Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Continuity Miliband

John Woodcock MP describing Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper as "continuity Miliband" has struck a nerve within the Labour Party:  http://labourlist.org/2015/06/i-understand-john-woodcocks-intervention-but-we-should-be-wary-of-this-tone-entering-the-debate/

As an outsider, I have to say I admire the line "continuity Miliband".

It's better than anything I could have thought up.

It's the kind of mud that sticks (smart mud we might call it, in the same way we use the expression smart water).

I hesitate to use the expression "a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre"

Twice on the the Andrew Marr Show last Sunday the Home Secretary Theresa May was asked if she would order that every car and lorry coming through the Channel Tunnel be searched for illegal migrants http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0080bbs

Twice the Home Secretary side-stepped the question.

Perhaps she could advise us what ratio of the thousands of mostly Muslim illegals clamouring to get into the United Kingdom will go on to become "radicalised" and subsequently commit an act of terror?

The ratio is tiny of course.  Perhaps one in a thousand, perhaps one in five thousand, perhaps one in ten thousand.  But given the many hundreds of thousands of immigrants that are coming into the country, there can be little doubt that potential terrorists are coming in.

I hesitate to use the expression "a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre".

But politicians (all parties) need to be aware that their Government / Shadow Bench will not survive an incident in the United Kingdom on the scale of Sousse.

Individual politicians and commentators (the smoothly hypocritial Matthew Parris, the agitated David Aaronovitch, the gobby Yasmin Alibhai-Brown) mouthing off on the rights of refugees and how there is no such thing as illegal people also need to be aware that they will not escape the blame for a Sousse-style incident, and this blame will probably be loaded onto them in a tangible form (broken windows, careers ended, abuse and worse thrown at them in the streets).

So perhaps the Home Office can look again at stopping and searching EVERY vehicle coming through the Tunnel and off the ferries.  Yes it will be disruptive, but it will disrupt imports coming into the country, so on the whole it will not affect the economy.  And if it saves even one life it is worth doing.

And can we please look carefully at the numbers of visas being given out in Muslim countries and start scaling them back (dramatically please) while Muslim people are committing acts of terror around the world.

Monday, June 29, 2015

In most referendums in the EU the NO side tends to win

The other nations of the EU should pay attention to what is happening in Greece.  Just like Greece, if any of them attempt to assert themselves they will be beaten black and blue.  And like Greece, they will be required to kiss the rod that has just thrashed them.

Let us hope the Greek people vote NO in their referendum.

And history favours the NO side - in most referendums in the EU the NO side tends to win.

There will be six months of (creative) chaos.

And then the Greeks will realise what a silly trick they have been playing on themselves these past few years.

But for an American view Neil Irwin writes about Greece in the New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/29/upshot/the-next-few-days-will-transform-greece-and-europe.html?_r=0

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lots of casual speculation

Although I now only work for the Institute part-time (48 hours per month) this is supplemented by so many briefing meetings, phone calls and skype sessions that I seem to be working harder than ever.

I still have a desk at the old offices, but the Institute moves out soon and in any case the place is almost empty and a complete mess.  There is no room for me in the new offices, which are tiny.  I am working from home, but I am aware of the adage "out of sight, out of mind", which in a campaigning organisation is a disadvantage.

Saturday briefing meeting in London, held in Alec Nussbaum's flat a short walk from High Street Kensington. 

It was a basement flat ("be careful of the steps").  Linear in style - study, bedroom, then kitchen, then living room, then bathroom.  All the rooms white painted and painfully neat and tidy.  Right at the back a little court filled with greenery in planters, the bathroom window open on one side.  No sign of Mrs Nussbaum (who has never been seen by anyone).  In the living room one oil painting of a gloomy Baltic waterfront circa 1910, presumably the German home of the Nussbaums before...

Six of us in total, and we held our meeting round the massive refectory table.  Because there was so little room I was jammed between the table and the white wall, and therefore felt slightly stressed during the meeting that I would mark the wall in some way.  Everyone had laptops except myself - I relied on documents, and managed perfectly well.

For lunch we went out to Pret a Manger and brought things back.

Lots of casual speculation about whether "Boris" could become leader of the No side.

Everything came to an end at 4pm.  The day had resulted in a long list of things for  me to do, so that I felt exhausted just looking at them.  As we prepared to go I collected my jacket from the front study where it had been put on a sofa (or sofa bed as it must transform into).

I paused to look at a cabinet of Chinese-looking pots and figures.

Alec Nussbaum, who had followed me down the corridor became effusive when showing me his "little collection":

"Rouleau vase painted in famille noire enamels, it's a tree peony and birds, reign of K'ang Hsi... this is a Minister in robes of state holding a tablet with a figure of a bat or fu, the sign of happiness, again K'ang Hsi... and this (his voice falling to a whisper) is a tomb figure of a dancing girl, T'ang dynasty..."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Natasha Dyer asks why the left does not make any headway

Article in Left Foot Forward where Natasha Dyer asks why the left does not make any headway:  http://leftfootforward.org/2015/06/why-cant-the-left-get-unified/

The problem for Labour is that the working class is not ideological.

They will vote for parties with policies that they think might benefit them, but they are not interested in socialist ideology for its own sake.

So Labour must either move to the right (which would be pointless, the right is already crowded) or become a lobbying party with no real hope of achieving power.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn is arguing the state should confiscate private property

Essential Jeremy Corbyn is arguing the state should confiscate private property:  http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/extend-right-to-buy-to-the-tenants-of-private-landlords-labours-jeremy-corbyn-says-10342824.html

Presumably along with the petty landlords and the bourgeois owners of share portfolios he would want the kulaks rounded up as well.  Perhaps put into re-education camps.  Perhaps roughed up a little just to make the lefties feel good.

And before you start going on about how selling off social housing is confiscation of collective property, the left were way ahead of anyone in doing this. 

Labour was the party that removed the right to social housing for local people based on payment of National Insurance and replaced it with a right to social housing based on "need" available to anyone from anywhere - combined with open-door immigration policies this meant that from the 1950s onwards social housing was increasingly allocated to New Commonwealth immigrants with large families (and a marked tendency to vote Labour).

Is it any wonder that the precious post-war consensus on the welfare state broke down - who is going to want to pay higher taxes to house people who have no connection with this country?

And please don't tell me that immigrants "jumping the queue" for council housing is a myth.  On Daily Politics this week Mayor of London candidate Sadiq Khan told us that his family when they arrived in London got a council house.  Guardian journalist Gary Younge has written that his family got a council house (or flat, I can't remember) in Stevenage.  Chi Onwurah MP has written about how this scam is still being practised (see here).  Labour needs to reflect soberly on the way their diversion of collective resources into a rotten borough machine designed to turn out Labour MPs has resulted in the abandonment of support for social housing in the United Kingdom.  And is it not the case that the open-door immigration from 1997 onwards (and still going on) must ultimately result in the abandonment of the welfare state in its entirety including state pensions, the NHS and free education of children?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Excessive inward migration is damaging productivity

Very important Daily Politics today, looking at the issue of migration:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b060kmwp

It seems ridiculous that a programme of this quality should be hidden away at lunchtimes - it should be on at 7pm competing with Channel 4 News.

Frank Field made the point that excessive inward migration is damaging productivity by removing the incentive to invest in research and development (over the longer term the cumulative effect of this must result in a massive fall in productivity).

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

There should be no big problem in reinventing the Labour Party

In the wake of the election defeat the Labour Party has entered a period of anguished soul-searching and is struggling to "reinvent" itself:  http://www.psa.ac.uk/insight-plus/blog/labour-needs-reinvent-socialism-so-it-relevant-2020

From a marketing perspective there should be no big problem in reinventing the Labour Party.

The solution is staring them in the face.

All they have to do is take the principles of trade unionism and apply them to the national population.

In a globalised world individual trade unions are dead - big corporations can easily out-manoeuvre them.

If the principles of a trade union were extended to the population as a whole it would mean

“protecting the integrity of trades and occupations, improving safety standards, achieving higher pay and benefits such as health care and retirement, bargaining with (big corporate) employers” etc

All these would be compatible with Labour's social tradition and political outlook.

But there is a catch.

You have to be a member of a trade union before you can benefit and enjoy the protection.

And that will mean Labour giving up its addiction to immigration and the libertarian idea of free movement.

A closed shop extended to the whole of the British population would be very attractive to the voters - but can Labour deliver?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Migrants are "storming" through the Channel Tunnel

A report on Channel 4 News this evening that migrants are "storming" through the Channel Tunnel:  http://www.channel4.com/news/dozens-of-migrants-storming-tail-backed-lorries-in-calais

A disgraceful interview with the Deputy Mayor of Calais on Radio 4's PM this afternoon in which that official effectively said he was not bothered about the migrant problem and it was for the United Kingdom to deal with (these migrants are people coming from France - are we expected to take seriously an ever-closer political union with a state whose officials behave in this way?):  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05ztfc5

But there is no doubt that the waves (floods? storms?) of migrants are not being controlled.

Let me ask all those lefties droning on about how the minimum wage is the way to ensure migration is controlled:  if the state cannot stop floods of migrants entering the country how is the state going to stop those same migrants working for rates below the minimum wage?

A flood of desperate people into the country will be followed by a flood of those same desperate people into employment in the black economy at an escalating level that must eventually make that black economy the norm.

If the illegal migrants do not respect entry documentation, why are they going to respect employment documentation?

And please do not tell me the employers will be prosecuted - the statistics demonstrate that this has not happened in the past and will not happen the future.

Therefore the minimum wage will become a fiction - an arcane and theoretical topic for discussion at left-wing seminars along with predistribution and the social construct of socialist man.

I am a Conservative not a libertarian, and I resent the way in which libertarian policies on migration (and, at a secondary level, on wage control, welfare allocation, social housing allocation etc) are being introduced by default simply through the mechanism of successive governments (all parties since 1991) choosing not to enforce the immigration laws.

The mushrooming of the SNP has led to factions

Did you know the SNP had a right wing?  http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/opinions/interview-tasmina-ahmed-sheikh-the-snp-has-a-right-wing-and-here-she-is

Inevitably the mushrooming of the SNP has led to factions.

The splits, when they come (and they WILL come) are going to be nasty.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A cover-up in the Labour Party concerning Greville Janner

After the report on Channel 4 News this evening about a cover-up in the Labour Party concerning Greville Janner (Ed Miliband knew much earlier than anyone suspected) surely Keith Vaz's position as Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee must be in doubt.

As far back as 1991 Mr Vaz was providing cover for Greville Janner.  Presumably he was an unwitting dupe of the evil Mr Janner, but nevertheless it shows a shocking lack of judgement given the rumours that were circulating and the seriousness of the accusations that were made against the evil man.  How much did Keith Vaz know about this person, and why did he choose to defend him?

Surely the decent thing would be for Keith Vaz to step down from the Home Affairs Select Committee, otherwise the suspicion of an establishment cover-up will taint enquiries into the whole subject of politicians and child abuse.


Deeper and deeper

After lunch I most wanted to go to sleep.  The sun was hot and the air was humid after the night's rain.  Sleeping was what I most wanted to do, especially as I have averaged six hours of sleep per night over the last week.

But I made myself drive over twenty miles across the county to three villages where medieval remains were being made accessible.

Above - first village, the church outwardly Georgian but enclosing a medieval core.  Odd little pastiche tower.  Inside tea and cake was available.

Above:  in the churchyard was this truncated cross.  Pevsner says it is 14th century but gives no evidence for this conclusion.  Probably it is much older and predates the church.

Above:  inside the east end had a simple harmonious dignity.

Above:  second village, on a hill.  Again an 18th century exterior enclosing far older remains.  Although my photograph looks washed out, that's how the fierce sunlight made the world look (to my eyes).

Above:  inside it had an intact Georgian interior with box pews and these attractive communion rails.  Clear glass in the windows, which given the eminence of the building gave scintillating views over the countryside.  You may not suspect it from my photograph, but the church was packed with people having a tea party.

Above:  chief glory of the church is this sculpture (one of two) with 11th century carving - including a figure with wild hair.

Above:  deeper and deeper into the countryside, I stopped the car to try to find the earthworks of an ancient abbey.  After enquiring at a cottage, I was directed down this track.  The heat of the afternoon was almost unbearable.

Above:  the earthworks were on private property, so as I walked I kept half an eye on the farmhouse.  There was no sign of life.  Perhaps they were sleeping off a heavy lunch (possibly including a suet pudding with custard). 

Above:  at one point I had to walk through a gigantic midden (it was actually a massive dung heap, but midden sounds more polite).

Above:  after about half a mile the way was blocked by a gate and a field of cattle.  From the undulations in the landscape this was obviously the site of the abbey.  Perhaps the bovine herd had been placed here to deter antiquarian visitors such as myself.

Above:  beyond the fencing I could see the great earthworks.

Above:  third village, little more than a hamlet, the church Victorian built on the site of a much older structure.

Above:  huge fern growing in the lee of the north buttress.

Above:  inside all appeared Victorian, thoroughly restored in 1958.

Above:  but in a recess off the sanctuary was this fine 13th century recumbent effigy of a knight.  His feet rest on a dog.  From the carving he appears to be lying on a bed of flowers.

Above:  you can't really see in this photograph, but the carving of the head was very fine.  Note the surcoat of chain mail.  Angels either side of the head.

Above:  note the large pommel of the sword.  Professor Roberta Gilchrist of Reading University has advanced the theory that these sword pommels are phallic symbols, presumably meant to represent the size of the male reproductive organ (a sort of eternal boasting in stone).

Above:  in the stained glass window above the effigy was a Victorian representation of a martial Archangel Michael with his hand actually resting on his er... erect sword pommel.  Professor Gilchrist would no doubt tell us that the Commander of the Heavenly Hosts is in a state of arousal, and using his left hand to er... stimulate his er...  Or perhaps we should conclude that Professor Gilchrist has an over-active imagination and needs to calm herself.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Longest day.

It has just stopped raining and the summer night is filled with light.

A magical time, with the scents of the philadelphus and the gleams of the dog roses.

Britain's Global Leadership, the positive future for a UK outside the EU by Ewen Stewart

I cannot commend this book too highly:  Britain's Global Leadership, the positive future for a UK outside the EU by Ewen Stewart published by the Bruges Group.

It is packed with facts and statistics why our future outside the EU is going to be golden.

You can obtain a copy from The Bruges Group, 214 Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street, London W1B 5TB.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The ballot for Labour Leader and Deputy Leader

And so we finally know which candidates will be on the ballot for Labour Leader and Deputy Leader:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32654262

Can you imagine how blokish the leadership is going to be if Andy Burnham and Tom Watson are the respective winners and Shadow Cabinet small talk is dominated by football results and the latest Drenge release?

No matter how "inclusive" they try to be, women are not going to fit easily into that setup.

And neither man is exactly tall, which shouldn't matter but unfortunately does.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Disagreements in the Conservative Party are a sign of STRENGTH

I'm surprised Gary Gibbon (Channel 4 News) even has to ask the question:  http://blogs.channel4.com/gary-gibbon-on-politics/tory-rebellion-europe-sign-strength-weakness/30974

Contrast the debate in the Conservative Party over profound issues of politics, economics and identity (all of which are bound up in the EU referendum) with the pathetic lack of substance in the Labour Party leadership election when even an aged has-been from the distant past is heralded as a breakthrough for those wanting to talk about policy and direction.

The passionate disagreements in the Conservative Party are a sign of STRENGTH.

How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, that has such people in it.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Within weeks of a rigged IN vote there will be a stalking horse challenge against him

It is unthinkable that the "purdah" rules are to be relaxed for the EU referendum:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/eureferendum/11674174/Fifty-Conservative-MPs-to-challenge-David-Cameron-over-rigged-EU-referendum-rules.html

If the rules are relaxed and the IN side wins the accusation will be made that the vote was rigged.

The fall-out, particularly at the 2019 Euro elections, will be profound.

And on a personal level for David Cameron, the bitterness that will be engendered will make his premiership stink.  Possibly within weeks of a rigged IN vote there will be a stalking horse challenge against him.  Instead of a victory run, the rest of this parliament will be endless ducking of missiles made of ordure.

And as Tony Blair can advise him, there is no shaking off a party that thinks it has been betrayed.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The SNP, a warning from history

When an historian with the academic stature and international reputation of David Starkey makes an analysis the world needs to pay attention.

In the Sunday Times he writes about the SNP:  http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/Politics/article1568593.ece?CMP=OTH-gnws-standard-2015_06_13

Otherwise fifty years from now there will be documentaries on the SNP, a warning from history.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Neither Mr Lammy not Ms Hudson-Wilkin have the right to impose more burdens

David Lammy MP and the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin (Speaker's Chaplain in the House of Commons and "high flyer" in the Church of England) appeared on This Week on BBC 1 last night:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006mvhd/episodes/player

Both of these individuals advocated an open-door policy towards migrants rescued from the Mediterranean.

They argued that because people are dying there is an emergency that overrides any other concerns and must be met with open generosity by the United Kingdom.

They are of course on the surface right in saying this.  But at a deeper level they are being profoundly dishonest, manipulative and hypocritical.  That Members of Parliament are dishonest, manipulative and hypocritical is not surprising, but for an Anglican priest to behave in this way is a disgrace.

Dishonest because they pretended the issue is a simple one of access, of a rich United Kingdom shutting the door in the face of desperate people dying before our eyes.  In reality, admitting these people would cause immense pain to the poorest people in our society and would reproduce in many parts of the United Kingdom communities little different from Somalia, Eritrea, northern Nigeria etc.  The burden of this would fall upon the poorest English households and individuals already trying to cope with conditions that are in many cases intolerable - neither Mr Lammy not Ms Hudson-Wilkin have the right to impose more burdens upon the poor.

Manipulative because they used emotional blackmail to argue a case that needs to be addressed rationally.  If people are dying then something needs to be done - sensibly and sustainably, not a knee-jerk reaction.  If however emotional arguments are to be used Mr Lammy and Ms Hudson-Wilkin should set an example by selling everything they have (EVERYTHING please, for the rest of your lives) and giving it to the relief of these migrants - only then will they have the moral authority to lecture the rest of us and use the example of the Good Samaritan (as Ms Hudson-Wilkin did during the programme).

Hypocritical because they advocated for England a policy (open door to cross-Mediterranean migrants) that they do not advocate for their own cultural home of the West Indies.  We know there is plenty of room in the West Indies because millions of West Indians have moved to the United Kingdom.  Both Mr Lammy and Ms Hudson-Wilkin are prominent members of the West Indian diaspora who would be listened to by the West Indian authorities - and yet they are not urging the West Indians to take these migrants.

During the discussion the example of the Huguenot migration in the 18th century was raised.  Migrations that occurred in pre-democratic times cannot be used as a precedent for societies which are supposed to be governed by democratic majority rule.  Majority opinion has always opposed migration and yet it has been forced through by the politicians so that 14% of the population is now non-indigenous - this is an injustice which must eventually be addressed.

There was also the suspicion (in seeing once again big-mouths from immigrant backgrounds advocating yet more immigration) that the left is pursuing a covert policy here.  "The answer to resistance to immigration is to encourage more immigration so that eventually everyone will settle down in a happy multi-cultural melting-pot" this infantile policy can be paraphrased as.  The solution to this insidious covert policy has been provided by Gandhi - complete non-co-operation with the forces that oppress you (be polite to migrants and their communities, obviously keep completely within the law, but otherwise shun them and reject them and courteously ask them to leave on every occasion that you are able to do so).

Note:  the policy being followed by the United Kingdom government is the correct one - be very generous in providing aid and relief to people in disress within the regions where the crisis occurs, so that the majority of people can be helped, not just the ones with the money or the connections or the pushiness to get themselves to an embarkation point for Europe.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Andy Burnham booed at the Labour leadership hustings

I was very surprised to see on the Daily Politics programme Andy Burnham booed at the Labour leadership hustings.

It is always difficult to gauge the mood in a room just from a video but it did not look good.

It looked similar to when Ed Miliband denied Labour spent too much at one of the election question and answer sessions and the audience jeered.

It may have been the moment when Andy Burnham lost the leadership election (no-one expects a leadership candidate of a party to be respected by all sections of that party, but one does expect a potential leader to have sufficient gravitas and authority so that party members refrain from booing).


16 and 17 year olds to vote in the EU Referendum

Watching Alex Salmond on Newsnight yesterday one suspected that he only wants 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the EU Referendum because he thinks they will be more gullible to his emotive arguments rather than the rational propositions that should be governing political discourse.

He is a shameful man - how on earth can Scottish people vote this person into office and present him to the world as their representative (the same goes for celebrity lawyer-politician Nicola Sturgeon appearing on American chatshows with her carefully cultivated "chippie" "sassy" "feisty" persona).

Anyway, to address the point of 16 and 17 year olds, they already have the vote.  Everyone born in the United Kingdom gets the right to vote from the moment they emerge from their mother's womb.  They only qualify to use that vote when they reach the age of 18.

And those below the age of 18 who badly want to vote?

As Margaret Thatcher once said, you can't always have what you want.


Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Why are we spending billions of pounds on an independent nuclear deterrent when our national security is already secured

When asked about the EU referendum on the Andrew Marr Show Labour leadership contender Liz Kendall was enthusiastic about staying IN and told us "It's about our national security":  http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b05yy2xm/the-andrew-marr-show-07062015

We know of course that the IN side will use fear to the max during the course of the campaign.

But they need to be careful about linking EU membership to continued national security.

Because the obvious question is going to be: why are we spending billions of pounds on an independent nuclear deterrent when our national security is already secured by membership of the EU?

It doesn't make sense.

We may as well save ourselves the cost and just coast along like the Germans do.

That's if we are staying IN of course.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Harriet Harman is probably being too honest too openly too soon

When saying that many Labour supporters were relieved their party did not win the general election Harriet Harman is probably being too honest too openly too soon:  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/harriet-harman-says-labour-voters-5843282

But Labour does have a tremendous opportunity in defeat to purge their party of all the hangers-on who just want power and status and do not care about policy and people (one immediately thinks of Lord Sugar, but there must be thousands of others who were dragging the party down).

All parties get these.

The Tories took ten years to get rid of their carpet-baggers and refine their ideology, which had become corrupted under Major and weighed down by me-too, it's-my-turn-now power seekers.

Note:  Edward Heath in his autobiography reveals that before he became absolutely committed to the Conservative Party he met Clement Attlee in a wartime railway station waiting-room and with a third party present discussed standing for Labour (Heath was of course a classic Gombeen man - except he wanted power not money).

No-one is getting emotional about our shared EU history

Did it not surprise you when listening to the World This Weekend on BBC Radio 4 yesterday that the two pro-EU Conservatives they could find were Michael Heseltine and Ken Clarke:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qnz4

Yesterday's men.

They probably quite approve of living in Ted Heath's vision.

And is it not noticable that whereas in the Scottish referendum there were many people voting with their heart, in the EU referendum no-one is getting emotional about our shared EU history, traditions, family connections, much-loved institutions, joint military achievements, communal singing of the EU equivalent to Auld Lang Syne etc.

The most the IN side can hope for is that enough of the voters on the day will be arsed to go to the polling station and will look at the ballot paper and say Yeah, whatever and vote for them (for THEM - the faceless, high-handed, foreign-accented, unaccountable, inexplicable, money-grabbing EU bureaucrats).

I can't see them doing it.

The most the IN side can hope for is to scrape through on the basis of the whole political Establishment working together, putting up a united front and leader, and using fear to the max.  But that is a trick they can only pull once.  Second time round the people will see through this, and we will be OUT.

Sunday, June 07, 2015

The next Leader of the Conservative Party will come from the OUT side of the referendum campaign

And so fifty Conservative MPs form a group to campaign OUT in the EU referendum: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-33038201

Make no mistake, the next Leader of the Conservative Party will come from the OUT side of the referendum campaign.

You only have to look at the views on the EU among ordinary party members.

David Cameron is gone by 2018 at the latest.

Whether OUT wins the referendum (personally I think it will take two attempts) the OUT side will be choosing the next leader.  And if IN squeaks through the vote we could well have a snap referendum campaign at the same time as the 2020 general election.  Be of good heart my OUT friends, the tide is in our favour.

It makes you wonder how much all these people knew

The left-wing luvvie spot on the Andrew Marr Show this morning was filled by Alistair McGowan (a luvvie who attended the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama; a leftie who supported the Green Party at the last election - as we know the Greens were well to the left of the official Labour Party).

Mr McGowan appeared on the show to talk about a play in which he appears as serial rapist Jimmy Savile.

In a montage of historical photographs that were shown as Jimmy Savile was discussed we saw the serial rapist standing next to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

This was presumably a subliminal smear on the Conservative Party (in an "innocent face" sort of way).

However Jimmy Savile was associated with politicians of all parties.

For instance, consider this situation-comedy from the 1970s:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3Jd70oN9IE

If you watch from 7 minutes into the programme, the daughter character launches into a outburst in which she mentions Jimmy Savile appearing on television alongside serial sex offender Cyril Smith MP (a Labour politician before he became a Liberal).  The coupling of these two names in a satirical comedy cannot surely be coincidence - the author is I would guess making an in-joke discernible only to those who knew what was going on.  As the son-in-law character later became the real life father-in-law of Prime Minister Tony Blair, it makes you wonder how much all these people knew.


A quiet authority

Liz Kendall had a quiet authority when interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show this morning.

She actually used the Thatcherite line "living within our means".

Of all the candidates she is the one most likely to appeal to wavering Conservatives (and there are rather more of these than we admit, even to ourselves).

It is not possible for Jeremy Corbyn to lead the Labour Party, certainly not lead them into the next election:  http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-corbyn-thousands-sign-petition-5826360

He was born on 1949 and will be 71 at the time of the next election.

His leadership will not be practical nor feasible.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

The views of Rafał Trzaskowski

This is such a weird front page article by the Observer's Political Editor Toby Helm:  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jun/06/poland-warns-david-cameron-over-eu-referendum

It is given prominence on the front page of a national newspaper, it reports to the views of Rafał Trzaskowski (Poland’s secretary of state for European affairs), and yet the arguments made are shallow and inconsistent.

Let us look at some of the points:

The minister… reiterates his country’s refusal to accept… that social benefits should be denied to all EU migrants for at least four years after arriving in the UK.

The issue is too many migrants, not whether they claim benefits or not.  Therefore gaining this “concession” from the EU is not going to satisfy the British people.  British communities do not want to be swamped by destabilising floods of foreigners no matter how skilled they might be at plumbing.

Britain would no longer be an important player if it left the EU.

Sixth biggest economy in the world compared to Poland at number 24?  A little more humility please Mr Trzaskowski.  Your economy is so poor your best people are literally walking away from you, so let us have no more talk about who is the important player.

He warns that the ability of British people to travel as freely as they do now, and to work and buy homes in other EU countries, would also be lost.

How many ordinary people work and buy homes in other EU countries?  I’m talking about ordinary people not the globalised executives who move around the world building their CVs, or well-off old people who can buy their second homes in Florida just as easily as Spain.  Two million rich people exported to Europe and two million paupers imported into the United Kingdom – that is a shitty deal by any standards.

UK businesses would suddenly face new problems, as the UK would no longer be able to influence the rules of the internal market.

Guess what, we don’t “influence” the rules anyway.  No country does, the bureaucrats are unaccountable and do what they want.  That is why the United Kingdom must leave, and sooner or later (perhaps when you have got over the trauma of being occupied by the Germans and Russians for fifty years) even Poland will not want to be in the EU.

Britain will still have to pay into the EU budget, just as the Swiss and Norwegians do.

The United Kingdom is not Switzerland or Norway and does not have to do what the Swiss and Norwegians do. 

It would have no influence over the decisions yet it would have to subscribe to all the rules.

The EU exports more to the United Kingdom than the United Kingdom exports to the EU – so who has the power in this relationship?

London would not be that sexy a place for capital movement because it would have much looser links to Europe.

This is silly talk.  The main reason capital moves to the United Kingdom is that this country is relatively uncorrupt and the money is safe.  That is not going to change, in or out of the EU - and please don't tell us that the EU can stop capital moving, no matter how many rules and directives it introduces.

Poland… now sees itself as a central player in the union and is determined to defend the rights of the 700,000 Polish citizens in the UK, the vast majority of whom are in work.

Think carefully about this Mr Trzaskowski.  If you do not give us exactly what we want and we leave the EU you will have up to a million unemployed people back on your doorstep and your economy will tank and your party will be booted out of office.  So you be more respectful to Mr Cameron and remember to call him “Sir” as he has tremendous power over you and your country.

There is no need to be respectful to me as nothing you can offer will influence my decision – I want the United Kingdom free of the EU.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

It was surprising and heartening to see Newsnight this evening using a gigantic portrait of Enoch Powell as a backdrop.

Increasingly I prefer the Thursday edition of Newsnight to the formulaic babble on Question Time.


Patrick Wintour's magisterial six thousand word analysis in the Guardian today of the decline and fall of Ed Miliband

There was praise on Daily Politics this lunchtime for Patrick Wintour's magisterial six-thousand-word analysis in the Guardian today of the decline and fall of Ed Miliband and his coterie:  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/jun/03/undoing-of-ed-miliband-and-how-labour-lost-election

Some thoughts:

"Greg Beales, the campaign’s director of strategy – and the keeper of the party’s polling – was convinced that, above all, the party needed to address the distrust of Labour’s legacy on the economy and immigration" - the Labour party is addicted to immigration and they are still in denial on what ordinary people think about the issue.

"Stewart Wood, a former politics tutor at Magdalen College Oxford, pressed Miliband to make an ideological break with New Labour, and concentrate the campaign on a promise to make society more equal, through reforms to banking, markets, and post-crash capitalism" - the need for a break with the past is fundamental, but needs to be more far-reaching than just reform the banks, moderate the markets and offer a few restraints on the big predators.

"the Tories had successfully established the deficit as the most important issue of the day" - not sure they did (the Tories were bloody lucky during the last election).

"the consensus was for Balls – although, as a compromise, Miliband was asked to approach his brother one more time. Sitting on the backbenches, a bruised David said no once again" - my goodness, did David Miliband contribute to the Labour defeat due to his bruised ego?

"Unless Miliband could present the public with a bigger and more inspiring message, Axelrod told him, it would be impossible to regain the support of the white working-class voters who were deserting the Labour party" - well that was advice worth paying for - Mr Axelrod earned his fee for this insight alone.

 “The agenda would have been about a second Tory term” – and what that might mean for the NHS, Europe, tax credits and Scotland. Instead, it turned into a referendum on the risks of a minority Labour government - but in many ways the general election was the English response to the Scottish referendum of the previous September (and we can paraphrase this as:  you Scots hate us therefore we are going to hate you).
"After the election, the party drew up two plans for its disposal: one was simply to smash the stone up and throw the rubble onto a scrap heap. The second was to break it up and sell chunks" - if it is not destroyed that stone is going to haunt Labour - I certainly suggest UKIP buys the bit of the stone that refers to immigration.

"the party’s wariness to discuss identity or Englishness" - this is a statement of the bleedin' obvious.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Playwright and artist John Byrne on Channel 4 News

It was encouraging to see playwright and artist John Byrne on Channel 4 News describe Scottish nationalism as "nonsense" (he did actually say the word):  http://www.channel4.com/news/john-byrne-nicola-sturgeon-scotland-independence

I suppose Jeremy Corbyn meant as a surprise his announcement that he is standing as Labour Leader

In the whoopi-cushion gestures that sometimes characteristise the Labour party (they have a tendency to indulge in high-camp histrionics*) I suppose Jeremy Corbyn meant as a surprise his announcement that he is standing as Labour Leader:  http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/06/could-jeremy-corbyn-mp-be-labours-leadership-candidate-left

But I can't say the news has changed the leadership contest in any significant way.

The main problem the for the Labour party is that it has become paranoid and narcissistic.  Indeed, the Corbyn self-nomination is just another manifestation of that narcissism.  All the candidates (possibly excepting Liz Kendall) are obsessed with fitting themselves into the managerial and corporate power structures of modern life instead of finding a new role for the Labour party as the country faces the insidious pressures of globalisation.

Labour needs to find a "shaman" who can speak in poetic language and connect the party with the people it aspires to serve (David Cameron does this brilliantly for the Conservatives).

Someone who can use metaphors and images and stories so that a narrative is formed that ordinary people can respond to.

Globalisation is not a problem from the 1970s - we do not need 1970s solutions, nor do we need quasi-1970s politicians.

* ie the whole farrago of Falkirk; Diane Abbott forced into a self-confession in front of TV cameras; Chuka Umuna flouncing out of an interview etc
Very sensible question from Peter Bone MP and very reassuring answer from the Prime Minister at Prime Minister's Questions http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006nldz

The European Union as an ideal is hopelessly outdated and inadequate.  It is a 1970s ideal.  Who wants to live in Ted Heath's vision!

Angus Robertson will become evasive about his commitment

At Prime Minister's Questions this lunchtime Angus Robertson, Leader of the Scottish National Party MPs, was critical of the government's policy in taking refugees from Syria.

It would help if Mr Robertson could tell us how many of these refugees should be admitted to Scotland and who will pay for their settlement there.

One suspects that as soon as numbers start to be discussed Angus Robertson will become evasive about his commitment.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

There is an opportunity here to topple the SNP hold on Scotland

There was a report on Daily Politics this lunchtime that looked at the SNP's ultimatum over the EU referendum.

SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon insisted that decisions taken as a result of the referendum must match what the people of Scotland voted for.

SNP "Minister" for Europe Humza Yousaf told us that the SNP would "evangelise quite rightly about the benefits of EU membership".

There is an opportunity here to topple the SNP hold on Scotland.

Let them evangelise about the EU.  Let them identify themselves with the EU in all its ways.  Let them seek to justify the EU to the Scottish people.

If the Scottish people subsequently vote NO to continued membership the SNP will be so damaged they will find it extremely difficult to rise again.

And it is not so very fanciful to see that the Scottish people may well vote NO.  The EU has devastated Scottish fishing communities.  Many of the arbitrary and high-handed policies the SNP cleverly blames on Westminster originate in Brussels.  The claustrophobic pro-corporate big business regulations and requirements that stifle local enterprises are a direct result of the EU's interventions.  Whatever the socialist instincts of Scotland there can be no re-nationalisation or public ownership or even mild public subsidy under EU requirements.  The EU is a top-down organisation that imposes its will upon the little people.

If the Scottish people value freedom highly it is illogical for them to want to remain in the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon thinks that tactically she can use the EU referendum to get another vote on independence.

But strategically she may be tying herself to the sinking ship of EU membership and may well go down with that ship.

For the rest of us, we must campaign for a NO vote in Scotland.


Monday, June 01, 2015

A slap in the face for all those lefties who are saying Liz Kendall is too right-wing

This endorsement by Paul Flynn MP is a slap in the face for all those lefties who are saying Liz Kendall is too right-wing:  http://paulflynnmp.typepad.com/

Of course, Mr Flynn could be playing a game of his own, wanting Liz Kendall to win to push Andy Burnham and Yvette Cooper out of the way.

And then presumably the strategy will be to replace Liz Kendall with a genuine left-wing nominee once the inevitable in-fighting, sniping and undermining starts.
This is both astonishing and wonderful:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/01/cameron-eu-talks-boris-johnson?CMP=share_btn_tw

"...an alternative future that could be just as glorious and just as prosperous".

This had me saying aloud good old Boris.

Dr Norbert Röttgen was interviewed on Channel 4 News about the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the EU

Earlier this evening Dr Norbert Röttgen was interviewed on Channel 4 News about the prospect of the United Kingdom leaving the EU.

Herr Doktor Röttgen kept repeating "at stake is the European unity" and seemed bemused that this incantation does not seem to work when chanted in our country.

If he bothered to think things through logically, he would realise that "ever closer union" must mean at some point the degrading and effective deposing of the British monarchy.

This is something that will never be tolerated.  Perhaps the EU enthusiasts think that if they just move forward quietly and under the cloak of euphemisms a tipping point will be reached when an EU head of state is installed without challenge.  Such people should be warned that any threat to the monarchy will lead to an explosion of anger (and I suspect violence) that will shake even Dr Röttgen and even in the bovine remoteness of Berlin.

So please Herr Doktor Röttgen, demonstrate on an intellectual and logical level how "ever closer union" in its final ultimate phase does not mean the end of the British monarchy (and thus the fundamental change of the relationship between the individual and the state, the fundamental change of power and its authority, and the fundamental change of every major institution in our society).

The end of the monarchy will also mean the end of our national and personal identity and the end of our historical continuum in its present unbroken form.

And do not insult our intelligence by referring to the other so-called monarchies in the EU.  These are petty princelings that are neither crowned nor anointed.  With the exception of Sweden their legitimacy only dates to 1945 when the wartime Anglo-American alliance put them back on their thrones.


An almost frightening capacity to get the job done

Watching Yvette Cooper interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday, I thought she was competent and formidably well-prepared (she seemed keen to give the answers before Andrew Marr had finished asking the questions).

As a manager she could do the job of Labour leader perhaps better than any of the other candidates.

Her managerial qualities were beyond doubt.

What was lacking was zeal - and association with one, two or three causes that she is passionate about.

Andy Burnham has a rather plodding persona, but one can hear the name "Andy Burnham" and the mind involuntarily associates it with (free?) care for the elderly.

One can hear the name Liz Kendall and one involuntarily thinks "more Tory than the Tories" (this is a smear by her enemies in the Labour party, but it is a smear that has worked).

One hears the name Yvette Cooper and one thinks of an almost frightening capacity to get the job done.

But what are the things she wants to get done? (beyond power for its own sake).

All those lefties who keep banging on about "ideological" rail privatisation should read Michael Spicer's autobiography (Spicer's Diaries) which reveal Margaret Thatcher in favour of Railtrack being kept in public ownership.

100th anniversary of the foundation of the Women's Institute

Yesterday's World This Weekend reported on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Women's Institute later this year:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qnz4/episodes/player

Anyone who lives in rural England (the real England) will know of the importance of the WI.

For me, the WI is especially treasured for the early defiance of the Blair regime:  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2000/jun/08/uk.labour3  and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0HgJIkSIXY

It's like that moment when the crowd starts jeering the evil dictator Nicolae Ceausescu:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWIbCtz_Xwk



Who is the "enemy" being referred to by this publication that is very closely associated with the Scottish National Party?

Can Nicola Sturgeon be asked to define the enemy.

If English people are meant as the enemy can Bridget Morris be arrested for a hate crime.