Saturday, 30 June 2007

Equal Opportunities

I suggest that the three allegedly distinct political parties put out the following statement in the run-up to the next General Election:

It doesn’t matter one jot which of us wins, either nationally or in your constituency. Nothing will change, and each MP from any of us will stand an exactly equal chance of becoming a Minister, entirely regardless of the overall composition of the House of Commons. Not that many Ministers will be appointed from the elected House at all, mind you.

The only exceptions to this will be the few old stagers who have not yet signed up to The Henry Jackson Society and the Euston Manifesto. We’ve kept on a handful of these for appearances’ sake. But don’t worry, we’re going to get rid of them in time for the next Election. “Election”? Doesn’t that word sound funny now? Well, we’re certainly laughing, even if you’re not.

And remember, by that time, you’ll be paying for us through state funding, allocated on the basis of how well we do this time round, when only we are allowed to stand candidates. That last bit
is right. Isn’t it?

Well, isn’t it...?

What Was It All For?

Dear reader, did you once battle to rid the unions of Communists and the Constituency Labour Parties of Trotskyists, so that, thus purged and restored, Labour could defeat the Tories, the Liberals and the SDP?

Well, you have already been rewarded with 10 years of rule by numerous utterly unrepentant old Communists and Trotskyists, with their PFI and their PPP, their “renewal” of Trident, their ID cards and their ninety-day detention, their wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, their union-bashing and their destruction of council housing.

And now the Tories, the Liberals and the SDP are all in government, too.

So, what, exactly, was it all for? Isn’t it time that you came over to those of us trying to re-create a proper Labour Party?

Lost In The Post

The postal strike, with more to come, has been caused by an EU directive requiring full competition in postal services by 2012, so that the Royal Mail must deliver its competitors’ letters as if they were its own First Class ones, yet for less than the price of First Class post. This necessitates cuts, both in postmen’s pay and in Post Offices.

So, is anyone still saying that the EU is Socialist?

Last Gasp

Before the heavens decided to open, I had been all ready to wander down to The Black Bull for, as much as anything else, one or two last cigars. A very occasional vice of mine, which I’ll have no difficulty giving up entirely, especially in return for never again having to come home smelling of other people’s smoke, whether or not I run the slightest risk of being given cancer by it.

And yet, and yet, and yet…

There is something not right about all of this, and I think I know what it is. Cigarettes, pipes and factory-produced small cigars are terribly Old Labour, while cigars, pipes and the more upmarket brands of cigarette are terribly Old Tory. The former are ever so workingmen’s club, the latter ever so gentlemen’s club. The bubble-permed granny in the bingo hall lights up her Silk Cut at the very moment when her exact contemporary, the Dowager Duchess, is affixing her Rothmans to her cigarette holder as the perfect accompaniment to her gin and Dubonnet.

So I cannot help wondering if this ban would have been brought in under our new Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, rather than his predecessor, Patricia Hewitt. Johnson certainly knows what the inside of a workingmen’s club or a bingo hall looks like, whereas Hewitt probably doesn’t even know what the outside of a workingmen’s club or a bingo hall looks like. In the tradition of many a trade union-based Labour politician past and present, he is no doubt also no stranger to gentlemen’s clubs or Dowager Duchesses.

Are we minutes away from the last gasp of New Labour as we have known it? We can but hope.

Who, Indeed

The revival of Doctor Who started out brilliantly (and yes, I do know that that is an overused word), got better, and has this season got even better again, culminating in this evening’s magnificent finale.

A recurring theme this year has been human nature, and tonight we were treated to not one but two twists and turns thereupon, one not necessarily all that surprising (although even so), and the other jaw-dropping for us aficionados.

Simply superior television, a reminder of just how good that medium can be, and of just how good science fiction as a genre (in whatever medium) can be.

Auntie, I love you really!

All The Talents?

Margaret Beckett was the most Eurosceptical Foreign Secretary since Bevin, and without her we might well have been stuck with an EU Constitution which Heath, Thatcher or Major could have signed. Imagine that, if you dare.

By contrast, the first time I met David Miliband, he was Schools Minister and I was a supply teacher. He asked what I did, I told him, and I then added (truthfully, at the time) that the worst school in which I had ever worked was in his constituency, so what was he going to do about it? He just giggled, and walked on to the next person. I then heard him speak soon afterwards, when he described the disparity within schools (often as great as, or even greater than, that between them) as "which teacher you are given"!

His pitch for Labour Leader ended up being published in the Daily Telegraph for a laugh, after the Guardian refused to print it because it was so bad. And if he really had doubts about Iraq or Lebanon, then he should have resigned, and deserves nothing but scorn and contempt for his failure to do so.

So all you little Millies out there, please get off the bandwagon of those who insist that a Prime Minister must have an Oxford degree or (if needs must) no degree at all, the basis for the BBC's campaign for Miliband, astonishingly still going on.

All you little Lib Dems out there, aren't you delighted to see Williams, Lester and Neuberger as "advisors" to Brown? Won't that persuade people to vote for you instead of Labour in Durham City, Newcastle Central, Hartlepool, Manchester Wythenshaw, Birmingham Yardley...? What are you for?

And you trade unionists, I know (indeed, I know for a fact) that Digby Jones would have been given a peerage round about now. But made a Minister in a Labour Government? And even allowed to take the Whip without joining the Party? Brothers and sisters, keep signing those cheques!

A Kick In The Teeth

A letter from my doctor this morning, offering private dentistry. Blair did absolutely nothing to reverse the Tories' driving of dentistry out of the NHS, and nor will Brown. Cameron certainly isn't aware that there are NHS dentists at all, and possibly isn't even aware that there is an NHS. We need new parties.

Frank Field Discussing Europe on The Week In Politics

What is the BBC coming to? And it was good to here Ken Clarke honestly putting the extreme Eurofederalist view of those who dominate the Conservative Party. Maybe not among its grassroots members. Maybe not among its core voters. But certainly in the House of Commons, and most certainly at the very top of the Party.

Levy And Turner To Be Charged


Blair next? How could he not be?

The champagne is on ice.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Formerly Mrs Shirley Williams

Roy Hattersley tells the story of how, when he was first made a Minister, The Times ran his photograph above the caption "Formerly Mrs Shirley Williams". That was a long time ago. Yet, knowing that he was going to be asked about it on Question Time, Sir Menzies Campbell had to give permission early this evening for Williams to accept the position offered by Gordon Brown. She was obviously going to take it anyway, so there was nothing that he could do.

I honestly think that this week has marked the beginning of the end of the Lib Dems, always an unstable coalition. The few old SDPers who have not already done so are going home, to the party and government of a PM in what they wish had been the Labour succession: Wilson, Callaghan, Healey, Hattersley, Smith, Brown.

But almost stereotypical old Liberals like Ashdown, Garden and Carlile have also been publicly considered for office. What does that say about Ming and his party, that such offers were even being considered, never mind, at least in Ashdown's case, actually made? It says that they are finished.

But It's Not America

On Question Time, Sir Menzies Campbell went off about the American pro-Israel lobby and its alleged influence over the Bush Administration. But Bush's real reaction to 9/11 was two-fold: he withdrew his father's troops from Saudi Arabia (America's closest ally in the world anyway, never mind under a Bush), and he declared himself in favour of a Palestinian state, making him the first President ever to use the term while in office.

Thus, to give him his due, he secured the American homeland, on which there has been no subsequent attack in nearly six years and counting.

But then, look at the actions of his predecessors: which administration, exactly, has ever been as pro-Israel as Europeans tend to assert is the default American position, and as the shriller American and other Zionists would clearly like to be the American default position? There is none.

By contrast, there is a country which really is run by an all-but-unchallenged Zionist lobby, on which see here.

Telling Them Apart

In a rundown of the "new" Cabinet on Newsnight, Harriet Harman was represented by a photograph of Tessa Jowell. Only certain very select fatalities could have made me laugh even more than I did at this.

If I Had THAT Sort Of Power....

At 6:53pm, in a comment on the post entitled All You Need Is Positivity:

Anonymous said...
I hope you're satisfied. By copying your posts here on Comment is Free and Iain Dale's Diary, you have driven Pat Hewitt from office.

Gosh! And does anyone actually call her Pat?

Thursday, 28 June 2007

All The Talents?

Congratulations to my Right Honourable Kinsman, Alistair Darling, on becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer. And I have, of course, laughed out loud at the appointment of Silly Milly as Foreign Secretary, while only just stiffling a tear at the removal of that office's most Eurosceptical occupant since Bevin. Rumour has it that Milly was unhappy about the Iraq War and the bombardment of Lebanon. Well, if the first of these, in particular, is true, then he should have resigned, and deserves nothing but scorn and contempt for his failure to do so.

As for the rest, Brown has failed his own first test, producing, where a coalition was loudly promised, nothing more than an unfinalised offer to Shirley Williams of a mere advisory position. New Labour and Old Labour alike should be making plans to get rid of him as soon as possible. Are they? And if not, why not?

UPDATE: Sir Menzies Campbell has given Williams the necessary permission. Because he's on Question Time this evening, and knew that he would be asked about it.

The Net Tightens

Blair questioned again, eh? And next time, since he now has nothing in this country from which to resign, even John "Banana" Yates (bent and yellow) might caution him as the suspect that he must be, since no one can possibly have been given a peerage during his Premiership without his say-so.

No wonder Brown has stripped Alastair Campbell and Jonathan Powell of what were always their constitutionally monstrous powers: they could hardly exercise them from Parkhurst or Wormwood Scrubs.

With any luck, during their and Blair's trial, people will keep coughing "Iraq" within earshot of the jury. Perhaps the judge could do this? And then perhaps the jurors could do it within earshot of the judge during sentencing?

Fred Thompson Meets His Match; Will Michael Bloomberg?

Not very long ago, it was Mitt Romney who would rally conservative America to the flag of its corporate-capitalist destroyers in the Republican Party. McCain was always a bit flaky, but would have done, if all else failed. But Giuliani was a non-starter: he has the wit to see the social effects of such economics (with their warmongering geopolitics), but the lack of political sense to say so, and the lack of moral sense to celebrate both the effects and their causes.

Well, now it is Fred Thompson. Can he be beaten?

Of course he can be: step forward, Jim Webb. With a running mate and designated successor such as, say, Squire Lance (African-American grand old man of Civil Rights in Chicago, stalwart of Opus Dei), the author How We Scotch-Irish Made America could not be beaten. Nor would any right-thinking person want him to be.

And, if necessary, to hell with the Democratic Party. Indeed, although it won't happen, a contest between an Independent Webb and an Independent Bloomberg would at last reflect the real divide in America as in every Western country, and would therefore light the touchpapers across Europe, Canada and the Antipodes. We all know which side is that of the political-media class. But we also now which side is that of the People, with our rather more votes.


That's how much the monarchy costs each of us per year.

Nuff said, really.

"Au revoir, auf wiedersehen and arrivederci"

Am I just wrong about this (although I know that I'm right about the first one), or does none of these mean "Goodbye" in the final, adieu, sense? Was Blair reprising his new friend Arnold Schwarzegger's most famous line...?


Told you so.

Watch that space...

Power of Attorney

Congratulations to Gordon Brown on appointing a new Attorney General, contrary to the clamour of those chatterers who hold, quite rightly, that the office breaches their precious and pernicious theory of "the separation of powers".

Will that theory's proponents 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? Have they 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 all but name (and apparently now entirely - Brown has not even named a titular one), 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.

"Separation", indeed.

And lest such views be branded "anachronistic", or even "right-wing", they are in fact the simple application of The First Attlee Test: if Attlee (not to say Bevan, a staunch Unionist among so much else) could make something constitutional work, then it is beyond me why, say, Blair or Brown would feel any need to change it.

The same applies to ceremonial: these things are changed because those changing them have given up on, if they ever really believed in, fighting against want, ignorance, ill health, squalor, and avoidable war. They have given up on, if they ever really believed in, defending the best conservative values both against the Whiggish "free" market, and against the Jacobinism, Marxism, anarchism or Fascism into which that Whiggery drives its millions of despairing victims.

If there had been, say, a Human Rights Act or a Supreme Court in the 1940s, then it seems certain that there would have been no nationalisation, even with compensation (which compensation was quite right, I might add), nor any incorporation of private and charitable hospitals into the NHS, without which there would simply have been no NHS. These measures would have been presumptiously struck down in the courts. That equally important consideration is The Second Attlee Test.

But the office of Attorney General passes, as the office of Lord Chancellor passed, both Attlee Tests with flying colours.

Their Ladyships' House

March saw the publication of an authoritative list of Britain's 10 most influential black women, including fully three members of the House of Lords (with two in the two top spots), one of them Britain's first ever black woman Cabinet Minister, Baroness Amos. Three is one more than the total number of black women in the House of Commons, neither of whom was listed. And today, although Baroness Amos left the Cabinet, the second-placed Baroness Scotland joined it.

In this of all years, those who would fill up legislative time with pointless changes to the House of Lords (the problem of the sale of seats in which is a simple matter of the enforcement of the existing criminal law) should instead apply The Attlee Tests, and concentrate on the relief of poverty and of everything that accompanies it, leaving alone, or indeed positively using, any aspect of the Constitution which does not necessarily impede that relief, and always having in mind what impact any proposed change would have had on such measures in the past.

All You Need Is Positivity

I was going to call this post either Girl Power or Old Spice, but I thought that I'd get nasty comments if I did. Was I right?

Anyway, the reunion of the Spice Girls has coincided with the departure from Cabinet of Margaret Beckett, Patricia Hewitt, Tessa Jowell, Valerie Amos and Hilary Armstrong. I suggest that they now take a leaf out of the Spice Girls' book, record an album or two, make a film or two, and take to the road on tour.

So, of these five, which should be designated Posh, which Ginger, which Baby, which Sporty, and which Scary? And why?

Like A Candle In The Wind

With acknowledgements to Rachel North:

Goodbye Tony Blair.
Though I never met you at all
You had the nouce to save yourself
While those around you fall.
The sleaze it swilled around you
But it never touched your toes.
Through it all you held your nerve
And smiled through hammer-blows.
And it seems to me you lived your life
Like a showman on the stage
Always knowing who play to
Always facing down the rage.
And I would like to still believe you
Like I did ten years ago.
Your candle may have burned out
But you went on with the show.
'Prime Minister' was tough
The toughest role you ever played.
Washington created a superstar.
Blood was the price we paid.
Even as the thousands died
And the press all hounded you
All the spinning had to say
Was you 'believed' in what you do.
Goodbye Tony Blair
From the people that you served.
You were someone less than promised
But perhaps all that we deserved.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

More To Come

Another Tory defection to Labour tomorrow or Friday, according to the jungle drums. Speculation is futile, but whoever this person is, how will the Blair-turned-Brown cheerleaders react if he or she is imposed on a safe seat (practically certain, as also with Quentin Davies) and/or given a Ministerial position (highly likely, based on what's doing the rounds)? Won't you be just a little bit put out? Go on, you can admit it to me.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

A Sedgefield Byelection, Then...

See here.

The Union: A Cross-Community Cause

The more than respectable Northern Ireland Social and Political Archive, a joint venture of Northern Ireland's two universities, reports here that the Union is favoured by 22% of Northern Ireland's Catholics, while 18% don't know, and a further four per cent favour the quixotic cause of Northern Irish independence.

By contrast, only seven per cent of Protestants support a united Ireland, only six per cent don't know, and only two per cent would give effect to the old Scots-Irish ambivalence (no doubt underlying Ian Paisley's cosying up to the SNP) that saw them with the English (and thus with the Anglo-Irish) during the Plantation, against them during the Civil War, with them during the Glorious Revolution (as I do not hesitate to call it, given the Papal Blessing sent to William of Orange when he set out for Ireland), against them during the American Revolution, and half in and half out of the 1798 Rebellion (the Jacobin, and thus anti-Catholic, foundation of Irish Republicanism).

As part of a much wider movement (of which more anon), is there anyone reading this in Northern Ireland who would be willing and able to contest the 2009 European Election as a voice for the broadly or soundly Unionist forty to forty-four per cent of Catholics there, as well as giving a voice to all Unionists who believe in the universal and comprehensive Welfare State (including, for example, farm subsidies), and in the strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government, the whole paid for by progressive taxation, and all these good things underwritten by full employment?

If so, then do please get in touch as a matter of urgency: - with STV for three seats in Northern Ireland, we really could get you in.

Quentin Davies

He used to be Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary, but he'll never get the job itself because he is now a member of the Labour Party, and therefore, according to Gordon Brown, by definition incapable of what is now little more than that ceremonial position. He should have held on for a couple of days: it might have been his, in Gordon's "Government Of All The Talents".

Wot No Coalition?

Yes, I really am that old.

If, after all his blather about "all the talents", Brown appoints only Labour Ministers, then his position will be untenable. However, if he appoints non-Labour Ministers, then the Labour Party, already reeling from Harriet Harman's volte face over Iraq, must seriously consider, at this year's Conference, the Leadership challenge that MPs fondly dreaming of office denied it, only to find that they had given the green light to a man who considers them all, and indeed all Labour Party members generally, to be incapable of at least some Ministerial offices.

So, which is it to be?

That There Be No Doubt

Yesterday, Martin McGuinness was asked in the Northern Ireland Assembly about his oath as a member of the Provisional Army Council of the IRA. That Council remains undisbanded, it continues to claim to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland in succession to the 32-County Republic proclaimed at Easter 1916, and McGuinness made no effort to deny that he was still on it (because everyone knows that he is). Instead, he responded that his "many allegiances" were:

"to my family, to my religious beliefs, to Ireland, to the party that I represent, and to the Executive."

Given which party the fourth of those is, both that fourth allegiance and, in that context, the third allegiance must in fact be to the purported sovereign authority of the Provisional Army Council. So there we are.

Tony Blair: Middle East Peace Envoy

Haven't they suffered enough?


Still, any other suggestions in the same vein?

Monday, 25 June 2007

An Early Election?

Never say never, but I don't know who'd be expected to pay for the Labour campaign, now that Gordon has told the unions to go hang, so that he can play with his new upper-middle-class friends the Lib Dems (plus the Tories, no doubt), and of course Harriet Harman, instead. Whenever the election happens, will he even allow Labour to stand candidates in the seats of Lib Dems or Cameroons? And even if he does, why should anyone in those seats bother voting Labour? Well, they are damn well going to have someone to vote for...

Harman Proves Her Worth

Specifically, that she doesn't have any.

I can laugh, so that's what I'm doing. Remnant Labourites reading this should weep buckets. But no one should be remotely surprised that Jon Cruddas has been denied the Deputy Leadership by this shamelessly dishonest splitting of the anti-war majority vote. After all, Harman was the candidate of the most hardline neocons in the House of Commons, Gisela Stuart and Denis MacShane. Hers was a Straussian deception of the common herd.

Furthermore, consider how the Tories - little more than an upmarket Darby and Joan Club - mysteriously managed to find over a quarter of a million people to vote in their Leadership Election, of whom more than two thirds voted for the neocon, socially super-liberal, achingly posh candidate. Who were they? Where were they? Where had they been for the previous dozen years? And where are they now? Harman's implausible vote is comparable: the whole thing stinks.

Meanwhile, to matters historical, yet very contemporary: the old Paedophile Information Exchange was hand in glove with the old Campaign for Homosexual Equality (they were practically a single organisation - same address, same committee, the works), which in turn was hand in glove with the old National Council for Civil Liberties in the Hatty and Patty days.

This is all very well-researched and well-documented; indeed, so different were attitudes within the real ruling class at the time (I mean to publicising these views, not to the views as such, which have not changed one jot) that no secret seems to have been made of these connections.

The people who have done all the relevant (painstaking) research have of course been short of a hearing in more recent years. But with Hatty's new-found eminence, they are certainly going to get a hearing now.

They're on the case, so watch this space...

Sunday, 24 June 2007

If You're Still In It Even Now...

When the rump of the Labour Party and its hangers on gathered in Manchester to cheer Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman, what, exactly, were they cheering?

Brown believed everyone else in the room to be unfit to occupy what is now little more than the ceremonial position of Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, and he is still talking of non-Labour Ministers, who, since they cannot now be Lib Dems, must be Tories. He could have kept Britain out of the Iraq War, simply by instructing his backbench followers to vote against it; the same is true of many, many other things. He is an enthusiastic supporter of the “renewal” of Trident. And he spent much of the last few days successfully demanding that the French destroy their workers’ jobs and their public services by signing up to neoliberal economics.

As for Harman, she was the nominee of Gisela “Vote Bush” Stuart and of Denis “Vote Sarkozy” MacShane, identifying her as a member of the separate party that trades under the names of the Euston Manifesto Group, The Henry Jackson Society, and The Orange Book, among others. Those of its members who trade under the name of The Orange Book, Brown wished, and wishes, to bring into government. Those who trade under the name of The Henry Jackson Society, he undoubtedly will bring into government.

And Harman, with Patricia Hewitt, ran the old National Council for Civil Liberties when it was hand in glove with the old Paedophile Information Exchange. That powder has been kept dry up to now. It is being lit tonight...

The Worthy Heirs of Sobieski

France may wobble and let Turkey into the EU after all, although Sarkozy would sacrifice his second term if he alienated to that extent the people whose votes whose votes would need at least in the second round of the next Presidential Election. But after this week, we know that there is one country on which we can rely to veto the Turkish application. Could it be that the one really good thing that the EU has ever done has been to expand to include Poland?

The Doctor and The Master

The world divides between those who hold that the real names of The Doctor and The Master are respectively Peter and Christopher, and those who hold the reverse. I am, of course, of the former school of thought. Which are you, and why?

Straining At The Nats

I have long felt that there must be a Eurosceptical streak in the SNP (and in Plaid Cymru, come to that), going back to the 1975 referendum and beyond. After all, if rule from London is intolerable, how can rule from Brussels be any less so?

So, which way are the Nationalists going to jump with regard to the new Constitreaty? If nothing else, the Common Fisheries Policy remains intact, so will the SNP’s MPs vote against the legislation giving effect to the Constitreaty, and, in the admittedly unlikely event of a referendum, will the party campaign for a No vote? If not, why not?

Alex Salmond has been expressing his support for the British Government’s alleged efforts to defend the integrity of the United Kingdom’s legal systems, but that is just drivel, from Blair and Salmond alike. Since 1st January 1973, European law has prevailed over British law of whatever kind, now including, of course, enactments of the devolved bodies, and always including rulings of the highest courts in London and Edinburgh alike. And ultimately, European law is whatever the European Court of Justice says that it is.

So much, then, for the crowing of Scottish Nationalists, within and beyond the SNP, about Scotland’s exemption from the jurisdiction of the new Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, itself a spectacular failure of both Attlee Tests. As much as anything else, at least that Court will be made of proper judges, whereas most of those who sit on the bench of the ECJ are career politicians, sometimes with law degrees, but very often without even that.

Yet from that bench may be struck down any enactment or judicial ruling anywhere in the EU, including Scotland. To accept and even welcome this state of affairs while objecting to the Supreme Court on purely Nationalist grounds is an eye-watering example of swallowing the camel but straining at the gnat.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Situations Vacant

I never thought that anyone could hate the Labour Party even more than Tony Blair does. But clearly, Gordon Brown manages to do this remarkable thing. Which is to say that he hates the Labour Party more than anyone else who has ever lived.

A decade or so ago, there was a fashion for saying that if Blair had indicated his intention to do this, that or the other, then he would never have won the Labour Leadership. None of these claims was ever credible. By contrast, imagine if Brown had said that he was going to offer Ministerial office to the Lib Dems. Is it conceivable that he would even have made it onto the ballot at all, never mind that he might actually have won, and that unopposed?

Based on his latest television interview, Brown is still adamant that he is going to have non-Labour Ministers. Since they cannot now be Lib Dems, then they must be Tories. So any Labour Party member appointed to office by Brown should know himself or herself to be, and should be reminded constantly of his or her being, at best the third choice, after both the Lib Dem whom Gordon really wanted and the Tory for whom he would have been willing to settle.

Well might we all wonder what self-respecting person would accept office under those circumstances. None, by definition, I submit: anyone who so accepts manifests an utter lack of self-respect, and richly deserves to have this pointed out at every opportunity. But then, well might we all wonder how a man who thought Paddy Ashdown Cabinet material could ever become Prime Minister in the first place. Of course, his error was to offer the erstwhile Emperor of Bosnia something insufficiently grand.

As to who will now become Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, I am thinking of opening a book, and of offering even odds on David Trimble, with an outside bet on Brian Mawhinney, of whom younger readers will never have heard. In the meantime, everyone reading this who is not a member of the Labour Party should submit a Letter of Application and a CV via the "Get In Touch" page at

But remember, no Labour Party member need apply: despite what are now this position's very light duties (the current occupant is actually part-time), your Leader-To-Be regards each and every one of you, without any exception whatever, as utterly unfit.

Brown And The EU Summit

The Lost Leader writes:

For all those who still had any illusions about Gordon Brown's accession to the Labour Party throne being a move back to Labour's mainstream, tonight's intervention by Brown into the EU summit should certainly clear matters up.

The Brown spin doctors are briefing that Brown demeaningly ordered Blair back to the summit negotiating table to hold the line on a key issue.

What was this critical issue which so alarmed Brown?

Was it concern over the EU attempting to prevent a Labour government intervening in the economy to protect jobs or protect public services or extend trade union rights?

No, true to his neo liberal philosophy, the reason Brown demanded Blair go back into the negotiating room and dig his heals in was because he was fearful that the French were undemining the free market. He was angry that Sarkozy of all people was seeking to "dilute" the operation of free competition in the EU market.

Many in the Labour Party and trade unions, especially those who nominated him, just don't get it about Brown and where he is coming from.

Brown is deeply ideological and his ideology is solidly neo liberal, with an absolute dedication to the operation of the free market. Hence his obsessions with privatisation, flexible labour, pay restraint for workers, tax cuts for businesses and restrictions on trade union rights.

If Brown's starting point is to the right of Sarkozy, I warn you, we haven't seen anything yet.

Friday, 22 June 2007

"Brown couldn't get a Lib Dem to do the job,... he's stuck with you!" That's what should be said, over and over and over again, to every Labour MP who is given Ministerial office, or indeed anything else, by Gordon Brown and who failed to nominate John McDonnell for Leader.

Working-Class White Boys Are Being Failed By The Educational Establishment

Who knew? Well, certainly not the educational Establishment. It barely knows that there are boys at all. It doesn't like to admit to its own whiteness, never mind acknowledge anybody else's. And it is genuinely oblivious to the existence of the white working class, except as depicted on Little Britain or The Catherine Tate Show. Even there, of course, the teenage characters are girls, not boys. So who even knew that there were any such creatures as working-class white boys? No one who matters, obviously.

Is Everyone On Holiday?

Today's World At One featured Austin Mitchell and Kelvin Hopkins, Eurosceptics from the Left! Heads will roll...

There's A Place For The Poles...

I've been a critical as anyone else of how a new working class is being imported, which understands no English except commands, has no idea of workers' rights in this country, can be moved around at will because it has no attachment to any specific locality here, and can be deported if it steps out of line. The existing working class can then just be made to go hang, taking with it its unions, its minimum wage, its health and safety regulations, and the rest.

But I'm all for the Poles in Poland. The Euronutty BBC has of course gone ballistic at them for their remarks about why their population is so depleted (though saying nothing about the context - Angela Merkel's repeated and ongoing flirtations with distinctly dodgy elements demanding reparation or restitution for the ethnic Germans expelled from Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the War), and has lost no time in breaking into full war-cry against the "junior coalition partners" in Poland.

This latter matter does not trouble the Beeb when those partners, whether in and around the Council of Ministers or in the European Parliament, are (as they very often are) Stalinists, Trotskyists, neo-Nazis, neo-Fascists, members of the kleptomaniac nomenklatura in Eastern Europe (which used to run Poland, of course), members of the wider neoconservative movement of which that nomenklatura is an integral and important part, believers that the Provisional Army Council of the IRA is the sovereign body throughout Ireland, or the unyielding Islamists who will have a key role in enacting the laws by which we must all live just as soon as Turkey joins the EU.

But it bothers the BBC to incandesence when those partners include pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and anti-war "statist, syndicalist, nationalist and theoconservative voices of the provinces". It cannot even bring itself to acknowledge their views on the Welfare State, or workers' rights, or the Iraq War. These people are Eurosceptical, they are against abortion, and they are opposed to the agenda of the homosexualist political movement, one's views on which the BBC has used to replace any normal political spectrum. So they are Fascists and even Nazis (who were not, and are not, any of these things). End of.

Vive La France!

I have posted before about how Nicolas Sarkozy, if only because of pressure from the remaining Gaullists and other proper conservatives whose votes he will need in order to secure re-election, might turn out to be, although bad, nevertheless not necessarily all that bad, much to the consternation of those in Britain, the US and Australia who welcomed his election.

And such is turning out to be the case at the EU Summit, where he is showing his determination to defend the jobs of the people who pay his salary and who give him a nice house for free, and to defend everything that true conservatives hold dear against the all-corroding, warmongering capitalism of Anglospheric neo-Whiggery, for the hegemony of which we have only ourselves to blame so long as we fail to give ourselves the new parties that we so desperately need.

Norman Tebbit Is Right

There, I've written it. Because, in this case, it's true. The Provisional Army Council of the IRA still claims to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland, and would disband itself if it no longer made that claim. So how can anyone who accepts that claim, not to say who sits on that very Council, serve in government either in Northern Ireland or (as is theoretically possible) in the Irish Republic? Others should simply refuse to serve in any such government. This isn't about terrorism; it is about sovereignty.

"Did You Say Adonis?"

So asked Peter Hitchens, rhetorically, of Boris Johnson on Question Time, in a discussion of prominent Blairite figures whom the Tories, as the heirs to Blair, have been and are trying to poach.

It was of course the Tory position on grammar schools that killed the deal: Andrew Adonis could never accept the closure of the remaining grammar schools, the Tory policy that represents the only remaining difference of any kind between the two parties.

Well, this is all now out in the open. So, any responses? Or even rebuttals? And, in this new spirit of openness, who else is anyone going to name?

Julie Burchill To Read For A Degree

The concentration in all of this has been on her quitting journalism (which I don't think will last), but the real story is that she is to read for a Theology degree. Well, everyone should have a Theology degree - it would be a great civilising force.

But Burchill, admittedly never much noted for consistency, has had among her few constant themes the pointlessness of universities, and the unjustifiably exaggerated employablity and perceived importance of graduates; on the latter, she did as she so often did and wildly overstated what was essentially a strong case. Like an undergraduate, in fact.

Here's hoping that her projects will include continuing work on asbestosis and on the demonisation of the white working class.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

And So To The Story Of The Day

Why did Brown bother asking in advance? He should just have announced his full list of Ministers once he got in, including both a Lib Dem and a Tory in each department, and said that people who didn't want the job were free to resign.

Those approached need to ask themselves what it is about them that Brown found so attractive politically. The Lib Dems also need to ask this about each of them, as well as what the point of their own party is if it is going to pass up offers of Ministerial office, even including at Cabinet level. Everyone needs to ask what the reply from Ashdown, never over-troubled by self-doubt, would have been if Brown had offered to make him Foreign Secretary; also, to consider that, just as Sarkozy gave the Foreign Ministry to Kouchner, the only prominent French Socialist to support the Iraq War, so Brown has tried to bring in Ashdown, a pioneering neocon cheerleader from the Yugoslavia days, and who recently surprised no one by coming out as holding the same views on Iraq.

The Tories need to ask themselves why nobody bothered to do try and do a deal with them (although I suspect that that would have been Phase Two, and might yet be Phase One And Only instead). Labour Party members need to ask themselves why not one of their number - MP, Peer, or able to be raised to the Peerage for the purpose - was deemed capable of doing any of the Ministerial jobs in question, including one at Bevan's NHS. Labour MPs, in particular, need to ask why, at least where these particular positions (and how many more after this?) are concerned, the man whom they gave a clear run for Leader would rather have a Lib Dem Peer than any - any - of them.

And we all need to ask ourselves and each other what we are doing to replace this whole sorry lot with proper parties and proper politicians, speaking and acting for us.

School "Partners"

Gordon Brown says that every school should have a "partner", apparently meaning a private company, no doubt one that makes generous donations to all three political parties equally, and whose leading lights have the "Ks and Big Ps" to show for it. But can anyone think of other potential "partners" for our schools? Also, can anyone think of other potential members of Brown's new National Council for Educational Excellence, in addition to the venture capital boss whom he has already announced his intention to appoint?

The Barnett Formula

The West Lothian Question is a red herring: the Parliament of the United Kingdom may choose at any time to enact legislation effective in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland within policy areas currently devolved, and that legislation would prevail over any enacted by a devolved body. It simply chooses not to, just as it chooses not to add to, or subtract from, the devolved policy areas in any of the three cases. But it could, if it wanted to.

However, there is a real constitutional outrage, namely the Barnett Formula. Since we on the Left know and understand welfare and public services to be the entitlements of citizens as such, the Barnett Formula is an unconstitutional denial to the people of England of equal citizenship of the United Kingdom as guaranteed by the Treaties and Acts of Union. It simply has to go.

A very good start would be to restore free undergraduate tuition in England, and to pay for this by deducting the cost from the block grant to the Scottish Parliament.

Thirty? Try Three Hundred, Or Three Thousand

The British Ambassador to Kabul apparently believes our operation in Afghanistan to be a thirty-year job. How can he possibly know this, when, like everybody else, he has no idea what our aim is in Afghanistan? What, exactly, would ever constitute victory, or defeat, there, and why?

In Afghanistan, there is a people (later converted to Shi'ism, and so ruthlessly persecuted by the Taliban) of Mongolian appearence, because descended from Genghis Khan's soldiers who simply got stuck there. There is even a small tribe of Caucasians going back to the army of Alexander the Great.

We either get out of Afghanistan now, or we stay for ever. I know which I'd prefer.

Is It Nothing To You, All Ye Who Pass By?

On last night's Moral Maze, I was most surprised to hear Steven Rose say that he would not appear on an edition of that programme if it featured a witness from the BNP, since I distinctly remember him splendidly wiping the floor with the BNP's "Dr Phil Edwards" (whose real name is Dr Stuart Russell) over genetics and "race" a while back.

But nowhere near as surprised as I was when Melanie Phillips informed us that she "cannot get published", and that her neoconservative position (although she didn't actually use the n-word) struggled to secure a hearing in Britain. Thus spoke Melanie Phillips, of the Daily Mail and The Moral Maze!

Which brings me to my promise to Neal yesterday that I would post something on how, effective though the Zionist lobby in the US certainly is, it is an amateur operation compared the one in Britain. Zionism and neoconservatism are connected, of course; indeed, although one can (or, at least, one used to be able to) profess the former but not the latter, one cannot (never ever could) profess the latter but not the former.

And just look at the British neocons, by definition Zionists all. Take out every copy of the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail and the Sun, and just how many newspapers are actually bought in Britain on any given weekday? Not very many at all. Yet how many Telegraph or Mail readers, in particular, really are as pro-American or as pro-Israeli as all that? Quite a lot, no doubt. But, equally doubtless, quite a lot most certainly are not.

Ah, you may counter, what about the BBC? Well, what about it? Particularly on the mighty Radio Four, much of its coverage of the Middle East now seems to consist of extended discussions (not least featuring Melanie Phillips) of allegations of bias on its own part. A recent internal report of its own referred to the disproportionate representation of "ethnic minorities" in its upper echelons. Yet, especially strikingly for a London-based organisation, those serving the food and drink or those mopping floors are the only "ethnic minorities" in evidence at the BBC. Apart from one, that is.

And then there is political influence. Both main parties are completely controlled by neocons. Zionism's most energetic British proponent and benefactor bankrolls the ruling party within the Labour Party, not least by means of an illegal slush fund selling seats in the very legislature, a flagrant criminal offence for which he was long ago arrested but with which, astonishingly, he has still yet to be charged. And the overwhelming majority of Tory MPs (including David Cameron and most, if not all, of the Shadow Cabinet) is now made up of members of Conservative Friends of Israel, whose website denies the existence of the Palestinians as a people while using and advocating the vocabulary of "Disputed Territories" instead of "Occupied Territories", positions now abandoned by most Israeli Jews themselves, never having been held by many of them. Meanwhile, the same tendency is on the rise in the third party, too.

All in all, then, it is no wonder that the Blair Government has been significantly more Zionist than the Bush Administration. Bush has little to commend him in international affairs, but it is largely thanks to him that the idea that there might ever again be no semblance of a Palestinian state is now simply off the agenda. Left to Blair, Brown, Cameron, Osborne and those with whom they are surrounded, that agenda would still be dominated by that idea, regardless of the opinions of Israelis themselves. Such is the power of the British Zionist lobby, the mightiest in the world, including in America, and even including in Israel.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Lib Dems In Government

Sir Menzies Campbell can protest all he likes: it has nothing to do with him, and he is in any case going to be removed as part of the whole process. This Eustonite pseudo-Labour Government is determined to bring in, not only Orange Book Lib Dems, but also Jacksonite pseudo-Tories such as now run the Conservative Party. After all, they are all really members of the same party anyway, the party that it is now impossible to vote against.

As for making non-MPs Ministers without giving them peerages, so that they will be members of the Government but not of Parliament, that will be yet another step down the ruinous Liberal road of "the separation of powers", on which see here.

We need new parties.


Let Israel's People Go

Rushed off my feet today, I have not had time to check the comments in response to my last post on Israel. But I'll wager that someone will have upbraided me for suggesting that the Ashkenazim and the Sephardim were not a single people. Well, they are not.

The Ashkenazim (of Israelite descent through the male line only, an interesting example of how definitions of Jewishness can and do change) are a people. The Sephardim are a people. The Falashas are a people. And so forth. But there is no single people called "the Jews", and only two groups have ever suggested that there was. One of those groups was, and is, the Zionists. Can you guess the other one?

And even in the Zionist case, they didn't mean it. When they said and say "Jews", they meant and mean Jews like themselves, i.e., Ashkenazim, and secular or not-very-religious Ashkenazim at that. Such were the founders of the State of Israel, and such are the people who have always run it. They have never attempted to hide their disgust at the Sephardim, an integral part of the Arab nation as defined by pan-Arabism (itself founded by Levantine Christian Arabs), or, indeed, at their own ultra-Orthodox, ultra-fecund relatives, who vary from extreme unhappiness with the State of Israel as she exists to extreme hostility to whole idea of such a state at all.

Neither the ultra-Orthodox nor the Jews of say, Yemen, or Morocco, or Iran were ever supposed to be part of the plan, at least in anything like any practical sense. Indeed, on arriving from those and other such countries, Jews used to find that they were hosed down like imported cattle.

But the Asheknazi elite was too arrogant to reproduce (and that is always why a people dies out - hubris of that kind). So the ultra-Orthodox, the Sephardim, the non-Jewish Arabs, and the not very Jewish Russians of more recent arrival now account for most of the population of Israel even within her pre-1967 borders. The Sephardim and the non-Jewish Arabs between them account for more than half of what is, therefore, an Arab country, an integral part of the single society, one might even say the single nation, comprised at least of Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon and, crucially, Syria. Just as, if the old German-speaking Europe of many states had a capital, then that capital was Vienna, so, if the Arab Levant of which Israel is now a part has a capital, then that capital is Damascus.

And Israelis should give thanks that this is so. Pan-Arabism is already beginning to revive in reaction against the creation of a Hamas state in the Gaza Strip. And, in pan-Arab terms, Israel is now indisputably an Arab country, which can and should appeal for solidarity in those terms against Hamas, Hezbollah, and the like. She would never have been so secure. All that she has to do is to clear out the hose-wielding Ashkenazi elite, which most of her people would love to do, and which is voluntarily dying out anyway.

The Triangulator: Part Two

Elected by nobody and confirmed by no Congessional committee, Hillary Clinton was a key figure in the administration that gave the world NAFTA and GATT, bombed Yugoslavia to pieces, forced Britain and the Irish Republic to surrender to the claim to sovereignty made by the Provisional Army Council of the IRA, and failed to deliver universal health care (or anything remotely approaching it). She must be stopped.

Fine Words Butter No Parsnips

Watching the final part of Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain, how I longed for the return of John Major as Prime Minister. He only ever had one war, the unstoppable build up to which he inherited from his predecessor. He tried to resist the dismemberment of Yugoslavia. He maintained good relations with Russia. And, in complete seriousness, he used to tell Conservative Party Conferences that "fine words butter no parsnips". Will we ever see the like again?

An NHS Board?

Who is going to be on the David Cameron’s proposed NHS Board, first suggested by Gordon Brown, and later taken up by the BMA? The NHS, through the Secretary of State for Health, is currently accountable to the House of Commons. It is also consistently the electorate’s number one concern. But now, thanks to Brown and cheered on by Cameron, the electorate, as such, actually cannot even care about interest rates, even though the public certainly does. And Brown and Cameron both now seem determined to do the same thing to health policy, once again reversing one of Labour greatest democratising achievements.

With no say over either monetary policy or health policy, what will politicians be for? There will still be education, and transport, and policing, and social security, and foreign policy, and defence, and a host of other matters. But for how much longer? The precedent will be well and truly set. Parliament will go the way of local councils, except voluntarily.

We should insist on a directly elected NHS Board, if we must have one at all. In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each of the nine English regions, we would each vote for one candidate. The top three would be elected to serve a four-year term. There would also be a Chairman, appointed by the Secretary of State with the approval of the House of Commons. The Board would meet in public under any circumstance when a council would do so. And the candidates would be sufficiently independent to qualify in principle for the Remuneration Panels of their local authorities.

This pattern would also be applied to the BBC Governors (in which case the voters and candidates would be licence-payers), to Ofcom, to the Press Complaints Commission, and to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, just for a start.

Not the necessary restoration and extension of the powers both of Parliament and of local government. But a few steps in the right direction.

Tuesday, 19 June 2007


Everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, should read Ann Farmer's Prophets and Priests: The Hidden Face of the Birth Control Movement (London: The Saint Austin Press, 2002; ISBN 1 901157 62 8). Ann is yet another of us homeless asylum-seekers from New Labour. The war against fertility is, and has always been, the war against the working class, the war against the poor at home and abroad, the war against the electoral base of the Left, the war against the social provisions for which the Left exists, and, above all, the war against women.

Furthermore (this bit is Lindsay, not Farmer - but I'm sure that she would agree with it), the idea of fertility as a medicable condition, requiring powerful drugs or even surgical interventions to prevent a woman's body from doing exactly what it does naturally, is basically and ultimately the idea that femaleness itself is such a condition, a sort of XX Syndrome. I can think of nothing that is actually more misogynistic than that, although some things are equally so, notably the view that the preborn child is simultaneously insentient and a part of the woman's body. Is it the whole of a woman's body that is insentient, or only the parts most directly connected with reproduction?

What Sort Of Country Is Israel?

Is Israel really the standard-bearing Middle Eastern outpost of the West? Is she a Western country at all? Well, as I have already set out:

"Christianity is the recapitulation in Christ of the Old Israel, of Hellenism, and of the Roman Empire, first in the Person of a Jew in what is now recognised to have been a profoundly Hellenised Roman province, and thereafter (i.e., after His Ascension) in His Mystical Body, the Church. The Incarnation culminates, completes and surpasses the providential raising up and interaction of the Old Israel, of Hellenism, and of the Roman Empire.

Judaism is also a product of that interaction (the term "Early Judaism" refers to Judaism, at, only just before, and only just after the time of Jesus, not, say, to David, or even Moses, or even Abraham), but reacted in a strongly Semitic way against the rise of Christianity. Islam is also such a Semitic reaction, just as there were and are Hellenistic, Roman, and Graeco-Roman reactions (A C Grayling, for example, exhibits a strong tendency in this regard)."

The first paragraph describes the West, that of which even the staunchly atheist German philosopher Juergen Habermas recently said, "Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilisation." And the second paragraph describes those of the challenges to Western civilisation, within and without, which recur constantly in its history.

It is obvious into which category Israel falls. Judaism defined its very Canon of Scripture (indeed, decided to have such a thing at all) specifically in order to expunge works demonstrably likely to lead people into Christianity. The very canonical, textual basis of Judaism is therefore polemically anti-Christian, and would not exist but to that end. And even then, Judaism hardly bothers with the Biblical text itself, just as it hardly bothers with theology as ordinarily understood, rather than with defining subcultural characteristics in endlessly minute detail.

Now, why ever would you think that either of these approaches might be considered necessary? Judaism is fundamentally fixated with Christianity, and would be entirely different (if it existed at all) without the Christian "Other".

Furthermore, Western culture at large would be entirely different without the consequences of this unresolved Messianic hope and expectation at the heart of Judaism, which is the root of, among many other things, Marxism, monetarism, Zionism, Freudianism, neoconservatism, and so forth. That is the answer to the question of why, when there so few Jews, they exercise such vast intellectual influence: indisputably, there is a creative imperative in constantly defining oneself against the prevalent claim to be that for which one most longs.

But those who assent to that prevalent claim, which assent is the foundation of the West, also need to be quite clear in our minds that we can have no truck whatever with any system of thought, such as those listed above, arising out of that rejection of the Messiah. We must be constantly and unflinchingly on our guard against succumbing to any such way of thinking, even in the very slightest degree. Rather, we must be fearless in proclaiming that, how and why Jesus Christ and His Church meet and transcend the need that they all express, in the terms in which each of them expresses it.

So Israel is certainly not a Western country. What, then, is she?

Well, over half the Jews in Israel are now Arabs, so Israel has become a classic Levantine Arab country, with an unusually high number of Jewish Arabs much as Lebanon has an unusually high number of Christian Arabs, and with certain ethnic minorities (notably the Ashkenazim) in much the way that Iraq has Kurds and Turkemen.

Pan-Arabism (which is of Christian origin) now requires the same solidarity with the Muslim, Christian, Druze and Jewish Arab people of the Arab country that is Israel as with, for example, the Muslim, Christian and Druze Arab people of the Arab country that is Lebanon (a much more Westward-looking country, as befits the descendants of the Phoenicians, with her large Christian population, her use of French, her constitutional requirement that the President be a Maronite Catholic, and so forth).

The de facto creation of a Hamas state in the Gaza Strip will re-energise pan-Arabism anyway. And Israel should seize that opportunity, to define herself, wholly accurately in pan-Arab terms, as an Arab country. As much as anything else, why would not the Sephardic Arab majority of Israeli Jews want to do this, since it would provide the perfect excuse to sling out the despised Ashkenazi elite?

The Prison Population Explosion

If we did as many other countries do and handed out short prison sentences to relatively minor offenders in the early stages of their criminal careers, then, like those countries, we'd have hardly any long-serving prisoners. As it is, we don't send people to prison until they are too hardened to care.

An Exclusive Comedy Club

This article of Neil Clark's from today's Comment Is Free is so good that I'm re-printing it here in full:

Jim Bowen was on great form on Newsnight last night defending his friend, the late Bernard Manning. "Who is to say that a man dressed up as a woman who goes around urinating everywhere is not offensive, but Bernard Manning's jokes are?" he said, bemoaning the fact that his fellow comedian had been barred from television for years.

Bowen's got a very good point.

Manning's brand of comedy, poking fun at black people, Asians, Jews et al is not my type of humour (give me Tony Hancock, the movie Airplane! or a Perry/Croft sitcom any day) and I would never have paid to see him perform. Yet the condemnation of this undeniably popular working-class icon, nevertheless smacks of hypocrisy.

Make no mistake: Bernard Manning's great "crime" was not that he was a comedian who told offensive jokes, but that he was a working-class comedian who told offensive jokes.

If you're a middle-class comedian, you can get any way with anything, no matter how misanthropic or racist. It wasn't Manning who said: "The male gypsy moth can smell the female gypsy moth up to seven miles away - and that fact also works if you remove the word 'moth'." It was the middle-class comic Jimmy Carr (Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe; Caius College, Cambridge). In contrast to Manning, Carr is a regular fixture on our television screens and on the airwaves.

Then there's the sneering, offensive humour of Little Britain, brought to us by Matt Lucas (Haberdashers' Aske's, Bristol University) and David Walliams (Reigate Grammar School, Bristol University). Targets of the show include single parents, disabled people, the incontinent and people with mental health problems - but of course it's all perfectly acceptable, because Lucas and Walliams, unlike Bernard Manning, are good middle-class chaps who went to university. And when it comes to the humour of cruelty, is there anyone as culpable as Sacha Baron Cohen (Haberdashers' Aske's, Cambridge University) whose elitist, middle-class sneering at plebs and peasants has made him one of the richest men in Hollywood.

The reason why such non-working-class comics dominate today is that commissioning/production positions in television and radio are now monopolised by middle-class (and mainly Oxbridge) graduates. Thirty years ago, when Billy Cotton Jr was head of light entertainment at the BBC, working-class, non-university educated writers like Jimmy Perry, Eric Chappell, Galton and Simpson, Dick Clement and Ian le Frenais were responsible for much of the comedy output. Because they knew their territory and had a genuine empathy for the class they came from, the comedy they produced laughed with the working-class and not at them.

To answer Jim Bowen's question, it's the middle-class, Oxbridge-educated television and radio supremos who decide that Manning is off limits, but the equally unsavoury humour of Lucas and Walliams, Carr and Baron Cohen is not. If only Bernard Manning had gone to the "right" school and made it to Cambridge, who knows - he might even have ended up being nominated for an Oscar...

Monday, 18 June 2007

A Significant Transfer Of Power

Gordon Brown will not allow any further "significant transfer of power" to the EU. Well, good for him as far that goes. But it doesn't go very far, if anywhere: "thanks" to Heath, Thatcher and Major (above all, "thanks" to Thatcher), there is no significant power left to transfer to the EU.

Instead, Brown should be promising a significant transfer of power back from the EU to Britain: the restoration of the supremacy of British over EU law, the use of this to restore our historic fishing rights in accordance with international law, no EU legislation to apply in the United Kingdom unless and until passed by both Houses of Parliament exactly as if it had originated in either of them, and the British adoption of the show-stopping Empty Chair policy until the Council of Ministers meets in public and publishes an Official Report akin to Hansard.

And he should be promising comparable (indeed, closely related) significant transfers of power back to Britain from NATO, from the United States, from the World Trade Organisation, from the International Monetary Fund, and from the World Bank.

He won't. But where are the politicians who will indeed promise these transfers, and will indeed deliver them? Where is their party? That that party does not yet exist is our own fault: yours and mine. Only we can create it. I'm doing my bit. What are you doing?

By The Company That They Keep

Salman Rushdie is not a sympathetic character. His books are largely unreadable, he is a shameless self-publicist, and he ended up as pretty much the only person in the world keeping up the idea that the fatwa against him was still a genuine threat, regularly doing so live on BBC Two late at night, not to mention about the bars and restaurants favoured by the London literati. Who'd have thought to look for him there, eh?

But no one should be remotely surprised at the Pakistani reaction to his knighthood. Pakistan is a key Islamic ally of neoconservatism. As is Saudi Arabia, as are the Chechens, as is the vile Kosovo "Liberation" Army, as is the soon-to-be-restored Caliphate of Turkey, as was the repulsive Alija Izetbegovic, and as were the founders of the Taliban. So what else did anyone expect?

It is no coincidence that Iqbal Sacranie, who used to march under banners reading "Rushdie Must Die", became an Establishment figure over exactly the same years that Marxist neo-Labour stalwarts (John Reid, Charles Clarke, Alan Milburn, Stephen Byers, Patricia Hewitt, Harriet Harman, David Aaronovitch, Christopher Hitchens, John Lloyd, Martin Jacques...) did so, though, like them, without the slightest modification in his views on anything that really mattered.

And since we now have Sir Iqbal, then why not Sir Salman? Indeed, since we now have Sir Iqbal, who else might as well also be knighted, and why?

Sunday, 17 June 2007

More Lessons From History

One of the key reasons why ours has, at least until very lately, remained so free a society is that a succession of rival traditions has eventually come to terms with the other’s permanent existence as an integral part of the national life and character: Catholic and Protestant, Conformist and Nonconformist, Tory and Whig, Conservative and Labour. But today, the neos (neo-Labour and the neo-Tories, with their neoliberal economics and their correspondingly neoconservative foreign policy) are determined to rout and destroy us paleos. That way lies tyranny.

And those (all of the neos, for a start) who at least broadly subscribe to “the Whig interpretation of history” should consider how often the ideas that prevailed, even within academic, cultural or political institutions defined by those of whom such subscribers approve and who seem most obviously to have won the battles in question, were in fact formulated within the apparently vanquished subcultures: Jacobitism, Legitimism, Carlism, Hapsburg monarchism, Tsarism, Catholic and Protestant resistance to German National Liberalism, those in eighteenth-century England or Germany who turned to Methodism or to Pietism rather than to rationalism, those in France who were Jansenist or Ultramontane, Russian intellectuals who converted to Catholicism or to Protestantism, and so forth. Someone, somewhere, should be putting together a startling symposium on the profound and long-term influence of all of these, and more. If it hasn’t already been done?

And if we paleos are to be the Jacobites in all of this, then where and what is to be our Diaspora? Far more Jacobites went into exile than, say, Huguenots sought refuge here. They made a very significant economic contribution to France and Spain, they founded the Russian Navy of Peter the Great, they dominated the Swedish East India and Madagascar Companies, and they did very much more besides. Where might our paleo exiles go, what might they (we?) do, and why?

Alternatively, what if we succeed in bringing about the desperately needed Reformation in British politics? Unlike the Reformation itself, it will be bottom-up rather than top-down, it will be directed at collapsed rather than thriving institutions, and it will therefore be massively popular, entirely without any need for imposition by force.

But it will of course leave its recusants, notable for their tiny numbers, for their heavily intermarried families, for the social and cultural insulation provided by their fabulous wealth, for the lavishing of foreign honours on their most outspoken figures, for the fact that all their institutional manifestations are abroad, and yet also for the fact that almost no one abroad (nor even many people here) has any notion that they exist.

Any neo reading this (as I know that plenty of you do), don’t you want better than that for yourself, and for your house and lineage at least for the next three hundred years?

Give It Up - They Themselves Have

So, a Fatah state in the West Bank, probably coming to include the East Bank, with the Hashemites simply told to pack their bags and go back to Saudi Arabia. A Hamas state in the Gaza Strip. And, as set out by the devoted Zionist Peter Hitchens here, a state in the middle in which the most popular name for new baby boys is now Muhammad, and in which there is now a Russian-language television station for the ever-growing number of devourers of pork products, many of whom insist on taking their Israeli soldiers’ oaths on the New Testament alone, and some of whom have been found to be distributing anti-Semitic literature in Russian.

These Russians are the beneficiaries of the Law of Return, not least because Israeli Jews, other than ultra-Orthodox who are either fully anti-Zionist or at least deeply unhappy about the State of Israel that exists, exhibit that unmistakable societal death wish which is a birth rate well below replacement level (and still falling).

Hitchens pleads for justice for the non-Jewish Arab fifth (and growing) of the Israeli population, and of course he is right. Israel should seize this opportunity, not only to present her non-Jewish Arabs (more than half of Israeli Jews being Arabs) as the best-off in the Middle East, but to make them enjoy, and make the world know that they enjoy, the same standard of living as the rest of her citizenry.

But put together the little Muhammads, the sausage-munching Russian Christians, the non-Jewish Arab birth rate, the ultra-Orthodox Jewish birth rate, the contrastingly low and declining birth rate among other Israeli Jews, and the fact that Israel’s international credibility now requires that she deliver on her much-vaunted claim that her Gentile citizens are equal.

All in all, in 50 or even 30 years time, we will all marvel that there was ever an attempt to re-create some romanticised version of Wilhelmine or Weimar Germany in the Levant, and the magazines that come with the Saturday or Sunday newspapers will occasionally feature articles about the tiny outposts of those aged souls still trying to live the dream.

But, my Zionist interlocutors, the dream is over. Give it up.

How Was She Supposed To Know That?

On The Politics Show, Jon Sopel not only seemed unaware that Norway and Sweden were two different countries, but also repeatedly referred to people on fifty thousand pounds per annum as being “in the middle” rather than, as is in fact the case, more than twice that far up the ladder. What an extraordinary fantasy-world these people inhabit!

This was in the course of an interview with Harriet Harman, who, one need hardly add, did not pick him up on either point. How could she have done? Like David Dimbleby on Question Time, Sopel pointed out to Harman that Hazel Blears was also a woman. But, as ever, Hatty was unmoved. After all, all working-class people look the same to her. She is aware that they breed like rats, but at first glance she cannot tell the sex of a rat, and nor can she tell the sex of a prole. After all, who can?

Now Here's A Thought!

Like the Social Chapter of old, we apparently need the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and thus the EU Constitution, in order to guarantee basic workers’ rights, in this case the right to strike.

No, we do not.

What we need is a political party which will demonstrate the value of the United Kingdom and of her Parliament, and which will bind hard-working families ever-more-firmly thereto in accordance with what are in any case their own very strong instincts, by using that Parliament to secure such rights for those families.

Imagine a party like that! It could be called, oh I don’t know, “the Labour Party”.


So, it looks as if the man in prison for the Lockerbie bombing might not have done it after all. You don’t say! The Lockerbie bombing was orchestrated, not by Libya, but by Syria. However, following Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, we needed Syria on side. So we blamed Libya instead.

Then our self-inflicted dependence on any old despot’s oil, for want of the real nuclear deterrent that is civil nuclear power, eventually compelled us to suck up to Gadaffi. We couldn’t admit that we’d made up the whole thing about him and Lockerbie. So we connived with him to put an innocent man behind bars, and our bars at that.

But now he’s going to get justice, it seems. In which case, will anyone else...?

Father's Day

It strikes me as so obvious that fathers should be named on birth certificates that I don’t see what there is to discuss. And I am all in favour of paternity leave, but I cannot see why it should only be available so early in the child’s life. Especially if the child is still breast-feeding, what, with the best will in the world, is the father actually doing all day?

Whereas a teenager, in particular, might very well benefit enormously if his or her father were in a position to say, “That’s it, I’m taking that bit of paternity leave I’ve been owed all these years, and since I’m either back at work the following Monday morning or I lose my job, then this will be sorted out by that Sunday night at the latest, oh yes it will be!” So let him be able to take it at any point up until the child is 18 or leaves school, I say.

Furthermore, while a supporter of flat tax and a unified Social Security system, I am firmly convinced that, until Child Benefit is no longer payable to mothers, then the tax allowance for fathers should be restored.

For the record, and if it matters at all, I have no children.

It Could Be Worse

I'm still urging anyone reading this to use any votes that they have for Jon Cruddas, by means of a simple number 1 incapable of redistribution. But the smart money is now on either Hilary Benn or Alan Johnson. Benn talks about inequality, and has never retracted his published belief in restoring the supremacy of British over EU law. And Johnson has been nominated by Frank Field and Kate Hoey. However, later today, Benn is expected to declare his support for lowering the voting age to 16. So, although Benn would still do, Johnson would be better. And Cruddas would be best of all.

Is Arnie One Of Us After All?

Arnold Schwarzenegger's nothing if not logical combination of economic and social libertinism is about as far removed from my own political position as it is possible to be, and represents what the American Republican Party has really become, for all the pure bombast in which its other leading figures have to engage in order to keep certain religious elements from going home to the Democratic Party, whence those elements came, and where they might actualy get anything done if they ever went back.

But Schwarzenegger's recent call for Spanish-speaking immigrants to do as he, a German-speaking immigrant, did, and use English-language media, shows him in a quite different, and very much better, light. Capitalism requires unlimited immigration, neoconservatism believes in it in principle (for that among other reasons), and unyielding Spanish-speakers are in any case the Bush Dynasty's base. But Schwarzenegger seems to be made of rather superior stuff. Here's hoping that he keeps up the good work.

Incidentally, and continuing a theme on this blog, when the neoconservatives have turned the southern parts of each of the states from California to Florida into Hispanic statelets effectively forming part of Latin America in general and Mexico in particular (and that process is now very, very well-advanced), then will they campaign to make them independent, though with a view to eventual, and quite rapid, incorporation into Mexico? If not, why not? After all, they are doing exactly that in relation to Kosovo and Albania.

Tony Who

I literally cannot miss one moment of Doctor Who. I know very little about anything to do with it before the great revival in the forms, first of Christopher Ecclestone, and now of David Tennant. But from there on in, I'm completely hooked. So the dazzling scene when the Master regenerated from Derek Jacobi into John Simm was right up my street (not least because I was also a big fan of Life On Mars).

But it was the preview of next week's episode that promised something utterly priceless: Simm, as the utterly evil Master, is to go undercover as a British Prime Minister who is obviously supposed to be Tony Blair. This is to be broadcast on Saturday evening, and Blair will resign on the following Wednesday afternoon.

So there you are, Tony: a fond farewell from the BBC.

And so say all of us!

UPDATE: Look out for guest stars Sharon Osborne, McFly, and Ann Widdecombe. So yes, this really is "Tony Blair is the Master". Good old Auntie, eh?

Saturday, 16 June 2007

When Even The Israelis Have Given Up On Zionism,...

...then those still fighting its corner are really just a newer version of the Americans of distant Irish ancestry who long prolonged the Troubles in Northern Ireland while knowing absolutely nothing about what Ireland was like or what almost anyone living there wanted Ireland to be like.

The decision has been made in Israel to abandon Zionism: if every Jew in world ever did decide to move there, then who would be evicted to make room for a "returnee"? The Christian Arab Supreme Court judge? Or the Muslim Arab Government Minister?

So the Law of Return - the essence of Zionism - is clearly doomed, and with it any corresponding Palestinian demand for such a law.

In other words, Zionism is finished, because the Israelis have decided to finish it. Deal with that fact.

Flat Fair

A lot of my comrades do not approve of my support for flat-rate income tax, saying that it would favour, say, private equity billionaires. No, it wouldn't.

My whole point is that they hardly pay tax at all, if at all. I support a threshold fixed permanently at median earnings for full-time work (currently around £23,000 per annum). Above that, all income, from whatever source, would be taxable at a flat rate, with no further exemptions or allowances whatever.

Meanwhile, a unified minumum age, pensions, benefits and student funding system would give everyone an income not lower than half the threshold, called, simply and accurately, Social Security. And it would all cost next to nothing to administer.

What could possibly be the problem for anyone except those so rich that they are currently exempt from tax altogether?

Of Rocks and Frocks

Tina Brown's new biography of Princess Diana contends that her actual words to Paul Burrell were not "You are my rock", but "You're wearing my frock". Who else might the protagonists be for this story to be, if not historically accurate, then at least morally edifying and aesthetically satisfying? And why?

Christianity and Judaism

I have been asked on Comment Is Free to explain my contention that Christianity was not born out of Judaism. I'm also posting my explantion here: all comments gratefully received, of course.

Christianity is the recapitulation in Christ of the Old Israel, of Hellenism, and of the Roman Empire, first in the Person of a Jew in what is now recognised to have been a profoundly Hellenised Roman province, and thereafter (i.e., after His Ascension) in His Mystical Body, the Church. The Incarnation culminates, completes and surpasses the providential raising up and interaction of the Old Israel, of Hellenism, and of the Roman Empire.

Judaism is also a product of that interaction (the term "Early Judaism" refers to Judaism, at, only just before, and only just after the time of Jesus, not, say, to David, or even Moses, or even Abraham), but reacted in a strongly Semitic way against the rise of Christianity. Islam is also such a Semitic reaction, just as there were and are Hellenistic, Roman, and Graeco-Roman reactions (A C Grayling, for example, exhibits a strong tendency in this regard).

Judaism even defined its Biblical Canon (which it had not previously done) in such a way as to exclude books likely to lead people into Christianity, and therefore already included in the Christian Canon; a key fault is Protestantism is the naive and incorrect acceptance of the 39-book Jewish Canon as "the Bible of Jesus and the Apostles", when in fact it is an explicitly anti-Christian invention. Furthermore, Judaism hardly deals with the Biblical text directly, preferring layer upon layer upon layer of Rabbinical commentary upon Rabbinical commentary upon Rabbinical commentary.

Anthropologically, sociologically, and so forth, Christianity and Judaism are as much or as little the continuation of the religion of the Hebrews. To hold one or the other to be so is to assent to a theological proposition, to make a leap of faith. But they cannot both be so, and recent attempts to claim that they are have only ended up, whether or not the well-meaning protagonists admit it, in effectively concluding that neither of them is.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Unremarkable Stuff, One Would Have Thought...

This is my six hundredth post.

Incandescence over at the Guardian's Comment Is Free site, after I posted the following comment, which has also appeared here as a post in the past:

"I loathe Zionism, one of only two ideologies ever to define "the Jews" as a "race", two ideologies that emerged from the same rancid intellectual swamp and whose adherents understandably fought the Second World War on the same anti-British side. I vividly recall my late father's reaction to the sight of Yitzhak Shamir on the television in the 1980s.

Furthermore, pan-Arabism, with its Christian roots, is at its best one of those fundamentally humane causes, like pan-Slavism or Bolivarianism, for which it is worth fighting precisely by reference to Christian roots, both against Marxism within, and against the neoconservative-Islamist alliance without.

And yet, when I look at the decision to give Fatah and Hamas a state each, in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, I really do have to wonder if, badly off though the Israeli Arabs certainly are, they might not have it rather better than the rest of the Palestinian people.

Yes, Isreal has far to go to make real her utterly anti-Zionist claim that all her citizens are equal. But, if the choice had to be made, wouldn't you rather be an Arab citizen of Israel than a vassal of Fatah or Hamas?"

Unremarkable stuff, one would have thought.

Well, apparently not...

The likes of Irgun and Lehi (the Stern Gang), knowing that Britain was engaged in a World War with Nazi Germany, proceeded to wage a localised war against Britain. Within the global conflict of the time, on which side did that put them? Indeed, Lehi, whence came Yitzhak Shamir among others, nearly struck a deal with Germany in 1941.

Like so many things about the War, it is purely post facto to see it as about the persecution of the Jews; had that been the case, then it would have started sooner (if it ever started at all), the lineup on either side would have been quite different, and it would never have become a World War. This doesn't exactly say much for Britain, or France, or the US, or the USSR, or anyone else at the time. But it is the case.

However, the State of Isreal is now a fact, just as the Palestinians' sense of themselves as a distinct people is now a fact. How and when are no longer the most important questions (although they do matter) in either case. And my point was, after all, that, if the choice had to be made, one would rather be an Israeli Arab (i.e., a non-Jewish one - over the half the Jews in Israel are now Arabs) than live in Fatah's gangster state on the West Bank or in the Hamastan that the Gaza Strip has become.

So Israel should seize this opportunity in the eyes of the world. Probably, the vocabulary will have to be one of "moving beyond Zionism", but fine. What matters is that the Law of Return, which by guaranteeing residence to anyone arbitrarily defined as belonging to a Jewish "race" in which only the Nazis have otherwise believed (just read the Bible, for a start) permanently prevents equal citizenship on the part of non-Jewish Arabs, be repealed.

This would constitute a simple recognition of reality - that the Israelis are now a people quite distinct from (though, of course, related to, in various ways) any of the other generically Jewish peoples elsewhere in the world, and indeed maintain a state which neither Orthodox Jews nor the Anglo-American Right would, or in the former case actually do, find overly congenial. Furthermore, it would kill off the wildly impractical, but in principle still unanswerable, demand for a corresponding Palestinian right of return.

So, is Israel a member of the family of Western democracies, as she noisily proclaims? Or is she the only state in the world founded explicitly on an ethnically exclusive basis (and that of an essentially fictitious kind), and thus as far from that family as it is possible to be? Indeed, the decision as to which way to answer this appears already to have been made, even if not yet (nor ever, probably) announced in so many words, with the utterly anti-Zionist (or "post-Zionist", or whatever you want to call it) appointment of a Christian Arab to the Supreme Court and of a Muslim Arab as a Minister, to the fury of Zionist politicians.

Again, unremarkable stuff. One would have thought...?

Oh, The Irony!

I don't normally do "Blog Wars", but I might just make an exception where the activities of Idiots4Labour are concerned. They probably think that their name is ironic. Quite clearly, it isn't. How ironic is that?

Still, it is good to see people who insist that I'm an irrelevant crank still paying me so much attention. Funny, that.

Now, to business. Idiots4Labour might ask themselves why the County Councillor here didn't dare re-contest his Parish Council seat, and why Hilary Armstrong's office boy and preferred successor nearly lost his. Yes, you read aright: he nearly lost his seat on a Parish Council!

Whereas I kept mine, the whole point of the old trick of putting up for the District on the same day even though I never had the slightest realistic expectation of winning. Idiots4Labour would understand these things, if they were the sort of people who condescended to contest elections prior to their imposition as parliamentary candidates for safe seats, or if they were the sort of people who condescended to do the slightest campaigning work even then. But, of course, they are not.

Rather, such freeloading pseudo-Labourite apparatchiki, and their pseudo-Tory and no doubt pseudo-Liberal equivalents, are the reason why we need entirely new political parties. As we will simply have to have sooner rather than later, if anyone is to contest elections at all.

Death Of A REAL Balkans War Criminal

Robert Fisk's spendidly scathing obituary for the ghastly Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the UN, President of Austria, and Butcher of the Balkans on the same side as the SS recruitment sergeant and neocon poster-boy Alija Izetbegovic, the side glorified by such other neocon poster-boys as Franjo Tudjman and the soon-to-be-victorious KLA.

The Euston Manifesto: An Apology

I have been taken to task by one of the Euston Manifesto's authors for mentioning it on this blog. I can only assume that people are not supposed to know about it. Or, at least, people like you, dear reader...

There Next?

I wondered where next the Bush Administration would declare to be a sovereign state, now that it is to do this to the presumptuous province of Kosovo, with its nasty regime of black-shirted Wahhabi heroin-smugglers. Well, here's a thought: when there is a Muslim majority in the former Metropolitan Counties of South and West Yorkshire, will they, too, be granted independence by fiat of the global neocon-Wahhabi alliance, whether or not formally in office in the US or anywhere else at the time? After all, why not?

Over to you, Son of Leeds?

Feed The Minds

Are you pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, and anti-war? Do you believe in One Nation politics, with an equal emphasis on the One and on the Nation? Would you consider it an honour to be called a "statist, syndicalist, nationalist and theoconservative voice of the provinces"?

And, for here comes the killer question, do you have, or could you find, a million pounds, or possibly even two million pounds, with which to enter into a co-sponsoring relationship with a splendid collection of pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war, statist, syndicalist, nationalist and theoconservative One Nation politicians in a proudly provincial town with plenty of rural hinterland, or possibly even in two such towns?

If so, then please email as soon as possible. Like now, pretty much.

Very many thanks.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

"A Sort Of Jacobitism", Again

As previously set out, I do actually know a bit about the increasingly researched subject of English Jacobitism. And I am in the process of rediscovering my various academic interests of yore, now that, at the institution's double request, I am being eased back into university life on two fronts. So the admittedly rather odd anonymous comment below (does anyone know how I could allow non-Blogger comments but not anonymous ones?) has set me thinking.

Jacobitism, as an obvious expression of disaffection with the Whig hegemony, is increasingly recognised to have seeped into every corner of what was in fact (and contrary to how it has been presented) a deeply divided and discontented Kingdom during the period of that hegemony, providing a unifying principle among many disparate and even rival subcultures (the recusant Catholics and the Nonjurors, for example). The contemporary comparisons, not to say linear continuations, are obvious.

And yes, what my neo-Whig antagonists think that they are disparaging when they call my position "statist, syndicalist, nationalist, theoconservative and provincial" (what's wrong with being any of those things?) is in fact the disaffection with their own neoliberal economic and correspondingly neoconservative geopolitical position, itself now hegemonic within this country's oligarchic and extremely narrowly-based political class, that narrow base not least by comparison with the Major years. That disaffection, again, seeps into every corner of what is in fact (and contrary to how it is presented) a deeply divided and discontented Kingdom under that hegemony, providing a unifying principle among many disparate and even rival subcultures.

The Whigs pretended not to know how widespread and how deep discontent was, and their successors among British historians of England, at least, took them at their word. But archives on the Continent reveal that even Walpole and Malborough maintained, through intermediaries, some level of contact with the Stuart court in exile, apparently conscious that restoration might come at any moment, and therefore anxious to preserve what they could of Whiggery if and when it did.

Well, you Jacksonites and Eustonites, you know who those of us most involved in giving organisational form to your hegemony's opponents are, you certainly know what our email addresses are, and the attention that you devote to rubbishing us on the Internet while loudly proclaiming our irrelevance seems to suggest that your own view is not unlike Walpole's or Malborough's. And yet you use "realist" as a term of abuse!

I do not defend James II's decision to become a salaried employee of his cousin, the King of France, although I cannot see how our own pro-EU, "America and Israel Right or Wrong" politicians (what has become the EU having been an American-sponsored project since the 1940s) are in any position to judge him. But it is worth keeping in mind that he was removed only when Tories as well as Whigs invited William of Orange (blessed by the Pope, but that's another story) to replace him.

Today, in similar fashion, both those who define themselves principally as "statists", or as "syndicalists", or as "nationalists", or as "theoconservatives", or even just as "voices of the provinces", need to make common cause in order to replace the morally, intellectually and financially bankrupt neo-Whig hegemony that is the existing party-political system.

When they do, when we do, then a truly Glorious Revolution, and a true Restoration, will undoubtedly ensue. Some of us are already working on this. So do please make contact, whoever and wherever you are.

Ascension Island

Amid all the hype about the Falklands anniversary, just Google for "Ascension Island Councillor Lawson Henry". This disgraceful state of affairs is only made even worse by the lack of media attention. Of course, it was The Finchley Boadicea who took away Saint Helenians' British Citizenship (now restored) in the first place, making herself known to them as "Maggie Thatcher, The Passport Snatcher". In this, she was as patriotic as she was over the Single European Act, the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the Falklands (at least until the Argentines took her at her word and actually moved in), Grenada, and so much else besides.

Unusual Honesty

Good to see neoconservatism in the raw. Denis "Vote Sarkozy" MacShane, of the Euston Manifesto and The Henry Jackson Society, rejoices that (thanks to the Tories, of course) we are subject to laws determined by Stalinists (technically so called), Trotskyists, neo-Fascists, neo-Nazis, people who believe the pointedly undisbanded Provisional Army Council of the IRA to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland, kleptomaniac members of the Eastern European nomenklatura, and increasing numbers of people from the neocon-Islamist alliance (for so it is), which last will be augmented even further by MacShane's desired accession of Turkey.

Johnny's Law

Sara Payne seems to have become, as the Dunblane parents once were, ungainsayable. Well, in the Dunblane case, the result was the disastrous, ridiculous and utterly pointless "handgun" legislation. We have been warned. And do we actually know that Sarah Payne was sexually assaulted at all?

What if the Police discovered that a single mother's new boyfriend were a convicted, entirely non-sexual murder, or a convicted drug dealer, or a convicted anything else, but not a convicted sex offender? What then?

Now that even Julie Bindel admits the existence of female child sex abusers (are single fathers to be offered access to their new girlfriends' criminal records?), then what use, as Bindel rightly asks, will the much-trumpeted "chemical castration" actually be?

And who is behind all of this? Why, none other than the mercifully departing John Reid. Reid bragged about directing the Police to arrest people in the middle of the night. He was a Communist Party activist deep into his adult life, well before the fall of the Soviet Union, and he has never expressed the slightest remorse. At Stirling University, when the Communist Party ran the Students' Union (with its large cash turnover), he was its enforcer, as he later was for Neil Kinnock, and as he then was for Tony Blair.

It's not looking good, is it?