Wednesday, 17 August 2022

Ending The Khanage?

Sadiq Khan is an unmitigated disaster, but consider to whom his policing powers would revert if they were to be taken away from him.

Immediately, to Priti Patel. And then very soon, to whoever had been made Home Secretary by Liz Truss.

The Cheney Gang

The cooing over Liz Cheney exemplifies the sheer bankruptcy of American liberalism and of its tribute acts, of which the most notable, and the most contemptible, is in Britain.

Cheney is opposed to no-first-use nuclear policy. She is in favour of torture in general, and of waterboarding in particular. She is in favour of Israeli annexation of the West Bank. She is in favour of bombing Iran at the behest of Saudi Arabia. She still defends the Iraq War.

All in all, she could be on Keir Starmer's frontbench. After all, she is not Donald Trump, who is just so vulgar.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Wage Rage

A three per cent fall in wages is the fastest since records began. Anyone would think that wages were not driving inflation. In other news, bonuses at the top are still going through the roof. Bonuses for what?

"We need more graft," opines Liz Truss. What graft has she ever done? British workers, whom she has called "the worst idlers in the world", put in the longest hours in Europe, averaging 42 per week. 52 per cent of households are in receipt of one or more state benefits, because working every hour God sends still does not keep people from the permanent cusp of destitution.

It is questionable in itself that you cannot stand on a picket line if you sit at a Cabinet table, but no member of the Labour Party has done the latter in 12 years. From the shop floor to the floor of the House, protesting against bad Government policy is exactly what the Opposition is paid to do.

Declassify This

Since Donald Trump was still President when he took or sent those documents to Mar-a-Lago, then did he not have the power to declassify anything he pleased? But never try to suggest to Americans that the problem might be their Constitution itself.

Their wannabes in liberal Britain are even worse, though. Probably unwittingly, the objects of those wannabes' infatuation have become them, cheering on the FBI and the Espionage Act like members or courtiers of the Blair Government or the Starmer frontbench.

The same spirit applauds the Ukrainian shelling in Ukraine of Europe's largest nuclear power plant, applauds the starvation of the women and children of Afghanistan by means of a sanctions regime that poetically mirrors the immiseration of our own people by means of sanctions that are not hurting Russia in the least, and applauds what is now Israel's admitted killing of five children in Jabalya, killings that the owners of the most advanced military equipment in the world could only have committed as a political choice, as a show a strength by the present Israeli Government in relation to Benjamin Netanyahu.

On that last point, Keir Starmer, Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak all want to make criticism illegal. If it is not already, due to public bodies' adoption of the IHRA Definition. I would cheerfully go back to prison rather than sign that Definition. I would sooner die than make such a subscription. For that stand and for my support for the Dalits, I have been subject to intercontinental, state-sponsored terrorism for five years and countingThat threat remains in effect, while Google regularly locates me to the ward of the man who arranged it, where I have never lived or worked.

Despite having been ordered off Twitter while the right-wing Labour machine made its own arrangements, the mentally unstable alcoholic who still craves the Labour nomination here at North West Durham, and who thinks that I make things go bump in the night, was recently in Jerusalem, making alternative arrangements.

Monday, 15 August 2022

Assumpta est Maria in cælum!

Gaude, Maria Virgo, cunctas hæreses sola interemisti in universo mundo!

The Church proclaims the resurrection of the body, and there is no such thing as a "spiritual body". It is impossible to sustain out of Scripture the view according to which newly disembodied souls entered immediately into their final, but incorporeal, bliss or torment.

Serious Protestant theologians do not hold it, although that does leave with them with only the original Protestant view that until the General Resurrection, souls were effectively as dead as their bodies. But Catholics cannot hold it, since the Assumption is the standing contradiction of it.

Straying Dogs

What goes around, comes around. You would have had to have been dead not to have laughed at the turning against Keir Starmer by the Campaign Against Antisemitism.

Treated as having the last word by the enemies of Starmer's predecessor, that Campaign is in fact the astroturfed rump of a London Conservative organisation that not very long ago could make Boris Johnson a two-term Mayor, but which has recently lost the ward that contained Mayfair.

And now, there is the outcry over Liz Truss's drivel about "woke Civil Service culture that strays into antisemitism". The people who dog-whistle for a living know it when they hear it, and they do not like it when they are the ones being whistled at. You would have to be dead not to laugh. What goes around, comes around.

Minima Carta

Imagine being the poor soul whose lot in life it was to try and devise policies to the right even of Keir Starmer and his sewer. Whoever has been allotted that thankless task has alighted on an old ruse from the Blair years, now known as charter cities.

Like every other nasty gimmick that this Government revives, I remember someone whom I am not supposed to name arguing forcefully for it 20 or so years ago, when he was running the constituency office of the then Government Chief Whip. They wanted to privatise Consett. Yes, really. Complete with the usual kickbacks, some corporation was going to be sold the rights to be the State there.

Like banning strikes by means of "minimum service levels", the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Act, the Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Act, the Nationality and Borders Act, the Elections Act, the Online Safety Bill, and the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act, are all Blairite through and through.

Another hobbyhorse was the perceived need to stop funding, even only by means of loans, degrees that were not considered economically useful, thereby restricting the humanities to the right sort. After a quarter of a century, the nationalisation-for-privatisation of English state schools is complete. England now has only state-funded schools, not state ones, and they are contractors of central, not local, government. The Left should have made the most of the prizing of the jewel from the Labour Right's crown. But we did not. It can always rely on us to defend its powerbases in return for less than nothing.

And England is always the Petri dish for Loony Right measures that would be inconceivable and sometimes unconstitutional anywhere else, including the United States, and which would be considered a threat to the Union in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

Next up will be the completion of the process of privatising the English NHS, which was begun in 1997 by Tony Blair, Alan Milburn and Paul Corrigan. That was New Labour's signature domestic policy. New New Labour will probably not vote against it, and will certainly have no policy of reversing it. Just as Labour will have no policy of restoring meaningful British citizenship to the serfs of charter cities. On the contrary, it will want hundreds more of them. It certainly used to.

One Expired

Donald Trump's three passports, one expired, were seized in the Banana Republic's raid on Mar-a-Lago. 

But how does he hold two valid passports? Through his mother, he would be entitled to a British one.

He should now present himself at the British Consulate in Miami, and either claim his rights as a British citizen, or claim political asylum.

Fully Costed

Freezing the bitterly misnamed energy cap at its present level would assume that that level were acceptable. Keir Starmer's scheme would cost £29 billion and last a mere six months, while renationalistion would cost a mere £2.8 billion, less than one tenth as much, and last forever. Its huge popularity gives the lie to any suggestion that Starmer's refusal to consider it was in the interests of electability.

Spain has half England's rainfall, and no hosepipe ban. But Spain has publicly owned water. The debate that will be forced by the coming postal strike will bring home to the public that it was as right about mail as it was about water, energy and rail. The case for the public ownership of the Big Four is unanswerable, as most people accept.

Sadly, the only people who are paid not to accept it are the only people in any position to put it into effect. They know full well that if a company cannot provide an essential public service at an affordable price without going bust, then it ought not to be in the private sector at all. But those companies are paying them out of the public money that our rulers therefore keep flowing into those coffers.

Pension funds hold about two per cent of quoted equities in the United Kingdom. No pension fund invests only in privatised utilities. No trade union would advocate a policy that was bad for pensions. What pensioners need is cheaper energy. Aided and abetted by governmental corruption and incompetence, the root causes of inflation are out of control dividend payments, which few pensioners will have noticed, and out of control remuneration at the top. 

Not anything to do with Covid-19, whatever monomaniacal windbags are going to be bellowing down the pub for evermore. Nor primarily our masochistic sanctions against Russia over Ukraine, although those are certainly making matters a great deal worse. But plain, old-fashioned greed. Against that, we either act now, or we shall soon end up living and working in privatised towns.

Designated "freeports" or "charter cities", those would be owned and run beyond the law of this land by transnational corporations, or even by foreign states if the privatisations that we had already endured were anything to go by. All members of the Conservative Party could fit into one, there to pursue Liz Truss's Minfordian nightmare to their hearts' content, and all holders of the British National (Overseas) passport in Hong Kong could fit into one or two more. But we should be so lucky.

Take Back Control, or wake up and find that the laws to which you were subject were made and enforced, and the taxes that you paid were set and collected, by the transnational corporations and the foreign states that, in a colossal threat to national security, you had allowed to keep control of your key national infrastructure, in return for their bankrolling of all the political parties that you were allowed to know existed as anything other than objects of vilification, if at all.

Democracy Without A Demos

Mike Jones writes:

The ambitious “theory of capitalism” has been an important intellectual genre since at least the publication of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Such theories describe the essential features of a capitalist economy and how they function.

The most popular example of recent years is Professor Wolfgang Merkel’s landmark essay, “Is capitalism compatible with democracy?”. Published in 2014, Merkel attempts to explain the always-interesting question of why deregulated and globalised markets have seriously inhibited the ability of democratic governments to govern.

Merkel’s judgement, whilst laconic, is generally quite sound: The basic “logics” of capitalism and democracy are fundamentally different and lead to considerable tension between the two. Democracy is egalitarian; capitalism is inegalitarian, at least in terms of ownership.

For political theorists in the liberal tradition, like Francis Fukuyama, the tension in democratic capitalism between its competing logics is overcome through a strong welfare state and settled distribution of property.

Writing in 1989, Fukuyama was in no doubt about the foundational role of capitalist democracy in what he described as “The End of History”. “What we are witnessing,” he wrote, “[is] the end point of mankind’s ideological evolution.”

Of course, history hasn’t exactly ended yet: capitalism since the Cold War has become less democratic, and democracy less capitalist. Fukuyama correctly predicted that the voluntary exchange of goods and services would become the dominant system around the world.

What he failed to anticipate, à la Merkel, was the reconciliation of the capitalist model to the primacy of an authoritarian state. Some critics have cited Singapore as a major example; others have pointed to the success of state-led capitalism in post-Maoist China. Adopting universal suffrage from the Western model is no longer seen as a necessary condition for achieving higher levels of growth and living standards.

At the same time, capitalism in the European Union has broken free of the shackles of European democracy. To realise their dream of a free and prosperous Europe, EU technocrats have hived off the functions of the state and farmed them out to a complex range of unelected bodies.

European members that do not follow the rules, such as Greece under the SYRIZA government, are punished by central authorities like the European Central Bank. Meanwhile, repeat offenders have their democratically-elected leaders replaced by technocrats, as happened in Italy with Mario Monti. Understood functionally, democracy in Europe can be suspended when this is required for the stability of the common market.

Elsewhere, democratic leaders have come under immense pressure to participate in an ongoing project of “diversity management”, including past or future migration by third-country nationals. This is one important reason why so many of Hungary’s domestic policies — from strict asylum laws to an outright ban on LGBT material in schools — have ended up being sanctioned by the European Parliament.

This new system is the direct result of a massive and sustained attempt to deterritorialize politics. It has produced a method of government which can most helpfully be described as post-democratic. The aim of this system is to push “the rules of the game” beyond the reach of the will of the majority.

Behind this post-democratic system lies another problem: the accelerating power of the managerial state. There is now, for instance, a Europe-wide campaign to ban the airing of unpopular opinions on the war in Ukraine, leading to the censorship of Russian-owned media outlets RT and Sputnik. “Combating misinformation” is the slogan under which this censorship program and its many analogues are advanced.

A further effect of post-democracy is the manipulation of the modern state’s bureaucratic machinery by activist judges and officers, or what Professor Otto Kirchheimer has called an “order of political justice”.

In most European countries, lawmakers have introduced a succession of “hate crime” laws that give law enforcement agencies enormous arbitrary authority they never had before, a power they have already begun to abuse. Here in Britain, police officers have become quite open enforcers of the speech codes and attitudes of the progressive Left.

Equally important is the neutralisation of democracy in the United States. There is plenty of evidence that wealthy individuals continue to push against many policies sought by majorities of American voters. From this, a vast political lobbying industry has grown up, the main role of which is to link the private sector to central government and the big social media monopolies.

In such a system, public policy results from the accumulated pressure of the most powerful interest groups. None of this is to say that Europe does not have its own problems with corporate hierarchies. What makes the U.S. particularly vulnerable, however, is the sheer amount of power exerted by lobbying groups.

How did this happen? Two reasons: First, America’s march towards post-democracy is underpinned by the power exerted by just a handful of big companies. In the U.S., political parties rely on these companies to buy advertising and fund election campaigns. It is also normal for American politicians and high-ranking officials to form long-lasting business and social partnerships.

The former Secretary of Defence Mark Esper, for example, spent seven years lobbying for American defence conglomerate Raytheon. In the face of vigorous lobbying campaigns, U.S. officials have come to see themselves as leaders of an “international community” based on that powerful sense of American exceptionalism.

Another contributing factor is the digitisation of the mass media, which means that political power is increasingly being exercised by the five most dominant companies in ICT: Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft. 

This “big tech” conglomerate is protected both by network effects and the self-reinforcing advantages of acquired data. This has three effects: 1) gatekeeper power; 2) the leveraging of monopoly power in one market to enter the ancillary market; and 3) information exploitation power.

The corollary of this is that key decisions are now taken by commercial actors, who have the power to clamp down on “offensive” speech and increase penalties for users who repeatedly share “misinformation”. Notable examples include the deplatforming of President Trump in 2021 and the systematic cover-up of Hunter Biden’s business deals.

Today, it is hard to imagine Fukuyama being more wrong. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall, capitalism has become less democratic and democracy less capitalist. Some of these tensions have been with us for a long time. But others have grown worse in recent years.

The point may seem prosaic, yet it is a dramatic departure from much contemporary commentary that continues to be grounded in the Cold War rhetoric of “good vs evil” (Boris Johnson) or “democracy vs autocracy” (Joe Biden). The realities of Western politics do not live up to these conditions. Democracy itself is becoming less easy to define: the edges have suddenly become frayed and the boundaries less clear.

Where once there was an active state-society relationship, today we have a post-democratic elite which pursues its own sectional interest oblivious to the common good — a democracy without a demos.

A Small Blue Hope

Our last hope is that fact that you only have to win a Conservative Leadership Election once. Only the MPs could force another one, so there would be no way of forcing Liz Truss to implement tax cuts for the affluent elderly while funding their sweeties out of borrowing, leading to astronomical interest rates to the benefit of savings account holders who had paid off their mortgages decades earlier. Even if she wanted to do that, and no doubt she does, then a parliamentary body that had mostly never wanted her would be in a position to stop her.

That is a very long shot, but it is the best that we have, including the atrocious Official Opposition, which ought to be put out of all of our miseries. Is there any other country on Earth that uses anything like this method to change its Head of Government midterm? For nothing more than the payment of a fee, then you can join the Conservative Party from anywhere, without needing any other connection whatever to the United Kingdom. Yet you get to choose our Prime Minister.

No Energy

And so Keir Starmer belatedly adopts the policy of the more pro-austerity and pro-war party to the Coalition, led as that party is by a man who was a Minister on every day of the Coalition and in the Cabinet for most of it, before Starmer was in Parliament at all.

Starmer was going to have been in The Novel, idea in the Mind of God though it remains. Many decades past 100, he was still going to have been alive thanks to his thrice-daily ration of Palestinian and Yemeni babies, cooked like suckling pigs. But why bother? The Novel is supposed to be one for the ages. In four years' time, then no one will remember Starmer's name.

Sunday, 14 August 2022

Down The Drain

It is a much older idea, but I have been calling for a National Grid for water for many, many years.

George Eustice now agrees, and it is inconceivable that he does not know that that would be possible only in public ownership.

Watch out for a Labour three-line whip to vote against it. Or, perhaps even worse, to abstain.

The Qualifications Requisite

There is no constitutional requirement for the Speaker of the House of Representatives to be a member of that House.

It would fill two years for Donald Trump.

Laced With Human Empathy

The liberation of the Chagos Islands would undo a terrible wrong perpetrated by two previous Labour Governments, and specifically by two supposed “Lost Leaders”, Denis Healey and David Miliband. But what, exactly, would Mauritius do for the Chagossian people? That is not a rhetorical question. Still, Tim Adams reviews The Last Colony by Philippe Sands: 

The human rights lawyer Philippe Sands first encountered Liseby Elysé at the great hall of the international court of justice in The Hague in September 2018. Elysé, a diminutive figure, dressed in mourning black, clutching her handbag, was then 65 and the story of her life is also the story of this book.

Elysé had been called to the court by Sands to represent the people of the Chagos Islands, the Indian Ocean archipelago from which, in 1973, the entire population was forcibly removed by the British colonial administration in order that a US military base could be established on one of the islands, Diego Garcia.

Elysé spoke to the 14 international judges of the court about that history for just under four minutes. No one present would forget her statement. First, she recalled, the British shut down the islands’ plantations and cut off food supplies to the remembered paradise of her childhood. The hundreds of Chagossian families were told that they had no option but to leave by ship by 27 April 1973 or slowly starve.

“We were like animals in that slave ship,” she remembered of her 20-year-old self. “People were dying of sadness.” Elysé was four months pregnant. Her child was subsequently stillborn. From that day onwards, Elysé and all the people on the ship had been unable to return to the place where their families had lived for generations.

Many of those families were watching a live stream of her testimony in a community centre in Mauritius, where most had settled. Those with the longest memories were in tears when their representative told the court: “My heart is suffering and my heart still belongs to the island where I was born.” 

Sands, who was leading the Chagossians’ repatriation case against the British government – and the ongoing claims of Mauritius that the islands are part of their nation – uses Elysé’s personal history to explore the wider tragedy and scandal of the place now officially known as the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

His case highlights the post-colonial hypocrisy that continues to use UN human rights conventions as a basis for sovereign self-determination of the people of the Falkland Islands, or Gibraltar, but which for decades has wholly disregarded the application of those conventions in the case of the Chagossians. 

Sands’s book began as a series of lectures delivered to The Hague Academy of International Law, and as a narrative it betrays those discursive origins. While examining the displacement of the island people, many of whom have died in exile, Sands also sketches out the history of the international court of justice in The Hague, and its incremental role in dismantling colonial structures around the world, the inching forward of freedoms.

Sands makes a steely and forensic case, laced with human empathy, against successive British foreign ministers. He does this in the context of his own journey of discovery about postwar human rights that led him, for example, to be a critical voice in the investigations of the unsafe legal basis for the invasion of Iraq. The origin of those convictions, as he sets them out, lay in the brutal knowledge that two of his great-grandmothers, both widows, had been deported from Vienna to die in Theresienstadt and Treblinka during the Holocaust.

His history of British exceptionalism in these matters goes back to the 1945 Yalta conference, in which the new world order – and the parameters of the cold war – were established. Churchill’s words to Roosevelt and Stalin ring down the decades to our present moment: “I will have no suggestion that the British empire is to be put in the dock and examined by everybody to see if it is up to their standard,” the prime minister said. “Never. Never. Never… Every scrap of territory over which the British flag flies is immune.” 

If the history of British foreign affairs in the subsequent 75 years could be written as the reluctant erosion of that infamous delusion, then the case of the Chagos Islanders is one of its last chapters. Sands makes a steely and forensic case, laced with human empathy, against successive British foreign ministers, including Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt and Liz Truss, who have done everything in their power to try to make the Chagossians’ case go away, to refuse to accept that the last knockings of empire be subject to international justice.

In 2019, as a result of the hearings involving Elysé’s testimony, the judges at The Hague stated that the UK is under “…an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible, and that all member states must cooperate with the United Nations to complete the decolonisation of Mauritius”. 

At the same time that Brexiter government ministers were standing up in parliament to suggest that international law could be broken in certain circumstances and Tories boasted about plans to tear up human rights, the UN general assembly voted by an overwhelming majority in favour of setting a six-month deadline for the UK to withdraw from the Chagos Archipelago. The ruling hardly made the news.

Sands’s book, which comes with typically pointed and scabrous illustration by The Guardian’s Martin Rowson, is an important and welcome corrective to that indifference. On Valentine’s Day this year, a delegation including the Mauritian ambassador to the UN raised the Mauritian flag on the Chagossian atoll of Peros Banhos in a move regarded as a formal challenge to British sovereignty.

Sands was in the group that landed on Peros Banhos; so was Liseby Elysé, along with five other islanders, the first exiles to set foot on the beaches of their homeland for half a century. On the island they came across a tarnished metal plaque signed by the “BIOT commissioner’s representative” engraved with the age-old landowner’s and colonialist’s mantra, that “trespassers will be prosecuted”. As Sands’s book makes clear, and despite Britain’s shameful intractability, there is now not a judge in all the world to uphold that threat.

New Lows


When he complained about some failure of service, which he did quite a bit, my late brother Christopher always responded to the stupid defence ‘Nobody has complained about this before’ by saying ‘Well, you won’t be able to say that again’. 

Now, we need a united and equally devastating reaction to the infuriating claim made by so many retailers that ‘Sorry, we can’t accept cash’. I suggest: ‘Please explain why exactly you cannot accept cash.’

Because of course they can accept it (though, outrageously, there’s no legal obligation to do so). They just don’t want to, a completely different thing. See it. Say it. Sorted.

And:

The cult of man-made warming has lowered the standards of journalism. On Saturday, the Financial Times, a well-regarded Left-wing [sic] newspaper, wrote that water levels on the river Rhine in Germany had ‘fallen to new lows’.

The same account noted that water levels at Kaub, where the Rhine is measured, were just above 18 inches. Then it went on to note that four years ago, in 2018, this fell to just under ten inches, considerably shallower. So it was not a ‘new low’ at all. When it starts raining again, it will be amazing how quickly we forget this panic.

But we do need to do something. We waste so much water. My advice: Cancel HS2 and spend the money instead on building a national water grid which can quickly divert water from the wetter parts of the country to the drier ones when needed.

And:

Have you noticed how Ukraine and Ukrainians cannot do anything bad? I think President Volodymyr Zelensky is actually quite a decent person [why?]. But his attempt to get all Russians banned from travelling to Europe is bigoted and foolish. Russians do not all agree with their government’s stupid, bloody invasion. But Zelensky gets away with this proposal because Ukraine is a sainted nation.

Now we have the weird episode of the shelling of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station which has been in Russian hands since they illegally seized it in March. This, whatever the provocation may be, is an extraordinarily stupid thing for anyone to do. But who is doing it?

Well, since the Russian Army is dug in there, it is extremely unlikely that the Russians are doing it. So who is doing it? Martians? North Koreans? Eskimos? When I put the words ‘Ukrainians shell Zaporizhzhia’ into Google, that search engine responded by saying: ‘No results found for “Ukrainians shell Zaporizhzhia.” ’ Instead I got several accounts of the Russians apparently shelling themselves.

The BBC reported online on Friday that the power station had ‘come under heavy fire’. But who from? It is not even stated. Normally reporters are urged to avoid using the passive voice. But for Ukraine, this rule has been suspended.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International, once revered by liberal global opinion, has made a cringing apology for a report in which it pointed out (as far as I know accurately) that Ukrainian troops had been sheltering in civilian buildings. Who really doubts it? Troops do this, even if they are not supposed to. 

But Amnesty now says it ‘deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused’. This is ridiculous. If news is reduced to childish one-sided propaganda, how can the citizens of adult democracies possibly make serious decisions about which policy we should follow?

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Blowback: The Road to Manchester

Watch this while you still can.

Will MI5 escape full accountability, and MI6 any accountability, for their policies towards Libya, Islamist extremists, and the Manchester Arena bombing?

Power Cut

In the 1970s, middle-aged people had often grown up without reliable, if any, domestic electricity, and had all been through the War. They therefore had candles in the house as a matter of course. But these days, a lot of people probably do not even have matches.

We are all going to be needing such items, yet in 1978, the then Energy Secretary, Tony Benn, contended without opposition that Britain was one year away from self-sufficiency in energy.

Ask yourself what happened to this country that still stands on coal, this country surrounded by sea that is itself rich in oil and gas, this country where the wind blows a lot and where the Sun shines quite intensely from time to time, this country that pioneered nuclear power.

While we starved and shivered in the dark, expect polio, monkeybox, and the still rampant Covid-19 to provide Liz Truss, who had never had a fixed penalty notice, with the pretext to impose another lockdown while she tidied up outlawing strikes to match the ban on protests that had already come into effect.

Expect that to be a two Christmases lockdown. If there is going to be a recession for five quarters, then we are all going to have to be forced to stay at home for five quarters. Forever thereafter, that will be how they dealt with extreme economic distress. A public health emergency can always be found. And it will be.

As for the Labour Party, it is setting its future pattern by offering each of our households £46 to the Conservatives' £56. If you need to do so, then save yourself £53, seven pounds more than Labour is dangling before you, by cancelling your membership of the Labour Party, which will give enthusiastic support to Truss's lockdown in eager anticipation of pulling the same trick in future. On her strike ban, it will abstain, or even if it went through the motions of voting against, then it would never have any policy of repeal.

Improbable

If you did not feel safer in the knowledge that Joe Biden had one of the world's sets of nuclear codes, then you must do so in the knowledge that, since it is a problem for a former President to take them home, those codes must never change.

Bill Clinton left office as a very clever 54-year-old, and Barack Obama did so as a 55-year-old with no flies on him. George W. Bush was 62 and he was George W. Bush, but he had quite the entourage. Think on.

We are told that for a warrant to have been issued against Donald Trump under the Espionage Act, then the judge to whom application had been made would have had to have been shown probable cause.

But probable cause is not in itself the same thing as proof, and in any case Julian Assange has also been charged under that Act.

He has been so on the "testimony" of Siggi Thordarson, a convicted fraudster and paedophile whom the FBI paid $10,000, and who has since admitted that he had made up the whole thing.

Well-Versed?

Do read The Satanic Verses. It is a well above average novel. But Salman Rushdie ought to be famous for Midnight's Children or The Moor's Last Sigh instead.

The man who had already won the Booker Prize for Midnight's Children did not need to call Mrs Thatcher "Mrs Torture" in order to make his very good point, while giving the names of Muhammad's wives to prostitutes was just bad taste.

Staying On Track

No, ASLEF is not engaged in an unofficial strike. If it were, then the rail operators would have secured an injunction from the High Court.

The Government is defining not working on your rest day as striking, right when it is planning to ban strikes. The engine drivers are undeniably well-paid, but that should be a spur to join a trade union and to be active in it.

Moreover, they are striking not only to retain the real value of their pay, but also to prevent the classification of taking a day off as taking the strike action that will itself soon be illegal. On both counts, they are fighting for all of us.

Meanwhile, over at the RMT, Mick Lynch in his New Statesman interview defends "traditional values" and opposes "free movement". He also makes entirely commonsensical observations about the EU's role in fomenting the crisis in Ukraine, and about the problems of corruption and Nazism there.

At the time of the coup in 2014, Boris Johnson in his Daily Telegraph column said that about Ukraine. He will no doubt say it again as that column resumed just as all of this became what everyone pretended to have been saying all along. Although he was the Mayor of London at the time, no one told him to, "Stick to trains, you beastly little pleb." Nor will they.

But that's liberals for you. The liberal bourgeoisie, which is always calling for wars, practically never joins the Armed Forces voluntarily, and is adept at arranging cushy numbers for itself even in periods of conscription. In a way, that is just as well. Most MPs and their retainers, or the columnists and leader writers on The Times and The Guardian, or the interviewers on the New Statesman: give yourself a good laugh by trying to imagine them on the battlefield. Yet they are wild-eyed in their zeal to inflict that very fate on other people. People like Brother Lynch and his union's members, of course.

And look what the liberal bourgeoisie did, not least in the form of the Parliamentary Labour Party and of the Labour Party's staff, when a politician came along who called its bluff on being prepared to pay more to alleviate poverty and to improve public services. Of course, the likes of Dan Hodges and Ayesha Hazarika have gone all faux radical now that there is no longer any threat that what they were purporting to propose might really be attempted.

Or isn't there? How I long to see the Labour three-line whip to vote against anything more than Keir Starmer's and Rachel Reeves's offer to give each household a whopping 15p per day while compensating the energy companies for that affront. Or to vote against the renationalisation of water. Or to vote against the renationalisation of the railways, finally leading the long-disaffiliated RMT to be joined by the TSSA, which nominated Starmer for Leader, and by ASLEF. Like the RMT, whatever else they might then do, they would not stop funding candidates for election. Not long now.

Zoinks

I do not doubt that Sir Salman Rushdie's attacker was at least culturally a Muslim, but the common denominator in these cases, which are strikingly similar across the backgrounds of the perpetrators, is drugs, and especially cannabis, as well as antidepressants a lot of the time. Many of them have also been prescribed things like Ritalin. But cannabis is the big one.

White "lone wolves", black "gang members", and "homegrown Islamist terrorists" who are usually brown, are always on drugs, and usually on cannabis, of which the prevalent view is extremely dated if it ever was true, and appears to be derived from Scooby Doo.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Don't Spend It All At Once

Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves want to cut VAT on energy. Not abolish it, as Rishi Sunak would. Just trim it a bit.

They also want to ban the higher tariffs charged by prepayment meters. Ever since I was a student with a lecky key, under a Labour Government, I have wondered why the poor had to buy electricity in advance while the rich got to pay for it after they had used it.

Although the Parliamentary Labour Party would never have passed it in practice, banning those tariffs was Labour policy from 2016 until Starmer declared Year Zero.

In any case, Reeves has done what she does and added the provision that the eye-wateringly profitable energy companies would be compensated for it out of the public purse.

All in all, Labour would save you 15p per day. Be careful not to go wild with it. We would not wish to fuel inflation.

Lost Arcs

Hillary Clinton faked Russiagate out of thin air, and Hunter Biden's laptop has turned out to have been real, so when are they going to be raided, and when is any client of Jeffrey Epstein's going to be raided?

No Last Sigh Here

I was going to post something on Monday about the seventy-fifth birthday of Saleem Sinai.

He is a standard elite liberal politically, but I am a huge fan of Salman Rushdie as a novelist. If there is a more imaginative writer of fiction in English today, then please let me know who that is.

If anyone had still wanted to implement the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa, then that would have happened a long time ago. It is no longer Iranian policy, just one of an immeasurable number of fatwas, on every issue under the Sun, to have been issued by scholars who, being dead, cannot rescind them. Instead, among the living, things move on.

Mark my words, this attacker may or may not have been a nominal or even a practising Muslim, but he was on one or more of illegal drugs (probably cannabis), antidepressants, and something like Ritalin.

The Right used to hate Rushdie. He himself made no bones about his dislike of Thatcher's Britain, and its outriders therefore denounced him in the strongest possible terms as an ungrateful immigrant who had brought his persecution on himself.

Where Are They Now?

Gordon Brown left office 12 years ago. Yet he is producing policy proposals, even if not necessarily very good ones. Someone has to be the Leader of the Opposition, I suppose.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is giving "What is he up to these days?" interviews of the kind that former Prime Ministers give when they have books to plug.

Months-long Leadership Elections are wholly out of place in a governing party.

Parliamentary Questions

Is any other national Parliament on holiday as often as ours, what are its responsibilities, and how much are its members paid?

West of the Russian and Ukrainian oligarchies, is there a Cabinet-level politician in Europe as rich as Rishi Sunak, who would be an oddity even in the United States?

And in what other country would anything like an all-member but members-only Leadership Election be allowed in a governing party, such that it changed the Head of Government midterm? Would that country be any other Commonwealth Realm, or any other European constitutional monarchy?

We Can't Afford Not To

What is going to happen this winter, when millions of people simply did not pay bills that they simply could not pay? Even cutting off their gas or electricity would not settle the debt. Are bailiffs going to turn up at that many doors? And take away what, exactly?

Bailing out Bulb Energy alone cost £2.2 billion. Bailing out the entire sector would cost £35 billion. Rishi Sunak cheerfully wrote of £4.3 billion in fraudulent Covid-19 loans.

But the renationalisation of energy would cost £2.8 billion, and would therefore be "unaffordable".  Of course. At most, it could be considered only as a temporary measure, because in general privatisation had been working so well. Of course.

Thursday, 11 August 2022

Inadvertently

"Ukraine and Coronavirus" is an excuse that any of us might deploy in relation to anything at all. Uncharacteristically, unwittingly, one might even say "inadvertently", David Lammy has served a useful purpose.

His 15 breaches knock Keir Stamer's eight into a cocked hat, but they do add up only to a trifling £20,910, an inconsiderable sum at any time, never mind in the midst of today's confident mass affluence.

It was not as if Lammy had forgotten about owning land worth millions of pounds, still managed to sell it, forgotten to tell the parliamentary authorities about the sale, blamed his staff (although Lammy has also done that), and then registered insultingly less money than he could possibly have made.

The only people who even pretend to believe that I am guilty of anything are the same individuals who let Starmer off over his blatant breach of lockdown regulations in Durham. Every Defence brief should now be arguing that jurors could only trust any Police investigation if they believed that Starmer was innocent. At Crown Court, then no one would ever be convicted of anything.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Supply and Demand

What does Gordon Brown mean by the temporary renationalisation of the energy companies?

Why should we give them back, when, to whom, and on what terms?

Privatisation has failed. It must indeed be reversed, and then it must never be repeated.

The Work of Undoing?

I have spent decades arguing that there was deprivation in affluent communities as surely as there was affluence in deprived ones.

If Rishi Sunak was getting at that, and at the rural poverty that has also concerned me for many years, then where is his record of having done anything about these things? He has had plenty of opportunity.

Deep Concern

To see what Nancy Pelosi means when she goes on about freedom and democracy in Taiwan or anywhere else, including Ukraine, then look at what has just been done to Donald Trump, with much more to come.

Our own, far from unconnected Deep State has brought down Jeremy Corbyn via an "Equality and Human Rights Commission" that the Forde Report has completely discredited, and the members of which the Government of Boris Johnson has sacked.

But it is seeking to repeat the trick against Johnson via the Privileges Committee. Nor will matters end there, as they have not ended against Corbyn. The Deep State will not rest until its enemies are dead. Thankfully, speaking as one of those enemies, nor will we.

Paralysis No More

Polio. Yes, polio, due to the dumping of raw sewage into the water supply. Privatisation is a failure of this magnitude. Continued attachment to it is one of the two great, obstinate refusals to move beyond the discredited economic thinking of a bygone age of such doctrinaire administration by all three parties of central government.

The other is the persistence of "independent" central banking. Mirroring Labour, Liberal Democrat and Scottish Nationalist devotion to catastrophic Conservative privatisation, this is Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Scottish Nationalist devotion to a catastrophic Labour measure, and one that never had an electoral mandate.

The Bank of England, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve have all delivered rampant inflation, and, as is the wont of central bankers, they are all welcoming and engineering recession as the supposed solution to it. Here in Britain, it is well past time for monetary policy to be taken back under the control of a Chancellor of the Exchequer and of a First Lord of the Treasury who were drawn from the House of Commons, and thus directly accountable to it.

Plant Life

CBS has taken down a perfectly factual documentary about where American public money was going, on the orders of a Ukrainian regime that demands the return of control of Zaporizhzhia or it will bomb a nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

Until today, the BBC and the rest of the usual suspects were saying that the Russians were simultaneously shelling Zaporizhzhia and occupying it as a shield. The line has now changed to the fact that the plant "was shelled", but not to saying by whom that must have been done.

More and more people can see what some of us have been saying from the start, that as in most wars there is no good side in this one, and in any case no British strategic interest in the victory or defeat of either of them. Arming one of them arms whoever might be on that side while antagonising the other one.

Once again, what we are encouraging abroad would, or at least should, meet our full force at home, and vice versa. In 2013, Pavlo Lapshyn murdered 82-year-old Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham, before putting bombs outside three mosques in this country. Lapshyn belonged, and presumably still does belong, to the Wotanjugend, which is closely allied to the Azov Battalion, being led by its "political ideologist", Alexey Levkin. 

In August 2020, Lapshyn pleaded guilty to a count of preparing an explosive substance in his cell. Our genius of a Foreign Secretary, who is weeks away from becoming Prime Minister, actively encourages our people to engage in the criminal act of going to Ukraine to join his organisation. Those who had survived will bring home all of those weapons which we had sent them, together with both the knowledge and the desire to use them.

Not that Lapshyn would recognise things these days. Levkin and his ilk are bringing in IS fighters from Syria. Older readers will remember IS. Shamima Begum went off to join it in Syria when we were aiding and abetting it there while bombing it across the Sykes-Picot Line in Iraq, where our intervention had created it in the first place. It is now part of the side that we are backing in Ukraine, while, yet again, everyone who knows anything at all about the subject is pointing out that our position is suicidally insane. Our rulers never learn.

Not Afraid of a Raid

Donald Trump has been raided, although even conviction and incarceration would not preclude his contesting the 2024 Presidential Election, which he is expected to win or no one would have bothered to have staged this raid. It has proved thoroughly counterproductive.

Boris Johnson is to face a kangaroo court of his most abusive enemies, chaired by a person who was morally unfit to sit in judgement on him or anyone else, and with no remit except to force a by-election that the 2019 candidate, the Corbyn-supporting Ali Milani, was not being lined up to contest. Someone from the Left should.

Jeremy Corbyn himself faced similar treatment from the Deep State in the form of something called "the Equality and Human Rights Commission". Its findings and those of the Forde Report cannot both be correct, and even this Government has sacked the Blairite operatives, the agents of a terrorist state, who had written the EHRC's.

Trump, Johnson, Corbyn, the oft-assaulted Nigel Farage, the nearly murdered George Galloway, the Alex Salmond whom they tried to send to prison for the rest of his life, and numerous others, of whom there must be hundreds of thousands in Britain alone since even I am among them: they are not going to stop until we are dead. Nor are we.

Seasoning

Sciencey persons, there must be some way of storing up summer heat for the winter.

Make it so, and if you paid my energy bills for life out of your trillions, then I would never mention this post.

Precision

Israel has the most sophisticated military technology in the world. Out of the enormous sums granted by the United States with little or no Congressional questioning, it either develops its own, or it buys the top of the range at mates' rates from American corporations that funnel much of that cash into both political parties.

Thus equipped, Israel has no need to take out a terrorist commander by bombing his entire street and killing his neighbours' children. At the last count, Israeli bombardment has killed 16 children in Gaza in the last week. They have been killed as a matter of political choice.

To point out any of this is to be in breach of the IHRA Definition. I would cheerfully go back to prison rather than sign that Definition. I would sooner die than make such a subscription.

For that stand and for my support for the Dalits, I have been subject to intercontinental, state-sponsored terrorism for five years and counting. That threat remains in effect, while Google regularly locates me to the ward of the man who arranged it, where I have never lived or worked.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Toads Revisited

I want to see them starving,
The so-called working class.
Their wages weekly halving,
Their women stewing grass.
When I drive out each morning
In one of my new suits,
I want to find them fawning
To clean my car and boots.

Philip Larkin would have been 100 today, and he would have written as only he could have done on the fact that he had provided the nearest thing to an ideology that the Labour Party had ever had.

That party is already being outflanked on the left by the Liberal Democrats, who were the more pro-austerity and pro-war party to the Coalition, as the record of the subsequent Governments confirms beyond doubt. In 2010, Nick Clegg ruled out new nuclear power, because it would not have been ready until 2021 or 2022. Labour is more pro-austerity and pro-war than the Coalition was, as almost all Labour MPs and the whole of the party's staff have been throughout the last 12 years. Jeremy Corbyn would never have become Prime Minister.

Corbyn's fundamental error was that he did not sack the entire staff on Day One and start again from scratch, and even if he had won, then the Parliamentary Labour Party would have swung into action during Election Night to tell the Queen that, while a Labour Leader might have been able to have commanded an overall majority, this one would not have been. Far from becoming Prime Minister, Corbyn would still have lost the whip. The Prime Minister would have been Keir Starmer.

Central to these machinations would have been the people who, having been terrified beyond endurance by the near miss in 2017 after all the effort that their friends on their party's paid staff had put into engineering a landslide for the other side, seceded to Change UK. At least three of those have since washed up in the Lib Dems. But now that that party is seeking to annex the admittedly vast expanse to the left of Starmer, then whither Angela Smith, Chuka Umunna or Luciana Berger? Starmer said that the test of his Leadership would be that Berger would re-join the Labour Party. He has failed his own test.

Something In The Water

Come on, then, defend water privatisation. Tell me in what way it has been a success. The arguments are then transferable to every other privatisation. The same product, via the same wires or pipes, cannot possibly cost different amounts from different companies. Never mind from the same company, but on different tariffs. The utilities are currently delivered by cartels of pretend-competitors.

Anything that cannot be permitted to fail in the marketplace, ought to be in public ownership. That in turn ought to be under a level of democratic political control that never obtained under the Attlee Settlement that merely created the Britain of the 1950s. The National Coal Board or the British Railways Board hardly defined a Golden Age of workers' control or of responsiveness to the public.

Yet among many other things, it is only in public ownership that there could ever be the desperately needed National Grid for water, which had been planned until the 1979 General Election, and before that the Budget of December 1976, had intervened. That would be especially popular in the South, where the Liberal Democrats are busily outflanking Labour on the left in response to the cost of living crisis.

Together with opposition to the war of the day, being to Labour's left economically has worked for the Lib Dems in the past, delivering in 2005 their and their precursors' highest number of MPs in the last 99 years. This is another of those times when the opportunism of the Lib Dems can be a useful barometer. They have had already had three thumping gains from the Conservatives in this Parliament, and the voters to whom they are clearly pitching must be demanding measures such as these. Those are the people among whom members of the Conservative Party live, but those members' support for Liz Truss is not representative of their hitherto true blue communities, and her own former yellow team knows it.

The space on the economic Left is open, and shame on everyone who is leaving it to the party of the Bedroom Tax. That is also the party of the war in Libya, which not a single Lib Dem MP opposed. But as scarcity, and the emerging public appreciation of the wider and deeper reality, made Britain's side-taking in Ukraine more and more unpopular, then the previously gung-ho Lib Dems will be perfectly positioned to flip. They supported every neoconservative war before Iraq, and they have supported every one since, but they are what they are and they do what they do. Again, shame on everyone who will leave that space to them.

North West Durham is hardly a Lib Dem target seat. They came fourth here last time. I had voted Lib Dem in 2017 because Owen Temple had been a leading campaigner for the Teaching Assistants against their monstrous treatment by what was then the Labour council in these parts, while the Labour candidate, though a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn's, had said absolutely nothing on the issue. But at the only hustings in 2019, I stunned the new Lib Dem candidate by calling him out when he started going on about the Coalition's Bedroom Tax. Sadly, Libya never came up. It will give me enormous pleasure to give the Lib Dems a similarly unaccustomed confrontation next time.

Deflating The Gasbags

Rather than admit that the problem has been the payment of obscenely high dividends and obscenely low wages instead of decent wages and decent dividends, the pub bores are going to be at it forever about how inflation had been caused by the lockdowns, on which they intend to blame everything for the rest of their lives, or by "Ukraine", or by both.

Like a lot of people, the lockdowns got me into the black financially for the first time in decades and for the first sustained period in my adult life. I have never been overdrawn since. The bank is about to take away my overdraft facility, since I obviously no longer needed it. I am not happy about that in principle, but at the same time I could not have dreamt of it before the lockdowns.

Between monkeypox and Covid-19, which has far from gone away, another lockdown this year would hold no terrors for some of us. I am not advocating that. At least where Covid-19 was concerned, then I agree with Jeremy Corbyn that we just need to find ways of living with it, like summer heat or winter snow. Monkeypox is an irrelevance to my manner of life. Like George Galloway, I reject the moral authority of this Government to impose another lockdown. But if it did, then it certainly would not make me poorer. That last ones had anything but that effect, and I was far from alone in that.

Of course, it is becoming a different story as prices go through the roof while my income remains unchanged. We all remember the early signs of this before both Covid-19 and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine. But the thing about the later situation that is making matters worse is the sanctions regime, which is having no negative impact whatever on Russia, but is instead an act of pure self-harm. The point is well made that while a sovereign state with its own free floating, fiat currency had as much of that currency as it chose to issue to itself, with readily available fiscal and monetary means of controlling any inflationary effect, that currency was nevertheless able to purchase only such resources as were available.

Perhaps everyone who was suffering from the cost of living crisis should move to Ukraine, where the British Government would have no difficulty spending limitless amounts of money on us, with no questions asked, and with Opposition parties demanding only even more of the same? Yet there is no British strategic interest in any of this. We should recognise reality, and get down to freeing up the food and fuel supplies again, while we devoted ourselves to the long-term pursuit of energy independence and of greater self-sufficiency in food, the former a great deal easier than the latter.

Whether we like it or not, and we have no particular reason to care either way, Crimea has gone back to Russia. The parts of the Ukraine that the largely Ukrainian Soviet elite had put into the Ukrainian SSR in order to make its independence impossible are going to become Russian satellite states, although they are economically and culturally too Soviet for today's Russian Federation.

No additional state, including Sweden or Finland, is ever going to be allowed into NATO. A much more stable and coherent Ukraine will become constitutionally neutral, and all of this will require the denazification that no one any longer disputes is necessary to some extent, nor did anyone dispute that at all until very recently, although denazification is not being made a condition of potential EU membership, because it never is; being in the EU subjected us to the legislative will of many of the most terrifying people.

All of this was on the table before the Russian invasion. This war has been going on for eight years. But in the stage that the world has admitted to having noticed, it is now on the brink of turning out to have been completely avoidable even in its own terms. An enthusiast for it is the worst possible candidate to be Prime Minister.

Yet we are less than a month away from a Prime Minister who had, as Foreign Secretary, criminally encouraged British citizens to go and fight in Ukraine, and who, as First Lord of the Treasury, intended to implement tax cuts for the affluent elderly while funding their sweeties out of borrowing, leading to astronomical interest rates to the benefit of savings account holders who had paid off their mortgages decades earlier. Mercifully, the security concerns expressed by GCHQ ought to make it a formality to persuade another arm of the Deep State to injunct the whole thing. That ought already to have happened by now.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Don't Pay?

The campaign of non-payment is an extremely high risk strategy, and I am neither encouraging anyone to join it, nor seeking to dissuade anyone from doing so. I am saying only that something like this has worked in the past.

Many others tried, but the only organisation that ever succeeded in getting rid of Margaret Thatcher was the Conservative Party. If it loved her in life as much as it loves in her death, then it had a very, very, very strange way of showing it.

In her memoirs, the extremely bitter chapter on the Poll Tax makes it clear that she was under no delusion that she had been removed because of "Europe". That was the cover story, but "Europe" had not been the reason why scores of Conservative MPs had been on course to lose their seats.

The content, rather than the tone, of that policy did not change under her successor. By contrast, the Poll Tax was abolished completely, with a reversion to the previous system of domestic rates in all but name. The Conservatives then unexpectedly won the General Election of 1992, at which Thatcher retired from the House of Commons. 

She made absolutely no bones about the fact that the campaign against the Poll Tax had been organised by the Militant Tendency, and that is perfectly true. When she said that her defenestration and the Poll Tax's consequent abolition had been a capitulation to Militant, then she was wholly correct.

The question is what level of cooperation there was, entirely bypassing the Labour front bench and the Opposition Whips' Office, between Militant on one side and Conservative MPs on the other. Dave Nellist was always hugely popular across the House. Think on.

And while thinking on, consider that had it been left to the Labour Party, then the Poll Tax would still be there. This might be the only possible route to bringing our utilities and other essential amenities back into our own public ownership rather than that of other people's states, which overcharge here in order to keep prices low at home.

Enough Is Enough

75,000 people have signed up on this, the first day. Meanwhile, Keir Starmer has gone on holiday and Labour's poll rating has gone up, but his rating as a credible Prime Minister is already behind that of Liz Truss. Yes, Liz Truss.

There is no political difference between them. Both are cheerleaders for what in the present technological age can only be the intentional Israeli bombing of children, for the impending Ukrainian bombing of a nuclear power station in Ukraine, and against "handouts" to people in the direst need rather than welcome but not absolutely urgent subventions to "hardworking families".

When Truss has had to do some handing out, and she will, then Starmer will oppose her on that basis, and assume that shrieking "The Tories! The Tories! The Tories!" will bring out some tribal vote from the 1980s, before the last Labour Government had had 13 years in which to put things right. Enough Is Enough, indeed.

Rotten To The Core

Make what you will of the Israeli ceasefire, but it is a humiliation for Liz Truss. The Foreign Secretary has been parroting the line of Tzipi Hotovely, who is so close to Truss that she, the Ambassador of a foreign state, appears 28 seconds into Truss's campaign video for the Leadership of the Conservative Party, and thus for the office of Prime Minister, as an example of "core Conservative principles".

And who is Hotovely? It is no wonder that her appointment as the Israeli Ambassador to the United Kingdom was opposed by Melanie Phillips. Hotovely is linked to the church-burning anti-miscegenation activists of Lehava. She wants Israel to expand into Jordan and Syria. She denies that the Palestinians exist at all, yet somehow she wants their homes to be demolished. 

In 2017, she attacked American Jews in classically anti-Semitic terms as, "People that never send their children to fight for their country, most of the Jews don't have children serving as soldiers, going to the Marines, going to Afghanistan, or to Iraq." In 2019, she put out a video of Israel's Jewish critics exclaiming, "Oy vey! My German euros!" 

Last May, she addressed a London rally that called for Arab villages to be burned. That was a meeting of supporters of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, whom in 1981 the Thatcher Government had had the courage to ban from entering the United Kingdom. That ban remained in place until his assassination in his native New York in 1990.

Although Otzma Yehudit has links to them, both Kach, the party that Kahane founded, and Kahane Chai, originally a breakaway but with little in the way of division from it these days, remain illegal in Israel because they are terrorists organisations. In Britain, however, their rallies are addressed by an Israeli Ambassador whom the next Conservative Prime Minister hails as an embodiment of "core Conservative principles".

Meanwhile, the Shadow Foreign Secretary is apparently someone called David Lammy, who has said absolutely nothing about the latest Israeli bombardment of Gaza, which in this age of precision bombing has killed 15 children in order to make the point that it can.

In Hotovely's presence last November, Keir Starmer made the most racist speech to have been delivered since the War by anyone with the remotest claim to have been considered a mainstream British politician, including Enoch Powell. The choice of guest of honour to hear it also made it clear who was the terrorist sympathiser.

Yet now, and whatever practical value it may or may not turn out to have, there is at least nominally a ceasefire. To have called for that would not only have been against Lammy's and Starmer's Kahanist principles, but it would also have been a breach of the IHRA Definition that Jeremy Corbyn was foolish enough to bow down and adopt. Of course, those two facts are inseparable. As a churchgoing product of miscegenation, I would cheerfully go back to prison rather than sign that Definition. I would sooner die than make such a subscription.

For that stand and for my support for the Dalits, whereas both Truss and Starmer are closely allied to Narendra Modi and to everyone who comes with him, I have been subject to intercontinental, state-sponsored terrorism for five years and counting. That threat remains in effect, while Google regularly locates me to the ward of the man who arranged it, where I have never lived or worked.

Searching Questions

I am as anti-drugs as they come. On this issue, I am fully on board with Peter Hitchens, except that, unlike him, I have never taken an illegal drug. I can say that having been both to university and to prison. With that in mind, I ask these questions.

When the 15-year-old David Cameron was found in possession of cannabis at school, then was he strip-searched? Were the Police called at all? There are lots of commercial schools in the area covered by the Metropolitan Police, and there is also a concentration of super-exclusive state ones. Are those institutions drug-free? If they are not, then are their pupils strip-searched by the Police?

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Vouch For This

More is expected of those to whom more has been given.

Over to the Lionesses to take up the fight for holiday food vouchers for children on free school meals.

Search Parties

Margaret Thatcher was right. Leadership Elections are improper in the governing party. If MPs have lost confidence in the Prime Minister, then they have lost confidence in the Government, and they ought to bring a motion to that effect to the floor of the House of Commons.

When a Leadership Election in office was absolutely unavoidable, then a party would need to accept that either its Leader, and thus the Prime Minister, was going to be elected by its MPs alone, or its internally determined shortlist of two was going to be submitted to an election among all registered parliamentary electors in the United Kingdom. In the twenty-first century, then it would probably have to be the latter. No party could afford that. But the State could. As for the more than financial cost, call it the price of success.

Still, here we are. Liz Truss will be the third woman to have led the Conservative Party, but the first to have been elected by its members, and only the second to have been elected to the Leadership by anyone at all. In 2008, with no option of a white man, the Democratic Party preferred even a black man to a white woman. The Labour Party would do the same. But the Conservative Party is on course to prefer even a white woman to a brown man, and the Republican Party would do the same as that. Read across the corresponding parties in many lands. Identify the corresponding parties by doing so.

How this kind of thing makes its way into every nook and cranny. I have been told that the right-wing Labour machine's candidate-in-waiting here at North West Durham, although never resident here, has even left Twitter on the orders of "the party" while it tried to salvage second place next time by matching me with someone who was over 40, who was male by every definition, who had been politically active in this constituency for decades, and who was a practising Catholic, but who trumped me by being a pure-blood Caucasian, locally born, a cradle Catholic, and married with children. The search continues.

Breaking Dawn?

The Americans managed to take out Ayman al-Zawahiri without laying waste to much of Kabul, and the Israelis could have taken out the leadership of Islamic Jihad without killing 15 children.

This is about showing that the present Government is as "tough" or "hard" as Benjamin Netanyahu, to whose regime's attention I have been brought in my time.

That threat remains in effect, while Google regularly locates me to the ward of the man who arranged it, where I have never lived or worked.

Chinese Takeaway?

Xi Jinping has many things wrong with him, but he has the advantage over Nancy Pelosi that he is sober, and he has the advantage over Joe Biden that he is not in an advanced state of cognitive collapse.

If China had wanted to conquer Taiwan by force, then it would have done so without difficulty in 1949. It wants a peaceful solution, and it is prepared to wait for one. Just so long as no one waded in from outside. And in any practical way, who would?

Then there are you real or wannabe Bertie Woosters, although they think that you are George Smileys or James Bonds, who rant on about whatever the "deal" was supposed to have been over Hong Kong.

Even if you were right in principle, and you may or not be for all that it matters in practice, then what do you imagine that you or anyone else could possibly do about it?

Belt and Road country after Belt and Road country will parade at tomorrow's Closing Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Every one of them is on it voluntarily, because that is where the money is.

Some of them have the Queen as Head of State, meaning that she is formally a signatory to the Belt and Road several times over. Where is your Empire now?

What a thing it must be to be confronted with the fact that you do not matter in the least, and that people like you have not done so since 1956 at the latest. Welcome to the real world.

Silence of the Donkeys


And so far as I am aware, no MP has questioned how Keir Starmer could have made a mere £100,000 from the sale of seven acres of Surrey, land that he would have us believe that he had forgotten that he owned for seven years until he sold it.

With planning permission, and it is difficult to see why he would have bothered to sell it otherwise, then such a plot would have been worth millions of pounds. Even without planning permission, then it would have been worth a lot more than £100,000.

Quite apart from how Starmer could possibly be Prime Minister if he were capable of forgetting that he owned a valuable property, is £100,000 the sum that he has declared for tax purposes? If it is not, then is he lying to the taxman, or to the House of Commons authorities? If it is, then how could that possibly add up?

The only people who even pretend to believe that I am guilty of anything are the same individuals who let Starmer off over his blatant breach of lockdown regulations in Durham.

Every Defence brief should now be arguing that jurors could only trust any Police investigation if they believed that Starmer was innocent. At Crown Court, then no one would ever be convicted of anything.

Prevention, Sanction

It seems to have been omitted from the online version, but in print The Guardian has been vexed that teachers have been missing signs of Far Right radicalisation such as the Sonnenrad. You know, the Sonnenrad that, like the Wolfsangel, is worn by "our" side in Ukraine.

In any case, and let Rishi Sunak take note, it is now a matter of record that, in league with one of the grandest of the Labour Right's municipal grandees, Sir Albert Bore of Birmingham, Michael Gove devised the Prevent Strategy on the basis of a document that they both knew to be a forgery, the Trojan Horse letter.

Meanwhile, all hell is breaking lose against Amnesty International because it has said what we had always known about the Ukrainian use of human shields, even CBS now has an entire documentary on the fact that only 30 per cent of American military aid to Ukraine makes it to the front line, the traffic in Ukrainian women and children as sex slaves is finally making the mainstream news, and Peter Hitchens writes:

For some reason, the USA has for 14 years now been having a costly arm-wrestling contest with Russia in Ukraine. This turned hot eight years ago and has led to horrible numbers of deaths, and much destruction, in Ukraine itself.

I really cannot see what ordinary Ukrainians will ever gain from it. Nor can I see what interest Britain has in it, apart from our endless, rather pathetic desire to please the USA, which neither notices nor cares. Yet we pledge billions in arms supplies, so sustaining the horror. The same goes for all the other European nations now preparing for a chilly winter of fuel shortages and raging high prices.

Is there anybody out there with the wit and courage to bring an end to this idiocy? Or, in years to come, as we sit unemployed in our freezing houses eating bread and potatoes, while Ukrainians pick about in the ruins of their ‘victorious’ country, wondering how to rebuild it, and where all the young men have gone, will we comfort ourselves by saying that it was all worth it?

And:

I have not been overwhelmed in the rush of liberty-loving public figures to defend the blogger Graham Phillips against government oppression.

You may remember that Mr Phillips, the first UK citizen to be sanctioned by his own government, without any hearing or trial, and on the vaguest of charges, is now more or less banned from living. His life has been frozen by a decree.

It reminds me of the way the South African apartheid state used to ban people it didn’t like, making them vanish. Mr Phillips tells me that one of the results has been a spate of people on social media threatening to kill him, or suggesting he should be killed.

What does the once-gentlemanly Foreign Office think about that?

Mr Phillips says the culprits believe he has, in effect, lost the protection of the law.

I recall when almost everyone used to quote the German pastor Martin Niemoller about how we can’t expect anyone to stand up for us if we don’t stand up for others, especially those we don’t much like – and I’m not wild about Mr Phillips.

You know the one: ‘First, they came for the Socialists, and I did nothing because I wasn’t a Socialist…’ Well, it turns out everybody thinks it’s a set of instructions, not a warning.