Tuesday 23 April 2024

Happy Saint George's Day

Your run-of-the-mill weekday Low Mass, and we had God Save the King at the end. This priest is indeed from Commonwealth Nigeria. The last one was from County Kerry, and let's just leave matters there.

Like Saint Andrew's Day, Saint David's Day and Saint Patrick's Day, today ought to be a public holiday throughout the United Kingdom. Away with pointless celebrations of the mere fact that the banks are on holiday. Yes, that was a Labour manifesto commitment in 2017 and in 2019. I am very glad that it was. But I had been saying it for more than 20 years. Admittedly, that was also true of several other things that were in the Labour manifestos of 2017 and 2019.

It is amazing how many people assume that because there is a legend about Saint George, then he himself must be a purely legendary figure. He is not. The Tomb of Saint George has become a shadow of its former self in his maternal hometown, which is now known as Lod, and which is the location of Israel's principal airport. But at what those involved insist is also his birthplace against the stronger claims of Cappadocia, it was once a major focus of unity between Christians and Muslims in devotion to the Patron Saint of Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt before, and as much as, the Patron Saint of England and a very large number of other places. But three quarters of those who practised that devotion were violently expelled in 1948. On what remains, see here.

Saint George's Flag goes back to the fourteenth century in England, although it is far older than that in many other places, having been the ensign of the Republic of Genoa from perhaps as early as the tenth century. The King of England had to pay an annual tribute to the Doge of Genoa for the protection that flying it afforded to English ships in the Mediterranean. But in England, it had long fallen into almost complete desuetude until 28 years ago.

Before Euro 96, although nearly everyone incorrectly called it something else, the English regarded the Union Flag as their national flag without any complication. It was not even a question. In my childhood, no one would have had any idea what Saint George's Flag was outside certain ecclesiastical circles that were obscure even in the 1980s, but around which I did happen to grow up. The 1966 World Cup Final is probably on YouTube. Check which flag most of the English fans were waving. The present Medieval revival was initiated 30 years later, which was in my adult lifetime, to sell bad beer to football's new middle-class audience, who were the only people who could still afford the tickets. Or the beer. It pre-dates devolution or anything like that.

But we do have it now. It can be used to advantage, and it is mostly harmless. Though not entirely so. The reason why today's event in London, whatever it was, elicited the Police response that it did, whereas none of the Gaza peace marches has done, is because no one has rioted at any of the Gaza peace marches. Today's lot were rioting from an hour before their function was due to start. Rioting about what? Just for the sake of it? On Armistice Day, they had stabbed nine Police Officers at the Cenotaph, with bladed articles that had been brought specifically for the purpose. Since then, organisations had been proscribed for less. But flanked by an agent of a foreign power, a bodyguard to the President of Israel, one Vicentiu Chiculita of two former Mossad officers' SQR Group, Gideon Falter assaulted a Police Officer and attempted to incite a riot on the streets of London. It has taken him more than a week, but he does seem to have got his way.

While Falter's Campaign Against Antisemitism turns out already to have been a pariah, or at least an embarrassing stepchild, even within the strongly pro-Israeli world of what might called official Jewishness in Britain, he and it were behind the greatest British political hoax of the post-Iraq age, "Labour anti-Semitism". The most basic of checks would have confirmed that the mural, and the wreath, and the "not understanding English irony", and the "friends from Hamas and Hezbollah", and all the rest of those, were complete dross, as everyone who did bother to check did find out. The Equality and Human Rights Commission found precisely two cases in its entire report, neither of them involved Jeremy Corbyn or indeed anyone who was still a member of the Labour Party, and even in relation to those, it was found in court that it was, "arguable that the Defendant [the EHRC] made an error of law in relation to Article 10 ECHR."

Rather than defend that at judicial review, the EHRC settled with Ken Livingstone, whom it had continued to pursue despite knowing that he had Alzheimer's disease, and with Pam Bromley. As a matter of record, "Labour anti-Semitism" never existed. But it does now. Labour has expelled more Jews under Keir Starmer than under all its previous Leaders put together, most or all of them for what has been found to be the protected characteristic of anti-Zionism; there would not be enough time left in this Parliament to change the law on that. It is no wonder that Andrew Feinstein is standing against the Leader who has turned Labour into an anti-Semitic party.

Every week, listen to Starmer and Rishi Sunak "clashing" under parliamentary privilege over whether or not Starmer had tried to put an anti-Semite into Downing Street, and whether or not he had changed the Labour Party from one in which anti-Semitism had been "rife". Pure fiction, but what else would they have to "clash" over? If they have any point of political disagreement, then it is that Sunak has not handed over the health portfolio to someone who was still a paid lobbyist for the privatisation of the NHS, but had appointed a Foreign Secretary who was at least occasionally willing to criticise Israel. 

Of course, it would never do to point out in front of the servants that this was all a gigantic fraud. What next, vulgarly mentioning that Starmer had deliberately caused the 2019 General Election to be held at all, specifically in order to lose it? If the 2017 Parliament had run its course, then a General Election no later than June 2022 would have returned a hung Parliament with Labour as the largest party. Terrified at that prospect, and having been publicly ordered by Tony Blair to deliver "a rugby tackle" to bring down Corbyn because he was leading in the polls and he was defeating the Government in the division lobbies, Starmer announced the lethal policy of a second referendum on EU membership. Boris Johnson seized his chance, and we all know what happened next.

Having seen off the idea of a second referendum at the now forgotten Leadership Election of 2016, Corbyn should have sacked Starmer and said that the policy remained the 2017 manifesto commitment to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union. Even then, though, the damage would have been done. Of the 54 seats that, having endorsed Corbyn's economic and foreign policies in 2017, changed from Labour to Conservative two years later, 52 had voted Leave.

This is before we start about how the 2017 Election was thrown by the Labour Party's own staff, the same people whom the Forde Report found to have racially abused Diane Abbott, who has been without the Labour whip one year today. The fundamental flaw in the Corbyn project, its Original Sin, was its failure to sack the party's entire staff on day one and start again from scratch. Still, everyone now knows that Falter is an attention-seeking fraud, so that his whole "Labour anti-Semitism" scam should now be understood in that light.

Moreover, 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 Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

I have no plan to join the Workers Party of Britain, although nor would I expect to stand against it. If, however, it did not contest North Durham, then I would. 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. We have made a start. Saint George, indeed.


  1. You're the right age to remember The Word, "I'll do anything to be on television". That's Gideon Falter.

    1. Along with Laurence Fox, who yesterday uploaded a video of himself abusing a Police Officer. Arrest both Falter and Fox.

  2. We there riots anywhere else where St. George is Patron Saint yesterday?