope you're happy now :)

CU, please congratulate your sister on her 'A'levels - these exams were beyond me.

Newmania, praise indeed. You are a smoothie and should go far. I suspect I am speaking to one who likes Pot Noodle as much as I do.

Do you think that my penchant for rubber might earn me honorary membership amongst the public school 'priesthood' ? (That was a joke, folks)

My previous submission was a rather convoluted way of saying that "...I think we're stuffed."

Three choices:

- Wait for a resurgence in morality via a revival in institutional Christianity (ain't gonna happen) and gently wean people off the state.

- Stop blanket welfare abruptly and risk mass disorder and crime.
That's if the sensibilities of the liberal elite can be overcome.

- Carry on as we are in a spiral of social decline.

I'm starting to depress myself here, who's coming down the pub ?

CityUnslicker said...

I did not have the time earlier to expand.

Whilst this is a good thred. I have found it disheartening. Even the rightsih wing people commenting seem to have lost themselves in the socialist agenda.

I mentioned my sister as an example of what can be done by an normal person with a little bit of drive, despite life's hard knocks.

The response is that well, she must have been educated or had a helping heand or be exceptional etc.

As much as I agree she is special; the comments reflect the paucity of ambition of the commenters as a whole and their belief that most people are screwed.

From this leaps the argument that we all need severe state subsidy and help in order to get on. Of course we don't. We just need confidence.

This is what our social order is taking away from so many people at the moment, self-confidence and the will to try for themsevles.

Philipa said...

Newmania said: "Actually that is one of the best contributions I have ever had here" - well hey I spotted him and herded him here, I claim full credit.

Kev - with you all the way sweetness. But you know I have a stumbling block. And I guess others have noticed too.

It's that people keep going on about 'career single mothers' and I find it hard to believe they exist. Being a mum is hard work. Being a single mum is even harder. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't swop my children for the world but being single wasn't supposed to happen to me, this wasn't the plan. I just don't understand why anyone would choose to be a single mum living on benefits. Especially at a very young age. If it's a choice it's a tough one. I suppose it must come down to options: do you want an education leading to a decent job that will give you enough money to go out with your friends having a good time? Or to live hand to mouth going nowhere with a screaming child you're constantly fretting about? In order to have option 1 there must be an education (not a given today) and either the ability to live with parents (again, not a given) or the ability to gain independance by renting accomodation.

Housing, I think, is a big issue (as is manufacturing providing work) and going all privately owned is a mistake. There are far more privately owned properties now than in the glorious fifties and it doesn't guarantee a law abiding social framework. There's nothing wrong with renting and in renting it is far easier to share accomodation and so afford independance. Could the problem be that without a baby, there is such a shortage of rented property that getting one is impossible? So people are growing their own tickets without realising the full consequences? The answer to this is more rented property, more government housing, not less.

And councils didn't sell off government housing as some altruistic social gesture, it was a way of generating revenue and avoiding maintenance costs in line with new health and safety measures.

If single mum status is not a choice then I submit it could well be an expectation. At the meeting I attended I saw a gaggle of young girls with their boyfriends and mothers. Their children were presumably around somewhere in the wave of snotty noses aroung knee height. I repeat that 'single mother' does NOT mean the child has no males around them. That's like saying the female population has turned frigid. Not so. It could be, could be, that 'mummy' is a single mum who raises baby in an environment where everyone is on benefits. So when 'baby' grows up you've got a generational problem of expectation. Monkey see monkey do. Without industry this situation will not be solved by withdrawing benefits. You could only set new rules for new claimants or severe hardship will result.

The immigration situation can only exacerbate this problem. If all low-paid or low skilled, or even skilled, work is syphoned off to newcomers who cannot claim benefits then how will the current claiments ever change? They won't.

I don't think the societal breakdown of Britain is a one sentance problem but an amalgamation of factors. Reading 'The Abolition of Britain' is a good start and alerts us to the part the media and even central heating has played in the changing moral landscape of this country.

I can't remember what I've written now so I'm pressing 'publish' and hoping for leniency.

PS: Kev can you please stop going on about the fact I'm a graduate? It's a bit embarassing as the most important qualification for this discussion is what I haven't got - a husband. And as you detail my personal circumstances so finely I feel a bit like the air stewardess in the film 'Airplane'. Ta. (Thankfully I didn't tell you my cup size.)

Philipa said...

CityUnslicker said "From this leaps the argument that we all need severe state subsidy and help in order to get on. Of course we don't. We just need confidence" - Sweetie, confidence for me is NOT a problem, believe me. However, being ill from almost the date of conception of my son to eventual surgery this year, from which I nearly died and spent months not being able to walk, to further surgery does not a happy camper make. The NHS caused this. Having a strong work ethic when you're ill and have absolutely no-one, not even a kind neighbour who will mind your kids whilst you mend a fuse (they closed the door in my face but then relented and reluctantly had the children for a few mins), does not a small business make. Add to that the fact that not everyone can run a small business, they're just not made that way. And not every mum would want to leave their children to work. I didn't. And if I can be there for my children I will be. I don't want to pay a stranger to raise my children. And grandparents and friends and brothers are help. If you have no family support unit, you neeeed the State.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Philipa, won't do it again.

I am just hugely impressed when people have a high level of education.

As for your 'stumbling block' we all have them and that is why ballot boxes exist.

I wouldn't have told anyone your bra size. You can trust me - go on, tell your uncle Kevin.
(ha, ha)

Anonymous said...

Uncle Kev - 34D as it happens but shh, don't tell anyone.

Newmania said...

Phillipa -.34D - Last I heard ,you were claiming to be a four feet tall dwarf weighing sixteen stone.


Phillipa has something of a sense of humour and must not be taken to seriously.Actually she is rather nice looking...and quite SLIM !

CU I`ll deal with you later , gotta work

Philipa said...

Ok , it's true, I have no breasts.

I'm a man who used to be called Julian but I'm SO over that now.

Anyway, back to the downfall of society. It's all the fault of Roy wossname.

Anonymous said...

Oh Newmania ! You've shattered my illusions of Philipa - I'm bereft.

Back to topic if I may ...

Philipa rightly highlights a range of issues, immigration, loss of manufacturing blah de blah ...

My point is this: I do not believe that there is a neurosis affecting the productive classes but believe firmly that they are ignored on key issues, nay targetted on many of them.

Without going into deep issues here, we all know the type of manifesto that would secure a landslide election victory in this country and secure a true mandate for the incoming government ...

... why don't we ever get this manifesto offered to us ?

Perhaps this is why I feel that there is a permanence to the very machinery of government - not party machinery but that which props up the incumbent regime - civil service, Whitehall officialdom etc. I'm grasping here, but it is as though there is a secret workforce of immense undemocratic influence with a fixed agenda and an institutional bias - also a long-term plan.

The closest thing I have analogous to this is the typist at Snow Hill Police station. I used to be a police officer there. Post Scarman (Pace Act 1984)there was immense paperwork for operational constables - we were still processing our own summonses too. I can touch-type but was not allowed to because of Force edict; the typist controlled a bottle-neck of bureaucracy and so weilded immense power in proportion to status.

Would a truly representative party survive ?

A fairly weak imagery I'm afraid - and I definitely doff my cap on this subject as I know little of the minutae of internal workings of government.

Does anyone understand what I'm getting at ? Any ideas ?

Anonymous said...

Kev - have greatly enjoyed your thoughtful and good-humoured posts.

What follows is not meant as a counsel of despair, but as an attempt to get more of a handle on the issue.

I'll start from Orwell's observation that the pigs quickly become indistinguishable from the men. 'The Establishment' (which extends a lot wider than a recalcitrant Civil Service with its own agenda and, in my view, often a streak of dumb insolence) is absolutely brilliant at co-opting / suborning anyone that is clearly making headway in public life, however iconoclastic or populist or revolutionary they may be when they set out (look at the careers of Hain, Harman, Hewitt...). They make membership of the elite so, so attractive.

Even if one or two genuine, 'incorruptible populists' make some ground without succumbing, they are surrounded by those who have succumbed fairly readily. Eventually, making headway to the true seat of power is difficult enough even going with the grain. Going against the grain is well-nigh impossible: who would you identify as a genuinely iconoclastic PM? (well, that game is for another time.)

"we all know the type of manifesto..." yes, absolutely right.

But it isn't so much "a secret workforce ... with a fixed agenda and an institutional bias - also a long-term plan" that opposes it, even if it seems like it - that's too definite. It's fluffier, more amorphous, and not even particularly secret. Mostly, it's just the world of 'good chaps' (of all political parties and none), who all instinctively agree that 'prickly', disquieting people must be quietly headed off. Not so much chopping down tall poppies as isolating them, letting a warm wind gently waft them to one side (Tony Benn).

Does this 'problem' ever get solved? At a time of emergency? Well, these forces are still at work even during grave crises (see Churchill's travails against the Establishment in WW2).

But the reason I apostrophised 'problem' is that another way of describing the Establishment phenomenon is as a source of strength and continutity (conservatism!) in society.

A huge issue.

Philipa said...

Kev said "we all know the type of manifesto that would secure a landslide election victory in this country and secure a true mandate for the incoming government ...

... why don't we ever get this manifesto offered to us ?

Perhaps this is why I feel that there is a permanence to the very machinery of government"

Yes, good point. Hmn.

I get the analogy. You're talking about the Civil Service. I'm just wondering if there's also something akin to the BBC bias? I'm searching for how to communicate my point and not getting it quite right. Will have to think a bit on this issue.

By the way I'm having trouble publishing posts and just when you think any old nonsense won't publish cause you've lost the stuff you actually thought about the damn thing works! Such is life.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, you are going great guns and have got almost 50 comments, you are in the Iain and Guido camp now.
I did post a comment yesterday asking why you don't move away to a more civilised area but can't find it, maybe your comment box was rattling with too much activity. Have a great weekend, I assume you won't be going back to church!

Newmania said...

Ellee ,I am certainly not trying to be anything like those glamorous people or indeed your good self.I `m a friendly soul I hope but under no illusions about myself.

..and sometimes I`m not even friendly....Often , in fact

Newmania said...

Ellee ,I am certainly not trying to be anything like those glamorous people or indeed your good self.I `m a friendly soul I hope but under no illusions about myself.

..and sometimes I`m not even friendly....Often , in fact

Newmania said...

Mr.Slicker, I wanted to leap on your comment earlier but was engaged in filthy sordid commerce. So , you are accusing me of having a socialist agenda are you ?.It isn’t a question of money , it’s a question of aspirations , world view , expectations and all the thousand things that make you what you are and limit what you do. A lot of those things are called in a nebulous way class. You must accept that there are severe limits on people born to certain backgrounds unless you believe that the denizens of Surrey are genetically superior to those of say Wales. They are not . Exceptions are not the rule and if we are thinking about what to do it is no use imagining that everyone is an exception..

Will ,self confidence , balls !It is the prison we make for ourselves , encourage d by the state that is the real problem. The state is only accentuating a rigor vitae that naturally takes root.

For this reaons I have always had the view that there is a role for the state in breaking the class monopoly of access and knowledge. The most obvious way in which it can do that is to provide an academic escape route. Grammar schools served that purpose.
In a sense I agree with you and I feel that the benefits and subsidy culture erode exactly the qualities you are looking for . I am only saying don`t underestimate the ties that bind people to where they come from. Don`1t underestimate the interest of elites in keeping those ties in place and be prepared to listen to the state assisting access in the way it regulates markets.

OR better still allowing sub state groups to form communities that assist each other .
Well I know what I mean , I may have another go at this ….

Newmania said...

Nick, I have thought of that final scene in animal farm often recently..
I see no problem with elites and I am distrustful of populism. In fact populism is precisely what an elite might use to keep everyone in their place. I want people to want and believe they can aspire to an elite but unlike CU I also want a place for those who fail or who are not up to it . It must be acceptable for people to respect other people who are better than them . Sometimes this will involve saluting the uniform not the man but if we can approximate to a meritocracy it would clearly be preferable . At the moment what have we got ?
We have a whole group of people who say , loudly , I `m as good as anyone , but in their hearts they know they aren’t.
It s bit waffle-some but what I would like is something like the way school sport used to be .
Everyone has a chance and everyone learns to rub along in a team. You realise that for the team to succeed you have to work around your most naturally gifted players and you learn not to resent that. Equally the stars know they need everyone lese knowing their role and if you are not a star that doesn’t mean your life , your game , is irrelevant. There is a place for those who won’t go along with the team ethos and you also learn that unusual views can be the most effective. Its not as simple as the CU everyone can win idea. Everyone can have place but NOT but not reducing everyone to the same level. Some will win and some will lose, we all have a place. CU is right that this sort of robust self belief is destroyed by molly coddling but self belief has to have a real outlet not an illusory one.

When I became a man, St. Paul wrote, "I put childish things behind me

We do not have to become champions , we must become men, and women. Now we seem to have the worst of all worlds

Newmania said...

Others I will read tommorow

Anonymous said...

Nick Drew, thank you for your stimulating ideas.

Let us go back to the title of this thread "A fire Raging in Islington" and juxtapose that blistering headline with the supposedly benign and etherial forces that render our elected representatives so impotent.

Are you really sure about this ?

Pretty dire consequences for something so haphazard, don't you think ?

You'd ahve thought someone would put it right by now, don't you think ?

What benign force would so consistently draw politics to the left of the political spectrum that Tory grass-root supporters no longer identify with their party. That mainstream party coffers are near bankruptcy and voting turnouts are at all time lows ?

This is the message from the people that the situation is no longer acceptable.

What will it be ? Council tax, road charging, uncontrolled immigration, prisoner releases ...
a range of incendiary issues that could tip the disenfranchised over the edge. ('tis why I am here)
At some point soon I am going to be unable to continue paying the government their increases and the thought is already crossing my mind "Oh well, what are they going to do - send me to prison ?"

I'd like you to reconsider my tale about the typist. This woman had so much power that a single scowl would have burly coppers jittery. She would walk into the mess room where chaps would be watching the cricket and just turn the TV over to watch Neighbours. She's still there - I'm not.

Now project that image onto Parliament - make these 'typists' into all sorts of graduate bods essential to the workings of government at whatever level and permanently resident (unlike most politicians) and you have a pretty powerful force at work. Something that could control 'normative' thought and behaviour quite invisibly - this is more obvious at the BBC.

The alternative is to suggest that we're sleep-walking into it. But in view of the shrill cries of the public through the often disparaged tabloids (they're all we've got) I find that hard to believe.

Anonymous said...

Kev - don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting the Power is benign: I think I used the phrase 'dumb insolent' myself. And it can certainly have baleful, if not outright malign effects. Believe me, I've met people like your typist, and suffered from them. (Please don't think I'm bragging here: but I was once a committee-chair in a large borough, with a clear electoral mandate for change - and the practical difficulties in getting the council officers to carry out 'the will of the people' drove me to grey hairs, I can tell you. And I've seen it at senior levels in the Civil Service also.)

What I was trying to do is fill out the picture. The two other aspects of the Power that I was drawing attention to were

(a) in character it is often more like a suffocating muffle (sometimes warm and flattering, other times just bone-idle), rather than a machine-with-an-agenda

(b) it represents the dumb-inertia end of a spectrum that also includes 'checks-and-balances', 'stability', and even 'conservatism'

You say it "could control 'normative' thought and behaviour quite invisibly" - yes, that is absolutely right! It can, it does, and that (IMHO) is quite a large part of what conservatism is about: normative social forces that can be experienced as coercive (when you feel they are wrongly aligned). But, in their favour: sometimes (IMHO again) they exert a benign effect; and sometimes it is better that they coerce 'softly' than with a jackboot.

As I conceive it, the sheer scale of the problem, therefore, is not just

- how do we overcome these forces to make the changes we need?

but also

- how do we do this without recourse to methods that will later bring down the whole edifice on our heads?

For the avoidance of doubt, I agree we must try! It takes rare political genius, however, and probably also good fortune, to score lasting, non-phyrric victories in this battle. (yes, CU, saw your post this morning!)

I realise this whole passage could be seen as an excuse for doing nothing. (My response would be to show you my battle-scars!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nick,

I haven't had time to give this the respect it deserves but promise to do so after I've had a kip. I really meant for my last submission to be a lot friendlier that it is - I expect you can see from the time of posting (4.48am)that I wasn't all their at the time. I find that I am able to sleep a lot better at work than I do at home - though this is a bit disconcerting for my passengers, I admit. :)

Newmania - a fantastic blog, I know why Philipa likes it so. You said earlier "You have to follow the money." I'll take that in a literal and metaphoric sense. I have always tended to follow the beauty - being the romantic that I am - and to my cost it has taken me all these years to realise that these two things are not mutually exclusive.

A strange thing to say ?

I suppose I could tendentiously weave it into the fabric of this conversation on the grounds that some countries seem to manage to do exactly this. But that would be bollocks.


Anonymous said...

What can I say, Nick. A brilliant explanation and I have no questions to ask here.

Please excuse my mawkishness in the previous. I get really amorous and romantic when I'm tired. The poor shunter - he's the one who has to go home and explain the love-bites to his missus.

Anonymous said...

Mr mania, this Kev can come again!

Stick around, Kev

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence, Nick. But I'm seriously thinking of changing my name to one of these fancy handles that everyone has here.


I'll leave you to work out the first 'P' - the rest is **** Artist Formerly Known As Kev

Newmania said...

I read and re read all of that. Pausing briefly to wonder what a normative thing was.( Now I know). Interesting ,and I think I was trying to get at the sort of points Nick was making . I am not an anarchist , because I value freedom and believe that rules are required for freedome to flourish.
My metaphor would be the sonnet form or any verse form.

This is not the same as crushing everyone into flat bland estate agent prose..so to speak.

Kev and Nick what a very revealing debate. It has that quality of telling me what I thought before but hadn`t quite put the words to.

Kev , I have also thought there is a point when I am digging my heels in .If I wasn`t entranced by the "normative" incantation of daily life I might even do it.

Sometimes it can be one small thing that changes everything,the snag in the nail,the hero`s fatal flaw.

I hope for an orderly transition of power ......

Anonymous said...

You have to watch me, Newmania.

Being Bog Standard Comp progeny I speak in a sort of Prescottarian Mangle-ese. And sorry for any malapropisms.


Anonymous said...

Newmania, I've reverted to 'kev' as the solemnity I detect in your tone seems to render the rather jocular 'pafkak' innapropriate - please take my desire to use this handle as evidence that my intention was to revert to humour. And yet here am I about to embark on another unplanned epistle - my appologies to those who are bored by it and those who are wondering what the hell I'm going on about; after 4 years of sparring with Peter Hitchens via email I often wonder too.

Newmania, none of us are anarchists and all of us yearn for an orderly transition of power; but at least in this yearning we acknowledge and agree that there is a power struggle going on.

My belief is that our nation is at a perilous juncture and I can barely read or watch the daily news without feeling assailed by an establishment which could not be more offensive to me if it tried [lighten up, kevin] - in fact I sometimes feel that the offending of majority sensibilities is what it is all about.[I'm sure this is not what Philipa had in mind when she asked me here]

Nick, I've had time to ruminate on your excellent explanation to me (9.24 am) and there are, in fact, one or two questions after all:

- I am relieved that we agree that the 'fault in the machine' was not an invention of my overactive imagination. In fact I would liken institutionalised revolution to a vehicle that has been stripped down, its metal components induced magnetically and put back together so that everything is polarised and faces Leftwards.

- I have difficulty with your definition of the word 'conservative' (small 'c'). Conservative to me means 'opposing change' - this is actually very different from what is going on. I would state here that what is going on is revolutionary, that topics that are being taken seriously nowadays would have been regarded as ridiculous even 10 years ago; that there are laws being passed in Statute, in precedent and in Europe which are iniquitous and repugnant to the common person and literally have jaws dropping. What people would have made of this 20 years ago I don't know.

- You speak of an 'edifice collapsing' - such imagery does invoke an ominous feeling. If you were to call these people's bluff would they pull the rug from under it all to cause such destruction ....and ... if your answer is 'yes' then doesn't that tell us just how sinister they are ? And for that reason isn't it crucial that they are taken on ?

Now for the big one:

- I address this to all Conservative party members and I do not expect to solicit your replies, this is merely for your consideration:

Is the Conservative party the one you really wish to be in right now ? Are you sure that you are fighting in the right territory and that you have not been dragged to the left of the political spectrum without realising it ?

I certainly didn't come here to proselytize. Needless to say I still can't bring myself to vote Conservative. I hope that I am still welcome here and...

...my appologies to Philipa with whom I would have been perfectly happy just being a pen friend.

Anonymous said...

And finally ...

... I need to make a modification to that fictitious magnetised vehicle I was describing earlier:

- It is ancient and it was 'not stripped appart', but as each component wore out and was replaced the new part was induced with magnatism, so much so that the vehicle - regardless of who is driving it - can now only travel in the direction of the compass point marked "Leftwards"

Oh ...

You can also have it in any colour you like so long as it is red.

Anonymous said...

Kev - if you are just off 4 years emailing with Hitchens, then may I say your sanity is in great shape! 4 months with Hitch in Scotton Pinkney has done me lasting damage.

Huge themes, so little time. So just a couple of points.

Context: your original concern was that we all know what a populist manifesto would contain but it never sees the light of day.

1. Need to distinguish between two 'hostile' forces in play

- passive: the deadening effect of 'Establishment inertia', with what you identify as a liberal, anti-populist consensus

- active: the successes of better-organised political opponents (who often adeptly utilise the former: but then, so can we! if we're clever)

The latter may indeed be a motivated machine, acting secretively & subversively. The former isn't really like that, even though it may sometimes be manipulated for those purposes.

In earlier posts I was talking about the former. And I still say we need to think carefully before undermining it fundamentally: history has some horrible lessons.

2. Europe: I am not an expert on this, and it is clear enough that there is a highly-motivated strand of active leftist / statist effort to use European institutions to advance a very nasty cause.

But it's not all one-way traffic. The EC Competition Directorate, for example, is extremely market-oriented and has several major successes to its name - and some active campaigns currently underway. Forthcoming events in Germany, and probably also France, could be very significant, one way or the other.

But, as I say, many other folk know much more about that than I.

Anonymous said...


Peter Hitchens today laments the death of the true Conservative Party and exhorts that the New Conservative party make way for something else altogether.

I asked PH about a year ago if he really thought that there was a populist party in waiting and I did not get a response, ergo I am left to assume that it is to be made up of people like me. Heaven forbid ! That would be disasterous - I'm incapable in such matters.

You're the best we've got I'm afraid.

I don't hold that the members of the present Conservative Party are much different to those of 20 years ago, but looking over this recent discourse I gleen an admission that the Party's nature is dictated by what is acceptable to, what the tabloids might call, 'The Guardianistas'.

Another word that bothers me is 'inertia' - inertia means to me 'static'. Well what I'm witnessing here is most definately on the move with increasing rapidity and is what I would call 'progressive'.

The 'edifice' that you talk of worries you a lot doesn't it ?

I don't understand - why should an innocent desire for true democracy risk an 'edifice' falling on my head ???
Thanks for reassuring me that it won't be the Conservatives that pull it down; but pray tell ...

...what enemies of freedom would do this ? Just exactly how dangerous and wicked are they ?

Nick, if you don't have the time to deal with this then please forward it to someone who can.

My email: kevinjpeat@btinternet.com

Anonymous said...

Peter Hitchens ?

Frequently generous with responses, sometimes snappy ('specially when I told him once that I was going to vote Conservative - arghhh !!!)

Don't doubt the man's compassion towards victims of crime, the sincerity of his Faith or the depth of his hatred of New Labour.

Did I say 'sparring'? Er, Bambi Vs Godzilla if you get the picture.

But of course I kept my sanity ...

... I just wish the voices would go away.

(Neeyahahahh !)

Thanks for the chat.

Anonymous said...

Kev, we have been most comically at cross-purposes, see


The Hitch I referred to is a frequent and *much loved* (but just occasionally foul-mouthed) (and witty and imaginative) visitor to this and several other related sites.

It is he with whom I have previous: (although many years ago I had dealing s with 'your' PH also).

I shan't be replying at any great length just now, but stick around on mr mania's site and I'm sure we'll talk again. Also (inter alia) the excellent and courteous Croydonian at


where mania, hitch and I and several other ne'er-do-wells often hang out.

Anonymous said...

Ha ha.

I've read the Hitchens you're talking about.

He's very funny.

Philipa said...

Kev - no worries; I'm not Rev Mullock and don't seek to direct your vote by emotional blackmail. Actually I mostly agree with you.

Anonymous said...

That's a relief, Philipa ...

... now go one further and tell me I look youthful enough to get in the Young Conservatives.

(I promise to make my political comments more compact in future, folks.)

Newmania said...

I certainly didn't come here to proselytize. Needless to say I still can't bring myself to vote Conservative. I hope that I am still welcome here and...

Know what you mean .I joined the Conservative Party about three years ago .In fact I am fairly right wing but I still found is embarassing.

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