Monday, 22 July 2019
Gunboat diplomacy without the gunboats is how our inability to defend shipping in the Strait of Hormuz has been described. As the deliberate and not so gradual winding down of Britain’s once world-bestriding Royal Navy now shows, in stark relief, Britannia no longer rules the waves. No longer and not for some time, as the US Navy took over that role in the middle of the last century. Still we could – and did – hold up our end of the deal until relatively recently.
Now, of course, the powers are calling for an international joint task force to take control of the region, much, it can be assured, to the chagrin of the Arab powers who seek to burst free from the restraints that more, shall we say civilised, nations have applied. The region needs to be kept in check, possibly more than ever before, now that an impending nuclear dawn for islam draws nearer. But there it is, the Royal Navy is neutered, shackled and brought to heel along with the British Army and the Royal Air Force, victims of an ideology of defeat.
Meantime, civil society has been under its own siege as manners, conduct and general behaviour have been eroded to the point of near anarchy. London appears to be the stabbing capital of western Europe, overrun, it seems by lawless gangs, drug runners, people traffickers and the like, many of whom spring from the unaccounted population of what are now termed ‘irregular migrants’. Even the language has been controlled so that such meaningless terms make it nigh on impossible to call a spade a spade and thus address the recurrent theme.
That theme is decline and retreat and surrender and beg for assistance and there is no logic to it. No logic unless, you desperately conclude, it is deliberate. But surely, it couldn’t be deliberate, could it? Britain barely contributes its commitment to NATO and it is obvious to all – serving and veteran, like myself – that even that is nowhere near enough. Events in the Gulf confirm it. We are no longer independent economically, militarily and even culturally; we have been diminished, diluted and to what purpose?
To sell the notion of supra-national governance, where no one state can exist without the help of all the others; where no actions may be taken – militarily, economically, culturally – without the consent of all the others; where no flag assumes an importance greater than the flag of the mother ship; where we are all citizens of the world and wards of state. In an earlier age this was called communism, but now they call it the EU. Those who plead to stay are those who have accepted the loss of British identity; those who are convinced that ‘progressive’ is derived from progress, when it is really spawned from helplessness.
Boris channels Churchill? He will have to.
So, tomorrow we will have a new Prime Minister and the EU rats are already deserting the government midden. If Boris has the balls he could turn this evacuation into a rout, and in the very brief window of opportunity before they try to bring down the government, he has the ability to reach out and demand more. Not from him, not from Parliament, but from us. More optimism, more hope, more determination to recover what we threw away some decades ago. If we have even the smallest glimmer of a hint of a sliver of a chance, we need to get behind Boris and push like fuck.
Friday, 19 July 2019
I just watched the very last This Week with the incomparable Andrew Neil. What a loss to everybody this is. It will be missed by its devotees and its demise makes the BBC significantly poorer in terms of political balance. Complained about by ardent lefties as being driven by Neil’s aggressively right-wing agenda it was, of course, nothing of the sort. Rather it was a last bastion for independent thought and free expression without taking itself too seriously.
The last show was a masterclass in self-effacement and the willing participation in the kind of ritual embarrassment the show claimed as its own as commentators and politicos from left, right and right-on made utter tits of themselves, then showed up to be shown up in front of a live audience. Forget the ‘reality’ shows where former back-benchers pose as ordinary human beings for the edification of a thoroughly non-discerning public, This Week’s pastiches had none of the dignity of the bush tucker challenge or ‘real housewives’; they were amateur hour personified and what better portrayal of the frailty of the position of those with power or influence.
Naked under the Andrew Neil spotlight, This Week allowed for the widest possible set of views and woe betide those without the depth to back up their claims. Nobody was safe and many a pomposity was pricked as the expounders of lies and bent truths spluttered and stalled before the master interrogator’s inquisition. Neil was uniquely well-prepared and attacked all false claims, from either end of the spectrum, whenever falsehoods were being promulgated or out-of-context ‘facts’ used to support false theses.
To the left, Neil must have seemed like a right winger but ask any right winger who has been placed in those thumbscrews how much mercy was shown and they may well shudder at the recollection. Legion are the social media clips showing the evisceration of the high and mighty and the self-proclaimed champions of unworthy causes. Livid were the bruises and scars of battle as hypocrisies were exposed, bullshit batted away and crap countered. And he did all of this with a smile and a cheery, cheesy line.
We may never see its like again, yet we have never needed a sense of perspective so much. The opening monologue alone was worth tuning in for – a catalogue of catastrophic, comically inaccurate predictions, forecasts, earnest proclamations and plain dodgy prophecies presented earnestly over the years. If only some of those just as earnestly forecasting doom and disaster over Brexit could see just how foolish they appear to the rest of us. If only the never-Trumpers could give just an inch of grudging ground.
Let's face it, Jonesy, you're a bit of an arse...
But the fight goes on and Andrew Neil’s spirit will still stalk the corridors of power. Political discourse may have lost one of the few people keeping it grounded, but there are plenty of we amateurs on social media. Keep taking the piss, keep knocking them off their lofty pedestals. Before we can clean up politics we need to sling a whole lot more mud.
Wednesday, 17 July 2019
Ursula von der Leyen has, as expected, been shooed into the position of EU Commission President by the faux democratic process of voting, from a shortlist of candidates including herself and… er, herself. The result has been loudly touted as 52% to 48%, mirroring the Brexit referendum and therefore as equally valid. After all, sayeth the righteous remoaners, if 52% is an ‘overwhelming majority’ (something leavers have never actually claimed) why all the belly-aching?
Why? Well it’s as if Keith Vaz were to chair the committee for standards in public life for some time after the cocaine-fuelled rent-boy episode. Or as if renowned anti-white racist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown were to appear on our televisions almost every day to berate us for our skin colour. Or – and you’ll have to admit this is something of a stretch – as if unelected advisors were given titles so that they could take seats in the House of Lords and thereby bypass the election procedure and end up being cabinet members.
It’s all a question of legitimacy and the Brexit Party, among others, are in the EU Parliament precisely to try and open your eyes to what is really happening. To suggest that a disgraced German politician – under investigation for insider dealings in defence contracting – and utterly unknown outside her home country is a fit person to lead the commission is risible at best, sinister if you tend towards darker imaginings.
“But she was voted for!” They cry. Narrowly, yes. But no alternative was given. This wasn’t a contest, it was a rubber-stamping exercise, exactly as Nigel Farage has been saying for years. The majority of MEPs in the chamber are paid up EU devotees and yet they only just managed to get sufficient ‘yeas’ to pass the appointment. But where were they in the selection process? Where were the Euro-hustings allowing the ruled to see who would rule over them? Where were the preliminary voting rounds?
“How did Farage get to be leader of the Brexit Party, then?” they demand, “That’s exactly the same thing!” Is it? Did the BP suddenly take over the country? Is Farage the Prime Minister, or is he, in fact, simply the very popular leader of a party he founded? It is normal, indeed it is healthy, to question nepotism, secret committee selections, graft, corruption and abnormal voting outcomes. It is right to question polls limited to specific cohorts. And it is also right to question the current Tory Party system, but at least its members have had a say and all the selections have been highly public; embarrassingly so.
But the closed-door shenanigans of the EU’s ruling elite are not properly held to account. They aren’t even properly held to the light. This is the entire point of Brexit. We have enough trouble being informed of the intentions, the motives, the reliability of our own, usually directly elected ‘representatives’. But how can we be represented by people we have never heard of, who often come with political or even criminal baggage and over whom we have no power to deselect?
Me? My, what a surpise!
At a time when more transparency is being demanded here at home; when higher standards are being demanded of our governors; when people are demanding a greater say in how our country is run; it is ludicrous for those who shout “Who funds you?” at Nigel Farage to be cheering on the farce of this ‘election’. There have always been crooks and low-lifes in positions of power, but why should we stand for a system in which this is not a regrettable exception, but an entry requirement?
Monday, 15 July 2019
A stitch in time saves nine, they say and how wise they were. I have been spending my annual leave fixing up the house and as with all such projects you realise, too late, how a little regular maintenance can avoid wholesale refurbishment. As you strip back the layers of emergency patching you eventually reach the point where the rot began and belatedly begin to put the underlying structure straight. It takes far more effort than it should, costs way more than if the damage hadn’t been just concealed, but ultimately makes a home fit for the future.
During the week it has struck me what an apt metaphor for our country this is. When the great liberalisation of society began, the minority voices agitating for change were relatively small; a drip-drip-drip of barely acknowledged protest which was ignored for years. But as ‘people power’ grew and the ability to promulgate your grievances far and wide meant that more suggestible, recruitable people heard the calls, change gradually came about. The criminalised became legal, the marginalised mainstream. These were durable patches and they kept out the rain.
But underneath all of that, the foundations supporting the whole edifice were beginning to crumble. The rod was spared and the child spoiled rather more often than was just and necessary. The desire for government to represent the make-up of the people was accelerated and its champions were recklessly vindicated as brick after brick began to spall and was left to crumble, the cracks painted over and a fresh coat of bright, vibrant diversity applied. And as one house flouted the planning rules, others followed suit. The rainbow squat, held together by gaudy paint and the flimsy glue of peace and love, maaan, became the norm, rather than the mildly tolerated exception.
Uneasy at the rapid change the authorities pointed to neighbouring countries and implied that not to follow where they led was a mistake. In fact, they decided, we should go further. If gimcrack shanty towns were good enough for the French, they said, it would be xenophobic to demand we restricted the rate of change and insisted we lead the charge instead. And when the cracks appeared? Why, they papered over them as well, with whatever inferior materials they had to hand.
If you build a shed on uncertain footings and weatherproof it with wallpaper it will soon disappear into the mud when the rains come. But a shed is a simple and not too costly matter to replace, wholesale. You may have lost some of what you kept in it and you may have had to endure the ribbing from your wiser neighbours, but build it back, properly and harmony will return. But how do you set about rebuilding the whole street, town, city... country?
We're going to need more gaffer tape...
For those hard of comprehension this is, of course, an allegory, a somewhat tortured metaphor for the current and future state of our civilisation. While the Gilets Noirs run riot in Paris, while millions agitate for supranational control of our ability to keep our own house in order, while anti-democratic movements demand that borders be broken down and the rule of law be misapplied to allow it, some of us – hopefully more of us each day – see that it cannot continue. The rain is coming and we are far from ready.
Wednesday, 10 July 2019
Oh, the old globalist conspiracy reared its head again recently, although I expect the job of the conspiracy theorists is never just part time; more of a mission than a one night stand. The ‘global elite’ goes the trope, seek to keep us in poverty. Really, they seek to keep us in poverty do they; why would they do that? Surely they would be far better elite global conspiracists if they sought to make us just wealthy enough that we don’t whine about it and dangled just enough gewgaws in our acquisitive little faces that we kept recycling that wealth and in the process made themselves all the richer still.
But such logic can never surface above the film of envy which cloaks every leftists manifesto for their perfect world, filled with perfect humans who never want more than they need. But think about it, really, if your serfs are happy and fed they are less likely to agitate too strongly for change. What would and does make all of us poorer, however, is an insistence on a nebulous, unobtainable ‘equality’ which seeks to restrict those who do better and advance those who don’t. When every little setback is given its own special place in the pantheon of grievance we end up punishing thrift and rewarding indolence and fraud.
Conspiracy? We don’t need conspiracy when so many people have brains hard-wired to see injustice and conclude, therefore, it must be Tory injustice. People being killed off by austerity? Deliberate policies to punish people for falling ill? Seriously, you think that Tories (spit that word, son, spit it) actually, deliberately, wish to cause people harm? Wish to push people into needing expensive treatment which they then deny them? How sick must your mind be to come up with stuff like that? And in any case it’s what you would denigrate as ‘Tory types’ who will foot the bill; it always is. (And you can bet it isn’t Tories who are currently defrauding universal credit recipients to the tune of millions.)
If you want a simpler theory, here’s the evolution-versus-divine-creation comparison: What if making everybody wealthier made the rich wealthier still? What if, people actually having money to spend better serves the globalist ambitions than keeping them in poverty? Steal from people and soon they have nothing left to steal [give a man a fish]. Or allow people to amass spending power of their own and let them buy stuff from you forever [teach him to fish]. Which is the more likely? Which is the least trouble? Which of them requires the least amount of collusion and contorted conspiracy?
Meanwhile we keep on researching poverty and in doing so introduce ever more measures to tell people how badly done by they are when we should be explaining to them how to best participate in the only economic model that has ever really worked – western capitalism - a system in which output has increased 100-fold, work days have been halved and lifespans doubled in the last two hundred years. But all this is wasted on those who would rather wallow in grievance and believe the world is set against them. Now, excuse me, as I must go and skin another poor person for the pot.