Friday, July 31, 2015

I want the media to pay more attention to our legitimate representative in the EU parliament

"Farage is socially unacceptable to many of those Britons who might otherwise consider voting to leave the EU" burbles Iain Martin:

And yet in the 2014 EU elections UKIP won.  Won convincingly, won comprehensively, won coherently with a message everyone understood.  If the EU were already a federal state with one parliament the UKIP leader would be representing the former United Kingdom in that parliament.

In EU terms Nigel Farage IS our regional prime minister (or premier or prefect - whatever the regional leaders are going to be called).

I am not a member of UKIP.

But I welcome their existence.

Far from wanting Nigel Farage to shut up, I want the media to pay more attention to our legitimate representative in the EU parliament, entitled more than any other leader (certainly more than David Cameron) to speak on our collective behalf on EU issues particularly as they relate to the forthcoming referendum.

The person who needs to shut up is Douglas Carswell - he is the virus that has infected UKIP since his defection (roll on the day when he re-defects - except that we do not want him back in the Conservatives).

The virus is actually libertarianism

On BBC News 24 this lunchtime Carole Walker interviewed CWU General Secretary Dave Ward about his claim that there is an ideological virus within the Labour party.

Dave Ward identified this virus as Blairism.

While not disagreeing that Tony Blair was a bad man who did many bad things, I think the virus is actually libertarianism, and it has not only infected the Labour party, it has also infected the Conservative party.

It needs to be analysed and understood properly before it can be challenged and eradicated (or since we are democracy, voted for - although I think given a choice the majority will always reject libertarianism if given alternative choices of Labour's mild socialism and traditional mildly authoritarian Tory paternalism).

We should just take Calais off the French

On BBC News 24 just now we saw pictures of the French police trying to stop migrants in Calais.  The migrants ran past them while the police made half-hearted attempts to raise their hands and flap them about (the same technique you might perhaps employ to scare chickens).  One of the police must have realised they were being filmed as he did at least get out some kind of spray - although the French police are quite likely to use it against the reporting media rather than the actual lawbreakers.

On a less serious note, this does make me wonder whether we should just take Calais off the French.

We already have part of Calais as United Kingdom territory since our border is on French soil.

Calais was part of England for 492 years (1066 to 1558) and has only been French territory for 457 years (1558 to 2015) therefore our claim is stronger than that of the French government.

We know the French police will not resist any invasion since they are responding so pathetically to the illegal migrants (and indeed, French behaviour in 1940 reminds us that faced with invasion their tendency is to surrender).

So why do we not take Calais back and build a proper wall around the department (the Israeli wall keeps out unwanted incursions into Israel).

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Very powerful Newsnight this evening:

I particularly enjoyed Melanie Phillips demolishing the pretentions around the Bloomsbury Group and their modern-day groupies.

Irresponsible risk

There are none so blind as those who will not see.

In this article by Sundar Katwala, Director of the rather over-ambitiously named think-tank British Future, makes no mention of inter-communal violence:

And yet every society that has gone through the forcing together of distinct cultural communities has subsequently experienced on-going inter-communal violence expressed at times of social stress or crisis.

Indeed we experience it in the United Kingdom all the time and yet Sundar Katwala chooses to ignore the statistics.

Of course, the United Kingdom is not Rwanda, or Bosnia, or India.  Nor is it Syria or Burma or Fiji.  It is not even Ferguson, Missouri - or at least not yet.

But Northern Ireland demonstrates what happens when a migrant community intrudes itself into a territory against the wishes of the majority.  Six hundred years later and that part of the British Isles still experiences convulsions.  The migrants that settled in the southern part of Ireland have long been ethnically cleansed.

Sundar Katwala is himself mixed race and so he has no choice but to peddle (I use that word deliberately) the line that he does.

But the rest of us do not need to take this irresponsible risk with our future.

We live in a democracy.

If enough of us say we do not want a multi-cultural society (and that is the view of the majority) the politicians will have no choice but to dismantle it.


If Harriet Harman objects to the word "swarm" to describe the migrants trying to break into the United Kingdom would she agree if we substitute the word "virus" to describe the migrants? 
Although I am disgusted by what is happening in Calais, it is possible that a beneficial result will be sufficient outcry in the United Kingdom over the lack of pan-European co-operation that the IN side lose the EU referendum - which I would remind you is only months away.
Why is Nigel Farage not being interviewed on the migrant crisis in Calais?

He is not paid to be humane he is employed to enforce the law

Supinely weak French police chief has just appeared on Channel 4 News limply waving his hands about and saying he can do nothing about the illegal migrants in the Calais area:

I think we have here the reason why migrants in the Calais are flaunting the law so blatantly - the French police are refusing to do their job.

We need to insist that this police chief is sacked and replaced with someone more competent.

Jon Snow provocatively called the police chief "humane". 

He is not paid to be humane he is employed to enforce the law.

I think we need to blame the Labour Party

On Newsnight yesterday a French person in Calais was asked about the migrants and said they all want to come to the United Kingdom because "they think England is El Dorado".

Who is responsible for this image of England as an "El Dorado" for third world migrants?

I think we need to blame the Labour Party.

They are the ones who "sent out searching parties" looking for migrants and started all this public sector droning on about being welcoming and inclusive of "diversity" (left-wing code for immigrants).

And can we please stop shouting ad nauseum that we are a tolerant country.  That is only encouraging people to come here.  Start saying we are intolerant of lawbreakers, and that includes illegal migrants.

The nudge theory does work, so start using it - the United Kingdom is not a tolerant country if you have come here illegally.

Can we also have a statement from the government that a new policy of Zero Tolerance for Illegal Migrants is to be introduced.  No matter how long you have been here, no matter what "family ties" you have developed.  If you have entered the United Kingdom illegally you will have all property confiscated, you will go to prison for three to five years, and then you will be deported.

And get a grip of the judiciary - illegal migrants have NO rights here and whatever international agreements need to be abrogated we intend to stop the flood of foreigners.

To Do

Each morning I write my To Do list.

I only include urgent items that I MUST make progress with.

And within a few minutes the list is so vast that it can never be accomplished, and I become disillusioned and lethargic (the "why bother" syndrome).

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A migrant turning against the country that gave him refuge

George Soros has just appeared on Channel 4 News telling us when he was given asylum in the United Kingdom "I became an anglophile":

Some anglophile.

This is the man who at the height of the Major government's incompetence over the European Exchange Rate Mechanism made hostile speculations against the pound sterling and profited by over £1 billion.

You can keep your anglophilia George Soros.

I am sorry you were given asylum in the United Kingdom - I wish we had left you to rot in communist Hungary.

And is this not yet another very salutary example of a migrant turning against the country that gave him refuge.

Just as an aside, when watching the Channel 4 News report I was struck by how such a wealthy person such as Georges Soros could have such a hideous taste in interiors - his office was panelled in orange wood and littered with corporate junk-fripperies.
What else is the army for if not to stop invasions! :

The French need to establish a 50 mile migrant exclusion zone around Calais and make it clear that any migrants picked up in that area will be interned (in Marseilles preferably) until they decide to return to their country of origin.

I am puzzled why we do not see the French police hitting these illegal migrants

Very alarming listening to the PM programme on BBC Radio 4 about illegal migrants forming themselves into small armies and attempting to break through the border fences at Calais:

This is an invasion by any standards.

I am puzzled why we do not see the French police hitting these illegal migrants.  If there is one thing the French police are renowned for around the world, it is beating people with batons.  And yet there are no police to be seen on any of the news reports - you would think that the French are happy to just shuffle the problem over the border so they can evade responsibility.

The Home Secretary needs to get a grip on this problem, and also start pursuing those illegal migrants who have already got through.

And yes, that DOES mean the United Kingdom police hitting illegal migrants with batons when they catch them - hit them sufficiently hard that they will not be tempted to repeat the experience.

And does this not absolutely reinforce the necessity to KEEP OUT OF ALL FOREIGN ADVENTURES, ESPECIALLY BOMBING SYRIA until the flood of migrants stops.

Otherwise we are going to have the left dancing up and down saying these people have a "right" to come here because we wrecked their country (conveniently forgetting that the biggest wrecker of modern times was a Labour prime minister).

And also serious consideration needs to be given to closing the border at Calais and routing all traffic via Harwich-Hook of Holland - perhaps the Dutch police will be a bit more competent than the French.

But above all we need to get out of the EU - these people are not our friends if they behave as the French are behaving.

Joanna Gosling interviewed Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham

On BBC News 24 this lunchtime Joanna Gosling interviewed Labour leadership candidate Andy Burnham.

He insinuated that Labour would just become a party of protest under Jeremy Corbyn.

He emphasised the need for economic competence.

Which makes one wonder what exactly the Burnham record on economic competence is.

What is the economic philosophy he espouses?  Please don't tell me he doesn't have an economic philosophy.  Economic trust is crucial to any serious politician.

So is he a Keynesian or a Friedmanite?  Chicago School or Piketty follower?  "No more boom and bust" or yes, let's have boom and bust but we will hide the borrowing on obscure PFI contracts and keep going as long as possible until we are caught out?

And WHAT is the Burnham view on predistribution?

Evan Davis is not asking the candidates these hard questions - it is left to Kay Burley and Joanna Gosling.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Never Again

“We need to answer concerns about immigration and identity, especially for people attracted by Ukip’s resistance to change" - from the report Never Again prepared for the Fabian Society and reported in the Guardian

“We need to push further out of our comfort zone and talk about the cultural impact of immigration and the way some communities have changed rapidly over the past few decades.” 

The fullest inclusion of everyone within the party in determining the party’s strategy for the coming period, its policy programme and its decision making processes

John McDonnell MP proposes a government of all the talents (as if that worked last time):

He wants “wide-ranging and detailed consultation on the party’s political strategy, policy programme and internal party decision-making processes.”

Er, hasn't that already been settled?

What about all the consultancy fees paid to David Axelrod and that book published by John Cruddas and all the musing by Maurice Glasman - does it all count for nothing?  Has it all been junked?  Is it really back to square one?

"I am writing to propose a process to be adopted immediately following the election result that would ensure the fullest inclusion of everyone within the party in determining the party’s strategy for the coming period, its policy programme and its decision making processes. In this way nobody would feel excluded..."

Yeah, right.  Like that's going to happen.  They'll all live happily ever after.
On Channel 4 News Cathy Newman interviewed Labour leadership contender Andy Burnham and referred to his T-shirt that says "Never Kissed A Tory".

Cathy Newman pointed out to him that he is going to have to kiss a lot of Tory voters if he has any hope of winning an election for Labour. (note the "blokish" bottle of beer he is holding).

Monday, July 27, 2015

Channel 4 News covered the Lord Sewell sleaze scandal (drugs and prozzies):

And one immeditely thought "dirty old man".

But what of that other dirty old man Lord Rennard?

This "open letter" by Luke Akehurst, Keith Dibble and John Spellar MP seems a bit underhand:

"Labour First is very publicly calling on people to use their second and third preference votes for the other two mainstream candidates to stop Corbyn winning".

Do they really think Progress would put expediency above principles?

Lies and cynicism and power for the sake of power

Ian McKenzie (formerly a Special Adviser to Ann Taylor MP and John Prescott MP) writes on Labour Uncut:  "I wish that the left had been able to see the Blair and early Brown New Labour formula for the Tory-bewildering common sense it was. All they had to do was understand how political compromise works..."

Was a free run for cigarette advertising in Formula One a compromise?

Was peerages for cash a compromise?

Was a Government Of All The Talents (including Lord Sugar!) a compromise?

Was pulling the rug from under Mo Mowlem a compromise?

Was secretive sofa government a compromise?

Was "no return to boom and bust" a compromise?

Was the dodgy dossier a compromise?

Was the Iraq war a compromise?

Or were they all just lies and cynicism and power for the sake of power.
The Labour leadership election is becoming a cathartic moment for all who care about British politics.

As Louis Norman points out, without honesty we have nothing:
Let's get this stright right from the start.

If Chuka Umuna intends to flounce out of the Labour party in the event of a Corbyn win we are NOT having him in the Conservatives.

Liz Kendall maybe (she's a Conservative in all but fact) but not Umuna.
Who paid for Nicola Sturgeon to visit China to talk about Women's Rights?

Do taxpayers in Scotland know this scam is being worked?

They have lost trust in politicians to spend their money wisely

Robert Priest (Lecturer in History at Royal Holloway University of London) writes: "the proportion of people in favour of higher taxation and spending has collapsed from 63 per cent to just 37 per cent in the ten years from 2004 to 2014".

That is not because ordinary people are resistant to higher taxation.

It is because they have lost trust in politicians to spend their money wisely (too Blair/Brown channelled it to communities where they bought votes by lavishing public money). 

"Of the new members, one third are under the age of 30..."

 Tom Quinn (Senior Lecturer, Department of Government at University of Essex) writes for The Conversation about the Corbyn phenomenon:

Note the line:  "Of the new members, one third are under the age of 30 and their most common age is 18. Young people can become full members for just £1 per month or simply pay £3 to become registered supporters."

These are the idealists who will become active.  This is the way you win elections.I would like to see the Conservatives match this recruitment of young people. 

I would swap George Osborne for Jeremy Corbyn any day

 "...only allowed his name to go forward out of a sense of duty and responsibility to the left..."

In this one line the sneering cynical Stefan Stern writing on LabourList unwittingly reveals why Jeremy Corbyn should be admired across the political spectrum:

When do you EVER see the word "politician" coupled with the phrase "sense of duty and responsibility" ? (except when they are talking about themselves and bigging each other up and talking about each other's "bottom").

Stefan Stern, if you want a wily crafty do-anything-to-get-power politican you can have George Osborne.

I would swap George Osborne for Jeremy Corbyn any day.

PS this is not to decry what George Osborne has achieved, I just don't think he is the right person to become leader of the Conservative party, not with his record on social issues and lax attitude to immigration.
Lord Sewel is no friend of the Conservatives describing David Cameron as "the most facile, superficial prime minister there's ever been", and Boris Johnson as "a joke" -

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Enough of this scaremongering Ms Kendall.

"In a forthright interview with The Independent on Sunday, Ms Kendall says those who are backing the MP for Islington North are “looking for easy solutions but they’re the wrong solutions” and that his policies “won’t change the country for the better”. She also points out that Mr Corbyn has failed to rule out voting for Britain to leave the EU, which she says would be a 'catastrophe' " -

It is not enough for Liz Kendall to just say leaving the EU would be a "catastrophe".

She needs to say why.

A "catastrophe" according to the dictionary is an apocalypse, a calamity, a cataclysm, a convulsion, a tragedy, a bloodbath, a collapse, a crash, a meltdown, Armageddon, doomsday, the end-time.

I suggest that leaving the EU will be none of these things.

Even for those who will not benefit (and there will be some, notably big business corporations not keen on paying tax) will at most suffer mild discomfort and the necessity for some reorganisation.

Most ordinary people in the United Kingdom will benefit significantly from leaving the EU.

So enough of this scaremongering Ms Kendall.

Sunday Times sensational headline "Hard left plot to infiltrate Labour race"

On the front page of today's Sunday Times sensational headline "Hard left plot to infiltrate Labour race" and an article by James Lyons and Robin Henry that confidently asserts that many of the 140,000 new activists being signed up by the Labour party are from the Communist Party of Great Britain:

The Opinion Editorial of the Sunday Times, presumably written by Martin Ivens, again insinuates that "many" of the 140,000 new members are from the Communist Party of Great Britain.

This is mendacious nonsense.

The Communist Party of Great Britain gained a total of 1,229 in the nine constituencies where it fielded candidates in the 2015 general election.

According to the BBC the Communist Party of Great Britain has a total membership of 1,000.

So even if the total membership of the party and all the voters who voted for it in the general election were to "infiltrate" the Labour party they would have no statistical influence on the outcome of the leadership election.

These lies by the Sunday Times do not simply besmirch a once-great newspaper. 

They damage democracy - which belongs to the ordinary people, not to Rupert Murdoch.  

Politicians never ask "What kind of society do we want to live in?"

On the Andrew Marr Show this morning Jeremy Corbyn was interviewed, and said "What kind of society do we want to live in?"

In that one question you can immediately sense that this is no normal politician.

Politicians never ask "What kind of society do we want to live in?"

All you get from most mainstream politicians is the patronising formula "WE ARE POLITICIANS we will decide on your behalf what kind of society you want to live in.  You have elected us as your representatives and so you must not question us or curb us in any way for WE ARE POLITICIANS we know far better than you what is best for you.  Oh and in case you think you can play us one party off against another you had better think again for WE ARE POLITICIANS we all think the same in all the essentials and there is nothing you can do about it." 

That is why Jeremy Corbyn is so refreshing, even for a Conservative like myself.  He has not been got-at by the establishment and processed so that he follows the establishment line.  His rise has been unexpected and assymetrical, without having to pay anyone off.

Andrew Marr tried to set a trap for him, asking "Do you regard yourself as a Marxist?" which Jeremy Corbyn sidestepped.
At Sung Eucharist this morning:

Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
Earth's Redeemer, plead for me.
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweep across the crystal sea.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Neil Henderson draws attention to the front page of the Sunday Times alleging extremist infiltration of the Labour party by pro-Corbyn "hard-left" activists:

This is obviously a scare tactic wrapped in a conspiracist theory.

From Jeremy For Leader "Andy Burnham's own constituency rejects him and decides to back Jeremy Corbyn" :
Nora Mulready writing on the Progress website says "Has Labour any coherent answers to the big issues facing the country and the world? Many in Labour are not yet even prepared to hear the questions."

Of course John Prescott would pretend no-one has ever heard of Nora Mulready. 

An opportunity to say NO to globalisation

"Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed for the first time that he is prepared to campaign for Britain to quit the European Union if he becomes Labour leader" writes Paul Waugh for the Huffington Post:

This is a very significant development.

Even I would vote for a Labour party led by an OUT leader.

And do not underestimate the popular appeal of such a policy.

The referendum will give the population of the United Kingdom an opportunity to say NO to globalisation and all its dirty ways.

Also see:
Discussing the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon 0n Dateline London Agnes Poirier has said the Labour party is regressing to the 1890s:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Not being seen as a liar is a strong personal asset for any politician

Abby Tomlinson in The Mirror distills the Corbyn charisma:  "Unlike many politicians, when Jeremy speaks, it is hard to believe that he would purposefully lie to or mislead you".

Not being seen as a liar is a strong personal asset for any politician, and one that few possess. 

The disconnect between the Labour party and the country

Anne Perkins analyses the disconnect between the Labour party and the country:  "But members in any party are not the same as party voters. Post-election research by Tim Bale and Paul Webb into the party’s membership found the typical member was white, middle-class, left of where SNP supporters say they are and further left of the Lib Dems, but sharing many Lib Dem-ish preoccupations. They are pro-Europe, pro-immigration and libertarian on matters such as controls of speech and the media. They are also disproportionately – 40% - employed in the public sector. This is not the profile of the average Labour voter, and even less so of the people who need to vote Labour if it is ever to form another government."

To introduce a genuinely radical programme (whether right-wing or left-wing) a party needs to build trust.

And it takes more than one parliament to build trust.

And yet leave it too late and the electorate becomes bored with you.

Elite members of a spadocracy

Ain't this the truth:  "New Labour’s second generation often looks like a smooth, besuited set of careerists, elite members of a spadocracy against which Corbyn appears the paragon of rumpled authenticity."

I read that line and the image of Chuka Umuna came to mind.

Jonathan Freedland writing in the Guardian -

What is Andy Burnham's track record on blue sky thinking?

Lord Falconer tells us that Andy Burnham "... is the leader who can build a bold new radical programme for Labour":

Excuse me, but what is Andy Burnham's track record on blue sky thinking?

What books has he written?

What learned articles has he published?

It is all very well being a blokey scouser who likes to kick a football about.

But for Prime Ministerial candidates we do need an intellectual behind the man-of-the-people facade.  Someone who understands society, its make-up, and how it works.  Someone who can grasp abstract economic theory and translate it into practical policy.

I am afraid Andy Burnham is not that person.  Even the use of the familiar "Andy" indicates he is not a serious person (as any Andrew can tell you, "Andy" when used outside the family is almost always a self-infantilisation).  Outside of social care I cannot think of one original idea that he has had.

Andy Burnham will not do.

Philip Collins has some down-to-earth analysis on the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon

Writing in The Times Philip Collins has some down-to-earth analysis on the Jeremy Corbyn phenomenon:

"Labour party members are pretty angry with the electorate" (and presumably plan to punish the electorate by making them swallow Jeremy Corbyn, much as a waste-not-want-not Victorian matriarch would keep serving up a meal cold until her errant children ate it).

"The Labour party... is drunk on the lack of power".

"Only 5 per cent of Mr Corbyn's supporters think he can win a general election".

But if you are an aficionado of political biography you will know that the same sort of things were howled by "moderates" in the Tory party back in 1974 when Margaret Thatcher dared to stand against Willie Whitelaw.

It does not matter if Corbyn is not likely to help Labour to victory in the 2020 general election

James Walsh writes about attitudes to Jeremy Corbyn in the Guardian:^gdnukpolitics

Note the line:

"Also common was the sentiment that it does not matter if Corbyn is not likely to help Labour to victory in the 2020 general election, so long as he is leading a party offering a genuine alternative."

 This indicates that Guardian readers have already discounted any hope of Labour winning in 2020 and want policies developed ready for 2025.

There is no short cut to electoral success.

Ideas win elections, as Ted once said (back in the 70s - it's in his autobiography somewhere).

Angela Eagle reveals she is unfit to be a Deputy Leader of the Labour Party

I am rather incredulous at a line Angela Eagle MP has written in an article for LabourList:

She tells us "...replacing the politics of fear which dominates the debate on immigration with a more hopeful narrative that celebrates our diversity. These are the issues that people have wanted to talk to me about as I’ve toured the country..."

I am willing to bet NO-ONE (real people, not activists) wanted to talk to her about a "hopeful narrative that celebrates our diversity".

All the doorstep conversations would have been about curbing the rate and pace of immigration, not coming up with a "narrative" that magics away the consequences (with the usual menacing implication that if you disagree with the official narrative you are a racist and a bigoted person).

Same old lies and out-of-touch analysis of the problems facing ordinary working people.

In this one line Angela Eagle reveals she is unfit to be a Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

Tom Pursglove has slammed President Obama for his arrogance

Conservative MP Tom Pursglove has slammed President Obama for his arrogance. The MP for Corby said that EU membership was “a matter for the British people … It isn’t for anyone else to tell Britain what they are going to do.”


Thursday, July 23, 2015

"Open" letter by John Mann MP to Jeremy Corbyn MP

This is an astonishing "open" letter by John Mann MP to Jeremy Corbyn MP:

Note Mr Mann says  "The so called ‘trendy left’ politics of the early 1980s was a contributory factor in covering up child abuse." 

This letter is of course a tactic in the Labour leadership election.

But why has John Mann sat on this information until now?

Does that not represent a cover-up in itself?

Labour has become a fashion statement

If I have followed Helen Lewis's argument correctly she is saying that Labour activists are more concerned about their self-identity as Labour activists than they are about winning power and changing the country:

Effectively she is saying that Labour has become a fashion statement (which would explain the enthusiasm with which public school RADA luvvies proclaim they are socialists).

As Karl Marx did not say, history repeats itself three times.

Once as tragedy (Blair/Brown), once as farce (Miliband), once as a fashion statement (Corbyn).

Rob Marchant on the Labour leadership contest

Shocking but addictive candour from Rob Marchant on the Labour leadership contest (Rob Marchant is an activist and former Labour Party manager who blogs at The Centre Left):

many in the party are no longer expecting to get the best candidate, merely looking to avoid a disastrous one….

the situation is far worse than the leftward drift that led to the Foot years…

Unite already represents an existential threat to it and does not have the party’s best interests at heart…

members which attend local party meetings is far too weighted towards public-sector workers and the retired…

Parliamentary selections are still largely subcontracted to unions…

All Women Shortlists are patronising, unfair and an unacceptably blunt instrument for equal opportunities… 

the party’s open espousal of identity politics on race and gender is slowly killing it…

John Prescott would probably ask with an exaggerated air of faux bewilderment "Who's Rob Marchant?" but if I, as a Tory, know who Rob Marchant and John McTernan are then surely Labour grandees such as Lord Prescott must know.

Liz Kendall is an intellectual

At least Liz Kendall is an intellectual:

She thinks deeply about issues.

She is not afraid to say the unsayable.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jeremy Corbyn's rise in the Labour party

On Radio 4's PM programme Emily Thornberry (a very pushy, VERY opinionated Labour backbencher) dismissed Tony Blair's intervention into the Labour leadership debate, and also tried to laugh off John McTernan's description (on Newsnight) of her as a "moron" for nominating Jeremy Corbyn in the first place:

Former Labour Leader Margaret Beckett self-identifies as one of these "morons" for her own nomination of Mr Corbyn.

It seems that Ms Beckett and Ms Thornberry only approve of democracy so long as you vote for candidates they approve of.  Presumably they nominated Jeremy Corbyn to set him up for a fall, and expected that after a crushing rejection of Corbynism they would be able to stamp on any revanchist socialists who try to reclaim the party for the Left.  Instead it is the Blairites who are being crushed and stamped on.

As a purple Conservative (a Conservative who is prepared to vote UKIP when necessary) I welcome Jeremy Corbyn's rise in the Labour party.  If they move to the left it gives us permission to move to the right.  The whole of politics will be refreshed.

For too long political parties in the United Kingdom have resembled those professional wrestlers who deliberately bear-hug each other so that neither of them has any freedom to act.  Neither of them can get advantage from the bear-hug, but equally neither of them can fail or fall.  It's boring, static and phoney, and we need in politics to get away from it.

The Morons:

Is Jeremy Corbyn Labour's Margaret Thatcher?

Sensational news on Newsnight this evening - Jeremy Corbyn is top of the poll by a wide margin to win the Labour leadership:

There is a precedent for this of course.

In the 1970s when the Conservatives were mostly just going along with Labour policies in a "consensus" sort of way and politics had become a left of centre mush Margaret Thatcher emerged on the right and against all expectations won the leadership and then won the country.

Is Jeremy Corbyn Labour's Margaret Thatcher?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cliché-laden self-parody

The Andrew Marr Show tipped over into cliché-laden self-parody this morning.

Did Mr Marr really say the words "'s hot, it's sticky, what you need is a touch of the deep south and on cue here is the golden-voiced young Texan Leon Bridges from his debut album this is twistin' and groovin' "

The camera then panned across to a black person in a suit and hat, whom we were presumably meant to admire for his diversity-chic.

"Deep south" indeed.

Following endorsement by the Andrew Marr Show American blues must now be classified as Dad Rock.

See for yourself: (at 58.50).

Saturday, July 18, 2015

You can see immediately the context

Normally I would not bother with The Sun and its coterie.

Like the monkeys in The Jungle Book, if you notice them it only makes them worse.

And there is always the warning:  one cannot touch pitch and not be defiled.

However some of the comments about the current front page are ridiculous:

You can see immediately the context in which the salutes were given.

A member of the Royal Family has obtained a cine camera and is shooting home movies.

After perhaps an hour of being ordered about and given tedious directions ("now all look at the camera... now one by one walk to the trees... now all together jump in the air...") they have rebelled and are mockingly protesting that the film-maker is behaving like a Nazi.

I am sure even in the Guardian editorial office when the editor insists on unrealistic deadlines Polly Toynbee or Zoe Williams will mockingly give a Nazi salute and say "Jawohl, mein Führer".

It happens all the time, everywhere, AS A MOCKERY AND A JOKE. 

To read any more into this is absurd.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Thank goodness for His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

Imagine if we had a po-faced head of state continually mouthing politically correct mantras.

One of the things I like about our monarchy is that it annoys all the people who ought to be annoyed.

A case study in why socialists should never be allowed to commission social housing

I think we always knew brutalist architecture damaged people psychologically:

Councillor Peter John, (Labour) Leader of Southwark Council, talking about the Heygate Estate:  "...brutalist architecture wasn’t conducive to building a successful economic community. These were hard to let properties. We shouldn’t forget that”.

Recently I was in Westbourne Grove and went to see Ernest Goldfinger's Trellick Tower.  As you can see, the bold dynamic design is just the sort of thing you want on your CV as an architect.  For the unfortunate people who have to live in the flats, the experience is less than sublime (all the crime and social problems you would expect from a community with a collective breakdown induced by the ugliness and inhumanity of their surroundings).

The tall thin design means that even on a summer day the wind howls around the upper floors.  Sickening feelings of vertigo when using the walkways.  And did the architect really specify that shade of muddy-coloured concrete?

This building is a case study in why socialists should never be allowed to commission social housing.  I suppose the intention was to put working class people into an entirely new environment where they would be purged of their bourgeois aspirations and made to conform to an internationalist socialist world outlook.  Instead the socialists just made people unhappy.

The building is much admired by Guardian social affairs writer Hannah Fearn.

The building appeared in the Depeche Mode video for Little 15

It also appeared in the Blur video For Tomorrow:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Abortion on demand is the most serious and urgent political issue facing us

The election of Tim Farron as Liberal Democrat leader poses problems:

Normally one would not bother even to consider voting Liberal Democrat.


If you agree that abortion on demand is the most serious and urgent political issue facing us, surely one's conscience must now insist Tim Farron is heard with respect when he talks on moral questions.

This leadership election is not going well for Labour!

I am almost sick with excitement having read this article:

If Jeremy Corbyn becomes Labour leader we might finally see the end of the Labour party.

Of course, all the creepie-crawlies that just want power for its own sake will start looking for new homes.

But the Labour party as a Corbyn rump will be impotent and ineffective.

This leadership election is not going well for Labour!

But seriously, we need a competent opposition to stop the government of the day becoming lazy and arrogant.  With the exception of Liz Kendall, none of the Labour leadership candidates have any star quality.  They would have been better off sticking with Miliband - at least he was an intellectual.  

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Full of cronies, bullies and buggins-turn placemen

In theory trade unions are a vital part of our society, protecting the weak against the strong.  In theory trade unions should be valued institutions, which the majority of working people are happy to support.  In theory trade unions are an essential part of the market economy, curbing the power of employers to rig the market.

In practice trade unions are a dead loss.

Full of cronies, bullies and buggins-turn placemen, they have fallen into the hands of a self-perpetuating class of second-rate second-division petty pseudo-socialists.

How has this happened?

The onset of mass immigration in the 1960s and 1970s was the opportunity that the then trade union leaders funked.  Instead of protecting their members by opposing the import of cheap labour they decided to put a commitment to internationalist ideology first (screaming "racist racist racist" at anyone who tried to discuss open-door immigration).  Which meant that trade unions increasingly had no answers to the problems posed by globalisation.

And now the whole idea of a trade union is redundant.

Which means no-one is coming forward to protect them.
Watching Harriett Harman at Prime Minister's Questions I could sense authority was slipping away from her:

She no longer has the confidence of her party and so no longer had confidence in herself (which was apparent from the lack of enthusiasm, stumbling over words, occasional hesitancy).

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

It might be clichéd, but when I think of Greece I imagine Vika Jigulina walking around this island:

Tsipras is Hácha

On 14th March 1939 the President of a small country in Europe rushed across the continent to negotiate with the German Chancellor.

Endless waiting around.

Eventually the President of the small country was told that if he did not at once agree to the Chancellor's demands his country would be destroyed.

Capitulation followed.

Tsipras is Hácha. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

For the average lefty it is just one humiliation piled on another

It must be very frustrating to be on the left these days.

President Hollande elected in France, all the left in the United Kingdom whooping with joy, and then he falls flat on his face.

Alexis Tsipras elected Prime Minister of Greece, the left saying at last, here is a genuine socialist, and then he goes and sells out.

And now Harriet Harman, temporary leader of the Labour Party ("the Labour Party" said with Kinnock histrionics) announcing she is going to vote for Conservative welfare cuts:

For the average lefty it is just one humiliation piled on another.

Andrew Marr started talking about Death

On the Andrew Marr Show this morning the left-wing luvvie slot was filled by Chiwetel Ejiofor (extra points added because of the "diversity" box that was ticked)

The usual format for these pieces is for Andrew Marr to talk about serious and deeply profound issues while the luvvie looks at him blankly and says "Yeah, Andrew... couldn't put it better myself... I was only thinking the same thing the other day..."

Anyway, this morning Andrew Marr started talking about Death.  How people never think about Death.  And yet how Death is inevitable.

Given his recent health issues, one can perhaps understand Andrew Marr's preoccupation.

But I think he is wrong to say that people never think about death.

Perhaps the metropolitan media elite think they are immortal, but those who live in the countryside are side by side with reminders that death is part of life ("...the wood as black as night, and the pheasant and the rabbit lay torn open at the throat...").

Above:  18th century tomb, the skull and bones and the hourglass running out.

Above:  medieval brass All you that do this place pass bye, Remember death for you will dye, As you are now even so was I, And as I am so shall you be.

Above:  medieval brass of a skeleton in a shroud, crawled over by worms ("though worms destroy this body yet in my flesh shall I see God"). 

And this morning at Sung Eucharist the verse:

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod

Saturday, July 11, 2015

This seems to be everywhere:

People are using the right to study as a way to achieve settlement in Britain

Sajiv Javid talks sense about overseas students:

"We’ve also got to have a system that doesn’t allow any abuse where people are using the right to study as a way to achieve settlement in Britain."

And all those universities who will start protesting - is it not the case that a lot of their success is built not on academic excellence but the fact that they are offering degrees with a British passport added as a sweetener?

This scam MUST be stopped.

Friday, July 10, 2015


Above the dangerously cracked lintel a datestone proclaimed Workman's Institute 1879.

I was charmed by the full-stop after the date.  It somehow encapsulated an earnest desire to do the correct thing, combined with a lack of polished education that would know a full-stop was not usual.  I tried to  imagine what took place at this Institute - the long hours of self-improving study by exhausted workers anxious to get on.

Boarded up and soon to be pulled down.

Not enough is being done to protect Victorian industrial buildings (especially warehouses - indeed, especially warehouses in east of England ports).

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Open-plan endlessly flexible

With Alec Nussbaum at the BBC.

I asked him what he thought about the open-plan endlessly flexible studios and concepts such as weather broadcasting from a balcony looking over the office workers etc.

"All been done before in the seventies.  This is just Pebble Mill writ large.  Didn't like it then, don't think much of it now."

The new extensions make a feature of All Souls Langham Place much as an 18th century nobleman would incorporate the local church into the landscaped view from his mansion.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

It was good to see the triumphalism of Iain Duncan-Smith as the New Living Wage was announced in the Budget earlier today:


and again


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Larry Elliott writing in the Guardian about the Greek crisis

This is such a stupid argument by Larry Elliott writing in the Guardian about the Greek crisis:

There is no comparison between Greece in 2015 and Germany in 1947.

I have no liking for Germans, but to distort history in this way is to damage all of us (since without truth there can be no justice - for anyone).

Germany in 1947 was defeated and occupied.  There was no possibility of the Germans causing more trouble in Europe.  The individuals in the defeated German government who had caused the European crisis had been put on trial AND HANGED.

For Larry Elliott's comparison to be viable Mr Tsipras, Mr Varoufakis, Mr Papandreou et al will need to be dangling from the end of a rope and the manic spending ideology of Syriza and all the other Greek parties expunged from the canon of legitimate political behaviour.

However, far from being defeated and disgraced the individuals who caused the present crisis are still at large and living the high life in Athens.  Far from their ideology (which across the left and right of Greek politics can be characterised as Spend, Spend, Spend) being defeated, there is every indication that if Greek debt is written off all they will do is run up new debts and in a couple of years will be in the same situation again.  The problem is the Greek population (collectively) paying themselves more than they (collectively) earn, borrowing the difference, and expecting the single currency to finesse this fact away by claiming workers in the rest of the Eurozone will not notice the cost of this "social solidarity".

On BBC News 24 yesterday it was revealed that Greece imports 80% of everything it consumes.  What is wrong with their social and economic organisation that has led to this imbalance?  Are there no manufacturing companies in Greece?  Has Greece not yet experienced the industrial revolution?  We are shown pictures of tearful mothers and children receiving charity handouts of medicines - is there no pharmaceutical industry in Greece that can supply these items?  The Germans after 1945 made a collective decision to WORK themselves out of the poverty and destitution they found themselves in - it is time for the Greeks to do the same.

Monday, July 06, 2015

No sympathy for them if they voluntarily make themselves a failed state

Discussing the crisis in Greece, Channel 4 News revealed that other European governments are concerned that social collapse in Greece will lead to surges of population across Europe and the border with Turkey becoming open (presumably because the border guards stop work because they are not being paid).

The Greeks need to be told that there will be no sympathy for them if they voluntarily make themselves a failed state.

And the British government needs to ensure that NO migrants from Greece get in, no matter what hard-luck stories they spin.

These are the railings at the British Museum.

The British Museum is always a safe haven.

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Beyond the gate

Driving home, the heat was so intense that I had to stop the car and get some fresh air.

Beyond the gate the landscape was in an immaculate condition, completely unspoiled.

It was very calming to look at such a beautiful view.
The Greek NO vote is very encouraging for the OUT campaign in the United Kingdom

Not least because it demonstrates that bullying Eurocrats cannot prevail with threats.

It is a Ceaușescu moment.

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Be wary of the argument that "greedy banks" are at fault for lending to Greece

On the whole Iain Martin writes a sensible piece:

But I think we should be wary of the argument that "greedy banks" are at fault for lending to Greece. 

It was a view promulgated by three of the four guests on Dateline London earlier today (a programme that is becoming more and more left-wing and included today the comical Marc Roche ):

Banks may well contain individuals who are greedy (just as all organisations contain greedy people).

But that does not mean debts should be written off.  The banks that loaned money to Greece were not handing over cash from the pockets of greedy bankers.  They were lending money that ultimately (and after going through many permutations) belongs to people who will one day need it (investment savings trusts, trade union pension funds, manufacturing companies with temporary excess cash etc).

Often banks will lend to governments because the idea that a government will not honour its debts has been, up to now, unthinkable.

So what happens to the little people in the rest of the EU if Greece defaults on its debts?  Probably the banks who lent the money will not fail, but they will experience trauma.  And will have to reduce the rewards they give to investors - which will mean smaller pensions, shortfalls in mortgage annuities, less generous insurance payouts.

The money that has been lent to Greece is not fairy gold.  It does not grow on trees.  It is slightly nauseating to see the Greek government arrogantly asserting that their debts will "have" to be written off.

"Unconventional methods and refusal to countenance the bureaucratic strictures of state"

In the Guardian Libby Brookes rushes to the defence of Camila Batmanghelidjh:

She tells us there were "no fob-offs or polite ambiguities with Batmanghelidjh, no compromise with – often entirely pragmatic – convention, no fools suffered gladly either".

We are supposed to applaud someone who has enthusiasm and drive for a particular job rather than someone who has built a "charity sector" career by collecting all the state-sanctioned bits of paper that would normally tell us we were allowed to admire her.

But hold on a minute.

The praise Ms Brooks lavishes on "unconventional methods and refusal to countenance the bureaucratic strictures of state" is exactly the opposite of the condemnation Guardian journalists throw at Free Schools appointing teachers who are obviously good teachers but have not countenanced the bureaucratic strictures of the state teacher training paper chase.

You would think the Guardian cannot have it both ways.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Everyone is being terribly nice about Ms Batmanghelidjh

Camila Batmanghelidjh was entirely unconvincing when interviewed by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight this evening:

Everyone is being terribly nice about Ms Batmanghelidjh, but there is one obvious question that does need to be asked:  given that huge amounts of public money are unaccounted for, what guarantee do we have that some of that money has not been siphoned off and laundered and put into the pockets of those who do not deserve it?

Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE

Oh how the mighty have fallen:

And is it not ironic that Camila Batmanghelidjh CBE should be brought down by the po-faced politically correct jobsworth paperchase rules and regulations that the left has used for decades to establish empires in the "not for profit" sector (where you are guilty of mismanagement unless you have ALL the paperwork at every single stage of everything you do that proves you are not guilty).

Mo Farrah, Camila Batmanghelidjh, the Wimmin's England Football Team - the left will soon have no remaining heroes they can adulate (especially if Andy Burnham becomes Labour Leader and after due thought and consideration declines to appoint Jeremy Corbyn to the Shadow Cabinet).

Thursday, July 02, 2015

No intervention in Syria of any kind

Michael Fallon needs to be told:  NO AIR STRIKES ON SYRIA:

No intervention in Syria of any kind.

As soon as the United Kingdom intervenes in a Middle East country the left here will start the usual incessant clamouring:  we messed up their country therefore we must let in thousands (then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands) of Syrian refugees.

And unfortunately the ministers at the Home Office do not have the strength of character or the managerial ability to be able to stop immigration.

Therefore we do not get involved in Syria (or any overseas adventure) until we have mopped up the previous immigration overspills.

If we (the people) cannot have immigration control you (the bigshot government ministers striding the world stage) cannot have foreign adventures.

Have I said that plainly and clearly enough?

It took me 35 minutes (on an 0300 line) to get through to the tax office

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke MP needs to take note - it took me 35 minutes (on an 0300 line) to get through to the tax office with a simple enquiry.

Presumably they work on the basis that most people will give up.

Most companies I have worked for (marketing agencies and on the client side) have a policy of answering the 'phone within two rings.

What is the percentage of self-assessment tax payers who experience such bad service and say to themselves "If they can't be bothered to answer the 'phone I can't be bothered to declare all my income" ?

With a system that depends upon honesty and co-operation it is not wise to aggravate people.

Imagine the feminist triumphalism if they had won

On the whole I think it is good for society that they lost:

Imagine the feminist triumphalism if they had won.  How we would have had our noses rubbed in it.  Lefties who would not normally go near a football field would be gushing over this team in the same way they gushed over Mo Farrah (until those unfortunate hypotheses came to light, and now he is a non-person).

"Approval of what is approved of is never good" to paraphrase something Oscar Wilde probably did not say.

And did anyone bother to ask Nicola Sturgeon whether she was supporting England or Japan?

To criticise London must mean criticising the people in it.

In a piece that can be described as sneer masquerading as irony Guardian journalist Hadley Freeman belittles London:

She makes, on the whole, a reasonable argument.  As a Londoner born and bred I cannot stand going to London now.  But I am a right-wing Conservative who votes UKIP to punish my own party - I have the freedom to complain about the state of London.

Hadley Freeman is a Guardian journalist, and is presumably a leftie.

It is not permissible for a leftie journalist, even as a bit of ironic fun, to criticise "the most diverse city on Earth".

Because to criticise London must mean criticising the people in it.

And to be fair to Hadley Freeman she makes no pretence of hiding her contempt for the diverse populations who have set themselves up in London (Russians, Armenian Jews, Greek/Indian/Spanish shops).  Even allowing for the is-it irony-or-is-it-her-real-view teasing tone of her writing, some of the things she says are impermissible for a leftie.  Indeed, her parenthesised "London people are awful", if brought before a judge, would probably be classified a hate crime within the meaning of the Act, since so many people in London are black, brown and yellow.

Of course, we are meant to believe that Hadley Freeman is actually satirising journalists who write about leaving London (although was it necessary to tell us twice in 927 words that there is a book of 28 essays about writers leaving New York).  And it is possible that Hadley Freeman by attacking the attackers is defending the issue she is writing about.  But like Mrs Blackamoor in Little Britain who vomited whenever she saw an ethic person, is it irony or is it a lefty tasting what is to them that most delicious of forbidden fruit - racism.

And do you see what I have done here, I have ironically satirised a journalist for her ironic satire.  Oh how clever I am.  Perhaps even clever and smug enough to write for the Guardian.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

You cannot collectively take out more than you collectively pay in

The pro-immigration lobby needs to pay attention to this ONS report:

Especially note:  "...51.5% of households received more in benefits (including in-kind benefits such as education) than they paid in taxes in 2013/14. This is equivalent to 13.7 million households".

Can we have a breakdown of these households by country of birth please?

Is it not the case that the explosion of immigration under Labour (and seemingly continuing at an unstoppable and unmanageable pace) is simply importing poverty from around the world?

Yes, business owners get a spike in their profits from cheapo employees, but those employees are not so cheap once you start to factor in all the benefits they take (and cannot pay for since their wage rates are so low the tax they pay is minimal).

"Oh I'm not bothered about petty details" say the lefty liberals, "I'm an internationalist - the more diverse people here the better" (the evil-speaking Rev Giles Fraser actually said this on Question Time last Thursday - evil because his grand expansive gestures will have to be paid for by ordinary households that are already struggling).

What these dumb internationalists do not realise is that the economic consequences of their pro-immigration ideology is like a systemic poison - it will seep all the way through our society.

If the majority of households receive more benefits than they pay in taxes a deficit is created and the welfare state (in its widest definition) must be cut back to adjust.  You cannot collectively take out more than you collectively pay in.  Is that so difficult to understand?

The idea that "the rich" will pay is a dishonest trick the left regularly tries to play on voters.

If taxes rise the rich will either move away themselves or move their money away.  The vast bulk of tax has always been paid by the middle classes (socio-economic groups C2, C1, and B).  If the middle classes have falling incomes the state will have falling tax receipts and the state sector must as a consequence have falling wages and investment.

Recently I was at a small factory making chemical products.  Their lab, which twenty years ago would have British-born employees on permanent contracts, now has a mix of Polish and Indian employees on temporary contracts.  The owner loves this, as they are much cheaper to employ.  But these lab technicians are not field workers cutting cabbages, they are middle-class professionals.  These are the occupations we depend on to pay their local and national taxes to fund teachers, health workers, firefighters etc.  If the tax these middle-class people pay goes down then as surely as night follows day the salaries of teachers, health workers and firefighters must go down.