Thursday 31 July 2008


Honestly, I go away for a week and look what happens.

The first time that I have ever dialled 999 for my own benefit. My first ride in an ambulance. Taken out of my house in a wheelchair with a blanket around me and an oxygen mask strapped to my face. Longer in hospital than when I had major surgery earlier in the month.

No Incapacity Benefit, because a very bad former employer not only didn’t pay my wages, but didn’t pay my stamp either (if I’d been signed on then I’d be fine, but I was working so I’m not – there really is no answer to that). No more than two units of alcohol per day until the end of January, while they thin my blood.

But as right as rain by the turn of the year, I’m told. By then, I will doubtless have been punished enough for eating properly, taking regular exercise, drinking in moderation, smoking no more than two or three cigars per year, and never taking an illegal drug.

Anyway, I digress. I go away for a week and look what happens. David Miliband happens. Yes, David Miliband.

He bought a baby on the Internet. But nobody is mentioning that. He only got into Oxford because his super-posh school was nominally part of ILEA, which had a special access scheme effectively controlled by his father. But nobody is mentioning that. His father then got him into the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, clearly at the beck and call of a pro-Soviet fanatic. But nobody is mentioning that.

He has never worked outside politics. But nobody is mentioning that. His predecessor at South Shields was ennobled at the last minute in order that he could be imposed on that safe seat without reference to the Constituency Labour Party. But nobody is mentioning that. Local council candidates there are now chosen by his London office, with no local input at all. But nobody is mentioning that.

He was a staggeringly bad Schools Minister (I repeatedly heard the heavy gasps from Labour and Fabian audiences full of teachers as he displayed just how spectacularly ignorant and incompetent he was, all the while assuming that he was uttering axioms and truisms), mirroring David Cameron’s baleful record as Shadow Education Secretary, during which period the Tories literally had no education policy whatever. But nobody is mentioning that.

His Guardian article is drivel, as everything that he has ever published has been, with an attempt to set out his stall in the last days of Blair eventually accepted by the Daily Telegraph as a joke after the Guardian refused to soil itself by printing it. But nobody is mentioning that. Even his weirdo brother is better. But nobody is mentioning that.

And so one could go on, and on, and on.

Let there be no doubt why the media, and above all the BBC (which tried even after the last minute to draft Miliband last year), are so determined to enthrone him. If they succeed in this, or indeed if Cameron ever becomes Prime Minister (bringing in a Cabinet of at least 19 millionaires, mostly too young to have made it themselves), then no one whose parents had not both the cash and the clout to get them into one of the 50 Oxbridge feeder schools, and who did not proceed seamlessly through Oxbridge to Westminster Village non-jobs for the independently wealthy, will ever again be allowed to become Prime Minister.

The BBC, above all, simply ignored the many perfectly good reasons not to vote Tory in 2001, and instead presupposed that William Hague’s Yorkshire accent was in itself a disqualification from high office. It tore him to pieces accordingly. Its coverage of David Davis’s leadership bid amounted to nothing more than playing over and over again the same footage of a lady falling asleep while he spoke. There have been many other such crimes, not least just after John Smith died.

To Auntie, it is a personal affront that 10 Downing Street is occupied by someone state-schooled and with a non-Oxbridge degree (more than one, in fact), whose Scottishness is decidedly not of the David Cameron variety. So she will stop at nothing to put things right. She will even install David Miliband in his place. Yes, David Miliband.

Don’t let it happen.

After Glasgow East

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has now lost Labour two Commons seats. But it won’t be withdrawn, because New Labour was always about destroying the Labour Party on the basis of visceral hatred towards exactly the sort of people who mind most about such things.

After Glasgow East, the way is now clear for a party which can win back those who have suffered most as a result of New Labour’s carefully contrived social injustice, and wealth redistribution in the wrong direction.

Those who feel compelled to vote for a separatist party despite believing passionately in the Union as Catholics in Scotland (and Wales, and England) do, for all the tricolour-waving around Saint Patrick’s Day (insofar as that still goes on – I have never even seen it in Consett except in relation to the sale of Guinness just like everywhere else, and in my experience even people with names straight out of Angela’s Ashes are these days black affronted if anyone suggests that they are Irish), which has nothing to do with life as it is lived in Scotland (or Wales, or England), or indeed with life as it is now lived in either part of Ireland.

Those who need a party unambiguous in its defence of Catholic schools, historically a Labour interest alongside the Tory championing of public school Church of England-ness, and, way back when, the Liberal connections to the Connexions. The SNP is a late and fundamentally insincere convert to this cause. Its core is still as hostile to Catholic schools as to the monarchy, if not even more so.

And those who, in an eerie echo of the emergence of the American Religious Right (a spectacular electoral success but a spectacular political failure), are prepared to give their blue-collar or even no-collar Catholic votes to a Baptist in the interests of life and the family, as once they gave those votes to Methodists and Scottish Presbyterians when such were rather different from what they are now.

New Labour cannot be that party. It was created specifically not to be. Not to be the party of social justice or the right kind of wealth redistribution. That was Old Labour. Not to be the party the United Kingdom, sovereign and at the heart of the Commonwealth, with no question of its constituent parts as provinces of a federal European state under overall American control. That was Old Labour. Not the party of Catholic schools that “took the sons (and daughters) of dockers and turning them into doctors”. That was Old Labour. And not the party “owing more to Methodism than to Marx”, indeed owing nothing whatever to Marx. That was Old Labour.

Which is what people want. In Crewe and Nantwich (the northernmost and westernmost limit of Tory support, but of that another time). In Glasgow East. Everywhere.

Some of us are determined to give it to them. And the Electoral Commission has finally agreed to let us.

Still Sixteen

Any 16-year-old who really wants to vote needs to get a life. And lowering the voting age to 16 would be a most serious threat to our democracy. No sane person suggests that the opinion of a 16-year-old is equal to that of his Head Teacher, or his doctor, or his mother. So why, it would be asked unanswerably, should each of them have precisely one vote? Thus would the process begin.

It matters not one jot how intelligent a particular child is, or how accomplished as a 16-year-old. He or she is still only 16, and that is the point. Anyone over about 21 who cannot see this has a serious problem, and is another person who needs to get a life.

Those at the National Blathering Shop (a policies-to-order gathering of the starstruck, invented in the days when the Labour Party Conference still seemed worth subverting) who believe that giving 16-year-olds the vote would be to their electoral advantage have not learned the lessons of history, which is no doubt why they are still in the organisation laughably purporting to be the Labour Party. Harold Wilson thought much the same thing, but went on to a shock defeat in 1970, the first General Election in which 18-year-olds could vote.

Imagine if 16-year-olds could vote in 2010. They would have been born in the year that Tony Blair (who to today’s teenagers is just that grey-haired old man who started the war in Iraq) became Labour Leader, and they would have been three years old when he became Prime Minister.

The idea that they would consider it somehow radical or rebellious to vote for the only governing party that they could remember is a fantasy such as could only afflict the ageing soixante-huitards, absolutely convinced that they remain the Anti-Establishment no matter how rich, how powerful or – wait for it – how old they might become. Even now that they are very rich indeed, very powerful indeed, and (certainly from the point of view of anyone aged only 16) very old indeed.

“But inside, we’re still 16.”

Yes, I’m afraid you are.

Turkish Delights

The case of the Turkish Tories (the Islamist AKP is a member of the European People’s Party, from which David Cameron has never had the slightest honest intention of withdrawing) is a useful illustration of why political parties should not be funded by the State, which must rightly reserve the right to withhold public money.

Suddenly the Turks are news across a very wide area, from the land of the Balkan Turks, through Turkey itself, via Cyprus, all the way to the land of the Chinese Turks. At least in the Balkans, in Turkey and in China, the news (if such it be) is that they favour Islam in all its militancy, and that if any opposition to this exists among them, then it is in the form of an equally militant ultranationalism. Such also underlay, and to date still underlies, Turkish separatism in Cyprus.

I cannot improve on John Laughland and Peter Hitchens where Karadzic is concerned. I can only say (as no doubt John would, too) that it gives this Catholic no pleasure to have to point out that the Croats backed the wrong side and were thus derelict in their historic duty as a people. (That said, it is not clear exactly when the Serbs went into schism from Rome: their second King, Stephen II, brother of Saint Sava himself, received in 1195 both his royal crown and the title prvovenčani, or primus coronatus, from Pope Honorius III.)

And I do have to wonder how differently people might react (not least in post-9/11 America) if someone tried to set up a Wahhabi state in Europe these days. Except, of course, that someone has recently done exactly that, with full American and British backing. Do we never learn? Or rather, why do we never learn?

Hitchens is of course quite right that the (always US-backed) EU breaks up multinational states in order to subsume their constituent parts. It did so in Yugoslavia. It did so in Czechoslovakia. It is doing so right now in Belgium. Next on its list are Spain and the United Kingdom.

Twenty Years On

Twenty years on from the 1988 Education Reform Act, what did it do? More to the point is what it failed to do.

It failed to re-open a single grammar school. Indeed, not one re-opened at any time between 1979 and 1997, and David Cameron recently led his party into the division lobby in support of a Government Bill to ban the creation of any more.

And it failed to reverse the Thatcher Government’s own replacement of O-levels with GCSEs.

But it did gravely weaken Local Education Authorities. Without strong LEAs, a bipartite or tripartite system could not and cannot function. Hence their downgrading by Kenneth Baker, one of Thatcher’s staunchest lieutenants, who has devoted his retirement to the battle to abolish church schools.

No Trivial Pursuit

Although there will have to be very careful safeguards (in at least one of the more celebrated cases, no evidence of domestic abuse by the deceased against the deceaser was ever produced), there is an argument for reducing murder to manslaughter if the perpetrator really is in grave fear of violence.

But the abolition of the defence of provocation is something else entirely. Or, at least, the terms in which that abolition has been proposed are deeply disturbing. Adultery might not be a good enough reason to kill somebody (Jesus Himself ruled out that one), but politicians, interviewers and commentators have simply assumed, as if it were self-evident, that adultery is in itself a trivial matter. No, it is not. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” comes just after “Thou shalt not kill” and just before “Thou shalt not steal”. Murder and theft are not trivial. Nor is adultery.

As for nagging, it is feminists themselves who have done sterling work in explaining and illustrating that verbal abuse really is abuse, and can be just as serious as physical abuse. Subjecting a man (or woman) to years of nagging is just as bad as subjecting a woman (or man) to years of verbal denigration of other kinds. Or have I missed something?

Power To The People

We used to own our power supply. The whole nation, as such, owned it, and kept prices down through the democratic political process. But now it is largely owned, not just by foreigners, but by a foreign state.

As it happens, that foreign state is the French foreign state. But that is beside the point. If it were the American foreign state, or the Chinese foreign state, or the Centrafrican foreign state, then the situation would be just as objectionable in principle. And, for hard-pressed domestic consumers, just as oppressive in practice.

Long ago, Labour believed in British sovereignty. Even longer ago, so did the Tories. If either still did, then it would be calling for a ban on foreign (never mind foreign government) ownership of our key national assets, a ban guaranteed by the public ownership of those assets. But neither believes in any such thing any more, and the Tories haven’t at almost any time in living memory, least of all under Margaret Thatcher. So no such call is being made.


Like the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions (allegedly the answer to global cooling in the Seventies), the reduction of the world’s population has a long history as a solution in search of a problem. So it is no surprise whatever that population control is now being held up as necessitated by – all together now – global warming.

There are just too many chavs and darkies, aren’t there? The problem with the world is that it has people in it. Though not, of course, people of Our Sort.

Applied at national level, and above all at our national level at this point in history, this is about aborting, contracepting and sterilising out of existence the organised, English-speaking working class, black and white. Someone will still have to do the hard graft, of course. So the process will be accelerated, since it is already very much underway, of importing a new working class whose members understand no English except commands, know nothing about workers’ rights in this country, can be deported if they step out of line, and (since they have no affinity with any particular part of this country) can be moved around at will.

As long ago as the Twenties, schemes to abort, contracept, and sterilise the working class out of existence were peremptorily dismissed by a nascent political movement called the Labour Party. Whatever happened to that movement?

Vote Orange, Go Blue?

Will the Tories get anywhere by taking over the Ulster Unionist Party?

UUP supporters might not have quite the economic populism, or the moral and social conservatism, of DUP supporters (and MPs). But they are still essentially economic populists, and moral and social conservatives. After all, who isn’t? We are talking about Northern Ireland here. David Cameron and his ilk could not be further removed.

And it is true that the UUP are more British nationalists than Ulster nationalists, the DUP being in the true Scots-Irish tradition on both sides of the Atlantic, of willingness to kill or to die for the Union (whether British or American) exactly as long and as far as it delivers what the Scots-Irish want, beyond which they would be (and, on both sides of the Atlantic, have been) willing to kill or to die in order to destroy the Union.

But by no means all UUP supporters are Anglo-Irish, or pro-Union Catholic, instead. For that matter, large numbers of the Anglo-Irish and of the pro-Union Catholics must now vote for the DUP, as Ulster nationalist a party as Sinn Fein and the SDLP (and they are – Northern Ireland is the place that they know, love, and really understand, and for which they would fight like tigers in the structures of any future United Ireland), as the UUP used to be.

The UUP knows to whom, and why, it has lost votes. And it must therefore know how to get them back. Teaming up with David Cameron, of all people, will only drive even more away.


Primary school teachers apparently don’t know enough to be able to test their pupils, and GPs apparently don’t know enough to be able to sign people off. Ed Balls and James Purnell know better. Don’t they?

Public Service Must Be Resumed

It is high time to re-regionalise ITV under a combination of municipal and mutual ownership, and to apply that same model (but with central government replacing local government, subject to very strict parliamentary scrutiny) to Channel Four.

The Real Global Warming Swindle

It is getting away with demanding that carbon dioxide be so reduced as to destroy (or prevent the restoration of) high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs, and arrest development in the poor world while restricting travel to the rich, while at the same time opposing nuclear power, which also provides high-wage, high-skilled, high-status job, while offering independence from Arab oil and Russian gas, all in “carbon neutral” fashion.

How do they get away with it? And for how much longer will they be able to?

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit

The Classical concept of friendship that we still call “Platonic” to this day (but which is just as much Biblical - Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan, Jesus and John, Paul and Timothy), recapitulated in Christ so as to include women and preclude pederasty, is something of which our debauched, de-Christianised, rootless excuse for a culture has completely lost sight.

Hence the decision to move Cardinal Newman from the grave of Father Ambrose St John in time for the former’s beatification. And hence the perfectly ridiculous, but lavishly reported, suggestion that William III engaged in sexual acts with his court favourites, the only “evidence” for which is the existence of those favourites in the first place, regarded as a knock-down argument by the utterly, utterly filthy-minded.

Step forward, Peter Tatchell.

Who, I am told, does not wish to lower the age of consent to 14 at all (funny how I have heard him in the flesh propose a motion to that very effect), but merely wishes to legalise sex between under-14s who differ in age by not more than three years. So that’s all right, then. Isn’t it?

Kinky Carey?

I have hitherto managed to avoid any sort of comment on the Max Mosley case, although I do wonder exactly when, how and why prostitution and sadomasochism became perfectly legal. That is certainly news to me. And not good news.

But the man in the hospital bed next to mine had the News of the World, and I had a look at it in order to pass the time. Its back end (so to speak) was replete with advertisements for sexual services.

As much as anything else, what is George Carey doing, writing (and that presumably for a fee) for such a publication? Would he write for a top-shelf magazine? For all I know, he already does. Does he? If not, why not?

Monday 21 July 2008

Labour Pains

Eleven years into what purports to be a Labour government, and the unions are still having to call for (but not get) such hardly Castro-esque measures as the scrapping of prescription charges, the bringing of all hospital cleaning back in-house, the requirement that government contractors have unionised workforces, withdrawal from Iraq, a new council house building programme, the extension of the adult minimum wage (such as it is) to 18 to 21-year-olds and to apprentices, free school meals for all primary school pupils, the breaking up of the dominance of the big six energy companies, the introduction of a duty on individual company directors to ensure health and safety, the extension of the Gangmasters Licensing Authority to construction, the allowing of low-paid workers to access sick pay, and the extension of parental leave to the first 16 years of the child’s life.

People who do not agree with even these most modest of proposals already have a party. It is called the Conservative Party. The fact that there is any need to withdraw from Iraq, and the fact that even so much as one of the other policies set out above was not enacted a decade ago, proves that there is simply no point to the Labour Party. The unions should stop wasting their money on it. And everyone else should stop wasting their votes on it.

It always used to be argued that policies such as these would be economically ruinous. Well, the absence of them has now proved to be economically ruinous, so we might as well give them a go, since they cannot possibly be any worse than what we already have. The argument of economic ruin has now gone the way of the equally specious argument of unaffordability, which was killed off by the wholly voluntary, never-ending, eye-wateringly expensive war in Iraq.

James Purnell Is Incapable

I would normally ignore James Purnell, with his Nineties haircut, his exceptionally slappable face, and his tiresomely affected lower-middle-class accent. He almost makes David Miliband look like an intellectual. Though not quite.

But Purnell now wants different welfare systems in different parts of the United Kingdom. Already, people in Scotland (especially), Wales and Northern Ireland get to live in what is still recognisably a British country, complete with publicly funded public services, proper local government, free university tuition, free long-term care for the elderly, and even the free prescriptions of the early Attlee years. Whereas here in England, we have to endure the continuous experiments of the nutters on the London think tank circuit, with no way of voting against them and in favour of sanity or decency instead. (An English Parliament, alternating between New Labour and the New Tories, would not improve this one iota.) And now Purnell wants to make things even worse.

Purnell and his media cheerleaders have absolutely no concept of poverty. With inflation as it is, people faced with the prospect of the halving of their income that would be a move from incapacity benefit to the dole would go so far as to injure themselves in order to prevent this from happening. Is that really what Purnell and his supporters want? Do they even care?

The fact of the matter is that, in order to meet government targets, many people who deserve incapacity benefit are already refused it. Purnell might try addressing that. And then addressing quite why it is that quite so many people are (and they are) medically unfit for work.

Cameron and Tax

No, of course Cameron isn’t going to cut taxes. Those wars have to be paid for somehow, you know. As much as anything else, wars are massively disruptive of established social and cultural patterns. So Cameron, being a total non-conservative, cannot get enough of them.

Knife Crime

Isn’t it odd that this has been endemic in Glasgow for many years, but is suddenly news now that it is happening in London? And that white youths stabbed by other white youths are always “promising”, “gifted” or even “brilliant” examples of something or other, whereas black youths shot by other black youths are always “gang members”?

Hitting Home

Perhaps now that two on-duty, uniformed Police Officers have been all but kicked to death merely for telling a teenager to pick up her litter, we can finally get over the fantasy that this staggeringly violent and drug-addled country, by far the worst in Western Europe, is somehow crime-free.

Nudge, Nudge

I’d love to know how much Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein are paid for their statements of the bleeding obvious. But it is good to see that the agenda is no being set by State regulation of the economy in the service of greater social, cultural and political goods.

So, will David Cameron explain how he intends to “nudge” people into buying British, or into marrying and having children in that order, or into refraining from illegal drug use? Surely he isn’t saying that he doesn’t believe in such things?

The Real Scandal

It is no wonder that there has been so lukewarm a response to the Pope’s apology for child abuse in Australia. There or in any other Western country, he should have said that he was indeed profoundly sorry that priests had had sex with teenage boys, but at the same time that they had at least broken what they knew to be the rules, and that Catholic priests are now the only category of men who run the slightest risk of prosecution for such acts.

That is the real scandal.

Over here, from Queer As Folk through Shameless (which in the last series featured incest between teenage half-brothers as a gigantic joke) to Clapham Junction, sex between men and teenage boys is glorified. We treat as a national treasure Peter Tatchell, a militant campaigner for the age of consent to be lowered to 14, which, had it been in force, would have legalised well over ninety per cent of the offences committed by Catholic priests.

And Tatchell is but a faithful representative of the movement that originated in the early 1970s the idea, which has no prior history whatever and remains unknown in great swathes of the world, that persons, rather than simply acts, are homosexual, and that a predilection for such acts constitutes an identity comparable to class, ethnicity or even sex (which is written into every cell of the body).

That was and is a movement of, by, for and about those who sexually abuse teenage boys. It began several years after our own humane and necessary decriminalisation of male homosexual acts between consenting adults in private. Many of its pioneering figures abused teenage boys to their dying days, and the rest still do so to this very day. Every time that you see one of those rainbow flags, or anything like that, then remember that that is what it represents.

Yet that is now the by far the richest and most powerful lobby group in several countries, including this one, where it absolutely may not be gainsaid on any issue.

That is the real scandal.

NEETional Service

Not least following the wholly unremarkable revelation that one in five 16 and 17-year-olds isn’t doing anything, we need universal and compulsory – non-military, but uniformed, ranked and barracked – National Service between secondary education and tertiary education or training.

As much as anything else, this would send people to university that little bit worldly-wiser, which would not only be good for academic and behavioural standards, but would also drain such swamps as Marxism, anarcho-capitalism, and the marriage of the two in neoconservatism. No one who had been around a bit would ever fall for such things for one moment.

Of course, that is also a very good reason for broadening the social and socio-economic base from which students (and, indeed, academics) are drawn, instead of “widening participation” by abolishing everything in which one might wish to participate, and then only letting in the offspring of the upper middle classes anyway, on the smug assumption of having done one’s bit. There was no threat to gowns, or Latin graces, or black and even white tie functions, or what have you, in the days when even Oxford and Cambridge were massively dominated by products of the state sector, and most private schools were barely academic at all. On the contrary, these were exactly the reasons why people had gone there.

From the grammar schools.

It Will All End In Tears, Blears

Two hundred Muslim scholars are to be appointed by Hazel Blears in order to interpret Islam definitively for British Muslims. No, please don’t laugh. Please.

Of course, the civil power in this country has form here. Many moons ago, it tried to do something similar to Catholicism, only for an initially (and, for other reasons, later) substantial body of people to insist, at whatever cost to themselves, on the real thing instead. The whole enterprise opened the door to strongly anti-Catholic, and in some cases also anti-Erastian, elements, some of which subsequently went into outright schism, others into various degrees of internal schism. That story is by no means concluded yet.

So please don’t laugh. Please.

The Tragedy of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

As seen by Phillip Blond.

Thursday 17 July 2008

Reported Crimes Down

Well, of course they are. Nobody bothers to report anything any more, because they know that nothing will be done.

Public Sector Pay

The public sector (including MPs and Ministers) should be banned by statute from paying any employee more than ten times what it pays any other employee, with its median wage pegged permanently (and, again, by statute) at the median wage in the private sector.

The Military Covenant

It must include not sending them to fight pointless, unwinnable and in at least one case illegal wars.

And it must, since they are British too, preclude huge transfers of money from public services, private pockets or both into the fighting of the Crazies' endless wars. But I doubt that the military top brass, never mind the rank and file, wants any such transfer, because wants any such war. Knowing what war is like, they are extremely averse to it if at all avoidable, like Jim Webb or Jacques Chirac (old brothers in arms of John McCain are aghast at his views on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, on bombing Iran, on torture, and on veterans' issues).

I for one would love them to say so, and for our Forces to bring themselves home in such a way that Brown, Blair, Cameron and the rest would only find out when they switched on their televisions and saw the triumphant marching through the cheering, flag-waving crowds. Without a shot's needing to be fired, our rotten and decadent, blood-thirsty but battle-cowardly Political Class would be brought crashing to the ground.

Now that really would be the defence of this Realm, the honouring the Military Covenant from the Forces' side.


The United States should be congratulated for re-opening diplomatic links to Iran, an emerging democracy with a very high culture, and the West’s natural ally in the Middle East. As much as anything else, even Bush now obviously expects Obama to succeed him.

Both Bush and Obama should now build on this positive development towards Iran, which has a reserved Jewish seat in Parliament and more women than men at university, by loosening ties to the Jew-hating and misogynistic Gulf monarchies, paymasters of AIPAC-backed and feminist Hillary Clinton’s mercifully unsuccessful Presidential bid.


At last, some attention to the behaviour of the Lithuanian partisans, opening the door to the examination of the conduct of Soviet and Soviet-backed forces generally during the War, and to the character of the early State of Israel, rather more Soviet than Western-inclined, treated with corresponding wariness by the United States, a haven for war criminals who happened to be Red rather than Brown, and to this day not exactly the sort of place of which the American Right would otherwise approve.

And opening the door to an examination of the War itself, which could have been a mutual tearing apart by Hitler and Stalin, Hirohito and Mao, but in which, facing no threat, we instead chose to ally ourselves with one pair of monsters against the other, thereby subjecting ourselves to six years of nightly bombardment, massively and irreversibly disrupting our established social order, expending vast sums that might have been used to fight the Five Giants, spurring on the Holocaust, requiring us to give in to the Marxist terrorists in Palestine (who themselves scorned refugees from Germany), preventing us from objecting to the forced evictions of the ethnic Germans from Central and Eastern Europe (who, since they had not been in the Weimar Republic, could not have voted for Hitler), forcing us to dismantle our Empire, and subjugating us to the Americans.

Which, in turn, opens the door to an examination of the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century, the American breaking of the stalemate between the Allies and the Central Powers, resulting, not in the return to the pre-1914 position that would otherwise have been inescapable (but with bellicosity exorcised from all the cultures in question), but instead in the disastrously cack-handed carve-up of the Habsburg and Ottoman Empires, in the emergence of the Soviet Union, and in the spitefully triumphalistic, manifestly unjust war guilt clause, which made the rise of Nazism inevitable.

Chavs and Chav Nots

Is the word “chav” offensive to the working class?

Only if you think that working-class people are chavs.

Which says a great deal about you.

Invisible Belgium

Almost entirely unreported by newspapers and broadcasters based a short train ride from Brussels, there continues apace the neocon-backed Flemish secessionist movement with deep Nazi roots (like the neocons' friends in Bosnia, Kosovo and Denmark), which, in the cause of the anti-conservative "free" market and in order to destroy a social democracy based squarely on Catholic Social Teaching, wishes to destroy a state closely resembling the United Kingdom, historically our principal ally and trading partner on the Continent, and headed by a monarch of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Why does nobody want to know?

Of Ff-Words And The F-Word

I seem to have deleted the latest comment from "Break Dancing Jesus" (who attempts to comment here several times per day in the "this post refers to someone of whom I have never heard/contains a word I do not know, therefore the fault must be in you" terms also beloved of Jon), in which he accuses me of "facism". Does anyone, even BDJ, know what "facism" is?

Anyway, it has apparently been noted on the blog of one Oliver Kamm (like BDJ, one of those people who were put down for Oxbridge from birth like the preceding eleven generations of their families, so think that that makes them clever, or at least well-educated), that I hate the Welsh. Not a bit of it. Bevan was Welsh. Many of the most staunchly conservative, patriotic, pro-worker and anti-Marxist Labourites were, and are, Welsh. The anti-war tradition in Wales is second to none, as is the closely related Christian Socialist tradition. Wales is, and has been for a very long time, a major centre of rural radicalism.

Leo Abse is Welsh and sat for a Welsh constituency, as were and did several of his fellow Labour anti-devolutionists in the Seventies, including Neil Kinnock, towards whom Kamm nurtures a particular hatred, as of course any upper-class sectarian Leftist must. The Welsh (English-speaking and Welsh-speaking areas alike) rejected separatism decisively in those days, and their apparent later endorsement of it was not only by a whisker on a very low turnout, but even then delivered in distinctly questionable circumstances.

But BDJ, no doubt like Kamm, only knows (or thinks that he knows) one thing about the Welsh, namely that they speak Welsh. Well, no, actually. Eighty per cent of them do not. Good luck to the other twenty per cent, but they are rarely working or lower-middle-class, as good as never white, largely tribal Tories (First Past The Post masks the Tories' popularity in Wales), and routinely employed at public expense because they have convinced successive Governments that Welsh is a pre-requisite for any job worth having in Wales. In parts of Wales, it is. But in most of Wales, it is not. And it does bear repetition that all Welsh-speakers in Wales, every single one, are completely bilingual in Welsh and English.

All of this is just as was predicted by Leo Abse, mention of whose name undoubtedly so enraged BDJ (who has never heard of him) and Kamm (and who has probably tried and failed to read at least one of his books - not always right, but always beyond Kamm or BDJ).

As for Fascism, which I assume that BDJ meant, I have been wondering for some time whether there is really any such thing. Can anyone think of any feature, even one, common to all designated Fascist regimes and not found in any others? I can't.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

To Bury Margaret Thatcher, Not To Praise Her

Why would anybody want to give Margaret Thatcher a state funeral? What did she ever actually do?

Well, she gave Britain the Single European Act, the Anglo-Irish Agreement and the Exchange Rate Mechanism. She gave Britain the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, and the replacement of O-levels with GCSEs. And she gave Britain the destruction of patriarchal authority within working-class families and communities through the destruction of that authority’s economic basis in the stockades of working-class male employment.

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. 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 (fully forty per cent of the economy) to an unprecedented level of central government dirigisme. She presided over the rise of Political Correctness, so much of a piece with the massively increased welfare dependency, and the general moral chaos, of the 1980s.

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. 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.

The issue is not whether fee-paying schools, agriculture, nuclear power or mortgage-holding is a good or a bad thing in itself. The issue is whether “Thatcherism” 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, by providing aid and succour to Pinochet’s Chile and to apartheid South Africa. I condemn the former as I condemn Fidel Castro, and I condemn the latter as I condemn Robert Mugabe. No doubt you do, too. But she did not then, and she does not now.

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.

Get over her!


There must be no devolution to the Welsh Assembly of power over the Welsh language. No one in Wales who wishes to use Welsh now experiences the slightest difficulty in doing so, and nor should they.

Rather, the discrimination is against those who wish to use English, in which all Welsh-speakers in Wales are absolutely fluent (just as all Welsh-speakers in Patagonia are absolutely fluent in Spanish - there is no monoglot Welsh-speaker anywhere in the world), and which is the language of eighty per cent of the Welsh, including practically the entire working class, black and white. Welsh is as good as entirely a white language, and is the cordon sanitaire of impenetrable upper-middle-classness in Wales.

Since devolution (although also by means of successive Tory pieces of legislation before that), Welshness has come to be defined strictly in terms of this minority, all-white, rather posh language, with those beyond its bounds rendered practically unemployable above the most menial levels, just as Leo Abse predicted during the devolution debates of the 1970s. Devolution of language matters is wanted precisely in order to make this situation even worse. It must not be allowed to happen.

Monday 14 July 2008

Rogue Elements

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill has been delayed in order to avoid putting off the Catholic voters of Glasgow East. The SNP candidate should be returned there anyway.

That would clear the way for a party (which New Labour cannot be) of social justice and wealth redistribution, of the Union, of unambiguous support for Catholic schools, and of the United Kingdom as something other than a rogue state which has abolished fatherhood, legalised spare parts babies, and licensed human-animal crossbreeding. Where else on earth has the last, in particular, been permitted, or will it ever be?

Academic Marxism long ago gave up on economics and turned its attention to the culture wars instead. But hardly anybody seems to have noticed. The Fourth International was able to take over the Republican Party because no one would ever have looked for it there, and because everyone assumed that it would be in favour of the state control of the economy; in that vein, see Nick Cohen’s endorsement of John McCain, Robert Kagan’s latest vicar on earth, in yesterday’s Observer, because of McCain’s support for the Dark Side in Yugoslavia, against Malcolm Rifkind’s reasons not to back blackshirts or Wahhabi, reasons mysteriously lost on the PNAC crowd.

And the utterly unrepentant old Communist, Trotskyist and fellow-travelling enemies of the sanctity of life, of family values, of national sovereignty, of civil liberties, and so forth have been able to take over the Labour Right and the Lib Dems, and are rapidly taking over the Tories, because no one would ever look for them there, and because everyone assumes that they would be in favour of the state control of the economy.

Nothing could be further from the case: it is precisely the absence of any such control over the economy or anything else that suits their nefarious purposes down to the ground.

In The Woodpile

Still they blather on about Cameron and “Swedish schools” or “Wisconsin welfare”. They almost deserve a Cameron Government just so that it could disappoint them so bitterly.

Except, of course, that they probably wouldn’t believe that it had happened. Just look at their ongoing insistence (in the absence of the slightest evidence, at least on their own side of the argument) about how Eurosceptical the Tories are. And just look at their continuing devotion to Margaret Thatcher, entirely regardless of her actual record in office.

But after last week’s outburst from Lord Dixon-Smith, they might consider what would have happened if such a thing had happened under Michael Howard, never mind William Hague or Iain Duncan Smith. But Cameron is immune, because the liberal media know that all the “achievements” of the Blair years are safe in his hands.

And they themselves have no dispute with his view that poverty is a moral fault on the part of the poor. They see themselves as on the Left purely and simply because they wish to destroy everything moral, social and constitutional that true conservatives exist in order to conserve. And he sees himself purely and simply because he is in favour of the “free” market, by far the most ruthlessly effective means to that destruction.


One Charles Tunnock is said to be of the view that UKIP supporters are “ready to come back” to the Tories.

Well, they have to go somewhere, now that UKIP is on the brink of collapse. But what makes him think that any more than half of them were ever Tories in the first place? At the last European Elections, the combination of their vote and the Tories’ gives far too high a total to constitute simply the natural Tory vote in Scotland, in Wales, in London, any of the Northern regions, either of the Midland regions, or the West Country.

The way is open for the re-emergence of the party of the Attlee Government’s refusal to join the European Coal and Steel Community on the grounds that it was “the blueprint for a federal state”. Of Gaitskell’s rejection of European federalism as “the end of a thousand years of history” and liable to destroy the Commonwealth. Of the 66 Labour MPs who voted against Maastricht. And of the every single Labour (and Lib Dem) MP who voted against the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies every year between 1979 and 1997.

Back On The Beat

Durham Constabulary is to send out its officers on foot or on bicycles, due to the rising fuel prices.

Every cloud...

The Limit

Of course younger drivers should have a zero alcohol limit. So should all other drivers.

The rate of deaths on our roads is staggering, and we need to start taking the sorts of measures that alone could do anything about it. A zero alcohol limit. A higher age requirement. Harder driving tests. Higher speed limits. Much tougher sentences for transgression.

And public transport.

Spot The Deliberate Mistake

Hot on the heels of George Osborne, the anti-fatherhood heir to a baronetcy, comes Gene Robinson, the bishop who exalts in “the beginning of the end of patriarchy”.

Spot the deliberate mistake.

While he is in this country, Bishop Robinson should be taken to visit those communities which were once sustained by the stockades of working-class male employment, but where that economic basis of paternal authority was first destroyed. Look at them now, twenty or twenty-five years later.

Spot the deliberate mistake.

And marvel that the creation of this state of affairs, by a mother who abandoned her own children to hired help in order to pursue her own political ambitions, will apparently merit a state funeral.

Spot the deliberate mistake.

Saturday 12 July 2008

The Twelfth

"Orangefest"? How ghastly. I mean, why?

A friend of mine who is a Catholic from Northern Ireland recalls being taken to watch the Orange parades as a small child in the Sixties. No one thought anything of it. They all did it.

As well they might have done, and as well they might today.

After all, just as it was the Pope who gave the Kings of England the Lordship of Ireland in the first place, so a Papal Blessing was sent to William III when he set out for Ireland. The Lateran Palace was illuminated for a fortnight when news of the Battle of the Boyne reached Rome. Into the nineteenth century, Catholics joined in the annual celebrations of the Relief of Derry; into the late eighteenth, Catholic priests even took part in the prayer service at the Walls of Derry. The professors and seminarians of Maynooth published a declaration of loyalty to the King during the 1798 Rebellion, and those extremely few priests who had adhered to that Rebellion were excommunicated, the bishops calling them "the very faeces of the Church".

Prominent Belfast Catholic laymen chaired rallies against successive Home Rule Bills, with prominent Catholic priests on the platforms. There were numerous Catholic pulpit denunciations of Fenianism, which is unlike any of the three principal British political traditions in being a product of the French Revolution. Hence its tricolour flag. And hence its strong anti-clerical streak, always identifying Catholicism as one of Ireland's two biggest problems.

Jean Buridan's theory of princely absolutism, held by the Stuarts and their anti-Papal Bourbon cousins, was incompatible with the building up of the Social Reign of Christ, subsequently the inspiration for all three great British political movements. Likewise, ethnically exclusive nation-states deriving uncritically from the Revolution do not provide adequate means to that end.

By contrast, the absence of any significant Marxist influence in this country has been due to the universal and comprehensive Welfare State, and the strong statutory (and other, including trade union) protection of workers and consumers, the former paid for by progressive taxation, and all underwritten by full employment: very largely the fruits of Catholic Social Teaching, especially via Diaspora Irish participation in the Labour Movement here as in Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Such fruits have been of disproportionate benefit to ethnically Gaelic-Irish Catholics throughout the United Kingdom; even in the 1940s, Sinn Féin worried that they were eroding its support. She who led the assault on these things remains a Unionist hate figure, since the Anglo-Irish Agreement is an integral part of any Thatcherism honestly defined, like the Single European Act, the ERM, and the decadent social libertinism inseparable from decadent economic libertinism.

Only an industrial or post-industrial economy, not one built on the sands of EU farm subsidies and film-making, can make provision such as existed before Thatcher.

A "United Ireland" (such as has never existed outside the United Kingdom) would exclude therefrom people who would otherwise participate in it. Labour's disgraceful refusal to organise in part of the United Kingdom sacrificed several naturally safe Labour seats in the days when it made any difference which party an MP belonged to.

Northern Ireland has both a large bourgeoisie and a large proletariat, like the rest of the United Kingdom, but unlike the Irish Republic. Gaelic-Irish Catholics are to be found in large numbers in Northern Ireland's middle and working classes alike. Within the Labour Party or its electorate, these, like their Protestant neighbours, would be welcome participants.

Many bourgeois and proletarians in Great Britain are ethnically Gaelic-Irish, devoutly Catholic, or both. Middle-class expansion since the Second World War, like the civilised intellectual and cultural life of the pre-Thatcher working class, was in no small measure due to the Catholic schools. The only way to maintain the Catholic school system in Northern Ireland is to keep Northern Ireland within the Union.

For each of this Kingdom's parts contains a Catholic intelligentsia, whereas the Irish Republic's is the most tribally anti-Catholic in the world. There are precious few Mass-going, and no ideologically Catholic, politicians, journalists, radio or television producers, or other public intellectuals there. Rather, the memories of Samuel Beckett and James Joyce are venerated. Anyone who objects to even the most extreme decadence is accused of wishing to "return" to "the bad, old, repressive Ireland". The Republic's Catholic schools, among much else, are doomed.

Furthermore, there is no desire, either for the much higher taxes necessary to maintain British levels of public spending in "the Six Counties", or for the incorporation of a large minority into a country which has developed on the presupposition of a near-monoculture.

So the Catholic case is for the Union. Look at the UUP and DUP votes in largely or entirely Catholic wards. Even Ian Paisley's huge personal vote at successive elections could not happen without considerable Catholic support. With no corresponding Nationalist vote in Protestant wards, the Union, simply as such, is manifestly the majority will of both communities. As for Paisley's theological opinions, the definitive Catholic answers to them have been available for centuries.

The left-wing case is also for the Union, which enables more people than would otherwise be able to do so to benefit from the building up of social democracy. The dismantlement of this by an enemy of the Union was mostly opposed by the old High Tory oligarchs of the UUP, now extricating itself from its links to the Orange Order, of which Ian Paisley is not a member; that dismantlement was consistently resisted by the DUP, with its "Old Labour" electoral base.

And the all-Ireland case is for the Union. As is appreciated in the Irish Republic, what is now Northern Ireland has been profoundly different from the rest of the island, but very like Great Britain, since long before any prospect of partition; that was precisely what necessitated partition. The Irish Republic does not want, and could not sustain, the incorporation of Northern Ireland.

In any case, there is no reason to assume that those who believe the IRA Army Council to be the sovereign body throughout the thirty-two county Republic proclaimed at Easter 1916 (a proclamation howled down by passers by on the streets of Catholic Dublin, "the most British city in the Empire"; and which referred to "gallant allies" in the form of the Kaiser's Germany, which had actually armed the Ulster Volunteer Force!) would rest until they had given effect to that view by to creating an all-Ireland fascist state. Indeed, there have long been rumours (ever since the time, in fact) of Irish refuelling of the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain, while the then strongly Republican Dublin Government certainly sent a message of condolence to Germany on the death of Hitler.

It is also worth noting that, at the height of the Provisional IRA's bombing campaign in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, it was actually being funded by the CIA, because it also carried out attacks against the Marxist wing that, by turning to constitutional politics, had led to the creation of the Provisional movement. So much for any "special relationship" between Britain and America generally, and between Thatcher and Reagan in particular!

Bloody Sunday could not have happened in (at that time) totally integrated Plymouth, Aberdeen or Swansea, because anything like it in an English, Scottish or Welsh city would have brought down the government of the day. Furthermore, the grievances giving rise to the Civil Rights Movement in the first place, and on which the IRA revival from the 1970s onwards subsequently depended, would never have arisen under total integration.

Th Civil Rights Movement was explicitly for equal British citizenship, not for a "United Ireland"; the Nationalist Party pointedly played no part whatever in its inception. And it was classically British Labour in identifying education, health care, decent homes and proper wages as the rights of citizens, who are demeaned precisely as citizens when they are denied those rights. Indeed, it was a Labour Government that suspended Stormont and sent in the British Army precisely in order to protect the Civil Rights campaigners and their supporters.

The people of England are now being denied equal citizenship by being excluded from the social democracies being created, at the whole Kingdom's expense, in Scotland and Wales. One to watch, I fear; and a sign that the appeasement of "blood and soil" retrospection and nostalgia is always the Left's enemy. For example, the National Health Service must be precisely that.

It is total integration that would ultimately be in the interests of all. And that includes the Catholic and/or left-wing Unionists of Northern Ireland.

So God Save The Queen.

Sanction This

Thank God for Russia and China, which refuse to make the plight of the Zimbabwean people any worse by countenancing sanctions, not against the Thatcher-imposed nomenklatura whom sanctions would not effect in the least, but against the ordinary people.

And no, sanctions did not bring down apartheid in South Africa. That collapse would have happened long before if the ANC had not been so supported by, and supportive of, the Soviet Union. As things turned out, the Soviet Union collapsed (as it would have done anyway, Reagan or no Reagan and Thatcher or no Thatcher), so no one saw any further need to prop up the old South African regime in order to prevent the gaining of a Soviet foothold there.

Brought Down

"If Margaret Thatcher had not been brought down," Norman Tebbit told the Any Questions audience, "then she might have turned her attentions from economic to social questions."

Well, just how long did she need? And anyway, this is simply not true. Thatcher introduced GCSEs instead of O-levels, the NHS internal market (which Labour promised in 1997 that it would abolish - whatever happened to that?), the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the creation of the Crown Prosecution Service, the Children Act, and numerous other major social changes, all the while presiding over the rise of Political Correctness and the economic entrenchment of 1960s social permissiveness by means of a "free" market ideology which cannot brook any restriction on anything for which a market might be said to exist, not even drugs, prostitution or pornography.

As for Tebbit's bemoaning of the disappearance of the grammar schools, some people's necks are so brass that the sun shines off them.

The War In Afghanistan

Going well.

Friday 11 July 2008

Step Forward, David Davis

Congratulations to David Davis on beating David Cameron’s Tories, against whom he was really standing. Although he faced many frivolous candidates, he also faced at least one serious supporter of 42-day detention and other attacks on liberty. So much for the popularity of these things: the people have now spoken on that one.

The Tories still show every sign of not really believing that they are going to win the next General Election. Their musings on English devolution, for example, seem to presuppose that they will win the majority of English seats but that Labour will win overall, or at least be the largest party in a hung Parliament.

But if they really do think that they are going to win, then might they not consider giving the position of Prime Minister, not to David Cameron, but instead to a Tory?

If so (and if not why not?), then step forward, David Davis.

The Union of the Mediterranean

And to think that there were those who said that talk of Eurabia was just scaremongering. The neocon hero Sarkozy is driving through the admission to NATO and the EU, in all but name, not just of Turkey, but of every country in the Middle East and North Africa.

But aren't those around the Mediterranean often very Westernised? Libya, for example? Well, yes, Gaddafi or no Gaddafi, it is true that there remains a very strong Italian influence in at least urban or elite Libyan culture. But at least one third of the population nevertheless adheres to the Sanusi synthesis of Wahhabism and popular Sufism. Similar things could be said about every other such "almost Western" country in the region.

As in 1980s Afghanistan, 1990s Bosnia, and today's Turkey, Kosovo, Pakistan, Kashmir (wait for the Kosovo-inspired UDI there - the jungle drums are beating), Chechnya, Iraq, and putatively Syria; and as by means of the limitless immigration necessitated by the "free" market; so also by this means, the neocons continue their relentless pursuit for themselves of the privileged dhimmitude of Moorish Spain.

And to hell with the rest of us.

Britain's Debt Crisis

According to Phillip Blond.

One Week To Go

According the relevant Out of Office Reply, the Electoral Commission official who assures me that the British People’s Alliance is now in the process of registration will be back on 14th July.

So, registration by 18th July, then.

If not, why not?

Thursday 10 July 2008

Returned, Even If Not Yet Fully Restored

Last Thursday morning, I wandered in the University Hospital of North Durham, expecting to be there for an hour and a half, and then to be out of action for a long weekend. I emerged last night, drastic emergency surgery and several eye-watering aftercare measures later. Regular readers will be astonished to learn that, among other things, huge quantities of bile have been removed from me.

On its sixtieth birthday, I found the NHS in rude health. The ward was spotless, the staff were superb, the food was lovely. At times, I felt like Sid James, enjoying hospital so much that I didn’t want to go home. A week with no mobile, no email, and only my nearest and dearest having a phone number for me might well become an annual event.

But I am glad to be home. And I’m very glad indeed that the nasty condition that has blighted the last five and a half years of my life has finally gone, never to return. Even if they didn’t manage to diagnose it until the act of doing so was enough to make major surgery immediately necessary.

I am pleased to notice that even Radio Four now correctly calls the BMA “the doctors’ union”, and I am pleased that, as ever, it acts as such. It might considering asking if, sometime around 1997, Labour might have promised to abolish the NHS “internal market” (playing shops), and even mass produced little pledge cards saying so.

Going may be a bit slower than usual here for a while, and the tone may have shifted. But keep coming back, folks. I did.


I loathe the SNP. I know that several of them are lovely people. Why, even my own late father was an SNP Councillor in the Sixties. But as a party, their single reason for existing is utterly abhorrent to me.

Yet if Labour were to lose Glasgow East to them, then it could only fight back as the party of social justice and wealth redistribution, of the Union, and of an undisputed commitment to Catholic schools. New Labour simply cannot be that party.

The way would be cleared for the re-emergence of a party which cannot be otherwise.

Children of the Revolution

Francis Beckett writes:

The children of the 60s and those of the 70s thought New Jerusalem was around the corner, its arrival hindered only by the conservatism of Harold Wilson's Labour governments. They did not realise that they were living in New Jerusalem and that their generation, which benefited from this dazzling array of freedoms, would, within 20 years, destroy them. Nor did they realise - for they had never heard of Tony Blair - how lucky they were to have Wilson to hate. Wilson courageously kept Britain out of Vietnam, founded the Open University and made such cautious moves towards greater social equality as were allowed by the difficult economic circumstances.

Proud of having conquered their inherited inhibitions, the 60s and 70s generations thought, in their innocence and foolishness, that there was little else to conquer. Their parents had battled for healthcare, for education, for full employment and economic security. These battles having apparently been won, the young fought for, and won, the right to wear their hair long and to enjoy sex. These were the battles that the young Blair fought and won at a stifling old-fashioned public school, Fettes, at the end of the 60s. He rejected the statism of the Attlee settlement. It is precisely because Blair is an authentic child of the 60s and 70s that he threw away Labour's chance to change the Thatcher settlement of Britain's affairs. He had no quarrel with it.

The children of that time saw themselves as pioneers of a new world - freer, fairer and infinitely more fun. They were wrong. The first (and still the best) biographer of the 60s, Bernard Levin, was nearer the mark: "Certainty had vanished, conviction was vanishing ... as those behind cried 'Forward!' and those before cried 'Back!' and both cries were constantly drowned by a mysterious muttering of 'Sideways! Sideways!' which came none knew whence."

He concludes:

Thatcherism, born in the 60s, was crouching beneath the bridge of the following decade like a malignant troll. And that is the sad truth about all the years that separated "Love Me Do" in 1962 from Thatcher's triumph in 1979.

Got That?

Those who profit, in the normal sense of the term, from the yet further privatisation of public services are all in favour of such privatisation. Just fancy that!

The only purpose of these “reports” and the like is to advocate that yet more public money be diverted to the only people whose opinion is ever asked, and thence to the Political Class that commissions and writes these the “reports” and the like. There should simply be no more such “reports” and the like. Ever.

But remember, there is only one way of being on the Right, and that is to be in all in favour of the “free” market, entirely regardless on its impact on such fripperies as national self-government (the only basis for international co-operation, and including the United Kingdom as greater than the sum of its parts), local variation, historical consciousness, family life (founded on the marital union of one man and one woman), the whole Biblical and Classical patrimony of the West, agriculture, manufacturing, small business, close-knit communities, law and order, civil liberties, academic standards, all forms of art, mass political participation within a constitutional framework, respect for the absolute sanctity of each individual human life from the point of fertilisation to the point of natural death, the constitutional and other ties among the Realms and Territories having the British monarch as Head of State, the status of the English language and the rights of its speakers both throughout the United Kingdom and elsewhere, and the rights of British-descended communities throughout the world. So there is absolutely nothing unconservative about, among so many other examples that might be cited, the transfer to foreign interests of great swathes of our economy and public services. And don’t you dare suggest that there is. Got that?

Likewise, remember that there is only one way of being on the Left, and that is to be mercilessly hostile to each and all of the things listed above. So there is absolutely nothing anti-Socialist about this undercutting of the entire reason why anybody might want the universal and comprehensive Welfare State, and the strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers, communities and the environment, the former paid for by progressive taxation, the whole underwritten by full employment, and all these good thing delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government. Or why anybody might want there to be trade unions, co-operatives, credit unions, mutual guarantee societies, mutual building societies and similar bodies, as well as an organised political voice for such. And don’t you dare suggest that there is. Got that?

Civil Rights, Uncivil Wrongs

Good for the Islington registrar who has won her case that she need not register civil partnerships, even though they already do not need to be consummated. So what have they to do with homosexuality, really?

Well, the legislation fails to provide for unmarried close relatives.That was proof, 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). Someone from Stonewall was trying to make that same silly point, which he clearly thought was self-evident, this evening.

That legislation must be amended immediately to allow unmarried relatives, whether of the same or of opposite sexes, to register their partnerships. Then there would be no problem.

Voter Incentives

How about having discernibly different political parties?

Or even parties whose ideologies and policies are even vaguely similar to any aspect of opinion in the public at large?

Or even parties with any left or right flank whatever?

Just a thought.

All The Fun On The Fringes

Hats off to Don Touhig for rightly pointing out that Plaid Cymru has run rings around Labour in their ill-considered coalition in Wales, and then for asking at PMQs about vibration white finger, as proper Labourites should while actual or arrested adolescents play about on the farther shores of Leftism and separatism.

But, of course, New Labour are not proper Labourites. They are arrested adolescent Leftists, and therefore more than happy to play about with the arrested adolescent separatists of Plaid Cymru.

Back when Labour was Labour, and indeed back when the Tories were the Tories, they were this country’s fantastically successful bulwarks against ideological mania. Consider the position at the time of John Smith’s death of all of the SNP, Plaid Cymru, the DUP, Sinn Fein, the BNP, UKIP, the Trots and the Islamists put together. Consider the position of any one of them today.

Compare, and contrast.

False Witness

Much concentration, and rightly so, on the denunciation by Baroness Manningham-Buller and others of the plan to bang people up for six weeks without even so much as charging them with anything.

But almost unremarked upon has been this week’s jaw-dropping, and predictably cross-party, legislation to validate six hundred unlawful orders permitting people to be convicted without the opportunity to confront their accusers in open court, and providing for an unlimited number of more such orders. There has been no comparable assault on liberty since well before living memory, and quite possibly since the reign of Charles I.

Every argument for this simply assumes a weak and feeble criminal justice system. If no other Common Law jurisdiction on earth needs this (not even in Zimbabwe is it actually the law), then why do we? If they don’t need it Scotland, then why do we? If we never needed it against the IRA, then why do we need it now? If we never needed it against the Krays, then why do we need it now? And so one could go on, and on, and on.

So why isn’t anybody bothering?

The New Cold War

We see the dying Bush Administration locating in the Czech Republic the lunatic instruments of the New Cold War, re-launched by those to whom the world has not made sense since the end of the old one. Yet again, we see on his favourite outlet, Newsnight, Boris Berezovsky, who is even permitted to travel on a British passport using the assumed name Platon Elenin, in order to visit the former Soviet Union stirring up support for a coup in Russia. And we also harbour Akhmed Zakayev, who, like the Chechen separatists generally, is an important example of how neoconservatism is not in any sense hostile to "militant Islam" (the only kind that there can be), but in fact hand-in-glove with it: in Chechnya, Kosovo, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey today, just as in Yugoslavia in the 1990s, and just as in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Oh yes, the New Cold War would seem to be on.

But need we to be looking closer to home instead? As Peter Hitchens writes from Moscow:

I recalled the little mosquito-haunted park with its statue of Pavlik Morozov, the Communist martyr. Morozov, a mythical creature who may not even have existed, denounced his father to the secret police for some anti-party crime. The horrible creature’s grandfather then, not unreasonably, murdered this unnatural brat. Morozov was turned into a national hero for putting his loyalty to party above loyalty to family.

A Russian friend once shamefacedly confessed to me that she had been taken on ritual pilgrimages to honor Morozov’s statue. His school, in the Urals, became an actual shrine. This respectable lady, who without any embarrassment would regularly lay flowers on a nearby monument to the KGB chief Yuri Andropov, felt that the worship of the Morozov cult was the most disturbing and shocking facet of her upbringing.

I remembered the horrible little nurseries, baby farms where Moscow mothers would park their children while they went off to spend their days at compulsory jobs. Life was arranged so that families needed two Soviet salaries to pay for the necessities of life, so hardly any mothers could afford to stay at home. I remembered the way that almost every adult I met was divorced. I remembered the way that abortion was the favored method of birth control.

I recalled the contempt and loathing for religion that had been successfully drummed into almost every professional person, combined with a gross ignorance of what the great faiths actually said. Above all, I concluded that the two things revolutionaries hated most were the stable married family and religious faith.

And I remembered coming back to the West, full of optimism, in 1992. And then I remembered seeing, year by year, in my own country and the U.S., new versions of all these subtle horrors: the “children’s rights” movement that encourages denunciation and sets children against their parents, the shoving of infants into daycare from an incredibly early age, the need for two salaries to pay the basic bills, the epidemic of divorce, the pandemic of abortion, the growing spiteful rage against faith. I saw all around me the construction of a system of thought that dismissed conservative, individualist points of view as intolerable and pathological. I saw public servants, academics, and broadcasters having their careers ruined—and in Britain being questioned by the police—for expressing incorrect opinions. Private life, in the modern West, is now becoming significantly less free than it is in post-ideological Moscow.

I have begun to suspect that the bacillus of revolution, once confined inside the borders of the USSR, did not die with Communism. On the contrary, it adapted itself and escaped in a new form. Now it rages busily in a world where, instead of storming the Winter Palace, the post office, and the railroad station, the enemies of freedom infiltrate the TV studio, the college campus, and the school. There is a new Cold War after all, but it is being fought inside our borders, without tanks or missiles.

Women Bishops

The Church of England’s admission of women to its episcopate would be catastrophic for witness within our national life to the classical Christianity that is, as much as anything else, the basis of all three political traditions. Independent research has found very large proportions of the women among the Church of England’s clergy to be doubters of or disbelievers in absolutely key points of doctrine, with two thirds denying “that Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin”, and, astonishingly, fully one quarter denying the existence “of God the Father Who created the world”.

The radical feminist Establishment not only wants women to become bishops, but also wants to require that the episcopal “team” in each diocese include both sexes. So, of those with privileged access to the media and other organs of national life as the voice of the Christianity professed by seventy-two per cent of Britons at the last census, at least one eighth will be agnostics or atheists.

There is a most urgent need for parliamentarians who will uphold Parliament’s constitutional duty to preserve the Church of England’s witness to historic, classical, mainstream Christianity, by neither speaking nor voting in favour of any ecclesiastical legislation not supported both by the Catholic Church and by the Evangelical Alliance.

And there is a most urgent need for parliamentarians who will uphold the Church of England’s place at the heart of the Anglican Communion, a body embracing huge numbers of Commonwealth citizens, of English-speaking people, and of British-descended people, and binding them and others, through the Church of England, to the Crown in Parliament.

On either of these counts, women bishops are unconscionable.

Meanwhile, this week’s goings on at York raise very serious questions about how far the Church of England is still an Anglican body at all. Every bishop who proposed anything, even the Bishop of Durham’s modest suggestion as the evening wore on that they might all reconvene after a good night’s sleep, was voted down, apparently on principle in order to put the bishops, as such, in their place. They are now simple carriers out of the factional activists’ will, with no right to suggest anything, not even a bit of shut-eye.

The liberal wing seems to have been taken over by people much like the Trotskyist infiltrators in the Labour Party years ago. Away from the Synod floor, their behaviour towards those who disagreed with them more than confirmed this comparison.

But considering the information that has already reached this left-footed convalescent in the sticks (diocesan bishops in direct talks with Vatican officials at the very highest levels, others threatening not to retire at 70 and then to fight under age discrimination legislation any attempt to make them go, six hundred incumbents threatening to resign and then sue for constructive dismissal, and much else besides), this one is going to run, and run, and run.

The Masters Now

Claire Fox is good value on The Moral Maze. But one of her old comrades from the Revolutionary Communist Party has now been on the panel with her three weeks in a row. People who accuse me (and they do in my inbox) of imagining the takeover of the British Establishment by the university-based sectarian Left have not being paying attention. All we need now is Harman as Prime Minister. But will you admit it even then?

Waterboarding Must Be Discontinued

Even Christopher Hitchens says so.

I’ll say that again.

Even Christopher Hitchens says so.

Brain Food

If you use basic foodstuffs literally to fuel the excesses of the Western lifestyle, then the world’s poor will go without food. Who knew?


Listening to the television on headphones, I found that they could not cope with Yvette Cooper. I had to take them off. Well, I say “had to”...

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Back Soon

If I do get to a computer either on Friday afternoon or on Saturday at lunchtime, then it will be for very brief periods. Normal service will be resumed on Monday afternoon.

"Appropriately Rewarded"

Can anyone suggest exactly how voting to allow people to be banged up without charge (not trial, charge) for six weeks might be "appropriately rewarded"?

A Kick In The Teeth

Half the population now has no NHS dentist. Blair did absolutely nothing to reverse the Tories' driving of dentistry out of the NHS, and nor is Brown. Cameron and Clegg certainly aren't aware that there are NHS dentists at all, and possibly aren't even aware that there is an NHS.


1700 children per day are prescribed antidepressants in this country, as if childhood and adolescence were medicable conditions. We are creating a drugged-up generation, and then we wonder about declining educational standards, and about violence among youths on the streets.

The Lib Dem War Party

The Lib Dems were never really against the Iraq War. Individual ones might have been, but then so were individual Tories and individual Labourites.

On the - if anything, even more calamitous war - in Afghanistan, they have always made the Daily Telegraph editorial pages look positively pacifist, faithful to the legacy of the man who pretty much built them up from scratch, Paddy "Supreme Ruler of Bosnia" Ashdown.

So it was no surprise to see Bob Russell get up at PMQs and berate other EU countries for not sending enough, if any, troops to Afghanistan. But good for those countries, say I.

And note the cross-party agreement the this sort of thing should be done by the EU, as such, under overall American command.

A Golden Oldie

Good old Sir Peter Tapsell. Of course "the Taliban" are not "international terrorists". They only want to run Afghanistan, never mind anywhere else, because there are Pashtun in it. And they are in any case exactly the same people whom we term "revered tribal elders" when we need them on isde.

As Sir Peter pointed out at PMQs, the "international terrorists" are now training in our ally Pakistan, in Iraq because we removed the bulwark against them there, and right here in Britain.

Caribbean Snow

Prince William's ship seized forty million pounds worth of cocaine on Saturday. What a week of celebration this must therefore be in Boujis and Mahiki.

Israeli Arabs

If seventy-seven per cent of Israeli Arabs really wouldn't want to live anywhere else, then why did one of them run amok with a bulldozer outside the BBC's Jerusalem offices today? And why did the BBC's own reporting change him from "an Israeli Arab" to "a Palestinian" between 12 noon and 1pm our time?

Actually, I think that the Arabs probably preferred Israel back when it was concerned with being a Jewish State, and before it became just the obsessively non-Arab that it is today flying in all and sundry in order to preserve a non-Arab majority. Russians who won’t eat kosher food, and who insist on taking their IDF oaths on the New Testament alone. Russian Nazis. East Africans who have invented a religion based on the Old Testament brought by Christian missionaries but who make no claim to Jewish descent. Peruvian Indians "converted to Judaism" and put on the plane as a single act. All sorts.

But the single most common name for newborn boys inside the pre-1967 borders is still now Muhammad. No wonder that the Israeli Arabs are mostly pretty contented. The long game is playing off. It's just a pity about the odd hot-head outside the BBC's offices. And the BBC won't admit that he was an Israeli Arab, anyway.

Glasgow East

Every traditional reason for voting Labour, either in general or specifically in Scotland, comes together in the East End of Glasgow. It is heavily Catholic, and not voting SNP is an article of faith to Scottish Catholics. It is strongly working-class, not something that can be said about the SNP, to put it at its mildest. And so forth.

But then, Catholics are extremely angry with New Labour, a pure product of student Marxism and of the related anticlerical, pro-Sinn Fein section of the old Irish subculture in this country, and therefore particularly hostile to Catholicism. And no one could accuse New Labour of being either working-class or in any sense for the well-being of the poor; very far from it, in fact.

If Labour does really badly in Glasgow East, then it is in very serious trouble indeed. And these days, it might.

Incidentally, I don't know how many times I have to tell people that the BPA will not be contesting anything before the European Elections next June. That is, assuming that the Electoral Commission lets us. It is now very clear in its absolute determination not to register us. It no longer even acknowledges receipt of the latest rounds of repetitive paperwork that it demands, and would presumably tell enquirers that it had never heard of us. I wonder why.

Oh well, I can't say that I wasn't warned.

The Tories And The English Question

If Cameron gets in, then this will all be forgotten about. But they all seem very tellingly convinced that he isn't going to get in, and that the best they can hope for is a majority of English seats alone. They should be made to elaborate on this. Why don't they think that Cameron is going to win?

Tuesday 1 July 2008

There Is No West Lothian Question

Ken Clarke, take note.

If the Parliament of the United Kingdom were to enact legislation applicable in Scotland, then that legislation would prevail over any enactment of the Scottish Parliament. There is simply no doubt at all about this, and anyone who doesn't like it should have voted No to devolution. I bet they didn't.

At present, it merely chooses not to do so. But it should do so, not least to make the point. After all, hasn't Gordon Brown any views about such matters in his own constituency? Now he has the chance to give effect to those views. He should take that chance.

The White Eagle Rises

Good for the President of Poland. The Lisbon Treaty is a dead letter, so he won't be signing it.

And if the Czech Constitutional Court doesn't throw it out, then the Czech Senate will.

There as here, a referendum is beside the point. The text of the Treaty itself is so objectionable as to be unconscionable.

The Origin of Speciousness

150 years of Darwinism, eh?

Well, little or nothing specifically scientific in Darwin was original to him, and no living scientist agrees with any of it.

What was original, and what remains staggeringly popular despite having caused both Marxism and Nazism (among other things), is the philosophical theory of "the survival of the fittest", universally dismissed by philosophers (be they never so atheistic - I first read this in a book edited by A C Grayling) as a tautology, since the only way to spot the fittest is that they are the ones that survive.

Bricking It

Still the BBC wails and wails about falling house prices.

The explosion in house prices has meant that most younger middle or upper-working-class people stand no chance of living out the middle-aged peak of their powers in properties remotely resembling the ones in which they grew up.

"Bricks and mortar" do not, at least ordinarily, constitute an "investment". They constitute a place to live. If we are now being forced back to acknowledging that truth, then about time, too.