Another Bush-Blair transcript: you have a right to know

This conversation took place on 23 November, 2005. At the time, the insurgency in Iraq was spreading like wildfire, with hundreds of people being killed every day, US and British personnel targeted by ambushes, assassinations and suicide bombings.

Moreover the evidence was increasing that the invasion of Iraq was destabilising not only that country, but also the rest of the Middle East. An open season had begun on Middle Eastern Christians throughout the region, and thousands were fleeing for their lives (it’s now millions).

Both Bush and Blair were coming under pressure not only from opposition parties but also from their own. Increasingly questions were being asked about the point of the war and any strategy for ending it.

This time it was Tony ‘Anthony Blair’ (TB) who initiated the contact with George W. Bush (GWB). As ever determined to protect my sources, I shan’t reveal them – unless you can top the bid put in by another Nosy Parker among my readers (we’ll discuss the details in private, shall we?).

Also, there may be some Doubting Thomases among you who’ll question the authenticity of this transcript. So just for the benefit of those naysayers I’ve picked out in italics the statements President Bush is known to have made on record elsewhere.

TB: Hello, George?

GWB: Yo, Blair! Howdy, pardner. How they hangin’, hoss?

TB: They’re hanging just fine, George, thank you for asking. But you see, our MPs are pressing me about the war, and especially all that terrorism that’s going on in Iraq. Suicide bombings especially.

GWB: Hot damn, pardner, our military policemen don’t ask me nothin’.

TB: Sorry, George, in our parlance MP stands for ‘member of Parliament’.

GWB: Do what? So what d’y’all call military policemen over yonder? For short?

TB: Er… we call them MPs too.

GWB: Boy oh boy, you Limeys sure’s weird. How can y’all tell the difference between a cop and a congressman, hoss? Fess up.

TB: Er… I admit there exists a potential for confusion. But getting back to my enquiry…

GWB: Listen to me, pardner, and listen to me good coz I’m only gonna say it once. The same folks that are bombing innocent people in Iraq were the ones who attacked us in America on September the 11th.

TB: I didn’t realise many of them survived…

GWB: Same kind of folks is what I mean. So it ain’t no war on Iraq, it’s war on terror. You folla?

TB: Well, the point I’m trying to make is that some… er… folks in our Parliament, I mean Congress, don’t quite see it that way.

GWB: You know, pardner, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror.

TB: Yes, but how do you explain this to Congress?

GWB: I’m the commander – see, I don’t need to explain – I do not need to explain why I say things. That’s the interesting thing about being president. Mind you, hoss, if this was a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator. You folla?

TB: Oh I agree unreservedly. My friend Peter Mandelson – you’ve met Peter, haven’t you, George? – tells me all the time that’s how I should feel too. But how do you respond to vox populi?

GWB: Yo, Blair, I done told y’all not to talk like a goddamn faggot.

TB: Sorry, George, I mean what do you… er… all tell the people?

GWB: My fellow ‘mericans, I say, our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.

TB: I’m sure that works famously, George. But after two years of this war people seem to sound as if they want peace.

GWB: They sure do, pardner, they sure do, yes sirree bob. So I go on the boob tube and I tell’em, I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.

TB: And they buy it?

GWB: ‘kin-A right they do, hoss. Like they’ll buy tickets for your lectures after you retire. Goddamn millions of them.

TB: Yes, thank you for arranging that, George…

GWB: Hey, you scratch my back, I scratch yours. Gotta dance with who brung ya.

TB: Then there’s this other thing. Our people are worried about the persecution of Christians…

GWB: There ain’t no Christians in the Middle East. Not like there’s in Texas.

TB: You’re right, George, not quite like those in Texas, but some… er… folks here still think they are Christians nonetheless. And they’re blaming us, you and me George, for having made their lives excruciatingly hard.

GWB: Y’ll talkin’ like a faggot again, pardner. Them A-rabs, I-raqs and I-rans ain’t real Christians. They don’t know God like I do. I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job.

TB: Alas, it’s Alastair Campbell who speaks through me. And he tells me people are wondering…

GWB: Tell’em not to worry their pretty little heads. They better ask real important questions. Like, rarely is the question asked: is our children learning?

TB: Right you are, George… Now about that lecture tour…







Bush-Blair transcripts: all is revealed here and now

Bush-Blair letters and transcripts of conversations dealing with the invasion of Iraq will never be made public, the official inquiry ruled.

On the one hand, I welcome this decision. After all, every country is entitled to protect its secrets, especially those whose exposure may jeopardise national security.

In this instance the most sensitive information to be protected is neither the supply logistics of the invasion nor the allied coordination of large-scale operations on foreign soil. It’s what kind of people we elect to make decisions affecting, at times killing, millions of people.

Having said that, it’s with quite some pleasure bordering on glee that I’m happy to release a few of those documents I have in my possession.

Don’t ask me how I came by this information: I won’t tell you even if you render me to Guantanamo and waterboard me to kingdom come. A small donation to my favourite charity, however, may make me reconsider my principled stance, but we’ll have to discuss this in private.

Meanwhile here’s the transcript of the telephone conversation between President George W. Bush (GWB) and Prime Minister Tony ‘Anthony’ Blair (TB) that took place at 2.30 am on 1 March, 2003.

GWB: Yo, Blair!

TB: Er… who’s this?

GWB: Hot damn, boy, it’s me, George! Whatsa matter with you today?

TB: Er… what time is it, George?

GWB: It’s 9.30, boyo. Can’t afford a watch, is that it?

TB: Er… it’s quite a bit later here, George. Let me see… It’s 2.30 in the morning actually.

GWB: Gee willikers, Blair, gotta have y’all’s watch fixed. This here ‘merican Rolex says 9.30.

TB: We’re actually in a different time zone, George.

GWB: Don’t give me that bull, Blair. When it’s 9.30 in good ole DC, it’s 9.30 in Londontown. You folla?

TB: Yes, I do actually. So 9.30 it is. How can I help you, George? And pray don’t give me your usual line about bringing you your slippers in my mouth.

GWB: You remember that one? I was only kiddin’, boy. No, it’s about them towel heads.

TB: You mean the Middle East?

GWB: ‘kin-A right, boy. I’m fixin’ to kick the livin’ bejeesus outa them I-rans, I-raqs and A-rabs. Know what I mean?

TB: Actually, I’m not sure I do, George.

GWB: You don’t know jack, Blair. I’m fixin’ to pop over the water with everythin’ I got and kick that bastard Saddam outa I-ran. You folla?

TB: Surely you mean Iraq, George?

GWB: Hey, boy, I ain’t no limey. I’m ‘merican. I mean what I say and say what I mean. Like I say, I’m fixin’ to kick Saddam outa I-raq.

TB: Yes, I thought that’s what you said, George. Is one allowed to ask what this is in aid of?

GWB: Yo Blair, I told you before not to speak like a goddamn faggot when you talk to me. But now you ask, no one blows up Chicago skyscrapers and gets away with it.

TB: You mean New York, don’t you George?

GWB: Yeah, New York, that’s what I said. And now he wants to blow up the whole goddamn US of A with his rockets. Well, not on my watch he doesn’t. You folla?

TB: Er… George, I’ve spoken to our Intelligence Service about this and they seem to suggest that the evidence is rather inconclu…

GWB: Lemme worry about the intel, Blair. Your guys are too busy chasing little boys to take care of business. What I want to know is are you comin’ along for the ride or are you gonna chicken out on me?

TB: I’m with you all the way, George, whatever you do. You know that. But, and I don’t want to be blunt about this, what’s in it for me?

GWB: What d’y’all mean what’s in it for you? You wanna be a world statesman, right? That’s where the money is. And you ain’t got a Chinaman’s chance of that if you don’t go along with the good ole US of A. Who d’you think is gonna pay your ticket after you ain’t a PM no more? Those frog cheese-eatin’ surrender monkeys? You folla?

TB: I most certainly do. Well, all right, George. I’ll certainly take this under advisement…

GWB: Don’t you take me under no advisement, boy, and don’t you advisement me under no taking. In or out, that’s what I wanna know.

TB: I’m in, George, now that you put it this way.

GWB: Just like that? Don’t y’all have to run this by, like, y’all’s cabinet? Or Congress?

TB: We call it Parliament here, George, though you may be right: it’s time we changed that obsolete name. Congress sounds so much better.

GWB: You bet your sweet patootie it does, boy. So don’t y’all have to ask’em first, whatever y’all call’em?

TB: Well, George, you needn’t worry about that. I don’t want to encumber you with extraneous details, but the workings of our parliamentary democracy are such that I don’t have to…

GWB: I get it, boy. You’re in – and welcome aboard. But Blair?

TB: Yes, George?

GWB: Do me a favour, will you? Stop talkin’ like a goddamn faggot.







It’s the LibDems who really won the election, says David Aaronovitch

To be honest, he didn’t quite say it in so many words. In fact, with David, whose words are indeed many, it’s never easy to figure out what it is he’s actually saying.

Whatever it is, he invariably says it badly. This is how his Times article begins: “If a person is absolutely determined to jump off a cliff, believing they can fly…”

Who are ‘they’? ‘A person’? If hacks were licensed, this sentence alone would get him struck off.

A man ready to sacrifice style, grammar and elementary logic at the faddish altar of idiotic political correctness should confine his writing exploits to the walls of public lavatories. Then again, The Times is rapidly descending to the level of that medium.

This explains why the paper publishes the kind of drivel exemplified by Mr Aaronovitch. “British people,” he writes, “are becoming more inclined to stay in the EU”.

Had this conclusion been reached intuitively or in the wake of an unofficial private poll, I wouldn’t murmur a word of objection. A distinguished journalist like Mr Aaronovitch no doubts keeps his finger on the pulse of public opinion and it’s not impossible that he should have his own sources of information.

But actually he arrived at this declaration solely as a result of the EU election decisively won by Ukip – the first time in British history that a rank outsider won a national election of any sort.

It takes an epic effort of verbal callisthenics to interpret this historic victory the Aaronovitch way. But trust him to do just that: “But what about the 73 per cent who did not, despite everything, vote Ukip?”

Despite what exactly? The hysterical campaign of anti-Ukip insults and slander unleashed by just about every paper and TV channel in the country? The gushing sewer of falsehoods and outright lies about the virtues of the EU and benefits of unchecked immigration? The entire political establishment transcending party differences to join forces against Ukip?

Now imagine for a second what would have happened had the BBC, The Guardian, The Times and other EU loudspeakers reversed their affections and actually campaigned for Ukip.

The safe bet is that it would have been Ukip polling 73 percent, leaving David ‘Intellectual Rigour’ Aaronovitch to argue that 27 percent still didn’t vote for the party, proving that the Brits are fervently pro-EU.

The rest of the piece raises this sterling feat of journalistic integrity to new heights. Not to cut too fine a point, it’s sheer gibberish making not one iota of sense but instead trying to activate the readers’ Pavlovian responses.

Ukip is racist, because 30 percent of Britons admit to harbouring racial prejudices (don’t ask me about the logic here, ask David). Ukip is going to “spend high and tax nothing” (I’d like to see some evidence of this intention… well, never mind. This isn’t about evidence – as David’s former role model Stalin once said in reference to John Adams’s aphorism, “If facts are stubborn things, then so much the worse for facts.”).

Ukip’s agenda, says Mr Aaronovitch, is “negative”. His own, on the other hand, has a positive element to it: immigration, the more the merrier, is good for us.

If the denizens of those Calais camps currently being bulldozed by the French were kept away from these shores, “We’d be poorer, less influential and saddled without the means to cater for an ageing population.”

And the evidence for this? “I think many of us know or intuit this.” That’s all right then. Silly me.

Well, our former Chancellor Lord Lamont knows exactly the opposite. In his letter published in the very same issue that contains Mr Aaronivitch’s logorrhoea, Lord Lamont writes:

“An inquiry held in 2008 by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee (of which I was a member) found no evidence for the contention that immigration generates significant economic benefit for the existing population… most of the benefit goes to immigrants themselves… all immigrants between 1995 and 2011 cost the Exchequer £95 billion.”

All I can do is apologise for my own, and Lord Lamont’s, cynical materialism. Now I know what David means. Who cares about the odd billion here or there?

If we fling our doors open even wider, we may indeed become poorer economically, but we’ll be richer in more important ways, above all culturally. That’s what Mr Aaronovitch has to mean, even though this assertion wouldn’t quite tally with “the means to cater for an ageing population”. But hey, what’s another logical solecism among friends?

Again, this must be something our star columnist “intuits”, for any evidence of the valuable contribution recent arrivals have made to our culture is demonstrably lacking. The contribution they’ve made to our crime rate is easier to document, as is their gallant effort to lengthen the queues at the social. But when intuition speaks facts fall silent.

And then came the clincher that makes one doubt not just Mr Aaronovitch’s intelligence and writing ability (both fall somewhere between scant and nonexistent) but also his sanity:

“We do not have brave politicians at the moment (with the possible and surprising exception of Nick Clegg).” No comment is either necessary or possible, except the one I ‘intuit’:

Send out for the men in white coats. There’s a ranting deluded maniac on the loose. Lock up your children and plug up your ears.



The good news: Britain isn’t particularly anti-Semitic

The bad news: most of the rest of Europe is, and the Middle East even more so.

A massive survey of 53,000 subjects asked people in 102 countries to agree or disagree with some popular anti-Semitic statements. 

Most of those reflected various aspects of the Jewish conspiracy to rule the world (just this once, the Masons were left out) and the fact that the Jews have only themselves to blame for every manifestation of anti-Semitism, implicitly including the Holocaust.

It’s gratifying that Britain, along with the Anglophone world in general and the USA in particular, has come out best.

For example, Britain’s 12-percent level of anti-Semitism is only about a third of the Western European average – and a seventh of that of Greece, comfortably the most anti-Semitic country in Europe (in case you’re wondering, Hungary finished in the silver-medal position).

Interestingly, 77 percent of those who hate Jews for their behaviour have never actually met a Jew. Moreover, in most countries there exists an inverse if counterintuitive relationship between the number of Jews and anti-Semites: the fewer of the former, the more of the latter.

As a lifelong opponent of purely empirical knowledge, I have to feel vindicated. It’s good to see so many people basing their savagery on intuitive and philosophical presuppositions, rather than observation or cold facts.

Having often argued that faith is a valid form of knowledge, I welcome any substantiation, even if provided by mentally challenged Yahoos.

While we possess the absolute standard of good, evil has many gradations. Thus if the Middle East in general is 74 percent anti-Semitic, in the Arab states this figure rises to the near-uniformity of 82.5 percent – as opposed, say, to merely half of the Iranians.

It would be easy to blame political conflicts in the region, but facts make this copout considerably harder. For example, Iranians, whose state has officially declared Israel Enemy No. 1, are less anti-Semitic than Saudis, whose country’s geopolitical interests are closely intertwined with Israel, and whose proposal for the Arab Peace Plan is currently on the table.

Also, Lebanon, which has been directly or indirectly involved in the conflict for decades, is marginally less anti-Semitic than Algeria and Morocco, whose interest in Israeli affairs is mostly vicarious.

It’s not all about Islam either. Witness the fact that Middle Eastern Christians are more anti-Semitic than Muslims outside the Middle East – and Arab Christians are more anti-Semitic than non-Arab Muslims.

Yet the rising level of anti-Semitism is Western Europe, especially since 2000, is definitely linked with the burgeoning Muslim population.

A recent study of schoolchildren in Belgium, for example, showed that Muslim anti-Semites among them outnumber Christian ones five to one. The murder of visitors to the Brussels Jewish Museum the other day livened up the dry statistics, especially since the city’s population is 40 percent Muslim (by the looks of it, everyone else is an EU bureaucrat on an expense account).

Actually Belgium has form in escalating anti-Semitic attacks: for instance, more than 100 of them occurred in 2009, an increase of 100 percent on 2008. France boasts much higher absolute numbers but then, to be fair, she also has Europe’s highest population of both Muslims and Jews.

The format of a short article doesn’t encourage detailed analysis, especially, as we’ve seen, some obvious material factors don’t seem to explain much. For example, Sartre, his Marxist heart yearning for an economic explanation of everything, once described anti-Semitism as “a poor man’s snobbery”.

One wonders how he’d explain the fact that Laos has an anti-Semitism level of a meager one percent, as opposed to 24 percent in France. Yet, the last I looked, France is still wealthier than Laos, though the combined efforts of the EU and my friend François Hollande are doing much to narrow the gap.

One comment is worth making though. Human nature has a propensity towards externalising evil: it’s gratifying to blame others for our own wickedness, ineptitude and irrational resentments.

Speaking specifically about Europe, Anti-Semitic and other such sentiments are always there, but most of the time they lazily bubble underneath the surface. However, when the pressure in the boiler rises and the safety valve is failing, such feelings burst out.

Any revolution represents an uncontrollable spike in pressure, which is why it always brings out the darkest side of human nature. To this observation there are no known exceptions: even the supposedly benign revolution in America ran the French equivalent pretty close in the number of victims (especially if we justifiably regard the Civil War as the second act of the revolutionary drama).

 There’s little doubt that we in Europe are in the throes of a revolution, where old certitudes aren’t just discarded but widely mocked. The pressure is building up, and the traditional safety valve of holding the national government to account isn’t so much failing as being removed.

Faced with all governments and all major parties across Europe uniting in the common revolutionary cause, people are rapidly running out of legitimate means of protest. If history is anything to go by, whenever this happens bestial feelings and practices come to the fore, especially when a little economic frustration is thrown in.

The European elections fired no more than a warning shot across the bows, but it’s a warning our ruling elites would be foolish to ignore. When people feel they have no recourse, raising its head is fascism in all its manifestations, of which anti-Semitism is the time-honoured one.

But it’s not the only one, and those who are happy that quasi-fascist parties haven’t quite taken over the European parliament are in denial. Michael Burleigh, for example, rejoices that “70 per cent of the vote went to mainstream centrist parties”. It’s more appropriate to commiserate that most of the remaining 30 percent went to nasty extremists.

Ultimately Europeans will never accept the on-going revolutionary reshuffling of their cultural, national and demographic pack, especially when the joker of growing Islamisation is slipped in.

The pressure will blow the lid off, and all sorts of fascistic nastiness will splash out. Including, as is always the case, anti-Semitism.













A little bet on the 2015 general election

Do you like the odd flutter? I don’t, but in this case I’m prepared to make an exception.

I bet that at least one leader of the three mainstream parties will lose his job before the next election. What odds will you give me?

Moreover, if I’m proved right, I’ll let my winnings ride on two out of the three consigned into what Ed’s role model Trotsky called the rubbish bin of history.

And, if you offer crazy odds to reflect the crazy audacity of such gambling, I’ll even go for three out of three.

Yes, that’s right. I think there’s a strong possibility than none of the three ‘leaders’ will contest the next election. And there’s an absolute certainty that none of them deserves to.

Before we go on to serious business, let’s just take Clegg out of this betting game. There’s every chance he won’t hold on to his parliamentary seat, never mind the party leadership.

If this were Japan, after his consistent record of failure capped by the current disaster, Nick would be presented with a sword on an ornate platter and told to disembowel himself.

In a more occidental context, any self-respecting leader of a self-respecting party would immediately resign, offering profuse apologies for his ineptitude. But we’re no longer blessed with self-respecting leaders. We’re cursed with spivs.

They go into politics not to gain power for the sake of doing some good for the country – they do so for self-aggrandisement. Power isn’t a means; it’s the end.

For as long as there’s a minuscule chance of hanging on, they’ll do so until their fingertips turn white – even if all around them, including their party, tumble into the abyss.

But Nick isn’t the only power-hungry spiv in his party. When the others finally cotton on that his affection for personal gain jeopardises their own ambitions, they’ll kick him out – so the first part of my bet is reasonably safe.

Then there’s Ed, and it says a lot about our thoroughly corrupted electorate that he’s even remotely considered as a possible PM. Not only that, but some respectable pollsters actually predict his victory, the stuff of nightmares for every thinking person.

Ed was a key member of the government that plunged Britain into every imaginable catastrophe, be it economical, social, international, demographic, military or cultural – you name it.

That by itself isn’t necessarily a disqualifying circumstance. After all, for old times’ sake we must believe that repentance brings redemption.

If Ed repudiated the criminal policies of which he was one of the key architects, along with the evil philosophy behind them, and explained how he’d do exactly the opposite if elected, there would be something to discuss.

But he’s doing nothing of the sort. Quite the opposite: he’s openly promising to push all the same disaster-making policies to their extreme. That means that the calamity he and his jolly friends perpetrated on the country in 1997-2010 will be infinitely worse if they get in again.

On the outside chance that the Tories manage to put together an effective campaign, even the slowest voters may get the message, although that’s one thing I’m not prepared to bet on. But if that were to happen, many power-hungry spivs in the Labour party will lose their seats, and there are signs that they’re beginning to dread this scenario.

If polls begin to show that voters have growing misgivings about Ed, much as they may cherish his wicked ideology, a clash between the leader and the nomenklatura will ensue. My bet would be on the latter.

That leaves my friend Dave, who raises grave doubts that he’s capable of spearheading the effective campaign I mentioned earlier.

In a few short years Dave has managed to alienate the core support of his party, including much of its parliamentary faction. Dave evidently isn’t bright enough to realise that for many Tories the word ‘conservative’ isn’t just a figure of speech.

One would have thought that the success of Ukip, mainly at a cost to the Tory cause, would point him in the right direction. But such a hope would be forlorn: Dave’s overriding ambition, besides personal power, is social acceptability in the better parts of London.

Holding or, God forbid, upholding conservative principles would make him a pariah there, placing him in a position of cultural outcast. That’s why he refuses even to consider a deal with what he doubtless regards as frankly proletarian Ukip – the Bolli crowd in Notting Hill won’t wear it.

This being his idée fixe, Dave is displaying worrying symptoms of incipient schizophrenia, one of which is refusing to acknowledge reality. “We’re the Conservative party,” he said. “We don’t do pacts or deals.”

Excuse me? In case you haven’t noticed, Dave, you govern in coalition with the LibDems. Doesn’t this constitute a pact and a deal? Of course it does.

What Dave means is that he’ll only do a deal acceptable to his Bolli-sipping friends – even if the core of his own party regards his deal partner with revulsion.

This again may present a problem with his party’s mandarins and other fruits. Some of them still possess enough residual sanity to realise that splitting the conservative vote (and Ukip will do just that) will probably put Ed into 10 Downing Street.

Quite apart from the disaster that’ll certainly befall the country, this would mean diminution of the mandarins’ own power, and that’s the only outcome our politicos, regardless of their party affiliation, will never accept.

Hence a clash between the nomenklatura and its head is also brewing in the Tory party. A few more polls like the one recently conducted by Lord Ashcroft (showing that Labour is on course to win the general election), and the conflict will come to a head.

The odds on all those power shifts happening are admittedly long. But they aren’t prohibitive, and I for one am willing to take my chances.

European elections: disappointment, misapprehension and lies

Disappointment: Ukip.

I’m not disappointed that Ukip won the European election. On the contrary, I’m happy about it and hope the party can do as well in the general election.

However, one comment from the jubilant Nigel Farage suggested I shouldn’t hold my breath. He got into politics, said Mr Farage, to get Britain out of the EU. Once that goal has been achieved, he’ll get out. Job done.

I agree that departure from that wicked organisation is a necessary condition for Britain to regain her national identity. But it’s not a sufficient condition.

Even assuming that most Brits share Mr Farage’s contempt for the EU (which will be an unsafe assumption once our main parties have joined their propaganda forces with the EU before the referendum, provided we ever get one), they have other concerns as well. Some of those, such as education, healthcare and economy, may even trump the issue of European federalism.

Mr Farage may not think that ought to be the case, and I’d happily agree. But modal verbs like ‘ought’ don’t work in politics any better than the subjunctive mood does. ‘Is’ and ‘are’ are more useful, and the situation described in the previous paragraph is how things are, much as we may deplore it.

Standing on a single issue is no problem in a single-issue election, such as the one in which Ukip has just triumphed much to my delight. In a general election, however, this would be suicidal: for a party to do well it has to commit itself to a coherent programme ticking all the major boxes and reflecting a clearly defined philosophy.

There’s no doubt that, come 2015, the mainstream parties will attack Ukip, portraying it as a one-trick pony. Nigel Farage’s statement, and similar statements I’ve heard from other Ukip dignitaries, will add ammunition to the party’s detractors.

What Mr Farage should have said between his third and fourth pints is something along these lines:

“Ukip has just proved it has become a major force in British politics. We see ourselves as a natural home for a currently disfranchised group: hardworking, conservative people who wish to express themselves freely within the framework of our ancient constitution.

“For us, as it is for them, getting out of Europe isn’t an end in itself but a means to the end – restoring Britain to her past glory as a just, prosperous, kind nation ruled by laws passed on from generation to generation and codified by Parliament.

“Next month I shall present our cast-iron proposals on government, economy, law, education and healthcare. Watch this space – and thank you for your support. Together we’ve made the first step. Now let’s go all the way.”

This is the general idea, not the exact words. The idea Mr Farage chose to communicate instead is tantamount to a boxer dropping his guard while winking at a pretty girl in the audience.

Misapprehension: Contrary to what our papers are screaming in their headlines, Europe hasn’t lurched to the right. In fact, of the parties that have done well in the elections only Ukip can be legitimately described as a party of the right.

Of course, agreeing on the terminology is important here. For me, the right end of any reasonably defined political spectrum is occupied by conservatism.

A sensible definition of modern conservatism was inadvertently supplied by Tim Montgomerie who, as a Tory apparatchik at heart, is bleeding internally in the aftermath of his party coming third – and Ukip winning hands down.

He too spotted with his eagle eye that Ukip’s appeal is somewhat lacking in breadth. The party, he wrote, should commit itself on other issues, meaning it has to decide whether it wants to be “traditionalist or libertarian”.

But there’s no need to choose. A modern conservative party has to be both: libertarian on the economy, traditionalist on everything else.

Gone are the days when British conservatism, especially when spelled with a capital initial, was a form of paternalistic socialism. Nowadays economic libertarianism is not only a sine qua non of a prosperous nation, but it’s also consistent with the founding principles of our civilisation, specifically its accent on freedom of choice.

At the same time, maintaining all other such principles demands social, religious and cultural traditionalism, which is by no means at odds with economic liberty.

If we define conservatism in such terms – and I dare you to find better ones – then it’s clear that assorted quasi-fascist European parties, such as the French Front National, occupy the opposite, left, end of the political spectrum.

The peculiar idea that fascism is rightwing goes back to the 1930s, when Stalin’s Russia was lauded as genuinely leftwing. As it was in opposition to Nazi Germany and fascist Italy, those countries had to be regarded as rightwing.

The Nazi-Soviet Pact that pushed the button for the Second World War brought that definition into question, but not for long. The Nazis attacked the Soviets in June, 1941, restoring the original false taxonomy.

Yet if you compare the Nazi, fascist, Soviet and Front National economic programmes, you’ll see that they differ only in insignificant details. All these parties are socialist, with either a national or international tint.

Front National represents the national take on socialism. Its ideal government involves the big state exercising maximum control over the small individual, which is as good a definition of socialism as any.

Add to this chauvinistic extremism, richly spiced with racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, and the picture is complete. Marine Le Pen is a national socialist, which means leftwing. Incidentally, Stalin’s Russia, which is never described as rightwing, boasted all the same traits.

Lies: Putin’s about the Ukraine.

Petro Poroshenko’s landslide victory in the Ukrainian election is widely covered in our press. He’s described as a pro-European liberal, and I have no reason to doubt this designation, even though a part of me smells a bit of an oxymoron in it.

What our press didn’t communicate is that the extreme nationalist parties, Liberty and The Right Sector, flopped with 1.7 and 0.66 percent of the vote respectively.

Yet Putin’s, which is to say Russian, press has been screaming itself hoarse on those two parties representing the mainstream of the forces that overthrew Putin’s stooge Yanukovych. All Ukrainians other than Putin’s stooges are supposed to be fascists. Well, their voting pattern gives the lie to such hysterical slander.

At the same time, Putin’s thugs in the east of the country used intimidation and armed violence to prevent about 20 percent of Ukrainians from casting their vote. Obviously they know something many don’t: even the east of the country wants nothing to do with Putin.

It’s Putin and his mercenaries who are the fascists there. Peter Hitchens, ring your office.

Col. Putin kindly teaches Prince Charles royal etiquette

“This is not what monarchs do,” explained Col. Putin, commenting on some unflattering comparisons drawn by HRH in a private conversation.

As a great champion of the good colonel, I don’t question for a second his qualifications to teach our royals how to speak and behave.

Admittedly, he himself hasn’t yet assumed the Russian throne. But his admirers, such as me and Peter Hitchens, will probably agree that this is a mere formality.

Col. Putin has been the de facto tsar of all Russias for 14 years now, and Charles is still only heir to the throne. He’s thus in a learning mode, and who better than an old hand at monarchy to give him a lesson or two?

The first lesson is in history. Russian papers are kindly reminding, verbally and pictorially, our trainee monarch of the Nazi tar in his own family barrel.

Every day Russian readers are regaled with the photos of that other Prince of Wales, soon to become Edward VIII, Mrs Simpson by his side, having friendly chats with Hitler. For good measure the papers also run pictures of that well-known Nazi Prince Harry, sporting a swastika armband at a fancy-dress party.

Watch who you compare to Hitler, you effete inbred Nazis, seems to be the message. Those stones you throw may come back and shatter your own glass houses.

Hoping that the history lesson has been heard, read, marked, learned and inwardly digested, it’s now time for a lesson in language, class.

Of course, before people take lessons on board, they have to make sure that the teacher is properly qualified. For example, we’d happily learn how to play football from Stephen Gerrard but perhaps not how to speak English. Conversely, we’d be happy to hear what Cicero would have to say on speaking Latin, but not on how to play a long, diagonal pass.

And what better way to establish a man’s lexical competence than to point out some dazzling jewels from his own rhetorical collection? So here’s a brief collage of some such gems by Col. Putin.

All these lessons in proper royal speak were delivered in public statements, and I know you’ll agree with me that these provide the best insight into the speaker’s mastery of language.

To put Col. Putin’s remarks into their proper context, I’ve taken the liberty of adding some parenthetic comments. I hope they won’t spoil your pleasure.   

“If you want to become an Islamic radical for real, to the point of getting circumcised, I invite you to Moscow… I’ll tell them to do the surgery so that nothing will grow back.” [At a press conference, responding to a question on Russian brutality in Chechnya.]

“We’ll pursue terrorists everywhere… – if we catch’em in the toilet, we’ll whack’em in the shithouse.” [A nice turn of phrase, wouldn’t you say?]

“We’re planning to expand trade with the Ukraine if she stops snatching our gas.” [It sounds ruder in the original Russian.]

“The collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century.” [Tell that to the 60 million victims, Vlad.]

“If we chew our own snot for years, we won’t change anything.” [Elegantly put.]

“If you have no money… – you can’t buy anything at a shop: neither a cannon nor a missile nor medicines. [So that’s where those Russo-Ukrainian thugs got their rockets? We wondered.]

“Of course I’m an absolute, pure democrat. But you know what the trouble is? More than trouble, a real tragedy? That I’m the only one like that, there simply are no others in the world.” [Has Peter Hitchens been moonlighting as Putin’s speechwriter?]

“I’ve seen some papers to that effect – it’s all claptrap. They dug bogies out of their noses and smeared them all over the papers.” [So that’s how a royal ought to respond to rumours about his own wealth.]

“We’ll hang him [President Saakashvili] by the balls.” [Formulating the strategic objectives of Russia’s 2008 attack on Georgia.]

“It still takes months to start your own business. You have to bribe all sorts of people: firemen, paramedics, gynaecologists.” [But not government officials, God forbid. One gets the urge to investigate Moscow’s gynaecological mafia.]

“Everyone should hoe his own plot, like St Francis, wham-bam, every day.” [St Francis wasn’t primarily known for his agricultural exploits, but we know what you mean, Vlad.]

“They can’t blackmail our state. If necessary, we’ll destroy the blackmail tools.” [A proper response to sanctions – Iranian ayatollahs, take note.]

“He raped ten women! I never expected that from him! He surprised us all! We all envy him!” [At a meeting with Israel’s PM Ehud Olmert, in reference to the charges against President Moshe Katsav who was later sentenced to seven years in prison.]

“I used to be a common Leningrad thug.” [You don’t say. Surely not? Fine, fine, we believe you.]

There we go then. This mini-thesaurus establishes Col. Putin’s teaching qualifications. I do hope Prince Charles is suitably impressed, humbled and grateful.

Politicos still don’t get it: Ukip vote isn’t just protest

Pundits living in the good parts of Greater London are accusing similarly domiciled politicians of losing touch with ‘the people’.

This is a case of the teapot calling the teapot black. It’s also stubborn refusal to come to grips with the real issues involved.

Wittingly or unwittingly, even conservative papers are trying to interpret Ukip’s success in the terms of class war. But these terms are set by the socialists who, being both the pioneers and shock troops of such warfare, are much better at it.

The underlying, occasionally explicit, assumption is that Ukip gets ahead in life by agitating some subconscious, subcutaneous resentments in hoi polloi’s minds, the principal one being dislike of Johnny Foreigner.

Since the mainstream party leaders all seem to play lickspittle to foreigners, be that by dissolving British sovereignty in an international body or by allowing unlimited immigration, hoi polloi jump and salute the Ukip pound sign. Of course if they were able to understand the intellectual aspects of politics, they’d vote for one of the other three parties, doesn’t really matter which.

There’s some truth in regarding support for Ukip as voting not for the party but against all others. But it’s far from being the whole truth.

Most people vote negatively anyway, regardless of which party is the beneficiary. In the last general election, for example, many real conservatives voted Tory not because they liked the party or especially its leader, but because they found Labour to be unimaginably emetic. By the same token, an intuitive leftie would rather vote for any party of the left than for the Tories – whoever leads them and whatever their policies.

In today’s politics we choose not so much the lesser of two evils as the evil of two lessers. My contention is that such is an inevitable result of unchecked one-man-one-vote democracy which inherently promotes irresponsible voting for incompetent leaders. But that’s a separate subject.

The fact is that every policy proposed by Ukip makes rational sense – which ought to be grasped by the denizens of both Hampstead and Hull.

English voters, whether educated at Eton or a local comprehensive, tend to like England, a concept most understand in more than just the purely geographical sense.

They’re quite happy, if not invariably ecstatic, with Englishness as it has evolved over the better part of two millennia. Central to this notion isn’t blood but historical culture, understood broadly.

The culture of England, unlike that of any other major European country, rotates around the hub of her constitution based on the ancient common law. Destroying the constitution is tantamount to ripping the heart out of the nation, and only a fool or a knave can possibly believe that our constitution can survive when pooled in a giant, unaccountable foreign body.

Let me reemphasise that this centrality of politics to the nation’s character is unique to England. France, to name one example, effectively was part of Germany in 1940-1944, and yet Maurice Chevalier had every right to sing Paris reste Paris while tipping his boater to the SS officers in the audience.

France doesn’t rely on politics to keep her national identity intact. While England has had roughly the same political arrangement since 1688, during this period France has gone through absolute monarchy, revolutionary government, the Directory, military dictatorship, empire, constitutional monarchy, five republics and vassalage to an occupying power – yet still Paris reste Paris and France remains France.

If the same political game of musical chairs were played here, the English nation would cease to exist, pure and simple. Those capable of thinking such matters through know this; many of the rest sense it. And both groups converge at the voting booth.

The same goes for unlimited immigration. The survival of a local culture based on the English common law is imperilled at a locality where the English are in a minority – as they are in many parts of London, Leicester, Birmingham, Leeds, Bradford and so forth.

My background should absolve me from the charge of English xenophobia, but I do feel uncomfortable when walking with my good friend through the streets of South London, where he lives, and realising that we’re the only English speakers in the crowd.

It’s naïve to think that such places can retain their long-term link to English culture, especially since the prevailing demographic trends point at an even worse situation in the future. Specifically, the adhesive of English culture is likely to come unstuck in such places – witness the clamour for using Sharia in many parts of England.

Leaving the EU and restricting immigration are Ukip’s flagship policies, and both can be defended with a great deal more intellectual rigour than that displayed by their opponents.

For example, Dominic Sandbrook complains in The Mail that “his [Farage’s] policies fill me with dread” though they lamentably appeal to those less intelligent than Mr Sandbrook, and isn’t it a shame that Farage is so much better at rabble-rousing than our young Etonians.

This is misreading the situation. Ukip is doing well not in spite of its policies but because of them – not because it sends dark subliminal messages to simpletons. My only regret is that its position as an outsider forces it to rally the troops behind so few policies.

Granted, a small party fighting for political legitimacy can’t afford the luxury of engaging its adversaries along the whole front. Tactically it has to concentrate its forces on securing a breech and establishing a beachhead (all contests are patterned after war, hence the terminology).

But if the logic of political rough-and tumble doesn’t allow Ukip to go broad, perhaps it still ought to consider going broader. I happen to know that some of its leaders have a secure grasp of conservatism in all its manifestations – more secure, at any rate, than the limp-wristed hold of our ruling elites.

If I were a Ukip strategist (something I have neither any hope nor any desire of becoming), I’d suggest that without broadening its strategic horizons, while maintaining its tactical focus, the party risks a chastening experience at next year’s general election.

The nation has many conservatives but no conservative party. Ukip could position itself as the vacuum filler – which would both excite people’s heads and touch their hearts. But this would involve more than just a call for leaving the EU.

Foreign policy, economy, social issues, education, medical care all must come into play, in however limited a way. Is this possible for a relatively new party to do? I suppose we’ll find out in 2015.

The best way not to be compared to Hitler is not to act like him

My oh my, aren’t we sensitive. Seems like Col. Putin took Prince Charles’s casual yet factually unassailable remark close to heart.

In a way one can understand his feelings. Let’s face it, Hitler isn’t the nicest historical personage to be compared to.

I’m sure Col. Putin would rather be likened to Dr Schweitzer, Mother Teresa or perhaps St Sergius of Radonezh.

Alas, his behaviour is more likely to invoke different parallels, and in Putin’s Russia St Sergius, the great fourteenth-century monk, has lent his name to a frankly Nazi gang (you can see them on the march in my article of 2 May).

Col. Putin’s second choice for an historical doppelgänger would probably be some strong but fair Russian ruler, perhaps Ivan IV (the Terrible), Peter I (the Great) or, closer to home, Comrade Stalin.

Ivan was the first Russian tsar. He united Russia, while exterminating as many Russians as he could and reducing whole cities to ruins floating on filth and blood. For entertainment Ivan loved watching people being tortured to death.

Peter was the first Russian emperor. According to Pushkin, he “chopped a window into Europe”. The Russians, it has to be said, have been using the window mostly for casing the joint and burgling it when the owners looked the other way.

Unlike Ivan, Peter was a hands-on man, who didn’t just watch tortures and executions but carried them out personally. One of those he tortured and then executed was his son and heir (Ivan killed his own son with one mighty blow of his staff without the benefit of prior torture).

Comrade Stalin built the glorious edifice of the Soviet Union whose collapse Col. Putin describes as “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.” In the process he murdered tens of millions, proving he was indeed a strong but fair ruler. In the school textbooks introduced under Col. Putin, Stalin is described as an effective, if at times harsh, manager.

No doubt Putin sees himself as one too, so why couldn’t Prince Charles compare him to Stalin and be done with it? No, he had to say the ‘H’ word, incurring Putin’s wrath.

How dare he! We were the ones who defeated fascism! We lost 26 million to save the world from Hitler! It’s the worst thing you could say to a Russian strong but fair leader so beloved of Peter Hitchens and admired for his political skills by Nigel Farage!

It’s true that the Soviets elevated the country’s suffering in that war to a religion, and any critical remark of their part in the war is treated as blasphemy punishable by public immolation. Col. Putin is continuing this religious tradition. After all, he did say on 9 May that “the continuity of generations is our greatest asset.”

So no doubt he wouldn’t like to be reminded of a few historical facts, especially those that cast aspersion on the role the Soviets played. This was every bit as wicked as Hitler’s.

Even before they usurped power in 1917 the Bolsheviks had had close ties with the German military. It was the German generals von Seeckt, von Hoffmann and Ludendorf who were instrumental in sending Lenin to Russia in the infamous sealed train (“like a bacillus,” as Churchill put it).

Lenin kept his end of the bargain. Having overturned the only democratic government in Russian history, he immediately signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ceding about half of the Russian European territory to Germany.

When the Bolshevik regime hung by a thread in the early days, the German General Staff ordered all German POWs held by the Russians to form army units fighting on the Bolshevik side. This 300,000-strong German army saved Lenin and his gang when Gen. Krasnov’s Cossacks were about to take Petrograd.

After the Armistice both countries became international pariahs, which drew them close together. In 1922 they signed the Treaty of Rapallo whose published text postulated an exchange of German technology for Russian raw materials. The secret articles of the Treaty provided for a close military cooperation, enabling Germany to circumvent restrictions imposed at Versailles.

Lenin was particularly keen on building up Germany’s military muscle. Germany, he said, would act as “the icebreaker of the revolution”. Lenin knew that sooner or later Germany would seek revenge for the humiliation of Versailles. It would then attack the West, clearing the path for the Bolshevik hordes.

To that noble end between 1926 and 1929 the Soviets established schools for training German tank commanders, fighter pilots and chemical-warfare specialists (Germany was prohibited from operating such facilities on her own territory).

The Panzerschule Kama at Kazan in particular could boast an impressive list of alumni. Walter Model, Heins Guderian, Eric von Manstein, Werner von Blomberg were all graduates, and it was in Kazan that they fine-tuned the tactic of deep pincer thrusts they would later use to such well-publicised success.

In return the Germans effectively rebuilt (or more usually built from scratch) the Soviet industrial plant devastated by the advent of universal social justice.

The same advent deprived Russia of qualified scientists and engineers, most of whom were murdered, starved to death or, if they were lucky, kicked abroad. The vacancies thus formed were filled by German engineers, who used their know-how and technologies to build whole factories, such as the Junkers plant near Moscow.

When Hitler came to power the schools were closed down, and the two countries ostensibly became hostile. The cooperation, however, continued in secret, for Stalin shared Lenin’s great hopes for the ‘icebreaker of the revolution’.

In fact, without Stalin Hitler might not have come to power at all – in the 1933 election the communists wanted to form a bloc with the social democrats, thereby outpolling Hitler with ease. Stalin, however, issued a stern order prohibiting any such union and effectively delivering the election to Hitler.

The secret cooperation between the two predators continued throughout the ‘30s, and the 1939 Pact, which caught the West unawares, was its natural culmination. Hitler attacked Poland a week later on 1 September. Stalin followed suit on the 17th. Both predators were bent on world conquest, but they took different paths.

Hitler turned west, just as Lenin had predicted. Stalin meanwhile created the greatest invasion army ever. His tank force, while years ahead of any other country in quality, outnumbered all other tank forces combined. His air force outnumbered the Luftwaffe two to one. He had twice as many divisions as Hitler, with unlimited resources in reserve. The Soviet juggernaut was ready to roll, flattening Europe under its treads.

The Führer, however, refused to follow the script, according to which he was supposed to invade the British Isles, get bogged down and leave his back unprotected to Stalin’s dagger. Once the Germans realised they were about to be overrun they had no option but to launch a preemptive strike, beating Stalin to the punch by weeks (some historians say days).

The Nazi beast weaned on Soviet oil, metals, rubber, cereals and other strategic materials pounced on the Soviet monster, whose technological claws had been sharpened by Germany.

In the resulting war the Soviets indeed lost 26 million, give or take a few. The Russians have never been good at counting their corpses, on the correct assumption that there’s more where those came from. Neither do they divulge how many of those millions lost their lives to their own side, and that number runs into seven digits. Or perhaps those were on top of the 26 million.

One way or the other, the Russians have every right both to highlight their decisive role in defeating Hitler and to mourn their dead. What they have no right to is the sanctimonious pose of wounded virtue they’re striking.

Hitler was one culprit in the war; Stalin the other. The very fact that Putin laments the passage of Stalin’s empire leaves him open to unflattering comparisons. That he’s trying to rebuild the empire using the methods of the two predators, even more so.

Putin is busily creating a unique concoction: the kleptofascist state. No such beast has existed in modern history, but other beasts have. With those, Col. Putin does have much in common, so he ought to contain his hurt pride. 



















With enemies like The Times, Ukip needs no friends

After much soul searching Tim Montgomerie has all but promised to vote Tory today, if “without much enthusiasm”.

That fact alone ought to make many doubting conservatives vote Ukip – so the party should elevate The Times and Mr Montgomerie personally to honorary membership.

He starts his article by saying he wants Britain to leave the EU. Since today’s election is all about this thorny issue, one would think such feelings leave no room for doubt. After all, Ukip is the only mainstream party that shares Mr Montgomerie’s desire for Britain to regain her ancient constitutional sovereignty.

And yet, as Montgomerie puts it with his customary commitment to principle, “But, but, but.” This sort of wishy-washy dithering ought to give us all a pain in the but.

‘But’ what, exactly? Here comes: “If you want a say on Britain’s EU membership you have to vote Tory at next year’s general election (as I certainly will).” The parenthetic phrase is redundant: Mr Montgomerie would vote Tory even if the party were committed to slaying every firstborn boy.

However, it’s the rest of the sentence that I find appalling. First, I don’t want “a say on Britain’s EU membership”. I want Britain to leave the EU.

It’s utterly disingenuous to aver that our having a say in the matter will ever produce the result I want and Mr Montgomerie pretends he does.

First, Dave Cameron has so far broken most of his campaign promises. Surely this track record is sufficient to make one doubt that he’ll keep the pledge of holding an in/out referendum?

But let’s suppose, at a generous moment, that this will be one promise Dave will keep if re-elected. What then? Montgomerie himself says that “I don’t know anyone who thinks he’ll ever campaign for an ‘out’ vote.”

Allow me to offer my translation services yet again: in the unlikely event we do have such a referendum, Dave will throw the whole weight of the state propaganda machine, augmented by every TV station and every newspaper (with the possible exception of The Mail), behind the ‘in’ vote.

By way of run-up he’ll do some underhanded deals with Frau Merkel to dangle a few bogus concessions in front of the British public, enabling Dave to make the lying claim that Britain can remain fully sovereign within the EU.

Then we’ll be flooded by equally mendacious data on the economic benefits of EU membership. The choice, we’ll be told, is between untold riches within the EU or the status of a destitute pariah outside it.

This sort of stratagem worked for Harold Wilson’s government in 1975, when the issue of Britain’s membership in the Common Market was put to a referendum, and there’s every reason to believe it’ll work again.

The issue is that of free trade, the Brits were then told. The EEC has no political ambitions, it’s all about economics. Wouldn’t you like to be as prosperous as West Germany? Of course you would. So there’s really only one way for you to vote.

Another 40 years of comprehensive ‘education’ has made the British electorate even less sophisticated than it was then (the cynic in me feels that this was precisely the purpose of that educational disaster). At the same time the propaganda weapons at the government’s disposal now have considerably more firepower.

It’s thus likely that the nation will be tricked into voting ‘in’. As a result, it’ll have no further recourse: its subservient status within that wicked body will be forever chiselled in stone.

What are the other buts of Montgomerie’s joke? That “Nigel Farage’s party comes with so much baggage.”

Of course it does. And of course all other parties don’t, is this the impression we’re expected to get?

The Labour backbenches are full of ex-communists and I, for one, give no credence to the ‘ex’ prefix. Such scepticism is richly vindicated by their leader’s pronouncements, most of which smack of continuing allegiance to what passes for communist philosophy. How’s that for baggage?

And what about the Tories getting caught with their hands in the expenses till? Their sex scandals? Their senior figures doing time for perjury?

Ukip MEPs “seem to be addicted to the EU gravy train”. More so than others? I happen to know a couple of those putative addicts personally and, should Montgomerie dare name them among such corrupt individuals, they’d win a libel case hands down.

That isn’t to say that Ukip ranks are free of variously unsavoury individuals. No large group of human beings is: universal perfection isn’t in our nature, at least not in this life. But the implication that Ukip MEPs are worse than their colleagues is dishonest.

Here comes another but, this one showing Mr Montgomerie’s peculiar take on conservatism: “I support gay marriage [and] the foreign aid budget… The nimbys in Ukip don’t.” This makes ‘the nimbys’ not only more conservative than Montgomerie but also more intelligent and moral – yet another reason to vote Ukip.

What else? Oh yes, “Mr Farage behaved like a lout in his remarks about Herman van Rompuy.” What memory you have, Grandpa: Farage committed that unpardonable offence four years ago. Actually, how unpardonable is it?

Addressing Rumpy-Pumpy, Mr Farage said, “I have no doubt that your intention is to be the quiet assassin of European democracy and of European nation states.”

Does Mr Montgomerie have such doubts? Apparently not, considering his claim that he wants to leave the EU for all the same reasons as Mr Farage.

Farage then is a lout because he spoke the truth about Rumpy-Pumpy’s institutional remit. Of course speaking the truth is a disqualifying trait in today’s politicians, so one can understand the indignation.

To be fair, Farage added a few mild ad hominems, including some aimed at Rumpy-Pumpy’s appearance. However these sound like terms of endearment when compared to the bucketfuls of vile invective Tory politicians pour on Ukip voters.

For example, Dave once described them as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”. Does this make him a lout too?

It’s such inane, vacuous harangues that help so many undecided conservatives decide in favour of Ukip – especially when the author pretends to be reasonable and even-handed. The party owes Mr Montgomerie and his employer a debt of gratitude.