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Friday, 30 April 2010

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You may have a soulmate in the States. And no, she's not Ann:

"Both parties resemble Gordon Brown, who is about to lose the prime ministership of Britain. On the campaign trail this week, he was famously questioned by a party voter about his stand on immigration. He gave her the verbal runaround, all boilerplate and shrugs, and later complained to an aide, on an open mic, that he'd been forced into conversation with that "bigoted woman."
He really thought she was a bigot. Because she asked about immigration. Which is, to him, a sign of at least latent racism."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704302304575214613784530750.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_BelowLEFTSecond

That really is a very intelligent article. I fear for America ...

1. "Adm. Jellicoe, a supremely professional naval expert to his fingertips with a ferocious intellect"

Please refer to my comment on Mr Kamm concerning those with "ferocious" intellects/intelligence.

2. Concerning the article in the WSJ: the treachery - and that is not an exaggeration - of the political classes in the US and UK is laid bare by the history of immigration since the end of WW2. In the US, however, there is, at least, the pretence that a laisser faire legal and illegal immigration policy is an extension of the US welcome extended since the middle of the 19th century to immigrants who, in improving their own lives, thereby benefited the US.

In the UK there has never been any policy (except that of cowardice and neglect) concerning immigration. The failure to stem the post-WW2 immigration from the Caribbean wilfully imported a wholly avoidable race problem into the UK, the consequences of which are (almost) completely harmful and the full effects of which are still playing out. The deliberate policy of encouraging immigration from the third world by the present Labour administration and connived in by both Conservatives and the LibDems - and exacerbated by uncontrolled immigration from the EU - has shattered for ever the cultural homogeneity of the nation.

Since this is Britain, this patent destruction of our culture will not result in blood on the streets. Instead there'll be a long, slow, grudging and whining decline into third world status. The political class will retain its grip on power while patronising and despising those who, in a facade of democracy, it allows to vote only in order to legitimise that grip. I'm glad I'm old: it's my children - and their children - I feel sorry for.

If we're talking military intellect, may I recommend "On The Psychology of Military Incompetence"(http://www.amazon.co.uk/Psychology-Military-Incompetence-Pimlico/dp/0712658890/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1273055064&sr=8-1)? It's an interesting study of (inter alia) why apparently buffoonish characters get promoted to high command, particularly in peace time. It is replete with amusing anecdotes, although I imagine that many of the situations described were extremely unamusing for those involved. Enjoy!

Thanks, 'H', but that, I think, is quite anold book, I seem to remember reading it, or something like it absolutely yonks ago.

To be fair, out and out incompetence amongst senior officers was not common during Jutland. I except, of course, Beaty's Flag Officer, Seymour, who had a history of incompetence which Beatty should dealt with, and the totally absurd officer in the Admiralty who detested all the scruffy civilians in Room 40 and who demanded to know where Scheer's call sign was located on the day the Germans 'came out' and was told that it was in Willemshaven and because the fool never knew that Scheer changed to a different call sign when at sea, he told Jellicoe and Beatty that the High Seas Fleet was abck in base when in fact ti was already on its way to the Horns Reef. The main protagonists I would rate as follows: Jellicoe - brilliant, Beatty - flawed, Evan-Thomas - hidebound. But remember - we won - because we didn't lose, and that was down to Jellicoe.

You are quite right. It is an old book, a classic even. No doubt you did read it long ago!

Everything seems like long ago these days!

Quite an interesting judgement on the Battle of Jutland, I have recently finished reading both of Massie's books, Dreadnought and Castles of Steel. He is a very impressive historian and successfully outlines all social cultural political and personal backgrounds for the eventual clash in the North Sea. I must see if I can get hold of Gordon's book here in the Antipodes. If you are able could you put your Powerpoint on the battle of Jutland on the net? I am currently using a few of Massie's minor concepts to work up a couple of novels especially around the naval reasons for the US joining the war.

Greg, welcome to D&N.

I'm not sure how to put a PowerPoint on the net but I have saved your blog to my 'Favourites' list so I will try and e-mail it to you - when it is finished. As you can imagine, 'drawing' the little boat figures and then moving them round the screen is quite a complex operation especially for an absolute beginner like me. However, like a hanging inthe morning it concentrates the mind wonderfully as I try to get the timings and the details right - for which I heartily thank Andrew Gordon and his forensic investigation.

I'll be in touch.

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