The EU’s trusted servant

Tony Blair, easily the most revolting personage ever to disgrace 10 Downing Street, has taken over Britain’s foreign policy.

Having supposedly conducted talks with EU leaders, he has found out they are ready to meet Britain halfway – make it three quarters of the way, just to make sure there’s no Brexit. I understand how they feel: being hard up, they’re desperate for our billions.

But that’s the only thing I understand. First, in exactly what capacity has Blair negotiated with foreign powers on behalf of Great Britain? Who authorised him? He isn’t even an MP, much less a member of the government.

I thought he was too busy shilling for every bloodthirsty tyrant on earth, with the possible exception of Kim Jong-un. Actually, if I were Kim, I’d feel slighted: “What am I, chopped dog’s liver?”

Having conducted those, mildly speaking, unethical talks, Blair has brought us some good news, like a dog fetching a pair of slippers in its mouth. The EU, he says, is ready to reform.

Provided, of course, we agree to stay in the EU – despite the unequivocal results of the referendum and the parliamentary vote to enact Article 50. This was one of the few occasions when popular sentiment and legislative action were in accord, but neither means anything to Blair. He wants to sabotage both by hook or – to stay in character – by crook.

In spite of himself, he then drew an implicit but valid parallel between the EU and the Inferno. If we decide to debauch people and Parliament, he promised, the EU “will comprise the inner and outer circle”. Not being burdened with excessive erudition, Blair was probably unaware of his unwitting Dantesque analogy, but it still rings true.

In other words, someone high up in the EU has promised Blair that this infernal setup would now do what it steadfastly refused to do before the referendum: modify its bossy centralism. If they indeed promised that – and Blair has been known to lie through his teeth whenever it suits him – they’re dissembling.

In the past they stated their position with both frankness and loyalty to their founding principles. The odd, purely cosmetic, concession notwithstanding, the EU is about creating a single European state, complete with every attribute of statehood.

This objective was formulated by Jean Monnet in 1943, when Germany’s previous attempt to unify Europe was still under way: “There will be no peace in Europe if the states are reconstituted on the basis of national sovereignty… The European states must constitute themselves into a federation.”

This, explained Monnet, could only be accomplished by subterfuge, in circumvention of both popular sentiment and legal procedure: “Europe’s nations should be guided towards the superstate without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose but which will irreversibly lead to federation.”

Why not just say what you really want? If a Fourth Reich, with France playing lickspittle to Germany and everybody else to both of them, was so attractive, surely people wouldn’t have to be tricked? All it would take is a simple explanation of the fine points for the Europeans to jump up and salute.

“Rational consideration of the options would sensibly include the option of negotiating for Britain to stay within a Europe itself prepared to reform,” continued Blair.

“The European leaders, certainly from my discussions, are willing to consider changes to accommodate Britain, including around freedom of movement. Yet this option is excluded.”

That’s right, it is. That’s what voting is for. You discuss all sorts of options, then call for a ballot and one option emerges victorious to the exclusion of others. I know it’s a difficult concept for someone like Blair to grasp, but that’s how it works.

Abandoning the single market would be “damaging” for Britain’s economy, according to the man who has singlehandedly brought the EU round to the idea of reform.

Well, not half as damaging as his premiership was, I dare say. His government inherited a robust economy and proceeded to turn it into a basket case. Nevertheless, his concern for our, as opposed to just his own, economic wellbeing is touching. Still, perhaps we should just muddle through on our own, eschewing a poisoner’s advice on antidotes.

In his beneficence Blair wants to give the British people a chance to change their minds. “As we know more about what Brexit means, our will changes,” he says.

But we already know everything there’s to know: Brexit means recovering our sovereignty from the likes of Blair and his fellow European spivs. That’s the simple truth. But Blair and his EU friends don’t want it. They want their lies to be more palatable, easier for people to swallow.

We need, he says, a “proper debate about the options before us”. Exactly what was improper about the years of debate that eventually led to the referendum? That the wrong side won? And Tony, let me repeat in simple words even you can understand: There. Are. No. More. Options. The people. And. Parliament. Have. Spoken.

If this is too difficult, ask Brigitte, your little friend Manny’s foster mother, to explain this to you. She’ll be happy to oblige.

At the end Blair said something true, reversing the habit of a lifetime: “Europe knows it will be poorer and less powerful without us.”

It certainly does. That’s why it enrols unprincipled saboteurs like him to do its bidding. Founded as the EU is on a lie, it needs all the liars it can get.

Let them eat the Human Rights Act

If you still think political conservatism is alive in Britain, read Daniel Finkelstein’s article in The Times.

Fink, as he styles himself when writing about football (wouldn’t be my first choice of a pseudonym, but there we have it), starts out by offering an unimpeachable premise: “One of the key attributes of being a British conservative is standing up to populist enthusiasm when it threatens limited government, individual rights, due process and the rule of law.”

Yes, but how best to achieve such desiderata? It’s in answering this question that Fink shows his uncertain grasp of conservatism.

According to him, the Conservative Party should adopt “a practical rather than ideological approach to leaving the European Union” and “drop its opposition to the Human Rights Act”.

The first proposed step, bandied about by all visceral Remainers, is important in its connotation, not denotation. For what they mean is that we should bang the EU door but then stay inside.

‘Practical’ to them means Britain continuing to pay billions into the EU coffers, admit an unlimited number of immigrants and still fall under the jurisdiction of various EU laws spearheaded by the Human Rights Act and the ECHR.

One wonders why bother leaving at all. The only effect of such practicality would be Britain failing to regain much of her sovereignty, while losing even the pathetic 1/28 of the voice at the EU table.

Anyway, if Fink wants to stay in the EU, de jure or de facto, he’s entitled to that view. He’s even entitled to put forth arguments in favour of the Human Rights Act. However, passing them for the voice of conservatism is sheer larceny.

We need the HRA, says Fink, to protect our property against requisition, similar to what Hugo Chávez perpetrated in Venezuela and Jeremy Corbyn would do in Britain given the chance.

In other words we need the EU to save us from ourselves. This implies that until 1998, when Britain signed up to the HRA, property in the country had been at the mercy of sticky-fingered tyrants with requisition on their minds.

Yet the rights of Englishmen is a notion predating the HRA by some 800 years and, apart from Henry VIII’s raid on the monasteries and some seventeenth-century excesses, one can’t recall offhand too many instances of property left unprotected by Britain’s own laws.

Our constitution is arguably the best and certainly the longest-lasting the world has ever seen. Over, say, the past century Britain’s record on human rights stands up against any other EU member, including the EU powers that be, Germany and France.

Germany… well, we know all about her. And the French will insist they have the rule of law, but that’s not exactly true. What they have is the rule of lawyers.

Unlike English Common Law, based on precedents accumulated over centuries, the French practise positive law, one imposed by the state. These incompatible legal systems are vectored in opposite directions: from bottom to top in Britain, from top to bottom in France.

When French kings ruled by divine right, they didn’t need much legislative activism. The need only arose with the advent of perverse politics inspired by the Masonic slogan of liberté, egalité, fraternité.

Lacking an organic claim to legitimacy, the revolutionary government – and all its kaleidoscopically changing successors – drowned the population under a deluge of laws.

Since 1789 France has had 17 different constitutions, spawning thousands of laws. Most of them come from the fecund minds of avocats who bang their clever heads together to devise legislation supposed to hasten the arrival of paradise on earth, which so far has been late in coming.

By contrast, English Common Law has over centuries built a solid capital of justice. We’re currently living off the interest, rapidly frittering the principal away. But at least there’s some left, and that’s what we must strengthen and build on.

English Common Law can protect us, as it has been doing for centuries. We have no need for any EU guarantors of the rights of Englishmen. The European Human Rights Act is no more synonymous with human rights than the European Union is with Europe.

According to Fink, the only alternative to EU protection would be a British Bill of Rights. However, he laments, “The Tories have never had a coherent plan for a British Bill of Rights or anything approaching the unity with which they need to proceed. So why not admit that this has been a blind alley?”

So admitted, as directed. This is indeed a blind alley. For we don’t need another Bill of Rights any more than we need the HRA. Though such a constitutional document wouldn’t be issued by foreigners, it would be inspired by the spirit of positive law, which has a distinctly alien, continental flavour.

Anyway, we already have one Bill of Rights, passed in 1689 as a result of the Dutch occupation known as the Glorious Revolution. Having another one would be tantamount to a tacit admission that there was something wrong with the first Bill. So there was, plenty, and England has never been the same thereafter.

But at least it could be argued then that the Glorious Revolution represented such a tectonic constitutional shift that its legal aspects had to be summed up in a written document. Nothing like that is happening now – in fact Britain has moved towards reclaiming her ancient constitution, freeing it from the yoke of European legalism.

When new laws are redundant, they’re harmful. Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland put this epigrammatically: “When it is not necessary to change, it is necessary not to change”.

But then, unlike Fink, he understood the nature of England’s constitution. And, as he proved in 1643, he was ready to die for it.

The apple and the tree

Many proverbs exist in both English and Russian, though the latter tend to express the same idea more violently or, to be kind, dynamically.

Thus the English “let bygones be bygones” becomes “whoever remembers the past, may his eye be gouged out”; “the pen is mightier than the sword” comes out as “that which is written with a pen can’t be chopped out with an axe” and so forth.

But the one about the apple not falling far from the tree is exactly the same in both languages, hinting at its universal truth. If further evidence of this universality is needed, just look at Donald Trump Jr., the apple, and his father, the presidential tree.

It increasingly appears that the principal gardener of that orchard is Vlad Putin, making sure the apple tree grows to luxuriance and bears much fruit.

The tree has never bothered to conceal his admiration for the KGB thug, which, though unfortunate, doesn’t legally fall into the category of impeachable, much less criminal, offences. Whether there’s something else going on is debatable but, as the Russian proverb goes, “He who isn’t caught isn’t a thief”.

Still, though prima facie proof of some shady dealings is lacking, indications are thick on the ground. For example, a couple of years ago the apple, that is Don Jr., said casually: “… Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets… We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

‘A lot of money’ is a relative amount: what’s a lot of money to me is loose change to either Donald. But the first part of the statement bears more scrutiny than it has so far received. After all, the Trumps run not a corner shop but a vast global empire worth billions. Yet the official records of its activities in Russia don’t show “a disproportionate cross-section”. All they show is a few golf courses.

‘A disproportionate cross-section’ could then only have come from activities that don’t appear in the official records. For example, financial insiders cite huge swathes of Russian financing that reach Trump having first been laundered through brass-plate offshore banks.

I don’t know if there’s any truth to this, but what’s undeniable is that Trump admires Putin and in many ways sees him as his role model. In common with many of our own so-called conservatives (in fact Putin’s useful idiots), he sees in Putin qualities that he himself would like to cultivate, those that set him apart from wishy-washy political professionals.

Putin, he once said, “has been a leader far more than our president [Obama] has been.” Well, Donald, it’s easier for Putin. He doesn’t have to mess around with things like Congress, fair elections, independent judiciary or free press.

The KGB thug, Trump added, “has great control over his country”. That much is true, though Putin still falls short of the standards established by his idol Stalin. But he’s getting there, and one would think that a US president would be at least ambivalent about such criminal achievements.

Of course Trump himself does have to contend with the above-mentioned constraints, which is why his admiration for the world’s most dangerous regime has to be leavened with caution.

For example, he hasn’t been able to lift US sanctions against Russia, as he promised during the campaign. Yet on the other hand he hasn’t imposed any new sanctions in spite of the overwhelming evidence of the Russians’ hacking sabotage of the very political system of which Americans are so proud.

Yet on balance he clearly regards Putin as a friend, which perception that career KGB spy runner cultivates by pandering to Trump’s well-known narcissism. Trump himself provided evidence of that by saying: “I think when he calls me brilliant I’ll take the compliment, ok?”

It’s in this context that yet another scandal involving Putin and Trump’s entourage should be viewed. For about a year ago, shortly after the tree secured the Republican nomination, the apple met Putin’s unofficial emissary, the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Through her Putin promised to provide some ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton, thereby improving the tree’s prospects of being transplanted to Pennsylvania Avenue. Now on the surface this seems par for the course. There’s nothing wrong in seeking a competitive advantage in a political campaign – generally speaking.

But speaking particularly, there’s something shady about accepting such help from a foreign power – and there’s something downright tenebrous in accepting it from a hostile foreign power.

It would be tedious to cite yet again reams of evidence showing that, like in the days of the Cold War, Russia still regards America as Enemy Number One. The tone of state propaganda to that effect is getting shriller by the minute, only matched by the thunderous sounds of Russian sabre-rattling.

In any case it doesn’t take great geopolitical nous to realise that, when a government almost wholly made up of KGB officers makes such an offer, it’s a pro for which it’ll expect a quid. “You’ll owe me one,” in the language of both spy runners and property developers.

How the Russians described that outstanding debt is anyone’s guess. But rest assured they did describe it.

That the tree may be diseased and its fruit rotten is shown by Junior’s subsequent lies when queried about the meeting. Veselnitskaya, he said, only wanted to talk about Americans adopting Russian children.

If Junior had done his homework, he could have come up with a lie more plausible and less crude. For, following the Magnitsky Case sanctions imposed on Russia in 2013, the Russians banned Americans from adopting their orphaned or abandoned children.

Hundreds of those poor souls had been saved by Americans from neglect, appalling abuse, hunger and illness – often death. Yet the Russians decided to punish Americans to make sure no more children would be saved. This decision was accompanied by disgusting propaganda to the effect that American foster parents typically sell Russian children for body parts or else take sexual advantage of them.

Not only is Junior amoral, he’s also ignorant. But anyway, the lie was exposed and he had to admit that foster care wasn’t really the topic of his chat. But the admission didn’t come all at once: like a criminal interrogated by a policeman, Junior has only been owning up to things the investigator could prove.

Thus yesterday he released the e-mails he exchanged with Russian officials to set up the meeting. Their e-mail to him says that some mysterious “Crown prosecutor of Russia” [there’s no such post there, unless I’ve missed Putin’s accession to the throne] “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father”.

And “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump.”

Junior replied: “If it’s what you say, I love it.” In exchange for what was a question he forgot to ask.

The meeting was cosy: just Natalia, Junior and his two chaperones, the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, then campaign manager who has since resigned under the weight of his own intimate dealings with Putin’s kleptofascist junta.

All this may be no more sinister than sheer ignorance and amateurishness on the part of Trump and his retinue. However, though each scandal of this nature may not be sufficient to bring Trump down, their cumulative effect just might.

In any case it takes inexcusable nonchalance to feel there’s nothing to worry about. There is, and not just for the tree and its apple.

Gee… no, G20

There’s something about those summits that brings out the worst in politicians, not that it’s ever deep beneath the surface.

First, Trump had a long talk with Vlad, half of which was devoted to the delicate subject of Russian hacking. Vlad assured his friend Donald that no attempt had been made to affect US elections by that expedient. That’s all right then, nodded Trump. A KGB officer would never lie.

He then proposed to join forces with Vlad to create a cyber security zone, which is like putting a pathological arsonist in charge of the fire brigade. The idea was so palpably asinine that Donald promptly abandoned it the next day, with his fellow Republicans screaming abuse and screwing their index fingers into their temples.

Then Brigitte’s foster son took the stage. When Manny was elected president of France, I desperately looked for something decent hiding behind his veneer of self-important, jumped-up nonentity.

At first, the search was rewarded: unlike Fillon, who respected Putin’s leadership qualities, and Le Pen, who was kept by Putin like a two-bit whore, Manny was mildly critical of the KGB gangster.

But then they met at the G20 in Hamburg and sparks flew. One of them ignited Manny’s hitherto pent-up desire for an open dialogue with Putin. For Manny’s eagle eye discerned kinship and commonality of interests.

In a subsequent interview he first warmed up by reiterating his commitment to stopping both terrorism and global warming. There’s no point fighting one without fighting the other, Manny said, clearly implying a causal relationship.

He didn’t explain which caused which, but then there was no need: Prince Charles once traced the roots of Muslim terrorism to global warming. One would think that as a republican Manny wouldn’t feel duty-bound to repeat all the drivel uttered by our royals, but perhaps he’s a vicarious monarchist at heart.

Or else he misunderstood what Brigitte had told him to say. Pay attention in class, Manny, or you’ll be marked down.

Having thus spun two seemingly unrelated issues, Manny continued on the subject of terrorism. The thrust of his oration was the same as in every speech by Trump: without Putin’s help the West is helpless. This premise is false on more levels than one can find in Trump Tower.

First, if the combined military might of the West is insufficient for exterminating terrorists and punishing their supporters, we might as well all pack up and go home: the West is no more.

Second, Putin’s kleptofascist junta itself presents the greatest terrorist threat to the world. Its rabid attack on the Ukraine alone has produced more victims, by an order of magnitude, than all the recent Muslim shenanigans in Europe combined.

But it wasn’t the Ukraine alone. True to its KGB roots (85 per cent of Russia’s ruling elite come from that background, according to official sources), the junta pounces on everything and everyone vulnerable, be it Chechnya or Georgia, Syria or any meaningful political opposition, whose members are routinely murdered not only in Russia but also abroad.

Most critical, Putin’s junta is indulging in the kind of brinkmanship all over the world, most spectacularly in the Middle East and the Baltics, that has made nuclear holocaust more likely than at any time since the Cuban crisis.

Therefore seeking Putin’s help in fighting terrorism is like asking Kim Jong-un to support nuclear non-proliferation, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to promote religious tolerance or Dr Shipman to advise on care for the elderly.

But Manny doesn’t realise this. Neither does he realise that every word he uttered in that interview blithely repeated Putin’s own propaganda:

“What inspires Putin to act? The desire to revive the image of a strong leader capable of holding his country in his hands.”

To bring Stalin back as a role model, in other words. Here Manny isn’t far wrong: rather than the murderer of 61 million of his own subjects and enslaver of the rest, Stalin is being extolled in Russia as an effective, if at times stern, manager, the father of his people and the victor in the great war (which he himself started as Hitler’s ally, but that part of it isn’t emphasised). Plaques to the memory of one of history’s most evil men are being restored all over Russia, his portraits adorn hundreds of rallies, panegyrics to him are heard on every Russian TV channel.

One would think that the president of a country that has liberty inscribed on its escutcheon would respond to this development with something other than affectionate understanding. But do let’s proceed to the next couple of sentences.

“Russia herself is a victim of terrorism. He [Putin] also has on his borders rebels and brutal religious groups threatening the country. That is his main concern, in Syria included.”

The first sentence is absolutely right. Russia is indeed a victim of terrorism, and has been since 1917. It’s the terrorism perpetrated by its ‘strong leaders’, whose fine legacy Putin is seeking to develop.

As to the rebels, Manny was presumably referring to the victims of two centuries of Russian brutality in North Caucasus, with the most recent, and some of the worst, crimes committed by Putin’s own troops. And it takes some dialectical chicanery to link those few remaining resistance fighters to Syria, where Putin is clearly fighting not terrorists but the West.

“Putin’s task,” continued Manny in the same vein, “is to revive Great Russia, which to him is essential to his country’s survival. Is he seeking to weaken or destroy us? I don’t think so.”

Great Russia means Stalin’s Russia, which inexorably follows from every word coming out of the mouths of Putin’s propagandists and his own. How this is essential to the country’s survival isn’t instantly obvious. It’s easier to imagine how rabid attacks on the whole civilised world may put Russia in existential danger.

Also, unlike the economy, geopolitical power is a zero-sum game. If en route to becoming great again Russia gains more of it, the West will have less. The West will thereby be weakened vis-à-vis its deadliest current enemy. But I do agree that Vlad doesn’t wish to destroy the West: he and his fellow gangsters need a secure laundry for their purloined billions.

And the upshot of it, Manny? “Vladimir Putin has his own take on the world.” [That’s for damn sure.] “He thinks that to him Syria is a vitally important neighbour.” [The last time I looked at the map, Russia and Syria aren’t exactly neighbours, but perhaps Manny, being a socialist, uses the word dialectically].

“What can we do? Cooperate on Syria to fight terrorism and find a true way out of the present crisis. I believe this is possible.”

Gee, Manny, a few more performances like this, and Brigitte will send you to bed without supper. Use your head, lad, concentrate – and do your homework.

What part of sovereignty doesn’t he get?

Sir Vince Cable, who’s likely to become the next leader of the oxymoronic Liberal Democratic Party, thinks Brexit may never happen because Parliament isn’t unanimous on the issue:

“I think the problems are so enormous, the divisions within the two major parties are so enormous… I can see a scenario in which this doesn’t happen.”

Allow me to translate. Sir Vince and his fanatically pro-EU party don’t want Brexit to happen and will do everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t.

Fair enough. That’s why we have political parties, to put forth an argument and defend it by political means.

Political no longer means reasonable of course: modern politics originally inaugurated in the name of reason has perhaps contributed more than any other field of endeavour to debauching reason to a point where it has become a whore to short-term expediency.

Sir Vince, miraculously regarded as the pulsating intellect of the left, proves this observation with room to spare.

If he used his brain, or indeed had one in any other than the purely physiological sense, he would have asked himself to think of a single issue in the history of Parliament on which the two major parties weren’t divided both between each other and within themselves.

He’d further inquire inwardly where in our constitution, unwritten and so much more effective for it, it says that issues of national import must be decided by unanimous vote. Had he asked those questions, Sir Vince would have exhausted his vaunted brain power so much he wouldn’t have been able to proceed to the really serious issues.

Such as, what is the nature of our constitution? How does democracy by plebiscite fit into it? After all, the nature of parliamentary democracy is such that people elect their representatives to make serious decisions on their behalf.

It’s understood that, even before the advent of comprehensive non-education, our masses weren’t able to figure out the pluses and minuses of, say, deficit versus surplus budgets. That’s why they relied on their betters to do it for them.

And of course now, when the masses can’t figure out the change after handing out a quid for a 74p item, the arguments against direct democracy (or indeed any other, but let’s leave that aside for now) become not just compelling but self-evident.

That’s why I was always opposed to a Brexit referendum: I have principled objections to that form of government. Given the wrong confluence of economic indicators and force majeur events, people would be perfectly capable of voting to sell themselves into slavery or to slaughter every first-born boy.

Yet my opposition doesn’t matter one iota. The powers that be, those that had been put into their posts by the electorate, decided that a referendum was just the ticket to decide whether we were going to keep our ancient constitution or surrender it to become a province in Greater Germany, otherwise known as the EU.

The powers that be didn’t make that decision because they desperately wanted people to have their say. They have a most refreshing contempt for the people this side of Notting Hill and Islington, a sentiment that was extremely rare before the triumph of modernity.

Both major parties, with notable exceptions within each, wanted the referendum because they were desperate to stay in the EU and were smugly confident the people would vote that way. Well, they didn’t.

Now what? Either we accept this method of government or we don’t. Since we demonstrably do, we therefore accept the result of a referendum whether we like it or not. “Tu l’as voulu, George Dandin”, as Molière said, meaning put up and shut up.

However, having lost the fair fight, spivs like Sir Vince want to steal victory in an unfair way. The possible tricks range from filibustering to coming up with quasi-legal snags, from using our predominantly pro-EU media to deliberately and mendaciously perverting the very concept of Brexit.

The concept is simple. It boils down to one word: sovereignty. Do we wish to retain it or vest it with the good offices of heirs to the post-war fusion between Nazi and Vichy bureaucracies?

There’s really no compromise possible: either our sovereignty lives or it dies. I think it should live, and I’ve presented endless arguments to that effect. Sir Vince and his jolly friends think it should die – but they don’t come out and say it honestly, much less put forth any arguments in defence of this proposition.

They just try to subvert the issue by sidetracking it into unrelated incidentals. Thus Sir Vince says: “People will realise that we didn’t vote to be poorer, and I think the whole question of continued membership will once again arise.”

First, Parliament has voted to turn Article 50 into law, which means we’re obligated to leave the EU within two years. At issue now isn’t just the debatable plebiscite democracy but the iron-clad parliamentary sovereignty, the cornerstone of our constitution.

Second, since the issue is sovereignty, it’s for richer or for poorer. Any decent person would rather be poor but free than rich but enslaved. Of course, as a socialist, Sir Vince is conditioned to think of life in purely materialist terms, and more power to him. But this line of thought is at odds not only with our constitution but indeed with the very essence of Western civilisation.

I sincerely doubt that the average voter, or even Sir Vince who reportedly needs two chairs to contain his giant intellect, is capable of analysing economic ups and downs with sufficient precision to figure out what causes what.

Our economy may well thrive post-Brexit, or it may take a dive. In either case, both sides will resort to the post hoc, ergo propter hoc post-rationalisation, and both will probably be wrong.

Because our economy is fundamentally unsound, Brexit or no Brexit, the phoney prosperity of the last couple of years will come to an end soon. Yet it’s emetically dishonest to tie this possibility, or indeed reality, to Brexit.

Britain could have conceivably kept her empire and much of its riches had she let the Germans have their way in their previous attempt to unite Europe. Yet Churchill didn’t suggest that option. Instead he said: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

Then the British thought that was a good offer. These days they listen to cardsharping nincompoops like Sir Vincent, who look for loopholes to undermine what the country fought so valiantly for 77 years ago: her sovereignty.

London, twinned with Sodom

This “twinned” sign should welcome every visitor to our capital, at least today. And there I was, thinking that London Pride was only a brand of beer.

A million noisy and ill-dressed folk are paralysing London streets to take part in the annual Pride parade that champions the cause of the special rights desired by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) ‘community’.

Now I think that the people who go by initials resembling those of the secret police in a totalitarian state deserve their rights. All subjects of Her Majesty do, the rights of Englishmen and all that.

Nor can one object to some people doing an Oliver Twist and asking for more rights than their fair share. That’s a tad greedy, but only an inveterate Rousseauan would object to this display of human frailty.

But the word pride does baffle me, and to some extent this is the fault of Biblical translators who otherwise did such a sterling job. In ancient Greek there were two words designating this concept, one positive, one negative.

The negative one has come down to us as hubris; the positive one as pride proper. But Lancelot Andrewes and his colleagues also used the word ‘pride’ in its negative sense, to denote the deadliest of the seven sins.

(With a sense of pride in my native land, something I generally manage to suppress, I’m pleased to tell you the Russians appropriately use two different cognates, gordost’ and gordynia, to denote pride and hubris, respectively.)

That sin is responsible for the two most catastrophic Old Testament events. It drove Archangel Lucifer (whose name most appropriately means Enlightener, as in Diderot and Voltaire) to rebel against God and become Satan, the devil, the evil seducer.

And it’s because of their pride that Adam and Eve branded man with original sin. They thought they knew better than God and therefore didn’t have to obey his injunctions, specifically one involving the forbidden fruit that Lucifer was pushing with the intrusiveness of a greengrocer at a Soho market.

As a result, man was stuck in a fallen state, where he stayed until Rousseau cancelled original sin by declaring man both perfect and tautologically perfectible. By way of a virtuous reaction, the French made a good go of trying to murder everyone who disagreed with Rousseau, running up a seven-figure score and hinting at the possibility of self-refutation.

Now original sin had something tangentially to do with sex, as did the word hubris in ancient Greece. It described actions that humiliated the victim for the gratification of the abuser, thereby shaming both.

Now if those LGBT+ revellers used the word pride in that meaning, they’d find no argument in these quarters. But they don’t. They use it in its positive sense, as humble delight in one’s achievements.

That’s where my problems start. The dictionary defines achievement as “a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage.” Now it takes no mean legerdemain to attach that word to the act of one gentleman shoving his clenched fist up the rectum of another.

This, even though this procedure doubtless requires, in addition to suspended squeamishness, some effort and skill on the part of the active participant and some courage from the one on the receiving end of the fist.

Similarly, though it probably takes some courage to decide to have certain anatomical parts removed or, conversely, attached, the effort and skill are those of the doctor performing the operation, not of the patient.

Then again, the humble aspect of this emotion isn’t much in evidence when mobs rampage through the streets screaming obscene slogans, waving rainbow flags and in general making a rather tasteless nuisance of themselves.

On balance, no matter how much casuistry we indulge in, one finds it hard to understand what pride has to do with aberrant sexual practices. The word degeneracy springs to mind more readily, but of course when it does it must be expunged immediately on pain of ostracism and, these days, possibly criminal prosecution.

To prove that the end is really nigh, a rainbow flag has been projected on the Mother of All Parliaments, and on this evidence it’s indeed a mother, in the elegant American sense of the word.

Hundreds of police officers, more than 100 of them armed, are patrolling the streets, to make sure no harm comes to the revellers or, more probably, to those who look at them askance. Moreover, some 150 similarly inclined police officers are marching with the braying mob, thereby combining the roles of protectors and protectees.

A number of Central London streets have been blocked, including that amusing aptronym Cockspur Street. Let me tell you, if I were stuck in traffic as a result, I wouldn’t be feeling especially gay.

Theresa May laudably took time off trying to safeguard Britain’s future to commend the deviants for sending out a “proud and positive message to the world”. That’s our Christian Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen, in case you’ve forgivably forgotten.

“We need to do all we can to build a country which works for everyone,” added Mrs May, “where people of all backgrounds are free to be themselves and fulfil their full potential.” Fulfilling the full potential of fisting might cause rupture in addition to rapture, so caution must be exercised. But the PM left that part out.

Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening, who herself is the L part of the popular acronym, wrote in The Telegraph that: “Often it’s all of us, and our own stories, that can have the biggest impact in the push for equality.” Excellent locution for an Education Minister.

“I am proud to live in a country where we are free to be who we are,” added Miss Greening. Those chaps in Sodom must have felt the same way. But it didn’t quite pan out to their satisfaction, did it?

Nowadays no animals are more equal than others

The other day I wrote: “Democratic modernity believes its corrupt notion of equality and tries to enforce it at all cost.”

This provoked an interesting question from a reader: “And who enforces it? Are the enforcers way above governments nowadays?”

The answer is yes, the enforcers do tower above governments. They are our societies, the depositories of our civilisation. And society can impose its will more effectively than even a totalitarian government.

The blueprint for this observable fact was drawn by Matthew: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Having grown up under a totalitarian regime, I can testify that it failed as spectacularly in killing the soul as it succeeded in killing the body, 61 million bodies to be exact.

The bodily destruction was perpetrated in the name of equality, yet the Moscow of my youth was culturally the most hierarchical society I’ve ever known (and I’ve known a few).

We feared our potential killers, but we never fell in love with them. In the rarefied atmosphere of Moscow’s cultural elite I don’t recall meeting a single person who felt anything other than contempt for the regime, noticeable even among those who collaborated with it.

Our society is different. In addition to demanding passive acquiescence it seeks to inspire love, and largely succeeds. Rather than relying on violence, modern egalitarian society enforces its standards by seduction, making sure the soul follows the body into captivity.

Over the last 500 years, we’ve gradually lost the great Western civilisation of Christendom based on a social, cultural and intellectual hierarchy underpinned by equality before God.

This has been replaced by its perverse simulacrum: striving for earthly equality (in effect stultifying sameness), with religion relegated to the status of quaint personal idiosyncrasy.

Christendom was gently pushed over the edge by the Renaissance, but the ever-accelerating slide really began with the Reformation, which Belloc correctly listed among history’s greatest heresies.

Luther’s declaration that every man was his own priest effectively meant that every man was his own God. The other God could be worshipped in any way a person chose, which eventually got to mean in no way.

Calvin drove another nail in by doing a nice job of reductio ad absurdum on the Augustinian doctrine of predestination. Man’s perdition or salvation was predestined, and nothing he did in this life could change that one way or the other. But God hinted at salvation by making a man rich.

That was the first time in history that divine grace found a monetary equivalent. That’s why, as Max Weber explained, the Protestant work ethic lay at the foundation of capitalism.

Witness the fact that even now Protestant countries boast a per capita GDP 1.5 times higher than in Catholic countries, three times higher than in Orthodox ones, and five times higher than in Muslim lands – this despite an ocean of petrodollars sloshing underfoot in the largest Orthodox country and quite a few Muslim ones.

But Protestantism promotes a thirst not only for money but also for equality. It’s essentially a middle class religion, and the middle class has always sought to be the only class. If you look at the first three great revolutions of modernity, English, American and French, they were all reflections of the egalitarian bourgeois impulse.

France was a predominantly Catholic country, but the principal revolutionary animus came from the largely agnostic bourgeoisie and also from protestant Germany and Switzerland (not only Luther and Calvin but, even worse, Rousseau – a nexus of Württemberg and Geneva).

The predominantly Protestant USA is a prime illustration of modern egalitarianism, with Americans proudly declaring that they’re all middle class. So they are: it’s as if a vertical stencil has been imposed on the nation, with everyone above it pulled down and everyone below pushed up.

Versions of the same are noticeable everywhere, certainly including England.

Our public schools, supposedly the bastions of class privilege, illustrate this. They typically stress collective over personal, trying to clone a uniform human product. Brilliance and academic excellence are routinely despised, with those venerable halls alive with reverberating phrases like ‘too clever by half’, ‘swot’ or ‘clever boy’. Only in England is ‘clever’ a pejorative term.

The nature of modern manufacturing is also egalitarian, with the assembly line replacing individual craftsmanship to produce uniform people cranking out uniform and uniformly available products for the uniform masses.

Illustrations of how effectively modern societies enforce uniformity are staring us in the face everywhere we look. Even our speech has become standardised, with all regional and class accents converging in the middle slowly but surely.

People rely more and more on swapping clichéd expressions, with formulas ousting original expression. For example, I’d be a rich man if I could get $10 for every time I heard this exchange on a hot day in New York: “Hot enough for you?” “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”. Or, in Texas, “It’s so hoat you could frah an egg.”

Man’s apparel provides another striking example. Look at any eighteenth century painting of a formal aristocratic occasion. Though all the men’s clothing would display a certain similarity of general line, in every other aspect, such as colour, fabric, decoration, their suits would be strikingly individual.

At an equivalent do today, all those public school alumni will be wearing identical clothes: black tie, white tie or morning dress, depending on the occasion. I remember the furore caused at Cambridge’s Peterhouse College when a chap wore tails to a black tie dinner. He dared to be different, breaking the code of uniformity.

I’ve written a few books on this subject, but in short format this is the best I can do. I hope the inquisitive reader will find the reply satisfactory.

Doctor, will you please kill me?

The cull of oldies in Holland continues. But the pace of progress is much too slow for that pioneer of modernity.

But not to worry. Reaching Holland’s legislature soon will be a “Completed Life Bill”, legalising killing healthy people who’ve lost some of their erstwhile joie de vivre.

As a lifelong champion of progress, and hence opponent of any kind of discrimination, I agree wholeheartedly. Why should anyone wait, as the current law demands, until he develops a terminal illness or dementia to claim sovereignty over his life?

The bill proposes that anyone over 75 will be able to make the request in the title above. Dutch doctors will doubtless oblige. Overworked as they are, they’ll welcome this reduction in their workload. And being civic-minded, they’ll be happy to reduce pressure on public services and finances.

If the new bill reaches parliament, it’s guaranteed to pass, enjoying as it does a cross-party support spearheaded by Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Still, for my taste the bill doesn’t go far enough. It’s still residually discriminatory.

What’s this reverse agism, favouring old fogies over younger persons who are simply fed up with life? Where’s the progress in that?

Fortunately I’m not the only one who feels that way. Supporters of the new bill don’t bother to deny that it’s but a stepping stone on the path to euthanasia on demand for anybody, regardless of age or health.

A 57-year-old man, appearing on a chat show in March, pointed out how discriminatory even the proposed law is: “I don’t feel like waiting 18 years. I want it now.” What, right in the studio?

Alexander Pechhold, the leader of the party proposing the bill, applauded. He then explained the philosophy behind the initiative: “In our civilisation dying is an individual consideration. You didn’t ask to be brought into the world.”

Who can possibly find fault with this thought? Nobody. Well, except perhaps a few incorrigible fossils who cling to the discredited belief that man descends from God rather than from King Kong via Darwin.

They might object that Mr Pechhold’s statement is self-refuting. That precisely because one didn’t ask to be brought into the world, one should be in no position to ask to be taken out of it. Those sticks in the mud may even invoke the obsolete notion of the sanctity of human life.

Though accusing the Dutch of playing materialistic games with life and death, it’s they who are really materialistic. They refuse to acknowledge the metaphysical anguish of a chap whose wife is bonking her psychoanalyst, or who can’t qualify for a mortgage to buy that flat in Keizersgracht.

Such a chap may well wish he were dead, and here’s the Dutch government with doctors in tow, responding on cue: “Your wish is our command. Here’s your syringe, mate.” Supply-demand at work, and isn’t that the essence of modernity?

The patient’s age or physical health shouldn’t even come into it. It’s his metaphysical agony that matters.

Even with the lamentable present constraints, Dutch doctors happily killed 6,091 people in 2016. Though still shockingly small, this number shows a steady increase year on year. That’s reassuring.

But it’s not reassuring enough. That’s why I think the Dutch should consider the initiative I’m hereby proposing: the euthanasia answer to Meals on Wheels.

Rather than waiting for desperate people to come to them, doctors should go out into the streets looking for euthanasia custom. To that end I propose a sort of ambulance service provisionally called The Josef Mengele Mobile Unit. The logo on the side of its vehicles could be based on the Hindu symbol favoured by the paymasters of the original Dr Mengele.

After dark the streets of Dutch cities are heaving with desperate people who feel like life is no longer worth living. The thought of euthanasia may not have crossed their minds yet, but then it should be up to the doctors to decide what’s best for the patients.

When spotting such a desperate individual in, say, Keizersgracht, burly male nurses can jump out of the Mengele Unit van and drag the patient inside. There are only two hard and fast rules for this medical procedure: hard and fast. If done properly, it’s guaranteed to overcome the patient’s resistance.

Inside the van he’ll be greeted by a doctor armed with a cyanide-loaded syringe. A quick jab, and the patient will be for ever cured of his earthly pain. His last thought will be gratitude to the people who took him out of this vale of tears, and to the government that had enabled them to do so.

This could be augmented by a parallel initiative, making euthanasia not just legal but compulsory for anyone reaching the age of 75. In due course, this cut-off point may be lowered in parallel with the voting age, but for the time being it’ll do.

Just think how much human misery will thereby be alleviated. And alleviating human misery is all that progress, of which I’m a lifelong champion, is about.

Having already founded the Charles Martel Society for Multiculturalism, I’m now incorporating the Joseph Mengele Society for Euthanasia. I hope I can count on my Dutch friends as members.

Dystopic, moi?




Arguments for the death penalty

There are 382 of them. That’s the number of people killed in Britain between 2012 and 2016 by criminals on probation.

Those people could still be alive if the death penalty were still an option. However it hasn’t been since its abolition in 1965. By sheer coincidence of course, the murder rate has more than doubled since then.

In 1965, the British experienced an epiphany. What had been seen as a perfectly valid punishment for murder since time immemorial instantly became inhuman and unimaginable. Those who remembered Saul becoming Paul by falling off his horse on the road to Damascus may have had a sense of déjà vu.

Quoting statistics in the face of such a revelatory experience sounds crass. But still, out of interest, how many criminals had been executed in the preceding five years, between 1960 and 1964, to give the British their Damascene experience?

Twenty-one. One-eighteenth of those murdered in the past five years by those who should have been executed, but weren’t. Interesting arithmetic, wouldn’t you say?

The deterrent value of the death penalty is often doubted, but one thing is beyond dispute. It definitely deters the executed criminal.

He isn’t going to go out on probation and kill again, not in this life at any rate. This is no mean achievement, considering the numbers cited above.

Even arguments against broader deterrence strike me as counterintuitive. It’s psychologically implausible that a potential murderer would be deterred by a prison sentence with a generous tariff as effectively as by the prospect of a hangman’s noose.

However, deterrence isn’t the only argument for the death penalty, nor even the best one. There are many others, which is why the death penalty was never regarded as cruel and unusual punishment in the founding legal code of the West, the Scripture.

When society and community were more than just figures of speech, it was understood that murder sent shock waves throughout the community. The amplitude of those destructive waves could be attenuated only by a punishment commensurate with the crime. Without it, the agitated community would run the risk of never recovering its eirenic order.

Having said that, even a dyed-in-the-wool conservative may argue against the death penalty, citing, for example, the corrupting effect it has on the executioner, or else doubting the right of fallible men to pass irreversible judgement.

Such arguments are noble, but they aren’t modern arguments. For it’s not just the death penalty that today’s lot are uncomfortable with, but the very idea of punishment.

More and more, they betray their Rousseauan genealogy by insisting that people are all innately good and, if some behave badly, they must be victims of correctable social injustice. More and more, one detects a belief that justice is an antiquated notion, and law is only an aspect of the social services.

Last year I was exposed to that view on the BBC Sunday Morning Live show, when debating the issue of imprisonment with a ‘human rights development worker’, whatever that means. Propping up her corner was a gentleman who had once served time and had since developed an understandable interest in the penitentiary system.

It turned out that they and I differed on the very definition of prison. Rather than an instrument of justice, they saw it as an educational and therapeutic facility for the socioeconomically disadvantaged. It logically followed that we have too many people in prison: other institutions would serve the educational purposes better.

My contention was that protecting us from criminals is among the state’s few raisons d’être. Otherwise it’s not immediately clear whence the state would derive its legitimacy. Therefore the number of prisoners is a moot point. We should have as many as it takes for the state to protect us.

Prison’s principal role is to serve justice by punishing crimes. Rehabilitation, a notion dear to my opponents’ hearts, would be welcome, but it comes far down on the list of desiderata, if at all.

The ex-convict was aghast. Didn’t I know that most released prisoners reoffend within a few months? The human rights person nodded vigorously and looked at me in a way that suggested that in my case she could reassess her staunch opposition to the death penalty.

Logic never being a strong point on the political left, they obviously didn’t realise that everything they were saying supported my argument. After all, the commitment to mythical rehabilitation has been practised for at least two generations. Surely the growing recidivism rates prove it isn’t working? And if most released prisoners reoffend, shouldn’t they stay in prison longer?

Rehabilitation isn’t what prisons are for, and not everyone can be rehabilitated anyway. Evil is an integral part of human nature, and some people have so much of it that they are irredeemable this side of heaven.

Practising what Rousseau preached is a strong factor in making Britain crime-ridden, with the murder rate climbing. If we practised what Jesus Christ preached instead, we wouldn’t gasp at the very thought of the death penalty.

We’d know that executing a murderer doesn’t contradict Christ’s commandment to love him. “Love thy enemy” means asking God to save him from hell in the next life. Executing him saves us from him in this life. First things first.




Thank democracy for Muslim crime

That Muslim refugees contribute to European crime rates is no secret. Or rather it is. Or, more precisely, governments try to keep it secret.

However, as my favourite doctor once wrote, “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest…” To vindicate Luke, the Dutch broadsheet De Telegraaf has finally managed to wrench from the police some data on refugee crime.

Holland, of course, is in the forefront of liberal progressivism, which is the modern for illiberal obscurantism. That’s why, whenever a Muslim commits a crime, he tends to be identified not by race, religion or name, but by his initial and place of residence. Thus a woman was raped not by, say, a Moroccan refugee Selim, but by an S. from Amsterdam.

Now the Dutch may be progressive but they aren’t dumb. Whenever a criminal is identified in such a cryptic fashion, they realise this isn’t an alias for a Jan De Jong and smile knowingly.

However, the police, government and the press guard their non-secret with the dedication of a tricephalous Cerberus. The non-secret is supposed to protect the social non-balance.

De Telegraaf bucked the trend by continuing to pester the National Police until a trickle of information seeped out. And what do you know, Muslim refugees do commit crimes out of proportion to their numbers.

The released information covered only refugees from ‘safe’ countries, meaning, say, not Iraq, Iran or Syria, but Morocco, Tunisia or Albania. Yet even those safe refugees are proving rather unsafe.

De Telegraaf reports that 663 migrants were arrested in the first nine months of 2016 for theft. Another 302 were arrested for “crimes against personal integrity”. This euphemism denotes things like murder and rape – not, as you might think, attempts to compromise uprightness and veracity.

Other countries can’t help drip-feeding similar data either. Thus we learn that refugees commit 250,000 crimes a year in Germany. In Oslo, immigrants, mainly Muslims, are involved in two out of three rapes. In Copenhagen, this figure is three out of four. In Sweden, 85 per cent. And Malmö, a city of 350,000 souls of whom 40 per cent are Muslims, boasts more murders than the rest of Scandinavia combined.

Even our own dear BBC has had to cough up some interesting stuff. Their harrowing series Three Girls shows how Pakistani gangs in Rochdale and other heavily Muslim areas rape white girls and turn them into prostitutes, with the authorities turning a blind eye for the sake of maintaining friendly multi-culti relations.

We could all cite numerous examples of what’s going on. Yet the really interesting question starts not with ‘what’ but with ‘why’.

Many pundits have put forth reasonable analyses, some even at book length. However, most of the answers provided fail to delve into the issue at sufficient depth.

I suggest we backtrack to the founding slogan of democratic modernity, liberté, égalité, fraternité, proudly adorning every public building in France. This triad is perhaps the most mendacious oxymoron ever concocted.

For the central element is at odds with the other two. Equality, other than before God in whom the originators of the phrase didn’t believe, isn’t a natural state of man. That’s why it can only be enforced by unnatural, coercive means.

This precludes either fraternité or especially liberté, leaving people to choose between liberty and equality. The choice has been made, and equality has become the impelling animus of modernity – not just democratic but also totalitarian.

Both demand uniformity über alles, and in this sense all modern regimes overlap. The Nazis seek uniformity of race; the communists, that of class; the democrats go further than either by seeking a convergence of all individuals at their arithmetic average.

The driving impulse of democratic modernity is philistine materialism, and a philistine invariably believes that everybody is, or at least is desperate to be, just like him. Equality means sameness to him – not as an already existing condition, but as a goal towards which to strive.

As a result, modern democracy meddles with the natural order of humanity as much as totalitarianism does, and more successfully. The imperative for everyone to overlap on the arithmetic average drives our politics, commerce, laws, social and racial relations.

This is accompanied by sustained brainwashing that puts to shame all those crude communist and Nazi propagandists. The aim is to dumb people down enough for them to believe in the sterling virtue and sagacity of Average Man.

In practice this means a more secure perpetuation of the elite’s power than anything ever encountered before the advent of modernity. Democratic masses are successfully conditioned to believe that they govern themselves by going to the polling stations every few years – this though individual votes are so atomised as to be meaningless. What matters isn’t an individual but a herd, a faceless bloc of millions.

The same goes for our mass-production industry aiming at averaging out quality to suit Average Man. The obsolete notion of craftsmanship has been ousted by the urge to “pile’em high, sell’em cheap”.

Those inhabiting the infra range below Average Man have to be pulled up, those residing in the ultra range above must be yanked down. Democratic modernity believes its corrupt notion of equality and tries to enforce it at all cost.

Empirical proof of this melancholy observation can be found anywhere one looks. Our comprehensive education and nationalised medicine, for example, both sacrifice excellence for equality to the loud cheers of our averaged-out masses, who aren’t just brainwashed but brain-scoured.

Therein lies the underlying reason for such egregious perversions of modernity as socialism, political correctness and multiculturalism. They all reflect the urge to pluck the nonexistent and indigestible pie of equality out of the sky, and then choke on it.

Therein also lies the explanation for the ongoing outrage of mass Muslim immigration. The democratic philistine is physically unable to acknowledge that it’s impossible to shake alien cultures and religions together to produce a palatable homogeneous cocktail.

Egalitarian ideology has penetrated the viscera of modernity, its DNA. No amount of evidence, such as that produced by De Telegraaf or the BBC, can change this newly acquired genetic makeup. The democratic philistine simply won’t accept that some nations and religions are incompatible with ours existentially, ontologically and irredeemably.

A cosmic catastrophe, with “the River Tiber foaming with much blood”, might change this mindset, but by then it’ll be too late.