Thursday, 1 June 2017

Germany will never, ever pay more than now for NATO

Many of us will have grown up with the BAOR - either as serving soldiers or like myself as army brats. There was a time when G├╝tersloh, Fallingbostel or Sennelager were more familiar to us than Slough, Reading or Peterborough. The BBC even had a forces radio programme, and knowing at least half a dozen BFPO numbers was par for the course. Well, BAOR disappeared without notice in 1994. The 25,000 remaining troops in Germany became BFG, now down to about 4,000 and scheduled to pull out completely by 2020, almost exactly in line with Brexit. 

The change came with the fall of the wall in 1989. Before then, our lads were to play a vital role in forming a heroic but utterly pointless sacrifice in holding up the Soviet advance through Germany to France for about 72 hours. Then we all thought it an essential sacrifice. Now we wonder, why bother? Perhaps France and Germany would be better off under Russian rule. Why shed British blood in their defence? 

When Trump abstained from the traditional annual G7 offering of American blood in Germany's defence last week he too must have felt the same. Germany has been financially raping Europe for thirty years, sitting on a vast pile of gold as she threatens, bullies and manoeuvres others to pay for everything, like some nightmare dining partner endlessly disputing the division of the restaurant bill.  

Turkey is now a Salafist terrorist nation  and belongs nowhere near NATO. In bullying the Netherlands into ignoring the veto of the Dutch people and extending full EU privileges to Ukraine, the EU has just given Putin another poke with a sharp stick. The UK will find it hard to mobilise even 6,500 troops - we need a standing army of 100,000 to put an adequate force in the field. Germany's armed forces are to all purposes entirely useless. Amidst the ruins of NATO (and oh yes it's now finished in all but name*) there's only France to defend the EU. 

Merkel may gamble that she'll get away with it, and perhaps she will. But without British and American wealth and blood to pay for it. We're done. 

*Also proving the rule that corporations are most likely to fail at the point at which they open a spanking glossy new multi billion dollar HQ

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Charity industry whines at lobbying restrictions

As the Grauniad reports, there is a huge whine coming from the professional charity industry. A 2014 Act that requires them to be politically neutral during elections in return for tax breaks and other privileges is preventing them from using their people and funds to campaign for Corbyn, they say. Or rather say in effect. They pretend they want to point out the flaws in Conservative policy (without commenting on Corbyn's manifesto, you understand) but we all know for whose benefit many of our charities are run - their executives.  

Even excluding the fake charities - lobby groups funded by the EU, government departments, local authorities or global corporates to the extent that less than half their income is from public donations or legacies - much of the rest of the charitable industry sector has taken on the mantle of big business with Common Purpose staffers. 

It is instructive that Labour has promised to remove the political campaigning restrictions if it gains power. What's actually needed is a huge shake-up of the whole corrupt weaselly scam, a clear-out of the crooked misappropriation of donations in inflated salaries and luxury perks for charity bosses, a mass cull of fake charities, a Charity Commission with real teeth and protections for the public - in knowing that if they give money, at least 85% of it will go to the beneficiaries, in knowing that the charity's workers are working for the recipients of aid not the Labour Party and knowing that a charity is not 'owned' by a corporate lobbyist.