Thursday, 15 March 2018
There’s a mood in the air; the smell of ‘had enough’. After decades of trying to tolerate an uneasy peace, where anything goes and no deviation from former norms must be challenged, maybe the tide is beginning to turn. I grew up in a world where there were rules and it was a far easier world than today. You knew who to associate with and who to avoid; people generally kept company with their own and stayed within the broad confines of the law.
Not for nothing is the dog ‘man’s best friend’ for, like canine-kind, people co-exist more easily when they know where they fit. Order is more comfortable than chaos and while you may disagree with your master’s decisions, it is often simpler to follow orders than to give them. But the last thirty years have seen a rapid erosion of order and a dissolution of boundaries whereby the rules seem to change on a daily basis.
Who is the enemy? Seriously, a big part of social cohesion is knowing who you are with and who you are against. For example, are you British, or are you a pan-European, non-gender-defined, faux-libertarian, socially fluid, non-aligned citizen of the new world order? Do you define your own liberty by the degree to which you discomfit others? Is your insistence on living what you perceive (today) to be your own unique and nebulous identity - and demanding special consideration for same - actually helping?
Rebelling is fine. We all do that at some time. But you have to have something to come back to; a tribe, a place, a national identity. What do you tell your children they are? Because if you don’t tell them somebody else will – and has been doing for some years now. There has been a reported rise in mental disorders and antisocial behaviour, strongly correlating with a general breakdown in social order and the rise of the ‘me-me’ protest industry. It can’t be totally unrelated.
So, actually, yes, I welcome the reaction to the Russian poisoning business and I suspect Parliament does, too – at least it distracts the gaze away from the muslim rape gang issue for a while. Uniting against a common threat is often the catalyst for crystallising where your priorities lay and for the majority that is signalled by a resurgence of patriotic self-preservation. Some will receive rude awakenings when they discover their pet preoccupations are no longer indulged by the wider public.
And still others, like Jeremy Corbyn yesterday, will discover that their sloganizing, patronising, dismissal of principles that many still hold dear reveal them to be part of the problem and not part of the solution. Do I think Russia did it? How could I? I have no access to the evidence. Do I think that the NATO alliance (not the EU; this has nothing to do with the EU) suddenly deciding a line has been crossed and coming together against a perceived aggressor is going to solve the moral decline of the west, re-align our priorities, re-set our sensibilities and re-energise our national spirits? Maybe not, but perhaps it’s a start.
Tuesday, 13 March 2018
Putin? Russian hackers? Meddling with democracy, etc? As you know, I’m not one for conspiracy but the furore over apparently state-sanctioned murder by nerve agent on British soil - and what Theresa May intends to do about it - is dominating the news right now. Rightly so, you may say, but it is an ill wind which blows nobody any good and as a former adviser to Teflon Tony Blair said, it’s a good day to bury bad news. Muh, Telford...
But this is the age of the Internet and social media; the news will out. And the stories that piqued my interest over the last few days are the curious cases of the new enemies of the state. Brittany Pettibone, Martin Sellner and Lauren Southern are a very far cry from Abu Hamza and Anjem Choudary and a host of others who have openly called for mass insurrection, praised public beheadings, demanded the imposition of sharia and salivated at the prospect of enslaving the kuffar to the fictitious will of a non-existent and insatiably murderous deity.
What have they done, these viciously white, attractive, young, articulate, earnest, concerned monsters? Why, they have expressed views which suggest they think it doesn’t have to be this way. They have challenged our establishment’s ready submission to islam and they have dared to suggest that white, Christian heritage is worthy of preservation. Off with their heads!
All three have been denied entry to Britain on spurious ‘hate’ grounds. Hate, of course – much like racism and xenophobia – no longer means what you think it means. I don’t have hate in my psyche; I have no need for it. The closest I come to hate, generally, is mild disappointment. But if I did succumb to hate I imagine it to be an all-consuming emotion, rendering me blind to reason and expressing itself in bulging veins, glaring eyes and a snarling insistence that my detractors should suffer for holding the views they do. It sounds exhausting, frankly.
Hate is what activists like Antifa display; hate is the tool of those vocal minorities who seek to bend society to their will. We see hate on the streets every week in the UK as the manipulated masses of extremist ideology parade their loathing. Momentum, Tell Mama, many of the current Labour shadow cabinet and the ironically named Hope-not-Hate all have hate as their stock in trade. Whip up animosity, rustle up a lynch mob and claim to denounce that which is your primary recruiting tool and bingo; uprise and pantomime in one handy press package.
I’m not suggesting for one minute that there are not those on the right with hatred in their hearts, but I’m pretty sure Brittany, Martin and Lauren are better than that. They don’t parade around shrieking, bellowing and drowning out others. And those few who do try and mount demonstrations are quickly set upon by a mob of masked ‘anti-fascists’ with brickbats and apparent police collusion. The anti-hate mob really does hate anybody who dares to stray from their orthodoxy; hate is a pretty immature thing to harbour.
Nothing to declare...
Of course, no action is too petty to weaponise, so the objection by we moderate, right-thinking citizens to the exclusion of people like us from entry to the UK has been met by howls of derision. Hypocrisy, they cry, for us to complain about the border force exercising control over who enters our kingdom, when it is a thing we have been demanding for years. Except that is not what we are objecting to – many hundreds of known jihadis have been allowed to quietly return and have even, allegedly, been offered welfare bribes to reform.
Using the Terrorism Act to exclude friends is just another assault on the freedoms the left demand from themselves but would deny to others. If there is hypocrisy here – and I am under no illusion that we are all inclined to it - I’m pretty certain the balance lies with those who allow their own hatred to blind themselves to the honest motives of others. Russia? Perhaps we should do more to put our own house in order.
Friday, 9 March 2018
With the jailing of Jayda Fransen and Paul Golding vanishes the last vestiges of any notion that the establishment is on the side of the English. While you might thoroughly despise Fransen & Golding for their openly patriotic and jingoistic views and their demonising of the islamic community as a whole, you would have to be pretty partisanally left-wing to agree that jail time is an appropriate corrective. Jail; where they both risk actual physical harm – something they never inflicted on their antagonists – for standing up for what they believe.
Not a single mosque desecrated – and I, for one, would happily see these offensive eyesores bulldozed into rubble – nobody tortured, no rabid ranting about and incitement to violence and certainly no trail of severed heads; they have never, under police protection stopped the traffic and displayed a show of contempt for the law and greater society. While they might have expressed their feelings with some vehemence, their crusade has always remained within what they understood of the law and been motivated by beliefs which have effectively been made shameful.
This cultural apartheid – where proud English people (Scots, Welsh & Irish are exempted from the opprobrium) are effectively forbidden from demonstrating a love for their heritage – is breaking up the nation far more effectively than an invading force ever could. Perceived hate crime is pursued and prosecuted vigorously, while actual perpetrators of violent and frequently fatal savagery are accorded the full courtesy of the human rights they would so readily deny others.
Something is wrong; something is rotten and it has its roots in the same fertile lowlands that gave rise to Brexit, Trump, AfD, MS5 and all the populist movements across the world. Fransen and Golding and ‘Tommy Robinson’ and for that matter Katie Hopkins and Pat Condell are the public faces of those who dare to speak out. They do not represent a tiny minority of dangerous ‘far-right’ activists. Rather they represent a great many millions of civilised, decent, hard-working, humble people who see their liberties curtailed and their life chances limited, their values expunged from acceptable society.
Is this what you want?
Make no mistake, there are dark currents which would seize the malcontent and make mischief; there are undoubtedly genuine neo-Nazis who would want to harness this sentiment. But most people are not and never will be neo-Nazis. It is not the imaginary hordes of far right crusaders the establishment should fear, but the masses, the greater rump of decent society, quietly clenching a collective fist and nodding along, adding their voices to the murmur. When we peasants finally revolt it is going to be tumultuous.
Wednesday, 7 March 2018
Now it’s not like me to come to the defence of socialism, but the ‘official’ Socialist Party of Great Britain, while espousing an impossible form of societal madness, at least recognises that they will only reach their nirvana if people travel willingly. Unlike the more traditional, genocidal socialist ideologies, they accept that their common ownership, free love, give-peas-a-chance model will only come about when a clear majority want it. So don’t expect any ‘real socialism’ to be tried any time soon.
Most people don’t need to be told how to behave; most of us – especially the most British of us – go out of our way to avoid conflict. We open doors, say a polite ‘good morning’ and ‘no, please, after you’ and feel compelled to apologise should somebody barge into us in a crowd. You may call it passive aggressive but anybody truly British knows that a mere exasperated ‘tut’ can bring a recalcitrant queue-jumper to heel without the need for any police involvement, stabbing or playground slaughter.
On the whole we are a pretty law-abiding, peaceful lot, happy to be live and let live and rub along, playing nicely... until somebody gets our goat. Goat-getting is not something we take kindly and woe-betide the miscreant who disturbs the herd. If the tutting wasn’t deterrent enough we have a whole armoury of post-facto solutions to prevent re-offending. Ostracisation works pretty well at a group level. Beyond that we have censure and a range of other sanctions at our disposal.
We can forbid, fine, flog – wait, we stopped doing that (shame) – but we can also re-educate, re-train or even re-programme until people step back into line. Ultimately we can remove people from society; the threat of imprisonment ought to inspire sufficient dread that only the truly irredeemable would risk it. At least in theory this is how it works. Rehabilitation, sure, but let’s get the punishment element straight first.
David Gauke yesterday said prisons should be “places of hope, not despair”. To be fair, he was announcing a whole series of reforms (which will, of course, never come about; they never do) to improve not only the protection of the wider population but also vulnerable inmates from the violence, drugs and islam which infect our penal system. Of course prisoners should be helped to change their ways – otherwise we may as well just vapourise them on, say, the third custodial conviction - but that is a different issue. Bird should not be preferred; it should be the penance you do in order to recognise the error of your ways.
The population is rising and changing at an alarming rate and with it the prison population. It doesn’t help that new crimes are being invented at the drop of a wolf whistle. But is criminalising half the population in the name of social change the right thing to do? A misplaced personal pronoun is not the province of the police, neither is preferring to employ one group rather than another. Our police ‘service’ has become a joke as minor infringements of social mores have become hate crimes and place strain on an already creaking system.
Norman Stanley Fletcher... happier times
The SPGB is right; we will only get the society we want when everybody decides to practice what they preach. So how about, instead of demanding ever more sanctions for acting outside the models which the shrieking ‘progressives’ dictate, we maintain prisons as places of despair and keep as many people as possible out of them. Crime will continue (when has it not?) and in the meantime you really can trust the rest of us to behave ourselves. Nobody hopes for porridge.
Monday, 5 March 2018
Another week, another round of Brexit, the fantasy rise of the far right, the deification of the NHS and many pointless exchanges between people whose moral and intellectual vantage points are so disparate that seeing eye to eye would involve scaffolding. Honestly, it’s amazing we can even approach concord on anything at all. Oh, sure we all want peace and love, man, but why do we have to disagree so much on who we have to butcher to achieve it? And who gets to call the shots?
I was viciously mauled on Twitter by somebody calling themselves a ‘democratic socialist’ for not agreeing that every bad thing in the land was the fault of the Tories and that Jeremy Corbyn would change all of human history when he ascended to his holy throne. ‘Viciously mauled’ is, of course, code for ‘called a racist/sexist/all-purpose-bigot’ by somebody with no other weapons. Apt because, as is by now well-established, socialism doesn’t coexist comfortably with democracy and changing history is a fairly straightforward process when you have access to all the books, including one full of matches.
Democracy is an interesting notion; everybody applauds it when the vote goes their way, but denounces it when it doesn’t. So far, so very human, but what’s the alternative? And how do we decide what is and what isn’t democracy? For instance, here in the UK we have what we refer to as Parliamentary Democracy which means we have a periodic electoral bun fight and then the party with the most members of Parliament gets to ignore the people who put it in power. Being British we put up with this because we know our place.
Supposedly, we elect individual members who best support our interests as a constituency, but in reality we tend to vote for the party we think is most on our side. We do this from a low-information base and then we look on with horror and incomprehension as they then administer the power we gave them in ‘the wrong way’. No truly representative sample of voters, from any party, voted for the social changes wrought over the last two decades. So instead a minority ideology was unimpeded in paving the way for the closest thing to actually asking the demos we have ever had; the referendum.
A clear majority, albeit a small one, voted for a course of action. But the losing side insist on believing that every abstention is a tacit vote against the result; or that the votes of people yet to be born should be taken into account, because, of course, it’s their future as much as it ours. By that measure a massive majority did not vote for the motion and therefore must have voted against. Turning that argument on its head, of course, an even larger majority must have not voted against the motion and must, therefore... oh, you get the point.
But we don’t need to tot up imaginary votes to see the contradictions of democracy; it seems that even then you only include actual ballots cast you can end up with undesirable outcomes. As I write this, exit polls have the Italian 5 Star movement set to gain the largest vote share and thus an opportunity to control the make-up of the next government. But regardless of this election, what if, say, 40% voted for one party and 30% each voted for another two? If neither minority party will work with the winners, they could join forces and form a joint majority, meaning that in effect the party that 70% did not vote for puts a Prime Minister in place.
Your vote counts... for nothing.
It is little wonder that nobody ends up happy. The politicians complain that the electorate doesn’t understand. The voters get to see their hopes betrayed. And ideological minorities get to shout with a far louder voice than they really possess. Democratic outcomes which don’t suit the politicos are denounced as ‘populist’ and therefore very, very stupid and before long you have the potential for revolution. If you are not going to have actual free and fair elections, with votes cast by a population educated and sufficiently informed of the consequences of their choices; and if you are then not going to respect the choices they make, I ask you: democracy, what’s the bloody point?