Cookie Notice

However, this blog is a US service and this site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services and analyze traffic. Your IP address and user-agent are shared with Google along with performance and security metrics to ensure quality of service, generate usage statistics, and to detect and address abuse.

Saturday 30 May 2020

Their freedom - and ours

For any libertarian, the Chinese gangster regime is an anathema. Micro control of citizens, the extinguishing of democracy, suffocation of freedoms of thought, movement and expression, mass executions, organ harvesting, state-tolerated piracy, officially sponsored cyber crime, corruption, injustice and the endemic mendacity of one-party propaganda. And I can write that without a scintilla of hyperbole - we have actually grown to accept this monolithic behemoth and its manifold and hateful repression of the human spirit as normal.

Hong Kong is the possibly the first time in modern history that pro-democracy protesters have waved the Union flag not as a symbol of colonial oppression but as a symbol of hope and liberation, the symbol of every freedom that is hateful to the gangster regime in Beijing. There are some 300,000 BNO passport holders in HK and we must welcome the moves by the FCO to extend their rights to live and work in the UK from six months to a year, and to unlock for them an easy path to full citizenship and permanent residence. The success they have made of HK betokens their economic vitality, agility, tenacity and appetite for hard work and application. Our universities should be filled not with the products of the PRC and the financial control that has enslaved several Oxford colleges and Russell group institutions to Huawei, but with the children of the free entrepreneurs of HK. They would add immeasurably to the common wealth of our nation, strengthen the reach and status of the City of London and add dynamism, innovation and thrusting growth to our economy, in exactly the way as did the Ugandans expelled by Idi Amin.

Already Brexit is allowing us to return our view back to a perspective we had almost lost, to the Anglosphere. The joint UK / US / NZ and Australian approach to China's moves in HK is absolutely crucial - in effect the Five Eyes nations confirming their solidarity. Boris's thrown-out notion of a D10 - a group of ten democracies - formed of the G7 plus India, South Korea and Australia to challenge China on specifically 5G to start with but potentially much more, is a clever move to not only re-orient UK foreign policy away from Europe but to give Germany, France and Italy a thump to the head to divert their own focus away from their collective navels and out towards the world.

Above all we must rapidly re-engineer the economy to supplement or replace reliance on China for anything. Diversification. At a time when we will have, in six months, the capacity to allow British Internationalism to blossom - including our unilateral ability to impose sanctions, form treaties and alliances and so on, our place as the world's fifth largest economy will not be insubstantial. In diplomatic terms we already box above our weight, and that ability will grow and mature as the FCO learns for the first time in forty years to think for itself.

China's actions over HK could well blow-back at the gangster regime in more ways than one - and could be the dawn of a new era for a Britain free from the EU.

Friday 29 May 2020

Number 10 gets one back at Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon has been an online participant in the government's behind the scenes health briefings since the crisis gelled. As public health is a devolved issue, it is down to the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales to make their own announcements about changes in government policy. Sturgeon however has consistently infuriated Downing Street by stealing the PM's thunder - making her announcement in Scotland before the issue has been promulgated in London.

Yesterday, I think, Boris got his own back. The co-ordinated steering group had agreed early yesterday that  BBQs were on - limited public gatherings were to be permitted. Then the details got a bit hazy. Nicola rushed onto the airwaves to announce the policy she imagined Boris would announce later in the day, as she has done consistently. As Edinburgh Today reports, she set out Scotland's lockdown rules; "The First Minister also stressed that households must remain outside at all times and refrain from entering anyone's house" it reports. She also insisted that BBQ guests must bring their own food, though it can be grilled on a shared barbecue.

When Boris announced the English BBQ rules they were subtly different. While Scots in need of the toilet must stay in the open and use the garden, it's fine for the English to nip indoors for a sit-down. "Chief medical officer Chris Whitty confirmed that people can go to the toilet in other people's houses if they come to visit" reports the Mail. Additionally, English guests don't have to bring their own food, a move that will disappoint many parsimonious English hosts.

So as we move into the weekend, spare a thought for those elderly aunts in Scots gardens squatting behind the rhododendron with their bloomers around their ankles, clutching a pair of raw lamb cutlets, a loo roll and a bottle of Heavy, whilst their English counterparts take their comfort indoors. Hey ho.

Practising for a Scots BBQ

Thursday 28 May 2020

Rejoiner petulance hits 11 on the Coogan scale

The sound of Maitlis's foot stomping was audible in Luton as she received her bollocking from her BBC bosses, and in a major fit of petulance refused to go on stage last night. Her bollocking, of course, was for the biased, partisan and untrue editorial she had used the Newsnight show to deliver. She cannot have expected such a swift public put-down from her own bosses; even with a flood of complaints, BBC internal processes usually last several weeks, with the findings sneaked out on a Rizla pushed under the door. This time there was panic at Reith Towers; Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, is just biding his time to announce the decriminalisation of the licence fee. The only variable is the timing of the effective date, though many TV tax payers will stop paying as soon as the announcement is made.

Rejoiner petulance isn't confined to the BBC. Though today only the Guardian, Mirror and the i paper have Cummings on the front pages, Sky news and the BBC's 'Today' are gamely trying to brace the story's collapsing legs. This collapse has, if anything, infuriated even further the hysterical blow-hard rejoiners in the media. They're used to getting their own way, and like infants in a tantrum find it very hard to accept that this time they're not.

The events of the past few days do raise a very serious national security question. We all know the media are in a dire financial position due to the effects of the Wuhan virus. Would a foreign state or group of states facing defeat and humiliation in existential international trade talks be prepared to throw a few hundred millions at key players in their opponent's mass media to game the playing field? The sudden and co-ordinated assault by the MSM, including the Telegraph, in an effort to destroy the team at Number 10 over what is in effect a triviality hint that factors beyond innate newsworthiness could have been at play. The good guys in the security services - and there must be some loyal to the democratically elected government - should do some discreet digging.

Of course most of the reptiles would have used their organs to try to sabotage the final stage of Brexit in any event. But as even Private Eye, which used to keep an eye on the rest of the reptiles, has now joined the establishment vivarium, we have no popular watchdog. As they say

Thank God one cannot bribe or twist
the honest British journalist
But seeing what the man will do
unbribed there is no reason to

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Anti-Brexit coup fizzles on

The anti- Brexit coup has started to crack this morning. The Mail and the Express have had enough and realised that this wasn't going anywhere, but the #ScumMedia ratpack, who studiously avoid making any mention of the growing hostility toward them on social media, are still doing what they can to sabotage the UK's final exit from the EU by forcing a two-year extension to the transition period.

I must admit this had more legs than I thought. The dailies and Sundays are in dire straits right now - and advertising income from the global corporates is for most a lifesaving source of income, and also one that gives the same global corporates great power over the proprietors. As for the 'rebel' Tory MPs - with the exception of those clots Baker and Bone, like some gaslight Victorian double act, who were daft enough to be manipulated by the press - well, it's the Remainer wing of the party all over;

There are more, but you get the picture. These are the easily manipulated non-entities, May supporters, anti no-dealers. You can expect that having blown their cover, many will now come under scrutiny from their constituency associations. I expect John Stafford, on our blogroll, will be preparing an edition of 'How to deselect a sitting Conservative MP' from his experience with the last bunch of Remainers.

Add to them Tobias Ellwood, who for some reason wishes to place the UK armed forces under the control of unelected bureaucrats in the Berlaymont, and Mark Pawsey, with his own brilliant scheme to immediately rejoin the EU and you have a prime selection of parliamentary dross.

Then of course there are the bishops - deeply opposed to Brexit, but so quick to slam shut the doors of their cathedrals at the slightest threat to their own perfumed adiposity and lock out the faithful in desperate need of spiritual comfort. #ScumBishops also made an appearance on Twitter.

The attempted coup fizzles on. This is their last ditch attempt to block our final independence from the EU, and it's brought all the supranationalists, all those in the pockets of the global corporates and the grey men who have captured the State out in the open. We can see you. We know who you are.

Monday 25 May 2020

Blue tick meltdown as anti-Boris coup fails

To understand yesterday's extraordinary events, one needs to realise that it was not about Covid, but about Brexit. I warned last week that the period until the end of June would be the last-ditch battle of the Remainian forces; the decision that no trade deal is achievable, and that the UK must transition on Australian terms, or WTO terms, will be taken in five weeks. On the one side we have Boris, Dominic Cummings, David Frost and their close supporters and Leave voters and on the other around 40% of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, the entire establishment, the Civil Service, the press and media and the CBI wing of business, the global corporates.

It has been clear for a few weeks that a power grab attempt has been building inside the Tory party. You need to understand, as any member of the party who meets other members of the party understands, that there are essentially two kinds of Conservative. The first sees the party and political power as an opportunity to gain a personal advantage, to use contacts, curry favour, get on the inside track and make money, gain personal power and influence, make business alliances and so on. Then there are the genuinely selfless, who want to make the world, and Britain, a better place for all her citizens, who rail against corruption, injustice and authoritarianism. There is often an uncomfortable match between the two species, which came to a head in our party over Brexit. The CBI wing and their dreary leadership candidate were trounced by the altruistic populists - but they haven't given up, and in the past weeks have been spotlighting candidates to replace Boris. Sadly, their offerings to public and media exposure have also been dreary beyond measure; uninspiring mediocrities, soporific nonentities lacking even a spark of charisma.

The events of the past few days offered a perfect opportunity to mount their coup. Those for whom no trade deal with the EU is unacceptable - the CBI wing - could use the opportunity to dis Boris by targeting Cummings. And a prominent handful did so. They are supported by the dark establishment, the grey men, who have vowed never to allow a no deal Brexit that would hurt the global corporates, and the media, who are defending not just supranationalism but their capture of the State, now under dire threat from the populists.

Yesterday's blue-tick meltdown on Twitter was a joy to behold. They became completely unhinged, and exposed themselves. We now know who our enemies are in the party, and the public know, despite their previous abject denials, where the interests of the prominent media hysterics lie. Poor Boulton was re-tweeting anti-Boris bile at such a frenetic rate that he surely must have dropped a stone overnight.

The Press are in the gutter as far as public opinion goes - never have they been held in such utter contempt by the British people. And like Peston, they have no self-awareness - they simply don't realise that their opinion doesn't matter. We're not interested in their opinions. We have our own.

But more egregious by far was the unrestrained reaction from one of those who have captured the establishment. This is far more serious than anyone is letting on, and though it was deleted within 11 minutes, it will live for decades -

 Hang on tight. The next few weeks will get rough - not Covid, but Brexit.

Steve Baker is the exception that proves the rule. Steve was a valuable member of ERG during May's demented bungling, but he's really not up to a ministerial job. He believes he deserves one, however, I think, and this frustration boiled over yesterday. Thus proving he really is a bit of a plank.