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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Will no one rid us of this bloody woman?

Can Crazy May not get it into her thick, stubborn head that the Commons WILL NOT agree the Selmayr-Robbins treaty, that the EU WILL NOT change the Selmayr-Robbins Treaty and that her options now are solely to leave without a deal or to revoke Article 50.

May has been an absolute disaster for this nation.

She's still idiotic enough to think she can play games with democracy - one delay to get us past the EP elections, then a plea for a further extension once the danger of Nigel swamping the EP with 73 Brexit MEPs is past. Does she imagine we're all stupid?

The bloody woman must go and go now. Every minute she remains in office takes us closer to an irreparable disaster. 

My own plea to the EU27 - which I shall make to Herr Tusk - is to reject May's request and allow 29th March to stand as our leaving date. Contact Form Here if you wish to do the same.

The Fourth Estate

The position of our national print and broadcast media on Brexit is telling. Here is my somewhat subjective snapshot

Telegraph - The only pro-Brexit broadsheet left, indeed the only pro-Brexit print national left. But gamely features columns by arch Remainiacs Blair, Hague et al from time to time just to draw a thousand angry negative comments for each

Daily Express - Was a staunch Leaver, but I suspect the advertisers have got to it. It can't afford to lose it's reader demographic so now punts for the Selmayr-Robbins Treaty

Sun - Likewise, a soft Leaver with a shouty voice

Daily Remain - Was a staunch Leaver until its owners changed editor from Dacre to Greggs. Remain Online maintains its success for an internet audience that will skip a Brexit story for a long page of photos of Megan. Actually a soft remainer that features just enough Leave columns to breathe - with comments filled with angry, betrayed Leavers

All the Rest - Remain and always have been. Mirror, Times, Guardian, FT, i online and of course the broadcast media BBC and Sky. And the free lifestyle adsheet in London the 'Evening Standard' which used to be a newspaper and whose lifestyle wallpaper and chic nik-naks columns are now managed by failed Remain Chancellor George Osborne (Osborne and Little Paints and Papers Ltd).

So. One paper and not a single national broadcaster. That's the power of the global corporates' stock market power and advertising budgets for you.

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

The Sanctimonious Dwarf

There's something about little men with little hands that makes them a pain in the arse. Bercow. That NZ mass murderer. Yaxley-Lemon. All little men with little hands. The rest of us just get on with life but these littluns can't leave it alone; unless they're poking, aggravating, baiting, trolling and seeking attention they can't stay still.

It doesn't actually matter that on this issue the sanctimonious little Bercow may have been right. It was the way the revolting little narcissist rolled in his moment of global notoriety like a pig in a pool of fresh shit. He's simply such an objectionable arse that nothing good can come out of the speaker's chair whilst his undersized buttock cheeks perch on the edge of it.

Like the bent Gorbals Mick he will live in infamy as one of the worst speakers in modern history.

I've been listening on the radio to Parliament for many years, since Margaret Thatcher flung that challenge to Callaghan "He's frit! He's frit!", at that time with George Thomas in the Chair, a voice of authenticity and passion. Then came Bernard Wetherhill, the exquisitely polite ex-tailor, and after him Betty Boothroyd, who brought a touch of gaiety to the Chair that never detracted from her authority. Then it went downhill. For the past eighteen years we've been served by a bent blunderer and a narcissistic destroyer. Please God the next Parliament will bring us a speaker worthy of the Chair.
(The title is not original; as the DT reports:- Bercow’s love affair with the use of his larynx has always been warmly received, of course. In 2010, one interruption provoked health minister Simon Burns to call the diminutive speaker a “stupid, sanctimonious dwarf”.)

Sunday, 17 March 2019

It's official ... as long as the EU agree. Er, have agreed.

It seems Mrs May doesn't have a great deal of confidence that Parliament will go for MV3 this week after all - hardly surprising; knowing that not only MV4 but, erm, the decision of the EC27 on Britain's future is to come. But does May already know the answer? The Electoral Commission has just published on its website guidance for parties, candidates and non-party campaigners for the 2019 European Parliament elections. You might recall Parliament decided to ask for an extension to Article 50 on 14th March - but three days previous to this, a remarkably prescient official on behalf of the Electoral Commission, Steven Huntingdon, had already authored the election guidance;

 "On 23 May 2019 voters in the United Kingdom will cast their ballot to elect 73 members of the European Parliament". It really couldn't be clearer. And there was me thinking we were due to Leave on the 29th March.

Just two quotes to finish with - the first from Rod Liddle in the Times
So long, Brexit, you bright star. You did not stand a chance

Brexit is, if not actually dead, wired up to drips in a hospice, with its relatives dropping round, one by one, to say goodbye. Our MPs have dropped even the pretence that they have any intention of respecting the democratic mandate they were charged with implementing.

Bizarrely, some Brexiteers still think no deal is not merely possible, but probable. What drugs are they on: horse tranquillisers? It will not be allowed to happen. How can they not see this, after the past two years? The best possible option is the hapless Maybot’s travesty of a Brexit. It’s that or nothing.

Next, the EU will insist upon a second referendum and we will have one. But we will not have a third referendum unless the next one fails to go the way that the EU and our establishment want. My suspicion is that if a second referendum were a simple binary choice, like the first one, and fought from the Brexiteer side simply on the issue of the need to abide by the original vote, “leave” would win handsomely. This is hardly a scientific survey, but of my scores of remainer friends, the overwhelming majority nobly attest they would vote leave simply on democratic principle.

But we won’t have a binary choice. The second referendum will be gerrymandered, as the whole process has been gerrymandered by a government, House of Commons, House of Lords, broadcast media and big business, which never wanted it and thinks the rest of us are all uneducated and stupid. Pop into the hospice and say your goodbyes. Remind the patient of that glad bright morning in June 2016 — you might bring a wry smile to its face. They were never going to let it happen. 
The second from David Starkey
The People voted 52 to 48 per cent to leave; an estimated 74 per cent of MPs voted to remain.

No representative assembly can sustain such a gulf. Either People or Parliament must give way.

And so it has proved as, in its profound lack of wisdom and in its disregard for the central thread of its own history, Parliament has decided it is the People who should change. Or, rather, be changed.

This is not the first time such a thing has happened. Before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Communist states were ruled by similarly pampered, out-of-touch and privileged elites who, against all the evidence, claimed to represent the People.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Perfidious MPs will be running scared of the ballot box

Not all our MPs will betray the promises their parties made at the 2017 election, when their lies induced 86% of electors to vote for their solemn pledges to Leave. Not all MPs will betray their previous votes to trigger Article 50 and to Leave the EU. Not all MPs will betray their moral obligation to enact in Parliament the nation's democratic will. But most will.

For some, those who lied openly and brazenly, their hearts dark with duplicity and treachery, for whom the rewards of place or office were too greatly loved to be foregone, no words are foul enough to condemn their betrayal. For others, the ninnies, unicorn-chasers, naive credulous fools, babblers, mirror-gazers and assorted half-wits, carried up in the vain delusion that their own opinions counted for more than the Referendum, their fate may shock and surprise them.

MPs may not be clever, but most of them are cunning. And many know what the ballot box is likely to bring. Away from the fairyland of Westminster even the deepest self-deceptions and delusions fall away, and their abject failure to enact Brexit will stand them stark bollock naked before the scrutiny of their electors. Even now they feel the fear.

So don't expect an election any time soon. They will delay it - all of them, each and every perfidious arse on those green benches - for as long as possible. In the hope that the anger of electors at their failure will fade. In the hope that something will turn up. In the hope that another three years sitting as frauds and liars, their public regard prone in the gutter and feculent with filth, will lessen the reckoning they will face.

It will not. 

Friday, 15 March 2019

I despair of our dullard Parliament

The 2010 and 2015 intakes of MPs are possibly the most pathetic collection of witless dullards in the history of the House. I suspect that following the exposure of Parliamentary thievery, venality, fraud and crookedness with the Expenses Scandal under the second most corrupt Speaker this century, party managers paid more than cursory attention to the criminal inclinations of PPCs - and as a result we have benches of dreary mediocre imbeciles hardly capable of tying their own shoes but at least also lacking the nous to charge the cost of their crystal grapefruit bowls to the taxpayer. Perhaps if the parties allowed Constituency Associations to select their representatives ... but no, we're governed by a wunch of guileless morons.

Yesterday they gave up taxing their limited collective intelligences and handed Brexit over to the governments of the remaining 27 Federast members. Now these guys know the reality of the EU - that it's run by the unelected officials of the Commission, and as a consequence only two of its five unelected Presidents are worth a spit. They know the European Parliament is just for show, a fake democratic forum in which everything is decided before it hits the chamber and most MEPs are concerned more with maxing the capacity of their personal troughs than with democracy, so the Council don't care whether Nigel pitches up with 73 Brexit Party MEPs in July to create havoc - to them it's utterly irrelevant. Hof, of course, is incandescent with rage at the prospect that his personal theatrical stage set (his party has all of two MEPs but he heads the ALDE grouping of nonentities from elsewhere) may continue to be polluted by those with less than anilingual reverence for his camp caparisons.

May, beyond all reason, is going for MV3 prior to the meeting of the EC on the 21st, and MV4 after it. On the basis that the majority rejecting the Selmayr-Robbins Treaty is shrinking. It may be down to double figures for MV3 - what larks!

I just want a chance now to show my displeasure at the ballot box. I suspect tens of millions of fellow electors of whatever stripe do also. So a long Article 50 extension would be slightly cathartic at least - allowing us to vote in May, and give the tedious dolts in Parliament a taste of what's to come.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

The Day the Political Class declared war on democracy

I really can't improve on Allister Heath in the Telegraph this morning.

He believes, as I do, that the Remainer political and patrician elites are ready to overturn democracy itself to get their own way. His opening and final paragraphs -
At moments like this, when democracy is being traduced, it is easy to be angry, to rage or to fulminate. I’ve been prone to such emotions myself over the past few years. Today, I’m merely grief-stricken: sad, but no longer furious....

Yet today, this wonderful political tradition is in jeopardy. Thanks to the sabotage of Brexit by the Remainers entrusted to deliver it, the majority of the political class is declaring war on all Brexiteers and all democrats. I can think of no greater tragedy.
It's all falling apart quite quickly now. May doesn't even enjoy control of her own cabinet any more - ministers, and Hammond, can simply defy her as they wish. I doubt the EU Council on the 21st will grant or require a long extension - they want to isolate the infection, not encourage an epidemic of democracy. Nor I think will they now grant even a short extension - 29th March will be the day.

So my view remains as yesterday's post - the anti-democrats can now only either revoke Article 50 altogether, which I give a 50/50 chance, or between the 22nd and 28th they swallow the Selmayr-Robbins treaty. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Brexit - the road narrows

At each stage of this protracted Brexit process, the closer we get to the end of the month, the number of remaining options decreases and the choices available to those holding power become more stark. Parliament may today vote against no deal, and may tomorrow vote to ask for an extension of Article 50, but as far as I can see neither vote matters very much. The only meaningful vote that Parliament could now take would be to withdraw Article 50 completely - and this would almost certainly mean a General Election to follow which few now in the House would welcome; voters in most constituencies would slaughter them.

It's now all in the hands of the EU - and this time, not just the unelected officials. If Parliament asks for an extension, it will be up to the individual EU governments whether to agree. There is talk of a year's extension but I don't give this much credence. They've already redistributed the UK seats, will be voting from May and won't want Farage's Brexit Party back in July, crowding the UK seats as they will have annihilated Conservative and Labour MEPs. As far as they're concerned, we've left. So they may agree a few weeks delay - perhaps until the end of April.

So MPs, it appears, can only choose either to cancel the Referendum, or choose to swallow the Selmayr-Robbins Treaty, or choose neither which allows us to Leave by default in either two or six weeks. What other options are there? 

And now for something completely different ...
It was 25 years ago that I first downloaded Netscape Navigator via a noisy and slow modem. It took more than half an hour to download, and transformed my life. The 'Edit' button I think allowed one to compose and save HTML pages, which could be uploaded by FTP. I once spent an entire day hand-coding nested tables, with reams of 'cellpadding' and 'cellspacing' commands. Now one can do the same in about 20 seconds.


Tuesday, 12 March 2019

This straw may not be worth grasping

How quickly things move. Back in January, in the cold and dark with the fire leaping in the stove, I was inclined, even knowing the manifest traps and pitfalls of the Selmayr-Robbins Treaty apart from the backstop, to accept in my mind Parliament agreeing the document if a binding solution to the most egregious effects of the backstop was found.

We await today two opinions. One is that of the Attorney-General, the second the group of eight lawyers in the House, both of whom will scrutinise the scrap of paper that Mrs May clutched in her hand as she descended from her aircraft.

But quite apart from these assurances, things have changed since January. The EU's malign intentions, and the effects of their scabrous Treaty, have become better understood. Even if May's changes are green-lighted by the legal experts, we have somehow become used to the idea of a Clean Break with no WA at all, keeping most of our £39bn; business has geared for such an outcome, the people have prepared themselves, we were bracing for the end of the month. What seemed acceptable in January is now less so. This straw may not be worth grasping.

The stumbling comical drunk, one of the EU's five unelected presidents, could not resist a few last unstatesmanlike words, to underline the pitiably amateur lack of Statecraft and diplomacy that the cabal of crooked thugs in Brussels has displayed throughout Brexit. Vulgar old shit.

Well, we must wait and see how things play out today, but as I write I anticipate that I will be greatly disappointed should MPs accept the Selmayr-Robbins Treaty today.

Monday, 11 March 2019

For the EU, law is a weapon

Wittgenstein was onto something about language. You can tell an awful lot about a society and culture by the vocabulary it has. These thoughts came to me last year as I and one of the Munich lads struggled with an obsolete solid fuel central heating stove; 300kg of quite unnecessary 3mm and 4mm steel and the size of a washing machine. "Bloody German over-engineering!" I cursed as we struggled to launch the thing over the lip of a skip. And as we rested, for these are also times in which I improve my German, I asked "What's the German for over-engineering?". He thought. He consulted his device for several minutes, then announced gravely "There is no term in the German language for over-engineering".

Wednesbury (1948) will be as much in the mind of every Englishman who has ever studied law as Carlill and the Carbolic Smoke Ball Company. The concept of 'Wednesbury unreasonableness' was the start of a chain of precedents in Common Law that exactly defined whether the behaviour of a public body was excessively bumptious. Whilst Federasts in France and Germany came out of hiding, crawled from their cellars and bunkers and started planning a new Federast Empire amidst the rubble of the last one, the folie de grandeur rising in their breasts, Jurists in England were refining the definition of reasonable behaviour first enshrined in 1903 in the person of the man on the Clapham omnibus. Being reasonable is very important if you're English. Less so if you're a Federast; as Boris writes in the Telegraph
Last week the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, valiantly tried to take things forward. He proposed that the test of “reasonableness” – well known to English common law – could be legally applied to any EU attempt to keep us locked in the backstop. It wasn’t much to ask. Merely asking the other side to be reasonable – it seems a very frail protection by comparison with a proper time limit.

Brussels was having none of it. The EU’s formidable negotiator, Sabine Weyand, observed, with perhaps unconscious irony, that the concept of “reasonableness” was unknown to EU law. The talks collapsed. Michel Barnier then tweeted his supercilious and repetitive offer. Great Britain could, of course, leave the backstop, but Northern Ireland would have to remain behind. He thereby summed up, again, the constitutional humiliation that Brussels wishes to impose.
For Brussels the law and their corrupt political court the ECJ are not there to dispense justice, nor to defend and protect, but as Panzer divisions, to thrust away and crush all opposition in the path of the Federasts. For the EU, law is a weapon, one even more effective in subjugating the peoples and nations of Europe than the steel and cordite of military power. Equity and reasonableness, those essentially British concepts, are shredded under the churning tracks of the EU's King Panzers.

Law, as Boris writes, is just the means by which they wish to impose upon us a humiliation as deep as the Treaty of Versailles - but they can only succeed if Parliament assists them. If we reject and repudiate their poison treaty in its entirety, if we spring free at the end of this month, all their spite and all their malice, all their vindictive hate, cannot reach us.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

If Parliament destroys Brexit, I fear for Britain

If Parliament destroys Brexit, I fear for Britain. 

As the Telegraph reports today
The explosive memo advising the cabinet as Theresa May battles to win Tuesday’s second meaningful vote - warns that supporting any amendment re-tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Tories Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles could pave the way for a bill to change the day of our EU exit and bind the Government into a permanent customs union.
May's moronic 2017 election left her too weak to sack the saboteurs within her government who now seek, with a cross-party cabal of anti-democrats led by Yvette Cooper and Nick Boles, to destroy what vestige of control May has left of the Brexit process.

It is little consolation now that Boles, Letwin, Hammond, Rudd, Gauke, Clarke and Hancock will have no future in the Conservative party - over 70% of whose members are committed to Brexit.

If a Remainer Parliament robs government of the ability to govern, with the complicity of the poisonous narcissist in the Speaker's Chair, I fear a rapid spiral into the situation described by the academics Betz and Smith
The system works because everyone behaves by the rules. On either side of the bargain—the governed and the government—mutual obligations are observed in service of the common interest, which is the stable continuance of a non-tyrannical political order. Here we come to the disquieting part of the continuing Remain campaign, a campaign that seemingly supersedes party loyalty, not to mention national loyalty, which is its willingness to throw away the rulebook. Only a brazenly confidant, or foolishly out-of-touch, political class would chance this. The bet on the future is doubled.

The object of all these machinations has been to corral the British population into a Hobson's choice between Brexit-In-Name-Only and no-Brexit. It is no secret now. The plotters, finally, so close to the bell calling time on Britain's membership of the EU with a deal or without one, have declared it openly that they will not permit to occur what is the current legally mandated outcome of events. They will instead tie the government in knots, prevent its preparations for No Deal Brexit, and if necessary, crash it.
The consequences of this sabotage of the most significant vote in British history by 17.4m electors is likely to be dire
Historical parallels are inexact at the best to times but one doesn't have to look too far back to see where the corrosion of democratic legitimacy can and probably will lead. It leads to extreme societal polarisation, and a miasmic concoction of fear, radicalisation and violence. We can see this in the condition that is currently afflicting France and its yellow jacket uprisings. We saw it in Italy in the 1970s and 1980s when the country slid into the anni di piombo – the years of the bullet. And, most insidiously, we saw it in the actions of the Latin American governments and their so-called dirty wars, in which sections of the population fought each other openly and covertly.

We have for decades studied why things fall apart, how a stable, essentially self-policing, productive society can turn into an ungovernable tumult roiling with rage. We know that this happens at first very slowly, a creep-creep-creeping to the limit; and then very fast indeed after the limit has been passed. We also know that no amount of free beer and pizza parties will swiftly return a society deranged by the shattering of the social contract by its own elite back to normality.
One can imagine how the nightmare could unfold. It could possibly start slowly enough; bricks through the windows of government offices around the country, through the windows of MPs offices, then Molotov cocktails. Remain MPs from Leave constituencies who have been complicit in this undermining of the democratic process may need police or army protection to visit their own constituencies, and then, as the powers over-react in a crackdown, as always seems to happen, a cathartic explosion of anger and violence that will roil and sweep across many parts of Britain.

Sir Bernard Jenkin also warns from whence a breakdown of order will come
The Government is expected to speak with one voice. Parliament’s role is to scrutinise the work of Government, pass laws and control money. These democratic principles have retained the confidence of voters through two world wars, the general strike, hyperinflation, Mrs Thatcher and Mr Blair. They are being carelessly trashed by a weak government, which is willingly being held to ransom by those determined to stop Brexit. The final step will be this government choosing to allow MPs to undo the vote of June 2016 altogether.

And when that moment comes, we mustn’t forget that it wasn’t Leavers, Remainers or even a divisive referendum that brought us there: it was our elected representatives thwarting democracy.
I loathe and hate rioting and disorder, and I deprecate more deeply than I can describe the deep and painful divisions in our land that Brexit has caused. But a betrayal of democracy by a British Parliament next week in the manner feared will be the grossest insult to the people, and one I fear, if Betz and Smith are right in their analysis, that won't be borne. 

Friday, 8 March 2019

London - more children slaughtered

Bridget Prentice, who used to be my MP, left the Commons when scandals about her expenses mis-spending began to emerge. I was about to present evidence of her using Parliamentary expenses to subsidise the running of a constituency Labour Party office when she threw in the towel. She ligged a job as an electoral commissioner which came to an end in September 2018 - putting her well within the frame of the 'Corrupt Commission' that acted so partially against Brexit bodies that it was condemned as 'not fit for purpose' by leading politicians. Anyway, back in 2008 I wrote to her over the mismanagement of the Met Police - a mismanagement that has got far worse since.
Here in the borough of Lewisham we pay the salaries of around a thousand Metropolitan police officers - our share of the 32,000 strong force. Yet where are they? Our homes can be burgled, fouled and violated, the possessions of a lifetime stolen and trashed, and we are told it's no longer a concern of the police - we're invited to leave our details on an answerphone. This year nearly thirty teenage boys have been knifed to death in London, yet on the buses and in Lewisham market at the end of the school day are scores of knife-carrying teens terrifying each other and causing public fear.
She replied
I do not believe that life in Lewisham is as grim, unappealing and crime ridden as you portray in your letter. If you feel that 'knife-carrying teens' are terrorising 'the buses' and 'Lewisham market' I suggest then that you raise the matter with the police.
The arrogance and contempt of her response was quite typical - Bridget was never a clever woman, and I doubt she had ridden on a bus or visited Lewisham Market since being elected. It is exactly her brand of purblind ignorance that has seen the numbers of dead children in London multiply in just ten years - the young corpses no longer confined to black-on-black violence but claiming victims who really did stand chances of becoming architects or doctors. Yet there is something surprising about this - take a look at the Met's stats

Boris served as Mayor from 2008 to 2016. His first term was dominated by the Olympics - but in his second term, he concentrated his efforts on knife crime, with some success. Then two things happened. From 2015, Theresa May, as Home Secretary, prevented police from carrying out stop and search - and in 2016 Sadiq Khan took post as Mayor of London.

London is now stuck with exactly the same brand of asinine, purblind social democrat stupidity that we had before 2008; there is little to choose between Bridget Prentice and Theresa May in terms of (in)ability, and Khan is as robust and effective as a feather in the wind. May is even now defending her appalling tenure as Home Secretary, and the vain, preening little Khan has only an eye for photo opportunities rather than dead teens.

For whatever reason, the number of fatal stabbings is increasing - counter intuitively, for if the volume of knife crime is what it was in 2008 with thirty dead, one would expect a learning curve in trauma medicine and response to have lowered lethality.

Perhaps now that normal middle-class grammar school kids are bleeding to death in the gutter, London's Labour mafia and their tame Prime Minister might take notice.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

The greatest failure of Statecraft since Suez

If was some forty years before Suez, and not in the heat of the Egyptian desert but in the cold dark of the North Sea that Admiral Beatty commented, as two of his prized battlecruisers blew up at Jutland, "There's something wrong with our bloody ships today". The nation, schooled in an invincible navy, in a formidable fleet, found the losses hard to swallow. Likewise, in a Britain schooled in the notion of a Rolls-Royce civil service, in which the best and brightest in the land devote lives to the nation, and  as highly competent mandarins steer the great ship of state with skill and dedication, we are faced with the abject failure of Whitehall.

There's something wrong with the bastards today. Despite May's manifest stubborn stupidity, despite her lunacy in treating Brexit, as Nick Timothy described, as a damage limitation exercise, they should never have permitted her ignorance and idiocy to plunge the United Kingdom into the greatest failure of Statecraft since Suez, as Allister Heath phrases it.

'Boomer' Cox is a caricature, a character from a Gilbert and Sullivan opera or one of the supporting cast of Mortimer's Rumpole. Skilled neither in this specialist area of the law or in statesmanship, his mission has quite predictably failed. The Commons team of eight legal experts have nothing to scrutinise.

The EU will not move a millimetre because it is their sole aim to damage, hurt and humiliate Britain, a repeat Versailles. In this they are assisted by May's scabrous government and a Parliament that still refuses to accept that a majority of voters, 17.4m electors, sealed a mandate to Leave.

Well, sooner or later they must face the ballot box. Any notion they may have that the public anger at her capitulation, at the failure of my party to prevent it, will be forgotten is naive. We have not forgiven Blair for 2003, nor will we. Our memories are long and we carry a grudge deeply. They will not, they cannot succeed in preventing our exit from a failed EU - we only question how much suffering and humiliation will they inflict on Britain before they realise this. The more they prolong it, the greater the force with which they will be thrown from office.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Macron's puerile SimEU

The extraordinary document that emerged from the Élysée on Monday night was at first glance in-credible. I thought it was a clever spoof. But no. It seems that M.Macron had kissed his grannie good morning, scoffed his croissant and sat himself down at the big gold desk in his Palace and built his own fantasy SimEU.

Here is the barracks with the SimEU army, here the detention prison of the SimEU Office of Internal Security; here is the SimEU Central Bank and the SimEU Ministry of Finance. And the whole thing populated by busy and happy little SimEU citizens on SimEU minimum wage playing safely on social media regulated by the SimEU Prefecture for Internet Safety, after a hard day's work inventing innovative new Euro things at the SimEU Creative Foundation.

Really, I'm hardly joking. The whole document, of which he is inordinately proud, reads just like a teenage boy's fantasy world. The document even has the Heroes of SimEU, the French and German Leaders, waving graciously from the balconies of their SimEU palaces at crowds of adoring SimEU citizens.

He even addressed it to the "Citoyens d’Europe" despite the Federacy having only 61% of the continent's population under its flag. This degree of self-delusion was not lost on Henry Newman, who replied to Macron via his Telegraph column
I was struck that your letter largely conflates Europe with the EU, eliding the distinction between a political union of 27 members and the broader concerns of our continent which includes proud nations such as Switzerland, Norway and - soon - the UK, which are friends and allies of the EU but outside of that political bloc. Your letter has various suggestions for improving the EU. Some may be welcome, others less so. But each proposal involves the EU gaining further powers and greater influence over people’s lives, at the expense of sovereign states, when we both know that right across the bloc a strong majority want the EU to do the precise opposite. For you, it seems the answer to every question is always more Brussels.
Had this letter been written and published in the late 1990s, at the heights of EU hubris, before the foundations of the Federacy started to show cracks, it might, just might, have been hailed as a visionary manifesto for an ideal EU Central State, authoritarian but benign. But we're now in the second decade of the following century, the UK has left and the remaining 27 are split on everything from migration to finance, the currency is tanking, the economy is sclerotic and the streets are filled with tear gas and blinded Gilets jaunes.

That the President of France is so deluded, so out of touch with the reality of political possibility, so unrealistic about his expectations is of deep concern. Our teenage fantasist really believes he can secure a date with Jennifer Aniston.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Maths 101 for EU zealots

As annoying as greengrocers' apostrophes (though I doubt anyone much under 50 who doesn't live in Chelsea or some equally expensive Chiltern market town will ever have seen one) is the habit of EU zealots in referring to the EU as 'Europe'. It isn't.

Manfred Weber, one of the EU's rising bureaucrats, with reference to EP elections in the UK if Brexit is delayed beyond June, is quoted as saying "That means for me for the future of the continent, for the future of the European Union, Great Britain cannot have any more say. That means for me, in the next European elections, Great Britain cannot participate."

His English puts my German to shame, and is marked as authentic German English by his use of 'that' when he means 'this'. All good German English speakers make the same mistake. But that's not the point. This is;
Population of Europe ... 726m
Population of EU27 ......446m (61%)
Population of UK ......66m (9%)
Manfred might like to put his English textbooks away and brush the dust off his maths primer. The EU only has 61% of the people of the continent of Europe, of which the UK is a populous part with 9% of its inhabitants. We therefore very much have a say in the future of the continent. Just not in the play elections for a play 'Parliament' in which all is decided in advance and MEPs mired in greed care more about signing in for ten minutes for their per diem than in democracy.

This is the same Manfred Weber who was found in 2017 to be claiming €4,342 a month (tax free) for an office in his home country (Bavaria) to allow citizens to easily access they MEP. Only Manfred is paying the money to himself - and his ghost 'office' sits in an annex to Manfred's luxury house, far away from population and transport hubs in an exclusive and wealthy neighbourhood. 

Monday, 4 March 2019

Treaty of Versailles 2019

One hundred years ago Germany was humiliated by the Treaty of Versailles.

The German delegation was summoned to Versailles and presented with the terms of the Treaty - massive reparations to be paid, a land-grab, onerous restrictions on Germany's future freedoms, continuing interference by the allies in Germany's affairs. The German delegation was told negotiation of the terms was not possible - it was take it or leave it.

Germany's first democratically elected PM, Philipp Scheidemann, resigned rather than sign such a treaty. In an impassioned speech he said
Which hand, trying to put us in chains like these, would not wither? The treaty is unacceptable.
But after Scheidemann, Ebert, as we know, did sign. It later cost him his life. The humiliation of the treaty was so unbearable for Germany it barely lasted fourteen years before conditions allowed Hitler to take power.

It is said that if we fail to learn from the errors of history we are forced to repeat them. As I see Selmayr's smug Moonface smiling superciliously as Britain is forced to accept the Robbins-Selmayr Treaty, a cursed document every bit as humiliating for Britain as Versailles was for Germany, my only surprise is that he is not forcing May to sign it in a railway carriage in the forest of Compiegne.

Sunday, 3 March 2019

The Globalist agenda of the UN

Map day today. I must admit I'm a bit of a map and chart geek; ever since I learnt how to read - I mean really read - the 1" OS edition as a child, they've fascinated me. My father's stint as an instructor, trying to teach young army officers how to map read (a frustrating period of his military career) left me with three War Office manuals the contents of which I absorbed like blotting paper, so even now I can scan a mass of contour lines and identify dead ground, fields of fire, arty FO points and so on. Not much use on a Sunday ramble in the country, but better fun than twiddling with a bloody mobile phone when on a walk. Yes, I mean you. You know who you are.

Right. Below are a pair of Worldmapper cartograms for 2018 population and GDP - each country's area on the map is relative to the magnitude of these factors.

Each country, no matter how geographically large or small, no matter how big its population, no matter how great or insignificant its wealth, has one vote in the UN General Assembly, an equal chance of a rotating seat on the Security Council and a fair go at all the lucrative posts. Indeed, since its inception (the original United Nations were the allies who defeated German fascism and Japanese militarism, the permanent SC members) its Secretary-Generals have all been drawn from the smaller nations; Norway, Sweden, Burma, Austria, Peru, Egypt, Ghana, South Korea and Portugal.

Given that there are far more small, poor nations than large, rich nations how would you imagine an organisation so constituted would evolve, over time, its mission, objectives and strategy? Yep. It's not some tinfoil conspiracy theory or lizard takeover plot - the natural progression for the UN since 1947 has been towards making smaller poorer countries richer and more powerful. Unfortunately, the consequence over the past twenty years has been the economic decimation of the working and middle classes in the higher-GDP lower-population developed world.

Two factors are at play - often confused but actually quite separate. Globalization and Globalism. Globalization is a change that has come about through advances in communication technology, trade, transport, education, and aid and outreach programmes that have spread medicine, infrastructure, agrarian science, and post-Enlightenment culture across the globe.  Globalism is a movement to establish government, legal systems, economic systems and corporate entities without hindrance of national borders across the globe. It is therefore Globalism that drives the agenda of the UN - in concert with other supranational bodies working to the same ends; the EU, World Bank, IMF and WTO.

Lost in the noise of Brexit, the UN endorsed the Global Migration Compact in December 2018. Several nations refused to sign up - Austria, Australia, Bulgaria, Chile, Czech Republic, Dominica, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland and the USA. Our own government agreed it - on the basis that it is 'non-binding' under international law. However, as New Zealand's law officers have warned, non-binding does not mean legally irrelevant - and "courts may be refer to the Compact and to take the Compact into account as an aid in interpreting immigration legislation". This applies also to both UK courts and the ECHR and ECJ.

The migration compact is an unashamedly Globalist policy instrument - to the disadvantage of the peoples of the developed nations, but to the benefit of both Globalist corporations and organisations. In addition, it will shape future EU legislation, which will be framed so as not to contradict or act against the intentions of the Compact.

I do apologise for the uncharacteristic 'Globalism 101' tone of this post - this is for the benefit of our new readers, who have only the most basic notion of how political policy evolves into action. In the past few weeks I've realised how my old dad felt in trying patiently but unsuccessfully to teach somewhat dim young subalterns the difference between the contour lines of a spur and a gully.

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Chlorine chicken

The UK has some of the highest food and farming standards in Europe. The US is committed to scientific, high-intensity farming using growth hormones for beef cattle and novel GM food ingredients. They wash their chickens in Chlorine, we wash our ready-to-eat salads in the same Chlorine. These differences, we are told, make a trade deal between us that includes food impossible.

Forgive me, but I simply don't see this. If we Brexit (which is in doubt) we will be in charge of our own food labelling regulations. Why should we not simply require beef from hormone cattle, GM foods and Chlorine washed products to be clearly labelled as such and allow consumers to make the choice?

No-one has produced any evidence that these American foodstuffs are dangerous - and as the US is one of the most litigious nations on Earth, one would have expected any actionable dangers to have been exposed long ago. Surely in an age of food banks we cannot quibble at allowing British citizens ($40k per capita GDP at PPP) to buy the same food as American citizens ($60k per capita GDP at PPP)?

I wouldn't choose to buy hormone beef or GM soya for myself. But then again I'm a food quality snob who wouldn't drink the flouridated ex human urine that Londoners call tap water ("It's very pure - it's been filtered through seven pairs of kidneys by the time it gets here") for twenty years. It's a matter of personal preference, surely?

Chlorine washed lettuce

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Theresa May's legacy will be the destruction of the Conservative Party

Prime Ministers are famously focused on their legacy. The illusions of control they enjoy in office inevitably blind them to the reality that all political careers end in failure, and that their legacy is one factor not under their command. Bloody Blair is remembered now only for duping the nation into his dodgy war in Iraq, the dilettante Cameron for losing the referendum, clumsy Gordon for his fiscal incompetence, the sordid Major (and Slugger Prescott both) for improper coitus. Though Prescott has a punch to offset his lustful coupling and Major the Cones Hotline.

I've no idea what Theresa May imagined her political legacy would be, but it's now looking almost certain that she'll be remembered as the PM that destroyed the Conservative Party.

More than 70% of ordinary party members such as myself are Leave supporters. And actually much more than supporters - most of us are Leave activists. If May, as now looks increasingly likely, fails to deliver a Real Brexit, too many of us will be unable to support the party at the next election. There is no other party for us; Batten's Muslim-baiters are unconscionable and Farage, though a sterling chap, values Brexit above Democracy - and I can't help. 

The next General Election after May's Brexit failure will finish the Conservative Party. She will have gone, clutching at the flotsam of an undistinguished career, and remembered only for her betrayal of her nation's democratic traditions and of her party. 

With that failure will come Corby's Marxists. Trident will be decommissioned, our UN seat surrendered to the EU and England's hills covered in windmills. Defence spending will he halved and what remains of the economy devastated. It's about time the youngsters had a taste of what we've fought to hold at bay - perhaps each generation needs to see Socialism in action to believe its malignity.

Edit - Update
At last - something about which almost everyone can agree. Those who think the government are crap over Brexit is up about 80%, whilst those who think the government aren't crap are down to about 15%, with about 5% 'don't knows'.  

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


A cautionary tale.

For as long as anyone can remember, Good Friday or Karfreitag has always been the same. Easter is a big deal here - after the chill snows and dark valleys of Winter, Spring bursts out with a fecundity unknown in Britain; nature is like a teenager pumped with hormones and just explodes into life. Spring flowers push through the last of the snow, and the first of the year's butterflies spread jewelled wings over still-brown herbage.

For Catholics here in the alpine Land, the deal is work until late lunchtime and then home early for the weekend. Protestants, for reasons I can't quite fathom, have always had the whole of Good Friday as a holiday, by custom going back to the 17th century. Paid. Like a Feiertag. Not taken from their annual leave.

Until of course some idiot claimed the arrangement was unlawful and discriminatory and started a legal action. Now the state government has introduced a new law - everyone gets a half-day on Good Friday. Work ends at 14.00.

Of course, both Catholics and Protestants are up in arms. Protestants have lost half a day's holiday, and Catholics used to slink-off home at 2pm anyway so have gained nothing.

The politicians responsible have called it "einen guten, tragfähigen Kompromiss" - a good, sustainable compromise. Everyone else has predicted it won't last the week.

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Fury Unbound

The airwaves are filled with Remainer ploys, asinine suggestions, has-been political relics such as Bloody Blair and the deeply sordid John Major all engaged in a final all-out assault against Brexit. Heseltine, dusty and dried as a mummy is wheeled into the studio to wheeze, croak and crumble. Corbyn desperately clutches at a potential referendum to stop the tearing of his party asunder, to the rage of vast numbers of Labour voters who only voted Labour in 2017 because of the Party's manifesto promises. Fifth-column cabinet ministers who lied to voters and to their colleagues and cast false votes in our Parliament now reveal themselves as saboteurs and turncoats, too greedy to forego the privileges of office but too desperate to disguise their base treachery any longer.

But whilst Remainers have the State media and all but three of our national papers (the Daily Remain having already deserted) and any number of tricksy, crooked, dishonest and contrived ploys, those who support Brexit have righteous passion and the furious indignation of 17.4m voters watching British democracy being destroyed.

That anger is palpable. The intensity of that indignation if Brexit is frustrated will raise a storm of fury never before seen in Britain, an anger unbound by restraint at our democracy trampled. The mood I detect is implacable, and is as willing to see Britain destroyed from within by bitterness and violent schism as it is to face the hardships from a Clean Brexit.

Unless Remain withdraws from the brink, concedes that they lost, and abandons these plots to frustrate Brexit, I fear most deeply for our future. 

Monday, 25 February 2019

We must plan Germany's survival

The sheer aggression and hatefulness exhibited in spades by Brussels over Brexit - including words and actions that would not be inappropriate if directed at an enemy in war - have been borne with remarkable tolerance by the British people. But the impact of this louche, amateur, vulgar and unstatesmanlike behaviour has not been lost on the country. When Germany sent us Ribbentrop, pumped with hubris and vanity and claiming a Waltish 'von', he was dismissed by the British as a champagne salesman. Now we are sent a stumbling comical drunk, an angry little Polish dwarf who can't control his mouth and a sinister German Grand Vizier, every one of them ill-mannered, dishonourable and untrustworthy. Just more champagne salesmen. Is Europe so impoverished of talent that from a population of 430m it cannot produce three persons with any vestige of international class or even basic diplomatic competence?

It is important that we overcome our dislike of this unattractive and boorish shudder of clowns, for it is becoming clear that Germany is increasingly in trouble and it is more and more likely that we must assist in her survival in the months and years to come. Mogenthau was wrong then and any revivalists of his inane retribution are mistaken now. We might need another Marshall Plan, and this time we might have to do it without the USA.

Germany is horribly exposed to Italian debt and risk of default. Two of her largest banks, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, are not only on the ropes but slipping unconscious from the ring. With the Eurozone now slipping inexorably into recession, the fall of these giants will reverberate throughout Europe.

Germany's auto industry is a late 20th century rustpile. The diesel emissions frauds, crash in diesel sales, Brexit and US tariffs will be a hammer blow to Germany's car plants and the EU-Japanese trade treaty will halt and reverse any compensating Japanese direct investment, for the same reasons as Honda closed in the UK.

The globalists have hoodwinked the Germans into taking a million migrants - to become two million once they have established themselves and dependents join them - on the false and spurious grounds of 'demographics' - an ageing population no longer capable of standing on the production line. These same globalists must have known what is now in the public realm - that Germany will see some 37% of jobs going in the next 15 years as the effects of AI bite. The UK's figure from PwC is 30%. Training a million migrants in basic numeracy and literacy is one matter; retraining twenty million Germans in computer skills is another. My resentment of the loathsome Peter Sutherland is renewed each time I read his weasel words to the HoL select committee in 2014. The real reason for these migrants, as he makes clear, is to help destroy German national identity and cultural congruence
"If one looks at the key arguments and issues relating to the need for migration, the demographic is the most fundamental for many countries of destination. The demographic challenges in a number of European Member States, however difficult it may be to explain this to the citizens of those states, are absolutely unquestionable. They are vital in terms of a crucial dynamic for economic growth. A declining and ageing population is destructive of prosperity—forgetting entirely about the moral aspect of migration. That is particularly relevant to a number of countries in central Europe—Germany has a major issue—and some southern Member States. So demographics are a key element of the debate, and a key argument for the development of—I hesitate to use the word because people have attacked it—multicultural states. It is impossible to consider that the degree of homogeneity which is implied by the alternative argument can survive, because states have to become more open in terms of the people who inhabit them, as the United Kingdom has demonstrated."
In terms of electric vehicle technology and battery production, Germany is lagging behind the rest of the world. It is unlikely that she will be able to recover her lost lead in auto-technology for the years ahead.

German manufacturing has sunk to a six-year low. Jan von Gerich of Nordea Bank called the German manufacturing economy 'scary'
The bad news is that there are no signs that the weakness in the more cyclical German manufacturing sector would be temporary, and the outlook is frankly scary. In light of these numbers, it is crystal clear that the challenges currently facing the German economy go well beyond the car sector.
All the signs are that Europe's largest economy is sleepwalking into disaster. It may be that a change of Chancellor, a fresh administration and a range of new voices breaking the stranglehold of the old political elites on Germany's various parliaments, national and state, will head-off disaster, but we cannot bank on it. A stable and democratic Germany tied strongly to France is the guarantee of peace and security in Europe - and we must be prepared to step in to assist if Germany, once again, fails to find her own way.

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Are we there yet?

No, I can't claim to have a clue to what's happening with Brexit. This is perhaps a 'wisdom of crowds' job, with all your views, from the blissfully optimistic to the darkest gloom of the Cassandras, to help give us an idea of where the median lies.

A. Leave on 29th March with a deal
Something spectacular must happen to make this a reality; the House has made it clear it will not agree a deal with the backstop. Either 'boomer' Cox wrangles a legally binding codicil to change its mind or MPs take fright and act like mice

B. Leave on 29th March with no deal
Dream option for many Leavers, and increasingly the public, who are fed up with Brexit and importantly fed up with Brussels and becoming more hostile. But unlikely. The Deep State hate this option - it weakens them. Consequently the DS and their dags in public life will do all they can to prevent this happening.

C. Ditto options but end of June
Any Brexit delay beyond June will mean EP elections in May in the UK. The EU certainly don't want UK MEPs back in July, and as Farage's BrexitCorp with 100,000 volunteer candidates will probably sweep the board (For Euro elections it would get about 70% of normal Tory votes, I'd guess - but only for the EP election) neither Conservatives or Labour want the humiliation. This is my guess - we'll go at end June. Regretfully with some mashed together deal.

D. Article 50 extended beyond June
This will mean UK MEPs in the new plenum - which no-one wants. Since any extension to Article 50 is entirely in the hands of the EU to grant (other than a total withdrawal - which we can do unilaterally before 29th March, but which would kill the Conservative Party stone dead within 24 hours) it's probably unlikely. 

Friday, 22 February 2019

1848 - When change in the UK led to Revolution in France

On this day ...

The 1832 Reform Act in the UK (or the English Act and the Irish and Scottish Acts that followed it) was not the end of electoral reform in Britain; it was not, to beg a phrase, even the end of the beginning of Parliamentary reform. But it did do two things - largely abolish the Rotten Boroughs, and increase the electorate to about 20% of the population. I was going to describe this as peaceful change, but of course it was not quite peaceful. There was Peterloo.

And then there was religious fear. In 1829, in response to deep fear of explosive civil strife in Ireland, Roman Catholics were permitted for the first time to stand for election. The non-conformists in their chapels and meeting houses in Birmingham and Manchester were livid; did not they deserve the same rights as the Irish? And so government reluctantly moved in 1832 and enacted the first, slow step to reform that would take a further 96 years to roll out - the final franchise not coming until 1928.

Across the Manche the Kermits also felt outrage. In comparison to our 20% of enfranchised people, barely 1% of the French had the vote. They didn't mess about. In February 1848 they rose up. Forty-two were shot to death by nervous troops and on 23rd February Louis-Philippe abandoned his throne and ran away to England. Thus began the Second Republic (we're now up to the Fifth).

De Tocqueville (a favourite of this blog - I'll give him a post of his own in due course) observed  "We are sleeping together in a volcano. A wind of revolution blows, the storm is on the horizon."

Like a forest fire, the events in France in 1848 spread throughout Europe.

What began almost peacefully in the UK (15 died at Peterloo) set the course for change in Europe. That's why they're so worried about Brexit. 

Thursday, 21 February 2019

More than ever, voters need a Power of Recall

The first eleven movements in a long-building political reshuffle of bums on green benches are in - but don't imagine that will be the end of it. Like a little clump of cells flobbling under the microscope, our political class will continue to realign themselves into what they imagine are the groupings to which voters will adhere. As Allister Heath puts it in the Telegraph
Logically, we would end up with four groupings: a pro-capitalist, libertarian Eurosceptic party, an economically Left-wing but socially conservative Eurosceptic party, a pro-EU social democratic party and a neo-communist party.
Apart of course from the SNP and the Irish, who have issues of their own right now.

The prime problem for voters, who generally but not always vote for parties and manifestos in general elections, is that they're left with a cuckoo in the nest. However noble and virtuous a shape-changing MP may believe themselves to be, you can be sure that many of their voters think it would be more virtuous if they didn't squat in the constituency on false pretences - and for the current eleven turners, that means squat until 2022.

Labour have already voiced support for a constituency Power of Recall and it's time for the Conservatives to add their support. The motion should be very simple, and universal:- 
"The electors of Broxtowe no longer have confidence that Anne Mary Soubry can adequately represent their interests in Parliament" 
As for the threshold - I have no fixed figure in mind. There must be a precursor trigger, and the hurdle to dismiss an MP should be sufficiently high as to deter vexatious attempts, but not so high that the number who voted for them in the GE cannot later vote them out. 

Let's see a government Bill for this - now.

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The Remain Party

The seven  - or possibly now eight - MPs sitting for what, to be honest, we must call the Remain Party, despite having been preparing since last month with company registrations and so forth, were singularly unprepared yesterday for the questions of the press. Chukka on 'Today' was classic. "Do you have any policies other than Remain?" "Brexit is a really important issue and we're committed to rescuing Britain from this foolishness" it went, sort of.

So no. The only policy they have is Remain.

I wish them success in attracting a further 29 rebel MPs from both sides of the House, so they may assume from the SNP the privileges of a third party, together with more Short money and a better quality offices. I also look forward to February 2022 and PMQs

"Mr Ummummumma!"

"Will the Prime Minister recognise that the only way out of this Brexit debacle is to allow a further Referendum, to keep us in Europe where we belong"

"I thank the honourable member for Streatham. He will be aware that since we left the EU in 2019, slashing taxes and opening trade borders, our economy has boomed, defying the global downturn and the car crash of the Eurozone. Foreign Direct Investment is at its highest ever, we have the fourth greatest global GDP, the pound buys €2.20 for our holidaymakers who will again flood Europe this Summer. The Trussel Trust has opened its two-thousandth foodbank in the EU and the incredible generosity of the British people in sending their spare packets and tins across the Channel is keeping many poor Europeans afloat. We fully support IMF aid to the Eurozone, and will do all we can to help the nations of Europe to recover democracy and to stand on their feet again. The government however has no plans to join them"

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

The Ugly European

Claas Relotius was the darling of the SJW-class in young Germany. For many years his stories captivated the lefty-liberal readers of Der Spiegel with his tales of travels and encounters in America. A Yemeni man tortured at Gitmo, the travels of a death-row groupie, an in-depth piece on the folk of Fergus Falls. Entrancing and engaging tales of American stereotypy. And Der Spiegel enjoyed, up until a year ago, a reputation for truth telling and editorial integrity - qualities I've praised more than once on this blog. There was only one problem. All his stories were bollocks; wholly invented anti-American trash from the bitter recesses of Relotius's own deep hostility and resentment towards the US. Relotius' bile found a welcoming home in Der Spiegel; as The Atlantic commented
Though it is respected abroad as an authoritative news source, Der Spiegel has long peddled crude and sensational anti-Americanism, usually grounded in its brand of knee-jerk German pacifism. Covers over the years have impugned the United States as “The Conceited World Power” (with an image of the White House bestriding the globe), repeated the hoary “Blood for Oil” charge as the rationale for the Iraq War, and, in the run-up to George W. Bush’s reelection campaign, asked, “Will America Be Democratic Again?” When Edward Snowden leaked information detailing U.S. surveillance practices several years ago, Der Spiegel went on a crusade unlike anything in its recent history, railing about U.S. intelligence cooperation with Germany and demanding that Berlin grant Snowden asylum. (The magazine demonstrated none of the same outrage when, two years later, Russia hacked the German parliamentary computer network). Last year, Der Spiegel notoriously featured a cartoon of Trump beheading the Statue of Liberty on its cover. And this May, one of its columnists misappropriated the memory of those who struggled against Nazism by calling for “resistance against America,” quite a demand for a magazine from the country that started World War II.
The magazine has one of the largest and most professional fact-checking departments in Europe, yet Relotius' lies and invention got past all the checks. When he confessed to his editor "I'm sick and I need to get help" you may think, as I do, that the fault was not all on the part of the rogue journo - what about all those smug self-satisfied German readers who lapped it up, who never evinced a single doubt at the crude anti-American lies? They didn't baulk because the articles fed their own anti-American prejudices. As the newly-appointed US Ambassador pointed out

It's not just Germany, but in many of the EU27 that this anti-Americanism has taken hold. And worryingly, not just anti-Americanism; Europe is seeing a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism of a kind not common since the 1930s, also widespread amongst the Left in the UK. Those dangerous passions that cost the European mainland so much blood, so much destruction in the last century are rearing again their ugly heads.

Yet move beyond the heart of Europe and the US, even Trump's US, is held in high regard; Vietnam loves the US just as much as Americans themselves, and the Philippines, South Korea, Poland, Nigeria, Italy, Ghana and Hungary only slightly less so. Spain, Germany and the Netherlands love the US least - along with Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea and Serbia. European anti-Americanism is more than just jejune spitefulness but is founded, I believe, in resentment - what Gregorio Marañón termed 'the painful slavery of gratitude'.

Those of us who grew up during the Cold War are generally grateful that the US and NATO stood together against the threat of nuclear annihilation that faced us. However, more intelligent UK attitudes towards our alliance with the US are tinged with caution. Our having to develop the nuclear bomb twice - once for the US and once for ourselves from 1947, taught the UK an important lesson - as did Suez, when the US rightly refused to back this particular piece of Anglo-French stupidity. 'Yo Blair' in his over-tight ball-strangling cord jeans was played like a patsy over Iraq, and Obama showed us what a president with an unfriendly face looks like. Yet the US with our three Commonwealth allies forms the heart of the world's most efficient and secret intelligence gathering and sharing partnership in Five Eyes, and the UK's military capabilities are valued above all other NATO allies.

Under Obama, and continuing under Trump, the US is adjusting to a multi-polar world, one in which the US is not alone in holding superpower advantages. As the US modifies its global sheriff role, refuses to carry the EU free-riders of NATO and even anticipates the Yuan joining the dollar as a global reserve currency, America still exercises the influences of a Normative Power. The values it espouses and the power it projects to secure those norms continues to reach throughout Europe, but the EU may be in the process of cutting its own throat.

Donald Tusk (one of the EU's five unelected 'Presidents') wrote to member nations on the eve of the Malta summit
"The first threat, an external one, is related to the new geopolitical situation in the world and around Europe. An increasingly, let us call it, assertive China, especially on the seas, Russia's aggressive policy towards Ukraine and its neighbours, wars, terror and anarchy in the Middle East and in Africa, with radical Islam playing a major role, as well as worrying declarations by the new American administration all make our future highly unpredictable. For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multipolar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best. Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation; with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy.

....... But today we must stand up very clearly for our dignity, the dignity of a united Europe - regardless of whether we are talking to Russia, China, the US or Turkey."
I repeat what Tusk ignores - that the US retreat from a 70-year old post war global role is not a Trump initiative; it began under Obama, and will continue under Trump's successor. I can detect a sort of petulant resentment in the tone of many from Brussels that the EU will cease to benefit from devoting its GDP to butter leaving the US to beggar its own development whilst doing the guns.

Couple this high-level stand-offishness and resentment with a growing EU and Left-wing anti-Semitism and with a low-level puerile jealousy prevalent amongst the EU's lumpen atavistics of America's normative character - Yes, the US is a nation that imprisons and executes more of its citizens than Europe finds comfortable, yet remains a shining beacon of freedom, hope and justice for much of the world, and a magnet for the world's poor - and future relations between the EU27 and the US do not look positive. For how much longer can an EU that openly abrogates the role of NATO, openly signals US exclusion from future defence procurement and openly fails to meet even the minimum NATO obligations, continue to rely on US goodwill?

To end, I pose again the question I first asked back in 2017
Which brings me to an interesting footnote - shared Nukes. The US, to help little countries without the bomb to feel included, has distributed 180 B61 air-launched nukes to Turkey, Germany (?), Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. These 'dial-a-yield' devices can be set on loading to yield from 0.3 to 170 kilotons (Hiroshima was 15) and they can be launched from a variety of national NATO aircraft - but need US consent to 'unlock' them. Will Mr Trump now ask for them back?
Spiked carries a piece on another German writer mired in mendacity and facing opprobrium - Robert Menasse, formerly hailed as the Alfred Rosenberg of the European Union

Sunday, 17 February 2019

The Post-globalist Capitalist revolution is coming

Back in 1910, I'm quite sure, the equivalent of the political adviser was penning essays on the ways in which London could deal with the disposal of horse-dung; no doubt special rail sidings, dung-trains and dung-mountains beyond the suburbs were involved in options to clear the stables and streets of horseapples, designed so that by 1940 London would remain clear of millions of tons of equine product. So mired were they in a world of exponentially increasing horse-traffic in London they became deaf to the noise of the motor-car, blind to the cinema and the early aircraft in the skies. 

I was reminded of these early dung-managers when reading a piece on Conservative Home by Nick Hargrave, former Number 10 SPAD who made policy for both David Cameron and Theresa May. More State, more Spending, more Spin and more Tax are Hargrave's recommendations - thus exhibiting an almost wilful blindness to the reality of the world today, taking refuge in the comfortable horse-dung of an imagination limited to the past. Hargrave is unaware that without radical change there will be by 2040 neither a Welfare State nor an NHS in the UK.

From 1971 onwards, when the effects of Bretton Woods in managing national competitive advantage by regulating national capital flows were removed, globalism in place of international trade became possible. During the past twenty years globalism has been in the ascendant, as Daly wrote in 1999
The classical economists like Ricardo, were nationalists, and that is why they were so devoted to comparative advantage. We are presumably beyond that now. We are cosmopolitan individualists on a global scale, interested in maximizing global product. Comparative advantage, because of its premised constraint on capital mobility, does not maximize global product. But absolute advantage, by relaxing that constraint, does. We are simply not interested in the national distribution of gains and losses from global trade.
That neglect of the distributional effects has given us the Elephant - global gainers including the people of India, Vietnam and particularly China, and global losers including a vast mass of middle and working class citizens in the developed world, who have lost income, status and job security in a period of rapid change in which the balance towards fairness and social cohesion built by a century or more of painfully-wrought agreements on the relationship between Labour and Capital have been junked, skipped and disregarded. The real gainers are the global 1%, whose wealth and income has increased exponentially.

The biggest myth is perhaps that global markets are free markets. They are not. The global corporates use market power, intellectual property and trademark rights, data power and the de facto granting of 'knowledge' monopolies by state actors. Supranational authority that imposes systems of regulation and over-regulation that favour the oligopolistic globals - whether the EU or the UN - at the expense of non-global competition is an ally of globalistic advantage.

The harmonisation of standards through bodies such as the EU and UN is also paradoxically of national disbenefit to the developed world, as Daly explains
When different national markets with different rules for the internalization of external costs merge into a single market, then the different rules of cost accounting present a big problem. Under globalization the market left to itself will resolve the difficulty by standards-lowering competition -- the way of counting costs that results in the cheapest product will prevail......

Under the traditional comparative advantage (internationalist as opposed to globalist) regime, each country could indeed adopt its own separate rules of cost-accounting, reflecting its own values and traditions, and not worry about harmonization. As long as capital must stay at home countries are not forced into a standards-lowering competition to attract and keep capital. Goods and services can be produced and freely traded according to comparative advantage even when trading partners have totally different ways of measuring costs.
I don't want to get mired in theory about globalism. The reality is that if we have not as yet reached Peak Globalism then we are fast approaching it; Trump, Brexit, the Gilets jaunes, Italy and the fast-approaching Eurozone recession are already with us. The reactions and anticipation of outcomes will increasingly define political alignments - I can detect a coalescing of opinion around several divergent standards

Those looking to help design the successor to globalism; Internationalists, Localists, committed to democratic outcomes and social equity. Radical reform of tax and welfare systems, renewal of political identities, utilising capitalism to generate wealth but in control of its effects, recognition of the deep and fundamental changes that AI and technology will bring, committed to achieving a Durkheimian social integrity and coherence in contrast to a globalist anomie

Those committed to global government, a world-wide constitution and harmonisation of everything, open borders, unrestricted global economic activity, worldwide legal, judicial and justice systems, abrogation of personal freedoms to a class of benign appointed experts who will act in the general good, the growth of the 'citizen of everywhere', the rule of benign technocracy over 'old fashioned' democracy, the supremacy of supranational State authority.

Those of all political colours in denial that massive change is underway; the managers of horse-dung, political nostalgics, the patrician elite and the dags of globalism, neo-liberals, the political class and the old fourth estate, all those threatened by what they term 'populism', the 1% and the winners from globalism who just want everything to stay the same. Plus the naive zealots - those who believe that anthropogenicmorphic global warming / Moslem immigrants / 12 foot alien lizards / secret Zionist conspiracies / American hegemony and suchlike are actually responsible for what's happening.

Change is coming. We need people of vision and ability, not managers of yesterdays horse dung.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

All change!

For an inspired series of graphics of the Brexit alignments and realignments in Parliament, visit the Guardian - one of the captures below.

Like an amoeba undergoing mitosis, our Parliament is resolving into four distinct factions. Brexit has split both Labour and Conservative parties, and the papers are just beginning to pick up on the fallout.

The Guardian reports on talks to form a new Lab/Con centrist party, a sort of Son of Blair I suppose whilst the Telegraph reports on 25 Remainer MPs including Dominic Grieve who face deselection by the end of March. Further 'Party Split' pieces by John Longworth and Tobias Ellwood, for the sake of balance I guess, feature in the Telegraph, whilst the Express gives us a 'JRM for new ERG Party' piece.

None of which is at all surprising for a system that has a Leave party led by a Remainer pretending to believe in Leave and a Remain party led by a Leaver pretending to believe in Remain.

All of which makes me cheerful. I loathe the privileged complacency and sense of entitlement of our politics more than anything - it's time to give the bag a shake.

Friday, 15 February 2019

Shamima Begum - No free pardon

There really is a load of gumph around about this woman. 'Family plea for Shamima to be allowed home' says the Times, echoed by others of the appeaser ilk. All that's missing so far is an appeal from the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The fact is - a fact ignored by the more hysterical ladies of the press, including the Times - that no-one in government has determined that this woman Begum should be prevented from returning to the UK. She is a British citizen, and does not have dual nationality. She is quite free to return home and face the law - the consequences of having treacherously abused her nation, having aided and comforted the nation's enemies and having been complicit in the barbarous murder of other British citizens. 

Her family, pictured by the Times with a huge Teddy Bear in Islamic robes suitable for a four-year-old, are free to go to Syria and bring her back, or send her the money to book a flight home. The Times is probably even willing to arrange her repatriation itself, in exchange for an exclusive story.

If she turns up at the UK border, she cannot be denied entry. So this is not the issue. It's all about whether she should escape scot-free with no reckoning for her actions. She must not. She must answer to Justice, and if she continues to pose a threat to the UK she must be subject to those restrictions available to protect the nation against dangerous Islamists. Her child - if it lives - will be taken for fostering or adoption, unless her family can establish they are suitable for the task.

Morally, many will argue she has forfeited her right to the care of the State. Well, that has to be established in law. But the one thing she doesn't deserve is a free pardon before she's even crossed the border.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

EU over-regulation #94

The pasta factory in Gödersdorf is, for an industrial building, quite pretty. Imagine a small Victorian brewery or mill, a range of buildings around a yard, and flowing obliquely through it a crystal-clear bach rippling over its bed of smooth washed stone. People come here from wide around for partly the discount pasta shop but mostly the café - fresh cooked pasta in a range of sauces, and pots of the local lager. The family firm competes quite well against the big industrial pasta factories to the south, and brands are widely stocked in supermarkets in the region.

Finkensteiner have made a unique selling point in their egg content - "Four eggs to every kilo!" is the proud boast. But now they have fallen foul of EU labelling regulations, and face huge costs in re-printing and re-labelling all the packaging to be in exact accordance with EU labelling regulations.

The factory cafe terrace
An official complaint was made to the Justice department, and they have been convicted and fined for breaches including
  • Stating the number of eggs per kilo rather than a percentage figure - and only a percent figure
  • Using an hourglass to indicate cooking time rather than written boiling instructions
  • The storage and use-by instructions are too widely separated on the packets
The illegal pasta label
Ten tonnes of pasta in the warehouse must also now be re-packaged.

Honestly, I can't even begin to condemn the utter stupidity of EU over-regulation.

Where is the gold?

We all know the terminally inept Gordon Brown, Britain's second worst post-war PM, sold off much of the nation's gold at a discount price for a short-term political gain (and no doubt Mr McDonnell will sell off the rest in short order if Labour take power). Britain's gold holdings are now somewhere on the low side, it appears. But are they? (The 395 tonnes sold by Brown would now be worth $13.1bn more - he really was a humungous dickhead)

Our 310 tonnes remaining after Gordon's sell-off seem to leave us somewhere between Portugal and Austria, one of the smaller holdings. And Italy's precipice financial status seems a little less serious when you know she has almost two and a half thousand tonnes of gold squirrelled away - but all is not as it seems.

Zero Hedge reports on an unseemly squabble over who owns Italy's gold - the banks or the Italian State. As entertaining as this is, the more important point is that no-one has physically audited those gold bars since the 1970s. As ZH reports
The Banca d’Italia furthermore claims that 1199.4 tonnes of the gold (or roughly half), is stored in the Bank’s gold vaults under it’s Palazzo Koch headquarters building in Rome, with most of the other half stored in the vaults of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY), and a small balance kept the Bank of England in London, and in an account of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in the vaults of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in Berne, Switzerland. But without any documentary evidence or independent auditing or verification of any of its gold, especially the foreign held gold, these claims are impossible to verify.
There are strong suggestions that Italy's actual gold may be somewhere on a par with the UK's holding - just a few hundred tonnes - the rest of it having been stolen, sold off, defrauded or evaporated. Some bright spark may have realised that what's important is how much gold the world believes you have, rather than how much you actually have.

Which really also leaves all the other claimed balances open to question, doesn't it?

Normally this would be a sort of anorak issue, but with dire warnings that should a catastrophic global financial collapse finish-off paper money we will need to return to the gold standard, perhaps it's something that should be checked?

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


On board HM Cutter Vexatious somewhere in the Med ..

The tannoy crackles into life

"Now hear this! We have been ordered back to the UK to patrol Channel waters to intercept up a new wave of migrants crossing from France. We will make cautious passage via a number of ports, combining our passage home with a number of courtesy visits. Number 4 working rig under way with Whites in port until Gib. That's all."

In the wheelhouse the 1st Lt shifted against the chart table. "How long do you think we can string it out, sir?"

"Our orders say 'dawdle'. So I reckon we can take six weeks or so. Maybe develop an engine fault - that could give us another four weeks if needed. The last thing they want is us working the box in the Channel and actually picking up migrants"

"But I don't understand why we've been ordered home, sir? We were doing perfectly well not picking up migrants from Libya, so why go back home to not pick up migrants from France?"

"Politics, Futtock, politics. We have to be there to prove that the government is compassionate and humanitarian, but without actually rescuing anyone who would embarrass the Home Secretary. He's still reeling from putting that twelve year old with a full henna beard and three wives into Knob Hill Secondary. And right now not rescuing Channel migrants has greater priority than not rescuing African migrants"

"Some of the lads were talking about the old days, when they used to board yachts looking for hooky fags and baccy, sir. Or maybe catching some Rupert with a K of skunk. Now they say it's just lying in port with a maintenance watch and sunbathing"

"What's wrong with that? You've never been stuck in a frozen muddy creek near Hull, Futtock, waiting for a non-existent landing of Superkings and missing the final of X-factor. Thank God we had those TV satellite domes fitted before we sailed"

"Oh. And do get back into men's clothes before we reach the Western Approaches, Number One. Those sarong wraps really won't do for Pompey."

HMC Seeker - ordered home 31/12/18, as at 0700hrs GMT 13/2/19 berthed at Gibraltar