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Friday 16 February 2018

Rejecting moral relativity is not Puritanism

I don't want to ban the Lithuanian hookers who hang-out in the marble-clad cocktail bars of the 4* 'international' hotels around Euston Road. I certainly don't want to ban grid girls, darts dollies or the lady in the bikini on cards of peanut packs. I don't want to stop Max Mosley hiring tag-teams of prostitutes to cater for his deviant S&M sexual preferences (though because he funds the fake press regulator Impress, I do want to retain the right to report on his activities). And as some of my most stably married friends met whilst working together, I certainly don't want to stop office flirting or tea-room romance. 

But I do want to stop 'aid workers' in their 40s, 50s and God help us '60s using their positions of power and trust to sexually use very young girls from some of the most vulnerable, poor, disadvantaged and helpless places in the world. Paying women for sex is not a good thing, but where there is a degree of power equality and willingness on both sides it degrades only those involved. This is not the case in aid zones, in places where the UN flag flies, where the gross disparity in situation of the abuser and the consentor to sex makes it, in my eyes, rape. And please don't tell me that 'those girls look older than 13' or 'those African girls mature quickly, you know' - it makes you part of the problem. 

When I look into the helpless eyes of a person barely out of childhood who has nothing, absolutely nothing, and is dependent utterly on external aid and assistance, I really do believe that any man who harms or abuses such a one is better off throwing himself into the sea with a large rock tied to his neck. They certainly have no place in our society or that of any other people. They are pariah dogs, outcasts, lower than snakeshit. 

The UN has seen ill-disciplined African 'peacekeepers' rape very young girls to a disgraceful extent in DRC and other intervention zones, but at least has a Code of Practice which just needs to be enforced. Unlike Oxfam, which has said in recent days that it does not prohibit its field staff from using local prostitutes on human rights grounds. This is reason enough for DFID to withhold all funding from Oxfam until it not only imposes this COP on all its field staff, but has the structure to enforce it. If Oxfam aid workers want to use whores, they can wait until they get back to London, Brussels or Copenhagen. 

Thursday 15 February 2018

Boris laid an egg fit for a curate

Yesterday was vintage Boris. I usually imagine him assuring anxious aides who are begging to see the text just hours before a speech is due to be delivered "Don't worry. Got a few ideas scribbled on a napkin. I'll wing the rest ...". Yesterdays speech, I suspect, was actually written in advance and cleared first by Mrs May. No cod Latin, no jokes about the War and only a hint of seaside postcard (sorry, Thailand). 

There was also nothing for Remoaners to pick apart; it's hard to criticise someone bestowing hope, love and best wishes to everyone. What are they to protest? "No, we don't want good relations with the EU, we want, er .." so it was clearly written as a proper speech, all sunlight, optimism and rolling uplands. That's fine. I can buy into that. But it's not premier league stuff - mostly forgettable in ten minutes. 

With one exception. The edible part of this curate's egg was the Foreign Secretary's warnings of the danger of a nation polarised by the Brexit vote. He's right. It's not enough to dismiss the 48% with "You lost. Get over it."

First, we have to leave. All the Soros money and the Gina Millar show need to play out, the Lords need to make their red leather benches damp and we need to get to March of next year. After that we have serious work in re-building a nation; those 48% are Britons, our brothers and sisters, with a share in and commitment to the United Kingdom every bit as great as ours (if mistaken or confused). Boris was spot-on with this one warning; our most urgent task after Brexit is not to secure trade deals, but to rebuild One Nation.

Monday 12 February 2018

A post Brexit vision? About time ...

News that the cabinet's Brexiteers are to go on tour doing some speechifying on the benefits of a post-Brexit Britain. And about time. If stories are true that Rudd and Hammond have been restrained from spreading gloom whilst this is going on, then all the better. So just to get the ball rolling, here are just a few of my own hopes for our post-Brexit realm;

An example to Europe and the world of fairness, equity, tolerance and the rule of law. One nation needs to stand apart and show what freedom, justice, liberty and democracy really mean, particularly at a time when Europe's nations again face the most fundamental challenges to their national and cultural identities. Our law, our courts, our judicial independence, our language and our values stand head and shoulders above the pygmies of the Berlaymont.

Europe's sclerotic and glacial systems of governance, dependent on serried ranks of bureaucrats reaching consensus in the absence of democracy, doesn't make for an agile government, to abuse the middle management buzzword de jour. I don't really like the term agility; it's too much like what monkeys do, rather than what statesmen should do. So alacrity then - from the latin alacer - that without Europe's lead weight we may respond and react to world events with greater speed and clarity.

A nation with teeth that can bite - military, of course, but diplomatic, cultural and scientific, too. We are defending not just an Island but a system of post-enlightenment rational belief, free speech and freedom of expression and a way of life. We remain foremost in technological development. We must be proud of who we are and what we stand for - and that includes Britons of every creed and colour, across the political spectrum. Integration and social coherence within the realm are vital.

A favourite word, this, embracing both merchant / trader and the dominant system of map projection vital to understanding world trade. The last time Europe imposed a trade boycott on the UK, back in old king Henry's time, our merchants simply sailed farther and wider to find replacements, and in the process established a system of global trade that sustains the nation today. These early merchant venturers also developed capitalism as we know it today, with the practice of jointly investing in speculative voyages in a way that shared risk and reward. You've really only to stand and listen in a crowded, beer puddled, jostling City pub on a Thursday night to find that we haven't lost it. 

Leaving the EU will also mean divorcing our metropolitan elite from their EU support network; they face a separation from the main body of the cancer that has eaten at our society and people. Our abused working class, so despised and feared by the privileged neolibs, can rightly take credit for winning - and need be ever more vigilant in protecting universal suffrage and the secret ballot from the wheedling, corruption and manipulation of the Grayling class. Just as their efforts in two world wars won hard-fought rewards, they will also bear the immediate brunt of leaving the EU, and we must be absolutely explicit that we will make changes as fundamental as were the NHS and post-war housing to ensure they are valued and rewarded, and that the benefits of Brexit don't simply accrue to the sharp-elbowed metropolitan elites who suck the life out of everything else.