When the Humber Bridge was completed in 1981, it was the longest single span suspension bridge in the world. 41 years later, it has been reduced to a mere 11th place. The current longest single span suspension bridge in the world, the Akashi Kaikyo bridge in Japan, stands a mere 500 metres longer. This is an unfathomable disgrace for the people of Great Britain and is, quite frankly, a national tragedy and embarrassment. To add to this disgrace, another bridge, the ‘Çanakkale 1915 Bridge’ will soon be completed in Turkey. It will kick the Akashi Kaikyo bridge from its number one spot, and move the Humber Bridge to a measly 12th place.
Therefore, for my submission to The Mallard’s project 22, I would like to make a simple but resoundingly important proposal: build a second Humber Bridge (Humber Bridge 2 some would say) and make it precisely one metre longer than the Çanakkale 1915 Bridge, therefore reclaiming Britain’s rightful place in the world as the country with the world’s longest single span suspension bridge.
This proposal is likely to ruffle some feathers internationally, and I imagine our friends in the East would be quick to try and build another, even longer single span suspension bridge somewhere else. The solution to this possible outrage is, of course, simple: Build a third Humber Bridge.
These proposed projects have a myriad of benefits that I am sure are obvious. I will however go over them in an attempt to convert the non-believers. Not only will these projects drastically increase the infrastructure of the East Riding of Yorkshire and Northern L*ncolnshire, they will also bring desperately needed construction work and employment to an otherwise overlooked region. The construction of perhaps five or six Humber Bridges over the next 50 years would create literally thousands of jobs for engineers, technicians, builders, and labourers.
Coming in with an estimated price tag at just over £2 billion each, I am sure you can see that these bridges would be an absolute steal for the price!
I know what you’re thinking ‘He can’t be serious! This is a joke right?’. No, I am being very serious. As the nation which invented the bridge, I think it is perfectly reasonable that Great Britain goes to great lengths to have the longest one in the world, the lack of one is wounding to our pride. If you do not support the construction of perhaps eight or nine more Humber Bridges in our lifetime, not only are you a coward, but I can only assume that you are also working in favour of foreign governments, which makes you a traitor, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to sit here and be lectured by some fifth columnist.
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A New British Bill of Rights will Keep Everyone HappyBy Andy Jaggard — 3 months ago
Human rights are controversial. They probably shouldn’t be, being instead something we should all be able to rally around as the bare minimum we can do to protect our fellow man from the harms that could be inflicted upon them by the cruel. But that is not the case. As with most other things, human rights have been co-opted by both sides of the debate to feed the war-machines of angst. The Rwanda immigration policy is the latest battleground, but it won’t be the last. This will never fully be resolved, but a new British Bill of Rights will go a long way.
Personally I have never been a fan of a codified set of rights. I am not sure we need to be told by a specific document that we have the right to life. It should transcend a piece of paper into our way of being. We have, being a civilised people here in the United Kingdom, worked it out on our own, with many of the rights we have anticipated in the European Convention on Human Rights.
But that is often forgotten due to this constitution-style system. People seem to forget that these rights are as human to us as breathing, and that they didn’t just burst into existence upon drafting. The only time this happened was at Mount Sinai, and even then, I would contend that most of them were already held within the hearts and minds of the assembled peoples who heard them. Codified sets of rights take on a mythical status, used by those of a more puritanical bent to suggest that without said list, we would all fall the next day into some purge-like hellscape, acting with horrendous disregard for all others.
However, just as nature abhors a vacuum, the cogs of the judicial system thrive on vagaries. There will always be room for interpretation (especially, somewhat ironically, with things so fundamental), so it is the lesser of the evils to have these rights written down for all to see, so our intent is clear. There will always be lacunas to fill, but you can rest easy knowing it will be by like-minded individuals, attuned to the clear direction of the people they will impact, understanding their tradition, position, and direction.
But that isn’t the case as things stand, and it is where most of the current controversy around human rights actually sits. As things stand, we have a scenario where the interpretation of these fundamental items, these things so personal to a people, is conducted supranational, by a group not attuned to how these rights are embedded within us, and how we in the UK wish them to be used. It sows division within our country to have these matters decided for us, outside of our own structures that we have built to govern and protect each other.
Of course, we did sign up, there was originally consent for this position, but we are a long way now from the post-war mindset that led to the ECHR being created. We have moved on. Not to the extent that we wish to abandon any of the rights themselves (no matter what certain commentators would have you believe), but in terms of how we wish the grey to be made black and white.
The best thing to do, therefore, is to withdraw from the ECHR, and recreate the convention as an Act of Parliament. It shouldn’t be too difficult, given how involved in the drafting we were in the first place. This glorious legislation should then be given the fanfare and patriotic name it deserves. And in doing so we will free ourselves from the shackles of the current situation, while still providing a beacon of hope for all to rally around.
Each side should be happy with the result.
As the precious document will still exist, the ‘frothers-in-chief’ will be content that the UK won’t slip into lawlessness overnight, while the rest of us can be happy that we will be in the position where any interpretation is done within our own judicial structure, using our thought processes, aligned to our own (lower order, but still important) values.
There will still be much need to call on the judiciary to interpret our fundamental rights, and there will still be cases that cause division. But we will be able to at least point to our own shared national heritage, and our wonderful common law, as the reasoning for these decisions. They will have been made by us, for us, to protect us. Just like our human rights.
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The Monarchy is Losing its Core SupportersBy David Lindsay — 3 months ago
The Platinum Jubilee approaches, yet Peter Hitchens writes that, “I have just stopped supporting the monarchy. I can’t do it any more. I am not a republican, or anything silly like that. I would like a proper monarchy. But the House of Windsor’s total mass conversion to Green orthodoxy has destroyed the case for this particular Royal Family. The whole point of the Crown is that it does not take sides in politics.” Quite apart from what other political opinions he could possibly have expected West London toffs to hold, the political neutrality of the monarchy is like the impartiality of the BBC. When, exactly, has there ever been any such thing?
The monarchy retains the loyalty of many on the right, but it is a mystery how this is so. Either the Queen or her equally revered father has signed off on every nationalisation, every aspect of the Welfare State, every retreat from Empire, every loosening of Commonwealth ties, every social liberalisation, every constitutional change, and every EU treaty. If they could not have done otherwise, then why bother having a monarchy? What is it for? Many supported public ownership and the Welfare State, decolonisation, social liberalisation and constitutional change a cause for joy, but many more found these things cause for horror. Public opinion on the changes over which the monarchy has presided over the last century is besides the point, however. The point is that the monarchy has failed at its own avowed mission.
Is it not the job of a monarch, if not to acquire territory and subjects, then at least to hold onto them? If so, then George VI was by far the worst ever British monarch, and quite possibly the worst monarch that the world has ever seen. Furthermore, is it not the job of the British monarch to maintain Protestant society and culture in the United Kingdom? If so, then no predecessor has ever begun to approach the abject failure of Elizabeth II, a failure so complete that no successor will ever be able to equal it.
For all her undoubted personal piety, the cult of the present Queen among Evangelical Protestants and among those who cleave to a more-or-less 1950s vision of Anglicanism, Presbyterianism or Methodism, is utterly baffling. What has either the monarchy or the Queen ever done for them? During the present reign, Britain has become one of the world’s most secular countries ever, and the White British have become one of history’s most secular ethnic groups – a trend that has been even more marked among those with Protestant backgrounds than it has been among Catholics.
This has implications for the Windrush debate, and with eight Commonwealth Realms in or on the Caribbean, a fat lot of good being the Queen’s loyal subject has done anyone there. Barbados, proportionately the most Anglican country in the world, has just become a republic. It also has implications for aspects of the debate around Brexit. If you wanted to preserve and restore a Christian culture in this country, then one idea could be to welcome immigrants from Christian countries.
On balance, it would not be wise to abolish the monarchy. We would no more likely get President Hitchens than President Corbyn. It would be a choice between the next Bullingdon Club member in line and someone who had casually given a trifling £50,000 to the most recently successful candidate for the Leadership of the Labour Party. No one else would even make it onto the ballot paper, and it would not be acceptable to have either as Head of State. Nor would it make sense to abolish the Royal Prerogative, either. Rather, it should be exercised by a Prime Minister who aspires to strengthen families and communities through economic equality and international peace.
But the monarchy, and with it the exercise of the Royal Prerogative by persons who most certainly did not share those aspirations, does not depend on the support of the public. It depends on the support of people who, as long as the monarchy and especially the present Queen were simply there, are prepared to overlook the fact that hardly anything that they really want ever happens while all sorts of things that they do not want continue to happen, no matter who is in government.
Add to that the fact that the Order of the Garter is entirely in the gift of the monarch. There is no Ministerial involvement. The Queen alone has chosen to confer it on Tony Blair – an almost unforgivable betrayal. Moreover, whatever Prince Andrew may or may not have done, he undeniably chose to move in the circles of Jeffrey Epstein, of Robert Maxwell’s daughter, of Peter Mandelson, and of the Clintons. It is the Anglo-American liberal elite, certain sections of the Labour and Democratic Parties that are the Royal Family’s sort of people, even if they don’t align with left wing politics publicly. Culturally, no one is more Tory than a liberal Tory; politically no one is more liberal. The people on whose support the monarchy has traditionally depended have chosen to ignore the fact that that was what their heroes must have been, and openly were. But if Hitchens’s column and the reaction to Blair’s Garter are anything to go by, then that is coming to a sore end.
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Who Controls Europe’s Streets? The Migrant Riots of 2022-23 as a Glitch in the MatrixBy Thomas Karleil — 2 months ago
“We were suddenly gifted people”, shrieked the German Green Party politician Katrin Göring-Eckardt in 2016. This happened at the annual gathering of the EKD, the German Lutheran protestant Church (after the Catholic Church, the second largest denomination in Germany) which has become an adjunct outlet of the Green Party. Shortly before that, the narrative of “all those great Syrian doctors“ was born.
However, nobody is talking about migrant doctors – or itinerant rocket scientists – these days. Instead, the Dutch and Belgian police were nervously biting their nails as they watched the games of the Moroccan soccer team during the 2022 World Cup.
If Morocco won, there would be riots – in Brussels, The Hague, Rotterdam and elsewhere. If Morocco lost, the outcome was much the same. The outcome of the games did not seem to matter all that much.
What did seem to matter to these future brain-surgeons (even in the third generation) was to show to their (not so) new home countries where their true loyalties lie and who controls the street.
In France, The Grinch that stole Christmas from French policemen arrived in the form of Kurdish rioters. Some lunatic, white Frenchman, had opened fire on visitors of a restaurant and culture center.
This resulted, of course, in riots – much as anger and grief about senseless violence is understandable, but why take it out on French society at large? It is not like Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey are doing a better job at keeping Kurds safe.
You thought all that would fulfill the allotted contingent of migrant rioting for a year? Enabling European cops to kick back the heavy boots, put their feet up, sip a Glühwein or a hot toddy? Not so fast.
Germany’s imported future nuclear physicist community was happy to oblige. This time, to their credit, they were not sexually assaulting women in their hundreds – as happened in 2015/16, just months after Angela Merkel had thrown open the borders.
Instead this year the “gifted people” had graduated to attacking ambulances, firemen and, of course, policemen. In one instance a Fire-engine was lured in an ambush, 25 masked thugs attacked the fire engine, the firemen had to retreat and part of the equipment was looted.
No, this is not Kabul or Mogadishu but Berlin, in the country formerly known as Germany.
If Germans had ever doubted subsidizing their public broadcasters with 8 billion Euros in compulsory fees) – this New Year’s Day the public broadcast delivered a stellar piece of hard hitting investigative journalism.
A gallant young reporter, the Berlin correspondent of the Tagesschau (the flagship of the public broadcaster’s news media) rode to the rescue – and twisted himself in an argumentative pretzel in order to avoid saying the obvious (i.e. who the rioters were).
Here is the transcript (link, fast forward to 2:42):
[Main newsreader]: “So, who are the perpetrators? What do we know to date?”
[Hapless, deer-caught-in-the-headlight-Berlin-correspondent Thomas Rostek]:
“Talking of the perpetrators‘ is always a little bit difficult in such contexts [sic!]“.
“As a matter of fact, the, uhm, The Union of German Policemen, has already, uhm, commented on this and said that these are group-dynamic processes, uhm, therefore in society as a whole there was meant to be this, uhm, great pressure, now on the occasion of 2 years of pandemic and now one is just, uhm, trying, uhm, uhm, exactly, that you can also easily obtain, pyrotechnics [meaning: fireworks, flares, fire crackers] then that this just, uhm, led to great problems. Correct.“
[Main newsreader, very serious]: “Thank you for the assessment. Thomas Rostek in Berlin“.
Wow, so this is the kind of eloquent, hard hitting journalism that you are getting for just 8 billion Euros annually. Also, do they no longer teach using conjunctions such as “because” or “therefore” in journalism schools? Either way – we are getting solid comedy gold:
Even the logic starved brain of a public broadcast journalist, could only take so much reality denial: His cerebral cortex switched into “I am outta here” modus.
Explaining away violence against firefighters by pointing at a pandemic and „group-dynamic processes and pressures from society at large“ (whatever that is supposed to be) would have been difficult even had he mastered the proper use of conjunctions.
Let’s ponder on the symbolism of this journalistic masterpiece: Since 2015 we have been dealing with a well-oiled world explanation machine. This machine has perfected papering over the increasing cracks between reality and publicly desired narratives. Alas, increasingly glitches are showing in the matrix.
Thought experiment – you have built a Hundertwasser (Google him!)–styled airplane, that looks great but contradicts physical imperatives for flight (e.g. Bernoulli Principle and Newton’s laws) and thus cannot fly. Dealing with this collision between reality and wishful thinking can be done in a variety of ways:
Strategy No. 1 – Denial: “Nonsense, the plane can fly!”
Strategy No. 2 – Placation: “Ok, it can’t fly, but it is ‘not very helpful’ to say that, mmkaay?”
Strategy No. 3 – Not reporting or banning such unwanted news to page 30 of the newspaper
Strategy No. 4 – Adjusting the definition: “Ok, part of flying is rolling on the tarmac, and that has worked really well, so technically it has been flying, sort of.”
Strategy No. 5 – Attack at a personal level: “If you say one more time that this thing ain’t flying you are a terrible person, and you hate birds, and women, too.”
Strategy No. 6 – Glitch in the matrix/meltdown: If all papering-over measures are failing, one can always resort to pseudoscientific gobbledegook and say “uhm” a lot and have a good old fashioned meltdown.
Strategy No. 7 – Waiting for the news cycle, change the topic and use censorship: Recover from No. 6 meltdown by:
a) Hope the next news will make the viewers forget about the meltdown
b) Talking about “insurrections” (such as a bunch of German pensioners planning a coup with crossbows – yes I kid you not)
c) “Politicians, please help and give us new censorship laws.”
For this still young 2023 to be on the lookout for glitches in the matrix, they are occurring more frequently, as reality collides with the desired mainstream narratives more and more.
In the meantime even the notoriously unfunny public German broadcasters (same should apply to the BBC, CBC and NPR) are delivering comedy gems for eternity – enjoy!
On a more serious note – this should go without saying – the aim of this article is not to blame entire communities for the acts of a minority. I have worked with plenty of young people from some of the countries of origin that seemed to have been disproportionately involved in the recent riots. I have found them to be very hard working, polite and highly polyglot. This is precisely why we should be having a debate about what has gone wrong.
Have we at times attracted the wrong subset from these countries? What about our vetting processes in the face of open borders? If we do not believe in ourselves as a country, why should they? If we do not enforce our own norms and laws – aren’t we bound to create communities stuck in a nihilist limbo?
Important questions that should be asked and discussed, but that are subject to the “Lala, nothing to see here”/ostrich treatment of the mainstream.
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