Sunday, 31 December 2006

The Empire Strikes Back

I cannot put this better than does Neil Clark (http://neilclark66.blogspot.com):

Saddam Hussein, the former President of Iraq, was hanged today at 3am GMT. The news comes as no surprise, as Saddam's execution was inevitable from the day he was captured, three years ago. He simply knew far too much to be allowed to live. But even more importantly from the point of view of The Empire, Saddam's death, and that of Slobodan Milosevic earlier this year, is intended as a warning. The message could not be clearer: stand in the way of our plans for global hegemony, and you till will either die at the end of a rope or from an induced heart attack in your prison cell. The message is intended for all those who obstruct the neo-conservative project, particularly the current leadership of Iran and Syria, but also other 'troublesome' leaders who don't toe the line, such as Hugo Chavez in Venezuela and Alexsander Lukashenko in Belarus.

In acting in this way, the U.S. Empire is no different to any others. Throughout history, empire builders, be they Roman, British, Spanish, Ottoman, Russian or German, have shown little mercy to those who had the temerity to stand up to them. The only surprise is that there are those who think Pax Americana is any different.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, on the day that their former leader was executed, here's news of a poll in Iraq which says that 90% of the country's population believe that life was better before the invasion- i.e under Saddam. No wonder they were so desperate to hang him.

Excellent News

The New Year's Honours List announces an OBE for Councillor Alex Watson, the richly deserving Leader of the exemplary Derwentside District Council (exemplary, not least, for the manner of its being run in co-operation between those who emphasise the social-democratic means to conservative ends and those who emphasise the conservative ends necessitating social-democratic means, to the exclusion of sectarian Left entryists associated with the disgraced but shameless David Hodgson, and lately with Kevan Jones MP). Splendid!

Friday, 29 December 2006

Education, Education, Education

The Labour MP and former Aviation Minister, Karen Buck, has withdrawn her 13-year-old son in disgust from one of the Government's "flagship" City Academies (one, moreover, of which her husband is a governor).

Meanwhile, only yesterday, the Government announced that "Gifted and Talented" pupils would be able to buy "e-credits" for extra lessons in such things as Mandarin, and a programme run by NASA. Furthermore, since fully one third of schools have simply ignored the "Gifted and Talented" programme up to now, they are all now to be required to identify for this purpose the top ten per cent of their pupils in academic terms, a total of around 800,000 in the country as a whole.

So how about this for a wheeze? Each primary school's top ten (or, better, twenty or twenty-five) per cent of pupils, thus identified, might be admitted to a whole secondary school for children like them, where such lessons were an integral part of the curriculum, so that there was no need for "e-credits".

Heaven knows what we might call such an institution, but there are two reasons why none such will ever be set up. First, a national network of such schools would put most fee-paying schools out of business within ten years, and a lot of them well before that. And secondly, no such system could operate without powerful Local Education Authorities.

Opponents of fee-paying schools, and supporters of LEAs, think on.

A free country?

Well, freer than yesterday, anyway. Today, we repaid the final installment of the loans taken out by the Attlee Government just after the War. By 1950 our national debt amounted to 200% of our GDP, compared to 36% today. As the Guardian explains:

In 1945 Britain borrowed $4.34bn from the US consisting of a$3.75bn line of credit and a "lend-lease" loan facility of $586m. The following year the government agreed a $1.185bn line of credit loan from Canada. The money was primarily designed to assist in the post-war reconstruction of Britain's exhausted economy and shattered infrastructure. But the lend-lease loan related to wartime supplies already in transit from the US under President Franklin D Roosevelt's programme of the same name which began in 1941 and which ended abruptly shortly after VJ Day in 1945. Roosevelt famously said the scheme was like lending a neighbour a hosepipe to put out a fire. It marked a significant step away from America's post-first world war isolationism.

Today, the United States and Canada received final payments of $83.25m and $22.7m respectively.

We are no longer in America's debt.

The Net Tightens

John McTernan, Tony Blair's Political Secretary, was yesterday interviewed under caution over gaps in an email chain relating to cash for peerages.

Thursday, 28 December 2006

Better Hazel Than Hilary

Hazel Blears is campaigning vigorously to save NHS provision (specifically, to save renowned and award-winning maternity services) in her constituency. This is in marked contrast to the record of Someone Else I Could Name, who campaigned vigorously, and only too successfully, to destroy such provision (including just such services) here in her own constituency, even conspiring spitefully with the then Tory Government to that end. To this day, her mini-me refers to that much-missed provision as "a tip" and such like, when not pretty much demanding at Parish Council meetings that the elderly have their Zimmer frames kicked away for his sadistic amusement.

Blears, apparently, is facing deselection, and so is pulling out all the stops. Well, that's called democracy, folks. But just what does Hilary Armstrong have to do, or not do, to face any such threat? The level of sycophancy towards politicians in this part of the country beggars belief, and genuinely baffled one of the leading campaigners to save Shotley Bridge, who put it to me at that time that anywhere else, "The MP would have been dragged in, by the hair if necessary," rather than begged on people's knees to condescend to turn up to public meetings, and even then let off entirely when she failed to do so even so much as once.

Market? What market?

Needless to say, dear old Sir Digby Jones has had fits of the vapours at a modest call for pay restraint at the practically tax-exempt upper end of the scale, exemptions the bill for which is footed by the middle and working classes, with one of the great cities of the world now functioning as a tax haven for the super-rich as if it were a Channel Island or a smaller West Indy.

Anyway, Sir Digby cites, as such people always do, "the market". What "market"? Most of these people have only ever worked for one company in their lives. Almost none is a foreign national, and most of those who are are Irish. Many are related to the founders of their respective companies. This "market" simply does not exist.

As for the scaremongering talk of withdrawal of investment and of "brain drains", the real British market, sixty million strong, is sufficiently large that people are always going to want to sell to it, and if they are told that they just have to make the goods here and employ our people from top to bottom within our pay restraint regime, then they will do it rather than forego a market this size.

And a "brain drain"? See above as to the sort of people we're actually talking about. Anyway, even assuming that anywhere else would take them, where would they go? Only America springs to mind, a country which most of them visit frequently and where many of them even have permanent residences. They have explicitly decided against actually living there, rather than just having houses there, on a permanent basis, simply because most people do not wish to live permanently in a foreign country.

Bring yourselves home, lads

Britain no longer has an Army: technically speaking, we have only a defence force, since it has a manpower capacity below 100,000. Our island, trading nation also has next to no Navy left at all. And the Neocon Ascendancy with which we are still afflicted (as are several other countries, but no longer the lucky old United States) continues to lobby for the RAF to be abolished entirely.

If their Commanding Officers really want "Our Boys" to be treated as national heroes, then they will order a full, immediate and unconditional withdrawal both from Afghanistan and from Iraq. They could be home before Tony Blair had even noticed, and they really would be cheered through the streets on their return. There is no identifiable "job" to "finish" in either of those countries, and our presence in the latter, at least, has always been illegal; so if Blair or anyone didn't like this withdrawal, then they'd just have to lump it.

After all, who has the guns and the tanks anyway? And who, moreover, would have the moral and legal high ground, and the popular support?

Of Life And Death

At last, and thanks to Jon Cruddas, someone in the media has bothered to mention the obvious fact that the Labour Party is bleeding to death, losing an average of one member every 10 minutes, so that, if the current trend continues, it will have no members at all by the General Election after next in 2013. Of course, it won't get that bad (will it?). But where, exactly, will the decline stop? Ten thousand? Five thousand? One thousand?

Not that the other parties are in any healthier shape. We need an authentically social-democratic, socially conservative, and all-round patriotic political movement, conscious, worthy and proud of its popular, British roots; to restore the living politics of the dead where now we have only the dead politics of the (only just still) living.

More on "the separation of powers"

Gosh, the highly-placed character of the people who email me about this blog since I started posting comments on certain others! Anyway, in addition to laughing until I cried at their utterly unprintable responses to the Blair Bashi post below, I have, by a request which I doubt that I'd be thanked for calling "popular", written up into a full-length article my thoughts on "the separation of powers", mercifully an obvious impossibility in a monarchy:

Where, exactly, is the "scandal" in the dropping of the investigation into BAe and Saudi Arabia? At the very least, it is as nothing compared to John Major’s appointment of Jonathan Aitken (whom I freely accept is a changed man these days) as Minister of Defence Procurement on the direct orders of the Saudi Royal Family. Remember that? Some of us do.

Is it a Labour Government’s defence of the skilled, high-wage, high-status jobs of the British working class that is "scandalous"? I should say that it was just surprising, and a bit late in the Blair day. And I write as one who, in principle, would ban entirely the sale of arms abroad, provided that the Government had already fulfilled its responsibilities to the relevant section of the citizenry by diversifying its employment accordingly while fully preserving its skills, wages and status.

But we long ago chose to get into bed with the House of Saud, and we have bizarrely become even more intimate with them (of all people) since 11th September 2001. So now we must lie not only in that bed, but in that embrace.

And do any of you believe that foreign policy, defence policy, or even the jobs of our own people (fellow-citizens, fellow-voters, fellow-taxpayers) should have no bearing on these matters? If so, then you should clear off to the Liberal Democrats, if anywhere. You are in no sense conservatives, nor in any sense Socialists, nor really in any authentically British political tradition at all.

Which bring me to Kirsty Walk on Newsnight. She practically had kittens over this "breach" of "the separation of powers". Had she heard that term on The West Wing, or Sex and the City, or Pimp My Ride, or something? When will she be demanding that all Ministers resign their seats in either House, that the Law Lords renounce either their peerages or their seats on the bench, and so forth? "The separation of powers"? I ask you! What next? "The separation of Church and State", "breached" at some Royal event or something?

But Ms Wark was not alone. They were all at it. Has anyone who is allowed on the BBC ever heard of the Law Lords? Or of the Home Secretary’s role in determining sentences? Or of the numerous quasi-judicial functions of Ministers? Or of the fact that all members of the Executive are required to be members of the Legislature? Or of the fact that the judges make the whole of the Common Law?

This "separation of powers" line was also put about when the position of Lord Chancellor was abolished overnight in favour of something apparently sketched on the back of a beer mat. But the House of Lords is still chaired by someone in much the same outfit, which was actually presented by Blair as a serious, and even conclusive, argument for abolition. It is just that Baroness Hayman is not the Lord Chancellor. But so what, from that point of view? Meanwhile, there is still no Cabinet Minister accountable to the House of Commons either for the major front-line public service that is the Court Service, or for the enormous Legal Aid budget of public money.

Like the other examples given above, the office of Lord Chancellor was often described as an "exception" to "the separation of powers". Quite apart from the fact that such a doctrine cannot, by definition, admit of exceptions, so that their very existence disproves the doctrine itself, there do seem to be an awful lot of these "exceptions", and they do seem to matter rather a lot.

In reality, the "powers" have never been "separate", nor can they ever be so. One of them has to win in the end. In Britain, we have decided that it is to be Parliament, and thus the elected House of Commons within Parliament. Would we rather that the Prime Minister always had the last word? Or that, as in the United States (among other places) an unelected judicial body of lifetime appointees could simply rule that any matter it liked was "constitutional", and thus reserved entirely to itself? This is why, as is their wont, judicial theorists and constitutional lawyers habitually engage in more than a spot of wishful thinking where "the separation of powers" is concerned. They wish to see an American-style krytocracy in this country.

The wretched Human Rights Act has been a major step in that direction. But mercifully, we still have instead the supreme legislative, executive and judicial authority of the Crown (i.e., of the nation embodied, regardless of party or anything else), exercised either by Parliament itself or by Ministers drawn from and accountable to Parliament. Within Parliament, the House of Commons has come to be elected by universal adult suffrage and, since the Parliament Act of 1911, to be supreme.

The Crown is the ultimate contradiction of the Franco-American, and in no sense indigenously British, theory of the separation of powers. And it is thus the ultimate guarantee that the United Kingdom (and each of the 15 countries with which we share the Crown) will remain a democracy, unlike either absolutist and historically coup-plagued France, or krytocratic America, to name but two.

One really would have expected the sort of people who present our major broadcast news programmes, or who are interviewed thereon with regard to these matters, to understand such things. I should have been genuinely baffled that they did not, had it not been for the fact that, waiting for Newsnight to come on in one of these non-Question Time seasons when everything interesting seems to happen, I caught the end of something called Coupling.

The characters spoke with middle-class London accents, but the thing itself seemed to be set in New York, or at least in the city of Friends and Will & Grace. They even used American, rather than British, phraseology. Such, I suspect, is the world that the BBC newsroom inhabits, utterly unrecognisable to the rest of us.

"Separation", indeed.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

A Very Merry Christmas

And A Happy New Year (although I might be back here through the week).

Goodwill to all men?

Neil Clark (only ever wrong about hanging - http://neilclark66.blogspot.com) writes:

Christmas. A time of peace and goodwill to all men. But not if you're a neo-con. Having already caused untold human misery by their deceitful and illegal assault on Iraq, the warmongers are, it seems, planning further unlawful aggression, this time against the people of Iran.

In 1999, it was the turn of Yugoslavia. In 2001, Afghanistan. Two years later Iraq. And now Iran. Each time, the leaders of the countries concerned were portrayed by means of ferocious propaganda as the biggest threats to world peace since Adolf Hitler. But we know now that it was not Slobodan Milosevic, Mullah Omar or Saddam Hussein who posed the biggest problem, but the serial war-mongers who threatened them.

Quite.

Let not mighty dread seize your troubled minds

Iain Dale (http://iaindale.blogspot.com) writes:

In their latest attempt to scare the living daylights out of the British people John Reid and Sir Ian Blair tell us that the prospect of an attempted terrorist attack is "ever present, of an unparalleld nature and growing." Sir Ian adds for good measure "it is a far graver threat in terms of civilians than either the Cold War or the Second World War." Come again? The entire civilian population was at risk from nuclear attack in the Cold War and civilian casualties in London during World War II amounted to tens of thousands. Sir Ian should know that careless talk costs lives. Language like this is pathetic and smacks of crying wolf.

The government operates a system of alerts on terrorist threats and it has been set at SEVERE since July 2005. I am beginning to question why this is. It is appalling to accuse the government of trying to scare the population into accepting yet more draconian anti-terror legislation, but that's what appears to be happening. We mustn't let them succeed.

Quite. But Iain is an A-list Tory candidate. So, what are the Tories doing to stop all of this? On the contrary, they are egging it on, and would even be backing ID cards if right-wing journalists and bloggers hadn't forced them not to.

No Contest

Michael Meacher's spoiling activities have almost certainly ensured that Gordon Brown will be elected Labour Leader unopposed, i.e., that there will be no actual election. There is simply nothing like enough Labour MPs to put both Meacher and John McDonnell on the ballot paper; if there were, then the Government would be facing nightly defeat on the floor of the House of Commons. So Meacher can look forward to being restored as Environment Secretary under Brown.

But what, exactly, is Alan Simpson's price for keeping Jeremy Corbyn out of the Deputy Leadership Election, which there really is going to be? I think we should be told...

Blair Bashi

There has been much much mockery of the late President Saparmurat Niyazoz of Turkmenistan, but his country's vast gas reserves throw into sharp relief our own need to develop both the application of clean-coal technology and the real nuclear deterrent (nuclear power), thus safeguarding our independence while providing high-skilled, high-wage, high-status jobs for our people.

In the meantime, what geographical and cosmological phenomena, days of the week, months of the year, household items, and so forth might be re-named after Tony Blair or his specific relatives, and why?

Thursday, 21 December 2006

The Guardian; or is it now The Guaderon?

Where was the Guardian's pro-Cameron ICM poll actually conducted? Support for David Cameron exists only in the South East, where the Tories already hold most of the seats. They are looking at piling up majorities in places like Cameron's Witney, Ed Vaizey's Wantage and Michael Gove's Surrey Heath, of the size that Labour MPs used to get from the miners. But so what? Where are the miners now?

In the days when the Tories used to win General Elections, they did so by winning seats in Scotland, Wales, the North and the Midlands. They first nearly and then actually lost office by losing first many and then most of those seats, respectively in 1992 (when no one had ever heard of Tony Blair) and 1997 (when Labour's poll rating had not varied since Golden Wednesday, also long before Blair was on anybody's radar screen). Their failure to recapture office has been precisely their failure to recapture those seats. By contrast, in 2005, they took back most of their 1997 losses in the South East, to absolutely no effect.

Furthermore, opinion polls are always recalculated to factor out the 34% that consistently expresses its intention not to vote. But we are never told that the true levels of support are 26% for the Tories, 24% for Labour, and at most 16% for the Liberal Democrats (leaving aside parties even more minor than those three have managed to make themselves).

After all, that would seem to suggest that an utterly non-Blairite, non-neocon political movement (morally and intellectually serious, not to say solvent) could reasonably expect a third or more of the eligible vote for its social democracy, its social conservatism, and its patriotism in all directions. And that would never do.

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

The CRB

No one would object to CRB checks if they were not so ridiculously expensive, and if one did not need a different disclosure for every activity that brings one into contact with children or certain categories of adult. How can it really cost that much? And how can one disclosure fail to suffice? It simply cannot, in either case. The whole thing is just a money-spinner for the private company (implicated in the cash for honours scandal) to which it has been farmed out, and brings child protection into disrepute.

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

Banana?

Is it time to start referring to Yates of the Yard as "Banana"? After all, a banana is bent and yellow.

Well, perhaps not quite yet. But certainly if Blair is not arrested, or not charged, or not remanded in custody, or not prosecuted, or not convicted, or not imprisoned. In any of those six events, Yates will stand exposed as the most corrupt member of the most corrupt police force in the most corrupt country in the world.

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Oh no, now I have to agree with Harriet Harman!

Though only up to a point, so that's all right, more or less. She is of course quite right that the buying of sex should be illegal. And quite wrong that the sale thereof should not be. Are women morally and intellectually equal to men, or not?

Also, no one should be deemed capable of committing either of these offences below the age of consent (which should be raised to 18 anyway). Or is the hysterical feminist war against teenage boys (whose mothers cannot even be admitted to women's refuges - did you know that?), even above all their many other designated enemies, to be waged on this front, too? Those who ordinarily insist on treating teenage girls as grown women and teenage boys as small children (if that) somehow insist on reversing the arrangement in cases such as this.

It would take a lot to persuade me to give up my three remaining affiliations to the Labour Movement, two of which carry votes in the forthcoming Leadership and Deputy Leaderships Elections. But Harman's election as Deputy Leader might just do it. She embodies, and that in a particulary virulent form, one of the overlapping ideological positions, based entirely within (psuedo-)academia and the media but with no popular following, that do not have anything to do with either the Left or the Right in this country or anywhere else, yet somehow managed to take over the apparatus of one or the other (in this case, the Left) in the Seventies and Eighties, and from that base to take over the other one as well from the Nineties onwards.

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Of Ks and Big Ps

In that subculture, of course, Ks and Big Ps could be all sorts of things...

Seriously, I think that they're actually getting frightened. No, not them. The Met (itself no stranger to the K or the Big P).

If anyone is ever charged, despite the incontrovertible fact of the sale of knighthoods and peerages over long years and including by both main parties at present, then, 18 months down the line, the Met would be looking, at best (yes at best!) at subjugation to the Mayor for London and to the Greater London Authority, and quite possibly at separate constabularies for each London Borough. And no more Ks or Big Ps.

They've been warned, and they've heeded the warning. Hence no caution when interviewing the man who must be guilty if anyone else is, as someone else clearly must be: they wouldn't dare charge him, so they can't and won't charge anyone.

Ks and Big Ps all round, then?

Friday, 15 December 2006

My two hundredth post, and it has to have Blair in it!

I've been having a bit of a discussion on the invaluable http://iaindale.blogspot.com about how Blair, who became an MP when he was only just 30, was ever at the Bar long enough to become a QC. Apparently, all barristers who become MPs automatically become QCs. In that case it does seem a bit naughty to use the title (as he certainly does, or I'd never have heard of him under it).

Anyway, has anyone ever actually been represented in court by Tony Blair? If so, then who, when, how did it go, &c? And if not,...?

Thursday, 14 December 2006

"Separation", indeed

The "scandal" of the dropping of the investigation into BAe and Saudi Arabia (is it a Labour Government's defence of the skilled, high-wage, high-status jobs of the British working class that is "scandalous"?) is, in any case, as nothing compared to John Major's appointment of Jonathan Aitken (whom I freely accept is a changed man these days) as Minister of Defence Procurement on the direct orders of the Saudi Royal Family. Remember that? Some of us do.

Kirsty Walk on Newsnight practically had kittens over "the separation of powers". Had she heard that term on The West Wing, or Sex and the City, or Pimp My Ride, or something? When will she be demanding that all Ministers resign their seats in either House; that the Law Lords renounce either their peerages or their seats on the bench; and so forth. "The separation of powers"? I ask you! What next? "The separation of Church and State"?

But then, waiting for Newsnight to come on in one of these non-Question Time seasons when everything interesting seems to happen, I caught the end of something called Coupling, the characters in which spoke with middle-class London accents even though the thing itself seemed to be set in New York, or at least in the city of Friends and Will & Grace. They even used American, rather than British, phraseology. Such, I suspect, is the world that the BBC newsroom inhabits, utterly unrecognisable to the rest of us. "Separation", indeed.

"No lawyer present"?

The BBC keeps on saying that there was "no lawyer present" when Blair was interviewed by the Police. So, has he been disbarred? I think we should be told...

Well, this Lefty does, for a start

Peter Hitchens writes (on http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk):

I don't defend Augusto Pinochet, the late dictator of Chile. He was a wicked man who tortured and murdered his opponents and - in a law-governed, constitutional democracy - chose illegal and undemocratic methods. Whatever good he may have done, which is in any case open to serious question, does not excuse these unforgiveable actions. So why won't the Left say the same simple thing about Pinochet's socialist twin, the Cuban torturer and mass murderer Fidel Castro?

As I bicycled past Hyde Park Corner the other day, I was upbraided by another cyclist who said I was unfair about Cuba and - when I called him a sucker for the regime - absurdly accused me of being a toady of the British 'regime'. (So far as I could work out before the lights changed, this was because, despite being as rude as I can be about our major political parties, critical of the Queen and Prince Charles, I support the institution of monarchy. I really didn't have the whole afternoon to spare to put him right about this).

He really couldn't grasp the simple point that, whatever he might believe about Castro's alleged (and dubious) achievements in health and education - the evidence for which comes mainly from Cuban official statistics which cannot be independently checked - Castro is a monster.

He has reversed the verdicts of courts when he didn't like them, so as to punish opponents. He imprisoned his old comrade Huber Matos, who just wanted to go home quietly. His regime began with show trials and mass shootings and continued with repression and censorship and intolerance, which have gone on ever since. For a long period he persecuted homosexuals. He has arranged to be succeeded by his brother, which the left normally would denounce as a sort of sideways hereditary monarchy. His prisons are a disgrace. Torture is used. Interestingly, Pinochet on occasion put in a good word for Castro, and Castro was - reasonably - perturbed when Pinochet was arrested, seeing this as a danger to himself.

The honest thing, whatever your politics, is to condemn them both. I do. What about you?

Yes, I do too. So should we all.

Another Good Day To Bury Bad News

Of course, Lord Stevens has only told us what every sane person knew nine years ago. But he has done so at our own lavish expense. What a waste of public money! Fayed and his crew should just have been told where to stick their conspiracy theories.

But how much coverage has there been of a real story of the day, namely the Post Office closures? (And where is the Countryside Alliance when we need them?) Oh, and has anyone, anywhere asked why Blair, the man who actually granted the corruptly and illegally purchased seats in the legislature, was not interviewed under caution?

No, of course not! Instead, it's just Diana this, Diana that, Diana the other.

The Sound of Silence

In recent days, has anyone heard a single voice on radio or television arguing that both the buying and the selling of sex are equally reprehensible and, above the age of consent (which should be raised to 18 anyway), should be treated as such in law, including with the full force of the law? For that matter, has anyone heard a single voice, or even read a single article or letter, pointing out that there cannot be a "free" market in goods and services generally but not in prostitution or anything else, including drugs, alcohol, gambling and pornography?

Just Say No

If a political party cannot persuade anyone to give it any money, then it does not deserve to exist. But such is politicians’ and party hacks’ self-importance that they refuse to accept this self-evident fact. Their nationalisation of political parties would only make a baleful situation even worse. State funding of anything means state control. It has to, and in many cases it needs to.

Already, the only designation other than “Independent” permitted on a ballot paper is the name of a political party approved by the Electoral Commission. That Commission must approve the party’s constitution (including its aims and objectives), and must approve the Party Leader.

Some commission or committee would have to decide which parties or candidates deserved to be held up to the public teat. We can imagine only too easily who those commissioners or committee members would be, and therefore on what basis they would make their judgements.

All this merely to end the dying Labour Party’s dependence on the thriving trade unions, the only clean money left in British politics. Trade unions’ millions of members live, work and pay taxes the length and breadth of Britain. Unions have to ballot their members about maintaining a political fund, and even then individuals have to opt into it.

But that is precisely the problem so far as the political class is concerned: the combination of popularity, ordinariness, provincialism, democracy, liberty, and the vulgar practice of working for a living. That class wants to destroy the influence of the popular, the ordinary, the provincial, the democratic, the free and the hard-working. Indeed, it wants to destroy these social-democratic, socially conservative, patriotic things themselves, in order to destroy social democracy, social conservatism, and patriotism.

State funding of political parties is a key weapon in that destruction. Just say no.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Sauce for the gander?

Apparently, "trials" in Africa have shown that male genital mutilation reduces the risk of HIV infection. Since the gist of this "finding" is that infections hide in nooks and crannies (who paid for this?), and since female genitalia are in any case far more vulnerable to infection, is female genital mutilation now to be advocated as a means of preventing the spread of HIV? After all, "it's part of their culture"; and didn't you know that women's bodies, or at least the reproductive parts thereof, were insentient, denial of which fact is called "misogyny"?

Monday, 11 December 2006

Yes, Jesus IS the reason for the season

Another year, another round of lazy claims that Christmas is a taking over of some pagan winter festival. There is of course a universal need for winter festivals. But the dating of Christmas derives from the Jewish Hanukah, not from the pagan Saturnalia or anything else.

No British or Irish Christmas custom derives from paganism. There is little, if any, fokloric pagan continuation in these islands; and little, if anything, is known about pre-Christian religion here. Most, if not all, allegations to the contrary derive from Protestant polemic against practices originating in the Middle Ages, and usually the Late Middle Ages at that. The modern religion known as Paganism is an invention from scratch, the very earliest roots of which are in the late nineteenth century.

Furthermore, the dating of Christmas from that of Hanukah raises serious questions for Protestants, who mistakenly exclude the two Books of Macabees from the Canon because, along with various other works, they were allegedly not considered canonical at the time of Jesus and the Apostles.

In fact, the rabbis only excluded those books specifically because they were likely to lead people into Christianity, and they are repeatedly quoted or cited in the New Testament, as they were by Jewish writers up to their rabbinical exclusion. Even thereafter, a point is made by the continued celebration of Hanukah, a celebration thanks to books to which Jews only really had access because Christians had preserved them, since the rabbis wanted them destroyed.

Indeed, far from being the mother-religion that it is often assumed to be, a very great deal of Judaism is actually a reaction against Christianity, although this is by no means the entirety of the relationship, with key aspects of kabbalah actually deriving from Christianity, with numerous other examples set out in Rabbi Michael Hilton's The Christian Effect on Jewish Life (London: SCM Press, 1994), and so on. Hanukah bushes, and the giving and receiving of presents at Hanukah, stand in a tradition of two-way interaction both as old as Christianity and about as old as anything that could reasonably be described as Judaism.

Victorian Values

The ridiculous collection of decadents now running the "Conservative" Party claim to wish to see a return to Victorian values. They themselves, of course, have never given up upper-class cocaine addiction, or recourse to prostitutes of both sexes...

Intolerance of Intolerance

Tony Blair says that people who don’t like British tolerance can clear off. Please don’t laugh. It’s not funny. To qualify for public funding, religious-based projects will now have to prove that they meet certain standards laid down by an intolerant secularism, one of which (many other examples could also be cited here) is the misdefinition of equality as interchangeability, at least where the two sexes are concerned.

For example, men and women are equal, and therefore not interchangeable, in Catholicism, in the Church of England, and in Orthodox Judaism. Thus, women cannot be Catholic priests, or Church of England bishops, or Orthodox rabbis. This is for unanswerable theological reasons. But a project of the Catholic Church, or of the Church of England, or of an Orthodox synagogue, can now expect, either to be denied funding or other recognition, or to have any such award challenged in court.

However, doesn’t Blair live in a sort of halfway house between the Catholic Church and the Church of England?

Well, Blair has presided over a reduction in the incomes of the poorest fifth of the population. He has consistently voted for abortion up to birth. He supports the harvesting of embryonic human beings’ stem cells for pointless “research”.

His government has legalised cannabis in all but name, and is trying to recreate Las Vegas several times over on this tiny island. It has legalised the sodomy of 16-year-old schoolboys in public lavatories. It came within inches of destroying the church schools. It came within one vote of criminalising the preaching of the Gospel, losing only because of sheer incompetence. Even now, it is trying to force the closure of Catholic adoption agencies, and of Pentecostal youth clubs reaching out to disaffected black youth.

And Blair, on a lie, took Britain into the Iraq War against the entreaties of every significant Church of England figure bar one (whom he had recently passed over for Archbishop of Canterbury) , and of every significant Catholic figure without exception.

Blair’s religiosity would seem to have no effect whatever on his politics. Catholic, Church of England, Orthodox Jewish and many other community projects are doomed unless he is removed forthwith.

Still, at least I'm not reduced to lapdancing

Wage slavery, even freelance wage slavery, precludes my attending tomorrow's planning meeting after all. But at least I'm not reduced to lapdancing to earn a crust. Our community's young women also deserve better than that, as I have every confidence that the Council will agree. Won't it? After all, don't they?

So, farewell then, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and General Pinochet

So, farewell then, Jeanne "the poor and oppressed are used to it so they don't mind" Kirkpatrick and General Pinochet. Reagan, Botha, Friedman, Kirkpatrick (from whose doctrine Botha and Pinochet so benefited, like Marcos, the Duvaliers, &c), and now Pinochet. Next will be She. But remember, these elderly or deceased represent the future. Don't they?

How useful was Pinochet over the Falklands, really? Anyway, Thatcher had practically invited the Argentines in, and the Royal Navy then had to behave as if she did not exist in order to drive them back out again, a sort of coup without which the Falklands would be Argentine to this day.

And will She be going to Pinochet's funeral?

The Return of IDS?

Suddenly, Iain Duncan Smith is back, making his pitch to lead the breakaway party of the few remaining Tories among Conservative MPs in the coming hung Parliament. He'll have to fight Edward Leigh for it, though. And Leigh had the wit to oppose the Iraq War.

Interesting that they are both Catholics. Most Catholics are not Tories of any stripe; and most High Tories are, of course, C of E.

Friday, 8 December 2006

Hands Across The Atlantic

It's not every day that one submits a 30,000 word book to a publisher, especially if one did it all in the previous 18 hours (well, not exactly, but it sounds better that way....); so I sit here rewarding myself with a bottle of the Speckled Hen, even if they have changed the labels. Bah!

Anyway, I note that Blair, on his latest visit to Washington, has still declined to collect his Congressional Gold Medal. So is there any way that we Britons could petition the new Congress to revoke it, rescind it, or whatever is the correct term? If they thought that there was real public support for over here (which, of course, there would be) for such a move, then they might just do it.

Meanwhile, General Sir Mike Jackson, his Navy and RAF counterparts, and if possible their American opposite numbers, should point out that there is no identifiable "job" to "finish" either in Afghanistan or in Iraq, and should accordingly order their subordinates to withdraw, unilaterally. After all, they are the ones with the guns and the tanks, so what is anyone going to do to stop them? There have been Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and Presidents of the United States who could have stood up to such a move. But Tony Blair and George Bush are not among them.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

Are the neocons on the way out?

Rumsfeld gone. Bolton gone. The neocons are on the way out, aren't they?

Dream on!

They are still on a roll in Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, France... Watch out for New Zealand. Meanwhile, the President of the European Commission is a former Maoist who went on to become a rabidly "free"-marketeering and pro-Bush Prime Minister of Portugal before being eased into his current role. They don't come more neocon than that. Watch that space.

And as for America, who are these newly-"resurgent" "conservative Democrats"? Socially conservative economic populists (as Americans call them), a true resurgence of an old and great force? Or neocons, looking to complete their coup by taking over one party to which they are fundamentally alien just as they took over the other party to which they were (and are) fundamentally alien?

Opus Dei and the Left

Spurred on by the insinuations of David Lindsay Watch, I have been doing a little research into Opus Dei. Wikipedia (yes, I know, but...) lists nine Opus Dei politicians (plus, inexplicably, Robert Hanssen). Of those, three (including two women) are on the Left and four are dead (one since 1966), with no overlap between these two categories.

Only one is a Chilean "Chicago Boy"; and even that, though wrong in itself and impossible to square with Catholic Teaching, is not the same as having been a fully-fledged supporter of Pinochet, whose name is always brought up by Opus-haters, but who is nowhere listed as in any way affiliated to Opus Dei.

I say again, Opus Dei, though not really political at all, inclines, if anything, to the Left. Much like the Catholic Church in general, in fact.

Essayist sought

As part of my edited volume Left and Right Must Unite and Fight (which has a publisher lined up), I'd like to include a synthesis of the feminist and the conservative-Christian critiques of the sex industry. I'm already writing one essay (I've done it, in fact), co-writing another, writing the Introduction, and probably writing a Conclusion as well; which seems like quite enough of me for one multi-author book. So if anyone else is interested, then please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, and I'll send you all appropriate details. Very many thanks.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

The madness behind the Mental Health Bill

Mental health policy in this country has long been dictated by a sort of political mental illness in itself, namely the belief that if the two front benches agree with each other, then that constitutes a consensus at large and "the centre ground", dissent from which is by definition extreme and insane. We also see the consequences of this warped thinking in so many other areas, of course.

Russia: the nuclear deterrent that we still need

No, I'm not talking upon unproven rubbish relating to radiation poisoning at the behest of a President who has the temerity to resist his country's incorporation into the Neocon Empire. I mean that country's ever-tighter stanglehold on our energy, which could be turned off at any moment if that President, or his successor of the day, so determined. Even more than Arab oil, Russian gas demands that, along with the application of clean coal technology, we develop the real nuclear deterrent: nuclear power, and plenty of it. A rather better use of the money, I feel.

Mind Your Language

This is a respectable blog, so please do not swear or make obscene references when posting comments (which I simply haven't the time to moderate, and wouldn't really want to anyway). Thank you.

Fiji

Four of the world's five longest-standing democracies have the same Head of State, who was deposed as Head of State of Fiji in 1987. Guess who?

Stanley Town Council and the Parish Councils: national and international readers, please skip

The following was sent out a couple of weeks ago, to all Labour and Independent District Councillors in the non-Stanley part of Derwentside, copied to a number of Lanchester Parish Councillors (Labour, Tory and Independent) and to the local press. I have received numerous positive responses (again from across the spectrum, as much within parties as between them) and no negative ones:

"Tuesday's meeting of Lanchester Parish Council confirmed what we all knew anyway, namely that the creation of the Stanley Town Council will result in the end of the Derwentside District Council donations to the existing Parish Councils. I have no intention of rehearsing here any arguments about the STC as such, since there would no point. But several of you will recall that I have consistently argued that, following the creation of the STC, DDC should no longer provide anything in the STC area which Parish Councils provide anywhere else in Derwentside.

This has earned me abuse like I have otherwise only ever experienced when suggesting that there were poor people in Lanchester and that they might need some help, but I stand by this as I stand by that: people who want the STC but do not want it to spend (i.e., to do) anything, instead demanding that the allegedly hated DDC carry on providing, strike me as completely absurd. Furthermore, the withdrawal of the DDC donations to Parish Councils because of the creation of the STC, while entirely predictable and understandable under the circumstances, only serves to re-emphasise the importance of this point, since the Parished areas are now paying directly for the STC. It will not do to say that "Stanley won't be getting a donation either", because Stanley never did get a donation, whereas we are actually having our budgets cut (and that quite drastically).

Therefore, I hope and trust that resolutions will be passed by every Parish Council within Derwentside, by both the Majority Group and the Opposition on DDC, and accordingly by DDC itself, to the effect that, following the creation of the STC, DDC should no longer provide anything in the STC area which Parish Councils provide anywhere else in Derwentside. A failure to do this would be iniquitous and immoral (as well as ridiculous from the point of view of the STC and its supporters), and it would not be forgotten in the run-up to the forthcoming Elections."

The question needs to be asked and answered: why should the Parished areas be made to pay for a body for which only the most questionable public support has ever existed even within its own area, which pretty much guarantees a platform for the BNP (the only functioning party in Stanley other than Labour, which will never find enough candidates to fill every seat), and whose own advocates appear to want it to do nothing except pass a monthly resolution telling Kevan Jones how wonderful he is (and, no doubt, pay its members - themselves - generous allowances) while still expecting the allegedly hated Derwentside District Council to spoon-feed them?

Monday, 4 December 2006

New Parties: The Nuclear Option

There was Blair today, flanked by Jack Straw and Margaret Beckett. They're all for nuclear weapons now that such weapons are indisputably pointless in addition to being, as they have always been, morally repugnant. Cameron is right behind Blair of course, complete with a 1980s haircut accordingly. And the best that the Liberals can suggest is a six-year delay before going ahead anyway.

There are many reasons why the British People needs to create new political parties. This is one of them.

You don't say!

According to the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, Iraqis were better off under Saddam Hussein than they are now. You don't say! What is to be his next revelation? The Pope's Catholicism? Bears' defecation in the woods?

Saturday, 2 December 2006

Where the hell is Hilary?

Hilary Armstrong - Cabinet Minister, regular churchgoer, and woman - has said nothing whatever against the "Red Velvet" proposal. Her collusion in the Tory closure (in all but name) of Shotley Bridge Hospital was bad enough. Her whipping through of the massive deregulation of drinking, gambling, prostitution and pornography, and of the downgrading of cannabis, was far enough removed from her roots. But this is beyond belief, beyond obscenity, beyond anything. Where the hell is she? And why the hell is she still anywhere at all?

It's time for the BBC to catch up with the Pope, not the other way around

Here we go again. According to the BBC (who else?), the Pope is planning to reverse the Catholic Church's position on condoms and Aids "in Africa". Why on earth would be want to do that?

Certain people might consider applying some journalistic or scientific objectivity to the question of where in Africa the condom use relentlessly promoted by Western NGOs and compliant governments has ever arrested, never mind reversed, the rate of HIV infection. There is nowhere.

However, such a reversal is under way in Uganda, where the government's message is the same as the Catholic Church's: "Change Your Behaviour". Huge numbers of condoms have been distributed in Botswana, and the result has been for President Festus Mogae to declare, "Abstain or die". Who, exactly, is incapable of fidelity within a monogamous marriage and abstinence outside such a marriage? Women? Black people? Poor people? Developing-world people? Or just poor black women in the developing world?

And after those questions, certain people might examine the very high reliability of Natural Family Planning, as admitted even by the World Health Organisation (hardly a Vatican puppet, to say the very least). Who is incapable of the requisite discipline? See above? Or is it just that all women must poison themselves in order to be available constantly for the sexual gratification of men, much as people in emerging holiday resorts must carry condoms in order to be so available to Western sex tourists and, in point of fact, their diseases?

Why is it only ever the people who hardly consume anything who are told that there are too many of them, be they the people of the developing world abroad, or the working classes and the altogether excluded at home? And what are the implications of believing that the unborn child is both a part of a woman's body (of her very reproductive system, in fact), and at the same time insentient? They seem terrifying even here, never mind where female genital mutilation is endemic.

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Blairites For Rape

http://blairitesforlindsay.blogspot.com no longer works (I know not the problem), but that doesn't stop dear old Greatest Hits of the Nineties from replying here, most recently to my post on the proposed "Red Velvet" establishment.

I am not at all surprised to see which is the Blairite side, of course: the side of the "free" market in goods and services, which must by definition include prostitution and pornography, as well as alcohol, drugs, gambling, and everything else.

Molly Jowell, wife of an "associate" and herself responsible for bringing (at public expense) the cream of "Las Vegas casino operators" to Britain to consider the opportunities that she intends to open up for them here, must be very proud of you, BFL.

Yes, the Blair Cabinet really does contain a working pointwoman for both the Italian and the American Mafia. And its strongest, shrillest supporters at local level support "lap-dancing". But then, how could they not?

Chosen at random?

Three 17-year-old boys were interviewed about their lives as Sixth Formers on this morning's Woman's Hour, much as teenagers also turn up as interviewees or even writers on the Guardian from time to time. Are they chosen at random? I have written to the Guardian in the past to ask this, but my letters on the subject have never been published...

Twelve Good (Wo)men And True

If I were sued by a "lap-dancing club" proprietor for saying that, morally even if not legally, his business was a brothel, his staff were prostitutes, his customers were prostititutes' clients, and he was a pimp, then would you find in his favour, or in mine?

Long live juries!

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

I'm part of the Union, till the day I die

The United Kingdom is my country, and no one has the right to take it away from me.

Real Labourites did not struggle so hard and for so long to secure power only to hand it over to people beyond our control. Or rather, what little of it was left after Heath’s Treaty of Rome (opposed by Labour), Thatcher’s Single European Act (opposed by Labour) and Major’s Maastricht Treaty (opposed by far more Labour than Conservative MPs).

Likewise, we see the United Kingdom as the means of bringing the conservative benefits of Socialism (see Trident, below) to as many people as possible. This simply would not be an economic option for an independent Scotland, an independent Wales, or a “United Ireland”, each inherently more selfish, either than the United Kingdom as presently constituted, or than any rump left behind by the secession of any part of the Union. And the European Union is simply too large for Socialism.

Furthermore, the Commonwealth is the extension of the Union’s inherent generosity of spirit. It has been scandalously under-used for decades, not least because, with the Union from which it is inseparable, the Commonwealth is one of the strongest monarchist arguments (see Long To Reign Over Us, below).

Whatever next?

After reading the Observer Magazine special on India, I really do have to ask, has The Observer been taken over by the BJP and the RSS, with their "Mumbai", their "Kolkata", their "Bengalaru", and so forth? The first of these is rejected out of hand both by Bombay's Stock Exchange and by its High Court, and rightly so. I know that the partisans of Scottish separatism and of supremacism on the part of speakers of Welsh, Catalan and Basque (not the position of most such speakers) now get away with presenting themselves as left-wing, more is the pity. But Hindutva? Whatever next? Seriously, what?

House of Lords reform

This time it really is going to happen, whether we like it or not: the last hereditaries have to be gone before Blair leaves the Commons, former PMs retiring therefrom having traditionally been given earldoms...

So we need to make the best of it, as we certainly could do. The proposal currently doing the rounds, for 15-year non-renewable terms and for regional party lists, is clearly unacceptable on any conceivable level. Therefore, we need to have a broadly-based alternative proposal, and I am writing to float a few ideas accordingly.

First, there would be 150 Elected Senators, with six-year terms and paid in exactly the same way as MPs. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each of the nine English regions (but with their borders redrawn so as to reflect historic county boundaries, and so as not to conform to any map in Brussels) would each elect, by means of two ballot papers per elector, six Senators who were members of political parties and four who were not. Each elector would vote for one candidate by means of an X, with the requisite number declared elected at the end.

In the same way, five party and five Crossbench Senators would be elected by each of two areas: Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North East, the North West, Yorkshire, and the East Midlands; and Wales, the West Midlands, the South West, the South East, London, and East Anglia. And four party and six Crossbench Senators would be elected by the whole country.

Frankly, if we could not get at least one of our people elected as a Crossbencher in each region, in each area, and nationally, then we simply would not be trying. Likewise, fourth, fifth or sixth party seats would be ours for the taking, whereas I have worked out that the BNP would stand no chance.

Anyone completing four terms (24 years) as an Elected Senator would thus become a Life Senator, with the right to name one other Life Senator. Life Senators would receive only expenses of the kind currently paid to Peers, and no salaries.

But in the meantime, secondly, there would be one-off elections of the first 75 Life Senators: three party and two Crossbench by Councillors (above Parish or Town level) in each of the 12 regions; two party and two Crossbench by such Councillors and by their MPs in each of the two areas; two party and three Crossbench by the House of Commons; and one party and one Crossbench by the Elected Senators. In the first three cases, the voting system as above would be employed; in the last, the Single Transferable Vote. Each Life Senator would then have the right to name one more, giving 150 Life Senators in all.

And thirdly, the powerhouses of the Senate would be its Caucuses and its Committees. The Elected Senators from each region, those from each area, and those elected nationally would each form a Category A Caucus: 15 in all, with Life Senators welcome to join up to one of them. Furthermore, any 10 Elected Senators would be free to form a Category B Caucus: up to 15 in all, with Life Senators likewise welcome to join up to one of them. Again, if our Crossbenchers, especially, could not manage the latter, then they simply would not be trying.

Each Caucus, in either Category, would elect one member to each Committee (of which there would be one per department), and the Chairmen of the Caucuses and of the Committees would comprise the Standing Committee of the Senate, responsible for all business matters, and rotationally charing both that Committee and the Senate itself, with the casting vote in the event of a tie.

No Bill could be put to Second Reading without having been approved by the relevant Committee, by seven of the Category A Caucuses, and by one fewer than half of the Category B Caucuses; and no Bill could be put to Third Reading without having been approved by the relevant Committee, by eight of the Category A Caucuses, and by one more than half of the Category B Caucuses. Any consequent dispute with the House of Commons would be resolved by a Joint Session, chaired by the Speaker of the House of Commons, a House which would have a permanently fixed membership of 500, i.e., one per 0.2% of the electorate.

If 15-year non-renewable terms and regional party lists go through, then nothing that we really want ever will again. And time is now of the essence.

Turkey

No, I'm not entering into the Christmas spirit just yet. Rather, I have been taking note of how the Pope is being received in Turkey, an indication of what we always knew anyway. Were it not for the constant threat of an American-backed military coup, Turkey would already be a fully-fledged Islamic republic: polygamy, shrouded women, limb amputations, the lot.

Monday, 27 November 2006

"Red Velvet"

The following letter, relating to an application to license a "lap-dancing club" (brothel) in Consett, was not printed in the Consett and Stanley Advertiser, but I have also submitted a formal objection to Derwentside District Council in much the same terms:

"The claims of the "Red Velvet" applicant, Sonny Gill, would be laughable if they were not so tragic and so wicked. If "this is not prostitution", then what, exactly, is it? It is making money out of sexual stimulation, and that deliberately apart from any meaningful relationship. So, morally even if not legally, it is prostitution. Morally, even if not legally, the women involved are prostitutes. Morally, even if not legally, the men paying them are prostitutes' clients. And morally, even if not legally, Mr Gill is a pimp. As would be Derwentside District Council (i.e., each and every one of us) if it accepted a fee (on all our behalfs) for licensing what morally, even if not legally, would be a brothel. Well, I for one am not prepared to be turned into a pimp.

Anyway, where do these women come from, and where do they go? The "sex industry" is seamless, as even Mr Gill must surely acknowledge. Who cares if this "is happening in towns and cities all over the country"? So are all sorts of evil things. And if "the protection of children from harm, the prevention of public nuisance, the protection of public safety, and the prevention of crime and disorder" are not matters calling for "a moral judgement", then what exactly are they, and what exactly is?

Is the Council prepared to turn every citizen of Derwentside, including every Councillor, into a pimp? Is it prepared to take payment of behalf of the whole community in order to turn Consett into a licensed centre of human trafficking and sexual violence? Does it envisage nothing better for our young women than employment of this kind (the amount of money earned being entirely beside the point)? Does it consider these things to be in accordance with "the protection of children from harm, the prevention of public nuisance, the protection of public safety, and the prevention of crime and disorder"?

We shall all find out when it decides on this application, a decision expected on 12th December. I shall be there if at all possible, and I encourage anyone else who can do so to attend as well."

Sunday, 26 November 2006

Trident

The Labour Movement was founded to conserve such good things as national self-government (the only basis for international co-operation, and including the United Kingdom as greater than the sum of its parts), local variation, historical consciousness, family life, agriculture, manufacturing, small business, close-knit communities, law and order, civil liberties, academic standards, all forms of art, and mass political participation within a constitutional framework. All of these were and are corroded to nought by free market capitalism, both in itself, and because it drives despairing millions into equally corrosive Jacobinism, Marxism, anarchism or Fascism.

Marx himself saw Britain, with Germany, as one of the two countries most likely to have a revolution such as he predicted and advocated; it was thanks to Labour that no such disaster ever befell this country, as the sectarian Left's hatred of Labour demonstrates. We are proud to be the objects of such hatred: they hate us because they hate the Welfare State, and the strong statutory and other protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former paid for by progressive taxation, the whole underwritten by full employment, and all these things delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government. In a word, they hate Socialism.

However, in recent years, much of Labour's central apparatus has been hijacked by people with sectarian Left backgrounds, who have only changed their Marxism's ending so that the bourgeoisie (and thus the most bourgeois of countries, which is not Britain) wins. These people remain Marxist in their dialectical materialism; Leninist in their vanguard elitism, in their "democratic centralism", and in their use of various religious and other interests as "Useful Idiots"; Trotskyist in their entryism, and in their belief in the permanent revolution; and yet also Stalinist in their desire to create the dictatorship of the victorious class in a superstate, from which to export it (including by force of arms) while vanguard elites around the world owe allegiance to that superstate rather than to their own countries.

Contrary to their origins, and to the wishes of almost all of their members and supporters, all three parties have largely been turned, by means of such neo-Trotskyist entryism, into vanguard elites of this Marxist-Leninist (specifically bourgeois-triumphalist) kind. Thus has been largely overturned Labour's spectacular achievement in preventing a Marxist takeover of Britain.

That overturning, and thus the new Marxist hegemony itself, would become complete if another nuclear weapons programme were to be commissioned in succession to Trident. Trident was at least useless only in its own ostensibly defensive terms, whereas any new programme would be useless in any terms whatever, in addition to the fact that nuclear weapons (like radiological, chemical and biological weapons) are morally repugnant simply in themselves. They offer not the slightest defence against a range of loosely-knit, if at all connected, terrorist organisations pursuing a range of loosely-knit, if at all connected, aims in relation to a range of countries while actually governing no state. Where would any such organisation keep nuclear weapons in the first place?

Furthermore, the possession of nuclear weapons, in addition to offending against Islamic (and much other) theological opinion, serves to convey to terrorists and their supporters that Britain wishes to "play with the big boys", thereby contributing to making Britain a target for the terrorist activity against which such weapons are defensively useless. It is high time for Britain to grow up.

Britain's permanent seat on the UN Security Council could not be taken away without British consent, and so does not depend in any way on her possession of nuclear weapons; on the contrary, the world needs and deserves a non-nuclear permanent member of that Council.

Most European countries do not have nuclear weapons, and nor does Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Are these therefore in greater danger? On the contrary, the London bombings of 7th July 2005 were attacks on a country with nuclear weapons, while the attacks of 11th September 2001 were against a country with by far the largest nuclear arsenal in the world. The only "nuclear power" in the Middle East is Israel; is Israel the most secure state in the Middle East?

A new nuclear weapons programme could only be commissioned on grounds purely ideological in the most irrational and doctrinaire sense of the word, and the ideology in question would be an utterly uncritical Marxism. For a Labour Government to do such a thing would be the Labour Movement's greatest ever failure, and the greatest threat to everything for which it has ever fought with phenomenal success of benefit to the entire world.

Nor would any such programme represent or effect national pride or independence, but rather the wholesale subjugation of Britain's defence capability to a foreign power (however friendly) precisely in the service of that Marxist ideology. That power maintains at least no less friendly relations with numerous other countries, of which almost none have nuclear weapons. Diverting enormous sums of money towards public services, and towards the relief of poverty at home and abroad, precisely by reasserting control over our own defence capability, would represent a most significant step towards One Nation politics, with an equal emphasis on the One and on the Nation.

Therefore, the next Labour Leader and Prime Minister must be a person who has specifically, publicly and unambiguously ruled out any such programme, or at least specifically, publicly and unambiguously guaranteed that no such programme will be commissioned without the support of a division of the House of Commons, including a free vote of all Labour MPs, with the majority both of the whole House and of Labour MPs voting in favour. Otherwise, the Labour Party will have ceased to exist, and in its place there will be nothing but a Marxist sect, compelling all of us Labour people to act accordingly.

Scandal After Scandal

With the news that the Labour Party is now reduced to deducting public money at source from Councillors’ allowances, one has to wonder how many of the few remaining members of any political party are in receipt of such allowances, and whether or not they would stay if they lost that entitlement.

So Labour really had better get its Leadership Election out of the way before its expected massive losses in the spring, or there might well so few people left to vote in the former that things will look even worse than they were going to look anyway: a national writing large of the scandal in most constituencies, where at best a handful of aged activists, and as often as not two or three people in an office in London, simply appoint the MP for a super-safe seat.

Aren't yokels hilarious?

Aren’t yokels hilarious? Saunders and French Productions have already proved this with The Vicar of Dibley, and are now repeating the triumph with Jam and Jerusalem. Isn’t that right? And aren’t they more than fit to plunder the canon of The Kinks for their new theme tune?

Tragedy averted, but farce played out

Why was Michael Stone at large in the first place? Because he had been released under the Good Friday Agreement, also the cause of the farce that he disrupted.

The poor we have always with us

Of course poverty is relative as well as absolute. That was what Jesus meant when He said that "the poor ye have always with you". He certainly didn’t say that we were to do nothing about it, as so much Christian work for the poor bears out. This side of the eschaton, there will always be people whose plight spurs us on to ever-greater improvements, both to their spiritual and material benefit and to ours.

Have They Got News For Ian Hislop?

On Have I Got News For You?, Ian Hislop merrily laughed along as the guest presenter denounced the "extremists" who opposed the ban on a British Airways employee’s wearing of the cross, and suggested that BA flights would be safer without them. Will this be kept in mind when Hislop next tries his hand at the upper-class English hobby of being an ecclesiastical hanger on? If not, why not?

Christian Unions

With universities and Students’ Unions trying to ban Christian Unions, I am reminded of my own student days. Then, it was taken as axiomatic, even among Catholics but especially among middle-of-the-road or High Anglicans, that the Christian Union was a wicked, vicious cult of theologically illiterate fundamentalist lunatics because ... they didn’t believe in sex before marriage! Through Chaplains’ positions, those who held this Anglican liberal line were of course, and uniquely, maintained at public expense and as full members of the University staff, although how many of them would otherwise have been so appointed is altogether another question.

What a happy coincidence!

"The panellists don’t know the questions in advance," David Dimbleby regularly assures us on Question Time. This week, there was a question about child abuse and a question about Polly Toynbee. And on the panel were Esther Rantzen and Polly Toynbee. What a happy coincidence!

So what would REAL Democrats be like, then?

Interviewing Sidney Blumenthal on HARDTalk, Andrew Neil bemoaned at some length that so many Democrats recently elected to Congress were "socially conservative, anti big government, anti big business, and isolationist," and was joined by Blumenthal in denouncing the protectionist reaction to what they both clearly regarded as the welcome and deserved destruction of manufacturing in the Midwest. So, what exactly do these two think that what they would regard as proper Democrats should stand for, if not for these eminently sensible positions? And why?

There is a world elsewhere, you know

The biggest story of the week was undoubtedly Russian-based, so BBC News 24’s Dateline London devoted the entire programme to … the Middle East! There is a world elsewhere, you know.

Monday, 20 November 2006

So, farewell then, Milton Friedman

Thanks to Milton Friedman, whom the world has been praising to the heights now that he has died, we have gone, barely within one generation, from a situation in which a single manual wage could provide a high degree of comfort for the wage-earner, the homemaker and several children, to one in which anything like such a manner of life is beyond the reach even of a childless couple with two professional salaries.

Friedman at least realised (even if only implicitly) that inflation in 1970s Britain was no fault of the unions, since they, after all, had no control over the money supply. But then, Thatcher's campaign against the unions, and thus against the industries that most sustained them, had nothing to do with economics: it was political, but for some reason she felt that it could not be debated politically, and so had to be given a veneer of economic "inevitability" (a Marxist concept anyway). Which says a great deal, really.

There cannot have a "free" market in goods and services generally but not in alcohol, drugs, gambling, prostitution or pornography. Nor can can there be such a market and any to hope to conserve, say, national sovereignty, or agriculture, or manufacturing, or small business, or family life, or local variation, or mass political participation with a constitutional framework, or...

So, can someone please explain to me what was conservative about Friedman, or indeed about Thatcher? It strikes me as the very last adjective properly applicable to either of them.

The age of consent

Of course a teenage boy who has sex with a teenage girl is not a paedophile, although he has always been a criminal for doing a lot less than that (even if he were the younger party), whereas an equalisation in that law a couple of years ago caused all hell to break loose among the strange sect that has a monopoly on social policy, and almost on comment, in this country. That equalisation still seems to have passed by all contributors to the latest debate. The same people who otherwise insist that teenage girls must be treated as grown women and teenage boys as small children (if their existence is acknowledged at all) simply presuppose that this arrangement should be reversed in this one area alone. Why?

But then, why do we base this debate on a premise that we all know to be false, namely that sexual intercourse, as most people would understand the term, is normal in the early teens? Everyone knows that nowhere near fifty per cent of 14-year-olds engages is such behaviour, yet everyone speaks as if that were, if anything, a conservative estimate.

If the law in this area should reflect how people actually behave (a debatable point, but if it should), and certainly if it is to protect the most vulnerable, then it should be changed to criminalise any sexual activity with any person under 18 years of age who is more than three years younger than oneself, with a maximum sentence of imprisonment for twice the number of years difference in age, or of life imprisonment where that difference is five years or more.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

How The Left Found God And Won

Excellent stuff from Neil Clark: http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index.php?menuID=1&subID=893. It always baffles me when people over here mock George Bus for saying that his favourite philosopher is Jesus Christ, since that is exactly what the founders of all three of our own political traditions would have said.

Monday, 13 November 2006

All hung together

The voters don't like hung Parliaments (why would they?), but their real dislike is now for the political parties themselves. Quite consciously, they are preparing to vote (including, where appropriate, not vote) for a hung Parliament specifically in order to kill off the parties that they now so virulently despise.

They are perfectly capable of doing this: after all, they wanted a reduced Labour majority last time, so they successfully brought about exactly that at the ballot box. Britain has the most sophisticated electorate in the world, even capable (as at Bromley & Chislehurst) of using a by-election to protest against the Opposition rather than to protest against the Government. Where else in the world does that happen?

Given that, do not mistake abstention for apathy: it might be the very reverse, as it was in many cases last time, and as it certainly will be in very many cases indeed next time.

The situation in which we now find ourselves simply is not like anything that has gone before: voter turnout in free-fall, next to no party members, the parties bordering on bankruptcy, their central organisations functioning as a single body (and that funded by an illegal slush fund), the outgoing Prime Minister awaiting arrest while desperate for the other party to win and beat his own successor, and so on. Nothing like this has ever happened before, certainly not simultaneously across the board as at present.

Many people assume that, in particular, the Conservative and Labour Parties will somehow always exist, just because they always will, they always will, they always will.

But they won't. We are living in their final generation, as even their most seasoned and active remaining members on the ground freely state face-to-face or in private correspondence. And even they don't seem to be weeping much, it must be said.

However, someone (other than the BNP, the Trots and the Islamists, that is) will still have to contest elections in 10 years' time. Among other things, this is an opportunity to re-create a party conscious and worthy of its roots in the unions and the co-operatives, in Fabianism and Christian Socialism; a party which combines, and which understands the connections among, the hugely popular legacy of Keynes and Beveridge, sane social conservatism, and patriotism in all directions.

People would want this who still vote Labour only because they feel that they owe it to the fallen of two World Wars to turn out and vote for "someone". People would want this who long even only to be part of the first category, but who simply cannot bring themselves to vote for what Labour has become. And people would even want this, once confronted with it, to whom, for whatever tribal reasons, it would simply never occur to vote for the Labour Party as such.

Mid-term hopes and fears

The neocons, true to their Leninist (specifically, Trotskyist) roots, are using the white Evangelicals, a section of the Catholics, and certain factions within the old "mainline" churches (Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Episcopalian, &c) as "Useful Idiots". The "Idiots" seem to be wising up, though. In particular, they seem to have noticed that there has been absolutely no change whatever in the krytocratically imposed law of abortion on demand up to and including partial birth, the Roe v Wade ruling having overturned by judicial fiat the laws of all 50 states.

The fact is that, should there ever be any such change, then the Evangelicals and the Catholics would declare "Mission Accomplished" and go home to the Democratic Party, whence they came in the 1970s. The neocons have been trying to recruit new "Useful Idiots" through the worthy, but wildly improbable, Marriage Amendment, presumably with a view to taking over the Democratic Party through the black churches on that false prospectus, just as they took over the Republican Party through many of the white churches on the false prospectus of restricting abortion.

But are the Democrats ahead of them? When newly-elected Democrats are described as "right-wing" or "conservative", then what does this actually mean? Fiscally hard-line, and hawkish on foreign policy? Or, like the once-and-future Labour Party (if not necessarily called that in future) in Britain, morally and socially conservative while (indeed, precisely by being) keen to alleviate the harshness of capitalism in order to preserve constitutionality and public order?

The former I fear, but the latter I hope.

Long to reign over us

Following the annual round of stories and blog entries complaining about having to sing the words "Long to reign over us" in the National Anthem, Liberals and liberals take note: The Queen is Head of State of 16 sovereign Commonwealth Realms (and of the Cook Islands, a state in free association with New Zealand), each of which retains this arrangement entirely of its own volition and may change it at any time. They have all now kept up this link with each other (not just with Britain, but with each other, including in relation to the others on Britain's part) long beyond the age of decolonisation.

Only four of them have white majority populations, as do only two of the remaining British Overseas Territories, any of which may become independent whenever it pleases, but all of whose people explicitly choose to be British.

Furthermore, the Great Council of Chiefs of Fiji (which now elects the President) continues to acknowledge The Queen as Paramount Chief (with precedence ahead of the President), even though Fiji formally became a republic after two military coups in 1987. Indeed, The Queen still features on the Fijian currency and stamps, and did so even while the then-new Republic of Fiji was expelled from the Commonwealth immediately after the coups. As one might expect, the Chiefs themselves are from the Melanesian half of the population (the other half is of Indian descent).

Compare and contrast all of this with the whiter-than-white EU, or indeed with the whiter-than-white Atlantic Alliance.

If anything, and especially with the Diamond Jubilee now on the horizon, we should be looking for bodies comparable to the Great Council of Chiefs in other Commonwealth or ex-Commonwealth republics, and especially in Zimbabwe, as well as in former Commonwealth Realms, including Bangladesh by virtue of Pakistan, and Namibia by virtue of South Africa. These bodies should be encouraged to acknowledge The Queen as Paramount Chief or in some comparable capacity, not least in return for direct charitable aid without reference to any republican government, together with the necessary protection care of the private security sector.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

The incredible disappearing investigation

Will Tony Blair's arrest in the course of the cash-for-peerages investigation be the media's cue to stop mentioning this story at all? And how would that differ from their current approach to it? He could be doing his job from a prison cell, and still only those inside the Golden Circle would be allowed to know.

Quite so, Colonel Collins

On This Week, Colonel Tim Collins (neocon would-be abolisher of the RAF, and hot tip to head a CIA-backed junta in the event of Brown's or Cameron's stepping out of line while in Number 10) described it as "incoherent" for a country to have a nuclear "deterrent" but not capital punishment. Quite so, Colonel Collins. Quite so...

No "Son and Heir" There

Thursday afternoon saw me at a very good conference, also attended by several luminaries of the Dear Leader's Sedgefield Constituency Labour Party, including the Chairman of that august body, who was telling everyone within earshot to vote for John McDonnell for Labour Leader, and bemoaning McDonnell's failure to arrange a campaign meeting in Ferryhill. Everyone there from that CLP (although they weren't there in that capacity) was adamant that they never saw Tony Blair at all; and they were all having absolutely none of the persistent rumour of "Euan Blair, the Son and Heir". On the contrary, they were implaccable in their insistence on a local candidate, specifically citing their last 23 years' experience of a London MP as their reason for that insistence.

Questions for Question Time

Lady Meyer, "Social and Political Activist", was on this week's Question Time, and had little or nothing to say. Beyond being married to Sir Christopher Meyer (also on it not long ago, but you can understand that), who the hell is she? And how is picking people off David Dimbleby's dinner party circuit any different from just picking them out of the telephone directory for wherever the programme happens to be that week? At least the latter approach would produce a broader range of views, but from people with vastly more typical experiences, and at far less expense.

Thursday, 9 November 2006

Evil Vanquished (for now, at least)

Derwentside District Labour has successfully chosen a panel of candidates without reference either to David Hodgson or to Kevan Jones. Rejoice! And rejoice even more if Neil Fleming turns out not to be on it: I'll let you know.

All pretence at my "auto-exclusion" has been discontinued, but there has still been no apology for insulting, defaming and seeking to defraud me.

Yet I had always thought that County Durham was a stronghold of "centrist" Labour...

Doing a bit of research on a computer in a public library, I find that Durham county Council has blocked access to The Spingbok Club's website, and logged my having tried to visit this London-based voice of those still hankering after the Boer Republic and the Rhodesian Treason. However, I find that it is perfectly simple to access the website of The Stalin Society, a London-based voice of those still hankering after the Soviet Union, and indeed claiming that only one million people died in the gulags, half of them due to the privations of the War.

Yet I had always thought that County Durham was a stronghold of "centrist" Labour...

Ah, the wonders of living in a one-party state!

Neither Ali Miraj nor any other Cameron A-lister need really worry. At least one of them is unable to explain when, how or why she ever left the Labour Party (which she only ever joined because of Tony Blair), leading one to assume that she has not in fact done so at all, a matter which the Labour Party's Senior Constitutional Officer (Eric Wilson -- Eric_Wilson@labour.org.uk) refuses point blank to investigate. There are no doubt many more in the same position. Are they all, perhaps?

Labour members or not, the A-listers are all members of the Blameronite Party (formerly the Blairtilloite Party). That organisation has its own source of funds, namely the criminal sale of peerages out of Tony Blair's office, whence its Publicity Department is also briefing furiously in favour of a Cameron victory over Gordon Brown as, to no one's surprise, Blair's preferred outcome to the next General Election, an outcome for which Blair will undoubtedly vote in the privacy of the polling booth.

So Mr Miraj and the rest of the Blameronite A-list can sleep easy. If Conservative Associations will not take them, then loyalist Labour MPs for safe seats will be found to announce their retirements, in return for peerages, far too late for the normal selection procedures, thus enabling the National Executive Committee to impose absolutely anyone it pleases. And guess who they will be.

Ah, the wonders of living in a one-party state!

Remind me again which country this is?

Sentencing some Walter Mitty to forty years that he certainly would not have been given if he had actually carried out the acts that he was "planning" on behalf of "al-Qaeda" (no connection among the many groups in question has ever been established), Mr Justice Butterfield called him a great threat to "the whole nation of the US and the UK". Note that singular form, and note which set of initials comes first.

And then came this evening's 10 O'Clock News and Newsnight. The former devoted its first 12 minutes to the wholly predictable, and universally predicted, American mid-term results, and to the subsequent, but no more than partially and indirectly consequent (and, again, widely trailed), sacking of Donald Rumsfeld. Then came a mere two minutes on the police questioning of the entire Cabinet as at the time of the last General Election (bar one, of course), but half-way into that Nick Robinson was talking about America. Coverage of this huge British political story was thus all of one minute long.

As for Newsnight, although it had a very good piece on anti-white racial violence, it devoted its first 53 (FIFTY-THREE!) minutes to the American story, plus 10 minutes to the Palestinian mosque siege, but, again, only two to the real story of the day, of the week, of the year, of the decade in Britain.

Remind me again which country this is?

Monday, 6 November 2006

Betrayal To The Death

Why the fuss over Tony Blair and the death penalty pronounced against Saddam Hussein? Blair has already betrayed our opposition to torture, and in principle to indefinite detention without charge on the mere say-so of a Police Constable. So why not to capital punishment as well?

A Sign Of The Times

Freelance that I am, on Thursday I shall be attending an event for Councillors organised by a voluntary body. It is to begin with lunch at 1pm, and is expected to be over by 3:30. In other words, it simply presupposes that Councillors do not work. No one has questioned this presupposition. A sign of the times, I feel.

Eric Wilson: Incompetent Bully

The following was sent to Eric Wilson on Saturday, but he has not even replied, and it seems to confirm that the Labour Party is hopelessly incompetent from top to bottom, with no part of it having the first clue what any other part is doing, and with absolutely no idea how to deal with anyone who stands up to its bullying:

Dear Mr Wilson,

Following on from the Derwentside DLP notice, the notice of a "Young Labour Halloween Party" (just how old does one have to be in order to be spared these things?), and Gordon Bown's message about climate change, the appended [a message from Stephen Hughes MEP] is the fourth members' communication that I have received since my "auto-exclusion" on no identifiable ground except the threat of a parliamentary candidate anywhere who held my views, and of such a candidate here in this constituency with his base in Derwentside, both of which threats you, and those at whose behest you operate, clearly take with the utmost seriousness.

The DLP, Young Labour, the National Party and the Regional Party are thus unanimous that no such exclusion has taken place, and I therefore demand both your confirmation to that effect and an unconditional apology for insulting, defaming and attempting to defraud me; that apology must be on your own part personally, on the part of the Membership Department, and on the part of Hilary Armstrong MP (at whose command, or at the very least on whose behalf, this whole situation has undoubtedly arisen).

Furthermore, I demand a written reprimand, copied here of course, of the Secretary of Lanchester Branch Labour Party, Neil Fleming (FlemingN@parliament.uk), for failing to notify me of this month's Branch meeting, and for repeating on the agenda for that meeting your insult and defamation of me.

I expect these things by 5pm on Monday 6th November, and let us make that the end of this matter.

However, since it is now beyond dispute that I am a Labour Party member in good standing, I repeat my calls for investigation, both of the party within the Party being maintained at local level in opposition to the Labour Leadership on Derwentside District Council (see the post We Name The Guilty Persons on http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.com), and of the party within the Party being maintained at national level (see several other posts on http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.com, among many other places rather grander than my blog).

Very many thanks.

Yours fraternally,

David

Saturday, 4 November 2006

Still The President (of Britain, that is)

How charming to see dear old Michael Heseltine on Question Time, illustrating what a very important person he still is. And he is: for 16 years and counting, no one has become Prime Minister without being endorsed by Hezza, the profoundly divisive "consensus-builder", the man whose pre-publicity and post-publicity have always wildly exceeded his actual achievements, the European Commission's point man in Britain, and now the power behind the throne of David Cameron (Tony Blair's chosen successor, which is why Blair won't answer the question and Cameron shouldn't ask it).

"Auto-exclusion"

I have now received my fourth Labour Party members' communication since my inexplicable "auto-exclusion", which has clearly not happened at all in actual fact. An apology from Eric Wilson (Eric_Wilson@labour.org.uk) is very much in order, on his own behalf personally, on behalf of the Membership Department, and on behalf of Hilary Armstrong MP (hilary@hilaryarmstrong.com); my email address, for Cc-ing purposes, is davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. I have been insulted and defamed, and there has been an attempt to defraud me.

The Companies Bill

There is much bemoaning of the Companies Bill, and specifically of its imposition on directors of a statutory duty to have regard to the interests of suppliers, customers, employees, the community and the environment, in addition to the interests of shareholders.

But this new duty is only necessary because of the ridiculous farming out of great swathes of government activity to private companies, which are thus issued with licences to print public money from such risk-free "investments", there being no risk whatever that school food might one day never need to provided, or that the bins might one day never need to be emptied, nor that the central government which either funds directly, or else underwrites, such provison might ever go bust.

Have efficiency and accountability been increased now that, for example, the caretaker of a village primary school is now longer formally answerable to the Head Teacher, or the workmen repairing the roads at the County Council Taxpayers' expense are no longer answerable in any way to the County Councillor?

This ludicrous approach has now been pursued by governments of both parties for a quarter of a century, with no sign that it is ever going to end so that common sense can be restored. And it has indeed had been many disastrous consequences for suppliers, customers (broadly defined), employees, the community and the environment.

But now there is almost nothing left to contract out except the very front line of public services such as education, health care, policing, and fire and rescue. Public opinion is much more sensitive about these things, and what has gone on routinely up to now in many others will not be tolerated here. Hence the need for this clause.

At Warwick, why did the unions not simply demand that this entire demented process be halted and reversed, to unconfined rejoicing from suppliers, "customers", employees, the civic-minded and the environmentally responsible in all classes and in all parts of Britain?

Thursday, 2 November 2006

What Goes Around...

The following excellent letter appears in this morning's Guardian:

You suggest (Leaders, October 31) Serbian foolishness in not giving up Kosovo. To Serbs, Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia, legitimised by the London agreement of 1916 and by UN security council resolution 1244 of 2001. Kosovo is also the historical, religious and emotional heartland of Serbia. The change from a Serb to an Albanian majority does not change its historical, legal and political status.

Serbia's claim to Kosovo is no different from Russia's claim to Chechnya, China's to Xinjiang, India's to Kashmir, Thailand's to Panni Marathiwad and Philippines to Mindanao - all Muslim majority provinces in non-Muslim majority states where violence for independence has taken place for decades. The Serb majority of the Krajina region in Croatia broke away and declared independence. They were not recognised. The Krajina Serbs have all been driven out of Croatia in the largest ethnic cleansing of the Yugoslav wars. Republika Srpska has been denied independence from Bosnia.

As long as the independence of these provinces are denied, Kosovo has no special right to independence either. Serbia must not be treated differently.

Professor George Thomas
Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA

It never ceases to amaze me that the necons, so many of whom are Jewish (as is Madeleine Albright), backed not only Franjo Tudjman of Croatia when he recreated the full panoply of 1930s Fascism right there in Central Europe, but even the Wahhabist and erstwhile SS recruitment seargent Alija Izetbegovic, and even the Kosovo Liberation Army. The KLA insisted on wearing balck shirts in deference to their fathers and grandfathers who had fought for Hitler, and funded themselves by smuggling heroin into Western Europe. From which country do you suppose that that heroin had come, oh neocons?

Douglas Murray: Who He?

Douglas Murray has just been on The Moral Maze again. He also had an article in the Guardian a few days ago. Who is he? He has published a book, Neoconservatism: Why We Need It, which would disgrace a mediocre Sixth Former, and presumably only found its way into print because he is so posh. Apparently, before that, he had published a biography of Lord Alfred Douglas; but, based on allegedly a more mature offering, I certainly shan't be wasting my time tracking it down. Where do the producers of The Moral Maze find these people? I think we should be told.

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Here's to next year, then

RESULTS OF THE 2006-07 ELECTION FOR FABIAN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Elected

Ed Balls 403
John Denham 396
Denis MacShane 388
Alf Dubs 386
Stephen Twigg 373
Meg Russell 356
Austin Mitchell 337
*Suresh Pushpananthan 312
Anne Campbell 309
Fiona MacTaggart 309
Mari Williams 284
Sadiq Khan 282
Seema Malhotra 282
*Jessica Asato 276
Greg Rosen 274



Not Elected

Kevin Bonavia 243
Prema Gurunathan 243
Sally Prentice 240
Greg Power 214
Richard Olszewski 128
Ashton McGregor 127
Scott Lomax 123
David Lindsay 119
Douglas Machiridza 110
Frederick Pitt 101
Glen Reynolds 91


The * indicates a succesful candidate who was under 31, as a certain number of them have to be.
Very many thanks to the other 118 people who voted for me on my first attempt. But I am astonished that the poll-topping candidate, a well-known Government Minister, managed only 403 votes. Are there really now that few members of Labour's ideas factory? If so, then it really would not be very hard at all for pretty much anyone to recruit 500 new members and simply take over the Executive.

So I'll certainly be standing again next year...

But what about the rest of the family?

Some weeks ago, I was delighted to receive the following from Philip Benwell of The Australian Monarchist League, and I am very sorry that I am unable to attend:

A Cordial Invitation is extended to attend The Launch of 'The Association of the Commonwealth Realms', the purpose of which will be to work to bring closer together the English Speaking Realms and to defend The Crown of the United Kingdom.

On Wednesday 1 November 2006

Commencing at 7 pm

by courtesy of The Rt. Hon. The Lord Stoddart of Swindon

NO CHARGE

Numbers limited

RSVP: monarchy@westnet.com.au

The purpose of The Association of the Commonwealth Realms is to work to bring together the 'Old Commonwealth' of former Dominions which were settled and peopled by the British and which have continued to exist with British Law and British Justice under The Crown whilst those in the mother country itself are fast being denied their birthright.

The Association will be ardently pro-Crown and aggressively anti-European Union.

However, what of the other 12 Realms which were not primarily settled by the British, but which freely "continue to exist within British Law and British Justice under the Crown", which are also English-speaking, and which, particulary in the West Indies, are not only often "more British than the British", but are now a very great deal more so than can now be said of Canada, Australia or New Zealand? They, too, are part of the family, of Her Majesty's indivisible British People throughout the world, the whole point of which (for this is a key monarchist argument) is that it is not defined by ethnicity, but by allegiance to the Crown.

Nevertheless, this Association is an admirable step in the right direction, and it is good to see that it is being sponsored by a Real Labour (expelled) Peer.