Saturday, May 31, 2014

Perceptive comment from Alex Deane on Dateline London

Very perceptive comment from Alex Deane on Dateline London about UKIP:  "London liberals is not the audience they are talking to".

All three main parties (Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat) are too London-centric.

According to World Bank figures only 15% of the United Kingdom population lives in London. 

Only 25% of the population lives in cities of one million people. 

Most people in the United Kingdom live in rural areas, small market towns and large historic county cities.

And yet political parties are saturated by people drawn from the metropolitan elites and with a metropolitan ideology (which they have either been born into or acquired through social osmosis).

That is why they are so out of touch.

The culture wars are only just beginning

"The culture wars afflicting the Church of England are bascially over" says Giles Fraser with his usual mixture of ignorance and arrogance.

Is Giles Fraser unaware of the arrival of millions of Polish Roman Catholics into the United Kingdom?

If the Church of England is to minister to these new arrivals it is going to have to junk many of its liberal affectations - especially as the Equality Act requires all buildings in receipt of public money (as most historic churches are) to be available to sections of the community not just Anglicans.

Polish immigrants are not likely to want to accept the Host from the hands of a woman priest for instance.

Of course, the Church of England could always pretend the immigrants don't exist and that the Equality Act does not apply to them.

But I rather suspect that the culture wars are only just beginning.

Question posed by writer Hanif Kureishi in an overly sentimental article in today's Guardian

"What is Europe so scared of" is the question posed by writer Hanif Kureishi in an overly sentimental article in today's Guardian.

Hanif Kureishi has obviously not read Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks which records the way in which a thousand years of Roman civilisation was gradually overwhelmed by the entry into Roman territory of those who most desired to become Romans.

It is not the immigrants that are feared, it is the possibility of a new dark age that might be the unintentional result of such social change.

Civilisation is not so resiliant that it can absorb millions of incomers every decade.

There must eventually be a tipping point when civilisation disintegrates. 
Is it not ironic that Sinn Féin should pose as "anti-racist" campaigners.

This is the organisation that carried out ethnic cleansing against Protestants throughout Ireland.

25 Reasons You Should Never Fly Air France

Friday, May 30, 2014

The idea to employ David Axelrod

Newsnight this evening told us that Ed Miliband does not look at the British media but instead reads the American website Real Clear Politics:

Real Clear Politics is almost entirely comprised of American political news.

Is this where the idea to employ David Axelrod came from?

Article by Labour activist Stewart Owadally on the LabourList website

Staggeringly stupid article by Labour activist Stewart Owadally on the LabourList website:

I suppose if one were being kind one could see his stupidity from the perspective of his experience as a BME person.

Stewart Owadally and many others (other thinks of Bonnie Greer, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Lee Jasper, Diane Abbott, Lenny Henry etc) see the issue from an entirely egocentric viewpoint.

“If you are opposed to immigration it is because you are racist” their attitude might be typified. 

Let us leave on one side issues of democratic consent.

Let us leave on one side issues of wage undercutting.

Let us leave on one side cultural tensions.

Let us just focus on the practical resources required by on-going rates of immigration.

Currently net migration is 212,000 per year, and it has been equally as high or higher for the past decade or more and shows no signs of slowing (certainly not if Labour get back in).


Assuming the new immigrants will live two people per bedroom, we will require 35,000 extra 3-bedroom house built per year, or 176,000 extra 3-bedroom houses every five years.  We know that these houses are not being built, and are not likely to be built in the near future.  Remember, these are EXTRA houses required on top of the housing deficit that has built up over the past twenty years.


The average consumption of electricity per person in the United Kingdom is 4,600 kWH per year.  Therefore the new migrants will require 975,200,000 kWH of extra electricity per year.  This means building the equivalent of a Torness power station every two years just to cope with immigration.


Average consumption of water in the United Kingdom is 38,690 litres per person per year.  Therefore the new migrants will require 8,202,280,000 extra litres of water per year.  This means opening a new reservoir the size of the KGVI near Staines every two years just to give the immigrants the essential water they will need.


Average sewage per person in the United Kingdom is 50 litres per person per day.  Therefore the immigrants will produce 10,600,000 litres of sewage per day.  That is a lot of foul sludge to dispose of – miles of new drains and sewers will need to be built every year.

Law and Order

Based on existing ratios of police per thousand population 263 extra police will be required each year to cope with the incoming immigrants (assuming they are as law abiding as the current population).  They will also require expansion of the courts and criminal justice system.  Ultimately more prison spaces will be required.


Based on existing ratios of GPs per thousand population (8 GPs per 1,000 people) 168 extra GPs will need to be added each year to the NHS.  Concomitant increases in hospital provision will also have to be considered.  There will also be the on-going issues of health – mental illness, disability, long-term health conditions etc.

Other calculations will need to be made.  How many cars will the new immigrants want to drive, and what impact will the extra cars have on congestion?  How many of the immigrants will want to use the trains and Underground in the rush hour, and are they willing to stand or will they want seats?  Assuming they are not willing to remain celibate, how many children can we expect and where will they be born, and where are the new schools where will they be educated?  Inevitably family reunions will be insisted on, so how much extra provision will be needed for the elderly parents of immigrants?

If you are agitating for immigration to remain at the current rates without making adequate provision for it you are both mad and evil.

The only sensible way forward is to stop immigration until the above issues of resources have been addressed.
Dinner at Sleepers:

He must mean Sleepers in Hull

Review by Owen Jones (Guardian) of the new Selina Todd book The People

Above:  Eton Mess - a favourite pudding.

Writing a review of a review is as absurd as the Whit Stillman character who says he prefers reading literary criticism to reading novels.

However there are some comments in this review by Owen Jones (Guardian) of the new Selina Todd book The People that one cannot let pass:

"...the rise of Thatcherism led to 'the fall of the working class as an economic and political force' " - actually it led to the consummation of the working class as an economic and political force.  Margaret Thatcher's landslides would have been impossible without the votes of the working classes.  Not since Victorian times had work as a moral imperative and ideology become such a motivating force of government policy.

The post war competition to build houses was in many ways motivated by the desire to repair the destruction of the war, rather than any socialist drive to house the workers.  House building was a national prestige project.  It should be evaluated in the same way as the useless accumulation of the atom bomb and the abortive Blue Streak / Black Arrow space programme.

"...a fifth of manual workers’ children made it to grammar school" - and thus went on to enter the establishment.  Now, instead of 20% of working class children entering the establishment NONE of them do.  The socialists created a desert of educational equality and called it social progress (to paraphrase Tacitus).

"...writers on the left, including myself, need to examine the appeal of conservatism..."  Here Owen Jones betrays his middle class credentials.  No-one who has struggled to build from nothing a secure home and future for their families can doubt the appeal of Conservatism to the working class.  Those who have nothing have nothing to lose and so can regard revolution with equanimity.  Those with an Oxbridge education and easily transferable intellectual skills can afford to say sweep the board clean and let's start again.  Those who have nearly killed themselves to buy a tiny house and buy a reasonably acceptable second-hand car and get their children into moderately competent state school will fight with the ferocity of lions to preserve the status quo.

Owen Jones has obviously never worked in a factory.  If he had he would know that the workers and the bosses get on fine, it is the bullying middle-ranking supervisors and middle managers and jumped up shop stewards that are hated.  As in the factory so in society as a whole - the workers and the toffs quite like each other, and both groups despise the busybody moralising middle classes with their po-faced political correctness and superior airs of liberalism.

That is why although I am the son of a welder and a cleaner, and I was born in a house later pulled down as a slum, and I left school at 16 with almost no qualifications (although I later corrected that through my own efforts) I am a Conservative.  I much prefer the Old Etonians - you know where you are with them.  And although I quite like the rise of radical UKIP I see it as a complement to Conservatism, not a replacement.

" banks, legal loan sharks and zero-hours contracts..."  These are all New Labour creations Mr Jones.  I am sure Labour meant well (most of the time) during their eleven years in office but their incompetence created the three monsters you describe.  It took eleven years of Labour to create this situation and it will probably take eleven years of Conservatism to eradicate them.

Muddled logic by Aditya Chakrabortty in this Guardian article

Rather muddled logic by Aditya Chakrabortty in this Guardian article:

The only reason for interest rates to go up is to curb inflation (too much money chasing too few goods).

As everyone knows, average inflation is not going up (with the exception of house prices).

Looking at house prices specifically, on average they double every seven years (and have done so since the Second World War with blips and dips along the way but still keeping to the seven year average upward curve).  We are still below that curve in terms of house price increases.  Therefore there are several more years to go before we enter a "blip" of house price exuberance.

On the issue of the long-term affordability of housing, I think there needs to be more discussion of the "legacy factors" of older generations dying and leaving property to their children.  Let us assume that an elderly widow, owning a small house in a London suburb, dies.  Her house is worth, after taxes and paying off any borrowings against the property, £300,000 which is then split between her six grand-children.  These six people aged in their early to mid thirties now have £50k each to act as a deposit on a property of their own.  Thus mortgages become obtainable and the new level of prices we have seen become sustainable.  Someone needs to write a research paper on the legacy effect on house prices - people are dying all the time and pouring money back into their families.

Mark Steele's article

Just as politicians should avoid telling gags, so comedians should avoid soapbox politics:

There is nothing in Mark Steele's article that is funny.  He relies on extreme exaggeration to create a dissonance the effect of which is designed to make one laugh.  This might work once or twice, but over twelve paragraphs it is a bit thin.

The Lord Rennard scandal

There are three aspects of the Lord Rennard scandal that need to be considered:

First whether now Lord Rennard has admitted in writing some degree of wrongdoing whether this provides prima facie grounds for his accusers to pursue legal action (which if successful would achieve their objective of removing him from the Liberal Democrat party).

Second whether his reanimation provides Nick Clegg with an opportunity to act tough within his own party, deflecting accusations of weakness and irrelevance.

Third, whether Lord Rennard is the only hope for the Liberal Democrat, and only his superior campaigning skills can save them from oblivion.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Joey Barton is impressively authentic on Question Time this evening.

Morrissey as a Penguin Classic.

Joey Barton as a Question Time intellectual.

Whatever next?

Annie Lennox

When asked what is the greatest promo video of all time (crass question I know) I think it has to be Annie Lennox Walking on Broken Glass

Annie Lennox as Lady Caroline Lamb, John Malkovich as Lord Byron.

I never tire of watching it.

Director was Sophie Muller.

Lord Rennard

Channel 4 News gave an update on the Lord Rennard scandal earlier this evening:

It seems that Lord Rennard has sent a letter to the Liberal Democrat leadership apologising for his behaviour towards women (he has been accused of groping, although he would say he was merely over-tactile).


Was there ever a more negative movement in the United Kingdom than Sinn Féin?

The Ardoyne parade should be banned this year because it was banned last year.

"This latest application should be refused on the same grounds as last year."

They do things that way because they have always done things that way.

What a dismal way to behave.

John McTernan reminds me of those tiresome teenage brats you sometimes come across

In this article on Policy Network John McTernan reminds me of those tiresome teenage brats you sometimes come across smoking (queasily), drinking Red Bull from the can and referring their "bitch" with such enthusiastically foul expletives that you suspect they are still virgins:

You know the brats would never behave in that way in front of their parents.

Equally we can be sure that John McTernan would never say these things directly to the electorate.

You can have as much immigration as you want Mr McTernan.

You can bring a billion people here if you wish.

All you have to do is put it in a manifesto and ask the people to vote for it.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper tells us "hi-tech businesses and universities are troubled..."

In this article about immigration Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper tells us "hi-tech businesses and universities are troubled that we aren't getting the skills and investment we need":

How is this possible?

The United Kingdom is not Ghana or Azerbaijan where the education infrastructure is patchy and unreliable.

We spend billions and billions on education in this country.

So why is the money we push in at one end not turning out the skilled workers we need at the other end?

Is it possible Ms Cooper that the money is being siphoned off half-way by a lazy unionised teaching profession that is unwilling to adapt to the fast-moving requirements of the economy?

You can have expenditure on primary, secondary, further and higher education (as a taxpayer I am happy to fund this, even though I have no children of my own).

OR you can import skilled workers because our education system is so basic and low-cost we cannot turn out skilled people ourselves.

What you cannot do is spend taxes on a vastly expensive education system and then say it isn't working so we'll have to have hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year to fill the gap.

This is William Hague, a supposed right-winger

On the whole I think it would be better if the Conservatives lost the Newark by-election.

As a Conservative this is difficult for me to say (although less difficult than it was two weeks ago).

But based on reports in The Sun that the Foreign Secretary William Hague is opposing immigration control, I think we Conservatives need to accept that there is something deeply wrong with our own leadership.

This is William Hague, a supposed right-winger, who is opposing immigration control (on the grounds of expediency - he does not see how it can be done).

What happens to right-wingers in the Conservative party that moves them to the left as soon as they get into power (or are ejected from power)?

Do they go through some conversion to liberalism?  Or do they "come out" and admit they were liberals all along and the right-wingery was just a bit of fun?  Or are they just lying scumbags who will prostrate themselves in any way necessary to maintain as long as possible their self-absorbed lifestyles of power, money and media attention?

Do you not recall Mr Hague the way that Margaret Thatcher backed your bid for the Conservative leadership? (and oh how you fucked that up).

Do you not feel some sense of responsibility to the poor souls of the Wentworth constituency who point out your childhood home with awe (and it is still bizarrely inhabited by a constituency officer who is no doubt hoping the Hague fundamentalist magic will rub off on him)?

Do you not owe the wider Conservative membership some debt of gratitude for the patient way they have put up over the years with the baseball caps and the Awayday freakshow jumpers and the SPADS in the bedrooms etc?

And now you do this.

There is no pretending all is fine, when on the crucial issue facing the country you are putting up barriers.

Therefore my advice to the voters of Newark is if you want immigration to stop do not vote Conservative on this occasion.


George Eaton in the New Statesman writes...

My goodness, George Eaton in the New Statesman writes a whole article on Labour strategy without once mentioning guru David Axelrod:

Is Mr Axelrod yesterday's romance?

Who is dumping who here?

Will Labour ask for a refund of the fees (or is that like asking for the engagement ring back?).

One is reminded of Dire Straits and their wise salutary words:

You can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything, you promised me thick and thin, yeah.
Now you just say, "Oh Romeo, yeah. You know, I used to have a scene with him."

In this article about UKIP David Aaronovitch reminds me of those fatheads who used to say the internet would never catch on:

A sin of omission concerning a sin of commission

With great skill Mishal Husain got Sir Graham Watson (recently defeated Liberal Democrat MEP) to say about Liberal Democrat intriguer Vince Cable: "Often we are treacherous by our failure to act as much as by an act itself" on the Today programme this morning.

Out of a full heart the mouth speaks, and Mishal Husain was skilful enough to draw Sir Graham out.

Vince Cable seems to have been guilty of a sin of omission concerning a sin of commission (-ing of illicit destabilising polls).

The points Suzanne Moore makes

Some of the points Suzanne Moore makes in this article are valid, others I have my doubts about:

But point number four needs to be circulated as widely as possible.

Indeed, in the fashion of the age it should be tattooed in multi-coloured gothic script on the breast of everyone on a candidates' list for each of the political parties.

4 No one should stand for a seat in a place to which they have no connection. Why on earth should ambitious Londoners be helicoptered into safe seats? I have heard talk that the standard of MPs would drop if it were left to local talent alone. Yes, really.

In the good old days the Conservatives used to choose their candidates from the ranks of the local gentry. 

Yes they were snooty and condescending (if they held a Conservative fete on the manor house lawn you might be able to use the loos in the house but the inner rooms would be No Entry - with tantalising sounds of the Constituency Officers being given special hospitality in some private sanctum where the real decisions were being made).

But because they were gentry and owned land in the constituency they cared about the locality and its people.  Deeply cared in ways that were impossible to fake.  The caring made up for all the social froider and clumsy attempts at bonhomie. 

All that has largely gone.

When Liz Truss was dropped on South West Norfolk it was an offensive example of metropolitan imperialism.

When Tristram (Tristram!) Hunt was imposed on Stoke the hapless locals got the worst of both worlds - the la-di-da Old Etonian Oxbridge patronage with none of the centuries-old connection with the locality.

I would like to see a ten-year rule - no-one can stand in a constituency unless they have lived there for ten years.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Spectator article by Nick Cohen

In this Spectator article by Nick Cohen (Observer) UKIP is described in such circumlocutionary terms that one wonders if Mr Cohen has a case of Freudian Ungeschehenmachen in which he is unable to discuss his true fears

"I don’t want to dismiss the triumph of its poujadistes" he says dismissively.  Is this irony?  Or is this truth disguised as irony (or indeed irony disguised as truth disguised as irony)?

"David Davis regards Ukip supporters with an avuncular tolerance I cannot match" says Nick Cohen, undermining his professed wish not to dismiss triumphalist poujadistes - indeed by the thirteenth paragraph the UKIP supporters have lost their French euphemism and become know-nothing loud mouths.

He portrays UKIP as alternately revolutionaries and reactionaries - or perhaps he means they are simultaneously revolutionary and reactionary.

He talks of "moderate Conservatives" with an assurance the hollowness of which is only apparent to those of us who know (truly know) the extremist moderates he speaks of.

But it is that which he does not mention that most fully expresses Nick Cohen's mute eloquence and tells us what he is really thinking about.

In 1,414 words about UKIP Nick Cohen does not once mention immigration.

How is it possible to write the word UKIP and not mention immigration in the same sentence? 

Sigmund Freud included in his notes the account of a patient who removes a large stone from the middle of a road in case it should upset the carriage of his beloved, and then feels compelled to put the stone back in an act of "undoing" so as not to draw attention to the thing he most feared.

Is this article an example of negative magic Mr Cohen?  By choosing not to discuss the one thing UKIP is above all associated with do you hope to protect your ego against instinctual demands?  In short, are we justified in thinking all your smooth and urbane words are masking expressions of hate and not love?

A maelstrom of hatefulness and deceit

On the PM programme on BBC Radio 4 earlier today Sir Menzies Campbell (Ming) talked about the failed coup mounted by Lord Oakshotte in the Liberal Democrat party and mused that he may have been a target of Lord Oakshotte's duplicity in the past.

I think he is right.

Who can forget the sniping over his age, the jeering over his sock suspenders, and the dramatic moment in October 2007 when it all got too much for him and he literally ran away from the party leadership (much as Stephen Fry ran away from the Albery Theatre in 1995 pleading stage fright) decamping back to Scotland leaving Vince Cable, with Simon Hughes beside him, standing on the steps of Cowley Street headquarters saying "He's not here, he's not here" as if it were all a surprise and they had nothing to do with it - a moment later dramatised and satirised by Rory Bremner.

Was Lord Oakshotte behind that particular night of the long knife? 

All that has got to come out.

And what of Lord Rennard?  He's been very quiet recently.  Has he got nothing to say on the matter?

Oh what a maelstrom of hatefulness and deceit the Liberal Democrat party is.

The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire.

The Liberal Democrat Party is neither liberal, nor democratic, nor a party in any unified meaning of the term.

Article by Jade Azim on the Young Fabians website

Incoherent article by Jade Azim on the Young Fabians website:

In rather lurid language the author talks of a deliberate divide and rule policy by an indeterminate group described as the "upper echelons of politics".  This was a sentiment also expressed by Diane Abbott MP in her infamous (and immediately withdrawn) "white people like to divide and rule".  And yet what policy could be more divisive than multiculturalism, which allocates ethnic groups their own cultural ghettos and tells some groups they are special and other groups they are not special. 

The author, in the phrase "But the lack of media attention that the Greens command means that their presence simply isn’t felt as it should be" blames the media for lack of electoral success.  In a capitalist system the media on the whole are focused on sales and ratings, not propaganda.  Political parties must take the blame for their success or failure (if politicians did a full canvass of their constituencies there would be no media intervening between them and the voters - but most politicians are too scared and too lazy to do a full canvass).

"Labour must become the protectors of the welfare state and the champions of full employment, of housing" the author tells us.  But if immigration is on-going how on earth will there ever be enough welfare, jobs and houses?  As soon as new provision was made it would be immediately filled - unless the United Kingdom were to take on the social needs of the entire world.

It's hardly a core principle of socialism

"Pro-European voices in the party arguing for a referendum need to get louder and the leadership should listen and act" says Matthew Rhodes (Director of Strategy at the thinktank British Future) in this article for LabourList

It seems inevitable that Labour will be forced to back down over a referendum.

And I am puzzled that Labour seems so absolutely committed to on-going immigration.


It's hardly a core principle of socialism.

And as for the fact that it is "good" (in their opinion) for people - well lots of things are good for people but political parties do not try to force them on the population.

Aerobic exercise thirty minutes a day?  A diet of raw vegetables?  Regular doses of caster oil?

Is Labour going to include mandatory programmes on these?

So why the hang-up about immigration?

No matter how you package it, the electorate does not want immigration.

Let it go before it drags you under.

The Liberal Democrat party

The voters through the scourge of UKIP have destroyed the Liberal Democrat party.

David Cameron and Ed Miliband need to take note.

It really is a case of send not for whom the bell tolls.

Politicians should "show leadership"

On the Today programme this morning pro-EU apologist Petros Fassoulas said that politicians should "show leadership" when dealing with public objections to mass immigration.

"Show leadership" is a code.

What they actually mean is that politicians should explain the positive aspects of immigration (as they see it, with whatever level of accuracy they see fit) and then say " Shut The Fuck Up".

Unfortunately the people are now saying back "No, YOU Shut The Fuck Up".

Like lost souls in purgatory

These rather sad individuals are still stuck at the Denial Stage of dealing with the EU election results:

Rob Marchant on Labour Uncut arguing that the EU election results were just a mirage and it will soon be business as usual:

Don Flynn, Director of Migrants Rights Network, arguing that immigration just needs to be explained better and everyone will love it:

Phil Burton-Cartledge on Labour Uncut arguing that UKIP’s support is all just got up by the press:

Perhaps they will be permanently stuck at this stage, like lost souls in purgatory.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Matt Carthy, an Englishman, has just been elected as Sinn Fein MEP for Midlands North West in southern Ireland.

Weasel words perhaps?

Channel 4 News reported bitter infighting at the top of the Liberal Democrat party with Lord Oakeshott manoeuvring to topple Nick Clgg.

Vince Cable is supposedly not involved, but read his disclaimer carefully:

"Lord Oakeshott's actions are totally inexcusable and unacceptable. I have made it very clear repeatedly that he does not speak or act for me.  Commissioning and publishing polls without the consent of the Member of Parliament, as in the case of Sheffield Hallam, is utterly reprehensible.  There are undoubtedly raw feelings in the wake of poor local and European election results. We need to respond in a measured way.  Public speculation about the leadership is an unwelcome distraction, and as I made absolutely clear yesterday there is no leadership issue as far as I'm concerned."

He says the Oakeshott poll was done without his approval.


Weasel words perhaps?

He does not say it was done without his knowledge.

Indeed the whole of his statement might be paraphased as:  it is regrettable that in politics hard decisions have to be made and although I will not personally strike at Nick, if others do so and create a vacancy I will of course in the greater interests of the party allow my name to go forward.
This article by Andrew Green (Migration Watch) in the Spectator is the best analysis I have seen on the aftermath of the European elections:
Sadiq Khan MP (Shadow Justice Secretary and Shadow London Minister) apologises for immigration:

I suppose it's a start.

In the Conservative Club at Newark

Nicholas Watt (Guardian) draws attention to this remarkable survival in the Conservative Club at Newark.

In a different constituency I once questioned why there was a picture of Ted on the wall of the Conservative Association office, and suggested it should be removed.

I was informed that the Association Secretary (a large woman in her mid-sixties) had a crush on Ted when she was in the YCs as a girl, and was still a little bit in love with him - all attempts to remove the portrait had been flatly refused, to the point of her throwing terrifying strops.

We compromised by turning the picture to the wall whenever we used the office for a meeting.

Labour activist Tom King on the European election results

On the whole I disagree with this article by Labour activist Tom King on the European election results:

  • The European election results were not about austerity – in the United Kingdom the elections were a referendum on immigration and a verdict on the lack of democratic consent for immigration policies that have been pursued since 1997.

  • Sinn Féin are a party that puts “identity politics” first and foremost – their success mirrors that of the Front National in France.

  • The position in Greece is complex, but I think you are being overly-Marxist in seeing the rollercoaster political reaction as being about “austerity”.  When a society experiences instability it will react by opting for “security” (security tends to trump freedom in conditions of social breakdown).  Both Syriza and Golden Dawn are similar in that they promise “clampdowns” on what they see (in their various ideological ways) as anti-social behaviour by groups they disapprove of.

  • “the Liberal Democrats in Britain, who, whilst not a centre-left party” – what planet are you on!  The Liberal Democrats are in manifesto terms extremely left-wing, far more so than Labour.  They are experiencing wipe-out because they put their heads over the parapet in championing open-door immigration and ever-greater European integration.

The Kübler-Ross model

The Kübler-Ross model is a cliche, but the sequence of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance is currently being followed collectively by the Labour party in response to the electorate's rejection of their policies on Europe and immigration.

Opinion-formers such as Owen Jones, Hopi Sen and Mehdi Hasan are in denial about the electorate's verdict on immigration.

Opinion formers such as Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Bonnie Greer and David Wearing are angry with the electorate for voting the way they did.

Opinion-formers such as George Eaton, Sunder Katwala and Ed Balls think Labour can bargain away objectives to immigration.

Eventually they will all fall silent as they enter the depression stage and grieve for their lost policies (multiculturalism, open door immigration, the European project as it now stands).

Whether they can then bring themselves to the acceptance stage will decide whether Labour will survive as a political force or go the way of the LibDems and shrink to the status of a pressure group writ large.

UKIP are quite capable of replacing Labour as the foremost representative of the working class - just as Labour once replaced the Liberals.

And in UKIP the electorate have at last found a mechanism to express and enforce their views and opinions on immigration.
It gives you an idea of the terror that has gripped the Labour party that they are now on Twitter joyously hailing Tony Blair's appearance on the Today programme this morning.

How soon before they gratefully and tearfully welcome Lord Mandelson back to the Shadow Cabinet?
I know he is a Liberal and everything, but I did feel sorry for Andrew Duff losing in the Eastern Region EU election.

He was at least honest and open about his EU enthusiasm.

Although of course wrong on everything he said.

The LibDems should give him a seat in the House of Lords.

"Standing up to UKIP"

Commentators are puzzled that opinion polls show 60% in favour of United Kingdom membership of the European Union (after reform) and yet the voters have just given victory to the United Kingdom Independence Party in the EU elections.

There is no great mystery in this.

The EU elections were a referendum on immigration, not EU membership.

That politicians are failing to grasp this shows how self-deluded they are.

The establishment needs to realise that they can have (reformed) EU membership without mass immigration.

Or they can see both EU membership AND mass immigration stopped for good.

No amount of "standing up to UKIP" is going to alter that reality.

It's a Hobson's Choice.

UKIP should refuse to play this game

The established political parties will try to discredit UKIP by focussing on their perceived lack of policies other than EU withdrawal and effective immigration control.

UKIP should refuse to play this game.

EU membership and associated mass immigration is so destabilising to government policy that it is impossible to put forward finished policy proposals until the United Kingdom is fully independent.

As an alternative they should identify the EU interference, with all the debilitating consequences, in every area of government policy and expenditure.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared on the Today programme

Arch-liar and former Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared on the Today programme this morning to discuss the UKIP victory in the EU elections.

He advised the Labour leadership to "Listen and to lead".

By this he means they should go through a public relations consultation exercise intended to demonstrate they were "listening".

And then hey presto! the consultation report is found to endorse the current strategy (perhaps with a little sexing-up) and the leadership can then show "leadership" by ignoring public opinion and going on as before.

Lies upon lies upon lies.

Minister Without Portfolio Ken Clarke on the Today programme

"It's no use blaming foreigners" blustered Minister Without Portfolio Ken Clarke on the Today programme, discussing UKIP's victory at the EU elections.

This is of course a sophisticated variation of the smear:  if you vote UKIP you are xenophobic racists.

The voters were not blaming foreigners in the elections.

They were blaming politicians.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Newsnight was unexpected on a bank holiday, but enjoyable.

Wise words from Tim Montgomerie.

Rubbish from Michael Heseltine, sitting on the furniture he has bought himself (and do please remember that Helestine failed at every political objective he set himself - he is a loser par excellence).

Photograph of Steven Gerrard by Carl Recine

Impressive photograph of Steven Gerrard by Carl Recine in yesterday's Observer (Sports section).

Steven Gerrard has become a semi-mythological figure and it is difficult for images to portray him objectively.

This photograph achieved an almost three-dimensional physicality.  The photographer has also managed to capture the boy within the man.  It is a very strong image. 
Having seen what the Times is pushing for (more of the same old same old) makes me want my own party to lose the Newark by-election.

These people STILL have not got the message.

Danny Finklestein can fuck off back to the SDP.

If we listened to him we would be living in a Tofflerist madhouse.

Photograph by Jenny Zarins

I liked this photograph by Jenny Zarins in yesterday's Observer magazine.

The colours are wonderful - muted and understated.

With the crown of flowers it looks like a village Queen of the May.

I like the brittle sheen the image has (accentuated by the gloss of the paper).

Photograph from Cannes

This photograph from Cannes appeared in yesterday's Observer (Review section).

I think it is by photographer Jean Catuffe.

Even in its mutilated state it is a compelling photograph, with lots of narrative.  The Observer reproduced it almost full page, which gave it a lot of impact.  It was one of those images that made you stop reading and look carefully at the picture.

Although it is a picture meant to convey glamour, it is not tawdry.  Although it features celebrities (Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling and Marion Cotillard) they are portrayed as people, not commodities.  Although it must have been a hurried shot, the photographer has achieved a high level of artistic composition.

Traditional imagery of men and women usually has the man looking directly at the camera, the women averting their eyes.  Here that tradition is reversed - the women look confidently at the camera and the man looks demurely away.  Also the rose between two thorns cliche has been reversed.

Also note the sly hand in the pocket pulling the material tight around...

David Aaronovitch talks about Under Milk Wood

In today's Times David Aaronovitch talks about Under Milk Wood describing it as "the finest prose poem in the English language".

He is entitled to his opinion. 

I rather suspect this is a trite judgement of the "best song ever" variety - best until a week or so later when the self-appointed expert hears a better one.

In any case, it is a radio play not a poem (unless you are stretching poetry to its most inclusive limit in which case we must allow even the columns of David Aaronovitch to qualify as poetry). 

And it is unfinished, which causes structural problems. 

But it is his application of nationalist affiliation to works of art that I find most disturbing.

Even in 1954 the language of the poem was described as "Anglo-Welsh".

The Welsh language purists insisted that Llareggub was spelt Llaregyb despite the fact that Llareggub is Buggerall backwards - hardly an example of "the cadences and sounds of Welsh".

Bunker psychology

I am concerned that Liberal Democrat MP John Pugh is talking publicly about a "bunker psychology" among the Liberal Democrat leadership.

I fear that this sort of talk will lead to lots of unfunny clips of Downfall over-dubbed with Liberal Democrat angst.

This is terrible

Vietnamese dogs sold for meat.

The response Labour should make to the challenge posed by UKIP

According to Owen Jones (Guardian) the response Labour should make to the challenge posed by UKIP on the issues of immigration and Europe is to change the subject:

He again puts forward the mistaken view that the media decides elections, and blames the rise of UKIP on mischief got up by the press.

This is of course a grossly insulting dismissal of the electorate.

It is reassuring that the left is so flawed in its powers of analysis, but that is what ideology does to you.

By the way, I have not seen any definite statement by Owen Jones that he voted Labour in the EU election.

Is it possible he voted Green?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I am watching EU Election coverage on BBC.

Emily Maitlis is superb.

Their reports and analysis are excellent - not least from a technical point of view.

I have never thought the BBC was biased against the right, and I think the current accusations that they are biased against Labour.

The remains of Richard III

Starting with the PM programme on BBC Radio 4 the past few days have been reporting the decision that the remains of Richard III are definitely to be buried in Leicester cathedral.

Earlier this year I went to Leicester cathedral to see how the reburial plans will affect the interior of the cathedral.  In particular what impact it would have on the 1927-29 work of Sir Charles Nicholson.  Above you can see Sir Charles Nicholson's exquisite Rood Screen - this will apparently be moved back to allow space for the royal grave under the tower crossing (it could have been worse - the screen could have been ripped out and junked in the same way many pews in country churches are being trashed).

There is already a memorial slab to Richard III further down the chancel area although surely this cannot be reused?  I would like Quinlan Terry given a commission to design an appropriate sarcophagus.  The last thing we want is something hideous by Zaha Hadid.

In any case the existing memorial is inaccurate as it shows an imperial "hooped" crown which Richard III would not have worn.  Up to Richard III English kings were "one of the boys" and wore unhooped crowns and called Your Grace.  Henry VII was the first king to wear a hooped crown and insist on being called Your Majesty (I hope I have remembered this right).

If you like the work of Sir Charles Nicholson his St Katherine's Chapel (above) also at Leicester cathedral is wonderful.  You can feel it is a very holy place.  Very numinous.

Just being in this chapel made me feel happy - the atmosphere was soothing, calming, health-giving.  How clever of Sir Charles Nicholson to have created a therapeutic interior.  High Anglicanism is good for your health.

And on the subject of Richard III what is to be done about Eastwell church in Kent where the king's illegitimate son is buried (according to Desiderata Curiosa).  It has been in ruins since the being damaged in the Second World War.  What is the Department of Culture Media and Sport going to do to restore the building?

Pact with UKIP

Although the leadership of the Conservative party has ruled out any pact with UKIP, it is possible for local activists to ignore Central Office and make their own agreements.

I would be happy to allow UKIP a free pass in one of their local target seats if they will leave between five and ten local Conservative marginals alone.

This would be of value to UKIP since they will want to concentrate all their activists in their target seats.

And it would be easy to do - Central Office will not be in the pub when the deals are done.

For the Conservatives it is of value since UKIP cannot siphon away votes if they do not put up a candidate (or the candidate stands down after the nomination date has closed).

Let Nigel Farage and David Cameron trade all the insults they like.

At the end of the day we the members call the shots.
All of today, in honour of the Bank Holiday Weekend, we have been drinking Sea Breezes.

This is the version made with gin and Grenadine in a long glass filled with ice cubes.

There is a local version called a North Sea Breeze which adds sea buckthorn berry juice (although it would be more authentic if it used crushed cabbage).

Ed Miliband is struggling to get name recognition

On Sunday Politics earlier today Janan Ganesh referred to "David Miliband" when he meant Ed.

He corrected himself immediately of course.

But Mr Ganesh is a professional political commentator.  It is his job to get these things right first time.  He is paid to be accurate.

And does this not illustrate the core problem?  Ed Miliband is struggling to get name recognition.  When even the political cognoscenti slip up, how can the Ed's branding resonate with the wider electorate?

Also on Sunday Politics Diane Abbot talked about the "bitching and moaning" currently going on in the Labour party about Labour's less than dazzling performance in the local elections.

Andrew Neil talked of criticism of "guacamole-eating skinny latte sipping" metropolitans who control the Labour party.

The knives are out.

The spears are being washed.

Article by Hopi Sen

I was very cheered to read this article by Hopi Sen, which deserves to be distributed as widely as possible:

When all the flattering lies have been flushed out and exposed the left has no option but to resort to telling us what they really believe - and here we have it!

I imagine Mr Sen shivering with emotion as he wrote this piece.

And tonight I hope you have your nose rubbed in UKIP again Mr Sen.

PS your arguments are of course nonsense - one merely has to look at Japan to see how a great independent economy can function.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Photograph of Owen Farrell by Andrew Couldridge

Impressive photograph of Owen Farrell by Andrew Couldridge in today's Guardian.

It seems impossible that such a tremendous physique should be captured suspended at a 45 degree angle from the ground, almost floating.

I also like the intense concentration the photographer has captured - you can trace the gaze directly down to the ball.


It's very reassuring that Labour have slipped back into their comforting mood of complacency (as evidenced by this tweet retweeted by Glennis Willmott MEP).

I also note that there has been a change in the tweets of Ed Miliband, described as suddenly "shit hot".  Surely he has not allowed a SPAD to do his tweeting for him?  It would be odd if he responded to a demand for more authenticity in politicians by faking his Twitter posts.

Scottish School of Art

After the disastrous fire yesterday I have been thinking a lot about the Scottish School of Art and looking through this catalogue from 1977 of the work of Jessie M King (Tutor in Book Decoration and Design at Glasgow School and one of the Glasgow Four - which included Charles Rennie Mackintosh).

Although an auction catalogue it is full of colour and black and white pictures.  Very striking that there are as many English-themed illustrations as Scottish.  "Edinburgh as the Enchanted Capital" (pen and ink and wash).  "Miss Cranston's Tea Rooms" (pen and ink on vellum laid on board).  "The High History of the Holy Grail".  "Our Trees and How To Know Them".

Tucked in the catalogue is a price list.  It is very unlikely that my parents bought anything from this auction as they would not have had the money - probably the catalogue was picked up second-hand.  But £60 for a Mackintosh illustration sounds a bargain by today's estimates.

You can buy brioche in Asda where they cost £1 for a pack of six

I was unable to attend the Conservative Home conference earlier today, although I have heard it was interesting:

I saw Tim Montgomerie on BBC News discussing the detachment of politicians from the everyday concerns of the ordinary people (Ed Miliband was criticised recently for not knowing the price of groceries).

The political class risk imitating the error of Marie Antoinette with their let-them-eat-cake attitude to ordinary concerns.

Marie Antoinette actually said "let them eat brioche" - you can buy brioche in Asda where they cost £1 for a pack of six.

Edward Lucas (The Economist) complained

On Dateline London earlier today Edward Lucas (The Economist) complained that politicians do not show leadership when they think the electorate are wrong.

Have we not had enough of politicians showing fait accompli "leadership"?

John Major's leadership in signing the Maastricht Treaty without a referendum?

Tony Blair's leadership in agreeing to no immigration controls on the new accession EU countries (when EVERY test of public opinion has said no to further immigration)?

Gordon Brown's leadership in signing the Lisbon Treaty without a referendum?

David Cameron's leadership in deciding not to go ahead with the "cast iron guarantee" referendum on the Lisbon Treaty?

I think we have had enough of this sort of leadership.

Racist-Finder General

Possibly Matthew Parris would be more convincing in his self-appointed role as Racist-Finder General if he had not been born and brought up in apartheid South Africa and would have learned with his potty-training on how to be an unthinking racist.

Indeed he would have had black servants to put him on his potty, then wipe his privileged white South African bottom, and then empty the content of his potty into a whites-only drain.

Do we need lectures on racism from such a person?

As a South African born in 1949 Mr Parris will know that South African society experienced unrestricted immigration against the wishes of the majority of the population.  The majority were told that the immigration was good for them.  It was criminal for the majority even to voice opposition to the unrestricted immigration that was happening against their will and accumulating the resources of the country into the hands of the non-indigenous community.

Is what happened there any different to what is happening here?

And Matthew Parris is wrong when he writes London said "No thanks" to UKIP.

London actually said:  "Not yet".

Sneering article by Janan Ganesh

I read this (rather sneering) article by Janan Ganesh and I thought of Leona Helmsley saying "taxes are for the little people".

It is the Janan Ganesh style to describe a problem accurately and then analyse it in a way that can only be described as cackhanded.

"Eighty years ago, politicians had to be grand and serious enough to command an empire. Now they have to be Just Like Us" says Mr Ganesh.

It is not so much that they have to be "just like us".

It is that they have not given us any reason why they should not be like us.

We employ a monarchy in this country to be grand and glorious.

Beneath the monarchy even the prime minister is just first among equals.

Occasionally there are exceptions - Churchill, Attlee, Thatcher.

But the rest of them are little people.

And like all the little people they must pay their taxes - in every sense of the word.

Friday, May 23, 2014

You will never fly with the eagles if you hang out with the turkeys

As the TMS diary column in today's Times points out, David Axelrod has been strangely silent over Labour's performance in the council elections.

It does not bode well.

When even Labour's paid guru starts to distance himself you know the party is faltering and support is draining away.

Perhaps Labour's activists are beginning to realise:  you will never fly with the eagles if you hang out with the turkeys (as the Americans say).
Lutfur Rahman has just been re-elected, which tells you all you need to know about the rotten state of London politics.

I would advise those (such as Jonathan Freedland) boasting about London's impenetrability to UKIP to ask themselves why politics in the capital divides the way it does - it is not a good thing Mr Freedland.

Mark Wilkinson's Half Light ft Tom Cane

The video for Mark Wilkinson's Half Light ft Tom Cane (which will be released on 1st June) is set in Northern Ireland.

Directed by Aoife Mcardle (Somesuch & Co) it was filmed in Belfast and features actor Diarmuid Noyes and model Joanna Nixon.

Apart from the tribal wall murals and the accents it could be any northern British city, which is perhaps an encouraging sign of normalcy.
I am looking forward to Andrew Neil on Newsnight later, although it will mean missing Hugh Muir on BBC Papers.

The liberal urbanists are a majority in London

Interesting blog post by Paul Mason about the council elections:

However he is wrong to assume "the educated, liberal urbanists... are probably a majority; their cultural values rule".

I was myself for several years one of the educated "liberal" urbanists he talks about, but my liberalism was entirely a nine-to-five convenience to comply with the censorship of political correctness.

And I would guess that goes for virtually everyone I worked with and came into contact with.

The liberal urbanists are a majority in London in the same way that communist supporters were a majority in Erich Honecker's East Berlin.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold you know.
he educated, liberal urbanists are no longer – as in the 1930s – confined to an intellectual elite. They are probably a majority; their cultural values rule - See more at:
he educated, liberal urbanists are no longer – as in the 1930s – confined to an intellectual elite. They are probably a majority; their cultural values rule - See more at:
he educated, liberal urbanists are no longer – as in the 1930s – confined to an intellectual elite. They are probably a majority; their cultural values rule - See more at:

Humiliation by UKIP

On Channel 4 News the political editor Gary Gibbon tells us that there is no sign yet of a lack of self-discipline in the three major parties following their humiliation by UKIP.

And yet we know how coruscating humiliation can be for campaign troops.

Sooner or later they will shoot their officers, throw away their uniforms, and head for home.

Blogger commended by Jonathan Portes

"The pressures on them are thus to kow-tow to populism..." says this blogger commended by Jonathan Portes:

Is democracy to be dismissed so casually as mere populism?

Are we to be governed by an aristocracy? (and do not forget Edmund Burke was part of the aristocracy).

You can see that this blogger thinks that the aristocracy should be the liberal intelligentsia, but I'm afraid that is not how these things work.

Human nature being what it is, any aristocracy must over a period of decades become hereditary - whether the Dukes of Bedford, or dynastic Labour MPs, or presidents of North Korea.

You are either committed to democracy or you are not.

And democracy means majority rule.

Are you an enemy of the people Mr Blogger? (Chris Dillow Economist and Marxist)

UKIP's challenge is to organise these people

I think Christopher Hooten in his Independent article about UKIP is getting hold of the wrong end of the stick:

When Suzanne Evans said the party had difficulty appealing to the "educated, cultured and young" it was not meant to be interpreted as a compliment to the left.

Although a Freudian slip, it is an elegant assessment of the culture war that New Labour largely won in the metropolitan capital in the years 1997 to 2010.

Educated in London means having a job in one of the professions all of which (outside financial services) demand obeisance to the ideology of political correctness - to a far greater degree than outside the metropolitan area.

Cultured in London means an adherence to a modernist elitist gnosticism - abstract, multi-layered, and self-congratulatory in its membership of an impenetrable and exclusive cult that disdains anything "popular".

Young in London - well we all know what the young demographic in London consists of, and why they tend to vote Labour.

There are of course many uneducated, uncultured (by the standards of the elite) and old people in London.  These people are in fact close to being a majority if they can be organised.  UKIP's challenge is to organise these people and give them a voice.
I'm afraid this Dan Hodges column had me thinking of Comical Ali proudly proclaiming Saddam's victory in the Iraq war while in the background we could see Iraqi forces throwing away their uniforms and running for the nearest hiding place:
One of the refreshing things about UKIP is when asked questions they do not know the answer to they just say "I don't know".

They don't bluster and trot out a meaningless party line that has been concocted by a committee and is designed to keep everyone on board without actually committing to anything.

They talk like ordinary people and say "I don't know".
It would be nice to see the election results for Labour and Conservatives adjusted to remove the the effects of the UKIP surge and the LibDem fall back.
I've just had to look up "D'Hondt".

After reading a page of Wikipedia still have no idea what it means (except in the vaguest terms).

In the next twelve months

UKIP need to be careful in the next twelve months.

We know the major parties all have dirty tricks departments (plus there are other organisations who will get involved).

Look out for supposed UKIP supporters giving Nazi salutes and displaying their UKIP-swastika tattoos and talking about wanting to burn buildings down.

Look out for seductive young women who suddenly find UKIP candidates irresistible and who are panting to talk about UKIP policy.

Look out for wealthy donors offering hefty amounts of money to support their private causes.

As soon as you seriously challenge the establishment (which you have done) the establishment will fight back in a very dirty way.

The answer is to train your activists on what to expect and retrain them and retrain them.

The more training you do the more experienced and motivated your activists will become and the closer you will move to true power.

Money spent on training is never wasted.

It must be controlled, and the building restored

Shocking news that there is a fire at the Glasgow School of Art - a building of national importance.

It must be controlled, and the building restored.

Charles Rennie Makintosh cannot just be represented by a tea room and a few private houses (charming though they are).

They have had their noses rubbed in UKIP

Have only just woken up, after about six hours sleep.

The news is full of the election results.

I recall seeing Bonnie Greer and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on Newsnight yesterday evening.

One can fairly say that they have had their noses rubbed in UKIP (to paraphrase Andrew Neather).

This rubbing of the left's noses in UKIP's success feels so good that I hope it is going to be repeated on Sunday, and perhaps even become a regular feature of election time.

Note:  "the left" is used very broadly here and includes those parasitic liberal incubi who have taken up residence in the Conservative movement over the years.
Although they are called the European and Local Elections, what we are actually seeing tonight is a referendum on immigration.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Sensible words from Peter Oborne on Newsnight this evening.
When I voted this evening I was handed the ballot paper folded with the UKIP name uppermost.

European buns

As it is European Election Day I stopped at a local bakers and bought Belgian buns for the office.

The Bath bun is in case anyone objected to having European buns forced on them.
On election day is there anything more English than roses in the rain.
Well it's done.

And it was not so very painful.

In fact it was not painful at all.

Just a simple cross.

Who knows, this might become habit-forming.

For the good of the Conservative party I am advising you NOT to vote Conservative

Remember to vote today.

For the good of the Conservative party I am advising you NOT to vote Conservative.

But of course, do not vote Labour or Liberal Democrat.

Do you get what I'm saying?

I'm sorry I cannot make it more explicit.  Due to commitments I have made I cannot endorse any party except the Conservatives.  But for the good of the Conservatives I am saying you should not vote for them in the EU elections (the council elections are different, definitely vote Conservative there).

It has been a long journey.

The high-handed Central Office control and manipulation of the candidate lists.

The horrible realisation that we had been harbouring people like Quentin Davies in our party (and there are more of them who need to be flushed out).

The disgust I felt at Edward Macmillan-Scott (and there are more of them too, especially as MEP candidates).

The last straw came only a couple of weeks ago when I heard Ken Clarke on the Today programme talking about the Newark by-election.  I almost exploded with rage.  I was so angry I almost ran my car off the road.

These people have had their day 1991 to 1997.  And what a mess they made of things.  And how they betrayed our trust.

Now they need to be told, once and for all, to fuck off (yeah you John Major, fuck off out of my life, and you too Michael Portillo, and you Matthew Parris - lickspittle turncoats the lot of you).

They can have the ermine robes and the "grandee" status and the closet expense claims.

But enough of their dead hand on party policy.  The party belongs to the members.  We want our party back.

Therefore I say to everyone please do not vote Conservative today.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I used to think bonsai was fascinating.

Now when presented with eight or nine mature bonsai trees I just think oh that's quite clever.

Confronting and facing down the Police Federation

Theresa May confronting and facing down the Police Federation is in many ways like Margaret Thatcher confronting and facing down the National Union of Mineworkers.

Both self-interest unions too big for their boots and thinking they could bring down the government (I am thinking particularly of the text message in the news yesterday about bringing down the Tories).

UKIP council candidate in Blackburn is stabbed and called "kaffir"

Reports that a UKIP council candidate in Blackburn is stabbed and called "kaffir" (which presumably implies that someone who self-identifies as a Muslim has done the stabbing).

Was it not predictable that the "racist racist racist" frenzy of hatred against UKIP would result in attacks of this kind?

Can we please have statements from those supposedly responsible politicians who have created this environment in which UKIP candidates are attacked?  Will Dan Hodges admit he has contributed to this spilling of blood? (rhetorical question, we know he will not as he has no shame).  Is Ed Miliband going to apologise for David Lammy's remarks?

Will police provide protection at polling stations during tomorrow's election?

Fulfilling our international obligations to refugees

This article by Pankaj Mishra in the Guardian is an alarming picture of India that is about to experience widespread discrimination and internal war against minorities:

I have no way of knowing whether this very alarmist view of the new Narendra Modi government is accurate or not.

Presumably to be published in the Guardian it must have been checked for validity and veracity.

But assuming that the article is accurate is it not reasonable to expect such a harsh nationalist environment to produce a wave of asylum seekers wanting access to the United Kingdom?

Is anyone in the Foreign Office preparing an assessment on how many refugees the Narendra Modi government is going to generate?

A few thousand?  Half a million?  Two million?

What we cannot do is just wait and see.

If half a million Indian refugees are going to arrive here over the next five years they will need rooms to live in, food to eat, electrical energy to keep warm, water to drink, sewage capacity to remove their waste, medical treatment for when they are ill etc.

Is it not possible to look at the Gujarat riots and extrapolate the likely numbers of refugees?

According to the Asia Times the riots produced 100,000 refugees

Multiplying that number by 20 (the population of India is twenty times greater than that of Gujarat) the figure is two million potential refugees who will want to get out of India.

It is not enough to just say, with typical civil service indolence, wait and see.

It is not acceptable for commentators such as Hannah Fearn to say we can just build on the green belt to meet any increase in population.

If we are serious in fulfilling our international obligations to refugees we must be preparing for this scenario now.

Alternatively, the commitment to help refugees must be withdrawn.


Nothing succeeds like success

I listened with great interest to the Nigel Farage interview on the Today programme this morning, and also to the Nick Robinson analysis that followed.

Most Conservatives would share the view that UKIP peaks at a Euro election then falls back at the following general election.  I shared that view myself until recently.  I now think that the position has changed.

In this election campaign UKIP has demonstrated the technical capacity to win elections.

This is quite different to having policies and issues that are popular (although these are important).

It is possible for a technically competent political party to win an election on a programme devoid of all content (Tony Blair proved this beyond all doubt).

It is not possible, even by a fluke, for an incompetent party to win an election despite having a huge emotional upswell behind them (Neil Kinnock proved this, again beyond doubt).

For the first time in decades a political party has emerged that has the technical capacity to win (trained, experienced and motivated campaign teams, reasonably vetted candidates, a fund-raising capacity).  This has not gone unnoticed among many of the watchers who are looking for a vehicle for the policies and programmes they want to see implemented.  So who knows what impact they will have in 2015, especially if they continue to attract activists disenchanted by the old parties.

Nothing succeeds like success.

UKIP have already displaced the Liberal Democrats as the party of protest.  They have displaced the Conservatives as the party of militant Euroscepticism.  They are in the process of displacing the Labour party as defenders of the (white) working class.

That releases a great many technically competent activists in the three established parties who are now presented with an alternative path to implementation for the issues they care about. 

Nothing succeeds like success.

Caveat:  the danger to UKIP is that they start to believe their own propaganda.  That they follow the example of George Bush senior and start tacking to the liberal-left centre ground in an attempt to widen their constituency but in the process fall between two stools - not gaining new liberals but alienating existing fundamentalists.  As the Croydon carnival demonstrated, UKIP make unconvincing liberals.