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Friday 11 May 2018

David Davis' next trip should be to Italy

There is a sort of universal comprehension dawning that having given Mrs May a chance on Brexit she's cocked up and will deliver no more than a dog's dinner of a mess, that Brexit may take twenty years and that the vested interests of the senior political class from mandarins to peers who have spent their entire lives helping create the EU won't end them by seeing their life work destroyed. So we need a change of tactics. The quick, clean, amicable break and then business as normal is so far off the table it missed the swill bin on its way out. So we must pursue the attritional campaign instead, and the gloves are off. 

David Davis should make Italy his next port of call. Priapic jailbird Berlusconi has been kicked overboard, wrecking the dreams of the Brussels mafia that an old colleague familiar with gross corruption, illegality, criminal governance and fraud would resurrect the old EU-Italian relationship in all its past criminality. They now have to face ideologues M5S and Lega, both committed to their nation more than they are to their offshore bank accounts and their bent chums in the Berlaymont. We should make allies of them, and offer support. The UK loves Pininfarina, Parmesan and Prosecco and there will always be a place here for Italians. We should offer the co-operation of the City in their resurrection of the Lire by the back door and help them to find a way to walk away from their Target 2 debt to Germany. 

Likewise the Visegrad group. Neither Poland nor Hungary are natural fans of Britain (Poland blames us for not intervening militarily either in September 1939 or January 1945, and I don't know why Hungarian history dislikes us, but it does) and we could use a diplomatic push mission. Poles have the lowest breeding rate in Europe and paying a bit of UK child benefit is a small price to pay to help implement the Polish government's plea to its people to 'breed like rabbits'

Elsewhere we should use the Secret Intelligence Service to help destabilise the EU just enough to keep them constantly on the back foot but not enough to destroy the fragile alliance. We need to support all efforts to make Germany explosively excrete her gold and demolish her Target 2 credits. We need to appeal directly to French farmers, giving vehicles bound for farmers' markets in SE England preferential clearance, quietly encouraging cross-border tax evasion and petty smuggling, the sort of thing that the Kermit farmers love but the Quay d'Orsay hates. 

We must also dismiss May with the contemptuous disdain with which we threw out the dilettante Cameron but only when the time is right. And we must prepare to allow Corbyn two or three years of destroying the country and economy.

It's time for the gentlemen to go out and for the players to come in. 

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Fifty years on, it's time to raise the barricades again and pile the pavé

In 1968, fifty years ago, I was on the cusp of starting Big School. The magnitude of this event was somewhat diluted by a very palpable Zeitgeist around the Vietnam War and what was subsequently termed the Summer of Love. We lived then in the garrison town of Colchester, place of my father's final posting but also home to the newly built University of Essex. One of my lifelong comfort odours is what I call 'army smell' - open the canvas tail-flap of an army Landrover newly serviced and inhale. A mix of storm-proof canvas, paint, gun oil and clean metal. Years later I went to an auction at an army stores and almost missed the event as I stood in the shed just inhaling nasal lungfulls of the glorious smell. It was the smell of my dad's stored kit, the smell of safety and belonging. Colchester in 1968 was a mix of army smell and patchouli oil, of crop-headed lads and tie-dyed hippies. 

In the years that followed, into the '70s, as my social and political consciousness grew, I was a passionate and vocal supporter of what I shall term (with upper-case) Freedom. The Lord Chamberlain had still back then to approve each and every line of each and every stage play - Spike Milligan was almost prosecuted for departing on stage from the officially approved text. Kenneth Tynan's epic battles that led eventually to this censorship being overturned are well documented. We fought against the Establishment, against bent judges, thieving politicians, censorship and repression in every form. We read Private Eye, in those days an anti-establishment magazine, and celebrated the exposure of official cant and hypocrisy. I stood beers all night when Jean, Cardinal Danielou, the church's vocal spokesman against all we stood for, died of a stroke in a French brothel. 

The Pythons and the Cambridge footlights crowd were tame, but played their part. We preferred Peter Cook and Dudley Moore (I have only to ask "What's the worst job you ever had?" these days to see who references Jayne Mansfield and who looks blank) whose samizdat albums were played so often the grooves wore out. 

Fifty years on and the bastards are back. Labour's Noncefinder-General Tom Watson, almost as  repugnant a man as Lavrenti Beria, is seeking today to take us back to those pre-1968 days with a press censorship so draconian that Boris Pasternak would wince. Leveson I was bad enough, institutionalising the private press censor funded by the sado-masochistic sexual deviant Max Mosley but now Watson is seeking to implement phase II. Philip Johnston in the Telegraph (£) calls them the enemies of a free society, and so they are. 

Well, we fought those battles once, fifty years ago, and if need be we'll fight them again. We'll tear Labour's repressive knouts from their brutal fists - our press won't be cowed or beaten by these authoritarian bigots. 

If you've got this far you deserve a prize. Here's Peter Cook satirising the summing-up of the bent judge at the trial of Jeremy Thorpe, the Liberal leader who attempted to murder his gay toy-boy


Tuesday 8 May 2018

Whither GPS - UK?

In reaction to the EU's attempted blackmail over the EU GPS system, to which we've already contributed not only £1.4bn but ground station facilities in UK territory around the globe, the Telegraph promised us yesterday evening an exclusive article by the defence secretary Buzz Lightyear. In it, we were told, would be an announcement of a UK GPS system badged at £3bn but realistically £10bn that would retain our global tech lead in the area and give our armed forces a secure and above all independent targeting system. 

This morning nothing. Nada. Rien. The original piece has been pulled and Buzz Lightyear Gavin Williamson is nowhere to be found on the e-pages of that august publication. 

Elsewhere I've seen it stated that (i) the EU system won't work without UK assistance anyway and we can turn it off (ii) EU nations have such poor security that Galileo has already been hacked by the US / Russia / China and can be disabled at will (iii) if the UK was part of Galileo's military application, we would need Herr Juncker to authorise any Trident launch. 

Something's going on. Mind you, I've never really been fond of GPS and the blue wire. I was raised on LORAN and VHF-RDF and my first real boat had a manually-turned radio signal finder atop the SSB/LW/VHF set ... I'll get my peacoat. 

Monday 7 May 2018

Gangs of London

With yet more violent death and gang warfare on the streets of London over the bank holiday weekend, Sadiq Khan's orders to the Met Commissioner on taking office to cease regular programmed stop and search has probably been responsible for much pain and bloodshed. It matters not that the blood being spilled is largely young and black; allowing or tolerating any form of violent largesse on our streets disgraces our civilisation and, as it will spread beyond the current milieu, dangerous for us all. Here is what is at the heart of it - London's gang territories

Territories are of two types; large geographic areas bounded by roads or geographic features, and small blocks which are council or social housing estates. As young black people travel largely by bus, their journeys are sometimes circuitous to avoid routes passing through rival gang territories. How they know the origin of strangers on their turf always puzzles me - these kids don't wear 'colours' or have gang tats - but they do. Schools, work, relationships are all governed and constrained by these gang territories.

A decade ago I wrote constructively to Bridget Prentice, then my MP, about the number of these kids carrying knives. Bridget is not a clever woman (she's now an electoral commissioner) and the Commons champagne terrace was more familiar to her than the pubs and public transport of her own constituency. She poo-poohed my concerns. And that's the problem with these purblind Labour dags; it's their bloody council estates and social housing that breed the gangs that shed the blood.

This is a short bank holiday post that could easily become an essay. My own quadrant of London has warfare between the newly-arrived Somalis and the established West Indians, with Nigerian gangs dominating London's fraud capital of Thamesmead in the east. Knives have progressed to machetes and axes. 

Causes are complex, but London's housing shortage (itself exacerbated by Labour's immigration non-policy) and structural economic changes are likely to play a part. Neither Sadiq Khan nor Cressida Dick (who commanded during the killing of Jean de Menezes) has had any effect. However weak, stupid and vacillating London's current mayor is, we must now intervene over his narcissistic and pointless head.

We CAN NOT tolerate a situation in which a child's choice of secondary school and what lies between home and school can determine the risk of dying in a pool of blood. 

Sunday 6 May 2018

There's only one road for Halal-Labour

It should be remembered that Corbyn's Halal-Labour (as opposed to Haram-Labour, whose members sometimes forget and call women 'love', support the home nation team but don't support transexual toilet access, and generally enjoy a fag, a pint and a quiet respect for Israel) is officially Brexit, much to the chagrin of many remainer members. If the recent council elections cemented, as pollster John Curtice remarked, May's party as the political host of the 'Leave' soul then it also highlighted Labour's split personality in trying to be the party of Leave and Remain simultaneously.   

UKIP's voters, 4m direct electors at the party's peak and probably another 4m who held their noses and voted Dilettante-Conservative in 2010, have used the council elections to deliver a stark warning to CCHQ; you're the party of Leave, or you're finished. Polling analyst Rob Ford estimates 70% of Conservative voters are now Leavers compared to 30% of Labour voters, but that can't last. 

Corbyn is under huge pressure now from the parliamentary party, Labour peers and the metropolitan strongholds to go fully Remoaner Halal-Labour, win back a drift of the Remain vote to the LibDems and cement the power that Labour failed to secure in the megacities on Thursday. The rump of Haram-Labour and cerebral Labour Leavers can find a home in the Conservatives. Right now, Kate Hoey is more of a Conservative than Anna Soubry.

Or so goes my theory. The trick for May's party will be to occupy both centre ground and Leave simultaneously - not as easy as it sounds. And there are nascent third parties forming in the wings and attracting attention from big-bucks funders that could be insurgent contenders in 2022.  

However, I can see no longer-term downside (for us) to Labour abandoning Leave; a pure Halal-Labour will be powerful, run the large metropolii but will never be anything other than a strong opposition in Parliament. the Brexit process is screwed anyway and it will never happen cleanly - if it takes a decent majority in the 2022 parliament to make a clean break, we can live with it. We just need to be sure that May's team makes no agreement, no concessions, no treaty with the EU now that can't be reversed under a new administration.