Saturday 31 October 2009

No More Misuse

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, a self-perpetuating oligarchy of pro-drugs activists who are able to prevent the publication of academic dissent from their public policy agenda, should be abolished forthwith. And let the fightback begin in earnest. Election of the BBC Trust by the license-payers. Election of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority by the nation at large. A serious look at why we need a Law Commission when we have a Parliament for it to tell what to do, and who should be on it if we do need it. Just for a start. Oh, yes. Let the fightback begin.

Retiring, But Not Shy

A fascinating interview with Hilary Armstrong on The Week In Westminster. She said, not exactly in so many words but in words not very far removed from them, what we all know round here anyway: the London New Labour machine cannot find anyone whom it considers acceptable to become its candidate in North-West Durham.

Hilary herself is known to have thought this for some time, and was widely expected not to retire after all, so little did she think of the potential successors being lined up even before enormous numbers of MPs decided to "retire" because of the expenses furore. But she is retiring, really and simply retiring. So she has said exactly what she thinks. On Radio Four.

Even Hilary Armstrong will not be voting for the New Labour candidate in North-West Durham. Assuming that there is one.

Direct Example

The admittedly illiterate call for the EU President to be popularly, even directly, elected exposes the fatal flaw in the entire Eurofederalist project. Such an election is impossible without a common language. Everyone in North Wales or the Western Isles can speak English to the necessary level, indeed with absolute fluency. Everyone in Catalonia or the Basque Country can speak Spanish to the necessary level. And so on. The extent to which this no longer applies in, for example, the United Kingdom (where it is widely overstated, but still a real issue) or the United States (where there is no overstatement involved) is a huge and growing problem, a major impending, or in America arguably arrived, crisis both for democracy and for good government. The EU, for this very reason, can never be an example of either.

Do The Schüssel?

Wolfgang Schüssel for President of the European Council? Ken Clarke certainly thought so on Any Questions, and while it is Michael Heseltine who is the European Commission's place man in Britain (the key to understanding the hysterical hostility that has been whipped up towards the only person to become Prime Minister since 1990 without first having been anointed by Heseltine), Clarke is nevertheless the figure whom it requires in the Shadow Cabinet of Heseltine's mini-me, David Cameron. So Schüssel may very well be the man to watch.

He is, after all, a native speaker of the language with the largest such both in the EU and in Europe as a whole. However, he is not from Germany. Yes, he went into coalition, not with Haider himself, but nevertheless with Haider's party. But pots and kettles, motes and beams; here, there and everywhere. Schüssel himself stands in the Dollfuss-Schuschnigg tradition that held the Social Catholic line against both Nazism and Communism until Hitler overthrew it by force. Its holding of that line was not without aspects of authoritarianism. But was there none of following incorporation into the Third Reich? Would there have been none as a Soviet satellite (which at the start of the War would have entailed entering it as a de facto member of the Axis, just as the Soviet Union was at that point)? I am given to understand that there was quite a bit in the former, and that there would have been quite a bit in the latter. Whisper it not, but possibly even rather more than under Dollfuss and Schuschnigg.

There was a very similar situation in Portugal, where the Social Catholic line had to be held with some force both against the National Syndicalists and against, first the Stalinists, and then the Maoists, who ended up staging a coup one of the leaders of which has gone on, via a period of rabid "free"-marketeering and Bush-loving as Prime Minister, to become the President of the European Commission. Isn't neoconservatism wonderful? Anyone who still doubts, even after that, that the EU has been since the Forties a pet project of the US in general, and in particular of sectarian Leftist American foreign policy hawks such as surrounded Bush, perhaps you will finally get the message if Blair becomes President? Then again, probably not.

But whether you see it or not, that is yet another reason to ensure a serious alternative candidate. Schüssel, heir to Dollfuss and Schuschnigg rather than to Trotsky and Shachtman, may be that man. So may John Bruton, heir to Eoin O'Duffy's resistance both to Soviet influence in Ireland and to a full-scale takeover in Spain (which, again, would have involved Axis membership in all but name in 1939). Christian Democrats have been, and remain, wrong about the EU as some sort of Christendom reborn. But they have been, and are, right about an awful lot more. If the EU must have a President, then it could do a lot worse than have a President like that. For example, Tony Blair.

Friday 30 October 2009

President Bruton?

Why not? A native English-speaker who has been in Washington for a while, but from a country which is in the Eurozone and wasn't in the Iraq War. The two main Irish parties are notoriously difficult to place on any normal ideological spectrum, but "Christian Democrat" is not a bad description of either, and perhaps especially of Fine Gael. Within that, Bruton has a proven record of being able to work with the Left. These would not necessarily be my criteria. But they are the criteria.

People always said that he was dull. Good. Essentially the chairing of a glorified committee, this is not a job for a politician like Bertie Ahern, or Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama, or Margaret Thatcher in her pomp, so scornful of her Cabinet. Not a job, in other words, for a politician like Tony Blair, also no friend of Cabinet government. No, this is a job for a politician like John Major or Gordon Brown. Or John Bruton.

He'd do.


This blog attracts some very, er, "colourful" attention. But this evening, I have received by email two of the oddest communications of my life. One came from a longstanding interlocutor who has managed to become rather close to the centre of power despite, or perhaps because of, being a raving hysteric, as the following illustrates:

"I have a hideous vision of you in 20 years time or even 10. Lord Lindsay of Lanchester. Doing popular television and presenting a weekly 90s show on Radio 2 but mailing to a million your list of approved candidates as passed up to you by your networks of National Socialist shop stewards, protectionist-isolationist country squires and Tridentinist priests. Without party because "the Leader is above party" but with your activists controlling the local parties of a third of Labour MPs, a third of Tories and more than a third of Lib Dems because they come from rural areas. A national treasure. The Godfather. Britain's Fascist dictator in all but name."

Well, TFI Friday, sweetie. I don't expect any of those three parties to exist "in 20 years time or even 10". But the nickname "The Godfather" seems to recur in my life, with a couple of my freshers and their mates spontaneously calling me it only last night (one of them saying that I even looked like Michael Corleone), the latest in a long and very varied line. I have no idea why this keeps happening.

Anyway, from the other email:

"You criticise other people for having Marxist or Fascist backgrounds and making alliances between the two. But you repeat the Sinn Fein allegations against Fianna Fail, Fine Gael, Irish Labour, the SDLP, the DUP and the integrationist wing of the UUP. You repeat the Far Right's allegations against Sinn Fein. You repeat the Far Left's allegations against FW de Klerk. You repeat the old allegations against the ANC by the Monday Club and Western Goals Institute that you attack Unionist politicians for having links to."

There are no "allegations" involved. Sinn Fein observed the role of Britain in creating and directing the big three parties in the Republic, and in creating and directing the SDLP. Those things were, and are, obvious. And Sinn Fein itself is now in the same position, which will require it to take out today's dissidents as de Valera was required to hang the IRA. Its previous relationships with Moscow and Tripoli are more than a matter of record. Likewise the original UVF's to the Kaiser's Berlin (right when the Easter Risers were pondering a Hohenzollern prince for King of Ireland) and then to mainland British Fascism. The UDA's to the National Front. The support of the DUP's Ulster Resistance for something suspiciously similar to the NF's policy. And the integrationists' involvement in the Monday Club and Western Goals subculture with all its implications in relation to South Africa, Rhodesia, Chile, Indonesia, Haiti, the Philippines, and on, and on, and on.

De Klerk's extremist roots even by his party's standards are less well-known than the ANC's Stalinism, but are no less a matter of uncontested fact. The party that elected him on that basis has since been subsumed into the ANC. Just as our own old acolytes of Botha, Smith, Pinochet, Suharto, the Duvaliers, Marcos and the rest have been subsumed into the New Labour Project of which David Cameron is the latest Manchurian Candidate, but which remains wholly controlled by those who have followed academic Marxism in changing their means (from the economic to the social, cultural and constitutional) while leaving their nefarious ends exactly as they have always been: the destruction of the family, private property and, eventually, the State. No wonder that the 1980s Radical Right feels altogether at home.

Grow Up

No, of course the “Youth Parliament” (posh schools’ booze-up, cokefest and orgy, doubtless at public expense) should not have been permitted to use the chamber of the House of Commons. Or the chamber of the House of Lords, come to that.

More broadly, politics is like Radio Four and so many other things: something into which one grows. Changing any of them to suit the unformed misses the whole point, and cruelly robs those unformed of the means to their own formation.

Not About Them

I don't know how it has taken me so long to work this out, but none of this Personal Ordinariate business is about the Church of England. It is about the Traditional Anglican Communion and those American Episcopalians who are still using something akin to the Anglo-Catholicised Book of Common Prayer of old. The latter might stand some chance (perhaps not much, but some) of keeping their buildings. Members of an Established Church haven't a hope of that. This is not about them.


Very good riddance indeed. We need a single class 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. Within a context in which each offence carries a minimum sentence of one third of its maximum sentence, or of 15 years for life. How do you think that you can get this? By voting New Labour? By voting for a Cameronette of either, if determinate, sex? By voting, of all things, Lib Dem? Make alternative arrangements.


The ninety-year-old Norman Cornish, last surviving pitman painter, has a retrospective in Newcastle, at the Northumbria University Gallery. It is moving to London next year, if that matters.

The pitmen painters and the pitmen poets, the Workers’ Educational Association and the Miners’ Lodge Libraries, the brass and silver bands, the unions and the workingmens’ clubs, the co-operatives and the credit unions, among so very much else: a civilisation - civilised and civilising - destroyed by the most philistine Prime Minister until Blair.

Company Kept

Denis MacShane, though a valiant campaigner against prostitution and against obscenity in the media, is a signatory both to the Euston Manifesto (old Stalinists and Trotskyists from the Seventies) and to the Henry Jackson Society (old hired help of Pretoria and Santiago from the Eighties). He is in no position to comment.

Bring The Pope To Durham

From the website of God's Own University:

A Durham consortium of University and faith leaders hopes that Pope Benedict XVI will accept their invitation to make the first ever papal visit to the North East of England.

Following a visit of Vatican representative and HM Ambassador to the Holy See, HE Francis Campbell, to Durham University in March of this year, a unique partnership of University, Anglican Church and Catholic Church representatives has invited Pope Benedict XVI to present a major academic address in Durham Cathedral in the course of his September 2010 visit to the UK.

Although Pope John Paul II made a pastoral visit to the UK (including York) in May 1982, were Pope Benedict to accept the invitation, it would be the first ever papal visit to the North East of England, a region that boasts the richest Christian heritage in the UK, symbolised by the twin shrines in Durham Cathedral of Saint Cuthbert (d. 687) the Bishop of Lindisfarne, and Saint Bede (d. 735), the most learned man of his age. Durham Cathedral, which would co-host the event with the University, is commonly regarded as the finest Romanesque building in the world and, together with the University-owned Durham Castle and Palace Green, is a recognised UNESCO world heritage site.

At a time of some increased sensitivity in Anglican-Roman Catholic relations, the strong ecumenical character of the invitation is very significant. The invitation is led by Dr Tom Wright both as Lord Bishop of Durham and as the University’s senior representative, and Mrs Maggie Wright, but is counter-signed and fully supported by Bishop Seamus Cunningham of the Catholic Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, the Chapter of Durham Cathedral, the Abbot of Ampleforth Abbey and the President of Ushaw College, the Catholic seminary for the North of England.

Bishop Wright said: “Durham has in recent years become a major global centre for ecumenical work and the close interlinking of Cathedral and University means that Durham is well placed to host an event which is simultaneously academic and ecumenically spiritual.”

The University’s Vice-Chancellor and co-signatory to the letter, Professor Chris Higgins, added: “The strong academic and ecumenical background of this invitation means there is simply no more appropriate place in the country to host such an academic lecture than Durham.

“Leaders of the major churches of the region are working together alongside scholars in Durham University’s department of Theology and Religion which was recently confirmed as the leading UK research department in its field in the most recent government Research Assessment Exercise.”

The original invitation has also received significant support from regional politicians, and a delegation from the consortium, headed by the Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, Prof. Chris Higgins, made personal representation to David Miliband as MP for South Shields in the North East.

Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham has also added her support: “The possibility of a papal visit to Durham and to Durham Cathedral, a site of unparalleled beauty, would be of tremendous benefit to the North East. I’m sure that the people of Durham would feel great pride in welcoming Pope Benedict and the world’s media.”

Bishop Cunningham of the region’s Catholic diocese said: “In the age of Bede, before there was a single university in the world, never mind this country, this region was the foremost centre of Christian learning in the western world and it continues to be a world-regarded centre of Christian learning today.”

Prof. Paul D. Murray, Director of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University concluded: “This would be an event of immense academic, ecumenical, cultural and regional significance. Durham University and the Cathedral have a proven track-record in hosting global political and religious leaders to great acclaim and we would be delighted to welcome Pope Benedict to the region.”

Not To Be President Blair After All

Twenty-seven nations mourn.


Labour MPs apparently have shooting in their sights. There is not necessarily anything posh about shooting. Very far from it, a lot of the time. But don't bet on the Tories repealing the hunting ban. It was Labour MPs' despicable price for a war which the Tories also supported. There were Commons majorities for a ban in the Major years, frustrated only by parliamentary procedures. And the whole point of Cameronisation, like Blairification before it, is to pack the Commons with people who assume that, inter alia, food comes from the shop and there isn't really anything outside the more fashionable parts of London. Any shooting ban would be in the same position.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday's election of the new Governor of Virginia is a sign of how much things have improved since the Bubba-Dubya Era came to an end.

In the blue corner, having beaten Bubba and Mrs Bubba's ghastly, racist rabble-rousing bag-carrier, is Creigh Deeds. A man who wants a $10,000 tax credit for businesses that make "job-creating investments". Who wants tougher sanctions against the lenders of subprime mortgages. Who was endorsed by the NRA during his 2005 Attorney General run, yet wanted to require identification at gun shows. Who voted to make English Virginia's only official language, to render illegal immigrants ineligible for state and local benefits, and against allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition rates. In favour of the death penalty, alas. And a bit Green. But persuadable on traditional marriage. All in all, the return of the Democratic Party to the well-deserved electoral dominance that, like healthcare, the Bubbas never delivered.

And in the red corner is Bob McDonnell, the sort of Republican who can be, and is, endorsed by those who supported Mark Warner and the splendid Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and prevented by term limits from standing again for Governor of Virginia. Kaine is far more pro-life than the Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele. He signed a state law banning embryonic stem cell "research" funding. He signed legislation authorising a Choose Life license plate. And he helped to pass, and signed into law, America's first abortion reduction bill, modelled on the 95-10 Initiative of Democrats for Life of America. Every inch a Democrat, any Republican who can be endorsed by his supporters is one of the good ones.

Trick? Or Treat?

There are lots of children round my way and not one of them has come trick-or-treating this year, although I suppose they might tomorrow. But they probably think that it is already both the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday, and Christmas. Everyone else seems to.

Thursday 29 October 2009

House of Lords Standards Commissioner

I am available.

Been Here Before

The Seventies student Communists and Trotskyists who surrounded Tony Blair now surround David Cameron, but in alliance with the Eighties hired help of apartheid South Africa and Pinochet's Chile, many of whom were at least sympathetic towards Blair. This Red-Brown, Molotov-Ribbentrop arrangement is now our permanent government, and we are all supposed to be terribly pleased about that. For such, apparently, is "the centre ground".

There are two models for this sort of thing. One is in Northern Ireland, and the other is in South Africa. Give that some time to sink in. However divided Great Britain may have been in the Seventies and Eighties, a comparison with Northern Ireland or South Africa during the same period does seem just a little on the hyperbolic side. Anyone would think that the people seriously suggesting such a thing had no experience beyond the sectarian Left or the sectarian Right. Yet were now running the country.

In Northern Ireland, we see the centre ground defined as a carve-up between Sinn Féin and the DUP. Sinn Féin may have been happy to take the coin of the gullible Reagan Administration, but its ties to the Soviet Union for as long as there was such a thing, as well as to Libya and elsewhere, are hardly any sort of secret, nor ever have been. The original UVF certainly had ties to mainland Fascism, whether that mainland was the British one or the European one (it had aboriginal ties to Prussianism). The UDA's flirtations with Ulster independence were part and parcel of its links to the National Front. Lo and behold, something toned down but essentially similar became the position of the Ulster Resistance, its beret worn by Ian Paisley and Peter Robinson. (The integrationist wing of the UUP had connections to the Monday Club and to Western Goals through figures such as Martin Smyth and Robert Bradford, and indeed Western Goals had a sideline in spreading Bradford's beloved British-Israel theory. But the disappearance of that little world is exemplified by the gravitation of Enoch Powell's erstwhile bag man, Jeffrey Donaldson, to the DUP.)

In South Africa, a party controlled by the Soviet Union to the bitter end, but very much like the French one in not being beyond denunciations of glasnost and perestroika in spite of that, considerably extended the lifetime of apartheid by holding to that position. The "centre ground" initially entailed the deal between that ANC and the National Party led by F W de Klerk, the more hardline leadership candidate when he had won, whose wife had called the Cape Coloureds "non-persons", and who stood foursquare in the tradition that went (and goes) back through B J Vorster's Hitler memorial to Eric Louw's ban on German-Jewish refugees and beyond. The National Party has since been subsumed into the ANC, which may not be criticised. The far more effective opposition to apartheid - non-racial, non-violent, non-Marxist and pro-Commonwealth - is almost completely forgotten. Whites leaving South Africa are often heading for Australia, just as National Party leaders used to mock the Progressive Federal Party as "Packing For Perth". Is fleeing to an English-speaking country with the Queen as Head of State the behaviour of Afrikaner ultra-nationalists?

Not very long ago, electoral support for Sinn Féin was barely higher, as a proportion, than for sectarian Left parties in Great Britain, while the DUP was restricted to an electoral if not an actual ghetto, much as the BNP is now. White South Africans had viable electoral alternatives to the National Party, so would have had any voice, and that usually categorised as Liberal (but in fact far more Radical), if the National Party had ceased to function. It was of course impossible to measure support for the ANC, since most of its supporters had no vote. But it seems highly unlikely that all those agrarian churchgoers were generally Stalinists, or really thought that they were voting for the Communism-cum-corruption that they now endure. Yet look at the Northern Irish and South African situations now.

And look at our own. Who voted Labour realising that it meant rule by the Seventies student Communists and Trotskyists, with the Eighties hired help of apartheid South Africa and Pinochet's Chile also hanging around? Who next year will vote Tory realising that it means rule by both of those elements, now best friends? Who has ever heard of the high society, high politics Euston Manifesto Group of sectarian Leftists, or the high society, high politics Henry Jackson Society of sectarian Rightists? Never mind heard of the small number of Red-Browns, of Molotov-Ribbentrops, whose names appear on both lists? And who are now fulsome, if quite beyond parody, in their cheerleading to make Tony Blair President of the EU.

The worst is yet to come.

The Payroll Vote

Someone from the 32 County Sovereignty Movement was on Newsnight last night. He'd better make the most of his moment in the limelight.

The Irish Labour Party in its present form (venerating the memory of James Connolly but sharing almost none of his objectives) is an obvious creature of British intelligence, heavily funded by unions that exist throughout these islands. And that's just official funding. Fine Gael and, if anything even more so, Fianna Fáil are not even takeovers early on, as in the Labour case. I think we can all see who was behind a merger in 1933 of the Blueshirts, Cumann na nGaedheal and the National Centre Party, complete with a commitment to Commonwealth membership, albeit for a United Ireland as the ultimate aim. Never mind a 1926 secession from Sinn Féin itself, which went on to hang the IRA. You see, there is always a price.

After all, as with the SDLP, who else has ever really paid for them? They have been free to develop and pursue very different policies, although it must be said that Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, at least, have shown extremely little inclination to do so. But "British governments by proxy", as Sinn Féin has always, not alleged, but stated as an observable fact? You don't say! That was clearly what people wanted, and it clearly still is. Certainly, the "proxy" bit was and is as important as the "British" bit. But even so.

The cake has now been iced by the putting of Sinn Féin itself on the payroll. Despite not attending the House, its MPs have homes in London at British public expense, presumably for the cultural and recreational facilities. Who knows what other cash is sloshing about? Who are the proxies now? And there is always a price. Last night's interviewee was a dead man talking.

Inheritance Rights For Cohabitees

How could they prove it?

You'd have to sign something, so why not the register of marriages?

I'm sorry, but I don't understand.

Wednesday 28 October 2009

"Unfit Even To Be The Opposition"

Direct hit.

Dirty Politics

"He wants more dirty coal power stations", shrieked Nick Clegg in his best Lady Bracknell. Or Howard Hughes. I hope that that Lib Dem hatred of this country's vast resources of coal, and of the people who did and could dig it, will be noted in the areas where that digging used to be done, and should be done again.

Brown retorted about nuclear power. Again, the Lib Dems are the party of re-restricting travel to the rich. Of arresting economic development in the poor world. And of eradicating, or failing to restore, high-wage, high-skilled, high-status jobs for the working class in general and for working-class men in particular, the economic basis of paternal authority in working-class families and communities.

Breaking Up The Rock

The public stakes in HBOS and RBS (now in profit in public ownership - take the hint) are now permanent, non-negotiable safeguards of the Union, as public ownership has always been. But apart from that, all the banks should be turned into mutual building societies, ironclad as such by statute. Beginning, by all means, with Northern Rock.

Guarding The Guardian

This man is not only a purveyor of dated drivel, but, in his disparaging references to Pope John Paul II's Polishness, he is the authentic voice of the age-old Teutonic racism against the Slavs. Shame on anyone who gives him a platform.

Conservative America

None of this will do the Republican Party any good. It hasn't been conservative for years. Pat Buchanan has it right, it depends what you mean by "conservative":

The reality is that the GOP remains a house divided. What, for example, is the conservative view of the war in Iraq and the Bush economic policies that cost the party both Houses of Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008? Why did President Bush leave with 27 percent approval? Did Bush policies the GOP once applauded have anything to do with it? Was Bush free trade responsible for the decline of the dollar and the loss of one in four manufacturing jobs? Is globalization still good for America and NAFTA the deal of the century? What is the conservative position on reaching out to Russia, as Barack Obama has done, on bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO, and on canceling that anti-missile system Bush planned in Poland? “We’re all Georgians now!” John McCain declared. Are we? What is the party position on a “long war” in Afghanistan? For if America has soured on the war and opposes more troops today, will America be enthusiastic about soldiering on in 2012, after 1,000 or 2,000 more American dead have been shipped home? Do Republicans support negotiating with Tehran, or cutting off gasoline and starting up the escalator to air strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities that are today under U.N. inspection?

Will the GOP propose to stimulate the economy with tax cuts after four straight trillion-dollar deficits? Will the Bush line, “They’ll pay for themselves,” still be credible after Bush’s deficits?If the largest federal outlays are for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense and interest on the debt, followed by education, housing, homeland security and transportation, where would the GOP use the knife to balance the budget? According to Gallup, America is moving closer to the Republican position on regulations, abortion, guns and union power. But half of all Americans now favor cuts in legal immigration. Are Republicans willing to call for a moratorium on immigration to tighten the labor market and force wages up? Or does the Chamber of Commerce still call the tune?

The most paleocon trade and foreign policies since heaven knows when (Ford, late of the American First Committee?), the Pregnant Women Support Act on the way while the FOCA has been shelved, the support for traditional marriage (and that on specifically religious grounds), look out for the departure of all the old Clinton hands in the second term and for paybacks to the black base on immigration and on the status of English: the last thing that Obama has ever tried to do has been to “defeat” American conservatism.

On the contrary, he has given it back a voice against those who had hijacked its name for the global “free” market (which must be in labour as much as in anything else) and for the remaking of the world anew at the barrel of a gun to the specifications of some academic blueprint, all the while delivering absolutely nothing pro-life or pro-family, as of course capitalist warmongers never can. All they have left is to bang on against a healthcare proposal which is going to pass anyway. On which they may be right or they may be wrong, but it is hardly in the same league as all the passes that they have already sold. And when it goes through, they will finally have nothing to say.

No wonder that Obama was endorsed by almost all of morally and socially the most conservative Democrats: Bob Casey, Ben Nelson, Jim Webb, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine, Bart Stupak, et al. By General Jim Jones. By the hardly liberal Republicans Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel, both more or less open supporters. By Christopher Buckley. By the conservative Catholic constitutional scholar Douglas Kmiec. And by Donnie McClurkin, the ex-gay gospel singer whose presence on the Obama team infuriated the Clinton camp.

No wonder that Obama was supported by those who, on the same day, voted in California and Florida to re-affirm traditional marriage, Obama’s own view. Who, on the same day, voted in Colorado to end legal discrimination against working-class white men, allegedly the hardest people for Obama to reach. Who, on the same day, voted in Missouri and Ohio not to liberalise gambling. And who voted for Obama from coast to coast while also keeping the black and Catholic churches (especially) going.

The main part of Buchanan’s article is about the real threat to the Republicans, in an upstate New York Congressional race, from the Conservative Party of New York State. No wonder. Doug Hoffman’s candidacy to which Buchanan’s article refers is only happening because a vacancy has been created by Obama’s appointment of John McHugh as Secretary of the Army. Does that sound like the behaviour of a sectarian Leftist? He may have used them to get where he is, but look at how any number of Republicans (or Tories) have used, and continue to use, social conservatives. Doesn’t exactly make them social conservatives, does it?

The Republican nominee in that race is jaw-dropping. Among other things, she does not share Obama’s support for traditional marriage. She should apply to be on one of David Cameron’s all-women shortlists. South-West Norfolk?

Who is the GOP going to nominate in 2012? Don’t say Mitt Romney, his Mormonism and what they insist is his liberalism make him poison to the activist base. So who? Why? And how far do they seriously expect that person to get?

Electrification: The FDR Model

David Woolner writes:

On March 4, 1933, when Franklin Roosevelt first took office, nine out of every ten farms in rural America were without electricity. That means 90% of all farm families, which made up a much larger segment of the overall US population than they do today, lacked not just the benefit of light, but also lacked running water and indoor bathrooms, electric refrigeration, indoor laundry facilities and a host of other basic comforts that electricity brings, such as the use of a radio.

FDR was determined to change this and from his first days in office began to look for ways in which the federal government might extend the benefits of electric power to rural America. His first major attempt to do so came with the establishment in May 1933 of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) — a new type of Federal agency that served as both a supplier and regulator of power to one of the most economically depressed regions on the country — the Tennessee Valley. The TVA also provided jobs, as well as soil conservation and flood control and in many respects stands as a testament to the long term planning and multi-purpose vision of many of the New Deal programs.

As far as the national distribution of electricity was concerned, however, an even more significant act was the establishment of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA) two years later. The need for rural electrification had been around for some time, but due to the high costs of extending lines into rural America private, companies had thus far refused to do so. At the same time, private power also took a hostile view of publicly supported rural electrification.

Frustrated by the unwillingness of either the private or the public sector to extend power to rural areas, farmers began to take matters into their own hands in the 1920s by establishing non-profit power cooperatives. It soon became apparent, however, that the scale of the project was simply too large for this solution to work on its own and aside from a few areas in the midwest, this initial attempt to bring power to the farm was largely unsuccessful. By the end of the 1920s, it was clear that the only way rural American would become electrified was through a well run, national program, backed by the federal government.

The REA provided this, not by turning to the private power companies who remained hostile to the very idea of public support for rural electrification and even went so far as to refuse low interest government funds to do so. They did so by turning to the farmers themselves through their cooperatives.

Starting in 1936 — backed by a law passed by Congress that gave preference to non-profit entities — the REA became, in essence, a lending agency providing low interest funds to existing and newly established farmer cooperatives that built generating and distribution facilities as well as the transmission lines to carry the power to individual farms — using a good deal of unemployed labor in the process. By 1941, approximately 40% of all American farms had electric power, and by the end of the 1940s, nine out of every ten farms in America had electricity, a complete reversal of the state that existed at FDR’s inauguration!

To those critics today who remain skeptical of the ability of government to provide the vision, resources and plans to enhance our nation’s electrical and/or energy infrastructure by building what President Obama call a “smart grid,” the REA stands as living proof that government can-in cooperation with the people-solve a major national problem.

Tuesday 27 October 2009

Somali Pirates

Obama had it right in April, authorising that sniper attack. He should consider that withdrawal from Iraq, welcome though it is, is not enough if it is merely to transfer the forces to Afghanistan. The real threats are elsewhere. In fact, at least for now or anything like the foreseeable future, the real threat based in Somalia is precisely not the Islamists, but the Islamists’ enemies.

However, there is now talk of “dialogue”. About what? The pirates are plainly and simply that: robbers on the high seas. Their only demands are ransom demands. Their activities are no more or less than the outworking of human wickedness in general and of human greed in particular.

Such are the real threats.

The French were also absolutely right at that time, sending in their Special Forces against the Somali pirates. Yes, one of their own citizens died. But the rest did not. Whereas the Somali pirates did. The French Special Forces are available for this sort of work, the work for which, like ours and the Americans’, they are trained and paid. But ours and the Americans’ are not available. We all know why not.

The Rape Debate

The specific offence of rape only serves to keep on the streets people who should certainly be taken out of circulation. Instead, we need to replace the offences of rape, serious sexual assault and indecent assault with an aggravating circumstance to the ordinary categories of assault, enabling the maximum, and therefore also the minimum, sentences to be doubled, since every offence should carry a minimum sentence of one third of its maximum sentence, or 15 years for life. That way, those poor women with broken bones and worse, whose assailants were never convicted of anything, really would have received justice.

That Blair Acceptance Speech In Full

Gerald Warner writes:

“Hey, look – I mean – come on – I’m a pretty straight sort of Holy Roman Emperor. Not that I wanted the job, of course. But sometimes you have to bow to public opinion and accept the inevitable. What ruling Europe takes is imagination and I think I’ve got bags of that. Did I ever tell you how I watched my teenage hero Jackie Milburn, of Newcastle United, from behind the goal at St James’s Park – even though Milburn left when I was four years old and there were no seats behind the goals until the 1990s?

“Or about the time, when I was 14, I stowed away at Newcastle Airport on a flight for the Bahamas – even though no long-haul flights left from Newcastle in those days? No? Anyway, Des O’Connor loved it when I told it on his show. Of course, that was small beer; I soon started doing bigger stuff. Like Weapons of Mass Destruction – those wimps on the Joint Intelligence Committee claimed that intelligence on Saddam’s WMD programme was ‘sporadic and patchy’.

“I ask you! How are you going to whip the British public into Churchillian war fever with that kind of weedy defeatism? So I changed it to ‘extensive, detailed and authoritative’, with just the right hint that if we didn’t get Brit boots onto the sand asap, Cyprus would be vaporised within an hour. That worked: I always say, tell people like it is and they’ll fall into line. So I think I’ll make a pretty good Emperor of Europe.

“I mean, the timing couldn’t be better, now that I’ve brought peace to the Middle East. And, obviously, the head honcho of Europe can’t be hauled off his throne to attend some piddling inquiry about Iraq. I mean, Iraq is so yesterday. Cherie and I are more into reforming the Catholic Church these days. Three persons in the Trinity? I don’t call that inclusive or democratic – we’ll be creating a few more, to represent minorities better.

“I’d thought of bringing B16 – he’s being pretty obstructive about some of Cherie’s proposals for reform, incidentally – to Aix-la-Chapelle to crown me; but then I thought, no. I’ll be phasing out the Papacy pretty soon anyway – unless they show definite signs of electing me – so let’s go for something more New Europe. I thought I might just crown myself and Cherie in Notre Dame, like Napoleon and Josephine.

“And, incidentally, I’d just like to make a few points against the Forces of Conservatism that so dishonestly claim I would sell out British interests. I think my record speaks for itself. When the Romanian steel industry was up for privatisation, I wrote to the Romanian president to support Lakshmi Mittal. The Forces of Conservatism claimed that was unpatriotic because his company was a competitor of Corus. What they carefully concealed from the public was the fact that, despite Lakshmi being an Indian citizen and his holdings being based in the Dutch Antilles, of his 125,000 employees at least 85 were in Britain. Was I supposed to overlook their interests?

“It’s that kind of imaginative insight I want to bring to ruling Europe. I need to get back into rhetorical mode, though, I’m a bit out of practice. ‘To every nation a purpose. To every party a cause’ – that kind of stuff. Or was it ‘To every party a purpose…’? What a to-do to die today at a minute or two to two… I might do speeches in French, now that I’ve gone Europorkie – Wow! Is this going to sicken Gordon! Let us go forward together… But this is no time for soundbites – I feel the mantle of Charlemagne on my shoulder.”

Gerald Warner for EU President.

The Newcastle United stuff was always particularly amusing. He thought that it endeared him to his Sedgefield constituents. But unless you know otherwise (I am further north and further west in County Durham), the Sedgefield area would be split between Sunderland and Middlesbrough, with hardly any black and white. Yet in all those years as MP there, they never had the heart to tell him. No doubt they found it hilarious.

The Roots of The English Defence League

Rod Liddle writes:

A few notes and observations on the English Defence League, which has gained a bit of prominence recently and is mentioned in Mel’s latest article in The Spectator. This is the organisation which turns up to Muslim demonstrations and does a bit of vigorous counter-demonstrating for itself; they then are in turn picketed by the witless, bedraggled red fascists of the UAF. (Perhaps we should form another group which pickets meetings and demos of the UAF).

The EDL is in alliance with, or is comprised of, or perhaps actually is, two previously formed predominantly anti-Muslim groups, The United British Alliance and Casuals United. Both of these groups are noteworthy in one respect: they are organized bands of football supporters. I well remember the UBA, back in 2005, touting for support (and indeed getting a fair amount) on the Millwall fans’ websites which I frequent. Their aim then was to “picket” mosques, although I don’t think standing around a brazier handing out copies of the Socialist Worker was what they had in mind. They seem to have disappeared altogether, which leads me to assume – perhaps wrongly – that they are one and the same as the EDL. Their members certainly LOOK the same. Casuals United (the name drawn from the football hoolie “casual” movement of the early 1980s) have also been quieter of late; the aims and aspirations and mission statements of the three groups are absolutely identical: avowedly non-racist, patriotic, anti-Muslim extremist, strongly pro British armed forces etc - and all seem to be drawn from the football terraces. There’s another group – March For England (MFE) drawn from exactly the same base and with exactly the same aims, which also seems to have drifted into abeyance. Contrary to most current thinking, there doesn’t seem to me to be an link, formal or informal, with the BNP. My suspicion is that they all of these groups are now, effectively, the EDL.

I think it’s rather sweet that our football hoolies are taking an active interest in politics. I do wonder if this recent politicisation is a consequence of the rather tame and sterile atmosphere at Premier League football matches, where policing makes it close to impossible to kick the sh*t out of opposing supporters and one is thus forced to look elsewhere for a bit of sport. However, their demonstrations have been remarkably pacifistic, if verbally somewhat antagonistic. Incidentally, the one columnist they all admire and link to on their sites is..... Melanie Phillips. Though I don't suppose she'd have much time for them, of course. I've certainly never seen her down The Den in an SI jacket screaming "jog onnnnnnnnnn, you mug" (although it's something I'd pay to see.)

Keeping It In The Family

Why shouldn't MPs employ their relatives? This is an assault on the family firm and on the family farm. The latter, at least, also rightly maintained at public expense.


The BNP made absolutely nothing out of the Lindsey oil refinery dispute, which was specifically about the impact of immigration on the white working class. It has found its million nasties and Nazis, whom we all knew were there. There are no more to be had.

The BNP does not have a working-class following. Nor did Mussolini or Hitler. You'd get an A* at GCSE for writing that they did, but you'd fail A-level. Fascists never do. Mussolini had Jews in his early Cabinets, and many in his party. There were Jews in Mosley's New Party. Only when Hitler supplanted Mussolini as Europe's leading Fascist did these things change. Jews, you see, largely came from the right class. The lower middle class. Ward by ward, box by box, the BNP is just the same.

The Lindsey convenors went on to join the Visteon convenors, Peter Shore's old agent, and the immediate past Leader of the Liberal Party as candidates for No2EU - Yes To Democracy. If the BNP-obsessed media had paid a third as much attention, then who knows what might have been achieved? There will be no old Communists or Trots hanging around at the next stage of the re-emergence of a proper movement. They can be left to New Labour and to the Cameroons.

To that process, the BNP is simply irrelevant.

Count Ourselves Lucky?

"We can't have full employment. People should count themselves lucky to have a job. Full employment only leads to strikes."

Well, I don't see full employment at the moment.

But I see plenty of strikes.

Use Your Intelligence

Race and Intelligence was good, but marred by an uncritical attiude to IQ.

I have never taken an IQ test in my life, and I question whether anyone who sets any store by them is sufficiently intelligent to be allowed out alone, if at all. The whole thing depends on “mental age”, whatever that may be. The IQ of children in numerous countries has “improved” dramatically over the years when IQ tests have been set, and therefore taught to, in schools; indeed, this never fails to happen.

The publications of Mensa are a particularly rich seam of amusement. “More people than you might think are above average”? I’m guessing about half of them. “One person in twenty is in the top five per cent”? You don’t say! And so on.

But never try and tell the “I have a high IQ” lot any of this. They are even worse than the Oxbridgers. At least you have to do something first to get into Oxbridge and then to get a degree there, even if you do only have to do it at a very early age (there is no excuse for still dining out on it even a very few years, never mind decades, later), and even if it does only make you the equal of the ninety-fifth best Etonian in his year.

You wouldn’t have to, and indeed never could, do anything to get a high IQ, if such a thing really existed. Having it would be no cause for congratulation, never mind for self-congratulation or for the creation of an international society for mutual congratulation.

Monday 26 October 2009

Rory Stewart Heads For Westminster

If the Tories were conservatives, or if Labour were in that small-c sense which dominated them before the Seventies student Trots took over, then they would be saying that British forces existed to defend British people, territory and interests, not to make the world anew by force in order to fit some academic blueprint. And certainly not to die for the sake of a far-away election that was rigged anyway. Pull out. Now. Rory Stewart, speak for the nation. But don't be the only one.

The Good Guys?

To Croat children, he is Dred Božinjak, Father Christmas. To Serb children, he is Božik Bata, Christmas Friend. And to Bosnian Muslim children, he has been, for the last fifty years, Deda Mraz, Grandfather Frost, who comes round to schools and distributes presents. But not from last year. So not this or any other year, either.

Or, at least, not in the state schools of Sarajevo for this white-bearded figure in a garb clearly modelled on that of an Orthodox bishop, although apparently he was invented by the Croats. And his clothes are red and white, leading one to question the veracity of the claim that the obviously related figure in Anglophonia, though certainly green at one time, was only turned red by Coca Cola.

I have had fierce debates because I have never tired of pointing out the strongly Islamist character of Bosnian secessionism. Well, how much more proof do you need? The present Bosnian entity is the creation, and the living continuation of the personality, of a Saudi-funded Wahhabi rabble-rouser who, moreover, had been typical of his people in his Nazi activities in the Forties. These two strands, which were related both in the Forties and in the Nineties, come together in the erosion of Christmas, which the Nazis also tried to do in Germany, even if without any success. Expect these schools, and other public institutions, to enforce Islamic dress codes, dietary laws and so forth in the very near future.

The Republika Srpska will declare independence sooner rather than later, and will deserve every support when she does. The Bosnian Croats are also coming round. The West backed the wrong side in Bosnia, as also in Kosovo, where the Wahhabism and the Nazi nostalgia are mixed in with heroin-trafficking, with prostitution, and with Maoism, which seems to be all over the place under Western patronage – Kosovo, Nepal, Rwanda, and in the neocon favourite lately running Portugal but now running the European Commission.

Sunday 25 October 2009

A Welcome In The Hillsides

Wales, soon to have a new Labour Leader for all the difference that that will make, is a happy and even hallowed land.

Seventy-four per cent of those who could have voted for devolution there declined to do so. Ex-Labour Independents and small parties have lately captured many council seats, captured and retained the erstwhile Commons seat of Aneurin Bevan and Michael Foot, and captured and retained the corresponding seat at Cardiff, all on programmes as far from the economic sectarian Leftism that New Labour used to profess as from the social and cultural sectarian Leftism that New Labour now professes. Where that Commons seat was concerned, the favourite New Labour device of the all-women shortlist took a hell of a kicking.

Bevan scorned separatism, telling the House of Commons on its first Welsh Day that it was wasting parliamentary time, since "Welsh coal it the same as English coal and Welsh sheep are the same as English sheep". The increasingly English-separatist base of Tory activists and core voters should take note. Not least because in the coming hung Parliament, their party will have 12 to 14 MPs from Wales, in addition to being dependent on the SNP on the floor of the House.

When are we in the North going to assert our interests on the basis of programmes as far from the economic sectarian Leftism that New Labour used to profess as from the social and cultural sectarian Leftism that New Labour now professes? Well, for a start, when the favourite New Labour device of the all-women shortlist takes a hell of a kicking. Wherever could we start?

All-London Shortlists

That's what they really are. The sex of the candidate is really as immaterial to the proponents as to us opponents of this nasty little device. Shortlists entirely of Georgia Goulds (and supporters of abortion up to and including partial birth, if of nothing else) on the Labour side. Shortlists entirely of K&C "trust fund babes", with few or no political opinions, on the Tory side. That is the point.

Of course Parliament should be more diverse. More diverse in terms of opinion.

But then, Parliament is bicameral. And one House remains politically diverse while ticking most of the PC boxes: more women, more people from ethnic minorities, a broader range of ethnic minorities, more people with disabilities, vastly more people from less exalted backgrounds these days (never mind after the forthcoming General Election). The removal of the hereditaries has made it older and much more metropolitan, and has not been good for political diversity. But even so. No wonder that all three parties want to abolish it.

Vote For George Galloway

With my emphasis added, Neil Clark writes:

It's time for the Spectator Parliamentarian of the Year awards.

I've voted for George Galloway. These are the reasons I gave in my nomination:

It has to be George Galloway. He's one of the few MPs not tied to the neocon/neoliberal junta that has dominated British politics for so long and which has embroiled us in a series of catastrophic and very costly wars. He has been proved right on Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan. The neocons, who even after Iraq, have such a powerful media presence, hate Galloway, which is a sign he is on the right track.

He has been attacked, smeared and demonised, but he hasn't let that stop him from speaking his mind.

The positions Galloway has taken - whether it be his opposition to the neocon war agenda, or his support for railway renationalisation, are shared by the majority of the British people. His views are mainstream, it's only the neocon/neoliberal elite who try to portray him as an 'extremist'.

On top of all of that, he is easily the best, and most inspiring, public speaker of his generation.

The Spectator has described me as ‘plucky’ for nominating Galloway and says that so far I’m a ’fairly solitary voice’ in voting for him. The ’fairly’ is positive - it means that George has got at least one other vote. Let's try and get him a few more.

Serb readers should remember that Galloway was not only one of the few MPs to oppose the criminal bombardment of Yugoslavia in 1999, but he’s also taken a very strong line on Kosovo.

The neocons would hate it if Galloway won the award. So let's try and make it happen.

Here is the link to the vote. But don't delay- voting closes on Monday 26th October.

Vote Galloway: the man the neocon warmongers love to hate.

Sadly, he has gone a bit Eurofederalist in later years, and has associated with Trots and Islamists. But he is still totally pro-life.

Power To The People

Anyone still extolling the virtues of privatisation, bemoaning the Obama Administration's abandonment of the neocons' New Cold War, or doubting the need both for coal and for nuclear power in the public ownership that alone can deliver them, should read this.

God Save The Queen, Not A Fascist Regime

It would be sad if the Queen really were unhappy at the BNP's use of the disagreeable Winston Churchill, although I suppose that he must have made quite an impression on her when he was her first Prime Minister, and she was so very young and sheltered.

But it must be said over and over again: the BNP wants to abolish the monarchy, with its Commonwealth ties, and with the Royal Family's descent from West Africans and from North African Arabs (and through them from Muhammad). It happened in South Africa, and it purportedly happened in Rhodesia.

Numerous countries have abolished the monarchy, or explicitly decided not to, since the War. The Queen, like her father, has never intervened. But she doesn't need to. The simple fact of her existence says it all.

The BNP is the only anti-monarchist party of any prominence, a motion that the R in Respect (which is an acronym) should stand for "Republic" having been defeated at the founding conference, echoing early Labour activists' peremptory dismissal of such a proposal. Or is it? New Labour's anti-monarchism is hardly a secret, and New Labour is now the template for all three parties. The Tories let the hereditary peers go, having no time for socially conscientious, historically conscious, classically educated, church-based, Unionist and pro-Commonwealth, agrarian and thus fundamentally anti-capitalist people who are sceptical of American hegemony and even more so of Israel First. And they scorn the Commonwealth, as the 1980s Radical Right, funded and directed from Pretoria, always did. At least the BNP is honest, I suppose.

Still the commentariat witters on about "the white working class". Fascist movements are never, ever working-class. They are lower-middle-class, with a few upper-class cranks hanging about and paying the bills. The BNP is exactly like that. A ward-by-ward or box-by-box breakdown of its vote fully confirms this.

Whether To Laugh Or Cry

Diarmaid MacCulloch can dream on. There are problems with the Personal Ordinariate proposal, such as exactly what Anglican liturgy it is that Anglo-Papalists use in the first place, or exactly what these clergy will be doing all day, since they will bring almost no laypeople with them.

But the liberal Catholic tendency to which Professor MacCulloch refers is made up of people the Pope's age (he was never of their number, but he was a sort of fellow-traveller at one time) or only one generation younger, which makes them pretty old these days. Their position is not that of the Magisterium, so it is irrelevant, since that is how Catholicism works: unless the Pope, as such, says something, then who cares? The huge numbers of young men being ordained in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are the embodied quintessence of orthodoxy. We should bring some of them over here as missionaries. Professor MacCulloch's hackneyed reading of the Second Vatican Council is simply bunk. And he is quite wrong that the Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical arguments against the ordination of women are anything less than complementary; indeed, they are mutually dependent, and find their full unity in the Teaching of the Catholic Church.

All in all, Professor MacCulloch might consider reading anything published in the last twenty or twenty-five years. Beginning with the Catholic feminists who now specifically cite the Anglican experience as the basis of their new opposition to women's ordination, and who do not know whether to laugh or cry at the sight of these Anglican women in their black suits and white collars, looking like drag versions of Catholic priests from the 1950s or the 2020s.

Saturday 24 October 2009

All-Conservative Shortlists

Peter Hitchens writes:

It is easy to see why David Cameron – or anyone – would want to exterminate the traditional male Tory MP. Who needs any more portly, shifty, braying time-servers in pinstripes, getting the taxpayer to finance their mortgages, conservatives when in opposition, liberal softies once in government?

But why would it be any better to have dozens of female management consultants, bankeresses, social workers and lawyers, clutching briefcases? All of them are bound to be dedicated to the dubious Leftist view that a woman’s place is in the office while her children do hard time in a baby farm – an idea that has done more damage to the country than almost anything except cannabis.

Here’s a non-sexist alternative idea. Don’t select MPs on the grounds of sex. Pick them on the grounds of politics. You could call it an ‘all-conservative shortlist’. The trouble is, if Mr Cameron did that, he’d end up by getting rid of himself.

Here in North-West Durham, we have succesfully selected a morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriot as our Independent candidate. Admittedly, from a shortlist of one.

David Cameron: Neocon

Peter Oborne explains.

We, The Rabble

A New Labour functionary of my acquaintance has just emailed me to say that my “revival” of the old mining “antipathy” towards Churchill was “the worst case of rabble-rousing that I have seen in a very long time”. That person is several years younger than I. Ho, hum.

The BNP electorate is unreachable by anyone else, being the race-obsessed rump that used to vote NF if it could and Tory if it couldn’t, which was most of the time, so that it was mostly invisible. The BNP vote is not large absolutely, merely as a percentage of votes cast in these days of mass abstention. The key is to bring those other people back to the polls.

One way of doing so is to recognise that the BNP’s greatest success-by-default has been in the North (although the BNP’s failure to make any sort of progress in the North East rather gives the lie to idea that it is a working-class movement), just when the psephological impossibility of a Tory overall majority puts us on the cusp of a Tory minority government merrrily dependent on the party that the Tories at Westminster already call “the Cameron Highlanders”, part of the family, the SNP. The SNP, in turn, has given up on independence and become a pressure group for ever-greater central government spending in Scotland. That would be Salmond’s price. And Cameron would gladly pay it.

I don’t like the regions, so let’s say the seven pre-Heath counties of Northumberland, Durham, Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cheshire. People here would take a lot of convincing that some of those places were in the North, but even so. A much larger population than that of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. A need for a voice, even more urgently than ever, and offered nothing by a rising “England” lobby which, as its economic policies make clear, knows nothing about anywhere outside the South East and those parts of East Anglia nearest to London. No voice means no votes, which means the BNP by default. I’m doing my bit. What are you doing?

London No Longer British?

Assuming that it is still predominantly inhabited by British Citizens and other subjects of the Crown, and by the Irish really, then yes, it is.

Whether London is an English city is, however, another matter. Can you assume, as you can in North Wales or in the Western Isles, that everyone can speak English, even if they happen to speak something else a lot of the time? This has nothing to do with ancestry. A city not like that is not an English city, just as it is not a Scottish city, or a Welsh city, or an Irish city, or an American city, or a Canadian city, or an Australian city, or a New Zealand city, or a Jamaican city, among many other things. So, is London still an English city? There is more to it, none of it anything to do with "race". But this is the point at which to start.

The Question Time audience may have been very London in containing a high number of people from visible ethnic minorities. But there were none of the Muslim women in veils, or even just in headscarves, who are so striking when one arrives at a London railway station from anywhere else in the country. Why not? And that audience jeered when Nick Griffin said that most people here were descended from those who had lived here since everlasting. But that is simply a fact. They are not descended from no one else. But the whole, entirely part-Huguenot White British group, ninety-two per cent of the population at the last census, is descended from those aboriginal inhabitants. So are all Afro-Caribbeans. So is an African-American such as Bonnie Greer. And so are many, many others besides.

Griffin has settled in rural Mid-Wales but has never bothered to learn the local language. What does that make him?

Out Of The Ordinary?

These clergy, of whom I know many well, are not bringing anyone with them: their parishes are largely in areas with long, or even not so long, folk memories of the tensions caused by Irish immigration. I have known people become Methodists because the local Anglo-Catholic church closed and they didn't want to go to the next pit village, where the Anglican church was no Lower. Their buildings are often no older than ours, being in places that only sprang up in the nineteenth century. The provision for the Personal Ordinary to be an ex-Anglican makes this a one-generation arrangement by definition. And what, exactly, are the distinguishing marks that they will be permitted to retain? What? And why?

Over Wheen

Off went Francis Wheen on The News Quiz, about how the Pope was in the Hitler Youth. "It's a wonder he hasn't been invited onto Question Time." Ha Bleedin' Ha. In fact, the Pope's Maths teacher sent him to get the Hitler Youth form, and then just kept it on file for him. "Thus was I able to escape it." In other words, he was never in it. Whatever lie on the matter the BBC may have succeeded in planting in almost every media outlet on earth.

Twenty-Two Per Cent?

Calm down. They are not going to get between a fifth and a quarter of the vote when the Election comes. Come on. I know it’s late, and TFI Friday and all that. But even so.

There is no reaching the BNP constituency. It is a ghetto of people obsessed with race, which most of us simply are not and never will be. They used to vote NF if they could get it, Tory if they couldn’t. But now, because so many other people no longer vote, they are sufficiently numerous among those who still do to be able to maintain the BNP. But it’s vote didn’t go up this year. Other people’s went down, by means of abstention. The key is to get those people back out to vote.

That certainly does involve addressing national sovereignty (including, but very far from restricted to, the EU) and immigration, among many, many, many other things. It involves making a stand against polygamy, face-covering (not head-covering, but face-covering), Muslim schools, animal sacrifice, genital mutilation of both sexes, and domes and minarets on British skylines. (Halal meat is a serviceable weapon in the armoury against the hunting ban.) And that’s just Islam. There are other things, too. Mass immigration is at least as much an economic project of the neoliberal Right as a cultural project of the liberal Left. Indeed, rather more so.

Getting people back out to vote also involves tackling white working-class concerns about jobs, working conditions, housing, and public services. New Labour is of course the perfectly logical union of the economically neoliberal Right and the culturally liberal Left, now accepted by all three parties. So let’s give ourselves proper alternatives. To bring people out against the BNP. But mostly just because it’s the right thing to do. What are you doing?

However, none of this is about reaching BNP voters. They are a lost cause. It is about bringing out those whose abstentions aid the BNP by default. But more than that, it just happens to be right anyway. I’m doing my bit. How about you?

And have the Labour toffs betrayed the workers? Basically, yes. Whereas Labour and many Tory toffs used to be the good friends of the workers. In those days, mind you, toffs were toffs. Cameron and Osborne don’t think like proper toffs. They think that they are where they are on “merit” rather than by sheer good fortune, by which Divine Providence confers responsibilities on the more fortunate towards the less fortunate. Their capitalism is as anti-agrarian as it is hostile to anything or anyone else. They support making the world anew at the barrel of a gun. They hold Israel First, America Second foreign policy views as far as can be from the traditional upper-class norm.

Like the Labour toffs who have betrayed the workers, in fact. But that isn’t making the workers vote BNP. It is making them not vote at all, which is what aids the BNP. So let’s give them something and someone to vote for. A few proper toffs would be good in the mix. They certainly were in the past.

Without Peer?

This time last year, I applied to be a People’s Peer. Of course, I didn’t expect to get it. But I submitted my case to the House of Lords Appointments Commission. The top and bottom of it was that, God willing, I offered several decades of representation to a position and numerous consequent views which, despite having a considerable following in the country at large, are not currently represented within the parliamentary process.

The removal of the hereditaries has greatly upped the age profile: the idea that peers have always at least ordinarily been old is historically illiterate, and that history goes all the way up into the last decade; it used to be quite common to inherit in childhood, or even at birth as a posthumous son, and then take one’s seat at 21, which, if not 18, is still the minimum age for election as an elected hereditary.

That removal has also massively reduced the representation of everywhere outside London, including the North, with the North East particularly hard done by. That Londonisation was greatly exacerbated by Blair’s creation of huge numbers of what were almost exclusively very metropolitan peers indeed. Add in that there is no mixed-race person in either House, that there is no one born in a remaining British Overseas Territory in either House, that no one born in Saint Helena has ever sat in either House, and that there is still (indeed, increasingly) the age-old under-representation of those of us who attended either or both of state schools and non-Oxbridge universities.

Anyway, it took them until April to write back saying “Don’t call us”. I mean, how heavy is the workload at the House of Lords Appointments Commission? No surprise there, of course. But the letter basically said, even if not in these words, that they have had a lot of applications from people like me, and that the other applicants have been more distinguished. That is perfectly possible.

So I am asking readers to join me in monitoring appointments from April of this year onwards. I can only assume that they have been and will be replete with people from the North East. People who went to state schools. People with non-Oxbridge degrees. People born in the remaining British Overseas Territories generally and Saint Helena in particular. Self-identifying mixed-race people. And people who represent a return to the days when young men inherited their fathers’ seats in childhood or at birth and then took those seats at 21, not an age for which I am in any danger of being mistaken in the flesh. Oh, and replete with pro-life, pro-family, pro-worker, anti-war, economically social democratic, morally and socially conservative British and Commonwealth patriots. Of course. There certainly are people more distinguished than I in each of those categories. I will be looking out for them. So should you.

And so should you be looking out for, if not yourselves being, applicants such as the Constitutional Reform Bill will, with the full support of the Tories, remove from the House of Lords by removing the last hereditary peers. Socially conscientious and historically conscious. Rural and provincial. Classically educated and the church-based. Agrarian, and thus broadly or strongly anti-capitalist, aware of the importance of State economic action in protecting social and cultural goods, and rooted in the most militant living tradition of direct action in such causes. With the Union and the Commonwealth literally bred into them. And sceptical of American hegemony, and even more so of the Israel First lobby. Imperfect though my classical education may have been, I would have been like that, too. Who will be now?

Will you?

Friday 23 October 2009

The Karadzic "Trial"

When the admittedly ghastly Radovan Karadzic was first illegally brought to appear before a ridiculous kangaroo court, John Laughland wrote, and it is well worth reprinting in full at this stage:

The arrest of Radovan Karadzic in Serbia has provided yet another occasion for all the tired old propaganda about the Balkans wars to be taken out of the cupboard and given one last airing. In particular, the war is presented as one between a Serb aggressor and an innocent victim, the Bosnian Muslims, and the former is accused of practising genocide against the latter. Even if one accepts that crimes against humanity were committed during the Balkan wars, it should be obvious that both these claims are absurd.

First, the Serbs were no more the aggressors in the Bosnian civil war than Abraham Lincoln was an aggressor in the American Civil War. The Yugoslav army was in place all over Bosnia-Herzegovina because that republic was part of Yugoslavia. Bosnian Muslims (like Croats) left the army in droves and set up their own militia instead, as part of their drive for independence from Belgrade. This meant that the Yugoslav army lost its previous strongly multiethnic character and became largely Serb. It did not mean that Serb forces entered the territory of Bosnia, or even that the Serbs attacked the hapless Bosnian Muslims.

The accusation of aggression is intended to introduce by the back door an allegation which in fact has vanished from modern international criminal justice. Although the crime of waging an aggressive war was pronounced to be the supreme international crime at Nuremberg, it has been dropped from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court for the former Yugoslavia which will presumably try Karadzic once he is extradited to The Hague, and even the new International Criminal Court (also in The Hague) does not for the time being have jurisdiction over it.

The accusation has the effect of condemning the Bosnian Serb war effort at its very origins (in terms of ius ad bellum) independently of any condemnation for the way the war was fought (ius in bello). In fact, the Bosnian Serb war effort was no more or less legitimate than the Bosnian Muslim war effort. The Muslims wanted to secede from Yugoslavia (and were egged on to do this by the Americans and the Europeans) while the Bosnian Serbs wanted to stay in Yugoslavia. It was as simple as that.

In my view, it is not possible to adjudicate such matters using the criminal law since, as political questions, they transcend it. But the fact that the Muslims blatantly cheated by holding the vote on an independence referendum at 3 a.m. after the Bosnian Serb deputies in the Bosnian parliament had all been told to go home, and the fact that the Bosnian Muslim president, Alija Izetbegovic, remained in office throughout 1992 long after his term had expired and long after he should have handed over to a Serb, meant that the Bosnian Serbs had excellent grounds for believing that the Bosnian Muslim secession was quite simply a coup d’état.

In any case, once the Muslims had seized power in Sarajevo, the Bosnian Serbs sought not to conquer the whole republic but instead simply to fight for the secession of their territories from Muslim control. Of course atrocities were committed against civilians during this period, especially ethnic cleansing. But the same phenomenon is observed, I believe, and by definition, in every single war in which a new state is created, whether it is the creation of Pakistan in 1947 or the creation in 1974 of what later became the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. If the Muslims had the right unilaterally to secede from Yugoslavia, why should the Bosnian Serbs not have had the right unilaterally to secede from the new state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which had never before existed as a state, and to which the Bosnian Serbs had no loyalty whatever?

Second, the Bosnian Serbs are accused (and two have been convicted) of committing genocide against the Bosnian Muslims in the massacre perpetrated at Srebrenica. Let us leave aside for a moment the Serb claims that the numbers of people killed in that summer of 1995 has been artificially inflated for propaganda purposes; let us also leave aside the undoubted fact that the Bosnian Muslims were using the UN safe haven of Srebrenica as a safe haven from which to conduct constant attacks against the Serb villages surrounding the town, during which many atrocities were committed against Serb civilians. (The commander of the Muslim forces, Nasir Oric, was released by the ICTY in February.)

What is clear is that the Srebrenica massacre cannot possibly be described as genocide. Even the most ardent pro-Muslim propagandists agree that the victims of the massacre there were all men. The Bosnian Serbs claim that they were combatants (although that is certainly not an excuse for killing them) but the point is that an army bent on genocide would precisely not have singled out men for execution but would have killed women too. The Srebrenica massacre may well have been a crime against humanity but it is impossible to see how it can be categorised as genocide.

Unfortunately, there is a very clear political reason why it has been so categorised. The Muslim president of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Haris Silaijdzic, said carefully on CNN the day Karadzic was captured that Karadzic’s trial was only the beginning of the process by which justice would be done in Bosnia. He said that there were hundreds of thousands of Muslims who had been ethnically cleansed by “Karadzic and Milosevic” and that their project therefore remained in force. The clear implication of what he was saying was this: if the very existence of the Bosnian Serb republic (the autonomous region within Bosnia carved out from the republic during the civil war) is found, in a court of law, to have had as its president a man, Karadzic, who is convicted of genocide in the process of creating it, then its status would be illegitimate and it should be abolished. The Muslims continue to claim control over the whole of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while the Serbs merely want the preservation of their considerable autonomy within it.

In other words, far from bringing peace to the Balkans, it is quite possible that a conviction of Karadzic for genocide will reopen the Dayton settlement and egg the Muslims on to claim control over the Serb republic too. Under such circumstances, it is inevitable that the Bosnian Serbs would try to proclaim formal secession from Bosnia, just as the Kosovo Albanians did from Serbia.

Good Old Radio Four

Gave the first third of Any Questions to the postal strike, and began discussion of the BNP with Billy Hayes pointing out that its vote didn’t go up, the Labour one went down due to abstention, and the real issues for those abstainers are things like housing.

Who Votes BNP?

If the BNP is really the left-wing party claimed by some, then funny how it endorsed Boris Johnson. Would he have won without that? Funny how Nick Griffin’s father is a former Tory councillor who gave his phone number as the Welsh contact number for Iain Duncan Smith’s Leadership campaign (not that I blame IDS - I rather like his views on Europe, social justice, and the expendability of the Tories) and then answered it with the words “British National Party”. Funny how, of the main parties, only Tories have ever been found to be BNP members on the side. Funny how a lot of things.

Even at the last European Elections, the BNP vote was not very large absolutely or as a percentage of the eligible vote. In the latter case, it was about as many people of that mind as there are in any comparable country, and should have come as no surprise to anyone. It was only much larger than before as a percentage of the votes cast. This is the error at the heart of the smug assumption that the BNP could never win a Westminster seat: being the first past the post does not mean taking more than fifty per cent of the eligible vote, but only having the single largest share of the votes cast.

The old Monday Club and Alf Garnett constituencies now matter simply because they still vote whereas all sorts of other people, having no one to vote for, do not. They can therefore maintain a fairly major party of their own, rather than just having to vote Tory if there were no National Front candidate or when, especially in Westminster elections, they felt it pointless to vote NF, in either event rendering them invisible within the larger Tory bloc. But this only applies while several vastly larger constituencies are disenfranchised. So let’s re-enfranchise them.

The Morning After

This whole thing has done the BNP no end of good. London may look like that audience, as is the first thing that I notice at King's Cross when I get off the train from Durham, but Britain at large doesn't. White British was the choice of ninety-two per cent at the last census.

No discussion of the postal strike, or MPs' expenses, or anything.

And when is anyone going to ask Jack Straw how he won President of the NUS at a time when that organisation was completely controlled by the Communist Party and its nominally Labour fellow-travellers? But we can't have that. It would expose the sectarian Leftist backgrounds, not only of New Labour, but also of many of those around David Cameron.

Wednesday 21 October 2009

Of Hereditary Barons and Trade Union Barons

The Constitutional Reform Bill will, with the full support of the Tories, remove the last hereditary peers. No more guaranteed voice for the socially conscientious and historically conscious. For the rural and provincial. For the classically educated and the church-based. For the agrarian, making them broadly or strongly anti-capitalist, aware of the importance of State economic action in protecting social and cultural goods, and rooted in the most militant living tradition of direct action in such causes. For those with the Union and the Commonwealth literally bred into them. For those sceptical of American hegemony, and even more so of the Israel First lobby. Of course Blair wanted rid of them. Of course Cameron wants rid of them.

There was no argument against trade union barons that did not also apply to hereditary barons. Each restrained Thatcher’s and Blair’s class. The unions had no Thatcherite or Blairite delusion that “history began with us”. They loved a bit of ceremony, and a lot of hierarchy. They sustained the Workers’ Educational Association and the Miners’ Lodge Libraries, the pitmen poets and the pitmen painters, the brass and silver bands, and so much else destroyed by the most philistine Prime Minister until Blair. They fought to secure the economic basis of paternal authority. They frequently marched behind banners depicting Biblical characters and events. Like public ownership, they were safeguards of the Union.

Today, even in their reduced condition, the unions are Britain’s most significant force for national sovereignty. The BNP-obsessed media may have ignored No2EU – Yes To Democracy (the name didn’t help). But it found room for leaders of the Lindsey oil refinery workers, actively opposed to the importation of a new working class which understands no English except commands, knows nothing of workers’ rights in this country, can be moved around at will, and can be deported if it steps out of line. Who else is making any such stand? Who else is making the unions’ stand against the global capital behind that importation? Against Rupert Murdoch? Against a foreign policy which prioritises Israel and then America, with Britain third, if anywhere? But the hereditary peers would have done so, not least in unison with the tribunes of the other class that also sends off its sons to be harvested in pointless wars waged by those who object equally to being checked by trade union barons or balanced by hereditary barons.

The hereditaries should never have made themselves directly partisan. Those unions which ever were should also have given it up long ago. Quite a few have now done so. Just as it should become axiomatic that the only “left-wing” candidates worth bothering with are those, of any party or none, who can secure union funding, so it should become axiomatic that the only “right-wing” candidates worth bothering with are those, of any party or none, who can secure some sort of backing from the hereditaries. In many places, those may very well be the same people. They certainly ought to be.

America In A Generation's Time

Today's Telegraph piece, on which comments are welcome over there as well as here:

A generation from now, the Democrats will be different but recognisable, the heirs and person of Barack Obama. But the Republicans will be completely different, the heirs of the late Ron Paul, never President despite his Nobel Peace Prize.

With the long-ago passage of universal public healthcare, the old Republicans will finally have run out of anything to say, having sold the paleocon pass on trade and war to Obama, and everyone having seen through their con trick on abortion. So the people with things to say will have set about replacing them, especially after Palin lost every state in 2012. It is not unusual for parties to define themselves against their own past leaders. Our own Tories are currently doing so. If Labour wants to survive, then it will have to do so, too. And in a generation’s time, both American parties will be defined against George Bush, which in the Democrats’ case will also mean against Bill Clinton. The nomination of Barack rather than Hillary was the beginning of that process. The current Administration is the definitive break with NAFTA, with GATT, and with the bombing to smithereens of here, there and everywhere.

To the wider world, both parties will be equally unobtrusive. America will not have fought a war since the withdrawal from Afghanistan way back in 2010, and everyone who knows that there still are a few troops in Iraq will be calling for them to be brought home, since the one country with an outstanding threat to launch a nuclear strike against any other will by then contain so few secular Ashkenazi nationalists that it will hardly seem worth bothering to deter them. The days when presidential candidates were expected to pay court to Israel will be as forgotten as the days when several of those same candidates were on the payrolls of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. And cross-party shifts in energy policy will have consigned those regimes and their region to irrelevance in American politics, while other cross-party legislation will have dismantled their gigantic stakes in the American economy.

Domestically, the differences will be very real. That said, being the party of Obama rather than Clinton, the Democrats would never dream of repealing the phenomenally successful Pregnant Women Support Act, or introducing federal funding of abortion. The Republicans, meanwhile, would never commit electoral suicide by threatening to repeal healthcare. Indeed, having seen the fate of their predecessors, they will go out of their way to avoid discussing the matter at all. Both parties will be equally tough on illegal immigration, and equally insistent on English as the national language, by then barely an issue due to the success of Obama’s bipartisan second-term paybacks to his black base. On this as on any possible reversion to Clinton-era job exportation, warmongering or enforced social liberalism, Senator Bob Conley of South Carolina will be the conscience of the Democratic Party. Both parties will leave the definition of marriage to the states, with as many Democrats for traditional marriage (always favoured by Obama) as Republicans for a more libertarian approach. A similar cross-party divide will exist over drugs, although the federal prohibitions will still be in place.

The signs of all of this are already apparent. Just look at the hysterical rage of the remaining Bush supporters. (Or, indeed, Clinton supporters.) Only a year ago, it was treason and terrorism to criticise the President, who was said to be above both the Constitution and the law. Where does that leave them now? What does that make them now? It would take a heart of stone not to laugh.

Losing The Ground

Nick Griffin is only too right: "The Tories have taken the Forces vote for granted, and these Generals are Tories." And "most young squaddies vote BNP." If they vote at all, that is.

It is simply a fact that military commanders as well as politicians were tried, convicted and executed at Nuremeburg, although that was a trial of whoever could be rounded up rather than strictly of everyone who should have been there and no one who shouldn't; there were three acquittals, and one defendant was wrongly indicted because they had thought he was his son. It was not the trial of the Holocaust, which only became apparent while the hearings were going on. And its key innovation, making it illegal to wage an aggressive war at all, has never been invoked again. But it could be. Starting, I propose, with George Bush and Tony Blair.

The good news, however, is that Griffin is alienating his own base, saying that the Gurkhas should be let in, praising Johnson Beharry, and so on. His proposal for a Sikh Regiment of the British Army revives an admirable Sikh scheme which was found to be illegal under race relations legislation, against which that revival is therefore an attack. Mercifully, it will do him no good. He has claimed in the past that Sikhs vote BNP. They don't. And they won't. His European Election Broadcast not only appealed directly to the Irish and the Jews, but went as far as possible without saying the words to appeal to the West Indians as well. That sort of thing cannot go down well within and around the BNP. Of course, those groups do not want large numbers of people here who cannot speak English, at least the Irish and the West Indians do not want non-Christian festivals as public holidays, and so on. Like their Anglo-Saxon and other neighbours, they deserve candidates who agree with them.

The BNP wants to abolish the monarchy, as is only understandable when one considers, both that it links this country to those such as Johnson Baharry's, and that the Queen is ineligible for BNP membership, being descended both from the "negroid" Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, and, via Elizabeth of York, from Muhammad. The monarchy was abolished by apartheid South Africa, and purportedly also by Ian Smith's Rhodesia. The BNP comes out of the most consistently Eurofederalist tradition in this and many other countries, Fascists being all in favour of a European State, just not the one that currently exists. And the BNP is rapidly becoming a vehicle for English separatism, its wider world has always provided a home for Celtic no less than Norse or Anglo-Saxon cranks, and the National Front, when it was chaired by Andrew Brons, supported Ulster independence, no doubt seeing such a state as a potential bolthole so much nearer at hand than South Africa or Rhodesia.

Unite Against Fascism, indeed. Unite upon and around monarchism, Euroscepticism and Unionism.

Tartan Tories, Indeed?

What in internal Scottish terms is the ever-reliably post-Thatcherite SNP has today handed over much of Scotland's postal service to a private company. And its wider strategy of becoming a ginger group for ever-higher public spending in Scotland, even if only to pay private contractors, would in fact be more effective, and make more sense, if devolution did not exist. Making it the only party in Scotland whose proposals, and indeed whose very identity as now defined, would be best served by a reversion to the pre-1999 constitutional arrangements.

Collective Shame

It gives me no pleasure to agree with Denis MacShane. But he was right on last night's Newsnight. The English Collective of Prostitutes has some sort of BBC franchise. "We do it by choice"? "We enjoy it"? Then you are filthy whores, as bad as your evil punters. Away with them. And away with you. Meanwhile, when will the English Collective of Smack Dealers be heard all over the BBC?

Central Casting

In order to impose all-women shortlists, the Tories are now to have central shortlisting of by-election candidates.

The huge story is that this is not a huge story.

Forty-Five Years On

Peter Hitchens writes:

For those of us with very long memories, last Friday was the 45th anniversary of the day Harold Wilson scraped to victory with a majority of four seats, and I wonder more and more as the years go by what would have happened if he had lost. (Two days before was the 943rd anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, which another Harold did lose). The education revolution and the permissive society both came about under Wilson, who also kept Britain out of the Vietnam War and failed to get us into the Common Market.

It was a momentous time, often under-rated by modern historians. Had he narrowly failed in 1964, would a feeble Tory government have lost soon afterwards, allowing Wilson a second chance? Or would a relieved nation have learned to love Sir Alec Douglas-Home, and never have got to know Edward Heath? Had the Tories won, would we be a completely different country? Would there still be hundreds of grammar schools, would divorce be difficult, welfare benefits restricted to those prepared to work, and hanging still be possible? Were those a few short years in which radical change was briefly possible, or would it have come about anyway? The Tories these days are always willing to lie down under left-wing offensives, and have now converted themselves into a wholly unembarrassed radical party. But was it quite the same then?

It was amazing how Mr Wilson converted a majority of four into one of 97 in the astonishing Labour triumph of March 1966, given that his initial period in government wasn't very impressive. Maybe it was because Ted Heath, rather than Alec Douglas-Home, was leading the Tories by then.

Wilson always referred to the previous period of Tory government as 'the Thirteen Wasted Years of Tory Rule', and I rather enjoyed the fact that I was born in October 1951, on the very first day of those 13 wasted years. The notice of my birth in 'The Times of Malta' appeared close to a report of Winston Churchill's new Cabinet, just being formed following his narrow victory over Clement Attlee (Labour got more votes, the Tories more seats, a result that may be reversed next year, if the polls are right). It also noted that he had been to see the King, as we still had one in 1951.

Things which are now receding into the haze of the past, such as the present Queen's Coronation, the Korean War, the Suez affair and the first Sputnik, were still very recent in 1964. Yet it still seemed to be a very modern era, in some ways more frantically modern than our own, which is a little less confident about chucking aside the past and a little less confident about the new always being better than the old. No wonder, given what the sixties brought about.

There was a Labour Government between 1964 and 1970. A proper one. Full of, and supported by, working-class patriots and social conscience toffs, temperance Methodists and traditional Catholics. Its economic policy was social democratic. It indulged social policies that were much less conservative than many of its members or most of its supporters wanted, but not in the form of Government Bills subject to whipped votes. Its foreign policy was ardently pro-Commonwealth, moderately pro-American, and almost completely Eurosceptical. It was fiercely Unionist.

And the Sixties Swingers hated it with a burning passion. The pirate radio stations were their revolt against its and the BBC’s deal with the Musicians’ Union to protect the livelihoods of that union’s members. Behind this union-busting criminality was Oliver Smedley, later a key figure behind the proto-Thatcherite Institute of Economic Affairs. Those Swingers used the lowering of the voting age to put what they thought were the Selsdon Tories into office in 1970. They then went on to entrench their own moral, social and cultural decadence and libertinism, first in the economic sphere during the Eighties, and then in the constitutional sphere under Tony Blair. David Cameron accepts uncritically the whole package: moral, social, cultural, economic, and constitutional. Indeed, he embodies it.

When is this country going to wake up to what has really been happening over the last fifty years?

Lest We Forget?

How do the Cabinet already have poppies? Surely they are not last year's...?

Tuesday 20 October 2009

Churchill, As BNP As Mosley

If the BNP wants votes here in the former mining areas, then it will stop identifying with Churchill. But it won’t.

In the Thirties, there were two British threats to constitutionality and, via Britain’s role in the world, to international stability. One came from an unreliable, opportunistic, highly affected and contrived, anti-Semitic, white supremacist, Eurofederalist demagogue who admired Mussolini, heaped praise on Hitler, had no need to work for a living, had an overwhelming sense of his own entitlement, profoundly hated democracy, and had a callous disregard for the lives of the lower orders and the lesser breeds. So did the other one. Far more than background united Churchill and Mosley (originator in English of the currently modish concept of a Union of the Mediterranean).

In Great Contemporaries, published in 1937, two years after he had called Hitler’s achievements “among the most remarkable in the whole history of the world”, Churchill wrote that: “Those who have met Herr Hitler face to face in public business or on social terms have found a highly competent, cool, well-informed, functionary with an agreeable manner, a disarming smile, and few have been unaffected by a subtle personal magnetism.” That passage was not removed from the book’s reprint in 1941. In May 1940, Churchill had been all ready to give Gibraltar, Malta, Suez, Somaliland, Kenya and Uganda to Mussolini.

Churchill’s dedicated Zionism was precisely that of the BNP: he did not regard the Jews as British, so he wanted them to go away. The anti-British terrorists who went on to found the State of Israel agreed with him, very nearly coming to an understanding whereby Hitler would have expelled the Jews by sending them to British Palestine, which he and the Zionists would have conquered together for the purpose.

All sorts of things about Churchill are simply ignored. Gallipoli. The miners. The Suffragettes. The refusal to bomb the railway lines to Auschwitz. His dishonest and self-serving memoirs. Both the fact and the sheer scale of his 1945 defeat while the War in the Far East was still going on, when Labour won half of his newly divided seat, and an Independent did very well against him in the other half after Labour and the Liberals had disgracefully refused to field candidates against him. His deselection by his local Conservative Association just before he died. And not least, his carve-up of Eastern Europe with Stalin, so very reminiscent of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.

But we have not forgotten the truth about him in the old pit communities. Nor have they in the places that he signed away to Stalin, including the country for whose freedom the War was fought, making it a failure in its own terms. And including Latvia. It may exist in German, but I have never come across in English a full study of the SS Divisions of various nationalities after they had gone home. Yet the movements and subcultures that they became turn up an awful lot. And, except in Latvia, we love them.

We loved Alija Izetbegovic, SS recruitment sergeant turned Wahhabi rabble-rouser, and founder of one of the two entities to which the terms “Islamofascist” and “failed state” are both properly applicable. We love the other one, created by the Kosovo “Liberation” Army of heroin-trafficking pimps whose black shirts defer to their fathers and grandfathers. We love the pro-war Danish People’s Party – coalition of the willing, no matter who the willing might be. We love those advocating Flemish secession, now that that would be in the service of global capital. Ahmadinejad’s oblique, if any, Holocaust denial causes uproar, yet that of Croatia’s Franjo Tudjman – historically, geographically, ideologically and sartorially far closer to the events – did not. But for some reason, the Latvian Fatherland and Freedom Party is a problem. Why? No one ever mentions that Eurofederalist, big business-loving Fine Gael goes back to the Blueshirts.

Just as some Nazi roots are acceptable but others are not (never mind that Ahmadinejad has none at all), so the anti-Semitism and the general racism, the brutality and the contempt for democracy, the admiration for Mussolini and especially for Hitler, are omitted from accounts of those who agitated for war in the Thirties, but heavily emphasised, sometimes to point of fabrication, in accounts of those who pleaded for peace.

If you leave aside Churchill and Mosley, then both sides wished to harness the full capacity of the State to correct the root and branch injustice of capitalism in itself, in order to conserve national sovereignty and traditional values, and in order to prevent a Communist revolution; that was the position of all three British parties at the time, and the reason why certainly Labour, and arguably also the modern Conservative Party, had been set up in the first place. But one side also wished, for exactly the same reasons, to prevent another war in Europe, or in countries beyond Europe to stay out of any such war. The contemporary resonances of both aspects could not be more obvious. Those who held to both, across or astride the political spectrum, deserve to be reassessed.

As, far less sympathetically, does Churchill. The BNP is as welcome to him as it is to Mosley, or the Bosniaks, or the Kosovars, or the Danish People’s Party, or the Vlaams Belang.