Thursday 30 June 2016

For the avoidance of doubt

In 1961, the communists of the German Democratic Republic built a barbed wire and concrete “Antifascistischer Schutzwall”. The wall was said to prevent western fascists from undermining the East German socialist project. But mainly it imprisoned its citizens in a totalitarian communist state, preventing mass defections from the slavery of the East to the freedom of the West. In 1989 it ended and it is the images of young people bringing hammers and picks and bare hands to tear down the wall that endure. If those youngsters averaged 23 years old then, today they are 50 but they still cherish freedom.

In Britain, if you are 50 or over, the 23-year olds are busy, not shaping a free and tolerant society but demonstrating against you and blaming you for exercising your knowledge and experience in bringing about a vote to leave another totalitarian state. The EU is hell-bent on closer union and yes, it will have its own army; to its leaders the citizens are mere resources, furthering the aims of centralised control. The kids of yesterday, who cheered freedom are still true to their cause but the children of today appear incapable of cutting Mother State’s apron strings and don't understand the difference between diversity and freedom or division and rule.

In their anger and their blind rage they are demanding to be let back inside the prison and they are confecting nonsense arguments and fabricating stories to reinforce them. One of the biggest lies is that Brexiteers are fascists and are openly attacking immigrants and refugees and anybody ‘other’. This hysteria is being whipped up by the media, who love nothing more than creating havoc with images of photogenic young people wielding placards of love – messages such as ‘Kill Farage’. The irony is almost deafening.

People are suddenly wearing safety pins to show they support Britain’s immigrant population. What? Now you have to virtue-signal that you are not going to pour petrol over a stranger and set them on fire? What if you support immigration generally, but you are vehemently against unrestricted immigration; should there be different coloured pins because, heaven forfend we should all be forced to hold identical opinions? And how long should you wear this safety pin for? A day, a week, a year? What if you are a British Nationalist neo-Nazi who just happens to have lost a button? And where do you wear this pin; do different positions represent different levels of tolerance? We need clarification here.

Britain was once the most tolerant nation on earth; it was one of our core values. What happened to that? Do we now have to wear our politics on our sleeve; declare our allegiances to all, even those who would wish us harm? Might you lose a job if you attend an interview not wearing a pin... or wearing one? And what if you are over fifty and haven’t even heard about this weird, ill-thought-through idea? Will it be assumed that you are therefore in favour of herding refugees into cattle trucks? How long before somebody is actually attacked for not wearing one?

It is one thing wearing a ribbon or a wristband to show you have donated to a particular cause. It is quite another to have to declare to strangers what sort of person you are. Didn’t they try that in 1930s Germany? Should I just sew on a yellow star-shaped patch to mark me out for vilification? Maybe a nice forehead tattoo for the avoidance of doubt? While we are waiting for our wise young people to decide what form of mark we should be compelled to wear I have designed this lovely pin which will serve the same purpose as wearing no pin at all.

Don't be stoopid, be a smartie - come and join the Nazi Party!
All pins are equal... some are more equal than others.

The world was a safer place before people began demanding safe places and tolerance was far more widespread before it became mandatory. People exercised free choices before they were forced to become ‘free’ by legislation and British society in particular was a much friendlier place all round before it was demanded you signal how friendly you are. But hey, you’re young. The world will forgive you your youthful follies and one day you will grow up and begin to understand. It would be lovely if you could begin that process now.

Wednesday 29 June 2016

Do you want to see the future?

The world is still reporting on, analysing and trying to fathom why the unexpectedly successful Leave machine is throwing away their referendum victory and backsliding into the arms of the EU. I was among many saying that an out vote might not be honoured and now we see a sort of sick stalemate while, instead of the elected government getting on with the job, the country is rudderless. No leadership, no opposition and meanwhile the noisy children are once more indulged by the media who love the idea that a few thousand pretty young airheads can overturn a decision voted for by more people than ever in the UK’s history.

Similarly there has been a plethora of articles questioning whether a plebiscite is ever an appropriate way to decide how to deal with complex issues. This ignores the fact that when issues get complex decisions are rarely made for fear of offending one party or other. The country has spoken, but it is now up to the government to implement it. Every day of delay fuels the supposition that there is a chance to overturn the hateful wishes of ‘old people’ and return to the sunlit uplands of happy, smiling Euroland. But something the youngsters might want to consider is just how many European countries are looking to Britain to the lead the way out of the matrix.

You can’t blame young people for being young, but who filled them with such hatred for the society in which they have grown up? Obviously, that isn’t how they see it, as they ask for anybody over 65 to be disenfranchised, or for a majority verdict to be overturned because it doesn’t suit them even though most of them declined to cast their own vote. But one thing young people forget, or simply cannot fathom, is that every one of those hated ‘old people’ (ageism being an entirely acceptable form of bigotry today) was once young. And there is a reason why the vote went the way it did, despite the massed ranks of the establishment lined up to browbeat them into staying.

If the young were a little older, or had been paying more attention, or hadn’t swallowed the drip, drip, drip of unerringly pro-EU soft propaganda that has surrounded them and their parents their whole lives, they may have noticed that our relations with the EU have been less than amicable. They may also have spotted that despite almost every single media prognostication to the contrary Europe and the European Union are quite different things. They may be surprised to learn that their grandparents went grape picking in France or skied in Switzerland, or ran the bulls in Pamplona long before the EU even existed.

But, of course old people know nothing. The children are the future, after all and tomorrow belongs to them just as assuredly as it did former generations of smiling, healthy young people who would never grow old. The referendum outcome should be a source of joy to the kids demonstrating in the streets of the capital. This is the gift to them from an older generation that understands, as they don’t yet, that they know nothing. The EU is the facilitator of the very globalisation that the same young people also protest about. Far from offering them freedom and prosperity the EU seeks to burden them with ever more obligation to the will of an unelected and autocratic bureaucracy which treats them as resources rather than as people.

Chips... is it chips?
The yoof have spoken!

Lest you think I am being harsh – they are, after all getting off their arses and letting their views be known – it is worth sharing a little insight into the wisdom that pours from the mouths of babes and sucklings. Allow me to leave you with this short YouTube clip of Holly, whose three favourite things about the EU are, the NHS, “everyone all being like uni’ed all togever and like having the same opinion” and ... well it’s not at all clear what the third thing is. Not to cheapen the debate but she could at least have said chips because who doesn't like chips, right? 

Tuesday 28 June 2016

The Party's Over

It began some years ago when people who served behind bars – let’s call them barmen – became ‘assistant managers’ on the same deal: the same unsocial hours, the same minimum wages, all for dealing with the same crowds of drunken buffoons. But hey, a titular upgrade and they’re management. Children no longer have Saturday jobs as shop assistants but gather curriculum vitae credits ‘in retail’. To have worked ‘in retail’ is much like referring to yourself as being ‘something in the city’. Yes, dear, but what did you actually do and how’s that CV bearing up now that online shopping bypasses the annoying ‘can I help you, sir’ obstruction to unfettered retail therapy?

Actually the phrase ‘something in the city’ has for years concealed the fact that in wealthy industries you could afford to have people sitting about twiddling their thumbs or indulging in their hobby horses on good salaries while others did the hard miles. Similarly it is a mark of affluent countries that, freed of the need to strive to survive, plenty of people earn their crust, often quite lucratively, by doing what interests and amuses them. It’s no wonder the post-Brexit shocks are felt more keenly by those in the media and the social meddling industries. Who’s going to need diversity coordinators once people wake up to the reality that diversity actually coordinates itself, pretty much?

Imagine an economy where everybody participates in productive endeavours and the non-jobs aren’t even options? We could become wealthy enough that it might be normal to take time out to pursue personal interests, or retire extra-early and live off secure investments. We should certainly be able to save and pass on a head start to the next generation. Instead, successive governments have pursued progressive agendas for short-term gains in popularity rather than face up to the fact that nothing comes without putting in the hard work first. Our bar manager is no more a manager than a 23-year old ‘business advisor’ is a businessman.

Instead of solving the problem, changing the name of the problem has been deemed sufficient. Studying, redefining, re-framing and facilitating understanding of a circumstance is not the same as tackling that circumstance head on and solving, eradicating or improving it. We need more engineers and fewer consultants, more real scientist and fewer 'cause scientists’, more labourers and fewer highly indoctrinated dupes appropriating the ‘L’ word and calling themselves a political movement.

All of which brings us to Corbyn’s cataclysmic cabinet collapse. Labour’s sole raison d'être was to represent the working man, not the trendy, right-on Islington set and their cadre of politically correct activists for whom no cause is lost until a career has been spent losing it. What Labour needs more than anything if it is to survive is to stop trying to be all things to all people and get back to basics. Maybe the reason they have become an irrelevant party of eternal opposition is because they have forgotten how to appeal to their core vote. We’re all middle class now, said John Prescott in 1997, stating an aspiration as if it were fact and in that moment setting out New Labour’s stall to tinker with the pretty fringes and forget the unattractive core.

In the same way that creating a subject called ‘literacy’ could never replace actual literacy and setting diversity goals helped bring about the resentment of the multicultural morass we now wade - or tiptoe - through, Blair’s focus-group driven policy unit pandered to the eccentric while ignoring the actual centre. No cause too faddish to be célèbre, no genuine concern too basic to be beneath contempt. Work, health, education, welfare; there’s your core, those are your prime concerns. The rest is frippery.

But this is where the political class still just doesn’t get it. Instead of appointing shadow ministers with real backgrounds in working and then representing workers, rather than career unionists with sociology degrees, Jeremy Corbyn has fallen for the old traps. Diane Abbott is a liability. Thornberry is loathed by, well everybody, and nobody has even heard of the rest. The first task for Cat Smith as Shadow minister for Voter Engagement (if she is still in post when you read this) is to work out what on earth that title even means. From where I’m sitting the engagement is well and truly over.

(Latest: Only 40 MPs supported Jeremy Corbyn in a vote of no confidence this afternoon. He remains defiant and intends to fight any leadership challenge.)

Monday 27 June 2016

Do unto others...

Well, here we are at ground zero. But instead of finding nothing but scorched earth and a chance to rebuild a society from scratch it turns out that very little was actually cleared away in the blast. Nobody seriously expected anything different and no sensible observer imagined the smoke clearing to reveal a smiling army of politically neutral busy bees eager to get on and start the work. All the old structures are still in place and the gaping mouths of the dependent millions gape just as wide as before. There is no selective glyphosate that can rid us of the weeds and leave the crops, no magic decontaminant that can disinfect without damaging healthy flesh.

But there is one thing we didn’t have before and one principle we now need to inculcate in future generations if they are not to grow up to despise the decision we just took. The European Union – rightly in the views of many admirers – took away from its members the very things that make human society tolerable. National identity and pride in same; self-determination and an ability to shape things how people want them, not how a small elite think they should want them. And the opportunity for the whole of the population to be included in the national conversation, not just those who represent the vocal minorities who demand so much yet contribute so little.

Nobody is going to start tearing down legal rights and roaming gangs of vigilantes are not, as some suggest, going go around targeting people they don’t agree with – at least, no more than usual. False flag racism accusations proliferate, oddly after the vote; hopefully, they’ll tire of it or be found out eventually. But nothing will be done and the pains of this confrontation will not be eased if we don’t act to quell the clamour of blame and accusations of disenfranchisement from those who imagine their birthright has been stolen. If anything it has been handed back to them; they just need to know how to use it, starting with confronting a few home truths.

Firstly, nobody owes anybody a living. The illusion of a prosperous society in which nobody except imported wage slaves need to work for their daily bread is just a flimsy lie. The notion that everybody is equal, regardless of the evidence in front of your face is no noble truth but a meaningless slogan; the doors may be opened for you but you still have to walk through them yourself. The elevation of imported cultures above that of the indigenous stewards of this land has to cease. And all of this has to start where the socialist indoctrinators started generations ago; that old principle that rights come with responsibilities needs to be reinstalled at the heart of our democracy.

This applies as much to government as it does to individuals and the new-dawnsters of this post-Brexit, post-Christian world might do well to heed the moral foundations of what went before. The sermon on the mount is a good place to start. “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Whatever Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Uncle Tom Carswell and all think of Nigel Farage, this referendum would never have happened if it hadn’t been for his tireless mission. He has endured a relentless onslaught of personal attacks in recent years and now, when he should be exonerated they are trying to bury him.

They were more than happy to use his willingness to confront realities that the establishment refused to do and let him cut through to voters abandoned by their own parties long ago. They were happy to let him campaign on issues considered too toxic for polite conversations but which nevertheless needed confronting. But now, Boris having made his power play – and make no mistake that Boris couldn’t give a toss whether we’re in or out of the EU, the referendum was merely a convenient vehicle for his personal ambitions – he doesn’t want the small matter of discussing what the country actually needs to obstruct his road to coronation.

For Boris, the ghost of campaigns past...
Never fob off the Farage!

Already he and others are rowing back on the rhetoric which brought about the Brexit result. Under Boris and Co. it looks like we may actually get the worst of both worlds. Instead of the Ukip leader’s positive vision for a free, independent and united Britain, leading the world, not yoked to the lumbering cart of a sclerotic political union, there is a danger that Project Johnson will be a moribund, business-as-usual affair. The fight for independence is not yet over and I very much doubt we have seen the last of Nigel Farage.

Saturday 25 June 2016

Soon be Monday

Say what you like about David Cameron – and I am as guilty as anybody of slagging the man off in recent weeks – but his measured, if delayed, reaction to the glorious news was exactly right. He blamed nobody, threatened nothing and sucked it up to say it was time now to regroup, rebuild and get back to business. He was also honest enough to understand the mood in much of the country and step down gracefully. The time for fighting is over.

What a shame millions of others could only wallow in their cosseted, wished-for misery. The level of whining butt-hurt out there yesterday was off the scale. And as it was already at a cosmic level beforehand, that was fuckwittery from an alternative universe. Having ramped up the fear and hatred over the last few months how dare the sky not fall in? It was as if they were demanding their homes be invaded by jack-booted Stormtroopers to evict their freezing cold babies into the streets and disappointed that no immigrants had been herded into cattle trucks to be deported... via the ‘showers’.

The BBC did its best to help. In every news bulletin it was reported that the economy had tanked, that it had ‘plunged’ over a cliff and the pound was now worth less than a Weimar Republic mark in 1924. Such cataclysmic reporting had its own momentum, like a supertanker trying to change course; when both Sterling and the FTSE bounced back to show relatively modest changes on the day this went almost entirely unreported, so generation snowflake continued to rend garments, gnash teeth and look for somebody to blame.

In the Labour Party the fault was that of Jeremy Corbyn and his fellows lined up to stab him in the front for somehow telepathically causing former Labour core voters to embrace the hate and become racist Faragistas. Nicola Sturgeon lost no time in pointing out that, just as in sports, Scotland hated England so much they would support foreign rule from any other source. And across the world, from luvvies in Los Angeles to irrelevant, forgotten tax exiles in tropical climes berated the people who live in cold, wet Britain for exercising their democratic right.

But most of all it was ‘the old people’ who took the flak. The old people whipped the rug out from under the country’s youth and condemned generations to penury. It was the old people, who fought wars and rebuilt the country and lobbied for workers’ rights that, having taken advantage of all they had gained, now wanted to pull up the rope ladder after them. It was the vicious, nasty, bitter and twisted old people that want to turn Britain into Nazi Germany. No, really. What makes it all the more delicious is that fully 75% of the 18-25 year olds who are whining about the old people denying them their promised future didn’t even bother to turn out and vote... and of those who did vote, a third of them voted for Brexit.

It's just not fair! Old people are to blame!
Man up, snowflake!

But the weekend will come and go. The celebration barbecues will be had, or the wakes will be held and there will be some thick heads in the morning. Then, on Monday it will be business as usual, except for one thing. The future is now entirely in your hands. Embrace what is and stop mourning for the illusion that was. And while the rest of Europe is having its own long dark nights of the soul and the inevitable decline of the EU hastens, be glad that we are on the outside, roll up those sleeves and start digging for victory. 

Friday 24 June 2016


Well, what a day it was yesterday. The rain! Torrential, verging on biblical in many places, down-south flash flooding resulted in some polling stations being hastily moved and who knows what chaos may have fortuitously affected the collection and subsequent counting of ballots? I fully expect boxes to be found drifting out to sea over the coming days. Anyway, the result is what it is... for now.

But not everybody was fortunate enough to end the day in the dry and warm among friends and family. In Newham, East London, tragedy struck as the flood waters rose and in the early afternoon the fire brigade was called to put out a blaze in a four-storey mansion house. After the blaze was controlled and a brief on-site investigation conducted it emerged that a number of people had lost their lives as electrical supply equipment suffered a catastrophic failure, the sparks igniting a pocket of gas from a ruptured supply pipe.

On the ground floor an extended family of Romanian beggars, eighteen in all, were caught in the initial blast. An exhausted search team reported that all had died.  On the first floor, three generations of a muslim household from Pakistan – twelve in all and living on benefits – perished in the subsequent blaze. And on the second floor a flat full of illegal North African immigrants who had recently manged to get into Britain from the Jungle in Calais were overcome by fumes and died from suffocation as they slept. The only people to survive the tragedy were Jeff and Jenny Randall, a childless white English couple who lived on the top floor.

The fire crew’s Station Manager gave a brief statement to reporters on the scene but declined to answer any questions until after a formal inquest had been convened, but the news quickly attracted the attention of prominent community leaders who quickly demanded details. By early this morning it had become national news and the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, appeared on the five a.m. edition of Sky News to cry foul. His appeal was soon reinforced by arch agitator Diane Abbott and in no time Owen Jones, Penny Red and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown all waded in for the kill.

The Brigade Manager was summoned and questioned at a hostile press conference. A heavy police presence was needed to hold back the crowd of social justice warriors baying for blood and furious that of all the people caught up in the tragedy, only the white couple survived. Racists! they screamed, islamophobes! One particularly vocal protester kept insisting that Nigel Farage was somehow to blame. Eventually, order was restored and the question was put directly to the fire brigade’s spokesman. On camera, they demanded to know why blacks, Asians and East Europeans perished in the fire and yet the white couple survived.

Water? Or petrol?
Coming soon to the Eurozone...

The cameras clicked and flashed as the Brigade Manager cleared his throat and took out an officially prepared statement. He held up a hand for silence and waited until he got it. In a clear voice he stated to the waiting press, “They were at work.”

Thursday 23 June 2016

They think it’s all over...

It soon will be. But is the result a foregone conclusion? Many believe the count is, effectively, already decided. There have been purported ‘leaks’ about the postal results which give a resounding result for Remain; no doubt these broadcasts, spurious or not, have been made in an attempt to influence the footfall today. But who trusts the polls after the general election results last year? In retrospect, how could anybody have believed Ed Moribund had even the ghost of a chance of becoming Prime Minister?

The vast majority of those who will vote to Leave will not alter their view. The four horsemen themselves could be camped outside the voting halls but as Farage said yesterday, those patriotic souls – ignorant, vile racists in the view of the brainwashed disciples of Saint Jo – would crawl over broken glass to save their country from further harm. On the other hand, among those who have declared for Remain a large number have done so with a heavy heart, not believing the campaign of fear and vitriol, but not quite trusting themselves to cope with independence.

Speaking of trust and in the light of the way in which the establishment has brought its big guns to bear on the little man, there is a general unease in the impartiality of the electoral system and much talk of a fix. As of yesterday the polls were still neck and neck – Sky shared the following graphic showing 45/44 for Leave, with 11% undecided and a number of Tweeters exhorted their fellows to use ink, not pencil, to make their mark.

It has to be true... it's in colour!

The fight, then, is for the undecided and the weather appears to be on the side of the dedicated. The young, the indifferent and those begrudgingly swayed by the clamour of their peers may well opt to stay at home in the dry but whatever happens a close vote gives us little peace. A two percent majority for Remain effectively allows the independence movement to cry ‘fix!’ and the fight will undoubtedly continue. That would be a nightmare. A two percent victory for Leave would result in dancing in some streets but it will then be argued that less than half of those eligible voted for it and once again, that the children did not get to decide their future. Equal dissatisfaction, unequal reaction.

For either side to accept the opposite result the ballot will have to be decisive and it’s not looking likely. Based on those numbers the best that either side can manage is around 55/45, but if that happens, if all the swing is one direction, how will that look? Only god or government has the power to bring that about and nobody sane believes in god. This referendum is being billed as democracy in action but democracy has never looked so fragile. The following reasoned arguments may help you decide...

This is what it looks like from Juncker World

So, there you are. If you want to stay in das projeckt and build a federal super state with an army and everything then vote with your woolly head and may history forgive you. If you want to rediscover the joys of independence and if you believe and trust in the British people to bring their government to account, then vote with your heart and pray for rain. It would be poetic justice if the great British obsession with the weather were to win the day. Good luck! 

Wednesday 22 June 2016


He finally did it. David Cameron, having exhausted every other avenue from forecasting economic disaster through threatening punitive financial action against pensioners and savers and homeowners, through branding every Brexiteer a racist piece of shit culminating in blaming them for the death of Saint Jo. None of these charges threats or appeals finding any traction with those determined to rescue their country, he took to the last resort of those who have run out of rhetorical oratorical ammunition and he actually said it. “Theenk of zee cheeldren!” he pleaded, like a Romanian distraction beggar even as zee cheeldren picked your pockets. What a performance!

Discussing the polls yesterday – although I had seen none at the time of tweeting – quite a number of people spoke of the overwhelming majority being in favour of Leave. The majority have had enough, they said, but which majority? If the polls are in any way to be believed 50/50 is the mood in the country but they are right when they say majority. In my entire life I have met a handful of people in favour of the EU, but then I don’t operate in the political arena. Neither am I a university student looking to distribute my DNA across a broad spectrum of exotic partners. I’m not a banker, an employer of cheap labour, or in the pay of any government as either employee or advisor or ‘expert’. I’m pretty sure that in each of our bubbles we are likely to see an overwhelming majority in favour of our position.

We each choose to mix with those who most closely represent our values and we tend to repeat and reinforce those statements which ring the most true. Maybe this is why the reportage of last night’s final ‘Grand Debate’ on the EU seemed to be edited by BBC people for broadcast to people who share their values. Maybe it was balanced – I didn’t watch because I didn’t expect to hear anything new – but in the bits I heard on the Today programme, soundbites from Leave seemed to be cut short, whereas soundbites from Remain ran on to include the roar of applause. I hope I’m wrong.

But really, will it make any difference? Has Project Fear and Loathing persuaded any former Leavers to change their mind? Has the endless parade of prophets of doom done its job? Do people genuinely think that if we leave the sky will fall in, the world as we know it will end, travel will cease, trade will stall and Britain will become a small nation of xenophobes, struggling along all by itself? Even with the ascension of Saint Jo to sit at god’s right hand, so far as I can see the polls haven’t really budged at all – half of us want to stay and half want to leave.

They swallowed the lot!
Is this what you want?

I feel sorry for those advocating staying in the union which has caused this split right through the middle of our society. They seem to be the fearful, staying with an abusive partner for the sake of the children. All the hope and ambition seem, to me at least, to reside with those who are champing at the bit for change, for freedom... to move on. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, but for now I’ve had enough. Make your own mind up but remember, if you vote to Remain you may never be able to erase the sight of David Cameron’s big fat, shiny-faced smirk from your mind. Now, do you want THAT on your conscience? 

Tuesday 21 June 2016

This land is your land

“Labour, Liberal or Conservative?” Pinned to the prefab classroom wall by the henchmen of the school bully, my eight-year old self had no idea what he right answer was. “Conservative?” I ventured whereupon, having guessed the ‘right’ answer, I was released to go about my business which, back then, was roiling around the playground in the melee that comprised my circle of friends, all of whom it turned out had been subjected to the same inquisition. Those who said Labour had fared less well than I. We had no idea, but it transpired that in rural North Yorkshire, the Conservatives were the friend of farming families, in whose interests their lusty, big-boned offspring were happily junior-brownshirting every future voter, to what purpose... ooh look, squirrel!

The attention span of a sub-teen has always been an ephemeral thing and hard to pin down and the election came and went, installing Harold Wilson in Number 10 without my further involvement. Four years later the only real reason his replacement with Ted Heath even registered was because of Mike Yarwood’s good-natured and mostly politics-free impersonations. There was a certain deference towards our politicians back then; disliked they may be at times, but there was a general feeling amongst the ruled that our rulers had the best interests of the nation at heart. How could it be otherwise? This all changed when Ted Heath took us into the Common Market.

As a schoolkid the research material available to me was limited, but I became aware of Enoch Powell defying his own party and leader to lobby for change in 1974 when he stated that the main issue in the first election campaign of that year was whether Britain was to “remain a democratic nation ... or whether it will become one province in a new Europe super-state” and backed the Labour party, “the party which is committed to a fundamental renegotiation of the Treaty of Brussels”. It was messier than just that but eventually Wilson was back in the chair with a promise to hold a referendum on our membership. Here is Peter Shore in 1975 backing Britain and decrying Project Fear. Watch it and wonder at how little has changed. Project Fear won then; we little people didn’t have 24-hour rolling news and the social media with which to discuss it.

Since then our relationship with our own leaders has been an increasingly uneasy one, with the EU never out of the headlines for the wrong reasons. We don’t fit in, it’s as simple as that; Britain is more than just geographically detached from mainland Europe but it is that geography which has shaped our nature. Politics has always been a dirty business, but in the end the one thing each party had to do was somehow carry the people with it to come first past the post. A vote to stay in the EU takes the government one step closer to ending the degrading charade of pretending to care what we think; if they get the answer they want, they won’t need to ask us ever again.

And as for that quaint and vaguely simplistic old notion of asking the people, ask the workers who used to be Labour’s bedrock what they think of Nigel Farage and don’t hold your nose while you do it. The party that wanted us out of the EEC for the benefit of ordinary working people is now half-heartedly asking you to vote to remain; no wonder the only reliably steadfast figure they can see is the one who for twenty years has been trying to wake the country from its slumber. And what is the last argument the Remainers are using? That what he and half the country see as reality is nothing other than unbridled xenophobia; Project Shame.

Let's show our leaders what we really think...

Don’t listen to Project Fear. Disregard Project Shame. Dismiss those who dare to say they trust the British people but then seek to take them out of the equation. This is the very last opportunity you will ever have to stand up and be an independent nation again. You gave that independence away once; take it back on Thursday. The Leave campaign has no visions for what happens on the outside? Of course they have; a re-unified Britain, a common need to rebuild all that was good and cut through the smokescreen of detached global domination politics. Your land or their land? This is your choice.

Monday 20 June 2016


David Cameron appeared on a BBC Question Time special last night and I reckon he got a shock. Despite assembling a balanced audience of Remainers and Leavers the questions were generally hostile. Even the Remainers were pissed off at the lack of a positive vision for a UK locked into the EU after the vote. While the Leavers were openly scathing and critical, the Remainers – the few of them who tried to ask supporting questions – seemed to be seeking reassurance and replies they could believe. He was wholly unconvincing and may have done his bit to put the Brexit case back on track. Let’s hope so

In three days’ time we get the only chance many of us will ever have to see this country regain its rightful place in the world we were instrumental in shaping. If we vote to Remain, the divisions within the EU and within Britain itself will continue. Toynbee et al were dead right to say that there is a mood of helplessness and despair abroad; this is a direct result of the unchecked pursuit of a progressive agenda. In the true spirit of doublespeak ‘progressive’ means the exact opposite of advancement, unless you see progress towards national oblivion as a good thing.

Progressive means denying your children a decent education by abandoning what was proved to work and adopting every unproven faddish tenet of academic pedagogic dogma. Packing the classrooms with flush-cheeked but semi-literate teaching assistants on minimum wage; providing ‘support’ for legions of kids with dubious statements of ‘special needs’ when all they need is a return to discipline and rigour and keeping politics out of the classroom. Child-centred education has facilitated the emergence of an infantilised population, taught that they have inalienable rights to a self-centred existence regardless of the cost to society. Just how many graduates of The Science of Harry Potter does society really need? 

Progressive means being labelled as a racist because you have pride in your origins; this carries a caveat that it only applies if you are white and born in Britain. If your origins or heritage are from elsewhere, then not only is your clinging to your roots admirable, you are considered brave to do so openly and loudly in the face of so many British people trying to quietly do the same. Such people as you are bigots and must be shouted down, for every single one of your opinions and values is worthless when compared with the opinions and values of ‘diverse’ and ‘vibrant’ multiconfusionism.

Progressive means the pursuit of equality uniformity at any cost. In the textbook this suggests they would rob the rich and give to the poor, but in reality the rich are good at hanging on to their gains (all of which are ill-gotten in progressive folklore). No, it is far easier to make everybody equally dependent on state largesse by expanding the welfare state to accommodate not just those who don’t wish to work but also those who do work, by paying them more in tax credits than they pay in tax, magically conjured by the economic alchemy of importing ever greater numbers of cheap workers who also pay less in than they cost the system. Nobody understands how this works, least of all the experts of David Cameron’s fantasies.

Incidentally, those who have grown rich via the public sector – the aforesaid experts along with advisors, commentators, heads of departments, state-aided charities and officials of the Eurocracy – are honourable heroes of the struggle, who deserve every penny they have been paid even though such receipts represent a near total loss to the economy. The progressive system will spend whatever it needs to do in order to maintain the illusion that Neil Kinnock is a price worth paying for peace, harmony and contentment, even though said peace, harmony and contentment are his and his alone.

The only progress in the EU is towards the bottom...
"I'd like to renegotiate the arrangement of our deckchairs"

So, when you are berated for being a Little Englander. When you are patronised for not understanding ‘complex’ issues that seem pretty straightforward to you. When you feel bullied for having an opinion when all around you are allowed opinions you find distasteful or wrong. When you are told that you are wrong even as the evidence of your existence is that the peaceful and tolerant country you used to love is disappearing in front of your eyes remember that all of this is happening by design and with the complicity of ‘your’ government. And when today’s Dianafication of Saint Jo in Parliament is used to accuse you of being complicit in her death, make a decision to reject the lot of it and vote to Leave on Thursday. 

Saturday 18 June 2016

Everything to do with Brexit

So it'as true - or so we're told - the nutter wgho gunned down Jo Cox WAS a nasty,vicious right-wing thug on a mission to kill all presumed traitors.
What do we do?
How dare we claim it is a one-off and try and wriggle out of it, as with islamophobia?
Okay then, let's sort this out:
We are all neanderthal thugs with a death wish for all traitors, but having recognised the problem IS Brexit what are we going to do?
Nothing to do with Brexit? Far from it - everything to do with Brexit.
Also create nationalist gehettoesd and stracise us from society - will that do it?

Tooled Up

Typical, isn’t it? I take a week’s annual leave and because I have no holiday plans I take it when it’s convenient for the company, not for me. Time to relax, I thought, kick back and chill and release that old pressure valve. How naïve can you get? A couple of long-overdue follow up visits to the doctor. Car in for a service and bad, clutch-related, news and of course the never-ending list of ‘when you get a minute...’ jobs around the house. By the time you factor in the frequent and extensive showers throughout the week, all of a sudden it’s back to work and little achieved.

The biggest project was the making of a new back door. Simple enough, you would think. But, as always, for every job you do you eventually need to use every tool you possess and not being the proud owner of a workshop, everything had to be done outside. Sawing and planning and sanding and gluing and filling and more sanding and painting and on and on it dragged as, every couple of hours, everything had to be rescued from the lowering skies. In all it was really a couple of days work but what with everything getting in the way an entire week slipped through my fingers which, since you asked, are down to the bone.

Anyway, as I watched my time slip away and my list of chores barely reduce I was grateful to receive help from an unexpected source. A knock on the front door had me downing tools and investigating the interruption. It was a neighbour’s son – none too bright, but pleasant enough, asking if he could earn some holiday money by helping out. I’ve always been supportive of the self-starter so I invited him in and ran down a list of outstanding works. He pointed to one high up on the prioritised schedule: ‘paint porch’. I nodded in approval and set about equipping him with the tools.

A few minutes later he was kitted out with shave-hook, scrapers, wire wool, sandpaper and a big pot of primer and brushes. If you have any questions, I told him, don’t hesitate to ask and with that last minute advice I left him to it. He carried the gear round to the front while I returned to my door project. For a couple of blessed hours the rain held off and I managed to crack on with completing the construction phase and beginning the preparation for painting. I completely forgot about the neighbour’s son until he reappeared at the back gate with a big grin on his face; mission accomplished.

Phwoar, look at the Makitas on that!
A gratuitous picture of tool belts.

He was quite a sight. Spattered from head to foot in blots of white paint and the odd patch of blood where he had been overly enthusiastic with the scraper he was nevertheless pleased with himself. It’s good to see a youngster happy to engage in a bit of manual work and touching to see how pleased he seemed. I grabbed my wallet and we set off to inspect the job. Walking around the side of the house the lad turned to me and said “Just one point of detail” he offered. “Yes?” I queried. He looked at me as if I were a bit simple... “It’s not a porch, you know. It’s a Mercedes.”

Friday 17 June 2016


As expected the media is awash with reports, blogs and columns purporting to pin the killing of Jo Cox firmly on Nigel Farage's political career. Polly Toynbee in particular is so convinced that Ukip and its sympathisers are nothing short of Nazis in corduroy that she has trotted out her usual line on bigotry. Typically, she can't (or won't) bring herself to confront the truths of human nature, preferring to promulgate the pitifully transparent lie that the nasty people are on the right and her people are blameless.

The statement put out by Brendan Cox very soon after Jo's death also strikes a mood of conflict between the values she stood for and the assumed motivation of the killer. Not only should he have not been pressed to make such a declaration so soon afterwards, it is a bold assumption based on conflicting accounts of what actually happened. The presumption of this being a hate crime is very much from the Toynbee rule book.

Thomas Mair, the shooter, appears to have a long history of mental illness and detachment from society. His politics, it is said, are unknown and he seems to have no history of activism. A random act? A planned assassination? An intended confrontation gone wrong? A case of wrong place, wrong time? At the time of writing, none of this is know, but Toynbee knows. She also knows that in the world of making political capital you strike while the iron is hot. Brendan O'Neill's condemnation of such action clearly failed to reach her. To save you reading her hateful article I have paraphrased it here:

Meanwhile post-vigil (every death has to have a public vigil nowadays) people are tentatively returning to the referendum campaign trail and carefully choosing their words. Some are less sober in their condemnation of Leave supporters and are determined to use Jo Cox as an emblem of Little England divisiveness, gleefully seeing this as a turning point in the recent decline of the Remain vote. I hope it changes nothing and that people stick to their guns, because were the possibility of freeing a whole nation from its chains to turn on the exploitation of sentiment following the death of a single individual that would be tragedy on a wholly different scale.

Thursday 16 June 2016

RIP Jo Cox

Much hysteria surrounds the reporting and subsequent blame-laying following the tragic death of Jo Cox, MP. I'm not involving myself other than to ask how does using this event for political gain further the cause of anybody? Please stop it. My commiserations to her family.


A week to go and the frantic screeching of the Remain camp’s Fright Brigade echo around the land and across the Thames as somebody, somewhere, thought that bringing Gob Geldof out from his... his... er, whatever it is he spends his time doing, was a good idea. Instead, even supporters of his cause moved to distance themselves from his means. Meanwhile, belatedly realising that Leave’s immigration ‘take back control’ narrative is cutting through, Theresa May incredibly suggested that a better deal could be negotiated if we remained. Reform from within was possible, nay achievable; the proof of that being... what, exactly? In the end their only recourse is to keep on pushing the potential financial collapse.

Look at the value wiped off the stock market they wept. Think of the children! There is no such thing as betting on a certainty. Plenty of people have found to their cost that the hot tip proves to be anything but and shirts are lost on the roll of a dice and the caprice of investors. The stock market is only nominally based on business confidence; much of the dice rolling in this dirty business is by the hand of market makers. And the job of market makers is to be both seer and service-provider rolled into one. So the reported ‘loss’ of £80billion, or £100 billion (or whatever the numbers say today) does not reflect the state of a post-Brexit FTSE, it reflects the likelihood of people making a killing whatever happens.

The markets work on perception and as the perception here is that the British government itself may sabotage the economy post Brexit it is little wonder that trading has taken a dive. Clever though, when you think of it; threaten disaster, plan for that disaster, then if it comes about claim prescience and then claim the credit when everything bounces back to normal. But Osborne’s ‘revenge budget’ as it is being claimed may yet be his resignation letter; whatever happens, his behaviour during this campaign has been unworthy of a man with Prime Ministerial ambitions.

Meanwhile, some believe that Cameron is a secret Brexiteer who is letting Osborne damage his own reputation for political ends. That’s way too complicated and too long a gamble to make sense. The truth of David Cameron’s position is surely as he has stated; it’s in for him and simple human incompetence lies at the heart of where the leave campaign is right now. All of which leaves us with the central question; who do you believe? Who can you trust?

The truth isn't out there...
This is what it comes down to...

For simplicity the only answer to that is nobody. Nobody in this whole debate can be trusted, by which I mean that if you support Remain you think the Leave lot are stirring up division and xenophobia and have no clear plan for the future. While, if you support Leave, every utterance of the Remainers is at the behest of a cabal of self-interested control freaks and big business. So, over to you. Do you honestly believe the EU has been a friendly force for good, or do you look around at the unrest, the changed nature of your neighbourhood, the depressed wages and lack of accountability and conclude otherwise? I know what I believe.

Wednesday 15 June 2016


So yesterday – the only non-wet day forecast for the week – I decided to tackle the long-overdue business of fixing the back door. Not the actual full door itself, just the half door fitted to the outside of the frame. Initial diagnosis: door fucked. Cure: make new one. Easy, I’ve done a whole house of bespoke doors in the past. But this was a long time ago and my manufacturing output is a fraction of what it once was. Still, I have most of the tools I need and a dogged determination to do it myself and not be dependent on others.

As I was in the queue to buy materials, who should I find next to me but the Chancellor of the Exchequer. George told me he often popped into the local timber yard to gauge reaction to his latest budget wizardry, but he always did so in disguise. But I recognised you, I told him, whereupon he quickly changed the subject and explained how, outside the EU the wood I was buying would cost twice as much. When I objected that this was locally grown, sustainable timber he merely smiled and beckoned me to come closer.

That’s what the Leave campaigners would have you believe, he told me, but in fact all of our wood, every last plank of it, comes from China. But China isn’t in the EU, I replied and as far as I know, no free trade deal yet exists with China. The Chancellor smiled, as if explaining matters to a child. That’s true, he said, but it’s branded as Turkish, imported through Bulgaria then Poland and then, via Germany and Brussels, it finally gets to the UK. It’s well-travelled wood.

But isn’t that expensive? I had already seen the eye-watering price list as I costed out my modest project. What’s the alternative, proposed George, ruin the Turkish timber export industry? I told him I was unaware that Turkey actually had a timber export industry to which he snorted and scoffed that this was typical of a Brexiteer, to be ignorant of the benefits of the EU. But, surely Turkey isn’t in the EU and according to your boss, Mr Cameron, won’t be for another thousand years I queried. He’s not the boss of me, said George tetchily.

Anyway, he said, due to the economic miracle of the European Union a single shipment of wood could provide an income for families in China, Turkey, Poland, Germany and Brussels as well as making a profit for timber merchants in the United Kingdom; would I deny profits to British companies? But that means British consumers pay through the nose, I objected, to which Osborne sneered and insisted we can afford it. We’re the fifth biggest economy in the world, he said, we ought to be grateful for the benefits the EU brings, not churlish about the price. He felt he had dealt a winning blow.

He's a lumberjack - he's okay...

But what if we left, I asked surely we could source locally grown timber at a lower price, with complete control of quality? He snorted with derision at my naivety, sighed and explained that only a simpleton could believe that. If we left, he said, the British government would have to collect all that tax that we normally paid in stages across the EU in one go here in Britain. It would mean domestic taxes would rise massively he concluded triumphantly. In that instant I knew I was in the presence of greatness and I shook his hand. You’ve convinced me, I told him, you're all bloody mad.

Tuesday 14 June 2016

Despicable Me

Well, I learned a thing or two yesterday. Having got used to seeing the abbreviation LGBT used liberally – or illiberally – by the media and having got used to the idea that Gay Pride has become LGBT Pride I stumbled upon LGBTQ. “Q?” I asked, “Queer” ‘they’ replied (personal pronouns get trickier every day). Then, just as I was absorbing this new piece of concatenation and wondering what the crucial difference between L, G and Q was, I was introduced to LGBTQI, to which I wittily asked “QI means like Stephen Fry?” The rolling of the tumbleweed could be heard across the world.

Twitter is marvellous. It lets you have conversations that in real life could get you beaten up, barred, sacked or excommunicated. You can stop any time you like and you don’t have to lose friends over it – not real friends, anyway. But some just take it too far. Words on a screen are worse than weapons to some and to misuse forms of address for those who don’t conform to what is undeniably the binary norm is considered almost as bad as physical abuse. One day we may all end up with our own individual identification and wear tattooed bar codes on our foreheads so that people know how to greet us and what subjects to steer away from, or be uncharacteristically sensitive to.

But if you can choose something as fundamental as your gender/sexual identity and then march and campaign for recognition, surely you can be big enough to choose how you react towards those who don’t understand your concerns. It’s not their battle to fight for your rights and some of them are bewildered and yes, offended by your insistence that they accept you, no matter how much it costs them. It might be in your interests if you are a militant gender warrior to cut them some slack; after all, many of them are from the generation who fought – actually fought and died - for the rights you so casually demand.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. My reaction to intolerance is indifference. You don’t like my plain vanilla identity, I don’t care. That doesn’t mean I ‘hate’ you; far from it. And while I find the screeching and appropriation amusing, your multi-coloured, bifurcated, binary-denying, straight-hating, all-inclusive-unless-you’re-a-Tory, confused, identity-meandering crusade is just a sideshow to the important things in life. It may be important to you, but it really isn’t important to anybody else, other than some right-on politicians looking for a sectarian vote bloc.

The important things in life? Well, that’s up to you. But in my book that means navigating the stormy waters of this veil of tears with, well, with as few actual tears as possible. Not starting fights you can’t finish, not getting upset over things you can’t change and not craving things you will never have. Try it, a quiet pragmatism goes a long way in the search for contentment. I really don’t care whether you are L or G or B or T or Q or I or even 'plus'; it's not me you have to convince... it sounds like it's you. You’re welcome.

Monday 13 June 2016

Nothing to do with islam... again

It had to happen sooner or later. Poor Owen Jones has finally taken himself too seriously and has become Laurie Penny. As he took umbrage because it wasn’t all about him he flounced out of Sky’s Press Preview leaving behind his dignity and quite possibly his career as baby-faced spokesman for the progressive set. No doubt he will recover some composure and write a nice, long article about the event and what led up to it, but it will be with the benefit of hindsight and reflection. His normally well-rehearsed, if wrong, rebuttals – even though he has occasionally floundered for want of a meaningful comeback – deserted him as he wallowed in his own grief for people he never knew, from a community he so desperately needs to be special.

But there’s the crux of the problem. In fighting for recognition, the shriller voices of the LGBT community have demanded supra-human rights and behaved in the bullying ways they accuse the rest of us of. Most of us – and this includes the majority of LGTBs, the disabled, the welfare dependents, the refugees, the freaks and geeks and simples – just want a quiet life. But the activists just can’t leave it be. Owen was demanding that the Orlando massacre be the exclusive possessive grief of his people and nobody else. The now familiar shouting of ‘allahu akbar’, which gives access to grievance from the wider, non-islamic world must be expunged from all accounts of the shooting.

Owen’s problem was that he wasn’t going to allow anybody else’s views air time. And this is so often the way this works. The set of feelings and hopes and desires and challenges of your own specially defined group has to be a unique model. You don’t understand because you’re not gay/disabled/female/short/bald/poor/rich/thin/fat... where does it end? “You don’t know man you weren’t there!” Because here’s the thing that everybody (nearly everybody) outside of the LGBT world and its intersecting Venn satellites can’t grasp: Why couldn’t it be both homophobic AND islamic?

This theme was pursued in an elongated Twitter exchange with writer Emma Kennedy, whose cognitive dissonance was a thing of wonder to behold. No matter how many people suggested, politely, that the Orlando attacks could have been motivated by both homophobia and the rabid teachings of an unenlightened theology this, to her, was ONLY about homophobia, one of the modern seven deadly sins. Omar Mateen would just have happily gunned down any passing dirty kuffar, gay, straight or any station in between.

None of this is bringing any of the fifty dead back to life. None of this is helping to join hands in fighting this modern scourge from the middle ages. None of this is helping radical LGBT activists and their camp followers to join in the wider narrative about making our societies better. So maybe it’s time to all get your special interest heads out of your arses and start manning the barricades, unless defending the west, which gave you your freedoms is less important than nursing your own unique feelings.

Sunday 12 June 2016

The Eurowars

Jonathan Freedland poses a dilemma; if you had just one wish would it be to guarantee that Britain stays in the EU or that Trump does not become president. No doubt when he dreamed up this devious binary contract with the devil he imagined it would read as a masterly summation of the principle problems with which the world is grappling. But, like other so-called progressive missives to the little people, he hasn’t thought it through. Trump becoming president isn’t the end of the world and it has zero bearing on whether the UK stays subject to rule from Brussels. Like all Remain’s prognostications it offers a false choice; stay and prosper or leave and die.

But if we do leave the EU it isn’t principally the UK which will suffer, it is the whole EU project which is at stake. This is how it goes: We vote to leave. They try to punish us by imposing nominal tariffs and maybe even trade sanctions. We shrug, maybe suffer a dip in the flow of exotic goods for a while but then concessions are made because business – the German car trade for a start – will lobby to maintain its markets. As James Dyson has said, of course trade with Europe will continue and continue largely unchanged.

Others will watch and then the dominoes will begin to fall. Never entirely happy about their relationship, the Dutch will hold their own in/out referendum, closely followed by others and once nations begin to take back control of their destinies the EU will shrink back to become Germany and France propping up the poor eastern states and wondering what to do about Turkey. Greece is a lost cause, Italy is swamped by unwanted African and Middle Eastern immigration and the shutters are going up everywhere. When war comes there will not be the embryonic EU army to call on as each country will recall their own troops to defend their own borders.

There is a certain inevitability about war in Europe. As Freedland (rightly I believe) surmises, the EU has had a hand in staving it off. But only in the manner of a pressure cooker lid; the simmering resentments are still there, the old enmities only muted, not resolved. And as before, Britain’s true place is as a powerful ally, not a neutered lap dog. The longer we stay in the weaker we become until we are no use to anybody. It probably won’t be World War Three, as some in the Remain camp have tried to suggest, it will probably be more ‘Balkany’, but whether Britain is in or out the EU will be weaker still afterwards.

'Twas ever thus.

The options are not a clear cut stay for peace or leave for war; there are no such guarantees. But if and when war does come where do we want to be? On the inside, weakened as a nation, less confident and legally bound to send in troops against our own European fellow citizens? Or as a strong bystander, wielding diplomatic clout from the outside and able to choose if and when we intervene. Through history this has been our role; and history has a habit of repeating itself. Vote out, for the future of Europe.

Friday 10 June 2016

What time is it?

Since my first tick-a-tick-a-Timex, of which I have written before, I have always worn a wristwatch. I can’t recall a time when I didn’t and for men of my generation, the type of watch you wore said much about you. Which is why I now go for an affordable Seiko in a classic, plain style. Dull, unpretentious, reliable; after all, it has a job to do. Not for me the trendy gigantic face, nor the chronometer with too many buttons, none of which serve any useful purpose. Breitling, Rolex, Cartier et al will never adorn my wrist unless I simultaneously win the lottery and lose my marbles. Like your choice of car, your choice of watch often says less flattering things about you than you’d like and for the cost of a Navitimer I could buy a half-decent set of nondescript wheels.

But I notice the younger generations eschew the arm-borne timepiece in favour of... mostly in favour of never knowing what time it is. In the age of everything you want whenever you want (no doubt they believe the EU made this happen!) the ticking away of the hours is irrelevant. They will never know the shared joy of the following-day post-mortem of last night’s scheduled television. Where is the community in stream-when-you-like? Also punctuality appears to have become a bygone courtesy; “I’m not ‘very’ late” is a poor substitute for actually keeping to time-critical appointments.

And having a clock on your smart phone – no matter how much you plead otherwise – is just not the same! Given that the average under-thirty is glued to that tiny screen twenty-four-seven you would imagine they would be more than usually aware of the time of day, yet they rarely display evidence they are even aware of which day of the week it is. If manners maketh man then Mathey-Tissot maketh man on time. All of which ranting was prompted by the sight of a watchless George Osborne with Andrew Neil the other night.   

Now, young Gideon, it is known, was a lotus-eater in his heyday and heeded the hedonistic call of the wild. Not for him a deference to convention, rather the regular and massive indulgence in time-altering substances. If he’d worn a watch it would have been little use; it’s hard to tell the time when you’re seeing double... at twice the speed of thought. From time to time, stories emerge which show him in a less than admirable light and one such anecdote was recently related to the tabloid press.

The young Chancellor-in-waiting had acquired spacious new rooms in Magdalen College. As the son of a baronet, it was suspected that a certain number of strings had been pulled. He held a party soon after moving in and everybody admired the up-and-coming history student’s expensive tastes in décor. Pissed as farts they partied into the night until George suddenly decided it was time for bed and invited the stragglers to join him in the boudoir. They room was dominated by an enormous double-king-size bed with an enormous brass gong above the headboard.

“What’s that big brass gong for?” one of the guests asked. “That’s no gong,” slurred George “that’s a talking clock!” The guests looked at each other; by now everybody was exceptionally squiffy. “A talking clock? Seriously?” asked the inquisitor, incredulously. “Sure,” said Osborne “I’ll show you.” He picked up the beater and struck the gong hard. The soundwaves pounded the air in the room and everybody flinched. Then, as the reverberations were dying away they heard, from the next room, “You bastard! It’s half past three in the morning!”

Thursday 9 June 2016

The dithers of Os...

On deadline day they crashed the system for voter registration – so they say. Some saw conspiracy when this reported event was immediately followed by an extension of the deadline by 48 hours, putting registration and validation perilously close to the possibility of legal challenge. There has been, they say, a last minute surge in younger people registering to vote, which is expected to benefit the Remain war effort. But then Abraham Baldry wrote in the Independent that young people won’t vote anyway because – wait for it – the Conservatives have put them off politics. 

What bollocks. ‘The youth’ have been propagandised by the teaching and student unions all of their lives to believe the Tories are evil child molesters and rapacious slumlords and the only way to get them out is to vote. The reason young people don’t generally do so is that in their modern extended childhoods they have little interest beyond themselves. ‘Twas ever thus, except today there are many more distractions in the way of them growing up and taking responsibility. The biggest concern of generation snowflake seems to be their obsessive insistence that all of their ‘rights’ flow from membership of the EU; an impression the Tory machine is now happy to reinforce.

These will, of course, be the rights to self-identify at whim as whatever gender, race or perceived combination of impairments garners the most attention. Me, me, me has never been so accepted an orientation as it is now. Childish behaviour used to be frowned upon once the lofty status of ‘adult’ had been attained; now it is fawned upon. I don’t mean acting a bit daft from time to time; I’m referring to full-blown, slappable reversion to a childish insistence that the world be shaped to suit only you. Take George Osborne... no, really.

Last night, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, under questioning from Andrew Neil, responded like a petulant student being grilled about plagiarism. Somebody else had done his homework and Brillo wanted to get to the bottom of it. Where did the numbers come from? Why are you continuing to use discredited research? Why didn’t you show your working? You and Christine copied each other’s homework, didn’t you? In response, Osborne’s ‘debating technique’ seemed to consist of outright denial (“I never!”) deflection (“It wasn’t me!”) and repetition of worn tropes no matter how hackneyed.

I wouldn’t have been surprised had his argument been to insist it wasn’t fair and to repeat back Andrew Neil’s statements in a mocking, sing-song voice, or to demand “No, YOU explain it, fatty!” At one point the discussion concentrated on Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’ and the issue of migrant benefits. Despite only marginal and ineffective concessions on the entitlement of visitors to claim UK welfare cash, Osborne insisted over and over again on sticking to the transparently fraudulent claims of his boss. If the ‘yoof’ have learned one thing it is that adults eventually tire of trying to engage with them and move on.

I think Andrew Neil missed a trick. The hot issue in this debate is the lack of control the UK has within Europe to control who comes here and how they are treated. The question shouldn’t be about how long EU citizens have to be in the UK before they can claim benefits, but why we are compelled to pay British taxpayers money to people of other nationalities in the first place. Low paid migrant workers will never make any financial contribution to Britain’s economy (currently we need a tax take of £7,500 a head just to balance the books) so subsidising them seems to be madness. It’s not about the economy, stupid!

One for you, two for me...
Of course I know how the economy works!

You can talk about reciprocity all you like but the idea that you can go anywhere in the EU and live off benefits paid for by their citizens is a crock. It could only possibly find acceptance if there really was a single country called Europe and nobody in their right mind wants that. (Do they?) That gigantic, controlling edifice is exactly the sort of thing you end up with when you let children demand ever greater rights, by law, to never to have to face up to reality. It’s time Osborne was made to face the reality that haunts so many citizens of the EU. Joblessness. 

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Get Real

It’s just over two weeks to go to the big referendum day and while the Leave and Remain campaigns are going into overdrive, hoping to bring out all the big guns in a final sprint to the finish line, half of the spectators have wandered off unimpressed and the rest are largely splitting into sectarian groups, grumbling about how to handle the result. It’s important, win or lose, to have a strategy to explain, celebrate, declare conspiracy and ultimately to just be able to live with the outcome.

If we vote to remain in the despised EU – even many who will vote to stay are hardly uncritical supporters of the shadowy organisation which has taken over every aspect of our lives - the Brexiteers will never accept the verdict and the struggle for UK independence will go on. If we vote to leave then every single thing that isn’t perfect – every drop of rain on a summer’s day, every change in interest rates, every company that folds, every jihadi that explodes, every disease, plane crash, cancelled TV series, unrisen soufflé, burnt barbecue sausage or losing lottery ticket - will be blamed on Brexit.

Even if we get to become filthy rich outside some will still insist that our wealth could have been filthier still; after all, isn’t that exactly what Osborne’s dodgy dossier suggested? On the other hand if we stay in and things only continue to get more mundane, unexciting, over-controlled  and less prosperous it will be blamed on the disruption caused by the run up to the vote and they will say the markets don’t trust us because we dared to show some teeth. There is a post-result strategy to suit every pessimist in this celebrated land of gloomy stoicism.

If it hasn’t already dawned on you, nobody is going to win except the usual winners; the losers will still always lose no matter how many chances you give them. Given any set of circumstances, those with the ability to exploit those circumstances will profit. Given any set of circumstances most of those at the bottom of the dung heap will resolutely dig themselves deeper. It’s enough to make you believe that the EU project is an ideal and accurate model of all big societies; keep the herd doped up and sluggish and let the elites play at amassing cash – all we need are progressively bigger fences to separate them.

Who’s going to pay for it all? Who always pays in the end? Not the working man at the bottom of the ladder – their tax credits and share of society’s provisions more than equal their meagre tax contributions. Not the very wealthy – from their tax havens all they can see is clear waters and gentle ripples crinkling the shadows of their super-yachts as they lie at anchor under azure skies. No, it’s you and me, the ‘higher rate’ taxpayer, which now conveniently includes people on what would have been comparatively quite average earnings just a few years ago.

ITV audience event went to Farage

Meanwhile the BBC worry about the wearing of crusader outfits at Euro 2016 games in case they upset muslims; it's clear to see some crusades never end and the state broadcaster plays its part in the national pantomime. The demise of the Roman Empire was accompanied by a quelling of the masses with distractions and simple pleasures – bread and circuses - The referendum might just be both the biggest circus and con-trick of all, providing literally decades of distraction while the lever-pullers keep on tugging away. Whichever way you vote on 23rd June don’t expect the outcome to change your life. In or out, only you can do that.