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Friday 31 January 2020

Dear Ursula ..

Dear Ursula

Many thanks for the kind words from the floor of your assembly. The United Kingdom will also always love the nations of Europe - and those nations will remain our favourite holiday and retirement destinations. Many of them even use the same notes and coins, which makes it easier!

However, I should point out that we're not actually leaving Europe. Of which we're of course an integral part. And we'll be marketing our many fine comestibles products across the world as 'Food from Europe' as well as 'Made in the UK'. And we remain proud of our continent of 730m people, of whom some 460m are also 'citizens' of your Federation thing.

We'll have a year more to enjoy the madcap, mouth-frothing, carpet-chewing antics of your rantiest stars - Hof's histrionics, petulant posturing and insane rhetoric keep us all in good spirits and we enjoy immensely his little You Tube clips. After that, I'm not sure who we will have to laugh at - unless Labour have elected a new Leader by then, of course.

Anyhow, must close. Good luck with those criminal investigations against you - after all, anyone can accidentally wipe two mobile phones containing incriminating criminal evidence on the same day. If you're not in jail, we'll correspond again in eleven months.

Best -


Bob from today's Telegraph

Thursday 30 January 2020

The day Jo Swinson voted for Brexit

On 29th October 2019, the LibDems and the SNP, bloated with hubris and swollen with bluster, led a recalcitrant Labour into voting for a General Election, and Brexit became certain. It was, needless to say, deeply opposed by the haute-remainers - the Blairs, Grieves and Adonises, who were keenly aware that postponing things as long as possible, gaining a year-long extension from Brussels, would give them the best chance of a second referendum and of reversing Brexit. The inflated egos of second-rate politicians won, to the benefit of the nation and the gratitude of the 17.4m who voted to Leave.

On the morning of that momentous vote it was still absolutely unclear which way it would go. I was prepared for months, even a year, of continued uncertainty and the prospect of Brexit becoming ever more distant. Thank you, Jo Swinson, for being such a monstrously vain, conceited and deeply stupid Parliamentarian. We owe Brexit to you.

Nemesis of the haute-remainers - John Gray

Today is yet another crunch day for Brexit. So many crunch days for Brexit have come and gone that I am not getting excited; either the Commons agrees an election and the EU deigns to allow an extension, or something else happens. 

It's always good to take the chance to step back and look at the bigger picture. The Telegraph is absolutely right today in drawing attention to an essay in New Statesman America by John Gray. As the unfortunately-acronymed NS is core leftie-thinking fodder, it will be uncomfortable reading for many of those Gray terms 'haute-remainers' - the Blairs, Adonises, Grieves and others. I commend it to you.

I have said all along that Brexit was not primarily about the EU but about a wider democratic correction in the UK that re-balances power away from an establishment elite and back to the voters. This year the BBC, in a rare act of political prescience, featured Reith lectures by Lord Sumption covering the effects of State capture by this political elite on the relationship between law and democracy. Gray's focus is the way in which the Conservative Party has reacted and changed, as it has throughout its history, to ensure it comes through intact. The same cannot be said of parties embracing the haute-remainer cause.

Gray's essay is too crammed with succinct and tight analysis to usefully select any single paragraph to quote summation, so here then, as a sample of the essay rather than a precis, is just one -
The haute-Remainer mind is an example of what the 20th century’s subtlest and most original conservative philosopher called political rationalism. Michael Oakeshott (1901-90) used the term to describe totalitarian ideologies such as Leninism and National Socialism, but he was clear that any kind of political tradition could succumb to rationalist ideology – including conservatism. (His own version of conservatism – an ultra-liberal variety, in which the ideal role of the state was that of an umpire – itself did.) The core of rationalism in politics is an idea of politics itself. Rather than being a practice in which people negotiate the terms on which they co-exist with one another, politics means the imposition of an idea. The idea is self-evidently true; anyone who questions it is ignorant and stupid, or else wilfully malignant. Though they claim to embody reason in politics, haute-Remainers cling to a view of the EU in which facts are secondary or irrelevant. They fulminate on the dangers of Brexit without ever mentioning that Paris has been convulsed by riots while Barcelona has become the scene of mass demonstration, burning streets and police violence. No mere fact can be allowed to cloud the vision of a sacred institution.
Let's see what the day brings. 

Wednesday 29 January 2020

2019 EP elections - SMASHED

The country finally told Theresa May what they thought of her in the European Elections of last year. The vehicle was provided by Nigel Farage, and Conservatives lent him their votes in millions. Even Conservative Home advised Conservative members, who cannot openly vote for another party without risking expulsion, to 'refrain from voting Conservative' nudge-nudge. Theresa May could already see which way it was going, and called it a day. Nigel won by ridding us of May even before the first vote had been cast.

The Brexit Party's party on Friday in Parliament Square is a fitting tribute to itself. It was there to be used when electors needed most to use it, as UKIP had been in the past. The result drove deranged Remainers into frenzies of idiocy; AliGob foamed, PTSD Adonis chewed carpets and 'Howler' Grayling went into Twitter meltdown. 
27th May 2019  
Well, you can read the news as well as I can. Just 3 MEPs for the Conservatives, but including Dan Hannan. I must say 9% of the vote was better than I was expecting - if May hadn't announced her resignation, I'm convinced we would have got no more than 6% and no seats. More good news in PTSD Adonis having been disappointed, but that's thin cheer.

For most people of course TBP's success is the single story. Nothing can detract from 28 seats - possibly 29 when the last two areas declare. If the party had been around a month or two longer I suspect they would have taken even more votes from both Labour and the Conservatives.

And of course the LibDems, the Remain party, with some 2/3rds of the Brexit Party votes, will also now move to consolidate their status as the Brexit opposition party with an eye to the next GE, with the advantage of an established party structure and existing parliamentary incumbency. They can sell themselves as "We're not Corbyn" and also take more voters from Labour and Conservative parties. The CUKs are nothing - forget their grandiose delusions of a 'pact' with the LibDems. Cable can tell them to join-up or FO.

All over Europe the victor has been .... democracy. Turnout up, apple carts overturned, politicians in tears, some dreams shattered, others come to fruition. Nothing earth shattering, but a clear message. The Conservative Party, like Labour, may have no future, the corpses of both parties picked over by the Teal and Orange insurgents, but for now will remain in government . Our MPs will be shitting themselves and will avoid a GE like a vampire eschews garlic.

Have a good day all - Today is a good day.

                                       Predicted %             Actual %
Brexit                                        34                       32
LibDem                                     17                       20
Lab                                            15                       14
Green                                        11                        12
Con                                             9                          9
CUK                                           4                          3
UKIP                                          3                          3

Tuesday 28 January 2020

The death of EU-NATO

The election on 8th June 2017 was an utter, unmitigated disaster - May's hubris and rank stupidity had thrown away whatever Brexit majority we had in the House. May of course threw Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill overboard without hesitation; blaming everyone else has forever been her way, but in this case it had some justification. Hill has become decently obscure, but for some reason the 'graph has given Timothy a column, the mere sight of which still raises my blood pressure. I have never read it - and I stopped reading anything by Matthew Parris about three years ago. Life is too short to waste even a few seconds reading anything by men whose judgement is so piss-poor and whose opinions are so deviant as to make the pair of them ink-thieves.

I won't repeat my post of 9th June. It was craven. A few days previously, however, was one of those occasional posts that unaccountably scores big hits; this got almost 3,000 views. It holds good over time and is as true today as it was in 2017.
Germany will never, ever pay more than now for NATO
Many of us will have grown up with the BAOR - either as serving soldiers or like myself as army brats. There was a time when G├╝tersloh, Fallingbostel or Sennelager were more familiar to us than Slough, Reading or Peterborough. The BBC even had a forces radio programme, and knowing at least half a dozen BFPO numbers was par for the course. Well, BAOR disappeared without notice in 1994. The 25,000 remaining troops in Germany became BFG, now down to about 4,000 and scheduled to pull out completely by 2020, almost exactly in line with Brexit.
The change came with the fall of the wall in 1989. Before then, our lads were to play a vital role in forming a heroic but utterly pointless sacrifice in holding up the Soviet advance through Germany to France for about 72 hours. Then we all thought it an essential sacrifice. Now we wonder, why bother? Perhaps France and Germany would be better off under Russian rule. Why shed British blood in their defence?

When Trump abstained from the traditional annual G7 offering of American blood in Germany's defence last week he too must have felt the same. Germany has been financially raping Europe for thirty years, sitting on a vast pile of gold as she threatens, bullies and manoeuvres others to pay for everything, like some nightmare dining partner endlessly disputing the division of the restaurant bill.

Turkey is now a Salafist terrorist nation and belongs nowhere near NATO. In bullying the Netherlands into ignoring the veto of the Dutch people and extending full EU privileges to Ukraine, the EU has just given Putin another poke with a sharp stick. The UK will find it hard to mobilise even 6,500 troops - we need a standing army of 100,000 to put an adequate force in the field. Germany's armed forces are to all purposes entirely useless. Amidst the ruins of NATO (and oh yes it's now finished in all but name*) there's only France to defend the EU.

Merkel may gamble that she'll get away with it, and perhaps she will. But without British and American wealth and blood to pay for it. We're done.

*Also proving the rule that corporations are most likely to fail at the point at which they open a spanking glossy new multi billion dollar HQ

Monday 27 January 2020

Theresa May - who?

Theresa May became PM on 13th July 2016, after the stunned Cameron had quit. History will not remember Cameron kindly; the kitchen suppers, bland mediocrity and above all the multiple Cornish holidays will condemn his reputation. Above all those pap shots of Cameron in his Boden beachwear, his chubby formless torso and little mantits exposed to the sun made him look foolish and frivolous. I didn't remark at all on May's appointment - which given the fury of my later invective is a telling gap. Instead I commented on a 'threat' by third-rate Euro academics to go home -
13th July 2016
I was 40 when I took my second degree, and by then the rot had already set into the English universities. Only one member of the research and teaching staff had an adequate command of English and he was an American. The VC and senior admin staff were concerned solely with cramming their own mouths with as much public gold as they could hold, and in pursuing every crooked, academically dishonest scam and scheme to this end. The staff - at best academically mediocre - were under enormous pressure to publish. Anything. The consequences were academic journals full of unreadable rubbish; prolix, poorly written, loaded with jargon and cliches. Worthless dross in the main that did not advance scholarship one iota. The point, of course, was the publishing credit - for both the academic and the institution.

And so our universities became magnets for third-rate European academics who were rightly unable to find employment in their own countries. The only qualification it seemed was their ability to churn out 20,000 words of meaningless drivel like clockwork every quarter.

This spew of garbage encouraged a new wave of academic publishing - The Journal of Otiose Sinology, 4 issues a year, subscription $1,400 - journals bought only with tax-money by university libraries and that exist solely to put into print the worthless drivel from these fourth-rate minds.

The cap of course is that these dreary failures call themselves 'intellectuals' in spite of the fact that we don't have intellectuals in England. We have scholars. Intellectuals are for nations such as Hungary, or cities such as Paris, where they tolerate young men with no change of underpants, little money and with poor social skills.

And now, offended by Brexit, some want to leave, to go back to Europe. That's fine. As 'intellectuals' they will appreciate that their departure will marginally increase the average level of scholarship in both England and Europe. It's a win-win.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Look back sans rancour (1)

In the absence of 'events' this week, until Friday I'll be offering selected snippets from the past three and a half years. Starting today with the referendum itself. This first, on the eve of the referendum, featured the late great Roger Scruton. The BBC podcast is still there, and he still says what I wrote he said. Like Lord Sumption, Roger had a greater faith in representative democracy and a greater fear of the alternative than we, who make up the alternative, of course hold. Both thought the referendum was a bad idea, and of course it will take half a century to prove them wrong. Or right. But both subjugated themselves willingly to the outcome.
22nd June 2016
On this penultimate day I'd like to offer a few reflections and pose a few questions, largely those arising from two events - last night's TV debate, and an unnoticed 10 minute broadcast by Roger Scruton.

I've long admired the work of Roger Scruton, particularly that which I perceived as acting against Totalitarianism and towards the growth of an effective and empowered citizenry. Roger has also long had a view that the purpose of our democratic structures is to homogenise and deradicalise populism; if legislation were enacted immediately on the back of public sentiment, we would have had capital punishment after the murder of Lee Rigby. Roger holds the abilities of MPs and of Parliament in high regard. What I think he's missed is that we no longer trust our MPs, for instance, not themselves to use say the murder of Jo Cox to introduce repressive and Totalitarian measures. MPs are sadly not so well informed or so altruistically disposed as Roger would have them - and we ordinary people not so radical nor so ill-informed that MPs are required to act on our behalf.

So Roger's 10 minute Sunday broadcast ( ) against petitions is a diatribe (if one can call such gentle disapprobation) against direct democracy and in favour of representative democracy. People are not capable of making wise choices when given simple binary choices; things are more nuanced, more complex and only our informed and deliberative Parliamentary system is capable of dealing with such matters, including the Referendum, says Roger.

He's wrong, of course. And it pains me to say so. He once valued Burke, and I would direct him back to Burke's little platoons; the smaller the realm of decisions to be taken, the higher the quality of those decisions. The more local the associations, authorities and interests with which we interact, the better the knowledge and the choices. MPs are now a part of a global cabal, a political class that views the world internationally, alongside global corporatism and global finance. They are not therefore well placed to make decisions in the interests of our shires, our towns and metropolii.

And that was demonstrated last night in the BBC debate with a participative audience of 6,000 ordinary people to whom Roger would deny the vote. They were no less well-informed than the experts on the podia, and far better represented the interests of the British people.

Leave or Remain, whatever comes out of tomorrow, I'd always, always trust my future to the votes of all enfranchised Britons whatever their station in life than to a political class no longer wholly trusted or wanted by those voters.
The second was the morning of the result. It was a glorious June alpine day, and even at 6am the sun was blazing and I had the big wooden double windows at the front of the house thrown open. I wrote this as I watched the valley below start its day, unaware of the earthquake, and with the scent of new cut hay from the meadows perfuming my coffee and the joyous sound of birdsong as a backing chorus mocking the shellshocked BBC broadcasters.
24th June 2016
I'll be posting later when my wits and thoughts are collected - at the moment I'm still reeling. I stayed up for the Newcastle / Sunderland results - and when it became clear the picture had changed, snatched a doze and stayed with it. Now I can only say the feeling of lightness as an ugly and enervating succubus has been taken from our backs is wonderful, but with it now comes a duty of responsibility. We must re-weld our people - all our people - back into one nation. We must do it without hate or rancour, and those brave enough to vote Leave are well placed to show their privileged 'Remain' brethren who have either suckled at the dugs of the beast or been its dags how it's done.

I remember the memorial service of Ralph Harris, Lord Harris, at the church in Smith Square just over the way from the EU Kommandantur. God, he would have loved this day. He wrote:

Liberty carries with it individual responsibilities. Responsibility for yourself, and hopefully your family and as far as possible your neighbours. But it does throw responsibility onto our own shoulders. Well, that's what living means; it doesn't mean shrugging off responsibility and taking soft options.

I have confidence in my land and my people and that things have not quite yet gone so far that we cannot rescue the greater part. God bless you all.