The Sound of Silence

“Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be”

– Yogi Berra.

I try to be careful when writing about the world I grew up in, it is easy to remember fond memories of how things were and forget all too easily that some things are better now. In my memories of childhood holidays in Walton on the Naze the sun was always shining and I played on a beach of pure golden sand. Now unless we went through an unreported period of severe climate change during my childhood my memory must be slightly at fault, but I genuinely cannot remember a day when it rained. I guess this is true for all of us, when we remember good times we have simply forgotten the things that tarnish that memory.

So it is with care in mind that I write that twenty years ago Britain was a much better place to live in. The mass immigration instigated by Tony Blair had not yet made that much impact, the economy was doing well, and austerity would have been difficult to comprehend. Many of the technologies we use today were in their infancy, people were beginning to use the web for social purposes, there were concerns over how this technology would develop but most felt it to be benign and beneficial to our lives. The world was not without its problems but I remember that there was still a sense of progress, a sense that the next century would be even better despite our misgivings about technology.

One aspect of life back then was the freedom we had to speak and to hold opinions. Whilst it was true that announcing you had just been promoted to Grand Wizard of your local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan was not a great ice breaker, having views that differed from the line of the BBC was not considered controversial. When it came to religion nothing was really off limits.

Now consider the world we live in now, look at the hysteria following the result of the EU referendum. I live and work in London, the Brexiteers I work with had to put up with quite awful comments and accusations. One girl in my office, a well educated girl, felt she had free reign to shout and scream all sorts of names at people. Fortunately one of my colleagues (a Remainer) had a quiet word with her manager who managed to shut her up. All the London Brexiteers I have spoken to have had similar experiences, we live in a world where we have to keep our beliefs to ourselves whilst others feel entitled to bully everyone else into accepting their sanctimonious world view. Let’s not even get started on the inability to criticise Islam – but funny how you can say what you want about Christianity. Hmmm…

As a joke I nicknamed the girl in the office Polia after Polia Nikolaenko, the “heroic denunciatrix of Kiev”, from the time of Stalin’s purges in the 1930s. Thanks to Polia’s sterling efforts about 8,000 people were sent to the gulags or slow death in an NKVD dungeon. In my case the denunciations normally involved being called a xenophobe – xenophobe because there was absolutely no hope whatsoever of making the racist slur stick. This is not to suggest we are experiencing some Stalinist purge, I do have a sense of perspective- but to point out that the infrastructure is already in place for one.

A few days ago Alastair Campbell, a former Downing Street Press Secretary, tweeted that people who disagree with climate change should be locked up. Personally I am not in the climate change denial camp – but the fact that someone like Alastair feels emboldened to make this demand is just a tad worrying, more troubling is the silence of the elite media over his sinister words, nope not a peep. You can be sure Alastair will continue to be paraded as a regular political pundit on national TV enjoying the same immunity that so far has prevented any serious questions being asked about his involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

In a similar vein Guardian Journalist Owen Jones (who loves to portray himself as a defender of the working class) has also been particularly active in the ongoing Momentum purge taking place in the Labour Party. Owen seems to be doing a great impression of Squealer from Animal Farm by rejoicing at the moves to de-select Kate Hoey and Frank Field – two MPs respected across the spectrum for holding reasonable middle of the road views on things.

This is now the age of the denouncers and the squealers of what I call the Dark State of Liberalism. They have secured almost complete control of the elite media, ensuring that nearly everything we get to hear on radio, watch on TV or read in the legacy media has their voice only. The march of the Liberalists continues across social media. I live in Ealing, a major local story concerned the Marie Stopes abortion clinic and the long running ‘demonstrations’ outside. I am a fairly keen runner and the clinic is on the route of one of my runs so I am familiar with the anti abortion demonstrations – these mainly consisted of a Polish Catholic couple sitting outside offering leaflets. Of course the media would have you believe that the women heading to the clinic had to fight their way through a six deep Spartan Phalanx.

Ealing Council took the deeply worrying step of prohibiting demonstrations within 100 metres of the clinic. My local Facebook page was triumphant – the few people like me who question the morality of abortion as a form of birth control tried in vain to point out that many of us are troubled by abortion and deeply troubled by losing our right of assembly. Naturally we were denounced and hounded for daring to point out that a large number of abortions are repeats i.e. multiple abortions from the same mother.

The relentless march of Liberalism has moved directly into our lives, few of us that hold a different world view are able to speak freely and in time I am sure those few will succumb. Those of us who remember a world where we shared a common culture and language, a world where political views could be expressed and religion rightfully criticised are now being intimidated into silence. Silence however is not enough for the Liberalists, we are required to state things as fact that we know are untrue. I have written before to share my concerns about the real purpose of the transgender narrative, it seems designed to create conditions where it is heresy to point out that nature is not gender fluid when it comes to Homo Sapiens i.e. there is male and there is female and that is it. Give way to this narrative and we face an Orwellian future where two plus two equals five.

I do not identify as a Populist, I reject any ideology in the same way I reject religion, I have concluded that both reveal an inability to think freely and independently and hinder the ability to construct a model of the world based on what is directly experienced. My views, ones that I freely expressed twenty years ago are increasingly becoming heresy – how has this happened so quickly and how much worse is this going to become? Is this the purpose of the poisonous identity politics to set the young against the old? To remove all trace of the people who remember a better world?

My heresy is that I wish to live in an independent democratic nation state, a nation where one is able to think and speak freely, one that is not menaced by a Dark Age cult. How on earth have these beliefs become a thought-crime? We have drifted so far from the country I was born into.

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Squealer’s penalty shoot out

If I lived in a country that enjoyed a benign establishment committed to protecting its people I would probably write blogs on one of my passions in life – sport, team sports in particular. I therefore find it a happy coincidence that my addiction to the football world cup has brought into sharp focus the sneering attitude our establishment has for this country and its people.

Since the world cup started I have watched every game either live or the recorded highlights. Being a particularly sad individual I watch the England matches live and the extended highlights. The knockout game against Columbia was a particularly tense affair, given the torment of extra time and penalties I do wonder sometimes why I put myself through it, watching England is more of an ordeal than a pleasure.  For once England won a world cup game on penalties and I went to bed shortly after almost collapsing with nervous exhaustion.

The next day on the train in to work I checked my Twitter feed as I do most days but I found myself ignoring the Brexit conversations and instead focused on the football feeds. Mostly jokes and memes but one drew my attention mainly from the angry responses it generated.

As the social media joke goes – that Tweet aged well. Kevin Maguire is a journalist and associate editor at the Daily Mirror, Kevin is a pretty committed Labour supporter. In many ways I can understand the trajectory of his career, a working class background, grammar school education which took him to University and from there a career as a journalist. No surprise there that he would support Labour, what I struggle with is the disdain he has clearly shown for his fellow countrymen.

Now Kevin is entitled to his opinion and I defend his right to express it, in fact I am pleased he did on this occasion because it helped crystallise my thoughts. You see Kevin’s views are not only acceptable to our establishment; they conform to their way of thinking. Kevin’s tweet was an affirmation of the utter contempt they have for the working class – and in particular the white working class of this country. In Kevin’s case I have a special dislike for him, he is working class but he has decided to become a Squealer, the propaganda minister in the book Animal Farm.

Put aside Brexit, the effects of mass immigration, the ever present menace of the religion of peace – here is the real threat to us, almost the entirety of our establishment are made up of people that think like Kevin. We now have a self perpetuating system of people that hate their own country and its people that now run our media, our judiciary, civil service, academia and political system. To flourish in any of these sectors you must conform to a certain worldview.

This is a worldview that denounces and increasingly imprisons those who try to speak out about Muslim rape gangs. One where the EU is some wonderful harmonious project and those that don’t quite see it that way are ignorant xenophobes whose votes are ill informed and therefore to be ignored. It is a worldview that seeks to extinguish the British as a race but cruelly brands them as the racists for the crime of trying to ensure their children grow up in world with the freedoms and security they enjoyed as children, not one menaced by a violent Dark Age cult.

People are of course entitled to their opinions and these must be protected if we wish to live in a free country – but what nation, what system or organisation could possibly survive where its upper echelons despise it and wish it to fail? Would shareholders allow a company to be run by someone that constantly bad mouths its products and ceaselessly plays mind games with its employees? Would the chairman of a football club persist with a manager who psychologically undermines his players and champions the virtues of other teams?

But this is where Britain is now, a cabal that despise the country and its people now run it, their corrosive narrative bouncing backwards and forwards within the echo chamber they have created, creating a growing crescendo with each self affirmation on how right and virtuous they all are. The humble voices of the people of this country, their victims, unheard in the main, the few leaders they produce to speak on their behalf denounced, ridiculed by a media that they alone control.

I care little for religion but I am very aware of a spiritual component of my nature, this aspect of me tells me it is foolish to hate people. So I don’t hate these people in the way that they hate me but I do hate what it is they do. If and when we leave the EU our country does at least have a chance of a better future but we are doomed if we continue to allow such people anywhere near positions of power and influence. Surely loyalty to the country and its people must be a prerequisite for those who seek power? For our country to succeed in a post Brexit world the Squealers that sit above us must never be trusted with power ever again.

They must be removed, for good.

All hail the NHS

A well known political ploy is to release bad news at the same time as some other major issue hits the headlines. The past few weeks have seen a lot of media focus on the EU withdrawal bill, the World Cup and President Trump’s actions over illegal immigration. The announcement that the NHS will receive additional funding (from higher taxes) also dominated the headlines. Buried in all of this was the latest scandal from the NHS – the needless deaths of hundreds of patients at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

A report authored by the former Bishop of Liverpool James Jones (who also ran the Hillsborough inquiry) found that of 1,500 deaths studied at the hospital 456 died following inappropriate administration of opioid drugs and possibly 200 more patients died prematurely as a consequence. The report named Dr Jane Barton, a GP who worked as a clinical assistant and found that she had been overprescribing opioids to patients from the mid 1990s. What is particularly disturbing is evidence that other professionals and managers at the hospital knew about it and not only did nothing; they bullied whistle blowers into silence. The matter has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for consideration so we don’t know if Dr Barton was at fault, all we do know is that she was named and we also know that 456 people were killed. Whatever the truth of it, the calls from some quarters to consider this as a crime of mass murder I find hard to ignore – a simple test for you, don’t say 456 people died, say 456 people were killed as I have just done, then see how you think.

A rogue nurse or physician has a particular dread given the trust that is placed in medical professionals. Fortunately such rogues are rare and they are certainly not unique to this country. However they do seem to be able to operate more freely and thus kill more people if they work for the NHS. This is not the first time hundreds of people have died at the hands of the NHS, Between 1975 and 1998 Harold Frederick Shipman killed an estimated 250 people most of whom were elderly women. Shipman’s murderous activities were not halted by anyone from the NHS; it was John Shaw, a taxi driver who reported to the Police that he suspected Shipman of murdering his patients.

The Alder Hey scandal although not involving the deaths of patients provides a further example of how malpractice flourishes within the NHS. Professor van Velzen retained organs from children’s post mortems at the Alder Hey hospital without the consent of the parents. The anguish this caused to grieving parents who yet again had to attend a beloved child’s graveside is unimaginable but a troubling aspect is that there were already concerns about Professor van Velzen before he was appointed to the post, perhaps what is worse there was no monitoring of his performance thereafter.

Once again it was not the NHS that halted Professor van Velzen’ s pitiless practices, it was the determination of Helen Rickard who lost her 11 month year old daughter (who died undergoing open heart surgery). Helen demanded to see a copy of her daughter’s medical notes and found out that the pathologist had retained her daughter’s heart. This took place at a different hospital – the Bristol Royal Infirmary but thanks to Helen an inquiry was set up that uncovered what was going on at Alder Hey.

The Gosport report was not the result of any action from the NHS it was the result of campaigning over two decades by the families affected. The NHS not only seems incapable of intervening where medical malpractice is concerned it does its utmost to conceal it, to punish those who to speak out and to protect the perpetrators. How many more examples do we need before people realise the NHS is not the shining guardian of the nation’s health it would have us believe?

In an earlier blog I argued that whilst I support the provision of universal healthcare, I maintain the NHS is one of the worst systems that could be designed to deliver it. Spain and the Netherlands are two examples of countries that have much better systems – and much better outcomes for their patients. Yet here we are – throwing more taxpayer’s money at a system that systematically kills hundreds of its patients and carries on as though there is nothing wrong.

Of all the countries in the world that have adopted universal healthcare not a single one of them has copied the NHS model but rather than considering a different approach our politicians have weaponised the NHS, Labour sees it as some form of medical Stormtrooper to be sent into battle in every election campaign, the Conservatives too timid and too weak to touch it for fear of a public backlash.

I doubt the money being given to the NHS will much to improve patient outcomes, more likely is that some of it will be used to hire even more Diversity Managers and LBGT Outreach workers, even more will be wasted providing services to people who are not entitled to it and right now, right this minute at a hospital near you people are dying before their time, killed using our money, killed by a bureaucratic machine that has a dark heart.

And that girl had a wooden leg – how the Dark State media lie to you

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For some time now I have been observing the way the establishment and their mouthpieces in the elite media manipulate information. To a certain extent I think this manipulation can be beneficial to a society, the AIDS campaign during the 1980s managed to scare the pants off (or should I say pants on?) the entire nation but I am quite sure many lives were saved as a consequence. I would also accept the argument that in times of war a Government has the right to misinform or conceal information that would harm the war effort. Perhaps more borderline is the observation many historians have made about the way journalists covered the war in Vietnam, whilst high command had learned to button their lips, the war was presented to the free world as unwinnable. Some have long argued the war was lost on TV screens at home, personally I feel the press for once did their job and told the world what was really happening and helped shorten the war and saved thousands of lives on both sides.

So having accepted that in certain circumstances a Government has a level of justification for misinformation then where is the line to be drawn? For me the two examples of protecting public health and the prosecution of war could be justified but I have a real problem when a government is not at war or trying to protect the public from a biological threat. I have a really big problem when Government misinformation is used instead against the interests of the people it is supposed to protect.

You may recall the confected outrage over the treatment of the so called ‘Windrush’ people. The name comes from one of the first boats to arrive in the UK bringing people from the Caribbean to British shores to start a new life here. I have no particular issue with the event, I went to school with some of their children, they formed part of my life. My focus is on how their story was manipulated to achieve something else. Quite clearly some of them had been unfairly treated and most decent minded people accepted this and wanted it put right. However I would believe that our establishment deliberately threw some of them under a bus to orchestrate something else. The story was whipped up in the media and a cabinet minister was forced to resign – the narrative of a ‘hostile environment’ in terms of the Home Office attitude to immigration was subtly planted in our minds.

Having managed to create a media storm over the affair and generate a sense of misrule within a Government department the path was clear to appoint a new Home Secretary, one who could now implement a softer approach and begin to remove the few remaining controls we had over illegal immigration throwing open the gates to the biggest source of illegal immigration to the UK, student visas from the Asian sub-continent. This I think was the real intent of the Windrush saga. The past week or so has provided yet another example of this form of manipulation. A mother was prevented from bringing cannabis oil into the country, the oil was to be used as a treatment for her child who suffers from terrible convulsions, she maintains the oil alleviates the condition. The Home Secretary (the same one removing our border controls) issued a special licence to permit her to have the oil which at present is illegal in the UK.

It is difficult not to feel sympathy with the mother for bringing in an illegal substance to treat a sick child – after all what parent wouldn’t do the same? Yet there is something that does not ring true for me. Given our lax border controls what are the odds on the mother being stopped in the first place? After all she hardly fits the profile of a drug smuggler. Why the rush to issue the licence? Why issue a licence when there is little evidence that cannabis oil has any therapeutic value for any ailment?

Yet the story unfolds, William Hague, the former Conservative Party leader quickly follows up with comments that the war on cannabis has been lost (as though it was ever fought). Cue now a manufactured debate about the legalisation of cannabis (which inevitably will lead to legalisation of all illicit drugs). It is worth pointing out that as a younger man I was familiar with cannabis – and a few other drugs besides. I stopped many years ago, I did not like the lifestyle changes cannabis brought, I became lazy and self-obsessed, happy to withdraw from the world into the comfort of an artificial drug induced one. I saw with my own eyes the damage drugs did to some of my friends, I remember a friend breaking down in tears before me crying ‘Charlie’s got me by the b*lls and there’s nothing I can do’. Drugs are bad, drugs are very, very bad and only the bad or the deluded would want them legalised.

Sadly there is a very vocal, very influential group of bad / deluded people that have sought to legalise drugs, some because they have no concept of the damage drugs do to the poorest in our society, some because it is that very damage they seek to achieve.

The manipulation technique follows a pattern, don’t tell people your real intentions, find a human interest story instead – a young child at a refugee camp in Calais, a sweet girl in a wheelchair from Syria. Tug on the nation’s heartstrings, create a media storm that something must be done then quietly implement what you really wanted to do under the guise of reacting to ‘public pressure’.

The events in America over the past few days are directly from the Liberalists playbook, President Trump, who has a democratic mandate to control illegal immigration, has been vilified by the elite media for separating families. Whilst I would agree he does appear to have been a bit heavy handed, pictures of children in cages have not been used to attack his approach – they have been used to silence anyone who thinks nations must control their borders or they cease to be nations. Notwithstanding the fake hysteria it is the sheer hypocrisy of the Liberalists and their attacks that I find hard to stomach, shipping millions of military aged men across the Mediterranean Sea is separating families on an industrial scale but that’s OK because that’s a ‘Liberal’ policy? For real?

I have forgotten the name of the movie but I remember a scene where a man is presenting an inspiring story to an audience describing the triumphs of a little girl, he concludes to his audience ‘and that little girl had a wooden leg’. The film was a comedy, the speaker later confided he had made the story up but the scene perfectly captured how we can get manipulated by the use of a personal tale that touches our hearts.

This is how our establishment and the elite media work against us – so beware the next time you hear a little girl with a wooden leg story. Something else is going on and it almost certainly is not to our benefit.

 

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?

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.

9 25

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?