Monday, October 20, 2014

The Art Of Gothic: The Shock Of The Old

Have just watched The Art Of Gothic: The Shock Of The Old on BBC 4.

It was a rubbishy programme - all over the place culturally, sequentially, historically.

Andrew Graham-Dixon entirely failed to deliver a coherent argument and at least half the examples he quoted were foreign.

Presentation

I am working flat out on a presentation.  Have been for days.  It has to be ready by Friday.

It's an extremely exciting idea, but supported by such complicated and boring evidence that I am afraid the data with drag it down and make it flat.

Only forty-five minutes to deliver it, and already I have sixty slides - all of them important.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Polish government should be a little less arrogant

On the World At One earlier today the Polish ambassador was intransigent about the EU "free movement of people"

However if the United Kingdom leaves the EU the result is a bloody big problem for Poland with one million Poles potentially arriving back in Poland unemployed.

So perhaps the Polish government should be a little less arrogant about what is or is not "non-negotiable".

In negotiations with the EU the British hold all the cards.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

You can make associations - Conference 4

Closing sessions.

The (over-used) dark star analogy was made (they know we exist, they can feel our influence, but they can't see us...").

MB's talk:

You can't claim to be from an area if you are not...  Lots of negative press...  You can't make causal links but you can make associations...


(MM arrives late and lets the door slam behind him).

RU's talk:

We don't need acceptance by anyone...  We are serving the nation, we are the guardians of Conservatism...  Most of our members are self-chosen...  Respected by communities throughout the world...  Loss of indigenous cultures...  We are not a marginalised movement... 

Leftist march through London earlier today

BBC News 24 reported on the leftist march through London earlier today.

It looked very thinly attended.

Someone called Sam Fairbairn was interviewed and said the event was organised by some kind of popular front.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The arrogance of Martin Amis

Is there no end to the arrogance of Martin Amis?

In The Zone of Interest he uses one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century as a backdrop to his novel:  http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n20/michael-hofmann/splashing-through-the-puddles?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3620&hq_e=el&hq_m=3448241&hq_l=5&hq_v=3b22cae22a

Intense pain and privation just an exotic setting for his wannabe-philosophical musings.

The Ched Evans issue

The Left seems to be tying itself up in knots over the Ched Evans issue.

I am all in favour of a draconian crime and punishment system, but the Left is not being consistent here.

ALL criminals need to be punished and serve their FULL sentences and THEN work in the community to make amends.

You can't just pick one person out and say I want extra stigmatisation for him.

The Left in general and the Labour Party in particular has been soft on crime and soft on the causes of crime.

The grandest of Labour grandees

On Daily Politics just now Roy Hattersley has said about Labour's wilderness years "one of my greatest achievements was ending the commitment to meaningless public ownership".

Does the current Labour leadership agree with this?

Does Owen Jones (Guardian) agree with this?

Roy Hattersley has just said Ed Miliband "should not be eating bacon sandwiches, instead he should be talking about what he believes in".

When even the grandest of Labour grandees ("I was enthralled by Roy Jenkins") doesn't support the current Labour leadership isn't it time Ed Miliband threw in the towel?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

We are at a tipping point or bifurcation - Conference 3

Saturday 11th October

I left the dinner at about 1am, but was woken at 5am by drunken stumbling and slurred talking in the corridor outside my room, so obviously the gathering did not break up until nearly dawn. 

I could not get back to sleep so I got up at 6 and attempted to watch television (with the sound turned very low), but the channels were so difficult to navigate that I could not find anything worth watching.  I opened the curtains and sat in an armchair reading in the dim early light.  At 8am I went to the restaurant, second person to arrive.

The Conference began at 10am.

JT’s talk:

“I am not interested in representation, I am interested in implementation…  We have experienced a succession of paradigms, one replacing the other…  Normality is followed by crisis is followed by a new paradigm…  A crisis is when there are more anomalies than normalities…  We have to shed the old paradigm…  The challenge now is to reformulate ourselves in a way that is acceptable to the mainstream…  I believe we are at a tipping point or bifurcation…  We are as a nation in trouble…  We are experiencing a double layer of phoniness – straw man dating aunt sally…  Ronald Bell was very cool…  the Black Panthers were against integration, and that’s a good model…  Pre-1945 everything was seamless indigenous culture at one with the nation…  This broke down and we entered an age of fallacy and falsehood…  To get beyond this we cannot go back to pre-45, we have to find a new way…  Pre-45 is done, it’s over, but post-45 is done also…  So what can we put in its place?...  We need to move away from clusters and focus on binding…  One person can influence two hundred people, twenty thousand people properly trained can transform the country…  About ten years ago I was giving a speech to this Institute and someone jumped up and said “You’re not a real Conservative” (at this point an elderly bad-tempered crone got up and said “I did NOT say that!” – everybody laughed)…  We have got to drop our fascination with the mainstream…  We don’t like them, but we keep trying to be like them, that’s stupid…  The mainstream people are all over identity now, they have finally got with the programme…  They are done with identity 1.0 and identity 2.0 and they need identity 3.0 – and we have identity 3.0 ready to go!

The Times telling us yet again "immigration is good for you"

Another facile dissembling intellectually dishonest article in The Times telling us yet again "immigration is good for you":  http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/leaders/article4236961.ece?CMP=SOC-Twitter-thetimes-28_07_2014-468-0-0-0

If it is to take this angle the pro-immigration lobby needs to prove EXACTLY how the benefits of immigration get into the pockets of ordinary people.

And if immigration is so full of benefits why have ordinary people not felt those benefits since mega-immigration was introduced in 1997?

But in any case, speaking personally I do not want any more immigration.  Don't care what the benefits are, I just don't want it.  And The Times needs to start respecting the majority view, not tell us we are wrong.

The ordinary people own this country.

Education policy under Labour was institutionally racist

Article by Sally Weale in the Guardian about how education policy has been manipulated:  http://www.theguardian.com/education/2014/oct/15/coastal-schools-neglected-by-national-initiatives

"...a largely white working class population – a demographic that across the country is now among the most educationally disadvantaged" - in other words education policy under Labour was institutionally racist.

They poured money into disadvantaged London areas to buy the BME bloc vote.

They ignored everyone else.

Betrayal

George Eaton in the New Statesman http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/10/labour-might-not-be-war-itself-miliband-desperately-needs-inspire-his-supporters

Telling paragraph:

After Miliband’s victory, his supporters were enthused by his decision to appoint Cruddas, a Labour romantic, to lead the policy review and by his recruitment of Arnie Graf, the US community organiser, to overhaul the party’s campaign structures and end the era of “machine politics” and “command and control”. They now feel, in the words of one MP, “betrayed”.

In Harold Pinter's play Betrayal there were 'hidden emotions and veiled motivations, self-absorbed competitive one-upmanship, face-saving, dishonesty, and (self-)deceptions.'

George Eaton is right to use the word betrayal in the Labour context.

Misusing the state housing stock to buy votes

This announcement by Labour that local people will be given priority in allocation of housing has important implications and indicates the Labour leadership wants to move away from its previous policy of allocation by "need":  http://www.itv.com/news/2014-10-16/locals-and-first-time-buyers-given-priority-in-housing-market-labour-vows/

Until the late 1960s early 1970s Councils built council houses for local people in their area who needed a house.

The Labour amended the legislation so that this housing was allocated on the basis of "need" so that anyone in "need" who arrived at a council housing office was immediately given priority - in reality this meant recently arrived immigrants who tended to be poor and have large families and tended to vote in a bloc for Labour candidates.

In response Conservative governments sold off council housing rather than see the housing stock used by the Labour party to gerrymander constituencies.

Both these strategies were wrong, but Labour must carry the heaviest burden of responsibility for what happened to council housing in the United Kingdom - as they tacitly admit with the announcement today.

Will they now apologise for misusing the state housing stock to buy votes?

A return to Newsnight Review on Fridays

Newsnight was interesting last night reviewing the new German culture exhibition at the British Museum.

And it was interesting the night before with the Booker prize report.

Perhaps we might yet see a return to Newsnight Review on Fridays.  But without I hope the ever-changing vibrantly diverse "cultural commentators" who all seemed to say the same things, and the horrible wide-angle studio.  Just a stable panel of four people we can trust (Michael Goldfarb perhaps, or Nick Laird).

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

After the break was the Closed Session - Conference 2

Friday 10th October

I had asked for a call at 6am, and after washing and dressing I went up to the restaurant for breakfast.  Second person to arrive (it opened at 7pm).  I asked for a table in a back corner, mainly because I did not want anyone to see how greedy I was being – three sausages, two fried eggs, a heap of scrambled egg, two slices of black pudding, two pieces of fried bread, one mushroom, one half of a tomato followed by grapefruit segments, strawberry yoghurt, a pot of drinking yoghurt followed by two Danish pastries, two croissants with marmalade (there wasn’t any apricot jam), a piece of chocolate bread plus a pot of coffee.

After breakfast I went to the exhibitors’ hall.  I was so early I had to ask for it to be unlocked.  Ten stands arranged around the perimeter of the chamber with the central area reserved for the teas and coffees to be served during the breaks.  Because it is a closed conference all the “exhibitors” were internal, mostly campaigns that we want members to get involved with.

I talked to KD (from Head Office) and helped her set up her stand – exuberant thanks for doing this.  We talked about the ghastly SS and how we disliked her pushy ways.  SS arrived and immediately began smoothing the tablecloths so that I would have to move.

I went into the hall next door for the formal start to the Conference.  About 150 members were in the hall, more than I expected.  The Council were seated on the stage with the Institute’s Director Alec Nussbaum and Deputy Director Marcia Walsh.

I was absolutely disgusted to see the young hipster sitting on the stage as a member of Council.  Rough-shaven, tight mustard trousers, open-necked check shirt (tiny checks so the shirt looked grey from a distance.  As there are comparatively few young members of the Institute he is likely to hold the “yoof” place on Council for years to come.

The President of the Institute, a bearded elderly gentleman looking like Leopold II King of the Belgians, made the opening remarks in a stilted style.

About twenty new members then appeared, and lined up in front of the audience to take their Affirmations.  This oath of loyalty makes some people uncomfortable (the Institute as a cult), but it has done more to secure confidentiality over the years than almost any other measure.  I clapped so many times my hands began to hurt.

After the new members had been welcomed Awards were made to members who have contributed to the Institute in terms of Research, Campaigning and Innovation.

After the Awards a few Fellowships were given out.  These are given to long-standing members, usually past Presidents.  I was surprised to see Vijay Singh (former Director of the Institute) given a fellowship but Marcia Walsh told me later he got it to keep him quiet.  As each Fellow went up to the stage he was given a large envelope supposedly containing a certificate although I knew the envelopes were empty (the certificates had not arrived in time).  One of the Fellows insisted on saying a few words (“we are a learning, sharing, caring community” he mumbled).

After the Fellowships the President gave the Presidential Address, starting with a vote of loyalty to the Crown.  Following this very conventional opening he then mischievously told us we were all “outlaws”.  He talked out identity (“We are not defined by what other people think of us.  We define ourselves.  We are defined by our oath of Affirmation…”).   He talked about group mind.  He talked about recruitment (“We don’t choose to be members, we are chosen…”).  Sustained applause with a few people standing up.

A break for morning coffee.  I stood at my table in the hall and tried to interest people in various campaigns we have coming up.  One person who showed an interest was a Canadian – what possible relevance does the Institute have in Canada?

After the break was the Closed Session.  Employees and various others are not supposed to sit in on this, and at the doors Council members were taking the names of everyone going into the hall.  I chose the door guarded by the hipster and just walked past him, assuming (correctly) that he would not be confident enough to challenge me.

I sat at the back where the top table could not see me.  MM arrived just as the doors were closing.  I wanted a glass of water but I did not dare stand up and walk to a side table in case I was seen by a member of Council.

Apologies for absence were read out (“I notice that a number of people on this list are here!”).
Obituaries were read out (this took some time).

Scrutineers were appointed.

Reports previously circulated were listed and questions were asked.

Finance was glossed over, which was surprising given the way we are always told how little money we have.

Discussion of the Journal and its cost (high because the print run is so low due to the restricted circulation).

I felt myself dehydrating due to the air conditioning.

Then came the Special Resolutions.  The meeting became increasingly acrimonious with many personal remarks flying across the hall.  The general behaviour of a bow-tied middle-aged member was questioned and he snarled back “If I want to smoke a spliff I’ll smoke a spliff”, shocking the silver-haired gentlemen and elderly desiccated ladies (“you’re all fanatics”).

An inflammatory sheet, hostile to the Council, was circulated person to person.  When it reached me I knew immediately it should be suppressed and put it among the notes I was holding.  When the lunch break came I took the sheet to Vijay Singh and he said “good work” and told me to look out for anything else that undermined the Council (which legitimised my presence in the Closed Session).

I went to the screened-off area where the staff lunches were reserved, but was so late everything had been ransacked and I had to make do with leftovers (this has happened so often at Conferences that I now make sure I have a good breakfast).

Returning to the Closed Session after lunch I walked up to the hipster and told him Vijay Singh had asked me to attend the meeting.  He just said “cool” with that infuriating sub-Ryan-Gosling attitude of his and wrote my name on his list.  He is such a sneaky individual that I knew he would double-check with Vijay Singh in the hope of catching me out.

Special Resolution 3 – clashes over which projects would get funding over the next year, with an expected concentration of expenditure in the first five months of 2015.

Special Resolution 4 – “Our cellular structure counts against infiltration…” “…I was told I would have to resubmit and when I asked why I was told there were new guidelines.  I was asked for a copy of the guidelines and was told No, and when I asked why I was told it was because my submission had not been accepted…” “We are all standing under a sword of Damocles…” “In two years I will be seventy” (getting upset) “…we can’t go back and change history but we can damn well change the future…” “…at the end of the day we are all on the same side…”

Voting slips were collected (they are all named and numbered, so there was no chance I could vote).

Then the President stood up and read out a long list of thanks to various people, becoming tearful at places.

After the Conference had closed for the day I felt so tired I had to go back to my room and lie-down for an hour before attending the Drinks Reception for New Members (in which I talked to an Icelandic person – what possible relevance does the Institute have to Iceland?).

Later came the dinner with a guest so confidential it cannot be…

Lord Freud

Do please remember that Lord Freud was part of the Labour Establishment before he became part of the Tory Establishment.

He has no political views beyond a sort of me-first expediency. 

He is typical of the amorphous group of well-educated, well-connected leeches that just follow power around hoping to fix themselves to a host and feed off it.

"Male escort" indeed - we all know what that's a euphemism for!






I am totally flabbergasted that an organisation called BAME Labour should think this endorsement of Ed Miliband by Boy George (George O'Dowd) is worth repeating.

Ed Miliband is "not creepy in any way" Boy George tells us.

Is Boy George qualified to say who is creepy and who is not?

This is someone who got fifteen months for falsely imprisoning a "male escort" by chaining him to a radiator in his flat.

It rather suggests that the Boy George spectrum of creepiness is different to the moral standards held by the rest of us.

My goodness, is this the best Labour's media operation can come up with?

"Male escort" indeed - we all know what that's a euphemism for!

And who is BAME Labour anyway?