Saturday 13 April 2024

To Stabilise The Situation

The most muted condemnation of the murder of three British aid workers, with far more anger from the Americans, and far more again from the Australians and the Poles. No condemnation whatever of the equally surgical bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus; like the killing of Ismail Haniyeh's three sons and four grandchildren, that was another reminder of how precise the IDF was, lest it ever claim to have killed anyone accidentally or as collateral damage.

But all Hell has broken loose now that Iran is retaliating, as would we. Not that that makes it the good guy. Nor is Israel. There almost never is one. Israel is our ally in what way? What specific form does that alliance take? What do the Israelis do for us? Ask that question, and you will be barraged with drivel that would be irrelevant even if it had any factual basis, about "Muzzie ragheads" and Iran's somehow being on the same side as IS because they were both "ROPers". In point of fact, Britain was on the same side as IS in Syria even while bombing it in Iraq, and Israel built IS a field hospital in the Golan Heights, for which Priti Patel tried to obtain British public funding, whereas Hamas rounded up IS supporters in Gaza and killed them.

Are the people who do not know these things to be allowed to set the agenda? Apparently so, since, pandering to them, we have talk of "kamikaze drones". I know that they like their substances at the Telegraph, but the drones are not really talking to them, nor do they really have little men in them. Even the Israelis do not claim that Iran has a nuclear capability. We have been here before with non-existent "weapons of mass destruction".

When Salman Rushdie was placed under a fatwa, then Margaret Thatcher managed not to go to war with Iran. She also banned arms sales to Israel, and that was before the Israelis had used a British-made weapon to murder, clinically, three British military veterans who were doing the classic double job of aid worker and intelligence operative. Well under a fortnight later, the RAF is in the air at the beck and call of their assassins against one of the world's many regimes to be thoroughly nasty but not our problem. Prove to me that Kim McGuinness's husband is not among those in flight. As ever, the money has been found for this but not for anything that might make Britain worth defending, a pursuit of which in any case this forms no part. It is as if Keir Starmer were already Prime Minister.

But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. If, however, it did not contest North Durham, then I would. To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not. We have made a start.