Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Brexit for Freedom - the next battles

Not all readers of this blog voted Brexit, and that's fine. Not all readers are members of political parties, but among those that align with UKIP or Conservatives, one or two of you are Old Labour, and that's fine, too. Because those things that unite us are far more important than those things that divide us. It was a paragraph in Sherelle Jacobs' Telegraph column today that gave me cause to pause and think about those values - those common values that keep me writing here and stimulate you to respond. She wrote -
.. we need to talk about “grassroots activism”. From verbal puritans turning free speech into a hate crime and invasions into our online privacy to our boarded-up high streets, people feel their personal agency and sense of belonging slipping away. Brexiteers should be campaigning for individual freedom, not just from Europe but in the humdrum of everyday life. They should be redefining community in local terms.
Well, as a Localist and a democrat, that chimes with me. My use yesterday of the term 'Patricians' for those we oppose is neither novel nor original. We were also reminded (hat tip Mr Drew) of Cicero's support of the elite patrician class against Caesar, whose leadership of the populares brought change to Rome that presaged her greatest years. 

Above all, Brexit offers hope to the young, those worst affected by the bigoted illiberal authoritarianism of the new puritans that seeks to censor, forbid, restrict, govern, ration and throttle what they say, think, listen and respond to on their 5G devices. Robert Nisbet was an American sociologist inspired by Burke and de Tocqueville  rather than by Marx or Engels;
Revolt has trumped tradition, and the price is paid daily with distinctively modern pathologies such as social isolation, moral uncertainty, and personal anxiety. True freedom, Nisbet insists, is not found in the empty spaces of an omnipotent state, but in a pluralistic society where a variety of social groups and institutions intermediate to the individual and the central state have real functions or responsibilities and, by definition, enough autonomy to carry them out, thus offering individuals a sense of purpose, identity, and belonging. The continual weakening of human association bonded by kinship, ethnicity, faith, work, locality, voluntarism, private pursuit, or shared interest by a jealous, power-hungry state creates what Nisbet calls “loose individuals.” These are untethered or atomized souls drifting from the safe harbor of community into the torrents of an impersonal, bureaucratized state that cannot, from its elevated seat of vertical power, replace the intermediary social bonds and moral community it has dissolved in ever pressing its claim for still greater responsibility for each of its subjects or citizens.
It is for the victims of the well-meaning but suffocating State that Brexit stands - again, mostly the young. The obsession of the modern state, here and in Europe perhaps more than anywhere, with equalities, rights, freedoms, multiculturalism and diversity actually rob the individual of the freedom to seek and form alliances and social institutions that have both authority and effectiveness. The modern citizen has become the casualty of an increasingly interventionist, paternalistic state always seeking to increase its power and influence for the sake of 'the Public Good'.

Nisbet wrote;
The greatest single revolution of the last century in the political sphere has been the transfer of effective power over human lives from the constitutionally visible offices of government, the nominally sovereign offices, to the vast network that has been brought into being in the name of protection of the people from their exploiters. It is this kind of power that Justice Brandeis warned against in a decision nearly half a century ago: "Experience should teach us to be most on guard to protect liberty when the governments' purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachments by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."
When I look at the capos of the EU, at the Patrician class in the UK, at our political, judicial, public service and journalistic elites, I see these well-meaning zealots that simply don't understand the harm they have done, the freedom they have destroyed, the young lives they have manacled to their altars of illiberal authoritarianism. 

If Brexit means anything it means not only throwing off the chains of the EU, but emancipating the people of Britain, our youth and our future, from the slavery of these well-meaning inquisitors. With fire and torture, they destroy lives whilst seeking to conform souls into their ideals of perfection.

Brexit is not the end of our battle. It is the start of another campaign.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Hague joins Leadership debate

William Hague joins the Conservative leadership debate with a plea not to make Boris Johnson leader by changing the rule book. It is a cri de couer from the deeply establishment ex-leader of a predominantly Remain parliamentary party to an overwhelmingly (and growing) Leave party membership. It also acknowledges unwittingly that party members can force rule changes if the parliamentary party remains unwilling to change; Arron Banks did not pluck the figure of 10,000 new ex-UKIP Conservative members out of the air; it is also the size of petition specified in the party constitution needed to trigger the start of a rule-change process, and I believe a coded warning.

Hague instead asks the party to trust its MPs to make the right choice of Leader.

However, the party Board may hold an easier and quicker answer to changing the process used by the '22 Committee - which opens the possibility of a compromise that may not be the 20-member open ticket, but will not be a process that excludes Boris from the membership ballot.

Given recent choices by the parliamentary party, Hague's plea is a big ask. Hague is also opposed to the involvement of members in 'open primaries' on the basis that the adoption of the process in the US gave America Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton - what he calls 'appalling' choices. Yes, William - but popular. His plea is deeply patrician, wholly establishment and antithetic to change, and will no doubt find favour amongst supporters such as the CBI and the global corporates. I doubt it will find much support amongst a Conservative grass roots membership who may themselves find the actions of many in the parliamentary party equally 'appalling'.

Robbins No.2, Jonathan Black, in power stance, selling the Robbins Plan to Cabinet members

Monday, 20 August 2018

PTSD Adonis and 'Howler' Grayling - your pain is real

You know I really wasn't jesting when I dubbed Adonis and Grayling with their blog monikers. I have the evidence of semi-hysterical radio and TV interviews with pitched, stressed quavery voices, staccato delivery, mental confusion and so on. Plus an assortment of tweets so ill-advised, jejune and illiberal that only some dreadful cerebral confusion could have caused them. And Since neither of these fine gentlemen could have been at the pharmaceuticals, I reasoned, they must have been overwhelmed at the Brexit vote collapsing their secure little universe.

Now it seems I am academically vindicated - Poltico EU claims
For Britain’s pro-European middle classes, Brexit is akin to a psychological trauma which has left many unable to behave rationally, according to two leading experts. Far from being hyper-rational observers concerned only with what is economically sensible, many have morphed into the “Remainiacs” of Brexiteer disdain.

They are acting no differently to what psychologists would expect from those suffering from chronic anxiety caused by loss of control and insecurity, Dr. Philip Corr, professor of psychology and behavioural economics at the University of London, and Dr. Simon Stuart, a clinical psychologist, told POLITICO.
The shrinks have even coined a clinical term for the condition - Brexit Anxiety Disorder, or BAD. But is it curable, or will 'PTSD' and 'Howler' stay that way for life?
Those suffering anxiety might return to more ‘normal,’ ‘rational’ behaviour if the context around them changes,” he said. Clinically, however, this is often a forlorn hope, because contexts don’t usually tend to change enough.

“In that case, what I’d try to do is help the person become more flexible — in short, to learn how to live with the anxiety, tolerate the uncertainty, and work out how they can continue to engage with what truly matters to them in life, rather than getting caught up trying to change things they can’t change.”

In other words, Remainers may just need to relax and get over it.


Modifying the powers of the 1922 Committee

Apologies for a techy Conservative Party post, but I suspect this will be of interest to all other new or rejoining members. The Party Constitution is a fairly simple document for anyone used to dealing with commercial or construction contracts. In relation to election of a Leader, s.3 of Schedule 2 requires;
Upon the initiation of an election for the Leader, it shall be the duty of the 1922 Committee to present to the Party, as soon as reasonably practicable, a choice of candidates for election as Leader. The rules for deciding the procedure by which the 1922 Committee selects candidates for submission for election shall be determined by the Executive Committee of the 1922 Committee after consultation of the Board.
In other words, as suggested below, the 1922 Committee could currently conspire to withhold from the Party membership as a whole the most popular candidates.

Christopher Hope reports in the Telegraph about efforts by a fellow Party member, John Strafford, to amend the rule to allow any MP with more than 20 nominations from fellow MPs to go on the ballot paper to the membership.  

I am sure all MPs and members of the party who, as I am, are committed to openness, transparency and full democracy will support these fair, equitable and sensible rule changes, which will benefit the image and electability of our Party and of our candidates.

Saturday, 18 August 2018

PUSHBACK

The launch by Leave Means Leave of a concerted campaign to regain control of Brexit marks a turning point in the August Stasis. The Telegraph published an opening salvo from founders Richard Tice and John Longworth yesterday, and today Nigel Farage fires off a broadside from the same broadsheet. We're not being asked to do anything as yet except signify support or donate - http://www.leavemeansleave.eu - but I guess up to 18 million voters are ready for some Brexit leadership, sadly absent from the Parliamentary Conservative Party. John Vasc explained succinctly the dilemna in a previous comment and I hope he will forgive me for quoting him here;
The Party rules on a new leadership election virtually guarantee that two Remainers would be selected by the current parliamentary party of majority remainer MPs, to be duly 'offered' as a 'choice' to the angry (majority pro-brexit) party members. Javid and Hunt, for example.

This balance would only change if a General Election were to sweep away some of the remainer MPs from their leaver constituencies - but the party is controlled by May and Lewis, so de-selection and replacement is unlikely to happen, and votes will then go to Ukip, which will lead to a Labour victory. 


The ERG know all this - it's a Gordian knot that cannot be untied - or even cut through.
And this leads us to the next stage. Taking back our party. 

The Conservative Party was the last party of which I was a member. Our club in Ipswich had a decent and well used bar and  a full-sized snooker table dominated by a monochrome print of Churchill. I was amongst a million or so members who left the party between 1979 and 1997 - in my case in the early 80s. It wasn't by any means a protest, but the blessed Margaret, for all her fine qualities, was also a ruthless centraliser who robbed Conservative local government and local associations of much of their purpose. So we left in droves. 

Well, I have now rejoined. That little biographical box heading the right column must be edited. Mrs May and Mr Lewis will be pleased to hear that I am back - and determined to join with my fellow Conservatives in regaining control of not only our Party but also our nation. 

Have a good weekend, all. 

Thursday, 16 August 2018

Enjoy the Summer - and get ready for a rollercoaster Autumn

If  you can't take excitement, I recommend this Autumn that you rent a lonely cottage on the Norfolk coast, stock up with heavyweight biographies, a dog, and logs for the cool evenings and go into purdah until 2019. The rest of us will I suspect be glued to our screens and social media as the most event packed months I've ever known roll out.

Party politics is in turmoil, with both Labour and Conservative parties split, and conferences coming up from next month at which both leaders will be fighting for their lives.  Corbyn can't shake the anti-semitism charges - he's an eternal 19 year old undergraduate,  perennially emotionally immature, selling his smudgy Marxist agitprop outside the Union bar. May only remains in office whilst her successors decide the best time to defenestrate her. If I were Theresa, I'd already have moved my kit back to Maidenhead from Number 10 apart from a couple of suitcases. 

Our own economy is on the turn, with a downturn in London house prices the signal for a national bubble-bursting episode as the world economy goes into recession. Whilst US bib-and-brace jobs and wages are now doing well, silicon valley and its asset-less billionaires may be on the verge of crashing; facebook, twitter, google, instagram are all slowing and showing signs of vulnerability. It looks like cryptocurrencies are reaching a final crash and burn. The end of QE in the US and its coming end in Europe has already knocked billions from Lesser Developed Nations including Turkey, and Italy is set for a showdown in the coming months (£)

Brexit talks are set to resume, with the Robbins plan already in tatters and recriminations from Brussels about British espionage. I should bloody well hope we are spying on them. At home the hystericals PTSD Adonis and 'Howler' Grayling are whining even more loudly, Remainer delusional skewed polls are still being churned out to bolster the faithful, Soros money is encouraging even more desperate legal challenges and every global corporate with a foothold in the UK is going all-out to sabotage the Brexit process. Even Alastair Campbell poor love is doing the rounds of the TV studios bullying anyone he can find into silence - but these aren't the Blair years any more, and folk just see a red-faced shouty buffoon rather than a whippet-lean SJW. Mandelson looks like an effete bloated degenerate just back from a Tunisian resort staffed by gazelle-eyed ganymedes and Major is known only to the young as like the old duffer from the post office who shouts at people who drop litter.  

Spain, with 34% youth unemployment, is being told by globalist puppet and convicted criminal Christine Lagarde that it needs 5m more African and maghrebi immigrants to sell cheap Chinese tat to tourists now being excluded from Europe's most popular destinations as local carrying capacity has been crashed. Good luck with that policy move, Christine. Sweden's forthcoming election is also likely to follow the trend throughout Europe of taking back control from the globalist elites and will upset a few more unelected EU officials. Juncker's sciatica is also getting worse, coming on just after his breakfast cognac and peaking at social events as he sways and stumbles through photo-opportunities.

I suspect there will be no shortage of events on which to comment between now and Christmas, but for now, enjoy the Sun, drink some wine and chill.

Monday, 13 August 2018

A NATO member can't be besties with Putin

I am a firm believer that NATO and Russia face greater common enemies than eachother, and there will come a time when we must make common cause against common threats. But that time is not yet here, so we are forced into a low-cost reprise of the cold war. Russia's gangster oligarchy has crossed the line with the Salisbury poisonings, and the matter is not yet ended. And as much as I deprecate the arrogant aggression of the EU in attempting to extend the Federasty eastwards, the EU after each provocation running to hide under the skirts of the US, the stupidity of Brussels doesn't lessen Russia's threat.

Two years ago I wrote "Let's admit it - Turkey is an enemy state". 
Already, a score or more of the most senior military officers arrested following the coup attempt have reportedly died in jail in mysterious circumstances. Typhus, no doubt. Or heart attacks. Franco was also very experienced at disappearing thousands of dangerous democrats, people who had won elections and those who stood for the rule of law and democracy. Erdogan's tyranny has been so blatant, so outrageous, that even the purblind fools in Brussels could no longer ignore it; media closed, journalists arrested, courts purged. Erdogan's reaction has been a petulant tantrum; the EU had already stalled on his earlier ultimatum to allow Turks open travel in the Schengen area, now this week they have voted to suspend accession talks.

This is a far more nuanced matter than the bare facts allow. I know, in London, many fine and upright citizens who are first or second generation Turks, from Cyprus or from the mainland. They run the vast majority of our kebab shops and are the backbone of Uber drivers at the basic level, but also contribute greatly to culture, society, arts, business and trade. Turkey becoming an enemy will leave many fine people dreadfully conflicted - though none I know would support Erdogan's repression.
Since then, the Islamification of the Turkish state has continued, Erdogan has given himself sweeping powers and he has increasingly turned to Putin's Russia as an ally. No doubt Erdogan and Putin can chat amicably about their respective gulags, methods of suppressing free speech and so on. This is simply unacceptable behaviour from a NATO member, more egregious than Erdogan's son's deep involvement in the stolen petroleum trade with ISIS, more dangerous than Erdogan's attempted theft of Syrian territory and more treacherous than use of a migrant tsunami to threaten Greece. 

Well, it seems Mr Trump has had enough. America's actions are pretty much destroying the Turkish economy. Erdogan will now no doubt demand more danegeld from the EU or else and seek greater formal ties with Putin. Either way, he confirms Turkey's status as an enemy state that must now be expelled from NATO. I suggest the US moves its nuclear base from Incirlik to either Greece or Cyprus. We can also shut down Western Union and halt billions of Euros leaving Europe. The die is cast.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Nice whistle

Congrats to whichever Boris fans have found and distributed this meme - it's a decent photo, the suit fits, the hair is combed. He looks ... different.

Hmm.