Friday 5 August 2022

Things Inflated And Sanctioned

We all remember the cost of living crisis before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but it has been and is being worsened very significantly by the sanctions regime, which is having no negative impact whatever on Russia, but is instead an act of pure self-harm.

As even Amnesty International points out the Ukrainian use of human shields, which is not news to some of us, we have no side between the Wagner Group and the Azov Battalion, we have no reason to care in which country Kherson ended up, and we must absolutely refuse to freeze or starve in the dark for the sake of any of this.

We will so refuse in the very near future, giving popular vindication to a tiny body of MPs of whom probably only Jeremy Corbyn and Diane Abbott would be familiar to the majority of the electorate. George Galloway has a "never say never" approach to returning to the House of Commons, and did contest last year's Batley and Spen by-election.

But what of Peter Hitchens? He seems to think that Corbyn, Abbott, Galloway, Tahir Ali, Apsana Begum, Richard Burgon, Ian Lavery, John McDonnell, Ian Mearns, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Zarah Sultana, Beth Winter, Mick Whitley, and everyone who remained a signatory to this, including Claudia Webbe, should withdraw from the debate in favour of, presumably, him, so that he could say exactly the same thing while being him rather than them.

Much as I admire him in many ways, and much as I am glad that he is there being denied a platform in a market-leading newspaper and on two different news channels every week, Hitchens has never sought election to any public office in his life, whereas at least 13 of the people whom he would wish to see give way to him are sitting Members of Parliament. Yet he wants to say what they are saying, word for word.

I appreciate that he does not agree with them about everything, although he does about rather a lot across a very wide range of policy areas, and with Galloway about even more. But he has not even voted in decades, since he contends that he has no one to vote for. Well, a lot of us have felt that way in our time. When the 2019 General Election was called out of the blue, then I was on Jobseeker's Allowance and on bail, having been on both since before the 2017 General Election.

Using the overdraft facility that is about to be taken away from me because my account is now in credit, since no good deed goes unpunished, I took out £500 to pay my deposit in cash, having gone about collecting the signatures to my nomination papers by some adventurous use of the public transport on which my disability made me dependent, by spending an entire and enjoyable Saturday in Consett Wetherspoons, and by going door-to-door on my street.

I made it onto that ballot paper, I turned up to the only hustings, and with no campaign budget whatever, so that as my own agent I filed a return of no pounds and no pence, I took 414 votes, admittedly including my own. If I could do that at practically no notice, then what could that Peter Hitchens, out of the paper and off the telly, do at a General Election that no one expected before next year?

He is not too old; he is younger than Corbyn, for a start. And if he will not do this, then while there is a case for giving him a hearing, and that is why several outlets do, there is none for giving him priority over 13 or more elected members of the House of Commons, on an issue on which his view was exactly the same as theirs.


  1. Hitchens has been going very funny in his old age, he thinks if the BBC had put him on Have I Got News For You instead of Boris Johnson, he would have become Prime Minister.

    1. Then there was when he patronisingly told Owen Jones, for whom I carry no candle, that he, Hitchens, was "schooled" in what they both regarded as the Radical Left while Jones was not. Jones comes from one of its leading families and has been one of its most prominent figures for over a decade. Never mind having read the books, he writes them. Hitchens was one of its 10-a-penny teenage newspaper-sellers over half a century ago.