Sunday 30 June 2024

Jolly Voting Weather

The Labour candidate did not attend last night's hustings in Lanchester. The derision was audible, and I repeat that this was in Lanchester, darling. On the grounds cited, then he could never hold surgeries, either. Has he any intention of doing so? If so, how, in view of the reasons that he had already given for not attending hustings?

The SDP receives surprisingly little coverage considering that one of its candidates is, unless I am very much mistaken, presently unique in having three Fleet Street columns. But while its candidate here had a lot of good ideas, he had at least one barking mad one, and he just did not come across as a credible Member of Parliament. The Green was even more like that. Clearly a nice man. Clearly not a potential MP.

The Liberal Democrat was very switched on and he had dressed the part, but there are just too many problems with his party. Already heavily involved in community campaigns such as the one against Burnhope solar farm (no, that is not a joke), Chris Bradburn of the Workers Party of Britain will not be going away no matter what the outcome. He deserves your vote. He will certainly be getting mine.

French Fancies?

The satirically named Ensemble will keep up appearances, but which way will its voters jump? While pre-existing conservative phenomena have been known to ally with Fascism, usually to their own ruin, it is the liberal bourgeoisie that keeps Fascism in reserve for when it might ever face any serious demand to share its economic or social power with anyone who did not have it before the rise of the bourgeois liberal order, or to share its cultural or political power with anyone at all.

In signs of things to come on the Far Right even in Britain, the Rassemblement National has little of the Euroscepticism of the old Front National, while on Gaza and on Ukraine, Jordan Bardella is as useless as Giorgia Meloni; Jean-Luc Mélenchon is also keeping some regrettable company. Nigel Farage is as bad as Bardella and Meloni on Gaza, but with no Workers Party or Left Independent candidate at Clacton, his election would at least contribute to the debate on Ukraine.

Where Farageism remains in the Rightist mainstream is in its lumpenproletarian electoral base, waiting to be mobilised by the centrists against any insoumission. The seat that Reform UK stands its best chance of winning is Clacton, where 50 per cent of the adult population is economically inactive (that is, not even looking for work), and 20 per cent, one in five, has never had a job of any kind.

Not Dead, Only Sleeping?

Do the four known suicides of wronged subpostmasters prove their guilt? Here is your weekly reminder that this could not have been an executive summary of this. That would have been impossible, since they bear no resemblance to each other. It is all here, including on the ludicrous definition of "grooming" that was used to hound Canon Michael McCoy to his death, and including on the nonsense about Fr Timothy Gardner OP. Something has changed since 3rd May 2023. What is it? And where is the original report?

I have no qualms about styling Fr Gardner OP as such, since he has not been laicised, nor, unless I am very much mistaken, has he been dismissed from the Order of Preachers. It has been seven weeks since I emailed the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Susan Dungworth, in the following terms: "I appreciate that this is not strictly your responsibility, but I have been completely unable to find an email address for Northumbria Police, so please forward this to them. Fr Timothy Gardner OP is due back before Newcastle Crown Court in July. As set out below, ... the case against Fr Gardner needs to be halted immediately. At the very least, his solicitor and barrister need to be made aware of these facts. Very many thanks."

I do not resile from this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this or this. Rather, I reiterate every word of each and all of them. There was no cathedral sex party. The move from the old Bishop's House to the new one made a profit. There was no allegation of sexual assault against Bishop Robert Byrne CO, who should sue every media outlet that had suggested one.

Although I am often asked, I know neither where nor how Bishop Byrne is. But I am often asked. I am not doing Marko Rupnik, because that would involve siding with the people who had done nothing for Bishop Byrne. They and Rupnik can all go to Hell in the same handcart. Nor am I interested in anything that you might have to say about Bishop Joseph Strickland unless you had fought for Bishop Byrne.

I may not, but I may, accept the present report when Bishop Byrne had done so, and to the extent that he had done so. His Lordship has yet to do so to any extent. At least while that remains the case, then I reject the whole thing out of hand, and so should you. The sum total of the charge sheet against Bishop Byrne is that he did not automatically do as he was told by the hired help. But Pat Buckley, who died on Friday, did not like Bishop Stephen Wright, so Bishop Wright must be all right.

Indeed, His Lordship preached well at his Enthronement. He clearly has a deep spirituality. There was also a speech by a self-identified survivor of clerical sexual abuse, one Maggie Vickerman. Neither her case, nor those to which she referred, had anything to do with Bishop Byrne, if they really happened at all. How do we know? At most, they were long before his brief time in this Diocese. If anything, certain people with some responsibility for them were in that sanctuary. Nor did Ms Vickerman make any attempt to disguise her theological agenda. Well, nor do I make any attempt to disguise mine.

Justice Delayed: Day 11

Even assuming, and it was far from clear, that the Crown had presented any evidence whatever on the morning of Wednesday 19 June, then no later than the afternoon of Thursday 20 June, I would have been found not guilty unanimously in the time that it took to walk to the jury room and send a note to the judge. On Monday 6 November, the only Prosecution witness did not turn up, having been suspended from the Police. Since then, he has been "asked to resign" because of his conduct of my case. On Friday 14 June, my barrister formally complained.

Lo and behold, on the morning of Sunday 16 June, enough Police Officers turned up at my door to take down an al-Qaeda cell, and behaved roughly as if that were what they were doing. Everyone is laughing, and not at me. Late that night, a nonsense additional charge, quite different from the stated grounds of the arrest, was added, with no expectation that it could possibly stick, but in order to postpone what would have been that week's open-and-shut acquittal. Be at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday 26 February 2025, almost exactly two years, although we dispute the timeline, after the original complaint was allegedly made. When I shall be found not guilty. But the process is the punishment.

Rather than embarrass itself any further, the Crown did not even ask for me to be remanded. Nor did it dispute that the Police had found nothing on my laptop or on my phone, even though the latest allegation therefore cannot be true. And nor did it dispute that its only witness had been sacked from the Police because of my case, or that this latest action against me was a revenge attack for my barrister's complaint, both of which are now on Monday 17 June's record of Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court, as is the cleanliness of my devices, of which the Police are nevertheless keeping possession, requiring me to replace them at considerable expense.

I wish that my solicitor had used such terms as "Mafia hit" and "punishment beating". I am using them now. This is a punishment beating for the sacked policeman. And it is a Mafia hit by some Fredo Corleone, because the latest complaint was supposedly made before I had withdrawn from the General Election, a withdrawal that has rendered it pointless in its own terms. Other than the unpaid position to which I was elected unopposed a year ago, and which has therefore been kept vacant ever since, I have no intention of contesting another election to public office.

Welcome to the Starmer State, which institutional Britain has treated as the status quo since Keir Starmer became Labour Leader, meaning that we are already well over four years into it. I am not the only dissident that it persecutes, but things would get an awful lot worse even than this if Starmer ever did become Prime Minister. Vote for the Workers Party of Britain where you can, including here at North Durham. And whatever you do, do not vote Labour.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Safeguarding Challenge: Day 354

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Board of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, currently Nazir Afzal, Amanda Ellingworth, Wesley Cuell, Bishop Paul Mason, Sarah Kilmartin, Jenny Holmes, Sir David Behan, and Sr Una Coogan IBVM.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Committee, currently Gail McGregor, Paul Weatherstone, Fr Christopher Hancock MHM, Canon William Agley, Catherine Dyer, Canon Martin Stempczyk, Canon Peter Leighton VG, Maureen Dale, and Tony Lawless.

And that purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Team, currently Meriel Anderson, Ian Colling, Andrew Grant, Kirsty McIntyre, Lisa Short, Yvonne Brown, and Petra Scarr.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide. I should emphasise that there is absolutely no risk that I might ever give anyone the satisfaction of my suicide.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The CPS Challenge: Day 354

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of its organised persecution of the opponents and critics of Keir Starmer, which is its principal national priority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from seeking the position of General Secretary of Unite the Union on a programme including disaffiliation from the Labour Party, a proposal that would be hugely popular two years into a Starmer Government.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a thinktank 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.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a weekly magazine of news and comment, a monthly cultural review, a quarterly academic journal, and perhaps eventually also a fortnightly satirical magazine.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from taking journalistic, political or other paid work for fear of losing my entitlement to Legal Aid.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service out of the same racism that has caused it to refuse to prosecute the Police Officers in the case of Stephen Lawrence.

And I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to incite my politically motivated murder, a murder that the CPS has already decided would never lead to any prosecution.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Board, currently Monica Burch, Stephen Parkinson, Simon Jeffreys, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, and Kathryn Stone.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the CPS senior leadership, currently Tristan Bradshaw, Dawn Brodrick, Mike Browne, Steve Buckingham, Matthew Cain, Gregor McGill, Grace Ononiwu, and Baljhit Ubey.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, currently Simon Jeffreys, Stephen Parkinson, Michael Dunn, Deborah Harris, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Nominations, Leadership and Remuneration Committee, currently Kathryn Stone, Stephen Parkinson, and Monica Burch.

And each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the 279 members of staff of the CPS North East Area, by definition including, but not restricted to, Chief Crown Prosecutor Gail Gilchrist, and the Area Business Manager, Ian Brown.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Clergy Challenge: Day 1058

I invite each and every bishop, priest and deacon of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if he thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Representatives Challenge: Day 1058

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

And since Lanchester has been moved into North Durham by the boundary changes, I invite each and every candidate for that parliamentary seat to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Saturday 29 June 2024

Justice Delayed: Day 10

Even assuming, and it was far from clear, that the Crown had presented any evidence whatever on the morning of Wednesday 19 June, then no later than the afternoon of Thursday 20 June, I would have been found not guilty unanimously in the time that it took to walk to the jury room and send a note to the judge. On Monday 6 November, the only Prosecution witness did not turn up, having been suspended from the Police. Since then, he has been "asked to resign" because of his conduct of my case. On Friday 14 June, my barrister formally complained.

Lo and behold, on the morning of Sunday 16 June, enough Police Officers turned up at my door to take down an al-Qaeda cell, and behaved roughly as if that were what they were doing. Everyone is laughing, and not at me. Late that night, a nonsense additional charge, quite different from the stated grounds of the arrest, was added, with no expectation that it could possibly stick, but in order to postpone what would have been that week's open-and-shut acquittal. Be at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday 26 February 2025, almost exactly two years, although we dispute the timeline, after the original complaint was allegedly made. When I shall be found not guilty. But the process is the punishment.

Rather than embarrass itself any further, the Crown did not even ask for me to be remanded. Nor did it dispute that the Police had found nothing on my laptop or on my phone, even though the latest allegation therefore cannot be true. And nor did it dispute that its only witness had been sacked from the Police because of my case, or that this latest action against me was a revenge attack for my barrister's complaint, both of which are now on Monday 17 June's record of Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court, as is the cleanliness of my devices, of which the Police are nevertheless keeping possession, requiring me to replace them at considerable expense.

I wish that my solicitor had used such terms as "Mafia hit" and "punishment beating". I am using them now. This is a punishment beating for the sacked policeman. And it is a Mafia hit by some Fredo Corleone, because the latest complaint was supposedly made before I had withdrawn from the General Election, a withdrawal that has rendered it pointless in its own terms. Other than the unpaid position to which I was elected unopposed a year ago, and which has therefore been kept vacant ever since, I have no intention of contesting another election to public office.

Welcome to the Starmer State, which institutional Britain has treated as the status quo since Keir Starmer became Labour Leader, meaning that we are already well over four years into it. I am not the only dissident that it persecutes, but things would get an awful lot worse even than this if Starmer ever did become Prime Minister. Vote for the Workers Party of Britain where you can, including here at North Durham. And whatever you do, do not vote Labour.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

On This Rock

Tu es Petrus, et super hanc petram aedificabo Ecclesiam Meam.

Considering the claims that the See of Rome makes, then, while individual Popes might be or have been charlatans or lunatics, the institution itself is either telling the truth in making those claims, or else it is indeed the Antichrist, and any professing Christian who does not submit to Rome on Rome’s own terms must believe it to be so.

Who will call good evil by pointing to the Papacy’s defence and promotion of metaphysical realism, of Biblical historicity, of credal and Chalcedonian orthodoxy, of the sanctity of human life, of Biblical standards of sexual morality, of social justice, and of peace, and by then saying, “Behold, the Antichrist”? That is the question.

Ah, Faith of Our Fathers. Father Faber, like a striking number of Tractarian or Tractarian-influenced converts, had an ancestry that was largely Huguenot, as is part of mine, although another side is Highland Catholic. So his “fathers chained in prisons dark” were not quite as his thoroughly rousing hymn would suggest. I have no idea why people think that that hymn is Irish. Faber actively disliked the Irish.

Buy the book here.

The Safeguarding Challenge: Day 353

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Board of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, currently Nazir Afzal, Amanda Ellingworth, Wesley Cuell, Bishop Paul Mason, Sarah Kilmartin, Jenny Holmes, Sir David Behan, and Sr Una Coogan IBVM.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Committee, currently Gail McGregor, Paul Weatherstone, Fr Christopher Hancock MHM, Canon William Agley, Catherine Dyer, Canon Martin Stempczyk, Canon Peter Leighton VG, Maureen Dale, and Tony Lawless.

And that purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Team, currently Meriel Anderson, Ian Colling, Andrew Grant, Kirsty McIntyre, Lisa Short, Yvonne Brown, and Petra Scarr.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide. I should emphasise that there is absolutely no risk that I might ever give anyone the satisfaction of my suicide.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The CPS Challenge: Day 353

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of its organised persecution of the opponents and critics of Keir Starmer, which is its principal national priority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from seeking the position of General Secretary of Unite the Union on a programme including disaffiliation from the Labour Party, a proposal that would be hugely popular two years into a Starmer Government.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a thinktank 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.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a weekly magazine of news and comment, a monthly cultural review, a quarterly academic journal, and perhaps eventually also a fortnightly satirical magazine.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from taking journalistic, political or other paid work for fear of losing my entitlement to Legal Aid.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service out of the same racism that has caused it to refuse to prosecute the Police Officers in the case of Stephen Lawrence.

And I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to incite my politically motivated murder, a murder that the CPS has already decided would never lead to any prosecution.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Board, currently Monica Burch, Stephen Parkinson, Simon Jeffreys, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, and Kathryn Stone.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the CPS senior leadership, currently Tristan Bradshaw, Dawn Brodrick, Mike Browne, Steve Buckingham, Matthew Cain, Gregor McGill, Grace Ononiwu, and Baljhit Ubey.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, currently Simon Jeffreys, Stephen Parkinson, Michael Dunn, Deborah Harris, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Nominations, Leadership and Remuneration Committee, currently Kathryn Stone, Stephen Parkinson, and Monica Burch.

And each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the 279 members of staff of the CPS North East Area, by definition including, but not restricted to, Chief Crown Prosecutor Gail Gilchrist, and the Area Business Manager, Ian Brown.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Clergy Challenge: Day 1057

I invite each and every bishop, priest and deacon of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if he thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Representatives Challenge: Day 1057

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

And since Lanchester has been moved into North Durham by the boundary changes, I invite each and every candidate for that parliamentary seat to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Thursday 27 June 2024

Offside?

Where are the posters? Where are the signs? There is far more interest in a football tournament that Wales and Northern Ireland were never in, from which Scotland has been eliminated, and which no one seems to expect England to win. As appears to be customory, England looks set to be knocked out by a country that did not exist at the time of Italia 90, but football is not my field, so to speak.

It is taken as a given that Labour is going to take a lower share of the vote than it did in 2017, and that each main party is going to take fewer actual votes than at any other General Election in living memory. But there is no outcome to this General Election that would not make the case for my ongoing projects, and I am no longer a candidate, so whichever of them came, then I would make it suit me. This, though, is why you should vote for the Workers Party of Britain where you can, including here at North Durham.

There is no Workers Party candidate at Clacton, so for the sake of the debate on Ukraine, I very much hope that it will return Nigel Farage, even though he has apparently been endorsed by Labour, which has withdrawn all support for its own candidate, even forbidding him from setting foot there. On pain of what, exactly?

Farage is refusing to do hustings, but so are numerous Labour candidates from Keir Starmer down, including the one here. They are still being held, though. For the second time running, the only hustings in this constituency are in Lanchester, this time at the Methodist chapel at seven o'clock on Saturday evening. Just turn up, I am assured. This has now happened in two constituencies, each of which has contained two towns. No hustings either in Consett or in Crook in 2019. No hustings either in Stanley or in Chester-le-Street in 2024. But there is always Lanchester.

My lowest ever vote was 203 for the Lanchester Ward of Durham County Council in 2017. Two years later, I took 414 for the parliamentary seat of North West Durham, suggesting that in addition to my irreducible core of 200 votes down here, 30 years of school, local politics and the Church had given me another 200 in the Consett area. 35 years of school, local politics and the Church would also have given me 200 in the Stanley area, which is less Catholic, but where, having been a Burnhope lad when I had first landed in County Durham, I was in the Scouts. Chris Bradburn was in Burnhope today, and I trust that he was well-received. 414 is his number to beat, to have at least done better than I did. One of those votes will be mine.

Countdown To Starmergeddon?

Whenever it becomes obvious that the Conservative Party is going to be defeated, then a Labour Party that is already guaranteed victory transforms politically, and especially economically, into what it is about to vanquish electorally. Even 1945 was a far more partial exception than is generally conceded, while the pattern since then has been undeviating: 1964, 1974, 1997, and perhaps 2024.

Have you ever met the right wing of the Labour Party as it has existed since the death of John Smith? If we are to have the first Government with no roots in anything else, then prepare, both for the most anti-intellectual Government ever, and for the most unscrupulous and downright corrupt, each of which would be a remarkable achievement.

In the full knowledge that it would get back to those of us who would have no hesitation in publishing it, Labour’s paid, bussed in canvassers at Islington North are telling people that Jeremy Corbyn is the Labour candidate, so they should put their cross next to the Labour symbol on the ballot paper. Praful Nargund bought that nomination with money from private healthcare and with the promise of more to come. Welcome to Keir Starmer’s Britain.

Imagine, just imagine, that a Labour Leader with none of the personal popularity of the early Tony Blair really did deliver a victory beyond Blair’s wildest dreams. I spent most of Blair’s first term at university, constantly being told by the Tory Boys that they had won the argument, and that anyone who disputed that could take it up with the Leader of the Labour Party. They knew a week in advance what was going on in the Government, and that was only at Durham. The ones at Oxbridge must have been writing the legislation. Look over it, and that makes perfect sense. Starmer would be like that, only very much more so.

Later on, when I was still hanging around the place on and off in one capacity or another, they were annoyed about the hunting ban, although not, in policy terms, about anything else. But they always knew that, having been enacted purely to buy support for the Iraq War, that ban was never going to be enforced. Even so, in 2005 and 2010, at least one third of Conservative activists were on the campaign trail only because of foxhunting.

What, did you think that they cared about things like hereditary peers? Only the ones who owned nothing but Edwardian clothes and whom you were never quite sure were joking when they said that women should not have the vote. Immediately after the 1997 General Election, the Leadership of their own party had passed to a man who had been advocating the removal of hereditary peers for 20 years. The complete abolition of the House of Lords has been the policy of all main parties ever since. But it will never happen, because the place is too useful for pensioning off MPs to replace them with apparatchiki.

As in 1997, the frontman does not quite put the lower into lower middle class. Most people would assume the factory and the land to have been in Starmer’s family for a century by the time of his birth in 1962, and his Sir to be one of those Victorian or Edwardian industrial baronetcies. After the First World War, those Liberal dynasties went two ways, often within the same family, and the Starmers, it would be supposed, became Fabians. A private school, but not one of those. An Oxbridge degree, if only eventually, although Leeds also has quite a posh side, both as a city and as a university. The Bar, which is always popular with that sort. A constituency named after two Tube stations. It all makes such perfect sense that there is no reason to look too hard.

Labour is a party of extremely right-wing people who lack the social connections to make it in the Conservative Party, and whose two defining experiences were being brought up to spit on everyone below them, which was everyone else where they grew up, and discovering in their first 36 hours at university that they were nowhere near the top of the class system, a discovery that embittered them for life.

But Labour only ever wins uncontested General Elections. Blair managed that three times. Middle England ended up disliking Blair’s wars, and one in particular, but the Conservative Party had not opposed those wars, and in any case he never gave those voters any economic reason to turn against him. On cultural issues, he and Gordon Brown made a habit of following them several years later, eventually giving them, not even what they had wanted, but only heavily diluted forms of that, such as civil partnerships, or the mere reclassification of cannabis.

On everything that mattered to almost anyone, Blair did exactly what the Conservatives would have done if they had won in 1997. Even the surrender of democratic political control over monetary policy, which had not been in the Labour manifesto, was what the right-wing media and thinktanks had long advocated; Brown was right that in those days he could never have got it past the Labour Party, but Simon Heffer praised it to the skies on that week’s Any Questions?.

Having spent much of his adult life abroad, a bewildered Peter Hitchens tried to marshal a minority of his parents’ generation then, as he is addressing that minority’s ghosts today. Again, though, so what? Write up even ordinarily Conservative-voting Britain’s prejudices in highfalutin terms, and Pabloism insofar as Starmer understood it would be what you would get now, just as Eurocommunism insofar as Blair understood it have been what you would have got then, and was. “Look what they would do!”, howled Hitchens then, and howls Hitchens now. “That's just common sense,” came the reply from the small-town and suburban bourgeoisie then, and comes that reply now. “Look where their ideas came from!”, he attempted and attempts. “Good for that Gramsci,” they retorted then, it at all. “Good for that Raptis,” they retort now, if at all.

Antonio Gramsci and Michalis Raptis are much more interesting than Old New Labour and New New Labour. They are fundamentally and ultimately wrong, but you should still read them. Raptis went on to co-found Pasok, and in 1996 a member of NATO and the EU gave him a state funeral. How frightened is Worcester Woman supposed to be of such a person’s thinking even in the raw, never mind in a form so pasteurised as to be palatable to Wes Streeting? With which aspect of it might she disagree? She would disagree far more with Hitchens.

And so to the 2024 Labour manifesto. After 14 years, is that it? But they would not even do half of that. Yet their victory would still be Britain’s contribution to Europe’s lurch to the Far Right. Centrism and right-wing populism are con tricks to sell exactly the same economic and foreign policies to different audiences by pretending to wage a culture war. While pre-existing conservative phenomena have been known to ally with Fascism, usually to their own ruin, it is the liberal bourgeoisie that keeps Fascism in reserve for when it might ever face any serious demand to share its economic or social power with anyone who did not have it before the rise of the bourgeois liberal order, or to share its cultural or political power with anyone at all.

Just as Starmer has never sought to outargue the Labour Left, but has instead deployed the Rule Book to kick it out from Corbyn down, so as Prime Minister he would seek to restore as much as possible of the order that obtained between Blair and Brexit, much of which in fact pre-dated 1997 and most of which is still in place on paper, while simply criminalising in law and in practice anything like the dissent from it that first seriously manifested itself with the emergence of Corbyn in the summer of 2015, before exploding in, as and from the 2016 referendum result.

Vast areas of public policy, including the National Health Service in the form of a “Mission Delivery Board”, would be handed over to heavenly bodies that it would be illegal to attempt to influence. And where would the members of that Board come from? There is a word for such a merger of state and corporate power. Accordingly, the Office for Value for Money would be the last nail in the coffin of democratic political control over economic policy, while Community Payback Boards would deliver professional-managerial class justice without restraint, and those two changes would not be coincidental. In his manifesto or otherwise, Starmer is completely open about all of this. Believe him.

Spoiled Papers

Anyone who is committed to a thoroughly class-based analysis does have to question both the treatment of J.K. Rowling as a particular authority on gender issues, and the Labour Party’s offer to meet her. We all know why those things are. But we should make them say it.

Yet only Rowling is in a position to take on the exclusion from the publishing industry of authors who, whatever the subject matter of their work, did not toe the line on gender self-identification. And does she still hold a United States visa? The people who issued those would not see the funny side of an endorsement of the Communist Party.

Nor is that the only side to see. Like several other regular contributors on these matters, Rowling bears more than a passing resemblance to the middle-aged, middle-class women who are conspicuous at trans events. Young men tend to be sceptical of this as much as of #MeToo, as well as tending to be very left-wing economically, and strongly anti-war internationally; all those things are connected.

But behind a small number of mostly older male transvestites march hordes of young women, a large minority but still a minority of whom think that they are men. Alongside those young women march a goodly number of their academic instructors and administrators of the same sex, as such instructors and administrators do now tend to be. Whether she likes it or not, Judith Butler is a woman. By some distance, she is the most cited female academic in the world. And who is citing her? Humanities academia is ever more heavily female.

It is the Conservative Government that is presiding over gender self-identification day in and day out. The whole of the public sector and its vast network of contractors now simply presuppose it. It has come to be treated as already the law only since 2015. Go back to 2010, and the concept itself was unheard of. This has happened entirely under the Conservatives, and without anything so vulgar as a Commons Division. How about one? Labour is right that the spousal veto has been rendered obsolete by same-sex marriage, which the Conservative Party has presented for a decade as the founding event of its present form.

In December 2022, there was a rare television depiction of Margaret Thatcher. In Prince Andrew: The Musical, she was played by one Baga Chipz, a drag queen. Of course. Gender self-identification is the inexorable logic of the self-made man or the self-made woman, and a figure comparable to Thatcher, emerging in the Britain of the 2020s, would be assumed to be a transwoman, just as Thatcher herself emerged in the Britain of everything from Danny La Rue and Dick Emery to David Bowie and The Rocky Horror Show. In a generation’s time, everyone will be saying that Tony Blair had always been as androgynous as Thatcher. Leo Abse wrote eye-opening books on both.

Still in thrall to one the two most androgynous figures ever to have emerged in British public life, who destroyed the stockades of working-class male employment while creating a new ruling elite of middle-class women funded and empowered by the State, the Right produces almost none of its own gender critics, and of course ignores the absolute soundness of the Morning Star and of Counterfire on gender self-identification, or the fact that both the Alba Party, and the Workers Party of Britain, have been founded in no small measure because of this issue. Instead, a platform is given to ostensible refugees from a Left from which their economic views had often suggested a dislocation, and their foreign policy views even more so, long before anyone remotely mainstream had ever suggested that human beings could change sex, or that biological sex did not exist.

Knowing their new audience and that it paid a lot better than their old one, and manifesting the fact that centrism and right-wing populism were con tricks to sell exactly the same economic and foreign policies to different audiences by pretending to wage a culture war, the permitted voices of gender criticism joined gleefully in the takedown of Jeremy Corbyn, broadly hint that they think that Alex Salmond was a rapist, simply call Julian Assange a rapist in so many words, therefore never miss an opportunity to brand George Galloway “a rape apologist”, and parrot the #IBelieveHer case for the genocide of Gaza, a case that several of them have made for every previous neoconservative war, and most of them for at least one.

Those of a certain age have dusted down the file of lurid allegations that they deployed against white working-class men during the Satanic panic of the Thatcher years, and which have been levelled, practically word for word, against every designated enemy since. They join gleefully in the same treatment of racialised communities in Britain, who are today’s Enemy Within, which is why that status will very soon be enjoyed again by the working class in general and by working-class men in particular, insofar as that has ever ceased to be the case. Keir Starmer’s remarks about Bangladeshis should be understood in that light, as should the failure of Hope Not Hate to condemn them.

In the meantime, and speaking of Hope Not Hate, people whose intersection of sex, class and generation matches the gender critics’ perfectly, and who are usually the same colour as well, expel pro-ceasefire students, send in thugs to give them a beating, connive to revoke their visas, and so on. All while driving out or keeping down the gender critics, and while marching with those who threatened them with extreme violence. Those centrist mums and centrist aunties need to have a word with their own peers.

Dignity

An Old Boy of The Lanchester Review, Andrew Fisher writes:

“Handouts from the state do not nurture the same sense of self-reliant dignity”. Who said that? Margaret Thatcher? Norman Tebbit? George Osborne?

No, it was Labour leader Keir Starmer writing in The Sunday Telegraph this weekend. He added that while Labour “will never turn our backs on people who are struggling” he believes that “serving the interests of working people means understanding they want success more than state support”.

The thing is we all want success, but in a market-driven economy that is neither guaranteed nor within our own personal remit to deliver.

It was this rather obvious reality that led to building the modern welfare state. That post-war Labour government recognised that we have collective duties to each other in a society, and that a social safety net must be paid for collectively to ensure those in need did not suffer poverty, squalor or be at risk of higher incidence of disease.

In his Telegraph article, Starmer wrote: “it’s unusual for a Labour leader to put wealth creation front and centre.” That’s debatable, but what is uniquely unusual is for a Labour leader to be so indifferent to wealth distribution.

Despite unprecedented food bank use, rising child poverty and a record number of families living in temporary accommodation, the Labour manifesto promises next to nothing to boost social security. Not even unpicking the most pernicious Tory policies like the two-child limit, the bedroom tax or the household benefit cap.

Starmer has pledged that Labour “will not raise income tax, national insurance or VAT”, arguing that “it isn’t fair for working people to lose more of their money in a cost of living crisis.”

That’s fair enough, but it is wrong that he has also pledged not to raise taxes on capital gains, so far ruled out wealth taxes, and eschewed higher corporation tax (when UK corporations enjoy the lowest tax rates in the G7). The proceeds of what little growth we do have are accumulating in too few pockets.

It is uncontroversial to state that a lack of economic growth is holding back living standards. But economic growth alone does not deliver social justice. The Thatcher years delivered higher rates of economic growth on average than the New Labour years, but Thatcher’s tenure also saw unemployment peak at nearly four million and inequality double.

Conversely, the New Labour years saw child poverty and pensioner poverty fall dramatically. This didn’t happen magically, but because significant policies were put in place to make it so: tax credits, Sure Start, pension credit, and more.

Yes, dignity can come from work, but people out of work deserve dignity too. A vanishingly small number of people choose a life on benefits. The vast majority are in receipt of social security due to disability, ill-health or the lack of jobs.

Unemployment is rising and 1.5 million people are unemployed. There are currently only 900,000 vacancies across the country.

Many people cannot work because they are among the 7.6 million people on NHS waiting lists – either having to give up work or reduce their hours, often waiting in pain for treatment, while living on the lowest benefits in Europe and being demonised for their poverty.

Ignorant politicians and media pundits have for years peddled a myth that people can be “better off on benefits”. Try it. Give up work and see how much “better off” you are. You won’t be. And these pedlars of misinformation know that, which is why they don’t do it.

Being on benefits in the UK is a soul-destroying, impoverishing existence. Many disabled people who are unable to work live in abject poverty. According to The Trussell Trust, 7 in 10 food bank users are disabled, and disabled people are nearly three times more likely that non-disabled people to face food poverty.

Starmer should act to boost benefits immediately – as a minimum restoring the £20 per week uplift to universal credit and extending it to disability benefits. Equalising capital gains tax with income tax would pay for that with change to spare to scrap the two-child limit.

For any one of us, unemployment, ill-health or disability could be just around the corner. Dignity can not just be the preserve of those in work. It must be for everyone: children, people whose illness or disability prevents work, and pensioners too.

Labour used to recognise that. Starmer’s “changed Labour Party” does not.

Freedom, Democracy and Accountability


Mean and narrow minds quickly sought to moan today about the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from his long cruel years in his Belmarsh dungeon.

That is only reasonable, given the huge amounts of official time and money this country has devoted to making his existence a misery. As the WikiLeaks founder began his journey towards a free life in Australia, joy was not as universal as you might have expected. Lord Hague spoke for the establishment, delivering his verdict on Times Radio this morning.

Hague, whom I remember long ago as a witty, irreverent and thoughtful person, now gargles reliably in the conventional wisdom choir. He grumbled that he did not see Julian Assange ‘as any kind of hero’, nor as ‘somebody you want around’. And he regurgitated the standard case against Mr Assange that he leaked national security secrets ‘of the free societies he’s always taken advantage of’.

Then he recalled Mr Assange’s period in the Ecuadorean embassy ‘where, after a few years, they wondered how on earth they were going to get him out’.

Yes, it was inconvenient that Ecuador had offered him asylum and then, after a change of government, went back on its promise. But the rescuer who then throws the man he has rescued back to the sharks is bound to feel a little annoyed with the person he has treated so badly. It is only human, and so much more comforting than feeling bad about yourself.

I am no friend of Julian Assange. If the intolerant, cruel behaviour of the American government, and the pathetic poodling to Washington of the British state had not brought us together, we would remain foes to this day.

We differ especially on the subject of drugs — about which we once had a severe public disagreement. But I was brought up to think that an Englishman stands up for liberty in all cases, especially if the person whose freedom is threatened is somebody he does not much like.

And I came to the conclusion that most of what was being said about Julian Assange by the governments in Washington and London was bilge. The secrets he published (which he obtained as journalists do, from a source) were the sort which embarrass politicians.

This was especially the case with his revelations about the appalling attack on innocent civilians by a US helicopter hovering over Baghdad. Far from being an intelligence loss to the USA, it was a gain for freedom, democracy and accountability.

The WikiLeaks trove of documents was profoundly awkward for a government that had engaged in catastrophic and ill-advised adventures in Iraq and elsewhere.

It most closely resembled a similar event 50 years ago when the courageous Daniel Ellsberg published the ‘Pentagon Papers’. These revealed that President Lyndon Johnson’s White House had systematically lied its head off about the Vietnam war.

Mr Ellsberg became a national hero after the US government responded by trying to smear and then jail him. And until his recent death he was one of Julian Assange’s most fervent defenders. The sad truth is that newspapers were bigger and stronger, and judges perhaps braver, in those times.

Many attempts have been made to suggest that Mr Assange was rash about what he released. Well, his supporters insist, with credible evidence, that in fact he was very careful, and strove to redact potentially dangerous material.

It is ceaselessly alleged that he endangered US government servants. But I have yet to see any evidence that this ever happened.

It is lucky for the British Government that the complex (and not fully disclosed) deal between Australia, the US and (presumably) the UK has now led to Mr Assange’s release from HMP Belmarsh. It gets them off a nasty hook.

Mr Assange should never have been prosecuted or imprisoned in the first place. As the US Justice Department more or less admitted in the Obama era, he was protected by the First Amendment to the US Constitution. This absolutely guarantees freedom of the press.

But the weird swirling politics of the Trump White House changed all that. Mike Pompeo, when he was President Trump’s CIA chief, declared: ‘Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms.’

Mr Pompeo also made a personal denunciation of Mr Assange and WikiLeaks. And this behaviour (by itself) made it quite clear that Washington’s pursuit of Mr Assange was political.

Yet, though the notoriously unequal extradition treaty between Britain and the USA specifically prohibits political extraditions, neither our courts nor any of the Home Secretaries involved ordered the cruel procedure to stop. And it was cruel.

Mr Assange was imprisoned for years in the forbidding Belmarsh jail, in whose grim precincts his wife and small children were allowed to visit him.

I’ve seen inside enough prisons to be able to guess how horrible, humiliating and distressing this must have been for that small family, compelled to try to act as normal, kindly humans amid a concrete and steel fortress designed to hold gangland murderers, armed robbers and terrorists.

I could never find out what the justification was for this, as there are other prisons in the London area which are quite secure, but nothing like as severe as Belmarsh. I can only conclude that it was spite, made worse by our Government’s pathetic toadying to our mighty ally.

Good heavens, I would not even want an ally so subservient and sycophantic. Surely, you want a bit of spirit among your friends, or they won’t be much use to you if it comes to a fight.

There’s another worrying part of all this, which is that the deal appears to involve Mr Assange pleading guilty to one charge under the notorious US Espionage Act. Horribly, this may be some sort of precedent.

I think anyone on the dangerous edge of journalism, the bit where people send you secret documents to expose wrongdoings, will now be haunted by the fear that they are in danger of the worst the US Federal prison system can throw at them.

Well, this chapter is over now, though no doubt there will be others. I can stop my futile efforts to get other media commentators to join me in trying to rescue Mr Assange.

And I can pay tribute to my Daily Mail colleague Andrew Neil for bravely taking the right side in this, where so many others hesitated and mumbled. He needed no encouragement from me to do so. As a proper journalist, he knew in his bones that the treatment of Assange was wrong.

Will we learn anything from all this? Probably not. In every generation these battles must be fought over again, and each time the side of freedom loses, things will get worse.

I wish Stella Assange a joyful reunion, in freedom, with her husband. Her bearing in this ordeal has been wholly admirable and rather inspiring. That at least is an unmixed delight.

Justice Delayed: Day Eight

Even assuming, and it was far from clear, that the Crown had presented any evidence whatever last Wednesday morning, then no later than last Thursday afternoon, I would have been found not guilty unanimously in the time that it took to walk to the jury room and send a note to the judge. On Monday 6 November, the only Prosecution witness did not turn up, having been suspended from the Police. Since then, he has been "asked to resign" because of his conduct of my case. On Friday 14 June, my barrister formally complained.

Lo and behold, on the morning of Sunday 16 June, enough Police Officers turned up at my door to take down an al-Qaeda cell, and behaved roughly as if that were what they were doing. Everyone is laughing, and not at me. Late that night, a nonsense additional charge, quite different from the stated grounds of the arrest, was added, with no expectation that it could possibly stick, but in order to postpone what would have been that week's open-and-shut acquittal. Be at Durham Crown Court on Wednesday 26 February 2025, almost exactly two years, although we dispute the timeline, after the original complaint was allegedly made. When I shall be found not guilty. But the process is the punishment.

Rather than embarrass itself any further, the Crown did not even ask for me to be remanded. Nor did it dispute that the Police had found nothing on my laptop or on my phone, even though the latest allegation therefore cannot be true. And nor did it dispute that its only witness had been sacked from the Police because of my case, or that this latest action against me was a revenge attack for my barrister's complaint, both of which are now on Monday 17 June's record of Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court, as is the cleanliness of my devices, of which the Police are nevertheless keeping possession, requiring me to replace them at considerable expense.

I wish that my solicitor had used such terms as "Mafia hit" and "punishment beating". I am using them now. This is a punishment beating for the sacked policeman. And it is a Mafia hit by some Fredo Corleone, because the latest complaint was supposedly made before I had withdrawn from the General Election, a withdrawal that has rendered it pointless in its own terms. Other than the unpaid position to which I was elected unopposed a year ago, and which has therefore been kept vacant ever since, I have no intention of contesting another election to public office.

Welcome to the Starmer State, which institutional Britain has treated as the status quo since Keir Starmer became Labour Leader, meaning that we are already well over four years into it. I am not the only dissident that it persecutes, but things would get an awful lot worse even than this if Starmer ever did become Prime Minister. Vote for the Workers Party of Britain where you can, including here at North Durham. And whatever you do, do not vote Labour.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Safeguarding Challenge: Day 351

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Board of the Catholic Safeguarding Standards Agency, currently Nazir Afzal, Amanda Ellingworth, Wesley Cuell, Bishop Paul Mason, Sarah Kilmartin, Jenny Holmes, Sir David Behan, and Sr Una Coogan IBVM.

That purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Committee, currently Gail McGregor, Paul Weatherstone, Fr Christopher Hancock MHM, Canon William Agley, Catherine Dyer, Canon Martin Stempczyk, Canon Peter Leighton VG, Maureen Dale, and Tony Lawless.

And that purely factual statement is acknowledged as such, unless and until it had been expressly repudiated to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com, by each and all of the members of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocesan Safeguarding Team, currently Meriel Anderson, Ian Colling, Andrew Grant, Kirsty McIntyre, Lisa Short, Yvonne Brown, and Petra Scarr.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and the allegation at the base of any outstanding charge has been made in order to incite my suicide. I should emphasise that there is absolutely no risk that I might ever give anyone the satisfaction of my suicide.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The CPS Challenge: Day 351

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service as part of its organised persecution of the opponents and critics of Keir Starmer, which is its principal national priority.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from seeking the position of General Secretary of Unite the Union on a programme including disaffiliation from the Labour Party, a proposal that would be hugely popular two years into a Starmer Government.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a thinktank 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.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from establishing a weekly magazine of news and comment, a monthly cultural review, a quarterly academic journal, and perhaps eventually also a fortnightly satirical magazine.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to prevent me from taking journalistic, political or other paid work for fear of losing my entitlement to Legal Aid.

I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service out of the same racism that has caused it to refuse to prosecute the Police Officers in the case of Stephen Lawrence.

And I am morally and factually innocent of every criminal offence with which I have ever been charged, and any outstanding charge is being pursued by the Crown Prosecution Service in order to incite my politically motivated murder, a murder that the CPS has already decided would never lead to any prosecution.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Board, currently Monica Burch, Stephen Parkinson, Simon Jeffreys, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan, and Kathryn Stone.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the CPS senior leadership, currently Tristan Bradshaw, Dawn Brodrick, Mike Browne, Steve Buckingham, Matthew Cain, Gregor McGill, Grace Ononiwu, and Baljhit Ubey.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Audit and Risk Assurance Committee, currently Simon Jeffreys, Stephen Parkinson, Michael Dunn, Deborah Harris, Dr Subo Shanmuganathan.

Each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the members of the CPS Nominations, Leadership and Remuneration Committee, currently Kathryn Stone, Stephen Parkinson, and Monica Burch.

And each of those eight statements stands as a matter of record unless and until it had been expressly denied to davidaslindsay@hotmail.com by each and all of the 279 members of staff of the CPS North East Area, by definition including, but not restricted to, Chief Crown Prosecutor Gail Gilchrist, and the Area Business Manager, Ian Brown.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Clergy Challenge: Day 1055

I invite each and every bishop, priest and deacon of the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if he thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me.

Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. No name would be published except at the request of its bearer, but if anyone ever did get in touch, then the readers of this site would be the first to know. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

The Representatives Challenge: Day 1055

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

And since Lanchester has been moved into North Durham by the boundary changes, I invite each and every candidate for that parliamentary seat to contact davidaslindsay@hotmail.com if they thought that I was factually or morally guilty of any criminal charge that had ever been brought against me. Not legally guilty; Bill Cosby is legally innocent. Factually and morally guilty. In this case, names most certainly will be published. The current total is zero.

This post will appear daily until further notice.

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Estado Plurinacional

Some four fifths of Bolivians are at least partly indigenous, so in 2019, the Liberal Establishment cheered on the Trump Administration's white supremacist military coup in Bolivia, with its estimated 20 million or more tonnes of lithium.

Lithium is essential to the "Green New Deal" and what have you; to the projected array of gigantic public subsidies to the transnational corporate enforcers of Political Correctness, of wokeness, and so forth, all the while dispossessing indigenous peoples and indigenous people on a mind-boggling scale. And here we are again.

Plea? Bargain?

Conscripting the Haredim may end Benjamin Netanyahu's Coalition. But the heirs of Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir will always have Britain. Where they will soon have conscription. They, and their friends in Svoboda, Pravy Sektor, the National Corps, C14, the Azov Brigade, the Aidar Battalion, the Donbas Battalion, the Dnipro-1 Battalion, the Dnipro-2 Battalion, the Kraken Regiment, the Freedom of Russia Legion, and the Russian Volunteer Corps. Funny old world.

We, though, will always have Julian Assange. Believe in an Australian republic when you see it, but should it come in the next 30 years, then undoubtedly the greatest living Australian, and at least arguably the greatest ever, ought of course to be its President.

In Proposing The Universal Call To Holiness

Today is the Feast of Saint Josemaría Escrivá, the founder of Opus Dei. Pope Francis, who is the first Pope to have dealt closely with Opus Dei while he was a diocesan bishop, has called Saint Josemaría “a precursor of Vatican II in proposing the universal call to holiness”. I am a convinced admirer of Opus Dei, both as a practising Catholic and as a man firmly of the Left. 

Corporal mortification, to get that out of the way, is an integral part of Catholic spirituality. Catholics need to re-learn moderate self-denial on Fridays, on the Wednesdays of Lent, during Holy Week, on the eves of the Church’s greatest Solemnities, and before receiving Communion, as well as the considerable exigencies of Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

These are of a piece with the cilice, which is a spiked chain worn around the upper thigh, and with the discipline, which is a small whip used on the back. Convents manufacturing such items still do a roaring trade, and the rise of Opus Dei is itself a sign that the decadent period of disdain for asceticism even within the Catholic Church is an aberration now mercifully coming to an end.

In any case, people who suggested that Ruth Kelly wore the cilice to work merely demonstrated their own ignorance. Both the cilice and the discipline are used by numeraries, who are celibate, live in Opus Dei centres, and give most of their salaries directly to Opus Dei. Kelly was and is clearly a supernumerary, as are 70 per cent of Opus Dei members, and so presumably mortifies the flesh in ways more acceptable to clever-clever opinion, though none the worse for that. 

Opus Dei believes in the sanctification of the world, thus first anticipating and then implementing the Second Vatican Council. By contrast, its opponents believe in the secularisation of the Church, falsely presenting that as “the Spirit of Vatican II”. Therefore, they oppose corporal mortification as they oppose other Opus Dei practices: beginning the day by offering it to God, daily Communion, the Rosary, the Angelus, daily examination of conscience, invocation of the Angels and the Saints, ejaculatory prayer, use of holy water, and so forth.

That is because they disagree profoundly with Opus Dei about sanctification of and through ordinary work, not least because they so look down on the people who do a great deal of ordinary work. They disagree with Opus Dei about living a contemplative life in the middle of the world, taking everything one does with liturgical seriousness, and recognising, as any orthodox Catholic must, that every experience of the true, the good and the beautiful is in fact a religious experience.

Instead, they would rather that even the Liturgy were treated with no more, or even rather less, seriousness than most people attach to a pop concert or a football match, and that even the most obviously ecstatic mystical experiences were somehow explained away by pseudo-scientific, avowedly anti-Christian means.

They disagree with Opus Dei’s, which is the Catholic Church’s, definition of Christian freedom in the Aristotelian yet profoundly Biblical terms given definitive Catholic and commonsensical articulation by Saint Thomas Aquinas, according to which the only true freedom is in accordance with the Will of God. Instead, they would define it in secular and Modern terms, as the freedom of the individual to do as he will, provided that he agree with them, and that he do so as the end in itself.

They disagree with Opus Dei’s (again, simply the Church’s) doctrine of divine filiation, of recognising oneself and every other human being as a Child of God. Adopted by God’s grace and thus in some sense ipse Christus, “Christ Himself”, everything we do is therefore in some sense part of the world’s redemption: the mundane is transcendent. Instead, they would rather make the transcendent mundane. 

They disagree with divine filiation’s very high understanding of the dignity of each and every human life, and with its strong imperative towards evangelisation. And they disagree with its inherent imperative, both to take up the Cross, and to experience a profound joy quite unlike any momentary chemical or sexual “high” of their own formative years. 

Instead, they would rather “modernise” on abortion, euthanasia, and embryonic stem-cell “research”. They would rather trim Christianity and Catholicism to suit every other system of belief, though even then not with a view to converting anyone. And they would rather have instant gratification, on the cheap in every sense. 

Sanctification through work, the living of a contemplative life in the middle of the world, Christian freedom correctly defined, and the recognition of divine filiation: these are the principles calling all Catholics to rediscover and renew, ever-more-deeply, our beginning the day by offering it to God, our frequent Communion, our daily examination of conscience, our ejaculatory prayer, our use of holy water, and our devotion to the Mother of God, to the Angels and to the Saints. And, yes, our practice of corporal mortification. 

All of this is whether or not we experience any vocation to join Opus Dei, undoubtedly God’s instrument in renewing the Church in this way, but even more clearly so if this renewal becomes the norm among Catholics generally, including our witness to ecumenical partners. 

So much for admiring Opus Dei as a Catholic. But how can a man of the Left possibly do so?

Far from being indifferent or hostile towards the poor, Opus Dei runs ELIS in Rome, the Midtown Center in Chicago, the Moluka medical clinic in Kinshasa, the Los Pinos educational centre in Montevideo, the Braval programme of professional formation for immigrants in Barcelona, the Laguna care centre in Madrid, the Harambee 2002 project, Condoray in Cañete, the Institute for Industrial Technology in Lagos, the Guatanfur agricultural and stock raising school in Temza, the Anauco medical dispensary in Caracas, the Centenario medical clinic in Monterrey, the Informal Sector Business Institute in Nairobi, and many more besides. Google them. 

Ruth Kelly was the most prominent Opus Dei politician in the world; I am not sure who now is, but it ought to be emphasised that Rick Santorum is not a member. The United Nations Secretary-General, former United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and former President of the Socialist International, António Guterres, has a long history in Opus Dei.

Its ranks included the late Squire Lance, Saul Alinsky’s chosen successor in Chicago. They also included the late Jorge Rossi Chavarría, sometime Vice President of Costa Rica, and co-founder of that country’s National Liberation Party (PLN), the Costa Rican vehicle for social democracy, affiliated to the Socialist International. Rossi co-founded the PLN as an outgrowth of his work as legal advisor to the Costa Rican Confederation of Workers of Rerum Novarum, Rerum Novarum being the 1891 founding text of Catholic Social Teaching with its very strong critique of unbridled capitalism, a critique continued and expanded by every Pope since. 

Opus Dei included the late Antonio Fontán, the apostle of press freedom against the Franco regime, and the first President of the Senate after the restoration of Spanish democracy under a Constitution that he had co-authored. The strongly anti-Franco academic and journalist Rafael Calvo Serer was also a member of Opus Dei. It still includes, among others, Paola Binetti, Llúis Foix and Mario Maiolo. We may or may not count the Catalan nationalism of Xavi Casajuana as part of the Left, but it is undeniably a very long way from Franco. Most of the Chilean “Chicago Boys” were not members of Opus Dei. Pinochet himself never had any affiliation with it.

So, insofar as it has a political orientation, Opus Dei’s would seem to be towards the Left, if anything. Much like the Catholic Church Herself, in fact. That is yet another reason to hope, work and pray for the Catholic Church at large to become much more like Opus Dei.

After all, it was greatly admired by Saint Óscar Romero, as explained by Filip Mazurczak in an article that I have been quite unable to cut, and to which I have added emphasis:

On March 24, 1980, Archbishop Óscar Romero was shot during the celebration of Mass by the death squadrons of El Salvador’s military government. Today his reputation is undergoing a second assassination: Critics have responded to the floating of his name for beatification by wrongly charging the man with supporting violence, communism, and heresy. Those who would make the archbishop a radical hero have offered their own version of these claims in approving tones. Both are wrong.

Murals and t-shirts showing Romero alongside Salvador Allende and Che Guevara are common in Central America, yet his visage sits somewhat uncomfortably beside theirs. Romero did not hesitate to condemn capitalism, but at the same time he was an anti-communist. In his sermons he cautioned against the dangers of atheistic, materialist Marxism. In one of his homilies, Romero chastised leftists for criticizing American imperialism while turning a blind eye to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. 

While the left has come to glorify Romero, right-wing politicians in El Salvador have accused him of inspiring leftist guerrilla violence. In reality, Romero sought a peaceful solution to El Salvador’s troubles. In his third pastoral letter, written in 1978, Romero condemned leftist guerrilla violence as “terrorist” and “seditious.” In the fourth letter written one year later, the archbishop of San Salvador reminded the nation that violence was justifiable only in extreme situations when all other alternatives have been exhausted, citing Catholic just war theory.

The twentieth century was a difficult one for the Latin American Church. In the 1970s and 1980s, military juntas ruled most of the region. In Argentina, the bishops’ close ties to the dictatorship of Jorge Videla and their silence on the tortures and disappearances in the country led many Argentineans to lose their trust in the Church. By contrast, in Nicaragua many clerics supported armed revolution against the Somoza dictatorship and supported the Marxist Sandinistas.

Even a man as saintly as Dom Helder Camara, he bishop who defended Brazil’s poor against the country’s military dictatorship, believed that Marx should do for Christianity in the twentieth century what Aristotle did for medieval Thomism. By contrast, in a 1978 homily, Romero said: “Since Marxist materialism destroys the Church’s transcendent meaning, a Marxist church would be not only self-destructive but senseless.” 

Romero avoided the blinkered anti-communism of Argentina’s bishops and defended the vulnerable against military violence, seeing the hypocrisy of rulers who claim to be Christians yet persecute the people. At the same time, he understood the dangers of Marxism, condemning the Marxist guerrilla movement that terrorized El Salvador’s ruling class. Ernesto Cardenal, the Trappist monk who in the 1980s was a minister in Nicaragua’s Sandinista government, wrote that before becoming a Christian, one first must become a Marxist-Leninist. Romero rejected this: His personal hero was Pope Pius XI for resisting fascism and communism at the same time.

Romero also stood apart from liberation theology, distinguishing between the liberation of communism and the liberation Christ offers. In the 1980s, some Latin American priests inspired by Marxism wanted to deny Communion to the wealthy. Romero resisted this saying in a 1979 homily: “We are not demagogically in favor of one social class; we are in favor of God’s reign, and we want to promote justice, love, and understanding, wherever there is a heart well disposed.” 

Few know that Romero received spiritual direction from an Opus Dei priest and personally knew the future saint and Opus Dei founder Josemaria Escriva. When the latter died in 1975, he wrote a letter to Paul VI asking the Pope to jumpstart his canonization process, writing: “Monsignor Escriva . . . was able to unite in his life a continuous dialogue with Our Lord and a great humanity; one could tell he was a man of God, and his manner was full of sensitivity, kindness, and good humor.” As recommended by Opus Dei priests, Romero wore a cilice on Fridays as a form of self-mortification until his death. 

One of the firmest supporters of Romero’s beatification has been Pope Benedict XVI. Both before and after his election to the papacy he has expressed his enthusiasm for the cause, going so far as to say that he has “no doubt” that Romero will be declared blessed someday. 

During his 1983 pilgrimage to El Salvador, John Paul insisted on visiting Romero’s tomb despite the pleas of Latin American bishops and the Salvadoran government. John Paul II asked local priests to open the door of the cathedral which was locked up by the military. He immersed himself in prayer for a long time in front of Romero’s tomb.

John Paul II again demonstrated his affection for Oscar Romero by insisting “again against the wishes of many churchmen” that during the 2000 Jubilee Year celebration in Rome’s Coliseum Romero’s name be mentioned among the great martyrs of the Americas.

It is a name we are likely to hear again.

Óscar Romero was indeed beatified on 23rd May 2015, and canonised on 14th October 2018. Ora pro nobis. And Saint Josemaría Escrivá, ora pro nobis.

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