Mr Trump’s cold Turkey treatment?

President Trump seems to conduct American policy via Twitter these days – which at least makes it easy for a pleb like me to keep track of where he is going on any particular day. His latest spat is with President Erdogan of Turkey; Mr Trump announced an increase on tariffs for Turkish steel and aluminium in response to the lack of progress over the release of an American pastor held in a Turkish prison. It is unlikely that this is the real reason, I doubt any nation would risk a trade war for the sake of one individual however worthy his or her case but there is little doubt that the relationship between Turkey and the United States has become very strained, particularly over Syria.

Turkey does show worrying signs of heading towards an economic crisis, it is spending more than it earns and is very reliant on imports. The Turkish lira has lost 30% of its value against the dollar since the New Year; this makes imports more expensive and thus fuels inflation. The Turkish stock market is down 40% and government borrowing – even in its own currency is now at an interest rate of 18%.

To add to the countries woes repayments on some of its loans are due very shortly – so refinancing the debt will be required, in addition many Turkish business’s have borrowed in foreign currencies, the weakening Lira has inflated their debt.

Central Banks can intervene to control inflation – most typically by raising interest rates, something President Erdogan has insisted he will not do.

You may well ask that given the aftershocks of the credit crunch many countries around the world (ours included) face financial headwinds – so why am I writing about Turkey? Well Turkey is one of the wealthiest countries in the world ranked 17th in Gross Domestic Product by both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Turkey is also an important member of NATO both militarily and strategically. Moreover Turkey has, since the end of World War Two, formed part of the Liberalist consensus that has spread across the world. It is this consensus that many see as part of the architecture of the Deep State – the Deep State that President Trump seeks to end.

Putting Turkey into a position where it may leave NATO is not without risks, it could lead to a much stronger bloc of powerful anti American countries although it could be argued this is already happening and already spreading given President Trump’s actions over Iran. From the perspective of Europe the more immediate consequence could be a flood of illegal immigrants should Turkey decide it has no longer has any obligation to the EU.

Turkey now faces a perfect storm, a Central Bank that is hamstrung by its President, looming debt repayments and a weakening Lira, a trade war with the US is the last thing it needs.

But then perhaps President Trump already knows this?


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.