Monday, 29 February 2016
Sunday, 28 February 2016
"Luigi Romersa, now 84 and living in Italy, described what he saw at the Skoda factory: "It was something exceptional, round with a central cockpit made from plexi-glass, and with jets all around it as means of propulsion".
Epp discovered that his plans had been stolen and were being developed in Prague. He travelled to the Skoda factory and witnessed, and photographed, the first test flights of the flying saucer.
The saucer used a combination of technologies, including the Koanda Effect, helicopter principles and jet propulsion. It was fast, versatile and could potentially carry a heavy payload of bombs. But, perhaps most importantly, for a country that had lost most of it's runways to enemy bombing, it could take off vertically. According to Romersa, Hitler planned to use his new weapon in a devastating attack on New York which would be the final battle of The Third Reich. An attack which never came. As the Russians closed in on Prague, the scientists destroyed the evidence of their developments."
Michael Cockerell describes the low politics of the 1975 European Referendum, complementing his 1970s documentary on the same subject.
Thirty years on, both sides were more willing to discuss the referendum openly.
The original political debacle made strange bedfellows: Enoch Powell, Harold Wilson and Tony Benn opposed continued membership, whilst Roy Jenkins, Shirley Williams and Margaret Thatcher supported staying in the Common Market, as the EU then was.
“This radical Right fairy tale, which is now an accepted folk myth in many groups in America, pictured the recent history of the United States… as a well-organized plot by extreme Left-wing elements… to destroy the American way of life...
this myth, like all fables, does in fact have a modicum of truth.
There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network…
I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960s, to examine its papers and secret records.
I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments...
The two ends of this English-speaking axis have sometimes been called, perhaps facetiously, the English and American Establishments.
There is, however, a considerable degree of truth behind the joke, a truth which reflects a very real power structure.”
Saturday, 27 February 2016
My hon. Friend referred to the limitation on our opportunity, as a nation, to try to influence the European central bank, but it applies also to attempts to influence our own Bank.
If, when we vote, we cannot change anything, that destroys democracy.
There are now 15 million unemployed in the European Union. I am not saying that what happened in the 1930s will return, but we are dealing with big questions.
Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
Friday, 19 February 2016
I am returning my MBE as a protest against Britain’s involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against ‘Cold Turkey’ slipping down the charts.
Thursday, 18 February 2016
Inferno Canto XXVI:43-84 Ulysses and Diomede
I stood on the bridge, having so risen to look, that if I had not caught hold of a rock I should have fallen in without being pushed. And the guide, who saw me so intent, said: ‘The spirits are inside those fires: each veils himself in that which burns him.’ I replied: ‘Master, I feel more assured from hearing you, but had already seen that it was so, and already wished to say to you, who is in that fire, that moves, divided at the summit, as if it rose from the pyre where Eteocles was cremated with his brother, Polynices?’
He answered me: ‘In there, Ulysses and Diomede are tormented, and so they go, together in punishment, as formerly in war: and, in their fire, they groan at the ambush of the Trojan horse, that made a doorway, by which Aeneas, the noble seed of the Romans issued out. In there they lament the trick, by which Deidamia, in death, still weeps for Achilles: and there, for the Palladium, they endure punishment.’
I said: ‘Master, I beg you greatly, and beg again so that my prayers may be a thousand, if those inside the fires can speak, do not refuse my waiting until the horned flame comes here: you see how I lean towards it with desire.’ And he to me: ‘Your request is worth much praise, and so I accept it, but restrain your tongue. Let me speak: since I conceive what you wish, and because they were Greeks they might disdain your Trojan words.’
When the flame had come, where the time and place seemed fitting, to my guide, I heard him speak, so: ‘O you, who are two in one fire, if I was worthy of you when I lived, if I was worthy of you, greatly or a little, when on earth I wrote the high verses, do not go, but let one of you tell where he, being lost through his own actions, went to die.’
Inferno Canto XXVI:85-142 Ulysses’s last voyage
The greater horn of the ancient flame started to shake itself, murmuring, like a flame struggling in the wind. Then moving the tip, as if it were a tongue speaking, gave out a voice, and said: ‘When I left Circe, who held me for more than a year, near to Gaeta, before Aeneas named it, not even my fondness for my son, Telemachus, my reverence for my aged father, Laërtes, nor the debt of love that should have made Penelope happy, could restrain in me the desire I had, to gain experience of the world, and of human vice and worth.
I set out on the wide, deep ocean, with only one ship, and that little company, that had not abandoned me. I saw both shores, as far as Spain, as far as Morocco, and the isle of Sardinia, and the other islands that sea washes. I, and my companions, were old, and slow, when we came to that narrow strait, where Hercules set up his pillars, to warn men from going further. I left Seville to starboard: already Ceuta was left behind on the other side.
I said: ‘O my brothers, who have reached the west, through a thousand dangers, do not deny the brief vigil, your senses have left to them, experience of the unpopulated world beyond the Sun. Consider your origin: you were not made to live like brutes, but to follow virtue and knowledge.’ With this brief speech I made my companions so eager for the voyage, that I could hardly have restrained them, and turning the prow towards morning, we made wings of our oars for that foolish flight, always turning south.
Night already saw the southern pole, with all its stars, and our northern pole was so low, it did not rise from the ocean bed. Five times the light beneath the moon had been quenched and relit, since we had entered on the deep pathways, when a mountain appeared to us, dim with distance, and it seemed to me the highest I had ever seen. We rejoiced, but soon our joy was turned to grief, when a tempest rose from the new land, and struck the prow of our ship. Three times it whirled her round, with all the ocean: at the fourth, it made the stern rise, and the prow sink, as it pleased another, till the sea closed over us.’