Sunday, March 30, 2008


ANSA) - Rome, March 25 - Based on drug seizures last year, Italy is Europe's second market for heroin, after Britain, and one of the leading consumers of cocaine, according to a new interior ministry report.

Read the full article here

Not only in Britain are we incapable of running an airport after the chaos at Heathrow's Terminal 5, but we are first in Europe as a market for heroin.


Blogger Philip Amos said...

Britain is the heroin capital of Europe? I could ask myself, how did this come about?, but I ask myself that question every morning when I go to my Google homepage and browse through the Guardian, Independent, Times, etc., keeping tabs on my native land. Heroin; Heathrow; post offices; stabbing deaths part of the diurnal routine; Iraq; a disastrous railway system that charges as much for a ticket London to Newcastle as, on a good day, you can here buy a ticket Vancouver to London; an education system that an English friend of mine here, who used to be one of H.M.'s Inspectors of Schools, pre-Ofsted, says she now finds incomprehensible; a refugee system that equates caution with inhumanity; the gutting of the English village; extortioners running fuel and utility companies...actually, just about everything. I know how it happened, but knowing is sometimes not the same as understanding, and I don't understand. But then, I've never been able to fathom the philosophical underpinnings of the recent governments, if there are any. At least I knew where Maggie Thatcher was coming from. Three biographies of the last prime minister reminded me of that very unfair quip about an empty taxi drawing up and Clement Attlee getting out. In this case, I thought, there really is nothing there. And into a vacuum, anything may be sucked. Apologies for getting a little political here, but not, I must say, partisan -- I curse the lot of them.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Philip, this was an accurate assessment of how the situation seems at the moment.
I have come back from spending 30 minutes in a queue at a Post Office. I feel like Scott of the Antartic having actually reached one that has not been closed.

Wasn't it Winston Churchill who said of Clement Attlee that he was a modest man with plenty to be modest about? As far as our last PM he only shines in comparison with the present incumbent.
The chickens of ten years of wasted opportunities are coming home to roost.
If it seems bad from British Columbia it is a darn sight worse from England.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

"A modest man, but then he has so much to be modest about." Churchill may have said that, but it was unwise to disparage Attlee within Churchill's hearing, as one new Conservative MP famously found out as he spouted off in the lobby of the House in 1946, and I've always thought that quotation has to be a compliment -- to be modest is to be humble about one's merits and accomplishments, so if one has a great deal to be modest about... It has always puzzled that it is invariably taken to be a jibe.

The smoothy-chopped rapscallions who have more lately been ruling the roost to which the chickens are coming home have, on that interpretation, nothing whatever to be modest about and a great deal about which they should be bloody ashamed. I was in England for eighteen months in 1996-7 and not at all happy with what I found then. I can't even imagine what it is like living there now.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The saddest thing I read last week was of the murder of Sophie Lancaster. Her mother is, or now was (potentially) a youth worker; the details of her daughter's death now causing her to question whether she can carry on.

Sophie came to the rescue of her boyfriend who was being beaten by two feral youths. She begged them to stop as she held her boyfriend in her lap. They turned on her. She died, not immediately, but later in hospital and her mother released a photo to the media of how she looked when in ITU.

The police were certainly critical of the mother of one of the youths responsible. There was laughing and jibing and no sense of morality at all when her son was questioned.

Please, please, let's see this as a turning point and some changes in the law to make parents accountable for the actions of their kids. We already have "accessory to murder", but in my mind parents should also be culpable, in a similar vein, if they nurture their children to be as feral as this. (Or not nurture at all, as the case may seem to be.)

I can't begin to imagine the loss that Sophie's mother is feeling, having lost both my parents last year and a best friend to cancer in 2003. In the case of my friend, I know hard it hit her mother too. Losing a child is a sacrilege, something never in the routine of life and something never to be fully accepted. Here, Sophie's mother has been forced to see her child's death through criminal means, which makes it even worse.

My heart goes out to Sophie's family, her boyfriend (who survived) and his family.

For those responsible, incarceration for life is more than appropriate, but alas, we live in liberal-leftie times that mean this might not be the case.

Sophie's mother said that youths have no morals and can't see right from wrong. That starts with parental upbringing; is the root of it. Is it not now time to make the makers of this feral youth world accountable for their actions too? We have to stop the gap, surely? Aren't we in the west supposed to be sophisticated in our thoughts? How did we ever let it get to this? And there are previous cases of such feral behaviour we seem to have become "immune to", because there were so many, just like youth killings in London.

It has to be curtailed and order has to be restored. And that's a serious point no one seems to have mentioned: "order has to be restored". Without order we are nothing. We used to have order; where did it go? And why?

But above all, it's time to restore it.

6:02 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Philip, it has got a lot worse since 1997 even in rural Devon. If you need a family of servants in BC some of us would available.
Just one example from my own experience a few years before I retired my business partner's mother in law was raped and murdered on her birthday.
The perpetrator got about 5 years in prison and wen tback to live in the same village In Wales near his victims widowed husband!

Rhian, I think it is the lack of punishment that has destroyed order. People, especially the feral youth, don't fear or respect the law anymore.
The considerable danger is that society will seek order from a leader who will promise to make the trains run on time, and give us security.
The Sophie Lancaster case is yet another in a long line of disgracefully tragic events, eg Gary Newlove and including some victims with learning disabilities such as Steven Hoskin and Brent Martin.
When will the politicians do something?

11:06 AM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

A family of servants? Hmmm. I shall keep that in mind, Norm. At the moment I suspect my tweenie of seeking carnal knowledge with the second footman in the stables, possibly with the connivance of the assistant housekeeper, so I may have at least three positions opening up. I'm also not entirely happy with my personal valet, but I'm keeping that position open for Sharon Small in the event that her acting career tanks.

But there is a problem, and I write this as someone who has three times travelled to Seattle in order to sponsor Chinese friends as immigrants to Canada: It is next to impossible to emigrate from Britain or Europe to Canada unless you are rich and/or famous. If you are from China or India it is pretty well a breeze, and if you are rich and from Hong Kong in particular, you need not worry about an overly rigorous background check re where all that money came from. All this has caused considerable grief.

Maxine and I had a discussion about multiculturalism on your blog a while ago, and I said then that the Canadian policy of multiculturalism was introduced by Pierre Trudeau who, asked 25 years ago about whether what had come to pass in the intervening years was what he intended, monosyllabically replied, "No." A monosyllabic reply from Trudeau was significant.

This policy of multiculturalism that has now been found wanting is the very same policy that has been emulated in other countries including Britain, and in Britain and Canada and elsewhere it has gone from idealistic to sound to flawed to catastropic, and at no point has any government intervened to rectify it. Why have they not? In Canada, most certainly, because everything is evaluated in terms of voting patterns.

HOW has this come about? I think because the policy makers behind 'multiculturalism' never did address the questions of where lies the tipping point at which the values of the host country might conflict with the values of the immigrants and how, at that point, to deal with the enusing conflict.

5:49 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

If Sharon Small is your valet you won't need any more staff. ;o)

My son has been lecturing in Nova Scotia, and I thought he might try to emigrate but a third visit in January with the winter weather put him off. But as he is not rich or famous he might not have stood a chance anyway.
I think it is the problem of numbers that has caused that tipping point to be reached at least here in the UK.
Past immigrants wanted to be British and I am not sure this is the case now as the arrivals just want to live here while retaining the entire culture of their country of origin.
I was very much in favour of immigration from the old Empire in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s especially from the West Indies and India. Our health service and public transport would have collapsed without it, but the wave of new immigrants over the last 10years means we have become a very crowded island.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Philip Amos said...

We do not, of course, have a problem with the country becoming overcrowded here, but otherwise, Norm, what you write echoes my own thoughts exactly. The biggest problem with the multicultural policy was and is that it unwittingly encourages the already powerful inclination not to assimilate or, in the case of many who do assimilate, at least not to change or modify certain attitudes or ways of proceeding that are bound to come in conflict with the ways of the new country.

As you say, it was not always so, and immigrants to Britain from the fifties through the seventies were in many ways a blessing, certainly in health and transport, and when the Asians were expelled from Uganda, England for the first time had corner stores that didn't put the shutters up at 5.30 on the dot. Canada's policy of multiculturalism, once held up as a model and emulated elsewhere, is a prime example of the disaster that ensues when governments try to manipulate for their own purposes, in this case the growth and character of a nation, what is by nature organic and should be left to develop naturally.

4:48 PM  

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