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Saturday 13 July 2019

Leaked Diptels - leaker must be jailed

Diptels are official secrets for a good reason. They allow our ambassadors to write freely, openly and without constraint to our government, informing our complex web of foreign policy and furthering the interests of the United Kingdom. Ambassadors are not hauled before select committees to justify their views, or subjected to deep personal scrutiny by the mainstream media. In return they keep a low profile, don't Tweet, don't snort lines of marching powder at nightclubs and generally act .. diplomatically.

Leaking Diptels is neither in the interests of the nation or even of Brexit. Once you start to make exceptions based on the degree of commitment of a leaker to their cause you open a Pandora's box. A Polaris submariner who opposes nuclear weapons? An SIS field operative who abjures subterfuge? A Home Office staffer who disagrees with telephone taps on Islamists? Exposing illegal State activity is one thing - but leaking perfectly proper, legitimate, lawful Diptels is not whistle blowing. It is a breach both of trust and of the criminal law.

Warning newspapers in advance, as the Met have done, that if they publish more stolen Diptels that they will be guilty of criminal complicity is also right. The MoS is not publishing these from the good of its heart but because it increases sales and profits for its owners. The Mail was quick enough to drop Brexit like a hot coal when their global corporate advertisers put the squeeze on - they are hardly motivated by virtue or altruism.

Freedom of expression and freedom of the press is not the issue here. The system that helps preserve our national security is.

Friday 12 July 2019

Hormuz security - three suggestions

Here are three suggestions for keeping our tankers safe from Iranian aggression when passing through the Strait of Hormuz;

1. Convoys
Assemble tankers in convoys with RN warship escorts - timing dependent on tides, numbers. Extendable to include other threatened nations who can contribute warships.

2. Marines
Helo on a squad of Royal Marines with .50cal rail-mounted weapons, shoulder-launched missiles etc to each tanker making passage through danger zone, transfer them to tanker moving in opposite direction for the return leg

3. Jeremy Corbyn
Elect Corbyn as PM so he can ask his Hamas and Revolutionary Guard chums to lay-off UK tankers in return for UK breaking sanctions against Iran

Thursday 11 July 2019

Labour's shocking Jew-hatred

Last night's shocking Panorama exposed the depth of anti-semitism in the Labour party, a disease that goes to the very top. A shameful litany of crude Nazi tropes, ugly agitprop and a thuggish bullying of Jewish Labour members that would have made an SA man proud. That such evil exists still, when the last few precious holocaust survivors, our living link with that dark chapter in mankind's history, are also leaving us is both harrowing and shameful.

It is not, however, new.

Before WWII the Labour party was enamoured of eugenics and the politics of racial hygiene in much the same way as the Nazi party. I wrote about it in 2012, referencing a Guardian piece by Jonathan Freedland entitled 'Eugenics: the skeleton that rattles loudest in the left's closet' that warned presciently that unless Labour faced its fascist roots, it would not escape the consequences. Today, unusually, I will quote that seven-year old post whole.

18th February 2012
When I have previously catalogued on here the shared ideology between the British left and the Nazi party, an ideology based on racial purity, Eugenics, State control over breeding and marriage and the horror of 'involuntary euthanasia', or State murder, an ideology that persisted in Polly Toynbee's beloved left wing Scandinavian countries into the 1970s with compulsory sterilisation, I'm sure some readers have thought the parallels a little forced. Bernard Shaw wanted to kill the poor with a 'humane lethal gas'; more tellingly he also wanted to rid Britain of Jews, writing to Beatrice Webb he wrote
We ought to tackle the Jewish question by admitting the right of States to make eugenic experiments by weeding out any strains they think undesirable, but insisting they do it as humanely as they can afford to
No doubt also subjecting them to a 'humane lethal gas'. Along with Shaw, the Webbs and HG Wells, even Virginia Woolf was a supporter of State murder; after passing a line of the profoundly mentally ill, she wrote "Imbeciles - every one of them a miserable, ineffective, shuffling, idiotic creature. It was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed."

After 1945 and the horror of the extermination camps, the Labour Party quickly performed one of those acts of collective amnesia and wiped all memory of their own National Socialist agenda from the record. Just as that loathsome gulag-apologist Nye Bevan has been resurrected as some sort of saint. But no longer am I alone in daring to say these things, it seems.

Jonathan Freedland writes today in the Guardian that it's time the Labour Party and the British left faced up to their poisonous ideological legacy. Until they do, he implies, the worth of each individual human soul will still be subjugated to a left ideology of collective good;
Progressives face a particular challenge, to cast off a mentality that can too easily regard people as means rather than ends. For in this respect a movement is just like a person: it never entirely escapes its roots.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Breaking: Autumn election dates

House of Commons library have just issued guidance on possible general election dates BEFORE Brexit day -

Thursday 19th September or
Thursday 26th September

with a no confidence motion passed before the Summer recess

Thursday 24th October

only possible pre-Brexit date if no confidence motion passed after Summer recess

More tomorrow.


In praise of cities

I've long described myself in political shorthand as 'democrat and localist'. With Brexit for the past three years, I haven't found much of a chance to pursue the second of those core values - almost every day having been a battle to preserve the first. However, a serendipitous find in the Evening Standard has prompted this post. Under Osborne the paper has become a sort of lifestyle free adsheet with little bits of news squeezed in between the ads. Its editorials were given over to George's vindictive spleen against May for sacking him, but now she's gone (almost) our man with the look of a furtive Onanist is letting normal content slip past him. Such is a piece by Ben Rogers in the comment section - the first ES piece I think I've linked to since Osborne took over.

Rogers, head of a pro-London think tank, is pursuing an agenda for cities to gain greater local control. It is an area in which the RSA has long advocated multiple initiatives to take advantage of the strengths of cities. It is based on changes that in the developed world can be positive - the growth of world cities, city nation-states. London's population dwarfs that of Ireland, and is equal to the populations of Scotland and Wales combined. European cities, unlike the smog-laden sprawl of US cities, are compact and environmentally sustainable. For thirty years living in Zone 2 I never once owned a car - and consequently was able to spend much of those thirty years with a comfortable level of alcohol coursing through my veins. We build densely, and upwards; we have superlative public transport systems, we have 24/7 economies. For economic growth and vitality, for learning and development, for culture, for innovation, for leisure and pleasure, cities are ace.

I can almost hear your hackles erecting, readers, as you mentally enumerate the downsides of cities - that they avoid being part of our congruent national identity, that they display crime, extremes of wealth and poverty, poor environmental quality, are hotbeds of moral relativism, competing with the national culture and of course are breeding grounds for globalists and remainers. Yes, all these things are true. Yet cities are the engine of development, the powerhouses of renewal.

Boris showed how an effective Mayor could allow London to see its potential. Andy Burnham is no less committed to the North. Both were shackled by a constipated Treasury and power-hungry Whitehall; tax must be devolved as well as spend, city-specific laws and bye-laws should replace the centralisation and State power over law and public order, planning, health, transport, education and economic development - these should all be torn from Whitehall's grasp in an explosion of Localism.

Problems will tend to correct themselves. Cities attract militant and proud sexual deviants in hordes; they will overcome cabals of mediaeval bigots whose instinct is to persecute them. It's already happening. And without the veto of Whitehall, the instincts of city-dwellers of all races and classes is for a firm and determined approach to law enforcement; there are no greater fans of police and prisons than those at greatest risk of being burgled, robbed, stabbed or shot. The Lord Longfords of our age don't live in Peckham or Walthamstowe, and their ultra-liberal pleadings from their Cotswold vicarages can be drowned out.

We will leave the EU. This is the great gift - possibly the last great gift - that we can give our cities. Outside of the EU they will quickly learn to thrive and prosper, driving national growth and international trade and development. Powerful British city-states will dominate a sclerotic Eurozone on the verge of collapse, our buccaneer cities will be Drake to the clumsy Spaniards, Raleigh to the encumbered globalists, heavy and low in the water and ripe for the taking.

So let's hear it for cities, and for Localism!

Tuesday 9 July 2019

A national Memorial for Eco heroes?

I may write to Saint Greta this morning, suggesting a new national memorial to all those who fall in the cause of the planet. Those killed by wind turbine blades or toppling towers, blinded by solar panels, those who succumb to a surfeit of quinoa and those such as the late Mrs Struthers-Gardner killed by metal drinking straws.

Hipsters and Eco warriors risk their lives saving the planet from plastic drinking straws
May they rest in peace. Preferably in hand-woven wicker coffins buried in the woods with a sapling planted over them.

Monday 8 July 2019

Darroch again ...

There's an intelligent post by Paul Goodman on Conservative Home. I concur wholly that Darroch has done nothing wrong, and that he was just doing what we pay him to do. I would also remind everyone that UK ambassadors to Washington are there to represent British interests, not to promote any one American politician. Such tasks fall to our political Head of Government, who may be more or less successful in cultivating the relationship. That between Thatcher and Reagan was superlative, between Blair and Bush cringemaking and between Cameron and Obama outright hostile. Goodman concludes
Which returns us to Darroch. There is a suspicion that Sedwill, and not Darroch himself, was the real target of the leak. The former is reportedly interested in the Washington post. A new Prime Minister will be in place by the end of the month. Changes at the top of the civil service are expected. The leak looks designed to prepare the way for a replacement for Darroch who is more Trump-friendly than Sedwill. But the disposition of Darroch’s replacement to the President is not the exam question, or shouldn’t be.

There is a precedent for sending a non-civil servant to Washington as ambassador: Peter Jay, Jim Callaghan’s son-in-law, was sent to Washington when the latter was Prime Minister. However, the example is not encouraging. Perhaps Prime Minister Johnson should scour the more junior civil service ranks, and send for one of those who, pro-Brexit Ministers tell us, have put in exemplary work preparing for No Deal if necessary, regardless of their own views.
Jay was undeserved nepotism. He was a dreadful ambassador. The point is right - don't reinforce failure. We need an ambassador in Washington independent enough to be free to be critical of US policy where this is against the UK's interests, and with enough delegated authority to now take forward the robust and pragmatic discussions we now need to have with the USA.

Sunday 7 July 2019

How very convenient

Everyone agrees. When May goes, arch-Remainer Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill cannot stay at Number Ten. Suggestions for his future include separating the three roles he holds - Cabinet Secretary, National Security Adviser and Head of the Civil Service, leaving him with just one, probably civil service boss, and finding him a new office away from Whitehall.

Sedwill himself is said to want the UK Ambassadorship to Washington - a strange option, given that all his previous efforts have been to align the UK with the EU rather than the USA. Perhaps it is just an extension of a blocking role. The problem is, the popular and capable current Ambassador, Kim Darroch, is in no hurry to go. He is well liked over the pond and held in high regard, and importantly is not said to be one of the Remain fifth-column inside the senior ranks of the civil service.

So how convenient - and I suggest no more than that - that carefully selected secret cables from Sir Kim to Number Ten, which certainly passed across Sedwill's desk, should now appear in the Daily Mail, to Darroch's great embarrassment.

There needs to be a leak enquiry, of course, but I'd suggest that Sedwill is not the man to conduct it.