Friday, 28 September 2007

Gosh!

Someone who really is going to have to remain nameless (not least because his name, and now his email address, are the only things I know about him) has just copied me the following email to Comment is Free:

Oh well, since you are determined not to register me because I have suggested to you in the past that you should engage David Lindsay as a regular contributor [news to me, but bless you], here is what I would have posted, copied to the email address on his blog. I read it daily, although I have never met him.

That blog is certainly not "all me, me, me". Like his comment above, it marks him out as one of the most original and inspiring political commentators in Britain today. Whoever suggested that he should leave these matters to Polly Toynbee and "Michael" (presumably Michael White) must be content with the thoughts of a woman who insists that all politicians are saints and a man who merely submits politicians' press releases over his own name. Well, I am not. And people who think that policies are "boring" shouldn't be posting comments on Comment Is Free, although it looks as if they could easily be employed to write for it.

As for this being Toynbee's and White's "craft", that doesn't necessarily make them any good at it. Anyway, how does one get into this "craft"? Funny how all its practitioners seem to posh. But then, this is the Guardian, which periodically runs articles by upper-class schoolchildren, presumably not chosen at random. You do realise that this sort of experience goes on Ucas forms, don't you?

A bit less of them and a bit more of David Lindsay would not go amiss. As would a bit more of David Lindsay and bit less of the gossipy, policy-free Polly Toynbee and "Michael". Some of us want to read about politics, you know.


Well, they know where I am, I suppose. Indeed, anyone else who'd like to help me out, do feel free to email any such suggestion to comment.is.free@guardian.co.uk, copied to georgina.henry@guardian.co.uk, and even (if you happen to feel like it) to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. But you might like to phrase things a little differently...

Snap, Crackle and Pop

They are still at it! Pay attention, media people and the bloggers closest to them: if this year sees a "snap" General Election, then we are currently living through by far the longest "snap" in history. There would have been a very high abstention rate anyway. It will now be enormous, out of sheer boredom with this never-ending "snap".

John Bercow Reselected By Buckingham Tories

Here's a little parlour game: just what does a Tory MP now have to do to have the Whip withdrawn, just what does a Tory MP now have to do in order to be deselected, and why?

Not The Tory Conference

To hell with the Tory Conference! To hell with all of them!

Britain wants, needs and deserves there be operating at every level a One Nation party, with an equal emphasis on the One and on the Nation; a party in the tradition that came down from Colbert, Disraeli and Bismarck through Lloyd George, Keynes and Beveridge to Attlee, Bevin, Morrison, Bevan and Gaitskell.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which will be ready to call for the utilities to be taken back into public ownership and subjected to democratic political control (just as the Tories did to electricity) when, a few years from now, the readers of the Mail and Telegraph newspapers want to rise up and demand this; a party which will have made this proposition financially viable by the effects of its taxation policies on the utilities' share prices.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which rejects the Lib Dems' false dichotomy between liberty and authority, instead explaining that there cannot be liberty without the authority needed to protect it, nor authority (as radically distinct from raw power, brute force) without the liberty that provides its moral basis.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which will use "soft power" in relation to the United States and others, to advocate and cultivate the closest possible economic, social, cultural and political co-operation between the people of West African slave descent and the people of English, Scots, Welsh and Irish descent, on the basis of their shared economic, social, cultural and political heritage, including their shared English language and their shared blood ties.

Britain wants, needs and deserves a party which will insist that the Union simply is not the Union, nor is the Commonwealth the Commonwealth, without a very strong Irish dimension; a party which will therefore work towards the Irish Republic's accession to the Commonwealth while re-enfranchising all those disenfranchised by the decline of the UUP and the Alliance Party, by the emerging takeover of the SDLP by Fianna Fail, and by the scandalous failure hitherto to provide a pro-Union party acceptable to Catholics and to social democrats, all the while emphasising that fidelity to any of the Gaelic-Irish, Anglo-Irish and Scots-Irish traditions has long (arguably always) called for the closest possible ties across the Irish Sea.

And so very much else.

What are you doing about it?

Salmond To Stand Against Brown?

Why? Certainly not on the constitutional question, on which they don't disagree, whatever Sir Alex's party might think (if it still does, deep down).

Keep Them Out

If there is to be a Lambeth Conference next year, then are black Britons supposed to stand for the admission to this country of American and Canadian prelates who describe their own ostensible African brethren as "witch-doctors" and so forth?

I can feel David Duke-style Exclusion Orders coming on. If not, why not?

And if not, why not, in the case of Hans Küng, not an EU citizen, and whose rants against the late Pope John Paul the Great's Polishness make him the authentic voice of the age-old Teutonic racism against the Slavs. He only gets away with it because he is Swiss. Well, we don't want this Nazi here.

Kosovo

Of course, the idea of Kosovo as an sovereign state is completely preposterous, and Russia will rightly veto any attempt to give effect to it. But if it happened, then 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? And what of a number of cities in France, which are or very soon will be predominantly Muslim and non-Francophone?

If not, why not?

Even The Belgians

Clearly, even the Belgians could no longer care less about the EU.

They know that no British or Spanish Prime Minister would ever allow either Flanders or Wallonia to join the EU, just as no British or Belgian Prime Minister would ever allow Catalonia or the Basque Country to do so, and just as no Belgian or Spanish Prime Minister would ever allow an independent Scotland (or, hypothetically, Wales) to do so.

Yet Latins (nay, very Francophones) might declare UDI at any moment. Is it conceivable that France and Francophone Africa might recognise such a declaration? Is it conceivable that they might not! And they might very well be joined by Italy, Spain, Portugal, and every country where either Spanish or Portuguese is spoken. Meanwhile, UDI in Wallonia would light the touchpaper for UDI in Quebec.

Or Teutons might declare UDI at any moment. Ever since the incorporation of the Catholic South, there has been a certain inevitability about the eventual annexation of Flanders to the Netherlands should Belgium ever fall apart, even if that would have to be on some sort of federal basis now. Could Germany stay out? She could not, and ever since she disastrously recognised Croatia and Slovenia in some cack-handed attempt to restore Austria-Hungary, it has been clear that has no desire to stay out of such matters.

Not least, the eastern-most part of Wallonia is German-speaking, and was part of the Kingdom of Prussia until the Treaty of Versailles. The last German World Cup squad included a startling number of players from Austria, Silesia, Alsace-Lorraine and the Sudetenland. Think on.

And then, if this all kicked off, there is increasingly divided and unhappy Switzerland...

At present, most Alsatians are happy enough in France, most South Tyrolese are happy enough in Italy, and so forth. But that state of affairs could not survive if France (certainly) or Italy (very probably; and kep your eye on the South Tyrol in all of this) recognised an independent Wallonia, or if Germany followed the Netherlands and recognised an independent Flanders (ditto), or if Germany responded to a Wallonian UDI by pressing her claim to the German-speaking Eastern Cantons (i.e., to Prussian territory lost at Versailles...), and so on, and on, and on.

At the present time, is there any crisis in Europe more significant than this one? Are there very many in the whole world? And look how very close to Britain it all is.

But it is right at the very heart of the EU, now manifestly regarded even by the Belgians as a complete irrelevance.

Attention, Fellow Fabians

Don't forget to vote for Tom Miller and Scott Lomax, both of this blogroll. You'll easily spot for whom not to vote, so I needn't spell that out here.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

A Word Of Advice

Time was when any Labour MP who became an "adviser" to the Tories would have had the Whip withdrawn on the spot, and been expelled from the Labour Party very soon thereafter.

But now that Tory and Lib Dem MPs are "advisers" to Gordon Brown, why doesn't David Cameron use his Party Conference to announce his own "advisers" from among the more dedicated Brown-haters on the Labour benches? What could Brown possibly say or do?

And what could Ming Campbell possibly say or do, having allowed Matthew Taylor to "advise" Brown, if Cameron conferred such positions on, most obviously, Nick Clegg and David Laws?

Not that this will happen, of course. Last year's Tory Conference never discussed a single policy (not one, all week), and I doubt that this year's will discuss so much as a single political machination. In fact, is anyone even going to turn up? If so, why?

What You Can't Say On Comment Is Free

You can't say that a Mayoral candidate might appeal to London's spendidly Old Labour black churches who held the following biologically, anthropologically and sociologically factual (as well as sheerly commonsensical) views:

- that engagement in, or a desire to engage in, homosexual acts is no basis for individual or collective economic, social, cultural or political identity, and in no sense comparable to sex, ethnicity or class;

- that, as it happens, black African culture only ever exhibits homosexual acts under heavy Arab and/or European influence, illustrating that these are cultural phenomena, for which not the slightest biological basis has ever been found to exist; and

- that the noisy, bullying, fabulously rich and well-connected, and wholly self-appointed and self-referential homosexualist lobby (which has a real problem with black people) should therefore be told exactly where to go by politicians who do not in any way wish to criminalise homosexual acts or to persecute those who engage in them.

You can deny the Holocaust. But you can't say that.

The Anglican Schism That Isn't (Yet)

Why don't the "liberals" (rich, white, upper and upper-middle-class, Democrat or Labour/Lib Dem voting on the strict condition that it never actually changes anything) consecrate bishops for Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific?

Remarkably holding a very high doctrine of episcopate (to which they have such privileged access) while believing in little or nothing else, they really consider the African, Asian, Latin American and Pacific bishops to have acted schismatically by consecrating bishops for North America, and so cannot have any scruples about muscling in on their territory.

What are they afraid of? Surely not that they would find no following whatever? The very idea!

Jon Cruddas Not Quite There Yet

I voted for you several times, Jon. A simple number 1 and that was it. But I did so precisely because these groups need a new party, and you could be a key figure in bringing that about.

Boris Is Bad, Not Mad

So it looks as if the Tories are going to nominate Boris Johnson for Mayor of London, not least thanks to the saturation coverage of him in media that simply ignored all other candidates.

This man is not a charmingly "gaffe-prone" eccentric. He is a casual racist who cannot see the problem. He supports the legal indulgence of cannabis use and of Islamic polygamy. And he is a member of the Bullingdon Club, an organisation which would wreak havoc with what little remains of our democracy if the present controlling Tory faction ever attained any significant office, including this one. He must be stopped.

Not that Livingstone is any better. Where is the social-democratic, morally and socially conservative, patriotic voice of English-speaking, Christian London, black and white? I am no big fan of STV, but it could do wonders here if the right candidate came forward. So where are you?

Welcome To The Big Tent

Opening the Fabian Review when I got in last night, I was startled to see an article by Iain Dale. Welcome to the Big Tent, Iain. Your Ministry awaits you. But then again, since you really are one of the talents, probably not.

Facing Iain's article was one by Mark Oaten, in which he referred to his own party as "the Liberals" over, and over, and over again. On the radio last week, his Leader talked about "the SDP and the then Liberals", with no mention of "the then SDP". Something is going on here. But what is it? Now that the Wilson-Callaghan-Healey-Hattersley-Smith-Brown Succession is at last restored, I think that we can all more than guess. I give the Lib Dems a year.

Of Targets, Taxes, And Big Centralised Projects

The reporter on last night's Newsnight expressed utter incredulity that Gordon Brown seeks comparisons with Margaret Thatcher when he is so fond of "targets, taxes, and big centralised projects". Yes, he is. But nowhere near as much as she was. The only problem was that she chose the wrong ones. Like him a lot of the time.

When is anyone, other than the valiant Simon Jenkins and Peter Hitchens, going to start looking dispassionately at what actually happened in the 1980s, and consequently at what is actually happening today?

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Were You Blaired? Were You Browned?

Has anyone out there ever been represented in court either by the alleged barrister Tony Blair or by the alleged advocate Gordon Brown? And has anyone out there ever been taught by Brown, in his capacity as an academic (allegedly)? If so, then do get in touch and tell us all about the experience.

Unless We Do Something About It

Today's and (unless we do something about it) tomorrow's politicians were or will have been able to take jobs as MPs' dogsbodies in their early twenties, secure in the knowledge that their rich parents could make it possible for them to live in central London despite being paid pitiful salaries.

That is how the Political Class perpetuates itself. And will continue to perpetuate itself.

Unless we do something about it.

All-Black Shortlists

Harriet Harman, struggling to find something to do, has apparently come up with this wheeze. As a mixed-race person, I belong to Britain's fastest-growing ethnic minority (even if you don't count the Afro-Caribbeans, who are all mixed-race and all look it), accounting for one in five children under five. You can't always spot us; indeed, many people don't spot me in that sense.

Where would we fit into all of this, certain to be adopted by all three parties if one of them does it? Are there to be charts indicating shades of skin colour? Is someone official going to measure the width of noses or the thickness of lips? Are pencils to be dropped into hair to see if they fall out? I think we should be told.

Tebbit Says Vote Brown

Anyone out there either still in the Labour Party or still planning to vote for it, you must be ecstatic about this.

The Commonwealth of Comedy

First Kath & Kim, and now Flight of the Conchords. The more cultural and constitutional ties, the better, say I!

No Gays In Iran?

Well, so says that country's President. And he might be right.

It is perfectly possible that there are people who engage in sexual acts with their own sex in Iran, but no "lesbians" or "gays"; and if there are "lesbians" or "gays", then, simply by definition, they have indeed been heavily influenced by Western culture, probably through the mass media.

Homosexual acts are one thing (although they certainly do not occur in every culture, and there are languages with no words for them), but the idea of them as the basis for individual and collective economic, social, cultural or political identity is something else entirely.

That idea is peculiarly Western, it is peculiarly Late Modern, and, yes, it is being imposed on other societies in an organised campaign of cultural imperialism also being endured by, for example, Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist and Presbyterian/Reformed churches in the Global South.

After Eurabia, Amerabia

America will be Islamised next. Initially, this will happen through the blacks. Again, that process is already well under way, as disaffected black youth discovers a sense of identity by reference to the Islamic kingdoms of West Africa (whose black, Muslim rulers sold those youths' ancestors to the Arabs and the Europeans, but never mind), and as many a deep-thinking young black woman decides that being a princess of such a kingdom is preferable to being a hip-hop "bitch" or "ho".

Many in both categories, and others, are re-living Malcolm X's journey from the Nation of Islam (which has influenced hip-hop profoundly) to mainstream Islam (which has itself influenced much of black music, notably jazz). And black popular music has enormous "crossover" appeal.

After Eurabia, Amerabia.

Guarding The Guard-Dogs

Ed Balls will today announce a new committee or something to check up on whether the Examination Boards are maintaining standards. Who will be on this committee, how will they be chosen, by whom, and on what criteria? Promotion out of trouble and promotion to the level of one's incompetence do rather spring to mind.

Balls and his wife and Cabinet colleague, Yvette Cooper, have of course been exposed as the moral equivalents of Housing Benefit fraudsters, differing only in having stolen vastly more of the taxpayer's money. But that will have to wait for another time, when someone has reminded me what Cooper's Portfolio is. Her conduct is clearly regarded as fully compatible with it.

As is that of her husband, the whole scam having been devised and executed specifically in order to fiddle admissions to the best state schools, identified as such by their exam results.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Silly Milly Again

They are wetting themselves with glee over on the Guardian's blog, because of David Miliband's allegedly superb speech to the four or five non-Political Class, non-Media Class people attending this year's Labour Party Conference.

Yer what! People in the audience were asleep!

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

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

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

Is Brown A Conservative?

The Daily Telegraph and The Daily Mail seem to think so. And (at least in the absence of anything better) quite a lot of their readers will agree at the ballot box, because the Tories are simply no longer the default option in Britain, or even any option for most people: it would just never occur to well over half the electorate to vote Tory. I'm not saying that that's a good thing or a bad thing. It's just a fact. When even Patrick Mercer sees more hope of doing anything politically as a Brown adviser without even being paid, then it really is all over.

Together with the Keynes-Beveridge-Attlee Settlement and with all round patriotism (i.e., both southwards and westwards, not to say eastwards as globalisation's erosion of sovereignty really kicks in), moral and social conservatism will be a key plank in the platform of the desperately needed new party.

Those three elements all play well to core supporters of all three parties. Do Labour voters want the Euro, or the Iraq War, or the unrestricted immigration, drinking, gambling, drugs, prostitution and pornography all required by the "free" market? Do Tory voters want to abolish farm subsidies or the NHS? For that matter, do they want the Iraq War, or the unrestricted immigration, drinking, gambling, drugs, prostitution and pornography all required by the "free" market? The Lib Dems' strongest support is in rural Scotland, Mid-Wales, and the West Country. And so forth.

Britain needs a pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war party of economically social-democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriots who really care about the North and South of Scotland; about North, Mid and West Wales; about Northern Ireland; about the North of England; about the Midlands; about the West Country; about East Anglia; and about the less chi-chi parts of London, the South East, Central Scotland, and South Wales.

So let's get on with it!

Monday, 24 September 2007

The Book Of The Year

The Triumph of The Political Class, by Peter Oborne.

Read it, even if you have to sell your bed to buy it.

If That, Then This

I hardly know where to begin on the subject of Fianna Fail's madcap scheme to stand candidates in Northern Ireland. That this is supposed to help out the SDLP strikes me as beyond bizarre, since the two parties have absolutely nothing in common beyond an Irish Nationalism to which the SDLP is less than fully committed, certainly in any form recognisable by the activist base and core electorate of Fianna Fail. Nothing will save the SDLP, just as nothing will save the Alliance Party, and just as nothing short of a miracle will save the Ulster Unionist Party.

Still, if Fianna Fail, no doubt followed by Fine Gael, were to fill the vacuum where the SDLP used to be, then the urgently necessary new British parties should fill the vacuum where the UUP and the Alliance Party used to be. Indeed, they should and must do this anyway. Just as they should and must fill the vacuums where Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems used to be.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

From Today, I Am An 18-Year-Old

Except with 12 years' experience.

The way to be, really.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Show Some Respect

Last night's Mock The Week would more appropriately have been called Mock The Old or Mock The North, since it featured people who either were or thought that they were young, and who had decided to have a field day about Northern Rock's investors "wandering around Northern town centres with tartan trolley-bags full of cash" and what have you, from variously faux Cockney, ever so Home Counties, gentrified West Country, Glaswegian, and Irish vantage points. How the London student audience roared with laughter!

Well, those people worked for a living, and some of them still do. In their tartan trolley-bags are your enormous debts, which have given you the lifestyle that you think is owed to you by the world in general and by the lower orders in particular.

It is high time that someone looked into just how much flashy Southern and/or middle-class credit is dependent on discreet Northern and/or working-class thrift. And, of course, gilded youth is only gilded at the expense of middle and old age. So why doesn't anyone ever point out this fact?

As Janet Street-Porter said on Question Time, we are beginning to realise that there are two Britains, the Britain that borrows and the Britain that saves. The latter pays for the former, so the former should show some respect.

Denis The Menace

He's at it again here. What might alternatives to McShane's Henry Jackson Society and Euston Manifesto be called, and why?

And how, exactly, do Michael Ancram, Nick Boles, Damian Collins, Michael Gove, Stephen Hammond, Greg Hands, Andrew Roberts, David Ruffley, David Trimble, Ed Vaizey and David Willetts justify their membership of the former, which wants a single EU "defence" "capability" under overall American command?

Our Lords And Masters Now

Craig Murray (as well as several others, including Boris Johnson) has had his excellent blog pulled. He writes to Iain Dale:

Craigmurray.co.uk has vanished – as has bloggerheads and bobpiper – after the server has been “pulled” by services management company Fasthosts Internet Ltd of Gloucester. Fasthosts have done this in response to legal threats from libel lawyers Schillings, acting on behalf of Alisher Usmanov, the Uzbek oligarch and friend of Putin currently trying to buy Arsenal football club.

As a former British Ambassador in Uzbekistan, I know a great deal more about Mr
Usmanov, and especially about his criminal record, than he finds comfortable. The principal point at issue is that he has been able to take down one of the UK’s leading political websites without anything being tested in court. Fasthosts have pathetically repeated Schillings bluster that my site is “Defamatory”, as though that were established.

We all know that money talks. It seems it can stop other people talking, too. There appears a real danger that all the material on the site may be lost and not able to be recovered.


How much longer will Britain act as butler to these people? Abolish non-domicile tax status.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

An Autumn Election

Abstain.

Unless you are lucky enough to live in Liverpool West Derby or other constituencies details of which would be very welcome for publication here and elsewhere, this is a time to exercise your democratic right not to vote, and thus with any luck bring about the collapse of, in particular, the Tories.

That would lead rapidly to the collapse of Labour, since what would then be the point of it, deprived of the Tory bogeyman? And the Lib Dems are wholly parasitic on the other two.

None of them deserves your vote. So don't give it to any of them, and make them go away.

Already

On the matter of Bob Wareing MP, Clive Staples (it's been a while, Clive - welcome back) comments:

Since he has left Labour, and since yours is actually a movement rather than a party at this stage, he is already in it anyway, as its only MP.

And Lord Stoddart seems to be its only peer, already, regardless.

So the movement as such already has representation in both Houses of Parliament, even leaving aside the several MPs and many peers who really belong in it.


I'd never thought of it like that, but of course Clive is perfectly correct.

Furthermore, please note that all of 175 people had any say over who would be given Labour's majority of over fifteen thousand in Liverpool West Derby. There has been much disparaging comment about Wareing's age, but at 77 he would be no older than many of those 175, and quite a bit younger than some of them. Both in terms of numbers and in terms of age, such is now the pattern of all political parties throughout the country. So we need new ones. What are you waiting for?

Sing Along With The Common People

An anonymous comment:

I'm amazed you're friends with people who use the words "common people" or "Great Unwashed". Seriously, that sounds like it ought to be a friendship-breaker to me. Why on earth would you be friends with such loathsome individuals?

Well, H G Wells was despised within the Fabian Society because he talked common. Trotsky hated Stalin for being a peasant. And as for New Labour...

Of course, the people in question don't actually use these forms of words. They don't need to.

And of course, they are, like their parents, State-educated and either directly State-employed, or effectively so by means of the enormous public subsidies without which the political parties and their hangers on would simply cease to exist.

Is Bank Of England Independence Under Threat?

Well, here's hoping. The "free" market without any role for the State doesn't seem to be doing too well, either. If you'll pardon the pun, the penny seems to be dropping: that such things destroy everything that conservatives exist in order to conserve.

Milk Them

So the supermarkets have been fixing the prices of dairy products? How astonishing!

We need a party which will require the supermarkets 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. If necessary, this would be to be followed by a permanently higher flat rate of corporation tax.

In either case, there would be strict regulation to ensure that the costs were not passed on to suppliers, workers, consumers, communities or the environment.

Too Sophisticated?

If this is the case, then the teachers in fee-paying schools should band together and set up an examination board, on a co-operative basis and preferably affiliated to all the usual organs of the mutual movement, not least in order to safeguard their schools' otherwise decidedly questionable charitable status. In fact, they should do this anyway.

The best state schools could then distinguish themselves, in both senses of the term, by engaging the services of that board. Of course, this would involve the wider use of the IB in the state sector, with its requirement that everyone pass what in Britain would be English, as well as Maths, at least one science, and at least one modern foreign language.

And it would involve lifting the ban on state domestic consumption of the export-strength IGCSE, which is deemed too hard for less than perfectly posh pupils in this, its country of origin. By contrast, Thatcher's GCSE actually marks down candidates whose answers are "too sophisticated". Seriously.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

The Real Divide

According to Sir Menzies Campbell on The World At One, "the real divide in British politics is now not between Left and Right, but between libertarian and authoritarian."

No, Sir Menzies: there cannot be liberty without authority, and there cannot be authority (as distinct from sheer power, brute force) without liberty. What we now have is sheer power, is brute force, without liberty.

That is "the real divide", between those (a tiny, tiny number) exercising that power and practising that force, and those of us on the receiving end. That is the problem, and you, Sir Menzies, seem quite unable to fix it, because you cannot even tell what it is.

Not The Voice Of An Actor These Days?

I won't be able to listen to it, but Gerry Adams is on Jeremy Vine tomorrow, Radio Two, some time between 12 noon and 2pm. Anyone wanting to know why the Provisional Army Council of the IRA still exists should email vine@bbc.co.uk, although readers across the Irish Sea, how dare you question the existence of the true sovereign body of All Ireland?

Conservatives Against Thatcher

Join the debate here.

A Snowball From The Avalanche

On a post below, you will read the following anonymous comment:

Oh david looks ridiculous everytime he opens his mouth. Unfortunately most of the people who post on here in support of the buffoon do not know the truth behind his libellious and quite frankly ridiculous statements. It is only the fact that David is penniless through the fact that he gets sacked from every job that he has had that stops people from taking him to court. Hmmm...will such a truthful statement get past his moderation? and no, I am not just a stupid northern or a bitter labour person, or whoever he chooses to accuse me of. I am just an intelligent person who gets annoyed as his wanton defaming of hard-working honest people. Believe the nonsense he displays on here as you wish, but dont put down the people who know the real David for the evil, twisted vindictive petty little man that he truly is.

And people say that I can't write!

I have allowed this one because it illustrates what I am subjected to between thirty and fifty times per day. No wonder I have comment moderation.

Whereas I can only do the moderation now, because I spend most of the day in an office which has blocked Blogger, you and I are paying for these people to spew this and much worse abuse, anonymously, onto websites.

So terrified are they that a movement might arise which would make them work for a living, something that they would be wholly incapable of doing. I cannot tell you how proud I am that they hate me.

Thirty Years Ago

In reply to an earlier post on the Lib Dems, Martin Miller (who should blog, by the way) comments:

Liberal MPs Jo Grimond (Orkney and Shetland), Russell Johnston (with a Highland seat) and David Steel (with a Borders seat) voted against devolution in the 70s. They said that exactly this sort of neglect would happen. Steel could do with being reminded of this.

Grimond also secured opt-outs for Orkney and Shetland if they voted No in the referendum. Shetland's constitutional and cultural relationship with Scotland is complicated. But Orkney's isn't.

So the principle has already been established. If there were to be an independence referendum in Scotland, then, as you have suggested in the past, areas voting No should remain in the United Kingdom. This was pretty much agreed thirty years ago.


Quite so. For this, I can even forgive Martin for using the words "thirty years ago" so close to my milestone birthday this coming Sunday!

Very Open Secrets

This morning's inbox was packed with emails from, shall we say, old friends who are now something in or around the media or the Lib Dems, telling me that I was very bad for making insider information public. Specifically, fo telling common people that Ming had supported the Iraq War in principle but been slapped down by Charles Kennedy.

Something similar happened earlier in the week, when media and Labour types emailed me in some numbers to say that I shouldn't have let the Great Unwashed in on the Miranda/Emily Blair business.

Well, I replied then that it had been in the Spectator two weeks running, so it couldn't be all that secret anymore. And I reply now that Andrew Neil said it on television months ago, so it can't have been all that secret for quite a while, if ever.

Much Better Uses

The OECD is apparently concerned that Britain sends so few people to university. Just how many does it feel would be appropriate, and why? Out of sheer snobbery, we already send far too many people to university, and are consequently losing both the skill trades, and the honours degree in any recognisable or worthwhile form. We need far fewer universities, with far fewer people at them. And we need to value the skill trades properly in economic, social, cultural and political terms.

This last includes getting far more people from such backgrounds into Parliament and government. Developing and delivering a qualification for “non-graduates” with life and work experience who aspire to become MPs would be a far better use of the unions’ money than propping up an upper-middle-class, metropolitan Labour Party which despises the unions, their members, and the tax-paying classes generally.

The Votes Are Out There

Labour's lead over the Tories on the economy has increased, over the last 10 days, from 34% to 38%. This is also the invariable range of those who tell pollsters that they are not going to vote, always the single largest group, but discounted for headline purposes. Over a third of the potential vote. Minimum. So, what are we waiting for? What are you waiting for?

Britain needs a pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war party of economically social-democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriots who really care about the North and South of Scotland; about North, Mid and West Wales; about Northern Ireland; about the North of England; about the Midlands; about the West Country; about East Anglia; and about the less chi-chi parts of London, the South East, Central Scotland, and South Wales. So let's get on with it!

A Double Farewell

Farewell, then, Shotley Bridge Hospital. Anyone doubting that Hilary Armstrong was planning to retire, here at last is conclusive proof. Of course, she won't actually announce it until so late that the National Executive Committee can parachute in some London clone. But the decision has clearly been made. Hilary could not retire - nay, she could not die - until her life's work, the destruction of Shotley Bridge Hospital, was complete. And now, it very soon will be.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Northern Rock: Where Is The Southern Rock?

Things would be so much better if that reassuring, naturally respect-commanding George Osborne were at the Treasury. Don't you reckon...?

UPDATE 6:48 PM: ConservativeHome has removed my remark, in response to a criticism of Osborne, that the poor oik can't help it, since his father is a mere baronet, he himself is only Saint Paul's, and he therefore only scraped into the Buller by the skin of his teeth, a mistake such as it is not likely to repeat. Can anyone see a problem with that? If so, then what is it?

The Need For A New Party

Anyone who still doubts it, see here. I found this story just after I finally sent off for the registration form from the Electoral Commission. It should arrive tomorrow. And I shall, of course, be writing to Mr Wareing: we could have an MP in this Parliament.

The End Of The Lib Dems

It is a matter of record that Menzies Campbell had wanted to support the Iraq War, but Charles Kennedy stopped him. Paddy Ashdown supported it, and the Lib Dems had of course pioneered support for neocon wars under him, enthusiastically cheering on the dismemberment of Yugoslavia.

Together with the neoliberal economics that leads to it and which provides its only rationale, neconservative geopolitics is the coming force among the Lib Dems, along with Euroscepticism (jolly good, though incompatible with neoliberal economics or neoconservative geopolitics).

And, I confidently predict, along with opposition to the former Holy Grail of the Single Transferable Vote for multimember constituencies (again, jolly good), as the penny drops about just how ill-served the Lib Dem heartlands of the West Country, the North and South of Scotland, and Mid-Wales would be by such a system.

It is also possible that Highland, Island, Border and Mid-Welsh disaffection with the Central Scottish Parliament and the South Welsh Assembly, as well as the Alliance Party's disaffection with the DUP-Sinn Fein carve-up at Stormont, might turn the Lib Dems into (jolly good) hardline Unionists.

All in all, the Lib Dems as we have known them are finished.

Monday, 17 September 2007

Bernard Kouchner: Warmonger

Neil Clark says it all. As an anonymous comment on a previous post says, it is good to see Neil still being published. But that is not enough: his defamers and persecuters must be banned by the media. Likewise, it is not enough that, say, John Denham or Mark Malloch Brown is now in government: Kouchner and his British, American, Australian and other accomplices must be kicked out of public life.

Allan Bloom Deserves Better Than The Neocons

See here.

"Too many conservatives deny that the free markets and wars they promote unleash the free morals they decry." Indeed so. And the people who tried to instill something of the Bloomian spirit in me, as best they could in the system constructed by That Woman (the Philistine's Philistine), were firmly on the Left in the really meaningful sense of the word.

It's Official: The Lib Dems Are Part Of The One Party

Iain Dale reports:

"Interestingly, Ming pointed out that the then-elections chief Lord Razzall was in constant talks with Labour regarding our targeting strategy and how we might both target the Conservatives. Although I’m not surprised, I have to say it is the first I’ve heard of this. It feels a little uncomfortable to learn that we were in strategic discussions with the war-mongers, but then the Tories were wannabe war-mongers and were running under the most rightwing manifesto in recent memory (written by David Cameron, lest we forget). Either way, if our strategy was to work with Labour to maximise the marginal Lib-Con seats that we won, it was a pretty poor one. Most of our significant gains were against Labour. I’m sure Labour supporters in places such as, say, Manchester Withington, will be delighted to learn that their defeat was pre-arranged with their own party)."

There was no shortage of "wannabe warmongers" on the Lib Dem benches, Ming included. And doubtless, the Lib Dems were doing the same thing with the Tories "against" Labour in the South. Not to mention Labour doing it with the Tories "against" the Lib Dems in places like the West Country.

Is there anyone who still doubts that Britain is now a one-party state? If so, then they should be committed.

Scum

Much to my annoyance, I have had to re-enable comment moderation because, yet again, this blog is being assailed by those who would libel Neil Clark by repeating the lies (i.e., the utterances, simply by definition) of Oliver Kamm, Stephen Pollard, and other such vermin. Neil's critics supported the Iraq War. Have you got that? So they are lying, blood-sucking scum, and so is anyone who sides with them. Simple as that.

1974 And All That?

With the Lib Dems promising a referendum on EU membership, might Enoch Powell live again in the forms in Simon Heffer, Peter Hitchens, Janet Daley, et al? This one could run and run, and really could kill off the Conservative Party once and for all at the next Election.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Farewell, John Reid

A very good after-dinner speaker, in my experience. Yes, a classic ex-Communist neocon who never properly recanted his past, whether as the Communist Party’s enforcer in Stirling Students’ Union (with its large cash turnover) or well into adult life, all at the height of the Cold War. Yes, therefore, a warmonger and a significant danger to liberty.

But also pro-life up to a very considerable point, and a force for the Union both in Scotland and in Northern Ireland. He is spot on about the Human Rights Act. And who would not sympathise with anyone who reasonably felt robbed by the insistence that Gordon Brown was incomparable, and uniquely capable of being Prime Minister? At any level, claims of that kind are always wrong, and believing them enough to act on them always ends in tears.

Yes, He Really Did Say That

On Any Questions, Magnus Linklater of The Times really did say that the poverty in the developing world was caused by climate change. Anything – absolutely anything at all – to arrest or reverse economic development there, to prevent the restoration of proper working-class employment in the developed world, and to re-restrict travel to the rich.

Trust

Of course, there isn’t going to be any arrangement whereby commercial broadcasters receive a share of the television license fee for “public service programming”. I suppose that this is probably just as well: as with, say, State funding of political parties, who would decide what qualified and what didn’t, by what means would the decide this, and on what criteria?

And would such programming include the Party Conferences, now only held at all because the BBC still agrees to televise them, although even it now confines most of the coverage to BBC Parliament?

Instead, elect the Trustees. In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each of the nine English regions, licence-payers should each vote for up to one candidate, with the top two elected to serve a four-year term. There would also be a Chairman, appointed by the Secretary of State with the approval of the House of Commons.

The Trustees would meet in public under any circumstance when a local council would do so. And the candidates would be sufficiently independent to qualify in principle for the Remuneration Panels of their local authorities.

This pattern should also be applied, with everyone having a vote, to Ofcom, to the Press Complaints Commission, and to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, just for a start.

Quite

One "GoodFairy" comments, on the Guardian's Comment Is Free site:

"Get a grip folks! What did Thatcher ever do to match the slaughter of a million Iraqis that Brown is guilty of?

It's she who should have refused to meet the Butcher of Basra on moral grounds."


Quite.

Why Is My Blog In German?

When I blog something, it now says "Blog anzeigen (in einem neuen Fenster)". Something similar happens when I post comments on other people's blog. There's no problem actually publishing anything, and the spell check and everything else are still in English. But why is this happening? And how can I put it right?

The Lib Dem Call For A Referendum On EU Membership

The Tory bloggers are up in arms. Because, of course, the Lib Dems would all campaign for a Yes vote if the question were staying in, or for a No vote if the question were withdrawal. The Tories, on the other and, would probably split organically, with Cameron's federalist zeal (as proclaimed on Newsnight not so long ago) exposed, and with mass defections to UKIP or to a new party.

Because Some People Still Don't Get It

Oh, do get a grip! What, exactly, was “Thatcherism”? What did she ever actually do? Well, she gave Britain the Single European Act, the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the replacement of O-levels with GCSEs, and the destruction of paternal authority within working-class families and communities through the destruction of that authority’s economic basis in the stockades of working-class male employment.

No Prime Minister, ever, has done more in any one, never mind all, of the causes of European federalism, Irish Republicanism, sheer economic incompetence, Police inefficiency and ineffectiveness, collapsing educational standards, and everything that underlies or follows from the destruction of paternal authority.

Meanwhile (indeed, thereby), the middle classes were transformed from people like her father into people like her son. She told us that “there is no such thing as society”, in which case there cannot be any such thing as the society that is the family, or the society that is the nation. Correspondingly, she misdefined liberty as the “freedom” to behave in absolutely any way that one saw fit. All in all, she turned Britain into the country that Marxists had always said it was, even though, before her, it never actually had been.

Specifically, she sold off national assets at obscenely undervalued prices, while subjecting the rest of the public sector (forty per cent of the economy) to an unprecedented level of central government dirigisme. She presided over the rise of Political Correctness, that most 1980s of phenomena, and so much of piece with that decade’s massively increased welfare dependency and its moral chaos, both fully sponsored by the government, and especially by the Prime Minister, of the day.

Hers was the war against the unions, which cannot have had anything to do with monetarism, since the unions have never controlled the money supply. For good or ill, but against all her stated principles, hers was the refusal (thank goodness, but then I am no “Thatcherite”) to privatise the Post Office, as her ostensible ideology would have required.

And hers were the continuing public subsidies to fee-paying schools, to agriculture, to nuclear power, and to mortgage-holders. Without those public subsidies, the fourth would hardly have existed, and the other three (then as now) would not have existed at all. So much for “You can’t buck the market”. You can now, as you could then, and as she did then.

You know this from experience if that experience extends to any one or more of fee-paying schools, agriculture (or, at least, land ownership), nuclear power, and mortgage holding. The issue is not whether these are good or bad things in themselves. It is whether “Thatcherism”, as ordinarily and noisily proclaimed (or derided), was compatible with their continuation by means of “market-bucking” public subsidies. It simply was not, as it simply is not.

Hers was the ludicrous pretence to have brought down the Soviet Union merely because she happened to be in office when that Union happened to collapse, as it would have done anyway, in accordance with the predictions of (among other people) Enoch Powell. But she did make a difference internationally where it was possible to do so, precisely by providing aid and succour to Pinochet’s Chile and to apartheid South Africa. I condemn the former as I condemn Castro, and I condemn the latter as I condemn Mugabe (or Ian Smith, for that matter). No doubt you do, too. But she did not, as she still does not.

And hers was what amounted to the open invitation to Argentina to invade the Falkland Islands, followed by the (starved) Royal Navy’s having to behave as if the hopelessly out-of-her-depth Prime Minister did not exist, a sort of coup without which those Islands would be Argentine to this day.

There are many other aspects of any “Thatcherism” properly so called, and they all present her in about as positive a light. None of them, nor any of the above, was unwitting, forced on her by any sort of bullying, or whatever else her apologists might insist was the case. Rather, they were exactly what she intended.

Other than the subsidies to agriculture (then as now) and to nuclear power (now, if not necessarily then), I deplore and despise every aspect of her above record and legacy, for unashamedly Old Labour reasons. Indeed, the definition of New Labour is to support and to celebrate that record and legacy, because it did exactly as it was intended to do, entrenching, in and through the economic sphere, the social revolution of the 1960s. You should not so support or celebrate unless you wish to be considered New Labour.

But then again, who cares these days? Or, rather, who really ought to care? When the next General Election is upon us, people will have the vote who were not born when she was removed from office in order to restore the public order that had broken down because of what, in her allegedly paradigmatic United States, would have been her unconstitutional Poll Tax. At that Election, post-Thatcher teenagers will first enter Parliament in some numbers, a few being already there. And by the time of the Election after that, she will be dead.

Get over her!

Mutual Feeling

By the time that the mutual building societies were turning themselves into banks, our lords and masters had heard of trade unions and knew that they hated them (none more so than those who were financially dependent on them), but had no concept of co-operatives, credit unions, mutual guarantee societies or friendly societies.

They certainly had no idea that the building societies were part of this wider movement, including the unions, and entirely consistently built into the fabric of the extension of property ownership.

So they just let the building societies go, assuming that they were just another, if quirkily British, part of capitalism anyway. They were not. And the effects of this ruling ignorance are now being felt in earnest.

Liberal Democracy Deserves Better

What to make of the Lib Dems as their Conference looms? Theirs is a wholly inadequate vehicle for any of the vitally important traditions from which they derive: of Gladstone, carefully re-appropriated in the light of his own “Four Doctors”, namely Aristotle, Augustine, Dante and Joseph Butler; of Keynes, Beveridge, and the One Nation politician’s One Nation politician, Lloyd George.

Yet the cause of opposition to the neoconservative war agenda is an important one, though not one for which the rising faction among the Lib Dems will continue to fight. The cause of opposition to the pointless “renewal” of Trident is an important one (and an important reminder that Labour policy towards nuclear weapons had absolutely nothing to do with the creation of the SDP), although the Lib Dems have failed to get their act together properly on this one.

The cause of defending civil liberties is an important one. I have come to see that the causes of an elected second chamber and of changing how MPs are chosen are important ones, although I am profoundly opposed to the specific Lib Dem proposals on these matters.

And the cause of representing systematically marginalised and ignored areas such as the West Country, Mid-Wales, the North and South of Scotland, Northumberland, Merseyside, the more rural parts of Lancashire and County Durham, and parts of London like Southwark and Bermondsey, is an important one.

The people of those and comparable areas, those who want to make our parliamentary system genuinely representative (which must mean all of us), those who want to defend and restore civil liberties (likewise), those who would and do oppose Trident “renewal”, and those who would and do oppose the neoconservative war agenda (and thus neoconservatism itself) are among the many, many, many constituencies now crying for the re-emergence of one or more proper political movements in place of the present hopeless, useless One Party. The Lib Dems might pretend that they are not part of that One Party, but in fact they are its licensed pretend-dissidents, to keep up the illusion that it faces some sort of opposition.

If you want it to face real opposition that it desperately needs and richly deserves, and not least if you fall into any one or more of the above categories, then what are you doing about it?

Friday, 14 September 2007

"Maggie Back In Number 10", And All That

I was going to link to all my previous posts on how wildly overrated Margaret Thatcher is by Left and Right alike. But then I saw just how many of them there were. Yet there will doubtless be more to come. At the end of the day, assuming that there ever is another General Election (see other posts passim), people will have the vote at the next one who were not born when she left office. And by the time of the one after that, she will be dead. Get over her!

The Political Class

Superb. At last, someone has said this in the mainstream media.

Zimbabwe

The Movement for Democratic Change, Archbishop Pius Ncube, and all other concerned Zimbabweans should issue an appeal to all their fellow-subjects of "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Zimbabwe and of her other Realms and Territories", to aid them in overthrowing the usurpatious tyrant, Robert Mugabe. Is it conceivable that we would not then go to their aid?

The Lib Dems Want To Abolish The NHS

Whatever happened to "free at the point of need"? And wasn't Beveridge a Liberal?

Emily's List, Indeed

Following Clarissa Dickson Wright's "revelation" in last week's Spectator that Blair was known as Miranda in his youth (which youth was he in? - boom, boom!), a letter appears in this week's edition from one Cameron Lees of Stirling, intimating that Blair was known at Fettes as Emily.

You know, I really had thought that this would be one of those that remained for ever unmentioned in the mainstream media. But apparently not. I wonder why not?

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Jolly Voting Weather

Votes, votes, votes: voting at the last General Election, voting in Parliament on whether or not to hold a referendum on the EU Constitreaty, voting in that referendum should it happen, voting at the next General Election.

When the House of Commons votes on whether or not to hold a referendum, into which division lobby will Patrick Mercer and John Bercow go? Indeed, how will they and Matthew Taylor be voting on anything once Parliament reconvenes? And will Labour candidates be stood against them at the next General Election? If so, then what could those candidates possibly have to say for themselves?

Burden

Fight for the Burden sisters, elderly spinsters who share a house and are demanding the same inheritance rights as civil partners.

The failure of the original legislation to provide for this proves, as if proof were needed, that the point of that measure was to privilege homosexuality on the specious basis that it is an identity comparable to ethnicity or class, or even to sex (which is written into every cell of the body).

That legislation must be amended immediately to allow unmarried relatives to register their partnerships, which already do not have to be consumated in the sense that marriage does, partly because of course they cannot be, a fact which speaks volumes.

Whoops Baghdad

A few evenings ago, BBC Four screened two programmes from the old BBC Two Reputations series. Funnily enough, they made the same startling revelation about their two respective subjects, Frankie Howerd and Liberace. Can you guess what it was?

Anyway, the Howerd programme featured a rarely-shown clip from Whoops Baghdad, essentially Up Pompeii but set against the backdrop of the Caliphate. Well, they couldn't make that today, could they? But they really should re-make Whoops Baghdad, or at least make something with that title, giving Frankie Howerd's part (so to speak) to the much camper Miranda Blair.

Tough On Crime?

This article of Neil Clark's is so good that I'm posting it here in full:

Nick Cohen is right.

It's not a sentence I often write, but it's true all the same. No, don't worry, I'm not referring to Nick's wholly misguided support for the invasion of Iraq, but his Observer article on the government's complacency towards violent crime.

In the piece, Nick takes schools minister Ed Balls to task for trying to play down fears on rising juvenile crime and for claiming that "every generation has always had kids that get into trouble."

Balls' complacency reminded me of the line taken by Joe Bullman's recent Channel 4 series, The Seven Sins of England, which claimed that "binge-drinking, rudeness, violence, hooliganism, slaggishness, consumerism and bigotry" were not modern phenomena, but an ancient and integral part of our national heritage.

But the truth is that things were not always as bad as they are today. For most of the 20th century, Britain was a peaceful, law-abiding country, noted by foreign visitors for the gentle behaviour of its inhabitants. The introduction of a modern police force and an efficient criminal justice system, the extension of compulsory state education and the strong moral guidance provided by institutions such as Sunday school, had all made an impact on reducing lawlessness by the late 19th century.

Things got even better in the 1940s. Social conservatism was combined with economic socialism and produced a genuinely cohesive, unmaterialistic society, where people could walk the streets at any time of day or night without fear of attack. Murder, when it did occur, was so rare that it was invariably front-page news, as were armed robberies: in 1949, there were just 28 armed robberies in the whole of the Metroplitian police region.

The main reason why so many media pundits and politicians are so complacent regarding violent crime is because, by and large, they do not live in the inner-city areas where crime is such a problem. Neither are they from the social class most affected by crime.

Rather than acknowledge the extent of the problem, sections of the liberal-left instead peddle the increasingly unsustainable line that violent crime is a figment of the Daily Mail's imagination. But as Nick Cohen says, if anything, with 300 murders a year more than in the 1970s, the media can just as well be accused of ignoring crime, as whipping up unnecessary fear.

The liberal-left's head-in-the-sand approach fails the very people the left is supposed to represent: the working class. It also prevents discussion - and implementation - of some of the socialist, soliarity-building measures that could be introduced to reduce crime: most importantly, the urgent need to rein in today's rapacious turbo-capitalist system, which, by encouraging selfishness and materialism, has done so much to destroy the camaraderie that once existed.

I'm sure that if there were more working-class representation in parliament and the media, things would be different. Contrast the comments of the middle-class New Labour minister Ed Balls (son of an academic and civil servant, educated at Nottingham High School and Keble College, Oxford) with those of Bob Wareing, the working-class "Old" Labour MP for Liverpool West Derby, in whose constituency the family of Rhys Jones, the recently murdered 11-year-old, lives. Responding to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith's calls for a gun amnesty, Wareing said:


"Does she honestly believe the people capable of perpetrating this terrible crime are going to hand over their guns? Of course they're not. We need far more resources for the police. If you walk around Croxteth, you will hardly see a policeman. We need to see them on the ground because we have got to crush this gang culture".

Wareing went on to call for new curbs on violent films that glorify gang culture, and said that Conservative leader David Cameron was right to focus on the need to tackle Britain's "broken society".

In the past, the Labour party was full of MPs like Bob Wareing (a local man, the son of a lorry driver, educated at state school, with an extra-mural degree from London University). Today, it is full of people like Ed Balls. Therein lies the problem.


Quite. I'd only add that Balls is part of the massive, but almost entirely unremarked upon, Oxonian domination of the present Cabinet, which is as Oxford as John Major's was Cambridge. Major might have had his famously humble roots, and Brown might appear the same way to Fleet Street and the BBC, since he is Scottish and holds non-Oxbridge degrees (are they not a contradiction in terms?). But Major was surrounded by Cambridge men, while Brown has an Oxonian husband and wife, a pair of eye-wateringly highborn Oxonian brothers, and many more besides.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Prostitution

By all means let it be made a criminal offence for any person above the age of consent (which should be raised to 18) to buy, or attempt to buy, sex. And let it also be made be made a criminal offence, with an equal sentence, for any person above that age to sell, or attempt to sell, sex. Since the former are usually men and the latter usually women, are women morally and intellectually equal to men, or not?

Sunday, 9 September 2007

You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Chains

John Hutton reportedly “warns” the unions that they should not take for granted their links to the Labour Party. As Hutton almost certainly does not know, over half of the unions affiliated to the TUC have never been affiliated to the Labour Party. He might know that membership of the TUC’s General Council has always been a bar to membership of Labour’s National Executive Committee. And he undoubtedly knows that there has been a spate of disaffiliations in recent years.

The unions have done particularly badly (and that is saying quite something) out of Gordon Brown’s move to a National Government. No union figure has been raised to the peerage in order to be given so much as an advisory position, never mind a ministerial one. Meanwhile, numerous union-sponsored MPs have been pointedly passed over in favour of Lib Dems, Tories, non-political figures, and the former Director-General of the CBI. (Comrade Digby is on record as having voted both Tory and Lib Dem in his time, but never having voted Labour. He still has a vote in local and European elections. How is he going to cast it, and why?)

The unions should tell their insolent dependents such as Hutton and Brown to sling their hooks. They should instead come up with ten dream policies and offer ten per cent funding to any parliamentary candidate (regardless of party, if any) who signed up to each of them, minus ten per cent for failure to rule out each of ten nightmare policies. Would there be the Private “Finance” Initiative, or Public-Private “Partnerships”, or real terms pay cuts for public servants, if this were the system in operation? Well, there you are, then.

Hitler's Revenge, And How To Prevent It

How I was scorned here and elsewhere a couple of months ago for pointing out a few home truths about what Israeli society was now like. But now, to apparently universal shock yet entirely predictably, an Israeli neo-Nazi gang has been discovered.

Over half of Israeli Jews are now Sephardic, with little or no ethnic memory of the Holocaust, but rather culturally Arab, while the Israeli Arabs ordinarily so called continue to grow at a far healthier rate than do the ageing, dying Ashkenazi Zionists. Put these two factors together, and Israel is simply reverting to membership of a much older, deeper and wider Levantine society of Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Druze Arabs, with its capital (insofar as it has one) at Damascus; Greater Syria, if you will. That, in turn, will be a very significant and welcome force for pan-Arabism against “political Islam”.

The Ashkenazim could prevent this by the simple expedient of having children. They are not doing so, and they are not going to do so. Indeed, the single most common name for new born baby boys within Israel’s pre-1967 borders is now Muhammad.

Is there an alternative? Well, if it can be so described, then it has now made itself abundantly clear. The Law of Return, the touchstone of Zionism, is flooding Israel with resolutely Russian-speaking pork sausage munchers of the most tenuous Jewishness, who are at best Christians, and in some cases violent Nazis. This is impossible to arrest without repealing the Law of Return. (On the ever-expanding lists of Book That I Will Write Eventually is a study of the post-War political impact, right up to the present day, of each of the foreign divisions of the SS and Waffen SS, even leaving aside the persistent rumours of British and American divisions, some of whose members would presumably still be alive. Of course, I’ll first have to teach myself to read German properly.)

Thus is dying the Zionist project, not dramatically as a result of an Iranian or Iraqi nuking, but slowly, though determinedly and irreversibly. The question now is who will inherit the spoils. The little Muhammads? Or the Little Hitlers? It will be one or the other. I know which I’d prefer, and I know which anyone who still thinks that the Holocaust is important ought to prefer. Do they? If so, then they must repeal the Law of Return, thereby consigning Zionism to the history books.

Mind Your Language

Tomorrow, Miami will host a bilingual debate among contenders for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

Admittedly, it is unlikely that anyone from the traditional white or African-American working class would ever have made it as far as participation in any such debate, just as it is that anyone from the traditional white or Afro-Caribbean working class would ever be a contender for Leader of the Labour Party.

But what if someone from the former background really had made it that far? This enforced bilingualism, a product of the “free” market’s need for unrestricted immigration, would have been the end of that. What has been done in eighty per cent English-speaking Wales, what is being done in areas with larger than average (but never remotely majoritarian) Asian populations, and what is being done where the Poles are now most concentrated (though, again, never remotely in the majority), is being done to the United States on a nation-wide basis.

Beating Fred Thompson

Jim Webb. Has to be. Make Squire Lance his running mate and sweep the board with the real, restored Democratic Party of America’s natural majority: economically “populist” (social democratic in all but name), morally and socially conservative, and implacably hostile to the neoconservative foreign policy agenda, to the neoconservative domestic war against civil liberties, to the neoconservative contrivance and cultivation of a client Hispanic ghetto, to the real neoconservative hostility to Christianity, indeed to every feature of neoconservatism.

Be An Eeyore No More

“They’d vote for a donkey round here if it had a red rosette on it.” Would they really?

If so, then I hope that you are very pleased that people in safe Labour seats live for 15 fewer years than do their contemporaries in safe Tory seats. I hope that you are thrilled with your boarded up shop fronts, your burnt out cars and your children playing in skips, all much more common than 10 years ago (and they were common enough then). I hope that you are delighted that the incomes of the poorest fifth of the population (fully 12 million people) have gone down since 1997. And I hope that, here in North West Durham, you are ecstatic that all hospital provision within the constituency is finally coming to an end.

If you’d vote for a donkey, then you are a donkey. Are you?

Can You Feel It?

Neil Clark not only plugs my comments on Peter Hitchens (very many thanks, Neil), but also writes:

The journalist and author Peter Hitchens (the Hitchens brother who's got the brains) has a penned a thought provoking article on what is wrong with today's Britain and how we can put it right.

The basic problem is that in the last forty years Britain has overdosed on both social and economic libertinism.

Social libertinism begets economic libertinism and vice versa: Roy Jenkins and Margaret Thatcher may have been political opponents, but were really two sides of the same coin.

Today, the millions of Britons who are moderate social conservatives, but who don't believe that 'market forces' should rule every aspect of our lives, are effectively disenfranchised. What is needed is a new mass movement/political party, which combines moderate social conservatism (emphasis on the family, personal morality, prioritising on social cohesion above economic 'growth', tougher prison sentences, bans on the sale of violent video games/violent rap music), with measures to rein in the pernicious effects of turbo capitalism.

We need to combine all that was good and decent about the 'old', sovereigntist left, with all that was good and decent about the 'old' sovereigntist right. We urgently need to restore our country's independence and work on a commonly agreed popular programme of national, democratic renewal. Such a programme would include such sovereignty-restoring measures as withdrawal from the EU, NATO and WTO; bringing public transport and the utilities back into public ownership, drastically reducing the gap between rich and poor, and re-introducing capital punishment for murder.

Back in 2003, I wrote of the urgent need for an old left-old right anti-war alliance. But it's not just to stop the neo-cons and their 'liberal' interventionist allies that we need such a realignment. We need it to save our society too.


Pity about the capital punishment bit, I know. But something is stirring. Something big.

Your Country Needs YOU

Yet more withdrawals from Iraq. Have they waited to be ordered out by our politicians? If so, why? Those who have sworn allegiance to the Queen have done so in the context of Parliament’s right to determine the succession to the Throne, and within that of the establishment of the primacy of the House of Commons, which has itself come to be elected by universal adult suffrage. Thus, they have really sworn allegiance to the People.

However, thanks to the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act, there need never now be another such election. And even if there were, there would be no real purpose to it, since the political parties are now exactly the same not just ideologically but, at the top levels, even organisationally.

Those who have sworn allegiance to the People, embodied by the Queen, should bring themselves back from the two pointless wars to which they have been sent, at least one of which is undoubtedly illegal. Instead, they should be doing their duty and attending to the removal of those who have staged a coup against the People, and thus against the Queen.

On Still Saying No

This is my nine hundredth post.

So Ian Paisley is to be removed as Moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster (not to be confused with the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland)? The split in the DUP is obviously on its way.

But then, well might not only as good as every Protestant in Northern Ireland, but also up to every second (and certainly every third) Catholic there, be incandescent at the loosening of the Union that they rightly identify as their country.

And well might everyone, both throughout the United Kingdom and throughout Ireland, be incandescent at the welcoming into the government of Northern Ireland of those, rightly regarded as pariahs in the Republic, who believe that sovereignty throughout Ireland resides in the Provisional Army Council, of which several of them are members, and which would be disbanded if any such claim were no longer being made.

An Elected Second Chamber

I have been asked, in an anonymous comment on an earlier post, whether I am in favour of an elected second chamber.

Well, I never used to be. Such a chamber would be a challenge to the authority of the House of Commons. Attlee made do perfectly well without it, and it might well have made his government’s life very difficult. There are so much more important things to do. A replacement “elected” from closed party lists is too hideous to contemplate. And the House of Lords does a much better job than does the House of Commons when it comes to including women, ethnic minorities, people with a diverse range of views, people from working-class backgrounds, and people with really strong links to the North, the Midlands, the West Country or East Anglia.

But I have come to see that the House of Commons needs a challenge to its authority: a challenge to it to exercise that authority. I wish that the present House of Lords could be empowered to do the things that I am going to set out, but, alas, that is no longer politically feasible. We need a Senate which can indeed be so empowered.

Empowered to exercise the current functions of the Lords in relation to the Commons, but also to exercise those same functions in relation to the devolved bodies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Empowered to propose amendments to Money Bills, for acceptance or otherwise by the Commons.

Empowered to question any Minister (ordinarily by means of regular Question Time sessions), with no Minister drawn from it. Empowered to compel the Commons to vote on any EU legislation previously nodded through on the pestilential principle of “negative resolution”. And empowered to require a referendum on any Constitutional Bill as already identified for procedural purposes by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The main electoral units would be the 99 areas having Lords Lieutenants (and conveniently called different things in each of the four parts of the United Kingdom). These differ enormously in population, but that is perfectly normal for the units employed to elect second chambers. Electors would vote for one candidate (who would themselves have to be electors in the constituency) by means of an X, and the top five would be declared elected at the end, giving 495 in all.

Lest it be alleged that this would create at least 352 utterly safe seats, including all 30 seats in Northern Ireland, parties would select their candidates by the means that I have set out in the past: the two nominees of the most branches (including of affiliated organisations in Labour’s or any of its successors’ case) would be put to a binding ballot of all registered voters in the constituency. Candidates thus selected would be excused the need to secure nomination by five per cent of the electorate, the requirement that would otherwise replace the deposit for this and all other elections.

Furthermore, preserving the vitally necessary Cross Bench element, each elector would have the right to nominate up to one Independent candidate. In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and each of the nine English regions, the eight candidates (themselves registered electors there) with the most such nominations would be put to an election as above: vote for one candidate, and the top five will be declared elected at the end. In like manner, the whole country would elect 10 Cross Benchers from a list of 15. There would thus always be at least 70 Cross Benchers.

Finally, with what to replace the bishops? Are the bishops there to embody the nation’s Christian heritage, an undeniable fact and with which seventy-two per cent of Britons identified at the last census? Or are they there to embody the population’s moral and spiritual values, a their predecessors undoubtedly did when they were first called to Parliament? People are never going to agree on this one, so we should give effect to both aspirations.

Scotland, Northern Ireland, the North East, the North West, Yorkshire and The Humber, and the East Midlands would comprise the Northern Area; Wales, the West Midlands, the South West, the South East, the East of England, and Greater London would comprise the Southern Area. In each area, people would vote for up to one (strictly non-partisan) candidate to embody the nation’s Christian heritage, and for up to one (strictly non-partisan, presumably non-Christian) candidate to embody moral and spiritual values in general. In each category and area, the top six (of the 10 with the most nominations) would be declared elected.

This gives an overall total of 589 Senators. The term of office would be a fixed six years, and the pay and expenses would be fixed at those of MPs. With the powers set out above, this Senate would be well worth having. Without any one or more of them, it would not be.

Justice For England, Indeed

This is of course absolutely right about education, health, and pensioners. But an English Parliament would just be a distraction from those and other tasks. Instead, the injustices listed here, which are in fact breaches of the Treaty of Union’s guarantee of equal subjecthood throughout the United Kingdom, should be redressed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom. That redress could easily be paid for by reductions in the block grant to the Scottish Parliament, which, after all, has fiscal powers of its own, but as yet has never felt any need to use them.

National Service, A Force For Peace?

I am not in favour of military National Service, which would compromise the professionalism of the Armed Forces, and which, divisively and thus contrary to National Service’s purpose, would have to be accompanied by an alternative for conscientious objectors. But I only ask, might it not have been a force for peace, with the Forces intimately connected to every family in the land, disinclining those families to support wars, or to support politicians who supported wars? As I say, I only ask.

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Make Northern Money Talk

In answer to an anonymous comment on my post about how the North East and Merseyside are treated as outside the loop, I propose an association of members, each paying an annual subscription as the core around which to organise further fund-raising.

Across the historic counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland, each locality's smallest local authority above Parish or Town level would be "twinned", for the association's purposes, with an authority of comparable population in Scotland, another such in Wales, and a third in London or the South East.

The aim would be for not less than equality between the Northern area and each of its three "twins" in employment, in wages, in incomes overall, and in both spending and outcomes in relation to each of education, training, health, social services, housing, transport, law and order, and culture, media and sport.

In every year when this was the case across all the areas in question, then the monies raised would be divided equally among the offices of all MPs. But in any year when it was not thus the case, then those monies would be divided equally among the members as a sort of dividend.

Organisation on the same model should also be set up in the Midlands, in the West Country, in East Anglia, in Northern Ireland, in the North of Scotland, in the South of Scotland, and in North, Mid and West Wales. And all these organisations should co-operate as closely as possible with each other.

Much Better Than His Brother, Or Indeed Anyone Else With A Comparable Profile In Britain Today

Having given an overview of Britain's current ills, Peter Hitchens writes:

How to address this? The proper conservative has to be modest about what can be done, how fast it can be done, and remember that there are strong limits on a lawful government.

In those terms, this is a "proper conservative" country which accordingly used to have three "proper conservative" parties, but which now has none.

Many of these problems are so deep, and excite such strong feelings, that he must also be careful not to create passions which get out of control and which he cannot satisfy. Much of the problem lies in the consciences of individuals and will not be fixed until and unless a new John Wesley appears, who can find some way of remoralising a population that is at least as demoralised as it was in the 18th century. (One rather alarming possibility is that such a figure will appear, and he will be a Muslim, which should concentrate our minds).

I think that this is highly likely. Islam is already spreading like wildfire among Afro-Caribbean youth, and if the number of Muslims in the White British ethnic group alone (already well over sixty thousand) grew by an improbably small fifty per cent every ten years, then by 2100 there would be over a million of them. Now imagine that it grew by a possibly over-large, but nevertheless much more realistic, one hundred per cent every ten years: by 2100, there would be nearly 23 million of them. The truth is somewhere in the middle, but much closer to the latter figure than to the former given both the rapidly rising rate of conversions, and the birth rate to converts (including the all but legalised practice of polygamy: the benefit system now pays out specifically for polygamous partners). Yet that is just the White British section of British Muslims, a small minority of the total.

But a lot of what is necessary is the removal of obstacles which prevent people from living as they would like to, and as they ought. This must, in my view, begin with the reassertion of national legal independence, the right to make and enforce our own laws for ourselves. That means an unequivocal commitment to negotiate, as swiftly as possible, an amicable departure from the European Union. In my view, the majority of the population oppose EU rule over this country in practice - that is, they are angered and frustrated by their individual encounters with it. But they often do not realise that it is the EU that is responsible. The existence of a large and obviously responsible and coherent political party which advocates EU withdrawal would make that connection. One of the main reasons for a reluctance to favour departure is that voters see the leaders of the major parties united in favour of EU membership, and assume that they know something we don't. Not since Hugh Gaitskell has any significant or credible party leader taken a position in favour of national independence. Had any done so, support for departure would be much higher than it is. Level headed, unhysterical leadership, untainted by fake Churchillian rhetoric and linked to a serious programme on other issues, could quite easily climb over this barrier. It must, in any case, if it is to achieve anything.

Parliament could, by a stroke of the pen, legislate to restore the supremacy of British over EU law, to use 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 either of of our own Houses, that British Ministers are to adopt the show-stopping Empty Chair Policy until the Council of Ministers meets in public and publishes an Official Report akin to Hansard, for 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 for 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. If Parliament does not so legislate, then there is simply no point in having it.

One possible method would be to set out a programme, on issues across the whole area where the EU decides our laws, and to pursue each issue to the European Court of Justice to demonstrate the powerlessness of a British parliament inside the EU. And to behave at all times as if we were independent, and to draw noisy attention to the barriers which prevent us from being so. This would certainly educate the public, but it might also frustrate them and use valuable time. I think it should be the keystone of the manifesto, and that it should be explained why it had to be.

An admirable idea. Who will take it up?

The issue on which this is clearest is that of control of our own borders, our own right to decide who lives here. Nobody who claims to be serious can really argue that we should not have this right - though there can be much disagreement over how we should exercise it. There is no more fundamental or decisive security barrier against the threats we currently fear. There is no basis for a reconsideration of our immigration policy without an absolute control of our frontiers.

Hear, Hear!

The restoration of a British passport, and of a British citizenship giving an absolute right of entry and residence, seems to me to be a simple and clear illustration of what independence means, what you cannot have without it, and what you can have if you regain it.

That "absolute right" should extend to all Her Majesty's subjects, from whichever of Her Majesty's Realms and Territories. We currently grant unrestricted access to those from the EU, The White Man's Club, even if they are ageing Luftwaffe pilots or members of the Waffen SS, and even if they were, until as late as 1991, senior officials of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. But not to our own kith and kin (entirely regardless of colour). How despicable.

That is why both these issues should be prominent. Labour has long dreaded the existence of a party that could convincingly and respectably make this case, since large numbers of its current (and former) voters feel very strongly about this matter.

Indeed.

For that reason, the rest of the initial manifesto should bear in mind that it is the less well-off, the people living in the abandoned cities of the industrial areas or in the marginal suburbs, who may well be the main supporters of social conservatism. The old Tory upper middle class of independent professionals, educated at traditional schools and universities, has largely ceased to exist. There are middle class conservatives, but my guess is that they are these days at least equalled in numbers by middle class liberals and left-wingers - protected by affluence from many of the social consequences of left-wing policies.

Of course, such people are not really "left-wing" at all. The rest is spot on.

So the rest of the first programme should be aimed very clearly at helping the strivers, the responsible, the thrifty, the ones on the frontier. That means a series of simple measures on crime. They include the immediate repeal of the laws which prevent the police from patrolling effectively on foot, especially PACE 1984, and measures - probably based on budget allocations - putting severe pressure on chief constables to put their officers on such patrols by day and night.

Yes, Yes, Yes!

Longer term measures, like the breaking up of unwieldy large forces into smaller, truly local ones, would have to wait until a reform of local government in general, central to a revival of proper civic life, but necessarily a second-rank issue.

But must be done quite quickly, all the same.

The prison regime should also be reformed, and once again based on the old principle of 'due punishment of responsible persons', so that punishment, in the form of arduous labour, deprivation of luxuries and comforts etc, could once again take place in prison, with facilities such as TV sets and pool tables available only as a reward for long-term good behaviour. The legal position of prison officers would have to be altered, so that their authority, and ability to exercise it, is restored. Remission and early release should once again be dependent entirely on good behaviour, and never automatic.

Yes, Yes, Yes!

Penal policy on drugs should concentrate on possession, not on supply. Possession should be dealt with by a caution for a first offence, and three months imprisonment for a second. Effectively enforced, such a law should sharply reduce drug use and the criminal activities linked with it.

Yes, Yes, Yes!

Schools should all have their ability to discipline pupils restored. How far could we go in this? Personally I think corporal punishment would be hard to restore in the existing climate, but an absolute power of expulsion, probably to special schools with the power to detain unruly pupils at evenings and weekends, might be an effective alternative. In all such measures, we should seek for ingenuity and subtlety rather than crudity. A good example of this is Norman Tebbit's measures to control the trades unions. Rather than threats of prison, or stripping away privileges, the laws used a sort of judo. The unions' legal immunities were guaranteed - provided they introduced strike ballots and fair elections for their leaders, controlled unofficial strikes and ceased secondary pickets.

Well, I'm all for the professions protecting their standards, and I don't see why the trades shouldn't have been allowed to do the same, or shouldn't be allowed to do the same again. But Hitchens is right about schools.

As for the schools themselves, education reform should concentrate on ensuring a good basic education for the children of those who cannot afford private fees or postcode selection - and should be presented as such. This means the return of selection by merit on the German model, and the establishment, for the moment only in areas now blighted by bad comprehensives, of a first generation of new grammar schools whose aim is unequivocally to benefit the poor. This would obviously require serious reforms of the feeder primary schools, and would necessarily the construction of new technical and vocational schools of high standard, for those who did not qualify for an academic secondary education.

Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes....

No pledges, in my view, should be made for tax cuts at this stage. A society so heavily dependent on welfare needs to be weaned off it, and reformed so that it actually desires to come off it.

The Welfare State is a key weapon in defending all that conservatives wish to conserve, against the ravages of the "free" market. But Hitchens is right that there is nothing inherently conservative about cutting taxes: it all depends on what the money is for.

And gosh, is that the time? I have got almost nowhere and spent much of the day doing it. Imagine what it would be like getting even this modest programme through a sharply-divided Parliament in, say, four years. I hope for your interested criticisms and contributions.

As do I.

Friday, 7 September 2007

How About Being Friends Of The Earth's People?

Friends of the Earth against nuclear power? Well, I never! Why are the same people who care so much about global warming so hostile to nuclear power, also a source of high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs for the working class, as well as independence from London-loving Arab princes’ oil and London-based Russian oligarchs’ gas? Of course, I’ve answered my own question there.

After Kosovo, Where?

Here are the preposterous David Miliband and the despicable Bernard Kouchner banging the old, old drum for the never-ending dismemberment of Yugoslavia.

Of course, the idea of Kosovo as an sovereign state is completely preposterous, and Russia will rightly veto any attempt to give effect to it. But if it happened, then 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? And what of a number of cities in France, which are or very soon will be predominantly Muslim and non-Francophone?

If not, why not?

The McCanns Are Guilty Of This, At Least

I know what the McCanns are indisputably guilty of: leaving their three tiny children alone in an hotel room and heading off for a restaurant. If they had been nurses, then the media would have been vastly less sympathetic. If they had been a GP's receptionist and an ambulance driver, then their case would have been ignored completely. If they had been a hospital cleaner and a hospital porter, then they would have been torn apart. But they are doctors. So that's all right, then. Isn't it?

Nicely Settled Down

The SNP's legislative programme is worthy enough, but makes no mention of an independence referendum, nor of abolishing the Council Tax (the issue that probably decided the election). It is, overall, a thin affair, most notable for sound, but hardly earth-shattering, populist measures such as the abolition of tolls on the Forth and Tay Bridges.

All in all, Alex Salmond has settled down nicely into a rhetorically pseudo-nationalistic British satrap of the old imperial kind. The K is in the bag, the Big P on retirement likewise assured. Indeed, why doesn't Gordon Brown extend his Big Tent yet further and give either Salmond, or at least someone from the SNP's ruling clique, a job?

And could there now be anything that Sir Alex (or is it His Lordship?) would want less than Scottish independence?

But Why?

Johan Eliasch is giving up his Conservative Party membership, apparently. But why is he bothering to do that? He is clearly a member of the Real Ruling Party, the One Party in this one-party state, anyway.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Now Do You Get It?

Patrick Mercer's only byline on Newsnight last night was "Government Security Adviser". There was no mention of the fact that he's a Tory, and no member of the Labour Party took part in the discussion. Mercer is a member both of the Government and of the Conservative Party, and no one in the elite thinks that this is remotely odd.

Are Labour candidates going to be stood against Mercer, John Bercow and Matthew Taylor? If so, why, and what on earth would they have to say for themselves?

Yes, Britain is now a one-party state. What are you going to do about it, while you still can?

Protect Impressionable Minds

The first item on last night's Newsnight was a "report" from a "right-leaning think tank" called "the Centre for Social Cohesion". That "Centre" is not a think tank. It is a person. Specifically, it is Douglas Murray, a neoconservative poster boy who is too rich to need to work, and who pretends to direct this "Centre" in order to give himself some sort of byline for media purposes.

Anyway, this "report" was about the earth-shattering pressence on the public library bookshelves of Tower Hamlets of works by figures such as Abu Ala Maududi, Syed Qutb and Muhammad bin Adbul al-Wahhab. There, you see, they might be read by common people. Understandably, Newsnight was as outraged as Douglas Murray ... sorry, I mean as outraged as "the Centre for Social Cohesion".

There followed a studio discussion featuring the Sufi Muslim Council, on which body see here and here. Of course, neoconservatism's close links to "militant Islam" (the only kind that there can ever be) extend not only to Maududi's Pakistan, to Qutb's Egypt and to al-Wahhab's Saudi Arabia, but also to the Sufi Chechens, to the Sufi Karimov regime in Uzbekistan, and to Turkey's ruling AKP, with its enormous Sufi electorate.

As to the question of whether those who advocate and practise separatism and dual civil loyalties should be stocked by our public libraries, if not, then we should introduce an immediate blanket ban on anything by any of the original signatories to the Project for the New American Century: Elliott Abrams, Gary Bauer, William J. Bennett, Jeb Bush, Dick Cheney, Eliot A. Cohen, Midge Decter, Paula Dobriansky, Steve Forbes, Aaron Friedberg, Francis Fukuyama, Frank Gaffney, Fred C. Ikle, Donald Kagan, Zalmay Khalilzad, the convicted felon I. Lewis Libby, Norman Podhoretz, Dan Quayle, Peter W. Rodman, Stephen P. Rosen, Henry S. Rowen, Donald Rumsfeld, Vin Weber, George Weigel, and the cast-iron crook Paul Wolfowitz.

Also, anything by the Patrons of The Henry Jackson Society: Hubertus Hoffmann, Bruce P. Jackson, Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, Vytautas Landsbergis, Clifford May, Michael McFaul, Joshua Muravchik, Richard Perle, Jack Sheehan, Elbegdorj Tsakhia, Michael Stürmer, and James Woolsey.

One could add others, of course: Max Shachtman, Leo Strauss, Ayn Rand, Irving Kristol, Gertrude Himmelfarb, David Frum, Irwin Stelzer, and so forth.

All in all, an impressive list of people whose writings (if any - I am not suggesting that, say, Jeb Bush or Dan Quayle has ever written any "book", "essay" or "paper" properly so called) certainly have no place in our public libraries. For that matter, there is a strong case that, at least until the reintroduction of National Service, such works should also be kept as far away as possible from normal-aged undergraduates.

As should those of a number of our ostensible compatriots, advocates and practitioners of separatism and of dual (or even triple) civil loyalty: Oliver Kamm, Stephen Pollard, David Aaronovitch, Nick Cohen, Melanie Phillips (mostly), Christopher Hitchens, his mini-me John Lloyd, Johann Hari, Michael Gove, Tony Blair, and others. Including, of course, Douglas Murray.