Sunday, August 05, 2007

Gurkha Welfare Trust and Claymore '07

Saturday was spent raising money for the Gurkhas at Claymore '07. We did the same last year ( unsurprisingly Claymore '06). This is a wargames convention held in Edinburgh.
It's actually great fun - the people are usually quite large, but unfailingly cheerful and generous.The GWT gets a share of the entrance money and we raise more by selling stuff and collecting cash from the exhibitors and public.
Two things came across really really strongly.
Firstly, most of the men had purses in which they kept their change. Perhaps it's only me that finds this somewhat obsessive as I keep mine in my pocket.
The second was the utter disgust expressed in varying degrees of vehemence about this government's treatment of the Armed Forces and the Gurkhas in particular. Amongst this coterie, Flash and his minions would have been lynched had they shown their faces.
Granted most wargamers are probably ex-forces themselves, but even so, even those who had wandered in from simple curiosity were utterly vituperative about the most recent case of the VC who wanted to come to the UK, and was initially refused because he "didn't have sufficient ties to the UK". It's OK to die for us but not to live here.
I'm reading a book called "Tulipmania" by Anne Goldgar. As the title suggests, it's about Holland in the 17th Century. But the truth of what we think we know about Tulipmania ( country ruined, economy taking years to recover) is not accurate, and the whole thrust of her arguement is to do with government responsibility.
As she says " One of the functions of those in authority is to help to create or enforce a system of values. Communities find themselves at a loss when values are thrown in doubt"
I can't help but feel this is where we are in the UK now. Does anyone really know what the values Flash and his lot espouse? I've no idea, and I don't suppose anyone else does. This very lack of principle is what is undermining what remains of our society.
I have always said we children of the '60s have ruined it for everyone else.We took on authority and respect, and largely overcame it.
What has now happened is that NuLabour ( or Brown Labour as it was referred to in one of the papers today - surely a case for the Race Relations Board) has no repect for the country, its people,institutions or professions. This can only result in decline and degeneration.
Whatever else you may think of the Conservatives, at least they have respect for institutions.

6 comments:

Winchester whisperer said...

Hi KL - I thought Scots kept their change in their sporrans? Do you really think it's the Govt's job to create values? Isn't its job to enforce and improve the laws allowing as much room for individual expression and opportunity as possible? I would have thought that GB, as a minister's son, would have strong personal values (not that support him). Where he went wrong was his mishandling of the economy in allowing too much debt and too much reliance on house prices as the be-all and end-all. Labour/GB was also wrong in allowing far too much immigration which has put so much strain on the country's infrastructure. The other major crime was dumbing down education in their efforts to eradicate intellectual excellence which they tarnish with the label of "elitism". We are waiting for coherent policies from DC. Perhaps he does support "institutions", who knows, but in my view George Osborne should be far more critical and incisive.

kinglear said...

WW - yes they do, but really only at weddings!
I think the point about values is a touch broader - the laws themselves create a " value set" (don't steal, litter,etc etc) which the government is there to uphold. Where things change with time and technology, it's the government's job to legislate as necessary - which creates a new "value set" which they then defend again. What this government has done is NOT defend values and protect people, they have deliberately made bad and largely unenforceable laws in pursuit of a sound bite, and to give a perception that they are "doing something". On average, a Parliamentary Bill used to take 18 months to be promulgated. Now it takes less than 6 weeks. Think of all the unintended consequences. We need a long period of no new laws and major redrafting of existing ones. By the way, there are usually about 25-40 bills in a parliamentary session. On average, TB and his lot have issued over 800 orders in council. So much for Democracy.

kinglear said...

Oh, and education? Utter disater. We will very shortly find we have no place in the world when all the better educated East Europeans, Indians, Chinese, Japanese et etc take all our jobs. Our Universities are already dropping down the world scale under the appalling requirement to take unsuitable undergraduates.

kinglear said...

And George Osborne? Wait until Darling actually does or says something. He hasn't yet, and probably won't as GB will be yanking his chain.

Winchester whisperer said...

What you say about legislation is worrying but to review all those laws would be rather tedious, wouldn't it? Couldn't DC simply say that the Cs will automatically repeal all legislation which was forced through without due consideration. Could be part of the manifesto?
As for GO - he should be screaming, not waiting for Darling. Did you see that Sir Tom Cowie's withdrawn his support today?

kinglear said...

Tom Cowie always was a hang'em flog'em etc. Platform 10 has a good piece about NOT doing what big donors want. If he really cared about the Tory party he would have quitely told DC what he thought and melted away. Behaviour nowadays is all prima donna, and, unfortunately, all ego.