05 August 2009

How To Lie With (Environmental) Statistics

This time it's a senior Labour minister doing the deed, and it's the Conservatives who are being done down.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change pounced on figures which purported to show that Conservative-run councils refuse more wind-farm applications than Labour-run councils. 'We're greener than thou' is the message Labour Secretary of State Ed Miliband (pictured, right) wants to put over by giving publicity to this very carefully selected statistic.

What the headlines don't reveal is that more Conservative-controlled councils are in rural areas. This is where there are protected or valuable landscapes that no-one wants ruined. The Labour councils tend to be in areas where the surroundings are urban, so that wind-power generation is acceptable and even desirable.
Incidentally, this tiny island of Britain creating a new 'Minister For Climate Change' is like when the Vikings appointed King Canute as minister for stopping the tide coming in in 1013.

03 August 2009

What's She Doing Out Of The Kitchen?

In the first of an occasional series, examining a Big Idea from someone at the top in politics today, we look at the beliefs of Labour's Equalities Minister and Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman.

The idea, in the proposer's own words:

"I don't agree with all-male leaderships. Men cannot be left to run things on their own. I think it's a thoroughly bad thing to have men-only leadership."*

Ms Harman is ignoring some very basic truths here. Fundamental principles, which have governed male-run hierarchies from ancient times and throughout history, show that this dear lady may actually be suffering from a medical condition or clinical delusion in making her suggestion.

First, let us take the example of Germany, pre-war. Or pre both wars.

Possibly the greatest ever example of a successful political state was Germany in the era from January 1933 up to December 1941.

This period, which ended on the 11th of December 1941 with the declaration of war on the United States of America to add to the collection of concurrent states of war against the Soviet Union and the entire British Empire, led to the power, spread and influence of Germany reaching its zenith. France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium and so on; the successful tour of European countries and beyond had seemed endless. There was only the trip to Britain in summer 1940 that had to be cancelled.

Ms Harman should carefully note that during all of this period, it was strictly 'men only' at the top table in German political life. Women were kept for breeding purposes, decoration, and the making of films about how great the men were.

There are many other examples of successful male dominated societies, all the way up to the present.

Today, the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran would no more consider allowing women into powerful positions in his country than he would consider juggling a live pig and a copy of Playboy while dancing on a relief map of Israel. So you see Ms Harman, men certainly can be left to run things on their own.

Further East, an outfit called the Taliban is likewise showing the way forward for all-male leaderships. Here, it's not only the present they are concerned about. They want to ensure 'the future belongs to them' as well.

It is literally forbidden for young females to get an education. The summary execution of teachers - in the classroom and in front of the children - where girls are found in the class not only happens, it is wholeheartedly approved of by the male-only authorities.  That is, when they're not burning kites or flogging people who sing.

So finally, what is the assessment of this Big Idea? Ms Harman has not only upset John Prescott with her flighty feminine notion on this occasion, she has also demonstrated why living in the modern democratic West is a failure, and why it will fail time and time again so long as women are permitted in the decison-making processes.

It is no wonder that no-one wants to come and live here.

*Sunday Times interview, 2 August 2009