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Thursday, 23 May 2019

Well, today's the day

For those of you voting today - which should be all of you unless like me you've already voted - I can only offer the advice given yesterday by Conservative Home to members of my Party.

Well, last night she barricaded herself into Number Ten and refused to meet any of her ministers. No doubt Hammond, Sedwill and others dependent on her for their own survival are even now urging her to hang in there, but I expect it's all over.

This election is good for one thing - bringing the Party's closet LibDems out. Osborne and Heseltine are both out, and Major is wriggling with frustration at feeling unable to publicly follow them.

May's utter stupidity means a Conservative vote in the region of 4 - 6%. Dan Hannan may be out of a job, but he should have been anyway by now, so nothing to be sorry for.

So taking ConHome's sage advice, I can only say to you all

HM is visiting Heathrow today - and looking quite stunning

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Three varieties of Remain fanatics

Of the Remainer minority in the Referendum, only a small number are the sort of Remainer fanatics so disturbed by losing that they are prepared to condone any trickery, any betrayal, any perversion of democracy and even violence to deny their defeat. And of that small number of fanatics, there are I think three varieties.

First are the (generally) youthful, naive and selfish. They are not driven by any ideological or economic concerns or any doubts over Britain's future as an independent nation but purely by what they see are their personal losses. They have a sense of entitlement to 'stuff' they imagine is free, such as Erasmus, or Euro railcards, that the EU have cleverly spent taxpayers' money to shower on them for just this reason. Their chance to lig around the EU like gypsies at someone else's expense may be curtailed, they fear. These are the milkchuckers, the silly street rabble draped in EU rags.

Secondly are the more altruistic who genuinely do have economic fears, or fears that we can simply not flourish as a nation without being part of the embrace of the Federast empire. For these I have the greatest sympathy. All I can answer to their fears is that many of them are contrived and invented by cynical users such as the former Chancellor or the current one who use such lies to manipulate public opinion. Their genuine concerns are being used to stir them to anti-democratic behaviour. I think poor Andrew Adonis is in this category; an effete, naive and foolish fop stomping his foot in well-intentioned frustration.

Finally are the ideologues, the zealots committed to the European Empire. These are the Grieves, Soubrys, Starmers and Thornberrys, the Boultons, O'Briens and Graylings. The civil service. The entire bien-pensant patrician establishment, the political class. Globalists all. Their nation means little to them in the scheme of things; they owe allegiance to supranational masters. Of all the remainers, these are the most deadly - and the sole class of remainer fanatic against whom we should exert our time and energy.

Robert Tombs writes today in the Telegraph about extremist Remainers but lumps all three types together as though they were a homogeneous rump. They are not. He's better I think at defining Leavers - but fails to demonstrate that Brexit is about so much more than Brexit.
Millions seem set on voting resoundingly for Brexit at the European elections. They are angry with politicians but not intimidated by the future. I realised that we might well vote to leave the EU when I saw a Eurobarometer poll (carried out by the EU itself) in 2013, showing that Britain was the only member country in which the majority believed they could better face the future outside the EU. This belief reflected a realisation that the EU was failing, and a confidence based on Britain’s history that it could succeed.
Watching the Brexit Party's London rally via iPhone clips on Twitter yesterday evening I felt, as a Conservative Party member, a little like a plump lamb at a kebab convention. But such thoughts are for the weekend. For today, congratulations to Nigel and TBP and all my fervent wishes for you to smash the polls tomorrow. 

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Politicians still don't get it: They're not special

This week we're being treated to the spectacle of our Westminster politicians playing out games far divorced from the reality of most lives. The problem is that they still don't get it. You may have noticed that there's a Conservative leadership race underway, with a candidate meeting yesterday arranged for the press at which senior Tories preened and demonstrated just how out of touch they were with the real world. It was painful. They did a great job of telling us in what high regard they held themselves, and that it was unreasonable if we did not love them as much as they love themselves. Elsewhere, Tom Harris wrote a piece  explaining that matters such as picking a party leader were far above the capacity of we ordinary folk, and it was something best left to professional politicians. And today, William Hague takes a break from oil-wrestling with his driver to tell us to leave everything to the politicians - that we we can get on peacefully with our dreary lives without bothering our silly heads about these things.

Titanic's fate is a frequent meme for the future of the EU. But it is not only the EU that is sinking beneath the waves, but our own political elite. The expenses scandal ten years ago should have been the catalyst for widespread and fundamental reform of parliament, but instead they picked a few scapegoats to serve jail time and covered up the crimes of the rest. People haven't forgotten.

Over 180 years ago the Chartists foresaw the danger of not only the folie de grandeur that being in parliament could induce, but the proclivity to corruption, venality and above all the danger of neglecting to represent those they were sent to Westminster to represent. So the Charter set a maximum term for MPs of one year. It was the only one of the Six Points that we have not achieved since 1838.

What will it take to bang it into the heads of our Westminster elite that they're not special?

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Light dawns on the Political Class

For the second time in about a week there are signs that the issues that are driving the electorate, and to which the political elites have been so far blind and deaf, are finally emerging into their consciousness. Today it is Janet Daley in the Telegraph who shines the torch - and I hope the 'graph will forgive me for quoting her at greater length than is normal here;
(Parliament's failure to deliver Brexit) is not the real democratic scandal. The discussion that should be dominating the public debate is whether true self-government within nation states can remain possible in an age of globalisation. In a world where international players dominate economic and geopolitical reality, can the idea of an elected government accountable to its own populations survive?

The Remain lobby says, in so many words, that it cannot. Indeed, this is their principle argument: the world is too big for parochial little guys who want to make their own way with their own leaders making decisions on their behalf. At least, that is what they say when they deign to argue at all. Mostly they just smear their Leave opponents as bigoted know-nothings. But the terms of that abuse all add up to this one significant point: Britain cannot go it alone in the way for which it has been renowned, with only its unique institutions and the judgement of its own population to guide it. The world is a different place now: you have to belong to a much bigger conglomerate whose authority must take precedence over your piddling little outfit if you are to have any chance of competing for business, making your mark, having your voice heard, etc, etc.

This may or may not be true. (Most of the factual evidence suggests that it is not.) Either way, it is the argument that must be called out. It must be seen for what it is with all its deeply unattractive implications. This is what the case for Remain really amounts to: the democratic nation state is the past. The corporatist global bloc is the future.
There you have it. It is a political division between Globalists and Internationalists, between those who believe in the supremacy of supranational organisations such as the EU, IMF and UN and those who believe in the supremacy of the nation State. Can we determine our own future or must our potential, our wealth, the rewards for our children all be decided in the boardrooms of the global corporates and the corrupt plenums of unelected technocratic supranationalists?

What is considered to be extraordinary but actually isn't is the extent to which we - the ordinary folk, the little people - are alive to the key issues when the patrician elite at the centre of power are blind and deaf to them. We, after all, are the first to be affected; we are neither dumb cattle nor ill-educated political fodder. We are intensely sensitive to the things that matter. As Daley writes
It is that inexorable logic that is sensed by so many of the dissident “populist” forces in Europe and even beyond the EU. For there is a critical loss of confidence in government in much of the democratic West: a sense that what was once one’s own country is being run by some world-dominating club to serve its own interests, and that this global hegemony regards ordinary people with contempt (“They don’t care what we think”.)
We have fought long and hard for democracy, for the secret ballot and universal suffrage, for the freedom to form and associate in political parties. That is why Farage's simple message - It's Democracy - resonates so strongly through every part of the electorate.

And Daley is quite right - until our parties align as either Globalist or Internationalist, we will not have a settled demos.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Boris and Nigel?

In terms of political big beasts, they don't come much bigger than Boris and Nigel. As the realisation dawns on the Conservative parliamentary party that they're about to get a severe thrashing, their minds are turning to self-preservation, and they're looking at Boris in a new light - as the only Big Beast the Party has got who can go toe-to-toe with Nigel Farage.

A general election before 2022 now looks inevitable. The country really doesn't want to vote for Corbyn, but the parties must give them alternatives for whom to cast their ballots. Remainer MPs in strongly Leave constituencies are finished - this parliament is (hopefully) the last we'll see of Anna Soubry and Yvette Cooper, and good riddance. However, voters will not be impressed if the Brexit Party puts up candidates in constituencies defended by solid Conservative Leavers - Raab, Paterson, John Redwood et al. And to do so could well split the votes of the centre-right, allowing Corbyn in by default.

Of course having both a Leaver Conservative Party and TBP on the Treasury benches would be a dream outcome - bringing government with principle and direction, a united voice talking to Brussels and an outward, Internationalist, bold and confident Britain to make a new place in the world. But we'll have to see.

For now, we're still campaigning for the EP elections in five days, and my party leader, Mrs May, has just launched her campaign with a glittering event held in the CCHQ launch venue pictured below,  attended by a reporter from the Daily Remain and a gerbil. Hey ho.


Thursday, 16 May 2019

When the Liberal Party was wiped from British politics

At the start of the Great War in 1914, the British establishment prided itself on the nation's armament and munition capacity. Rifles and machine guns may have been contracted in large part to private companies, but it was the Royal Ordnance Factory at Woolwich - the Arsenal - that made the big guns and the shells for the field and garrison artillery and the fleet. Small arms ammo was also made there - as it had been since the innocent cartridges that sparked the Indian Mutiny. The ROF was a sort of Gormenghast, in which three rival departments vied for space, resources and control. The Royal Laboratory made ammunition, the Carriage Department made gun carriages and the Royal Gun Factory made the barrels and tubes. Each had its own Superintendant and arcane system of administration. Should the Mounting Shed, in building 19, where the guns and the carriages were united, belong to the Gun factory or the Carriage Department? Should the Whitehead Torpedo Department come under the control of the Gun Factory or the Royal Laboratory?

Workers at the plant remembered the overtime paid during the Boer War, and no doubt a few looked forward to bulging pay packets in August 1914. But this would prove to be an entirely new form of war; more shells would be fired in one early Western Front battle alone than were used in the entire Boer War. By 1915 the Royal Laboratory had moved to seven day working, three shifts a day. Workers were exhausted - a 96 hour week was more normal than not. New sheds and stores were set up on Plumstead marshes, previously the burying ground for thousands of dead convicts in unmarked burial pits, and firing ranges, but it was not enough. The army in France ran out of shells for the guns.

The failure of government wiped out Asquith's Liberal government and cost the party 236 seats, including those of most of his cabinet. The Party never recovered.

A new Ministry of Munitions quickly set up filling factories across the country, in isolated places, timber huts and sheds thrown up in weeks. Shell-case and fuse making was contracted-out to industry, and girls earned £5 a week pouring molten explosive into the shell cases. It was enough. But the Liberal Party was destroyed for ever.

The anger felt in 1915 against the Liberals by a public unforgiving of their betrayal of our front-line troops - men from almost every family in the country - cannot have been dissimilar to the anger felt today at the Tories. No doubt Asquith imagined his party would take a temporary hit and all would be well afterwards. Clearly he was mistaken.

A naval gun under manufacture in the RGF

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Control slipping from central States in small ways

Electric scooters are the pain de jour for western governments. The battery and motor technology that was supposed to support the develop of electric cars for which governments are planning and legislating has instead flooded the market with millions of cheap Chinese electric scooters. Incredibly popular with the urban young, they can be kept in the hallway of an apartment and need no expensive concrete car parks in the city centres. The only problem is that governments hadn't anticipated them, haven't legislated for them and now are in knots.

This Conservative government is a product of a deeply interfering political class who have legislated to regulate everything from smoking on the beach, eating medium rare beefburgers to watching internet porn, and has employed an army of street wardens to catch people dropping pieces of litter whilst turning a blind eye to the welter of gore on the street from stabbed children, spilt blood being less offensive to those in power one presumes than a dropped fag butt. 

The Police won't even turn out for a non-indictable offence these days but God help you if you don't pay the TV tax. It's all falling apart, common sense has divorced from their use of our taxes and electric scooters could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.  The Telegraph reports on how Paris is coping with the development (I won't call it a 'problem') and the answers are all unenforceable - unless one diverts police from anti-terrorism ops to scooter traffic control.

And God knows they must be having the vapours in Brussels trying to frame EU wide directives that govern scooter speed, motor power, battery capacity, fitting of winter tyres, compulsory reflectors, hazard warning lights and sound signal apparatus. Why do they need to? Well, they don't. But it's what central States do to validate themselves.

Technology is moving faster, though, than States can legislate. People don't see why we need such petty governance when laws against burglary aren't enforced. It's starting to slip away.