Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Disclosure Watch: Day 16

There is now less than a fortnight to go until the third attempt to put me on trial is theoretically supposed to begin, a year after the second one and two years after I was charged. But there has still been no disclosure. 

Despite the supposedly open-and-shut case against me, my trial is expected to last "five days plus". It is now impossible to construct a defence to a case the presentation of which must therefore be expected to take at least two and a half working days, which is around 20 hours.

Like everything else, the morning of 1st April is the choice of the Crown. And it is most apposite for what the Crown is going to have to do at Durham Crown Court. Unless it is going to humiliate itself yet further by requesting a third "postponement". Is it? Might it stand even the slightest chance of being granted such a thing?

Community Hospital Public Engagement

A friend writes:

I have just received an email concerning Shotley Bridge Community Hospital Public Engagement from Daniel Blagden NHS Nth Durham CCG. One of these engagements is too be held at Lanchester Community Centre on Tuesday the 30 April. If we want Shotley Bridge Hospital to continue as a hospital I think we should all attend and give them our views. I apologise if you all know about this already.

An Election By Extension

It will be a very difficult thing for other Prime Ministers, and holders of broadly equivalent offices, to order a Prime Minister to hold a General Election in her country. They would not like that in the other direction, and they know it. But they might very well do it this time. 

Theresa May's deal has been defeated twice. There would be no point to extending Article 50 only for it to be defeated a third time. They might very well insist on a new House of Commons. Today, even Owen Paterson said that staying in the EU would be better than accepting this deal.

Whenever the next General Election comes, then it will bring another hung Parliament, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

We Do Give A Damn

On her Facebook page, Emily Tornberry offers this translation of her joint article with Rolf Mützenich

This week, Yemen enters its fifth year of civil war, sparked when the country’s Houthi rebels ousted the elected President Hadi, and a Saudi-led coalition started Operation Decisive Storm to restore him to power. 

Tens of thousands of Yemeni children have died since then, from Saudi air strikes or Houthi rockets, from malnutrition, from cholera and other diseases. Hundreds of thousands more are still facing those deathly threats every day.

And even if they make it through this conflict, millions of Yemeni children will carry the physical and mental scars into their adult lives, as well as the inevitable lasting damage from spending years denied an education in anything other than the horrors of war. 

Throughout the war, every European country has faced the question of how to respond to the rising toll of civilian deaths, and the escalating humanitarian crisis, and for too many of our governments, the answer has been a shrug of the shoulders. 

They call for ceasefires, they urge humanitarian corridors, they condemn the Houthis for their atrocities, they express sorrow when a Saudi bomb hits a wedding, or a funeral, or a school bus, and urge the coalition to stop blockading Yemen’s ports and allow food and medicine in. 

But ultimately, beyond their words, the only actual difference most of those governments have made to the war so far is to continue stoking it, by selling Saudi Arabia and its allies the planes and weapons that they have been using to carry out their air strikes, enforce their deadly blockade, and continue their ground assault on Houthi-held towns. 

However, during the coalition talks in January 2018 the SPD took action and pushed for a restrictive position on arms exports towards those countries that are directly involved in the Yemen war. 

In the British Parliament, the political decision on arms export restriction that Germany has taken has been warmly welcomed by politicians from all parties as an example for the entire West to follow, especially in the wake of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, which brought home to all of us the reality of what the Saudi government stands for. 

But Theresa May feels differently, which is why we saw the disgraceful spectacle last month of the British Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, visiting Berlin and lecturing the German government that it should put the profits of the arms industry before the lives of innocent people in Yemen. 

We as Labour and Social Democratic MPs in London and Berlin do not share the view of the British government. 

We strongly support the decision of the German Government in taking a suitably strong response to the outrage of the Khashoggi murder, and it was absolutely right this week to maintain that action, and keep the pressure on other countries to follow suit. 

And those other countries are listening. 

The actions of the German government have resonated in London, in Paris, and vitally in Washington, where Donald Trump will soon be forced to use his presidential veto if he wants to maintain American support for the war. 

We think it is time to reinforce the European ideal that, at our best, we are a community of democracies based on common values, and our approach to international relations is based on working together to uphold a world based on rules. 

And that clearly includes the rule that our countries should not sell arms to other countries that are using them to violate international law or abuse human rights, and that we should instead do our utmost in conflict regions to promote peace rather than promote arms sales, as it was put forth in the Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP of 8 December 2008. 

A decision to restore arms sales for use in the war in Yemen would totally undermine that rule. That is why we are convinced it is politically and morally right to reject that choice, and that is why we appreciate that British MPs from all parties will continue to urge their government to follow suit.

We all know that beyond the rules we believe in, and beyond the headlines created by the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, what we have to keep in mind is the fact that the Arabian Peninsula is a conflict region. 

The region does not need more weapons but peace talks guided by the United Nations and their Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths. What must drive us above all is the hidden death toll of men, women and children in Yemen that keeps rising with every passing month and year.

After all, as Dr Mekkia Mahdi recently told reporters from The New York Times from her health clinic in Northern Yemen, crammed with malnourished children, starving and dying all around her every day as a result of this brutal war: “We’re surprised the Khashoggi case is getting so much attention, while millions of Yemeni children are suffering and nobody gives a damn about them.” 

We do give a damn and we strongly urge our governments to concentrate on political action and supporting peace talks instead of delivering more weapons to countries at war, in which innocent people are the victims of political struggle.

Changing The Game

Of course Universal Credit is driving women to prostitution. By contrast, the Universal Basic Income, and Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee, would remove any conceivable excuse for prostituting oneself. We could then make it a criminal offence for anyone aged 21 or over to buy or sell sex, with equal sentencing on both sides.

Since there cannot be a “free” market in general, but not in drugs or prostitution, including pornography, so there must not be a “free” market in general. Since there cannot be a “free” market in drugs or prostitution, but not in general, so there must not be a “free” market in drugs or prostitution.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

In The Pipeline

We need a National Grid for water. That would once have been common sense, but not with the Political Class that we have now.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

The Show Must Go On

This is well worth watching for several reasons, not least its coverage of the Miami Showband massacre. 

On which, at long last, see here.

Justice For Our Boys

The man who killed Harry Rice, George Wilkinson and Josh McGuinness was on cannabis. 

Rather than breaking into the Attorney General's office, make this about that. 

That, after all, was what this was about.

Just The Job?

Supposedly high employment and supposedly low unemployment are meaningless when the link between being in work and being able to pay the bills has been broken. 

You can now be counted as employed if you do one hour per week on minimum wage, or if you are an unpaid full-time carer for an elderly relative. 

And you can now do two full-time, paid jobs without being able to make ends meet. 

All three parties are to blame for this, over the 42 years since the Callaghan Government's turn to monetarism, and counting. 

This was why we voted Leave. 

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

Toadmeister Watch: Day 96

I repeat my challenge to Toby Young to contest this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Either that, or he has conceded every point here.

His party took 34 per cent of the vote at North West Durham last time. Labour, it and I are now universally accepted as being on 30-30-30, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. 

But I do not stand against people. I stand for things. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Yaxley-Lennon Watch: Day 116

I warmly welcome Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself "Tommy Robinson" but who would have to give his real name on the ballot paper, as the UKIP candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Or, at any rate, as a candidate for this seat, of any party or none.

Either that, or he is running scared of the white working class. After all, I am mixed-race, and the sitting MP, who will presumably be the Labour candidate, has a mixed-race child. We are both impeccably middle-class (Google the house prices in Riding Mill, whence she hails), as the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat candidates will doubtless also be. 

From his own point of view, then, beating us ought to be a doddle.

Not that my candidacy is in any way conditional on his. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I will stand for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until Yaxley-Lennon officially runs away with his tail between his legs by denying that he is a parliamentary candidate for North West Durham.

Pidcock-Kamm Watch: Day 117

Either Laura Pidcock is proud that she is now Oliver Kamm's endorsed candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, or she will tweet the following:

"I reject the endorsement of @OliverKamm, and I have made a donation to @NeilClark66's legal fund against him," followed by the link to Neil's fund.

This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Henig Watch: Day 123

Rather magnanimously, considering how he became the Leader of Durham County Council in the first place, the Durham Miners' Association has permitted Simon "Third Generation Who's Who Entrants Are Above The Law" Henig to sit on the platform of the last two Durham Miners' Galas.

On both occasions, he has of course shared that platform with the principal speaker, Jeremy Corbyn. It is therefore the least to be expected that @SimonHenig will tweet the simple formula, ".@jeremycorbyn is not an anti-Semite." This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Councillor Watch: Day 124

Hilariously, the third attempt to put me on trial is due to begin on 1st April. That will be one year after the second failed attempt, and two years after I was charged. 

The only purpose of this whole business has been to stop me from standing for Durham County Council (failed), to stop me from being elected (succeeded, because nothing else would have done), and to stop me from standing for Parliament (also doomed to fail, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign).

No one, absolutely no one at all, has ever suggested that I committed the acts alleged, or even that those acts ever really took place.

Specifically, until such time as they notify otherwise to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, then it is a matter of record that not only does every member of Durham County Council believe me to be innocent of the charges against me, but every member of Durham County Council believes that the acts alleged never happened in actual fact.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Disclosure Watch: Day 15

There is now only a fortnight to go until the third attempt to put me on trial is theoretically supposed to begin, a year after the second one and two years after I was charged. But there has still been no disclosure. 

Despite the supposedly open-and-shut case against me, my trial is expected to last "five days plus". It is now impossible to construct a defence to a case the presentation of which must therefore be expected to take at least two and a half working days, which is around 20 hours.

Like everything else, the morning of 1st April is the choice of the Crown. And it is most apposite for what the Crown is going to have to do at Durham Crown Court. Unless it is going to humiliate itself yet further by requesting a third "postponement". Is it? Might it stand even the slightest chance of being granted such a thing?

"Substantially The Same"?

Following the Speaker's ruling, Theresa May's Brexit deal cannot be "substantially the same" if the DUP backs it. They wouldn't if it were. All eyes on them, then.

One At A Time?

It has come up twice in the last week.

But "someone else should also be on trial" is not, in itself, a reason why you should not be.

"Now That I Am Not Legally Restrained"

Fiona Onasanya only did a month inside, the Attorney General refused to try and have her sentence increased, she is allowed to use the Internet, and she is apparently even allowed into the United States. The criminal justice system itself clearly does not believe in this conviction.

In my experience, no part of it much likes any of the others, and they all pretty openly despise the Crown Prosecution Service, in particular. As we see here, in fact. Or as you have been able to see on this site every day for the last two years. Look at the things that I have written, and which I shall continue to write. Then consider that I have never been remanded in custody. I have never even been held overnight. Nor will I ever be.

As to Ms Onasanya, you only have to be the First Past the Post. I would not be at all surprised if she were to win a by-election.

The Last Chopper Out?

Like the Viet Cong and the "Taliban", Theresa May understands that the other side will eventually grow bored, realise that it cannot remember why it had started the fight in the first place, and go home.

Thus did the Viet Cong win. Thus have the "Taliban" won; it is all over bar the paperwork. And thus might Theresa May yet win. If not this week, then next week.

Meanwhile, notice that if its own preferred version of Brexit were on a ballot paper against Remain, then Labour would advocate the former rather than the latter.

A hypothetical situation, of course. But a sign that, underneath it all, Jeremy Corbyn is still Jeremy Corbyn. Too bad for much of his party, especially in Parliament.

Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

Toadmeister Watch: Day 95

I repeat my challenge to Toby Young to contest this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Either that, or he has conceded every point here.

His party took 34 per cent of the vote at North West Durham last time. Labour, it and I are now universally accepted as being on 30-30-30, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. 

But I do not stand against people. I stand for things. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Yaxley-Lennon Watch: Day 115

I warmly welcome Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself "Tommy Robinson" but who would have to give his real name on the ballot paper, as the UKIP candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Or, at any rate, as a candidate for this seat, of any party or none.

Either that, or he is running scared of the white working class. After all, I am mixed-race, and the sitting MP, who will presumably be the Labour candidate, has a mixed-race child. We are both impeccably middle-class (Google the house prices in Riding Mill, whence she hails), as the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat candidates will doubtless also be. 

From his own point of view, then, beating us ought to be a doddle.

Not that my candidacy is in any way conditional on his. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I will stand for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until Yaxley-Lennon officially runs away with his tail between his legs by denying that he is a parliamentary candidate for North West Durham.

Pidcock-Kamm Watch: Day 116

Either Laura Pidcock is proud that she is now Oliver Kamm's endorsed candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, or she will tweet the following:

"I reject the endorsement of @OliverKamm, and I have made a donation to @NeilClark66's legal fund against him," followed by the link to Neil's fund.

This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Henig Watch: Day 122

Rather magnanimously, considering how he became the Leader of Durham County Council in the first place, the Durham Miners' Association has permitted Simon "Third Generation Who's Who Entrants Are Above The Law" Henig to sit on the platform of the last two Durham Miners' Galas.

On both occasions, he has of course shared that platform with the principal speaker, Jeremy Corbyn. It is therefore the least to be expected that @SimonHenig will tweet the simple formula, ".@jeremycorbyn is not an anti-Semite." This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Councillor Watch: Day 123

Hilariously, the third attempt to put me on trial is due to begin on 1st April. That will be one year after the second failed attempt, and two years after I was charged. 

The only purpose of this whole business has been to stop me from standing for Durham County Council (failed), to stop me from being elected (succeeded, because nothing else would have done), and to stop me from standing for Parliament (also doomed to fail, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign).

No one, absolutely no one at all, has ever suggested that I committed the acts alleged, or even that those acts ever really took place.

Specifically, until such time as they notify otherwise to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, then it is a matter of record that not only does every member of Durham County Council believe me to be innocent of the charges against me, but every member of Durham County Council believes that the acts alleged never happened in actual fact.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Disclosure Watch: Day 14

There is now less than a month to go until the third attempt to put me on trial is theoretically supposed to begin, a year after the second one and two years after I was charged. But there has still been no disclosure. 

Despite the supposedly open-and-shut case against me, my trial is expected to last "five days plus". It is now impossible to construct a defence to a case the presentation of which must therefore be expected to take at least two and a half working days, which is around 20 hours.

Like everything else, the morning of 1st April is the choice of the Crown. And it is most apposite for what the Crown is going to have to do at Durham Crown Court. Unless it is going to humiliate itself yet further by requesting a third "postponement". Is it? Might it stand even the slightest chance of being granted such a thing?

Why Don't I Have £10,000?

Well, if having that kind of money going spare were a minimum qualification to become an MP, then where would that have left the present incumbent here at North West Durham? Did she pay for her entire election out of her own pocket? I only ask.

For that matter, setting aside the entire selection process and simply requiring a constituency party to take what it was given from on high might be, if not ideal, then at least explicable, in the case of, say, a Cabinet Minister whose seat had been abolished by boundary changes.

But what, exactly, was that important about some 29-year-old who had never previously set foot here? Have you never thought to ask yourself that? I have. And I am not the only one. I am not the only one at all. 

Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

Dealing Themselves Out

And so Jacob Rees-Mogg and the DUP prepare to join David Davis and Esther McVey in voting for Theresa May's deal after all. 

The only Conservative holdouts will be the people who can be seen in the same Division Lobby as each other, because they have no careers to wreck. 

Several of those 50, possibly 30, and possibly even only 20 MPs will then be deselected. Several more would have retired, anyway. 

And several of the rest will lose their seats, as the Conservative rebels over Maastricht were disproportionately likely to have done in 1997.

Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

Levantine Layla?

It is important to stand with Ilhan Omar over her statement of the obvious with regard to the Israel Lobby in the United States.

But it is wholly unsurprising that she lines up with the Muslim Brotherhood over Syria.

It is more disappointing, but also far from surprising, that so does Rashida Tlaib.

All eyes are now on Layla Moran.

Interserve This

At what would apparently have been little or no cost, why, exactly, has Interserve not been nationalised?

Truth Bomb

Between "It's this or No Deal" and "It's this or No Brexit", Theresa May might very well win, if not at the third time of asking, then at the fourth.

At which point, why would she stand down at or before the next General Election after all? An incumbent Prime Minister can confect almost any reason to stay in office.

After 10 or even five years of life under her deal, Britain would be begging to be let back into the EU. No doubt that is the point of these atrocious terms.

But take heart. Such readmission would be on any terms that any existing member-state cared to set. And some very interesting places could be in the EU by then.

So the septuagenarian Tony Blair could be off to stand trial in the Belgrade that he had once bombed. There is that.

This Is A Coup

David Starkey is far more right than wrong here:

Historians should avoid colourful predictions, however tempting they might seem.

At the moment I’m touring the country with a lecture called Henry VIII And The First Brexit, which compares the king’s eventual clean and triumphant break with the Roman Church with our own messy and humiliating attempts to extricate ourselves from the European Union.

But audiences really want me to talk about the present. ‘What do you think is going to happen?’, they ask. I shrug my shoulders and explain that, since history only works by looking backwards, those historians who pose as prophets are charlatans.

My audiences think I’m copping out, of course – and they are right.

I haven’t always been such a purist. Three years ago, I published a book on Magna Carta to mark the founding document of our Parliamentary constitution, that had been sealed 800 years earlier in 1215. 

In holding a medieval king accountable to his subjects – or some of them, at least – Magna Carta was a revolutionary step and is rightly celebrated.

But I ended on a note of caution. All is not well with Britain or our politics, I said. ‘Is it silly to think there is a touch of 1215 – a whiff of revolution – in the air?’ And it came true in June 2016, with the decisive referendum vote to reshape our politics once again and leave the European Union.

The referendum was a very British revolution. And it’s been followed by a very British counter-revolution, which shows every sign of succeeding. Don’t be deceived by the lack of violence or the comparative good manners of those now seizing control. This is a coup, and what is at stake is the nature and legitimacy of Parliament itself.

Ruled by comfortable, smug elites, Parliament is choosing to ignore the ordinary British people as they attempt to hold power to account. It is no exaggeration to say that British democracy, which stands in direct line with Magna Carta, is now unravelling before us.

If today’s self-satisfied MPs and Ministers – I have already described them as a Parliament of Pygmies – have no time for the voters, they have little time for history, either.

They seem to have forgotten that the original power of our Parliament lay in its claim to represent everybody and not just a few privileged groups, as in continental Europe. (Take for example the Estates General in France or the Cortes Generales in Spain, two early parliaments which promptly died out in the 17th Century.)

They should remember, too, that our Parliament owed its survival to its willingness, with more or less of a struggle, to adapt and remain representative. As time went by, Parliament broadened out to include newly powerful social groups as they appeared.

First came the Reform Act of 1832 which gave the vote to the newly prosperous middle class. This ushered in several decades of dominance by the Liberal Party, which was only broken by the genius of Benjamin Disraeli. Disraeli, who is the founder of the modern Conservative Party, recognised Conservatism’s natural affinity with ‘the radical masses’.

Disraeli’s intuition was vindicated with the second Reform Act in 1867, the next major parliamentary change, which enfranchised the skilled working man and began the process that turned the Tories into the natural party of government.

Then came the Labour Party, a grand coalition between trade-unionised workers and the middle-class intelligentsia.

And it was the tit-for-tat of Conservative and Labour – two national parties, which between them represented more or less every shade of opinion in the country – that guaranteed the stability of British politics through all the convulsions of the 20th Century.

They kept us free from revolution and prevented the rise of extremist parties, whether of the Left or Right. Until now.

The new Industrial Revolution –the global movement of capital and the rise of technology – is partly to blame. It has cut away at the base of both main political parties. First to fall was Labour, as the death of mass-production industry and a mass trade union movement left it a hollowed-out shell.

As such, it was ripe for the Blairite coup as a tiny, unrepresentative faction took over a once-mighty movement. The Blairites were contemptuous of the people they supposedly represented and, in particular, of their party membership, who were ritually humiliated by the abolition of Clause Four of the Labour Party’s constitution.

The Blairites were equally disparaging of history, traditional institutions and the nation itself. They believed in free markets, free love and unlimited immigration and they exhibited an ugly combination of self-righteousness and intolerance. They were, pretty much to a man and a woman, on the make. And they loved, loved the EU.

Finally they tried, and with a large measure of success, to forge a new governing class in their own image. Where Blair led, David Cameron and his government were eager followers and disciples. Supposedly Conservatives, they hailed Blair as ‘The Master’ and gobbled up his memoirs as a model of how their own government should run. They inflicted a Clause Four moment on their own Party membership by gratuitously imposing gay marriage.

Above all, Tory modernisation– which can be summarised most neatly as an attempt to make the Tories the party of choice for readers of The Guardian – turned the Conservative Party into a pale imitation of New Labour and rendered its MPs indistinguishable from their supposed opponents on the other side of the House.

The result is that, between them, Blair and Cameron contrived to turn two broad-church, national parties that commanded the allegiance of millions into a pair of narrow, elitist factions. The true extent of that change had been masked by voters’ tribal loyalty and our first-past-the-post system, which delivers clear, decisive results in General Elections.

But the EU referendum tore apart the veil: it was now the People versus the Parliament. The People voted 52 to 48 per cent to leave; an estimated 74 per cent of MPs voted to remain. No representative assembly can sustain such a gulf. Either People or Parliament must give way.

And so it has proved as, in its profound lack of wisdom and in its disregard for the central thread of its own history, Parliament has decided it is the People who should change. Or, rather, be changed. 

This is not the first time such a thing has happened. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Communist states were ruled by similarly pampered, out-of-touch and privileged elites who, against all the evidence, claimed to represent the People.

The People, shame on them, were ungrateful and in the habit of rebelling. After one such protest, the German poet and playwright Bertolt Brecht wrote one of the great poems of political dissent, including the satirical lines:

‘Wouldn’t it 
Be simpler in that case if the government
Dissolved the people and 
Elected another?’ 

When I first read the poem 50 years ago as a student, I laughed complacently because I knew it couldn’t happen here. But it has. Since what is Remain or the campaign for a Second Referendum but an attempt to ‘dissolve the people and elect another’?

And where will it end? In other very British revolution? Or something nastier? I don’t want to prophesy, good historian that I am, but I fear the worst.

Toadmeister Watch: Day 94

I repeat my challenge to Toby Young to contest this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Either that, or he has conceded every point here.

His party took 34 per cent of the vote at North West Durham last time. Labour, it and I are now universally accepted as being on 30-30-30, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. 

But I do not stand against people. I stand for things. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Yaxley-Lennon Watch: Day 114

I warmly welcome Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself "Tommy Robinson" but who would have to give his real name on the ballot paper, as the UKIP candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Or, at any rate, as a candidate for this seat, of any party or none.

Either that, or he is running scared of the white working class. After all, I am mixed-race, and the sitting MP, who will presumably be the Labour candidate, has a mixed-race child. We are both impeccably middle-class (Google the house prices in Riding Mill, whence she hails), as the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat candidates will doubtless also be. 

From his own point of view, then, beating us ought to be a doddle.

Not that my candidacy is in any way conditional on his. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I will stand for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until Yaxley-Lennon officially runs away with his tail between his legs by denying that he is a parliamentary candidate for North West Durham.

Pidcock-Kamm Watch: Day 115

Either Laura Pidcock is proud that she is now Oliver Kamm's endorsed candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, or she will tweet the following:

"I reject the endorsement of @OliverKamm, and I have made a donation to @NeilClark66's legal fund against him," followed by the link to Neil's fund.

This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Henig Watch: Day 121

Rather magnanimously, considering how he became the Leader of Durham County Council in the first place, the Durham Miners' Association has permitted Simon "Third Generation Who's Who Entrants Are Above The Law" Henig to sit on the platform of the last two Durham Miners' Galas.

On both occasions, he has of course shared that platform with the principal speaker, Jeremy Corbyn. It is therefore the least to be expected that @SimonHenig will tweet the simple formula, ".@jeremycorbyn is not an anti-Semite." This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Councillor Watch: Day 122

Hilariously, the third attempt to put me on trial is due to begin on 1st April. That will be one year after the second failed attempt, and two years after I was charged. 

The only purpose of this whole business has been to stop me from standing for Durham County Council (failed), to stop me from being elected (succeeded, because nothing else would have done), and to stop me from standing for Parliament (also doomed to fail, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign).

No one, absolutely no one at all, has ever suggested that I committed the acts alleged, or even that those acts ever really took place.

Specifically, until such time as they notify otherwise to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, then it is a matter of record that not only does every member of Durham County Council believe me to be innocent of the charges against me, but every member of Durham County Council believes that the acts alleged never happened in actual fact.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Don't Be DUPed

At Westminster, all that interests the DUP is getting as much money as possible spent on the Protestant working class and the Protestant farmers of Northern Ireland.

That is the basis on which its supporters vote for it at General Elections.

In principle, there is nothing wrong with that, provided that the increased public spending there were also extended per capita everywhere else.

But it is a complete mystery why anyone ever expected the DUP to restrain, say, the teaching of sex changes to small children in England. 

Viewers of Derry Girls will have heard the "different standards" and "bunch of savages" remarks about the English. That is not an Irish Catholic thing. That is simply an Irish thing.

Being Irish, the DUP expects nothing better of the English than that they will teach small children about sex changes. And the English are busily proving that the DUP's Irish view is correct.

But what of it? At Westminster, all that interests the DUP is getting as much money as possible spent on the Protestant working class and the Protestant farmers of Northern Ireland.

That is the basis on which its supporters vote for it at General Elections.

In return for that, will it vote in favour of Theresa May's Brexit deal? If it did not, then its MPs would never be able to go home.

Adult Stem Cells Are Now The Gold Standard


During the Great Embryonic Stem Cell Debate, circa 2001-2008, I watched “the scientists” blatantly lie about the supposedly low potential for adult stem cells and the CURES! CURES! CURES that were just around the corner from embryonic stem cells. 

You remember: Children would soon be out of their wheelchairs and Uncle Ernie’s Parkinson’s would soon be a disease of the past.

The pro-ESCR campaign was filled with so much disinformation and hype — willingly swallowed by an in-the-tank media — all in a corrupt attempt to overturn the minor federal funding restrictions over ESCR imposed by the president, and to hurt President Bush politically. 

After the Bush presidency, the issue became quiescent. And now, it turns out that the clinical advances that have been made are not from embryonic stem cells. 

During the debate, David A. Prentice — a stem-cell researcher and my good friend — took a sabbatical from his Indiana State University professorship to tout the great potential of adult stem cells (and to oppose human cloning) around the world. 

He became quite prominent in the debate — for which he was punished by his university’s administration. For example, despite receiving teaching awards, he was moved from graduate classes and his lab privileges were curtailed. 

Prentice eventually headed for The Swamp to continue his advocacy. He is now with the Charlotte Lozier Institute, where he has continued to track and educate about stem-cell science and engage policy controversies.

Prentice just published a major peer-reviewed article in the science journal Circulation Research, in which he details the amazing successes of adult stem-cell research — demonstrating that the ESCR hypers had it wrong and he had it right. 

Prentice outlines the many problems that make embryonic stem cells ill suited for clinical use,including the difficulty of  differentiating and integrating ES cells into the body, the problem that these cells have shown evidence of causing arrhythmia, the potential to cause tumors, and immunogenicity, in real people’s language, rejection caused by triggering the body’s immune response. 

In contrast, ethical stem cells have had excellent successes. For example, induced pluripotent stem cells, which can be made from normal skin cells, are splendid for use in cell modeling and drug testing. 

But Prentice’s primary focus is on adult stem cells, often taken from donor bone marrow or a patient’s own body. They have also not advanced as fast as was hoped, but they are progressing into clinical uses and human studies. 

From, “Adult Stem Cells:”
Not only do adult stem cells carry no ethical baggage regarding their isolation, their practical advantages over pluripotent stem cells have led to many current clinical trials, as well as some therapies approved through all phases of Food and Drug Administration testing.
Peer-reviewed, published successful results abound, with numerous papers now documenting therapeutic benefit in clinical trials and progress toward fully tested and approved treatments. 

Phase I/II trials suggest potential cardiovascular benefit from bone marrow–derived adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood–derived cells. Striking results have been reported using adult stem cells to treat neurological conditions, including chronic stroke. 

Positive long-term progression-free outcomes have been seen, including some remission, for multiple sclerosis, as well as benefits in early trials for patients with type I diabetes mellitus and spinal cord injury. And adult stem cells are starting to be used as vehicles for genetic therapies, such as for epidermolysis bullosa. 

If this progress had been derived from embryonic stem cells, the headlines would have been deafening. The cheering from the media would include anchors dancing with pom-poms! But the media isn’t much interested in reporting adult stem-cell successes prominently because doing so doesn’t promote favored ideological agendas. That’s not good journalism. 

Prentice concludes:
The superiority of adult stem cells in the clinic and the mounting evidence supporting their effectiveness in regeneration and repair make adult stem cells the gold standard of stem cells for patients.
That’s excellent news for everyone, and may it continue. But as we benefit from these ethical treatments, the next time ideologically driven scientists, bioethicists, and their media water carriers seek to drive public opinion on scientific issues in a partisan direction by deploying the propaganda tools of hype, exaggeration, and castigation of those who espouse heterodox views, remember how the Great Stem Cell Debate turned out.

Right All Along

Most recently, here

I have spent more than 20 years, since I was just about still in my teens and had never seen the Internet, trying to get the story out about Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange. I have paid a terrible journalistic and political price for it, but I have no regrets.

Media that always knew about it simply ignored the whole thing, banning me from their websites and what have you, until a period of no more than two weeks when they needed to distract attention from Patrick Rock. Normal service was rapidly resumed, and it has continued ever since. No one has done more on this issue than I have. No one.

And now, the plan is advancing to make Harman the next Speaker of the House of Commons. Not only would I oppose her election, but, were she already in post, then I would oppose her re-election at the start of the next Parliament.

I have always been right about this, and I am now being proved right about something else as well.

We are enduring the rehabilitation of Toby Young, who is a eugenicist of international importance, who is also a self-confessed sexual assailant and supplier of Class A drugs, and whose involvement in eugenics has made him an associate of Emil Kirkegaard, himself an advocate of the rape of drugged children.

Like Kirkegaard, Young is a stalwart of the world of the London Conference on Intelligence, the Ulster Institute for Social Research, and the Mankind Quarterly. Yet he was given a loud voice in education policy for many years, a major formal role in education was about to have been given to him, and he is even now being brought back into public life.

I was proved right about Harman, and I am being proved right again.

The Ulster Institute for Social Research and the Mankind Quarterly are based at the perfectly respectable University of Ulster, while the London Conference on Intelligence is held at the world class University College London.

One of our most prestigious seats of higher learning has been hosting the propagation of eugenics, attended by the man whom the Government had wanted to put in charge of the entire sector.

No British university is giving houseroom to Holodomor Denial, which does do the rounds. If any were, then we would never hear the end of it. Nor should we.

Yet in this age of Toby Young, would you bet that none was providing a platform for Holocaust Denial, and that no one with a key policy role was turning up? If you would, then you are a fool, and you richly deserve to be parted from your money.

As the latest developments in relation to National Action have made clear, and as I have been trying to tell people for years, the single biggest internal security threat comes from the Far Right.

A Far Right that is enormous, longstanding, very highly organised, armed to the teeth, and possessed of the closest possible ties both to the DUP and to Conservative Party.

Sammy Wilson, who was then the DUP’s Press Officer and who is now one of its MPs, chaired the founding rally of the Ulster Resistance, which has never disbanded or disarmed in any way. Ian Paisley (the Elder, so to speak), Peter Robinson and Ivan Foster all spoke at that rally.

Emma Little-Pengelly, who is now the DUP MP for Belfast South, is the daughter of Noel Little of the Paris Three.

She owed her election last year, for a somewhat improbable seat, to the concerted efforts of the local Loyalist paramilitary organisations, to whom she extended barely coded thanks in her acceptance speech.

It is highly unusual for a married woman from her background to continue to use her maiden name, even in hyphenated form. But Noel Little’s daughter does so.

No Irish Republican organisation has murdered a Member of Parliament in the present century or in the preceding decade, and the people responsible are now such pillars of the British Establishment that they are entertained at Windsor Castle. No Islamist or Leftist organisation has ever murdered a Member of Parliament.

But the Far Right has done so, only in 2016. Thomas Mair, the murderer of Jo Cox, described himself to the Police as “a political activist”, and so he was.

National Fronts come and BNPs go, EDLs come and Britain Firsts go, but certain institutional and organisational manifestations of the Far Right are perennial, hitherto even permanent.

Mair’s is the Springbok Club, which is run by the people who also run the London Swinton Circle. And that, in turn, was addressed by Liam Fox (born 1961) and by Owen Paterson (born 1956) as recently as 2014.

Ah, those old 1980s Tory Boys, in their Hang Mandela T-shirts and all the rest of it. Wherever did they all end up?

In the Thatcher and, to a lesser extent, Major years, there were Ministers who were members of the Western Goals Institute or the Monday Club, which latter had played a key role in securing British accession to the EU.

Those crossed over, via such things as the fiercely Eurofederalist League of Saint George, to overt neo-Nazism on the Continent, to the Ku Klux Klan, to apartheid South Africa, to Ian Smith’s Rhodesia, to the juntas of Latin America, to Marcos and Suharto, to the Duvaliers, and so on.

Nick Griffin’s father, Edgar, was a Vice-President of Iain Duncan Smith’s Leadership Campaign. He answered what was listed as one of its official telephone numbers (in his house) with the words “British National Party”.

And now, we have Toby Young and the London Conference on Intelligence.

I tried to tell you.

I was right about Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange. And I am right about this, too.

Nor are they unconnected. It has all come out about Margaret Thatcher’s friends. She knew about Cyril Smith when she arranged his knighthood.

Jimmy Savile’s knighthood was rejected four times by the relevant committee, until she absolutely insisted upon it for the man with whom she spent every New Year’s Eve, and on whose programmes she was so obsessed with appearing that her staff had to ration those appearances.

Her closest lieutenant was Peter Morrison. Unlike the Prince of Wales, she would have had sight of every file on Laurens van der Post.

What was so important about Smith, a highly eccentric and largely absentee MP for a tiny minority party? He was a Thatcherite avant la lettre, who had left the Labour Party when he had started to see cars outside council houses. Thatcher’s father was also a Liberal until all of that fell apart between the Wars, and he was never a member of the Conservative Party to his dying day. He, she and Smith were politically indistinguishable.

That the Radical Right put out pamphlets demanding the legalisation of paedophile activity was mentioned in Our Friends in the North, which was broadcast in 1996.

Our Friends in the North is so integral to subsequent popular culture that one of its four stars is now James Bond, another was the first Doctor of this century’s revival of Doctor Who, and neither of the others is exactly obscure.

That Thatcherite MPs were likely to commit sexual violence against boys with the full knowledge of the party hierarchy formed quite a major subplot in To Play the King, the middle series of the original House of Cards trilogy.

To Play the King was broadcast as long ago as 1993. No politician or commentator of the generation that is now in or approaching its pomp could possibly have seen anything less than every minute of that trilogy.

Moreover, anyone who came to political maturity in what were then the newly-former mining areas will have been made fully aware that the miners in the dock, all the way back in 1984 and 1985, routinely made reference to the proclivities of the Home Secretary of the day, Leon Brittan.

Those proclivities were common knowledge from Fife and the Lothians, to County Durham and the southern part of Northumberland, to South Yorkshire, to South Wales, among other places. Nothing was carried in the papers or included in the court reports, but the pit villages never needed Twitter in order to circumvent that kind of censorship.

Notably about Harriet Harman and the Paedophile Information Exchange, I have been here before: everyone called me a nutter for years, but I was right, I knew that I was right, so did they, and they now deny that they ever denied what I had been saying all along.

Likewise, I have been trying for years to tell the world about the Far Right in this country, about its links to the 1980s New Right by which we are now governed, and about the links between both of those and paedophile advocacy, activism and activity.

There it all is, at UCL and at the very heart of government. Will you listen now?

The Tides of March

Of course there are only 350 people on the March to Leave, fewer than would turn out to oppose an unwanted road scheme in any country town. Look who is leading it. That it has been left to those people is why Brexit will either happen on Theresa May's atrocious terms, or it will never happen at all.

As for the claim that right-wingers characteristically do not have the time for demonstrations, I am not sure that that "usually busy" thing still holds, if it ever really did. Young right-wing activists these days are among the most unemployable people that you could ever meet. Very well-read and often quite personable. But never going to get a proper job. They are certainly free on a Saturday. Yet where are they today?

I am not predicting anything, but I am increasingly inclined to suspect that Brexit will pass on May's terms, if not next week, then the week after that. She has allowed Liam Fox to announce zero tariffs in the event of No Deal, in the full knowledge that Conservative MPs have now gone home to constituencies where largely farming electorates and overwhelmingly farming Associations are tearing them to pieces at such a prospect. The Conservatives are the farmers' party. Everyone else will only ever be a guest in it.

Notice that the only people who are still forlornly shrieking that "It's the law that we leave on 29th March" are the 350 people on the March to Leave. The law can be changed, and the Government determines the order of business in a Parliament both Houses of which have No No Deal majorities, indeed have outright Remain majorities. Even a ruling of the Speaker can be overturned by a resolution of the House. This legislation could be done in one day, and it would be.

As for getting consent from the other 27 governments, that is what they are. Governments are governments, and they help each other out, especially against the revolting peasants, in the hope and expectation that the favour would be returned if and when it ever needed to be. So of course they would all say yes. That is not even a question. They might have terms. But we would meet them,  no matter what they were, because that is what governments do for each other.

Either May's deal will pass, or we will simply never leave the European Union. I do not know which it is going to be. But it is going to be one or the other. And May's deal is so close to staying in, but without any kind of say, that within 10 years, and possibly five, we would have re-joined the EU. But this time, with no opt-outs. This time, without a referendum. And this time, forever. Such will be the consequences of having left Brexit to the people who are leading the March to Leave.

Disclosure Watch: Day 13

There is now less than a month to go until the third attempt to put me on trial is theoretically supposed to begin, a year after the second one and two years after I was charged. But there has still been no disclosure. 

Despite the supposedly open-and-shut case against me, my trial is expected to last "five days plus". It is now impossible to construct a defence to a case the presentation of which must therefore be expected to take at least two and a half working days, which is around 20 hours.

Like everything else, the morning of 1st April is the choice of the Crown. And it is most apposite for what the Crown is going to have to do at Durham Crown Court. Unless it is going to humiliate itself yet further by requesting a third "postponement". Is it? Might it stand even the slightest chance of being granted such a thing?

Toadmeister Watch: Day 93

I repeat my challenge to Toby Young to contest this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Either that, or he has conceded every point here.

His party took 34 per cent of the vote at North West Durham last time. Labour, it and I are now universally accepted as being on 30-30-30, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. 

But I do not stand against people. I stand for things. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Yaxley-Lennon Watch: Day 113

I warmly welcome Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself "Tommy Robinson" but who would have to give his real name on the ballot paper, as the UKIP candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Or, at any rate, as a candidate for this seat, of any party or none.

Either that, or he is running scared of the white working class. After all, I am mixed-race, and the sitting MP, who will presumably be the Labour candidate, has a mixed-race child. We are both impeccably middle-class (Google the house prices in Riding Mill, whence she hails), as the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat candidates will doubtless also be. 

From his own point of view, then, beating us ought to be a doddle.

Not that my candidacy is in any way conditional on his. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I will stand for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until Yaxley-Lennon officially runs away with his tail between his legs by denying that he is a parliamentary candidate for North West Durham.

Pidcock-Kamm Watch: Day 114

Either Laura Pidcock is proud that she is now Oliver Kamm's endorsed candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, or she will tweet the following:

"I reject the endorsement of @OliverKamm, and I have made a donation to @NeilClark66's legal fund against him," followed by the link to Neil's fund.

This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Henig Watch: Day 120

Rather magnanimously, considering how he became the Leader of Durham County Council in the first place, the Durham Miners' Association has permitted Simon "Third Generation Who's Who Entrants Are Above The Law" Henig to sit on the platform of the last two Durham Miners' Galas.

On both occasions, he has of course shared that platform with the principal speaker, Jeremy Corbyn. It is therefore the least to be expected that @SimonHenig will tweet the simple formula, ".@jeremycorbyn is not an anti-Semite." This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Councillor Watch: Day 121

Hilariously, the third attempt to put me on trial is due to begin on 1st April. That will be one year after the second failed attempt, and two years after I was charged. 

The only purpose of this whole business has been to stop me from standing for Durham County Council (failed), to stop me from being elected (succeeded, because nothing else would have done), and to stop me from standing for Parliament (also doomed to fail, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign).

No one, absolutely no one at all, has ever suggested that I committed the acts alleged, or even that those acts ever really took place.

Specifically, until such time as they notify otherwise to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, then it is a matter of record that not only does every member of Durham County Council believe me to be innocent of the charges against me, but every member of Durham County Council believes that the acts alleged never happened in actual fact.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Friday, 15 March 2019

Dearly Departed?

Coming out of a funeral, a former Deputy Leader of Durham County Council said to me, "I bet you're glad you're not down there."

Did he mean it? 

Well, he has been known to introduce me at funerals as, "The man who should have been our MP." 

It is not clear that he has ever even met the present MP for this seat.

Disclosure Watch: Day 12

There is now less than a month to go until the third attempt to put me on trial is theoretically supposed to begin, a year after the second one and two years after I was charged. But there has still been no disclosure. 

Despite the supposedly open-and-shut case against me, my trial is expected to last "five days plus". It is now impossible to construct a defence to a case the presentation of which must therefore be expected to take at least two and a half working days, which is around 20 hours.

Like everything else, the morning of 1st April is the choice of the Crown. And it is most apposite for what the Crown is going to have to do at Durham Crown Court. Unless it is going to humiliate itself yet further by requesting a third "postponement". Is it? Might it stand even the slightest chance of being granted such a thing?

Toadmeister Watch: Day 92

I repeat my challenge to Toby Young to contest this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Either that, or he has conceded every point here.

His party took 34 per cent of the vote at North West Durham last time. Labour, it and I are now universally accepted as being on 30-30-30, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. 

But I do not stand against people. I stand for things. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Yaxley-Lennon Watch: Day 112

I warmly welcome Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself "Tommy Robinson" but who would have to give his real name on the ballot paper, as the UKIP candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Or, at any rate, as a candidate for this seat, of any party or none.

Either that, or he is running scared of the white working class. After all, I am mixed-race, and the sitting MP, who will presumably be the Labour candidate, has a mixed-race child. We are both impeccably middle-class (Google the house prices in Riding Mill, whence she hails), as the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat candidates will doubtless also be. 

From his own point of view, then, beating us ought to be a doddle.

Not that my candidacy is in any way conditional on his. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I will stand for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until Yaxley-Lennon officially runs away with his tail between his legs by denying that he is a parliamentary candidate for North West Durham.

Pidcock-Kamm Watch: Day 113

Either Laura Pidcock is proud that she is now Oliver Kamm's endorsed candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, or she will tweet the following:

"I reject the endorsement of @OliverKamm, and I have made a donation to @NeilClark66's legal fund against him," followed by the link to Neil's fund.

This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Henig Watch: Day 119

Rather magnanimously, considering how he became the Leader of Durham County Council in the first place, the Durham Miners' Association has permitted Simon "Third Generation Who's Who Entrants Are Above The Law" Henig to sit on the platform of the last two Durham Miners' Galas.

On both occasions, he has of course shared that platform with the principal speaker, Jeremy Corbyn. It is therefore the least to be expected that @SimonHenig will tweet the simple formula, ".@jeremycorbyn is not an anti-Semite." This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Councillor Watch: Day 120

Hilariously, the third attempt to put me on trial is due to begin on 1st April. That will be one year after the second failed attempt, and two years after I was charged. 

The only purpose of this whole business has been to stop me from standing for Durham County Council (failed), to stop me from being elected (succeeded, because nothing else would have done), and to stop me from standing for Parliament (also doomed to fail, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign).

No one, absolutely no one at all, has ever suggested that I committed the acts alleged, or even that those acts ever really took place.

Specifically, until such time as they notify otherwise to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, then it is a matter of record that not only does every member of Durham County Council believe me to be innocent of the charges against me, but every member of Durham County Council believes that the acts alleged never happened in actual fact.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

"But It's The Law"?

His Majesty's Declaration of Abdication Act 1936 was passed through all parliamentary stages in one day, with no amendments.

Clearly, so will be the legislation to repeal the statutory requirement that the United Kingdom leave the European Union on 29th March.

A People's Vote, Indeed

Not only is 85 a very low figure in favour of a second referendum, but 334 is an absolute majority against one.

It would have been defeated even with Labour frontbench support, which it tellingly did not receive.

Above The Division Bells

Notice that nobody is suggesting that the Ministers who abstained last night be replaced with people who ended up supporting the Government. The idea of anyone else like that as a Minister is clearly considered laughable, if it is considered at all.

Meanwhile, to no one's surprise, Labour will not be voting for a referendum tonight. Earlier this week, the fact that the priority was now "delivering a Labour Brexit", and that the whole second referendum thing had been a temporary ruse, was stated live on air by Richard Burgon. Do not take your eye of that man.

Disclosure Watch: Day 11

There is now less than a month to go until the third attempt to put me on trial is theoretically supposed to begin, a year after the second one and two years after I was charged. But there has still been no disclosure. 

Despite the supposedly open-and-shut case against me, my trial is expected to last "five days plus". It is now impossible to construct a defence to a case the presentation of which must therefore be expected to take at least two and a half working days, which is around 20 hours.

Like everything else, the morning of 1st April is the choice of the Crown. And it is most apposite for what the Crown is going to have to do at Durham Crown Court. Unless it is going to humiliate itself yet further by requesting a third "postponement". Is it? Might it stand even the slightest chance of being granted such a thing?

Don't Spare The Rod

What to make of the accession of Rod Liddle to the SDP?

He certainly lives part of the time in a highly marginal seat. He has hinted that he also lives in another one. And you only have to be the First Past the Post. 

No one makes predictions these days. But with Rod, the SDP might stand more of a chance than the Independent Group does of holding at least one seat in the next Parliament, which in any case is going to be a hung Parliament.

Show And Tell

At nine o'clock tomorrow night, BBC Four will show Ardal O'Hanlon's documentary on Irish showbands.

Good stuff.

Now, come on, BBC. Especially now that the world has changed so completely that a charge has been brought in relation to Bloody Sunday, show something on the Miami Showband massacre.

Update: Stephen Travers has been in touch to say that, "I recorded an episode for that series with Ardal last year David and I look forward to seeing it. Ardal is great." This is excellent news.

Just The Same Battle

"There is no final victory, as there is no final defeat. There is just the same battle, to be fought over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up." 

So said Tony Benn, who died five years ago today.

Two of the greatest tragedies of contemporary British politics are that he never lived to see the Corbyn Leadership, and that he never lived to see Brexit.

They would both have been greatly improved if he had.

Foyled No More

And so begins the end of Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.

It will continue to exist, but as part of the federal United Ireland that will be necessary to accommodate the differences that have arisen during a century of Partition. Internally, the Queen or her representative might even retain some kind of ceremonial role.

But that the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland has charged Soldier F in relation to Bloody Sunday means that, regardless of the outcome, the institutions of the State in Northern Ireland are preparing for the new order. 

What with all the "backstop" palaver, and what with a British Government's dependence on the thoroughly ungrateful DUP for confidence and supply, the patience of the electorate in Great Britain has been exhausted.

We have never voted to keep a bit of Ireland, and the bit that has long been least like ourselves at that. We have never even been asked.

And magic up imaginary troops to man border posts in five Sinn Féin constituencies and directly facing four more? Whether or not Brexit ever happened, this prospect has focused our minds. As they so in those parts, catch yourself on.

Toadmeister Watch: Day 91

I repeat my challenge to Toby Young to contest this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Either that, or he has conceded every point here.

His party took 34 per cent of the vote at North West Durham last time. Labour, it and I are now universally accepted as being on 30-30-30, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. 

But I do not stand against people. I stand for things. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it.

I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Yaxley-Lennon Watch: Day 111

I warmly welcome Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, who calls himself "Tommy Robinson" but who would have to give his real name on the ballot paper, as the UKIP candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham. Or, at any rate, as a candidate for this seat, of any party or none.

Either that, or he is running scared of the white working class. After all, I am mixed-race, and the sitting MP, who will presumably be the Labour candidate, has a mixed-race child. We are both impeccably middle-class (Google the house prices in Riding Mill, whence she hails), as the Conservative and the Liberal Democrat candidates will doubtless also be. 

From his own point of view, then, beating us ought to be a doddle.

Not that my candidacy is in any way conditional on his. Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. I will stand for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.

This post will appear here daily until Yaxley-Lennon officially runs away with his tail between his legs by denying that he is a parliamentary candidate for North West Durham.

Pidcock-Kamm Watch: Day 112

Either Laura Pidcock is proud that she is now Oliver Kamm's endorsed candidate for this parliamentary seat of North West Durham, or she will tweet the following:

"I reject the endorsement of @OliverKamm, and I have made a donation to @NeilClark66's legal fund against him," followed by the link to Neil's fund.

This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Henig Watch: Day 118

Rather magnanimously, considering how he became the Leader of Durham County Council in the first place, the Durham Miners' Association has permitted Simon "Third Generation Who's Who Entrants Are Above The Law" Henig to sit on the platform of the last two Durham Miners' Galas.

On both occasions, he has of course shared that platform with the principal speaker, Jeremy Corbyn. It is therefore the least to be expected that @SimonHenig will tweet the simple formula, ".@jeremycorbyn is not an anti-Semite." This post will appear here daily until that tweet has been posted.

Councillor Watch: Day 119

Hilariously, the third attempt to put me on trial is due to begin on 1st April. That will be one year after the second failed attempt, and two years after I was charged. 

The only purpose of this whole business has been to stop me from standing for Durham County Council (failed), to stop me from being elected (succeeded, because nothing else would have done), and to stop me from standing for Parliament (also doomed to fail, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign).

No one, absolutely no one at all, has ever suggested that I committed the acts alleged, or even that those acts ever really took place.

Specifically, until such time as they notify otherwise to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, then it is a matter of record that not only does every member of Durham County Council believe me to be innocent of the charges against me, but every member of Durham County Council believes that the acts alleged never happened in actual fact.

This post will appear here daily until further notice.

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Table Manners

If Theresa May votes tonight to take No Deal off the table, and the motion to do so does stand in her name, then that will mean that No Deal was never on the table.

But then, we already knew that.

Remember, this was the only candidate that the Conservative Party could produce for Leader. She did not just win. She won unopposed.

And tomorrow, the Daily Mail will begin its campaign to deselect those Conservative MPs who, free vote or no free vote, might have voted against her tonight. If there have been any.

Not The Real Deal

Take the option of just walking away off the table?

Jack Dromey was a union rep for many, many years. 

But I am bloody glad that he was never mine.

Two Years On

Lent or no Lent, join me in raising a glass on this second anniversary of my arrest and bailing.

Taking me home that evening, the Police actually apologised. A month later, the same Officers were struck dumb when I was charged. The Police have always been on record that they would not have charged me.

The third failed attempt to put me on trial is due to begin at Durham Crown Court on Monday 1st April, appropriately enough. See you there. Then again, based on past form, don't go cancelling any holidays for it.

But do join me in raising a glass tonight. Lent or no Lent.

35 Years On

Yesterday was the thirty-fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Miners’ Strike. 

It is a Yes-No question, “Do you regret the defeat of the miners in 1985?” The correct answer is, “Yes.” We now know that every claim made about planned pit closures was true, to destroy the NUM and the mining communities at any cost. 

The dwindling defenders of the Government of the day try to pretend that it was about something else, in the way that the dwindling defenders of the Blair Government now pretend that the Iraq War was about something other than weapons of mass destruction that were capable of deployment within 45 minutes.

But in fact the road from those closed pits runs through Baghdad and Tripoli to who knows how many other capitals of countries where the oil is coveted by our lords and masters, the House of Saud. Instead, I strongly support the exploitation of the vast reserves of coal in this country and in this county. 

That, and the extension of civil nuclear power, are the backbone of an all-of-the-above energy policy, and they are the means of delivering highly paid, highly skilled, high status, unionised jobs while securing independence from Arab oil, from Russian gas, and from coal that has been mined using child and slave labour. 

From Venezuela, Donald Trump intends his dynasty to supply a dependent world with oil deep into the twenty-second century. And from North Korea, Trump intends his dynasty to supply a dependent world with the coal of the Kim dynasty deep into the twenty-second century. Yet we have our own coal, right here under our feet.

Britain was the world leader in clean coal technology until the Strike. Britain can and must be that world leader again. Horror stories about how coal was burned or mined in the Britain of the twentieth century have no relevance to the Britain of the twenty-first. At the same time, I am totally opposed both to open-casting and to fracking, which extract hardly anything while employing hardly anyone.

We need an approach to climate change which protected and extended secure employment with civilised wages and working conditions, which encouraged economic development around the world, which upheld the right of the working classes and of non-white people to have children, which held down and as far as practicable reduced the fuel prices that always hit the poor hardest, and which refused to restrict travel opportunities or a full diet to the rich.

The problem with the world is not that it has people in it. Which people, exactly? We must celebrate the full compatibility between the highest view of human demographic, economic, intellectual and cultural expansion and development, and the most active concern for the conservation of the natural world and of the treasures bequeathed by such expansion and development in the past. That expansion and development must now include space exploration, fuelled by, and fuelling, fusion power.

Another hung Parliament is coming, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email davidaslindsay@hotmail.com. Very many thanks.