Saturday 24 February 2024


Although politicians do still pretend to hear this or that "on the doorstep" decades after door-to-door campaigning stopped being normal, returning the purported compliment by demonstrating at their homes would nevertheless be a bit much. But how common is it? And if we are not to protest outside MPs' offices, council offices, or Parliament itself, then where are we to do so? Of course, we are not to do so. 

We sat and watched them make up this "MPs' security" drivel. There was not a word of it before Wednesday's shenanigans. Diane Abbott, who receives more abuse than any other MP, is against the proposed new restrictions. As is George Galloway, who was the victim of an attempted murder when he was last in Parliament, and who will be back in Parliament this time next week.

At worst, the proponents of these changes mean people shouting at them, in which MPs used to revel because they knew how to answer it, or just people standing outside their offices and their events. For all the strength of feeling about this war, and for all the number and frequently the size of the demonstrations, not a single MP has been physically assaulted. MPs, especially but not exclusively non-Tory ones, often used to have been protestors in their time, and all of them had dealt with such matters on their way up. Now they emerge from some weird cocoon, having never been told anything in their lives except how clever and special they were. Very few of them are.

Keir Starmer has stated publicly that his nonsense amendment, for which Benjamin Netanyahu could have voted, had been drafted in consultation with Isaac Herzog, the bomb-signing second generation President of Israel. Anyone who wanted to vote for a ceasefire was free to vote for the SNP's motion. 100 Labour MPs had been on course to do so, along with more Conservatives than had voted against the Windsor Framework. So in went Starmer and Sue Gray to tell Lindsay Hoyle that if he did not call Labour's amendment, then he would be removed from the Speakership in the next Parliament and denied a peerage.

Hoyle duly read out this laughable cover story, as obviously fake as the bricks through MPs' constituency office windows in the Corbyn years. Do not put it past them to stage an attack on an MP now, as people realised that it was all a lie. The Labour MSP Paul Sweeney has already come a cropper for his totally false claim that his office in Glasgow had been "stormed". The Police have confirmed that a small number of pensioners had been demonstrating peacefully outside.

In relation to any of the enormous protests for Gaza, the only violence, at all, has been the stabbing of the Police by "Tommy Robinson" and his mob, as incited by Suella Braverman, who therefore had to be sacked as Home Secretary for the second time, but who was inexplicably permitted to retain the whip, as Liz Truss is also being allowed to do despite having shared a platform with Steve Bannon when he described "Robinson" as a "hero". In 2016, what Lee Anderson is saying was the substance of Zac Goldsmith's official campaign for Mayor of London. Braverman's latest effort in the Telegraph is but one of the numerous examples of its demob happy delirium.

Although she has probably never heard of him, Braverman was echoing William Shawcross, who was previously notable only as the official biographer of the Queen Mother, but who is now allowed to influence public policy with his wild fantasy about a vast Hamas support network in Britain. Braverman and Shawcross alike should, but intellectually cannot, ponder what Britain would be like if they were right. In any case, Prevent is founded on a proven hoax.

Keep saying it until it quite sinks in that Braverman was Home Secretary. Twice. She made peaceful protest an imprisonable offence, yet now poses as a champion of free speech. And she had the power to revoke the citizenship of anyone whom she thought ought to be eligible for another nationality, whether or not they were. Bangladesh has consistently and understandably refused to have anything to do with the London-born Shamima Begum.

What sort of permanent member of the United Nations Security Council claims that its national security is threatened by Begum? Nothing about her story surprises me, yet it still has the power to shock. Undoubtedly with the full cooperation of its British counterparts, Canadian intelligence was trafficking British girls to Syria to join the side that we were aiding and abetting there while bombing it across the Sykes-Picot Line in Iraq, where our intervention had created it in the first place. The 15-year-old Begum was married almost immediately upon her arrival in that country, and pregnant almost immediately after that. "She wanted it" is not an argument that would normally be admitted under such circumstances.

All of this had the enthusiastic support of the Liberal Democrats, of the Labour Party until 2015, and of more than 90 per cent of Labour MPs, as well as the whole of the party's staff, to the very end, if it is not still going on. Both economically and internationally, and the connection between the two has never been more glaring, Labour is now far to the right of the Conservatives. Begum ought to be tried by a jury that, unless it were unanimously convinced beyond reasonable doubt of her guilt, ought to deliver a verdict of not guilty, which should be an enduring verdict, affording lifelong protection from double jeopardy. In the event of such a conviction, then like a 15-year-old runner for county lines, she would not be blameless, but like a 15-year-old runner for county lines, she would not be the most to blame.

It bears repetition that even while bombing the IS that it had created in Iraq, NATO was so committed to the victory of IS in Syria, as in principle it remains, that via the NATO member state of Turkey, it trafficked British schoolgirls to Syria to hand over to IS. In at least one case, a 15-year-old was pregnant almost immediately, having been married so soon after her arrival that the arrangements had clearly been made in advance.

Via the NATO member state of Turkey, IS fighters are now being brought in as part of NATO's side in Ukraine, where they carried out the suicide bombing of the Kerch Bridge under British direction. Russia has long been bringing in Assadists against them. IS 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.

And do we know that our girls are not being smuggled into Ukraine, which is itself a global centre of sex trafficking, in order to be handed over to IS? Or our boys, come to that, to be sent to the front line? If you are brown and working-class, then at 15 you can be trafficked to IS. If you are black and working-class, then at 15 you can be strip-searched at school. If you are white and working-class, then at 15 you can very possibly be trafficked to something like the Azov Battalion. But if you were posh, and probably white although that is not quite the point, then at 15 you could in 2022 vote on who the Prime Minister should be, even if she did not remain the Prime Minister for very long.

It is still British Government policy that IS should have won in Syria, yet under Shamima's Law, if the Home Secretary thought that you would merely qualify for another nationality, whether or not you held it, wanted it, or were really eligible for it, then your British citizenship could now be revoked at a stroke of the Home Secretary's pen. If you are one of the huge proportion of the population of Great Britain with an ancestral connection to Ireland, or if you are almost any of the current inhabitants of Northern Ireland, including all of the DUP's MPs, then your British citizenship could now be revoked at a stroke of the Home Secretary's pen.

Saint Helena will never become independent, so I am all right this side of Scottish independence. But beyond the fair South Atlantic, most of Britain's former colonies in the Caribbean are independent now. And 50 per cent of people in Britain with an Afro-Caribbean parent also have a white parent. If you are in that position, even if your other ancestors have been Anglo-Saxon for as long as there have been any Anglo-Saxons, or even if Julius Caesar heard them speaking the language that was now Welsh, then your British citizenship could now be revoked at a stroke of the Home Secretary's pen. And if you would qualify under Israel's Law of Return, which is considerably looser than the Rabbinical definition of who is Jewish, then your British citizenship could now be revoked at a stroke of the Home Secretary's pen. How's that for anti-Semitism?

As far as I am concerned, if you have never had a physical attempt to murder you, then you are not my equal as a politician. Until Rochdale returns George, then the only such in the House of Commons from east of the Irish Sea is Sir Stephen Timms, who voted for a ceasefire in November. I no more quake before this Government than do the six senior staff of the Polar Wolf prison camp whom it has banned from visiting a country that they had no desire to visit while freezing assets that they did not hold. Transnistria is preparing to seek accession to the Russian Federation, as I predicted, and with the problems that I set out, nearly two years ago in the above link about Ukraine. And Britain's submarine-based nuclear "deterrent" has not been tested successfully since 2012 because of damp. Having that in the middle of their city would seem to be a much greater threat to the people of Plymouth than an unexploded bomb from the Second World War.

In death as in life, next to no one in Russia has ever heard of Alexei Navalny. Lucky them. He called us less than pureblood Aryans "cockroaches" as Starmer calls us "fleas". Kim McGuinness shares the sentiment, if not the vocabulary. She tweeted this when she was 25, which was older than Begum is even now. At 25, I was well into two school governorships. There is a sitting MP who was elected last year at the age of 25, and two who were younger than that when first elected. No one who was still racially abusive at that age has given it up at 38. We need to hear from the people who undoubtedly exist, but who are too frightened of a Police and Crime Commissioner with a serving military husband to come forward with their experiences.

While the case for Jamie Driscoll is the case for Jamie Driscoll, the Mayor is supposed to attract investment, whereas a Mayor such as this would open an area more populous than at least 12 European sovereign states to a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. For 25 years, the boys have been telling McGuinness how "clever" she was while really meaning something altogether different. Here are 17 things to tell her instead.

And when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair’s Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Rishi Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.