Monday, 25 September 2017

Bread and Porridge

Google Lavinia Woodward. If she isn't going to prison, then I'm sure as hell not, and nor should anyone else, pretty much. 23 and no previous? Well, I'm 40 with no previous. Getting over her drug and alcohol problems? I barely drink these days, and I have never taken any illegal drug.

She is a violent alcoholic and drug addict, with other mental health problems as well. Are such people never sent to prison? Are they (and this seems to be a real question) routinely permitted to train as surgeons, something that in this country only ever happens at public expense?

I am not even accused of stabbing anyone with a bread knife. Nor did I do the thing of which I am accused. Nor, it is universally accepted, did that thing ever happen at all. Ms Woodward, the aspirant surgeon, stabbed someone with a bread knife while off her face on this and that. Yet she is to be spared prison, and she is to retain access to drugs and to surgical implements.

I could only be convicted by a corrupted jury, and since there is not going to be a corrupted jury, then it is absolutely impossible for me to be convicted. Therefore, this whole business is, as much as anything else, a scandalous waste of public money.

Customs Declaration

If the pledge of renationalisation sends the share prices plummeting, then all the cheaper those shares will be to renationalise.

Today, John McDonnell announced a series of hugely popular and necessary policies that were incompatible with continued membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.

It is no wonder that Labour delegates preferred to vote on eight other things rather than on Brexit. Which of those eight ought to have been dropped, and why?

And it is no wonder that 232 Labour MPs have not called for Britain to remain permanently in the Single Market and the Customs Union.

And Other Low Joints

I pass no comment on "taking a knee" per se. But how can it be bad, while parading and saluting the flag of 1860s treason can be good? Seriously? How does that work?

Nor The Years Condemn

The issue is that military veterans are dying because of benefit sanctions, that they are sleeping on the streets because of the crisis in the mental health system, and so on.

The issue is not the wearing of poppies during a football match, which in itself is an extremely recent innovation, and was not seen even when England played on Armistice Day in 1987.

In 1987, First World War veterans were still alive in numbers comparable to Second World War veterans today, while some Second World War veterans had not even retired. For example, my father.

Ho, hum. I assume that all of the gate receipts will be going to the Royal British Legion. Of course. Together with any monies paid for the right to televise the match. Of course.

Flavour, Not Colour

I have enormous respect for Diane Abbott, whose speech yesterday was magnificent.

In that spirit, and as a mixed-race person whom Hilary Armstrong, as Government Chief Whip, therefore refused to have as a District Council candidate in her constituency, I see Ms Abbott as the standing contradiction of the need for all-BAME shortlists, or indeed for the all-women shortlists that gave a grateful nation Jess Phillips.

The crises in representation are not in "race" or in sex, but in class and in political opinion.

Finance Initiative

Both on PFIs, and on personal debt interest, John McDonnell has announced concrete policies that match the rhetoric of Theresa May.

Over to her, then, to give effect to those policies in this Parliament. The Commons majority is clearly there.

There Is A World Elsewhere

Look up the eight issues that Labour Party delegates have chosen to debate, and to vote upon.

Yes, BBC, difficult though it may be for you to believe, those are the priorities of the people out here in the country called Britain.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Clearer Vision

Not that of the SPD, which is also shared by the has-beens and never-weres whose open letter The Observer does not even print in the paper itself.

But that of Jeremy Corbyn, who is permanently ahead in the polls, and who is acknowledged even by The Economist as Britain's next Prime Minister.

Oh, and staying in the Single Market and the Customs Union did become the policy of the Conservative Party on Friday. But no one noticed. Well, why would they?

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Half My Life Gone

And half still to come.

Friday, 22 September 2017

See You In My Fifth Decade

This eve of my fortieth birthday will be spent at the fortieth birthday party of the man at whose eighteenth birthday party I spent my eighteenth birthday. Yes, that sentence does work. I have read it five times. It looks as if it shouldn't. But it does.

Indefinite Leave To Remain

I regret that the likes of Keir Starmer got to Jeremy Corbyn on Brexit. But they did, and the result has just been read out in Florence by Theresa May: a two year transition period, inside the Single Market and the Customs Union. As if she had thought of it herself. And cheered on by Boris Johnson, which says a lot of things about a lot of things.

May's entire programme, such as it is, is either watered down Corbyn or, as in this case, a straight lift from him. Next up, the public sector pay cap, and student payment of undergraduate tuition fees. Any compromise at all on either of those, and at least some compromise is clearly coming on each and both of them, would effectively negate the General Election result. Labour might as well have won.

Yellow Belly Laughs

When Jess Phillips was on Any Questions?, then Matt Zarb-Cousin also had to be on it, in order to represent the Labour Party. When she was on last night's Question Time, then Paul Mason had to fulfil the same role.

But the real story of last night's edition was the agreement that, in the event of a hung Parliament, Vince Cable would become Prime Minister. "He would insist on it," said everyone else. "Yes, I would," he as good as confirmed.

The mistake was to imagine that that would be as part of some "Progressive Alliance". The Conservative Party has won an overall majority at only one of the last six General Elections. Yet its only ideology remains as it has always been, that it is the natural party of government.

It will bear any burden and pay any price in order to fulfil that Manifest Destiny. Knowing that, Lloyd George insisted on being Prime Minister, Nick Clegg could have insisted on being Prime Minister, and Vince Cable would insist on being Prime Minister.

As for the new "centrist" party for which no one in the real world is crying out, just as no one in the real world is crying out for a party to the right of the Conservatives, well, consider the life story of Vince Cable.

The last attempt was set up, again with little regard to so much as the existence of the Liberals, by three former Cabinet Ministers of whom the Leader was the most influential post-War British politician never to have become Prime Minister.

An erstwhile Labour Councillor, and Special Adviser to John Smith as Trade Secretary, Cable was in it. But he is now the Leader of a party that looks, walks and quacks more than a little like the Liberal Party.

The Liberals had the last laugh then, and they would have the last laugh again.

Gone With The Flo

Theresa May is in full Flo. But no one cares. Not there: she has had to take her own audience with her. And not here, where all the talk is of Uber. The office of Prime Minister is effectively vacant.

Question 472

Which 472 Teaching Assistants, exactly, will still be losing money? Who are they? Are they activists? Are they related to activists? I strongly suspect so. This is very well worth looking into.

Pat Glass is a friend of mine, and my only real political difference with her was over whether the EU was a help or a hindrance to the objectives that we both shared. I was proud to vote for her in 2015. 

But seeing Alex Watson on television this week, I recalled my regret that in 2010, when the all-women shortlist and other issues were still raw, neither he nor Mike Malone had yet felt able to break with the Labour Party. Whichever of them had contested this seat would have been the First Past the Post.

I voted for Owen Temple for Parliament this year, despite enormous political differences with him and even though I longed to be able to vote for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, because he was one of the two County Councillors to have done the most for the TAs. The other was Alex Watson.

I shall never forgive the Labour Party in County Durham for having made it impossible for me to share in the epoch-making Labour surge of 2017. Other things will lessen or fade with time. But not that.

Like George Galloway, Alex Watson remains one of my Campaign Patrons.

By George

Running Uber out of town was one of George Galloway's key pledges when, in the face of a near-total media blackout, he stood for Mayor of London. It is high time to revisit some more of them.

It is high time to enforce the requirement that 50 per cent of housing on all new projects must be dedicated to affordable housing, redefined as 50 per cent of average rents, not the 80 per cent that is currently the case.

It is high time for an all-night Tube service, but with workers properly consulted on the process, properly recompensed, and not forced into working long, unsociable, and potentially dangerous hours.

It is high time to ban HGV vehicles from Central London during daytime hours, in a bid to reduce fuel emissions during those hours.

It is high time to invest in more cycle lanes, and in initiatives to make it safer to cycle around London.

It is high time to expand London's airport capacity, but not in the form of a third runway at Heathrow when Gatwick offers a better alternative.

It is high time for the use of the Oyster Card to be massively expanded, making it an interest free debit card used in shops and restaurants, for other services, and for the transfer of money abroad, so that City Hall would become a publicly owned People's Bank.

It is time to put the £18 billion annual City Hall budget online in real time, absolutely transparently, using the BlockChain technology developed by London's red hot FinTech industry that is currently based in the Shoreditch Corridor.

And it is high time to end immediately all fire station closures, and all cuts to London's fire services, reversing the cuts that have already been made.

That would be a start, anyway. In fact, the start was made today, with the acceptance that Galloway had been right all along about Uber.

Like Alex Watson, George Galloway remains one of my Campaign Patrons.

After Uber

I should be fascinated to hear of anyone who had ever had any difficulty hailing a black cab in London. So the only appeal of Uber must have been the things that anyone could see were the results of worker exploitation and general corner-cutting.

Over to the unions and the councils to set up their own. It's an app. It's not hard to do.

This could all be built into the existing black cab trade. With Uber out of the way, then the black cabs would not be undercut if they adopted the technology. All overseen by the councils and the unions.

It could be integrated with Oyster and everything. Everyone would love it. They would rapidly wonder how they ever did without it.

The Knowledge is no more a "restrictive practice" than a medical or a legal qualification is. The same was true of many working-class protections that have been lost. Let this be the first day of their restoration. No satnav in the world could ever match The Knowledge, or that latter would no longer exist, still less would it command such healthy remuneration.

This is a moment to be seized. As of today, the technology effectively belongs only to the people without the compliance and enforcement problems. Seize this moment.

After Noon

Three weeks today, my case management hearing will be the latest stage in the farcical campaign to lock me up for something that almost, if almost, nobody believes ever happened at all, and which absolutely nobody believes was committed by me.

Anyone who does believe that, feel free to get in touch, and your statement to that effect will appear on this site. The floor is yours. A week after first having made that offer, which still stands, not a soul has been in touch.

I said a week ago that if, by noon today, I had not so heard from Oliver Kamm, Damian Thompson, Simon Henig or Neil Fleming, then I would publish it here as a fact that none of them believed that the offence ever even took place, still less that it was any doing of mine.

I have not heard from Oliver Kamm, Damian Thompson, Simon Henig or Neil Fleming. It is a fact that none of them believes that the offence ever even took place, still less that it was any doing of mine. It is also a matter of record that the Police would not have charged me, in that the Chief Constable, having been publicly invited to do so, has not said that he would have done.

I could only be convicted by a corrupted jury, and since there is not going to be a corrupted jury, then it is absolutely impossible for me to be convicted. Therefore, this whole business is, as much as anything else, a scandalous waste of public money.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

No Hostilities To Cease

People think that I am hostile to Laura Pidcock. I am not. But I am a journalist. And I have not been a party member in her adult lifetime.

People also expect me to be hostile to Durham Police. In fact, I have no complaint against them. They have been unfailingly kind to me, not least in their consideration of my disability.

They would not have charged me. If you doubt that, then ask their Chief Constable, Mike Barton, the direct question, "Would you have charged David Lindsay?" Unless he gives the one word answer, "Yes", then my point is made.

Just A Second

There is more to the House of Lords than making speeches. Peers should be judged less by their words as by their votes.

Still, I am increasingly of the view that citizens need access both to their own parliamentary representatives with the ear of the Government, and to those engaged in robust Opposition. With a six-year term (making it possible to bring that of the Commons down to four years), with the powers of the present House of Lords, and with remuneration fixed at that of the Commons, a  new second chamber might guarantee that representation to everyone.

Each of the 99 lieutenancy areas would elect six Senators, with each of us voting for one candidate, and with the top six elected at the end. Casual vacancies would be filled by the party for which the previous Senator was elected. Where the previous Senator was a Crossbencher, for by all means let that term be retained, then there would be a by-election using First Past the Post.

In each area, the Conservative Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats would be required, and other parties would be permitted, to submit their shortlists of two to a binding, publicly funded ballot of the whole electorate two weeks before the Senate Election itself.

594 Senators does sound a lot. But the 100-member Senate of the United States certainly costs more in absolute terms than this would, and probably costs more per capita. The same is no doubt true when that chamber is compared to the House of Lords. But citizens need access both to their own parliamentary representatives with the ear of the Government, and to those engaged in robust Opposition. This is how to do it.

Co-ordinate That Critique

The election for the Fabian Executive Committee is now in progress, and my 70-word statement reads:

Jeremy Corbyn is the most culturally significant British politician in living memory, the most agenda-setting Leader of the Opposition ever, and the global leader of the opposition to neoliberal economic policy and to neoconservative foreign policy. Fabians must co-ordinate that critique at home and abroad, in preparation for the Corbyn Government that will lead Britain and the world out of politically chosen austerity, and away from wars of political choice.

This is my third attempt in a dozen years. In 2015, even the highest scoring of the 10 successful candidates won only 464 votes, while the lowest scoring was elected with a mere 305. I have won one election this year, albeit unopposed, which was not my fault. I have lost two. So here's to a score draw in the end.

On the ballot paper are 27 candidates for various positions, plus one elected unopposed as Treasurer. All 28 of us have put in statements of up to 70 words. Mine, and mine alone, mentions Jeremy Corbyn at all. A Lords frontbencher, a Commons frontbencher and two other MPs are among those who cannot even bring themselves to say his name.

Priority

Today is Saint Matthew's Day. Consider that that erstwhile tax-collector is the Patron Saint of Bankers.

Consider also that that strange and increasingly unfashionable thing, Biblical criticism, purports to read the Bible "as if it were any other ancient text", yet in fact subjects it to a series of methods that would be laughed out in any other literary or historical discipline. Those methods are carefully constructed to "prove" the presuppositions of that strange and increasingly unfashionable thing, liberal theology.

Thus, if two Biblical books are word for word alike, as Matthew, Mark and Luke certainly are in parts, then they must have been copied from each other, since there is no way that God could have inspired them all and, funnily enough, done so in such a way that they confirmed each other's accounts.

Hence the theory of Markan Priority, that Saint Mark's Gospel was the first to be written, and that Saint Matthew and Saint Luke copied out great chunks of it word for word. And hence the theory of Q, the compendium of the material found in Matthew and Luke but not in Mark; no copy of Q exists anywhere.

Jesus simply did not claim divinity for Himself, so that rules out John at a stroke. Miracles simply do not happen, a position not even compatible with agnosticism. Style simply does not develop (seriously), so Saint Paul cannot have written several of the Epistles beginning with the words, "From Paul". And so on, and on, and on. Academia is at last moving away from this sort of thing. When will the Church in practice, since of course She has never adopted it, and cannot do so, in principle? 

Perhaps a gentle fillip from the wider culture might be in order? Although they differ in length, the different structures of the Gospels mean that they could each be dramatised in 12 episodes of one hour apiece, perhaps running from January to March, i.e., more or less from Christmas to Easter. The order ought to be as in the Bible – Matthew, Mark, Luke, John – exactly as if any other ancient text were the subject.

That might even provide an opportunity to do some taking apart of the ridiculous theories of Markan Priority, of the interpolation of Mark 16, of "the Gospel of Thomas" and other such Dan Brown drivel, and of the historical unreliability of Saint John's Gospel on the grounds that Jesus "never claimed to be divine", the "proof" of which is held to be the historical unreliability of Saint John's Gospel.

All of these pieces of nonsense continue to be peddled by half-formed schoolteachers, and by clergy too old to have been part of the traditionalist revival among Catholics or the Evangelical revival among Protestants. Markan Priority was disproved a very long time ago by Saint Augustine, whose Wikipedia pages in Portuguese and Slovene are significant source of traffic to this site, as is the page on U and non-U English. Make of those facts what you will.

Acts could also be dramatised in this way, and it has some great stories in it. But it looks as if they would do the Ramayana first, and stick to the text if they did. That is not treating the Bible as a work of world literature, which is what they would claim that it was, and which, among other things, it is. 

Why not dramatise the Ramayana, exactly as it is? Why not dramatise the Odyssey, exactly as it is? And why not dramatise the Four Canonical Gospels and Acts, exactly as they are? Of what are the television companies afraid? Of what, in practice even though not in principle, would the Church be afraid?

Thanks For The Memories?

Almost unbelievably more recently than it feels as if it must have been, Britain decided to forget that there had ever been a war in Northern Ireland. That exercise has been as astonishing success.

If Jeremy Corbyn's and John McDonnell's past in that area affected the outcome anywhere this year, then it won or nearly won Labour certain seats in Scotland, and it helped to pile up the Labour votes in certain parts of England. It certainly did not do Labour any harm. Corbyn's enemies ought to be very grateful that that is so, because something very similar to it has happened before.

My late father, who was a mild-mannered man, could not look at Yitzhak Shamir on the television. My old Senior Tutor from my undergraduate days, who is still alive, also remembers why. But the origins of the State of Israel have been excised from the British popular consciousness, while the not unconnected, and far more recent, Israeli arming of Argentina during the Falklands War is barely known about at all in this country.

So Corbyn's enemies can rant on all they like about Hamas and Hezbollah, secure in the knowledge that no one will point out that while neither of those organisations, whatever their other faults, had ever done anything to Britain, there were others in that particular mix who most certainly had done.

The Hamas and Hezbollah business may or may not have enabled the Conservative Party to retain four seats in North West London. Meanwhile, many Labour candidates in London, which bore the brunt of the IRA's campaign, secured over 40,000 votes apiece, and the party won 49 of London's 73 seats. Nationally, it experienced under Corbyn its biggest positive swing since 1945. So much, in the great scheme of things, for four seats in one outlying corner of one city.

The price of everyone's having forgotten about Zionist terrorism, only just into living memory and mostly but not entirely three thousand miles away, is that everyone also has to forget about Irish Republican terrorism, well into the lifetime of almost anyone who is old enough to vote and mostly but not entirely right here. Both of those bouts of amnesia do seem to have happened. But it is quite clear which of them has made more difference.

Burma Sauce For The Gander

The suspension of British military aid to Burma is welcome, if a little late. Now, what about Saudi Arabia?

Oh, and if it matters, not all Rohingya are Muslims.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Contempt That It Deserves

Add the absence of an arrest of Amber Rudd for contempt of court to the absence of arrests over Grenfell Tower. Or over Orgeave. Or over Hillsborough until Margaret Thatcher was dead, undoubtedly an act of policy. Or under the law against cannabis. Or under the law against foxhunting, to which the Police act as escorts, arresting only anyone who might seek to obstruct this criminality or to object to it.

Or of anyone other than a Premier League footballer, and even then probably only one from the "wrong" club, for the "digital penetration" of a 15-year-old girl who had, furthermore, been out drinking with the complete impunity of everyone from her parents to the relevant licensees. Or of anyone other than a minister of religion, or possibly a teacher, for any kind of sexual activity with a 15-year-old boy.

Or of the people who openly admitted to having filled in their 2015 General Election forms incorrectly in such numbers as to have affected the overall result, a crime that is not affected by the fact that there has been another General Election since they committed it. Or of Tony Blair for selling peerages, which he did by every means short of advertising them in Exchange and Mart. Or of Tony Blair and his accomplices as the war criminals that they so obviously are. Or of George Osborne and his accomplices over their larceny of the Royal Mail. Or of George Osborne for his violent remarks about Theresa May.

Consider these things if and when any attempt is made to prosecute anyone in relation to the upcoming strikes over public sector pay. And consider them as I prepare for my case management hearing on Friday 13th October. When is Amber Rudd's case management hearing? There is evidence against her. Whereas there is literally none against me, even though on that date I shall have been charged for five months and arrested for six.

I could only be convicted by a corrupted jury, and since there is not going to be a corrupted jury, then it is absolutely impossible for me to be convicted. Therefore, this whole business is, as much as anything else, a scandalous waste of public money.

Driven From The Front CETA?

CETA, which is like TTIP but with Canada, is exactly not the model favoured by, or favourable to, the areas that voted Leave, most of which went on to re-elect the Labour MPs that they had already had, but often with hugely increased majorities under the Leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. The referendum result was the long-delayed Labour victory of 1983, and the revenge of the areas that had been devastated by everything in the intervening 33 years.

Slowly, but surely, we are edging towards another one. The two options will be the Brexit deal agreed with the EU (plus any proposed post-Brexit trade deals elsewhere, such as this one), and staying in the EU after all. But the schemes set out first by the Foreign Secretary, and apparently now also by the Prime Minister, are as far removed as it is possible to be from the interests, opinions and aspirations of the areas that decided the result of the first referendum.

The Lions Roar On

Ever since the coup of 2008, Durham County Council has been under occupation. The nominally Labour Leadership, which overthrew a real one, has no meaningful connection to the Labour Movement. Nevertheless, shame on it for today's latest brutalisation of the Teaching Assistants. Shame on Alan Napier for being the UDM to Simon Henig's Coal Board. Perhaps it is time to re-examine Napier's record during the Strike?

Shame on Ben Sellers, who is now the Political Advisor to Laura Pidcock MP, for having talked the TAs out of the perfectly sensible strategy of simply not voting for any Labour candidate for the County Council this year, and of encouraging everyone else to refrain from doing so, since only Labour Councillors had ever voted against the TAs, a situation that remains the case. Some Political Advisor he is. Had that strategy been adhered to, then the TAs would already have won by now, since no matter what the composition of the anti-Labour coalition had been, then it would have been made up exclusively of the TAs' supporters.

It was most regrettable that the Durham Miners' Association had Henig on the platform of this year's Gala, and it is really not asking all that much that Jeremy Corbyn, Angela Rayner, Ken Loach and other strong supporters of the TAs be spared having to share a platform with him again next year. Of course, not only ought the rat and its lice to have been expelled from the Labour Party by then, but the rat itself, at least, may very well be in prison.

For, in order to manufacture sympathy for themselves among the voters, the TAs' enemies in County Hall manufactured the bogus threat to their own lives. They then sought, as they are still seeking, to pin that piece of nonsense on me. They knew that they could not keep control of the Council by fair means, so they cheated, and in so doing committed at least one serious criminal offence.

They also knew that they could not beat me in the Lanchester Ward by fair means, so they cheated, and in so doing they are still committing at least one criminal offence that carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. I could only be convicted by a corrupted jury, and since there is not going to be a corrupted jury, then it is absolutely impossible for me to be convicted. Therefore, this whole business is, as much as anything else, a scandalous waste of public money.

Meanwhile, the Teaching Assistants fight on. They will accept no conclusion other than absolute victory on their own terms, and they are just going to carry on until they get it. They have the support of the entire Labour Movement, including the Leader of the Labour Party. Anyone who does not support them is, by definition, not part of the Labour Movement.

And they have the support of all the non-Labour members of the Council, the Council that those members would now be running if the elections to it had been conducted with any semblance of honour or even legality, and if there had been no distraction by the careerist opportunism that is now installed in the office, and perhaps even in the person, of Laura Pidcock MP.

Top Trump?

If Donald Trump is not careful, then he will end up with the Nobel Peace Prize.

Don't Be Suppressed

Like checking nationality before extending NHS treatment, voter ID means identity cards. How could it not? Don't fall for it, on either count.

And Virtue

Of course the Far Right, which really is an enormous security risk, thinks that anyone is a security risk who speaks for the 12,877,869 people who voted for Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party. 

In having been refused Police clearance to attend the Labour Party Conference, Michael Segalov ought to feel honoured. He should ask them about Hillsborough and Orgreave. He should ask them about the Saudi connections of right-wing hacks who are doubtless being waved through by the Police. He should ask them about their own, the Armed Forces', MI5's, MI6's and GCHQ's connections to National Action, which pretty much seems to have taken over an Army with rather more at its disposal than was deployed at Parson's Green, and to Britain First.

He should ask them about the fact that the present Government is in office only on the 10 votes, at one hundred million pounds apiece, of the Ulster Resistance, which has never disbanded, never disarmed, and never even so much as called a ceasefire. And he should ask them about the numerous ties of present and recent Cabinet Ministers (and, again, of MI5, MI6, GCHQ and the military top brass) to the Monday Club and Swinton Circle world of the only person to have murdered a sitting member of the House of Commons in the present century.

Of course, he would have to ask these questions in Vice. Other than perhaps Giles Fraser, there is no one writing regularly for any sold-in-shops, Parliamentary Press Gallery newspaper other than the Morning Star who is as far to the Left as 30 or more people writing regularly for such newspapers are to the Right, with all that that then entails for the composition of every panel that is ever put together by any broadcaster other than RT.

For whom are they speaking? For whom are they not speaking? For whom is no one speaking? For a start, no one is speaking for the 12,877,869 people who voted for the Labour Party that was led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Vigilate?

No, you cannot imagine Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands being treated so badly if they suffered a natural disaster such as has afflicted, and is afflicting, the British Overseas Territories in the Caribbean.

And no, you cannot imagine Gibraltar or the Falkland Islands being subjected to the level of British Government incompetence that has now led to an existential crisis on St Helena, which has a larger population that the Falklands, and which is far nearer to the United Kingdom.

But then, you cannot imagine that the Gibraltarians or the Falkland Islanders could ever be treated in the manner of the Chagossians, whose case and cause are routinely screamed down by those who are noisiest in support of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.

So, what is it that the Gibraltarians and the Falkland Islanders have in common, but which the people of the Caribbean, St Helena and the Chagos Islands do not share?

Rocket Man, Indeed

Donald Trump was elected to provide an alternative to neoliberal economic policy and to neoconservative foreign policy.

But, whereas Bernie Sanders (or Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and up to a point even François Fillon) would have done so, Trump has not, and he will not.

Leaving only Jeremy Corbyn.

In Good and Due Form?

"From the Ukraine to the South China Sea," Donald Trump has just threatened Russia and China at the UN General Assembly. Is it me, or does he not quite seem to have grasped the point of the UN General Assembly?

Beyond His Ken

No one has become Leader of the Conservative Party without the support of Ken Clarke since Iain Duncan Smith, and look what happened to him. Boris Johnson is toast.

Fifth In The World

The only places where more people access Islamist websites than they do in the United Kingdom are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States. That is the Turkey around which NATO revolves, the Saudi Arabia at whose beck and call we are, the Iraq that we "liberated", and the United States.

The fact that "liberated" Libya is not on that list is only because hardly anyone there still has Internet access since we destroyed what had until then been the country with Africa's highest GDP per capita and highest life expectancy.