If there’s one thing that can turn me off Ukip…

A friend of mine has forwarded an e-mail he received from a Ukip supporter of Putin.

This saddened me, since enthusiasm for perverse Russian regimes reflects the kind of moral and intellectual failure that traditionally has been the preserve of the left.

Now Ukip, the flag-bearer of conservatism in Britain, is trying to encroach on the territory signposted by several generations of ‘useful idiots’.

My friend’s correspondent claims that RT is a “plausible and reliable” source of news because the BBC isn’t. Yes, and I love tomatoes because I hate pop music. Any sane person would smell a non sequitur there a mile away.

Getting one’s news from RT today is the same as using Der Stürmer for that purpose 80 years ago (which some British nationalists did, come to think of it – but sorry, I forgot, nationalism seems to be a term of praise these days).

Both organs fall into the category of a propaganda mouthpiece, not a news medium. Someone who doesn’t realise this suffers from moral deafness, intellectual deficit or, possibly in this case, ideology-induced blindness, with an underpinning of lamentable ignorance.

Reliance on Der Stürmer couldn’t have been logically justified by the left-wing bias of The Manchester Guardian. Similarly, it’s a logical solecism to justify reliance on RT by the left-wing slant of the BBC.

How can I explain this so that my friend’s correspondent will understand? The Da Vinci Code is a bad book, but that doesn’t make Fifty Shades of Grey good.

Or Guildford’s being an awful place doesn’t make Crawley lovely. Or theft isn’t a virtue because murder is a vice. Does this work as a lesson in rudimentary logic?

“In Syria alone an estimated 10 million people have lost their homes and personal property as a direct result of UK/USA/Saudi meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign country…” continues the missive.

The poor chap seems to think, with the same lapse of logic, that because of that lamentable situation Putin is justified in his rape of the Ukraine.

Another likeminded Ukipper spells it out: the pro-Western coup in the Ukraine was illegal and therefore the KGB colonel is striking a blow for international law.

Not having the same sterling legal credentials, I’m not prepared to argue the legality of the Ukrainian independence movement. However, aware of this educational lacuna, I am prepared to accept that it was as illegal as, say, every national liberation movement in Africa and Asia over the last 70 years.

So how about France using her superior military might to reclaim Algeria, Britain to recolonise Nigeria or Spain to recapture her part of Morocco? Would my friend’s correspondent support any such action? And there I was, thinking that nationalism was a good thing.

My dear Ukip friends: good, bad or indifferent, the Ukraine is a sovereign country. Hence how she manages her affairs is her business, unless she threatens others.

I can’t for the life of me see how Poroshenko’s regime threatens Britain or any of our allies. Nor, for all of RT’s lying claims, does it threaten Russia. Yes, for 70-odd years the Ukraine belonged to the Soviet Union. But she doesn’t any longer.

Similarly, India used to belong to the British Empire, but she doesn’t now. In fact, the British Empire no longer exists, and neither does the Soviet Union.

Hence for Putin to annex a part of the Ukraine on the pretext that many people speak Russian there would be exactly equivalent to Britain annexing a part of India because so many local denizens are Anglophone.

It gets worse. Putin is our friend, continues the Ukipper, because America is our enemy: “Enoch Powell correctly identified the USA as No. 1 threat to British interests and he has largely been vindicated.”

That’s the same dull logical sabre unsheathed and swung without hitting anybody. St Enoch was right on most things, although his affection for Wagner makes his mental health suspect in my eyes.

Yet he sometimes laid it on a bit too thick (like Wagner, actually). I don’t think the US has our best interests at heart, and I make this point at length in my book Democracy As a Neocon Trick. But No. 1 threat? I don’t think so.

Obama isn’t threatening us with nuclear weapons – Putin is. America did drag us into an unfortunate foray into the Middle East, but she isn’t likely to drag us into a world war. Putin is. Let’s keep things in perspective, shall we?

Anything else? Oh yes, Vlad is a Christian, which is why he treats his co-religionists better than they are treated by “the UK media and the UK prime minister himself.” Oh dear.

It’s true that Vlad is mouthing Christian slogans, of the Third Rome variety. However, it takes ignorance of both Christianity and Russia to take such pronouncements at face value.

Vlad is a proud alumnus of an organisation that murdered tens of thousands of priests along with millions of parishioners, and destroyed tens of thousands of churches.

One of such churches was the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, blown up in 1931 by orders of Vlad’s idol Stalin. The cathedral was rebuilt (albeit with cheaper materials) and, in the year 2,000, re-consecrated.

Its basement now houses several conference rooms and a huge banquet hall, where Putin’s cronies hold their liberally lubricated orgies, thereby blowing up the cathedral again, this time metaphorically.

Another Christian argument one hears in Vlad’s favour is that he doesn’t favour homomarriage. This, I agree, is a necessary condition for good government. But to regard it as a sufficient one is cloud cuckoo land. One may end up admiring Hitler, Stalin and Ayatollah Khomeini for the same reason.

Chaps, I’m second to none in my affection for Christianity and contempt of the European Union. I doubt America’s virtue as much as you do. My disdain for Dave, Nick, Ed et al trumps, or at least equals, yours any day.

But for God’s sake stop blabbering about “demonising Putin”. His cleptofascist clique can’t possibly be demonised for one simple reason: they already are the demons.

Carry on so, and no one who combines decency with brains will ever support you. That, I believe, would be a shame.



























A grovelling plea to Ukip

Our non-conservative Conservatives (otherwise known as the Tory party) can sense that the gravy train of power may just depart without them on board.

Why-oh-why, they wring their hands, does every poll point at a hung parliament and a likely Labour-SNP coalition? Haven’t the Tories done well for the economy? Doesn’t the public – even Labour public! – find Miliband to be an unfunny joke? So why?!?

It’s so simple, chaps, that even you should be able to understand it. British conservatives feel no kinship with today’s Conservative party.

A thinking person pledges his loyalty not to a particular political party but to particular political principles. He’ll then vote for the party whose professed principles and proposed polices are close to those he favours.

For many decades the Tory party was the only choice for conservatives, even those who had to pinch their nostrils when voting blue. Now there is another option: Ukip, whose manifesto is the only conservative document on offer in this election.

Predictably, many traditional Tory voters are moving the Ukip way, which weakens Tory chances. And, with their characteristic political incompetence, the blue ones don’t have a clue how to respond.

Their first reaction was personal invective. Ukip, screamed Dave, are a party of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”. And while we are at it, added Dave’s close ally, Tory activists who really are conservative are “mad, swivel-eyed loons.”

No wonder then that such people began to gravitate towards Ukip, with the party eventually acquiring two MPs and threatening to get more or at least to siphon support away from the Tories.

With the election drawing nearer, Dave et al switched from vinegar to honey, hoping to draw the bee out of the conservatives’ bonnet. “Come home to Papa,” pleaded Dave. “Daddy promises not to abuse you any more. Please, please, don’t split the right.”

But Ukip doesn’t split the right, chaps. It is the right.

With every day falling off the calendar before 7 May, the pleas are becoming more grovelling, but none so grovelling as that by Tim Montgomerie in today’s Times.

It was less than a year ago that Tim called Farage “a lout” and contemptuously referred to his supporters as “the nimbys in Ukip”. Now they are “dear Ukippers”, begged to quit while they are ahead.

According to Tim, being ahead means that Ukip has exerted a telling influence on the Tory side of the political debate, which influence has grown stronger as the election draws nearer.

This same influence was well-nigh negligible when Dave was looking forward to years, rather than possibly weeks, at 10 Downing Street. Wouldn’t it then be possible to suggest that, should he gain another five years at his favourite address, Ukip’s influence is likely to attenuate?

Perish the thought. Dave has had a real change of heart. And Tim himself is a closet Ukipper who agrees with the party on, well, most things. But now it’s time for Ukip supporters to prove they aren’t ‘fruitcakes’ – by abandoning Ukip in favour of the blue brigade.

Logically speaking, and the ability to speak logically isn’t among Tim’s most salient traits, should they remain loyal to their party they will remain fruitcakes. That means that at heart Tim agrees with Dave: Ukippers and disenchanted Tories are fruitcakes.

It also means that he doesn’t even know how to dissemble properly, no matter how hard he tries. In effect he is saying, “You are crazed idiots only able to redeem yourselves by voting Tory.” A sure way of winning friends, that.

At the beginning of his article Tim acknowledges that Dave isn’t a real conservative, which presumably Tim himself is: “In his earliest days in charge of the Conservatives he… talked only about women candidates, civil liberties and climate change.”

However, then Tim undoes all his good work: “Personally, I’ll be on David Cameron’s side if there’s any attempt to reduce foreign aid spending or roll back on gay equality.”

I don’t know how many Tories are abandoning the party because of their opposition to Dave’s perversions mentioned by Tim, and how many do so because of the policies Tim self-admittedly advocates.

I suspect the split is about even – or even that there is no split. A real conservative would flee from this whole lot at an Olympic-calibre speed. The stench emanating from this Tory party can no longer be blocked off by pinching one’s nostrils, and even a gas mask would fail.

To his credit Tim doesn’t even attempt to make a substantive argument. His whole plea is based on voting tactics: a vote for Nigel is a vote for Ed and Nicola.

And should those demons take over, none of the wonderful things Dave is promising will ever be done. No EU referendum, no tax reductions, no right to buy – no nothing. Just doom and gloom.

For once I agree with Tim: a Labour-led government would be disastrous. However, tactically speaking, Ukip support has halved in the last week or so, and the two main parties are still neck and neck in every poll I’ve seen, give or take the expected statistical error.

Hence going against their conscience wouldn’t even score a tactical victory for real conservatives. And even if it did, and the ruling coalition were again blue and yellow rather than red, does anyone seriously think that the new government would deliver, say, an EU referendum and campaign for the Out vote?

Effectively Tim, Dave et al are begging people to abandon their principles for political gain. True enough, this is the stock in trade for today’s politicians, regardless of the colour of their rosette. That is exactly the trouble with today’s politics.

But an average voter can’t be expected to be the same kind of unprincipled spiv as our ‘leaders’. If a decent conservative feels that Ukip is close to his heart, then that’s how he should vote, and tactics be damned. Britain can survive five years of red madness, but she may not survive the absence of real conservatism.

There’s an outside chance, and I’m not holding my breath, that a defeat on 7 May might bring the Tories to their senses. A sure sign of such a welcome shift would be drumming Dave and his ilk out – with Tim bringing up the rear.

David Starkey isn’t a real homosexual

A good friend has solicited my opinion on David Starkey, and for once I had none to offer.

I never watch ‘serious’ programmes on TV, precisely because the modifier invariably requires quotation commas. Moreover, frequent presence on TV tends to put me off a chap’s other activities, such as his books.

Hence my ignorance of Dr Starkey’s work and life story, beyond the more salient details that even those who don’t watch much TV can’t fail to absorb from ambient air.

But my friend’s wish is my command, and it so happens that Dr Starkey has just given an extensive interview to The Telegraph. Normally I’d give it a miss, but this time I didn’t, against what I thought was my best judgement.

The judgement has turned out closer to worst than best, for I was quite impressed. Though Dr Starkey didn’t plumb any unexplored depths (one can’t be expected to do that in a newspaper anyway), he displayed much of that most uncommon of commodities misnamed common sense.

What struck me, among other things, is the inference I’ve put in the title. Dr Starkey isn’t a real ‘poofter’ (his own word) in the same sense in which Margaret Thatcher or, say, Jeane Kirkpatrick, weren’t real women.

These days womanhood isn’t just a sex, homoeroticism isn’t just sexuality and negritude isn’t just a race. They have become so politicised as to become, above all, forms of political self-expression.

I remember talking to a proper English gentleman years ago, when I had just moved to London from New York. My interlocutor opined that most black people in America were leftwing specifically because they were black.

“It’s the other way around,” I countered. “They are black because they are leftwing.”

That was obviously a joke, but one based on reality. At the time there were countless black people prominent in politics, law, journalism, philosophy, science and the arts who weren’t recognised as fellow blacks by activists like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

To be really black one had to turn race into a political career. Getting ahead simply because one was intelligent, talented and hard-working wasn’t good enough – one had to devote one’s life to making sure blacks would advance simply because of their race.

Also at that time Margaret Thatcher was British PM and Jeane Kirkpatrick was the driving force behind US foreign policy. Yet militant feminists rejected them as examples of women in power because both ladies eschewed feminist activism, advancing instead on the strength of qualities not specific to either sex.

Similarly I’m sure Peter Tatchell types don’t recognise Dr Starkey as a fellow homosexual. Not only does he express conservative views in general, but he specifically refuses to accept the mantras of Peter Tatchell types.

For example, in common with other sensible homosexuals like Brian Sewell, he rejects homomarriage: “I see no reason… why a gay relationship should be the subject of public rules.” This, in spite of living with another man for 21 years.

Dr Starkey shares my contempt for the culture of liberation and victimhood: “I find it very, very sad the way there is now this perpetual procession of people – group after group – wanting to assume the status of victim. It’s catastrophic.”

It is indeed, and Dr Starkey extends this observation to blacks and women. He bemoans, for example, the negrification of our popular culture (“the whites have become black”), a development driven by the message of hatred and violence communicated by black rap and lapped up by our burgeoning white underclass.

Do blacks have a propensity for violence? “It would appear so,” says Dr Starkey, and amazingly no lightning came down from the sky to smite him. “If you look at muggings, shootings and stabbings. The figures I’m afraid are unchallengeable.”

Yes, but they aren’t uninterpretable. And Dr Starkey interprets them correctly, rejecting any possible accusation of racism. “The term has become totally without meaning. I think there are cultural differences, there are all sorts of differences.”

Quite. And the differences are indeed cultural, not biological. Which is more than Dr Starkey can say about women’s intelligence:

“The genders are different. And the whole thing is not just the result of wicked gender grooming… It is the result of biology.” And further:

“I think that the evidence suggests that there are different distributions of intelligence between men and women, that women tend to cluster more around the mean, [while] men are either very, very bright or very thick.”

I haven’t seen such evidence, but my empirical observation tallies with it. I’d also be tempted to add that women’s thinking tends to be more intuitive and less sequential than men’s, which to me doesn’t mean that women are less intelligent – quite the opposite.

Yet citing evidence of any kind on race or sex (unlike Dr Starkey, I refuse to use the word ‘gender’ in any other than a grammatical context) places Dr Starkey into the dwindling minority of sensible and increasingly marginalised people.

He goes on to reinforce this impression by delivering himself of forthright – and correct – views on a variety of subjects.

Miliband is ‘poison’ and “after our last experience of what a Labour government did, I cannot possibly see how anybody could vote for him.”

Easily, I’d suggest. All it takes is an electorate corrupted by socialist propaganda and dumbed-down by socialist education – exactly the kind of electorate we have now.

The Tories aren’t much better, feels Dr Starkey. They are just the lesser evil, a campaign slogan I once proposed as a guaranteed election winner.

“We are borrowing the equivalent of the cost of the NHS every year. It is totally unsustainable,” he laments. Quite. But our spivs know that if they stop doing it they’ll never stay in power, which means they’ll go on spending us into an economic grave.

Our politicians’ thinking is “muddled and sentimental”, but then again, “I don’t see anybody around with any prime ministerial qualifications at all.”

Neither do I, I’m afraid. In fact, I agree with Dr Starkey on just about everything he says, except the purely economic case he makes for leaving the European Union.

It’s not that I feel that the economic case isn’t strong – it is. But I’d expect a prominent constitutional historian to make the much stronger historical and constitutional case instead, or at least in addition.

Still, all in all a good man. Perhaps I ought to get around to reading his books.

The Turks have the nerve to protest

Pope Francis described the 1915 slaughter of Armenians in Turkey as genocide, which is exactly the right word to use.

Yet the Turks are up in arms, screaming spurious objections to their little peccadillo being described that way. The number of 1.5 million victims on which most historians agree is an overestimate, they claim in their defence.

Actually, the lowest number any historian has ever suggested is 300,000, which is admittedly low by the standards of the 20th century. It is, however, plenty high enough to qualify as genocide, which renders the objection as false as it sounds,.

In any case the issue is long since settled – by the Turks themselves, when they tried to repudiate their Ottoman past. In the 1920s the post-Ottoman nationalist government of Turkey held two trials that put paid to any doubts.

In one, on the basis of much evidence, the Young Turks government was found guilty of genocide. In the other, a young Armenian’s assassination of the wartime Interior Minister Talaat was ruled to be justifiable homicide because Talaat was one of the main culprits in the Armenian genocide.

Of the many pieces of juicy evidence presented in both trials, one stands out: Talaat’s wartime telegram stating the Young Turks’ intent with lucid clarity: “…the government by the order of the Assembly (Jemiet) has decided to exterminate entirely all the Armenians living in Turkey [about 2,000,000 at the time]. Those who oppose this order can no longer function as part of the government. With regard to women, children and invalids, however tragic may be the means of transportation, an end must be put to their existence.”

If there is a difference between this document and the Wansee Protocol, it escapes me, and few people this side of David Irving argue that the later document didn’t adumbrate genocide.

Actually, there is one difference. Germany, the nation that issued the Protocol and faithfully carried out its prescriptions, has since repented her crimes and compensated the victims’ families as best she could. Too little, too late and all that, but at least it’s something. Turkey, on the other hand, responds to accusations of genocide with the ‘who, me?’ indignation of wounded innocence – as demonstrated by her reaction to His Holiness’s statement.

Anticipating just such a response, the Pope pre-empted it by saying that “Concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it.” Just so.

Muslims in general, and Turks in particular, seem to think that they have a God-given right to murder en masse those who differ from them on anything, be it religion, race or political views. They may have a point, considering that they can effortlessly find much scriptural support for this belief both in the Koran and in history, what with the sort of behaviour this book has inspired over centuries.

But if the Turks insist on making this point when talking to the civilised world, they ought to be prepared for strong rebukes from those whose God frowns on genocide. Just as the Turks seem to think they were within their right to murder all those Armenians, His Holiness was certainly entitled to call that evil deed by its proper name.

The Turks responded by recalling their envoy to the Vatican, which will doubtless give the Pope many sleepless nights. I can just see him tossing and turning as he tries to contain his tears at the thought of having one less Muslim diplomat in Rome.

All I can do is admire the boldfaced effrontery of Erdoğan and his government. They don’t seem to realise that acting in this manner makes them accomplices in the crime, if only after the fact. Or perhaps they simply don’t care what Western infidels think, especially when they digress from multi-culti platitudes.

One wonders if Tony Blair still thinks Turkey should be summarily admitted to the European Union. He probably does – our Tony is a man of principle.






Ukip support is plummeting in the most reliable poll

At the risk of sounding immodest, this unquestionably trustworthy poll is conducted by me – and on me.

The lamentably narrow sample admittedly discourages any far-reaching generalisations, but at least the poll’s reliability can’t be faulted.

Hence it’s on unimpeachable authority that I can announce the changing fortunes of Ukip, if only within this limited group of one.

If not so long ago Ukip polled 100 per cent among me, it’s now losing ground to a most dangerous opponent: ‘none of the above’.

Ukip still is in a winning position, but the party can ill-afford another statement like the one made the other day by Diane James, MEP, who is generally regarded as the successor to Nigel Farage.

The need for succession may arise if the sainted one fails to gain a parliamentary seat and then acts on his promise to resign as a result. Since polls less reliable than mine, but somewhat more representative, suggest that such a development is likely, Miss James may well be the next Ukip leader destined to contest many elections to come.

And I am not entirely sure that I’m prepared to vote for a party whose leader-to-be professes unbridled admiration for Col. Putin, as Miss James evidently does.

“I admire him from the point of view that he’s standing up for his country. He is very nationalist,” she said. “He is a very strong leader, and he has issues with the way the EU encouraged a change of government in the Ukraine which he felt put at risk a Russian population in that country.”

True enough, every party has a certain number of utterly disagreeable individuals among its leaders. The only exception to this general observation is the Labour Party, in which all its leaders aren’t just disagreeable but downright evil.

However, even within that party the leadership has enough street smarts to discourage the lunatic fringe from airing its views in public.

Labour, especially under the two Eds, doesn’t mind coming across as socialist, but that’s as far left as it’s willing to go. Under no circumstances does it wish to come across as the communist party in disguise.

By the same token, Ukip, if it’s to have the faintest chance of electoral success, can’t afford to look like a BNP in disguise. Yet that’s the area into which the views expressed by the party’s supposed future leader have placed it.

First, Miss James doesn’t seem to realise that the word ‘nationalist’, as distinct from ‘patriotic’, is pejorative in most languages, including English. A patriot loves his country, a nationalist wants her to trample over every other land.

Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle were patriots; Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini were nationalists.

Hence using the word ‘nationalist’ as an accolade for my friend Vlad may suggest only three things: 1) the speaker is unaware of the semantic distinction, 2) hence she thinks ‘nationalist’ is a synonym of ‘patriotic’, and probably believes that Putin is typologically closer to Churchill and de Gaulle than to Hitler and Mussolini, 3) she is aware of the difference but nevertheless thinks nationalist is a good thing to be, even if this puts Putin in the same bracket as Hitler and Mussolini.

In the first instance, Miss James is stupid. In the second, she is stupid and ignorant. In the third, she is stupid, ignorant and immoral. If there is any other possible interpretation, I’d like to know what it is.

Now I number many Ukip supporters, members and even some of its leaders, among my friends. Generally speaking, they are all visceral conservatives like me, who have chosen Ukip by default, what with the Conservative party under Dave having nothing conservative about it other than its name.

None of them would ever dream of saying something as idiotic as Miss James’s pronouncement, for the simple reason that they are neither idiots nor ignoramuses.

Yet one is aware that outside the coterie of my friends Ukip attracts many followers who are more BNP than Tory in their intuitive inclination. That’s fair enough – as I said before, every party is allowed its own lunatic fringe.

But when Farage and James begin to express views that no real conservative would recognise as his own, the party is in danger of alienating its core support.

It was only a few months ago that Farage himself declared that he admired Putin as “a brilliant operator”. He then realised what he had said and backtracked promptly: “Not that I approve of him politically. How many journalists in jail now?”

Actually, not that many, Nigel. Putin’s preferred way of dealing with dissidents isn’t putting them in jail but putting them six feet under, by such methods as shooting in a dark alley, defenestration, torture or poisoning with radioactive isotopes.

Anyway, Miss James hasn’t been around for as long as Mr Farage, and nor is she obviously as shrewd as he is, so she felt no need for disclaimers.

Nonetheless, accepting for the sake of argument that Putin is indeed nationalist in the sense of patriotic, that he indeed “puts his country first”, and that he indeed detests the EU as much as your normal Ukipper does (I count myself in that category), do Nigel and Diane feel this is a sufficient recommendation?

Well, in that case they must also admire Hitler, Mosley, Mussolini, Ivan the Terrible, Stalin and Nasser, who all had impeccable nationalist credentials. And if any enemy of the EU is a friend of Ukip, will the party come out in support of Isis, who clearly aren’t well disposed towards European federalism?

Chaps, you are on your last notice. Since I not only take my reliable poll but also determine its findings, one more pronouncement along the same lines from your leaders, and ‘none of the above’ will get my vote.

As clearly no other party deserves it, my vote is yours to lose. And you are teetering on the verge of losing it.  










How I scooped The Mail on Clegg

Yesterday this venerable newspaper published an article claiming that that Nick Clegg’s Russian great-aunt, of whom he is notoriously proud, was a whore in the employ of the Bolshevik secret police: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3030339/Revealed-Nick-Clegg-s-femme-fatale-ancestor-Moura-Budberg-DID-spy-Soviet-secret-police-chief-Genrikh-Yagoda-notorious-Gulag-prison-camps.html

The article is full of such turns of phrase as ‘we can now reveal’ and ‘as we have found out’. Well, I wrote on the same subject on 14 December 2011, which you can find on this blog.

To save you the trouble, here it is:

Does Nick Clegg love the EU so much because he carries it within himself? The English, German and Dutch rivers intermingle with the as yet non-EU Russian brook in his bloodstream. Add to this his Spanish wife, and verily I say unto you: the mix is explosive.

Now far be it from me to suggest that one’s personality, or much less behaviour, is solely, or indeed mainly, attributable to one’s ethnicity. This isn’t a bed we made for ourselves, even though we have to lie in it. Genes, ethnic or otherwise, may give a bias to one’s life, but they don’t determine it. We make our own free choices throughout, some good, some bad. It’s perfectly acceptable to be proud of the former and ashamed of the latter. It’s wrong to attribute either to our ancestry.

Logically then, one’s ethnicity by itself is nothing to be either proud or ashamed of. We are what we are. However, one can legitimately be either proud or ashamed of a specific ancestor. A German descending from Heinrich Heine can be forgiven a spot of familial pride. The same emotion in a descendant of Heinrich Himmler is cause for summoning the men in white coats. Stands to reason, doesn’t it?

Nick Clegg, however, defies reason by claiming that he is proud of the Russian part of him. If he means this in general, it doesn’t make much sense, and Nick isn’t a stupid man (he’s many other things, but we won’t talk about it now). So he has to imply a particular affection for his great-great aunt, who put those Russian drops into the family barrel. Well, let me tell you, there’s nothing to be proud of.

When those muscular, leather-jerkined Bolsheviks took over in 1917, they immediately began to murder, torture and rob millions, often for no reason other than wrong class origins. That, no doubt, was most satisfying, but the trouble was that the West had some misgivings about that sort of thing. And Lenin’s gang couldn’t have survived without the West’s support.

This meant they had to offset the bad press they were receiving, by countering it with some good press. That could only come from those Western cultural and political figures whose sympathy the murderers could court.

Some of those, such as the American communists John Reed and Louise Bryant, didn’t need to be asked. Many others required inducements. These were provided by the Soviet secret police, known at the time first as VCheKa and then as OGPU, an organisation that could be commended for its deviousness, but never accused of subtlety. The very unsubtle ‘honey trap’ figured prominently in their bag of tricks.

But, even if westerners could be initially trapped by the ‘kitchen maids’ who, according to Lenin, would one day form the government, they would soon spring the trap out of sheer boredom. No, to taste really sweet the honey had to be provided by the fragrant, multilingual, cultured ladies from the same classes the OGPU was busily exterminating.

There was no shortage of them, young girls prepared to prostitute themselves to redeem their unfortunate nativity. A spate of famous Westerners went on to acquire OGPU wives or mistresses (list available on request). One of the busiest WAGs was Clegg’s great-great aunt, Moura Budberg, née Zakrevskaya. A life-long Bolshevik agent, she was particularly good at her job, first bagging R.H. Bruce Lockhart, the British envoy who played an ambivalent role in the post-revolutionary events.

Then on to Maxim Gorky, who was at the time feeling queasy at the sight of freely flowing blood. Then, or rather in parallel, on to H.G. Wells, who described Lenin as ‘the dreamer in the Kremlin’ at the time the dreamer was outdoing  the later nightmarish exploits of Hitler.

In due course Moura moved to England, and was free to travel back and forth to Russia any time she wished – the NKVD, as it had become, was sure of her loyalty and grateful for her service. It was in England that Moura gave her descendant Nick something to be proud of by marrying Baron Budberg.

As I said, I don’t believe that Clegg’s double-dealing, self-serving behaviour over the last few weeks is in any way attributable to Moura’s genes. But perhaps one could suggest that, even if he has little else to be proud of, this particular pride is misplaced.

Still, better late than never, and I congratulate The Mail on its incisive reporting and expert fact gathering. And yes, I do know that ‘I told you so’ are the most despised words in the English language.

As to my friend Nick, perhaps on second thoughts his take on the morality of politics does run in the family.

Dramatic breakthrough in Litvinenko murder case

Since 2006, when Alexander Litvinenko died of polonium poisoning, the case has been treated as murder.

And not just any old murder but one commissioned by my friend Vlad, who, if Peter Hitchens is to be believed, represents the world’s last bulwark of conservative, Christian values.

Conversely, anyone who denies that Vlad is any such thing can only do so out of malignant Russophobia, and that goes for some Russians as well.

After all, as Putin’s press secretary Peskov explained recently, Putin is Russia and Russia is Putin. Hence anyone casting aspersion on Vlad has to hate Russia. Unassailable logic, as far as I am concerned.

The polonium that killed Litvinenko is believed to have been administered by two of Vlad’s KGB colleagues who were having tea with Litvinenko at a London hotel.

Hours after the London Tea Party, the two gentlemen remembered they had to attend to some urgent business in Russia and left for Moscow in a huff. Since then they have maintained Trappist-like silence on the matter, flatly refusing to testify either by video link or especially in person.

In its turn, Vlad’s government turned down every British request for extradition, no matter how politely phrased.

Just in case, the key suspect Andrei Lugovoi was hastily elected into Russia’s parliament, the Duma.

It has to be said mournfully that some Russophobes suggest with their characteristic malice that providing parliamentary immunity for criminals is the Duma’s main, not to say sole, function. They point out that its legislative activity boils down to rubber-stamping Putin’s diktats.

All I can reply to those naysayers is a resounding ‘so what?’. Putin is Russia, is he not? And isn’t it the job of Russia’s parliament to do what Russia wants? Of course it is. That’s what democracy is all about.

Because the key suspects have been unavailable for questioning, the inquiry into the death of Litvinenko has proceeded in stops and starts, with nothing much to establish beyond the obvious fact that he was poisoned with polonium-210, which experts maintain can only be obtained in such quantities from a government installation.

All this changed dramatically the other day. Dmitri Kovtun, the other suspect, has called a press conference in Moscow. There he explained what happened to his unfortunate ex-colleague, shedding blinding light on the case.

Reading his revelations I felt like an intellectually challenged Scotland Yard inspector put to shame by Sherlock Holmes’s brilliance. Why didn’t I think of that, I moaned, tearing what’s left of my hair out.

Like so many discoveries of genius, Mr Kovtun’s version of the incident is deceptively simple, self-evident even. But detecting self-evident explanations that escape others is what genius is, isn’t it?

I won’t keep you in suspense any longer. Litvinenko’s death, revealed Mr Kovtun, was suicide. It may have been deliberate or accidental, but suicide none the less.

Either possibility makes sense, if we discount as a venomous lie any suggestion that a man of Putin’s angelic character could have ordered such a heinous act.

Mr Kovtun was marginally more in favour of the accident hypothesis, and he made a believer out of me.

Apparently, Litvinenko always carried large amounts of polonium on his person, constantly coming into contact with the poisonous substance. It’s also possible that he habitually put some of the isotope into his tea, preferring it to such orthodox additives as milk, sugar or lemon.

Can’t you just see it? “Gizza cuppa Rosie, dahlin,” Litvinenko would say to his wife Marina (he had lived in London long enough to pick up the patois). “Milk and sugar, love?” Marina would enquire. “Nah, you dozy cow,” Litvinenko would retort. “Giz some polonium, jahmean?”

A perfectly realistic situation, if you ask me. Yet Mr Kovtun generously offered an alternative version. It’s also possible, he opined, that Litvinenko ingested polonium from ambient air, and we all know how polluted London is.

He didn’t explain why Litvinenko was, and so far remains, the sole victim of the incipient pandemic of polonium poisoning, but then someone has to lead the way. A stroke of bad luck, that’s all.

Mr Kovtun didn’t enlarge on the possibility of deliberate suicide, which is unfortunate because I for one can see a clear motive, especially during this paschal season.

Litvinenko killed himself for the same reason Judas did: repentance. Like the Gospel villain, he had betrayed his God and benefactor, and the unbearable shame of that deed drove him over the edge.

After all, Litvinenko had already published one book libelling Putin (Blowing Up Russia). There he showed that Putin had some Russian blocks of flats blown up as a pretext for starting another Chechen war.

Rumour has it that in his next volume Litvinenko was planning to document Vlad’s personal links with organised crime, ignoring the real, utterly plausible explanations for Vlad’s $40-billion wealth (they escape me for the moment, but I’ll get back to you).

Not only that, but Litvinenko is said to have found documentary evidence for the rumours making the rounds in Russia about the reason for Vlad’s rather sluggish career path in the KGB (I’ll spare you the naughty details).

At some point, Litvinenko must have realised the abysmal depth of his moral fall. Unable to live with his vile deeds, he passed the death sentence on himself and executed it with polonium.

Admittedly, this version of events leaves a few questions unanswered. Such as, where exactly did Litvinenko get polonium? Last time I looked, it wasn’t sold OTC at London pharmacies or DIY shops.

Another question is, why did he choose such an agonising way of killing himself? A gun is much easier to find in London than a radioactive isotope, and wouldn’t it have been easier just to point and shoot?

Still, it’s not Mr Kovtun’s job to provide all the answers. That’s what we have police for. His job was to utter the magic word ‘suicide’.

Suddenly everything clicked into place, leaving but a few i’s to dot and t’s to cross. After all, our investigators have to do something to earn their keep.

Now I wonder if Mr Kovtun would still put forth the suicide version if Litvinenko had been shot in the back a few times? Probably. We all know that truth, especially Putin’s truth, can be stranger than fiction.










The day has come: I agree with Tony Blair

Tony may not be the worst prime minister we’ve ever had: one or two others, Dave among them, are firmly in contention for that honour.

But he is easily the most disgusting, a feature that’s blown up to grotesque proportions by his talent for self-publicity.

If a revolting individual wanted to appear half-decent, he’d be well-advised to keep a low profile and his mouth shut. But my friend Tony isn’t like that, is he?

He wants to put himself in the public eye, and what the public eye can’t fail to see is duplicity, complete absence of any discernible principles, a mediocre mind, the moral sense of a wild animal, egoism on a stratospheric scale and the integrity of a card sharp.

Hence I never thought I’d agree with Tony on anything – which only goes to show that one can’t foresee one’s reactions on the basis of experience. For at last Tony has said something that made me jump up, punch the air and shout “Yes!!!”

What provoked such uncharacteristic enthusiasm was Tony’s pronouncement that the issue of Britain’s exit from the EU is so involved that voters can’t be trusted to make the “sensible choice”. Hence there should be no referendum, especially since support for “the sensible choice” seems to be rather understated.

I couldn’t agree more. Except for one minor detail: his definition of the sensible choice.

Tony thinks there should be no referendum because the public may just vote to get out. I think there should be no referendum because the public may just vote to stay in.

The choice to get out isn’t merely sensible – it’s the only moral option. Hence I’d support Brexit even if the economic case against it were as clear-cut as it now is in favour of it.

Staying in the EU would exacerbate the original treasonous act of entering it: the constitution that ignoramuses say we haven’t got indisputably vests Britain’s sovereignty in the Queen and her parliament.

Transferring sovereignty to a foreign body is therefore an act of treason and constitutional vandalism.

That alone should be sufficient for any sensible individual to pray that one day we’ll be governed by intelligent, moral and responsible men who on their authority will restore our ancient constitution to its past grandeur by taking the country out of this foul multinational obscenity.

Edmund Burke, one of the subtlest constitutional minds England has been blessed with, once explained that our MPs should act according to the people’s interests, not necessarily their wishes.

That at a stroke removed any constitutional justification for any plebiscite – regardless of how we feel about its results, past or future.

In the past, specifically in 1975, the EU, or the EEC as it then was, was still in an inchoate stage. Its power to swing and swindle public opinion in member countries was still limited, as were its resources.

However, that sinister organisation ably assisted by a handful of homespun eurocrats, managed to trick the Brits into voting the right way, which was really the wrong way.

Now imagine what any future referendum will look like, what with the EU now able to throw the weight of billions of pounds behind the vote to keep Britain in.

Think of the spivocrats in all our parliamentary parties, with the minor exception of Ukip, who’ll collaborate with the fervour that’ll make Quisling look like a resistance fighter.

Think of the massive mendacious campaign threatening every manner of calamity should Britain regain her sovereignty.

Think, I am sad to say, of our gullible public whom two generations of moron-spewing ‘education’ made defenceless in the face of Goebbels-style propaganda. Do you believe they can be trusted to make the sensible choice of getting out and shaking the toxic EU dust off their feet?

I don’t. That’s why I’m opposed to the referendum not only on constitutional principle but also because we – the people still capable of making the sensible choice – are likely to lose the vote.

There are only two reasons to support the Brexit plebiscite. The rational one is that at least that way there’s a glimmer of hope – as there is none that we’ll ever have a government made up of anyone other than spivs like Tony, Dave or Ed, immoral nonentities who’ll always play lickspittle to the EU.

The emotional reason to support the referendum is simply that Blair is opposed to it. That, I am afraid, is all.


P.S. Between Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond, don’t you think there’s something fishy about Scottish politicians?







Welby confuses Christ with Tolstoy

In the midst of the wholesale murder of Christians by Muslims, the Archbishop of Canterbury has called on Christians not to use violence in self-defence.

This entreaty was a veiled reference to the Sermon on the Mount, specifically Matthew 5:39, where Jesus talks about turning the other cheek. It was also yet another demonstration of His Grace’s dubious grasp of theology.

For talking about nonviolence in this context isn’t just bad geopolitics. It’s also bad Christianity.

In this world a successful society cannot be built on the Sermon on the Mount, especially when understood in a literal, mechanistic way. Nor can the Christian cause be advanced by selective quoting from the scripture.

Tolstoy was a past master of that art. He too loved Matthew 5:39, using it to claim, among other things, that Christianity is incompatible with military service:

“It should not be allowed that a man, true Christian, should be a member of a society that has an army and military institutions.”

The novelist wasn’t in the least bothered that his take on Christianity differed from Jesus’s – since, according to him, Christ wasn’t divine, his views were as good as Tolstoy’s, and usually nowhere near as good.

Yet, though Christianity is a pacific religion, it’s far from being pacifist.

In fact, during his time on earth Jesus himself was a member of a society that had an army. Moreover, when he received the Capernaum centurion and heard him out, Jesus did not demand that the officer give up the service as being contrary to his faith – even though one did not get to command a company in a Roman legion without being an expert killer.

Rather than waxing indignant, Christ was effusive in his praise of the officer’s faith: “When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”  

Nor is Matthew 5:39 readily reconcilable with his 10:34, where Jesus says “I came not to send peace but a sword.” This is not to say that the two verses can’t be reconciled. It’s just that the whole issue is much more profound and subtle than His Grace seems to realise.

Even though no great thinker has ever extolled violence, they all mournfully admitted that sometimes it’s necessary. For example, Aristotle, with his unsentimental reading of human nature, wrote in Politics that “There must be war for the sake of peace.”

Christianity too, while accepting that war is evil, has always believed that there exist evils that can be even worse. If such evils can only be stopped by violence, then in that instance violence is to be condoned.

That is why the church, including such seminal figures as St Augustine of Hippo (whose The City of God first expressed the concept of just war in Christian terms)and St Thomas Aquinas, has always blessed righteous war for as long as it stayed righteous – and damned unjust war for as long as it stayed unjust.

Denying Christians the right to use violence in self-defence against evil also obliterates in one fell swoop the entire history of the church, especially its crusading arm.

His Grace clearly doesn’t believe that the Crusaders, along with the heroes of Poitiers, Lepanto and Vienna, were true Christians. Yet it’s conceivable that without those men Europe would be a caliphate now, and Archbishop Welby an ayatollah.

Would allowing such a development have been consistent with Christian teaching? Tolstoy thought so. So, evidently, does His Grace.

The Archbishop then helpfully informed the faithful that the Christians being slaughtered by Muslims are martyrs and, as such, will ultimately triumph over evil  despite “their cruel deaths, the brutality of their persecution”.

That much is true and, when it can’t be avoided, true Christians accept martyrdom with courage and humility. It’s also true that martyrdom is a necessary qualification for sainthood.

But actively seeking, rather than nobly accepting, martyrdom smacks more of Islam than of Christianity. Suicide, after all, has been treated by some great theologians as a worse crime than murder, and, unlike murderers and traitors, suicides are traditionally denied Christian burial rites.

Suicide is condoned by many Eastern religions, especially those that regard this world as inherently evil and preach escape from it. However, Christ taught salvation of the world, not from the world.

Refusing to lift a finger to save one’s life is tantamount to suicide, and His Grace ought to have pondered such things before delivering himself of such ill-considered opinions.

One suspects that, unlike Pope Francis, the Archbishop is opposed to the West’s intervention in Syria, Iraq and wherever else Christians are being murdered.

It is true that such intervention would be disastrous – but only if undertaken for wrong reasons and, consequently, in a wrong way.

As the US, with Britain bringing up the rear, has demonstrated beyond doubt, intervening in that region for the purpose of introducing democracy and building nations is worse than criminal. It’s stupid.

However, intervening for the express purpose of protecting Christians and Jews, and punishing those who do them harm would be consistent not only with secular but also with Christian morality, which after all calls for defending those who can’t defend themselves.

The right end would dictate the right means: any Western action in the Middle East should be purely punitive, with the punishment meted out to be sufficiently cataclysmic to have a strong deterrent value.

In parallel, Western governments should generously and unconditionally provide refuge and help to our own co-religionists in the Middle East. I am sure that not even Nigel Farage would object to such an act of Christian mercy.

Yes, we should all pray for the martyrs, those being murdered for their faith. One wishes His Grace urged us to do just that, rather than indirectly promoting a course of action that’s bound to produce more martyrs to pray for.









No argument this time, just best wishes

Usually on this most joyous day of the year I write a longish piece, wishing my readers a Happy Easter – regardless of whether or not they are Christians.

The point I always make is that there is enough in this event even for non-believers to celebrate, for without it our civilisation wouldn’t exist, and my readers, regardless of their religion, are civilised people.

Without Easter our world would be a very different place and, for all our complaints and laments, not nearly as glorious a place.

However, since we all, believers and non-believers alike, realise this, belabouring the point would be superfluous. It would be, to use an English cliché, preaching to the converted or, as the Russians say, trying to break in through an open door.

Speaking of our glorious world, my readers come from every corner of it, and – though they all self-evidently speak English – the words even strangers traditionally exchange on this day must sound more familiar to them in their mother tongue.

So Happy Easter, wherever you are:


Christ is risen!

Le Christ est ressuscité!

Christus ist auferstanden!


Cristo ha resucitado!
Cristo è risorto!
Kristus on üles tõusnud!
Kristus er oppstanden!
Xристос воскрес!
Chrystus zmartwychwstał!
Kristus vstal z mrtvých!
Cristo ressuscitou!
Kristus ir augšāmcēlies!
Christus is verrezen!

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη!


Krisztus feltámadt!
Kristus är uppstånden!
Kristus prisikėlė!
Hristos a înviat!