Tuesday, 31 July 2007

No Union, No Scotland

The SNP will not survive to the next Holyrood Election. There will be no devolution referendum (not least because only Westminster can legislate for one, which it will never do), so the fundamentalist wing will either break away or stage a ruinous leadership contest with the same eventual effect.

But what if there were such a referendum, and a Yes vote? No British Government would ever sign up to Scottish independence without at least a permanent 50/50 split in oil and gas revenue, if not a split per head of population. No Spanish or Belgian Prime Minister would ever permit the accession to the EU of a secession from an existing member-state.

But most of all, unless there had somehow been obtained a clear majority Yes vote in each and every one of Scotland's (all unitary) municipalities, then no Westminster Parliament would ever do other than follow the Irish precedent and legislate for the independence only of those municipalities where the majority of registered voters had voted Yes, with the rest remaining the Scottish part of the United Kingdom as already existing.

In other words, the Union is the only way to preserve Scotland, as such, at all.

The Death of "Liberal Interventionism"

John Gray on fine form here.

Uncivil Partnerships

If a heterosexual couple wants the rights of a married couple, then it can get married. Simple. In order to acquire those rights, the two parties are always going to have to sign something, and have it witnessed and registered. So why not just get married and be done with it? Seriously, why not?

Mumbai Sapphire

In all the coverage of the sixtieth anniversary of Indian and Pakistani independence, is there anyone in the British media not talking about "Mumbai"? This word is not recognised either by Bombay's Stock Exchange or by the High Court there, and its use leads one to wonder whether the British media have been taken over by the BJP and the RSS.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Why There Isn't Going To Be An Early Election

There isn't going to be an early Election, precisely because the Tories would be wiped off the map if there were. Not only would that create the space for a patriotic, morally and socially conservative party to emerge instead, but it would also remove the Tory bogeyman, the one thing that keeps anyone at all voting Labour, never mind turning out to deliver Labour leaflets and what have you. That, in turn, would create the space for a social democratic party to emerge instead.

Indeed, these two movements might very well be one and the same, and would in that case sweep the board electorally, not least because traditional Labour voters are among the most patriotic, and the most morally and socially conservative, people in Britain, while traditional Tory voters are the biggest Keynsians and Beveridgites of the lot, provided that they get their own slice of the cake; this is, after all, a country where even the farmers and the private schools only exist because of gigantic public subsidies.

An economically neoliberal, socially libertarian, and therefore geopolitically neoconservative (including Eurofederalist) party might also try its luck at the polls, but it certainly wouldn't win a General Election, and under First Past The Post it might well win no seats at all.

So the Tories must be saved. Like Labour and the Lib Dems, the Conservative Party contains certain sections of the electorate in such a way as to prevent the emergence of an economically Keynsian and Beveridgite, morally and socially conservative, patriotic political movement, and instead secure the current neoliberal, libertarian, neoconservative (including Eurofederalist) one party state.

So no Leader of either party would ever kill off the other one. And an October Election would do just that: it would reduce the Tories to a rump of fewer than a hundred seats in the most solidly agrarian parts of the South East, East Anglia and possibly (though probably not) the Midlands. Heaven knows why people like that would vote for Cameron, but there we are.

We have been here before, several times. Most notably, after the 1987 Election, Margaret Thatcher failed to deliver on her promise to ban party-political contributions by trade unions, a move which would have killed off Labour on the spot. But by then, Labour and the Tories had re-converged on nuclear weapons, and had converged on Europe, never having been as far apart on anything else as is widely imagined on both sides by people who believe that, just because they wanted something to be the case, then somehow it was.

And, of course, the alternative to Labour already existed. Thatcher was a lot happier facing Neil Kinnock than she would have been facing David Owen, who, with Labour out of the way, would have ditched the Liberals and, mostly thanks to the Poll Tax, would easily have won a General Election which would probably have been held in 1991.

So Thatcher reneged on a Manifesto commitment and saved the Labour Party. It will now return the favour to the Tories, for similar reasons.

Sunday, 29 July 2007


David Cameron describes himself as “bullish”. Well, his Blair-aping includes spending so little time in this country that he is possibly not even resident here for tax purposes (worth looking into in respect of Blair’s Downing Street years, I feel), so he cannot really be expected to know just how beleaguered his condition now is. Still, at the end of this week, we seem to have moved from Shambo the Bullock to Shambles the Bullish, both equally fit for slaughter.

Incidentally, Shambo (presumably now deceased) should have counted himself very lucky that he had come back this time in bovine form. There would have been none of this fuss if he had been an Untouchable.

The Two Tories Rule

Writing in The Spectator, the neocon poster-boy that is Douglas Murray professes himself a member of the Conservative Party, but confides that he felt moved to vote Labour in the Ealing Southall by-election after his appearance on Question Time alongside Sayeeda Warsi.

Well, in addition to apparently picking many panellists at random from David Dimbleby’s high society address book (which might well be how super-posh Murray found himself on the air), Question Time, like Any Questions?, has always observed the Two Tories Rule. However, at least that observance normally consists of a Tory politician and a Tory journalist of some note, rather than a Tory politician and a Tory ... well, what, exactly? Murray claims to be “Director of the Centre for Social Cohesion”, but this “Centre” seems to have little or no existence beyond his own person.

Perhaps we should all try the same trick. Just declare yourself to be a think tank, called something appropriate, and then write to the BBC offering to appear on the panel of Any Questions? or Question Time. Do let me know how you get on: davidaslindsay@hotmail.com

The Tatch & The Hitch

Peter Tatchell was on Any Questions? this week. Would a heterosexual man who advocated lowering the age of consent to 14, and who has in the past put into print the view that sex between adults and children as young as nine was not necessarily abusive, be welcomed onto that august panel?

Still, Tatchell has apparently been adopted as the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Oxford East. Is that, one wonders, where Peter Hitchens lives, since he certainly lives in Oxford? If so, then will his “anyone but the Tories” stance extend to voting for Tatchell and urging others to do so? Or will he take the opportunity to put up? Perhaps neither, if we economically social-democratic, morally and socially conservative British patriots make a point of providing our own alternative.

Whatever Next, Auntie?

And now Gisela Stuart is on The Westminster Hour, calling for a referendum on the EU Constitreaty. What is going on? Much more of this and the BBC will actually be allowing on Eurosceptics from the Left.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Why The "Big" Parties Need The BNP

The only thing that can now save the practically memberless, practically bankrupt "major" political parties, now with skeleton staffs working in little more than broom cupboards, is State funding based on seats obtained at the preceding General Election.

But they now that that is unsaleable at present, not least because their hired help in the media would have to tell the electorate that the parties were practically memberless, were practically bankrupt, and now had skeleton staffs working in little more than broom cupboards. So they are actively hoping for a BNP breakthrough, probably at the 2009 European Elections, and have briefed the hired help to cover the BNP accordingly.

Then they will be able to say that the new funding system is the only way to save Britain from BNP MPs. In fact, it is just the only way to save those parties from organisational and financial collapse.

Auntie On Holiday

Gisela Stuart may be a Jacksonite and a Eustonite, but at least she has called for a referendum on the EU Constitution (although MPs could rule out the need for one simply by rejecting the wretched thing on the floor of the House, as most Tory and Labour MPs alike really want to do). That a Labour MP should have doubts about the EU is unremarkable to anyone who follows these things properly. But that a Labour MP should be allowed to express such views on The World At One, or on any other BBC programme, is utterly astonishing. Someone will be back from holiday within a fortnight, and heads will roll.

Cash For Peerages: Private Prosecution Fund

Pledge here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

That's Just That, Then

We in County Durham are to see our County Council turned into a unitary authority. Never mind that this is insane. Never mind that every measure of public opinion has found it to be massively unpopular. Never mind that members of this new authority intend to pay themselves twenty thousand pounds per annum plus expenses, merely for the fact of being on it. Never mind that the current Deputy Leader of the County Council is a District Council employee, and so will be ineligible for election to this new authority, just as will be those District Councillors who are teachers, and so forth. Never mind, even, that extremely few sitting County Councillors are going to be selected as Labour candidates for election to this new authority.

Oh, no. That's just that, then.

Massive privatisation of housing, revenues, benefits, environmental services, and much else besides, here we come. Plus, of course, the regional assembly, roundly rejected in a referendum, but without which there is absolutely no point to any of this.

The Great Chinese Takeaway

So the Government is tickety-boo about its Chinese counterpart buying up a large chunk of my bank, among many, many other things? Well, of course it is: that is the "free" market in action, the enemy of national sovereignty as of everything else that conservatives wish to conserve.

Disappearing Borders

Since time immemorial, Whitehall has wanted to cut off the Police from their communities, most notably by making forces ever larger, and also, of course, by promoting absolutely any model of policing other than the patrolling of streets on foot. Today's proposal for a unified border force is in the same vein, and is all part of the longstanding central government plan to take control of the Police.

The Scottish Questions

As a half-Scot, made very conscious indeed of that side of my background yesterday as I took one of the chords at my uncle's funeral on the banks of Loch Lomond, I think that I have cracked the extraordinary and very obvious hatred between Gordon Brown and David Cameron. Although, to the best of my knowledge, my cousins called Cameron are not related to Dave (but we are all distantly related to Alistair Darling, apparently), it is certainly a very Scottish name, like Lindsay.

David Cameron, I submit, is a posh Scot. Not a borderline case like Tony Blair or Iain Duncan Smith, but the real deal. His English public school, his Oxford degree, his marriage into the English baronetage, and (these days) his Southern English seat are all part and parcel of this. Therefore, he simply cannot believe that a state school and Scottish university son of the manse from Kirkcaldy has the audacity to be Prime Minister instead of him. And Brown knows perfectly well that those are his views.

That is the real Scottish question in British politics today. It is certainly not the West Lothian Question, which does not in fact exist. If the Parliament of the United Kingdom were to enact legislation applicable in Scotland, then that legislation would prevail over any enactment of the Scottish Parliament. There is simply no doubt at all about this. At present, it merely chooses not to do so. But it should do so, not least to make the point. After all, hasn't Brown any views about such matters in his own constituency? Well, now he has the chance to give effect to those views. He should take that chance.

Let The Train Take The Strain

When the railways were privatised, a move which even Margaret Thatcher had specifically ruled out, it was on the understanding that gigantic public subsidies would permanently guarantee the profits of the privatised rail companies.

Thanks to this ongoing outrage, the owners of those companies have, uniquely, been more than "compensated" enough for the unique renationalisation of the railways without further "compensation", leading to a national network of public transport free at the point of use, including the systematic reversal of bus route and (where possible) rail line closures going back to the 1950s.

If we can afford the Iraq War, or the "renewal" of Trident, or to bankroll the corrupt and anti-democratic institutions of the EU, then we could certainly afford this. And imagine what a selling point it would be to potential tourists.

Incidentally, the anomaly of a region-wide day ticket on the bus costing less than a return between Lanchester and Durham has been remedied. You've guessed it: they have increased the cost of the day ticket. Where does this money go? A lot of it just goes on servicing the fare system. Away with it!

Around The Houses

Low-rent tied accommodation for key workers? A more sensible number of universities, with a more sensible number of students at them? Less immigration? I'm just being silly. Aren't I?

Drinking Up Time

And now a "review" of all-day drinking. After supercasinos and cannabis, Brown is shaping up to be a proper Labour Prime Minister in some ways even if not (to say the very least) in others.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Have No Fear

Won't we be "squeezed" by the smaller parties, even not counting Labour and the Tories, who now have about three members between them, all living in the same nursing home? No, we will not be, as the sheer hysteria in certain emails forwarded to me, and on certain websites whose authors imagine that I cannot read them, makes abundantly, and hilariously, clear.

Have no fear of being "squeezed" by the Lib Dems, whom we could very largely replace (we certainly could here in the North East) simply by being neither Labour nor the Tories, and simply by subjecting actual Lib Dem policies (not least on the EU) to unaccustomed and unwanted exposure, those policies having been formulated on the assumption that no one would ever examine them. The Lib Dems' ethnic cleansing of the working class in Newcastle, and no doubt elsewhere as well, also deserves, and will receive, relentless attention.

Have no fear of being "squeezed" by Respect or by the Greens. Instead, expect that we will pick up the votes of people who might have voted for the former (if at all) despite thoroughly disliking both Trotskyism and Islam, and that we will pick up the votes of those who might have voted for the latter (if at all) despite being deeply unconvinced that the solution to all the world's ills is the destruction of the high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs of the working class, accompanied by the prevention of people on modest incomes from travelling, and the halting or even reversal of economic development in the poorer parts of the world.

Have no fear of being "squeezed" by UKIP. Instead, expect to pick up at least the Old Labour half of its vote last time, with the recent by-elections in any case indicating that UKIP barely exists any more (and that the English Democrats never really did).

And have no fear of being "squeezed" by the BNP. Instead, expect to pick up every vote that might have gone to it out of sheer despair this time, rather than out of any genuine belief in racial theory or Holocaust denial, views certainly not held by, say, 2500 people in Sedgefield.

Whom does that leave?

Have no fear. Because they certainly have plenty of it...

New Labour's Hurricane Katrina

This article of Neil Clark's appears in today's First Post:

People whose homes have been damaged by the recent floods are entitled to ask where the British government's priorities actually lie.

Earlier this year, the Met Office and risk planners in Whitehall warned ministers that due to the so-called El Nino effect, this summer would be much wetter than usual, and there would be a serious risk of flooding. What did the government do? They cut back on spending at the agency which deals with flood prevention.

A month ago, a report by the National Audit Office found that 63 per cent of Britain's flood defences were not properly maintained, while in more than half of high-risk areas there was no guarantee that the defences would hold back rising waters. But while the government hasn't got money to properly protect Britain's towns and cities from floods, it can afford to pursue a costly 'interventionist' foreign policy.

The situation is remarkably similar to that in America when Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in August 2005.
Prior to the disaster, swingeing federal budget cuts had all but stopped major work on the New Orleans area's east bank hurricane levees, for the first time in 37 years. "It appears that the money has been moved in the president's budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that's the price we pay," complained emergency management chief Walter Maestri.

Hurricane Katrina was the moment when US public opinion turned decisively against the neo-conservative policies of the Bush administration, policies which put fighting 'pre-emptive' wars abroad ahead of the safety of people at home.

Gordon Brown needs to act quickly if the floods in Britain are not to turn the public against him and his government, just as Katrina effectively blew away George Bush's authority.


Younger readers should note the use of the word "weather" in this post. "The weather" is an archaic term for what is now called "climate change".

I have no idea whether or not the current flooding is because of global warming, although I do wonder what, in that case, caused floods in the past. But I have noticed how this phenomenon is apparently capable of being the cause of absolutely any and every undesirable weather condition. If it only caused heatwaves, then I might understand. But it is now blamed for floods as it was previously blamed for heavy snowfalls, and no doubt will be again. All in all, if it is a truth, then it is anything but an inconvenient one.

I have also noticed how, in marked contrast to The Great Global Warming Swindle, An Inconvenient Truth has scarcely a scientist in it. We are really only treated to the old man who taught the General Science component of Al Gore's AB. But woe betide anyone who points out any of this. There is, you see, a "consensus" (a political, not a scientific, concept) against the high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs of the working class, and against both the economic development of the poorer parts of the world, and the permission to travel of anyone except George Monbiot and Al Gore. For whom, how very convenient.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

But Who Else Is There?

If there really is a plot afoot to remove David Cameron while he is off on his Hug A Hutu publicity stunt (honestly, haven’t the Rwandans suffered enough?), then with whom is there any plan to replace him, and why?

To cite only one of the most obvious examples, David Davis was a Minister when Michael Howard, as Home Secretary, was initiating the grand theft of liberty which this Government has so single-mindedly continued.

And did, say, William Hague vote against Maastricht? Hardly!

So, who is it going to be, and why?

Complete Nonentities, Not Even Worth Hating

Tony Blair hardly seems real now, already almost forgotten. Likewise the cast of comical grotesques with whom he surrounded himself. His Resignation Honours List, with its Lord Mandelsons and Sir Alastair Campbells and what have you, will mark the final hurrah, before they all return to the obscurity that they so richly deserve.

From the national and international stage to the most utterly local, Blair’s and the Blairites’ fifteen minutes are up, and they have been booed off the stage. Now, at last we see him and them as they always really were: complete nonentities, not even worth hating.

From the national and international stage to the most utterly local, sulk all you like, bitch all you like, spread all the muck that you like, small fry that you are, and small fry that you always were. We are just laughing at you now, if we still notice you at all. Our only regret is that we did not always either mock or ignore you, as we should have done all those years, from the national and international stage to the most utterly local: complete nonentities, not even worth hating.

We Are The Real Liberals

As the Scottish and Welsh experiences demonstrate, there need only be another “Neither Labour Nor The Tories” option on the ballot paper for there simply to be no point to the Liberal Democrats, who gain support for what they are not rather than for what they are. Nor would anything more than half even of the mere sixteen per cent of eligible voters currently reached by that party have anything to do with it if actually made aware of its policies, something that the BBC, in particular, consistently refuses to do.

Some of us fully intend this prove this point over the next couple of years, offering such an option while exposing those policies, and thus seeing off the Lib Dems as decisively as would the abandonment of the First Past The Post electoral system of which they are wholly a product.

But what of the wider and deeper Liberal tradition in this country? Well, thus came Keynes and Beveridge, of whom we, and certainly not the Lib Dems, are the heirs. Those of us who believe in One Nation politics with an equal emphasis on the One and on the Nation can but seek to live up to Lloyd George in his heyday, whereas neither in domestic policy nor in foreign policy are the Lib Dems remotely his successors.

And even the more problematical Gladstonian tradition might be redeemable by careful appropriation of Gladstone’s own “Four Doctors”: Aristotle, Augustine, Dante, and Joseph Butler. Hardly among the Lib Dems’ “Doctors”, to say the very least.

So We'll Just Have To Cut Them Up?

So male genital mutilation reduces the chance of HIV infection, does it? Funnily enough, that the nooks and crannies collect dirt is exactly the argument advanced by proponents of female genital mutilation. Still, anything rather than admit that the means to such reduction are in fact sexual abstinence outside marriage, fidelity within marriage, and abstinence from intravenous drug use. For do we all not know that at least the first and second of these are impossible for those simple souls who are poor, non-white, or both? Instead, we need to mutilate their genitalia. Don’t we?

Nothing "Local" About Lap-Dancers

After the lap-dancing club in Consett, there is now to be one on North Road in Durham. The “free” market in action, of course: is there still anyone out there who imagines that capitalism is conservative?

I could go on at enormous length about the evils of this sort of thing, but instead I simply want to question one of the claims that those who would or do profit from it characteristically make, namely that it provides jobs for “local girls”. This strikes me as wildly improbable. Members of the local community strike me as the very last people who would wish to work in such a place, precisely because it will be patronised by other members of that same community. Who would wish to be seen so performing by her neighbours? Or by her workmates? Or by her brother? Or by her dad?

These women will have been trafficked into this country, with everything that that entails. Anyone who so much as pays the fee on the door, or puts up a poster advertising this venue, will be morally complicit in that trafficking.

Furthermore, this whole situation is the fault of the existing political class. In Consett at the next General Election, and both in Consett and in Durham at the next European Election, people will at last have the option of voting against that class, and so of voting against both the “free” market’s lap-dancing and the “free” market’s people-trafficking.


Reports that large fields full of opium poppies are being grown in this country, to help cope with the global shortage of morphine. Why don’t we just buy them from Afghanistan? At least that would provide some reason for being there. At present, there is none.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

"Former" Islamists?

Last night edition of The World Tonight repeatedly referred to the Turkish AKP as "former Islamists". They are no such thing, and the whole basis of their success is that there is nothing "former" about them.

And look out for their vote in centres of Sufism. The Chechens are also Sufi. Ponder these things when next you hear or read Sufism described as "moderate", or "peaceable", or what have you.

Indeed, such are neoconservatism's links to this sort of thing that this time, with no American backing for a coup, probably not even the Army can prevent the restoration of the Caliphate in NATO's, and putatively the EU's, very own Turkey.


The EU and the US seem to be getting the message at last: the idea of Kosovo as an sovereign state is completely preposterous, and Russia will rightly veto any attempt to give effect to it.

Would even that be the final dismemberment of independent, multi-ethnic, Socialist Yugoslavia? Somehow, I doubt it. After all, if Kosovo can become a state, then anywhere can.

In fact, when (in accordance with current trends) the "free" market has produced a Muslim majority in the former Metropolitan Counties of South and West Yorkshire, will they be entitled to secede from the United Kingdom? The Kosovo "Liberation" Army, reflecting the region's history, is a striking cross between the "militant Islam" of the Pennines and its antagonists in the BNP or Combat 18: black-shirted Wahhabi Holocaust-deniers who smuggle the Taliban's heroin into Europe.

For that matter, when (in accordance with current trends) the "free" market has produced a Hispanic majority right along the American border with Mexico, will those areas be entitled to secede from the United States?

If not, why not?

Friday, 20 July 2007

Dave Is Auntie's New Favourite Nephew

The whole of The World At One was devoted to the despicable, but unremarkable, letting off the hook of everyone involved in the flagrant sale of seats in our very legislature, without a peep about the collapse of the Cameron Tories both in the North and in Asian London. Auntie has very definitely transferred her affections. What does that tell you?

Still, good to see the "elected House of Lords" (closed party lists) and "State funding of political parties" lot out for the day. State funding must entail some degree of State control, which can often be necessary and beneficial. But, for political parties, it would be lethal. Only parties that met the organisational and political requirements of some committee of Notting Hill and Primrose Hill diners would be able to afford to contest elections. No wonder the BBC is so keen on the idea.

All Clear?

So that's that, then: the sale of knighthoods and peerages is not going on. We can be sure of this, because the knighthood and peerage-strewn Metropolitan Police, and the knighthood and (soon enough) peerage-strewn Crown Prosecution Service, have told us so. What a banana republic Britain now is! Complete, of course, with John "Banana" Yates, bent and yellow.

Still, at least there was any investigation. There would have been none against a Tory Government. But how the hell did it cost a million pounds? Did they pay Ministers, senior Downing Street staffers and pop impressarios what they would have earned by the hour for the time that they were being interviewed?

Oh well, now we can forget about a Blair corruption trial with the public gallery, if not the judge, coughing "Iraq" all the way through the proceedings. Instead, we are just going to have to cut to the chase and put Blair on trial as the war criminal that he is.

By-Election Analysis

Apart from the BNP in Sedgefield, everybody lost.

There could not be two constituencies less alike that Sedgefield and Ealing Southall, yet Labour managed to lose ludicrous numbers of votes (eleven thousand in Sedgefield, even without counting defections to other candidates) in both of them. That by-election turnouts are lower is one thing, but this is just ridiculous. It could not now be clearer that in areas as different as these two, a new political movement has huge numbers of potential voters just waiting to be reached.

The Lib Dems failed to take Ealing Southall, as did "David Cameron's Conservatives" with their imposed New Labour candidate, so Campbell is in trouble and Cameron's position is now untenable. Third at Ealing Southall was matched by third (down from second in 2005) at Sedgefield: Cameron has no appeal either in one of the most diverse parts of London or in a ninety-nine per cent White British corner of the North. In short, he has no appeal.

But the BNP kept its deposit at Sedgefield. The traditional Labour vote is crying out for a non-racist (indeed, anti-racist) opposition to the intimately related forces of European federalism, American domination, globalisation, Islamisation, mass immigration, the undermining of the family, and soft lines on crime, drugs and antisocial behaviour. Otherwise, it will just vote for the BNP out of sheer despair.

So look out for the BNP at the 2009 European Elections, when only the movement of which I am part can prevent their breakthrough in Yorkshire & The Humber or in the East Midlands (quite plausible - they'd need only one sixth of the votes of those who felt sufficiently motivated to turn out); in the West Midlands, in the South West or in East Anglia (very likely - only one seventh required to win a seat); in the North West or in London (highly probable - only one ninth required); and, above all, in the South East (practically certain, with only one in 10 of those who feel sufficiently strongly to vote at all needing to vote BNP in order to put them in).

Blair's legacy. And Brown's. And Cameron's.

Of Regional Assemblies and Unitary Authorities

Questions here and elsewhere about whether I intend to stand for any new unitary authority in County Durham. Well, it would depend on how close the election was to those for the Westminster and European Parliaments, projects now so well-advanced nationally, and even beyond, that I couldn't get out of them even if I wanted to, which I most certainly don't.

But this is all academic: with the abolition even of the existing unelected Regional Assembly, and with the resounding public rejection of the County Council's proposal that it be made a unitary authority (which only made sense in terms of the revival of the regionalisation proposal, not to mention amounting to turkies calling for Christmas), I see no reason to believe that there is going to be a unitary authority in County Durham. Nor should there be one.

From A To B

A return ticket from Lanchester to Durham (20 minutes each way) has long cost more than a return ticket from Lanchester to Newcastle (one hour each way), even though both services are provided by the same company. But now even a region-wide day ticket, which would enable one to complete both return journies on a single day, is cheaper than a Lanchester to Durham return.

Just how much of the cost of public transport is to pay for the administration of that cost? Rather a lot, I suspect. Public transport should be free at the point of use. If we can afford the Iraq War, or the "renewal" of Trident, or to bankroll the corrupt and anti-democractic institutions of the EU, then we could afford this.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

When Did Universities Become Above The Law?

It has long baffled me (with two degrees, and about to resume employment by a university) that universities are effectively regarded as exempt from the drug laws, and that illegal drug use is regarded as wholly excusable if it took place while one was at university. That is certainly not how these matters are addressed with regard to people the same age who, moreover, are expected to get up in the small hours in order to pay for heavily subsidised student bars that they may not enter. I find that baffling, too.

Readers In The West Midlands

I'll be interviewed on this a week tomorrow, some time between 7pm and 8pm.

Ealing Southall

Chris Paul kindly calls this blog "interesting and idiosyncratic", and urges his readers to visit it, so I'm happy to return the compliment, and to post the following from his blog:

Dr Rai is the agreed candidate of the bearded, turbaned, visible Sikh community who felt upset and underrepresented when Gurcharan Singh and two other long listed candidates in their niche communal grouping were not shortlisted. But what's going on?

- Why did Gurcharan and two other turbaned Sikh's defect and support Dave-id Cameron's secular and unsympathetic Tony Lit? What has been promised?

- Why have the Sikh Federation, Sikh Sangat and fellow travellers who insist they are interested only in getting a visible Sikh (man) selected and elected punished the Labour Party - who have done the most BY FAR to advance their cause as representatives, Exec Members, Mayors - and backed a party which has done nothing? Which didn't even have a selection process? What has been promised?

- Why did Sikh Sangat publish a most scurrilous story - claiming that the champion of their cause, Dr Rai, had hanged himself, associating this claim with various false and highly defamatory claims, accusations of racism, calls to remember an assassination in 1984 and the killing that followed it, and naturally plugs for Tony Lit - when they are out to see backing for a bearded, turbaned, visible Sikh, like Dr Rai, and not some cross-dressing trans-political millionaire?

- What involvement, if any, has Grant Shapps, or his agents and allies, had in this ridiculous, malicious, communalist carry on?

I also have a couple of questions of my own:

- Is it conceivable that this sort of behaviour would be tolerated if it were engaged in by a faction of English-speaking Christians, whether White British, or Irish, or Afro-Caribbean, or Saint Helenian, or whatever?

- Is Tony Lit in fact a
member of the Labour Party?

At least if Lit wins, then the latter question should be addressed to Eric_Wilson@labour.org.uk, copied to as many political journalists and bloggers as you can find email addresses for. But don't expect any sort of answer; I certainly never got one to the Louise Bagshawe question, even though a simple No would have sufficed, just as it would here.

But Some Things Are Still Unsayable

The Guardian still will not permit any comment like this on any article about Russia:

If Akhmed Zakayev and Boris Berezovsky are not being extradited from Britain to Russia, then why should Russia extradite anyone to Britain?

Berezovsky is even permitted to travel on a British passport using the assumed name Platon Elenin, in order to visit the former Soviet Union stirring up support for a coup in Russia. And Zakayev, like the Chechen separatists generally, is an important example of how neoconservatism is not in any sense hostile to "militant Islam" (the only kind that there can be), but in fact hand-in-glove with it: in Chechnya, Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey today, just as in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and just as in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

NATO should have been wound up in 1991, and it is only to be expected that Russia is furious, not only at its continued existence (which is bad enough), but even more so at its outrageous expansion to within one hundred miles of Saint Petersburg.

Why has this happened, if not to menace Russia, which can in fact switch off our gas for so long as we refuse to have anything like enough civil nuclear power, and which is therefore is a position to view us, not as a threatening menace, but, much more dangerously from our point of view, as merely a tiresome and impertinent menace?

Instead, we should be cultivating Russia’s sense of herself as an integral part of the Biblical-Classical civilisation that is the West, as that civilisation’s bridge both to the Islamic world and to the Far East, and as its bulwark against either Islamic or Far Eastern domination, a mission shared with all the Slavs.

Why not?

They Are Not Exactly Mellow

I have just posted the following comment over on Comment Is Free, but it would also apply to many of the comments that I have either had to reject here (please do not swear on my blog), or else received by email from implausible addresses (not exactly confident in your views, are you?):

My, what a bitter lot you all are! Hardly mellow, are you? Because you thought that there was only one permitted view on cannabis, but then along comes a Prime Minister who doesn't see it that way. And you have absolutely no idea how to cope.

His view is firmly in the tradition of the Fabian and Christian Socialist pioneers, but to you he (and I, a member both of the Fabian Society and of the Christian Socialist Movement) is "Hard Right". You have used views on certain lifestyle issues (and also on the EU) to replace any normal political spectrum, even though that would place on the Left those Children of Thatcher who, perfectly logically, believe in a "free" market across the board, including in drugs. Indeed, you seem to be just that: Thatcher's true heirs. But you think that you are on the Left! Well, you certainly couldn't care less about the poor, at home or abroad.

I particularly enjoyed the comment from whoever it was who said that the concepts of "criminals" and "law-abiding people" were meaningless if it was possible for doctors or lawyers to fall into the former category. I think that that pretty much sums up the cannabis lobby.

Still, congratulations to the BBC on a good day's spoiling. But it won't work. You've lost. Sooner or later, someone from that generation who was left out of "sex, drugs and rock'n'roll" was going to become Prime Minister, since there were always far more of them than there were of you. Precisely that has now happened. So, I say again, you've lost. And you have absolutely no idea how to deal with that fact.

By the way, I have never taken any illegal drug. If you want to vote for someone like that, then vote for me.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Comment Is Free Again?

I've just succeeded in posting a comment (about cannabis) on Comment is Free. I'll be checking later to see if it's still there.

UPDATE 6:32PM: I can say what I like about cannabis, but I'm still not allowed to post comments about Russia.


Cannabis is one of the most dangerous substances known to man, and any claim to the contrary is nothing but a wishful-thinking urban myth. Furthermore, the use of cannabis is nowhere near as prevalent as such myth-mongers would have us believe. Not that it would matter if it were: there is also a lot of racism about, and a lot of petty theft, among numerous other examples that might be cited.

Cannabis should be reclassified as a Class A drug like heroin and cocaine, and there should be a dramatic clampdown on the possession as well as the supply of illegal drugs, dragging away for very long stretches the bling-encrusted drug-pushers (of all colours, before anyone writes in about that) who terrorise council estates and former pit villages, but of whom the Police currently appear to be desperately afraid, just as they appear to be of a former Prime Minister and his associates who have been flagrantly engaged in the sale of seats in Parliament, which is likewise an organised crime.

But, for that, we will need to replace the Labour Party with something better.

Early Release

The Tories have a nerve. It was they who introduced the current extraordinary provision whereby every sentence is cut in half the moment that the judge or magistrate pronounces it.

Of course, Labour has had ample time to repeal this, and instead to introduce the sort of short prison sentences for low-level offenders (low-level, that is, unless you are among their victims, who are overwhelmingly poor), as in other countries, so that they are no longer too hardened to care by the time that they are imprisoned.

But, for that, we will need to replace the Labour Party with something better.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Your Views, My Views

How many actual or potential voters here in the North East share the oft-stated view of Labour's super-Blairite Stephen Hughes MEP, that national and municipal institutiosn should disappear completely, leaving only the EU, the regions, and the Towns and Parishes? No Parliament, no monarchy, no British Army (because no Britain to have it), no National Health Service (because no nation to have it), nothing.

How many actual or potential Tory voters either here or anywhere else outside London and the South East (not to mention in those areas, when you think about Shire Tories, or the working-class Tory tradition of London and its hinterland) can think of any reason at all to vote for the organisation still ludicrously presenting itself as the Conservative Party? I cannot imagine which would be worse for it, losing the Ealing Southall by-election after all the hype, or winning it with New Labour's very own Tony Lit.

And then there are the Lib Dems, who gain support purely for what they are not, but who, even with contempt for the political class at its current level, still manage to reach only sixteen per cent of eligible voters, fewer than half the number that consistently indicates an intention to abstain.

So, to all voters in the 2009 European Election here in the North East, to all voters in the North West Durham constituency, and indeed to anyone else who might be reading this, I say that I believe in the restoration of the supremacy of British over EU law, in the use of this to restore Britain's historic fishing rights, that no EU law should apply in the United Kingdom without having gone through exactly the same parliamentary process as if it were a Bill which had originated in our own Parliament, in the adoption of the show-stopping Empty Chair Policy until the Council of Ministers meets in public and publishes an Official Report akin to Hansard, in the disapplication in the United Kingdom of any ruling of the European Court of Justice by resolution of the House of Commons (giving this country the same level of independence as is rightly enjoyed by Germany through her Constitutional Court), and in the non-application of any ruling under either the Human Rights Act or the European Convention on Human Rights unless and until ratified by such a resolution. Don't you?

I also believe in the repeal of the Civil Contingencies Act, the repeal of the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act, the restoration of the situation whereby a Bill which runs out of parliamentary time is lost at the end of that session, in no identity cards, in no control orders, and in the repeal of existing erosions of trial by jury and of the right to silence, of existing reversals of the burden of proof, of provision for majority verdicts (which, by definition, provide for conviction even where there is reasonable doubt), of provision for Police confiscation of assets without a conviction, and of the Official Secrets Acts. Don't you?

To those who would ordinarily vote Labour (if at all), I say that I believe in a unified benefits, pensions, student funding, and minimum wage system, so that no one's income falls below half national median earnings, together with a one hundred per cent tax at source on all income from rent, with a Social Security payment to those thus taxed equal to national average earnings (or sufficient to maintain the legitimate activities of religious or educational institutions), as a step towards giving every household a base of real property from which to resist both over-mighty commercial interests and an over-mighty State. Don't you?

I believe in a permanently higher rate of corporation tax on the banks and the privatised utilities, with the money spent on reimbursing the employers' National Insurance contributions for workers aged 25 or under and 55 or over, and with strict regulation to ensure that no cost is passed on to workers, consumers, communities or the environment. Don't you?

I believe in a ban on any company paying any employee more than ten times what it pays any other employee, with the whole public sector (including MPs and Ministers) functioning as one for this purpose, its median wage pegged permanently at the median wage in the private sector, and with every public limited company to have one non-executive director appointed by the Secretary of State for a fixed term equivalent to that of other directors, and responsible for protecting the interests of workers, small shareholders, consumers, communities and the environment. Don't you?

I believe in the renationalisation of the railways, uniquely without compensation in view of the manner of their privatisation, as the basis for a national network of public transport free at the point of use, including the reversal of bus route and (where possible) rail line closures going back to the 1950s. Don't you?

I believe in building on the statutory right of every worker to join a trade union and to have that trade union recognised for collective bargaining purposes by giving every trade unionist so recognised the statutory right to take industrial action in pursuit of a legitimate grievance, including strike action, and including solidarity action of a clearly secondary character (such as a work to rule in support of a strike) within a single industry or corporation. Don't you?

I believe in the abolition of all remaining vestiges of Compulsory Competitive Tendering, of the capping of councils, and of the power of central government to rule local services ultra vires. Don't you?

I believe in freezing of prescription charges, and restoration of free eye and dental check-ups. Don't you?

And I believe in the removal of all nuclear, radiological, chemical and biological weapons from British soil and waters, together with a total ban on the sale of arms abroad, and the removal of foreign forces from British soil and waters, and restoration of British overall control of our defence capability, with no more participation in neoconservative wars, and with immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq (there being no identifiable "job" to "finish" in either of those countries). Don't you?

Meanwhile, to those who would ordinarily vote Tory (if at all), I say that I believe in the restoration of grammar schools, but on the German Gymnasium model, thus avoiding the 11-plus while working to overcome this country's crippling cultural division between arts and sciences, and between academic and technical education, and while recognising that the defence and restoration of schooling at the highest academic level for those to whom it is appropriate (including the restoration of O-levels in place of GCSEs) as intimately related to an emphatic dedication to the defence and restoration of Special Needs Education. Don't you?

I believe that the imperial and metric systems (both of which, it must be said, are of foreign origin but have long histories of use in this country) should both be taught and used side by side except where metrication has not already taken place, as in the case of road signs. Don't you?

I believe in the defence of rural services, leading in particular to the systematic reversal of bus route and (where possible) rail line closures gping back to the 1950s, as well as of the erosion of local schools, medical facilities, Post Offices, and so on, the first as part of the development of a national network of public transport free at the point of use. Don't you?

I believe in the defence of real agriculture as the mainstay of strong communities, environmental responsibility and animal welfare (leading to safe, healthy and inexpensive food), as against American-style 'factory farming', together with the defence of the remaining field sports, and the repeal of the ban on hunting with dogs. Don't you?

I believe that the supermarkets should be made to fund investment in agriculture and small business (investment to be determined in close consultation with the National Farmers' Union and the Federation of Small Businesses) by means of a windfall tax, to be followed if necessary by a permanently higher flat rate of corporation tax, in either case with strict regulation to ensure that the costs of this are not passed on to suppliers, workers, consumers, communities or the environment. Don't you?

I believe in raising the minimum age for jurors at least to 21, in the restoration of a minimum property and/or educational qualification for jurors, in the restoration of the pre-1968 committal powers of the magistracy, in the abolition of stipendiary magistrates, in the repeal of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, in the restoration of the pre-1985 prosecution powers of the Police (i.e., abolition of the Crown Prosecution Service), and a return to preventative policing based on foot patrols, with police forces at least be no larger than at present, and subject to local democratic accountability, most obviously though Police Authorities, although with the mind by no means closed to the idea of elected sheriffs. Don't you?

I believe in marriage as between one man and one woman (anything else being contrary to the interests of women), refusal of the State to lie by issuing transsexuals with new birth certificates, a legal presumption of equal parenting, the restoration of the tax allowance for fathers for so long as Child Benefit is still being paid to mothers, and the payment of poorer mothers of small children to stay at home with them rather than to hand them over into the care of strangers. Don't you?

I believe in the development of nuclear power and the application of clean coal technology as at least the core around which other things (wind, wave, solar, et cetera) may operate, since it offers both the re-creation of strong working-class communities based on high-wage and high-skilled employment (as previously provided by pits, steelworks, shipyards, and so on), and independence from the affairs of the Middle East, as well as from Russian gas. Don't you?

And I believe in the cultivation of Russia's sense of herself as an integral part of the Biblical and Classical civilisation that is the West, and as that civilisation's bridge both to the world as defined by Islam, and to the world of the Far East, linking them to the West and to each other precisely by reference to the Biblical-Classical synthesis, and so overcoming anything in them that might ever give rise to any "clash of civilisations" such as is absurdly held to be happening at present, while acting as the West's gatekeeper against subjugation to Islam or to anything Far Eastern, and while sharing that historic role with all the Slavs. Don't you?

And to those who would ordinarily be minded to vote Lib Dem (if at all), I say that I hold all of the above views and am neither a Labour nor a Tory candidate. If you can find a Lib Dem candidate who holds those views, then I will be greatly surprised. Indeed, if you can find one who holds very many views at all, then I will be quite taken aback.

No Wonder Russia Isn't Budging

If Akhmed Zakayev and Boris Berezovsky are not being extradited from Britain to Russia, then why should Russia extradite anyone to Britain? Berezovsky is even permitted to travel on a British passport using the assumed name Platon Elenin, in order to visit the former Soviet Union stirring up support for a coup in Russia. And Zakayev, like the Chechen separatists generally, is an important example of how neoconservatism is not in any sense hostile to "militant Islam" (the only kind that there can be), but in fact hand-in-glove with it: in Chechnya, Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey today, just as in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and just as in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

What A New Party Might Look Like

It would allow people to choose either or both of local and national membership, and it would also welcome affiliation at either national or local level, subject to national or local approval respectively. Local members, national members, members of nationally affiliated organisations, and members of locally affiliated organisations would have exactly equal rights and responsibilities as members of the party, with no sections, Electoral Colleges, or what have you.

The basic unit would be the Branch, at Ward level or as a branch of an affiliated organisation. In each constituency, the parliamentary candidate would be selected by putting out to a ballot of every registered voter in the constituency a shortlist of the two potential candidates who had been nominated by the most Branches. Likewise, the Leader would be elected by putting out to a nation-wide ballot of the entire electorate a shortlist of the two potential Leaders who had been nominated by the most Branches. In either case, each attendee at the relevant Branch Meeting would be entitled to vote for one potential candidate or Leader, and the Branch would nominate its two highest scorers.

And the top 10 policies thus proposed by the Branches (i.e., vote for one and the Branch proposes the top two) would also be put out to such a national ballot, with people entitled to vote for up to two, and with the top five guaranteed inclusion in the General Election Manifesto.

These three types of ballot would simply take place, as a matter of routine, in the course of each Parliament. Furthermore, every three years, a ballot like that on policy would be conducted to elect nominees for peerages. And there could be no disciplinary action against any MP, as such, unless ratified by over half the Branches in his or her constituency.

As to the substance rather than the form, in addition to signing up to at least three, including the top two, of the five policies chosen in the national ballot, all parliamentary candidates would have to sign up to at least seven, including the top three, of the 10 economic policies determined by an Advisory Board appointed by the unions, of the 10 social policies determined by an Advisory Board most obviously drawn from certain religious interests, and of the 10 foreign and security policies determined by a self-perpetuating Advisory Board of paleoconservative commentators.

The Gap Between Rich And Poor

Wider than for many decades, apparently. No surprise there, of course. So, who might Brown put in charge of addressing this problem? Digby Jones, perhaps? Or will it be one of the 10 - ten - Ministers doing the job without pay?

Of course, it's a trick question: he's not going to address this problem at all. For that, we need a new party.

Comment Is Not Free

Absolutely nothing by me is now permitted to appear on the Guardian's Comment Is Free blog. Comments saying that the way to amuse oneself around elderly Jews is to bark orders in German and see how many obey, are fine. But my views, exactly as also stated here, on Russia, or on Tony Lit, or on indefinite detention without charge, are entirely beyond the pale.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Two Parties Tony

Why is anyone surprised about Tony Lit? Our allegedly competing remnant political parties are now identical not just politically and ideologically, but organisationally and, especially, financially. Everyone should know this, but the glorified gossip columnists of the Press and the BBC cannot be bothered to report it, lest they be invited to no more parties with real life characters from The Thick of It. They are wholly uninterested in politics as such.

I never received an adequate answer to the question of whether Louise Bagshawe, of the Cameron A-List, was still a member of the Labour Party, and therefore also of how many other Cameron-favoured candidates were in fact Labour members. How about Tony Lit?

Oh, but he only attended and donated “in a business capacity”. So that’s all right, then. Isn’t it?

We need new parties.


Turn Again?

Does anyone in the white or Afro-Caribbean working class vote for Ken Livingstone? If so, why? No one has done more to subvert London’s character as an English-speaking, monarchist city with a Christian heritage. No one has done more to help the enemies of the Welfare State, workers’ rights, progressive taxation, full employment, and the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government. And no one has, in his day, made life more difficult for Londoners from Irish backgrounds.

And now Boris.

Surely someone out there is capable of being Mayor of London on the sort of political basis for which this blog campaigns? Do get in touch: davidaslindsay@hotmail.com


The rise of primaries is an encouraging sign. When we have real parties again, they should select their parliamentary candidates by putting out their shortlists of two to ballots of every registered voter in the constituency in question, they should elect their Leaders by putting out shortlists to nation-wide ballots of the entire electorate, and they should put the top 10 policies proposed by their local branches out to a such national ballots, with people entitled to vote for up to two, and with the top five guaranteed inclusion in the manifesto. These three types of ballot should simply take place, as a matter of routine, in the course of each Parliament.

State of Emergency

The Association of Chief Police Officers does not, after all, want indefinite detention without charge. I am not at all surprised by this, since the Police do have to live in mainstream society like the rest of us, and have no more desire than anyone else to live in what is conventionally called “a police state”.

But nor, I am afraid, am I surprised that Lord West does want such indefinite detention. The Armed Forces live, even if quite necessarily, very much in their own little world. There is nothing wrong with Ministers who have Forces experience, but we really should be very wary of Ministers who have never done anything else.

So a slight chill went down my spine when I heard of Alan West’s appointment, not even as a Defence Minister, but as Security Minister. And he seems to be living up to my fears. We’ll all be crying out for a mere police state if we are ever subjected to a military coup, which could happen at least as easily by stealth as by the dramatic deployment of troops on the streets of London (as happened last July, probably for the first time since the eighteenth century).

The appointment of a Security Minister who has never been elected and has only ever previously been a Naval Officer looks like another step in that very, very wrong direction.

Now Go For The Big Fish

I am very sorry for anyone who deserves a payout from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles because of sexual abuse by priests. It will be interesting, as it always is, to see how many career criminals and general ne’er-do-wells profit from this having never mentioned any such abuse in the ostensibly intervening decades, but there we are.

When are real victims going to sue the sex education industry, over to which these matters were handed on the unchallenged assumption that Catholicism did not posses the intellectual resources necessary to deal with such things, simply because the orthodox Catholic view included, and includes, the view that sexual relations between men and adolescent boys (which is what we are discussing here) is morally wrong and deeply damaging? By contrast, the sex education industry held, and holds, that such relations are harmles, if not positively beneficial.

That is why someone like Peter Tatchell can still go about campaigning for practically every act that has brought shame to the Church to be made perfectly legal, by the simple expedient of lowering the age of consent to 14. In the metropolitan political-media circles in which he moves, everyone behaves as if this were already the case, just as they behave as if cocaine were perfectly legal.

As to the sex education industry, those interested in mounting class actions should contact Dr Judith Reisman (who describes her own position as “not religious”): jareisman@surewest.net

Sunday, 15 July 2007


NATO should have been wound up in 1991, and it is only to be expected that Russia is furious, not only at its continued existence (which is bad enough), but even more so at its outrageous expansion to within one hundred miles of Saint Petersburg.

Why has this happened, if not to menace Russia, which can in fact switch off our gas for so long as we refuse to have anything like enough civil nuclear power, and which is therefore is a position to view us, not as a threatening menace, but, much more dangerously from our point of view, as merely a tiresome and impertinent menace?

Instead, we should be cultivating Russia’s sense of herself as an integral part of the Biblical-Classical civilisation that is the West, as that civilisation’s bridge both to the Islamic world and to the Far East, and as its bulwark against either Islamic or Far Eastern domination, a mission shared with all the Slavs.

Of Special Relationships, Imaginary And Real

The United States has precisely one “special relationship”. That relationship is with Saudi Arabia. It is not “anti-American” to say this. It is just realistic.

There is no such relationship with Israel, however much American public opinion might want such a thing (if it really does). Just as it no doubt would not want such a relationship with Saudi Arabia, who cares? Public opinion can want, or not want, whatever it likes. But elite opinion is simply not interested.

Add to this age-old fact of life the emergence in America, even more than before, of a sort of Venetian oligarchy, with the serious proposal that the Presidency should be held by the members of only two families for at least 24 or even 28 years. And then who? Jeb Bush? Chelsea Clinton? All in all, who cares what the little people think?

And there is certainly no “special relationship” with Britain, which, along with another allegedly close friend (the Irish Republic), has been bullied into accepting, in our case even into government, people who believe the Provisional Army Council of the IRA to be the sovereign body throughout Ireland.

Britain and Australia both need to ask which side we would be on if the much more fraught and strained relations between the United States and Canada or New Zealand, with which we share a Head of State and far more in the way of blood ties, and which fought alongside us in both World Wars from the very start of each, ever really came to a head, even if not militarily. And we need to include even the military dimension in that consideration when thinking about our kith and kin in the Caribbean, and possibly also in the Pacific.

So, which side would it be? Which side should it be? And why?

Not Just Another Magazine

Peter Hitchens writes to The Spectator that, since it has declared itself in favour of the loathsome proposal for 90-day detention without charge (not trial, charge), and since it has done so by “cult-like” and “irrational” invocation of 11th September 2001, “it is now just another magazine”.

Well, an idea which I have had for some time is for a magazine in which a rota of proper conservatives (such as Peter Hitchens) writes articles with responses from a rota of proper Socialists (such as, say, Neil Clark), and vice versa, with the rotas running in reverse for that latter purpose. I have similar ideas for radio and television programmes.

Anyone out there with a bit of cash, do please get in touch: davidaslindsay@hotmail.com

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Country Life

Anyone still doubting just how far the Labour Party has sunk need only consider that it has ceded to the Tories the ground on which the Greenbelt is defended. The Greenbelt is a thoroughly Socialist idea, conservative in the best sense as all such ideas are. It could not be further from the boorish “free” market, which would of course permit and encourage utterly unrestricted building on our green and pleasant fields, because it would permit and encourage utterly unrestricted everything.

For that matter, the continued existence of British agriculture is also a thoroughly Socialistic bucking of the market by the State in the admirably conservative causes of close-knit families, strong communities, environmental responsibility and animal welfare. Yet the present Government has given the farmers and their labourers almost as much reason to hate it as its predecessor gave them, and at least as much as its proposed peasant-despising, townie-toff successor would give them.

The creation of a new political movement must be the most pressing concern of, among so many others, everyone who loves our countryside, whether to live in or to visit; of everyone who recognises that sovereignty is eroded, as ruinously as by any other force, when a country is heavily dependent on imports in order to feed her people; and of everyone who believes in close-knit families, strong communities, environmental responsibility and animal welfare.

Slow News Day?

No doubt the truth about the Tesco security scare will come out soon enough. But BBC News 24 was showing people’s sent-in pictures of nothing more than their respective local supermarkets in a state of temporary closure. I cannot help thinking of the old question about what would be on the news if nothing had happened that day.

How Are The Mighty Fallen

Interviewed by Andrew Neil, Tony Benn relays how he turned up early at Waterstone’s to buy Alastair Campbell’s The Blair Years, “in case there'd been a queue, like for Harry Potter”. Not only was there no such queue, but the shop assistant asked him “How do you spell Blair?” Truly, there is no one the land more former than a former Prime Minister.

Stop! Wait, Wait A Minute, Mr Postman

Thanks to the latest EU-caused postal strike, both The Spectator and The Catholic Herald did not arrive until this morning.

The Spectator, which must of course have gone to print through the week, contained Geoffrey Wheatcroft's review of Richard Milhous Nixon, by one Conrad Black. I am not going to write anything about Black, who has lodged an appeal. But I love that single l in Milhous, and the lack of an e and the end. It is always amusing to be reminded of the contrast between who the American elite think that they are (or like to pretend that they are), and who they really are. How Donald Rumsfeld must have hated it when Europeans, without any self-consciousness, pronounced his surname with a soft d. Just think of Janet Weiss in The Rocky Horror Show, insisting that her name is "Wice", not "Vice".

Or just think of the quite regular newspaper "discovery" of some or other more-or-less Nazi relative of the Royal Family, although they, of course, have never made any effort to hide their background. What would have been the point? The real reason that Diana and her lot hated and hate them, far from being anything to do with "The People's Princess", was and is because she married down, from one of the great noble houses of England (the one, in fact, that bankrolled the monarchy for part of the eighteenth century), into what those houses, and their closely related Scottish counterparts, regard as parvenues, nouveaux riches and immigrants, an unfortunate political necessity at a particular time. Middle Britain should always have loved them a great deal more than it loved Diana and the Spencers.

Which brings me to The Catholic Herald, and to a column by Stuart Reid (Deputy Editor of The Spectator, as it goes), rightly pointing out that the Act of Settlement is good for us, because it reminds us that we are different, and because it does us the courtesy of taking our beliefs seriously by identifying them as a real challenge. Quite so.

Friday, 13 July 2007

Now Hear This

I have had to delete several comments, one because it was viciously defamatory (and will be pursued further), and several because someone had managed to gain access to my Blogger account (heaven knows how). So I have now enabled comment moderation; I don't really have the time for it, but it can't be helped.

And I have changed my password. The fact that anyone capable of finding it out went to the trouble of doing so, like the fact that anyone bothered to write the viciously defamatory comment, speaks volumes. Of course, those would no doubt be the same people who claim that I am an irrelevance and that no one reads this blog.

Anyway, I would like to answer one comment that I've had to delete for other reasons. I have never said that Catholics should vote for me because I am a Catholic. Catholic Social Teaching and Distributism played a key role in making me a Catholic in the first place, and I adhere to them. (Indeed, what I now know to be Catholic Social Teaching and Distributism played a key role in making me a member of the Labour Party, but I only plead that I was a simple schoolboy at the time.)

I also submit, and am prepared to argue if anyone seriously disagrees (although I can't see that, I have to say), that none of the three parties now has either a programme or, insofar as they have any underlyling ideology, an underlying ideology in accordance with those principles. This is not to say that there are not still people in them whose views so accord, but you'd have to take that up with them, as I find their position utterly baffling, however well I might get on with a lot of them personally.

But in several parts of Europe, that tradition is re-asserting itself, with pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war movements and candidates beginning to emerge. You don't have to be a Catholic to join or to support such a movement, and you certainly don't have to be a Catholic to be or to vote for such a candidate. (A Catholic political movement as such, although such things are quite common internationally, would not get anywhere electorally anyway.)

But, as it happens, I do want to be (indeed, I am going to be) such a candidate. You don't have to like me personally; you just have to agree with me politically. And I neither could, nor would I want to be able to, stop anyone else from putting up. But those who share my pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war views should be aware that they would be splitting that vote by standing against me, because I am certainly going to stand.

They need to ask themselves whether the continued non-representation of our people would be a price worth paying merely to keep out someone with whom they agree politically, but with whom they would prefer not to have dinner.

Auntie's Negligent

I am very grateful that the media coverage ball is rolling. But fat chance, I suspect, that it will ever roll anywhere near the BBC. The Beeb devoted six hundred hours to the last European Elections and never interviewed a single Eurosceptic from the Left.

But then, the BBC had never mentioned the sixty-six Labour MPs (including National Executive Committee members, former Cabinet Ministers, and an MP who had resigned from the front bench for the purpose) who went into the division lobby night after night against Maastricht. Nor had the forty-four who then voted against the European Finance Bill troubled Auntie. Instead, she lavished attention on the much smaller number of Tory opponents of Maastricht, and then on the handful that merely abstained over European Finance.

What is more, the BBC has replaced any normal political spectrum with definition based on one’s view, not only about the EU, but also about certain social issues, most notably the agenda of the homosexualist political movement (which post-dates by several years, and did not in any sense achieve, this country’s humane and necessary decriminalisation of male homosexual acts between consenting adults in private).

Our pro-life and pro-family views automatically place us on the Right, so far as the Beeboids are concerned, although it never occurs to them that that places Margaret Thatcher (abortion up to birth) and John Major (the National Lottery, divorce made legally easier than release from a car hire contract) on the Left. Never mind David Cameron!

It matters not a jot to them what the Fabians or the Christian Socialists would have thought of 24-hour drinking, deregulated gambling, hardcore pornography, the classification of cannabis as practically harmless and all but legal, or the serious consideration of licensed brothels. But then, they have never actually heard of the Fabians or the Christian Socialists. And it certainly matters not a jot to them what traditional Labour voters think of these things. They have heard of traditional Labour voters barely, if at all, as well. And they have certainly never spoken to one.

Mention of these changes gives the lie to the oft-repeated claim that all the political parties have congregated on the largely BBC-defined “centre ground” because “the great debates” are somehow “over”. Whatever one might think of any of the things listed above, there is no denying that they all do or (in the last case) would constitute epoch-making changes. So, bizarrely in such company, does the smoking ban. So did Blair’s constitutional changes, and so might Brown’s. And so do civil partnerships and “gender recognition”.

Yet there is simply no “debate”, “great” or otherwise, about these things, at least not within the political class. And that is largely because the BBC would never allow it. For that same reason, we now have identical political parties, with dwindling electoral bases and practically no remaining members, hugely important facts of contemporary political life, but not ones that you will be hearing about on the BBC.

You will also not be hearing that most parliamentary seats are now allocated to apparatchiki like peerages (but with salaries), with little or no reference even to such local party organisation as there might be. Yet that, too, is a hugely important fact of contemporary political life.


The existing political parties (in so far as “existing” is still the right word for them) are not opposed to each other, either ideologically or organisationally. But then, to what extent were they ever? Most people would say that they certainly were in the 1980s.

But, in a move which has received eye-poppingly little investigation, Margaret Thatcher deliberately declined to kill off the Labour Party (which was no longer unilateralist and had officially converged with the Tories over Europe, to the position that they have both held ever since) when she could have done so.

After her landslide victory in 1987, she never attempted to implement her commitment to outlaw party-political contributions by trade unions. Of course, I am very glad that she did not do this. But if she had done, then Labour simply would not have existed by the time of the Election after that. So what stopped her?

Well, although Labour’s positions on nuclear weapons and on Europe were by then identical to the Tories’, and although Thatcher actually presided over massively increased welfare dependency and a thoroughly soft penal policy while making no attempt whatever to bring back grammar schools, nevertheless Labour was the bogeyman the mere existence of which kept Tory MPs, activists and core voters in line, and thus kept the Conservative Party in business. Without Labour, what would the Tories have been for?

Likewise, today, without the Tories, what would Labour be for? Despite the total absence of the slightest difference with Labour, the mere fact that there is a Conservative Party at all in enough to convince admittedly a very few people that the Labour Party must be kept going, in order to keep out what are now the inexplicably feared and reviled Tories. But feared and reviled for what, exactly, these days?

Prolier Than Thou

I suspect that some of those who comment here are really playing Prolier Than Thou, trying, in their impeccably middle-class way, to insinuate that I am not fit to represent the North East or any part of it, because neither of my long-dead grandfathers was a miner, whereas both of their long-dead grandfathers were miners. Well, one of mine was a printer, and the other had various jobs in his time, appearing on my late father’s birth certificate as a “Potato Merchant”. And unlike several of my interlocutors, I’ll wager, I am a first generation university graduate. So don’t. Because you won’t win. And it’s a silly game, anyway.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

How Dare We Not!

This blog has never received anything like so many comments as in response to this. A lot of the discussion seems to be about the Catholic Church, but in fact that is just a way into certain wider and deeper issues.

The Catholic Church is an important strand in the coalition on which the Labour great and good have depended while despising the people in question, but a substantial section of Her flock, especially in England and perhaps also in Wales (I don't know), has never been Labour, fearing that the Labour Party was full of Communist agents who would emerge in the event of a Labour victory.

By contrast, those Catholics who did vote Labour did so precisely in order to prevent a Marxist revolution in this, one of the two countries Marx thought most likely to have one (the other was Germany), by alleviating the social and economic problems that might have given rise to such a revolution, as enjoined by Catholic Teaching.

This split mirrored, and considerably overlapped with, the split between working-class Tories and Labour's working-class core vote, above all as organised in, through and as the unions. But in both cases, the differences of opinion were quite slight, the split being about strategy. Both sides were, and are, in favour of an economically Keynsian and Beveridgite, morally and socially conservative, patriotic approach.

As, indeed, were and are a number of other categories of people. For example, farm subsidies are classically Keynsian and Beveridgite, while those to whom they are paid are characteristically conservative in moral and social terms, and characteristically patriotic.

Yet that hugely popular position is no longer represented by any party, with the result that the parties themselves are at death's door, yet still enjoy a de facto monopoly on access to the political process.

Our 12 Independent candidacies will offer the electorate the opportunity to begin the process of replacing this bankrupt cartel, a process which will include the replacement of the existing parties with those (probably more like tendencies of the Whig/Tory variety, at least until we are all long dead) which actually speak for the British People.

For ourselves, dare we take this risk? Well, for those who went before us and for those who will come after us, how dare we not take it! How about you?

David Van Day's Bucks Fizz

This sprang to mind, along with Bruce Forsyth's Generation Game and Bob Says Opportunity Knocks, when I learnt that Tony Lit, the Tory candidate at Ealing Southall who joined that party less than a fortnight ago, will be designated on the ballot paper as the candidate of "David Cameron's Conservative Party".

Anyone reading this who still holds what is now that rarest of items, a Conservative Party membership card, please check and see if it says "David Cameron's Conservative Party" on it. Next year, it will do, probably complete with a picture of Dave. And possibly also of Tony Lit, along with the logo and the website address of his Sunrise radio station.

Meanwhile, any more suggestions in the same vein?

Round The Houses

Housing is now at the top of the political agenda, and not before time. Thanks and congratulations should be addressed to the man who brought this about, and who can now reasonably claim to be one of the most influential politicians in Britain: CruddasJ@parliament.uk.

However, there is still whingeing about falling house prices. Why? The explosion in house prices means that most younger middle or upper-working-class people stand no chance, if things stay as they are, of living out the middle-aged peak of their powers in properties remotely resembling the ones in which they grew up. "Bricks and mortar" do not, at least ordinarily, constitute an "investment". They constitute a place to live.

The Moral Of It All

Gordon Brown has plenty of faults, but thank God - seriously, get down on your knees and thank God - that Brown has pulled the plug on supercasinos, favouring real economic regeneration instead. As with the Tories and marriage (which will come to nought, but of that another time), we are told that politicians shouldn't do "morality". Well, of course not: they might end up banning murder, or something.

Achieving What, Exactly?

If members of Hib-ut-Tahrir have made the remarks alleged against them by the Tories, then they can and should be prosecuted specifically for so doing. But what good would banning Hib-ut-Tahrir actually do? And, for that matter, what good would Brown's all-purpose alternative - identity cards - actually do?

The Wrong Question

They were at it again at PMQs yesterday. Now, as a Unionist, I yield to no one: the United Kingdom is my country, and no one has the right to take it way from me. Simple as that. But there is no "West Lothian Question". It does not exist. The Westminster Parliament can still enact legislation in any devolved area, which would prevail over anything enacted by a devolved body which only exists at all pursuant to an Act of the Westminster Parliament. It merely chooses not to, but so what?

Monday, 9 July 2007

Could You Be An MEP?

You could be, if you are an economically left-wing, morally and socially conservative opponent of European federalism, American hegemony, globalisation and Islamisation, who would be prepared to stand as an Independent candidate at the 2009 European Elections, describing yourself as "pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, and anti-war". A full Statement of Principles is available from me at davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, to be released over the names of the 12 candidates (one in each region) as soon as that list is complete, and most preferably by the end of this month.

We could attract the support of huge numbers of traditional Labour and Tory voters, including those who vote for Independent Councillors, and including at least half of those who voted for the UK Independence Party at the last European Elections, i.e., those UKIP voters who do or would ordinarily vote Labour. We could also attract traditional Liberal Democrat supporters in that party's heartlands of the West Country, rural Scotland, Mid-Wales and elsewhere, where Eurosceptical, and morally and socially conservative, views are widely and deeply held. And between thirty-four and thirty-eight per cent of respondents to opinion polls now consistently indicate an intention not to vote; this initiative offers the possibility of representation at least for a significant section of those otherwise disenfranchised.

Furthermore, our candidates will be seeking an alliance with Independent Groups (and with small, very local parties) on Councils, undertaking to act as foci for a collective effort to secure one or two policy priorities in each of their respective areas.

The general flavour of this project may be discerned from some of the purportedly abusive descriptions of me on the blogsphere: "the prophet, apostle and high priest of paleo-Labour" (defined as "Old Labour means to High Tory ends"); "the statist, syndicalist, nationalist and theoconservative voice of the provinces"; "a reactionary Catholic and a Little Briton masquerading as a Socialist"; "a pan-Arabist, a pan-Slavist, and a Bolivarian"; "a product of the right-wing Labour machine in its one-party fiefdom of County Durham"; "a ghastly throwback to the days when Constituency Labour Parties were dominated by union closed shops full of Catholic fundamentalists, Methodist local preachers and working-class Tories"; and many more besides.

At least in Scotland, in the three Northern regions, in the two Midland regions and in London, our candidates will organise the huge pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war constituency. Here in the North East, I as the candidate will also lead the constantly necessary opposition to the massively unpopular, ever-reviving regional assembly scheme, currently being slipped in under cover of the demented proposal that Durham and Northumberland County Councils become unitary authorities.

In Scotland, our candidate will provide a focus for the English-speaking working-class constituency, black and white; for the constituency made up of those who see the United Kingdom as their country, which no one has the right to take away from them; for the constituency now in desperate need of serious action against the Common Fisheries Policy; for the constituency anxious to protect the integrity of the Scottish legal system, already signed away by submission to the European Court of Justice; and for the constituency that is rightly furious the enforcement of Gaelic in historically Norse, and thus English-speaking, Caithness, Orkney and Shetland; among others.

In Wales, our candidate will lead the fight for the English-speaking majority, and above all for the English-speaking working class (black and white), which, exactly as predicted by Leo Abse during the 1970s devolution debates, is experiencing increasing repression by a bilingual elite.

In Northern Ireland, our candidate will give a voice to the broadly or soundly Unionist forty to forty-four per cent of Catholics, 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.

In London, our candidate will be a force for black and white English-speaking unity against the racist and anti-proletarian roots and fruits of the Europeanist project, against mass immigration as the importation of a new working class (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), against enforced multilingualism's creation of a repressive elite (as in Wales), and against EU-inspired neglect of the Commonwealth in general and of those countries with which we share a Head of State in particular.

In London, the South East, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, the North West, and Yorkshire & The Humber, our candidates will prevent the BNP's breakthrough by providing a non-racist (indeed, an anti-racist) alternative for those opposed to European federalism, mass immigration, the undermining of the family, and soft policies on crime, drugs and antisocial behaviour.

In the South West, our candidate will fight against the Common Fisheries Policy, will fight on rural issues generally, and will fight for Gibraltarians' Catholic values while not only promising to respect the wishes of the Gibraltarian people in relation to their British sovereignty and identity, but also campaigning actively for the retention of that sovereignty and identity, which is very much a cause of the Left in Gibraltar. As I write, I am waiting to hear from our friends there.

And so forth, around the country.

Do not be afraid of the traditional parties. They have almost no remaining members, and they are kept going by large subventions from the State and the super-rich. At the last General Election, Labour won with only twenty-two per cent of the eligible vote, while the Tories limped in with a mere twenty per cent. The number of those saying that they are going to abstain next time is more than twice the number of those saying that they are going to vote Liberal Democrat. All in all, the parties are ripe for replacement by a pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war movement. Let's do it!

So, any volunteers?

Sunday, 8 July 2007

"Un-British Snitching"? Un-British, All Right!

I don’t know where Alan West gets the idea that malicious gossip is un-British. But he intended his “snitching” remark to attract attention, and it has duly done so, thereby distracting us all from his perfectly ludicrous suggestion that we now face our greatest threat ever, that it will take decades to defeat, blah, blah, blah.

Are there warships aiming their guns at us from the Channel or the North Sea? Is there nightly aerial bombardment of our cities and towns? Are hostile forces massing to sweep across the Central European plains, through the Baltic, and down over the top of Scandinavia?

The non-existent “Al-Qaeda global terror network”, with its imaginary training camps in Pakistan, poses such a grave danger that it is apparently unable to supply any explosives whatever to its “operatives”, who have never been anywhere near Pakistan, and who seem unable to do anything more than occasionally botch what the IRA used to do regularly and with devastating competence.

The Police didn’t even notice these would-be car bombs, because they would have had to patrol the streets in order to notice them. And MI5 either had no idea (in which case, it should be disbanded), or allowed these putative attacks to go ahead (in which case, its officers should be prosecuted).

Still, we need identity cards, don’t we? We need Control Orders, don’t we? We need ninety-day detention without charge (not trial, charge), don’t we? We’ve been right to give up our opposition to torture, haven’t we? After all, these things are so effective, aren’t they? And how else are we to defend our liberty and “way of life”?

They Are Gone, Now Let Them Be Forgotten

Even before they have been published, the mere fact of Alastair Campbell’s diaries draws attention to the jaw-droppingly undistinguished character of the little court that Tony Blair has taken with him. Campbell, Peter Mandelson, Carole Caplin, Michael Levy, Ruth “Bad Girls” Turner, Tessa “Carmela Soprano” Jowell, and on, and on, and on. The last eunuch lingers on as Foreign Secretary, but that won’t last. Thank God.

Community Specific

I have written here about my view of the neoconservative hysteria in response to the appointment of Sayeeda Warsi to the Shadow Cabinet, but the fact remains that she, who for some unknown reason appeared on this week’s Question Time dressed as an air stewardess, has previously expressed support for Section 28, a now-repealed piece of meaningless legislation pursuant to which no one was ever prosecuted, because it banned something that was in any case impossible.

However, what was always this dead letter acquired totemic significance because a few activists who happened to work with children refused to deal with one particular form of bullying, as it was always perfectly within their power to do, in order to blame that refusal on this pointless little law. Those activists also have it within their power to define “the centre ground”, and in this case they are perfectly willing to use their power to its fullest extent.

So the soon to be Baroness Warsi could never have been made Shadow Minister if she had come from an English-speaking Christian community, whether White British, or Irish, or Afro-Caribbean, or Saint Helenian, or whatever. But she is a Muslim of Kashmiri origin; so that’s all right, then.

In the same vein, imagine what would happen if a separate political party made up of White Britons, or Irishmen, or Afro-Caribbeans, or Saint Helenians, or whoever, demanded that the Labour Party select a by-election candidate who was not merely a Christian, but the right sort of Christian as that party defined the term; or else face a more acceptable candidate at the ballot box. Yet the Labour Party in Ealing Southall is now being subjected to just this pressure by the Sikh Federation, which campaigns, not only for the official recognition of Punjabi, but for the legalisation of a specific, named organisation currently proscribed as terrorist, a demand such as not even Sinn Fein ever made in quite so many words.


Who are these people? They sound perfectly ghastly to me. Does anyone know any? What are they like?

The Rite Stuff

By all means let people have the Old Latin Mass if they want it (although that won’t heal the Lefebvrist schism, which is doctrinal). Indeed, I myself might well turn up from time to time, provided that it really was celebrated in such a way as to provide a permanent point of liturgical reference, i.e., in its classical form and as envisaged by Sacrosanctum Concilium, rather than after the manner of the “Fastest Masses in the West” characteristic of the every hour, on the hour Mass factories of the 1950s.

And here in England and Wales, we laity must now seek to persuade priests of the overwhelming pastoral need for such Masses on the Epiphany, Ascension Day and Corpus Christi, until such time as the bishops once again condescend to allow us to keep those feasts, not only on the same day, but according to the same rite, as our Patriarch, who also happens to be the Pope.

But can someone please explain to me why all the concentration is on the views of those self-appointed American Jewish organisations which also emerged out of the woodwork when The Passion of The Christ was released? Now as then, their views in practice, and Jewish views even as a first principle, are regarded as the last word. Why? What does it really have to do with them, anyway?

Yes, Christians believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah foretold in the Hebrew Scriptures, which we hold to find their fulfilment in Him, and of which we make liturgical and other theological use because He taught us to do so. Yes, among other consequences, we therefore pray and work for the conversion of Jews to Christianity. And yes, the traditional Roman Liturgy for Good Friday includes just such a prayer. Which part of this did anyone not know? Perhaps the last, but they could have guessed even that based on the rest.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

The Labour-Plaid Cymru Coalition

There are many, many reasons why the Labour Party needs to be replaced. But going into coalition with Plaid Cymru in the Welsh Assembly is easily among the most urgent.

Imagine, if you will, that around one fifth of the population of the South East spoke a very ancient (if, in its vocabulary, greatly Latinised and then greatly Anglicised) language called, say, Elvish. However, Elvish-speakers were very heavily concentrated in one corner of the South East, and every single one of them was completely bilingual in Elvish and English.

There had been elderly monoglot Elvish-speakers in living memory, but they were all long dead now. And since the nineteenth century, there had been a colony of Elvish-speakers in Patagonia, but everyone in that colony was now completely bilingual in Elvish and Spanish.

So there was no one in the world who could only speak Elvish. And, I repeat, eighty per cent of people in the South East could not speak it at all, with its use unknown (beyond centuries-old surnames and place names) in great, densely populated, swathes of the region.

Now imagine that there arose a political movement to enforce the use of Elvish throughout the South East. And imagine that it sometimes took more votes than the Lib Dems, but never anything approaching as many as Labour or the Tories. Yet imagine that all street signs in the South East had to be taken down and replaced with ones twice the size (and therefore costing the taxpayer twice as much) in both English and Elvish. Imagine that Elvish was made absolutely compulsory right through school in the South East.

And imagine that it was made illegal to employ anyone in the public sector, and in many parts of the private and voluntary sectors, who could not produce a paper qualification in Elvish, even if the job in question was in a entirely English-speaking community. As a result, a bilingual (all-white) élite arose, ruthlessly preventing the English-speaking working class from getting on (since no one ever really speaks a second language quite like a native speaker), and doing so at public expense. A South Eastern Assembly was set up in an English-speaking city and to serve that eighty per cent English-speaking area, but it routinely conducted its business only in highly technical Elvish, which was sometimes even invented for the purpose.

Imagine that that was just the reality of life in London and the Home Counties, and remorselessly portrayed by the élite-staffed media there as a thoroughly good thing.

Is this remotely credible? Of course not! Yet, ultimately because of Plaid Cymru, this is what has happened to the English-speaking working class, black and white, in Wales, exactly as predicted by Leo Abse during the devolution debates of the 1970s.

Or Have They Been?

The Crown Prosecution Service now has everything it needs to decide whether or not to bring prosecutions in relation to what the BBC still insists on calling “cash for honours” when what have in fact been sold are not only mere titles (which were invented for that purpose, centuries before Parliament existed), but also seats in the very legislature of this Realm.

Or have they been? Apparently, we must now wait and see. So ponder this: the CPS might yet decide that there is insufficient evidence that any such sale has been taking place. Of course, just like the Metropolitan Place, the CPS are, and will remain, strangers to “Ks and Big Ps”...

Michael Ancram

Michael Ancram shows mounting signs of being The Henry Jackson Society’s weak link, and good for him.

He is a serious Catholic, doubtless steeped in pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker and (in the current circumstances) anti-war teaching. And he is a proper toff, unlike many a grand neocon (such as the Finger Lickin’ Colonel Andrew Roberts, heir to a Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchise), with the aristocratic social conscience that is half of Britain’s double blessing, the other half being organised labour: nowhere else on earth has them both to quite the same extent.

So he opposed the “renewal” of Trident. And last night, he called for dialogue with Hamas, not because he likes them (nor do I, just as I don’t like Fatah, or such Zionists in more than name alone who still remain in Israel; but it’s not up to me), but because there is no other hope of peace.

Keep your eye on Michael Ancram.