Saturday 28 February 2009

Why Wait?

Let 's just get out of Iraq now.

"By The Way"

"That includes Syria and Iran", says President Obama.

Well, how could it ever have not?

Iran has three reserved parliamentary seats for Christians and one for a Jew. Syria has Christian majority provinces, and Christian festivals as public holidays. For that matter, Lebanon uses French (and increasingly English) as much as Arabic, and requires that the President be a Maronite.

All in all, these three countries are at least as much part of "the West" as Israel is, and arguably rather more so.

In dealing with any one of them, the only bottom line beyond our own national security is the security of the other two. And in dealing with any two of them, the only bottom line beyond our own national security is the security of the other one.

"No Desire"

"For a long-term presence in Afghanistan", says President Obama.

Well, why don't you, and we, just get out?

What are we even doing there, anyway?

Good Old Nick Cohen

Just this once.

He had the courage to tell The Daily Politics that PMQs should have gone ahead with Harriet Harman and William Hague.

Southern Cross

They certainly will be.

But they will have only themselves to blame.

Importing the products of un-unionised, child-exploiting sweatshops inevitably leads, and is designed to lead, to the importation of those sweatshops themselves.

That happened in America.

It is happening here.

And it will happen in Australia and New Zealand.

Arresting Development

The EU wants Richard Williamson's scalp.

He is an easy way into something far more sinister.

Why should minimising the Holocaust be an offence, rather than simply an error to be corrected as such, when, say, minimising or denying the crimes of Chairman Mao is not? Surely not because an old Maoist turned rabid "free" marketeer and Bush supporter is President of the European Commission?

Numerous old officials of the Soviet Communist Party or its satellites hold office in Brussels.

At Strasbourg sit and vote members of avowedly Stalinist and Trotskyist parties.

And so on.

When old Stalinists, Trotskyists or Maoists simply change tactics and become rabid "free" marketeers and Bush supporters, as different means to the same old ends, then what always, always, always characterises their global view?

Bush and his Crazies may be gone. But Barroso is still there. Sarkozy is still there. Merkel is still there. Berlusconi is still there. Brown is still there.

The first did, and the others still do, lead (having largely or entirely created) movements of which the prototype, the godfather, the mothership is Likud.

Holocaust denial is not what this is really all about.

The real aim is to make any criticism of Israel a criminal offence.

Friday 27 February 2009

Time To Fire The Mayor

Directly elected executive Mayors are a concept wholly alien to this country on every conceivable level. That Labour is apparently planning to put up Sir Alan Sugar demonstrates, even more clearly than the current spectacle of Boris Johnson, that the whole thing should be done away with.

Myners Chaired The Low Pay Commission


Over on ConservativeHome, Louise Bagshawe, on the Cameron A-list while a card-carrying member of the Labour Party (which she had only joined because she had a crush on Tony Blair), has a short piece on this. Necessarily and indeed mercifully short, of course, since she is not exactly a person with terribly much to say. That is why she was on the Cameron A-list.

Anyway, the link to Bagshawe's effort from the main page says "Sir Fred Chaired Low Pay Commission". An even better story. But totally untrue. Bagshawe has not noticed.

Vote Cameron, folks. You know it makes sense.


Peter Hain on Question Time spoke of "a limited progress" in that, while there are more teenage conceptions, there are no more teenage births.

In other words, there are more teenage abortions. That is his definition of "progress".

No one picked him up on this.

Well, of course not.

Neocon-English Translation

Neil Clark writes:

The internet is full of dictionaries that can translate words and sometimes even phrases, from one language to another. But there's one glaring omission. None of the online dictionaries I have yet seen feature Neo-Con.

Neo-Con may be a very rare language - spoken by no more than 200 people worldwide- and it is undoubtedly dying out. But I think it's a pity that there's no online Neo-Con - English dictionary.

That is, until now. As a free service to readers, I intend to offer, on this blog, the world's first Neo-Con - English translation service.

Neo-Con is a language like no other. Because its speakers never, ever mean what they say.

If a Neo-Con speaker says 'Iran has a nuclear weapons programme' he/she really means 'Iran has no nuclear weapons programme'.

If a Neo-Con speaker says 'Saddam Hussein's Iraq possesses WMD and is a threat to the west', he/she really means 'Saddam Hussein's Iraq possesses no WMD and is not a threat to the west'.

If a neo-con speaker says 'Slobodan Milosevic was a dictator who started six wars', he/she really means 'Slobodan Milosevic was a democratically elected leader who started no wars'.

In time I hope to set up a website which will automatically translate words and phrases used by Neo-Con speakers into English. But in the meantime, I'll be translating Neo-Con articles on an ad hoc basis.

To kick off, here's a translation of a letter, written in Neo-Con by the writer William Shawcross to The Daily Telegraph:

SIR – Andrew Pierce (Comment, February 20) condemns Tony Blair for taking Britain into Iraq: “the most disastrous British foreign policy foray since Suez”. Iraq, he says, is a “stain” for which Mr Blair “will never be forgiven”.

How so? The invasion rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein, a tyrant who had killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims, at home and abroad. Serious mistakes by the occupiers were brutally exploited by al-Qaeda and other Islamist enemies of Iraq, but that does not mean that Mr Blair is to blame for the suicide bombers.

Thanks largely to the tactics of General David Petraeus, accepted by President Bush, those ideologues have (at least for now) been defeated. Iraqis have just conducted the most democratic elections ever to have taken place in the Arab world. The results strengthened the secular parties, not the religious extremists.

The Iraqis I know don’t excoriate Mr Blair or Mr Bush; they recognise that their chance for a decent future could never have arisen had Saddam and his gangster sons been allowed to remain in power.

William Shawcross

London W2

Here's a translation of Shawcross's letter, from Neo-Con to English:

How so? The invasion got rid of Saddam Hussein, a man who stood in the way of US hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East. Iraq also possessed very large oil reserves which the US wanted to control.

Iraq’s elections were not the most democratic elections ever to have taken place in the Arab world: those took place in Palestine in 2006, but as the ‘wrong side’ won those elections, we don’t acknowledge them to have been democratic.

The war has been great for corporate profiteers and has also removed from power a supporter of the Palestinian cause.

I know about five or six Iraqis.

Of Friends and Family

Even close friends and prodigal sons.

At the end of the day, it is simply more important to reconcile to full visible communion with the See of Peter those who believe every word of the Apostles' Creed, every word of the Nicene Creed (including the filioque clause), every word of the Athanasian Creed and every word of the Creed of Saint Pius V, than it is to maintain cordial relations with those who deny that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah.

In a clip broadcast this week, a twenty years younger Richard Williamson was shown saying that if there are two religions of which one says that Jesus Christ is God and the other says that Jesus Christ is not God, then if you say that they are both good (not the people, the religions), then "you don't have a mind".

Precisely so.

And what a scandal that it takes him to remind us of it.

Lord Murphy-O'Connor?

Ruth Gledhill thinks so. But then, she also imagines there to be "Moderators of the Methodist General Assembly". There is no such body, never mind any such office. This woman is the Religion Correspondent of The Times.

Fr Ray Blake wonders whom the media would then interview, Lord Murphy-O'Connor or his successor. But he need not worry. George Carey is a Life Peer. So was Robert Runcie. So was Donald Coggan. So was Michael Ramsey. And so was Geoffrey Fisher, one of the earliest. The problem simply does not arise.

Rather, we should be asking, if some dispensation is available to enable a Catholic bishop or priest to sit once more in the House of Lords (where they once predominated), then why it should go to Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor. Surely someone more in tune with the Magisterium would be more suitable?

I will not be putting up comments saying things like "Dr Rowan Williams", "Dr John Sentamu", "Dr Michael Nazir-Ali" or "Dr Tom Wright", although the point is well made.

And I will certainly not be putting up any saying "Richard Williamson".

But Fr Aidan Nicols OP? Fr Ian Ker? Fr John Saward? Fr Patrick Burke? Fr Tim Finigan? They all seem rather better bets, to say the very least. Any more?

Following Gordon Brown's rather successful meeting with the Holy Father, the Vatican should bypass the "golden circle that we cannot break" (as the then Cardinal Ratzinger once called Episcopal appointments in this country) and ensure that at least one of the men who should be our bishops is instead among our Peers.

Milan Milutinovic Acquitted

When are the Kosovar (or Bosniak) Wahhabi blackshirts going to stand trial at all?

Obama and China

Isn't it nice to have a conservative in the White House again, for the first time since ... well, when, exactly? 1980? 1976? I'll settle for 1980.

Everyone knows that the only solution is the reunion of China on a more democratic basis, and that Tibetan separatism is Shangri-la drivel. Even the people running Taiwan say the former. Even the Dalai Lama (for all his many faults) says the latter. The only dissenters are the Crazies, now mercifully banished from the running of anything.

As for China's activities in Africa, their aim is to secure a food supply so that they can give up the One Child Policy (which, by the way, does not apply in Tibet). Who could possibly argue with that? Well, the Crazies could, I suppose. But they are now mercifully banished from the running of anything.

Isn't it nice to have a conservative in the White House again?

Wisconsin Democrats Going Nuclear

Right Democrat has this, from the Wisconsin State Journal:

Let's hope the head of the state Public Service Commission is right about the future of nuclear power in Wisconsin.

Eric Callisto, chairman of the regulatory agency that oversees utilities across the state, predicted Monday that the Democratic-controlled Legislature will soon relax a moratorium on construction of nuclear power plants in Wisconsin.

Callisto said more nuclear plants, under certain conditions, could be part of the state's larger effort to address global warming and boost energy independence, according to

"It will be part of the package to reduce our carbon emissions," Callisto said at an energy conference in Madison on Monday organized by

"Nuclear needs to be part of the solution," Callisto added.

Conservation, energy efficiency and greater reliance on wind, solar and other alternative sources of energy must be pursued.

But Wisconsin also needs a reliable base line of power generation from cleaner coal and nuclear power.

Democratic President Barack Obama supports nuclear power as part of the nation's energy mix. Obama's home state of Illinois gets almost half of its electricity from nuclear power.

"It is unlikely that we can meet our aggressive climate goals if we eliminate nuclear power from the table," Obama correctly noted during his campaign.

Wisconsin now gets about 20 percent of its electricity from three nuclear reactors.

But after those reactors were built, lawmakers barred approval of any more such plants until there is a facility with capacity to store spent nuclear fuel from all nuclear plants in the state. The law, in effect, is a moratorium.

Although spent fuel is a concern, the moratorium was an overreaction. Spent fuel is being stored safely. And France and Japan are recycling spent fuel.

Moreover, a new generation of nuclear power plants in Europe and Asia are being constructed with much-improved safety standards, including greater resistance to terrorist attack.

Wisconsin needs to address climate change and reduce its reliance on foreign oil with a diverse strategy that includes nuclear power.

Callisto's encouraging comments should help guide the Legislature as it pursues a new era in energy.

Affirmative Action GOP

Jack Hunter writes:

"Despite any minor conservative attributes, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin and Michael Steele don’t possess any extraordinary qualities or demonstrably different principles from countless other Republican governors, congressman and senators. In an era when Americans are screaming for change, Jindal, Palin and Steele don’t exactly represent a big departure from the Republicanism of the last eight years or even enough of a noticeable difference from the current administration. What the GOP seems to be trying to offer is not a new path, a renewal of principles or any new hope – but affirmative action – as they push female and minority leaders to the forefront to play identity politics in combating America’s first black president."

Jindal I don't know much about, and based on this week's performance neither I nor anyone else ever will. But Palin and (to a lesser extent) Steele are direct and deliberate insults, the Republican Party machine's spitting in the face of, on the one hand, Evangelical Protestants and conservative women, and, on the other hand, Catholics and black conservatives.

"Sure, we'll put an Evangelical on the ticket. Hell, we'll even put an Evangelical wife and mother on the ticket. But we'll go out of our way to find one who can't tie her own shoelaces or recite the alphabet. And you'll still vote for us anyway. Ha, Ha, Ha."

Well, Obama bit deep into the white Evangelical vote, which was more loyal to Bush (an Episcopalian who attends his wife's mainline Methodist church, the same denomination as Hillary Clinton's) than to McCain (an Episcopalian who at least attends his wife's Baptist church).

Meanwhile, the people who reaffirmed traditional marriage in California and Florida didn't vote Republican anyway. The people who declined to liberalise gambling in Missouri or Ohio didn't vote Republican anyway. The people who keep the black and Catholic churches (especially) going from coast to coast didn't vote Republican anyway.

And the people who abolished Affirmative Action - legal discrimination against working-class white men - in Colorado didn't vote Republican anyway, either.

Thursday 26 February 2009

No Subsidy Without Equity

We can win this one.

Post Office Concessions Unlimited

We can win this one, too.

Teenage Pregnancies Up

Surely not!

The true figure is much higher. Huge numbers of abortions on young girls are recorded as other things, if at all. That the official figure was still able to go up really does illustrate just how bad things have become.

Blame the combination of economic deprivation (to which this figure is linked without deviation at international level in the Western world) and "sex education" (grooming at public expense), twin pillars of public policy continuously since 1979, long before today's teenagers were born.

Life On Mars

What a curate's egg is the Reform report into policing.

On the one hand, it says that the existing Forces are too large, that ACPO is "a self-perpetuating oligarchy" (it is also a nice little earner for its members, and a public nuisance with its campaigning to liberalise the drugs laws and other things), and that SOCA is a waste of time (it also has a ridiculous logo, more suitable to a breakfast cereal packet).

But on the other hand, it pretty much wants the Met to take over the policing of the entire country where everything above the traffic control deemed within the capabilities of non-London persons is concerned.

This attitude was explained as soon as the Reform spokeswoman, who sounded about 12, came on the Today programme. She had the sort of accent with which one assumes that someone like Euan Blair would speak, complete with the tiresome habit of intoning every sentence as if it were a question. Not, in other words, a person to be taken too seriously. And duly eaten for breakfast by the Wolverhampton councillor on the other side.

A report calling for a return to preventative policing based on foot patrols, with budgetary sanctions against recalcitrant Chief Constables who failed to implement this. For Police Forces at least no larger than at present, and subject to local democratic accountability, most obviously though Police Authorities, but if appropriate by means of elected sheriffs.

For the abandonment of identity cards, control orders, the admission of anonymous evidence other than from undercover Police Officers, the provision for conviction on anonymous evidence alone, the existing erosions of trial by jury and of the right to silence, the existing reversals of the burden of proof, the provision for majority verdicts (which, by definition, provide for conviction even where there is reasonable doubt), the provision for Police confiscation of assets without a conviction, stipendiary magistrates, Thatcher's Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the Civil Contingencies Act, the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act, and the Official Secrets Acts.

For the minimum age for jurors to be raised at least to 21. For the pre-1968 committal powers of the magistracy, and the pre-1985 prosecution powers of the Police, to be restored. For each offence carries a minimum sentence of one third of its maximum sentence, or of 15 years' imprisonment where that maximum sentence is life imprisonment.

For a single category of illegal drug, with a crackdown on the possession of drugs, including a mandatory sentence of three months for a second offence, six months for a third offence, one year for a fourth offence, and so on.

And for a Bill which ran out of parliamentary time to be lost at the end of that session.

Now that would be a report worth reading. And implementing.

No such report will ever be produced by anyone who has the tiresome habit of intoning every sentence as if it were a question.

Wednesday 25 February 2009


There was no reason to cancel PMQs today, nor to refer to the Right Honourable Member for Witney as "David", especially since he prefers "Dave" anyway.

This does not happen after Gordon Brown's weekly count of those of his, Blair's and the Tories' victims whom he wickedly claims have "given their lives for this country" (for Blair's bank balance, more like) in Afghanistan and Iraq.

No other place of work would suspend its normal business because an employee's small child had died. A card would be passed round, that sort of thing. But work would go on.

The impression given was of a club, not a workplace. And not a House of Parliament.

Of Wilders and Williamson

It was, apparently, an outrage that this country did not allow in Geert Wilders, the latest demagogic defender of the drugged-up, whore-ridden land - a sort of George Osborne expressed as a country - into which the Netherlands has been turned without reference to her population at large.

But the equally ludicrous and unpleasant Richard Williamson, understandably kicked out of Argentina, must, apparently, be extradited to Germany. To the best of my knowledge, it is not illegal there or anywhere else to deny, minimise or in any way question Stalin's massacre of the kulaks, or Pol Pot's killing fields, or the disappearances in Pinochet's Chile, or ... well, make your own list. It is simply an error in historical scholarship, to be corrected as such by historians. So is minimising the Holocaust.

No extradition.

Just excoriation and ridicule.

That would hit far, far harder.

But, of course, this is not really about the Holocaust. It is about ensuring that the recognition of Vatican II as in no sense a canonisation of mid-twentieth-century secular humanism (itself now a thing of the past), but instead comprehensible and implementable only by reference to its own specific texts as read within and under the Tradition of two thousand years, cannot come to pass.

It must come to pass if there is to be any reconciliation of the greater part of the Lefebvrist body (though probably not of Williamson). Indeed, it must come to pass anyway, and would have done so at this historical juncture anyway.

But the ageing, dwindling, Wildersite remnant of mid-twentieth-century secular humanism, both within and beyond the Church, is determined to stop it.

It is they who must be stopped.

The Union: The Bigger Perspective

Left to itself, the oligarchy that we are supposed to be so pleased is now running Northern Ireland would have gone ahead with its proposed "compensation" of terrorists.

Thankfully, there is still a Secretary of State at Westminster to stop such things.

Blue Labour

If Mandelson's partial sell-off of the Post Office goes through, then that will only be with the votes of the Tories.

No change there. Several key measures since 1997 have only gone through with the votes of the Tories.

One of the earliest, possibly the first, was the Forced Starvation of Low-Born Children Bill, put through by today's Prime Minister in waiting, Harriet Harman.


Or lack of it, to the latest progress in Iran's development of undoubtedly civil nuclear power.

Finally given the opportunity to vote for a candidate who had secured nomination and was now seeking election by running against the likes of AIPAC, conservative America - the people who reaffirmed traditional marriage in California and Florida, who abolished legal discrimination against working-class white men in Colorado, who declined to liberalise gambling in Missouri or Ohio, and who keep the black and Catholic churches (especially) going from coast to coast - leaped at the chance.

And why not? From America's own point of view, Iran should matter more than Israel just as Germany, then West Germany, then Germany again has mattered more than Britain even since before the War was properly over. This is not to say that either Israel or Britain should not matter at all. But Iran and Germany are larger, more populous, and vastly more importantly located in strategic terms.

Middle America rightly views the wider world in strictly realistic terms, "not seeking for monsters to destroy". She is the land of those Republicans who called for Europe to revert to pre-1914 borders and thus end the First World War, an outcome which would have precluded both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Of Eisenhower, with his even-handed approach to Israel and the Palestinians, and with his denunciation of the military-industrial complex.

Of Nixon, who ended the Vietnam War as President Obama will end the Iraq War, and who began détente with China as President Obama is beginning détente with Iran (and beyond). And of Republican opposition to Clinton’s unpatriotic job-exportation, unpatriotic sweatshop-importation, and unpatriotic global trigger-happiness, all continued and expanded by the unpatriotic Bush Administration.

Of course, Middle America is also the land of that rural and Western half of the Republican Party which supported the New Deal, of those Congressional Republicans whose votes passed Civil Rights in the face of Dixiecrat resistance, of big municipal government, of strong unions whose every red cent in political donations buys something specific, of very high levels of co-operative membership, of housing co-operatives even for the upper middle classes, of small farmers who own their own land, of the pioneering of Keynesianism in practice, of popular fury at the bailout, and of the cry for universal healthcare.

Kicked Into Touch

On Radio Four this morning, Sir Gerald Kaufman spoke movingly of how he would have followed his father, his brother and three of his five sisters into factory work if he had not won a grammar school scholarship to Oxford. But he didn't seem to see the main point. His other two sisters, of whom his parents were so proud because they went to teacher training college, must also have gone to grammar school. How many factory workers' children become teachers now? Never mind Ministers of the Crown and Knights of the Realm.

But perhaps even more telling was the story of what has happened to football. The big clubs now expect the cost an annual really major trip to see a concert or a theatrical production, but they require it ever other week. Football is now working-class men acting as performing monkeys for middle-class, and indeed upper-middle-class, men. That is their only way of getting on.

The two paragraphs above are, of course, connected.

After The End of History

A welcome repeat last night on BBC Four for Huw Edwards's programme on Lloyd George. The emergence of the Soviet Union made it impossible, in his own mind, for him to approve the most urgently needed nationalisation of the mines. Yet, a generation (or as good as) after the fall of the Soviet Union, the markets themselves, not merely in Britain but in America, are demanding, and seem likely to get, the nationalisation of the banks.

Communism sullied the reputation of public ownership. But just as America led the way on Keynesianism, and still does on things like co-operative housing and unions exercising real political power, so she is leading the way on the post-Soviet world's return to (as always historically in Britain) strictly pragmatic nationalisation.


Proving that true conservatism is not dead, just kept off the airwaves and out of the Commons, Councillor Daniel Moylan, the Deputy Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, calls on the Conservatives to have nothing to do with the TaxPayers' Alliance.

Meanwhile, by the wonders of Facebook, I have received this:

"The TaxPayers' Alliance claims to be a "grassroots campaign" representing the views of "ordinary taxpayers". It receives tremendous amounts of media coverage. The problem is that it isn't an alliance of ordinary taxpayers at all. It is an alliance of right-wing ideologues. Far from being a voice for "ordinary" taxpayers, its policies will increase inequality and shift wealth from poor to rich.

But, in the spirit of the free market, there is now a choice of TaxPayers' Alliance. Register your contempt for high-tax hell-holes like Denmark and Sweden by joining the other Alliance. Or register your support here for better public services and fairer taxes - which means increasing income tax rates for the very rich, closing loopholes and clamping down on tax havens. Check out our website to find out more.

Well, I am not so sure about "increasing income tax rates for the very rich", although it would not be hard to increase on the zero currently paid by them, i.e., by the members of the "TaxPayers'" Alliance. If necessary, of course. But "closing loopholes and clamping down on tax havens" would be far more effective ways of doing the same job.

By the same medium, I am informed that:

"It seems we underestimated the TaxPayers’ Alliance. We said - based on its own estimates - that it gets an average of 13 media appearances a day. But responding to Polly Toynbee’s excellent critique in the Guardian last week, the TPA boasted: “In January we broke our record for media coverage yet again, with over 530 appearances in the media arguing for lower taxes.”

This is one TPA statistic we have little reason to doubt. But quantity and quality are two very different things. Journalists turn to the TPA rent-a-quotes because they can be assured of the same response: “This is a ridiculous waste of taxpayers’ money and a prime example of government nannying.” There are times when this view may be justified, and others when it isn’t. But for the TPA that’s beside the point - they just fire off their single transferable comment.

Here’s another TPA quote: “It’s a fringe interest programme and we’d like to know how much it’s going to cost.” That’s campaign manager Susie Squire criticising plans to improve antenatal programmes for fathers and to allow dads to stay overnight in maternity wards (
Telegraph, 14 Feb). A fringe interest programme? Did Susie actually hear the question before she started answering?

Ensuring taxpayers’ money is well spent is an important issue - but the TPA has no credibility. As blogger Tom P wrote last year: “All their reports start with the answer and work backwards. They ‘know’ that the state is wasteful and inefficient so their reports are an exercise in confirmation bias.” Both Polly and Tom’s articles are essential reading.

Spelman Cricked? No, Crick Spelmanned

Not that there was any such admission on Newsnight from the man who brought you the Myth of Militant, which so obscured the real rise of Trotskyism and other sectarian Leftism in fashionable London, and in and around academia, that it was able, having long moved on tactically from economics to the culture wars, to take over first the Labour Party and then the country (now including the Tories).

Pretty much every Hard Left social and cultural aim has now been achieved and become a matter of cross-party "consensus", although there is still a bit of constitutional tidying up to do...

By contrast, a few months ago, I heard a radio interview with Derek Hatton in which he explained, entirely matter-of-factly, his pride at having built so many "council houses with gardens front and back". How very Herbert Morrison.

Anyway, Crick's Cameron-directed campaign to remove the last moral and social conservative from the Tory front line has failed. Coverage? What do you think?

Universal Healthcare: Putting America Back To Work

Right Democrat has this:

With President Obama preparing to present his budget proposal, which is expected to include both an update on his economic stimulus initiatives and a renewed call for healthcare reform, the nation's largest organization of registered nurses today released new data on how the most comprehensive healthcare fix would create new jobs in nearly all areas of the national economy.

Overall, expanding and upgrading Medicare to cover all Americans (single-payer) would create 2.6 million new jobs, infuse $317 billion in new business and public revenues, and inject another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy, according to the study by the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy (IHSP), research arm of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee. The study may be viewed at

While 30 percent of the new jobs would be in health and social services, the ripple effect of job creation goes throughout the economy, according to updated data released today. Biggest additional gains would be in retail trade, accommodation and food services, manufacturing, and administrative services.

All these benefits could be achieved at less cost than the federal bailouts for Wall Street giants such as, AIG, CitiGroup, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and other banks.

"The new data reminds us that the most effective solution to our healthcare crisis would also provide a dramatic, immediate help towards economic recovery," said CNA/NNOC Co-President Geri Jenkins, RN. "The jobs creation that would come from a single-payer system is just one reason RNs know that single-payer is the right thing to do for our patients, for ourselves, and for our country."

HR 676, a bill recently reintroduced in Congress, would implement a single-payer system.

The IHSP projections build from an econometric model of the current face of healthcare – applying economic analysis to a wide array of publicly available data from Medicare, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and other sources.

It is the first known study to provide an econometric analysis of the economic benefits of healthcare to the overall economy, showing how changes in direct healthcare delivery affect all other significant sectors touched by healthcare, and how sweeping healthcare reform can help drive the nation's economic recovery.

Healthcare presently accounts for $2.105 trillion in direct expenditures. But healthcare ripples far beyond doctors’ offices and hospitals. Adding in healthcare business purchases of services or supplies and spending by workers, the total impact of healthcare in the economy mushrooms to nearly $6 trillion.

A single-payer system would produce the biggest increase in jobs and wages. The reason, says IHSP director and lead study author Don DeMoro said, is that "the broadest economic benefits directly accrue from the actual delivery and provision of healthcare, not the purchase of insurance."

A Medicare-for-all system has numerous healthcare benefits as well, said CNA/NNOC, including:

A streamlined system that ends the irrational structure of our current system by replacing the chaos of different plans that have different rules for coverage, eligibility, exclusions, and charges.

Slashing unproductive waste in the private insurance sector by $56 billion.

Guaranteeing that everyone is covered, even if you lose or want to change your job; guaranteed choice of doctor and hospital; a standard set of benefits and care for everyone (no multi-tiered care system); no insurance denials based on pre-existing conditions or denials of treatment recommended by doctors because the insurer doesn't want to pay for it.

Guaranteed health security for all Americans. No more rapidly rising premiums, co-pays, deductibles rising three or four times faster than wages, pushing more families into bankruptcy from medical bills, or self-rationing care because you can't pay for it.

Economic protection for employers who see ever-rising costs, or who can't compete with employers based in countries with national healthcare systems.

The IHSP has conducted research for members of Congress and state legislatures as well as NNOC/CNA, and received international renown for research studies on cost and charges in the hospital industry, the pharmaceutical industry, hospital staffing, and other healthcare policy.

Robert Fountain, a frequent economics consultant for the California Public Employees Retirement System (Cal-PERS), served as a consultant on the study.

CNA/NNOC represents 85,000 RNs in all 50 states, and is a founding member of the newly formed United American Nurses-NNOC.

Read the full study here (PDF).

Tuesday 24 February 2009

How The BNP Went Mainstream

This article of mine appears in The First Post:

Last week, the BNP were cock-a-hoop at taking a seat on Sevenoaks district council. It was, their candidate said, a breakthrough, even if it was one prompted by vigorous canvassing on a classic BNP issue – allocation of council houses to asylum seekers. There are though, growing signs that the BNP's message is gaining ground.

But how is it that a party that wants its 12,000 members to be sufficiently "Norse" and whose constitution uses the word "folkish", is edging closer and closer to the political mainstream? Why are so many people voting for the BNP?

In the centre of Durham, one recent Saturday, I walked past a Trotskyist stall, manned by undergraduates, and a BNP one, run by men in early middle age, all with accents from no further than five miles outside Durham. While the Trots were ignored, the BNP was swamped.

How come? There are no asylum seekers in County Durham, and visible ethnic minorities account for only one per cent of the population. At the last census, the district of Easington was found to be the least ethnically diverse area in Britain.

No, the reason why the BNP inspire such interest is because neither Labour, the Tories, or the Lib Dems are talking about the issues that worry people here.

Many in the North-East, and, indeed, around the country, are concerned about a loss of sovereignty, whether to the European Union, to the United States, or to global capital. And about the practical consequences of this loss, from the Common Fisheries Policy, to the Iraq War, to the credit crunch.

They are concerned about a new working class whose members understand no English except words of command, know little or nothing about workers' rights here, can be moved around the country at will, and deported if they step out of line. Deference to Islam is another complaint.

A lot of people really are worried by these things. I am. So why aren't the three main parties? Proper Labourites, or Conservatives, or Liberals would be.

Otherwise, people are talking about the erosion of the traditional family and its values, not least on the airwaves; about lap-dancing clubs; about the deregulation of drinking and gambling; about how the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service have effectively legalised cannabis and lowered the age of consent to 13; about the Police not patrolling the streets, soft sentencing, and indiscipline in schools. Again, the BNP is the only party that has responded.

They are also talking about the real concern that the white working class has been left behind. And that no one ever mentions manufacturing, which still accounts for more than twice the GDP of the entire financial services sector, never mind the bailout-begging City.

Meanwhile, because the powers-that-be are unable to distinguish between the respectable working class and the characters from Shameless, council and housing association tenants now face having Shameless characters moved in next door to them, or even in place of them.

Many people are also concerned that Scottish devolution has never been supported by the majority of eligible voters in Scotland; that a mere 26 per cent of the electorate ever supported devolution in Wales, where it is being used to entrench the rule of those in English-speaking areas who speak Welsh as a cordon sanitaire; that the government of Northern Ireland has been carved up between a fundamentalist sect and a terrorist organisation; and about how badly England has been treated.

These are the issues that the BNP advertise on their leaflets, and discuss when they campaign door-to-door. This is what they were telling the Durham public at their stall that Saturday afternoon. Far from being racist, these valid and well-founded concerns are strongly shared with ethnic minority communities. I am, myself, mixed-race. Far from being necessarily right-wing, these concerns are felt most keenly by traditional Labour supporters, who now abstain in enormous numbers, and could put the BNP third in numerous seats and second in quite a few. The BNP is far more of a threat to Labour than UKIP ever was to the Tories.

Yet neither Labour nor the other two parties are addressing these concerns. So the BNP is filling the vacuum. The terrible truth is that they are now the only force even pretending to share and articulate numerous perfectly mainstream and reasonable fears and grievances. Ignorant of and unfaithful to their own traditions, and scornful of the people whose worries these are, the main parties simply refuse to do so. Thus are people drawn into a world of racism, thuggery, and Holocaust denial.


Apparently, other NATO countries are not "pulling their weight" in Afghanistan. Good for them. This is an unwinnable war, seemingly consisting of endlessly taking and retaking the same town, against entirely the wrong target. The 9/11 attacks came, not from Afghanistan, but from Saudi Arabia, paymaster of the Bushes and the Clintons.

In any case, those responsible have from the outset made it clear that it was not some "Western way of life", but simply American support for Israel, to which they objected. In probably the only good thing that he ever did, Bush withdrew the troops that his father had stationed in Saudi Arabia; there has since been no further attack on American soil.

And the hysterical reaction to President Obama's election on the part of those who take the old line on Israel more than suggests that the original grievance no longer exists. There will still be attacks on Israel. But why bother attacking America? Or indeed Britain, once we have followed America's lead and withdrawn from Iraq? The only reason would be if we were still in Afghanistan!

Thank God for Sir Peter Tapsell, the splendidly anti-war Keynesian and Eurosceptic who dared to tell the truth yesterday, and who is one of the very, very few conservatives still left in the House of Commons.

Private Thoughts

Neil Clark writes:

First they came for the aerospace industry. Then the oil. After that electricity, gas and water. Then the railways. Then air traffic control. Thirty years after the great theft of Britain's national assets was launched and the corporate profiteers still aren't satisfied. Now they want Royal Mail.

The three leading contenders for a 49.9 per cent stake in the Royal Mail are Dutch postal operator TNT, Deutsche Post subsidiary DHL and private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. The Sunday Express informs us that "TNT and CVC are serious in their intentions."

In fact, CVC is very serious in its intentions - it has been lobbying the government to sell off a stake in Royal Mail since 2005.

Founded in 1981, CVC describes itself as a "global private equity and investment advisory firm headquartered in Luxembourg with a network of 19 offices across Europe, Asia and the USA."

To see how a CVC-owned Royal Mail might operate, we need only look at the way the company ran another British institution it acquired, along with another private equity firm Permira - the Automobile Association.

Since its transformation from a mutual organisation to one owned by private equity sharks, the whole ethos of this once much-loved British institution has changed.

Over 3,000 staff have been laid off. The organisation consequently slumped from first to third place for response times.

In 2006, the AA chief executive conceded on an audio tape leaked to a national newspaper that the slimmed-down workforce was struggling to get to stranded motorists.

The prospective sell-off of the Royal Mail is already providing lucrative business for some.

TNT is being advised by the international law firm Allen & Overy, while CVC is working with Clifford Chance, the largest legal firm in the world. TNT has reportedly been sounding out investment bankers to advise it, including new Labour's favourite money men at Goldman Sachs.

And what do the British public think of the planned sell-off? Not a lot. According to a new poll, around 75 per cent of Britons who had heard of the possibility of Royal Mail being sold opposed the idea.

The latest news is that the government, faced with the possible rebellion of 130 Labour MPs, may yet decide to drop its plans for privatisation.

Is Britain a democracy or a country where capital always gets what it wants? We'll soon find out.

This month marks the 115th anniversary of former Tory PM Harold Macmillan's birth.

He famously lambasted Margaret Thatcher in 1985 for selling off the family silver and was among a group of one nation Tories whose thinking was shaped by the horrors of World War I and depression.

Under Macmillan's premiership, the welfare state expanded and Britain's large publicly owned sector, which included not only the commanding heights of the economy but also a travel agent and pubs in Carlisle, remained intact.

I'm sure that if "Supermac" and his fellow one nation Tories were to come back to life and engage in political debate, they would be denounced in the editorials of The Times and Daily Telegraph as "hard-leftists" for their pro-mixed economy views and opposition to Thatcherite economics.

Doesn't it show you have far the pendulum has swung when the grouse-moor Tories of 50 years ago were further to the left than today's Labour Party?

You would have thought that, after the disastrous example of airport privatisation in Britain, no-one in their right mind would think of following suit.

But that's exactly what the neoliberal fanatics currently in charge of the Czech Republic are doing.

The Czech government - yes, that's the same one that enthusiastically supports the siting of the US anti-missile defence system in the country and backs the banning of the Young Communist League because it is in favour of public ownership - is keen to flog off Prague Airport, despite the fact it earns around 100 million euros (£99m) for the Czech state coffers every year.

Once again, there'll be rich pickings for Western capital. We are told that Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, NM Rothschild and JP Morgan are all in the frame to advise the Czech government on the 3 billion euros (£2.6bn) sale. Nice work if you can get it, eh?

On the Post Office point, with all its businesses in profit for the first time in 20 years, the Royal Mail does not need even partial privatisation. Those who believe in public services, in strong unions, and in rural communities must unite with those, very largely the same people, who believe in national sovereignty (both as against the EU and as against the foreign acquisition of a key national asset), in the monarchy's direct link to every address in the country, and in rural communities. No less than the social, cultural and political arguments, the economic arguments are on our side.

Together, we can save our Post Office.

The CWU - previously led by Alan Johnson, so hardly a hotbed of Hard Leftism - should stop wasting its money on New Labour and start funding individual candidates, regardless of party (if any), who do in fact support public services, strong unions, rural communities, national sovereignty (both as against the EU and as against the foreign acquisition of a key national asset), and the monarchy's direct link to every address in the country.
Mutatis mutandis, at least, the same came and must be said of and to each and every other trade union.

Dinosaurs Facing Extinction

Gerald Warner may be wrong about some things in this, but he is spot on in his conclusion:

"Mandelson plan to tear up new laws splits party" was typical of the headlines that dramatised the leaking of a memo from the Business Secretary calling for a moratorium on new laws to enhance maternity leave and the latest "equality" legislation. Right-to-roam laws and powers for local authorities to ban alcohol promotions are also likely to be shelved.

What has given this news added piquancy is the grandstanding of Harriet Harman on the issue. She is the sponsor of most of the demented sub-Marxist idiocy that is still being spawned by the Brown government, like oil spilling from a doomed tanker. Her allies are spinning that the Mandelson memo exposes a "deepening ideological divide" within Labour. What this is really about is the Harridan's deluded ambition to succeed Gordon Brown as Labour leader.

There is a curious congruency between the Mandelson/Harridan positions. Mandy sees realistically that it is insane to saddle businesses with extra burdens in the depths of a recession; but that hard-headed instinct is diluted by the fantasy that it is possible for Labour to survive the next general election. The Harridan, for her part, recognises that Labour will be defeated; but her fantasy is that she can then become leader of the opposition by espousing hard-left policies - a poor man's Michael Foot.

This dichotomy is reflected on the Tory benches too. David Cameron is almost certainly prime minister-in-waiting. But he and his colleagues daily provide evidence of the degree to which they have misread the signs of the times and the public mood.

If a Tory government is elected, will it hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? Will it end massive immigration and expel all illegals? Will it repeal all the politically correct laws that oppress citizens and crush free speech? Will it abolish all the social-engineering quangos that promote the interests of fashionable minorities and provide comfort zones for highly paid busybodies? Will it sell off the BBC? Will it slash income tax, cut £30 billion off public administrative wastefulness, stop hoodwinking parents with Blairite "academies" and expand grammar schools?

You know the answers to these questions. That is why the next Conservative government may be the last of the old-style administrations provided by the alternation of the two major parties. Even Peter Mandelson recognises that a depression - for that is where we are headed - will sweep aside all the self-indulgent political correctness of the fat years.

It will sweep aside both Labour and the Tories too, along with the outdated system they represent and which they have abused by front-bench consensus since the abolition of hanging in 1965. The Tories are so marinated in Blairite "progressive" nonsense, they have lost all sense of philosophy and purpose. Unless they have a (very unlikely) last-minute change of heart, Cameron and his people are as doomed as Brown and his rabble.

God's Own Country

I don't know how the Today programme could bear to report it, but a survey that it commissioned has found that two thirds of people want religion to play a key role in the formulation of public policy, that the clear majority wants that policy to be informed directly by this country's Christian heritage, and that the latter figure was in fact higher among Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs than among professing Christians.

I don't know to whom this may come as any sort of surprise. All right, then, I know only too well. And so do you.

What are you going to do about it?


Oh, well, at least it is now owned by Oleg Deripaska rather than by the British public.

After all, we wouldn't want to go back to that sort of thing.

Would we?

Monday 23 February 2009

The Yellow Blues?

Tim Montgomerie on the possible Lib-Con coalition, so clearly no fantasies about a Cameron landslide there.

Lib Dems are mostly local communitarians and populists, and giving each of them the little thing that he or she wants on his or her patch would not necessarily be the worst way to shore up a majority, to say the least.

Individual Lib Dems also do sterling work on pet causes, and again a government could do a lot of good by striking the relevant deals in order to keep itself going; look forward to the opening up of the family courts, to a Coroner's Inquest into the death of Dr David Kelly, and so forth.

No one can deny the Lib Dems' prophetic voice against the lunatic foreign policy of the Blair years, a significant and most welcome break with their own record in the Nineties.

And dare we even hope for Vince Cable, if not as Chancellor, then certainly in a very senior position dealing with economic policy?

But the Lib Dems as a party are Eurofanatical, anti-family, pro-crime and pro-drugs. So yes, they are the perfect coalition partners for David Cameron.

Environmentalists for Nuclear Power

Good stuff. And one of them is a Green parliamentary candidate.

The tide is turning in favour of high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs for the working class in general and for working-class men in particular (not least so that they can once again exercise paternal authority in their families and communities), which goes hand-in-hand with maintaining and improving our standard of living while securing our independence.

The ageing yuppies and the aged hippies who object are simply behind the times.


Hazel Blears as the Stop Hatty candidate? No, bear with me on this one.

Blears may think of herself as New Labour, but she has no sectarian Left roots, she came up through local community activism via local government, she is a regular churchgoer, and she seems rather unlikely to be mistaken for a member of any Primrose Hill set.

This week, she will make a decidedly Old Labour speech at once defending the nurse who offered to pray for a patient and denouncing those councils which refuse to fly the Union Flag. How very John Smith.

Now we need to see some Smith-like proposals for social justice and for peace, and some specifics on the moral and social conservatism and on the patriotism with which Blears’s speech will identify her.

The ticket featuring any two of Frank Field, Kate Hoey and Jon Cruddas (who is keeping a close eye on Phillip Blond’s work) is not going to be on the ballot paper. Especially with the right running mate (Cruddas again?), could Blears be the best candidate on offer?

And not just because she is not Harriet Harman, who was presented as the only woman in the Labour Deputy Leadership Election by herself and her cheerleaders, notably Polly Toynbee, to whom all proles look the same much as all rats look the same.

Meanwhile, note that no one is even bothering to mention the Miliband-Cooper-Balls-Purnell-Burnham trash any more. It’s like Tony Blair never happened. Don’t let David Cameron make them all matter again.

The Prospect of National Service

Excellent idea.

There should be universal and compulsory – non-military, but uniformed, ranked and barracked – National Service between secondary education and tertiary education or training.

Social mixing. Good works. Discipline. And no one going to university without having lived just that little bit, making them immune to Marxism, or anarcho-capitalism, or the marriage of the two in New Labour and the rest of neoconservatism, or any other such rubbish.

On The Buses

There are those who email me from Westminster, Fleet Street and elsewhere to say that, while everything that I write about Harriet Harman is common knowledge among those with uncommon knowledge, it is nevertheless beneath this blog to mention her at all.

Well, be that as it may, but I cannot keep silent on her call to end bus services to middle-class areas.

Harman is the sort that cannot understand why people drive taxis when it is so much more convenient to ride in the back of them. She and George Osborne look startlingly alike. Are they by any chance related? I think we should be told.

No Slumdogs We

Some of us first heard it as either the Book of the Week or the Woman’s Hour serial, I forget which. Anyway, it was on Radio Four. And that is what matters.

Sunday 22 February 2009

Agents of Change

There has now been a Labour Government for 12 – count them, twelve – years. Yet agency workers still do not have proper employment rights. Nor, for that matter, has their been any delivery of John Smith’s signature promise that employment rights would begin with employment and apply regardless of the number of hours worked

I think we can all see what will need to be at or near the top of our list of five pro-worker policy priorities. And can the trade unions come up with any excuse whatever for failing to fund any candidate, regardless of party (if any) who signs up to those priorities? Never mind for funding any candidate, regardless of party (if any), who does not!

Back To Banking Basics

Well said, Gordon Brown. And good luck. Learn the lesson of John Major’s Back To Basics call on personal morality. Having people who do not live up to ideals is not a reason to give up on those ideals. Having people who simply refuse to try is a very good reason to purge them. And having anything in your own past would be a more than serviceable platform from which to proclaim the virtue of learning from one’s mistakes and of mending one’s ways.

On This Rock

Peter Hitchens cannot see why anyone would want to invite the Pope to Britain in her current condition.

Perhaps because the Catholic vote decides the United Kingdom’s General Elections.

Think of all those marginal seats in the Midlands and the North West. Think of the fact that never voting SNP is an article of faith among Scots Catholics, who have no desire to go down the road of who is “really” Scots and who is not, and who more than note the SNP’s hostility to Catholic schools; this does no harm to Labour in the West of Scotland, and keeps several Lib Dems with tiny yet somehow permanent majorities in the Highlands and Islands.

Think of the very similar attitude, also mostly to Labour’s benefit, among Catholics in Wales, up to and including the current Secretary of State, the ardour of whose Unionism is comparable only to that of his Catholicism. Think of how, in a tight spot, the practising Catholic vote for the SDLP rather than for Sinn Fein (which, as much as anything else, is as hostile to the SNP to Catholic schools) could very well make the difference between a Labour majority and a hung Parliament. Think of how the Tories’ takeover of the UUP is being specifically aimed at those very many Catholics who support the Union in principle.

All in all, think on.

And not just about the United Kingdom. A disorganised but very discernible Catholic vote is also decisive, actually or potentially, in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, just for a start.

In each of those countries, as in this one, there is the need to identify five policy priorities in each of the pro-life interest, the pro-family interest, the pro-worker interest, the anti-war interest, the Distributist interest, the Catholic interest in public service provision, the Catholic interest in foreign policy, the interest in defending the Christian heritage of that and other countries, and the interest corresponding to our own in maintaining the closest possible economic, social, cultural and political ties among the historic Kingdom of England (including the Principality of Wales), the historic Kingdom of Scotland, and the historic Kingdom of Ireland.

Against this, and against support for a community project identified within each parish throughout the country, candidates would be rated and those ratings made public in the run-up to each election.

The work is starting in the United Kingdom. Let it also start elsewhere, as a matter of the utmost urgency.

Swat This

So the Taliban have been given Swat to run? Shocking, isn’t it?

Well, yes, of course it is. But no more so than the Wahhabi statelets established with our full blessing, to say the very least, in Bosnia and in Kosovo, the latter, in particular, setting the unanswerable precedent for what will soon be the predominantly Muslim areas of Britain, France, the Netherlands and elsewhere.

At least the Pashtun, from whose generality the Taliban are indistinguishable, are the long-standing local population of Swat, unlike the Muslims of Britain, France, the Netherlands, or indeed Kosovo.

And who is to stop the UDIs in British, French or Dutch cities? Who is to say no? The BNP does not represent the Britain that won the Second World War and thereafter built a flourishing social democracy at the heart of the Commonwealth, the Britain that most Britons want, but for which they now have no option of voting. The FN does not represent the France of de Gaulle, whether internationally or domestically; whether internationally or domestically, that is the France that most Frenchmen want, but for which they now have no option of voting.

And Geert Wilders represents, as Pim Fortuyn did, the Netherlands of drugs, vice, and legal sex with 12-year-olds, not the Netherlands of the staunchly Protestant north or the devoutly Catholic south, the real reasons why there is so little teenage pregnancy there and why Dutch teenagers have their first sexual experiences so much later. That latter is the Netherlands that most Dutchmen want, but for which they now have no option of voting.

Nor should the United States lay to her soul any flattering unction of exceptionalism, whether on this or on any other point. The Latinos along her southern extremity will be the first to follow the Kosovo precedent that she herself has set. But they will not be the last. And the muezzin’s call now echoes around Harvard Square.

Special People

Professor Colin Blakemore is apparently perturbed that half of Americans and a third of Britons believe that God created our species in its current form. But, as Blakemore himself admits, there is no specific scientific ground on which to insist that this is not the case.

Aardvarks may be descended from anchovies or vice versa. If so, then that is of purely academic interest, though none the worse for that. But what is of moral importance is the descent of the human species from any other, as it were, specific species. And no proof of that has ever been found, though certainly not for want of trying.

Blakemore maintains that science is that one discovery away from killing off religion altogether. Of course, that is not the case. But in any event, science has been that one discovery away for quite a while, and shows no sign at all of ever making it. The time and money involved would far or usefully be expended elsewhere.

Until such time as that proof turns up, it remains perfectly within the bounds of existing scientific knowledge to believe in the direct creation of the first man from inanimate matter and of the first woman from out of the first man, so that human being belong in a wholly different moral category from the beasts of the fields, or the birds of the air, or the fish of the sea. Blakemore freely admits that he cannot “yet” know this to be incorrect.

Thank Goodness for Netanyahu

Yes, you read aright.

This way, Britain has only the second most Zionist government on earth.

Saturday 21 February 2009

Son of Thatcher, Grandson of Thatcher

Tony Blair is now pretty much universally recognised as having lied this country into war purely in order to enrich himself in retirement. Meanwhile, the process of right-wing self-criticism brought on by that war is at last bringing about the recognition of the fact that Margaret Thatcher did no conservative and many extremely anti-conservative things.

Thus are Blair and Thatcher coming to be seen as in twin figures, each of them still venerated by (very much the same) dwindling band of half-educated yet over-educated fanatics. But both of them regarded as quite beneath contempt and beyond derision by everyone else, while history is now kind to Jim Callaghan, is increasingly so to John Major, and will come to be so to Gordon Brown.

David Cameron, on the other hand, would be the next Blair, just as Blair, in his time, was the next Thatcher.

Abu Ghraib To Reopen

Isn’t Iraq going from strength to strength?

As for President Obama’s insistence that human rights do not extend to American detainees in the present war zones, this is one of the many situations in which he needs to be reminded of who put him, and not either John McCain or Hillary Clinton, where he is, and of how they can just as easily put someone else there in 2012 if he insists on behaving as if he were one or both of John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

With Friends Like These

I have just heard the repeat of this week’s Moral Maze. Evan Harris, scourge of the Act of Settlement, was loudly cheered by the clearly well-packed audience for this five hundredth edition when introduced as the man who had brought about the repeal of the blasphemy law, and then claimed to “know of no theistic state” where women and all manner of other people were treated with any sort of equity.

In response, Melanie Phillips was at pains to insist that “everyone here is in favour of the separation of Church and State, that is common ground”. Not only was this never challenged by panellist always introduced as “the Catholic writer Clifford Longley”, but Harris told her that this was “just lucky because we are here”, and the only reason why she, considering her “gender”, was permitted to speak at all. Phillips replied that “that may very well be”.

That there is a “separation of Church and State” in this country, and that this country is not a “theistic state”, should be taken up with the Head of State, who presently happens to be a person of the same “gender” as Melanie Phillips.

And Catholics should have nothing to do with the machinations of Evan Harris (Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society, Vice-President of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association, member of the Board of Social Responsibility of the Church of England’s Diocese of Oxford) or his ilk.

They want to repeal the Act of Settlement, just as they wanted to repeal the blasphemy law, because they want to disestablish the Church of England, disestablish the Church of Scotland, abolish chaplaincies in the NHS and in the Armed Forces, abolish every civic expression of Christianity from Coronations to Remembrance Sunday ceremonies, end Christian RE and collective worship in state schools, and, in short, repudiate Christianity as the basis of the British State.

We must not allow ourselves to become their Useful Idiots.

Once A Catholic

Are Catholics an ethnic group? Most obviously, no. But the Irish are. The Italians are. The Poles are. Arguably, the Recusants are. And so on. So, for fostering or adoption purposes, is there not a case for insisting that a child be placed with new parents who share his or her Irish Catholic, or Italian Catholic, or Polish Catholic, or Recusant Catholic, or whatever other sort of Catholic cultural background?

Friday 20 February 2009

Who Is A Red Tory?

This article of mine appears on the website of Prospect, although you need a subscription to read all of it over there:

Phillip Blond is right to call for more employee share ownership, workers’ buyouts, equity guilds and asset co-operatives, with ownership wedded to the earning of wages. To attack big business and its mass immigration. To excoriate the impact of the supermarkets on small business and agriculture. To denounce Marx as "just another dispossessor of the poor". And to laud Chesterton and Belloc.

But he is absolutely wrong to speak of "welfare serfdom", or to write off "the trade unions as institutions permanently wedded" thereto.

For one thing, of course, trade unions are specifically about jobs, not welfare. A movement "owing more to Methodism than to Marx", indeed owing nothing whatever to Marx, existed precisely when its party was bound up with these reviled organisations.

They were and are expressions of exactly the same spirit that produced and produces co-operatives, mutual guarantee societies, mutual building societies and friendly societies. Naturally in favour of the linking of ownership to wage-earning, with the widest possible diffusion of real property giving every household a bulwark both against over-mighty commercial interests and against an over-mighty State.

And the organisational base for working-class patriots, dedicated middle-class public servants, temperance Methodists, traditional Catholics and others, in alliance with social conscience toffs. But Labour parliamentary candidates are no longer chosen by unions full of Red Tories, if you will, using the Labour machine to fill safe seats with people as close as possible to their own views. In 2005, turnout in some traditional Labour heartlands was therefore as low as one in three.

If David Cameron really does want to reach out to this vast constituency, then he needs to look to the universal and comprehensive Welfare State (including, for example, farm subsidies). The strong statutory and other (including trade union) protection of workers, consumers and communities. The former paid for by progressive taxation. The whole underwritten by full employment. And all delivered by the partnership between a strong Parliament and strong local government.

These were to counteract the corrosion to nought by the "free" market of everything that conservatives exist in order to conserve. To resist both the decadent social libertinism of the 1960s and the decadent economic libertinism of the 1980s. Both the European Union’s erosion of our self-government and culture, and that erosion by global capital and by American hegemony. And both the unrestricted movement of people and that of goods, services and capital. The Sixties Swingers hated (and Roy Jenkins despised) Harold Wilson, and they went on to vote for Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair.

Cameron would need to become the contemporary voice of the trade unionists and Labour activists who in the early twentieth century peremptorily dismissed an attempt to make the Labour Party anti-monarchist, and resisted schemes to abort, contracept and sterilise the working class out of existence.

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" which "the Durham miners would never wear". Of Gaitskell’s rejection of European federalism as "the end of a thousand years of history" and liable to destroy the Commonwealth.

Of Bevan’s ridicule of the first parliamentary Welsh Day on the grounds that "Welsh coal is the same as English coal and Welsh sheep are the same as English sheep". Of those Labour MPs who in the 1970s successfully opposed Scottish and Welsh devolution not least because of its ruinous effects on the North of England. Of those Labour activists in the Scottish Highlands, Islands and Borders, and in North, Mid and West Wales, who accurately predicted that their areas would be balefully neglected under devolution.

Of the Parliamentary Labour Party that voted against the partition of the United Kingdom. Of the Attlee Government’s first ever acceptance of the principle of consent with regard to the constitutional status of Northern Ireland. Of the Wilson Government’s deployment of British troops to protect Northern Ireland’s grateful Catholics precisely as British subjects. Of the Callaghan Government’s administration of Northern Ireland exactly as if it were any other part of the United Kingdom.

Of the Catholic and other Labour MPs who fought tooth and nail against abortion and easier divorce. Of the Methodist and other Labour MPs who fought tooth and nail against deregulated drinking and gambling. Of those who successfully organised against Thatcher’s and Major’s attempts to destroy the special character of Sunday and of Christmas Day.

Of Attlee’s successful dissuasion of Truman from dropping an atom bomb on Korea. Of Wilson’s refusal to send British forces to Vietnam, but use of military force to safeguard the right of the people of Anguilla to be British. And of Callaghan’s successful prevention of an Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands.

Red Tory? Whatever it is, it is not David Cameron. And it never will be.

Most Hated

I very much hope that Jacqui Smith does indeed ban the Phelps family from entering this country.

Other Americans who should join David Duke and Louis Farrakhan in that category include the signatories to the Project for the New American Century, the Patrons of the Henry Jackson Society, and those ecclesiastics who have expressed racist views about Africans and others who do not share their liberal sexual morality.

And joining those ecclesiastics should be several others of different nationality but like mind, as well as Hans Küng, whose disparagement of the late Pope John Paul II’s Polishness made and make them the authentic voice of the age-old Teutonic racism against the Slavs, but who gets away with it because he is Swiss.


Last night, the Swanley St Mary's Ward of Sevenoaks District Council returned the following by-election result:

BNP - 41% (+41)
Lab - 34% (-21)
Con - 25% (-)

A BNP gain from Labour, with UKIP not standing, having previously secured twenty per cent.

Half of UKIP's vote at the last European Elections came from disaffected Labour voters who have been disenfranchised by the disappearance of the patriotic, social democratic, morally and socially conservative party that they knew, and its replacement by Harriet "Paedophile Information Exchange" Harman, Tony "IRA Fundraiser" McNulty, et al.

UKIP's star turn was a former Labour MP, and combining its and the Tories' vote in the North, the Midlands or London gives a ludicrously high figure for the number of natural Tories living there.

Its failure to keep those voters, including that former MP, is the reason why it can no longer fight a ward such as Swanley St Mary's. But the people there, and in so many other traditional Labour wards around the country, still want an alternative to New Labour.

Note that unchanged Tory figure: these are people who would never vote Tory in a million years. But then, as patriots and as moral and social conservatives, why would they ever have done so?

So the void is being filled.

By the BNP.

Blair's Blood Money

Neil Clark writes:

So, Tony Blair has been awarded a $1 million prize for "his exceptional leadership and steadfast determination in helping to engineer agreements and forge lasting solutions to areas in conflict".

Some will argue that Blair should be on trial for war crimes, not receiving prizes. Others will say that the award, made by the Dan David Foundation of Tel Aviv, is a huge own goal for Israel because it sinks the country's international standing even lower after its actions in Gaza.

But they are missing the point.

The award - along with many of the other riches which have come Blair's way since he left Downing Street - is the payback for doing 'the right thing' by way of the US and Israel while he was in office.

The £2m-plus annual fee from JP Morgan Chase... the $250,000 for a 45-minute speech on the US lecture circuit... the all-expenses paid jaunts to Jerusalem as the Quartet's (ineffectual) Middle East envoy... it all serves as a reminder to members of the western political elite of the enormous financial rewards that will come their way if they toe the line.

It makes no difference that the $1m from Dan David will go to the former Prime Minister's 'Faith Foundation'; it is still heading for the overall Blair kitty.

Over the past six years, there has been much debate as to why Blair led Britain into a disastrous and illegal war with Iraq. Some say it was due to a passionate belief in spreading democracy. Others maintain that he genuinely believed that Iraq possessed WMD. But the simple, unavoidable truth is that Anthony Charles Linton Blair is now a far richer man than he would have been had he followed the example of French President Jacques Chirac and opposed the war.

For Chirac there have been no offers from JP Morgan Chase, no US lecture tours and absolutely no prospect of a Dan David leadership prize. John Howard, the former Australian Prime Minister who, like Blair, supported the Iraq war, has fared rather better: he too has been booked to impart his 'wisdom' on the US lecture circuit.

We know that money has always been a major motivator for the Blairs, as it is for most politicians everywhere. The number of genuinely principled politicians - the Tony Benns and Enoch Powells of this world, who are prepared to put their beliefs before their careers and long-term financial security - is very small indeed. And Washington and Tel Aviv know this.

The message from both the US and Israel to Britain's political elite could not be clearer: if you continue to follow the 'right' foreign policy and take your country into wars which we desire - such as Iraq - you can look forward to a very comfortable retirement.

Today it's Blair who’s reaping the financial benefits for his Atlanticism and his pro-Zionism; tomorrow it will be David Cameron, who also supported the Iraq war and who stayed silent as Israel bombarded Gaza.

After the disaster in Iraq, many Britons would love to see a reorientation of our country's foreign policy. But they are likely to be disappointed until other countries can offer our opportunistic and unprincipled leaders the lucrative pension plans that the US and Israel can afford.

A Northern Alliance?

John Laughland makes a case very well worth considering:

Recently I visisted Orléans cathedral. It is one of the largest cathedrals in a country of huge ones, a magnificent late Gothic construction whose interior soars more dramatically than the heavier interiors of Chartres or Notre Dame de Paris. Orléans is also one of the most dramatic towns in French history, the site of the greatest battle of the Hundred Years War when Joan of Arc, “the Maid of Orléans”, defeated the English and thereby ensured the liberation of her country from the foreign invader.

I have had few sadder disappointments than when I entered the cathedral. Not the architecture, to be sure, which is magnificent, but the ambience. It was like entering a morgue. There was not a soul to be seen. No clerics bustled about; no women arranged flowers; no one came and went to choir practice. There was certainly no Mass in progress or even, it seemed, in prospect. The side-altars had evidently not been used for decades. The magnificent Gothic revival confessionals gathered dust silently in the cold. The only sounds came from the rainwater which leaked copiously through the roof to form an enormous puddle by one of the columns, and the ridiculous sound of a CD playing, round and round, Verdi’s requiem. It was like a scene from a cheap movie in which frightened travellers stumble across a recently abandoned house, but it was frighteningly easy to imagine the cathedral, a few decades hence, completely ruined as so many cathedrals and former abbeys are elsewhere in Europe.

The choice of the requiem was, of course, sinisterly apt. The cathedral is its present state is nothing but a magnificent mausoleum to a dead Christian culture – with the only difference that, in modern mausoleum’s like that of Lenin and Atatürk, the dead man inside is venerated for his political action to this day. By contrast, the Christian culture of Europe has died not with a bang but a whimper.

Morose thoughts like this crowd in on my mind when I read magnificent panegyrics like Srdja Trifkovic’s recent appeal for the constitution of a “North”, i.e. a political alliance of the United States, Europe and Russia, to replace the current so-called “West” which, led by America, aims precisely at breaking what would otherwise be a natural link between the European nations on the European continent and those in the New World. The USA has done everything since the end of the Cold War to perpetuate the artificial fracture running across the continent, in pursuit of a geopolitical goal of pushing Russia ever further East and North by increasing the area of American domination to include Ukraine and the Black Sea, both Russia’s natural geopolitical space. It is a ridiculous and grotesque project and I hope that it fails quickly, as it is started to do last August when Georgia attacked South Ossetia, provoking a Russian response and the despatch of Russian troops to two breakaway Georgian provinces. Georgia will never now join NATO and nor, in my view, will Ukraine.

“The West” has often been a rather ridiculous politico-cultural concept in the past. As the great medievalist, Ernst Kantorowicz pointed out in an essay written in 1942, The Problem of Medieval World Unity [1], it was mythical for the Western Europeans of the Middle Ages to think of the Holy Roman Empire as “Christendom” because of course there was a rival “Roman Empire” to the East, based in Byzantium. The Byzantines, likewise, thought of themselves as the bearers of universal Christendom and the Western Empire as merely an irrelevant and irreverent construction of the Frankish kings. This was in spite of the fact that both the Western and Eastern empires were threatened, militarily and religiously, by Islam – and both within decades of the creation of that religion. The West started to repulse Islam at the Battle of Poitiers in 732; the East fell to it seven centuries later. But the pressure of Islam brought the self-consciousness of Christians into the sharpest possible focus and indeed it is precisely after the Battle of Poitiers that the term “Europeans” was used for the first time. [2]

Maybe the Islamic threat is now leading to a similar sense that what Dmitry Rogozin, the Russian ambassador to NATO whom Srja Trifkovic quotes, calls “the white Northern hemisphere” needs to hang together or hang separately. Unfortunately I think that the proposed solution – an alliance of Russia, Europe and the United States – misses not one point but two.

First, and as Srdja Trifkovic is the first to argue, Europe and Russia suffer from catastrophic demographic collapse. Even America’s projected population growth will be the result of immigration. Christian civilisation, in other words, is not threatened from outside by aggressive jihadists or Turkish expansionism as in the past. It is threatened by its own materialistic suicide – a protracted and determined suicide which has been going on for decades now and which consists not only of the refusal to have children (a flagrant indication, if ever one was needed, that modern so-called “progressive” Europeans and Americans think only of the present and never of the future) but also in the willful abandonment of the Christian religion of which the leaking roof in a deserted cathedral is a perfect illustration.

Ever since the Second Vatican Council, any growth in Christian observance has been exclusively a Third World phenomenon, helped along by a liturgy which is as moronic as it is ugly. As a result, the great Catholic shrines in Paris (the miraculous medal chapel of the rue du Bac, for instance) is staffed entirely by nuns from the Philippines, a pleasant irony since the seat of the Missions étrangères which evangelised Asia from the 17th century onwards is right next door. Nature abhors a vacuum and is it therefore any wonder that Islam steps in where Christians fear to tread? The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.

Second, and concomitantly, I feel that such grand geopolitical plans are a distraction. The natural political unit is the nation. It is the unit which makes sense to its citizens because it is real. Nations are the irreducible facts of political geography, rather like mountains in ordinary geography and rather like families with a state, and it is absurd and dangerous to try to overlook them or to overcome them. No doubt the idea of a Grand Alliance against a revanchist or Muslim Third World can give us a frisson of excitement and a moment of escape from the reality of our willful self-destruction. But it is just that – an idea, a wish, a dream – not a realistic political project.

Even if the men existed to put it into place, it would not last. If even the deeply Christian men who led the Eastern and Western empires could not unite in the 8th century against the Muslims who had overrun France and Spain; if instead of recovering the Holy Land in 1204, Venetian Crusaders sacked the capital city of the Eastern empire; if Greeks preferred the Sultan’s turban to the Cardinal’s hat when they rejected the agreement reached at the Council of Florence in 1439, when the reunion of the Western and Eastern Churches was agreed and signed, then there really is not much hope of us doing so now. Far better to put our own houses in order first, itself a monumental task. Once we have done that, then we can start talking about grand alliances.

[1] Reprinted in Ernst Kantorowicz, Selected Studies, Selected Studies, Locust Valley, J.J Augustine Publisher, 1965, p.78

[2] See Roberto de Mattei, De Europa, Tra radici cristiani e sogni postmoderni, Roma: Casa Editrice Le Lettere, 2006, p. 84.

He Still Has His Old Black Beret

Martin Kelly writes:

Tony McNulty is a famous New Labour mediocrity. On 1st March 2006, I called for his sacking from the post of Minister for Immigration over his obstinate refusal to state the truth that mass immigration had depressed wages. It is not recorded whether he ever suggested following both the Governor of the Bank of England and the Chief Economist of the Institute for Personnel Development down Peckham High Street shouting 'Take your pick'.

Yet on June 9 2006, in a move worthy of Gogol which entirely rewrote the concept of 'conflict of interest', his wife was appointed Chief Inspector of Schools for England and Wales. It is almost beyond the bounds of possibility to believe that no suitable alternative candidate could have been found. Presumably Chief Inspectors of Schools are appointed and not proclaimed; but even if they were, it would have been proper for Mrs. McNulty to have excused herself on account of her close connection to a member of the government. Her appointment might have been perfectly proper. Sickly nippers might rise from their beds in Great Ormond Street as soon as Mrs. McNulty's shadow passes; she might even cast out devils with a rebuke - yet her appointment did not give the appearance of propriety.

But who cares about that when you're building a new Britain?

I do not feel comfortable having someone so publicly thuggish as McNulty having power over me. If political parties are indeed gangs, he gives every impression of being a capable mid-ranking capo, with the Immigration Service and the police just rackets to be run. That's the impression he gives me, anyway.

McNulty is no stranger to racketeers and thugs. He used to stand with his collecting bucket outside London's Catholic churches and argue with the old Irish ladies who regarded him as absolutely disgraceful for doing such a thing.

Collecting funds, that is.

For a terrorist organisation.

Which was, at the time, bombing London.

London, then the seat of a Labour Government.

Cut Up

Neil Craig writes:

Buried deep in Carla del Ponte's book of her role as Yugoslav war crimes prosecutor, The Hunt: Me and My War Criminals, published last year, is an admission that, that because of information supplied by "reliable journalists" (ie western ones) she has known for years of the KLA, under the authority of the NATO occupiers, kidnapping at least 300 Serb teenagers and perhaps 1,300 of them, dissecting them and selling the parts to hospitals in the NATO countries. She did a very cursory investigation which proved it happened & immediately stopped.

Had this happened under the rule of Adolf Hitler, it would, correctly, be excoriated annually as one of the worst obscenities of the Holocaust. Had anything even remotely comparable been happening under Chinese rule in Tibet it would have had banner headlines in every western newspaper.

Though this has been reported by Pravda, among others and on the net, western written and broadcast coverage has been essentially limited to one small item on Fox news and a couple of mentions in the Italian press. The fact that this was carried out under the authority of our government and allies, with the knowledge of journalists and funded by western health services does not make it less newsworthy. The monolithic decision of our media not to report this is not to be commended.

I remain of the opinion that, since the total number of Serbs missing & assumed murdered like this is, officially (Serb estimates are considerably higher), 1,300 this should by any objective standards have received & be still achieving headlines far larger than the entire recent Gaza conflict for which Hamas claim fewer deaths (& the Israelis much fewer again though the Hamas figure is usually reported).

By appointing the KLA as our "police" under their command authority & sending them to carry out such atrocities, our own & other NATO political leaders have all committed crimes against humanity in a way which del Ponte's "court" never approached being able to demonstrate against Milosevic. Since the body organs were flown out from Tirana airport & paid for I do not for a second believe that there would be any serious problem in tracing which hospitals received them & who they, in turn, paid.

Where "Populist" Is Not A Dirty Word

Right Democrat has this:

23 Democratic members of Congress have joined together to form the Populist Caucus, the only caucus in Congress devoted solely to addressing middle class [in the American sense, of course] economic issues.

"The middle class is the economic engine of America, but too often in Washington, the needs of the middle class are ignored." Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa), Chair of the Populist Caucus, said. "During these tough times, we need a renewed focus on strengthening the middle class and improving the lives of working families. The Populist Caucus will work together to find common ground on policies that create good-paying jobs, make healthcare more affordable for all, and put middle class families first again."

The Populist Caucus is made up of members from a diverse array of backgrounds and experiences. The caucus aims to bring members of Congress together by rallying around six key middle class economic issues:

Creating Good Jobs and a Secure Retirement: Creating and retaining good-paying jobs in America, providing fair wages, proper benefits, a level playing field at the negotiating table, and ensuring American workers have secure, solvent retirement plans;

Cutting Taxes for the Middle Class: Cutting taxes for the middle class and establishing an equitable tax structure;

Affordable Healthcare: Providing affordable, accessible, quality health care for all Americans;

Quality, Affordable Education: Ensuring quality primary education for all American children, and affordable college education for all who want it;

Fair Trade: Defending American competitiveness by fighting for fair trade principles;

Protecting Consumers: Protecting consumers, so that Americans can have faith in the safety and effectiveness of the products they purchase.

Founding members include: Reps. Bruce Braley (D-IA), Chair; Michael Arcuri (D-NY), Vice-Chair; Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Vice-Chair; Betty Sutton (D-OH), Vice-Chair; Leonard Boswell (D-IA); Steve Cohen (D-TN); Joe Courtney (D-CT); Keith Ellison (D-MN); Bob Filner (D-CA); Phil Hare (D-IL); Mazie Hirono (D-HI); Hank Johnson (D-GA); Steve Kagen (D-WI); David Loebsack (D-IA); Eric Massa (D-NY); Tom Perriello (D-VA); Linda Sanchez (D-CA); Jan Schakowsky (D-IL); Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH); Louise Slaughter (D-NY); Peter Welch (D-VT); and John Yarmuth (D-KY).

Imagine it here.

No, neither can I.

Thursday 19 February 2009


Britain has fifty per cent higher train fares than anywhere else? Never!

You would never believe that a third of households did not have a car, or that those vehicles could only be run on imported fuel.

We need a national network of public transport free at the point of use, centred on publicly owned railways.


A fascinating programme on the Amish last night. I had always wondered how they came to be so peculiar when they are not really peculiar at all, they are just Anabaptists. It is because they only have the Bible in an archaic German that most of them cannot read. So most of them do not in fact read the Bible. An orthopraxy as complex as the most ultra-Orthodox Judaism has grown up without most people's realising that there was no real basis for much, or even most, of it.

But more mainstream Mennonites and similar were shown decrying the Amish on this point in an obvious attempt to liken them to the Catholic Church on the eve of the Reformation. Nothing could be further from the truth. The absolute ban on vernacular Bibles was peculiar to England, and was a response to the political threat posed by Lollardy, not anything to do with theology as such. And all those making theological decisions could in any case read the Bible, with which their daily liturgical life was shot through.

Too Stoned To Care

Brendan O'Neill is badly wrong about cannabis itself: the lastest advertisement significantly underplays the dangers, although it is certainly an improvement on what has gone before; and invoking the Government's drugs "experts" (to whom it mercifully no longer pays the slightest attention) is a sure sign of having lost the argument.

But O'Neill is right that the cannabis lobby, with its vast cultural and still quite considerable political power, wants to stupefy the public into compliance. Where are the Fabian and Christian Socialist pioneers when we need them?

Determined, But Pre-Determined

If Peggy Mitchell does secure election to Walford Council on her platform of opposition to massage parlours, then she will come up against something called "the pre-determination rules", under which, since she has ever expressed on opinion on the subject, she will be permitted no part in deciding anything about it. Seriously.

Deidre Barlow was on Weatherfield Council at one time. She then became an Officer there. She knew where the real power lay.

Wednesday 18 February 2009


Yet more American forces to Afghanistan.

In the name of God, why?

Oh, well, just so long as we don't join them.

Hatty For Leader?

I can laugh, so that's what I'm doing. Remnant Labourites reading this should weep buckets. But no one should be remotely surprised that Jon Cruddas was denied the Deputy Leadership by her shamelessly dishonest splitting of the anti-war majority vote. After all, Harman was the candidate of the most hardline neocons in the House of Commons, Gisela Stuart and Denis MacShane. Hers was a Straussian deception of the common herd. Are we on the verge of another one?

Meanwhile, to matters historical, yet very contemporary: the old Paedophile Information Exchange was hand in glove with the old Campaign for Homosexual Equality (they were practically a single organisation - same address, same committee, the works), which in turn was hand in glove with the old National Council for Civil Liberties in the Hatty and Patty days. (Patty, please note, is now a key anti-Brown conspirator, having previously had overall responsibility for every social worker in England.)

This is all very well-researched and well-documented; indeed, so different were attitudes within the real ruling class at the time (I mean to publicising these views, not to the views as such, which have not changed one jot) that no secret seems to have been made of these connections.

The people who have done all the relevant (painstaking) research have of course been short of a hearing in more recent years. But with Hatty's new-found eminence, they are certainly going to get a hearing now. Aren't they?

By Your Leave

The Lib Dems, and above all Vince Cable, will be delighted to see Nick Clegg off for as long as possible. And I am all in favour of paternity leave. But I cannot see why it should only be available so early in the child’s life. Especially if the child is still breast-feeding, what, with the best will in the world, is the father actually doing all day?

Whereas a teenager, in particular, might very well benefit enormously if his or her father were in a position to say, “That’s it, I’m taking that bit of paternity leave I’ve been owed all these years, and since I’m either back at work the following Monday morning or I lose my job, then this will be sorted out by that Sunday night at the latest, oh yes it will be!”

So let him be able to take it at any point up until the child is 18. And let there be a legal presumption of equal parenting, the restoration of the tax allowance to fathers for so long as Child Benefit is being paid to mothers, and the restoration of the requirement that the providers of fertility treatment take into account the child’s need for a father.

There have many hostile reactions to the first of these suggestions, even though it is apparently an expression of mainstream feminism (not something of which I am often accused), when I have written about it in the past. And I know why.

Yes, there is the fact that this would kill off a good skive. Just what is he doing while, in particular, the child is still being breastfed? I mean, apart from being paid?

And yes, there is the fact that this is a challenge to one of the flagships or totems of New Labour smugness, namely paternity leave as presently arranged. They are terribly, terribly proud of having introduced it, and they simply assume, as is their wont, that everyone agrees with them.

But there are two rather deeper reasons for my interlocutors’ ire.

One is that I want the ability to sit around watching the television and feeling self-satisfied while the wife changes nappies to be replaced with an ability, and thus a firm expectation, that proper paternal authority will be exercised, not least in adolescence.

And the other is that that authority requires an economic basis, namely high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs such as only the State can ever guarantee, and such as very often only the State can actually deliver.