Saturday 31 July 2021


Of course Latin should be taught in state schools. Whatever my lot was taught instead has not made any of us Chancellor of the Exchequer. Our contemporary who is in that position was Head Boy of Winchester. The Prime Minister has a Classics degree, and he even lapses into Latin in casual conversation.

The Leader of the Opposition is a barrister, so he will also have at least some Latin. The Leader of the Liberal Democrats will have done it at Nottingham High School. It seems to be the minimum qualification, as once it was for admission to read anything at Oxbridge.

I am not part of the Latin Mass lobby, but nor am I one of its enemies, who will use absolutely any other language at all in the Liturgy, yet who belch that "no one could understand" Latin. In the 1960s. When it was routinely taught in schools. But not to them, perhaps.

The comparable ignorance on the other side is that of those who claim that "the Latin Mass was the same everywhere". It was not, and, as with "no one could understand it", it would have been of absolutely no theological consequence if it had been. All that they are saying is that it was equally incomprehensible to them everywhere.

Whenever I hear any call for this or that to be taught in schools, then I ask myself how that curriculum time was currently being filled. Whether to the thing proposed or to the thing already being taught, apply the Eton Test. Would this be taught in a school that assumed its pupils to be future Prime Ministers or Nobel Laureates? If not, then fill the hours with something that was. Teach Latin. Someone will.

No Khyber Pass

We have not merely "withdrawn" from Afghanistan. We lost the war, as we were always going to do, and as reviled figures from Peter Hitchens to Jeremy Corbyn predicted from the start. The reckoning is long, long, long overdue for these twenty years of complete and utter waste.

For one thing, where does not have an Islamist government these days? Our foreign policy is dictated by Saudi Arabia. In NATO's own ridiculous terms, Turkey is strategically its second most important member after the United States.

Even the coalition in Israel now includes an Islamist party, as well as every other shade for which the anti-war movement was castigated on the meaningless, catchall grounds of "anti-Semitism". Having forged such alliances, are Naftali Bennett and Benny Gantz anti-Semitic?

The wars in Iraq and Libya have managed to make the situations in those countries even worse, something that would previously have been considered impossible. They have permanently destabilised much wider areas, giving Britain Islamist terrorism and the refugee crisis.

But the war in Afghanistan has ended, or at any rate it has ended for us, exactly where it started, for all the world as if it had never happened. Perhaps that will be how we ever hereafter avoided mentioning our abject defeat there? It should not be.

It Isn't Hard To Do?

Based on nothing more than John Lennon's co-writing credit to Yoko Ono, Tokyo claims Imagine as its Olympic anthem.

This is like the practice of singing in English at the Eurovision Song Contest, with only France valiantly holding out every year. Britain should enter something in Welsh.

And "Imagine there's no countries"? In that case, then how would the Olympics work?

Piecing Together

Tonight, Craig Murray is beginning his eight month prison sentence as the first person in the world ever to have been imprisoned for "jigsaw identification", meaning that someone has been imprisoned as a result of the Alex Salmond trial. That sentence has been imposed by Lady Dorrian, who aspires to succeed the ageing Lord Carloway as Lord President of the Court of Session, a position that is in the gift of the First Minister, and who wishes to abolish in sexual assault cases juries such as the one that had the temerity to acquit Salmond.

In more than the background is Murray's support for Julian Assange, whose ongoing torture is very largely the fault of Keir Starmer. But just as Murray will be free in time to contest Nicola Sturgeon's Holyrood seat next time, so Assange is a Commonwealth citizen resident in the United Kingdom and not serving a prison sentence either there or in the Republic of Ireland. He should declare his candidacy at Holborn and St Pancras, and his campaign there should begin immediately.

Lock Stock

The promise not to raise income tax, National Insurance or VAT has appeared in five of the seven Labour manifestos of my adult lifetime, before which Labour had last won a General Election before I had been born, and it has appeared in all 11 Conservative manifestos of my entire lifetime. Invariably elected on that commitment, not a single Government has ever been able to honour it. It is time to start treating voters like grownups.

Not much could lose the Conservatives the next General Election, but scrapping the triple lock, even if only for one year, might just manage it. Their best hope would be an enormous backbench rebellion to see off the suicidal scheme. Why should Britain not have a proper pension, like any comparable country? And so much for the EU, that we never got one in all the years that we were in the thing.

In the next Parliament or the one after that, no matter who was in government is going to introduce the Universal Basic Income. It will be called something else, but they are going to do it, because they are going to have to. During the pandemic, the principle has already been conceded. Only Keir Starmer is still holding out, and no one will remember him by then.

We need to make sure that when the inevitable arrived, then it could not replace the state retirement pension, along with everything else, unless it were protected by the triple lock. At least.

After Cummings, What's Coming?

What is so wrong with Dominic Cummings? Not with his views, but with the man himself? Electorally successful Prime Ministers are always instruments of people who are brimming with ideas, but whom, therefore, no one would ever elect. Boris Johnson will probably win three General Elections. Two Prime Ministers in recent decades have done that. They were both as thick as mince, but so what?

No one would ever have elected Alastair Campbell, but he had Tony Blair to win for him. No one would ever have elected the likes of Alan Walters or Alfred Sherman, but they had Margaret Thatcher to win for them. And no one would ever have elected Cummings, but he had Johnson to win for him.

Who has Johnson to win for them now? There is already concern about the cranky opinions of the people who may be close to this Government, but the Blair Government and the Coalition were surrounded with people who wanted to join the euro and the Schengen Area, adopt European Central Time, and metricate the road signs. They would have driven on the right if they could have done. There were fewer of them around Gordon Brown and Theresa May, but they were still there. And of course, they were never going to get anywhere.

The same is true of those who would abolish British Summer Time, restore the pre-1974 counties for administrative purposes, return to the 11 plus, bring back pre-decimal currency, or disrupt the ground level compromise between the imperial and metric systems, which in any other country would be decried, not as the road to chaos, but as the chaos itself, but which deliciously manages to work in Britain.

Out here in the real world, some things are just never going to happen. Other things might, though. Other things might.

Sentence Structure

Or, indeed, sin tax.

I reread The Moor's Last Sigh in two days, and I ticked an item off my bucket list by reading, in one week, Neil Gaiman's preferred text of American Gods, complete with the extras. Imagine having that much peace and quiet. But not everyone can read, and not everyone can speak English.

There are people who need to be sent to prison for a very long time. I have drunk tea in front of Coronation Street with them. I have walked around exercise yards with them, talking about the weather. I have showered with them.

But just as there is no case for a war unless there is a strong enough case for conscription, since the country is obviously not under enough of a threat, so if your sentence allowed for your release after less than 12 months, then you were obviously not bad enough to have been sent to prison at all, to spend 23 hours of the day either in front of the television or asleep.

At an average annual cost to the public purse of £42,700, which is well over £100 per day,  what good purpose does that serve? Let me assure you that there is absolutely none.

County Lines

Heaven help Cumbria and North Yorkshire. As the terrible experience of County Durham shows, if a tier of local government ought to be abolished, then it is not District Councils, but County Councils.

The counties that matter for cricket, county shows, and so on, are in any case the historic counties, and many administrative counties have resembled those barely, if at all, since as long ago as 1974, which was before well over half the population was born.

Of that year's entirely new confections of Avon, Cleveland, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Humberside, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear, and West Yorkshire, only the third still has a council at all. No one seems to miss the others.

The Pound Is Our Ground

Yesterday brought yet further proof that devolved Scotland was a failed state. Its complete about turn on what had always been a peculiarity of the tartan and shortbread type of Tory has turned out to have been one of the biggest mistakes that the Left has ever made. Some of us never were comfortable with it.

And playing for Chelsea, and therefore living in England, Billy Gilmour would have no vote in a Scottish independence referendum, even though the result might very well make him liable to pay tax to two different countries, like an American citizen living abroad.

But the average age in Scotland is 40, and the average income is 100 per cent of the United Kingdom average. So let the forces of separatism have their electoral victory. Such a place is never going to put its mortgages or its pension schemes into an informal currency.

No one in the Federal Reserve cares what Panama thinks, nor should they. And no one in the Bank of England, which was founded by a Scot, would care what an independent Scotland thought, nor should they.

The Panama Option is a latter-day Darien scheme. The rise of Modern Monetary Theory since 2014 has left the Left with no excuse to support secession from a sovereign state with its own free floating, fiat currency, in favour of this.

The currency is the ground on which we defeated the separatists last time. It is the ground on which we shall defeat them next time. It is the ground on which we can and must defeat them every time.

Not Priti

Who does Priti Patel think has been the Home Secretary since 24th July 2019? Covid-19 meant that there was no reshuffle last year. Therefore, and in a crowded field, Patel remains the most improbable Home Secretary in living memory. She is one of several curious hangovers from the different political universe that preceded the 2019 General Election.

Patel was sacked from her previous Cabinet position from treason, and she once told a stunned Question Time audience that a wrongful execution "would send the right signal", but Boris Johnson oddly imagined that he owed the Right a favour. In reality, of course, they had had to support him against Jeremy Hunt, and they were going to have to support him against Jeremy Corbyn, or indeed against any Leader of the Labour Party.

Its candidate rarely wins and usually comes last, but the Left is always on the ballot paper when Labour has a Leadership Election. Whereas the Right last made it onto the ballot paper for Leader of the Conservative Party as long ago as 2005, when David Davis lost by more than two to one. In 2019, that party's parliamentary composition and its electoral base changed so dramatically that such a candidacy ought now to be unimaginable.

With Brexit done, at least officially, and despite considerable favourable coverage, popup Rightist parties and candidates were lucky to take two per cent of the vote this year. Patel should be one of several people who would soon be closing the door behind them as they left politics altogether. Nobody needs them, so nobody should want them. Even Steve Baker and Johnny Mercer are sick of being embarrassed by Patel's East African Asian dislike of black men.

And nobody, but nobody, messes with the England football team, who, being of their generation, are Black Lives Matter to a man. That generation has been disenfranchised, in the ordinary sense, by Labour's regression to the Far Right position that it has occupied for most of the lifetimes of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Sterling and Tyrone Mings. But with them on your team, then who needs the Labour Party? They are already far more powerful than, mercifully, KKKeir Stürmer could ever dream of being.

Crosses To Bear

40 years after the uprising in revolt against the Police arson attack at New Cross, such attacks would happen nightly under either a Patel or a Starmer Government, should we ever have the misfortune to experience such a thing.

As later at Hillsborough, pursuant to the policy of the Government of the day, the agents of the State intentionally killed that Government's class and, in this case, race enemies. The inevitable and intended backlash led to the long planned Operation Swamp, named after the then Prime Minister's most infamously racist utterance.

But Priti Patel or Keir Starmer would make Margaret Thatcher look like Martin Luther King. A party that has removed as its Leader Jeremy Corbyn, of all people, and replaced him with, of all things, a former Director of Public Prosecutions, has deliberately spat in the faces of BAME people, of People of Colour, and so on; for the most part, we all know whom we mean. It has declared itself a racist and imperialist party. As, of course, Labour has almost always been.

It was set up to be, by people like Starmer. The creation of the Labour Party was a masterpiece of divide and rule by the Imperial elite. Enclosure had been financed by the slave trade, and working-class action in Britain had been central to bringing that trade to an end, but those workers were now to be separated from the struggle by the promise of a small share in the spoils of Empire.

The Empire still exists as the City and its network of tax havens, and after a five year partial hiatus, Labour regressed last year to advocating that a few crumbs be diverted to a divide and rule invention called "the white working class". Unsurprisingly, Labour stands no chance of ever winning another General Election.

Unlike the agenda-setting England football team, Labour bears no resemblance to Britain's unique superdiversity, with people from every inhabited territory on earth, with ethnic diversity down to every village, with a large and exponentially growing mixed-race population, and with the world's most accepting attitude to mixed-race relationships and people. As that team illustrates, those are phenomena as much of the working class as of anyone else, and arguably even more so.

Starmer is also the Far Right's backstop when it comes to Patel's intended restoration of capital punishment, in her case for black men, for Muslims, and for persons of low or no caste, a principle easily convertible into the currency of the class system. Her own precarious caste status, in marked contrast to the impeccably Brahmin Rishi Sunak and Alok Sharma, only make her even worse. Her patron, Narenda Modi, has a very similar background. He adds Christians to his death list, but black people are Britain's most solid bloc of regular churchgoers, so that base is already covered.

The Blair Government longed to bring back the death penalty, but it never had the parliamentary numbers. I remember people of my own generation who were close to that Government and who were quite psychotic on this subject in private. Some of them are now Labour MPs, and all of them are now strong supporters of Starmer.

It is inconceivable that such a restoration would be repealed if the Prime Minister were a former Director of Public Prosecutions. If anything, its scope would be extended dramatically. This is the ghouls' big chance, within a context of nightly New Crosses that, like the hangings, would be blood sacrifices to Patel and Starmer.

But such is superdiversity that the reaction would make 1981 look like a dispute at a bridge club. And such is superdiversity that London, the centre of the Empire that now extends to every country on earth, is also the global centre of the liberation struggle. At least until Corbyn's subscription to the IHRA Definition, and we must never forget that it was Corbyn, who did that, then he was the single most important figure in that struggle in the world.

Now, though, no parliamentary political party, as such, is even so much as aware of it. But if the Blairite Electoral Commission ever did condescend to register Black Lives Matter, for all its many faults, then Labour would be as finished in London as it already was everywhere else. Starmer might very well lose his own seat.

The Orange Stripe

The proposed amnesty illustrates that the United Kingdom's permanent governing party has no connection to Northern Ireland. The SDLP's MPs take the Labour Whip, and the Liberal Democrats have close ties to the rising Alliance Party. But no one who was even generically a Tory won a seat in Northern Ireland in 2019, and one of their two second places was still 12,721 votes behind. One of their third places was where there were only three candidates, and they did a great deal worse than that in most places, where they stood at all.

It would always have been impossible to have become or remained Prime Minister if you had said that the Union with Scotland was anything other than permanent and nonnegotiable. But it would always have been impossible to have become or remained Prime Minister if you had said that the Union with Northern Ireland was permanent or nonnegotiable. If you doubt this, then cite the occasion on which any Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition ever has said that.

There was no referendum on abortion in Northern Ireland. It is more of a colony than Gibraltar is. For that matter, there was a referendum on same-sex marriage in Saint Helena, but not in Northern Ireland. As what even Emily Thornberry has described as newly independent Britain sets sail into the world, then it has irredentist territorial disputes with at least three other G20 countries. In descending order of emotional importance to Tory England, those are with Argentina over the Falkland Islands, with Spain over Gibraltar, and with the United States (and the European Union) over a United Ireland.

People who would either not regret, or would positively welcome, Scottish independence, would send other people to war to keep the Falklands, although not any other British Overseas Territory. Yes, there was a war over them once. The decidedly longer war in Northern Ireland ended far more recently, but everyone was told to forget that it had ever happened, so they did. A Provisional Army Council comprised entirely on IRA veterans from that period now exercises de facto sovereignty over the Six Counties, which are made to have abortion so that they can be incorporated into a 32 County Republic, just as Gibraltar is strongly encouraged to have abortion so that it can be reincorporated into Spain.

Perhaps Northern Ireland should have a referendum on the Protocol, which is of course a breach of the Act of Union, since that is the point of it? The Yes vote, possibly in every constituency, would indicate quite how middle-class the place was becoming. Like the rise of the Alliance Party, like the resurgence of the Lib Dems in the monied shires of Southern England, and like the vote of those areas to Remain, it would bespeak that the vote was a nice thing to have, but that people who got their way by other means every day did not really need it.

If 60 per cent of the laws to which they were subject were made without the formal participation of their elected representatives, well, those were still going to be the laws that they themselves wanted, because that was how the world worked. See also the imposition of abortion. They have no concept of having no voice but the vote, short of striking, or rioting, or setting off a bomb.

The emerging Alliance electorate was always a very ill fit for the DUP, and vice versa. The DUP's roots are working-class, paramilitary from the start, and above all fundamentalist, a word that is proudly used in self-description by the tiny Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, which barely exists in the places that have gone from the UUP, to the DUP, and increasingly now to Alliance. The late Ian Paisley was always surrounded by paramilitaries, they still routinely get the vote out for the DUP, and Ulster Resistance has never even declared a ceasefire.

Yet the presently Unionist electoral bloc in the Six Counties will always hold the balance of power in the Dáil of the 32 County Republic. After a generation of working with Sinn Féin, working with Fianna Fáil, never mind with Fine Gael, will be a doddle. Indeed, such parliamentary votes, making real the orange stripe on the Tricolour, will more probably be used to support Sinn Féin, which will be a known quantity to the people who were casting those votes.

Sinn Féin now says that there cannot be a United Ireland without a National Health Service. That was long a sticking point for many of us. Independence had kept the 26 Counties out of the Attlee Settlement, and its completion would have deprived the Six Counties of what remained of that Settlement, most importantly the NHS. But no more.

Even the 26 County State has always been under very considerable Protestant influence. Two out of nine Presidents have been Protestants, double the figure that the composition of the population would suggest. One of them had the too perfect upper-class English accent that only Irish and Scottish aristocrats can manage.

Well into the 1960s, more than 40 years after Irish independence, Guinness refused to employ Catholics in any managerial capacity, and it was owned by the dynasty that provided four successive Conservative Members of Parliament for Southend, a town a mere 40 miles from the centre of London. The last one, who had been a Cabinet Minister under Margaret Thatcher, did not retire until 1997 and did not die until 10 years after that.

There is much emphasis on land reform as having allegedly broken the power of the Ascendancy. But in fact the Anglo-Irish Protestants continued to own everything from the breweries, to the banks, to interests such as Merville Dairy, all of which practised frank anti-Catholic discrimination in employment for many decades after independence. No one who was even nominally a Catholic was made Editor of The Irish Times until as recently as 1986, 64 years after independence. And so on.

The last United Ireland, the Kingdom of Ireland and then the whole of Ireland within the United Kingdom, was the only United Ireland that there has ever been, and it was run by Protestants. Those Protestants were considered Irish without complication by everyone, including themselves, until they took the Unionist side, for reasons of Irish self-interest as they saw it, in the early twentieth century. To his dying day, Lord Carson saw Partition as having been a defeat. A Dubliner, he never liked the North.

The only way that a state in Ireland could be run by or for even the ethnically Catholic atheists who now ran the 26 Counties would be to partition the predominantly Protestant counties out of that state altogether. That was at least as much the reason for Partition as anything else was. But that century is drawing to a close.

With varying degrees of straight-facedness, Ulster Protestants profess to believe that the English are godless, that the English do not know how to fight, and that the English have questionable standards when it comes to keeping clean and tidy. They never, ever cheer for England at anything. All of that sounds suspiciously like the Irish, even before mentioning the fact that they not only live on the island of Ireland, but speak with the heaviest Irish accents to be heard anywhere on that island. They are Irish. Of course they are Irish.

Irish Republicanism was founded by Protestants, and Ulster Presbyterians were once such stalwarts of it that they carried it across the Atlantic, to tumultuous effect. The founders, though, were what would now be called Anglicans, and it is they whom the orange stripe celebrates. They were no more interested in the enfranchisement of their Gaelic, Catholic-cum-pagan tenants and servants than their contemporaries and correspondents, the American Founding Fathers, were interested in the enfranchisement of the "Indians not taxed" or of their own Negro slaves.

The ritual of the Orange Order is also of obviously Anglican rather than Presbyterian origin, and the Orange Lodges opposed the Union of 1801. They said that the uncomprehending English would take one look at Ireland and let Catholics sit in Parliament to keep the peace. It took 28 years, but they were proved right. The Orange Order exists to maintain, not the Union, which is purely a means, but the Protestant supremacy. Look out for that in the rapidly approaching new order.

Friday 30 July 2021

Face Facts

I have of course voted for Steve Turner.

And as a proud member of Unite the Union, a possible candidate for General Secretary in 2026, I am of course continuing to wear a face covering on public transport.

I urge you to do both.

The Sands of Time

Strikingly little is being made of this fortieth anniversary summer of the Hunger Strike. IRA men of the same generation now comprise an Army Council that exercises de facto sovereignty in and over the Six Counties. If Sinn Féin had put up enough candidates, then it would have won the last Dáil elections outright. It will remember that the next time. All in all, the official reticence about 1981 is understandable.

The election of Bobby Sands led to a change in the law so that you could no longer stand for the House of Commons while you were serving a prison sentence in the United Kingdom or in the Republic of Ireland. But as long as you are otherwise eligible, then you can stand for Parliament from anywhere in the world, including from prison in any country other than those two. Provided that you really did live there, then you could give ADX Florence as your address on the ballot paper at North West Durham.

The rules for local elections are much tighter, but merely having been to prison in the past, even in the recent past, is no bar to becoming an MP. Even being in prison almost anywhere on earth is no such bar. At least until very recently indeed, men with long IRA records were wielding their Members' Passes around the Palace of Westminster every day that the House of Commons sat, drawing their salaries, claiming their expenses, using the facilities, having the use of an exceptionally large and well-appointed office, and doing everything that did not necessitate entering the chamber.

Jeremy Corbyn never did "invite" Gerry Adams to Parliament. As a sitting MP, eventually elected six times, Adams simply walked in, as he did routinely. The law has not changed. There is absolutely nothing to stop me from contesting a General Election in 2024. I fully intend to do so. I am already doing so.

Better To Die Than Be A Coward

If Jeremy Corbyn had still been the Leader of the Opposition, then he would certainly have been on the picket line with the Gurkha veterans who were on hunger strike for pension justice. He should be there even now, thereby shaming Keir Starmer, who wishes to return to the last Labour Government, which also screwed over the Gurkhas.

Peter Hitchens warned them not to trust the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. He, too, should stand with them now. As, if he wanted to recover any credibility in the suburban and rural Toryland that used to vote for him quite a bit, and which adores the RNLI as much as it adores the Armed Forces, should Nigel Farage. As, since he clearly seeking to rehabilitate himself, should Dominic Cummings.

And as, while he awaited the outcome of his challenge to the result at Batley and Spen, should George Galloway. He would not be joined by the person who was sitting as the MP for that seat even though the matter was still before the courts, something that would never have been happening of the result had been declared the other way.

Having been refused both the Electoral Register, and an appointment to hand in my nomination papers and my deposit, then I would have challenged the result at North West Durham if Labour had held on.

Not dissimilarly, when George last returned to the House of Commons, the then Prime Minister referred to him from the Despatch Box by name, and not as an Honourable Member. The then Speaker said nothing. Some people just do not count. Like the Gurkhas. So we need to stick together.

Labour In Vain

These dying days of the Labour Party are not tragic, but comical. When it is not sacking its staff because it can no longer afford them, something that was never a problem under Jeremy Corbyn, then it is planning the pompous "proscription" of two men and a dog operations that had already left the party, if they had ever been in it.

Labour is no longer in a position to expel existing members, since it now has hardly any of those, and fewer every day. Its poll rating is lower than it was at the last General Election, while Keir Starmer's personal approval rating would be pitiful even if it were not lower than Boris Johnson's. Therefore, Starmer must remain Leader until the next General Election. The Right must have nowhere to hide from that catastrophic result, when Labour will have fewer seats than all other Opposition parties put together.

The Conservatives are going to lose numerous old Thatcherite strongholds to the Liberal Democrats, who were always the more pro-austerity and pro-war party in the Coalition. But the Conservative majority is still going to double, because that party is going to pick up so many seats that had voted twice for Corbyn. If the Blairite Electoral Commission ever did allow Black Lives Matter to register as a political party, then Labour would be as finished in London as it was everywhere else. Starmer might very well lose his own seat.

By then, Corbyn will have been without the Whip almost for an entire Parliament. He had always been unlikely to seek reelection at 75, and after 41 years as an MP. And he would be faced with a colossal programme of central government investment and infrastructure, much of it in public ownership, and all of it made possible by withdrawal from the European Single Market and Customs Union. On those grounds, he seems set to retire a very happy Bennite.

Especially in economic policy, the guiding lights of this century's uninterrupted Conservative rule are on course to be the Labour manifestos of 2019, 2017 and 1983. That last is still lazily dismissed as "the longest suicide note in history", but an astonishing amount of it has come to pass. The fig leaf is that unilateral nuclear disarmament never has. Unfortunately, however, it never would have done. Michael Foot would never have found 100 MPs who would have been prepared to have served in a Government with such a commitment, and his potential alternatives would have declined peerages on principle, as Foot himself eventually did.

Brexit used to be held up as equally suicidal, but apparently that was never "Loony Left" after all. Who knew? And all the standard abuse and ridicule will be heaped on the Corbyn Leadership, rather than the criticism that it truly deserved, just so long as there was never another referendum on EU membership, as there never would have been, since Corbyn would have relied successfully on the Conservatives and the DUP to vote down any Blairite and Starmerite attempt to hold one.

Meanwhile, great tracts of Corbyn's economic programme are going to be implemented, some of them already are being, the Government is well on the way to becoming even more dependent on areas that had voted for Corbyn, the areas that might object are turning Lib Dem, and the anti-Corbyn Labour Party is effectively defunct. Starmer has lost Labour one million Kashmiri voters, largely in key electoral battlegrounds. No one who defected to Change UK has re-joined the Labour Party, so Starmer has failed in his own terms.

After all, who would join the Labour Party now? Proponents of economic equality and of international peace would not spit on it, although it does little or nothing but spit on them. They would be given far more of a hearing in the Conservative Party. Starmer's preferred constituency of hardcore global capitalists and war hawks is already powering the resurgence of the Lib Dems.

Not only that, but Super Thursday has devastated the Labour Right's control of vast sums of Council Tax, business rates, pension funds looking to invest, sweeteners and backhanders from property developers and others, and so on, as well as its vast powers of patronage in the allocation of council housing, better council housing, jobs with the council, better jobs with the council, and so forth.

Labour holds on in Wales only because of the Corbynite Mark Drakeford, who will not be there forever, and who may not necessarily have any influence over votes for the House of Commons. Labour holds on in Great Manchester only because of Andy Burnham, who will not be there forever, and who may not necessarily have any influence over votes for the House of Commons.

Labour holds on in and around Liverpool only because of the remarks about Hillsborough by Boris Johnson, who will not be there forever. Labour holds on in London, and Starmer probably holds onto his own seat, only because the Blairite Electoral Commission refuses to register Black Lives Matter as a political party. And that is pretty much it.

Thursday 29 July 2021

Coming Home

First things first. I have written to the Queen, to thank her for her hospitality. It gave me more of an education in three months than I had had in the previous 35 years. For one thing, it introduced me to the England football team, with their skin tones, and with their unselfconscious displays of Catholicism. 

Connoisseurs of crossings will have noticed that they did it in not only a Catholic, but really quite a Mediterranean, way, kissing their hands at the end. Whatever their roots in the West Indies or in West Africa, via working-class England in general and working-class London in particular, they are not High Anglicans.

The last trace of a Saxon, Protestant England is England's last Wettin monarch, and she is 95. Her Heir Apparent is an Oldenburg, meaning that the Danes will eventually supplant the Saxons on the Throne of England after all.

The next monarch but one has endorsed a dominant popular cultural force that now defines itself as much by the taking of the knee as by the singing of the National Anthem with the wrong lyrics; they are "God save the Queen," not "God save our Queen."

But then, 13 of the 26 members of the recently near-triumphant England football squad, 50 per cent of the total, would have been eligible to play either for Ireland (in the case of Harry Maguire, for either part of Ireland) or for what used to be called a New Commonwealth country.

Well, of course. What else could anyone possibly have expected? That is working-class England. Half the people in it are at least a bit Irish, or at least a bit New Commonwealth, or both. Anyone who might object to this, even leaving aside an Irish dimension that was already at least 100 years old in 1948, to which aspect of the pre-Windrush Britain that almost no one could now remember would you wish to return? The music? The food? The weekly bath nights?

19 years on, the Queen's Golden Jubilee remarks about multiculturalism are downright banal. At the time, though, certain newspapers still felt the need to pretend to be shocked. But the reason why we now hardly ever come across the word is because Britain, right down to every village, has moved beyond it, to a degree of fusion that does not yet have any international parallel. Listen to the music. Try the food. Look at the very faces of the England football team.

Or ask Stormzy's gym buddy, who will probably be King in 20 years' time, and certainly in 30. His mother was no scholar, but she was no fool. She did more for the Hanoverian monarchy in Britain than any other member of her dynasty, which has been its closest ally since even before that monarchy officially existed.

By the middle of this century, the Throne will have passed forever to her heirs, thereby legitimising it in the eyes of her partisans, whom she had hoodwinked into imagining that she was the harbinger of a new order. She was still pulling that trick even in death. She was a political genius, and there is every sign that so is her elder son, who is the chief cheerleader for the multicoloured, knee-taking, politically unquestionable England football team.

Why I Believe In Hell

I do not do liberal theology. But firmly rooted in the Absolute Goodness and Love that is the Triune God, manifested by, in, through and as the Atoning Death of the Incarnate Logos, I did used to hold a kind of de facto near-universalism, with annihilation for the worst of the worst, since how could it be possible to be cast out of the presence of the Omnipresent God?

But then I became privy to the conversations that men had in prison, having already had to deal with the people who had sent me there, and who were more evil than anyone whom I met there. God loves everyone, and therefore Jesus died for everyone, but it would not have been merciful for Hitler to have been let off, or for Pol Pot to have been snuffed out. It would have been unjust, and I have heard with my own ears the matter of fact accounts to which either such response would be equally unjust, as well as having been put in that position by machinations to which the same principle applied.

There is always the possibility of final repentance. In the moment between Hitler's pulling of the trigger and the bullet's lodging in his brain, then he might have repented. We cannot know. But in the absence of final repentance, then there must be an eternal and conscious Hell, where the God of Justice was by definition as Omnipresent as He was everywhere else.

Why I Believe In Purgatory

Purgatory is not a second chance. It is only for souls that are already on the way to Heaven. If you are going to Hell, then you are going to Hell. To the charge that Purgatory is unbiblical, there are four answers.

First, the idea of Christianity as baldly "based on the Bible" is purely sixteenth century, and it has been minoritarian and contentious from the day that it was first proposed. Secondly, the Second Book of Maccabees is part of the Old Testament Canon of historic Christianity, again undisputed for the first three quarters of Christian history to date, and again acknowledged by the great majority of the world's Christians at any given time.

Thirdly, the Catholic reading of 1 Corinthians 3:10-15, which is the direct New Testament and indeed Pauline basis of the doctrine of Purgatory, is many centuries older than any Protestant reading of anything. And fourthly, those who charge that the doctrine of Purgatory is unbiblical almost invariably hold a view of life after death that cannot begin to be sustained out of Scripture, a view according to which newly disembodied souls entered immediately into their final, but incorporeal, bliss or torment.

For all the talk of oxymoronic "spiritual bodies", the people in the pews would be shocked to learn that many of their most revered leaders have held, and openly if obscurely continue to hold, the original Protestant position that the souls of the dead were unconscious until the General Resurrection, effectively as dead as their bodies. That can at least claim some relationship to Scripture, although only such as to bring us back to the first of our four points.

Martin Luther's theory of justification by faith alone is directly unbiblical. See instead James 2:24, all attempts to reconcile which with Luther's teaching are contrary as much to his own example as to every word on the subject before his relatively recent time. ὁρᾶτε ὅτι ἐξ ἔργων δικαιοῦται ἄνθρωπος καὶ οὐκ ἐκ πίστεως μόνον, as they say in Diocesan Safeguarding Offices.

According to Luther's theory, justification is merely forensic, with the righteousness of Christ only imputed to the saved, and not also imparted through the Church's ministry of Word and Sacrament. This is contrary to the very etymology of iustum facere, terminology that Protestants choose to retain. But it purports to remove the need for many things, including Purgatory.

There is no reason why a soul that God had declared righteous as a kind of legal fiction ought not to go to Heaven immediately at bodily death, although, as set out above, Luther himself did not believe that. But there is every reason why a soul that was still in the process of being brought to "the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" would have to continue that process, although now at no risk of being lost. "Be ye perfect," and who dies perfect? But just as you cannot be saved after death, so you cannot be damned after death, either.

Therefore, the Holy Souls are members of the Church. They pray for us, and we may, and therefore must, pray for them. The old Mass for the Most Abandoned Soul in Purgatory may call to mind the nul points of the Eurovision Song Contest, but it points to the sublime truth that no one in the Church has nul points. Whoever that member is, then there is someone praying for them. The Church, as such, is praying for that member, as for every other.

Seen in this light, indulgences make perfect sense. The grace obtained by the Salvific Work of Jesus Christ is superabundant both according to Saint John's Gospel and according to Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans, which are classically seen in Protestantism as exercising a kind of controlling influence within the New Testament. And according to the latter, "We, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another."

Yes, there is an element of pain to Purgatory. "God has created us for Himself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Him." After all, this is a process of correction, after death as before it. That must be a punishment for sin, without which no correction would be necessary. Yet in the pain of correction, there is also the joy of improvement. To deny Purgatory is to deny that joy, that gift from God; the gift of being made, and not merely declared, righteous through the Church's impartation, and not only the imputation, of Christ's righteousness.

Certain Protestant tendencies do emphasise imparted righteousness, notably Methodism and its outgrowths in the Holiness movement, and thus in Pentecostalism and the Charismatic Renewal. The vocabulary there is of entire sanctification, of Christian Perfection, of "salvation to the utmost". Having lived in County Durham since the age of four, I have been around Methodists most of my life. But dear brothers and sisters, have you ever met an entirely sanctified person, saved to the utmost in this life? Perhaps very occasionally. Perhaps only once. Or perhaps never. And do you yourself realistically expect to die one?

Time cannot pass nowhere, so how can Purgatory exist in time but not in space? I wrestled for decades with petitionary prayer to the Immutable God, but He led me to the answer, and you can probably guess how. I always knew by faith that that answer was there; the same applies in this case, too. And in the end, so to speak, you either accept the Teaching Authority of the Catholic Church, or you do not. If you do, then you accept everything that is taught on that authority. Saint Augustine said that he believed that the Bible was the Word of God because that was what the Church taught that it was. Quite.

Keeping It Real

Three months of old-fashioned communal showers have given me a particular perspective on gender self-identification. One never looks down, of course, and in any case what would one see? Nothing is more uninteresting than another man's penis. 

We old timers would indeed have seen it all before. But if it is not already happening, then teenage boys the length and breadth of the land will very soon be confronted with something else entirely. Anyone who thinks that that would be "every boy's dream" has obviously never been one. There is a time and a place for everything, and that would be neither the time nor the place for a vagina.

Feelings are real, but they are not facts. As poverty of aspiration is a real feeling, but it is economic inequality that is a fact, so gender identity is a real feeling, but it is biological sex that is a fact. Those who failed to hold the first line, but who instead followed Marxism Today in whoring after Neil Kinnock and Tony Blair, are now unable to hold the second line, either. And those who are failing to hold the second line will be unable to hold the first, no matter how devoted they might have been to the person or cause of Jeremy Corbyn.

Without a robust material realism, there can be no pursuit of economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, led by those who suffered most as a result of economic inequality, namely the working class, and led by those who suffered most as a result of international conflict, namely the working class and the youth.

Yet most of the Left has succumbed to gender self-identification, which is a flat denial of even the most blatantly obvious material reality. Demonstrably, then, dialectical materialism has failed to provide that robust basis. Nor, in itself, can natural science, which cannot prove the ontological existence of material reality, but rather presupposes it and works from there.

What is needed is Thomism, which by definition exists within the wider Augustinian tradition. Fundamental to both is absolute fidelity to the Roman Magisterium, which is itself irrevocably committed to the Thomist metaphysical system, within which its own indispensable role precludes any degeneration comparable to that of the ancestrally Marxian Left into gender self-identification. Philosophy needs the Rock of the Petrine Office no less than Theology does.

Just as there can be no meaningful claim to be pro-life without an active commitment to economic equality and to international peace, so there can be no such commitment without material realism. There can be no secure material realism, nor, therefore, any science, without Thomism. And there can be no Thomism without the Roman Obedience, which one adopts either entirely and at whatever cost, or not at all.

Applied to the present situation, this has implications that are vastly more egalitarian economically, vastly more pacific internationally, and vastly more democratic politically, than anything that Marxism could ever devise, much less deliver.

This is not to build the house from the roof down. Fidelity to the Magisterium requires Thomism, which entails material realism, which compels a critique of the present economic and geopolitical order such as leads inexorably to the pursuit of equality and peace through democracy.

Needle Points

I had always been practically certain to vote Labour in 2015, but the deal was sealed when Pat Glass was the only candidate to tell the hustings in Lanchester than she was opposed to assisted suicide.

My paternal grandfather was born before such working-class men could vote, and my maternal ancestors included African slaves, Indian indentured labourers, and Chinese coolies. We who come off the lower orders and the lesser breeds, and perhaps especially those of us who are disabled, know perfectly well who would be euthanised, and how, and why.

Even if we had made it past the industrial scale abortion that disproportionately targeted us, then we, as a people, would face euthanasia as yet another lethal weapon in the deadly armoury of our mortal enemies, alongside their wars, alongside their self-indulgent refusal to enforce the drug laws, alongside police brutality and other street violence, alongside the numerous life-shortening consequences of economic inequality, and alongside the intended restoration of capital punishment, which would not be repealed if the Prime Minister were a former Director of Public Prosecutions.

All this, and the needle, too? This is class and race war, and we must fight to the death. That death must not be ours, but the death of the global capitalist system. Having subjected itself to that system to a unique extent, Britain is uniquely placed to overthrow it, and to replace it with an order founded on the absolute sanctity of each individual human life from the point of fertilisation to the point of natural death. That foundation would and could be secured only by absolute fidelity to the only global institution that was irrevocably committed to that principle, including the full range of its economic, social, cultural and political implications.


The first duty of the Catholic party to a mixed marriage is to pray for the conversion of the other spouse, so Carrie Johnson must be quite the bird of pray. We all know that non-denial.

No one would dispute the nullity of Boris Johnson's previous marriages, since he never had any intention of keeping the vows. The Church of England will soon have a Supreme Governor whose first marriage was deficient in the same way.

Every body that has seceded from Petrine Unity has compromised the indissolubility of Holy Matrimony. If those who went into schism after the Second Vatican Council have not already done so, then they very soon will. And Forward in Faith, which has now expressly rejected reunion with Rome, is chaired by a man who divorced and immediately remarried while serving as a bishop, as he continues to do.

All error is Christological. There is Christological error in the Catholic Church, but it can never be the position of the Magisterium, which, on the contrary, vigorously corrects it. By contrast, certain schismatic Eastern bodies remain at least sympathetic to Nestorianism or to Monophysitism, in every case in explicit rejection of a corresponding Eastern Catholic Church. Within Eastern Orthodoxy, the theories of Sergei Bulgakov and Panagiotis Trembelas are only the latest in a long, long line, with no one to correct them definitively.

Classical Protestantism is founded on a merely forensic understanding of justification, according to which righteousness in purely imputed, and not also imparted. That is incompatible with the Chalcedonian Definition, since the full divinity and the full humanity of Jesus make His words and deeds exemplary of what human nature can achieve in that perfect union with God towards which the Church offers constant progress through Her ministry of Word and Sacrament.

Not for nothing are the following the fifty-fifth question and answer of John Calvin's Geneva Catechism of 1541, on the question of why, ostensibly, the Apostles' Creed goes straight from "born of the Virgin Mary" to "suffered under Pontius Pilate": "Why do you go immediately from His Birth to His Death, passing over the whole history of His Life? Because nothing is said here but what pertains properly to the substance of our redemption."

Even the corresponding passage of the Heidelberg Catechism of 1563, preferred by Karl Barth, will not do: "What do you understand by the word "suffered"? That all the time of His life on earth, but especially at the end of it, He bore, in body and soul, the Wrath of God against the sin of the whole human race."

In reality, the "long middle" manifests the Incarnation, it providentially incites the Passion, it is confirmed by the Resurrection and the Ascension, it anticipates the Second Coming, and it is absolutely central to the Church's work of evangelisation and catechesis, not least as the Source and Summit of that work, the Holy Mass, is celebrated through the liturgical year, feeding us by Word and Sacrament to progress constantly towards the full potential of human nature in perfect union with God, as demonstrated by the words and deeds of Jesus Christ, True God and True Man.

Liberal Protestants see Jesus as the human being most conscious of God, at least to date. That is capable of completion as the recognition that He is unique in being completely so conscious, due to His human nature's union with the Logos in a single Hypostasis. But in itself, it is not sufficient. It does not meet humanity's need of a Saviour Who is both fully human and fully divine.

And since 1889, most Anglo-Catholics have been Christological heretics, subscribing as they do to Kenoticism, which, in separating certain Divine Attributes from the others and from the Divine Essence, overthrows theism itself. This is done in capitulation to the claim of Biblical criticism to final authority. And that amounts to a denial that the Authorship of God's written Word is both fully human and fully divine, which can only be a denial that the Person of God's Incarnate Word is both fully human and fully divine.

I have already noticed Kenoticism in at least one publication of the Ordinariate, but the remedy is readily to hand. The Chalcedonian Definition is the Holy Spirit's definitive answer to the Incarnate Word's perennially normative question, "Who do you say that I am?" It is the only logically sustainable interpretation of Saint Peter's immediate reply to that question. And we all know what Jesus, in turn, said in immediate reply to that.

Wednesday 28 July 2021

Before I Was So Rudely Interrupted

I never left the ceremonial county, but to return to the administrative county of Durham after Super Thursday has been to return to Narnia after the fall of the White Witch. It is no longer always winter but never Christmas. Still in Durham itself at the time, I bewildered my cellmate by cheering, and punching the air, while watching Look North. The only election of any kind in my adult lifetime at which I had not voted turned out to be the one that gave me by far the most pleasure.

The Liberal Democrats were such stalwarts of the County Durham Teaching Assistants' campaign, which the results on Super Thursday may reasonably be said to have reactivated, that even I voted in 2017 for Owen Temple rather than for the lukewarm Laura Pidcock. And I have nothing but goodwill towards any administration that has overthrown the corrupt and brutal right-wing Labour machine in County Durham after more than 100 years.

But it was the Conservatives who were the moderating party in the Coalition. However slowly or slightly, austerity did begin to be eased once the Cabinet no longer contained the most direct and explicit heirs of the Whigs, of the Gladstonians, and of the Callaghan Government, including the Lib-Lab Pact.

Ever since the 2016 referendum, it has been obvious that there was a natural party of the well heeled, NIMBYish, Thatcherite, socially ultraliberal, and ferociously pro-EU section of the electorate. Had the 2015 Parliament run its course, then the Lib Dems would have taken scores of seats from the Conservatives in the South outside London, where such voters did and do predominate and even dominate. In 2024, they finally will.

Not that Boris Johnson needs to worry. The Conservatives will remain in office, not only by holding their gains from 2019, but by offsetting their losses to the Lib Dems with seats that had voted twice for Jeremy Corbyn's economic programme, as the 2019 seats would also have done if Corbyn had held the Bennite line against Keir Starmer on Brexit.

The people and places that had long ago voted three times for Margaret Thatcher will be Lib Dem, and the Conservative Government will owe them nothing. It will owe us instead. It already does. Let's fill our boots.

Walk Alone

Most show trials are for the conviction, but a few are for the acquittal, or for the theatrical collapse. Bringing us to Hillsborough, yet again. Everyone has always known what happened at Hillsborough, because everyone has always been supposed to know what happened at Hillsborough.

Pursuant to the policy of the Government of the day, the agents of the State intentionally killed, as it turned out, 96 of that Government's class and regional enemies, whom the governing party's off the books campaigning media then smeared in the most obscene terms. That State has spent the subsequent 32 years purporting to exonerate itself through its pantomime impersonations of legal proceedings. Message received and understood.

Bringing down and keeping down Liverpool was always as important as bringing down and keeping down the coalfield communities, which are not "former", since the coal is still there. Even more than they resented the highly civilised and highly politicised communities that were sustained by the high wages and the secure employment of the miners, the Thatcher-Blair-Starmer classes despised the fact that the single most important city in the popular culture of Western Europe, and arguably of the world, was somewhere Up North where they talked funny and stood up for themselves. The economic basis of each had to be destroyed. And it was.

Brexit was "Loony Left" when it was advocated by Eric Heffer, Bob Parry, Eddie Loyden and Tony Mulhearn. But now that they were officially right all along, Britain has reentered the world without a West Coast port remotely equipped to the task. Never mind, though. At least all the pop music now comes from London. And at least no one has ever been convicted in relation to Hillsborough. Nor ever will be. Nor ever could have been.

The Thing About George Galloway

How has Kim Leadbeater been permitted to take her seat, when her election is still being challenged in the courts? The result at Batley and Spen would certainly have been overturned if George Galloway had won, so good look to him in seeking to have it overturned because he lost. He is not going to win, but he deserves to.

With the possible exception of Ken Livingstone, George is the most striking figure of the working-class Left who would have been a Minister under any post-Kinnock Labour Prime Minister other than Tony Blair and the post-Blair Gordon Brown. And there could certainly have been such a Prime Minister. Any Labour Leader at all would always have won the next General Election after Wednesday 16th September 1992.

Despite having an enormous overall majority, Blair preferred people who had been elected as Conservative Party candidates, and he put the Leader of the Liberal Democrats on a Cabinet Committee. Brown also tried to bring the Lib Dems into the Cabinet, and he gave a portfolio to a man who had been elected as a Conservative at the previous five General Elections.

When I disagree with George on an issue, then I really do, but that does not happen very often. Although I claim no influence, he has arrived at a few positions that I already held. His style would not be mine, but whose style would ever be anyone else's? He has an opportunistic streak, but my lack of one probably accounts for my lack of political success. He has been known to keep company, but only such as would now be found in the governing coalition of Israel, to which uncritical Respect must of course be accorded.

And George is currently one of those half a dozen people at any given time, if there are that many, whose absence from Parliament makes it feel like the wrong Parliament. Is every one of our 650 MPs better informed than George Galloway, more articulate, better connected internationally, and altogether better equipped to hold the Government to account? Is Kim Leadbeater? Was Jo Cox?

Get With The Pogrom

The glorious names of Jews shine like the Sun from the annals of the American Civil Rights movement, and of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. They were classified as white both under the Jim Crow laws and under apartheid, which settles that question once and for all. Many anti-apartheid Jewish veterans were forthright in support of Jeremy Corbyn, arguably even after he had ceased to deserve it to quite that extent.

By the very starkest of contrasts, the Equality and Human Rights Commission has no interest in the economic equality without which there can be no other, it has done nothing to protect the human rights of the victims of austerity, and it is infamous for sacking its black and disabled staff first. But its report to order on Corbyn saved its Blairite hide from abolition, although the Government has since hilariously sacked that report's authors, anyway.

That report is still being waved by the weirdo cultists who insist, as if it mattered now, that there would have been some kind of pogrom against the Jews if Corbyn had become Prime Minister. Yet it is the Government that they support that is legislating for a pogrom against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people. 

Now, I have not lived for as long as I have in the countryside, much less have I been politically active here for most of that time, without developing some misgivings about certain GRT cultural practices. And the Police themselves do not want the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. But once it were the law, then someone would use it. And no one deserves to have their home torched by the State.

Yet there is at best silence from the interfering Israeli Embassy, the Chief Rabbinate, the Senior Rabbinate, the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Community Security Trust, The Jewish Chronicle, the Jewish Telegraph, and the Jewish News, all of which give enthusiastic support to the Government in general. The Jewish "communal" bodies are only an ethnic minority when it suits them, which is not very often. For solidarity in the struggle, then you need those Jews who stood with Corbyn.

Most of Britain's very few Jews have voted Conservative for decades, even when the Leader of the Labour Party has been Jewish, and most of the rest will have supported Corbyn if only for the want of anyone more left-wing, so Keir Starmer will already have lost Labour more Jewish voters than he might ever have hoped to gain it.

The only notable exception is John Bercow. As soon as he was refused a peerage, then we knew that he would try and reenter the Commons, and as soon as Starmer replaced Corbyn, then we knew that he would try and become a Labour MP. He obviously wants Islington North, but I challenge him to declare his interest in the apparently totemic seat of North West Durham. Half the Labour Party has moved here, but none of them would be as acceptable to Starmer as the former Secretary of the Race and Repatriation Committee of the Monday Club would be. Only an ethnic minority when it suits them, indeed.

Meanwhile, Starmer has lost Labour a million Kashmiri voters, if only to abstention, and largely in the key electoral battlegrounds of the West Midlands, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the more staunchly Lancastrian outlying areas of Greater Manchester. And if the Blairite Electoral Commission ever did allow Black Lives Matter to register as a political party, then Labour in London may as well give up and go home.

As it already may as well do everywhere, since no one imagines for one moment that there might be a Labour whip to vote against Third Reading of the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill. Labour is unlikely even to abstain on the unleashing of a State pogrom against GRT people. After all, to do so would officially be anti-Semitic, since that pogrom is effectively being egged on by the interfering Israeli Embassy, the Chief Rabbinate, the Senior Rabbinate, the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council, the Campaign Against Antisemitism, the Community Security Trust, The Jewish Chronicle, the Jewish Telegraph, and the Jewish News. But there are other Jews in Britain. Where are our freedom riders?

In the Interests of Justice

David Davis writes:

Most distressingly, any Briton can be seized from their home and taken to a prison in a foreign country purely on the say-so of that nation’s lawyers if they claim the person is guilty of some – as yet unproved – crime.

For the UK is one of most amenable nations in the world to the surrender of its citizens to overseas courts – but we do not insist on corresponding arrangements with other governments. We have witnessed the human toll of this shocking imbalance in recent years, with the US, for example, making strenuous efforts to haul Britons before American courts.

On the other hand, our Government allows its foreign counterparts to obstruct us when we ask for their citizens to come here to stand trial. The most egregious current example is America’s refusal to send intelligence officer Anne Sacoolas back to Britain to face justice after being charged with causing death by dangerous driving over the death of a teenage motorcyclist on a road in Northamptonshire.

I totally understand the need for justice and global security but the great risk is that our over-willingness to co-operate means injustice for our own citizens. Last week saw the latest example when a judge at Westminster Magistrates’ Court agreed to the extradition of one of our most successful entrepreneurs to the US.

Mike Lynch’s firm Autonomy was based in Britain, did its business in Britain and was governed by English law. He became embroiled in a legal wrangle after he sold Autonomy to US giant Hewlett-Packard a decade ago for about £8 billion. The deal soured and the US authorities are now trying to extradite him to stand trial there, alleging he fraudulently inflated Autonomy’s value. He strongly denies the claim and his lawyers have accused the US of behaving like ‘an overweening, international police force’. The Serious Fraud Office here investigated and decided not to proceed.

It is crucial to understand the very important ramifications of this case. America has a ferocious legal system with a 97 per cent conviction rate, where prosecutors, not judges, set the sentences. Defendants, too, are subjected to coercive plea bargaining. For example, people are encouraged to admit an offence and get a lesser jail sentence rather than continue to plead innocence and, if convicted, get a much longer term. 

This is not a question of Britons such as Dr Lynch avoiding trial. They simply want a fair one in the UK. However, last week, a British judge ruled that it is ‘in the interests of justice’ to extradite him. It was a grim irony that this judgment against one of our most successful entrepreneurs – who created multi-billion-pound, artificial-intelligence technology firms – came on the same day that Ministers announced a plan to help UK businesses create world-leading, high-tech products and services. The only conclusion to draw was: Invest in science and technology in the UK but be careful not to fall out with the Americans, otherwise the consequences are grim. 

Dr Lynch is not the first such victim. Giles Darby was one of a trio of NatWest staff jailed in the US after being extradited from Britain to America in 2006 – accused of fraud for alleged links to the Enron scandal while working at the bank. He ended up in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day in a Pennsylvania penitentiary, without a clock and thus unable to know what time of day or night it was. He and his co-charged were treated like criminals long before any trial began – placed in chains, frog-marched and strip-searched.

It is now up to the Home Secretary to decide whether Dr Lynch should stay in this country or be sent to a US cell. I, and many others, urge Priti Patel not to submit to this grotesque and unjust process. She must wait for the outcome of a separate High Court trial examining the fraud allegations against Dr Lynch.

Also, she must clear up the mess that is our extradition system – one that was hurriedly established by Tony Blair’s Labour government after 9/11 to tackle terrorism. The truth is that the system has been extended far wider than tackling terrorists. In recent years, ten times as many Britons have been extradited to the US as Americans surrendered to Britain, the vast majority for non-violent crimes.

Our extradition agreements with EU nations need reform, too. For 20 EU countries are refusing to guarantee that suspected criminals among their own citizens can be extradited to the UK. Until such reforms are achieved, I believe all pending extraditions of Britons to the EU or the US should be put on hold for all but serious violent and sexual offenders.

At a time when Ministers are not shy about standing up to the EU, this is a great opportunity to sort out a system which has become shamefully corrupted and which, as the ordeal of Michael Lynch and his family shows, is causing a great deal of harm.

Tag Lines

No comments will be allowed on this post, and it will be my last word on these matters at least until the next General Election had been called.

I never applied for a tag. Less than two weeks after I had been sent down, I was informed in writing that I had already been granted one after three months of good behaviour in which I had not yet then engaged. I have been told, most definitely not in writing, that I was classified as a low risk "because we're not really allowed to put zero," since, "You didn't do it the first time, so you're not going to do it a second time, are you?" Quite.

I was well liked and well respected in prison. That is not conjecture or inference; no one in there minces his words. I was well looked after and, as always matters most to me, surprisingly well fed. From the highest to the lowest, the refrain was the same, "Everyone knows you're a political prisoner." I was routinely exhorted to seek political status, but it would have taken more than three months to process the paperwork.

I had either been convicted last year by a misdirected jury, or the concept of conviction beyond reasonable doubt has been abolished, and jurors are now instructed to "disregard" it. Assume the latter, since Peter Hitchens knows of other such cases. And I had wanted to vacate my guilty pleas this year, but I was advised that I would then have no representation, since no lawyer would commit professional suicide by defending harassment, to which there was no defence. The crime consists in having made the complainant feel harassed. If they say that they were, then they were. My barrister confirmed to me at my sentencing hearing that that was the law.

Right before it emerged in court that he had arranged two 10 year Restraining Orders with the judge and the Prosecution, without anyone's having mentioned them to me. Given the opportunity, then I would have blown out of the water the preposterous suggestion that the complainants had no connection to each other, and that one of them was "vulnerable". 10 year Restraining Orders have been imposed on me on the basis of the outright lies of my political opponents, lies that I was denied any opportunity to correct. When the long complete Forde Report is finally published, then one of those opponents will be exposed as a person of the worst possible character, a fact that could have been known in April. This is not over.

In cases of harassment, what matters is that the complainant is well enough connected to have their case taken up by the Crown Prosecution Service. April 2021 was the last month in more than 100 years when that was true of the right-wing Labour machine in County Durham. My sentencing was held days before the predictable and predicted smashing of that machine by the voters, or else there would have been no point, with no one left to placate or protect. Just as my sentencing last year was adjourned until it would have been too late for me to have appealed against my conviction. The bad old North East, indeed.

The covens that run the Catholic Church in practice in this country, using mere bishops and priests as errand boys, are of course right-wing Labourites to a woman, and many an ex-copper would not like the idea of a mixed-race politician or of a mixed-race person, any more than the Labour Right in general would. But the scandalous allegation against me on 2nd March 2020 was recanted under oath at Durham Crown Court on 11th of that month, calling gravely into question my convictions the next day by exposing that key character witness as unreliable, a fact that was not mentioned in closing statements or in summation.

Unless, as is widely assumed, the real reason for them is the content of this book, then the sanctions imposed upon me in my absence on 2nd March 2020 are void. I expect a written apology by 30th September 2021, and for it to be published in full in The Northern Cross. Financially, I would then settle for the reimbursement of my victim surcharges. One would not wish to have to sue the Church. If I were still subject to any sanction by the Church at the time of the next General Election, and if I were to be defeated at that Election, then I would seek to have that result overturned in the courts on grounds of undue spiritual influence.

As my barrister was prevented from putting on the record of the court, the lurid allegations made against me by one of the complainants formed no part of my guilty plea. I deny them in their entirety, and those who would repeat them are free to sue me for calling them liars. They have ensured that no payout would be possible, but I assume that they would welcome the moral victory. My barrister had also wanted to defer sentencing based on equivocation and tu quoque, but he was given no opportunity to state that case.

The instant that Labour lost control of Durham County Council, then I was granted an unsolicited tag for more than 10 weeks of future good behaviour. I invite each and every Member of Parliament for the area covered by Durham County Council, each and every member of Durham County Council, and each and every member of Lanchester Parish Council, to contact if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know.

Meanwhile, here I am. Gloria Gaynor and Beyoncé are wannabes. When the cockroaches emerge from the dust of the nuclear apocalypse, then they will find two other survivors. Both of them live in this house, and one of us will put the kettle on. Onwards and upwards to my think tank, to my weekly magazine of news and comment, to my fortnightly satirical magazine, to my monthly cultural review, to my quarterly academic review, to at least one major international book series, and to much else besides, including standing for Parliament at North West Durham in 2024, and possibly including standing for General Secretary of Unite the Union in 2026. Any further official action against me could have no motive except to discredit that parliamentary candidacy, in particular, in the interests of what little remained of the Labour Party in this constituency.

As to those who might contemplate unofficial action, especially but not exclusively in the North East, they should consider that I now had lifetime offers of assistance, with no suggestion of payment, from the persons or close associates of some of the North East's most colourful characters. Perhaps they had never before met someone who spoke like me but who had taken them exactly as he had found them? More than once, I have made eyes light up with the words, "It was someone's paid job to teach you to read, so if they never did it, then shame on them, not shame on you?"

I have been released to find the story already in circulation that the people who had sent me to prison had put a hit on me in there, but that the hitman had taken such a liking to me that he had given them their money back. I do not know that that is not true. And people who pompously professed to "keep an eye" on me should know that I now had people keeping an eye on them. In any event, although it lasted 35 years, and although it had certainly included at least one attempt to murder me, I should like to think that hunting season on me was now closed. But I doubt that very, very, very much, indeed. All that they now have left is to kill me. There is no other way of shutting me up. They must have worked out by now that there never really was.