I have always been a conservative. Yes. Small “c”. But I stopped voting for any of the three main parties when they decided to ban pistol shooting.

It was a big issue for me. One illegal shooter went mad with his guns, and as a result all legal pistol shooting was banned forever (yes, Hamilton in Dunblane somehow gained a licence illegally and held onto it even though he was found with illegal weapons in his house, when he threatened people at home and in the street with his firearms, when he was not a member of a relevant gun club to own his weapons – in any other police jurisdiction in the UK, he would have not had his licence granted in the first place, or if he had, it would have been revoked after any one of these infractions. In his area it has to be concluded that certain members of the police were either culpably negligent or were enthusiastically incompetent. Since several investigating officers recommended that his licence should be revoked and had their recommendations squashed by senior officers, I think it’s more likely that senior officers were responsible).

I only have a few sports. In my youth I was a keen Karate student. That ended when I accidentally slipped down some stairs and lost the tendons in an ankle. I was still able to ski, though, and I guess skiing is one of my favourite sports – but I haven’t been able to afford to ski since the 1980s. It’s not a cheap sport in the UK.

No, my favourite sport, always, was pistol shooting.

Still one of my favourites: Colt 1911A1 Series 80. Great to shoot.

Pistol shooting was another English-invented pastime: the modern martial art. Before 1945, it was considered a safe and sensible pastime for any Englishmen and women. And with good reason. Pistol shooters had always been trusted. When I had a licence, I could prove I was safer than other people, because I had been carefully checked by the police. That licence proved I had never been suspected of a crime, never been convicted for drunk driving – nothing. No shooters I knew would risk getting drunk in case their licence was revoked and guns confiscated – alcoholics weren’t allowed guns. Pistol shooters were the most law-abiding group in the country, and demonstrably so.

Before gun licencing, when there were robberies, the police would call out in the street for anyone who was carrying a gun, borrow them, and hare off after the criminals. London was a safer place in those days. People would routinely carry pistols in their pockets. They were tools for self-defence. That is, after all, what handguns were invented for: defence.

But now self-defence is not allowed. In theory, all citizens have the right to self-defence, but in practice – no. Pistols are too dangerous – anyone touching a gun could become a crazed murderer – and as for Tasers, mace or pepper sprays, they too are listed as illegal weapons. A little while ago, it was proposed that bullet-proof and stab-proof vests should also be illegal.

The police, of course, are different. They have permission to possess any weapon – while in uniform or on duty. As soon as they clock off, they are not allowed guns. But while working, they’re allowed any form of weapon. They lied to government in Wilson’s era in order to be able to buy submachineguns – by simple describing their toys as “carbines”. And their lies were swallowed then. God only knows what else they’ve fibbed about.

But all political parties decided to ban pistols. Fine – that meant I swore I wouldn’t support any of them.

Ah, my favourite still: the Glock 21 in .45 cal. Lovely, reliable and fun to shoot.

My oath was easy to maintain. I always mistrusted Blair. He struck me as a poseur who would say anything to anyone in order to gain more power. I hadn’t realised how greedy he was as well. Mandelson was clearly only ever in it for the money; Brown was a mediocre politician and execrable economist who destroyed the British pensions industry, savaged our gold reserves and then went on to ruin our economy. I hated, and still detest, the Labour party.

I had always voted Conservative, but that ended in 1997. I wouldn’t vote for a party who took from me my only affordable pastime. As for the Liberal Democrats – well, I have a brain.

Instead I began to search for newer parties who reflected my views.

They aren’t extreme. In fact I think my ideals are pretty much middle of the road.

I want a good safety net for all those who need help when they lose their jobs or their health. Easy as a statement.

I do not want any further integration into an anti-democratic European superstate.

I want the freedom to find my own happiness without any interference from the state.

All of these things used to be the key proposals of the Conservatives.

When I saw Cameron take over the party, it made me happy. I thought that a guy who had enjoyed a privileged life so far would be more reliable and less likely to be corrupted than the greedy crooks who had preceded him. I was fairly convinced that the NHS would be safe in his hands, because he had needed the NHS when his own son was ill, and later when his son died. Someone who has gone through that would surely, I felt, be so grateful that he would protect the service with all his strength.

But the sight of tubby, chortling front benchers jeering and heckling their opponents, all equally chubby and giggly, eating massively subsidised meals, drinking hugely subsidised drinks, and claiming allowances of hundreds of pounds a month for more food, is sickening. One side places VAT on pasties, the other side makes political capital by going to a pasty shop.

It is pathetic.

There used to be a saying “sells like hot cakes”. In the 1970s, when we joined the EEC, that saying went out of date. That was when VAT was imposed, and since hot cakes received VAT and cold ones didn’t, hot cakes ceased to be sold. But I would like to be able to buy them still.

VAT is now 20%. Anything, pretty much, that you want to buy in the UK is one fifth more expensive than it should be. And that is on top of the other taxes we have to pay – the fuel duty, the rents and rates – everything.

But VAT is needed for the massive sums which Britain pays every year into the European Union. It goes to poorer countries so that they can join. There is a belief in the socialist, undemocratic Union that richer nations must impoverish themselves to help the poorer nations.

I don’t agree. I think nations should find their own way to increase their wealth, just as families should, without expecting others to help them. Because at the end of the day, my duty is not to some nebulous concept invented by a politician seeking to gain himself some momentary fame, my duty is to my family first, and my local community second. After that I’ll think about duty to the state.

And families survive and support themselves far, far better when their future and their income is controlled by them themselves. Not politicians, not bureaucrats, not civil servants, and certainly not faceless unelected people in Brussels.

The good thing is, all the main political parties have accepted that this is the feeling in the country. Which is why Gordon Brown promised a referendum on membership of the EU. The hugely pro-Europe party, the LibDems, also promised a referendum on Europe, “in or out”. Oh, and Cameron’s Conservatives promised it too.

And every single party reneged on their promises. They were “political” promises. Clearly not to be taken seriously. They were merely indications of what would be good when the time was right. At some point in the future. Perhaps.

So, my political choice is a lot easier. I still cannot vote for any of these mendacious people.

Nigel Farage, here I come.

Back in the good old days, when pistol shooting was fun.

11 Responses to “Politics”
  1. Ralph Spurrier says:

    Mike, you are not alone. I was prepared to go along with the Conservatives but the debacle over the bloody pasties and the “fill up your jerry cans” idiotic statement makes one wonder if they have their heads screwed on back to front. The golden rule should be “if you can’t say anything sensible, shut the f*** up”. Of course it has been a golden opportunity for the BBC to play the whole thing up to the hilt. The only good thing about Galloway wining in Bradford is that he stuck it to Labour as well. I forsee UKIP making inroads for those of us who are seriously ticked off with money leaking out of this country into failed European states.


  2. Chris Prillwitz says:

    Michael, you know my opinion on gun ownership. I refuse to vote for any candidate that isn’t pro gun ownership and pro Second Amendment. I’m just waiting for the Democrats to try to impose the VAT on us. Like I’ve said, let me know if you are ever going to be on my side of the pond and in my neck of the woods in April or early May and I’ll book you a turkey hunting trip with Mikey in Kansas or if you are going to be here during the fall, I’ll book you a pheasant hunting trip with him. Mikey and Stockton, the town he lives in, are about as politically incorrect as can be. But, there’s little crime there and you don’t bother locking your doors in Stockton. It’s a major crime when an illegal steals a fishing tackle box, the sheriff will form a posse to go after him. Why they don’t have any major crimes committed when I’m there, I don’t know. Wish they would, would like to join their posse. We’ll also do some pistol shooting and maybe, provided the Eco-Nazis haven’t gotten prairie dogs declared an endangered species, some prairie dog shottings.


    • As always, I’m with you there, Chris.
      Sadly the money’s looking too tight for a trip over this year – still haggling to make some more money, but it’s not easy. Still, I’ll pop a pigeon or two in expectation! Good hunting, old friend!


      • Chris Prillwitz says:

        Know how you feel, Michael. Things are tight for me. Think Obamie has managed to cut oil drilling so much that my boss’ main client isn’t doing any drilling right now. For the last two months all we had from the oil company that’s our biggest client is a couple miles of gas pipeline, a pumping station, and an earth farm, that’s where they dump dirt that has been contaminated by crude oil from wells to air out and decompose. Well, the good Lord has always come through for me so he will over the next few weeks. Let me know when you can get over. Don’t worry about shotguns, I can loan you one for turkeys or for pheasants. With me, you can expect if you are pheasant hunting to go after ducks, quail, and rabbits after bagging a limit of pheasants.


  3. Jules says:

    I’m with you on this, Mike. I’ve always wanted to do pistol shooting, but never got the chance. And unless I go to a country where it’s still allowed, I’ll never get to do it. Personally, I would never hunt animals or birds, unless I needed the food, although I do think there should be an open season on chavs! And as for UKIP, I like alot of what they’re saying at the moment.


    • Well, it’s not as hard as it may seem: France, Germany, Italy, Austria . . . in face every country in the world apart from Japan (where they have appalling knife/sword murders instead), and then it’s places like China and other totalitarian states where only the forces of the state can shoot to aid repression. We’ve joined them, under Blair’s leadership.


  4. knotrune says:

    Why would bullet proof vests be illegal? I can’t imagine any logic for that. And they are very similar to horse riding body protectors, surely safety equipment can’t be made illegal, that would take political insanity to a whole new level.

    Party politics is a dinosaur, it is not democracy. Most people’s views about most things are simply not possible to represent in such a manner. I don’t see it ever happening, but instead of voting for parties we should have referenda on issues. We have the technology for this to be possible. Or if we have to keep party politics, then geography should no longer be a relevant factor in political representation. It is far easier to send emails than to meet your MP in person, so why can’t we have non-geographical voting? Then each person’s vote would actually count equally and there would be no reason why a person living in the outer Hebrides couldn’t have an MP from the Isle of Wight.

    I tend to agree with Thomas More in Utopia, where nobody who wanted to be in charge was allowed to be…


  5. pikunichris says:

    Michael, hope you can get to the get together I’m hosting in November at the Gipsy Moth in Greenwich, when I’m back on your side of the pond. It will be one of the rare times I eat something other than what I grow or catch or hunt or make myself. Jules, I wouldn’t hunt if I didn’t eat what I hunt or to eliminate vermin.


  6. pikunichris says:

    Michael, hope you can make the get together I’m hosting on Thanksgiving Day at the Gipsy Moth in Greenwich after the Thanksgiving Day service at St. Pauls when I’m on your side of the pond this November. It will be one of the rare times I eat something that I haven’t grown or shot or caught or made myself other than dairy products, sugar, and tea. Jules, I wouldn’t hunt, except to eliminate vermin, if I didn’t eat what I hunt.


    • WIth you there, Chris. I used to hunt rabbits and pigeons when I started writing because there was no other meat I could afford. Heading that way again now – I’ll have to dust off the guns and hunt rabbits, I think.


  7. Most people’s views about most things are simply not possible to represent in such a manner. I don’t see it ever happening, but instead of voting for parties we should have referenda on issues.


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