The Nazis were victims of Nazism, claim today’s Germans

It was 70 years today that Adolf Hitler killed his beloved dog Blondie, then, as an afterthought, Eva Braun and himself.

Blondie was definitely a victim there, and had the RSPCA had jurisdiction over the bunker, it would have had strong words to say about that act of cruelty towards animals. But what about the other two?

This raises the important issue of victimhood, both in the narrow context of that event and also more broadly.

Eva Hitler, née Braun, was a victim only to a very small extent. She accepted her death as willingly as she had plunged herself into a protracted liaison with a rather objectionable swain. One could justifiably say that she brought her misfortune on to herself.

Similarly, it takes an unlikely feat of verbal gymnastics to regard the Führer himself as his own victim, and so far not even David Irving has displayed the requisite dexterity.

If David Irving has slipped your mind, he is an historian who has earned quite a reputation, and a stint in prison, by insisting that the Holocaust never happened and just managing to desist from expressing the hope that some day it will.

The rest of us know the truth: those millions of Jews were victims of Nazism. Or, to be more ethnographically specific, of Germans, ably assisted by the like-minded populations of most countries the Germans had occupied until they lost the war.

The previous paragraph says something so obvious that I feel ashamed for having written it. My only excuse is that 91 per cent of today’s Germans don’t regard the Allied victory as Germany’s defeat.

Those same Germans who in their millions screamed Sieg Heil!!! and then gleefully did everything they could to make that Sieg a reality, who built and manned concentration camps, operated gas chambers, murdered millions in addition to the Jews, welcomed every cannibalistic policy of the Nazi regime, deified Hitler until things went sour, fought to the last man as the Allies were advancing into Germany – those same Germans weren’t losers.

They were victims of Nazism, and hence the Allies’ victory wasn’t their defeat. It was their liberation, their victory as well. Such is the received wisdom in Germany today.

This has to be the only example in history of victims fighting their deliverers tooth and nail until the very last moment.

Then again, victimhood junkies may claim that all those Volkssturm children and old men were setting Allied tanks alight because they were victims (that dread word again) of brainwashing. They were unaware of the beastly nature of the regime they were defending because they were victims (!) of Nazi propaganda.

THEY DID NOT KNOW!, is the battle cry of today’s revisionism. That is, not to cut too fine a point, a lie. Of course they knew – they couldn’t help knowing.

In his book Hitler’s Willing Executioners, Daniel Goldhagen proves, calculator in hand, that hundreds of thousands of Germans were directly involved in the slaughter (as in executing millions by gas, bullet or neglect, running concentration camps, transporting barely living skeletons there, etc.), with millions more involved in an ancillary capacity – and just about everyone else nodding their approval.

There were some German victims too, people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer or Friedrich Reck-Malleczewen (whose The Diary of a Man in Despair is a moving and brilliantly written account of the war), men who died in front of firing squads or with piano wire round their necks because they hated Hitler.

But their voices were muffled by the din of Nuremberg rallies and millions of throats roaring Heil!!! all over Germany with the kind of worshipping enthusiasm that couldn’t be faked.

And of course the Germans suffered horrendously as the Russians were moving in from the east and the Allies from the west.

Millions of German women were raped, and while the Russians displayed by far the greatest virility, the Western allies weren’t as blameless as they now like to believe. And yes, 14 million Germans were displaced, many starved to death and tens of thousands committed suicide.

Such facts should be known, and the German historian Florian Huber must be complimented for divulging them in his book Child, Promise Me You Will Shoot Yourself.

But were those Germans typologically closer to Blondie, who was an innocent, unaware victim, or to Eva Braun, who brought her victimhood on to herself? Were they more like the Goebbelses’ six children poisoned by their parents than the parents who did the poisoning, before killing themselves?

Herr Huber laments that “We have to think of ourselves as the bad guys, and it is still a controversial thing to suggest otherwise.”

I’d say this ‘thing’ isn’t so much controversial as historically mendacious and morally corrupt. The Germans were ‘the bad guys’ then, and by denying it they’ll only succeed in reinforcing this retrospective judgement.

In general, the Germans, in addition to their well-documented talents in just about every field of endeavour, seem to have one for succumbing to collective psychosis.

They did so when going rabid under Hitler, then revelling in morbid collective guilt for decades thereafter, and now disclaiming any collective guilt and claiming collective victimhood instead.

A note to Germans: don’t try to massage and pervert history, chaps. Try to come to terms with it and atone for it properly, with none of the Teutonic propensity for Wagnerian drama.

It would also help if you began to think for yourselves, rather than swallowing the party line, along with hook and sinker. Another piece of avuncular advice: the party line is always wrong – whatever the line and whatever the party.




Russia strikes another blow for democracy (many blows, actually)

Comrade Stalin once explained, not without a healthy dose of cynicism, that it wasn’t how votes were cast, but how they were counted that mattered.

Comrade Putin begs to differ, as far as the first part of his idol’s maxim is concerned. How votes are cast is also important to him, if only to make the counters’ job more straightforward.

This week’s regional elections in towns around Moscow illustrated Comrade Putin’s priorities – and also his cynicism, which is quite the match of Stalin’s.

A woman walked into a polling station. Eschewing stealth, she brandished a thick sheath of ballot papers and tried to stuff them into the box.

Her right to exercise democratic privileges was, however, defeated by the design of the box, whose slot was wide enough to accommodate several sheets at a time, but not a stack as thick as an unabridged dictionary.

This design flaw slowed the woman down and she attracted the attention of two death-defying observers, who not only dared to belong to opposition parties but also took it upon themselves to make sure the ballots were cast one by one, and not pile by pile.

The observers citizen-arrested the woman and called the police. However, the cops were beaten to the scene by a black BMW with darkened windows and no licence plates.

The sinister car disgorged several muscular lads who proceeded to beat the observers up and smash their cameras. In that undertaking they succeeded so spectacularly that the two men ended up in hospital with broken ribs, busted noses, concussions and cranial injuries.

Having done their bit for democracy, the BMW lads vanished. The police arrived, confiscated the ballot papers and oversaw the removal of the blood puddles on the floor. Subsequent requests of the observers’ colleagues for the release of the evidence, including the CCTV footage, were turned down.

Meanwhile, Irek Valdanov, Chairman of the Electoral Commission for the Moscow area, explained what had really happened.

The observers, according to his truthful account, were Nazis, specially trained in Poland to disrupt Russian elections, which, as everyone knows, are fairer than anywhere in the world, most emphatically including America.

He didn’t opine that therefore the sooner the Russians attack Poland yet again the better, but one could detect the connotational longing.

Do you get the impression that Russian elections are more fun than ours are going to be on 7 May? And the fun doesn’t stop at the ballot box.

Sergei Naryshkin, Speaker of the Duma (Russian parliament), came up with both a realistic prognosis for the future of Europe and a practical proposal aimed at bringing this future about.

The prognosis was that, sooner rather than later, the European Union would be incorporated into the Russian Federation. The statesman didn’t specify whether the incorporation would be voluntary or otherwise, giving the impression that it really didn’t matter one way or the other.

As to the proposal, Mr Naryshkin suggests that, by way of the first step towards joining Russia, the Europeans should kick the United States out of Nato and hence out of Europe. That step, he felt, would hasten making his dream a reality, and he was probably right.

America’s withdrawal from Nato would indeed make Europe ripe for Russia’s plucking. Suddenly the boasts by Putin and his henchmen about the limited number of days it would take Russian tanks to arrive at the Channel begin to acquire a touch of realism.

Mr Naryshkin has a bit of an anti-American and anti-European chip on his shoulder, being one of the Russian officials barred from entry to those places. That no doubt rankles, and one can understand his desire to get his own back.

However, American tourists are still free to travel to Russia and they must be ecstatic to see that many Moscow shops now boast doormats designed in the pattern of the American flag. Since Americans tend to feel rather sentimental about that institutional symbol, one doubts they enjoy the sight of Russian shoppers wiping their feet on the Old Glory.

In my day, Russian manufacturers eschewed such elaborate designs, just as Russian TV programmes didn’t feature open anti-Semitic slurs. Hints, yes, allusions, definitely, but never open invitations to “bugger off to the Promised Land”.

These, however, were exactly the words addressed by one guest on a popular RT1 chat show to another. The ethnically Jewish guest screamed bloody murder but found no sympathy from either the host or other guests. He then did a Robert Downey Jr. and stormed off the set, probably wondering whatever next.

As ever imitating life, Russian art ably assists Putin in communicating the key points of Russian democracy, or actually the only point that matters: Putin.

Masha Rasputina, a pop singer who looks like a brothel employee pushed into management by old age, has just produced a video recording of this song:

The Russophones among you will no doubt be hanging on to every word, but even the linguistically challenged will be able to appreciate the overall presentation, complete with a giant backdrop screen portraying Peter Hitchens’s role model. In broad strokes, Putin has gone Stalin one better.

Comrade Stalin was happy to be portrayed as the leader of the world’s proletariat, the teacher of mankind and the condensed embodiment of every human virtue. But he balked at claiming divinity, or letting others claim it for him.

Comrade Putin has no such compunctions. Hence Masha Rasputina’s rousing lyrics include an entreaty to Putin “to pray for Russia, as all Russia is praying for you”. ‘To you’ is what’s clearly meant here.

And there I was, thinking that the Russians have become so devout overnight that they are actually praying to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen. They may be, except that the Russians have historically found the Trinity unnecessarily limiting.

In the past, they sought a fourth hypostasis in Sophia, the Wisdom of God. Now they seek it in Putin, the Wisdom of Man. Religious worship too is fun in Russia, as much as democracy. 





How to have sex with a cremated husband

Every time I think that now I’ve seen and heard everything, modernity disabuses me of this smug notion.

In this instance, modernity’s power to render me speechless is reasserted by the Dutch designer Mark Sturkenboom, who introduced a startling innovation at the Milan Design Week.

It is a tastefully finished ‘memory box’ that makes sure that the heart isn’t the only organ in which a grieving widow can cherish the memory of her loved one.

Called 21 Grams, the box contains a glass dildo and a small gold-plated urn for storing the eponymous amount of the deceased’s ashes. 21 Grams can be opened by a gold-plated brass key the bereaved woman can wear as a necklace.

And that’s not all. The box is also equipped with a scent diffuser to be loaded with the dear departed’s aftershave (or perfume, if such was his wont), an amplifier for the couple’s nostalgic music to be played during the loving act, a slot for a wedding ring and a little drawer for a keepsake, such as a scarf, handkerchief or death certificate. 

The kit, says the proud inventor, “opens a window to go back to moments of love and intimacy,” and so it undoubtedly does.

Mr Sturkenboom modestly refrained from outlining the ballistic possibilities, but they are endless. The grieving widow will now be able to re-enact all sorts of acrobatic variants the deceased last tried many years ago, when he was still young, supple – and alive.

She may even want to explore some naughtier options by asking a third party of either sex to operate the device. If the dear departed was a bit of a prude, this may enable the sorrowful widow not only to relive the old experiences but also to explore some new ones, such as a threesome.

Isn’t this exactly the kind of solace a modern widow should seek? Isn’t this the way to glue a broken heart together again? Of course it is. And to Mr Sturkenboom’s credit, his inspiration wasn’t just commercial but mainly sentimental:

“I sometimes help an elderly lady with her groceries and she has an urn standing near the widow with the remains of her husband,” he said. “She always speaks with so much love about him, but the jar he is in doesn’t reflect that at all.”

Hence the dildo, as a fitting reflection of love. Can’t you just see it? An old Dutch woman, her hair in a bun, her eyes full of tears, giving the young inventor a nice cup of herbal tea, then sending him on his way and whipping his brainchild out. A picture worthy of the brush of any 17th-century Dutch master.

I’m sure 21 Grams will be hugely and deservedly successful. It tugs on all the right strings of a heart fine-tuned by modernity.

Ghoulish? Necrophiliac? Perverse? Sick? If any of these words have crossed your mind at any moment, you ought to be ashamed of yourself. You are a close-minded, cold-blooded person out of tune with modern sensibilities.

Even worse, you’re deaf to the very notion of progress. Progress, as the word is these days defined, outpaces even the most fecund imagination.

Aldous Huxley and George Orwell thought they were creating grotesquely nightmarish fantasies of the future. Yet neither of them could even imagine the sensitive young Dutchman who out of the kindness of his heart helps old ladies with their groceries and, while he is at it, redefines morality. 

If it feels good, it’s moral, according to Ernest Hemingway, Huxley’s and Orwell’s contemporary. It’s also healthy, normal and in good taste. Honi soit qui mal y pense, as Edward III once said, albeit in a slightly different context.

Yet another proof that feminism isn’t just wrong – it’s vulgar

Nigel Short is an amiable Lancashire lad, who once came close to winning the world chess championship.

Well, it wasn’t really close, considering that his opponent in the final was Kasparov, arguably the greatest wood-pusher in history. Let’s just say Nigel got closer than any other Brit has ever come to claiming the top prize in the game.

Unlike many top players, who by and large tend to be dysfunctional nerds with bifocal glasses and socks of different colours, Nigel comes across as a well-balanced man with middleclass sensibilities, a good sense of humour and a gift of the gab.

It’s this latter quality that has got him into a spot of trouble. For Nigel committed two deadly sins (Mark II) in one short statement. Women, he said, are innately not as good at chess as men are. And “rather than fretting about inequality, we should just get on with it.”

SIN 1 (general): Belief that any group of people, defined by their sex, race, nationality, religion or any other characteristic, can be biologically different from any other group. Hence some groups may be better than others at certain things.

This belief is verifiably true, which makes it even more subversive. What it subverts is the vulgar Enlightenment fallacy on which modern thinking on such subjects is based: that we all start out as equal and, if we demonstrably don’t end up as equal, it’s society’s fault.

This belief isn’t rational-empirical but fideistic-political, which means it’s impervious to any refuting evidence, no matter how exhaustive or unimpeachable. Whatever evidence to the contrary is presented, the response will be the same in essence, with only minor variations.

Men commit more violent crimes than women? It’s all social conditioning.

Straight men, on average, aren’t as good as women or homosexuals at interior decoration? Ditto.

Blacks generally tend to be better than whites at basketball but apparently not as good at nuclear physics? Ditto.

People with higher IQs tend to be more successful, and IQ is the most reliable predictor of practical success? Ditto.

In Britain, Pakistanis and Jamaican blacks tend to be more violent than Indians and African blacks? Ditto.

Moreover, whoever dares speak out against this neo-orthodoxy is asking for a stiff rebuke, ostracism or even criminal prosecution. This regardless of how many reams of statistical evidence he can dredge up in support of his neo-heterodoxy.

SIN 2 (specific): Belief that there are biological differences between men and women that go beyond the undeniable physical characteristics. Hence men may be better at certain things than women, and vice versa.

Objections to this belief would be less violent if one were to point out activities at which women are demonstrably better than men, such as learning languages. Similarly, it would be just about tolerable to observe that blacks are better runners and jumpers than whites.

But mention the fact that blacks are not quite so good at swimming or philosophy, and be ready to duck the slings and arrows. Similarly it’s off limits to point out the equally obvious fact that women aren’t as good as men at analytical thinking, even if they are better at the intuitive kind.

Hence, though some of the greatest modern poets and performing musicians are women, one can’t name too many great female mathematicians or composers. And, the odd Hildegarde de Bingen notwithstanding, women seem to make better, and more plentiful, saints than theologians. Also, a woman is more likely to be a money-spinning manager of a computer firm than an inventor of new computer technology.

This brings us closer to chess, which is perhaps the most analytical of life’s useless pastimes. And for a few early years of my life I was indeed close to chess.

Like Nigel Short I misspent my youth playing the game competitively. Alas, I wasn’t nearly as talented as he is, which is why I sometimes competed against girls who were as good as me or better.

However, I never competed against a single one who was – or went on to become – as good as Nigel Short.

The social conditioning argument doesn’t quite work here: the girls went through exactly the same training as the boys, from as early an age. They had the same coaches and the same pushy parents, they read the same books, scrutinised the same games, played in the same tournaments.

And yet the entire history of chess has produced, in round numbers, one woman, Judith Polgar, who could compete at the highest level of the men’s game – though there have been quite a few women who could wipe the board with a hacker like me.

Professional neuroscientists can explain this with the benefit of recondite terminology, but it’s reasonably clear even to an observant rank amateur that women’s brains function, and are wired, differently from men’s. That doesn’t make either group more or less intelligent – it’s just that their intelligence is different.

God clearly created us to perform not only different physiological tasks, but also different intellectual ones. Rather than trying to deny this obvious fact, we should rejoice in it, or at least “just get on with it”, as Nigel Short put it.

Hence I’m happy to observe that my wife is more intelligent (not to mention more talented) than I am in some areas, just as she readily accepts, over my perfunctory objections, that I may be more intelligent in some others. This is how it is and how it should be: men and women aren’t identical; they are complementary.

Denying this obvious fact, especially doing so with mouth-frothing vehemence, is worse than silly. It’s vulgar.

Contrary to Oscar Wilde’s quip, not all crimes are vulgar. But he was right in saying that all vulgarity is a crime.

That makes militant feminism criminal but, in our modern world, defined as it is by vulgarity of every conceivable kind, it’s those who dare voice an opposition who are cast in the role of criminals.

One just hopes that Nigel Short doesn’t suffer a fate any worse than finding himself at the receiving end of some idiotic articles, such as the one in The Times the other day. In a few years ‘sexism’ may graduate from being a social faux pas to becoming a felony, and then he’ll really have to watch his step.



















Another miscarriage of justice, another stillborn verdict

Two drunk animals, aged 25 and 22, launched an unprovoked attack on two men outside a pub. Having knocked one of them out cold, they then rained blows on the other victim and, when he was down, kicked him in the head 18 times.

(You can admire their handiwork, or rather footwork, on this video:

They then ran away and tried to hide, but were arrested and eventually put on trial. Now what kind of punishment do you think would fit the crime?

Before you answer, consider that someone who cheats on his taxes is likely to be sent down for at least a year or two, to rub shoulders with the creator of a fraudulent pyramid scheme and a chap who didn’t realise his wife wasn’t in the mood for sex.

Now what sentence do you think would be just for this beastly, violent crime? A custodian sentence surely, but how long? Twenty years? Fifteen? Ten?

My answer to that question would be the maximum the law allows. Viciously kicking a man in the head 18 times is attempted murder, and it’s not for any lack of zeal on the attackers’ part that the victim survived.

Hence my personal verdict would be life with a 25-year tariff, but then I know I tend to be rather harsh. So shall we settle on 25 with a 12-year tariff? Done.

Except that it isn’t. The judge sentenced one animal to 12 months suspended and the other to a 12-month community order. They walked free.

Now is the time to name names. The two criminals are both soldiers: Shaun Smith is a Scots Guard and Jason Collins a Welsh Guard, who has done sentry duty outside Buckingham Palace (before and after the crime).

Both are highly regarded in the service, and the character references their received at the trial were nothing short of glowing. That, according to Judge James Hill, QC, explains the derisory sentence, which he himself admits is otherwise inexplicable.

“I state in open court that what I have done is entirely exceptional,” he said. Oh, it’s quite a bit worse than that, Your Honour. It’s a travesty of justice and mockery of the law – the very law you are entrusted to uphold.

Amazingly the defence was allowed to plea bargain down from attempted murder and then grievous bodily harm (GBH) to the least imaginable charge, that of two counts of actual bodily harm (ABH).

But even that minimum charge allows for a maximum sentence of a fiver per count, 10 years in total. It’s unconscionable that the two thugs were set free just because they are good at their job.

I’d suggest that their crime is worse than fiddling a tax return or running a pyramid scheme – or even, dare I say it, making love to one’s wife without written permission, appropriately notarised.

Oh yes, Smith and Collins had each had six pints of beer and 15 shots, roughly an equivalent of a bottle of spirits.

I don’t know if that was used as a mitigating circumstance in their turning from angels into devils, to use their defender’s words. It should have been used by the prosecution as an aggravating one.

The two criminals are old enough to know their limit, beyond which they turn into murdering beasts. If they go beyond it, this means they don’t mind becoming murdering beasts.

Neither, evidently, does the law, and the explanation for this goes way further than the obvious incompetence of a single judge.

These days crimes against individuals are small beer compared to crimes against the state, whose interests our judges serve with canine loyalty in preference to society’s interests.

Hence, for example, 95 per cent of all burglaries go unpunished and, in most cases, even not investigated properly. It’s as if the law tacitly accepts that a burglar is helping the state to do its principal job, that of income redistribution.

Even violent assaults are excusable, provided, for old times’ sake, they don’t result in disfigurement or death: they don’t threaten the state at all, and if they threaten individuals, it’s just too bad. What was the victim of Smith and Collins doing out in the street late at night anyway? He has only himself to blame.

Not so with crimes committed against the state either directly, by depriving it of a few pounds of tax flesh, or indirectly, by, say, challenging the state’s prerogative to squeeze its body of laws into every marital bed in some awful threesome.

Such deeds are punished severely because they flout the state’s power in a way in which even violent crimes against individuals don’t. The modern state isn’t about protecting individuals or, God forbid, society. It’s about lording it over them.

It is hardly surprising then that even many of those people who fear the law don’t really respect it. And fear alone isn’t a sufficient deterrent – the morality of good and bad has been replaced by the morality of not getting caught, which imposes a far weaker restraint.

Hence every ‘exceptional’ sentence like the one passed by Judge Hill diminishes the law in general and its ability to protect people specifically. The inevitable upshot will be a growing crime rate, with Her Majesty’s subjects feeling unsafe every time they venture out after dark.

Law and order? Ordure, is more like it.

Save African migrants and win a valuable prize

Ed Miliband holds Dave personally responsible for the migrant crisis – along with every other disaster known to man, from the 1346-53 Black Death onwards.

The case for Dave’s complicity in the spread of the deadly medieval contagion is a bit short on evidence, but his guilt in the Mediterranean disaster is indeed easier to establish.

After all, like Cuban and Vietnamese refugees of yesteryear, those Africans embark on their perilous voyages not out of urgent desire for a sea holiday. They do so because they are so desperate in their native lands that they are prepared to risk their lives to get out.

Those who come from Libya, as many do, are desperate because their own country is as close to hell on earth as it’s possible to get without visiting Donetsk. And Libya was pushed in this diabolical direction by the Anglo-American intervention undertaken in the name of democracy.

Now Dave was a key player in that idiotic and criminal venture, and only a last-ditch vote in the Commons prevented him from committing British troops to the noble cause championed by ISIS.

However, a Labour leader slinging that particular mud brings to mind the words ‘teapot’ and ‘kettle’. For it was under Tony Blair’s wise guidance that Britain hung on to the Americans’ coattails on the way to the most ill-considered aggressive foray of recent history (again, this side of Donetsk).

Dave, our self-described ‘heir to Blair’, simply continued the policy established by his role model, and this is a rare example of Dave’s consistency.

Then again, though many migrants are fleeing from Libya, not all of them are. Some hail from other African countries, such as Ethiopia. Dave can’t plausibly be blamed for their plight, although, with still a few days left before the election, Ed may yet find a way.

Meanwhile, Dave, Angie, François and other protagonists in the horror show of European politics are making statesmanlike-sounding speeches about ways of handling what they rightly describe as the tragedy unfolding in the Mediterranean.

By and large they all agree that those refugees shouldn’t be welcomed with open arms. At the same time they display their usual wishy-washy thinking by flatly rejecting the unsentimental Australian solution to the same problem: turning the boats back and preventing them from unloading their human cargo.

As is usually the case, the unsentimental solution works: refugees don’t sail for Australian shores because they know there’s no point. So they either seek easier pickings elsewhere or take their chances at home.

The Australian solution also strikes a blow for the rule of law. While those poor people are at sea, they are refugees from awful regimes or the blood-soaked chaos resulting from the collapse of any discernible authority. When they land, however, they become illegal aliens – law-breakers, in other words.

Turning them back is thus perfectly legitimate – and, in the long run, humane. After all, the refugees aren’t going to drown if they don’t set off on a journey in the first place.

Aussie cold-bloodedness, however, is off limits for the touchy-feely Europeans. They can’t afford to come across as insufficiently caring in the eyes of their thoroughly corrupted electorate.

Hence Dave put a stern prime-ministerial expression on his face and declared that the Royal Navy would put an end to the problem by chasing the nasties who own and navigate the boats.

He no doubt wished to convey the impression that it was back to the old times of the late 18th century, when the Royal Navy harassed the slave traffic while American champions of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, such as Thomas Jefferson, had their slaves whipped to mincemeat.

The Royal Navy didn’t solve the problem then, and it won’t solve it now. But wait, Dave has another ace up his sleeve.

“We also must,” he added in that stern, prime-ministerial way of his, “stabilise the refugees’ countries of origin”. Including those, one assumes, that he personally had taken such pains to destabilise in the first place.

Personally, I’d be tempted to make a retrospective point about the whole decolonisation craze of the post-war years.

Driven by the Enlightenment worship of national self-determination, the Africans were encouraged by similarly minded Westerners to drop the shackles of imperial domination. Every nation, they were told, must govern itself, regardless of whether or not it’s ready to do so.

Such bien pensant abstractions tend not to stay abstract for long. Sooner rather than later they acquire the very concrete shape of massacres, famines, pandemics and general mayhem. As often as not, ‘national liberation’ turns out to be the transitional stage between colonialism and cannibalism.

The best way of solving a problem is to nip it in the bud. Had the governments of Britain, France, Portugal and other colonial powers told the Africans then that they weren’t ready to govern themselves, tens of millions of lives would have been saved.

They wouldn’t have been lost to the genocides of Burundi and Rwanda, the famines of Ethiopia and Sudan, probably the Aids pandemic spreading from Uganda and numerous other disasters that have befallen the unfortunate continent.

Nor would the present Mediterranean tragedy have unfolded.

So what do our ‘leaders’ do in the face of at least 2,000 people who have so far drowned en route to Europe’s pastures green? They score cheap political points off one another and try to look good for the camera.

Such are the European values to which Ed has restated his commitment, while rebuking Dave for doing all the same things Ed himself would have done if he were prime minister.

The boldfaced effrontery of this lot is only matched by their mendacity, hypocrisy and absence of any moral or intellectual content. Aren’t you looking forward to the general election? 

















Is an Aussie better than a Somali?

This question can be answered on many different levels, and at the highest level it shouldn’t even be asked.

There is no difference, a believer would say. Neither one is better. We are all equal before God. St Peter decides whether or not to open the pearly gates on criteria other than national origin.

Having established this indisputable fact, only a silly ideological fanatic will then infer that hence we also ought to be all equal before the agency called UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI for short).

A sane person of even average intelligence will see that immigrants from some countries should be more welcome than those from some others.

An Aussie, for example, may at times drink too much Foster’s and throw up on your car, but then native-born Brits don’t mind that pastime either.

And yes, an Aussie may speak English with an awful accent, but at least he does speak it fluently enough, except when he has drunk too much Foster’s. Also, he doesn’t mind being called a ‘bloke’ or addressed as ‘oi, mate’.

More important, he’s already a subject of Her Majesty the Queen; he grew up not reading the same books English children don’t read even though they are supposed to; and, having caused damage to your car after drinking too much Foster’s, he’s comfortable with being judged according to the practices of the English Common Law.

Surely, as a new arrival to our shores, he’s preferable to someone who thinks drinking too much Foster’s isn’t a good idea but castrating women is?

Oh well, suddenly we find ourselves on dangerous ground strewn with landmines. In the actual reality governed by common sense, there would be no argument, this goes without saying. But in the virtual reality of our world, governed as it is by petty ideologies, harebrained notions and infantile point-scoring, such issues aren’t decided in the realm of reason.

Here, in our virtual world, the answer I’ve given to the question in the title isn’t just wrong. It’s borderline criminal.

It betokens racism, mono-culturalism (is that the opposite of multi-culti?), little-Englandism, conservatism, jingoism, chauvinism and every other vice no seeker of public office can possibly display without being publicly flogged in every mass medium.

Nigel Farage has found this out the hard way when interviewed on BBC Newsnight, that rigorous guardian of virtual morality.

The interviewer laid a trap by asking Nigel if he’d have a preference for someone from Melbourne over someone from Mogadishu or, come to that, for someone from the west of Europe over someone from the low-rent end.

The trap was devilishly clever. Everyone knows that Farage, along with about 90 per cent of our population, feels that our immigration policy, you know, the one we inherited courtesy of Tony Blair, is crazy to the point of being subversive.

The country has diluted not only Englishness but indeed Britishness to a point where a nonentity like Ed Miliband can become prime minister and have his wires pulled by the woman who hates the English with every passion of what passes for her soul.

Nigel knew that, his interviewer knew that, and they each knew that the other chap knew. But establishing the truth wasn’t the point of the interview, was it? It was to make Ukip look like a bunch of racist, xenophobic troglodytes.

Nigel knew that too, and he faced the stark choice of either coming across as an idiot, and an unprincipled one at that, or taking the bait. Commendably he chose the latter:

“I have to confess I do have a slight preference. I do think, naturally, that people from India and Australia are in some ways more likely to speak English, understand common law and have a connection with this country than some people that come from perhaps countries that haven’t fully recovered from being behind the Iron Curtain.” 

Notice that Nigel was watching his step, as befits someone walking through a minefield. He confessed to only a ‘slight preference’. He added the qualifier ‘perhaps’. And he avoided the racial mine by only talking about East Europeans, not Somalis.

No matter. There’s no safe path through that particular minefield. Sidestep one charge and you’ll set off another. One way or the other, you’re dead.

Hence even The Mail, our most conservative paper, has described Farage’s remarks as ‘controversial’. Since, for purely medical reasons, I can’t read The Guardian or The Independent, I don’t know what adjectives they used, but one can guess.

What a world we live in, where a display of common sense becomes controversial. I can’t imagine there are many Guardian readers among you, but if you are, ask yourself this simple question:

Would I rather live in a neighbourhood that’s predominantly Somali, Romanian and Yemeni, or one that’s mostly Australian, French and Italian?

You don’t have to reply, certainly not in public: I know what you think. But wouldn’t you rather live in a world where your answer would be considered self-evident rather than controversial?

Don’t answer that one either. If you sully your hands with copies of The Guardian, you won’t give an honest reply anyway. And if you are a normal person, you’d think that answering such an obvious question is beneath you.













Good to see that French Muslims don’t discriminate

Their gun attacks on kosher supermarkets, non-stop desecrations of Jewish cemeteries, along with regular oral or physical assaults on conspicuously Jewish passers-by, have made me think that French Muslims have channelled their passions into a single, anti-Semitic conduit.

That saddened me, for such narrow-mindedness betokens discrimination, which – in whatever meaning we use the word – has not only universally risen to the rank of an eighth deadly sin but has in fact trumped the other seven.

Hence I am glad to see that our Muslim friends are keen to absolve themselves of that irredeemable vice. Seems like they’ve set out to prove they hate Christians too, and one tips one’s hat at such broadening of their horizons.

On Sunday French police arrested an Algerian national who was planning an attack on churches, presumably Catholic. The young man was in France to study computer science, but was en route to Syria, where there is open season on Christians (and Jews, let’s not forget them).

Since these days few Muslims go to Syria solely to admire the Roman ruins, one would think that the only reason French police have so far ignored the youngster’s travel plans is that they were unaware of them.

This, however, isn’t the case. Les flics knew all about the young man and had ample reasons to regard him as a security risk. But there was nothing they could do preventively for fear of being accused… well, you know what they could have been accused of.

That dread word ‘discrimination’ again, plus inciting religious and racial hatred, violating proper legal procedure, along with prejudice against the socio-economically disadvantaged, or whatever linguistic monstrosity the French use to describe that other cardinal sin of modernity.

The chap was thus free to plan a few French rehearsals for his Syrian adventure. To begin with, last Sunday he shot dead (well, is charged with having shot) a lovely young mother of a little girl, in a suburb of Paris.

He then set her car on fire and fled the suburb, serendipitously called Villejuif (Jewish Town). Yet judging by her name, Aurélie Châtelain, the victim wasn’t Jewish, which gives a clue to the multi-directional hatred consuming the Algerian.

Either in the commission of that crime or shortly thereafter, he proved his urgent need for further training – and I’m not talking about computer science – by accidentally shooting himself. Understandably he called for an ambulance and, just as understandably, the medics arrived in the company of policemen.

The trail of blood led les agents to the Algerian’s car, where they found “several war weapons” (presumably assault rifles and explosives) and detailed notes, proving “beyond doubt” that he was planning to take out a couple of churches.

Forgive the hackneyed phrase, but when it rains it pours, doesn’t it? Such incidents are coming thick and fast in France, yet, rather than handcuffing every known Muslim firebrand, the police find themselves shackled by the politiquement correct tethers.

As they are, to be fair, in Britain, Germany, Italy, Holland and so forth. Today’s Europeans are allowed to protect themselves against Muslim hate crimes only after these have been committed, which rather defeats the purpose of protection.

And there I was, thinking that hatred of Israel – sorry, I mean the noble cause of establishing a Palestinian state – was the only grievance uniting Muslims of the world. Seems like they have other causes too, such as killing Christians, other Muslims, Indians, Indonesians and whomever else they don’t like very much.

The synthesiser in me refuses to see each such incident as being strictly isolated. One can’t help detecting a tendency here, especially since the last 1,400 years have provided innumerable precedents.

So here’s that lapidary English question: what are we going to do about it? After all, the law of self-preservation has never been repealed.

It’s clear that the diktats of political correctness, along with our peacetime laws, will prevent us from doing anything that could make a difference.

Hence at the risk of boring myself, not to mention my readers, I have to repeat what I’ve said many times before: we are not in peacetime.

There is every evidence that Islam is waging war not only on Israel but also on the West at large. Us, in other words, which pronoun should, for old times’ sake, include everyone worshipping the God of the two Testaments.

So far this has been a war of small-scale skirmishes, but then you don’t need me to give you a list of full-scale wars that started that way. For example, exactly a century ago everyone was only talking about a conflict between Austria and Serbia, and we know what happened next.

We are already at war, and peacetime laws must be modified – as they were by all combatants during all major wars of the past. Deciding exactly how to do that should be left to experts, and one likes to hope relevant expertise still exists in what used to be called Christendom.

All we must do is tell the experts: “Boys, there’s a war on, and we’ve decided to win it. Now do your best.” That too takes courage, of the civic variety. Alas, this quality has become rarer than the bravery it takes to lead a bayonet charge.


If I were an ayatollah, I’d feel slighted

Putin has finally decided to supply the S-300s to Iran, thereby expecting gratitude from the aytollahs and indignation from… well, just about everyone else.

Both his expectations have been fulfilled, but the ayatollahs have reasons to be upset too.

Fair enough, the S-300, the world’s first fully automated AA missile system, is a fine weapon. But it was developed in 1979, when the Soviet Union was still alive and kicking.

At that time the S-300 was the best such system in the world. But it no longer is. For in 2004 the Russians developed a significant upgrade, the S-400.

And just as the S-300 supplies to Iran were horrifying the Israelis, Egyptians, Saudis, Americans and Europeans, the Russians agreed to arm China with the S-400.

Both transactions will make Putin and his gang a few billion richer. But no one, not even Putin and his gang, exports strategic armaments just for the money. Strategic exports always pursue strategic objectives.

In China’s hands, the S-400 will nullify Taiwan’s capability of striking back at China’s targets should the communists decide to act on their threat to reclaim the island.

That would practically guarantee America’s entry into the fray, with unpredictable consequences, of which nuclear war could be one. Even barring cataclysms, Russia stands to gain immensely from China and the US becoming bitter enemies.

China is busily colonising Russia’s Far East, de facto if not yet de jure. Russia’s vital natural resources, both current and future, are under threat.

Yet China’s army is so powerful that there’s precious little Russia can do about this, short of a preventive nuclear strike. China, however, is eminently capable of responding in kind, so the nuclear option isn’t really an option.

At the same time, Putin desperately needs, and is working towards, a global confrontation with the US. The need isn’t so much strategic as political and existential.

During the Cold War both countries were recognised as global powers. America still enjoys that status, but Russia doesn’t, and the burr under Putin’s blanket is getting sharper and sharper.

The little KGB monster needs to be the big man on the block, and he knows that unless he plays that role convincingly he won’t stay in power (and possibly alive).

Vlad isn’t Peter Hitchens – he knows how little his notorious 84 per cent support means in a country like Russia.

His personality was formed in the organisation that specialised in making the masses wildly enthusiastic – or else. Nor does he forget that Ceausescu’s support stood at 95 per cent two days before he was shot and all of Romania jubilantly danced in the streets.

Vlad’s political and possibly physical life depends on the image of power he projects. The Russians love power – and pounce on those perceived as lacking it. Hence the numerous photos of his muscular torso. Hence his judo. Hence his shows of strength in Chechnya, Georgia and the Ukraine.

And hence also his strategic vision of having China and America bang heads over Taiwan. Vlad doesn’t want Taiwan to have her own deterrent. He wants America to get into the act.

When it comes to Iran, Putin’s benefit is even more immediate. Russia doesn’t just want the Middle East to be destabilised – thanks to the US aggression in which we so lamentably participated, it’s destabilised already.

What Putin desperately needs in the Middle East is a full-blown war. It’s in this context that the S-300 transfer must be viewed.

Thanks to Nato’s criminal acquiescence, the aytollahs, whose sanity isn’t indisputable, are but a few months away from acquiring nuclear weapons. What with the delivery systems already in place, they’ll be able to hit most of Western Europe and all of the Middle East – including the country they wish to “puke out of the region”, in their poetic phrase.

Granted, they’ve just signed a treaty with America promising not to make the bomb for 10 years, in exchange for sanctions being lifted. Yet it takes credulity that’s nothing short of touching to believe that they’ll comply.

After all, Iran has broken every previous agreement related to weaponising uranium enrichment. That’s why the country is now several months away from having enough radioactive matter to build nuclear warheads.

Obama was perfectly nonchalant about all that. If Iran doesn’t comply, he explained, America will consider every response, including the military one.

The military response he clearly had in mind was that America would let Israel off the leash, encouraging her to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities in the same manner in which she once took out Iraq’s.

Now Israel can’t afford the luxury of thinking on a long-term scale. A nuclear bomb in the ayatollah’s hands would endanger the country’s very survival.

Moreover, considering the rather, how shall I put it kindly, tense situation between the Shiite and Sunni brands of Islam, the Israelis aren’t the only Middle Easterners scared to death. The Arabs, especially the Egyptians and Saudis, are quaking in their sandals too.

Consequently, when America made her overtures to the aytollahs, the current president of Egypt, who clearly doesn’t share Obama’s trust in their good nature, begged Netanyahu to bomb Iran’s nuclear plant at Bushehr straight away.

“Please, Bibi,” he pleaded. “We’ll make it worth your while. You need more fuel? We’ll give it to you. But for Allah’s sake, do something. Those Allah-awful S-300s will be operational in three months!”

There’s the rub. The S-300s will greatly reduce Israel’s ability to do what Bibi’s friend Abdel asked, possibly nullify it. Israel would need Stealth bombers to do that, but Obama won’t sell them to her.

That’s why Bibi rang Putin, explaining the situation and asking Vlad to keep the S-300 in his pocket. “Don’t be such an alarmist, Bibi,” replied the KGB colonel. “The S-300 is a purely defensive weapon.”

So it is. That’s why Iran will use it to defend its Bushehr plant and other facilities as nuclear warheads roll off the assembly line. The S-300 is defensive. The nuclear warheads aren’t.

This is something Israel simply can’t afford. Obama or no Obama, she has to fight or die. And she has a window of about three months to do so.

A full-scale war in the Middle East would be a godsend to Putin. Economically, the price of oil would probably quadruple, enriching Vlad and his gang way beyond the lousy couple of billion they’ll get for their S-300s and S-400s.

Strategically, Russia will again act as both peacemaker and king maker in the Middle East. More important, just as the 1956 Suez crisis made the West forget what Russia was doing to Hungary, a massive war in the Middle East will give Vlad a green light in the Ukraine, the Baltics and anywhere else he fancies.

What price appeasement, Mr Obama? On the credit side, there may be another Nobel in it for you. On the debit side, the world may go up in flames. How do you like what Americans call the bottom line?







Neuberger trials

My problems with Lord Neuberger start with his title, President of the Supreme Court. Next we’ll call our MPs congressmen, our Lords senators and let our defendants take the Fifth.

The Supreme Court was created in 2005, when it usurped the judicial functions of the House of Lords, a system that had worked perfectly well for half a millennium at least. But hey, what’s a few centuries of tradition among friends? Life would be dull without a spot of constitutional vandalism.

Even those of our institutions that have kept their old names have lost their old meaning. This used to be to protect Britain as Britain, not as an ideological contraption beholden to foreign bodies and alien ideas.

These days their function seems to be to whip Britain into a shape outlined in foreign lands, where our idiosyncratic constitution used to be admired but is now despised.

The Supreme Court was one of the bodies created for this purpose, and its head Lord Neuberger has got into the spirit.

His Lordship has suggested that Muslim women should be allowed to cover their faces – which is to say to conceal their identity – when appearing in court.

We must “show, and be seen to show” respect for other people’s customs, explained the judge, who probably has never read ‘the Father of History’ Herodotus but is acting on his prescriptions.

Herodotus too suggested that other people’s customs must command respect. A few pages later in the same book he wrote: “The ancient Persian custom is to bury people alive.”

Obviously the Greek’s book didn’t get the benefit of rigorous editing, for otherwise this logical inconsistency would have been pointed out to him.

“Look, Herodotus,” the editor might have said. “I appreciate the sentiment and all that, but surely you must qualify it. Why not say something like ‘we must respect other people’s customs as long as they don’t threaten our own’?”

One can respect only what’s respectable, and not all foreign customs fall into that category. Among those that don’t automatically merit respect one could name cannibalism, suttee, female genital mutilation, the stoning of adulterers.

Killing Christians is another ancient Muslim custom, and Mediterranean boat people uphold it by throwing Christian refugees overboard. Should this too be given as much respect as the wearing of a full-face veil in a country where people like to know who’s talking to them?

Out of curiosity, how would Lord Neuberger know that the defendant actually is the alleged transgressor and not her grandmother (or grandfather with a particularly high-pitched voice)?

Yes, I know, such crude practical considerations are outweighed by the lofty ideals of share, care, be aware. Not hurting the defendant’s feelings is more important than serving justice, as His Lordship explained:

“Would you feel that you have given of your best if you had been forced to give evidence in unfamiliar surroundings, with lots of strangers watching, in an intimidating court, with lawyers in funny clothes asking questions…?”

One could suggest that a person who is so traumatised by the sight of non-Muslims shouldn’t live in a non-Muslim country. If she does, she should be prepared to accept the local mores. And in any case, a certain degree of discomfort is to be expected when a person is being tried for a crime.

I can only wish that our top judge could be as sensitive to his own country’s customs as to those of the people who come here from cultures not only different from ours, but aggressively hostile to it.

Peter Hitchens went even further down the same path by claiming he “was moved by the picture of two Muslims praying at a football match…”

If I were a Muslim, I’d feel that praying to Allah for your team to win is the height of blasphemous vulgarity. As an infidel, I only hope that the two chaps indeed prayed for something as innocent as that, and not, say, for a nuclear device to go off in Knightsbridge.

Peter here lets his febrile mind be guided by the same non sequitur logic I mocked the other day. Yes, it’s most lamentable that the West has gone secular. But I’d rather it remained secular than became Muslim.

Much as I hate seeing the West’s traditional religion going to pot, I’d still rather be spared shows of Islamic piety. If that’s the sole alternative, give me atheism any day. At least godless criminals don’t hide their identity behind Halloween garments.

Peter wouldn’t be Peter if he also didn’t apply the same crepuscular logic to his favourite subject: the glorification of fascismo Putinesco.

In the same blog he gloats over two supposedly political murders committed in the Ukraine: “…the belief that Russia is the heart of darkness, and Ukraine is a law-governed, clean Utopia, is ridiculous and silly.”

Quite. That’s why no one I know, including the Ukrainians among my friends, holds this belief. However, decent people realise that, whatever her failings, the Ukraine is a sovereign country and, as such, must be protected by international law.

Even assuming for the sake of argument that the Ukraine is diabolical, it doesn’t logically follow that Russia is angelic. And whatever alleged political crimes are committed in the Ukraine don’t justify Russia’s predatory aggression.

For Hitchens two wrongs can make a right, provided one of the wrongs is committed by the strong leader he self-admittedly wishes we had.

My argument would be the same as above: yes, our own government is craven, self-serving, intellectually feeble, morally deficient and generally risible. But fascism, Russian or homespun, doesn’t offer a viable alternative – any more than Islam offers one to our deplorable atheism.

At a weak moment, however, one does wish that our politicians, judges and, come to think of it, pundits had a bit more sense. Otherwise we may not muster the will to resist alien perversions, religious, political or any other.