Tuesday 31 May 2016
The Mediterranean migrant scramble comes closer to home as a bunch of Albanians being ferried across the Channel by a pair of British racketeers is rescued by the coastguard and the RNLI. A boat is also found abandoned at Dymchurch, suspected of being used to transport illegal immigrants into the UK. Belatedly it is realised that alongside the deliberate running down of desperately needed armed forces, the government has been stealthily shedding coastal defence forces.
Once, you could spot a stranger to our shores; they stood out a mile. Exotic, exaggerated body language, a certain hirsute swarthiness... and that was just the women. Foreigners could live in Britain for years without ever becoming – or needing to become - British, although eventually the tamer ones could be taught to queue and apologise when complaining. There was always the accent though; it takes a lot to eradicate an accent. But now we don’t even have that to differentiate; in some parts of the country English itself is a minority language, but it’s racist to notice this.
So the Albanians can come ashore, waddle up to the DWP, get a National Insurance number and disappear into the system. And if they can do it, you can bet the ones who have managed to scramble this far from North Africa to set up camp in Calais can do it. In May-June 1940 we sent a fleet of ‘little ships’ to Dunkirk to evacuate hundreds of thousands of allied troops... this year’s re-enactment is already under way and unless it is stopped it won’t be limited to a few days in the middle of the year. Albion is in danger of turning into Albania.
If ever there was a time to be Little Englanders it is surely now. We have referred to ‘the migrant crisis’ as if were something to be handled at arm’s length by unseen officials but when boatloads of illegals start appearing on your nearest beach surely we have to start calling it by name. Yes, pull up that drawbridge and stand by to repel the invaders. In the week that we commemorate the Battle of Jutland it is apt that we remind ourselves of our island situation. Brexiteers have been accused of being isolationists; right now that seems like a bloody good idea.
Barbarians at the beach...
So, dig out your Home Guard arm bands, grab a pitchfork and lantern and a pair of binoculars and prepare to defend those beaches. (Although, be careful to wear high-vis, appropriate footwear and wrap up warm – health and safety, you know.) We need to act like a sovereign nation and defend our hard-won liberties against the tide of threats our supposed leaders have failed to deter. The EU is not our friend, it seems it never has been, and our own politicians have shown themselves to be gutless, craven lackeys. If we don’t take back control then when Europe needs us again (as surely they will) instead of a powerful ally, we will just be yet another national eunuch. Jackie Fisher and John Jellicoe are watching...
Monday 30 May 2016
Immigration at record levels? Boo say some, but Yay say others; what’s a person to think? That seems to depend entirely on which tribe you belong to. The pragmatic tribe think we should control who comes to our country and who should be allowed to reside here, study here or work here. It appears to be a quite simple equation – insufficient builders in Britain right now? Then allow qualified tradespeople to work here for as long as we need them. But, automatic right to citizenship? That is a wholly different matter. The fundamental principle of trade has always been that goods, labour or gold are exchanged for gold, goods, or labour; the deal struck is up to the participants.
But unchecked capitalism, they say, is an evil which must be brought to heel and made a slave of the state, so somewhere along the line the serfs rose up, overthrew their despotic masters and set upon a path to a more enlightened world of cooperation and mutual benefit... in theory at least. Unfortunately power cares not how it rules; it just so happens that apparent kindness is a more cunning guise than dynastic monarchy, military might or mere monetary supremacy. Socialism is just another religion which promises that the meek will inherit the earth but never explains what they should do with it.
So back to the immigration which is the hot political potato du jour; how do we deal with it? It’s fine, say the converted: More labour = more production = higher GDP = increased wealth and everybody benefits. Ah, but wait, increased labour supply decreases wages which means more consumers are needed to absorb what is produced, thus lower per capita spending to reflect lower wages per head... So while the headline production is up (MOAR Tractors, comrades!) productivity is down; we are all a little bit poorer. All, that is, except those with means who are automatically relatively wealthier as prices dip.
As population increases at a rate that cannot be accommodated quickly – that is unnatural expansion by immigration, as opposed to entirely organic expansion by birth-rate - yet more spending is needed for infrastructure such as hospitals and schools and roads and railways and energy and of course, the homes to house the millions. Estimates of 250-300,000 new houses a year were made when the government was still peddling their ‘tens-of-thousands’ fantasy. But where is the money going to come from? And the labour? Allowing unchecked immigration in the hope that we will eventually reach some happy equilibrium is much like spending all your spare cash on scratch cards.
(I feel I should be typing all this very slowly for the hard of thinking... )
But it is worse than just the economics; there is the social cost of diversity to deal with as well. (Are we still calling it diversity? I know that multiculturalism is now laughed out of court. Should it be ‘vibrancy’ now? I lose track of which words are on the banned list.) As we usher in ever greater numbers of low-paid workers, they displace the previous generation who, if they haven’t climbed the ladder, will be propped up on welfare, possibly forever. Low wage earners find it impossible to provide for their pensions so are reliant entirely on the state. And enforced company pensions cost money, which is partly paid for by importing ever cheaper workers to produce slightly less per head than their predecessors...
It is a cycle so vicious that it generates resentment and xenophobia, which governments, unable to buy their silence, seek to quell by berating the displaced as racists and undesirables. The ordinary indigenous working man becomes a pariah in the land he can no longer afford to live in. Luckily, there is a ‘solution’. If a non-working benefit bunny can be persuaded that he can live like a king in Romania on a UK state benefit the irritating and unhelpful, non-productive British population can simply be replaced by nice, smiling, malleable new citizens, ideally ‘vibrant’ ones. No wonder western governments want the EU to prevail; soon enough the troublesome white Europeans may disappear forever, displaced to the poor eastern states.
Obviously, the previous batch of low-paid immigrants will lose out to newer, more desperate immigrants, but it’s okay, we have a benefits system and now they are here they have every right to stay. As we run out of European-born immigrants we will turn more and more to African born, dirt-poor slaves and import them in such numbers that Western Europe will eventually resemble Somalia. But by then will there exist a single person that even realises it, let alone cares?
Meet the new neighbours...
If this is what you want, fine, go for it. But if it isn’t there may be a small price to pay. Surely though, being a little bit poorer as a country – and for most individuals the changes will be insignificant if they are even noticed at all – has to be better than to be wholly governed by an ideologically driven, unimpeachable council of ex-communists intent on micro-managing every aspect of our lives. Any future ‘reform’ of the EU will only reform it quicker in the direction it is intending to go. And that is a road I just don’t want to travel. What does Brexit look like? A whole lot better than the alternative...
Friday 27 May 2016
After the recent revelations about the British Medical Association and the very political ambitions behind the recent junior doctors’ strike the warring sides are now back around the table and the fuss and furore has died down... for now. Of course, strikes are never far away and the French unions, seizing their moment while Europe is distracted by the migrant crisis, the ‘rise of the right’ a possible Brexit and all those shenanigans, are lurching shambolically to the left and bringing the country to a standstill. There is actually such a thing in France as ‘Strike Season’, the disputes neatly timed to resolve themselves just in time for summer holibobs. They are so much better at this holding the country to ransom shit than we are.
Anyway, it’s business as usual in Britain’s hospitals and the wards are busily buzzing away with the labour of tending to the lame and halt. Surgeries are back to prescribing ineffective antibiotics for imaginary ailments and all manner of patches and poultices are being applied to every bodily appendage and orifice. The operating theatres are gradually getting back on track and theatre staff are regaining their playful nature. During one tea break a group of surgeons tale to discussing their favourite type of patient.
"I like accountants” says one, “because inside, it’s like reading a well-kept and tidy ledger. Plus everything is arranged in alphabetical order." The assembly then join in, imagining such a thing: appendix, colon, duodenum, heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, spleen, stomach and so forth. All agree that this might be a slightly impractical set-up, especially given the poor spelling and notoriously atrocious handwriting of doctors. There has to be a better way.
“Well, I like librarians” says a second, “because all of their organs are arranged using the Dewey Decimal System." They all nod; this seems like a far better way, grouping all the bits and bobs according to function and they happily devise their own version whereby the intestinal tract is neatly accessed by one handy incision and the cardio-vascular system by another. But far from gaining universal approval there is still the knotty problem of reading numbers when everything is covered in blood and iodine.
“Electricians” declares a third. “Inside every electrician, everything is neatly colour coded. You can’t really go wrong. Yes, electricians have the easiest bodies to work on.” No reading, no worrying about alphabetising, no numbers to accidentally go back in the wrong order and everything ordered by a system even a child could understand. One surgeon piped up: “But what about the colour-blind?” Stumped again.
The discussion faltered for moment and small talk began to break out until one suddenly said, “I have it. The perfect body to work on would surely be a politician’s.” The responses were somewhat less than charitable as they began to imagine what they would like to do should they find Jeremy Hunt under the knife. “No, no, no” said the originator of the idea, “what I meant was, they would be simple to operate on because they are heartless, gutless and spineless... the elbow and arse are interchangeable and it doesn't matter what you do with the brain as no use for it has ever been found."
Thursday 26 May 2016
It’s hard to imagine how much lower the Remain campaign can sink after the ‘white thug’ poster, the clear implication being that if you vote to leave you must be an under-educated, unemployable white racist and only the combined forces of loveliness – see the sweet white-haired Asian lady – can thwart the evil demons of darkness. I only hope the Leave flag-wavers don’t continue down the undignified road of tit-for-twat insult exchange the referendum has become. This isn’t about what type of people we are, it’s about who owns us and whether we can do anything about it.
They say what’s yours is yours, but that’s true only as long as you can hold onto it. Die intestate and the crown will gleefully pick through your belongings. Even alive ‘your’ land can be repossessed by the state at will, for that new bypass or stadium or HS2. Keep your money in a bank and the government can dip into it whenever they wish; some western governments already have. Hide the loot under your bed and inflation will gradually erode its worth – although with Japan trialling negative interest rates, stuffing your mattress might yet be a good idea. But don’t hoard Euros – who knows what that will be worth in a year – go for dollars or better yet, gold.
The world is falling apart – South America appears to be fucked – Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina all riddled with corruption and dysfunctional government. Europe is struggling with immigration and identity crises and the popular ‘far right’ is feared by the commissioners who have decided to give themselves the power to ignore any democratically elected administrations they deem not to hold the views of the European dream. In America, Donald Trump, supported by many millions, is regularly harangued as some kind of Nazi. And meanwhile everywhere the rise of islam continues unchecked and largely ignored except by the howling voices of the Nazi-like, ‘anti-Nazis’. The BBC documentary about white flight from the East End only added more hateful grist to their perpetual milling.
So, who do you trust? Post Referendum Day, in or out, one thing won’t have changed – ‘they’ are not on your side. If anybody is expecting anything to be settled they will be sorely disappointed. The state will continue to increase its costs and the burden will continue to fall on the same shoulders. The NHS will remain in permanent crisis and we will lurch from one hated Parliament to the next. There can probably be no such thing as British independence any more; as a nation we are already history. There seems to be only one solution; take matters into your own hands and look after yourself.
Holidays will cost more? Take fewer holidays; the annual jetting off to the sun is a recent and unnecessary indulgence and often causes more strife than staying at home. Energy costs up and supplies uncertain? Learn to rely less on the certainty of cheap fuel; put on a jumper, walk to work if you can and turn the bloody lights off. Food prices rising? You already spend far too much on processed stuff that’s full of sugar; buy fresh, stop filling the fridge with anytime snacks and lose a few pounds of flab, fatty.
If we can’t control who governs us – and the evidence all points that way – we should learn to rely less on that government and more on ourselves. Stand on your own two feet and be as self- sufficient as you possibly can; see how liberating that feels. Live within your own means and don’t expect anybody to top up those means; if you ‘need’ those tax credits and fear their loss the government has you where it wants you. Stop thinking the government is on your side – it is on nobody’s side but government. So, come the big day, vote whichever way you wish, it will probably make little difference. But do yourself and your family a favour; if we can’t free the country we might still have a chance of freeing ourselves.
Tuesday 24 May 2016
The ancients, in the absence of physics and Google, used superstition to explain their world. Playthings of mischievous and often vexatious gods, human leaders sought to ally themselves with higher powers and became easy prey to soothsayers who claimed insight and offered a tantalising glimpse into the future. Not too precise, mind, nothing so specific it could ever be held up to detailed scrutiny. The perfect soothsayer would be akin to a modern-day PR practitioner, forever repeating back to the client what the client wants to hear yet appearing to remain impartially aloof and prophetic.
Eventually these high priests of doom wormed their way right to the top of society and became untouchable talismans and harbingers of continued dynastic supremacy. These days they go to Eton and become Chancellor of the Exchequer. And they use technology instead of crystal balls. The government has once again used your money and the machinery of state (which is supposed to serve you) to dole out another helping of thin, cold, fearful Brexit gruel. Using models approved by those people who approve of such things, they have fed in selective data and come up with projections in the time honoured fashion of any proud pseudo-scientist.
Now, real scientists and engineers have used computer models for years; models based on hard, known repeatable facts, such as the properties of materials or chemical reactions or natural phenomena, such as gravity. Feed in the right numbers and you get accurate, reliable output; information which can predict with some certainty the amount of concrete needed to build that bridge and how many trucks it will hold. They can tell you when the sun will rise and set and predict eclipses hundreds of years in the future. Most importantly, computer models allow you to vary the inputs and see the consequences without spending a fortune getting it wrong.
But such powerful tools have to be carefully handled and a hard-learned lesson of early days is summed up by the acronym GIGO - garbage in, garbage out. The government guessing machine is now spewing out so much garbage it is beginning to attract rats and disease. Well, two can play at that game, to which end I have coded a special spreadsheet whose algorithms are arranged such that the desired outcomes are entered and the necessary inputs are reverse engineered to suit.
Thus, if I want to show global warming, it carefully selects from known information the required data sets to produce that conclusion, omitting any inconvenient truths such as this utterly normal May weather we’re having. Should I wish to forecast a reduction in migrant figures it points me at the most suitable year-on-year figures to compare. And if I want to demonstrate the absolute truth about what an existential disaster Brexit will bring, why I just tell the application to recreate 1978-1979, the famous year of discontent.
Government 'scientists' discover new 'facts'.
But David Cameron’s chickens may be coming home to roost as a new generation of John Major’s bastards renounce his ill-considered logic and defy his stance on the EU. For a fee I’m sure I could get my app to forecast his political survival. It might even be possible to select from the pile of evidence actions that exclude the current finagling and misuse of the instruments of state. I could turn his forecast DIY recession into a DIY vote of confidence. But I fear there is only so much bullshit any system can take.
Monday 23 May 2016
Ah, happy is the potter at his wheel, especially so given that none but Potters may ply his trade. ‘Oh, wonder!’ As the famous Bard of Brussels once wrote, ‘How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in ’t!’ And apt it is to remember Guillaume Shakespeare as today we celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Luvvies’ Revolt. Until their brave intervention there was a risk that the savages who sought to tear our union asunder might prevail but once the noble heroes of stage and screen stiffened their sinews, we were saved.
Many mistook the aims of the EU, thinking it a malign perversion of our rights to self-determination. Far from it, in fact the opposite, as you now have total self-determination from birth – your birth name dictates the guild to which you belong and to which you are enrolled even as you take your first breath. Now, thanks to the progressive policies of Europa our jobs are saved forever. As the great man also wrote ‘That which we call a rose, by any other name would never smell so sweet.’ Were it not for the pioneering Cumberbitches almost anybody would be able to get an Equity card. Instead, however, we have the certainty of protectionism taken to its logical conclusion. Only a true-born Dimbleby may dimble on the tellybox and only the Coogan clan may lampoon for profit. Talk about creative.
Once it was only the French who insisted that bread bakers must have degrees but soon enough this splendid notion had spread and the wholesale adoption of glorious closed-shop professionalism became commonplace across the European Union. With only twenty-eight members back then and with minimal influence on world trade it was essential that the union be enlarged as quickly as possible. Were it not for the intervention of the thespians and their band of light-footed lovelies Europa may have been limited to only the old European continent, instead of reaching out to touch our immediate neighbours in New Imperial China and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Your name is truly your fortune and everybody is happier for that. The Potters, as previously mentioned, obviously, but also the Carpenters, Smiths and Taylors wear their jobs with pride. Naturally, some older names have been lost – not much call for Wrights and Coopers any more, but there has been a boom in Deed Poll conversions and marriages of convenience to attain treasured appellations such as Banker, Financier and the splendid multi-barrelled Climate-Change-Scientist and Social-Justice-Warrior.
But birthrights in some professions are sacrosanct and nominative determinism is jealously protected in law; only a Camerosborne may vote in council on behalf of Brexile Island where political dissidents are re-educated and of course only a Kinnock or a Blair can ever take the presidency of the whole union. Keep Europe European, they said as they rose as one to support the legendary Kapoor, who prophetically proclaimed ‘Europe or death!’ Ironically, as it turned out, for on this septic Brexile Island, you can have both.
Friday 20 May 2016
The latest referendum polls showed little change and the government, having decided to campaign for the continued servility of the British economic machine to the puppet masters of Brussels, decided to hold a summit to assess the way forward. After all, their future EU commissioner jobs were at stake here. Around the table various strategies were discussed and a plan of sorts began to come together. But given the exposure of some high profile figures to the enhanced scrutiny of the public gaze they were struggling to come up with a strong enough character to lead the final push.
“It’s as if we are like the components of one body” said David Cameron, “all working in concert to keep this thing viable...” adding, for no reason other than it was expected, “...going forward.” He then went on to propose that all around the cabinet table compared themselves to a vital organ as a means of explaining how they fitted into the whole and how they would bring new insights to appeal to the undecided voter.
"I should be in charge," said Sajid Javid “I am like the brains and that, because of all the things what I know. I used this knowledge to rise from being the son of a bus driver to be like what I am now. And where I am now and that. As the brain I run all the body's systems, so without me nothing would happen, innit." The cabinet nodded, unconvinced.
The resident of No.11 stood to address the assembly. "I should be in charge," said George Osborne. “Money is like the blood of the economy and I am the heart of the operation. Without me, circulating life-giving blood – by which I mean money, of course – all your other functions would waste away. The heart is the most important organ.”
"I should be in charge," said Liz Truss. “As Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, I am like the stomach. My department preserves the life-giving environment so we can grow the food which the stomach processes to give you all energy. Without that energy the blood is no good and the brain would be starved." Murmurs went around the table; she had a point.
Patrick McLoughlin cut in: "I should be in charge," he said. “As Transport Minister I am like the legs and I carry the body wherever it needs to go." Another good point, the murmurs suggested. Then, "I am the eyes," said the Theresa May, "I send out my security forces and I see everything. Without the eyes the body wouldn’t be able to see where it is going.” A flurry of others added their own bids, until a cough was heard from the head of the table. David Cameron was ready to speak again.
“You are all forgetting the rectum.” He said. “The rectum is the most powerful.” The cabinet laughed, nervously. “As the rectum, I am responsible for waste removal – I get rid of those we don’t need." Everybody fell silent and for a few seconds nobody dared breathe. “If I choose to shut down, within a few days the stomach will bloat, the brain will get headaches, the legs will wobble, they eyes will blur and the blood will become toxic.” In a unanimous vote it was confirmed he would lead the charge.
The arsehole of Europe?
The Moral of this story? No matter who does all the work and no matter how much effort they put in it is always the arsehole who is charge.
Thursday 19 May 2016
In life, we are told, we get out only as much as we put in. We are fed life-affirming aphorisms in a steady drip, drip, drip, to keep us on the right and righteous path. You can be anything you want to be, if you put in the effort. Reach for the sky. Keep your nose clean. Work hard, play hard. To the victor, the spoils. And on it goes; do as you’re told, the world needs people who do as they’re told and of course, virtue is its own reward. Don’t you love that last one? No, you can’t have a pay rise, but keep up the good work for the sheer thrill of doing good work.
But of course it’s true; the human world thrives on the labours of those who go the extra mile. The volunteers, the perfectionists, those who do indeed find virtue in becoming so good at what they do that their financial remuneration is outstripped by the sheer satisfaction of being the best, in all walks of life. For those who can’t be the best there is still the warm glow of providing for your family, of standing on your own two feet. Or, of course, in our wonderful welfare universe, there is always the opportunity to stand on the feet of others.
Another old saying is that it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease and central to yesterday’s Queen’s speech was oiling a squeak that gets worse with every passing decade. That some people need to be removed from society can be without doubt. Serial violent offenders who will not or cannot reform obviously need to be prevented from pursuing their destructive patterns of behaviour. But what of the others; is jail time a suitable punishment for people who haven’t paid parking fines... or intemperate tweeters?
Is the answer soft prison, or as is being suggested part-time prison? Or turn-around prison where those who have resisted education thus far are force fed skills and knowledge that will get them work? Or iPad prison, which for some will be much the same as usual, whiling away the days watching YouTube and Snapchatting penis pictures to their future victims. Penal reform is a tough one because while nobody seriously disputes the value of rehabilitation it is yet another area where the reward isn’t for endeavour but for displaying contempt.
Work hard at school, go on to college, get qualified, get a job, graft, improve and then spend your life getting by; you’re on your own, mate. But play truant, misbehave, stay in bed, get high and go on the rob to feed your selfish cravings and society diverts ever greater resources in your direction. Resources that could be used to educate the next generation, tend to the sick and pension off the workers end up being consumed by a relatively small population who couldn’t or wouldn’t play by the rules. Again.
Once outside the prison system, the life chances of ex-convicts are poor in the extreme, so it’s little wonder so many become recidivists; they just bounce endlessly between welfare and Wormwood Scrubs. This is what Australia was once for but that avenue is now closed to us. Sadly, the taking classes are also more prolific breeders than the paying classes, so unless real solutions are found this is a problem which can only get worse. Do we pour more good resources after bad, or get more radical with the deterrent?
Yesterday in Parliament...
Punishment is absolutely necessary – prison shouldn’t be a never-ending round of second chances – but in a world where blatant dishonesty pays so well (look no further than pocket-lining politicians for an example) some may feel a few months of incarceration is a small price to pay and soft punishments a slap in the face for the taxpayer. At the heart of penal reform should be the question of exactly what type of behaviour we wish to encourage.
Wednesday 18 May 2016
People don’t seem to wear watches so much these days – relying instead on their smart phones to tell them what time it is, where they are, who their friends are and no doubt before long when to breathe in and out. But back in the day, my day, every boy’s birthday wish was for a simple wristwatch. So when I got my first Timex I was over the moon. Be careful what you wish for, they say, because from that day on I could never again use the excuse that I didn’t know what time it was. Playing out, roaming far and wide, extending our ridiculously early bedtime was easily done in those long summer days... until that accursed timepiece attached itself to my wrist forever. I still wear one today.
One day, wanting to stay out late, a friend and I both put back our watches an hour and we tried, independently and equally unsuccessfully, to convince our furious parents that said watches had stopped and had to be rewound. Our mothers didn’t believe a word of it because unlike us they had been there before and knew the drill. We’ve all done it. We’ve fucked up and covered up, or else we have used what we think are harmless lies to avoid something. The invented work event to duck out of a family occasion. The invented family occasion to sidestep a work event; it works just so long as PR don’t make a note of Aunty Madge’s multiple funerals.
Out of kindness we tell the kids that the dog went off to live on a farm; the truth can be brutal and unnecessary. So if we are generous we have to give the increasingly fiery-panted David Cameron the benefit of the doubt and assume that his barefaced lies, confections and fabrications are because he genuinely believes that we would all be better off staying in the European Union. The alternative view is unpleasant. The nice Mr Cameron sugaring the bitter pill, or the cynical lying sell-out, feathering the nests of big business?
But there is lying to avoid unpleasantness and to sell an otherwise benign proposition and there is the barrage of increasingly desperate and shrill pronouncements about the insanity and ugliness of the Leave lobby. Yesterday’s unedifying spectacle was an old man, still consumed by his thwarted ambition to sit at the head of government, labelling a lead Leave campaigner as mentally unstable. He managed to avoid the phrase ‘fruitcake, loony and closet racist’ but only barely; a constant theme of the Remainders has been to try and brand their opposition as unhinged.
They're all mad!
With a few exceptions, however, the passion for leaving has been stated with humour and optimism and a sense of national destiny that is compelling. Almost all of the rejectionist talk has been on the Remain side, usually aimed at discrediting the motives of Leave. Now that the personal attacks are on the rise it is to be hoped that Boris and co keep their language temperate and their debate impersonal; leave the spitting hatred to the Remainians, to whom it seems to come naturally. If you do still wear a watch these days you will be more aware than most that the clock is ticking and every second counts.
Tuesday 17 May 2016
The noted historian Tristram Hunt was Labour’s Shadow Education Minister until he was ousted by the Corbynite revolution. Son of a Labour life peer, educated at an independent school and Cambridge and later, after a spell at the University of Chicago, returning to Cambridge to gain his doctorate, Doctor Hunt was a shoo-in for opposition education matters; having spent so much time in academia he clearly understands the schooling needs of ordinary inner-city kids like himself. Truly a man of the people.
In a new book, previewed in an article in the Guardian which is known to be read by all grass roots, working class, horny-handed sons of toil, he manages to simultaneously explain why he thinks he understands the hearts and minds of former Labour voters and demonstrate that he simply doesn’t understand the hearts and minds of former Labour voters. It is an academic attempt to explain a wholly visceral thing, a sense of belonging, of shared struggle and ultimately betrayal by a party they simply don’t recognise any more.
In tune with the concerns of England flag flying white van men everywhere he writes: "Of course, the 2015 election had a particular English dynamic in the aftermath of the Scottish referendum. As the only credibly British party, Labour was subjected to a ruthless tag-team effort by David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon that pitted each as the protector of the English and Scottish nation. Scottish voters were told we would sell them out to the Tories, and in England we would sell them out to the Nats. And it cut through: too many traditional Labour voters felt that the party was embarrassed to fight for England’s interests."
Really Tristram, you think the voters you abandoned thought that deeply about it? And you still thought Labor was credible? Hunt is emblematic of the difficulty Labour has in reaching its former guaranteed voters because, try as he might to analyse the situation, the principle problem is that Labour is no longer a party of the people - it hasn’t been for a good couple of decades. And no matter how much they believe they are for the people they are so far divorced from being by the people they may as well be the Champagne Socialists they are perceived to be.
Hunt, despite trying to show he cares, nevertheless handles ‘Englishness’ by his outstretched thumb and forefinger, his other hand holding his nose. He is prepared to tolerate the smell, he seems to suggest, if that is what it takes for the little people to vote for him. Corbyn holds more appeal, simply by being a Neolithic throwback to the bad old days of flying pickets and wildcat strikes, when jobs, not benefits or houses were at stake and they had the strength to force an employer’s hand. Today’s Labour’s activists seem to operate at arm’s length from the people whose votes they want but whose hand they disdain to shake.
It is widely believed that to shore up dwindling support they imported a new bloc vote and flooded the country with reliable claiming-class voters. But these votes came with the baggage that must not be named. As a consequence we now have the phenomenon of the illegal schools revealed by Ofsted. But still Labour cannot bring itself to take the blame. Current Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Lucy Powell, yesterday denounced the Tories for not spotting the so-called jihadi schools sooner. But at least the current administration actually bothered to investigate.
The happiest days of your life?
Ed Miliband was fond of saying that the Tories ‘don’t get it’. To a Labour Party struggling to find out where it went wrong and wondering why it no longer connects to its traditional voting base, the Tristram Hunt article will no doubt be read with knowing nods and much beard-stroking. But academic pontificating will get Labour nowhere until it admits to and truly understands a situation of its own making, which can be summed up in a single unpalatable word; Rotherham.
Monday 16 May 2016
During a nowadays rare afternoon of gossip and chatter with my parents and sister the conversation – as it inevitably must do – turned to reminiscing about our growing up in the dark days before the EU made all our lives so much better. I should explain here, for anybody of a pro-EU or leftist disposition that the conclusion of the foregoing sentence is intended to be ironic. We marched about the playground as infants chanting rhymes about how we’d won the war (‘in 1944’ – close enough for kids) and spent our out-of-school time adventurously not being fiddled with by rapists and nonces as we got on with the business of growing up without the aid of twenty-four-seven parental supervision.
If anybody had used the ridiculous word ‘parenting’ they would have been laughed out of court and equally laughable would have been the notion that England needed the permission of Europe to do anything at all. English people actually called themselves English back then and ‘the UK’ was only ever heard in news bulletins and hardly ever abbreviated. We knew we were British by birth and grateful for it and all around us this sense of nation was reinforced by the names of our industries. British Steel, British Rail, British Leyland, British Overseas Airways Corporation, British Thornton... British Home Stores
We played British Bulldog and we knew that ‘being British’ about something meant being fair, accepting defeat with good grace and triumph without gloating. Hell we even won the World Cup... an event we may have mentioned once or twice since. But that little gloat-worthy triumph was pretty much the exception that proved the rule. We didn’t know then that even the adjective ‘British’ was in trouble and that all to which it referred was in decline. During the seventies, it seemed, the rot really set in and the anti-nationalism movement began to gain ground.
People wanted to abandon our heritage and abandon our future as an independent nation state for some glorious socialist utopia of cooperation and friendship and could not – or would not – see how that was possible so long as individual countries continued to exist. So set about a long term, supra-governmental process of dismantling all that was British. Far from being steadfast adventurers for King and Country our empire and all who engaged in it were decreed evil and our history began to turn sour; to demoralise a people today, repeatedly shout about a disgraceful past. Stop conforming to norms of family and responsibility and let it all hang out. And teach that everything not British is better than everything British.
Cameron has said that leaving the EU will damage foreign investment in UK infrastructure, but isn’t this exactly the problem? Why are any of our essential services in the hands of foreign investors at all? We can’t even build a power station without involving people whose allegiance is elsewhere. Another doom-laden prophecy is that foreign owners of notionally ‘British’ property will leave and prices will slump. How terrible, that a nation may have to live within its own means and that its people may be able to buy houses!
An Englishman’s home was said to be his castle and one of our past dreams was for us to become a property-owning democracy, yet today if you throw a stone anywhere in London it will almost certainly land in foreign territory. And nobody challenges this? Those expensive, subsidised white elephant wind farms? Who do those belong to? Not us. And who owns ‘our’ shipping lines, ‘our’ ports, ‘our’ manufacturers? About the only thing that’s British any more is Bake Off...
We no longer have the confidence to stand alone, as we managed to do for so very long and we have bought the lie that we can’t access global trade without being absorbed into a bloc, without becoming another indistinguishable region ordered by a faceless and unaccountable bureaucracy. No longer do we stand up for the underdog; instead we are bullied by minorities to keep our racist mouths shut. Our governments have allowed a soft invasion of ideologies and cultures to eradicate what we once were. Britain no longer has a well-shaped identity and Tommy Atkins is morphing into Johnny Foreigner. It is almost as if we are becoming... European.
Friday 13 May 2016
Thursday 12 May 2016
It’s a curious thing, physics. And unlike fickle humanity it tends to stick to the rules. Rules such as: you can’t get more work out than you put in, no matter how much interviewed footballers believe otherwise. Then there’s the Newtonian tendency for things to carry on doing what they were doing unless external forces act on them. And in thermodynamics, as Flanders and Swann so succinctly opined, ‘heat can’t pass from a cooler to a hotter’. (‘You can try it if you like, but you’d far better notter!’) So when it comes to boiling a kettle even the mighty EU is not in a position to alter some basic facts.
By way of illustration let’s take tea. Regardless of whatever you may wish to believe, it takes the same amount of energy to boil your water, every time, assuming the same volume, starting temperature and pressure. So, if your fast-boil, three kilowatt kettle takes three minutes to boil a litre of water, a simple calculation will tell you that a two kilowatt kettle will take half as long again, cost you the same and save the planet not one single gram’s-worth of carbon footprint. Plus there’s a chance you’ll get bored, wander off, forget about it then have to re-boil it ten minutes later when you realise you’ve sat down to Corrie without a cuppa.
Kettles, toasters, cookers... if the EU gets its bizarre, controlling, micro-wave-managing way everything will take longer; it’s almost as if they’ve listened to a fifteen-year old ‘climate scientist’ driven by idealism above reality, rather than real engineers and scientists and people who can actually distinguish their arse from the pointy joint in the middle of their arms. Given the parlous state of education and the increased emphasis on not stressing out the kids it will only be a matter of time before voters really will believe anything. I’m pretty sure that the meddlesome ideas factory that is the EU plutocracy isn’t short of raw material but just in case, I have come up with some schemes that may help.
Obviously, the planet desperately needs our help and gas-guzzling cars and trucks must be phased out forthwith. Henceforth no vehicles delivering less than 100 miles-per-gallon will be permitted to be manufactured. To combat light pollution, inside as well as out, no lights emitting more than 50 lumens (that’s physics for ‘fuck-all’) will be available for sale. Music systems will be limited to a maximum 5 Watts rms per channel and to save on space heating costs, room heights will be lowered to 2m. If this means breeding shorter people with enormous eyes and ears this is surely a small price to pay.
To assist in our low-energy future, gravity will be turned down by 20% so that all lifting mechanisms will need to do less work and daylight hours will be steadily increased to help with the light-saving initiative. Also, all roads will be levelled, or run slightly downhill in order that road and rail transport becomes more efficient and – possibly the greatest boon to our green credentials – every industry will be relocated as far away as possible from the EU region that our local pollution output will be reduced to near-zero.
The New EU Physics Textbook
Left to the EU and its equally tenuous grasp on all things rooted in reality including economics, nothing will ever again be made in the great trade bloc and somehow its teeming millions will survive on near-zero energy consumption and fallacious financials. Feeding the five thousand? Feeding them bullshit, it seems. As the legendary Mr Scott had it, “Ye cannae change the laws of physics, Captain!”
Wednesday 11 May 2016
Corruption. It’s everywhere. The potential for it is in all of us and the notion of the incorruptible official belongs in a fictitious past where the good guys always won and crime never paid. Britain once had at least the semblance of moral propriety, for a while, with its musty-suited quiet men of bureaucracy carefully oiling the mechanisms of state and making sure every detail was minutely attended to. The pride in a job done well, the thanks of a grateful nation, then retirement to a graceful and comfortable obscurity; the British public servant was once, whether true or not, the archetype for incorruptibility.
We, rightly, looked down our nose at upstart nations and dark, despotic strong-arm regimes for their ill-concealed enthralment to getting ahead at any price. ‘Government for sale’ we cried, ‘justice for all who can afford it’ and most important of all: if you are going to be bent, don’t flaunt it. It’s ‘just not British’. Nowadays we can’t even employ the phrase ‘Play the white man’ because: a) it’s racist and b) it’s just not true. The message we receive from the utterly corrupt, expenses-defrauding, gravy-train-riding chancers in Westminster is ‘lap it all up, boys, there is nothing they can do about it’.
And it’s true isn’t it? Whatever the ordinary British electorate finds issue with they have no voice in any forum which has the will to listen or the power to act. Whether it is the unfettered, economic suicide of importing unemployable, monocultural ghetto-dwellers or the BBC’s no-whites employment policy, the lack of housing, the forcing of senseless and damaging ‘green’ policies, the running down of our armed forces or the kow-towing to various vocal minorities while trampling on the free speech rights of the majority, the wishes of most of our citizens are ignored. Is it any wonder that conspiracy theories abound?
So it seems a little odd that David Cameron wants to talk about corruption, to actually draw attention to it. With an astonishing lack of self-awareness he glibly references the corruption of Johnny Foreigner yet ignores the stunning display of outright venality in every EU scare story. To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise, said Voltaire. In All The President’s Men, the informant Deep Throat said “Follow the money”. And in The Wire: "You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don't know where the fuck it's gonna take you". Few people on the ground floor of British society have never wondered who is really pulling the strings.
You don’t have to be crooked to be corrupted. Many of the problems of the last couple of decades have been caused by the deliberate corruption of minds, young and old to fly the flag for issues which affect so few people as to be irrelevant, yet somehow serve some purportedly noble aims. The human rights grievance and reparation industries have managed to successfully bushwack the national psyche and turn even the most level-headed into gender fluid intersectional warriors for social justice... to what end we can only speculate.
David Cameron's pants smoulder...
One thing is for certain and that is that western governments no longer even put up the pretence of serving their citizens. The circa fifty percent who appear to support them do so mostly out of a fading sense of loyalty; a default, rather than a conscious choice. The rest of us watch, aghast, as corruption as clear as any in Nigeria or Afghanistan sweeps democracy aside in favour of megalomanic, self-congratulatory power blocs. David Cameron wants to talk about corruption? I wonder who’s paying for it...
Tuesday 10 May 2016
In retrospect the Tony Blair story was an obvious hoax. What Blair story, you ask? A certain tinker who shall remain nameless (but he’s @B_4_Brad on Twitter) put it about that Tony Blair was relocating, lock stock and barrel to Saudi, a country with which we have no extradition treaty a few weeks before the release of the Chilcot Inquiry. It was too tempting and I fell for it but isn’t this just the way we humans react to information? Rashly, on impulse, based on imperfect or sometimes even fabricated stories posing as verité, especially when they appear to accord with our expectations.
In the US they refer to ‘low information voters’ when trying to discredit the functioning of democracy. If anything there are at least as many ‘too much information’ voters. We are bombarded with outright lies, half-truths, falsehoods, wishes, threats, dire predictions, hopes, dreams and conjecture, when what we crave are simple facts. But facts can mislead as supposedly neutral analysts supply their own differing interpretations of any and every dollop of statistically twisted news. How is the layman to make sense of all this?
It has to be the truth that anybody in politics has a mission of some sort and therefore their own favoured version of ‘the facts’ have to be seen though the fine sieve of scepticism. We also know that the EU has a significant – €Millions – public relations budget; they make no secret of this. (That is public relations spelled P-R-O-P-A-G-A-N-D-A, of course.) So what are we to make of EU-funded broadcasting services giving airtime to versions of a post-Brexit future so riddled with wank-fest, wet-dream Armageddon-inspired, holocaustically terminal death wishes that Satan himself might feel a little gored-out by it all?
Thus far, Britain leaving the EU is slated to become responsible for: more expensive roaming charges, the end of visa-free travel, the cessation of global trade, catastrophic climate change, world-wide financial meltdown and World War Three... and that is just in the last week. Leaving the EU will let Vladimir Putin and the forces of Mordor overrun the continent, torch its crops and make its rivers run with blood. The angel of death will take up permanent residence and Passchendaele will be remembered as a minor skirmish. Not bad for an insignificant island with no influence.
The amount of incredible bullshit spouting from the serried rows of gaping well-stuffed mouths is staggering. Rank after rank of collaborators – wealthy privateers, power-hungry bureaucrats, willing dupes; the greedy, the gullible and the fearful – are wheeled out to repeat dire predictions based on nothing but the very worst back-of-an-envelope calculations of doom. Where is the child in the crowd, asking why the Emperor is naked?
Against this onslaught of fanciful nonsense the Leave campaigners should not be tempted to react by throwing up their own downright lies or unsubstantiable invented ‘facts’. Instead honesty is the best possible policy. We should be saying no, we don’t know what the future holds, but neither do you. The Inners offer only a bleak appraisal of the negatives should we leave, whereas those who want to leave are hopeful of and will energetically strive for something rather better.
Look out, she's gonna blow!
Yes, it’s a hope, not a concrete fact, but it’s an honest hope, borne from a passionate belief in the endless possibilities for an independent, proud and ambitious nation; not the downtrodden fears of a timid, broken people. Don’t let David Cameron be remembered as a hero of the EU; let him and his rotten campaign be utterly forgotten. This level of soft treachery is undeserving of anything other than a minor footnote in history. Say No to the EU.
Monday 9 May 2016
Today is Europe’s annual celebration of the liberty and prosperity we enjoy thanks to the sacrifices of a generation of young heroes who when called were not found wanting. Men and women who put their country and their countrymen ahead of shallow personal ambitions and did the right thing. Europe was saved by their selfless devotions and Europe does not forget its debt; today, we celebrate Europe Day. On this national holiday, the millions of grateful survivors of the pre-EU era don European national dress and sing the glorious anthem of the republic of Europe: “Tomorrow Belongs To Me.” It has, of course, been translated from the original language into the European we all speak today.
As we gather together to remind ourselves of the gallant sacrifices made by people like David Cameron, Angela Merkel and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to bring peace to the world there will be events up and down the country. As well as the traditional beacon-lighting, originally begun to represent the abolishing of the old monarchies, there will be an attempt to link hands all the way from the border with Free-Scotland to the beaches of Azerbaijan. This is to mark the completion of the combined causeway and tidal energy system across what used to be called the English Channel; cut off from the motherland, the people of that land were once as rebellious and troublesome as the handful of Scots who survive today.
As something of an amateur historian I had been researching those dark days and I found – or at least I thought I had found – some evidence for a civilisation before the Europa Caliphate. It seemed that there once was another European day called VE Day celebrated by pure coincidence on the eve of our current national day. But that day has long been forgotten, along with the history of war and famine and disease it marked. Just as well, as it appears to have been a time of collective madness. This old photograph I found clearly shows this:
Filthy monocultural savages run riot...
As you can see, people in this ancient country – I hesitate to call it a civilisation – were all of the same ugly and malformed type and went about half-naked and drunk. Thankfully, the mandatory unigender burka has banished that problem forever. Also, they insisted on something called ‘democracy’ and claimed it as their right to do and say whatever they wished. They even entertained the notion that government should work for the people and not, as is so clearly correct, the other way round.
Luckily today we let our wise young people police our behaviour and last night I was correctly berated on EuroTwitter for hinting at my research. I now accept that I was wrong to try and look beyond the official history – there is nothing to be gained by bringing up the past. So now I will join with others of our great nation and rejoice in this wonderful day. Raise a glass of turnip juice, slaughter a lamb and salute the starry blue flag of peace!
Friday 6 May 2016
At the time of writing the outcome of the local and PCC elections were indeterminate with no clear winners fronting the field. Have the anti-Semitic revelations besetting Labour candidates up and down the country driven voters to the alternatives, including Red-Ukip? Have former Conservative backers, furious at Cameron’s pathetic attempt at EU ‘renegotiation’, defected to Blue-Ukip? Or did voters instead back their local, tribal causes and vote Plaid Cymru or Scots Nats or Cornish Seperatists... or just stay away in their droves?
And what of the outcome? With every spin doctor earning his unsavoury wage how are the news outlets actually reporting what ought, really, to be a simple numerical result? The charge of losing votes can of course be batted away as re-grouping, or settling old scores, or a failure on behalf of the electorate to grasp the enormity of the decision for which they cast their ballot. What’s in a word? What does ‘win’ really mean and who wants to pick up the greasy baton of responsibility? And does it really matter anyway?
Given the parlous state of our education system with children being frightened into exam-stress by parents objecting to what was once routine – we had weekly spelling tests and daily times-tables recitals back in the day – might there soon come a day when election results will need to be communicated in pictures only... or via the medium of interpretive dance? The political pantomime may become the Newsnight of the future.
One teacher, determined that her charges would escape the illiterate fate that awaits the unschooled, decided to up the ante by setting daily lexical challenges. One day she asked her students to use the word "fascinate" in a sentence. Swotty Mary shot her hand in the air and without waiting to be called said, "My family went to London Zoo, and we saw all the animals. It was fascinating." The other students dutifully clapped.
The teacher raise her hand and the clapping ceased – it’s all about the training. She said, "Yes Mary, that was good, but I really wanted the word ‘fascinate’ and that’s not what you said.” She urged the children to think hard and up their game; it was important to be precise. After a few moments, another little girl – it was always the girls, the teacher had noted, time and again – raised her hand. “Miss, the local elections were on yesterday and my dad stayed up all night to hear the results. He was fascinated.” Again applause and the teacher was quite impressed that Sally knew about the elections but standards must be upheld.
It's a trap!
“Quite good, Sally” she said “but you said ‘fascinated’ and we really wanted ‘fascinate’. Now, I wonder if the boys can help us out here. Michael? Simon?” The two boys squirmed under her gaze – what was it that made boys such unwilling students these days? Then Sweary Johnny from the council estate raised his hand. “Miss, miss!” he entreated. She looked around desperately for an alternative but no other hand was raised. With a nod, she assented and Johnny stood up to declare “My sister has a jumper with 10 buttons, but her tits are so big she can only fasten 8".
Thursday 5 May 2016
There’s a bitter worm which dwells deep in the heart of humanity, a worm which thrives on envy and malcontent and feeds on the bitter tears of perceived unfairness. A well-fed worm excretes a bile so potent it can make an ordinary human being feel hatred enough for two ordinary working, well-adjusted people. A good proportion of the population are immune; a balanced life of work and play, looking after your own first and minding your own business denies the worm its succour. But some are so susceptible that once infected will attempt to spread the disease as widely as they can.
It is not enough to disagree with a point of view, or a policy. You must join with them and condemn it with every irrational fibre of your being. You must accept without question every black ‘fact’ no matter how unlikely it may seem on closer examination. And you must absolutely and viscerally reject every action by anybody on the vile ‘far-right’ which for convenience is anybody more inclined to conservatism than, say, Diane Abbott. Left is right and right is just wrong and there’s an end to it. You are either with them, or against them and agreeing to disagree is just not an option.
This may go some way to explain the utter incomprehension of a significant number of those on the left of the social and political divide that anybody could possibly support Donald Trump. Or Margaret Thatcher. Or express admiration for the twenty-year crusade of Nigel Farage. Because, in their wormy heart of hearts, only they can be right it astounds them that others do not share their certitude and in their opinion must therefore be variously, insane, depraved, indoctrinated or just plain evil.
It leaves them in some contrary positions – such as denouncing both the Jews and the Nazis in the same breath and endorsing terrorists, so long as they are the right sort of terrorists. It allows them to insist on equality and democracy while supporting wholesale bias against the majority. And most prominent of all it allows them to fiercely defend free speech, so long as you say only what they want to hear.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are those on the right who are dangerously deranged and seem to hate certain groups with a fervour that is deeply disturbing. But there are only about a dozen of them, they are clearly recognisable by the swastika tattoos on their foreheads and the knuckle tracks they leave and they tend to be incapable of forming and holding together any coherent movement. Although threatening, they are in such a minority we can effectively ignore the real far right for all meaningful purposes. Except that those with the leftists disposition seem to imagine, with their knee-jerk labelling, that we are all like that who don’t subscribe to their membership.
As if to justify and account for their own loathing of ‘the other’ and because they can’t grasp that most of us simply don’t hate anybody at all, they tell themselves that we might not scream and spit and hold demonstrations, but that is only because we plot in secret to exterminate humanity. The stench of fear and loathing is particularly pungent around election time as they rally and screech and concoct ever more outlandish reasons for why people would vote against them.
A nice cup of Labour tea...
They genuinely don’t understand the real concerns of ordinary people – that real people actually don’t want very much governance at all. That ordinary people want law and order, a decent education, jobs and opportunities, but most of all not to be told what to do and what to think. So while the hosts of the worm want you to vote for hate and division, you just vote whichever way your head and heart tell you. It will confuse the fuck out of them.
Wednesday 4 May 2016
Well, comrades, what a glorious day for socialism it was yesterday. I am fresh from the picket lines with the stirring songs of the sons of toil still ringing through my savage breast. My brave, brave children stood resolute in the face of mild spring weather and learned the valuable, real life lessons which will stay with them for the rest of their days and ensure that in the struggle for hearts and minds, right will always prevail.
Oh how my heart sang as they waved their dear little junior placards at the passing traffic and shouted “Tory scum!” at all the blue cars. How dare this monstrous, police state dictatorship impose their horrific social engineering and propaganda on MY children. How dare the evil Tories attempt to inculcate in my innocent offspring the dangerous and discredited principle of reward for endeavour, for do we not live in a world of plenty, where all may share, according to their need?
When Jocasta and Nelson informed me of the interrogation – for no other word could describe their hell that awaited them at school - I was horrified. That a nine-year old should recognise a noun, know when to capitalise a word and that a sentence ends in a full-stop is knowledge that no pre-teen should have to endure. Measuring academic achievement is, quite simply, a tool of the extreme right and we should defend with our last breath the rights of our children to oppose such indoctrination.
Instead, they should be learning of the wondrous possibilities which lie ahead, of futures filled with happiness and hope and the sheer joys of gender choice, intersectionality and miscegenation instead of this capitalist bile. And speaking of bile, we all clapped mightily and spontaneously – this was absolutely not an orchestrated, politically motivated protest – when Nelson spat right in the face of an unenlightened girl in school uniform and yelled “Scab!” at her as she tried to enter the school gates.
She broke down in tears, which did make us question our privileges for a moment, but we quickly realised that we had justice on our side. After all, she will probably end up in the 80% of primary leavers who can actually read and write; the hated, bloody elites! Who needs to possess the skills of naked capitalism when there are people at the DWP who will fill in your benefit claims form on your behalf? No, it is time all we caring parents stood together and stood firm against the hated government. To this end we finished the demonstration with a rousing medley of anti-Thatcher folk songs.
Normal socialist children, yesterday...
I vowed that the Tory government will not infect my children. The Tory government will NOT force them into work they do not wish to do. My children will grow up free and strong and independent of state interference in their lives. They will do as they wish, as is their right and no matter what the obstacles that await them they will overcome. Tomorrow I am enrolling them in private school.
Tuesday 3 May 2016
A few short weeks ago, the high and mighty, shitey-tightey piece of shit they’ve had to call President for the best part of a decade told Blighty to get to the back of the queue if she dared call time on the disastrous four-decade long EU dalliance. Yes, the weak and feeble cried, yes we must stay! Outside lies hunger and starvation and loneliness and decline. But inside, the machine will feed us and care for us and keep us warm. Stay, stay they pleaded, it’s so cold outside.
The overbearing, unaccountable European Union has been compared to the old USSR and echoes of 1984 appear in the news on an almost daily basis. The Ministry of Truth, the rewriting of history, but above all the aspiration to control every aspect of the lives of its citizens blinds it to the fighting instincts of human nature. If only the humanity could be bred or trained out of us entirely. The social engineering that has been more evident recently has borne down upon the last two generations as an apparently benevolent velvety-gloved fist... or a boot, stamping on a human face – forever.
1984 is, of course but one in a long line of allegories about big state control and the helplessness of the little people. Unlike many such apocalyptic visions it holds no hope for redemption; Big Brother always wins and the best you can hope for is that you want him to. If you encountered the absolute certainties of the Remainians outside of this context you could only conclude you were in the company of a cult member. The EU is unforgiving church, tough loving family and ruthless captor in alternate measures. Do as we say and we’ll stop beating you; you have the power to stop the pain
And the threats of beatings have been coming thick and fast of late, with talking head after talking head lining up to say how badly we will get bruised if we dare to take on the machine. Like the first Rocky movie, they land blow after blow but the underdog still has fight in him and just won’t stay down. Logan’s Run, The Matrix, The Island; all visions set in totalitarian regimes and in every one of them we root for the maverick. Nobody yearns for the machine to win. And yet in the most quoted allegory of all the future is bleak, fatalistic... WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH ...this is the clear direction of travel of the EU story.
But a progenitor of all of these tales is E. M. Forster’s The Machine Stops, a tale of soft subjugation where divide and rule is taken to the ultimate degree. All are apparently served by the machine but give up their independence and freedom to do so. Who can deny that European leaders are building their machine with the collusion others and the exclusion of its populations from democratic choice? Is Greenpeace’s revelation of the aims of TTIP evidence for this? The Independent, a generally pro EU mouthpiece certainly seems to think so.
How we will remember washday in the EU
The most wondrous machines work best when their mechanisms are mysterious, unknown, yet perform an essential task and do so until a better alternative supercedes them. One day in the future the working parts of the EU will belong in a museum, alongside cassette recorders and washing dollies. One day, with our intervention or not, the EU machine will just stop.
Monday 2 May 2016
I’ve seen a lot of angry Remainians asking, nay demanding, that the leave camp produce their own fictional facts and figures to show what Brexit actually means. But isn’t this the point, nobody knows? None of the forecast doom and gloom is reliable because it all assumes that foreign investment will end, trade will cease, day will no longer follow night and in the latest laughable idiocy, Gromit, the former leader of the new Nazi Party has declared that the world as we know it will end. Always willing to put himself out there for a laugh Ed Miliband returns to the fray with a statement that even makes the Edstone look serious.
They all want to know – and growing numbers of fence-sitters are now prompted to ask – what will happen to the economy if we leave? While a few voices, such as Neil Woodford’s, have risen above the clamour to say all will be well, there is a sort of awkward silence in the Leave ranks. This is because, as previously stated, nobody knows. It entirely depends on who runs the show and how the economy is actually measured and for whose benefit it is managed. Because in or out, the current model is warped and dangerous.
Do you rejoice when you read yet another story of a local authority knocking together two or more dwellings to house the family of fifteen who live entirely on benefits? If so, you definitely should vote to remain; your utter disregard for the country deserves a moribund future home as a vote drone to endorse more such stupidity. Because this is the current model; growth at any cost. No wonder we have piss-poor productivity figures when our national wealth is not really measured by what we produce, but by what it all costs. Gross GDP is meaningless and misleading.
Under the EU economic growth is achieved by growing the population. And given that the indigenous peoples of Europe no longer wanted enormous numbers of children the answer, they saw with myopic eyes, was immigration and expansion. But while more and more lower and lower paid workers might grow the headline GDP figure, the value per head declines and with it, the point. If a million people share a billion pounds, we’re all grand. But if two million people share a billion and a half we’re all poorer. And that is even assuming even distribution. I see no demonstrations against people being better off.
So, this is what remaining in the EU has to offer; more of exactly the same skewed and deceptive reporting of tractor production. More dodgy dossiers designed to tell you you have never had it so good while the world around you crumbles. This model relies on the presumption that there is no end to the number of people we can take in; that immigration can never be a bad thing; that we need the immigrants to pay the pensions. But ask yourself this – where does it end? And who will pay the pensions of the fecund immigrants and their children’s children?
There! Now we are all better off...
I don’t believe we can go on like this. Neither does Migration Watch, which has said that current levels of immigration are unsustainable. Why not strive for a stable population and aim to improve everybody’s chances? Why not have an economy we can control and run for the benefit of UK citizens, not for the EU machine? So, if you want to know what a post-Brexit economy would look like, John Major is quite right. It wouldn’t look like what we have now; this could only be a good thing.