Tommy Robinson – criminal or dissident?

A couple of years ago I went with some friends to see an exhibition at the Royal Academy of the work of the contemporary Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Ai is held in high regard within art circles and I did find many of his works interesting, although I was not particularly impressed by the way he sometimes destroys antiques and antiquities to create an artwork and I am certainly not convinced by someone who uses the work of an artisan to create a piece even if they are the inspiration. This is however beside the point, Ai Weiwei is also famous as a Chinese dissident. Ai grew up in China under Mao, in 1958 his father was denounced by the regime and his family sent to a Labour camp.

Ai Weiwei has long opposed the regime in China and used his art as a form of resistance. This aspect to his art I find much more engaging, few can doubt his bravery given the consequences of falling foul of the Chinese regime. An example of the clever way he uses art is a piece called Straight, made up of 150 tons of twisted steel reinforcement recovered from the rubble of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake. The story behind the exhibit is even more impressive; Ai felt that the Government was covering up the truth about how poor building standards had contributed to the death toll from the earthquake. Ai launched a Citizen’s Investigation and managed to compile a list of over 5000 people who had died in the earthquake, many as a consequence of corruption between local politicians and construction companies. Ai was arrested and beaten by the police so badly he later needed brain surgery.

I am struck by the parallels between the treatment of Ai Weiwei and the increasing number of arrests of activists in the United Kingdom. Set aside your views on some of them and consider this instead. Ai Weiwei broke the law, he broke the laws of the regime in China and as a consequence the regime moved against him – their laws legitimised their actions. I think most fair minded people are sympathetic to the cause of Ai Weiwei (and many other Chinese dissidents) because the only way they can express their views or question the regime is to break the law.

Now consider the recent case of Tommy Robinson. For clarity I am not one of his followers though I would defend his right to express his opinion – I just don’t like the provocative way he goes about it. Tommy was filming outside a court where a trial was taking place that had reporting restrictions. Tommy also had restrictions placed on him from a previous court case. The police arrested him for breach of the peace and a judge sent him to prison for contempt of court in respect of existing conditions.

From what I can gather Tommy is no angel, he had a recent run in with the law over a mortgage application. Tommy is not however a stupid man, he would have known the consequences if he had been arrested. This is at the heart of this post and the point I am trying to convey – for all his faults Tommy was prepared to go to prison, the deeper question is not why he broke the law, it is to ask why he felt he needed to?

We live in a country where the true scale and horror of Muslim rape gangs is being concealed by the establishment, at times it almost feels as though they are not only being concealed, they also enjoy some level of protection. Our media fails to do its job, one or two newspapers will run a hand-wringing piece from time to time but there is a consistent failure to ask the simple question – why is it that the followers of a particular religion seems to feel it is acceptable to operate in this way?

The victims of these gangs are mainly white working class (Sikhs are also targeted), yet whenever a working class person tries to speak out they are denounced and vilified, branded a xenophobe, a cruel label when it is they who are the victims of xenophobia not the perpetrators.

So ask yourself this – when the ordinary people, already reeling in the wake of terror attacks, are hearing of gang rapes of children happening all over the country, the perpetrators protected and their crimes ignored, are you really surprised when they turn to a brave individual like Tommy? When leaders no longer protect their citizens then they turn to people who can. When a State acts as though it hates its own people what options do you leave them?

We can call Tommy all the names we want to, we can join in with the smug delight of the bien pensants over his imprisonment, yet none of this addresses the perception both here and increasingly around the world that this country does not have a Government, it has a regime and this regime will brook no dissent, it is a regime that really does not like its people very much.

You don’t need to believe me, you can find out for yourself how the story was run on foreign news outlets, it doesn’t look good. Self righteousness on our behalf does not alter the fact that the Government and our media have lost the narrative. Put more bluntly it doesn’t matter what we may think about it if it is not how the rest of the world sees it.

So to all of those who are happy to see Tommy in jail I say this – why do you assume a regime that will willingly lock people up that it doesn’t like will always lock people up that you also don’t like? What happens when they start locking people up you do agree with? Because one day that will almost certainly happen if we say nothing.

Recently a statue of the suffragette Millicent Fawcett was erected in London; she is depicted holding a banner stating ‘Courage calls to courage everywhere’. Whatever your views on Tommy he did have the courage to try and get the truth about what is going on to the outside world and he has succeeded in that. He was arrested and convicted, yes he was, no argument about that, the question for us all is whether this makes him a criminal or a dissident?

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An artificial nation is no nation at all.

This week Emmanuel Macron the President of France gave a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg warning about the perils of nationalism. Predictably this aspect of his speech was reported by the elite media as though this was some obvious fact, that nationalism is the great scourge of Europe. I disagree with this profoundly but before setting out my argument I thought it might be helpful to define the term nationalism.

The Oxford English dictionary defines nationalism as;

1 Identification with one’s own nation and support for its interests, especially to the exclusion or detriment of the interests of other nations.

2 Advocacy of or support for the political independence of a particular nation or people.

This second definition – the one I believe in, does not seem to carry the negative tone that the President of France or the elite media would prefer you to accept.

Europe has for centuries been plagued by war but two of the worst at least in terms of atrocities and human rights abuses were the Thirty Years War and the Second World War. There was probably no single cause for the Thirty Years War but few would argue that the main factor in the atrocities both sides inflicted on the luckless civilian population was religion, in this case the sectarian hatred between Catholics and Protestants. The Second World War also had a religious dimension, the genocide of Jews and Jehovah Witnesses being a grim feature of the war the driver in this case being the ideology of the fascist left in the form of the National Socialist Party (the left just love their identity politics). Life under the Communists was also harsh but fairer inasmuch the Communists killed everyone equally. Religious minorities only enjoyed freedom to worship God in their own way following the victory of the democratic nation states of the West (with a lot of help from colonial soldiers).

It would be misleading for me to suggest that nationalism has never been a feature in wars in Europe, the 19th Century saw a number of wars waged for reasons of nationalism. The legacy of the Napoleonic wars saw nationalism become a feature in the unification of Germany and Italy, nationalism certainly played a part in the Greek struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire in the 1820s, a struggle that gained much support across the whole of Christian Europe, a struggle that eventually succeeded with the help of the nation states of Britain, France and Russia. Many people died in these conflicts so it would be wrong to gloss over human suffering and I am very mindful of the quote from George Orwell that ‘The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.’ I would not deny atrocities took place, they do in all wars but these wars seemed free from the hatred of religion and ideology, the wars were fought with the clear aim of securing independence or the borders of a nation state not to exterminate another people.

In more modern times Europe has had to contend with low level conflicts in Ireland and in Spain – both arguably wars of nationalism. Irish Republicans fought for independence but at a certain level the IRA and the British Army fought each other for the same reason – where the borders of their respective nation states should lie, the war was bitter but both sides avoided demonising the general population. Politicians on both sides deserve much credit for their restraint in that respect, a restraint I personally experienced, I spent a lot of time living and working in Northern Ireland toward the end of the troubles, I remember having a beer in a nationalist pub in Belfast and engaging (socially) with a senior member of the IRA. I made the point that the British soldiers being killed were working class boys like myself, ‘ Ah Tom’ he replied ‘Its not the soldier we hate, it’s the uniform’.

The Basques in Spain shared a similar aspiration to Irish Republicans seeking independence for the Basque region following the fall of what many saw as the tyranny of the fascist left regime of General Franco. This surge of nationalism in response to years of tyranny could be seen in the former Yugoslavia, following the death of Josip Broz Tito and the collapse of the Communist regime, the sectarian aspect of this war is well documented and the atrocities will haunt Europe for decades to come.

Yet here is the thing, Yugoslavia is often used as the poster boy for the European Union to show what can happen with nationalism. I would argue this is looking through the telescope from the wrong end; Yugoslavia is what you get when you artificially create an entity, an entity governed centrally with an iron fist by people with no accountability to the population at large. Yugoslavia is what you get when you trample over people’s culture and identity forcing them to adhere to an artificial framework that stifles the human spirit, humiliates them by extolling the unnatural and punishes them for daring to speak the truth. Yugoslavia is what you get when you force people to live alongside others who detest their way of life, their very existence. Nationalism is a predictable outcome for when the artificial structure collapses – as they all do when their internal contradictions can no longer withstand the consequences of reality.

It is worth bearing in mind that whilst the likes of President Macron issue dire warnings of nationalism an increasingly violent low level conflict is taking place across much of Europe, a conflict waged against us by an ancient enemy we are forbidden to name. I defy anyone to tell me this conflict will somehow get better because it will not, it will get worse and worse unless new people take control both here and across the West.

Quite clearly I believe in the nation state and I am not a fan of globalism but I find it laughable how this is somehow construed that I am the embodiment of Adolph Hitler. My form of nationalism is one where we work peacefully with other nation states, one where we don’t drop bombs on them because a malign and secretive world order decides killing people in other countries is somehow the progressive thing to do. I warm to patriots across the world, whatever country they are from, I know what motivates them and they know what motivates me. I want to live in a world where the people who live in France are French a world where Arab nationalism and its secular handmaiden is not strangled at birth by Liberalists acting on behalf of Gulf State despots. I want to live in a world where democratic, independent nation states are governed by people who care about their people and live peacefully and quietly with other nation states. If that is xenophobia then I guess I have misunderstood the term for many years now.

No war is good and peace is seldom bad but I reject this ‘fact’ that nationalism is the source of all conflict. Far from it, I would argue nationalism is almost always a response to the imposition by a powerful elite of a form of governance that is alien and unnatural to a people. Religion, ideology and imperialism are far greater threats to mankind and have provided the excuse for so many more atrocities than nationalism.

Glenda Sluga, Professor of International History notes that ‘The twentieth century, a time of profound disillusionment with nationalism, was also the great age of globalism’ I would argue that the twenty first century is a time of profound disillusionment with globalism, and may well prove to be the golden age of nationalism.

The Brexit Penalty Shoot Out

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Last July I wrote a blog comparing Brexit to the punishment of Sisyphus. In Greek legend Sisyphus was the King of Corinth who fell out of favour with the Gods due to his craftiness and deceit and punished by having to roll an immense boulder up a hill every day only to see it roll back downhill at the end of his exertions. My comparison was intended to explain how I felt as a Brexiteer, that not a day seemed to pass when it did not feel that the legitimate outcome of the referendum was under constant threat from a powerful elite who refused to accept a democratic process. It really felt that no matter what we did, how right our argument was, day in, day out we had to roll the Brexit boulder up a hill only to see it crash down again by way of yet another legal challenge or Parliamentary obstacle. As an aside – funny how none of these devices were ever used when Gordon Brown signed the Lisbon Treaty with no democratic mandate (despite all three main parties saying they would seek one).

A few months on I feel the worse of the law-fare is over, the legal challenges are becoming more speculative and desperate although I still anticipate further nasty surprises given the lavish funding Gina Miller and her confederates seem to have available. Incidentally why has she not been taken to task and asked to explain who exactly is funding her?

In October I expect all manner of Parliamentary tricks and ruses to be deployed to further thwart our path to independence. Nonetheless I feel that enough politicians realise the permanent damage they will do to democracy and the reputation of Parliament if they fail to implement the will of the people and leave the EU in 2019.

My guess is that the Remain ultras like Tony Blair have made the same calculation. This explains the current narrative, i.e. we respect the vote but people should be given a say on the final deal. In other words a second referendum, which if you think about it is the same as saying I don’t agree with the first vote, I want a second go.

There is of course a harsher response to the Remain ultras, a logical trap and it works like this, the United Kingdom is leaving the EU, this does not mean the EU ceases to exist. You can of course go and live in the EU after we have left. This does invite the response that they want their country to remain in the EU – but I am afraid they cannot have it both ways, you either believe in a country in the way I do or you prefer to live in a region of a supranational entity. I do not deny them the choice but they seek to deny me mine, the choice me and millions of others exercised in June 2016.

As I say this is a harsh response so lets instead explore the say on the final deal – which Tony Blair should be more honest about because he means the final say. I think there are a couple of quite odd assumptions about a second referendum. The obvious one is what happens if they lose that one as well? Do we now go for the best out of five option, a sort of Brexit penalty shoot out?

The second assumption I would challenge is the one that things go back to how they were. This simply cannot be the case, I doubt the EU would restore things to how they were but let’s say that they did, what country do they expect to be living in when 17.4 million people have just been told their votes don’t count? Do they really believe we just all collectively shrug and go back to grumbling about the EU? Do they have any concept whatsoever of the resentment they will create? That the EU flag will become the symbol of a hated occupying power? For millions Parliament would have no constituency, for a smaller section like myself, no legitimacy either.

The third assumption I would challenge is that there is some notion of a landslide victory to Remain which is not likely, if Remain did manage to win a second referendum it would at best be by the same margin of the Leave vote in the first. So it is hypocritical to complain about losing a referendum by a small percentage but demanding the right to overturn it by the same amount. In any case the referendum was a binary choice, Leave or Remain in the EU, there was no bar set, if one single vote had separated the two campaigns it would have decided the outcome, them’s the rules.

The fourth assumption is that there is any kind of democratic mandate for holding a second referendum, both Labour and the Conservatives stated clearly in their manifestos that they would uphold the outcome of the referendum, that we would leave the EU. A second referendum has no democratic legitimacy – although it does rather fit with the EU practice of holding referenda until they get the result they want.

The fifth assumption I would challenge is that this would somehow be a final say on the matter. Surely this just provides grounds for another referendum? Surely if Remain did manage to win a second referendum then a third one would be demanded by Brexiteers? If this was denied to the people the resentment I described earlier would almost certainly lead to civil unrest, if another referendum was granted then why not a fourth or a fifth? Welcome to the neverendum.

I do however accept that for many people in this country remaining in the EU is very important to them. What I would say to them is that you have to do the same thing that Leave voters had to do. I am not a Tory but I did vote for David Cameron’s Conservatives for the simple reason that they promised to hold a referendum on EU membership, I am sure I am not alone in being a Brexiteer who held his nose to achieve a bigger prize. So the answer is there, convince a major party to go in to a general election with a mandate to hold a referendum to join the EU. Get behind this party and get them elected, then go on to win the subsequent referendum. This is the democratic way to do it and whilst I do not wish you to succeed you have my full support in using this process since it is the correct way to do it.

Yet this lies at the heart of the clamour for a vote on the final deal, the Remain ultras know full well that once we leave the EU it will be practically impossible to convince the people to vote to re-join the EU. There is a clear democratic option open to them the legitimacy of which even the most hardened Brexiteer would accept. Remain won’t explore this option since I believe they suspect in the same way I do that once we are out it is over, we would never re-join.

One final note on Sisyphus, it is said by some that as he worked through his daily ordeal he did so with a smile on his face.

Liars to the left of me, Liars to the right, stuck in the middle with EU

Less than two weeks ago former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, Wiltshire, both remain in hospital in a critical condition. The police and the security services investigated the incident and quite shortly afterwards announced that both had succumbed to a chemical warfare agent. Following further analysis by scientists at the Chemical Warfare facility at Porton Down the public have been subsequently informed this agent was a type developed in the former Soviet Union called Novichok.

Days later in the Commons the Prime Minister, Theresa May made a statement to the House that the evidence points to the incident being an assassination attempt by the Russian security services or criminals that have managed to gain access to military grade chemical weapons. The Prime Minister went on the list the number of sanctions – in effect our retaliation for this crime. Jeremy Corbyn – the leader of the opposition (who does have the job of holding the Government to account) was widely criticised for demanding more evidence.

Very few have any real access to facts other than the ones we are told by the Government – normally via the BBC. Few of us however doubt that the Russians are capable of this type of activity; few of us believe that Russia under Vladimir Putin is some shining beacon of democracy and the rule of law. After all, there was a previous attack in 2006 when Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned using Polonium (a radiological weapon) that was alleged to have been conducted by the Russian security services. It is difficult not to conclude that the same people were behind the recent outrage in Salisbury.

There is also compelling evidence that within Russia itself, being an opponent of the current regime is a life limiting activity. A number of journalists and political opponents have met with mysterious or violent deaths. I do not think many would argue with me when I state that Vladimir Putin and his circle of Oligarchs are dangerous people to cross, this is not a pleasant regime.

Yet here is my problem, in the same week this story is whipped up in the press we also saw the completely shameless work of the BBC in refusing to even mention the scandal of the grooming gangs in Telford where over a thousand children were systematically abused, a despicable lie by omission. It is the same BBC that has zero credibility with millions of us that is now zealously pushing the Government’s line.

The Government line reminds me all too readily of the reasons we were taken to war in Iraq, that our intelligence services were absolutely certain that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction such as chemical weapons and the capability to use them in 45 minutes. Being generous to the intelligence services their information was incorrect; we invaded and found no evidence. Over half a million Iraqis lost their lives as did thousands of British and American service men and service women. Suspicion still hangs over the deaths of Robin Cook and Dr. Kelly, other than the authorities few of us are satisfied with the official version of what happened to them.

So this is where I am at now, I don’t believe a single word our establishment and their loudhailer the BBC tell me. I am deeply suspicious of their motives and deeply suspicious of any issue they decide to whip up as news. I don’t believe a single thing they tell me about why we are interfering in Syria and I don’t believe a single thing they tell me about the activities of the Russians in that God awful war and for clarity I don’t believe the Russians either.

Yes – this is the problem, there are pathological liars on both sides and a degenerate, malign mouthpiece called the BBC telling me what I should believe. So how about this? I don’t believe any of you, not one word, not a single letter of a word, you are all inveterate liars, this is the world you wanted, this is the world you created, lap it up, I am not buying any of it.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

A plague on all your houses.

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Charity – the perfect disguise

In the 2012 film adaptation of Anna Karenina, there is a scene where Anna travels to Moscow by train and encounters Count Alexei Vronsky striking up a mutual attraction. As the scene unfolds a rail worker is killed crossing the track, Vronsky is witnessed by Anna giving a large sum of money to the rail worker’s colleagues for his family. There is a suggestion that Vronsky makes this public demonstration of kindness to impress Anna. The deed in itself is a good one but the viewer is left with some doubt as to whether Vronsky would have done this if Anna was not looking.

Trying to impress a girl for her affections is one of the most natural things in the world common to nearly all species, from male spiders presenting their potential mate with a tasty treat (to avoid being eaten as a post coital snack) to the fabulous courtship dances and plumage displays of birds of paradise. Impressing a girl by our generosity reveals one of the more noble aspects of humankind; we clearly value altruism and respond warmly to those who demonstrate it. This aspect of our nature was one of the running gags in the comedy movie ‘There’s something about Mary’ as each of her potential suitors engaged in an arms race to outdo each other’s altruism, in the movie at least it is clear that the displays of altruism are mainly performed for selfish reasons.

I have a certain ambivalence on the matter, I am as guilty as any when it comes to trying to impress a girl in this way although my efforts were more along the lines of buying a whole block of raffle tickets at a corporate Christmas bash, a display of generosity that follows a precise mathematical relationship to the amount of wine I have consumed. My ambivalence comes about when I try to decide at what point is the deed obscured by the motive? I will happily bask in the glory of competing in a fun run having raised money for a charity, I don’t feel any contradiction here, yes it makes me feel good about myself, I make no secret of it because I genuinely want to help. So I ask myself what are the bad motives, since by own admission I sometimes seek social approval? I don’t see anything wrong with the kudos benign characteristics bring, good deeds should be encouraged if we seek an altruistic society. Most times when I give money to charity I do so anonymously but as I have written in a previous blog, taking part in a charitable event such as a fun run can be very rewarding; I struggle to see the harm in this. I would argue that the motives become less benign when it is done for purely narcissistic reasons – or worse, where it serves as a mask for evil.

Jimmy Saville conducted widespread child abuse over a number of decades successfully hiding behind his work in charity. There is a story about Saville that came out not long after the scandal came to public attention. A witness described seeing Jimmy working as a hospital porter pushing a heavy trolley with a look on his face as though the trolley was the burden of a great crime, the personification of his vile deeds. Of course the story is subjective and third hand but I like to believe it is true, I like to believe that there was still a part of him that was human and decent, crushed by the weight of the monster that had driven out the better angels of his heart. This does beg the question was his commitment to charity not only his shield but also what he saw as some form of atonement?

Sadly Jimmy Saville is hardly unique to the charity sector and I suspect over the coming weeks we will hear more about the activities of certain individuals that worked not only for Oxfam but more widely across the NGO sector. There is however the other class of individual that seems drawn to the sector, these I prefer to call selfish narcissists. To me selfish narcissism describes an individual who cares little for the cause but cares solely in the platform it provides to bathe his or her ego in the warm sunlight of an adoring audience. The current media attention on the sector is thankfully bringing some long needed attention to some of these people.

The recent resignation of Brendan Cox from a number of charities as a result of allegations of inappropriate behaviour to women is an example of this type of individual who use the kudos charitable work brings in order to mask some very unpleasant characteristics. By resigning Brendan Cox has done the right thing and owned up to his behaviour and I hope he gets the help he needs to change his life, but I also hope that his shame is real and not yet another vehicle to gain a respect that he is not entitled to. If he disappears from the public eye and gets on with a new life and provided there are no criminal charges arising from his behaviour then I wish him well.

Camilla Batmanghelidjh the founder of Kids Company is yet another of the legends of the charity sector feted by politicians and the elite media. Whilst there is no evidence whatsoever of any physical misconduct, her alleged mishandling of the finances of Kids Company is believed by many to be the reason it failed. What is not often explored is her autocratic manner in running the charity, I don’t expect everyone to be a financial genius but surely questions should have been asked about whether Kids Company was nothing more than a platform for a giant ego that did a bit of charity on the side? I am left with the feeling that any charity led by such a flamboyant attention seeking character should be avoided.

Perhaps this is the common denominator to all of these three people, for different reasons each sought the limelight. Each sought glory either to serve their own ego or to disguise their true nature. If this is the case then surely we must be very wary of these charismatic individuals in the charity sector, perhaps charitable causes are much better served by ordinary people with ordinary jobs and the ego of a filing cabinet?

It is difficult for me to conclude on this piece, I do support charity and I will continue to participate in charity events because of the enjoyment it brings. I am aware of my hypocrisy; I have written this down for you, I have written it down because I am conflicted. Yet I remain troubled about how the sector seems to attract sociopaths, egotists and the downright evil and I still wonder if there is some unexplored realm where darkened hearts take pleasure in wallowing in human misery. Maybe it was always thus but right now it seems to be there is something very rotten at the heart of our charity sector. I have few answers for you, I can only share a sense that another pure and innocent part of the human spirit is being corrupted and perverted in an orchestrated manner.

Did you vote for a Hard Remain or a Soft Remain?

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If we are honest with ourselves we would have to admit that at some point in our lives most of us have been sore losers. In fairness to some of the remain die-hards I doubt I would have given up if the referendum had gone the other way – even if it had been an overwhelming defeat. I do understand the feeling of losing out on a democratic vote, particularly when you feel strongly about something. As a very young voter I remember my shock at the defeat of Neil Kinnock and the Labour Party by John Major’s Conservatives, I simply could not accept the fact that millions had rejected Labour, it seemed such an obvious moral choice. To my mind by voting for the Conservatives people had chosen self-interest over kindness and humanity and it took me a number of years to finally accept that for all his charm and decency Neil Kinnock was unable to convince the nation that his party could be trusted with power. It took me longer still to appreciate that people who have a different political outlook are not by definition heartless sociopaths.

Demonising millions of other people who voted differently is a sin I have been guilty of in the past so I cannot complain too much when I am on the receiving end of it. I do get it, I do understand the emotion at play. Yet there is a world of difference between the frustrated rantings of a nonentity like me and the expressed views of politicians and recognised political commentators and the reverence their sneering attitude is given by the elite media. My ability to make fun of millions of people is a faint murmur drowned out by the megaphone mocking passed off as humour by a trained cadre of globalist comedians, the jesters of the Dark State, that the BBC loves to pour out across the airwaves night and day, unchallenged.

The efforts to demonise me have certainly succeeded if the plan was to divide our society, but if the plan was to make me change my mind it has failed dismally. My heart has hardened further, I can think of few issues in my life where I am so certain I am right. For too long now a self-declared ‘Liberal’ elite has automatically assumed that only they should control the levers of power. They have become too accustomed to having things their own way, too fond of dictating to the lower classes about how the future is shaped, and they are unwilling to share power. Now their ambitions have been checked and in their fury their mask has dropped and I can see them for what they are. Now I want nothing more than to see a world where a small elite are never given so much control again and my determination to see that happen grows daily.

The vilification of leave voters will continue to sow division in our society but in itself will not halt our exit from the EU. Assuming we remain as a passable democracy it is difficult to see how the vote can be overturned. Whenever I hear that the vote should be ignored no remain ultra has ever provided me the answer when I ask exactly what country do they expect to live in if that happened? No government could ever claim any legitimacy, social cohesion would break down, there would almost certainly be civil disobedience and quite likely wide scale civil unrest in a country where 17.4 million people have been told they are second class citizens, that their votes don’t count.

Fortunately we live in a country where people are a decent bunch on the whole, so a lot of credit must go to the vast majority of people who voted to stay in the EU but have accepted the outcome of the referendum. I not only admire their dignity in defeat, in time I believe it will be seen that it is their sense of fair play that saved our democracy. I believe our political establishment has made this realization, so if the vote cannot be overturned then what options are there within the democratic process to somehow keep the nation in the EU? Step forward the second referendum – disguised as the vote on the final deal.

The opening gambit to this is the constant refrain from remain ultras that we leave voters didn’t know what they were voting for (we did, the choice was binary, stay in the EU or leave it) – the implication being that we didn’t vote for a hard Brexit. To a degree this is true, I always felt we could have swiftly left the EU by dropping in to the EFTA arrangements and plotting a leisurely course to independence from there – but this does not mean my second preferred option is to remain in the EU.

Yet let us examine this hard / soft Brexit narrative by flipping it. Let us say remain ultras continue successfully with their drum beat for a second referendum. What is the referendum to be about – since we have already voted to leave the EU? Is it about a soft remain where things go back to how they were in early 2016, and has the EU agreed to that? Do we maintain every single opt out and agreement? Well if it is the case (which I very much doubt) all you will achieve is to delay Brexit by a few years, there is an act of Parliament that ensures there will be a further referendum on any future transfer of powers. This would be a referendum you would almost certainly lose, there is a world of difference between a vote on membership of the EU and a vote to transfer more powers to an unelected bureaucracy. A soft remain is a dead end, a similar limbo to Brexit in name only.

Hard remain is the only game in town, the remain where the truth about the European project has to be explained to people. You will need to explain how, why and when more of the powers Parliament exercises on our behalf will be transferred to Brussels. You will need to explain how the little influence we have over our lives in general elections will be further diluted. You will somehow have to make the case that democracy will be protected (good luck with that one). You will need to explain to people how the legal framework we all operate within will be increasingly designed and developed by people who do not live in our country, know little about our way of life and the impacts their decisions have on us. You will need to explain why our service men and service women may be called upon to shed their blood fighting for an EU Army under a battle flag most of us resent.

Finally you will need to tell people the truth about the single market, I think many remain supporters are under the impression that the single market is a thing in itself, it is not, the single market is a stepping stone to the unified market and this is the thing that is being concealed from everyone on both sides of the debate. The unified market is the ultimate destination and sees the total free movement of goods, services, people and money irrespective of national boundaries. A nation state will have no real purpose in a unified market, nor will you.

So if there is a second referendum please be absolutely clear, is this a hard remain or a soft remain you are asking people to vote for?

The Forgotten Working Class Of The West

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A few days ago I was in Dublin to visit some old friends. Over a pleasant home cooked meal, (complimented with lashings and lashings of lemonade) the conversation took its usual turn as it has done since the referendum vote, me having to once again explain why I campaigned to leave the EU. Readers of my blog who live in London are all too familiar with this theme, it is unspoken but for some reason I must atone for what I have done and apologise for being a rabid racist/xenophobe/probable Trump supporter. To say I am weary of having once more to reject this caricature is an understatement. Sam Hooper – one of my favourite bloggers has written at length on this very subject, his analysis of my own experiences was that the reason I draw so much attention is that in all other ways I fit the remain profile, I am an educated professional with a good job, well travelled and clearly a beneficiary of Globalisation. As such I just don’t easily fit with the stereotype that supporters of the EU prefer to have in their world view, I create some form of cognitive dissonance for them.

I am well practiced now in this piece of theatre and once I can sense this cognitive dissonance is beginning to escalate into a row I have found it is easy to bat it away with the line “look you are a friend so I am not going to lie to you but if you don’t like the answers stop asking the questions, play a different record”. Sometimes you have to repeat yourself but in a polite group someone will take the hint and change the subject.

The variation on the theme is about the benefits of globalisation and this continued with one of my hosts over breakfast. President Trump inevitably came up and of course my prediction some time back that not only would he win the nomination for the Republican Party he would go on to win the Presidency. Naturally by extension my prediction made me a Trump supporter, Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and the proud owner of a veritable arsenal of assault rifles.

Yet I am no political soothsayer; my prediction was simply based on an experience I had whilst travelling in the States. Whilst the primaries were taking place I was in Northern California for a hiking holiday in the giant redwood forests (I didn’t find Big Foot but the locals assured me they have all seen him). It was on the long drive back to San Francisco I had to pull off the highway to fill up with petrol; this took me into a real backwoods town. It was here I saw it, the forgotten white working class people of America, the ones that live in between the staunchly ‘progressive’ Democrat cities. Everywhere I looked there were banners and flags proclaiming Trump, this in California, a Democrat stronghold. It was at that moment I sensed he would win, he offered these people hope, not more of the same globalist dogma we all seem to get no matter how we vote.

Returning now to my conversation with my host. She had lived for a number of years in the States on the east coast and bemoaned the attitude of these very same people. Of course she observed, I want to live in a multi cultural society. I responded but what is so wrong with not wanting to live that way, after all, what is in it for them? This of course produced the usual boiler plate liberal responses but I kept pressing, what is actually wrong with that? Now my friend is one of the kindest people I know, with a generosity of spirit I admire greatly but it was clear that she could not answer my question and since she realised I was going to keep pressing the point we decided to change the record.

Over the next few days my thoughts on the subject crystallised. This is for me the essence of what Trump and Brexit is all about. I grew up in a very working class environment, both my parents were shop workers. I was raised on a council estate, not a dreary one, the people that lived there were decent working class people, it was a safe secure environment to grow up in. One aspect of working class life often sneered at by ‘educated’ middle class people is how socially conservative working class people are. An example being their attitude to crime, personally I abhor the death penalty and always have done but when you live amongst people that are the most affected by crime you understand what drives the mentality that crime should be punished severely. After all when you have very little, theft can have very drastic consequences.

Another unfair stereotype of working class people is that they are xenophobic. The most ‘casual’ racism I have heard has come from middle class people who seem to feel that if you have dark skin for some outlandish reason you have to be patronised with special social programmes when all that was asked was to be treated equally. I would argue working class people are more accepting of people from different races, it was certainly the case when I grew up, the skin colour might be different but we still ate the same crap food at school, watched the same TV programmes and wore the same clothes our Mums bought from a catalogue. Social policy now seems more about finding what divides us rather than what unites. Given the number of Afro Saxon friends I have, I would observe that shagging is a pretty good indicator of what unites but I guess you need to get a PhD in diversity studies to conclude that the best way to integrate different races is to tell them they are all different and must live in ghettos.

So why am I stating my working class credentials? Well there are those of us like me who have benefited enormously from globalisation but can see the cost. The cost as I see it is that the working class have not benefitted at all from globalisation, their wages suppressed by mass immigration and their stable communities destroyed by the same pathology. Add into this mix the poisonous ideology of identity and gender politics coupled with having a sinister alien cult inflicted on them is it really any surprise that they reject the current direction of travel?

So next time you hear the mantra of how wonderful it is to live in a multi cultural society challenge it. Ask the question, why? What right do any of us have to change other people’s lives in such a fundamental and irreversible way? What if we are wrong and they are right? There isn’t a delete button here. As for globalisation – what’s in it for them? Don’t deflect, answer the bloody question.

I do believe a multi racial society can eventually be made to work but a multi cultural one will become increasingly divisive. A great crime is being inflicted on the working class people in this country and across the West in the name of globalisation and its handmaiden multi culturalism. Brexit and Trump were a plaintive scream from them, if we continue to ignore their voice all of us who have stood by and watched the destruction of a social class whose sole guilt seems to be their existence should hang our heads in shame.

The ‘crisis’ crisis

One of the topics I like to write about is the way language is used to manipulate the way we think. To a certain extent we all do this, most of us have had to deliver bad news to someone we care about. At this level the ability to soften a blow is a social skill, in our professional lives this is often referred to as polishing a waste product.

This useful social skill does however leave us quite vulnerable to lies and deceitful manipulation. I have written a number of blogs about how politicians and the elite media do this to us, my particular irritation being with the BBC. Why do I attack the BBC so much? Well for two main reasons, because we are forced to pay for their manipulation and deceit in a way that I am not forced to pay a particular newspaper or subscribe to a TV channel and because of the almost complete dominance they have over everything we get to see, hear or read.

Some of the recent narrative from the BBC on the NHS and Housing has made me revisit the topic. Specifically the use of the term crisis. Crisis is one of the favourite words in the lexicon of any political party that is in opposition. It is practically impossible to get a Labour MP to say the word NHS without using the word crisis in the same sentence. Oddly enough once Labour get in to power we no longer have an NHS crisis. Natch.

Now politics is a fairly dirty business so I do understand why they do this and in fairness it does make a change from the ‘ we only have 24 months/weeks/days to save the NHS’ Labour party mantra that normally comes out before an election. What concerns me is not so much the predictable games from Labour politicians, it is the way the notion of the NHS being in permanent crisis is readily accepted as somehow a fact and goes unchallenged by most of the elite media and the BBC.

The other crisis we seem to hear a lot about is the ‘housing crisis’ i.e. too many people not enough houses and not enough affordable homes. Again the ‘housing crisis’ is used by Labour politicians to create a narrative against the Government who are clearly driving around in bulldozers raising entire council estates to the ground.

Yet have you not noticed the term ‘housing crisis’ is also an accepted fact across the elite media? Have you not listened in to a talk radio show and listened to the stories of people struggling to get onto the housing ladder, from their point of view of course there is a housing crisis.

But there isn’t a housing crisis, nor is there an NHS crisis. There is however an immigration crisis but of course you will not hear politicians or the elite media tell you this.

Don’t believe me? OK some simple arithmetic, lets say I run a hospital with ten doctors with one hundred beds for a population of one thousand people. That’s a ratio of one doctor per ten beds and one bed for every ten people in the population. Now on top of that lets say the doctors and the running cost of the hospital costs me £1000 per year, one pound per head of population. So far so good. Now I decide that I will maintain this level of funding, in fact I will protect it and ensure the funding allows for inflation, all things being equal things should remain the same leaving you with the sense that I know what I am doing and you can go about your daily business.

However what I did without speaking to you or anyone else to obtain their permission was to add 100 people to the population very rapidly. What is the effect of this? Well now the ratio of doctors to beds remains the same however there is now one bed per eleven people in the population and here is the real kicker, the funding per head of population has dropped from one pound per head to about 91 pence. The doctors have less time for you, it is harder to get a bed and as the population increases less and less will be spent on you.

Over time you begin to notice the deterioration in the service you once enjoyed, this is when I play the blame game, you see it is all to do with an ageing population. My friends in the elite media will now present this to you as a fact.

Now don’t be fooled by the ageing population argument, the population is always ageing, time being a property of the Universe. Whilst it is true that as more of us reach the limits of human longevity, age related illness will increase demand on the system. Yet blaming an ageing population for the ‘crisis’ is pretty dumb particularly when the ‘solution’ is to increase the population. Like er…what happens when they get old? This is the same logic as digging a hole in the ground and then deciding the best way to get rid of the spoil is to dig another hole to bury it in.

It is the same argument for housing, and let us not forget when you build housing you also need to build more roads and other infrastructure such as drains and electricity, water and gas. You will probably also need to build more schools and hospitals and of course shops, petrol stations and all the other things you will need to maintain the population. If you keep increasing the population then repeat the process until such time as you run out of land for things like, say nature, and then sit around and wait to starve to death as you have no land left for agriculture.

This is all so obvious and yet as soon as anyone tries to point this out they are immediately rounded on as though having a reasonable grasp of basic arithmetic turns you into Adolph Hitler. It does not. Having a basic grasp of arithmetic means you can count, do fractions and understand what is finite and exhaustible. Shouting people down and hitting them with a non existent halo doesn’t mean you have made a point although it does indicate very poor numeracy.

I have said a number of times that the struggle we face against the Dark State is waged on many fronts, one of them is the control of language. Most of us that understand the dangers we face have few tools at our disposal to fight back but the control of our language is one battle we can win, one battle you can fight.

So next time you hear someone speak about the NHS or housing crisis correct them politely and say ‘you mean of course the immigration crisis’.

Soft Brexit – the hard choice

One of the layers of complexity to the debate over the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union is the different models we could choose. Sometimes this is framed as the difference between a Hard Brexit and a Soft Brexit. Generally Hard Brexit is understood to mean leaving the EU and falling back on the World Trade Organisation (WTO) framework. Soft Brexit is commonly understood to mean having some form of continued relationship with the EU. Before writing in more detail, for clarity I am on the soft side of Brexit however in this piece I will do my best to explain some of the terms in use and hopefully convince you of why a Hard Brexit is in my view a poor option when we have others.

First up – the customs union. A customs union is a type of trade block, the countries within the trade block can trade freely but they erect a common external tariff. What this means is that someone in Scotland selling agricultural products can do so anywhere within the European Union without having to pay a fee or a charge to sell into that country. There are a number of customs unions in the world, the European Union Customs Union is the one most have heard of but there are others such as the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Customs unions erect what are called common external tariffs; this means that someone outside of the customs union, say an American company selling agricultural products would pay a fee to sell into the customs union. The average EU Customs Union tariff for agricultural products is 11.1%; this means for every $100 dollars of product our American friend sells he must pay a tariff of about $11. Think of being in a queue outside of a glamorous nightclub, you have to pay the bouncer 11% of the entrance fee before he lets you into the queue to buy your ticket. Members of the nightclub are waived through by the bouncer.

The European Union  Customs Union (EUCU) is a customs union made up of all members of the EU, micro states like Monaco, territories of the UK such as the Isle of Man and Turkey (which is not in the EU). The customs union was first established in 1958. One of the conditions of membership of EUCU is that the European Commission negotiates trade deals on behalf of all members rather than individual members negotiating their own deals. Technically it is the Common Commercial Policy that prohibits states negotiating trade deals but I think my blog would drift into becoming unreadable if I expanded on that one.

Next up – the Single Market. There are three stages to market integration, the first is what is called a Common Market (remember that). There are a number of common markets in the world, perhaps the best known is Mercosur, the common market that operates across large parts of Latin America. A common market sets up a free trade area amongst its members for free movement of money and services.

The second stage is the single market; this removes most trade barriers for goods and allows free movement of money and labour, enterprise and services. Barriers to free movement such as standards and taxes are harmonised. What is often not explained to people is that the single market is only the mid point to the Nirvana of a unified market. A unified market is the ultimate goal and involves the total free movement of goods, services, people and money irrespective of national boundaries. It is difficult to see how nation states could continue to exist in a unified market – after all what would they have left to do?

Last up – the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). The EFTA is a free trade area; its members are Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The EFTA operates closely with the EU but it is not part of the European Union Customs area which is why EFTA members can negotiate their own trade deals. The EFTA has its own court to oversee compliance with arrangements, unlike the European Court of Justice – the much maligned ECJ, the EFTA court has no ambitions to ever closer union and concerns itself solely with treaty matters.

It is worth noting that the EFTA has a free trade agreement with the EU, also of note countries within the EFTA can limit the number of EU migrants coming to their country i.e. it is not completely free movement and where it happens it is understood to be free movement of labour not welfare. You cannot go to Norway and sign on.

To participate in the single market Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are parties to an agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA) regulated by the EFTA court, Switzerland prefers to operate via a series of bilateral agreements with the EU.

This is a very simplistic overview of the models but hopefully I have explained some of the differences. A Hard Brexit means leaving both the customs union and the single market. This means companies that trade with the EU will pay tariffs. So what? I hear you say – we can charge them tariffs as well. This is true but it means our exports become more expensive and the imports we do want become more expensive to the consumer. We are not going to get a free trade deal with the EU within the timescales of the Article 50 process, falling back on WTO rules will be expensive – and lets not forget WTO only deals with trade, it has nothing to say about your rights of access to healthcare when you are on holiday in the EU.

My main concern about a Hard Brexit is that it brings such a shock to the economy as well as all the things we got used to in the EU such as visa free travel that the Remain campaign will seize advantage and take us back into the European Union, this time with no opt outs- so be careful what you wish for, a Hard Brexit could well lead to a Euro in your pocket within a decade. A Hard Brexit is an emotive response, I do understand it but I would argue that the pragmatic one is for us to leave the EU and adopt the EFTA arrangements; this will prevent any shock to the economy and provide us time to negotiate trade deals with partners around the world. So that we are clear, I see the EFTA as staging post to full independence not a place of permanent residence.

As an independent nation we need to carve out a new role for ourselves where we are not wedded to monolithic trading blocks and one that does not blindly follow the mantra of the high priests of economics and their depletion models. For more widely we all need to open our eyes to what is happening both here and around the world. An economic dogma is being imposed on nation states across the globe. If you hear the term common market be aware that a common market is a stepping stone, one that leads to the unified market. This is the piece of information that the people of the world are not being told about, the EU and all the common markets around the globe, they are all aspects of the same thing, a drive to end the nation states of our world, our art, our music, our culture and our history all to be burned at the shrine of Moloch and the one true religion of consumerism. A world where we are broken down as individuals with no sense of identity, fed a diet of falsehoods by our media, terrorisedby a Dark Age cult and bullied into silence by the fake outrage of fake campaign groups funded by a wealthy and malign elite.

Brexit for me is not a simple case of leaving the EU, it is the one opportunity for the world to hear a powerful voice say  stop – think about what we are doing, is this really the world we wish to create? Our country, the cradle of the enlightenment is uniquely placed to do this; this is simply too precious to be taking risks with a Hard Brexit, let’s not blow it.

Brexit and the Irish sticking plaster

Last week I had an interesting Twitter debate with one of the more thoughtful Remainers. He raised the issue of the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland demanding that Brexiteers provide an answer. Very quickly I replied that a solution is that the Republic also leaves the EU and comes with us. Yet as soon as I sent it I thought more deeply about it, my response was a boiler plate Brexiteer response, but in this case it is not what I really think. I am from an Anglo Irish family, my side of the family is Unionist the other is Republican, I have seen for myself how divisive the issue is, the best we can do as a family is just agree not to talk about it. As for Brexit all I think has happened is that it has lifted a stone that covered up unresolved problems from the past, problems that were always there but we refused to address them.

In a certain sense Ireland has had a number of periods in its history where it has been united. The ancient geographer Claudius Ptolemy wrote about the island as being distinct from Britain, Ireland did not receive the attentions of the Romans but there is much evidence that trade took place between Roman Britain and Ireland. After the Romans left Britain, Ireland consisted of a patchwork of small kingdoms. The concept of a High King of the island began to emerge at the beginning of the 7th Century AD and there were periods where Ireland notionally united under a High King but the role was mainly ceremonial and the holders seldom able to consolidate the small kingdoms into one with any continuity. The complicated rules of succession further impeded the unification of the small kingdoms despite the need to unite in order to fight off the Vikings.

In 1169 the Normans invaded Ireland heralding in the fraught relationship between the United Kingdom and Ireland. Over the next few centuries the Normans had introduced a feudal system across much of Ireland which only started to decline after the ravages of the Black Death in the mid 14th Century. Toward the end of the 15th Century Norman (by now effectively English) influence withdrew to a small enclave around Dublin known as the Pale, Irish culture with its Norman influence flourished during this period.

For almost a Century the English seemed to have lost interest in Ireland until Henry VIII decided to recreate the title of King of Ireland leading to the Tudor conquest of Ireland. Complete conquest came about by the late 17th Century. The Kingdom of Ireland merged with the United Kingdom in 1801 with the Acts of Union, with the small matter of the Catholic majority in Ireland being banned from becoming members of Parliament. With remarkable speed the British moved to deal with the discrimination against Catholics – thirty years later.

British involvement during this period was not particularly glorious, Westminster displayed remarkable incompetence and an almost willful lack of care during the potato famine which made it nigh impossible for Ireland and Britain to work as a single entity. A number of unsuccessful attempts were made at finding a model for Home Rule for Ireland but William Gladstone could not gain the required support in Parliament nor resolve the sectarian issues. The resentment of Irish Nationalists towards the rule of Westminster famously manifested itself in the Easter uprising of 1916. Following five further years of low level warfare Ireland was partitioned in 1921 creating an independent Irish Free State – the Republic and the state of Northern Ireland which remains part of the United Kingdom. Almost 100 years later the partition remains, in that period the only positive has been the peace that ended what many Republicans called the Long War with the signing of the Good Friday agreement.

In 2016 the United Kingdom held a referendum on its membership of the European Union, by a small margin the vote was to leave the EU. The partition of Ireland in 1921, the problem that was kicked into the long grass many years ago, has resurfaced. If and when the UK leaves the EU the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland becomes the border between the EU and the rest of the world. The border that was placed there in 1921 as a sticking plaster has come off, it would have fallen off one day in any case but there is no sense in pretending anymore – it was us the British that put that border there in the first place. Put Brexit to one side for a moment and ask yourself did we really expect that border to stay there forever? Did we really think that this problem had gone away? How long are we going to keep on kidding ourselves? Sorry, reality check now – the current situation in Ireland is a dog’s breakfast.

The talks over Brexit will have to find a solution for the border problem – not least because a lot of goods from the Republic of Ireland travel across the UK to get to market in the rest of the EU. Irish exporters have enjoyed this facility for centuries, I find it unimaginable that the UK would even consider denying our Irish cousins this ancient right of way.

Since the referendum Remainers and Brexiteers have used Ireland as a subject to score points from one another. Northern Ireland aside, with few exceptions Remainers and Brexiteers are from mainland Britain and this is what troubles me. Once again we have British people deciding – or rather thinking they have the right to decide the future of Ireland. It is time for us to stop this, both sides of the debate, all that Brexit has done is expose the errors made by people who have long since passed, it was the Normans and not the English that invaded Ireland. It was the actions of a tyrannical monarch that compounded this crime against the people of Ireland. It was the arrogance and incompetence of Westminster that ensured Britain and Ireland did not achieve unity. It was the pragmatism of politicians in the early part of the 20th Century who settled for partition and it was far sighted men and women from both sides who brought us the Good Friday agreement.

It is difficult to find a single positive amongst all the British interventions in Ireland, I see no value in further interventions. Few of us alive today have had anything to do with the situation we now find ourselves in but the mainland British amongst us, be they for Brexit or Remain should not use Ireland as a football, our forefathers have done enough damage already. The only people that can resolve the problems of Ireland are the people that live there. A long period of silence from the rest of us would go a long way.