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Saturday 16 November 2019

CorbynNet - just wrong on so many levels

I pay about £17 a month for unlimited interweb at a consistent speed of 30MB - plenty for me, with Netflix, a couple of internet radios on all day and normal browsing. And neither a strand of copper nor a whisper of fibre optic in sight - it's all LTE 4G mobile, my router having a SIM card slot rather than an RJ11 socket. I don't need 5G, and as I don't own any sort of huge screen I don't need faster speeds. I don't even watch Netflix that much - last night, with the fire playing in the stove, I sank into the comfort of  a Portillo rail journeys DVD, an early one, before he started to camp it up for his considerable gay fan club. I don't think I'm untypical of the older internet user.

Clearly I think Labour's £100bn nationalised internet offer was aimed at the young, but to my mind it's mistaken on at least three levels. Firstly, is the UK seriously proposing to dig up all those streets and roads again to lay fibre into dwellings, rather than just into junction boxes which use copper for the final connection? Isn't this a bit, erm, steampunk, when the entire sparsely populated alpine region of Europe gets 4G using mobile?

Secondly, an anyone who has ever compared internet tariffs will ask, what does 'free' and 'fast' mean? Is it 10MB speeds for up to 2GB a month? Or 67MB for unlimited use? You see, Mr Corbyn clearly doesn't quite understand that demand for something free is pretty well infinite - which is why we have to ration free stuff like the NHS. And St Greta will not be pleased - the interweb already takes more than 10% of our power consumption.

Thirdly and most importantly, what sort of morons would vote to voluntarily hand control of their internet access to an overweening nanny government department? One journalist asked at Labour's press conference yesterday whether national CorbynNet would ban porn - and got a weaselly answer about controls to prevent harm to users. That means censorship. Now the young generation I know uses stuff like Tor, bitstreaming, online gaming, the greyer bits of the web where we olduns never venture and, I am pretty sure, lots of porn. Everything in fact that Labour's authoritarian illiberal nannies would want to ban. They'd have us all watching documentary films about cheese-making co-operatives.

Thursday 14 November 2019

End of Empire

With a monumental lack of irony, Donald Tusk claimed yesterday that Brexit marked the true end of Empire, as though anyone thought that such a terminal event was a bad thing. This utter lack of self-awareness amused me hugely on two grounds. The first was that Brexit will mark the end of Britain's subjugation and restraint by his own nascent EU Empire, the second that Britain's rejection of the role of military muscle that the EU had planned for us will almost certainly curtail the EU's own dreams of a European empire to rival the US and China. He knows so little of the UK, or has been so deluded and gulled by specious Remain propaganda, to imagine that there's anyone at all on the Brexit side who yearns for Empire. Since 2008, not one single comment on this blog has even mentioned it. It is, as the psychologists say, Projection.

China, too, having hardly laid the first belt-and-road asphalt, is already experiencing the pains and costs of Empire, and I don't mean just Hong Kong. The hundreds of billions invested in African ports, transport infrastructure, mines and natural resources will be increasingly at risk; from forfeiture if ever the bribe taps to the ruling elites are turned off, or at the hands of an emergent new kleptocratic elite seizing them for the new regime. Either China uses military force to secure the assets, or loses the vast investments - a dilemma that every ex-colonial power has faced. Long lines of communication means a low ratio of teeth to tail, something that the US, with 1.3 million persons under arms only a small fraction of whom are tasked to combat duties, has already found. And internally, China is at the stage of millions detained already in detention camps - universally the precursor to regime change.

I have published before a map of Tusk's imperial European ambitions which I find simply strategically unbelievably stupid. Turkey doesn't even have to start a tank - just to release 3m migrants launched into the EU's soft underbelly. A NATO without boots on EU ground can shorten supply lines and constrict all sea routes to the EU if required, closing the Med up like a boating lake.

So thank you, Donald. Trebles all round, I think.   

Wednesday 13 November 2019

The fight is not over

This election is round one in an existential war to win back popular democracy. Ranged against the people of Britain are the globalist powers of the deep state and their dags who have infiltrated and taken control of our national institutions. 

The strength of the people has always been made manifest through the actions of what Robert Nisbet called our intermediate institutions - the little platoons that Burke found foundational in creating a national identity. Nisbet locates the chief cause of the feeling of lostness in modern man in the weakening of the intermediate associations that stand between the lone individual and the State; without our local bodies, our little platoons, our guilds, churches, watch committees and town councils, we are hugely vulnerable to the depredations of the central state. This is why I am so committed to Localism. The battles against the deep state globalists are not to be won in SW1 but in our parish halls and meeting places, in places real and virtual, by physical or remote contact. Popular democracy needs local moots.  

One of the most sustained assaults on popular democracy since the middle of the last century has been by the central state on our intermediate institutions. Many have been destroyed beyond any hope of resurrection - but our future lies not in replicating the past, but in creating new forms of local identity using the tools and relationships enabled by technology. Localism need not be limited by geography, defined by place but by purpose. This blog is also valid as a local moot. Your own family is an intermediate institution, and a powerful nexus of a belonging, an allegiance, a strength that the central State cannot defile.  

Robert Tombs in the Telegraph today also delineates the battles ahead;
All across the democratic world, more and more power has shifted away from elected national governments towards non-elected bodies – international organisations, law courts, treaties, quangos. Governments have voluntarily surrendered their own authority. But in doing so, they have limited democratic choice: voters are told that there are things they cannot do, choices they cannot make.

This has gone furthest in EU member states. A void has been created between rulers and ruled. Two networks of power, influence and patronage have grown up: one based on domestic politics, the other based on the EU institutions. These two networks – two establishments, one national, one trans-national, which include politicians, civil servants, academics, business lobbies, non-governmental organisations – overlap in every EU country.
It is those virtues that the technocratic elites claim as liberating - individualism, egality and the supremacy of central or supranational authority - that Nisbet found destructive of popular democracy;
What is often overlooked, as Nisbet points out, is that in making individuals independent of each other and of society, Rousseau would also make them dependent on the State. The State would ensure the individual's equality and liberty. But "liberty" in Rousseau’s terminology, of course, means submergence of the individual will in the General Will. The citizen will be "compelled to be free." He will be protected from the discriminations of society; the State, in Rousseau’s mind, is to be the great protector of the individual’s rights. But, in turn, the individual must be willing to relinquish any of his own wishes that conflict with the dictates of the General Will. There would be no room for rebellious intermediate associations. In Rousseau’s would-be State, even "religion must be identified, in the minds of the people, with the values of national life, else it will create disunity and violate the General Will." Thus does freedom become identified with obeying the guidelines of a central authority.
The struggles of the past three years to re-assert the supremacy of popular democracy are not the end of it. This election is but one battle, with a struggle ahead. All those who have fought so hard for UKIP or The Brexit Party have not fought in vain, nor are their efforts ended. That commitment to the powers of the people of this nation under democratic norms is still needed. Democracy doesn't always mean winning, as Tombs concludes
Democracy is not a system for discovering the "right answer" to political issues: we can rarely if ever 
be sure what the right answer is. Democracy, rather, is a system for creating consent and solidarity by allowing all to have an equal vote. For making people feel that the way they are governed, though not perfect, is at least one in which they are fairly consulted and their voices listened to. So that, even if they do not get their own way, they accept the outcome without trying to sabotage or evade it.

That is what we have come perilously close to losing. Next month we have the chance to regain it, with all the opportunities and risks that democracy entails.

Tuesday 12 November 2019

With thanks, time to move on.

The debt owed to Nigel Farage cannot be understated. Without him, David Cameron would never have agreed the Referendum. And as a Conservative, I am doubly grateful; without Nigel we would never have reformed our party, culled the EUphiles and shifted course. At the time of the EP elections, I simply repeated here what Conservative Home had printed as advice to Conservatives - to refrain from voting.

Farage's commitment yesterday to withdraw from 317 seats won by May in 2017 clearly hurt him deeply and has stunned many readers and contributors. However, it was the right thing to do. Only the Conservative party can deliver Brexit. But I'm sorry to say it may not be enough for an overall majority; we must still fight over Labour seats in which the Conservative party can win. There will also be seats in which my party can never win. There will, no doubt, be an app soon available to advise on the best way to vote tactically in such seats to secure a pro-Brexit MP.

Yesterday at least has allowed us now to turn our guns onto Labour's reckless and hopeless spending plans, and the undermining of the power of the peoples' vote by the illiberal anti-democrats. And on globalist warmongers such as Hillary Clinton, who want to use their foreign influences to undermine British democracy in a last-ditch effort to prevent us casting them off.

Oh. And remember what happened last time that Labour had a cunning spending plan? Your grandchildren will still be paying for it in 2049.


Monday 11 November 2019

Who owns BrexitCorp™?

It's all about Farage. He has become Remain's secret weapon and the columnists are saying so. "Nigel Farage would rather scupper Brexit than let somebody else deliver it" writes Dan Hannan in the Telegraph; Nick Timothy's take is "Nigel Farage has tragically turned into the Frodo Baggins of Brexit". Timothy in particular is scathing
So why is Farage campaigning against it, and against Leave-supporting Tory MPs? Some who know him believe – after years of being despised, ignored or patronised by senior Tories – he has a pathological determination to destroy the Conservative Party. But others insist he is motivated much more by ego. Drunk on his own publicity, and surrounded by sycophants, he is incapable of taking yes for an answer. And so he keeps campaigning for a “real Brexit”, even though in so doing he risks destroying the real Brexit that Boris is trying to deliver.
In Lord of the Rings, good fortune means the ring is destroyed despite Frodo’s submission to greed and vanity. But in real life, we cannot wait for a stroke of luck. Farage needs to stop, before he kills his greatest achievement.
It was surely the naivety of an obsessive that allowed Farage to imagine that he could negotiate with the Conservative party for a deal. BrexitCorp™ is not a democratic party but the sort of anti-democratic cabal that Farage has rightly himself fought against for so many long years; the BrexitCorp™ capos are appointed, not elected. Supporters are allowed to donate money to Nigel's firm but not to be members of a party and vote. Farage refuses to reveal the shadowy backers and owners of his company who stand to benefit if he gains seats in Parliament. The Conservatives will simply not openly announce a deal with a secretive privately owned company that could well blow up in their faces in a year when electoral law says the financial backing must be revealed.

Timothy demolishes point by point Farage's 'fatuous' claims that Boris' deal is not Brexit. "Farage’s claims about that are completely bogus. He argues that EU judges will still rule over Britain, and that we will not control our fishing, will be unable to trade as we choose, and will not be allowed an independent foreign or defence policy. None of this is true." he writes

But most of all, I suspect, Farage actually enjoys being an MEP and head of the largest group of MEPs in the European Parliament. No wonder he prefers the corrupt 'list' EP electoral system that gives voters no say in the individuals that their votes send to Brussels, making democracy a matter of his personal favouritism. Perhaps he really doesn't want it to end. His stubbornness is destroying his own legacy. As a letter today in the Telegraph states
Sir – Nigel Farage could have gone down in history as the man who stiffened the sinews of the Conservative Party and ensured that we left the European Union – but I fear he is more likely to go down as the man who caused us to stay put.

I know pride is at stake, but he must accept that after three years of political wrangling most people want to see a negotiated settlement. His desire for the Government to ditch the Brexit deal will simply not be realised. The only result if he persists with his present course is likely to be no exit from the EU, and a hard-Left Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.
And this is my appeal. Nigel, give it up. For the sake of Brexit, stand your BrexitCorp™ candidates in 20 - 40 northern Labour seats but stand them down elsewhere where they risk putting Corbyn in power.